samedi 3 juillet 2010

James Petras lève le voile sur les agents sionistes responsables de la guerre en Irak et du scandale d'espionnage à l'AIPAC

pdf - The Power of Israel in the United States


Israël et les nouveaux conservateurs

James Petras
3 novembre 2005
Counterpunch

Le débat national suscité dans les mass media par la mise en accusation d'Irving Lewis Libby pour parjure et obstruction à la justice n'a même pas posé les questions les plus élémentaires à propos du contexte structurel profond qui a influencé le comportement délictueux de cet homme. Une explication on ne peut plus superficielle a dit qu'en dénonçant Valerie Plame (une employée de la CIA), Libby avait agi par vengeance afin de punir son mari Wilson d'avoir révélé au grand jour les mensonges proférés par Bush quant à l'« importation » par l'Irak d'uranium du Niger. Cette affirmation, toutefois, soulève une question plus importante : Qui étaient les auteurs de cette propagande guerrière et qui Libby protégeait-il ? Et non seulement les « fauteurs de guerre », mais aussi les planificateurs stratégiques, les faiseurs de discours et les architectes de la guerre qui ont agi main dans la main avec les propagandistes et les journalistes chargés de faire circuler cette propagande ? Quel est le lien entre tous ces fonctionnaires de haut niveau, ces propagandistes et ces journalistes ?

Autre question tout aussi importante, étant donné les postes de pouvoir que cette cabale occupait et l'influence qu'elle exerçait sur les mass media aussi bien que sur la mise en forme de la politique stratégique : Quelles forces ont été engagées pour initier des poursuites judiciaires contre un acteur majeur de cette cabale ?

La montée de Libby vers le pouvoir faisait partie intégrante de l'ascension des nouveaux conservateurs vers les cimes de la politique américaine. Libby fut un étudiant, un protégé et un collaborateur de Paul Wolfowitz durant plus de 25 ans. Libby, Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Kagan, Cohen, Rubin, Pollack, Chertoff, Fleisher, Kristol, Marc Grossman, Shumsky et une multitude d'autres acteurs politiques étaient les inconditionnels à long terme et les propagandistes agressifs d'une tendance frénétiquement militariste du sionisme associée au parti de droite israélien qu'est le Likoud. Déjà au début des années 1980, Wolfowitz et Feith avaient été accusés d'avoir fait passer des documents secrets en Israël et Feith se voyait même privé temporairement de ses accréditations pour des raisons de sécurité.

Les idéologues allaient entamer leur « longue marche » à travers les institutions de l'État. Dans certains cas, en tant que conseillers des membres pro-israéliens et de droite du Congrès, dans d'autres, dans les niveaux inférieurs du Pentagone et du département d'État, dans d'autres encore, en tant qu'universitaires ou dirigeants de réservoirs à cerveaux conservateurs de Washington durant les mandats de Reagan et de Bush père. Avec l'élection de Bush en 2001, ils gagnaient des positions stratégiques majeures au sein du gouvernement et en tant que principaux idéologues et propagandistes d'une série de guerres contre des adversaires arabes de l'État d'Israël.

En 1996, les nouveaux conservateurs de premier plan, comme Libby, élaboraient une stratégie guerrière pour le gouvernement Likoud et, avant et juste après le 11 septembre 2001, recyclaient la même stratégie pour la guerre des États-Unis contre l'Irak. Conjointement à leur ascension vers les positions de pouvoir les plus influentes au sein de l'administration Bush, ces mêmes nouveaux conservateurs attiraient de nouvelles recrues, comme Judith Miller, journaliste au New York Times.

Ce qui frappe à propos des opérations de la « cabale », c'est sa façon très ouverte et directe d'opérer : l'ancien directeur de la National Security Agency (sous Reagan), le lieutenant de corps d'armée William Odom, le général en retraite des marines, Anthony Zinni, le colonel Lawrence Wilkerson (ancien chef d'état-major de Powell), le lieutenant-colonel en retraite de l'aviation, Karen Kwiatkowski, le conseiller en Sécurité nationale du président George Bush père, Brent Scowcroft, et de nombreux officiels désenchantés, y compris des vétérans des agences de renseignements, des observateurs de haut niveau et d'anciens diplomates, ont critiqué ouvertement la mainmise néo-conservatrice sur la politique américaine et l'étroite relation entre ces nouveaux conservateurs et les officiels israéliens.

Dans la ruée vers l'invasion de l'Irak, Wolfowitz et Libby ont été les architectes de la stratégie militaire de Rumsfeld et Cheney, leurs patrons. Douglas Feith a créé le « Bureau des planifications spéciales » pour fabriquer les mensonges censés justifier la guerre. Le rôle de Judith Miller, David Frum et Ari Fleisher a été de diffuser ces mensonges et la propagande guerrière par le biais d'articles, d'interviews, de conférences de presse et de la rédaction des discours du président Bush.

Les nouveaux conservateurs ont tout mis en œuvre pour manipuler et marginaliser un grand nombre d'institutions clés de l'État impérial américain. Pour contourner les renseignements de la CIA, laquelle ne soutenait pas l'agenda israélien de la guerre contre l'Irak, le nouveau conservateur Douglas Feith (n° 3 au Pentagone) a instauré le Bureau des planifications spéciales, qui fabriquait de la propagande et l'acheminait directement vers le bureau du président, tout en contournant et marginalisant le moindre commentaire critique émanant de la CIA. Wolfowitz et Rumsfeld ont marginalisé les principaux généraux, nommant des « loyalistes » quelconques et autres seconds couteaux aux postes clés et dédaignant tout conseil qui s'opposait à leurs plans de guerre contre l'Irak. Le secrétaire d'État a traité de « foutaises » un discours que lui avait préparé Libby en raison des mensonges dont il était truffé. Son principal assistant, le colonel Wilkerson, a écrit des choses très désobligeantes à propos de la « cabale », parce qu'elle marginalisait le département d'État, y compris son patron, Powell.

Toutefois, les poursuites contre Libby révèlent l'intensité de la lutte intestine pour le contrôle de l'État impérial américain qui se livre entre les nouveaux conservateurs et les dirigeants traditionnels des institutions majeures. Conjointement à la mise en accusation de Libby par un grand jury et ce, à la demande du procureur spécial, le FBI arrêtait les deux principaux décideurs du très influent lobby pro-israélien, l'AIPAC, pour espionnage au profit de l'État d'Israël. Il ne s'agit pas simplement d'actions isolées entreprises à titre individuel par des fonctionnaires ou des enquêteurs. Pour avoir lancé une procédure contre Libby et les dirigeants de l'AIPAC, il leur fallait de puissants appuis institutionnels, sinon les enquêtes auraient été classées avant même d'avoir débuté.

La CIA est profondément offensée par l'usurpation par les nouveaux conservateurs de son rôle dans les renseignements, de ses filières de communications avec la présidence et de sa loyauté à l'égard d'Israël. Les militaires sont extrêmement courroucés de leur exclusion des conseils gouvernementaux traitant des affaires de guerre, de la politique belliciste désastreuse qui a réduit le nombre de nouvelles recrues dans les forces armées et sapé le moral des troupes, et de l'ignorance grotesque qu'ont affichée les nouveaux conservateurs à propos des coûts d'une occupation coloniale. Il n'est guère étonnant que le général Tommy Franks ait dit de Douglas Feith qu'il était « le salaud le plus stupide que j'aie jamais rencontré ».

L'actuelle guerre des institutions rappelle un conflit bien antérieur qui eut lieu entre le sénateur de droite Joseph McCarthy et le département de la Défense. À l'époque, au milieu des années 1950, le sénateur McCarthy avait accumulé un pouvoir considérable, d'abord en purgeant les syndicats, Hollywood, les universités, puis en nommant des fonctionnaires conservateurs qui partageaient ses vues. Avec succès, il avait étendu ses enquêtes et ses purges au département d'État et, finalement, il avait essayé de faire la même chose au sein de l'armée. Ce fut là que le sénateur McCarthy connut son Waterloo, son attaque lui retomba sur le dos, l'armée tint bon, réfuta ses accusations et jeta le discrédit sur ses histoires inventées de toutes pièces et sur sa soif maladive de pouvoir.

En attendant, les nouveaux conservateurs n'ont pas du tout été intimidés par les procès de leurs collègues de l'AIPAC et du bureau de la vice-présidence : ils exercent une pression directe pour que les États-Unis attaquent la Syrie et l'Iran en recourant à des sanctions économiques et à des bombardements militaires. Le 30 octobre 2005, l'ancien chef de la police secrète israélienne (le Shin Beth) demandait à l'AIPAC d'intensifier sa campagne en vue de pousser les États-Unis à attaquer l'Iran (voir Israel National News.com). Le Congrès votait presque à l'unanimité en faveur de sanctions économiques contre la Syrie. Malgré les manifestations massives et du fait que les Congrès est « prisonnier », il s'avère, paradoxalement, que la seule force capable de venir à bout du raz-de-marée néo-conservateur (comme ce fut le cas dans le temps avec Joe McCarthy) n'est autre que celle des voix puissantes dans un État menacé par de nouvelles guerres désastreuses qui ne viennent pas de lui.





Le Procès de l'AIPAC
Par James Petras
CounterPunch, 7/8 janvier 2006

Août 2004 : le FBI et le bureau de contre-espionnage du Ministère de la Justice des Etats-Unis annoncent qu'ils enquêtent sur un analyste de haut rang du Pentagone, Larry Franklin. Celui-ci est suspecté d'espionnage au profit d'Israël et d'avoir remis à l'AIPAC des documents hautement confidentiels sur la politique américaine vis-à-vis de l'Iran. L'AIPAC les aurait remis à son tour à l'Ambassade d'Israël.

Le FBI a mené pendant plusieurs années, avant de les inculper pour espionnage, des investigations secrètes sur le chef-analyste du Pentagone, Larry Franklin, et sur les dirigeants de l'AIPAC, Steven Rosen et Keith Weissman.

29 août 2005 : Comme l'on s'y attendait, l'Ambassade d'Israël rejette formellement les accusations d'espionnage. Le même jour, Larry Franklin est accusé publiquement d'espionnage. Il faut savoir que Franklin travaillait en étroite collaboration avec Michael Ledeen[1] et Douglas Feith. Ce dernier étant alors sous-Secrétaire à la Défense au Pentagone et en train de monter de toutes pièces le dossier qui conduisit à la guerre d'Irak. Franklin, lui, était chef-analyste sur les questions iraniennes — l'Iran figurant sur la liste de l'AIPAC en tête des cibles de guerre.

Au moment où l'enquête procéda à des inculpations officielles pour espionnage, le lobby pro-israélien (l'AIPAC) se joignit aux idéologues néoconservateurs pour donner une réponse à deux niveaux. En premier, ils émettaient un doute sur le fait que "transmettre des documents" constituait un crime, prétendant que cela impliquait des "échanges routiniers d'idées" et qu'il s'agissait de lobbying ; ensuite, les officiels et les médias israéliens rejetaient tout lien entre Israël et Franklin, minimisant l'importance de ce dernier dans les cercles de décision, tandis que d'autres se portaient garants de son intégrité.

À Washington, l'enquête du FBI sur ce réseau d'espionnage s'est renforcée et a conduit à l'interrogatoire de deux membres de haut rang du Bureau des Plans Spéciaux (Office of Special Plans — OSP), dirigé par Douglas Feith : William Luti et Harold Rhode. L'OSP avait pour tâche de fournir les renseignements bidons qui conduisirent les Etats-Unis à attaquer l'Irak. Le chef-enquêteur du FBI, Dave Szady, fit remarquer que l'investigation du FBI impliquait des écoutes, une surveillance secrète et une photo prouvant le transfert d'informations classifiées de Franklin vers les hommes de l'AIPAC, puis vers les Israéliens.

L'investigation "Franklin-AIPAC-Israéliens" était bien plus qu'une simple affaire d'espionnage. Elle mettait en jeu l'avenir des relations entre les Etats-Unis et le Moyen-Orient. Et tout particulièrement, elle remettait en cause la capacité des "néocons" à pousser les Etats-Unis vers une confrontation militaire avec l'Iran. En tant qu'analyste supérieur du Pentagone, spécialisé sur l'Iran, Franklin avait accès à toutes les délibérations de la branche exécutive sur tout ce qui touchait l'Iran. Le lobbying de l'AIPAC et sa collecte d'information avaient pour but de promouvoir de façon agressive l'agenda israélien en vue d'une confrontation USA-Iran, et cela malgré l'opposition forte du Département d'Etat, de la CIA, du renseignement militaire et des commandants sur le terrain.

4 mai 2005 : Arrestation de Franklin.

4 août 2005 : Arrestation du directeur de la recherche en politique étrangère de l'AIPAC, Steve Rosen, et du spécialiste de l'Iran et directeur-adjoint de l'AIPAC en charge de la politique étrangère, Keith Weissman.

Ces arrestations furent un coup direct terrible porté sur l'agenda guerrier Israël-AIPAC pour les Etats-Unis. L'enquête du FBI se déroula prudemment avec l'accumulation, pendant plusieurs années, de renseignements détaillés. La prudence était dictée par l'influence politique énorme que l'AIPAC et ses alliés de la Conférence des Présidents des Principales Organisations Juives exerçaient sur le Congrès, les médias et au sein des Chrétiens Fondamentalistes. En effet, ces derniers auraient pu exercer leur influence lorsque ceux qui étaient accusés d'espionnage seraient conduits au tribunal.

29 août 2004 : Le premier coup contre l'enquête est porté lorsque CBS rendit publique l'investigation du FBI, juste au moment où Franklin confessait avoir transmis des documents hautement confidentiels à un membre du gouvernement israélien et qu'il commençait à coopérer avec les agents fédéraux. Franklin était prêt à conduire les autorités jusqu'à ses contacts au sein du gouvernement israélien. Après cela, Franklin cessa de coopérer. Abe Foxman, de la ligue contre la diffamation [Anti-Defamation League] (un groupe de pression juif pro-israélien de premier plan), réclama la nomination d'un procureur spécial pour enquêter sur les "fuites" relatives à l'enquête du FBI, au prétexte qu'elles "ternissaient" l'image d'Israël.

Ensuite, le ministre de la justice, John Ashcroft, intervint pour tenter de freiner l'enquête qui se répandait à l'intérieur du nid de néocons du Pentagone ; Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle et Michael Rubin furent "interviewés" par le FBI. Le néocon Michael Rubin, ancien spécialiste du Pentagone sur l'Iran et "spécialiste" permanent à l'American Enterprise Institute, a descendu Bush en flammes pour son "inaction dans cette affaire d'espionnage". Il a déclaré que cette enquête était "une chasse aux sorcières antisémite" (Forward, 10 septembre 2004). L'AIPAC a lancé une campagne contre cette enquête et pour soutenir ses activités et ses dirigeants. Résultat : quantité de membres importants du Congrès des deux partis se sont portés garants de l'intégrité de l'AIPAC et ont témoigné leur confiance et leur soutien à l'AIPAC.

Jamais, dans toute l'histoire des Etats-Unis, il n'y a eu autant de membres importants des deux partis au sein du Congrès qui ont témoigné leur soutien à une organisation soupçonnée d'espionnage, en se basant sur la seule information fournie par le suspect et en ignorant totalement le dossier du procureur fédéral. Contrairement au soutien bipartisan du Congrès à l'AIPAC, un sondage effectué auprès d'un panel d'électeur a montré que 61% d'entre eux pensaient que l'on devrait demander à l'AIPAC de s'inscrire en tant qu'agent d'une puissance étrangère et qu'il perde son statut l'exemptant de taxes. Seuls, 12% étaient en désaccord. Parmi les Américains juifs, 59% ne savaient pas, tandis que 15% étaient fermement d'accord et 15% fermement en désaccord (Zogby International, 25 septembre 2004). Il est clair que de nombreux Américains, contrairement à leurs représentants élus, émettent de sérieux doutes quant à la loyauté de l'AIPAC et à la nature de ses activités. Sachant qu'elle était soutenue par la grande majorité des citoyens américains, l'enquête fédérale pour espionnage s'est poursuivie malgré l'opposition de l'Exécutif et du Congrès.

Décembre 2004 : le FBI assigne à comparaître devant un grand jury quatre cadres supérieurs de l'AIPAC et fouille le bureau à Washington du lobby pro-israélien pour rechercher des documents additionnels sur Rosen et Weissman.

L'AIPAC continue de nier tout méfait et déclare : "Ni l'AIPAC, ni aucun membre de notre personnel, n'ont enfreint la loi. Nous pensons que tout tribunal ou grand jury conclura que les employés de l'AIPAC ont toujours agi légalement, correctement et de façon appropriée" (AIPAC, le 1er décembre 2004). Pourtant, après quelques mois d'enquête et l'arrestation des deux principaux dirigeants, l'AIPAC a mis fin à leur emploi et quelques mois plus tard, il a cessé de payer leurs frais de défense. De la même manière, les démentis catégoriques d'Israël pour espionnage se sont évaporés lorsque les vidéos et les transcriptions sur leurs agents de renseignements qui avaient reçu des documents classifiés ont fait surface.

Janvier 2005 : Un grand jury est convoqué. Tandis que l'enquête d'espionnage du FBI s'étend aux recoins intimes entre l'AIPAC et le Pentagone, les supérieurs de Franklin — l'espion qui s'était confessé —, Paul Wolfowitz et Douglas Feith, annoncent leur soudaine démission des postes de numéros 2 et 3 du Pentagone.

Février 2005 : Bush annonce que l'ancien criminel reconnu coupable, défenseur des escadrons de la mort en Amérique Centrale et fanatique sioniste de longue date, Elliott Abrams, va être en charge de la politique au Moyen-Orient au Conseil de Sécurité Nationale. Abrams servira de canal pour adresser les politiques israéliennes à la Maison-Blanche et de source quotidienne pour les décisions et les discussions politiques les plus importantes. Apparemment, Abrams était assez malin pour garder ses distances avec les opérations Franklin/Feith et AIPAC/Ambassade d'Israël et négociait directement avec Ariel Sharon et son chef d'état-major, Dov Weinglass.

Avril 2005 : l'AIPAC licencie Rosen et Weissman, sous prétexte que leurs activités n'étaient pas conformes aux normes de l'organisation.

4 mai 2005 : Franklin est arrêté sur l'accusation d'avoir révélé illégalement une information hautement classifiée à deux employés d'un lobby pro-israélien.

22-24 mai 2005 : Bien que l'AIPAC soit citée dans une inculpation majeure pour espionnage impliquant Steve Rosen — le chef de son département de politique étrangère — et Keith Weissman — le chef du bureau à l'Iran — la Secrétaire d'Etat, Condoleeza Rice, prononce le discours principal lors de la Convention de l'AIPAC. Des chefs de file du Congrès ainsi que des dirigeants des partis Républicain et Démocrate y ont aussi fait des discours, déclarant leur soutien inconditionnel à l'AIPAC, à Israël et à Ariel Sharon. La liste comprenait la Sénatrice Hillary Clinton, le chef de la majorité au Sénat Bill Frist (Républicain) et le chef des Démocrates au Sénat Harry Reid. Si l'on se base sur la participation de l'année précédente, plus de la moitié du Sénat américain et un tiers des membres du Congrès y aurait participé.

13 juin 2005 : une inculpation étendue cite nommément l'AIPAC et un "pays étranger" (Israël), ainsi que son agent du Mossad, Naor Gilon, qui s'est entre temps enfui vers Israël.

Il est clair que l'AIPAC, avec 60.000 membres aisés et 60 millions de dollars de budget annuel, avait plus d'influence sur l'attitude politique de l'Exécutif américain, des partis politiques et des représentants élus qu'une inculpation fédérale impliquant ses dirigeants, pour espionnage au profit d'Israël. Y aurait-il des fondements pour accuser nos dirigeants politiques de "complicité d'espionnage" si les dirigeants de l'AIPAC étaient reconnus coupables ?

4 août 2005 : Paul McNulty du Département de la Justice reconnaît formellement les dirigeants de l'AIPAC, Steven Rosen et Keith Weissman coupables d'avoir reçu et transféré des documents hautement confidentiels à l'Etat d'Israël par l'intermédiaire de son ambassade à Washington. Leur procès est prévu pour le 25 avril 2006. Le procès de Franklin devait se dérouler le 2 janvier 2006 mais il a été repoussé. Franklin a coopéré avec le FBI et le Département de la Justice dans leurs investigations sur l'AIPAC et les 'Israël Firsters' du Pentagone qui ont préparé l'invasion de l'Irak et les plans additionnels d'attaquer l'Iran. Ces inculpations sont basées sur une enquête prolongée. L'AIPAC était visé par l'enquête dès 2001, tandis que l'inculpation de Rosen et de Weissman cite des activités illégales depuis avril 1999.

Après que Rosen et Weissman furent placés sous enquête fédérale intensive en tant que co-conspirateurs dans l'affaire d'espionnage Franklin, l'AIPAC décida d'enrayer ses pertes et de couvrir ses arrières en les jetant par-dessus bord : l'AIPAC les vira en mars 2005, prétendant que leur "conduite ne faisait pas partie de leurs attributions, et qu'elle était en dessous des standards demandés aux employés de l'AIPAC" (Forward, 23 décembre 2005). En effet, l'AIPAC s'est servi de Rosen et de Weissman comme "lampistes" afin de se débarrasser d'une enquête fédérale plus approfondie sur ses activités. De plus, l'AIPAC a cessé de payer les avocats de Rosen et de Weissman, les laissant avec près d'un demi-million de dollars de frais juridiques. L'AIPAC n'a pas l'intention de payer les frais tant que le procès n'est pas terminé, pas par manque de moyens (ils ont levé plus de 60 millions de dollars en 2005 et sont exemptés de taxes) mais pour des raisons politiques. L'AIPAC veut voir comment le procès se déroule : s'ils sont acquittés, il sera alors sans danger de payer leurs avocats. Mais s'ils sont déclarés coupables, alors l'AIPAC refusera de payer (avançant les technicités du règlement intérieur de l'organisation) afin d'éviter d'être impliqué avec des espions reconnus coupables. Les dirigeants de l'AIPAC placent les intérêts de leur organisation et leur capacité à faire la promotion des intérêts d'Israël auprès du Congrès et des médias au-dessus de la loyauté à leurs anciens officiels.

Risquant jusqu'à 10 ans d'emprisonnement fédéral, confrontés à des accusations détaillées, bien documentées, basées sur des écoutes téléphoniques, des vidéos et le témoignage d'un espion auto-confessé, Franklin, leur contact au Pentagone, Rosen et Weissman ripostent avec une véhémence inattendue.

On s'attend à ce que les avocats de la défense plaident que recevoir une information de la part d'officiels de l'administration était quelque chose pour laquelle ils étaient tous deux payés et encouragés à faire et quelque chose que l'AIPAC fait régulièrement (Forward, le 23 décembre 2005). En d'autres termes, Rosen et Weissman diront que soutirer des mémos confidentiels à de très hauts fonctionnaires du gouvernement et de les repasser à des fonctionnaires israéliens était une pratique habituelle parmi les agents de l'AIPAC. Pour renforcer leur dossier consistant à dire qu'ils "suivaient juste les ordres de l'AIPAC", les avocats de Rosen et de Weissman assigneront à comparaître les dirigeants de l'AIPAC pour témoigner devant la cour à propos de l'accès qu'ils ont eu dans le passé à des documents confidentiels, de leurs contacts avec des fonctionnaires haut-placés et de leur collaboration avec des fonctionnaires de l'Ambassade d'Israël. De tels témoignages auraient toutes les chances de donner une exposition tant nationale qu'internationale au rôle que l'AIPAC a joué en tant que courroie de transmission à deux sens, de et vers Israël.

Si Rosen et Weissman réussissent à lier l'AIPAC à leurs activités et s'ils sont reconnus coupables, cela ouvrira une enquête fédérale bien plus vaste sur le rôle de l'AIPAC dans l'assistance et la complicité de comportements criminels pour le compte de l'Etat d'Israël. Durant les deux années ou presque où Rosen et Weissman ont été publiquement suspectés d'espionnage, l'AIPAC a réussi à repousser toute publicité hostile en mobilisant des dirigeants politiques, des chefs de parti et des membres haut-placés de l'administration Bush pour témoigner en public en leur faveur. L'AIPAC a laissé tomber Rosen et Weissman et a persévéré à aligner le Congrès américain avec l'agenda de guerre d'Israël contre l'Iran. Et ensuite, à brûle-pourpoint, Rosen et Weissman menacent de faire tomber leur couverture "nous ne sommes qu'un simple lobby" travaillant à la promotion des intérêts mutuels américains et israéliens en matière de sécurité.

La défense de Rosen et de Weissman fera certainement ressortir le fait que l'AIPAC n'a, à aucun moment, informé leurs employés sur ce que la Loi dit en matière d'obtention et de transfert d'information hautement confidentielle à une puissance étrangère. Weissman et Rosen plaideront qu'ils ne savaient pas que le fait de recevoir une information confidentielle de la part de fonctionnaires de l'administration et de les remettre à Israël était illégal puisque tout le monde le faisait. Ils argumenteront aussi que leur prétendue activité d'espionnage n'était pas une 'opération véreuse' qu'ils avaient menée indépendamment de l'organisation, mais qu'elle était connue et approuvée par leurs supérieurs. Ils se référeront aux procédures de reporting de l'AIPAC.

Selon un ancien employé de l'AIPAC ayant des liens avec l'actuelle direction de l'organisation, Rosen et Weissman sont perçus comme ayant agi "comme Samson essayant de faire s'écrouler la maison sur tout le monde" (Forward, le 23 décembre 2005).

"Tout le monde" qui est impliqué dans l'exploitation de la richesse, de la puissance et des forces militaires des Etats-Unis pour servir les intérêts expansionnistes d'Israël. Ce qui a commencé comme un procès d'espionnage à petite échelle, pas différent d'autres procès récents, est en train de croître en une cause célèbre [en français dans le texte] majeure, impliquant le lobby le plus puissant parmi ceux qui influencent toute la direction de la politique au Moyen-Orient. Si Rosen et Weissman sont reconnus coupables et s'ils plaident réellement qu'ils suivaient les ordres et qu'ils informaient l'AIPAC de leurs activités criminelles, il est possible que cela écarte de nombreux et riches donateurs et activistes juifs. Peut-être que cela jettera un peu de honte sur les politiciens qui font des courbettes et s'abreuvent dans l'auge de l'AIPAC. Avec un AIPAC affaibli et des alliés au gouvernement peu enclins de continuer à "faire la liaison" avec les renseignements israéliens sur la politique au Moyen-Orient, il est possible qu'un débat libre et ouvert, basé sur les intérêts des Etats-Unis, prenne place. Avec un débat public relativement libre des contraintes imposées par les lobbies et les idéologues d' "Israël d'abord", peut-être l'opposition du public américain aux guerres et aux occupations du Moyen-Orient pourra-t-elle devenir le discours dominant au Congrès, voire même à l'Exécutif. Peut-être que les 3 milliards de dollars et plus d'aide étrangère annuelle au bénéfice d'Israël — plus de 5 milliards en tout — peuvent être réalloués vers la reconstruction de toutes les villes industrielles ravagées du Michigan, de la partie Nord de l'Etat de New York et d'ailleurs.


La tyrannie israélienne sur les USA
par James Petras

L'année dernière, au cours de la plus grande enquête de contre-espionnage jamais effectuée par le FBI – plus de 100 agents des bureaux métropolitains à travers le pays – les enquêteurs ont interrogé des milliers de témoins, informateurs et suspects potentiels sur les activités d'espionnage d'Israël aux États-Unis.

Un ancien journaliste qui travaillait pour un hebdomadaire britannique m'a dit qu'en douze mois il avait été interrogé à deux reprises concernant la collaboration des mass media avec le Mossad à propos de la propagation de «désinformation» et de «nouvelles» favorables à Israël.

Expulsion massive?

À partir des conversations avec des journalistes interrogés par le FBI, il ressort un canevas de pénétration profonde et de grande envergure de la société étasunienne et de son gouvernement par des espions israéliens et leurs collaborateurs. Selon mes sources, le FBI enquêtait sur des réseaux espionnage israéliens depuis plus de 30 ans, mais les enquêtes étaient entravées par des politiciens des deux partis à la solde des groupes de pression israéliens et de riches financiers de campagnes pro-israéliennes. Même le FBI a été infiltré selon un rédacteur de l'hebdomadaire britannique The Economist: un témoignage enregistré par l'écrivain au début des années 80, qui impliquait Richard Perle et Paul Wolfowitz dans la communication de documents à des agents du Mossad, «a été retiré des fichiers du FBI et a disparu.»

Au fur et à mesure des années les opérations des services secrets israéliens aux États-Unis, sont devenues de plus en plus effrontées et impertinentes. Les investigations ont porté sur des centaines d'Israéliens, des Israélo-étasuniens (à double nationalité) et leurs collaborateurs locaux (les «sayanin», sympathisants juifs des agents israéliens situés en dehors d'Israël). Le lendemain du 11 septembre 2001 dans un coup de filet des centaines d'agents israéliens qui avaient libre accès aux bureaux gouvernementaux, ont été discrètement arrêtés et expulsés. Discrètement non pas parce qu'ils ne commettaient pas de crimes sérieux, mais plutôt pour éviter de donner le flanc à des attaques politiques aux principales organisations pro-israéliennes et leurs clients au Congrès.

L'expulsion de masse des espions israéliens était la rétorsion contre Israël, pour son manque de coopération, pour ne pas avoir aidé à prévenir le massacre à New York de milliers de personnes, le 11 septembre 2001. Le FBI semble détenir les preuves que les services de renseignement israéliens avaient des informations détaillées concernant l'attaque terroriste du 11 septembre et qu'ils n'ont pas fourni l'information aux autorités étasuniennes. Ils ajoutent également que juste avant les attaques les Israéliens leur auraient transmis des informations déroutantes. Selon les enquêteurs du FBI, le Mossad possède le plus grand réseau d'espionnage et système de soutien de tous les pays qui opèrent aux États-Unis, et intérêt particulier, ses opérations pénètrent les plus hautes sphères du gouvernement des États-Unis, y compris de bureau du vice-président Cheney.

L'importance de l'enquête et la récente attribution massive de ressources et d'agents pour l'affaire d'espionnage israélien, est précisément due à l'épineuse question des suspects situés dans les plus hautes sphères du gouvernement. Selon le FBI local de Philadelphie, un seul mauvais pas pourrait faire que la haute hiérarchie étouffe l'enquête. Ainsi donc les enquêteurs étendent leurs entretiens, couvrent toutes sortes de sources, accumulent des milliers de pages de transcriptions, de sommations, de déclarations sous serment, d'écoutes téléphoniques, de vidéos de tous ceux qui pourraient être impliqués de loin ou de près dans les opérations d'espionnage israéliennes.

Malgré l'intensification des investigations, des douzaines et des douzaines d'agents israéliens et de récentes recrues poursuivent leurs opérations, et beaucoup d'entre eux bénéficiant d'une «couverture de protection» de la part des évangélistes philo-sionistes ainsi que des sayanin. Une cible privilégiée de l'investigation du FBI, mais difficile à atteindre est le AL – une unité secrète de datsas (officiers du Mossad qui recrutent des agents ennemis comme c'est décrit par un ancien du Mossad, Victor Ostrovsky dans le livre By Way of Deception (Au moyen de la déception).

Selon mes sources journalistiques, faire passer de la désinformation israélienne, comme dans le cas de Judith Miller, était une pratique courante tout le long des années 80 et 90. Beaucoup parmi les journalistes et les éditorialistes consciemment acceptaient et publiaient ou annonçaient à télévision et la radio, de la désinformation israélienne disséminée par des agents du Mossad agissant comme des officiers politiques de l'ambassade israélienne.

Pourquoi maintenant?

L'investigation des opérations d'espionnage israéliennes aux États-Unis par le FBI, doit son départ à plusieurs éléments.

Premièrement, après des années d'étroite collaboration entre les services secrets israéliens et le FBI, ce dernier a été accusé – de même que la CIA – de «défaillance de renseignement concernant le 11 septembre 2001», sans toutefois mentionner l'absence de coopération, ni les désinformations dont ils ont fait l'objet de la part des Israéliens.

Deuxièmement, l'invasion effrontée de grande envergure par des opérateurs israéliens sur les plates-bandes du FBI (aux États-Unis) qui a sapé ses activités, érodé sa position comme agence de sécurité et tout particulièrement fragilisé ses opérations de contre-espionnage.

Troisièmement, la montée de Wolfowitz, Feith et Perle aux plus hauts échelons du Pentagone et de Elliot Abrams, Rubin et Libby au National Security Council (Conseil national de sécurité, le département d'état et le bureau du vice Président), a eu comme conséquence la fuite massive de documents confidentiels et le dévoiement de décisions délicates vers l'armée d'agents du Mossad et les officiers israéliens de renseignement de haut niveau aussi bien aux États-Unis qu'en Israël.

Le flux d'information des États-Unis en direction d'Israël s'est transformé en torrent incontrôlable, et pour le FBI, ce qui a été pire que tout fut de se trouvé marginalisé, même méprisé.

Mais le plus rageant pour le FBI a été d'avoir pas moins de cinq témoins prêts à témoigner contre Wolfowitz et Feith dans un incident d'espionnage antérieur, et à cause des hautes positions et du soutien présidentiel (particulièrement après le 11 septembre) dont bénéficiaient ces deux personnages hors portée. Le FBI était certainement conscient de la profonde infiltration des structures de l'état et du rôle clé joué par Israël en conseillant, en dirigeant et en faisant passer sa propagande et ses directives à ses agents, à ses collaborateurs et aux principales organisations sionistes, juste avant l'invasion de l'Iraq par les États-Unis.

Profitant de l'hystérie guerrière et de la propagande «anti-terroriste» déversées par l'ensemble de l'appareil idéologique israélien, les agents israéliens dans le gouvernement opéraient ouvertement et impunément défiant aussi bien le FBI que la CIA en mettant en place, de leur propre Bureau de plans spéciaux (Office of Special Plans), «l'opération de renseignement» clé ayant pour tâche d'alimenter directement la Maison Blanche en désinformation israélienne.

Le début de la guerre contre l'Iraq ainsi que son occupation ont été le point culminant de la tyrannie israélienne sur Washington. Les conseillers pro-Israël, les membres du gouvernement, les idéologues, les porte-parole, les membres de l'AIPAC (Comité d'action politique Amérique Israël) et leurs alliés à la CPJMO (Conférence des présidents des principales organisations juives) célébraient leur succès en aiguillant les États-Unis vers la destruction complète du principal adversaire d'Israël, l'Iraq, son armée, son économie ses systèmes administratif et éducatif, ainsi que son infrastructure.

La célébration de la victoire d'Israël sur le bon sens et l'intérêt national étasunien fut de courte durée. Alors que la résistance iraquienne gagnait en puissance, que les victimes étasuniennes augmentaient, que le coût de la guerre enflait; le public étasunien s'est détourné de la guerre, le soutien pour l'administration Bush chutait de manière vertigineuse. Avec ces changements politiques, les agents israéliens et leurs collaborateurs au gouvernement, les auteurs et les architectes de la guerre, ont perdu une partie de leur immunité face aux investigations.

Le FBI flairant le souffle politique favorable, augmenta sensiblement ses investigations. Des interrogatoires suivirent, ceux de Feith, de Wolfowitz, de Perle et d'autres siono-conservateurs identifiés proches des services secrets israéliens.

La toujours précautionneuse agence fédérale, se méfiant des attaques provenant des soutiens inconditionnels d'Israël au Congrès et au gouvernement (sénateurs Clinton et Lieberman, secrétaire d'état Condi Rice et Vice–président Cheney) s'est concentrée sur les violations commises par trois cibles pro-israéliennes notoires – Irving «Scooter» Libby du bureau du Vice président, pour avoir révélé l'identité d'un agent secret de la CIA, Larry Franklin, un officiel de second niveau du Pentagone lié à Feith et à Wolfowitz, pour espionnage au profit d'Israël; et de deux dirigeants du principal groupe de pression pro-israélien l'AIPAC, Rosen et Weissman pour avoir fourni des documents confidentiels à des agents du Mossad à l'ambassade israélienne et «de connaître» des journalistes de la communauté de presse de Washington.

Alors que l'investigation du FBI sur la connexion israélienne augmentait et atteignait des niveaux encore plus élevés dans la hiérarchie de l'état, Wolfowitz, dont l'ambition dans la vie était de devenir le numéro un du département de la défense, a soudain démissionné, puis été nommé à la tête de la Banque mondiale, Feith a aussi démissionné et rejoint une société d'avocats américano-israélienne, alors que l'enquête sur Franklin, un des ses principaux canaux de transmission d'informations vers Israël, progressait.

Le FBI a étendu son coup de filet national contre le vaste réseau d'espionnage israélien et ses collaborateurs à l'AIPAC, à la CPMJO, aux évangélistes christiano-sionistes et à bien d'autres organisations confessionnelles.

Nouvelle tâche

Entre-temps les planificateurs israéliens, les opérateurs du Mossad et les officiels gouvernementaux, ont intensifié leur campagne pour impliquer les États-Unis dans une nouvelle guerre contre l'Iran. Chacune des principales organisations pro-israéliennes, chaque idéologue et chaque officiel dans l'administration Bush, se sont fait l'écho de la ligne belliciste. Les sénateurs Clinton et Lieberman ont déclaré publiquement que les intérêts israéliens étaient le facteur déterminant dans la politique étasunienne moyen-orientale de «Bombarder l'Iran».

Malgré les investigations du FBI, AIPAC a lancé une de ses plus virulente et agressive campagne de propagande de diabolisation de l'Iran, en faisant circuler des désinformations israéliennes concernant la menace de l'arme nucléaire iranienne – qui n'existe même pas – et poussé avec succès le Congrès à aboyer en obéissance à la voix de son maître. Malgré l'épouvantable débâcle qui a succédé l'invasion de l'Iraq - dans laquelle les collaborateurs israéliens ont joué un rôle décisif - ils poursuivent la même mise scène pour provoquer une guerre contre l'Iran, inventant des armes de destruction massive et des menaces à la sécurité des États-Unis.

AIPAC a fait circuler des photos aériennes de laboratoires expérimentaux iraniens qui sont bien connus et déjà inspectés, comme des «sites nucléaires secrets» à tous les membres du Congrès. Tous les grands idéologues siono-conservateurs ont débité des articles où ils répétaient comme des perroquets la ligne du parti israélien au pouvoir évoquant la «menace iranienne» et la nécessité urgente de sanctions ou d'une frappe militaire.

Aujourd'hui l'appareil pro-israélien - contrairement à l'attitude des plus grandes compagnies de pétrole aux États-Unis et à l'extérieur - est la force politique la plus influente à pousser pour une confrontation militaire avec l'Iran.

Selon un journaliste qui travaillait pour l'éditorialiste Jack Anderson, et qui a subi un interrogatoire de six heures avec le FBI, l'agence fédérale avait obtenu la coopération de Lawrence Franklin – ancien officiel du Pentagone condamné pour espionnage en faveur d'Israël – pour qu'il témoigne au prochain procès des anciens dirigeants d'AIPAC, Rosen et Weissman. Le FBI est maintenant entrain de négocier un arrangement avec ces derniers pour atteindre les plus hauts échelons du pouvoir d'AIPAC et du gouvernement fédéral.

Toutefois le processus d'investigation des activités d'espionnage israéliens est lent et fastidieux précisément parce qu'il plonge profondément dans les plus importantes affaires de gouvernement et se prolonge sur un large réseau d'organisations de la sociétés civile. Étant donné la forte poussée des Israéliens pour une attaque militaire imminente contre l'Iran, il est fort improbable que les investigations seront en mesure d'affaiblir cette poussée vers la guerre.

La tyrannie

Il est toutefois plus probable, que les conséquences politiques, économiques et militaires, déplorables d'une guerre contre l'Iran – ajoutées aux pertes en Iraq et en Afghanistan – soulèveront encore plus d'animosité contre l'administration Bush et l'appareil pro-israélien. Un retour de bâton du public pourrait fournir une plus grande impulsion pour arrêter et inculper des fonctionnaires occupant des postes élevés, ainsi que parmi les millionnaires et opérateurs pro-guerre des réseaux israéliens.

Des guerres désastreuses au service d'Israël pourraient amener les citoyens étasuniens à réfléchir et réagir à la tyrannie d'Israël sur la politique étrangère étasunienne. Éventuellement nous pourrions peut-être même voir la refondation de la République étasunienne - et citant George Washington - «libre d'embrouilles avec l'étranger» et des «Benedict Arnolds» qui paradent comme des sénateurs des États-Unis

Note *Le nom de «Benedict Arnold» est synonyme aux États-Unis de «traître» [NdlR].




James Petras on the Iraq War - from chapters 1 & 2 of his book

The Power of Israel in the United States

James Petras

(Clarity Press, Inc, Atlanta 2006).

CHAPTER 1

WHO FABRICATED THE IRAQ WAR THREAT?

The debate and criticism in the US Congress and media of the Bush Administration's fabricated evidence of Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction and a host of other misconduct (Iying to Congress, military tribunals in Guantanamo, torture in Abu Ghraib, CIA renditions, spying on Americans, and corruption in general) has finally reached the point of a Congressional attempt to generate an impeachment inquiry.1 The initial investigation and testimony of top US military and civilian officials in the Pentagon and State Department, which revealed profound differences and divisions between themselves and the "political appointees", has now been embellished by public statements against the Bush administration from retired generals, who claimed to reflect the views of the active military, and called for the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld.(2) The testimony and evidence of the professionals' revelations have been crucial to understanding the structure of real power in the Bush Administration, since it is in times of crisis and divisions in the governing class that we, the public, are given insights into who governs, and for whom. The ongoing debate, criticism, and division in Washington today provide just such instances.

After years of UN inspections, and a comprehensive 15-month search by the Iraq Survey Group, following thousands of searches and interviews by close to ten thousand US military, intelligence and scientific inspectors, it has been definitively demonstrated, and at last admitted by President George W. Bush, that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction (or even of useful national defense). This raised the key question: who in the Bush regime provided the fabricated evidence and for what purpose?

The initial response of the Bush apologists was to attribute the fabrications to "bureaucratic errors" and "communication failures" or as then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz cynically claimed, to the need to "secure a consensus for the war policy". CIA Director Tenant became the self-confessed scapegoat for the "mistakes". As the investigations progressed, however, testimony from a multiplicity of high level sources in the regime revealed that there were two channels of policy making and advisers, 1 ) the formal structure made up of career professional military and civilians in the Pentagon and State Department, and 2) a parallel structure within the Pentagon made up of political appointees. From all available evidence it was the "unofficial" political advisers organized by Wolfowitz, Feith, and Rumsfeld in the Office of Special Plans (OSP) who were the source of the fabricated evidence, which was used to "justify" the invasion and occupation of Iraq. The OSP, which only existed briefly from September 2002 to June 2003, was headed by Abram Shulsky and included other neo-conservatives, who had virtually no professional knowledge or qualification in intelligence and military affairs. Douglas Feith, then Undersecretary of Defense, and Paul Wolfowitz set up the OSP. Shulsky was an avid follower and protege of Richard Perle, the well-known militarist and long time supporter of military attacks on Arab regimes in the Middle East.

{Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle and Shulsky are all Jewish}

According to the testimony of a Pentagon insider, Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski, who worked in the office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Near East and South Asia Division and Special Plans in the Pentagon, the "civil service and active duty military professionals were noticeably uninvolved in key areas" of interest to Feith, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, namely Israel, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Lieutenant Colonel Kwiatkowski went on to specify that "in terms of Israel and Iraq all primary staff work was conducted by political appointees, in the case of Israel a desk officer appointee from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and in the case of Iraq, Abe Shulsky." Equally important, the ex-Pentagon official addressed the existence of "cross-agency cliques". She described how the members of a variety of neo-conservative and pro-lsrael organizations (Project for a New American Century, the Center for Security Policy, and the American Enterprise Institute), also held office in the Bush regime and only interacted among themselves across the various agencies. She pointed out that major decisions resulted from "groupthink" - the uncritical acceptance of prevailing points of view and the uncritical acceptance of extremely narrow and isolated views. Kwiatkowski was forced to resign by her chief after she told him that "some folks (the cliques and networks) in the Pentagon may be sitting beside Hussein in the war crimes tribunal" for their destructive war and occupation policies.

What became very clear was that the OSP and its directors, Feith and Wolfowitz, were specifically responsible for the fabricated evidence of the "Weapons of Mass Destruction" that justified the war on Iraq. The OSP and the other members of the networks that operated throughout key US agencies shared a rightwing pro-militarist ideology and were fanatically pro-lsrael. Feith and Perle authored an infamous policy paper in 1996 for Likud Party extremist, Benjamin Netanyahu, entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", which called for the destruction of Saddam Hussein and his replacement by a Hashemite monarch. The governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Iran would then have to be overthrown or destabilized, the paper asserted, in order for Israel to be secure in a kind of Greater US-Israel Co-Prosperity Sphere.' The finger clearly pointed to Zionist zealots who directed the OSP, like Abram Shulsky and Feith, as the source for the "phony intelligence" which led to the war that Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld were seeking. The manner in which the Zionist zealots organized and acted - as a clique of arrogant like-minded fanatics hostile to any contrary viewpoints from the professional intelligence, civilian, and military officials - indicated that their loyalties and links were elsewhere, most evidently with the Sharon regime in Israel. As the Guardian's Julian Borger wrote on July 17, 2003, the OSP 'forged close ties to a parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation inside Ariel Sharon's office in Israel specifically to bypass Mossad and provide the Bush administration with more alarmist reports on Saddam's Iraq than Mossad was prepared to authorize." It is interesting to note that the influential rightwing Zionists in th Bush Administration actually provided "reports" on Iraq which were at variance with reports from the Israeli Mossad, which did not believe that Iraq represented any "threat" to the US or Israel. Mossad's skepticism was shared by the CIA, now known to have advised the Bush administration on the non-existence of WMD.(3) With the primary intelligence agencies of Israel and the US advising otherwise, is it credible to presume that their negative findings on Iraqi WMD were overruled due to better information, and not to better clout?

The Jewish Lobby, Not Big Oil

Contrary to the view of most American progressives that oil, and specifically the interests of Big Oil, is the primary mover, there is no evidence that the major US oil corporations pressured Congress or promoted the war in Iraq or the current confrontation with Iran. To the contrary: there is plenty of evidence that they are very uneasy about the losses that may result from an Israeli attack on Iran. Furthermore, it seems reasonable to suppose that Big Oil is far from happy about taking the rap for all that is happening in the Middle East, particularly when it combines with public anger at high gas prices, and leads to Senate inquiries.

There is an abundance of evidence for the past 15 years that:

1. The oil companies did not promote a war policy.

2. The wars have prejudiced their interests, operations and agreements with prominent Arab and Islamic regimes in the region.

3. The interests of the oil companies have been sacrificed to the state interests of Israel.

4. The power of the pro-lsrael lobbies exceeds that of the oil companies in shaping US Middle East policy.

A thorough search through the publications and lobbying activities of the oil industry and the pro-lsrael lobbies over the past decade reveals an overwhelming amount of documentation demonstrating that the Jewish lobbies were far more pro-war than the oil industry. Moreover the public records of the oil industry demonstrate a high level of economic co-operation with all the Arab states and increasing market integration. In contrast the public pronouncements, publications, and activities of the most economically powerful and influential pro-lsrael Jewish lobbies were directed toward increasing US government hostility to the Arab countries, including exerting maximum pressure in favor of the war in Iraq, a boycott or military attack on Iran, and US backing for Israeli assassination and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

The most striking illustration of Jewish power in shaping US policy in the Middle East against the interest of Big Oil is demonstrated in US-lran policy. As the Financial Times notes: "International oil companies are putting multi-billion dollar projects in Iran on hold, concerned about the diplomatic standoff [sic] [US economic-military threats] over the country's nuclear programme".(4) In fact, as Michael Klare pointed out:

No doubt the major U.S. energy companies would love to be working with Iran today in developing these vast oil and gas supplies. At present, however, they are prohibited from doing so by Executive Order (EO) 12959, signed by President Clinton in 1995 and renewed by President Bush in March 2004.(5)

Despite the fact that billions of dollars in oil, gas and petro-chemical contracts are in play, the pro-lsrael lobby has influenced Congress to bar all major US oil companies from investing in Iran. Through its all-out campaign in the US Congress and Administration, the US-Jewish-lsraeli lobby has created a warlike climate which now goes counter to the interests of all the world's major oil companies including BP, the UK-based gas company, SASOL (South Africa), Royal Dutch Shell, Total of France, and others.

A question to ponder is whether "war for oil" is the same as "war in the interests of Big Oil." Writing in the prestigious French monthly, Le Monde Diplomatique, in April 2003, Yahya Sadowski argued:

As part of their grand plan for using a "liberated" Iraq as a base from which to promote democracy and capitalism across the Middle East, [the Neocons] want Baghdad to explore for new reserves, rapidly increase production capacity and quickly flood the world market with Iraqi oil. They know that this would lead to an oil price crash, driving it to $15 a barrel or less. They hope that this collapse will stimulate economic growth in the US and the West, finally destroy Opec (the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries), wreck the economies of "rogue states" (Iran, Syria, Libya), and create more opportunities for "regime change" and democratisation ...

Multinational companies - giants such as Exxon-Mobil, British Petroleum, Shell, Total and Chevron-Texaco - have diversified sources of production and have less to fear from a price collapse. But the US administration does not listen to them (most are not even American). When Bush Junior was elected, they lobbied hard for a repeal of the Iran-Libya sanctions act and other embargos that curbed their expansion of holdings in the Middle East. The Bush team rebuffed their pleas and Vice-President Dick Cheney produced his 2001 national energy policy that focused on opening new areas within the US for energy exploration.(6)

... Multinational oil companies, US and other, have plenty to be ashamed of, from their despoliation of the Niger Delta to their support for state terrorism in Indonesia. But they have not been pushing for a war against Iraq. The Bush administration planned its campaign against Baghdad without input from these companies, and apparently without a clue about the basics of oil economics.(7)

The neo-con objective of bringing down OPEC (while achieving access to oil for Israel) was foiled by the dismal state of the Iraqi oil infrastructure, after the impact of a decade of international sanctions (as Sadowski argued), and by the Iraqi resistance, 8 which has rendered the prospect of any bonanza from Iraqi oil revenues moot.

To understand the central role of the Zionist ideologues in shaping US foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere, it is important to frame it in the context of US-lsrael relations and the powerful influence of the pro-lsrael lobby inside of the US. As Patrick Seal described them in the liberal US weekly, The Nation, "The Friends of Ariel Sharon (among the Jewish pro- lsrael zealots) loath Arabs and Muslims ... What they wished for was an improvement in Israel's military and strategic environment".

The US invasion of Iraq and its aggressive military posture toward most Arab regimes in the Middle East made the names of these Zionist policymakers known to the world. Wolfowitz and Feith were second and third in command of the Pentagon. Their proteges in the OPS included Abram Shulsky, Richard Perle, then chairman of the Defense Policy Board, and Elliot Abrams (a defender of the Guatemalan genocide of the 1980's), then Senior Director for Near East and North African Affairs for the National Security Council. Washington's most influential pro-lsrael zealots include William Kristol and Robert Kagan of The Weekly Standard, the Pipes family and a large number of pro-lsrael institutes which work closely with and share the outlook of the rightwing Zionists in the Pentagon. The consensus among US critics of the Bush Administration is that "9/11 provided the rightwing Zionist zealots with a unique chance to harness US Middle East policy and military power in Israel's interest and succeeded in getting the United States to apply the doctrine of pre-emptive war to Israel's enemies".(9) The evidence implicating the US Zionists in the war policy was so overwhelming that even the mainstream Zionist organizations refrained from crying 'anti-Semitism'.

Concerned more with Israeli supremacy than US military losses, the zealous Zionists ignored the emerging quagmire of the US military in Iraq, and went on to plan new wars targeting Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and 'Saudi Arabia, raising a whole new series of "inteiljgence reports" accusing the Arab countries of funding, protecting and promoting terrorism. Their prefabrjcated intelligence continued to flow while they were in government office, and does so even today.

As US military casualties mount daily in Iraq, with an unofficial estimate of 2579 US deaths by August 1st, 2006,(10) as the military costs of the war near 300 billion11 and further undermine the US economy, the American public has become disenchanted with the Bush Administration. As the public investigations proceeded, the operations of the OSP, and the identity of its architects and propagandists who promoted the US war against Iraq and for Israel's supremacy were made public.

Yet what might have been anticipated as a harsh and righteous backlash by the American public against the neo-conservative Zionist ideologues and their networks in and out of the government in general is only slowly mounting - and may not rise sufficiently swiftly to deflect their plans for a forthcoming war against Iran. True, the OSP has been shut down, Paul Wolfowitz has been forced out of the Pentagon and moved to the World Bank,(12) Douglas Feith seems set to find a niche in academia,(13) and Richard Perle has resigned his chairmanship of the Defense Policy Board. But Elliot Abrams' star is on the ascendant,14 Donald Rumsfeld, however attacked by his own generals, remains under presidential protection in the Department of Defense, Dick Cheney remains in the saddle, and the Bush Administration has moved on to target Iran in terms and processes startlingly similar to

{p. 25} those which preceded the war against Iraq. Though the understanding of the general public appears to have moved beyond the original official reasons for war (WMDs, the presence of Al Qaeda, and "bringing democracy"), and even beyond its supplemental pretexts (regime change, human rights), the present focus of both public and progressive criticism is directed largely towards the interests of Big Oil or "empire" as the source of the conflict. The notion that the US went to war against Iraq for the greater good of Israel remains largely absent from commentary in the major media.

A very small number of progressive Jews raised serious questions about the uncritical support of Israel by mainstream Jewish organizations and were sharply critical of the Zionist zealots in the Pentagon. However, in the wake of the firestorm ignited by the publication of the Mearsheimer and Walt article, "The Israel Lobby" in the London Reviewin March 2006, it seems clear that the extent of Israeli influence not only on US Middle East policy, but on America's democratic political institutions and processes as a whole, poses a much greater problem for progressive Americans, especially since most progressive Jews went into denial - denying the relevance of the essay, and denying the power of the Jewish Lobby to impact American foreign policy, a point that will be more fully elaborated in a later chapter.

ENDNOTES

1 Thirty US House Representatives signed on as sponsors or cosponsors of H. Res 635, which would create a Select Committee to "investigate the Administration's intent to go to war before congressional authorization, manipulation of pre-war intelligence, encouraging and countenancing torture, retaliating against critics, and to make recommendations regarding grounds for possible impeachment. " The bill was referred to the House Committee on Rules on December 18th, 2005.

2 David S. Cloud and Eric Schmitt, "More Retired Generals Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation", New York Times, April 16, 2006. The generals are: Major General Paul D. Eaton, General Anthony C. Zinni, Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold, Major General John Batiste, Major General John Riggs, and Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr.

3 Recent revelations by retired CIA officers, such as Paul Pillar and Ty Drumheller, indicate that the CIA advised the Bush administration on the nonexistence of WMD, but was ignored. See Larry Johnson, "Why Did Goss Resign?" Truthout, May 6th, 2006.

4 Financial Times, March 18/19, 2006 p.1.

5 Michael Klare "Oil, Geopolitics and the Coming War with Iran," TomDispatch.com, April 11, 2005. Klare totally ignores the role of the Zionist lobby, resorting to the oil interest ploy, even after demonstrating their inability to shape US policy!

6 See Michael Klare, "United States: energy and strategy", Le Monde diplomatique, English language edition, November 2002.

7 Yahya Sadowski, "No War for Whose Oil?" Le Monde Diplomatique, April 2003.

8 The Iraqi resistance may have been a major factor in blocking the privatization of Iraqi oil. As Greg Palast noted: "MrAljibury, once Ronald Reagan's "back-channel" to Saddam, claims that plans to sell off Iraq's oil, pushed by the US-installed Governing Council in 2003, helped instigate the insurgency and attacks on US and British occupying forces ... 'We saw an increase in the bombing of oil facilities,

{p. 26} pipelines, built on the premise that privatization is coming."' Greg Palast, "Secret U.S. Plans for Iraq's Oil", BBC News, March 17, 2006.

9 Patrick Seale, "A Costly Friendship", Nation, July 21, 2003.

10 For a running casualty count, see the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count website at

11 For a running total of the costs of war to the US taxpayer, see National Priorities Project website at

12 See Chapter 5, concerning, inter alia, FBI investigations of Wolfowitz, Feith et al.

13 Douglas Feith has just been appointed Visiting Professor and Distinguished Practitioner in National Security Policy at Georgetown University, commencing Fall 2006. Since leaving government, he served as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the conservative Hoover Institution of Stanford University and co-chaired a task force on strategies for combating terrorism at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

14 Elliot Abrams is making headway within the Bush regime, serving now as Deputy National Security Adviser and head of President George W. Bush's Global Democracy Strategy.

CHAPTER 2

US-IRAQ-ISRAEL-ZIONIST CONNECTION

Why did the US go to war against Iraq in March 2003 with further plans to attack Syria, Iran, and probably Lebanon? The reasons given thus far have all been discredited. No weapons of mass destruction have been discovered. No ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda have been established. No threats to US security existed. Many of the past and present allies of the US have equal or worse human rights records than did Iraq. The war, conquest, occupation, killing, and vile systematic torture and imprisonment of thousands of Iraqis have aroused the hostility and indignation of hundreds of millions of Christians, Muslims and free thinkers throughout the world, justly discrediting the entire political establishment in Washington and overseas.

Who Benefited from the Iraq War?

Who benefited, then, from the US war? By examining the beneficiaries we can get an idea who had a motive for promoting this crime against humanity.

America itself has reaped the opprobrium of the world, which continues to impact American individuals and businesses. Terrorism is on the rise, while US security might be presumed to have worsened.(1) The mounting costs of the war, which some forecast could surpass two trillion dollars,(2) are slowly eating through the American infrastructure. The prospect of extending an American empire faced by potential challenges to its hegemony is a growing concern for empire builders, given the growing ideological, human, and material costs in Iraq. While the OPEC countries for a time rejected US and EU pressures to pump more oil to lower sky-high prices - partly a hostile response to the US invasion of Iraq - today the price of oil seems resistant to efforts to lower it, with the attendant dismal impact upon the American and world economy.

US oil companies have been faced with a growing anti-colonial resistance, and their investments throughout the Middle East and South Central Asia are under siege. Big Oil may have enjoyed windfall profits, but these were unanticipated, and its operations in Iraq are in a shambles.(3) The only major beneficiary of the war has been the State of Israel, which has succeeded in having the US destroy its most consistent Arab adversary in the Middle East - the regime that extended the greatest political support to the Palestinian resistance. The decades-long US assault on Iraq has achieved the forced demodernization4 of Iraqi military and civilian technological infrastructure, the dissolution of its military, the disarray of its governing processes, and possibly incited the outbreak of civil war, which carries the potential for the dismemberment and actual disappearance of the country altogether. Iraq, together with Iran and Syria, had formed the core resistance to Israeli expansionist plans to expel the Palestinians and conquer and occupy all of Palestine.

What were the obstacles to Greater Israel?

1 ) The two Intifadas, the uprisings of Palestinians who refused to be driven out of their country, which were able to inflict losses on the self-styled Chosen People of God (Israel is by law an exclusively Jewish state, inhabited by immigrants mainly from Europe and their children, and governed by exclusionary religious dogma).

2) Hezbollah, an organization founded due to and for the purpose of counteracting the Israeli incursion into Lebanon, had inflicted a strategic military-political defeat on Israel, forcing them and their client Lebanese Maronite Christian mercenary allies to evacuate from Southern Lebanon.

3) Iraq, Iran and Syria, the three countries which were most consequential in their opposition to Israeli annexation and regional domination, were developing economic and political ties with a multitude of countries and especially in the case of oil contracts, signing trade and exploitation agreements with Japan, China, Russia as well as Western European corporations. Israel's hopes for sharing a co-prosperity economic sphere of domination with Washington based on servile, client Arab regimes were becoming increasingly doubfful.

4) The Iraqi regime was slowly recovering, despite the decade-long US-European boycott and constant US-UK military aggression. With time running out, the Israelis and their Zionist agents in the Bush administration realized that an agreement to end the boycott and normalize relations with Iraq was on the horizon following the UN inspection teams' certification of the absence of WMD, which would lead to Iraq forming joint ventures with French and Russian oil companies, a possible shift of the Iraqi oil trade into Euros, and diminishing influence of Israels protector state in the region.

5) There was a deepening internal crisis in Israel over the economic costs and personal insecurity accompanying the policy of the colonial settlements and savage repression in the Occupied Territories. Israel's out-migration was now exceeding its in-migration, its Jewish-based welfare policies were eroding, and hundreds of active reservists were refusing military duty in the dirty colonial war. The plan to "democratize" the Middle East proposed by US Zionists in the government in essence intended joint control by the US and Israel over the entire Middle East via a series of wars.5 A series of US wars against independent Arab regimes, beginning with Iraq, was clearly in the interests of the Israeli state and so it was perceived by the Sharon regime, its secret police (Mossad), the Israeli military, and rightwing Zionists in positions of influence in Washington.

How was the Israeli state able to influence the US imperial state into pursuing a series of wars, which would imperil its own imperial economic and security interests and further those of Israel? The most direct answer is to be found in the role played by key pro-Zionist officials in and around the most important policy making positions in the Bush administration. These US officials had long-standing ideological and political ties to the Israeli state, including policy advisory positions. Throughout most of their political lives they had dedicated themselves to furthering Israel's state interests in the US.

While the design and execution of the US war strategy was in the hands of Zionist civilian militarists in the Pentagon, they were only able to succeed because of the powerful support exercised by Sharon's acolytes in the major Jewish organizations in the US. The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League, AlPAC, and thousands of their activists - doctors, dentists, philanthropists, real estate magnates, financiers, journalists, media moguls, and academics - acted in concert with key Jewish politicians and ideologues to press the case for a war because, they would argue, it was in the interest of the State of Israel to destroy Saddam Hussein and the secular Baath Party state apparatus.

But who can say that doing so was in the interests of imperial US, which in Saddam already had a strongman in place, prepared to act in the service of America? How did Saddam, another of those known as "our" son-of-a-bitch,(6) manage to get himself in the crosshairs of America? By invading Kuwait (which received the "go ahead" from US Ambassador April Glaspie, and was widely viewed in the Arab world as his entrapment)? Or by his noncooperation concerning the multiple interests of Israel (oil, water, and Palestine).

The issue of access to oil has long been problematic for Israel, due to its inability to purchase oil from neighboring countries. In typical fashion, this problem was resolved through the September 1st, 1975 Israel-US Memorandum of Agreement Concerning Oil, whereby the US agreed to guarantee Israel's access to oil - an agreement which has been regularly renewed over the subsequent period, at some cost to US taxpayers (see below). By 2003, however, with pro-Zionist forces calling the shots in the US government and Operation Iraqi Freedom afoot, the prospect of Israeli access to Iraqi oil neared fruition. Israeli National Infrastructures Minister Joseph Paritzky requested an assessment of the condition of the old oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa, with an eye toward renewing the flow of oil "in the event of a friendly postwar regime in Iraq". 7 Paritzky noted that the pipeline would cut Israel's energy bill drastically, probably by more than 25 per cent, since the country was currently largely dependent on expensive imports from Russia. On June 21, 2003, Reuters reported: "Netanyahu says Iraq-lsrael oil line will open in near future." By August 2003, Haaretz was to report that: "The United States has asked Israel to check the possibility of pumping oil from Iraq to the oil refineries in Haifa. The request came in a telegram last week from a senior Pentagon official to a top Foreign Ministry official in Jerusalem." 8 (Now who might that have been ...?) By 2006, three US bases were under construction in the north of Iraq falling along the potential construction line of an oil pipeline from Kirkuk oil fields to the Israeli shipping seaport and petroleum-refining city of Haifa (see diagrams below), with a view to turning that city into a "New Rotterdam".(9) US-lsrael relations have been described in a variety of ways. Politicians refer to Israel as the US 's most reliable ally in the Middle East, if not the world. Others speak of Israel as a strategic ally. Some speak of Israel and the US as sharing common democratic values in the war against terrorism. On the Left, critics speak of Israel as a tool of US imperialism for undermining Arab nationalism, and a bulwark against fundamentalist Islamic terrorism. Very few writers point to the "excess influence" which the Israeli governments exercise on US government policy via powerful Jewish lobbies and individuals in media, financial and governmental circles, or their exercise of that influence for the primary benefit of Israel, irrespective of how that impacts the well-being of the United States.

While there is a grain of truth in much of the above, there are numerous unique aspects in this relationship between the US, an imperial power, and Israel, a regional power. Unlike Washington's relation with the EU, Japan and Oceania, it is Israel which pressures and secures a vast transfer of financial resources (by 2004, $2.8 billion per year, $84 billion over 30 years).(10) Israel secures the latest arms and technology transfers, unrestrictive entry into US markets, free entry of immigrants, unconditional commitment of US support in case of war and repression of colonized people, and guaranteed US vetoes against any critical UN resolutions.

From the angle of inter-state relations, it is the lesser regional power which exacts a tribute from the Empire, a seemingly unique or paradoxical outcome. The explanation for this paradox is found in the powerful and influential role of pro-lsrael Jews in strategic sectors of the US economy, political parties, Congress and Executive Branch. The closest equivalent to past empires is that of influential white settlers in the colonies, who through their overseas linkages were able to secure subsidies and special trading relations.

The Israeli "colons" in the US have invested and donated billions of dollars to Israel, in some cases diverting funds from union dues of low paid workers to purchase Israel Bonds, which in turn were used to finance new colonial settlements in the Occupied Territories. In other cases Jewish fugitives from the US justice system have been protected by the Israeli state, especially super rich financial swindlers like Mark Rich, and even gangsters and murderers. Occasional official demands of extradition from the Justice Department have been pointedly ignored.

In turn, the colonized Empire has gone out of its way to cover up its subservience to its supposed ally, but in fact hegemonic power. In 1967, the USS Liberty, a communications and reconnaissance ship sent to monitor belligerents in the third Israeli-Arab war, was bombed and strafed by Israeli fighter planes in international waters for nearly an hour, killing 34 seamen and wounding 173 of a crew of 297. Intercepted Israeli messages as well as the clearly displayed US flag demonstrate that this was a deliberate act of aggression. Washington acted as any Third World country would when faced with an embarrassing attack by its hegemon: it silenced its own naval officers who witnessed the attack, and quietly received compensation and a forma apology.11

Not only was this an unprecedented action in US military and diplomatic relations with an ally, there is no case on record of an imperial country covering up an assault upon itself by a regional ally.12 On the contrary, similar circumstances have been followed by diplomatic and bellicose responses. This apparent anomaly cannot in any way be explained by military weakness or diplomatic failures: the US is a military superpower, and its diplomats are capable of forceful, even bullying, representation to allies or adversaries, when the political will is present. But the Jewish-American Lobby, Congress people, media and Wall Street moguls strategically located in the US politico-economic system ensured that President Johnson would behave like a docile subject. No direct pressures were necessary, for a hegemonized political leadership acts seemingly on its own beliefs, having learned the rules of the political game. The bottom line is this: the Israel-US relationship is so entrenched that not even an unprovoked military attack could call it into question. Like all hegemonized powers, Washington threatened the US Naval witnesses with a court marital if they spoke out, while they coddled their attackers in Tel Aviv.(13)

Another illustration of the asymmetrical relation is found in one of the most important espionage cases during the Cold War involving an Israeli agent, Jonathan Pollard, and the Pentagon. Over several years Pollard stole and duplicated bagfuls of top-secret documents about US intelligence, counter-intelligence, strategic plans, and military weaponry, and turned them over to his Israeli handlers. This was the biggest case of espionage carried out against the US by any ally in recent history. Pollard and his wife were convicted in 1986. The US Government privately protested to the Israeli government. The Israelis, on the other hand, through their Jewish-American allies, organized a lobby to propagandize in his favor. Eventually all top Israeli leaders and Jewish-American lobbyists campaigned for his pardon, and almost succeeded with President Clinton.

The unequal relation is clearly evident in the case of a major fugitive from justice, Marc Rich. A financier and trader, he was indicted in the US federal court on several counts of swindling and defrauding clients. He fled to Switzerland and subsequently obtained an Israeli passport and citizenship, investing hefty sums of his ill-gotten wealth into Israeli industries and charities. Despite the seriousness of his offense, Rich hobnobbed with top political leaders in Israel and its economic elite. In the year 2000, the Prime Minister of Israel and numerous pro-lsraeli Jewish personalities, including Rich's ex-wife, convinced Clinton to pardon him. While an outcry was raised about a linkup between the Rich pardon and his wife's $100,000-plus contribution to the Democratic Party, the underlying relationship of subordination to Israeli influence and the power of the Israeli Lobby in the US was clearly more important. It is worth noting that it is extraordinarily unusual for a US President to consult with a foreign ruler (as Clinton consulted with Barak) in dealing with an accused swindler. It is unprecedented to pardon an indicted fugitive who fled his trial and never served any sentence. But then, the US faces great difficulty in securing any extraditions whatsoever from Israel - even private citizens wanted for committing murder in the US are not returned for trial,14 despite the purported closeness of the two states. What are the implications for the American criminal justice system of a "home free" territory for Jewish-American criminals?

The power of Israel is manifested in the numerous annual pilgrimages that influential US politicians make to Israel to declare their loyalty to the Israeli state, even during periods of intensive Israeli repression of a rebellious subject people.(15) Rather than reprimanding Israel for an aggressive act of war against another state and for internationally-condemned human rights violations in the Occupied Territories, US satraps of the Israeli mini-empire applauded its bloody repression of Intifadas I and ll, and the Jewish state's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 - as they do in 2006 - and opposed any international mediation to prevent further Israeli massacres, thereby sacrificing US credibility in the United Nations and in world public opinion.

In votes in the United Nations, even in the Security Council - despite overwhelming evidence of human rights violations presented by EU allies - Washington has toiled in the service of its hegemon. Sacrificing international credibility and deliberately alienating 150 other nations, Washington labeled criticisms of Israeli racism as "anti-Semitic". But this does not mark the high point of Washington's servility to Israel.

The most recent and perhaps the key indicator of US servility occurred in the months preceding and following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. On December 12, 2001 Fox News learned from US intelligence sources and federal investigators that 60 Israelis engaged in a long-running effort to spy on US government officials had been detained since 9/11. Many of those arrested were active Israeli military or intelligence operatives. They had been arrested under the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act. Many failed polygraph questions dealing with surveillance activities in and against the United States.

More seriously, federal investigators had reason to believe that the Israeli operatives gathered intelligence about the September 11 attacks in advance and did not share it with its Washington ally. The degree of Israeli involvement in September 11 ia a tightly guarded secret. A highly placed federal investigator told Fox news there are "tie-ins". When asked to provide details, the federal investigator refused. "Evidence linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It is classified information."

Nothing so exemplifies the power of Israel over Washington as this case of Israeli espionage. Even in the case of the worst attack on the American mainland in US history, Washington suppressed federally collected evidence linking known Israeli spies to possible evidence about prior knowledge. Clearly this evidence might raise questions about the links and ties between political and economic elites, as well as undermine strategic relations in the Middle East. More important, it would pit the Bush Administration against the Jewish-American Lobby and its powerful informal and formal networks in the media, finance, and in government.(17)

Fox News obtained numerous classified documents from federal investigators probably frustrated by the cover-ups of Israeli espionage by political leaders in Washington. These documents brought to light by Carl Cameron revealed that even before September 11, as many as 140 other Israelis had been detained or arrested in a secret investigation of arge-scale, long-term Israeli espionage in the United States. Not one of the other of large-scale, long-term major print or electronic media reported on these arrests. Neither the President nor any Congressional leaders spoke out on Israeli's pervasive and sustained effort to obtain key US military and intelligence information.

The classified documents detailed "hundreds of incidents in cities and towns across the country" that investigators claimed could be Israeli-organized intelligence gathering activities. Israeli agents targeted and penetrated military bases, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the IRS, the INS, the EPA, the US Marshalls' Service, dozens of government facilities, and even secret office and unlisted private homes of law enforcement and intelligence personnel, according to the Federal documents cited by Fox News. A document issued by the Government Accountability Office (an investigatory arm of the US Congress), also cited, referred to Israel as CountryA, saying "the government of Country A conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the US of any US ally." A Defense Intelligence report said Israel has a "voracious appetite for information ... It aggressively collects military and industrial technology and the US is a high priority."

Carl Cameron's Fox News Report appeared on the Fox News internet site briefly in December, 2001 (Dec. 12, 2001 ) and then disappeared - there was no follow up - or, as might be expected in cases of error, no disclaimer or official correction and/or apology. None of the other mass media picked up on this major espionage report. No doubt the powerful pro-lsraeli influentials in the mass media played a role. More significantly than direct "pressure", Israeli hegemony "persuades" or "intimidates" the media establishment and political leaders to operate with maximum discretion in limiting reporting about Israel's appropriation of strategic information.

While the web of Israeli agents are sometimes subject to arrest, interrogation and expulsion, the Israeli state and the ministers in charge are never publicly condemned, nor are there any official diplomatic ripostes such as the symbolic temporary withdrawal of the US Ambassador. The closest parallel to US behavior toward Israeli spies is the response of poor, dependant Third World countries to US espionage. In that context docile rulers quietly ask the Ambassador to rein in some of the more aggressive agents.

Unanswered Questions: September 11 and the Israelis

Following September 11, rumors circulated throughout the Arab East that the bombing was an Israeli plot to incite Washington to attack Muslim-Arab adversaries. These stories and their authors provided nothing more than circumstantial evidence and motive, namely that Bush's anti-terrorism campaign would legitimate Sharon's "anti-terrorist" repression of Palestinians. The stories implicating Israel were completely dismissed by all the media and political leaders across the spectrum.

Now, however, that US federal investigators have revealed that the Israelis may have known about the attack before it occurred and did not share the information, this raises further questions concerning the relationship between the Arab terrorists and the Israeli secret police. Did the Israelis penetrate the group or pick up information about them?16 Federal investigators' confidential information could probably clarify these vital questions. But will the confidential information ever become public? Most likely not - for the very reason that it would expose the extent of Israeli influence in the US via its secret agents and more importantly via its powerful overseas lobby and allies in the US govemment and finance. The lack of any public statement conceming Israel's possible knowledge of 9/11 is indicative of the vast, ubiquitous and aggressive nature of its powerful Diaspora supporters.19 Given the enormous political and economic importance which the mass media have given to 9/1 1, and the sweeping powers, funding, and institutions created around the issue of national security, it is astonishing that no further mention has been made about Israel's spy networks operating in the US's most delicate spheres of counter-terrorism.

But then, it is not astonishing at all if we understand properly the "unique relationship" between the US Empire and Israel, a regional power.

Theoretlcal Issues

The relationship between the US - a global imperial power - and Israel, a regional power, provides us with a unique model of inter-state relations. In this case the regional power exacts tribute ($2.8 billion annually in direct contributions from the US Congress), free access to US markets, protection of overseas felonious Jews from prosecution or extradition to the US, while engaging in pervasive espionage and money laundering.20 On Friday, June 23, 2000 Haaretz reported Israel as one of the world's leading havens for illegal international money laundering.

Moreover Israel establishes limits on US-Middle Eastern policy in the international forums. Israel's hegemonic position has endured under both Democratic and Republican presidencies for almost half a century. In other words it is a structural historical relation, not one based on personalities, or particular transitory policy making configurations.

Several hypotheses emerge from an examination of this unique relationship.

The first stems from the fact that the territorial Israeli state has little power of persuasion, economic reach, or military clout in comparison to the major powers (Europe and the US). The power of Israel is based on that of the Diaspora, the highly structured and politically and economically powerful Jewish networks which have direct and indirect access to the centers of power and propaganda in the most powerful imperial country in the world. Trlbite is exacted via the influence of these "internal colonialists" who operate at the level of mass media opinion makers and via Congress and the Presidency. Close to 60 percent of Democratic Party funding and 35 percent of Republican Party funding comes from pro-lsraeli Jews. For every dollar spent by the Jewish networks in influencing voting outcomes, the Israeli state receives $50 in aid to finance the building and arming of colonial settlements in the Occupied Territories complete with swimming pools, Rumanian gardeners and Filipino maids.

Through overseas networks the Israeli state can directly intervene and set the parameters to US foreign aid in the Middle East. The overseas networks play a major role in shaping the internal debate on US policy toward Israel. Propaganda associating Israeli repression of Palestinians as the righteous response of the victims of the Holocaust has been repeated and circulated throughout the mass media. Iranian President Ahmadinejad's suggestion that Holocaust victims might more properly be compensated by land located in Europe or in the countries that victimized them was misreported, then highly circulated to fuel, instead, the notion of a rabid anti-Semitic Iran. From the height of tlie network to the lawyers' boardrooms, and the doctors' lounges, the pro-lsrael supporters of the network aggressively attack as "anti-Semites" any critical voices. Through local intimidation and malicious intervention in the professions, the zealots defend Israeli policy and leaders, contribute money, organize voters, and run for office. Once in office they tune in to Israeli policy needs.

The phenomenon of overseas expatriates attempting to influence an imperial power is not an exclusively Jewish phenomenon. The Cuban exiles in Miami exercise significant influence in both major parties. But in no other case has linkage led to the establishment of an enduring hegemonic relationship: an empire colonized by a regional power, with the US paying tribute to Israel, subject to the ideological blinders of its overseas colons, and launching aggressive wars on its behalf.

Many questions remain to be answered as the Empire aggressively pursues its military expansion and the internal voices of repression narrow the terms of public debate.

As the colons extend their influence throughout the political and intellectual spheres of the US, they feel more confident in asserting Israel's superiority to it, particularly in the areas of political coercion and war. They brazenly boast of Israel's superior security system, its methods of interrogation including its techniques of torture, and demand that the US follow Israel's war agenda in the Middle East. In Israel, there is acknowledged state-sanctioned physical and mental abuse of prisoners in interrogation, which has broad public support.21

Seymour Hersh even urged the US FBI and intelligence agencies to follow the Israeli secret police's tactics and use or threaten to use torture of family members of terror suspects.(22) (See more on Hersh's pro-lsrael bias in Chapter 4.) The US followed suit by imprisoning the wives and daughters of wanted Iraqi Baathists. Richard Perle, then highly influential in Rumsfeld's Defense Department, advocated the Israeli tactics of offensive bombing of adversaries. "In 1981 the Israelis faced an urgent choice: should they allow Saddam Hussein to fuel a French built nuclear reactor near Baghdad or destroy it? The Israelis decided to strike preemptively. Everything we know [sic] about Saddam Hussein forces [sic] President Bush to make a similar choice: to take a pre-emptive action or wait, possibly until it is too late."(23)

Another prominent colon, Senator Joseph Lieberman, called on the US to bomb Syria, Iraq and Iran immediately after 9/11, echoing Prime Minister Sharon's policy advice to President Bush. Alan Dershowitz, Harvard Law professor, publicly endorsed both torture and repressive legislation in the US - modeled on the Israeli system of unlimited detention of Palestinians.(24) The colons subordinate US policy to Israel's foreign policy needs, independent of the US's own circumstances and in reflection of the extremities to which Israel's colonial policies push it. Moreover as representatives of Israeli hegemonic power in the US, they even try to micro manage security measures - torture in interrogation - as well as becoming vociferous advocates of a generalized Middle East war. The colons have successfully influenced the US government to block any EU initiatives toward international mediation, as well as the US-sponsored Mitchell Plan, advocating peace observers in the occupied territories. In a word, the US, despite its occasional inconsequential criticism of Israel's excesses, has not only been an unconditional supporter of Israel, but it has done so in the context of a prolonged bloody repression and occupation of Palestinian territories, which Washington is a party to securing. Israeli hegemony over the US via its colons affords it a formidable weapon for neutralizing the US's NATO allies, Arab petroleum clients, the vast majority of the General Assembly in the United Nations, and even its own public on certain Middle Eastern issues.

Even more dangerous is the irrational paranoia that the colons transfer from Israeli politics to the US. All Arabs are suspect as was evident in the Zionist-instigated congressional outcry about the purchase of US ports by a Dubai firm. Middle Eastern adversaries should be threatened if not bombed. Secret military tribunals and summary justice should be meted out to suspected terrorists. The mass media is especially tuned to pick up the Israeli paranoid syndrome: magnifying every threat, celebrating Israeli resolution and efficiency against Arab "terrorists". The paranoid style of politics had led to Israel's attacks on Arab countries in the Middle East, espionage on the US, illegal purchase of nuclear devices in the US, and unremitting violence against the Palestinians and Lebanese. The assimilation of the Israeli hyper-paranoid style by the US has vast and dangerous consequences not only for the Mid-east but also for the rest of the world, and for democratic freedom in the US.

What the intellectual colons and other Israeli publicists forget to mention is that Israeli security policy in the Occupied Territories is a total disaster: bus stations, public malls, five star hotels, and pizzerias in Israel and all Israeli frontiers have been attacked. Hundreds of Israeli citizens have been killed and injured. Tens of thousands of educated Israelis have fled the country precisely because of insecurity and the proximity of violence, which neither the Shin Ben, the Army nor the settlers are capable of preventing. A few Israeli intellectuals are especially embittered by the enormous costs of the settlement movement.(25)

Blind to Israel's security failures, the colons insist on creating conditions for internal repression and external war. Given their influential role In the mass media, their prominence in the editorial and opinion pages of the most prestigious newspapers, the colons' message reaches far beyond their limited numbers and the mediocrity of their intellect. Location and money can make up for their psychological and political pathologies as well as override any qualms about dual loyalties.

Who Finances the State of Israel?

The question of who is financing the Israeli state is basic because Israel as we know it today is not a viable state without massive external support. As the July 2004 updated Congressional Research Service Issue Brief for Congress titled "Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance" points out in its opening statement: "Israel is not economically self-sufficient, and relies on foreign assistance and borrowing to maintain its economy."26 Despite what might seem an insurmountable obstacle not just to Israel's prosperity, but to its sustainability, the country has nonetheless done rather well. Billions of dollars are raised from a variety of Jewish and non-Jewish institutions to sustain the Israeli war machine, its policy of generous subsidies for Jews enticed to settle in colonies in the Occupied Territories and in Israel - sufficient to place the country as the world's 28th highest in living standards for Israel's Jewish citizens.27

Without external aid Israel's economy would require severe cutbacks in living standards and working conditions, leading to the likely flight of most Israeli professionals, businessmen, and recent overseas immigrants. The Israeli military budget would be reduced and Israel would be obligated to reduce its military interventions in the Arab East and the Occupied Territories. Israel would cease being a rentier state living on overseas subsidies and would be obligated to engage in productive activity - a return to farming, manufacture and services minus the exploitation of low paid Asian maids, imported Eastern European farm workers, and Palestinian construction laborers.

Europe continues to privilege the importation of Israeli exports28 and financial services, despite overt and malicious attacks by leaders of both Israeli parties. Prominent Jewish organizations linked to major parties in France and England have muted any efforts to use the "trade card" to pressure Israel to accept European Union or United Nations mediation. European trade and financial ties to Israel however are not the basic prop for the Israeli war machine. The principle basis for long-term, large-scale financial support is found in the US, among public and private institutions.

In the United States there are essentially four basic sources of financial, ideological and political support for the Israeli rentier economy:

1. Wealthy Jewish contributors and powerful disciplined fund-raising organizations.

2. The US government - both Congress and the Presidency.

3. The mass media, particularly the New York Times, Hollywood and the major television networks.

4. The trade union bosses and the heads of pension funds.

There is substantial overlap in these four institutional configurations. For example, Jewish supporters in the Israeli lobby work closely with Congressional leaders to secure long-term, large-scale US military and economic aid for Israel. Most of the mass media and a few trade unions are influenced by unconditional supporters of the Israeli war machine. Pro-lsrael Jews are disproportionately represented in the financial, political, professional, academic, real estate, insurance and mass media sectors of the American economy. While Jews are a minority in each and every one of these categories, their disproportionate power and influence stems from the fact that they function collectively: they are organized, active, and concentrate on a single issue - US policy in the Middle East, and specifically in securing Washington's massive, unconditional, and continuing military, political and financial support for Israel. Operating from their strategic positions in the power structure, they are able to influence policy and censor any dissident commentators or views from circulating freely in the communications and political system.

In the political sphere, pro-lsraeli politicians and powerful Jewish organizations have joined forces with (and even animate)(29) pro-lsrael ultra rightwing mass-based Christian fundamentalist powerful political leaders tied to the military-industrial complex, such as Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney. Israel's unconditional support of Washington's Cold War and subsequent anti-terrorist military offensive has further strengthened ideological and military ties between US rightwing political leaders, pro-lsraeli politicians and the leaders of the leading Jewish organizations. The politics of Washington's new imperialism coincides splendidly with the Sharon-Olmert conquest and destruction of the Occupied Territories.

Wealthy and organized Jewish organizations, compliant Congressional representatives and rightwing fundamentalist organizations are not the only financial supporters of Israel. US taxpayers have been funding the Israeli war machine with over $3 billion a year of direct assistance for over 35 years (now totaling over $100 billion and continuing to mount).

Support for Israel from the US Government

Jewish support for Israel exercised in the above-mentioned sectors of American society leads in turn to an exacerbated support for Israel by the US government that is demonstrable in the lavish dispensation of US aid to Israel. As the CRS Issue Brief notes, "Israel receives favorable treatment and special benefits under U.S. assistance programs that may not be available to other countries." The CRS Issue Brief elaborates these benefits under the following topics: cash flow financing, ESF cash transfer, FMF offsets, early transfers, FMF drawdown, unique FMF funding arrangements, FMF for R&D, FMF for in-country purchase.

The data below, compiled by the CRS Issue Brief in 2004,30 provide some notion of the extent of U.S. aid and its special features:

¥ Israel has received more than $90 billion in US aid up to 2003, of which $75 billion has been in grants (i.e. non-repayable), and $15 billion in loans.

¥ Since 1985, the United States has provided $3 billion in grants annually to Israel.

¥ Resettlement assistance for Soviet and Ethiopian immigrants peaked in 1992 at $80 million, but continues to be subsidized at $60 million for 2003, $50 million in 2004 and again in 2005.

¥ In 1990, Israel requested $10 billion in loan guarantees, which would enable Israel to borrow from US commercial establishments, with their loans guaranteed against default by the US government. In 2004, a further $9 billion in loan guarantees was included in P.L. 1088-11. (NOTE: Loan guarantees is the area of financial support to Israel that the US government attacks to indicate its displeasure with Israeli settlement activities. The $10 billion authorized in loan guarantees for 1993-1996 was reduced by $774 million in penalties for settlement expansion.31 No matter: Israel only drew loans on the $10 billion worth about 6.6 billion - annulling any effect from the purported penalty.)

¥ Economic aid became all grant cash transfer in 1 981, and military aid similarly in 1985. What might be called optImization techniques are employed to further increase (and disguise?) the actual extent of financing, such as:

¥ Loans with repayment waived (or a pledge to provide Israel with economic assistance equal to the amount Israel owes the United States for previous loans). Since 1974 through 2003, Israel received more than $45 billion in waived loans.

¥ Since 1982, the US pays Israel ESF funds in one lump sum early in the fiscal year, rather than in four quarterly installments, as is the usual practice with other countries. "The United States pays more in interest for the money it borrows to make lump sum payments. AID officials estimate that it cost the United States between $50 million and $60 million per year to borrow funds for the early, lump-sum payment. In addition, the U.S. government pays Israel interest on the ESF funds invested in U.S. Treasury notes, according to AID officials. It has been reported that Israel earned about $86 million in U.S. Treasury note interest in 1991.32 The practice has continued in subsequent years.

In addition, the US has supported the development of the Israeli military-defense industry, inter alia through:

¥ $625 million to develop and deploy the Arrow anti-missile missle.

¥ $1.8 billion to develop the Lavi aircraft. "On August 20, 1987, the Israeli cabinet voted to cancel the Lavi project, but asked the United States for $450 million to pay for canceled contracts. The State Department agreed to raise the FMF earmark for procurement in Israel from $300 million to $400 million to defray Lavi cancellation costs."33

¥ US military assistance for military purchases in Israel (26.3%). This meant that in 2004, $568 million in military aid could be spent in Israel. (Most US military aid is for purchases of US arms.)

Further support comes through the US government's guarantee of Israel's access to oil, via the Israel-United States Memorandum of Agreement, 1 September 1975. According to Ed Vuillamy, writing in the London Observer:

The memorandum has been quietly renewed every five years, with special legislation attached whereby the US stocks a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it entailed domestic shortages - at a cost of $3 billion (£1.9bn) in 2002 to US taxpayers.34

Any major development in or initiated by Israel seems to give rise to its own "special costs" which in turn are placed at the door of the United States, whether it concerns support for the migration of Soviet or Ethiopian Jews, or withdrawal from occupied territories. In 2005, Israel moved to request American aid to cover some of the $2 billion to $3 billion cost of its "disengagement" from Gaza, but withdrew that request once hurricanes hit America's Gulf coast.35 With the ascendancy of Olmert, however, the putative costs of the disengagement plan as a whole (which was unilateral despite the US government's demand that it be negotiated) far superceded that, witness his "future intention to seek international financial assistance to defray the cost of the plan, estimated by Israeli economists at $10 billion to $25 billion. "36

Israel Bonds

Over its fifty years of existence, the sale of Israel Bonds raised some $22 billion for the State of Israel. Gideon Pratt, CEO of Israel Bonds, claims the bonds have financed over 50% of Israel's development,37 though this is clearly disputable, in view of its proportion to grants, etc. from the US government as outlined above.

According to the Development Corporation for Israel prospectus, the bonds are used for eight categories of infrastructure development projects, such as building ports, power grids, transportation, communications, etc. But as Russell Mokhiber points out:

What the prospectus does not mention, however, is that such 'development' projects also include Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. Other bond revenues are transferred from the Israeli govemment's development account to its ordinary budget, to be spent on the military, the Israeli intelligence services, and other agencies, according to the statistical abstract published each year by the Israeli government.38

Rank and file trade union members might have been surprised to learn that their pension funds had been invested in Israel Bonds with below normal rates of return and higher risk. Despite the poor investment quality of Israel onds, some of the largest US trade unions, employee pension funds, and major multi-national corporations have collectively loaned billions of dollars to the Israeli regime. In all cases, the decisions to purchase a foreign government's bonds were made by the trade union bosses and corporate fund managers without consulting the membership or stockholders.39 Nathan Zirkin, a financial director of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, when asked if his union would continue to purchase Israel Bonds despite Israel's repression and arrest of Palestinian trade unionists and activists, replied "Absolutely. The Palestinians didn't have a damn thing until Israel came in."(40)

Many of the trade unions, which are purchasers of Israeli bonds, are controlled or influenced by the Mafia. The Teamsters Union is the biggest purchaser of Israel Bonds; it is also the union which has seen more senior officials indicted for Mafia ties, illicit use of union funds, and massive robbery of membership pension funds. In this case the trade union Mafioso were buying favorable propaganda from the mass media and support from the "respectable" Jewish organizations via the purchase of Israel Bonds.

Union pension funds have also been used by trade union bureaucrats to purchase Israel Bonds. The most notorious case is the former International Ladies Garment Workers Unions (ILGWU), now called UNITE, a union whose workers are 95% Black, Hispanic, and Chinese, most earning at or below the minimum wage. UNlTE's leadership and staff is overwhelming Jewish and earning between $100,000 to $350,000 a year plus expenses.41 By channeling over $25 million in pension funds to Israel, the US workers are deprived of access to loans for housing, social services, legal defense, etc. Clearly the Jewish trade union bosses have a greater affinity for the State of Israel and its oppression of Palestinian workers than they have with their own poorly organized workers, employed under some of the worst working conditions in the US.

Israel Bond promoters, with support from Mafia-influenced corrupt trade union bosses, have sold vast holdings of Israel bonds to 1500 labor organizations at interest rates below those of other available securities and well below what most investors would expect from loans to an economically troubled foreign government like Israel. On March 22, 2002, the Jewish weekly Forward actually put a figure on that amount, quoting the director of the National Committee for Labor Israel as estimating that "the American labor community holds $5 billion in Israel Bonds."

Many factors accounted for the US trade union bosses channeling their members pension funds and union dues into Israel Bonds: political protection and respectability in being associated with Israel and its lobbyists - this was especially important to Mafia-linked and corrupt officials. Ideological and ethnic ties between Jewish trade union leaders and Israel has been a second factor.

While Israel bonds may represent a diminishing factor in the contemporary Israeli economy - perhaps because the $US 10 billion loan guarantee terminated in 1998?42 - they are nonetheless still purchased and held, inter alia, by state and city governments, teachers, universities, and police in the United States, as well as 100,000 individuals.

Accomplices to Genocide

In April 2002, over 100,000 people, mostly Jews and Christian fundamentalists, marched in support of the Sharon regime in the midst of the siege of Jenin, and were addressed, inter alia, by Paul Wolfowitz, William Bennett, Hillary Clinton, Dick Armey, Rudy Giuliani, Dick Gephardt, and AFL-CIO president John Sweeney. In Israel two out of three Israelis (65 percent) polled in late April 2002 supported Sharon and almost 90 percent believed the regime's propaganda that the UN commission to investigate Israeli devastation of the Occupied Territories "will not be fair to Israel." The Israeli public, the US trade union bosses, and the American political and financial elites who financed Sharon thereby became accomplices to the crimes agalnst the Palestinian people. Obviously the shrinking minority of Jews in Israel who oppose the military machine have little or no influence in policy, in the media, or in securing overseas financial support.

Interestingly, the US did vote in favor of the resolution creating a UN investigatory commission of Israel's near total destruction of Jenin in the spring of 2003. But the UN investigation got no further than its creation. It evoked the hostility of the entire Israeli political class. Shimon Perez (then the self-styled labor moderate in Sharon's government) accused the 170-plus member United Nations Organization of "blood libel". The Israeli security cabinet decided that Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General, had not met its demands for amending the mission's mandate, "so there is no possibility of beginning the inquiry...." As Alan Philips of the Daily Telegraph put it:

Apparently having lost his trial of strength with Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, Mr Annan recommended to the UN Security Council that the team - which has been waiting in Geneva for three days for permission to go to Israel - should be sent home.43

Wealthy and powerful reactionary Jews in the Diaspora also gravitated toward Sharon. Seven of the eight billionaire Russian Mafia Oligarchs have donated generously to the Israeli state, were on excellent terms with Sharon and Shimon Peres, and have no use for dissident military reservists. In fact, two of these, Israeli-Russian partners of the Russian oil company, Yukos, have taken up residence in Israel to avoid Interpol Interdiction, while a third, Boris Berezovsky, though resident in London, is an Israeli citizen.44 Six out of the seven are Jews.45

Because of powerful unconditional external financial and military support primarily from influential Jews in the US, Christian Fundamentalists, the military industrial complex, Pentagon extremists, and corrupt US trade unionists, Israel is able to defy world public opinion, slander humanitarian organizations and human rights leaders, and brazenly continue its genocidal policies. Israeli leaders know "their people": they know they have unconditional supporters who have already been tested. They know that their bankers, professlonals and fundamentalists will back them up to the last murdered Palestinian: the march of the 100,000 pro-Zionists in Washington in the midst of the Jenln massacre proved it. The huge tumout of politicians at the annual AIPAC conference during the massacres in the Rafah refugee camp in the Gaza strip confirms that they in turn supported the butchers of Rafah.

The Zionist Power Configuration in the United States

C. Wright Mills once wrote that the US "power elite" ruled by denying it held power. The Zionist elite follows this formula, but defends itself by accusing its adversaries of being "anti-Semites" and pursuing retributive measures that would please former Senator Joseph McCarthy. The Zionist power configuration (ZPC) cannot be understood merely as the "Jewish Lobby" or even the AlPAC, as formidable as it is, with 150 full-time functionaries. The ZPC can best be understood as a complex network of interrelated formal and informal groupings, operating at the international, national, regional and local levels, and directly and systematically subordinated to the State of Israel, its power holders and key decision makers.

Influence is wielded via directinfluence by Zionist representatives in the Government (most notably in the Pentagon under Bush) both in the Executive branch as well as in the Congress, and indirectly via its use of campaign funds 1 ) to influence the selection of candidates within the two major political parties and 2) to defeat critics of Israel and reward elected officials who will toe the Israel line.

The parameters of political debate on Israel-related issues - which have broadened over time - are shaped by pervasive Zionist and Jewish organizational influence in the mass media, censoring and virulently attacking critics, and pushing pro-lsrael "news" and commentaries. The mass media in the US, particularly the "respectable" New York Times, has been in the forefront of propagandizing Israeli conquest and destruction as a "defensive", "anti-terrorist war". Not a single voice or editorial in the New York Times has spoken of the mass killing of Palestinian civilians and Israel's destruction of priceless Christian historical and religious sites that go back over 2000 years.(46)

While Israel's war machine destroys ancient monasteries and the heritage of world culture, the pro-lsraeli mass media in the US focus their critical lenses on the scandals of the Catholic clergy. The Church's protests at the Israeli shelling of the Church of the Nativity and the murder of those seeking sanctuary are thus silenced.

The fourth circle of influence is through local and sectoral organizations, local and state Jewish federations, and through them in local professional bodies, trade unions, pension funds. Activists may be affiliated with the national apparatus and/or embedded in local "civil society". This is probably the most serious threat as it inhibits average US citizens from voicing their doubts and criticisms of Israeli policy, and mutes the effectiveness of the advocacy sector of American society, which in other arenas has assumed a critical progressive role in relation to US policy. All over the US, local editors, critical intellectuals and activists, and even doctors have been branded as "neo-Nazis" and have suffered threatening phone calls and visits by local pro-lsrael zealots - including 'respectable' members of the Jewish community. The threatened consequences usually stop discussions and/or intimidate local citizens advocating an independent and democratic foreign policy.

Moreover the ZPC's formal and informal structure has a crucial dynamic element to it: each power center interacts with the rest, creating a constant "movement" and activity, which converges and energizes both lead- ers and followers. Secondly those non-Jewish or even non-Zionist political, media and civic leaders influenced by the ZPC in turn influence their constituency, multiplying several fold the initial influence of their "hegemons". The relative absence of an informal, organized and active grassroots democratic foreign policy movement, particularly in relation to Mideast policy, had for some time given the ZPC a clear field with virtually no competitors. Only recently has it been challenged by a growing campaign for divestment from Israel which has won varying degrees of support from Christian denominations (Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians) and on university campuses - though this movement proceeds only tentatively and with much organized opposition. As an instance, the City of Somerville, MA intended to divest from Israel, then backed off after Jewish representations to city council.

Over time the same pattern of Zionist influence has manifested itself in US executive agencies. The State DepartmentÕs "Arabists are being replaced by pro-Zionists as is the case with senior civilian militarists in the Pentagon, in the Mideast think tanks and the Council of Foreign Relations, among others. It should be noted that the so-called "single issue" (US-Middle East Policy) focus of the ZPC of the past has been replaced by the new Zionist strategies in the Pentagon and rightwing think tanks who link the expansion of Israeli power beyond Palestine to US-European relations (especially French bashing), US nuclear policy, and US military and energy strategy. This analytical framework is useful in understanding the US-lraq war, and macro-imperial policy as well as micro-colonial practices.

The ZPC in Action: The Iraq War

The major theoretical strategist of US World Empire is Paul Wolfowitz who first presented a detailed outline of action in 1992.47 The argument for permanent wars, unilateral action, pre-emptive warfare and colonial conquest was spelled out for the first Bush Administration, and later supported implicitly during the Clinton Administration's continued military attacks against Iraq, its unconditional backing of Israel's war against the Palestinians, the Balkan wars, and the de facto takeover of the ex-Communist states of Eastern Europe, the Baltic states and the South-Central Republics of the ex-USSR. The Clinton Administration's vigorous intervention in favor of Yeltsin's seizure of power and backing of the Russian (Jewish) Oligarchs played a major role in dismembering and weakening its former adversary to world domination. Clinton's unconditional support for Israel and more importantly, for the formulation of a Mideast strategy convergent with Israeli foreign policy was tied to three sets of policies:

1) destroying the military and economic power of one of Israel's main critics in the Mideast (Iraq) via economic boycotts, arms inspections and unilateral disarmament of Iraq, while Israel stockpiled nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction;

2) financing and arming Israeli expansion and colonization of Arab Palestine;

3) maintaining an economic boycott of Libya and Iran (supporters of the Palestinians) while subsidizing Arab client states friendly to Israel (Egypt and Jordan), whose recognition of and relations with Israel required increasing repression of opinion and resistance within those states (and further expenditures by the US in order to be accomplished).

Direct Zionist influence over US Mideast policy was shaped by Secretary of State Madeline Albright who, while a convert from Catholicism to the more elite Episcopalian Church, benefited from her newly-discovered Jewish ancestry. Albright infamously justified the US-induced deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children during her tenure in office, declaring "It was worth it." Secretary of Defense Cohen was instrumental in promoting Israeli military dominance in the Middle East and Richard Holbrooke, a closet Zionist, was one of the most influential Clinton advisers on the Middle East "peace negotiations". President Clinton and the Democrats laid the basis for the eventual capture of US foreign policy making by the Zionists in the subsequent Bush administration by accepting Zionists in strategic foreign policy positions influencing Mideast policy and shaping US policy to fit Israeli expansionist aims.

To be sure, Clinton and his "moderate" Zionists did not threaten Israel's critics such as Saudi Arabia or the rest of the Arab countries with military attacks - as did the Bush regime dominated by the ultra-Zionist militarists. Nor did his regime follow the Israeli line of accusing all of Europe, especially France, of being anti-Semites for criticizing Israel's slaughter of Palestinians. The Clinton regime and its moderate Zionist influentials believed it was possible to establish US dominance by consulting with Europe and conservative Arab regimes and sharing the economic benefits of imperial spoils in the Mideast while supporting Israeli expansionism.

The Bush regime represented a qualitative advance in Zionist power in US policies, both foreign and domestic. The key economic policymaker was Alan Greenspan, head of the US Central Bank (Federal Reserve Bank), a long time crony of Wall Street financial interests and promoter of the major pro-lsraeli investment houses - responsible for the speculative boom and bust economy of the 1990's.

The influence on US Middle East policy of this neo-conservative cabal far exceeded their formal positions because they were backed by an array of influential Zionist academic ideologues (Kagan, Cohen, Pipes), political punits (Kristols, Krauthamer, Peretz etc) and directors of war think-tanks (Pipes, Rubin) who continue to be given constant access to the opinion pages of the major US newspapers, or interviewed as Middle East "experts" on pro-lsraeli television and radio shows - advancing their war propaganda designed to promote US defense of Israel's Middle East agenda, despite the evident quagmire in Iraq, and growing public rejection of that war. These policy and opinion makers, backed by the mass media, worked in close consultation and in tandem with the major Jewish organizations in the US and in close "consultations" with top officials in the Sharon regime - and will continue to do so with Olmert. Mossad agents, Israeli diplomats and key officials in the Sharon regime had free access to the offices of the Zionist officials in Washington and interchanged information on how to optimize Israeli interests.

Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, all the Zionists in key policy positions and their counterparts in Congress backed a US war with Iraq. After 9/11, Wolfowitz and Senator Lieberman immediately proposed a war against Iraq - demanding that the intelligence agencies "find" the connection and accusing the military of being cowards for not engaging in war to "protect" Israel. Despite Herculean efforts by Feith et al. to twist CIA and Ml reports to serve their pro-war Israeli line, their bellicose rhetoric lacked substance. They then invented the - now callously admitted - BIG LIE (by Wolfowitz) of the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction threat to US security. It was a classic case, as became evident when the secret Downing Street Memo was made public, of fitting the facts to suit the policy.(48)

To pursue this line, the Zionists in the Pentagon bypassed the traditional military/intelligence agencies and created their own propaganda-"intelligence" agency or "Office of Special Plans". The Committee for the Liberation of I raq (CLI) was set up by Bruce Jackson, a former director of the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century, to press for regime change in Iraq. Other members of the CLI includush advisor Richard Perle former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former CIA Director James Woolsey, and the editor of the of the Weekly Standard, William Kristol, as well as Senators John McCain and Bob Kerry.

Zionist power manifested itself first in the making of the war and then in imposing impunity on the crimes of the war makers in the government. The Zionists had knowingly painted a totally unrealistic and false picture of the war, its consequences and the likely response of the Iraqi resistance to an Israeli-style conquest and colonization - knowingly, indeed, since it was they who put the figures in place whose purported special knowledge supported their arguments. The Zionists were initially able to marginalize high military officials like General Anthony Zinni who questioned the war and opposed the way the war was launched, and the length and breadth of the engagement. They shut out all debate on who would benefit and who would lose from the war: US soldiers killed, rising oil and energy costs, huge budget deficits, and, of course, massive loss of life and property among the Iraqis.

Wolfowitz claimed that the invading army would be welcomed as liberators (evoking the liberation of Paris). Perle claimed "the Arabs" would offer little or no resistance (being a "tribal" society). Kagan claimed that "one big bomb" would silence the Arab street and public opinion.

While the US military had conducted a campaign of forced demodernization in the first Iraq War, attacking even civilian technological infrastructure related to water and sewage, in the second attack on Iraq by the Bush, Jr. administration, Feith and Wolfowitz concentrated on the destruction of Iraqi society, as such. They promoted the massive purge of the entire Iraqi civil service, professions, universities, schools and hospitals of Baathists, as well as the dismantling of the Iraqi army and dismissal of 400,000 Iraqi military and police personnel - over the shocked objections of experienced senior US military officers who had expected to work with the surrendered military and administrative structre of Iraq to control the colony. This opened the way for the pillage of Iraq's complex infrastructure and historic treasures and libraries, as well as the growth of criminal gangs involved in theft, kidnap for ransom, murder and rape - activities virtually unknown under the tight Baathist regime. Rumsfeld dismissed the massive destruction of Iraqi society as the "messiness of freedom".

Many top US military officials objected, as did the first US pro- consul, former general Jay Garner, who stated that he "fell out with the Bush circle because he wanted free elections and rejected an imposed programme of privatization."(49) But the Zionists in the Pentagon and their partners in crime, Rumsfeld and Cheney, were determined to dismantle the secular Iraqi state in order to institute a policy to turn Iraq into a desert kingdom - a loose collection of at least three "tribal" client mini-states based on ethnicities, religious-tribal loyalties, and forever incapable of opposing Israeli expansionism, particularly in Northern Iraq.50

However, instead of easy conquest, the 'Israel First' Pentagonistas provoked a massive popular opposition, which unified the religious and secular groups in opposition to the US occupation, and swelled the ranks of the armed resistance with thousands of discharged armed professionals. In the course of pursuing a policy of strengthening Israel's regional position, the Zionists weakened the US colonial occupation and any medium term plans to convert Iraq into a US oil colony. The result has been thousands of US military and client collaborators dead, maimed and wounded, and a burgeoning worldwide opposition, particularly in the Arab East, and among several hundred million Muslims.

The Israel First Pentagonistas successfully promoted the idea that the Israeli military and intelligence experts had a lot to teach their ignorant American counterparts on "urban warfare" and "information gathering" draw- ing on Israel's wealth of experience of over 50 years of expelling and destroying Palestinian communities and developing interrogation and torture techniques on Palestinian and Lebanese captives.(51) The purpose of the Pentagon Zionists was to deepen the ties with Israel's security apparatus as part of a middle term goal of making "the cause of America" (as prostrate Presidential candidate Kerry pledged).(52) The long-term goal was to leverage military security and the co-manufacture of military weaponry between the US and Israel into the Grand Scheme of a Greater Middle East US-lsrael Co-Prosperity Sphere.(53) Imperial Israel would then have access to water, oil, capital and markets, which the heavily subsidized rentier militarist state lacks at the moment.

The torture-interrogation techniques taught by the Israeli instructors converged nicely, updating and refining the older ClA torture manuals, more specifically introducing specificities pertaining to torturing Muslims and especially Arabs.54 But once again the Zionist-lsraeli priorities undermined US imperialist policies: the photo revelations of US soldiers torturing, raping and humiliating Iraqi prisoners discredited the US occupation worldwide, heightened Arab and Muslim resistance throughout the Middle East and discredited the Bush regime. Congressional hearings and mass media reportages even provoked a burst of public disapproval of the invasion of Iraq and Bush's handling of the occupation. Throughout the country there were calls, including from members of Congress, for Rumsfeld's resignation.

Curiously enough, there were virtually no calls for the resignation of the Israel First Pentagonistas - who were equally implicated and responsible for the mass torture of Muslim detainees. According to Newsweek, it was Douglas Feith who was actually in charge of setting policy on Iraqi detainees.55 Even in the face of this horrible crime against humanity, even in the general national outcry to investigate, impeach and hold responsible those involved, Paul Wolfowitz, the top Zionist architect of the war and responsible head (number 2) of Pentagon intelligence in the Iraq war involved in ordering the torture, has escaped official public censure, protected as he has been up to now by the pro-lsrael pundits, political fundraisers, presidential campaign fundraisers and influentials, (see Chapter Four on the expose of Seymour Hersh's expose). As for number 3, despite the fact that he is still a key subject of a Phase 11 Senate Intelligence Committee investigation on pre-war planning and post-invasion failures (Phase I focused primarily on intelligence failures), Douglas Feith was invited to teach a course on the Bush Administration's strategy behind the war on terrorism to students in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Fall 2006.

While the Mossad was later chastised for "intelligence failures" by the Israeli Knesset after release of the Steinitz Report on March 29, 2004, their Zionist counterparts in the Pentagon - Shulsky, Wolfowitz, Feith, and Abrams - however they may have been publicly criticized and even investigated, have yet to be officially and publicly reprimanded for their collaboration with the Mossad. Much will depend on an ongoing investigation by the FBI - which holds more promise than the Congressional whitewashing. As Robert Dreyfuss put it in The Nahon: "Did Ariel Sharon, the Prime Minister of Israel, run a covert program with operatives in high-level US government positions to influence the Bush AdministrationÕs decision to go to war in Iraq? The FBI wants to know."56 In fact, the FBI appears to be one American institution which is willing to address the issue of Zionist power in America, as its efforts related to the AlPAC-spying scandal (see Chapter 5) seem to indicate.

Amid the widespread condemnation of these war crimes and the media exposure of the systematic lies of the Pentagonistas, the fear that the highly influential and visible role of the Israel Firsters might lead to an anti- lsrael backlash raised alarm bells among some of the most astute Congressional Zionists.(57) Senator Frank Lautenberg (Democrat-New Jersey) a committed Zionist, called for the "replacement" of Wolfowitz and Feith in order to get them out of view and further, louder, anti-Zionist-related condemnation. The men in charge have let down the soldiers in uniform. Simply replacing Secretary Rumsfeld will change little at the Pentagon if his discredited team of advisers remains in high-level positions. It is time for us to bring in new civilian leadership at the Defense Department".(58) Lautenberg made it abundantly clear whom he thought was central to the whole US war effort, from beating the war drums, to cooking the data, designing the war strategy, to micromanaging the business of interrogation-torture.

Several former top US military professionals objected to the Zionist control over US policy and their close network of collaborators. Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski has given us an inside picture of the Feith/Shulsky operation whose links to the Mossad seemed closer than to the US military. The Rumsfeld-Zionist group's monopolization of military policy, war strategy, military calculations and military promotions all alienated the military high command. Some who clearly foresaw the disastrous consequences of the policies of the Israel First crowd on US global ambitions were silenced and marginalized.

It is likely that the release of the torture photos to the media was deliberately encouraged or promoted by highly placed military officials or former officials as a way of discrediting Rumsfeld and the Pentagon Zionists.(59) This move severely undercut the war effort, which more and more of the military high command sees as destined to fail, but they were deterined not to become the neo-cons' scapegoats. However to gain an "honorable" withdrawal they must know that they have to remove Rumsfeld and his Zionist colleagues, whose criteria for evaluating the war has less to do with the aims and standing of the US military and more to do with Israeli expansionist goals in the Middle East.

While the Pentagon Zionists and the powerful network of pro-lsrael Jewish organizations have seen their Iraqi serial war strategy fall behind schedule, they have succeeded in securing Presidential economic sanctions against Syria and binding US political support for Sharon's (and now Olmert's) destruction and annexation of the remnant of Palestine. Moreover the leading Jewish organizations were able to secure a near unanimous vote in Congress (407 to 9) in favor of BushÕs declaration supporting Israel's 'new borders' in Palestine.60 Once again the Zionist Lobby demonstrated its power - even turning Bush and Congress into self-effacing political idiots before Sharon. After Bush put all of his limited credibility in Mideast politics in his "Roadmap" for a Middle East peace accord, Sharon unilaterally declared a policy of annexation and separation" and told Bush to swallow it. All the major Jewish organizations backed Sharon's plan. Bush submitted and endorsed this, alienating virtually every European country and all Arab countries, and clearly demonstrating the slavish complicity of US policymakers who once again renounced US Middle East imperial interests in order to accommodate Israel's expansion into the remnants of Palestine. Bush's policy reversal was backed by the vast majority of Congress who are forever fearful of Zionist-Jewish retaliation for the least deviation from unconditional and total support for Israel.

During the invasion and occupation of Iraq, some Congress members have been critical of the war. Hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated their disapproval. Many Jewish Americans have participated in the protests and in some cases have led the protests. Mass media outlets have on occasion (especially after the torture expose) publicized adverse news on the war (tortures, civilian victims, wedding parties bombed, and homes and orchards bulldozed). While the US pursues the war in Iraq, the Israeli government has been equally brutal: engaging in premeditated assassination of Palestinian leaders, systematically destroying thousands of homes, farms, orchards, stores, schools, mosques and factories, and killing and maiming thousands of Palestinians activists, civilians, women and children. They have also resorted to the routine hooding, manacling and torture of detainees.

All the major pro-lsrael Jewish groups in the US, high and low, have defended all these crimes against humanity, successfully pressuring both major parties, the Congress and President, to say nothing - no protest, no investigation, no punishment. This, while the US, smarting from the exposure of torture atAbu Ghraib and pursued by the UN Committee on Torture, Amnesty International and other human rights groups, has been forced to put on trial more than 100 armed forces' staff accused of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan and Iraq, the scope of which in and of itself points to a practice rooted in policy.61 More perversely in the face of the Israeli mayhem, pro-lsrael Jewish groups have secured $10 billion dollars more in aid and lucrative joint-venture military contracts (no outcry here about Halliburton-type contracting).

Israel and the Right of Free Speech

There is presently an inability in America even to formulate or sustain a discourse related to the subject of Israeli influence on the United States. Such an opportunity seerned to open with the courageous publication of a well-documented essay written by Professor Walt of Harvard University and Professor Mearsheimer of University of Chicago critical of the Lobby's influence on US Middle East policy. However, a virulent campaign against Mearsheimer and Walt was then waged by all the major Jewish publications and pro lsrael organizations. From the ultra-rightwing Orthodox Jewish Press (which claims to be the largest "independent" Jewish newspaper in the US), to the formerly social democratic Forward, to the Jewish Weekly, all have launched, together with all the major Jewish organizations, a propaganda campaign of defamation ("the new Protocols of Zion", "anti-Semitic", "sources from Neo-Nazi websites...") and pressure for their purge from academia.

The Jewish authoritarians have already partially succeeded. Their press releases have been published by the mass media without allowing for rebuttal by the academics under attack. Harvard University has demanded that the identification of the Harvard Kennedy School be removed from the paper. The financier of the professorial chair (in his name) which Professor Walt, as academic dean, occupies at the Harvard Kennedy School, is no longer mentioned in his publication. Ultra-Zionist and torture advocate Professor Dershowitz and his fellow Harvard zealots called into question their moral and academic qualification to teach - this concerning professors of the highest standing, with an established record at America's top universities.

In both the United States and France, legislation is being prepared to equate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism and to criminalize as a 'hate crime' the free expression of outrage over Israeli atrocities and any criticism of the Lobby's control of US Middle East policy.62 In the US, the proposed legislation.(63) would take the form of withdrawing federal funding from any academic institution where the policies of Israel are criticized.

Other attacks on American academics include the effort by Daniel pipes, director of Middle East Forum, to establish a campus blacklist througli his neo-McCarthyite Campus-Watch website. Pipes is part of a "band of neo-conservative pundits with strong allegiances to Israel [who] took on the task of launching a more focused assault on Middle East Scholars."(64) This effort was but the latest in a long history of attempts to curtail academic discussion of issues that might relate to Israel.(65)

In New York City, a major theater production of the life of Rachael Corrie, an American humanitarian volunteer murdered in the Occupied Territories by an Israeli Defense Force soldier driving a bulldozer, was cancelled because of Jewish pressure and financial threats. The theater admitted that the cancellation had to do with the "sensitivities" (and pocket book) of the Israel-Firsters. Even the progressive magazine, Mother Jones, went to the trouble of running an article critical of Corrie, heading it:

NEWS: Martyr, idiot, dedicated, deluded. Why did this American college student crushed by an Israeli bulldozer put her life on the line? And did it matter?66

The pro-lsrael lobby's defense and support of a minority opinion in favor of Middle East aggression is now extending its authoritarian reach into undermining the basic right of Americans to free and open expression. There is no group of investors or financiers willing to fund a civil rights campaign in defense of free speech, academic and artistic freedom, to counter the minority Zionist financial and professional elite.

The leaders of the peace movement, both Jews and non-Jews, reject any effort to include Israel's genocidal war against Palestine for fear of alienating the "public" (read the major Jewish organizations) and the self-styled progressive Jews, who are ever protective of everything Jewish - even war crimes. Worse still, with a few rare exceptions, the "progressive" Jewish critics of the war and Israel are forever and adamantly determined to avoid criticizing the role of powerful Zionist policymakers in the government, their ties to Israel and the significant support they receive from the major Jewish organizations in all matters which pertain directly or remotely to Israeli interests.

With blind simplicity, they all see Israel as simply a "tool" of the US for weakening the Arabs in the service of US oil interests. Apparently they have never consulted US petrol CEOs, advisers or investment brokers, who all agree that US support for Israel is destabilizing the region, threatening oil supplies, boosting prices to US consumers and creating enemies out of Arab client rulers who invest in the US, buy US currency to keep it from collapsing, and raise OPEC quotas to help lower US prices. By its blind support for Israeli colonial brutality, the US has alienated several hundred million Muslims, millions of Arabs of all faiths, the great majority of Europeans, Afncans and Asians, thereby heightening US global isolation. The American alliance with Israel has been one of the world's greatest energizers of anti-imperialist movements, crossing racial, religious and gender boundaries.

Even the crude, virulent anti-European ideology propagated by Israeli ideologues and their transmission belt Jewish organizations in the US and Europe has influenced the US government. At a time when Muslims and Arabs are conquered and persecuted, with thousands jailed and many "disappeared" by the US, Israeli and European governments, Secretary of State Powell convened a meeting in Europe on the rising danger of ... "anti-Semitism"! ! And the UN, under Kofi Annan, followed suit with its own meeting on 'anti-Semitism' during the ongoing devastation in the Rafah refugee camps in the Gaza Strip! The major Jewish organizations repeat the Sharon and now Olmert line that "anti-Zionists" are "anti-Semites" - and it becomes es- tablished policy in the US and in some countries of Europe. .. to the point that individuals critical of Zionism are fired, cultural institutions are pressured into censoring anti-Zionist events and creating a general culture of fear of offending the hegemonic Jewish organizations. Even Webster's recent dictionary equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. Surprisingly, in the midst of this, the major Jewish organizations in France openly condemned the manufactured hysteria as an Israeli mechanism to encourage the migration of French Jews to Israel.(67)

Jews in North America, South America and Europe are disproportionately in the highest paid positions, with the highest proportion in the exclusive, prestigious private universities, with disproportionate influence in finance and the media. It is clear that "anti-Semitism" is a very marginal global issue and, in point of fact, that Jews are the most influential ethnic group.

The tragic myopia or perverse refusal of leftist Jews to face up to the prejudicial role of the major Zionist and Jewish groups promoting the Israel First policy and imposing it on the electoral agendas substantially undermines their and our efforts to secure peace and justice in the Middle East and to forge a democratic US foreign policy.

ENDNOTES

1 The U.S Country Reports on Terrorism 2005 indicates that terrorism is on the rise, with the bulk of the increase in Iraq.

2 Tom Regan, "Report: US war costs could top $2 trillion", Christian Science Monitor January 10, 2006.

3 As Bernhard Zand points out, "On the eve of the war, Iraq was pumping about 2.5 million barrels of crude oil per day. In the first three months of this year, the rate of export was just over 1.7 billion barrels." See Bernard Zand, "On the Verge of Collapse," Der Speigel, May 1, 2006.

4 Steven Graham, "Switching Cities Off", Routledge, 2005.

5 "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, et al, Institute of Advanced Strategic and Politlcal Studles. 1996.

6 There are actually numerous contenders for this epithet. See Kevin Drum, ''Political Animal", Washington Monthly, May 16, 2006, who lists Anastasio Somosa, Francisco Franco and Dominican dictator Trujillo. Geoffrey Kemp, head of the National Security Council is cited as the source of the epithet in relation to Saddam. See Judith Miller and Laurie Mylroie, Saddam Hussein and the Crisis in the Gulf, New York, Times Books 1990, p. 85.

7 See Akiva Eldar, "Infrasiructures Minister Paritzky dreams of Iraqi Oil Flowing to Haifa", Haaretz, March 31, 2003.

{p. 58} 8 Amiram Cohen, "US checking the possibility of pumping oil from northern Iraq to Haifa via Jordan", Haaretz, August 23, 2003.

9 This pipeline, once the Mosul-Haifa pipeline, closed in 1948 with the advent of the Zlonist state, Is now resurrected as the Kirkuk-Mosul-Haifa pipeline. Our source for the maps is http://judicial-inc.biz/pipeline_blown_mossad.htm, though they appear elsewhere on the internet.

10 US Financial Aid to Israel: Facts, Figures and Impacts, Washington Peport on Middle East Affairs. 2004

11 Forty years later, on June 8, 2005, the USS LibertyVeterans Association filed a formal report with the US Department of Defense of War Crimes Committed Against U.S. Military Personnel on June 8, 1967 by elements of the Israeli military forces.

12 James Bamford, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the U/tra-Secret National Security Agency, Doubleday, New York, 2001.

13 James Ennes, Assault on the LibertK Random House, 1980. See also Statements by Ward Boston, Jr., Captain, JAGG USN (Ret), January 9, 2004 and Admira! Thomas Moorer, USN (Ret) January 11, 2003.

14 Alison Wier, "Russia, Israel and Media Omissions", Counterpunch.org, February 7,

15 Washington Report on Middle EastAffairs, Pro-lsrael PAC Contributions to 2002 Congressional Candidates, June 2003.

16 See Carl Cameron Investigates (Parts 1-4) Fox News Network, Dec. 17, 2001, available at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5133.htm .

17 Compare this to the Bush Administration's prosecution and heated call for the death penalty for Zacarias Moussaoui, for just such a pre-knowledge of 9/11 and failure to forewarn.

18 Richard Reid, the ex-con and would-be shoe bomber, convicted for trying to blow up an American Airlines passenger jet over the Atlantic in December 2001, managed to enter Israel on an El Al flight despite his unusual background, BBC News,

19 See Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon, Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Llfe and Murder of a Media Mogul, (Caroll and Graf, New York, 2002) for in depth discussion of the powerful media links with Israel.

{no endnote 20}

21 Frankel, Glenn, "Prison Tactics a Longtime Dilemma for Israel", Washington Post, June 16, 2004, p. A01.

22 National Public Radio Interview, October 2004

23 New York Times, December 28 2001, p. 19

24 CBS News September 20,2002.

25 Gideon Levy,"Compensate settlers for what?", Haaretz, June 15, 2004.

26 Congressional Research Service Issue Brief for Congress titled "Israel: U.S. Foreign Assistance" by Clyde R. Mark, updated July 12, 2004. Order code IB86055.

27 See Global Income Per Capita 2005, compiled from World Bank Development Indlcators, at http://www.finfacts.com/biz10/globalworldincomepercapita.htm

28 The EU's effort to curtail duty-free imports by Israel of goods produced in the Occupied Territories was resolved by its decision to charge duty on products labeled, say, "made in Ariel, Israel" but not on those marked "made in Tel Aviv, Israel". "It appears to save Israeli face by using the word 'Israel' to describe the location of the settlements, but allows the EU to make its point by charging a tariff on goods produced beyond the pre-1967 Green Line", noted the August 5, 2004 Reuters article "EU, Israel resolve trade dispute over settlements". However Reuters might more significantly have pointed out that this decision resulted in the EU offlcially referring to contested territories as being in Israel.

29 Eli Kintisch, "Group Raising Millions to Launch a Christian AIPAC", Forward, June 21, 2002. Kintisch writes:

While a handful of pro-lsrael Christian groups exist around the country, Reed and Eckstein believe their connections and the International Fellowship's $30 million annual budget will bring heighten advocacy for the Jewish state.

{p. 59} "It's always been an informal relationship," Reed said of the Christian right's ties with Israel. Reed added that organizations such as the Christian Coalition had always taken pro-lsrael positions, but "it was always one of 25 issues."

What Stand for Israel would add to the pro-lsrael mix, Eckstein said, is the ability to mobilize the groups' 100,000 affiliated churches and 250,000 donors to call into Washington at crucial times.

30 Supra, endnote 26.

31 The CRS Issue Brief for Congress by Clyde R. Mark pointed out that "no US aid can be used by Israel in the occupied territories because the United States does not want to foster the appearance [sic] of endorsing Israel's annexation of the territories without negotiations [italics added]."

32 CRS Issue Brief, supra, endnote 26.

33 CRS Issue Brief, supra, endnote 26, p. 9.

34 Ed Vuillamy, "Israel Seeks Pipeline for Iraqi Oil", The Observer, April 23, 2003. Also see endnote 7, supra.

35 Ori Nir, "Olmert Begins to Lay Out Unilateral Plan", Forward, May 19, 2006.

36 Ibid.

37 Avi Machlis, "As Israel Bonds turn 50, Is once critical role waning?", Jewish News Weekly, June 16, 2000.

38 Ibid.

39 "Israel Bonds Raise $130 million from US Labor', Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2001. See also "El Al Moves to Avoid Tiff with Big Labor Sharon Steps in", Forward, Feb. 21 2003.

40 Russel Mokkiber, "Bonds of Affection", Multinational Monitor1988. See http://multinationalmonitor.org

41 Rachel Donadio, "Talking the Talk at Jewish Labor Dinner", Forward, March 22, 2004; see also Robert Fitch, "The Question of Corruption", Metro Labor Press Association, October 21, 1999, and Robert Fitch, Testimony, House of Representatives, Hearing on Workplace Competitiveness, March 31, 1998.

42 "Since 1995 the Israeli government has secured a foothold on international markets in order to create alternative stable financing frameworks following the end of a $10 billion U.S. Ioan-guarantee program in 1998." Machlis, supra

43 Alan Philips, "UN Team to disband as Jenin inquiry is derailed", Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2002. Weir, supra, endnote 14. Uri Avnery, cited in Weir, Ibid.

46 William Dalrymple, From the Holy Mountain, Harper Collins,1997. Chapter 5 chronicles the systematic devastation of the ancient Orthodox Christian communities in Israel and the Occupied Territories, including the Armenians.

47 Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994-1999 fiscal years, February 18, 1992.

48 "Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." See the secret Downing Street Memo, posted on Information Clearing House website at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8709.htm

49 David Leigh, "General Sacked by Bush Says He Wanted Early Elections", Guardian, March 18, 2004. However, as Robert Dreyfuss noted, "For more than a decade, both during his military service and then in retirement, Garner established a pattern of close ties to the Israeli military and its U.S. supporters. Forward, the English-language version of the venerable Yiddish weekly newspaper, recently carried a headline referring to Garner that read, 'Pro-lsraeli general will oversee reconstruction of postwar Iraq.'" Robert Dreyfuss, "Humpty Dumpty in Baghdad", American Prospect, May 1, 2003. Since Garner was also a member of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), and must have been fully aware of the true program he had been chosen to implement, the actual reasons for his removal may lie elsewhere.

50 "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, et al, Institute of Advanced Strategic and Politlcal Studles. 1996. See also Leslie Gelb, "The Three-State Solution", New York Times, November 25, 2003 and Seymour Hersh, "Plan B", The New Yorker, June 28, 2004 on Israeli activity in Kurdish Northern Iraq.

51 Glenn Frankel, "Prison Tactics A Longtime Dilemma for Israel", Washington Post June 16, 2004.

52 John Kerry, Perspectives: An Israel Review, Brown University Publication, No- vember 19, 2003.

53 How this might shape up is foreshadowed in the new Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Jordan, which has already been described as having descended into "human trafficking and involuntary servitude" by the National Labor Committee for Worker and Human Rights.

54 Matthew Clark, "Concrete, razor wire, ID cards", Christian Science Monitor December 8, 2003.

55 Newsweek Magazine, June 7, 2004, p. 35.

56 Robert Dreyfuss, "Agents of Influence", The Nation, October 4, 2004.

57 See Haaretz, April 24, 2004 where Israeli deputy ambassador to UN, Arye Mekel complained that criticisms "only enhance suspicions ... Iinking us with Iraq where we have no business", and Nathan Guttman, I'Prominent US Jews and Israel Blamed for Start of Iraq War", Haaretz, May 31, 2004.

58 Newsday, May13,2004.

59 Martin Sieff, "Army, CIA want torture truths exposed", United Press International May 18, 2004.

60 "Sharon praises US on West Bank Refugees", Haaretz, June 25, 2004.

61 "US Gives New Details on Iraql, Afghan Abuse Probes", Reuters, May 8, 2006.

62 Canada and some other European countries that claim to honor free speech have already passed laws making "Holocaust denial" a criminal offense. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (whose Jewish wife is related to the prominent Swedish Raoul Wallenburg family) stated that the world must challenge those who deny the Holocaust happened.

63 The International Studies in Higher Education Act (HR 3077) passed the House in 2003 and is presently with a Senate Committee.

64 Joel Beinin "The new American McCarthyism: policing thought about the Middle East", Race and Class, Vol. 46(1), p. 104.

65 Beinin's article includes a valuable history of the intimidation of American academ- ics in relation to issues pertinent to Israel. Ibid.

66 Joshua Hammer, "The Death of Rachel Corrie", Mother Jones, September-Octo- ber 2003.

67 Xavier Ternisien, "Des responsables communautaires protestant contre un "plan" israllen incitant les juif francais à émigrer," Le Monde, June 17, 2004.








The FBI investigation into Israeli espionage agents in the Pentagon is part of a major struggle between prominent Zionists in the Pentagon and the US security apparatus. Ever since the Bush regime came to power there has been a fierce political and organizational war between the Pentagon Zionists and their militarist collaborators, on the one hand, and the professional military and intelligence apparatus, on the other. This conflict has manifested itself in a series of major issues including the war in the Middle East, the rational for war, the relationship between Israel and the US, the strategy for empire, as well as tactical issues like the size of military force needed for colonial wars and the nature of colonial occupation. From 9/11/2001 to the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon Zionists and the civilian militarists had the upper hand: they marginalized the CIA and established their own intelligence services to “cook the data”, they pushed through the doctrine of sequential wars, beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq and projecting wars with Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. The Pentagon Zionists increased Israel’s power in the Middle East and promoted its expansionist colonization of Palestine, at the expense of US soldiers, budget busting expenditures and CIA objections.

The US military and security apparatus has retaliated. First by debunking Zionist lies about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, then by exposing the role of Zionist client Ahmed Chalabi as a double agent for Iran, followed by a two-year investigation of Pentagon Zionists passing documents to Israeli military intelligence and the secret police, the Mossad.

More is at stake than a turf war between the ‘Israel First’ Pentagon crowd and their opponents in the US military, diplomatic corp and intelligence agencies. The fundamental issue is the freedom of the US people to decide or at least influence their political leaders and their appointees without being subject to the manipulation and control by a foreign government (Israel) and their highly placed agents in positions of power.

Israel has for decades subverted US foreign policy to serve its interests through the organized power of major Jewish organizations in the US. What is new in the current Pentagon spy case is that rather than pressuring from the outside to secure favorable policies for Israel, the Israel loyalists are in top positions within the government making strategic decisions about US global policy and providing their Israeli handlers with secret documents pertaining to top level discussions in the White House on questions of war and peace. Today the politics of Pentagon and AIPAC espionage is especially dangerous – because what is at stake is a new US and/or Israeli war on Iran which will ignite the entire Middle East.

The move to high-level spying by top Zionist policy-makers like Douglas Feith, Elliott Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz and others in the Bush Administration is the culmination of a long series of strategic policies promoted by AIPAC designed to enhance Israeli expansionist goals in the Middle East.

Wolfowitz, Feith, Abrams, Perle, Rubin et al were the most zealous promoters of the war against Iraq. They worked closely with other Zionist ideologues like Bush speechwriter David Frum to promote the notion of “axes of evil”, to engage in a sequence of wars against Muslim regimes hostile to Israeli colonial policy in Palestine and beyond. Wolfowitz, Feith set up the parallel ‘intelligence’ agency (the Office of Special Planning) run by fellow Zionist Abram Shulsky using Chalabi to provide phony data on Iraq to precipitate that war. An army of ‘Israel First’ academic and journalist ideologues wrote, spoke and acted to justify the US attack on Iraq as the first part of a regional war to destroy any and all regimes critical of Israeli expansionism. Cohen, Rubin, Kristol, Foxman, Ledeen and many others provided “expert” propaganda on why US soldiers should kill and be killed for Greater Israel. Almost daily meetings and consultations took place between the top Zionists officials and the Israeli military and intelligence leaders in the offices of Feith and other Zionists. The Pentagon offices of Feith and Wolfowitz appeared to be an upscale bordello for high ranking Israeli officials. Judging from the subsequent policies it is clear that Pentagon Zionists took their cues from their Israeli counterparts – Israel was given greater funding, unlimited access to US policy makers and information pertaining to US policy in the Middle East. Meantime US intelligence and military officials were marginalized, their objections to Israeli positions blown away, their very presence seen as obstacles to realizing Sharon’s vision of a Greater Israeli – sharing (?) domination over the Middle East.

Given the high level of structural collaboration and integration of US Pentagon Zionists and US Jewish organizations with the Israeli state, the boundaries of what is United States policies and interests and what are Israeli prerogatives and interests are blurred. From the perspective of the Pentagon Zionists and their organized Jewish supporters, it is “natural” that the US spends billions to finance Israeli military power and territorial expansion. It is “natural” to transfer strategic documents from the Pentagon to the Israeli State. As Haaritz states, “Why would Israel have to steal documents when they can find out whatever they want through official meetings?” The routinization of espionage via official consultations between Israeli and US Zionist officials became public knowledge throughout the executive branch. Only it wasn’t called espionage, it was referred to as ‘exchanging intelligence’, only the Israelis sent ‘disinformation’ to the Pentagon Zionists to serve their interests while the latter passed on the real policies, positions and strategies of the US government.

The history of the key Zionists in the Pentagon reveals a pattern of disloyalty to the US and covert assistance to Israel. Harold Rhode and William Luti, both fanatical Pentagon Zionists under Feith , Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby have been under investigation by the FBI for passing documents to Israel. Rhode had his security clearance suspended recently. CIA operatives in Baghdad reported he was constantly on his cell phone to Israel reporting on US plans, military deployments, political projects, Iraqi assets and a host of other confidential information. Michael Ledeen, another influential Zionist policy maker who worked in the Pentagon lost his security clearance after he was accused of passing classified material to a ‘foreign country (Israel). In 2001 Feith hired Ledeen to work for the Office of Special Plans which handled top secret documents. Feith himself was fired in March 1983 from the National Security Council for providing Israel with classified data. The FBI investigated Wolfowitz for having provided documents to Israel on a proposed sale of US weapons to an Arab country.

It is clear that Israeli agents, not simply Zionists ideologues, infest the top echelon of the Pentagon. The question is not merely a question of taking this or that policy position in favor of Israel but of working systematically on a whole range of issues to further Israeli power over and against US imperial interests.

What is surprising is not the current investigation over Israeli spies in the Pentagon but why they have not been arrested, indicted and sentenced a decade or two earlier.

The problem of American Jewish organizational collaboration with Pentagon espionage - namely the role of the AIPEC as an accomplice in the current spy case - is not exceptional. In their books, former Mossad agent, Victor Ostrovsky ( The Other Side of Deception, 1994), and Gordon Thomas and Martin Dillon (Robert Maxwell: Israel’s Superspy, 2002) describe how the Israeli security forces have recruited overseas Zionist Jews, who are called sayanim, to serve as back-up supporters and collaborators in Israeli overseas operations. AIPAC is not merely a pro-Israel ‘lobby’ but a long-standing listening post and gatherer of public and confidential government information for Israel. At a more ‘philosophical’ level there is an insidious belief widely held among the leaders of major Jewish organizations like AIPAC that the basic question for all Jews is whether the “policy is good for the Jews” - narrowly defined to mean the interest of the State of Israel and its current rulers. In pursuit of “Defending Israel at all costs” it is very likely that some of these officials go over the line into wartime espionage.

President Bush has declared that he is a “wartime President” – the US is officially involved in a colonial war of aggression against the Iraqi people. In these circumstances, espionage in time of war is a capital offense… even if the spymasters are Israelis. It is no wonder that the Zionist and Israeli propaganda machine is working overtime to undermine the espionage investigation.

After the first announcement by CBS television, the rest of the mass media gave prominent space to Israeli and AIPEC denials. More seriously the CBS broadcast deliberately harmed the FBI spy investigation into the links between the Pentagon and AIPEC. The FBI blames CBS’s revelations concerning Franklin when, the latter had already confessed and was working with the FEDS to implicate AIPAC and Israeli agents. Zionist ideologues in the US mass media and the Israeli press try to downplay the incident – first through vehement denials and subsequently to reducing the case of treason to a question of a routine exchange of information by a single “lower level”, bumbling but fanatically pro-Israel Gentile functionary. They forget to mention he was hired and directed by Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz to be their expert on Iran deeply involved in handling top secret documents and formulating policy on Iran.

The Israeli officials claim that Mossad and military intelligence solemnly pledged to stop spying on the US after the Jonathan Pollard case. “We have never spied on the US since…”, they claim. In fact over 800 Israeli spies posing as ‘art’ students and tourists were expelled after 9/11 and several Mossad agents posing as movers in New Jersey and Tennessee were expelled.

The arrogance of Israeli power in then US, which Sharon publically boasted about, is largely based on the simple principle embraced by all Zionist zealots whether they are Ivy league academics or neo-fascist felons (like Elliot Abrams) is “What’s good for Israel is good for the US”. “Good for Israel” today means bloody US wars against Israel’s adversaries, unconditional support for Israeli expansion and pillage of Palestine and now spying on the US for the good of Israel. Guided by this slogan it is easy to see how everything in the US that might be of use to Israeli intelligence whether it be documents, directives or strategic debates about big wartime issues taking place in the White House are fair game for transmission to Israeli intelligence.

Rather than face the evidence, the Zionist ideologues have taken to ad hominum attacks on their espionage agent as merely a middle level official who didn’t influence policy. They overlook the fact that he was the ‘delivery boy’ for his Zionist bosses who actually do make policy and work with top echelons of the Israeli state in ‘coordinating’ US policy to fit Israel’s needs. The power of the Israeli-US Zionist propaganda machine is so overwhelming that the FBI had to investigate for 2 years, make endless wiretaps, videos and photos, interview dozens of government and not-government officials before they could prepare to make the charges. Despite being taped and photographed in the act of taking top secret documents, AIPEC officials deny everything and then hire a string of high-powered defense lawyers. Already the pro-Zionists mass media suggest that Zionist-AIPEC spying is really a case of ‘mishandling sensitive documents’ – a case of putting top secret documents in the wrong mailbox. Really!

In less than two days the pro-Israel mass media buried the story, and a series of ‘news reports’ were published featuring AIPEC denials, Israeli ridiculing their Pentagon mole as a fanatical idiot (Haaretz) and launching a counter attack questioning the motives of the investigation and the FBI counter-espionage service. The media published stories from anonymous “insiders” who purportedly spoke of the FBI dropping espionage charges in favor of charges of “mishandling a classified document” or even simply dropping the case altogether. They claim that the spy handing over a classified document to Israeli interests didn’t know it was a crime, a case of an innocent, well-intentioned error of judgment. This piece of propaganda has been thoroughly discredited when it was revealed that the Israeli agent (Franklin) confessed and has been cooperating with the FBI for the past months.

Nothing captures the power and pervasive and corrosive influence of the US-Zionist apparatus on US politics as much as the absolute silence of both major candidates faced with a high-level security lapse and potentially damaging spy investigation. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate trailing Bush in the polls refuses to expose the Zionist Pentagon’s ‘security failures’ despite national security being at the center of his campaign. The reason is very clear: Kerry is tied to the AIPEC-Israel-US Zionist political machine and he is willing to sacrifice US security for the Zionist vote even when faced with the issue of Israeli espionage in a time of war.

The Republicans went one step further – sending their top politicos to an AIPEC political extravaganza organized in New York two days after AIPEC was cited by the FBI as the Israeli intermediary in the passing of secret documents. At no time in recent modern history has any governing or opposition party engaged in public festivities with an organization engaged in foreign espionage. The explanation is the unprecedented and unique political situation that exists in the US today – the extraordinary power that a small, economically dependent state exercises over a global imperial state via its wealthy organized political-religious agents.

If Israel can get anything it wants from its Zionist patriots in high places in the US government, then why engage in espionage? There are several explanations.

The hand delivery of documents by Franklin can be seen as a time saving and security-wise move. If discovered, Franklin’s mentors can simply deny involvement – he was acting on his own, an argument put forth in the Israeli press. The idea of Franklin as some kind of ‘loose cannon’ does not explain why he was hired, retained and given delicate assignments and praised by the senior Zionists (Feith, Wolfowitz, Ledeen and Abrams) up to the time of his exposure. Secondly the document transferred provided Israel with very timely information on a major top-level debate: US policy toward Iran, more particularly who was for or against a military assault on Teheran. This allows Israel to plan its own military strategy knowing in advance Washington’s possible response and directing its higher up Pentagon collaborators how to prepare the ground for acceptance of Israeli aggression. Fundamentally Israel wanted to be in the

White House decision making loop at every stage of Middle East policymaking via Wolfowitz, Feith et al and via confidential documentary accounts which the Mossad could analyze directly. There was a ‘need’ for espionage, because the Mossad does not merely rely on one source of information, nor does it operate only on one track. It has direct formal and ‘informal’ relations (spying) with ‘friendly’ government policy-makers. It operates on many levels, legal and illegal, through Zionist collaborators as well as overseas agents, through agents with false passports and though local Zionist sleepers, who can be activated for specific tasks…

Conclusion

Investigations and evidence are usually enough to proceed with indictments, interrogations and the pursuit of the leaders and foreign handlers in a major espionage case, especially in wartime. Thousands of innocent South Asians, Arabs and Muslims have been picked up and jailed on the most flimsy excuses (“suspicions”). But in the case of Israeli-AIPEC-Pentagon espionage the normal legal processes are inoperative.

The question of espionage prosecution depends on political power - a struggle between the Israeli State backed by the major Presidential candidates and parties, the Zionist-American political machines and their mass media acolytes on the one hand and, on the other hand the FBI, professional intelligence apparatus (CIA, DIA), state prosecutor and his investigatory staff and few stray political voices. The so-called progressive movements and policy critics are strangely silent: Even as they speak out against war, they fail to denounce an espionage case which is intimately related to the next Middle Eastern war – an Israeli attack on Iran. Why don’t progressive Jews denounce AIPAC espionage to further a new war in Iran? A signed statement “Not in our name” would clearly separate them from these agents of foreign wars. Three days after the initial expose, the mass media have buried the story. The FBI is delaying any announcements. The prosecuting attorney is under tremendous one-sided political pressure. Lacking any mass media outlets the US republic is a helpless giant, tied in knots by malicious dwarfs, unable to defend itself, unable to define its own policy interests. The latest report from the FBI tells us that self-confessed Israeli agent was preparing to lead the authorities to his contacts in the Israeli government when CBS blew open the case. Was CBS aware of the danger to the Israeli secret services and was it trying to undermine the investigation? No doubt some sort of official statement will be made, perhaps even an indictment will be made of the middle level functionary on secondary charges and the FBI may even dare to interview Wolfowitz and Feith on their knowledge of the espionage network with predictable consequences. However if there is anything beyond an interview, the Zionist media will charge “anti-Semitism”, a “Second Dreyfuss” case, which will probably end the current investigation.

The ‘underground’ struggle between the Pentagon Zionists and the US security apparatus will continue. If Bush is re-elected, Wolfowitz will most likely become Secretary of Defense. If Kerry is elected, the closet Zionist, Richard Holbrooke, will take charge of the Pentagon.

American citizens will have to face a serious question: If the security services are incapable of defending our country from foreign espionage in high places – What is to be done?

In either case we face an imminent Zionist designed and promoted military attack on Iran, which is likely to lead to a general conflagration which can only benefit the neo-fascists who run the state of Israel. And you are afraid of being called an anti-Semite for opposing the Israel’s espionage and regional wars.

August 31, 2004




AIPAC on trial: them or US

In August 2004, the FBI and the US Justice Department counter-intelligence bureau announced that they were investigating a top Pentagon analyst suspected of spying for Israel and handing over highly confidential documents on US policy toward Iran to AIPAC which in turn handed them over to the Israeli Embassy.

. 01.09.2006

The FBI had been covertly investigating senior Pentagon analyst, Larry Franklin and AIPAC leaders, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman for several years prior to their indictment for spying. On August 29, 2005 the Israeli Embassy predictably hotly denied the spy allegation. On the same day Larry Franklin was publicly named as a spy suspect. Franklin worked closely with Michael Ledeen and Douglas Feith, then Undersecretary for Defense in the Pentagon, in fabricating the case for war with Iraq. Franklin was the senior analyst on Iran, which is at the top of AIPAC's list of targets for war.

As the investigation proceeded toward formal charges of espionage, the pro-Israeli think tanks and ?Zioncon? ideologues joined in a two-prong response. On the one hand some questioned whether 'handing over documents' was a crime at all, claiming it involved 'routine exchanges of ideas' and lobbying. On the other hand, Israeli officials and media denied any Israeli connection with Franklin, minimizing his importance in policy-making circles, while others vouched for his integrity.

The FBI investigation of the Washington spy network deepened and included the interrogation of two senior members of Feith's Office of Special Plans, William Luti and Harold Rhode. The OSP was responsible for feeding bogus intelligence leading to the US attack of Iraq. The leading FBI investigator, Dave Szady, stated that the FBI investigation involved wiretaps, undercover surveillance and photography that document the passing of classified information from Franklin to the men at AIPAC and on to the Israelis.

The Franklin-AIPAC-Israeli investigation was more than a spy case, it involved the future of US-Middle East relations and more specifically whether the 'Ziocons' would be able to push the US into a military confrontation with Iran. Franklin was a top Pentagon analyst on Iran, with access to all the executive branch deliberations on Iran. AIPAC lobbying and information gathering was aggressively directed toward pushing the Israeli agenda on a US-Iranian confrontation against strong opposition in the State Department, CIA, military intelligence and field commanders.

Franklin?s arrest on May 4, 2005 and the subsequent arrest of AIPAC foreign policy research director Steve Rosen and Iran specialist and deputy director for foreign policy, Keith Weissman on August 4, 2005 was a direct blow to the Israeli-AIPAC war agenda for the US. The FBI investigation proceeded with caution accumulating detailed intelligence over several years. Prudence was dictated by the tremendous political influence that AIPAC and its allies among the Conference of the Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations wield in Congress, the media and among Fundamentalist Christians and which could be brought to bear when the accused spies were brought to trial.

The first blow was struck on August 29, 2004, when CBS publicized the FBI investigation just when Franklin confessed to have passed highly confidential documents to a member of the Israeli government and began cooperating with federal agents. He was prepared to lead authorities to his contacts inside the Israeli government. Subsequently Franklin stopped cooperating. The Anti-Defamation League's (a leading Jewish pro-Israeli lobby) Abe Foxman called for a special prosecutor to investigate 'leaks' of the FBI investigation, because they were 'tarnishing' Israel's image (called 'magna chutzpah'). Then Attorney General Ashcroft intervened to try to apply the brakes to the investigation, which spread into the 'Ziocon' nest in the Pentagon: Feith, Wolfowitz, Perle, and Rubin were 'interviewed' by the FBI. Ziocon, Michael Rubin, former Pentagon specialist on Iran and resident 'scholar' at the American Enterprise Institute, blasted Bush for ?inaction in the spy affair? and called the investigation an 'anti-Semitic witch hunt' (Forward Sept. 10, 2004). AIPAC launched a massive campaign against the spy probe and in support of its activities and leaders. As a result scores of leading Congress members from both parties vouched for AIPAC?s integrity and pledged their confidence and support of AIPAC.

Never in the history of the United States had so many leading Congress members from both parties pledged their support for an organization under suspicion of spying, based only on information supplied by the suspect and in total ignorance of the federal prosecutor?s case. Contrary to the bipartisan Congressional support for AIPAC, a poll of likely voters found that 61% believed that AIPAC should be asked to register as an agent of a foreign power and lose its tax exempt status. Only 12% disagreed. Among American Jews, 59% were not sure, while 15% strongly agreed and 15% strongly disagreed (Zogby International, Sept. 25, 2004). Clearly many Americans have serious doubts about the loyalty and nature of AIPAC activities, contrary to their elected representatives. The federal spy investigation proceeded despite Executive and Congressional opposition, knowing that it had the backing of the great majority of US citizens.

In December 2004, the FBI subpoenaed 4 senior staffers at AIPAC to appear before a grand jury and searched the Washington office of the pro-Israel lobby seeking additional files on Rosen and Weissman.

AIPAC continued to deny any wrongdoing, stating: ''Neither AIPAC nor any member of our staff has broken any law. We believe any court of law or grand jury will conclude that AIPAC employees have always acted legally, properly and appropriately'' (AIPAC December 1, 2004). Nevertheless a few months into the investigation and with the arrest of the two top leaders, AIPAC terminated their employment and after a few months cut off paying their legal defense bills. Likewise Israel's categorical denials of espionage, evaporated, as video and transcripts of their intelligence operative receiving classified documents surfaced.

A Grand Jury was convoked in early 2005. As the FBI's spy investigation extended into AIPAC-Pentagon's inner recesses, self-confessed spy Franklin's superiors Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith announced their sudden resignation from the number 2 and 3 positions in the Pentagon, most likely reflecting a deal with the Justice Department to free themselves from further investigations into their ties with Israeli intelligence and Franklin. In February 2005, Bush announced that former convicted felon, defender of Central American death squads and long-term Zionist fanatic, Elliott Abrams, would be in charge of Middle East policy in the National Security Council. Abrams would serve as a channel for directing Israeli policies to the White House and as day-to-day source of the most essential policy decisions and discussions. Apparently Abrams was smart enough to keep his distance from the Franklin/Feith and AIPAC/Embassy operations and deal directly with Ariel Sharon and his Chief of Staff, Dov Weinglass. In April 2005, AIPAC dismissed Rosen and Weissman, saying their activities did not comport with the organizations standards. On May 4, Franklin was arrested on charges of illegally disclosing highly classified information to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group. On June 13, 2005 an expanded indictment explicitly named AIPAC and a 'foreign country' (Israel) and its Mossad agent, Naor Gilon, who had, in the meantime, fled to Israel.

Despite AIPAC being named in a major espionage indictment involving Steve Rosen, head of its foreign policy department and Keith Weissman, head of its Iran desk, US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice gave the keynote address at AIPAC's convention (May 22-24, 2005). Leaders from Congress and the Republican and Democratic parties also spoke, declaring their unconditional support for AIPAC, Israel and Ariel Sharon. The list included Senator Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (Republican) and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid. Based on previous year's attendance, more than half of the US Senate and one-third of US Congress members were in attendance.

Clearly AIPAC, with 60,000 wealthy members and $60 million annual budget, had more influence on the political behavior of the US executive, political parties and elected representatives than a federal indictment implicating its leaders for espionage on behalf of Israel. Could there be a basis for charging our political leaders as 'accomplices after the fact' of espionage, if the AIPAC leaders are convicted?

On August 4, 2005 Paul McNulty of the Justice Department formally indicted AIPAC leaders Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman of receiving and passing highly confidential documents via the Israeli embassy to the State of Israel. Their trial is set for April 25, 2006. Franklin's trial was set to begin on January 2, 2006 but has been postponed. Franklin has been co-operating with the FBI and Justice Department in its investigations of AIPAC and the Pentagon's 'Israel Firsters' in the run up to the invasion of Iraq and the further plans to attack Iran. The indictments are based on a prolonged investigation. AIPAC was targeted for investigation as early as 2001, while the indictment of Rosen and Weissman cites illegal activities beginning in April 1999.

The Spy Trial: A Political Bombshell

After Rosen and Weissman came under intensive federal investigation as co-conspirators in the Franklin spy case, AIPAC decided to cut its losses and cover its backside by throwing them overboard: AIPAC fired them on March 2005, arguing that their 'conduct was not part of their job, and beneath the standards required of AIPAC employees' (Forward, December 23, 2005). In effect AIPAC was making Rosen and Weissman the 'fall guys' in order to shake off a deeper Federal probe of AIPAC's activities. Moreover AIPAC stopped payments to Rosen's and Weissman's lawyers sticking them with almost a half-million dollars in legal fees. AIPAC does not intend to pay the fees before the trial is over, not for lack of funds (they raised over $60 million in 2005 and are tax-exempt) but for political reasons. AIPAC wants to see how the trial goes: if they are acquitted, it will be safe to pay their lawyers. But if they are found guilty AIPAC will refuse to pay (citing the organization's by-law technicalities) in order to avoid being implicated with convicted spies. AIPAC leaders are putting their organizational interests and their capacity to promote Israeli interests in Congress and the media over loyalty to their former officials.

Rosen and Weissman Strike Back

Facing up to 10 years in federal prison, up against detailed, well-documented federal charges based on wiretaps, videos and the testimony of self-confessed spy and Pentagon contact Franklin, fired and denounced by their former colleagues and current leaders of AIPAC, Rosen and Weissman are striking back with unexpected vehemence.

The defense attorneys are expected to argue that receiving information from administration officials was something the two were paid and encouraged to do and something AIPAC routinely does (Forward, December 23, 2005). In other words, Rosen and Weissman will say that pumping top US government officials for confidential memos and handing them over to Israeli officials was a common practice among AIPAC operatives. To bolster their case of 'just following AIPAC orders', Rosen and Weissman's defense lawyers will subpoena AIPAC officials to testify in court about their past access to confidential documents, their contacts with high-placed officials and their collaboration with Israeli Embassy officials. Such testimony could likely bring national and international exposure to AIPAC's role as a two way transmission belt to and from Israel.

If Rosen and Weissman succeed in tying AIPAC to their activities and if they are convicted, that opens up a much larger Federal investigation of AIPAC's role in aiding and abetting felonious behavior on behalf of the State of Israel.

In the almost two years since Rosen and Weissman came into the public limelight as spy suspects, AIPAC has successfully fended off adverse publicity by mobilizing leading politicians, party leaders and senior members of the Bush Administration to give public testimonials on its behalf. It successfully dumped Rosen and Weissman and pushed ahead with lining up the US Congress with Israel's pro-war agenda against Iran. And then out of the blue, Rosen and Weissman threaten to blow their cover as 'just another influential lobby' working to promote US and Israeli mutual security interests.

Rosen and Weissman's defense will certainly bring out the fact that AIPAC at no point informed their employees about what the law states regarding the obtaining and handing over of highly confidential information to a foreign power. Weissman and Rosen will argue that they did not know that receiving confidential information from administration officials and handing it over to Israel was illegal since everybody was doing it. They will further argue that their alleged spy activity was not a 'rogue operation' carried on by them independently of the organization, but was known and approved by their superiors, citing AIPAC's employee procedures for reporting to superiors.

Rosen and Weissman are taking on biblical stature. According to one former AIPAC employee with connections to the organization's current leadership, Rosen and Weissman are perceived as acting 'like Samson trying to bring the house down on everyone' (Forward, December 23, 2005).

'Everyone' that is involved in exploiting US wealth, power and military forces to serve Israel's expansionist interests. What started out as a small scale spy trial, no different from other recent cases, is growing into a major cause celebre, involving the most powerful lobby influencing the entire direction of US Middle East policy. If Rosen and Weissman are convicted and they effectively make the case that they were following orders and informing AIPAC of their felonious activities, it is possible that it will drive away many wealthy Jewish donors and activists, and perhaps put some shame into the politicians who kow-tow and feed at the AIPAC trough. With a weakened AIPAC and its neo-con/'Zio-con' allies in the government wary of continuing to 'liaison' with Israeli intelligence on Middle East policy, it is possible that a free and open debate based on US interests can take place. With a public debate relatively free of the constraints imposed by the Israel First lobbies and ideologues, perhaps the US public's opposition to Middle East Wars and occupations can become the dominant discourse in Congress if not the Executive. Perhaps the $3 billion dollars plus annual foreign aid to Israel can be reallocated toward rebuilding all the industrially ravaged cities and towns of Michigan, Upstate New York and elsewhere.

A move from Middle East militarism to a democratic foreign policy will not happen just because of a spy trial no matter how severe the sentence and no matter how deeply AIPAC is implicated, unless the American public is organized as a democratic majority capable of confronting party, congressional and executive leaders with the choice: You are either for America or for AIPAC. If the accused spies are convicted and AIPAC is implicated a clear choice will be posed to US politicians: Either standing up for a democratic foreign policy or further burying their heads in the slush money trough of agents of a foreign power and once more showing their backsides to the American people.





AIPAC: Lobbies and whistleblowers yes!, Spies no!

The arrest of two leading members of the principal pro-Israel lobby AIPAC for procuring confidential information from a leading Pentagon official and passing it to an Israeli spymaster seems to be an open and shut case of espionage.
. 04.30.2006

This is especially so when the Pentagon employee later confessed and agreed to testify against the accused AIPAC leaders. AIPAC, after reviewing the case, decided to fire the two accused spies and stopped paying their legal expenses. The Israeli agent, recipient of the confidential information fled to Israel, and has refused attempts by the prosecution to interview him. The information disclosed to the Israeli state touched on very sensitive material pertaining to US strategy toward Iran and Iraq and was a grave matter of state, considering that the AIPAC functionaries passed on the information during wartime.

At first the issue of AIPAC’s involvement in a spy ring on behalf of Israel split the major pro-Israel organizations, out of fear of possible repercussions, or anger that it might hurt their credibility on pushing Israel’s agenda. However the hard-line Israel Firsters soon went on the offensive, writing editorials, opinion pieces and pressing academic and professional groups to see the issue as a constitutional one of free speech. With time the liberal pro-Israelis jumped on the bandwagon pushing the issue as one of possible persecution of government whistleblowers, who act in the best interest of the government. There are many very solid reasons why the accused AIPAC leaders cannot be considered lobbyists, whistleblowers or investigative e reporters seeking out “inside information.”

Lobbyists, as we know them since the founding of the republic, represent a particular set of domestic interests (including foreign subsidiaries) pursuing specific sets of policies favoring the domestic groups, which they represent. Lobbyists, who represent the interests of a foreign government, are legal only when they register as foreign agents, pursuing policies, which favor their overseas paymasters. Organizations registered as foreign agents as well as all other organizations which seek and/or obtain confidential documents or information from the US government and transmit the information to foreign governments via spies in their US embassies (or directly overseas) are engaged in espionage and are chargeable as such.

The two former leaders of AIPAC charged with espionage by the Federal Government were not acting for a domestic constituency; they and their organization clearly identify their sole purpose as promoting the interests of the State of Israel. They and their organization did not register as agents of a foreign power, clearly in violation of the pertinent laws. Finally they and their organization did willingly and knowingly receive confidential information from a middle range Pentagon official regarding questions pertaining to US military strategy in a time of war and transmitted it to a Mossad agent doubling as a Political Secretary at the Israeli Embassy.

The US Government’s case rests on the testimony of the former Pentagon official, the admissions and videos of the accused that they indeed received the said confidential information and relayed it to a foreign power.

The tendentious arguments put forth by apologists for the accused spies take various forms, usually attempts to blur the line between “common lobby practices” and passing confidential information to a foreign power. One argument is that “most” or “all” lobbyists, (and journalists, pundits and others), secure or try to obtain “inside” information “all the time”. But this apology omits the relevant issue of securing and knowingly transmitting strategic military information vital to US war plans to a foreign power with its own specific regional interests in promoting or directing US foreign policy. Hardly a practice “most” lobbyists, if any, pursue. A further elaboration of the argument put forth by prominent ZionCons is that, the foreign power (Israel) is a “staunch ally” of the US, which “shares the same democratic values and strategic interests”, converting espionage into merely “sharing intelligence.” In fact some ZionCons not only defend the accused spies but chastise the US government for “holding back” information essential for Israel’s security and implicitly suggesting that any high level US Administration Middle East policy debates and decisions, in principle, should be open to the Israeli Foreign Office, or at least the minutes should be forwarded to the State of Israel. No country, by law or practice is obliged to share any part of its strategic discussion with any foreign power, ally or not, at any time. This bizarre ideological concoction converts the US into a unique client of Israel… In the same vein, Israel vehemently guards, only for its eyes, all of its strategic discussions, decisions on war and peace, psych warfare, espionage and nuclear weapons plans etc from all US officials at all times. All the major pro-Israeli organizations automatically and wholeheartedly defend Israel’s closed policy to the US even as many consider espionage a legitimate exercise in “information sharing”.

Predictably extreme ZionCons have even gone so far as to characterize the spy investigation against the leading AIPAC functionaries as an “anti-Semitic” witch-hunt attempting to curtail ‘legitimate lobbying’ activity. No evidence of “anti-Semitism” is ever presented, except for the charging of two Jewish functionaries of AIPAC of receiving and handing over to Israel confidential information. By the same token the trial and conviction of master spy Jonathan Pollard, who spied for Israel and was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, should be liberated and his prosecutors arrested for “hate crimes”, i.e. anti-Semitism since Pollard merely exchanged several truckloads of top-secret documents with Israel. In fact every Israeli Prime Minister has pressured US Presidents for his release to Israel where many consider him a “hero”.

Fox News reporter, Carl Cameron, relying on FBI reports, documented the arrest and expulsion of over one hundred Israeli spies blatantly prowling Pentagon and other government and military facilities between September 11 to December 30, 2001. The sheer scale of Israeli espionage operations in the US and their high-level intelligence and military operatives’ access to the offices and intelligence of the US Pentagon during the Paul Wolfowitz-Douglas Feith (numbers 2 and 3 at the Pentagon) tenure may have created a sense of immunity for the AIPAC operatives in passing secret information to Israeli agents. Given the clear-cut distinction between public lobbying for specific legislation favorable to a national constituency and engaging in the secret transmission of top secret war information to a foreign power, the arrest of the ‘AIPAC Two’ offers no threat to legitimate lobbying, to Jewish organizations or even to journalists seeking inside dope to secure a journalistic scoop.

Some Jewish and Gentile legal commentators and journalists have raised the issue of “free speech”, that the arrest of the ‘AIPAC Two’ is an infringement of the Bill of Rights and a threat to our Constitution. These legal experts apparently are unaware of the difference between speech (“We are unconditional supporters of the State of Israel”) and criminal action – obtaining highly confidential information and transmitting said information to a foreign government. To argue for “free speech” one would have to call for freedom to act on behalf of a foreign government, in time of war, in accordance with the war agenda of that foreign government. This would mean that Benedict Arnold, a kind of ersatz “lobbyist” for imperial Britain should have been released for passing documents against the independence of the United States, since he was only expressing his opinions…

The issue is not AIPAC’s right to stand on a soap box declaring its fealty to Israel at every twist and turn, they have been doing that from the day of their founding and have never been prosecuted. Indeed, they have received the adulation of every President and 95% of the Congressmen and women to the tune of $5 billion dollars a year in ‘aid’ to Israel. What is in question is when securing a yearly tribute from the US taxpayers crosses a clearly demarcated line and enters the arena of securing confidential documents and passing them over to Israel. Publicly securing ‘big bucks’ from Congress to give to the Israeli State is legal, covert espionage for Israeli Intelligence is not or at least unless AIPAC decides to lobby Congress to pass such enabling legislation in which spying for Israel is exempt from our country’s espionage laws. The defense of the accused AIPAC spies by certain progressives, including the Village Voice’s Nat Hentoff, Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman and even Daniel Ellsberg who argue that their prosecution will intimidate whistle blowers from exposing government malfeasance to public scrutiny. Whistle-blowers do not secure confidential information in order to inform foreign governments engaged in war plans (Iran) which will cost US taxpayers billions and the US military thousands of dead and maimed. A whistle-blower is concerned with government or corporate integrity; the activity of the Pentagon official and his AIPAC collaborators compromised the security of the US and increased the military capacity of a foreign government. Whistle-blowers seek to improve governance, the accused spies deliberately called into question out national sovereignty. Concerned whistle-blowers in the past, present and future will not be intimidated by the arrest of a Pentagon official for turning over confidential information to spies of a foreign country; their exposés are public and accord, in most cases, with the publicly articulated ethical norms of their office which are being violated by their higher-ups. The arrested Pentagon official did not go public to denounce his superior in the Pentagon, Zionist Douglas Feith for cooking up false data on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction as he might have. Instead he acted covertly, and transmitted confidential information to Israeli agents to pass on to the state of Israel in order for it to formulate a policy pushing the US toward an unprovoked, preemptive war with Iran. By this I am suggesting that there is not only a legal basis for the espionage trial of the two AIPAC employees, but a basis for a substantive and informed judgment condemning them for aiding and abetting a brutal, aggressive, colonial power (Israel) to leverage US strategic policies into a murderous attack against Iran.

Finally some ZionCon cynics argue that since the Israel lobby is so influential and the Administration has been and continues to be riddled with pro-Israeli policy-makers, why do they need to burn two key lobbyists in the major lobby group? Since we in the US lack a comparable lobby to AIPAC in Israel and lack insiders privy to the inner workings of their secret services, we can only make some educated guesses. First and foremost, the Israeli state’s intelligence services work many sources for intelligence, from official visits by friendly US policy-makers, one-sided exchanges with US intelligence agencies, to information flowing from individual and organized loyalists, to academic research, to paid Israeli agents (like Jonathan Pollard). AIPAC’s spying could be simply one more source, to corroborate, confirm or contradict other sources of intelligence. Given the recent unprecedented power of the pro-Israel lobby, where Presidents, Vice Presidents, Cabinet secretaries, Congressional leaders and Governors pledge their unconditional support of Israel and even openly proclaim that US-Middle East wars are for the defense of Israel, there was no reason to suspect that a little AIPAC espionage would result in a federal prosecution. In fact, the US State and the population at large are deeply divided on the issue of fighting Middle East wars for the state of Israel. Israel and its lobby’s high-powered campaign for a military attack on Iran has provoked strong opposition from former top officials, the military, the CIA – both retired and active - as well as from tens of millions who suffer the consequences of our ‘foreign entanglements’.

A test of strength between the opposing camps is being waged in the prosecution or release of the accused AIPAC spies. A successful prosecution would, at least, raise questions about the purposes and legitimacy of the pro-Israel war lobby. The dismissal of charges, which seems very possible or probable (given the mass one-sided propaganda effort), would be one more victory (this time in the Judiciary branch) for the pro-Israel powerhouse, which already has dominant influence in the Congress and the Executive branches of the government. A judicial victory would mean that the Lobby has political immunity to go about its business of promoting Israeli power by any means necessary. A democracy thrives on dissent; a democracy dies from deceit.






The Power of Israel in the United States

Introduction

On January 25, 2006 the Palestinian people voted overwhelmingly in favor of Hamas in the cleanest election to take place in any Arab Middle Eastern country. The Israeli government immediately refused to recognize the democratic outcome. It refused to turn over Palestinian tax revenues, deliberately blocked all trading outlets to drastically reduce what was already Palestinian subsistence living, and began an intense and prolonged series of violent assaults on Palestinian cities and villages, killing and maiming hundreds.

In the two and a half weeks prior to the Palestinian suicide attack of April 17, 2006 that killed nine Israelis, Israeli forces had already killed 26 Palestinians, including five children, and injured 161 men, women and children. In fact, according to the internationally respected human rights group, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, between April 6-12, 2006 alone, Israelis killed 19 Palestinians including three children. Ten of these were "extrajudicial executions," and 94 Palestinians, including 32 children, were wounded. The Israeli Occupation Forces conducted 27 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and 70 Palestinian civilians, including six children, were arrested. Israeli settlers attacked several farming communities, stealing livestock and destroying property. During that period overall, the Israeli military carried out 369 raids into the West Bank.

Similarly, according to UN reports, between March 30-April 12, Israeli forces launched 2300 artillery and tank shells and 34 missiles into Gaza. Defense for Children International reports that 4,000 Palestinian children have been arrested in the past five years (2001 -2006) 400 of whom are currently still in prison. Then on April 19, 2006, after the Palestinian retaliation, Israelis seized the mothers and wives of men on their 'wanted' lists and held them hostage in detention centers to force the men to surrender. Mosques were broken into and scores of families were forced out of their houses while Israeli soldiers ransacked their homes.

None of these violent Israeli killing expeditions were reported in the electronic or print mass media, by National Public Radio or in any of the Jewish Lobby propaganda sheets like the Daily Alert. Not a single US or EU leader stated a word of criticism of the preceding Israeli state terror. Only when a Palestinian group took credit for the suicide bombing and Hamas defended the right to reprisal did the entire Washington political elite and mass media denounce terrorism. The Lobby's propaganda ploy of focusing exclusively on isolated and sporadic Palestinian attacks and ignoring Israel's daily systematic executions has become the daily fare offered by the US political elite and the mass media to the American public. This serves to legitimize and justify the Lobby's advocacy for starving the Palestinian people into submission and its proposal that the US Congress give an additional $10 billion dollar aid package to resettle Israelis in the West Bank.

Despite these genocidal policies, the Hamas government observed a ceasefire, even as it asserted that Palestinians had the internationally sanctioned right to resist colonial violence. Having ignored Israel's sustained 'storm trooper' assaults on Palestinians, the US propaganda media launched an all out campaign to overthrow the Hamas government following the Palestinian suicide bomber attack, while the Lobby linked Iran to the incident in an effort to provoke a US military attack upon that country.

In response to the triumph of Palestinian democracy and taking their cues from the Israeli state, the entire pro-Israeli lobby and its Congressional and Executive branch spokespeople launched a successful propaganda blitz binding US policy to the genocidal Israeli blockade. The result was Washington's total adherence to every tenet of Israeli policy toward Hamas. Aid, including humanitarian aid, was cut. US officials were prohibited from even meeting with any Hamas officials in any capacity, while US diplomats pressured every European, Asian, Arab, and Latin American country to join the total blockade of any humanitarian aid to the Palestinians. While several Arab states balked at cutting off all aid, as did France and Russia, long-time US client leaders in Jordan and Egypt, as well as China, refused to meet representatives of the Hamas government. The US repudiated its own ostensible policy of "democratizing" the Middle President Bush's initial welcome of the democratic elections in Palestine was quickly replaced by an embrace of Israel's policy of starving the Palestinians into submission. These shifting policies were largely the result of the power exercised by the Jewish Lobby— as practically all Israeli commentators fondly refer to it.
A review of the Daily Alert published for the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (distributed daily to every member of the US Congress and Executive branch) between January to May, 2006 provides overwhelming evidence of the Jewish Lobby's intense efforts to strangle the Palestinian economy and promote a US military attack and embargo against Iran. The leading and most aggressive Senatorial proponent of a military attack on Iran is Senator Joseph Lieberman, an unfailing transmission belt of the Israeli Foreign Office. According to an interview in the Jerusalem Post (April 18, 2006) Lieberman, also a major leader and spokesman of the Jewish Lobby, stated, "I don't think anyone is thinking of this as a massive ground invasion, as in Iraq, to topple the government... [he envisioned] an attempt to hit some of the components of the nuclear program." Lieberman is not a loose cannon but the former Vice Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party and one of its most influential spokespersons on Middle East affairs. Lieberman's 'bombs over Teheran' position is a verbatim repetition of the current Israeli pro-war posture and in total accordance with the program of AIPAC, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the American Jewish Committee, the Anti- Defamation League and the Zionist Organization of America.

This book is about the power of the Jewish Lobby to influence US Middle Eastern policy. In addition to unconditional US backing of Israel, this includes launching an aggressive war against Iraq, inciting a military attack on Iran, and securing US backing for Israeli colonization of Palestine and the massive uprooting of Palestinians. The power of the Jewish Lobby in shaping US policy has long been recognized by Israeli leaders and certainly has allowed them to ignore the occasional Presidential pleas to cease and desist from massacres, assassinations, home demolitions, collective punishments, and other genocidal practices perpetrated against the Palestinians. As former President Ariel Sharon once boasted, regarding his influence over President Bush, "We have the US under our control". Yet despite their awareness of the massive, sustained, and unprecedented US funding to Israel, a great many otherwise progressive observers have been in denial or invented specious arguments for explaining away the link between the Israeli state/the Jewish Lobby and US Middle East policy. This book provides a chapter-by-chapter analysis and documentation of the power exerted by Israel via the Lobby on US Middle East policy.

Over 170 years ago, Alexis DeToqueville, an acute observer of US politics, expressed his fear of the "tyranny of the majority'- of an unruly majority,(1) which would override the rights of minorities in pursuit of their narrow interests. Today the threat to democracy, at least as it involves US policy toward the Middle East and questions of war and peace, is not in an unruly majority of the electorate, but in the majority of fundraisers for the Democratic Party and the minority financiers of the Republican Party. J.J. Goldberg in his book,(2) Jewish Power: Inside the Jewish Establishment based on data in the early 1990's, noted that 45 percent of the fundraising for the Democratic Party and 25 percent of the funding for the Republicans came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees (PACs). A more recent survey by Richard Cohen of the Washington Post shows higher figures: 60 percent of Democratic financing comes from Jewish pro-Israel PACs and 35 percent of the Republican fundraising. Almost all of the Lobby's party fundraising is tied to a single issue which cuts across the liberal-neocon divisions—unconditional and knee- jerk support for Israel, its policies, its institutions, its land grabs and its political-military definition of enemies. No single other lobby including Big Pharma, Big Oil and Agro-business plays such a dominant financial role in party funding. What would be interesting to study is the degree to which the $3 to $10 billion dollars in US aid to Israel is recycled back to the Lobby via money transfers, lucrative contracts between Lobby donors and Israeli enterprises and banks. In which case, US taxpayers would actually be subsidizing a network of local lobbyists working on behalf of a foreign power. The financial power of the Lobby over both parties allows it to influence and reward Israel loyalists and punish any doubters or dissidents, by funding alternative nominees and candidates or launching vituperative campaigns via the "friendly media".

The tyranny of the majority fundraisers is not exercised by the Jewish Lobby in order to secure private individual privileges but to secure the colonial expansionist goals of the Israeli State and its regional supremacy in the Middle East. As envisioned by the ZionCon ideologues and policymakers, the supreme goal is to convert the Middle East into a joint US-Israel 'Co- Prosperity Sphere', a project disguised as promoting democracy in the Middle East... by the barrel of a (US) gun.

The basis of the Lobby's PAC power is rooted in the high proportion of Jewish families among the wealthiest families in the United States. According to Forbes, 25 to 30 percent of US multi-millionaires and billionaires are Jewish. If we add the contributions to the Lobby by Jewish-Canadian billionaires with assets worth over 30 percent of the Canadian Stock Market, we can realize the scope and depth of the Lobby's power to dictate Middle East policy to Congress and the Executive.

The tyranny of Israel over the US has grave consequences for world peace and war, the stability and instability of the world economy, and for the future of democracy in the US. This study of the Lobby is not a discussion of 'another lobby' pressuring Congress for an increased budget subsidy, specific tax exemption or a piece of legislation benefiting a specific economic or regional interest. The demands of the Lobby led directly to US support of Israel's wars of aggression against Arab states in 1967, 1973, and 1982; the US wars against Iraq of 1991 and 2003; support of Israel's invasion of Lebanon and Gaza (2006); and ongoing military threats against Iran and Syria from 2001 to the present (2006). It is no surprise that a clear majority of Europeans (3) perceived Israel as the greatest threat to world peace and that the Lobby responded through its mass media acolytes with predictable shrill claims of "widespread anti-Semitism throughout Europe at all levels of society". This was subsequently echoed in Washington in response to the Lobby's campaign and manifested by the Bush Administration's bludgeoning Europe to support its belligerent posture toward the Middle East.

The issues raised by the tyranny of Israel and, by proxy, the Lobby, over the United States' Middle East policy are far too serious to be relegated to secondary consideration because of fear of verbal assaults, institutional blackmail, or ostracism by philo-lsraeli colleagues. This is especially the case for US intellectuals, who are faced with the dilemma of how to respond to the fact that there are over 20,000 U.S. casualties (and climbing) in Iraq and (4) over 250,000 Iraqis killed, and 4 million Palestinians facing starvation thanks to a Lobby-backed US blockage of funding to the democratic Hamas government. We have a special responsibility to the American people to describe and expose the wealth, power, operations and influence of the Lobby, and its ties to the expansionist colonial and mass-supported apartheid state that is Israel. (A poll in Israel, published by the liberal newspaper Haaretz showed that 68 percent of Israeli Jews reject living near an Arab. Surveys show repeatedly that nearly half of Israeli Jews favor the forced emigration of Arabs from Palestine—a policy that both major Israeli parties practice through forced land grabs, geographical fragmentation and economic blockades.)

In confronting the tyranny of Israel and its Lobby, US intellectuals have the responsibility to affirm the freedom to debate, discuss and criticize the Israel-Lobby axis, and then to use that freedom to diagnose, criticize and organize for a democratic foreign policy free from imperial and surrogate wars. It is not enough to have 'private reservations' about our colleagues' submission to the tyranny of the Israel Lobby. It is unacceptable to voice our cowardice by refusing to contest the deceptions and apologies for Israeli terror in the Occupied Territories by our academic colleagues for fear of provoking hysterical verbal ejaculations and their predictable labeling of us as creeping or crypto-anti- Semites. US intellectuals must rediscover their freedom to debate publicly and forcefully the disastrous consequences of following the Israel/Lobby line promoting sequential Middle Eastern wars. We must call the system of power by its name, organization, and international alignment—without euphemisms. The task of US intellectuals is no more and no less than a democratic revolution: to overthrow the tyranny of the pro-Israel PAC over our Middle East foreign policy, over our academic marketplace of ideas, as well as the tyranny of the Lobby over our mass media leading to its blatant pro-Israel and pro-Lobby bias. Intellectuals must challenge the Lobby's tyranny over our foreign aid budget. More specifically, activist intellectuals must challenge peace movements that refuse to criticize the Lobby or Israel's militarist policies.

The Lobby and its ideologues have gained intellectual hegemony via coercion and persuasion in spheres of public life that are central to our Republic—the assessment of and response to threats to our freedoms and self-determination. It is time to launch a counter-hegemonic movement here in the US, not for a different kind of empire, free of Israeli entanglements, but simply for the reconstruction of a democratic republic offering true freedom of expression and debate in matters crucial to American well-being.

This book is a modest effort in pursuit of that goal. The first part, "Zionist Power in America", focuses on the role of pro-Israel officials in the government and the Lobby in leading the US into the Iraq War (Chapters 1 and 2). It also highlights the intra-elite conflict within the government between the 'Israel Firsters' and the traditional state apparatchiks (Chapter 3). Zionist power, however, is not confined to the Lobby but also is reflected in the reports by investigative journalists who systematically avoid the obvious role of the 'Israel Firsters' (Chapter 4). While investigative reporter Hersh failed to uncover the Israel-Zionist-war connection, the FBI discovered a triangular spy case involving leading AIPAC operatives linked to a strategically placed official and their Mossad spymaster in the Israeli embassy (Chapter 5).

In Part Two, we discuss the role of torture, assassinations and genocide as integral parts of US-Israeli empire buiding (Chapter 6). In particular we focus on Israel's savage invasion of Gaza as a clear example of ethnic cleansing via terror bombing and destruction of civilian infrastructure (Chapter 7).The Jewish state's ethnocide with impunity in Gaza was a dry run for its full-scale genocidal attack on Lebanon, demonstrating the relationship between impunity and genocidal recidivism. In both Gaza and Lebanon, the Jewish lobbies played a major role in securing Washington's unconditional backing for Israel's Lebanon holocaust (Chapter 8). The role of Israel and its US proxies in preparing the US for war against Iran and its potentially catastrophic consequences are outlined in Chapter 9. Israeli power is as much ideological as military. In Chapter 10, 'The Caricature in Middle East Politics", we discuss the Israeli use of ideological warfare as a means of creating an advantageous polarization between Christians and Muslims.

In Part Three, we extend our analysis to the arena of psychological warfare and the moral basis of resistance. In Chapter 11 we analyze the role of Israeli and Lobby 'terror experts' who project the violence of the executioners onto the victims: the victims of course are Palestinians and Muslims, the Arab people and the Resistance. Through claims of 'expertise' and the use of prestigious institutional affiliations, the terror experts provide de-humanized descriptions of anti-Israeli and anti-imperialist adversaries that serve to justify the torture and abusive treatment, arbitrary mass arrests and collective punishment of entire peoples and communities. Contrary to the terrorist experts' opinionated judgments, we present (Chapter 12) an alternative perspective on the 'suicide bombers' which focuses on the negative impact of extreme material, spiritual and existential damage inflicted by colonial imperial powers as the detonator for suicide attacks in the face of overwhelming military imbalances.

In Part Four, we engage in ongoing political debate about the importance of the Lobby in shaping US imperial policy, relative to other interest groups (Chapter 13). Specifically we present a point-by-point refutation of Noam Chomsky's attempt to minimize the role of the Lobby and then proceed to critically examine the supposed role of the economic interests of Big Oil and Finance Capital in promoting the Iraq War and the impending Iranian confrontation. In Chapter 14, we discuss the possibilities of confronting Zionism and reclaiming freedom of discussion on American Middle East policy.


ENDNOTES

1. Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, Harper and Row, 1996.
2. J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power: Inside the Jewish Establishment, New York, Basic Books, 1997.
3. The Poll was commissioned by the European Commission, and conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres/ EOS Gallup Europe, between 8 and 16 of October. 2003. The poll found 59 percent of Europeans believe Israel represents the biggest obstacle to Mideast and world peace.
4. According to Les Roberts (Center for International Emergency Disaster and Refugee Studies at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, one of the world's top epidemiologists and lead author of The Lancet report) there might be as many as 300,000 Iraqi civilian deaths. (See Les Roberts, "Do Iraq Civilian Casualties Matter?" AlterNet, February 8, 2006.




James Petras' New Book: The Power of Israel in the United States
by Stephen Lendman
Global Research, October 29, 2006

James Petras is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York. He's a noted academic figure on the US Left and a well-respected Latin American expert and longtime chronicler of the region's popular struggles. He's also an advisor to the landless workers in Brazil and the unemployed workers movement in Argentina. Along the way, he managed to find time to write many hundreds of articles and 62 books published in 29 languages including his latest one in which he discusses another vital world region he has extensive knowledge of and has written frequently about - the Middle East and specifically the state of Israel and its relations with its neighbors, the Palestinians and, most importantly and the subject of this book, the US.

Petras' powerful new book is titled The Power of Israel in the United States. It's a work of epic writing and essential reading documenting the enormous influence of the pro-Israeli Lobby on US policy in the Middle East. It focuses like a laser to assure that policy conforms with Israel's long-term goal for regional hegemony. The Lobby's influence is broad and deep enough to include officials at the highest levels of government, the business community, academia, the clergy (especially the dominant Christian fundamentalists/Christian Zionists) and the mass media. Petras shows how together they're able to assure the full and unconditional US support for all elements of Israel's agenda going back decades even when that agenda harms our interests such as the unwinnable war in Iraq, any future one against Iran if it's undertaken, and the appalling and brutal subjugation and colonization of the Palestinian people that serves no US interest whatever. In spite of it, the Lobby is able to get the US to go along with Israel unconditionally with no serious opposition to it tolerated.

The book is divided into four parts. This review will cover each one in detail, and what's discussed will likely surprise any reader unfamiliar with the thoroughly documented account presented in it so compellingly. Petras sets the table in his introduction for what's to come in the later chapters. He notes what author JJ Goldberg reported in his book Jewish Power: Inside the Jewish Establishment. Goldberg wrote in the early 1990s that 45% of the Democrat Party's fundraising and 25% of that for the Republicans came from Jewish-funded Political Action Committees (PACS). Petras then updates the numbers using the ones Richard Cohen published in the Washington Post showing them now at 60% and 35% respectively, and that this funding relates to a single core issue - unconditional US support for Israel's agenda including those parts of it human rights activists and observers of conscience judge most egregious and illegal. Petras stresses that no other single US lobby including Big Pharma, Big Oil, agribusiness, or any other one has this kind of dominant influence over the political process here. He refers to "Zioncon" ideologues and policymakers whose main goal is to make the Middle East into a "US-Israeli Co-Prosperity Sphere" under the fraudulent cover of promoting democracy in the region - but doing it through the barrel of a gun.

Petras explains the root of the Lobby's power lies in the high proportion of Jewish families who are among the wealthiest and most influential ones in the country. He cites Forbes magazine that reported 25 - 30% of the wealthiest families here are Jewish despite the small percentage of Jews in the population overall. They include billionaires with enormous influence, and along with all others comprising the pro-Israeli Lobby, have created a "tyranny of Israel over the US" with consequences grave enough to threaten world peace and stability, the global economy, and the very future of democracy in this country.

That democracy and our constitutionally protected rights now hang by a thread after the recent passage of the Military Commissions Act (aka the "torture authorization act" or more accurately the "US Constitutional annulment act") that makes everyone everywhere an "enemy combatant" subject to arrest and detention out of sight anywhere in the world without regard for our (no longer) constitutionally guaranteed rights. The new law also applies to US citizens as the Jose Padilla case showed. We've effectively lost our habeas and due process rights even though technically we still have them.

Because of the Lobby's power, Petras reports, the US has unconditionally supported Israel's wars of aggression since 1967. It's influence also led to the US Gulf war in 1991 and the second Iraq war begun in 2003, now raging out of control and seen by some noted analysts as unwinnable and causing potential irreparable economic and political harm to the nation. Nonetheless, it persists with no plan agreed on to end it. The Lobby also guaranteed this country's unconditional support for Israel's illegal wars of aggression against Lebanon and Palestine with all the devastation they caused and the horrendous consequences from them unresolved. The Palestinian conflict still rages under the radar, and the status in Lebanon hangs by a hair trigger ready to erupt again any time Israel decides to resume hostilities. But inflaming the Middle East powder keg to a near boiling point is the strong possibility the US and/or Israel will attack Iran because Israel wants it and the Jewish Lobby put its powerful support behind it. More on this, Palestine and Lebanon below.

Today the situation in the Middle East is so dire, Petras reports a large majority of Europeans and a growing number of Americans believe Israel is the greatest of all threats to world peace and stability. Nonetheless, the Bush administration, in acquiescence to the Lobby, has "bludgeoned" its European partners to go along with its uncompromising support for the Jewish state despite all the obvious perils from it. In this country, open debate is stifled, public figures and academics daring to air one truthfully are pilloried, ridiculed, called anti-semitic and even threatened, and no serious dissent is ever tolerated in the corporate-run media or their funded and controlled so-called public radio or PBS parts of it.

No publication is more servile to, supportive of, or more influential than the nation's so-called "paper of record" publishing "All the News That's Fit to Print" - the New York Times. It's important because the stories it features prominently resonate around the country and the world. This dominant newspaper pledges unconditional support and fealty to the state of Israel whatever it does. The rest of the major media go along unquestioningly putting out regular one-sided pro-Israel uber alles propaganda with no opposition voices allowed to represent other points of view. We call that a free press - but only for those who own one. The state of the corporate-controlled media in this country is now so pathetic that Reporters Sans Frontieres (Reporters without Borders - for press freedom) just ranked the US 53rd in the world in press freedom behind countries like Benin, Namibia, Jamaica, France and Bolivia.

James Petras is a courageous independent voice who bucks this disturbing trend and refuses to go along. He proves it in his powerful and carefully documented new book that gives no quarter countering the mendacity, deceit and danger of the Lobby, its acolytes and hangers-on, and the corrupted major media. In his introduction, he calls for a "counter-hegemonic movement" to free us from our destructive "Israeli entanglements." It's needed to begin rebuilding our democracy and freedoms that are somewhere between life support and the crematorium. This book, he says, is his modest effort toward that goal. Because of the important information in it, it's considerably more than that. It needs widespread exposure so people will know about it. Hopefully this review will help arouse some of them to want to find out in more detail.

Part I - Zionist Power in America

Petras begins with a discussion of who fabricated the lies about Iraq's threat to our security and why. He mentions two competing channels of policy makers and advisors - the long-in-place formal structure of career military and civilian professionals in the Pentagon and State Department and a parallel one Bush administration neocons set up for this one purpose in the Pentagon, staffed by political appointees, and called the Office of Special Plans (OSP). It was the OSP's job to cook the books, come up with the idea of weapons of mass destruction while ignoring the clear evidence to the contrary and contrive a fraudulent case for war against Iraq. The people in it were those in Donald Rumsfeld's and Paul Wolfowitz's chain of command and were closely connected to a number of influential neoconservative and pro-Israel organizations. They planned a war agenda based on lies because Israel wanted it for its security and hegemony in the region - beginning with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein followed by regime change in Syria, Lebanon, Iran and even Saudi Arabia.

Petras points out, contrary to popular belief, this war happened largely due to the efforts of the Jewish Lobby representing the interests of Israel. Big Oil opposed the idea because it feared attacking Iraq would jeopardize its business prospects with other oil-producing states in the region. Still, Israel and the Jewish Lobby got their war, and aside from the gain from high oil prices, Big Oil may end up a longer-term loser from it. US oil interests always prefer stability and normal relationships with countries where they operate or wish to and were quite comfortable dealing with Saddam Hussein without wanting to risk a war that might upset an otherwise profitable arrangement. Their fears proved justified as the war they feared created such unresolved turbulence in Iraq, it's become too dangerous and unprofitable to undertake new ventures there except perhaps in parts of the Kurdish-controlled north. Big Oil also chafes at not being allowed to deal with the Iranians for contracts now let to its European and other competitors because US sanctions prevent them from doing business there. It's hard to imagine those interests would ever go along with US - Israeli belligerence in the Middle East, but they dare not oppose it publicly.

Petras observes there's never a public discussion allowed about that relationship in the mainstream nor will there ever be any, especially any hint the US attacked Iraq in service to Israel. There should be plenty of it though because the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have enraged hundreds of millions of Muslims and all people of conscience worldwide. They've caused the US to be seen as a pariah state and George Bush as a dangerous and morally depraved president of a failed administration. He and those closest to him like Richard Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are reviled around the world and increasingly here at home as witnessed by the many thousands who took to the streets on October 5 in over 200 US cities on The World Can't Wait Day - Drive Out the Bush Regime. The cost of Bush's wars far exceed any possible future benefits from them, our security has been jeopardized, the nation's status has been compromised, and some analysts believe the total dollar cost of the Iraq adventure may eventually top $2 trillion - an amount extremely harmful to the nation's economy that's now worrying key business leaders and responsible people in government.

The only clear beneficiary of the Bush war agenda is Israel. It removed its main adversary in the region and cut off the political and economic support it gave the Palestinians. Petras points out that Iraq along with Iran and Syria comprised the core resistance to Israel's expansionist plans to crush the Palestinians (one down, two to go), ethnically cleanse them from their homeland and seize their land as one part of a long-term goal for a greater Israel and unchallengeable dominance in the region. Israel is the only country in the world with undeclared borders. It's kept that status to give itself maximum latitude to annex all the territory it can toward the goal of a greater "Eretz Israel" Zionists want that includes the ancient lands of "Judea" and "Summaria," the West Bank biblical parts of Israel Palestinians claim as their homeland.

With US help, Israel removed one threat to its plan for regional supremacy, but it still faces determined resistance from the Palestinians in spite of having crushed its democratically elected Hamas government. It also faces a resilient Hezbollah in Lebanon that humiliated the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in the summer war there as well as opposition from Iran and Syria. In addition, there's internal opposition within Israel over its war and colonization agenda because of its enormous cost plus the added insecurity it causes. It's resulted in a level of out-migration now exceeding new arrivals as well as an erosion of the nation's social programs because the state needs the resources for its aggression and annexation agenda. It's much like what's happening under the Bush administration where the people pay the price for imperial wars abroad and the moral decay and authoritarianism at home.

Obstacles and setbacks aside, Israel has pursued its goal to "democratize" the region through a belligerent policy of neutralizing its enemies in it by force. The plan they crafted is for a series of wars with its US ally taking the lead and the eventual goal of joint US - Israeli control over the entire region. Making it work depends on getting US administrations to go along, which so far hasn't been a problem and has never been easier with the Bush administration in power and the high-level pro-Zionist officials in it with long-standing ties to Israel. They have the most important policy-making positions in government or are closely associated with the ones who do. These officials have a history of dedication to Israel's interests even when they conflict with those here at home. They're in the administration, the Congress as well as in the most influential Jewish organizations and lobbying groups like the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Anti-Defamation League and what some observers believe is the single most powerful lobby in Washington - AIPAC.

Committed support for Israel also comes from the "Jewish Diaspora" that comprises thousands of dedicated activists here - doctors, dentists, philanthropists, key individuals on Wall Street, the major banks and the Federal Reserve and other key segments of business, the major media, the clergy and academics and journalists given special prominence because of their willingness to corrupt their integrity in return for the handsome benefits they get for their unconditional public support and contrived rationalizations for the US -Israeli agenda. This kind of influence and support has made Israel by far the largest recipient in the world of US financial aid that amounts upfront to about $3 billion a year with more forthcoming any time as needed in added funding, weapons transfers and large low or no-interest loans that may never have to be repaid.

Israel also gets the unheard of advantage of receiving the latest and most advanced US arms and technology, unrestricted US market access for its products and services, free entry of its immigrants, unconditional support for its aggressive wars and colonization of the Palestinians and South Lebanese, and guaranteed US vetoes in the Security Council against all UN resolutions unfavorable to its interests. It's also able to get prominent Washington officials and the dominant corporate-run and funded media to label all criticism of Israel anti-semitic and freely uses this ruse whenever it serves its purpose. Israel is allowed to get away with its intelligence operations here as well including its covert penetration of military bases, the FBI, IRS, INS, EPA and many other government agencies. In addition, it's believed its agents knew in advance about the 9/11 attack but withheld the information knowing it would serve its interests to let it happen. There's also considerable evidence high US officials either knew about it themselves or were complicit in carrying it out because they also knew it would allow them the kind of reckless free reign at home and abroad they never could have gotten any other way. This is a story that won't go away nor should it, and one day we may finally learn all the parts of it we can only speculate about now.

Because of Israel's unparalleled ties to the centers of power and dominant media, Petras notes it's able get back $50 in return for every dollar it spends. That's how it's able to finance its military and colonial settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) on annexed land. The Jewish networks here support these practices as justifiable compensation allowed victims of the "Holocaust" (the ones noted author John Pilger calls "worthy victims") and circulate that ideology in the corporate media. They also reinforce anti-Muslim hysteria labelling all Arabs untrustworthy, radical Islamic fundamentalists or Islamo-fascists ("unworthy" victims for John Pilger), claiming the right to arrest, torture and mete out summary justice to them in military tribunals or just attack and kill them in imperial wars of "liberation."

The result for Israel and its people has been disastrous because the Palestinians have refused for almost six decades to accede to this abuse and have waged two Intifadas to end it. With little more than a fierce determination, their bodies and crude weapons, they've fought back with suicide bombings and attacks on public facilities in Israel knowing what harsh retaliation they'll face afterward. People in the US have also paid a heavy price in the erosion of democracy and freedom. It's evidenced by the Bush administration's harsh legislation beginning with the infamous USA Patriot Act passed in short order right after the 9/11 attack, followed by other repressive laws and practices allowed like illegal surveillance and secret renditions of anyone targeted to torture-prisons with court acquiescence or silence about most of them.

Petras points out that none of this deters powerful supporters of Israel who raise billions of dollars to support the country's war machine and finance its colonization of annexed Palestinian land plus the Golan Heights (with its invaluable water resources) seized and never returned to Syria after the 1967 war. Israel's economy is not self-sufficient, and without this aid, it would have to make unacceptable cuts in social services, reduce its military budget and curtail its expansionary plans. With it, plus the $3 billion a year direct US contribution and lots more help, US taxpayers (like it or not) have the burden of funding Israel's belligerence and colonization agenda.

Petras itemizes what it all costs:

-- $3 billion annually in direct aid.

-- Billions more in loans as needed.

-- Millions annually for resettlement help for Soviet (now Russian) and Ethiopian immigrants.

-- a $10 billion loan guarantee in 1990 and a further $9 billion one in 2004 plus billions more for the asking and to be forthcoming to pay the costs of the 2006 Lebanon and Palestine wars.

-- Since 1981, economic aid made in cash transfers, and since 1985 military aid done the same way.

-- $45 billion in repayment waved loans since 1974 and billions more for the asking - free money at US taxpayer expense.

-- Since 1982, ESF cash transfers in one early in the fiscal year lump sum with no strings attached while other countries receiving them are paid quarterly with their use monitored. Israel invests the money in US treasuries costing US taxpayers millions more annually and also gets special FMS funding arrangements costing US taxpayers well over $1 billion since 1991.

-- Other privileged benefits include financial aid to develop Israel's defense industry, transfer of state-of-the-art technology and the latest US weapons, US guarantee for Israel's access to oil, and the likely massive aid still to come to defray the country's "special costs" for its Gaza "disengagement plan" morphing into the colonization of whatever parts of the OPT Israel wishes to annex for new settlements US taxpayers pay for.

-- Add to this some $22 billion Israel got over the past 50 years through the sale of its below-market interest paying bonds that have financed half of its development - meaning the colonization of annexed Palestinian lands and military funding for its predatory imperial wars.

Petras explains the Zionist power structure in the US makes it all possible, but its reach extends well beyond the so-called "Jewish Lobby." He identifies a "Zionist power configuration (ZPC) that includes AIPAC as one part of a "complex network of interrelated formal and informal groupings, operating at the international, national, regional, and local levels" unconditionally supporting the state of Israel and all its policies including its wars, colonization and oppression. It's power is like a cancer infecting the highest levels of government and all the other centers of power and influence as already explained. It controls the selection of political candidates and can defeat incumbents or aspirants daring to criticize Israel. It also shapes the reporting on Israel in the mass media suppressing any of it that's unsupportive or critical. And it's powerful enough to get "uncooperative" journalists, and even some academics, fired and banished from the mainstream for daring to step out of line.

Petras reports the power of the ZPC was evident in the run-up to the Iraq war and the Gulf war before it in 1991. Going back to the GHW Bush administration, the US wanted regime change in Iraq, but that decision was heavily influenced by the ZPC that considered Saddam a mortal enemy of Israel who had to be removed. He managed to survive through the 1990s despite our efforts to destabilize the country and bring it to its knees. But once the GW Bush administration neocons took over in 2001, the ugly business of war planning and occupation took hold to complete what the Gulf war left unfinished, and powerful Zionists (like Paul Wolfowitz and Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman - the senator from AIPAC) in key policy-making positions invented the threat to bring it about in March, 2003 - all based on lies, deceit and subservience to Israel's imperial agenda.

The US military finally removed Saddam and conducted a scorched-earth campaign to destroy Iraqi society, its infrastructure and historical treasures to "dismantle the secular state (and) turn the country in a desert kingdom - a loose collection of at least three 'tribal' client mini-states based on ethnicities, religious-tribal loyalties (and no viable threat against) Israeli expansionism, particularly in Northern Iraq." The effort to do this is now underway after the Iraq puppet parliament's passage of its federalism bill to take effect in 18 months that will effectively divide the country into the three US-ordered, designed and supposedly more easily governed parts it wants.

It's unlikely this can work, but it's clearer than ever now what the human cost of the war has been for Iraqis. It caused the violent deaths of about 655,000 of them attributable to the war according to a shocking new study published by the noted Lancet British medical journal which updated their two earlier ones done after March, 2003. The study used the statistically reliable technique known as random households "cluster sampling" with personal interviews conducted across the country that used death certificate verification in the great majority of cases to come up with the total. It's likely the true number of deaths is even much higher than this appalling number as the interviewers were unable to include in their count the most dangerous and violent parts of the country like Fallujah, Ramadi and other areas of al Anbar province where mass killing still goes on daily as well as families (likely in the thousands) in which all the members were killed.

This new information, just out and covering a period since March, 2003, compares to Human Rights Watch's estimate of 250,000 - 290,000 people killed by Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime over its 20 year existence. It amplifies the outrageous crime of this barbarous adventure to achieve a "Greater Middle East US-Israel Co-Prosperity Sphere" and to give Israel access to the extra water, oil, capital and markets it lacks. It was also part of Israel's greater agenda under the Sharon Likud, and now Olmert Kadima, governments to have free reign to pursue their stated policy of "annexation and separation" in the OPT. The Zionist influence in the Bush administration is so entrenched, it assured there'd be no opposition to it then or now.

It's all gone on in spite of mass anti-imperial resistance to what's seen as an arrogant disregard for the standards and norms of international behavior and laws in the pursuit of an expansionist agenda. Israel and the US today willfully violate the UN Charter, the Hague Regulations and Geneva Conventions relative to the conduct of war and when it may be legally waged, the treatment of prisoners, the use of torture, destruction of infrastructure and historical sites, and plunder of natural resources to establish client puppet-run regimes exploiting their people in service to the dominant capital and political interests of their imperial conquerors.

Then to quell resistance and tighten security, the US and Israel resort to the most extreme methods including mass arrests and detentions and the free use of torture and targeted assassinations as state policy. Amnesty International reports since the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the US and Israel are the only two countries in the world to have legalized the use of torture. Petras and others report the top leaders in the Pentagon up to Donald Rumsfeld specifically ordered its use "while the Justice and Defense Departments insisted that the President could override any laws - international or national as well as the US Constitution - in defending the empire." These top officials in key areas of government have audaciously given the President "de facto and de jure dictatorial powers" to do whatever he chooses to establish "Imperial Security." It makes our citizens at home no safer than the victims of US and Israeli imperial aggression in Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine or anywhere else in the world.

But Petras reports it's even worse than that as the expose of torture in Iraq revealed a highly organized network of US and Israeli assassins worldwide. They operate as international death squads engaged in "killing, kidnapping and torturing 'suspects' and sympathizers of resistance movements." Petras calls this a US-sponsored "Murder Incorporated" that's composed of Army Special Forces, Navy Seals and a DELTA force operating in a Special Agency Program (SAP). It follows the same practices long engaged in by Israel's Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations known as the Mossad, and its aim is to remove all opposition by whatever extralegal methods it chooses while ignoring international law. It then justifies this activity at the highest levels of government as a matter of policy.

Petras further points to the UN's International Leadership report on the destruction of civilian and military infrastructure in Iraq (much like what Israel did in the OPT discussed below). It showed "84% of Iraq's higher learning institutions have been burnt, looted or destroyed." Archeological museums and historic sites, libraries and archives have also been plundered, and targeted assassinations have been carried out against academics, other teachers, senior military personnel, journalists and other professionals including doctors. In addition, there are random or targeted daily terror killings by US-directed "Salvador option" death squads as well as thousands of kidnappings and other systematic horrors making life intolerable for most everyone in the country outside the four square kilometer fortress-like Green Zone HQ in central Baghdad for "coalition" officials and the puppet "Iraq interim government."

It's all part of Washington's design to destroy the country's cultural identity as an Arab state, separate its oil resources from any large population base, and divide the nation into more easily governed parts just the way it was done in the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It's now been reported that longtime Bush family consigliere James Baker, co-chairing an Iraq Study Group, will formerly propose the kind of plan the Iraq puppet government just passed putting a quasi-official US imprimatur on it as part of a US - Israeli divide and conquer strategy that may not be as easy to pull off as as the one in the former Yugoslavia or in the simple north - south divisions of Korea and Vietnam after WW II.

What's happening today in Iraq and Palestine is so outrageous and chaotic, Petras refers to a "House of Horrors" in both countries with the Zionist militarists at the Pentagon and their Israeli counterparts in charge of their respective "Horror Shows....under the big tent of a 'Mid-East Democratic Reform Initiative.' " This is the modus operandi of empire building and colonization - blast and tear a nation to shreds so it can never again exist as it once did. Then terrorize the people into submission and kill off all the ones who resist. It's a barbaric thumb in the eye to humanity, but this is the way rogue empires do things, especially when they're too powerful to challenge.

The US-led killing machine is in full operation in Iraq, and so is the Israeli one in the OPT. Petras calls the one there "Israel's Final Solution" or the "Palestinian Holocaust," and it's focal point is in Gaza which even unoccupied is the world's largest open-air prison for its 1.45 million people in the most densely populated space of its size in the world. Today the Strip and the West Bank are Israeli-directed killing fields targeting Palestinian civilians helpless to stop it beyond their courageous acts of desperation with crude weapons and their bodies against tanks, F-16s, helicopter gunships, and illegal and immoral terror weapons like white phosphorus bombs and shells, cluster bombs that never stop killing and maiming, and experimental new weapons that don't have publicly-known names yet.

Israel's war on Palestine has gone on for nearly six decades, and September 28 marked the sixth anniversary of the al-Aqsa Mosque Intifada resistance against it that began with Ariel Sharon's provocative visit to the holy site in 2000. Israel dramatically escalated the conflict after the minor June 25, 2006 incident at an Israeli military post near Kerem Shalom crossing killing two IDF soldiers, injuring several others and capturing a third still held whose name the corporate media made sure everyone knows but won't ever reveal any of over-10,000 names of Palestinian prisoners held (the fate of "unworthy victims"). The June clash followed a series of bloody earlier in the month Israeli attacks on Gaza including the widely reported beach shelling that killed eight Palestinians and injured 32 others including 13 children. Much as it did in Lebanon (discussed below), Israel's response was swift, deadly, disproportionate to what happened and planned months in advance as revealed by General Yoav Galant, in charge of Gaza, in a candid interview he gave in Israel's Maariv daily.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) documented it all including the devastation of the past six years. Overall it created a state of mass-immiseration for the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank:

-- essential infrastructure affecting power, clean water and sanitation destroyed

-- mobility restricted or denied

-- imposition of an embargo threatening the collapse of an already weak economy creating unemployment up to 80% of the population

-- hostile incursions into the OPT, daily killings, and frequent extra-judicial assassinations

-- home and property demolitions

-- mass arbitrary arrests, administrative detentions of thousands of Palestinians without charge, and the systematic use of torture on those held including against women and children

-- the destruction of a viable Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) through imprisonments of its democratically elected members held without charge or on contrived ones against them as well as the destruction of its civil and security facilities

All this and much more has been done (as in Iraq) to destroy the cultural identity and very existence of the Palestinian people to prevent them from ever having a viable independent state of their own as well as force a mass-Palestinian exodus to other Arab states willing to help them escape their intolerable situation in the OPT.

The plan to crush these defenseless people now includes credible evidence that the Bush and Olmert administrations have been arming, training and plotting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah followers to lead a civil uprising against the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority (PA) and destroy it by force. It follows the Palestinians failed efforts to form a national unity government because Hamas refused Fatah's demand to govern as Israel's enforcer and abandon its own pledge to serve the welfare of its people. Now in an interview on October 8 in the London Sunday Times, Fatah militia leader Tawfig Tirawi, inflamed matters by accusing Hamas of "accumulating weapons" and that "a full-scale civil war can break out at any moment." He earlier said "civil war is inevitable." The paper also reported President Abbas "notified the US, Jordan and Egypt that he is preparing to take action against Hamas." These statements defy Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh who firmly said he'll never allow a civil war to happen, and it's unimaginable the Palestinian people want one. But Haniyeh and his people may have no choice as this seems to be the current joint US-Israeli strategy to destroy Palestinian resistance and do it with help from Fatah President Abbas. This is the same man who pledged his fealty to Israel as a participant in crafting the Oslo Accords sellout of his people and being a principle in the Arafat-led corrupted and mismanaged Palestinian Authority until Hamas won a majority of the seats in the January, 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections. The Bush and Olmert governments wouldn't tolerate that outcome, and the New York Times reported right after the election US and Israeli officials met at the "highest level" to plan the destruction of Hamas by "starving" the PA and making the people in the OPT pay the greatest price.

For Israel, this is part of its state policy of ethnic cleansing by slow-motion genocide and out-migration all leading to the destruction of the Palestinian identity. It wants to co-opt a corrupted PA leadership of its choice to act as Israel's enforcer and partner in the destruction of its own people. It's to fulfill the intent of what former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meier meant by her racist comment that "There are no Palestinians" and what Prime Minister David Ben Gurion earlier said after Israel brutally expelled the Palestinians from their homes and land in the 1948 war establishing the state of Israel: "We have come and we have stolen their country....We must do everything to insure they (the Palestinians) never do return....(and 10 years earlier had written his son) We will expel the Arabs and take their places....with the force at our disposal." He and his successors planned to include all the land of biblical Eretz Israel (the land of Israel) within the final fixed borders of a greater Israeli state whenever they're finally declared. The US unconditionally supports Israel's plan to do this as well as its policies of plunder and exploitation, but as Petras explains: "No one in their right mind can claim that the Israeli assault on Gaza advances US policies, interests or US imperial power." It doesn't matter because the power of the Jewish Lobby got the full support of the Bush administration for it anyway as well as the near unanimity for it in the Congress.

The Rape of Lebanon

What Israel did to the Palestinians in the OPT over decades, it did to Lebanon in 1978, 1982 and in about a five week blitzkrieg beginning July 12, ending formally but fragilely with a UN-brokered ceasefire on August 14. Petras compares the assault to the Nazi's November 9 and 10, 1938 infamous Kristallnacht pogrom in the German Reich against the Jews calling that event a "garden party" compared to the rape of Lebanon and vast devastation from it. It began with Hezbollah's cross-border incursion on July 12, killing eight IDF soldiers in the exchange that followed and capturing two others. There's still a dispute over which side of the Lebanese border the incident took place as for years Israel routinely makes hostile incursions into Lebanon by land and air, and still illegally occupies the 25 square kilometer Shebaa Farms area of South Lebanon it never relinquished after seizing it in the 1967 war.

As against Gaza, Israel again responded swiftly and disproportionately in a reign of terror against the Lebanese people by land, air and sea. It killed and wounded thousands and displaced a million or more Lebanese civilians. It also systematically destroyed the country's essential to life and other vital infrastructure and created an amount of physical devastation that could take a generation to recover from if Israel even allows it to happen. It was done in part to destroy Hezbollah as a political entity and as an effective resistance force against Israel's imperial designs on the country. But Israel's plans are much more far-reaching than that as explained below.

Petras reported Middle East expert Juan Cole claims Israel wanted the war and planned it at least a year in advance. Matthew Kallman of the San Francisco Chronicle Foreign Service also found and reported evidence that preparations for it began in May, 2000, immediately after Israel ended its occupation of the country that began with its invasion and brutal assault in 1982 that killed about 18,000 Lebanese. Kallman also reported that over a year before the conflict began a senior IDF official gave "PowerPoint presentations" off the record to US and other officials and unnamed journalists and think tanks explaining how the attack would unfold "in revealing detail."

Again, Israel got the full backing, funding and arming as needed from the Bush administration to carry it out, effectively making this gruesome adventure a joint US-Israeli operation. Besides wanting to neutralize Hezbollah's resistance, the goal was to destroy Lebanon as a functioning country and ethnically cleanse the southern part of it up to the Litani River Israel wants to control and eventually annex and keep as it did the Golan after the 1967 war. Israel claims this area (like the Golan) is important for security reasons, but its greatest value (again like the Golan) is as a source of fresh water from the Litani and from the Wazzani springs that feed into the Hasbani River that's a tributary of the Jordan River. The Hisbani flows into Israel two miles downstream from the Wazzani and runs into the Sea of Galilee that's Israel's largest source of fresh water.

Israel has had designs on Lebanon for 40 years or more and has kept the country in a state of instability, partial occupation and conflict over most of that time. Now the state of the country is a devastated near-wasteland monitored by so-called (Israel-approved and friendly) UN Blue Helmets and Lebanese Armed Forces replacing the IDF on the ground under a fragile UN brokered ceasefire arrangement that could end any time Israel wishes again to unleash its war machine and on any pretext. There's nothing to deter Israel from doing it as it has the unconditional support of the Jewish Lobby and whatever US administration is in power. Unless this changes, the people of Lebanon, like those in Iraq and Palestine, can only look ahead to more conflict and the pain and suffering from it.

That's because there's still unfinished business for both empires, and it's not likely either one will soon give up on what they're determined to achieve. So even though Iraq is a hopeless quagmire, the Bush administration says it will "stay the course." And as long as Israel has full US backing, it will continue pursuing its imperial agenda even though Hezbollah humiliated the IDF in Lebanon and the Palestinians show no signs of ending their determined resistance short of mass-annihilation or forced expulsion. But it's not all smooth sailing as the unholy US-Israeli alliance faces a threat it can't ignore that could derail it. It's a growing broad-based worldwide anti-imperialist movement against these two partnered pariah states. It remains to be seen how far it will go, whether it can achieve critical mass in the US and in Israel, and if it can succeed in changing the direction of these two belligerents so far unstoppable and determined to go on unchecked by what passes for the civilized western world.

Part II - Israel and Middle East Warfare

It now looks like the only lesson the US and Israel learned from past failure is to press on with a new adventure. It appears the likely prime target is the Islamic Republic of Iran, as ill-advised as it will be to attack it. Petras explains that "Israel's political and military leadership have repeatedly and openly declared (their intention) to attack Iran in the immediate future." And once again it looks like the power of the Jewish Lobby in the US has the Bush administration thinking the same way to help its Israeli partner free itself from another "irritant" in the region that stands in the way of both countries' imperial aims. Petras calls Israel's Iran-directed war preparations "the greatest immediate threat to world peace and political stability (today)." It's hard to disagree.

That threat was heightened following North Korea's nuclear test which Israeli officials were quick to jump on suggesting it will benefit Iran. It came from an inflammatory statement by Miri Eisin, Prime Minister Olmert's spokeswoman, who told the AP: "We should remind ourselves that the North Koreans have already been suppliers of launching platforms which could reach Europe and certainly Israel. As such, they have already shown their willingness to be suppliers to Iran." Then Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman went further on Israel's Channel 2 TV referencing North Korea's nuclear activity and adding: "what Iran is about to do could be much worse, much more frightening and much more dangerous." This language practically demands an attack on Iran to destroy its presumed "nuclear threat" even though Iran is no threat to any country and the real threat is a growing likelihood of an Israeli and/or US attack on Iran or any other country in the region targeted as an enemy.

The US and Israel are allowed to get away with these kinds of outrageously stark and provocative statements even though the only pretext either country can fabricate is the baseless claim that Iran's legitimate right to enrich uranium for commercial use means the country has embarked on a nuclear weapons program that will threaten Israel. In fact, Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and, from all the evidence uncovered from years of monitoring by the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is in full compliance with it. It has every legal right to pursue its commercial nuclear program and nuclear enrichment for it. Israel, on the other hand, never signed the treaty, is known to have two to three hundred or more sophisticated nuclear weapons and launching systems for them, has stated its intention to use them if it chooses to, and is a nuclear outlaw - but one with an important ally the Iranians lack.

Today the debate in Israel is only over the method and timing of attacking Iran. Petras explains the Israelis have been pushing the US to do it for over a decade with the power of the Jewish Lobby in full support claiming the Islamic Republic threatens Israel's security and its dominance in the region. It doesn't matter that Iran never attacked its neighbors and isn't likely to undertake a military action except in self-defense as it did against Iraq in the 1980s. Further, it's an Israeli and made-in-America agitprop fabrication that Iranian President Ahmadinejad threatened "to wipe Israel off the map." The president said a number of things including...."this regime that is occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time" meaning an illegal racist colonial one, but he didn't say or mean it should be removed by force or that Jews should be expelled from Israel.

Further proof of Iran's intentions came from Grand Ayatollah Khamenei's public pledge never to attack another country. He also condemned the development and use of nuclear weapons as being against Islam. The Western media was careful to suppress Khamenei's pledge and instead published false reports that he threatened the US to heighten the tension between the two countries. It's all part of the scheme to get full US support for Israel's intended war plans and the long held desire of both countries for regime change in Iran.

Petras lays out a dire scenario if a US, Israeli or joint attack is launched. It will be especially bad if the US does it using so-called "mini-nuke robust earth penetrator bunker-buster" munitions which are weapons that can be made to any desired potency and are likely to be from one-third to two-thirds as powerful as the Hiroshima bomb. In other words, there's nothing "mini" about them. Aside from the catastrophic level of immediate and long-term casualties from nuclear annihilation and radiation in Iran and beyond, Petras explains such an attack will only be a "pyrrhic victory." If Israel does it alone, it may set off a chain "political conflagration (to) unseat the rulers of Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Saudi Arabia." If the US attacks, it "would be even worse: major oil wells burning, US troops in Iraq surrounded (with the catastrophic consequences of far greater loss of life on both sides), long-term relations with Arab regimes undermined and increased oil prices (possibly high enough to cause a worldwide economic calamity) and supplies disrupted." It's almost certain this would inflame or enrage public opinion in the US and Israel that could lead to the ouster of the ruling parties in both countries.

It would also likely undermine Big Oil's existing and desired major oil exploration projects and cause the Israelis to crack down harder on the Palestinians and make them face forced massive ethnic cleansing expulsion from their homeland. Further, it would almost certainly get a response from Hezbollah or other resistance in South Lebanon, reignite the conflict there, unleash the Israeli killing machine all over again and cause more mass displacement and reoccupation by the IDF as the UN Blue Helmets and Lebanese forces evacuate the conflict zone. And it would lead to a growing threat of retaliatory terror attacks in the US, other Western countries and in Israel and would likely strengthen the resolve of other nations feeling potentially threatened by a hostile US, Israel and the West to seek defensive economic and military alliances in a structure like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that was formed in 2001 for political, diplomatic, economic and security reasons to act as a counterweight to NATO which the US dominates.

Still, with all the hazards of attacking Iran clearly in the minds of US policy makers, the momentum for it is moving ahead. It's happening in spite of serious high-level dispute in Washington about undertaking it. The Pentagon has war plans for it to include NATO, Israel and Canada, and it currently has a major US naval strike group deployment in the Persian Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean. Part of it is permanently stationed in the region, and in early October, The powerful Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group got "prepare to deploy" orders, headed there on October 3 and is now in place for whatever action may be intended. It joins the Enterprise and Iwo Jima Expeditionary Strike Groups making a total of three US naval task forces in position opposite Iran for whatever purpose may be planned and will shortly be joined by a fourth Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group that left Singapore on October 16 for the region. Naval forces already there have been engaged in what the Iranian foreign ministry calls "dangerous and suspicious" exercises in the Gulf practicing intercepting and searching ships for potential WMDs and missiles.

This all may be just a saber-ratling bluff, but if it's more than that it could unfold as a late October or early November "surprise" ahead of the November 7 congressional elections now only days away and be initiated in response to a manufactured incident on the order of the August, 1964 Gulf of Tonkin one or the blowing up of the USS Maine in February, 1898 in Havana Harbor. It's never hard for an aggressor to find reasons for war if it wants one and just needs a convenient excuse to start it.

The Bush administration and Israelis may get their wish if the Navy goes ahead with its reported plans to blockade Iranian oil ports. This action will be an act of war if it's done that Iran will have a legal right to respond to in self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter but will surely be met with a "shock and awe" counterattack against about 400 Iranian target sites already designated as ones to destroy in the event of hostilities. None of this guarantees an attack is imminent, but it shows a real possibility one may be coming. It also shows the power of the Jewish Lobby in the US that supports Israel's long-term aim to attack Iran no matter how grim the fallout from it may be. There's so much open speculation about this, it's gotten saner military, political and economic analysts here to believe this would be an act of insanity with the kind of potentially catastrophic consequences Petras outlined above. Will it happen? We can only hold our breathe waiting to find out, but it may not be long before we do.

Part III - Experts on Terror or Terrorist Experts

In this part of his book, Petras goes head-to-head with the so-called self-styled "terrorist experts" (TE) and clearly comes out ahead with his incisive dissection of them explaining why they're prominently featured in the major media. He calls them the "set-up" people - there to play a role to "motivate the colonial and imperial conquerors and reinforce their idea that the terrorists are not worthy of ruling or being ruled," so we have to get rid of them. It doesn't matter that the so-called "war on terrorism" is a shameless overused but very effective ruse scare tactic. It's always used because the public never catches on no matter how many times before supposed threats turned out to be another scam to get them to go along with whatever schemes our government had in mind to undertake. It never ceases to amaze how short an attention span the public has, but it's clear the power of the corporate-run media has a lot to do with it. It led author Studs Terkel to refer to a national Altzeimer's disease and author and political critic Gore Vidal to subtitle his 2004 book Imperial America - Reflections on the United States of Amnesia.

It gives the whole propaganda apparatus and the TE an open field to manipulate the public mind and get it to believe most anything. Petras calls these people "verbal assassins" who can't or won't understand that people pummelled by "shock and awe" attacks, their countries plundered in the name of "liberation," their people mass-murdered, raped, arrested and tortured might be desperate and motivated enough to strike back in retaliatory self-defense. It follows logically from Newton's law that for every action there's a corresponding reaction. In 1954, the CIA understood this and invented a term for it (no self-respecting TE will touch). The agency called it "blowback" referring to the unintended consequences from US hostile acts abroad like overthrowing legitimate or otherwise constituted governments as it did against Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran in 1953 ushering in the 25 year terror reign of the Shah. It finally led to the "blowback" 1979 revolution, and it causes other instances of retaliation now ongoing in Iraq and Afghanistan and for nearly six decades in Palestine.

But prominent TE featured in the major media have a different diagnosis of resistance fighters. They call them "incurable psychopaths (who are) extremely dangerous when at large (so we must flush them out to) capture, confine, torture or kill (them)." A convenient division of labor is then arranged to do it and the TE play their assigned role along with the military, recruited satraps, prison commandants, interrogators, guards and assorted other functionaries. They're team member hegemon-devil's disciples turning "victims into executioners and the executioners into victims." They do it by dehumanizing the legitimate resistance they label Islamo-fascists, Islamic fundamentalists, terrorists or other invented designations of inferiority or implied threat that must be destroyed.

It's incomprehensible to the TE that almost any act of retaliatory self-defense might be justifiable resistance given the level of state-directed violence used against them mercilessly. In Israel, and now in Iraq and Afghanistan it led to the phenomenon of suicide bombings which Petras calls "a form of individual sacrifice, of individual resistance taken in the name of the collective." He explains further that in the West individual sacrifice is rewarded with medals, but in the Middle East and specifically in the case of suicide bombers the reward is martyrdom for giving their lives in the cause of national liberation against a superior hostile force. This is a phenomenon common throughout history when a people face an overpowering conquerer and occupier. Petras explains "there have always been and always will be self-sacrificing individuals or (whole populations)....prepared to defend nation and home....and to use (their) body as a missile or weapon (to do it)."

Petras also explains there are different forms of imperial conquest and subjugation, and the one the US uses in Iraq and Afghanistan and that Israel uses against the Palestinians is a cruel and dehumanizing "process of destruction, degradation, and exploitation followed by efforts to 'reconstruct' a colonized military, police, and political structure willing and able to repress and contain anti-colonial resistance." It's a doctrine of "total war" against target nations too weak to fight back except by asymmetrical guerilla warfare means that include tactics like car and suicide bombings. Petras calls this practice "one of the ultimate forms of rejection of tryanny" that will only end when "total war" does. And that will only happen when the "colonial revivalist strand of imperialism in....its US, European and Israel variants" are defeated....Peace and reconciliation is only possible if justice is meted to the architects and practitioners of total war and human degradation." A long and painful struggle for liberation may be ahead before that goal is ever achieved.

Part IV - Noam Chomsky and the Pro-Israel Lobby

In the book's final part, Petras challenges a man who may best be described as an iconic figure on the Left, an anti-war activist, and much more but not one unused to being challenged and sometimes harshly. Petras points out that Chomsky has been a sharp critic of Israeli policies through the years and has been strongly attacked for his views by pro-Israeli organizations and the major media on the rare times his name is even allowed in it. Still he defends the existence of the Zionist state and has a different view than Petras on the power and influence of the Jewish Lobby in shaping US policy toward Israel. Petras lists what he calls Chomsky's fifteen erroneous theses reflecting his long-held belief that the Lobby isn't as potent as the strong case Petras makes in this book that it is. Not wishing to take sides with two distinguished men this writer holds in high esteem, the points of disagreement will only be listed so the reader can decide who makes the better case.

Petras begins by listing what he calls Chomsky's eight "dubious propositions:"

1. The pro-Israel Lobby is like any other one.

2. The Lobby's backers have no more power than other pressure groups.

3. The Lobby succeeds because its interests coincide with those of the US.

4. Israel is a tool of the US empire and used as needed.

5. "Big Oil" and the "military-industrial complex" are the major forces shaping Middle East policy.

6. US and Israeli interests usually coincide.

7. The Iraq war and threats to Iran and Syria stem from the "oil interests" and "military-industrial complex."

8. US behavior in the Middle East is the same as what it practices worldwide.

Petras then uses the above list to discuss what he calls Chomsky's 15 theses and uses the persuasive evidence presented in his book to take issue with them, one by one. He sums up his case stating he's done this because of Chomsky's enormous stature making whatever his views are stand out prominently. It's a matter of consequence when a man like Noam Chomsky believes the Jewish Lobby is like all others which in Petras' view gives a "free ride to the principal authors, architects and lobbyists in favor of the (Iraq) war (and is an) obstacle to achieving clarity about whom we are fighting and why. To ignore the pro-Israel Lobby is (also) to allow it a free hand in pushing for the invasion of Iran and Syria (and any other regime in the region Israel may wish to remove)." Petras sums up saying that "the peace and justice movements, at home and abroad, are bigger than any individual or intellectual - no matter what their past credentials." In this battle of noted titans on the Left, it's for the reader to decide who's right.

Summation - Confronting Zionism and Reclaiming American Middle East Policy

Petras has written a powerful and important new book that needs broad exposure and resonance. But he'll never get its content past the corporate gatekeepers controlling the major media because of his courage to reveal what others fear to do - confront Zionism, its agenda of aggressive wars and colonization, and the power of the Jewish Lobby to assure Israel gets the full and unconditional support of every US administration regardless of whether what it does serves the interests of this country. That Lobby power reached its apogee and full fruition with the ascent of the Bush administration neocons that effectively pledge their fealty to the rulers of the Israeli state and prove Ariel Sharon may have been right when he once arrogantly boasted about his relationship with George Bush saying: "We have the US under our control."

The result has been disastrous for this country and the sacred principles on which it was founded. In partnership with Israel, the US began tearing apart the Middle East and Central Asia by attacking and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. It now threatens to inflame the whole region enough to make it explode if we go ahead with plans to attack Iran, do it with nuclear weapons, and then move on to Syria and even Saudi Arabia while continuing to hold Lebanon hostage and under siege in a state of interregnum awaiting the next inevitable trigger igniting the whole ugly business there all over again. The Bush administration "long war" against Islam enraged 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide growing in unity against us. It's also destroying our freedom and democracy at home in the process threatening everyone with the emerging power of a national security police state that spells tyranny with an out-of-control president usurping the dictatorial power of a "unitary executive" claiming the right to go around the law of the land and its international obligations to govern as he pleases.

Petras sounds the alarm and asks how did we get into this debacle, and who's responsible for it. He stresses the need for a full-scale Congressional investigation to find out, but laments it's not likely to happen as long as the Bush neocons have their way. The central thesis of his book is that the Jewish Lobby serves the interests of Zionism and acts as agents for the state of Israel. It co-opted the Bush administration, all others preceding it, and the key centers of power and influence in the country leading us to the disaster we now face because of our misguided Middle East adventurism. He equates our actions in league with Israel to the Nazi war crimes committed in WW II, saying "These are the highest crimes against humanity." Referring to the crime of aggression, the Nuremberg Tribunal called it the "supreme international crime," and those Nazis found guilty of it were hanged. Petras explains that the "worst crimes are committed by those who claim to be a divinely chosen people, a people with 'righteous' claims of supreme victimhood." He goes on to say: "Righteous victimology, linked to ethno-religious loyalties and directed by fanatical civilian militarists with advanced weaponry, is the greatest threat to world peace and humanity."

Petras makes an impassioned plea for progressives (really all people of conscience) to reject the imperial agenda of all nations, and in the case of Israel, to stand firm against inevitably being labelled anti-semitic. Scurrilous name-calling is another refuge of scoundrels that shouldn't be tolerated or allowed to deter our committed assault against the forces of darkness that will destroy us unless we stand firmly against them. Petras tells us it won't be easy, and we can expect forceful ideological attacks against us premised on the notion that Israel is the embodiment of "democracy, liberty and justice" and those daring to criticize the Jewish state will be called supporters of "Arab dictatorships, repression, injustice and terrorism."

The stakes are much too high to let them get away with it using scurrilous name-calling in defense of it. In Petras' words: "Israel and its overseas network in the US....(threatens) not only the oppressed people of Palestine (and Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria and any other state Israel takes aim at) but the rights of people throughout the world." He stresses we have mass public opinion on our side nearly everywhere outside the US, and it's gaining resonance here as well. It sees Israel and our actions in support of the Israeli state as the greatest of all threats to world peace and stability. Petras ends his book with one final impassioned call to arms: "Let's move ahead and de-colonize our country, our minds and politics as a first step in reconstituting a democratic republic, free of entangling colonial and neo-imperial alliances." Wise thoughts from a wise and courageous man. We can't ignore them lest we pay the supreme price of the loss of our freedom (and maybe our lives) because we didn't know it was being taken from us until it was too late to act to save it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at www.sjlendman.blogspot.com. Stephen Lendman is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Stephen Lendman






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