Friday, March 31, 2006

This is Good

As in, this is "funny," in a sad sort of way.

This is the only conclusion to which a state based on a religo-ethnic identity can come.

Some Jewish political activists interpreted Nazerat Illit's growing Arab population as an invasion of the city. In October 2004, Avraham Maman, a member of the local council said, “Many Arabs from Nazareth are taking over more and more apartments in Nazerat Illit. There is not even one road in the city where 20 to 30 Arab families cannot be found; the leaders of the city must stop this invasion before it stops being Zionist and national… I am not racist and I have never been, but, many Jewish families are afraid of possible relationships between the Arabs and their daughters. Unfortunately, this thing has become common".

I look forward to seeing just how this issue is resolved.


Revisionist Writers

Greg Mitchell from Editor & Publisher holds Richard Cohen of the Washington Post acountable for backing President's Bush's bogus call to war.

Greg writes:

Richard Cohen, the longtime Washington Post columnist sometimes accused of being a “liberal,” produced a strong column today, titled “Bush Wanted War.” In it he said he had long been skeptical of this idea, but now had come to accept it. That’s all well and good, but where was Cohen a little more than three years ago, when this fact was as plain as the smirk on the president’s face, and the columnist agitated for war anyway?

If there was an “I’m sorry for being so stupid” embedded in Cohen’s column I didn’t spot it.

To bad Mr. Cohen is not holding himself accountable.

Read the whole thing.

E & P

Real Discussion on The Lobby

This essay is an example of the type of real discussion that should have been elicited by the Walt-Walt-Mearsheimer paper. It has some real criticisms of the paper, but also acknowledges some truths.

So Pro-Israel that it Hurts

Yet their [Walt-Mearsheimer] case is a potent one: that identification of American with Israeli interests can be principally explained via the impact of the Lobby in Washington, and in limiting the parameters of public debate, rather than by virtue of Israel being a vital strategic asset or having a uniquely compelling moral case for support (beyond, as the authors point out, the right to exist, which is anyway not in jeopardy). The study is at its most devastating when it describes how the Lobby "stifles debate by intimidation" and at its most current when it details how America's interests (and ultimately Israel's, too) are ill-served by following the Lobby's agenda.


Bush Told Tubes for Convensional Weapons

We already know that the Yellow Cake story was based on bogus information and that Bush was warned that the information was bogus. Hence Bush's attribution of the Yellow Cake story to British intelligence.

Now we learn that Bush was told that the Aluminum Tubes were likely for conventional weapons development, not WMD, as he claimed.

So, even the two meager pieces of evidence Bush had were known to be not credible. That is, he was told that the evidence he was using was likely to be false, inaccurate or both.

The only conclusion is Bush invaded Iraq knowing they did not have a viable WMD program and that the WMD justification was just a pretext.

Karl Rove, President Bush's chief political adviser, cautioned other White House aides in the summer of 2003 that Bush's 2004 re-election prospects would be severely damaged if it was publicly disclosed that he had been personally warned that a key rationale for going to war had been challenged within the administration.


Hadley [Deputy National Security Adviser] was particularly concerned that the public might learn of a classified one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate, specifically written for Bush in October 2002. The summary said that although "most agencies judge" that the aluminum tubes were "related to a uranium enrichment effort," the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research and the Energy Department's intelligence branch "believe that the tubes more likely are intended for conventional weapons."

National Journal

Raimondo on the Lobby

Justin Raimondo talks about the Walt-Mearsheimer paper and that Walt will be stepping down from his seat here.

The level of the discussion on the paper has been very poor, including an absurd article in the Boston Globe whch I haven't had time to comment on. They all talk about "innacruacies," but never list them, and of course David Duke is mentioned multiple times.

I personally think the AARP is another lobby that advocates for the interest of its members to the determent of the US as a whole. Do I hate old people? No. Is this a point that can be debated? Yes.

Why we can't have a similar debate about AIPAC and its activities?

The hate campaign directed at Mearsheimer and Walt underscores and validates the study's contention that all attempts to objectively discuss our Israel-centric foreign policy and the pivotal role played by the Lobby are met with outright intimidation. We have O.J. Simpson defender and pro-Israel fanatic Alan Dershowitz claiming that the scholarly duo filched the majority of their sources from "hate sites" – although how Dershowitz knows this, without having looked directly over their shoulders as they wrote, is very far from clear. But don't worry, he assures us, a "team" of researchers on his staff is looking into the matter. One wonders if this is the same "team" that looked into the evidence and concluded that Simpson was innocent.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Daily Kos on Ned Lamont

The Daily Kos has an interesting post on Ned Lamont's campaign. Looks like Ned is building momentum.

Dialy Kos

and more here:

Daily Kos-2

Our Fearless Leader

When discussing the Palestinian elections, our leader said:

"We support the election process, we support democracy, but that doesn't mean we have to support governments that get elected as a result of democracy," Bush said.

If you place people in a camp that has no ports under its own control, tell them they can have a vote, but if they vote the wrong way you will hold back taxes on the goods that go through those ports and withhold many other types of aid, is that really a voluntary vote?

Bush's response to the vote is to cut off government contacts between Hamas and the US.

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) - The United States ordered its diplomats and contractors on Wednesday to cut off contacts with Palestinian ministries after a Hamas-led government was sworn in, the State Department said.


Officials said the no-contact policy applied to all parts of the U.S. government, as well as to organizations that receive U.S. funding for projects and services in the Palestinian territories.
U.S. law bars the government from providing direct assistance to any group on the State Department's list of terrorist organizations.

Israel has frozen tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority and has banned contacts with Hamas officials but has yet to spell out its policy on lower-level contacts with technocrats. An Israeli official said the issue would be discussed during a Cabinet meeting on Sunday.

Again, per capita GDP for the west bank is around US$1,100. Link


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Worst and the Dimest

How many chances have the neocons missed and how many wrong decisions have they made?

One is almost forced to conclude that they are making the wrong decisions by design.

Neocons Blocked 2003 Nuclear Talks With Iran

The George W. Bush administration failed to enter into negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program in May 2003 because neoconservative zealots who advocated destabilization and regime change were able to block any serious diplomatic engagement with Tehran, according to former administration officials.

The same neoconservative veto power also prevented the administration from adopting any official policy statement on Iran, those same officials say.

Lawrence Wilkerson, then chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, says the failure to adopt a formal Iran policy in 2002-2003 was the result of obstruction by a "secret cabal" of neoconservatives in the administration, led by Vice President Dick Cheney.

"The secret cabal got what it wanted: no negotiations with Tehran," Wilkerson wrote in an e-mail to IPS.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Chomsky on Walt-Mearsheimer

I am very disappointed with Noam Chomsky's (NC) comments on the Walt-Mearsheimer paper on the Israel Lobby.

NC concludes, as he has many times in the past, that "the strategic-economic interests of concentrations of domestic power in the tight state-corporate linkage" is the primary factor in our support for Israel, not the Lobby.

While it may be true that from time to time other interests align with The Lobby's, it is absurd to argue that these other interests are the primary driver on US policy in the Mid East.

HR 4681 is a case in point. The bill does the following:

* Threatens U.S. assistance to NGOs in the Palestinian territories by putting it in the same category as aid to the PA, which is essentially prohibited. There is waiver for certain humanitarian aid categories.

* Designates Palestinian territory as a "terrorist sanctuary." This designation would trigger restrictions on U.S. exports to Palestinian territories.

* Restricts Palestinian diplomacy in the US.

* Targets the UN for supporting Palestinian human rights by defunding certain organizations.

* Denys Palestinians the ability to receive assistance through international financial institutions.

Can someone find a US business interest or State Department advocate for these policies? You can't becuase there are none. This is an AIPAC promoted bill.

And this is just one example. Even if this bill does not pass, there are many similar examples that demonstrate the same thing.

This bill provides substantial support to the premise behind the W-M paper - that The Lobby is a dominant influence on US Mid East policy. NC should ackowledge examples such as these, rather than dismiss the W-M paper with his tired old statements that have not held up over time.

More discussion on this point can be found here.

Fitzgerald Still Hunting for Bush

We can only hope it is true that Fitzgerald is preparing to blow another hole into the sinking ship that is the Bush administration.

It may seem as though it's been moving along at a snail's pace, but the second part of the federal investigation into the leak of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson is nearly complete, with attorneys and government officials who have remained close to the probe saying that a grand jury will likely return an indictment against one or two senior Bush administration officials.

These sources work or worked at the State Department, the CIA and the National Security Council. Some of these sources are attorneys close to the case. They requested anonymity because they were not permitted to speak publicly about the details of the investigation.


Hadley and Rove remain under intense scrutiny, but sources said Fitzgerald has not yet decided whether to seek charges against one or both of them.


HR 4681

I have mentioned this (HR 4681) inhumane bill before. Looks like there is some action on the bill.

It would be helpful if you could take the suggested action(s) listed below.

You can also click here. (Scroll to bottom of page).


I should add that it is not just the inhumanity of this bill that is so troubling, although that should be enough for you to oppose the bill.

What is also troubling is the costs the bill, and other bills like it, will inflict on the US. This bill will just confirm the US’ bias towards Israel and our inhumanity towards the Palestinians in the eyes of the international community. It will just create more animosity towards the US and towards Israel itself, if that is possible.

This animosity will create costs ranging from the need to invade countries so that they won't be able to attack us (or at least that is the Bush theory) to the safety of the average American tourist. It imperils our access to oil and our ability to trade internationally.

The costs are astronomical. The bill clearly does not serve the interest of the US as a whole.

We should not take the punitive measures proposed in the bill. These measures have virtually no chance of improving negotiations towards a peaceful resolution. Nil.

The provisions of the bill are almost certain, however, to further erode the US' international standing, particularly within the one billion large Islamic community.

This bill makes absolutely no sense when US interests are considered.

The House International Relations Committee is likely to mark-up House Resolution 4681, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act, in the near future. A mark-up session is when committee members offer and vote on amendments to legislation before it goes to the floor for a full vote.


Despite the best efforts of AIPAC to push forward this resolution, it is faltering, according to news reports, due in part to your efforts to oppose it.


On Wednesday, the U.S. Campaign and CNI will deliver a petition to Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), sponsor of H.R. 4681, from people who have written their Members of Congress opposing this resolution. To date, more than 3,000 of our supporters have written their Members of Congress. Our goal is to deliver the petition with at least 5,000 names. Please help us reach our goal by sending a letter to your Members of Congress by clicking here.

Letters must be sent by 9 AM Eastern on Wednesday, March 29, to be included in the petition.

There is more information about the bill here.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Ned Lamont

If you haven't already, please consider making a contribution to Ned Lamont, anti-War Senate Candidate for the State of Connecticut.

There is a contribution button to the left or you can go to actblue here

(New posts below.)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Israel and the Iraq War

Some are denying that Israel encouraged the US to attack Iraq. Frankly, I wasn't thinking about Israel's position on the war in Iraq during the build up, so I don't have a lot of recollection.

We do know from James Risen's book that Israeli officials were used by Wolfowitz to gather intellegence about Iraq. We also know from Karen Kwiatkowski that Israeli officials met with officials at the Pentagon involved in Iraq intellegence gathering.

And from the Walt-Mearshiemer paper we get this:

Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil, but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure. According to Philip Zelikow, a former member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and now a counsellor to Condoleezza Rice, the ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The ‘unstated threat’ was the ‘threat against Israel’, Zelikow told an audience at the University of Virginia in September 2002. ‘The American government,’ he added, ‘doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.’

On 16 August 2002, 11 days before Dick Cheney kicked off the campaign for war with a hardline speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Washington Post reported that ‘Israel is urging US officials not to delay a military strike against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein.’ By this point, according to Sharon, strategic co-ordination between Israel and the US had reached ‘unprecedented dimensions’, and Israeli intelligence officials had given Washington a variety of alarming reports about Iraq’s WMD programmes. As one retired Israeli general later put it, ‘Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq’s non-conventional capabilities.’

Israeli leaders were deeply distressed when Bush decided to seek Security Council authorisation for war, and even more worried when Saddam agreed to let UN inspectors back in. ‘The campaign against Saddam Hussein is a must,’ Shimon Peres told reporters in September 2002. ‘Inspections and inspectors are good for decent people, but dishonest people can overcome easily inspections and inspectors.’

At the same time, Ehud Barak wrote a New York Times op-ed warning that ‘the greatest risk now lies in inaction.’ His predecessor as prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, published a similar piece in the Wall Street Journal, entitled: ‘The Case for Toppling Saddam’. ‘Today nothing less than dismantling his regime will do,’ he declared. ‘I believe I speak for the overwhelming majority of Israelis in supporting a pre-emptive strike against Saddam’s regime.’ Or as Ha’aretz reported in February 2003, ‘the military and political leadership yearns for war in Iraq.’

That is why this report is so good. You have a series of well documented ties between the War in Iraq and Israel itself, not just The Lobby, but Israel itself. These ties include statements published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

I don't think you could pack more information in four short paragraphs than Walt-Mearsheimer have done here.

If people want disprove these claims they have all the information they need. Go for it.

Somehow, I think they will continue to focus on the fact that David Duke agrees with the report.


Friday, March 24, 2006

The Tactics Become Clear

It is becoming quite clear that the extreme Zionist swarm will not elect to debate the Walt-Mearsheimer paper on its merits, but rather they will continue to smear it by trying to associate it with other unsavory, but completely unrelated, entities.

Dershowitz is currently pointing out (in the NY Sun) that many damaging quotes and citations in the Walt-Mearsheimer paper can also be found on anti-Semitic web sites.

So what?

If the quotes are accurate that is all that matters.

The example they cite is a damaging, but praiseworthy, admission for former New York Times editor Max Frankel regarding his inability to be unbias in his coverage of Middle East issues. The quotes can also be found on "neo-nazi" web sites.

Again, so what?

The fact that they have elected this argument as their first line of attack means they have not found much else to go after. They is a very good sign for Walt-Mearsheimer.

What is also interesting is that one of the main complaints against Dershowitz's book A case for Israel by Norman Finkelstien is that he copied large numbers of quotes from a less than reputable Zionist book by Joan Peters, From Time Immemorial. The book FTI has been called a "hoax" by Normal Finelstien here.

Steve Sailer has additional discussion here

AIPAC Spy Case Update

Judge says law can only be changed by congress in AIPAC Spying case.
Washington Post

The Swarm

This is not really about Zionsim, but more an example of:

a) The Jewish community's ability to swarm at a percieved threat.

b) How quickly the Jewish community will attempt to label any criticism as anti-Semitic.

c) How the Jewish community sometime makes such accusations hastily and incorrectly

d) How they would rather conceal, downplay or hide negatives truths than acknowledge and explain them.

San Diego City Beat
Edwin Decker

My last column saying Hasidic rasta-singer Matisyahu was being disrespectful of women for not shaking their hands (a practice called shomer negiah) has garnered more fireworks than any other column I’ve written. As soon as the paper hit the streets—BANG!—I immediately began receiving e-mails from all across the country calling me “anti-Semitic,” “racist,” “skinhead,” “Nazi,” “white-hood wearer,” “member of a white-power group” and even “a self-hating Jew.”

There are also numerous angry postings on various Jewish websites. One responder with so-called connections threatened to bully Google to take CityBeat off its search engine. [Amazing!] I just finished an interview about the scandal with Donald Harrison from the San Diego Jewish Times. And, unbelievably, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has contacted us. Apparently, they’ve received a “score” of complaints about my column.

OK, I can see getting all irritated about some of the trash I write. I can even understand calling me an anti-Semite, or a Nazi. But going to the ADL to tell on me is so weak.


You should read the whole thing. There is a nice suprise at the end.

Sure, it is bad when Islam riots over cartoons. But a respone like this is in some ways worse than a riot.

SD City Beat

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Anti-War Candidate - Ned Lamont

Although the Democratic base is strongly against the war in Iraq, the Democratic "leadership" is not getting the message.

Fact is, Joe Lieberman is the most visible, most pro-war Democrat with a legitimate primary challenger up for reelection this year. Hillary is pro-war, but I don't think her primary challenger, Jonathan Tasini, is a real threat. Nancy Pelosi is not high profile enough and I am not even sure if she has a primary challenger.

Looking at the grass roots web site actblue, we see that Ned Lamont is running against Joe Leiberman in the primary and has already raised $129K (now is it up to 131K!).

This website only documents one source of funding, so one hundred and twenty eight thousand (128K) is impressive.

One million will give you a decent crack at the seat.

I have added a link at the side to make a contribution.

I strongly encourage people to make a contribution to Ned's campaign. The average contribution is a little more than $50 so that gives you some idea of how little it will take to make a difference.

The key is to give something. Even $10 will make a difference.

I listen to progressive radio almost everyday and Lieberman is very unpopular with the Democratic base. He could be unseated.


Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Helen Thomas on Bush and Iraq

Interesting interview between Helen Thomas and Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

BLITZER: And you asked him a tough question. Did you accept his answer? Namely, that he didn't come into the presidency believing he was going to go to war against Saddam Hussein, but after 9/11 his world view changed?

THOMAS: It doesn't -- it doesn't parse. Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, it certainly had -- was secular, it was not tied to al Qaeda.

I think he wanted to go into Iraq because he had all the neo- conservatives advising at the top of their agenda for Project for a New American Century. First Iraq, then Iran -- then Syria, then Iran, and so forth.

BLITZER: So you believe even before 9/11, he was about -- he wanted to take out Saddam Hussein?

THOMAS: Oh, I think this is very clear. You couldn't sit in that press room day after day. Every time -- every time it was mentioned by Ari Fleischer or Scott, they would say in one breath, 9/11, Saddam Hussein, 9/11, Saddam Hussein.

I don't -- I don't blame the American public for thinking there was a tie.

BLITZER: So you don't accept his answer today? You think, what, he was still spinning? Is that what you're suggesting?

THOMAS: It wasn't that. I think maybe in his own mind he didn't, but I think that everybody knows, everybody who was in the know, knows that Iraq was on target, it was on the radar screen from the moment he came into office. The Treasury secretary says it, people in CIA say it, and so forth.

Nothing would deter him. It was a very big goal.

BLITZER: You're thinking of Paul O'Neill, the former Treasury secretary.


BLITZER: Richard Clarke, who was one of the counterterrorist advisers...

THOMAS: Right.

BLITZER: ... who have made those kinds of suggestions.

Karen Kwiatkowski also said it. So did Ray McGovern. Douglas Feith and Richard Perle wrote about regime change in Iraq many years before 9/11.

Do I have to go on?


Zionist Attack Dog

This piece by Zionist attack dog Ruth Wisse (linked below) is an example of the kind of smear and run campaign being orchestrated by the "Zionist reactionaries" in response to the Walt and Mearsheimer paper.

Ruth Wisse is the type who finds anti-Semitism under ever rock and in every corner, but never finds a hint of impure motive on the part of Zionists and other American supporters of Israel. Other people's motives are always in question, but the motives of Zionists are unquestionable.

The article puts forth a string of straw man arguments and then knocks them down one by one. For example, she claims that the Walt-Mearsheimer paper says cab drivers are part of a conspiracy, and that Walt-Mearsheimer argue that the US would have nothing to fear if not for the Israel lobby.

Problem is the paper says nothing of the sort. It mentions the specific entities that promote the interests of Israel in the US, and it never claims all the US foreign policy problems results from our support for Israel. Just many of the most pressing ones at this time.

So Wisse's accusations are completely fabricated. It is probably a lot easier, however, to argue against her own fabrications than against the actual points put forth in the document.

Just in case you don't get the hint, however, Wisse goes on to smear the paper by comparing it to various documents put out by the Third Reich. She also throws in the obligatory David Duke reference. Again, much easier to argue against David Duke and the Third Reich than against the paper itself.

The WSJ should be embarrassed to print such an article.

Wisse concludes that support for Israel is grass roots, and has nothing to do with AIPAC and Israel's other supporters. But, if Israel and its supporters really believed that then they would not have to lobby so hard, spend so much money, and attack so vigorously, would they?

Ruth Wisse

Sibel Edmonds Files to Have Judge Walton Removed


Today, Sibel Edmonds, Former FBI Language Specialist and a whistleblower, filed a motion in D.C. Federal Court asking for recusal of Judge Reggie Walton from her pending case filed under the Federal Tort Claim Act. Walton is also currently hearing the perjury case involving I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, who is suspected of leaking the name of former CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame Wilson to the media.


The convoluted route the Edmonds’ case has taken to Judge Reggie Walton’s courtroom appears suspicious and creates the perception that the system has been manipulated. Edmonds’ First Amendment case, filed in July 2002, was assigned to Judge James Robertson who recently resigned from the FISA Court in protest of warrantless NSA eavesdropping. In February 2003, Edmonds’ case was removed from Judge Robertson and reassigned to Judge Walton with no explanation provided. Edmonds filed a motion to request the case to be transferred from Judge Walton, and be assigned to Judge Ellen Huvelle who had been presiding over Edmonds’ related FOIA case since July 2002. The court granted Edmonds’ request and transferred her case to Judge Huvelle. However, two days later, Edmonds’ case was removed from Judge Huvelle and reassigned to Judge Walton with no further information or reason provided. On July 6, 2004, Judge Walton granted the government’s motion to dismiss based on the assertion of the State Secrets Privilege.

Culture Clash

Every country has incidents like these. But, to have the exact same fraud in so many companies, it just seems so... ubiquitous.

ICHRON YAACOV, Israel — The list of Israeli technology companies facing allegations that they timed or backdated managers' stock option awards to coincide with low share prices has ballooned in recent days. Comverse Technologies, Zoran Corp. and DSP Group have joined Mercury Interactive Corp., whose troubles began six months ago.

Mercury, an enterprise-software optimization company, accepted the resignations of CEO Amnon Landan, CFO Doug Smith and general counsel Susan Skaer last year when it was revealed that the date of stock option grants given to Landan and other executives had been retroactively amended to dates on which the share price had been low.


In Israel, the local high-tech industry has always been perceived as a glittering, squeaky-clean sector where the leading companies were terrific at creating new inventions with the help of their mastermind engineers, genius physicists and absentminded mathematicians," said Guy Rolink, high-tech analyst for The Marker. "But the truth is that many of the high-tech managers, mainly at the blue-chip companies, have become masters of financial engineering."


CS Monitor on Israel Lobby Report

The Christian Science Monitor covers the Israel Lobby report. The coverage is reasonable.

One interesting note is that the article demonstrates that Walt-Mearsheimer have shown good judgment in the past. In particular, Walt-Mearsheimer questioned the war on Iraq back in 2003 and predicted many of the outcomes we are seeing today.

In the Jan./Feb. 2003 edition of Foreign Policy, Walt and Mearsheimer wrote "An unnecessary war," which questioned the major rationales being offered at the time by the Bush administration for war against Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

If the United States is, or soon will be, at war with Iraq, Americans should understand that a compelling strategic rationale is absent. This war would be one the Bush administration chose to fight but did not have to fight. Even if such a war goes well and has positive long-range consequences, it will still have been unnecessary. And if it goes badly – whether in the form of high US casualties, significant civilian deaths, a heightened risk of terrorism, or increased hatred of the United States in the Arab and Islamic world – then its architects will have even more to answer for.

So they clearly posses better judgment than the neocons in the Bush administration.

CS Monitor

Dershowitz Makes an Absurd Statement

Xymphora exposes an obvious lie from Alan Dershowitz when he claims it is absurd to contend that many Al Qaueda leaders are motivated by Israel's presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians.

"A professor at Harvard Law School, Alan Dershowitz, whom the authors call an 'apologist' for Israel, said he found much of the paper to be 'trash.' ... An intelligent member of Hamas would not have made these mistakes.'

Those mistakes for Mr. Dershowitz include, for example, the assertion that 'There is no question, for example, that many Al Qaeda leaders, including bin Laden, are motivated by Israel's presence in Jerusalem and the plight of the Palestinians,' which Mr. Dershowitz says 'is just absurd.'"

Xymphora then provides a list of Al Qaeda statements, many from Bin Laden himself, railing against Israel and its treatment of the Palestinians.

So, the only thing that is absurd is Deshowitz's statement. Put this right next to OJ was innocent.


Shaping Foreign Policy

Very level headed article on the Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer article on AIPAC and the Israel Lobby here.

With our little adventure in Iraq become more disastrous and costly by the day, and with the all-too-familiar election year militarism heating up over Iran, this country has some very serious and consequential choices to make about our foreign policy. A substantive and frank discussion is exactly what we did not have leading up to the Iraq War, where war opponents were mocked and smeared and their arguments scorned but not answered. We should not allow the Instapundits and The New York Sun's of the world to drive our country -- again -- into foreign policy debacles through the use of character smear and cheap sloganeering in lieu of adult, meaningful and serious discussions about our foreign policy and the people who are seeking to shape it.

There is much in the conclusions of Mearsheimer and Waltwith which one can reasonably, even vehemently, disagree. But one need not agree with them to recognize the importance of the issues they raise and of the equally important need to be able to discuss them without the smear tactics and personal attacks which, increasingly, have become the only tactic left to Bush followers.

WSJ Still Screeching

Showing just how important an issue Israel is to some, James Taranto devotes two days to attacking the Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer article on AIPAC and the Israel Lobby in the WSJ online.

As Steve points out, the two scholars wrote in their paper:

No discussion of the Lobby would be complete without an examination of one of its most powerful weapons: the charge of anti-semitism. Anyone who criticises Israel’s actions or argues that pro-Israel groups have significant influence over US Middle Eastern policy – an influence AIPAC celebrates – stands a good chance of being labelled an anti-semite. Indeed, anyone who merely claims that there is an Israel Lobby runs the risk of being charged with anti-semitism, even though the Israeli media refer to America’s ‘Jewish Lobby’. In other words, the Lobby first boasts of its influence and then attacks anyone who calls attention to it. It’s a very effective tactic: anti-semitism is something no one wants to be accused of.

(Also, see Alan Dershowitz do his own smearing here.)

From Taranto's article:

This seems like as good an excuse as any to take a second whack at Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, whose shoddy anti-Israel screed, published under the aegis of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, has won praise from David Duke. Yesterday we eviscerated [c'mon, James, don't be so modest- Steve Sailer] their moral case against Israel but passed over their dismissal of Israel's strategic value.

Two days of smearing by association. Link

Taranto then goes on to make a weak attempt at the strategic value argument, to which Steve reponds:

Oh, indeed. Who can forget the gallant Israeli troops who fought side by side with Americans in Korea and Vietnam? Who can forget how when Stalin died in 1953, the leadership of Israel held a memorial service for his millions of victims in the Ukrainian Holocaust? Who can forget the Lavon Affair in 1954 when Israeli intelligence stopped Muslim terrorists from bombing American facilities in Egypt? Who can forget how, at President Eisenhower's request, Israel stopped Egypt from seizing the Suez Canal in 1956? Who can forget how Israel cooperated whole-heartedly with President Kennedy's anti-nuclear proliferation campaign? Who can forget how Israel rescued the U.S.S. Liberty when it came under attack for hours by hostile Arab air forces? Who can forget how Israel paid Jonathan Pollard to steal the Soviet nuclear war attack plan and then traded it to the United States government?

Oh, wait a minute ... Oops. All that happened in Bizarro World. The opposite actually happened in our world. Never mind ...

Go ahead, read the whole thing.

Steve Sailer

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Common Squid Ink Responses

Here are some common responses to the article from John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the Israel lobby and AIPAC.

Israel and its US supporters are not the only reason we have policy X,Y and Z.

This is bogus becuase Israel doesn't have to be the only reason we have a cerain policy. It just has to be a significant reason.

This report makes claims that are similar to other false claims made in the past (such as the Protocols).

The report doesn't make any claim that resembles any conspiracy theory whatsoever. However, even if there was such a claim, the fact that a conspiracy theory in the past included a similar claim has no bearing on whether the current claim is valid.

The current claim must be reviewed on its merits.

Some other specific points are disucssed here.

Reeducation Camp

While somewhat amusing, this story is also an interesting example of how the Holocaust is used to "educate" and "strengthen the bond to the Jewish people."

It seems so much like a "Soviet Reeducation Camp."

Two Israeli Air Force pilots enjoy late-night entertainment with local women during trip to Poland camps

Death camps in the morning, party time at night: When the IDF initiated the "Witnesses in Uniforms" project, aimed at educating army officers about the Holocaust, no one believed some would use the emotional missions for different purposes altogether.

However, the Air Force sent two gunship pilots to 10 days in a military prison on Monday, after discovering they "spiced up" their visit to death camps in Poland with a little after-hours entertainment with local women at their hotel room, paid for by the army.

According to Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the two took part in extensive combat operations in recent months, and were designated to become Air Force flight instructors in the next few months.

In recent years, the IDF initiated dozens of death camp tours in Poland in a bid to strengthen army officers' sense of commitment to the State of Israel and the Jewish people.


More from Steve

Here is another great quote from the Steve Sailer post:

One reason is because in 21st Century America, you aren't supposed to think about Jews as an identity politics category. You really aren't supposed to think about them at all. So, you don't get much help from the media in understanding this hugely influential group.

Moreover, the complexity of Jewish identity politics is quite boggling. Where does this contradictoriness stem from? The difficulty and relative uniqueness of the Jewish historical predicament combine explosively with the Jewish cultural emphases on intellectual creativity, argumentation as test of manhood, and the supremacy of ideas over practicality to create a vast outpouring of ideologies, all of them fundamentally tied to profound Jewish concerns, but many of them at odds with each other.

The complexity of Jewish identity politics helps create easy rhetorical trump cards for persuading people that there is nothing to think about. Just move along, folks, nothing here to think about. A classic is: "How can Jews be disproportionately both capitalists and Communists? Huh? Huh?" But, of course, historically they have been both, and the interaction between the two has been of world historical importance.


Stock Responses

One of the most ridiculous responses to the article from John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the Israel lobby and AIPAC is that "there are bad people who approve of this article, so it must be bad as well"

Can we get any more juvenile in our analysis?

Steve Sailer has some excellent comments on this:

Charles Manson praises WSJ's defense of Iraq War"

That hasn't happened (so far as I know), but it would be no more lame-brained a headline than this headline on James Taranto's "Best of the Web" blog at the WSJ OpinionJournal website ... Is that pathetic, or what? Two scholars put together a lengthy analysis and the best the NY Sun can come up with is to email David Duke and get his endorsement of it. And then Taranto repeats it! It's just embarrassing[.]

He goes on to discuss identify politics:

I'm one of the very few conservatives who takes identity politics seriously. Most identity politics warriors are liars and/or fools, but the emotions they feel are very real, and are a very normal part of human nature. When typical conservatives like Jonah Goldberg denounce anyone for even thinking about identity politics, well, in response to this kind of unilateral intellectual disarmament, I can only echo Trotsky's great statement about war: You may not be interested in identity politics, but identity politics is interested in you.

Finally he makes some insightful comments on Iraq, Israel and the neocons:

The ultimate responsibility for the Iraq Attaq lies within the opaque psyches of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Clearly, however, the Israel Lobby was the main cheerleader. The funny thing is that while the Israel Lobby in America was crazy for the war, the Israeli government itself was more ambivalent. As well they should be. As I wrote a few days after Paul Wolfowitz called for invading Iraq four days after 9/11:
The neo-conservatives need to wake up to realize that if America really takes up the Imperial Burden in the Middle East like the Wolfowitz Wing is demanding, then America's special relationship with Israel is history. Support for Israel is purely a matter of domestic idealism. The American institution that thinks in the broad picture - the State Department - has always found Israel to be a nuisance.

This is a "read the whole thing" article.

Steve Sailer

Monday, March 20, 2006

Crime of Conversion

This is what Bush has achieved using your tax dollars:

KABUL, Afghanistan - An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday.

The trial is believed to be the first of its kind in
Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists over what shape Islam should take here four years after the ouster of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime.

Of course, there is another country where converting someone is illegal. That would be Israel.

You won't get the death penalty of course, but it is still illegal. I guess that's what passes for progress by Israeli standards.

Yahoo News

Banished from the Holy Land

More (un-)shared values.

Israeli-Palestinian couple asks Court to let them live together
By Yuval Yoaz, Haaretz Correspondent

An Israeli resident of Jerusalem and her Palestinian husband from Ramallah petitioned the High Court of Justice on Sunday, requesting that it instruct the state to cease denying them the opportunity to live together as a couple.

Israel has banned the Palestinian husband, Osama Zaater, a sculptor by trade, from entering the country proper while his wife, Yasmin Avisher, a ballet dancer, has been denied permission by the state to set foot in Palestinian territory.

The couple met during the course of their activities in support of an animal rights group in Atarot near Jerusalem. They married in a traditional Muslim ceremony in East Jerusalem and subsequently flew to Cyprus where they exchanged civilian vows.


He is not Hiding the Ball

At least in this case Bush is telling you exactly why he plans to take us into war with Iran.

US President George W. Bush said he hoped to resolve the nuclear dispute with Iran with diplomacy, but warned Tehran he would "use military might" if necessary to defend Israel.

"The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace," the US president said after a speech defending the war in Iraq.

"I made it clear, and I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel," said Bush, who was apparently referring to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for the destruction of Israel.

Comments on the Lobby

Here are some comments on the article from John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the Israel lobby in the US.

The Lobby
Justin Raimondo

Engage on the LRB article.
Mark Elf

Mechanics of Conspiracy

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Squid Ink for the Israel Lobby

The squid ink is pooring out with regard to the John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt paper on the Israel Lobby in the US.

David Bernstein (on the Volokh Conspiracy) is already claiming that the paper is "so full of misrepresentation and distortions" that he has not had time to "Fisk" it.

But his first shot at the paper is a complete miss. He picks on the opening statement in the paper that "[t]he combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread 'democracy' throughout the region [has caused problems]." Bernstein disputes this statement by claiming Israel itself has not pushed for democracy. That point is a complete red herring.

Bernstein misses becuase the Walt-Mearsheimer paper doesn’t claim that Israel was pushing for democracy. Rather, the paper claims that Israel's supporters are pushing for democracy. Bernstein concedes as much later on when he notes that the neocons were the driving force behind pushing for democracy in the Middle East.

What Bernstein fails to mention is the long, pre-9/11 history of the neocons pushing for regime change in Iraq without a corresponding call for democracy.

He doesn't mention the fact that this call for regime change was made long before Iraq presented any direct threat to the US, real or imagined. The justification for the regime change is the well being of Israel, which can be found in the clean break paper, which is linked at the side of this blog.

Bernstein doesn't mention co-author (and dual citizen) Douglas Feith's role in the gathering of bogus intelligence at the Pentagon. Nor does be mentinoed Wolfowitz's tireless lobbying for the US to invade Iraq pre 9/11, nor his push to invade Iraq before Afghanistan post 9/11.

The ties between Israel (and in particular Likud) and the neocons are long and deep.

The best Bernstein can come up with is that the [paraphrase] "the neocons want to democratize everything, not just Iraq - just look at the Balkins".

But, as I mention above the neocons where calling for regime change, not democratization, in Iraq well before 9/11. And now many of them (such as Daniel Pipes) are giving up on democratization, but still think the war was worth it.

If the way to overthrow Saddam and "secure the realm" is democracy than the neocons will take it. But, if democracy does not satisfy the goal or making the Middle East safe for Israel then it is the goal democracy that must fall, not the goal of security for Israel.

Democracy was just the best way they could find to implement regime change, and they have jumped on that bandwagon throughout the Middle East. They may be coming to regret that decision, but that is another discussion.

Of course, they will claim it the security of the US that is also important, but it is funny how the security interests of the US always seem to coincide with the security interests of Israel. And any threats to the US that do not involve Israel as well (N. Korea, for example) never seem to achieve priority status.

Friday, March 17, 2006

The Israel Lobby

There is a lot of buzz about this report from John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the Israel lobby in the US.

This report is about as good as the coverage gets on this issue. You should really take some time read the whole thing very carefully.

I have added a permanent link to this article on the side pannel.

John Mearsheimer is the Wendell Harrison Professor of Political Science at Chicago, and the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.

Stephen Walt is the Robert and Renee Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. His most recent book is Taming American Power: The Global Response to US Primacy.

For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

London Review of Books

Some additional comments and discussion here:

jews sans frontieres




I have received e-mail explaining that since the Hospital is in East Jerusalem it is under Arab control. So, it seems that attributing this to mainstream Israel practice is not correct.


We have seen employment contracts that prohibit workers from having sex with Israeli women, horse tying illegal immigrants to their camels so that they can be dragged back accross the border, and now we have the refusal to return one baby from a set of triplets until payment has been received.

So much for shared values.

Israel hospital held baby for payment

EAST JERUSALEM, Israel, March 16 (UPI) -- Israel's Heath and Justice Ministries needed to step in after an East Jerusalem hospital kept a baby until the mother paid her bill.

Officials at Moqassed Hospital said it was policy to ensure it gets paid and kept one of a set of triplets to ensure the mother did.

Ha'aretz reports the woman contacted the Justice Ministry who then sent an urgent letter to the Health Ministry.

The baby was released, two months later, and now the hospital may be prosecuted and sued.

At issue is the National Insurance Institute check that was supposed to be paid out but the hospital thought that since the woman's husband lived in the Palestinian Authority, a check wouldn't be issued.

The mother is a resident of the Shufat refugee camp in Israel.

She wanted to give birth at Shaare Zedek Medical Center or Hadassah University Hospital but was refused without the NII Check.

This can only be explained by the dehumanizing an entire group of people, as I can't imagine how one human being could do this to another human being.


This story is slightly more skeptical, but does not dispute any of the basic elements of the story.


Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Vanity Fair Whitewash

Arrianna Huffington reveals the lies, ommissions and conflicts of interest in Vanitty Fair's recent coverage of Judith Miller and Bob Woodward and their roles in the Plame affair.

Huffington on Judith Miller

Huffington on Woodward

No Sacrifice is to Great

So long as it is not a sacrifice by the anyone in the Bush administration.

TEHRAN -- Prominent activists inside Iran say President Bush's plan to spend tens of millions of dollars to promote democracy here is the kind of help they don't need, warning that mere announcement of the U.S. program endangers human rights advocates by tainting them as American agents.

In a case that advocates fear is directly linked to Bush's announcement, the government has jailed two Iranians who traveled outside the country to attend what was billed as a series of workshops on human rights. Two others who attended were interrogated for three days.

Washington Post

Heroes in Error

Jack Fairweather describes how the fraud to pull us into Iraq started just weeks after 9/11. Remember, this is well before we went into Afghanistan.

This group didn't care about stopping terrorism, they just wanted to use 9/11 as an excuse for regime change.

How a fake general, a pliant media, and a master manipulator helped lead the United States into war.

EIGHT WEEKS after September 11, a pair of Americans entered the gleaming marble lobby of Beirut’s Intercontinental Hotel La Vendome, where they were greeted by a group of Iraqi expatriates. The Americans were reporters—New York Times war correspondent Chris Hedges, who’d just been put on the Al Qaeda beat, and Christopher Buchanan, an associate producer of PBS’s Frontline—there to meet a mysterious Iraqi defector with information about Saddam Hussein’s secret weapons program.


Two days later the story that spun out on the front page of the New York Times was as shocking as it was convincing. Ghurairy claimed that as a senior intelligence official, he had witnessed foreign Arab fighters training to hijack airplanes at the Salman Pak military facility south of Baghdad.


The impact of the article and the concurrent Frontline show, “Gunning for Saddam,” was immediate: Op-eds ran in major papers, and the story was taken to a wider audience through cable-TV talk shows.


Unfortunately, the story was an elaborate scam. The purported general had indeed met with American intelligence agents in Turkey, but unbeknownst to Hedges the agents had dismissed his claims out of hand. What the reporters also didn’t know, and what has never before been reported, is that it now appears that the man himself was a fake. According to an ex-INC official, the Ghurairy who met with the Times and PBS was actually a former Iraqi sergeant, then living in Turkey and known by the code name Abu Zainab. The real Lt. General Ghurairy, it seems, had never left Iraq.

Mother Jones

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Milosevic Wrap Up

Although I didn't know it at the time, the War in Serbia was to become the model for the War in Iraq. Both were horribly misguided and initiated based on false information.

It seems that governments (or at least the US government) must have a war to fight in order to justify its existence. The war can be against poverty or wars against fictional "Hitlers", it is all pretty much the same. They key is the government has no interest in seeing the problems solved as that would put them out of work.

Here is a list of some interesting comments on Milosevic and the Serbian war.

Guardian Unlimited
The case against Slobodan Milosevic would never have held up in a proper court of law.

Nebjsa Malic
Invictus: Summary of the Serbian Conflict.

The March of the Hypocrites

The Show Trial That Went Wrong.

A war criminal's untimely demise lets the U.S. off the hook.

Kosovo was Not Genocide.

20th Century Atlas
Death Estimates

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Charges of Anti-Semitism

Why are so many being accused of anti-Semitism in Europe?

David Clark, former Labor government adviser, comments on the wave of accusations occuring accross the pond.

If the past few weeks have demonstrated anything, it is the frequency with which allegations of anti-Semitism surface in modern political debate. Ken Livingstone, the Church of England and the Guardian (over articles comparing Israel and apartheid) are the most recent to find themselves in the firing line. This is the backdrop against which an unofficial parliamentary inquiry on anti-Semitism under former Foreign Office minister Denis McShane concluded its hearings in Westminster yesterday.


But these personal expressions of prejudice stand out precisely because they conflict so sharply with the left’s universalism and its opposition to ethnic discrimination. A more sweeping charge is that this universalism is itself a source of anti-Semitism since, in its maximalist interpretation, it denies Israel’s right to be a Jewish state. But the few still calling for a single “secular, democratic state” in the whole of historic Palestine are making a statement about the inadmissibility of defining statehood according to religious or ethnic criteria that they apply as a universal norm. Impractical and idealistic this may be, but it is not anti-Semitic, and it is plainly dishonest to suggest it is.

[This is a very good point. More interestingly, the left does continue object to universalism for the West. The question is, should Israel be treated like a Western nation or something else?]

So what changed [regarding the left's support for Israel]? The answer is 1967 and Israel’s subsequent emergence as a power determined to annex territory beyond its legally recognized borders. The unbearable truth is that the left that identifies with the Palestinians today is largely the same left that identified with Israel in the 1950s and the 1960s. Moreover, it does so for largely the same reason: instinctive sympathy for the underdog. For some, the idea that anyone could see the conflict in these terms is literally unthinkable, so they are forced to impute to Israel’s critics the motive of Jew-hatred.

At best, this betrays a lack of empathy — at worst, something less forgivable. From Golda Meir’s denial that the Palestinians existed to Ehud Barak’s dismissal of them as congenital liars, there is a long tradition of prejudice that regards the Palestinians as lesser beings deserving of lesser rights.

A more subtle argument accepts that Israel is open to criticism, but complains that it is singled out to an extent that reveals an underlying anti-Jewish prejudice. Or to put it another way: “Others get away with it, so why can’t Israel.” Despite its cynicism, this argument deserves an answer, and it is provided, as it happens, by Israel’s staunchest supporters. Israel, we are rightly reminded, is a democracy. Is it not legitimate, therefore, to expect it to uphold the democratic values we share in common? Far from being held to a higher standard, as its supporters often protest, Israel seems to operate with a greater impunity, and to do so with Western acquiescence. This is the real reason why the issue is felt so deeply on the left and why unofficial boycotts are emerging to fill the moral void left by our feeble leaders.

A final objection takes issue with the left’s supposed “demonization” of Israel. Although often overdone, one suspects that comparisons with apartheid provoke anger because they contain an uncomfortable element of truth. More clear-cut are analogies with Nazi Germany. These should be deplored on grounds of both historical truth and taste.

This is a very good summary of the state of the debate.


Were the Alabama Arsonists Jewish?

This is a little off topic for this blog, but I have received a few e-mails telling me that the Alabama arsonists were all Jewish.

The names of the three arsonists are:

Matthew Lee Cloyd
Russell Lee DeBusk Jr
Benjamin Nathan Moseley

The names are not obviously Jewish to me, but they are not obviously anything else either. Benjamin and Matthew are typical Jewish first names tho.

While this topic doesn't have to do with Israel, US support of Israel or the Iraq war, if true, it is remarkable in that I have not heard one word about it in the media, and I read a lot of news media.

Clearly, if these men were Jewish the issue of hate crimes would come to the forefront. One can only imagine the press coverage of this incident if the perpetrators were Muslim.

I would be interested in any information that would confirm or refute this allegation.


I have been sent these three links that seem to show the names are Jewish. This is not definitive, but it does support the claim.

Jewish Surname List (Search for DEBUSK).

Avotaynu (Search for MOSLEY).

JeishGen (Search for CLOYD).

It is highly unlikely that none of the men are Jewish given that all three show up on Jewish surname registers.


Someone sent me additional information that further supports the claim that the Alabama arsonists were committing a hate crime targeted soley at Baptist churches. This is information that can be easily confirmed or refuted as it just provides a list of times and locations.

On February 3, 2006, at approximately 1.53 a.m., a fire was reported at the Rehobeth Baptist Church located at 11 262 Deer Creek Road, Lawley, Alabama. (Centreville)

90 minutes later, at approximately 3:21 a.m., a fire was reported at the Ashby Baptist Church located at 11 1 Lilys Way, Brierfield, Alabama. (Centreville)

About 50 minutes later, at approximately 4:12 a.m., a fire was reported at the Old Union Baptist Church located at 1094 Oakley Station Road, Randolph, Alabama. (Centreville)

Four minutes later, at approximately 4:16 a.m., a fire was reported at the Pleasant Sabine Baptist Church located at 397 Church Lane, Centreville, Alabama.

About 25 minutes later, at approximately 4:42 a.m., a fire was discovered at the Antioch Baptist Church located at 185 Church Lane, Centreville, Alabama.

In a three hour period, five churches were set ablaze. What's most interesting is the fact that the arsonists bypassed all non-Baptist churches in and around Centreville. Including two churches located on the same road as the ones torched.

The arsonists hit the Antioch Baptist Church on Highway 25 in Centreville, but bypassed the Centreville Church of Christ, just down the street. They also bypassed the Assembly of God Worship Center, the Centreville First Presbyterian Church, the Centreville United Methodist Church, the Freewill Apostolic Holiness Church, the Deliverance Temple Holiness Church, the First United Pentacostal Church, the Pleasant Hill Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the Purity Holiness Church of Centreville, and the Trinity Spirit Holiness Church. All located in the same general vicinty.

If true, this clearly shows the effort was a hate crime. The pace at which five churches were burned in a single night suggests a planned effort. You would be hard pressed to randomly find these churches so quicky on a prank. And the fact that they skipped several non-Baptist churches during the course of this rampage strongly points to an attack targeted at Baptists.

If anyone can verify this information please drop me an e-mail.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Senior Israeli Official Wants More US Action on Iran

From the JPost:

The United States has until now not done enough to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, a senior Defense Ministry official has told The Jerusalem Post while expressing hope that Wednesday's referral of the Iranian issue to the United Nations Security Council would prove to be effective.

"America needs to get its act together," the official said. "Until now the US administration has just been talking tough but the time has come for the Americans to begin to take tough action."

The only real way to stop Teheran's race to obtain the bomb apart from military action was through tough economic sanctions that caused the Iranian people to suffer. "Once the people understand that their government is bringing upon them a disaster will they realize that the [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's regime needs to be replaced," the official said.

Yes sir. We will get right on it, sir.


Thursday, March 09, 2006

AIPAC Does What is Best for Israel

Thoughts on AIPAC's power from an Israeli newspaper. He acknowledges AIPAC does what is best for Israel, which implies it is not advocating what is necessarily best for the US.

Thus, a few years ago, an AIPAC lobbyist's activities developed ties to an anonymous candidate from a remote state, which has almost no Jews, until the latter reached one of the highest offices in the Senate, and was able to have a real influence in Israel's favor. [Senate? I am thinking Tom Delay in the House?] Thus, last week, the adviser to a senator from a southern state, which also has few Jews, explained: "We have an excellent relationship with the Jewish community. We would never do anything related to Israel without first explaining to Israel what we are doing." He did not say that the community would dictate the vote, he did not say that AIPAC would say the word and the senator would do its bidding. But he did not deny the obligation to explain and not to spring an unpleasant surprise. And in any case, in votes related to Israel, you will usually find this senator in the "plus" column. Just like most of the others.

Nor will they refuse an offer to attend the AIPAC conference. To judge by the list of speakers that the organization has succeeded in enlisting even this year, it retains its power. They include the vice president, Congressional leaders, and past and future candidates for president. Even on Capitol Hill some are secretly grumbling: AIPAC is too strong, too aggressive, too strongly committed to its goals. But openly, it is difficult for one to come out against it. It has a great deal of power in bringing about political moves, as well as the power to cause damage; at least that is what many people believe.

But once a year, we can take a time out from all that. To say "thank you" to the tens of thousands of Americans - Americans! - who devote their time and their money to do what they believe is best. The best thing possible for Israel.

State of Crime

Why can't Israel prosecute their own criminals?

Israel's mobsters grow more daring
Gangsters battle each other using bomb blasts with passers-by caught in the crossfire

Associated Press

JERUSALEM - The extradition of a suspected Israeli mob boss to face drug charges in Miami and New York is drawing new attention to Israel's increasingly brazen underworld, where gangsters have bombed busy streets and fired anti-tank missiles.

Israel's mob turf is so dangerous that the State Department has issued a travel advisory warning Americans of the dangers of the infighting.

One top gangster, Zeev Rosenstein, was extradited on Monday for involvement in a drug ring that allegedly distributed more than 1 million Ecstasy pills in Miami and New York. He's expected to be arraigned in federal court in Miami today.

U.S. prosecutors have called the short, squat Rosenstein one of the world's most wanted drug traffickers, and he's long been No. 1 on Israel's most-wanted list.

The best-known of Israel's underworld kingpins, he has done only one stretch in prison.

Showing footage of Rosenstein boarding an El Al Israel Airlines plane early Monday, Channel 10 TV called the extradition "the end of an era of Israeli crime" and "the final chapter in a 20-year cat-and-mouse game between Rosenstein and Israeli police."

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Zionists on the March

Here is an example of Zionists protesting something that should not be the least bit controversial - a speaking engagement by Norman Finklestein at Columbia University

March 7, 2006 -- A professor who has drawn widespread criticism for declaring that some Jews use the memory of the Holocaust an "extortion racket" has ignited an outcry at Columbia University, where he was invited to speak by several student groups.

Norman Finkelstein was slated to speak at the university's largest lecture hall tomorrow night on the topic "Israel and Palestine: Misuse of Anti-Semitism, Abuse of History."

The appearance of Finkelstein, a DePaul University political-science professor, comes as Columbia is still licking its wounds over charges last year that pro-Palestinian professors had intimidated Jewish students.

But we already have seen Normal Finklestein engage in a completely uneventful and rather cordial debate with an ex Foreign Minister of Israel. Surely if Prof. Finkelstein was such an anti-Semite Mr. Ben-Ami would have said something during the debate.

NY Post

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Finkelstein-Shlomo Ben-Ami Debate

There is an excellent debate on Israel between Shomo Ben-Ami and Norman Finkelstein at Democracy Now. (Link provided below). This is one of the best discussions of the situtaiton in Israel I have ever seen in a single source. It is packed with useful information and frank discussion.

You should bookmark it becuase you will refer to it whenever you debate you resident "Zionist from a Distance" loudmouth.

I am going to pull out a few key quotes in separte blog entries. The first quote is response from Finlelstein to a question about the idea that anti-Semitism is on the rise, or that there is a "new Anti-Semitism."

The problem is when you get to the United States. In the United States among those people who call themselves supporters of Israel, we enter the area of unreason. We enter a twilight zone. American Jewish organizations, they're not only not up to speed yet with Steven Spielberg, they're still in the Leon Uris exodus version of history: the “this land is mine, God gave this land to me," and anybody who dissents from this, you can call it, lunatic version of history is then immediately branded an anti-Semite, and whenever Israel comes under international pressure to settle the conflict diplomatically, or when it is subjected to a public relations debacle, such as it was with the Second Intifada, a campaign is launched claiming there is a new anti-Semitism afoot in the world.

There is no evidence of a new anti-Semitism. If you go through all the literature, as I have, the evidence is actually in Europe, which is Dr. Ben-Ami's half-home ground, Spain, but throughout Europe, the evidence is, if you look at like the Pew Charitable Trust surveys, anti-Semitism has actually declined since the last time they did the surveys. They did it in 1991 and 2002. They said the evidence is that it's declined. And the same thing in the United States. What's called the “new anti-Semitism” is anyone who criticizes any official Israeli policies. In fact, my guess is had people not known who wrote Scars of War, Wounds of Peace, that book would immediately be put on the A.D.L.'s list of verboten books, an example of anti-Semitism, because he says things like the Zionists wanted to transfer the Arabs out. [!] That's anti-Semitism. It has nothing to do with the real world. It's a public relations extravaganza production to deflect attention from the facts, from the realities, and I think this afternoon in our exchange, there were some areas of disagreement for sure, but I think a lot of what Dr. Ben-Ami said would not go down well with most of American Jewry, and that's when they'll soon be charging him with being an anti-Semite.

So, Finkelstein is predicting that the ex Foreign Minister under Ehud Barak will be labeled an anti-Semite. I don't think that will happen.

What is clear, however, is that if he wasn't the ex Foreign Minister he would be called an anti-Semite, and that says a lot about state of the debate on Israel in this country.

Democracy Now

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Born from Terror.

The tradition started at the birth of Israel continues today.

JEWISH terrorists plotted to assassinate Ernest Bevin, the foreign secretary, in 1946, as part of their campaign to establish the state of Israel, newly declassified intelligence files have shown. The plan was devised by Irgun, the insurgent group led by Menachem Begin, who went on to become a Nobel peace prize winner and prime minister of Israel.

The planned terrorist campaign ended up being restricted largely to letter bombs. In 1947, 20 were sent to leading figures in Britain including Bevin and Anthony Eden, his Tory predecessor.

The Times

200 Palestinian children arrested in two months

I am sure these children are very dangerous.

A new report by Defense for Children International revealed that Israeli forces have arrested over 200 Palestinian children in the last two months, holding them in adult facilities with no attempt to contact their parents, with many of the children describing horrific conditions and abuse while in custody.
According to the report, Israeli occupation forces are arresting scores of Palestinian children each week, bringing the number of juveniles currently held in appalling conditions in Israeli detention centres and prisons to new record levels.


Friday, March 03, 2006

Christians Harassed in Israel

From Haaretz:

A Jewish man accompanied by his Christian wife and their daughter detonated firecrackers inside the Basilica of the Annunciation in the northern Israeli Arab city of Nazareth on Friday evening, triggering riots that resulted in the injury of 13 police officers and 13 local residents.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

What Bush Knew about Iraq.

Bush new Iraq posed zero threat, and so did his neocon handlers.

Two highly classified intelligence reports delivered directly to President Bush before the Iraq war cast doubt on key public assertions made by the president, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials as justifications for invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, according to records and knowledgeable sources.

The president received highly classified intelligence reports containing information at odds with his justifications for going to war.

The first report, delivered to Bush in early October 2002, was a one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate that discussed whether Saddam's procurement of high-strength aluminum tubes was for the purpose of developing a nuclear weapon.

Among other things, the report stated that the Energy Department and the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research believed that the tubes were "intended for conventional weapons," a view disagreeing with that of other intelligence agencies, including the CIA, which believed that the tubes were intended for a nuclear bomb.

The other report found Saddam unlikely to attack the US.

National Journal

Davos World vs. Neocon World

Pat Buchanan gives us a glimpse into the very confused mind of G.W. Bush. Sounds like a conflicted place.

[There are two worlds in the mind of George Bush.]

The first might be called Davos World.

It is a globalist and utopian vision. In it, mankind, following the Bush principles and policies of free trade and open borders, advances inexorably to the new world of interconnectedness and interdependence. It is a world where the old concerns about rust belts and trade deficits do not matter. For it makes no difference where goods are produced, as we are all integrating into a Global Economy.

The second vision is grimmer. It might be called Neocon World.

This is the world we entered on Sept. 11, a world of good vs. evil, where "Islamofascism" threatens us all and "Axis of Evil" nations endlessly pursue weapons of mass destruction to give al-Qaida to attack us. It is a world where a "mushroom cloud" hangs over our cities and a "war president" needs the Patriot Act and the right to eavesdrop on overseas phone calls and e-mails to protect us from shoe bombers, subway bombers, mall bombers. It is a world of color-coded terror alerts and eternal vigilance, for we are in the "long war" that may last 70 years, the end of which must be "to end tyranny on the earth." For only then can America be secure.

What is wrong with these visions is that neither is rooted wholly in reality. Both are based in part on a preconceived ideology. Both are intellectual constructs. Moreover, they collide. And there is no place where they collide more directly than at America's borders.

In Davos World, it makes no difference if Dubai sheiks buy the British business that runs U.S. ports. But to Middle Americans, who believe all those warnings about mushroom clouds, the idea that U.S. ports would be run by Arabs seems to border on insanity.


It is obvious that they don't belive there is a real threat to the US at this time.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

No Quarter from AIPAC

AIPAC is pushing for passage of HR 4681.

This bill would punish the Palestinians for electing Hamas. According to this reference the per capita GDP of Palestine is US$1,000.00. This is not even a subsistence level.

This bill is a vicious attempt at group punishment on a people that are not able to defend or support themselves. It is inhumane and borders on an attempt to just starve the Palestinians to death.

Here is some more information on this bill:

The central provision of this resolution would prohibit the United States from providing direct assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) unless the President certifies that it has fulfilled a long list of subjective and ambiguous conditions. Current law already prohibits the United States from providing direct assistance to the PA unless the President signs a national security waiver, and in fact the United States provides no direct assistance to the PA.

This resolution goes far beyond reiterating the current US ban on direct assistance to the PA; it also calls for many troubling provisions that would punish and isolate the Palestinian people for exercising their right to vote, including:

* Restricting humanitarian aid. U.S. humanitarian assistance, overseen by USAID and implemented by certified non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), is not only essential to preventing the complete collapse of the Palestinian economy under the difficult conditions imposed by Israel; Even though it contains a waiver for certain humanitarian aid categories, this resolution threatens US assistance to NGO’s in Palestinian territories by putting it in the same category as aid to the PA.

* Designating Palestinian territory as a “terrorist sanctuary.” This designation would trigger restrictions on U.S. exports to Palestinian territories, effectively gutting the free trade agreement between the United States and the West Bank and Gaza Strip and further crippling the Palestinian economy.

* Prohibiting official Palestinian diplomacy or representation in the United States. This resolution would deny visas to PA representatives; restrict the movement of Palestinian diplomats at the UN; and shut down the PLO information office in Washington.

* Targeting the UN for supporting Palestinian human rights. The United Nations has voted by overwhelming majorities to create bodies like the Committee on the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People to advocate for the realization of unmet Palestinian human rights. This resolution seeks to defund these bodies by calling on the United States to withhold UN dues in proportion to the percentage of the UN budget that funds these bodies.

* Denying Palestinians the ability to receive assistance through international financial institutions. The World Bank has been working with the PA to rehabilitate the Gaza Strip since Israel’s unilateral “disengagement” from it in 2005. Funds are needed urgently to rebuild thousands of homes that Israel destroyed there. The reconstruction of the Gaza Strip could be in jeopardy if this bill is passed. It contains a provision instructing the United States, which has a controlling vote at the World Bank, to vote against such funding.