Past Mideast Invasions Faced Unexpected Perils
March 19, 2003 Wall Street Journal
March 20, 2002 <http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB104802384328857700,00.html>
DRUMBEAT OF WAR
Past Mideast Invasions Faced Unexpected Perils
Invaders Have Been Repelled While Arab Casualties Mount
By HUGH POPE and PETER WALDMAN Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
As President Bush steers the U.S. toward war, history offers a sobering lesson. For two centuries, foreign powers have been conquering Mideast lands for their own purposes, promising to uplift Arab societies along the way. Sometimes they have modernized cities, taught new ideas and brought technologies. But in nearly every incursion, both sides have endured a raft of unintended consequences. From Napoleon's drive into Egypt through Britain's rule of Iraq in the 1920s to Israel's march into Lebanon in 1982, Middle East nations have tempted conquerors only to send them reeling. Little wonder that even many Arabs who revile Saddam Hussein view the prospect of a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq with trepidation. "Unless the Americans are far more subtle than they've ever had the capacity to be, and more subtle than the [colonial] British, it's going to end in tears," predicts Faisal Istrabadi, an Iraqi- born lawyer in Michigan who has worked with the State Department on plans to rebuild Iraq's judiciary. "The honeymoon will be very brief." Again and again, Westerners have moved into the Mideast with confidence that they can impose freedom and modernity through military force. Along the way they have miscalculated support for their invasions, both internationally and in the lands they occupy. They have anointed cooperative minorities to help rule resentful majorities. They have been mired in occupations that last long after local support has vanished. They have met with bloody uprisings and put them down with brute force.
See a chart of Western invasions in the Middle East, their outcomes and the lessons learned. "We tend to overlook a basic rule: that people prefer bad rule by their own kind to good rule by somebody else," says Boston University historian David Fromkin, author of a 1989 classic on colonialism's failures in the Mideast called "A Peace to End All Peace." Mr. Bush says this invasion will be different. He has broadened his war aims in recent weeks from removing Mr. Hussein and any weapons of mass destruction to transforming Iraq into a beacon of freedom in the Middle East. In a news conference March 6, Mr. Bush said U.S. troops would remain to help run Iraq until a new, representative government could take control. With the passion of a convert to nation-building, he spoke movingly of confronting totalitarianism, of spreading "God's gift" of liberty "to each and every person," and of how "Iraqi lives and freedom matter greatly to us." Napoleon proclaimed a similar new era of equality and respect for "true Muslims" as he marched into Cairo in 1798, killing a thousand members of Egypt's ruling caste. He was accompanied by 100 French scientists, researching an encyclopedia and spreading European "enlightenment" to bemused Egyptian intellectuals. "Peoples of Egypt, you will be told that I have come to destroy your religion," said Napoleon as he entered Cairo. "Do not believe it! Reply that I have come to restore your rights!" Napoleon's real goals involved France's colonial rivalry with Britain. He sought to outflank the British and frustrate their efforts to find a new route to India. But the French committed a fatal error, repeated by nearly all Western powers since: attempting to divide and rule by appointing minority groups to govern hostile majority populations. The French teamed up with fellow Christians -- members of Egypt's minority Coptic sect -- to govern the majority Muslims. Resentment grew as hundreds of unveiled women paraded around town with the French interlopers, flouting Islamic ideals of modesty. "One saw low-class women mixing with the French because of their liberality and their liking for the female sex," wrote Egyptian historian Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti. Months after the French arrival, Islamic clerics stirred a mob to rebellion, killing 300 Frenchmen. In revenge, the French bombarded Cairo. French troops stormed the city, killing 3,000 Cairenes and ransacking the chief mosque of al-Azhar on horseback. "The people of Cairo were overwhelmed with disdain, abasement at the despoiling and looting of wealth by the French," Mr. al- Jabarti observed. The French left within three years. Their influence remained in a modernizing dynasty that rose to power after the French retreat, employing French methods to make economic gains. But France itself lost both money and men from its Egyptian adventure. Britain came next to Egypt, in 1882. Its takeover secured the Suez Canal route to its Indian Empire, but soon triggered a bloody revolt by nationalist Egyptian officers. For the next 40 years, British administrators ruled Egypt from behind the scenes in what was called the "veiled protectorate," fashioning themselves as liberators of Egypt's feudal peasants. But several incidents helped make Egypt a center of anti-Western fervor, among them the brutal punishment of villagers when a fracas with British officers out on a pigeon hunt left an officer dead. British troops landed in what's now Iraq in 1914, as part of Britain's campaign against the Ottoman Turks, allies of Germany in World War I. "Britain was bursting then with confidence in an easy and early victory," wrote British officer T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, who organized the historic Arab Revolt against the Ottomans. Instead, it took four years for Britain, with vastly superior arms, to conquer all of Iraq. Capturing Baghdad after the first three years, they offered almost the same salutation as Napoleon had in Cairo. "Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators," trumpeted Gen. F.S. Maude, commander of the British forces in Iraq. "Your wealth has been stripped of you by unjust men . ... The people of Baghdad shall flourish under institutions which are in consonance with their sacred laws . ... The Arab race may rise once more to greatness!" But Britain retained the Ottomans' long reliance on Sunni Muslims as the governing class in Iraq, an arrangement that exacerbated conflicts with Iraq's larger Kurdish and Shia Muslim populations. It didn't help when the British lobbed artillery shells on the Shia holy city of Najaf, a main source of anticolonial resistance. British troops killed 6,000 to 10,000 Iraqis in putting down a joint revolt by Shia and Sunni Muslims in 1920. To suppress later rebellions by Iraq's Kurds, the British invented the technique of strafing civilian rebels from the air. As for Gen. Maude, he succumbed to cholera eight months after he reached Baghdad. Imported Monarch In 1921, to establish a semblance of local rule, the British brought a leader of the Arab Revolt out of exile in London and anointed him king of Iraq. King Faisal was the scion of a ruling family based some 2,000 miles from Baghdad in Mecca, on the Arabian peninsula. He had already been installed as king of Syria in 1918 and then deposed by the French. He did better in Iraq, under the tutelage of an indefatigable British diplomat named Gertrude Bell. Describing Iraq as "an inchoate mass of tribes," Miss Bell traversed the sweltering hinterlands meeting the leaders of every tribe. "She took Faisal by the hand from great sheiks to rabbis to every nobleman: 'Here he is, listen to him, we need your support,' " says Janet Wallach, who published a biography of Miss Bell in 1996. Years later, Mr. Hussein would make Iraq's tribes a bulwark of his own regime. To this day, when Saddam greets military commanders on television, he cites their tribal affiliations and sends greetings to their tribal chief. "We don't have anybody to do that, who has the ear of so many people," Ms. Wallach says. Despite Britain's setbacks during its 40-year domination of Iraq, which lasted for a quarter-century after Iraq's independence in 1932, it was arguably more successful than any of the other Western invasions of the region. Some Iraqis still recall the time as a golden age of order, education and development. But the British and their chosen kings could never win over their subjects, and deliberately frustrated the Iraqis' desires for an independent political culture. In a 17-point memo for fellow British officers, Lawrence of Arabia warned: "The foreigner and Christian is not a popular person in Arabia. However friendly and informal the treatment of yourself may be, remember always that your foundations are very sandy ones." When King Faisal's son, Faisal II, was overthrown in 1958 by Iraqi Gen. Abdel Karim Kassem, the king and his family were torn limb from limb by a Baghdad mob. Since then, apart from a mid-1970s spurt of economic growth fueled by the oil boom, Iraq's political history has been one of coups, purges, wars and tyranny. Suez Crisis As Britain's long run in Iraq was nearing an end, the U.K. created new problems in the Middle East. After Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal in 1956, the British, French and Israelis invaded the canal zone. The trio of countries were forced to acquiesce in Egypt's nationalization after a diplomatic standoff with the U.S. and other nations. At home, anger at the mishandled invasion cost Prime Minister Anthony Eden his job. In the Mideast, it fostered perceptions of a Western-Israeli effort to dominate the region, helping to radicalize Arab nationalists. "Something about the Middle East leads people to miscalculate," says Robert Parker, a retired U.S. diplomat who helped resolve the Suez crisis. Israel, too, overplayed its hand in a Mideast nation, in its surge into Lebanon in 1982 to crush Palestinian guerrillas. Though a Mideast country itself, with many Jewish immigrants from Islamic countries, Israel is seen by many Arabs as a Western implant in the region. Its march to Beirut typified the problems outsiders face when conquering Arab lands, say some Israeli officers who were involved. Shia villagers in Lebanon at first welcomed Israeli troops as liberators from Palestinian fighters who had made the border region a war zone, recalls Israeli Brig. Gen. Amatzia Chen. But as Ariel Sharon, then Israel's defense minister, pushed his forces to the outskirts of Beirut, where they killed thousands of civilians, the offensive stalled amid furious criticism in Europe, the U.S. and Israel itself. The once- grateful Shiites turned against the Israelis as occupiers, and efforts to impose a peace agreement on Lebanon through Israel's Maronite Christian allies blew up in a fury of bombings and killings. "The idea that you can change the Middle East with guns and bayonets is wrong," says Bob Dillon, U.S. ambassador to Beirut at the time. Some in Israel worry U.S. leaders may harbor the same illusions in Iraq that Israel brought with it to Lebanon. If the Americans conquer Baghdad, says reserve Col. Meir Pial, author of a dozen military histories, "they'll have to sponsor a new government. It will be seen by the people as a government cooperating with the conqueror, so it will need support." He predicts that "the longer the Americans stay, the deeper they will find themselves in the mud." Bush administration officials acknowledge the minefield they're facing but express confidence the U.S., with its record of democratizing defeated tyrannies in Germany and Japan, can succeed in Iraq. In particular, the administration believes it will avoid past pitfalls by mounting a devastating military strike and following it quickly with billions of dollars in reconstruction and humanitarian aid, according to a Bush official. U.S. officials are also optimistic that Iraq, with its deep- rooted educational and civil-service systems, its history of secularism, its utter exhaustion after three decades of totalitarianism -- and its oil wealth -- is exceptionally ready to leapfrog forward. "Iraq's a sophisticated society," Mr. Bush said on March 6. "Iraq's got money ... . Iraq will serve as a catalyst for change, positive change." U.S. officials have been busy for months organizing committees of exiled Iraqis on every aspect of political and economic reconstruction, even reaching out to Iraqi Shiite groups based in Iran. The U.S. realizes, says William Burns, assistant secretary of state for Mideast affairs, that "the day after the shooting stops, life must get better for Iraqis." A longtime student of Mideast history, Mr. Burns realizes something else. "I have always thought that a certain amount of humility is important in applying American power in the Middle East," he told a public forum in San Francisco last month. "Iraq is a very complicated society. This is going to require an enormous amount of support, not just from us but from others in the world. This is not a challenge the U.S. can take on itself." Write to Hugh Pope at hugh.pope@w... and Peter Waldman at peter.waldman@w... ------------------------- SIDEBAR: LESSONS FOR U.S. ------------------------- INVASION PROCLAMATION REAL GOAL RESULT LESSONS FOR US Napoleon Bonaparte's conquest of Egypt, 1798-1801 Egyptians have been "tyrannized ... I have come to restore your rights ... we are friends of the true Mussulmans" Personal carving out of glorious new empire that would cut France's main enemy Britain off from India France driven out by revolts and British attacks. But in turbulent aftermath Egypt gets a modernizing dynasty that copies French methods and gains military power and economic progress Muslim mobs are easily stirred up against foreign occupiers; France gained nothing, and soon had to confront the next Egyptian regime British conquest of Iraq, 1914-18 Our armies come as liberators from strange tyrants ... it is the hope and desire of the British people that the Arab race may rise once more to greatness Initially vague World War I plan morphs into neo-colonial domination to secure oil Britain keeps military bases in Iraq for first half of 20th century and oil flows. But thousands die in repeated revolts as Britain sets the political stage for the past half-century of strife in Middle East Even with international legitimacy, controlling Iraq required the use of brutal force and acceptance of previous ruling elite British, French and Israeli Attack on Suez Canal, 1956 Reverse Egypt's nationalization of the Suez Canal To oust Egypt's charismatic leader and Arab nationalist hero, Gamal Abdal-Nasser Israel achieved war aim of international sea access to port of Eilat. But Nasser bounced back to challenge Western goals. Britain saw its domination of the Middle East eclipsed by the United States, and Prime Minister Anthony Eden lost office Without international legitimacy, the best-laid war plans crumble Israeli Invasion of Lebanon 1982 First, to end rocket attacks on northern Israel. Then: "resistance ... is tantamount to suicide" - Israeli leaflet dropped from the air on Beirut To crush Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian guerrillas and to force Lebanon to sign peace treaty with Israel. Arafat and his men survive Beirut siege. Israeli Defense Minister Ariel Sharon is disgraced. Iran- and Syria-linked suicide bombs and kidnappings hit U.S., French and Israeli targets, and Israeli occupiers were forced out by radical new Hezbollah militia. Rocket attacks on northern Israel continue Even poorly armed guerrillas can hold back superior armies in big cities; domestic support evaporates when leaders exceed stated war aims and casualties mount; hostile nearby states can spell disaster for foreign occupiers Copyright 2003 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Back to Main News Page
Into the Darkness
By William Rivers Pitt
T r u t h o u t | Perspective
Tuesday 18 March 2003
An associate of mine, a former political appointee, recently spoke to a Republican friend of his who
serves in a senior position in what has become the Office of Homeland Security. He reports that this
official, along with many of his colleagues across the political spectrum within the apparatus of
government, are absolutely terrified of George W. Bush. According to this official, the consensus is
that Bush has completely lost touch with reality, and is bringing us to a place where politics will no
A London newspaper, the Guardian, has quoted a source close to the administration as saying,
"This has been the worst diplomatic debacle of our lifetime." A senior White House official is also
quoted as saying, in a voice reportedly awash with sarcasm, "There's a recognition that this has not
been our finest diplomatic hour."
