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Poll: Most Americans Aren’t Zionists But Democratic and Republican Party Platforms Are

By Grant Smith | al-awda.org

An unprecedented poll reveals the gaping void between American identification with Israel and the official positions taken by both major political parties.

A majority of American adults – 70.3 percent – do not consider themselves Zionists when defined as “A Zionist is a person who believes in the development and protection of a Jewish nation in what is now Israel.” Only 24.9 percent say, “I consider myself a Zionist” while 4.8% provided other responses.

The IRmep poll was fielded by Google Consumer Surveys June 15-18 to a representative sample of 1,030 American adult Internet users.

In contrast to their constituents, members of both major US political parties have long operated under overwhelmingly Zionist party platforms. The 2016 Democratic party platform references Israel 9 times. Republican party platform 19. They differ little on the key issues:

Other recent polling reveals the enormous divide between the views of Americans and the actions taken by their members of Congress. Americans are strongly opposed to massive, disproportionate, unconditional US foreign aid to Israel. They want Congress to consider Israel’s status as the region’s sole nuclear power. They would renegotiate or cancel the lopsided 1985 trade deal. They oppose relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, as well as the policy of “no-daylight” US coordination with Israel.

Yet most members of Congress strongly support these initiatives, including recent formal condemnations of the United Nations as inherently “anti-Israel” and ongoing attempts to outlaw grassroots boycotts of Israel over its endemic human rights abuses.

What maintains the immense void between the views of most Americans and their elected representatives? The Israel lobby.

Zionism completely took over what were formerly Jewish social welfare organizations during the years leading up to WWII. Since the 1960s, representatives of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which channels the combined political might of hundreds of establishment pro-Israel organizations, has been involved in drafting platform planks for both parties.

The Israel lobby’s nonprofit arm alone employed 14,000 and claimed 350,000 volunteers in 2012. Though not financially relevant, 80 million Christian evangelicals provide a nationwide multiplier at the voting booth, the result of decades of intense Israel lobby cultivation. This is critical to the Israel lobby since according to Pew research, 82% of Jewish Americans do not belong to Jewish organizations, 70% are only somewhat or “not at all” attached to Israel, while 44% think settlement building is a bad idea. This suggests that Jewish supporters involved in the Israel lobby number only around 774,000, a population about the size of Fort Worth or Charlotte, and far from the monolith that major organizations in the lobby attempt to portray.

Many prospective candidates for national office must present position papers on Israel to regional AIPAC officials before being allowed to tap a national network of single issue pro-Israel donors for the seed-funding necessary to launch political campaigns. Any subsequent divergence from an essentially Zionist narrative or voting record can result in loss of this financial support, primary challenges and ousting from office.

This entire system, underpinned by an opaque influence network channeling millions of coordinated single-issue campaign contributions, is strongly opposed by most Americans (71%). Although there is seemingly little they can do about it, organization based on awareness, coupled with demands for overdue law enforcement and private lawsuits, could be the answer.

It is a testament to the lobby’s harmful propaganda campaigns that in 2014, as it battled the Iran nuclear deal, most Americans believed Iran already possessed nuclear weapons. A plurality of Americans – in contrast to much of the world – believe Palestinians occupy Israeli land and not the reverse.

Would Washington policymaking be so unreservedly Zionist if the Israel lobby did not dominate national elections? A recent California Democratic state party resolution suggests it would not. Passed through serious grassroots policy-setting that transcended Israel lobby roadblocks, the resolution covers issues opposed or unmentioned in the national two-party system. Respect for international law and human rights. Working through the UN. Challenging the Israel lobby’s toxic conflation of warranted campus protests and anti-Semitism.

However, national policymaking is only likely to improve to the degree that Zionism itself is legally challenged in the US as robustly as other past waves of foreign ideologies that were seed-funded and spread from abroad. Americans support this. When advised that the US once tried to enforce the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act over Israeli government-influenced public opinion and coordinated lobbying campaigns within the US, 66% of Americans favored a return to the days of challenging the lobby through the legal system.

The Zionist movement – acting through AIPAC – now appears committed to pushing the US into future military confrontations with Iran and Russia, further embroiling the US in other Middle East conflicts that serve no American interest, overturning the JCPOA, and building Israel up for military adventures. Whether Americans can “de-Zionize” Congress and government agencies to a level proportionate with their own identity is a question that could well determine the survival of the country.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment

The Road to Understanding Syria Goes Through Iraq

Returning to Iraq After a Decade in Exile (Part One)

By Louis Yako | CounterPunch | June 23, 2017

It should not be a secret to any independent and conscientious thinker, writer, or journalist that what has been happening in Syria since 2011 is nothing but complex and dirty attempts by multiple regional and global powers to “Iraqize” Syria by other means. But, alas, we have very few writers and journalists not on the payroll of the empire or the oppressive powers in today’s world. With few exceptions, most accounts and narratives I hear from and read by the so-called “journalists” and “experts” about Middle East affairs remind me of Upton Sinclair’s immortal words in his workI, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked, where he writes “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding it.”

What has been happening in Syria is nothing but an attempt to destroy the Syrian people, institutions, and society in order to restructure them in the image of the imperial, neocolonial players involved in this dirty war. The imperial and neocolonial force in our world today is concentrated in the hands of the few minority who have the American and most of the European political, economic, military, and media machine at their fingertips. In this sense, it is crucial to understand that what is happening around the world as a result of the Euro-American foreign policies is beyond the control of most American and European people at this point. Most Americans and Europeans are as unfree and suffocated as the Iraqi and the Syrian people in stopping this war machine that has caused irreparable damages to all parties affected. The only difference here is that the politically powerless and suffocated Americans and Europeans are not forced to live in refugee camps, which gives many the illusion of “privilege” and “democracy”, and therefore slows down any serious action to do something about what is going on. Yet most of the American people are crushed daily by the oppressive American economic system, working under slavery-like conditions, just to make it one day at a time, while the war machine is grinding millions of lives in different countries around the world, and under different pretexts. After living more than a decade in America now, I have come to accept that most of my fellow American citizens are as powerless as I am in influencing the American foreign policy, especially in the Middle East. Even more discouraging is that, by pointing out this reality, one is immediately labeled as “un-American”, “anti-American”, or other misleading adjectives and accusations to silence any voices seeking to change this bleak reality. This needs to be challenged by all of us, if we really want better lives and healthier societies.

Today I would like to share with you a “thick description” of how I saw and what I saw in Iraq when I returned to it after one decade in exile in 2015 to conduct a year-long anthropological research for my doctorate degree. I want to paint for you an image of what has become of Iraq, after more than a decade of its invasion, to hopefully give you some important clues as to why the Syrian war has been happening since 2011, and what kind of Syria do the involved neocolonial and imperial players want to create once they finish destroying Syria as we knew. I argue that the road to understanding the future of Syria goes through what has been happening in Iraq. It is the same game, with many of the same players involved. What is happening today has happened yesterday and will happen tomorrow also, unless we take serious steps to stop it.

***

After one decade in exile, I returned to Iraq seeking a better understanding of what happened, how it happened, and why it happened. I returned this time as a trained cultural anthropologist to conduct fieldwork on a population that has always had a significant impact on my life and memory—Iraq’s academics. After two previous researches in the UK and Jordan (2013-2014), I decided to spend one academic year in Iraq because I knew that the internally displaced academics trapped inside; those who weren’t “successful” or “fortunate” enough to escape wars and violence through the bottleneck, had so much to say about Iraq. After all, I am a child of wars, sanctions, and political upheavals. I know what it means to be trapped inside and what it means to slip through the bottleneck, without ever truly recovering from the wounds inflicted upon us inside the bottle. I opened my eyes in this world in the 1980s, with the then ongoing Iran-Iraq war. I witnessed much violence and destruction. I saw countless dead bodies during the First Gulf War. The thirteen years of the UN sanctions robbed me of the most beautiful childhood and teenage years. The 2003 invasion of Iraq just barely allowed me to safely finish my undergraduate studies at the University of Baghdad, before I had to eventually leave the country into exile in 2005 to escape death and violence. Because of all these experiences that could take multiple books to fill, I knew that my interlocutors, especially those academics trapped inside, whose lives are strongly tied to and shaped by political upheavals and power relations, had so much to say about the story of Iraq. Before the end of my first week in Iraq in 2015, my personal observations and experiences already started to paint a picture about the story this story was going tell. What I experienced from the moment I was at the airport in Sweden heading to Iraq in September 2015, until the end of the first week in Iraq proved to me that the personal is political and anthropological.

After a long journey with wars, moving, and exile, life has grounded me like coffee beans. My mother used to say that “coffee beans have less value as whole beans.” They must be painfully ground to become this delicious, stimulating, and awakening drink called “coffee”. After ten years in exile, here I was in Stockholm in September 2015 packing my bag to go back to Iraq. I couldn’t believe it was going to happen in less than 24 hours. I was anxious that entire day. I couldn’t sleep or do anything. I went out roaming. I greeted a stranger and had a short conversation. He turned out to be an Armenian in his twenties, thirsty for warm human connection after many lonely, long, and cold Scandinavian winters. He was delighted to meet an Assyrian Christian from Iraq. He invited me for a meal at a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant followed by a walk. It was an ideal way to spend those few hours before heading to the airport. I spoke little. He spent most of the time talking about how much he hated Turkey and the Turks; and how racist the Swedes are towards immigrants no matter how much they like to sugarcoat this fact and claim otherwise.

Towards the end of the evening, the Armenian stranger who was no longer a stranger, asked what I thought about “home” and “exile”, because he had been struggling with these ideas for years in Sweden. I told him that life has taught me that it is possible that things, ideas, concepts, and feelings can have the opposite meaning of what one might see at the surface. It was possible that people can be the opposite of what they claim to be. It was possible that “home” could signify “exile” or the other way around. Laughter may be tears in disguise. Revolutions may be yet other oppressive powers taking the carpet from under the feet of the current oppressive powers. Going to the top of the mountain may not really mean “going up”. It can in fact be a harsh form of falling; just as fame, cheers, and camera flashes have ultimately led to the demise of countless insecure and lonely souls on this planet. In brief, it was possible that everything we are told and taught is the opposite of what we think, or it might be outright false. I told him that I go through life remembering my mom’s oldest advice that “succeeding in an unjust world is the first sign of failure, because it means you’re cooperating with injustice.” I told him that I carry like a talisman around my neck André Gide’s words: “Fish die belly upward, and rise to the surface. It’s their way of falling.”

