Archive for October 30th, 2009

U.S. Lawmakers Push for Harder Line on Iran

The Israel lobby in the US wins yet another round on the way to its long desired war with Iran:

From: The Israel Project []
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 6:52 PM

Subject: U.S. Lawmakers Push for Harder Line on Iran




Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644 (office), 202-365-0787 (cell),
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 U.S. Lawmakers Push for Harder Line on Iran
House Committee Approves Sanctions Targeting Iranian Access to Oil

Experts on Sanctions
Examples of Successful Sanctions
Twelve Ways to Prevent a Nuclear IranThe House Foreign Affairs Committee, intent on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons, approved a bill Wednesday (Oct. 28) targeting companies that supply the Islamic Republic with much-needed refined oil.[1] To read more about the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, see section below, Restricting access to refined oil.

Economic Sanctions: Stopping Iran’s Nuclear Program with Proven Methods

As the international community confronts Iran over its expanding nuclear program, members of the P5+1 (the United States, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany) are considering additional economic sanctions as a method of peacefully preventing the Islamic Republic from developing nuclear weapons.[2]

Existing sanctions have not yet gone far enough or had enough multilateral support to persuade Iran to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. So far, China and Russia have resisted efforts to implement more meaningful sanctions because of their lucrative trade relationships with the regime.[3]

Following are examples of two countries – Libya and South Africa – that prove sanctions can serve as peaceful change agents:

Libya. The United States implemented a string of sanctions against Libya beginning in 1984 in response to Libya’s support for international terrorism. The United States ramped up economic pressure after the discovery that Libya had been involved in the bombing of a German discotheque that killed two Americans.[4] In 1988, Libya perpetrated the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 189 Americans and 81 others.[5]

In 1996, Congress passed the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA),[6] targeting Libya for its development of petroleum resources due to its refusal to turn over the suspects in the Lockerbie bombing, continuing support for terrorism and maintaining its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program.[7]

According to the State Department, “This pressure helped to bring about the Lockerbie settlement and Libya’s renunciation of WMD and MTCR-class missiles.”[8] Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi released the Lockerbie bombers for trial in 1999, agreed to pay reparations and abandoned its illegal weapons program and its support for terrorism. As Libya took steps to dismantle its weapons program, the United States moved towards normalization, with President Bush stopping enforcement of ILSA in 2004[9] and Congress lifting all remaining sanctions in 2008.[10]

South Africa. Congress imposed hard-hitting sanctions on South Africa in 1986 to pressure the ruling Nationalist Party to end apartheid, the system of segregating blacks and other minority groups from the white population. Overriding the veto of then-President Ronald Reagan,[11] Congress passed the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 banning Americans from making new investments and loans in South Africa and prohibiting a variety of goods from import and export.[12]

Black South African leaders, notably Bishop Desmond Tutu, welcomed the sanctions as a way to pressure the regime.[13] Combined with diplomatic pressure and moral support for the oppressed black majority, economic sanctions helped lead South African President F. W. de Klerk to release African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela and begin negotiations with the ANC, leading to the creation of a multi-racial democracy. Then-President George H. W. Bush lifted the sanctions in 1991 after he determined that South Africa had fulfilled the conditions set forth in the sanctions legislation.[14]

Experts’ Ideas for Further Sanctions Against Iran

Restricting access to refined oil: Despite Iran’s vast oil fields and status as a major crude oil exporter, the Islamic Republic imports 40 percent of its gasoline because of its inability to refine much of its own oil.[15] Recognizing this vulnerability, a majority in both the U.S. Congress and Senate now support the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act of 2009 (H.R. 2194 and S. 908).

This legislation would severely restrict Iran’s access to refined oil by lowering the legal threshold for investment in Iran’s petroleum sector and targeting those who insure, finance or ship refined oil to Iran. Orde Kittrie, a law professor at Arizona State University and expert on Iran, has noted that sanctions would show Iranian citizens that their government must be held responsible for its actions. “Squeezing Iran’s gasoline imports would remind the Iranian people that instead of choosing to invest in improving refining capacity to meet Iran’s growing demands, the Iranian government has chosen to invest in a nuclear program that…has resulted in five condemnatory Security Council resolutions, international isolation, and various sanctions targeting Iran,” Kittrie said.[16]

As the world observed during the summer of 2009, Iranians’ discontent with what appeared to be the fraudulent re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, took to the streets, creating significant pressure on the regime.[17] If hit hard enough by sanctions on refined oil, even greater public unrest could prompt the government to reverse its nuclear policy.

Preventing Iranian gas deals: The U.S. could also target the Islamic Republic’s recent gas deals with South and Central Asian nations. With Iran holding 16 percent of the world’s natural gas reserves, Iran has capitalized on this resource by extending pipelines to neighboring countries and moving away from using gasoline – and towards using natural gas – for Iranian automobiles.[18] Legislation and diplomatic pressure targeting companies that invest in Iran’s natural gas industry, combined with sanctions on refined oil, could deal a fatal blow to Iran’s energy sector.

Financial sanctions: Financial sanctions imposed by the United States in the past have succeeded in creating real pressure on Iran.[19] According to Iran expert Orde Kittrie, “The Iranian people so often blame the results of Treasury’s financial measures on the Iranian regime rather than the U.S. government…”[20] The Central Bank of Iran, the Islamic Republic’s “principal remaining lifeline to the international banking system,” is a prime target because it assists other private-sector banks in evading existing financial sanctions.[21]

Arms embargo: Cutting off Iran from weapons sales is crucial to ensuring it does not acquire nuclear weapons. On Sept. 27 and 28, Iran test-fired its longest-range missiles, which could hit Israel and U.S. military bases in Europe.[22] The United States should continue to use its diplomatic leverage to ensure that countries like Russia do not sell Iran S-300 antiaircraft missiles.[23]

For more information and ideas on sanctions to stop the threat of a nuclear Iran, please click here

Expert Sources on Iran ( United States and Israel )

In the United States :

Orde Kittrie, Associate Professor of Law, Arizona State University ;
Tel: 480-727-8572 (office); E-mail:
Dr. Gal Luft, Executive Director, Institute for the Analysis of Global Security
Tel.: 202-271-0531
Web site:

David Albright, President, Institute for Science and International Security ( ISIS )
Tel: 202-547-3633; E-mail:

Ilan Berman, Vice President for Policy, American Foreign Policy Council;
author, “Tehran Rising: Iran ‘s Challenge to the United States ” (2005);
Tel: 202-543-1006 (office);

Debra Burlingame, Sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame, III, pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11; Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America; Director, World Trade Center Memorial Foundation; Tel: 914-844-3146; E-mail:

Patrick Clawson, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Research,
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy;
Tel: 202-452-0650 ext. 220 (office), 202-302-1722 (cell);
Web site:

Frank Gaffney, President, The Center for Security Policy and Founder,;
Tel: 202-253-9433 (cell); E-mail:;
Web site:

Andrew Grotto, Senior National Security Analyst, Center for American Progress; Tel: 202-682-1611 (office);

Larry Haas, Visiting Senior Fellow, Georgetown Public Policy Institute;
Tel: 202-257-9592 (cell);

Sam Kermanian, Secretary General, Iranian American Jewish Federation;
Tel: 310-854-1199 (office, direct); E-mail:

Dr. Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar, Foundation for Defense of Democracies;
Tel: 202-207-0190, Tel: 301-370-1443 (cell); E-mail:

Valerie Lincy, Editor,;
Tel: 202-223-8299 (office); E-mail:; 

Claire Lopez, Consultant and Former Executive Director, Iran Policy Committee;
Tel: 703-583-9573 (office); E-mail:

Cliff May, President and Executive Director, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies;
Tel: 202-207-0190 (office), 202-207-0184 (direct);

Lily Mazahery, President, Legal Rights Institute
Tel: 202- 834-7150; E-mail:

Gary Milhollin, Executive Director, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control;
Tel: 202-223-8299 (office); E-mail:

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi , Founder and President, The Israel Project;
Tel: 202-857-6644 (office);

Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute;
Tel: 202-862-5851 (office); Fax: 202-862-4877; E-mail:

Gary Samore, Vice President, Director of Studies and Maurice R. Greenberg Chair, Council on Foreign Relations;
Tel: 212-434-9627 (office); Fax: 212-434-9870; E-mail:;

Rick Santorum, Former U.S. Senator (R-Penn.), Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Contact Virginia Davis, Cell: 215-528-9368; Home office: 610-658-9658; E-mail:, 

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., Chairman, International Terrorism, Non-Proliferation & Trade Committee;
Tel: 202-225-5911 (office); 

Ken Timmerman, President, Middle East Data Project, Inc.;
Author, “Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran ” (2005);
Tel: 301-946-2918 (office); E-mail: ; 

Peter Zimmerman, Professor Emeritus, King’s College, London
Tel: 703-966-6680; 

In Israel:

Dr. Ronen Bergman, Senior Security and Intelligence Correspondent, Yedioth Ahronoth;
author, “Point of No Return (2007); Tel: 011-972-2-555-8148 (cell); E-mail:;

Jeremy Issacharoff, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of National Security Studies;
Tel: 011-972-3- 640-0400 ext 463 (work); Tel: 011-972-50-620-3887 (cell); E-mail:

Professor Ze’ev Maghen, Lecturer in the History of the Middle East, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University;
Tel: 011-972-3-531-7812 (office); 011-972-52-383-4069 (cell); E-mail:;

David Menashri, Chair of Modern Iranian Studies, Tel Aviv University ;
Tel: 011-972-3-640-8911 or 011-972-3-640-6161 (office); 011-972-8-940-1467 (home);

