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Inside the BBC’s Uprising: Hand in Hand for Propaganda

Produced by Rinaldo Francesca.
For a full transcript + links, please go to:
http://apophenia.altervista.org/insid…

April 3, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

‘US funded social network to incite unrest in Cuba’

Press TV – April 3, 2014

A new investigation reveals that the US government has secretly funded a social media network program to instigate political unrest in Cuba.

The administration of US President Barack Obama has been secretly financing the project, dubbed “Cuban Twitter,” for more than two years to undermine the Caribbean country’s government, according to an investigation by the Associated Press.

The program has reportedly been able to evade Cuba’s Internet restrictions by creating a text-messaging service that could be used to organize political rallies.

The service drew in tens of thousands of subscribers who were unaware of Washington’s scheme. The investigation showed that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has gone to extensive lengths to conceal its involvement in the program.

It also added that USAID set up front-companies overseas and routed money through a Cayman Islands bank to hide the funding it supplied to support the Cuban Twitter project.

Havana and Washington have been at odds since the Cuban revolution, led by Fidel Castro, toppled Fulgencio Batista’s regime in 1959. The US started imposing measures on the same year and placed an official embargo against Cuba in 1962.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly in 2012, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said that after the 2008 US presidential election, Obama had promised a new beginning with Cuba but “the reality of the last four years has been characterized by a persistent tightening of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade.”

April 3, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Border Patrol Terrorizes a Mom and Her Two Kids

See also:

Woman’s Lawsuit Alleges Horrifying Abuse By Border Officers, Including Cavity Searches And Forced Bowel Movements

 

200813border

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Amano’s praise for Israel discredits IAEA: Analyst

Press TV – April 2, 2014

A political analyst says Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Yukiya Amano’s “praise” for Israel will undermine the “legitimacy and credibility” of the UN nuclear agency.

In a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres on Monday, the IAEA chief turned a blind eye to international concerns about Tel Aviv’s nuclear arsenal, saying that Israel is a “valued partner” for the agency.

During the meeting, which was held at the headquarters of the United Nations nuclear agency in the Austrian capital of Vienna, Amano did not say anything about Israel’s illegal nuclear arsenal and activities.

Speaking to Press TV in an interview, Kaveh Afrasiabi, a political analyst, said he strongly believes that “this is double standard run amok because the praise that Mr. Amano had for… Israel is totally uncalled for.”

He added that Israel has so far defied a resolution overwhelmingly approved by the UN General Assembly in December 2012 calling on the Tel Aviv regime to open up its nuclear facilities to IAEA inspection.

He said that “one is at a loss for words to describe and indeed find out” the reasons that Amano failed to press Israel to abide by the United Nations and the international community’s demands from Israel, which is a clandestine nuclear weapons entity.

The commentator added that the IAEA chief already had a credibility problem amid the recent WikiLeaks revelation that showed “he is overly pro-American and pro-Western.”

He reiterated that Amano must pressure Israel to open up to IAEA inspections to perform his duty even-handedly.

The meeting between Amano and Peres came as Israel, which is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East, reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads.

The Israeli regime has never allowed any inspection of its nuclear facilities and continues to defy international calls to join the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

April 2, 2014 Posted by | Video | Leave a comment

Nasrallah: Hezbollah’s intervention in Syria was ‘very late’

Excerpts from the latest comments of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah on the Syrian war and the nature of his party’s military intervention in the conflict:

From the beginning as well – you see, the problem that the other (political) group in Lebanon had with us, and (the problem) that governments and regimes in the Arab and Islamic world had, and (the problem that) governments and regimes throughout the world had (with us), on the Syrian issue, is due to our political stance, (and) not our military intervention. Our military intervention came late, and as is said, it occurred after all (sides) intervened, and (after) all sides had come, and (after) all sides had fought. We came very late.

The problem was our political stance. That we got up from the first day, and said that: we are not with this conflict (taking place) in Syria, we are not with the toppling of the regime and the state, we are with reforms, with a political solution, with political dialogue, with achieving legitimate demands being called for by the people, yet we are not with anyone in Syria going out to break, bring down, destroy, and ruin (Syria), and to imposing major strategic choices on (Syria) – and the (real) issue is here, before reforms and demands, the (real) issue is the major strategic choices.

Okay, we took this stance, and there was a large group that was acting (based upon another) stance. What was required from us was that we move along with that stance, that we become a part of it. Because we did not become a part of it, the war became against us as well. So the issue essentially relates to our political stance, and not the military intervention. [...]

Okay today, (Turkey), a member of NATO, and a candidate for the European Union, is busy preparing for a regional war and a direct intervention into Syria, with the pretext that there is a tomb for the first grandfather of Bani Othman – of the Ottoman state – and that the ISIL might… maybe they themselves may request the ISIL to demolish it. [...]

We said from the beginning, that what will happen in Syria will expose the whole region to the danger of terrorism and takfir. And you said no, the story is not as such, you said the story in Syria is one of reforms, change, democracy, and human rights. And now, what is the situation, which you yourself talk about? You yourselves, after three years… You speak of Syria, (especially) the territory that is controlled by the armed groups, as a threat to the regional states, and as a threat to the states of the world.

