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Hold U.S. Leaders Accountable for War Crimes

July 27, 2010 by Sherwood Ross

veteranstoday.com

LEGAL AUTHORITY

Unless Americans hold their leaders accountable for their criminal conduct, even if it means the death penalty, future leaders will commit crimes as well, a prominent law school dean warns.

“Unless and until this starts being done, and I stress the need for the gallows when the crime warrants it, we will never be without major crooks, without causers of major disasters, in big business, in government, in economics and in war,” writes Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover and an award-winning essayist.

“Unless and until we start sending the even worse criminal warmongers and torture mongers to the gallows, we will in the long run keep getting more of the same. We will recoil from the disaster only to find ourselves facing a similar economic or warmongering disaster five or ten or twenty years from now,” Velvel wrote.

As to the economic and business side of it, by now nobody needs persuading that one disaster can and does follow another, Velvel says. As for starting wars, “who, if he or she lived through Viet Nam, would have thunk it could happen again, yet (former President George W.) Bush and (former Vice President Dick) Cheney and their fellow mental dwarfs saw to it that it did,” he added.

Velvel noted that “It was the fear of being held to account in courts even though this had never happened before that led the Executive to commission exonerating legal memoranda from the John Yoos and their ilk in the Department of Justice and the Pentagon. For George Bush, Richard Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and Henry Kissinger to swing, or even for them to spend years in jail, would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders.”

He added, “It is not amiss to note that leaders of Germany and Japan from the end of World War II until today have never advocated the kinds of policies advocated by generations of their predecessors. There are several reasons for this, but one cannot discount the importance of the leaders’ knowledge that their predecessors swung in the 1940s.”

Velvel called for, “A culture of honesty, a culture of competence, a concern for the other guy, not just oneself—all of this is crucial to a decent society and can collectively be summed up within the individual by whether or not he or she has a decent internal code of honor.”

“But look as hard as you want, and you are not going to find that internal code in most people, at least not in people who are big deals in this society,” Velvel explains. “It was recently said of (former Secretary of State) Condoleezza Rice that her only core principle is success. What was said to be true of her—and I personally think worse of her than that—is an oft true principle of American life in general. There is no decent internal code of honor among the big shots, who care for success alone. The absence of such a code, and of the elements comprising it, in the big shots and many others is, I think, as often said here, the single most profound tragedy of our country, because it causes so many others.”

Velvel states: “Today, there is no accountability for our leaders, nor do their own families face death on the front lines as occurred during the Civil War (when several Cabinet officials’ sons or brothers faced battle) and World War II (when one of FDR’s sons participated in extraordinarily dangerous missions in the Pacific). Today there are, rather, only very different factors—factors that make it easy and safe for leaders to fight wars; there are half trillion dollar appropriations, huge standing military forces which the President orders into combat all around the world at the proverbial drop of a hat, a compliant congress that refuses to do its duty, and an incompetent, if not venal, mainstream media.

Writing of Obama, Velvel said that he “seems to be drinking the same Kool Aid that was drunk by, and destroyed the presidencies of, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush.” Velvel said that President Obama’s actions in Afghanistan “indicate he has learned nothing from the debacles in Indo China and Iraq. They are especially dumb for having been made by a guy who is quite smart….”

Velvel is cofounder and dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, a law school purposefully dedicated to providing a quality, affordable education for students from minority, immigrant, and low-income backgrounds who would otherwise not be able to afford a legal education and practice law. He is also founder of the American College of History and Legal Studies, scheduled to open in Salem, N.H., this August. #

(Sherwood Ross is a media consultant to the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover. Contact him at sherwoodross10@gmail.com)

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Arizona Lawsuit: Only the Supreme Court has Jurisdiction

(Info from Robert, news contributor.)

 
A Blatant mistake in Constitutional authority?  Why can this case even be occurring?

Article III, Section 2, clause 2 of the Constitution:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/article03/

ONLY the US Supreme Court has Constitutional Authority to Conduct the Trial
By Publius Huldah Thursday, July 29, 2010

Does anyone read the U.S. Constitution these days? American lawyers don’t read it. Federal Judge Susan R. Bolton apparently has never read it. Same goes for our illustrious Attorney General Eric Holder. But this lawyer has read it and she is going to show you something in Our Constitution which is as plain as the nose on your face.

Article III, Sec. 2, clause 2 says:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction…

“Original” jurisdiction means the power to conduct the “trial” of the case (as opposed to hearing an appeal from the judgment of a lower court). You all know quite well what a “trial” is - you see them all the time on TV shows: Perry Mason, Boston Legal, The Good Wife, etc. Witnesses testify and are cross-examined, etc.

The style of the Arizona case shows quite clearly that the named defendants are:

State of Arizona; and Janice K. Brewer,
Governor of the State of Arizona, in her
Official Capacity, Defendants.

Judge Susan R. Bolton has no more authority to preside over this case than do you.


Continued:

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/25983

Comment:

Ben said:

Hi John, I'm going to comment on two articles here. The first one is about the Arizona's new law that is being challenged. I don't like that law even being challenged just for the simple fact that I have been in several countries though out the world. I.E. Germany, East Germany,(before the wall went down) France, England, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Thailand, and Dubai UAB. In everyone of those countries I was asked for my passport to verify my entry visa was stamped with a current date and that I was legally in that country including Iraq. I have been searched and questioned by authorities in just about everyone of those countries of why I was there and long did I plan on being their. East Germany I was even detained for four hours just so they could search my vehicle. Why does our country have to be any different? I believe in people living in this country that came from somewhere else but follow our laws on immigration. Just because these people from Mexico came here ten years ago and never got caught and now have to worry if there are going to get deported, well they had ten years to get it right. If those peole had followed our laws we wouldn't even be disguising about Constitutional Law.

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Mounting WW3 Tensions: China Conducts Two Military Drills in Response to Those of the US and South Korea

Link

(Info from Paul, news contributor)

Beijing – The Chinese military conducted two exercises near the Yellow Sea, while the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) engaged in a joint military drill that concluded on Wednesday, State media said.

According to the Xinhua News Agency, an army unit based at an inland province in the Jinan Military Command ferried combat forces and arms to “a coastal city” in Shandong province on Tuesday.

China’s Central Television Station (CCTV) on Tuesday broadcast footage of the Nanjing Military Command testing a new long-range artillery rocket on land toward the Yellow Sea.

The exercise took place on Sunday, as Washington and Seoul began their joint exercise.

CCTV said it was the first time China carried out such a large-scale long-range artillery rocket drill.

Liu Mingjin, chief of staff of the artillery division, told CCTV that the drill was intended to test the troop’s long-range striking precision.

While Washington and Seoul completed their first joint exercise on Wednesday, Seoul’s Yonhap News Agency quoted a high-level ROK military officer as saying on the same day that the two sides will “present a joint military exercise once every month until the end of the year”.

The official also said a US-ROK drill is scheduled to take place in the Yellow Sea in September.

The exercises, which were initially planned to be carried out in the Yellow Sea, are targeted at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for its alleged role in the sinking of the ROK warship Cheonan in March. Pyongyang has vehemently denied the accusations.

The move has also drawn strong criticism from Beijing. The exercises have placed the Chinese capital within striking distance of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington, which is involved in the drill, Chinese military analysts said.

Hu Zhengyue, a Chinese assistant foreign minister, is leading a delegation visiting the DPRK, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told Xinhua on Wednesday.

“It is a normal exchange between the two foreign ministries,” she said, without providing more details about how long the visit would last or what specifically was on the agenda.

Li Qinggong, deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies, said he did not believe the Chinese exercises were directed at the US-ROK drill, because such preparations take a long time and the timing may be a coincidence.

A recent poll conducted by the Washington-based Kissinger Institute on China and the Unites States showed nearly nine in 10 Chinese students and about three in four Chinese citizens consider the US to be the biggest threat to China’s interests, despite Chinese warming to the US over the past decade.

Charles K. Armstrong, a Korea Foundation professor of Korean studies at Columbia University, said that Beijing’s concern is valid, as wariness is sometimes mutual.

“At a time of mounting US concern about Chinese naval expansion, the Chinese may have some justification if they also feel threatened by a US military presence.”

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China Calls Our Bluff: The US is Insolvent and Faces Bankruptcy as a Pure Debtor Nation

by Washington's Blog

America's biggest creditor - China - has called our bluff.

As the Financial Times notes, the head of China's biggest credit rating agency has said America is insolvent and that U.S. credit ratings are a joke:

The head of China’s largest credit rating agency has slammed his western counterparts for causing the global financial crisis and said that as the world’s largest creditor nation China should have a bigger say in how governments and their debt are rated.

“The western rating agencies are politicised and highly ideological and they do not adhere to objective standards,” Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, told the Financial Times in an interview.

***

He specifically criticised the practice of “rating shopping” by companies who offer their business to the agency that provides the most favourable rating.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis “rating shopping” has been one of the key complaints from western regulators , who have heavily criticised the big three agencies for handing top ratings to mortgage-linked securities that turned toxic when the US housing market collapsed in 2007.

“The financial crisis was caused because rating agencies didn’t properly disclose risk and this brought the entire US financial system to the verge of collapse, causing huge damage to the US and its strategic interests,” Mr Guan said.

Recently, the rating agencies have been criticised for being too slow to downgrade some of the heavily indebted peripheral eurozone economies, most notably Spain, which still holds triple A ratings from Moody’s.

There is also a view among many investors that the agencies would shy away from withdrawing triple A ratings to countries such as the US and UK because of the political pressure that would bear down on them in the event of such actions.

Last week, privately-owned Dagong published its own sovereign credit ranking in what it said was a first for a non-western credit rating agency.

The results were very different from those published by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch, with China ranking higher than the United States, Britain, Japan, France and most other major economies, reflecting Dagong’s belief that China is more politically and economically stable than all of these countries.

Mr Guan said his company’s methodology has been developed over the last five years and reflects a more objective assessment of a government’s fiscal position, ability to govern, economic power, foreign reserves, debt burden and ability to create future wealth.

The US is insolvent and faces bankruptcy as a pure debtor nation but the rating agencies still give it high rankings ,” Mr Guan said.

***

A wildly enthusiastic editorial published by Xinhua , China’s official state newswire, lauded Dagong’s report as a significant step toward breaking the monopoly of western rating agencies of which it said China has long been a “victim”.

“Compared with the US’ conquest of the world by means of force, Moody’s has controlled the world through its dominance in credit ratings,” the editorial said...

China is right. U.S. credit ratings have been less than worthless. And - in the real world - America should have been downgraded to junk. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

China is not shy about reminding the U.S. who's got the biggest pockets. As the Financial Times quotes Mr. Guan:

“China is the biggest creditor nation in the world and with the rise and national rejuvenation of China we should have our say in how the credit risks of states are judged.”

Might Makes Right Economic Collapse

Indeed, Guan is even dissing America's military prowess:
“Actually, the huge military expenditure of the US is not created by themselves but comes from borrowed money, which is not sustainable.”
As I've repeatedly shown, borrowing money to fund our huge military expenditures are - paradoxically - weakening our national security:

As I've previously pointed out, America's military-industrial complex is ruining our economy.

And U.S. military and intelligence leaders say that the economic crisis is the biggest national security threat to the United States. See this, this and this.

[I]t is ironic that America's huge military spending is what made us an empire ... but our huge military is what is bankrupting us ... thus destroying our status as an empire ...
Indeed, as I pointed out in 2008:

So why hasn't America's credit rating been downgraded?

Well, a report by Moody's in September states:

"In superficially similar circumstances, the ratings of Japan and some Scandinavian countries were downgraded in the 1990s.

***

For reasons that take their roots into the large size and wealth of the economy and, ultimately, the US military power, the US government faces very little liquidity risk — its debt remains a safe heaven. There is a large market for even a significant increase in debt issuance."

So Japan and Scandinavia have wimpy militaries, so they got downgraded, but the U.S. has lots of bombs, so we don't? In any event, American cannot remain a hyperpower if it is broke.

The fact that America spends more than the rest of the world combined on our military means that we can keep an artificially high credit rating. But ironically, all the money we're spending on our military means that we become less and less credit-worthy ... and that we'll no longer be able to fund our military.

The Scary Part

I chatted with the head of a small investment brokerage about the China credit rating story.

Because he gives his clients very bullish, status quo advice, I assumed that he would say that China was wrong.

To my surprise, he simply responded:

They're right. What's scary is that China knows it.
In other words, everyone who pays any attention knows that we're broke. What's scary is that our biggest creditor knows it.

Tricks Up Their Sleeves?

China has been threatening for many months to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency (and see this). And China, Russia and other countries have made a lot of noises about replacing the dollar with the SDR. See this and this.

Gordon T. Long argues that the much talked about gold swaps are part and parcel of the plan to replace the dollar with the SDR. Time will tell if he's right.

China, of course, is not without its own problems. See this and this.

In related news, Germany's biggest companies are starting to shun Wall Street as too risky.

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What this country needs is more unemployed politicians!

Bill Cosby has done it again...
Nothing we haven't all said.. but not so eloquently.

BACK TO CASH AND CARRY WOULD HELP ALSO!

Bill Cosby has a great way of "distilling" things. Looks like he's done it again!

(From Ben, news contributor)

AMERICA NEEDS A CANDIDATE WITH THIS PLATFORM!!

I HAVE DECIDED TO BECOME A WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT IN THE YEAR 2012..

HERE IS MY PLATFORM:

(1). Any use of the phrase: 'Press 1 for English' is immediately banned. English is the official language; speak it or wait outside of our borders until you can.

(2). We will immediately go into a two year isolationist attitude in order to straighten out the greedy big business posture in this country. America will allow NO imports, and we'll do no exports. We will use the 'Wal-Mart 's policy, 'If we ain't got it, you don't need it.' We'll make it here and sell it here!

(3). When imports are allowed, there will be a 100% import tax on it coming in here.

(4). All retired military personnel will be required to man one of the many observation towers located on the southern border of the United States (six month tour). They will be under strict orders not to fire on SOUTHBOUND aliens.

(5). Social Security will immediately return to its original state. If you didn't put nuttin in, you ain't gettin nuttin out. Neither the President nor any other politician will be able to touch it.

(6). Welfare. -- Checks will be handed out on Fridays, at the end of the 40 hour school week, the successful completion of a urinalysis test for drugs, and passing grades.

(7). Professional Athletes -- Steroids? The FIRST time you check positive you're banned from sports .... for life.

(8). Crime -- We will adopt the Turkish method, i.e., the first time you steal, you lose your right hand. There is no more 'life sentences'. If convicted of murder, you will be put to death by the same method you chose for the victim you killed: gun, knife, strangulation, etc.

(9). One export of ours will be allowed: wheat; because the world needs to eat. However, a bushel of wheat will be the exact price of a barrel of oil.

(10). All foreign aid, using American taxpayer money, will immediately cease and the saved money will help to pay off the national debt and, ultimately, lower taxes. When disasters occur around the world, we'll ask The American People if they want to donate to a disaster fund, and each citizen can make the decision as to whether, or not, it's a worthy cause.

(11). The Pledge of Allegiance will be said every day at school and every day in Congress.

(12). The National Anthem will be played at all appropriate ceremonies, sporting events, outings, etc.

My apology is offered if I've stepped on anyone's toes ...... nevertheless....

GOD BLESS AMERICA !

Sincerely, Bill Cosby

Comment:

Ben said:

I wish to God we had a president that is described by Bill Cosby. Enough is enough of this crappy Government we have. My God has much money and dishonesty do we have to have for people to go, damn we need to do something about this B.S. and the violations that are being done to our Constitution and Bill of Rights. Its so out of control. To tell you the truth I'm tried of hearing people say its Obama fault its Bushes fault. My God its everyone of those bastards up there, minus maybe people like Ron Paul. I just cant believe it takes this many as describe below to run our Goverment. Thank for letting me comment and just complain about things.

There are 15.6 million state and local employees.
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/

There are 1.8 million federal civilian employees, excluding post office.
http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs041.htm

1.4 million uniformed members of the military.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Us_military

600,000 postal employees.
http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos141.htm#emply

That/s 19.4 million people employed by government.

There are 146 million in the workforce
http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.n…

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Ron Paul, as usual, telling it like it is!

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Israel’s Insane War on Iran Must Be Prevented

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach
Global Research, July 26, 2010

Israel’s attack on a humanitarian aid ship headed for Gaza may prove to be the greatest strategic error the government has ever made. Like the Soweto riots in South Africa in 1976, or Bloody Sunday – the American civil rights march on March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, where police opened fire and killed civilians – the Mavi Marmora affair crossed a red line. It has triggered an international wave of condemnation, expressing a shift in attitude toward Israel. The hope is that this international outrage, flanked by growing anti-government dissent inside the country, will provoke an identity crisis among the elite and people of Israel, shake up the political kaleidoscope and allow for a viable pro-peace force to emerge. Unless this occurs, new Israeli aggression, including against Iran, will remain high on their immediate agenda.

The details of the May 31 events are well known, documented by passengers on the Mavi Marmora headed for Gaza. Among the most dramatic was the eye-witness account of Ken O’Keefe on BBC’s Hard Talk show, who effectively dismantled attempts by his interviewer to legitimize the Israeli position (that the passengers were armed terrorists etc.), and established that the Israeli military opened fire immediately after boarding the ship, killing 9 in cold blood.(1) German doctor Matthias Jochheim, a member of the IPPNW on board, has delivered his own low-key, sober version, confirming the same facts.(2)

Israel’s violent action was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back; even the wobbly-kneed German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle had to denounce it and lend his voice to an international chorus demanding that the illegal three-year Gaza blockade be lifted. Those actions which did follow, like Egypt’s reopening the Rafah border crossing and Israel’s cosmetic redefinition of what could or could not enter Gaza, led to at least a formal, partial relaxation of the blockade, albeit at the cost of nine innocent lives.

Israel’s immediate reactions are most clinically interesting. First, the Mossad sent films around the world via Internet purportedly showing passengers assaulting those Israeli troops who had descended onto the ship in international waters (to conduct a passport check, perhaps?). Then came the announcement that the list of permitted goods into Gaza would be replaced by a list of forbidden items. (President Shimon Peres was quick to add cement to the ban.) No sooner had the Israeli government committed a diplomatic faux pas by refusing entry into Gaza to German Development Aid Minister Dirk Niebel than Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman magnanimously invited several European colleagues to visit the Strip.(3) After rejecting numerous calls for an independent international investigation, Israel declared it would set up its own probe, but then Yaakov Tirkel, appointed head of the inquiry, threatened to resign unless he were granted more powers to subpoena witnesses. This gesture may very well have been a piece of cheap theatre; but, no matter: the point is that the Israeli leadership stood exposed as confused, stumbling, and in total disarray, one day engaging in clinical denial, and the next, tossing tidbits of concessions in hopes of placating its critics.

With its deadly act of piracy, Israel lost the mandate from heaven that its establishment, and many international actors, formerly believed it to hold. Although Israeli troops were not shooting their own people, the act was comparable to Soweto and Bloody Sunday for its political impact. The Israeli elite miscalculated utterly, and no mad scramble to control the damage will undo the deed or erase its consequences.  Like the South African apartheid regime of the time, and segregation in the U.S., Israel’s 60-plus-year-old policy of discrimination, oppression, and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians is finally being acknowledged worldwide as a moral obscenity that can no longer be tolerated. Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N., Gabriela Shalev lamented the fact that her country’s standing in the world has sunk to new depths. “Our situation in recent months,” she told Army Radio on July 11, “can be compared to the 1970s, when Zionism was being called racism.”(4) Indeed.

Bull’s-Eye: Iran

Contrary to the mantra repeated in the international press, Israel’s assault on the Mavi Marmora was not aimed against Hamas. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted as much himself, when he declared he would “not allow the establishment of an Iranian port in Gaza.”

This is nothing new. Whenever Israel has moved militarily against Lebanon, as in 2006, or Gaza, as at the end of 2008, it was neither Hezbollah nor Hamas which were the actual targets. In both cases, Israel was mounting preparations for a strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities, and proceeded to knock out -- or at least attempt to knock out -- those forces who could be counted on to lead a political and military retaliatory response. (5) Here, too, the Mavi Marmora massacre had less to do with any Palestinian radicals in Gaza or Shi’ites in Lebanon, than with Tehran. And it is not out of a desire to “stem Iran’s growing influence” that Israel went into action, but because of its strategic commitment to eliminate the Islamic Republic as a regional power.

One should never forget what sort of political animal Netanyahu is. He first came to power in 1996 with a political platform known as “Clean Break,” a program to break with the Oslo Accords, and revert to a policy of confrontation, settlement expansion, land annexation, and continuing ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian population.(6) This scenario, articulated in detail in Netanyahu’s Clean Break policy, was to unfold against a backdrop of systematic regime changes in the region. All those governments perceived to be hostile to Israel were slated for replacement. In point of fact, since then we have had the second Iraq war, and the changes in Lebanon and Syria pursuant to the 2005 Hariri assassination. What remains on the original hit list is Iran.

Thus, it is not coincidental that the Mavi Marmora affair erupted smack in the middle of renewed international “debate” on Iran’s nuclear program. Israel’s contribution to the debate has come in the form of outright threats of military aggression and offers to the White House it could not refuse: either you stop Iran or we will. At the end of April, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in the U.S. for talks, warned against giving Iran too much time, because if it were to acquire a nuclear weapons capability that would “change the landscape” of the region and the world (7). Arguing that Iran has not complied with U.N. dictates (to suspend its uranium production, for example), the U.N. Security Council voted up sanctions on June 9, followed on June 17 by the European Union. The U.S. hastened to up the ante with its own unilateral sanctions on July 2.

Whether or not the new round of punitive sanctions will undermine Iran’s economy and social stability, they will decidedly not lead to a voluntary relinquishment of the nuclear program, as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, among others, has declared.(8) The more interesting question is another: do those who are imposing sanctions actually believe that they will produce the desired effect? CIA Director Leon Panetta, when discussing the new American measures, stated, “Will it deter them from their ambitions with regards to nuclear capability? Probably not.”(9) Well, then, does the sanctions lobby perhaps understand the measures as a means to keep the “mad god” Israel at bay, i.e., are they punishing Iran in hopes of convincing Israel that it should renounce its intended military attack, while paying lip service to military action as a fallback option? That might cohere with what reportedly transpired in the July 6 meeting between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Barack Obama at the White House. Bibi told Fox News following the talks that he had thanked the President for the new sanctions. He then quickly added that only the U.S. commitment to “keep the military option on the table” would get the Iranians’ attention. In tandem, U.S. Senators Joseph Lieberman and John McCain assured their Israeli audience in Jerusalem that that option was prominently placed at the center of the table. Lieberman was quoted by JTA Jewish & Israeli News on July 8, saying, “We will use every means that we have to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear power, through economic and diplomatic sanctions if we possibly can and through military action if we must.” Former Senator Charles Robb and former general Charles Wald co-authored an OpEd on July 9, “Sanctions alone won’t work on Iran,” explicitly threatening “an effective, targeted [U.S.] strike on Tehran’s nuclear and supporting military facilities.”(10)

Now comes the most relevant sequitur: Are the sanctions, then, merely the non-bellicose means to further weaken Iran, economically, politically, and militarily, as a preparation for a major operation? The example of the prelude to two wars against Iraq is germane. None of the sanctions that crippled Iraq’s economy aimed at forcing a policy change. They served only to set up Iraq for the kill.

The Fraud of the Nuclear Debate

That there is no serious interest on the part of the Western members of the Permanent 5 (France, Britain, U.S., Russia, and China) in solving the nuclear issue diplomatically is evident in their response to the brilliant initiative signed by Brazil, Turkey, and Iran on May 17 in Tehran, and delivered to the U.N., IAEA, et al. The proposal is simple and eminently workable. It asserts the right to peaceful nuclear energy under NPT rules, then moves to the issue of nuclear fuel exchange. Iran agrees to send 1200 kg of LEU to Turkey, under IAEA observers, and to notify the IAEA. Once the IAEA, Russia, France, and the U.S. respond positively, a detailed written agreement will be drafted for the 120 kg of fuel to be delivered to Tehran. Iran would deliver its uranium within one month and expect delivery of fuel within one year. Finally, Turkey and Brazil welcome Iran’s readiness to pursue talks with the 5+1 anywhere, including on their soil.

Before they could possibly have had the time to study the proposal, consult others, and weigh its merits, France and Russia responded with skepticism, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton just said no. Asserting it was no “accident” that the declaration came “as we were preparing to move [for sanctions] in New York” and that “we had Russia on board, we had China on board,” Clinton stated she was “seriously concerned” by omissions in the document. The main omission was reference to Iran’s continued enrichment program. Another concern was “the amorphous timeline” for Iran’s delivery of its uranium – although the document is precise on this.(11) The series of sanctions followed shortly thereafter. Significantly, both Turkey and Brazil opposed them at the U.N., an act which certainly earned the two governments further contempt. (Some have pointed to the fact that of all the ships in the Gaza flotilla, it was the Turkish one that came under attack. Could this have something to do with the Turkish-Brazilian initiative?)

Build-Up for War

Most ominous in the broader picture are military activities in the region that would cohere with preparations for aggression against Iran. Egypt reportedly allowed one Israeli and eleven U.S. ships to pass through the Suez Canal on their way to the Red Sea, an apparent signal to Iran. The ships, together with a German vessel, moved into the Arabian Sea after “conducting secret exercises off the shore of south-western Israel,” according to the June 26 Jordan Times. Citing an Israeli report, the paper said the exercises included “interception of incoming Iranian, Syrian and Hizbollah missiles and rockets against USA and Israeli targets in the Middle East.” The exercises featured fighter bombers carrying out simulated bombing missions, and Israeli and U.S. fighter jets practicing long-range bombing missions. Some facts of the naval deployment appeared also in Global Research.(12) The same Jordan Times cited a Jerusalem Post article  week earlier about Israeli military plans for a new assault on Gaza preparatory to a military campaign against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Such reports should be taken deadly seriously. Again, the precedent of the military build-up prior to the Iraq wars is instructive. A further disturbing symptom is the behavior of two important Arab Gulf states. On June 12, regional press outlets reported that the Saudis had granted Israel the right to fly over its airspace, to which the Saudis immediately issued a perfunctory denial. But one should not forget the perfidious role played by the Saudis vis-à-vis Iraq. More alarming was the statement of the U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S. on July 6 endorsing a military attack on Iran. Ambassador Yousef al-Otaiba was quoted by the Washington Times: “I think it’s a cost-benefit analysis,” referring to the benefits of war on Iran. “I think despite the large amount of trade we do with Iran, which is close to $12 billion... there will be consequences, there will be a backlash and there will be problems with people protesting and rioting and very unhappy that there is an outside force attacking a Muslim country; that is going to happen no matter what.” His conclusion: “If you are asking me, ‘Am I willing to live with that versus living with a nuclear Iran?’ my answer is still the same: ‘We cannot live with a nuclear Iran.’ I am willing to absorb what takes place at the expense of the security of the U.A.E.” He added that “talk of containment and deterrence really concerns me and makes me very nervous,” because he does not believe either would work.(13) Neocons attending the ambassador’s session with the Atlantic magazine, at Aspen, expressed surprise at hearing an Arab diplomat endorse military action publicly, although many in the region have uttered similar thoughts in private. It is no secret that most Arab Gulf states fear a nuclear Iran and would sit on the sidelines during US-Israeli aggression.

Clearly, Israel will not make good on its threats without a nod from Washington. And that is not there yet, at least not officially. After talks with Barak and Israel’s military chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi in Jerusalem, Sen. McCain indicated the time had not yet come. “I don’t believe we are at the point of making that kind of decision, nor is the Israeli government,” he said, “given the state that Iran is in now as far as the development of their nuclear weapons is concerned.” When asked by Fox News whether he had discussed the military option with Obama, Netanyahu danced around the issue, but reiterated his conviction that Iran must be made to fear such an option. And Obama? He coined a most curious formulation, Israel’s “unique security requirements,” and pledged “unwavering... commitment to Israel’s security.” When interviewed July 8 for the first time on Israeli television, Obama indicated the two governments would consult with one another, not act unilaterally. “I think the relationship between Israel and the U.S.,” he said, “is sufficiently strong that neither of us try to surprise each other.”(14)

But, one could just as well read this statement as indicating Obama and Netanyahu did discuss the military option, and from an operational standpoint. A number of studies and articles support this hypothesis. First, back in December, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution ran a simulated war game involving an Israeli hit on Iran. The study, written up in the New York Times on March 26, apparently caught the attention of institutions and officials in the U.S. and abroad. That scenario foresees an independent Israeli attack, which angers Washington. The U.S. tells Israel to desist, and deploys anti-missile batteries and cruisers, warning Iran against retaliation. Iran responds with missiles lobbed into Israel as well as Saudi Arabia, but avoids any direct attack on the U.S. Hamas and Hizbollah also fire rockets. The Israel population panics, and many flee, while the economy crashes. The U.S. finally okays an Israeli war against Hizbollah, whereupon Iran attacks Saudi oil installations and mines the Straits of Hormuz. The U.S. sends massive reinforcements into the region, and, 8 days following the first attack, the war game comes to an end.(15)

One need not wait for advice from an ageing revolutionary like Fidel Castro to realize that the report smacks of wishful thinking. Iran’s top military and political elite have made no secret of their intention -- and ability -- to respond to any attack with total counterforce, and against all possible targets. But the war games story put the option back onto the front pages of major media.

Then, on July 19, Andrew Shapiro, Clinton’s assistant secretary for political-military affairs, addressing the same Saban Center, boasted that the Obama administration had raised the level of military cooperation with Israel to its highest point ever. Shapiro toed the line that current U.S. policy preferred sanctions to war, but he refused to comment on whether or not there had been discussion of giving Israel a green light to go after Iran.

The Wall Street Journal followed up a day later with an article by Bret Stephens, “Why Hasn’t Israel Bombed Iran (Yet)?” the gist of which is that, after the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) report had placed the military option on the back burner, Obama’s “engagement” policy, coupled with the post-electoral chaos in Iran, redefined options.(16) Four possible reasons offered for why Israel has not moved yet are: that they didn’t think an attack would be successful; that they preferred to improve their own capabilities first; that some top Israeli political leaders would oppose it; and, that they feared a “Suez reaction” on the part of the U.S.

A most telling leak came that same week in a TIME piece by Joe Klein, “An Attack on Iran: Back on the Table.”(17) Citing Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who had ruled out any war in 2008 but was now telling Fox News that a nuclear Iran could not be “contained” (a formulation popping up all over the place), Klein writes that some U.S. military are claiming Iran left them little choice after rejecting a “generous” U.S. diplomatic option. Klein adds: “Other intelligence sources say that the U.S. Army’s Central Command... has made some real progress in planning targeted air strikes – aided, in large part, by the vastly improved human-intelligence operations in the region.” An Israeli military source told him, “’There really wasn’t a military option a year ago. But they’ve gotten serious about the planning, and the option is real now.’” Klein says that he has been told that “Israel has been brought into the planning process ...because U.S. officials are frightened by the possibility that the right-wing Netanyahu government might go rogue and try to whack the Iranians on its own” (emphasis added).

House Republicans Call For Israeli War

This makes all too much sense. Israel is on a war-footing and the U.S. is poised to at least let it happen. If the White House has not yet officially issued an okay, the House on July 23 introduced a resolution, signed by a third of the members, explicitly endorsing war. H. Res. 1553 begins, “Expressing support for the State of Israel’s right to defend Israeli sovereignty, to protect the lives and safety of the Israeli people, and to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force if no other peaceful solution can be found within reasonable time to protect against such an immediate and existential threat to the State of Israel...” Asserting categorically that “the national security of the United States, Israel, and allies in the Middle East face a clear and present danger from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran seeking nuclear weapons and the ballistic missile capability to deliver them,” and quoting Obama that a nuclear Iran is “unacceptable,” the Resolution proceeds to tick off statements attributed to Ahmadinejad and alleged Iranian violations of IAEA norms. It “condemns” Iran for its threats, pledges cooperation with Israel “to ensure” that it “continues to receive critical economic and military assistance, including missile defense capabilities, needed to address the threat of Iran,” and “expresses support for Israel’s right to use all means necessary confront and eliminate nuclear threats by Iran... including the use of military force... etc.”

It would be foolhardy to think these are only a bunch of arch-conservative Republicans trying to boost re-election perspectives by courting the Zionist faction among U.S. voters. The resolution is a declaration of intent toward war. Neocon John Bolton had defined the role Congress could and should play in igniting conflict. In the July 13 Wall Street Journal, Bolton wrote that Congress must support Israeli “pre-emptive attacks” and justify them on grounds of self-defense. He explained that “having visible congressional support in place at the outset will reassure the Israeli government, which is legitimately concerned about Mr. Obama’s likely negative reaction to such an attack.”(18)

Is it possible to stop the rush towards war?

There are two powers that can stop it. One is the U.S. If, as his July 6 tete-a-tete with Bibi suggests, Obama has signed on to an Israeli “rogue” operation, containing the option of “plausible denial” after the fact, , then the sane elements in the U.S. military and intelligence establishment must move into high gear. The new NIE is long overdue, perhaps due to factional strife regarding its contents. If an intelligence assessment were to appear soon, reinforcing the findings of the 2007 NIE to the effect that Iran does not constitute a nuclear threat, that could defuse the arguments in favor of an attack. U.S. military professionals, who know better than to start a new war now, have plenty of ways of convincing a sitting President that such folly would lead to doom.   

The other force that could prevent war is Israel itself. This entails nothing short of a revolution in thinking and/or a political coup. The war party must be disarmed and discredited, allowing for a new combination of political factors to define an alternative policy.

The Backlash

This is not unthinkable. Since the Gaza war launched in December 2008, world public opinion has turned against Israel. On March 25, the UN Human Rights Council, which had endorsed the Goldstone Report in October 2009 and forwarded it to the Security Council, voted up a resolution (29 to 6 with 11 abstentions) demanding Israel pay reparations to Palestinians for losses and damages in that war. Two months later the UNHRC voted for a committee to monitor investigations that the Palestinians and Israelis were ordered to undertake. On March 10, the European Parliament had voted (335-267-43) to endorse the report and call for its implementation. For the first time, it acknowledged Israeli violations of international law.

Although from the start Israel refused to cooperate with the commission of inquiry led by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, and rejected its findings out of hand as “biased,” the military’s own investigations confirmed parts of the U.N. report. On July 8, the Los Angeles Times reported that in seven cases, the Israeli military had established that a sniper “deliberately targeted” civilians; that Palestinians, including youth, were used as human shields; and “commanders authorized at least three separate bomb attacks that killed and injured several dozen civilians who were taking refuge in a family home, a U.N. compound and a mosque.”(19) Compared to the magnitude of the damage wrought in the Gaza campaign, such admissions are paltry, but the fact that Israel’s military had to impose token disciplinary actions on its own reflects the power of Goldstone’s findings.

More cynical was the report posted on the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s website and delivered to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 19. It pledged that the Israel army, having duly conducted its assessment of the Gaza war, would reduce civilian casualties in future wars!(20) “The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) has... implemented operational changes in its orders and combat doctrine designed to further minimize civilian casualties and damage to civilian property in the future,” as Reuters reported. In addition to providing “protection of civilians,” it would restrict the use of white phosphorous bombs in urban settings.

Cynical? Outright grotesque? Yes, to be sure. But it is also clinically significant. None of this would have emerged without the Goldstone Report.(21)

Turning Point: Flotilla Attack

The attack on the Mavi Marmora went too far. NATO Secretary General  Rasmussen demanded an inquiry, as well as Israel’s release of the ship and its passengers. In a special session in Brussels on May 31 the 27 EU ambassadors called for an immediate, complete, and impartial investigation, access to the passengers, and the opening of border crossings to Gaza. Rage swept through the Arab world. Amr Musa, Secretary General of the Arab League, said the event proved one could not make peace with Israel, which he labeled a rogue state. Lebanese Prime Minister Hariri spoke of a “dangerous and insane step,” while citizens took to the streets in Beirut and Amman. Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Chalifa al Thani characterized it as piracy and demanded an end to the blockade.

Two weeks later, the International Committee of the Red Cross issued an unprecedented statement saying that the blockade per se violated international law. “The whole of Gaza’s civilian population is being punished for acts for which they bear no responsibility,” it read. “The closure therefore constitutes a collective punishment imposed in clear violation of Israel’s obligations under international humanitarian law.” (22)

Just what stands behind Israel’s blockade policy was the subject of a laudable analysis published in Le Monde diplomatique on July 9. Authors Thomas Keenan and Eyal Weizman examine two new developments in the Israel-Palestine conflict: the increasing politicization of humanitarian aid and Israel’s “redefinition” of international law as a threat to its existence. The article cites Israeli officials on the aims of the blockade: Dov Weinglass, an advisor to Ehud Olmert, spoke in mid-2007 of putting the Palestinians on a “diet,” which, however strict, would not allow them to starve. Israel’s highest court ruled in early 2008 in favor of guaranteeing those in the “enemy area” a “humanitarian minimum standard,” and nothing more. Details of the “Red Lines” set for this diet appeared in Haaretz:  according to a government document, caloric intake for the Gaza population was to be set at a level just above the hunger line defined by the UN food experts. If this is the policy behind the blockade, clearly any humanitarian aid effort aiming to provide food, etc. comes under the rubric of a “provocation,” as deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon put it, since there “is no humanitarian crisis” in Gaza. As a corollary, Israel has lifted tax exemptions for NGOs supported by outside forces, and banned all groups who call for putting Israeli leaders on trial.  

The other development concerns Israel’s attempts to rewrite international law, construed as undermining its right to self-defense. This is the meaning, according to Keenan and Weizman, of Israel’s violent rejection of the Goldstone Report. Netanyahu delivered a speech in November 2009, in which he listed three threats to Israel: a nuclear Iran, rocket attacks by Hamas and Hizbollah, and the attempt to deny its right to self-defense. That, Bibi declared, was the “intention” of the Goldstone Report. He added that he hoped statesmen and jurists would answer Goldstone’s approach by redrafting the laws of warfare.

The Coming Implosion in Israel

The same Le Monde diplomatique cites a statement by Gidi Grinstein of the Reut Institute, expressing alarm at the constraints placed on Israel in reaction to its anti-Palestinian policies. He wrote: “...our politicians and military personnel are threatened with lawsuits and arrests when they travel abroad, campaigns to boycott our products gain traction, and our very existence is challenged in academic institutions and intellectual circles. The country is increasingly isolated.” And, unfortunately, “Israel has failed to recognize these trends for the strategically significant, potentially existential, threat they constitute” (emphasis added). (23)

Grinstein’s commentary is entitled: “Israel delegitimizers threaten its existence: Israel’s enemies are scheming to bring about its implosion by turning it into a pariah state.” Granted, it is a hysterical outburst, but nonetheless it contains valuable insights if read from a clinical standpoint. The author laments Israel’s military failures in 2006 and 2008, and especially the “offensive on Israel’s legitimacy” following these wars. His view is that Israel’s enemies “would aim to bring about its implosion, as with South Africa or the Soviet Union, by attacking its political and economic values... Turning Israel into a pariah state is central to its adversaries’ efforts,” he warns. “Israel is a geopolitical island. Its survival and prosperity depend on its relations with the world in trade, science, arts and culture – all of which rely on its legitimacy. When the latter is compromised, the former may be severed, with harsh political, social and economic consequences.”   

Grinstein’s piece was published on January 1 of this year, long before the flotilla attack. Since then, the trends towards isolating Israel and awarding it pariah status have only multiplied. And, increasingly, it is Israelis and Jewish intellectuals who are fuelling the trend. Henry Siegman, a former director of the American Jewish Congress, published an article, “Israel’s Greatest Loss: Its Moral Imagination,” in Haaretz on June 11.(24) Right after the Mavi Marmora confrontation, Siegman phoned a friend in Israel, to hear what the mood was. He was shocked to hear his friend say that the worldwide censure of Israel reminded him of the Nazi era. Siegman’s analysis is worth quoting at length: “When I managed to get over the shock of that exchange, it struck me that the invocation of the Hitler era was actually a frighteningly apt and searing analogy, although not the one my friend intended. A million and a half civilians have been forced to live in an open-air prison in inhuman conditions for over three years now, but unlike the Hitler years, they are not Jews but Palestinians. Their jailors, incredibly, are survivors of the holocaust, or their descendants. Of course, the inmates of Gaza are not destined for gas chambers, as the Jews were, but they have been reduced to a debased and hopeless existence.”

Siegman backs up his assertions with facts about nutrition in Gaza and childhood morbidity, an “obscenity” which is “the consequence of a deliberate and carefully calculated Israeli policy aimed at de-developing Gaza by destroying not only its economy but its physical and social infrastructure while sealing it hermetically from the outside world.” He notes that jokes about the Palestinian “diet” are also reminiscent of the Nazi period. Though rejecting any one-on-one comparison, Siegman recognizes that “the essential moral issues are the same.”

His conclusions: “So, yes, there is reason for Israelis, and for Jews generally, to think long and hard about the dark Hitler era at this particular time. For the significance of the Gaza Flotilla incident lies not in the questions raised about violations of international law on the high seas, or even about ‘who assaulted who’ first on the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmora, but in the larger questions raised about our common human condition by Israel’s occupation policies and its devastation of Gaza’s civilian population” (emphasis added).

“If a people who so recently experienced on its own flesh such unspeakable inhumanities cannot muster the moral imagination to understand the injustice and suffering its territorial ambitions—and even its legitimate security concerns—are inflicting on another people, what hope is there for the rest of us?”

Another authoritative Jewish intellectual warning of impending catastrophe for Israel is Daniel Barenboim, the Argentine-Israeli pianist and conductor, founder of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, which brings together young Israeli and Arab musicians. In a full-page interview in Die Zeit on June 10, Barenboim characterized the flotilla attack as “dumb.” Echoing Siegman’s idea of Israel’s loss of “moral imagination,” Barenboim raised the question, what has become of the famous “Jewish intelligence?” – a phrase, he explains, used by both anti-semites and philosemites. Among Israelis there are many intelligent people with whom one can rationally discuss Beethoven, Shakespeare, or Marx, “but when you come to the subject of Palestinians, they are totally blind. It is not explicable.”

With respect to the political situation, Barenboim is categorical: the problem is the occupation and decades of injustice against the Palestinians, not the “widespread Israeli interpretation” that it all has to do with the Nazis and the Holocaust. “If a Palestinian, whose family has owned a house in Jaffa or Nazareth since the 11th century, now no longer has the right to reside there, and this man then hates the Israelis – that has nothing to do with Adolf Hitler.” As for Hamas, Barenboim’s view is that “If one wants to make peace, one has to talk to all the factions of the enemy,” and adds: “What the world has forgotten by the way: Hamas was a creature of Israel, to weaken Arafat.” His conclusion is unambiguous: “If things continue as they are, Israel’s days are numbered. The demographic development shows us that the Jews will not remain in the majority. What is occurring is apartheid, which is untenable. And what really makes me angry is that many Israeli governments, not only the current one, are convinced that they have the right to kill people, because they do not acknowledge Israel’s right to exist. That cannot be.”

Israel On The Couch

The sub-text running through the views expressed by Siegman, Levy, Barenboim, and other Jewish intellectuals is that there is something fundamentally wrong in Israel, -- not merely that its policies are unjust and in violation of international law, but that there is something unhealthy, irrational in the Israeli mindset. A couple of articles circulated on the Internet in mid-June that made this point explicit. Signed by one Michael K. Smith, they “reported” on the suicides of two psychiatrists, one who had treated Netanyahu for nine years, and the other who had treated Barak (for “Security Addiction Disorder”-SAD). Both accounts, appearing on June 12 and 15, turned out to be spoofs, but they are symptomatic of the growing awareness that a clinical approach to the Israel problem makes sense.(25) Also, they remind us that humor is a powerful antidote in such cases.

Mosher Yatom, the fictional name given Netanyahu’s would-be psychiatrist, left a suicide note saying that he could no longer tolerate his patient’s contradictory behavior. “I can’t take it anymore. Robbery is redemption, apartheid is freedom, peace activists are terrorists, murder is self-defense, piracy is legality. Palestinians are Jordanians, annexation is liberation, there’s no end to his contradictions. Freud promised rationality would reign in the instinctual passions, but he never met Bibi Netanyahu. This guy would say Gandhi invented brass knuckles.” The psychiatrist reportedly suffered a series of strokes, each in reaction to outrageous statements by his patient, for example, that “Iran’s nuclear energy program was a ‘flying gas chamber.’” An expert in the field, Dr. Rafael Eilam, in commenting on “Massive Attack Disorder” (MAD), which is “rampant among Israeli leaders,” says this syndrome may account for the attacks on Lebanon and Gaza, “with both attacks having contributed substantially to Israel’s current pariah status.” The article ends with the news of a “Free Israel” initiative by psychiatrists worldwide, who want to send a flotilla with relief supplies for the Israeli doctors and their patients: “anti-depressants for the former and elephant tranquillizers for the latter.”

When the spoofs first appeared on the web, not a few readers took the opening paragraphs seriously, because there was such a ring of psychological truth to them.

Anyone who ignores the psychological factor in politics must have been in hibernation during the eight years of the Bush-Cheney pathology. When sane military professionals were testifying to the perils of new wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the neocon faction followed its insane instincts and the bombs began to fall. Dr. Justin A. Frank, an American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, authored a brilliant study entitled Bush on the Couch.(25) Relying solely on published speeches, statements, and interviews, Frank diagnosed the president as seriously mentally ill, actually a sociopath. Were Dr. Frank to examine statements on the public record by Netanyahu, Barak, Peres, Lieberman, Tzipi Livni among others, he might come to a similar conclusion. When, at a recent public speaking event in Germany, I asked the IPPNW member aboard the Mavi Marmora, how he, as a practicing psychiatrist, would evaluate the mental state of the Israeli leadership, he quipped that he was merely a psychotherapist, and did not deal with cases of grave psychosis.

The sooner the world – emphatically including Israel – recognizes that we are dealing not with politics as usual, but with clinically identifiable attitudes and policies, the better. The generation of “new historians” in Israel, researchers like Ilan Pappe, have done much to deconstruct the mythology of Israel’s founding, which is a precondition for defining a sane approach to overcoming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But this is not enough. The Israeli people and elite have to confront that past as well as the recent and current injustices inflicted on the Palestinians, and work through the psychological-moral implications. Continuing outside pressure in the form of U.N. or European investigative and disciplinary actions does have a palpable effect. Grinstein is correct in assessing the consequences of sanctions and boycotts, including those in intellectual circles, but he is wrong in thinking that this has come about because the “enemies” of Israel are “scheming to bring about its implosion by turning it into a pariah state.” It is Israel’s own anti-Palestinian policies which have isolated the country, making it, yes, a pariah. Grinstein’s reference to apartheid South Africa is also pertinent. What forced international firms to pull out of that country was the worldwide moral censure of apartheid. Not the economic impact of sanctions, but the moral thrust which occasioned them ultimately led to the downfall of the racist regime. Similarly, the civil rights movement in the U.S. was successful, not due to the economic damage done by its boycotts, but by virtue of the movement’s moral authority. The U.S., which was mired in an immoral war against Viet Nam while simultaneously depriving its own citizens of basic human rights, had become a pariah in the eyes of the world and its leadership had to willfully change.   

These two cases demonstrate the potential for profound political upheaval when a people faces up to its moral responsibilities. They also pose the critical role of leadership. Does there exist in Israel today a leader with the pragmatic grasp of reality Lyndon B. Johnson had? Is there anyone comparable to Frederik de Klerk, capable of recognizing that a system founded on injustice could not morally survive? Yitzhak Rabin apparently reached that conclusion. Who is prepared to take up his legacy today?  

Notes 

 

1.   http://pulsemedia.org/2010/06/24/kenneth-okeefe-on-bbc-hardtalk

2.   http://www.ksta.de/html/artikel/1273823369058.shtml

3.   Israel reportedly expressed surprise at criticism of its entry ban. “There is a clear policy,” a representative of the Foreign Ministry was quoted. “We have told the Europeans long ago that we do not allow high-level politicians to enter the Gaza Strip” (http://www.zeit.de/politik/ausland/2010-06/niebel-gaza-israel?page=all&print=true)

4.   Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2010.

5.   See Preparations for a Hit Against Iran: Stopping Israel’s Next War, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18235,
Gaza One Year After: The World Has Changed,
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=16722, and
The Target is Iran: Israel’s Latest Gamble May Backfire, 
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11747
.

6.  “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm. The document endorsed a “Change in the nature of its [Israel’s] relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self-defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.” See also, Muriel Mirak-Weissbach, Through the Wall of Fire: Armenia – Iraq – Palestine: From Wrath to Reconciliation, edition fischer, 2009.

     7.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/27/AR20100427034..)

     8.  http://www.presstv.ir 

     9.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288204575362840121771862.html
)

    10. (http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/08/AR20100708050).

    11. Financial Times, May 18, http://www.ft.fom/cms/s/58caa4b4-62a4-11df-b1d1-00144feab49a,dwp_uuid=5aedc80

    12. “Showdown in the Red Sea: U.-S. Sends 11 Warships to Confront Iran,” (http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19825).

    13. “U.A.E.- diplomat mulls hit on Iran’s nukes: Prefers strike to armed foe,” by Eli Lake, http://www3.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/jul/6/uae-ambassador-endorses-bombing...

    14. http://www.worldtribune.com/worldtribune/WTARC/2010/ss_israel0634_07_09.asp).

    15. “Imagining an Israeli Strike on Iran,” by David E. Sanger, http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/weekinreview/28sangerintro.html

    16.http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703720504575376742991948412.html

    17. http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2003921,00.html  CHECK

    18. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal/-abdi/resolution-green-lighting_b_657608.html?
    Ran the story of the Resolution and included the full text. For Bolton’s article, “Beyond the Obama Nuke Policy,”
    see
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704288204575362821477769674.html

   19. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/07/08/MNNS1EB17D.DTL&ty...).

   20. http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N20108548.htm

   21. If Israel’s elite fears the loss of legitimacy in the eyes of the world as a consequence of the Gaza conflict, it is just as jittery about growing calls for the country’s nuclear arsenal to be placed under international supervision. For the    first time, as reported by Haaretz on May 8, the IAEA was asked to place the issue on its board meeting agenda on June 7. This came in response to a letter on April 23 by Arab member nations addressed to IAEA chief Yukiya Amano. Amano, in turn, reportedly asked for proposals from IAEA member states’ foreign ministries, on how to urge Israel to sign the NPT.

When, on May 28, the 189 signators to the NPT issued a document calling on Israel to join the NPT (and did not mention Iran), Netanyahu denounced it as “faulty” and “hypocritical.” In a statement, he regretted such pressure on the only democracy in the region (Israel), while the “terrorist regime in Iran” which allegedly wants to wipe Israel off the map, was not mentioned. Bibi’s response was not surprising; in an ABC interview April 19, when asked about joining the NPT, he had answered that was as unlikely as stopping settlement in East Jerusalem. “If the Middle East one day advances to a messianic age where the lion lies down with the lamb,” he said, “you can ask me that question again.” (http://www.weekly.ahram.org.eg/print/2010/996/re1.htm).

The U.S. Ambassador to the IAEA in Vienna, Glyn Davies, issued a statement during the Board of Governors meeting, regretting that the matter had come up. “Singling out Israel for censure is in our view both counterproductive and inappropriate,” it read. Though committed to the NPT and even a WMD-free Middle East, the U.S. view was that raising the issue further politicized the IAEA, and presented a “distraction from other pressing issues,” to wit, Iran. See http://vienna.usmission.gov/100610israel.html.

    22. (http://www.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100614/wl_nm/us_israel_blockade_icrc).

    23. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-print-page/comment-israel-delegitimizers-threate...

    24. Siegman is director of the U.S./Middle East Project, a visiting professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He was formerly Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations, and earlier head of the AJC. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/article-priont-page/israel-s-greatest-loss-its-moral-imagination.

Siegman is not the first to explore ominous parallels with the Nazi era. Haaretz journalist Gideon Levy wrote of trends in Israel toward fascism, in an issue of Der Semit featuring “Jewish intellectuals against Israel.” His article is entitled, “Die Schnellbahn zu einem faschistischen Israerl,” (Express Train to a Fascist Israel), Der Semit: Unabhängige jüdische Zeitschrift, 2. Jahrgang – Nr. 03 Mai/Juni 2010, pp. 34-35.

    25. “Psychiatrist of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Commits Suicide: Anguished Suicide Note Cites ‘Deluge of Doublethink’ In Driving Kind-Hearted Shrink to Despair,” http://www.rebelnews.org/opinion/middle-east/246653-psychiatrist-of-israeli-prime-minister-commits-suicide< /SPAN>, “Second Psychiatrist Suicide Rocks Israel: Defense Minister’s Analyst Overdoses on Valium – Wave of ‘Shrinkicide’ Feared,” http://legalienate.blogspot.com/2010/06/second-psychiatrist-suicide-rocks.html.

    26. Justin A. Frank, M.D., Bush on the Couch, Regan Books, New York 2004.



The author can be reached at
mirak.weissbach@googlemail.com

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Toxic Corexit: Growing No. of Sick Cleanup Workers

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The secret history of our downfall

brasschecktv.com

Brasscheck said-This is one of those are interviews that makes you glad that for the existence of video.

Priceless experience and insight shared that otherwise could have been lost forever.

It will explain much about what is going on today. end brasscheck.

All the more amazing since events recalled are more than sixty years past and the interview itself is nearly thirty years old.

Norman Dodd was interviewed in 1982 by G. Edward Griffin regarding the time he spent as the head researcher for the Reece Committee.

This is a truly eye opening look into what the tax exempt foundations are doing in the United States - their attempt to merge the Soviet System of Government with the USA.

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AE911Truth Engineer Does for Free what NIST Couldn’t for Millions

27 July 2010

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth

One of several burning questions surrounding the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 was: “Where did the sulfur come from that melted some of the structural steel members from the building so much that they looked more like “Swiss cheese”? Sulfur reduces the melting point of iron by producing a eutectic mixture. The New York Times called these pieces of melted steel “perhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.” FEMA documented the “intergranular melting, rapid oxidation, and sulfidation” of the steel members in Appendix C of their May 2002 Building Performance Assessment Team (BPAT) Report, yet offered no explanation for this phenomena which required temperatures far in excess of that which office fires or jet fuel could have provided.

Some government officials have attempted to explain the issue away by alleging that the sulfur came from normal building materials like gypsum wallboard. But gypsum wallboard has been used for a hundred years to protect steel structural members and has never “attacked” it before.  Independent scientists have found evidence that the sulfur most likely came from thermate.  Sulfur is added to thermite (an incendiary used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter) to make thermate. Scientists and engineers have urged the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to perform experiments to determine the source of the sulfur. But despite spending over $20,000,000 NIST failed to do any experiments or provide a working theory.

Enter Jonathan Cole, P.E., Civil Engineer, who has three keys to success: a desire to know the truth, a lot of determination, and a big back yard.  He wanted to know if normal building materials, including wallboard, diesel fuel, and aluminum, could release the sulfur needed to attack the steel. View the dramatic video of this creative no-holds-barred backyard experiment that proves, for free, what NIST could not, or would not, for $20 million.

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