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Gaza and JFK


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I just posted this last night at my substack and its getting a nice response.

I think its because, like most of Kennedy's policies, very few people know what his Middle East policy really was.  The letters Monica Wiesak uncovered from when JFK was in Palestine are really something.  They explain Kennedy's backing of the right of return for the Palestinians.

One of the comments I got is that people do not understand how far to the right the Democratic Party has gone.  I agree and that is one thing I am trying to show.  The other thing is that the JFK case is not a subject for a museum.  If you know what Kennedy was trying to do and how much he opposed Foster Dulles, it impacts today's headlines.  In other words, it lives.

https://jamesanthonydieugenio.substack.com/p/gaza-and-jfk

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3 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

I just posted this last night at my substack and its getting a nice response.

I think its because, like most of Kennedy's policies, very few people know what his Middle East policy really was.  The letters Monica Wiesak uncovered from when JFK was in Palestine are really something.  They explain Kennedy's backing of the right of return for the Palestinians.

One of the comments I got is that people do not understand how far to the right the Democratic Party has gone.  I agree and that is one thing I am trying to show.  The other thing is that the JFK case is not a subject for a museum.  If you know what Kennedy was trying to do and how much he opposed Foster Dulles, it impacts today's headlines.  In other words, it lives.

https://jamesanthonydieugenio.substack.com/p/gaza-and-jfk

That’s great work, thank you for bringing the pieces together in this difficult to assess time in Middle East and US history. The Democratic Party watched its best leaders assassinated and did little to nothing. Hardly a surprise we are here today. Nasser was the alternative to the Saudi’s, and the US chose the latter with ongoing devastating effect, similarly repeated in Afghanistan a decade later. If one casually googles Nasser one encounters his anti-Semitism front and center. Was it though? Can one be anti-Zionist and not Anti-Semitic? Can one sympathize with Palestine? Barely, though there is some pushback these days. The US can barely bring itself to vote for increased aid to Palestine, much less a cease fire. 
In the name of Anti-communism we have launched Armageddon globally, a process that has unwound since WW2. PAX Americana, the opposite of JFK’s stated policies, is all we know. It seems obvious to me that today’s Republican Party has been taken over by extremists who have no clue what their actual purpose is, which is to force US citizens to choose between them and a thoroughly corrupted Democratic pro Empire pro big business pro military Party who are at least inclusive of race and gender and support, however weakly, labor rights and women’s rights. Not Palestinian rights, Yemeni rights, Congolese rights, but of course Ukrainian and Taiwanese rights. Same script. 
 

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        Excellent essay, Jim, but I noticed that you leap-frogged from the formative Scoop Jackson years of the Neocons to the Obama era overthrow of Ghaddafi and Operation Timber Sycamore-- omitting the most important Neocon chapter in world history-- that of the Project for a New American Century, 9/11 and the Bush/Cheney/Wolfowitz "War on Terror."  

       Why does no one ever want to study or discuss the crucial history of Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and the PNAC Neocons who staffed the Bush/Cheney administration, and orchestrated the post-9/11 "War on Terror?"  It's what Joseph McBride called the "ultimate third rail" in American political discourse.

       Wolfowitz and Feith, like most leaders of Israel's Likud Party, (Ben Gurion, Begin, Sharon, Netanyahu, et.al.) are Israeli citizens with relatives who died in the Holocaust.  Their chief concern has been the survival of the state of Israel in a hostile Arab milieu.  And Wolfowitz and Feith wrote policy proposals for the Israeli government in the 1990s-- along the lines of the earlier Oded Yinon Plan-- suggesting that Israel needed to use American military power to protect Israel from hostile Muslim neighbors.

       PNAC issued their broad policy proposals for U.S. military interventions in the Middle East in the late 1990s-- before George W. Bush was even nominated as the Republican Presidential candidate, in 2000.   The Wolfowitz Doctrine called for U.S. military intervention to depose Saddam Hussein, and to establish U.S. military hegemony in the Persian Gulf and Central Asia.  And PNAC's brain trust also stated, in September of 2000, that the U.S. needed a "New Pearl Harbor" type event to mobilize public support for their Project for a New American Century-- something that would shock the American public into supporting the PNAC military agenda.

       The rest is largely "untold history."  Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice were all members of PNAC, in addition to multiple other key members of the George W. Bush administration-- Wolfowitz, Feith, et.al.   Wolfowitz and Feith were the #2 and #3 men in the Bush/Rumsfeld Pentagon.  Dov Zakheim and Alvin Krongard were appointed to the CIA.  Michael Cherthoff, to the DOJ.  It was a PNAC/Neocon administration.

       And, as we all know, General Wesley Clark was briefed in the Pentagon in September of 2001, shortly after 9/11, about the Bush administration's military plans for the Middle East.   Voila!   It was the Project for a New American Century-- prompted by a newly identified, somewhat mysterious group of Muslim boogeymen who had previously been trained by the CIA and U.S. military for ops against the Soviets in Afghanistan...

       The pieces of the PNAC 9/11 jigsaw puzzle are all out there, but no one ever wants to assemble or talk about the puzzle.

       And those who have are promptly denounced as kooky conspiracy theorists-- somewhat like the experiences of JIm Garrison, Mark Lane, and the original critics of the Warren Commission Report.

quote-we-re-going-to-take-out-seven-coun

 

Edited by W. Niederhut
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William - I’m glad you brought it up and posted it here. I never thought of it as conspiracy land - it’s real history. Let’s see if someone reading it disagrees.

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3 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

That’s great work, thank you for bringing the pieces together in this difficult to assess time in Middle East and US history. The Democratic Party watched its best leaders assassinated and did little to nothing. Hardly a surprise we are here today. Nasser was the alternative to the Saudi’s, and the US chose the latter with ongoing devastating effect, similarly repeated in Afghanistan a decade later. If one casually googles Nasser one encounters his anti-Semitism front and center. Was it though? Can one be anti-Zionist and not Anti-Semitic? Can one sympathize with Palestine? Barely, though there is some pushback these days. The US can barely bring itself to vote for increased aid to Palestine, much less a cease fire. 
In the name of Anti-communism we have launched Armageddon globally, a process that has unwound since WW2. PAX Americana, the opposite of JFK’s stated policies, is all we know. It seems obvious to me that today’s Republican Party has been taken over by extremists who have no clue what their actual purpose is, which is to force US citizens to choose between them and a thoroughly corrupted Democratic pro Empire pro big business pro military Party who are at least inclusive of race and gender and support, however weakly, labor rights and women’s rights. Not Palestinian rights, Yemeni rights, Congolese rights, but of course Ukrainian and Taiwanese rights. Same script. 
 

Thanks Paul.

My point about Nasser is that he idolized Kennedy so much and admired him for his right of return for the Palestinians, that I think in a second term, he could have been dealt with on the issue. And unlike with Sadat, I think Kennedy and Nasser would have insisted on an overall peace settlement including the Palestinian problem.

There is so much propaganda out there about Nasser, and I mean from all sides.  The Saudis hated him since he was a socialist, and the Israelis feared him so much they told Kennedy he could cause another Nazi Holocaust.  I don't see him that way.  I tend to see him as Kennedy saw him, a pan Arab socialist, secularist who could lead the Middle East out of the grip of Islamic Fundamentalism.

The Saudis had a lost to lose if that happened.

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William:

I was not tracing the whole history of the Neocon movement. 

I did discuss the PNAC and Bill Kristol at the Wecht Conference.

And I did mention in the article the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the Wecht Conference, I did describe things that those five fruitcakes did and I did mention Wolfowitz and Iraq.

But this was not the point of this current piece.  It always bothers me when people twist around and object to what is written because  they want something in there that they want to write.  My main point here was how JFK looked at the Middle East, Nasser, Palestine, and the Right of Return.  Because this is all topical right now.  But its been forgotten. 

And I mean to say its down the memory hole does not do justice what happened to JFK's policies in the Middle East.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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12 hours ago, James DiEugenio said:

William:

I was not tracing the whole history of the Neocon movement. 

I did discuss the PNAC and Bill Kristol at the Wecht Conference.

And I did mention in the article the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan.

At the Wecht Conference, I did describe things that those five fruitcakes did and I did mention Wolfowitz and Iraq.

But this was not the point of this current piece.  It always bothers me when people twist around and object to what is written because  they want something in there that they want to write.  My main point here was how JFK looked at the Middle East, Nasser, Palestine, and the Right of Return.  Because this is all topical right now.  But its been forgotten. 

And I mean to say its down the memory hole does not do justice what happened to JFK's policies in the Middle East.

 

Understood, Jim.  And, as I said, it's an excellent essay about JFK and Nasser.

I was simply commenting on the fact that the history of the Neocons, PNAC, 9/11, and the Bush/Cheney "War on Terror" remains a "third rail" in American political discourse.

How many articles has anyone ever seen in our mainstream media about the Neocon Project for a New American Century?

It's one of the best kept secrets in 21st century America-- even among historians.

Many people still don't even know what it was.

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Well, if you recall, it folded fast and Kristol did a disappearing act on it when the Iraq adventure turned into a debacle.  Which turned into direct intervention for no real reason at all.

Kennedy's approach was not anything like that.

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Jim - one thing that disturbs me about Egypt under Nasser was the large number of Nazis employed in high positions there. I have a number of books that explore this, but the one that uses all of them in his source notes is Professor Jeffrey M. Bale’s treatise The Darkest Sides of Politics Volume 1, Postwar Fascism, Covert Operations, and Terrorism. In the notes on pages 117-118 Bale notes by name the various Nazi functionaries employed in Egypt beginning in the early 1950’s, all of them with the assistance of Otto Skorzeny, himself deeply involved in Egypt, so much so that Mossad apparently turned him into their asset in 1963 and engaged him to destroy Egypt’s developing nuclear program run by Nazi scientists. One can see pretty clearly that when Nasser led a revolt against King Farouk in 1952 he inherited Farouk’s Nazis. I haven’t seen anything yet, though I’m still digging, to indicate that Nasser tackled this Nazi problem. It’s easy to read into this Israel’s problem with Farouk and with Nasser. My bet is that JFK was never briefed on this. It certainly begs more research. 

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3 hours ago, W. Niederhut said:

How many articles has anyone ever seen in our mainstream media about the Neocon Project for a New American Century?

 

William,

Are you aware that the neocons tried to sell their PNAC crap to Bill Clinton? Of course, he passed on their insane idea.

In the early days of the internet, when very few average people were using it, I came across a document that was a summary of PNAC's plan to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime and replace it with a democracy, followed by other regime  changes across the Middle East. I thought, holy sh*t, this thing has been leaked. I recall that the plan called for paying for the wars with oil money from the conquered countries.

Next thing you know, they were actually trying to pull the thing off! Blaming Hussein for the 9/11 terrorist attack! I couldn't believe it. I recall being angry with Chris Matthews because, having watched his program regularly for some time, I just knew that he knew that Iraq had nothing to do with the attack. And yet he said nothing to his viewers... he just let it happen. After which he finally reported what I'm sure he knew the whole time.

I made a fake website account (i.e. not in my name) and posted the PNAC document for anyone to see. I then proceeded to link to it from any webpage I could find that would accept anonymous links. I was trying to get people to wake up and see what was really happening.

 

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4 hours ago, Paul Brancato said:

Jim - one thing that disturbs me about Egypt under Nasser was the large number of Nazis employed in high positions there. I have a number of books that explore this, but the one that uses all of them in his source notes is Professor Jeffrey M. Bale’s treatise The Darkest Sides of Politics Volume 1, Postwar Fascism, Covert Operations, and Terrorism. In the notes on pages 117-118 Bale notes by name the various Nazi functionaries employed in Egypt beginning in the early 1950’s, all of them with the assistance of Otto Skorzeny, himself deeply involved in Egypt, so much so that Mossad apparently turned him into their asset in 1963 and engaged him to destroy Egypt’s developing nuclear program run by Nazi scientists. One can see pretty clearly that when Nasser led a revolt against King Farouk in 1952 he inherited Farouk’s Nazis. I haven’t seen anything yet, though I’m still digging, to indicate that Nasser tackled this Nazi problem. It’s easy to read into this Israel’s problem with Farouk and with Nasser. My bet is that JFK was never briefed on this. It certainly begs more research. 

Paul--

Sadly, Nazi ideology goes back to WWII in the Mideast. Music to receptive ears. It has morphed into Islamo-fascism. 

Ethnic and religious genocide and dislocation has taken place from Morocco to Indonesia. 

I honor JFK. Could he have influenced or reduced this relentless tide of hate? Hard to say. 

In Washington, and in US academia and media, they think the globe revolves around them.

When you live offshore, you realize the US is just one influence of many. Sometimes a minor actor on a crowded stage. 

On a personal note, best of the holidays to you Paul.  Your commentary is always civil and collegial, and adds to the EF-JFKA. 

 

 

 

 

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On 12/23/2023 at 8:25 PM, James DiEugenio said:

Jim said to W: But this was not the point of this current piece.  It always bothers me when people twist around and object to what is written because  they want something in there that they want to write.  My main point here was how JFK looked at the Middle East, Nasser, Palestine, and the Right of Return.  Because this is all topical right now.  But its been forgotten. 

And I mean to say its down the memory hole does not do justice what happened to JFK's policies in the Middle East.

Whew! Jim, this is the second time you seem to chastising W. for missing your central point. But you made 2 points and he responded to one of them.
 
You in essence, wrote 2 articles here, the first was sort of a rehash of other articles you've written about Nasser and JFK  and JFK 's backing of Algeria's Independence and Arab nationalism  and then you launch into a sort of  disjointed foray into Henry Jackson and your interpretation that he started the neo con movement.
Don't blame W. If your central point was about JFK and Nasser, why did you divert your entire piece into Henry Jackson and the neocon movement?.
 
I'm not sure this was even appropriately titled, "Gaza and JFK," as there's one mention of Gaza in your opening paragraph and it's never mentioned again! And the rest of the Nasser JFK  relationship could have just as well been copied from earlier pieces you sent us. This probably is your  fourth  rehash about Nasser and JFK I've read, though  I understand  you could say other newcomers still haven't read it.
 
Jim to W: My point about Nasser is that he idolized Kennedy so much and admired him for his right of return for the Palestinians, that I think in a second term, he could have been dealt with on the issue.
 
 
I barely looked at all and I found this article by Josephine Lippincott entitled "Kennedy and Nasser", a failed relationship."  This tells a much different story. It goes into much greater detail about all the  forces these 2 figures were balancing. It does follow Jim's depiction of JFK trying to court the nonaligned Arab nations, and not seeing their nationalist movements as a threat,  despite some pressure from the UK, France, Israel and the CIA. 
But it doesn't mention anything about the consternation of Nasser when JFK died but it asserts the relationship actually fell apart before  JFK's death over the war in Yemen, where JFK was given a choice and chose to ally with conservative Arab countries over Nasser.
 
 
After weighing the options, the Kennedy Administration decided to recognize the new regime in Yemen. This
recognition, however, had little benefit except to anger Saudi Arabia. The monarchy in Saudi Arabia was fully
invested in Yemen and was actually increasing the number of “clandestine operations” along the Yemeni border.
The conflict became more challenging for the Kennedy Administration when Egyptian planes began bombing
Saudi territory. This left the Kennedy Administration with a decision: support Nasser or support alliances with
the conservative Arab countries. Kennedy ultimately chose to defend the conservatives and break with Nasser.
 
The events in Yemen exacerbated already high tensions in the region, which ultimately led to the failure
of Kennedy’s Nasser initiative. While President Kennedy thought he could work with Nasser and use his
nationalism to promote his own interests, this idea ultimately failed due to the struggle between Nasser and conservative Arab leaders.
 
This narrative is completely different.
 
Jim: And unlike with Sadat, I think Kennedy and Nasser would have insisted on an overall peace settlement including the Palestinian problem.
 
Yes maybe according to Jim's narrative that never happened. Woulda shoulda coulda!  But Nasser's successor Anwar Sadat,together with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and President Jimmy Carter,  achieved the Mideast Peace Accords. These peace accords between Egypt and Israel, have now lasted almost 50 years!  
 
Merry Xmas to all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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2 minutes ago, Kirk Gallaway said:
Whew! Jim, this is the second time you seem to chastising W. for missing your central point. But what choice did he have?
 
 

Kirk,

    Just to clarify, I didn't miss Jim's point at all.  I merely commented on the most critically important chapter in Neocon history-- 9/11 and the Bush/Cheney "War on Terror."

    The only reason I posted a comment about the Neocon Project for a New American Century (PNAC) is that Jim had mentioned the later Obama era war against Ghaddafi, and Operation Timber Sycamore in Syria-- essentially leap-frogging the critically important preceding history of PNAC, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, 9/11, and the Bush/Cheney/Neocon "War on Terror."   

    But the Obama era military interventions in Libya and Syria (Timber Sycamore) were merely later phases of the Neocon PNAC plan-- following the Iraq War.

    Recall that Rumsfeld/Wolfowitz Pentagon officials had briefed General Wesley Clark shortly after 9/11 on Pentagon plans to respond to 9/11 by waging war against several of Israel's Muslim adversaries-- "starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, and Libya."  The Pentagon plan was, basically, the pre-2000 Neocon Project for a New American Century, using 9/11 as the pretext-- the "New Pearl Harbor" event.

     And who benefitted from 9/11 and the PNAC "War on Terror?"

     Halliburton and other military contractors, Israel, and the Saudis (who, like Israel, wanted the U.S. to depose Saddam and bomb Iran.)

     Ultimately, the only phase of the PNAC agenda that was never implemented was a U.S. war against Iran.  And I read somewhere that Douglas Feith was working on schemes to trigger a U.S. war against Iran, after he was fired from the Rumsfeld Pentagon.

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On 12/23/2023 at 8:25 PM, James DiEugenio said:

But this was not the point of this current piece.  It always bothers me when people twist around and object to what is written because  they want something in there that they want to write.  My main point here was how JFK looked at the Middle East, Nasser, Palestine, and the Right of Return.  Because this is all topical right now.  But its been forgotten. 

And I mean to say its down the memory hole does not do justice what happened to JFK's policies in the Middle East.

No I understand perfectly W.  

To put it simply, Jim had 2 stories 1. JFK, Nasser and the Middle East 2. Henry Jackson and the start of the Neo con movement.

Here he's  chastising you for responding to story #2 and not number one. ( in Jim's words, how JFK, looked at the Middle East, Nasser , Palestine.).

Ok, I rewrote it to say Jim wrote 2 articles in one, and you responded very well to one of them. Just not the one Jim wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kirk Gallaway
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What JFK did and was trying to in the Middle East was pretty much unprecedented.

If anyone can show me where I am wrong, especially in regards to Nasser and Egypt, please do.

And I agree with Dreyfuss, that was probably the last time you could have had an overall settlement.  

We expect a lot of stupid and irresponsible stuff from the GOP, especially since the Neocons  took over their foreign policy.

I don't think we should do the same for the Democrats.

But like I said above, Kennedy's policy is down the memory hole.

 I will says this though, an article by RIck Sterling, who reads my stuff, is starting to circulate around, two people sent it to me. It started on Mintpress, and went to LA Progressive.  He is saying pretty much what I have above.  That JFK's policy was very different in the area and has been lost. So maybe I have not wasted the last ten years of my life on this subject.

 

Edited by James DiEugenio
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