Footnotes:[1] Robinson, Dan, “House Committee Approves Expanded Iran Sanctions,” VOA News, Oct. 28, 2009,

[2] Carmichael, Lachlan, “Momentum grows for Iran nuclear sanctions,” AFP, Sept. 23, 2009,

[3] Beehner, Lionel, “U.S. Sanctions Biting Iran,” Council on Foreign Relations, Jan. 23, 2007,

[4] “Background Note: Libya,” U.S. Department of State, March 2009,

[5] Adam, Karla, “Man Convicted In Lockerbie Blast Is Freed,” The Washington Post, Aug. 21, 2009,

[6] U.S. House, 104th Congress, “H.R. 3107, Iran and Libya Sanctions Act of 1996,”

[7] Katzman, Kenneth, “The Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA),” CRS Report for Congress, April 3, 2006,

[8] “Background Note: Libya,” U.S. Department of State, March 2009,

[9] Katzman, Kenneth, “The Iran Sanctions Act (ISA),” CRS Report for Congress, July 23, 2008,

[10] Flintoff, Corey, “Congress Passes Bill To Lift Libya Sanctions,” NPR, Aug. 1, 2008,

[11] Roberts, Steven V., “Senate, 78 to 21, Overrides Reagan’s Veto and Imposes Sanctions on South Africa,” The New York Times, Oct. 3, 1986,

[12] U.S. House, 99th Congress, “H.R. 4868, Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986,”

[13] “South Africa,” Country Guide, The Washington Post,, accessed Oct. 8, 2009

[14] Kempster, Norman, “Bush Lifts Economic Sanctions on S. Africa – Apartheid: He sees ‘irreversible’ progress by Pretoria. Opponents in Congress plan no effort to undo the move,” The Los Angeles Times, July 11, 1991,

[15] Hall, Kevin G., “Iran faces sanctions, which could include targeting gasoline imports,” The Miami Herald, Sept. 25, 2009,

[16] Prepared testimony of Orde F. Kittrie before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, “Iran: Recent Developments and Implications for U.S. Policy,” House Committee on Foreign Affairs Web site, July 22, 2009,

[17] Fletcher, Martin; Flaye, Ella, “Iranian opposition vows to keep pressure on regime with shows of strength,” The Times (UK), June 18, 2009,

[18] Luft, Gal, “The New Iran Sanctions: Worse Than the Old Ones,” Foreign Policy, Aug. 11, 2009,

[19] Written testimony of Stuart Levey before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, “Minimizing Potential Threats from Iran: Administration Perspectives on Economic Sanctions and Other United States Policy Options,” U.S. Department of Treasury Press Room, Oct. 6, 2009,

[20] Prepared testimony of Orde F. Kittrie before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, “Iran: Recent Developments and Implications for U.S. Policy,” House Committee on Foreign Affairs Web site, July 22, 2009,

[21] Simpson, Glenn R., “U.S. weighs sanctions on Iran’s central bank,” The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 25, 2008.

[22] Raddatz, Martha, “Iran’s Missile Tests Create New Standoff,” ABC News, Sept. 28, 2009,

[23] Caryl, Christian, “The Other Ticking Clock in Iran,” Foreign Policy, Oct. 2, 2009,,0 


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Ron Paul: Sanctions on Iran are an Act of War! (Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing)

Prof. John Mearsheimer on AIPAC and Congress (Part 1 of 2)

Prof. John Mearsheimer on AIPAC and Congress (Part 1 of 2)
U.S. Middle East policy motivated by pro-Israel lobby

Top Democratic & Republican foreign affairs leaders in the US Congress are calling on the Obama administration to quash the Goldstone Report (Mearsheimer/Walt book validated yet again!):

Top Democratic & Republican foreign affairs leaders in the US Congress are calling on the Obama administration to quash the Goldstone Report


Top Democratic and Republican foreign affairs leaders in the US Congress are calling on the Obama administration to quash the Goldstone Report.


Alexander wrote: How about it Chomsky? still think the Israel Lobby is a paper tiger…
UNHRC endorses Goldstone report, angers Israel

Sounds like another example of the Walt/Mearsheimer book ( http://ISRAELLOBBYBOOK.COM ) and former Republican Congressman Paul Findley’s ‘They Dare to Speak Out” book (the third edition) being validated yet again!

