Why AIPAC Took Over Brookings

The following is an excerpt from Foreign Agents: The American Israel Public Affairs Committee From the 1963 Fulbright Hearings to the 2005 Espionage Scandal

Martin Indyk, an Australian and naturalized US citizen, is the former deputy director of research at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Indyk helped establish the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) in 1984 with the support of AIPAC board member and activist Barbi Weinberg. Weinberg “had for over a decade privately wrestled with the idea of creating a foreign policy center.”Mark Milstein, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1991. After the establishment of WINEP, Indyk stated that he was still dissatisfied and wished to establish an institution capable of escaping AIPAC’s reputation as a “strongly biased organization.”Mark Milstein, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, July 1991. Indyk would later go on to found the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. The center was initially funded by a $13 million grant from Israeli dual citizen and television magnate Haim Saban,Grant F. Smith, “Israel Lobby Initiates Hispanic Strategy.” famously quoted by the New York Times as saying, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.”Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times, September 5, 2004. He also funded and established the Saban Institute for the Study of the American Political System within the University of Tel Aviv.Phyllis Berman, Forbes Magazine, December 8, 2006.

WINEP’s role within the AIPAC power constellation is clear. While AIPAC lobbies with brute force for yearly aid allocations and enforces adherence to Israeli doctrine in Congress, WINEP polishes and shines Israeli policy objectives as pure expressions of US foreign policy interests. AIPAC is secretive about its internal deliberations and activities, but the highly sociable WINEP cultivates the image of a serious group of objective “scholars and wonks” deliberating Middle East policies in a rigorously academic fashion. WINEP not only hosts symposiums and conferences, but also conducts closed-door meetings with US politicians and distributes books and other publications rich in toned-down AIPAC ideology.

While AIPAC officials are loath to do live media events, especially with call-in or other potentially interactive audience segments, WINEP analysts and authors are omnipresent across major news- and policy-oriented programs. However, media announcements rarely mention WINEP’s overlap with AIPAC and other members of the Israel lobby or its close connections to Israel, although this would provide listeners and viewers with useful context for understanding the organization’s sophisticated positions. WINEP is also a place for grooming future presidential appointees, and it is perceived as a less controversial and more credible stepping stone to power than AIPAC.

Although AIPAC does not list WINEP as an affiliate in its IRS filings, in 2004 26% of AIPAC’s board of directors were also trustees of WINEP.AIPAC Board Members on WINEP’s Board as listed in 2004 IRS form 990 filings include Robert Asher, Paul Baker, Edward Levy, Mayer Mitchell, Larry Mizel, Lester Pollack, Nina Rosenwald, Eugene Schupak, Roseelyne Swig, James Tisch, Larry Weinberg, Tim Wurlinger and Harriet Zimmerman.

WINEP’s ability to place stories that sway American public opinion toward supporting Israeli objectives is quantitatively revealed by analyzing the number of print media stories developed from WINEP content and analysts over a period of five critical years. Access, rather than merit or quality of content, drives WINEP’s news media success, according to former Middle East Studies Association President Joel Beinin:

While Aipac targets Congress through the massive election campaign contributions that it coordinates and directs, Winep concentrates on influencing the media and the executive branch. To this purpose it offers weekly lunches with guest speakers, written policy briefs, and “expert” guests for radio and television talk shows. Its director for policy and planning, Robert Satloff; its deputy director, Patrick Clawson; its senior fellow, Michael Eisenstadt, and other associates appear regularly on radio and television. Winep views prevail in two weekly news magazines, US News and World Report and The New Republic (whose editors-in-chief, Mortimer Zuckerman and Martin Peretz, sit on Winep’s board of advisers). The views of Winep’s Israeli associates, among them journalists Hirsh Goodman, David Makovsky, Ze’ev Schiff and Ehud Ya’ari, are spoon-fed to the American media.Joel Beinin, Le Monde Diplomatique, July 2003.

An analysis of major print coverage of WINEP-attributed content between the years 2001 and 2006 reveals that WINEP is not always engaged in a full-on media blitz. Rather, its media power is exercised cyclically as initiatives are strategically “brought to market.” In 2002, WINEP went on the offensive, tying the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US to Israel’s own efforts to subdue Palestinians and making a broad and vitriolic call for a greater US military role in the Middle East. Using the ProQuest print media database citations as an index, WINEP boosted war messaging media placements by 7%. In 2002-2003, AIPAC went into overdrive, secretly working Congress to support the ill-fated invasion of Iraq based on “weapons of mass destruction” and other pretexts. WINEP “analysts” began an all-out media blitz to “substantiate pretexts” and urge a hasty US military invasion of Iraq in the face of global opposition. Dennis Ross, the ubiquitous director of WINEP, eloquently appealed for public rejection of containment and other measures short of immediate US military invasion in a typical Baltimore Sun op-ed on March 13, 2003:

Sooner or later, Mr. Hussein, with nukes, would miscalculate again, making the unthinkable in the Middle East all too likely.

Some might reasonably argue that there are better ways to ensure he does not acquire nuclear weapons. Enhanced containment, with open-ended and intrusive inspections, could prevent Mr. Hussein from acquiring or developing these weapons. True, but is such a regime realistic? When the Bush administration came to power, the existing containment regime was fraying.

The alternative of war has made France a convert to enhanced containment for the time being. It has also provided Mr. Hussein an incentive to grudgingly, and always at the last minute, take the minimal steps required to keep us at bay.

Does anyone believe that in the absence of more than 200,000 U.S. troops in the area Mr. Hussein would be taking even his minimal steps? How long would he continue to “cooperate” if the troops weren’t there? How long would the French insist on intrusive inspections if we weren’t on the brink of war? And how long can we keep such a large military presence in the area?

The unfortunate truth is that we cannot maintain a war footing indefinitely. The paradox is that our large-scale military presence creates the potential to contain Iraq, but it is sustainable neither from our standpoint nor from the standpoint of the region. Either we will use it to disarm Mr. Hussein or we will within the next few months have to withdraw it. And once we began to remove it, several new and dangerous realities would emerge.Ross, Dennis, Baltimore Sun, March 19, 2003.

The WINEP media placement index reveals a jump from 611 to 672 between the year 2002 and 2003 — a 10% increase in mainly Iraq-invasion-focused media placements.

WINEP Media Placement Index
(Source: ProQuest Print Database Search)
WINEP Media Placement Index

In the post-invasion fallout after public discovery that weapons of mass destruction were not the imminent threat to the US that had been portrayed by WINEP and many other operatives, WINEP saw no need to maintain a “surge”-level media blitz. The mission of getting US troops into Iraq, mirroring Israel’s own occupation of Palestinian territories, had been accomplished.

However, the post-invasion index jump from 430 to 630 indicates that WINEP is again on a mission. It is no secret that the new military objective is Israel’s arch-nemesis, Iran. Although the US public is vastly more skeptical about the claims of war partisans, the 47% increase in Iran-centric WINEP media placements should be understood as a leading indicator of military conflict in 2008 if WINEP and AIPAC meet their objectives. Given the elite status and political muscle of WINEP trustees, the efforts of AIPAC’s think tank should not be underestimated, especially in an election year. WINEP meets before the entry of a new president to debate and draft the administration’s Middle East “blueprint.” Many WINEP trustees believe that this policy mandate affecting all Americans is the prerogative of its handpicked commission members, including officials of the Israeli military establishment. Brian Whitaker of The Guardian questioned whether any other foreign principal could accomplish the same maneuver.

The Washington Institute is considered the most influential of the Middle East think tanks, and the one that the state department takes most seriously. Its director is the former US diplomat, Dennis Ross.

Besides publishing books and placing newspaper articles, the institute has a number of other activities that for legal purposes do not constitute lobbying, since this would change its tax status.

It holds lunches and seminars, typically about three times a week, where ideas are exchanged and political networking takes place. It has also given testimony to congressional committees nine times in the last five years.

Every four years, it convenes a “bipartisan blue-ribbon commission” known as the Presidential study group, which presents a blueprint for Middle East policy to the newly-elected president.

The institute makes no secret of its extensive links with Israel, which currently include the presence of two scholars from the Israeli armed forces.

Israel is an ally and the connection is so well known that officials and politicians take it into account when dealing with the institute. But it would surely be a different matter if the ally concerned were a country such as Egypt, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia.Brian Whitaker, The Guardian, August 19, 2002.

AIPAC’s influence in the US news media leads to curious and generally unnoticed subsidiary alumni reunions. On June 14, 2007, following a Hamas takeover of Palestinian installations in Gaza, Wolf Blitzer invited Dennis Ross into the CNN situation room to give his perspective on the instability. Customarily, Dennis Ross’s new book and WINEP affiliation were mentioned; AIPAC and the pervasive Israel connection were not. Equally unmentioned were Wolf Blitzer’s former career as a reporter and editor of the Near East Report (AIPAC’s newsletter) in the 1970s or his authorship of a comprehensive apologia downplaying the damage caused to the US by Jonathan Pollard’s spying for Israel in his book Territory of Lies.Territory of Lies: The Exclusive Story of Jonathan Jay Pollard: The American Who Spied on His Country for Israel and How He Was Betrayed

Although WINEP’s media influence is growing, compared to other think tanks, AIPAC’s ability to place public policy messages in the news media through WINEP was comparatively limited until 2002. Thanks to a timely “acquisition,” AIPAC and WINEP can now count on broader promulgation of AIPAC policy ideas through the Brookings Institution, one of the oldest and most highly regarded public policy think tanks in the United States.

The Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Brookings Institution Middle East policy research was placed under the direction of former AIPAC deputy director for research Martin Indyk in May of 2002. In an Internet video presenting the Saban Center, Indyk vastly understates both Haim Saban’s biography and his contribution to Brookings by referring to it as merely the “generosity of a Los Angeles businessman.” In 2006, Forbes magazine more accurately described Saban as the 98th richest person in America and the “Egyptian-born, Israeli-raised, now-American cartoon king.”Forbes Magazine, September 21, 2006. Indyk does not, however, understate how assembling hand-picked researchers to produce tightly messaged policy research can be thought of as “a business” in his Saban Center introductory video.

Haim Saban, a, uh, businessman in Los Angeles, came to Brookings with a desire to see us do more work on the Middle East issue. On the issues of the peace process, and terrorism, and the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and energy issues. And, uh, was prepared to put up the funds to get the center started. Through Haim Saban’s generosity, we are now able to launch a much larger effort to promote innovative policies, research and analysis that brings together the best minds in the business.Director’s Introductory Video, Brookings Saban Center Website.

It is useful to carry Indyk’s “business” analogy a bit further. In 2003, Haim Saban led the $5.7 billion purchase of Kirch Media Group; in 2001, News Corporation and Saban sold Fox Family Worldwide for $5.1 billion. Saban was part of an investor group that won the bid for Univision, the biggest Spanish-language media corporation in the United States, in June of 2006. Financially speaking, Saban’s $13 million Brookings investment secured control over one of the most financially robust as well as influential policy think tanks. In 2005, the Brookings Institution’s net assets totaled $269,660,363.Brookings Institution form 990 filing for its fiscal year ending June 30, 2005. From Saban’s perspective as a savvy media player concerned with promoting the policies of Israel’s government, taking over Brookings Middle East policy by launching the Saban Center in 2002 was yet another sound and extremely timely business investment — this time, in the marketplace of ideas. According to 2002 research by media watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, Brookings led think tanks in total US media influence, measured by the number of policy analyst and report citations appearing in major US media.

Think Tank Share: US Marketplace of Policy Ideas
(Source: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)

By targeting and taking over Middle East policy at Brookings in 2002, Saban and Indyk were able to “leapfrog” AIPAC messaging from second to last in the think tank market (WINEP had only 2%) to first place. Taking over Brookings also made it appear to Americans that there was now an “expert consensus” from “right to left” on the key Middle East policy issue of the year: the US invasion of Iraq on weapons of mass destruction pretexts. Brookings is often portrayed as a “centrist to left think tank” in the corporate news media. According to FAIR, “Progressive or Left-Leaning” media citations were a small but important segment of the marketplace of ideas, but combined with “centrist,” they represented the majority. For Saban and Indyk, taking over Brookings Middle East policy in 2002Brookings Saban Center Website. meant penetrating the 63% of the marketplace of ideas that was generally not beating a drum for war in Iraq.

US Think Tank Policy by Political Ideology
(Source: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)
US Think Tank Policy by Political Ideology

The arguments in favor of the Iraq invasion in the many Saban Center articles appearing across major newspapers, such as “Lock and Load” by Martin Indyk and Kenneth M. Pollack, Director of Research at Saban, did not differ in message from those of AIPAC’s own Washington Institute for Near East Policy and Dennis Ross. It would have been odd if they did, since, like Indyk, Kenneth Pollack worked at WINEP as a “research fellow” specializing on Iraq.Profile of Pollack from the WINEP website archive

Rather, the Bush administration could take the time it needs to “study” the Iraqi declaration, discussing its falsehoods and fabrications with allied governments until it has lined up all the necessary political and military ducks. Once the best case has been made and the preparations completed (probably in a few weeks), President Bush could announce that, in accordance with United Nations Resolution 1441, we and our allies have concluded that Iraq is in material breach of the 1991 cease-fire resolution and therefore the U.S. will lead a coalition to disarm Iraq by force.

If there must be war, this is the best way. The problem with allowing the inspections to play themselves out is that it is a policy based on hope, and as Secretary of State Colin Powell is fond of saying, “hope is not a plan.”

There is real risk in allowing the inspections to run on indefinitely. The longer the inspections go on and find nothing, the harder it will be for the U.S. to build a coalition when we finally decide to take action.Martin Indyk, Los Angeles Times, December 19, 2002.

The takeover of Brookings Middle East policy by an AIPAC operative and Israeli-American businessman represents an evolution in AIPAC influence over think tanks. From a business perspective, AIPAC has moved from “investment in startups” to “establishing subsidiaries” to the more recent stage of “corporate takeovers and acquisitions.” AIPAC has evolved strategically as a result of success and failure. Financing Dr. Benjamin Shwadran’s highly academic policy research at the Council on Middle East Affairs with Jewish Agency funding laundered through the Rabinowitz Foundation was problematic and nearly crumbled under the glare of Fulbright’s 1963 Senate probe. Even setting up the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in 1984 with AIPAC donor funds and board member involvement still did not give AIPAC the desired influence level of other less “captive” think tanks, particularly in the US news media. The takeover of Middle East policy at Brookings achieved what AIPAC had long sought in the marketplace of public policy: prestige, ideological spectrum dominance, and the highest level of achievable corporate media placement for its public policy initiatives. The American people are now more susceptible than ever before to AIPAC’s “weapons of mass destruction” propaganda campaigns and other targeted media messages emanating from its right, left, and center public policy “think tanks.” AIPAC and Saban are apparently convinced that the same messages can be effectively rebranded and simultaneously broadcast from both WINEP and Brookings. “Lock and Load” co-author Kenneth Pollack proved this during media appearances on CNN and Fox News in which he was successfully positioned as a liberal Bush Iraq war critic gradually coming to see the wisdom of the US military occupation, as documented by news watchdog Media Matters:

During the July 30 edition of CNN Newsroom, anchor Heidi Collins introduced Kenneth Pollack of The Brookings Institution by saying that Pollack “has been a vocal critic of the administration’s handling of the [Iraq] war, but he says that an eight-day visit has changed his outlook a bit.” Collins also said that Pollack’s “tune is changing a bit” with respect to the war. Pollack went on to discuss how a recent visit to Iraq has left him “more optimistic” about the war. However, while focusing on Pollack’s criticisms of the “handling” of the war, Collins failed to note that Pollack was an influential proponent of the Iraq invasion before it happened, leaving viewers with the impression that Pollack was a war opponent who has become more supportive of the war. Pollack’s 2002 book on the subject was titled The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.Media Matters, July 30, 2007.

Saban and AIPAC can be confident that few of the message’s target viewing population knew about Pollack’s record or key financial backer. They can also count on a new generation of eager AIPAC activists to populate think tanks and congressional offices in coming years thanks to “Saban Training” at AIPAC.

This summer GDI is proud to send two of its members to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Saban Training. On July 22, Joshua Sussman and Jen Sovronsky will travel to Washington, DC for 4 days of intense advocacy training.

The Saban conference is AIPAC’s premier student political leadership training seminar, presented through its Schusterman Advocacy Institute, is held twice each year in Washington, D.C. More than three hundred of AIPAC’s top student activists from over 100 campuses participate in three days of intense grassroots political and advocacy training. During this seminar, students meet with top Washington policy makers, elected officials, and Middle East experts.University of Albany community website.

However, even as Saban advocacy training and activities continue in Washington, the potentially explosive outcome of a criminal trial across the Potomac in the Eastern District Court of Virginia could change the way many Americans view AIPAC.

Grant F. Smith is the author of America's Defense Line: The Justice Department's Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government. He currently serves as director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington (IRmep), D.C. Read other articles by Grant, or visit Grant's website.

26 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Scott said on November 21st, 2007 at 3:03pm #

    Aipac – traitors

  2. Deadbeat said on November 21st, 2007 at 5:28pm #

    Great article. It certain shatters the “War for Oil” mantra.

  3. Max Shields said on November 21st, 2007 at 7:42pm #

    The fundamental problem with this article and the trite comments are that they’re totally ahistorical. It is not the particulars which are problematic, it is the lack of worldview and historical context. These narratives – much like Israeli history that it patterns itself paradoxically after – report on a world as if the Middle East and what it means now and has meant to the West never really was until Isreal came into being in 1948.

    It’s pure folly. The Middle East with their Mesopotamian history and Egyption contributions to civilization and the like have been, in modern times, supplier nations. No matter how wealthy some get on oil or how educated various polpulations are – the area remains a collection of supplier nations and thus third world colonies. They are not alone in this role but they are certainly of it.

    To avoid Oil – the primary resource supplied by the ME to the West and developed nation its rightful role in the ralationship between the West hegemony and the ME is to deny reality. In other words the ME did not come into being in 1948. This does not mean that US/Israel/AIPAC does not have a pathological codependency streak, but it is certainly not the whole story, unless we want it to be (as in personal narratives).

    This narrative has no legs without oil.

  4. dan elliott said on November 21st, 2007 at 9:07pm #

    now comes somebody calling her/his self “Max Shields” doing his/her best to provide the maximum shielding of Zionist war criminals and their warmongering US Lobby from the close scrutiny they’re finally starting to get. Why else bring up the same old tired nonsense? Why do these Zionist flaks keep repeating their tired mantra “War for Oil, War for Oil, caw-caw, Pollywanna War For Oil”?

    Come on, Max, show us some documentation that Big Oil is pushing for an attack on Iran, or pushed for W’s 2003 attack on Iraq, or is pushing for continuation of US occupation of that country. Tell us how Big Oil is twisting the Israeli’s arms to get them to ethnically cleanse Gaza.

    I’m all ears:)

    Dan in Sacramento

  5. Max Shields said on November 21st, 2007 at 9:45pm #

    Danny boy, your ears are no good for what seems to ail you. Yours is a case of the forest for the trees.

  6. Rowan Berkeley said on November 22nd, 2007 at 12:10am #

    Don’t argue with him, he isn’t paid to change his mind.

  7. Salomon Benzimra said on November 22nd, 2007 at 12:18am #

    Grant Smith didn’t do his home work. Had he read the articles and publications of Martin Indyk, Dennis Ross, David Makovsky and others, he would realize that WINEP and the Brookings Institution are not exactly populated by ferocious defenders of Israel.

    What seems to rankle the author is that Brookings represents 17% of the think tanks in America. So what? If he and his “progressive left-leaning” allies can do better, by all means….do it! It would certainly be more productive than dwelling in some sort of perennial envy against those whose ideas seem to be embraced by the majority of Americans.

  8. IRmep said on November 22nd, 2007 at 6:35am #

    Anyone can do the homework. It is on the record:


    Through the end of 2001, Internet Archive front page/articles at Brookings caution against the invasion of Iraq and urge a policy of deterrance.

    After the Saban acquisition, the tide turns.

    Coincidence? You decide.

  9. Eliyahu said on November 22nd, 2007 at 12:31pm #

    What happened to the Saudi billions or trillions and their influence on US Middle Eastern policy? What happened to the fat speaking fees that jimmy carter and bill clinton and other US officials pick up in rich Persian Gulf states and in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia? What about the millions of Arab dollars that are donated to US universities [ie, Georgetown] for the purpose of influencing American public opinion? Doesn’t Grant Smith know that Prince Bandar, former Saudi ambassador to the US, was a pal of Pres George Bush Junior? How about the special treatment that Saudi fat cats got after 9-11 from the Bush administration? Where did all that info go? How do the Saudi factor and the Arab oil money factor fit in with Smith’s tendentious screed?

  10. Deadbeat said on November 22nd, 2007 at 12:40pm #

    Come on, Max, show us some documentation that Big Oil is pushing for an attack on Iran, or pushed for W’s 2003 attack on Iraq, or is pushing for continuation of US occupation of that country. Tell us how Big Oil is twisting the Israeli’s arms to get them to ethnically cleanse Gaza.

    I concur. James Petras most recent series of articles has offered evidence that the oil companies were against the invasion of Iraq and are definitely against the invasion of Iran. Mr. Shields has offered only conjecture. Sure oil has been the reason previous coups. The overthrow of Iran 1953 was about Iran’s nationalization of oil. However the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the possible invasion of Iran today are not for the same reasons.

    Unfortunately Mr. Shields has been rhetorically conflating oil as the basis for the invasion in order to conceal or divert attention away from Zionism. In fact Mr. Shields also uses another rhetorical slant and that is to dismiss any mention of Zionism as Israel controlling U.S. policy. This is suppose to sound absurd and therefore dismissive. But what it is designed to do is avoid the analyzing the role Zionism plays as a racist ideology that has been allowed to dominate U.S. foreign policy as well as U.S. culture.

    Grant Smith’s article adds more evidence to the corruption of U.S. society by Zionism. Unfortunately the left has not been untouched by Zionism and their are folks who are determine to divert the issue away from discussing and analyzing the putrid effects Zionism has on U.S. society.

  11. GertrudeSteinInDrag said on November 22nd, 2007 at 12:55pm #

    Benzimra wrote:

    “”It would certainly be more productive than dwelling in some sort of perennial envy against those whose ideas seem to be embraced by the majority of Americans.””

    cute Hasbara: #1 says it; #2 & #3 are paid to echo it to #s4-5000; suddenly, “the majority……”

    When #1 has credibility, prestige, it’s possible to cut out the middle man and go straight to #4-5000.

    Example: Colin Powell, podium of UN: “Iraq has WMD.”

    Similarly, Michael O Hanlon serves the function of the next bought useful idiot. Consider whats’izname Wehner’s ludicrous performance on C-Span 11/20/2007.

    29 callers phoned in; 26 of them said to Wehner, “You’re an idiot, Wehner, and here are that facts that state why….”
    Wehner’s response to ten of those callers was,: “You’re wrong.”
    When that didn’t seem to give traction, Wehner resorted to the “O’Hanlon said so, and he’s a member of the left-leaning Brookings…..”

    So much for “ideas that seem to be embraced by a majority of Americans.”

  12. liz burbank said on November 22nd, 2007 at 12:59pm #

    What this analysis elucidates yet again is that U.S. imperialism’s crusade for global domination is inseparable from and undoable without its zionist proxy israel.

    U.S. urgency is driven by a deep structural and conjunctural crisis. Historically such crfises have been [temporarily] resolved by restructuring capital & the world map through imperialist world war. This is the nature of the so-called “war on terror” to expand and secure U.S. global supremacy.
    This fantasy final solution for U.S. ‘manifest destiny’ jibes geostrategically with its proxy’s ‘eretz israel’.

    This is the only context in which the issue of oil, which has been deliberately obfuscated and misrepresented, can be correctly understood. It ‘s critical central is not for domestic use supplies but because whoever controls M.E. energy / oil resources has overwhelming leverage over allies as well as enemies and thus [temporarily] world hegemony.

  13. dan elliott said on November 22nd, 2007 at 1:51pm #

    In lieu of further comment, let me just extend thanks & props to Dr Deadbeat, & post this email to my list, which contains some relevant points:

    Needed for the Dec 16 anti-AIPAC protest @ the Radisson Hotel: more & better picket signs!

    The words of the day are 1. Information; 2. Education. We need to take max advantage of this event & the media exposure to:

    A) put the key points of our basic message before the public;

    B) do as much education as possible via print media.

    C) offer info/education via mini-PA, assuming they don’t stop us from using it. (okay, go to the fallback plan: who’s got a loud voice?:)

    If any Distinguished Speakers show up, we’ll have them first, followed by Q&A, then it’ll be Open Mike as long as anybody is listening. but…

    The Main Thing on my mind right now, is Picket Signs, or Banners, also flags, big blown up pictures, puppets/”effigies” etc. But SIGNS is the focus: a lot of info can be delivered by half a dozen signs of no more than four/five words, in lettering big enough to be read instantly from a passing car. Or in a TV crowd shot.

    A shot of a bunch of protesters which includes a few very to-the-point signs delivers a strong message; without the written word it’s just a bunch of people, any purpose for them being gathered supplied by some hairsprayed anchorperson’s “voice-over”.

    Top Priority to me, are signs linking AIPAC & the ZPC, (incl. local JCRC, Jewish Fed et al) to the War Budget, via the “Iraqwar”, push for bombing Iran etc. Linking War Budget billions to Katrina pennies, ethnic cleansing of New Orleans to same of Gaza. Linking AIPAC alliance with CUFI (Christians United For Isreal, i.e., Rev Hagee’s klavern) to Jena 6.

    Holding the Demockrats accountable for not stopping Bush Admin crimes & planned crimes. Exposing the Demo Pty subservience to AIPAC — which is the whole point as I see it. “Boycott Israel”means boycott all manifestations of Zionism, which means boycott all Democrat politicians. The relatively “good” ones only provide cover for the rest of the bastards. Same applies to the David Cobb Demogreen phonies.

    Well I’ll probably have to make that sign myself:) But it will take a lot of load off me if others will supply some good signs too.

    And maybe somebody besides me go into detail via a one-page informative flier or two?

    Okay, you got it:)

    now to put this on Indybay CV…

  14. Max Shields said on November 22nd, 2007 at 4:11pm #

    Deadbeat, the issue is that yours (and Dan’s) argument is purely ideological. As such historical world views must suit the ideology you embrace.

    You cannot read my posts without filtering it through the prism of your ideology. I’ve never posted anything that remotely apologizes for the US and Israel “pathological” (to self quote) relationship (read again). But that’s never enough for an ideolgue; it must be the hard line or nothing.

    Now Liz looks like she’s at least making room for a broader scope.

  15. John Doraemi said on November 22nd, 2007 at 5:45pm #

    “How about the special treatment that Saudi fat cats got after 9-11 from the Bush administration? Where did all that info go?”

    Well let’s certainly go into ALL the 9/11 issues. There’s URBAN MOVING SYSTEMS, a MOSSAD front where five agents were seen “celebrating” and with “cries of joy and mockery” the crash of Flight 11 into the North Tower. Yes, they photographed themselves holding up a cigarette lighter with the burning WTC in the background. Please let’s do discuss what these agents of Israel were up to.

    After the Urban Moving Systems crew were seen by a woman who called the police on them, an FBI “Be on look out” alert was sent to all the regional police departments at 3:31pm on 9/11/01. The Israelis were caught in East Rutherford, NJ, and taken to FBI headquarters for interrogation.

    They’d still be in custody today, except the Bush regime made the matter “classified” and released the five agents back to Israel, quietly.

    The owner of Urban Moving Systems fled the country after FBI quesitoned him, back to Israel as well. The company was seized by investigators, and witnesses reported explosives and traces of anthrax in the UMS building. Hazmat suits were worn by investigators at the Weehawken UMS facility. (Wayne Madsen, The Israeli Art Students and Movers Story).

    There’s also the matter of a van reportedly “full of explosives” stopped at the George Washington Bridge, as told to me by Dan Rather, CNN, and the Jerusalem Post.

  16. JoJO said on November 23rd, 2007 at 5:49am #

    In Lenin’s time– Marx-If we get to control the telegraph operations–we will control all of Russia. For those obtuse posters—the whole Czar’s family were slaughtered. Over 10 million christians slaughtered. WWI,W WII, Germany was used as an attack dog. WWIII is about to happen.Again a new attack dogs are groomed–USA EU –again Russia

  17. Doug Tarnopol said on November 23rd, 2007 at 11:44am #

    Max is on the right track. As those noted Zionists Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky, among others, have argued, the case of Iraq (or Iran) is one of “both/and” vis-a-vis the Zionist lobby and the geopolitics of oil — in addition to other causes.

    Now unless everyone here would like to prove to me that Noam Chomsky and Norman Finkelstein’s work — millions of words at this point — is simply due to their being privy to some diabolical AIPAC black-op, I think some of the more monocausally inclined on this string may want to peruse Chomsky’s _Fateful Triangle_, for example.

  18. Doug Tarnopol said on November 23rd, 2007 at 11:47am #

    Sorry for the second comment, but I just wanted to point out that if anyone would like to check out my website, he or she will see that I am far from a Zionist stooge. Unless, of course, I am fooling everyone with a triple (quadruple? n-ple?) bluff.

    If I’m part of the international Zionist conspiracy, why am I not receiving any checks? I could use ’em. 🙂


  19. John McCarthy said on November 23rd, 2007 at 5:00pm #

    Here is a little light reading on Israel and the Middle East.


    Related articles are located in the left column.


  20. C. L. Cook said on November 23rd, 2007 at 6:24pm #

    If there’s been mention of it on this string, I missed mention of Pakistan. Just last Sunday, the American Enterprise Institute, in concert with Brookings, argued in the New York Times for the bombing of Pakistan!

    [ Kalid Hasan, writing for the Pakistan’s Daily Times says the American Enterprise Institute, core home of the Neo-con movement, and the Brookings Institution Sunday urged the United States launch “pre-emptive” attacks against Pakistan in an editorial printed in the New York Times.] link: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C11%5C19%5Cstory_19-11-2007_pg7_9

  21. Espresso said on November 24th, 2007 at 2:41pm #

    Mr. Smith,
    Excellent article. FINALLY, people have woken up and are shining a light on this hijacking of American foreign policy by Zionist ideologues. Now that the cork is finally out of the bottle the truth continues to flow …

  22. Concete man said on November 24th, 2007 at 6:59pm #

    For a thorough rebuttal of the “war for oil” nonsense see: James Petras, “Deadly Embrace”, right here at Dissident Voice.

  23. syed salamah ali mahdi said on November 25th, 2007 at 3:16am #

    Imagine Martyn Indik and Dennis Ross acting as ‘honest’ (?) and/or ‘impartial’ (?) brokers’ in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on behalf of US Administrations! When will Americans outside Washington DC wake up to what the AIPACS, OOPACS, SABAN”S etc etc etc are really up to, none of which is in the BEST Interests of America. Perhaps only after the forthcoming Zionist instigated (mis)adventure in Iran! Then, it will be too late for the AIPACS, OOPACS, SABANS etc when there surely be a WAKE UP which will definitely not be TOO PLEASANT for them as well for Israel.

  24. Max Shields said on November 25th, 2007 at 10:52am #

    Once again, the only source for this notion of “war for oil nonsense” seems to be James Petras. So here’s a thought experiment: say there is no oil or other resource “worthy” of extraction from the Middle East. What then and why?

  25. Mike McNiven said on November 26th, 2007 at 2:04am #

    Salomon Banzimara, #7, in support of the Brookins, accused its opponents of having : ” …perennial envy against those whose ideas seem to be embraced by the majority of Americans…”

    Well, victims of capitalism/imperialism, all over the world, consider “the majority of Americans” as guilty! World-wide conducted opinion polls show that! Those who believe in “peace with social justice” are protected against a disease called envy– in Brookings terminology: “competition” ! Please keep your imperialist, a.k.a stolen, $$ for your lawyers because class action lawsuis by millions of non-“majority” Americans are forthcoming!

    Zionism, Christian fundamentalism and Islamic fundamentalism are
    created by the imperialists, because they are great tools for the expansion and the preservation of the “holy capital”! (Please see the writings of professor Samir Amin on this subject. )
    Saban center, being mindful of the above factors, does not support the legitimate unconditional right of return of the Palestinan refugees to their homeland, but it supports unconditional negotiations with oil-rich Iran! What Zionist Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran have in common that they are both protected by the Brookins? Both are anti-socialist safe havens for the “holy capital”!

  26. Joe said on December 10th, 2008 at 7:03pm #

    I read this article with much interest. I find it to be credible and mostly accurate… accept for the stuff that is conveniently left out. I also find myself asking; so what?

    The conspiratorial tone is amusing; all that is needed is some scary music to go along with it. The envy comes through loud and clear and is actually kind of pathetic and sad. As mentioned by others: What about the billions from Saudi Arabia that go to university “Middle East Studies” departments to brainwash kids to hate Israel? And the millions that go to institutions like the Carter Center or the Jim Baker Institute. I’m actually happy and amazed that the pro-Israel message is able to compete with all those petro-dollars, with brains and innovation and far fewer resources.

    Indyk and Ross can hardly be considered hard-core pro-Israel. You want hard-core pro-Israel? That would be me and millions like me. I proudly plead guilty. I find Indyk and Ross to be snot-nose little policy wonks craving to be close to power. They would probably sell Israel down the river for an invitation to a White House cocktail party in a heartbeat.

    Get serious.