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Kill Them Over There, Not Here, Please.

By Jeremy Salt | American Herald Tribune | March 20, 2019

All of us must stand against hatred in all of its forms. – Barrack Obama

Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshippers – Benjamin Netanyahu

White supremacist terrorism must be condemned by leaders everywhere – Hillary Clinton

People of all faiths must condemn these attacks and call out those who encourage Islamophobia. – Madeleine Albright

These are excerpts from some of the messages of condolence sent to New Zealand by ‘world leaders’ after the Christchurch massacre. There is no point in giving more names because all politicians and public figures would say the same, as they should, given the monstrosity of the crime.

Obama, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Albright have been chosen because they have been responsible for acts of murder infinitely greater than the slaughter of 50 Muslims in New Zealand.

The victims of their crimes and the crimes of their political predecessors in the past three decades run into the millions. Brenton Tarrant terrorized Muslims in two mosques in one country. They have terrorized Muslim populations in a number of countries. He has violated New Zealand law. They have violated international law. He will be punished but they never are.

Obama, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Albright have never uttered a word of remorse for the crimes they have committed. Not once has the head of any western government expressed regret for the millions of people killed in Muslim countries over the past three decades, not with Brenton Tarrant’s semi-automatic firearms, but bombs, missiles, and tank fire or, in the case of Syria, with the armed gangs set loose like attack dogs.

When asked whether she thought the ‘price’ paid for the first Gulf War (1991) and the decade of sanctions that followed, which took the lives of 500,000 children, was worth it, Madeleine Albright replied: ‘We think the price is worth it.’

For these governments and politicians, the price is always worth it as long as someone else pays. Even now there is nothing but estimates of how many Iraqis were killed or died as a result of the two wars launched against their country but the figure hovers around three million since 1991.

On top of this are the millions of wounded, many disabled for life, and the children born with deformities because of the use of uranium-depleted weapons.

Senior UN officials described the war and decade of sanctions against Iraq as genocide. No horror was expressed in the media for the enormous crimes that had been committed almost wholly against Muslims, men, women, and children as innocent as Brenton Tarrant’s victims.  Except on the margins, no demands were ever made for those responsible to face justice.

Every Tuesday Obama sat in his office and signed the death warrant for Yemenis or Somalis targeted in drone missile strikes that were totally illegal under international law. Thousands have been killed in these attacks, many if not most of them civilians, men, women and a lot of children. They are all Muslims. Did any of the politicians sending condolences to New Zealand and condemning terrorism ever bend their heads in shame at the killings in Yemen or Somalia and demand moral accountability and legal responsibility?

Has even one of them condemned Benjamin Netanyahu for the crimes committed against Muslims in Palestine, for the massacres of the innocent by sniper fire, missile strike, and artillery fire? Is the killing of Muslim children somehow different in New Zealand and Palestine?

After the destruction of Libya, Hillary Clinton laughed when told Muammar al Qadhafi had been killed, most brutally. This was her war, Obama’s war, a war of deceit that was carried on for seven months, destroying the most developed country in Africa and killing thousands. They were all Muslims. What else did Libya represent but Clinton’s ‘white supremacist terror,’ the same terror that has been delivered across the Muslim world by western governments for the past 200 years.

In Syria an estimated half a million people have been killed in a war orchestrated by western governments and their regional ‘allies.’ Their weapons of choice, the terrorist groups they have armed and financed, have assassinated, massacred and slaughtered in every way possible, thinkable and unthinkable.

Nearly all of their victims have been Muslims. In the face of this slaughter their paymasters, procurers, and enablers have remained morally mute, save for trying to blame the Syrian government for the war they initiated.

Over decades these enormous crimes have forced millions of people out of their wrecked countries. They have fled in all directions. Many have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach the presumed safety of Europe. Boats headed in the direction of Australia, only to be turned back at sea or for the desperate people they were carrying to be locked up in ‘detention centers’ if they managed to slip through. Many sank and many men, women, and children drowned.

Australia was a willing participant in the wars that destroyed their homes yet refused them entry, abusing them as ‘queue jumpers.’ They were locked up behind razor wire in the middle of the desert so the Australian people could not see them and feel sorry for them. All were Muslims and many were children, treated as cruelly as the adults.

No matter how many millions of innocent people are killed in the Middle East, the designation of terrorist is reserved for Brenton Tarrant or the Islamic State, not for the western governments and the gangs they and their regional allies have employed in Syria to do their dirty work.

The same media that has covered up the monstrous crimes committed against Muslims in the Middle East can now talk of nothing else but the danger of white supremacists, not the far greater danger that Muslims around the world have always faced from western governments.

Brenton Tarrant, the Islamic state, Israel, the US and its ‘allies’ and the armed groups they are sponsoring in Syria are all joined at the hip. Terror is terror whether state or individual. Brenton Tarrant now has to face the consequences of what he has done. The politicians who have destroyed Middle Eastern countries don’t.

There is a law for Brenton Tarrant. There is no law for the politicians. Tarrant will be jailed for life for the murder of 50 Muslims. Politicians responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims never seen the inside of a jail.  We have a system of international law but only in theory. In practice, when the massive crimes of the powerful are involved, it does not work. It is broken.

Claud Cockburn (father of Patrick) called the 1930s the ‘devil’s decade.’ The devils were human, of course: nationalist socialists and fascists destroying Spain, Italian fascists poison- gassing Ethiopians and Japanese fascists slaughtering Chinese. Now, since the 1990s, we have had nearly three devil’s decades.

Today’s western liberal democracies – as they are called – are doing exactly what the fascists did in the 1930s. Instead of Spain, we have Syria. Instead of Guernica, we have hadFallujah. Country after country has been destroyed by these liberal democrats in their grey suits and pastel ties. Do they really need to wear black or brown uniforms for people to recognize them for the killers that they are?

In their pursuit of power, they have no more respect for international law than the fascists and national socialists did in the 1930s. They have no respect for human life over there.

Yet when it comes to the killing of Muslims over here, they, and their outliers in the media are shocked, appalled and outraged at this senseless act of terror. Brenton Tarrant is a sick, depraved and twisted individual but so is Benjamin Netanyahu and so are the politicians responsible for the deaths of millions of Muslims in distant countries. Over there, not here, and that is what counts.

March 21, 2019 Posted by | Islamophobia, Progressive Hypocrite, Timeless or most popular | , , , , | 1 Comment

How Mainstream Media Join the US Government Offensive Against Iran: Case Study of Reuters

By Ivan KESIĆ | Strategic Culture Foundation | 09.01.2019

Summary: A 2013 news investigation of Iranian corruption by Reuters news service has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018. 

It has also been cited by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2018 speech. Given the article’s ongoing influence, this article will scrutinize flaws in the reporting techniques and raise reasonable questions about several of its findings. The article will also mention, a piece of important historical context, that was long assumed, but made official in 2013 – the same year the story was published – when the US government released classified documents about its involvement in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected leader in 1953 and the establishment of the Shah. The purpose of this article is not to stain the reputation of an entire news agency – but to simply lay out an alternative context for interpreting a single, influential story. 

Ever since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Revolution, the United States has been leading a propaganda campaign against Iran, minimizing own harmful role in key historical events, justifying an ousted monarchist regime, and demonizing the new political system. Frequently it is done in lighter forms, for example by claiming that new government is far from perfect or even the same as a previous one, but the methods can sometimes be so radical that the characteristics of the two systems are completely inverted.

While the Reuters claims Iran is active in spreading disinformation online, the history of the agency’s reports about Iran shows the opposite. The latest of such reports is a false report about Iran’s missile program. The falsehood of the article has been dissected here. The case which I have dissected is a 2013 article authored by Steve Stecklow, Babak Dehghanpisheh, and Yeganeh Torbati. The article represents a perfect example of such radicalism and disinformation reporting about Iran.

The Reuters report has been cited by at least four books published one after another, the most recently in 2018. The books are Iran’s Political Economy since the Revolution by Suzanne Maloney (2015); Democracy in Iran: Why It Failed and How It Might Succeed by Misagh Parsa (2016); Challenging Theocracy: Ancient Lessons for Global Politics by David Tabachnick, Toivo Koivukoski, and Herminio Meireles Teixeira (2018); and Losing Legitimacy: The End of Khomeini’s Charismatic Shadow and Regional Security by Clifton W. Sherrill (2018).

The chorus doesn’t stop there and it’s not limited to academic publishing or book industry. The 2013 report lays the ground for an ongoing war of words and decisions to impose more sanctions on Iran. Speaking at Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in July 22, 2018, Secretary of State Mark Pompeo used the ­2013 Reuters report to attack Iran; he said:

“And not many people know this, but the Ayatollah Khamenei has his own personal, off-the-books hedge fund called the Setad, worth $95 billion, with a B. That wealth is untaxed, it is ill-gotten, and it is used as a slush fund for the IRGC. The ayatollah fills his coffers by devouring whatever he wants. In 2013 the Setad’s agents banished an 82-year-old Baha’i woman from her apartment and confiscated the property after a long campaign of harassment. Seizing land from religious minorities and political rivals is just another day at the office for this juggernaut that has interests in everything from real estate to telecoms to ostrich farming. All of it is done with the blessing of Ayatollah Khamenei.”

The speech applauded by Iran hawks in Washington.

The year 2013 was the year of big news about Iran. Four months before the release of the Reuters’­ ­article, CIA finally admitted its role in 1953 Iranian coup. “Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States’ role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq’s ouster has long been public knowledge, but today’s posting includes what is believed to be the CIA’s first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup.” Disinformation is dangerous. It used once to oust democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, and has been leveraged again to bring back the Shah of Iran, William David Pear writes. He continues, “Since Iran was a developing democracy, an excuse had to be found for a US intervention. Churchill accused Mossadegh of being a communist. There was no evidence that he was. Mossadegh was an anti-colonial nationalist who cared about the welfare of the Iranian people, and that was all the evidence that Eisenhower needed. Mossadegh had to be punished for standing up to the British and demanding Iran’s natural resources for the benefit of the Iranian people.” The 2013 article of Reuters reminds us of the same pattern of disinformation about Iran.

The ­2013 Reuters story claims that the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO), also known as Setad, a little-known organization created to help the poor, morphed into the $95 billion financial empire controlled by Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. More precisely, they uncovered something unknown to Western intelligence services, economists and most prominent scholars of Iranian studies, even to the Iranian leadership themselves. In fact, much to the contrary, among ordinary Iranians the organization is known for their social programs, helping the poor families and doing charity works.

According to the Reuters article, the Iranian president’s office and the Foreign Ministry didn’t respond to requests for comment. Iran’s embassy in the UAE issued a statement calling their findings “scattered and disparate” and said that “none has any basis,” but it didn’t elaborate. Hamid Vaezi, the Setad’s then director general of public relations, said that the information presented is “far from realities and is not correct,” but he also didn’t go into specifics. Their short denials are understandable, considering that the same response would be received from a scientist if asked to make a serious review of a fantasy book. For the same reason, there is no scientific review of Reuters‘ article. Fortunately, this review will go deeply into the details, focusing on personal testimonies and claims of several groups of informers, thus developing a linear counter-story.

Baha’i personal testimonies

First, there’s the story of Pari Vahdat-e-Hagh, an 82-year-old Baha’i woman living in Europe, who claims that she lost family’s property, more precisely three apartments in a multi-story building in Tehran, allegedly “built with the blood of herself and her husband.” She further claims that her husband Hussein was imprisoned in 1981 because he began working for a gas company that had been set up to assist unemployed members of the Baha’i faith, and finally executed a year later. All of this happened, as the article claims, just because they were Baha’i.

The article does not mention the fact that her husband, alleged philanthropist, was actually a lieutenant in Pahlavi regime’s military. It neither mentions the conditions for obtaining such amount of property in Iran’s capital city center at that time. Ordinary military personnel were provided with an apartment, but not three apartments, nor was it possible to earn such vast properties with a salary of a lieutenant and teacher, no matter how hard you work. Miss Vahdat-e-Hagh explicitly stated that all had been obtained by herself and her husband, so it’s very easy to exclude the possibility of inheritance.

The only way of being awarded with three apartments was, in fact, an extraordinary and obedient service to the Pahlavi’s regime, and taking into account that Hussein Vahdat-e-Hagh’s career was military as well as the only war that Shah led was one against his own people, his merits to the dictatorship become crystal clear. This also perfectly explains why Hussein Vahdat-e-Hagh was imprisoned and executed, while tens of thousands of other Baha’is and hundreds of ordinary lieutenants, those without ‘special merits’ and three apartments, were not. In other words, the only blood that Vahdat-e-Hagh mentioned can be the blood of the people and the blood on her husband’s hands. Fake philanthropy and contradictions do not stop here.

Pari Vahdat-e-Hagh, also known as Paridokht Khaze, lives in Berlin where she earns a living by giving interviews and selling memoirs about the Baha’i victimhood. In the preface of her 2014 book titled In Search of Justice, Vahdat-e-Hagh claimed that before the 1979 revolution she had hoped to one day fulfill her dream of serving the needy in Africa. Before selling fictitious biographies, according to her own personal testimony to Reuters, during the 1980s she was living in one of the above-mentioned three apartments and was earning by renting other two. During these years of war the country was full of orphans and the poor, but giving any free accommodation was obviously out of the question for a self-proclaimed philanthropist.

Her lucrative rental business continued in the 1990s when she was living in Germany, taking the rental income out of all three apartments. According to the Reuters article, she left Iran in 1993 and it took six years before Iranian authorities realized she was no longer living in the country. This information contradicts her other statement that government representatives came to her apartment and threatened to beat her if she did not leave, while she bravely opposed them and yelled: “You can come and kill me.” So this old lady, allegedly under constant pressure and control, indeed left her apartment and was further able to leave the country, and the government, allegedly so greedy for her properties that it sent thugs at her doors, did not even notice that she’s out of the country and renting the same properties for six years. Makes perfect sense, isn’t it?

In both the Reuters article and the Vahdat-e-Hagh’s memoirs, her departure from Iran is described as some sort of “courageous escape” typical for a dissident genre, from books to Hollywood movies. In reality, she was free to leave the country and there was no any ban, no control, no chase at the airport. In the Reuters article, her false courage and principles are additionally enhanced by claims that government finally discovered her absence and demanded to pay rent on the unit, but she refused. The reality is again quite the opposite: she was actually refusing to pay tax on the rental income profit for six years, and in the meantime, she did not even report the change of address i.e. living abroad. Putting aside the controversial origin of properties, the consequences of such long-term lawbreaking are pretty much identical all over the world.

The Reuters‘ caricature story of courage and injustice ends with a claim that Vahdat-e-Hagh’s “stolen” building appears to be vacant, most of the windows are broken, and property’s ownership isn’t clear. This rumors allegedly came from merchants in the neighborhood, but how three Reuters journalists based in New York, London and Dubai managed to obtain the information in the streets of Tehran, also isn’t clear. Even less clear is their message, which may imply either that the building remains unused since Vahdat-e-Hagh stopped renting it, or it is basically worthless. Both possibilities make the whole story even less credible than it already is. Most likely, it is only a dystopian allegory or their own fantasy conception of post-revolutionary Iran.

Besides the story of Vahdat-e-Haghs, the Reuters article also offers the story of Katirais, yet another Baha’i family, whose narrative is similar in terms of structure. Again, there’s a rented three-story building in central Tehran, owner’s emigration to Canada, controversial ties to the Pahlavi regime, and of course, “just because they’re Baha’i” cliche. Apart from the building, there’re also 750 hectares of land around the city of Hamedan in northwest Iran. The Iranian official version says that owner had left the country and had abandoned properties, as well as that prior to 1979 he collaborated with the Pahlavi government, while owner’s daughter Heideh Katirai claims that he was being targeted solely because of his religion and never had any ties to the Shah’s government. Now, who to trust?

Making a choice on this question is much easier if we consider there was the Shah’s White Revolution of 1963 which its purpose was to weaken those classes that supported the traditional system, primarily landed elites. Virtually all landlords lost their possessions, with only a few exceptions, i.e. just those with close ties to the government were spared. Taking also into account that the general status of Baha’is during the Pahlavi period was far from thriving, the claim that a Baha’i person without any connections to the Shah’s regime could keep 750 hectares of land and stay intact by land reforms, is clearly an insolent lie.

Instead of sticking to the facts known to every historian and Iranian, Reuters journalists use logically fallacious methods like appeals to emotion through empathy, false dilemmas, and good ol’ victimhood. For example, an article quotes Katirai’s daughter saying “I took my kids there every Friday to see the family” and “each corner of that house is a memory for us.” One may wonder whether these trite phrases can be applied in the same way to their former land holdings, perhaps “every single square meter is a memory for them” also, out of 7,500,000 square meters in total. Such colossal amount of land was highly uncommon even for the richest landlords, and since Katirais weren’t historically attested among noble or wealthy merchant families prior to the Pahlavi period, it is clear that they did not just keep the property due to the ties with the Shah’s regime, but they also gained it.

Other statements are less subtle and bear aggressive religious and political messages. “We know that Islam is a religion of peace, but how can a government that claims to be an Islamic government allow this to happen?” Katirai’s daughter had asked, and thus offered the false dilemma: either the Iranian government is not Islamic, or Islam is not a religion of peace. The third option, unoffered in the article but the most realistic one, is that she is a liar and demagogue. Additional evidence for it is yet another claim of hers that legal representatives refused to consider her father’s case solely because he did not belong to any of three constitutive minorities: Zoroastrians, Jews or Christians. This implies that all others, from Iranian Hindus to foreign-born East Asian communities, have no any legal rights. Utterly bizarre.

Legal and human rights “experts”

Another group of people used as a reference in the Reuters article are self-proclaimed human rights “experts” and lawyers, all Iranian-born and living abroad. The first one is Naghi Mahmoudi who in the introduction claimed that Khamenei as the Supreme leader oversaw the creation of a body of legal rulings and executive orders that enabled and safeguarded asset acquisitions, as well as that no supervisory organization can question its property. The article represents him as a “lawyer” and uncritically accepts his allegations which serve as the basis for further elaboration.

In reality, Naghi Mahmoudi is only a petty political activist who has a history of lying and manipulating. Back in mid-2010, Mahmoudi and his colleague Javid Hustan Kian claimed to be defectors and “lawyers” of an Iranian woman sentenced to lapidation, but the whole case turned out to be a well-organized hoax, while they were disclosed as impostors and members of the MEK terrorist cult. In the meantime, he almost completely vanished from the media, held several pro-MEK speeches in Germany, and sometimes shared a propaganda material on Twitter, including ridiculous pan-Turkist claims that “40% of Iranians are Azeri Turks deprived of basic human rights.” Ironically, even Ali Khamenei was born into an Azeri family, as the Reuters article correctly mentions.

The biographical details of other informers are no less controversial. Ottawa-based Hossein Raeesi is a legal advisor to the IHRDC, a US government-sponsored organization blacklisted as subversive by the Iranian Interior Ministry, and London-based Mohammad Nayyeri is a close associate of Shadi Sadr, an anti-Iranian activist who publicly advocated Arab separatism in Iran. It is interesting that both of them, along with certain Beverly Hills-based Reghabi couple, complain about legal complications over the return of property, but at the same time, they confirm it is actually possible and feasible. It only takes time, and money, as everywhere.

However, the informers could not agree on a precise legal fee, some of them claiming it is 20% while others even over 50%. Since both amounts are obviously extremely exaggerated and hardly provable, for this purpose two anonymous sources jump into the story and Reuters journalists use their testimonies as evidence. The first is an Iranian Shi’ite Muslim businessman now living abroad who put fee at 55%, and the second is alleged Nayyeri’s client who recovered the house but had to pay 20% of the property’s assessed value, a religious payment called “khoms” mandated under Islamic law. No names, no documents, and no sense. To fill such logical gaps and inconsistent claims, journalists also used orientalist cliché of ubiquitous corruption.

Political circles

Finally, the last group of informers consists of individuals more deeply involved in politics, comparing to the previous activists who operate under the guise of human rights. The Reuters article intentionally conceals the organizations they represent and introduces them as respectable scholars and politicians, allegedly authoritative on the subject. For example, three journalists first claim that they had identified “about $95 billion in property and corporate assets controlled by Setad” and that amount “surpasses independent historians’ estimates of the late shah’s wealth,” and as an evidence for such comparison they further used statements by Abbas Milani who believes the estimate of the Shah’s fortune was “extremely exaggerated” and stood at “a billion dollars.” In other words, about $3 billion in today’s money, or only a fraction of the worth of Setad’s holdings, Reuters concluded.

It is hard to enumerate how many manipulations this escapade contains. First of all, there are no “historians” here, but only one, namely Abbas Milani, who is far from “independent” because he is a member of the neoconservative Hoover Institution, an advocate of multilateral crippling sanctions against Iran in the US Congress. His books are full of revisionist portrayal of the US role in the 1953 coup, support of the Pahlavi regime’s oppression, the 1979 Revolution and afterward, and he offers other contorted interpretations like a claim that “Iran went from politically moderate Monarchy to totalitarian Islamic Republic.” Milani’s statement about the Pahlavi fortune does not represent a historical consensus, nor a serious scholarly assessment, only utter whitewashing of the Shah’s financial crime.

Already in January 1979, the New York Times reported that the Pahlavi wealth is rivaled in the Middle East only by the holdings of the Sauds of Saudi Arabia and the al‐Sabah dynasty in Kuwait, and according to bankers, the Shah’s personal portfolio is worth “well over $1 billion.” New York bankers told journalists that “a substantial part of the $2 billion to $4 billion belongs to the Pahlavi family,” speaking only of the sums that have been “transferred from Iran to the United States during last two years” [1977 and 1978]. The NYT article further states that “the accumulation of immense sums was made possible through the blurring of state funds and royal funds in Iran,” primarily the Pahlavi Foundation which the Shah controlled absolutely.

In 1958, the Shah formed the Pahlavi Foundation, declaring at the time that he was transferring 90% of his holding to the new institution, a combination of charitable organization and family trust. Documents proved the royal family’s penetration of almost every corner of the nation’s economy, including among other things 17 banks and insurance companies, an 80% ownership in the nation’s third-largest insurance company, 25 metal enterprises, 8 mining companies, 10 building materials companies, 45 construction companies, 43 food companies, and 26 enterprises in trade or commerce, and a share of ownership in almost every major hotel in Iran, or 70% of the hotel capacity. Some of these holdings are joint ventures with American corporations.

Behind a facade of charitable activities, the NYT article continues, “the foundation is apparently used in three ways: as a source of funds for the royal family, as a means of exerting control over the economy through the foundation’s holdings in key sectors, and as a conduit for rewards to supporters of the regime.” The transfer of billions of dollars out of Iran had started already in 1974, partly in the form of loans to members of his family that were never repaid, and numerous transactions from Iran were made through American corporations and banks as well as some New York investment houses. The additional uncounted resources were deposited in banks in Switzerland and other countries with strictly enforced bank-secrecy laws.

In the autumn of 1978, during the revolutionary turmoil, 64 members of the Pahlavi family have gone abroad. Like other wealthy Iranians, they all have made substantial deposits in Swiss bank accounts and bought luxury residences in Europe and North America. Of course, the court never revealed the true extent of its wealth, but Iranian and Western estimates place the fortune accumulated by the royal family, both inside and outside Iran, far above Abbas Milani’s “a billion dollars” claim. As New York bankers, Ervand Abrahamian and Michael Axworthy, both highly critical of the Islamic Republic but still regarded as authoritative historians of modern Iran in the West, offer a completely different picture.

According to Abrahamian’s monographies, the royal family’s total assets were estimated “anywhere between five and twenty billion dollars” (1982:437) or “in excess of $20 billion” (2008:131). With inflation, that would equal up to $60 billion by today’s currency. In Axworthy’s book, the capital that had been sent out of the country was “estimated around $120 billion” (2013:297). This figure includes the comprehensive wealth of all Iranian emigrants, but there is no doubt that the majority was concentrated in hands of the ruling family.

In January 1981, the Iranian government filed a $36 billion lawsuit in New York against 65 defendants, most of them relatives of the Shah, in an attempt to recover stolen wealth. Reuters journalists mentioned this fact but in the context of denying figures. “The suit was dismissed,” their paragraph ends, and therefore imply that “claimed” figure must be false. It is again a gross manipulation because the New York courts did not deny the amount of money, they dismissed the proceedings on the ground of ‘forum non conveniens’ though they admitted that there was no alternative forum. According to the book by Trevor C. Hartley, Emeritus Professor of Law at the LSE, this was an abuse of the doctrine, for political reasons, the courts were determinated to shield the Shah, and ‘forum non conveniens’ was the tool they chose (2009:238). After all, those are the same courts which recently ordered Iran to pay billions to relatives of 9/11 victims.

In addition to Abbas Milani, the Reuters article also quotes Mohsen Sazegara, introduced as a co-founder of the Revolutionary Guards who is now in exile in the United States, and David S. Cohen, then undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence who also served as deputy director of the CIA. The former is a member of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a subsidiary of the notorious American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), while the latter is a member of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a hawkish and neoconservative organization led by Mark Dubowitz that was intensively lobbying for the anti-Iranian and anti-Setad sanctions for years.

Agenda unveiled

All of the above-mentioned lobbyists and their advocacy groups, along with three Reuters journalists, have the same agenda and are trying to convince the world that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is the same as Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, while Setad is no different than the Pahlavi Foundation. There is, however, a serious problem with this picture. More precisely, there are no Khamenei’s jewels, crowns or designer clothes, no luxury cars or art collections, no luxurious villas or expensive estates, either in Iran or abroad. There are no rich members of the family, no foreign bank accounts, no documents, no independent experts, no New Yorker or Swiss bankers. There is absolutely nothing which proves their claim.

There is, indeed, the Reuters “investigative” article with fancy charts and listed properties. Only a few months before the publication of Reuters‘ article, Washington imposed sanctions on Setad and some of its alleged corporate holdings, and the Treasury Department issued a press release containing boring numbers, hard charts, Persian-named properties and other dull text, incomprehensible for wider audiences. And that’s why the Reuters article jumped out.

Investigative journalism is when a report is built on the basis of the collected data, but here is an opposite case, all the details serve as buttress or decoration of the central point. In other words, when you take off all worthless tree charts, personal testimonies, stories of poor old ladies, allegations by fake human rights activists and lobbyists, and numerous other cliches, the only thing left standing is the official US press release and accompanying political rampage against the Iranian leadership. Nothing more.

Regarding Setad itself, as seen through the eyes of the US government, it serves as a useful bogeyman and has multiple purposes. Its first dimension is political-ideological because it follows the old discourse of bashing Iranian leaders and veterans, equalizing them with corrupt royal elites. Second, the economy of Iran is now being discussed under the guise of “Setad” name, a sort of trade name which sounds less offensive in public debates and official documents. Third and most important, it is a perfect tool for further targeting Iran’s economy and expanding sanctions, because any new emerging company can easily be declared as a Setad holding.

January 9, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

“Canadian Terror Patsies” Walk Free… but Media Cover-up Begins re “TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE”

Greencrow | December 20, 2018

I just checked the front pages of the three “national” newspapers in Canada, the CBC, The Globe and Mail and the National Post. NONE of these papers contains any reference to the fact that the Appeals Court Justice called the RCMP/CSIS behaviour of entrapping Nuttall and Korody a Travesty of Justice“.  No one is calling the Prime Minister, the Attorney General of Canada or any politicians to task over this shocking revelation. In fact, it would appear that a “cover up” has been set in motion…. so that these kinds of taxpayer-paid-for police/security agency criminal exploitations of vulnerable citizens for foreign policy subservience and Deep State agendas can happen again.

NOTE: Regular Commenter on this blog, “Reading Between The Lines” has just advised that a paper finally has the guts to write about the issue. Here is the link to that paper. Thanks RBTL!

John Nuttall and Amanda Korody, set free today from Canadian Security Agencies

Efforts to Use them as Terror Patsies way back in 2013

As regular readers know, I have been following this local story for years.  In my opinion, this legal decision is the most significant decision in Canadian history… during my lifetime, anyway.  This decision reinforces the fundamental legal principle that “no one is above the law”… not even the police or security agencies.  Please read the report and I will have more comments to follow:

From News 1130

B.C. couple found guilty of plotting to bomb legislature to walk free

John Nuttall-Amanda Korody’s convictions had been stayed due to entrapment, abuse of process

“The judge said police used deceit and veiled threats to engineer the bomb plot.”

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A couple found guilty of plotting to set off pressure cooker bombs outside the provincial legislature have had their convictions stayed.

The BC Court of Appeal has agreed with a lower court judge who said the RCMP officers manipulated John Nuttall and Amanda Korody into going ahead with the attack planned for Canada Day 2013.

A jury initially convicted the two on several charges in 2015, but the judge tossed them out months later because of issues with the investigation.

More to come

Wanting to get this posted ASAP, I will save my detailed summation of the significance of this decision for a later time. Suffice it to say that this “travesty of justice” has been a powder keg ticking “time bomb” in Canada for years.  Now that the ruling reinforces the rule of law in Canada.. .there will be huge ramifications for the government, the security agencies and the victims, John Nuttall and Amanda Korody. The couple can now get themselves good lawyers and sue the pants off the government, the RCMP and CSIS [aka the USrael mole in Canada], which in my opinion was the “brains” behind the operation…getting the RCMP to do its dirty work. It won’t be the first time the Canadian government has had to pay million$ to victims of miscarriage of justice resulting from corruption in the “security agencies“… actually malfeasance is a regular event here in Canada.

The timing is also significant. After this decision has been delayed [justice delayed justice certainly denied… as I said time after time] for so many years… why now? Why indeed, when Canada has recently been betrayed by the government/security agencies in USrael, recently, after toadying up to them and arresting the Chinese CEO… then being left hung out to dry by them.

If there is a thorough “Royal Commission” investigation into this travesty, which I believe there should be, then we can all follow the smell of Deep State Corruption… right back to the cesspool in Langley, Virgina… the home of the MosCIAd. These patsy/Terror bomb FALSE FLAG capers were SOP and still are–all over the West.  Just in this case, the RCMP botched the assignment so badly that the public was able to surmise what has been going on… well, at least the 33% of the public with two brain cells to rub together anyway. As the 1130 report says… … more to come.

December 19, 2018: According to Global News the lawyer for Amanda Korody said the following today:

“…. Sandford said she feels Wednesday’s decision sends a clear message.

“I think that the court has drawn a line and underscored that these type of American-style sting operations… are not going to be tolerated here and that we have a strong and robust principle of entrapment that the courts are going to uphold.”…

Greencrow says: Canadians need and deserve to know the history of this “travesty of justice”. It was much more than a “sting operation”. It was a potential False Flag. Perhaps under different dynamics the “security agencies” would have allowed it to follow its course and citizens could have been killed… as they have been in other similar cases. It signals deep corruption on the part of the government, the police and CSIS.  Remember the million$ in police salaries, including overtime?  Who made the corrupt decisions?  Are these individuals still in positions of power in Canada??? Watch the government, the M$M and particularly the “security agencies” go into desperate damage control mode. After the previous “Travesties of Justice” in the Omar Khadr and Maher Arar cases [amongst many others]… will we be suckered again? Or, this time will some intrepid investigative team or preferably a Royal Commission…. FINALLY trace the stench of the Nuttall/Korody matter right back to its source… IMO, in Langley, Virginia?

December 21, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Islamophobia | , | 2 Comments

Is China Really More “Dystopian” Than The UK?

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 05/12/2018

RT reported that the UK’s so-called “National Data Analytics Solution” will see an algorithm process whichever of 30 separate data points have been recorded about a person in local and national police databases in order to predict which members of the population are most likely to commit a crime or be victimized by one, after which the state will dispatch local health and social workers to offer “counseling” to them in an attempt to prevent the computer’s envisioned scenario from transpiring. This program is being likened to the 2002 film “Minority Report” and carries with it a vibe of China’s controversial “social credit” system, albeit without any “rewards” being offered for law-abiding behavior. In fact, one can actually make the claim that instead of the UK copying China to a degree, it was actually China that learned from the UK seeing as how the island nation’s mass surveillance system used to be far ahead of the communist nation’s one.

The problem with “pre-crime” technology, however, is that it straddles the fine line between security and liberty in what is supposed to be a “democracy”, therefore making it uncomfortably out of place in the UK while being much more natural to implement in centrally controlled societies like China’s. While the European country insincerely pretends to be a “democracy” in the Western sense of how this system is commonly assumed to function, the East Asian one makes no such pretenses and is proud of having a different organizational model, which should be doubly disturbing for any British citizen because it means that their “democratically elected government” is actually less forthcoming about its nationwide surveillance strategy than comparatively more centralized China’s is. No value judgement is being made about either country’s governing system, but the purpose of this comparison is to point out the surprising similarities between the two that are usually lost on most observers.

For as much as China is demonized for taking proactive security measures against Uighurs who the state fears are at risk of succumbing to terrorist ideologies, the UK will essentially be channeling the same spirit of this strategy through its “National Data Analytics Solution” with what can only be assumed are the ethno-socio minority groups in the country that are statistically more at risk of committing crimes or being victimized by them. The difference, however, is that drawing attention to this doesn’t serve the US’ geopolitical interests because it has nothing to gain by destabilizing the UK and possibly imposing sanctions against it for supposedly violating these subjects’ “human rights”, unlike its stance towards China in this respect. While many are fretting that “East Asia” is pioneering the way for Orwell’s 1984 to come to life, they’d do well to consider just how much “Oceania” has already done to make this a reality too.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Nov 30, 2018.

December 5, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular | , | Leave a comment

Controlling the Israel Message: How to Manage the American Sheeple

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | December 3, 2018

There has been another defenestration of a television-based political commentator for touching the only real electrified third rail remaining in reporting what passes for the news. Marc Lamont Hill, a Temple University professor of Media Studies and Urban Education, who is a regular political commentator on CNN, was fired for what he said in a speech at the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, which took place last Wednesday at the United Nations. Hill called for a “free Palestine from river to the sea,” which CNN considered grounds for terminating his contract.

As ever, the Israelis were quick to jump on the bandwagon with their New York Consul General Dani Dayan denouncing Hill as a “racist, a bigot, [and] an anti-Semite.” He noted that Hill is under contract both with Temple University and CNN, implying that he should be punished by being fired, and called the remarks “appalling.” To no avail, Hill responded “I support Palestinian freedom. I support Palestinian self-determination. I am deeply critical of Israeli policy and practice. I do not support anti-Semitism, killing Jewish people, or any of the other things attributed to my speech.”

Hill was fired by CNN within 24 hours. The message is clear. You can criticize Christianity, Muslims, white males, Donald Trump and the American government at will and you can even criticize blacks or sexual alphabet soups if you are clever in how you do it, but never, never go after Jews or Israel even indirectly if you want to keep your job. One recalls the fate of Rick Sanchez, a CNN anchor who was fired in September 2010 one day after he complained about how Jon Stewart and others in the Jewish mafia that runs the media treat Hispanics, saying “Yeah, very powerless people. He’s such a minority. I mean, you know, please. What—are you kidding? I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart. And to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?

Sanchez was forced to publicly grovel for his “inartful” comments and even had to write a letter of apology to the monstrous Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).  Far worse, he also had to endure two hours of counseling with “America’s rabbi” Shmuley Boteach. Sanchez subsequently drifted through low level jobs for a number of years, but he is now a news anchor with RT America.

Also in 2010, Octavia Nasr, a Lebanese-American journalist who had been CNN’s Senior Editor for Mideast Affairs for over 20 years was immediately fired after she tweeted “sad to hear of the passing” of Lebanese cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlalah. Fadlalah’s only crime was that he had been demonized by Israel and the neocons as a “spiritual mentor” of Hezbollah. Nasr’s only crime is that she granted the admittedly controversial dead man some respect.

To be sure, CNN is pro-Israeli in its reporting and, more important, in terms of choosing what not to report. Its lead political anchor is Wolf Blitzer, a former American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC) employee, who speaks Hebrew and has lived in Israel. Like most major American mainstream media outlets, CNN has numerous Jewish employees working to select, edit and produce the news stories that actually air, well placed to manage what does finally go out to the public.

Reports critical of Israel or Jews are not welcome anywhere in the U.S. national media, which is why Israel gets away with slaughtering unarmed Gazans using army snipers. I note a recent bizarre though interesting story that appeared in the British media and was not picked up by the U.S. mainstream at all. The story detailed how the leadership of the European Jewish Congress is seeking the insertion of “warning messages” in both Christian and Muslim holy texts. In a document entitled “An End to Antisemitism,” which was released last week, it was recommended that “Translations of the New Testament, the Qur’an and other Christian or Muslim literatures need marginal glosses, and introductions that emphasize continuity with Jewish heritage of both Christianity and Islam and warn readers about antisemitic passages in them. While some efforts have been made in this direction in the case of Christianity, these efforts need to be extended and made consistent in both religions.” One wonders when the same body will be recommending that the nastier bits of the Torah and Talmud be “glossed” to deal with the numerous slaughters of conquered peoples as well as slurs on Jesus Christ and assertions that Jews have the right to treat non-Jews as no better than livestock?

Some in the media might argue that the same set of rules about not offending one’s religious beliefs would apply to all religions, not just to Judaism, but it is difficult to find evidence of any even handedness, particularly when Islam is being discussed by commentators who are completely ignorant of the tenets of the religion. Nor are there any apparent limits in making ridiculous statements on CNN if one is disparaging Arabs, most particularly if they are Palestinians. CNN paid commentator former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has claimed absurdly that Palestinians do not even exist, which many Israelis believe, without any admonishment. Consider the outrage if he were to say that Jewish Israelis do not exist, which may actually be much closer to the truth according to some geneticists.

And what about when a Jew is attacking Christians? Far from there being any consequences, there is a demonstrable double standard as Christian beliefs appear to be fair game in some circles. Dana Jacobson currently co-anchor for the weekend edition of CBS national morning news experienced an apparently alcohol driven meltdown at a sports roast that she was helping emcee in January 2008 when she was working for ESPN.

Belting down vodka and cursing “like a sailor,” Jacobson went after Catholics in particular and said “Fuck Notre Dame,” “Fuck touchdown Jesus” and “Fuck Jesus” a number of times before she was hauled off the stage. Her after-the-fact apology consisted of written concession that she had demonstrated a “poor lack of judgment.” And her punishment by ESPN also demonstrated a “lack of judgment” when the company spokesman Josh Krulewitz reported that “Her actions and comments were inappropriate and we’ve dealt with it.” Dealing with it apparently consisted of a one-week suspension.

Any company operating in the United States should be able to dismiss an employee for any reason or for no reason, but anything even mildly critical of Jewish collective behavior or Israel is severely punished immediately. Professor Marc Lamont Hill said nothing wrong. On the contrary, he said something badly needed and which should have been accepted by CNN if it were really a global communications network dedicated to the truth and, one might add, to justice. Instead it was more of the same old, same old. If you criticize Israel don’t let the door hit you in the ass as you leave the building.

December 3, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Full Spectrum Dominance, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bethlehem Mayor: Netanyahu Statement on Palestinian Christians is Another Attempt at Distorting the Reality of Occupation

IMEMC News & Agencies – October 16, 2018

Mayor of Bethlehem, advocate Anton Salman said, in response to Sunday’s statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Bethlehem and the situation of Palestinian Christians, that such a statement “is another Israeli attempt at distorting the reality of the Israeli occupation and particularly the effects that Israeli policies have had on the Palestinian Christian community since 1948.”

“If Mr. Netanyahu was concerned about the situation of Palestinian Christians, particularly in the Bethlehem area, he would return the 22,000 dunams of Bethlehem land illegally annexed to Israel for expansion of colonial settlements. He would dismantle the annexation wall that divides Bethlehem from Jerusalem, for the first time in 2000 years of Christianity, and would stop imposing restrictions to Palestinian movement, including the thousand of Palestinian Christians living in exile and whose return is impossible due to the Israeli control over the Palestinian population registry,” said the mayor in a statement issued by the Bethlehem municipality.

He continued, according to WAFA : “For example, in Jordan alone, a few kilometers away, there are at least 20,000 Palestinian Christians from the Bethlehem area that are denied family unification and even cannot enter the city, not even to celebrate Christmas, due to the Israeli military restrictions.

“We would like to remind Mr. Netanyahu that it was himself who supported the building of one of the most damaging colonial-settlements that surround Bethlehem, Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa), and that, in 2015, he declared that by doing so he is preventing the connection between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.”

There are over 100,000 Israeli settlers surrounding Bethlehem from all sides, reducing the area of Palestinian control over Bethlehem to less than 13% of the district, and making it impossible to plan for the future of our city, said the statement.

Furthermore, it was Mr. Netanyahu who voiced objection to declaring the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route as a World Heritage site and his policies of harassment were behind the decision of the churches to close the church of the Holy Sepulcher for three days in Jerusalem in objection to church taxation policy, added the statement.

“His comment was also full of historical inaccuracies. It is shameful that while calling himself a ‘protector of Christianity’, he would use Christians as a tool for his Islamophobic talking points. The decrease in percentage of Christians in Bethlehem, as well as in the rest of Palestine, was provoked with the Nakba of 1948 and ongoing due to Israel’s colonial plans and policies that started in 1967.”

He said that this was also the case in West Jerusalem, from where a large Palestinian Christian community was expelled by Israel from Ein Karem, Talbiya, Qatamon, and other places. From 31,000 Christians in 1948, Jerusalem only has around 12,000 Christians today.

“We would like to advise Mr. Netanyahu to stop using Christians as a tool to pinkwash the occupation. The best he could do for a future of peace and coexistence, where the Christian community would thrive again, it is to respect his obligations under international law, including Security council resolutions 478 on Jerusalem and 2334 on settlements, dismantling illegal colonial-settlements and the annexation wall surrounding Bethlehem, including in the Cremisan Valley, fully end the occupation of Palestine and allow for the return of our people to their city. It is not the Palestinian government that prevents their return Mr. Netanyahu; It is your government.”

He said: “I would like to use this occasion to call upon the heads of the churches in Jerusalem as well as to the Holy See to raise their voices against the use of religion for political purposes. It cannot be tolerated anymore that the bible is used wrongfully in order to justify crimes and violations that go against the teachings of values spread by our lord Jesus Christ.”

October 15, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

The Legacy and Fallacies of Bernard Lewis

By As`ad AbuKhalil | Consortium News | June 29, 2018

There is no question that Bernard Lewis was one of the most politically—not academically—influential Orientalists in modern times.

Lewis’ career can be roughly divided into two phases: the British phase, when he was a professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, and the second phase, which began in 1974, when he moved to Princeton University and lasted until his death on May 19. His first phase was less overtly political, although the Israeli occupation army translated and published one of his books, and Gold Meir assigned articles by Lewis to her cabinet members.

Lewis knew where he stood politically but he only became a political activist in the second phase. His academic production in the first phase was rather historical (dealing with his own specialty and training) and his books were then thoroughly documented. The production of his second phase was political in nature and lacked solid documentation and citations. In the second phase, Lewis wrote about topics (such as the contemporary Arab world) on which he was rather ignorant. The writings of his second phase were motivated by his political advocacy, while the writings of the first phase was a combination of his political biases and his academic interests.

Shortly upon moving into the U.S., Lewis met with Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, the dean of ardent Zionists in the U.S. Congress. He thus started his political career and his advocacy, which was often thinly hidden behind the title of superficial books on the modern Arab world. Lewis not only mentored various neoconservatives, but he also elevated the status of Middle East natives that he approved of. For instance, he was behind the promotion of Fouad Ajami (he dedicated one of this books to him), just as he was behind introducing Ahmad Chalabi to the political elite in DC.

Lewis: A questionable legacy

Furthermore, Lewis was also behind the invitation of Sadiq Al-Azm to Princeton in the early 1990s (as Edward Said told me at the time) because Lewis always relished Al-Azm’s critique of Said’s Orientalism. Sep. 11 only elevated the status of Lewis and brought him close to the centers of power: he advised George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other senior members of the administration.

In the lead-up to the Iraq war, he assured Cheney (relying on the authority of Ajami) that not only Iraqis, but all Arabs, would joyously greet invading American troops. And he argued to Cheney before the war, using the dreaded Zionist and colonial cliché, that Arabs only understand the language of force. (Lewis would later distort his own history and claim that he was not a champion of the Iraq invasion although the record is clear).

Lewis was not only close to the higher echelons of the U.S. government, but in addition to his long-standing ties to Israeli leaders, he was close to Jordanian King Husayn and his brother, Hasan (although Lewis would mock what he considered a Jordanian habit of eating without forks and knives, as he wrote in Notes on a Century: Reflections of a Middle East Historian, on page 217).

Lewis was also close to the Shah’s government, and to the military dictatorship in Turkey in the 1980s. Kenan Evren, the Turkish general who led the 1980 military coup, had a tete-a-tete with Lewis during one of his visits to D.C. Lewis had contacts with the Sadat government, and Sadat’s spokesperson, Tahasin Bashir, in 1971 sent a message through Lewis to the Israeli government regarding Sadat’s interest in peace between the two countries.

Distorted View of Islam

There are many features of Lewis’s works, but foremost is what French historian Maxime Rodinson called “theologocentrism”, or the Western school of thought which attribute all observable phenomena among Muslims to matters of Islamic theology.

For Lewis, Islam is the only tool which can explain the odd political behavior of Arabs and Muslims. Lewis used Islam to refer not only to religion, but also the collection of Muslim people, governments ruling in the name of Islam, Shari`ah, Islamic civilization, languages spoken by Muslims, geographic areas in which Muslims predominate, and Arab governments. A review of his titles show his fixation with Islam. But what does it mean for Lewis to refer to Islam as being “the whole of life” for Muslims, as he does in Islam and the West?

Lewis also began the trendy Islamophobic, Western obsession with Shari`ah when he wrote years ago in the same book that for Muslims religion is “inconceivable without Islamic law.” There are hundreds of millions of Muslims in the world who live under governments which don’t subscribe to Shari`ah. No Muslim, for example, questions the Islamic credentials of Muslims who live in Western countries under secular law. Lewis even notes this fact, but it confuses him. In Islam and the West he states in bewilderment: “There is no [legal] precedent in Islamic history, no previous discussion in Islamic legal literature.”

Lewis could have benefited from reading James Piscatori’s book, Islam in a World of Nation States, which shows that Shari`ah is not the only source of laws even in countries where Islam is supposedly the only source of law. But Lewis was stuck in the past, he could only interpret the present through references to the original works of classical Islam.

His hostility and contempt for Arabs and Muslims was revealed in his writings even during the British phase of his career, when he was politically more restrained. He was influenced by the idea of his mentor, Scottish historian Hamilton Gibb, regarding what they both called “the atomism” of the Arab mind. The evidence for their theory is that the classical Arabic poem of Jahiliyyah and early Islam was not organically and thematically unified, but that each line of poetry was independent of the other. I remember back in 1993 when I discussed the matter with Muhsin Mahdi, a professor of Islamic philosophy at Harvard University, when I was reading the private papers of Gibb at the Widener Library. Mahdi said that their ideas are completely out of date and that recent scholarship about the classical Arabic poem refuted that thesis. (Lewis would resurrect the notion about the “atomism” of the Arab mind in his later Islam and the West).

Other writings of Lewis became obsolete academically. In his The Muslim Discovery of Europe he recycles the view that Muslims had no curiosity about the West because it was the land of infidelity and that they suffered from a superiority complex. A series of new scholarly books have undermined this thesis by Lewis largely by scholars looking into Indian and Iranian archives. The Palestinian academic, Nabil Mater, in his books Britain and the Islamic World, 1558-1713, Europe Through Arab Eyes, 1578-1727, and Turks, Moors and Englishmen in the Age of Discovery, paints a very different—and far more documented—picture of the subject that Lewis spent a career distorting.

Relished in Disparaging Arabs

In addition, the tone of Lewis’ writings on Arabs and Muslims was often sarcastic and contemptuous. Lewis did the work of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), which was started in 1998 by a former Israeli intelligence agent and an Israeli political scientist,before MEMRI existed: he relished finding outlandish views of individual Muslims and popularizing them to stereotype all Arabs and all Muslims.

In the early editions of Arabs in History, Lewis remarked that none of the philosophers of the Arab/Islamic civilization were Arab in ethnic extraction (except Al-Kindi). What was Lewis’s point except to denigrate the Arab character and even genetic makeup? In the same book he cites an Ismaili document but then quickly adds that it “is probably not genuine.” But if it is “probably not genuine” why bother to cite it except for his fondness for bizarre tidbits about Arabs and Muslims?

The Orientalism of Lewis was not representative of classical Orientalism with all its flaws and shortcomings and political biases. His harbored more of an ideology of hostility against Arabs and Muslims. This ideology shares features with anti-Semitism, namely that the whole (Muslims in this case) form a monolithic group and that they pose a civilizational danger to the world, or are plotting to take it over, and that the behavior or testimony of one represents the total group (Islamic Ummah).

In writing about contemporary Islam, Lewis spent years recycling his 1976 Commentary magazine article titled, “The Return of Islam.” What he doesn’t answer is, “return” from where? Where was Islam prior? In this article, Lewis exhibits his adherence to the most discredited forms of classical Orientalist dogmas by invoking such terms as “the modern Western mind.” He thereby resurrected the idea of epistemological distinctions between “our” mind and “theirs”, as articulated by the 1976 racist book, The Arab Mind by Israeli anthropologist, Raphael Patai. (This last book would witness a resurrection in U.S. military indoctrination after Sep. 11, as Seymour Hersh reported).

An Obsession with Etymology

For Lewis, the Muslim mind never seems to change. Every Muslim, regardless of geography or time, is representative of any or all Muslims. Thus, a quotation from an obscure medieval source is sufficient to explain present-day behavior. Lewis even traces Yaser Arafat’s nom de guerre (Abu `Ammar) to early Islamic history and to the names of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions, though `Arafat himself had explained that the name derives from the root `amr (a reference to `Arafat’s construction work in Kuwait prior to his ascension to the leadership of the PLO).

Because `Arafat literally embraced Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran when he first met him, Lewis finds evidence of a universal Muslim bond in the picture. But when Lewis revised his book years later, he took note in passing of the deep rift which later developed between `Arafat and Khomeini and said simply: “later they parted company.” So much for the theory of the Islamic bond between them. Lewis must not have heard of wars among Muslims, like the Iran-Iraq war.

Lewis read the book Philosophy of Revolution by the foremost political champion of Arab nationalism, Nasser of Egypt, as containing Islamic themes. He must have been the only reader to come to that conclusion.

Another feature in Lewis’s writings is his obsession with etymology. To compensate for his ignorance of modern Arab reality, Lewis would often return to the etymology of political terms among Muslims. His book, The Political Language of Islam, which is probably his worst book, is an example of his attempt to Islamize and standardize the political behavior of all Muslims. His conclusions from his etymological endeavors are often comical: he assumes that freedom is alien to the Arabs because the historical meaning of the word in an ancient Arabic dictionary merely connoted the absence of slavery. This is like assuming that a Westerner never engaged in sex before the word was popularized. He complains that some of contemporary political terms, like dawlah (state), lost some of their original meanings, as if this is a problem peculiar to the Arabic language.

In his early years, Lewis was close to the classical Orientalists: he wrote in a beautiful style and his erudition and language skills showed through the pages. His early works were fun to read, while his later works were dreary and dull. But Lewis was unlike those few classical Orientalists who managed to mix knowledge about history of the Middle East and Islam with knowledge of the contemporary Arab world (scholars like Rodinson, Philip Hitti and Jacques Berque). Lewis’s ignorance about the contemporary Arab world was especially evident in his production during the U.S. phase of his long career. His book on the The Emergence of Modern Turkey, which was one of the first to rely on the Ottoman archives, was probably one of his best books. There is real scholarship in the book, unlike many of his later observational and impressionable works.

In his later best-selling books, What Went Wrong? and The Crisis of Islam, one reads the same passages and anecdotes twice. Lewis, for example, relishes recounting that syphilis was imported into the Middle East from the new world. His discussion of Napoleon in Egypt appears in both books, almost verbatim. The second book contains calls for (mostly military) action. In The Crisis of Islam, Lewis asserts: “The West must defend itself by whatever means.” The book reveals a lot about his outlook of hostility towards Muslims.

Al-Ghazzali: Lewis thought bin Laden was like him

Misunderstood Bin Laden

One is astonished to read some of his observations on Muslim and Arab sentiments and opinions. He is deeply convinced that Muslims are “pained” by the absence of the caliphate, as if this constitutes a serious demand or goal even for Muslim fundamentalist organizations. One never sees crowds of Muslims in the streets of Cairo or Islamabad calling for the restoration of the caliphate as a pressing need.

But then again: this is the man who treated Usamah Bin Laden as some kind of influential Muslim theologian who is followed by world Muslims. Lewis does not treat Bin Laden as the terrorist fanatic that he is, but as some kind of al-Ghazzali, in the tradition of classical Islamic theologians. Furthermore, Lewis insists that terrorism by individual Muslims should be considered Islamic terrorism, while terrorism by individual Jews or Christians is never considered Jewish or Christian terrorism.

In his retirement years, his disdain for the Palestinian people became unmasked. Although in his book The Crisis of Islam he lists acts of violence by PLO groups—curiously, only ones that are not directed against Israeli occupation soldiers—he lists not one act of Israeli violence against Palestinians and Arabs. To discredit the Palestinian national movement, he finds it necessary to tell yet again the story of Hajj Amin Al-Husayni’s visit to Nazi Germany, apparently seeking to stigmatize all Palestinians.

He is so disdainful of the Palestinians that he finds their opposition to Britain during the mandate period inexplicable because he believes that Britain was, alas, opposed to Zionism. Lewis is so insistent in attributing Arab popular antipathy to the U.S. to Nazi influence and inspiration that he actually maintains that Arabs obtained their hostility to the U.S. from reading the likes of Otto Spengler, Friederich Georg Junger, and Martin Heidegger. But when did the Arabs find time to read those books when all they read were their holy book and Islamic religious texts—as one surmises from reading Lewis?

While he displays deep–albeit selective–knowledge when he talks about the Islamic past (where his documentation is usually thorough), his analysis is quite simplistic and superficial when addressing the present (where he often disregards documentation altogether). For instance, he sometimes produces quotations without endnotes to source them: In Islam and the West he quotes an unnamed Muslim calling for the right of Muslims to “practice polygamy under Christian rule.” In another instance, he debates what he considers to be a common Muslim anti-Orientalist viewpoint, and the endnotes refer only to a letter to the editor in The New York Times.

Lewis once began a discussion by saying: “Recently I came across an article in a Kuwaiti newspaper discussing a Western historian,” without referring the reader to the name of the newspaper or the author. He also tells the story of an anti-Coptic rumor in Egypt in 1973 without telling the reader how he collects his rumors from the region. On another page, he identifies a source thus: “a young man in a shop where I went to make a purchase.”

Lewis was not shy about his biases in the British phase of his career, but be became an unabashed racist in his later years. In Notes on a Century, he did not mind citing approvingly the opinion of a friend who compared Arabs to “neurotic children”, unlike Israelis who are “rational adults.” And his knowledge of Arabs seems to decrease over time: he would frequently tell (unfunny) jokes related to Arabs and then add that jokes are the only indicator of Arab public opinion because he did not seem to know about public opinion surveys of Arabs. He also informs his readers that “chairs are not part of Middle Eastern tradition or culture.” He showers praise on his friend, Teddy Kollek (former occupation mayor of Jerusalem) because he set up a “refreshment counter” for Christians one day.

The political influence of Lewis, who lent Samuel Huntington his term, if not the theme, of “the clash of civilization”, has been significant. But it would be inaccurate to maintain that he was a policy maker. In the East and the West, rulers rely on the opinions and writings of intellectuals when they find that this reliance is useful for their propaganda purposes. Lewis and his books were timely when the U.S. was preparing to invade Muslim countries. But the legacy of Lewis won’t survive future scholarly scrutiny: his writings will increasingly lose their academic relevance and will be cited as examples of Orientalist overreach.


As’ad AbuKhalil is a Lebanese-American professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus. He is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Lebanon (1998), Bin Laden, Islam & America’s New ‘War on Terrorism’ (2002), and The Battle for Saudi Arabia (2004). He also runs the popular blog The Angry Arab News Service. 

June 29, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Same As It Ever Was: The GWOT and Colonial History

By Ron Jacobs | CounterPunch | June 28, 2018

Since the events popularly called 9-11, the general public of the western nations have grown used to ever intensifying security measures. These measures affect the way the public travels, attends sporting and musical events, and thinks about those who don’t look like them. Long gone are the days when one could buy an airline ticket with cash at the counter and walk on a flight without showing identification.

In her 2018 book, Deport, Deprive, Extradite: 21st Century State Extremism, Nisha Kapoor examines several cases of Muslims living in Britain accused of lending material support to terrorism. In her examination of these case studies, she exposes the abuses of the British internal security apparatus and its intimate collaboration with the much greater security apparatus of the United States. The processes she reveals describe a Kafkaesque web that is impossible to escape once one is trapped in its threads. Indeed, virtually every case she explores ends with the individual targeted by the surety services taking a plea no matter how flimsy the evidence against them is. It’s as if they are found guilty and sentenced before the trial like those in the Queen of Heart’s courtroom found in Lewis Carrol’s Through the Looking Glass. Indeed, Kapoor quotes from this fiction in her text to make that exact point.

Although many US and British citizens were (and are) appalled at the torture and extraordinary rendition of suspects, in part because of the illegality of the practice, fewer seem opposed to the practice of legal extradition. As Kapoor points out throughout her text, this policy is actually quite similar to extraordinary rendition in how it is actually carried out. Like those who are moved illegally via extraordinary rendition, the suspects extradited (usually to the United States) are hooded, bound and tortured. The fact that their movement is legal only points to the weakness of the law.

Underlying the case studies discussed in the text is Kapoor’s contention that the practices of rendition, extradition and the accompanying torture and abuse of detainees are a continuation of strategies and policies established under colonial administrations in the past.  In other words, they are racist and therefore dismissive of the subject’s humanity and importance except as a target of abuse and imprisonment. Their very existence demands suspicion of crimes against the regime and their rationale of any actions (or thoughts about actions) is not rational but the result of a fanaticism. In the nominally secular world of the western regimes primarily involved in the capture and imprisonment of these suspects it is the religion of Islam which is the cause of their irrationality.

Another important context that is crucial to the text’s understanding of the “war on terror” is Kapoor’s emphasis on the fact that this entire project is a direct extension of liberal governance and philosophy. In her writing, she references John Stuart Mill and other liberal philosophers’ disparaging comments on non-Western civilizations. Furthermore, she draws a clear line from liberalism to authoritarianism, pointing out that as the judicial element in such governments has been weakened, the legislatures have given more and more power to the executive, which has rendered any existing balance of power virtually meaningless. In other words, the pretense that liberal government is somehow different from authoritarianism has been ripped away by the increasingly invasive, harsh and repressive measures undertaken in the name of the war on terror.

Unwritten, but clearly present is this essential fact:  the more time that passes under this regime of what Kapoor justly calls state extremism goes on, the fewer people there will be  who can remember when liberal governments were more liberal than illiberal and human beings were not suspect at birth. Deport, Deprive, Extradite is not merely an examination of human rights abuses of the recent past; it is also a harbinger of a harsher future. One would do well to heed its warning and act against the possibilities it discusses.

June 28, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Islamophobia | , , | Leave a comment

Did Israel Kill the Kennedys?

JFKRFKAssassination

By Laurent Guyénot • Unz Review • June 3, 2018

Introduction

Just after midnight of June 6, 1968, Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated in a backroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He had just been celebrating his victory at the California primaries, which made him the most likely Democratic nominee for the presidential election. His popularity was so great that Richard Nixon, on the Republican side, stood little chance. At the age of 43, Robert would have become the youngest American president ever, after being the youngest Attorney General in his brother’s government. His death opened the way for Nixon, who could finally become president eight years after having been defeated by John F. Kennedy in 1960.

John had been assassinated four and a half years before Robert. Had he survived, he would certainly have been president until 1968. Instead, his vice-president Lyndon Johnson took over the White House in 1963, and became so unpopular that he retired in 1968. Interestingly, Johnson became president the very day of John’s death, and ended his term a few months after Robert’s death. He was in power at the time of both investigations.

And both investigations are widely regarded as cover-ups. In both cases, the official conclusion is rife with contradictions. We are going to sum them up here. But we will do more: we will show that the key to solving both cases resides in the link between them. And we will solve them beyond a reasonable doubt.

As Lance deHaven-Smith has remarked in Conspiracy Theory in America:

“It is seldom considered that the Kennedy assassinations might have been serial murders. In fact, in speaking about the murders, Americans rarely use the plural, ‘Kennedy assassinations’. […] Clearly, this quirk in the Kennedy assassination(s) lexicon reflects an unconscious effort by journalists, politicians, and millions of ordinary Americans to avoid thinking about the two assassinations together, despite the fact that the victims are connected in countless ways.”[1]

John and Robert were bound by an unshakable loyalty. Kennedy biographers have stressed the absolute dedication of Robert to his elder brother. Robert had successfully managed John’s campaign for the Senate in 1952, then his presidential campaign in 1960. John made him not only his Attorney General, but also his most trusted adviser, even on matters of Foreign or Military affairs. What John appreciated most in Robert was his sense of justice and the rectitude of his moral judgment. It is Robert, for example, who encouraged John to fully endorse the cause of the Blacks’ civil rights movement.[2]

Given this exceptional bond between the Kennedy brothers, what is the probability that the two Kennedy assassinations were unrelated? Rather, we should start with the assumption that they are related. Basic common sense suggests that the Kennedy brothers have been killed by the same force, and for the same motives. It is, at least, a logical working hypothesis that Robert was eliminated from the presidential race because he had to be prevented from reaching a position where he could reopen the case of his brother’s death. Both his loyalty to his brother’s memory, and his obsession with justice, made it predictable that, if he reached the White House, he would do just that. But was there, in 1968, any clear indication that he would?

Did Bobby plan to reopen the investigation on his brother’s assassination?

The question has been positively answered by David Talbot in his book Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Robert had never believed in the Warren Report’s conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole assassin of his brother. Knowing too well what to expect from Johnson, he had refused to testify before the Warren Commission. When its report came out, he had no choice but to publicly endorse it, but “privately he was dismissive of it,” as his son Robert Kennedy, Jr. remembers.[3] To close friends who wondered why he wouldn’t voice his doubt, he said: “there’s nothing I can do about it. Not now.” [4]

From 22 November 1963, Robert was alienated and monitored by Johnson and Hoover. Although still Attorney General, he knew he was powerless against the forces that had killed his brother. Yet he lost no time beginning his own investigation; he first asked CIA director John McCone, a Kennedy friend, to find out if the Agency had anything to do with the plot, and came out convinced that it hadn’t. In March 1964, he had a face-to-face conversation with mobster Jimmy Hoffa, his sworn enemy, whom he had battled for ten years, and whom he suspected of having taken revenge on his brother. Robert also asked his friend Daniel Moynihan to search for any complicity in the Secret Service, responsible for the President’s security[5]. And of course, Robert suspected Johnson, whom he had always mistrusted, as Jeff Shesol documents in Mutual Contempt: Lyndon Johnson, Robert Kennedy, and the Feud that Defined a Decade (1997).

In fact, a mere week after JFK’s death, November 29, 1963, Bill Walton, a friend of the Kennedys, travelled to Moscow and passed to Nikita Khrushchev, via a trusted agent who had already carried secret communications between Khrushchev and John Kennedy, a message from Robert and Jacqueline Kennedy; according to the memo found in the Soviet archives in the 90s by Alexandr Fursenko and Timothy Naftali (One Hell of a Gamble, 1998), Robert and Jackie wanted to inform the Soviet Premier that they believed John Kennedy had been “the victim of a right-wing conspiracy,” and that “the cooling that might occur in U.S.-Soviet relations because of Johnson would not last forever.” [6]

Robert also contacted a former MI6 officer who had been a friend of his family when his father was Ambassador in London. This British retired officer in turn contacted some trusted friends in France, and arrangments were made for two French Intelligence operatives to conduct, over a three-year period, a quiet investigation that involved hundreds of interviews in the United States. Their report, replete with innuendo about Lyndon Johnson and right-wing Texas oil barons, was delivered to Bobby Kennedy only months before his own assassination in June of 1968. After Bobby’s death, the last surviving brother, Senator Ted Kennedy, showed no interest in the material. The investigators then hired a French writer by the name of Hervé Lamarr to fashion the material into a book, under the pseudonym of James Hepburn. The book was first published in French under the title L’Amérique brûle, and was translated under the title Farewell America: The Plot to Kill JFK. Its conclusion is worth quoting:

“President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of magicians. It was a stage trick, complete with accessories and fake mirrors, and when the curtain fell, the actors, and even the scenery disappeared. […] the plotters were correct when they guessed that their crime would be concealed by shadows and silences, that it would be blamed on a ‘madman’ and negligence.”[7]

Robert had planned to run for the American Presidency in 1972, but the escalation of the Vietnam War precipitated his decision to run in 1968. Another factor may have been the opening of the investigation by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison in 1967. Garrison was allowed to view Abraham Zapruder’s amateur film, confiscated by the FBI on the day of the assassination. This film, despite evident tampering, shows that the fatal shot came from the “grassy knoll” well in front of the President, not from the School Book Depository located behind him, where Oswald was supposed to be shooting from.

When talk of the investigation began, Kennedy asked one of his closest advisors, Frank Mankievitch, to follow its developments, “so if it gets to a point where I can do something about this, you can tell me what I need to know.” He confided to his friend William Attwood, then editor of Look magazine, that he, like Garrison, suspected a conspiracy, “but I can’t do anything until we get control of the White House.” [8] He refrained from openly supporting Garrison, believing that since the outcome of the investigation was uncertain, it could jeopardize his plans to reopen the case later, and even weaken his chances of election by construing his motivation as a family feud.

In conclusion, there can be little doubt that, had he been elected president, Robert Kennedy would have done everything possible to reopen the case of his brother’s assassination, in one way or another. This fact certainly did not escape John’s murderers. They had no other option but to stop him. This first conclusion is a sufficient reason to conduct a comparative analysis of both Kennedy assassinations, in search of some converging clues that might lead us to the trail of a common mastermind.We begin with Robert’s assassination.

Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian motivated by hatred of Israel?

Just hours after Robert’s assassination, the press was able to inform the American people, not only of the identity of the assassin, but also of his motive, and even of his detailed biography.[9] Twenty-four-year-old Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born in Jordania, and had moved to the United States when his family was expelled from West Jerusalem in 1948. After the shooting, a newspaper clipping was found in Sirhan’s pocket, quoting favorable comments made by Robert regarding Israel and, in particular, what sounded like an electoral commitment: “The United States should without delay sell Israel the 50 Phantom jets she has so long been promised.” Handwritten notes by Sirhan found in a notebook at his home confirmed that his act had been premeditated and motivated by his hatred of Israel.

That became the story line of the mainstream media from day one. Jerry Cohen of the Los Angeles Times wrote a front page article, saying that Sirhan is “described by acquaintances as a ‘virulent’ anti-Israeli,” (Cohen changed that into “virulent anti-semite” in an article for the The Salt Lake Tribune), and that: “Investigation and disclosures from persons who knew him best revealed [him] as a young man with a supreme hatred for the state of Israel.” Cohen infers that “Senator Kennedy […] became a personification of that hatred because of his recent pro-Israeli statements.” Cohen further revealed that:

“About three weeks ago the young Jordanian refugee accused of shooting Sen. Robert Kennedy wrote a memo to himself, […] The memo said: ‘Kennedy must be assassinated before June 5, 1968’—the first anniversary of the six-day war in which Israel humiliated three Arab neighbors, Egypt, Syria and Jordan.”[10]

After September 11, 2001, the tragedy of Robert’s assassination was installed into the Neocon mythology of the Clash of Civilizations and the War on Terror the story. Sirhan became a precursor of Islamic terrorism on the American soil. In a book entitled The Forgotten Terrorist, Mel Ayton, who specializes in debunking conspiracy theories, claims to present “a wealth of evidence about [Sirhan’s] fanatical Palestinian nationalism,” and to demonstrate that “Sirhan was the lone assassin whose politically motivated act was a forerunner of present-day terrorism” (as written on the back cover).

In 2008, on the 40th anniversary of Robert’s death, Sasha Issenberg of the Boston Globe recalled that the death of Robert Kennedy was “a first taste of Mideast terror.” He quotes Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz (best known as Jonathan Pollard’s lawyer), as saying:

“I thought of it as an act of violence motivated by hatred of Israel and of anybody who supported Israel. […] It was in some ways the beginning of Islamic terrorism in America. It was the first shot. A lot of us didn’t recognize it at the time.”[11]

The fact that Sirhan was from a Christian family was lost on Dershowitz. The Jewish Forward took care to mention it on the same occasion, only to add that Islamic fanaticism ran in his veins anyway:

“But what he shared with his Muslim cousins — the perpetrators of September 11 — was a visceral, irrational hatred of Israel. It drove him to murder a man whom some still believe might have been the greatest hope of an earlier generation.”

Robert Kennedy was the first American victim of modern Arab terrorism,” the Forward journalist hammered; “Sirhan hated Kennedy because he had supported Israel.” [12]

This leitmotiv of the public discourse begs the question: Was Bobby really a supporter of Israel? But before we answer that question, there is on more pressing one: Did Sirhan really kill Bobby?

Did Sirhan Bishara Sirhan really kill Robert Kennedy?

If we trust official statements and mainstream news, the assassination of Robert Kennedy is an open-and-shut case. The identity of the killer suffers no discussion, since he was arrested on the spot, with the smoking gun in his hand. In reality, ballistic and forensic evidence show that none of Sirhan’s bullets hit Kennedy.

According to the autopsy report of Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner Thomas Noguchi, Robert Kennedy died of a gunshot wound to the brain, fired from behind the right ear at point blank range, following an upward angle. Nogushi restated his conclusion in his 1983 memoirs, Coroner. Yet the sworn testimony of twelve shooting witnesses established that Robert had never turned his back on Sirhan and that Sirhan was five to six feet away from his target when he fired.

Tallying all the bullet impacts in the pantry, and those that wounded five people around Kennedy, it has been estimated that at least twelve bullets were fired, while Sirhan’s gun carried only eight. On April 23, 2011, attorneys William Pepper and his associate, Laurie Dusek, gathered all this evidence and more in a 58-page file submitted to the Court of California, asking that Sirhan’s case be reopened. They documented major irregularities in the 1968 trial, including the fact that the bullet tested in laboratory to be compared to the the one extracted from Robert’s brain had not been shot by Sirhan’s revolver, but by another gun, with a different serial number; thus, instead of incriminating Sirhan, the ballistic test in fact proved him innocent. Pepper has also provided a computer analysis of audio recordings during the shooting, made by engineer Philip Van Praag in 2008, which confirms that two guns are heard.[13]

The presence of a second shooter was signaled by several witnesses and reported on the same day by a few news media. There are strong suspicions that the second shooter was Thane Eugene Cesar, a security guard hired for the evening, who was stuck behind Kennedy at the moment of the shooting, and seen with his pistol drawn by several witnesses. One of them, Don Schulman, positively saw him fire. Cesar was never investigated, even though he did not conceal his hatred for the Kennedys, who according to his recorded statement, had “sold the country down the road to the commies.” [14]

Even if we assume that Sirhan did kill Robert Kennedy, a second aspect of the case raises question: according to several witnesses, Sirhan seemed to be in a state of trance during the shooting. More importantly, Sirhan has always claimed, and continues to claim, that he has never had any recollection of his act:

“I was told by my attorney that I shot and killed Senator Robert F. Kennedy and that to deny this would be completely futile, [but] I had and continue to have no memory of the shooting of Senator Kennedy.”

He also claims to have no memory of “many things and incidents which took place in the weeks leading up to the shooting.” [15] Some repetitive lines written of a notebook found in Sirhan’s bedroom, which Sirhan recognizes as his own handwriting but does not remember writing, are reminiscent of automatic writing.[16]

Psychiatric expertise, including lie-detector tests, have confirmed that Sirhan’s amnesia is not faked. In 2008, Harvard University professor Daniel Brown, a noted expert in hypnosis and trauma memory loss, interviewed Sirhan for a total of 60 hours, and concluded that Sirhan, whom he classifies in the category of “high hypnotizables,” acted unvoluntarily under the effect of hypnotic suggestion: “His firing of the gun was neither under his voluntary control, nor done with conscious knowledge, but is likely a product of automatic hypnotic behavior and coercive control.” [17]

We know that in the 1960s, American military agencies were experimenting on mental control. Dr Sidney Gottlieb, son of Hungarian Jews, directed the infamous CIA MKUltra project, which, among other things, were to answer questions such as: “Can a person under hypnosis be forced to commit murder?” according to a declassified document dated May 1951.[18] According to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, author of Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations (Random House, 2018), in 1968, an Israeli military psychologist by the name of Benjamin Shalit had concocted a plan to take a Palestinian prisoner and “brainwash and hypnotize him into becoming a programmed killer” aimed at Yasser Arafat.[19]

If Sirhan was hypnotically programmed, the question is: Who had some interest in having a visceral anti-Zionist Palestinian blamed for the killing of Robert Kennedy? Israel, of course. But then, we are faced with a dilemma, for why would Israel want to kill Robert Kennedy if Robert Kennedy was supportive of Israel, as the mainstream narrative goes?

Was Robert Kennedy really a friend of Israel?

The dilemma rests on a misleading assumption, which is part of the deception. In fact, Robert Kennedy was definitely not pro-Israel. He was simply campaigning in 1968. As everyone knows, a few good wishes and empty promises to Israel are an inescapable ritual in such circumstances. And Robert’s statement in an Oregon synagogue, mentioned in the May 27 Pasadena Independent Star-News article found in Sirhan’s pocket, didn’t exceed the minimal requirements. Its author David Lawrence had, in an earlier article entitled “Paradoxical Bob,” underlined how little credit should be given to such electoral promises: “Presidential candidates are out to get votes and some of them do not realize their own inconsistencies.”

All things considered, there is no ground for believing that Robert Kennedy would have been, as president of the US, particularly Israel-friendly. The Kennedy family, proudly Irish and Catholic, was known for its hostility to Jewish influence in politics, a classic theme of anti-Kennedy literature, best represented by the 1996 book by Ronald Kessler with the highly suggestive title, The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded.[20]

Robert had not been, in his brother’s government, a particularly pro-Israel Attorney General: He had infuriated Zionist leaders by supporting an investigation led by Senator William Fulbright of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations aimed at registering the American Zionist Council as a “foreign agent” subject to the obligations defined by the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would had considerably hindered its efficiency (after 1963, the AZD escaped this procedure by changing its status and renaming itself AIPAC)[21].

In conclusion, it is only with outstanding hypocrisy that The Jewish Daily Forward could write, on the 40th anniversary of Bobby’s death:

“In remembering Bobby Kennedy, let us remember not just what he lived for, but also what he died for—namely, the precious nature of the American-Israeli relationship.”[22]

Robert Kennedy’s death had not been a bad thing for the precious “American-Israeli relationship.” Rather, it was a great loss for the Arab world, where Bobby was mourned just as had his brother John before him.

Of course, the fact that the Zionist media lied when granting Robert Kennedy some posthumous certificate of good will toward Israel, and thereby provided Israel with a fake alibi, is not a sufficient reason for concluding that Israel murdered Robert. Even the fact that the masterminds of the plot chose as their programmed instrument an anti-Zionist Palestinian, and thereby stirred a strong anti-Palestinian feeling among Americans at the same time as getting rid of Robert, does not prove that Israel was involved. What is still lacking for a serious presumption is a plausible motive.

The motive of Robert’s assassination must be found, not in what Robert publicly declared in an Oregon synagogue during his presidential campaign, but rather in what he confided only to his most close friends: his intention to reopen the investigation on his brother’s death. Our next question, therefore, is: What would an unbiased investigation, conducted under the supervision of Robert in the White House, have revealed?

Did the CIA assassinate Kennedy?

It is obvious to anybody just vaguely informed that a genuine investigation would first establish that Oswald was a mere “patsy”, as he said himself, a scapegoat prepared in advance to be blamed for the crime and then be slaughtered without a trial. We will not here review the evidence that contradicts the official thesis of the lone gunman. It can be found in numerous books and documentary films.

Just as notorious is the theory that the plot to kill Kennedy originated from a secret network within the CIA, in collusion with extremist elements in the Pentagon. That conspiracy theory looms the largest in books, articles and films that have been produced since John Kennedy died.

That CIA-Pentagon theory, as I will call it (add the military-industrial complex if you wish) has a major flaw in the motive ascribed to the killers: besides getting rid of Kennedy, the theory goes, the aim was to create a pretext for invading Cuba, something the CIA had always pushed for and Kennedy had refused to do (the Bay of Pigs fiasco). With Oswald groomed as a pro-Castro communist, the Dallas shooting was staged as a false flag attack to be blamed on Cuba. But then, why did no invasion of Cuba follow Kennedy’s assassination? Why was the pro-Castro Oswald abandoned by the Warren Commission in favor of the lone nut Oswald? Those who address the question, like James Douglass in his JFK and the Unspeakable, credit Johnson with preventing the invasion. Johnson, we are led to understand, had nothing to do with the assassination plot, and thwarted the plotters’ ultimate aim to start World War III. This is to ignore the tremendous amount of evidence accumulated against Johnson for fifty years, and documented in such groundbreaking books as Phillip Nelson’s LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination (2010) or Roger Stone’s The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ (2013).

Another weakness in the CIA-Pentagon theory is the lack of agreement about the mastermind of the plot. In fact, one of the names that comes up most often is James Jesus Angleton, the head of Counter-Intelligence within the CIA, about whom Professor John Newman writes in Oswald and the CIA :

“In my view, whoever Oswald’s direct handler or handlers were, we must now seriously consider the possibility that Angleton was probably their general manager. No one else in the Agency had the access, the authority, and the diabolically ingenious mind to manage this sophisticated plot.”[23]

But there is plenty of evidence that Angleton, who was also the head of the CIA “Israel Office,” was a Mossad mole. According to his biographer Tom Mangold, “Angleton’s closest professional friends overseas […] came from the Mossad and […] he was held in immense esteem by his Israeli colleagues and by the state of Israel, which was to award him profound honors after his death.” [24] No less that two monuments were dedicated to him at memorial services in Israel during ceremonies attended by chiefs of Israeli Intelligence and even a future Prime Minister.[25]

Another aspect must be taken into account: if the trail of the CIA is such a well-trodden path among Kennedy researchers, it is because it has been cut and marked by the mainstream media themselves, as well as by Hollywood. And that began even before the assassination, on October 3, 1963, with an article by the New York Times’ chief Washington correspondent Arthur Krock. The article denounced the CIA’s “unrestrained thirst for power” and quotidian unnamed “very high official” who claimed that the White House could not control the CIA, and that:

“If the United States ever experiences an attempt at a coup to overthrow the Government, it will come from the CIA and not the Pentagon. The agency represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone.”[26]

In such a way, The New York Times was planting a sign, a month and a half before the Dallas killing, pointing to the CIA as the most likely instigator of the upcoming coup. The sign said: “The President is going to fall victim of a coup, and it will come from the CIA.”

One month after Kennedy’s assassination, it was the turn of the Washington Post to use a very similar trick, by publishing an op-ed signed by Harry Truman, in which the former president said he was “disturbed by the way CIA has been diverted from its original assignment.” “I never had any thought when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations,” at the point of becoming across the globe “a symbol of sinister and mysterious foreign intrigue […] there are now some searching questions that need to be answered.” [27] Truman was hinting at the CIA’s role in toppling foreign governments and assassinating elected leaders abroad. But given the timing of his article, one month to the day after Dallas, it could only be understood by anyone with ears to hear, and at least subliminally by the rest, as an indictment of the CIA in the Kennedy assassination. This article, widely reprinted in the 1970s after the creation of the Church Committee and the House Select Committee on Assassinations, is regarded as Truman’s whistleblowing. Yet its mea culpa style is quite unlike Truman; that is because it was not written by Truman, but by his longtime assistant and ghostwriter, a Russian born Jew named David Noyes, whom Sidney Krasnoff calls “Truman’s alter ego” in his book, Truman and Noyes: Story of a President’s Alter Ego (1997). Truman probably never saw the article prior to its publication in the Washington Post morning edition, but he may be responsible for its deletion from the afternoon print runs.[28]

So the two most influential American newspapers, while ostensibly defending the official theory of the lone gunman, have planted directional signs pointing to the CIA. Most Kennedy truthers have followed the signs with enthusiasm.

In the 70s, the mainstream media and publishing industry played again a major role in steering conspiracy theorists toward the CIA, while avoiding any hint of Israeli involvement. One major contributor to that effort was A. J. Weberman, with his 1975 book Coup d’État in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, co-authored by Michael Canfield. According to the New York Jewish Daily Forward (December 28, 2012), Weberman had “immigrated to Israel in 1959 and has dual American-Israeli citizenship,” and is “a close associate of Jewish Defense Organization founder Mordechai Levy, whose fringe group is a spin-off of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane’s militant right-wing Jewish Defense League.” Weberman acknowledged Neocon Richard Perle’s assistance in his investigation.[29] The Weberman-Canfield book contributed to the momentum that led the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) to reinvestigate in 1976 the murders of JFK and Dr. Martin Luther King.

It is also in this context that Newsweek journalist Edward Jay Epstein published an interview of George De Mohrenschildt, a Russian geologist and consultant for Texan oilmen who had befriended Oswald and his Russian wife in Dallas in 1962. In this interview, De Mohrenschildt admitted that Oswald had been introduced to him at the instigation of Dallas CIA agent J. Walton Moore.[30] That piece of information is dubious for several reasons: First, Moore was officially FBI rather than CIA. Second, De Mohrenschildt was in no position to confirm or deny the words that Epstein ascribed to him: he was found dead a few hours after giving the interview. In fact, De Mohrenschildt’s interview published by Epstein contradicts De Mohrenschildt’s own manuscript account of his relationship to Oswald, revealed after his death.[31] De Mohrenschildt’s death was ruled a suicide. The Sheriff’s report mentions that in his last months he complained that “the Jews” and “the Jewish mafia” were out to get him.[32] Needless to say, Epstein didn’t mention anything about this. More suspicions arise from the fact that Epstein’s main source for his 1978 book, Legend: the Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald, was James Jesus Angleton, who was actively spreading disinformation at the time of the HSCA, defending the theory that Oswald was a KGB agent with CIA connections.

That Israeli agents have been instrumental in spreading conspiracy theories targeting the CIA is also evidenced by Oliver Stone’s film JFK released in 1991, starring Kevin Costner in the role of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. This film, which shook public opinion to the point of motivating the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992, was produced by Arnon Milchan, described in a 2011 biography as being from his youth “one of the most important covert agents that Israeli intelligence has ever fielded,” involved in arms smuggling from the US to Israel.[33] In 2013 Milchan publicly revealed his extended activity as a secret agent of Israel, working in particular to boost Israel’s nuclear program.[34] It is therefore no wonder that Stone’s film gives no hint of the Mossad connection that Garrison stumbled upon.

Who killed JFK?

By a strange paradox, the authors who stand for the consensual conspiracy theory of a CIA plot against Kennedy build their case on the biography of Oswald, while at the same time claiming that Oswald had almost nothing to do with the killing. If Oswald was “just a patsy,” as he publicly claimed, the quest for the real culprits must logically begin by investigating the man who silenced Oswald.

Oswald’s assassin is known as Jack Ruby, but few people know that his real name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein, and that he was the son of Jewish Polish immigrants. Ruby was a member of the Jewish underworld. He was a friend of Los Angeles gangster Mickey Cohen, whom he had known and admired since 1946. Cohen was the successor of the famed Benjamin Siegelbaum, aka Bugsy Siegel, one of the bosses of Murder Incorporated. Cohen was infatuated with the Zionist cause, as he explained in his memoirs: “Now I got so engrossed with Israel that I actually pushed aside a lot of my activities and done nothing but what was involved with this Irgun war”.[35] Mickey Cohen was in contact with Menachem Begin, the former Irgun chief, with whom he even “spent a lot of time,” according to Gary Wean, former detective sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department. So there is a direct line connecting Jack Ruby, via Mickey Cohen, to the Israeli terrorist ring, and in particular to Menachem Begin, a specialist in false flag terror. We also know that Ruby phoned Al Gruber, a Mickey Cohen associate, just after Oswald’s arrest; no doubt he received then “an offer he couldn’t refuse,” as they say in the underworld.[36] Ruby’s defense lawyer William Kunstler wrote in his memoirs that Ruby told him he had killed Oswald “for the Jews,” and Ruby’s rabbi Hillel Silverman received the same confession when visiting Ruby in jail.[37]

That is not all. At every level of the conspiracy to kill Kennedy, we also find the fingerprints of the Israeli deep state. JFK’s trip to Dallas, being officially “non political,” was sponsored by a powerful business group known as the Dallas Citizens Council, dominated by Julius Schepps, “a wholesale liquor distributor, member of every synagogue in town, and de facto leader of the Jewish community,” as described by Bryan Edward Stone in The Chosen Folks: Jews on the Frontiers of Texas.[38] Kennedy was on his way to the reception organized in his honor when he was shot.

The “host committee” inviting Kennedy was chaired by another influential figure of the wealthy Jewish community in Dallas: advertising executive and PR man Sam Bloom. According to former British Intelligence Officer Colonel John Hughes-Wilson, it was Bloom who suggested to the Police “that they move the alleged assassin [Oswald] from the Dallas police station to the Dallas County Jail in order to give the newsmen a good story and pictures. ”Oswald was shot by Ruby during this transfert. Hughes-Wilson adds that,“when the police later searched Ruby’s home, they found a slip of paper with Bloom’s name, address and telephone number on it.” [39]

After the Dallas tragedy, Israel’s sayanim were also busy fabricating the official lie. Apart from its chairman Earl Warren, chosen for his figurative role as Chief Justice, all key people in the investigative Commission were either personal enemies of Kennedy—like Allen Dulles, the CIA director fired by Kennedy in 1961—or ardent Zionists. The man who played the key role in fabricating the government lie purveyed by the Warren Commission was Arlen Specter, the inventor of what came to be called the “magic bullet” theory: a single bullet supposed to have caused seven wounds to Kennedy and John Connally sitting before him in the limousine, and later found in pristine condition on a gurney in Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. Specter, who with an ironic touch of chutzpah titled his autobiography Passion for Truth, was the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, and, at his death in 2012, was mourned by the Israeli government as “an unswerving defender of the Jewish State,” and by AIPAC, as “a leading architect of the congressional bond between our country and Israel.” [40]

So, at all stages of the plot, we find a Zionist cabal including business men, politicians and Irgun-connected gangsters, not forgetting media executives, all devoted to Israel.

The most plausible motive for Israel to kill Kennedy has been revealed by two books: Seymour Hersh’s The Samson Option in 1991, then Avner Cohen’s Israel and the Bomb in 1998, and the lead has been followed up in 2007 by Michael Karpin in The Bomb in the Basement. What these investigators reveal is that Kennedy, informed by the CIA in 1960 of the military aim pursued at the Dimona complex in the Negev desert, was firmly determined to force Israel to renounce it. With that purpose in mind, he replaced CIA Director Allen Dulles by John McCone, who had, as Eisenhower’s chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), leaked to The New York Times the truth about Israel’s Dimona project; the story was printed on December 19, 1960, weeks before Kennedy was to take office. As Alan Hart writes, “there can be no doubt that Kennedy’s determination to stop Israel developing its own nuclear bomb was the prime factor in his decision to appoint McCone.”[41] Then Kennedy urged Ben-Gurion to allow regular inspections of Dimona, first verbally in New York in 1961, and later through more and more insistent letters. In the last one, cabled June 15, 1963 to the Israeli ambassador with instruction to hand it personally to Ben-Gurion, Kennedy demanded Ben-Gurion’s agreement for an immediate visit followed by regular visits every six months, otherwise “this Government’s commitment to and support of Israel could be seriously jeopardized.” [42] The result was unexpected: Ben-Gurion avoided official reception of the letter by announcing his resignation on June 16. As soon as the new Prime Minister Levi Eshkol took office, Kennedy sent him a similar letter, dated July 5, 1963, to no avail. Did Ben-Gurion resign in order to deal with Kennedy from another level?

Five months later, Kennedy’s death relieved Israel of all pressure (diplomatic or otherwise) to stop its nuclear program. Faced with Johnson’s complete lack of interest in that issue, John McCone resigned from the CIA in 1965, declaring: “When I cannot get the President to read my reports, then it’s time to go.”

Kennedy’s determination to stop Israel’s Dimona project was only part of the “Kennedy problem”. During his first months in the White House, Kennedy committed himself by letters to Nasser and other Arab heads of State to support UN Resolution 194 for the right of return of Palestinian refugees. Ben-Gurion reacted with a letter to the Israeli ambassador in Washington, intended to be circulated among Jewish American leaders, in which he stated:

“Israel will regard this plan as a more serious danger to her existence than all the threats of the Arab dictators and Kings, than all the Arab armies, than all of Nasser’s missiles and his Soviet MIGs. […] Israel will fight against this implementation down to the last man.’”[43]

Kennedy behaved warmly toward Nasser, Israel’s worst enemy. Historian Philip Muehlenbeck writes:

“While the Eisenhower administration had sought to isolate Nasser and reduce his influence through building up Saudi Arabia’s King Saud as a conservative rival to the Egyptian president, the Kennedy administration pursued the exact opposite strategy.”[44]

After Kennedy’s death, American foreign policy was reversed again, without the American public being aware of it. Johnson cut the economic aid to Egypt, and increased the military aid to Israel, which reached 92 million dollars in 1966, more than the total of all previous years combined.

For 50 years, the Israeli trail in the Kennedy assassination has been smothered, and anyone who mentioned it was immediately ostracized. American congressman Paul Findley nevertheless dared write in March 1992 in the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs: “It is interesting to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel’s intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned.” One single author has seriously investigated that trail: Michael Collins Piper, in his 1995 book Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy. Piper was largely ignored by the mainstream of the Kennedy truth movement. But his work has made its way nevertheless. In 2013, Martin Sandler wrote about Piper’s work in his edition of letters by Kennedy, which included those addressed to Ben-Gurion about Dimona: “Of all the conspiracy theories, it remains one of the most intriguing.” It is, in fact, a theory widespread in Arab countries.[45]

The case against Lyndon Johnson

Several investigators have identified Lyndon Johnson, Kennedy’s vice-president, as the mastermind of the Kennedy assassination. It is, at least, beyond doubt that the plotters acted with the foreknowledge that Johnson, who automatically stepped in as head of State after Kennedy’s death, would cover them. The context of national crisis enabled him to bully both Justice and the press while achieving his life’s ambition. Johnson not only benefitted from the plot; he participated in its elaboration. As a former senator from Texas, he could mobilize high-ranked accomplices in Dallas to prepare the ambush. Johnson also had his men in the Navy. In 1961, Texan senator John Connally had been appointed as Navy Secretary at the request of Johnson. When Connally resigned eleven months later to run for governor of Texas, Johnson convinced Kennedy to name another of his Texan friends, Fred Korth.

Johnson’s privileged control over the Navy is an important aspect of the case because the Navy was critical in the setting up and in the cover-up of the plot. First, contrary to a widespread but erroneous belief, Lee Harvey Oswald had been recruited by the Navy and not by the CIA. He was a Marine, and as a Marine he had worked for the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI). Secondly, it is at the Naval Hospital in Washington, under the control of Navy officers, that Kennedy’s autopsy was performed, after his body had been literally stolen at gunpoint from Parkland Hospital in Dallas. The report of this autopsy stated that the fatal bullet had entered the back of Kennedy’s skull, which contradicted the testimonies of twenty-one members of the Dallas hospital staff who saw two entry bullet-wounds on the front of Kennedy’s body. This was critical because Oswald was presumably shooting from behind Kennedy, and could not possibly have caused these bullet wounds.

It is noteworthy that Johnson had actually taken advantage of his connections in the Navy to participate in the greatest corruption case ever recorded at that time. His accomplice Fred Korth was forced to resign as Navy Secretary in November 1963, only weeks before the Dallas coup, after the Justice Department headed by Robert Kennedy had implicated him in a fraud involving a $7 billion contract for the construction of 1,700 TFX military aircraft by General Dynamics, a Texas company. Johnson’s personal secretary, Bobby Baker, was charged in the same case.

Because of this mounting scandal and other suspicions of corruption, Kennedy was determined to change Vice-President for his upcoming reelection campaign.[46] While in Dallas the day before the President’s visit, Nixon publicized the rumor of Johnson’s removal, and the Dallas Morning News was reporting on November 22nd: “Nixon Predicts JFK May Drop Johnson.” Instead, Johnson became president that very day.

Many Americans immediately suspected Johnson’s involvement in the Dallas coup, especially after the publication in 1964 of a book by James Evetts Haley, A Texan Looks at Lyndon, which portrayed Johnson as deeply corrupt. According to his biographer Robert Caro, Johnson was a man thirsting “for power in its most naked form, for power not to improve the lives of others, but to manipulate and dominate them, to bend them to his will.” [47]

The evidence incriminating Johnson does not conflict with the evidence against Israel, quite the contrary. First, both trails converge in the person of Jack Ruby, whom Nixon identified a one of “Johnson’s boys,” according to former Nixon operative Roger Stone.[48] The hypothesis that Ruby acted on Johnson’s orders is a likely explanation for some of his odd statements to the Warren Commission:

“If you don’t take me back to Washington tonight to give me a chance to prove to the President that I am not guilty, then you will see the most tragic thing that will ever happen.” “There will be a certain tragic occurrence happening if you don’t take my testimony and somehow vindicate me so my people don’t suffer because of what I have done.”

He said that he feared that his act would be used “to create some falsehood about some of the Jewish faith,” but added that “maybe something can be saved […], if our President, Lyndon Johnson, knew the truth from me.” [49] With such words, Ruby seems to be trying to send a message to Johnson through the Commission, or rather a warning that he might spill the beans about Israel’s involvement if Johnson did not intervene in his favor. We get the impression that Ruby expected Johnson to pardon him.

Yet Johnson did nothing to get Ruby out of jail. Ruby’s sense of betrayal would explain why in 1965, after having been sentenced to life imprisonment, Ruby implicitly accused Johnson of Kennedy’s murder in a press conference: “If [Adlai Stevenson] was Vice-President there would never have been an assassination of our beloved President Kennedy.” [50]

Ruby died from a mysterious disease in his prison in 1967.

A Crypto-Zionist president?

Ruby is not the only link between Johnson and Israel, far from it. In truth, Johnson had always been Israel’s man. His electoral campaigns had been funded since 1948 by Zionist financier Abraham Feinberg, who happened to be president of the Americans for Haganah Incorporated, which raised money for the Jewish militia. It is the same Feinberg who, after the Democratic primaries in 1960, made the following proposal to Kennedy, as Kennedy himself later reported to his friend Charles Bartlett: “We know your campaign is in trouble. We’re willing to pay your bills if you’ll let us have control of your Middle East policy.” Bartlett recalls that Kennedy was deeply upset and swore that, “if he ever did get to be President, he was going to do something about it.” [51]

It is on record, thanks to Kennedy insider Arthur Schlesinger (A Thousand Days: John Kennedy in the White House, 1965), that the two men who convinced Kennedy to take Johnson as his running mate, were Philip Graham and Joseph Alsop, respectively publisher and columnist of the Washington Post, and strong supporters of Israel.[52] Schlesinger doesn’t reveal Graham and Alsop’s arguments, and states that Kennedy’s final decision “defies historical reconstruction”—a curious statement for a historian so well informed on the topic. But Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy’s personal secretary for twelve years, had her own idea about it. She believed that Kennedy was blackmailed with proofs of his many infidelities to his wife: “Jack knew that Hoover and LBJ would just fill the air with womanizing.” Whatever the details of the blackmail, Kennedy once confided to his assistant Hyman Raskin, as an apology for taking Johnson, “I was left with no choice […] those bastards were trying to frame me. They threatened me with problems and I don’t need more problems.” [53]

In 2013, Associated Press reported about newly released tapes from Johnson’s White House office showing LBJ’s “personal and often emotional connection to Israel,” and pointed out that under Johnson, “the United States became Israel’s chief diplomatic ally and primary arms supplier.” An article from the 5 Towns Jewish Times “Our First Jewish President Lyndon Johnson?” recalls Johnson’s continuous support of Jews and Israel in the 1940s and 50s, and concludes: “President Johnson firmly pointed American policy in a pro-Israel direction.” The article also mentions that, “research into Johnson’s personal history indicates that he inherited his concern for the Jewish people from his family. His aunt Jessie Johnson Hatcher, a major influence on LBJ, was a member of the Zionist Organization of America.” And, in an additional note: “The line of Jewish mothers can be traced back three generations in Lyndon Johnson’s family tree. There is little doubt that he was Jewish.” [54]

Whatever was the reason of Johnson’s loyalty to Israel, it is a fact that, thanks to Johnson, Israel could continue its military nuclear program undisturbed, and acquire its first atomic bomb around 1965. Historian Stephen Green writes: “Lyndon Johnson’s White House saw no Dimona, heard no Dimona, and spoke no Dimona when the reactor went critical in early 1964.” [55]

Thanks to JFK’s death, Israel was also able to carry out its plan to annex Palestinian territories beyond the boundaries imposed by the United Nations Partition plan. By leaning on Pentagon and CIA hawks, Johnson intensified the Cold War and created the climate of tension which Israel needed in order to demonize Egyptian president Nasser and reinforce its own stature as indispensable ally in the Middle East.

During the Six Day War of 1967, Israel managed to triple its territory, while creating the illusion of acting in legitimate defense. The lie could not deceive American Intelligence agencies, but Johnson had given a green light to Israel’s attack, and even authorized James Angleton of the CIA to give Israel the precise positions of the Egyptian air bases, which enabled Israel to destroy them in just a few hours.

Four days after the start of the Israeli attack, Nasser accepted the ceasefire request from the UN Security Council. It was too soon for Israel, which had not yet achieved all its territorial objectives. On June 8, 1967, the USS Liberty, a NSA spy ship stationed in international waters off Sinai, was bombed, strafed and torpedoed during 75 minutes by Israeli Mirage jets and three torpedo boats, with the obvious intention of sinking it without leaving any survivors. (Even the rescue channels were machine-gunned.) Meanwhile, Johnson, from the White House, intervened personally to prohibit the nearby Sixth Fleet from rescuing the USS Liberty after the crew, despite the initial destruction of its transmitters, had managed to send off an SOS.

The attack would have been blamed on Egypt if it had succeeded, that is, if the ship had sunk and its crew had all died. The operation would then have given Johnson a pretext for intervening on the side of Israel against Egypt.

But it failed. The USS Liberty affair was suppressed by a commission of inquiry headed by Admiral John Sidney McCain II, Commander-in-Chief of US Naval Forces in Europe (and Father of Arizona Senator John McCain III). Johnson accepted Israel’s spurious “targeting error” explanation. In January 1968 he invited the Israeli Prime Minister, Levi Eshkol, to Washington, and warmly welcomed him to his Texas ranch. What’s more, Johnson rewarded Israel by lifting the embargo on offensive military equipment: US-made tanks and aircraft immediately flowed to Tel Aviv.

This failed false flag attack is evidence of the secret complicity of Johnson and Israel, implying high treason on the part of Johnson.

Conclusion

Let’s now conclude our overview of the evidence: beside the fact that John and Robert were brothers, their assassinations have at least two things in common: Lyndon Johnson and Israel.

First, their deaths are precisely framed by Johnson’s presidency, which was also the context for other political assassinations, such as Martin-Luther King’s. Johnson was in control of the State during the two investigations on John and Robert’s murders.

Secondly, in both cases, we find the fingerprints of Israel’s deep state. In the case of Robert, it is the choice of the manipulated patsy, which was obviously meant to disguise Robert’s assassination as an act of hatred against Israel. In the case of John, it it is the identity of the man asked to kill the patsy, a Jewish gangster linked to the Irgun.

Johnson and Israel, the two common elements in the Kennedy assassinations, are themselves closely linked, since Johnson can be considered as a high-level sayan, a man secretly devoted to Israel, or owned by Israel, to the point of committing high treason against the nation he had been elected to lead and protect.

The causal link between the two assassinations then becomes clear: even if Robert had been pro-Israel, which he was not, Israel and Johnson would still have had a compelling reason to eliminate him before he got to the White House, where he could—and would—reopen the investigation on his brother’s death.

What should have been obvious from the start now appears brightly clear: in order to solve the mystery of the assassination of John Kennedy, one has simply to look into the two other assassinations which are connected to it: the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man whose trial could have exposed the hoax and possibly put the plotters into the light, and the assassination of Robert Kennedy, the man who would have reopened the case if he had lived. And both these assassinations bear the signature of Israel.

At his death in 1968, Robert Kennedy left eleven orphans, not counting John’s two children, whom he had somewhat adopted. John’s son, John F. Kennedy Jr., aka John John, who had turned three the day of his father’s funeral, embodied the Kennedy myth in the heart of all Americans. The route seemed traced for him to become president one day. He died on July 16, 1999, with his pregnant wife and his sister-in-law, when his private plane suddenly and mysteriously nose-dived into the ocean a few seconds after he had announced his landing on the Kennedy property in Massachusetts.

John John had long been portrayed as a superficial, spoiled and harmless young man. But that image was as misleading as young Hamlet’s in Shakespeare’s play. John had serious interests in mind, and, at age 39, he was just entering politics. In 1995 he founded George magazine, which seemed harmless until it began to take an interest in political assassinations. In March 1997, George published a 13-page article by the mother of Yigal Amir, the convicted assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The article was supporting the thesis of a conspiracy by the Israeli far-right. So JFK Jr. was eliminated while following in the footsteps of his father, entering politics through the door of journalism and taking an interest in the crimes of the Israeli deep state. Canadian-Israeli journalist Barry Chamish believes John Kennedy Jr. was assassinated precisely for that.[56]

The nonsensical notion of a mysterious curse on the Kennedy family is an obvious smoke screen. The unsolved murders of JFK and his two legitimate heirs—his younger brother and his only son—require a more rational explanation. The sense that the official stories about their deaths amount to a huge cover-up is obsessing the American psyche, a bit like a repressed family secret affecting the whole personality from a subconscious level.

President John Kennedy and his brother are heroic, almost Christ-like figures, in the heart of a growing community of citizens who have become aware of the disastrous longtime effect of their assassinations. Only when the American public at large come to grips with the truth of their deaths and honor their legacy and sacrifice will America have a chance to be redeemed and be great again.

Laurent Guyénot is the author of JFK-9/11: 50 years of Deep State, Progressive Press, 2014, and From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land … Clash of Civilizations, 2018. ($30 shipping included from Sifting and Winnowing, POB 221, Lone Rock, WI 53556).

Footnotes

[1] Lance deHaven-Smith, Conspiracy Theory in America, University of Texas Press, 2013,kindle 284-292.

[2] John Lewis’ testimony is in the PBS documentary American Experience Robert F. Kennedy.

[3] Associated Press, “RFK children speak about JFK assassination,” January 12, 2013, on http://www.usatoday.com

[4] David Talbot, Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, Simon & Schuster, 2007, p. 278-280, 305.

[5] David Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., 2007, p. 21-22.

[6] David Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 25-7.

[7] James Hepburn, Farewell America: The Plot to Kill JFK, Penmarin Books, 2002, p. 269.

[8] David Talbot, Brothers, op. cit., p. 312-314.

[9] Extract of TV news in the documentary film Evidence of Revision: Part 4: The RFK assassination as never seen before, 01:11:42

[10] Jerry Cohen, “Yorty Reveals That Suspect’s Memo Set Deadline for Death,” Los Angeles Times, June 6, 1968, pages 1 and 12, on latimesblogs.latimes.com/thedailymirror/2008/06/june-6-1968.html. Jerry Cohen, “Jerusalem-Born Suspect Called An Anti-Semite,” The Salt Lake Tribune, June 6, 1968, on http://www.newspapers.com. See also Harry Rosenthal, “Senator Kennedy’s support for Israel promoted decision declares Sirhan,” The Telegraph, March 5, 1969, on news.google.com

[11] Sasha Issenberg, “Slaying gave US a first taste of Mideast terror,”Boston Globe, June 5, 2008, on http://www.boston.com

[12] Jeffrey Salkin, “Remember What Bobby Kennedy Died For,” Forward.com, June 5, 2008. Also Michael Fischbach, “First Shot in Terror War Killed RFK,” Los Angeles Times, June 02, 2003, on articles.latimes.com

[13] Frank Morales, “The Assassination of RFK: A Time for Justice!” June 16, 2012, on http://www.globalresearch.ca; watch on YouTube, “RFK Assassination 40th Anniversary (2008) Paul Schrade on CNN.”

[14] Philip Melanson, The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination: New Revelations On the Conspiracy And Cover-Up, S.P.I. Books, 1994, p. 25. For a full overview, watch Shane O’Sullivan’s 2007 investigative documentary RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy. For more detail, read his book Who Killed Bobby? The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy, Union Square Press, 2008. See also Don Schulman’s testimony in The Second Gun (1973), from 42 min 40.

[15] In a parole hearing in 2011, failing to convince the judges for the fourteenth time. Watch on YouTube, “Sirhan Sirhan Denied Parole”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsm1hKPI9EU

[16] Shane O’Sullivan, Who Killed Bobby? The Unsolved Murder of Robert F. Kennedy, Union Square Press, 2008, p. 5, 44, 103.

[17] Jacqui Goddard, “Sirhan Sirhan, assassin of Robert F.Kennedy, launches new campaign for freedom 42 years later,” The Telegraph, December 3, 2011, on http://www.telegraph.co.uk/search/

[18] Colin Ross, Bluebird: Deliberate Creation of Multiple Personality by Psychiatrists, Manitou Communications, 2000,summary on http://www.wanttoknow.info/bluebird10pg

[19] David B. Green, “Brainwashing and Cross-dressing: Israel’s Assassination Program Laid Bare in Shocking Detail,” Haaretz, February 5, 2018.

[20] Ronald Kessler, The Sins of the Father: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Dynasty He Founded, Hodder & Stoughton, 1996.

[21] The Israel Lobby Archive, http://www.irmep.org/ila/forrel/

[22] Jeffrey Salkin, “Remember What Bobby Kennedy Died For,op. cit..

[23] Michael Collins Piper, False Flag, op. cit., p. 78.

[24] Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton: the CIA’s Master Spy Hunter, Simon & Schuster, 1991, p. 318.

[25] Michael Howard Holzman, James Jesus Angleton, the CIA, and the Craft of COunterintelligence, University of Massachusetts Press, 2008, p. 153.

[26] “Assassination studies Kennedy knew a coup was coming,” on Youtube. Image of Arthur Krock’s article is shown on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snE161QnL1U at 1:36.

[27] “Harry Truman Writes: Limit CIA Role to Intelligence,” Washington Post, December 22, 1963, quoted in Mark Lane, Last Word: My Indictment of the CIA in the Murder of JFK, Skyhorse Publishing, 2011, p. 246.

[28] Thomas Troy, “Truman on CIA,” September 22, 1993, on http://www.cia.gov ; Sidney Krasnoff, Truman and Noyes: Story of a President’s Alter Ego, Jonathan Stuart Press, 1997.

[29] Michael Collins Piper, False Flags: Template for Terror, American Free Press, 2013, p. 67.

[30] James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters, Touchstone, 2008, p. 46.

[31] George de Mohrenschilldt, I am a Patsy! on jfkassassination.net/russ/jfkinfo4/jfk12/hscapatsy.htm

[32] Read the Sheriff’s Office report on mcadams.posc.mu.edu/death2.txt

[33] Meir Doron, Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon – Arnon Milchan, Gefen Books, 2011, p. xi.

[34] Stuart Winer, “Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan reveals past as secret agent,” The Times of Israel, November 25, 2013, on http://www.timesofisrael.com ; Meir Doron, Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon – Arnon Milchan, Gefen Books, 2011, p. xi

[35] Mickey Cohen, In My Own Words, Prentice-Hall, 1975, p. 91-92.

[36] Michael Collins Piper, Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy, American Free Press, 6th ed., ebook 2005, p. 133-155, 226.

[37] William Kunstler, My Life as a Radical Lawyer, Carol Publishing, 1994, p. 158; Steve North, “Lee Harvey Oswald’s Killer ‘Jack Ruby’ Came From Strong Jewish Background,” The Forward, November 17, 2013, on forward.com

[38] Bryan Edward Stone, The Chosen Folks: Jews on the Frontiers of Texas, University of Texas Press, 2010, p. 200.

[39] John Hughes-Wilson, JFK-An American Coup d’État: The Truth Behind the Kennedy Assassination, John Blake, 2014.

[40] Natasha Mozgovaya, “Prominent Jewish-American politician Arlan Specter dies at 82,” Haaretz, October 14, 2012, on http://www.haaretz.com.

[41] Alan Hart,Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews, vol. 2: David Becomes Goliath, Clarity Press, 2009, p. 273.

[42] Warren Bass, Support any Friend: Kennedy’s Middle East and the Making of the U.S.-Israel Alliance, 2003, p. 219.

[43] Quoted in George and Douglas Ball, The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement With Israel, 1947 to the Present, W.W. Norton & Co., 1992, p. 51.

[44] Philip Muehlenbeck, Betting on the Africans: John F. Kennedy’s Courting of African Nationalist Leaders, Oxford UP, 2012.

[45] Listen to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the topic on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV4kvhs8I8E

[46] Phillip Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind of JFK’s Assassination, XLibris, 2010, p. 372.

[47] Quoted in Phillip Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op. cit., p. 17.

[48] Patrick Howley, “Why Jack Ruby was probably part of the Kennedy conspiracy,” The Daily Caller, March 14, 2014, on dailycaller.com

[49] Read Ruby’s deposition on jfkmurdersolved.com/ruby.htm

[50] See on YouTube, “Jack Ruby Talks.”

[51] Seymour Hersh, The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy, Random House, 1991, p. 94-97.

[52] Arthur Schlesinger, A Thousand Days: John Kennedy in the White House (1965), Mariner Books, 2002, p. 56; Alan Hart, Zionism, vol. 2, op. cit., p. 257.

[53] Phillip Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind, op; cit., p. 320.

[54] Morris Smith, “Our First Jewish President Lyndon Johnson? – an update!!,” 5 Towns Jewish Times, April 11, 2013, on 5tjt.com.

[55] Stephen Green, Taking Sides: America’s Secret Relations With a Militant Israel, William Morrow & Co., 1984, p. 166.

[56] Barry Chamish, “The Murder of JFK Jr – Ten Years Later,” www.barrychamish.com (also on: www.rense.com/general87/tenyrs.htm).

June 3, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Israeli Government Role in Promoting Islamophobia Internationally

By Paul Larudee | Dissident Voice | May 9, 2018

Much of the study of Islamophobia is directed at the social and political causes and manifestations, including religious and political dimensions and racist characteristics. However, Islamophobia is also used as a strategic tool or weapon; i.e., in pursuit of national agenda.

Many of us are familiar with Islamophobic movements within the Buddhist majority in Myanmar (against the Rohingya minority), and within Hindu nationalist parties in India. It is important to note, however, that it is characteristic of these movements that they direct their Islamophobia against particular groups of Muslims within their own societies, and are less concerned with creating an international movement against Islam.

This is what makes the case of Israel unique. Although Israel, like Myanmar and India, seeks to marginalize and ultimately eliminate a specific population of Muslims – in this case the mostly Muslim Palestinians – part of its strategy for doing so includes encouraging and fostering Islamophobia internationally. Thus, for example, Israel has successfully pursued strong military and diplomatic ties with the governments of Myanmar and India, and especially the Islamophobic movements within those countries.

It is clear, therefore, that Islamophobia within Israel is not only a matter of organized bigotry and social hatred, which one finds in other societies, but also of instrumentalizing or weaponizing Islamophobia as a strategic tool to legitimize and justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories under Israel’s control, as well as to support Israeli aggression towards other mostly Muslim countries in the region. Promoting and fostering Islamophobia internationally helps to increase and solidify international support for the Zionist genocidal project. It is therefore treated as an important tool of Israeli and Zionist international influence.

My attention was first brought to this fact in casual but unusual circumstances. In early 1993 my family and I were on vacation at a Club Med in France where there were also Israeli intelligence officers and their families. I got into a discussion with one in particular, who said that with the fall of the Soviet Union, Islam would replace communism as the new enemy. It sounded a bit far-fetched, but in retrospect he knew what he was talking about, and more important, he was in a position to help make it happen, which of course it did.

The groundwork was laid much earlier. As Deepa Kumar at Rutgers University reports, the effort to tie Islam to terrorism started at a Zionist funded neoconservative conference on international terrorism in 1979. Then, after a second such conference in 1984, “both US neocons and Zionists worked together to convince Western policy makers that ‘Islamic terrorism’ would replace communism as the West’s next great threat. By tying Islam to terrorism, neocons would gain political cover for their imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East, and Zionists would benefit from garnering Western sympathies for their struggle against Palestinian ‘terrorism.’”

Since then, researchers like Sarah Marusek, David Miller and others have cataloged international Zionist networks that sponsor Islamophobic propaganda and policies. The work of Pamela Geller and the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative is one of the well-known examples. Geller’s anti-Islam billboards and bus advertisements are familiar to many, as well her so-called “Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas in 2015, resulting in the police killing of two armed men.

Geller is hardly alone, however. According to the Center for American Progress, the US has six major organizations that manipulate Islamophobia in order to further US support for Israel. These are the Center for Security Policy, the Society of Americans for National Existence, the Middle East Forum, Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of America, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism. Sarah Marusek includes even more groups in her paper entitled “The Transatlantic Network: Funding Islamophobia and Israeli Settlements”, published in the anthology, What is Islamophobia?

These organizations constitute a network, as Marusek says, but the complete network is much wider and more diverse than the assets concerned with promoting Islamophobia. They are known as the sayanim, the Hebrew word for helpers or assistants, and are composed of Zionists who have achieved important and useful positions in societies from which they can exercise powerful initiatives, especially when they operate in concert. Thus, for example, friendly journalists can work with lobbyists and others to quickly and massively spread influence, information, analysis and disinformation that are useful to Israel.

Such initiatives require coordination, intelligence, strategic planning, covert action, technical assistance, and other expertise. For many years, the sayanim were coordinated by the Mossad. However, following a 2010 report from the influential Reut Institute (a prestigious strategic think tank in Israel), organizational changes were made that moved such responsibility to the Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs – better known as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs. The report also notes that there are as many as 4,000 sayanim in each of the major centers of power and influence, such as London and New York. A concentration of sayanim in important sectors of society that inform the public, such as film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media permits them to help shape public opinion.

In line with Reut Institute recommendations, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has grown in size and secrecy over the last decade. Reut projected that Israel’s main strategic threat would no longer be to its military security but rather to its image and influence in other countries, especially the US and Europe. According to this view, BDS was to be regarded as a serious threat, as well as the human rights NGOs, Palestine solidarity groups and the critical alternative press. The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was therefore selected to coordinate a major new effort to combat this perceived threat.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has informally been called the Hasbara Ministry, using the Hebrew word for explanation or propaganda. It certainly is that, but also much more. The reorganization of the Strategic Affairs Ministry can be compared in scope to that of the Homeland Security Department. A lot of security and intelligence functions were transferred from or shared with Mossad. The Ministry became responsible for propaganda, influence and manipulation in other countries. Coordination of the sayanim became part of its purview, as did thousands of students who were paid or received scholarships in return for haunting social media and the comments sections of websites. The purpose was to dominate the media, insofar as possible, in countries vital to Israel’s plans and intentions, and to sway public opinion toward outcomes determined by Israel’s strategic goals.

Many readers are familiar with the “Brand Israel” campaign. Its function, suggested by the Reut Institute, is to mold Israel’s image in the media of the US and other countries. Its tactics are PR on steroids, such as, for example, slipping subliminal questions into the Jeopardy quiz program and idyllic holy land vacations into Wheel of Fortune, but permeating nearly everything we see, hear and read in film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media for the purpose of molding public opinion. With enough effort of this kind, we will presumably think of Israel as Disneyland.

Another example is Facebook and the personal collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg and Benjamin Netanyahu. After a meeting with Netanyahu, Zuckerberg hired a former employee at the Israeli embassy in Washington to be in charge of censoring so-called “fake news” on Facebook. Only Facebook has the actual figures of who gets censored, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that a lot more anti-Zionists than Zionists are affected. Similarly, Islamophobic postings and Tweets seem to be at least somewhat resistant to censorship compared to ones that are labeled anti-Semitic (which are often merely critical of Israel).

But it’s not just about making Israel look like the good guys. Demonizing and dehumanizing Muslims also helps to justify Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians, as well as its belligerent policies toward its mainly Muslim neighboring countries. A successful program of Islamophobia helps to support Israel’s pogroms of Palestinians in Gaza, its settlements in and economic strangulation of the West Bank, its invasions of Lebanon, its attacks against Syria, and its promotion of US wars against Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Making the US military a proxy for Israel greatly multiplies Israel’s capability, which is why Israel and its US lobby are working hard to create a new international war against Iran.

In order to provide the Strategic Affairs Ministry with all possible means of making such operations possible and successful, it has been assigned some important intelligence functions, including black ops and psy-ops capabilities, which used to be the exclusive purview of the Mossad.  This gives the ministry greater capability to engage in digging up or inventing dirt about people it wants to harm or discredit, especially in the BDS movement and other pro-Palestinian groups.

The hand of the Strategic Affairs Ministry is not always obvious, and it takes care to shun the light. But occasionally its actions become known, as with the Aljazeera exposé of Israeli operative Shai Masot, working from the Israeli embassy in London and coordinating the actions of British citizens working with Israel. He coached them on how to demonize and “take down” members of parliament, including the Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, who was considered insufficiently supportive of the effort to suppress BDS.

Al Jazeera has produced a similar exposé on the workings of Israel and its US lobby, but the release has been indefinitely delayed, which may be an indication of Israel’s power and influence and the effectiveness of the operations coordinated by the Strategic Affairs Ministry. Nevertheless, a glimpse of such operations can be seen in the 2004 espionage indictments against AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.  The indictments were ultimately dropped, partly because sensitive information would have to be revealed in order to successfully prosecute the cases (or perhaps that was just the excuse used to cover the fact that Tel Aviv gets to decide who gets prosecuted, not Washington).

France can be considered an extreme case. People have been arrested there for wearing a Free Palestine T-shirt. PayPal and several large banks in France recently closed the accounts of all organizations that support BDS, which has been ruled anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism is broadly defined, as you can see, and it is illegal in France. You can be fined or jailed for practicing it.

But not for Islamophobia. Islamophobia is free speech but anti-Semitism is racism. In fact, the French equivalent of AIPAC, known as CRIF, has publically declared that “Islamophobia is not a form of racism. We have long drawn attention to the danger of conflating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. To do so would impede all criticism of Islam, such that the fundamental rights of [other] religions could not be respected. The CRIF will therefore block all resolutions against Islamophobia”.

The writings of Jacob Cohen are instructive in this regard. He has published a remarkable and very comprehensive exposé on the promotion of Islamophobia in France, including the actions of Israeli operatives and French Zionist organizations. But there’s a catch. In order to publish it in France without being arrested or sued, he has to disguise it as very thinly veiled fiction, in this case O.P.A. Kabbalistique sur les Nouveaux Indigènes. It is available only in French, but even in that language you have to know the persons and groups to which he refers with pseudonyms, and few outsiders know the French scene well enough to recognize more than a handful of them.

So what can we conclude from all this information about the involvement of Israel and the Zionist movement in sponsoring Islamophobia?  The point is that some sources of Islamophobia are not attitudes or social structures. We have to face the fact that there is a very potent, resourceful, well organized and well funded international movement that sees Islamophobia as a strategic tool in pursuit of its national interest. For this reason, it is largely impervious to education or negotiation or legal considerations.

In fact, Israel is also pursuing an apparently contradictory effort to encourage interfaith cooperation between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but with the same goal in mind. That goal is to blunt criticism of Israel, whether by getting people to hate Muslims and thereby endorse Israel’s belligerence and ethnic cleansing, or by pressuring Muslims not to criticize Israel out of concern for potentially offending their Jewish brothers and sisters. Since the two strategies are aimed at different populations, I suppose that they might be able to work simultaneously. This is often how PR campaigns work.

The point is that in all the efforts at fostering tolerance and understanding we are faced with an adversary that is working quite diligently in the opposite direction for reasons that have nothing to do with how they view Islam as a religion or Muslims. This is therefore a different type of challenge in trying to overcome Islamophobia.

• This article is a revised version of a paper read at the 9th Annual Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California, April 29, 2018.

Paul Larudee is one of the founders of the Free Gaza and Free Palestine Movements and an organizer in the International Solidarity Movement.

May 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Islamophobia, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran Blasts US 9/11 Ruling as ‘Mockery of Americans, Victims of Terror Attack’

Sputnik – 06.05.2018

On Wednesday, a US court ordered Iran to pay billions of dollars to the families of those killed in the September 11 terrorist act. The ruling is part of a larger case being pursued by the families against Saudi Arabia for its alleged role in the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Tehran has strictly condemned the decision made by the US court, which had ruled that Iranian authorities have to pay compensations to the relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks, according to a statement by the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Bahram Kasemi.

“The court’s decision is unacceptable and rejected, it is not only a mockery of the system of international law, but also a mockery of the American people, especially the victims of the September 11 attacks and their families,” the diplomat stressed.

Kasemi has further stated that the court’s decision was “politically motivated” and accused the US of attempts to “rewrite history.”

“The government of Iran reserves the right to object to this illegal court proceedings,” the spokesman added.

On Wednesday, the US court ordered Iran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Central Bank of Iran to pay billions of dollars in compensation to the relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks, since they were found guilty of killing more than 1,008 people.

The decision was taken despite the fact that the special investigation commission had not previously established direct evidence of Iran’s involvement in the terrorist act.

The families of those killed in the attacks on September 11, 2001, in New York filed a lawsuit against the Iranian authorities in 2004.

May 6, 2018 Posted by | False Flag Terrorism, Islamophobia | | 4 Comments

“You Do Not Sound American”: A Live Interview on WGN-TV

By JooJoo Azad | February 10, 2108

I was on WGN for a live interview last week, and was asked to speak about my work and my book, but when I gave answers the hosts didn’t like, their questions (and comments) started to get hostile, literally telling me I “don’t sound American.” They gave me 5 minutes on-air. I’m going to give myself this short article instead. Here are a few quick thoughts about this interview (which they also did not publish online, or give us access to the clip), as I feel it serves as a good example for a bit of commentary that can be applied to so many conversations happening now, and relevant to the work that is happening here on JooJoo Azad.

– Watch the interview below or on Youtube here

“Do you think, you would like to see Iran go back to that before women were wearing hijabs?”

This question is assuming that there was, in fact, a time in recent Iranian history where women were wearing miniskirts and not hijabs as if there were no Muslim people in Iran before the revolution or that everyone is wearing black now and all sense of personal expression has been stripped from them. So wearing a black chador is not “expressing yourself”? Is expression of self through the body truly only limited to dressing in Western fashion?

For more elaboration on my response, a dear friend Alex Shams wrote a brilliant piece: “The Weaponization of Nostalgia, How Afghan Miniskirts Became the Latest Salvo in the War on Terror”, discussing how this exact dichotomous framework of seeing women’s bodies in the middle east (mini skirts as freedom and liberation and hijabs as repression and lack of rights) is established as justification for keeping troops on the ground in Afghanistan. Fashion is powerful, but it’s not a gauge of a state’s morality or progress based on how it frames women’s bodies.

“Let’s talk about nuclear weapons” 

So hindsight is always 20/20, and I honestly should have just stopped him right there and questioned why he thought it was okay to make this ridiculous comment and pose it as a question (I think I was too excited to answer the question than question his premises). Nothing to do with what we are talking about and yet, I’m forced to take up a role as an expert on all things related to Iranian politics — a position I know other POC/Muslims have found themselves in if they have ever been the token Muslim on a panel or interviewed about their work. The title they gave me on the show was “fashion blogger,” yet here I am being asked about nuclear weapons. Would they ever bring on a white chef to their show and then ask him about Brexit or his thoughts on the rise of white supremacy?

“You don’t sound American”

Clearly, this is not the interview they expected. Identifying me as an Iranian-American, just moments before they wanted me to swiftly and unquestionably denounce Iran and then am immediately called out for not blindly pledging to the USA. Of course, both countries deserve their questioning, but the double standards is mind-blowing. Not to mention that what, then, must an American “sound like”? Are they saying that Americans must not question their government, must see the world in black & white, and chose simplicity over nuanced understandings? In that case, you all are doing it right.

But furthermore, what an incredibly loaded statement to say to a visibly Muslim woman on live TV, pushing every stereotype of “other”, “foreign”, and “incompatible with America” that Muslims are so systematically characterized as–and therefore used as justification to commit violence against, both here and abroad. If a white person said the same things as I did I guarantee you their “American-ness” would not have been questioned.

This is so deeply related to my piece Please Take Your American Flags Off My Hijab I published around this time last year, where I write:

“Know that Muslims are tired of having to “prove” they are American. But also, know that one does not need to be American to deserve respect, humanity, dignity, equality, rights, and freedom from hate and bigotry. An over-emphasis on being American as a prerequisite of deserving respect is harmful for immigrants and refugees. Especially under the new administration that already has plans of “extreme vetting” to prove American-ness. This is only pushing their agenda further.” 

This is also why I work with the medium of fashion/art — images and image production (such as the American Flag Hijab) are not just abstract, harmless “expressions” but truly are so deeply connected to our understandings of ourselves and others.

I could go on, but I think these three points in particular work to highlight the absurdity of this interview the best. Thank you Heba & Nausheen for literally buying this interview from a third party so I could share and dissect it. Also shout-out to whatever editing/lighting that was done to make my skin look a few shades darker.

February 15, 2018 Posted by | Islamophobia, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment