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AIPAC Works for the 1 Percent

Posted on Mar 4, 2012
Illustration by Mr. Fish

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the states that dot North Africa, is to withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests. The longer we cling to the doomed doctrine of permanent war the more we give credibility to the extremists who need, indeed yearn for, an enemy that speaks in the same crude slogans of nationalist cant and violence that they do. The louder the Israelis and their idiot allies in Washington call for the bombing of Iran to thwart its nuclear ambitions, the happier are the morally bankrupt clerics who are ordering the beating and murder of demonstrators. We may laugh when crowds supporting [President] Ahmadinejad call us “the Great Satan,” but there is a very palpable reality that informs the terrible algebra of their hatred. And since even the most optimistic scenarios say that any strike on Iranian nuclear installations will at best set back Iran’s alleged weapons program by [only] three or four years, we can be sure that violence will beget violence, just as fanaticism begets fanaticism.

The hypocrisy of this vaunted moral crusade is not lost on those in the Middle East. Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Pakistan, India and Israel did not and developed nuclear weapons programs in secret. Israel now has an estimated 400 to 600 nuclear weapons. The word “Dimona,” the name of the city where the nuclear facilities are located in Israel, is shorthand in the Muslim world for the deadly Israeli threat to Muslims’ existence.

What lessons did the Iranians learn from our Israeli, Pakistani and Indian allies?

Given that we are actively engaged in an effort to destabilize the Iranian regime, given that we use apocalyptic rhetoric to describe what must be done to the Iranian regime, and given that Israel could obliterate Iran many times over, what do we expect from the Iranians? On top of this, the Iranian regime grasps that the doctrine of permanent war entails making “pre-emptive” and unprovoked strikes. And they know that if Iraq, like North Korea, had had a bomb they would have never suffered American invasion and occupation.

Those in Washington who advocate attacking Iran, knowing as little about the limitations and chaos of war as they do about the Middle East, believe they can cripple nuclear production and neutralize the 850,000-man Iranian army. They should look closely at the 2006 Israeli air campaign in southern Lebanon, which saw Hezbollah victorious and united most Lebanese behind the militant Islamic group. If the massive Israeli bombing of Lebanon failed to pacify 4 million Lebanese, how can we expect to pacify a country of 70 million people? But reality never seems to impinge on the neoconservative universe or the efficacy of its doctrine of permanent war.

I have watched over the years as these neoconservatives have meddled disastrously in the Middle East. The support by neoconservatives of the Israeli right wing—and I covered Yitzhak Rabin’s 1992 campaign for prime minister when prominent AIPAC donors poured money and resources into Likud to defeat Rabin—is not about Israel. It is about advancing this perverted ideology. Rabin detested these neoconservatives. When he made his first visit to Washington after being elected prime minister he dismissed requests from the lobby for a meeting by telling aides: “I don’t speak to scumbags.”

These neoconservatives, who like our own neoconservatives hide behind the rhetoric of patriotism, national security and religious piety, are not wedded to any discernable doctrine other than force. They, like all rabid nationalists, are stunted and deformed individuals, only able to communicate in the language of self-exaltation and violence.

“The nationalist is by definition an ignoramus,” the Yugoslav writer Danilo Kiš wrote. “Nationalism is the line of least resistance, the easy way. The nationalist is untroubled, he knows or thinks he knows what his values are, his, that’s to say national, that’s to say the values of the nation he belongs to, ethical and political; he is not interested in others, they are no concern of his, hell—it’s other people (other nations, another tribe). They don’t even need investigating. The nationalist sees other people in his own images—as nationalists.”

AIPAC does not drive Middle Eastern policy in the United States. I am afraid it is worse than that. AIPAC is one of an array of powerful and well-funded neoconservative institutions that worship force and drive our relations with the rest of the world. These neoconservatives choose an enemy and then our compliant class of journalists, specialists, military analysts, columnists and television commentators line up to serve as giddy cheerleaders for war. Moments like these always make me embarrassed to be a reporter. Our political elite, Republican and Democrat, finds in this ideology a simple, childish allure. This ideology does not require cultural, historical or linguistic literacy. It reduces the world to black and white, good and evil. The drumbeat for war with Iran sounded by AIPAC is part of this broad, sick, binary vision of a world that can be subjugated by force, a world where all will be made to kneel before these corporate and neoconservative elites, where none, including finally us, will be permitted to whisper dissent.


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By Hoggs Bison, March 7, 2012 at 11:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“There is no moral distinction between a drone strike and the explosion of the
improvised explosive device, between a suicide bombing and a targeted
assassination.” If you are going for the least common denominator of human
morality known as “Thou Shalt Not Kill” then yes you are right. If you nuance that
morality, which humans tend to do, then isn’t your target in a drone strike or
targeted assassination specific and usually known whereas the other two options
are for the most part indiscriminate?

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By heterochromatic, March 7, 2012 at 10:56 am Link to this comment

St Davy—- “If “The Chosen People” had chosen to peacefully live together
productively with Palestinians in Palestine, instead of becoming the ethnic
cleansing Zionists ....”

well, Davy, that would have been better. unfortunately, it wasn’t an option
available to Israel…..the Palestinians and their pals chose war to prevent Israel
from being formed and living peacefully.

there’s no shortage of lousy things that the Israelis have chosen, but blaming
the Israeliks for not choosing to live peacefully with their neighbors makes as
much sense as blaming Jill Stein for failing to prevent the invasion of Iraq.

she’s only partially to blame for that.

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By heterochromatic, March 7, 2012 at 10:45 am Link to this comment

PH—thank you for the response.

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By balkas, March 7, 2012 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

any analyses about religions [to me, ideologies/thinking] which would identify piety of the individuals [a thinking] with organized
religions’ thinking, would lead to confusion, delusion, illusion, etc. these two thinkings/doings are not the same.

it’s of utmost import, to me, not to conflate the two much different kinds of thinking and thus doings.
of course, not all pious people [outside religious gangs/gangsters] are equally innocuous, nonviolent—some probably are more
dangerous than some others or even most pious people.

however, if not united in a gang of people, individuals who believe in a deity are not as perilous to our peace, justice, economic equality,
etc., as a gang of people who control thousands, millions, or even one billion or more people.
it is well known that organized religions approbate those wars that they think will aid their cause.
warfare against and rape of palestina had been approbated by possibly ALL ministers/priests. and they still do. and with much hatred
towards victims, as well.

christian leaders have also okayed wars against korea, vietnam, cuba, afgh’n, iraq, lebanon, et al. islam now okays warfare against syria.
and talmud and rabbinate oks lot of wars as well. which ones these mafias ok, depends which ones are of any use to the them.
and i am not even mentioning gazillions of crimes they do—what to them is—to lesser-valued people and peoples and solely in order to
defend their thinking. talk about nazis being bad; sure they were bad, but i think organized religions are even worse.  thanks

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By Troy Davis, March 7, 2012 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

The so-called 1%, actually represents 20% in America when you calculate those dependent upon; part of and invested in the Military Industrial Complex.

Therefore, any discussion about overcoming; altering; or eliminating the power of the 1% must take into account that other 19% that is wholly dedicated to their preservation and continued existence as a matter of their own self-preservation both economically; socially and physically.

These people collectively are not prone to relinguish power willingly or easily and if anyone thinks it will be accomplished with bloodshed they are sadly mistaken.

Hopefully, the earth, a living, breathing organism will rise up and eradicate the plague upon it known as humanity much in the same way the dinosaurs were eradicated.

I most certainly can appreciate how every other living sentient being on the planet would be happy to see manking eradicated as a matter of their own self-preservation.

Perk up! Our destruction of our earthly environment is self-correcting and soon none of this will matter at all.

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By Moses the Dog, March 7, 2012 at 9:38 am Link to this comment

I wonder what it would take to keep our elected officials from supporting Israel? Maybe it would take the destruction of the international banking system, I don’t know. I do know it’s way overdue.

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By gregorylkruse, March 7, 2012 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

I think Hedges is a pearl of great price, but it is all too easy to toss him into the pen with the pigs.  I feel the same way about Dennis Kucinich, who lost his bid for re-election to Congress in a newly jerrymandered district. I am grateful to be a conscious being in this spacetime just ending and am aware that change isn’t always good.  Spacetime between the Satanic desire to eliminate Jews from earth and the Satanic desire to eliminate Muslims from earth has been a relatively open window for some peace to infuse the putrid air of war.  As before WWI and II, when the 1% could only envision the prosperity and power they would accrue by means of war, today the 1% can only envision the preservation of their prosperity and power by means of war. So there will be war, and for a time the overpopulation of earth will be a mute issue, because so many of the poor will be dead, and so many of the rich will be secure and much richer.  Pointing this out is a thankless and unrewarding task, but somebody has to do it.

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By David J. Cyr, March 7, 2012 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

If “The Chosen People” had chosen to peacefully live together productively with Palestinians in Palestine, instead of becoming the ethnic cleansing Zionists who have war criminally invaded and occupied Palestine, a peaceful pluralistic Palestine would have become the Jewish People’s best gift to the world — an exemplary proactive pluralistic societal solution for others to follow.

The more weaponized a people become, the more insatiable their desires become.

The technologically advanced manufacture terrorists, to have terrorists to torture and kill.

There is no greater impediment to human survival than the easy seduction of majorities, by strong and friendly fascist leaders.

Our postmodern world is globally engaged in an insane war (corporate person intended to be profitably perpetual), waged against primitive empire rule impoverished retrograde Islamic fundamentalists by a technologically advanced — but Old Testament primitive minded — powerful fascist coalition of “Christians” and Jews.

Too few choose to not support either evil.

Eventually, religion will kill us all.

“We [Israel] are you, and you [America] are us — we’re together.”
— Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking to Barack Obama, on 03/05/2012

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 7, 2012 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

I’m not saying the west is so damn pure, far, far from it.  But, I give you the crusades and the Holy Inquisition as two quick examples of how religious fervor works nicely in conjunction with political goals to inflict misery.  Given the rhetoric from the region, I can;t see how throwing more nukes into the area is a good thing. 

There are right-wing fundamentalist ‘christians’ who also shouldn’t be trusted with nukes.  I hope the day never comes when the US is under the control of our local fanatics.  Similarly, it is not Muslims in general who shouldn’t have nukes, far from it, it is the fanatics.  Any group who is capable of directing young men toward kiling themselves by suicide bombing is probably not a good choice for keeping nukes safe. 

But your main point, about the West being hypocritical and behaving quite poorly, I concede, but Iranian nukes takes us farther down the path toward hell.  It is a weapon in the hands of a hyper-macho, revenge driven group of fanatics who are not leading the overall Muslim community toward a more tolerant and peaceful world.  And yes, we have problems with those same fanatic sorts in the West.  They are our common problem, the power hungry fanatics in both cultures. 

And on that point about religious types being responsible for all manner of atrocity, I stand by that statement.  At some level among the foot-soldiers, the ones who bleed and die, they are indoctrinated to believe they are doing it for a ‘higher purpose’, God, Allah, The Fatherland, The Motherland, etc.  The soldiers are taught the other side is unworthy non-believers, sub-human, and can be slaughtered, raped, tortured with impunity.  Can war exist without religion?  I don’t think it would thrive without it.  I think it’s a constant of history.  Yes, the BS of religion is the fertilizer that makes hate and war grow and thrive.

Until mankind can solve this fundamental problem, the use of religion to justify mass atrocity, there should be fewer nukes every year, not more.

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By GradyLeeHoward, March 7, 2012 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

Abyss Is In the
Fine Print

The word abyss comes from abyssos, an ancient Greek
word meaning bottomless.
Chris Hedges quotes Nietzsche as saying, “When you
gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back.”
(Truthdig column 3/05/12) The quote conveys an
appropriate emotionality but it doesn’t depict the
asymmetrical power relationship between the gazer
and the atrocity in motion. Gaze is a willing
sentience of a self-aware being. By awardianing
sentience to an atrocity Hedges infers it has a
life of its own and is aware of being watched. The
chasm between the weakness of the gazer and the
strength of the atrocity conspirators is what
Hedges neglects. Maybe he fails to see that
audacious atrocity conspiracies derive power from
helpless gazes.

Gordon Sumner (Sting) in Fortress Around Your Heart
writes,”Let me build a bridge, for I cannot fill
the chasm,” and he adds, “Let me set the
battlements on fire!” Sting doesn’t share Hedges’
depression at bottomless injustice gazing back.
He’s going to extend his best effort immediately
and take whatever action is justified, including
fiery violence.

Yesterday (3/06/12) President Barack Obama held a
press conference. He seemed to be reading the fine
print from an invisible insurance policy as he
described in detail minor adjustments banks might
make to compensate homebuyers who’d been illegally
foreclosed, and for sympathy and narrowing
categorization, he focused on veterans and military
personnel. This was a tidbit of the type offered by
Evita Peron to her supplicants from a marble
Argentine balcony, and inappropriate for one who
proclaims himself Commander-in-Chief. He later
claimed to be well-prepared to clarify the abyss of
probable war on Iran. But in doing so he revealed
himself as a nearly powerless gazer, hostage to
predestined events controlled by others, but
prepared to cooperate in genocide and even nuclear
holocaust. Allegiance to Israel is the first plank
of his foreign policy platform a he competes
against Republican crackpots. He rightly points out
that they minimize the costs of confronting the
Syrian abyss, which logically calculates the
Iranian abyss as far more costly. Again he played
for nationalistic sympathy by mentioning condolence
letters and the wounded at Walter Reed.  So he’s a
powerless gazer at gas prices, at thousands dead in
Syria, and at Israel’s war crimes, land grabbing
and nuclear stockpile. Here’s a guy whose whole
Presidency has been a series of gazings into
various abysses and he has found it expedient to
surrender power in nearly every instance. Now his
Attorney General, Eric Holder informs us the “due
process” guaranteed us in the Constitution does not
mean judicial proceedings, but may mean summary
execution, or lesser tortures and deprivations,
under the President’s orders. If anything is truly
Orwellian in a nation that can’t accept the
Dickensian it is that the President gazes into the
abyss of Oligarchical Plutonomy and pledges his
allegiance to it. In fact, he smiles upon seeing
his place in it, and resolves never to allow the
People or the Constitution to come between the
Wealthy and their entitled income stream. He is the
magician, and no matter how clumsy his sleight of
hand, he performs before a rapt audience paralyzed
by the gazing abyss.

Chris Hedges, in neglecting the power discrepancy
between the American People and the National
Security State operating for the benefit and at the
command of the less than 1% and their retainers,
mistakes where nonviolent resistance will take us.
He has never claimed to be a pacifist so his choice
is inexplicable. It is too late for pacifism once
the abyss gazes back. The magician calls Chris
Hedges into the abyss to assist him, and Chris
willingly goes. I just can’t see it myself.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, March 7, 2012 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

By John Best asks, “What IS Progress”?, March 6 at 6:22 pm

“I’d say any chance you have to keep the hell fire of Allah out of the hands of religious nuts, it’s probably best.  All stability calculations likely get infinitely more complex when the factor of religious fanaticism is thrown into the equations.”
The statement you made above caught my attention!

For your information, no Muslim country ever developed a weapon and called it “hell fire of Allah.” It’s the US that developed a deadly weapon and pointedly named it “Hell Fire” without the word Allah, or God or Yahweh or Christ, and this weapon was first used against Muslim lands.

I hope you’re able to understand the implications of my statement without much elaboration! However, I want to give you one hint, which is that fanaticism and evil is not the monopoly of religious people; take your examples from Nazi Germany, secular-democratic Britain, secular-democratic America, and democratic Israel!!! The killing and destruction caused by these entities far supersede any in history that was caused by religious motivations. The burden of proving otherwise falls upon you!

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, March 7, 2012 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

The problem isn’t Iran Its Japan. When you are on your death bed in a chemo induced
fog from inhaling particles of plutonium, that have coated this entire planet, remember
that the political class did its best to safe guard you from the information necessary to
save you and your children from an untimely death.

While they spent their time and resources arguing about saving us from a nuclear Iran, it
was too late to save us from a Nuclear Japan.

When Tokyo becomes a ghost town, and an abandoned oddity, and this generation of
children begins having their cancerous thyroid glands removed en mass, we can thank
our poltical leadership for their support of atomic energy.

Stay out of the rain.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, March 7, 2012 at 4:19 am Link to this comment


tell me that you’re displeased with “the Islamic Republic of Iran” and every other
Islamic republic where there is an official state religion and blasphemy laws

I am not an admirer of the the Iranian regime whatsoever but recognize that they have an internal struggle going on between the clerics and the mainstream. 

The difference being that their hands are not in our pockets like the Israelis are and their lobbys don’t blackmail our congress people as AIPAC does.

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

kulu—- since the peace deal that Clinton tried to broker broke down, it’s all been
downhill in Israel. Thinks for going badly before then, but that just took the air out
of everything.

Netanyahu is a piece of trash, but nothing spells out how bad things turned after
Arafat broke off talks than the fact that the Israelis turned to the disgraced and
disgusting Sharon to lead them in the violence that was sure to come from the
breaking off of negotiations.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

The point, I think, is to thwart war as the means to prohibit Iran from going nuclear.  If there is no choice between war and letting Iran get nukes, well, I’m really not to keen on either.

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kulu's avatar

By kulu, March 6, 2012 at 9:11 pm Link to this comment

Thanks hetero for the actual voting figures - my mistake. As you indicated Likud obviously didn’t achieve a majority but there still was as large body of support for the lunatics that now govern the country. It is also not the first time that that maniac, Netanyahu has been prime minister.

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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

hetro, sheesh,i meant allowed to aquire, mr khan was allowed or aided by u.s agents or interests. when he tried and succeeded in selling on the plans and equipment to north korea the u.s. was quite upset with him and tried to get pakistan to punish him. try this say the u.s. had decided after hiroshima and nagasaki to stand down from nukes , but russia and china had developed their own after 20 years then had decided that no one else including the u.s would be allowed to develope nukes. how would you react ? be honest?

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmy———am i reading you right?
are you telling me that the US gave nuclear weapons to PAKISTAN?????????

tell me I’m all screwed up and you’re not saying that????



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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 8:08 pm Link to this comment

hetro we are so far off point i’m tempted to let it go but, who started what is not the point my contention is that by giving pakistan nukes thee u.s. thought they had stablized the region, by reduducing the possible mass killings on either side

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm Link to this comment


I disagree with your basic statement, “to balance israel 1 of the arab countries needs to have nukes”.  It leaves out all the possible Persian vs. Arab scenarios.  And even if it were as simple as Persians and Arabs allied against Israel, would giving any of the Persian or Arab states actually increase the stability?  We discuss this in a hyper simplified form.  Without something far, far beyond West Point military calculus, who is to say if Iranian nukes would stabilize or de-stabilize.  That’s a seriously deep military, political, socio-economic sort of estimate.  But, I’ll throw out a super simplified analysis.  Add up all the hardware of the Arab states….....perhaps that already balances what Israel has.  I don’t know. 

And, does it compare to Pakistan-India?  Probably there are hundreds of factors which are quite different.  And as you point out, was it best in the long run?  Now that Taliban is getting more influence in Pakistan it looks like we screwed up again, by creating the Mujaheddin.  <sarcasm font> What are the chances of something like happening in Iran? </sarcasm font>

Frankly, if we wanted stability, we should have left Sadam Hussein in power.  Too bad you can’t put the smoke back in the hookah.  So along those regretful lines, and with some hindsight, I’d say any chance you have to keep the hell fire of Allah out of the hands of religious nuts, it’s probably best.  All stability calculations likely get infinitely more complex when the factor of religious fanaticism is thrown into the equations.

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmy -you should review the history of Pakistan
and India since the British set up the

you might find out that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons
have not at any time helped to stabilize a dang
thing…. nor prevented bloodshed.

Pakistan developed nikes not to prevent an Indian
invasion and the destruction of Pakistan but after
Pakistan’s genocidal war against Bangladesh
(including Pakistani troops committing more than a
quarter of a million rapes of Bengali women) was lost
as was the war with India that broke out as a result.
Pakistan started the war with India and after two
weeks it had to surrender.

THAT’S why Pakistan wanted nukes….not because the
Indians wanted to re-take Pakistan.

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Arabian Sinbad's avatar

By Arabian Sinbad, March 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

By Inherit The Wind, March 6 at 5:24 am

“I wish the Israeli people would rise up, force out their would-be Taliban and offer REAL peace and prosperity to their neighbors.  It’s better for everyone.”
Greetings ITW!

Nice to see you after another long absence! I hope that you’re doing well health-wise!

Your well-reasoned and thoughtful comment is a welcomed contribution balancing the extremists on both sides of the issue under discussion.

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Talkmaster's avatar

By Talkmaster, March 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

to MenschGuy

Chris speaks arabic and lived there. Unlike US diplomats in the ME that don`t
speak arabic which is snot only a sign of disrespect towards Arabs but plain
stupid. Chinese diplomats for example are fluent arabic speakers.So whats you

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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

john best i remember years ago india was about to have an all out war with pakistan.,  which would have seen pakistan become part of india again ,after much bloodshed. pakistan got nukes ,thanks to the u.s. by the way, that stablized the region, according to u.s policy mavens at the time. but in the long run it was absolutely the wrong thing to balance israel 1 of the arab countries needs to have nukes iran probably has the most stable and populous regime in the region why shouldn,t they get nukes?

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

Menny——-sure it’s an intractable problem, and it’s
not going away, but that doesn’t mean that the US has
to support the Israelis when they’re making things
worse than necessary…..

That’s not in our interest. Our interest is in
marginalizing or eliminating all the extremists who
block all deals and compromises… and those who are
working more in the interests of the extremists than
in the interests of compromise.

That probably means that the US would be wise to work
for the end of Netanyahu’s political career and the
imprisonment of FM Lieberman on those charges that
have been pending for years.

Just as surely as Hamas has to change or be 86’ed,
it’s best that Israel’s extremists start getting some
rubber bullets and quality time in prison.

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sallysense's avatar

By sallysense, March 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

assisting any self-privilege group who impairs many innocent humans…
is not what inklings of decency choose nor follows our constitution…
what stirs the warlord to deny basic needs for certain earthlings?...
food and shelter and aid remain as mankind’s very first things!...

how well can inferior logic rule if it can’t even see its own self?...
and how blinder still these leaders appear unaware of truer wealth…
money won’t rid unjustness but ways of fairness could reign instead…
and rulers whose brains fail to realize this fall short inside their heads!...

trapping an earthball in faulty thoughtholds won’t do a planet justice…
neither too shall disregard ‘til self-reflection awakens to crush it!...
and those so proficiently unable to notice their own ill rationale…
lack an ability to sufficiently oversee as notions still run foul!...

what type of reasoning bases its deeds on any illogical thought?...
from inhumane acts to greediness to prejudice deadliness wrought…
and how can worldly bosses manage to forget man’s common bond?...
when unsound thinking dominates then care must step in and carry on!...

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MenschGuy's avatar

By MenschGuy, March 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

It would do well for most of those commenting here to
go and actually live in the near/mid-east for awhile-
-in both sides and in different communities. Then you
would not be stuck on ideologies and intellectual
exercises formed in a distant culture and in an aloof
environment; doing so would enable one to
see,feel,touch,and know exactly what that part of the
world is all about and why deeply held passions, and
intensely guarded religious beliefs, and claims of
land and battle over territory are potently powerful
forces unlike anywhere else in the world. Whatever
may be one’s opinion, the simple fact is that Israel
and the U.S. are entwined for several reasons
because of several factors and this situation is not
going to change for at least a generation. Each side
(and there are many involved) has a legitimate
grievance, a just excuse for waging war, and a
“right” to act as wanted. It is an intractable
problem taking place on a historic stage. And will be
so for quite some time.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmmy, two or three or four wrongs ain’t gonna make that right.  Yup, we’re AFU, but had none of that happened, the US nukes, drones, all that?  The world is gonna suck that much more with Iran having Nukes.

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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 3:40 pm Link to this comment

john best i’m sorry, i forgot most americans don’t do irony. it struck me that most of the nukes in the world are in u.s. hands. does that make me any clearer. the u.s. also invented the rumsfeldian terror weapon called the taser that all the worlds fascist states now use, including iran, who of course bought them from dick and dons company. can you here me now?

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vector56's avatar

By vector56, March 6, 2012 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

heterochromatic & balkas;

you both present cogent arguments which allows me to view events from your perspectives.

heterochromatic; your example of Blacks wanting there own nation after slavery is the same one Louis Farrakhan has made for years. As I recall Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., actually pulled it off;

As a Liberal I must reject the idea of a Black state as much as I am repelled by an Aryan Nation!

Any “bone head” can figure out that Jews are safer living among the rest of humanity; not concentrated in one spot where they are easy targets.

Through out history human beings have been asked to die for their country religion or cause. Just as human beings are made to forfeit their existence (lives) if they cross a certain line, institutions (Governments, Religion) should also be held to the same standards!

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Gabby,, you an idiot and a paranoid mofo at that.

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By Angel Gabriel, March 6, 2012 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment

Hey folks, wake up and smell the flowers! Firstly, Chris Hedges article is spot
on, calling a spade a spade with the AIPAC group being the mouthpiece of the
1%, neoconservatives and Likudnic’s who are intent on dominating and
controlling World Economy and Finance and paving the Middle East with
flattened dissidents of this global policy.
Reading the comments here and on many other threads on other sites that
spew the “new’s”, it is VERY obvious that AIPAC and the 1% they represent are
spending huge money paying for mouthpieces to hopefully distract, dilute and
continue to divide anybody “Not with them in their pursuit of the destruction of
both the Arab Spring and occupy movements” of the Global 99% of us that are
being forcefully kept from toppling their control!
Arabian Sinbad made a comment below or above, or wherever the hell it was
that “heter” was illiterate in his comments. Look folks, there are so many of
these same posters popping up in online publications EVERYWHERE, it should
be blaringly obvious like standing on a runway directly in front of a Jet landing
after dark with it’s bright’s on full beam that there is an army of shill’s that have
been hired both here and in Israel from the Ministry of Information, Mossad and
a dozen other organizations to disrupt the truth on this incredibly important
issue! Come on folks wise up!! Obviously , Heter’s supervisor’s are frantically
trying to correct his grammar and grasp of the language so he/she/it can hang
with the homie’s!!

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

Its very brave of CH to criticize AIPAC. I once commented about the brutality of
the Israeli raid on the flotilla (on a progressive site) and was swamped with
responses accusing me of being an anti-semite.

WHAAAT? what “progressive” site wasn’t filled with condemnation of the flotilla

I know that firedoglake was was full of “war crimes”  “Israeli murderers “

fascist killers” and worse.

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By mdhess, March 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm Link to this comment

Its very brave of CH to criticize AIPAC. I once commented about the brutality of the Israeli raid on the flotilla (on a progressive site) and was swamped with responses accusing me of being an anti-semite. I hope that, just as my opinion of an action taken by the Israeli government should not have been conflated with hating Jews, CH’s opinion of AIPAC does not unfairly brand him as anti-semitic. But I fear that such will be the tactic used by AIPAC to discredit his conclusions.

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 1:53 pm Link to this comment

kulu——“I understood that the Israeli citizens themselves voted Likud in ....”

——-  do you understand that?  it’s not really true. 



Kadima won more votes and one more seat in the Knesset and Tzipi Livni was
asked to form a coalition government and become the Prime Minister but failed

Netanyahu came in second but he was willing to meet Lieberman’s (third place)
price. Livni was not.

Final election results

Voter turnout: 65.2%
Number of votes cast: 3,416,587
Number of valid votes: 3,373,490
Number of invalid votes: 43,097


No. of votes
No. of seats
Likud - Ahi

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

vec—indeed, no state has an inalienable right to exist…..the Netanyahu cabinet
certainly agrees with that.

other folks think that states exist when they can and for as long as they can and
that much of their legitimacy derives from recognition by other states…..

Israel was certainly invited by the world to come into existence and is recognized
by most of the ( non-Arab) world…...

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmy, on March 6 at 11:21 am writes, “i feel that iran is as entitled to nukes as any other country.”

Perhaps there is a system of justice or morality or compensation by which they’re entitled, or perhaps not.  I don’t care.  No more nuclear countries.  None, period.  And can we please figure out a way to stop this Persian ambition in its tracks without going to war?  If war on Iranian soil is the best we can do, the governments involved are incompetent.

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By kulu, March 6, 2012 at 12:39 pm Link to this comment

Inherit the wind,

I understood that the Israeli citizens themselves voted Likud in and that although they are against a war with Iran they support the pretty barbaric treatment imposed on the Palestinians by their government.

The Israeli/US alliance against the Palestinians is a major part of the reason why the Arabs and Muslim people (if not their unelected governments which are supported by the US) are so anti the two countries and why organizations like al-Qaeda gained support from these people and also why Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

Of course Iran has a lot more reasons to hate America - like its (America’s) role in destroying their democracy and replacing it with the Shah dictatorship in order to gain control of their oilfields back in 1953 I think it was. And not to forget the US support of Iraq in that war.

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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm Link to this comment

vecto56, walpole invented or constructed what is now called liberalism. check him out. also todays problems in israel have been brought on by the influx of three quarters of a million highly educated and fascist inclined, [like ayn rand] jews from russia after 89. this destroyed impending agreements betweem israel and palestine as israel moved right to accommadate these new imiigrants many of whom are now in positions of influence and power

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By MenschGuy, March 6, 2012 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment

Hey people,
perhaps everyone here in America has forgotten that
this is just the way it is in the near-and mid-
east.Been so since before recorded history and will
be so after History tires of recording it. It’s a
place where tribes are strident and slights never
forgotten; kind of like the Balkans—another crazy
place that brings out the craziness in man. The past
lives in Israel, Jordan, Syria as the currency of the
present and the future is non-existent. It would help
the situation though if all those Jews from New
Jersey didn’t build the settlements! People are there
to feel the action of God terrorizing
everyone.Fortunately for mankind the earth is large
enough to have a place that suits one’s own
particular passion and personal sense of the divine;
that is why a place like Bali exists which could not
be more opposite to the land of the Persians and the
Semites. Any place that claims to be the absolute
center of religious worship and the origin of the
truest divinity is sure to claim a certain mindset
and peculiar soul. It has a special allure. Just ask
the American evangelicals who swear Jesus is soon to
appear,  so fervently flock there. The Romans thought
they would solve the problem forever by tearing down
the Temple. What did that do? It is what it is. That
is why one does not see any Buddhist shrines there.
It belongs to Abraham and that God. That is what it
is all about there in that region of the globe: God
against man, man against God, God against Nature,
Nature against man, man against Nature.

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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment

hetro good detail in your response. i think we are a bit off topic her but one last comment, i think that with the hysteria being whipped up in the u.s. and israel, it makes sense politically for putin to deliver or threaten to deliver those missiles. i feel that iran is as intitled to nukes as any other country.

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By balkas, March 6, 2012 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

please note the probability that there is no longer nationalism in parts of the world and particularly not in US.
there is now in US only personal supremacism—and of the, to borough their own term, godless variety.
US, obviously—to people who are not semantically blind—had always been a multiethnic region ruled by super rich people.
once one accepts personal supremacism as the only valid ideology, all other are not only fallible to such a believer but also evil; necessitating
their destruction and by any means whatever.
so, i do not think, that supremacists give a hoot about judaism, talmudism, catholicism, buddhism, evangelism, fundamentalism,
mohammedanism or lesser-valued shemite of the mosheic cult.
the only cult valid is the supremacistic one and no cult tolerates any other, let alone gladhands.
and religion to be religion MUST not only tolerate all other religions but also gladhand them.
this analyses leads me to conclude that we only have cults and unless one cult, say, the personal one—does not slay all the others there will
never be peace on earth.
alas, there are lot of people in US who think that ‘jews’ control the world. or that israel controls US. i think it is the other way around. facts of
greatest importance show that it is so.
the fact that palestina has no mines, no smelters, no oil, no forest, not much game proves that it obtained ores or finished products from
christian lands and not from own metalurgy.
thus, israelis left to own devices and surrounded on all side by enemies, could not have manufacture even a spoon—so to speak—let alone
tanks, artillery, missiles, wmd, etc.
com’on folks, use the facts and thus your heads. israelis are being used and eventually will be abandoned. thanks, bozhidar b.

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By vector56, March 6, 2012 at 11:14 am Link to this comment

No state has an inalienable right to exist! In the US Declaration of Independence it is stated (I paraphrase) “that if the state does not serve the will of the people, it is not only our wright to overthrow it, but our duty as citizens!” States like Corporations are not people!!!

Israel, like America, Like EXXON Mobile are institutions not living beings. None of these “things” have a right to exist! May the Jewish people be around for another 6,000 years, but the Apartheid construct that is Israel should fade into the dustbin of history.

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By Talkmaster, March 6, 2012 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

hey vector

how about declaring the US an Anglo Saxon State and expel all non Anglo Saxons.
Blacks, Latinos, Muslims of course and finally Jews. And don`t answer to me with
the judeo christian Bullshitt that was invented just recently with the discourse of
“the clash of civilizations” to give you some kind of “historic Birthrights”. The
Anglo Saxons and Europe can easily distance themself from non european oriental
religions. They can instead use the non oriental ancient greek and roman culture
as there cultural heritage and reference.I can argue in fact that -and I say that as
an Arab- the decline of Roman Empire began with the embrace of Christianity.
Pagan Roman Empire was much stronger.

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By prisnersdilema, March 6, 2012 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

Clearly mans Gods are in ruins, along with any moral jusrification for action. At this point
mans religions have ceased to be a barrier to his basest impulses. What remains is a
thinly veiled justification for the use of aggression to dominate and subjugate all the
peoples of the world. Meanwhile creating a Stazi like police state in the west, where a
race of happy robots can be created to gleefully service their new masters.

Freedom and morality are now a mere inconvience to the one percenters, viewed as an
impediment to their on going eugenic experiments, through GMO food, and psychiatric

War is the price we pay, for our inability to free ourselves from them.

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By cogit8, March 6, 2012 at 10:44 am Link to this comment

when I hear AIPAC and AG Holder claim that “terrorism is a new threat and needs new laws to confront it”, I’m hearing the echoes that ‘Jesus was a new threat to the established order (a terrorist) and deserved crucifixion’. AG Holder is just a new pharisee in high places, bereft of 2,000 years of human progress.

These fools actually believe that drones are a force for good. We’re being led further into the desert.

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By vector56, March 6, 2012 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Thank you Jeff N for daring to approach the question many go out of their way to avoid. Intellectual honesty is a at the very foundation of Liberalism.

At some point we (humanity) must deal with and grow beyond the primitive idea of religious based states. If we carve out an exception for a Jewish State, at what point will we turn back the clock to the days when the Catholic Church (now with an ex-NAZI at the head)  ruled nations? Anyone here wish to make an argument for the Islamic Republic of Iran?

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By balkas, March 6, 2012 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

i did not deliberately avoid to analyze or answer all of your questions. that would have required long time and a long post.
this time i’d like to analyze and answer only two of your questions.
1. “why is creation of a jewish state different from creation of a muslim or christian state?”
but first of all, allow me please to aver, that israel and/or for-jews-only-state had not been created—it had been established
by enormous crimes against all of us.
so, there is much difference between a pre-estabilshed state, such as iran, going for theocratic governance later on and a state
established with crimes in which only ‘jews’ would live—or with palestinians, but as second class citizens—and who may be
later expelled just like they have been expelled in ‘48.
btw, there is no a christian-only state anywhere in the world; so, this closes any further analyses or answers about that unicorn.
2. “why does a jewish state get a free pass?”
i am not aware that christian world as a whole [i suppose you’re thinking about that world when you talk about the free pass
‘jews’ get?] asserts that ‘jews’ have a right to a state-for-jews-only .
my understanding is that christians like to christianize ‘jews’—both shemitic and ashkenazic. thanks

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 10:30 am Link to this comment

vec—- in theory, there’s no difference between creating a state for the Serbian
people, italian people, Jewish people or Spanish people….... nationalism isn’t

in theory, in my book, any state with a state religion sucks….......

in real life, there are real differences in how and why states are created and how
and why they act as they do.


at the risk of you charging “misdirection”........if slavery for black people was
widely practiced in the world and black people were routinely denied equal
rights everywhere and lynching remained a regular practice, would a state for
black people seem like less of a racist thing or would the desire for such a thing
among black folks seem like less a manifestation of their racist urges and more
a simple desire to live as human beings?

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By Jeff N., March 6, 2012 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

vector, as a half-“jew”, I’ve often wondered whether Jewish qualifies as an ethnicity/race as well as a religion.. its a bit confusing.  For the record, I would consider my politico-religous alignment as anarcho-buddhist.. but to your point I think this confusion adds to the ambiguity of a “Jewish state” as you say. 

If we’re comparing a Jewish state (in the religious sense) as opposed to a Christian state or Muslim state, I don’t see how Jews should get a “free pass” on this.  But if we’re talking about it in a nationalistic, ethnic sense, it seems a bit more reasonable that Israelis (as well as Palestinians) would want to have a place to call their own, as much as any other country does.  In practice though it does appear a lot like kids arguing over toys in a sandbox, human nature I guess.

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By Alan MacDonald, March 6, 2012 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Chris is almost exactly right about AIPAC working for the 1%—- but actually AIPAC works for the EMPIRE.

It is only part of the fast evolving global corporate/financial/militarist Empire that has captured and now ‘occupies’ our former country by hiding behind the facade of the Empire’s modernized two-party ‘Vichy’ sham of faux-democratic and totally illegitimate government—- just as surely as the Nazi Empire’s crude single party ‘Vichy’ regime in France c.1940 was an unsuccessful attempt to disguise the goal of Global Empire (Third ‘Reich’—- German for Empire).

I have long believed and written about these elements of this disguised and much more successful Global Empire plan, of which the US is the nominal (temporary) HQ, but including the former nation-states of the UK, Israel, Germany, etc.

AIPAC is a powerful lobby, but very fact that it has to ‘lobby’ at all, shows that the full global Empire is what the lobby lobbies:

Best luck and love to the “Occupy Empire” educational and revolutionary movement.

Liberty, democracy, justice, and equality

Alan MacDonald
Sanford, Maine

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

jimmmmmy- for sure, the the contract was signed and the air defense system paid
for, but Russia cancelled the sale, telling the Iranians that they would be getting it
as long as they were being sanctioned for their non-compliance with the IAEA

before officially canceling , the Russians had withheld delivery for a couple of
years giving the Iranians time to straighten things out with the IAEA.

there’s no reason to think the sale would suddenly go through at this point.

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By jimmmmmy, March 6, 2012 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

hetero those missiles have aready been paid for just not delivered. also the difference between putin and medvedev is greater than the difference between o’bama and romney.think of bush senior and his massive influence in cia and putins massive influence in fsr [new kgb] putin spent most of his time out of office aquiring control of the oil business.

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By vector56, March 6, 2012 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

balkas & heterochromatic;

You both used “misdirection” to avoid answering my simple question? 

Let me put it as direct as possible; and please address the root question.

Explain to me how the creation of a Jewish State is any different from the creation of a Muslim, Christian state? If religious state hood runs counter to the beliefs of Liberalism, why does a Jewish State get a free pass?

Also, the Jewish people are also seen as a racial group (I hang out with Jewish-Buddhist) beyond their religion; if a Black militant nation sounds as repulsive as an Aryan Nation, why is Israel anything other than an other bad idea?

Again, “stuck on stupid!” We have all been browbeat into buying into what was (and still is) a bad idea and now no one has the guts to tell the Rabbi he has no clothes!

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 9:44 am Link to this comment

vec—- segregation ain’t the law in Israel…it’s the law in Saudi Arabia.

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By Spiritual Bee, March 6, 2012 at 9:43 am Link to this comment

A return to basic human values of love, harmony and brotherhood is the crying need of today, especially in those who occupy leadership positions in society.

Thank you Chris for this poignant article.

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 9:42 am Link to this comment

Patrick henry——-“Yes, Israel does have a right to exist but so does Palestine. 
If Israel wants to be treated fairly it must treat those who it has complete power
over, fairly.

Calling it a ‘Jewish’ state is also a non starter as a democracy especially when
the other 25% of non-Jews living there are treated as second class citizens.”


the Jewish state thing ain’t great, but it ain’t in the official title….....

tell me that you’re displeased with “the Islamic Republic of Iran” and every other
Islamic republic where there is an official state religion and blasphemy laws

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By heterochromatic, March 6, 2012 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind——“I wish the Israeli people would rise up, force out their
would-be Taliban and offer REAL peace and prosperity to their neighbors.  It’s
better for everyone.

absolutely….but the Palestinians would not accept, unless they also rose up and
we able to force out Hamas and the other extremists who have never allowed them
to agree to peace.

