Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks, Netanyahu, and 9/11

While researching troubling aspects of the terrorist attack on America exactly nine years ago to this day, I came across a report remarkable for its journalistic integrity and thoroughness from a most unlikely source: Fox News. Fox investigative reporter Carl Cameron’s four-part report indicates Israeli intelligence had specific advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks but did not share the information with U.S. authorities. Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad warned the U.S. of an impending attack, but according to Cameron, the warning was nonspecific to protect Israeli “sources and methods.” Cameron reported that at least 60 Israelis were arrested in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, some with links to Israeli intelligence and military:
“Since September 11, more than 60 Israelis have been arrested or detained, either under the new patriot anti-terrorism law, or for immigration violations. A handful of active Israeli military were among those detained, according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged surveillance activities against and in the United States.

“There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9-11 attacks, but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are “tie-ins.” But when asked for details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, ‘evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It’s classified information.’”
Israeli Prime Minister (then-leader of the Likud) Benjamin Netanyahu recently told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks benefited Israel: “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq” … that “swung American public opinion in our favor.” This comes as no surprise given a hidden video of Netanyahu bragging of how easily he could manipulate Americans and derail the Oslo Accords, which had established the framework for peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr. Netanyahu’s frosty relationship with President Obama and his party’s historic hard line toward a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict do not presage a different result from previous failed peace talks. Netanyahu must go through the motions because Israel’s complicated relationship with the United States requires it. And he must appear to be making a good-faith effort to ease political pressures from progressive Israelis and from Jewish Americans who do not subscribe to the hardline Likud posture.

Some American analysts have optimistically compared Netanyahu’s chances for success with Nixon’s opening to China and Reagan’s rapprochement with Gorbachev. Historic hardliners, they argue, have the credibility to negotiate a peace agreement and sell it to their base at home. There is some truth to this, barring one small detail: Even if the creation of two states living side-by-side in peace casts a final agreement into the foreign policy orbit, the twisted path to getting there is largely a question of domestic politics and territorial concessions based on mutual assured security. Such is the symbiotic relationship between the negotiating adversaries.

This is not a negotiation between two equal and sovereign states. Or between a victor and vanquished state. Therein lies the conundrum that never the twain shall meet. For Benjamin Netanyahu the most important consideration has always been to “keep your base.” Rarely has the axiom all politics is local had such portentous international implications. Will the tiger change its stripes in this latest incarnation?

Ultimately, Netanyahu’s hope that the 9/11 terror attacks would become a game changer for Israel’s security benefit did not come to pass. If anything, the pressure for a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is even greater now, with Iran stepping into the vaccuum left by George W. Bush’s war of choice against Saddam’s Iraq. There were never any WMD -- Bush’s pretext for his preemptive (doctrinal) attack -- to be found in Iraq, which did not attack us on 9/11. The great beneficiary of the war was Iran. And as it flexes its regional power muscles and seeks to weaponize its nuclear program, it is fast becoming an existential threat to Israel.

The price paid by the U.S. in blood and treasure for the arrogance and hubris of neoCons like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Netanyahu is steep and climbing still. It should not take a wild conspiracy theorist to demand answers to the question of who, beside the Israelis, had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks and sought to profit from them in the stock market. Strangely, the results of SEC and FBI investigations into the matter have never been made public. President Obama is determined not to “relitigate” the past actions of the Bush-Cheney administration, probably because the guardians of this classified information believe we can’t handle the truth. But in a free society, the people have a right to know where the money trail leads even if it ends in treason.

Friday, September 10, 2010

You Know What Game They're Playing, Chris

The question is, will the American people be duped by it this November; or will they reject the fearmongering, culture wars, hateful right wing rhetoric, and Islamophobia of 2010, just like they did in 2008? As the President said, the choice this time remains the same: hope over fear. Confounding the pompous predictions of the puerile Punditocracy, the American voters will once more choose hope over fear and tolerance over hate. The Democratic Party levee holds firm against the predicted Hurricane of right wing reaction. Which means the Senate and House remain in Democratic hands.

Good commentary, Mr. Matthews:

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Thursday, September 09, 2010

Satirizing Pastor Jones: Strictly For Laughs, Folks ...

Now that the nutjob pastor has suspended the burning of Korans:


It’s about time! It’s the fourth quarter, Mr. President, our team is trailing and you just hit a three-point shot from downtown with nothing but net. Orangeade John is starting to sweat as the rub-on instant tan begins to melt and drip into his eyes. “Man that stings,” thinks boner-boy, “this ain’t my game … Oh how I wish I was out on the links with my country club corporate donors … Aargh!”

Awesome speech, Mr. President. Making the case, block-by-block, reminding the American people what this midterm election is about: Staying the course, or falling back into the same old horrible ditch they got us into, trying to dig ourselves out with hand-to-hand combat against those anti-American Republicans and misguided teabaggers. You cain’t beat somethin’ with nuthin’ and Boehner and his crowd of billionaire plutocrats and the teabagger brigands have a WHOLE LOT OF NUTHIN’! Obama channeling Truman in ’48 railing against the DO-NOTHING CONGRESS — same Republican Congress, different Boehner, SAME RESULT IN NOVEMBER!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

It's The One Waiting For the Glenn Beck Rally Bus

Shout-out to Teleman for this.

The Pause That Refreshes, Er ... RELOADS

Is this a question you really have to stop and think about before answering?

Dreams of Fascism in The USA

It’s axiomatic in the mainstream media and ancillary public affairs channels that any mention of Hitler and Nazism except in the most disparaging of terms is a no-no. While the Fox right wing (fascist) propaganda (a British invention, given its modern characteristics by the Nazis) TV and supporting radio networks with a viewership/listenership in the millions (between 8 to 15 million on any given day) readily embrace the techniques pioneered by Joseph Goebbels (most commonly acknowledged by the MSM, the so-called “Big Lie”), its flat-footed MSM counterparts are slow to counter the Fox juggernaut.

It’s more than a little ironic that a Saudi Prince owns a seven percent stake in Fox. While the fascist (yes, fascist) network’s stormtroopers (yes, stormtroopers as in brown shirts; read your history) obsess Islamophobically and commit acts of violence against the American Muslim community, the Fox propaganda network stokes the fear and the anger through its talented propagandists. Behind the scenes the Saudi prince frankly admits an interest in maintaining American dependence on Saudi oil: “Fox News reliably broadcasts misinformation on clean energy, and aggressively fights efforts to move America away from being dependent on a fossil fuels.” But his influence is felt in other ways, too:
In 2005, just months after Alwaleed acquired his first 5.4 percent stake in News Corp., Fox News covered riots in Paris under a banner saying “Muslim riots.” Alwaleed allegedly called Murdoch and had him change the banner to say “Civil riots.” Investigative journalist Joseph Trento also reported that a comment he recently made on a Fox Network morning news show, Fox and Friends, about Saudi Arabian money still financing Al Qaeda, was edited out of the show.
Someone with a conspiratorial bent, say like Glenn Beck viewers and followers, might reasonably conclude that doing business with a Saudi Prince as well as North Korea’s Kim Jong Il is tantamount to high treason; what’s the term -– “palling around” with terrorists and a real communist dictator. (don’t forget, 15 of 19 9/11 terrorists were Saudi nationals and their funding came from (?).) Instead, their misguided attention is drawn by the pied piper of misinformation and lies to our African American president who is about as “socialist” as a can of sardines and, in another ironic twist, has been laboring mightily to wean our country of dependence on foreign oil. Meanwhile at Fox, one of its overarching (serious) themes, beneath all the Beck nonsense, is to deepen our nation’s dependence on Saudi oil. Because it’s good for Rupert Murdoch’s business.

It’s not the first time that a plutocrat capitalist has “palled around” with the enemy. Indeed, one of the most infamous examples of this was Henry Ford’s close business and friendship ties with Hitler’s Nazi Germany. He helped rebuild the German war machine and gave material aid to our mortal enemy in its smashing blitzkrieg against our allies France and Britain. Just as significant, the Bush family also had extensive commercial ties to Nazi Germany. Not to speak of Tea Party funding from a family that made its fortune partnering with communist dictator Josef Stalin in Soviet Russia.

Given all these connections, that would make Beck’s blackboard weep, someone with a conspiratorial bent might reasonably think there’s fascism afoot at Fox; the kind of fascism, perhaps, that is closer to Mussolini’s corporate monopoly fascism than Hitler’s cunning charismatic populism and virulent racism. In either case, though, there is always an enemy of the state that is the scapegoat. (Typically, the state in a fascist culture is defined as an ideal that harks back to its origins –- the Aryan nation, the Roman Empire, and the Founders, that “shining city on a hill” or the undefined (see video) “last best hope.”)

In Nazi Germany, the Jew was the “enemy” to be exterminated. In his rise to power, Hitler began by methodically and ruthlessly eliminating all political opposition –- socialists, communists, labor unions, centrist Democrats and even elements within his own Nazi Party. Mussolini’s fascist state had similar scapegoats, particularly labor unions, absent the racism on steroids of the Nazis. And in the proto-fascism sprouting in this country there is a mix of the two. Shady right wing plutocrats provide seed money and resources for Astroturf “Tea Party” movements. At the same time, racist and fascist organizations plotting in the shadows for decades in this country have used the Tea Party movement as cover to infiltrate and insinuate their noxious ideology of hatred into the media mainstream. Here the scapegoat, the other to be hated and feared, is our African American president.

These groups have been openly supporting the Tea Party and recruiting at Tea Party events. Some people who identify with the Tea Party are proto-fascists, easily manipulated by slick demagogues like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. Others, along with their hideous signs, are straight out of the American Nazi “Aryan Nations” and extremist right wing groups like the John Birch Society. Tea Party darling Sharron Angle, Nevada candidate for senator, echoes one of the Birchers’ favorite “communist government” conspiracies: the fluoridation of water.

Christianity is a hook for fascists. Mussolini said, “The Fascist State does not remain indifferent to the fact of religion in general and to that particular positive religion which is Italian Catholicism. The State has no theology, but it has an ethic. . . . The Fascist State does not create a "God" of its own … nor does it vainly seek, like Bolshevism, to expel religion from the minds of men. Fascism respects the God of the ascetics, of the saints, of the heroes, and also God as seen and prayed to by the simple and primitive heart of the people.”

Much has been said on the Right about so-called “Islamofascism” but the American Right has been silent on the question of the Christian Right in this country. There is no more stark example of the Christian Right gone mad than the plans of a fundamentalist pastor and his congregation to burn Korans on 9/11/2010. Even the warning of America’s top general that this insanity could endanger the lives of our troops and spur attacks against Americans in Islamic countries could not sway this Christian fascist.

As Chris Hedges, author of American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War On America said:
“The language of violence always presages violence. When someone like Palin posts a map with cross hairs on the districts of Democrats, when she says “Don’t Retreat, Instead—RELOAD!” there are desperate people cleaning their weapons who listen. When Christian fascists stand in the pulpits of megachurches and denounce Barack Obama as the Antichrist, there are messianic believers who listen. . . .These movements are not yet full-blown fascist movements. They do not openly call for the extermination of ethnic or religious groups. They do not openly advocate violence. But, as I was told by Fritz Stern, a scholar of fascism who has written about the origins of Nazism, ‘In Germany there was a yearning for fascism before fascism was invented.’ It is the yearning that we now see, and it is dangerous. If we do not immediately reincorporate the unemployed and the poor back into the economy, giving them jobs and relief from crippling debt, then the nascent racism and violence that are leaping up around the edges of American society will become a full-blown conflagration. Left unchecked, the hatred for radical Islam will transform itself into a hatred for Muslims. The hatred for undocumented workers will become a hatred for Mexicans and Central Americans. The hatred for those not defined by this largely white movement as American patriots will become a hatred for African-Americans. The hatred for liberals will morph into a hatred for all democratic institutions, from universities to government agencies and to the press.
The Tea Party is a means for marginalized extremist and racist groups to go stealthily mainstream and for fascism to spread from the shadows thanks to Fox and its propaganda network. Fascism loves tough economic times. This is no time for Democrats to stay home in November, nor would it be a rational choice for moderate apolitical independents to vote for the Tea Party candidate, who is increasingly indistinguishable from the Republican.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tracking TEA PARTY Racism At the Beck Rally: You Betcha!

Wingnuts are going ballistic about the joint effort of the NAACP, Think Progress, Media Matters, and New Left Media to closely monitor teabagger racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, and threats of violence. It’s about time. And they wasted none of it laying down the gauntlet for teabaggers brave enough to pick it up: “monitors racism and other forms of extremism within the Tea Party movement. We call on the Tea Party to repudiate extremists among their ranks and join in civil dialogue with all Americans.”

Here are teabaggers at the so-called religious “restoring honor” Beck-A-Loser rally venting their unfiltered racism and Islamophobia:

This video reminds me of a bizarre reality show remake of the Manchurian Candidate, in which one person after the other has complete memory loss of one of the TOP FIVE most outrageous LIES ever uttered by Glenn Beck, that President Obama is “a racist.” Watch. Beginning at minute 3:24 in which they refuse to believe what Beck said (below) onward. The ignorance of these people is stunning. STUNNING:

Monday, September 06, 2010

Glenn Beck Supporter Tripping Out On Geritol

It is rather pathetic to see ignorant old white people behaving like thugs, while the young are the mature adults. Age does not necessarily bring wisdom. In Glenn Beck supporters it only hardens and coarsens the bigotry and intolerance of their youth.

My favorite comments:
In this video from the Restoring Honor rally, a Glenn Beck supporter confronts protesters holding pro-Obama signs. As you can tell from her elaborate flag-themed hat, she's a big fan of the Constitution — just not the First Amendment.

I'm confused. What honor were they restoring? White people making a mockery of the civil rights movement with their petulant whining about the loss of privilege was never an honor they had to begin with.