The Zionist Power Configuration in America and Israel’s War with Iran

My strong preference here is to handle all this (US conflict with Iran) diplomatically with the other powers of government, ours and many others as opposed to any kind of strike occurring…From the US perspective, from the United States military perspective in particular, opening up a third front (Israeli and/or US act of war against Iran) would be extremely stressful to us.”
— testimony of Admiral Michael Mulligan, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 2, 2008.

If Iran continues its nuclear arms program – we will attack it. The sanctions aren’t effective. There will be no choice but to attack Iran to halt the Iranian nuclear program.”
— Shaul Mofaz, Israeli Minister of Transportation in Yediot Ahronot , June 6, 2008.

The present economic sanctions on Iran have exhausted themselves. Iranian businesspeople who would not be able to land anywhere in the world would pressure the regime.” Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, speaking to US House Speaker, Senator Nancy Pelosi in favor of a unilateral, pre-emptive US naval blockade of Iran.”
Haaretz, May 21, 2008.

It was a triumphalist conference. Even this powerful organization (AIPAC), the most powerful group in the US Israel lobby, had never seen anything like. Seven thousand Jewish functionaries from all over the United States came together to accept the obeisance of the entire Washington elite. The three presidential hopefuls (Hillary went too) made speeches, trying to outdo each other in flattery. Three hundred senators and members of Congress crowded the hallways. Everybody who wanted to be elected or re-elected to any office came to see and be seen.”
— Uri Avnery, London Review of Books, July 3, 2008, page 18.

House Resolution 362 received unanimous support from all the Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations including the 7,000 delegation attending the AIPAC Conference in Washington DC on June 2-4, 2008.

Resolution 362 became our chief legislative priority.”
— according to AIPAC’s website, June 4, 2008.

The President should prohibit the export to Iran of all refined petroleum products imposing stringent inspection requirements in all persons, vehicles, ships, planes, trains and cargo ships enters and departing Iran.”
— US House Resolution 362 introduced May 22, 2008.

Resolution 362 gained 170 co-sponsors or nearly 40% of the House and 19 co-sponsors in the Senate in less than a month.

Introduction

Zionists and their allies in Congress authored, implemented and enforced sanctions against Iran, which hinder the ambitions of the world’s biggest oil and gas companies. Israeli war exercises and public declarations threatening a massive air assault on Iran has pushed petroleum prices to world records. This spring 2008, the most powerful pro-Israel Jewish Lobby in the US, AIPAC held their annual conference and secured the support and commitment of both major US Presidential candidates and the majority of US members of Congress for an Israeli initiative to impose extreme economic sanctions on Iran with threats of a US/Israeli military attack. In early summer 2008, the AIPAC operatives, who wrote this US Congressional resolution, successfully rounded up Congressional leaders’ support of an air and naval blockade of all critical imports into Iran – a blatant act of war.

Israel adopts a ‘peace policy’ designed to isolate Iran in preparation for an attack – and then immediately violates its terms. The entire spectrum of major Jewish organizations unquestioningly and unconditionally give their active support, as they have in the past, to AIPAC’s domination of the US Presidential candidates as well as to the twists and turns in Israel’s war preparations via military exercises and phony peace gestures.

In the entire history of US relations with oil and gas-producing countries, there is not a single previous case in which it sacrificed profitable investments by its major oil companies at the behest of a foreign power (Israel) and its “lobby” – the Zionist Power Configuration.

Israel’s Two Track Policy Toward Iran

Israel’s policy to obliterate Iran, in much the same war that the US has devastated Iraq, has followed a carefully planned multi-prong strategy. Israel has relied on direct military attacks, all out wars, economic blockades and the use of overseas Zionist front organizations to destroy Iran’s allies and strangle its economy.

The Israeli strategy is directed at undermining, weakening and enticing Iranian allies to politically and militarily isolate Tehran, in order to facilitate a full-scale massive air assault without having to deal with military fallout from Iranian allies on its borders.

In pursuit of this ‘isolate and destroy’ strategy, Israel launched a full-scale invasion and massive air and missile bombing of Lebanon knocking out critical civilian infrastructure in the hopes of obliterating Hezbollah, a staunch Iranian ally. Israeli preparation for its Lebanese war began a full year before its sneak attack, using a common minor border incident to invade Hezbollah strongholds in Southern Lebanon. Israel’s offensive against Hezbollah made no sense from the point of view of its border security. No Israeli military official ever envisioned Hezbollah being any kind of military threat to its national security. At most Israel saw Hezbollah as a serious counterweight to its anemic puppet allies in Beirut.

From the perspective of Israel’s regional hegemonic perspective, an attack and destruction of Hezbollah would isolate Iran and allow Israel to develop a strategic Middle East client in Beirut, facilitating an air attack.

Hezbollah’s defeat of the Israeli invasion seriously weakened Tel Aviv’s military based strategy to ‘isolate Iran’ and strengthened Hezbollah’s power in Lebanon, raising its prestige immensely among the Arab and Muslim populations.

The second prong in Israel’s strategy was to destroy the democratically elected Hamas government in Palestine by financing and arming a coup attempt by its Arab clients in the Palestinian Authority,Abbas and Dahlens. Hamas successfully routed the putschists and proceeded to consolidate its rule in Gaza. Israel turned toward a destructive blockade to starve the 1.5 million Palestinian civilians in Gaza into revolt against Hamas. Israel’s allies in the US and EU poured hundreds of millions of dollars and euros to prop up the corrupt Israeli client regime in the West Bank. Once again Israel failed to militarily or economically destroy Hamas, but that didn’t prevent the Jewish state from turning to its third target – Syria.

In 2007 Israel launched an air invasion of Syria, bombing what it described as a ‘military target’, a low-grade non-military nuclear facility in order to intimidate Syria and weaken the Assad regime’s ties to Iran. While Israel demonstrated its military capacity to violate Syrian sovereignty with impunity, its action did not have any major impact on Iran-Syrian ties.

In response to the repeated failures of the Israeli military strategy of undermining Iran’s allies, Tel Aviv turned toward a different ‘divide and conquer’ approach. Israel, through its Turkish ally, began ‘peace negotiations’ with Syria, offering to discuss the return of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The trade off for Israel takes the form of peace talks over the Golan in exchange for lessening Damascus’ military dependence on Iran. Since the Israeli public and most of the Knesset are overwhelmingly opposed to returning the Golan, the peace talks are not intended to end Israeli occupation, but to give the Assad regime a certain credibility among the Western imperial powers and lessen its isolation. The Israeli regime had no trouble selling its new line on Syria to its highly subservient and disciplined supporters among the Presidents of the fifty-two leading American-Jewish organizations. They are well practiced in following the zig-zag of Israeli policy, switching policy of demonizing Syria one day and acknowledging its pragmatism the next. French President Sarkozy followed up the Israeli initiative by inviting Syrian President Assad to Paris with all the pomp and honors of a chief of state.

Two years after its failed military invasion of Lebanon, Tel Aviv sought and pursued negotiations with Hezbollah to exchange prisoners (and/or their remains) as part of a tactical mini-‘détente’. Once again, the US Zionist Power Configuration, after years of denouncing Hezbollah as a mere tool of Iran, accommodated the new Israeli line of recognizing Hezbollah as an independent political interlocutor.

At about the same time (June 2, 2008), Israel finally and perhaps temporarily recognized it could not militarily or economically destroy Hamas, or prevent its military retaliation against Israeli attacks or undermine its mass base of support and signed a military truce to end armed incursions and open entry points in exchange for the end of retaliatory rocket attacks on Israeli towns.

While the new Israeli turn toward peace negotiations, cease fire agreements and prisoner negotiations seems to augur a less belligerent and more realistic assessment of the Middle East balance of power, in fact the new policy is linked with a more extremist, aggressive and war-threatening military policy toward Iran. In late May and early June 2008, while Israel was proposing a more conciliatory approach toward Iran’s allies, it engaged in a massive military exercise, involving over a hundred warplanes and thousands of commandos in an unmistaken dress rehearsal for an offensive war against Iran. Top officials from the Israeli military command, cabinet and Knesset publicly pronounced their intention to bomb Iran if it proceeded in its entirely legal and non-military uranium enrichment program. Israeli officials secured the tacit and overt approval of US and European Union for its military posture. More important Israel practically dictated the terms of debate in the United Nations Security Council by insisting that it would launch a war unless the harshest economic sanctions (and even a military-economic blockade) were not implemented and enforced by the United Nations.

Israeli policy was operating on several parallel and reinforcing tracks: The ‘peace track’ to engage and neutralize Iran’s Middle East allies, to isolate Iran and polish up its image in the Western mass media; the ‘military track’ to prepare for war, which remains its defining strategy in order to destroy an isolated (from its allies) and economically weakened (by US/EU/UN sanctions) Iran. In pursuit of its relentless drive for Middle East supremacy and the implementation of its two-track strategy, the Israeli state depends on the power of the major American Jewish organizations to promote the policies of the Jewish state in the US.

The Centrality of the ZPC in Israel’s Pursuit of the Destruction of Iran

The Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC), through its dominant role in making US-Middle East policy, plays a central part in the implementation of all aspects of Israeli foreign policy goals in the region. Israel’s principle goal over the past five years is the destruction of Iran, to end its opposition to Israel’s domination of the region. In pursuit of the Israeli agenda, the ZPC led by AIPAC (the American Israel Public Affairs Committee) has exploited its control and influence over the US Congress and Executive branches. AIPAC has leveraged the presence of highly placed Israel-Firsters in key positions in Treasury, the Pentagon, Commerce, the National Security Council, the Justice Department and Homeland Security to design and pursue economic and military policies in line with Israel’s war policies toward Iran. AIPAC, through its media and economic leverage undermined domestic opposition. Israel’s power over US bellicose policy toward Iran is so complete that even critics of Washington’s military posture toward Iran refrain from mentioning the powerful role of the ZPC in designing and implementing that policy.

Zionist power was on open display at its annual conference in Washington. At the 2008 AIPAC Conference, over 7,000 delegates representing 100,000 members, met to discuss how to force Washington to implement Israel’s Middle East priorities, overwhelmingly focused on the Jewish State’s stated objective of militarily destroying Iran. Over 300 US Congress members attended (over 60% of all members of both houses) along with the three major presidential candidates, major cabinet members, including the Secretary of State, Vice President Cheney from the White House and a host of Hollywood celebrities, media moguls and prominent financial and real estate billionaires from Wall Street and its environs.

Presidential candidates competed with each other in swearing their total and unconditional servility to Israel, swearing their utmost to back any and all past, present and future Israeli military attacks. Hillary Clinton promised to implement the equivalent of twelve holocausts against Iran’s 70 million citizens in her rant to ‘obliterate Iran’ if it endangered Israel. Obama backed the ultra-orthodox Jewish demand to give Israel sole control over Jerusalem, and joined John McCain and Clinton in promising to bomb Iran if it continued its uranium enrichment program (which they equated with a nuclear weapon – despite the objections of the IAEA and the US intelligence community). All endorsed Israel’s starvation of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants and rejected any concessions or negotiations with Hamas, Syria and Hezbollah – even as Israel was already engaged in negotiations for tactical reasons. AIPAC’s entire agenda has been endorsed by the US Congress, the Executive and both parties, including a military blockade of Iran, harsher world sanctions against all global oil and gas corporations, banks and industries dealing with Iran, the immediate transfer of the most advanced missile and attack technology to Israel to facilitate an attack on Iran, and a substantial increase in yearly US military grants to Israel totaling an additional $30 billion dollars over the next decade. The top Israeli officials present, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Olmert took the opportunity to reiterate and re-affirm their will to use military power to force Iran to submit or face destruction, to standing ovations and wild cheering from the ecstatic AIPAC delegates, deriving delirious pleasure from these blood thirsty calls for US military and economic sacrifice!

Nary a single word of dissent was heard from the entire Congressional entourage in attendance; the Presidential candidates assured the zealous Israel-firsters that for the next 4 years Israeli interests would be the centerpiece of US Middle East policies.

The AIPAC conference was no simple ‘show of force’ nor an exercise in ‘group think’ meant to keep the faith of the zealots. It was the kick-off to a full-scale ZPC campaign to implement a series of measures designed to accelerate a US and Israeli military assault against Iran.

The Congressmen and women in attendance at the AIPAC were there for a purpose: to be instructed on what Middle East policies Israel and the ZPC would demand of them. Their presence at the AIPAC conference was not just a courtesy call intended to ‘network’ with wealthy Jewish campaign fund contributors. They were there because of long-standing and intense relations with the ZPC, which made it obligatory to show up and pay obeisance to demanding paymasters who shortly thereafter visited their offices and presented them with proposals and resolutions for immediate action.

The Aftermath of the AIPAC Conference

Under AIPAC tutelage, if not actual authorship, a Congressional resolution was introduced, which called for a naval blockade of the Islamic Republic of Iran, a deliberate act of war. H. Con. Res. 362 calls on the President of the United States to stop all incoming international shipments of refined petroleum products from reaching Iran by any means. By the middle of June 2008, three weeks after it was introduced, the resolution had attracted 146 co-sponsors. In the Senate in two weeks time a similar measure secured 19 co-sponsors. The Congressional resolutions use almost the exact wording of an AIPAC memo issued just prior to the Congressional action. AIPAC got its cue from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who, in early May 2008, told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sanctions were not enough and called a US naval blockade ‘a good possibility’1 The loyal AIPAC servants made their Israeli masters’ wish a reality – in a matter of days. (Who says critical issues get ‘bogged down’ in Washington?)

In late June 2008, under AIPAC leadership and direction, the US Congress added $170,000,000 dollar increase in military assistance to Israel as part of a 10 year, $30 billion dollar war commitment to the Jewish state. AIPAC was instrumental in drawing up the bill and openly declared that the addition was designed to maintain Israel’s military dominance and superiority in the Middle East but specifically designed for its war preparation against Iran and the Palestinians. AIPAC pointedly emphasized that, “The US commitment to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge is the cornerstone of American (sic-ZPC) policy in the region…This year’s package holds heightened significance…as the US and Israel face new challenged from Iran’s drive to acquire (sic) nuclear weapons…”2

At a time when the US government faces a major financial crisis and refuses to refinance millions of Americans facing loss of their homes through foreclosures, AIPAC secured a 25% increase in military handouts to Israel. Olmert praised his US Zionist agents for improving Israel’s take. The 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations and their million members and affiliates successfully pursued AIPAC’s proposal to increase economic sanctions on Iran via its captive US Congressional bloc, its appointed agents in the Treasury Department and in the UN Security Council via its influence in the White House. Each and every sanction introduced by the US representative in the United Nations is a thinly veiled copy of memos and resolutions written and powerfully pushed in the Executive branch by AIPAC. They are backed by several hundred professional lobbyists and scores of pro-Israel PACs (political action committees) and ten propaganda mills (the so-called ‘think tanks’) with tight links to AIPAC. Through their influence in the US, the ZPC has successfully secured the acquiescence of other members of the UN Security Council.

Throughout 2008, a presidential election year, the ZPC has successfully engaged in sustained interrogation and pressure on the major candidates, securing pledges of unconditional support for every aspect of Israel’s murderous policies in Gaza and the West Bank, including its policies of starvation and assault. All major candidates have echoed the ZPC-Israeli line of labeling the elected Hamas movement, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as ‘terrorist’ organizations and states and pledged to attack or back an Israeli offensive war against Iran.

In so far as the Middle East is the center of US foreign policy, the ZPC has ensured that the next President of the United States will continue the bellicose pro-Israel policies pursued by George W. Bush. The ZPC’s influence over the next US President guarantees that the issues of war and peace will be dictated by a minority of a minority ethno-religious group, comprising less than 3% of the population and loyal to a foreign state. Whichever party wins the Presidential election or controls Congress, the ZPC will set the Middle East agenda, the head of which is the destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

During the entire run-op to the November 2008 elections, not a single political leader has raised the issue of the catastrophic consequences of a war with Iran for the world economy, the astronomical rise in oil prices, which will result in the conversion of the US recession into a depression, the killing of hundreds (if not millions) of Iranian citizens and the loss of American lives. In other words, the greatest of all ZPC successes is their ability to focus the entire political elite and mass media on the advantages of launching a preemptive war for Israel and to distract public and political attention away from any reports relating the world-shattering destructive consequences.

Zionist Power: Big Oil and Liberal Obfuscation

One of the most salient issues in the run-up of oil and gas prices has been the power and policies of the ZPC. Iran possesses some of the most potentially productive and rich oil and gas fields, which are not yet exploited. Iran possesses 15-17% of the world’s supply of gas. It is number two in the world. Israel, and therefore the ZPC, has been the leading voice in blocking all investment and financing in Iran by the world’s leading public and private gas and oil multinationals. Thanks to AIPAC authored Congressional legislation, any and all oil and gas companies investing more than $20 million dollars in Iran are barred from the US market and subject to criminal investigation and fines (if not imprisonment of executives). AIPAC authored Congressional legislation, which labeled the Iranian National Guard, the so-called ‘Revolutionary Guard’, as an international ‘terrorist organization’, subject to military attack by the Pentagon.

By extension, any multinational corporation, which signs economic agreements over Iranian oil assets, is considered to be financing terrorism. Huge quantities of Iranian gas and oil are not coming onto the world market and lowering the price of gasoline, solely due to US Congressional policies authored and enforced by the ZPC. According to the Financial Times every major US, European and Asian oil company is eager to invest in Iran but are blocked by Zionist authored legislation: “American companies are prohibited from any involvement in Iran’s energy sector. Those non-US international groups that have invested in Iran are for now going slow. They are trying to avoid pressing ahead with investments that would anger Washington, while also trying to avoid pulling out; which could annoy Tehran.”3

The US Treasury Department houses the most influential enforcement agency for policing the behavior of Big Oil, Big Banking and Big Construction companies, which would normally invest in Iran, given the world historic prices. According to investigator Grant Smith: “In 2004, AIPAC and its affiliated think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), lobbied for a new separate US Treasury unit to be created – the ‘Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence’ (OTFI). It is headed by AIPAC vetted leadership and many OTFI briefings are delivered directly to WINEP. OFTI’s secretive financial operations that target Iran and its trading partners are tightly coordinated with Israel’s leadership.”4 Stuart Levey, sub-secretary of the Treasury and a zealous Zionist, who runs OTFI, and his staff have successfully pressured many of the biggest multi-billion dollar public pension funds in states like New York, Florida, Texas and California to disinvest in any company investing, trading or engaged in any economic activity with any Iranian public or private enterprise. Secondly, it has arbitrarily labeled any humanitarian organization dealing with Iran as a possible ‘terrorist conduit’. Levey has made frequent visits to Europe and Asia, threatening US reprisals to any country or corporation trading or investing in Iran. Levey and the OTFI have formulated Treasury policy memos which have decisively shaped US sanctions policy and proposals to the United Nations. It is clear that Cheney, Bush and the Democratic Congress make decisions largely drawn up, promoted and enforced by AIPAC and its key operative in Treasury, who in turn openly coordinate policy with their mentors in the Israeli foreign and financial ministries and the office of the Israeli Prime Minister.

Clearly the power of the ZPC is as much from its capacity to leverage malleable non-Zionist Congress people, public agencies, private financial institutions as it is to apply direct control over public policy. In other words for every dues paying member or leader of AIPAC, and of the 52 leading Jewish organizations in America, there are a multiplicity of state and civil society leaders and organizations who are influenced to initiate and implement pro-Israeli policies. The surprise expressed by some critical overseas Israeli observers, like Uri Avnery, over how a tiny minority of American Jews can dominate US Middle East policy, overlooks their leverage, access, and power to shape the agenda of vast sectors of US public and civil society policy makers.

While the oversight of foreign observers is understandable, what is absolutely inexcusable is the behavior of liberal critics of US war policy toward Iran. Bill Moyers, ignoring the abundant evidence published in all the major financial media on the economic sanctions against the oil companies spearheaded by the ZPC, argues that the Middle East wars are “about oil.”5 Citing as evidence for Big Oil’s role in Middle East wars, they quoted a number of former top Zionist officials in the US government (Greenspan, Wolfowitz and others). They argued that the signing of oil contracts in Iraq eight years after the start of the war is evidence that US policy was a product of Big Oil. Instead of examining Wolfowitz and over three dozen pro-Israel top policymakers in the Bush Administration who designed and executed the policy to invade Iraq – and the current all out push by the ZPC toward war with Iran – Moyers and Winship cite obscure meetings between Cheney and the oil companies. Instead of discussing the public overt campaigning for war with Iraq and Iran by the 52 leading Jewish organizations in the United States and the public policies of leading policymakers in the government, Moyers resorts to individual conspiracies between Cheney and the ‘oil industry’. Moyers admits he knows nothing about the content of the meetings and why the secret meeting did not lead to any direct lobbying for war by Big Oil (in contrast to AIPAC and its affiliates). Moyers’s article in Counterpunch totally avoids making a single reference to the massive, sustained and successful Zionist war campaign in the Executive and Legislative offices as well as in the Op-Ed pages of all the major daily and weekly newspapers and magazines.

A similar kind of liberal cover-up is found in the July 17, 2008 issue of the New York Review of Books, entitled “Iran: The Threat,” by Thomas Powers who puts the entire burden for war policy toward Iran solely on Bush and Cheney, overlooking the intense and successful economic sanctions and war resolutions authored by AIPAC and implemented by the Democratic Congress. Powers omits the entire war propaganda campaign which appears in the mass media written by academics from Zionist ‘think tanks’, the entire groveling for Israel exercises by the US presidential candidates and three-quarters of the US Congress and Senate at the AIPAC conference, (which took place just prior to the Powers article). Powers says nothing about the entire political class’ blind support for Israel’s promise to go to war with Iran. Powers, a supporter of killer sanctions as an alternative to an air and missile attack, doesn’t even mention the fact that the ZPC is the leading advocate of sanctions. His research didn’t include the crucial fact that the implementation and enforcement of sanctions are in the Treasury Department (OTFI), which coordinates with Israeli agencies and is run by Stuart Levey, an Israel-Firster.

Noam Chomsky has long been one of the great obfuscators of AIPAC and the existence of Zionist power over US Middle East policy. One of his most blatant examples of cover-up occurred during the AIPAC conference in early June 2008. In answer to a question on what it would take to change US unconditional support for Israel, Chomsky ignored the servility of US Presidential candidates to Israel and the AIPAC at the AIPAC conference; Congressional approval of AIPAC authored sanctions resolutions and their implementation by Treasury Department Under-Secretary Levey; the role of the ZPC in shaping media demonizing of Iran, Palestine, Hezbollah and Syria. Instead Chomsky engages in vacuous circumlocution. With reference to US support for Israel, he claims, “We have to consider the sources of support. The corporate sector in the US, which dominates policy formation, appears to be quite satisfied with the current situation. One indication is the increasing flow of investment to Israel by Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and other leading elements of the high tech economy. Military and intelligence relations remain very strong. Since 1967, US intellectuals have had a virtual love affair with Israel, for reasons that relate more to the US than to Israel, in my opinion. That strongly affects portrayal of events and history in media and journals.”

Chomsky deliberately omits the elementary step of actually looking at the process of ‘policy formation’ and noting the role of the AIPAC lobby in shaping US Middle Eastern policy, a point noted by every major expert, Congressional staffer and observer on and off the scene. He mentions ‘the corporate sector’, a vague entity without mentioning how the Zionist lobby has successfully blocked the major oil companies from investing billions in Iran and who undermined US investment agreements with pre-war Iraq. None of the high tech investors he cites has ever lobbied to shape US policy in the Middle East, least of all pressured the US to support Israeli occupation and eviction of Palestinians, the invasion of Lebanon, its military attack of Syria. To suggest that Microsoft’s Bill Gates has been lobbying for Israel, as Chomsky does, is the height of silliness. But the Presidents of the 52 Major Jewish Organizations in America have. No conference organized by high-tech companies have ever drawn 65% of the members of Congress and the Senate and all major Presidential candidates to pledge their allegiance to their corporate interests in Israel. But the AIPAC conference in June drew a huge majority of Congress members and McCain, Obama and Clinton who pledged their unconditional support for Israel’s policies and interests.

Chomsky’s claim that the US has a love affair with Israel omits the systematic repression by pro-Israel and mostly Jewish professors of any critics of Israel, including the firing, smearing and censorship of critical fellow academics. What makes Chomsky’s simple-minded and blatant cover up of Zion-power in shaping US policy so grotesque is that it occurs at a time when it is at its highest point of power – when AIPAC has presidential candidates publicly swearing unconditional support to Israel at its major conference in Washington even as two top officials of AIPAC have been indicted for espionage for Israel.

Chomsky, Moyers and Powers (and a host of liberal critics of US threats to bomb Iran) ignore the power of US Zionists backing of Israel’s overt war exercises and naked threats to bomb Iran. By covering up the role of the ZPC, who are the principle Congressional and Presidential backers of sanctions, embargo and war, the liberal critics undermine our efforts to prevent a catastrophic war.

Intellectuals silently complicit with the main purveyors of war for Israel are abdicating their responsibility to speak truth to power – in this case Zionist power. At some point intellectual abdication becomes co-responsibility for a Middle East catastrophe. In the face of the complicity of our political leaders and their Zionist mentors in pursuit of Israel’s apocalyptic war strategy toward Iran, the American public becomes of utmost relevance (contrary to Chomsky). To argue otherwise is to become complicit with the great crimes committed in our names, by leaders and ideologues with foreign allegiances.

To continue to masquerade as ‘war critics’ while ignoring the central role of the Zionist Power Configuration makes pundits like Chomsky, Moyers and Powers and their acolytes irrelevant to the anti-war struggle. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  1. Global Research, June 18, 2008. []
  2. AFP June 27, 2008. []
  3. Financial Times, June 25, 2008, p. 9. []
  4. Classified Deceptions, 2007, p. 59. []
  5. Moyers and Winship June 28/29, 2008 Counterpunch. []

James Petras is author of The End of the Republic and the Delusion of Empire, Extractive Imperialism in the Americas: Capitalism's New Frontier (with Henry Veltmeyer), and The Politics of Empire: The US, Israel and the Middle East. Read other articles by James, or visit James's website.

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  1. Doug Tarnopol said on July 17th, 2008 at 8:06am #

    Since when is Chomsky a “liberal”? Unless this is just a term of abuse, it’d be news to an anarchist/libertarian socialist who has vilified liberals for nearly half a century.

    More importantly, it’s funny to watch the game of ideological chicken over Israel/Palestine on the left. (We all know how it works on the right.) Don’t agree with someone like Petras? Well, you’re immediately part of the ZPC, ZOG, or whatever. Spent 40 years working intensely for justice in I/P? Irrelevant. Chomsky actually argues that Walt and Mearsheimer define the “lobby” too strictly: it includes, as he has argued for 40 years, just about all elements of the intelligentsia, for reasons having mostly to do with sixties uprisings and “Vietnam syndrome”; large sectors of high-tech industry, including military-tech companies; and, yes, groups like AIPAC, et al, who do have a lot of swing in Washington.

    Most importantly, a key reason Chomsky disagrees with M&W is because they do not do enough to dissociate US elite interests from those of the lobby, and moreover that M&W’s realist background prevent them from seeing that there is no such thing as a “national interest” — which is why I use the modifier “elite.” A strike on Iran would shoot the price of oil through the roof. Should we not be a tad suspicious that an oil-man administration might not want to give that gift to, actually, itself, as well as its cronies? The Republicans would like to see McCain and Congressional Republicans win, presumably, and another lightshow for CNN might do the trick. It has in the past. A humiliated Israeli administration might want to kickstart its population in the same manner; or use a strike on Iran to hit Hezbollah again. They might even actually believe in the “existential threat”; more likely, they don’t want a credible deterrent in the region. Yes, whatever their reasons, the Israeli government do motivate their allies in the US to pressure Congress via AIPAC, etc. It’s a piece of the puzzle, as Chomsky and others have acknowledged, and long before the Israel Lobby was a sexy topic.

    The key US elite interest is maintaining control over the world’s largest and most easily extracted oil supply, not protecting Israel, which it will use or abuse for its own purposes. As Israel will try to do with us or anyone else: actually, that’s how every nation-state’s ruling clique acts.

    Finally, Chomsky has defended his good friend Norman Finkelstein, as well as Said and others, against people like Dershowitz for years now, so it’s a bit rich to accuse him of somehow aiding in or standing idly by the worrisome crackdown by the Horowitz/Dershowitz types.

    If anything, the cracks in the “love affair” between the US elite and Israel are widening: nothing different in the AIPAC conference — except that it was widely and critically covered. That’s what’s new.

    Perhaps Petras should try to find another way to publicize his views than random, silly digs at Chomsky. No, the Noamster isn’t a god beyond criticism: it’s an open question whether his core belief in the overwhelming desire for freedom in human nature is actually valid. But the kill-the-father game Petras and others, left and right (including Horowitz), have been playing, bashing Chomsky to gain credibility with whatever group, powerful or not, is getting a bit old.

    Chomsky’s almost 80. Soon he’ll be dead, and unable to answer such charges. So I see no chance of this cross-spectrum sport declining anytime soon.

    In sum: beware silver-bullet explanations from anyone, Chomsky obviously included. They tend to be simplistic at best.

  2. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 8:26am #

    “Throughout 2008, a presidential election year, the ZPC has successfully engaged in sustained interrogation and pressure on the major candidates, securing pledges of unconditional support for every aspect of Israel’s murderous policies in Gaza and the West Bank, including its policies of starvation and assault. All major candidates have echoed the ZPC-Israeli line of labeling the elected Hamas movement, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria as ‘terrorist’ organizations and states and pledged to attack or back an Israeli offensive war against Iran.”

    My question is and when did this begin? I don’t remember this in previous Presidential election cycles. So, why now? Why do these candidates go and genuflect? The relationship between the US and Israel has changed with regards to the Presidential candidates and the evolution of the most bizzare Congress.

    But here’s my point, and I think Chomsky’s (at least in part), by putting AIPAC/Zionist/Israel in the center we excuse the long and consistent history of American empire and the kind of low-intensity warfare the US has employed across the globe.

    I think the move by these candidates does not so much demonstrate the strength of AIPAC but the weaknesses of these candidates. Bush I wouldn’t have done this, nor Reagan, nor Carter, nor Johnson, nor Nixon, nor even Clinton.

    So, what gives with these sorry cases of candidates. Don’t see Nader bowing down or McKinney.

    US Militarist (not to be confused with the US Military) are still in charge and their mission is in confluence with AIPAC and Israel in the Middle East Region. It is not a global relationship, simply a convenient regional one. But make no mistake it is the US who holds the upper hand, and as the US sinks, so will Israel, not the other way around.

  3. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 8:43am #

    Doug Tarnopol,

    Nicely stated.

    Max

  4. evie said on July 17th, 2008 at 9:18am #

    Past presidents/candidates were loving AIPAC too. Wm Saffire was writing in 1983 that Reagan’s administration had suddenly fallen in love with Israel; George Schultz was proving the administration’s Zionist credentials to AIPAC back then.

    Dig deep enough and even Dicky Nixon was a friend of Israel – sending planeload after planeload of munitions during Yom Kippur War.

    Besides – it’s easier for so-called dissidents/leftists or liberals/progressives to whine incessantly and write ad hominem “attacks” on AIPAC/Zionism ZPC or whatever, than it is to direct their efforts toward throwing out those members of congress (nearly all according to the “left”) who vote in favor of all things Jewish/Israeli.

    Some folks just feel a need to have a scapegoat in case the spit hits the fan. This time around the finger seems to point to Zionism. Voila! blame them, ban them, but things will continue on as usual – an “ism” is so easily killed off and reborn under a new name – usually with your approval and right under your nose.

  5. bozhidar balkas said on July 17th, 2008 at 9:27am #

    if we wd consider that israel was/is a state of US, then it makes sense that most ashekenazim talk/think just like the funni uncle.
    and uncle expands, expands, expands; threatens, threatens; controls, controls; spends more on arms, etcetc.
    but it is not only US which expands but also EU/isr/japan. does russia india, china, pakistan expand?
    it appears not to be enlarging. only EU/US/plutos expand/ threaten.
    does zionist telos conflate w. final goals of the EU/US/plutos soyuz?
    nobody is saying. so, i conclude, it does not. torahic claims for lands for hebrews may not be identical w. what US/EU is willing to give to jews.
    chomsky may be a minizionist. being for two-state sol’n means that one is rewarding ashkenazic criminal behavior; ergo, is, to me, a minizionist.
    we shld never ever reward judeo-christian soyuz. it’s of utmost import that we not reward any criminal. thank u

  6. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 9:44am #

    evie, no one has said that Presidents have not supported Israel; nor has Chomsky, to the contrary.

    The point is we have candidates who march off to AIPAC like little stooges without a friggin clue and kneel down and kiss ass.

    This is new; and it is the difference. That difference does not explain American global imperialism.

    While I think all this talk about what leftist should or should not do is assinine, I do agree that we (regardless of who we are, unless you parade with a designated sticker that says you’re a righty or lefty) should kick those sorry asses out of Congress. We’ve had some bad stuff, but this two party = one party has grown way old and way way ugly.

  7. evie said on July 17th, 2008 at 10:22am #

    Max
    The ass kissing has gone on for a long time, previously perhaps with surrogates, i.e. Schultz kissing ass for Reagan. What’s new is only that it’s more obvious and more talked about by certain political groups – they choose to do so at this point in time.

    Why would anyone try to explain American imperialism. The US has always been imperialistic – as have many other nations throughout history in attempts to be #1 power. When one falls another arises.

    I think it complete stupidity for Americans to cheer on their own downfall, disguised as anti-whatever can’t we all just get along – ’cause I don’t think they’re gonna like what replaces it.

    Personally, I don’t really believe there is a “left.” There’s simply a lot of “opposition” talk, and intellectualizing which is simplified for the masses.

  8. Alex said on July 17th, 2008 at 10:45am #

    This is a good article. But I would like to see the impact of the long standing Anglo-American Imperial project to take control of the Middle East piece by piece. After all, every ‘nation’ is really just a military protectorate at war with every other nation just like a lion defending and expanding his turf. Israel, thus in some respects, is viewed as an Anglo-American asset or military outpost in the Middle East with a means to project force.

  9. Deadbeat said on July 17th, 2008 at 10:53am #

    Doug Tarnopol writes…

    Most importantly, a key reason Chomsky disagrees with M&W is because they do not do enough to dissociate US elite interests from those of the lobby, and moreover that M&W’s realist background prevent them from seeing that there is no such thing as a “national interest” — which is why I use the modifier “elite.” A strike on Iran would shoot the price of oil through the roof. Should we not be a tad suspicious that an oil-man administration might not want to give that gift to, actually, itself, as well as its cronies? The Republicans would like to see McCain and Congressional Republicans win, presumably, and another lightshow for CNN might do the trick. It has in the past. A humiliated Israeli administration might want to kickstart its population in the same manner; or use a strike on Iran to hit Hezbollah again. They might even actually believe in the “existential threat”; more likely, they don’t want a credible deterrent in the region. Yes, whatever their reasons, the Israeli government do motivate their allies in the US to pressure Congress via AIPAC, etc. It’s a piece of the puzzle, as Chomsky and others have acknowledged, and long before the Israel Lobby was a sexy topic.

    First, I think that Mr. Tarnopol makes several cogent arguments. The issue here is that one can argue highlighting the Bush Administration oil background that they are influenced by a desire to advance such interest on the other hand there has been considerable effort by the left to DOWNPLAY the role of AIPAC, Project of A New American Century and Zionism in general.

    Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and I. Lewis Libby and others within the Bush Administration are Zionist who agenda has been to use the U.S. Military to expand Israeli hegemony in the Middle East.

    The points is the left has been promoting that the motive for the Iraq War is for Oil and Corporatism backed by the argument that Bush and Chaney are “oilmen”. However by that same logic one can argue that the war on Iraq is for Zionism because Wolfowitz, Feith, Libby, Elliot Abrams, et. al., are members of the Administration. The question is why is this aspect being repressed by the left when in fact Zionism which advance both racism and militarism. Any consideration of OVERLAPPING interest (Zionism, oil, militarism) is also being obscured by the left using “Imperialism” as a vague moniker.

    However the use of Bush and Chaney’s as “oilmen” is a canard advanced by the left to divert suspicions from Zionism…

    The widely-shared but erroneous view that recent U.S. wars of choice are driven by oil concerns is partly due to precedence: the fact that for a long time military force was key to colonial or imperialist control and exploitation of foreign markets and resources, including oil. It is also partly due to perception: the exaggerated notion that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney were “oil men” before coming to the White House. But, as noted earlier, George W. Bush was never more than an ineffective minor oil prospector and Dick Cheney was never really an oil man; he headed the notorious Halliburton company that sold (and still sells) services to oil companies and the Pentagon.

    But the major reason for the persistence of this pervasive myth seems to stem from certain deliberate efforts that are designed to perpetuate the legend in order to camouflage some real economic and geopolitical special interests that drive U.S. military adventures in the Middle East. There is evidence that both the military-industrial complex and hard-line Zionist proponents of “greater Israel” disingenuously use oil (as an issue of national interest) in order to disguise their own nefarious special interests and objectives: justification of continued expansion of military spending, extension of sales markets for military hardware, and recasting the geopolitical map of the Middle East in favor of Israel.

    It has been well documented that the oil company were against the war on Iraq. You can look back to the Economist magazine around 2003 for reference. Many arguments being advance by the left that the main motive for the war on Iraq was from oil has been mostly conjecture. Those that have argue otherwise because their arguments are NOT part of the mainstream typically have to provide reference to support their arguments. Dr. Petras has and well as Ismael Hossein Zadah. You can read his CounterPunch article for another perspective. It is well footnoted and you can verify his references.

    Finally this link offers a rebuttal to Mr. Tarnopol’s perspective regarding Chomsky’s analysis of M&W.

  10. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 12:58pm #

    evie, we may be agreeing more on this than disagreeing.

    I take exception that the ass kissing either covert or overt in previous administrations, but I think that’s a nit in the total picture. Israel was used by Reagan and provided some support during the Cold War in the ME region and with the Contras, but Reagan did not ass kiss. I have no idea what you’re referencing regarding Schultz; so you can provide a refer or fill me in out it. Without sound “clintonesque” it may come down to what you’re definition of ass kissing is. I think its fairly clear today in what we see.

  11. Reg Vernon said on July 17th, 2008 at 2:21pm #

    James Petras has his point of view – I have mine. He talks of ‘Israel’s war with Iran’ – at the moment it’s only a war of words, and he says of Iran’s enrichment of nuclear fuels, that it is an “entirely legal and non-military uranium enrichment program.” Well, that’s OK then. We don’t have anything to worry about do we? Iran is not going to all this trouble – a massive, time-sensitive and rapidly accelerating surge for acquisition of enriched nuclear fuels – simply to assert its right to possess nuclear power for the purposes of electricity generation. Apart from the fact that it can produce any amount of electricity using supplies from its oil wells, it is proposing building nuclear power stations in a country that is a geoIogical hotspot for massive earthquakes. How sensible is that?

    I just don’t think the evidence supports Petras’ view. So, on the assumption that Iran is hell-bent on acquiring nuclear weapons of its own, is that an entirely legal ambition? Of course it is. Is it, on the other hand, something we should welcome? I don’t think so.

    The dominant political assumption, based on interpretation of Iran’s behaviour, is that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons and that it should be prevented from doing so. Petras may not like it that this is so, but if he wants Iran to have the A-bomb or the H-bomb he should come out and say so instead of accusing pro-Israel lobbyists in Washington of conspiring with the American political establishment to ‘destroy’ Iran. Far from wanting to destroy Iran, the West is rightly concerned that Iran’s policies be changed away from the support of extreme Jihadist objectives, like the destabilization of Iraq, supporting pro-Syrian control of Lebanon and the training and arming of Hizbollah and Hamas in support of an extened programme of anti-Israel asymmetric warfare. Rather than being an objective polemical exercise, I interpret his article as an Anti-Israel, Anti-Zionist, Anti-Jew rant. He is giving comfort to people who want to destroy the State of Israel. If he supports that aim, let him say so. Ahmadinejab makes no secret of his desire to do so.

    Assuming Petras is wrong and everyone else is right, it would be fine if we could achieve the prevention of the acquisition of nuclear weapons by Iran solely by diplomatic means but why should President Ahmadinejab bend the knee to any demands that are not backed by a ruthless determination to prevent Iran from achieving its goal of owning nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them? In his position and with his stated political objective of destroying the Zionist entity, of destroying Israel, I would piss on the empty rhetoric of western political leaders who have demonstrated their complete ineptitude to exercise control over the Taliban in Afghanistan, or the dissident factions in Iraq, despite ‘superior’ military force.

    Israel understands better than most what is at stake and the comments by Shaul Mofaz should be understood to be a completely literal statement – Israel cannot afford for Ahmadinejab to have control over nuclear weapons and for its enemies to have superiority. Israel is not Auschwitz. Israelis will not bare their throats for the knives and submit to their own slaughter.

    Israel was born out of war. For a long time Israel was able to be the dominant power among its immediate neighbours. But its dominance has recently been lessened by its inability to prevent incessant rocket attacks from locations in the heart of contiguous civilian areas in Lebanon and Gaza. Military power has not brought Israel peace. Rather, it has simply brought respite between periods of conventional war. Now, its enemies have learned the art and tactics of asymmetric warfare and have trained and armed the militant jihadists of Hizbollah and Hamas. Today, Israel has only temporary respite from daily rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza. Sooner or later, they will commence again. Building the separation barrier had the desired effect of cutting down the frequency of suicide bombings, and economic sanctions against Gazans has brought Hamas to the negotiating table, but in both cases, only because it is expedient for Hizbollah and Hamas to hold their fire for a while.

    It seems to me that unless and until Israel and the Palestinians achieve reconciliation, and there is a political settlement which satisfies all parties, it will be impossible to hold back those who use the ‘plight’ of the Palestinians to justify their attempts to eliminate the so-called ‘cancer’ of the Jewish state from the sacred soil of Arabia. Even then, who truly believes that a Palestinian nation-state will not at some time in the future not resume its desire to repossess ancestral lands? Of course, the Jewish claim to ancestral lands, nurtured for over two thousand years, does not matter and we should not give it a moment’s further thought.

    Perhaps Israel is fortunate that it, currently, has a powerful ally in the United States of America. It was certainly so in 1973 when it needed a massive airlift of munitions to enable it to prevail in the Yom Kippur War. Nor should we be either surprised by, or too critical of, American Jews trying to exercise influence in the corridors of power. As long as US-objectives are shared with those of Israel, American Jews are not being disloyal to their country, nor are they displaying divided loyalties.

    The geopolitical-strategic objectives of the United States are not at the behest of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington – America’s objectives are its own. The pro-Israel lobby is effective because it is a broad coalition, not solely comprising Jews and not necessarily pro-Zionist either. Many Jews are anti-Zionist but still pro-Israel. It’s just as well that Israel has some friends in the world – I can remember times when Israel was hard put to get the arms it needed from anywhere else, hence the necessary development of its own battle tanks, military aircraft and military satellites.

    However, if Iran is to be prevented from acquiring nuclear weapons, then sanctions have to work – is the author saying that he doesn’t mind if Iran possesses these kinds of weapons? Does he think that Ahmadinejab won’t destroy Tel-Aviv in a pre-emptive strike and then suggest that all the remaining Israelis leave for the United States, or anywhere that will give them sanctuary, or else?

    Let’s be clear. Israel will not need to attack Iran and destroy its 3500 centrifuges and all associated infrastructure, laboratories etc, if Iran submits to inspection and agrees to eschew policies that lead to nuclear weapon capacity – but it doesn’t look like they are willing to do that. Maybe sanctions will change their minds. Somehow, I don’t think so. I can’t remember a case when they have been all that effective. To be effective in the time available, they would have to be uniformly applied – by force if necessary; total in scope – in order to affect every aspect of Iranian life, and even then, Ahmadinejab and his supporters will bide their time, evade sanctions by every means available to them (and there will always be holes in the fence) until finally, they will be able to cock a snook at the rest of the world and say “too late, fellas – we have the power.” Regime change in Iran stands a better chance. Is this what Petras alludes to when he talks of a conspiracy to ‘destroy’ Iran? Ahmadinejab doesn’t have 100% support in his own country. Peaceful regime change might achieve a solution – why not try to achieve it?

    We should make the effort to achieve peace and reconciliation in the Middle East. Diplomacy, backed by effective sanctions against Iran, might give us a breathing space. But anti-Israel sentiment won’t win this argument.
    Politics might – if it gets a chance. And that means facilitating dialogue and giving Palestinians and Jihadists reasons to abandon their desire to put the clock back to 1900 and restore the Caliphate.

  12. The Fanonite said on July 17th, 2008 at 2:42pm #

    DT:

    Chomsky actually argues that Walt and Mearsheimer define the “lobby” too strictly: it includes, as he has argued for 40 years, just about all elements of the intelligentsia, for reasons having mostly to do with sixties uprisings and “Vietnam syndrome”; large sectors of high-tech industry, including military-tech companies; and, yes, groups like AIPAC, et al, who do have a lot of swing in Washington.

    What a load of crap. The intelligentsia, unless by that you mean the influential Jewish columnists ensconced in prominent places in the media, has been complaining that its voice is stifled on the question of I-P. Last year poll results confirmed this as the majority academics found they were unable to speak openly on the issue without jeopardizing their careers. You also seem to unaware of the history of the cold war and the neocon committee on present danger’s role in reviving the arms race, primarily because detente was jeopardizing military support to Israel at risk. Ever heard of Team B?

    a key reason Chomsky disagrees with M&W is because they do not do enough to dissociate US elite interests from those of the lobby, and moreover that M&W’s realist background prevent them from seeing that there is no such thing as a “national interest” — which is why I use the modifier “elite.”

    More crap. As a matter of fact, there is no such thing as a unitary US elite. The oil interests, represented by chief spokesman for Big Oil, James Baker, were in fact opposed to the war. So were cold-warriors such as Zbig Brzezinski et al. So was the military. So was the State Department.

    A strike on Iran would shoot the price of oil through the roof. Should we not be a tad suspicious that an oil-man administration might not want to give that gift to, actually, itself, as well as its cronies?

    ‘oil man’ administration? Who’s the oil man? The oil man administration was Bush 41, and we know very well what its position is not just on Iran, but also on Iraq.

    A humiliated Israeli administration might …use a strike on Iran to hit Hezbollah again.

    Yes, Israel and its friends in the US are the only visible forces pushing for the war, but thats the most ridiculous explanation I’ve heard it. Hitting Iran as a cover to attack Hizbullah? Thats the same as saying Kennedy wanted to bomb USSR in order to attack Cuba under its cover.

    Yes, whatever their reasons, the Israeli government do motivate their allies in the US to pressure Congress via AIPAC, etc.

    He says that? Can you point out where?

    It’s a piece of the puzzle, as Chomsky and others have acknowledged, and long before the Israel Lobby was a sexy topic.

    Hmmm,… now what is a ‘sexy topic’? The Israel Lobby was always an important issue, and many were talking about it; except the so called ‘left’ was too complacent in its dogma to allow facts to intervene.

    The key US elite interest is maintaining control over the world’s largest and most easily extracted oil supply, not protecting Israel, which it will use or abuse for its own purposes.

    Argh. And is that why oil men like Bush Sr., James Baker, Brent Scowcroft and Larry Eagleburger opposed the war?

    And the way to maintain control is to create instability across the whole region and jeopardize even existing oil supplies? Iraq is already negotiating Saddam era deals with the Chinese government. So much for controlling oil. And the much touted oil law is not worth the paper its written on, as Patrick Cockburn has repeatedly pointed out.

    When was the last time US ‘used and abused’ Israel?

    Chomsky has defended his good friend Norman Finkelstein, as well as Said and others, against people like Dershowitz for years now, so it’s a bit rich to accuse him of somehow aiding in or standing idly by the worrisome crackdown by the Horowitz/Dershowitz types.

    If you don’t identify the source of the witchhunts — i.e., the Israel Lobby, then that kind of symbolic support has limited value at best.

    If anything, the cracks in the “love affair” between the US elite and Israel are widening: nothing different in the AIPAC conference — except that it was widely and critically covered. That’s what’s new.

    Nothing different, yes. So why is it only this year that it is receiving critical coverage? Might it be because of the courage shown by two professors in putting their reputations/careers on line to open up the debate?

    No, the Noamster isn’t a god

    Whats a noamster?

    MS

    US Militarist (not to be confused with the US Military) are still in charge and their mission is in confluence with AIPAC and Israel in the Middle East Region.

    Who are the US Militarists — can you provide some names?

    But make no mistake it is the US who holds the upper hand, and as the US sinks, so will Israel, not the other way around.

    No Shit. Ever heard of a ship named USS Liberty?

  13. Michael Dawson said on July 17th, 2008 at 2:52pm #

    If Israel weren’t next door to the oil powers, how much influence would Israel and its Zionism have in the USA?

    Probably just about as much as Irish nationalism has.

    This is a mega-stupid argument that mistakes the trees for the forest and mangles not only Chomsky and Moyers, but reality.

    P.S. As Chomsky always says, the task is speaking truth ABOUT power, not TO power. Power ain’t listening and isn’t interested in truth.

    P.P.S. I’m with Evie on the issue of trying to blame the pebble of Israel for the mountain that is US imperialism. Silly stuff, especially for somebody who “owns a 50-year membership in the class struggle.” Israel is merely our main aircraft carrier.

  14. dan e said on July 17th, 2008 at 2:57pm #

    Petras: brilliant mind, fantastic capacity to absorb data, reproduce when needed. Sees exactly what is going on at the top level; in print so far ignores the details of “left”, “antiwar”, “progressive dumock rat” PDA/UFPJ/ANSWER complicity in peddling “War For Oil” snowjob.

    But does best job of anybody providing detailed evidence of Zionist seizure of Hegemony over other fractions/factions of Imperial Ruling Class. Sloppy punctuation/spelling etc should not obscure vast knowledge base/acute insight into actual current conditions.

    “Evie”, “Max”, “Turnopol ” et al: rats. Specializing in trying to invoke all the Social Democrat/Trotstyike pseudo-“Marxist” crap peddled for yrs by CC-DS, Carl Davidson, Mark Solomon, “Democratic Socalledists of America/Duane Campbell & other Histadrut fans etc etc, about how anybody who notices the Izzy Lobby’s nakedness is diverting attn from their outdated dogmas.These people & their abstraction derived “theories” based on nothing but some ancient texts violate the first principle of Karl Marx’s approach: The Concrete Analysis of Concrete Conditions.

    Look at that which is HAPPENING, not at your preconceptions. Look at WHO has done WHAT, & stop all the mindreading & “kremlinwatching” of some abstract “Capitalism”. In “the current conjuncture”, Actually Existing Capitalism is being run by Jews;
    that is, by a certain fraction of the US Jewish population plus allies in Izzylandia, Euro. & a few elsewhere. For crysake turn on yr g. d. TV set, 900 lb gorilla is right there for you to see. all day long every day. Bernanke, Paulson, John F Lehman, Alan Greenspan’s ol’ lady, Wolf Blitzer, on and on and on.

    BTW Zionism took full control of the Demock Rat Pty when Bob Strauss took over as DNC chair.

  15. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 3:01pm #

    “dan e”

    piece of work! (:

  16. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 3:18pm #

    The Fanonite et al,

    Forget about Chomsky being a Jew for a moment and read what he says.

    With that, Doug Tarnopol, is on the money. Chomsky’s argument is not that Israel and AIPAC are not war criminals. His argument, and it runs through everything he has written, is that US history is wrought with vulger imperialism which has bloodied the world. The US is not the first, but it is the one who was spawned during its birth beginning 400 years ago, and through its early documents of Manifest Destiny and Monroe. The killing fields and death squads that ravaged central and south America, the similar death squads in South East Asia and Africa and now in Iraq led by mercenaries whose “leadership” was hatched in the low intensity barbarism of El Salvidor (Spanish of Vietnam), Nicaragua, Guatemala, Cuba, and on and on. Than there is the colonizatin of US cities. This is not the hand of Israeli Zionism nor is it an excuse for the bloody apartheid of the Palestinian people at the hands of the outlaw nation – Israel. But a sane mind doesn’t conflate the insanity by making it seem as if the dog on the leash makes the man with the gun go bang.

  17. Mukarji said on July 17th, 2008 at 3:41pm #

    I think a discussion of this issue is always filtered by the need to not be accused of being anti Semitic. Jeff Blankfort has called Chomsky and much of the anti war movement….”soft Zionists” who are afraid to look at the power of the lobby and the destruction it has achieved in the middle east. Petras in previous articles has shown how the Zionists and their supporters have infiltrated the institutions in this country to determine foreign policy in the Middle East. This is not to side step the imperial nature of the state but to show how with regard to the middle east the Zionists are the ones making the decisions and framing the discussion even against the interests of capital.
    With regard to Chomsky I think Jeff really has hit the nail on the head in this piece…
    http://www.ifamericansknew.org/us_ints/pg-blankfort.html

  18. Deadbeat said on July 17th, 2008 at 4:16pm #

    To continue to masquerade as ‘war critics’ while ignoring the central role of the Zionist Power Configuration makes pundits like Chomsky, Moyers and Powers and their acolytes irrelevant to the anti-war struggle. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Petras brings home the root of why the “left” dismantled the anti-war movement in 2003-2004 and ran behind warmonger John Kerry. In addition the Black Agenda Report support for McKinney is dubious as she supported Bush’s Afghanistan War and there is no accountability from the “left” for her vote supporting Bush’s authorization for that awful action.

    This highlights the dubious and hypocrisies coming from the left best illustrated by Max Shield on this blog. They profess to the on the “left” but fails to adhere the principle that are typically associated with the left: Truth, Justice, Fairness, Equality, and Democracy.

    You cannot ignore Zionism or expend energies trying to camouflage this awful racist/militaristic aspect ideology that engulfs the United States political economy and then claim to be of the “left”. That is hypocrisy. That is dishonesty. And that will only interfere and retard solidarity.

    And that appears to be the agenda of the prototypical Max Shields.

  19. hp said on July 17th, 2008 at 4:21pm #

    This article could have been written two thousand years ago and in practically every nation in every century since.

    Ask Cicero. Ask Seneca. Ask Napoleon. Ask Franklin. Ask U.S. Grant. Ask Andrew Jackson. And on and on and on.

    “Let me issue and control a nation’s money supply and I care not who makes its laws.”
    Rothschild

    The Rothschilds also bear the title “Guardians of the Vatican Treasury.”

  20. The Fanonite said on July 17th, 2008 at 4:23pm #

    MD

    If Israel weren’t next door to the oil powers, how much influence would Israel and its Zionism have in the USA?

    So is Azerbaijan. Can you remind me exactly how many billions US has sent there? But more importantly, can you tell me again exactly how Israel’s proximity to oil helps US?

    And please spare me the recycled dogma. Speak in specifics, and produce evidence. I suggest you give it a minute of thought before you mouth off again.

    Max Shields

    The Fanonite et al,

    Forget about Chomsky being a Jew for a moment and read what he says.

    A ‘dissident’ pulling an Abe Foxman on us, I see. So you are imputing antisemitism here? I suggest you pull your head out of your ass and substantiate your innuendo, or shut up. What has my argument got to do with Chomsky being a Jew, Buddhist, Vegetarian etc?

    US history is wrought with vulger imperialism which has bloodied the world.

    And is Petras arguing otherwise?

    But tell me this: is Imperialism a naturally occuring phenomena, like wind or drought? If not, who determines its course? And do you also object to United Fruit being identified as being the entity behind the overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz?

  21. Deadbeat said on July 17th, 2008 at 4:28pm #

    Fanonite,

    Thanks for an excellent rebuttal and deconstruction of Tarnopol’s arguments.

    Deadbeat.

  22. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 4:32pm #

    Mukarji, I think this view that your link – Jeffrey Blankfort – simply restates the same point that Petras has made. It doesn’t really create anything more than a simplistic picture. In so many words: Israel has had its way with Palestinians because Jews who say they’re against Israel’s apartheid are really not and so are gumming up the works to ensure that the crimes against humanity continue with impunity. Perhaps it’s true but there is nothing in Mr. Blankfort’s article that provides anything beyond conjecture. And this is pretty much true of all of what the article says.

    You can agree with it because it “sounds” true. And that is your prerogative, but it doesn’t make it true. One can certainly argue with Chomsky, but to do so because you think he’s covering for Israel needs to have much more than what Blankfort or Petrias is offering.

    Again, if you simply suspend judgement on Chomsky’s “motives” and argue what he is saying, then you’re making a case that’s worthy of attention (though I’ve already given much here). But to only assume that a Jew is covering for AIPAC and Israel leaves us with this: American imperialism has nothing to do with the way the US acts in ME and the rest of the world ; US has no reliable MO to give crediance to the power it is exerting in the ME and in partnership (and I would argue it is not an equal partnership, but with US holding the real power = Israel exists at the mercy of US veto and overarching regional hegemony) with Israel.

    If Chomsky has made too strong a case for American hegemony in the ME than fine; but I’m not convinced that he has tipped the scales to the extent that one could say he is simply “protecting” AIPAC or Israel.

    A simple look at history will show that the preditory nature of our empire and the economics that guide it are very much at the root of what we see throughout the world; other vultures, such as Israel are simply part of the game. Perhaps the US’s endless wars have caught up with it and the last bird of prey – Israel – is taking the last bit of meat off the carcass.

  23. Deadbeat said on July 17th, 2008 at 4:44pm #

    Dan e writes…

    “Evie”, “Max”, “Turnopol ” et al: rats. Specializing in trying to invoke all the Social Democrat/Trotstyike pseudo-”Marxist” crap peddled for yrs by CC-DS, Carl Davidson, Mark Solomon, “Democratic Socalledists of America/Duane Campbell & other Histadrut fans etc etc, about how anybody who notices the Izzy Lobby’s nakedness is diverting attn from their outdated dogmas. These people & their abstraction derived “theories” based on nothing but some ancient texts violate the first principle of Karl Marx’s approach: The Concrete Analysis of Concrete Conditions.

    For crysake turn on yr g. d. TV set , 900 lb gorilla is right there for you to see. all day long every day. Bernanke, Paulson, John F Lehman, Alan Greenspan’s ol’ lady, Wolf Blitzer, on and on and on.

    Dan,

    You state it as plainly as possible … Turn On your g.d. TV. The evidence right in front of the people.

  24. Deadbeat said on July 17th, 2008 at 5:06pm #

    Max writes…

    But to only assume that a Jew is covering for AIPAC and Israel leaves us with this: American imperialism has nothing to do with the way the US acts in ME and the rest of the world ; US has no reliable MO to give crediance to the power it is exerting in the ME and in partnership (and I would argue it is not an equal partnership, but with US holding the real power = Israel exists at the mercy of US veto and overarching regional hegemony) with Israel.

    The constant refrain is to use the term “American imperialism” which is vague to obscure Zionism role in the perpetuation of U.S. actions in the Middle East. This is unfortunate because rather than to provide clarity as has Mershimer and Walt did with their book, Chomsky chose to deflect that reject their analysis and has done so for years. This is why Blankfort has been critical of Chomsky for the past 20 some years.

    Max’s arguments that is often promoted by those on the “left” to obscure the issue goes like this:

    “How can little tiny Israel control the policy of {big/huge/powerful} United Stated.”. Another argument is that Israel is a proxy for the U.S. Imperialism in the Middle East.

    The first argument uses ridicule and shift the focus away from Zionism’s grip on the U.S. political economy to Israel as a nation. Zionism is an ideology that has powerful supporters in the United States. Many of these supporters are powerful U.S. citizens who have placed Israel interest well above domestic interests.

    The second argument ironically shift the focus to the U.S. but seeks to conflate an anachronistic notion “imperialism” in order to obscure Zionism as an influential part of today’s “imperialism”.

    Both arguments are design to obscure or to camouflage the influence and the role of Zionism especially in the War on Iraq.

    This is the reason you’ve seen a plethora of so-called “left-wing” writers like Naomi Klein and others seeming to find all kind of rhetorical phrases possible in order to cover-up the role of Zionism. For Klein it is “Disaster Capitalism” or “Shock Doctrine”. For many on the “left” it is “War for Oil”.

    If these people suppose to represent the “left” they are extremely dishonest and their agenda seeks to divide the people and to keep the people off balance and clearly sows distrust and disorganization.

    As such solidarity is weak and if solidarity is weak there will be no possibility of any kind of challenge to the status quo.

    Thanks goodness for people like Dr. Petras, Jeffrey Blankfort, Joel Kovel, Ismael Zadeh, et.al whose writers are providing us with an antidote to the deception by the phonies and hypocrites on the “left”.

  25. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 6:14pm #

    Deadbeat,

    Since you rarely respond except when you think you’ve got the last word, I don’t expect much from you as has been true every time you post.

    …But I’ll play a long.

    So, what’s your plan? How we going to defeat American Zionists and their master Israeli Zionists? Who are we going to wipe out to make sure we’ve stamped all the Zionism off the face of the Earth and released Ameerica from is captor?

    Give me your Solidarity Plan, Mr. Deadbeat. How about your website and contact info for recruits?

  26. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 6:28pm #

    I suppose, my request is just another Zionist or “faux” leftist ploy to trap you from your plans. You’ve got it all so neatly packaged, errily, you sound so like your enemy “Zionist”. The Zionist are always telling these stories about how Israel was given to them by God and how the Palestinians agreed with this and so marched off to leave the Zionist with all the land…and then the Palestinians came back as terrorists…blah blah blah blah.

    I’m not going to defend Chomsky or Klein because where they are weakest you don’t even care. You’re concern is that they are blocking the view – Zionists and their AIPAC are running the world.

    And corporatists and 700+ bases world wide manned by US cavalry is just a hoax for the real down and dirty truth.

    Still I await your reply on your plan…

  27. evie said on July 17th, 2008 at 6:35pm #

    Max
    George Schultz (Board member of the Bechtel Group, Inc., former Chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq), was Sec. of State both Reagan terms – he assured AIPAC often that Ronnie was kissing. The media simply did not report it the same way it is reported today – nor did the pseudo-left point to it as the boogyman of US foreign policy.

    As for the person above saying turn on the TV – turn it OFF. It’s 100% b.s. all day every day. Jewish surnames do not prove Jews/Zionists control the US.

    Profit runs US policy. Profit runs the world. I repeat myself – but at the end of the day the ruling class, white, black, brown, Jew, Gentile, Muslim, will walk off as friends into the sunset, arm and arm – dividing up the profits accordingly.

    The writers/mouthpieces on the “left” as well as those on the “right” are all sanctioned, employed gasbags, rooks, bishops, knights, pawns, on the grand chess board – churning out more or less the same rhetorical wing-leaning shit for every generation of “little people”. And the damn ruling class even profits off that, as the sheople ffans buy their books and cheer them on, calling them truthsayers. Why think for self when such respectable folks can give you your opinion.

  28. Max Shields said on July 17th, 2008 at 7:56pm #

    The Fanonite
    First, cool down. I’m not calling or insuating you’re anti-semitic. That’s hardly my point. But to one of your statements;

    “Can you remind me exactly how many billions US has sent there? But more importantly, can you tell me again exactly how Israel’s proximity to oil helps US?

    And please spare me the recycled dogma. Speak in specifics, and produce evidence. I suggest you give it a minute of thought before you mouth off again. ”

    You say Israel ensconsed as it is in the Middle East as a Western creation and bonifide client state to the US and has (and had) no strategic value to the US in regards to the ME? Is that what you’re proposing?

    But to the billions of 21st Century dollars. How does it compare with inflation to the cost of a 15 year war in Vietnam? I think you’ll agree Israel and Zionism did not provoke that war. When was this country not at war or creating war, conflict and mayham all consuming endless dollars?

    If you are one of the few who do not believe that the US is an empire who has rained terror throughout the world and where that terror had no connection whatsoever with Zionism, than “sir” I nor anyone else will provide you with your demand for “evidence”.

    The argument is in your mind and the cult that conflates one evil with another and says they are one and the same.

    evie, I appreciate your responding to the Shultz question. My sense, and I’m no expert on Shultz, is that he was not so much moved by AIPAC but his own failings in negotiating a peace in Lebanon. He was at best a reluctant supporter and did not take the job of SoS as a strong supporter of Israel.

    Again, there is no denying the tie between US and Israel. There is just to much complexity in that area to over simplify it with one narrative as Petras and some of the posters here continue to do at every turn.

    I don’t think oil is the only reason, but it’s a big one not just because of US demand, but because of mounting world demand. But there are many militarist strategic reasons for wanting to control access in the ME (and else where).

  29. evie said on July 17th, 2008 at 8:17pm #

    Agree Max.

    Profit and geography. Hasn’t that always been the goal of any and every empire.

  30. bozhidar balkas said on July 18th, 2008 at 5:56am #

    evie,
    yes, i agree. plutos, for many reasons/factors, r united like never before.
    to a degree that both the nationalism and history r dying or soon to be in toto irrelevant.
    as u said nothing has changed on int’l and personal levels.
    deceiving, threatening, attacking, lying, beating, killings, exploiting go on. and sheople keep on grazing
    thank u.

  31. The Fanonite said on July 18th, 2008 at 5:56am #

    You say Israel ensconsed as it is in the Middle East as a Western creation and bonifide client state to the US and has (and had) no strategic value to the US in regards to the ME? Is that what you’re proposing?

    Yes. On the contrary, it is a known strategic liability, and has even passed US military secrets to the Soviets, as revealed by Sy Hersh.

    But to the billions of 21st Century dollars. How does it compare with inflation to the cost of a 15 year war in Vietnam?

    Red herring? Who’s talking Vietnam here?

    I think you’ll agree Israel and Zionism did not provoke that war.

    They didn’t cause Hurricane Katrina as well. But we are not discussing that here.

    If you are one of the few who do not believe that the US is an empire who has rained terror throughout the world and where that terror had no connection whatsoever with Zionism,

    Am I? More strawmen?

    than “sir” I nor anyone else will provide you with your demand for “evidence”.

    Hah. So thats your pathetic strategem for evading the argument? First impute things to me that I haven’t said or even suggested, and then use the strawman as an excuse for relieving yourself of the responsibility of producing evidence? Sad.

    Again, there is no denying the tie between US and Israel. There is just to much complexity in that area to over simplify it with one narrative as Petras and some of the posters here continue to do at every turn.

    In academia the word ‘complexity’ is usually an escape clause, when someone is caught making a defective arugment. Since you are implying familiarity with these complexities, how about explaining them?

    But there are many militarist strategic reasons for wanting to control access in the ME (and else where).

    And presumably people like Brzezinski, Baker, Scowcroft are too pink to understand these ‘militarist strategic reasons’?

  32. bozhidar balkas said on July 18th, 2008 at 6:11am #

    max, fanonite,
    let’s simplify it!
    birds of a feather flock together.
    if one does good or thinks one is doing good things, any support one receives is welcome.
    support for one’s doings/thinking feels very good.
    when one does crime on int’l level, one welcomes very much any support, even from other nations who do the crime.
    israel needs support badly. so does UK, france, et al.
    as i have said, israel (max says the same thing) could have never existed w.o judeo-christian world’s diplomatic-miltary-financial support.
    do not zionists know that? now the question, who controls whom?
    who the hell cares? or, rather, everyon e to own interpretation of the facts i posited thank u

  33. Max Shields said on July 18th, 2008 at 6:43am #

    The Fanonite
    “But to the billions of 21st Century dollars. How does it compare with inflation to the cost of a 15 year war in Vietnam?
    Red herring? Who’s talking Vietnam here?
    I think you’ll agree Israel and Zionism did not provoke that war.
    They didn’t cause Hurricane Katrina as well. But we are not discussing that here.”

    You’re purposefully talking past my arguments. You indicated that the US has burned billions/tillions in Iraq – true – and why would the US do such a thing if there wasn’t some “other” motivation – zionism – at work [I’m paraphrasing]. Vietnam simply provides a benchmark for the kind of endless military industrial complex spending that has been going on regardless of what region in the world US deploys its military force.

    No red herring. No strawman. Simply trying to present a cogent example of US imperial history right up to the present.

    If you agree that the US empire has and does exist than we’re nearly complete in understanding the world from a unipower perspective.

    I’m not saying for one minute the criminal state of Israel should get off the hook for the genocide and barbarism they’ve created in the region. That said, we run the risk of overstating Israel and AIPAC/Zionism’s role in US foreign policy.

    Now when we take the statement I just made (similar to Chomsky – though there’s much I disagree with Chomsky on), posters like Deadbeat and dan e call me a zionist sympathizer or a leftist mouthpiece for zionism. (I’ve used my own phrasing here because I really don’t want to go through their posts for quotes.) It is this extreme reaction that is the RED HERRING. It moves us away from US culpability to Zionism as the sole reason. It is that danger of mis-understanding (for whatever reason) that leads one to compartmentalize all problems simply labeling them: ZIONISM.

    And then, still haven’t heard from Deadbeat, there is no real vision that you all are espousing. It’s all about pounding your fist and demanding that we all wake up and do SOMETHING?????

    Zionism, corportism, fascism, capitalism, imperialism, empirism all need to reduced to non-existence; or mitigated to the point of some kind of containment. But that doesn’t happen through head on fist pounding. The Dominant narrative propels these forces daily. That is what needs to be changed and it can only happen when we stop giving these ideology power and starting putting our power into an alternative.

    We know that whatever we call the aggressive dominance and sometime eradication of a people by another is the PROBLEM. The isms get in the way of solving it.

  34. The Fanonite said on July 18th, 2008 at 7:48am #

    You indicated that the US has burned billions/tillions in Iraq – true – and why would the US do such a thing if there wasn’t some “other” motivation – zionism – at work [I’m paraphrasing].

    I also indicated that Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown at the behest of United Fruit. You want to dispute that as well? Does government run on autopilot, with no forces shaping its policy? Are these forces unanimous? If so, you haven’t answered why Baker, Brzezinski, DoS, Military et al would be opposed to it?

    Vietnam simply provides a benchmark for the kind of endless military industrial complex spending that has been going on regardless of what region in the world US deploys its military force.

    Vietnam also had an aftermath, it was called ‘detente’. Ever heard of it? Know who helped reverse it? Do you know why? Or are you gonna tell me that Kissinger and Nixon were pinko peacenik vegetarians who were oblivious to their assigned roles as the guardians of empire?

    If you agree that the US empire has and does exist than we’re nearly complete in understanding the world from a unipower perspective.

    No we are not. As I pointed out earlier, imperialism is not a naturally occurring phenomena. It requires agency. In the case of Guatemala it was United Fruit, in the case of Mossadegh it was British petroleum, in the case of Iraq it was the Israel lobby.

    That said, we run the risk of overstating Israel and AIPAC/Zionism’s role in US foreign policy.

    Overstating? We are speaking about policy that has resulted in the deaths more than a million innocent Iraqis, and you think assigning responsibility is ‘overstating’? So tell me this, who is pushing for war against Iran? And I don’t want vague recycled dogma; I want specific examples.

    It moves us away from US culpability to Zionism as the sole reason. It is that danger of mis-understanding (for whatever reason) that leads one to compartmentalize all problems simply labeling them: ZIONISM.

    All problems? We are only discussing a specific issue here. Yes, this is a red herring.

    Zionism, corportism, fascism, capitalism, imperialism, empirism all need to reduced to non-existence; or mitigated to the point of some kind of containment. But that doesn’t happen through head on fist pounding.

    Nope, it happens through honest, principled appraisal of the forces at work and challenging them. If a war with Iran has not already happened it isn’t because Chomsky or someone discovered Iran had oil; it is because people like Mearsheimer, Walt, Carter, Chris Hedges etc have created the space where for the first time the lobby is being discussed in open and it is emboldening those who are opposed to the madness into speaking out. The war hasn’t happened because of the NIE among other things, or Fallon, or Mullen — and they are only able to speak because someone has for the first time provided the cover. Why can’t the so called ‘left’ have the honesty of Sy Hersh, who was pretty clear when he said on Democracy Now that the belligerence towards Iran was being driven by a single factor: the lobby. Here is what he said: “Money. A lot of the Jewish money from New York. Come on, let’s not kid about it. A significant percentage of Jewish money, and many leading American Jews support the Israeli position that Iran is an existential threat. And I think it’s as simple as that. “

  35. Max Shields said on July 18th, 2008 at 9:02am #

    The Fanonite ,

    talk about red herrings. You’re nothing but one long diatribe of a servies of red herring arguments with yourself.

    I’ll just leave it at that.

  36. The Fanonite said on July 18th, 2008 at 9:24am #

    talk about red herrings. You’re nothing but one long diatribe of a servies of red herring arguments with yourself.

    I’ll just leave it at that.

    Ah, the inevitable whimper. Cute! :)

  37. The Fanonite said on July 18th, 2008 at 9:32am #

    As always, Professor Petras’s racism and ignorance of the outside world trips him up!

    Woah! Like bird-droppings Michael Kenny lands in the middle of a conversation from out of nowhere and splatters shit in all direction. ‘Racim and ignorance’ eh? Now how about pointing to specific instances of this? Otherwise I suggest you retract and apologize.

  38. Deadbeat said on July 18th, 2008 at 12:55pm #

    Condescension, Ridicule, Dismissive, and Conjecture are all fallacious tactics used by those who desire to dissuade the people from the truth. This is why it is necessary for courage intellectuals like Dr. Petras to footnote and provide references for all of the arguments.

    Dr. Petras’ perspectives are not those you will typically find in the mainstream. What makes the effort even more difficult is that the supposed “left” have been willing accomplices in the effort to obscure and camoflage Zionism powerful influence of the American political economy.

    What is deplorable has been those voices on the “left” who even went as far as to demobilize the antiwar movement in order to prevent people from raising uncomfortable questions regarding Zionism’s influence.

    The left is suppose to represent and uphold principles of trust, justice, equality, fairness and democracy but unfortunately many on the left are much more form than substance. It is the lack of substance and adherence to aforementioned principles that exposes them as frauds as well as retarded and setback solidarity overall.

  39. Ekosmo said on July 18th, 2008 at 1:06pm #

    …and so the Nth Ay-murkan “progressive movement’s” internecine warfare and divisive fratricide continues unabated, with this particularly unedifying cameo now appearing on these pages…

    Its my opinion that much of the tired, moth-eaten, threadbare, time and energy-consuming analyzes above belong in the garbage bin, along with the still ubiquitous “who killed Kennedy”, or “was 9/11 an Inside Job” grand inquisitions…

    Who really gives a hoot about what Chomsky, or Zunes, or Blankfort, or Meirs & Walt, or Sy Hersh, or Jimmy Carter, or similar “heretics” or “shining lights” — depending on your particular agenda or preconceived partisan notions — said on some or other occasion that categorically proves or disproves their loyalty or disloyalty — hidden or otherwise — to Israel and/or to the “Zionist Power Configuration”…?

    If pressed outa my abject disinterest, I’d say I’m closer to Max S. than anyone else — so does that make me a “Zionist troll” or a “Left-Zionist sympathizer” or summin else altogether…?

    With more, much more important things tuh be gettin’ on with — other than this seemingly endless speculative and inconclusive hot air… hot air I might add that Petras articles increasingly seem to provoke — one thing’s for sure…

    Zionist support-systems reading the above “debate” must be chuckling into their chutzpah with an unmitigated glee… !!!

  40. Max Shields said on July 18th, 2008 at 3:10pm #

    “What is deplorable has been those voices on the “left” who even went as far as to demobilize the antiwar movement in order to prevent people from raising uncomfortable questions regarding Zionism’s influence.”

    And what were you doing to stop this war? I mean besides talking about some fictious left.

  41. Max Shields said on July 18th, 2008 at 3:12pm #

    Deadbeat, so again, what’s your plan? This is the third time I’m asking.

  42. bozhidar balkas said on July 18th, 2008 at 4:02pm #

    deadbeat,
    perhaps the label “Left” in US is not the Left in canada.
    i belong to the vancouver org, StopWar.ca.
    most, or maybe all of the members, r Leftists. we vigorously condemn israel/canada/US/nato.
    i come across statement saying that the Left in US has not done much to protest US/Isr’s wars/oppression.
    so it must be a diff’t left which has abandoned protests against nato/isr/us.
    we in vancouver haven’t. in march of ’03 we had ab 10-15 marchers. even now we get ab 500.
    thank u

  43. The Fanonite said on July 18th, 2008 at 4:29pm #

    Who really gives a hoot about what Chomsky, or Zunes, or Blankfort, or Meirs & Walt, or Sy Hersh, or Jimmy Carter, or similar “heretics” or “shining lights” — depending on your particular agenda or preconceived partisan notions — said on some or other occasion that categorically proves or disproves their loyalty or disloyalty — hidden or otherwise — to Israel and/or to the “Zionist Power Configuration”…?

    Welcome, you are the third arse to arrive on this thread with his head carefully protected from the malign influence of facts up his posterior. The only people discussing personalities are those you say you agree with. I only do facts. Have you any to support your position, or challenge Petras’s? Come on, now. You say you are big boy who is impervious to ‘preconceived partisan notions’ (whatever those are supposed to be). Share some of that exalted wisdom.

    If pressed outa my abject disinterest, I’d say I’m closer to Max S. than anyone else — so does that make me a “Zionist troll” or a “Left-Zionist sympathizer” or summin else altogether…?

    Yawn!

    You could have skipped the preamble then.

    With more, much more important things tuh be gettin’ on with — other than this seemingly endless speculative and inconclusive hot air… hot air I might add that Petras articles increasingly seem to provoke — one thing’s for sure…

    On the contrary, all the ‘hot air’ generated on this thread is yours and Max Shield’s only. The rest are here only to discuss issues. You appear obsessed with personalities.

  44. Deadbeat said on July 18th, 2008 at 7:53pm #

    Max writes…

    I’m not saying for one minute the criminal state of Israel should get off the hook for the genocide and barbarism they’ve created in the region. That said, we run the risk of overstating Israel and AIPAC/Zionism’s role in US foreign policy.

    The problem is that the Left especially has gone to great length to obscure and camouflage AIPAC/Zionism’s role in the influence of U.S. Foreign Policy. The people who have spoken out ironically are former CIA agents like Bill and Cathy Christenson who have written many articles published by CounterPunch.

    However Max your main argument is what is known as the “slippery slope” fallacy. What you want listeners to believe is that Zionism cannot possibly be an aspect or better yet cannot be the major impetus of U.S. Foreign Policy because it does not follow the within the confines of your premise. And that premise is U.S. “Imperialism” or “Capitalism”.
    What allows you to continue in this vein is that the Left has confined all explanations of injustices emanating from the U.S. to these terms. Because these premises have been repeated over and over and because at times these premises are aligned with the historical record of the United States you are allowed to argue from CONJECTURE rather than from logical evidence.

    Your desire to obscure the truth Max rather than CONFRONT the truth is the best illustration in this thread of why the Left is extremely weak and fractured in the United States. And most importantly why there is very little trust and virtually NO solidarity. Without trust there can never be solidarity and there can never be any possibility for fundamental change.

    This became extremely evident during the anti-war movement of 2003 when there was a strain in the anti-war movement speaking out not only about the injustices towards the Palestinians and not just about Israeli Zionism but also about Zionism within the U.S. pushing for the war.

    Personally I too got involved in the anti-war movement listening to my leftist colleagues who were pushing the line “No War for Oil”. I too came to accept the “Imperialism” canard as well. However there was one problem with all of this — access to new information, evidence, and analysis.

    What I saw coming from the Left was the constant “War for Oil” refrain without any regard for the possibility of Zionism’s influence but most importantly deliberately ignoring intellectual and former CIA insiders and elites having no connection ideologically who were not only raising doubts about the War on Iraq but also highlighting the influence of Zionism on U.S. policy.

    Yet we saw recently an article from the ISO citing Alan Greenspan as expert on the motive for the War on Iraq. In addition to their constant War for Oil refrain. What I found dubious and dishonest was that Zionism was NEVER considered to be a factor in the run up to the War and the left was making every effort to conceal, downplay, and outright ignore this very aspect even though the main authors of Project of a Century (PNAC) were rampant throughout the Bush Administration. In fact the ISO never mention PNAC while citing Greenspan. This is not just bad journalism this is intellectual treason.

    The clear point is that the Left, and the ISO in particular, was behaving just like the Democrats: obfuscating, obscuring, camouflaging, misinforming. In other words the Left became the place where movements — in this case the anti-war movement — dies.

    And then, still haven’t heard from Deadbeat, there is no real vision that you all are espousing. It’s all about pounding your fist and demanding that we all wake up and do SOMETHING?????

    Max, clearly you haven’t read my recent comments to you. You claim that I have exposed no real vision. However I have in a response to evie in other thread.

    The vision starts with defining the principles of the left. These are very simple and basic principles: truth, justice, fairness, equality and democracy. That should be the lens that all event should been seen through and analyzed through. In order to build a movement Max, truth is the most important principle. Without truth there can be no trust and without trust there can be no solidarity and without solidarity there can be no movement.

    Trust Max is what you lack because you have chose not only to not face the truth but to expend an enormous amount of energy in order to obscure the truth. And as I said without there can be no trust and without trust there can be no solidarity and without solidarity there can be no movement.

    As Petras concludes…

    To continue to masquerade as ‘war critics’ while ignoring the central role of the Zionist Power Configuration makes pundits like Chomsky, Moyers and Powers and their acolytes irrelevant to the anti-war struggle. They are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  45. Ekosmo said on July 18th, 2008 at 8:38pm #

    The Fanon enters…

    great — somebody withan explosive new take — always welcome “round here” — and fiery, feisty ‘n hostile straight from the word ‘Go’ without even a Salaam Alekum or a by your leave …
    I could like that but the “load of crap”, the “arse/posterior”, the “[I] say [I’m] a big boy” bit […do I…?] make me pause ‘n ponder…

    I “appear obsessed with personalities”… Oh really…?
    I’m perhaps “obsessed” more with the core of what I stated: viz

    that the Nth Ay-murkan “progressive movement’s” internecine warfare and divisive fratricide continues unabated

    or the end-piece you skipped in the cut ‘n paste above:
    re. …Zionist support-systems reading the above “debate” and chuckling into their chutzpah with an unmitigated glee…”

    enlargement of the rest of the post — out from Grand Inquisitor Fanon’s “I only do facts” routine into plain, meaningful, common or garden English — might be appreciated…

    meantime, I can also do ‘Yawns’
    but you’re interesting, so I wont…

  46. evie said on July 18th, 2008 at 8:43pm #

    Deadbeat
    How does AIPAC/Zionism hold such tremendous power over US government policy?

    I agree they have influence – but so do hundreds of other lobbyists/PACs, foundations and organizations, that have nothing to do with Jews or Zionism. Ban them all.

    Also, you say “… intellectual and former CIA insiders and elites having no connection ideologically…”

    I have to say that is quite laughable. There is not now nor ever will be a “former CIA insider” who can trusted. There are a lot of low level CIA retired desk jockeys and knothead experts who are blowing smoke up butts, writing books, giving interviews. And, everyone, intellectual or not, has ideology.

    Your attention is being directed to look in a particular direction by all these so-called insiders and elites who somehow managed to live without developing any ideological motives or connections; who are just giving you the “truth” outta the goodness of their patriotic hearts. Too funny.

  47. hp said on July 18th, 2008 at 11:11pm #

    This guy was CIA for 25 years and he ain’t stuttering.

    http://www.antiwar.com/scheuer/?articleid=13139

  48. hp said on July 18th, 2008 at 11:21pm #

    Here’s Scheurer telling it like it is too a shocked and upset Zionist Bill

    maherhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tv82Gwo7i0

  49. hp said on July 18th, 2008 at 11:27pm #

    Here it is..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tv82Gwo7i0#

  50. Deadbeat said on July 18th, 2008 at 11:55pm #

    evie writes…

    Deadbeat
    How does AIPAC/Zionism hold such tremendous power over US government policy?

    I don’t see why I have to do YOUR research. However since unlike you I don’t engage in conjecture, misinformation, or ridicule to make an argument or rebuttal. However here are a few links for you.

    Project For New American Century

    Mearsheimer and Walt

    Are They Really Oil Wars?

    The Power of the Israel Lobby

    I’ll reiterate my point …
    “What I saw coming from the Left was the constant “War for Oil” refrain without any regard for the possibility of Zionism’s influence but most importantly deliberately ignoring intellectual and former CIA insiders and elites having no connection ideologically who were not only raising doubts about the War on Iraq but also highlighting the influence of Zionism on U.S. policy.”

    And your response is …
    Your attention is being directed to look in a particular direction by all these so-called insiders and elites who somehow managed to live without developing any ideological motives or connections; who are just giving you the “truth” outta the goodness of their patriotic hearts. Too funny.

    And you choose not to look at any evidence or analysis and would rather engage in mindless condescension and ridicule to make a rebuttal. In a previous response to you I displayed enough respect to offer you a cogent response. However what I have notice is that those who want to refute, obscure and camouflage the influence and power of Zionism upon the U.S Middle East policies offer up nothing but conjecture, condescension and ridicule as rebuttal. They, like evie, Max and bozidar never supply or offer facts or evidence to support their arguments.

    What makes it even more egregious for the so-called “Left” goes to great length not only to downplay Zionism is that you’ll be ridiculed by them even if you SUGGEST that Zionism played an iota of a role. In other words if you suggest that the War on Iraq was for something other than “oil” or “imperialism” or “disaster capitalism” or “shock doctrine” then their response to any such consideration is ridicule.

    What makes this stand out even more is that the Left profess to uphold certain principles of truth and justice, equality and fairness, yet they cannot even vet their positions. If they were being truthful they wouldn’t have to engage is dismissive ridicule. Ergo the Left’s dishonesty is beginning to become more and even more difficult to conceal.

  51. evie said on July 19th, 2008 at 5:04am #

    deadbeat
    I know all those “links” – I am asking how does AIPAC/Zionists/Jews force, cajole, convince, or make US pols do their bidding?

  52. The Fanonite said on July 19th, 2008 at 5:13am #

    deadbeat
    I know all those “links” – I am asking how does AIPAC/Zionists/Jews force, cajole, convince, or make US pols do their bidding?

    Deadbeat: you’re better off teaching our friend evie from the Flat Earth Society the alphabet first. Frankly, its not worth the time.

    Ekosmo writes:

    The Fanon enters…

    great — somebody withan explosive new take — always welcome “round here” — and fiery, feisty ‘n hostile straight from the word ‘Go’ without even a Salaam Alekum or a by your leave …
    I could like that but the “load of crap”, the “arse/posterior”, the “[I] say [I’m] a big boy” bit […do I…?] make me pause ‘n ponder…

    I “appear obsessed with personalities”… Oh really…?
    I’m perhaps “obsessed” more with the core of what I stated: viz

    that the Nth Ay-murkan “progressive movement’s” internecine warfare and divisive fratricide continues unabated

    or the end-piece you skipped in the cut ‘n paste above:
    re. …Zionist support-systems reading the above “debate” and chuckling into their chutzpah with an unmitigated glee…”

    enlargement of the rest of the post — out from Grand Inquisitor Fanon’s “I only do facts” routine into plain, meaningful, common or garden English — might be appreciated…

    meantime, I can also do ‘Yawns’
    but you’re interesting, so I wont…

    I respond: Yawn!

  53. bozhidar balkas said on July 19th, 2008 at 6:05am #

    deadbeat,
    u say that i never posit facts that show or even prove that israel does not have a decisive role in US domestic/foreign policies?
    most important fact to notice and to evaluate is the fact that zionists in 19th and early 20th cent. had no land/arms.
    thus, zionists were at that time utterly dependent on the goodwill of judeochristian/communist world.
    quickly,
    in ’46 czechoslovakia supplied zionists w. arms
    1n ’17 balfour declrtn gives ashkenazim a home in expalstn
    how many vetoes by US occluded any action against the criminal state
    france prior to IOF aggression against egypt, iraq, lebanon, syria `67 supplies isr w. mirage fighters.
    also US aids isr financially and militarily to this day
    more facts that pertain cld be posited.
    at least three conclusions can be educed from these facts:
    zionists and its lobby had controled all of the communist lands until 50s
    zionists have controled league of nations until `45 and UN until, let`s say, 50s.
    or one conclude that judeo-christian world has controled isr at least until `67 aggression.
    of course, christians and judaists may have near identical policy against pals. but, what that shows or proves.( my query mark is not appearing)
    yes, now aipac policy may be identical w. that of isr. but once again, what is isr`s policy.
    isr`s policy may or may not be identical w. US policy. once again, we do not know what US is after. we have to gueses.
    it`s an enigma.
    once one is forced to guess ab stupendous events that reap mns lives, one better not make firm conclusions ab who controls whom.
    it cld be that criminals cyrcle their wagons and defend their crimes.
    or feel safety in numbers. thank u

  54. evie said on July 19th, 2008 at 6:30am #

    Also, Deadbeat –
    Notice that your links above are to sources that do have ideological connections (Counterpunch,Sourcewatch). You are not offering any “facts” or proof – you simply link to sources who think the same as you.

    Tell me though, how did Zionists in September 2001 convince “leftists” like Kucinich and McKinney to vote YES on the AUMF (Authorization to Use Military Force) – which gave Bush open-ended war powers which he promptly used to invade Afghanistan.

    Or is this where we insert the excuse “they were tricked” or “they was still in shock from 9/11”?

    hp – Michael Scheuer. The CIA head analyst for the unit on Osama bin Laden. Scheuer wrote “Through Our Enemies Eyes” under the name “Anonymous” but outed himself before the ink was dry on the book. All of course after his federal government benefits/retirement funds were secure.

    Know this though – CIA analysts are desk jockeys, reading reports from various sources, to “analyze” and write another report which goes to a bigger boss who may or may sign off on it and send it to someone who may or may not send it to the President. And such reports may be blue penciled and returned so the analyst can make “changes” b/c ideology is involved all the way up and down the chain. And if by chance an analyst is asked to re-do a report that has been changed to something he/she disagrees with, well there’s always that career to consider … the “insiders” who should talk, never talk. The “head” of a CIA desk still has many folks over him or her they have to please, who in turn have to please those over them, and on and on. Think of the Peter Principle.

  55. Max Shields said on July 19th, 2008 at 9:20am #

    The bottom line, we need a radical change if we’re to stop this maddness. As long as we are myopic and blend all evil into one: Zionism ; we will shut ourselves down to the urgent need for radical, revolutionary transformation.

    Zionism is part of the evil, for sure, at least as it has configured itself. It is no more evil than the corporatism and predatory capitalism and American Exceptionalism, or neolib/con-isms. They all feed off domination.

    Our very survival requires that we not only reject but find means of transforming this state. Beating our collective heads against the “anti-war movement” that was “gummed up” by the “left” who love “zionism” is a deadender issue.

    You can either kick the hell out of that worthless can or begin to do something constructive. There are millions who are.

    I completely understand that a Palestinian would see the primary evil as Zionism and the Lukud Party and the US policies. I not only understand but completely but agree that that the evil (Zionism) is manifested for them on a daily basis.

    But Americans live in the belly of the beast and it is multi-headed and unidirectionally preditory. It doesn’t just eat up external continents, but turns its cities into wasteland colonies. We have a blend of all evils – apartheid, land barrons, preditory financiers, disembowlers of neighborhoods, destroyers of human life, emptying homes of millions and throwing them into conditions of homelessness.

    WE ARE THE METEPHOR known as Iraq and Afghanistan and Darfur and Sudan.

    The CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST! We can no longer hide from this imperialism it is knocking at our doors with a vengence.

    That’s the evil Americans are facing on a daily basis.

  56. Michael Dawson said on July 22nd, 2008 at 11:45pm #

    Fanonite, mouthing off is trying to write “Zionism” in where it ought to read U.S. imperialism. Mouthing off is dismissing way more than a mountain of evidence as “tired dogma.” Mouthing off is treating the oil-rich former SSR Azerbaijan as anything like a valid comparison case, rather than admitting that Northern Ireland is it.

    If you’re too thick to understand it, I actually already stated the evidence, which includes using Israel as a rather obvious threat and cultural distraction. Here’s the overarching reality stated as well as possible: “a policy of keeping a region divided and embittered, and therefore accessible to the franchisers of weaponry and the owners of black gold.”

    And, by the way, mouthing off is also describing oneself as “an adviser to” [the entirety of?] “the landless and jobless in Brazil and Argentina.” Megalomania much?

  57. Steve Naidamast said on July 29th, 2008 at 10:48am #

    I have to agree with the posters here who have reacted negatively to this essay by Professor Petras.

    Normally I enjoy reading James Petras but on topics he is well versed in which are primarily related to South America. However, to attack Noam Chomsky and others as he has done in this piece goes quite a bit over the top.

    Though I am a fan of Professor Chomsky I don’t agree with everything he says. His stand on Pol Pot was quite inexcusable (though I do not have any knowledge for such reasoning) and his relapses into obfuscation when being questioned about 9-11 are quite surprising.

    Nonetheless, Professor Chomsky has been a stalwart defender of the rights of Palestinians (and Americans) and has written definitive studies on the topic such as “Fateful Triangle” which places successive Israeli governments along with US encouragement and support square in the bulls-eye for war-crimes.

    Professor Chomsky has long stood for a complete restructuring of American foreign policy and has rarely pulled his punches when placing the blame where it so deservedly belongs. I doubt few can offer the same strength of character in this venue.

    Though I don’t completely agree with his view on AIPAC and other such pro-Israeli groups, Professor Chomsky has correctly placed t he emphasis of this problem on the shoulders of the American Jewish community along with those they support in government as well as those who are rabid devotees to Israeli interests.

    Singling out AIPAC as a political crime-family in this instance is simply taking a faulty direct approach. It is those people and organizations that allow such organizations to exist while at the same time pandering to their every whim who are to blame. And these entities are purely “All American”…