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Is Bush planning an attack on Iran in March?


Douglas Caddy
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A superb article by philosopher Gilad Atzmon.

I myself observed, without surprise but with a feeling of nausea, puerile TV debates over "who had won" the "diplomatic game" as soon as Iran released the British 'hostages' from their terrifying period of captivity.

Atzmon sees through this mean-spirited and shameful behaviour and brings us back to reality...

Between Good and Evil

By: Gilad Atzmon

06 April 2007

The main British editorials happen to agree that Ahmadinejad has won points in this latest naval round. I find it rather disappointing. With over 650.000 innocents dead in Iraq and a war against Iran on the horizon, it is about time British columnists stop telling us about tactical gains and losses. Instead they should once and for all endorse a humanist and ethical discourse grounded on genuine responsibility.

The battle between Ahmadinejad and Blair is not a political or diplomatic one, it is not about points. It is actually a clash between civilizations, a fight between humanism and cold pragmatism. As it emerges, in this battle, it is Ahmadinejad rather than Blair who reminds us where goodness rests. Seemingly, a man who has been repeatedly presented by our deluded Western media as a’ radical’, ‘fundamentalist’ and ‘Islamofascist’ has proved beyond doubt that it is actually him who knows what forgiveness and grace are all about, It was Ahmadinejad who has pardoned the enemy, it was Ahmadinejad that evoked some prospects of a peaceful future.

Brits and Americans should ask themselves whether they can recall Bush or Blair meeting with any of the many illegally detained Guantanamo Bay inmates? Brits may also want to ask themselves when was the last time their Prime Minister was seen chatting with Abu Hamza or alike? My usual Ziocon critics would obviously blame me for equating here ‘innocent’ naval personnel to ‘murderous blood thirsty terrorists’. I would suggest to them to bear in mind that it is ‘us’ who label others as ‘terrorist’ as much as it is ‘us’ who generously entitle ourselves as ‘innocent’. I may as well voluntarily suggest to my possible critics that within this so called ‘cultural clash’, it is again ‘us’ who launched an illegal war, it is ‘us’ who are legally and morally responsible for the on going genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is ‘our’ democratically elected governments that supports the Israelis atrocities in Palestine. It is ‘our’ leaders who happen to be the terrorists who fail to talk to the so called enemy, it is ‘our’ leaders who fail to offer any hope for peace. Instead they just prepare us for many more conflicts to come. More importantly, I may suggest to my critics that in the eyes of an Iranian, the captured naval personnel are part of an invasion army that destroys Arab and Muslim states.

I wonder how the majority of British people would feel about a bunch of Iranian naval commandos operating in the English Channel stopping every Western vessel and searching its belly for some potential military goods. I wonder as well how would some Brits may feel about the Iranian democratically elected government interfering with the British Parliament’s recent decision to spend dozens of billions on a new Trident, a weapon designed for indiscriminate killing of millions. Obviously there is no need to elaborate on these rhetoric questions, the answers are clear. The vast majority of Brits wouldn’t accept anyone interfering neither with British politics nor with the Kingdom’s territorial water. Yet, for the majority of Westerners constant intimidation and destruction of Muslim or Arab states seems to be nothing other than business as usual.

I better admit it; I do not know where exactly the fifteen British sailors were captured. I am far from being qualified to say who tells the truth about this saga, whether the seamen were captured in Iranian sea or was it in an international water. Reading some expert commentators about the subject, I tend to believe that no one has a clear-cut answer to offer. In fact, most British papers have now adopted the notion of ‘caught in disputed water’ just to disguise their premature judgment some days ago.

However, the issue here has nothing to do with truth. The question to be asked here is why is it so complicated for us Western people to accept the possibility that the truth of the other may be slightly or even very different to ours. I may admit that I find it rather concerning that the British press willingly and blindly bought the British government account of the naval dispute while dismissing the possibility that the Iranians may have had an adequate argument to offer.

At the end of the day, we may have to face it, Blair and his government’s record for telling the truth is not very impressive. In the last five years the British government has managed to lie more or less about everything; whether it was Iraqi WMD, 45 minutes of deployment of those imaginary weapons, whether it was a fantasmic pretext for an illegal war.

It would be fair to comment that as much as Blair can hardly tell the truth, President Ahmadinejad has yet to be caught telling a lie. Ahmadinejad, though being rather unpopular in Britain, is far from deceiving his listener. Indeed, he has some harsh things to say. Unlike Blair who was generous enough to admit that the Iranian people have some past to be proud of (“we respect Iran as an ancient civilization, as a nation with a proud and dignified history” Tony Blair, 4.4.06), President Ahmadinejad insists that Iranian people are entitled as well for a present and even for a prospect of some future.

The President whom some of us call ‘Islamofascist’, believes actually that the Iranian people are equal human beings. Thus, he genuinely believes that like more or less every Western country, his country and his people have the right to benefit from atomic energy and nuclear research. Is it that outrageous? I may suggest that considering Western governments are becoming increasingly enthusiastic about atomic energy, it is basically impossible to produce any sufficient ethical argument against Ahmadinejad on that matter. Moreover, bearing in mind the Israeli nuclear might, there is not a single moral argument for preventing any of Israel’s neighbors from having at least a similar deadly capacity.

Ahmadinejad doesn’t shy off. He says what he believes to be right, He believes for instance that if the Europeans feel guilty for their past crimes against the Jews, it is the Europeans who should face their past and take responsibility for the Jews rather than dumping them in the Middle East on the expense of the Palestinian people. Again, this thought is rational as well as implacably ethically grounded. Whether we like its implication or not, is a different matter. Ahmadinejad may be seen by some as a Holocaust denier, yet as far as I can see, he is one of the very few statesmen who manages to internalise the real meaning of the Holocaust. He says No to racism. Accordingly, he believes that Israel, the ‘Jews only State’, a racially orientated nationalist entity, has no right to exist. Ahmadinejad has never called for the liquidation of the Israeli people but rather for the dismantling of the Zionist apparatus. Again, I see nothing ethically wrong with that.

In the last days, Ahmadinejad proved again that as far as humanism and peace seeking are concerned, he is ahead of his Western rivals. Seemingly, we have a lot to learn from our Muslim brothers. In this cultural clash, it is us, the West who have lost touch with the notions of empathy and ethics. May I suggest that it is not Blair and Bush who should be blamed, it is us the people who are failing collectively to listen to the cry of the other. Rather than blaming Blair and his shrinking circuit of supporters, it is us, the silent crowed who should launch into a self searching process. If humanism, rationality, analytical thinking and ethics have been seen as Western cultural assets at a certain stage, it is currently the so called Muslim ‘fundamentalists’ who grasp the real meaning of those qualities far better than us.

Ahmadinejad was there to remind us all what grace was all about. Seemingly, it is Ahmadinejad who evokes the feeling of goodness and it is Blair who couldn’t match it. It was Blair who couldn’t even recruit the minimal dignity and kindness to salute his foe. British columnists should know better. Ahmadinejad didn’t win by points, it wasn’t about winning a political battle. This was just another chapter in an ongoing clash between civilizations, between Good and Evil and as it seems, we are stuck at least momentarily with Bush, Blair and their Ziocon philosophy, not exactly the civilized one and not remotely the carrier of ‘goodness’ so to say.

* An Israeli born Jew who served in the Israeli army, currently living in London. He is a top professional jazz musician playing saxophone and clarinet.

Edited by Sid Walker
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A fine piece from Atzmon, Sid.

The global community, with the exception of those addicted to screeching tabloids, are wising up to the west's hollow spin of recent years, imo. As Atzmon says, Ahmadinejad has played it straight throughout the current crisis. Not so our leaders.

Iran claims it wants a nuclear capacity for peaceful purposes. Israel claims Iran will attck them, but who has the better track record for honesty? Israel promised JFK they would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons to the region. They lied.

As Atzmon says, why should Israel be granted the luxury of such security while attempting to deny other nations in the region the benefit of similar security? Why should Arab states be denied the protection from possible Israeli aggression that a nuclear capacity provides? After all, Israel's history of aggression against its neighbours is a matter of historical record.

The real question is this: Do the Israelis consider themselves a master race playing the role of undisputed ruler of the region? And does the US and its allies agree with them?

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A superb article by philosopher Gilad Atzmon.

I agree. What do you think Bush is going to do now? Is he in a position to order the bombing of Iran? Was it just a means of putting Iran under pressure? If so, it has clearly failed. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that his country had "joined the nuclear club of nations".

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Tony Blair’s attempt at spinning the Iranian hostage story has backfired. He has been forced to withdraw permission of the armed forces to sell their stories. As it was pointed out, there would be nothing to stop serving members of the armed forces from selling their stories that were critical of the government. Blair’s government is not only immoral, it is totally incompetent.

Blair has been rightly attacked in the press about the hostage incident. One press headline said: “Humiliated: Iran’s evil president has made Britain look weak and foolish”. The hostages have also been attacked for their behaviour. One would ask what would have happened in the Second World War if members of the British armed forces made a full confession as soon as they were captured. For example, those brave men and women of the SOE who were tortured for many days without giving information to the enemy. As one commentator asserted that in no previous era “would British servicemen have behaved in such a manner”?

What the press did not report is that Craig Murray, who formerly headed the Foreign Office’s maritime section, pointed out that no maritime border between Iran and Iraq has never been agreed and the Minster of Defence map was, to all intents and purposes, a fake.

The use of language in the articles in the British press was also illuminating. The British sailors were kidnapped and immediately became hostages. However, the five alleged “intelligence agents” taken during a US raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the Kurdish city of Arbil, were like those held in Guantanamo Bay, “detained” and awaiting trial (although the trials, when they do take place after several years, are held in secret).

According to Kenny Gallo (a convicted mafia associate in the FBI witness programme) Charles Harrelson was writing a book about his life. In it he was going to admit that he only carried out six assassinations. However, he was involved in plots of a lot more killings that date back to the early 1960s. The memoir, and other papers, has been left to his three sons. It will be interesting if the “memoir” will ever get published.

It is almost certain that Bush has rejected an attack on Iran for the time being. It is generally accepted that an attempt to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities would strengthen the elements of the Tehran regime Bush would like to weaken. It is also believed that if a strike took place the Iranian government would join forces with the Shi’ite militias in waging war on the Allies in Iraq.

Bush was tempted to use to British hostage crisis to launch an attack on Iran. Bush was warned that if he did that he faced the possibility of a constitutional crisis with Congress coming close to trying to veto decisions taken by the commander-in-chief.

The problem with this view is that Bush is becoming increasing desperate in his attempts to resolve his problems in Iraq. His latest strategy is clearly not working. The issue is whether Bush can accept defeat or will he take one final gamble.

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Tony Blair’s attempt at spinning the Iranian hostage story has backfired. He has been forced to withdraw permission of the armed forces to sell their stories. As it was pointed out, there would be nothing to stop serving members of the armed forces from selling their stories that were critical of the government. Blair’s government is not only immoral, it is totally incompetent.

Blair has been rightly attacked in the press about the hostage incident. One press headline said: “Humiliated: Iran’s evil president has made Britain look weak and foolish”. The hostages have also been attacked for their behaviour. One would ask what would have happened in the Second World War if members of the British armed forces made a full confession as soon as they were captured. For example, those brave men and women of the SOE who were tortured for many days without giving information to the enemy. As one commentator asserted that in no previous era “would British servicemen have behaved in such a manner”?

What the press did not report is that Craig Murray, who formerly headed the Foreign Office’s maritime section, pointed out that no maritime border between Iran and Iraq has never been agreed and the Minster of Defence map was, to all intents and purposes, a fake.

The use of language in the articles in the British press was also illuminating. The British sailors were kidnapped and immediately became hostages. However, the five alleged “intelligence agents” taken during a US raid on a long-established Iranian liaison office in the Kurdish city of Arbil, were like those held in Guantanamo Bay, “detained” and awaiting trial (although the trials, when they do take place after several years, are held in secret).

According to Kenny Gallo (a convicted mafia associate in the FBI witness programme) Charles Harrelson was writing a book about his life. In it he was going to admit that he only carried out six assassinations. However, he was involved in plots of a lot more killings that date back to the early 1960s. The memoir, and other papers, has been left to his three sons. It will be interesting if the “memoir” will ever get published.

It is almost certain that Bush has rejected an attack on Iran for the time being. It is generally accepted that an attempt to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities would strengthen the elements of the Tehran regime Bush would like to weaken. It is also believed that if a strike took place the Iranian government would join forces with the Shi’ite militias in waging war on the Allies in Iraq.

Bush was tempted to use to British hostage crisis to launch an attack on Iran. Bush was warned that if he did that he faced the possibility of a constitutional crisis with Congress coming close to trying to veto decisions taken by the commander-in-chief.

The problem with this view is that Bush is becoming increasing desperate in his attempts to resolve his problems in Iraq. His latest strategy is clearly not working. The issue is whether Bush can accept defeat or will he take one final gamble.

israelinsider - not a medium renowned for opposition to Israeli strong-arm tactics - reminds us that With Olmert's roller coaster running off track, desperate moves may be expected

It reports: "Olmert, whose approval ratings are at three percent... is under several corruption investigations"

Both Olmert and Peretz are fearful of the upcoming interim report by a commission of inquiry into last summer's war in Lebanon, even though the commission was hand-picked by Olmert and Peretz.

At the same time, it is clear that Israeli army (IDF) has not waited for the report, and its infantry, armor and engineering units have redoubled their training schedules, some of them holding the first real brigade and battalion-strength exercises in six years-both near Gaza and Lebanon.

In London, Blair has only a few months to go. He may leave office and face prosecution. Bush has longer to linger... but his used0by date is also approaching expiry.

This situation is not conducive to good policy and forging peace. It is conducive to more false flags operations, war and terror in general.

On this basis, there are no grounds, IMO, for relaxing.

On the other hand, I don't believe these three men are really in control. If anyone is in control, it s not these guys. That is a source of concern - because it suggests our democracies are shams.

On the other hand, the devils we don't know clearly don't have total power and we must hope they have judged that another hot war at this time may not serve their best interests.

It's frustrating that our survival and well-being as a species is in the control of maniacs, clandestine or overt, clever or stupid.

We really must get out of this situation. JFK realized this and showed the will to achieve it, as his little-remembered proposal, delivered personally to the UN General Assembly in 1961, clearly indicates:

general and complete disarmament must no longer be a slogan, used to resist the first steps. It is no longer to be a goal without means of achieving it, without means of verifying its progress, without means of keeping the peace. It is now a realistic plan, and a test--a test of those only willing to talk and a test of those willing to act.

Such a plan would not bring a world free from conflict and greed-- but it would bring a world free from the terrors of mass destruction. It would not usher in the era of the super state--but it would usher in an era in which no state could annihilate or be annihilated by another.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Two articles of interest.

Light relief first.

Sarah Gillespie, writing in Peace by Truth, takes over where Hunter Thompson left off with:

Fear & Loathing In Teheran.

Faye Turney, the ‘she-man’ Seaman captured in Shatt al-Arab last month, claims her captivity in Teheran was marred by fear of rape, torture and a lifetime of incarceration. Despite having been released unharmed, a bizarre scene is emerging from the dark recesses of Turney’s imagination in which the saintly mother of little Molly (3) was subjected to floundering indefinitely in a dingy jail wearing nothing but pair of knickers and a floral headscarf. According to Faye’s ‘worst fears’ her ‘evil captors’ spied on her through her cell door slat, cracked jokes about her imminent martyrdom and most bizarrely of all, felt compelled to fit her out with her very own hand-crafted, bespoke coffin. Here is our first hint that we are dealing with the humiliation fantasies of a serious narcissist; while the Islamic Revolutionary Guard indeed have affiliations with the Moral Police responsible for public executions, I doubt very much that they throw a made-to-measure coffin service into the deal.

Nothing here adds up. But it doesn’t have to because the press have finally dispensed with the pursuit of truth altogether. Faye Turney’s fears are being treated by the media as if they were facts. Do a Google search on ‘Faye Turney rape’ and over 80,000 results appear. Remarkable really, given the woman has not been raped at all and is even claiming that she was not. Such is the ravenous appetite in Britain for titillating tales of defenceless damsels and wicked Arabs, the Sun-reading British electorate doesn’t care anymore if the narrative is absolute fantasy or not, so long as the victim is a westerner and the aggressor is a Muslim.

Thus, it doesn’t matter that Turney & Co were well-fed, clothed, even supplied with Marlborough Lights and Presidential ‘goodie bags’. It doesn’t matter that none of the 15 were exposed to torture, sexual abuse or humiliation. It doesn’t matter either that the worst trauma they endured was having their I Pods confiscated and forced to wear outfits that looked a bit ‘last year’. Arthur Batchelor, one of the Seaman, who we can assume has received at least some Military training for coping with stress during captivity, said: ‘Those suits were an insult. Not only did mine not fit, but it was cheap and tacky and the Hugo Boss shirt was a fake.’ What? So this is the ‘mental torment’ he insists on peddling for cash? The message is clear, the Seamen were treated well. Another message is also clear; the news-consuming public refuses to internalise this. Fay's abuse was in her disturbed mind and what is even more disturbing is the fact that our minds are deviant enough to consume her sickening fantasies. Without delving too deeply into the collective perversion of an entire nation, it is crucial to note that the British, who built their pseudo-egalitarian, post-industrial, mega-economy on the backs of two centuries of colonized labour, just love to feel like they are the victim. Check out the streets of Soho if you need proof.

What is more alarming, is that British media are quick to mobilise this penchant for humiliation in order to spoon feed us fictional narratives that reinforce the binary underpinning Anglo-American-Israeli foreign policy: Muslim=terrorist/Westerner=liberator. Since Turney traded in her phantasmic trauma for a substantial wad of Rupert Murdoch’s cash we are inundated with stories about her not being raped. Without the popular fear of Islam bestowing a veneer of feasibility into this narrative, Turney’s confessional would be exposed for the absurd non-event that it is. Try to imagine an equivalent news flash without the anti-Muslim agenda: ‘Man Thought He Was Being Followed Home by Rabid Gunmen, But Then He Realized It Was His Mum & He Was Just Being Paranoid.’ Or ‘Footsie Share Index Plummets to Record Lows Thought City Worker When He Accidentally Leant on His Apple Mac Keyboard Earlier Today.'

The rape, the torture, the execution didn’t happen but still it is reported over and over again simply on the proviso that it was temporarily imagined to be true in the mind of one woman. Truth is elusive, murky territory, impossible to fix or locate, impervious to the tyranny of technological mapping devices that offer objective comprehendible absolutes. Truth is relative, deceptive, it is in process, it never arrives at its destination and yet, we all insist on chasing it into oblivion. What has happened in the case of Faye Turney is that we seem to have given up the quest altogether, we have willingly surrendered to the absolutist reassurance of fear, at the expense of truth. Not only are we cut adrift from facts, we are not even pretending to look for them anymore, we are heading for a terrain were facts no longer matter.

On 9th April 2007 Blair, a man who, among his many sins, incarcerates Muslims for months on end without charge, dubbed Iran a ‘cruel and callous’ nation. So complicit are we in the demonisation of an entire civilization, we knowingly consume this fantasy of cruelty rather than consider the real possibility of humanity. We are invited to believe that Turney, the giant Viking of the Gulf Sea, is the ultimate victim, while Ahmadinejad, who hopes, albeit naively, one day to defend his country from foreign invaders, is the ultimate evil. The tragedy is we are no longer concerned as to whether this is true or not.

Posted... 12th April 2007

The irate Iranians, who've just welcomed back a former prisoner of the USA in Iraq whose body actually shows signs of torture, suggesting that his horrific narrative of captivity may actually be true, are so pissed off with the smarmy lying Brits (who don't even have the grace to say thanks for free chess lessons), that they propose to make a book and CD documenting the "cruel and callous" detention of the Famous Fifteen: Iran plans book, CD on Britons' detention. It should go well on Youtube - although in this case, a five-figure advance from Rupert Murdoch is unlikely.

Now for the bad news... a grim assessment of what may be coming from Leonid Ivashov, formerly a top-ranking General in the Russian armed forces: Iran: the Threat of a Nuclear War.

His analysis, IMO, is right on the money. It concludes:

Is it possible to prevent the bloodshed?

The only efficient argument that might stop the aggressors is the threat of their total global isolation for instigating a nuclear war. The implementation of the scenario described above can be made impossible by a complete absence of allies for the US-Israeli tandem, combined with loud public protests in the countries. Therefore, these days a definite and uncompromising stance of country leaders, governments, politicians, public figures, religious leaders, scientists, and artists with respect to the prepared nuclear aggression would be an invaluable service to mankind.

The coordinated public activities must be organized with the promptness adequate to the war-time conditions. The forces of aggression have already been amassed and concentrated at the starting positions in the state of full combat readiness. The US military do not make it a secret that everything can be a matter of weeks or even days. There are indirect indications that the US will launch a nuclear strike on Iran already in April, 2007. After the very first nuclear blast, mankind will find itself in an entirely new world, an absolutely inhumane one. The chances to prevent this outcome must be used completely.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Sid,

Good posts.

Thanks for posting JFK's speech to the UN in '61. Proof positive he was decades ahead of his time. btw, Hammarskjold had serious problems with Israel dating back to the Suez in '56--just another one of those coincidental deaths, I guess.

FWIW, I can't see the attack on Iran proceeding. Domestic support for Olmert, Blair and Bush is too low for them to explain it away and the west is well and truly war weary, imo. The US/Israel axis will have to accept the fact that Iran is as entitled to a nuclear deterrent as they are.

We might be witnessing a realignment in the balance of power.

Then again, there's always the chance of a false flag operation. (surprise, surprise) :ice:ph34r:

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Good article about this subject is by John Pilger in this week's New Statesmen.

http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=433

An edited version appears in today's Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...2056301,00.html

The Israeli journalist Amira Hass describes the moment her mother, Hannah, was marched from a cattle train to the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen. "They were sick and some were dying," she said. "Then my mother saw these German women looking at the prisoners. This image became very formative in my upbringing, this despicable 'looking from the side'."

It is time we in Britain stopped looking from the side. We are being led towards perhaps the most serious crisis in modern history as the Bush/Cheney/Blair "long war" edges closer to Iran for no reason other than that nation's independence from rapacious America. The safe delivery of the 15 British sailors into the hands of Rupert Murdoch and his rivals (until their masters got the wind up) is both farce and distraction. The Bush administration, in secret connivance with Blair, has spent four years preparing for "Operation Iranian Freedom". Forty-five cruise missiles are primed to strike. According to General Leonid Ivashov, Russia's leading strategic thinker: "Nuclear facilities will be secondary targets, and there are 20 such facilities. Combat nuclear weapons may be used, and this will result in the radioactive contamination of all the Iranian territory, and beyond."

And yet there is a surreal silence in Britain, except for the noise of "news" in which powerful broadcasters gesture cryptically at the obvious, but dare not make sense of it lest the one-way moral screen erected between us and the consequences of an imperial foreign policy collapses, and the truth is revealed.

"The days of Britain having to apologise for the British empire are over," declared Gordon Brown to the Daily Mail. "We should celebrate!" In Late Victorian Holocausts, the historian Mike Davis documents that as many as 21 million Indians died unnecessarily in famines criminally imposed by British policies. And since the formal demise of that glorious imperium, declassified official files make clear that British governments have borne "significant responsibility" for the direct or indirect deaths of between 8.6 million and 13.5 million people throughout the world - from imperial military interventions and at the hands of regimes strongly supported by Britain. The historian Mark Curtis calls these victims "unpeople". "Rejoice!" said Thatcher. "Celebrate!" says the paymaster of Blair's bloodbath. Spot the difference.

We need to look behind the one-way moral screen, urgently. Last October, the Lancet published research led by Johns Hopkins University in the US that calculated the deaths of 655,000 Iraqis as a direct result of the Anglo-American invasion. Downing Street acolytes derided the study as "flawed". They were lying. They knew that the chief scientific adviser to the Ministry of Defence, Sir Roy Anderson, had backed the survey, describing its methods as "robust" and "close to best practice", and that other government officials had secretly approved the "tried and tested way of measuring mortality in conflict zones". The figure of Iraqi deaths is now estimated at close to a million.

"This Labour government, which includes Gordon Brown as much as it does Tony Blair," wrote Richard Horton, the editor of the Lancet, "is party to a war crime of monstrous proportions. Yet our political consensus prevents any judicial or civil society response. Britain is paralysed by its own indifference." Such is the scale of the crime and of our "looking from the side".

As hysteria is again fabricated, for Iraq, read Iran. According to the former US treasury secretary Paul O'Neill, the Bush cabal decided to attack Iraq on "day one" of Bush's administration, long before 9/11 - and it beggars belief that Blair did not know that. The main reason was oil. O'Neill was shown a Pentagon document entitled Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts, which outlined the carve-up of Iraq's oilfields among the major Anglo-American companies. Under a law written by American and British officials, the Iraqi puppet regime is about to hand over the extraction of the largest concentration of oil on earth to Anglo-American companies.

Nothing like this piracy has happened before in the modern Middle East. Across the Shatt al-Arab waterway the other prize: Iran's vast oilfields. Just as non-existent weapons of mass destruction or facile concerns for democracy had nothing to do with the invasion of Iraq, so non-existent nuclear weapons have nothing to do with an American onslaught on Iran. Unlike Israel and the United States, Iran has abided by the rules of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has never cited Iran for diverting its civilian programme to military use. For the past three years IAEA inspectors have said that they have been allowed to "go anywhere". The recent security council sanctions against Iran are the result of Washington's bribery.

Until recently the British were unaware that their government was one of the world's most consistent abusers of human rights and backers of state terrorism. Few knew that British intelligence set out systematically to destroy secular Arab nationalism and in the 1980s recruited and trained young Muslims as part of a $4bn Anglo-American-backed jihad against the Soviet Union. The fuse of the bombs that killed 52 Londoners was lit by "us".

In my experience, most people do not contort their morality and intellect to comply with the double standards of rampant power and the media's notion of approved evil - of worthy and unworthy victims. They would, if they knew, grieve for all the lives, families, careers, hopes and dreams destroyed by Blair and Bush. The sure evidence is the British public's wholehearted response to the 2004 tsunami, shaming that of the government. Certainly, they would agree with Robert Jackson, the chief counsel of the United States at the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders. "Crimes are crimes," he said, "whether we do them or whether Germany does them, and we are not prepared to lay down a rule of criminal conduct which we would not be willing to have invoked against us."

Like Henry Kissinger and Donald Rumsfeld, who dare not travel to certain countries for fear of being prosecuted as war criminals, Blair as a private citizen may no longer be untouchable. On March 20 Baltasar Garzon, the tenacious Spanish judge who pursued General Pinochet, called for indictments against those responsible for "one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history" - Iraq. Five days later, the chief prosecutor of the international criminal court, to which Britain is a signatory, said that Blair could one day face war-crimes charges.

These are critical changes in the way the sane world thinks - again, thanks to the reich of Blair/Bush. However, we also live in the most dangerous of times. On April 6 Blair accused "elements of the Iranian regime" of "financing, arming and supporting terrorism in Iraq". He offered no evidence, and the MoD has none. This is the same Goebbels-like refrain with which he and his coterie, Brown included, brought an epic bloodletting to Iraq. How long will the rest of us continue looking from the side?

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Good article about this subject is by John Pilger in this week's New Statesmen.

http://www.johnpilger.com/page.asp?partid=433

An edited version appears in today's Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/st...2056301,00.html

John, I think this is a rather weak piece by John Pilger, although I hadn't seen it before and I'm grateful you posted it.

Pilger's article says almost nothing about WHY Britain is re-engaging in direct colonialism - and is now part of the gang of jackals that seeks to destroy Iran. following two disastrous invasions of sovereign countries under false pretexts.

As a corrective, here is a recent article by Scott Ritter in Trurthdig: The Final Act of Submission

Ritter says it's time to hoist the Star of David over the White House just so we're all clear who's driving policy in Washington.

His remarks may as well apply to Britain.

The Final Act of Submission

By Scott Ritter

In the months leading up to President Bush’s ill-fated invasion of Iraq, I traveled around the world speaking to various international groups, including many parliamentary assemblies. I spoke about democracy and the need of any nation or group of nations espousing democracy as a standard to embrace the ideals and values of justice and due process in accordance with the rule of law. I spoke of international law, especially as it was manifested in the charter of the United Nations (a document signed and adopted by all of the countries I visited).

Invariably, my presentation focused on the nation in question, whether it was Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Japan or Great Britain, and the status of its relationship with the United States. As an American, I said, I appreciated each nation’s embrace of the United States as a friend and ally. However, as a strong believer in the rule of law, I deplored the trend among America’s so-called friends to facilitate a needless confrontation which would severely harm the U.S. in the long run. These nations were hesitant to stand up to the United States even though they knew the course of action planned for Iraq was wrong.

Such permissive submission was deplorable, and invariably led to a comment from me about the status of genuine sovereignty in the face of American imperial power. If a nation was incapable of defending its sovereign values and interests, then it should simply acknowledge its status as a colony of the United States, pull down its disgraced national flag and raise the Stars and Stripes.

Now the tables have turned. Americans, through the will of the people as expressed in the November 2006 election, voiced their dissatisfaction with the conduct of the American war in Iraq, and empowered a new Democratic-controlled Congress to reassert itself as a separate but equal branch of government—especially when it came to matters pertaining to war and the threat of war.

This new Democratic leadership has failed egregiously. Not only has the speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, been unable to orchestrate any meaningful legislation to bring the war in Iraq to an end, but in mid-March she carelessly greased the tracks for a whole new conflict. By excising language from a defense appropriations bill which would have required President Bush to seek the approval of Congress prior to initiating any military attack on Iran, Pelosi terminated any hope of slowing down the Bush administration’s mad rush to war.

Despite the fact that Congress was only stating through this language a simple reflection of constitutional mandate, Speaker Pelosi and others felt that the inclusion of such verbiage put the security of the state of Israel at risk by eliminating important “policy options” for the president of the United States. In short, Israeli national security interests trumped the Constitution of the United States.

I consider myself to be a friend of Israel, a status which has been demonstrated repeatedly through words and deeds from January-February 1991, when I was involved in the effort to stop Iraq Scud missiles from striking Israel during the 1991 Gulf War, to the period between October 1994 and June 1998 when I served as the lead liaison between the United Nations weapons inspectors and Israeli intelligence, working to find a final accounting of Iraq’s proscribed weapons of mass destruction. I know only too well the precarious reality of Israel’s security situation, and am sympathetic to its need to proactively deal with threats before they manifest themselves in a manner which threatens Israel’s ability to survive as a nation-state.

However, as an American who served on active duty in time of war as an officer of Marines, I also remember the oath I took to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” As such, I am troubled by the recent actions of Speaker Pelosi and other members of Congress who have not only abrogated their collective responsibility to uphold and defend the Constitution but have taken actions which, under normal circumstances and involving any other nation, would border on treasonous. Our collective duty as Americans must center on defending the very document, the Constitution, which defines who we are and what we are as a people and a nation. To have our elected representatives flagrantly push aside their constitutional responsibilities in the name of the security interests of another nation is unthinkable. And yet it has just happened, apparently without consequence.

Sadly, the new Democratic Congress has cemented its status as yet another iteration of a system which long ago sold its soul to special interests. Democrats can cackle about Republican scandals, including the Jack Abramoff affair, which brought down Rep. Tom DeLay among others. But history will show that the Pelosi-led sellout to Israeli special interests endangered the viability and security of America as a sovereign state governed by the rule of law more than Jack Abramoff ever could.

In this time of constitutional crisis, the American people need to wake up and demand that the basic tenets of the Constitution be adhered to. Congress is solely empowered by the Constitution to declare war. Demanding that the president of the United States adhere to this prerequisite is a logical and patriotic stance. Allowing any non-American interest, even one possessing such highly charged political and emotional sensitivities as Israel, to dictate otherwise represents nothing more than a capitulation of sovereignty. We the people need to rally around this defense of sovereignty. We must demand not only that Congress reassert its constitutional responsibilities and authority by demanding the president obey the letter of the law when it comes to war, whether against Iran or any other nation, but also to place in check the anti-American activities of one of the most powerful lobbies in Washington, D.C., the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee.

For decades AIPAC has operated in the shadows of American foreign policy decision-making, exerting its influence on elected officials away from the public scrutiny of the very constituents who elected those officials to begin with. It is impossible to hold someone accountable for actions that are kept secret, and as such AIPAC’s ability to secretly influence American foreign and national security policies represents a flagrant insult and threat to the very essence of American democracy. I am not advocating the dissolution of AIPAC. However, I am demanding that AIPAC be treated as any other representative of a foreign nation is treated. It should have to register as an agent of a foreign power so that the totality of its interactions with American officials can become a part of the public record. We require this of all other nations, including our good friends the British.

To state that AIPAC, and by extension Israel, is above the law in this regard is to acknowledge the reality that American national sovereignty no longer matters when it comes to the state of Israel. So be it. But then we are, collectively, no better than those nations I mocked prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as “colonies” of the United States. So if we are to continue to permit AIPAC to operate as an undeclared agent of a foreign nation, and to influence American foreign and national security policymaking at the expense of our Constitution, then we should acknowledge our true status as nothing more than a colony of Israel, pull down the Stars and Stripes and raise the Star of David over our nation’s capitol. While representing the final act of submission, it would also be the first truly honest act that occurred in Washington, D.C., in many years.

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John, I think this is a rather weak piece by John Pilger, although I hadn't seen it before and I'm grateful you posted it.

Are you saying it is weak because it does not emphasise the role Israel is playing? You are sounding like someone who has an obsession. Personally, I found Scott Ritter's last paragraph simplistic. Like Hitler he appears to be trying to show that it is the Jews rather than capitalism that is the problem. There are political reason for this position. For example, Hitler was funded by capitalists who had economic reasons for wanting increased arms production. Bush finds himself in the same position. The fact that some of these people may be Jews is irrelevant.

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John, I think this is a rather weak piece by John Pilger, although I hadn't seen it before and I'm grateful you posted it.

Are you saying it is weak because it does not emphasise the role Israel is playing? You are sounding like someone who has an obsession. Personally, I found Scott Ritter's last paragraph simplistic. Like Hitler he appears to be trying to show that it is the Jews rather than capitalism that is the problem. There are political reason for this position. For example, Hitler was funded by capitalists who had economic reasons for wanting increased arms production. Bush finds himself in the same position. The fact that some of these people may be Jews is irrelevant.

The answer is yes, I do find Pilger's article deficient because it underplays the decisive role of the Israel Lobby in pushing America and Britain into these post 9-11 wars.

The following discussion between Norman Finklestein and James Petras is instructive, IMO.

Where their positions differ in this debate, I believe Petras to be correct. Finklestein's line is similar to Pilger's - but when he is pushed, in the dialogue, to defend it in detail in a way that Pilger isn't in a solo opinion piece. I think Petras shows the weakness of Finklestein's arguments.

Blaming capitalism in general is not an adequate explanation. It says nothing we don't know already. It's true that we live in a capitalist world. That explains plenty - but doesn't explain everything.

All countries are not at war all the time. To understand why Iraq was attacked at this time and by the nations that attacking it - and why there are now such huge pressures to further attack Iran - one needs more information than the simple statement "capitalism is to blame". That's like saying "money is the source of all evil". It's occasionally a useful slogan - but not much more.

I don't agree with you about Ritter's concluding remarks.

Is he is trying to shock Americans? Yes. He's saying "regain your national sovereignty - or stop pretending that you have it".

In the circumstances - given the overweening power of the Zionist lobby and its evident ability to push the USA (and its closest allies) into fruitless bloody wars - that sounds to me like fair comment.

Finally, just in case there is any misunderstanding, I am not saying that Finklestein is wrong because he's 'Jewish'.

There were Jews who got the story about the Iraq War correct (IMO) from day one. Their voices are almost never heard in the western mass media. Jeff Blankfort was one of them.

Obsessed?

Yes, perhaps I am rather obsessed about how humanity can regain a peaceful and positive agenda - and weeding out the conceptual, ideological and criminal obstacles that at present obstruct the emergence of such an egenda.

Zionism is not the only problem we face... but as time goes by, it is emerging as a far more serious problem than I ever imagined in earlier decades.

It is so dangerous, apart from anything else, because of its quite enormous wealth, commercial power, media influence and brutal determination to stamp its authority on the world as a whole, without regard for the common good.

Edited by Sid Walker
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I have bolded a few selections in this powerful article by James Petras, written late last year.

I think Petras' analysis is just about spot on.

Why condemning Israel and the zionist lobby is so important

by James Petras

“It’s no great secret why the Jewish agencies continue to trumpet support for the discredited policies of this failed administration. They see defense of Israel as their number-one goal, trumping all other items on the agenda. That single-mindedness binds them ever closer to a White House that has made combating Islamic terrorism its signature campaign. The campaign’s effects on the world have been catastrophic. But that is no concern of the Jewish agencies.”

- December 8, 2006 statement by JJ Goldberg, editor of Forward (the leading Jewish weekly in the United States)

Introduction:

Many Jewish writers, including those who are somewhat critical of Israel, have raised pointed questions about our critique of the Zionist power configuration (ZPC) in the United States and what they wrongly claim are our singular harsh critique of the state of Israel. Some of these accusers claim to see signs of ‘latent anti-Semitism’, others, of a more ‘leftist’ coloration, deny the influential role of the ZPC arguing that US foreign policy is a product of ‘geo-politics or the interests of big oil. With the recent publication of several widely circulated texts, highly critical of the power of the Zionist ‘lobby’, several liberal pro-Israel publicists generously conceded that it is a topic that should be debated (and not automatically stigmatized and dismissed) and perhaps be ‘taken into account.’

ZPC Deniers: Phony Arguments for Fake Claims

The main claims of ZPC deniers take several tacks: Some claim that the ZPC is just ‘another lobby’ like the Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club or the Society for the Protection of Goldfish. Others claim that by focusing mainly on Israel and by inference the ‘Lobby’, the critics of Zionism ignore the equally violent abuses of rulers, regimes and states elsewhere. This ‘exclusive focus’ on Israel, the deniers of ZPC argue, reveals a latent or overt anti-Semitism. They propose that human rights advocates condemn all human rights abusers everywhere (at the same time and with the same emphasis?). Others still argue that Israel is a democracy – at least outside of the Occupied Territories (OT) – and therefore is not as condemnable as other human rights violators and should be ‘credited’ for its civic virtues along with its human rights failings. Finally others still claim that, because of the Holocaust and ‘History-of-Two-Thousand-Years-of-Persecution’, criticism of Jewish-funded and led pro-Israel lobbies should be handled with great prudence, making it clear that one criticizes only specific abuses, investigates all charges – especially those from Arab/Palestinian/United Nations/European/Human Rights sources -- and recognizes that Israeli public opinion, the press and even the Courts or sectors of them may also be critical of regime policies.

These objections to treating the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict and the activities of Zionist Lobbies as central to peace and war serve to dilute, dissipate and deflate criticism and organized political activity directed at the ZPC and its directors in Israel.

The response of the critics of Israel and the ZPC to these attacks has been weak at best and cowardly at worst. Some critics have responded that their criticism is only directed toward a specific policy or leader, or to Israeli policies in the OT and that they recognize Israel is a democracy, that it requires secure borders, and that it is in the interests of the Israeli ‘people’ to lower their security barriers. Others argue that their criticism is directed at securing Israeli interests, influencing the Zionist Lobby or to opening a debate. They claim that the views of ‘most’ Jews’ in the US are not represented by the 52 organizations that make up the Presidents of the Major Jewish Organizations of America, or the thousands of PACs, local federations, professional associations and weekly publications which speak with one voice as unconditional supporters of every twist and turn in the policy of the Zionist State.

There are numerous similar lines of criticism, which basically avoid the fundamental issues raised by the Israeli state and the ZPC, and which

we are obliged to address. The reason that criticism and action directed against Israel and the ZPC is of central importance today in any discussion of US foreign policy, especially (but not exclusively) of Middle East policy and US domestic policymaking is that they play a decisive role and have a world-historic impact on the present and future of world peace and social justice. We turn now to examine the ‘big questions’ facing Americans as a result of the power of Israel in the United States.

The Big Questions Raised by the ZPC and Israeli Power in the USA:

War or Peace:

Critical study of the lead up to the US invasion of Iraq, US involvement in providing arms to Israel (cluster bombs, two-ton bunker buster bombs and satellite surveillance intelligence) prior to, during and after Israel’s abortive invasion of Lebanon, Washington’s backing of the starvation blockade of the Palestinian people and the White House and Congress’ demands for sanctions and war against Iran are directly linked to Israeli state policy and its Zionist policy-makers in the Executive branch and US Congress. One needs to look no further than the documents, testimony and reports of AIPAC and the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations to observe their claims of success in authoring legislation, providing (falsified) intelligence, engaging in espionage (AIPAC) and turning documents over to Israeli intelligence (now dubbed ‘free speech’ by liberal Zionists).

If, as the overwhelming evidence indicates, the ZPC played a major role in the major wars of our time, wars capable of igniting new armed conflicts, then it ill behooves us to dilute the role of the Zionist/Jewish Lobby in promoting future US wars. Given Israel’s militarist-theocratic approach to territorial aggrandizement and its announced plans for future wars with Iran and Syria, and given the fact that the ZPC acts as an unquestioning and highly disciplined transmission belt for the Israeli state, then US citizens opposed to present and future US engagement in Middle East wars must confront the ZPC and its Israeli mentors. Moreover, given the extended links among the Islamic nations, the Israel/ZPC proposed ‘new wars’ with Iran will result in Global wars. Hence what is at stake in confronting the ZPC are questions which go beyond the Israeli-Palestine peace process, or even regional Middle East conflicts: it involves the big question of World Peace or War.

Democracy or Authoritarianism

Without the bluster and public hearings of former Senator Joseph McCarthy, the Jewish Lobby has systematically undermined the principal pillars of our fragile democracy. While the US Congress, media, academics, retired military and public figures are free to criticize the President, any criticism of Israel, much less the Jewish Lobby, is met with vicious attacks in all the op-ed pages of major newspapers by an army of pro-Israeli ‘expert’ propagandists, demands for firings, purges and expulsions of the critics from their positions or denial of promotions or new appointments. In the face of any prominent critic calling into question the Lobby’s role in shaping US policy to suit Israel’s interests, the entire apparatus (from local Jewish federations, AIPAC, the Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations etc) go into action – smearing, insulting and stigmatizing the critics as ‘anti-Semites’. By denying free speech and public debate through campaigns of calumny and real and threatened repercussions the Jewish Lobby has denied Americans one of their more basic freedoms and constitutional rights.

The massive, sustained and well-financed hate campaigns directed at any congressional candidate critical of Israel effectively eliminates free speech among the political elite. The overwhelming influence of wealthy Jewish contributors to both parties – but especially the Democrats – results in the effective screening out of any candidate who might question any part of the Lobby’s Israel agenda. The takeover of Democratic campaign finance by two ultra-Zionist zealots, Senator Charles Schumer and Israeli-American Congressman Rahm Emanuel ensured that every candidate was totally subordinated to the Lobby’s unconditional support of Israel. The result is that there is no Congressional debate, let alone investigation, over the key role of prominent Zionists in the Pentagon involved in fabricating reports on Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction’, and in designing and executing the war and the disastrous occupation policy. The Lobby’s ideologues posing as Middle East ‘experts’ dominate the op-ed and editorial pages of all the major newspapers (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post). In their pose as Middle East experts, they propagandize the Israeli line on the major television networks (CBS, NBC,ABC, Fox, and CNN) and their radio affiliates. The Lobby has played a prominent role in supporting and implementing highly repressive legislation like the Patriot Act and the Military Commission Act as well as modifying anti-corruption legislation to allow the Lobby to finance congressional ‘educational’ junkets to Israel. The head of Homeland Security with its over 150,000 functionaries and multi-billion dollar budget is none other than Zionist fanatic Michael Chertoff, head persecutor of Islamic charity organizations, Palestinian relief organizations and other ethnic Middle Eastern or Moslem constituencies in the US, which potentially might challenge the Lobby’s pro-Israel agenda.

The biggest threat to democracy in its fullest sense of the word – the right to debate, to elect, to legislate free of coercion – is found in the organized efforts of the Zionist lobby, to repress public debate, control candidate selection and campaigning, direct repressive legislation and security agencies against electoral constituencies opposing the Lobby’s agenda for Israel. No other lobby or political action group has as much sustained and direct influence over the political process – including the media, congressional debate and voting, candidate selection and financing of congressional allocation of foreign aid and Middle East agendas as the organized Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) and its indirect spokespeople heading key Congressional positions. A first step toward reversing the erosion of our democratic freedoms is recognizing and publicly exposing the ZPC’s nefarious organizational and financial activities and moving forward toward neutralizing their efforts.

Their Foreign Policy or Ours?

Intimately and directly related to the loss of democratic freedoms and a direct consequence of the Jewish lobby’s influence over the political process is the making of US Middle East policy and who benefits from it. The entire political effort of the Lobby (its spending, ethnic baiting, censorship and travel junkets) is directed toward controlling US foreign policy and, through US power, to influence the policy of US allies, clients and adversaries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Lobby’s systematic curtailment of our democratic freedoms is intimately related to our own inability to influence our nation’s foreign policy. Our majoritarian position against the Iraq War, the repudiation of the main executioner of the War (the White House) and our horror in the face of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and destruction of Gaza are totally neutralized by Zionist influence over Congressional and White House policymakers. The recently victorious Congressional Democrats repudiate their electorate and follow the advice and dictates of the pro-Zionist leadership (Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Rahm Emmanuel, Stephan Israel and others) by backing an escalation of troops and an increase in military spending for the war in Iraq. Bush follows the war policy against Iran proposed by the zealous Zionist fanatics in the American Enterprise Institute, repudiating the diplomatic proposals of the bi-partisan Baker Commission. Congress quadruples US arms stored in Israel (supposedly for dual use) in the aftermath of Israel’s bombing of Southern Lebanon with one million anti-personnel bomblets from cluster bombs in direct defiance of US electoral opinion. While hundreds of millions of undernourished women and children suffer and die in Africa, Latin America and Asia, the Lobby ensures that over half of US foreign aid goes to Israeli Jews with per capita incomes of over $22,000 USD.

No other organized political action group or public relations firm acting on behalf of the Cuban and Venezuelan exiles or Arab, African, Chinese or European Union states comes remotely near the influence of the Zionist lobby in shaping US policy to serve the interest of Israel.

While the Lobby speaks for less than 2% of the US electorate, its influence on foreign policy far exceeds the great majority who have neither comparable organizational nor financial muscle to impose their views.

Never in the history of the US republic or empire has a powerful but tiny minority been able to wield so much influence in using out nation’s military and economic power and diplomatic arm-twisting in the service of a foreign government. Neither the Francophiles during the American Revolution, the Anglophiles in the Civil War and the German Bund in the run-up to World War Two, nor the (anti-China) Nationalist Taiwan Lobby possessed the organizational power and sustained political influence that the ZPC has on US foreign and domestic policy at the service of the State of Israel.

Confronting the Lobby Matters

The question of the power of the Lobby over US policies of war or peace, authoritarianism or democracy and over who defines the interests served by US foreign policy obviously go far beyond the politics of the Middle East, the Israeli-colonial land grabs in Palestine and even the savage occupation of Iraq. The playing out of Zionist influence over the greatest military power in the world, with the most far-reaching set of client states, military bases, deadly weapons and decisive voice in international bodies (IMF/World Bank/United Nations Security Council) means that the Lobby has a means to leverage its reach in most regions of the world. This leverage power extends over a range of issues, from defending the fortunes of murderous Russian-Jewish gangster oligarchs, to bludgeoning European allies of the US to complicity with Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

The ZPC represents a basic threat to our existence as a sovereign state and our ability to influence whom we elect and what agendas and interests our representatives will pursue. Even worse, by serving Israeli interests, we are becoming complicit with a State whose Supreme Court legalizes political assassinations across national boundaries, torture, systematic violations of international law and a regime which repudiates United Nations resolutions and unilaterally invades and bombs its neighbors and practices military colonist expansionism. In a word Israel resonates and feeds into the most retrograde tendencies and brutal practices of contemporary American politics. In this sense the Lobby through its media, Congressional influence and think tanks is creating an Israeli look-alike. Like Israel, the US has established its own Pentagon assassination teams; like Israel, it invades and colonizes Iraq; like Israel, it violates and rejects any constitutional or international legal restraints and systematically tortures accused but untried prisoners.

Because of these fundamental considerations, we cannot oblige our Jewish ‘progressive’ colleagues and compatriots and refrain from confronting the Zionist Lobby with force and urgency. Too many of our freedoms are at stake; too little time is left before they succeed in securing a greater military escalation; too little of our sovereignty remains in the face of the concerted effort by the Lobby and its Middle Eastern ‘expert-ideologues’ to push and shove us into a new and more devastating war with Iran at the behest of Israel’s pursuit of Middle East dominance.

No other country, abuser or not, of human rights, with or without electoral systems, has the influence over our domestic and foreign policy as does the state of Israel. No other Lobby has the kind of financial power and organizational reach as the Jewish Lobby in eroding our domestic political freedoms or our war-making powers. For those reasons alone, it stands to reason, that we American have a necessity to put our fight against Israel and its Lobby at the very top of our political agenda. It is not because Israel has the worst human rights agenda in the world – other states have even worst democratic credentials – but because of its role in promoting its US supporters to degrade our democratic principles, robbing us of our freedom to debate and our sovereignty to decide our own interests. The Lobby puts the military and budgetary resources of the Empire at the service of Greater Israel – and that results in the worst human rights in the world.

Democratic, just and peaceful responses to the Big Questions that face Americans, Europeans, Muslims, Jews and other peoples of the world passes through the defeat and dismantlement of the Israeli-directed Zionist Power Configuration in America. Nothing less will allow us to engage in an open debate on the alternatives to repression at home and imperialism abroad.

December 22, 2006

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  • 1 month later...
I couldn't believe that the US and UK Governments would be stupid enough to invade Iraq - sadly I was proved wrong.

I don't believe that the US is stupid enough to invade Iran - I hope I'm not proved wrong again. If they do go ahead (and heaven help us all if that's the case), then I'm assuming it will be on their own - I don't think the UK has the militray resources or political will to go to war in Iran.

Does 'The Decider' Decide on War?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

May 30, 2007

www.lewrockwell.com

Has Congress given George Bush a green light to attack Iran?

For he is surely behaving as though it is his call alone. And evidence is mounting that we are on a collision course for war.

Iran has detained several Iranian-Americans, seemingly in retaliation for our continuing to hold five Iranians in Iraq.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, the International Atomic Energy Agency, says Iran is making progress in the enrichment of uranium and denying it access to Iran's nuclear sites.

Bush is calling on Russia and China to toughen sanctions.

A flotilla of U.S. warships, including the carriers Stennis and Nimitz, has passed through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.

U.S. Maj. Gen. William Caldwell has told CNN there is "very credible intelligence" Iran is funding Sunni extremists engaged in the roadside bombing of U.S. troops.

CBS reports the United States has engaged in the industrial sabotage of Iran's nuclear program by making the equipment Iran acquires on the black market unusable or destructive.

ABC reports that Bush has authorized the CIA to mount a "black" operation to destabilize Iran, using "non-lethal" means. The absence of White House outrage over the leak suggests it may have wanted the information out.

ABC.com reports U.S. officials are supporting a militant group, Jundallah, in the "tri-border region" of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Jundallah, a Sunni Islamist group seeking independence for Baluchistan, claims to have killed hundreds of Iranians.

While U.S.-Iran discussions have begun, there are reports Vice President Cheney and the neo-con remnant, along with the Israelis, are opposed to talks and believe that the only solution to Iran's nuclear program is military. Whether this is part of a good-cop, bad-cop routine to convince Tehran to suspend enrichment, we do not know.

But this much is sure. If the U.S. government is aiding Islamic militants who are killing Iranians, and Iran is providing roadside bombs to Iraqi militants, Sunni or Shia, to kill Americans, we are in a proxy war. And it could explode into a major war.

So the questions come. Where is the Congress, which alone has the power to take us to war? Why are the Democratic candidates parroting the "all-options-are-on-the-table!" mantra, when as ex-Sen. Mike Gravel noted in the first Democratic debate, this means George W. Bush is authorized to attack Iran.

Why does Congress not enact the resolution Nancy Pelosi pulled down, which declares that nothing in present law authorizes President Bush to launch a pre-emptive

strike or preventive war on Iran – and before launching any such attack, he must get prior approval from both houses of Congress?

If we are going to war, is it not imperative that, this time, we know exactly why we must go to war, what exactly the threat is from Iran, what are the likely consequences of a U.S. attack on a third Islamic country and what are the alternatives to war?

For there are arguments against war, as well as for war – and the former are not receiving a hearing, as both parties compete in their fulminations against Iran's

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the new Hitler of the Middle East.

What are those arguments?

On Iran's nuclear progress, there is a real question as to whether they are producing purified uranium. Iran's refusal to let the IAEA see what it is doing suggests it may be covering up failure.

Second, though Iranians sound bellicose, Iran has not started a single war since the revolution of 1979. Indeed, Iran was the victim of a war launched by Saddam Hussein, whom we secretly supported. Not within living memory has Iran invaded or attacked another country.

But in the last 110 years, peace-loving Americans have fought Spain, Germany twice, Austria-Hungary, Japan, Italy, North Korea, North Vietnam, Iraq twice and Serbia. We have intervened militarily in the Philippines, Cuba, Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Lebanon and Grenada. We bombed Libya. Now, a case can be made for most of these wars, whose fallen we honor on Memorial Day.

But the point is this. Why would Iran, with no air force or navy that can stand up 24 hours against us, no missile that can reach us, no atom bomb, and no ability to withstand U.S. air and sea attack, want a war with us that could mean the end of Iran as a modern nation and possible breakup of the country, as Iraq is breaking up?

Whether one is pro-war or antiwar, ought we not – if we are going into another war – do it the right way, the constitutional way, with Congress declaring war? Or does the Democratic Congress think that what is best for America is to let "the decider" decide?

Because that is what George Bush is doing right now.

May 30, 2007

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Echoing the refrain of bored English soccer crowds, Norman Podoretz wails: Why are we waiting?

Podoretz doesn't just hope for war. He beseeches the Almighty!

See The case for bombing Iran: I hope and pray that President Bush will do it.

"It now remains to be seen whether this president, battered more mercilessly and with less justification than any other in living memory, and weakened politically by the enemies of his policy in the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular, will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel. As an American and as a Jew, I pray with all my heart that he will."

Anti-Zionist activist Jeff Blankfurt comments:

When he was writing a play set during the American Civil War, Gore Vidal wrote that Podhoretz, the godfather of the neocon movement, asked him, "Why are you writing a play about, of all things, the Civil War?"

When Vidal explained that this was/is "the great, single tragic event that gives resonance to our Republic" Podhoretz replied, "To me, the Civil War is as remote and irrelevant as the War of the Roses," which caused Vidal to correctly describe Podhoretz as a 5th Columnist, accusing him and his fellow Zionists of using their political power to benefit Israel, not to make the US a better or safer place.

Unless and until the Podhoretzes and their neocon ilk are outed for what they represent, a Zionist Fifth Column undermining what little is left of American democracy, Washington will continue to be Israeli Occupied Territory and the US will continue its blood-soaked misadventures in the Middle East. - JB

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  • 2 months later...

According to this article by former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, the plan to attack Iran is still very much alive, with the recently classified as terrorists Iranian Revolutionary Guard named as the prime target. It may also explain the departure of Messrs Rove and Rumsfeld.

'We are left with a President who cannot actually govern because he is incapable of reasoned thought in coping with events outside his control, like those in the Middle East'.

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/08/22/3330/

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