U.S. Middle East policy motivated by pro-Israel lobby


Additional at following URL:

Gorilla in the Room is US support for Israel:



So the Goldstone Report does not get buried at the Security Council

So the Goldstone Report does not get buried at the Security Council

A third mistake lies in wait for the Palestinian Authority if it does not pay heed to the dynamics of the interests shared by the five permanent members of the Security Council, represented by their unwillingness to allow the Goldstone Report to reach the council hall at this juncture. The stances of France, Britain, China, Russia and the United States are identical in their insistence on driving the report which accused Israel and also Hamas of committing “war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity” out of the Security Council for political reasons, partly concerned with protecting Israel from being held accountable, and partly with fears from the impact of implementing such a precedent on the internal situation and on these countries themselves in the future. This is aside from the legal reasons that reside in fears from the reach and authority of the International Criminal Court (ICC), as it watches over justice and works to put an end to impunity, especially for crimes like war crimes and crimes against humanity. The majority of great powers are not alone in their chronic fear of the ICC, as it is also shared by many of the elected members of the Security Council, who might withhold the nine votes necessary to adopt any resolution, thus sparing the five countries from using the veto to thwart adopting it. Faced with such a situation, the Palestinian Authority must not fall into a trap it would set for itself – with the help of Arab countries, the Non-Aligned Movement and the Organization of the Islamic Conference – and head immediately to the Security Council by virtue of the General Assembly resolution to find the funeral waiting for the Goldstone Report in order to bury it. It would be preferable to keep the report alive on the international scene for many reasons, such as: first, the fact that it has sparked a debate and internal accountability in Israel which Benjamin Netanyahu’s government was unable to extinguish, as it in fact found itself forced to consider means of keeping the flames of the Goldstone Report from reaching it. Second, the fact that it has led to placing under the spotlight the types of wars and the way they are waged by Israel with methods that place it in the category of having committed “war crimes or crimes against humanity”, such a spotlight in itself forming a deterring element as a de facto situation, because Israel is today being placed under a microscope and subject to being monitored and held accountable. Third, the fact that it has driven the great powers to fidget in their seats with concern and shame, because the report has exposed their double standards and removed the cover of pretending to uphold world peace – which applies primarily to European countries and with them the United States – or that of the claims by certain countries that they sympathize with the Palestinians under occupation, which applies to Russia and China as well as to many other countries. For these reasons and for others, it is not in the interest of the Palestinian Authority to exaggerate and to stubbornly insist, making the third mistake at the United Nations headquarters in New York next week, after making two successive mistakes in Geneva at the headquarters of the Human Rights Council. 

The first was when it agreed to postpone the discussion into the Goldstone Report for six months without thinking. The second was when, excessive in realizing its first mistake, it committed yet another mistake by having a decision issued by the Human Rights Council, one that wasted the unique opportunity provided by the Goldstone Report by forcibly introducing it into a list of demands that turned away the attention and support from the report, serving the purpose of those who sought to water it down instead of focusing on it exclusively.
What is required of the Palestinian Authority today is not political outbidding nor providing a favor to Arab countries that evade the responsibility of justice and refuse to join the International Criminal Court, so as not to be reached by the long arm of justice. What is required of the Palestinian Authority, quite simply, is making sure that justice and accountability remain above all other considerations, because that is what serves the interest of the Palestinians. Today on Friday, by virtue of steps of procedure at the UN General Assembly, next Wednesday will be set as a date to look into the Goldstone Report and issue a General Assembly resolution, one which the Palestinian delegation to the UN is working to prepare with the “Follow-Up Committee”, which includes Sudan as head of the Arab League for the month of October, Syria as head of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Egypt as head of the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as others. 

The corridors of the United Nations are filled with concerns, whispers and strange instructions. The Swiss delegation, for example, called last Friday for European countries, members of the Security Council, certain Arab and Muslim countries and others to meet with Judge Richard Goldstone in the first meeting between Ambassadors to the UN and the man who headed the “Fact-Finding Mission” on the Gaza war. This was the first meeting following the diplomatic crisis which because of the first mistake almost led to toppling Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and during the second mistake exposed the surprising double standards of countries like Britain and France, when they refused for the first time to vote on the resolution at the Human Rights Council because the Arabs and Muslims had refused the modifications and to listen to the advice of the Europeans, leading the British and French delegates to walk out of the hall in protest of the “insult”.

The meeting at the headquarters of the Swiss delegation witnessed yet another dose of European double standards, as all the countries that attended the meeting did so at the level of Ambassadors, except for the countries of the European Union, who sent delegates of the level of third secretary with surprising instructions: listen, do not speak and do not engage in the debate. Goldstone told those attending that he had done what he had to in the service of justice and put forth his core and procedural suggestions, yet the task is now in the hands of countries to decide what they want in the issue of accountability and justice. What he said and what deserves to be pondered is the fact that he does not believe claims that justice aborts or obstructs efforts to make peace, and that it thus must be tamed if not postponed to a distant future in the name of the requirements of humanitarian reality or the requirements of negotiating for peaceful solutions. It is well-known that backing away on the issue of justice in Darfur and its requirements in Sudan came under the pretext of the demands of the humanitarian reality, and that those who gather today to back away from justice regarding Gaza pretext the importance of the negotiation process being led by the United States between the Palestinians and the Israelis, knowing that Israel has made clear that it would not sit down at the negotiations table as long as the Goldstone Report is on the table at the Security Council and in international forums.

Goldstone has challenged the logic of sacrificing justice for stability and peace. He quoted what former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali told him in anger when he issued – as the General Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia – the formal accusation against Radovan Karadzic, who was convicted of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. He told him that the timing of the formal accusation would kill the peaceful negotiation process and threaten stability. Yet what actually happened was that the Dayton Agreement came in the wake of the formal accusation being issued and regardless of its timing.
The issue of fear that justice will abort efforts for peaceful negotiations is only one of the excuses that are piling up and racing to elude addressing the Goldstone Report at the UN Security Council and from there to the International Criminal Court, in case both the Israeli and Palestinian sides refuse to conduct an impartial, serious and credible investigation into what took place in terms of war crimes and crimes against humanity during the Gaza war. The other excuse now being waved by the Europeans who seek to prevent the Goldstone Report from reaching the Security Council, and in fact oppose the General Assembly issuing a resolution that exceeds a mere invitation to both the Israeli and Palestinian sides to conduct investigations, is the excuse of “what can be done”. They, and most prominently France, say that it would be more appropriate for the Palestinians to put forth next week a realistic draft resolution which could be implemented and which Israel could be convinced of, one that would fall into the category of what can be reached, even if it is incomplete, because the world of today is not a perfect one, and we must thus be content to work towards “what can be done”.

The fact of the matter is that the formula must not rest on “what can be done”, but rather on “the right thing to do” when it comes to accountability for committing war crimes or crimes against humanity. What is being addressed, as a matter of fact, is not Israel’s war in Gaza, because the debate over this war might pave the way to a political debate. What is being addressed is how Israel carried out the war in Gaza. Indeed, it had previously carried out the war in Lebanon on the basis of destroying the infrastructure and punishing civilians. And this is what it did in Gaza when it considered that Gaza’s inhabitants were terrorists and adopted the policy of terrorizing civilians under the pretext of self-defense. Of course, Israel considers that the way it has carried out the war has been successful, because it has silenced Hezbollah’s rockets from Lebanon and Hamas’s bombshells from Gaza. Yet this is a temporary “accomplishment” at best. Furthermore, if it continues to carry out its wars by committing war crimes and crimes against humanity without being held accountable, its methods of warfare by violating international laws and conventions of war will increase, multiply and worsen. This is why the Goldstone Report is so important. It is the deterring report that must not be lost amongst the pages of political mistakes. Thus the Palestinian Authority bears great responsibility as it works towards a draft resolution next week in collaboration with regional organizations.

The first thing these organizations and the Palestinian Authority should stop doing is pretend that the Goldstone Report condemned Israel alone, while the report clearly states that Hamas and the other Palestinian organizations and factions that fired their rockets and missiles against Israeli civilians had in turn committed “war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity”. Any draft resolution at the General Assembly next week will lose a great deal of support if it ignores the Palestinian aspect. This aspect is certainly a complex one, because there are those who consider that placing Hamas in charge of conducting the investigation, being in control of Gaza, could be used as a means for an implicit international recognition of Hamas, making matters even more complicated. However, despite the complexity, it will not be acceptable for the majority at the General Assembly to single out Israel to be held accountable by exonerating the Palestinians. 

The Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement may be enthusiastic about driving the Goldstone Report to the bosom of the Security Council through a resolution that the General Assembly would adopt next week. These organizations and the Palestinian Authority have the responsibility to behave wisely and rationally, and to accept a resolution that would demand that both the Israeli and Palestinian sides conduct internal investigations, yet with a mechanism that would allow the Secretary-General of the United Nations to monitor the way the investigation is carried out, so as to be credible and serious, and so that it may be completed within a specific period of time, while clearly suggesting that the Secretary-General is the link to the Security Council in case the two sides were to fail to comply to conducting the investigation. 

It will not be useful for the report to be immediately turned over to the Security Council to be faced either with not obtaining the necessary votes or with a multiple veto. The veto in New York must not be a political goal to compensate for the mistakes made in Geneva. The issue could be turned over to the two parties through the Secretary-General, who in turn can appoint a committee of five or ten experts to monitor implementation then present a report to the Human Rights Council, which is a subsidiary body of the General Assembly, before the end of the 13th session by the end of this year. After that, if Israel or Hamas were to elude a serious investigation, the issue can be returned to the Security Council through the Secretary-General, by being entrusted by the General Assembly with the task of making use of the powers granted by Article 99 of the UN Charter to address the issue at the council. 

Indeed, unveiling and exposing the double standards of Europe, the US, Russia and China must not be an end in itself, even if it leads to putting an end to the Goldstone Report. Exposing double standards must be tactical and well-planned within the framework of a lucid strategy that builds on what the Goldstone report has accomplished in order to achieve justice and to deter Israel and Hamas from committing war crimes, and so that no country can continue to carry out wars by violating international law without accountability that would deter it from repeating such violations in the future.



UNHRC endorses Goldstone report, angers Israel

DEBORCHGRAVE Commentary: Bridges too far (in Afghan quagmire)

Commentary: Bridges too far

UPI Editor at Large

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 (UPI) — Not one of the 42 nations involved on the ground in Afghanistan wants to stay the course until the birth of a new nation, cleansed of Taliban insurgents, and a reasonable facsimile of democratic rule. To begin with, no one believes this would be possible short of another 10-year commitment. And untold billions more in economic aid when donor nations are already awash in red ink.

A wise veteran Arab intelligence hand said Afghanistan is now tailor-made for deals with the principal tribal chiefs designed to detach them from the Taliban they fear more than U.S. and NATO troops. Tribal maps are more important than provincial demarcations under a despised central government. This would cost several hundreds of millions of dollars, he said, not the tens of billions that are now being wasted on an unwinnable war.

With much experience dealing with Afghanistan when the mujahedin guerrillas were fighting Soviet occupation troops in the 1980s and again with the Taliban regime when it seized power in 1996 and before it got kicked out by the U.S. invasion in 2001, the former Arab intelligence chief says it may still be possible to suborn lukewarm Taliban supporters into a compromise coalition.

The 1893 (Mortimer) Durand line, named after the foreign secretary of British India, cosigned by the Emir of Afghanistan, drew an imaginary 1,610-mile border that artificially divides the same tribes. It was part of the “Great Game” of nations designed, by the British Empire , to contain Russian expansionism. The 100-year agreement expired in 1993. A more realistic division would keep the same tribes together in a renegotiation that is long overdue.

This is more important than redoing the Afghan presidential election at a time when President Hamid Karzai is not only known to have stolen it, but, more seriously, has a drug-dealing brother tarred and feathered by a CIA connection brush.

U.S. President Barack Obama presumably has studied the history of the Vietnam negotiations. They began shortly after the February 1968 Tet offensive, hailed as a Communist victory by the Western media but seen as a defeat by the post-war memoirs of North Vietnamese generals. Vietcong troops attacked 27 cities and towns simultaneously but, in each case, were repulsed with huge losses (45,000). Hopefully, Obama has talked with John Negroponte, a Vietnamese-speaking young diplomat who pioneered the secret negotiating track as a Kissinger scout. Negroponte was also the first director of national intelligence, in charge of 16 intelligence agencies and 100,000 people with a budget of $50 billion.

On-and-off talks took place over the next four years interspersed with military action, e.g., the incursions into Cambodia to disrupt North Vietnam ‘s supply lines and a major South Vietnamese offensive without U.S. involvement. Finally, Henry Kissinger announced Oct. 26, 1972, “Peace is at hand.”

In an interview this reporter conducted with Ho Chi Minh’s successor, Pham Van Dong, it soon became clear North Vietnam and the United States read the peace accords differently. This led to the 1972 Christmas bombing of Hanoi , which, in turn, produced the revised agreements that were signed Jan. 23, 1973, in Paris .

Two more months saw the last U.S. soldier out of Vietnam . And South Vietnam held its own for two more years — until the U.S. Congress yanked the rug from under our allies and cut off any further military assistance.

Nor is there a fast track to peace in Afghanistan . As President Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of State George Shultz said this week, “Initial military successes by the U.S. and the coalition forces were compromised by an attempt to create an Afghanistan that has never previously existed — one with a centralized government and a strong national army. Any future approach must recognize the fact that Afghanistan is a bottom-up, rather than top-down, country, and thus change must be instituted on a local rather than a national level.”

With a majority of the American people against any widening of the war with more blood and treasure, the best card Obama has in hand at this time is to make deals with some of the major tribal leaders who don’t approve of the way the Taliban enforces its feudal religious writ by cowering the rest of the population. Anyone suspected of cooperating with U.S. and NATO forces is dragged out and beheaded or shot in front of villagers.

The CIA and U.S. Special Forces — together 410 men — with a helping hand from Russian intelligence liberated Afghanistan in October 2001. The Taliban regrouped in Pakistan ‘s tribal areas. Bankrolled by the opium poppy trade, they rearmed and went back into Afghanistan . The Pakistani army, under U.S. prodding, tried to dislodge the Taliban from their safe havens but failed. Now, stung by the Taliban’s brazen attacks close to Islamabad , the army has launched a major offensive and met with initial successes.

So this is no time to be accusing the Pakistani intelligence service, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coyly suggested on a visit to Pakistan last week, of concealing the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.

Working with Pakistani intelligence, this would be a propitious time to contact major Afghan tribal chiefs and work out the kind of deals that the former Arab intelligence chief was talking about. They must be made to understand that NATO and U.S. forces are not there to occupy Afghanistan and want to leave as soon as we are reasonably certain that al-Qaida will not be allowed back. What kind of government the Afghans wish to give themselves should be of no concern to Obama and the allies.

Tribal loyalties are much stronger than the shaky Afghan nation-state. There is an urgent need to upgrade knowledge of the dominant Pashtun tribe. It was one of the keys to the Bush administration’s success in 2001. It is still a key, this time for a successful exit for 42 nations that don’t belong there. And to make sure al-Qaida does not return.

The following is the Washington Times version of the above article:
Nation-state nonstarter – Washington Times

Ron Paul was excellent about the Iraq/Afghan quagmires and the coming war with Iran in the following youtube:

Ron Paul vs. Michael Moore on Larry King CNN 10/29/2009

“Matthew Hoh, a former marine captain who fought in Iraq and was posted to Afghanistan’s Zabul province where the Taliban is strong, questioned the purpose of the war and said that many Afghans were fighting only because foreign troops are in their country.”

First US official resigns in protest at Afghan war 

U.S. official resigns over Afghan war
The bottom line (to the Afghan quagmire):
US-led war in Afghanistan ‘unwinnable’

Afghanistan: A War of Lies:

So one can clearly argue that 9/11 happened because of Israel and that the US invaded Afghanistan because of 9/11 and therefore because of Israel (look up ‘Israel as a terrorist’s motivation’ in Bamford’s ‘A Pretext for War’ book as the paperback version of ‘A Pretext for War’ includes an additional section about the AIPAC espionage case):



John Hibbs wrote:


Tony: Thanks for sending this link to the Bill Moyer’s video. It should be required viewing for every adult American. I have long contended that if the government sent an invoice to every taxpayer in the country, and had enforcement powers to collect, for his/her share of the actual out-of-pocket for the cost to conduct either the Afghan or the Iraq war, we would never have gone —- and sure as hell wouldn’t send more troops to in what many bright people on both sides of the political spectrum consider a hopeless cause (in Afghanistan).

Moyers reminds us about the monetary cost. But his really powerful message comes at the end.

For all those blind copied, please take four minutes to view Bill Moyers, —a fine, well respected journalist if ever there was one. Then, please forward



Israel’s European Lobby

Again how Israel spends our money and influences those against American interests..

Israel’s European Lobby
By Maidhc Ó Cathail

October 28th, 2009

“Dissident Voice” —

In their 2006 article “The Israel Lobby,” John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt famously assert, “Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.” Having for decades successfully steered policymaking in Washington in a pro-Israel direction, Israel’s American Lobby has more recently turned its attention to Europe. Despite its brief presence in Brussels, it appears to have already had marked success in influencing the nascent foreign policy of the European Union.
One of the most important of the more than 60 organizations that make up “the Lobby” is the American Jewish Committee (AJC). Jeff Blankfort, an American Jew who is one of the Lobby’s most trenchant critics, described the AJC as “the Lobby’s unofficial foreign office.” Extending its global diplomatic mission, the AJC opened an office in Brussels in 2004. Since then, according to Blankfort, it has held weekly meetings with a high official or the chief of state of EU member states. The meetings seem to be having the desired effect. As Blankfort wrote in 2006, “Over the past year the EU has moved away from relative support for the Palestinians to adopting one position after another reflecting Israeli demands.”

As part of its lobbying efforts in Brussels, the AJC founded the Transatlantic Institute (TAI) in February 2004. According to its mission statement, the institute functions as “an intellectual bridge between the United States and the European Union” with the aim of “strengthening transatlantic ties.” Although it describes itself as “nongovernmental, non-partisan and independent,” TAI’s publications leave little doubt that it intends to shift the EU in a more aggressively pro-Israel direction, as the neoconservatives succeeded in doing with the Bush administration’s Middle Eastern policy.

Like American neocons, the TAI’s executive director, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, has a “special affinity for Israel.” Before moving to Brussels, the Jewish Italian academic taught Israel Studies (a discipline which Mearsheimer and Walt describe as “intended in large part to promote Israel’s image”) at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, after having received his PhD in political science from Hebrew University in Jerusalem. And like the current Israeli government and pro-Israeli groups worldwide, Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons are Ottolenghi’s overriding concern at the moment – now that the threat of Iraq’s non-existent WMDs has promptly been forgotten. In his 2009 book, Under a Mushroom Cloud: Europe, Iran and the Bomb, Ottolenghi urges Europeans to stop Iran’s nuclear program. Despite his concern about the bomb, it’s unlikely that he would support a comprehensive ban on nuclear weapons in the Middle East – since Israel is the only country in the region that currently possesses them.

Israel’s crying wolf is nothing if not predictable though. As for the “mushroom cloud” that’s supposedly looming over Europe, who, bar the mainstream media, could forget Condoleezza Rice’s pre-Iraq invasion soundbite: “we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”? It was Michael Gerson, Bush’s pro-Israel speechwriter, who thought up that one. Incidentally, Gerson was so incensed by Mearsheimer and Walt’s criticism of the Lobby that he accused them in his Washington Post column of “sowing the seeds of anti-Semitism.”

Anyone for World War IV?

Before European policymakers give too much credence to the prescriptions of Ottolenghi and his “non-partisan” institute, they should familiarize themselves with the geopolitical outlook of Commentary, the magazine for which Ottolenghi blogs. Like the Transatlantic Institute, which became “the flagship of neoconservatism” in the 1970s, it was also founded by the American Jewish Committee, a relationship that lasted from 1945 to 2006. But above all, Commentary has been dominated by the political views of Norman Podhoretz.

Podhoretz, who has edited Commentary since 1960, claims that September 11, 2001 marked the beginning of World War IV (he considers the Cold War to have been World War III). “We are only in the very early stages of what promises to be a very long war,” declares the doyen of neoconservatism, “and Iraq is only the second front to have been opened in that war: the second scene, so to speak, of the first act of a five-act play.” Whatever about the incalculable cost in blood and treasure to the United States, presumably Israel won’t have any enemies left standing by the end of this bloody drama. Coincidentally or not, in 2007, the same year he published World War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism, Podhoretz was honoured by Bar-Ilan University with its Guardian of Zion Award, bestowed on Jews who have been supportive of the State of Israel.

However, those who question the motives behind Podhoretz’s enthusiasm for World War IV, or believe that his belligerent Zionism poses a far greater threat to world peace than “Islamofascism” – a nebulous concept that lumps together disparate entities such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran and Al Qaeda – are invariably smeared as anti-Semites. It’s not surprising, of course, that Zionists like Ottolenghi, in a transparent attempt to discredit their opponents, claim that “anti-Zionism is anti-semitism.” After all, “the charge of anti-semitism,” as Mearsheimer and Walt point out, is one of the Lobby’s “most powerful weapons.”

What is worrying, however, is that the EU now legitimates the deployment of that weapon by pro-Israelis against their critics. According to the definition given by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, it seems that you’re an anti-semite if you agree with Mearsheimer and Walt that pressure from Israel and the Lobby played a “critical” role in the decision to invade Iraq, or if you suspect that the likes of Podhoretz and Ottolenghi may be more loyal to Israel than they are to their respective countries. Before coming up with their working definition of anti-Semitism in 2004, the EU consulted with Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee. If they were asked about the question of loyalty, the AJC probably forgot to mention the case of Jonathan Pollard.

Pollard, an American Jew, is now serving a life sentence for stealing thousands of documents while employed as an analyst for US naval intelligence during the mid-1980s. In Dangerous Liaison, Andrew and Leslie Cockburn write, “Though he always maintained that he was motivated purely by devotion to Israel, he was well paid for his services.” That money may have come from the US-Israeli Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), according to Claudia Wright, the author of Spy, Steal, and Smuggle: Israel’s Special Relationship with the US. When Jordan Baruch, an adviser to BIRD’s board, was asked for an audit report, he replied, “Even if I did (have one), I couldn’t release it.” Interestingly, it was Baruch and his wife, “long-time AJC leaders,” who funded the Transatlantic Foundation.

In his address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, Benjamin Netanyahu portrayed Israel’s grievance against Iran as a conflict which “pits civilization against barbarism.” It’s tempting to dismiss the Israeli leader’s assertion as the hyperbolic trope of a demagogue, but there may be some truth to what he said. After all, what better word than “barbarism” to describe what Israel has done to the Palestinians for the past six decades? Or the havoc that Israel’s supporters in America have wrought on the people of Iraq? Or the untold devastation they have in mind for the Iranians? The influence the Israel Lobby wields in Washington has ensured that the United States has long been complicit in Israel’s barbarism. And if the Lobby gets it way in Brussels, so too will the European Union.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a freelance writer living in Japan who writes a monthly political column for Kansai Time Out magazine. He also contributes a monthly column to the Irish language internet magazine Beo! Read other articles by Maidhc, or visit Maidhc’s website.

Ron Paul: Sanctions on Iran are an Act of War! (Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing)

Ron Paul: Sanctions on Iran are an Act of War! (Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing)

Ron Paul was excellent about the Iraq/Afghan quagmires and the coming war with Iran in the following youtube:

Ron Paul vs. Michael Moore on Larry King CNN 10/29/2009

The Israel lobby in the US wins yet another round on the way to its long desired war with Iran:

Subject: U.S. Lawmakers Push for Harder Line on Iran

Yes, There Is a Guerrilla War Against Zionism in the U.S. What Should Jewish Institutions Do?

More on Berman:

Disinformation about the Iranian “Threat” (by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski): 


 Civil War(s) in Iraq/Afghanistan: Back Door to War on Iran

Israel Ever-Present at US-Iranian Negotiations

U.S. Middle East policy motivated by pro-Israel lobby

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel