Archive for May, 2011
US Congress mesmerized by Netanyahu’s “lies and illusions”
LOCATION (URL) -
SYNOPSIS – Lawrence Davidson views the “sustained standing ovations” given to
Israel’s Binyamin Netanyahu at the US Congress on 24 May. He argues that
Congress’s “accepted version of reality is maintained by Zionist misinformation
fortified by donor dollars to the campaigns of both parties” and that in US
politics “it is the money that conditions the mind to an uncritical acceptance
of a perverted reality”.
FOR THE FULL STORY, GO TO:
‘The smallest minds and cowardliest hearts’: Is Congress clapping for apartheid?
Posted By Stephen M. Walt Wednesday, May 25, 2011 – 1:13 PM Share
Mark Twain once described members of Congress as having “the smallest minds and the selfishest souls and the cowardliest hearts that God makes.” Twain’s mordant assessment provides a parsimonious explanation for the predictably rapturous reception that Bibi Netanyahu received there yesterday. All one can say about the vast majority of our courageous elected officials is that they aren’t genuine friends of Israel, because every burst of applause was another nail in the coffin of the Zionist dream.
Why? Because Netanyahu’s central message yesterday was an emphatic rejection of a genuine two-state solution. While professing to be willing to make major sacrifices for the sake of peace, his lengthy list of preconditions made it abundantly clear that he thinks Israel is entitled to rule the Palestinian population in perpetuity-even when it becomes numerically larger than Israel’s Jewish citizens – and that the United States should back this effort no matter what. And even though the only alternatives to a two-state solution are 1) further ethnic cleansing, 2) a binational, one-state democracy, or 3) permanent apartheid, Congress is just fine with that.
It would be both tiresome and fruitless to fisk Netanyahu’s speech in its entirety, but you can find intelligent commentary on it here, here, here, and here. And don’t miss Lara Friedman’s hilarious annotated version here. Among his various applause lines, my personal favorite was the claim that Israel has to keep its settlements because 650,000 people (i.e., about 10 percent of Israel’s population) now live in them. (It’s not entirely clear where Netanyahu got that number, as most estimates of the settler population put it “only” half a million or so.)
The key point, however, is that the settlements didn’t sprout spontaneously, and the settlers themselves didn’t just show up by accident. On the contrary, the vast majority of the settlers are there because every Israeli government since 1967 has actively promoted and subsidized the colonization of the West Bank, even though this policy is contrary to international law and at odds with measures such as U.N. Security Council Resolution 242. Not only does 242 say that Israel should withdraw from territories occupied in the Six Day War (the French version of the official text says “the territories”) but it begins by emphasizing “the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.” The United States played a key role in drafting the resolution, and then effectively ignored its implications for the next forty years.
Some people still believe that settlement building was just a wacky project undertaken and backed primarily by religious extremists and by rightwing parties like Likud. In fact, colonization of the West Bank began under the Labor-led governments in the 1960s and 1970s, and governments of all stripes have backed it without exception. Read Gershom Gorenberg’s Accidental Empire, Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar’s Lords of the Land, or Shlomo Gazit’s Trapped Fools, and you will learn that settlement building was a deliberate policy designed to “create facts,” so that future prime ministers like Netanyahu could claim it was simply impossible for Israel to withdraw. And the location of key settlement blocs like Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim were chosen to secure Israeli control over key aquifers and make it difficult-to-impossible to create a viable Palestinian state.
As I said in my previous post, Israel faces a choice – a two-state solution or apartheid — and it is now crystal-clear which one Netanyahu has chosen. I see this situation as genuinely tragic, as he is condemning several more generations to live in bitter conflict and putting his own country’s future at risk. That’s his privilege, I suppose, but America’s blind support for this foolish policy is also a serious threat to U.S. national security. So if your Congressman or Senator was clapping loudly yesterday, you might drop him or her a note and ask why they care more about subsidizing an illegal and unjust occupation than they do about America’s long-term welfare and well-being. You’ll probably discover that Twain was on to something.
The bottom line: Americans should be deeply ashamed of their Congress
Saturday, May 28, 2011 1:31 PM
From: “Sami Joseph”
M J Rosenberg’s
FOREIGN POLICY MATTERS
Congress To Palestinians: Drop Dead!
If anyone had any doubts about whether the Palestinians would declare a state in September, they can’t have them now.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Congress that essentially was a series of insults to Palestinians and their national aspirations. Every insult was met by applause and standing ovations.
In fact, Netanyahu’s appearance itself was an insult.
In the entire history of the United States, only four foreign leaders have addressed a joint meeting of Congress more than once.
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, America’s great ally, addressed Congress three times during and after World War II. South African President Nelson Mandela was honored for destroying apartheid and freeing South Africa. And Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was recognized for opening negotiations with the Palestinian people.
And now Netanyahu. But for what?
In his entire term in office he has done nothing but reject every request by the United States that he take some action (like freezing settlements) to promote Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. In the history of Israel, there has been no prime minister as hardline on Palestinian rights and as indifferent to the interests of the United States as Netanyahu.
So why was he invited to address a rare joint meeting?
He was invited because the new Republican leadership of the House of Representatives wanted to demonstrate, loudly and clearly, that Congress will not support President Barack Obama in the event that he tries to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian agreement.
And that is exactly what the Netanyahu appearance achieved. The prime minister unambiguously stated that he had no intention of making peace with the Palestinians.
He began by saying that, in point of fact, there is no occupation — that “in Judea and Samaria [the term Israeli right-wingers use for the West Bank], Israelis are not foreign occupiers” but the native inhabitants. (He cited Abraham and Isaiah from the Bible!)
He said he might consider giving up some of that land but not an inch of Jerusalem. Additionally, he said that Israel would retain most settlements and insist on a military presence in the Jordan Valley (thereby ensuring that any State of Palestine would be locked in on both sides by Israel).
He said that Israel would never negotiate with a Palestinian government that included Hamas, whether democratically elected or not. He declared that not a single Palestinian would be allowed to return to Israel; not even a symbolic return would be acceptable to him.
There is little reason to elaborate. Netanyahu essentially returned to the policies that Israel pursued before Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat agreed on mutual recognition and the joint pursuit of peace.
And the worst part is not the appalling things Netanyahu said, but how Congress received them. Even Netanyahu’s declaration that there is no Israeli occupation was met with thunderous applause, with the Democrats joining the Republicans in ecstatic support. Every Netanyahu statement, no matter how extreme, received cheers.
Netanyahu was also applauded wildly when he invoked Palestinian terrorism over and over again, even seeming to lump his former “partner,” President Mahmoud Abbas, in with people who “educate their children to hate, [who] continue to name public squares after terrorists, and worst of all, continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees.”
His bottom line, which Congress fully bought, was that all Palestinians are terrorists who haven’t earned a state and probably never will.
Congress cheered and cheered and, when Netanyahu was finished, they climbed over each other to touch the hem of his garment.
It was as if Congress thought that no Palestinians or other Arabs (or Muslims) would be watching. It was as if it believes that it can shout its lungs out for Netanyahu (and secure those campaign contributions from AIPAC supporters), without any consequences to U.S. policy and national interests in the Arab world or, for that matter, in the diplomatic community.
But Congress is wrong. The message it sent to the Middle East, to the whole world, in fact, was that Palestinians cannot count on the United States to ever play the role of “honest broker” between Israel and the Palestinians. Even if President Obama was inclined to, Congress would stop him. And AIPAC, using its leverage, would hold Obama’s feet to the fire, too. As far as Congress is concerned, Palestinians do not exist. They have no rights — to a state least of all.
And that is why Palestinians have no choice but to unilaterally declare a state in the fall. They can no longer rely on the promise that, one day, America will do something about the occupation. As David Ben Gurion understood when he went to the General Assembly to achieve recognition of Israel, a small, powerless people must take its destiny into its own hands.
The good news is that, although Congress is in Netanyahu’s pocket, the Obama administration isn’t. Netanyahu insulted the president at the White House last Thursday and then again in the halls of Congress by eliciting support for policies Obama rejects. And the administration is furious.
That means that while Palestinians can and should ignore Congress, the White House and State Department are still in play. Yes, they will both go along with Netanyahu, but probably without much enthusiasm.
And they can send a signal to our allies that although the United States cannot openly oppose Bibi’s policies because of Congress — and AIPAC’s control of it — the allies can. The Palestinians should not give up on Obama or on Secretary of State Clinton, who cannot abide Netanyahu and made sure she was out of the country to escape being present for his speech.
And so we can look forward to a unilateral declaration of statehood in September. The Israelis who refuse to negotiate with stateless Palestinians will have no choice but to negotiate with the state whose land it is occupying. And those negotiations, state to state, may produce peace and the “two states for two peoples” that most Palestinians and Israelis aspire to. In any case, it’s the only hope. (According to a new report by the editor of the Jerusalem Post, David Horovitz, there is no way the United States can use a veto to block UN recognition of the Palestinian state, a point the Israelis have missed but is not lost on the Palestinians.)
Palestinians should thank Prime Minister Netanyahu and, even more, the United States Congress for making their choice so much easier. Together they helped create the Palestinian state and did irreparable damage to America’s image as a beacon of humans rights and self determination.
Americans should be deeply ashamed of their Congress.
Israel wants to fast-track F-35 training
Published: May 27, 2011 at 1:28 PM
The Pentagon has already given the green light for Israel to purchase another 55 of the advanced, fifth-generation fighter.
All told, that’s enough to equip three squadrons with the F-35, forming a new strategic spearhead for Israel’s air power, which is largely equipped with Lockheed Martin F-16Is and Boeing F-15Is.
“The plane will provide the air force with new capabilities,” air force commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nechushtan declared Wednesday at a conference at the Fischer Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies near Tel Aviv.
“The F-35 is vital to our existence and will provide a dramatic leap in capabilities.”
But the JSF program has been plagued with problems, delaying the project by two years and massive cost overruns that have pushed the cost per aircraft up from the original figure of $69 million to more than $120 million.
Despite the Israeli air force’s enthusiasm for the aircraft, which commanders say will allow Israel to maintain its air supremacy over the countries regional adversaries, the acquisition has run into fierce opposition from legislators aghast at the ever-rising price-tag.
Meantime, the program continues to suffer setbacks that could delay its operational deployment in the Middle East.
Under the 2010 deal, in which payment for the aircraft will come from U.S. military aid to the Jewish state, Israel was to start taking delivery of the single-engine jets in 2015.
But that’s not likely to happen until 2017 because of the constant development problems Lockheed Martin has experienced with the F-35, powered by the F135 engine built by Pratt and Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp.
The JSF program took another blow recently when the U.S. Department of Defense disclosed that the aircraft, packed with advanced systems, may have less range than originally projected.
The F-35A model is currently estimated to have a combat radius, without in-flight refueling, of 584 nautical miles instead of the anticipated 690 nautical miles.
That could be a problem for the Israelis, who want the F-35 available for threatened pre-emptive, long-range strikes against Iran’s nuclear installations.
These would involve in-air refueling operations to get the Israeli strike jets to their targets and back to their bases.
So having the F-35′s range reduced from the original specifications could complicate what would be an already complex mission.
The JSF program is expected to cost the United States as much as $1 trillion over the coming two decades, the most expensive military project ever.
The plan is for 2,443 JSFs to be built, with different variants for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.
U.S. allies such as Britain, Italy, Singapore, Japan, the Netherlands, Turkey and Australia have committed to buy the F-35, although some, like Japan, have said they may drop it because of the development problems.
That’s likely to open the market for new strike aircraft that include the Eurofighter Typhoon built by a four-nation European aerospace consortium, Sweden’s Saab Gripen and France’s Dassault Rafale as well as Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
At one point recently, the Israelis were reported to be considering going for advanced models of the F-15I instead of F-35s because the Boeing fighters could be delivered sooner.
That option appears to have been dropped and the air force wants to start the one-year F-35 pilot training program in 2016, so that the flyers will be ready for operations when the jets are delivered in 2017.
“In terms of cost, we selected the best plane,” Nechushtan told an audience of defense industry executives and senior defense officials Wednesday.
“The forecasted delays in the delivery of the F-35 to the (Israeli air force) is less dramatic than what’s being said …
“We don’t want to contemplate a situation in which the (Israeli air force) has jets that are inferior to what others have,” Nechushtan commented.
But more trouble looms. U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, last week called the F-35 program a “train wreck” and suggested the Pentagon find an alternative to the JSF because of its astronomical costs.
Ya’alon: Military strike may be needed to stop Iran nukes
Israel firsters trying to link Iran to 9/11 to attack Iran next!
Commentary: Shining citadel redux
By ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
UPI Editor at Large
WASHINGTON, May 27 (UPI) — In January 1981, when Ronald Reagan was sworn in as the 40th U.S. president, he declared the federal budget to be out of control.
The deficit had reached $74 billion and the federal debt was at $930 billion. Reagan said that a stack of $1,000 bills equivalent to what Uncle Sam owed would be 67 miles high. Chump change and height today.
Now that same stack of $1,000 bills would reach 900 miles high. In $1 bills it would pile up to the moon — and back. Not once, but twice.
Like a drunken sailor, America continues to borrow about $125 billion a month — $10 billion of it from China. The United States now owes China $1.3 trillion.
Now at $14.3 trillion, the national debt must be raised again by Aug. 2 if the United States is to avoid default. The Lords of Capitol Hill are playing a dangerous game of chicken as no one wants to assume the responsibility of drastically curbing federal spending and raising taxes at the same time.
Default would rock global markets. By comparison, the Great Depression would look like children losing their weekly allowance. And the rest of the world would begin to look to China as the next global supreme power.
With the U.S. Navy SEALs raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his secret lair a short walk from Pakistan’s prestigious military academy, we have dramatic evidence that small-scale operations can be more effective for changing the course of history than multi-division invasions that inadvertently hand victory to our enemies.
The intelligence bonanza included a large collection of memory sticks, flash drives, digital/audio/video files, printed material, computer equipment, recording devices and handwritten documents — the single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever captured.
The intel has already been used to strike al-Qaida targets in other parts of the world.
The $1 trillion we blew on Iraq killed Saddam Hussein but it was a Pyrrhic victory that enhanced Iran’s power and influence in Iraq.
As the last 40,000 U.S. troops prepare to leave, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki knows he has to live in close proximity with Iran along a 700-mile border from the Persian Gulf to Turkey’s southeastern frontier.
The original U.S. strategic plan was to knock off the Iraqi dictatorship whose demise would prove contagious in Syria, and with pro-Western Jordan, give Israel 25 years of security.
The United States can no longer afford a global military strategy and a defense budget that is almost as large as those of the rest of the world combined. Aircraft carrier task forces, including aircraft and escort ships, cost $30 billion or more to build. Annual running costs: $5 billion plus.
There are 11 carrier task forces operational when cost cutters see barely sufficient resources for eight such carrier groups. This would save about $100 billion. The U.S. Navy’s current budget: $150 billion.
Yet conservative think tank experts are calling for a larger defense budget in order to keep the U.S. dominant on land, sea and air. Carrier-borne F-18 Super Hornets could have reduced Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad house and compound to dust. But this would have destroyed all the intelligence collected.
The Holy Grail of defense spending isn’t as holy as it was before Abbottabad.
Outspending and out-arming the Soviet Union worked at a time when the Soviet empire was on the verge of internal economic collapse. The “American Century” was the politico-military-economic miracle of the 20th century. If it has lost some of its luster in the early 21st century, it is entirely self-inflicted.
The Iraq war was an expensive mistake. The Afghan war was an ill-thought-through, expensive punitive expedition that dragged in 42 other nations and, thus far, cost the hapless U.S. taxpayer almost half a trillion dollars — with still a few years to go before all the troops come home.
Afghanistan’s Taliban regime was ousted in a couple of weeks by a U.S. force of 410 men (110 CIA operatives and 300 Special Forces), led by the CIA’s Hank Crumpton. The al-Qaida contingent, led by bin Laden, exited into Pakistan during the Battle of Tora Bora in December 2001.
Delusions of grandeur, or whatever it was, kept us spending billions on weapons systems for the last war, not the cyber and robotic conflicts of the future.
The F-35 will be the last manned fighter bomber built. And the Pentagon estimates the total cost of owning and operating the fleet of 2,500 F-35s at $1 trillion over the estimated 50-year life span of the aircraft. And that doesn’t include the $385 billion the Department of Defense will spend to buy them.
The U.S. Air Force is now training more drone operators than fighter and bomber pilots, a fundamental shift for the 62-year-old service.
Few of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s 4,000 cadets will ever get to fly manned aircraft. In the future, even aerial dogfights will be fought by drones piloted by remote control from hundreds of miles away.
The Global Explorer, with a wing span the same as a Boeing 747, flies at 65,000 feet for several days, well out of range of most anti-aircraft missiles, and monitors in a single shot an area of almost 300,000 square miles. All of Afghanistan is 252,000 square miles.
Global Explorer costs less ($30 million) and is more effective than a spy satellite. The stealthy and speedy Phantom Ray can dart in and out of enemy territory to destroy a preprogrammed target. The X-47B is the drone look-alike of a B-2 bomber.
There are now 7,000 drones of various types in the U.S. arsenal.
In Afghanistan, neither old nor new bells and whistles will prevent Taliban from coming back, albeit “reformed” with pledges to keep out those like bin Laden and their terrorist mobs. In fact, al-Qaida fighters took a powder during the battle of Tora Bora 10 years ago. And killing Afghan guerrillas wasn’t why friends and allies originally signed on.
American Armageddon: Why US Economy has Already Plunged Over the Cliff
Raising the roof on debt — RT
Ron Paul: End All The Unconstitutional Wars:
Celente Predicts Revolution, Food Riots, Tax Rebellions By 2012
Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic
America Armageddon: Why US Economy has Already Plunged Over the Cliff
The Book of Netanyahu
Posted By Philip Giraldi On May 25, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 2 Comments
On the First Day Lord Netanyahu met with his faithful counselor Count Avigdor. Avigdor said, “O Lord Netanyahu, you must go even unto the land of the Obamaites to deal with their King. The Obamaites have rendered unto us their gold and precious goods in great abundance but now their King is seeking to treat with our enemies.” Then Netanyahu spoke and his heart was full of anger. “Yea verily, we must smite them and also their wives and children and all that they hold dear. For even as we have smitten the children of Canaan we will strike them. They shall ken who is master and who is slave. Prepare for me my chariot of gold and I will journey even unto the land of the Obamaites with my host. Instruct our brethren in the land of the Obamaites to prepare for my coming with stealth. Organize them with weapons ready at hand and instruct them to deceive the Obamaites by declaring fealty and respect for the Kingdom of Obama so the King’s retainers will not fear them. When the King of the Obamaites declares his bad faith they shall be prepared to rise up and join us.” And so it was done. Lord Netanyahu ascended into his chariot of gold to confront the King of the Obamaites and smite him sorely. And the children of Israel rejoiced.
On the Second Day the King of the Obamaites ascended to his throne in the mighty castle hewn from white stone, the seat of his forefathers. His thoughts were heavy but his heart was filled with cunning. “My messengers have brought me news that afflicts me sorely. Lord Netanyahu is coming in his chariot of gold with all his array even unto our land. He will make demands from the people of Obama and his heart is filled with anger. I will speak first to my people and grant Lord Netanyahu much of what he seeks and so we might avoid the righteous wrath of the Israelites.” And so the King of the Obamaites spake to his people, saying “Lord Netanyahu is approaching our lands in his golden chariot with his mighty host. We have rendered unto the Israelites our gold and other precious goods and have pledged our fealty to them. But we must do more to avoid the wrath of Lord Netanyahu. We will grant Lord Netanyahu and the people of Israel all our goods and pledge our children and our children’s children for his wars against the Godless. We will confirm our pledge that the Land of Israel shall be forever the Land of the Godly untainted by unbelievers. More, we will use all our power to reject the false words of the children of Canaan, who have claimed the land of Israel for their own and seek to make league against her. We will do all that and more, but we will reserve only one thing to ourselves. Seeking peace for the Land of the Obamaites with the children of Canaan we will ask Lord Netanyahu to allow to them a small land of their own where they might settle in tranquility. That is all we shall ask.”
On the Third Day Lord Netanyahu arrived even unto the Land of the Obamaites in his golden chariot accompanied by all his array. And he waxed wroth at the false words spoken by the King of the Obamaites. “I will go to confront the King of the Obamaites in his mighty castle hewn from white stone, the seat of his forefathers. I will instruct him that the Lord God of the Israelites is a cruel master who will smite those who do not heed his word. Why do the children of Canaan continue to vex us? It is three score years and more since we made their lands our own and we have slain them a hundred fold. Their raiment is torn and ragged. They shall not find a place where they can pile stone upon stone for a dwelling, nor draw water to slake their thirst, nor plant seeds to grow corn for their sustenance. Their wives and children will wander the earth but no one will grant them shelter.” And the King of the Obamaites feared greatly at the words of Lord Netanyahu for he knew that the God of the Israelites was a cruel God but just and would smite the Obamaites with the plagues that once descended on Egypt. “I pledge my fealty to thee oh Lord Netanyahu for you are both just and powerful. My people ask only your intercession to spare them from the wrath of the mighty God of the Israelites.” But Lord Netanyahu would not spare the Obamaites, for they had defied his own power and had erected false idols against the might of Israel’s God. “You know not of what you speak and you will feel my wrath when your own people rise up and call my name and that of the God of the Israelites.” And so Lord Netanyahu departed from the white castle wherein dwelt the King of the Obamaites, who was much shaken and fearful of the anger of the Israelites.
On the Fourth Day the King of the Obamaites went to the great meeting of the friends of Lord Netanyahu who dwelt in his land and his heart was filled with cunning. “I will speak to them with guile and tell of my great love for Lord Netanyahu and the people of Israel lest they rise up and seize their weapons and bring suffering to the Land of Obama.” And so it was done, but the friends of Lord Netanyahu were not deceived and they saw through the falseness of the King of the Obamaites’ words. But Lord Netanyahu bid them to conceal their displeasure and hide their weapons for a time as the wise counselor Count Avigdor had foreseen the cunning of the Obamaites. Lord Netanyahu would challenge the power of the King of the Obamaites twice and even thrice and would smite him again, even as David smote Goliath.
On the Fifth Day Lord Netanyahu also went to the great meeting the friends of Israel who dwelt in the land of Obama. His heart was filled with joy as a mighty roar rose to the heavens. He told them “The words of the King of the Obamaites are false. He seeks to make peace with the sons of Canaan but the God of the Israelites has said that the raiment of the sons of Canaan shall be torn. They shall find neither shelter, nor water, nor sustenance and will wander the earth as do creatures of the forest and field, moving from place to place in search of a home but no one will succor them.” The friends of Israel then rose up as one and with a mighty voice affirmed the wisdom of Lord Netanyahu. “We will rise up against the King of the Obamaites and destroy the false idols that he has erected. We will rend asunder the children of Canaan.”
On the Sixth Day Lord Netanyahu mounted his chariot of gold and boldly led his array unto the very seat of the nobles and liegemen of the realm of Obama. Lord Netanyahu’s heart was filled with anger at the false words of the King of the Obamaites and he would shake the hall where the King’s own lords dwell as Samson smote the Philistines. He strode up to the brazen portal to the Great Hall and demanded “If the King of the Obamaites has courage let him come and face me before the leaders of his own people.” But the King of the Obamaites was sore afraid and he remained in his mighty castle of white stone, the seat of his forefathers, surrounded by his guards and retainers. Lord Netanyahu stepped into the Royal palanquin, heavy with lapis and ebony, and six noble Lords bore him into the chamber. More Lords prostrated themselves before him lest his foot should touch the ground. Raised to the Royal dais, there he met with the nobles and liegemen of the Kingdom of Obama in their mighty hall and the men who had stood by and praised their King were sore afraid and trembled as Lord Netanyahu spake, for fear of the righteous wrath of the God of Israel. “The King of the Obamaites has erected false idols in your land and his words are full of cunning. The children of Canaan are cursed by God and cannot be friends of the Land of Obama. This is what Lord Netanyahu and the God of Israel demand. But the God of Israel is also compassionate. If the people of the Land of Obama render their gold and precious goods to the Land of Israel and pledge their children to fight in Israel’s just wars, he will vouchsafe forgiveness.” At Lord Netanyahu’s words, the nobles and lords of the Land of Obama rose up as one, acclaiming “We pledge our fealty to the great Lord Netanyahu and the Land of Israel. We shall be your liegemen in all that you do.” And so it was done and the people of Israel rejoiced.
Thus Endeth the Book of Netanyahu.
Read more by Philip Giraldi
Article printed from Antiwar.com Original: http://original.antiwar
Obama’s Middle East: Rhetoric and Reality
‘Pro-Israel lobby has stranglehold on US political system’
Additional via http://tinyurl.com/AIPACStrangleholdonUS
- Published 00:57 25.05.11
Netanyahu’s speech to Congress shows America will buy anything
The man who explicitly said he would do his level best to destroy the Oslo Accords suddenly says he’s in favor of peace with the Palestinians.
By Gideon Levy
It was an address with no destination, filled with lies on top of lies and illusions heaped on illusions. Only rarely is a foreign head of state invited to speak before Congress. It’s unlikely that any other has attempted to sell them such a pile of propaganda and prevarication, such hypocrisy and sanctimony as Benjamin Netanyahu did yesterday.
The fact that the Congress rose to its feet multiple times to applaud him says more about the ignorance of its members than the quality of their guest’s speech. An Israeli presence on the Jordan River – cheering. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel – applause. Did American’s elected representatives know that they were cheering for the death of possibility? If America loved it, we’re in big trouble.
The fact that the only truth spoken in the Capitol was that of a former Israeli shouting “equal rights for Palestinians” is a badge of honor for us and a mark of shame for America. Netanyahu’s “speech of his life” was the speech of the death of peace.
It was a 1970s show. Maybe back then people still bought the piles of pretty, wise words shoveled by a peace-loving Israeli prime minister. How can an Israeli prime minister dare to say his country “fully supports the desire of Arab peoples in our region to live freely” without spitting out the entire bitter truth – as long as they aren’t Palestinian. Suddenly Netanyahu marvels at the Arab Spring, but where was he when it began? He was on his standard scare campaign, warning of the dangers of an extremist Islamic regime and rushing to build a fence along our border with Egypt. And yesterday, suddenly, it’s “the promise of a new dawn.” Apparently there is no end to hypocrisy.
And how could he rain praise on Israeli democracy when his government has done more than its predecessors to deal the mortal blow to that democracy, to pass completely anti-democratic laws? How can he boast of the status of Israel’s Arab citizens, while his right-wing, nationalistic coalition is passing racist laws against them? Saying that Israel’s Arabs have more freedom in Israel than in any Arab state is like saying that blacks in American have more rights than those in Africa. So what? Does that mean that African-Americans had equal rights for generations, that they didn’t have to fight for their rights?
And how dare he speak about freedom of worship in Jerusalem at a time when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have been denied that freedom for years. Freedom of worship in Jerusalem is for Palestinians aged 35 and up, sometimes 45 and up; sometimes even 65 isn’t old enough. And for the 2 million people of the Gaza Strip, there is no such freedom at all.
How can Netanyahu praise the peace with Egypt, when it’s easy to guess he would have voted against it? The man who explicitly said he would do his level best to destroy the Oslo Accords suddenly says he’s in favor of peace with the Palestinians.
Last night we saw that the Americans will buy anything, or at least their applauding legislators will.
The Real Bibi: Netanyahu Brags About Manipulating US, Sabotaging Oslo Accords
Protester beaten by AIPAC thugs in House gallery during Netanyahu speech to Congress arrested at hospital:
Some Questions for Bibi:
‘Pro-Israel lobby has stranglehold on US political system’
Additional via http://tinyurl.com/AIPACStrangleholdonUS
He shows the president who’s boss
Posted By Justin Raimondo On May 24, 2011 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 6 Comments
The rapturous reception afforded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he ascended the dais to address a joint session of Congress was like the triumphs Roman generals were honored with as they returned from their wars of conquest. It’s true “Bibi” didn’t have President Obama trailing behind him in chains, as the Romans dragged Vercingetorix, the king of the Gauls, but then again, that wasn’t really necessary. Only hours before, Sen. Harry Reid had denied his own president and the leader of his party, distancing himself from the Obama administration’s Mideast peace plan, and reiterating his support for Netanyahu, while other Democrats ran for the hills. Netanyahu’s triumph – after 56 standing ovations – was complete.
The content of the Prime Minister’s speech was almost irrelevant: it was the usual panoply of lies, “spin,” and vaunting. Lies about how great the Palestinian economy is doing, spinning (i.e. glossing over) Israel’s criminal occupation of conquered territories, and vaunting of Zionist power – not the Jewish state’s military power, but its political power right here in this country. When it comes down to a contest between the chief executive of the most powerful nation in the world, and the Prime Minister of a country that would fall into the abyss without US support, the latter proved his superior potency.
“In an unstable Middle East, Israel is the one anchor of stability. In a region of shifting alliances, Israel is America’s unwavering ally. Israel has always been pro-American. Israel will always be pro-American.”
Only in a Bizarro World alternate universe is Israel “the one anchor of stability” in a volatile region. Quite the opposite is true: the Jewish state is the primary source of regional instability, due entirely to its ruthlessness and inhumanity in enforcing a military occupation that weighs heavily on the conscience of the world.
Netanyahu has it backwards: America is and has been Israel’s unwavering ally, and yet, as Vice President Joe Biden found out on his last trip to Israel, this doesn’t preclude the Israelis’ open hostility. Ambushed and humiliated by his most ungracious hosts – who announced a new round of settlement-building the day the Vice President arrived – Biden learned first hand that this arrangement doesn’t work both ways.
“My friends, you don’t need to do nation building in Israel. We’re already built. You don’t need to export democracy to Israel. We’ve already got it. You don’t need to send American troops to defend Israel. We defend ourselves. You’ve been very generous in giving us tools to do the job of defending Israel on our own. Thank you all, and thank you President Obama, for your steadfast commitment to Israel’s security. I know economic times are tough. I deeply appreciate this.”
How many lies can one speechwriter pack into a single paragraph? We are engaged in “nation building” in Israel – how else are the Israelis spending that cool $3 billion a year in “aid”? “We’re already built” – so does that mean we can cut the Israelis off the dole, and stop borrowing from the Chinese in order to placate Tel Aviv? Surely that isn’t what Netanyahu meant to say.
As for the boast that we needn’t export democracy to Israel – because “We’ve already got it” – what can one say to the ruler of a country that has established a two-tiered tyranny, granting the members of one religious group voting rights and the ability to move freely, and relegating the rest to a political limbo, and the status of helots imprisoned in their own land?
What can one say, except: You lie?
Netanyahu, whose first response to the upsurge in Egypt was to support Mubarak and cavil at the specter of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Cairo, had the nerve to hail the “epic battle now unfolding in the Middle East,” which, he averred, is “between tyranny and freedom.” Yet, in this battle, Israel is on the other side – the side of the tyrants – and always has been. “Millions of young people are determined to change their future,” he pontificated, to ringing applause. “We all look at them. They muster courage. They risk their lives. They demand dignity. They desire liberty.”
That these very young people are risking their lives, demanding dignity, in the occupied territories is what Bibi forgot to mention. He dares evoke those “extraordinary scenes in Tunis and Cairo,” likening them to what happened in Berlin and Prague in 1989. Yet surely he knows they are mustering their courage against the IDF, which is shooting them down in the streets of occupied Palestine. Somehow, I don’t think Bibi means to praise these brave souls.
Bibi praises the “Arab spring” of democratic hope, and goes on to bemoan the snuffing out of hope “in Tehran in 1979,” the year the mullahs triumphed in Iran. “You may remember what happened then.” Yet does he remember the role played by Israel in those events? The Mossad helped set up the dreaded SAVAK, the Iranian Shah’s ruthless secret police, which tortured and imprisoned many thousands, and crushed all opponents of the regime. This bit of history is neglected by the Prime Minister, whose memory is necessarily selective.
To hear Netanyahu’s hypocrisy applauded – and so loudly, so insistently, even a bit hysterically – has brought shame on the United States of America, especially when such blatant falsehoods as these are uttered without apology: The Prime Minister spoke of “the path of liberty,” and opined,
“This path is not paved by elections alone. It is paved when governments permit protests in town squares, when limits are placed on the powers of rulers, when judges are beholden to laws and not men, and when human rights cannot be crushed by tribal loyalties or mob rule.”
What protests are permitted in the town squares of Palestine, where IDF thugs regularly murder and maim peaceful demonstrators? What limits are placed on Israel’s rulers when they can take an olive grove that has been Palestinian for thousands of years and proclaim it a lawful “settlement”? And is Netanyahu really complaining about “tribal loyalties” – he who stands at the head of a tribe whose claim to the land is based on ancient superstition?
A more egregious and obnoxious display of unmitigated chutzpah has never before been given a platform by the US Congress: naturally, it sent them into ecstasies of approbation.
The message Netanyahu sent Congress, the President, and the American people in his address is quite simple: there will be no negotiations. Period. And more: that this intransigence is backed by the leaders of both parties. While practically every Republican candidate for President took Netanyahu’s side against the administration, as could probably be expected, both Senator Reid and House Democratic whip Steny Hoyer went before AIPAC and declared that there must be no “preconditions” for negotiations, i.e. the Israelis can build all the “settlements” they want with our tax dollars, and safely ignore the President’s call to cease and desist. When it comes to a choice between their President – the leader of their party – and a foreign ruler, it’s not even a close contest: Bibi wins, hands down.
This is the great danger of having – being – an empire: foreign lobbyists, who have a vital interest in what course American foreign policy takes, have every incentive and opportunity to seize control of the policy-making apparatus. The national security and interests of the US are only of secondary concern to them, if these even come into the picture at all: first and foremost, it’s Israel all the way – in Congress, in the leadership of both parties, and in key sectors of the national security bureaucracy itself.
This fifth column actively undermines distinctively American interests in the region – fighting terrorism, securing access to oil, maintaining good relations with our Arab allies – and it does so as part of a well-coordinated and well-funded campaign to ensure Israeli objectives. Tel Aviv is working the American political system for all its worth: billions in “aid,” deference to the point of servility, and a blank check to do as it pleases.
The UN is moving ahead, come September, with plans to inaugurate an independent Palestinian state, and this is what the President is seeking to avoid. A unilateral Palestinian declaration of independence – supported by many if not most of our allies – will bring the issue to a head, and underscore Israel’s status as an international pariah. In the process, it will similarly highlight America’s isolation as Israel’s chief benefactor and protector.
So what’s the anti-interventionist solution to this eternally insoluble problem?
In this case, “non-intervention” is a meaningless phrase. We’ve been intervening, for many years and on a massive scale: arming the IDF, supporting Israel in the UN, apologizing for every atrocity committed in the name of Israel’s right to “self-defense.” To say, now, that we must let the Israelis and the Palestinians come to an agreement on their own, when we’ve already stacked the deck in Israel’s favor, is to add insult to the many injuries sustained by the Palestinian people.
This is a matter of some urgency. Israel is, quite simply, an enormous liability to the United States, not only financially, but also in terms of our actual interests in the region and throughout the world. Through its actions, the Jewish state has declared war on the entire Muslim world – over a billion people, a third of the earth’s inhabitants – and has succeeded in dragging us into that unwinnable conflict.
Israel is also a tremendous moral liability – a ruthless Sparta that treats its Palestinian helots with brazen cruelty, bulldozing their homes, seizing their lands, and doing everything possible to drive them out of the “Promised Land.” Decades of constant warfare have radicalized the Israeli electorate and thrown up creatures such as Avigdor Lieberman, a virulent racist and ultra-nationalist, a man who once advocated blowing up the Aswan dam – and who now serves as the Jewish State’s foreign minister!
The uglification of Israel has been a long, awful degenerative process. While propagandists paint the usual picture of the Jewish state as a green island in a sea of Arab despotisms, recent history shows this scenario operating in reverse: it is the Arab world that is freeing itself of authoritarianism, and Israel which is on the road to reviving an old tribal despotism.
The Israel lobby, as everyone knows, wields enormous – and, I would say, decisive – influence on US policy in the Middle East, and this has distorted the policy-making process, rendering it dysfunctional. Our unconditional support for Israel is the source of much of our problem in that area: it is the main recruiter for al-Qaeda, and the primary reason why we lack all credibility in the Arab and Muslim world. For a long time, America’s Arab allies – Mubarak, the kings and emirs of the Gulf, the Jordanian monarchy – held back the tides of history and ameliorated an aggrieved nationalism. That tide has now broken free, and threatens to overwhelm not only the region’s decadent potentates but also Israel – and our interests – as well.
The Israeli strategy of huddling under the umbrella of the West has worked, up until this point, but that phase of the Jewish state’s evolution is rapidly coming to a close. With the economic crisis in America and Europe, the West can no longer afford to pay out the enormous subsidies which are all that stand between Israel and the desert. Morally, too, Israel is losing its formerly high standing, with the Europeans ready to wash their hands of these bothersome colonists, and many in the US questioning – for the first time – the ethical status of a nation that holds an entire people captive within its de facto borders.
So let Netanyahu enjoy his moment of triumph, and let his amen corner in the US and internationally howl with joy – because Israel’s time is running out. The crisis may not come tomorrow, or even the day after tomorrow, but come it will – and when it does, just remember: the Israelis had their chance. They had a chance to negotiate, an opportunity to make their peace with the Palestinians – and the world – which they refused. What follows is upon their heads, not ours.
It’s time Israel paid the price for its defiance: while the fervor of our solons’ enthusiasm for Netanyahu would seem to rule out a cut in US aid, I wonder how many of these brave politicians will stand up and justify sending billions to Israel while our own oldsters are being deprived of their Social Security checks. Ambitious outsiders who look longingly at seemingly “safe” congressional seats will eventually be emboldened to challenge the sacred cow of aid to Israel. Senator Rand Paul, the Tea Party hero, has openly called for ending that aid – an unlikely happenstance, at the moment, but an important precedent-breaking position which paves the way for a debate over reducing that aid.
Israel has been called “the 51st state,” by friend and foe alike, and yet we have to face the consequences of such a “special relationship” without illusions or emotional histrionics. Are we really willing – and able – to ensure the survival of a settler colony which has implanted itself like a tick in the midst of the Arab world, and not only that but expanded in size and aggressiveness over the years – to the point where it has become a giant irritation, glistening with the infection of hate and ready to erupt at any moment?
Is this really to be our burden – and for how much longer?
Read more by Justin Raimondo
Article printed from Antiwar.com Original: http://original.antiwar.com
Some Questions for Bibi:
‘Pro-Israel lobby has stranglehold on US political system’
Additional via http://tinyurl.com/AIPACStrangleholdonUS