Mitchell, Ross, and Holbrooke…and the Outlook for Southwest Asia

I was surprised to hear on Obama’s first working day that he’d appointed George Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East. I thought he’d chosen Dennis Ross for that post–a very grim sign, I’d thought, of things to come. But in the last few days it’s become clear that there will be a specific division of labor: Mitchell will handle the Israel/Palestine portfolio, with broad powers to negotiate, reporting to the president directly as well as to Hillary Clinton; Ross will handle Iran with yet unknown latitude; and Richard Holbrooke will “coordinate” policy towards Afghanistan-Pakistan under “his immediate boss” Clinton.

By appointing Mitchell, Obama may be signaling Israel that he’s going to get tough on the settlements issue.

As a former senator from Maine, Mitchell was chosen by President Clinton in 2001 to head an international committee to investigate the causes of the Second Intifada. It did not mention Ariel Sharon’s provocative visit to the Dome of the Rock in September 2000 following the breakdown of talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders at Camp David; the status of East Jerusalem (occupied by Israelis in 1967) had been discussed at the talks and Sharon wanted to make a point about Israel’s eternal sovereignty over an extremely holy Muslim site. The report did however note:

“For the Palestinian side, “Madrid” and “Oslo” heralded the prospect of a State, and guaranteed an end to the occupation and a resolution of outstanding matters within an agreed time. Palestinians are genuinely angry at the continued growth of settlements and at their daily experiences of humiliation and disruption as a result of Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territories. Palestinians see settlers and settlements in their midst not only as violating the spirit of the Oslo process, but also as application of force in the form of Israel’s overwhelming military superiority.”

It stated: “A cessation of Palestinian-Israeli violence will be particularly hard to sustain unless the GOI freezes all settlement construction activity. Settlement activities must not be allowed to undermine the restoration of calm and the resumption of negotiations.”

That recommendation might seem to be a matter of common sense, since Israel illegally occupies territories it captured in the “preemptive” 1967 war. The United Nations General Assembly, whose Resolution 181 recommending the partition of Palestine in 1947 helped give rise to and legitimate the Jewish state, has repeatedly demanded that Israel withdraw from the West Bank, Gaza and Syria’s Golan Heights. But Israel, protected by the U.S., ignores these resolutions.

The West Bank settler population grew from about 200,000, at the time of the Mitchell report to about 280,000 today while the Bush administration muted its criticism. Jewish population growth on the West Bank is increasing by about 5% per year as opposed to less than 2% in Israel.

Mitchell’s appointment may mean a new U.S. attitude. Mitchell’s mother was a Lebanese immigrant, while his father was an Irish-American orphan raised by a Lebanese immigrant family. NPR reports that as a boy Mitchell served as an altar boy in an Arabic-speaking Maronite Catholic church.(It’s hard to say what all that might mean; Lebanon’s Maronites have been prone towards anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian flirtations with Israel to say nothing of the fascist ideology of the Phalange party.) Anyway, Mitchell (unlike Ross) is not a neocon, and he’s acquired a reputation for even-handedness, in his diplomatic work involving Northern Ireland in the 1990s.

So some Lobby leaders became immediately anxious. The ADL’s Abraham Foxman observed: “Sen. Mitchell is fair. He’s been meticulously even-handed. But the fact is, American policy in the Middle East hasn’t been ‘even handed’ — it has been supportive of Israel when it felt Israel needed critical U.S. support. So I’m concerned. I’m not sure the situation requires that kind of approach in the Middle East.” Mitchell’s appointment just might indicate the administration’s desire to finally place U.S. clout behind the creation of some kind of Palestinian state. Maybe the Obama team sees making some progress on the “roadmap” the prerequisite for obtaining other goals in Southwest Asia (more vital to the Empire than those of the Israel Lobby).

By appointing Dennis Ross, Obama is sending the Iranian leaders a clear message. He is associating himself with the most extreme alarmist positions currently articulated, including those of Norman Podhoretz. Ross wants to bomb Iran, and soon, unless the Iranians cease their uranium enrichment program. See the op-ed piece co-authored by Dennis Ross, Richard Holbrooke, R. James Woolsey, and Mark D. Wallace in the Wall Street Journal Sept. 22, 2008. It’s entitled, “Everybody Needs to Worry About Iran” and its authors state: “Iran is now edging closer to being armed with nuclear weapons, and it continues to develop a ballistic-missile capability.”

This contradicts the conclusion of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies (Central Intelligence Agency, Army Military Intelligence, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, the National Security Agency, etc.) as of November 2007. Those authors reported: “We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program.” In other words, in the world of empirical methods, critical thinking and analysis–the world of hundreds of trained professionals who’ve actually researched Iran’s nuclear program, with access to spy satellite data, reports from agents in the field, electronic surveillance–Iran has no nuclear program. Mohamed ElBaradei and IAEA staffers on the ground have consistently said that Iran has been thoroughly cooperative and that there are no signs of any diversion for a military program But in the world of this Chicken Little group Iran is edging ever nearer to nukes.

The editorial describes the nuclear program as “destabilizing” (while noting that Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Israel all have nuclear weapons) and repeats the old Cheneyism that since Iran has so much oil it can’t have any possible real need for a civilian program. (The Iranian nuclear program was encouraged by the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations when the Shah was in power and supported by General Electric and other U.S. firms.) It repeats the old charge that Iran’s President Ahmadinejad has threatened to wipe Israel off the map (adding that he’s said it could be done with one nuke) and generally assembles all the Bush-era anti-Iran talking-points: Iran sponsors Hizbollah and Hama terrorism, the regime’s repressive towards women and homosexuals, Iran could shut off the Strait of Hormuz, etc.

In conclusion the authors announce their establishment “along with other policy advocates from across the political spectrum” of the nonpartisan group United Against Nuclear Iran. The message, at the height of the presidential campaign, was: this isn’t a McCain vs. Obama, or more importantly a Bush era vs. Obama era thing. We should all of us–the former CIA director Woolsey (big-time purveyor of disinformation leading up to the Iraq invasion), alongside the two future Obama officials and the Bush-Cheney 2004 deputy campaign manager–unite in our worry about what the NIE says with “high confidence” doesn’t exist, just like Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction didn’t exist!

In April 2008, according to the Canadian Jewish News, Ross told Toronto’s Shaarei Shomayim Congregation that Iran will have “crossed the threshold of stockpiling fissionable material” within a year (reminder: it’s late January 2009 now). He sounds perilously like Norman Podhoretz, appealing to Bush to “bomb Iran!” in his June 2007 Commentary editorial.

Ross is known to favor the recommendations of a September 2008 report by something called the Bipartisan Policy Center. These include forcing Iran to suspend uranium enrichment and meet other demands by imposing blockades on Iranian gas imports and oil exports (acts of war) as well as striking “not only Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but also its conventional military infrastructure in order to suppress an Iranian response.”

So it looks like the official Obama line towards Iran, at least for the beginning, will be the Cheney-neocon line. And that is worrisome.

What does Obama have in mind for Afghanistan? Puppet president (or ought one say, “once-puppet president?”) Hamid Karzai had become increasingly critical of the U.S. over the last year, lashing out at the air strikes that have killed so many civilians, and even demanding (last November) a deadline for a pull-out of foreign forces. He’s clashed with Washington on the issue of inviting Mullah Omar to Kabul or another venue under safe conduct take part in talks, and proposed bringing the Taliban into the government. The Bush State Department had come to increasingly ignore him.

Last Wednesday during a United Nations Security Council debate on the “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts” Afghan ambassador Zahir Tanin raised the issue of the killing of civilians, proposing that the U.S.-led forces avoid air strikes, cease conducting operations without consulting the Afghan government, and stop its heavy-handed and culturally insensitive tactics. That the statement was made in this public forum, rather than to the U.S. or NATO through private channels, suggests a high degree of friction between Karzai and Washington.

When Joe Biden visited Afghanistan a week and a half before the inauguration, he spent a few hours with Karzai, reportedly talking about Afghanistan’s efforts to rebuild, strengthening the Afghan army, the problem of drug trafficking, and the “war on terror.” The talks, according to Biden’s spokesperson, were “fruitful and productive.” But quite likely Karzai was questioning the wisdom of Obama’s planned “surge” in Afghanistan. (After all, British officers involved in the NATO effort are dispassionately concluding, “We’re not going to win this war.”) Perhaps signaling the new administration’s displeasure with Karzai, Hillary Clinton during her confirmation hearing referred to Afghanistan in passing as a “narco-state” reviving memories of the charges that surfaced last October of Karzai’s own brother’s involvement in opium trafficking. The Afghan foreign minister protested the characterization.

The London Independent reported last week: “Obama ready to cut Karzai adrift.” It seems the new administration is considering alternative candidates, including the articulate English-speaking Abdullah Abdullah, to back in the upcoming presidential election. Afghan-American and well-certified neocon Zalmay Khalilzad, deeply interested in pipeline construction, is also said to be interested in the post of president. Meanwhile Karzai cultivates warm ties with India, blaming India’s arch-rival Pakistan for doing to little to prevent attacks from the border area.

What will Holbrooke’s appointment as special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan mean? Holbrooke has been in the State Department most of his life, from the time he graduated Brown, learned Vietnamese and worked for Agency for International Development in the Rural Pacification Program. Mentored in part by Dean Rusk, he has held numerous posts including assistant secretary of state for both Europe and Asia and ambassador to the UN. He’s seen as a highly experienced professional, credited with crafting the Dayton Agreement of 1995 which created Bosnia-Herzegovina. He’s also credited with helping to maintain the flow of U.S. arms to Suharto’s Indonesia during the brutal suppression of the revolt in East Timor and discouraging Congressional inquiry into Jakarta’s human rights abuses.

Holbrooke is going to argue, as Obama did throughout his campaign, that Afghanistan is the center of the “war on terror.” (It looks like they’re going to stick with that concept.) He’ll say Afghanistan was the source of the 9-11 attacks, the base of al-Qaeda which has not been completely defeated. The Taliban allies of al-Qaeda are gaining control of many villages in the south, and are in many places meting out justice according to the Sharia. New groups calling themselves Taliban are also flourishing on the Pakistani side of the border and offering hospitality to militants among their visiting Pashtun kin. So a much larger force than the 30,000 U.S. troops already in Afghanistan alongside as many international allied troops and ever-expanding Afghan army is urgently needed.

Actually, as I see it, at this point the numbers of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan are unknown, but quite likely small. The Arabs who constituted bin Laden’s circle seem to have scattered; most of the al-Qaeda in the region now seem members of a particular Uzbek organization. Al-Qaeda has always been a loose network and it’s by no means clear it’s headquartered in some cave in South Waziristan or village in Bajaur. It’s not clear what relationship the resurgent Taliban currently has to al-Qaeda; it wouldn’t seem to really need the latter for its own purposes, which are to expel the invaders and apply strict religious law.

The period between the overthrow of the last secular leader of Afghanistan, Najibullah, in 1992 and the Taliban’s seizure of power in 1996 was one of chaos under the warlords who had united as the Northern Alliance. Mullah Omar arose as the moral alternative to Hekmatyar, Massood, and other warlords. Aided by Pakistan’s ISI, he was able to built a successful however horrible movement. Recall how Sharbat Gula, the famous Afghan woman featured on the cover of National Geographic, told her interviewers in 2002: “life under the Taliban was better. At least there was peace and order.” The perception of the Taliban as honest and selfless and a respect for the Sharia as a source of order may weaken resistance to Taliban rule, while resentment of corruption and injustice and failure to provide peace and order weaken support for the Karzai regime and local authority in Afghanistan. On the other hand there is much resentment of elements of the Taliban program, including their opposition to girls’ education and prohibitions on music and dance. But none of this has much to do with international terror, U.S. security or al-Qaeda. At present the U.S. war on the Taliban in Afghanistan is a counter-insurgency war on behalf of a weak government that has actually requested a deadline for U.S. and international troops’ withdrawal.

A pipeline from the Dauletabad gas field of Turkmenistan through to Herat and Qandahar then Multan in Pakistan and on to the Indian Ocean remains a strategic goal for Washington. Caspian Sea oil and gas are the near-equivalent in potential value to the Persian Gulf resources, but surrounded by Iran and Russia. A pipeline from Azerbaijan reaches through Georgia to end on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, but in a time of crisis Russia could easily seal it off. The international contract for pipeline construction was signed shortly after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but work has not been feasible because the construction site is largely under Taliban control. The desire the area around Qandahar for this purpose is probably a factor in the troop increase.

Holbrooke will argue that more needs to be done to stop attacks on Afghanistan from Pakistan, and will justify the continuing U.S. policy of violating Pakistan’s sovereignty with missile attacks. Two more U.S. missiles struck targets in North and South Waziristan Friday, killing 20 people. According to AP, “Pakistan’s leaders had expressed hope Obama might halt the strikes.” Apparently not.

So, Mitchell will pressure a heedless Israel to stop the settlements just as Netanyahu is elected Prime Minister. Ross will give Iran an ultimatum it cannot accept.

Holbrooke will engineer Karzai’s ouster, work with Gen. David McKiernan to make Afghanistan the center of the “war on terror,” try to pacify the country enough to build a pipeline. Meanwhile, he’ll keep the pressure on Pakistan to go after the Taliban, even as the Taliban and their supporters and imitators proliferate, while the U.S. continues to bomb Pakistan, insulting its national pride, violating international law, outraging its legislators, provoking official protests and mass demonstrations.

It’s not looking like change or hope.

It’s not looking good.

Gary Leupp is a Professor of History at Tufts University, and author of numerous works on Japanese history. He can be reached at: Read other articles by Gary.

23 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. bozh said on January 24th, 2009 at 11:39am #

    it’s a brilliant political ploy to have picked mitchell to do some talking/listening to armless pals and armful israelis.

    but that’s all that may happen. mitchell’s instructions wld most likely include to further strenghten fatah and undermine hamas.
    west needs ( desperately?) israel; a weak one; a (near total) dependency; obeying its masters, etc

    existense of israel had enabled US/europe to shop around for suitable leaders in almost all shemitic countries. many of the bought leaders also fear peace in the ME.
    as i said, a good ruse to further boost the president; that’s all folks!

  2. RH2 said on January 24th, 2009 at 1:52pm #


    I am sure, you are not surprised by all that. Obama arrived on January, 20th on the white scene in Washington and has historically changed its color. Now we have the Black House. Before he entered the palace of dominance and evil, he selected the members of his cabinet. His selection reveals his dangerous and opportunistic character.

    Thank you

  3. bozh said on January 24th, 2009 at 2:09pm #

    not suprised; in view of those 190 wars/incurisions/invasions and, of course, bombings of hiro/naga.

  4. RH2 said on January 24th, 2009 at 3:21pm #

    Is replacing Ross by Mitchell as special envoy to the Middle East promising for building a palestinian state with land, air and sea sovereignty ? I remember a story I heard as a child. Once up on a time there was a little town with an Islamic imam who demanded from his community high taxes. Wise men in the town decided, the whole community should convert to Christianity in order to get rid of paying high taxes. A day after their conversion the imam appeared in a black robe with a cross hanging on his neck.

    I hope to be mistaken and able to say, Obama is a good guy.

  5. DavidG. said on January 24th, 2009 at 6:18pm #

    America religiously appoints Envoys and Ambassadors who work against peace! Why?

    America supports UMA. America wants endless war. America wants its armament factories working 24 hours a day. America wants to expand its imperial grasp on the world.

    Peace? Forget it!

  6. DavidG. said on January 24th, 2009 at 6:21pm #

    America religiously appoints Envoys and Ambassadors who work against peace! Why?

    America supports UMA. America wants endless war. America wants its armament factories working 24 hours a day. America wants to expand its imperial grasp on the world.

    Peace? Forget it!

  7. Habu said on January 24th, 2009 at 8:20pm #

    This time Dennis Ross will have his hands full. He is not dealing with the prostrate Palestinian Authority whom he used to ‘push’ around. The Iranians will lead him on a merry-go-round. At the end of the day, he will not be able to hold sway. You say threaten war? Don’t make me laugh. As bad as the US and world economies are, the US can ill afford to wage war on Iran. The authorities in Tehran have perfected the art of asymmetrical response to any attack by the US. Let alone the narrow straits of the Gul;f of Hormuz, the Iranians will knock off the oil facilities on the western Persian Gulf. Then the world will be looking at high oil prices for a prolonged period. That will precipitate the Great Depression!

    The article is on point and is meant to secure the energy resources of the Middle East and Central Asia for the Empire. That will not happen, not because of ‘opposition’ in the US, but because locals in these regions will oppose such designs.

  8. Beverly said on January 25th, 2009 at 7:34am #

    Much is being made in the media of George Mitchell’s Lebanese ancestry as if such will positively affect his actions in the Middle East. Don’t hold your breath. Like Obama, Mitchell’s strongest ties are to the lineage of the military/corporate/Zionist complex.

  9. RH2 said on January 25th, 2009 at 12:57pm #


    You are right. Therefore I cited the story above. With Obamas’ cabinet including the shiny raaaaaaahm from Israel the future is indeed gloomy. Obama, who stood in Al Quds and spoke of an undivided Jerusalem, has clearly put obstacles in Palestinans ‘ way. Not even G. W. Bush has spit out such a declaration. Yes, under the current conditions the prognosis is miserable.

    Thank you

  10. Max Shields said on January 25th, 2009 at 2:43pm #

    Yes, this empire is run by a corporate plutocracy.

    Obama is simply another shade of Bush. The MSM knows this to be the case which is why they (the pundits) state that the window dressing (closing Gitmo, “no” torture ala GWB’s exact words) in no way changes the foreign (and hence domestic) trajectory of the USA Empire.

    It seems we lose sight of this even as the Zionists here and in Israel slaughter Palestinian children, civilian women and men.

    We lose sight of the entire geopolitical game that has been going on for over a century as soon as the US took the imperial empire mantle from the Brit Empire. It is the US who keeps the oligarchies in power in the ME (that’s the Arab oligarchies). The idea is to keep Middle Eastern public oppressed. The US has agreements with these oligarchies (Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Egypt…) no less binding than the one it has with Israel to ensure they stay in power and the oil continues to be in US control.

    The enemy for these plutocracies is the people – the “street” must be kept at bay, but be at once divided and ruled.

    If you think all of this is about Zionism your thinking is dangerously flawed.

  11. bozh said on January 25th, 2009 at 3:41pm #

    yes, empires are run by the exalted; while, the rest of us are being (ab)used.
    as to how many people rule america; ie, how many set all its policies, we can only guess about.
    but, broadly there is the working, the midle, the managerial, and a class that set’s all policies of salient import.
    there must be at least 1 mn such people in US.

    but from just talking to working class canadians or even middle class, one realizes to what degree these people are misled. thnx

  12. Richard Miksell said on January 25th, 2009 at 6:00pm #

    Americans need to unite and take our government back!

  13. Richard Miksell said on January 25th, 2009 at 6:00pm #

    Americans need to unite and take our government back!

    Never Surrender Your Freedom!

  14. Max Shields said on January 25th, 2009 at 9:15pm #

    bozh, we know that their are geopolitical US strategists and these stategiest cross party administrations. There is a constancy regardless of party or sitting President.

    The Dems and Republicans have carved out a vocabulary difference. During his tenure, George W. Bush said almost exactly the same thing as our new President recites. The tenure and stress is ever so slightly different. Bush agrees we need to close Gitmo, and Obama says, yes, in a year (or so). Bush says the US does not “torture” and Obama says the same. And those are the “big” differences so far (i.e., no difference at all).

    The “war on terror” is the language of both Obama and Bush. The occupation in Iraq continues with no end in sight (given Obama’s statements) and the Afghanistan “war on terror” is going to be ramped up with no end in sight.

    But we must step back from the moment, so close as to be blinding. We must see how the US has managed the Middle East (in much the same fashion as the rest of its empire). It owns the leaders and supports their control over the population.

    We know through polls that Arabs and Persians/Iranians (and so far Syria) are on the same page concerning support for the Palestinians over the Western/Israel murderers and occupiers. But this is not true of the rulers of the other Arab nations. The latter are firmly in the pocket of the US. A little nod now and then to the Palestinian plight, but no real intervention when Israel murders Palestinian children. Abbas has become another lackey for US imperialism. Bought and delivered.

    But for the Arab people, on the street the story is entirely different.

    It is very important we keep these facts in mind. Narrowly thinking this is simply a Zionist plot, misses the vital distinctions. The enemy is the corporate plutocracy which has its tentacles around the US government and it’s foreign policies.

    This plutocracy is a convergence of mutual interests which are played out in the political arena where the congress and the executive branch are patsies. This is not new. When FDR had the chance he never killed the evil plutocrats, but saved their asses, and let them go on until they’ve grown into the monster that holds total control over this so-called republic aka USA Imperial Empire. Empire was made possible through the use of corporate charters. The link is inseparable.

  15. Deadbeat said on January 26th, 2009 at 12:44am #

    Max writes …

    It is very important we keep these facts in mind. Narrowly thinking this is simply a Zionist plot, misses the vital distinctions. The enemy is the corporate plutocracy which has its tentacles around the US government and it’s foreign policies.

    I generally agree with Max’s cautionary remarks is so far as activist should look at all of the interlocking aspects of oppression. That corporate plutocracy is AMONG the enemies. We should not lose sight that racism operates alongside the corporate plutocracy as well. There is also a caution that needs to be observed from the focus solely on the “corporate plutocracy”.

    The Left over the past GENERATION has used all of its cache and influence to OBSCURE Zionism as a problem. The focus on Zionism is only a RECENT occurrence. It has been the obfuscation of Zionism especially by the Left that has allowed this rancid ideology to flourish.

    Confronting Zionism in fact will help activist to fight ALL forms of oppression — corporate plutocracy as well as racism because it will help EDUCATE people about being vigilant against all forms of oppression. Remember that MLK didn’t tie militarism, materialism, and racism together until 1967. To remain relevant he too had to EXPAND his focus.

    And this is why someone like Noam Chomsky is IRRELEVANT despite all of the energy he has used to keep activist focused SOLELY on the “corporate plutocracy”. To be relevant and to be effective activist must confront the plutocracy AND RACISM. The two go hand in hand.

    I share Max’s caution but as history has shown fighting racism will eventually lead to fighting the plutocracy. Therefore for now I welcome the growing awareness of the need to confront Zionism among activists.

  16. Max Shields said on January 26th, 2009 at 5:28am #

    Deadbeat I don’t get my “marching orders” from Chomsky.

    I rarely use his name except in an occasional response to others. He does not “own” the idea of American Empire nor the fact that it is run by corporate plutocrats.

    However, I do agree with you on one key point divesture is very important and Chomsky is clearly on the wrong side of that.

    I also think, and here there is more controversy, that there should be a one state solution, right of return for Palestinians being absolutely central. Again, Chomsky is on the other side.

    But again, I won’t through the “baby out with the water” just because I disagree with Chomsky on key (and I think important) issues. If he has blind followers (like the ones who follow Obama like lost sheep) well what good are they to this cause that demands much more….

    Zionism rears its ugly head as it converges with the corporate plutocracy, but it is but a segment of the total USA Empire landscape.


  17. Micahel said on January 26th, 2009 at 8:03am #

    In 1982 AIPAC weighed in heavily in Maine, helping to pull off the upset victory of George Mitchell over Representative David Emory. Mitchell had never before won an election. In a post-election call Mitchell thanked AIPAC’s Dine for his critical support and said, “I will remember you.”

  18. RH2 said on January 26th, 2009 at 8:52am #


    Chomsky, a linguist, uses semantics to cover his soft zionism. Yes, the USA Empire has many agents in a well designed chain of dependencies. Zionism is not the only, but a major variable in imperialism.

    Thank you

  19. bozh said on January 26th, 2009 at 9:16am #

    by “soft” ‘zionism’ you may mean a two state (non) solution? that even bush did’nt want? or at at least made no attempt to establish!
    chomsky has stated that he is for a two state ‘solution’.
    a two state solution might not change judeo-christian stance; i.e., the second state might not ever be gladhanded yet easily attacked, reoccupied, condemned as a terrorist state and abused in many ways. thnx

  20. bozh said on January 26th, 2009 at 9:49am #

    to settle the score and to render our planet even an iota more decent and peceful, we must prosecute postumously all dead and living israelis who have commited major crimes against humanities.
    however, if pals wld rather have their state(lets) and want to forgo prosecution, then i wld give up that notion as well.

    but i don’t expect pals to accept dozens of mostly untouching neighborhoods for a ‘state’ under constant threat.
    i still hold hope that fatah has not changed its basics. fatah may see the obvious: nothing can be achieved by military means. however, i do not condemn hamas and other resistance groups.
    with just US so viciously antipal’n, pals are not going anywhere.
    so, choose lesser evil: oppression, barricades, walls, child hunts, torture, kidnapping, etc.

    i’ve already stated that chomsky, et al, is a mini zionist. US may be medi or maxi zionistic. and chomsky is worried about that; he just approbates the initial theft of land and the expulsion of pals.
    but then 99.99% of all ‘jews’ do likewise. thnx

  21. RH2 said on January 26th, 2009 at 10:20am #


    By soft zionism I mean hidden zionism. When it comes to Israel, Chomsky assiduously covers his affiliation with his jewish tribe. He has even negated the jewish lobby and its influence on the US foreign policy. On the zionist genociding of Palestinians from the air with F16s he would tell us, it is a matter of israeli pilots flying US made jet fighters or helicopters. He often cites the American crimes in Vietnam as a missing evidence for the jewish lobby. But he should know very well, that the American imperialsim ist not restricted to the war crimes in Vietnam. Henry Kissinger, a war criminal and architect of the US foreign policy at that time may had not been representing zionist interests in Vietnam. What about the Middle East?

    He is for a two state solution, because he is concerned about the jewish entity. A one state would endanger the jews in their heritage and self-concept.

    Thank you

  22. bozh said on January 26th, 2009 at 11:11am #

    RH2, thnx for explanation.

  23. Nuno Rogeiro said on February 13th, 2009 at 8:27am #

    1. A Catholic with Arab ties for the Middle East, a Jew with Christian ties to Iran, a Jew who protected European Muslims for Afghanistan…There may be a message for the masses here.

    2.The Taliban didn’t originally have an anti-US agenda, and very close to 9/11 there was talk of opening a Taliban embassy in Washington DC. But any cozying up with the Taliban may allienate Iran, if Iran gets in the US ship and “civilises” the nuclar conundrum, changes course on Israel (there was an Israeli Embassy in Teheran until 1979, in a building in Niavaran, now occupied by the PA and Hamas) and “modernises” under Khatami or others (for example, from the technocratic Ravand Instiute).
    3. In the larger chess board, the real revolution would be peace between a peaceful, developped Iran and a democratic and non-bellicose Israel. The two countries don’t have an history of animosity prior to the Islamic Revolution, nor territorial, demographic or economic/natural resources claims.
    4. This could anger Saudi Arabia, but that is another story.
    5. The NIE estimate on Iran revealed two things (not only one): that Iran had a nuclear weapons program, and that it stopped (although there is no much detail on its status – cancellation, suspension or postponement).
    6. Although Ross may sound like many people from other sides of the spectrum, as far as i know he never preached a military attack against Tehran, but increased international pressure and sanctions. The same for the Holbrooke-Woolsey lobby.

    Nuno Rogeiro