A Cautionary Tale

The Anti-Empire Report

In July of 1975 I went to Portugal because in April of the previous year a bloodless military coup had brought down the US-supported 48-year fascist regime of Portugal, the world’s only remaining colonial power. This was followed by a program centered on nationalization of major industries, workers control, a minimum wage, land reform, and other progressive measures. Military officers in a Western nation who spoke like socialists was science fiction to my American mind, but it had become a reality in Portugal. The center of Lisbon was crowded from morning till evening with people discussing the changes and putting up flyers on bulletin boards. The visual symbol of the Portuguese “revolution” had become the picture of a child sticking a rose into the muzzle of a rifle held by a friendly soldier, and I got caught up in demonstrations and parades featuring people, including myself, standing on tanks and throwing roses, with the crowds cheering the soldiers. It was pretty heady stuff, and I dearly wanted to believe, but I and most people I spoke to there had little doubt that the United States could not let such a breath of fresh air last very long. The overthrow of the Chilean government less than two years earlier had raised the world’s collective political consciousness, as well as the level of skepticism and paranoia on the left.

Washington and multinational corporate officials who were on the board of directors of the planet were indeed concerned. Besides anything else, Portugal was a member of NATO. Destabilization became the order of the day: covert actions; attacks in the US press; subverting trade unions; subsidizing opposition media; economic sabotage through international credit and commerce; heavy financing of selected candidates in elections; a US cut-off of Portugal from certain military and nuclear information commonly available to NATO members; NATO naval and air exercises off the Portuguese coast, with 19 NATO warships moored in Lisbon’s harbor, regarded by most Portuguese as an attempt to intimidate the provisional government. In 1976 the “Socialist” Party (scarcely further left and no less anti-communist than the US Democratic Party) came to power, heavily financed by the CIA, the Agency also arranging for Western European social-democratic parties to help foot the bill. The Portuguese revolution was dead, stillborn.1

The events in Egypt cannot help but remind me of Portugal. Here, there, and everywhere, now and before, the United States of America, as always, is petrified of anything genuinely progressive or socialist, or even too democratic, for that carries the danger of allowing god-knows what kind of non-America-believer taking office. Honduras 2009, Haiti 2004, Venezuela 2002, Ecuador 2000, Bulgaria 1990, Nicaragua 1990 … dozens more … anything, anyone, if there’s a choice, even a dictator, a torturer, is better.

We are so good even our enemies believe our lies

I’ve devoted a lot of time and effort to the question of how to reach the American mind concerning US foreign policy. To a large extent what this comes down to is trying to counterbalance the lifetime of indoctrination someone raised in the United States receives. It comes in news stories every day.

On January 27, the Washington Post ran a story about the State Department personnel who were held hostage at the American embassy in Tehran, Iran for some 14 months, 1979-81. The former hostages were preparing to hold a 30th anniversary remembrance the next day.

“It was wrong on every conceivable count,” said L. Bruce Laingen, who was the charge d’affaires. “It was absolutely wrong. … That is my most vivid memory today.” Former political officer John W. Limbert agrees, saying that he “would take any opportunity” to tell his captors “what a terrible thing they had done by their own criteria.”

What criteria, I wonder, did the man think his Iranian captors were guided by? In 1954, the United States had overthrown the democratically elected government of Mohammad Mossadegh, resulting, as planned, in the return to power from exile of the Shah. This led to 25 years of rule by oppression including routine torture as the Shah was safeguarded continuously by US military support. Is this not reason enough for Iranians to be bitterly angry at the United States? What was Mr. Limbert thinking? What do Americans who read or hear such comments think? They read or hear distorted news reports pertaining to America’s present or historical role in the world every day, and like in the Washington Post article cited here — there’s no correction by the reporter, no questions asked, no challenge put forth to the idea of America the Noble, America the perpetual victim of the Bad Guys.

Atheist: “Blasphemy is a victimless crime.”

Salman Taseer was murdered in Pakistan a few weeks ago. He was the governor of Punjab province and a member of the secular Pakistan People’s Party. The man who killed him, Mumtaz Qadri, was lauded by some as a hero, showering rose petals on him. Photos taken at the scene show him smiling.

Taseer had dared to speak out against Pakistan’s stringent anti-blasphemy law, calling for leniency for a Christian mother sentenced to death under the blasphemy ban. A national group of 500 religious scholars praised the assassin and issued a warning to those who mourned Taseer. “One who supports a blasphemer is also a blasphemer,” the group said in a statement, which warned journalists, politicians and intellectuals to “learn” from the killing. “What Qadri did has made every Muslim proud.”2

Nice, really nice, very civilized. It’s no wonder that decent, god-fearing Americans believe that this kind of thinking and behavior justify Washington’s multiple wars; that this is what the United States is fighting against — Islamic fanatics, homicidal maniacs, who kill their own countrymen over some esoteric piece of religious dogma, who want to kill Americans over some other imagined holy sin, because we’re “infidels” or “blasphemers”. How can we reason with such people? Where is the common humanity the naive pacifists and anti-war activists would like us to honor?

But war can be seen as America’s religion — most recently Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, and many more in the past — all non-believers in Washington’s Church of Our Lady of Eternal Invasion, Sacred Bombing, and Immaculate Torture, all condemned to death for blasphemy, as each day the United States unleashes blessed robotic death machines called Predators flying over their lands to send “Hellfire” (sic) missiles screaming into wedding parties, funerals, homes, not knowing who the victims are, not caring who the victims are, thousands of them by now, as long as Washington can claim each time –- whether correctly or not — that amongst their number was a prominent blasphemer, call him Taliban, or al Qaeda, or insurgent, or militant. How can we reason with such people, the ones in the CIA who operate these drone bombers? What is the difference between them and Mumtaz Qadri? Qadri was smiling in satisfaction after carrying out his holy mission. The CIA man sits comfortably in a room in Nevada and plays his holy video game, then goes out to a satisfying dinner while his victims lay dying. Mumtaz Qadri believes passionately in something called Paradise. The CIA man believes passionately in something called American Exceptionalism.

As do the great majority of Americans. Our drone operator is not necessarily an “extremist”. Sam Smith, the publisher of the marvelously readable newsletter, the Progressive Review, recently wrote: “One of the greatest myths draped over this land is that the so-called wing nuts mainly come from the far right and left. And that there is, however, a wise and moderate establishment that will save us from their madness. In fact, the real wing nuts are to be found in the middle. … having captured both public office and major media, [they] spread disaster, death and decay with impunity. Take, for example, the 60,000 some American troops killed in pointless wars beginning with Vietnam. Now count the number of political assassinations, hate murders, terrorist acts and so forth. There is simply no comparison. Yet every war that we have fought in modern times has been the direct choice of the American establishment, those who pompously describe themselves as moderates, centrists, or bipartisan.”3

Extending the comparison: In 2008 a young American named Sharif Mobley moved to Yemen to study Arabic and religion. American officials maintain that his purpose was actually to join a terror group. They “see Mobley as one of a growing cadre of native-born Americans who are drawn to violent jihad.”2 Can one not say as well that the many young native-born Americans who voluntarily join the military to fight in one of America’s many foreign wars “are drawn to violent jihad”?

Items of interest from a journal I’ve kept for 40 years

(Some written by me, most by others; for those lacking a source you can send me an email.)

  • “The biggest crimes of our generation — torture, warrantless wiretapping, and extraordinary rendition — would not have come to light but for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. For the hand-wringing “but we can’t willy-nilly reveal classified information” crowd, do you think Abu Ghraib wasn’t classified?” – Jesselyn Radack
  • “The principal beneficiary of America’s foreign assistance programs has always been the United States.” – US Agency for International Development, “Direct Economic Benefits of U.S. Assistance Programs” (1999); i.e., most of the money is paid directly to US corporations.
  • In 1963, the Kennedy administration was faced with a steadily disintegrating situation in Vietnam. At a turbulent cabinet meeting, Attorney General Robert Kennedy asked: If the situation is so dire, why not withdraw? Historian Arthur Schlesinger, present at the meeting, noted how “the question hovered for a moment, then died away.” It was “a hopelessly alien thought in a field of unexplored assumptions and entrenched convictions.”
  • I watched 21 Marines in full dress uniform with rifles, fire a 21-gun salute to the President. It was then that I realized how far America’s military had deteriorated. Every one of them missed the bastard.
  • Soviet expansion was self-defense, not imperialism like with the United States. The Soviets, in World War I and II, lost about 40 million people because the West had used Eastern Europe as a highway to invade Russia. It should not be surprising that after WW2 the Russians were determined to close down that highway.
  • In March 2010 Secretary of “Defense” Robert Gates complained that “the general [European] public and the political class” are so opposed to war they are an “impediment” to peace.
  • The major problem in establishing both the United States and Israel as nations was what to do with the indigenous people. Same solution. Kill ‘em. Without legality. Without mercy.
  • From the film The Battle of Algiers:

    Journalist: M. Ben M’Hidi, don’t you think it’s a bit cowardly to use women’s baskets and handbags to carry explosive devices that kill so many innocent people?

    Ben M’Hidi: And doesn’t it seem to you even more cowardly to drop napalm bombs on defenseless villages, so that there are a thousand times more innocent victims? Of course, if we had your airplanes it would be a lot easier for us. Give us your bombers, and you can have our baskets.

  • … the seamless transition from the Cold War to a perpetual Global War on Terrorism
  • One of the reasons some countries allow US bases is because the leaders are worried about being overthrown in a coup and they think that the presence of the US military might discourage such action, or that if a coup breaks out the US can help to put it down. There’s also the large payments made to the government by the US and the prestige factor. Small countries can have inferiority complexes and, as absurd as it may seem to the likes of you and I, having an American base in the country can seem to be a feather in their cap; one of the same reasons they join NATO. Another reason for a base: the US can have intelligence information embarrassing to the country’s leader. This is known as blackmail.
  • George Washington referred to the new American republic as the “infant empire”
  • Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor coun
  • “He [Obama] is trying to say: ‘Do not hate us … but we will continue to kill you’.” – Ayman al-Zawahri, Al Qaeda’s second-in-command
  • “Since both the US and France lost in Vietnam, then the ‘fight for our freedom’ must have been unsuccessful, and we must be under the occupation of the North Vietnamese Army. Next time you’re out on the street and you see a passing NVA patrol, please wave and tell them Tim says hello.” – Tim Moriarty
  • The American Museum of History, on the Mall in Washington, DC: One of the popular exhibitions in recent years was “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War”. This included a tribute to the “exceptional Americans [who] saved a million lives” in Vietnam, where they were “determined to stop communist expansion”. In Iraq, other true hearts “employed air strikes of unprecedented precision”.
  • “The United States became the target of terrorists on 9/11 not because of the country’s freedom and democracy, but because U.S. Middle East policy has had nothing to do with freedom and democracy.” – Stephen Zunes
  • The Wikileaks documents raise issues of national embarrassment, not national security.
  • Orange, Rose and Green Revolutions in other countries require coordinated US government intervention aimed at creating what has been called “genetically modified” grassroots movements.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev: “I feel betrayed by the West. The opportunity we seized on behalf of peace has been lost. The whole idea of a new world order has been completely abandoned.” (Interview in 2000.)
  • George Bernard Shaw used three concepts to describe the positions of individuals in Nazi Germany: intelligence, decency, and Naziism. He argued that if a person was intelligent, and a Nazi, he was not decent. If he was decent and a Nazi, he was not intelligent. And if he was decent and intelligent, he was not a Nazi. — (I suggest that the reader make any substitution for the word “Nazi” s/he deems appropriate.)
  • “The whole art of Conservative politics in the 20th century is being deployed to enable wealth to persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power.” – Aneurin Bevan, Labour Party (UK) minister, 1897-1960
  • “Which adversary has a navy justifying our expenditure of $90 billion for 30 Virginia-class submarines, and which enemy air force justifies our plans for about 340 F-22 fighter planes at a cost of $63 billion? This is pork and waste writ large, making the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ look like child’s play.” – Letter in the Washington Post, 2009
  • So many foreign leaders keep silent in the face of US crimes, even when they’re the victim, that we’ve gotten used to that. So Hugo Chávez’s outbursts can seem weird and dangerous.

A talk by William Blum

Saturday, April 2, 7:00 pm
University of Pittsburgh at Titusville, PA
504 East Main Street
Broadhurst Auditorium
Titusville is about 2 hours by car from Pittsburgh and 2 1/2 hours from Cleveland.
For further information: 888-878-0462
Or email Mary Ann Caton at ude.ttipnull@notac

  1. William Blum, Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, p. 187, 228 for sources []
  2. Washington Post, January 5, 2011. [] []
  3. Progressive Review, January 27, 2011. []

William Blum is the author of: Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2, Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir, Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire. He can be reached at: bblum6@aol.com. Read other articles by William, or visit William's website.

24 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on February 4th, 2011 at 9:14am #

    Wow, the “Israel always wins crowd” is getting scared! Good news for Egyptians! And Tunisians, but you notice that it is specifically the Egyptians who are being knifed here. Tunisia isn’t a problem (yet!) but the Egyptians live next door to Guess Who. And Guess Who is obviously getting very scared. The “parable” about Portugal is total fiction, but its purpose is merely to reinforce the “1848” (i.e. failed uprisings) message that other articles have been propounding. Loved the bit about the general European public and the political class are so opposed to war (which, indeed, they are!) that they are an “impediment” to peace. George Orwell would have loved it too.

  2. bozh said on February 4th, 2011 at 9:57am #

    it is as the mafia said: it’s end of history; i.e., end to any hope of ever having even more let alone much more an egalitarian society.
    blum says it well!
    in short, u’l forever have the god in ur life that we choose for u; so help me every priest and pious person! tnx

  3. Josie Michel-Bruening said on February 4th, 2011 at 10:17am #

    Thank you, dear Bill Blum, for your description of your experience in Portugal during the ’70s as an excellent parable for the circumstances in Egypt.

  4. Deadbeat said on February 4th, 2011 at 4:13pm #

    Blum is rather bland to Zionism and has says so in various article where he is critical of those who point out that U.S. policy in the Middle East is dominate by Zionist influence. What Blum has done is spin a narrative “connection” all epoch of U.S. foreign policy as a “continuum” rather than examine the different competing ruling class interest that differs in goals and control of the U.S. political system. Is is this rhetoric that I’ve dubbed as “Chomskyism” that Blum uses to divert attention away from the rising power of Zionist influence over U.S. foreign policy for the at least the past 40 years.

    Since much of the pseudo-Left is dominated by Jewish voices it is rather unfortunate that they put their religious affinities about human rights and justice. This is the main reason of the impotency of the American Left.

    My analysis of the rhetoric coming from the pseudo-Left in the context of the Arab revolution, is to spin this as a break from “dictatorship” or to frame it in terms of “economics” or finally as “U.S. Imperialism ™” all in order to avoid and to divert attention away from Zionism. The biggest issue is the fear of an “Islamic” takeover — not that there will be an ANTI-ZIONIST takeover.

    This is why I’m listening to Press-TV. There they are not interviewing emotional Zionists or Arabs located in the U.S. where they’ve had to teach themselves Zionist censorship. On Press TV the analysis there is open about their liberation from Zionist tyranny. They unambiguously describe that Mubarak is a Zionist and Western puppet. That is an analysis you won’t get from Blum.

  5. commoner3 said on February 4th, 2011 at 6:52pm #

    Deadbeat wrote:
    “They unambiguously describe that Mubarak is a Zionist and Western puppet.”
    ———————————————————————————–

    That is a very harsh statement. Mubarak is not a Zionist but he tried to accomodate both the US and Israel as the limit allowed.
    Egypt is a very poor country and imports more than 40% of the wheat it consumes.
    Do not forget it is very easy to cause trouble for any ruler of a small country with the US is the only Super Power in the world. There is no need for military intervention but there are ample ways to cause internal strife and disruption for example for the vital tourism industry in Egypt.
    Let us say Mubarak was too accomodating to a fault. He was pragmatic and knew the “rules of the game”.

  6. kalidasa said on February 4th, 2011 at 7:43pm #

    Accommodating to the tune of 40-50 BILLION $$$?

    I don’t care if you’re Moses.
    40-50 billion is an obscenity.

  7. jayn0t said on February 4th, 2011 at 7:52pm #

    The question is not whether Mubarak is a Zionist, but why ‘the only super power in the world’ is. It’s not surprising that the USA promotes people who support its interests. What needs explaining is when it promotes people who don’t.

  8. Deadbeat said on February 4th, 2011 at 11:18pm #

    commoner3 writes …

    That is a very harsh statement. Mubarak is not a Zionist but he tried to accomodate both the US and Israel as the limit allowed.

    I never said that Mubarak is a Zionist. I said that the Arab analysts featured on Press TV refer to Mubarak as a Zionist PUPPET. The fact is that U.S. policy is dominated by Zionists, means that Mubarak received those billion in funds because he served Israel’s interests of Middle East domination.

    Egypt is a very poor country and imports more than 40% of the wheat it consumes. Do not forget it is very easy to cause trouble for any ruler of a small country with the US is the only Super Power in the world. There is no need for military intervention but there are ample ways to cause internal strife and disruption for example for the vital tourism industry in Egypt.

    You seem not to be aware that Egypt was winning the war against Israel in 1973, when Kissinger was forced to intervene from pressure of the Jewish Lobby on the behalf of Israel. The intervention was not due to the U.S. flexing its “super power” muscle, but due to the domestic power of Zionism.

    In addition, commoner3 you fail to ask yourself why Egypt, who was the seat of Arab nationalism, prestige, power, and respect prior to Sadat’s sellout to Israel has become such a poor country. The element you fail to contemplate is how racism works. The basis of Israel is Zionism and for racists, domination is their primary goal. Thus for Israel to dominate the Middle East, Egypt had no other choice but to retard its development. That is why Egypt is a poor country.

    In other words, Zionism is the source of the RETARDATION of Arab development. Zionism is at the root of what is holding back Arab aspirations. Mubarak is not a “leader” but is a quisling paid off for his services rendered to Zionism.

    Let us say Mubarak was too accomodating to a fault. He was pragmatic and knew the “rules of the game”.

    Mubarak was not “accommodating”. Mubarak, like Sadat before him, was a traitor to the Arab cause. What is now happening in Egypt is a National Liberation Movement to restore Egypt as the center of Arab pride and aspirations.

    This is 2011. There are new alignments in the world that pose challenges to Zionist dominance in the Middle East. These alignments will be ready to embrace Egypt should their revolution succeed.

  9. Deadbeat said on February 4th, 2011 at 11:25pm #

    Since much of the pseudo-Left is dominated by Jewish voices it is rather unfortunate that they put their religious affinities about human rights and justice. This is the main reason of the impotency of the American Left.

    Should have read as …

    Since much of the pseudo-Left is dominated by Jewish voices it is rather unfortunate that they put their religious affinities over human rights and justice. This is the main reason of the impotency of the American Left.

  10. commoner3 said on February 5th, 2011 at 4:14am #

    William Blum wrote:
    “■The major problem in establishing both the United States and Israel as nations was what to do with the indigenous people. Same solution. Kill ‘em. Without legality. Without mercy.”
    ————————————————————————–
    Reading the above statement, I am baffled, that some people are accusing William Blum of being a soft on Israel and Zionism!!

  11. 3bancan said on February 5th, 2011 at 5:20am #

    commoner3 said on February 5th, 2011 at 4:14am #

    The DV editors have deleted my comment in which I challenged Blum’s words “the US-supported 48-year fascist regime of Portugal, the world’s only remaining colonial power” – as he doesn’t see Israel as the last – Jewish nazi – colony.
    As to the words quoted by commoner3: That’s the usual mantra used by soft zionazis – especially of the Chomsky type – to legitimize the illegal, unlawful and immoral state of Israel. But there are 7 millions Palestinian refugees waiting to go back to their land while I don’t see half a billion American Indian refugees waiting to be able to go back to their land. I haven’t read anything by Blum which would differ from Chomsky’s zionazi standpoint in this video:
    [ http://vimeo.com/14835834
    Imho they are not much better than the French “philosopher” in
    [http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/gilad-atzmon-the-french-philosopher.html#entry10350896]…

  12. bozh said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:28am #

    this site is still erasing some of my posts. and only because censors-diktators-masters of free speech don’t like facts i posit.

  13. jayn0t said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:55am #

    ‘commoner3′ – Blum obscures the issue of Zionist power in the USA. He and many like him fuse American and Jewish interests, where they are quite different. To put it bluntly, most Western people, rich and poor, have no interest whatever in a Jewish state, particularly a very expensive one. He also amalgamates Jewish and white cruelty to indigenous peoples, like they are the same. They are not – the USA is not practising genocide against aborigines today – Israel is. The West abandoned apartheid, segregation, and all other forms of OVERT racism over thirty years ago. We’re not perfect. But the obsessions with ‘white supremacy’, American genocide, the Holocaust, etc., today, far from being a strategy for preventing these terrible things from happening again, are part of the reason why the one example of OVERT racism in the Western world continues.

  14. MichaelKenny said on February 5th, 2011 at 8:02am #

    Let me just bring the debate back to the cat that Mr Blum has let out of the bag. He has told us the name of the next President of Egypt: “What’s-his-name, the American stooge”. The Lobby is setting things up so as to “diss” whatever results from the current events and claim the whole thing is (yet another!) famous Israeli victory. Hence the fictitious parable. Lisbon is a river port, not a seaport, and if you tried to get 19 warships up the Tagus all at once, they’d end up aground on the sandbanks! In fact, the warships are those of the US (6th) Mediterranean Fleet, which, we will be told, were cruising off the coast of Egypt (easy to claim, since the precise location of warships is classified information!) and “intimidated” people into electing What’s-his-name, rather than electing “Someone Else, the anti-American” (the blank names can be filled in later!), whom they all really wanted to vote for. Hence the hyping of the failed (liberal!)uprisings of 1848. And, of course, WHN, like the Portuguese socialists will be “(scarcely further left and no less anti-communist than the US Democratic Party)”. That phrase, brackets and all, is lifted straight from Wikipedia’s Portugal page, where it refers to the left-wing officers who carried out the coup. On the very same line in Wikipedia, by the way, we are informed that the flower which symbolises the Portuguese Revolution is a carnation, not a rose! So we have Mr Blum climbing on to a tank which he found in the street 14 months after a bloodless coup (broken down and waiting to be towed away?) and throwing the wrong kind of flower to the masses!
    The beauty of all this is that the fact that the Lobby has launched this ham-fisted and transparent propaganda line, and gone off at half cock into the bargain, reveals the depth of the panic among Israel’s supporters. The Fright into Egypt, so to speak!

  15. Vic Anderson said on February 5th, 2011 at 8:53am #

    What, competition? I thought US was the only remaining colonial power. And fascist, at that (time, as now).

  16. Gary S. Corseri said on February 5th, 2011 at 3:54pm #

    Thank you, William Blum. Your mind ripens like fine wine, growing rich with the varied flavors of memory, experience, a life-time of learning and dedication to the commonweal.

    As you approach your 80th year, I personally hope you will collect your more cogent essays into a Blum Reader.

    You cover much ground here, and there is much to praise. I do find it regrettable, therefore, that some of the armchair critics, the pot-shotters who cannot write their own articles, but love to pick one point out of context and run with it through the Looking Glass into a world of irrelevancies, belabor, once again, whether or not you are a true anti-Zionist, or perhaps a soft-anti-Zionist, or even a soft Zionist.

    Your books speak for themselves and I will not bother to refute your accusers, except to say, Read more, think more, eschew the facile and preposterous.

    That Zionists have inordinate power in the U.S. government, the media and finance is not in dispute by any careful, free-thinking observer–including, certainly, William Blum. That Zionism is the sole cause of all the evils in our world today, the rise of empires over the past couple of millennia, is a stretch–and a trap for those who would ponder humankind’s various psychological frailties and vulnerabilities.

    Some of the commentators above complain that their comments have been deleted. Do they imagine that every letter to the editor at HARPER’S, etc., is automatically printed? Editors have a right to vet… in fact, they have an obligation to do so. Otherwise, comments sections are liable to become harbors for some rather silly, inane, and ridiculous floating craft and flotsam.

    Keep up the great work, Mr. Blum. And, ye good editors at D.V.–thank you, too!

  17. Don Hawkins said on February 5th, 2011 at 5:58pm #

    And now, oh, does the weather jest?
    the wind has shifted to the west.
    The furious storm has finally passed,
    unburdened clouds are clearing fast.
    The stars – oh yes! – the stars appear,
    the wind-washed sky is crystal clear!
    -Doug Zubenel

  18. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:18pm #

    Gary S. Corseri writes …

    That Zionism is the sole cause of all the evils in our world today, the rise of empires over the past couple of millennia, is a stretch–and a trap for those who would ponder humankind’s various psychological frailties and vulnerabilities.

    Mr. Corseri argues a strawman. No one has ever argued that Zionism is the sole cause. The argument is that both Zionism AND Capitalism are the main causes. There are places where Zionism and Capitalism both overlap as well as stand apart. However the main issue is that Mr. Blum and other of the pseudo-Left IGNORES or divert the extent of Zionist power and especially its dominance of U.S. foreign policy.

    Mr. Blum himself spins a fallacious narrative. It is a narrative that assumes a continuum of interests across time. Interests changes and those interests U.S. foreign policy served a century ago are not served today. Clearly Zionism over the decades has grown in power and influence to such an extent that it dominates U.S. foreign policy.

    I would suggest that Mr. Corseri take some time to listen to sources and analysis of Arabs who are living under Zionist tyranny and include their perspectives into forming an overall determination and analysis.

  19. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:39pm #

    MichaelKenny writes …

    Let me just bring the debate back to the cat that Mr Blum has let out of the bag. He has told us the name of the next President of Egypt: “What’s-his-name, the American stooge”. The Lobby is setting things up so as to “diss” whatever results from the current events and claim the whole thing is (yet another!) famous Israeli victory

    Can you point to where in the article Blum professes to have knowledge over and above the people of the Egyptian street who are putting their lives on the line? Where in the article did Blum mention the “next” president of Egypt?

  20. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:44pm #

    jaynot writes …

    ‘commoner3′ – Blum obscures the issue of Zionist power in the USA. He and many like him fuse American and Jewish interests, where they are quite different. To put it bluntly, most Western people, rich and poor, have no interest whatever in a Jewish state, particularly a very expensive one. He also amalgamates Jewish and white cruelty to indigenous peoples, like they are the same. They are not – the USA is not practising genocide against aborigines today – Israel is. The West abandoned apartheid, segregation, and all other forms of OVERT racism over thirty years ago. We’re not perfect. But the obsessions with ‘white supremacy’, American genocide, the Holocaust, etc., today, far from being a strategy for preventing these terrible things from happening again, are part of the reason why the one example of OVERT racism in the Western world continues.

    Exactly. What Blum is doing is essentially saying that it is hypocritical for American to criticize Israel with criticizing themselves in order to SHUTDOWN discussing and confrontation of Zionism. It is the unjust and cowardly psychological rhetoric of the pseudo-Left.

  21. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 6:48pm #

    Should be …

    Exactly. What Blum is doing is essentially saying that it is hypocritical for Americans to criticize Israel without criticizing themselves in order to SHUTDOWN discussing and confrontation of Zionism. It is the unjust and cowardly psychological rhetoric of the pseudo-Left.

  22. Deadbeat said on February 5th, 2011 at 7:10pm #

    commoner3 writes …

    Whatever is happening in Egypt, if the US got its way insisting on immediate “transition”, the Muslim Brotherhood will take over installing a theocratic oppressive regime much much worse than anything before them and the result will be a far cry from any “National Liberation Movement”!!

    commoner, I’d suggest you listen to Press TV. They’ve provided a different perspective of the Muslim Brotherhood. One that is not so ominous. IMO it is up to the Egyptian people to choose they government they want even if that government is an Islamic theocracy. We in the U.S. have no right to interfere. Unfortunately Zionist who’ve dominated U.S. foreign policy has done enough damage and this is what the Egyptians are struggle to overturn.

  23. Kim Petersen said on February 6th, 2011 at 4:55pm #

    Is someone suggesting that it is not hypocritical to practice racism while condemning the racism of others?

  24. Deadbeat said on February 6th, 2011 at 7:35pm #

    Kim,

    Let me clarify if my phrasing was awkward or caused a misunderstanding as the argument is rather nuanced. My interpretation of jaynot’s critique of Blum which I agree with is that Blum seems to be using his arguments not so much as to provide insight but as a defensive shield. A clearer example of this was when Chomsky claimed that the BDS campaign was “hypocritical” because it didn’t call for a boycott of the U.S.