Among the offerings:
Archive for the Israel category
The New York Review of Books (our finest periodical) re the impasse in Palestine
The big new background here, of course, is the utterly cynical and hopeless picture of the Pal State negotiations presented, with utter clarity, in the Wikileak diplomatic cables and, especially, the Palestine Papers.
The Palestine Papers are clear: Obama gave the Cairo Speech, then promptly sold the Palestinian state down the river.
( Here is Al Jazeera’s search page for the approx 2,000 diplomatic cables and the like, chiefly out of Israeli and Palestinian Authority offices. )
The extent of the collapse — complete — of support for the UN resolution that recognized Israel in sync with a plan for a two-state solution â€¦ Shocking.
It’s now clear that when the Israeli foreign minister gave the UN the finger on Palestine this past September, he had the American president in his pocket.
No wonder Knesset member Zaneen Hoabi simply said â€śNo chanceâ€ť last year.
And no wonder the New York Review of Books (our finest periodical) has just published a notice of surrender:
Itâ€™s now clear that the American war in the mideast, pinched upon Iran’s eastern and western borders, was coeval and is conjoined with a final solution in Palestine.
Alan Sabrosky, a Vietnam combat vet, former intelligence officer with the Marines and former director of the Army War College, talks plainly about how the American war got off the ground.
And it’s now clear how the Army of God comes to appoint the Prime Minister of Lebanon. I wonder if Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Zakheim et al. — the creators of the American war under Bush-Cheney — are laughing or crying.
These are the days of miracles and wonder. These are the days when the Justice Department proceeds beyond the bounds of law against Anti-War demonstrators and the free press.
Little wonder, of course, that the American media are all but silent on the truth of 9/11 and, now, the Palestine Papers.
One effect of the latter’s publication in freer worlds abroad seems all but certain: A true war of terror, born of final despair re the fate and treatment of the Arabs of Palestine, in the angry half of the Islamic world. Hope dies last, as Alexander Dubcek observed, but now it is dead.
No more Mr Shoe Bomb. No more Mr Underpants.
Itâ€™s well known amid intel types that nuclear devices are loose in the underworld. Every now and then an attempt to sell one surfaces. 1994 was the beginning of this game. It now seems to me only a question of time before angry young men try to set one off in Tel Aviv or New York.
From Kevin Barrett‘s excellent radio show.
Sabrosky is a Vietnam combat vet and a former director at the Army War College.
Also in the news today, the American ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, a Chicago friend of Obama, calls for the head of a UN official who had the temerity to write that the US government seemed to be involved in a coverup of the 9/11 events.
Out of the darkness thanks to Mssrs Bradley, Assange & co:
Israel told U.S. officials in 2008 it would keep Gaza’s economy “on the brink of collapse” while avoiding a humanitarian crisis, according to U.S. diplomatic cables
Arabs in rubble. That’s the policy.
Meanwhile Netanyahu calls on Obama to release from prison the Israeli spy Pollard.
A Halloween video interview with Haneen Zoabi, the first woman representing an Arab party to be elected to the Knesset — two days after being fired upon by Israeli police in Umm al Fahm.
And here’s an earlier print interview from the summer, shortly after her Privilege in the Knesset was revoked, rather violently, because she had participated in the Gaza Flotilla.
The headline over the video interview reads No Chance for Two States.
This follows, of course, upon the Great Finger that Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Foreign Minister, gave the UN General Assembly in September: Peace with Palestinians? Let’s talk in 20 years after we deal with Iran.
Team Obama, meanwhile, as supine as ever in the face of renewed East Jerusalem construction despite public requests to the contrary from the White House.
If the president who gave the Cairo speech does nothing, what hopeless enmity shall follow? World war over there (with Israel our Syracuse) and real terrorism over here (none of this Gang who Couldn’t Bomb Straight stuff) seems more likely than ever, post Lieberman.
Shocking thought: Might one vote for Jeb Bush in 2012 simply because his father (with whom he bears much more in common than his dopey black-sheep brother) was the only US president to have disciplined Israel since advent of Reagan?
Ed Note: See comments below to follow events into 2011
2. Meanwhile Israel complains because George Mitchell has threatened to cut off the cash trying to pressure Netanyahu — a precise echo of the Bush-Baker years.
