I am so tired of this old canard that “Israel had nothing to do with USA’s war with Iraq – in fact, it officially advised America against it”.
Quoting the Guardian newspaper:
The OSP (Office of Special Plans) was an open and largely unfiltered conduit to the White House not only for the Iraqi opposition. It also forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon’s office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam’s Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorise.
“None of the Israelis who came were cleared into the Pentagon through normal channels,” said one source familiar with the visits. Instead, they were waved in on Mr Feith’s authority without having to fill in the usual forms.
The exchange of information continued a long-standing relationship Mr Feith and other Washington neo-conservatives had with Israel’s Likud party.
What was the OSP again?
Dick Cheney’s private CIA/NSA, the Office of Special Plans, designed to sort the CIA and NSA information on Iraq and only pick those which proved that Iraq had WMD. If the CIA had a report (as they did, multiple times) that Iraq was almost destroyed and had no WMD capability, no chemical, biological nor nuclear program, that information was ignored. Only information that “proved” Iraq had WMD capability was needed… and the CIA refused to supply it, because they are both patriots and professionals.
And this is where the representatives from Israel come in – they literally came to the USA and provided the OSP with the “proof” OSP required to lie to Congress, and make Colin Powell lie to the UN.
I am sorry, but when on the one hand we have newspaper articles stating that “Israel advised the USA not to invade Iraq”, and on the other hand we have Israeli government officials visiting the USA to dump “proof” and “intelligence” that Iraq had WMD, what am I, a poor goy, supposed to think?
How about the fact that American citizens, who were American government employees in their previous jobs were advisers to the Israeli LIKUD government – did you know about that from the CNN? Perhaps there was no time to run the following story, as Britney Spears is much more important:
In 1996, he (Feith -AG) and Richard Perle – now an influential Pentagon figure – served as advisers to the then Likud leader, Binyamin Netanyahu. In a policy paper they wrote, entitled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm, the two advisers said that Saddam would have to be destroyed, and Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran would have to be overthrown or destabilised, for Israel to be truly safe.
May I urge you to stop by the most important article on this blog; pretty please with sugar on top?
We have American citizens, who are United States government officials, who base ALL their decisions on one thing – is this good for Israel?
“He (Congressman Berman -AG) said Israel “is why I went on the Foreign Affairs Committee–” he corrected himself– “it’s part of why I went on the Foreign Affairs committee in the first place. I’m a great supporter of Israel.”
How blatant can you be? I became a member of the Foreign Affairs committee to help out Israel. And he is still a US congressman? Hello, Earth to Americans?! Anybody here still cares about this country or can we just sell it all to the highest lobby money bidder?
And of course behind the scenes experts are hard at work to make America attack Iran, because as we all know, not attacking Iran is anti-semitic and racist.
We really do live in a bizzarro world now, where up is down, war is peace, and actions that clearly harm American interests must be done because otherwise one is unpatriotic!
Says Hagel (Senator Chuck Hagel): “The political reality is that… the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.” Hagel then related a meeting he had in New York with a group of supporters of Israel who are pushing the U.S. to attack Iran. When Hagel said it hadn’t worked out that well in Iraq, a couple of members of the group said he wasn’t supportive enough of Israel.”
No shit? So how does an American react to this criticism?
When Hagel said it hadn’t worked out that well in Iraq, a couple of members of the group said he wasn’t supportive enough of Israel.
Hagel spoke firmly: “Let me clear something up here if there’s any doubt in your mind. I’m a U.S. Senator. I’m not an Israeli senator. I’m a U.S. Senator. I support Israel… But my first interest is, I take an oath to the constitution of the United States. Not to a president, not to a party, not to Israel.
Right on Mr. Hagel!
John Sununu, republican:
It’s like a handful of pebbles in the shoe. It’s there all the time, and this process of not permitting anything that’s trying to tug in the other direction, to gain root and thrive, is almost automatic. And it’s not just AIPAC, it happens all the time, everywhere. Every congressman, every senator, before they win, is being soft lobbied on the issue. Whether it’s their friend that owns 40 acres down the street whose grandfather happened to have come from Kiev, goes in and talks to him about helping him, developing a social relationship on an issue that has nothing to do with the district, begins to communicate their interest. And rightly so– pulling on their end of the rope. It happens almost invisibly. But across the board. There is nobody who has run for office in this country who has not been soft lobbied the day they announce that they are going to run and not been hard lobbied after they win.
Again, I wrote all this before, but I need to harp on this because we Americans have the attention span of a 4 year old child on a sugar high, and perhaps we need our information spoon fed us. Well, consider yourself fed, AmericanGoy style.
Our government has been hijacked by extremists, who are putting the interests of Israel above that of the United States. Something needs to be done – and the first thing is to be free to talk about it, in the open, on TV, radio, newspaper columns, blogs.
The Left Wing, the phoenix that never shall rise in America
The left wing, being as clueless as the rest of America, looks for a conspiracy theory when this is all in the open. There is no conspiracy if everything is explained, it is out there in newspaper articles, in books; it is not a conspiracy when a person can use google for 10 minutes and find this all out.
So the political left in this country latched on to the idea that this was a war for oil. Looking at it from the perspective of watching CNN, MSNBC and FOX this seems a plausible theory. After all, Iraq has supposedly 2nd most oil on the planet, 2nd only to Saudi Arabia – for the lazy or naysayers, link here.
Of course, we have the incomparable Mr. Weiss to destroy another canard for us in his analysis here.
He uses an upcoming book, Wrestling with Zion and quotes it:
This is one of those very difficult moments. Certainly one would not say that Jews have ‘taken control of U.S. foreign policy,’ but it’s certainly the case–and I think a very ominous case–that the Bush administration, to a much greater degree than any previous administration, has people in it who are ardent right-wing Zionists and who have actually been advisors in upper echelons of government. We don’t want to talk about ‘The Jews.’ But I think it is important to talk about people with a very strong militant imperialist sort of Zionist mentality.
The fact of the matter is that these people are substantially more powerful in this administration than they have been in any other. These are also the same people who are leading the United States into a kind of preemptive mode, which is so appalling and terrifying to the whole world.
I disagree with what Mitchell [Plitnick] just said on that subject. I think we have to learn ways to speak about the actualities of Zionism without falling into the abyss of anti-Semitism. That’s a very, very difficult question. It’s something that’s inhibited critique of Israel for many, many years. We have to be very forthright and say that this kind of rational critique of the Zionist project is really necessary. It’s necessary in order to prevent anti-Semitism, among other things.
Mr. Weiss explains it all:
Plitnick has succeeded in the years since the war began. He (and Stephen Zunes, and Norman Finkelstein, and Noam Chomsky) has stemmed the belief that Zionists had a role in the Iraq war policy, I believe out of fear that Jews would be persecuted if the connection were made. Other liberal Jews have gone along with this anti-intellectual ideology. Smart guys like Jerrold Nadler and Glenn Greenwald have fingered the neocons for their authorship of the war but declined to link their fervent Zionism to the war project. Jacob Heilbrunn came close to saying that the Iraq-planning neocons were motivated by Israel’s security in his book, They Knew They Were Right, but has seemed to back away from any such suggestion in his public statements on the book. Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler bravely wrote, in his Condi Rice bio, that the Iraq war was planned in part to “help Israel,” but has this assertion ever been explored in the pages of the Washington Post? When Walt and Mearsheimer made that claim in their groundbreaking book, the Post repeatedly attacked them as antisemites, while the liberal Forward editorialized, “In Dark Times, Blame the Jews.”
Got all that?
Let me then just point out the obvious – at least to me – and analyze this for you.
The Right Wing.
The pro-Israel lobby in the USA, the hardcore LIKUD sympathizers, the people who are really far to the right of the Israeli political spectrum, actively steered the USA foreign policy into a war with Iraq. These influential people were Jews, some of them American citizens, some of them Israeli citizens (those who shuttled to and from Israel to Dick Cheney’s OSP), but all working towards the same goal – to promote Israel’s goal (as understood by them), which was for America to take out Israel’s enemies.
The Left Wing.
The left wing in America – intellectuals like Finkelstein, Chomsky and Zunes, and many, many others promote the idea that the Iraq fiasco was an oil grab, and try to steer the discussion away from the fact that the neocon movement is mainly a Jewish-American movement, of a particual brand of American-Jew – that of a hard core pitiless right winger, whose main aim is to promote Israel’s goals over any other nation’s (even those that they are the citizens of – e.g. the United States).
Bonus Material – the charge of anti-semitism.
I am an American; I am an American citizen. Everything I do in the political sense has one prism – just like pro-Israel people ask themselves first and foremost “Is this good for Israel”, I ask myself always, first and foremost “Is this good for the United States of America”.
In my view, our country’s unquestioning support of Israel is not good for America.
One must realize, when reading articles such as the ones found on this blog, or Mr. Weiss’ blog, or Silverstein’s blog, that Americans who are Jewish have an incredible range of political opinion and it is not a monolithic blob of people, robotically following their master’s voice from Israel. There are extreme right wingers (aka LIKUD supporters), there are centrists, there are left wingers, the hippies, communists, etc etc. Just like you cannot say that because America invaded Iraq, that all Americans are evil bullies, and stupid to boot.
Just like Israelis themselves represent a whole gamut of political views, from extreme right wingers thru centrists to left wingers, hippies and communists. There were Israeli Defense Force generals and lower ranks who openly advised for the USA to NOT attack and occupy Iraq. Mossad specialists also advised the same, just like the CIA in this country.
The trouble is that the US government officials in power now, under bush jr., ARE evil, stupid bullies – hard core right wing.
The trouble is that the American Jews present in this administration, are not just sympathetic to Israel, but ARE ALSO hard core right wing LIKUD supporters type – no Finkelstein is present in that crowd, believe you me.
I believe that criticizing Israel, the country, is valid.
I believe that pointing out the influence of the pro-Israel lobby power in the United States is being a patriot and adding to the discussion.
I believe that a question needs to be posed to Clinton, Obama, John McCain, the American Congressm, in fact, all American politicians – what is your view on the United States support for Israel and what do you think the USA gets out of it?
I believe Americans need to know these facts and decide what their country should do – regarding not just Israel-Arab conflict, but a whole slew of issues.
In a democracy, secrecy is it’s greatest enemy.
Lets fight it.
Let us stop being American citizens, who watch American Idol, Lost and internet porn, and start being American Citizens, who give a damn about this nation.
After all, we live here. It is our sons and daughters dying in Iraq. It is our tax money. It is our nation.
Israel To U.S.: Don’t Delay Iraq Attack
Sharon Government Urges Prompt Action Against Saddam
Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday.
Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical weapons, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin.
“Any postponement of an attack on Iraq at this stage will serve no purpose,” Gissin said. “It will only give him (Saddam) more of an opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass destruction.” …
A decision by US President Barack Obama to extend the presence of American troops in Afghanistan beyond 2014 is likely to increase the remaining cost of the unpopular war to USD 413 billion.
The US president, who was expected to announce an exit strategy from Afghanistan at the recent NATO summit in Lisbon, pushed for an indefinite postponement of troop withdrawal instead.
Obama declared in a nationally televised address in December that the transfer of the US forces out of Afghanistan would begin in July 2011. He, however, later redefined the previous timeline stating that Afghan forces would only begin taking the lead for security across Afghanistan by 2014.
On Saturday, NATO Secretary General said the US-led military alliance will remain in Afghanistan for as long as it takes to finish off its enemies there.
The newly defined deadline comes with a heavy price tag at a time when the US and many of its allies are facing increasing deficit cuts at home.
“I don’t think anyone is seriously talking about cutting war funding as a way of handling the deficit,” said Todd Harrison, a Defense funding expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
Calculating costs based on USD 1.1 million per soldier per year, Harrison assesses that the new description of the deadline will cost the American taxpayers an additional USD 125 billion through 2014 alone.
The remaining war cost had been estimated to be USD 288 billion assuming that the troops involved in Obama’s surge would be withdrawn by 2012.
Israel conditions the extension of a partial freeze on settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian lands on the freedom of one of Tel Aviv’s spies imprisoned in the US.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the US to release the agent, Jonathan Pollard, in exchange for a temporary halt in Tel Aviv’s construction of the Jewish settlements, Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post wrote on Sunday.
Tel Aviv refused to renew a partial 10-month moratorium on its September 26 expiration date, breaking off Washington-backed direct talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
A September piece, ran by the prominent British daily The Guardian, quoted Israel’s Army Radio as saying that Netanyahu was ready to extend the partial freeze for three months in return for the release.
A former US Navy intelligence analyst, Pollard was arrested by the country’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on charges of selling classified material to Israel, which was later sold to the Soviets. In 1987, Pollard was convicted of espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment.
He has already spent 25 years in prison with Israeli leaders pressing unsuccessfully for his freedom. In 1998, Netanyahu said that “if we signed an agreement, I expected a pardon for Pollard.”
Israel is accused of hunting for military and dual-use civilian technology on the US soil through espionage activities with impunity.
Former US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer Philip Giraldi has said the Israeli lobby’s massive clout has prevented Washington from addressing Tel Aviv regarding the spying issue, which has been going on for many years.
While each side has rated the other as its strongest strategic ally, relations between the two have been marred historically and repeatedly due to several incidents, involving Israeli fifth columnists.
In 2008, the US arrested an American suspected of spying for Israel.
Ben-Ami Kadish had given Israel secrets on nuclear weapons, fighter jets and missiles in the 1980s. The case was linked to that of Pollard’s.
Should the settlement freeze be extended, it would be used as an incentive for the PA to return to the US-backed talks.
Washington has also reportedly offered to give Tel Aviv twenty F-35 fighters and veto any anti-Israeli resolution at the United Nations Security Council in exchange for the three-month freeze.
The US proposal, however, calls for a halt of construction activities in the occupied West Bank and not East al-Quds (Jerusalem). Tel Aviv occupied the Palestinian territories in 1967 and later annexed them in a move not recognized by the international community.
The Palestinians say that the settlement construction aims to prevent the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Also on Sunday, acting PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas said his organization would not return to the negotiation table, “if there is no complete halt to settlements in all of the Palestinian territories including [al-Quds] Jerusalem,” Reuters reported.
SALFIT — A Palestinian farmer said he was beaten by Israeli soldiers on Friday morning, after he asked them to open the agricultural gate and allow him access to his farm land in the northern West Bank village Az-Zawiya, west of Salfit.
Mu’taz Ribhi Abu Nab’a, 22, said the incident occurred at 11:30 a.m., as he waited to cross the gate to his land, on the far side of the separation barrier.
A force made up of men and women refused to let him through the gate. Instead, he said, soldiers beat him, strip-searched him and hand-cuffed him before transferring him to a military base.
Abu Nab’a further said that female soldiers humiliated him and took photos with him.
When he asked an Israeli officer why he was being beaten and humiliated, the young farmer said, he was told “Because you deliberately disturbed us and made us go to the gate early in the morning.” Abu Nab’a said the officer in charge then accused him of attempting to break down part of the barrier. The farmer said he denied the charge and informed the soldier that he knew there were monitoring cameras which would have documented him.
He also told the soldier he had a permit issued by Israeli authorities giving him permission to access his land.
According to Abu Nab’a, soldiers ultimately freed him in Hebron, more than 60 kilometers south of his home town, but only after he was served with a summons ordering him to go the Israeli intelligence office in Tulkarem on Monday for further interrogation.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said she could not look into the report without the Palestinian’s ID number.
As the economic implosion of Germany due to the banking fraud approaches, the government has started to put large numbers of armed police onto the streets under the pretext of having to ensure security against “Isalmic terrorists.”
Police wearing bullet-proof vests and carrying machine guns have started patrolling stations and airports throughout Germany. Security around the Berlin government buildings has also been strengthened. Police are also patrolling high speed ICE trains, reports Bild. Travellers can expect more checks.
The imposition of a police state comes just ahead of the government’s announcement of a key austerity budget that is expected to stir protests among the German people even larger in scale than the Castor and Stuttgart 21 protests.
On top of all the other payments to banks, Germans will now also be expected to foot a large part of the multi-billion euro bill for the Ireland “bailout” pushed on the country by the IMF and EU.
The Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere was forced today to backtrack over claims that a bomb with a detonator and a timer had been found in a suitcase in a plane in Namibia, stating that the device had been planted as part of a “test.”
The Bat Ayn settlement was established in the early 1990s by a breakaway group from the nearby Gush Etzion settlement. Bat Ayn was established under the guidance of the controversial Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg. Rabbi Ginsburg has been quoted in the New York Times as stating that “any trial based on the assumption that Jews and goyim [non-Jewish people] are equal is a total travesty of justice”. Rabbi Ginsburg also praised the actions of Baruch Goldstein who in 1994 murdered 29 people and wounded more than 125 people who were praying in a mosque in Hebron.
Bet Ayn is one of over 200 Israeli settlements within the West Bank. The International Court of Justice has deemed these settlements illegal under international law which prohibits an occupying power from moving its population into occupied territory. At least 42% of land in the West Bank is currently occupied by settlers or set aside for further settlement expansion. The ongoing construction of settlements has been criticized by the United Nations, the United States of America and the European Union.
Today more than 1,000 settlers from Bet Ayn live on land that was used for centuries by Palestinian families. Residents of Bet Ayn have a long history of violence. In 2002, four people from Bet Ayn were convicted of terrorism related offences following an attempt to blow up a Palestinian girl’s school in East Jerusalem. The men were arrested outside of the school with a trailer containing explosives.
Residents of Bet Ayn frequently attack neighboring residents of Palestinian villages and destroy their sources of income. The following are some examples of settler violence, destruction and intimidationsince April 2009:
– November 16 2010, burnt and destroyed 70 olive trees in the Saffa Valley.
– November 15 2010, burnt and destroyed 85 fig and olive trees in the Saffa Valley.
– 24 June 2010, set fire to farmland in the Saffa Valley and threw stones and bottles at nearby houses.
– 11 March 2010, set fire to a number of trees in the Saffa Valley.
– 9 January 2010, 40 settlers attacked three local farmers with stones.
– 31 December 2009, shot a local famer with a hand gun.
– 20 December 2009, shot at local farmers.
– 13 July 2009, set fire to farmland in the Saffa Valley.
– 1 and 2 May 2009, entered the Saffa Valley destroyed fruit trees and shot at nearby residential homes.
– 26 April 2009, beat two elderly Palestinians, including holding down an 80 year old male and
repeatedly smashed his head with stones.
– 8 April 2009, invaded Palestinian land and shot at local residents.
– In 2007, large numbers of settlers from Bet Ayn terrified locals by marching through neighboring
Palestinian villages dressed in white and carrying weapons, including M16 machine guns. The primary
reason behind this campaign of terror and destruction is an attempt to deter local Palestinian farmers
from farming their land to facilitate the annexation of the land by the Israeli military for further
A website associated with the Bet Ayn settlement states:
All who visit the Bat Ayin are struck by the beautiful vistas, the peaceful surroundings, and
the profound level of devotion and spirituality of the people who live there. (http://www.bat-
Unfortunately, life for Palestinians living nearby the Bat Ayn settlement is far from peaceful.
In 2002, my client, Kuwaiti citizen Fayiz Al-Kandari, was captured by Pakistani forces and sold to the United States military. Since that time, he has been confined without charge at America’s notorious island prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for almost nine years.
On various occasions since 2002, Kuwait has politely asked the United States to return Fayiz and the other remaining Kuwaiti detainee to Kuwaiti control. Each time, the United States has refused Kuwait’s request, citing concerns about the country’s ability to monitor or rehabilitate its returned citizens. In response, Kuwait has constructed a multi-million dollar rehabilitation center, diligently monitored the detainees that were returned previously, and taken action to address each of the United States’ concerns. Still, the U.S.’s answer remains the same.
In fact, after Kuwait had satisfied each of the United States’ concerns, the United States simply fell back upon its most enduring argument for refusing Kuwait’s requests: Abdallah Al Ajmi, a former Guantanamo detainee who was involved in a suicide bombing in March 2008. Since that time, the United States has relied upon the Al Ajmi incident as irrefutable proof that Kuwait is incapable of taking custody of its own citizens. Of course, the fact that the March bombing occurred before the construction of the Kuwaiti rehabilitation center and before the country began diligent monitoring of detainees and implemented other new programs is of no consequence. As a result, no matter what safeguards Kuwait implements, it cannot possibly appease the United States, and Kuwait’s polite requests will never be granted.
It is time for Kuwait to adopt a new strategy and begin meaningful negotiations for the return of its sons. At a minimum, if Kuwait’s goal is to repatriate the two Kuwaitis held at Guantanamo Bay, it should send a team of professionals there to evaluate both men and begin the process of repatriation on site.
The following factors are almost certainly true: Kuwait and the United States will never have a stronger friendship than they currently have; Kuwait will never be more stable or better able to handle its two remaining detainees; there is insufficient evidence to prove any crime on the part of the detainees – America cannot convict them in court and must therefore resolve their cases by some alternate means.
Unfortunately, such “alternate means” may be indefinite detention, the most draconian tool in President Obama’s foreign policy arsenal. Indefinite detention involves a decision that a particular detainee cannot be successfully prosecuted (due to insufficient evidence) and cannot be released (because of alleged connections to an enemy force). Thus, the unfortunate subject is “indefinitely detained” until “cessation of hostilities” – which, in the War on Terror, will never occur. In essence, it amounts to a life sentence without trial, based upon secret information reviewed by secret individuals in secret proceedings.
President Obama’s only other option is to trust Kuwait to take responsibility for its own citizens, and this is the course of action Kuwait must demand (not request). Kuwait has only a limited time before Obama’s indefinite detention policy becomes entrenched. Meaningful negotiations for Fayiz Al-Kandari must begin immediately – and this time, Kuwait must not take “no” for an answer. In other words, Kuwait should do what the United States would do if the situation were reversed.