There is no calculating the understatement here. There was never any diplomacy involved here to
begin with. This has been a disaster, and it is about to get worse by orders of magnitude.
The weapons inspectors, empowered by UN resolution 1441 to ferret out the weapons everyone is
so concerned about, have packed their bags and fled Iraq. They have been betrayed by the Bush
administration, by Tony Blair and by Spain, as they worked to protect us from both these weapons
and from the dreadful effects of a war in the Middle East.
The inspections were working – weapons were being dismantled, Hussein was under control, and
no mass destruction materials were found. The fact that the hammer has come down before these
inspectors were even half done with their work means, simply, that those pushing for war never wanted
the inspections to work in the first place.
Welcome to the timeline.
Very soon now, perhaps within the next 72 hours, the Pentagon's "Shock and Awe" battle plan will
be put into effect. 3,000 munitions, including some 800 cruise missiles, will rain down on Baghdad, a
city inhabited by some 5 million civilians. This will be done in the hope that the Iraqi army will
surrender, thus avoiding the need to send U.S. troops in to fight a ruinous house-to-house battle.
The Arab news service Al Jazeera, operating out of Qatar, will capture images of thousands and
thousands of Iraqi civilians sprawled and shattered and bloody in the Baghdad streets, in a manner
quite like the bodies we saw in New York on September 11. The resulting explosion of rage within the
moderate and extremist Muslim world will be immediate and ferocious.
The terrorism alert status in America will rise to red. Troops will appear in the streets.
Saddam Hussein will not flee, and his forces will stand in Baghdad. American troops will be forced
to fight downtown.
The oilheads in Iraq will be fired, and the pipeheads will be opened.
Israel will be attacked, much to the dismay of Bush administration officials who have pushed this
war in the erroneous assumption that such action will serve to protect that nation. Unlike the first Gulf
War, this time Israel will strike back.
American homeland security forces – police, fire fighters and emergency rescue personnel – will
watch their radios nervously, waiting for the inevitable call. They know, better than anyone, that this
country is not ready to defend itself against an attack. Their budgets have been gutted, the promised
funding to augment their preparedness has not come. They are not ready, but they stand and wait
regardless, because that is what they have pledged to do.
Somewhere in America – perhaps in New York, perhaps in Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia,
Houston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Miami, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Detroit, San Francisco,
Cleveland, Atlanta, perhaps in all of them simultaneously – there will be an explosion. A group that
cares nothing for the well being of Saddam Hussein will take responsibility, in the name of those
thousands of Iraqi Muslims slaughtered in the initial aerial bombardment of Baghdad.
The body bags will come out, here at home and across the sea in Iraq, as Americans begin to die
in terrible numbers.
Martial law will be declared, habeas corpus will be suspended, posse comitatus will be left aside,
and the strictures outlined by both Patriot Acts will come to full bloom. 227 years of constitutional law
in America will draw to a close.
An oil shock will roll across the global community, ripping through an already precarious economic
situation. Here at home, the financial cost of this war will hurl us further into deficit.
More explosions will echo across the streets of America. They could be nuclear or biological or
chemical in nature, because in the effort to overthrow Hussein we have ignored completely the fact that
al Qaeda certainly possesses the capabilities to attack us with these weapons, having needed no help
whatsoever from Hussein. These explosions could come from simple fertilizer, as well. Remember
that two men with a sniper rifle and a car held Maryland hostage for a month. It does not take much,
considering the shoddy state of affairs in the homeland security realm.
In all likelihood, America will score a decisive military victory. U.S. forces will invest Iraq. The
Halliburton subsidiary Brown & Root will begin construction on any number of permanent military
bases. Administration officials will begin to formulate plans for the removal of other governments in the
Middle East, both friendly and unfriendly, by any means necessary.
Civil war will break out in Iraq as the Shia majority, the Kurdish and Sunni minorities, go for each
other's throats. American constabulary work there will become infinitely complicated.
The United States of America has concluded an incredible, perhaps unstoppable, race to the
bottom since January of 2001. The disputed election brought to power a mob of men – Cheney,
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Bolton – who have been planning this war since at least 1997. The
attacks of September 11, allowed in no small part by purposeful blinders placed over the eyes of our
intelligence services lest they offend petroleum principalities like Saudi Arabia with their prickly
questions, gave these men the excuse they needed for war.
The Bush administration's reaction to 9/11 – placing blame on "evildoers" instead of starting an
honest dialogue, blocking an independent investigation of the attack for over a year, nominating master
secret-keeper Henry Kissinger to chair that investigative panel in what was perhaps the most
disgusting insult possible to the families of the lost, ignoring the real terrorist threats in order to focus
on the politically expedient annihilation of Iraq, instituting the most ham-fisted diplomatic push ever
seen in the history of this nation by utterly ignoring the eleven Security Council members who said no
to this war, disrupting international relations vital to the pursuit of true terrorist threats, and all the while
underfunding the homeland defenses necessary to protect the American people – has led us to this
The destruction of Saddam Hussein will do nothing, zero, zip, zilch, nada, to protect America. It
will place America and her citizens in further peril. We stand alone and naked today. We will reap the
Take to the streets. Scream until your throat bleeds. Call whatever congressional leaders you
know, full in the knowledge that you will be contacting a mob of failures, appeasers and political
cowards. Make sure you can look at yourself in the mirror as this darkness falls. Above all else, do
not succumb to despair.
You owe that much to yourself, your children and your nation as we fade to black.
Author's Note: I have prayed on a daily basis that I would not be forced to write this article. For the
sake of history, I have listed below some of the data, warnings and analysis that I and truthout have
been delivering since this process began unfolding in the summer of 2002.
The Coming October War in Iraq - 7/24/02
The Other American Dream - 9/1/02
For the Congressional Record - 10/10/02
I See Four Lights - 10/16/02
The Dead Remember - 1/1/03
The Stand - 1/9/03
America, Are You Ready for This War? - 2/4/03
Blair-Powell UN Report Written by Student - 2/7/03
Osama Rallies Muslims, Condemns Hussein - 2/12/03
Of Gods and Mortals and Empire - 2/21/03
Blood Money - 2/27/03
William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times best-selling author of two books - "War On Iraq"
(with Scott Ritter) available now from Context Books, and "The Greatest Sedition is
Silence," available in June 2003 from Pluto Press. He teaches high school in Boston,
Scott Lowery contributed research to this report.
Back to Main News Page
A Chorus Against War
by Howard Zinn
AS I WRITE THIS, it looks like war. This, in spite
of the obvious lack of enthusiasm in the country for
war. The polls that register "approve" or "disapprove"
can only count numbers; they cannot test the depth of
feeling. And there are many signs that the support for
war is shallow and shaky and ambivalent.
This Administration will not likely be stopped,
though it knows its support is thin. In fact, that is
undoubtedly why it is in such a hurry; it wants to go
to war before the support gets any thinner.
The assumption is that once the soldiers are in
combat, the American people will unite behind the war.
The television screens will show "smart bombs"
exploding, and the Secretary of Defense will assure the
American people that civilian casualties are being kept
to a minimum. (We're in the age of megadeaths, and any
number of casualties less than a million is no cause
This is the way it has been. Unity behind the
President in time of war. But it may not be that way
The anti-war movement will not likely surrender to
the martial atmosphere. The hundreds of thousands who
marched in Washington and San Francisco and New York
and Boston--and in villages, towns, and cities all over
the country from Georgia to Montana--will not meekly
withdraw. Unlike the shallow support for the war, the
opposition to the war is deep and cannot be easily
dislodged or frightened into silence.
Indeed, the anti-war feelings are bound to become
To the demand "Support Our GIs," the movement will
be able to reply: "Yes, we support our GIs, we want
them to live, we want them to be brought home. The
government is not supporting them. It is sending them
to die, or to be wounded, or to be poisoned by our own
depleted uranium shells."
No, our casualties may not be numerous, but every
single one will be a waste of an important human life.
We will insist that this government be held responsible
for every death, every dismemberment, every case of
sickness, every case of psychic trauma caused by the
shock of war.
And though the media will be blocked from access to
the dead and wounded of Iraq, though the human tragedy
unfolding in Iraq will be told in numbers, in
abstractions, and not in the stories of real human
beings, real children, real mothers and fathers, the
movement will find a way to tell that story. And when
it does, the American people--who can be cold to death
on "the other side," but who also wake up when "the
other side" is suddenly seen as a man, a woman, a
child, just like us--will respond.
This is not a fantasy, not a vain hope. It happened
in the Vietnam years. For a long time, what was being
done to the peasants of Vietnam was concealed by
statistics, the "body count," without bodies being
shown, without faces being shown, without pain, fear,
anguish shown. But then the stories began to come
through: the story of the My Lai massacre, the stories
told by returning GIs of atrocities they had
And the pictures appeared: the little girl struck
by napalm running down the road, her skin shredding,
the mothers holding their babies to them in the
trenches as GIs poured rounds of bullets from automatic
rifles into their bodies.
When those stories began to come out, when the
photos were seen, the American people could not fail to
be moved. The war "against Communism" was seen as a war
against poor peasants in a tiny country half the world
At some point in this coming war, and no one can
say when, the lies of the Administration--"the death of
this family was an accident," "we apologize for the
dismemberment of this child," "this was an intelligence
mistake," "a radar malfunction"--will begin to come
How soon that will happen depends not only on the
millions now--whether actively or silently--in the
anti-war movement, but also on the emergence of
whistle-blowers inside the Establishment who begin to
talk, of journalists who become tired of being
manipulated by the government and begin to write the
truth. And of dissident soldiers sick of a war that is
not a war but a massacre: How else to describe the
mayhem caused by the most powerful military machine on
Earth raining thousands of bombs on a fifth-rate
military power already reduced to poverty by two wars
and ten years of economic sanctions?
The anti-war movement has the responsibility of
encouraging defections from the war machine. It does
this simply by its existence, by its example, by its
persistence, by its voices reaching out over the walls
of government control and speaking to the consciences
Those voices have already become a chorus, joined
by Americans in all walks of life, of all ages, in
every part of the country.
There is a basic weakness in governments--however
massive their armies, however wealthy their treasuries,
however they control the information given to the
public--because their power depends on the obedience of
citizens, of soldiers, of civil servants, of
journalists and writers and teachers and artists. When
these people begin to suspect they have been deceived,
and when they withdraw their support, the government
loses its legitimacy, and its power.
We have seen this happen in recent decades, all
around the globe. Leaders who were apparently
all-powerful, surrounded by their generals, suddenly
faced the anger of an aroused people, the hundreds of
thousands in the streets and the reluctance of the
soldiers to fire, and those leaders soon rushed to the
airport, carrying their suitcases of money with them.
The process of undermining the legitimacy of our
own government has begun. There has been a worm eating
at the innards of its complacency all along--the
knowledge of the American public, buried, but in a very
shallow grave, easy to disinter, that this government
came to power by a political coup, not by popular will.
The movement should not let this be forgotten.
The first steps to delegitimize this government are
being taken, in small but significant ways.
The wife of the President calls off a gathering of
poets in the White House because the poets have
rebelled, seeing the march to war as a violation of the
most sacred values of poets through the ages.
The generals who led the Gulf War of 1991 speak out
against this impending war as foolish, unnecessary,
The CIA contradicts the President by saying Saddam
Hussein is not likely to use his weapons unless he is
All across the country--not just the great
metropolitan centers, like Chicago, but places like
Boseman, Montana; Des Moines, Iowa; San Luis Obispo,
California; Nederland, Colorado; York, Pennsylvania;
Gary, Indiana; Carrboro, North Carolina-- fifty-seven
cities and counties have passed resolutions against the
war, responding to their citizens.
The actions will multiply, once the war has begun.
The stakes will be higher. People will be dying every
day. The responsibility of the peace movement will be
huge--to speak to what people may feel but are hesitant
to say. To say that this is a war for oil, for
business. Bring back the Vietnam-era poster: "War Is
Good for Business--Invest Your Son." (In this morning's
Boston Globe, a headline: "Extra $15 Billion for
Military Would Profit New England Firms.")
Yes, by all means, no blood for oil, no blood for
Bush, no blood for Rumsfeld or Cheney or Powell. No
blood for political ambition, for grandiose designs of
No action should be seen as too small, no
nonviolent action should be seen as too large. The
calls now for the impeachment of George Bush should
multiply. The constitutional requirement "high crimes
and misdemeanors" certainly applies to sending our
young halfway around the world to kill and be killed in
a war of aggression against a people who have not
Those poets troubled Laura Bush because by bringing
the war into her ceremony they were doing something
"inappropriate." That should be the key: People will
continue to do "inappropriate" things, because that
brings attention--the rejection of propriety, the
refusal to be "professional" (which usually means not
breaking out of the box your business or your
profession insists you stay in).
The absurdity of this war is so starkly clear that
people who have never been involved in an anti-war
demonstration have been showing up in huge numbers at
recent rallies. If you've been to one of them, you can
testify to the numbers of young people and older people
doing this for the first time.
Arguments for the war are paper thin and fall apart
at first touch. Weapons of mass destruction? Iraq may
develop one nuclear bomb (though the U.N. inspectors
find no sign of development), but Israel has 200
nuclear weapons and the U.S. has 10,000, and six other
countries have undisclosed numbers. Saddam Hussein a
tyrant? Undoubtedly, like many others in the world. A
threat to the world? Then how come the rest of the
world, much closer to Iraq, does not want war?
Defending ourselves? The most incredible statement of
all. Fighting terrorism? No connection found between
September 11 and Iraq.
I believe it is the obvious emptiness of the
Administration position that is responsible for the
swift growth of the anti-war movement. And for the
emergence of new voices, unheard before, speaking
"inappropriately" outside their professional
boundaries: 1,500 historians have signed an anti-war
petition; businessmen, clergy, have put full-page ads
in newspapers. All are refusing to stick to their
"profession" and instead are professing that they are
human beings first.
I think of Sean Penn traveling to Baghdad, in spite
of mutterings about patriotism. Or Jessica Lange and
Susan Sarandon and Martin Sheen speaking at anti-war
rallies in Washington and New York. Renee Zellweger
spoke to a reporter for the Boston Globe about "how
public opinion is manipulated by what we're told. You
see it all the time, especially now! The goodwill of
the American people is being manipulated. It gives me
the chills. I'm going to go to jail this year!"
Rap artists have been speaking out on war, on
injustice. Mr. Lif says: "I think people have been on
vacation and it's time to wake up. We need to look at
our economic, social, and foreign policies and not be
duped into believing the spin that comes from the
government and the media."
In the cartoon "The Boondocks," which reaches
twenty million readers every day, the cartoonist Aaron
McGruder has his character, a black youngster named
Huey Freedman, say the following: "In this time of war
against Osama bin Laden and the oppressive Taliban
regime, we are thankful that OUR leader isn't the
spoiled son of a powerful politician from a wealthy oil
family who is supported by religious fundamentalists,
operates through clandestine organizations, has no
respect for the democratic electoral process, bombs
innocents, and uses war to deny people their civil
The voices will multiply. The actions, from silent
vigils to acts of civil disobedience (three nuns are
facing long jail terms for pouring their blood on
missile silos in Colorado), will multiply.
If Bush starts a war, he will be responsible for
the lives lost, the children crippled, the terrorizing
of millions of ordinary people, the American GIs not
returning to their families. And all of us will be
responsible for bringing that to a halt.
Men who have no respect for human life or for
freedom or justice have taken over this beautiful
country of ours. It will be up to the American people
to take it back.
- Howard Zinn, author of "A People's
History of the United States," is a columnist for The
Speak Out is the country's only national not-for-profit organization
that promotes progressive voices on campuses and in communities
nationwide. Speak Out works with 200 speakers and artists who
represent the breadth of social movements as well as
critically-acclaimed exhibits and films which inform and empower
young people to take action for positive social change. Committed to
social, political, cultural and economic justice, Speak Out
encourages critical and imaginative thinking about domestic and
international issues through artistic and educational forums.
For a complete listing, send us your full mailing address.
Speak Out Phone: (510) 601-0182
P.O. Box 99096 Fax: (510) 601-0183
Emeryville CA 94662 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Web: http://www.speakoutnow.org
Support Speak Out's work to bring progressive voices to campuses and
communities nationwide by making a donation on our website. Just
click on the Donate Now! button on Speak Out's home page. Together we
can make a difference!
Back to Main News Page
Red alert? Stay home, await word
Sunday, March 16, 2003
By TOM BALDWIN
Gannett State Bureau
If the nation escalates to "red alert," which is the highest in the color-coded readiness against terror,
you will be assumed by authorities to be the enemy if you so much as venture outside your home, the
state's anti-terror czar says.
"This state is on top of it," said Sid Caspersen, New Jersey's director of the office of
Caspersen, a former FBI agent, was briefing reporters, alongside Gov. James E. McGreevey, on
Thursday, when for the first time he disclosed the realities of how a red alert would shut the state
A red alert would also tear away virtually all personal freedoms to move about and associate.
"Red means all noncritical functions cease," Caspersen said. "Noncritical would be almost all
businesses, except health-related."
A red alert means there is a severe risk of terrorist attack, according to federal guidelines from the
Department of Homeland Security.
"The state will restrict transportation and access to critical locations," says the state's new brochure
on dealing with terrorism.
"You must adhere to the restrictions announced by authorities and prepare to evacuate, if instructed.
Stay alert for emergency messages."
Caspersen went further than the brochure. "The government agencies would run at a very low
threshold," he said.
"The state police and the emergency management people would take control over the highways.
"You literally are staying home, is what happens, unless you are required to be out. No different than if
you had a state of emergency with a snowstorm."
Back to Main News Page
THE REAL ROOTS OF TERRORISM
[Col. Writ. 3/8/03] Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
"Dictatorships are not uncommon in this world--
we should know, we support some of the best
money can buy... ... [I]t does not matter how
repressive, how undemocratic, or how
dictatorial a government is, it is ok... -- as long as
it is not Communist."
-- Robert Leggett, U.S. Congressman, Calif.,
*Cong. Rec.*, 7/24/1974.
In the United States media, it is impossible to look or listen to
any media, without seeing, hearing, or reading about what seems to be
the central issue in American life: terrorism.
Oddly enough, however, we speak of it without defining what we
really mean, and even then, there seems to be a kind of
understanding, a deeper meaning that almost doesn't need to be spoken
aloud. 'Terrorism' is a kind of media and political shorthand for
"Islamic fundamentalism", or, for some, 'terrorist' is but a code for
'Arab', or, as we say in polite mediaspeak, 'persons of
It is impossible for politicians or media to define what is meant,
because there is the idea that folks really know.
Several years ago, then Secretary of State George Schultz gave a
major speech in New York, the subject of which was terrorism. The
following are some of his definitions: "Terrorism is a modern
barbarism that we call terrorism."; or, "Terrorism is a form of
political violence." Further, "Terrorism is a threat to Western
civilization." Lastly, Schultz proclaimed, "Terrorism is a menace to
Western moral values."
As the scholar Eqbal Ahmad wrote recently:
Officials don't define terrorism because definitions
involve a commitment to analysis, comprehension,
and adherence to some norms of consistency.
That's the second characteristic of the official
approach to terrorism. The third characteristic
is that the absence of definition does not prevent
officials from being globalistic. They may not
define terrorism, but they can call it a menace to
good order, a menace to the moral values of
Western civilization, a menace to humankind.
Therefore, they can call for it to be stamped out
worldwide. Anti-terrorist policies therefore, must
be global. In the same speech he gave in
New York City, George Schultz also said:
"There is no question about our ability to
use force where and when it is needed to
counter terrorism." There is no geographical
limit. [fr. Ahmed, E. *Terrorism: Theirs & Ours*
(N.Y.: Seven Stories Pr./Open Media, 2001),
Any history of 20th century Nicaragua, that covers the acts of the
U.S.-supported *contras* would have to be described as "terrorist",
for they burned a swath through that country of rape, murder and
torture of Nicaraguan peasants, trade unionists and activists. Did
the U.S. oppose these acts of terror? Hardly. Who can forget Ronald
Reagan proudly proclaiming, "I am a contra"?
Professor Ahmad visited the camps that would give birth to the
Taliban government in Afghanistan. They were born precisely as a
terrorist army by the U.S. CIA, as Eqbal explains:
In an effort to mobilize the entire Muslim world against
the "Evil Empire," the CIA started supporting the
flow of volunteers from all around the world to fight
in Afghanistan, to be socialized into the ideology of
anti-communism, and to be trained to hit communists
wherever they found them. That's how the militants
were recruited and flown in. I have seen planeloads
of them arriving from Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Jordan, even from Palestine, where at that
time Israel was supporting Hamas against Al Fatah,
Yasir Arafat's faction of the PLO. These people were
brought in, given an ideology, and told that armed
struggle is virtuous -- and the whole notion of *jihad*
as an international, pan-Islamic terrorist movement
was born. The U.S. has spent billions in producing
the bin Ladens of our time. In 1986, I visited the
camp they hit in Zwahar, Afghanistan. It was a
CIA-sponsored camp. [Ahmad, pp. 46-47]
The roots of anything are not pretty. The majestic oak tree is a
sight that lifts one's spirits, but its tangled and gnarled roots
rarely inspire awe. The roots of terrorism in the modern world are
cold war rivalries, and an American determination to provide the
hated Soviet Union with a dreaded Vietnam-like experience. The U.S.
founded, funded and supported these armies of *jihadis*, and aimed
them at the Soviets. They gave Moscow its own Vietnam, but not only
that. They nourished the seeds that would become the Taliban
government in Afghanistan. And they formed the genesis of what we
now call Al-Qaeda ... It is truly your tax dollars at work!
The cautionary tale that emerges from terrorist-training camps of
Afghanistan, supported by CIA money, is the rule of unintended
consequences. For here are the twisted, gnarled, knotted roots of
the planes slamming into the Twin Towers in the heart of Manhattan.
Their roots do not sprout from the brown, dry soil of Afghanistan,
but from the cool, air-conditioned, plush-carpeted offices of
Washington, D.C., where cold warriors began the plan to give the
Soviets a hot-foot, and burned American asses.
Copyright 2003 Mumia Abu-Jamal
MUMIA'S COLUMNS NEED TO BE PUBLISHED AS BROADLY AS POSSIBLE TO
INSPIRE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT AND HELP CALL ATTENTION TO HIS CASE.
The campaign to kill Mumia is in full swing and we need you to
**please** contact as many publications and information outlets as
you possibly can to run Mumia's commentaries (on-line and
**especially off-line**)!! The only requirements are that you run
them *unedited*, with every word including copyright information
intact, and send a copy of the publication to Mumia and/or ICFFMAJ.
These are VERY SERIOUS TIMES for political activists in this country
and around the world. Get full details and keep updated by reading
ACTION ALERTS!! at www.mumia.org and www.moveorg.net.
Back to Main News Page
The War to Remake the World
Just the Beginning
Is Iraq the opening salvo in a war to remake the world?
By Robert Dreyfuss
The American Prospect,Issue Date:4.1.03 <
For months Americans have been told that the United States
is going to war against Iraq in order to disarm Saddam
Hussein, remove him from power, eliminate Iraq's alleged
stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and prevent
Baghdad from blackmailing its neighbors or aiding terrorist
groups. But the Bush administration's hawks, especially the
neoconservatives who provide the driving force for war, see
the conflict with Iraq as much more than that. It is a
signal event, designed to create cataclysmic shock waves
throughout the region and around the world, ushering in a
new era of American imperial power. It is also likely to
bring the United States into conflict with several states in
the Middle East. Those who think that U.S. armed forces can
complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading
beyond Iraq's borders, are likely to be mistaken.
"I think we're going to be obliged to fight a regional war,
whether we want to or not," says Michael Ledeen, a former
U.S. national-security official and a key strategist among
the ascendant flock of neoconservative hawks, many of whom
have taken up perches inside the U.S. government. Asserting
that the war against Iraq can't be contained, Ledeen says
that the very logic of the global war on terrorism will
drive the United States to confront an expanding network of
enemies in the region. "As soon as we land in Iraq, we're
going to face the whole terrorist network," he says,
including the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO),
Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and a collection of militant
splinter groups backed by nations -- Iran, Syria and Saudi
Arabia -- that he calls "the terror masters."
"It may turn out to be a war to remake the world," says
In the Middle East, impending "regime change" in Iraq is
just the first step in a wholesale reordering of the entire
region, according to neoconservatives -- who've begun almost
gleefully referring to themselves as a "cabal." Like
dominoes, the regimes in the region -- first Iran, Syria and
Saudi Arabia, then Lebanon and the PLO, and finally Sudan,
Libya, Yemen and Somalia -- are slated to capitulate,
collapse or face U.S. military action. To those states, says
cabal ringleader Richard Perle, a resident fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and chairman of the
Defense Policy Board, an influential Pentagon advisory
committee, "We could deliver a short message, a two-word
message: 'You're next.'" In the aftermath, several of those
states, including Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, may end up
as dismantled, unstable shards in the form of mini- states
that resemble Yugoslavia's piecemeal wreckage. And despite
the Wilsonian rhetoric from the president and his advisers
about bringing democracy to the Middle East, at bottom it's
clear that their version of democracy might have to be
imposed by force of arms.
And not just in the Middle East. Three-thousand U.S.
soldiers are slated to arrive in the Philippines, opening
yet another new front in the war on terrorism, and North
Korea is finally in the administration's sights. On the
horizon could be Latin America, where the Bush
administration endorsed a failed regime change in Venezuela
last year, and where new left-leaning challenges are
emerging in Brazil, Ecuador and elsewhere. Like the bombing
of Hiroshima, which stunned the Japanese into surrender in
1945 and served notice to the rest of the world that the
United States possessed unparalleled power it would not
hesitate to use, the war against Iraq has a similar purpose.
"It's like the bully in a playground," says Ian Lustick, a
University of Pennsylvania professor of political science
and author of Unsettled States, Disputed Lands. "You beat up
somebody, and everybody else behaves."
Over and over again, in speeches, articles and white papers,
the neoconservatives have made it plain that the war against
Iraq is intended to demonstrate Washington's resolve to
implement President Bush's new national- security strategy,
announced last fall -- even if doing so means overthrowing
the entire post-World War II structure of treaties and
alliances, including NATO and the United Nations. In their
book, The War Over Iraq, William Kristol of The Weekly
Standard and Lawrence F. Kaplan of The New Republic write,
"The mission begins in Baghdad, but it does not end there.
We stand at the cusp of a new historical era. This is a
decisive moment. It is so clearly about more than Iraq. It
is about more even than the future of the Middle East and
the war on terror. It is about what sort of role the United
States intends to play in the twenty-first century."
Invading Iraq, occupying its capital and its oil fields, and
seizing control of its Shia Islamic holy places can only
have a devastating and highly destabilizing impact on the
entire region, from Egypt to central Asia and Pakistan. "We
are all targeted," Syrian President Bashar Assad told an
Arab summit meeting, called to discuss Iraq, on March 1. "We
are all in danger."
"They want to foment revolution in Iran and use that to
isolate and possibly attack Syria in [Lebanon's] Bekaa
Valley, and force Syria out," says former Assistant
Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Edward S. Walker,
now president of the Middle East Institute. "They want to
pressure [Muammar] Quaddafi in Libya and they want to
destabilize Saudi Arabia, because they believe instability
there is better than continuing with the current situation.
And out of this, they think, comes Pax Americana."
The more immediate impact of war against Iraq will occur in
Iran, say many analysts, including both neoconservative and
more impartial experts on the Middle East. As the next
station along the "axis of evil," Iran holds power that's
felt far and wide in the region. Oil- rich and occupying a
large tract of geopolitical real estate, Iran is arguably
the most strategically important country in its
neighborhood. With its large Kurdish population, Iran has a
stake in the future of Iraqi Kurdistan. As a Shia power,
Iran has vast influence among the Shia majority in Iraq,
Lebanon and Bahrain, with the large Shia population in Saudi
Arabia's oil-rich eastern province and among the warlords of
western Afghanistan. And Iran's ties to the violent
Hezbollah guerrillas, whose anti-American zeal can only be
inflamed by the occupation of Iraq, will give the Bush
administration all the reason it needs to expand the war on
terrorism to Tehran.
The first step, neoconservatives say, will be for the United
States to lend its support to opposition groups of Iranian
exiles willing to enlist in the war on terrorism, much as
the Iraqi National Congress served as the spearhead for
American intervention in Iraq. And, just as the doddering
ex-king of Afghanistan served as a rallying point for
America's conquest of that landlocked, central Asian nation,
the remnants of the late former shah of Iran's royal family
could be rallied to the cause. "Nostalgia for the last
shah's son, Reza Pahlavi has again risen," says Reuel Marc
Gerecht, a former CIA officer who, like Ledeen and Perle, is
ensconced at the AEI. "We must be prepared, however, to take
the battle more directly to the mullahs," says Gerecht,
adding that the United States must consider strikes at both
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps and allies in Lebanon. "In
fact, we have only two meaningful options: Confront clerical
Iran and its proxies militarily or ring it with an oil
Iran is not the only country where restoration of monarchy
is being considered. Neoconservative strategists have also
supported returning to power the Iraqi monarchy, which was
toppled in 1958 by a combination of military officers and
Iraqi communists. When the Ottoman Empire crumbled after
World War I, British intelligence sponsored the rise of a
little- known family called the Hashemites, whose origins
lay in the Saudi region around Mecca and Medina. Two
Hashemite brothers were installed on the thrones of Jordan
For nearly a year, the neocons have suggested that Jordan's
Prince Hassan, the brother of the late King Hussein of
Jordan and a blood relative of the Iraqi Hashemite family,
might re-establish the Hashemites in Baghdad were Saddam
Hussein to be removed. Among the neocons are Michael Rubin,
a former AEI fellow, and David Wurmser, a Perle acolyte.
Rubin in 2002 wrote an article for London's Daily Telegraph
headlined, "If Iraqis want a king, Hassan of Jordan could be
their man." Wurmser in 1999 wrote Tyranny's Ally, an AEI-
published book devoted largely to the idea of restoring the
Hashemite dynasty in Iraq. Today Rubin is a key Department
of Defense official overseeing U.S. policy toward Iraq, and
Wurmser is a high-ranking official working for
Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International
Security John Bolton, himself a leading neoconservative
But if the neocons are toying with the idea of restoring
monarchies in Iraq and Iran, they are also eyeing the
destruction of the region's wealthiest and most important
royal family of all: the Saudis. Since September 11, the
hawks have launched an all-out verbal assault on the Saudi
monarchy, accusing Riyadh of supporting Osama bin Laden's
al-Qaeda organization and charging that the Saudis are
masterminding a worldwide network of mosques, schools and
charity organizations that promote terrorism. It's a charge
so breathtaking that those most familiar with Saudi Arabia
are at a loss for words when asked about it. "The idea that
the House of Saud is cooperating with al-Qaeda is absurd,"
says James Akins, who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi
Arabia in the mid-1970s and frequently travels to the Saudi
capital as a consultant. "It's too dumb to be talked about."
That doesn't stop the neoconservatives from doing so,
however. In The War Against the Terror Masters, Ledeen cites
Wurmser in charging that, just before 9-11, "Saudi
intelligence had become difficult to distinguish from Al
Qaeda." Countless other, similar accusations have been flung
at the Saudis by neocons. Max Singer, co-founder of the
Hudson Institute, has repeatedly suggested that the United
States seek to dismantle the Saudi kingdom by encouraging
breakaway republics in the oil-rich eastern province (which
is heavily Shia) and in the western Hijaz. "After [Hussein]
is removed, there will be an earthquake throughout the
region," says Singer. "If this means the fall of the [Saudi]
regime, so be it." And when Hussein goes, Ledeen says, it
could lead to the collapse of the Saudi regime, perhaps to
pro-al-Qaeda radicals. "In that event, we would have to
extend the war to the Arabian peninsula, at the very least
to the oil-producing regions."
"I've stopped saying that Saudi Arabia will be taken over by
Osama bin Laden or by a bin Laden clone if we go into Iraq,"
says Akins. "I'm now convinced that's exactly what [the
neoconservatives] want. And then we take it over."
Iraq, too, could shatter into at least three pieces, which
would be based on the three erstwhile Ottoman Empire
provinces of Mosul, Baghdad and Basra that were cobbled
together to compose the state eight decades ago. That could
conceivably leave a Hashemite kingdom in control of largely
Sunni central Iraq, a Shia state in the south (possibly
linked to Iran, informally) and some sort of Kurdish entity
in the north -- either independent or, as is more likely,
under the control of the Turkish army. Turkey, a reluctant
player in George W. Bush's crusade, fears an independent
Kurdistan and would love to get its hands on Iraq's northern
oil fields around the city of Kirkuk.
The final key component for these map-redrawing, would- be
Lawrences of Arabia is the toppling of Assad's regime and
the breakup of Syria. Perle himself proposed exactly that in
a 1996 document prepared for the Institute for Advanced
Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS), an Israeli think
tank. The plan, titled, "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for
Securing the Realm," was originally prepared as a working
paper to advise then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of
Israel. It called on Israel to work with Turkey and Jordan
to "contain, destabilize and roll-back" various states in
the region, overthrow Saddam Hussein in Iraq, press Jordan
to restore a scion of its Hashemite dynasty to the Iraqi
throne and, above all, launch military assaults against
Lebanon and Syria as a "prelude to a redrawing of the map of
the Middle East [to] threaten Syria's territorial
integrity." Joining Perle in writing the IASPS paper were
Douglas Feith and Wurmser, now senior officials in Bush's
Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Project for a New
American Century (PNAC), worries only that the Bush
administration, including Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, might not have the
guts to see its plan all the way through once Hussein is
toppled. "It's going to be no small thing for the United
States to follow through on its stated strategic policy in
the region," he says. But Schmitt believes that President
Bush is fully committed, having been deeply affected by the
events of September 11. Schmitt roundly endorses the vision
put forward by Kaplan and Kristol in The War Over Iraq,
which was sponsored by the PNAC. "It's really our book,"
Six years ago, in its founding statement of principles, PNAC
called for a radical change in U.S. foreign and defense
policy, with a beefed-up military budget and a more muscular
stance abroad, challenging hostile regimes and assuming
"American global leadership." Signers of that statement
included Cheney; Rumsfeld; Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul
Wolfowitz; Assistant Secretary of Defense for International
Security Affairs Peter W. Rodman; Elliott Abrams, the Near
East and North African affairs director at the National
Security Council; Zalmay Khalilzad, the White House liaison
to the Iraqi opposition; I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of
staff; and Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.), the president's brother.
The PNAC statement foreshadowed the outline of the
president's 2002 national-security strategy.
Scenarios for sweeping changes in the Middle East, imposed
by U.S armed forces, were once thought fanciful -- even
ridiculous -- but they are now taken seriously given the
incalculable impact of an invasion of Iraq. Chas Freeman,
who served as U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the
Gulf War, worries about everything that could go wrong.
"It's a war to turn the kaleidoscope, by people who know
nothing about the Middle East," he says. "And there's no way
to know how the pieces will fall." Perle and Co., says
Freeman, are seeking a Middle East dominated by an alliance
between the United States and Israel, backed by overwhelming
military force. "It's machtpolitik, might makes right," he
says. Asked about the comparison between Iraq and Hiroshima,
Freeman adds, "There is no question that the Richard Perles
of the world see shock and awe as a means to establish a
position of supremacy that others fear to challenge."
But Freeman, who is now president of the Middle East Policy
Council, thinks it will be a disaster. "This outdoes
anything in the march of folly catalog," he says. "It's the
lemmings going over the cliff." Robert Dreyfuss
Copyright (c) 2003 by The American Prospect, Inc. Preferred
Citation: Robert Dreyfuss, "Just the Beginning," The
American Prospect vol. 14 no. 4, April 1, 2003 . This
article may not be resold, reprinted, or redistributed for
compensation of any kind without prior written permission
from the author. Direct questions about permissions to
Back to Main News Page
Demonstrations in Spain and Around the World Against an Iraq War
By Emma Daly
New York Times
Sunday 15 March 2003
MADRID, March 15 — Angered at their government's unwavering support for United States
policy on Iraq, Spaniards took to the streets here today, one of hundreds of antiwar
demonstrations around the world.
For the second time in a month, crowds of demonstrators jammed the center of Madrid, waving
antiwar placards and chanting insults against President Bush and one of his strongest allies,
Prime Minister José María Aznar of Spain.
"We are marching against the law of the jungle that the United States and its acolytes old and
new want to impose on the world," José Saramago, the Portuguese writer and Nobel laureate, told
the crowd, estimated by news organizations at about half a million, gathered in Madrid's Puerta
del Sol. Another demonstration was held in Barcelona, where the police said 300,000 people
demonstrated, some of them forming a three-mile human chain.
The events were part of a largely coordinated worldwide effort to rally support against the war.
While the Spanish demonstrations drew large crowds, some others were more sparsely
attended. In Seoul, South Korea, 3,000 protesters held towering candles as they paraded through
the capital. About 15,000 rallied in Athens, accompanied by a giant reproduction of "Guérnica,"
Picasso's antiwar painting. And in Moscow, 1,000 people demonstrated in front of the American
In London, where an estimated one million people marched against the war in January, there
were protests in several residential neighborhoods and a scheduled concert tonight for 2,000
people aimed at raising money for the Stop the War coalition.
Muslims in London organized walk-bys at the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria,
Egypt, Qatar and Pakistan, countries they accuse of collaborating with the United States. "The
governments of the Muslim world have the power to stop this war by disallowing America and its
allies from using their land, airspace, waterways and logistics to perpetrate it," said one of the
organizers, Dr. Imran Waheed.
In Montreal, about 250,000 people marched through the streets shouting antiwar slogans, in
the largest of 30 demonstrations in Canada.
About 100,000 people demonstrated in Berlin, according to police estimates, while 50,000
demonstrators gathered in the Place de la Nation in Paris.
More than 5,000 people marched in Marseille, France's second largest city.
In central Tokyo, an estimated 10,000 people filed through downtown streets to applause from
passers-by. According to polls, more than 80 percent of the Japanese people oppose an attack on
Iraq, but the government has supported the United States demand that Baghdad disarm or face
In Madrid, few demonstrators saw much hope of persuading Mr. Aznar to change course.
"Hope is the last thing to go," said Ernesto Cano, a student attending with his parents and family
friends. "If we keep making an effort there is still a possibility to avoid war."
But Maria Conde, marching with her three labrador dogs, was pessimistic. "I don't think this
will change anything," she said.
In the Middle East, some of the demonstrations were in support of Saddam Hussein. In Khan
Yunis, in the Gaza Strip, for example, 10 men in black hoods, wearing mock versions of the
explosives belts of suicide bombers, led a march in support of the Iraqi leader.
In Cairo, several hundred people, surrounded by 1,500 police officers, protested outside the
University of Cairo chanting, "With our blood, with our soul, we will defend Baghdad."
In Nicosia, 2,000 people marched on the American Embassy demanding "no more blood for
oil." They also condemned the presence on the island of the largest Royal Air Force base outside
Britain, at Akiroti, which is scheduled to play a support and logistics role in any attack on Iraq.
Back to Main News Page
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 20:39:07 -0500
From: Juan de Bolas <email@example.com>
Subject: The Tulsa Race Riot, One case for reparations
New York Daily News
Sunday, March 16, 2003
One case for reparations
For 138 years - since the end of the Civil War - many black Americans have
been awaiting the proverbial 40 acres and a mule our ancestors were led to
expect as compensation for what they endured during slavery. Now, with a
flurry of books on reparations and a slew of high-profile civil rights
lawyers teaming up with Ivy League legal scholars, the issue of what the
government and corporate America owe to the descendants of slaves is heating
up. But in all the fuss over a pie-in-the-sky promise of a big fat check, a
real, provable case may get lost - and justice denied to some black men and
women who lived through an unimaginable nightmare.
I refer to the Tulsa Race Riot, as history labels the massacre and mayhem in
that Oklahoma city on May 31 and June 1, 1921, claiming perhaps 300 black
lives and destroying the 35-square-block neighborhood called Greenwood,
known as the Black Wall Street.
During this riot, "an event without equal and without excuse," as a state
commission put it two years ago, 1,256 homes were destroyed, as well as
"virtually every other structure - including churches, schools, businesses,
even a hospital and library." Planes dropped firebombs onto Greenwood.
Blacks were carted off to detention centers. Blacks were sent "into exile"
This was Oklahoma, a state by then for only 14 years. This was America, full
of hope and hangman's nooses; a land of liberty and of lynch mobs. "Nigger,
don't let the sun go down on you in this town," signs posted in Norman,
After acknowledgment of documented societal wrong, other people, including
Jews and Japanese-Americans, have received reparations. The survivors of
Greenwood, and their descendants, are seeking no less for their loss of
lives, of livelihood and of property. In legal terms, they seek "restitution
and repair of the injuries sustained by them or their relatives from the
actions and inaction of the agents of the State of Oklahoma and the City of
Tulsa for acts they committed during and in the aftermath of the riot,"
according to a recently filed federal lawsuit.
That some of the same advocates of reparations for slavery are behind this
lawsuit may, unfortunately, complicate matters. The advocates include
Charles Ogletree, a Harvard law professor, Johnnie Cochran of O.J. fame and
a number of big-name civil rights lawyers.
Some Oklahomans are taking seriously the lawyers' claim that this suit is
the opening shot in a long battle. The Tulsa World, for instance, sees the
team of legal experts as "professional race-baiters" and in an editorial
steamed: "The state should defend this lawsuit with the utmost vigor,
regardless of the cost."
What the state should do is justice for the survivors, regardless of who
brought the lawsuit on their behalf. Some of them were children in 1921;
some are now nearly 100 years old. They gave in 1921 and, though many of
them ended up elsewhere in Oklahoma or in other states, they continued
giving to their country as World War II soldiers, as teachers, as laborers,
as civic leaders.
"Reparations are the right thing to do," the commission said two years ago.
Though its recommendations were not binding, the commission obviously took
its role seriously and suggested "several courses of action including direct
payments to riot survivors and descendants; a scholarship fund available to
students affected by the riot; establishment of an economic development
enterprise zone in the historic Greenwood district; a memorial for the riot
To date, Oklahoma has done nothing but consider erecting some type of
memorial. A memorial, while fine, is hardly adequate to replace what a
community of 8,000 lost. Compensation - in the form of money - for lost
lives and lost property is the American way.
That's the kind of reparations I can get behind.
Originally published on March 15, 2003
Back to Main News Page
'The Dark Secret Of
Jewish Power Is Out'
By Israel Shamir
A new spectre haunts America. It enters the well-protected boardrooms of
newspapers and banks, shakes the deep foundations of its towers. It is the
spectre of glasnost: the dark secret of Jewish power is out. Just recently it
was 'third rail', touch-and-die, deadly dangerous to mention, certain end to
a career. Just recently, Joe Public snapped his TV from an eminence with an
Israeli passport to a member of a Jewish think-tank, and muttered to himself:
Surely it is just a coincidence that so many important and largely unelected
people in our country happen to belong to this small minority group. Surely
it is just a coincidence that they belong to different parties but reach the
same conclusions. Surely it is just a coincidence that ninety per cent of
American foreign aid goes to their cousins in prosperous Tel Aviv. Surely it
is just a coincidence that they run our newspapers, television, cinema,
universities. Anyway, we are not allowed to notice this elephant in our
Only rare desperados comment, as Edgar Steele did on Rense.com: "The silence
in America concerning Jews is simply deafening, isn't it? The old adage has
it that, when visiting a foreign country, to ascertain who really runs
things, one need determine only who is spoken about in whispers, if at all."
Judged by this measure, the Jews rule supreme. Indeed, when I referred to
'Jewish media lords' during a UNESCO conference in the summer of 2001, the
audience's hearts missed a beat.
The yet-unfought War on Iraq changed this. The American Ultimatum date was set
on 17 March, the Jewish feast of Purim. Purim, 1991 saw destruction of Iraqi
armies and death of 200,000 Iraqis. Too many coincidences for a purely
American war. The Americans peeped into the bottomless abyss of World War
Three and woke up from their generation-long stupor. Thus the first victim of
the Iraqi War is not truth, but the strongest taboo in the West. A Democrat
member of Congress, usually a most docile specimen, one James Moran, dared to
tell his supporters: "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish
community for this war with Iraq we would not be doing this."
He was immediately slapped by a Jewish overseer: "It is simply stunning to
hear Representative Moran make such accusations", said National Jewish
Democratic Council Executive Director, Ira N. Forman. "First, a number of the
current leaders of the anti-war movement are Jewish, and Jewish organizations
have clearly not been at the forefront among those groups actively and
stridently supporting a war in Iraq". Forman had spoken, and the media
reported and amplified his view, and Moran duly recanted, slapped. But he is
not the only one.
The secret is out, and like the secret of King Midas and his long ears, it is
being sung now from coast to coast, despite the frantic efforts of the
organised Jewish community to clamp the lid back on the boiling cauldron.
Kathleen and Bill Christison, [i] two ex-CIA experts, exposed the link
between right-wing American Jews and the Bush Administration. Edward Said,
the most celebrated American thinker of Palestinian origin, stated the cause:
"An immensely wealthy and powerful republic has been hijacked by a small
cabal of individuals, all of them unelected and therefore unresponsive to
public pressure." [ii]
He was seconded by courageous Herman, Neumann and Blankfort. These Americans
of Jewish origin object to the un-elected, anti-democratic Jewish power as
they would object to any disproportionate minority power. Their presence, as
they were not afraid of the anti-Semitic label, was instrumental in turning
the tide and saving the intimidated majority from its browbeating.
Edward Herman, the author of Manufacturing Consent (together with Noam
Chomsky), wrote of "the powerful pro-Israel lobby in the United States, which
advances Israeli interests by pushing for U.S. aid and protection to Israel,
and, currently, by pressing for a war against Iraq, which again will serve
Israeli interests. This lobby has not only helped control media debate and
made congress into `Israeli occupied territory', it has seen to it that
numerous officials with 'dual loyalties' occupy strategic decision-making
positions in the Bush administration"
Jeffrey Blankfort, the Californian who defeated ADL in court and made Foxman
pay heaps of dollars for his espionage against activists, took an important
next step and rejected the views upheld by Noam Chomsky, Joel Beinin and
Stephen Zunes, for these older radicals play down the crucial importance of
Jewish power. Jeff Blankfort noticed the roots of the Rupture Evangelicals'
meteoric rise in the US. This obscure sect would never have left its lair in
remote Dixie, but for the Jewish media lords. Jeff noticed that when Black
Entertainment Television was taken over by Viacom, whose owner, Sumner
Redstone (né Murray Rothstein), was recently described in the New York Times
as the world's biggest media owner, he eliminated BET's news program and
began running evangelical Christian infomercials for Israel. Blankfort's list
of 'Jews in media' [iii] enables an understanding of the secret of Jewish
charm, and it can be compared with a similar extensive list by Prof. Kevin
MacDonald of California State University.
The Iraqi War, and even more its linkage with Palestine, became the litmus
test of Jewish power. Organised Jewry pushed for war and at the same time
denied its involvement. Thus in New York City, the City Council rejected an
anti-war resolution, and only 12 of its 51 members were for it. This is not
strange for heavily Jewish New York. Indeed, a Democrat, Rep. Robert Jackson,
said it in a most straightforward way: "New York City is the home away from
home for most Jews; and many members of the Jewish community think [the war
is] in the best interests of the state of Israel." According to Jackson,
several of his council colleagues have been intimidated into silence by the
pro-Israel crowd: "People are not talking about this."
Jackson was certainly right, but a Jewish newspaper [iv] (surprisingly or not,
all newspapers in the New York area are Jewish) condemned him for racism:
"[He claimed that] not only do the Jews run New York City, but they've cowed
their opponents into silence. Jackson could as well call New York Hymietown."
This response is remarkable for its typically Jewish logic. First, the
opponent's rational argument is perverted and distorted, then it is aligned
with opprobrium; and at the last stage, the opponent is destroyed forever.
That is one of the secrets of Jewish might: the Jews enter a dialogue
berserk-like, with great vehemence, quite foreign to the Socratic style.
While sane people are satisfied with quoting their opponent and fighting his
arguments, madmen (for berserk is a temporarily-mad individual) go for the
David Mamet, the Jewish American playwright, provides a good example of this
vehemence as he notices a "Volvo of old, the vehicle of my brethren, the
congenitally liberal. It was festooned, as are its kind, with every sort of
correct exhortation: Save James Bay, Honour Diversity, and so on. A most
interesting bumper sticker read: Israel Out of the Settlements a slogan which
could best be translated as Hook-nosed Jews Die".
I wonder why Mamet stopped at this, for with equal adequacy the slogan can be
translated as Torture Babies, Denounce America and Burn Apple Pie. Who cares
for the form of the Jewish nose? Mel Brooks noticed long ago that Jewish
girls have the cutest noses, made by the best plastic surgeons
It is the racist Jewish policies in occupied Palestine that annoy good,
'congenitally liberal' people. But if Mamet were honest, he would not be
Now, Bill Keller of the NY Times read the Riot Act to the Americans. He kindly
allows that 'most of the big Jewish organizations and many donors are backing
the war' but insists that 'the idea that Israel's interests are driving one
of the most momentous shifts in America's foreign policy is simple-minded and
offensive'. Well, Keller is certainly being paid for his convictions by a
Jewish media lord, and one of the nastiest, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, the owner
of the NY Times, the Boston Globe and a host of other publications. This
undermines the possible veracity of Keller's words. Let something similar be
written in a thoroughly non-Jewish newspaper! But alas, there are no
important media outlets in the US that are not owned or controlled by Jews
Surely a coincidence? Do not bet on it. A few days ago, in the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem, an important all-Jewish conference on anti-Semitism
took place under the auspicious aegis of the Sasson Centre. The talk given by
the French Jewish historian Simcha Epstein dealt with pre-war France but
pertained more immediately to America. This is what Epstein said:
"The pre-war anti-Semites said that the Jews of France organized a syndicate
secretly bankrolling and subverting the press. And what did the Jews say at
that time? They said: 'Of course not! No, it's a lie, of course not! We are
not engaged in conspiracies!' And what did the historians and the Jewish
historiography coming afterwards say? 'Of course not! It is anti-Semitic
drivel!' But we know now from Jewish sources that before the WWII the Jews of
France secretly financed the press.
"Since the end of 19th century, there was a secret Jewish organization, well
financed, which bought and bankrolled newspapers. Sometimes it took over
existing newspapers, which suddenly became pro-Dreifus because they received
Jewish subsidies. New papers were created especially by the Jews. Two very
important papers of the period, one was called Les Droits de l'Homme, the
Rights of Man, was financed by the Jews, and L'Humanité, which was the
Socialist and then the Communist newspaper of France, was also financed by
Jews. I say this on the authority Jewish sources of course.
"And this brings us to a dramatic dilemma of historiography. Saying this,
saying what I said, is something horrible and unacceptable, because it means
that the Jews organized a conspiracy and secretly bought the media, or part
of the media. That was precisely what the anti-Semites said at that time, and
what they still say today. And we know now from Jewish sources that the
allegations were true, that there was a Jewish clandestine activity of
bankrolling the press." End of quote.
Some people perceive every suggestion that Jews are able to act together as a
mad conspiracy theory. Let them read and re-read this report by a Jewish
historian made at a Jewish conference. If it is proven now beyond any
reasonable doubt that the Jews of France secretly bought and subverted French
media for many years in order to distort the national discourse and
eventually push unprepared France into the horrible and unneeded World War
Two, is it impossible to consider that the Jews of the US have secretly taken
over their national media and are now pushing the US into a horrible and
unneeded World War Three?
Actually there is no need for secrecy. One of the chief Zionist ideologists,
Zeev Hefetz (ex-spokesman of PM Begin), wrote in an American daily:
"Disarming Iraq is only a start in Middle East" as "the Arab and Iranian
(sic!) cultures" are "irrational" and that nothing can be done, short of war,
to "improve the collective mental health of Arab societies". [v]Certainly
this massive 'disarmament' will be carried out by American soldiers, though
the commands will be given by the Jewish chicken-hawks roosting in Pentagon.
As for reasons for the war, they were eloquently stated by a keynote speaker
at a conference on anti-Semitism by Yehuda Bauer, the director of the
Holocaust Memorial Institute Yad va-Shem in Jerusalem:
The Jews are not a nation, neither a religion, he said. They are a
civilisation, and they have their civilising mission. They cannot tolerate
the competing civilisation of Islam, as they could not tolerate Christendom
or Communism. That is why the war with Islam is unavoidable.
But the war is avoidable. Even today, at minutes before H-hour, the war is
avoidable. And if fire is unavoidable, let the Jewish advisers of President
Bush be fired. Let this Purim see the great Exodus of the "Wolfowitz Cabal"
from the Pentagon. Excluding the clinical possibility of his actual
zombification, G W Bush should be able to understand that he has been misled
by this powerful, un-elected minority. They cannot deliver what they
promised. Moreover, their own days at the helm of the Republic are numbered.
They over-estimated their abilities, and pushed too hard. As the frog of La
Fontaine, they can blow up. Bush still can do a U-turn, and save himself and
In a way, today's America reminds of Russia in 1986, at the beginning of
glasnost. After the Soviet citizens were allowed to learn who rules them and
how, the days of the Soviet regime were counted. Glasnost gave place to
perestroika. Now, for the first time in a generation, Americans are allowed
to see the men in power, the toxic combination of the Right-Wing Democrats of
Lieberman, the Republican neo-liberals, the Neo-Cons and plain Con-men. The
Iraqi War brought them forward and presented them in clear light. Now is the
time to undo their hold.
It can't be postponed for the divisive presidency of G W Bush is perceived as
the period of 'White' Protestant Anglo-Saxon rule, despite the prevalence of
his Jewish advisers. All available contenders for the next elections -
Lieberman, Kelly and even Kuchinich - claim their Jewish connections and
declare their undivided loyalty to Jewry and to the state of Israel. In the
present political setup of America, there will be no real alternative to
Jewish ascendancy. If Bush flops, it will be construed by the media as a WASP
flop. If he succeeds, it will be seen as success of his Jewish advisers.
That is why American patriot forces should not wait for the next elections, or
for the end of war. They must act now, by calling the war off. They have an
enemy, but he is not in Iraq. What is called for is a new American
revolution, on a par with the New Deal and abolition of slavery, with
de-monopolisation of the discourse; that is of media and universities, for
starters. In the beginning of the Twentieth Century, Americans undid the
mighty Standard Oil. They created new anti-monopoly laws and terminated the
threat to democracy. This achievement could be repeated now.
[i] Kathleen and Bill Christison, `A Rose By Another Name: The Bush
Administration's Dual Loyalties', Counterpunch, Dec. 13, 2002).
[iii] Here is enough sampling to indicate that it is not:
First of all, Sumner Redstone ( né Murray Rothstein) owns $8 billion dollars
worth of Viacom, which gives him the controlling interest in CBS, Viacom, MTV
worldwide (Brian Graden, president), and most recently he bought Black
Entertainment Television and proceeded immediately to cut down its
public-affairs programming. The president of CBS is Leslie Moonves, the great
nephew of David Ben-Gurion.
Michael Eisner is the major owner of Disney-Capitol Cities, which owns ABC.
David Westin is the president of ABC News. Although it has lost viewers,
Nightline host Ted Koppel is a strong supporter of Israel. Lloyd Braun is
chair of ABC Entertainment. And there is the perennial Barbara Walters.
Neil Shapiro is the president of NBC News. Jeffrey Zucker is the head of NBC
Entertainment and Jack Myers has some important post there, as well.
Although Rupert Murdoch of Fox is not Jewish, Mel Karamazin, the president of
the corporation is, as is Peter Chernin, the second in command at Murdoch's
Sandy Grushow is chairman of Fox Entertainment, and Gail Berman is president.
Murtdoch has received numerous awards from various Jewish charities.
Jamie Kellner is chair and CEO of Turner Broadcasting.
Walter Issacson is the News Director of CNN which also has Wolf Blitzer, host
of Late Edition, Larry King of Larry King Live, Paula Zahn, and Andrea
Koppel, Ted's daughter.
Jordan Levin is chairman of Warner Bros. Entertainment.
Howard Stringer is chair of Sony Corp. of America.
Robert Sillerman is the founder of Clear Channel Communications,
Ivan Seidenberg is chair of Verizon Communications
Terry Semel, former co-chair of Warners is CEO of Yahoo.
Barry Diller, former owner of Universal Entertainment, is the chair of USA
Joel Klein is chair and CEO of Bertelsmann's American operations, the largest
publishing conglomerate in the world.
Mort Zuckerman, the Chair of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish
American Organizations, owns US News and World Report and the NY Daily News.
Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. publishes the NY Times, the Boston Globe and a host of
Marty Peretz publishes the New Republic, which is unabashedly pro-Israel, as
William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard.
Donald Graham, Jr. is the chair and CEO of Newsweek and the Washington Post.
Michael Ledeen, of Iran-Contra fame, edits National Review.
Ron Rosenthal is the Managing Editor of the SF Chronicle and Phil Bronstein is
the Executive Editor.
David Schneiderman owns the Village Voice and a number of other "alternative"
Columnist William Safire, Tom Freidman, Charles Krauthammer, Richard Cohen,
Jeff Jacoby, are among the most widely syndicated columnists.
There are a number of widely syndicated talk show hosts such as Michael Savage
(ABC) on more than 100 stations, Michael Medved, 124 stations, and Dennis
Prager who has an Israeli flag on his website. Others include Ron Owens, Ben
Wattenberg, and former ZOA official Jon Rothman, all in San Francisco on ABC.
In Hollywood, which was founded by Jews, there is of course, Stephen
Spielberg, David Geffen, and Jeffrey Kranzberg of Dreamworks, Eisner of
Disney, Amy Pascal, chair of Columbia, and many, many more.
For the intellectuals, we have NPR, with pundit Daniel Schorr and weekend
hosts Scott Simon and Liane Hansen, Robert Segal, Susan Stanberg, Eric
Weiner, Daniel Lev, Linda Gradstein (a well-known speaker at pro-Israel
events) covering Jerusalem, Mike Schuster (whose soft-ball interview with
Ariel Sharon after Sabra and Shatila should have brought him before the court
of Hamarabi). Brook Gladstein.
And that's just for starters. From the boss to the delivery it's an impressive
list. While they certainly can't be put in the same box when it comes to
Israel, they more or less guarantee that there will be limits to any
criticism they may make of Israel".
[iv] NY Post 22.02.03
[v] November 12, 2002 The New Haven Register
From Maximo Lachman
Israel Shamir's article 'Midas Ears' on your website is offensive for
perpetuating the myth that most Jews are Zionists. It is also offensive for
calling Zion 'Israel'. Calling Zion 'Israel' is like calling the U.S.
'America'. The original Israel consisted of Israelite tribes, but NOT the
tribe of Judah. Its capital was Samaria, not Jerusalem. In the current
'Israel' members of the other tribes are not eligible for 'Israeli'
citizenship, such as the Celtic Israelites that are descended from Xara.
Another example is that Samaritans are classed as Palestinians, despite being
more Israelite than the Zionists running 'Israel'.
Let's now assume that all of those Zionists have a lineage traceable to Judah
or Levi. In that case, it would be correct to call 'Israel' by the name of
the more numerous tribe: i.e. Judah.
Alternatively, let us assume that most of those Zionists cannot trace their
ancestry back to Judah or Levi or even Israel himself. In this case, it would
be correct to call 'Israel' by the name at the root of the pseudo religion
called Zionism, i.e. Zion.
Take your pick, but whatever it is, it isn't 'Israel'. you do still have
freedom of speech, eh? Many people refer to Myanmar as Burma, or to the
Republic of China as Taiwan (or to the United States as America), rather than
the 'official' name, for less substantive reasons.
You can't be Zionist & Jewish at the same time, just like a church can't be
Reformed & Catholic at the same time. A Jewish person is someone who
practices traditional Judaism as before the Zionists invented "Reformed"
Judaism, etc. Judaism teaches that only the Messiah can authorise the use of
force to establish an Israelite state:
Please do not let your site be misused as a platform for disinformation.
Well, it will be interesting to see the response to Mr. Shamir's article. I've
noticed stories on Rense.com in the past about Jesuit power, feminist power,
gay power, the Roman Catholic church's power, and so forth and so on.
It's OK to discuss that but talking about Jewish power seems historically
off-limits to most. That needs to change...free and open discussion of the
world seems to me to be a birthright. Even if Shamir is only half-right, his
work needs to be examined.
A remarkable and courageous book I recall reading on this subject was written
by Jewish film critic Neal Gabler and titled 'An Empire Of Their Own - How
The Jews Invented Hollywood.' It's a remarkable book which serves to validate
the basic premise of Jewish power and influence in America.
Keep up the great work...we may not agree with all the stories you post but,
as you often say, there is little growth if we only read things we agree
From Kathryn R. McCloghry
Hello. While you do make some interesting points and Mr Shamir would have been
much more accurate calling the article 'The Dark Secret Of Zionist Power Is
Out', I must disagree with your accusation that the article is offensive
because it "perpetuates the myth that most Jews are Zionists." It does no
such thing. What it does, is point out that there DO exist very powerful
Zionist forces who happen also to be Jewish (though I see your
scriptual/philosophical point that they really aren't) that strangle
criticism of the terrorist and racist state of Israel and her deadly
influence over the government of The United States. With respect, to read
anything else into it, is frankly... a little paranoid.
The media-controlling individuals that Mr Shamir names, are for the most part
Zionist and this is made glaringly obvious by the abovementioned lack of any
serious debate in regard to Israel's military policy (200 nuclear warheads?!
Now that's what I call weapons of mass destruction), especially it's
occupation of Palestine but he also names other individuals - also Jews - who
criticise these power-junkies, thereby making it clear that some of the most
important critics of Zionism are Jewish.
Of course all Jews are not Zionists, I know that, you know it and I think that
if you re-read the article, you''ll realize that Israel Shamir knows it, too.
Kathryn R. McCloghry
Back to Main News Page
March 12, 2003
Bush's inflated sense of supremacy
By George Soros
With US and British troops poised to invade Iraq, the
rest of the world is overwhelmingly opposed. Yet Saddam
Hussein is generally seen as a tyrant who must be
disarmed and the United Nations Security Council has
unanimously demanded that he disclose and destroy his
weapons of mass destruction. What has gone wrong?
Iraq is the first instance in which the Bush doctrine
is being applied and it is provoking an allergic
reaction. The doctrine is built on two pillars: first,
the US will do everything in its power to maintain
unquestioned military supremacy; second, it arrogates
the right to pre-emptive action. These pillars support
two classes of sovereignty: American sovereignty, which
takes precedence over international treaties; and the
sovereignty of all other states, which is subject to
the Bush doctrine. This is reminiscent of George
Orwell's Animal Farm: all animals are equal but some
are more equal than others.
The Bush doctrine is grounded in the belief that
international relations are relations of power;
legality and legitimacy are decorations. This belief is
not entirely false but it exaggerates one aspect of
reality - military power - at the exclusion of others.
I see a parallel between the Bush administration's
pursuit of American supremacy and a boom-bust process
or bubble in the stock market. Bubbles do not grow out
of thin air. They have a solid basis in reality but
reality is distorted by misconception. In this case,
the dominant position of the US is the reality, the
pursuit of supremacy the misconception. Reality can
reinforce the misconception but eventually the gap
between reality and its false interpretation becomes
unsustainable. During the self-reinforcing phase, the
misconception may be tested and reinforced. This widens
the gap leading to an eventual reversal. The later it
comes, the more devastating the consequences.
This course of events seems inexorable but a boom-bust
process can be aborted at any stage and few of them
reach the extremes of the recent stock market bubble.
The sooner the process is aborted, the better. This is
how I view the Bush administration's pursuit of
President George W. Bush came into office with a
coherent strategy based on market fundamentalism and
military power. But before September 11 2001 he lacked
a clear mandate or a well defined enemy. The terrorist
attack changed all that. Terrorism is the ideal enemy.
It is invisible and therefore never disappears. An
enemy that poses a genuine and recognised threat can
effectively hold a nation together. That is
particularly useful when the prevailing ideology is
based on the unabashed pursuit of self- interest. Mr
Bush's administration deliberately fosters fear because
it helps to keep the nation lined up behind the
president. We have come a long way from Franklin D.
Roosevelt's dictum that we have nothing to fear but
But the war on terrorism cannot be accepted as the
guiding principle of US foreign policy. What will
happen to the world if the most powerful country on
earth is solely preoccupied with self-preservation?
The Bush policies have already caused severe unintended
adverse consequences. The Atlantic Alliance is in a
shambles and the European Union divided. The US is a
fearful giant throwing its weight around. Afghanistan
has been liberated but law and order have not been
established beyond Kabul. The Israeli-Palestinian
conflict festers. Beyond Iraq, an even more dangerous
threat looms in North Korea.
The global economy is in recession, stocks are in a
bear market and the dollar is in decline. In the US,
there has been a dramatic shift from budget surplus to
deficit. It is difficult to find a time when political
and economic conditions have deteriorated as rapidly.
The game is not yet over. A rapid victory in Iraq with
little loss of life could cause a dramatic reversal.
The price of oil could fall; the stock market could
celebrate; consumers could overcome their anxieties and
resume spending; and business could respond by stepping
up capital expenditure. America would end its
dependency on Saudi Arabian oil, the Israeli-
Palestinian conflict could become more tractable and
negotiations with North Korea could be started without
a loss of face. This is what Mr Bush is counting on.
Military victory in Iraq would be the easy part. It is
what follows that should give us pause. In a boom-bust
process, passing an early test tends to reinforce the
misconception that has given rise to it. That could
It is not too late to prevent the boom-bust process
from getting out of hand. The Security Council could
allow more time for weapons inspections. Military
presence in the region could be reduced - and bolstered
if Iraq balks. An invasion could be mounted at summer's
end. The UN would score a victory. That is what the
French propose and the British could still make it
happen. But the chances are slim; Mr Bush has
practically declared war.
Let us hope that if there is war, it will be swift and
claim few lives. Removing Mr Hussein is a good thing,
yet the way Mr Bush is going about it must be
condemned. America must play a more constructive role
if humanity is to make any progress.
The writer is chairman of Soros Fund Management
Back to Main News Page
March 12, 2003
US economy bears the stamp of Bush
By Robert Kuttner
Last Friday the Labor Department reported that the
economy lost 308,000 jobs in February. More ominously,
the number of long-term unemployed is at its highest
level since 1992.
Oil prices are skyrocketing. And a recent report in The
Wall Street Journal makes clear that, unlike in the
first Gulf War, oil producers are already pumping oil
at close to their capacity. If Iraq's supply is
seriously damaged, prices could stay high for a while.
The war and its aftermath will also add hundreds of
billions to a budget already in deficit by a projected
$304 billion, a sum that doesn't count the costs of
war, occupation, or rebuilding. In the first Gulf War,
allies picked up most of the tab. In this war, Bush has
few allies. And the reluctant allies he does have, like
Turkey, are more likely to be cost centers than sources
We would be economically better off, of course, if Bush
called off the war or if the war were quick and cheap.
But neither of these outcomes is likely.
I wish I could write that war fever is all that ails
the economy. But in fact, incipient war is aggravating
underlying weaknesses. Some of this damage is the
result of long-term trends; some of it is self-
inflicted by Bush administration policies.
The economy has still not recovered from the stock
collapse of 2000. The stock bubble of the 1990s
attracted trillions of dollars into investments that
will never pay back a nickel. The airlines, the telecom
industry, and much of advanced technology are still
awash in excess capacity.
Profits have not yet recovered, and the more that
industry trims its costs to improve its bottom line,
the less equipment it orders and the fewer jobs it
Investors remain traumatized. Once the shooting war is
over, Wall Streeters expect a brief relief rally as
investors who've hung back return to stocks. But for
the long term, as it gradually sinks in that the '90s
are really over, investors are putting less money into
stocks and more into bonds. That, in turn, reduces the
demand for stocks and reduces stock prices.
In the 1990s, the market took several decades of normal
gain -- in advance. Now, it's likely to be fairly flat
for some time to come. In the 1990s, many stocks
stopped paying dividends, but investors took their
returns in the form of stock appreciation. Now they
have neither. This hurts both retirees and institutions
such as universities, foundations, hospitals, and
philanthropies that depend on endowment income.
The US trade deficit with the rest of the world keeps
growing while the dollar is weakening. In principle, a
weak dollar should be good for US exports, but because
of poor economic conditions overseas, an export boom
The economy is so weak that even large budget deficits
are not providing much stimulus. The one thing keeping
the economy afloat is very low inflation and low
interest rates. But the Federal Reserve has pushed
rates down about as far as it can. And if inflationary
pressures should break out -- either because of an oil
shock, a collapsing dollar, or because of skyrocketing
federal deficits, then we would face the real calamity
or higher interest rates in a recession.
This brings me back to the part of the downturn
inflicted by the Bush administration. Bush may not be
able to do much about a stock bubble that burst before
he took office. But his policy of endless tax breaks
for the wealthy and permanent large deficits does
So does his policy of ignoring the fiscal plight of the
states, forcing them to cut services or raise taxes in
a soft economy. And so does his unilateral war on Iraq,
which will saddle Americans with unilateral costs. And
so does his gutting of federal regulation, which adds
to the chaos in industry after industry and reduces
If the war goes badly and leads to more severe global
instability, it will be hard to place the blame. For
the world really is a more dangerous place than it was
in 2000. And the administration can always take the
ensuing chaos as proof of the need for American swagger
(rather than the predictable result of the swagger).
But the economy is another story. This economy, like
the Iraq mess, now bears the stamp of George W. Bush.
And it will be far harder for him to evade political
responsibility for making a bad economy worse.
Robert Kuttner is co-editor of The American Prospect.
His column appears regularly in the Globe.
© Copyright 2003 Globe Newspaper Company.
Back to Main News Page
Sun, 16 Mar 2003 17:40:19 -0500
From: "jehronn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subj: [BlackAndProud] One Journalist Speaks Out on the Attempts to Castrate
Date: 3/6/2003 3:35:19 PM Mountain Standard Time
One Journalist Speaks Out on the Attempts to Castrate Michael Jackson
If the documentary Living With Michael Jackson is any indication of what
journalism has become, we're in trouble. I have to wonder what the bottom
line is on the media's obsession to defile the character of Michael Jackson.
For Martin Bashir, it was clearly money and fame. But, for the record, the
public should also know that not every journalist shares this view; and if
for nothing but balance alone, our stories should be told as well. As
journalists, there is something we seem to have forgotten: our "title"
should not replace our "species." We are still human beings, but in our
work, do we always act as such? While we may certainly recognize the
eccentricities and even the naiveté of someone like Michael Jackson, these
traits in themselves are not crimes. We should be careful not to use them as
a summation of his character, or as a means to detract from his
long-standing career as an entertainer and humanitarian. If journalism were
truly unbiased, this would not be the case.
Martin Bashir's documentary Living With Michael Jackson lacked integrity. In
the opinion of this writer, it should be remembered as nothing more than an
exercise in how to gain someone's trust, then manipulate it to tell the
story you had written before ever meeting the man or setting foot on his
property. Apparently, the need for journalistic excellence has left the
building; leaving behind in its place only two prerequisites for getting
your story picked up: how low can you go and how much are they willing to
Clearly, Bashir fulfilled the first requirement; and with several airings of
his documentary to their credit, ABC and VH1, the second. By all accounts,
I'd say the attempts to castrate Michael Jackson are keeping a lot of people
The sad part is that this tabloid-style documentary has become more
prevalent over the years. Where in the past they seemed to find safe shelter
on programs like Hard Copy, it's difficult to conceive that 20/20, a
news-oriented program once considered "serious," would put out such a
Jackson has arguably been the only celebrity continuously raked over the
proverbial coals. It seems such a shame that all the media chooses to grasp
from such an illustrious, long-standing career, is material on plastic
surgery and unfounded allegations of child abuse. It is the blatant
obsession with and subsequent regurgitation of this type of biased material
that encourages dehumanization. It is a behavioral style that is becoming
increasingly more acceptable, and celebrities, Jackson in particular, are
seen not as people, but as objects. Even so-called "serious" journalists
have stooped to new levels; asking shameless questions like Diane Sawyer did
a few years back in her interview with Jackson and former wife Lisa Marie
Presley: "I've spent most of my life being a 'serious' journalist, but, . do
the two of you have sex?" Excuse me? This line of questioning is more than
intrusive, it lacks any association with civility! Yet, these ridiculous
questions keep resurfacing for Jackson. No other celebrity has had his or
her dignity tested in this way. The type of programming reiterated by
Bashir's documentary has contributed to the more discerning public's
perception of the media as a growing joke. If ever there was a sense of
trust, it's flying out of the window fast. There was a time you could turn
on the television or pick up a newspaper and clearly distinguish serious
news from tabloid. There were network warnings; or they were in different
sections of the newspaper. Such distinctions have now become much more
While the private life of Michael Jackson is in no way comparable to our
nation's pending war with Iraq, if we had to spend two hours Living With
him, why rehash the same thing? As a journalist with a unique opportunity,
couldn't Bashir have used it better.more intelligently? Perhaps, considering
the power of the media, and the country's current crisis, focus on Jackson's
travels around the world over the past eight months; the meetings he may
have had with dignitaries in an effort to initiate peace. Celebrities are
doing such important things today in addition to their craft. Just look at
U2's Bono, actor Chris Tucker, and Jermaine Jackson. Couldn't Bashir have
explored how this icon uses the power of his celebrity and wealth as a
vehicle to change the state of the world? Now is the time the public needs
to hear such things.
With the dawning of a new century, and our society's undeniable state of
spiritual awakening, more than ever before, we are learning not to judge.
It's insulting that judgment is the exact tool continually used by the media
to perpetuate prejudice; and in this case, via Jackson. Because there is
such a lack of balance where he is concerned, it's that much more noticeable
to discerning eyes. Bashir used the word "disturbing" several times with
regard to Jackson's relationship with children. I'd like to flip the script
and offer some disturbing perceptions of my own. With regard to his misuse
of Jackson's young friend, Gavin, did he put any forethought into the fact
that he had to return to school the next day and face his classmates and
friends following his portrayal of the teenagers' friendship with Jackson in
As a mother and grandmother, I know that life is hard enough for young boys
entering into manhood without having their faces plastered on television and
adding insult to injury - as Bashir did - with innuendoes of reference to
sexual impropriety. As a friend Gavin's family, I am very aware of the
effect that Jackson's unrelenting support and compassion has had on them
through their lengthy battle with Gavin's illness. Bashir's decision to
exploit the relationship as anything more than genuine sickens me.
I am not on Michael Jackson's payroll; and as a journalist, I have no fear
in choosing not to be a part of the popular vote. My interest, quite
frankly, lies solely in the fact that I have seen the drama played over and
over again. In media, as in society, we work to create these
larger-than-life figures and then seem to revel in the dismantling of our
own creation. It's a very sick cycle. If humanity ever decides to pay a
visit to the media, I hope it will consider staying a while. I hope it will
pull up a chair and have a sit-down conversation on how we can implement it
in our work without the threat of our stories having any less substance. I
hope it will show us how to bring respect back to the media; so that we can
respect the public enough to trust they will come to their own conclusions,
based on the presentation of unbiased material. If humanity ever decides to
pay a visit to the media, I hope it has the opportunity to get a two-hour
interview . on television . in primetime.
The African American Perspective
Back to Main News Page