Alan Dershowitz – The Key To Athens

 By Gilad Atzmon

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rH1vaZXgbd0

In his recent address to the ultra-Zionist and war-mongering Stand With Us, Alan Dershowitz said;

people say Jews are too powerful, too strong, too rich, we control the media, we’ve too much this, too much that and we often apologetically deny our strength and our power. Don’t do that!”

Elder Zionist Dershowitz who acquired for himself the reputation of a “remarkable liar” (Chomsky) and a “serial plagiarist”  (Finkelstein) probably decided, just before he meets his creator, to give truth one last try.

In our world, no one can deny that Jews are “too powerful,” “too rich” or that they “control the media.” Yet no one can ignore that Jews themselves are rarely apologetic about their extensive and overblown power.  In fact, as with Dershowitz, most Jews tend to boast about the various facets of Jewish domination and, while boasting, use every trick in the book to silence anyone else who points to that power. As I have been arguing for several years, Jewish power is the ability to suppress the discussion on Jewish power.

Actually, Dershowitz’ approach here is rather refreshing. He admits that Jews are overwhelmingly powerful yet insists on presenting a rationale as to why Jews should never apologize about this overbearing and abusive power.

“WE (the Jews, presumably) have earned the right to influence public debate, WE have earned the right to be heard, WE have contributed disproportionately to success of this country.”

One may wonder who is included in that‘WE’ that has contributed so much to the ‘success’ of America. Is he referring to his client and close friend Jeffrey Epstein who pimped under-aged girls for the elites? Does Dershowitz’ ‘WE’ include Alan Greenspan who led the country to class genocide? Or perhaps his ‘WE’ denotes all those Wall Street Jewish bankers, like the Goldmans, the Sachs and  the Soroses – those who, on a daily basis, gamble on the American future and the global economy. And almost certainly, Dershowitz’ ‘WE’ includes Haim Saban and Sheldon Adelson who have managed to reduce American politics into merely an internal Zionist affair.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no doubt that some Jews have contributed greatly to America’s culture, science, finance and so on. Yet, the notion of the Jewish ‘WE,’ which Dershowitz is here pushing is highly problematic and must be questioned. While it is obvious that the Saban and Adelson lobbies for Israel and Jewish interests subscribe to Dershowitz’ ‘WE,’ it is far from clear whether the likes of Philip Roth have been contributing to American literature as an ordinary American or whether he also is part of the Dershowitz ‘WE.’

It didn’t take the old ethnic-cleansing enthusiast long to deliver his punch line.

“Never ever apologize for using our (Jewish) strength and influencein the interest of peace.”

Considering Dershowitz’ role as an advocate of wars and an apologist for a criminal state, I was perplexed by his pronouncement. I asked myself, “Who are those Jews who so use their strength and influence in the interest of peace?  Is it the Neocon school aka The Project for the New American Century, an immoral interventionist global-Zionist collective that managed to pull America and the entire West into a global war with no end? Or maybe it is the ‘pacifist’ Albert Einstein who practically launched the Manhattan Project and introduced our planet to the imminent danger of eradication? Or perhaps Dershowitz is referring to Sidney Blumenthal who enthusiastically lobbied Secretary of State Clinton into a Libyan imperial intervention while he himself invested in the rebuilding of that state. Or is it the Jewish lobby that pushes constantly for intervention in Syria and war with Iran?

I’d better admit that I’m not aware of many Jews who genuinely use their ‘influence in the interest of peace,’ but when such Jews do appear, Alan Dershowitz is always the first to throw mud at them – as Norman Finkelstein and Richard Falk can testify.

Like Dershowitz, I don’t think Jews should apologize for the crimes of their state – I’m not sure such an apology would mean anything at all.  I don’t know whether Jews should apologize for their power – for Greenspan, Wolfowitz, Madoff or Dershowitz – again, such an act would mean very little. But I do think thatwhenever you see or hearDershowitz spreading his lies, calling for wars or celebrating his usual legalist, non-ethical symptoms, bear in mind that he is a spokesperson for the Jewish national project. Everything that is wrong with choseness and tribal supremacy is personified in this man. As such, Alan Dershowitz is a valuable window into the heart of Jerusalem, there to remind us how painful the flight from Athens has been.

But at the same time, the rejection of Dershowitz and everything he stands for, is for the Western mind, a homecoming, a key to Athens, a return to forever.

The rejection of Dershowitz and everything he stands for, is the key to Athens...

The rejection of Dershowitz and everything he stands for, is the key to Athens…

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“Most of the World is Just Collapsing in Laughter” on Claims that Russia Intervened in the US Election

By Noam Chomsky

This interview took place at the University of Arizona, before a public audience, on February 2, 2017. I thank Marvin Waterstone for arranging the event, and Professor Chomsky, who approved this transcript for publication. The interview is presented in full, with only very slight editing for style. This interview originally appeared in the journal Class, Race, and Corporate Power. – D. Gibbs

March 05, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  “DC” –  David Gibbs: The main issue on everyone’s minds is the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has emphasized the extreme danger that Trump poses, due to the augmented risk of nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change. After inauguration, the Bulletin’s metaphoric clock has been repositioned at two and a half minutes to midnight, with “midnight” signifying catastrophe. Do you agree with the Bulletin regarding the alleged dangers posed by the Trump presidency?

Noam Chomsky: One of the dangers is unquestionable. Of the two existential threats – the threats to the termination of the species basically and most other species – one of them, climate change, on that I think there’s no basis for discussion. Trump has been very inconsistent on many things; on Twitter he’s been all over the place, but some of it is very consistent. That is: Do nothing about climate change except make it worse. And he’s not just speaking for himself, but for the whole Republican Party, the whole leadership. It’s already had impact, it will have worse impact. We’ll talk about this next week, but if there are ways out of this, it’s going to be not easy.

With regard to nuclear weapons, it’s kind of hard to say. He’s said lots of things. As you mentioned, the national security experts are terrified. But they’re more terrified by his personality than by his statements. So if you read people like say Bruce Blair1 one of the leading, most sober, knowledgeable specialists, he says, look, his statements are all over the map, but his personality is frightening, he’s a complete megalomaniac. You never know how he’s going to react. When he learned for example that he’d lost the election by about three million votes, his instant reaction was insanity; you know, three to five million illegal immigrants somehow were organized in some incredible fashion to vote. On any little issue – Miss Universe, or whatever it may be – he’s completely unpredictable, he’ll go off into outer space. His guru Steve Bannon is worse, he’s much scarier. He probably knows what he’s doing.

Over the years, there’s been case after case when there were very narrow decisions that had to be made about whether to launch nuclear weapons in serious cases. What is this guy going to do if his vaunted negotiating skills fail, if somebody doesn’t do what he says? Is he going to say, “Okay we’ll nuke them? We’re done?” Remember that in any major nuclear war, the first strike destroys the country that attacks; it’s been known for years. The first strike of a major power is very likely to cause what’s called nuclear winter, leads to global famine for years and everything’s basically gone. Some survivors straggling around. Could he do it? Who knows.

Some of his comments can be interpreted as potentially reducing the threat of nuclear war. The major threat right now is right on the Russian border. Notice, not the Mexican border, the Russian border. And it’s serious. He has made various statements moving towards reducing the tensions, accommodating Russian concerns and so on. On the other hand, you have to balance that against expanding our nuclear forces, add to our so-called depleted military, which is already more powerful than the rest of the world combined; attack in Syria, send forces to Syria, start bombing. Who knows what could be next? Michael Flynn, national security advisor,2 [his reaction] to the Iranian missile test the other day was very frightening. Now the missile test is ill-advised, they shouldn’t have done it. But it’s not in violation of international law or international agreements. They shouldn’t have done it. His reaction suggested maybe we’re going to go to war in retaliation. Would they do it? If they did, you don’t know what’s going to happen next. Everything could blow up.

This crazy ban on the seven states, where we can’t accept immigrants, almost every analyst points out the obvious: It just increases the threat of terror. It lays the basis for terror. It’s just like the atrocities in Abu Ghraib and Bagram and Guantanamo. They’re the most fabulous recruiting techniques for Al Qaeda and ISIS. Everyone knows it. Now, you ban not the whole Muslim world. You ban seven states, seven states that have not been responsible for a single terrorist act. Those are the seven he banned. But, you leave the ones that really are responsible, like Saudi Arabia, which is the center for propaganda and funding and so on for radical Islamic Jihadism, well you can’t touch them because of business interests, also they have oil and so on and so forth. There’s actually an article in the Washington Post, I don’t know whether it’s tongue in cheek or not, which said the criterion for being on the list of banned states is that Trump doesn’t have business interests there. Maybe. But it’s this kind of wild unpredictability, megalomania, thin-skinned craziness that really has me worried, more than his statements. Now, on the climate change there’s just nothing to say, he’s perfectly straightforward.

Gibbs: Let us turn to the role of the media in reporting alleged Russian interference in the US electoral process. Mainstream journalists have called Trump a puppet of Russia, a modern version of the Manchurian Candidate. Others have criticized the media for accepting unsubstantiated claims about Russian influence, and reporting such claims as facts. Normon Soloman and Serge Halimi, for example, stated that press reporting on this issue amounts to a mass hysteria reminiscent of the McCarthy era, while Seymour Hersh called the media reporting on Russia “outrageous.”3 What is your view of this situation? 

Chomsky: My guess is that most of the world is just collapsing in laughter. Suppose all the charges are true, I mean every single one, it is so amateurish by US standards that you can hardly even laugh. What the US does is the kind of thing I described in Italy in 1948. Case after case like that, not hacking or spreading rumors in the media; but saying look, we’re going to starve you to death or kill you or destroy you unless you vote the way we want. I mean that’s what we do.

Take the famous 9/11, let’s think about it for a minute. It was a pretty awful terrorist act. It could have been a lot worse. Now let’s suppose that instead of the plane being downed in Pennsylvania by passengers, suppose it had hit its target, which was probably the White House. Now suppose it had killed the president. Suppose that plans had been set for a military coup to take over the government. And right away, immediately 50,000 people were killed, 700,000 tortured. A bunch of economists were brought in from Afghanistan, let’s call them the “Kandahar Boys,” who very quickly destroyed the economy, and established a dictatorship which devastated the country. That would have been a lot worse than 9/11. It happened: the first 9/11, it happened on September 11, 1973, in Chile. We did it. Was that interfering or hacking a party? This record is all over the world, constantly overthrowing governments, invading, forcing people to follow what we call democracy, as in the cases I mentioned. As I say, if every charge is accurate, it’s a joke, and I’m sure half the world is collapsing in laughter about this, because people outside the United States know it. You don’t have to tell people in Chile about the first 9/11.

Gibbs: One of the surprises of the post-Cold War era is the persistence of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and other US-led alliances. These alliances were created during the Cold War mainly or exclusively for containing the claimed Soviet threat. In 1991, the USSR disappeared from the map, but the anti-Soviet alliance systems persisted and in fact expanded. How do we account for the persistence and expansion of NATO? What in your view is the purpose of NATO after the Cold War?

Chomsky: We have official answers to that. It’s a very interesting question, which I was planning to talk about but didn’t have time. So thanks. It’s a very interesting question. For fifty years, we heard NATO is necessary to save Western Europe from the Russian hordes, you know the slave state, stuff I was taking about. In 1990-91, no Russian hordes. Okay, what happens? Well there are actually visions of the future system that were presented. One was Gorbachev. He called for a Eurasian security system, with no military blocs. He called it a Common European Home. No military blocs, no Warsaw Pact, no NATO, with centers of power in Brussels, Moscow, Ankara, maybe Vladivostok, other places. Just an integrated security system with no conflicts.

That was one. Now the other vision was presented by George Bush, this is the “statesman,” Bush I and James Baker his secretary of state. There’s very good scholarship on this incidentally. We really know a lot about what happened, now that all the documents are out. Gorbachev said that he would agree to the unification of Germany, and even adherence of Germany to NATO, which was quite a concession, if NATO didn’t move to East Germany. And Bush and Baker promised verbally, that’s critical, verbally that NATO would not expand “one inch to the east,” which meant East Germany. Nobody was talking about anything farther at the time. They would not expand one inch to the east. Now that was a verbal promise. It was never written. NATO immediately expanded to East Germany. Gorbachev complained. He was told look, there’s nothing on paper. People didn’t actually say it but the implication was look, if you are dumb enough to take faith in a gentleman’s agreement with us, that’s your problem. NATO expanded to East Germany.

There’s very interesting work, if you want to look into it by a young scholar in Texas named Joshua Shifrinson, it appeared in International Security, which is one of the prestige journals, published by MIT.4 He goes through the documentary record very carefully and he makes a pretty convincing case that Bush and Baker were purposely deceiving Gorbachev. The scholarship has been divided on that, maybe they just weren’t clear or something. But if you read it, I think it’s quite a convincing case, that they were purposely setting it up to deceive Gorbachev.

Okay, NATO expanded to East Berlin and East Germany. Under Clinton NATO expanded further, to the former Russian satellites. In 2008 NATO formally made an offer to Ukraine to join NATO. That’s unbelievable. I mean, Ukraine is the geopolitical heartland of Russian concern, quite aside from historical connections, population and so on. Right at the beginning of all of this, serious senior statesmen, people like Kennan for example and others warned that the expansion of NATO to the east is going to cause a disaster.5 I mean, it’s like having the Warsaw Pact on the Mexican border. It’s inconceivable. And others, senior people warned about this, but policymakers didn’t care. Just go ahead.

Right now, where do we stand? Well right at the Russian border, both sides have been taking provocative actions, both sides are building up military forces. NATO forces are carrying out maneuvers hundreds of yards from the Russian border, the Russian jets are buzzing American jets. Anything could blow up in a minute. In a minute, you know. Any incident could instantly blow up. Both sides are modernizing and increasing their military systems, including nuclear systems.

So what’s the purpose of NATO? Well actually we have an official answer. It isn’t publicized much, but a couple of years ago, the secretary-general of NATO made a formal statement explaining the purpose of NATO in the post-Cold War world is to control global energy systems, pipelines, and sea lanes. That means it’s a global system and of course he didn’t say it, it’s an intervention force under US command, as we’ve seen in case after case. So that’s NATO. So what happened to the years of defending Europe from the Russian hordes? Well, you can go back to NSC-68,6 and see how serious that was. So that’s what we’re living with.

Right now the threat to our existence is Muslim terrorists from seven states, who have never had a single terrorist act. About half the population believes that. I mean you look back at American history and American culture, it’s pretty striking. I mean this has been the safest country in the world forever, and the most frightened country in the world. That’s a large part of the source of the gun culture. You have to have a gun when you go into Starbucks, because who knows what’s going to happen. It just doesn’t happen in other countries.

There’s something deeply rooted in American culture. You can pretty much identify what it was. You take a look at the history. Remember, the US is not a global power until pretty recently. It was internal conquest. You had to defend yourself against what the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, an enlightened figure, called the attacks of the “merciless Indian savages,” whose known way of warfare was torture and destruction. Jefferson wasn’t a fool. He knew that it was the merciless English savages who were carrying out these acts. That is in the Declaration of Independence, recited piously every July Ffourth, the merciless Indian savages with no reason at all were suddenly attacking us. I mean, you can imagine the reasons. That’s one. Also you had a slave population, you had to protect yourself against them. You needed guns. One consequence of that was in southern culture, possession of a gun became kind of a sign of manhood, not just because of slaves but other white men. If you had a gun, you’re not going to push me around. You know, I’m not one of those guys you can kick in the face.