Now, after three years, of your funding, and your arming, and your incitement, and your pushing towards military solutions, and your obstruction of political solutions, and your protection of the armed groups, you came to form a terror list, and you placed most of these armed groups on this terror list. Well, what remained anyway? Of course, regardless of our stance towards this list, when you come and say regarding Syria, that the ISIL, al-Nusra, and the Muslim Brotherhood, you come and say these are terrorists, well then, what else remains? Who else remains? [...]

And if the takfiri terrorist movement is defeated in Syria, then I say to you, we will all remain. If this axis triumphs in Syria, all the Lebanese will be safeguarded. This axis does not seek revenge, it seeks security, it seeks harmony, it looks for strength, it does not look for revenge. Here, there lies major national choices, let us come and decide.

 

This video is an English-subtitled excerpt from a speech delivered on 29/03/2014.

Full transcript:

The last issue which I would like to mention and end with, is that today, the whole campaign regarding the issue of the resistance in Lebanon, is focusing on one of my main points, that is, our intervention in Syria. He comes and tells you: ‘you intervened in Syria, so now the national consensus is gone – we already dealt with this (point)’. ‘You intervened in Syria, so now the role of the weapons has changed, they are no longer resistance weapons’. Well, were these arms ‘resistance weapons’ for you to begin with? In any case, all of this is being said.

And this intervention and stance is currently considered the main problem being put forward on a regular basis, from some time till now, and it’s put forward every day. I would like to – because this issue is occupying the country and us all – comment on it a bit in the last section of my speech. From the beginning as well – you see, the problem that the other (political) group in Lebanon had with us, and (the problem) that governments and regimes in the Arab and Islamic world had, and (the problem that) governments and regimes throughout the world had (with us), on the Syrian issue, is due to our political stance, (and) not our military intervention. Our military intervention came late, and as is said, it occurred after all (sides) intervened, and (after) all sides had come, and (after) all sides had fought. We came very late.

The problem was our political stance. That we got up from the first day, and said that: we are not with this conflict (taking place) in Syria, we are not with the toppling of the regime and the state, we are with reforms, with a political solution, with political dialogue, with achieving legitimate demands being called for by the people, yet we are not with anyone in Syria going out to break, bring down, destroy, and ruin (Syria), and to imposing major strategic choices on (Syria) – and the (real) issue is here, before reforms and demands, the (real) issue is the major strategic choices.

Okay, we took this stance, and there was a large group that was acting (based upon another) stance. What was required from us was that we move along with that stance, that we become a part of it. Because we did not become a part of it, the war became against us as well. So the issue essentially relates to our political stance, and not the military intervention. There is something huge going on in the region, come forward and become a part of it, otherwise, prepare yourself for execution. This was the storm that was coming to our region.

What was required is that we all kneel before it, or that we all be lead by it, with it, or that we all humble ourselves before it. Meaning at the very least, that you humble yourself before this storm. We, did not become a part of it, nor did we move along with it, nor did we humble ourselves towards it. Because we considered that this storm poses major strategic and existential threats that concern Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine, and the whole region, and we sufficiently explained this in the past, so we will not repeat it. And so we took a political stance. With time, yes, our stance gradually changed, we went to the battlefield – even if I take a few more minutes. Okay, all the Lebanese know this, we spoke about it in the media, and some sharply criticised us also due to providing such details: the first military intervention, which was (very) limited, meaning a few dozen men from Hezbollah, occurred when the brothers went to the Western Ghouta (region), to the town of Sayyeda Zeinab – peace be upon her. So about one year and half ago, or a bit more. When most of the Western Ghouta area was taken over by the armed groups – not all, most of it, and the armed groups became 200 meters away from the shrine of Sayyeda Zeinab (peace be upon her), and our calculations were that, firstly, due to the religious significance of this shrine, for all Muslims, and secondly, that the destruction of this shrine will lay the foundation for, or ignite sectarian strife in more than one region in the Islamic world, okay, so let us go help, there were Syrian army (forces) over there, and national defence (forces), and the people and residents of the town were defending (as well), we sent a few dozen individuals to help defend (the area). That’s it. Okay, this stance was criticised. Today, there is a very grand state – it considers itself as such – a state within the Atlantic Alliance (NATO), which is working hard to become a part of the European Union, and some consider it as a model, meaning Turkey.

‘The first letter of its name is Turkey’. Okay, Turkey… today, the Turkish government sits and discusses: there is a grave or tomb for the great grandfather of Bani Othman, who, if you now ask all the Islamic people: ‘what is his name?’ – I myself don’t know his name to be honest. I don’t hide this from you, I read (the name), but then I forgot it, and I didn’t manage to get the name again for you. Okay, who knows about him in the Islamic world, what is his significance for the Muslims? What does he signify for the conscience and sentiments of the Muslims, whether they were Shias or Sunnis?

Despite this, it’s okay, it is Turkey’s right to think over whether it should intervene militarily, and to violate the sovereignty of another state, that is the Syrian state, and to make plans e.t.c., because there is a possibility that the ISIL may come to this shrine and blow it up. Okay, why is it right for you to do – since we are speaking (today) about literature, poetry, and grammar – why is it right for you to do (this), and not for us?

We went to defend a shrine that is respected by all Muslims, and to (defend) a personality who is respected and considered holy by all Muslims, because she is the granddaughter of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him & his progeny. Who is (the personality) over whom you’ve come to wage a regional war over? You are coming to wage a regional war. Okay, and in that case there is a genuine threat, whereas in this case there isn’t. And more than this, we did not violate Syrian sovereignty, of course this is nothing new, President Bashar spoke about this issue some time ago, because some people asked him, he said no, the resistance entered Syria with the agreement of the Syrian government. Now someone will tell me, you violated Lebanese sovereignty – there is argument over this.

However, at the very least, we did not violate Syria’s sovereignty. Okay today, a member of NATO, and a candidate for the European Union, is busy preparing for a regional war and a direct intervention into Syria, with the pretext that there is a tomb for the first grandfather of Bani Othman – of the Ottoman state – and that the ISIL might… maybe they themselves may request the ISIL to demolish it. God knows best of course.

Okay. Things gradually moved to Qusayr and what followed Qusayr, and you all know this, until we reached a stage in which it became clear that the conflict in Syria reached a point, as a result of the extent of the international and regional interference, and the mobilisation that brought tens of thousands of fighters from all around the world to Syria, the issue, with all frankness, and we have said this before, and I want to reiterate it, the issue no longer became (limited to) Sayyeda Zeinab and the Lebanese residing on Syrian territory, from that time the issue became related to the resistance, the axis of resistance, the future of the resistance and the political identity of the region, and where we were heading, and we said all of this. Why am I repeating it now, not to fill up time, (rather), to speak of outcomes, and results, at this point. Okay, currently where have we reached, where are we now?

From the beginning we said ‘political solution’. The Arab League got up, wanting to be decisive, wanting to topple the regime: it does not accept a political solution before the departure of President al-Assad and his regime. Okay, after three years, you saw the latest decisions of the Arab Summit, so did we require three years, of war, killings, fighting, destruction, ruin, strife, and tribulations, for the Arabs to speak what they should have spoke from the beginning? And for the Arabs to move forward with that which they should have moved forward with from the beginning?

So now what is required is that we should go see how we can pressure the regime in Syria and President Bashar al-Assad, (because) we want to achieve a political solution, and a real political dialogue, and because Geneva 2 has reached an impasse. Now (you speak this)? Well, you – in the first few months, when it was said to you that dialogue is possible, and that the Syrian leadership is ready to carry out drastic and fundamental reforms, not one of you was prepared to discuss the idea of a political solution or a political dialogue, on the basis of: ‘everything is over, in a few months everything will be over in Syria and the region’. We told you ‘political solution’, and you went to the military solution. Now you have reached what you were being told from the beginning. Of course, this talk is (directed) at the Arabs, at the other (political) group in Lebanon, and at the states that continue to intervene in this conflict.

We said from the beginning, that what will happen in Syria will expose the whole region to the danger of terrorism and takfir. And you said no, the story is not as such, you said the story in Syria is one of reforms, change, democracy, and human rights. And now, what is the situation, which you yourself talk about? You yourselves, after three years… You speak of Syria, (especially) the territory that is controlled by the armed groups, as a threat to the regional states, and as a threat to the states of the world.

Now, after three years, of your funding, and your arming, and your incitement, and your pushing towards military solutions, and your obstruction of political solutions, and your protection of the armed groups, you came to form a terror list, and you placed most of these armed groups on this terror list. Well, what remained anyway? Of course, regardless of our stance towards this list, when you come and say regarding Syria, that the ISIL, al-Nusra, and the Muslim Brotherhood, you come and say these are terrorists, well then, what else remains? Who else remains? In all frankness…

Okay, did the issue require three years, for the region and the world to discover that what is taking place in Syria will lead to this result? And of course, there are some Lebanese who have not discovered this (even) till now. Till now they have not discovered, that what is taking place in Syria is a threat to Lebanon. Well come on, the Americans who are so far away, the French, the Europeans, some of the Gulf states, and the states of North Africa, consider Syria – the territory which is controlled by the armed groups – as a source of danger to their states and security. And this is really the case. Even in calm arenas, where no calls were made for fighting and clashes, and for ‘holy jihad’, (yet) now it has begun, such as in Tunisia.

And unfortunately, some get up in Lebanon and tell you, no, what is taking place in Syria is not a threat to Lebanon. We told you from the beginning, what is taking place in Syria has passed the stage of demands for reforms and democracy, to the (stage of) the (rise and) dominance of the takfiri militant movement, which does not accept anyone alongside it, even from within the takfiiri militant movement, as is occurring between the ISIL and al-Nusra, whereby they both belong to one thought, one sect, one school, one leadership, and one emir, and one political project, and the difference between them is over a small organisational, administrative issue, just like what happens in any party or organisation, that is, whether this person is the leader, or that person is the leader. The whole conflict is (over) whether the leader is Abu Muhammad al-Golani, or Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Who paid the price? Thousands of casualties. Thousands of casualties, widespread destruction, fierce fighting, (merely) over an organisational, administrative disagreement. How can such (groups) live with all the Lebanese, with the rest of the Lebanese, with the rest of the Syrians, with the rest of the neighbouring states and people?

If your brothers, loved ones, dear ones, and allies – we want to term it like that, meaning that we don’t want to say ‘your masters’, (if they) discovered now that this is the reality of the situation, then why are you still delayed? Stubbornness is okay, only if it is not at the expense of Lebanon, and the fate and future of Lebanon.

It was continuously said to us from a year and a half ago, and every day this is said to us, by some political blocs and sides, calling on Hezbollah to leave Syria. I don’t want to sit here and respond. Today, I myself want to call on you: go ahead and change your stance. Revise your stance. Carry out a revision of the stance. Carry out a new (political) reading. I am not going to tell you, come and fight with us in Syria. This is not required. No no, this is not required. And in actual fact, there are people, Lebanese groups from various sects, who proposed to us – and this might be the first time I speak of this – that they come up and fight alongside us, yet we told them there is no need. Do not hold this political and social burden. We’ve already held this burden and we are moving with it.

Those who are insisting every day that the problem in Lebanon is that Hezbollah went to Syria, I say that the problem in Lebanon is that Hezbollah was late in going to Syria, and that the problem in Lebanon is that you are still in your places and you did not go to Syria, rather, if some of you went, you went to the wrong place. Now I’m not going to tell you to go to Syria, nor to fight with us, no, but revise your stance on this issue. Day after day, the correctness and soundness of the decisions we took is being confirmed, and I will also like to say – also perhaps for the first time with such frankness – if the takfiri terrorism is victorious in Syria, I say to all the Lebanese, and to all the political movements and parties, whether from 14th or 8th (of March), or whether in the center, on the right, or on the left, if the takfiri terrorism triumphs in Syria, we will all be eliminated. Not just the party (Hezbollah), nor just the resistance, all of us will be eliminated, we will all be cancelled out. Don’t you see what is happening in Alleppo, Idlib, Raqqa, and in Deir Azzour, and in Fallujah, and in Anbar. Ask, ask about it, but don’t ask the secularists, ask the Islamists, ask the Islamic parties in those areas about what had occurred to them.

And if the takfiri terrorist movement is defeated in Syria, then I say to you, we will all remain. If this axis triumphs in Syria, all the Lebanese will be safeguarded. This axis does not seek revenge, it seeks security, it seeks harmony, it looks for strength, it does not look for revenge. Here, there lies major national choices, let us come and decide.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Dana Dajani- “Love Letters from Palestine”

“To North Africa” poetry and music night fundraiser at Fraîche Cafe and Bistro.
Dubai, February 28th, 2014.

April 1, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , | Leave a comment

The Ringworm Children, testing of large radiation doses on humans.

March 30, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

WHY? Stories of bombed Yugoslavia

Exactly 15 years ago, on March 24, NATO began its 78-day bombing of Yugoslavia. The alliance bypassed the UN under a “humanitarian” pretext, launching aggression that claimed hundreds of civilian lives and caused a much larger catastrophe than it averted.

Years on, Serbia still bears deep scars of the NATO bombings which, as the alliance put it, were aimed at “preventing instability spreading” in Kosovo.

Codenamed ‘Operation Allied Force,’ it was the largest attack ever undertaken by the alliance. It was also the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.

NATO demonstrated in 1999 that it can do whatever it wants under the guise of “humanitarian intervention,” “war on terror,” or “preventive war” — something that everyone has witnessed in subsequent years in different parts of the globe.

Nineteen NATO member states participated to some degree in the military campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), which lasted for 11 weeks until June 10, 1999.

In the course of the campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs, including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions (unexploded cluster bombs continued to pose a threat to people long after the campaign was over.) Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo.

In what the alliance described as “collateral damage,” its airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. That is not to mention the long-term harm caused to the region’s ecology and, therefore, people’s health.

News correspondents Anissa Naouai and Jelena Milincic, the authors of RT’s documentary ‘Zashto?’ — which means “Why?” in English –traveled through former Yugoslavia to Belgrade, Kosovo, and Montenegro and spoke to people who endured the atrocities and horrors of the war and lost their friends and relatives. … http://rt.com/news/yugoslavia-kosovo-…

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bitter memories: Tule Lake

(1975) – A documentary on the Tule Lake Japanese Relocation Camp presented through interviews with Japanese Americans who were interned there.

Link for video

March 24, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Truthseeker- BBC faking attacks and distorting truth

March 23, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | Leave a comment

Syria: Three Years of Lies – Diplomatic Negotiations

This is an episode from a planned series on several aspects of the Syrian conflict.
Full transcript and links available at: http://apophenia.altervista.org/syria…

March 22, 2014 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ending the “Passionate Attachment”

Allies in the Medieval-Modern Struggle

By Harry Clark | Dissident Voice | March 15, 2014

In his farewell address in 1796, George Washington warned the nation he had served as its first president against a “passionate attachment” or “inveterate hatred” toward any nation. Some Americans were impassioned about revolutionary France. Within a few years, agents of foreign minister Talleyrand would boast to American diplomats of French power within the United States, and demand large bribes and loans to advance relations. The correspondence was eventually published in the US, in the XYZ Affair, which embarrassed France and the French party in the US, and incited US opinion against France. The rupture was not permanent, and relations eventually resumed on dispassionate terms, to the benefit of both countries.

Since the 1992 publication of The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement With Israel, 1947 to the Present, by George W. Ball, undersecretary of state for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and his son Douglas B. Ball, Washington’s prescient term has become ubiquitous to describe the US-Israel relationship. No agents of Israel have ever been embarrassed by boasting of Israel’s power in the US, or by demanding loans and aid. The protestations of American diplomats at Israel’s aggrandizement and damage to US interests have embarrassed them, not the pro-Israel party, which has gone from strength to strength until quite recently.

This has produced a loose establishment diaspora of US diplomats, military and intelligence officers, politicians, academics and journalists critical of the US-Israel relationship, in Washington and elsewhere. On March 7 a quorum of these and other critics gathered in Washington, for a “National Summit to Reassess the U.S.-Israel ‘Special Relationship.” The event was organized by the Council for the National Interest, If Americans Knew, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, and Washington Report on Middle East Affairs. There was a full day of six panels with a total of 25 speakers. Despite the full program moderators kept the event on schedule. The ballroom of the National Press Club was filled, and the event was broadcast live on C-Span. Video of each panel and separate audio for each speaker, and near-complete transcripts, are at the IRMEP program page. The proceedings survey Israel’s influence and its damage to the US.

How does the Israel lobby influence Congress?

The first speaker on this first panel was former Congressman Paul Findley, at 92 the grand old man of Arabophile politicians, the handful honest and courageous enough to oppose what the US and Israel do in the Middle East. Findley’s advocacy for Palestine cost him the seat he held in Congress for 22 years, but he regretted not doing more, said he should have made it “the cause of the day.” He called for President Obama to issue an executive order, bypassing Congress, suspending aid to Israel until it recognized Palestinian sovereignty over the territories occupied in the 1967 war, and negotiated a two-state solution, which would require all Israeli officials to leave, and for any remaining Israelis to live as foreign nationals. He extolled the benefits to Palestinians, to the US standing in the region, and not least to Israel.

Janet McMahon of Washington Report discussed the work of pro-Israel political action committees. They hide behind innocuous names, and bundle contributions from individuals, which typically are many times the PAC contribution. Pro-Israel PACs have in the past followed AIPAC’s instructions on which candidates to donate to. AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the main congressional Israel lobby, is not a PAC and does not donate. Such advice is illegal and has been investigated but never prosecuted. Pro-Israel PACs should have ranked sixth in donations to Congress in the 2012 election cycle, as compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, but were not even in the top ten. 58% of pro-Israel PAC donations go to Democrats.

Former Representative Cynthia McKinney of Georgia delivered a taped message, recounting the pressure she and Representative Earl Hilliard of Alabama faced as members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, which contributed to their election defeats. She had advocated enforcement of US law against weapons sales to human rights violators such as Israel and other positions.

Delinda Hanley of Washington Report discussed US aid to Israel, which is the major recipient of US foreign assistance, despite a GDP per capita at the level of the European Union and high rankings in UN socioeconomic indexes. Direct aid totals over $3.1 billion annually, totaling $134 billion since 1949, plus $19 billion in loan guarantees. Tax-deductible contributions subsidize Israeli institutions and Zionist propaganda. Economist Thomas Stauffer estimates $1.6 trillion in direct and indirect costs of Israel to the US for the period 1973-2003. Israel continues to enjoy US largesse even as public needs for infrastructure and social purposes in the US rise.

Do Israel and its lobby exercise too much influence on U.S. decisions to wage war in the Middle East?

Historian Stephen Sniegoski, author of The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, surveyed the rise of the neoconservatives in US politics and their influence on the Iraq war. This began in the 1970s, with the rightward migration of Jewish former liberals, who rose in the Reagan Administration in the 1980s. During the Clinton Administration they founded the Project for a New American Century and plotted the invasion of Iraq, and then served in the George W. Bush Administration. The 9/11 attacks provided the opening to advocate the invasion of Iraq, and to overcome resistance within the government. While the neocons include gentile radical nationalists, the movement is mainly a Jewish ascendancy in conservative politics.

Retired US Air Force Colonel Karen Kwiatowski recounted her experience in the Near East and South Asia office in the Pentagon, which hatched the Office for Special Plans, the center of Iraq war planning in the Department of Defense. NESA, in the office of the Secretary of Defense, was headed by Navy Captain William Ludy, a lowly rank for such a position, but Ludy had neoconservative connections. He told his analysts to rely solely on OSP and ignore other sources within the government. OSP was headed by neoconservative appointee Douglas Feith, and tailored intelligence to support the war. Visiting Israeli officials were very familiar with it.

Historian Gareth Porter discussed the findings of his recent book, Manufactured Crisis. The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare, and the current negotiations over Iran’s nuclear power program. Israel has used the threat of war on Iran to manipulate the US and the EU over Iran sanctions and negotiations; the US is to do any fighting. The neoconservatives had intended regime change in Iraq to lead to Lebanon, Syria and Iran but Iraq backfired. The US has tried to manipulate the International Atomic Energy Agency against Iran. Israel has fabricated evidence on an Iranian nuclear program and fed it to the US through an Iranian anti-regime terrorist group, and German intelligence. The US has just re-introduced this discredited evidence in the current negotiations, raising doubts about US sincerity in reaching an agreement with Iran.

Retired Army Brigadier General James David served in the Middle East from 1967-69, among many other assignments. He emphasized the hypocrisy of ceaseless US calls for freedom and democracy, except in Palestine, where the US calls for the opposite. He also criticized Israel’s ceaseless imprecations of Palestinian and Arab threats, when it holds overwhelming power and commits heinous atrocities. He praised the boycott-divestment-sanctions movement, and the internet, noting that he found the Israeli Haaretz more informative and reliable than US media.

Does the “special relationship” transcend rule of law?

Grant Smith, of IRMEP, surveyed the history of the “Israel lobby” since the 1940s. Smith has written half a dozen books based on documents unearthed with the Freedom of Information Act. He described a pattern of systematic illegality, beginning with arms procurement and smuggling, nuclear fuel procurement and smuggling, evasion of foreign agent registration and lobbying laws, and extensive industrial and political espionage. All this has been detected by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but investigations have been quashed and prosecutions thwarted or limited to minor figures, through Zionist influence. Smith concluded that US law is essentially unenforceable against the Israel lobby.

Ernest A. Gallo, retired US Navy and CIA communications technician, is president of the Liberty Veterans Association. He was on board the electronic intelligence ship USS Liberty when it was repeatedly attacked and nearly sunk by Israeli aircraft and torpedo boats in the eastern Mediterranean during the June, 1967 Arab-Israeli war. 34 crewmen were killed and 174 were wounded. He described the official cover-up, including the Navy’s superficial investigation, orders to the crewmen’s families to keep silent, the surreptitious awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to the captain, and the failure of Congress to investigate, as it normally does any peacetime attack on a US naval ship. An unofficial investigation in 2003 by retired senior officers and diplomats found that Israel knew that the ship was American, called the attack an act of war against the United States, and said that it was covered up for fear of embarrassing Israel and confronting its lobby.

Mark Perry, an author on military, intelligence and foreign affairs, in addressing the topic of national security reporting, emphasized the terms “national interest” and “skin in the game.” He defined “national interest” as ideological, in terms of free trade, markets, and elections, and as economic, noting that 89,000 jobs in Texas depend on US relations with Qatar. He noted that the Central Command was formed in 1983 to protect US shipping, not to confront Iran. He cited the military’s emphasis on “skin in the game” in assessing allies, and noted that the skin in any war with Iran would be American. He cited the congressional testimony of then Central Command head General David Petraeus that failing to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict was the primary obstacle to obtaining respect and satisfying US interests in the Middle East.

The Jonathan Pollard case may be the exception that proves Smith’s rule. Retired Navy intelligence captain and attorney for military, intelligence and law enforcement, M.E. “Spike” Bowman worked on almost every espionage investigation from 1979 to 2009. He called Pollard one of the four worst espionage cases in that period. Israel wanted not secret but specific top secret and SCI documents (sensitive compartmented information) and had from a different source a Defense Intelligence Agency catalog of documents. By his own admission Pollard provided 360 cubic feet of material. Then Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger wanted the death penalty but it was not legally possible. Pollard is eligible for parole but will not seek it because he wants clemency so he can go to Israel immediately.

History: How did the “special relationship” come to be?

Harvard scholar Stephen Walt outlined what had changed and what had not since the 2007 publication, with co-author John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, of their celebrated book The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy. He recalled their basic argument that the unprecedented generosity of the special relationship, with its possible Cold War strategic value now a strategic detriment, and any moral case offset by Israel’s own oppression and aggression, could only be explained by the Israel lobby. Since then discussion has widened in the media; the Lobby was unable to have Syria bombed and Iran further sanctioned; the charge of anti-Semitism is losing its power. On the other hand, President Obama’s first term bid for a settlement freeze and two-state solution failed utterly; there was a craven response to Israel’s Cast Lead attack on Gaza; elements of the Lobby intervened publicly and radically in the 2012 elections; aid still flows unconditionally; settlements grow and grow; the two-state solution may be dead; the Lobby continues to receive great deference; establishment insider discourse is still closed, though outsiders may comment. “Reports of the Lobby’s demise are greatly exaggerated”; change does not happen overnight, and a “broad tent” of opponents is needed.

Geoffrey Wawro, a military historian at the University of North Texas, offered a broad survey of the US-Israel relationship. President Wilson initially opposed the Balfour Declaration, but was swayed by its popularity with Jewish voters. President Truman’s diplomatic advisers were thwarted by his aides, and the Palestine portfolio brought into the White House and domestic politics. Such pressure plagued Eisenhower in 1956, even as Israel withdrew from Gaza and Sinai, turned Kennedy’s independent policy into the first arms sales, and led Johnson not to call for withdrawal after June 1967, disregarding the US ambassador’s 1965 warning that Israel had to be restrained, and pressured if it made further conquests . Nixon and Kissinger declined to extract concessions from Israel during the 1973 war and greatly increased US aid afterward. Obama has failed at every attempt to address issue; Israel might agree to a settlement to blunt the BDS movement, and as prerequisite to Sunni Arab coalition against Iran.

Ohio State international law professor John Quigley discussed the impact of the special relationship on US international legal views. Despite legislation requiring that the US embassy be moved to Jerusalem, successive presidents have not done it. Otherwise, President Johnson initially opposed but then assented to Israel’s June, 1967 attack, which the Bush Administration used as “pre-emptive” precedent to justify invading Iraq in 2003. The US has claimed that Palestinian statehood can arise only from Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, but the legal criterion is recognition by the world community. The Carter Administration found Israel’s settlements illegal, which has dwindled to John Kerry finding them “illegitimate.” Ambiguous statehood status has been used to prevent the Palestinian Authority from seeking redress at the International Criminal Court. The right of return of refugees has been recognized but put off pending recognition of Israel by the Arab states, even though Egypt and Jordan do now.

Alison Weir of CNI and If Americans Knew recounted her involvement in the Palestine question, following the outbreak of the Al-Aqsa intifada in 2000. In traveling to Palestine and researching, she found a wide disparity between actual events and US media reports, and an overwhelming disparity of Israeli power and Palestinian suffering. In studying the Zionist movement in the US, she found its first influence in advocating US entry into World War I, in order to induce Britain to issue the Balfour Declaration supporting Zionism in Palestine. She noted the opposition of the US diplomatic and military establishments to Zionism, and the comprehensive Zionist mobilization to overcome it. She also noted Zionist manipulation of Jewish opinion, to overcome its non- and anti-Zionist tendency. Weir noted the lionization of journalist Dorothy Thompson for her criticism of Nazism, and her demonization when she objected to Zionism’s destruction of Palestine. All this is documented in mainstream sources cited in her book, Against Our Better Judgment.

Has the lobby captured political parties and news media?

Journalist Jeffrey Blankfort quoted anti-Zionist author Lenni Brenner’s statement that “the Left is the rear-guard of the Israel lobby.” Blankfort cited Noam Chomsky for setting parameters of criticism, and influential activist Phyllis Bennis for enforcing them in groups like US Campaign to End the Occupation. Chomsky holds that Israel is a US strategic asset, and that US has opposed a settlement with the Palestinians for its own reasons, both of which are “demonstrably false.” These parameters have influenced all US critics of Israel. Blankfort cited the left media, notably Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, for failing to report on Israel’s influence. When the Mearsheimer-Walt book The Israel Lobby appeared, Goodman did not interview the authors, but Noam Chomsky. For such reasons the US Palestine solidarity movement has been a total failure, according to Blankfort.

Alan C. Brownfeld, of the American Council for Judaism, noted that the classical Reform view of Jews as a religious minority, not a nationality, was at one time held by most American Jews. Zionism became a majority view because of Nazism and the Judeocide, and Zionism has had very negative effects on Jewish life; it is subversive of liberalism. Synagogues fly Israeli flags, and Jews are urged to make aliyah. Judaism has become idolatry, substituting Israel for God. American Jews support secularism and pluralism in the US, and obscurantist established religion and fanatical chauvinism in Israel. The American Jewish press reads as if written for an ex-patriate community. Brownfeld feels his views represents a “silent majority” of American Jews. Campus Hillel foundations are resisting official Zionist guidelines in their programming. Zionism is in retreat.

Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com noted the historic opposition of American conservatism to Zionism and its sympathy toward the Arabs. In the 1940s and 1950s, conservative publisher Regnery issued a stream of titles in that vein, which was shared by flagship journal National Review. He contrasted this with the sympathy of the left, in the views of Henry Wallace, the USSR’s support for partition and provision of arms through Czechoslovakia. The Cold War and Stalinist anti-Semitism changed the Soviet orientation, and the June, 1967 war earned criticism from the Left. The neoconservatives, Jewish former leftists, oriented the right toward Israel. The neocons were reinforced by the dispensationalist Christian Zionists, in whose eschatology Israel and the Jews are central. Raimondo finds this component of the Israel lobby the most important, but they and the neocons contend with libertarian anti-interventionism on the right.

Scott McConnell, founder of American Conservative and a former neoconservative, pointed to events at National Review to illustrate the neoconservative takeover of the right. William F. Buckley let neoconservatives dictate his treatment of editor Joseph Sobran and columnist Pat Buchanan when they were accused of anti-Semitism. McConnell found the accusations somewhat justified in Sobran’s case, and cited Buckley’s convoluted absolution of Buchanan; their arguments about Israel’s influence in the US and on US policies, and the consequences, were buried. Sobran eventually left as editor, while Buchanan was marginalized on the right. The neoconservatives effectively supervised discussion of Israel and related matters in National Review, the largest publication on the right, and young conservatives got the message.

Philip Weiss, co-editor of the Mondoweiss blog, cited examples of continuing Israel lobby hegemony in the media, including CNN’s featuring of former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren as new commentator; the triumphant book tour of Israeli author Ari Shavit, arranged by four senior Jewish American journalists, including David Remnick and Jeffrey Goldberg of the New Yorker, Leon Wieseltier, and Thomas Friedman; and acknowledgment by New York Times Jerusalem correspondent Jodi Rudoren of her Jewish background and familiarity with the “American Jewish and Israeli story”, which she has not transcended. Weiss noted positive changes also, including Friedman’s frank recognition of the Israel lobby, and the fair New York Times review of John Judis’s book Genesis, about Zionist influence on President Truman and earlier. Weiss’s journalistic instincts sense a wealth of hidden stories about Zionism to be written, which will eventually lead to high noon for the Israel lobby.

Is Israel really a U.S. ally?

Paul Pillar, 28-year veteran of the CIA and National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia, argued that alliance is based on broad congruence of interests and mutual benefits. He found that Israel’s ethnocracy is foreign to the US; that the US and Israel share some adversaries, but deal with them in different ways; that the occupation and blockade of the West Bank and Gaza are not a US interest; US aid to Israel, $234 billion in current dollars, has opportunity costs. Israel does little for the US that the US would not do for itself. Israel is not a regional military asset; Palestine is the chief grievance of terrorist suspects under interrogation; Israel is the chief source of extremism and terrorism directed against the US. If Israel were afraid of Iran it would support negotiations; denouncing Iran distracts from the occupation, and prevents Iran from becoming a western partner. US should disregard labels and look at interests in the case of each country.

