Archive for March 2011
The Syrian revolution uses a strikingly familiar logo. The Otpor fist was originally used in Serbia in 2000, and handed off to the various movements trained by CANVAS, including the Tunisian and Egyptian youth movements — now the Syrian Youth Revolution.
Read more about some of the forces behind the Syrian protests here.
By James M. Wall
On March 23, the Chicago Tribune presented one of its periodic reports on overseas travel by Chicago area members of the US Congress. The country most often visited? Israel.
The Tribune‘s interest was primarily on what motivated the trips. Were they junkets to resorts or would something really be learned by actually visiting other nations?
Trips to Israel are not junkets. They are described as “educational seminars”.
Read the rest here.
By Stephen Sniegoski
French President Nicolas Sarkozy not only took the lead in bringing about the military attack on Libya but now has stated that all rulers face Libya-style intervention if they violently suppress anti-government protesters. He focused on Arab rulers but did not exclude others.
This is in line with neoconservative view that the war on Libya will reignite their Middle East War agenda—with their fundamental target being Iran, Israel’s primary target at this time.
It should be added that Sarkozy, who is of partially Jewish ancestry, is the most Israel-friendly president of France since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958. Moreover, he is close to the influential French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy (known as BHL), who happens to be Jewish, very pro-Zionist, and an ardent “humanitarian” interventionist. Levy visited Benghazi and then advised Sarkozy to take a strong interventionist stance.
In Levy’s pro-Zionist view: “Israel is a miracle because since its inception it has been in a constant state of war, yet it never gave up on the democratic values at its core.” Moreover, despite his alleged secularist universalism, Levy views the Talmud as the basis for democracy. He states: “The Talmud is democracy in practice. The Jewish nation invented the notion that the truth lies in the most heated argument.”
Sarkozy could also spark military intervention in Iran. With France advocating such intervention, which could also attract some of Iran’s enemies in the Arab League, it might be difficult for Obama to resist, given the precedent set in Libya, and especially since the neocons and some liberal interventionists will be pushing him in that direction.
Carl Gershman, longtime president of the National Endowment for Democracy, worked in the research department of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith during the second half of 1968. “Research,” as the 1993 San Francisco case revealed, can be a convenient euphemism for the ADL’s spying on Israel’s perceived enemies.
Speaking at the ADL’s 2004 Rome conference on “Anti-Semitism – A Threat to Democracy,” Gershman revealed a pro-Israeli motivation behind his promotion of “democratic reform” in the Middle East. “Whatever their differences,” said NED’s president, “the Baathists and Islamists share a visceral hatred of liberal values that finds its most potent expression in the vilification of Israel and the Jewish people.”
Pro-democracy activists in the Middle East who have been “quietly nurtured” by NED would be well advised to do a little more research themselves on who is supporting their uprisings, and why. And those who support them in the hope that they might pose a threat to Israeli hegemony should ask themselves why ardent Zionists like Carl Gershman have worked long and hard to promote “democracy” in the region.
Sarah Palin is just the latest GOP politician to visit to Israel after a string of possible presidential hopefuls to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in the past few months. Why is establishing your credentials in Tel Aviv before running for US president as vital as stumping in New Hampshire?
It appears that a Frenchman with a “passionate attachment” to Israel had a decisive influence on Sarkozy’s eagerness for intervention in Libya. As Diana Johnstone points out:
On March 4, the French literary dandy Bernard-Henri Lévy held a private meeting in Benghazi with Moustapha Abdeljalil, a former justice minister who has turned coats to become leader of the rebel “National Transition Council”. That very evening, BHL called Sarkozy on his cellphone and got his agreement to receive the NTC leaders. The meeting took place on March 10 in the Elysée palace in Paris. As reported in Le Figaro by veteran international reporter Renaud Girard, Sarkozy thereupon announced to the delighted Libyans the plan that he had concocted with BHL: recognition of the NTC as sole legitimate representative of Libya, the naming of a French ambassador to Benghazi, precision strikes on Libyan military airports, with the blessings of the Arab League (which he had already obtained). The French foreign minister, Alain Juppé, was startled to learn of this dramatic turn in French diplomacy after the media.
Bernard-Henri Lévy is, as Lawrence Davidson has shown, the French equivalent of Alan Dershowitz.
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, that preeminent champion of freedom for oppressed peoples everywhere (unless they’re oppressed by Israel), recently called on the United States to assist Belarusans to overthrow what he and other “democracy promoters” like to refer to as “Europe’s last dictatorship.”
Meanwhile, his democracy-promoting namesake, the Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, is urging the West to “deal with Iran and Syria like Libya.” With such tireless advocates for freedom and democracy as the Liebermans, Israel will long continue to shine its “light unto the nations.” But how long more can the rest of the world afford such altruism?
In his latest piece, Philip Giraldi notes:
There is also a seldom remarked upon secondary agenda for the neoconservatives as related to freedom for the Arab world. As in the case of Iraq, many neocons would prefer to see democratic Arab nations that are divided by internal divisions and therefore not strong enough to challenge Israel rather than headed by dictators like Saddam Hussein who are hostile. Developments in Eastern Europe over the past twenty years have revealed clearly that democracy does not necessarily bring with it unity of purpose or political cohesion, quite the contrary. Small, weak, divided Arab states encumbered by a number of squabbling political parties work well for Israel and for its neocon friends.
The only quibble I would have with Giraldi’s observation is that the dissolution of the Arab world, as recommended in the 1980s by Israeli strategist Oded Yinon, may in fact be the primary agenda for the neocons. In this respect, it’s worth noting Elliott Abrams’ recent comment that “Libya as a country is a relatively new concept.” And the Libyan rebels, with more than a little help from their Israel-friendly Western protectors, may bring an end to this “relatively new concept” much to the delight of Abrams and his ilk.
A specter is haunting the world’s remaining dictators – the specter of the Jasmine Revolution.
Considering how NED “quietly nurtured young Arab democrats,” the former Trotskyite’s claims that the uprisings “came entirely from within” are more than a little disingenuous.
In this well-researched piece by Michael Barker on the American taxpayer-funded “Military-Peace Nonprofit Complex,” the key role played by Israel partisans such as Max Kampelman, Peter Ackerman and Ronald Lauder is noteworthy. While Barker focuses mainly on former US ambassador Mark Palmer’s 2003 book “Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025,” he notes that in the first line of the acknowledgements, Palmer writes:
“Peter Ackerman and Max Kampelman encouraged me to think through a strategy and tactics to achieve a 100 percent democratic world.”
Considering Lauder’s active participation in such prominent pro-Israel organizations as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the World Jewish Congress and the Anti-Defamation League, the following comment is of particular interest in light of recent developments:
Last but not least, given his friendship with Ronald Lauder, it is interesting to note that Palmer is the chairman of SignalOne Media, an organization that “is creating independent commercial television stations in emerging markets — initially in the Middle East.”