There was another element, which was kind of interesting. In the mid to late nineteenth century, the gun manufacturers recognized that they had a limited market. Remember that this is a capitalist society, you’ve got to expand your market. They were selling guns to the military. That’s a pretty limited market. What about all the rest of the people? So what started was all kinds of fantastic stories about Wyatt Earp and the gunmen and the Wild West, how exciting it was to have these guys with guns defending themselves against all sorts of things.

I grew up in that, when I was a kid. My friends and I used to play cowboys and Indians. We were cowboys killing the Indians, following the Wild West stories. All of this combined into a very strange culture, which is frightened. You look at the polls today, I think half the population supports this ban on these dangerous immigrants who are going to come in and do something, who knows what. And meanwhile the countries that really have been involved in terrorism, they’re out. It’s kind of like I think it was Oklahoma banning Sharia law. Now there’s probably fifty Muslims in Oklahoma, and they have to ban Sharia law, you know. This terror which is all over the country is constantly incited. The Russians were part of NSC-68, is a dramatic case. And that case, like most propaganda wasn’t totally fabricated. The Russians were doing a lot of rotten things, you can point to them. But the idea that if you consider what Hans Morgenthau called “I called abuse ofe reality,” the picture of the world was almost the opposite of what they presented. But somehow this sells and is continually repeated, at least in this kind of situation.

Gibbs: During the Cold War, the political left generally opposed military intervention. After 1991, however, the anti-interventionist movement collapsed and in its place has emerged the idea of humanitarian interventionism, which celebrates intervention as a defense of human rights. Military actions in the Balkans, Iraq, Libya have all been presented as acts of humanitarianism, which aimed to liberate oppressed peoples, and these interventions were at least initially popular among political liberals. Proposals for augmented US intervention in Syria often invoke the humanitarian principle. What is your view of humanitarian intervention?

Chomsky: Well, I don’t quite see it like that. Now, if you look back to the anti-intervention movements, what were they? Let’s take the Vietnam War – the biggest crime since the Second World War. Those of you who are old enough will remember what happened. You couldn’t be opposed to the war for years. The mainstream liberal intellectuals were enthusiastically in support of the war. In Boston, a liberal city where I was, we literally couldn’t have a public demonstration without it being violently broken up, with the liberal press applauding, until late 1966. By that time there were hundreds of thousands of American troops rampaging in South Vietnam. South Vietnam had been practically destroyed. The leading, the most respected Vietnam historian, military historian Bernard Fall7 – he was a hawk incidentally, but he cared for the Vietnamese – he said it wasn’t clear to him whether Vietnam could survive as a historical and cultural entity under the most massive attack that any region that size had ever suffered. He was talking about South Vietnam, incidentally. By that time, we did begin to get some protests. But not from liberal intellectuals; they never opposed the war.

In fact, it’s pretty dramatic when you get to 1975, very revealing, the war ends. Everybody had to write something about the war, what it meant. And you also had polls of public opinion, and they’re dramatically different. So if you look at the writings of intellectuals, there are two kinds. One said, l“Look, if we fought harder we could have won.” You know, the stab in the back. But the others, who were way at the left, people like Anthony Lewis of the New York Times, way out in left stream, his view in 1975 was the Vietnam war began with blundering efforts to do good. But by 1969, it was clear that it was a disaster, that was too costly to us. We could not bring democracy to South Vietnam at a cost that we were willing to accept. So it was a disaster. That’ is the left extreme.

Take a look at public opinion. About 70 percent of the population, in the polls, said the war was fundamentally wrong and immoral, not a mistake. And that attitude lasted as long as polls were taken in the early ‘80s. The pollsters don’t ask reasons, they just give numbers. So why did the people think it was fundamentally wrong and immoral? The guys who ran the polls, John E. Rielly, a professor at the University of Chicago, a liberal professor, he said what that means is that people thought too many Americans had beenwere being killed. Maybe. Another possibility is they didn’t like the fact that we were carrying out the worst crime since the Second World War. But that’s so inconceivable that wasn’t even offered as a possible reason.

Now what happened in the following years? Well, I think that among the educated classes it stayed the same. You talk about humanitarian intervention, it’s like Vietnam was a humanitarian intervention. Among the public, it’s quite different. Take the Iraq War, , it’s the second worst crime after the Second World War. It’s the first time in history, in the history of imperialism, there were huge demonstrations, before the war was officially launched. Actually it was already under way. But before it was officially launched, there were huge demonstrations everywhere. I think it had an effect. The public still was split.

And [after Vietnam] the type of interventions that are carried out are designed so as not to elicit public reactions. In fact, it was stated early in the first Bush [presidency], Bush I, in one of their documents they pointed out in the future, US wars are going to be against much weaker enemies. And they have to be won quickly and decisively before a popular reaction develops. And Iif you take a look, that’s what’s done. Look at Panama, for instance, over a couple of days; and Kosovo, no American troops. You wrote a great book about it.8 But I’m not convinced that it’s different from what it was.

Gibbs: With the end of the Cold War, there has been a decline of activism in the US and elsewhere around the issue of nuclear disarmament. Once again, this state of affairs differs from the period of the Cold War, when there was a mass movement that opposed nuclear weapons – recall the Freeze movement from the 1980s — but this movement largely disappeared after 1991. The danger of nuclear war remains as high as ever, but there is little public engagement on this issue, it would seem. How would you explain the disappearance of the anti-nuclear movement?

Chomsky: Well that’s absolutely right. The peak of anti-nuclear popular activism was in the early ‘80s, when there was a huge movement. And the Reagan administration attempted decided to defuse it and partially succeeded, by presenting the illusion of Star Wars, SDI, that somehow we’re going to eliminate nuclear weapons. The Reagan administration picked up the rhetoric of the anti-nuclear movement; they said “Yyeah, you’re right.” We have to eliminate nuclear weapons. And the way we’re going to do it is by having SDI, TStar Wars, the Strategic Defense Initiative, which prevent nuclear weapons from impacting. Well, that did defuse the movement.

And whthen the Russians collapsed, and it looked like as if maybe we can reduce the nuclear tensions. And for a while they actually were reduced. There was a reduction of nuclear weaponsreally were reduced on both sides. Various steps were taken. Nowhere near enough, but some of them were taken.

On the other hand, it’s very important to understand the official position of the United States. You should read it. So in 1995, this is Clinton, a very important document came out, still classified, but large parts of it were declassified. It’s called “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence.”9 What does post-Cold War deterrence mean? Deterrence means use of nuclear weapons. This was released by the Strategic Command, which was in charge of nuclear weapons planning and running nuclear weapons. I wrote about it when it came out and have been writing about it since. . Since then, I’ve never seen a reference to it. But it is an amazing document. Here’s what it says basically: It says we have to maintain the right of first strike, the right of the first use of nuclear weapons, even against nonnuclear powers. Nuclear weapons, they point out, are really constantly used, because they cast a shadow over other military actions. In other words, when people know we are ready to use nuclear weapons, they’re going to back off if we do something aggressive. So basically, nuclear weapons are always being used.

Now that’s a point that Dan Ellsberg has made for years. He said it’s kind of like if you and I go into a grocery store to rob it, and I have a gun. The guy may give you the money in the cash register. I’m using the gun even if I don’t shoot. Well that’s nuclear weapons — essential to post-war deterrence — they cast a shadow over everything. Then, it goes on to say that we must present a national persona of being irrational and vindictive, because that’s going to terrify people. And then, they’ll back off. And this is not Trump, this is Clinton. It’s not Nixon, you know. We have to be irrational and vindictive, because that’s going to frighten people. And we have to maintain this for years. And then we’ll be able to carry out the actions that we want to carry out.

That’s our nuclear weapons strategy, as of the early post-Cold War years. And I think this is a real failure of the intellectual community, including scholarship and the media. It’s not like you had headlines all over the place. And it’s not secret, the documents are there. And I think that’s probably the right picture. You know, people talk about Nixon’s “madman theory.” We don’t really know much about that. It was in memoirs, by somebody else.10 But this is real. This is the real mad man theory. We have to be irrational and vindictive, so people don’t know what we’re up to. This is not Trump and Bannon, it’s from the Clinton era.

Gibbs: I think we have time for one more question. In popular discussion, the phrase “national security” has come to mean security against military threats almost exclusively. This narrative downgrades the significance of nonmilitary threats, such as climate change, antibiotic resistant bacteria, or viral epidemics. It would seem that there is an imbalance between perceived military threats, which receive overwhelming governmental funding and press attention on the one hand, and nonmilitary threats, which receive relatively little on the other hand. How do we account for the apparent overemphasis on military threats?

Chomsky: Well [with] military threats, you can see them actually, you can imagine it. People don’t think about it enough. But Iif you think about it for a minute, you can see that a nuclear attack could be the end of everything. These other threats are kind of slow, maybe we won’t see them next year. Maybe the science is uncertain, maybe we don’t have to worry about it. Climate change is the worst, but there’s others.

Take pandemics. There could easily be a severe pandemic. A lot of that comes from something we don’t pay much attention to: Eating meat. The meat production industry, the industrial production of meat, uses an immense amount of antibiotics. I don’t remember the exact figure, it’s probably like half the antibiotics. Well antibiotics have an effect: They lead to mutations that make them ineffective. We’re now running out of antibiotics that deal with the threat of rapidly mutating bacteria. A lot of that just comes from the meat production industry. Well, do we worry about it? Well, we ought to be. You go into a hospital now, it’s dangerous. We can get diseases that can’t be dealt with, that are moving around the hospital. A lot of that traces back to industrial meat production. These are really serious threats, all over the place.

Take something you really don’t think about: Plastics in the ocean. I mean plastics in the ocean have an enormous ecological effect. When geologists announced the beginning of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, humans destroying the environment, one of the main things they pointed to is the use of plastics in the earth. We don’t think about it, but it has a tremendous effect. But these are things you don’t see right in front of your eyes. You need to think about them a little, to see what the consequences are. It’s easy to put them aside, and the media don’t talk about them. Other things are more important. How am I going to put food on the table tomorrow? That’s what I’ve got to worry about, and so on. It’s very serious, but it’s hard to bring out the enormity of these issues, when they do not have the dramatic character of something you can show in the movies, with a nuclear weapons falling and everything disappears.

Notes

1 For the recent opinions of Princeton University nuclear weapons specialist Bruce G. Blair, see Blair, “Trump and the Nuclear Keys,” New York Times, October 12, 2016.

2 Note that Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security advisor on February 13, 2017, several days after this interview took place

3 See Solomon, “Urgent to Progressives: Stop Fueling Anti-Russia Frenzy,” Antiwar.com, December 21, 2016, http://original.antiwar.com/solomon/2016/12/20/urgent-progressives-stop-fueling-anti-russia-frenzy/; Halimi, January, 2017, ; Jeremy , “Seymour Hersh Blasts Media for Uncritically Reporting Russian Hacking Story,”

4?: The End of the Cold War and the US Offer to Limit NATO Expansion,” International Security 40, no. 4, 2016.

5 On George F. Kennan’s warning about the dangers of NATO expansion, see Thomas L. Friedman, “Foreign Affairs: Now a Word from X,” New York Times, May 2, 1998.

6 Here, Chomsky references the National Security Council memorandum NSC-68, one of the key documents of the Cold War. This document was the topic of Chomsky’s lecture, which preceded the interview. The document text is now fully declassified and available online. See “A Report to the National Security Council – NSC 68,” April 14, 1950, made available through the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library, https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/coldwar/documents/pdf/10-1.pdf .

7 Regarding Bernard Fall’s writings on Vietnam, see Fall, Last Reflections on a War. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967.

8 The book Chomsky references with regard to the Kosovo intervention is David N. Gibbs, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009.

9 This e full text of this declassified document is now available online. See US Department of Defense, Strategic Command, “Essentials of Post-Cold War Deterrence,” 1995 [no exact date indicated], made available through provided by the Federation of American Scientists, Nuclear Information Project,http://www.nukestrat.com/us/stratcom/SAGessentials.PDF.

10 The idea that President Richard Nixon subscribed to a “madman” theory of international relations first appeared in the memoir by former Nixon aide H. R. Haldeman, in Haldeman and Joseph DiMona, The Ends of Power. New York: Times Books, 1978, p. 98.

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حين يكون العدوان… وساماً

عادل سمارة

كتبت لي صديقة عروبية هذا الصباح بأنها تشعر بالإهانة بسبب الغزوة الصهيونية على مطار المزة في سورية. نعم وأنا أشعر كذلك، ولكن لديّ شعور آخر هو أنّ ذلك العدوان وسام لسورية. لماذا؟ سورية اليوم أشبه بمناضل في التحقيق؟ أليس خضوعه للتعذيب بطولة؟ وهل كونه اعتقل هو إدانة له، أم وسام؟ ذلك لأنّ سياق المرحلة هو عدوان معولم على سورية. هذه هي الحقيقة.

واللافت أنّ الأعداء يعلنون بأنهم يقومون بالعدوان، سواء بالإرهابيين أو التسليح او التمويل أو الإعلام أو حتى الجنس. بينما كثيرون منا يرون أنّ الموقف من غزوة الكيان يجب أن يكون بالردّ العسكري المباشر كأنّ الأمر ملاكمة فردية.

ما سأقوله قد يبدو تكراراً لما هو معروف، ولكنني دائماً أميل إلى التأصيل مخافة عامل النسيان وانشغال الناس في اليومي بينما الأعداء ينشغلون في اليومي والاستراتيجي.

مشروع الثورة المضادة هو سحق المشروع العروبي وليس إضعافه. ومن هنا يصبح اشتراك الكيان في العدوان على سورية حتمياً بعد ان تمّ الإجهاز على مصر وليبيا والعراق واستمرار العدوان على اليمن والتحضير ضدّ حزب الله. وفي هذا السياق علينا جميعاً أن نتذكّر بأنّ كثيرين منا ولأسباب جانبية سقطوا في مباركة احتلال العراق وليبيا. آهٍ لضيق الأفق الذي يقارب الخيانة بلا وعي وقصد. ثم الآن نجد من يدفعون سورية إلى حرب جديدة!

دائماً، علينا وضع ايّ عدوان ولو رصاصة واحدة في سياق طبيعة الصراع، وإلا سنشعر بالإهانة، ومن ثمّ ربما بتهالك العزيمة، وهذا لا يخدم إعادة بناء المشروع العروبي واستعادة الشارع العربي.

لنضع الأمر في سياقه الصحيح، بل لنرى سياقه الصحيح وهو معروض أمامنا حتى على شاشات التخدير التي للأسف غدت افيون العرب.

لا يمكننا قراءة هذا العدوان بعيداً عن السياق الاستراتيجي والتاريخي لوجوده واستمراره.

ففي الصراع مع الكيان الصهيوني، أو في قيامه بعدوان، لا بدّ من وضع الأمر في السياق التالي، وهو ليس تبريراً لسورية ولكن، كما أعتقد قراءة واقعية تقوم مسألتان: تاريخية ولحظية.

في المستوى التاريخي، علينا الأخذ الجدي باعتبار ما يلي:

1 – الكيان هو كلّ الغرب والحرب معه هي مع الغرب، وإلا كيف لدويلة قميئة كالدنمارك ان تشارك في قصف الجيش العربي السوري في دير الزور؟

2 – بل اليوم العدوان أوسع من الغرب، وإلا فما معنى اشتراك 93 دولة وضخ 360 ألف إرهابي ضدّ سورية.

3- الحدّ الأدنى للحرب مع هذا العدو المعولم/ الثورة المضادة يتطلب دور كلّ العرب… وكلّ العرب غائبون أو أعداء.

4 – أية أرض عربية تسقط أو تُحتلّ يجب ان تقاوم ولكن وحدها لا تستطيع هزيمة العدو المعولم.

5 – حاولت سورية الوصول الى توازن استراتيجي مع الكيان ولذا تعرّضت لما تتعرّض له اليوم.

لهذه الأسباب سورية لا يمكنها الردّ وحدها لا سيما وهي في حرب معولمة. وكلّ مزايدات في هذا السياق، كالحديث عن استعادة الجولان ليس سوى ثرثرة حمقاء بحقنة من الأعداء.

وفي المستوى اللحظي، فإنّ هذا العدوان الصهيوني مرتبط بأكثر من أمر:

1 – تحرير حلب مما أكد أننا أخذنا نرى نور ما بعد الانتصار.

2 – هذا العدوان تبهير لمؤتمر العملاء من السوريين في معهد ترومان في القدس المحتلة. وللإسم معناه، فترومان هو الرئيس الأميركي الذي اعترف بالكيان 1948.

3 – في نفس الفترة اكتشفت الجزائر شبكة تجسّس مما يؤكد أنّ العدوان المعولم، حتى لو رأس حربته الصهيونية، فهو يشمل العالم العربي بأسره. ولنتذكر أنّ «ابطال ثورة الناتو» في ليبيا أعطوا الكيان قاعدة عسكرية فوراً عام 2011. ولا أعتقد انها لضرب قصور آل سعود.

4 – كما ترافق مع التأكيد من العدو الأميركي على نقل سفارة أميركا إلى القدس. هذا مع أنني أعتقد أنّ القدس ليست أغلى من حيفا. ذلك لأنّ المبالغة في القدس تعني تقزيم الوطن لصالح مدينة ومن ثم المدينة لصالح الأقصى والأقصى ربما لمحراب صلاح الدين. وكلّ ذلك لحصر الصراع كأنه ديني.

5 – يأتي العدوان في وقت تتكثف غيوم العدوان العربي التركي الغربي المعولم على جنوب سورية.

6 – ويأتي العدوان ووفد من المغرب يزور الكيان مكوناً من ساسة ومثقفين إلخ… وبالمناسبة، وحتى قبل العدوان على سورية نحن في صراع مباشر مع ثلاثة كيانات معادية بنفس المستوى: الكيان الصهيوني في الوسط، تركيا في الشرق، والنظام المغربي في غرب العالم العربي.

7 – وقد تكون خاتمة هذه العوامل ما قاله أوباما في خطاب الوداع: لن تكون دولة فلسطينية. وهذا حقيقة هو موقف اميركا. وهو يكشف بأنّ كل رئيس أميركي سواء بقي دورة او اثنتين، فهو كذب على مدار رئاسته.

8 – ويأتي العدوان وروسيا على مشارف مؤتمر أستانة، إلى جانب إعلان تقليص قواتها كمقدّمة لتلطيف مناخ المؤتمر الذي يتأرجح بين الانعقاد والتعقيد.

ربما أختم بملاحظة تؤكد مجمل القول أعلاه، بأنّ المعسكر العدو/ الثورة المضادة لن تتردّد في حال هزيمة الكيان بأن تلجا إلى الخيار النووي، وهناك شاهدان على هذا:

الأول: ما قامت به الولايات المتحدة في حرب تشرين الأول/ اكتوبر 1973 حيث جهّزت في الطائرات أحد عشر قنبلة

والثانية ما قاله ثعلب الليبرالية الصهيوني نعوم تشومسكي منذ زمن بانّ الكيان في حال أشرف على الهزيمة سوف يلجأ للنووي، وهو هنا ليس بناء على تحليل، بل أعتقد نتيجة تواصل وارتباط.

من هنا، فالحرب طويلة، وخطوة الانتصار الأولى بقاء سورية، وبعدها لكلّ حادث حديث ولكلّ حرب حرب…

End of the US Empire: Russian Warships Just Arrived in the Philippines

By Darius Shahtahmasebi

January 06, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “ANTIMEDIA” – Notable American foreign policy critic and linguist, Professor Noam Chomsky, has stated numerous times that the United States’ power has steadily been declining since the end of World War II. As Chomsky notes, in 1945, the United States had “literally half the world’s wealth, incredible security, controlled the entire Western Hemisphere, both oceans, [and[ the opposite sides of both oceans.”

In that context – and in the context of the United States waging war in multiple countries across the globe with the most advanced military technology in the world – it is hard to understand how this has happened. But Chomsky is not wrong.

Beginning with what was referred to as the “loss of China” in the 1940s, the United States slowly began to lose areas of Southeast Asia, which led America to brutally launch the Indochina wars. As Chomsky notes, by destroying South Vietnam in the heavily criticized Vietnam War — a move designed to prevent Vietnam from achieving independence and perhaps becoming a Communist state — the U.S. sent a message to the rest of Indochina that if a nation attempted to break free of U.S-European control, it would likely be bombed into oblivion. The strategy worked at the time; as Chomsky notes, by 1965, every country in the region had dictatorships that were prepared to rule in a way suitable to America’s foreign policy interests. As recent developments in the Asian region have shown, however, the success of this bully-style strategy has been short-lived indeed.

Regardless, the United States has also lost South America. According to Chomsky, the “loss” of South America is easily observable:

“One sign is that the United States has been driven out of every single military base in South America. We’re trying to restore a few, but right now there are none.”

Over the course of the last few decades, the United States has begun to lose the Middle East, as well. In Iraq, the United States helped support Saddam Hussein’s rise to power and went so far to support his war of aggression against neighboring Iran. Then, the U.S. turned its back on Hussein, attacking Iraq in 1991 under the presidency of George H.W. Bush. As a result, the U.S. learned at least one valuable lesson from bombing Iraq in the early nineties: that Russia was not going to intervene in America’s ambitions in the Middle East.

The Middle East was, therefore, ripe for the taking, and this continued to be the case up until the Syrian war. What people fail to understand, however, is that the United States is not bombing the Middle East into submission because of its immense power, but because it is losing its power, influence, and control throughout the region.

As should be quite clear to anyone following the conflict, Russia has replaced the United States as judge, jury, and executioner (and supposed peace broker) in the five-year Syrian war, successfully retaking the major city of Aleppo from NATO-backed rebel groups.

Russia’s advances in the Middle East have spilled over to the rest of the world. In October of last year, the U.S. officially “lost” its stranglehold over the Philippines. Though it was previously seen as an integral ally U.S. ally vital to countering China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Philippines openly and proudly boasted about their new ties with Russia and China.

As it transpires, the Philippines has put its money where its mouth is. Russian warships arrived in Filipino territory this Tuesday. According to the Philippines’ Navy, the visit is merely a “goodwill visit,” but the future of joint exercises is to be discussed. A report from Russia’s state-run Sputnik News seemed to contradict this, stating the ships were there specifically to conduct joint exercises with Philippine forces for the purposes of fighting maritime piracy and terrorism.

“You can choose to cooperate with United States of America or to cooperate with Russia,” Russian Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov said, speaking at the Manila Harbor.“But from our side we can help you in every way that you need. We are sure that in the future we’ll have exercises with you. Maybe just maneuvering or maybe use of combat systems and so on.”

Mikhailov also seemed to indicate that other players in the region, such as China and Malaysia, would coordinate with the potential training exercises within the next few years. Russia has also offered the Philippines sophisticated weaponry, including aircraft and submarines.

The United States has only one move left: surround Russia’s borders with NATO troops and missiles, which they are doing quite rapidly. Sooner or later, however, the United States will have to admit its very real decline in world standing and will have no choice but to learn to coordinate global affairs with the likes of Russia and China.

Let’s face it — what is the alternative?

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Information Clearing House editorial policy.

Duterte visits Russian destroyer, wants Moscow to be ally & protector: “We welcome our Russian friends. Anytime you want to dock here for anything, for play, for replenish supplies or maybe our ally to protect us,” Duterte said as cited by Reuters

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

Phyllis Bennis’ Delusions of ‘Massive Opposition’ to Israel Evaporate Under Harsh Light of Reality

Aletho News

By Jeff Blankfort | Dissident Voice | September 26, 2016

There is massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States today, particularly importantly in the Jewish community, where there’s been an enormous shift in that discourse.

So you still have organizations, right-wing organizations like AIPAC that include very wealthy donors, no doubt, but they no longer can even make the claim–which was probably never true, but it certainly is no longer true–that they speak for the majority, let alone all, of the Jewish community.

You now have an organization like J Street in the center. You have Jewish Voice for Peace on the left, which has over 200,000 supporters across the country. So you have a very different scenario now of where public opinion is.

— Phyllis Bennis, interviewed on The Real News Network, September 14, 2016

Massive opposition to Israeli actions in the United States? Within the Jewish community? Who does Phyllis Bennis thinks she’s kidding and, as importantly, why is she doing so? That there is no sign of any activity or combination of activities in the US opposing Israel’s actions that qualify as massive among the larger public and definitely not within the Jewish community should be patently as well as painfully obvious.

Her comment becomes even more mystifying since it came on the day that Barack Obama announced that the US would award Israel a record breaking $38 billion in arms over the decade beginning in 2018. What opposition there was to the deal on the part of the public, much less the Jewish community, was barely visible.

This had been reflected a month earlier in the Democratic Party’s decision to bar any reference to Israel’s occupation or illegal settlement construction in its platform which was then approved without so much as a whimper by the convention delegates.  A week before, the Republicans, stepping back from their traditional lip service to the two-state illusion, discarded any notion that Israel would be obliged to surrender land to the Palestinians for their own state at any time in the future.

Bennis, speaking to The Real News Network’s Jaisal Noor, incredibly, portrayed the humiliating Democratic platform defeat as a victory:

I think he [Obama] is seriously misreading where the American people are at, where the Democratic Party is, where the public discourse on this question has shifted. I think he’s acting as if this was 20 years ago and no politician could do wrong by being more supportive than the other guy of Israel.

Now that’s not the case anymore. We saw that during the debate over the language on Israel and Palestine in the Democratic Party platform debate. (Emphasis added)

While it is true that there is less support for Israel among the youth and the Democratic Party’s base, what we learned from that debate was the degree to which the Congressional Black Caucus, including one of its most “liberal” members, Barbara Lee, is under the thumb of the Israel Lobby. Lee, appointed to the committee by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, cast the critical vote in the platform committee that eliminated any reference to Israel’s illegal occupation or the ongoing construction of Jewish settlements.

How Bennis could put a positive spin on that outcome should raise concerns not only about her judgment but also her agenda.

Despite the fact that it had been the subject of discussion in the US and Israeli media for more than a year, there was no attempt to mobilize opposition to the arms package for Israel, about which Bennis was being interviewed, by either Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) or the US Campaign to End Israel Occupation (USCEIO), the two largest organizations, ostensibly working for justice in Palestine over which Bennis appears to act as an éminence grise.

Bennis did not mention nor had either organization expressed support for or even note on their websites, the first of its kind lawsuit filed by the Institute for Research: Middle East Policy’s Grant Smith on August 8 that would block the announced arms deal on the basis of long standing US law that prohibits US aid to non-signatories of the nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty known to have nuclear weapons.

That Bennis, moreover, presented J Street in a positive light at that moment strongly suggests that projecting a positive image of the Jewish community within the Left and in the eyes of the larger public is her primary motivation.

J Street, after all, is nothing more than a light beer version of AIPAC. It was created for Jewish liberals whose self-image requires the display of an occasional whiff of conscience, but nothing that would jeopardize Israel’s domination of Washington. It was in such full applause mode over the arms deal that it issued a statement, welcoming it, on September 13, the day before the White House officially announced it:

J Street warmly welcomes the conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the United States and Israel that will ensure Israel’s security and its qualitative military advantage over any potential enemy for the next 10 years.

We congratulate President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu as well as all those who worked hard to produce this agreement, which represents the biggest pledge of US military assistance made to any country in our nation’s history.

And Jewish Voice for Peace? In a statement on the group’s website, JVP director, Israel-American dual citizen Rebecca Vilkomerson, after acknowledging that the deal had been “in months of negotiation,” declared that, As a result, the US is effectively underwriting Israel’s occupation and apartheid policies towards the Palestinians.”

True and well said, Rebecca, but what had JVP been doing to stop it during those months? And in the two weeks since, knowing that it is Congress that must ultimately approve the deal? Apparently nothing, judging from the constant stream of requests for money that arrive in my email box daily.

Rather ineffectively, if measured by the paucity of results, it has also been pushing for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) targeting companies doing business in the West Bank, giving it the appearance, if not the substance, of “doing something” for the Palestinian cause.

With steely determination, its leadership was also continuing a behind the scenes campaign to vilify and marginalize an individual and an organization, without the payroll and national outreach of JVP, that was attempting a nation-wide effort to alert the American people to the latest transfer of their earnings to Israel, namely Alison Weir and her organization, appropriately named “if Americans Knew.”

Through billboards, bus cards, bumper stickers, simulated checks, and postcards, carrying the slogan, “Stop the Blank Check for Israel,” Weir has made a tireless effort to inform all Americans, but particularly those without any vested interest in either Israel or Palestine, (who constitute the majority) about what is being done for Israel by the US government and members of Congress in their name. A useful exercise for readers would be to compare the If Americans Knew website with that of Jewish Voice for Peace.

Weir’s crime in the eyes of her critics is that she has ignored the Left choir and its gatekeepers and expressed a healthy willingness to speak to any group or media host that asks for her views on the largely hidden history of Israel’s domestic Zionist operations going back to World War One.  Several of those talk show hosts, which amount to a tiny fraction of Weir’s overall efforts, her attackers find objectionable even though some of them have appeared on the same programs.

Weir also has had the temerity to make exposing the cover-up by Congress and the media of Israel’s attack on the USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt during the 1967 war a critical part of her work. The unprovoked assault on a clearly marked intelligence ship by Israel’s air force and navy left 34 US sailors dead and 171 wounded. The subject is as off-limits for Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, as well as the entire American Left, as it has been for the Jewish establishment. (The implications of that are worthy of an entire article by itself.)

Weir’s slim but fact-packed, copiously foot noted paperback, “Against Our Better Judgment” detailing the obscured activities of the Zionist Lobby both before and after Israeli statehood, has sold more than 27,000 copies on Amazon and, apart from making them more than a trifle jealous, has, I suspect, been an irritant to JVP and USCEIO whose founder and current policy director, Josh Ruebner, is, like JVP’s Vilkomerson, an Israel-US dual citizen. (This apparently raises no questions as would, say, if white South Africans had played prominent roles in the American anti-apartheid movement.)

What JVP really appears to be about is establishing the acceptable parameters within which those who support justice for Palestine can criticize Israel or Jewish support for it without being labeled anti-Semitic.

The latest target of Vilkomerson is Miko Peled, the son of former Israeli major general, Matti Peled, the only representative of Israel’s top military echelon ever to advocate for Palestinian justice.

Living in San Diego and now a US citizen, Peled has become one of Israel’s most forthright critics and supporters of the BDS movement but fell afoul of Vilkomerson over a tweet that she considered to be anti-Semitic.

Responding to the announcement of the arms deal, Peled tweeted, “Then theyr surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves #apartheidisrael doesn’t need or deserve these $$.” Vilkomerson, in turn, tweeted, “No place 4 antisemitism in our movement” and congratulated the Princeton Committee for Palestine for using her tweet as the basis for canceling a scheduled speaking engagement by Peled at the university, “to show our commitment towards educating our campus about Israel-Palestine issues.”

If justification for Peled’s tweet is needed, all one has to do is read the op-ed in the Washington Post(9/14) by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak and the speech before the AIPAC spawn, Washington Inst. For Near East Policy, by former Israeli defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon (Times of Israel, 9/15) in which each of them expressed their fury at Netanyahu for not getting yet more than the record $38 billion. Seriously. There is no limit to their sense of entitlement.

The USCEIO which usually follows JVP’s lead has yet to weigh in on the Peled controversy, but there are dated references to the arms deal for Israel on its website, including a petition to President Obama launched in September, 2015, asking him not to approve it. The petition gathered more than 65,000 signatures but since it was still collecting them the day Obama announced the deal, there is no indication it was ever sent.

Now, two weeks after Obama’s announcement, there is no mention of it on its website nor was there any suggestion that people should go beyond signing a petition and confront the members of Congress in their home districts who will be voting on the $38 billion appropriation.

This is particularly noteworthy while USCEIO will be holding its national conference in Arlington, VA, October 14 to 17, there is no mention of it on its tentative agenda.

That campaigns to stop aid to Israel are missing from the agenda of both USCEIO and JVP, I would argue, is significant given that, in the early 80s, it was a nationwide campaign on the part of Nicaragua solidarity activists to have the public call members of Congress in their districts that produced the Boland Amendment, halting a $15 million appropriation for the Contras.

For reasons that I can only speculate such a grassroots campaign has never been undertaken by either organization over which, as noted above, Phyllis Bennis exerts an outsized influence.

The speculation centers on Bennis’s past history of minimizing the importance of both Congress and the pro-Israel Lobby, most notably AIPAC, in formulating US Middle East policy.

In 2002, at a three-day conference at the University of California in Berkeley, sponsored by Students for Justice in Palestine, I took a seat with a friend in the back of a lecture hall where Bennis was speaking on a topic relating to the Israel-Palestine conflict. At one point in her presentation, having apparently seen me enter and looking directly at me, she interrupted her talk to loudly blurt out, “Congress is not Israeli Occupied Territory!”

I quickly assumed she was referring to an essay that I had written 10 years earlier that was published in the 1992 edition of the City Lights Review, entitled, “Occupied Territory: Congress, the Israel Lobby and Jewish Responsibility.” In the essay I had sharply criticized the Left and particularly the Jewish supporters of the Palestinian movement for their failure to deal with the issue of the Israel lobby.

I am not one to interrupt speakers with whom I don’t agree but since her outburst was clearly intended for me, I responded with an immediate “Yes, it is!”. “No it isn’t!” she shouted back, rather displeased, and went on to describe an effort that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus were making regarding the illegal use of US arms by the Israelis against Palestinian civilians (an effort that, of course, went nowhere).

During the question period she seemed anxious to keep me from getting the floor. In an unusually long-winded and virtually content-free response as to what people could do to help the Palestinian cause, she appeared to be hoping time would run out for the session.

What would she have activists do? Believe it or not: write letters to the editor once a week. That’s what she said. As far as calling their members of Congress objecting to their support for Israel, Bennis said nary a word.

Despite an obvious effort on her part to get the moderator who had promised me the next question, to choose someone else–I seized the moment and proceeded to describe four situations in which the Israel lobby had demonstrated its power over Congress.  I explained how it had run members of the Black Caucus who criticized Israel out of office and was trying to do the same (and would later succeed) with CBC’s remaining critic of Israel at that time, Atlanta’s Cynthia McKinney.

As I wrote shortly afterward, (Palestine Chronicle 3/26/07) neither Bennis nor her co-panelist, a Jewish professor, said a word when I finished, (although the latter later falsely circulated an email that he had). Since I had known Bennis for 20 years, had previously worked with her in the San Francisco Bay Area on Palestinian issues and, a year earlier had her as a guest on my first radio program on my current station, I went over to say hello and jokingly mentioned that she still had not yet understood the role of the Israel Lobby.

She was neither friendly nor amused. “The issue is dead and has been dead,” she replied. End of conversation and though our paths have crossed over the years we haven’t spoken since.

Though the issue isn’t dead for Jewish Voice for Peace or the US Campaign to End Israeli Occupation, by any measurable standards, it might as well be.

Informing their members or member organizations, in the case of USCEIO, of the extent and methodology of AIPAC’s control over Congress is noticeably missing from their agendas and websites.

There was an exception. In September, 2012, I participated in a workshop on AIPAC and the Israel Lobby at USCEIO’s annual organizing conference in St. Louis. It was the only workshop even remotely related to the subject and had been organized by the now purged Alison Weir, whose If Americans Knew was, at the time, one of USCEIO’s member organizations.  With Weir and her organization now gone from the USCEIO, AIPAC has less to worry about.

This guarantees to a certainty that whatever approach it takes to members of Congress with the ostensible goal of changing US policy will continue to end in failure.

This is exemplified in a section on its website– “Building relationships with congressional staff and Members of Congress is critical to enacting policy change”—which links to a step by step process that should ordinarily be followed by anyone seeking an audience with a member of Congress, or her or his chief of staff or legislative aide on most issues.  But the Israel-Palestine issue is not like any other.

The notion that politely presenting US legislators or their aides with evidence of Israel’s latest atrocities or the damage that US support for Israel has done to the US image globally will move any of them to change their positions, as if ignorance of the facts is the only obstacle, is naïve at best. Nevertheless, that’s what those attending the USA CEIO’s upcoming conference will do on their day of lobbying on Capitol Hill.

By Einstein’s definition of insanity–doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result–the approach advocated by USCEIO and practiced by JVP, qualifies as insane since nothing has changed with regard to US support for Israel.

A more productive tactic would be to impolitely challenge members of Congress in their home districts, ideally but not necessarily at public events, exposing to the utmost degree possible the amounts of money they have received from pro-Israel sources and circulating statements that they most likely have made expressing their affection for Israel which can usually be found on the internet.

Why hasn’t either the USCEIO, JVP, or for that matter, Phyllis Bennis encouraged such an activity? Well, we already know Bennis’s bold plan; write letters to the editor.

There was nary a word about Congress’s role from Bennis in her latest interview despite telling TRNN’s Paul Jay in December, 2013, that “We have massively changed the discourse in this country,” an exaggeration then as now. She did then acknowledge, “What has not changed is the policy, and that has far more to do“ at which point Jay interrupted, saying, “The policy and the politics, like, congressional politics,” and Bennis replying, “Yes, but that’s where the policy gets made. That hasn’t changed. And that’s the huge challenge that we face. (Emphasis added)

In that same interview, she offered a rare view of AIPAC and the Lobby:

It used to be that AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the other pro-Israel lobbies in the Jewish community, could meet with members of Congress and say, look, we’ve got money. We may give you some. Mostly we’re going to hold you hostage, that if you don’t toe the line, we’re going to fund an opponent that you don’t even expect yet.

But we’ll also bring you votes, because we have influence in the Jewish community and people will vote the way we tell them.

They can’t say that anymore. And that’s huge. They still have the money, but they don’t have the votes, because the Jewish community has changed.

Her comment is only partly true and overly simplified, revealing an ignorance that should be embarrassing for someone who has spent so many years in Washington analyzing US Middle East politics.

AIPAC would never promise a politician that it would deliver Jewish votes. It has been mostly about getting them money, expert technical assistance and assigning key, experienced AIPAC members from the legislator’s district to work in his or her campaigns and use their clout with the local media to gain its support.

Bennis then goes on to regurgitate an argument that Noam Chomsky has frequently made but with a twist that fails to make it any more valid. Whereas the professor compares the Lobby’s successful efforts to pushing through an open door, when what it advocates is already White House policy, she compares it to pushing a moving car:

The reason that the lobby often seems so powerful is that, yes, it does have a lot of influence. I don’t–I’m not denying that. But it has been historically pushing in the same direction as the majority of U.S. policymakers want to go.

So imagine if you’re running behind a car, and you start to push the car as it goes forward, and the car starts to go fast. You can claim, wow, I was really strong–I pushed that car 30 miles an hour. You know, maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were pushing it in the direction it wanted to go anyway.

Neither Chomsky nor Bennis have ever shown a willingness to debate their critics but this argument is more an example of “damage control” than fact on their part and can easily be refuted by examining what is nearest to hand, the origins of the Iraq war.

It is well documented that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein was on the Israel Lobby’s agenda well before it became US policy. In fact, the first president George HW Bush was reamed by his Jewish critics in the mainstream media; Mortimer Zuckerman, owner of the US News & World Report and the NY Daily News, Abe Rosenthal and William Safire in the New York Times, and Charles Krauthammer in the Washington Post, to cite four who come to mind, for not going all the way to Baghdad and taking out Saddam in 1991.

The reason Poppy Bush gave for not overthrowing Saddam was that it would destabilize the entire region, one whose stability was essential to America’s national security and would involve the US military in an endless quagmire That opinion was shared by his Secretary of State, James Baker, his National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft, and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the ouster of the Iraqi army from Kuwait But what did they know?

The election of his son, George W, did not change the senior Bush’s mind, nor that of his former aides, Baker, Scowcroft and Schwarzkopf. All of them opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a fact ignored by those who claimed it was “a war for oil,” and one that becomes more important when we consider that the war has left hundreds of thousands dead and wounded and millions displaced as refugees across the entire region.

When asked by the late Tim Russert on NBC’s Meet the Press about his father’s opposition to the war, Dubya responded that “I answer to a higher father.” Who or what, in fact, he was answering to was PNAC, the Project for a New American Century, three signatories of which, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser, had contributed to a paper for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996, entitled, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which called for the overthrow of Saddam as did the PNAC screed that appeared the following year.

Subsequent to the election of George W Bush in 2000, the three of them were brought into the highest levels of the national security apparatus along with Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, fellow signatories to the PNAC declaration. They began immediately to plan the invasion of Iraq and create the false intelligence to justify it within days of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, ‘the Pearl Harbor event’ that the PNAC document said was necessary to put its plans of global conquest into action. This scenario is fairly well known and not contested.

It, like subsequent events in the Middle East, seemed consistent with a plan laid out by Oded Yinon, a former member of the Israeli government who, in 1982, wrote a proposal, ‘A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,” which was published by the World Zionist Council. Yinon’s plan called for dissolution of Iraq and Syria into areas controlled by its respective religious communities. Sound familiar?

Clearly, the war on Iraq was not a case of the Israel Lobby, of which the neocons were and remain a major part, getting behind an already moving car or pushing through an open door but one in which they took over the entire premises.

I have given up expecting Phyllis Bennis to understand this but I assume there are those who read this who will appreciate and nod their heads when reading what Lenni Brenner, the foremost authority on Nazi-Zionist collaboration, told me in the late 90s when I interviewed him on San Francisco’s KPOO radio:

The left is the rear guard of the Israel Lobby.

Clarity in Writing

Utopia, Nostalgia and the Jew

August 28, 2016  /  Gilad Atzmon

 

By Gilad Atzmon

Utopia, the imaginary ideal society, the Eden of collective and universal yearning is at the root of Left and progressive thought. A utopian society is the political and social goal of some leftist and progressive narratives. For others the perfect society is itself the ideological means toward redemption. No left or progressive intellectual narrative is impervious to some sort of utopian ideal.

But for about half of the American people, utopia is nostalgic.  The return of the ‘American Dream,’ of being great once again – this is the idyllic dream shared by supporters of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

The history of ideas has seen this transition before.  The Jewish Cultural Marxists of the 1930s were shocked by a similar development.  Wilhelm Reich and prominent members of the Frankfurt School were bewildered by the success of National Socialism and Fascism. They couldn’t figure out how was it possible that the German and Italian workers favoured ‘reactionary’ fascism over a ‘communist utopia.’

In Germany in the 1930s, as in America 2016, it was nostalgia and romanticism that gave utopia meaning, the yearning for a national rootedness over a ‘progressive’ Shangri La.

The Jewish ‘Left’ quickly diagnosed what was wrong with the Germans, for Wilhelm Reich it was German sexuality.  He had the ridiculous idea that German women being sexually suppressed was at the core of German inclination towards authoritarianism. The Jewish psychoanalyst must have been convinced that dildos were the key to a communist revolution. A few years later, Adorno improved on Reich’s paradigm, adding a few other criteria to the model of the “authoritarian personality.”  Adorno, Reich and the rest of the cultural Marxists were obviously deluded. Pornography, dildos and the sexual revolution didn’t mature into a political revolution. Quite the opposite, they contributed to alienation, reification and suppression of pretty much every human value.

The Germans and the National Socialists weren’t too tolerant of Reich and the the members of the Frankfurt School. Reich and the Frankfurt Schoolers had to run for their lives. The Frankfurt Research Institute relocated at Columbia University in New York City from where it devoted the next few years to the destruction of the cohesiveness of the American people.

Unlike the German people who were quick to reject the Jewish revolutionary progressive school, it took the American intelligentsia half a century to detect the subversive role of the Institute that planted identity politics and political correctness at the heart of America’s academia, culture, media and politics.

And now, in 2016, the Jewish progressive elite is making exactly the same mistake the Frankfurt School made in the 1930s. The reaction of the likes of Noam Chomsky and The Jewish Daily Forward to the American working people is catastrophic and dangerous. Chomsky calls Trump voters “White poor working class*, The Jewish Daily Forward calls them “White supremacist,” “losers” and “bullies.” And what is the real the crime of all these “White losers”? Simple, they are nostalgic.

Chomsky calls Trump voters “White poor working class”, is he misinformed or just lying?* 

Chomsky calls Trump voters “White poor working class”, is he misinformed or just lying?*

It is noticeable that Jewish progressive institutions and left icons are horrified by “White people” being ‘nostalgic,’ but why? Why are the Jews, a people who are obsessed with their own past, so afraid of other people, say ‘White’ people, being nostalgic for their own past? Ready? Beware; I am about to drop a bomb.

The progressive Jew grasps that the working class are nostalgic for a pre-Jerusalem Dominated society; a time when American politics weren’t controlled by the likes of Saban, Soros, Goldman, Sachs and other global capitalists who are isolated from production, manufacturing and farming.  The so called ‘progressives’ in Democracy Now, Real News, The Jewish Daily Forward and the other Soros funded outlets can interpret the primaries. They are fearful of being relegated to the ghetto.

But do they have reason? Has anyone mentioned expelling the Jews? Or curtailing Jewish power? Not at all. The progressive fear of the so-called ‘reactionary’ is fuelled by a deep understanding that the American past was indeed greater than the progressive present – the tyranny of correctness, the identitarian dictatorship and, more than anything else, the lack of a future that is attached to Mammonism – the relentless sick of Mammon for the sake of Mammon.

On a further note, in historical retrospect, the entire work of the Cultural Marxists, Wilhelm Reich, the Frankfurt school and their contemporary progressive merchants can be trashed. Their agenda has become transparent, they were committed to misleading society about the simple fact that true utopia is nostalgic. They devoted themselves to concealing what is obvious and undeniable: for the working people rootedness is true liberation and romanticism is truly romantic.

*As usual it is hard to figure out whether Chomsky is misinformed or just lying. A quick internet search reveals that Trump’s “voters are better off economically compared with most Americans.” (click here) Trump also enjoys a growing number of educated people (click here). When Chomsky refers to ‘wide general agreement’ you should always expect a lie. Being a linguist, Chomsky has established a manner of non-committal spin culture — ‘general agreement’ doesn’t have to correspond with truth.

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