Ray McGovern oversaw national intelligence estimates and the presidential daily briefing in 27 years at the CIA. He argued that “alliance” meant a mutual defense treaty, which the US does not have with Israel. The US offered such an alliance after the 1973 war, but Israel refused, because it preferred not to define its borders, and because an alliance would limit its freedom of action. McGovern noted the British Downing Street memo citing the CIA director’s statement that “intelligence is being fixed around the policy” of invading Iraq. He noted strong Israeli influence on the Bush Administration; the charges of anti-Semitism to his suggestion that Israel wanted to dominate the region; and that Israel’s assassination of Sheik Yassin in Gaza prompted the assault on US Blackwater mercenaries in Fallujah, in occupied Iraq, leading to US atrocities against the city

Philip Giraldi, a veteran of military intelligence and CIA counterterrorism, argued that not only is Israel no ally, but it is no friend, and influences policy in ways that are detrimental to the US and to itself. US officials close to the Israeli government were behind the Iraq war and the phony intelligence that justified it. Israel and its US partisans are trying to create a false casus belli and force the US into war on Iran. Congress is attempting to effectively delegate the decision to Israel. Israel’s actions are sui generis; its lavish aid is dispensed on terms favorable to it and costly to the US; it interferes in US elections; its government officials rebuke and mock US officials from the president down; its officials give alarmist briefings to Congress; it brazenly conducts espionage against the US government, including a murky operation before 9/11, and against US industry, and sells its products to anyone; 125 investigations into Israeli espionage have been stopped due to political pressure.

Michael Scheuer was scheduled to speak but did not. He headed and later advised the CIA’s Osama bin Laden unit, among many assignments. While still at the CIA he published two anonymous books, on bin Laden, and on the US “war on terror.” He has argued that US patronage of Israel was a major grievance of bin Laden, and that the Iraq invasion, which he attributed chiefly to the influence of the Israel lobby, was a huge gift to al-Qaeda. His appearance would have brought the discussion of whether Israel is a US ally to a negative crescendo.

Observations

The packed schedule and brisk moderation left little time for discussion, though overall there were few differences among the panelists, and in the allotted time few arose with the audience.

Justin Raimondo’s claim that evangelical Christian Zionists are the most powerful component of the Israel lobby was not echoed by other panelists. Mearsheimer and Walt called the Christian Zionists an “important junior partner” in their book, while emphasizing that Jewish organizations were the most important component. The Christ at the Checkpoint conference of evangelicals, held biannually in Bethlehem since 2010, was denounced vehemently by the Israeli government this year. Porter Speakman’s 2010 film With God on Our Side is another sign that evangelical support for Israel is diminishing by the day.

Ray McGovern offered the acronym “O.I.L.”, “oil, Israel and logistics” (bases) to explain the invasion of Iraq, and opined that “no one in this room would argue that Iraq would have been invaded if it had had no oil resources.” No other panelist seconded this. Mearsheimer and Walt found “logical and empirical difficulties” with this claim, and noted that the flow of oil was not endangered, that Saddam Hussein had been prevented from selling it by sanctions, which the oil companies were eager to end. Stephen Sniegoski has written of “‘War for Oil’–the Notion That Will Not Die.”

Scott McConnell argued that by the 1970s Nixon and Kissinger had accepted Israel as a strategic asset in the Cold War. Mearsheimer and Walt acknowledged the argument, but also noted that US support for Israel’s aggression had pushed the Arabs into Soviet arms, prevented a settlement, and fueled anti-Americanism in the region.

One questioner complained about the “religious dogma of the Holocaust taught in public schools which cannot be questioned,” and made some flaky comments about Jewish persecution of Germany at the 1919 Versailles peace conference and in the anti-Nazi boycott. Jeff Blankfort described the school curriculum in California, where he had worked as a teacher. He noted that the schools teach “weeks of Anne Frank” and Elie Wiesel’s Night because material is provided by Jewish organizations, and that was only in English. History teachers are required to teach more about the Holocaust (omitting such facts as the ideological and practical affinity of Nazism and Zionism) than about the genocide of the American Indians, or about slavery.

Philip Weiss then stated that “we should not be problematizing the education of the Holocaust” even if AIPAC and the ADL set the curriculum. He stated that “the West incurred a debt toward the Jews from the Holocaust and the Palestinians paid for that,” as if the creation of Israel were compensation for the Holocaust. He also stated that “one of the great discoveries of the past few years is that the West owes Palestinians a debt also,” as if the Jews, or Zionism and its supporters, do not, a point the conference was called to establish. Neither Brownfeld nor Weiss affirmed the exploitation of the Holocaust on behalf of Zionism and Israel, which has been attested by writers such as Norman Finkelstein and Peter Novick.

Next year’s summit might note the Zionization of US domestic law enforcement after 9/11, with hundreds of police delegations traveling to Israel for training and effectively, ideological conditioning. It might also note the damage to civil liberties and growth of Islamophobia from 9/11. These are domestic costs of the “special relationship.”

There was a patriotic tone to some presentations, and most of the speakers emphasized American interests. This is an observation, not a complaint. The American system of government expresses the democratic sovereignty of the American people, however corrupted and attenuated that principle is. Israel’s influence is fundamentally a usurpation of our sovereignty as US citizens. Veterans of the national security establishment, and democrats left, right and center can agree on that. They may or may not be allies in the class struggle, but they are allies in the medieval-modern struggle which Zionism has joined. As Stephen Walt noted, we need a “broad tent.”

March 19, 2014 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular, Video, Wars for Israel | Leave a comment

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