Archive for June, 2010

John Mearsheimer – Sinking Ship

John Mearsheimer – Sinking Ship

The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself.

Guess Who Wants to Kill the Internet?

Guess Who Wants to Kill the Internet?

30. Jun, 2010

It would be hard to think of anyone who has done more to undermine American freedoms than Joseph Lieberman.

Since 9/11, the Independent senator from Connecticut has introduced a raft of legislation in the name of the “global war on terror” which has steadily eroded constitutional rights. If the United States looks increasingly like a police state, Senator Lieberman has to take much of the credit for it.

On October 11, 2001, exactly one month after 9/11, Lieberman introduced S. 1534, a bill to establish a Department of Homeland Security. Since then, he has been the main mover behind such draconian legislation as the Protect America Act of 2007, the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010, and the proposed Terrorist Expatriation Act, which would revoke the citizenship of Americans suspected of terrorism. And now the senator from Connecticut wants to kill the Internet.
According to the bill he recently proposed in the Senate, the entire global internet is to be claimed as a “national asset” of the United States. If Congress passes the bill, the US President would be given the power to “kill” the internet in the event of a “national cyber-emergency.” Supporters of the legislation say this is necessary to prevent a “cyber 9/11” – yet another myth from the fearmongers who brought us tales of “Iraqi WMD” and “Iranian nukes.”

Lieberman’s concerns about the internet are not new. The United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which Lieberman chairs, released a report in 2008 titled “Violent Islamist Extremism, The Internet, and the Homegrown Terrorist Threat.” The report claimed that groups like al-Qaeda use the internet to indoctrinate and recruit members, and to communicate with each other.

Immediately after the report was published, Lieberman asked Google, the parent company of You Tube, to “immediately remove content produced by Islamist terrorist organizations.” That might sound like a reasonable request. However, as far as Lieberman is concerned, Hamas, Hezbollah and even the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are terrorist organizations.

It’s hardly surprising that Lieberman’s views on what constitute terrorism parallel those of Tel Aviv. As Mark Vogel, chairman of the largest pro-Israel Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States, once said: “Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions … is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress. There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman.”

Lieberman has been well-rewarded for his patriotism – to another country. In the past six years, he has been the Senate’s top recipient of political contributions from pro-Israel PACs with a staggering $1,226,956.

But what is it that bothers Lieberman so much about the internet? Could it be that it allows ordinary Americans access to facts which reveal exactly what kind of “friend” Israel has been to its overgenerous benefactor? Facts which they have been denied by the pro-Israel mainstream media.

How much faith would American voters have in the likes of Lieberman, who claims that the Jewish state is their greatest ally, if they knew that Israeli agents planted firebombs in American installations in Egypt in 1954 in an attempt to undermine relations between Nasser and the United States; that Israel murdered 34 American servicemen in a deliberate attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967; that Israeli espionage, most notably Jonathan Pollard’s spying, has done tremendous damage to American interests; that five Mossad agents were filming and celebrating as the Twin Towers collapsed on September 11, 2001; that Tel Aviv and its accomplices in Washington were the source of the false pre-war intelligence on Iraq; and about countless other examples of treachery?

In his latest attempt to censor the internet, does Lieberman really want to protect the American people from imaginary cyber-terrorists? Or is he just trying to protect his treasonous cronies from the American people?

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan. To read more of his writing, go to Maidhc Ó Cathail: Writing and Analysis.


Executive Privilege

Kucinich: We Are Losing Our Nation to Lies About the Necessity of War

Kucinich: We Are Losing Our Nation to Lies About the Necessity of War

June 28, 2010, WASHINGTON
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement on the floor of the House concerning an expected vote on a $33 billion supplemental war funding bill:

“In a little more than a year the United States flew
$12 billion in cash to Iraq, much of it in $100 bills, shrink wrapped and loaded onto pallets. Vanity Fair reported in 2004 that `at least $9 billion’ of the cash had `gone missing, unaccounted for.’ $9 billion.

“Today, we learned that suitcases of $3 billion in cash have openly moved through the Kabul airport. One U.S.
official quoted by the Wall Street Journal said, `A lot of this looks like our tax dollars being stolen.’ $3 billion.  Consider this as the American people sweat out an extension of unemployment benefits.

“Last week, the BBC reported that “the US military has been giving tens of millions of dollars to Afghan security firms who are funneling the money to warlords.” Add to that a corrupt Afghan government underwritten by the lives of our troops.

“And now reports indicate that Congress is preparing to attach $10 billion in state education funding to a $33 billion spending bill to keep the war going.

“Back home millions of Americans are out of work, losing their homes, losing their savings, their pensions, and their retirement security.  We are losing our nation to lies about the necessity of war.

NYT Attacks “Border” With False Rant of Pro-Coup Reporter
Tuesday 29 June 2010, Robert Naiman, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

No reasonable person would have bet serious money that news editors at The New York Times would be huge fans of Oliver Stone’s new documentary about South America, “South of the Border.” A key point of the film is that mainstream US press coverage of South America in recent years has generally followed State Department priorities more than objective news standards. The New York Times comes in for specific criticism in the film, which notes that the paper editorially backed the short-lived US-backed coup against the democratically-elected government of Venezuela in 2002. (Key evidence on the US role in the coup can be found here. After the coup collapsed, the Times half-apologized for its pro-coup editorial, as also noted in the film.)

But still, accepting that no one likes to be criticized, there are supposed to be rules for newspapers like the Times. In an editorial, they can express any opinion they want. But news articles are supposed to be accurate, and if a reporter has a direct interest or bias in a situation, the paper should assign another reporter or at least disclose the interest or bias.
But on Friday, The New York Times ran an attack on Oliver Stone’s documentary by Larry Rohter, an attack that claimed the film was full of inaccuracies. Not only was The New York Times attack itself inaccurate in its factual claims, as documented by Stone, Mark Weisbrot and Tariq Ali in their response – do they have fact-checkers at the Times ? – but more importantly, the Times failed to acknowledge the bias of Larry Rohter in running the article. Rohter covered Venezuela for the Times during the period of the April 2002 coup, and during the coup, on April 12, 2002, Rohter wrote a piece for the Times claiming that the coup was not a coup, but a popular uprising. That alone should have disqualified Rohter from writing a piece on the film for publication by the Times. At the very least, the paper should have acknowledged Rohter’s previous advocacy for the coup – and its own.

From much past experience, I know that many will respond cynically to yet another attempt to raise the alarm about bias at the Times. “So The New York Times is a stenographer for the State Department. Tell me something new!” But this glosses over the fact that The New York Times’ biased reporting is an ongoing source of major social harm, because the Times continues, whether we like it or not, to be a leader in US media from whom others take cues. What appears in The New York Times appears to many to be holy writ. We swim in a sea of false information that the Times helps propagate, and frequently many – including many who count themselves cynical – aren’t aware of the false things that they believe that can be ultimately traced to a “report” in the Times.

No doubt, many supporters of US policy in South America and opponents of the region’s progressive governments will now cite Rohter’s piece in the Times as “evidence” that the film is “inaccurate,” in an attempt to discredit the film. “See, even the liberal New York Times says the film is inaccurate,” they may say, which would be funny if it weren’t so sad.
Fortunately, anyone can go to the film’s web site and read for themselves the filmmakers’ refutation of The New York Times attack. If you think The New York Times’ public editor ought to investigate whether the Times acted appropriately in running Rohter’s piece, you can tell that to the public editor (

Israel reported setting up Saudi base for Iran raid

Israel reported setting up Saudi base for Iran raid

An Iranian allegation that Saudi Arabia is allowing Israel to use its terroritory in preparation for attacking Iran nuclear sites has stirred a flurry of reports in the Israeli media.
The allegation could not be independently confirmed, and the Saudis deny cooperating with the Israeli military.
The Jerusalem Post website on Sunday said reports that the Israeli military had established a base in Saudi Arabia originated with Iranian and Israeli news outlets. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Ha’aretz were among Israeli media carrying the reports credited to Fars, the semi-official Iranian news agency. The Fars report was also picked up buy international outlets such as UPI.
The reports said the Israeli base is about five miles from Tabuk in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The Islam Times said Israeli airplanes landed at an international airport and Israeli soldiers unloaded military equipment on June 18 and 19. Saudi officials canceled commercial air traffic and, one traveler told the Islam Times, paid to put up passengers in nearby four-star hotels to prevent them from expressing anger.
Tabuk, the closest Saudi city to Israel, is just south of Jordan, the Post said.
Earlier deal reported
The claim follows a report two weeks ago in the London Times Magazine that Saudi Arabia had given Israel permission to fly through a narrow corridor of airspace in northern Saudi Arabia to shorten the flight time Israeli jets need to reach Iran.
The London Times said that Saudi Arabia had adjusted its missile defense systems to ensure that Israeli jets are not shot down while passing through Saudi airspace on the way to an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
But Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf told the London-based Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat that it would be “illogical to allow the Israeli occupying force, with whom Saudi Arabia has no relations whatsoever, to use its land and airspace,” the Post said.
The report that Israeli forces are being allowed on Saudi territory follows Arab media stories last week that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan canceled military cooperation agreements with Israel after Israel’s assault on a flotilla of Gaza-bound ships. The intervention ended in the death of nine Turkish activists.
The military agreements would have allowed Israeli jets to fly through Turkish airspace to Georgia and on to Iran, the Post said.
Analysts skeptical
“Obviously there is much fear in the Arab world, and a clear understanding in Saudi Arabia as well as in Israel that a nuclear Iran is a great threat,” Dr. Ephraim Inbar, director of the Begin- Sadat Center for Strategic Studies in Ramat Gan, told the Post.
However, he told the paper, he doubted the Saudis would want to get mixed up with an Israeli operation.
“They are afraid of Iran and if the Israeli action is not successful they would be vulnerable to Iranian retaliation,” Inbar told the Post, noting the news first came from Iran.
Maybe Iran is warning the Saudis it knows what’s going, he suggested.
“It’s also possible that Saudi Arabia let the news out as a warning to America that if you don’t do something, we will,” he told the Post.
But several analysts were skeptical of a Saudi-Israeli alliance on Iran.
“It would be impossible for the Saudis to allow an Israeli attack on Iran,” Shafeeq Ghabra, a Gulf geopolitics expert at Kuwait University, told the Post. “For Saudi[s] to cooperate with a regime that is occupying Jerusalem, laying siege to Gaza and building settlements in the West Bank would undermine justice in the way the Saudis see it.”
Yet another war for Israel coming right at US?
Reports: IAF Landed at Saudi Base, US Troops near Iran Border



US Support of Israel’s brutal oppression of the Palestinian people was the PRIMARY MOTIVATION for the tragic attacks at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and earlier in 1993 as well (simply look up ‘Israel as a terrorist’s motivation’ in the index of James Bamford’s ‘A Pretext for War’ book and access the following URLs as well):

G-8 ‘fully believes’ Israel will attack Iran, says Italy PM

  • Latest update 17:05 27.06.10

G-8 ‘fully believes’ Israel will attack Iran, says Italy PM

World leaders meet in Ontario for two days of talks, urge Iran to ‘respect rule of law’ and ‘hold transparent dialogue’ over its nuclear program.

By Yossi Melman Tags: Iran nuclear Israel news

World leaders “believe absolutely” that Israel may decide to take military action against Iran to prevent the latter from acquiring nuclear weapons, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Saturday.

“Iran is not guaranteeing a peaceful production of nuclear power [so] the members of the G-8 are worried and believe absolutely that Israel will probably react preemptively,” Berlusconi told reporters following talks with other Group of Eight leaders north of Toronto.

The leaders of the G-8, which comprises Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Canada and the United States, devoted much of their two-day session to discussion of the contentious nuclear programs unfolding in North Korea and Iran.

The leaders issued a statement on Saturday calling on Iran to “respect the rule of law” and to “hold a “transparent dialogue” over its nuclear ambitions.

In their communiqué, the leaders of the world’s richest countries said they respected Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear program, but noted that such a right must be accompanied by commitment to international law.
“We are profoundly concerned by Iran’s continued lack of transparency regarding its nuclear activities and its stated intention to continue and expand enriching uranium, including to nearly 20 percent,” they said in a communique.

“Our goal is to persuade Iran’s leaders to engage in a transparent dialogue about its nuclear activities and to meet Iran’s international obligations,” adding that they urged the Islamic Republic “to implement relevant resolutions to restore international confidence in the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program.”

Their conclusions followed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s declaration late last week that Tehran was prepared to lay down its conditions to the international community regarding discussion of its nuclear program.

Report: US battleships cross Suez Canal (for coming war with Iran which will be for Israel as well?)

Report: US battleships cross Suez Canal

Reports: IAF Landed at Saudi Base, US Troops near Iran Border (yet another war for Israel coming soon?)

Reports: IAF Landed at Saudi Base, US Troops near Iran Border

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
( The Israeli Air Force recently unloaded military equipment at a Saudi Arabia base, a semi-official Iranian news agency claimed Wednesday, while a large American force has massed in Azerbaijan, which is on the northwest border of Iran.

Both reports follow by less than a week the Pentagon’s confirmation that an unusually large American fleet sailed through the Suez Canal Saturday. Several reports stated that an Israeli ship joined the armada.

The Pentagon played down the news, saying the American maneuvers were routine. However, a report by Iran on Wednesday that it has enriched dozens of pounds of 17 per cent enriched uranium serves as a reminder that time is running out to stop Iran from being able to produce a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the Israeli military aircraft landed 10 days ago at the Saudi base near the city of Tabuk, located in northwest Saudi Arabia, one of the closest areas in the oil kingdom to Iran.

Fars said that the Tabuk base will be the central station for an Israeli attack on Iran. It quoted an Islamic news site that a commercial airline passenger said the airport in Tabuk was closed to all other traffic during the alleged Israeli landings. The passenger said that “no reasonable explanation” was given for shutting down the airport and those passengers were compensated financially and booked in four-star hotels.

“The relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel have become the talk of the town,” the passenger added. The chief authority in Tabuk, Prince Fahd ben Sultan, was reported be coordinating the cooperation with Israel.

Iran’s government-funded Press TV reported that the Revolutionary Guards began closely patrolling the Islamic Republic’s northwestern border after noticing the American forces, which Iran claimed also included Israeli troops. Azerbaijan’s independent Trend news site also reported on Wednesday that American armed forces are in the country, which is in an armed conflict with rebels.

Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Mehdi Moini said Tuesday that his forces are mobilized “due to the presence of American and Israeli forces on the western border.” The Guards reportedly have called in tanks and anti-aircraft units to the area in what amounts to a war alert.

Enriched Uranium
As signs point to a higher American-Israeli military profile aimed at Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, the Islamic Republic’s vice president and director of the nuclear program, announced Wednesday that Iran has produced another 37 pounds of uranium enriched to 20 percent. The production of the uranium defies United Nations demands that Iran stop its unsupervised nuclear development, although the 20 percent level is far below level that is needed to build a nuclear weapon.

“Potentially, we can produce 5 kilograms (11 pounds) a month, but we are not in a hurry over this,” Salehi told the semiofficial ISNA news agency.


Israel reported setting up Saudi base for Iran raid


Gulf Daily News

Israel ‘Plots Tehran Raid’  

June 26, 2010

MANAMA: Israel is massing warplanes in the Caucasus for an attack on Iran, it was revealed yesterday.

Preparations are underway to launch the military attack from Azerbaijan and Georgia, reports our sister paper Akhbar Al Khaleej, quoting military sources.

Israel was, in fact, training pilots in Turkey to launch the strike and was smuggling planes into Georgia using Turkish airspace, they said.

However, Turkey was unaware of Israel’s intention of transferring the planes to Georgia, the sources said.

The unexpected crisis between Israel and Turkey following an Israeli commando raid on an aid flotilla bound for Gaza Strip hit Israeli calculations.

Azerbaijan-based intelligence units, working under the cover of technicians, trainers and consultants, have helped with the preparations, the sources said.

Military equipment, mostly supplied by the US, was transported to a Georgian port via the Black Sea.

Georgian coastguard and Israeli controllers are co-operating to hide the operations from Russian vessels, said the sources.

They point out that according to Israel, it will not be in a position to launch a strike on Iran without using bases in Georgia and Azerbaijan due to the limited capabilities of its nuclear submarines stationed near the Iranian coast.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Press TV reported that a very large contingent of US ground forces had massed in Azerbaijan, near the Iranian border. The independent Azerbaijani news website Trend confirmed the report.

Those reports came just days after the Pentagon confirmed that an unusually large fleet of US warships had indeed passed through Egypt’s Suez Canal en route to the Gulf. At least one Israeli warship reportedly joined the American armada.

Press TV also quoted Iranian Revolultionary Guard Brigadier General Mehdi Moini as saying that the country’s forces are mobilised and ready to face Israelli and American “misadventures” near its borders.

* Iran last night said it has cancelled plans to send an aid ship to the Gaza Strip as Israel “had sent a letter to the UN saying that the presence of Iranian and Lebanese ships in the Gaza area will be considered a declaration of war on that regime and it will confront it,” Irna said.



Iran: G8 statement lacks legal basis

Mon, 28 Jun 2010 11:12:46 GMT

A top Iranian lawmaker has slammed the final statement of the Group of Eight industrialized nations as political ballyhoo issued under US pressure.

In a Monday interview with Fars news agency, Head of the Iranian Parliament’s (Majlis) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said, “The G8 statement against Iran’s nuclear program has no legal value.”

In their final statement issued Saturday, G8 leaders recognized Iran’s right to a civilian nuclear program while expressing concern over what they called Iran’s lack of transparency regarding its nuclear work.

“Our goal is to persuade Iran’s leaders to engage in a transparent dialogue about its nuclear activities and to meet Iran’s international obligations,” they said.

The Iranian lawmaker went on to criticize US policies, saying that Washington and its allies are not interested in resolving the issue outside the framework of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States.

“After issuance of the Tehran declaration, which provides the best way to supply the fuel needed for the Tehran research reactor, Washington pushed for the adoption of sanctions resolution and put other countries under pressure to issue a statement against Iran,” he added.

Boroujerdi stated that leaders of G8 — comprised of four of the five veto-wielding permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC) — Britain, France, Russia, and the US — plus Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan — are also pursuing US policies while numerous reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have confirmed the non-diversion of nuclear material in the country.

Iran, Brazil and Turkey issued the Tehran declaration on May 17 based on which Tehran announced readiness to exchange 1,200 kg of its low enriched uranium on Turkish soil for fuel for its medical research reactor.

However, the majority of the 15-member UNSC imposed a fourth round of sanctions against Tehran on June 9.

Iran rejects Western allegations that its nuclear program harbors a secret military aspect, arguing that as an IAEA member and a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), it has the right to peaceful and civilian nuclear energy.

Congress Overwhelmingly Passes New Iran Sanctions (for AIPAC on behalf of Israel)

Congress Overwhelmingly Passes New Iran Sanctions

Posted By Jason Ditz On June 24, 2010

Following a unanimous vote in the Senate earlier today, the House of Representatives tonight voted 408-8 to approve the massive new sanctions against Iran earlier this week, which center on forcing non-US companies to participate in the US embargo on Iran’s energy industry.

In the House of Representatives only two Republicans, Reps. Ron Paul (R – TX) and Jeff Flake (R – AZ), and six Democrats, Rep.s John Conyers (D – MI), Pete Stark (D – CA), Brian Baird (D – WA), Tammy Baldwin (D – WI), Earl Blumenauer (D – OR) and Dennis Kucinich (D – OH) opposed the bill.

Beyond punishing companies that do business with Iran’s oil and gas sector, the new sanctions will also expand the list of Iranian goods that are not allowed to enter the United States, and would encourage state and local governments to ‘divest’ from companies that flaunt the restrictions.

The sanctions are in addition to the sanctions announced last week by the Treasury Department, and the sanctions which the United Nations Security Council announced a week before that. Supporters say the sanctions are meant to “punish” Iran for an attempt to produce a nuclear weapon, though even America’s most recent National Intelligence Estimate says Iran doesn’t have any such program, and Iran is confirmed to not be enriching uranium beyond the level for civilian use.

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Punishing Turkey (for Israel)

Punishing Turkey

Posted By Philip Giraldi On June 23, 2010

Does anyone remember the movie The Boys from Brazil?  It told the story of how a group of top Nazis had moved to Brazil where they made a number of clones of Hitler-as-a-child that were being strategically placed around the world to eventually bring about a Fourth Reich. The movie ended ambiguously, with many of the Hitler children still alive and evidently expected to eventually turn into Hitler adults.  The movie makers were clearly on to something because there have been a lot of Hitler sightings by Israel and its friends over the past few years.  Saddam Hussein was described as a new Hitler while Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been depicted in even more heinous terms as a reborn Nazi leader preparing a new Holocaust.  More recently Israel demonstrators have displayed effigies of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the hairline altered and a moustache added to create a caricature of Hitler. 

The Turkish prime minister’s Hitler-like leanings first appeared when he dared confront Israel’s President Shimon Peres at an international meeting in Davos in January 2009.  Referring to the slaughter of Gazan civilians earlier that month, Erdogan told Peres “…you know well how to kill.”  But if there was any lingering doubt, Erdogan definitely became Hitler through his support of the flotilla that sought to bring aid to Gaza three weeks ago followed by his denunciation of the massacre initiated by Israeli commandos. His diabolical intent was made manifest when he then demanded justice for the nine Turkish citizens who were murdered.  Hitlerization is the price one inevitably pays for criticizing Israel or opposing its policies. 

Whenever Israel discovers that yet another foreign nation has turned Nazi and is intent on recreating the Holocaust, the American lap dog soon picks up the scent.  Andrew Sullivan has recently described the phenomenon as “Israel Derangement Syndrome,” which he describes as a “…form of derangement, or of such a passionate commitment to a foreign country that any and all normal moral rules or even basic fairness are jettisoned.  And you will notice one thing as well: no regret whatsoever for the loss of human life, just as the hideous murder of so many civilians in the Gaza war had to be the responsibility of the victims, not the attackers.  There is no sense of the human here; just the tribe.”  

The Gaza flotilla has been handled by the mainstream media in precisely that fashion – blaming the victim with a unanimity that overwhelms both justice and fairness.  No humanity, no mention of the deliberate attempt to starve Gaza most recently endorsed by alleged United States Senator from New York Charles Schumer who said “strangle them economically.”  Or, if one prefers the wisdom of Representative Eliot Engel, also from New York, the flotilla was “filled with hate-filled provocateurs bent on violence.”  Confronted by such hatred it is surprising that the Israeli commandos were so restrained, killing only nine passengers and wounding about forty more. 

As the popular narrative in the media has unfolded, Turkey was the aggressor and Israel yet again the victim.  Turkey now has to be punished.  Congress is already considering passing the frequently shelved Armenian Genocide resolution and Representative Mike Spence warns “There will be a cost if Turkey stays on its present heading of growing closer to Iran and more antagonistic to the State of Israel.”  Representative Shelley Berkley agrees, saying that she would actively oppose Turkey’s attempt to join the European Union.   Just exactly how she will do that is not completely clear.

The American media and the punditry in Washington has obediently been lining up to condemn Ankara, using two basic arguments.  The first contention is that Turkey has become a stronghold of Islamism, is edging towards a political and economic alliance with Iran, and is even acting friendly to terrorism-supporting neighbors like Syria.  The second narrative is that Turkey is no longer reliable due to its support of initiatives like the flotilla and also its bid to negotiate a solution to the Iranian nuclear program dilemma.

Those who know Turkey well realize that the country’s Islamism is a reflection of the simple fact that many Turks are deeply religious.  It does not mean that Turkish democracy is dead and the desire to make the state more reflective of religious sentiment will be held in check by the many Turks in the judiciary and military who see themselves as guardians of the secular constitution. Educated Turks in liberal urban environments are also frequently not religious at all and many are hostile to expressions of piety.  It is absolutely in the United States’ national interest to encourage the development of political systems in Muslim majority countries that accommodate both democratic pluralism and religiosity.  Turkey is far from perfect but it is a good example of how such a system might develop and should be encouraged, not subject to criticism that really has nothing to do with the Turks themselves and everything to do with Israel.

As for the claim that Turkey is sliding eastward, Turks have always seen themselves as a bridge between east and west and establishing a modus vivendi with one’s neighbors is just good politics and good business in the Near East.  As for the charge that Turkey is no longer reliable, one only has to note that nearly the entire world excepting only Israel supports the lifting of the siege of Gaza while many nations welcomed Turkey and Brazil’s initiative to resolve the stand-off over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.  The United States, inevitably lining up in support of Israel and seemingly willing to go to war with Iran on Tel Aviv’s behalf, is, as usual, politically isolated in its support of policies that will go nowhere and accomplish nothing.

The hysteria about Turkey is, if anything, more intense at the various neocon think tanks and in their websites on the internet where leading supporters of Israel are calling not only for punishing Turkey but also for kicking it out of NATO.  The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) has led the charge.  JINSA is the home base of leading neocons to include John Bolton, Michael Ledeen, Joshua Muravchik, Richard Perle and Kenneth Timmerman.  A JINSA report issued on June 8th cited Turkey for its “anti-Semitic ravings” and recommended that Washington “seriously consider suspending military cooperation…as a prelude to removing it” from NATO.  The hue and cry was shortly thereafter picked up by the other neocon heroes who continue to feature on the mainstream media in spite of their inability to get anything right.  The National Review Online’s Victor Davis Hanson called Turkey a “…sponsor of Hamas, ally of theocratic Iran, and fellow traveler with terrorist sponsoring Syria” conditions that are “antithetical to its NATO membership.”  Professor Eliot Cohen of Johns Hopkins University added in a June 7th Wall Street Journal op-ed that “A combination of Islamist rule, resentment at exclusion from Europe, and a neo-Ottomanist ideology that envisions Turkey as a great power in the Middle East have made Turkey a state that is often plainly hostile not only to Israel but to American aims and interests.”

In a Weekly Standard article on June 21st, Elliot Abrams chimed in with more of the same, observing that “it’s obvious that our formerly reliable NATO ally Turkey has become a staunch supporter of the radical camp. In the flotilla incident, it not only sided with but also sought to strengthen the terrorist group Hamas.”  As always the neocons speak with one voice in defense of Israel, making it appear that the entire process is orchestrated, which, of course, it is.  Will the neocons marginalize Ankara and succeed in forcing Turkey out of NATO?  Difficult to say, but one should fully expect moves by Congress to do just that or to pressure Turkey in such a way as to make Ankara withdraw from the alliance. 

Turkey is a vital strategic partner for Washington. With its large population and thriving economy, it might well be the indispensible nation in the arc of states running from the Mediterranean to central Asia.  It has a long history of friendship towards the United States combined with a national interest that compels it to encourage stability among the countries that it borders and more broadly throughout the Middle East.  In spite of misgivings about specific policies, it houses a major US airbase at Incirlik and has supported Washington’s nation building efforts in Afghanistan.  But now it must be punished because it has crossed the line by opposing the kleptocracy Israel.  And it will be punished, first pilloried in the US media, a process which is underway right now, and then by the US Congress and White House, which will together find some subtle and not-so-subtle ways to bring Ankara to heel.  And the loser in all of this will be the American people, who will alienate a good and staunch friend in the Middle East and make another unnecessary enemy.

Read more by Philip Giraldi

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