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By balkas, March 6, 2012 at 9:17 am Link to this comment

we should not use the word “zionism’. that word suggest to the unwary that ashkenazi
voelker were s’mhow idelogically motivated—and justifiably so—to ‘settle’ their ‘former
and were thwarted in that ‘noble’ endeavor by ‘vile’, ‘primitive’, ‘unproductive’, ‘vicious’
instead of zionism, we should use the label “colonialism”. i do not remeber if i always
shun to use the label “zionism”. i do try to remember not to use it.

in fact, the very israel should not exist—only palestina should. it would be then up to its
people to accept or not to accept ashkenazic voelker in palestina.
i were a palestinian and if it be in my power, i’d ship all or most ashkenazi peoples to
birobidjan—if russia would allow it; if not, then back to europe, americas, and elsewhere.
thanks, bozhidar b, planet earth

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By vector56, March 6, 2012 at 8:34 am Link to this comment

“I question the very logic of Zionism. Please spare me the emotional word games or manipulative tactics to gain advantage. Honestly, does anyone here think that the idea of a Jewish State is any less “tacky” than A “Christian State”, The “Islamic Republic of Iran”, Louis Farrakhan’s “Black Muslim State”, An “Aryan Nation”.......?”

Ever heard the expression “stuck on stupid?” I would seem that no one has the guts or intellectual honesty to directly address my question of the “illogical” of Zionism.

Most here wish to bull shit, and dance around the issue of the a “segregated” Jewish State and pretend it is somehow different from any other Apartheid endeavor.

Again, I ask; is Zionism akin to racism?

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By balkas, March 6, 2012 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

palestina is a colonial state; we, thus, MUST NOT EVER attach any moral or legal
values or legitimacy to it.
hamas, iran, et al are right in demanding it disappear from history. and it shall be
i came to this conclusion 30 yrs ago. i definitely say NO to two-state ‘solution’.
it could work perhaps only if christo-judeo-talmudic crowd would allow it to work.
history proves that that evil soyuz would never allow a palestinian state to ever
function properly.
palestinians, do not fall for yesterday’s obama’s promises—-US means unwell for
you! just look what it had done to you over the last 50 yrs or so! thanks

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By Rixar13, March 6, 2012 at 7:33 am Link to this comment

The world is run by 147 multinational corporations, simple really…. sigh

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By vector56, March 6, 2012 at 6:45 am Link to this comment


I question the very logic of Zionism. Please spare me the emotional word games or manipulative tactics to gain advantage. Honestly, does anyone here think that the idea of a Jewish State is any less “tacky” than A “Christian State”, The “Islamic Republic of Iran”, Louis Farrakhan’s “Black Muslim State”, An “Aryan Nation”.......?

I realize that the idea of questioning the very concept of Zionism is taboo, but at some point intellectually honest individuals must “go there!”

My Anti-Zionist Jewish friends are more than just “pod-people” for Israel.

Strange; I just tried to provide a link to their home page and was told by google that “that page was no longer available?” Now, that’s power!

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By Inherit The Wind, March 6, 2012 at 6:24 am Link to this comment

Wow, what a depressing set of comments.  I haven’t been hanging around here much—been battling racist wing-nuts and christo-fascists on other forums but come back here and see, that of all people, Chris Hedges is the wisest and most nuanced writer around. Unlike the posters on this thread many of whom are just as dogmatic and reductionist as the christo-facists, CH is making some very important points.

So…if SO many here acknowledge that the 1% actually control and make things happen to THEIR benefit at the expense of the 99%, why do they have SUCH a problem accepting that this is just as true in Israel?  AIPAC, as CH points out, is a 1% mouthpiece.  In poll after poll, MOST Israelis, if they could, would rid their nation of Likud and Orthodox Taliban who want to turn Israel into Israelistan—an Afghanistan ruled by Torah Orthodox Taliban.  MOST Israelis are Social Democrat-minded, a force Rabin (whose epithet for AIPAC is telling) tapped into—and then the Rightists murdered him.

CH reads all these nuances, and realizes, as does President Obama, that an attack on Iran would be INSANE!  Frankly, I think Netanyahu is trying to influence the American Election—He and Likud and their RW allies do not LIKE Barack Obama.  They would rather have Santorum, Gingrich or Romney.  What better way to sink B.O. than threats or even actions against Iran at the WORST moment?  Netanyahu has always been a risk-taker, and, to achieve total Orthodox dominance of Israel and lock in US support he might WELL risk it. It’s crazy too, because Israel and Iran are natural allies, not enemies. Just look at the geography and demographics of the region and it should be obvious….

Likud HATES the Arab Spring, even as Libyans wave American flags in thanks for our controlled and careful support of their revolution. Rather than find ways to re-direct Egyptians from interest in Gaza and Palestine, Likud has irritated the wound. Insane!

Again, CH makes the point that 1% control the US and the same 1% control Israel, all against the WILL of the people. Israel was founded by Social Democrats and opposed by Torah Orthodox.  Once it was a successful and strong state, the Torah Orthodox moved in and, well, took over.  Funny, though THEY are exempt from mandatory military service, and it’s voluntary for them, but mandatory for every OTHER Jew!

As we saw in the Bush era, it’s VERY easy to start and wage unlimited wars when you and yours don’t do the fighting, but the children of the 99% have to do the killing, dying and living with injuries.

I wish the Israeli people would rise up, force out their would-be Taliban and offer REAL peace and prosperity to their neighbors.  It’s better for everyone.

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John Best asks,

By John Best asks, "What IS Progress"?, March 6, 2012 at 5:33 am Link to this comment

I agree with cogit8 insofar as ‘fundamentalist Christians’ follow an Old Testament value system, rather than the ‘forgiving brothers-keeper’ values attributed to Jesus in the New Testament. 

Real Christians should reject ‘Christian fundamentalism’ as an oxymoron and flat out incorrect use of the meaning of ‘Christian’. 

And at least Hedges has returned to a relevant topic.  I see Joe Lieberman is psyched for war.  Why not, it makes his biggest supporters, the war material manufacturers of Connecticut, a lot of dough.  Typical short-sightedness though.  Those industries need oil to operate, as does the military.  Outright war with Iran would be a disaster.  And as insidious as it would be, we should look to Syria and Lybia as models for our involvement.  Perhaps the good-old-boys from Liebermans state might encourage an opposition to form, a customer for their wares.

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By truedigger3, March 6, 2012 at 5:17 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges start the article by attacking AIPAC and its support of the 1% greed and policies of continuous wars spreading misery, suffering and destruction.
Instead of continuing the article by attacking Zionism and its evils, crimes and injustices toward the Palistinian people, Chris Hedges change direction and start attacking Iran and join the campaign for demonizing it. So in essence, Chris Hedges is joining the chorus that is paving the way for an attack on Iran.  AIPAC is an influential prominent member in that chorus. There is an obvious contradiction here.
As a former corrospondent in the Middle East, Chris Hedges knows better than this. Definitely, he knows that, in the Middle East it is all about controlling oil and that Iran only “sin” is that it has a lot of oil. This Iranian “impending Atomic bomb” is nothing but a red herring and distraction and finding an excuse for attack. Remember Iraq and its “weapons of mass destruction”. Iraq has a lot of oil too, what a “coincidence”!!!
As an atheist myself, I detest any theocratical regime and, yes, Iran’s internal theocratic policies leaves much to be desired but that is their business and nobody’s business.
Iran foreign policy is very benign and Iran did not and is not threatening or bombing or attacking anybody.
The world has many pressing serious problems that require immediate attention and not all these wars!
Someone wrote in a different thread,  that the people of earth are behaving like the people on a beach who are fighting for the best spot and are oblivious to the appoaching Tsunami!.

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By PatrickHenry, March 6, 2012 at 4:34 am Link to this comment


Unfortunately, we are where we are.

There was a Jewish presense in what is now Israeli for a long time.  It wasn’t very large but it existed.

The Jews had another “homeland” prior to Israel, though they would rather you wouldn’t know about it, it’s still there.

The world has put Israel on notice to return to the pre-1967 borders, I gather that Israel thinks that if it ‘squats’ on land outside these boundries and prolongs peace negotiations long enough they will create the arguement that they are somehow entitled to them.

The art of Jewish negotiating, ya got to love it.

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By cogit8, March 6, 2012 at 2:30 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges, The following two points provide a clear explanation of most of our country’s ills:

1. Jewish Ethics have largely supplanted Christian Ethics in this country, particularly since WW2.

As examples of the former, I cite official U.S. policy concerning pre-emptive attack against others, targetted assassination, torture without mercy of anyone deemed to be enemy, abrogation of rights (many hard-won by Christian inspired movements) going back to the Magna Carta, purchase and bribing of government officials (formerly illegal, now very legal), lack of empathy and mercy to all, blood-libel and blood-letting of innocents(Iraq and now Syria, and next Iran), importance of Public Relations rather than the Truth, etc. AIPAC does not advocate violence “for the sake of violence”: it advocates violence because it benefits Jews. Why are 14,000 Jews clapping in Washington? because the resplendant 1% are ascendant.

2. Christian Ethics themselves, ie the Morals of Jesus of Nazareth*, have gradually been subverted by (a), the Evangelical movement and (b), the various established Church denominations. All of these so-called Christians are nothing more than hand-maidens and tools of the zionist cause. Fear of being called anti-semitic has paralyzed Christians.

This country was founded by Christians, not by Jews who would crucify Jesus again because he overturned the tables in their temples and cast a bright light on their hypocracy. 

*by Thomas Jefferson, published by Smithsonian Books, 2011.

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By kulu, March 6, 2012 at 2:00 am Link to this comment


You say:-
“Israel does have the right to exist.”

Now here is the dilemma. Were the Palestinians asked to give up their land to settle the Jews? I think not. Perhaps its friend and supporter, the USA, could excise an equivalent piece of land out of say Alabama, Georgia or New Jersey and present it to the Jewish settlers in place of the land excised out of Palestine for that purpose.

I see this as a win, win situation. For the Israeli Jews there would no longer be the need to spend so much time and effort on eradicating the Palestinian opposition and plundering their resources.

For the Palestinians it would no doubt be a relief to no longer have to watch their homes being bulldozed or feel obliged to send off the token rocket or two just to make sure the world does not forget that they still exist and resist.

For the Iranians, one of the biggest threats to their existence would be removed, so relieving them of the necessity to devote resources and the lives of their brave scientists on trying to neutralize Israel monopoly of nuclear weaponry in the region.

For the residents (or ex residents) of Georgia, Alabama or New Jersey as the case may be… well perhaps they will in time come to accept the new Israeli state’s sovereign right to exist as a Jewish state on their land and abandon any ridiculous thoughts they might have of returning to their homes etc.

I’m sure this would not be the first time the settled peoples of America would have been uprooted to make way for newcomers from across the sea.

You see! We all look at these issues through our own narrow lenses, don’t we. Even Chris Hedges.

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By david tarbuck, March 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Good article but when you lisited USA “small city” military bases you neglected to mention KOSOVO where is the LARGEST USA Air Force base built outside USA since Viet Nam.

Of course establishing this base to serve mid East ambition was the main reason for hiving Kosovo Province off of Serbia; the actions in the Mid-East were planned many years ago and long before 9/11.  The ethinic friction, falsely described as a persecution of an Albainian, was just an excuse. 

The “cops of the World” who serve the l%, do know what they do; they think to hell with the 99% wherever you are, American, Allies, opponents.

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

jimmmmmmmmmy——Putin was still in control while between terms as president
while he whiled away the time as prime minister. there’s no change in government
direction signaled by this re-arranging of the deck chairs.Medvedev didn’t blow his
nose without the boss’s approval, so any reversal of the decision to sell the S-300
to iran will be because something changed lately.

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By jimmmmmy, March 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm Link to this comment

as someone who reads a lot of your columns and owns several of your books, i thought this one was okay . i think as long as the u.s. russia china etc. can have nukes so can iran, after all its the u.s. who actually used them.  also the term neo-conservative should include most of the dems who are fully on board with this attack iran crap. with the election of putin things mat have changed, putin may deliver those missiles that had been payed for but held up by his predecessor. my bet its an attack on iran is not gonna happen

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

well CC you probably missed the part where we was
telling AIPAC that there isn’t going to be any attack
to prevent Iran from working it’s nuclear program until
such time as Obamas sees proof that the Iranians are
assembling weapons.
THAT’S not what Netanyahu or AIPAC want to hear…
maybe it’s your poor old self what’s Steppin in it.

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By katsteevns, March 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

A comment to this article in Common Dreams:

Posted by DC-CPH
Mar 5 2012 - 11:47am

This is Hedges’ favorite refrain—that all we can do at this point is commit mass nonviolent civil disobedience, i.e., go to jail voluntarily to make some abstract political point, and hope that this has some kind of magical effect on the system.

The wonderful thing about being a strict proponent of “nonviolent civil disobedience” is that you never have to actually explain how your prescription for “action” will actually work in the real world, since everyone is assumed to share your same assumptions. If you are asked for explanation, simply repeat the words “Martin Luther Gandhi” over and over until they have the desired effect of quashing the debate.

What I found interesting about this Hedges piece on AIPAC is that his language is so much more restrained than in his recent denunciation of anarchists. Nothing here about Zionists being a “cancer” on the US political system, simply an observation that they “serve the 1%”? Wow, Chris, you really nailed them!

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By Cliff Carson, March 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm Link to this comment

Herto, I saw Obama on TV yesterday.  He was playing the role of Steppin Fetchit for his boss AIPAC.

Of course they play a very vital role for the 1%.  They organize the the support, do the bribing, lobbying, even put members into our Government to help provide “Foreign Policy Planning”.  And then they have those they can count on, the fuddle minded - you know, like you.

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

CC—-“AIPAC does not drive Middle Eastern policy in the
United States.”

I disagree.  This is their very function.—-

they’re not succeeding in that function, so the
statement is true.

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By Cliff Carson, March 5, 2012 at 7:43 pm Link to this comment

From your article Chris.

“AIPAC does not drive Middle Eastern policy in the United States.”

I disagree.  This is their very function.  It is true that AIPAC does not represent the common Israeli, but they most certainly run the “Field General” function of what I often refer to as the Shadow Government.

I define the Shadow Government as that Entity that has evolved from the Colonialism of the past, from the International Financial Cabal that began in the 1700’s, encompassing the Corporatist intransigence of Today, and the corrupted Governments of the World.  The management of this group is the 1%.

This bunch is not ethical, has no morality, and has no Country.  They are not Citizens of anyplace. Their function is to get the last drop of blood possible from you before they grind you into the ground.

Their most profitable venture is war. This is why all these wars are taking place, War is extremely profitable to those who don’t fight in them, so they play you off against me, citizen against citizen, Nation against Nation.  And they support both sides.  Chris have you ever looked up the American Corporations who were supplying Hitler in WWII?  If you haven’t I urge you to do so, then write an article about it identifying those “Too Big To Fail” Corporations.

And as their stranglehold on the other 99% of the World increases the people of Earth are slowly being herded into Serfdom.

Was it PatrickHenery that mentioned when it gets bad enough their heads will begin to appear on spikes?

To paraphrase Wilfredo Pareto, a favorite Economist of mine, he observed that as the Wealth accrued to the very few, competition would arise among the few, and their greed would be what destroys the few.

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

ElkoJohn——- carved out of Germany??????

get passed the superficial appeal of that and try to
figure out the real-world implications.

you think that there were any German-born Jews still
alive, in the area, or who would ever again want to be
near Germans after the war?

you remember that most of Germany was controlled by
Stalin and think that he would go for that idea?

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

ve—- look up the word “nationalism”

maybe that would help you out a bit.

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By truthbug, March 5, 2012 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

AIPAC doesn’t represent Jews, but there are subtleties.  A larger category, the Israeli Lobby, of which AIPAC is the leading organization is made up of some very organized groups, the vast majority of which are Jewish groups.  The key actors here are of course a small number of the American Jewish Community, but when these leaders come to enough consensus on how the US should behave in regard to Israeli issues, a majority in the Jewish Community go along, and the resulting mobilization of finance and political influence becomes most often decicive on what the government does.  It’s not Nationalism, but Tribalism.  The Jewish State was a very successful sell to the majority of Jews.  They bought it, hook, line, and sinker, and they will support their Jewish State.  In fact, if it wasn’t for their financial/political support, the US would have a much saner approach to these issues.

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By vector56, March 5, 2012 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

Separate the Jewish People from the Racist Apartheid State of Israel and ask the question again:

Does Israel have the right to exist?

When I was a lad is grade school I asked my history teacher, “is Zionism, racism?” My teacher paused for a few moments, and replies “yes”.  The next day we had a sub teach his class, and he never returned.

Louis Farrakhan dream of a Black Muslim state where his people can live in peace and not suffer under the yoke of Whitey. Most here would agree that A Black Muslim state would be racist; just as a White Christian state or the Islamic Republic of Iran is undesirable (religious state).

Who in there right mind would declare a Jewish State any less “repulsive” than all the above mention abominations?  Such intellectual dishonesty must cease!

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment

Skinkhead——- “I am wondering how many on these
threads know that the scumbag, fascist Zionist
Netanyaho is an America-born”——-

you can stop wondering why few “know” that, you silly


“Benjamin Netanyahu - soldier, diplomat and the ninth
Prime Minister of the State of Israel - was born in
Tel Aviv in 1949 and grew up in Jerusalem.”


” Netanyahu was born in 1949 in Tel Aviv”

maybe your idiocy and ignorance is best not long left

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By ElkoJohn, March 5, 2012 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

seems to me, the Jewish people should have been given their own country carved
out of Germany . . . but that’s all history now.
Well Chris, methinks you’re in hot water again.

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By PatrickHenry, March 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm Link to this comment

Yes, Israel does have a right to exist but so does Palestine.  If Israel wants to be treated fairly it must treat those who it has complete power over, fairly. 

Calling it a ‘Jewish’ state is also a non starter as a democracy especially when the other 25% of non-Jews living there are treated as second class citizens.  It smacks of apartheid and you see how the world responded against South Africa (except by Israel who tried to sell them nukes}.

Moreover, it is the meddling in other nations internal affairs as a result of the proactive paranoia of Israel which will eventually be the death of us all.  Until the people of Israel can change their leadership and affect a constitution which respects the rights of all its inhabitants, it should be boycotted, Its investments divested and be sanctioned by all the sane member states of the world.

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

gerard——-was i not sufficiently clear in saying that AIPAC is still supported by
the old-timers and has lost those of less than middle age among American Jewry?

however the Evangelicals are multiplying pretty quickly, as are the ultra-orthodox

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By gerard, March 5, 2012 at 4:47 pm Link to this comment

hetero:  I think you’re absolutely right about the Evangelicals, but at least partly wrong about the majority of American Jews. On the other hand, we did have to deal with some of the young fanatics with side-burns and black hats picketing meetings of Palestinians and Jews working for an end to the Occupation of Palestine and Israel’s craziness in 1980-2000.
  (Frankly, my feeling is that Israel and Zionism are on increasingly thin ice and their misbegotten policies are keepimg Hamas alive. Patronizing them is just one more sign of America’s lack of political sophistication and diplomatic know-how. Part of our problem is that we are economically paralyzed by the MIC, and dancing to the neo-con mostly Christian/
Evangelical swan-song of “the American Century” etc.
I also wonder whether Obama is turning off the voice
of his “better angels”, trying to heal the only-
occasionally-perceptible black vs jew animosity.

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By PatrickHenry, March 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment


I’ve hated AIPAC for a long, long time but….

Sounds like one talking out of both sides of their mouth. 

AIPAC represents the 1% and hardly anyone else, most of their support is derived from people in Israel, Wall Street, News Media (and the MIC which owns it} and not the United States.

AIPAC is backed by monied interests and not rank and file Americans who do not wish war on Iran and who want our boys and girls back home.  Withdraw our fleets and watch the gas prices plummet.

Why should Israel occupy a special place in American politics?  They have lied to us about the Lavon affair, the USS Liberty attack, Jonathan Pollards spying, Kadish’s spying and I believe about their involvment in 9/11.

The list of deceptions against the United States is long and too varied to be listed here but the consistant thing is that they lie to us, their best friend and benefactor.

I have no use for Israel, AIPAC and the fools who support them, but be warned that when the effects of their political blackmail affect everyday Americans, AIPAC heads will appear on spikes.

We are almost there.

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By Craig Jones, March 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why is it that Iran and Israel can’t agree to mutual inspection of their atomic energy programs and leave the rest of us out of it?

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By balkas, March 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

you needn’t have bothered proving that you are wrong. btw, i did finish
last in my class—and even my wife says i am clazy.
and she often tells me: Bob, don’t talk so stupid—talks so that
everybody can understand you and not just me!

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By Talkmaster, March 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

balkas, please take your medics

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By balkas, March 5, 2012 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

btw, i have not read any of the ashkenazic ‘holy’ scriptures known as
talmud. but over the years posters have quoted parts of it. and if the
quotes are accurate, we are dealing here with book that could be likened
onto mein kampf [my campaign or my battle] thanks

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By Stanley Marcus, March 5, 2012 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with much of what Hedges says but I would like him to answer what he
would advocate if the leader of Mexico were to repeatedly say that the US and its
people must be destroyed.

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By balkas, March 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment

hey, arabs of muslim cult, ashkenazic admixture of numerous peoples, are not jews.
so, if you kill them you’d be violating mohammed’s command. he, seems, ordered that only jews be killed
white people with talmudic cult are not shemitic; i.e., descendants of dark-skinned shem, noah’s eldest son. ashkenazim
are white-skinned khazars, armenians, scythians, azeris, hazeris, chechens, circasians, europeans, et al. they didn’t even
use hebrew language. they formed a hebrew language from liturgy, prayers in hebrew, and by studying arab language.

jews, themselves, have never been that big of a problem to any other people as long as they remained in afrika and asia.
and i do not see how judeans were a threat to arabs when the former may have constituted perhaps just 0001% of total
arab pop.
goes to show you how wrong one can get it when one evaluates s’mthing as true just because it is written in torah, bible or
btw, if arab kings let go or expelled jews from magreb, yemen, iraq, then they have committed a crime against palestine.
these people are now your enemies because of that act. but i think that ashkenazim are just using/hating them just like
americans, et al.
wake up, burn ALL bibles, qurans, talmud, and torahs—else never peace on earth. thanks

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By vector56, March 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

“That’s correct. AIPAC works for me. So what? And it will continue to do so long after you are all dead and buried. That’s the miracle of it. “

Onepercenter: such are the words of an over confident thug. Remember, even though you snuff out the light of Democracy now, you are only 2.5% of the population; the majority my yet come to their senses?

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By shaun, March 5, 2012 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

aipac and israel and more importantly usa should be worried about the bric countries.

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By David Katz, March 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges is a often a voice of reason and morality, but, along with other leftists, he has a blind spot when it comes to Israel. What does it mean, for example, that “AIPAC represents the 1 percent.” Ridiculous. Are AIPAC’s members all billionaires? As an Arabist, Hedges takes no note of Iran’s stated desire to “wipe Israel off the map.” Is this threat not relevant to his “analysis,” or are the Jews simply expected to submit to yet another Holocaust—-never mind “never again,” they should simply be lambs and lie down to again be alaughtered. No, Mr. Hedges, we’ve learned our lesson, including not to trust those, like yourself, whose “good intentions” would again lead us and perhaps the world to hell.

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By dini, March 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

I think it’s too bad that the Arabs know more about us then we do.  The news is
not based on reality but on delusion.  Thieves and crooks want power and
money so bad they say and do anything.  They lie to themselves; and hurt a lot
of people.  The sad thing is a lot of folks don’t look deeper than words.  The
criticisms here in the comments, clearly there is no understanding just

Truth dig gives us news from well informed citizens like Chris Hedges who
knows more than anyone I know on the subject of middle east corruption.  He’s
seen it, heard it, felt it, smelled it and tasted it.
Reality/Truth is found in our lived experience; it ain’t just words as the 1%
would like us to believe. 
After all is Love a word?  Is justice a word? Can you sum up a life in words?  I
don’t think so.  Gotta dig long and hard for the truth and then (this is the hard
part) you gotta live it or words expressed are empty and cause a whole lot of
suffering.  Dig?  The Arabs know more than us cause they are experiencing our
words in action in their daily lives.  We read lies.

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By heterochromatic, March 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

Arabian Stinkbad———I can’t imagine how I am going to bear all——

you needn’t bear it. you may weep and rend your garments and end it all by
refusing to participate.

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By Amerikagulag, March 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

AIPAC and ADL should be forced to register as a foreign agent. That’s what JFKennedy wanted and look what it got him.  Also Dual Nationals Israeli’s must not be allowed in government.

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By Jeff N., March 5, 2012 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

Sinbad, as much as I love your “rectum-mouth” comment I think hetero is pretty much on the money here no?

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