3. And the Israeli general who once headed their nuclear weapons program says that Iranian nukes are seven years distant.
Team Obama this year has enacted a betrayal of the Cairo speech.
NY Times review of The Invention of the Jewish People by Shlomo Sand.
Must read, unfortunately.
Frank Schaeffer was the son of a famous right-wing Christian preacher-activivist. Became one himself. But then saw the light and went Left.
His simple scorn for the movement is bracing.
But his certainty as to its essential violence — that violence itself, born of long resentment within a civilization that passed it by, is its aim — is ominous.
There has been good solid journalism about this threat throughout the decade, of course. This is a quick, sharp reminder.
And when one considers the black boy who was beaten to death in Chicago weeks ago — that horror that seems to have largely escaped notice …
One realizes how difficult the tightrope this President must walk shall be.
She whom Bush-Cheney repressed for seven years — â€śthe most gagged person in the history of the USAâ€ť according to the ACLU — testified in a court case re Turkish and Israeli espionage in August.
And now has a big interview re Marc Grossman — alleged Israeli spy atop the State Dept in the 90s — and other spooks and influence peddlars she’s stumbled across, in the current American Conservative magazine.
( Me? I’m a socialist, or would be if there was a party to speak of stateside. But I like Pat Buchanan (of AmCon mag). He’s got a basic respect for discourse that’s rare among pundits raised on and trained for television. )
See Sibel’s website — 123 Real Change — for more about Grossman and other alleged Israeli spies from John Cole, former FBI Counterintel and Counterterror fellow, who has a book out this fall on the subject.
Edmonds is not yet impressed with Team Obama on these issues. From the AmCon interview:
First of all, Obamaâ€™s record as a senator, short as it was, spoke clearly. For all those changes that he was promising, he had done nothing. In fact, he had taken the opposite position, whether it was regarding the NSAâ€™s wiretapping or the issue of national-security whistleblowers. We whistleblowers had written to his Senate office. He never responded, even though he was on the relevant committees.
As soon as Obama became president, he showed us that the State Secrets Privilege was going to continue to be a tool of choice. Itâ€™s an arcane executive privilege to cover up wrongdoingâ€”in many cases, criminal activities.
And the Obama administration has not only defended using the State Secrets Privilege, it has been trying to take it even further than the previous terrible administration by maintaining that the U.S. government has sovereign immunity.
This is Obamaâ€™s change: his administration seems to think it doesnâ€™t even have to invoke state secrets as our leaders are emperors who possess this sovereign immunity. This is not the kind of language that anybody in a democracy would use.
Also check out — at 123 — the Boiling Frogs podcasts, probing the National Security Apparat.
Eg, an interesting interview with investigative journalist Joe Trento, author of Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America’s Private Intelligence Network and The Secret History of the CIA. Here’s a tidbit.
Former FBI Counterterror official John M. Cole confirms there was strong evidence that Marc Grossman (formerly of the State Dept) was spying for Israel, and says that over a hundred espionage investigations of same profile were turned off for no good reason during his time at the tiller.
Cole has a book out on the subject in November: While America Sleeps. (Echo of Churchill’s While England Slept …)
And here’s an extensive podcast interview with him. Very interesting. Robert Mueller at FBI did everything to keep this story from coming out.
See SIBEL EDMONDS’ website — 123 Real Change — for updates through time.
From a piece in the New York Review of Books (our finest periodical):
And now I’m sitting having tea in the al-Kasaba cinema in Ramallah. It’s the only working cinema on the West Bank. Mostly it shows Egyptian comedies. It’s run by George Ibrahim, who’s laughing, as he usually is.
“At the moment we are all enjoying jokes about the Western economy going to pieces because we can laugh and say, ‘It won’t affect us because Palestine doesn’t have an economy….’”Ă‚Â His friend the playwright Salman Tamer joins in.
“What is so shocking about Israel is that these days it doesn’t even have a protest movement. In the old days, there were peaceniks on the streets and long-haired students. Now they have almost no peace movement at all. What can you say? A country which loses its hippies is in deep trouble.”
George drinks his tea and smiles. “The wall is not around us. It’s around them.”
And an editorial simple calls Obama for refusing to release Justice Dept documents on torture in the name of the war on terror.Ă‚Â Including the much-rumored investigation of tidbit lawyer John Yoo, who was used to give the green light on unrestricted wiretapping and also involved with authorizing torture.Ă‚Â Hang him high.
For a while I’ve been sensing a change in the Times coverage of Israel.Ă‚Â Axing Judith Miller was a big step.Ă‚Â But maybe something more basic is going on, as Israel veers toward a kind of suicide. Or maybe i’m imagining things …
The hydra of the National Security Apparat, which sprouted another half dozen heads post 9/11, is a wonder to behold in motion.
President Obama appointed as the new Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, a Navy admiral and, judging by his words during his confirmation hearings, a good man and a well informed curious thinker about world affairs, who, on the flow chart, now sits atop all other agency heads notoriously defensive of their overlapping turf.
Director Blair then nominated Charles Freeman as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, also a new post, and new organ, post 9/11. The AP reported soon after:
Freeman, who was U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf war, has harshly criticized the Israeli government, the Iraq war and the war on terrorism in general.
Blair said Freeman’s strong opinions are exactly why he wants him to be chairman of the council.
“I think I can do a better job if I am getting strong analytical viewpoints than if I am getting pre-cooked pablum,” Blair said.
This encourages one’s opinion of Director Blair, and it would seem Mr Freeman’s appointment would be a step toward actually changing Bush-Cheney foreign policy.
But Mr Freeman is indeed well known for criticizing Israeli policy in public.Ă‚Â Two years ago he observed:
Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Left to its own devices, the Israeli establishment will make decisions that harm Israelis, threaten all associated with them and enrage those who are not.Ă˘â‚¬Âť
And so, this week Mr Freeman’s nomination was axed by various declared friends of Israel within the Beltway, led, sorry to say, by New York’s Senator Schumer.
The Times explains that:
critics who led the effort to derail Mr. Freeman argued that [his] views reflected a bias that could not be tolerated in someone who, as chairman of the National Intelligence Council, would have overseen the production of what are supposed to be policy-neutral intelligence assessments destined for the presidentĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s desk.
By this argument among candidates most qualified to sit atop the American so-called intelligence community are these chumps:
One recalls that eight years ago the reins of US foreign policy were handed to a clique of gargoyles whose gross Israeliocentric views had long been public. One may wonder.
One may not know what to think.
The Middle Ages knew that dismembered heads often mutter for ten seconds or so after receiving their severance, as Mr Freeman yesterday having taken back his name:
Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Israel is driving itself toward a cliff, and it is irresponsible not to question Israeli policy and to decide what is best for the American people.Ă˘â‚¬Âť
One shouldn’t be surprised at Obama’s withdrawal of support for Mr Blair, given that the father of the President’s chief of staff was an Irgun terrorist (sidekick to Menachem Begin). It’s surprising, and mildly encouraging, that Blair dared nominate Freeman at all.
But one supposes Rahm has now lit into his hide and no more such nonsense will be heard from the heights of National Intelligence.
Here is an “intelligence briefing” delivered by american Herbert Meyer at the Davos gathering this past spring.
Much of what he has to say is familiar Likud Lobby fare. Europe-bashing. Certitude that the war in Iraq was a good idea. Straussian insistence that Myth (religious) must underlie successful politics.
Also seems gung ho on oil as the key to the future. Not much hope there, seems to me.
Nevertheless it’s certainly worth reading.
Comments perhaps to come when time permits.
For the first time the anniversary falls on a Tuesday.
Tuesday six years ago was a crisp, clear day in New York. Today the pall of Mordor has issued forth, oppressing the city, and one daydreams of the Shire.
It seems that September 11 has supplanted July 4 as our national day.
What then has supplanted the Declaration of Independence?
The Patriot Act?
Has the country been born again?
What does its future look like, when the hearts & minds stray from the day the Declaration was signed to embrace a martial defeat that breeds ever more momentous defeats?
The remainder of this rather lengthy piece, enhanced with many a curious link, has been filed elsewhere – click here to read.
And then please feel happy to post comments below.