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Iran Hawk Leaves US NSC Amid Escalation of Tensions After IRGC Commander’s Killing – Report

By Oleg Burunov – Sputnik – 04.01.2020

On Friday, Qasem Soleimani, the commander who led Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was killed in a US drone strike near the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

US National Security Council (NSC)’s Director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction Richard Goldberg is quitting for personal reasons, Bloomberg quoted an unnamed source as saying on Saturday.

The source claimed that Goldberg is due to return to the Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD), a Washington-based think tank where he served as a senior advisor before joining the NSC in early January 2019.

Goldberg’s role at the NSC was endorsed by former US National Security Adviser John Bolton in a bid to contain “what Bolton saw as a desire at the departments of State and Treasury to weaken the ‘maximum pressure’ campaign against Iran,” according to Bloomberg. The news outlet referred to exacerbating tensions last March, when the White House considered extending waivers to allow Iran to sell a limited amount of oil in the face of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic that were reinstated following the US’ unilateral withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Goldberg’s reported departure from the NSC comes amid fresh US-Iranian tensions which escalated after Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force, was killed in an airstrike near the Iraqi capital Baghdad on 3 January.

The US Department of Defence said that the strike was authorised by US President Donald Trump who said that his administration took preemptive action against Soleimani to “stop a war”.

An advisor to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the US had crossed a “red line” after the Friday airstrike, with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stating that a “harsh retaliation is waiting” for Washington.

January 4, 2020 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Israel’s Agents of Influence

Trips to Israel, a “Nationalism Conference,” Epstein and more

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • July 23, 2019

Some journalists in the Jewish media are starting to complain that President Donald Trump is “loving Israel” just a little too much since he keeps citing his concern for the Jewish state as the driving force behind some of his erratic behavior. It is a viewpoint that I most definitely share, though I would describe the apparent White House lovefest with the Israel as a “lot too much.” When the President of the United States calls a congresswoman an anti-Semite and demands that she apologize to him personally and also to Israel it is definitely a lot too much.

So Israel is always in the news, or so it seems, though it is often not in the news when the story might be derogatory. The story disappears from sight as soon as it is determined that Israel might be involved, as is currently the case with Jeffrey Epstein, or Israeli activity is excised completely as was the case with the Mueller investigation where Russiagate should have really been called Israelgate as it was Israel that was seeking favors from the incoming Trump Administration, not Russia. As Noam Chomsky put it, Israeli interference in American politics “vastly overwhelms” anything Russia has done.

I have recently written about how the Jewish state works hard to brainwash the American people and limit the foreign policy options of the U.S. government, to include aggressive efforts to obtain what the intelligence agencies would call “agents of influence.” Agents of influence live and work in one country while simultaneously and treacherously advancing the interests of another nation. It is what George Washington warned about in his Farewell Address when he counseled “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government.”

Foreign influence as a potential national security threat is also a status defined in legal terms by the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA), which requires anyone working on behalf of a foreign government to register and make transparent sources of income.

Uniquely, no foundation or individual working in America to advance the interests of the Jewish state has ever been required to register under FARA even though many, like the odious American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), boast unambiguously on their websites that they are “America’s pro-Israel Lobby.” Many of the foundations are regarded as educational or charitable 501(c)3 tax exempt non-profits, which means the U.S. taxpayer is helping support their activity. But being a non-profit charity does not necessarily mean austerity, as the salaries of top employees are generous. Canadian Jew Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a 501(c)3, is paid $560,000 in salary and benefits. FDD has for many years been calling for war against Iran.

The most recent foundation being set up by Israel’s friends to promote the interests of the Jewish state is the Edmund Burke Foundation, which hosted a conference on “Nationalism” last week. The conference was interesting in that the Burke Foundation is headed by an Israeli and an American Jew who has served as Executive Director of the Christians United For Israel (CUFI). The event was held at the Washington D.C. Ritz-Carlton, suggesting that the Burkeans are not short of cash. Pro-Israel groups always seem to have plenty of Benjamins.

A number of traditional conservatives and even some organizations were fooled by the promotional material and speakers’ list into thinking that the program was legitimate and would focus on supporting national interests as well as foreign policy restraint, but some at least had their eyes opened when John Bolton, as featured speaker, was vigorously applauded by at least half of the audience.

Some potential critics of the agenda were not invited or even deliberately denied tickets to limit dissent, and several attendees were appalled by what they had witnessed, which was essentially an affirmation of status quo foreign policy, to the benefit of the hawks in Washington and Israel. Inevitably, some delusional dimwits were unable to understand that they were being used and were oddly entranced by what they were seeing and hearing. And don’t worry if you are among those who missed the event. It will probably be replayed in a few months under a different name and with a slightly different cast of characters.

The most visible Israeli tool for generating contacts with Americans that might prove useful is the all- expenses-paid VIP junkets that are arranged for Congressmen. New Congressmen routinely travel to Israel for a dog-and-pony show within months of their taking office. One of Congress’s leading cheerleaders for Israel, Maryland’s Steny Hoyer has visited the Jewish state many times and can be relied on to pressure freshman congressmen to make the trip. Other Americans who might be influential in the future are also feted by the Israeli hospitality machine. American military cadets from the service academies and colleges are now being brought to Israel to learn a fictional version of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Undoubtedly, some of them are set up for intelligence approaches after they are commissioned.

Which brings us to the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein story and how it is being handled by government and covered in the media since the story exploded two weeks ago. No one outside the alternative media seems to be interested in the possibility, or rather likelihood, that Epstein was working for a foreign intelligence service, which would most likely be Israel. In the media the Epstein story died almost immediately, submerged in the tale of Donald Trump telling several congresswomen to go back where they came from.

It is unlikely that the spying aspect of Epstein’s alleged crimes will even be investigated both because it involves the Jewish state and also because it appears to include participation by leading politicians from both parties and other public figures. The Deep State will make the story die, which just might also be what happens to Epstein in jail.

The evidence that Epstein was involved in intelligence work most likely bribing or blackmailing prominent individuals to act on behalf of Israel, derives both from the statement made by former U.S. Attorney for Miami Alexander Acosta that “I was told Epstein ‘belonged to intelligence’ and to leave it alone” and from other external evidence. Epstein was making videos of his guests having sex with his young girls, which is a version of a classic intelligence entrapment technique referred to as a “honey trap” that is employed by every major spy agency worldwide. And the Acosta quote – will it ever be fully investigated? Who told him that Epstein was “intelligence” and what were the circumstances?

Jeffrey’s sources of income have also been questioned. Epstein’s sole identified business connection was Ohio billionaire Les Wexner, who maintained very close ties to the upper echelons of the Israeli diplomatic and intelligence establishment. Epstein served as Wexner’s trustee when the latter was forming the Mega Group, created by Wexner and Edgar Bronfman to generate positive views of Israel as a cover for Israeli propaganda dissemination in America.

Epstein’s lack of an identifiable income stream rather suggests that he might have been supported by a government agency of some kind. He had hidden in his Manhattan house a great deal of cash, diamonds and an Austrian passport. The diamonds might have represented payment in kind from Israel, which is capital of the world diamond trade, and the existence of the passport is intriguing. It has been described in the media as “fake” but that can mean anything. The passport, dating from the 1980s, was apparently authentic with a photo of Epstein and a fake name inserted in it, but it might plausibly be the product of a government document forgery lab. Why Austria? Because Austria was at the time politically neutral and the passport would be a good one for traveling anywhere. It would be much preferred by spy agencies or by agents who wanted to travel anonymously.

That Epstein would be linked to Israel rather than to some other intelligence service is due to his relationship with Ghislaine Maxwell, whose father Robert, a Czech Jew who became a naturalized British citizen, was believed by C.I.A. and other intelligence services to be a long-time agent of Mossad. After he died under mysterious circumstances, he was given a state funeral in Israel that was attended by every current and former head of the Jewish state’s intelligence service as well as by the country’s prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. Ghislaine was reportedly Epstein’s close friend and a procurer of his young girl victims.

As most of Israel’s agents of influence are now on Martha’s Vineyard where they gather in July and August, it would be wonderful to cut off all transportation and communication with the island and leave them there, but that would be unfair to the genuine year-round residents. Alternatively, I would be happy just to see Israel’s dire influence over the United States exposed by the media and discussed in public fora by the more than 20 Democratic Party presidential wannabes. As that is not likely to happen, I would settle for a real honest-to-God investigation of Epstein and what he was doing coupled with a move by the Treasury and Justice departments against all the hundreds of pro-Israel groups that have never registered under FARA. It’s a big job to uncover Israeli subversion, but somebody needs to start doing it.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org

July 23, 2019 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Trump Has a $259 million Reason to Bomb Iran

By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | June 22, 2019

On Thursday, the United States came perilously close to a military confrontation with Iran after it downed a U.S. drone that may or may not have entered the country’s air space. President Donald Trump reportedly ordered a retaliatory military strike on Iran but called it off, according to Trump’s own tweets on Friday morning, because a general told him that “150 people” might die in the strike.

Much analysis of Trump’s slide toward war with Iran has focused on his hawkish national security adviser, John Bolton, who, reportedly requested options from the Pentagon to deploy as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East and hit Iran with 500 missiles per day. Bolton is the loudest voice inside the White House pushing for a military escalation to the administration’s “maximum pressure” strategy.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for his part, is staking out the position that the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force allows the administration to take military action against Iran without congressional approval, an unusual and broadly criticized interpretation of congressional oversight.

Yet, there’s another omnipresent influence on Trump: $259 million given by some of the GOP’s top supporters to boost his campaign in 2016 and support Republican congressional and senate campaigns in 2016 and 2018.

Those funds  came from Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, Paul Singer and Bernard Marcus, donors who have made no secret, both through public statements and funding think tanks that support military action against Iran, of their desire for the United States to destroy the Islamic Republic.

Adelson, who alongside his wife Miriam are the biggest donors to Trump and the GOP, contributed $205 million to Republicans in the past two political cycles and reportedly sent $35 million to the Future 45 Super PAC that supported Trump’s presidential bid. His role as the biggest funder of Republican House and Senate campaigns makes him a vital ally for Trump—who relied on Adelson’s campaign donations to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate and curb Republican losses in the House in the 2018 midterm election—and any Republican seeking national office.

Adelson publicly suggested using nuclear weapons against Iran and pushed for Trump to replace then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster with Bolton, partly due to the former’s perceived unwillingness to take a harder line on Iran. In 2017, the Zionist Organization of America, which receives much of its funding from the Adelsons, led a public campaign against McMaster, accusing him of being “opposed to President Trump’s basic policy positions on Israel, Iran, and Islamist terror.”

In 2015, Trump mocked his primary opponent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for seeking Adelson’s financial support, warning that Adelson expects a degree of control over candidates in exchange for campaign contributions. Trump tweeted:

Sheldon Adelson is looking to give big dollars to Rubio because he feels he can mold him into his perfect little puppet. I agree!

And Adelson isn’t alone.

Billionaire Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus is the second largest contributor to Trump’s campaign, providing $7 million. He also champions John Bolton, contributing $530,000 to John Bolton’s super PAC over its lifetime. And he’s a major contributor to GOP campaigns, contributing over $13 million to Trump’s presidential campaign and GOP congressional campaigns in 2016 and nearly $8 million to GOP midterm efforts in 2018.

Marcus, like Adelson, makes no qualms about his views on Iran, which he characterized as “the devil” in a 2015 Fox Business interview.

Unlike Adelson and Marcus, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer was a “never Trump” conservative until Trump won the election. Then he donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Singer is far more careful with his words than Marcus and Adelson, but his money supports some of the most hawkish think tank experts and politicians in Washington.

Singer, alongside Marcus and Adelson, has contributed generously to the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies, whose experts have spent the past decade regularly promoting policies to pressure Iran economically and militarily, including most recently Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach.

According to donor rolls of FDD’s biggest supporters by the end of 2011, a year that saw a sharp rise in tensions and rumors of war by Israel against Iran, Adelson contributed $1.5 million, Paul Singer contributed $3.6 million, and Bernard Marcus, who sits on FDD’s board, contributed $10.7 million.

(FDD says that Adelson is no longer a contributor, but Marcus continues to give generously, contributing $3.63 million in 2017, over a quarter of FDD’s contributions that year.)

Employees of Singer’s firm, Elliott Management, were the second largest source of funds for the 2014 candidacy of the Senate’s most outspoken Iran hawk, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), who urged Trump to conduct a “retaliatory strike” against Iran for purportedly attacking two commercial tankers last week.

Singer donated $26 million to Republicans in the 2016 election and $6.4 million to the GOP’s midterm campaigns.

The billionaire Iran hawks—the Adelsons, Singer, and Marcus—made combined donations of over $259 million to GOP politicians in the past two cycles, making them some of the Republican Party’s most important donors. That quarter-billion-dollars doesn’t include contributions to dark money 501c4 groups and donations to 501c3 nonprofits, such as think tanks like FDD.

News coverage of Trump’s slide toward war frames the discussion as a competition between his better instincts and a national security advisor and secretary of state who, to varying degrees, favor military action.

But the $259 million that helped elect Trump and Trump-friendly Republicans must loom large over the president.

As Trump evaluates his options with Iran and turns his attention to the 2020 election, he knows he’ll need to rely on the Adelsons, Singer, and Marcus to boost his campaign, maintain a narrow majority in the Senate, and attempt a takeback of the House.

These donors have made their policy preferences on Iran plainly known. They surely expect a return on their investment in Trump’s GOP.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Wars for Israel | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Journalists, activists disturbed by State Department’s anti-Iran troll campaign

RT | June 20, 2019

Victims of anti-Iran trolling campaign were shocked to learn it was taxpayer- funded by the State Department, but not so shocked to see the government attempting to cover it up or mainstream media giving it little coverage.

Journalists, human rights activists, academics, and even outspoken critics of the Iranian government were all targeted by @IranDisinfo, which smeared any and all critics of President Donald Trump’s hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the regime in social media assaults that some say veered into personal attacks. Now, they want answers as to how this $1.5 million operation – bristling with the hallmarks of a totalitarian propaganda campaign – was allowed to see daylight.

“How can individuals who are not willing to adhere to the norms of American civil society be entrusted with resources to promote civil society in other countries?” asked Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post columnist who was on the troll’s hit list – despite spending time in an Iranian jail.

In a Twilight Zone-level twist, the troll even went after the NATO-backed think tank Atlantic Council’s Iran expert and a former Voice of America host.

The State Department quietly “suspended” @IranDisinfo last month, admitting the operation had gone rogue in a closed-door congressional hearing, but an apology to those targeted, and answers on who was responsible, has not been forthcoming.

Former State Department employee Joel Rubin has pointed out @IranDisinfo was run under a “cooperative agreement” which means the government had “hands-on engagement” with the months-long smear campaign, contrary to its protestations that the project went off the rails only recently.

“What other @StateDept funded organizations claiming to promote democracy in #Iran are using taxpayer money to harass, intimidate, threaten and slander American journalists & academics? Follow the money folks,” tweeted Farnaz Fassihi, a Wall Street Journal columnist and @IranDisinfo target.

Money funding @IranDisinfo had been earmarked to counteract ISIS propaganda, as well as Russian and Chinese information ops, through the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, former White House official Brett Bruen told Independent journalist Negar Mortazevi, a former VOA host and another victim of the troll.

E-Collaborative for Civic Education, which was contracted to run @IranDisinfo, appears to be connected with pro-war think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), whose website boasted a page titled “Iran Disinfo” that was a carbon copy of the troll account, as well as other pro-regime-change organizations through its founder, Mariam Memarsadeghi.

“Never did I think that nine years [after imprisonment in Iran], an American administration that has claimed to stand in solidarity with the people of Iran would fund attacks against me,” Tara Sepehri Far of Human Rights Watch wrote in the Nation, demanding greater transparency and speculating about a “broader pattern of harassment funded in whole or in part by the US government against journalists and analysts.”

Mainstream media has been mostly silent on the issue, aside from those – like WaPo’s Rezaian – directly affected by the trolling. Even though BBC Persia journalists were among @IranDisinfo’s victims, the outlet hosted anti-regime activist Alireza Kiani, who dutifully defended the abusive propaganda as “quite beneficial with respect to the circumstances of the Iranian people,” insisting “Iran Disinfo attacked people’s political positions, not their person.”

CNN did limply condemn the operation a few weeks after it was exposed.

“There’s no moral equivalence between Iran and the US,” CNN assured its viewers, “but that clear line threatens to become a bit blurry when the US funds disinformation campaigns that attack people who don’t parrot the party line. That’s a tactic of authoritarian regimes, not democracies.”

We may not have heard the last of @IranDisinfo, either – its funding was only suspended “until [ECCE] takes necessary steps to ensure that any future activity remains within the agreed scope of work.”

June 20, 2019 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Deception | , | Leave a comment

Curious Bedfellows: The Neocon and Progressive Alliance to Destroy Donald Trump

By Philip Giraldi | American Herald Tribune | January 14, 2019

The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”

Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative. The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.

The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”

The neoconservatives lined up behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, appalled by Donald Trump’s condemnation of their centerpiece war in Iraq and even more so by his pledge to end the wars in Asia and nation-building projects while also improving relations with the Russians. They worked actively against the Republican candidate both before he was nominated and elected and did everything they could to stop him, including libeling him as a Russian agent.

When Trump was elected, it, therefore, seemed that the reign of the neocons had ended, but chameleonlike, they have changed shape and are now ensconced both in some conservative as well as in an increasing number of progressive circles in Washington and in the media. Against all odds, they have even captured key posts in the White House itself with the naming of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Bolton’s Chief of Staff is Fred Fleitz, a leading neocon and Islamophobe while last week Trump added Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council as director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Goldberg is an alumnus of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is the leading neocon think tank calling incessantly for war with Iran.

Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that, based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.

The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War. They have never been held accountable for anything, though one should note that accountability is not a prominent American trait, at least since Vietnam. What is important is that neocon views have been perceived by the media and punditry as being part of the Establishment consensus, which provides them with access to programming all across the political spectrum. That is why neocon standard-bearers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have been able to move effortlessly from Fox News to MSNBC where they are fêted by the likes of Rachel Maddow. They applauded the Iraq War when the Establishment was firmly behind it and are now trying to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency because America’s elite is behind that effort.

Indeed, the largely successful swing by the neocons from right to left has in some ways become more surreal, as an increasing number of progressive spokesmen and institutions have lined up behind their perpetual warfare banner. The ease with which the transformation took place reveals, interestingly, that the neocons have no real political constituency apart from voters who feel threatened and respond by supporting perpetual war, but they do share many common interests with the so-called liberal interventionists. Neocons see a global crisis for the United States defined in terms of power while the liberals see the struggle as a moral imperative, but the end result is the same: intervention by the United States. This fusion is clearly visible in Washington, where the Clintons’ Center for American Progress (CAP) is now working on position papers with the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together (DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not “stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin” and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election.

DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice, also a 501(c)4. Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causes in the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.

Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark, which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard. It is promoting itself as the center of the “Never Trump Resistance” and it is being assumed that at least some of the Omidyar money is behind it.

Iranian-born Omidyar’s relationship with Kristol is clearly based on the hatred that the two share regarding Donald Trump. Omidyar has stated that Trump is a “dangerous authoritarian demagogue… endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.” He has tweeted that Trump suffers from “failing mental capacity” and is both “corrupt and incapacitated.”

Omidyar is what he is – a hardcore social justice warrior who supports traditional big government and globalist liberal causes, most of which are antithetical to genuine conservatives. But what is interesting about the relationship with Kristol is that it also reveals what the neoconservatives are all about. Kristol and company have never been actual conservatives on social issues, a topic that they studiously avoid, and their foreign policy is based on two principles: creating a state of perpetual war based on fearmongering about foreign enemies while also providing unlimited support for Israel. Kristol hates Trump because he threatens the war agenda while Omidyar despises the president for traditional progressive reasons. That hatred is the tie that binds and it is why Bill Kristol, a man possessing no character and values whatsoever, is willing to take Pierre Omidyar’s money while Pierre is quite happy to provide it to destroy a common enemy, the President of the United States of America.

January 14, 2019 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

U.S. Muslim Leaders Headline UAE Conference at Expense of American Muslim and Palestinian Rights

American Muslims for Palestine | December 12, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Last Wednesday, a group of prominent and select American Muslim leaders traveled to the United Arab Emirates to participate in the fifth annual conference of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies (FPPMS), which is sponsored by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah bin Zayed, and headed by Mauritanian Islamic scholar, Abdullah bin Bayyah. Despite the country’s appalling human rights record, U.S. Muslim leaders present praised  the country for being “committed to tolerance […] and civil society.”

During the conference, the same Muslim figures were photographed in a meeting with several leading members of the Zionist-Jewish American community including representatives of the American Jewish Committee  (AJC) and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a powerful pro-Israel lobby organization whose dark history of domestic spying and investment of millions of dollars to extinguish all criticism of Israel is documented in a 2014 report  by AMP. The photo, which was widely tweeted  on Friday by ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, features Sh. Hamza Yusuf, a California-based scholar who has been described by the Guardian as “arguably the West’s most influential Islamic scholar,” and Imam Mohamed Magid, the former president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), who serves as the Executive Imam of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Virginia.

It is worth noting that the UAE “Promoting Peace Forum” was founded in 2014, the same year that the UAE government designated  CAIR, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in America, a terrorist organization. Several critics have denounced this forum as part of a series of counter-revolutionary measures carried out in the wake of the Arab Spring to crush pro-democracy efforts in the region and promote obedience toward autocratic rulers. It’s been previously exposed  that conferences such as these are part of a sophisticated PR campaign by the Emirati government to pursue its own political agenda in the name of “moderate Islam”. AMP is disturbed by the continuous participation of some American Muslim leaders in these propaganda conferences that whitewash the nefarious agenda of the UAE government.

“Given the UAE’s dismal record on human rights and its catastrophic policies in the region, as in Yemen and the staging of counter-revolutions, it is the last country to allege the promotion of peace in Muslim societies. The American Muslim leaders and scholars who participated in the conference should not have lent their names to an event aimed at legitimizing a regime that has brought much harm to their own communities and other nations,” said AMP National Policy Director Osama Abuirshaid. If “promoting peace” in Muslim societies is the purported objective of this forum then it should have called for the immediate ceasefire and end to the armed intervention in Yemen, and expressed solidarity with the Palestinians living under Apartheid conditions and occupation.

Not only has the UAE labeled the most prominent American Muslim civic group as a terrorist organization, it also has elevated virulently Islamophobic and pro-Israel organizations such as the neoconservative Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), whose senior researcher Jonathan Schanzer has waged a longstanding smear campaign against AMP and was recently captured maligning Palestine activists in the censored Al Jazeera documentary on the Israel Lobby . The film sheds light on the operations directed at demonizing Muslims and Palestine activists in the U.S. The hosting of the ADL at this year’s conference is especially disconcerting given the group’s sinister history of instigating political prosecutions against prominent American Muslim and Palestinian leaders and institutions, as detailed in Israeli author Miko Peled’s recent book Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five. Peled recently commented to AMP that the ADL “is an organization dedicated to protecting Israel from criticism. They conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism. The ADL supports the racism, ethnic cleansing, genocide and apartheid regime to which Israel has subjected the Palestinians. ADL does not represent Jewish people and must be shunned by people of conscience.” Rather than invite the ADL and AJC to the stage, the primary purveyors of Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian discourses, the “Peace Forum” should have expressed support for the peaceful and nonviolent BDS movement and highlight the global success of the Palestinian struggle.

Since the Arab Spring, the UAE government has exposed itself as an enemy of human rights and democracy. From intervening in Libya and Egypt to aiding and abetting Saudi crimes in Yemen, supporting its blockade of Qatar, and helping cover up its recent murder of dissident Jamal Khashoggi, it is clear that the country is willing to secure its regional strategic interests at all costs and on the backs of millions of Muslims and Arabs. Meanwhile, it continues to openly tighten its relationship with Israel, working with lobby groups in the U.S. and purchasing Israeli spyware  to target civil society both locally and abroad. No conference or publicity stunt can change these critical facts or boost this country’s corrupt image.

“This was a conference to normalize Islamophobia, bigotry against Muslims in the West, in addition to normalizing relations and engagement with apologists for Israel’s aggression against the Palestinian people. The participation of these Muslim leaders and scholars make us wonder whether they are involved in last year’s revealed attempts of UAE’s ambassador in Washington to hijack the representation of Islam in the U.S. under the pretext of promoting ‘moderate’ Islam which is in essence a distorted complacent form of Islam that aligns itself with Zionists and Islamophobes in the U.S. through trojan horses within the American Muslim community,” Abuirshaid added.

The active participation of some American Muslim leaders in these dubious initiatives with a deeply troubling agenda demands serious and urgent accountability.

December 12, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , , | 9 Comments

Registering Israel’s Useful Idiots

FDD and AIPAC need adult supervision

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • November 20, 2018

Depending on what criteria one uses, there are between 200 and 600 groups in the United States that wholly or in part are dedicated to furthering the interests of Israel. The organizations are both Jewish, like the Zionist Organization of America, and Christian Zionist to include John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, but the funding of the Israel Lobby and both its political and media access comes overwhelmingly from Jewish supporters and advocates.

Many of the groups are registered with the Internal Revenue Service for tax purposes as 501(c)3 “educational” or “charitable” foundations, which enables them to solicit tax exempt donations. One might dispute whether promoting Israeli interests in the United States is actually educational, but as of right now the Department of the Treasury believes it can be so construed, protected by the First Amendment.

But there is a more serious consideration in terms of the actual relationships that many of the groups enjoy with the Israeli government. To be sure, many of them boast on their promotional literature and websites about their relationships with the Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet, so the issue of dual loyalty or, worse, acting as actual Israeli government agents must be considered.

There is a legal remedy to hostile foreigners acting against American interests and that is the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938 (FARA). Originally intended to identify and monitor agents of Nazi Germany propagandizing in the United States, it has since been applied to individuals and groups linked to other nations. Most recently, it was used against Russian news agencies RT America and Sputnik, which were forced to register. It is also being considered for Qatar based al-Jazeera.

FARA requires identified agents to be transparent in terms of their funding and contacts while also being publicly identified as representing the interests of a foreign nation. They must report to the Department of Justice every contact they have with congressmen or other government officials. The text of the Act defines a foreign agent as

“any person who acts as an agent, representative, employee, or servant, or any person who acts in any other capacity at the order, request, or under the direction or control, of a foreign principal or of a person any of whose activities are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person— (i) engages within the United States in political activities for or in the interests of such foreign principal; (ii) acts within the United States as a public relations counsel, publicity agent, information-service employee or political consultant for or in the interests of such foreign principal; (iii) within the United States solicits, collects, disburses, or dispenses contributions, loans, money, or other things of value for or in the interest of such foreign principal; or (iv) within the United States represents the interests of such foreign principal before any agency or official of the Government of the United States.”

In spite of language that would presumably cover many of the hundreds of Jewish organizations acting for Israel, FARA has never been used to compel registration of any such groups or individuals even when it was public knowledge that they were working closely with the Israeli government to coordinate positions and promote other Israeli interests. That failure is at a minimum a tribute to Jewish power in the United States, but it is also due to the fact that the organizations are funded from within the United States by wealthy American Jews, not by Israel, which is the argument sometimes inaccurately made by the groups themselves to demonstrate that they are not being directed by the Israeli government.

The difficulty in proving that one is directed by a foreign government has been definitively resolved regarding one group the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has become the leading neoconservative bastion seeking a war with Iran, Israel’s bête noir. The recent al-Jazeera expose on the activities of the Israeli lobbies in both Britain and the United States, which I wrote about last week, included a surreptitiously filmed conversation with Sima Vaknin-Gil, a former Israeli intelligence officer who now heads the Ministry of Strategic Affairs, which is tasked with countering what is perceived to be anti-Israeli activity worldwide. The Ministry is particularly focused on the non-violent Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), which is increasingly active in both the United States and Europe.

Vaknin-Gil was discussing his activities with Tony Kleinfeld, an undercover investigative reporter who was secretly recording and filming his encounters with various members of the Israel Lobby as well as of the Israeli government. Vaknin-Gil provided explicit confirmation that the FDD works directly with the Israeli government, making it an Israeli agent by the definition of FARA.

For those who are unfamiliar with FDD, it is probably currently the most prominent neocon organization though it nevertheless claims to be a non-partisan “research group.” It focuses on foreign policy and security issues by “Fighting Terrorism and Promoting Freedom,” as it informs us on its website masthead. It works to “defend free nations against their enemies,” which frequently means in practice anyone whom Israel considers to be hostile, most particularly Iran. FDD’s Leadership Council has featured former CIA Director James Woolsey, Senator Joe Lieberman, and Bill Kristol. Its Executive Director is Canadian import Mark Dubowitz, who is obsessed with Iran. Its advisors and experts are mostly Jewish and most of its funding comes from Jewish oligarchs.

FDD’s auditorium has become a preferred venue for senior officials of the Trump Administration to go and make hardline speeches, just as the American Enterprise Institute was under George W. Bush. Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton and Nikki Haley have all spoken there recently, frequently focusing on Iran and the threat that it allegedly constitutes.

FDD aside, Vaknin-Gil also confirmed that there were other groups in the United States doing the same sorts of things on behalf of Israel. He said “We have FDD. We have others working on this,” elaborating that FDD is “working on” projects for Israel including “data gathering, information analysis, working on activist organizations, money trail.”

So Vaknin-Gil was admitting that FDD and others were working as Israeli proxies, collecting information on U.S. citizens, spying on legal organizations, and both planning and executing disinformation at Israeli direction. Kleinfeld also spoke with a Jonathan Schanzer, a senior official in FDD, who filled in a bit more of what the foundation is up to in terms of discrediting groups in the U.S. that support the BDS movement.

Schanzer admitted “BDS has taken everybody by surprise” before complaining that the Jewish response has been “a complete mess. I don’t think that anybody’s doing a good job. We’re not even doing a good job.” He then complained that attempts to discredit Palestinian groups by linking them to terrorist groups had failed, as also had the use of the label anti-Semitism. “Personally I think anti-Semitism as a smear is not what it used to be.”

So, when will the Justice Department move on FDD now that its true colors have been exposed by al-Jazeera? The group must be required to register if justice be done, but will it? Its principal partner in crime the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has avoided registering for more than sixty years by claiming that it is an American organization working to educate the U.S. public about the all the good things connected to Israel. Even though it meets regularly with Israeli government officials, it claims not to be representing Israeli interests. But just as in the case of FDD, it is time to require AIPAC to register as what it really is: a foreign agent. As a registered agent, it will still be able to exercise First Amendment rights to defend Israel but it would not be able to be involved in lobbying on Capitol Hill and directing money to politicians who are described as pro-Israeli, as it does now. Its finances will be transparent and it will be perceived as an official advocate for Israel, not as an educational resource for what is happening in the Middle East. Hopefully, when AIPAC stops throwing money around, the politicians and media types will find another place to roost.

To be sure the lovefest for Israel in government extends far beyond FDD and AIPAC. It can be found in many dark corners. National Security Advisor John Bolton recently received the “Defender of Israel” award from the Zionist Organization of America. And one might suggest that the U.S. United Nations delegation, headed by Ambassador Nikki Haley, is directed by the Israeli government, particularly given events of last Friday whereby the U.S. voted against a motion condemning Israel’s continued illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, thereby recognizing for the first time Israel’s sovereignty over the area. Whether Haley was speaking for herself or for the administration was characteristically unclear, but it hardly matters. Nikki Haley might be referred to as a useful idiot, as Lenin put it, but her consistent pattern of extreme loyalty in defense of Israel marks her out as being particularly beholden to the Jewish state, which will no doubt arrange to richly reward her through some position in financial services for which she is totally unqualified when she leaves her post in January. And then she will be well funded to run for president in 2020. Having Haley in charge, one might just as well vote for Benjamin Netanyahu.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

November 20, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism | , , , , | 1 Comment

Surrounded by Neocons

They are all the news that fits

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • January 9, 2018

Award winning journalist James Risen has recently described in some detail his sometimes painful relationship with The New York Times. His lengthy account is well worth reading as it demonstrates how successive editors of the paper frequently cooperated with the government to suppress stories on torture and illegal activity while also self-censoring to make sure that nothing outside the framework provided by the “war on terror” should be seriously discussed. It became a faithful lap dog for an American role as global hegemon, promoting government half-truths and suppressing information that it knew to be true but which would embarrass the administration in power, be they Democrats or Republicans.

If one were to obtain a similar insider account of goings-on at the other national “newspaper of record”, The Washington Post, it is quite likely that comparable trimming of the narrative also took place. To be sure, the Post is worse than the Times, characterized by heavily editorializing in its news coverage without necessarily tipping off the reader when “facts” end and speculation begins. In both publications, stories about Iran or Russia routinely begin with an assertion that Moscow interfered in the 2016 U.S. election and that Iran is the aggressor in the Middle East, contentions that have not been demonstrated and can easily be challenged. Both publications also have endorsed every American war since 2001, including Iraq, Libya and the current mess in Syria, one indication of the quality of their reporting and analysis.

A recent op-ed in the Times by Bret Stephens is a perfect example of warmongering mischief wrapped in faux expert testimony to make it palatable. Stephens is the resident neocon at the Times. He was brought over from the Wall Street Journal when it was determined that his neocon colleague David Brooks had become overly squishy, while the resident “conservative” Russ Douthat had proven to be a bit too cautious and even rational to please the increasingly hawkish senior editors.

Stephens’ article, entitled Finding the Way Forward on Iran sparkles with throwaway gems like “Tehran’s hyperaggressive foreign policy in the wake of the 2015 nuclear deal” and “Real democracies don’t live in fear of their own people” and even “it’s not too soon to start rethinking the way we think about Iran.” Or try “A better way of describing Iran’s dictatorship is as a kleptotheocracy, driven by impulses that are by turns doctrinal and venal.”

Bret has been a hardliner on Iran for years. Early on in this op-ed he makes very clear that he wants it to be dealt with forcibly because it has “centrifuges, ballistic missiles, enriched uranium [and] fund[s] Hezbollah, assist Bashar al-Assad, arm[s] the Houthis, [and] imprison[s] the occasional British or American citizen.” He describes how Iran is a very corrupt place run by religious leaders and Revolutionary Guards and proposes that their corruption be exposed so that the Iranian people can take note and rise up in anger. And if exposure doesn’t work, they should be hammered with sanctions. He does not explain why sanctions, which disproportionately hurt the people he expects to rise up, will bring about any real change.

Stephens cites two of his buddies Ken Weinstein of the Hudson Institute and Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), who are apparently experts on how to squeeze Iran. Weinstein prefers exposing the misdeeds of the Mullahs to anger the Iranian people while Dubowitz prefers punitive sanctions “for corruption.”

The article does not reveal that Weinstein and Dubowitz are long time critics of Iran, are part of the Israel Lobby and just happen to be Jewish, as is Stephens. The Hudson Institute and the FDD are leading neocon and pro-Israel fronts. So my question becomes, “Why Iran?” The often-heard Israeli complaint about its being unfairly picked on could reasonably be turned on its head in asking the same about Iran. In fact, Iran compares favorably with Israel. It has no nuclear weapons, it does not support any of the Sunni terrorist groups that are chopping heads, and it has not disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of people that it rules over. The fact is that Iran is being targeted because Israel sees it as its prime enemy in the region and has corrupted many “opinion makers” in the U.S., to include Stephens, to hammer home that point. To be sure, Iran is a very corrupt place run by people who should not be running a hot dog stand, but the same applies to the United States and Israel. And there are lots of places that are not being targeted like Iran that are far worse, including good friend and ally of both Jerusalem and Washington, Saudi Arabia.

Oddly enough Stephens, Weinstein and Dubowitz do not get into any of that back story, presumably because it would be unseemly. And, of course and unfortunately, the New York Times opinion page is not unique. An interesting recent podcast interview by Politico‘s Chief International Affairs correspondent Susan Glasser with leading neoconservatives Eliot Cohen and Max Boot, is typical of how the media selectively shapes a narrative to suit its own biases. Glasser, Cohen and Boot are all part of the establishment foreign policy consensus in the U.S. and therefore both hate and fail to understand the Trump phenomenon. Both Cohen and Booth were vociferous founding members of the #NeverTrump foreign policy resistance movement.

Boot describes the new regime’s foreign policy as “kowtow[ing] to dictators and undermin[ing] American support for freedom and democracy around the world,” typical neocon leitmotifs. Glasser appears to be in love with her interviewees and hurls softball after softball. She describes Boot as “fantastic” and Cohen receives the epithet “The Great.” The interview itself is remarkably devoid of any serious discussion of foreign policy and is essentially a sustained assault on Trump while also implicitly supporting hardline national security positions. Cohen fulminates about “a very serious Russian attack on the core of our political system. I mean, I don’t know how you get more reckless and dangerous than that,” while Boot asks what “has to be done” about Iran.

Pompous ass Cohen, who interjected in the interview that “and you know, Max and I are both intellectuals,” notably very publicly refused to have any part in a Trump foreign policy team during the campaign but later when The Donald was actually elected suggested that the new regime might approach him with humility to offer a senior position and he just might condescend to join them. They did not do so, and he wrote an angry commentary on their refusal.

Hating Trump is one thing, but I would bet that if the question of a hardline policy vis-à-vis Russia or the Jerusalem Embassy move had come up Cohen and Boot would have expressed delight. The irony is that Trump is in fact pursuing a basically neocon foreign policy which the two men would normally support, but they appear to be making room for Trump haters in the policy formulation process to push the national security consensus even farther to the right. Indeed, in another article by Boot at Foreign Policy he writes “I applaud Trump’s decisions to provide Ukraine with arms to defend itself from Russian aggression, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, to send additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan, and to accelerate former President Barack Obama’s strategy for fighting the Islamic State.” Cohen meanwhile applauds the embassy move, though he warns that Trump’s success in so doing might embolden him to do something reckless over North Korea.

Perhaps one should not be astonished that leading neocons appearing in the mainstream media will continue to have their eyes on the ball and seek for more aggressive engagement in places like Iran and Russia. The media should be faulted because it rarely publishes any contrary viewpoint and it also consistently fails to give any space to the considerable downside to the agitprop. It must be reassuring for many Americans to know that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is preparing itself to deal with the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the United States and it will be sharing information on the appropriate preparations with the American people. There will be a public session on how to prepare for a nuclear explosion on January 16th.

CDC experts will consider “planning and preparation efforts” for such a strike. “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps,” the Center elaborated in its press release on the event.

That the United States should be preparing for a possible nuclear future can in part be attributed to recent commentary by the “like, really smart” and “very stable genius” who is the nation’s chief executive, but the fuel being poured on the fire for war is from the very same neocons who are featured in the mainstream media as all-purpose experts and have succeeded in selling the snake oil about America’s proper role as aggressor-in-chief for the entire world. It would be an unparalleled delight to be able to open a newspaper and not see Bret Stephens, Eliot Cohen, Max Boot or even the redoubtable Bill Kristol grinning back from the editorial page, but I suppose I am only dreaming.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is http://www.councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism, Subjugation - Torture, Timeless or most popular | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Future of JCPOA In Hands of GOP Indebted To Billionaire Iran Hawks

By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | October 19, 2017

President Donald Trump’s decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), appears to have fallen in line with the views espoused by several of his top donors. These funders believe that Iran poses an apocalyptic threat only addressable through military action, including the use of nuclear weapons.

Two years ago, every Republican in Congress opposed the JCPOA. With the future of the agreement now in the hands of a GOP-controlled House and Senate, those same billionaire Iran hawks may hold a powerful influence over any Republican lawmaker contemplating voting against legislation designed to harm the JCPOA.

Indeed, the influence of these key donors—Sheldon Adelson, Bernard Marcus, and Paul Singer—over U.S. foreign policy, particularly with regards to Iran, doesn’t stop at the White House, where combined they contributed over $40 million to various pro-Trump political groups and causes.

Those three donors also contributed $65 million at the congressional level. That represents nearly half of the individual contributions made to the Senate Leadership Fund (CLF) and Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), Super PACs dedicated to maintaining Republican majorities in the House and Senate. Those contributions provide a considerable incentive for Hill Republicans to stake out a hawkish position on the JCPOA.

Trump’s decision to punt the decision to Congress about whether to reimpose sanctions or attempt to unilaterally rewrite the JCPOA, a multilateral agreement, threatens to unravel the nuclear deal and/or put the U.S. into noncompliance with the accord.

Republican members of Congress owe a great deal to the CLF and the SLF. In the 2016 election cycle the two GOP Super PACs were some of the biggest sources of independent expenditures in House and Senate races. The SLF was the biggest spender in the 2016 election cycle after Priorities USA Action (a Hillary Clinton-supporting Super PAC) and Right to Rise USA (a Jeb Bush-supporting Super PAC).

The CLF raised $50 million in individual contributions and the SLF raised $90 million in individual contributions in the past election cycle. That is in no small part thanks to Adelson, Marcus, and Singer, three of the Republican Party’s biggest donors. They also provide millions in funding to hawkish think tanks like the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which regularly promotes military intervention against Iran. Adelson and Marcus, in particular, have been outspoken in their opposition to the JCPOA and expressing their extreme hostility toward Iran.

Adelson, who actually suggested firing a nuclear weapon at Iran as a negotiating tactic, alongside his wife, Miriam, are the biggest overall donors to both the CLF and SLF as well as Trump’s largest campaign donor. They contributed $20 million to the CLF and $35 million to the SLF. Adelson, via John Bolton, may have helped inject language into Trump’s speech last week decertifying the JCPOA. Politico reported (my emphasis):

The line was added to Trump’s speech after Bolton, despite Kelly’s recent edict [limiting Bolton’s access to Trump], reached the president by phone on Thursday afternoon from Las Vegas, where Bolton was visiting with Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. Bolton urged Trump to include a line in his remarks noting that he reserved the right to scrap the agreement entirely, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.

Trump wound up saying that the agreement “is under continuous review, and our participation can be canceled by me, as president, at any time.” Bolton declined to comment on any conversation with the president.

Singer, who was the second largest source of funds supporting Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) campaign, contributed $1.9 million to the CLF and $6 million to the SLF.

Cotton, an outspoken critic of the Iran deal and proponent of pursuing a regime-change strategy in Iran, reportedly advised the White House on decertifying the agreement. He is the cosponsor of legislation that would institute automatic reinstatement of sanctions if Iran comes within a year of a nuclear weapons capability and eliminates the JCPOA’s sunset clauses, effectively rewriting the agreement and potentially putting the U.S. in violation of the accord.

Marcus contributed $500,000 to the CLF and $2 million to the SLF. He is Trump’s second biggest campaign donor after the Adelsons and contributes tens of millions of dollars to FDD and other groups opposing the JCPOA.

In a 2015 Fox Business interview, he compared the JCPOA to “do[ing] business with the devil” and, in case he wasn’t clear about who “the devil” was in his metaphor, clarified “I think Iran is the devil.”

Adelson, Singer, and Marcus’s combined contributions account for 44% of individual contributions received by the CLF and 47% of those received by the SLF. Marcus and Singer are already spending on the SLF for the 2018 cycle. Singer contributed $1 million and Marcus contributed $2 million, providing over a quarter of the $11.13 million the Super PAC has raised for the coming election.

January 6, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NYT’s Argentina Op-Ed Fails to Disclose Authors’ Financial Conflict of Interest

paul-singer-
Photo: Paul Singer
By Eli Clifton | LobeLog | December 13, 2017

On Tuesday, Mark Dubowitz and Toby Dershowitz, two executives at the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), took to the op-ed pages of The New York Times to celebrate last week’s announcement that Argentina’s former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, would face treason charges for her alleged role in covering up Iran’s alleged involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aries, killing 85 people.

But their op-ed fails to disclose a serious financial conflict of interest underpinning their attacks on Kirchner. One of FDD’s biggest donors financed a multi-year public diplomacy campaign against Kirchner all while attempting to collect $2 billion in debt from Argentina.

Indeed, legitimate questions exist about the bombing and suspicious 2015 death of Argentine Special Investigator Alberto Nisman who claimed in 2006 that Iran ordered the bombing. But Kirchner’s supporters fear that Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri is using judicial reforms and charges against Kirchner to remove his political opposition.

FDD has been eager to promote Nisman’s work. The group also runs AlbertoNisman.org “to honor the legacy of late Argentine Prosecutor Natalio Alberto Nisman and his tireless pursuit of justice.” FDD continues this work despite serious questions about large unexplained deposits to Nisman’s bank account.

Moreover, their rush to denigrate Kirchner omits a major conflict of interest in Dubowitz and Dershowitz’s funding. Between 2007 and 2011, hedge-fund billionaire Paul Singer contributed $3.6 million to FDD. That coincided with his battle to force Argentina to repay the full amount of the sovereign debt held by Singer’s firm, Elliott Management, a payout that Kirchner rejected. Ninety-three percent of Argentina’s creditors accepted losses, but Singer was one of the few holdouts. Having bought up Argentina’s defaulted bonds at pennies on the dollar, he had then sued the country for payment in full.

Singer embarked on a 15-year legal battle to collect on Argentina’s debt payments by attempting to seize Argentine government assets around the world, including a 100-meter three-masted tall ship when it docked in Ghana). After financing public diplomacy campaigns against Kirchner, Singer’s firm walked away with approximately 75 percent of what he was owed, $2.4 billion. The deal, finalized last year, was largely credited to Mauricio Macri, Kirchner’s successor.

Groups receiving Singer’s donations kept up a steady drumbeat of attacks on Kirchner and sought to tie her to Iran and Nisman’s suspicious death. “We do whatever we can to get our government and media’s attention focused on what a bad actor Argentina is,” Robert Raben, executive director of the American Task Force Argentina (ATFA) explained to The Huffington Post.

ATFA, a group created by Singer and other hedge fund holdouts, spent at least $3.8 million dollars over five years in its efforts attacking Argentina.

“Argentina and Iran: Shameful Allies” was the headline of one ATFA ad that ran in Washington newspapers in June 2013 as the Obama administration was weighing whether to file an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Argentina’s favor. The ad featured side-by-side photos of Kirchner and then-Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad connected by the question, “A Pact With the Devil?” That same spring, FDD release an English-language summary of a new “ground-breaking” report by Nisman detailing “Iran’s extensive terrorist network in Latin America.”

This was followed by a flood of op-eds by FDD fellows and a series of hearings held by the House Homeland Security Subcommittee. According to FDD’s vice president, Toby Dershowitz, the report, which contains serious flaws and leaps of logic (detailed by Jim Lobe here and here), provided:

[A] virtual road map for how Iran’s long arm of terrorism can reach unsuspecting communities and that the AMIA attack was merely the canary in the coal mine. … The no-holds-barred, courageous report is a ‘must read’ for policy makers and law enforcement around the world and Nisman himself should be tapped for his guidance and profound understanding of Iran’s terrorism strategy.

Singer’s largesse also extended to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he contributed $1.1 million in 2009. AEI Fellow Roger Noriega, who received $60,000 directly from Elliott Management in 2007 to lobby on the issue of “Sovereign Debt Owed to a U.S. Company,” published an article on the group’s website—“Argentina’s Secret Deal with Iran?”—citing secret documents about an alleged nuclear cooperation agreement between Tehran and Buenos Aires “brokered and paid for” by then-Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez.

In 2013, Noriega and Jose Cardenas, a contributor to AEI’s “Venezuela-Iran Project,” co-authored a seven-page policy report—“Argentina’s Race to the Bottom”—charging that Kirchner’s government was “casting its lot with rogue governments like those in Venezuela and Iran.”

Singer also gave $500,000 to The Israel Project (TIP) in 2007 and $1 million in 2012. By May 2015, the group’s magazine, The Tower, published no fewer than 48 articles that mentioned Argentina and 40 that cited Nisman and the 1994 bombing.

Neither AEI, TIP, nor FDD has bothered to disclose its funding from Singer when publishing work that advanced his public pressure campaign against Kirchner. Indeed, there is no public record of why Singer chooses to fund these organizations. But his funding poses a conflict of interest, especially when The New York Times publishes Dershowitz and Dubowitz without any public acknowledgement that their criticism of Kirchner conveniently follows the narrative and financial interests of one of the duo’s biggest financial donors.

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Report says UAE envoy, pro-Israel think tank working against Iran

Press TV – June 3, 2017

A number of emails belonging to the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States have revealed that Yousef Al-Otaiba has been collaborating with a pro-Israel think tank against Iran, a report says.

The Intercept published a report on Saturday, suggesting that the emails, sent by hackers to several US media outlets this week, were clearly indicative of close relations between the UAE and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a pro-Israel, neoconservative think tank also known for its influence on the administration of US President Donald Trump.

The emails, the authenticity of which has been confirmed by major news outlets, were first leaked by hackers who referred to themselves as GlobalLeaks. They show that the UAE envoy has established a growing correspondence with the FDD to find ways of hampering Iran’s ability to engage in business activities with major companies around the world.

In an email dated March 10, 2017, FDD chief Mark Dubowitz sent a “Target list of companies investing in Iran, UAE and Saudi Arabia” so that the ambassador could use the UAE and Saudi Arabia’s influence on those companies, which includes France’s Airbus and Russia’s Lukoil, to stop them from doing business with Iran. Also attached to the email is a memorandum that includes a lengthy list of “Non-U.S. businesses with operations in Saudi Arabia or UAE that are looking to invest in Iran.”

The correspondence between Otaiba and the FDD covers a range of other topics related to Iran, including how the UAE and Saudi Arabia could pressure President Trump to adopt its more hawkish line on Iran, or what policies the two Arab countries could adopt to impact the internal affairs of Iran.

The FDD belongs to Sheldon Adelson, one of the largest political donors in the United States and a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hacked emails show how deep the think tank and the regime in Israel have been cooperating with a Persian Gulf monarchy.

The Israeli regime and the UAE have no diplomatic relations. The United Arab Emirates does not recognize Israel and has, like many other Arab and Muslim countries, called on the regime to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it occupied in the 1967 War.

However, backchannel cooperation has increased between the two sides over the past year as the situation in the Middle East has changed dramatically.

June 4, 2017 Posted by | Economics, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cheerleading for Israel

Everyone’s doing it

Bernard Henry Levi Libya

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • March 7, 2017

Those of us who voted for Donald Trump in hopes that he would turn out to be the peace candidate are facing disappointment. He has increased the already bloated military budget by $54 billion and has appointed an outspokenly anti-Russian and anti-Iranian active duty general as his National Security Advisor. A retired general with pretty much the same views heads the Pentagon. President Trump meanwhile vows to “extinguish” ISIS without presenting any plan regarding how exactly that might be accomplished.

The most important objective of all, resetting with Moscow to avoid World War 3, is in reverse gear, with the appointment of Fiona Hill, a critic of Vladimir Putin, as Russian specialist at the National Security Council. Meanwhile, our clueless United Nations Ambassador calls for Russia to withdraw from Crimea, where 58% of the population is Russian and only 24% is Ukrainian. Reports circulating in Washington suggest that the one phone call between Trump and Putin was a disaster, with the U.S. president demanding an end to the New START nuclear weapons reduction treaty, which the Kremlin wants to renew, before going off on a tangential monologue about his unexpected electoral victory.

In fact, even though the individual neocons have largely been outed from the foreign and security policy positions they once dominated it would not be completely inappropriate to suggest that their legacy of military interventionism lives on in terms of what the Trump administration has been so far promoting to keep America “safe.” Where all of this will go is anyone’s guess.

But if there is one constant in all of this it is the bright shining beacon of Israel, with Trump recently enthusing over the “unbreakable” bond between the two countries. One hopes that he misspoke and really meant “unbearable” or even “unspeakable” but it is clear from other indications that The Donald has succumbed to the inevitable Washington groupthink regarding America’s greatest ally and best friend in the whole wide world.

On Sunday New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss “trade and security issues” without anyone complaining that he was in violation of the Logan Act, which apparently only applies if you are talking to Russians. And a congressional delegation is in Israel right now studying the feasibility of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, which most foreign policy pundits consider to be a very bad idea. Meanwhile at the United Nations, the U.S. has blocked the appointment of former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad as special representative to Libya. U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley explained the veto, saying irrelevantly “For too long the U.N. has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel. The United States does not currently recognize a Palestinian state or support the signal this appointment would send within the United Nations.”

Ambassador Haley has also denounced the international body in general terms, stating that she was “underscore[ing] the ironclad support of the United States for Israel,” adding that “I am here to emphasize that United States is determined to stand up to the U.N.’s anti-Israel bias.” And if anyone failed to understand, on March 1st, U.S. envoy to the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva Erin Barclay told the group that it must drop its “obsession with Israel” or risk Washington withdrawing from the organization. The suggestion that the U.S. might consider departing came, incidentally, directly from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who proposed such action to Donald Trump to “delegitimize” the U.N. body.

It is ironic that in the midst of a media and congressional feeding frenzy on foreign interference in the U.S., the one country in the world that consistently leads Washington by the nose is immune from criticism. The subservient role dutifully played by every U.S. president since JFK when dealing with Tel Aviv has resulted in defining United States national interests in terms of Israeli perceptions. The real irony is that even though Trump is giving the Israelis everything they want and is bowing to the Israel Lobby and Jewish groups at every opportunity, it is still not enough. It is never enough. That is because the neoconservatives, who are mostly Jewish and themselves complete Israel-firsters, hate him, having overwhelmingly favored Hillary Clinton as president due to their conviction that she would be the more aggressive president. They now believe that if they succeed in forcing Trump’s resignation or impeachment they will return to power in whatever new government formulation is put in place, so they continue to pile on.

Israel’s friends characteristically either run or have the ear of the media and they are supported by a formidable Washington based lobbying machine to get their point across. Whenever anything happens in the Middle East or elsewhere that is related to Israel’s perceived interests the machine goes to work with multiple position papers presented to every congressional office the next morning by runners from AIPAC, AEI, FPI, WINEP, JINSA and FDD. No one else has the clout of the Israel Lobby.

And Trump is also being battered by Jewish interests coming from the political left. France’s greatest living poseur-hypocrite Bernard-Henri Levy, described as a “philosopher, filmmaker and activist,” has hammered Trump twice recently, first in The New York Times on January 19th. Levy, who has described the brutal Israel Defense Forces as “a democratic army, which asks itself so many moral questions” and who was a war-on-Libya cheerleader, warns that Trump is a threat to all American Jews. Why? Because even though he has showered benefits on Israel his love for the Jewish people is “insufficient.” Levy explains, “This love is precisely what is required of an American president in dealings affecting Israel.”

The reader might well be astonished by the chutzpah of Levy in demanding love on top of the $38 billion already in the pipeline and wonder even more why the New York Times would print such garbage. But the French whiz kid does not really explain his remark, instead going on to denounce the “betrayal” of Israel by President Barack Obama at the United Nations before explaining that as Trump is “deeply unpopular” it would not do for American Jews to embrace him closely even if it appears he is doing good things for Israel. And Levy provides “evidence” that Trump might not be what he seems, citing inter alia his speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in which he said he didn’t need their money. Levy sees this as a precursor to genuine, full blooded anti-Semitism, and speculates that Trump will take revenge against Jews to show “that he is indeed smarter than they are.” Why would he do that? Because he “respects only power, money and the perquisites of the palace.”

Levy’s second foray second foray, on CNN a month later, took Trump to task for his “incredible slip” on January 27th, Holocaust Remembrance Day, when he did not single out Jewish victims of Nazi crimes and instead cited all of those exterminated by the Germans. For Levy, Jewish deaths are intrinsically more memorable and valuable than those of others and the failure to grant them special status is a “tell-tale trope of Holocaust deniers” and a “hallmark of the new anti-Semitism.”

Bernard-Henri goes on to cite more evidence of Trump’s closet anti-Semitism, including the assertion that he has failed to address the reality of “Jewish children who go to school full of fear.” While it is possible to dismiss Levy as a completely self-serving bullshit artist who badly needs a haircut and a bath, he is far from alone. Also on the left there is the renowned Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University.

Dershowitz, threatening to leave the Democratic Party if it elected Keith Ellison chair of the party’s central committee, appeared frequently on television and in the print media claiming that Ellison was an enemy of Israel and of the Jewish people. The threat to leave the Democrats produced numerous jokes directed at the abrasive and unpopular lawyer somewhat akin to those crafted at the expense of the Hollywood celebrities who promised to leave the country if Donald Trump were elected president. Unfortunately, I have to note that neither Dershowitz nor Barbra Streisand has yet departed.

Ellison was the preferred candidate of the Bernie Sanders liberal wing of the party and initial opinion polls suggested that he would likely win the position. While Dershowitz’s bombast could be regarded with some amusement, there was another, darker side to the campaign to sideline Ellison, who is black, a Muslim and not openly hostile to the Palestinians. This last attribute inevitably made it possible to start a whispering campaign labeling him as anti-Semitic and a number of Jewish Democratic fundraisers, to include Israeli Haim Saban of Hillary Clinton fame, privately made it known that they would end their donations to the party if Ellison were elected. Barack Obama and the Clintons also piled on, even working the phones to stop Ellison.

When Ellison lost in a close result, Dershowitz announced that he would not be leaving the party after all because the result was a “victory in the war against bigotry, anti-Semitism, [and] the anti-Israel push of the hard left within the Democratic Party.” As evidence of Ellison’s anti-Israel sentiment Dershowitz cited the congressman’s vote against funding Iron Dome, which is the Israel missile defense system. “Can you imagine any reasonable person voting against a missile system designed to protect innocent civilians against terrorist rocket attacks?”

Indeed Dersh, but maybe the Israelis should be paying for it, not the American taxpayer, which is actually the crux of the matter. I for one am tired of the perpetual whining of Alan Dershowitz and international professional Jews like Bernard-Henri Levi, who is frequently in the U.S. doing richly rewarded speaking tours on the so-called “Synagogue circuit.” And someone should wake U.N Ambassador Nikki Haley up to the fact that her job is to take care of the American people, not Israel. Quite frankly, if these folks are so much in love with Israel they should go live there and leave the rest of us as well as the U.S. Treasury alone.

If we are heading into yet another round of Israel-centric foreign policy we will be inevitably involved in new wars, starting with Iran which has always been Netanyahu’s enemy of choice. And then there is Syria, where the Israelis would prefer a continuation of chaos, presumably carried out by Washington which can pay the bills and take the casualties. As Bernard-Henri Levy has made clear and the Talmud asserts, Jewish lives are more important than those of gentiles, so it is fit and proper that Americans should fight and die to make sure that Israel might prosper.

March 7, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments