Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
April 25, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Truthdig Bazaar
Caspian Rain

Caspian Rain

By Gina Nahai

more items

Email this item Print this item

Chris Hedges: Mutually Assured Destruction in the Middle East

Posted on Jul 14, 2006
Lebanon Bombed
AP / Ben Curtis

Lebanese youths gather on a hilltop at sunset Friday, July 14, to watch smoke billow from a fuel dump at Beirut International Airport, which was hit by an Israeli airstrike Thursday. Israel has intensified its attacks on Lebanon, striking hundreds of targets including highways and army bases to put pressure on the government and force Hezbollah to free two Israeli soldiers the guerrillas captured Wednesday. Seventy-three people have been killed in Lebanon since the offensive began.

By Chris Hedges

Editor’s note: The former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” argues in this Truthdig column that the bloodshed now engulfing Lebanon and Israel will only worsen as long as extremists on both sides continue to indulge in “collective necrophilia.”

ISRAEL’S air, land and sea blockade of Lebanon, which includes jet fighter strikes against the airport in Beirut, presages a new era in the Middle East, one in which the center has collapsed and Muslim and Jewish extremists, capable only of the language of violence, determine the parameters of existence. These strikes, like the suicide bombings carried out by Islamic militants in Iraq or Israel, expose the Ahab-like self-immolation that now inflects the region. And unless it is halted soon, unless those fueling these conflicts learn to speak another language, unless they break free from an indulgence in collective necrophilia, the Middle East will slip into a death spiral.

This has been a long time coming. The Bush administration never had any interest in helping to broker Middle Eastern peace agreements. This willful negligence was seen as befriending Israel, along with the bizarre demands of the Christian right. In fact, the administration befriended only an extreme political wing in Israel that, since the death of Yitzhak Rabin, has done a pretty effective job of endangering the Jewish state by dismantling all mechanisms for peace and turning Israel into an international pariah. As the machinery of Middle Eastern diplomacy rusted shut with disuse it was gleefully replaced by harsher Israeli closures, curfews, shelling and airstrikes. Palestinians have, since Bush arrived in office, been reduced by Israel to a subsistence existence matched only by Africans’. And the tools of repression against Palestinians now match those once imposed on South African blacks by the apartheid regime, with the exception that the South Africans never sent warplanes to bomb the townships.



Square, Site wide
And why should this not be so? In this binary worldview, force is the only thing Arabs understand. This logic only fuels those in the Arab world who also speak exclusively in the language of violence. The escalating repression by Israel, like the escalating repression by the American occupiers in Iraq, has become the most potent recruiting tool for Islamic extremists. It has rendered each side deaf and dumb. As those under the boot of Israel or America lose all hope for justice, as they give up on peaceful recourses to ameliorate their plight, as they fall into despair, it throws them, by default, into the hands of extremists. And as the extremists grow and their attacks became more deadly, it likewise helps silence those in Israel and the United States who call for compassion, restraint and understanding. It is difficult to argue with those holding up bloodied corpses. Each side finds it useful to keep the supply coming. 

In this demented world, friend and foe need each other. Hamas and Hezbollah yearn, on some level, for Israeli airstrikes against civilians just as the hard right in Israel yearns in some dark way for suicide bombers. The indiscriminate violence of one justifies the indiscriminate violence of the other. The violence stokes the fear that is the driving force behind all messianic, violent movements—American, Jewish and Muslim. And since these groups have nothing to offer other than violence, they need fear to keep those around them compliant. The atrocities committed by one—real or imagined - make possible the atrocities of the other.


Does anyone in the Israeli government really believe that attacking Lebanon and killing more than 60 Lebanese civilians will ensure the freedom of the two captured Israeli soldiers? There have been hostages, including Israeli hostages, taken captive in Lebanon before, and most have been freed through long and painful negotiations. If the Israelis do believe in this violence, it is a sad indication of how out of touch they are with the world that opposes them.

We cannot ascribe equal amounts of moral blame to all sides. Israel is the oppressor in Gaza, the West Bank and now Lebanon. America is the oppressor in Iraq. And there can be no hope for a peaceful resolution to these conflicts until Iraqis are freed from American occupation and Palestinians are allowed to build a viable state. It is the distorting and dehumanizing effects of occupation that made possible the proliferation of extremist groups that, albeit on a smaller scale, simply hand back to the occupier some of their own medicine. The numbers, after all, make clear that most of the victims are Palestinian, Iraqi and now Lebanese civilians, although the numbers game can also obscure the fact that the murder of any innocent by any group is indefensible.

This is the world of the apocalypse. It is the world where those on either extreme become indistinguishable. And if we do not find a new way to speak, and soon, there will be untold suffering—not only for many innocents in the Middle East but eventually innocents at home. It was the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon that spawned and empowered Hezbollah.  It was the decades-long occupation and humiliation of Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank by Israel that spawned and empowered Hamas, and it is the brutal American occupation that has bred the legions of extremists in Iraq. And when Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah promises “open war” against Israel, as he did in an address shortly after his Beirut offices were bombed, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert says he won’t cease his attack until Israel is secure, it is time to run for cover, especially when George W. Bush is our best hope for peace.

Chris Hedges, the former Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times, is a senior fellow at The Nation Institute. He has 15 years of experience reporting from war zones in the Persian Gulf, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Colombia, the West Bank and Gaza, Sudan, Yemen, Algeria, the Punjab, Bosnia and Kosovo.

In 2002, he shared a Pulitzer Prize for The New York Times’ coverage of global terrorism. Hedges is the author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning.”

Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt, By Chris Hedges, Truthdig Columnist and Winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today Also Available! Truthdig Exclusive DVD of Chris Hedges' Wages of Rebellion Lecture The World As It Is: 
Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress: A collection of Truthdig Columns, by Chris Hedges -- Get Your Autographed Copy Today

Keep up with Chris Hedges’ latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at

Lockerdome Below Article
Get a book from one of our contributors in the Truthdig Bazaar.

Related Entries

Get truth delivered to
your inbox every day.

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By Buddy Hinton Sturmgewehr, January 7, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am interested in embracing what is unique about being gay.The more I can recognize how I was made to feel ashamed for being gay . I believe staying in the closet and creating a false identity is not the answer. I grew up in a heterosexual Texas family in which I was reared as if were heterosexual and was constantly brain washed that heterosexuality was the only reality. Any expression of my Gay Self would result in receiving violent treatments from my father a texas ranger. This violent homophobic society was too scary for me to express my genuine Gay Self. I need help i just don’t no what to do.

Report this

By Buddy Hinton, May 7, 2007 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sturmgewehr kkk Buddy Hinton downward spiral [Archive] - UZI Talk Forums[Archive] Buddy Hinton downward spiral General Talk. - 14k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

Report this

By Maxim, August 10, 2006 at 9:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I’ve never heard of any Jewish Messiah named Svi Shabbat.  I have heard of Shabtai Tzvi.  If that’s who you’re referring to I fail to see the correlation as he was almost universally rejected among the Jews.  As for Zionism being a 19th century invention, the movement’s name and popularity certainly was.  However, if you go back into the Jewish liturgy, you’ll see that it’s been calling for a Jewish state in Israel for millenia.  Aside from which, being kicked out in 53CE, I know the Romans conquered Jerusalem and razed the temple in 70CE.  The Bar Kochba (notice spelling) rebellion wasn’t until the 130s CE, so your information doesn’t seem to jive with history.  On top of this, despite the ongoing Galus (Diaspora), there has been a consistent Jewish presence in Israel for over 3,000 years.  As for traditional Arab lands—what traditional Arab lands?  Their lands include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, etc.  They have no claim on Israel, and certainly not as Muslims, since they’ve only been around for half the time that the Jews have been in Israel.  You want to talk racist, how’s this:  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  Need I say more.  Iran has admitted to supplying Hezbollah for the purpose of destroying Israel—and Iranians are even Arabs.  So there’s the hole in your argument.  Good luck plugging it.

Report this

By Freaky Dick's Chimp, August 9, 2006 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hi Maxim,

The historical record is more detailed than the Wikipedia article would lead you to believe. You may want to read Arthur Koestler’s “The Thirteenth Tribe.” It offers the only plausible
explanation of which I am aware, of how a small, ethnically Semitic nation scattered by the Romans following the Bar Khoba rebellion, could emerge almost a thousand years later as a significantly large, CAUCASION population in Eastern Europe.

You might also want to read up on the creation of Zionism at a much later date (the 19th century), based on the writings of Svi Shabbat, the “Jewish Messiah,” and further codified in Theodore Herzl’s “Das Judenstaat.”

Further research yields how political Zionism was wedded to Evangelical Christianity through the
doctrine of a Scot, John Nelson Darby, and how this doctrine was exported to the USA by the Oxford Press in 1880, through the Scofield Reference Version of the King James Bible (the favorite Bible of today’s most influential Christion Zionists).

Further research reveals that the financier behind behind the emmigration of Zionists to Palestine was Nathaniel Rothschild, owner of the the Bank Of London, and that the primary motive was security for the Suez Canal, as the elites of the City Of London forsaw the tremendous fortune and political power they could acquire in the coming age of oil. This was codified in the Balfour Resolution of 1917, even though the same British government had promised the same land to the Palestinian Arabs for their role as allies of the British in vanquishing the Ottoman Turks from Palestine.

Notwithstanding all of the above, a people that reputedly took their land by force from the Canaanites in 1200BCE or so, enjoys no inherant right to a piece of real estate from which they themselves were forcibly ejcted in 53CE, regardless of their religion, and that is the hole in your argument. If I convert to Church of England, do I have the right to demand a British passport? Of course not.

And how about Constantinople, the birthplace of organised Christianity? It has been in Muslim hands since the fifteenth century as Istanbul. Where are all the Christians clamoring for a return to their homeland? I’ve yet to hear even ONE mention of it.

The imposition of a white, racist European state onto traditional Arab lands was one of the more egregious injustices of the 20th century. Why do you seek to perpetuate it?

Report this

By Kach, August 3, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Od Kahane Chai!!!

Report this

By Amicusbriefs, August 3, 2006 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel pawn of U.S. America pawn of Israel. Symbiotic madness. Canakya Pandit, the advisor to Moghul India’s Shah Jahan, said “when dealing with the cunning, you must also be cunning”. While the rest of the world wants the killing to immediately stop, Bush and Olmert would like to keep on killing for a little while longer. This administration has never had a viable foreign policy beyond Straussian bullying.

Report this

By Kwagmyre, August 3, 2006 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bill Rood writes:
“He was proposing to annex to Israel 10% of the West Bank and to maintain indefinite Israeli control of an additional 10%. Israel would have maintained control of all borders, including the border with peaceful Jordan.”

Yes, what you’ve written is perfectly consistent with the point I made earlier(in reference to Barak’s offer).  That control of the borders is tantamount to offering someone a hotel as I mentioned but saying in effect that you still have control of the lobby.

Not terribly generous in my opinion.

Report this

By Filip Finodeyev, August 2, 2006 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Has anyone seen the saturday night live skit where Chris Farley is at a party getting horribly drunk and destroying the place, and when anyone challenges him, he screams “The Bears ate my Parents”.  People lay off and tolerate his bad behaviour, until they realize that the parents were eaten at least 20 years ago.

It seems like Israel is a state that takes the same position.  It behaves badly, and when anyone challenges it, the vast propoganda machine screams Anti-Semitism, and alludes to the holocost.  But that tragic event is more than fifty years and a continent away.  And it seems like Israel still uses it to justify its vicious tactics.

I also get a cynical kick out of all the talk about how Israel is the only true Democracy in the middle east.  If a democratic government reflects the will of the people better than any other type, then we can truly judge the people by the conduct of their government and state institutions, like the military.  So does that make Israelis callous because of their unmitigated air war against lebanese civilians?  Does it make the Israelis cowardly because they run from a small border town after losing a squad?  Does this logic make Israelis terrorists because their stated objective in bombing all of Lebanon is to make the population kick out Hezbollah, which is the very definition of terrorist tactics? 

Someone might object to this line of reasoning on the grounds that it’s wrong to lump everyone together, that it’s prejudice, racism, stereotyping, racial profiling, etc…  But by fielding this objection they would also object to indescriminate bombing of civilians in the hopes of getting some terrorists. 

When is Israel going to start behaving like the normal, rational, civilized country it claims to be?  It’s small and hardly self sustaining.  It is surrounded by hundreds of millions of arabs, whom it gives more reason to hate it every day.  It has managed to alienate just about everyone other than the U.S.  And granted, so long as Israel has the U.S. speeding it fuel and ammunition, it can merrily ravage lebanese and palestinian women and children indefinitely.  But all relationships change and come to an end.  It would be wise to get peace while the getting is good.

Report this

By Bill Rood, August 2, 2006 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kwagmyre, Maxim and others here labor under a particularly damaging piece of propaganda about Camp David II. Barak did not offer the Palestinians “97%” or anything close to that. He was proposing to annex to Israel 10% of the West Bank and to maintain indefinite Israeli control of an additional 10%. Israel would have maintained control of all borders, including the border with peaceful Jordan. For more on “Barak’s generous offer” go to Uri Avnery’s Gush Shalom website, and remember that Avnery is a former MK and fought for Israel in 1947-48.

Report this

By Maxim, August 2, 2006 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What I said was until you get your facts straight, you should keep your mouth shut.  The facts are, according to and historian Berel Wein, among others that “although the historical record itself is very limited, there is a consensus of cultural, linguistic, and genetic evidence that the Ashkenazi Jewish population originated in the Middle East. When they arrived in northern France and the Rhineland sometime around 800-1000 CE, the Ashkenazi Jews brought with them both Rabbinic Judaism and the Babylonian Talmudic culture that underlies it. The Yiddish language, once spoken by the vast majority of Ashkenazi Jewry, is heavily influenced by Hebrew and Aramaic, but not by Greek or Latin. Recent research in human genetics has also demonstrated that a significant component of Ashkenazi ancestry is Middle Eastern.”  So you’ll forgive me if I don’t take you at your word.  As for mine, I promised to leave and now I am.  Thanks for the edifying discussions…NOT.

Report this

By Freaky Dick's Chimp, August 2, 2006 at 11:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey Maxim,
I gave you the facts and your best rebuttal is that I should shut my stupid mouth? What an appropriately troll-like response. Nowhere did I, or anyone on this site, say that the Ashkenazi are not Jews, but that they are Jews by CHOICE (by mass conversion in the 9th century). However, as Caucasions, they are most certainly NOT Semites. As self-styled Jews, the Zionist claim to a chunk of real estate based on Hebrew folklore is absurd. Based on that logic, Florida should be returned to the Seminoles and the alligators. Hmmm. Maybe that’s not such a bad idea.

Report this

By Maxim, August 2, 2006 at 9:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well guys, your liberal mentality has finally won the day.  I’ve decided to move on and talk to people who actually know the history of the situation.  But before I go, just one last comment—any gentile who has the gall to claim that Ashkenazi Jews aren’t Jews should review the facts before opening their stupid mouth.  Have a nice life guys—it must be fun living in oblivion.

Report this

By Mark, August 2, 2006 at 5:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Kwagmyre: “Unfortunately, the insanity that clearly grips Israel means they will likely resort to attacks on Damascus and Tehran and then to use of their nuclear arsenal when all else fails.”

This is obviously the more likely when one considers that the neocon/Israeli mentality is that this glorious cluster of wars they are fomenting is a replay of World War II, which they see as an example of a war that was an unalloyed good, regardless of the tens of millions dead, because it resulted in the establishment of Israel — and what’s “good for Israel” is the sole yardstick by which any use of massive violence is to be measured.

Report this

By Ross, August 2, 2006 at 5:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Over the past 4 or 5 years, Beirut and other Lebanese port cities had become the preferred destinations for tourists.
Does the fact of billions of tourist $$ being diverted from the Israeli economy have anything to do with the utter destruction of these cities???

Report this

By Freaky Dick's Chimp, August 2, 2006 at 1:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel has been a corporate criminal enterprise since day one.

The Zionist movement is 100% secular and was designed as an adjunct to British Imperialism over 200 years ago to lay claim to the so-called Holy Land. To achieve this, British Zionists secured the support of American evangelicals through the clever deployment and promotion of the Darbyist tract known as the Schofield Reference Version of the King James Bible. The book was published the Oxford Press. The Zionist hold on America is now so refined that Israel’s AIPAC lobby buys US congressmen with US taxpayer dollars. How elegant is that?

The white Ashkenazi who rule Israel are self-styled Jews of Turkic/Mongol/Caucasian descent, and unlike the Sephardic true Jews, they can claim no genetic ties whatsover to the Israelites of Hebrew folklore. They can’t even credibly claim to be Semites, which originally referred to a language group which includes Arabs. Israel is itself an anti-Semitic, racist Apartheid state. It is enabled solely by the crypto-pagan death cult that currently wields considerable power in America.

The Zionists are not the friends of Jews. They hide behind Judaism and shriek “Anti-Semite!” at anyone who levels even the mildest criticism at Israel’s policies.

Before they laid claim to the British protectorate of Palestine, they were offered Uganda as a homeland. Some Israelis think they should have taken that deal.

Me, I think the Zionists should be given a national homeland in, say, Oklahoma, or Texas.

Report this

By Kwagmyre, August 1, 2006 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Posted by Nathaniel Turner:

Unfortunately, the insanity that clearly grips Israel means they will likely resort to attacks on Damascus and Tehran and then to use of their nuclear arsenal when all else fails.

Actually, the more likely scenario might be Israel’s pre-emptive launching of those nuclear weapons precisely because they will see that “all else fails” and they dare not let Iran beat them to it.

Report this

By Nathaniel Turner, August 1, 2006 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Capitalism has begun wheezing and sputtering under the influence of its fatal contradictions. One of the more graphic illustrations of the system’s growing irrationality is being vividly painted now by one of its forward outposts—Israel. The state that Zionism created has begun sensing its mortality and is thrashing around accordingly. The guardians of the state are clearly in the grip of fear and uncertainty. The indiscriminate bombing in Lebanon and Gaza and the resultant killing of civilians and destruction of infrastructure, the kidnapping of Hamas legislators, the targeting of a U.N. observer post and now the outrage on Qana are desperate acts increasingly outside the bounds of common sense.

Completely out of the blue on several recent occasions and in leaflets dropped on the Lebanese, Israeli leaders have felt compelled to mention their power to erase Lebanon from the planet. The Israelis are blustering past the graveyard and their bully’s trepidation is bound to grow now that their adventure has gone badly. Prime Minister Olmert and his security cabinet are moving in fits and starts. When the Israeli military’s nose was bloodied at Bint Jbail they gave up on the idea of driving to the Litani River to establish their so-called buffer zone. When the security cabinet realized the electrifying effect of this turn on the Arab people, they poured troops across the border and returned to their original plan but deep down they know that militarily speaking, only a Pyrrhic victory is available against Hizbollah.

One thing the Israeli assault on the Gaza and Lebanon has made clearer is the alignment of forces in the Arab and Muslim world. Ironically, in different fashions both Hamas and Hizbollah were creations of Israel. Hamas was supposed to act as a counterweight to the Palestine Liberation Organization when Israel considered the PLO the most immediate threat to their domination of the Arab majority. Hizbollah filled the gapping chasm Israel created with the 1982 invasion and years long occupation of southern Lebanon. Both Hamas and Hizbollah have, through years of disciplined work and organizing, woven themselves into the lives of the respective peoples they seek to liberate. What a stark contrast with the rich Arab boys who have created the cult they call al-Qaeda. See the clownish Ayman al-Zawahiri rush to his camcorder after Hizbollah faces down the Israeli military to spout some silly rhetoric about a caliphate from Spain to Iraq in front of a poster that screams, “Please remember us, we did 9/11!”

Under normal circumstances the impending death of a form of racism like Zionism (see the picture of young Israeli girls writing messages and drawing on missile warheads soon to rain down on Lebanon) and the establishment of a secular state on the territory Israel now occupies where Palestinian Arabs of various religious persuasions and Jews could peacefully co-exist as equals would be cause for human celebration. Unfortunately, the insanity that clearly grips Israel means they will likely resort to attacks on Damascus and Tehran and then to use of their nuclear arsenal when all else fails. And that, on a larger scale, is the dilemma that the whole world faces as the capitalist system spearheaded by the United States passes into history.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, August 1, 2006 at 4:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I hope progressives, liberals and democrats can remember the Republican’s malicious strategy of DIVIDE AND CONQUER. If we come down too hard on Israel, we will alienate the Jewish vote, and that will spell election disaster for our side.

IRRATIONALITY RULES, always has, always will, and there’s nothing we can do about it, except be aware of it. Don’t let the malevolently cunning Republicans use another inflammatory issue to further divide our country. Cunning and intelligence are not equal and far from the same thing. With reason we can work to resolve the Middle-East conflict peacefully in the future, but not if the trouble making, war-profiteers retain power.

Report this

By Maxim, July 31, 2006 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was presenting a hypothetical to make a point—I don’t believe the Palestinians ever proferred a true diplomatically acceptable presence that would be able to accomplish anything.  As for the Knesset, at the time Barak could have accomplished anything with the number of bombings going on.  As for the right of return—what right of return?  How can a group of people that come primarily and originally from Egypt and Jordan have a right to return to a land they never had any claim to?

Report this

By Kwagmyre, July 31, 2006 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Granted, Arafat was admittedly a pretty pathetic choice to represent the Palestinians in this instance.  But even if a really top notch, eminently qualified rep was there, there would STILL have been the issue of Barak getting the Knesset to approve a land concession of that magnitude.  He would have probably been lucky to have gotten a figure of 80%.  And those settlers would fight tooth & nail.

So perhaps the Palestinians(with this more qualified rep)would have “settled” for 70% BUT with a guarantee on the “Right of Return” for the exiled refugees.  Would Barak have then said “OK?”
Perhaps but again, he would have faced tremendous obstacles within the Knesset and maybe even a fair amount of Israelis besides.

And with what’s going on these days, forget about any such “negotiations”.

Report this

By Maxim, July 31, 2006 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


You’ve covered the facts pretty well—but here’s another one to consider.  Suppose you are Yassir Arafat and the Prime Minister of Israel has not only agreed to sit down with you and discuss the issues, but has offered you a very large proportion of what you’ve been asking for all these years.  Would you simply walk away, or would you give the guy some credit for trying and continue to hammer out the details?  Seems to me that would have been the logical way to go—if Arafat was interested in peace.  Which he wasn’t.  As leader of the PLO—which, by the way, was formed in 1964, when the West Bank was Jordanian territory and Gaza was Egyptian, and there were no Israeli “oppressors” in either place, with the express intent (as listed in their charter) of destroying Israel—Arafat did nothing to encourage a peaceful coexistence and didn’t even bother to change the PLO’s charter to reflect its negation of the “destruction of Israel” statement.  It seems to me that Arafat was full of shit the whole time and that there was no concession Barak or anyone else could have made that would have made him happy.

Report this

By Ruth Wilson, July 30, 2006 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel, the US and the UK all need a new set of leaders, complete change of political philosophy and a sweep out of people in government who think that a plan implemented and proven wrong, even disasterous and destructive can be made right by just doing more of it. Israel needs a firm, supportive friend, who will tell them that they have walked to the edge of a cliff and must take several steps back. This is simply because if subjugating the Palestinian population was not the way to go…and it wasn’t….then attempting to do the same to 300 million other owners of rights in the Middle East is dangerously irrational. I fear Israel is acting irrationaly.

Report this

By Kwagmyre, July 29, 2006 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stated earlier by Maxim:
After all, Ehud Barak offered to cede 97% of Arafat’s land demands in the 1990’s and Arafat walked away from the table.

That’s true but it’s more complex than “just” that.  Barak came across in a supercilious manner to Arafat(not that the latter was the paragon of virtue as we’ve since learned)and essentially acted like you’d better take it or else…....

Secondly, even with this territorial concession, the roads or highways in the land given to the Palestinians would still remain under Israeli control or supervision.  A friend gave me an analogy saying it was like Barak saying, “Sure, we’ll grant you all the upper floors of the hotel we once owned but we still keep the lobby.”

Now Arafat also had his own agenda to be sure.  He wanted the “Right of Return” granted to expelled Palestinian refugees

which has long been a bone of contention between the two sides.  And Barak said no to that and it’s quite unlikely Israel would ever agree to it as well.

But you have to keep in mind also that even had Arafat abandoned that agenda and agreed to the terms laid down by Barak, the latter would have then had to segure the approval of the Knesset IN ADDITION TO the enormous difficulty of uprooting all the settlements that were in effect by that time as was recently evident in the Gaza strip.

As far as I know, the above is a pretty accurate account but I stand corrected in case I’ve omitted anything relevant to the issue.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 29, 2006 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Add to the reasons why us Americans should be challenging our government’s support of Israel,  that country’s sinking of the USS Libertty on June 8, 1967, while our naval intelligence ship was monitoring that year’s Arab-Israeli war.  Thirty- four young American sailors died in that attack, which was carried out by Isaeli aircraft and torpedo boats.  Afterwards Israel apologized and said it was a tragic mistake. 

What a coincidence, eh what?  A few days ago, in another tragic mistake,  this time in Lebanon,  the Israelis killed four UN observers.  How come Israel’s tragic mistakes only wipe out those who just happen to be observing its military actions?    They did it deliberately?  How could they?  Isn’t israel our ally?  But is it really?

So why does our government keep supporting Israel?    It’s in the interest of the powers that be, that’s why.  Anyone who believes otherwise;  hey,  want to buy the Golden Gate Bridge?

Report this

By Mark, July 29, 2006 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Where can one begin, in explaining why the US must stop all support for the Israeli regime and even regard it as an enemy? So much evidence, so little space, such closed, hasbara-poisoned minds….

OK, kids, let’s just take one example here, one that ALONE would suffice, even if Israel hadn’t been behaving for decades like the enemy of peace that it profoundly is.

It’s a nice, fresh, bloody example, fresh from the butcher:

Regarding Israel’s recent, plainly deliberate murder of UN observers: we know that no fewer than ten telephone calls were made to Israeli military commanders over a six-hour time frame warning that Israel’s aerial and artillery barrage was either perilously close to or actually hitting the clearly marked UN complex.

The UN monitoring post, just inside the southern Lebanese border, was plainly marked and thoroughly known to the Israeli army; nevertheless Israel’s vaunted “precision” bombardment hit the UN post directly 4 times in the final hour before an Israeli helicopter launched a “precision”-guided missile that sliced precisely through the roof of an underground shelter, precisely killing the monitors inside. Israel also precisely fired on a UN convoy which arrived (too late) to rescue the UN observers.

This alone is reason for not only the US but the entire world to regard Israel as a precisely criminal regime that deserves a precisely complete withdrawal of all support and an international policy of strict quarantine. Israel [sigh…no, not each and every Israeli; and not ‘the Jews’] is an armed and dangerous sociopathological murderer-state. The approach to Israel at this point must be one of complete distrust and extreme caution.

Report this

By spinoza750, July 29, 2006 at 8:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The ultra right wing Trotskyites that make up the Neo Cons are some of the worst, most dangerous people on the planet.  They are more holy warriors than all other holy warriors.  I knew of these people when I was a “kid” and actually meet some of them when I was a member of the Young Peoples Socialist League. Then, their only ideology was anti communism by any means necessary, they created the doctrine that communists had to be wiped off the face of the earth because if they came to power they would abolish “democracy”. These so called socialists in the name of democracy, would destroy democracy.

Now of course they are anti socialist and endorse the doctrine of greed. These converts to fascism like David Horowitz endanger all of mankind and do threaten wide scale death on this planet.

Report this

By Maxim, July 28, 2006 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I realize of course that the best way to achieve peace is to kill all the opposition—but come on…“Liberals, right wingers will kill you.”  Are you serious?  Oh, and why is it okay to recommend the death of right-wingers, but not that of Hezbollah terrorists?

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 28, 2006 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A History Lesson

The anti-colonial liberation movement was based on Arab Socialism and Pan Arabism. (1950 – 1970’s) The socialism represented all sorts of views but the USA in anti-Communist mode used the CIA to attack all left modernizing movements and with their friends in Saudi Arabia supported and very well funded, Islamist movements. The CIA was literally killing leftists and paying for the printing of Korans. Communism in the anti Colonial struggle was a form of Nationalism. Islamism today has been turned into a form of Nationalism.

I would have much preferred Communism to Islamism. It should be also mentioned in passing that the Israeli government as it moved to the right and became a neo fascist state also tended to support Islamists against the leftists such as the PLO.  History has turned a cruel trick on the Jews.  The Islamists have turned into a form of Nationalism which Israelimerikkka calls terrorists.

  What is the lesson to be learned?

1. Right wingers killing left wingers don’t always get what they wish.

2. What should have the left learned?  Never trust anyone but a left winger. Liberals, right wingers will kill you.


ALWAYS, ALWAYS remember, a dead fascist is the best type of fascist. The defeat of USA Imperialism is the fight for humanity in the world today.

Report this

By Maxim, July 28, 2006 at 10:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I’d like to see some examples of this so-called “militant expansionism” of yours.  I wasn’t aware that waging war against terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, Hamas, and the PLO was known as militant expansionism.  I also wasn’t aware of any “racist oppression” of anyone.  In fact, Israel pulled out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank and what they got was more dead Israelis.  So who’s the racist here?  Has it occurred to you that maybe the Palestinian government is the one to blame for the current state of the Palestinian people.  After all, Ehud Barak offered to cede 97% of Arafat’s land demands in the 1990’s and Arafat walked away from the table.
Perhaps I am a Zionist Maximalist—I like that, BTW, it’s quite clever, LOL—but that doesn’t change the facts of the past 60 years of Israel’s existence?  Or does it???

Report this

By Mark, July 28, 2006 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maxim pontificates: “... the vast majority [of Jews] are Zionist and believe that Israel does speak for their needs.”

Let’s break this down. It really entails two assertions:

(1) Assertion #1: “The vast majority of Jews are Zionist”—That’s probably so in the sense that they think Israel has a right to exist and that its founding was a good thing in the first place. I would like to see evidence, however, that the “vast majority” of Jews are Zionist in the sense of supporting the Israeli government’s militant expansionism, occupation of the West Bank, racist oppression of the Palestinians, etc. That may be YOUR Zionism—a sort of Zionist maximalism—but I doubt that Jews in general by a “vast majority” support it, my dear well-named “Maxim”.

(2)Assertion #2: “The vast majority of Jews believe that Israel does speak for their needs.”—Whoa! That is very doubtful indeed. I’d like to see where you are getting that factoid. If it’s true, it would be evidence of a collective stupidity on the part of “the vast majority” of Jews that I find difficult to imagine being the case.

Report this

By Kwagmyre, July 27, 2006 at 4:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I wouldn’t think that non-Israeli Jews such as myself would have to repudiate Zionism as you put it(if that were translated as Israel’s total relinquishing of all the land captured since its inception).  Instead, they(or we)should repudiate the ongoing, seemingly never ending financial and military support of the U.S. at $3 billion per year that sustains the Zionist oppression of the Palestinians. 

But unfortunately we’d be pretty hard pressed to find any Congressmen(or women)with the balls to stand up against this kind of ossified thinking on the matter.

Report this

By Maxim, July 27, 2006 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


While you certainly have the right to state your opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, I think it may be best to leave the decision on whether Zionism is the good for the Jews to the Jews, as you don’t seem to know very much about it.  And while there are a minority of Jews who are anti-Zionist, the vast majority are Zionist and believe that Israel does speak for their needs.  So say what you want about Israel, but when it comes to Zionist ideology, keep your uneducated mouth shut.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 26, 2006 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We can see from many of the posts here that when in doubt the Zionist resorts to playing the anti-Semitic card.  So much so that it’s like the little child that yelled wolf so many times that when the real wolf came along nobody paid any attention to the child’s calls for help. 

The irony here is that it’s the Zionists themselves who are anti-Semitic, not those who oppose their racist ideology. Why?  Because Zionism makes the false claim that Israel speaks for Jews everywhere, not just Israeli Jews.  Thus when the time comes for the powers that be to part ways with Israel and switch to the Arab/Palestinian side, they’ll have to give an explanation as to why in the first place did they side with Israel.  They won’t dare tell the truth - “Israel’s aggression towards its neighbors stoked the fear that was the driving force behind the war on terror, which we needed in order to hold on to power.” 

Of course they wouldn’t say that.  Stupid they’re not!  So what are they gonna say?  How about, “It wasn’t our fault.  It was those you know who, the sneaky, greedy, hook-nosed, pushy New York, Chicago and Los Angeles Christ-killer types.  They’re the evil ones that tricked us into supporting Israel.”

That’s when it’ll be obvious that Zionism not only isn’t in the interest of the Jewish people, but that it’s innately and intrinsically anti-Semitic. 

How to prevent the above frightening scenario from playing out?  What has to happen is that the word has to get out that now is the time for all self-loving Jews to renounce Zionism and to demand justice for the Palestinian people.  That’ll save the day, for the Jewish people as for the world.

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 26, 2006 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

common ground is very unlikely


With regards Hezbolla, I don’t think they are anymore terrorist than Israel and the USA.  Based on the amount of damage done the USA and Israel are much worse.

Yes, let us hope that very few get killed on all sides and they don’t succeed in drawing in Syria and Iran.

Report this

By Maxim, July 26, 2006 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


You’re right, common ground is very unlikely.  I would like to say that despite our disagreement on the issue I have enjoyed our discussion, unlike some of the other posts here.  Thank you for the thought-provoking argument, and I think it is safe to say that we both wish the best for the innocents on both sides of the conflict.  So thanks again.

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 26, 2006 at 7:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Anyone not wanting to kill right wingers is an enemy of peace.

Peace prize winner ‘could kill’ Bush

Annabelle McDonald July 25, 2006 NOBEL peace laureate Betty Williams displayed a flash of her feisty Irish spirit yesterday, lashing out at US President George W.Bush during a speech to hundreds of schoolchildren. Campaigning on the rights of young people at the Earth Dialogues forum, being held in Brisbane, Ms Williams spoke passionately about the deaths of innocent children during wartime, particularly in the Middle East, and lambasted Mr Bush.

“I have a very hard time with this word ‘non-violence’, because I don’t believe that I am non-violent,” said Ms Williams, 64.

“Right now, I would love to kill George Bush.” Her young audience at the Brisbane City Hall clapped and cheered.

“I don’t know how I ever got a Nobel Peace Prize, because when I see children die the anger in me is just beyond belief. It’s our duty as human beings, whatever age we are, to become the protectors of human life.”

Ms Williams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize 30 years ago, when she circulated a petition to end violence in Northern Ireland after witnessing British soldiers shoot dead an IRA member who was driving a car. He veered on to the footpath, killing two children from one family instantly and fatally injuring a third.

Ms Williams’s petition had tens of thousands of Protestant and Catholic women walking the streets together in protest. Now the former office receptionist heads the World Centres of Compassion for Children International, a non-profit group working to create a political voice for children.

“My job is to tell you their stories,” Ms Williams said of a recent trip to Iraq.

“We went to a hospital where there were 200 children; they were beautiful, all of them, but they had cancers that the doctors couldn’t even recognise. From the first Gulf War, the mothers’ wombs were infected.

“As I was leaving the hospital, I said to the doctor, ‘How many of these babies do you think are going to live?’

“He looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘None, not one’. They needed five different kinds of medication to treat the cancers that the children had, and the embargoes laid on by the United States and the United Nations only allowed them three.”

Wrapping up the three-day forum yesterday, delegates agreed to a 26-point action plan.

“There can be no sustainable peace while the majority of the world’s population lives in poverty,” they said.

“There can be no sustainable peace if we fail to rise to the global challenge presented by climate change.

“There can be no sustainable peace while military spending takes precedence over human development.”


Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 26, 2006 at 6:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Prime Minister Maliki missed an important opportunity to state his position on Hezbollah, and instead left the impression that he does not oppose this terrorist organization’s outrageous attacks on Israel,” said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

Never mind Israel’s invasion of Lebanon, let’s focus instead on “this terrorist organization’s outrageous attacks on Israel”. This pretty much sums up our Democratic leader’s position on the war. As we all know, both political parties court American Jews for campaign contributions and votes, but don’t any of our leaders have the courage to say, Whoa!
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and friends don’t let friends run amuck in a tinderbox like the middle east. We don’t let children play with fire, and sometimes even slap their hands to make the point.
Do we have any leaders with courage and common sense?

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 25, 2006 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yes I consider such people as Spinoza, Einstein, Russell, Marx and even at one time ben Gurion as heros and I have spent some time in Israel including being on Kibbutzim.  By no stretch of the imagination was Israel ever socialist though the Kibbutzim were and to a slight degree still are.  I stay abreast of what goes on there because my sister has lived there since the early 70’s.

However we are now not speaking because she insists on supporting her fascist government.

I was amused at your sophistry in defence of “democratic capitalism” which all sentient beings knows can not exist.  All capitalist countries are forms of plutocracy and have nothing to do with the rule of the demos.

I suspect that you are familar with Mussolini’s essays on political economy in the 30’s and on.  He was very clear as to what he meant by capitalism/corporatism and Nationalism and the role of the military in society.  For all intents and purposes he is describing precisely the USA and Israel since Reagans time.  I know already in advance that you will disdain my remarks and instead of lengthy polemics it is best we drop the issue as the chances of common ground are nil.

One can not achieve peace by making war. Right wingers refuse to learn that simple lesson. It is an impossiblity and as a result I believe if fair play is to prevail right wingers must be taken off the planet. 

(Besides having a discussion with this moderation is a pain in the ass).

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 25, 2006 at 7:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wept when I got a wart on the tip of my nose
I wept for days
Until today in fact

Then I met a thing that would not see
Nor hear
Nor reason

It belched out words like vomit
Fouling itself
And anyone standing near

It began to sing
I’m lost without a mirror
For me to see me

Report this

By Geronimo, July 25, 2006 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Enough of this discussion about the whys and wherefores of the Mideast conflict.  Time now for us to come up with the solution.  For starters how about the random selection of fifty Palestinians and fifty Israelis to meet in South Africa for the purpose of coming up with a just peace plan?  South Africa being chosen as the meeting place because it’s had recent experience in switching peacefully from a colonial regime to a government that’s of the people, by the people and for the people.

Report this

By Mother of US SPecial Forces Soldier, July 25, 2006 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

TO: Comment #15088 by rabblerowzer

After reading your 14 items “ENRON BUSH” has obtained and or established all! 

Criminal Bush needs replaced and FAST!

Thanks for the info.

Mother of US SPecial Forces Soldier

Report this

By Maxim, July 25, 2006 at 9:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fascism has fourteen attributes, it seems.  Let’s examine some of them and see if they apply either here in the US or in Israel.  First, let’s take the religion part of it.  Here in the US, recent Supreme Court decisions have taken the Ten Commandments out of courts and schools, and forbidden prayer in schools.  A lower court decision almost succeeded in removing the words “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance.  I’m not arguing that this is wrong, I’m simply stating that under a fascist state where religion is tied in with government, this would certainly not be allowed to happen.  I also ask that you show me one instance of forced religion in Israel, which, while being a Jewish state, uses that term as a cultural referent not as a state religion.  No one in Israel is forced to be Jewish.  In fact, about 2 million people out of six are not.
Next, rampant sexism and racism—let’s see now, the Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice happens to be black and a woman and one of the most powerful people in our government.  Even more ahead of us in this regard is Israel—let’s not forget Golda Meir, of Blessed Memory. 
Moving on, I repeat that our continuing discussion of these topics here is ample proof that there is no lack of human rights and civil liberties.  When was the last time any one of you was arrested in the dark of night and dragged off to Gitmo?  Personally, I’m still waiting for that.  As for the Mass Media, correct me if I’m wrong—I’m sure you will even if I’m not—but CBS, NBC, ABC, etc. are not exactly Bush friendly.  Let’s not forget Dan Rather’s Bush Air National Guard Documents.  The Israeli press, if controlled by the government, would, I assume not want to show protestors against their own policies.  Yet, this was all over the news, as were reports about the horrible plight of Jewish settlers being kicked out of their communities, as per government orders.  Corporate power is protected?  What about Martha Stewart?  Ken Lay?  Tycho?  Anybody remember them?  All of that corruption started during the Clinton years, and before.  Certainly you wouldn’t call him a fascist as well?  You say that a fascist state disdains intellectuals and the arts.  Well, when art is defined as Mapplethorpe’s Crucifix in a jar of urine, I disdain it too.  Even so, the Brooklyn Museum of Art did show the paintings of the Virgin Mary covered in Elephant Dung—and it’s a governmentally funded museum.  I’ve been to Israel, and their museums show the same types of problems.  In addition, half a dozen different independent agencies—discounting that overweight genius Michael Moore—have shown that the Florida votes actually did give Bush the election—like it or not.  You want to talk about fraudulent elections, how about Kennedy and Mayor Daly?  As for nationalism, you seem to define it as any form of open patriotism.  I guess the fact that flag-burning here and in the Mideast is legal and protected under the First Amendment doesn’t count.  Yes indeed, we truly do live in a fascist society.

Spinoza—I would like to cordially point out that David Ben Gurion, founding father of Modern Israel was himself a subscriber to Socialist ideology.  The development of kibbutzes and moshavs is a socialist idea.  The national labor union is as well.  Britain has many of these same things—so I doubt anyone in either country would be surprised at being call socialist.  It is simply a fact.

BTW—Personal question—is your name really Spinoza, or are you just an adherent to his philosophy?  I really am curious and hope to hear from you soon.

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 25, 2006 at 5:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I posted a replay to Maxim much earlier this morning but it did not get posted yet. I did receive an email however that I received a reply to it.  This is very confusing and the moderation system seems to have not worked out well.

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 24, 2006 at 11:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>  I see the term “fascist” being applied both to the capitalist USA and socialist Great Britain, as well as quasi-socialist Israel, all of which have very different political philosophies in hand.

Maxim I am certain the Brits and Israelis will be suprised to know that they are living in socialist countries.  And of course my term fascist was slightly hyperbolic as they are not their quite yet.  But with more and more big brotherism and more and more corporate control and with the application of militarist and nationalist ideology coated over with a heavy dose of racism, well my friend, the fascists won!  In fact judging from the rest of your essay it seems they might have won you over also.

  Think deeply about the world you live in and the one you want to live in.

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 24, 2006 at 10:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just sent this message to a liberal Jewish organization in response to an e mail.  I strongly recommend that my fellow Jews here read the article by Mr. Hirsh.

Good people,

I would like to make you aware of this article because I think it makes some very important points about the perception of Jews in the world.  The saying that Jews are their own worse enemy seems to be proven by the strong move to the far right by the Jewish establishment.  World wide Jews are now being portrayed as Nazi’s. I think this is going to have disastrous results. The racist anti-Arab sentiments being expressed by much of the Israeli leadership is unfortunate.

——- Original Message——-
From: Brit Tzedek v’Shalom

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 24, 2006 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

(Source: The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism, Dr. Lawrence Britt, Spring 2003, Free Inquiry)

Report this

By Steve, July 24, 2006 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sour bile spewing from the comments here is sad, and only emphasizes the points about hate and extremism made by Christopher Hedges. It would be nice if we would each try to exercise some empathy and compassion.

Report this

By Maxim, July 24, 2006 at 9:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well guys, it seems this thread has completely degenerated at last.  I see phrases like “bastard” and “Mr. evil Zionist” being thrown around like rice at a wedding.  I see the term “fascist” being applied both to the capitalist USA and socialist Great Britain, as well as quasi-socialist Israel, all of which have very different political philosophies in hand.  Perhaps the definition of “fascism” has changed, but I certainly wasn’t informed.  So thanks to all for the info.  I’ve decided to change my position and become a liberal anti-Zionist.  Yep, that’s right.  I am now going to stand up for the rights of Hezbollah to bomb Us troops as it did in the early ‘80s and Israeli civilians as it is doing now.  After all, they’re not terrorists, they’re freedom fighters.  The only thing is, I’m still trying to figure out whose freedom they’re fighting for—because it surely isn’t for the Lebanese that they’re doing this.  I’m also going to support the Palestinian fighters in Gaza.  Why not?  After all, they’re led by freedom-loving Hamas; yet another group—won’t call them terrorists—supported by the benevolent Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.  They’re good people, really.  I’ve decided that I must be smarter than that idiot Bush—the one who’s made sure that we haven’t been hit once since 9/11.  I’m going to stand in support of liberty, and allow Israel to be destroyed because they have taken the freedom of religion away from Hezbollah and Hamas.  My only real problem with my new-found leftist ideology is the sudden lack of moral foundations.  I find myself adrift.  Rabblerowzer, Geronimo, Fadel Abdallah—help me, please!!  Oh, wait, that was just a horrible nightmare.  I’ve awakened, back to my conservative rabid right-wing Jewish self.  Geronimo—I don’t recall ever having said anything about Israel going after the world, as you put it.  All I meant was that there is no reason why Israel should care what the world thinks when it comes to its own national security.  Rabblerowzer, as for your comparison of ancestral homelands, there’s a bit of a difference.  I know you don’t believe in the Torah, or Bible, or anything else religious.  But read it sometime and maybe you’ll understand what I mean by ancestral.  And for the rest of you who oppose a country’s right to defend itself from terrorist agression, I recommend you go and live in Rosh Hanikrah or some such other place on the Lebanese border and see what it’s like.  I warn you though, you may not come back—to the detriment of all.

Report this

By Kwagmyre, July 23, 2006 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #14968:

Try to imagine the furious anger, vengefulness, sense of rejection, heartbreak and grief these people (and all Jews) have been dealing with since the Holocaust…Imagine being tormented by all of those feelings at once… Any one of those searing emotions unresolved would unhinge the strongest minded and Israel’s response to Arab resentment of the cruel US/UK disregard for their greivances has never made the kind of good practical sense the Jewish community is capable of


What one observes then is the acquisition of a “siege mentality” among much of the Israeli population in the wake of the Holocaust and the long lasting impact this would have.  Such a mentality also gives rise to a highly rigid world view which sees compromise as the kind of pernicious weakness which could irreversibly lead to a second Holocaust. 

