Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Why Are Neocons so Desperate to Rescue al-Qaeda in Syria?

By Daniel McAdams | Ron Paul Institute | February 11, 2016

Reading Dennis Ross and David Ignatius is a good reminder that the neocons live in a different world than the rest of us. They do not conform their analysis to reality, but rather they conform reality to their view of the world. Where most people would be encouraged to read that Aleppo in Syria was about to be liberated from its 3.5 year occupation by al-Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, the neocons see a disaster.

On the brink of al-Qaeda’s defeat in Aleppo, the Washington Post’s Ignatius is furious that, “President Obama won’t approve military tactics that could actually shift the balance.” Yes, he wants to shift the balance toward al-Qaeda because like the other neocons he is so invested in the idea of regime change in Syria that he would even prefer turning the country into another Libya than to see government forces defeat his jihadist insurgents. Failing to “shift the balance” toward al-Qaeda fighters in Aleppo only brings “greater misery for the Syrian people,” in the world of Ignatius.

Ignatius’s Washington Post, which has never seen a potential war it did not want to see turned into an actual war, thinks it a tragedy that the Syrian army’s advance on al-Qaeda occupied Aleppo has “cut off all vital routes of supply from Turkey to the rebel-held areas of the city.” Those would be Turkish supplies in support of al-Qaeda and ISIS rebels, but the Post is too deceptive to mention that fact.

It is as dishonest an inversion of reality as anything printed in Pravda of old.

In the same vein as Ignatius, former Bush/Clinton/Obama Administration Middle East “expert” Dennis Ross writes to tell us, “what Putin is really up to in Syria.” In the above-linked article, The Los Angeles Times does not reveal that Ross is hardly an objective observer of the situation. As one of the founders of AIPAC‘s Washington Institute for Near East Policy — and a current counselor to that organization — Ross strongly supports AIPAC’s position in favor of regime change in Syria and Israel’s active role in assisting jihadist rebels from al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in their efforts to overthrow the Assad government.

So what does regime change neocon Dennis Ross want us to believe is happening in Syria? The Russians, he asserts, are playing a dirty game by stepping up their bombing campaign against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and affiliated rebels instead of pushing for a ceasefire. How funny that when the US/Turk/Saudi/Israeli-back jihadists were on the verge of taking over all of Syria not that long ago there was no talk from neocon quarters about a ceasefire or a negotiated political solution. Only now that al-Qaeda’s stronghold in Aleppo is on the verge of liberation by government forces are the neocons screaming that diplomacy should be given a chance.

Russian operations are “designed to strengthen the Assad regime and weaken the non-Islamic State Sunni opposition in different parts of the country,” writes Ross. He doesn’t mention that particularly when it comes to Aleppo, the “non-Islamic State Sunni opposition” means al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front and affiliated forces.

By relentlessly bombing Islamic State and other jihadist groups seeking to introduce Sharia law into secular Syria, “Putin is… undercutting our aim of isolating Islamic State and having Sunnis lead the fight against it.” Read that again. By attacking ISIS he is preventing the US from isolating ISIS. Doublespeak.

What is Putin really up to in the world of Dennis Ross? He is not sincere about defeating Islamist extremism in Syria or even helping Assad’s forces win the war. No, Putin “aims to demonstrate that Russia, and not America, is the main power broker in the region and increasingly elsewhere.” Ah yes, the old argument about Russian expansionism. Baltic invasion, restoration of the USSR. All the neocon tripe.

Ah but here is where Ross plants his seed, whispers in the Administration’s neocon power brokers’ ears:

“Certainly, were Russia’s costs to increase, Putin might look for a way out.”

Hmm, now we see what he’s getting at:

… it is time we make it clear to the Russians that unless they impose a cease-fire on Assad and Hezbollah and insist that humanitarian corridors are open, we will have no choice but to act with our partners to create a haven in Syria — for refugees and for the organization of the Syrian opposition.

In other words, tell Russia if you do not stop fighting al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria we will face-off in a WWIII-threatening stance to establish a “jihadistan” in part of Syria from where the hundredth or so version of a rebel fighting force can be re-assembled.

Ross’s plan is not for the weak of heart. “[W]e cannot threaten to create a haven without following through if Putin refused to alter his course,” he writes. Meaning of course that we must be willing to actually go through with WWIII if Putin does not blink, back down, and pull out of Syria just as Russia’s intervention is meeting its objective. Surrender when on the verge of victory in Syria or face a nuclear war with the United States.

No one ever accused the neocons of thinking small. But with much of the Middle East a smoldering ruin due to the disastrous interventions they lied us into, no one should count out even their most insane-sounding plan being seriously considered somewhere in Washington.

February 13, 2016 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Doctrine of ‘Superior People’: The Bond between Israel and World Zionism

By James Petras :: 09.04.2015

Introduction

The single greatest feat of Israel and its overseas missions has not been material success, or the military conquest of millions of unarmed Palestinians, it has been ideological – the widespread acceptance in the US of a doctrine that claims ‘Jews are a superior people.’

Apart from small extremist rightwing sects who exhibit visceral anti-Semitism and denigrate everything Jewish, there are very few academics and politicians willing to question this supremacist doctrine. On the contrary, there is an incurable tendency to advance oneself by accepting and embellishing on it.

For example, in August 2015, US Vice-President Joseph Biden attributed ‘special genius’ to Jews, slavish flattery that embarrassed even New York’s liberal Jewish intellectuals.

Israel’s dominant role in formulating US Middle East policy is largely a product of its success at recruiting, socializing and motivating overseas Jews to act as an organized force to intervene in US politics and push Israel’s agenda.

What motivates American Jews, who have been raised and educated in the US to serve Israel? After all, these are individuals who have prospered, achieved high status and occupy the highest positions of prestige and responsibility. Why would they parrot the policies of Israel and follow the dictates of Israeli leaders (a foreign regime), serving its violent colonial, racist agenda?

What binds a majority of highly educated and privileged Jews to the most rabidly rightwing Israeli regime in history – a relationship they actually celebrate?

What turns comfortable, prosperous American Jews into vindictive bullies, willing and able to blackmail, threaten and punish any dissident voices among their Gentile and Jewish compatriots who have dared to criticize Israel?

What prevents many intelligent, liberal and progressive Jews from openly questioning Israel’s agenda, and especially confronting the role of Zionist zealots who serve as Tel Aviv’s fifth column against the interest of the United States?

There are numerous historical and personal factors that can and should be taken into account to understand this phenomenon.

In this essay I am going to focus on one – the ideology that ‘Jews are a superior people’. The notion that Jews, either through some genetic, biologic, cultural, historical, familial and/or upbringing, have special qualities allowing them to achieve at a uniquely higher level than the ‘inferior’ non-Jews.

We will proceed by sketching the main outline of the Jewish supremacist ideology and then advance our critique.

We will conclude by evaluating the negative consequences of this ideology and propose a democratic alternative.

Jewish Supremacism

Exponents of Jewish Supremacism (JS) frequently cite the prestigious awards, worldly successes and high honors, which, they emphasize, have been disproportionately achieved by Jews.

The argument goes: While Jews represent less than 0.2% of the world population, they have produced 24% of the US Nobel prize winners; over 30% of Ivy League professors and students; and the majority of major US film, stage and TV producers.

They cite the ‘disproportionate number’ of scientists, leading doctors, lawyers and billionaires.

They cite past geniuses like, Einstein, Freud and Marx .

They point to the founders of the world’s great monotheistic religions – Moses and Abraham.

They lay claim to a unique learning tradition embedded in centuries of Talmudic scholarship.

Jewish supremacists never miss a chance to cite the ‘Jewish background’ of any highly accomplished contemporary public figures in the entertainment, publication, financial fields or any other sectors of life in the US.

Disproportionately great accomplishments by a disproportionate minority has become the mantra for heralding a self-styled ‘meritocratic elite’…. and for justifying its disproportionate wealth, power and privileges – and influence…

Challenging the Myths of Jewish Supremacists

There are serious problems regarding the claims of the Jewish Supremacists.

For centuries Jewish ‘wisdom’ was confined to textual exegesis of religious dogma – texts full of superstition and social control, as well as blind intolerance, and which produced neither reasoned arguments nor contributed to scientific and human advancement.

Jewish scholarship of note occurred among thinkers like Spinoza who revolted against the Jewish ghetto gatekeepers and rejected Jewish dogma.

Notable scientists emerged in the context of working and studying with non-Jews in non-Jewish institutions – the universities and centers of learning in the West. The majority of world-renowned Jewish scholars integrated and contributed to predominantly non-Jewish (Moslem and Christian) and secular institutions of higher learning.

Historically, highly talented individuals of Jewish origin succeeded by renouncing the constraints of everyday Jewish life, rabbinical overseers and Jewish institutions. Most contemporary prestigious scientists, including the frequently cited Nobel Prize winners, have little or nothing to do with Judaism! And their contributions have everything to do with the highly secular, integrated culture in which they prospered intellectually – despite expressions of crude anti-Semitism in the larger society.

Secondly, Jewish Supremacists persist in claiming ‘racial credit’ for the achievements of individuals who have publicly renounced, denounced and distanced themselves from Judaism and have dismissed any notion of Israel as their spiritual homeland. Their universal prestige has prevented them from being labeled, apostate or ‘self-hating.’ Albert Einstein, often cited by the Supremacists as the supreme example of ‘Jewish genius,’ denounced Israel’s war crimes and showed disdain for any tribal identity. In their era, Marx and Trotsky, like the vast majority of emancipated European Jews, given the chance, became engaged in universalistic organizations, attacking the entire notion that Jews were a ‘special people’ chosen by divine authority (or by the latter-day Zionists).

Thirdly, Supremacists compile a very selective list of virtuous Jews, while omitting areas of life and activity where Jews have disproportionately played a negative and destructive role.

After all is it Jewish ‘genius’ that makes Israel a leading exporter of arms, high tech intrusive spy systems and that sends military and paramilitary advisers and torturers to work with death squad regimes in Africa and Latin America?

Among the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize are three Israeli Prime Ministers who waged wars of ethnic cleansing against millions of Palestinians and expanded racist ‘Jews only’ settlements throughout the occupied Palestinian territories. These include Menachem Begin (notorious career bomber and terrorist), Yitzhak Rabin (a militarist who was assassinated by an even more racist Jewish terrorist) and Shimon Peres. Among Jewish American Nobel ‘Peaceniks’ is Henry Kissinger who oversaw the brutal and illegal US war in Indo-China causing 4 million Vietnamese deaths; who wrote the ‘template for regime change’ by overthrowing the democratically elected government of Chilean President Allende and condemned Chile to decades of police state terror; and who supported Indonesia’s destruction of East Timor!

In other words, these Nobel recipients, who Supremacists cite as ‘examples of Jewish Supremacy,’ have sown terror and injustice on countless captive peoples and nations – giving the Nobel Peace Prize a dubious distinction.

Among the greatest billion dollar swindlers in recent US history, we d find a disproportionate percentage of American Jews – curiously not mentioned by the Supremacists in their usual litany: Bernard Madoff pillaged over $50 billion from his clients, Ivan Boesky, Michael Milken and Marc Rich are well-known names adding the distinction of ‘Jewish genius’ to a list of financial mega-felons.

Among the less respectable notables whose material successes have been tarnished by personal weaknesses – we have the billionaire and pedophile pimp, Jeffry Epstein; IMF President, rapist and debaucher Dominic Strauss Kahn, entrepreneur and ‘nudist’ Dov Charney, New York Governor and ‘repeat customer’ Elliot Spitzer, Congressman and exhibitionist Anthony Weiner and the fun-loving sports impresario who brought down FIFA, the piratical Chuck Blazer. Curiously, none of these extraordinarily successful notables have been cited as examples of Jewish Supremacy.

As we contemplate the millions of war refugees driven from the Near East and North Africa, we should credit the role of US neo-liberal and neo-conservative ideologues and policymakers –a disproportionate percentage of whom are Jews. Millions of Chilean workers suffered as Milton Friedman and his Chicago Boys ‘advised’ Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet on dismantling the welfare state (even if it required the murder of trade unionists!). Ayn Rand (Alyssa Rosenbaum) and her fanatical free market epigones have savaged all progressive social legislation and turned the most retrograde forms of selfishness into a religion of ‘superiority’!

The disastrous US war against Iraq was largely organized, promoted and justified by a disproportionate percentage of US Jews (Zionists), including leading policymakers in the Bush and Obama administration – Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Dennis Ross, Martin Indyk, David Frum, Shulsky, Levey, Cohen, Rahm Emanuel etc… They continue to push for war against Iran and should be seen as the ‘godfathers’ of the tragedies of Iraq, Syria and Libya where millions have fled.

The biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression was largely due to the financial policies of Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan. The trillion-dollar bailout of Wall Street by Ben Shalom Bernacke and Stanley Fischer, while Janet Yellen ignored the plight of millions of Americans who lost their homes because of mortgage foreclosures. In sum, Jewish Supremacists should proudly take credit for the American Jews who have been disproportionately responsible for the largest economic and foreign policy failures of the contemporary period – including the horrific suffering these have entailed!

Back in the more normal world of crime, Russian-Jewish mobsters dominate or share supremacy with the Italian Mafia in New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami and scores of cities in between. They display their unique genius at extortion and murder – knowing they can always find safe haven in the ‘Promised Land’!

On the cultural front, the finest Jewish writers, artists, musicians, scientists have emerged outside of Israel. A few may have immigrated to the Jewish state, but many other intellectuals and artists of note have chosen to leave Israel, repelled by the racist, intolerant and repressive apartheid state and society promoted by Jewish Supremacists.

Conclusion

The record provides no historical basis for the claims of Jewish Supremacists:

What has been cited as the disproportionate ‘Jewish genius’ turns out to be a two-edged sword – demonstrating the best and the worst.

Claiming a monopoly on high academic achievement must be expanded to owning up to the Jewish authors of the worst financial and foreign policy disasters – they too are ‘high achievers’.

Donations from financial billionaires, all ‘geniuses,’ have financed the war crimes of the Israeli state and made possible the expansion of violent Jewish settlers throughout occupied Palestine – spreading misery and displacement for millions.

In fairness, the most notorious Jewish swindler in contemporary America was even-handed: ‘Bernie’ Madoff swindled Jews and Goys, Hollywood moguls and New York philanthropists – he wasn’t picky about who he fleeced.

The latest fashion among Jewish Supremacist ‘geneticists’ is to extol the discovery of uniquely special ‘genes’ predisposing Jews to experience the ‘holocaust’ and even inherit the experience of suffering from long dead ancestors. Such ‘scientists’ should be careful. As Jazz artist and essayist, Gilad Altzmon wryly notes, ‘They will put the anti-Semites out of business’.

Ultimately, Jews, who have assimilated into the greater society or not, who inter-marry and who do not, are all products of the social system in which they live and (like everyone else) they are the makers of the roles they decide to play within it.

In the past, a uniquely disproportional percentage of Jews chose to fight for universal humanist values – rejecting the notion of a chosen people.

Today a disproportionate percentage of educated Jews have chosen to embrace an ‘ethno-religious’ Supremacist dogma, which binds them to an apartheid, militarist state and ideology ready to drag the world into a global war.

Never forget! Racialist supremacist doctrines led Germany down the blind ally of totalitarianism and world war, in which scores of millions perished.

Jews, especially young Jews, are increasingly repelled by Israel’s crimes against humanity. The next step for them (and for us) is to criticize, demystify and stand up to the toxic supremacist ideology linking the powerful domestic Zionist power configuration and its political clones with Israel.

The root problem is not genetic, it is collective political dementia: a demented ideology that claims a chosen elite can forever dominate and exploit the majority of American people. The time will come when the accumulated disasters will force the Americans people to push back, unmasking the elite and rejecting its supremacist doctrines. Let us hope that they will act with passion guided by reason.

September 5, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Dennis Ross calls for law mandating US war on Iran if deal “violated” to “address Israel’s concerns”

Press TV – February 18, 2015

A former US presidential aide says Washington should pass a law mandating military action against Iran if the Islamic Republic violates the terms of a final deal over its nuclear program.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Dennis Ross said the US must be clear what the consequences would be for any possible Iranian violations of the deal in any agreement over Tehran’s nuclear work.

“You cannot wait until you face the violations, and decide what it (the consequence), will be,” he said. “You actually should work that out now.”

Ross, who from 2009 to 2011 was a key White House official dealing with Iran, said this is an area where the US administration and Congress can cooperate and agree in advance what the price of violations will be.

If Iran is found to have been engaged in a non-civilian nuclear work despite a nuclear agreement, said Ross, then the consequence should be the use of American military force.

“There should be legislation, worked out with the [Capitol] Hill in advance, which says if we catch them with the following kinds of violations, then the implication is that we are going to take out those facilities,” he added.

He said a law that would authorize military action if Iran violates the deal, could also address Israel’s concerns.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – Russia, China, France, Britain, the US and Germany – are seeking to reach a high-level political agreement by April 1 and to confirm the full technical details of the accord by July 1.

Since an interim deal was sealed in the Swiss city of Geneva in November 2013, the negotiating sides have missed two self-imposed deadlines to ink a final comprehensive agreement over Tehran’s nuclear energy program.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has in numerous times confirmed Iran has been abiding by its commitments to the Geneva deal.

The Agency that is supervising Tehran’s nuclear program, has never reported any deviation in Iran’s nuclear program toward militarism.

February 18, 2015 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Arak “Plutonium Reactor”: Laughing out loud at the NY Times’ coverage of Iran, again.

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | January 29, 2014

It is always fun to start out the morning with a funny, over-the-top and so obviously completely bullshit “news article” about Iran of the sort that you can only find in the New York Times.

Today they have an article by Alan Cowell and Rick Gladstone entitled “U.N. Inspectors Visit Uranium Mine in Iran, Media Report.” Had Mr Cowell and Gladstone been actual reporters and the New York Times an actual newspaper that actually covered the actual news when it comes to Iran, the article could have noted that IAEA officials had first visited Iran’s uranium mines years ago, when Iran officially invited them there, and furthermore that uranium mines were never required to be shown to inspectors in the first place. In fact the entire controversy about this mine — whether it was supposedly related to the military or not — is not terribly relevant, legally, since nothing in the NPT prohibits such an arrangement nor requires its disclosure. The reporters could have confirmed this with a bit of effort.

But instead of you know, actual news and analysis, we get this beauty of an attempt at fear-mongering which sounds like government talking points, dumbed-down to the point of absurdity for you the mass consuming audience to chew on:

“The Arak plant produces heavy water for a plutonium reactor still under construction, which Iran describes as designed to generate energy. If it became operational, however, it would produce plutonium that could be used in a nuclear weapon. Inspectors visited it in December.”

Wow. Gotta love it.

OK, for a start, they fail to note that Iran was never under any obligation to allow any inspections of the heavy water plant. The authority of inspectors, under Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA, extends only to nuclear material and the places where they are kept and related records etc. — in fact the inspector’s authority is specifically stated TWICE in the safeguards agreement to be limited “exclusively” to verifying Iran’s declarations and that’s all. Heavy water is not nuclear material, and therefore the IAEA has no legal authority to demand to see it. But yet again, Iran compromised an allowed it.

Secondly, “Which Iran describes to generate energy…”

Well, I’m not aware of any reactor that is NOT designed to generate energy. Every reactor generates energy — that’s why they are built.

Third: “If it became operational, however, it would produce plutonium”

Well, similarly, every reactor produces plutonium once it becomes operational. That’s just physics not an Iranian conspiracy. The Tehran Research Reactor and the Bushehr reactor are right now producing plutonium as you read this sentence. OH MY GOD! RUN FOR THE HILLS! SEEK SHELTER!

Fourth: “that could be used in a nuclear weapon”

No, it can’t. The plutonium is the byproduct of the nuclear reaction, and is accumulated in the highly radioactive fuel rods that are placed inside the reactor. In order for it to be used for weapons, those extremely deadly fuel rods have to be removed (typically when the reactor is being refueled) and then put through a dangerous and complicated process called “reprocessing” — basically crushing up and chemically removing the plutonium. And then all you have is some plutonium — you then have to actually make a nuke with it.

Aside from the fact that the reactors and their fuel rods are subject to standard IAEA monitoring, Iran doesn’t even have the reprocessing facilities according to the IAEA itself. The fuel rods at Bushehr go back to Russia for reprocessing. The Iranians have repeatedly stated that they have no interest in developing reprocessing facilities and are willing to agree to “Refrain from reprocessing or producing plutonium” as part of a compromise with the US.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/05/opinion/05iht-edzarif.html

Needless to say these Iranian compromise offers were consistently ignored or undermined by the US, which was not interested in actually resolving any actual proliferation threats but instead was using the “Iranian nuclear threat” as a pretext, to hide an entirely different policy of imposing regime-change in Iran (just as “WMDs in Iraq” was used as a pretext.) Remember the 2003 faxed offer, or the Turkey-Brazil brokered deal which the Obama administration killed after Iran had agreed to it, much to the displeasure of both Brazil and Turkey. This was a pattern.

So was imposing the demand that Iran first abandon enrichment before any talks could be held. All a deliberate effort by the US to keep the “Iranian nuclear threat” pretext alive and prevent its resolution.

Today the question is whether the Obama administration has given up on this approach and is genuinely interested in resolving the standoff, or whether they’ve just engaged in a tactical step back from their obviously over-reaching position of “give in before we talk” to a more nuanced effort which is still ultimately intended to accomplish regime change rather than resolving any genuine nuclear weapons concern. We have yet to see. Certainly, the Israelis are worried and are making a stink, and the likes of Dennis Ross have scurried out of their dark damp holes to write articles insisting that in dealing with Iran the only choices are war or Iran “rolling back” its nuclear program. Well, sorry Dennis but a 5000-year old nation of 80 million people isn’t going to give up its technological accomplishments to suit your exaggerated fears and no Iranian negotiator dares to return to Iran with such an offer. The demand “Rollback” is just as much a fantasy as “zero enrichment” and is being used deliberately to kill the talks in the same way.

January 30, 2014 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | Leave a comment

NY Times: Iran nuclear negotiations doomed by Israeli-owned US Congress

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | March 10, 2013

Imagine my surprise when I see an editorial in the NY Times that I can actually agree with! The NY Times editors typically have the most misleading and inaccurate claims about Iran, even repeatedly referring to a non-existent “Iranian nuclear weapons program” but today they have an editorial entitled “Congress gets in the way on Iran” in which they complain that fresh Congressional sanctions on Iran harm the nuclear negotiations. More significantly, it indirectly cites AIPAC, Israel and Netanyahu as the motivation behind the measures.

Way back in Jan 2012, I asked a simple question: even assuming for the mere sake of argument that the Obama administration is serious about wanting a deal with Iran and isn’t just playing “rope-a-dope” with Iran in the hopes of eventually achieving regime-change there (which I think is totally the case, a policy continued and adopted by Obama from the Bush admin, which is why Dennis Ross was initially brought  on board from the Bush administration), since any sort of viable nuclear deal with Iran is going to require the lifting of sanctions, and since most of the US sanctions on Iran are imposed by Congress and not the President, then is the Obama administration actually capable of delivering on any such deal with Iran?

The answer, of course, is a big fat “No.” The US Congress is bought-and-paid for by Israel. Obama can barely get his Def Sec nominee Hagel past Congress, and the fellow had to literally debase himself and practically swear never-ending fealty to Israel before he squeaked by the nomination committee. (Apparently Israel was mentioned during the Hagel hearings more often than Afghanistan, where US troops are still fighting an actual war.)

So, like I said before and before then too these talks will in all likelihood die too. Sorry. That’s how the world is.

Why? The Israelis and AIPAC haven’t suddenly disappeared, folks. They’re still running the show in DC, and will be doing so for the foreseeable future, as long as US election laws allow money to talk louder than votes and as long as most American voters can barely find their own country (let alone Iran) on a map. Like I said before, the US-Iran standoff is a symptom of a much greater pathology: the dysfunctional relation between Israel and the US, in which the “tail wags the dog.”

At some point, maybe, the burden of this albatross around the US’s neck may become so great that people will wake up and throw it off. There are even encouraging signs. After all not so long ago AIPAC lobbyists boasted of their ability to operate in the dark, comparing themselves to night-blooming flowers, but today the excess and malign influence of Israel on US foreign policy (especially over Iran) is part of the mainstream discussion. No longer is mentioning the phrase “pro-Israel lobby” cause to have the utterer classified with various lunatics and genuine or accused anti-Semites as in the past. And like I said before, the more Israel pushes Iran into the spotlight, the more it exposes itself too.

But they still own Congress, so don’t hold your breath about any real deal coming out of these nuclear negotiations yet. Won’t happen. Rest assured.

March 10, 2013 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Massimo Calabresi’s ‘Path To War’

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep in America | March 5, 2013

On February 28, TIME reporter Massimo Calabresi published a lengthy piece on the Iranian nuclear program and the Obama Administration’s attitude toward it, notably reflecting the same, tired mainstream myopia and uncritically accepted false choice over the Iranian nuclear program. Calabresi quotes Netanyahu cipher Dennis Ross, who served as Obama’s senior Middle East adviser, as saying, “There was a debate within the Administration over prevention vs. containment.”

Never, in the course of Calabresi’s report, is there a question that Iran is actively seeking nuclear weapons (or, at least, “capability”), despite the fact that no evidence exists to support this assumption.  No one quoted in the article ever suggests Iran is anything but intransigent, its intentions are obviously assumed to be nefarious.  It comes as no surprise then that TIME would title the piece, “The Path to War: Inside Barack Obama’s Struggle to Stop an Iranian Nuke.”

Calabresi, whose access to senior officials appears to rely on his fealty to government talking points and never questioning American benevolence, claims that Obama “has worked hard to avoid war” with Iran before praising the president’s efforts “to slow or derail the Iranian program through a combination of diplomacy, sanctions and covert action.” One wonders how the United States would classify having its economy deliberately targeted and being the victim of collective punishment, cyberattacks, industrial sabotage, surveillance, espionage, and lethal operations conducted by foreign-backed terrorist organizations. The word “war” certainly comes to mind.

Nevertheless, Calabresi credits Obama for “pushing the timeline for war back at least 12 months,” despite his ominous determination that “eventually time will run out,” leaving Obama to “soon face the hardest decision of his presidency.”

While there is nothing new revealed in Calabresi’s report, he readily repeats a number of disingenuous claims and some outright falsehoods right off the bat which set the tone for what follows.

He writes that, throughout 2009, “Obama had been delivering on his dovish campaign pledge to reach out to the regime in Tehran.” Calabresi explains,

He beamed in a conciliatory greeting to the entire country on the Persian New Year and had offered unconditional talks. In Cairo that June, he offered to let Iran keep a peaceful nuclear program. But Iran’s leaders rebuffed Obama’s efforts, and in the fall of 2009 the Obama Administration revealed that Iran was building a secret uranium-enrichment plant deep in a hillside outside the holy city of Qum.

The misinformation and mythology contained in these mere three sentences is staggering.

What Calabresi leaves out of his glowing assessment of Obama’s noble outreach to Iran is that just nine days before delivering his much-touted March 2009 Nowruz message to Iranians and their government in which he declared that his commitment to diplomacy and “pursuing constructive ties among the United States, Iran and the international community” would “not be advanced by threats,” Obama had already announced the extension of economic sanctions on Iran in place since 1995. It has also been reported that the earliest versions of the Stuxnet computer virus were deployed in June 2009, less than three months after Obama supposedly extended an open hand.

Furthermore, Calabresi oddly believes that the President of the United States of America is somehow responsible for doling out nuclear programs to those nations he deems worthy of such an honor. This is not actually true. Iran’s program is not, under any circumstances, subject to the beneficence, generosity, or magnanimity of any other state, government or world body. Its right “to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination” is “inalienable” and enshrined in international law by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The idea that Obama is in a position to “offer” Iran anything in this regard is not only patronizing, it is pure imperial arrogance.

In his Cairo speech, President Obama declared,

No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that’s why I strongly reaffirmed America’s commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation — including Iran — should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I’m hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

What both Obama and Calabresi apparently don’t know – or willfully ignore – is that Iran has never been found to have breached its NPT obligations as such a violation could only occur if Iran began “to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons.”

Obama’s own intelligence and military agencies have consistently concluded that Iran has no nuclear weapons program. On February 3, 2013, outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta begrudgingly reaffirmed this assessment on Meet The Press in response to ignorant leading questions from Chuck Todd. “What I’ve said, and I will say today,” Panetta told Todd, “is that the intelligence we have is they have not made the decision to proceed with the development of a nuclear weapon. They’re developing and enriching uranium. They continue to do that.”

After Todd curiously wondered why Iran would possibly be enriching uranium, Panetta explained, “I think– I think the– it’s a clear indication they say they’re doing it in order to develop their own energy source,” adding his own factually incorrect opinion, “I think it is suspect that they continue to – to enrich uranium because that is dangerous, and that violates international laws.”

Still, Todd pressed harder. “And you do believe they’re probably pursuing a weapon, but you don’t– the intelligence doesn’t know what… ,” he said before Panetta cut him off. “I– no, I can’t tell you because– I can’t tell you they’re in fact pursuing a weapon because that’s not what intelligence says we– we– we’re– they’re doing right now,” Panetta said.

The third sentence in Calabresi’s litany is perhaps the most absurd.  First, Iran hardly had a chance to “rebuff” any American diplomacy since there never was any to begin with that didn’t consist of intimidation, ultimatums, threats and take-it-or-leave-it demands, hardly the stuff of honest (let alone “conciliatory”) negotiation.

Moreover, the enrichment facility outside Qom was not “revealed” by the Obama Administration, but rather by Iran itself on September 21, 2009, days before the sensationalist press conference held by Obama, Nicholas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown, on September 25, 2009. At that time, IAEA spokesman Marc Vidricaire had already told reporters, “I can confirm that on 21 September, Iran informed the IAEA in a letter that a new pilot fuel enrichment plant is under construction in the country.”

Obama even acknowledged this, noting, “Earlier this week, the Iranian government presented a letter to the IAEA that made reference to a new enrichment facility.” He omitted, however, the inconvenient fact that Iran was well within its legal obligations as it had announced the facility to the IAEA far in advance of the 180 days before becoming operational as required by Iran’s Safeguards Agreement. At the time, the facility was still under construction and did not actually begin uranium enrichment until early January 2012, a full 840 days after it had been officially declared.

As journalist Gareth Porter has noted, IAEA Director-General Mohammed ElBaradei later recounted that “Robert Einhorn, the State Department’s special advisor for nonproliferation and arms control, had informed him on Sep. 24 about U.S. intelligence on the Fordow site – three days after the Iranian letter had been received.” When ElBaradei “demanded to know why he had not been told before the Iranian letter… Einhorn responded that the United States ‘had not been sure of the nature of the facility’, ElBaradei wrote.”

ElBaradei subsequently described the facility at Fordow as “a hole in a mountain” and “nothing to be worried about.” Since then, the IAEA has consistently confirmed that “all nuclear material in the facility remains under the Agency’s containment and surveillance.”

Calabresi also claims that Obama “made bolstering the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty a top priority,” in spite of Obama’s clear refusal to advocate and encourage a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone in the Middle East even though every single country in the region, save Israel, supports its establishment.

The voice of Dennis Ross (or is it Netanyahu?) is prevalent throughout the article and it is clear he is the primary source for most of Calabresi’s  information. The piece is premised upon the notion that the Iran-U.S.-Israel stand-off is in its “final stages,” thereby presenting a situation that demands tough choices by Obama. This is straight out of the Ross (or is it Netanyahu?) playbook.

In December 2012, Ross told The Times of Israel that 2013 would be a critical year for Washington and Tehran. “I think there’s the stomach in this administration, and this president, that if diplomacy fails [to deter Iran from developing nuclear weapons] — to use force,” Ross said at a gala dinner for the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), an AIPAC-spawned D.C. think tank, that was held in his (and convicted criminal Elliott Abrams‘) honor.

Such a statement is nothing new for Ross. At a WINEP event in January 2012, he said that “the Iranians should never think that there’s a reluctance [on the part of Obama] to use the force.”  Ross has long advocated a policy of economic warfare against Iran while pretending to conduct negotiations, all for the purpose of making what he believes is an inevitable military confrontation more palatable and justifiable to the American public.

When determining the risks and consequences of American military attack on Iran, Calabresi warns that such an act “would likely mean the deaths of American service members–and civilians too,” as well as precipitating a spike in oil prices and having a negative effect on the United State’s “reputation.” He also points out that an attack “could mean the devastation of [Iran’s] nuclear program and much of its armed forces, plus unimaginable costs to its economy.”

Never once does Calabresi mention the lives (or deaths) of Iranian civilians in his calculus, even though such an assault would potentially kill tens of thousands of Iranians (at minimum). Such is the level of concern for Iran’s population in both government policy and mainstream reporting.

Calabresi’s article is yet another example of how facts about Iran and its nuclear program are routinely dismissed, ignored or misrepresented in our current discourse. Such irresponsible journalism has misinformed and terrified the American public into believing that Iran poses a looming threat that must be dealt with through force, threat or coercion, an impression that bares little resemblance to the truth.

Unfortunately, the path to war – all too present under our feet these days – continues to be paved by people like Massimo Calabresi.

March 9, 2013 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Wars for Israel | , , , | 1 Comment