Archive for November, 2009

J Street – Progressives or Propagandists?

J Street – Progressives or Propagandists?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 6:49 PM
From: “Stephen Sniegoski”


Here is a little follow-up to my article on J Street with my summary of this
revealing video, “Israel and the American Left,” from the J Street
conference, which was called to my attention by the indefatigable James

Earlier article: “The False Hope of J Street and the Gentile Problem,”

Video: “Israel and the American Left,” 

The video is of a J Street panel, “American Progressives and Israel:
Friends, Enemies, or ‘It’s Complicated’?,” comprised of Michelle Goldberg,
J.J. Goldberg and Ezra Klein, with Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor of “The
Nation,”  serving as the moderator.   The fundamental  goal of the panelists
was to try to reconcile the Jewish exclusivism of Zionism with the
universalism of the Left.  It should be emphasized that they find it much
more important to make this ideological reconciliation than to reconcile
loyalty to Israel with loyalty to the United States.  Quite obviously, in
progressive circles, being  attacked for being “right-wing” carries an
infinitely greater sting than being called disloyal to the United States
(and besides, no respectable  mainstream figure would dare to call a
partisan of Israel disloyal to the United States).  Moreover, those
progressive intellectuals not immune to critical self-reflection do have to
overcome the obvious contradictions between Zionism and the Left in their
own minds.

The reconciliation of Zionism and the Left is more than “complicated,”
requiring the panelists to engage in various mental gymnastics and
contortions transcending straightforward logic.   Why should liberal and
leftist Jews support Israel?  The progressive panelists understandably did
not express the religious view that God had given Jews the land or the
tribalist, historical argument that modern Jews had rightful ownership of
the land because their co-ethnics had controlled it over 2000 years ago.
Moreover, they did not take the victimologist position that Jews deserved
the land because in the Holocaust they had suffered more than any other
people in world history.  In fact, the panelists did not provide any
rational reason to support Israel beyond  saying that they supported and
even loved the Jewish state  because they themselves were Jewish. It is hard
to see how this explanation could mesh with the universalism of the Left,
since if all ethnic groups took a comparable position there could be no
universalism, or at least a very different type of universalism from that
advocated by Leftist Jews for countries other than Israel, namely, a world
consisting of a congeries of  ethno-states.

This issue of group loyalty, of course, becomes most salient in regard to
the Israel-Palestine issue. It is not apparent how people who are loyal to
their own ethnic group could possibly be unbiased in disputes where their
beloved ethno-state is involved. Yet this seems to be exactly what many
pro-peace gentiles seem to expect as they look to J Street to endorse a fair
resolution of the Palestine-Israel conflict.

While these J Streeters identify with Israel, they do differ with the
hard-line Zionists in their willingness to acknowledge Israel’s flaws.  They
admit that the conventional Jewish presentation of Israel as a completely
benign state is false and that effective efforts have been made by
pro-Zionists to distort and suppress the truth.   They go much further than
mainstream media figures in acknowledging the existence of taboo truths
regarding Israel. Undoubtedly, any mainstream gentile writer  who  dared to
say anything  comparable would be inundated by attacks of anti-Semitism.

However, the J Streeters only provide a partial truth.  They never explain
what allows these taboos to exist.  In essence, a discussion of the
inordinate power of Jews in America is off limits (despite J.J. Goldberg’s
book “Jewish Power.”)  Moreover, they exonerate Jews of culpability for
suppressing truth by saying that this censorship of negative facts about
Israel is understandable because Jews, at least older Jews, have memories of
the Jewish persecution, which they fear could return if these inconvenient
facts were aired in the mainstream.  Placation of Jewish emotions is thus
considered at least as important as truth.  Such  concern for people’s
feelings, however,  does not seem to apply to gentiles. What about the
feelings of the oppressed Palestinians?  What about the feelings of those
people who are punished for expressing the truth regarding Israel? What
about the feelings of Americans who must support Israel’s oppression of the
Palestinians and consequently engender  the hatred of most of the world? 

Most detrimental to the expression of truth, the panelists imply that the
public airing of truths can lead to trouble if these truths are used
improperly by “anti-Semites” to make Israel and Jews in general look bad.
Michelle Goldberg refers to the disturbing phenomenon whereby various truths
cross the line to become “anti-Semitic.” Since her review of my book, “The
Transparent Cabal,” had placed my book in this lethal category, it would
seem that even a candid  presentation of the facts is unacceptable if it
puts Israel or its supporters in too negative a light, as perceived by
liberal supporters of Israel.

An overall assessment of their view of criticism of Israel leads to the
conclusion that their concern about the suppression of truth reflects not a
concern about truth per se or about freedom of expression, but rather a
concern that suppression of truths about Israel is counterproductive.
Promiscuous use of the anti-Semitism charge has become so debased that it
alienates potential supporters of Israel and provides a favorable
environment  for anti-Zionists and anti-Semites to effectively sell their
version of the truth as a believable alternative.  Michelle  Goldberg opined
that these extreme Zionist falsehoods and taboos  created a  “Petri dish”
for anti-Semitism.

But while the panelists were opposed to the existing Zionist censorship,
they did not seek an environment of  unhindered expression.  Rather, they
sought the replacement of outright censorship by what might be called
managed truth.  There  was a need to air unflattering  truths about Israel
and Israel’s supporters, but the airing should be done by people who have
the interests of Jews and Israel at heart.  Factual truths would be revealed
but only in a benign context in regard to Israel and its supporters. Doing
otherwise would be seen as   tabooed anti-Semitism.  Progressive Zionists,
rather than hard-line right-wing Zionists, would presumably serve as the
gatekeepers. Obviously, the anti-Semitic charge coming from liberal J
Streeters carries far more weight than the same charge coming  from neocons
and hard core Zionists such as Norman Podhoretz

Now what type of concrete policy toward the Palestinians do the panelists
really want?  Once again, their concern is not so much about providing
justice to the Palestinians as about protecting the Jewish nature of Israel.
They fear that the failure to provide a two-state solution would ultimately
lead to demands for a one-state solution, which Israel would be unable to
resist.  And in the unified state, Jews, no longer representing a
substantial majority of the population, would be unable to maintain a
Jewish-dominated state.  This would spell “finis”  for Zionism.

Although the J Streeters’ fundamental objective is to protect Israel, they
also profess to believe that justice for the Palestinians is essential to
achieve that goal.  So, if true,  justice for the Palestinians would result
from the  rational self-interest of Zionist Jews-it would be the only way to
preserve the Jewish state. But do the J Streeters really offer a solution
that would provide the Palestinians with true justice?   

While the panelists are vocal about the fact that a majority of Israeli Jews
and most Israeli political leaders have, in recent years, supported a
two-state solution, they fail to point out the salient fact that no Israeli
government in the various “peace” processes has ever offered the
Palestinians  a viable state.  There are always Jewish settlements remaining
in  key areas, Israeli military roads criss-crossing the territory, Israeli
control of the West Bank aquifers (the Palestinians’ principal  supply of
water), Israeli control of the boundary along the Jordan River, etc.  In
short, no Israeli government, Left or Right, has been willing to offer the
Palestinians anything more than a series of non-contiguous, waterless
Bantustans, existing on only a portion of the West Bank.  However, it seems
that the panelists believe that Israel has offered  fair deals to the
Palestinians, which, recently,  have been undermined by the Israeli Right
and Hamas. 

Looking at all this, it becomes apparent that the actual effect of J Street
will be not to change Israel’s actual policies, but instead simply to change
the perception of Israel  by liberal opinion in the United States and the
West.  J Street’s achievement will be to provide a “moderate” and “fair”
image to Israeli plans for a Palestinian “state.”  The fact that the Zionist
Right would likely be yelling appeasement and condemning J Street as a bunch
of  “self-haters” would do even more to bolster the “fairness” image of any
Israeli peace proposal endorsed by J Street.  Conversely, any Palestinian
rejection of such “liberal” peace terms supported by J Street would provide
greater justification for their demonization and harsh treatment by the
Israeli government.  But all of this should be understandable given the fact
that J Streeters explicitly identify with Israel.  When lobbies dominate the
policy-making process, it is conventionally assumed that such policies do
not advance the general good.  There is no reason to think otherwise in the
case of an Israel lobby-even a lobby that comes cloaked in the veneer of
justice and moderation. 

This is not to imply the J Streeters have ulterior motives.  With their
ideological blinders and ethnic loyalty,  the J Streeters probably are
sufficiently self-deceived to believe that Israel will treat the
Palestinians justly.  But all the evidence shows that, to the contrary,  the
Israeli government is unwilling to provide the Palestinians with a viable
state.  Quite likely, the Israeli governing elite believes that the security
of the state of Israel precludes making the requisite concessions to the
Palestinians to  actually allow for a viable state.  Thus, despite any
intentions to the contrary,  J Streeters simply serve as public-relations
propagandists for perpetuating the policy of subordinating the Palestinians
to Israel. 

Transparent Cabal Website


My recent article “Obama, nuclear-arms reduction, and the power of the
Israel Lobby” is posted at

Stephen Sniegoski


The False Hope of J Street and the Gentile Problem

Sanctions against Iran Now Imminent

The pro-Israel lobby (to include ‘The Israel Project’) is pushing hard for confrontation with Iran as the following conveys:

Subject: Sanctions against Iran Now Imminent  



Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644,
Jennifer Packer: 202-857-6657,

 Sanctions against Iran Now Imminent
Obama: New Sanctions May be Decided “Within Weeks”A History of Iran’s Defiance of Nuclear Negotiations
Expert Sources on IranA day before the UN Security Council is to meet in Brussels Nov. 20 to consider tough new sanctions against Iran, President Obama said the measures could be imposed in the next few weeks if the Islamic Republic continues its intransigence.[1]Unless Iran changes course, Obama said during a speech Nov. 19 in Seoul, South Korea, “ Over the next several weeks, we will be developing a package of potential steps that we could take, that would indicate our seriousness to Iran.“[2] The P5+1 – the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France plus Germany – last met in Geneva Oct. 1 to offer a proposal in which Iran would send its uranium for enrichment to Russia and China.[3]On Nov. 18, Iran indicated that it would not agree to the plan.[4]In the meantime, Rep. Howard Berman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, gained support for tougher sanctions on Iran through the Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act. The act was approved Oct. 28. The following day, the Senate’s Banking Committee approved a set of sanctions that went even further. The full House may soon begin discussions of the Sanctions Act.[5]Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have said the latest revelation of a once-secret nuclear enrichment site near the Iranian city of Qom may mean Iran is developing other such sites.[6] IAEA inspectors returned Oct. 29 to their Vienna headquarters after visiting the Qom facility to determine whether the plant is part of a military nuclear program, and will report to the IAEA Board of Governors at its Nov. 26-27 meeting.[7]


Yes, There Is a Guerrilla War Against Zionism in the U.S. What Should Jewish Institutions Do?
Howard Berman on Israel and the pro-Israel lobby


Obama renews threats against Iran (for AIPAC)

Obama renews threats against Iran

Obama says time running out for Iran on nuclear deal

The U.S. Jew whose Iran views rile Israel intelligence officials

The U.S. Jew whose Iran views rile Israel intelligence officials


By Akiva Eldar, Haaretz Correspondent

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hillary Mann Leverett and her partner and husband, Flynt Leverett, make the Iran desk staffers in the Israeli intelligence community see red. For the past two years the Leveretts, both of whom are former U.S. National Security Council and State Department officials, have preached relentlessly against using sanctions and threats against Iran.

In late September, a harsh op-ed they wrote condemning the Obama administration appeared in The New York Times. In it they argued that the lofty talk of “openness” and the promise of “dialogue” with the Iranians are just empty rhetoric. On their Internet site, in lectures, in interviews and in their journal articles, they present assessments and proposals for action that are different from, and sometimes nearly the opposite of, those that politicians and experts in the West and in Israel present the public. They are critical of the U.S. support of Israel’s nuclear ambiguity and are horrified by the possibility of Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear installations.

Mann Leverett, today the CEO of the Stratega political-risk consulting firm, was a panelist in a discussion on Iran at the J Street conference in Washington two weeks ago. Before a full house of a mostly Jewish audience, she analyzed the Iranian strategy without bias or emotion: For years now, more sanctions, more boycotts and more threats have not budged Iran from its nuclear program, and they will not budge it in the future. The time has come to try to talk the Iranians in a different language, a language of respect and cooperation.

According to her, since the invasion of Iraq, Iran’s regional influence has increased to the point that, without it, no progress can be made on such critical issues as the Palestinians, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan and energy.

In a conversation with Haaretz, Mann Leverett, 41, said that up until seven or eight years ago, relations with Iran were “in the category of ‘nice to have’ for U.S. foreign policy. Today, rapprochement with Iran is in the ‘must-have’ category: The United States cannot achieve any of its high-profile objectives in the Middle East without a more productive relationship with the Islamic Republic, as it is constituted rather than as some wish it to be.”

Mann Leverett’s critics find it hard to dismiss her by labeling her as an “Israel hater.” She grew up in a Jewish household, attended Brandeis University, worked as an intern at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, which was born in the offices of AIPAC. She served in the U.S. Embassy in Cairo under Dan Kurtzer (and also in the embassies in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar). When she returned to the United States she joined a team headed by the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at the time, Richard Holbrooke, which participated in talks with Iran over Afghanistan.

Her acquaintance with the Iranians deepened after the attacks of September 11, 2001, when she worked at the National Security Council in the unit that advises the president on Iran, Afghanistan and the Gulf states. She speaks of impressive cooperation with the Iranians, leading to the capture and expulsion of 200 Al-Qaida members from their country. According to Mann Leverett, a directive from Tehran ordering the Iranian militias in Afghanistan to join a local force established by the United States spared the Americans the kind of trouble and losses being inflicted by the militias Iran is now funding and training in Iraq.

“I was deeply impressed,” she said, “by the quality of my Iranian interlocutors and the sophisticated manner in which they thought about their country’s national interests.”

This impression was confirmed by the many meetings she held with Iranian diplomats, officials and intellectuals across the ideological spectrum after her retirement from government service in 2004.

“Many career professionals in the State Department, the military and the U.S. intelligence community commend my argument on the necessity for a comprehensive framework for resolving U.S.-Iranian differences and realigning relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic in the same way President Nixon realigned relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China,” Mann Leverett said. “Some of the more political types in the Obama administration wish I’d shut up and just be supportive of whatever they do.”

She is also attacked on the Jewish right, but many in the community, she says, fear the disastrous consequences of getting blindly swept up into war with Iran over Israel’s security and peace in the region.

To a question about the possibility that Israel will attack Iran, she relates above all as an American.

“Iran will not distinguish between an ‘Israeli’ attack and a ‘U.S.’ attack in calculating its response. If attacked by Israel, Iran will respond against both Israeli and American interests. Iran has many levers for targeting U.S. interests in the region, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the Pentagon has complained about Iranian support for attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, if one considers how much damage the Iranians could do to U.S. interests in both Iraq and Afghanistan, one would have to conclude that Tehran has actually been rather restrained in these arenas. An Israeli military strike would almost certainly end that restraint,” she says.

Nor does she conceal her criticism of American policy regarding Israel’s own nuclear program. “President Obama may enjoy talking like he is serious about nuclear disarmament, but I don’t believe he is prepared to challenge Israel on the nuclear issue. Israel will be able to ignore the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty until an American president gets serious about global nonproliferation and disarmament, including the creation of weapons of mass-destruction-free zones in critical regions like the Middle East. That will require a country-neutral approach to nonproliferation issues by the United States, which would mean an end to U.S. support for Israel’s nuclear ambiguity,” Mann Leverett observes.

“American support for Israeli nuclear ambiguity strongly reinforces deep-seated perceptions in Tehran that the United States is out to ensure not merely Israel’s safety and security, but also its regional hegemony – and that is Iran’s principal concern about the U.S.-Israel relationship,” she says – in addition to Iran’s status in the Middle East.

In her opinion, the fear of Israeli hegemony explains Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s violent anti-Israel rhetoric and his denial of the Holocaust.

“Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric about Israel and the Holocaust serves instrumental purposes for him and is very calculated. His rhetoric about Israel and the Holocaust is very popular not only at home inside Iran, but on the Arab street. Since Ahmadinejad became president of the Islamic Republic, public opinion polls show that he is routinely one of the two or three most popular political figures in the Arab world. This makes it very difficult for Sunni Arab regimes concerned about Iran’s nuclear program or its rising regional influence to support military action against the Islamic Republic.”

Mann Leverett notes that in Ahmadinejad’s view, the only reward that his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami, received for his support of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was membership in the “axis of evil.” Therefore, she says, Ahmadinejad has concluded that “he will get no significant strategic benefits from talking politely about Israel.”

Obama threatens Iran (for AIPAC), China’s Hu urges dialogue

Obama threatens Iran, Hu urges dialogue

Obama says time running out for Iran on nuclear deal

Obama says time running out for Iran on nuclear deal

Alan Sabrosky – War With Iran? America’s Titanic Rushes The Iceberg

Obama’s War Signals: Iran in the crosshairs (for AIPAC & Israel of course!):

Same Song Different Verse

Ray McGovern: Shining Light on Roots of Terrorism


Ray McGovern: Shining Light on Roots of Terrorism
By Ray McGovern
November 15, 2009

Media commentary on the upcoming 9/11 trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has raised concern that state secrets may be divulged, including details about how the Bush administration used torture to extract evidence about al-Qaeda.

“I think that we’re going to shine a light on something that a lot of people don’t want to look at” is how American Civil Liberties Union attorney Denney LeBoeuf put it, according to The New York Times on Saturday.

No problem, says Attorney General Eric Holder, who claims to have “great confidence” that other evidence – apart from what may have been gleaned from the 183 times Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, for example – will suffice to convict him.

Maybe so, But what the Fawning Corporate Media (or FCM) have so far neglected is the likelihood that the testimony will be so public that they will have to break their studied silence about why Sheikh Mohammed and his associates say they orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.

For reasons that are painfully obvious, the FCM have done their best to ignore or bury the role that Israel’s repression of the Palestinians has played in motivating the 9/11 attacks and other anti-Western terrorism.

It is not like there is no evidence on this key issue. Rather, it appears that the Israel-Palestine connection is pretty much kept off limits for discussion.

Yet, as Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 conspirators go to trial, the FCM’s tacit but tight embargo will be under great strain. Eyes will have to be averted from the sensitive Israeli-Palestinian motive even more than from torture, which most Americans know about (and, God help us, are willing to explain away).

The Bromides

To refresh our memories, let’s recall the bromides we were fed by the likes of President George W. Bush about why the terrorists attacked on 9/11.

Rather than mentioning long-held grievances expressed by many Arabs – such as Western intrusion into their region, Washington’s propping up of autocrats who enrich themselves in deals with multinational oil companies, and Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory – Bush told the American people that “the terrorists hate our freedoms.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reprised that feel-good theme in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute on May 21. Cheney said the terrorists hate “all the things that make us a force for good in the world — for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences.”

Some observers might have found those qualities strange for Cheney to cite given his role in violating constitutional rights, torturing captives and spreading falsehoods to justify an aggressive war against Iraq.

But Cheney also slipped up in the speech, presumably because he had lost his best speechwriters upon leaving office. He inadvertently acknowledged the Israeli albatross hanging around the neck of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

“They [terrorists] have never lacked for grievances against the United States.  Our belief in freedom of speech and religion … our belief in equal rights for women … our support for Israel… — these are the true sources of resentment,” Cheney said.

Yet “our support for Israel” is hardly ever included in these formulations, but Cheney at least got that part right.

Rarely in the FCM – and not even often on the Web – does one find Sheikh Mohammed’s explanation for what motivated him to “mastermind” 9/11. Apparently, few pundits have made it as far as page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report.

The drafters were at work on the report when they learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been captured. They knew that he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina A&T in Greensboro in 1986, before going to Afghanistan to fight the Russian occupier.

And it seems their first assumption was that he suffered some major indignity at the hands of Americans in Greensboro. Thus the strange wording of one major finding on page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

“By his own account, KSM’s animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experience there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

Moreover, the footnote section reveals that KSM was not the only “mastermind” terrorist motivated by “U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel,” although in the footnote the Commission dances around a specific reference to Israel, leaving it to the reader to infer that point from the context. Note the missing words in the footnote on page 488:

“On KSM’s rationale for attacking the United States, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003 (in this regard, KSM’s statements echo those of Yousef, who delivered an extensive polemic against U.S. foreign policy at his January 1998 sentencing),” the footnote said.

Was Yousef, who happens to be Mohammed’s nephew, perhaps upset about U.S. foreign policy favoring NATO expansion, or maybe toward Guam? Obviously, the unstated inference in the footnote was about Israel.

The First Attack

The family connection between Yousef and Mohammed was not incidental, either. “Yousef’s instant notoriety as the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing inspired KSM to become involved in planning attacks against the United States,” the 9/11 Commission Report noted on page 147.

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on Feb. 26, 1993, when a car bomb was detonated below Tower One. The 1,500-pound urea nitrate-hydrogen gas-enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower, bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people.

It failed to accomplish that, but the bombing did kill six people and injured 1,042.

Motive? Ramzi Yousef spelled out his motive in a letter to The New York Times after the bombing:

“We declare our responsibility for the explosion on the mentioned building. This action was done in response for the American political, economical, and military support to Israel, the state of terrorism, and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region.”

Yousef was captured in Pakistan in 1995, imprisoned in New York City, and held there until his trial. On Nov. 12, 1997, he was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” and was sentenced the following January to life without parole. He is held at the high-security Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Regarding the touchy Israel connection, the 9/11 Commission stepped up to the plate in the “Recommendations” section of its final report, which was issued on July 22, 2004, but then bunted:

“America’s policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world. … Neither Israel nor the new Iraq will be safer if worldwide Islamist terrorism grows stronger.” (pp 376-377)

A more convincing swing at this issue was taken in an unclassified study published by the Pentagon-appointed U.S. Defense Science Board on Sept. 23, 2004, just two months later. The board stated:

“Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States.

“Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.”

The report directly contradicted what Bush had been saying about “why they hate us,” letting the elephant out of the bag and into the room, so to speak.

But, you say, you didn’t hear much about that report either, despite 24-hour cable “news” networks and the “change-everything” importance of 9/11 in justifying U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

Creative Editing

If you’ve read down this far, you will not be surprised that the FCM ignored the Defense Science Board findings for two months. On Nov. 24, 2004, The New York Times, erstwhile “newspaper of record,” finally published a story on the report — but only after some highly instructive surgery.

Thom Shanker of the Times quoted the paragraph beginning with “Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom'” (see above), but he or his editors deliberately cut out the following sentence about what Muslims do object to, i.e., “what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights” and support for tyrannical regimes.

The Times did include the sentence that immediately followed the omitted one. In other words, it was not simply a matter of shortening the paragraph. Rather, the offending middle sentence fell victim to the “delete” key.

Similarly creative editing showed through the Times’ reporting in late October 2004 on a videotaped speech by Osama bin Laden. Almost six paragraphs of the story made it onto page one, but the Times saw to it that the key point bin Laden made at the beginning of his speech was relegated to paragraphs 23 to 25 at the very bottom of page nine.

Buried there was bin Laden’s assertion that the idea for 9/11 first germinated after “we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American-Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon.”

There is other evidence regarding the Israeli-Palestinian motive behind 9/11.

Though Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not allowed to talk to the attorneys in the 2006 trial of 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, the judge did allow into the official record a statement by Mohammed on the “Purpose of the 9/11 Attacks,” which was drawn from “numerous written summaries of Sheikh Mohammed’s oral statements in response to extensive questioning.”

The following statement from Sheikh Mohammed appears on page 11 of Defense Trial Exhibit 941 from “United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Criminal No. 01-455-A”:

“Sheikh Mohammed said that the purpose of the attack on the Twin Towers was to ‘wake the American people up.’ Sheikh Mohammed said that if the target would have been strictly military or government, the American people would not focus on the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel against the Palestinian people and America’s self-serving foreign policy that corrupts Arab governments and leads to further exploitation of the Arab/Muslim peoples.”

Some recent articles about Mohammed’s upcoming trial also have mentioned the Israel-Palestine motive behind 9/11, though usually in passing and deep inside the stories. For instance, Sunday’s New York Times carries a front-page article giving a “portrait of 9/11 ‘Jackal,’” Mohammed.

But one has to read deep into the jump on page 26 to learn that the original plan for the 9/11 attacks envisioned Mohammed flying on one of 10 planes that were to be hijacked and that “he would be on the one plane not to crash, and after the plane landed would emerge and deliver a speech condemning American policy on Israel.”

Revisionist View

Yet, the Fawning Corporate Media won’t stop performing its creative editing – or creative composition – to obscure this motive. Never mind what the 9/11 Commission Report said about Mohammed not being driven by resentments from his college days in North Carolina, theWashington Post offered a revisionist view on that point on Aug. 30:

“KSM’s limited and negative experience in the United States — which included a brief jail stay because of unpaid bills — almost certainly helped propel him on his path to becoming a terrorist,” according to an intelligence summary, the Post reported. “He stated that his contact with Americans, while minimal, confirmed his view that the United States was a debauched and racist country.”

A telling revision perhaps extracted from one of Mohammed’s 183 waterboarding sessions – and certainly politically more convenient in that it obscured Mohammed’s other explanation implicating “U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

But let’s look for a moment at the “debauched and racist” part. Could Mohammed be speaking some truth here – and not just about his college days of the 1980s?

Would the Washington Post’s editors be so supportive of the “war on terror” if captives from a more favored ethnic or religious group were stripped naked before members of the opposite sex, put in diapers, immobilized with shackles in stress positions for long periods, denied sleep and made to soil themselves?

In my view, racism comes very much into play here. If Mohammed and other detainees looked more like us, would it be so easy to demonize and waterboard them? [See, for example, Consortiumnews. com’s “Bush’s Interrogators Stressed Nudity.”]

Unguarded Moments

At rare moments, however, hard truths about the 9/11 motivations slip out – although not in high-profile presidential speeches nor in Washington Post op-eds. For instance, at a public hearing in June 2004, 9/11 Commissioner Lee Hamilton asked a panel of government experts, “What motivated them [the hijackers] to do it?”

The CIA analyst in the group is seen in some panic, directing his eyes toward the other panelists in the all-too-obvious hope that someone else will answer the politically loaded question. FBI Supervisory Special Agent James Fitzgerald rose to the occasion, saying:

“I believe they feel a sense of outrage against the United States. They identify with the Palestinian problem; they identify with people who oppose oppressive regimes, and I believe they tend to focus their anger on the United States.”

For Hamilton and his colleagues that proved to be a politically incorrect answer. Ergo, you will not find that testimony in the 9/11 Commission Report. And notably absent from the report’s recommendations is any suggestion as to how one might address the question of Israeli treatment of Palestinians and U.S. support for it.

In their book Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, Chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are unusually candid in admitting that this issue was so sensitive and contentious that they chose the course of least resistance.

Despite the findings of the Commission staff – and FBI Agent Fitzgerald – that the hijackers were not motivated by religious ideology, many of the Commissioners much preferred attributing the attacks to Islam than to U.S. policy toward Israel.

Kean and Hamilton explain that those commissioners were dead set against identifying Israel as a major factor motivating the terrorists, because someone might get the idea that Washington should reassess its policy.

But it’s a legitimate and urgent question: Would a more determined commitment by the U.S. government to secure an independent state for the Palestinians and to alleviate their suffering undercut the appeal of al-Qaeda and other extremist groups to young people in the Muslim world?

Or put differently, why should ardent supporters of Israel in the U.S. Congress behave in such a way as to make the Muslim world view the United States as disinterested in the plight of the Palestinians and thus increase the danger of future attacks against the United States, as well as against Israel?

The Goldstone Report

The rest of the world and most Americans opposed the Israeli strikes on Gaza last December and January that resulted in the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, with 13 Israelis also killed. And there was wide criticism of the silence not only of the Bush/Cheney administration, but also of President-elect Barack Obama.

The UN-authorized investigation by the widely respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew, pointed to war crimes by both Israel and Hamas, although the inquiry’s harshest criticism landed on Israel for the staggering civilian death toll.

This finding led Israel’s Likud government to activate its powerful U.S. lobby, which pressed the House of Representatives to denounce the Goldstone report, which the House did on a 344-36 vote.

In a wondrous display of pot-and-kettle, House members branded the Goldstone report “irredeemably biased.” Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called the report “unbalanced and unfair and inaccurate.”

These so-called “friends of Israel” either don’t know or don’t care that this sort of resolution only makes matters worse regarding American attempts to defuse the explosive anger building across the Middle East. It is a gift to al-Qaeda.

This U.S. pandering to the Likud Lobby – and the implicit suggestion that the lives of 1,400 Palestinians don’t much matter – also is bad for the people of Israel. Indeed, it may prove suicidal, by delaying the geopolitical imperative for Israel to make peace with its Arab neighbors and thus avert some future catastrophe.

Closer to home, by further identifying itself with – and justifying – Israeli repression of the Palestinians, the United States helps breed more Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds and Ramzi Yousefs, more young terrorists determined to make Washington and the American people pay a price.

It requires no logical leap to conclude that Likud-friendly lawmakers — the Steny Hoyers, the Howard Bermans, the Ileana Ros-Lehtinens of this world — could scarcely think up a better way to raise the threat level from terrorists who feed on festering sores like the calamity in Gaza.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He worked as an Army intelligence officer and CIA analyst for almost 30 years, and is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). He spent a few weeks in Israel and the occupied territories in summer 2008.


Ray McGovern used the following youtube videos as a reference for his article referenced above:

What motivated the 9/11 hijackers? See testimony most didn’t

Purpose of the 9/11 Atacks?:

UNHRC endorses Goldstone report, angers Israel:

U.S. House Approves Resolution Condemning Goldstone Report


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s Criminal Trial May Shine Light on Roots of Terrorism


One can bet that the pro-Israel biased ‘American’ media won’t even touch the primary motivation (US support of Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinians as conveyed via the following youtube and on page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report) for the tragic attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11:

What motivated the 9/11 hijackers? See testimony most didn’t

Additional at the following URL:

Accused 911 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces New York trial

The Israel lobby and the Jewish kings (by Philip Weiss)

The Israel lobby and the Jewish kings (by Philip Weiss)

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

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

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel

Accused 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces New York trial

Accused 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed faces New York trial 

Lawyer: 9/11 defendants want platform for views

Prosecuting Mohammed: Harder Than You Think,8599,1939374,00.html

One can bet that the pro-Israel biased ‘American’ media won’t even touch the primary motivation (US support of Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinians as conveyed via the following youtube and on page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report) for the tragic attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11:

What motivated the 9/11 hijackers? See testimony most didn’t

SCANDAL: 9/11 Commissioners Bowed to Pressure to Suppress Main Motive for the 9/11 Attacks.

“Sit Down!” The Power to Silence the Truth about 9/11″ Part 2

9/11 and Wrong Policy, what the 9/11 Commission Report did to us:

The Bottom Line (to the Afghan quagmire):

Be sure to read the Los Angeles Times article posted near the beginning of the following URL (and access the links there as well if interested further):

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel

Video that gets to the Israel question:

The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel

War With Iran? America’s Titanic Rushes The Iceberg

Alan Sabrosky – War With Iran? America’s Titanic Rushes The Iceberg