My new Armenian acquaintance took an interest in these reflections and asked that we should stay in touch. He walked with me to the door of the apartment building, we said goodbye like two old friends, and he vanished in the crowd as though the whole encounter was nothing but an escaping dream. I thought my year of research wrestling with home, exile, and displacement as some of the most political and politicized concepts of our time had already started in Stockholm.

***

The day was September 11, 2015. The place was Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. The time was an early hour in the morning. I was waiting in a line to check in my luggage into the flight that was going to land me in Erbil, Iraq. After an entire decade, here I was going back to see how the many people, places, and things I left behind had continued their lives (and deaths) in my absence. I reminded myself that just as I was changing in exile, so were all the people and things I left behind in Iraq. I reminded myself that it was going to be an encounter between two changed and constantly changing parties. I had to be prepared that some (or many) images of what Iraq used to be in my head may no longer exist.

The check-in line was long. I started looking at the faces of the people waiting, their looks, their clothes, and their luggage. The guy behind me had his headphones on with a traditional Turkman folklore song from Kirkuk blasting. I could hear the song oozing out of his headphones. It was a song that many of our Turkmen neighbors and friends in Kirkuk used to play at weddings. My ears immediately recognized the words: “beyaz gül kırmızı gül güller arasından gelir…” [White rose, red rose, she comes through roses]. I didn’t particularly like the song as a child, but I did at that moment because it was much more than a song. Time had transformed it into fossilized moments and faces of distant people, places, and moments that I may never see again, except in my daydreams. In front of me in the line there were two Kurdish families. They seemed to have just met at the airport. They were speaking in two different Kurdish dialects (Kurmanci and Sorani). These two groups usually don’t like each other, particularly since the intra-Kurdish struggle in the 1990s. But, I thought to myself, in exile people have no choice. They simply learn how absurd their differences at “home” were compared to what they endure in foreign lands. They learn how to love the remotest things, scents, and traces that remind them of a lost home and a lost life. The husbands were talking about how convenient it was to have a direct flight from Stockholm to Erbil, but they complained that the flight was too early. The wives were discussing the “right” age for children to start articulating their first words. Further down in line I saw a few guys joking and laughing loudly in a Baghdadi Arabic dialect. They were making sarcastic remarks without taking notice of anyone around them. I already felt like I was in a small version of the Iraq I knew and missed so much, though I knew this might not be the case when I arrive. Perhaps, the Iraq I knew is now more accessible in exile than it is possible at home.

Most passengers in the check-in line were Iraqis. Many were Kurds. Some were Arabs. I spotted a few Christian families. I heard two ladies speaking in my mother tongue, Aramaic, with a golden cross hanging around the neck of one of them. I overheard one talking about how a relative, a refugee in Lebanon, had just been accepted to immigrate to Australia. These conversations are hardly foreign to my ears. Before I left Iraq, many people were either talking about leaving or celebrating how some of their friends or relatives had left, hoping they would be next. Most people want to leave without even knowing whether they will ever “arrive” somewhere.

Ironically–or perhaps not–all the passengers had foreign passports in their hands, including myself. I spotted Swedish, Danish, German, and other EU passports. This, too, was hardly surprising to me. The effects of wars and everything that has happened to Iraq and the Iraqi people over the last few decades made the only way an Iraqi could be treated with dignity in Iraq and elsewhere is if they hold foreign—namely Western—passports. A “good” or a “fortunate” Iraqi can almost be defined as someone who holds a western passport. The Iraqi passport is paralyzing. Like its holders, it is a “suspect” in every airport, every checkpoint, and every point of entry. As an Iraqi, one is not welcome anywhere. One is almost questioned to death before allowed entrance to any country. However, one is always welcome to exit any place or port with no questions asked. Every authority and every official thinks they have the right to interrogate an Iraqi without a second thought. Iraqis know well that holding that useless document called an “Iraqi passport” is a curse at this point in history. But, of course, this is hardly the only such case. Most passport holders who come from nations whose people count as “the wretched of the earth” experience different forms of discrimination and exclusion. Some experiences are more severe than others. It is all about power, or lack thereof. Your passport has a power. It is not just a document that helps you pass, it can become a sign of humiliation preventing you from passing. Many Iraqis I know joke about the very words on the inside cover of Iraqi passports stating: “all competent authorities are requested to accord bearer of this passport protection to allow him/her all possible assistance in case of need.” Every place an Iraqi goes to, the opposite of this statement is what happens. These words are just one more example of how things can have the exact opposite meaning of their appearance as with “home” and “exile”, “peace” and “war”, “honesty” and “dishonesty”, and countless other words in different languages. I thought to myself how irritated I have become about my first language, my second language, my third language, and all the languages I speak. Words increasingly don’t mean what they are supposed to mean in all these languages. Languages are increasingly becoming tools for disguising ideas rather than disclosing them. It suddenly crossed my mind that perhaps one day I will be forced to put every single word I write in quotation marks. Nothing means what it is supposed to mean. I dreamt of a day and a world in which everyone means what they say and say what they mean.

When my turn came, the blonde, cordial, female Swedish employee checking passports and handing boarding passes looked at my American passport and asked “I see that you were born in Iraq. Do you have an Iraqi passport?” “No. It is expired,” I answered. She went on, “you know people over there are not crazy about American passports. Let me see your Iraqi passport, even if it’s expired.” She took a quick look, checked in my bag, and directed me to the designated gate. I couldn’t help thinking: why should she care? I am going to Iraq not coming from it. She would care more if the process was reversed, because it is more important to keep Sweden safe than Iraq. What if my passport was fake? What if I was a “terrorist”? It doesn’t matter. Perhaps it is better for “terrorists” to exit Europe than enter and cause problems. Is this why many of them are now in Syria? Moreover, her words were far from accurate. I know many American and Western expats living in Iraq and they love it there. I wondered whether she was fed too much propaganda about Iraq and the region.

***

I arrived in Erbil shortly after 10:30 am. After greeting the friendly Kurd female officer at the passport control in Kurdish, she stamped my passport and here I was officially in Iraq. As I was walking to the baggage claim area in the small and clean airport, I remembered that I had no one from my family or relatives to meet me. My immediate family members had all left Iraq over the last ten years because of the war. My relatives who are left there, from both parents’ sides, are not in that city and I hadn’t announced to most of them that I was coming. I wanted to land in the airport for real before I could surely tell anyone that I was in Iraq.

The only person who was waiting for me in the airport was my American brother-in-law. I wondered what the Swede who checked my passport at Arlanda would have thought about that. My American brother-in-law is a lovely and helpful guy. He came to Iraq after 2003, fell in love with the country, and decided that he would rather live in Erbil than in the U.S. He feels “freer” in Erbil, he often says. He is not alone in this feeling. Many expats I know love “third world” countries. Many don’t mind settling and getting married in them while the locals in these countries are escaping from all directions. The reason is simple: they are treated better than the local citizens in these “third world” countries and even better than the treatment they would receive in their “industrialized” countries in the “developed” world. Again, it is all about power. Who has it and where. Despite my gratitude that he had come to pick me up, I still found this ironic and painful. An American is the only one at the airport to pick me up at what was once my beloved country. It felt as though that complex line between “home” and “exile” was being challenged from the moment I returned to Iraq. I decided, however, that it wasn’t helpful to dwell on this thought. I decided not to let anything spoil my first intimate moments of embracing Iraq’s skies, lands, trees, roses, buildings, streets, faces, scents, and everyone and everything that has been living and growing in my imagination during the past decade in exile.

I spent the first couple of days in Erbil, mostly with my brother-in-law and some of his foreign expat friends who gave me some tips about life there. They shared things they knew better than me because they had been there and I hadn’t. I soon learned about the new malls, the best hotels, the residential buildings where many expats and rich locals live in places with names like the “English village”, the “Italian village”, the “Lebanese village”, and so on. I thought about how in every “third world” country that gets “liberated” from its dictators, the first things that go up are luxurious hotels and residential areas for Western expats and “experts”, along with gated communities from which to administer the newly formed governments in places like Baghdad’s Green Zone. The expats in Erbil also told me about things as simple as where to get a local sim card for my phone, where to get the best haircut, and the costs of basic foods.

I felt alienated on my first night. It was a feeling identical to how I felt on my first night in America ten years ago. I was lonely, thrown into a strange land. I went out that evening in the majority Christian district of Ankawa in the outskirts of Erbil to buy a sim card. It was a hot September evening. As I greeted the seller at the random shop I entered, he paused, stared at me, and asked: “Are you Louis?”  “Yes I am. Wait, don’t tell me who you are. I think I also recognize your face, but I have to add ten years of change to it.” I recognized him. He was one of our old neighbors in Kirkuk. They had to move to Erbil as security deteriorated after 2003. That was a comforting first connection. It made me feel I am less a stranger than I thought. I am still remembered. I still exist. But that wasn’t enough. I wanted more closeness than an old neighbor to feel at home again. I immediately activated my sim card and called my aunt in Duhok, two and half hours north of Erbil. She could sense how sad my tone was on the phone and said, “I will be waiting for you tomorrow…” I went to the bus and taxi station in Erbil the next day to get a taxi and headed to Duhok, the place where I spent the early years of my childhood. A beautiful small city sandwiched between two mountains.

At around 1:30 pm, in the shared taxi heading to Duhok, the passengers were all friendly Kurds. I greeted the driver and the passengers in Kurdish and then started looking out the window to check out the scenery. I heard the two guys next to me saying: “thank God there are no Arab passengers in the taxi. Arab passengers always cause delays at the checkpoints.” As the taxi moved, I started checking out all the new buildings and neat streets in Erbil. It was clear from the old and the new infrastructure that whereas some people have gotten better off, others had gotten worse off, or simply stayed as they were. Infrastructure reveals so much about a place and its culture, politics, and people. The disparities between the poor and the rich neighborhoods in Erbil, in a sense, show that “time” wasn’t ticking at the same pace for everyone. Time wasn’t moving favorably for everyone. Even time is like power in that it moves some people forward, some backward, and some to the sides and the margins. Time also buries some people under the ground. I noticed many unfinished construction and apartment buildings. It looked as though there was an “economic boom” that was abruptly halted by unexpected circumstances made certain parts of the city look like dilapidated ghost towns. As we were exiting Erbil, at every traffic light we stopped, there were poor Syrian or Yazidi women and children begging drivers to buy gum, tissues, and other simple items. Some of these women of different ages ranging from 11 to 30 were so beautiful that it wouldn’t be surprising if they were forced to sell other things to get their meals for the day.

Over time, I discovered that many of the women living in tents and dilapidated and deserted buildings have been selling their bodies to make living. In Erbil’s well-known Christian district of Ankawa, I discovered by talking with taxi drivers, that many beauty salons have been turned into places where buyers (men) park their cars and wait to pick up internally displaced women who escaped ISIS-occupied parts of Iraq and Syria.

***

The driver taking us to Duhok was talking to the front seat passenger about how bad the economy was, there were no salaries for public sector employees, and so on. I understood that the bad economy had suddenly crippled the Iraqi Kurdistan region. Consequently, public sector employees (most people) were only getting salaries every few months due to deep divisions between Kurdistan and Baghdad. I heard some passengers talking about hopefully resolving oil problems with Baghdad soon so that things could improve. Baghdad has been withholding Kurdistan’s 17% share of oil revenues, because the latter has been drilling, extracting, and selling oil through “illegal” contracts with foreign companies without Baghdad’s permission. The Iraqi officials in Baghdad, the passengers explained, told the Kurds that if they want to get their share, they must share what they’re selling from their region with the central government. The refusal of the Kurd officials to abide by this and the fact that many of Kurdistan’s oil searches had been less promising than originally anticipated caused a serious economic problem in the region. This was the main topic the passengers discussed most of the trip.

As the taxi continued driving, I kept looking out the window checking out the many villages and small towns we passed through, as we left Erbil behind. Not much has changed in these villages and little towns, except one could see more “fancy” houses in the villagers’ standards. It was an indication that some individuals have been making a lot of money to renovate or build all these new houses. They looked expensive but also indicated a recently acquired financial capital. I noticed how many spaces that used to be beautiful and green agricultural lands on the way had turned into depressing, ugly, half-finished cement buildings. Furthermore, there was a clear disparity between how extravagant many individual houses looked versus the poor state of  public services like sewage and streets, that were still exactly the same in most places since the Ba‘ath era. During its 35 years in power, the Ba‘ath regime had made serious efforts to modernize Iraq’s infrastructure in cities and villages. The road from Erbil to Duhok was the same since the Saddam years. It was narrow, dangerous, and filled with pit holes that have only worsened over the years. I saw a clear pattern of how most wealth was being used for individual rather than communal interests. These images reminded me of the anthropological literature we studied on “development”. Development looked so much like destruction.

My thoughts were interrupted when we stopped at a checkpoint—there were so many of them—and the officer asked everyone to present their IDs. I presented the only valid ID I had on me, my American passport. As soon as he looked at it, he asked me to get out of the car. He said to the officer next to him in Kurdish, “We need to check this to make sure it’s not a forged passport.” The checkpoint looked like a kiosk that barely had a wood cover on the top to protect them from Iraq’s unforgiving summer sun. I wondered with what they were going to check the “validity” of the passport when they didn’t seem to have any equipment or machines in place. I decided to just talk to them. I spoke in Kurdish and told the officer that I am from the region and I was just back after ten years in America, which is why I don’t have a valid local ID. My IDs had expired. As soon as I spoke in Kurdish and he heard my name, his tone changed 180 degrees, “Welcome home, my dear brother!” I went back inside the taxi and it drove away.

I told the driver the same brief story of why I had no valid local IDs and that I am a local of the region, so this helped for the rest of the trip. He did the talking on my behalf at the other checkpoints and everything went smoothly. I could only imagine how an Arab would feel and be treated when going through all these checkpoints where one could pass just by simply speaking Kurdish or be stranded even if they had valid IDs, but didn’t speak the language. In many ways, the language, the sect, and the ethnicity are the IDs in post-U.S. occupation Iraq–the “new Iraq”. In fact, at many checkpoints, I observed, that they wouldn’t even ask for an ID. The first thing they would do is to profile the person based on their face and language. If it became clear that they didn’t speak the language, they would be stranded and interrogated. I noticed over time that some displaced Arabs had learned what one might call “basic checkpoint Kurdish”. But even that was no guarantee for “passing”. The officers could recognize faces. Arabs or Arab-looking people were to be interrogated and even humiliated. Further, sometimes they would linger with the conversation and by the second or the third question, the Arab’s “checkpoint Kurdish” would become inadequate to carry on a conversation, and therefore create serious difficulties for them. Humans can become sophisticated over time to navigate power and its hurdles, but so does power. It is a two-way street. There is no break. One must keep reinventing themselves in this harsh world of power relations to survive.

My impressions from the first days and before even reaching Duhok was that the “new Iraq” was operating on ethnicity and sect; on language as a metonym for power and disempowerment; and on residency cards as a prerequisite for existence for those not from the northern region, especially Arabs. What all these elements have in common is their resemblance to the pan-Arabist project. In fact, today’s reality is a violently amplified and more intense version of the former pan-Arabism, which one would think was over. It wasn’t over. It was only passed on from some actors to others to implement this new project called “the new Iraq” or “the new Middle East” imposed and facilitated by the American invasion. There was a deep anti-Arab sentiment to the extent that it is a blessing not to be an Arab then and there.

Little did I know that these first observations and encounters from the early days were going to be central for understanding the lives of the internally displaced Iraqis in the region. Little did I know that exile and internal displacement for the interlocutors of my research project were first and foremost an expression of shifting power relations, which had turned them overnight from vital actors in the Iraqi society before 2003 into exiled, internally displaced, disempowered people whose lives are now tied to temporary contracts, residency cards, and living in a permanent state of fear and precariousness in what is supposed to be their own country. My first week in Iraq made it clear that the losses incurred by all Iraqi people are significant and ongoing. Therefore, it is only through tracing these losses from home to exile that we can understand the deeper meaning of these stories. Tracing back the story to “home” is to trace back the story of loss for these people to its early beginnings. The bleak reality of Iraq as a “home” reminded of the last part of a beautiful and sad poem titled “The Fortune Teller” by the great Syrian poet, Nizar Qabani, in which the fortune teller, speaking about the beloved woman of the man whose coffee cup she is reading says:

You will seek her everywhere, my son

You will ask the waves of the sea about her

You will ask the shores of the seas

You will travel the oceans

And your tears will flow like a river

And at the close of your life

You will find that since your beloved

Has no land, no home, no address

You have been pursuing only a trace of smoke

How difficult it is, my son

To love a woman

Who has neither land, nor home..

Louis Yako is an independent Iraqi-American writer, poet, cultural anthropologist, journalist, and researcher.

June 25, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

Regional crises serve Israeli interests: Nasrallah

Press TV – June 23, 2017

Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah says the crises in Middle East and North Africa serve the interests of the Israeli regime.

Nasrallah made the remarks in a speech on the occasion of the International Quds Day, which falls on the last Friday of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

He noted that the commemoration of the International Quds Day is spreading across the world, saying more countries are observing the event since it was announced by the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini.

Nasrallah said the main goal of the latest developments and wars in the region was to make regional countries accept Tel Aviv’s conditions. He added that the Israeli regime was taking advantage of the status quo in the region to marginalize the issue of Palestine.

‘Takfiri terrorists were born to topple Syrian government’

Also in his remarks, he said the Takfiri terrorist groups of Daesh and al-Nusra Front were formed by the United States and other countries to topple Syria’s government, which he described as an obstacle to any compromise that aimed to bring down the issue of Palestine.

He added that Daesh was sent to Iraq after the Baghdad government expressed unwavering support for resistance groups.

He said the Saudi war on Yemen was launched because Yemenis stood by the Palestinian people. Nasrallah added that the regime in Riyadh launched the war as there were movements in Yemen against Israel.

The Hezbollah secretary general praised Iran’s role as the main supporter of Palestine and resistance groups. He said Saudi Arabia was trying to isolate Iran in the region and take the war into Iran’s territory. He, however, said Riyadh was too weak and scared to launch such a war against Iran.

Nasrallah said Iran’s power and influence on regional issues were increasing.

He said Iran’s presence in Syria would be bolder, referring to its recent missile attack against Daesh targets in eastern Syria that killed many terrorists and destroyed their positions.

Nasrallah said Syria was steadfast in the axis of resistance.

‘Israel in no position to launch a new war’

Nasrallah also stated that Israel was participating in the war on Yemen, adding that its air force had conducted airstrikes on the impoverished country.

He said the Israeli regime sought to achieve its goal by launching proxy wars in the region.

The Hezbollah chief said Israel avoids a war on Lebanon or the Gaza Strip as it knows it will be expensive.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Nasrallah said the regimes that conspire against the resistance axis must know that they will fail to achieve anything.

June 23, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | 2 Comments

Resist This: The United States Is At War With Syria

By Jim Kavanaugh | The Polemicist |June 20, 2017

The United States is at war with Syria. Though few Americans wanted to face it, this has been the case implicitly since the Obama administration began building bases and sending Special Ops, really-not-there, American troops, and it has been the case explicitly since August 3, 2015, when the Obama administration announced that it would “allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.” With the U.S. Air Force—under Trump, following Obama’s declared policy—shooting down a Syrian plane in Syrian airspace, this is now undeniable.  The United States is overtly engaged in another aggression against a sovereign country that poses no conceivable, let alone actual or imminent, threat to the nation. This is an act of war.

As an act of war, this is unconstitutional, and would demand a congressional declaration. The claim, touted by Joint Chiefs’ Chairman, Gen. Dunford, that the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against al-Qaeda provides constitutional justification for attacking the Syrian government is patently false and particularly precious. In the Syrian conflict, it’s the Syrian government that is the enemy and target of al-Qaeda affiliates; it’s the U.S. and its allies who are supporting al Qaeda. The authorization to fight al-Qaeda has been turned into an authorization to help al-Qaeda by attacking and weakening its prime target!

Will President Trump ask for a relevant congressional authorization? Will any Democratic or Republican congresscritter demand it? Is the Pope a Hindu?

Would it make any difference? Why should Trump bother? Obama set the stage when he completely ignored the War Powers Act, the Constitution, Congress, and his own Attorney General and legal advisers, and went right ahead with a war on Libya, under the theory that, if we pretend no American troops are on the ground, it isn’t really a war or “hostilities” at all. Which I guess means if the Chinese Air Force starts shooting down American planes in American airspace in defense of Black Lives Matter’s assault on the White House, it wouldn’t really be engaging in an act of war.

It’s impossible to overstate the danger in these executive war-making prerogatives that Obama normalized—with the irresponsible connivance of his progressive groupies, who pretend not to know where this would lead. In 2012, referring to the precedent of Obama’s policies, Mitt Romney said: “I don’t believe at this stage, therefore, if I’m president that we need to have a war powers approval or special authorization for military force. The president has that capacity now.” Following Obama, for Trump, and every Republican and Democratic president, it now goes without saying.

In terms of international law, as an aggressive, unprovoked aggression against a country that makes no threat of attack on the U.S., it is also patently illegal, and all the political and military authorities undertaking it are war criminals, who would be prosecuted as such, if there were an international legal regime that had not already been undermined by the United States.

Syria is now under explicit attack by the armed forces of the U.S., Turkey, and other NATO states. Sixteen countries have combat aircraft buzzing around Syrian airspace under the effective command of the United States, and a number of them have attacked Syria’s army.

Americans, and certainly self-identified “progressives,” have to be crystal clear about this: American armed forces have no right to be in Syria, have no right to restrict the Syrian government from using any of its airspace, or to prevent it from regaining control of any of its own territory from foreign-backed jihadi armies.

The Syrian state and its allies (Iran and Russia), on the other hand, are engaged in the legitimate self-defense of a sovereign state, and have the right to respond with full military force to any attack on Syrian forces or any attempt by the United States to balkanize or occupy Syrian territory, or to overthrow the Syrian government. Whether and how they do respond will depend on their own military/political calculus, about which they have so far been quite careful and restrained. It would be the height of foolishness, as well as arrogance, for Americans to presume they can bully these actors into submission with an infinite series of discrete aggressions, with no sharp counterattack. Unfortunately, the world has not yet seen the limits of American arrogance.

So please, do not pretend to be shocked, shocked, if Syria and its allies fight back, inflicting American casualties. Don’t pose as the morally superior victim when Americans are killed by the people they are attacking. And don’t be preaching about how everyone has to support our troops in a criminal, unconstitutional, aggressive attack on a country that has not threatened ours in any way. American soldiers and pilots executing this policy are not heroes, and are not fighting to protect America or advance democracy; they are the international equivalent of home invaders, and as such are legitimate targets with no claim to “self-defense.” The only heroic act they could do is refuse their superiors’ illegitimate orders to engage in this aggression.

In response to American attacks, the Syrian Army has every right to strike back at the American military apparatus, everywhere. Every casualty of this war, however big it gets, is the ethico-political responsibility of the attacking party – US. The first responsibility of every American is not to “support our troops,” but to stop this war. Right now. Before it gets worse.

It’s quite obvious, in fact, that the United States regime is deliberately making targets of its military personnel, in the hopes of provoking a response from Syrian or allied armed forces that will kill some Americans, and be used to gin up popular support for exactly the kind of major military attack on Syria and/or Russia and/or Iran that the American people would otherwise reject with disgust. Anyone who professes concern for “our troops” should be screaming to stop that.

It’s also quite clear now that the War on ISIS is a sham, that ISIS was always just a pretext to get the American military directly involved in attacking the Syrian army and destroying the coherence of the Syrian state. If the U.S. wanted to defeat ISIS, it could do so easily by coordinating their actions with, and not against, the forces who have been most effectively fighting it: the Syrian Arab Army, Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah.

Instead, it’s attacking the Syrian army precisely because it has been defeating ISIS and other jihadi forces, and regaining its own territory and control of its own border with Iraq. The U.S. does not want that to happen. At the very least—if it cannot immediately engender that massive offensive to overthrow the Baathist government—the U.S. wants to control part of the border with Iraq and to occupy a swath of eastern Syria. It wants to establish permanent bases from which to provision and protect jihadi armies, achieving a de facto partitioning of the Syrian state, maintaining a constant state of armed attack against the Damascus government, and reducing Syria to a weakened, rump state that can never present any effective resistance to American, Israeli, or Saudi designs on the region.

This is extremely dangerous, since the Syrians, Russians, and Iranians seem determined not to let this happen. Consistent with his own incompetence and his admiration for tough guys, Trump seems to have abrogated authority to his generals to make decisions of enormous political consequence. Perhaps that’s why aggressive actions like the shoot-down of the Syrian plane have been occurring more frequently, and why it’s not likely they’ll abate. There’s a dynamic in motion that will inevitably lead each side to confront a choice of whether to back down, in a way that’s obvious, or escalate. Generals aren’t good at backing down. A regional or global war is a real possibility and becomes more likely with every such incident.

Though most American politicians and media outlets do not want to say it (and therefore, most citizens cannot see it clearly enough), such a war is the objective of a powerful faction of the Deep State which has been persistent and determined in seeking it. If the generals are loath to back down in a battle, the neocons are adamant about not backing down on their plans for the Middle East. They will not be stopped by anything less than overwhelming popular resistance and international pushback.

The upside of these attacks on Syrian forces is that they wipe the lipstick off the pig of the American project in Syria. It’s a regime-change, nation-destroying war that has nothing to do with democracy or human rights, and everything to do with the anti-democratic, chaos-creating designs of the most nefarious regimes in the region and the world. Everyone—European countries who profess concern for international law and stability, and the American people who are fed up with constant wars that have no benefit for them—can see exactly what kind of blatant aggression is unfolding, and decide whether they want to go along with it.

In that regard, any self-identified “liberal” or “progressive” American—and particularly any such American politician—who spent (and may still spend) their political energy attacking Bush, et. al., for that crazy war in Iraq, and who goes along with, or hesitates to immediately and energetically denounce this war, which is already underway, is a political hypocrite, resisting nothing but the obvious.

June 21, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spoiling for a Wider War in Syria

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | June 20, 2017

The U.S. mainstream media’s near universal demonization of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russian President Vladimir Putin – along with similar hatred directed toward Iran and Hezbollah – has put the world on a path toward World War III.

Ironically, the best hope for averting a dangerous escalation into a global conflict is to rely on Assad, Putin, Iran and Hezbollah to show restraint in the face of illegal military attacks by the United States and its Mideast allies inside Syria.

In other words, after the U.S. military has bombed Syrian government forces on their own territory and shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday – and after Israel has launched its own strikes inside Syria and after Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have financed and armed jihadists to overthrow Assad – it is now up to the Syrian government and its allies to turn the other cheek.

Of course, there is also a danger that comes from such self-control, in that it may encourage the aggressors to test the limits even further, seeing restraint as an acceptance of their impunity and a reason to ignore whatever warnings are issued and red lines drawn.

Indeed, if you follow The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and other big U.S. news outlets, perhaps the most striking groupthink that they all share is that the U.S. government and its allies have the right to intervene militarily anywhere in the world. Their slogan could be summed up as: “International law – that’s for the other guy!”

In this upside-down world of American hegemony, Assad becomes the “aggressor” when he seeks to regain control of Syrian territory against armed insurgents, dominated by Al Qaeda and Islamic State (ISIS), or when he protests the invasion of Syrian territory by foreign forces.

When Assad legally seeks help from Russia and Iran to defeat these foreign-armed and foreign-backed jihadists, the U.S. mainstream media and politicians treat his alliances as improper and troublemaking. Yet, the uninvited interventions into Syria by the United States and its various allies, including Turkey and Israel, are treated as normal and expected.

Demanding Escalation

The preponderance of U.S. media criticism about U.S. policy in Syria comes from neoconservatives and liberal interventionists who have favored a much more ambitious and vigorous “regime change” war, albeit cloaked in prettier phrases such as “safe zones” and “no-fly zones.”

So, you have Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal editorial, which praises Sunday’s U.S. shoot-down of a Syrian military plane because it allegedly was dropping bombs “near” one of the U.S.-backed rebel groups – though the Syrians say they were targeting an Islamic State position.

Although it was the U.S. that shot down the Syrian plane over Syria, the Journal’s editorial portrays the Russians and Syrians as the hotheads for denouncing the U.S. attack as a provocation and warning that similar air strikes will not be tolerated.

In response, the Journal’s neocon editors called for more U.S. military might hurled against Syria and Russia:

“The risk of escalation is real, but this isn’t a skirmish the U.S. can easily avoid. Mr. Assad and his allies in Moscow and Tehran know that ISIS’s days are numbered. They want to assert control over as much territory as possible in the interim, and that means crushing the SDF [the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces].

“The Russian threat on Monday to target with anti-aircraft missiles any U.S. aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria is part of the same intimidation strategy. Russia also suspended a hotline between the two armed forces designed to reduce the risk of a military mistake. Iran, which arms and assists Mr. Assad on the ground, vowed further Syrian regime attacks against SDF, all but daring U.S. planes to respond amid the Russian threat.

“The White House and Pentagon reacted with restraint on Monday, calling for a de-escalation and open lines of communication. But if Syria and its allies are determined to escalate, the U.S. will either have to back down or prepare a more concerted effort to protect its allies and now U.S. aircraft.

“This is a predicament President Obama put the U.S. in when his Syrian abdication created an opening for Vladimir Putin to intervene. Had the U.S. established a no-fly or other safe zone to protect refugees, the Kremlin might have been more cautious.”

As senior U.S. commanders have explained, however, the notion of a sweet-sounding “no-fly or other safe zone” would require a massive U.S. military campaign inside Syria that would devastate government forces and result in thousands of civilian deaths because many air defenses are located in urban areas. It also could lead to a victory for Al Qaeda and/or its spinoff, Islamic State, a grisly fate for most Syrians.

Propaganda Value

But the “safe zone” illusion has great propaganda value, essentially a new packaging for another “regime change” war, which the neocons lusted for in Syria as the follow-on to the Iraq invasion in 2003 but couldn’t achieve immediately because the Iraq War turned into a bloody disaster.

Instead, the neocons had to settle for a proxy war on Syria, funded and armed by the U.S. government and its regional allies, relying on violent jihadists to carry out the brunt of the fighting and killing. When Assad’s government reacted clumsily to this challenge, the U.S. mainstream media depicted Assad as the villain and the “rebels” as the heroes.

In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency, then under the direction of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, warned that the U.S. strategy would give rise to “a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria.”

Flynn went further in a 2015 interview when he said the intelligence was “very clear” that the Obama administration made a “willful decision” to back these jihadists in league with Middle East allies. (Flynn briefly served as President Trump’s national security adviser but was ousted amid the growing Russia-gate “scandal.”)

Only in 2014, when Islamic State militants began decapitating American hostages and capturing cities in Iraq, did the Obama administration reverse course and begin attacking ISIS while continuing to turn a blind-eye to the havoc caused by other rebel groups allied with Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, including many outfits deemed “moderate” in the U.S. lexicon.

But the problem is that almost none of this history exists within the U.S. mainstream narrative, which – as the Journal’s neocon editors did on Tuesday – simply depicts Obama as weak and then baits President Trump to show more military muscle.

What U.S. National Interests?

The Journal editorial criticized Trump for having no strategy beyond eradicating ISIS and adding: “Now is the time for thinking through such a strategy because Syria, Russia and Iran know what they want. Mr. Assad wants to reassert control over all of Syria, not a country divided into Alawite, Sunni and Kurdish parts. Iran wants a Shiite arc of influence from Tehran to Beirut. Mr. Putin will settle for a Mediterranean port and a demonstration that Russia can be trusted to stand by its allies, while America is unreliable. None of this is in the U.S. national interests.”

But why isn’t this in U.S. national interests? What’s wrong with a unified secular Syria that can begin to rebuild its shattered infrastructure and repatriate refugees who have fled into Europe, destabilizing the Continent?

What’s the big problem with “a Shiite arc of influence”? The Shiites aren’t a threat to the United States or the West. The principal terror groups – Al Qaeda and ISIS – spring from the extremist Saudi version of Sunni Islam, known as Wahhabism. I realize that Israel and Saudi Arabia took aim at Syria in part to shatter “the Shiite arc,” but we have seen the horrific consequences of that strategy. How has the chaos that the Syrian war has unleashed benefited U.S. national interests?

And so what that Russia has a naval base on the Mediterranean Sea? That is no threat to the United States, either.

But what is the alternative prescription from the Journal’s neocon editors? The editorial concludes: “The alternative would be to demonstrate that Mr. Assad, Iran and Russia will pay a higher price for their ambitions. This means refusing to back down from defending U.S. allies on the ground and responding if Russia aircraft or missiles attempt to take down U.S. planes. Our guess is that Russia doesn’t want a military engagement with the U.S. any more than the U.S. wants one with Russia, but Russia will keep pressing for advantage unless President Trump shows more firmness than his predecessor.”

So, rather than allow the Syrian government to restore some form of order across Syria, the neocons want the Trump administration to continue violating international law, which forbids military invasions of sovereign countries, and keep the bloodshed flowing. Beyond that, the neocons want the U.S. military to play chicken with the other nuclear-armed superpower on the assumption that Russia will back down.

As usual, the neocon armchair warriors don’t reflect much on what could happen if U.S. warplanes attacking inside Syria are shot down. One supposes that would require President Trump to authorize a powerful counterstrike against Russian targets with the possibility of these escalations spinning out of control. But such craziness is where a steady diet of neocon/liberal-hawk propaganda has taken America.

We are ready to risk nuclear war and end all life on the planet, so Israel and Saudi Arabia can shatter a “Shiite arc of influence” and so American politicians don’t have to feel the rhetorical lash of the neocons and their liberal-hawk sidekicks.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Illegal Occupation, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Dirty Little Secret

How it drives US policies exploiting a spineless Congress and White House

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • June 20, 2017

At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that “Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them.” A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with “Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don’t you ask me about that?”

Don’t look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the “I” word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China. It operates with complete impunity on Capitol Hill and also at state and local levels and no one dares to require it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would permit scrutiny of its finances and also end its tax-exempt “educational” status. Nor does Congress or the media see fit to inquire into AIPAC’s empowerment of candidates based on their fidelity to Israel, not to mention the direct interference in the American electoral process which surfaced most visibly in its support of candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

The last president that sought to compel the predecessor organization of AIPAC to register was John F. Kennedy, who also was about to take steps to rein in Israel’s secret nuclear weapons program when he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson. Funny how things sometimes work out. The Warren Commission looked deeply into a possible Cuban connection in the shooting and came up with nothing but one has to wonder if they also investigated the possible roles of other countries. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission Report failed to examine the possible involvement of Israel in the terrorist attack in spite of a considerable body of evidence suggesting that there were a number of Israeli-sourced covert operations running in the U.S. at that time.

Looking back from the perspective of his more than 40 years of military service, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer described the consequences of Jewish power vis-à-vis U.S. policy towards Israel, stating that “I’ve never seen a president – I don’t care who he is – stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn’t writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don’t have any idea what goes on.”

He also addressed the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, saying “Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty’s radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. [And that] Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded.” He concluded with “our government put Israel’s interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?”

It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 when Moorer spoke up. And, as in Moorer’s day, much of the partiality towards Israel makes its way through congress with little or no media coverage lest anyone begin to wonder whose tail is wagging which dog. To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

During the past several weeks alone there has been a flurry of legislation backed by Israel and its Lobby. One bill might actually have been written by AIPAC. It is called Senate 722, Countering Iran’s Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The bill has 63 co-sponsors, most of whom are the usual suspects, but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris, both of whom are apparently terrified lest they say “no” to Israel. With 63 co-sponsors out of 100 senators the bill was certain to pass overwhelmingly, and it was indeed approved 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting “no.”

And there’s more to S.722 than Iran – it’s subtitle is “An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments’ aggression.” Much of it is designed to increase sanctions on both Iran and Russia while also limiting the White House’s ability to relieve any sanctions without approval by congress. Regarding Iran, the bill mandates that “Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond.”

The premise is of course nonsensical as Iran’s ability to threaten anyone, least of all the United States, is limited. It is far outgunned by its neighbors and even more so by the U.S., but it has become the enemy of choice for congress as well as for the former generals who serve as White House advisers. The animus against Iran comes directly from Israel and from the Saudi Arabians, who have managed to sell their version of developments in their part of the world through a completely acquiescent and heavily Jewish influenced western media.

And there’s more. A bill has surfaced in the House of Representatives that will require the United States to “consult” with Israel regarding any prospective arms sales to Arab countries in the Middle East. In other words, Israel will have a say, backed up undoubtedly by Congress and the media, over what the United States does in terms of its weapons sales abroad. The sponsors of the bill, one Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney of New York, want “closer scrutiny of future military arms sales” to maintain the “qualitative military edge” that Israel currently enjoys.

Schneider is, of course, Jewish and a life member of AIPAC, so it is hardly as if he is a disinterested party. Tenny runs for office in New York State, so it is hardly as if she is disinterested either, but the net result of all this is that American jobs and U.S. international security arrangements through weapons sales will be at least in part subject to Israeli veto. And you know that is precisely what will happen as Israel could give a damn what happens to the struggling American entity that it so successfully feeds off of.

And there’s still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14th. Yes, I said “unanimously.” The bill requires the State Department of monitor what European nations and their police forces are doing about anti-Semitism and encourages them to adopt “a uniform definition of anti-Semitism.” That means that criticism of Israel must be considered anti-Semitism and will therefore be a hate crime and prosecutable, a status that is already de facto true in Britain and France. If the Europeans don’t play ball, there is the possibility of repercussions in trade negotiations. The bill was co-sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida and Nita Lowey of New York, both of whom are Jewish.

There is also a Senate companion bill on offer in the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. The bill will make the Anti-Semitism Envoy a full American Ambassador and will empower him or her with a full staff and a budget permitting meddling worldwide. The bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Marco Rubio of Florida. Gillibrand is unlikely to miss co-sponsoring anything relating to Israel due to her own self-interest and Rubio wants to be president real bad so he is following the money.

And finally, the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem. Again, the vote was unanimous. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, two reptiles who give snakes a bad name and about whom the less said the better. Schumer is Jewish and has described himself as the “shomer” or guardian of Israel in the Senate. That the resolution opposes long established U.S. government policy that the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Israel is in contravention of international law and is an impediment to any peace process with the Palestinians apparently bothered not even one Senator.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being “liberated.” There is probably even more to say, to include secret agreements with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, but I will stop at this point with one final observation. President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians “inciting” violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it. He then went to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and shouted at him for being a liar and opposed to peace based on what Netanyahu had told him. That is what passes for even-handed in the U.S. government, no matter who is president. A few days later the Israelis announced the building of the largest bloc of illegal new settlements on the West Bank since 1992, an action that they claim is being coordinated with Washington.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once boasted about owning the United States. I guess he was right.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , | 3 Comments

Russia’s Calm, But Firm, Response to the US Shooting Down a Syrian Fighter Jet

By Gary Leupp | CounterPunch | June 20, 2017

Former State Department official Nicholas Burns told CNN Monday morning he’s surprised at Russia’s “calm” response to the shooting down of a Syrian government warplane (a Russian built SU 22 jet) in Syrian skies by a US F-18 Super Hornet. Moscow initially merely protested.

The Syrian government says its plane was bombing ISIL forces. (This could be perceived as an unequivocally good act, ISIL being what it is.) But the U.S. says the plane was bombing its proxies, who are themselves battling ISIL around Raqqa with embedded U.S. advisors. These proxies are mainly Kurds who want independence and other forces allied to the U.S. and its Arab allies in a common effort to ultimately topple the Assad regime. And everyone paying attention knows these proxies include forces closely aligned with what used to be called al-Nusra. Forces the U.S. considers friends are considered by Damascus terrorists.

There are differences of opinion on this matter between the government of the aggressor imperialist country and the government of the country being assaulted by a host of foreign forces, and in the cross-hairs of this—what did Martin Luther King call it, so rudely, in 1967?—“greatest purveyor of violence in the world”?

In any case, Assad’s is an internationally recognized regime, as legitimate as the Trump regime, and the U.S. and its allies are plainly violating Syrian sovereignty by their presence. The Russian position is that the Syrian Arab Army (the national army) is the guarantor of Syrian unity and sovereignty, and the alternative is an Islamist regime that would destroy Palmyra, blow up the churches of Damascus, behead children etc.  (This is a rational position.)

The U.S. position has been that the Assad regime, to which army is loyal, is the main problem to be solved. This position requires the curious argument that the Assad regime is what has produced ISIL and al-Qaeda (al-Nusra, Fateh al-Sham), by producing opposition to itself, thus generating Islamist radicalism. (This is an irrational position.)

ISIL (ISIS, the Islamic State) exists because a Jordanian Bedouin guy named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi organized an international jihadi group around Herat, Afghanistan circa 2000. Called Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad (Organization of Monotheism and Jihad), it was a rival of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda, whose camps were located on the other side of Afghanistan. After the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, Zarqawi relocated to Iraq. The U.S. invasion of Iraq (which recall was based entirely on lies, and produced horrible ongoing destruction and suffering) provided optimal opportunities for jihadis like him. In 2004 he pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda and established, as its Iraqi franchise, Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (commonly rendered al-Qaeda in Iraq).

That morphed into ISIL. It spread from Iraq to Syria, and back to Iraq, even as al-Qaeda continues to challenge it for influence and territory. It is a hideous product of U.S. imperialist interventions. In Syria it challenges a government that, however oppressive and corrupt,  would surely be seen as the better alternative by most rational people. But the dominant view in the State Department has been that Assad needs to go. The debate has been over how to effect his ouster, through overt or covert means, and the main practical problem the lack of reliable allies willing to work with U.S. trainers and not defect to the other side after their training.

So on the one hand the U.S. pursues openly an anti-ISIL campaign in Syria (and Iraq), claiming plausibly that the sheer evil of ISIL justifies the drive to destroy it. Who could complain? (The Syrian government points out that any uninvited military presence is a violation of international law.) On the other hand the ultimate intent, which seems unchanged under the new administration, is regime change.

Thus the State Department shapes the cable news coverage to insure that the Assad regime is routinely vilified, assumed to be an evil. The Syrian army is presented, not as the most respected institution in the country, but as the enemy of its people, barrel-bombing them. So if it’s reported that a Syrian warplane was shot down by a U.S. warplane over Syria, what’s the problem?

Expert analysts are explaining that the U.S. was acting in self-defense in shooting down the Syrian plane in Syria. They appear to sincerely believe what they say, and perhaps persuade their audience—even after so many lies have been exposed and you’d think public skepticism at its height.

***

As I write there is more “breaking” news. It appears the Russians, while still “calm,” are also getting firm. The U.S. has gone too far, shooting down the plane of a Russian-allied force in a Russia-allied country. The Russians have consistently appealed to the U.S. to coordinate anti-ISIL, anti-al-Nusra efforts in Syria; a “memorandum on air safety”  intended to prevent mid-air collisions has been in effect since last October, although the U.S. has violated it by bombing a Syrian army position. Now Russia is pulling out and announcing that it will treat U.S. jets in Syrian airspace as “targets.” (Barbara Starr—who you’ve noticed represents the Pentagon on CNN—however says the line’s still open, and there are apparently communications between Russian forces in Latakia and U.S. forces in Qatar.)

The Russian Defense Ministry’s calm statement reads: “All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets.” This is a clear warning to the Trump administration to back off from attacks on state forces in Syria.

Moscow is surely puzzled by conflicting signals from Washington regarding Syria and U.S. foreign policy in general. If there had been some optimism about a joint effort against terrorists in Syria, this incident may destroy it.

Let’s say a S-300 Grumble missile shoots down one of those Super Hornets today. A Super Hornet whose presence is rejected by the Russian-allied Syrian government. A U.S. pilot killed. Massive immediate outrage in this country—about a Russian attack on one of us, wicked just by definition. And it’s official truth that Russia hacked the election. Russia we are told is an adversary. Trump cannot be viewed as a Putin stooge. Retaliation needed, immediately, in a country becoming a free-for-all for Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Russian and U.S. and European intervention.

I think the calm temporary. Iranian missiles are hitting Raqqa in a retaliatory strike on ISIL, which has struck in Iran. Turkey is bombing U.S. Kurdish allies in Syria. The mix of forces that will take (and likely destroy) Raqqa are not clear. A young crazed Kim Jung-un type is in charge of Saudi Arabia throwing money at jihadis in Syria. Hizbollah Lebanese forces and Iraqi Shiite militia forces are fighting the ISIL and al-Qaeda forces with the government. It is a hellish situation that could become much more so.

The people should demand that the U.S. just back off. How can those who generated ISIL kill it?

Trump as I recall suggested during his campaign that the U.S. leave the defeat of ISIL to Russia, or at least to work with Russia against ISIL. He was of course vague, inconsistent, and using a sixth grade vocabulary, but he seemed to want to avoid something like this provocation. One has to ask, who does want it?

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

All of Saudi Arabia’s moves benefit Israel: Iran’s parliament speaker

Press TV – June 20, 2017

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has slammed Saudi Arabia for working covertly with Israel, saying all Riyadh’s actions in the region serve the Tel Aviv regime’s interests and are to the detriment of Muslim nations.

Larijani made the remarks in a meeting with ambassadors of Muslim countries to Tehran on Monday.

“We have tried hard to make the Saudis understand that their measures are to the detriment of the Muslim Ummah, but they only make harsher remarks every day and engage Muslim countries,” he said.

Larijani further pointed to Saudi Arabia’s “very unpleasant” policies in dealing with regional countries, saying the Saudis exert force in Syria, attack Yemen to make it their own backyard, fuel tensions in Bahrain, and have now targeted Qatar.

“Eventually, all Saudi moves are in favor of Israel,” said Larijani, adding that they want to keep terrorists on their feet and even provide support to some terror groups such as al-Nusra Front.

The top Iranian parliamentarian further warned Muslims “not to be trapped in a bigger plot.”

Iran had obtained documents showing that the Saudis provided Israel with intelligence during the 33-day war on Lebanon in the summer of 2006, he added.

“The dependence of some Muslim countries on Israel is catastrophic and a stain of shame, while the Muslim Ummah should be sensitive to the fate of Palestine,” Larijani said.

As a result, he said, International Quds Day is of great importance, expressing hope that Muslims would demonstrate their unity on this day.

The late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, named the last Friday of the lunar fasting month of Ramadan as the International Quds Day, which falls on June 23 this year.

The day is commemorated each year by worldwide rallies, with participants voicing their support for the Palestinian nation and calling for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities and its occupation of Palestinian lands.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Iranian parliament speaker stressed that the Islamic Republic pursues the policy of creating consensus and unity.

He further thanked the Muslim ambassadors for expressing sympathy over the twin terrorist attacks in the Iranian capital, which killed 17 people and injured over 50 others.

On June 7, gunmen mounted almost simultaneous assaults on Iran’s Parliament and the Mausoleum of Imam Khomeini. The Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for the assaults.

Additionally, Larijani said that the Islamic Republic has been grappling with terrorism for years and in recent years the scourge has affected the Muslim world.

June 20, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Israel secretly aiding Syria militants: Wall Street Journal

Press TV – June 19, 2017

Israel has been providing Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s Golan Heights with a steady flow of funds and medical supplies as part of Tel Aviv’s involvement in the bloody conflict, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The paper, citing half a dozen militant commanders and three persons familiar with Israel’s thinking, said Israel’s “secret engagement” in the war aims to install a buffer zone on the Syrian border with elements friendly to Tel Aviv.

The report quoted prominent Israeli journalist and analyst Ehud Ya’ari as saying that Israel’s operation in the occupied Golan Heights started under former minister of military affairs Moshe Ya’alon.

Israel, the Journal said, established a special military unit in 2016 to oversee and coordinate the transfer of aid to militants. According to the report, the aid helps pay salaries of the terrorists and buy weapons and ammunition.

“Israel stood by our side in a heroic way,” a spokesman for the militant group Fursan al-Joulan, Moatasem al-Golani, said, adding “We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance.”

The commander identified by the nom de guerre Abu Suhayb who leads the terrorist group told the Journal that he receives about $5,000 a month from Israel.

Fursan al-Joulan which has approximately 400 militants in Quneitra province situated in the Golan Heights said at least four allied militant groups also receive Israeli aid.

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 Six-Day War and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Tel Aviv regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri militant groups wreaking havoc in Syria.

Last April, Syrian officials and locals confiscated a vehicle loaded with Israeli-manufactured weapons bound for Daesh terrorists in the Arab country’s southern province of Suwayda. The vehicle was heading to the eastern Badiya desert from eastern Dara’a Province.

Israel has been treating the wounded militants from Syria in its medical centers and hospitals since the outbreak of the conflict in March 2011. Syrian sources have frequently reported that after receiving treatment at the Israeli hospitals, the militants return to Syria to continue their acts of sabotage and terror.

Israel has spent millions of dollars for the treatment of militants injured in fighting with Syrian government forces, documents from Israeli hospitals have shown.

The regime has also carried out multiple attacks on Syrian government positions since the militancy erupted in 2011. Damascus says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes, Wars for Israel | , , | Leave a comment

A US-Iran confrontation is just what Israel seeks – and it may get

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | June 18, 2017

The move by the US military to shift for the first time the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) into Syrian territory from Jordan signifies that the Pentagon has created a new fact on the ground. According to the CNN, the deployment will be in the military base in Al-Tanf near Syria’s border with Iraq in the south-eastern region, which is currently an area of contestation between US-backed rebel groups and Syrian government forces.

A Russian Defence Ministry statement in Moscow on Thursday noted that the deployment might suggest a US intention to attack the Iran-backed Syrian government forces. The Russian statement said:

  • The range of the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is not enough to support the US-backed units… in Raqqa. At the same time, the US-led anti-terrorist coalition has several times attacked the Syrian government forces near the Jordanian border, so it can be assumed that such attacks will continue, but this time involving the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems.

Indeed, such authoritative Russian statements, even while speculative, must be relying on intelligence inputs. Clearly, the US intentions need to be interpreted. One possibility could be that it might actually be a defensive move. The US has so far counted on other protagonists – government forces, Hezbollah, Iran, Turkey and Russia – to exercise absolute self-restraint in not confronting the American forces. This tacit understanding (or pragmatism on both sides) largely worked well so far. Although, US-Russia relations continue to deteriorate, the ‘de-confliction’ arrangement in Syria has worked well so far.

However, war is war and there is nothing like a bit of self-help in such uncertain times. The point is the HIMARS provides an alternate means to hit the adversary if air operations are not feasible for some reason – or is simply a preferable option. From all appearances, the US reportedly has plans to create military bases in southern Syria (similar to what it has done in the northern regions bordering Turkey and Iraq) and, if so, the deployment of HIMARS fits into the plan.

Suffice to say, it all boils down to the big question: What are, going ahead, the Trump administration’s politico-military intentions in Syria? At a press briefing in Baghdad on June 7, Brett McGurk, US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, maintained that the US military presence in and around Al-Tanf (near Syrian-Iraqi border) is purely temporary. While explaining the rationale for the recent US attacks on the Syrian government forces in that area, McGurk claimed that the US mission is to fight the ISIS in Syria and “when the fight against Daesh is over, we won’t be there.” But then, one thing that the Qatar crisis has shown is that the Trump administration can be diabolical.

On the other hand, Syrian government forces are interested in regaining control of their country’s border with Iraq. President Bashar Al-Assad has repeatedly insisted that he intends to regain control of the whole of Syria. And there are sufficient indications that the Syrian government forces are being deployed to regain the vast, vacant, lawless spaces in eastern Syria bordering Iraq. This Syrian military thrust has been interpreted by some commentators as aimed at opening a land route across Iraq all the way to Iran through which Tehran can beef up Hezbollah. The assumption here is that a 1000-kilometre long land bridge connecting Damascus with Tehran (via al-Tanf and Baghdad) serves the purpose.

A commentary by the Brussels-based think tank European Council on Foreign Relations – US must avoid a war with Iran in eastern Syria – cautions the Trump administration that it is bound to lose in any rivalry with Iran over control of the Syrian-Iraqi border. However, Israel is betting on a US-Iranian conflagration and it remains to be seen how far the Trump administration can withstand the pressure from the Jewish lobby.

Meanwhile, latest reports suggest that Iraqi government forces and Sunni fighters have taken control of the border crossing near Al-Tanf inside Iraq (known as al-Waleed border crossing). A Reuters report has interpreted this development as in effect “preventing Iranian-backed forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from receiving heavy weaponry from Iran by using the main highway between Iraq and Syria.” Quite obviously, a US-Iranian contestation is building up in southern Syria.

In sum, Israel might be getting what it seeks, but it is another matter altogether whether it is going to like the final outcome of the struggle between the US and Iran over control of southern Syria near Golan Heights. It is improbable that Iran will give up the ‘axis of resistance’ because it is ultimately about Iran’s own defence. Read an incisive analysis by the Middle East Eye on the joint Israeli-US game plan to work in tandem with ISIS to pile pressure on Iran to pull back from the Syrian and Iraqi theatres — The CIA and Islamic State: Iran’s twin threats.

June 18, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Oliver Stone: Israel is more dangerous than Russia

Do we have enough evidence which points to the idea that Israel has been meddling in U.S. elections and foreign affairs? Yes.

“You can’t mention Israel, Bro!”
By Jonas E. Alexis | Veterans Today | June 16, 2017

Oliver Stone probably didn’t know that he was attacking the Neoconservative hawks, warmongers, and ethnic cleansers in Washington when he told Stephen Colbert that “Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia.”[1]

That statement indeed was a political bomb, and it almost certainly took Colbert by surprise. In response to this claim, the Jewish Press declared:

“Stone was obviously pulling the old anti-Israel, leftist line about how AIPAC is controlling Washington (much the way the ‘Jews’ control Hollywood) – and in his haste to save face apparently forgot the difference between contributing to political campaigns and hacking DNC computers.”[2]

Well, obviously Stone stroke a nerve, for we all know by now that AIPAC has had and continues to have a tremendously powerful influence on U.S. foreign policy. Once again, this is not conspiracy stuff. The scholarly studies on this issue are just an embarrassment to riches:

Paul R. Pillar, Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (New York: Columbia University Pres, 2011).

Michael MacDonald, Overreach: Delusions of Regime Change in Iraq (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014).

John M. Schuessler, Deceit on the Road to War: Presidents, Politics, and American Democracy (New York: Cornell University Press, 2015).

John J. Mearsheimer, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad, The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014).

Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

Murray Friedman, The Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).

John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar & Straus, 2007).

Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack: The Definitive Account of the Decision to Invade Iraq (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004).

Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War (New York: Random House, 2006).

But the simple question is this: do we have enough evidence which points to the idea that Israel has been meddling in U.S. elections and foreign affairs? Yes.

In 1987, Jewish American Jonathan Jay Pollard was sent to prison for life for spying for Israel. In 1995, Israel publicly denied that Pollard was a spy, but recanted that statement three years later. BBC News itself declared,

“Israel has officially acknowledged for the first time that an American Jew, Jonathan Pollard, who was arrested in the United States 13 years ago, was one of its spies. Pollard, a former intelligence analyst for the United States Navy, is serving a life sentence in North Carolina for passing classified military documents to Israel. Until now, the Israeli authorities had always denied that Pollard was working under their direction.”[3]

For years the Israelis “refused to tell the United States what Pollard gave them.”[4] Then in 2010 Netanyahu made it clear that Pollard was an Israeli spy who was working for the Israeli government, “for which Israel took full responsibility.” Yet even after this admission, Ambassador Michael Oren said he hoped for Pollard’s earliest release.[5]

In 2005, Steve J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who served for twenty-three years as top officials for American Israel Public Affairs (AIPAC), were accused of similar charges. As the trial was nearing, both the Israel Lobby and the defense team “described the proceedings as a frame-up, the result of an intra-bureaucratic struggle within the government, and a plot by anti-Semites in Bush’s Justice Department to carry out a Washington pogrom.”[6]

Neither man was convicted, thanks again to their Jewish friends: “While most of the more cautious elements in the Jewish community are staying well away from this case, the radicals, such as Rabbi Avi Weiss and his AMCHA Coalition for Jewish Concerns, who have previously devoted their efforts to freeing Jonathan Pollard, have now turned their attention to Rosen and Weissman.”[7]

Neoconservative Daniel Pipes declared that “we worried about the ramifications for us [meaning Jews] if [Rosen] were found guilty.”[8] He ended the article by congratulating both Rosen and Weissman. Pulitzer winner Dorothy Rabinowitz also praised them, characterizing their actions as “activities that go on every day in Washington, and that are clearly protected under the First Amendment.”[9]

The implication seems to be that Americans spying for Israel are protected by the First Amendment. In fact, “several prominent Neocons have been investigated on credible charges of spying for Israel: Perle, Wolfowitz, Stephen Bryen, Douglas Feith, and Michael Ledeen.”[10]

“In 1970 Perle was recorded by the FBI discussing classified information with the Israeli embassy. In 1981 he was on the payroll of an Israeli defense contractor shortly before being appointed Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy…During his tenure in the Reagan administration, Perle recommended purchase of an artillery shell made by Soltan, an Israeli munitions manufacturer…

“At the present time, Perle is on the board of directors of Onset Technology, a technology company founded by Israelis Gadi Mazor and Ron Maor with research companies and investment funds. He was also a close personal friend of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.”[11]

Similarly, “Feith has been suspected of spying for Israel. In 1972 Feith was fired from a position with the National Security Council because of an investigation into whether he had provided documents to the Israeli embassy. Nevertheless, Perle, who was Assistant Secretary for International Security Policy, hired him as his ‘special counsel,’ and then as his deputy. Feith worked for Perle until 1986 when he left government service to form a law firm, Feith and Zell, which was originally based in Israel and best known for obtaining a pardon for the notorious Marc Rich during the final days of the Clinton administration.”[12]

In 1997, Army tank engineer David A. Tenenbaum “gave classified military information on Patriot missiles and armored military vehicles to Israeli officials,” which was sent “to every Israeli military liaison official posted to the command over the last 10 years.”[13]

The Israel government, of course, “denied that any inappropriate activity had taken place.”166 David Bar Illan, chief spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, put out a statement, saying, “There has been no improper contact between Tenenbaum and anybody or institution of the Israeli Government.” According to the affidavit, “Tenenbaum admitted to divulging non-releasable classified information to every Israeli liaison officer.”[14] So Tenenbaum admitted, but Israel denied.

Justin Raimondo writes that if Rabinowitz is right in saying that the actions of Jewish spies are covered by the First Amendment, then “we are all in big trouble,” since it would mean that organized Jewry is betraying the American people. In 2004, the FBI came to the same conclusion.[15] In fact, in 2003 the FBI decided not to hire Jews for Arabic translation jobs, since they tended to present an opposite story of the actual event.

In 2004, a former intelligence official who was familiar with the latest FBI probe and who had recently left government work told the Los Angeles Times, “There is a huge, aggressive, ongoing set of Israeli activities directed against the United States. Anybody who worked in counterintelligence in a professional capacity will tell you the Israelis are among the most aggressive and active countries targeting the United States.”[16]

The shocking fact is that “the FBI has investigated several incidents of suspected intelligence breaches involving Israel since the Pollard case, including a 1997 case in which the National Security Agency bugged two Israeli intelligence officials in Washington discussing efforts to obtain a sensitive U.S. diplomatic document. Israel denied wrongdoing in that case and all others, and no one has been prosecuted.”[17]

Yet World Net Daily, a thoroughly Zionist outlet, accused the FBI of fostering anti-Semitism.[18] Since the Pollard affair, the FBI has suspected Israel of espionage, gathering enough evidence that they had continuing reason for suspicion through to the Clinton administration.[19] Even the Washington Post declares that there were “possible espionage” cases in which Israel was of major concern, especially “among those who translate and oversee some of the FBI’s most sensitive, top-secret wiretaps in counterintelligence and counterterrorist investigations.”[20]

The FBI’s suspicions were firmly based on documentation, considering that they had formerly had historical confrontations with Israel and Jewish spies. Even in December of 2008, Israeli traitor Ben-Ami Kadish, then 85 years old, was arrested and pleaded guilty for passing classified documents to Israel in the 1980s. To Judge William H. Pauley III, this was a disgrace to our security, because Kadish should have been charged years ago for many more charges.[21]

Again, in 2009, scientist Stewart Nozette, who worked for years in NASA, was caught spying for Israel. The New York Times article was titled “The Scientist Who Mistook Himself for a Spy.”[22] These acts of disloyalty are quite embarrassing, yet pointing out serious cases in which the United States is being wounded from within by the Israeli regime is like finding yourself in the middle of World War III.

Even in Britain in 2010, senior officials (particularly a senior Mossad agent) in Israel were accused of forging British passports used in a plot to kill a Hamas leader in the United Arab Emirates. “Police in Dubai have already said they are ‘99% certain’ the Mossad was behind Mabhouh’s killing, and [David] Miliband’s remarks represented the first official endorsement of that view by a western government.”[23] Miliband is British Foreign Secretary.

But involvement in espionage is just the tip of the iceberg. Ludwig Fainberg was a notorious mobster; “according to the FBI, he was the middleman for an international drugs and weapons smuggling conspiracy linking Colombian drug lords with the Russian Mafia in Miami. Fainberg’s claim to fame was that in the mid-1990s, he ventured onto a high-security naval base in the far northern reaches of Russia. His mission was to negotiate the purchase of a Russian Cold War-era diesel submarine—complete with a retired naval captain and a twenty-five-men crew—for the Colombian cartel. The price tag: a cool $5.5 million…From 1990 until he was arrested and charged in Miami in February 1997 for smuggling and racketeering, Fainberg ran an infamous strip club called Spoky’s.”[24]

It has also been documented that the Mossad—the Israeli secret service—was responsible for the murder of Jewish media mogul Robert Maxwell. After Jewish journalist Seymour Hersh wrote The Sampson Option: Israel, America and the Bomb, which shows that Maxwell had secret ties with the Israeli secret service, which then decided to do away with Maxwell to prevent him from ever revealing those ties.[25]

In 2001, the FBI charged Irving D. Rubin, chairman of the Jewish Defense League—an organization “whose aim was to defend Jews with ‘all necessary means,’ including the use of violence”[26]—with conspiracy to bomb private and government property, particularly the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California, and the office of U.S. Representative Darrell Issa, an Arab-American.[27]

However, Neocon hawks and warmongers have never touched on these vitally crucial issues. Instead of discussing events like these, Neoconservatives prefer to highlight Islamic suicide bombings, keeping the average American’s focus on hating or fearing the Muslim world and away from their own subversive actions at home.

Michael Hoffman points out that “when a Jewish bus is bombed by a Palestinian, graphic photos of the carnage and interviews with survivors are immediately beamed around the world. But when Palestinians are massacred by the Israeli army, the killings are perpetrated in secret, behind the veil of a ‘closed military zone.’”[28] If the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to be resolved, we cannot afford double standards.

Pointing out terrorism in other countries is one thing, and acting in the manner of terrorism is another issue altogether. Mearsheimer and Walt write:

“Zionists used terrorism when they were trying to drive the British out of Palestine and establish their own state—for example, by bombing the King David Hotel in Jerusalem in 1946 and assassinating UN mediator Folke Bernadotte in 1948, among other acts—and the United States has backed a number of “terrorist” organizations in the past…American presidents have also welcomed a number of former terrorists to the White House (including PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, and Israeli Prime Ministers Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir, who played key roles in the main Zionist terror organizations), which merely underscores the fact that terrorism is a tactic and not a unified movement.”[29]

This brings us to our conclusion: it is really silly to say that Russia is an enemy of the United States when U.S. officials are still making diabolical pacts with the Israeli regime and even Saudi Arabia. It just doesn’t add up, and it is interesting to see that even a person like Oliver Stone is realizing that the press, the media and other news outlets are essentially shooting themselves in the toes when they are not reporting the real thing.


[1] Quoted in David Israel, “Oliver Stone Tells Colbert Israel Had More Influence than Russia on 2016 Election,” Jewish Press, June 14, 2017.

[2] Ibid.

[3] “Israel Admits It Spied on US,” BBC, May 12, 1998.

[4] “Netanyahu and Foe Tangle over Pollard,” Daily News, January 19, 1999.

[5] “Netanyahu: Pollard was an Israeli Spy,” Haaretz, June 26, 2010.

[6] Justin Raimondo, “AIPAC on Trial,” American Conservative, May 7, 2007.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Daniel Pipes, “Standing with Steven J. Rosen,” DanielPipes.org, May 5, 2009.

[9] Raimondo, “AIPAC on Trial,” American Conservative, May 7, 2007.

[10] MacDonald, Cultural Insurrections, 152.

[11] Ibid., 177.

[12] Ibid., 181.

[13] Keith Bradsher, “Army Engineer Gave Military Data to Israel,” NY Times, Feb. 20, 1997; “Civilian Engineer Gave Military Secrets to Israelis,” Washington Post, Feb. 20, 1997.

[14] Ibid.

[15] “FBI Suspects Israel Has Mole in Pentagon—CBS,” Washington Post, August 27, 2004; Curt Anderson, “Alleged Leak to Israel Probed for a Year,” Washington Post, August 28, 2004.

[16] Bob Drogin and Greg Miller, “Israel Has Long Spied on US, Says Officials,” LA Times, September 3, 2004.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Paul Sperry, “FBI: Jews Need Not Apply for Arabic Linguist Job,” WorldNetDaily.com, October 9, 2003.

[19] J. Michael Waller and Paul M. Rodriguez, “FBI Probes Espionage at Clinton White House,” Insight Magazine, May 6, 2000.

[20] James V. Grimaldi, “Two FBI Whistle-Blowers Allege Lax Security, Possible Espionage,” Washington Post, June 19, 2002.

[21] Benjamin Weiser, “Man, 85, Avoids Jail Time for Giving Military Secret,” NY Times, May 29, 2009.

[22] Robert Mackey, “The Scientist Who Mistook Himself for a Spy,” NY Times, October 21, 2009.

[23] Julian Borger, “Britain Expels Mossad Agent over Forged Passport Plot,” Guardian, March 23, 2010.

[24] See Victor Malarek, The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade.

[25] See Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy.

[26] Murray Friedman, Neoconservative Revolution: Jewish Intellectuals and the Shaping of Public Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 102.

[27] Tom Tugen, “JDL Head Arrested,” JewishJournal.com, December 13, 2001.

[28] Hoffman and Lieberman, The Israeli Holocaust Against the Palestinians, 66.

[29] Mearsheimer and Walt, The Israel Lobby, 63.

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Russophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The blockade of Qatar may have more to do with Palestine than we think

By Nasim Ahmed | MEMO | June 16, 2017

Israeli officials must have been tripping over each other in their rush to endorse the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar. “The Sunni Arab countries, apart from Qatar, are largely in the same boat with us since we all see a nuclear Iran as the number one threat against all of us,” said Israel’s former defence minister Moshe Ya’alon. The blockade represented a “new line drawn in the Middle Eastern sand,” tweeted US-born former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren, while revelling in the regional turmoil. “No longer [is it] Israel against Arabs but Israel and Arabs against Qatar-financed terror,” he added.

Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman described the crises as an opportunity for Israel and “certain” Gulf states. “It is clear to everyone, even in the Arab countries, that the real danger to the entire region is terrorism,” he insisted. The extreme right-winger added that the Saudi-led bloc had cut ties with Qatar “not because of Israel, not because of the Jews, not because of Zionism,” but “rather from fears of terrorism.”

Rejoicing over the punishment of a country which Israeli officials describe as a “pain in the ass” raises all sorts of questions, not least the connection between the siege imposed on Qatar and US legislation introduced by Republican Congressman Brian Mast to impose sanctions with respect to foreign support for “Palestinian terrorism”, and other purposes.

Introducing the bipartisan Bill (H.R. 2712 Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act of 2017) Representative Joshua Gottheimer said, “I’m proud to lead on this effort to weaken Hamas, a heinous terrorist network responsible for the death of far too many innocent civilians, both Israeli and American”. According to him, “Our bipartisan bill will ensure that anyone who provides assistance to this enemy of the United States and our vital ally Israel will face the strength and determination of our country.”

In their findings, the sponsors mentioned that Hamas had received significant financial and military support from Qatar. The sponsors cited the press conference at the Sheraton Doha in Qatar, where Hamas launched its new Document of General Principles and Policies, dubbed the movement’s new charter. “While this document was meant to convey a more moderate face to the world by referencing the 1967 borders,” the bill alleges that the “Hamas’ document, [which] neither abrogates nor replaces the founding charter… still calls for a continuation of terrorism to destroy Israel.”

The bill, which sets out to authorise sanctions on any foreign entity or government that provides support to Hamas, goes on to say that, “It shall be the policy of the United States to prevent Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), or any affiliate or successor thereof from accessing its international support networks.”

While noting the implications of the legislation, it is worth remembering that most of the proposals in this new bill are actually redundant, except for the section on Qatar. As the Arab Centre Washington DC – a research organisation furthering political, economic and social understanding between Arabs and the US — points out, the proposed law introduces sanctions already covered under existing legislation. Hamas and the PIJ are both designated as Foreign Terrorist Organisations (FTOs) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist entities (SDGTs) by the US State and Treasury Departments respectively. With that in mind, it is already illegal for US entities or institutions to support such groups. Thus, the sanctions proposed in this bill that pertain to US jurisdiction are superfluous.

Furthermore, the Arab Centre points out, formally targeting Iran is also unnecessary because Tehran has already been declared a state sponsor of terror by the State Department and prohibitions against arms export, financial and technical services and US aid to Iran are already in place. This only leaves Qatar, which would be the only new target under this legislation. The stealthy manner of the attack on Qatar did not hide the true intention of supporters of the Bill. “I am proud” said Gottheimer, “to support the Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act that will make countries like Qatar pay a price for their support for terrorism. In the fight against terrorists there is no middle ground. If you support terrorism, justice will eventually be served.”

So what has that got to do with Israel? While Israel has been unable to join the Saudi-led move to impose a blockade on Qatar directly, it hasn’t stopped it from taking part in substantial lobbying behind the scenes, with the UAE, to get what in reality is an anti-Qatar piece of legislation passed and carry out the necessary groundwork for a blockade of this magnitude.

It is alleged that the bill’s sponsors in the House include a number of lawmakers who have received substantial donations from pro-Israeli lobbyists as well as from those advocating on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Indeed, it is reported that ten US legislators sponsoring the anti-Qatar Bill have received more than $1m over the last 18 months from lobbyists and groups linked to Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Author and commentator Trita Parsi believes that the similarities between the US-allied Arab nations’ “terror list” and the H.R. 2712 bill show growing cooperation between Gulf Arab states and Israel. “The coordination between hawkish pro-Israel groups and the UAE and Saudi Arabia has been going on for quite some time,” Parsi told Al-Jazeera. What is new, he continued, is seeing pro-Israel groups such as the Foundation for Defence of Democracies “coming out with pro-Saudi [articles] and lobbying for them [the Saudis] on Capitol Hill.”

The cultivation of a political narrative to support the siege was also reported earlier this month by The Intercept. It said that emails released by a group called “Global Leaks” had shown that the UAE ambassador to the US, Yousef Al-Otaiba, and the foundation — a pro-Israel neoconservative think tank — have been working together on demonising Qatar. The emails obtained by The Intercept show FDD and UAE collaboration with journalists who published articles accusing Qatar and Kuwait of supporting “terrorism”.

It is no surprise then that the main reason given for this blockade makes little sense. For Saudi Arabia and the UAE to accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism is like the pot calling the kettle black. If there was any substance to the allegation, then the US would not have endorsed a recent arms deal with Qatar and nor would Washington maintain a major military base there. The stated reasons for the blockade have no merit whatsoever. Moreover, the blockade of Qatar cannot be examined in isolation from efforts that have been underway in the US to suppress Palestinian resistance in the name of fighting terrorism. Neither Qatar nor any of the Gulf countries benefit from this standoff whatsoever; for the main beneficiary, we must look to Israel.

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments