Pacific Free Press

Opinion

Brutality and Reality: The American-Israeli Arrangement

by Chris Floyd

Israel admits it used phosphorus weapons (Guardian)

Israel Adds Far-Right Party to Coalition (NY Times)


The good news just keeps rolling in from Israel, where the "light unto the nations" plows on in its relentless self-exile into outer darkness. That epithet of "light" once had the tang of truth, in the great line of thinkers, artists, activists, theologians, healers, humorists, and diviners of the natural world, largely in the Diaspora, from Maimonides to Mendelssohn, from Judah Ha-Levi to Boris Pasternak and Bob Dylan, from the Baal Shem Tov to Martin Buber, from Spinoza to Einstein, and on and on in every field of worthy endeavor. But the political inheritors of this matchless legacy seem hellbent on squandering what once seemed an inexhaustible storehouse of the human spirit.

Every week seems to bring some new brutality, some new degradation, some further coarsening – and some new parallel with the Bush Regime and the brutal, coarse and degraded currents in American society that it so amply embodies and represents.

As a side note – or maybe even a main note – I'm not one of those who subscribe to the "Israel made us do it" meme that seems to loom large in the dissident blogosphere. I just can't buy the idea that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the gang are somehow being jerked around by wily Zionists – as if they wouldn't be following their "unitary executive"-global domination-war profiteering agenda even if Israel didn't exist. I think this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the American ruling class – and yes, Virginia, there is an American ruling class and a pretty vicious, voracious, self-serving lot they are, too. The idea that these factions of gargantuan wealth and privilege – much of it, as with the Bushes, going back for generations – could be induced to act against their own narrowly defined but passionately held interests by the arguments of third-rate hacks like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, or Douglas Feith seems fairly risible.

Yes, they are happy to make use of the neo-cons, the Likudniks, AIPAC, etc. etc., especially as the hard-right in Israel dovetails neatly with the American elite's own harsh, bellicose vision of the world. And yes, the Israel lobby has a broad and pernicious influence on the workings of American politics – just as, say, the Turkish lobby does (ask Denny Hastert about those suitcases stuffed with Turkish cash; Foleygate is nothing compared to the yet-untold story of Treasongate), or the Saudi lobby, which has spread infinitely more baksheesh through the American system than the Israeli lobby could ever hope to match . But when the American elite go to war, they go to war for themselves, for their own benefit, not for anyone else. Despite various contretemps over the years (that little spot of bother about the USS Liberty, for example), Israel has ultimately served the American elite's purposes. If it didn't, then the untold billions of dollars in American cash and arms that have propped up Israel for decades would disappear overnight, and the country would be left to its fate.
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  • Written by Mike Whitney

One Crime Too Many

By Mike Whitney

Iraq is the great tragedy of our generation. Every day men and women are brazenly killed in their own homes or cities by foreign troops who occupy the country without justification.

In Baghdad, “liberation” has become a permanent state of martial law where one can never be certain if his door will suddenly be kicked in and he will either be shot or dragged off to some remote prison for torture.

Entire cities are now under siege; surrounded by concertina-wire and massive walls of dirt. The townspeople are forced to exit and enter through American-run checkpoints and forced to verify their identity to their foreign jailors.


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  • Written by Mike Whitney

Putin Gets Mugged in Finland

By Mike Whitney

Most people won’t pay any attention to this week’s energy summit in Lahti, Finland, but they should. It is particularly instructive for anyone who is interested in the latest developments in the global resource war.

The purpose of the meeting was to work out the nettlesome issues of energy policy, but the hidden agenda was to pressure Russian President Putin into signing away the control of his country’s critical assets to the big-players in the world energy cartel. The proposed “Energy Charter Treaty” is designed to tie up Russia’s resources through legal obligations which serve the overall interests of the energy giants. The treaty is no different than the EU Constitution which was voted down last year when the “informed” European public realized that it was just another boondoggle set up by big business to override national sovereignty, environmental safety, and civil liberties. The Energy Charter Treaty and the EU Constitution focus on the very same objectives, that is, establishing the legal framework for placing the world and its dwindling resources in the hands of a small cadre of obscenely-wealthy western plutocrats.


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  • Written by Dave Lindorff

Time for Truth and Consequences

by Dave Lindorff

 

The Bush administration, losing the war in Iraq, has come with a "new" strategy: setting a timetable for Iraq's puppet regime and its fledgling army to "stand up" to the task of running the country so that the U.S. military can "stand down."

If you think this brilliant "new" plan sounds remarkably like the one proposed earlier this year by many Democrats, who were accused at that time of "cutting and running" for proposing just such a withdrawal timetable, you're right.

` It also sounds like yet another one of those Bush/Rove scams that are pulled out at each election to trick gullible voters into thinking the president is actually going to do something dramatic when he is really just talking. The truth is this plan is no more serious than Bush's early announcement of a plan to send Americans to the moon and on to Mars.

That plan, of course, was a joke from the start. The president didn’t offer any money for a Moon or Mars project, and never had any intention of doing so. It was just more of the same at NASA, blowing money on the giant white elephant in the sky called the International Space Station. And of course, we don't hear anything about Mars anymore.

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  • Written by William A. Cook

The Real Axis of Evil - A State without Mercy

by William A. Cook

“And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord. … shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?” (Jeremiah 9:3, 5:29)

Nothing in the past 60 years revealed the true face of Israel to the world at large (and perhaps to the Lord above) as its illegal invasion of Lebanon. Never before has the Israeli government allowed the world to witness the depth of its brutal aggression as it defied international law with its collective punishment of the innocent. At no time in the past has Israel lost control of the flow of information allowed into or out of Israel and the occupied territories until it abandoned its borders and invaded Lebanon. That mistake ripped away the veil of “victim hood” that the Israeli propaganda machine had constructed around the tiny, beleaguered state beset with fanatics intent on erasing it “from the map” and suicide bombers that threatened death in the streets.

For a full month the world watched as Israel let loose the enormous power of its military might on small towns, on cities, on roads and bridges, on electric power plants and water supply stations, on ports and ships, on oil tanks and beaches, and on the innocent who fled by car, truck, and foot. The condemnation from the world communities appeared universal, until one turned to America. Here our representatives crawled before AIPAC begging them to pen a resolution that would show our absolute commitment to the devastation being wrought on the Lebanese.

Fortunately, our representatives do not represent the American people any more than our main stream media represents what the people of the United States feel regarding the state without mercy, the reprehensible state of Israel. Indeed, the Jewish state of Israel does not represent the Jews of America. Listen to what Jews with a conscience say to the state of Israel: “There is no Jewish safety, nor claims to justice, reason, or equity, beyond Jewish commitment to the unconditional safety and liberation of the peoples of Palestine, Lebanon and the other Arab and Muslim countries currently under attack by Israel, the U.S. and its allies.” Real Jews, those committed to the morals that give strength to Judaism, demand of Israel that “(1) it stop its brutal siege on Gaza and on Lebanon and call for an unconditional cease fire; (2) it stop expansion of the Israeli Wall of Separation, dismantle the completed sections, and completely withdraw from Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem; (3) the United States support the United Nations resolutions demanding that Israel uphold international law and support the sanctions against Israel necessary to enforce these resolutions; (4) the United States end military and economic aid to Israel; (5) that Israel support reparations for the Palestinian and Lebanese people for the death and destruction they have suffered and for the aid towards the rebuilding of their countries.” (Petition for U.S. Jewish Solidarity with Muslims and Arab Peoples).

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