In the most “benign” form, this would manifest as chronic mistrust of the Palestinians(or any others for that matter expressing frustration with Israel’s intransigence)and in the more “malignant” form as a “shoot first and answer questions later” as we currently witness in Lebanon.

Report this

By Ruth Wilson, July 23, 2006 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I wish some of the very thoughtful people commenting in this blog, would think for a while, seriously about a possible psychological root of this conflict. Comment #14086 started on this theme in a kind of flippant way but perhaps a valid lead..I have been thinking recently that Israel “got started on the wrong foot” in its relations with the Middle East because of the mind set of the people who set the ‘psychological’ tone, goals and methods of the new country…I think we have to consider that these people were suffering from an unimaginable ‘post traumatic distress syndrome’ and saw the entire gentile world as their enemy.Try to imagine the furious anger, vengefulness, sense of rejection, heartbreak and grief these people (and all Jews) have been dealing with since the Holocaust…Imagine being tormented by all of those feelings at once… Any one of those searing emotions unresolved would unhinge the strongest minded and Israel’s response to Arab resentment of the cruel US/UK disregard for their greivances has never made the kind of good practical sense the Jewish community is capable of…...IT WAS AN EVIL COWARDLY THING TO LET THEM VENT ALL THIS ON THE PALESTINIANS AND THE LEBANESE….THAT IS WHERE THE USA FAILED THE ENTIRE MIDDLE EAST MISERABLY…It may be what has irked Noam Chomsky all these years about Washington.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 23, 2006 at 6:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rightwing Jews who accuse liberal Americans of anti-Semitism because of our criticism of Israeli aggression ought to put their ears to ground and listen to what redneck republicans have to say about them. There appears to be a truce between Jews and fundamentalist Christians due to Rapture ideology, but if you scratch the surface you will hear the same old rightwing hatred that caused the Holocaust.

Basically what they are saying about the Rapture is this, “Jews must renounce their religion and convert to Christianity, or suffer the consequences.”.

Liberal Americans deplore Israeli aggression and rightwing government, but we don’t hate Jews.

Report this

By Spinoza750, July 23, 2006 at 1:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel and the United States are ruled by Fascist governments that believe that “might makes right” and the survival of the fittest and they are the fittest. England is another active fascist state. I also believe there are many fanatics in the Muslim world who hate Jews per se and not because they are Imperialists.

I think there are two schools of thought amongst the neoCon Lukudniks. One school wants to just kick the Palestinians out of Greater Israel and kick Hezbollah out of Lebanon including all of the Shi’ia. (South Lebanon will be added to Israel). The other school wants to do that but also force the USA to bomb the hell out of Syria and Iran so that they never again will think of attacking Israel in any way. These assholes have not thought through the consequences of their behavior and ideology.

Report this

By Fadel Abdallah, July 22, 2006 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To 14861 D. Bodenstein:

Earlier I sent a message worthy of a “bastard”(1) hating Zionnist like you. However, I forgot to answer your question as to what group I belong to.

I am a free-lancer in the universal freedom-fighters movement for liberation from the state-sponsored terrorism of U.S. Government and Zionist Israel.

My weapons are reason, free-thinking, compassion for the oppressed and down-trodden, love for the truth and passionate hate for ignorant misguided savages and bloodthirsty animals like yourself.

I also use as weapons a critical mind, a computer and two fingers to type. I am sure cowards like you are frightened to death from my simple natural weapons, and will think of these as weapons of mass destruction, and wish you were living in the perfect police state, like Israel, so you can deprive me from my freedom.

(1) courtesy of D. Bodenstein, the ultimate Zionist.

Report this

By Mark, July 22, 2006 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

D. Bodenstein hyperventilates:


Well, the Guardian reports just now:

“Britain dramatically broke ranks with George Bush last night over the Lebanon crisis, publicly criticising Israel’s military tactics and urging America to ‘understand’ the price being paid by ordinary Lebanese civilians.”

So, Bodenstein: things with Western Europe are just fine—except for the fact that our most slavish ally has “dramatically broken” with us because Israel’s leaders are behaving like the callous creeps they deeply are:,,1826969,00.html

Report this

By Fadel Abdallah, July 22, 2006 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To 14861 D. Bodenstein:

I spell “bastard” as “bastard”; the way it should be spelled and that’s you Mr. evil Zionist. Don’t try to play the civilized when people like you and the terrorist movement you belong to are the ones that invented terrorism and introduced it on a large scale to the Middle East. Don’t try to give me this bullshit, you bloody filthy Zionist! You should know that you live in a glasshouse, and for that reason you should not throw stones at others!

Report this

By D. Bodenstein, July 22, 2006 at 5:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Geronimo,” Mr Abdallah and “Mark”:

I have only one question for you: to what terrorist group do you belong?

I note that not once, in all of your accusatory BS, do you cite even one, single, verifiable fact; instead, you do exactly what all fanatical terrorist leaders do: attack anyone who disagrees with you by name-calling.  YOU ARE PATHETIC!

The most fortunate thing for us is that, at least here in America (as in most of the developed world), hate-filled b*stards like you account for only a tiny fraction of the population!


Report this

By bogtrotters, July 22, 2006 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“This is the world of the apocalypse.”

Chris—that’s exactly what “our” President wants.  He thinks he’s going to bring Jesus back.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 22, 2006 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

re:  Comment #19750 by Mark

Unfortunately the crimes of the “odious pariah state Israel” are our crimes, too, being that from the get-go America has supported Israel.  Why only a few hours ago our president announced that he’d be sending more bombs to israel.  Isn’t it a crime to provide weapons to someone who uses them to mass- murder women and children? 

What makes America’ s power elite do this?  It’s in their interest to do so (as opposed to what’s in the interest of the American people),  that’s why, as per Comment # 14784 by Rabblerowzer.  Keep in mind, too, that the powers that be count on Israel to commit violence against its neighbors,  even though they know that Israel’s behavior will “stoke the fear that’s the driving force behind all messianic violent movements” 

Such as this push by our power elite to rule the world. 

Which is why it’s a mistake to put all the blame on the Jewish settler-state. 

What’s the answer?

We the people changing the world, that’s what



Report this

By Charlotte, July 22, 2006 at 8:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank goodness for this article.  If people don’t like it, perhaps they forget that Isral had a border in 1948, 1967, 1972 and yet “settlers” with historical rights 2000 years old moved into existing neighborhoods beyond Israel’s borders with military protection provided by US tax dollars.  Never trying to get to know their neighbors.
What did they expect.  Or did they stop to think that live people living there right now with no place in the US to go back to if things didn’t work out, might be angry about these new neighbors.

And just when was Hezbollah created?  In 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon.  What did they expect when they did this.  People would just lie down and take it without fighting back. It was there home and they had no place else to go.

Just because the Israeli right keeps yelling and whinning that they deserve to have any piece of land they want and the right to destroy anybody and their land who gets in the way, there will always be people who will fight against them.

Report this

By David, July 22, 2006 at 8:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


I am disgusted with the thought that somehow what Israel is doing to Lebanon would revitalize Anti-Semitism.  It shouldn’t, the government in Israel is not serving Jewish interests anymore than Iran is serving Shitte Muslim interests.  This catastrophe has more to do with a failure of policy than anything else. 

In the last two years the Bush administration has not lifted a finger to help rebuild Lebanon’s army and defense forces in order to enable them to stand up to Hezbollah. Or encouraged any of our allies to do the same.  We do not have to do everything in the world but a lot of times our example does help motivate others.  They passed UN resolution 1559 and Syria was forced out and a new democratically elected government was placed in power and the Lebanon it seemed had a bright future.

Hezbollah did what it did in order to secure its future.  This kind of an organization has no reason to exist in a middle class society with a functioning democracy and thriving economy.  It greatest sustinence comes from anarchy and chaos which will now exist in Lebanon.  Israel is securing Hezbollah’s future not destroying it.

If Israel is really focused on destroying Hezbollah it should have approached the Bush Administration to increase military support to the legitimately elected government of Lebanon so that it can take complete control of all of Lebanon’s territory.  It should have worked with Russia and China to place tremendous pressure on Syria and Iran to put pressure on Hezbollah to transition completely into a traditional political party and not a guerilla fighting force. 

Lastly, I have just criticized Israeli policy and government decisions without once reverting to Anti-Semitism and racist language.  So I have proven that it can be done. This has nothing to do with Judaism or Islam and everything to do with failure of government policy in Jerusalem and Washington, DC, Damascus, and finally Tehran.


Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 22, 2006 at 4:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Military Industrial Complex: a self-perpetuating moneymaking war machine.

There are no true democracies in the world. Every country is ruled by a religious, military or economic elite, and no matter how they represent themselves, it all boils down to money and power. All wars, including holy wars and religious crusades are sold to the masses as self-defense to justify conquest for loot and power: treasure, territory, natural resources, etc.

The elites get the treasure and power, and the foot soldiers get the glory, (which lasts about fifteen minutes).

Israel and the United States have what scientists call a symbiotic relationship: “an interaction between two organisms living together in more or less intimate association or even the merging of two dissimilar organisms for mutual benefit. The term host is usually used for the larger (macro) of the two members of a symbiosis. The smaller (micro) member is called the symbiont.”

It is unclear who is the host and who is the symbiont in the US/Israeli relationship.

The actual glues that binds the US and Israel elite together is the Military Industrial Complex, a jointly owned, self-perpetuating commercial enterprise. The US gives Israel billions of dollars in aid every year, which Israel uses to feed the Military Industrial Complex.

Now, if you can admit that all wars, including holy wars and religious crusades are sold to the masses as self-defense to justify conquest for loot and power: treasure, territory, natural resources, etc,  what do you think the war is really all about?

Report this

By Mark, July 21, 2006 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It cannot be in the best interest of the United States to be actively supporting this grossly repugnant mass murder by Israel of its neighboring country. It cannot be in our interest to continue to bleed in Iraq for Israel’s strategic goals. It cannot be in our interest to invite the hatred and reprisals that must follow as surely as the night the day. It cannot be in our interest to endure the catastrophic economic cost of all this.

It is time to vomit up all the crap we have swallowed in the form of excuses for the crimes of this odious pariah state of Israel.

It is time to vomit up the poison in our political culture that is Israel.

Report this

By Kwagmyre, July 21, 2006 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact that Israel’s invasion will NOT bring back their kidnapped soldiers and will definitely increase support for Hezbollah by pissed off Lebanese(and other Arabs for that matter)shows what an irrational miscalculation the Israeli government made.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 21, 2006 at 5:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re:  Comment 14636 by Maxim

The world can stuff it, you say.  Does that mean that if Israel doesn’t get its way,  then it’s prepared to take the world down with it in some sort of modern day rendition of that unforgettable day in AD 73 when Jewish rebels, rather than surrender to the Romans,  opted for mass suicide? .

Fortunately for all of us, the world’s not going to go along with any plan for a Masada reprise.  Not when all it’ll take for peace to break out in the world is for Israel to sit down with its neighbors and (based upon the golden rule)  work things out.with them.  Hey, Israel’s neighbors are ready.  Time for the Jewish settler state to get with it.  Sure beats another Masada..

Report this

By D. Bodenstein, July 21, 2006 at 4:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


What’s the difference between the “rabid religious right” and the fanatical revolutionary left?  What’s the difference between Hitler and Stalin? 20 million vs. 20.2 million corpses to you credit?  Concentration camps vs. gulags?  As far as your comment about the “rabid religious right waiting for Jesus to return goes, what the heck does that have to do with Israel?  You can bet none of we Jews are “waiting for Jesus to return!” In fact, ‘Armageddon,’ ‘hell,’ the ‘devil,’ etc.—none of this is taught in the Jewish religion.  Rather, our “hell” happens to us right here in this life—basically, in the form of complete disgrace, in your own and everyone else’s eyes, for one’s sins.  Can either Christianity or Islam claim that?  And BTW, if you’re going to talk about the “rabid religious right,” I suggest you take a long, hard look at the Muslims—after all, they’re the ones who all run around blowing themselves up and threatening to destroy everyone else.  They’re the ones who call everyone else “infidels.”  They’re the ones who insist that every country should be under Islamic law, and anyone who doesn’t agree and submit should be destroyed.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 21, 2006 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: Comment #14636 by Maxim
“ancestral homeland?”

Are you suggesting that the United States rightfully belongs to Native Americans because it’s their ancestral homeland?

And if Russia and China ganged up on us and gave the country back to Native Americans, that would be okay with you?

Maxie, Maxie, Maxie . . . . .

Rationality is not your strong suit, but I’m sure you have oooodles of character.

Report this

By Maxim, July 21, 2006 at 10:12 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


You don’t know the meaning of fascist.  So, for you edification, here’s the definition: A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism (courtesy of  So, now let’s see: America and Israel both have democratically elected governments, with very little by way of socioeconomic controls; and the fact that we can argue here is proof that there is no censorship of opposing opinions, such as your anti-patriotism.  Now, let’s see the definition of anti-Semitism: Hostility toward or prejudice against Jews(courtesy of  Sounds about right.  And again, the personal insults, what a shock!  Oh, BTW:  I don’t think that anyone who hasn’t personally lost family to the evils of fascism has the right to so loosely throw the word around, depriving it of its true meaning.  You want to see fascism, move to Iran.  As for lacking the wherewithal to think:  I’ve supported every statement I’ve made with facts, while you jump around every time someone challenges you.  So maybe thinking isn’t the problem, maybe it’s character.

Report this

By Maxim, July 21, 2006 at 6:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #14566 by Geronimo

Pray tell, what lands have the Zionists colonized, other than their ancestral homeland (Which by the way, included southern Lebanon, Syria and the East Bank of the Jordan River)?  They have not taken away anyone’s land.  The so-called Palestinians were taken from their homes by their own leaders, in an effort to clear the way for the destruction of the new-born State in 1948.  Now they’re being used as pawns, and you fall for it.  Another question: how can you suggest that Israel sit down as equals with terrorist scum like Hizbollah.  These terrorists and their Palestinian allies have claimed for years that all they want is for Israel to give back their lands.  Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and Gaza this year, and all they got in return was violence.  Consider that before pronouncing judgment. 
“Yes Zionists, except for America, the world is against you.”  Thank you for putting the situation so clearly.  The world is against us Zionists.  The world can stuff it.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 21, 2006 at 5:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #14558 by Maxim

To whom it may concern: I’m not anti-Semitic, I’m anti-fascist.

Just like America, Israel has a fascist government.

I don’t care what you think, Maxim, because you have demonstrated that you lack the wherewithal to think.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 20, 2006 at 5:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Zionists seem to think that Israel is in perpetual danger of being destroyed by those whom it has colonized.  Meanwhile Israel’s arsenal is stacked sky high with nuclear weapons,  ready for use when it looks like the settler-state might go under. 

It’s unbelievable that a movement (Zionism) that was founded for the purpose of finding a safe haven for the oppressed Jews of Eastern Europe ends up sending these same oppressed people off to the Middle East where, upon landing,  they immediately begin playing colonize the natives,  who just happened to be the Palestinian people.  This demonstrates how the formerly oppressed can be turned into oppressors.  It’s not the first time that such has happened but, hopefully,  it will be the last..

Yes Zionists,  except for America, the world is against you.  But this has got no more to do with anti-Semitism than the dislike that much of the world feels towards America has to do with anti-Americanism.    People don’t hate us Americans.  And they couldn’t care less about our freedom, what little that’s left of it They hate what our nation is doing to the poor and downtrodden of the world. . 

Likewise it’s because of what Israel is doing to its neighbors that the Jewish settler-state has so few friends.  But once Israel makes peace (based upon the golden rule) with its neighbors, thereby signaling that the Zionist adventure has been called off,  suddenly five million former Jewish-settlers will have six billion admirers.  ..     

Same thing happened in regards to the Vietnam War.  Then,  too,  we Amercans thought that the Vietnamese, as well as much of the rest of the world,  hated us.    The MSM saw to this by fulfilling it’s role as designated mouthpiece for the powers that be   That myth, however, would be shattered easily by every American who had the opportunity to visit Vietnam,  either during or after the war,  being that visitors from America couldn’t have received a warmer or more friendly reception than what they received from the Vietnamese people.  Over and over Vietnamese would tell visiting Americans, “It’s not you we hate, it’s what your government is doing to us.”

And look how the Vietnamese feel about the USA and about Americans now that there are friendly relations between the two countries.

Same thing will happen between Jwwish settler & Palestinian,  the moment Israel’s leaders agree to sit down as equals with Palestinian & Hezbollah leaders for the purpose of settling their disagreemnts once and for all.  And we’ll be on the way towards the peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings that we’ve all be waiting for..

Report this

By Maxim, July 20, 2006 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: #14515 by rabblerowzer

There you go again with your rabid-leftwing comments.  Couldn’t defend your anti-Semitic statements, so you jump to Christians…clever.  Whether Christians are waiting for Jesus to return is irrelevant.  I don’t see how that’s related to the point.  Your point has indeed been “disappeared”; overwhelmed by the hate you smother yourself with.  The point really is that left to its own devices, Israel would stay within its borders, without asking anything of its neighbors but peace.  Can the same be said of Hezbollah?  I think not.  In short, “disappear” yourself, and those like you.

GOD Bless Israel and GOD Bless America

PS.  That’s right, I said GOD.  OOOOH!! Is that word melting your liberal little mind yet?  I hope so.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 20, 2006 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It appears that the rabid religious right is so eager for Jesus to return that they using their political muscle to spur Armageddon as soon as possible. I don’t know about you, but I’m not ready for Apocalypse Now. I’ve got a few good years left in me and would like to enjoy them in peace.

Would someone please “disappear” these political and religious maniacs before they achieve what they so vehemently strive for. I don’t mean to be a spoilsport, but can’t they wait for God to decide when to end the world.

Honest to God, they strike me as blasphemers.

I was kinda hoping to spend the next few years fishing.

Report this

By Maxim, July 20, 2006 at 10:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: #14428 by Fadel Abdallah

Truth hurts the truth-haters, huh?  And what is this truth you speak of?  The fact that your Arab buddies crossed an international border and kidnapped two Israeli soldiers?  Or is it the fact that they now shell Israeli population centers with no regard for civilian casualties?  These are legitimate questions, not the defence of the truly low-minded—personal insults.  I do have to agree with one element of your post.  Silence is golden.  You should try it sometime, and leave us “truth-haters” to stand by a country we love and support.

Report this

By Fadel Abdallah, July 19, 2006 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After being adorned by so many mostly sober, well-reasoned messages in support of the theme of Chris Hedges truths and facts, there comes the babbling of low-minded, brain-washded and truth-haters as represented by messeges 14335, 14224, 14203,14186, 14163, 14152. This is a proof that truth hurts truth-haters and forces them to babble when they have nothing of substance to say. Those low-minded people should be reminded that somtimes, “If speech is silver, then silence is gold.”

Report this

By charles bragg, July 19, 2006 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am perplexed. When lunatics go to war with Maniacs, who should I root for?

Report this

By Kevin, July 19, 2006 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Bush administration never had any interest in helping to broker Middle Eastern peace agreements.

*ding ding ding ding ding*  Congratulations!  You win the award for ‘First to Blame Bush’ for Hezbollah attacking Israel.  Good job!  I didn’t think you could work it in there, but you pulled it off!  And the way you dissed the Christians in the very next sentence, well that might even get you some type of literary award.

I noticed that you didn’t blame Haliburton or Cheney though.  That might cost you the Pulitzer :(

Report this

By Maxim, July 19, 2006 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Where are you coming from?  Rabid right-wing Jews?  But you’re not a Jew-hater?  Of course not, you just can’t stand the Jews that feel compelled to defend themselves from the aggression of the Arab terrorist culture of the Middle East.  You say there is a danger in letting people with close ties to Israel sway public opinion.  Let me pose a question:  How in G-d’s name can anyone without understanding Israel even claim to have any kind of solution to the conflict.  Can you give us “rabi right-wing Jews” a solution, or do you just sit at your computer and spew your hate speach at the world and sit back, content in accomplishing nothing?  Please do answer, as I’ve got plenty more where this came from…

Report this

By George Elkerton, July 18, 2006 at 7:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“brutal American occupation ”—How NYT of him!

I’ve opposed this Iraq war from the beginning for the simple fact the Islamic Arabs are not worthy of the sacrifice of any American soldier. They love their strongmen, their consanguous marriages, their fighting through treachery and deceit, as John Keagan points out.

Let them have their Sunni and Shiite civil war in Iraq; I really don’t care if they slaughter themselves like the Iraq-Iran War. It would be democratic because everyone would have a good time and we could sneak out during this.

We could then divert the resources to prepare for the coming People’s Republic of China vs. Republic of China war, which will be a true Death Struggle that will decide if this will be an America or Chinese Century.

Report this

By WLVExec, July 18, 2006 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I subscribe to this newsletter because I enjoy and concur with Robert Scheer’s Bush-bashing - he is clearly one of America’s top political columnists.  However, it is a steep price to pay if the tradeoff is receiving such virulent, fact-barren drivel as CHRIS HEDGES ON THE ISRAEL-LEBANON CONFLICT.

As a moderate, it is hard for me to understand how the FAR, FAR left continues to line up in lockstep with the Palestinian terrorists and murderers while accusing the most moral, most peace-loving, peace-starved country on earth of being oppressors, for the crime of defending itself from certain complete annihilation!

Hedges - ask yourself this…What would happen if one of the sides decided unilaterally to completely disarm TOMORROW.

The Arabs disarm…peace, and a Palestinian state within a year.

The Israelis disarm…100% Jewish genocide within a year.

This is indisputably true.  THAT’S ALL THE MORAL COMPASS YOU SHOULD NEED!!

Since I love freedom and our right to privacy, I will continue to oppose the regime of the U.S. Republican Party.  Thoughtless idealogues such as Hedges worry me even more when I realize we will probably support the same candidate for president in the 2008 general election.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, July 18, 2006 at 5:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The more I learn, the more I think there is something to the claim that rabid rightwing Jews control our mass media. I’m not a Jew hater, but I think there is a danger in letting people with strong religious and emotional ties to Israel have such influence on our public opinion. All the news is slanted in Israel’s favor and anyone critical of Israeli aggression is instantly accused of anti-Semitism.

Many of the warmongers so eager for us to invade Iraq, like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, and William Crystal are of the rabid right persuasion. This is not a blanket indictment of all Jews because many Jews here and in Israel also oppose the rabid right. They are just as appalled as the rest of the world. The problem is, many Jews were so traumatized by the genocide they suffered, that they are easily manipulated by the rabid right. Ten eyes for eye isn’t enough, they demand one hundred eyes for an eye. Instead of eradicating their enemies, they are creating millions more.

Irrational rightwing republicans are also creating millions of enemies for the United States. The Bush administration and most Republican congressmen appear to be insane. The only way they can defeat millions of enemies is with nukes, and they appear to be considering it.

Report this

By Veritas, July 18, 2006 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s cheer on Israel as they fight fanatical Islamic terrorists! Israel is the most moral country in the world and to not destroy the terrorists would be profoundly immoral. The fault for harm to the civilians rests solely on the Islamic terrorists who use them as their innocent human shields.

The left is deeply anti-Jewish. To learn the facts visit:


Report this

By Mark, July 18, 2006 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Cal says: “We all know the New York Times is a worthless anti-semitic lefty rag.”

The New York Times is “anti-semitic”? All right then, the term has now lost any sting whatsover. We’ll have to find some other word for what “anti-semitic” used to mean.

Report this

By D, Bodenstein, July 18, 2006 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am no ‘great fan’ of Israel - I’ve disagreed (at times vehemently) with many of their policies over the past 20 years, and I find it distressing that some American Jews appear to care more about Israel than they do about their own country (of course, I have yet to see any of them volunteer to move there, while an awful lot of Israelis would love to move here); truth is, the best place in the world for Jewish people to live right now is here, and most of us, if given the chance, gladly choose to live in America.  However, I am sickened by the ignorant, hypocritical Israel-bashing posted on this message board.  Before you all go accusing Israel of invading other countries and “oppressing” and “enslaving” the ‘poor Palestinians,’ you might try getting your facts straight:

There was no Palestinian nation-state when Israel was formed; Palestine had been a colony under British possession and rule and, prior to that, under Ottoman rule by the Turks.  Much of the “resident” population in 1940s Palestine was either Beduin (tribal semi-nomads), or had RECENTLY arrived there from Jordan, Syria and Egypt (indeed, Yassir Arafat himself was Egyptian, having been born and grown up in Cairo).  And yet, when those people returned to these countries, they were shunned and confined to “refugee” camps.

Arab nations have ganged-up on Israel since the country’s inception, which began with an attack by virtually EVERY neighboring Arab state.  By keeping them in refugee camps and refusing to accept and assimilate their own former citizens, they have basically used the “Palestinian Peo-ple” as a chess pawn against Israel and the West.  Maybe if the Palestinians got smart, they’d realize this and stop playing into it; instead they choose to behave like a bunch of spoiled crybabies who seek to hold the rest of the world responsible for their welfare.

The Arab and Muslim nations have nurtured, bankrolled and actively supported all manner of militant extremist groups for decades and are responsible for fostering ever more violent, egregious and hateful terrorist attacks against all that is civilized and decent worldwide.

Israel came to occupy the West Bank as a result of winning yet ANOTHER war started by her Arab neighbors. They don’t like the Israeli occupation?  Maybe they should have thought of that before they chose to invade another country without provocation or justification!

Nonetheless, Israel has offered to give up the West Bank and had been following a gradual plan of withdrawal—something no other nation on Earth has ever done voluntarily under such circumstances—yet the “Palestinians” and their puppeteers continue to engage in further attacks designed to provoke retaliation and escalate violence.  THEY DON’T WANT PEACE.  THEY WANT CONTINUOUS WAR, “IN THE NAME OF ALLAH.”  THAT HAS BECOME THEIR REASON FOR BEING.

The Muslim religion has been politicized into a world-wide source of intolerance, hatred and violence.  To put it bluntly, many of their so-called religious leaders more closely resemble Mafia gangsters and warlords, and they bring nothing but war, destruction and death everywhere they go.

I am not suggesting that we should all give Israel “carte blanche” to do whatever it wants and always support them no matter what - I do think that Israel has at time been as deserving of criticism as anyone else in this world.  But holding Israel solely responsible for a cycle of violence which she did not start—characterizing over-zealous self-defense as being “imperialist” and “oppressing” or “enslaving” one’s attackers—is just plain stupid, ignorant and naive. MAKING “MARTYRS” OUT OF TERRORISTS WON’T STOP THE VIOLENCE—IT WILL ONLY ENCOURAGE MORE.  WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!

Report this

By Eric, July 18, 2006 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tunnel vision, that’s what Chris has, tunnel vision.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 18, 2006 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The settler-state Israel’s supporters would have us believe that Lakota Chief Sitting Bull was anti-American because he defeated General George Custer at Little Bighorn.  About as anti-American as the Palestinian resisters are anti-Semitic.  Easy to verify, Israel.  How?  Just call off your occupation of Palestine and agree to meet with the Palestinians for the purpose of working things out between you and them,  but with the terms and specifications of any treaty that comes out of this meeting to be set this time by the Palestinian people..  Can the Palestinians be trusted?  Of course!  Remember it’s impossible for the ex-slave even to think about putting chains on someone else.  The only exception to this rule being sometimes when the-slave is sent off to conquer and occupy someone else’s land,  which doesn’t apply to Palestinians since Palestine happens to be their homeland, as it has been continuously   for ages and ages and ages

Report this

By Cal, July 18, 2006 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How nice to work so hard at rationalization…

Why do the Arabs attack Israel? They want Israel annihilated - simple. Israel gives back land, Arabs move in with Rocket Launchers.

All of the talk about “oppression, repression, apartheid”, etc… is B.S. The Islamic world wants simply…the eradication of Israel.

Sadat made peace with Israel - The Islamofacists killed him. Israel pulled out of Gaza - they get rockets. Israel pulled out of Lebanon - They get missles.

Chris - are you insane? We all know the New York Times is a worthless anti-semitic lefty rag that is merely a shadow of its former greatness.

Grow up - get a life and see the truth without all the rationalization crap. When your enemy wants you ddestroyed, you must destroy him or perish. Pretty simple formula for a simple situation. If the Arab states all said: We recognize Israel and want peace - they would get it! Simple.

Report this

By Maxim, July 18, 2006 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To those of you who stand in support of Israel, thank you for helping to stave off the waves of violently anti-Israeli sentiment posted here by the uneducated masses.

Report this

By Maxim, July 18, 2006 at 8:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Visciousness?  The posts in this thread are some of the most idiotic I’ve ever read—and that’s saying a lot.  You want to talk about visciousness, here’s viscious: for every decade of its existence Israel has had to face the threat of destruction from its “peaceful” Arab neighbors—may they rot in Hell.  From 1948—during which war the newly formed state of Pakistan sent troops to fight Israel—all the way through the intifada innocent Israeli civilians have had to live in fear of being blown up at the laundromat, or the pizzeria or any number of other run-of-the-mill places.  That’s viscious.  Kidnapping 19-year-old soldiers and holding them hostage is viscious.  The Syrian occupation of Lebanon was viscious.  Iran’s continuing support for an insurrection on Lebanese soil is what has put LEbanon in this position—innocent bystanders caught up in a larger conflict.  That’s viscious.  Viscious is a concept you cannot understand until you’ve lived in Israel or had family and friends who live there under constant threat of bombardment and death.  The writer of the article above, and the writers of the various anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic posts above clearly don’t understand viscious.  Pray G-d they never will.

Report this

By Geronimo, July 18, 2006 at 8:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Israel’s behavior towards its neighbors is to the war on terror what the use of fossil fuels is to global warming.

Report this

By Mark, July 17, 2006 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

DWeeks: “Let’s not paint the picture of Israel as iron-fisted oppressor with too broad a brush.”

Oh please. Even Andrea Mitchell has stated that Lebanon “has seen its entire infrastructure destroyed by Israel.”

There is NO conceivable justification for this viciousness.

So why, ultimately, is Israel doing this? Maybe there’s a key phrase in something else Dweeks said: “The peaceful Lebanese who speak more than the language of violence…”


That’s how everyone thinks of them, isn’t it? And Israel can’t STAND the fact that an Arab country was not only recovering but thriving after ousting its Israeli occupiers, and that “the peaceful Lebanese” were well on the way to becoming what racist, violence-worshipping Israel can never be: a normal, prosperous country that nobody hates.

Report this

By yours truly, July 17, 2006 at 4:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Overheard - A Conversation Between a Palestinian and A Jew

“I knew you’d come around.”

“Do you hate me?”

“Not you, but what some people who call themselves Jews have been doing to my people.”

“Call themselves?  What’s that about?”

“Well, one can’t be a Jew if one isn’t true to one’s heritage.

“You mean the ceremonies and rituals?”

“No not that but always being on the side of the slave. Isn’t that what Jewish history teaches?  The escape from bondage in Egypt, the many persecutions, including, but not limited to burnings at the stake, pogroms and the Holocaust.”

“How is it then that so many Jews in Israel are no longer on the side of the slave?”

“The moment they conquered my people they automatically switched to the side of the slavemaster,  since to be conquered is to be enslaved.  A person cannot be a slavemaster and at the same time be a Jew.  It’s one or the other.

“Is it possible for someone who, on account of having become a slavemaster, is no longer a Jew to become a Jew once again?”

“Yes of course.  All one has to do is sit down with my people, own up to being one in a long line of slavemasters, dating back to the late nineteenth century when European Jews first came out with their number about a land without a people for a people without a land.” 

“Ok, then what?”

“Ask us if it’s not too late for Palestinian and Jew to work something out together, based this time around upon terms and specifications layed down by my people. 

“But can your people be trusted?”

“An ex-slave never forgets what it was like to be in chains and cannot bear the thought of becoming a slavemaster.”

Report this

By Denis Drew, July 17, 2006 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Am working on a completely new psychological angle: that Israelis—reported to be experiencing genuine terror at this point—are not suffering from the usual suspect: trauma over the holocaust (Jewish helplessness).  Instead, their fear originates from a PERPETUALLY BURIED guilty conscience.

I am trying to come up with an angle that can actually get through to Israelis here.  Forcing a tiny percent of their population down the throat of West Bank residents at the cost of perpetual war does not make any cost/benefit sense—they finally figured out that one-percent of the population of Gaza does not make for “Greater Israel”.  But we have to get past the irrational, first.

Burying the guilt for taking West Bank land (just to cite the most obvious offense in the catalog)—forcing into the mental foreground the feeling that such settlements are no different ethically from buying land in Arizona sets up a psychological time-bomb: when objective reality intrudes—in the form of resistance by the victims—with the objective message that you have been very bad, indeed, that message about one’s true moral state may be scarier than the resistance itself—even if the victims have little or no real means to resist.  Further: there is the buried fear that you really DESERVE to be hit hard—even if nobody really can hit you hard. 

And as the headshrinkers say such things go: it will all stay scarier than reality until it meets the light of rational day.

An additional impediment to doing normal cost/benefit calculations on settlements is that if you convince your conscience that all are business as usual acquisitions, then the concomitant delusion is that there is no reason for perpetual resistance—it must end some time. 

The only way to lance this psychological boil is to confront Israelis with the simple (should be undeniable) psychological trap that have put themselves in.  Maybe, the state of Israel needs to go on Dr. Phil.  grin 

Another victim of buried conscience (though nowhere near as far up the psychic scale) is the western press—which, as it more casually buries the unpleasant truth about the Israeli occupation, must get the same, logical (social instinct) signals to see resistance as at least somewhat unjustified. 

I don’t have it all sorted out yet—but hope to put something out by next week.  I will be emailing the Kinnest and everybody else in Israel that who I can think of. 

Below are some goodies we can promise Israel once it returns to reality (if not sainthood):

Maybe Israelis have forgotten what peace would be like after 60 years of fighting. If the New York metropolitan area were armed like Israel there would be 40 armored divisions roaming around there—the Chicago metropolitan area alone would have 18 such divisions, 10 more than the United States Army! Do Israelis want to go on living like this forever?

Let’s make a them deal. grin Withdraw 400,000 settlers from the West Bank and the USA will throw in a couple of million more Jews to help stave off their Arab population time bomb problem. If half the Jews in the world live in Israel in spite of the WW IV crazy life—probably at least another quarter would move in if normalcy finally took hold.

We can possibly throw in a couple of million non-Jewish retirees from Europe who now live out their years in places like Algeria to stretch their pensions (but you’ll have to keep prices down). I might retire there myself This would more westernize Israel without thinning its Jewishness as retirees would not want to become citizens—as well as give European governments a bigger stake in Israel’s safety.

Denis Drew
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Report this

By DWeeks, July 17, 2006 at 10:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Israel is the oppressor in Gaza, the West Bank and now Lebanon.”

Lebanon? Please. The peaceful Lebanese who speak more than the language of violence are being oppressed by their occupier Syria and the bellicose ideology of their fellow Lebanese, Hezbollah.

Let’s not paint the picture of Israel as iron-fisted oppressor with too broad a brush.

Report this

By Michael from Bala, Ontario, July 17, 2006 at 9:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges’s editorial certainly clarifies this mess in a manner that, sadly, validates the horror we’ve been feeling in this Canadian household since this episode began three weeks ago. I can only hope his words are will be read and quoted where they might actually make a difference.

James Mamer (comment #13936) quotes Wordsworth, which, given the circumstances, might be a touch optimistic. In recent days I’ve found myself haunted by an even more sobering piece of 19th century verse:

“And we are here as on a darkling plain,
swept with confused alarms of struggle
and flight, where ignorant armies clash
by night.”
        - Matthew Arnold, 1867

Report this

By David Hurwitz, July 17, 2006 at 7:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While I deplore the Middle East violence as much as anybody, I don’t think that Chris Hedges’ article takes into account all the factors in the current crisis.  First of all, we shouldn’t forget that Israel is a tiny country hemmed in by antagonistic Arab states and that the Jews have a recent history of near-extermination by the Nazis.  There is no escape from violence in a country that small and it’s scary to be so close to one’s enemies.  Second, Israel withdrew from Gaza recently.  While the territory left to the Palestinians may not have been ideal, why didn’t they start rebuilding it rather than launching rockets at Israel which they have been doing?  In the north, Lebanon bears responsibility for not policing its borders.  While the kidnapping does not seem like much of an event to Chris Hedges, the fact that a large Hezbollah force has been accumulating armaments in South Lebanon is of major importance and should have been prevented by the Lebanese government.  If they can’t disband militias in their country, then they shouldn’t be surprised that they have to pay a price.  Imagine what any U.S. president would do if French Canadians were firing rockets into the northern U.S. and the Canadian government was powerless to stop it.
What we are seeing now is mostly a failure of U.S. diplomacy.  When Lebanon reconstituted its government as the Syrians withdrew, we should have been there cleaning out Hezbollah in the South.  While there would have been some risk to this military venture, it could have been short and would have been much more effective in promoting peace than our incursion into Iraq.  And if we hadn’t gone into Iraq, the Middle East would no doubt be a quieter place than it is today.

Report this

By Greg Bacon, July 17, 2006 at 5:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Israel’s use of the “BLITZKRIEG” war tactics—first, heavy aerial bombardment, then artillery and tanks, finally, a major push using overwhelming infantry forces—against the hapless civilans in both Gaza and Lebanon, was first used and refined by the Nazis in WW II.

It’s a bit ironic that Israel, who never misses a chance to blame the world and sow guilt for what happened during WW II, uses the same military tactics that the Wehrmacht employed to success 65 years ago.

Way to go Israel! You’ve already turned the West Bank and Gaza into concentration camps with your so-called “security fence.”
Now, instead of using gas chambers for your “FINAL SOLUTION” of dealing with the Palestinians, you use F-16’s and 155 mm artillery shells, white phosphorous and cluster bombs.
Israel must have forgot the old saying, “Choose your enemies well.”

Greg Bacon
Ava, MO

Report this

By Charles Jacoby, July 16, 2006 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges, as he usually does, points out in clear terms the fundamental, human, moral issue—the deaths of innocents caught up in factional fanaticism, not in a “region” of intolerance, but in a “world” of intolerance. Yes, it is the Israeli government that has refused a solution for 30 years, such that one suspects a kind of mass psychosis of some kind. Still and further, that madness is in no small part a function of U.S. policy over the last century. (Chomsky has always been right about this, such that to suppose the U.S. serves the interests of Israel is to engage in delusion. The U.S. decides policy and not the other way around. We PAY them for crying out loud! This fact accounts as well for mainstream media’s extreme bias in favor of Israeli actions, since media’s function really is as stenographers to government, even if it’s the case that any number of journalists would rather speak truth were they only allowed to do so.) Even in terms of Realpolitik, it’s hard to understand how it is that Israel refuses to offer the carrot, which would be in the interest of Israelis, never mind Palestinians. I don’t believe Hamas, if less the case with Hezbollah, is inclined to extremism, bearing in mind that Israel was in the past a backer of Hamas against Fatah. The election of Hamas might in point of fact have been an opportunity for Israel, as no one doubts Hamas is less corrupt than is Fatah. By the same coin, Hamas (and what is transpiring is in the end the result of the election of Hamas, whatever else has transpired) is less willing to “go along to get along” than was Fatah, Arafat in particular. Israel-Palestine, like all conflicts heretofore, is about a particular brand of economics. Religious “conviction” serves as justification, however ardent the belief—my God is bigger than your God, my people more righteous and historically downtrodden and so deserving than your people. Ardent belief then rules out the possibility of mutual co-operation in the interest of all parties. Here in America too, as evangelical spokespersons spout off on behalf of those mostly unknown to us personally. Ideological conflict is not confined to the Middle East. Finally, and in papering over naked economic interest, the conflict is between those who insist on blind faith versus those who would reason—not least in honest terms as to real interests at stake. The believers—the faithful—have once again gained the upper hand since to be reasonable is to be…well, reasonable, but also vulnerable to the evil that is intolerant, blind faith. And no, reason is not scientism—just one more faith, as some claim, but a faculty of mind common to all humanity, common to all as humanity’s opposing thumb. It is, that is, the means by which resolution can be achieved, and that means too taking a moral position that is based in reason and not in blind faith. Otherwise, I never thought I’d say it, but Olmert appears to be to Sharon as Bush is to Reagan. None of the four deserves our regard, but differences are real enough. Leaving aside for the moment so-called Islamist terrorists (as opposed to state terrorists?), Olmert and Bush represent fanatical belief, those of blind faith if not downright ignorance, and not those of reason. May all of us who have chosen reason refuse those who engage in unreason to the degree that life is deemed of absolutely no importance—despite claims to the contrary—as they pursue fanatically their rabidly insane interest, ostensibly on behalf of one God or other, one people or other. Does it all mean we have never moved beyond tribalism? THAT is depressing, not to mention fatal.

Report this

By Calvin West, July 16, 2006 at 9:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

RE: Comment #13934:  While true that the Iranian Revolution of 1979 brought in the Ayatollahs, one needs to go back just a little further than that to get an understanding of why that set of events came to be.  The unintended consequences of our foreign policy have a strong history of coming back to cause damage, and our media to a good job of dumbing down the conversation. As an example, excerpts from the 7-10-06 Democracy Now! segment with Robert Scheer, available at 

Robert Scheer: I mean, if you want to go to the origin of 9/11—you know, we’re recording this, I think, blocks, what, ten blocks away from the World Trade Center—you know, where does this stuff—unintended consequences. You know, it’s always so easy to throw and say—what did the New York Times say?—throw some country against the wall. It’s so easy to intervene. Everybody says, “Oh, you don’t have the courage to make war.” Well, it takes no courage to make war, particularly if you’re not going to go and your children are not going to go. What courage is that? You know, but the unintended consequences, stuff happening now, you see that bloodshed in the clips you had from Iraq today. 50 years from now, somebody’s going to blow up some cafe in Manhattan, and maybe with a primitive nuclear weapon and take out Manhattan, and it’s going to be avenging some dangerous, mischievous thing that we did now.

That’s what happened—by the way, Iran keeps coming under the radar. Where did Iran come from? There was a guy named Mohammed Mossadegh back in early 1950s, secular in Iran, popular. He dared to nationalize the Italian oil company. He was moving against the English oil companies, started that process.

AMY GOODMAN: British Petroleum

ROBERT SCHEER: Yeah, British Petroleum. The C.I.A. overthrows this guy. I remember, for the L.A. Times, I interviewed Kermit Roosevelt, who actually brought in the money. I did one of the first stories on that. You know, Kermit Roosevelt, he was dying in a hospital in Washington. He told me the whole story. And, you know, did Kermit Roosevelt—no, it was just fun. He went in there with, what, $28 million, bought a mob in the bazaar and started a riot, and they overthrew this guy. Unintended consequences. You get rid of Mohammed Mossadegh, who was a secular leader, you end up with the Shah. You sell him all this junk he can’t use, you know, airplanes and everything. He then has to raise the price of oil. You get rid of him, because he was active in OPEC. And you get the Ayatollahs.

AMY GOODMAN: And Kermit Roosevelt was the grandson of Teddy Roosevelt.

ROBERT SCHEER: Right. And now you go into Iraq. Unintended consequences. You knock out a secular dictator, and you replace him with the proteges of the Ayatollahs in Iran.

Report this

By William Trainor, July 16, 2006 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Zionism…Have you looked under your bed…don’t dare look in the closet. Wait…wait…thats the boogyman…no its a Zionist. If you stub your toe, blame a Jew.

If I had my way Judah & Samaria would be in Jewish hands. Now does that make me a Zionist or an evil Zionist? Neither, I just know that the Palestinian people will be lead into ruin for the cause of 14th-century mad minded mullahs.

I had a hand in saving Muslims from the pedophile Prophet and into Christianity…damn the Islamic fatwas. You can leave the Jewish/Christian religion without a death sentence…not so with Middle-Eastern Islam. Sharia law is outdated and evil.

It was the fanatical Muslims that broke this road to prosperity and peace. Let them bring their people into ruin.

Oh by the way, peaceniks can rally in Israel, but in a Muslim state they would be butchered (i.e., Syria & Iran).


Report this

By Marty Gensler, July 16, 2006 at 3:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’ve long advocated a peaceful two-state solution, but Chris Hedges piece is a mixed bag.  On the one hand I agree the Bush Administration has shown no interest in brokering a Mideast agreement.Bush’s refusal to hold talks with Iran & Syria and the spin-off from the Iraq disaster, now limit what the U.S. can accomplish even if we tried

On the other hand, Hedges’ anti-Israel bias is evident. To compare Israel’s treatment of Palestinians with treatment of Blacks in Apartheid
South Africa is slanderous. There are Palestinians who are Knesset members, a Supreme Court justice & of course many who are Israeli citizens. In the early days of the State of Israel, there were Bedouin units that served in the Israeli military.
Moreover,  many Palestinian leaders have publicly advocated Israel’s destruction & throwing the Jews into the sea.  Of course, with the recent statement of Iran’s president,  Holocaust denial has been added to the anti-Semitic litany.  Of course, Iran provided Hezbollah the longer-range missiles & probably authorized the strike on Haifa & other Israeli communities.

No major Israel political leader has ever advocated the extermination of Palestinians.  The same cannot be said about Palestinian leaders and those who write Saudi textbooks.

Finally, Jews were expelled from many Arab countries after Israel’s founding, without significant opposition.

In contrast, there are several noted Israels organizations that defend the human rights of Palestinians & actively seek peace—e.g. B’Tselem
& Peace Now. Can Chris Hedges name a single counterpart in the Arab world?

Report this

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook