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Nasser, Kennedy, the Middle East and Israel


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This was part of my presentation at Lancer.  Although I went beyond this in that talk to address: the Rabin assassination, Benjy N and Trump and Kushner and MBS.  

Kennedy was, to my knowledge, the first and last president to threaten to pull funding for Israel, based on Dimona.  He also tried for a right of return for the victims of the Nakba.  He recognized that Nasser was a once in a generation type leader to begin a move toward secular Arab states, and an overall peace. 

To put it mildly, LBJ did not agree.

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/nasser-kennedy-the-middle-east-and-israel

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On 11/22/2020 at 8:29 PM, James DiEugenio said:

This was part of my presentation at Lancer.  Although I went beyond this in that talk to address: the Rabin assassination, Benjy N and Trump and Kushner and MBS.  

Kennedy was, to my knowledge, the first and last president to threaten to pull funding for Israel, based on Dimona.  He also tried for a right of return for the victims of the Nakba.  He recognized that Nasser was a once in a generation type leader to begin a move toward secular Arab states, and an overall peace. 

To put it mildly, LBJ did not agree.

https://kennedysandking.com/john-f-kennedy-articles/nasser-kennedy-the-middle-east-and-israel

Jim, that presentation was so good I've watched it four times already.  What struck me was that YouTube piece of Nasser's speech on his dealing with the Muslim Brotherhood.  For a Middle East leader delivering that speech with such humour....very much in JFK style too.   Yeah, what a mess in Middle East we have today!

  

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My God, four times Pete.  Thanks.

That speech by  Nasser is so emblematic of why he had so much appeal in that region.  And its why, to JFK, he represented the possible future of that  area: one with secularism, socialism and progress.  

Nasser's funeral might have been the largest in the history of the MIddle East.  Maybe the largest in history.  Six million people attended.  Trees collapsed, because so many people had climbed them to get a better view. 

Wnen Kennedy died, Nasser knew what awaited.  When Nasser died, Egypt realized that no one could replace him. 

 

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Finally I got to watch it tonight.  Still wasn't loaded yesterday evening when I tried.  It kept pausing and reloading tonight, took bout two hours to watch one.  Outstanding.  Enjoyed the laid back, relaxed setting.  I'll re watch too for further detail.  It takes what you've said before so much deeper.  

I didn't realize how the Truman Doctrine funded a wall of countries so to speak against the USSR/Communism.

Nor did I realize how JFK's 1957 Algeria speech helped ultimately establish his name and credibility in Washington and the rest of the US.  On the cover of Time magazine back then is incomprehensible to many today.  There is no real comparison.

Freezing out Saudi Arabia might have been part of his death sentence.  The oil faction of the power elite could not have been pleased.

The fact that he was lied to over Israel seeking uranium from Africa for atomic weapons shows the motives of those who lied.  LBJ opened the door to our uranium, Angleton showed them to it.  Might Angleton have opened the door to the possibility in the first place?  By facilitating the elimination of JFK?

The almost sinking of the Liberty is one of the lowest points in our history.  How any True Patriot can not be pissed about it is beyond me.  Traitorous imho.

I need to re listen to the carry forward part about the current prez and Rabin.

And I need to listen to Pete's presentation, among others.

Thanks again for all of your work Jim.  And all the other participants and those who made the conference presentations possible.

Hopefully, possibly, maybe it will all stand the test of time in History better than in the msm today.  Might it change the course of it, even slightly, for the better?

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Ron, the stuff about Rabin is something I just got onto while working on that speech.

The other stuff I essentially knew.  But in looking at the Rabin case in Israel, It appears to be something like the marker in time that the JFK case is in modern American history. 

I am not saying its a provable plot like the JFK case is.  But clearly, Rabin was ready to deal on Palestine and the two state solution.  Benjy N vilified him for that in a really over the top and wacky way.  And Benjy  never took any responsibility for creating the toxic environment which caused Rabin's murder.  And that was pretty much the end of any serious peace negotiations. 

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I might have to take back what I just said about a provable plot.

Lori Spencer, a former Dallas journalist, listened to my speech also and when I noted how the Rabin  case parallels the JFK case in Israel, she said did you hear about JFK Jr and the article about that case in George?  

It turns out that JFK Jr. made it a special project of his to shepherd through a long article about the Rabin case written by the perpetrator's mother with help from an attorney.  JFK Jr read and reread it to make sure everything was in place and everything was accurate.  His cohorts at the Zine said he never did this to this extent with any other article.  It was pretty clear that it hit home with him.  Here is a text version to that article:

http://www.nakim.org/israel-forums/viewtopic.php?p=273039&news=נקים&fbclid=IwAR0yPqI8FQ1zr27zF3Fxsb5MQBXVRYq9qpOg6cbVO9ZeXX94aLcB6k0eHb8

But let me add one thing.  Note where the caller, probably Raviv, said this one was fake, the next one would be real.  And also, the agents were yelling "blanks".  I have seen films of the shooting.  Yigal fires right into Rabin's back.  Rabin does not even stumble or trip. 

WIsh I would have known all this before my talk.  

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This piece is just another in a long line of recent essays you've written--and content from your appearances on BOR--that distinguish you as not merely a JFK assassination researcher but truly a historian.

Fantastic work, and the trajectory of your writing in the last few years really has shown your talent for scholarly work in the realm of cold war history. 

My hope is to see more work from you in these areas. You have said that you don't think you would do another book, but I see such great promise for several books in these kinds of pieces.

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Thanks so much Richard.  Its kind of strange to me that no one looked into these other areas in the critical community. (Although Larry Hancock did tell me about James Bill and Kennedy contemplating bringing back Mossadegh.)

Because what these show to me is that Vietnam was not an outlier for Kennedy.  What he did there was simply an instance of his whole view of foreign policy in the Third World and how the USA could be a neutralist country.

The other thing that makes it odd is that historians outside the field have explored this in a systematic way: Robert Rakove, Philip Muehlenback.

I spoke for almost two hours on this subject for Len's show this week.  IMO, Kennedy and the Middle East is so important to today and so fascinating in its own right. For JFK to ally himself with Nasser was quite insightful.

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13 hours ago, Richard Booth said:

This piece is just another in a long line of recent essays you've written--and content from your appearances on BOR--that distinguish you as not merely a JFK assassination researcher but truly a historian.

Fantastic work, and the trajectory of your writing in the last few years really has shown your talent for scholarly work in the realm of cold war history. 

My hope is to see more work from you in these areas. You have said that you don't think you would do another book, but I see such great promise for several books in these kinds of pieces.

I've thought for a while he should write a book on JFK's foreign policy, big picture. Yes, Cuba and Vietnam.  But also Indonesia, the Congo, the Mid East.  JFK's background that qualified his outlook regarding colonialism.  The Algeria speech.  Living in England as a pre teen (?).  The trip through Europe right before WWII.  The trip through Asia in the early 50's, including Vietnam.

How his actions and developing policy on foreign relations in multiple respects likely contributed to the decision that he had to be eliminated.

I mean just with the  mid east he was messing with the oil business (as well as at home with the oi depletion allowance).  Wanting to let the Congo control their own uranium in particular among other minerals . . .

 The forgotten mine that built the atomic bomb - BBC Future  

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8 hours ago, Ron Bulman said:

I've thought for a while he should write a book on JFK's foreign policy, big picture. 

I agree. Jim's discussions and essays when they venture into JFK's foreign policy are always excellent. The deconstruction of The Best and the Brightest was beautiful iconoclasm. It took something that was widely accepted -- without any good reason, as Jim illustrated -- as the gospel, and eviscerated it showing it to be mediocre at best and outright lies and propaganda at the worst. When he delves into other areas like the Congo, it's equally illuminating. He has the knowledge to put something like that together. Just listening to him talk about these things got me to read about and look into the murder of Dag Hammerskjold. 

I think the real history of U.S. foreign policy: where it was going with JFK, and where it veered off to afterward, has yet to be adequately told. 

A lot of people ask: WHY was JFK assassinated? After listening to and reading Jim's work, I begin to think it was precisely because of JFK's foreign policy and his position on the CIA. He was at odds with very powerful forces on the positions he was taking and it's no surprise then that after JFK, LBJ did a 180 and had virtually nothing in common.

While LBJ did manage to get some civil rights measures in place, that's the only thing he did as a result of JFK. And he did it for a cynical purpose: to get blacks voting Democrat for decades. He had no interest in equality and in fact was a disgusting racist while JFK was the opposite, a total interest in equality and doing what is right, not a racist, and most importantly, he wasn't beholden to anyone and wouldn't make shady backroom deals to benefit himself.

His brother RFK was almost exactly of the same cloth. So it's no surprise that he got snuffed out immediately after it became clear he was going to be the Democratic nominee. Probably for the exact same reasons JFK was: his foreign policy, and the fact that once in office RFK could actually look into his brother's death or at least begin to take actions to put the CIA on a leash. The "deep state" wasn't going to allow that to happen. 

We need a book called something like "JFK: Why He Was Killed, and Why It Still Matters" -- where JFK's assassination as the result of a conspiracy is a foregone conclusion and the examination is WHY it was done and WHY our foreign policy (forever wars, exploitation of resources, expanding our military across the globe) needs to change.  

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Jim

I too enjoy your work immensely, particularly the added perspective you provide on American history in the 60's and 70's.  As a scientist/engineer, I paid little attention to those topics during the course of my education.  I grew up during those times, yet know so little about the unvarnished truth.  Unfortunately, that truth is not always found in the history books that our schools and teachers schools are constrained by. One of the reasons that I find the JFK assassination so interesting is that it has provided me with a more sophisticated view of (and a renewed interest in) modern American history.  I've always thought that a deeper understanding of the political and social issues that form the backdrop for Kennedy's presidency (i.e. the Cold War, Cuba, Vietnam, civil rights, the Middle East and oil) also provide valuable clues for what happened to him.  Your writings about his foreign policy - particularly his stance towards Vietnam, his positions on Third World countries (and resources) in the Congo, Indonesia, Dominican; his relations with foreign powers in Italy, France, Egypt and Israel; his attempts at rapprochement with the Soviet Union - stimulate a more meaningful discussion of his assassination.  All of his policies/positions were so blatantly at odds with - literally worlds apart from - the course being plotted by the likes of Dean Acheson and the Dulles brothers.  The answer to "why" is certainly to be found in the true account and stories behind that history. 

Gene

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Thanks so much Gene.  

I should add here, as I was spending all this time digging through these alternative sources about JFK's dealings with people like Sukarno and Nasser and Adoula, for a long time, I would get a scrap here, a scrap there.  And then I would find a whole book or two that was just utterly worthless.

So after putting this altogether I came to the conclusion that this aspect of Kennedy had been, for all intents and purposes, concealed.  That is until relatively recently.  Finally two books appeared, one by Robert Rakove of Stanford, and one by Phil Muehlenbeck at George Washington, to actually address this whole issue comprehensively and place it in historical context.  But those were not released until 2012 and 2013, fifty years after the assassination.

  Now if you compare what is in those books to what is in say Dallek's book, its night and day.  But its Dallek who gets the favorable treatment in the NY Times and is used by other authors, like this guy  Vincent Bevins.

As per LBJ, well, it always bothers me when I watch him say, "Let us continue..."  Nasser sure didn't think he continued.

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I agree with Jim that one of the primary motivations behind JFK's assassination was his interest in allowing individual nation states to control the natural resources in their own countries. Extraction of the raw materials is one side of the equation. Getting it to market is another side. Larry Hancock and I have had long conversations about the cost and logistics of transporting those raw materials to where you can actually sell them. The cost and investment in the pipelines to carry oil is just as valuable as the oil itself.

I ran across this, in an ThinkProgress article,

https://thinkprogress.org/pipeline-industry-rattled-by-steel-imports-tariff-007bdde6855a/

"The cost of a pipeline can be $2 million to $6 million a mile, depending on the terrain, according to Colton Bean, director of equity research at Tudor, Pickering, Holt and Co. According to a CNBC report, (https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/05/trump-steel-tariff-losers-pipelines-for-oil-boom-need-foreign-steel.html

If the pipelines are running $2-$6 a mile and you are traversing 3,000 miles or so in Central Asia, the cost can run into the billions of dollars. You can see why oil companies want to protect their investment at all cost and why they have gotten states to declare peaceful protests against oil pielines to be "riots" and make them a felony.

Though the information is much more recent than 1963, I found these Hearings to be very enlightening, at least to me:

U.S. INTERESTS IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN REPUBLICS
HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
SECOND SESSION
FEBRUARY 12, 1998

http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.000/hfa48119_0f.htm

Mr. Gee: "Production is currently being hampered by limited access to export pipelines. Once the Caspian Pipeline Consortium pipeline is constructed, oil production from Tengiz is expected to increase to 750,000 barrels per day by 2010. Even at production of 160,000 barrels per day, the venture has been profitable. Tengizchevroil, the consortium producing the Tengiz field, reported profits of U.S. $80 million in 1996, up from only U.S. $1 million in 1995."

An 80-fold increase in profits in one year, while only running at 20% of capacity? Geez

 

I was surprised to learn recently that uranium deposits are often found near oil fields.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/michael-flynns-role-in-middle-eastern-nuclear-project-could-compound-legal-issues/2017/11/26/51ce7ec8-ce18-11e7-81bc-c55a220c8cbe_story.html?utm_term=.dc5779923db1

Washington Post November 27, 2017

“In June 2015, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn took a little-noticed trip to Egypt and Israel, paid for by a U.S. company he was advising. The company hoped to build more than two dozen nuclear plants in the region, in partnership with Russian interests.

Flynn served as an adviser to two Washington-based companies pursuing efforts to build nuclear power plants in the Middle East: ACU Strategic Partners, which proposed a partnership with Russian interests, and IP3/IronBridge, which later launched a separate endeavor that initially proposed working with China to build the infrastructure, according to federal documents and company officials.

The idea: to build several dozen “proliferation-proof” nuclear power plants across Persian Gulf states. The plan relied heavily on Russian interests, which would help build the plants, as well as possibly take possession of spent fuel that could be used to build a nuclear weapon, according to people familiar with the project.

“I don’t want Russia to be talking to Jordan about building nuclear plants,” Flynn testified before a House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on June 10, 2015. “I don’t want the Chinese or Pakistan to be talking to the Saudis about building potentially 10 to 15 plants. I don’t want the Russians to go over to Egypt and talk to them about building nuclear plants.”

“I want the United States of America to be in the driver’s seat,” he added.

Around June 2016, according to his financial disclosure, Flynn ended his association with ACU and began advising a company called IP3/IronBridge, co-founded by retired Rear Adm. Michael Hewitt, a former ACU adviser.

IP3 initially proposed partnering with China and other nations, rather than Russia, to build nuclear power plants, according to a company spokesman, who said the China component has since been dropped.

In August 2016, the company produced a PowerPoint presentation that included Flynn’s photo and former government title on a page titled “IP3/IronBridge: Formidable US Leadership.” The document was labeled as a “Presentation to His Majesty King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz” of Saudi Arabia and displayed the seals of Saudi Arabia and the United States. The presentation was obtained by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, who made it public.

IP3 officials said in a statement to The Washington Post that the document was never presented to the Saudis. The company also said that while it had offered Flynn a role as “an advisor” in June 2016 with no pay, Flynn responded that he wanted to “hold off.” In December, the company said, he sent a letter to IP3 “terminating the offer.”

Steve Thomas

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