The Israel Lobby and the Organized Jewish Community Want Regime Change in Syria

President Obama is now saying his administration has decided to attack Syria but will seek Congressional approval before doing so. This sets up a really interesting situation if Congress doesn’t agree, as seems quite possible.

The idea of Obama ordering an act of war on Syria without significant international support and without a Congressional mandate always was a head scratcher. Here’s our far left president advocating yet another war in the Middle East after opposing the Iraq war when he was a senator. The same president who has a frosty relationship with Benjamin Netanyahu and has repeatedly fallen short of the demands of the Israel Lobby.

Of course the rationale is framed in moral terms—like all American wars, but there was more than a touch of that in the run-up to the Iraq war as well. Here the case for the hawks is made more difficult because the WMD story turned out to be false. Lest we forget, this story was manufactured by strongly identified ethnically Jewish, pro-Israel operatives linked to the Office of Special Plans in the Department of Defense, including Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, Abraham Shulsky, Elliott Abrams, David Wurmser, Michael Ledeen, David Schencker, and Michael Rubin, with the close cooperation of Israeli intelligence (see here, p. 47ff).

The Weekly Standard’s usual neocon suspects — including many of the same people who promoted for the Iraq war — are pressing for a very large U.S. involvement in Syria. It’s mind-boggling to read in the statement of these so-called “experts” that the president must act “to ensure that Assad’s chemical weapons no longer threaten America.” Shades of how Iraq under Saddam Hussein was going to destroy the U.S. with his WMD’s. How Assad is going to unleash his chemical weapons on America is anybody’s guess. Read more

Why Are Some Democracies More Equal Than Others?

Almost any time neoconservatism is discussed, whether in a positive or negative light, it is treated as a kind of hegemonic monolith that has not changed since the last generation of its adherents began gaining prestige in the 1970s — or even since it began taking form decades earlier. Obviously this is a mistake, but sorting out its various “waves” is a task for another time (and likely a task for Paul Gottfried).  In an attempt to eschew the complex pedigree of neoconservatives in the last half-century, I will, for the moment, only discuss the post-9/11 variety of neocons.

The terrorist attacks of September 11th proved to be a crystallizing moment for neocons. Since the end of the Cold War, they had lacked not only political power, but more importantly — a driving purpose. While vainly trying to unify under an “anti-Clinton” banner, they meandered into intellectual self-indulgence in an attempt to regain the drive they had possessed while battling the USSR. Not content to rest on their laurels, odd proposals to re-capture “national greatness” came about, similarly, bizarre calls to invade Africa popped out of thin air. Like their Trotskyite forbearers, they became a fairly insulated bunch that spoke to few people outside their own circles, and were happy to theorize and pontificate amongst one another, with their thoughts steadily drifting away from any tangible political reality.

In 2001, when Bush Jr. came to power, they did too, but they still lacked a unifying goal. When a new, seemingly existential, threat crashed its way to the crosshairs of global attention, all of this changed. Digressing slightly, I will admit that pinning down a precise program or doctrine to the neocons can prove somewhat difficult. Part of this comes from their willingness to shape shift — such as their jump from Democrat Scoop Jackson’s 1972 presidential bid to Ronald Reagan’s cabinet less than a decade later. Another more important difficulty comes from the fact that it has become somewhat fashionable for neoconservatives to deny their own existence. It reminds me of a Marxist adage I hear from time to time: “An ideology is hegemonic when its adherents deny its existence”. Jonah Goldberg penned a whole threepart series of articles shortly after the Iraq War began that claimed no such thing existed — this is hilariously disproven by how many neocons openly and proudly label themselves as such. Read more

If neo-cons were Indian…


June 30, 2013

The Honorable Barack H. Obama
President of the United States of America
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to you because we have become certain that the United States must pursue a new policy in regards to Pakistan. We are certain that Pakistan now represents the greatest threat to American security since Saddam Hussein’s Iraq before the American led invasion. America’s relations with Pakistan must reflect this new reality. We stand firm in our belief that the Pakistani government’s inability to control terrorist elements within its borders coupled with its possession of hundreds of nuclear weapons has made the state as a whole a grave threat to American security and global peace. In reviewing past strategies to quell this and other similar threats, we have concluded that no solution aside from a ground invasion and subsequent occupation of Pakistan can sufficiently guarantee the regional stability necessary for global security. We write to you in order to encourage your administration to take immediate action in this regard.

Since 2008, the American strategy employed to weaken radical jihad in Pakistan has been a combination of limited air strikes, Black Ops missions, and large amounts of monetary foreign aid. Yet over the last five years, terrorist groups in Pakistan have grown stronger, while every form of an American-friendly government has weakened. The Taliban and similar groups periodically control large parts of Northwestern Pakistan, while the rest of the nation suffers from rampant poverty, inflation, and crime. Given that the median age of males in Pakistan is twenty-two years, and that the population as a whole is nearing two hundred million people, al Qaeda and similar groups inside Pakistan are in a comfortable position to recruit en masse for their global war against the West. America cannot allow this scenario to move beyond fiction, nor can it wait to see if it will by standing idly by until the next terrorist attack. Read more

High-Voltage Hate: Hypocrisy on Free Speech in Britain

Enlightenment Values

If you’ve ever handled a slug, you’ll know that you have to wipe  your hands afterwards. It would be wrong to compare the British anti-fascist Denis MacShane with a slug – he’s not a hermaphrodite or a mollusc, after all – but contact with Denis has similar effects. You’ll have things to clean up afterwards. I wrote about this former Labour Member of Parliament in the article “Rotten in Rotherham”, where I noted two important but apparently contradictory facts:

1) He oversaw a parliamentary report into antisemitism that suggested it be made a criminal offence to read hate-inciting material on the internet.

2) He wrote a comradely review of You Can’t Read This Book, Nick Cohen’s book on free speech and claimed to stand with Voltaire and other “giants of the Enlightenment” for free speech and against censorship.

I concluded that he was lying about his solidarity with Voltaire. But there’s more to be said. MacShane wasn’t only lying: he was revealing either his complete ignorance or his impudent chutzpah. Here again is the suggestion in the MacShane-helmed Report of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism (2006):

The former Home Office Minister Paul Goggins MP gave evidence of a model which could possibly be applied to racist material on the internet. In the case of child pornography it is now an offence to download images from the internet, and it may be possible to develop a similar law in regard to material which could incite racial or religious hatred. (Report, para. 186, pg. 37)

Here again is MacShane’s praise of Voltaire in his review of Nick Cohen’s You Can’t Read This Book (2012):

Surely there is no greater badge of honour than to stand with the giants of the 18th century, who insisted rationality should be given equal status to superstition. … The right of men (always men) dressed in long robes to censor words and thought is increasing, not diminishing. In the end, Cohen rightly argues, we have to assert the Enlightenment values of both Voltaire and Mill as they argued for free speech. (You Can’t Read This Book, The Observer, Sunday, 12th February, 2012) Read more

Jonah Goldberg and Harold Meyerson on the election: It’s all good

Two op-eds in the LATimes illustrate two Jewish reactions to the election. Although they supposedly are on the opposite sides of the political spectrum, they have much in common.

On one hand is Jonah Goldberg, editor of National ReviewOnline. Goldberg is a neocon—a faux conservative who recently was noted as supporting the firing of John Derbyshire for telling the truth about race. Goldberg has also attacked Peter Brimelow for what he described as “the narrow and nasty emphasis on what … Brimelow calls America’s ‘specific ethnic core'” (“Peter Brimelow (“a once-respected conservative voice”) on Goldberg of National Review (a once-conservative, now respected, magazine“). Brimelow’s main point is that Goldberg has been an enthusiastic supporter of displacement-level non-White immigration and is horrified at the thought of an identity politics for White people (for other groups, it’s just fine).

So it’s not surprising that Goldberg is not particularly upset by the election (“The right isn’t waving a white flag“). Goldberg claims that conservatism will come back, as it has before. Not one mention of the demographics of the vote or what that portends for the GOP or what the GOP ought to do about it. Read more

Sheldon Adelson: Israel and Immigration’s Patrick Cleburne has a nice article on Sheldon Adelson (“Has Romney Sold Immigration Policy To Sheldon Adelson?“), the billionaire who has emerged as the largest single donor in the current presidential campaign, promising up to $100 million for the Republicans. After supporting Gingrich in the primaries, Adelson has thrown his considerable weight behind Romney. We all know what that money buys: fealty to Israel. Throughout the campaign, Romney and Gingrich competed on who would be more slavish to Israel; Gingrich must have seemed slightly more reliable to Adelson, but Adelson must have been impressed with Romney as well.

There is no question about Adelson’s support for the most racialist and nationalist elements in Israel. Adelson owns an Israeli newspaper that supports PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s hard right Likud government. And there can be little question of where his loyalties lie. He has stated that he wishes he would have served in the Israeli military rather than in the US Army, and that he wants his son to grow up to “be a sniper for the IDF.”

All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart. … All we care about is being good Zionists, being good citizens of Israel, because even though I am not Israeli born, Israel is in my heart,” he said toward the end of his talk.

I was surprised to read that Senator John McCain, referring explicitly to Adelson, complained that foreign money is entering the US presidential election race. This seemed too good to be true, and it was. It turns out that he was only making the point that a lot of Adelson’s money comes from his casino operations in Macau. What McCain should have been saying loud and clear is that Adelson is for all practical purposes a citizen of Israel with no demonstrated loyalty to the US and that he should not be allowed to influence the US political process.

But he won’t.  Read more

Bill Kristol and Jeremy Ben-Ami on Israel

Philip Weiss has a nice column on the debate between Bill Kristol and Jeremy Ben-Ami of J Street held at a synagogue in New York (“Bill Kristol celebrates Republican Party purge of ‘old fashioned Arabists’ Scowcroft, Baker and Bush I.”) The headline reflects Kristol’s power in the Republican Party—openly saying that the neocons purged those who were not sufficiently aware that the capital of the United States is Tel Aviv, to paraphrase Russell Kirk.

It’s nice of Kristol to acknowledge this—it reflects a well-deserved sense of invulnerability. What’s next? Acknowledging the indispensable neocon role of in promoting the war with Iraq?

But we have known about the purging of traditional conservatives from the GOP for a long time. Sam Francis’s statement from 2004 says it all: Read more