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30 March 2010

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Jackie

Col.,
Per you earlier suggestions, it is past time for AIPAC to be registered as a foreign agent.

And the tax deductions should be taken away for money sent to Israel for settlements.

Jackie

Also, it appears Typepad isn't requiring a URL today.

N. M. Salamon

Colonel
the USA is 8 months counting to decide whether there is to be change continuation!

1.,Healthcare, the change is there [though very imperfect]

2., Financial regulation, appears to move though still [mostly] useless.

3., ME peace process hangs in the air. If Mr. Obama shows spine, he will win, else ...

4., Iran if Aipac is defeated above, this issue mostly disappears

5., China bashing, absolute hypocricity, trying to blame anyone but USA regulators and Wall Street for this mess is the sign of insanity. The choices will be two for China: accapt trade war and lose some wealth, OR accept US$ depreciation and lose some wealth - in either case the USA loses.

6., Unemployment/underemployment, if the financial regulations are effective there is hope, else Wall St. will play games, and the citizens will be F****D.

I will presume that adults {excluding Mr. Ross and his buddies] in Administration will work in cutting down on the Congressional power of AIPAC, and at the same time sideline some of these "non-USA-first" traitors on the financial regulation issue. These two steps co-dependent on the President's spine will decide the election.

Matthew

Col: Don't discount cynicism. It's like the Armenian Genocide Resolution. We vote for it. It does not bind hte President. We pick up the campaign contribution. The President is responsible for actually caring....

Rinse. Repeat.

Clifford Kiracofe

1. Hoyer's sister, Bernice Manocherian, is married to an Iranian Jew it is said. Also, she has been a big honcho in AIPAC.

2. The Christian Zionists do have influence in Congress and they work with the Jewish pro-Israel members. Cantor got his whip position owing to
Christian Zionist Blunt of Missouri.

Cantor has influence within the party as he can help Republican "friends of Israel" get campaign contributions. Republicans know Jews vote mostly Democrat. What the Republican campaign strategists want for their candidate is money with which to get elected.

3. While Congress does the usual per Israel, we need to analyze and understand the dynamics of the present Knesset. This includes assessing the support in the Knesset for the "settler movement."

Some argue that we should cause a regime change in Israel which would bring Bibi down and then Labour into power. Or various variations thereof.

But would Labour, or some combination thereof, coming to power result in a "two-state solution"?

Offhand, I don't think so. But that's me.

4. I would again suggest to those interested in historical perspective to take a look at how imperial Rome handled the Jewish Question/Problem over time. Grant does get into some regional strategic issues of the day, Parthians and all that:

Michael Grant, The Jews in the Roman World (New York: cribners', 1973)

5. Some interesting comment:

"For 43 years, the Israeli public - schoolchildren, TV viewers, Knesset members and Supreme Court judges - have been living in the darkness of the occupation, which some call liberation. The school system and its textbooks, the army and its maps, the language and the "heritage" have all been mobilized to help keep Israelis blind to the truth. Luckily, the Gentiles clearly see the connection between the menace of Iranian control spreading across the Middle East and the curse of Israeli control over Islamic holy places."

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1159849.html

Mary

I can't begin to express my appreciation for the deep well of knowledge and experience of Col. Lang and his commenters on these issues. As far as the Israeli public being brainwashed for 43 years, I think the same is true for the American public, at least this member, who bought into all of the myths about Israel. I only started to wake up after the 2006 Lebanon war and only by chance. When I did wake up, in 2007, I was furious about having been lied to for so long. My awakening on this issue is oh so reminiscent of my awakening on the Iraq war and intertwined with that process. And I am beyond furious about it. I expect the rest of the sentient American public will reach the same conclusions I have in short order.

The President has just called Israel's and AIPAC's bluff and is asking for a 4 month freeze in E. Jerusalem in exchange for the direct talks that Israel supposedly so desperately wants. Together with the imminent watered-down sanctions regime on Iran that the world will agree should appease Israel, I am cautiously optimistic that the world will turn a laser-like focus on solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem and that AIPAC can be sidestepped. Am I being too naive?

Jane

Obama keeps making the same mistake -- offering the actions of third parties as proof of his good will. He offered bi-partisanship which depended on the actions of Republicans and lost that PR battle when they refused their votes. He offered restrictions on settlement enhancement that -- at the very least -- depended on Netanyahu's willingness to risk his political coalition. Having failed with that bluff, he proposed that Netanyahu recede from his announced position on Jerusalem. Wouldn't a even minimal sense of strategy stop him from making promises to the Palestinians which he has little or no prospect of bringing about?

Arun

I'd like to know Col. Lang's and the readers' here opinion - that the two-state solution comes about with Israel and Palestine and a divided Jerusalem - will there be a lasting peace in that area?

Or is the Palestine issue merely a symptom of a deeper-rooted hostility?

Clearly those who believe the latter (e.g., "they hate us for our freedoms") have no reason to seek peace if it means making any concessions.

Jose

Foolbama has crossed the Rubicon, if POTUS backs down the entire credibility of the United states will be shaken.

Should be really interesting couple of months to come as we see "Clash of the Titans."

N. M. Salamon - Really interesting read on America, just curious are you in the U.S.A. or in another country.

From my personal experience, people outside of the U.S.A. have a better view of what is going on here than the average American...lol

Phil Giraldi

I had wanted to go a whole week without commenting anywhere about Bibi Netanyahu and/or AIPAC, but alas!. To me the astonishing thing is that I had to learn about this AIPAC letter from The Guardian! I have done a little searching and determined that this story is not being reported in the New York Times, Washington Post, AP, or UPI. That fully three quarters of the US house including Steny Hoyer is signed on to a letter which basically is saying that the US government has no right to disagree publicly with anything the state of Israel does is outrageous and it is absolutely astonishing that the mainstream media considers it to be off limits. The congressmen who have signed on to this letter should be targeted and drummed out of office for disloyalty to the United States of America. What possible rationale can there be for elected officials endorsing any and all actions undertaken by a foreign country, particularly in the current context where senior military officers have stated that the actions of that country are endangering American military personnel overseas? Where are their heads? What can they possibly be thinking? Why does the mainstream media consider this unimportant?

This is why I despair of change in the status quo. As long as the media keeps a lid on the narrative most Americans will not have a clue that large swathes of their government are in the grip of a foreign power that feeds off of us while persisting in policies that will do us great harm.

WILL

"To me the astonishing thing is that I had to learn about this AIPAC letter from The Guardian! "
Politico.com, usually in the Laura Rozen column reports all this stuff. The influential news aggregator and Zionist cheerleader Matt Drudge always highlights this kind of news.

DanM

The Guardian's claim is stunning, if true (about 3/4s of the house signing a letter calling for "no criticism of Israel.") But the Guardian merely states this bald "fact" without saying where it came from, how it was verified.

While i think there's a good deal of truthiness to the Guardian piece, i suspect the 3/4's claim is AIPAC/someone elses spin.

N. M. Salamon

Jose:

Live in Canada for 52 years, saw the Hungarian Revolution in '57 now sped about 6 hrs a day on news and news analysis from different perspectives world wide. Consider WP and NWT extremely bious in reporting / analysing IMPORTANT ISSUES for the "people".

rfjk

"it may no longer have the same impact."

Its the squeaky wheel that gets all the attention. And for some 40 years the Israeli front group AIPAC had a free and unobstructed road to hew in the US Congress.

Today, that's no longer the case with the rise of Arab and Muslim lobbies and PAC's. Plus schism within the ranks of the Zionists, whose rebels are proselytizing other agendas and views in opposition to AIPAC and Likudnik Israel.

There are Jews and there are Zionists. Of the former there are American/Jews and Diaspora/Jews who are becoming extremely uncomfortable with what Zionism has become and the kind of racist, national, socialist state Israel is turning into.

For Jews its coming down to a hard choice between the 2,000 year struggle in the Diaspora of becoming a light unto the nations, or stained by the rogue legacy of an apartheid, Warsaw ghettoizing Israel.

J

Phil,

Nobody seems to be asking the 64 dollar question -- How can a client state/bobble-headed goof called Israel/Bibi Netanyahu afford to defy the U.S.?

Take a look at this article

Many feel that the reason that Bibi can afford to be the defiant little mouse with his middle finger in the air, is because Madoff's missing (stolen) U.S. Billions are parked in Israel. Madoff's massive scam scammed innocent Americans to the tune of some $50 Billion plus. And the other reason some believe that Bibi can afford to offend Obama/U.S. is because Bibi's hubris comes from conceit. Both Bibi and Ehud Barak are connected at the hip to a swath of U.S. and International Zionist crooks who happen to be rich, very rich. Madoff had close business connections to directors of the Israel Discount Bank, which is claimed by some to be nothing more than a large scale money laundering business. Individuals at the center of the Israel Discount Bank set up a free-trade zone in the Negev, which involved both Barak and Netanyahu. Also these individuals are at the heart of the American-Israeli Commission for Housing. And the linchpin connections go on, and on, and on. Suffice to say the Israeli leadership/Zionist crooks have definite links to one another, in more ways than you can shake a stick at, those links enable Bibi (and his AIPAC enablers) to continue to act with hubris towards our U.S. and our U.S. citizenry.

optimax

If you want to see who signed the Hoyer/Cantor letter of U.S. submission to Israel, go to AIPAC.org and on the right side click on "reafirm Israel-U.S. relations" or something close to that. The letter to the Senate is still circulating but some have already signed it. My Congressman signed it and (I agree with Phil Giraldi on this) am sending him an email stating that by doing so he is undermining our President, the military, U.S. self-interest and the ME peace process. Also am asking my Senators to not sign the letter.
Sometimes it seems like the truth will drive you crazy.

Ael

The two state solution is dead.
Obtaining an "acceptable to all parties division" is clearly impossible.

On the other hand, "one person, one vote" for everyone between the river and the sea is a simple, straightforward mantra.

Once everyone is enfranchised, then they can argue things over in the Knesset.

Clifford Kiracofe


1. From the AIPAC website, where else?:

"In less than three days, three-quarters of the House of Representatives signed a bipartisan letter to the Obama administration underscoring the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Spearheaded by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA), and addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the letter lays out the bedrock support that exists in Congress for the U.S.-Israel alliance. "The United States and Israel are close allies whose people share a deep and abiding friendship based on a shared commitment to core values including democracy, human rights and freedom of the press and religion." The letter also calls for the U.S. to resolve any differences that may exist between the two countries "quietly, in trust and confidence, as befits longstanding strategic allies." House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA) and Ranking Member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), as well as Mideast subcommittee Chairman Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Ranking Member Dan Burton (R-IN), also led the bipartisan effort to send a clear message of support for the Jewish state from the House to the administration.

House Speaker, Republican Leader Praise Netanyahu

Top Congressional leadership reaffirmed their support for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) praised the Israeli leader and reaffirmed the U.S.-Israel alliance. "We in Congress stand by Israel; in Congress we speak with one voice on the subject of Israel," Pelosi said. Added Boehner: "We have no stronger ally anywhere in the world than Israel." Pelosi and Boehner both pointed to the threat from Iran as a top concern and an area in which the United States will cooperate with Israel. Netanyahu thanked his congressional hosts for their bipartisan support. "We face two great challenges", Netanyahu said, a "quest for peace with our Palestinian neighbors" and stopping Iran from developing atomic weapons.

Members of Congress Speak Out for Strong U.S.-Israel Relationship

Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East.
In addition to the dozens of congressional statements, members of the House and Senate are circulating letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging the administration to reaffirm the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship and calling for any differences to be resolved amicably as befits longstanding strategic allies. The House letter is being spearheaded by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA). Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) are leading the effort in the Senate. Urge your Senators and your Representative to sign onto the letters. "
http://www.aipac.org/130.asp


This goes on all the time in Congress, year in and year out, for a range of issues not just Israel. "Dear Colleague Letters" "Letters to the President" and so on.

Such letters are useful for fundraising purposes for lobby groups who inspire such action.

With lots of signatures on a letter, the lobby group can go to its supporters and say "See how effective we are, please contribute more money so we can keep the pressure on" Members who sign the letters can boast to their constituents that they are strong supporters of whatever as shown by their participation in th letter: Israel, free trade, fair trade, the steel industry, etc.


This level of support for Israel, at least three quarters of both Houses of Congress, is the norm, it is routine, it is a fact and has been this way for many years. It should surprise no one familiar with the US political scene.

A cursory glance at the voting patterns on legislation important to the pro-Israel lobby indicates the strength of the lobby.

2. Many would argue that the US media manages the news in Israel's behalf. The newsmedia is, in effect, owned by "pro-Israel" interests and thus managing the news to Israel's benefit is the norm. No surprises there either.

The US newsmedia is a form of the entertainment industry the purpose of which is to sell advertising and to make a profit. "News" is placed into the product, print or electronic, but is subject to the requirements and politics of the ownership. Under present ownership patterns, it is unlikely that US newsmedia/entertainment industry complex will ever take a line which is not "pro-Israel."

In the run up to the war on Iraq, for example, the US media bent every effort to suppress the very strong opposition to the war in the UK in parliament. Why? Obviously, reporting that there was tremendous opposition in the UK, our ally, would get people to thinking on this side. It might even inspire Congressmen and Senators, who might become aware of Labour and Tory positions against the war, to stand up against the rush to war.

The US media adroitly managed the news in such a way as to minimize foreign opposition to the war and to maximize false propaganda to manipulate the already "dumbed down" US mass public. Consider the news management of issues relating to Iran today. etc.


N.Z.

A light unto nations, please explain !

This is the essence of apartheid "rfjk". An apartheid between the Jews and the rest of the world.

Are you telling me that the Jewish people possess something which gentiles lack and that the Jewish way of life is inherently better.

Is this why Arabs- Christians and Jews are considered hostile because they reject this mantra ? I beg an explanation .

N.Z.

Correction oops -Christians and Muslims

Fnord

Good people. I think you are missing one very important factoid in the discussion, wich is the Quartets resolution to support a Palestinian state at the end of 2011. Hillary Clinton put her name to that. I think this is why the Isralists (for lack of a better term) are mobilizing like crazy right now. Its interesting, though, that AIPAC-Likud only demands that such disagreements be kept private. Nethanyahu has demanded two meetings from Obama within a couple weeks notice now and have hot them both. In diplomatic behaviour, thats rude. (I think Nethanyahu thought he controlled Stupak on the healthcare-vote, but maybe thats just me being machiavellian)

I think the good president may be a bit pissed off. And I think AIPAC senses that. Abe Foxman was left very much in silence on his attack on Petraeus. The decision of creating a West Bank state as a american protectorate is not a bad idea, gives the COIN boys a good cause to do.

N. M. Salamon

Clifford Kiracofe:

Apropos your note on MSM above: here is a gem from oilmen also missing from MSM reporting:

At present rates of consumption, the total US reserves amount to about 1,000 days (3 yrs). At present rates of production, perhaps 12 years. Is there a lot more out there to find not in those figures aside from oil shale?

No, that's almost all there is. There are a few billion more barrels to find, but not tens of billions more barrels. There have been millions of wells drilled in the US, and there's not a lot of places left to look. From here, you can see the dark at the end of the tunnel where it comes to an end.

But the bigger concern is that the rest of the world is not looking very good, either. There are a few hundred billion barrels left to find, but not infinite amounts.

USA perhaps get the lead out... and start preparoing, end of exurbs, need public tranport big time etc.. ALL TOO BORING FOR MSM

walrus

" But that does not mean that we should continue to allow a tiny client state to dominate us"

With respect Col. Lang, it's not a "tiny client state" doing the dominating, it's AIPAC and corporate elites who are doing the dominating in Washington. The size and capability of the State matters not, it's the size and capability of the lobbyists and the donors behind them.

I do not believe Obama is fighting the good fight either since I do not subscribe to that fallacy, popular with the common people the world over many centuries, that "Our King is a good man, surrounded by evil advisors, who will see the justice of our cause if we can only lay the facts before him."

Congress and The President are owned, lock stock and barrel. Witness lack of action to investigate torture, detention of detainees, no rollback of the Patriot act, pitiful healthcare reform and now oil drilling on the East Coast. I predict financial reform and any global warming legislation will also be toothless.

The progressive "Netroots", of which I was once one, have been jettisoned and thrown under a bus by Obama, Emanuel and he Democratic party Czars as they returned to "business as usual" after Obamas election. Unfortunately we don't hate enough and maintain the rage to hold their feet to the fire.

The main game now is to watch how the various lobbys divide up the spoils.

Patrick Lang

walrus

How fun! (as the saying goes) I describe an end state (domination by a tiny client state) and then you explain with a superior air how that occurs. B- pl

Clifford Kiracofe

NA Salamon,

Thanks for your comment.
Energy security is indeed a critical issue for us as it is for many countries.
Years ago in college I took some classes in Geology, petroleum geology being a particular interest. Much has changed since then with respect to the technology and so on.

There are many useful sources of data on energy such as DOE, IEA, BP, etc. I find the work of the National Petroleum Council quite interesting and worthwhile, particularly with respect to natural gas issues:
http://www.npc.org/

Yes indeed we do need massive new investments in transportation infrastructure, light rail, high speed rail, and all that. Washington has failed the country miserably when it comes to energy and transportation issues.

The American public and its leadership have been so dumbed down that an understanding of our industrial past and economic history is all but a faint memory.

Light rail? Well, take the Chicago back in the 1920s and 1930s, there were all manner of electric light rail lines radiating out from the center into the suburbs.
http://www.irm.org/gallery/Interurbans

I remember riding with my dad what remained of these as a little boy in the 1950s. He used to tell me about the wonderful passenger rail system we had in this country, best in the world once: Broadway Limited, Panama Limited, and all manner of amazing transportation.

The distintegration of our passenger rail infrastructure is an indicator of the disintegration of our industrial and technical culture here in the US, IMO. Compare with present day high speed rail/light rail in Europe...and CHINA.

The trillion plus we are wasting in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere should have gone into domestic infrastructure and jobs and so on. I do not doubt that in a couple of decades, the present younger generation will begin to understand how deeply they have been betrayed by present day politicians and the pro-Israel Lobby.


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