Representative Jane Harmon, the same Neocon Democratic Congressperson who learned in 2003 of the Bush administration's use of torture and secret prisons and kept quiet, successfully sponsored the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007. It passed by a vote of 404-6 on 10/23/07. The bill now goes to the Senate. This new legislation will likely lead to the criminalization of ideas and beliefs and invite surveillance and curtailment of Internet communications and access. I propose that Ms Harmon be the first person charged with violation of this bill because she is using the force of an unconstitutional law in order to promote her political beliefs. Ms. Harmon's phone # is 202 225 8220. I'm sure she would like to hear from you. (And while you're at it you might ask her why she didn't blow the whistle on Bush's crimes against the Geneva Conventions.)
The US political elite and media that conceals the brutality of the Israeli occupation for sectional political gains are accomplices to this sadism, and their silence endangers the security of the United States. When we cannot understand why Arab audiences, who are perfectly aware of what the Israeli army has been doing to Palestinians for decades, are outraged, it leads us into policy mistakes in dealing with the Middle East.
Neocons and the right wing political parties in Israel,not Islamofascism, are the greatest danger to peace in the Middle East and the world. Neocons and the pro Likud lobby are behind the brutal occupation, apartheid, and colonial policies imposed by Israel on the Palestinian people of the West Bank and Gaza. These sadististic policies have enraged Islamic peoples and have led to resistance including the terrorism of 9/ll. In the US, the Neocons and the Likud lobby (who do not represent mainstream American Jewry or Israelis) use propaganda against Palestinian and Islamic peoples. They label them Islamofascists and terrorists, when, in fact, they are the victims of terrorist practices designed and supported by the Neocons and Likudiks.
The Neocons are a branch of the Israeli lobby that has an emotionally intense commitment to Israel. They use a variety of tactics to stifle debate on Middle East issues. A favorite is to label those holding opposing views anti-semites. Neocons from Elliot Cohen to David Frum to Max Boot to Lawrence Kaplan to Jonah Goldberg to Midge Decter to Charles Krauthammer have hurled the epithet of anti-Semitism at people whose views they disagree with. Targets have included Nobel Peace prize winners Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu, distinguished professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, media personalities Chris Mathews and Pat Buchanan among many others. The point of most of these attacks is to personally discredit anyone who would criticize Israel and to taint them with the smear of "controversy" – and thereby surpress genuine debate. The climate of fear that the neocons have created now permeates the media, the universities, and the halls of Congress.
It has been revealed that the patriots of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) wrote the draft for the Kyle-Lieberman resolution which received 76 Senate votes including that of Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton. We must congratulate our Senators on this expression of bi-partisan comity! In store later this fall are a series of extravagazas designed to educate Americans about the need for war with Iran. They include:
--the Islamo-fascism awareness week at college campuses across the country starting Oct 22. The American patriot David Horowitz is responsible for this event http://www.terrorismawareness.org/
--A 200 million dollar Bomb Iran Campaign brought to you by Freedom Watch
It is an act of faith that Iran should not have nukes and the major candidates have issued fatwas against Iran ("no military option off the table"). I would suggest that Iran’s having nukes is a good thing and could hasten what we all want, a nuclear free world. When one group (Us/Israel) is all-powerful in a region, the result is highly destabilizing. Lord Acton’s famous quip that absolute power results in absolute corruption has been proven in social psychological experiments, e.g. Zimbardo’s prison study which showed that when one group has absolute power over another, the result, even when the group holding power is "good," is domination, cruelty, and degradation. On the other hand, we know that when there is rough parity in power, the potential for dialogue and negotiation is enhanced. It is significant that the parity in nuclear power between the US and the Soviet Union during the cold war did not result in a nuclear Armageddon. MAD (mutually assured destruction) kept each player in line.
On May 10, 1996, appearing on 60 Minutes, Madeleine Albright (then U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and speaking for USrael) acknowledged that about a half a million children under five had died from the genocidal sanctions on Iraq. When asked how she felt about this, she replied "we think the price is worth it."
USrael is the greatest state sponsor of terror since Hitler's Nazi Germany. USrael came about through a merging of the military-industrial complexes of the US and Israel in the 1990's during the Clinton administration. During that period the US moved from a position of neutral broker-middleman in the Middle East to that of co-sponsor with Israel of regional terror. The genocidal sanctions against Iraq marks the beginning of USrael collaboration. Between 1990 and 2001 the sanctions resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1.5 million Iraqis and the infant/young-child mortality rate in Iraq rose from 50 per 1,000 live births 133 per 1,000(meaning that more than 13 percent of Iraqi children die before the age of five). Since then USrael has been on a terror spree not seen since Hitler's time. So far Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Palestine have been all but destroyed. Next up for destruction: Iran and Syria.
"It is essential that the Muslim world wake up to the fact that it has a jihadist death cult in its midst. If it does not fight that death cult, that cancer, within its own body politic, it is going to infect Muslim-Western relations everywhere. Only the Muslim world can root out that death cult."
The oppressors choose to forget the history of their depredations, or substitute a civilizing mission for their history of brutalities, bombings, massacres, ethnic cleansings and expropriations. It is the oppressed peoples who know the history of their oppression: they know it because they have endured it. Its history is seared into their memory, their individual and collective memory.
The NY Times plays a key role in fanning the flames of anti Arab bigotry in the US, principally through its chief op-ed columnists, Thomas Friedman and David Brooks. Their bigotry is veiled and politically correct. Instead of finding Arab DNA defective (a la Hitler), they find their culture defective. Terrorism is portrayed by Friedman and the Times as a Muslim problem. This is a convenient lie.
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
The US is not yet a bona fide fascist state in the traditional sense, but the current obsession with national security, militaristic rhetoric and imperial ambitions tend in that direction. Other traits of Bush’s government fit the bill as well: hyper-nationalism, identification of evil-doing enemies (Islamofascists), authoritarian leadership and the concentration of power in the executive branch of government (via signing statements among other scams), emphasis on machismo ("bring em on"), rollback of personal freedoms, protection of corporate power, cronyism ("heck of a job Brownie"), slick marketing and control of the media, and framing day-to-day life as permanent war.
I've noticed what may be a new phenomenon in the Israel-Palestine debate as it plays out in the US. I call it pre-emptive censorship. A number of non-Jewish organisations have denied supposedly controversial speakers or organisations the right to speak or perform due to the anticipated reaction of the local Jewish community.
Richard Silverstein of Tikkun October 9, 2007
"If authors are not being smeared and accused of sinister motives...they are ignored altogether...as has happened to other books which have been buried alive."
Uri Avnery, author, peace activist, member of Israeli army of 1948
The Israel lobby has enormous capability to manipulate the public debate on Middle East policy not only through friendly venues in the media, but also through its ability to pre-empt speech that it disagrees with. It's one thing for pro-Israel groups to smear, disparage, demonize, and denigrate speech critical of Israel. This happens routinely in the pages of the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. At least comments deemed critical by AIPAC et alia see the light of day. It's something else to pre-emptively censor speech by using behind the scenes tactics of intimidation and fear.
Politicians as a class are disreputable--HL Mencken
A revolution every once in a while is a good idea--Thomas Jefferson
Our government does not represent the people. It represents special interest lobbies, such as AIPAC, big oil, drug companies, etc. The depressing facts are well known:
--TheDemocrats won a mandate to stop an illegal war, but they let the war be widened; and they are about to consent to another war, before they ask for another mandate.
--Americans don't want torture, black holes, rendition, suspension of habeas corpus, eavesdropping. The Democrats don't stop it.
--Americans don't want to take sides in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, but the administration and both parties backs Israel indiscriminantly.
It's time to control the politicians who work for lobbies and turn them into accountable civil servants: employees of the people, not statesman. The Internet can provide direct plebicitatory democracy. A fourth branch of government created by a Constitutional amendment can provide the necessary oversight on politicians whose agendas are not in synch with ordinary Americans.
Seymour Hersh says that "Ironically there is a lot of pressure coming from Democrats (for war with Iran). Hillary Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have all said we cannot have a nuclear-armed Iran. Clearly the pressure from Democrats is a reflection of - we might as well say it - Israeli and Jewish input." He added the obvious: "a lot of money comes to the Democratic campaigns" from Jewish contributors. That the Israeli lobby has been successful in ginning up the chances of war with Iran is reflected in the vote for the Kyl-Lieberman resolution which essentially gives Bush the license to attack Iran. 76 Senators voted for that bill. The direction of America's policies regarding Iran comes from the likes of Neocons Feith, Friedman, Crystal, Kagan, Krauthammer, Abrams, et alia. One of the lesser known but powerful stage managers and propagandists of the Israeli lobby is the real estate and media mogul, Morton Zuckerman.
The Democratic party used to stand up for the dispossessed, the out of luck, the poor. Now the party has become an embarassment because it stands up for thugs and fat cats. Case in point: leading Democratic politicians with few exceptions routinely sell out American interests to the Israeli lobby. My question is, who among the leading Democratis, is the most craven?