The Passionate Attachment

America's unrequited love for Israel

Archive for November 2012

Is Vernon Loeb really ‘the most clueless person in America’?

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
November 22, 2012

“I’m the most clueless person in America,” claims the journalist who ghostwrote Paula Broadwell’s David Petraeus biography. Writes Vernon Loeb in the Washington Post:

I never anticipated the extramarital affair between David H. Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, the woman I’d worked with for 16 months on a book about Petraeus’s year commanding the war in Afghanistan. On rare occasions, her good looks and close access would prompt a colleague to raise an eyebrow about their relationship, but I never took it seriously.

But can we take Loeb’s admission seriously?

A brief look at the Post local editor’s journalism track record should raise some serious doubts about his credibility.

As W. Joseph Campbell points out on his Media Myth Alert blog, Vernon Loeb was one of the reporters who wrote the bogus hero-warrior tale about Army private Jessica Lynch in the early days of the Iraq War. In an interview on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Loeb said the details about Lynch’s supposed heroics came not from the Pentagon but from “some really good intelligence sources” in Washington. However, when Campbell called Loeb to ask him about those sources for the Lynch story, he says Loeb “abruptly hung up” on him.

As Post military reporter in October 2003, Loeb appeared equally concerned to protect the identity of U.S. officials whose leaks were damaging to national security. In response to a reader’s question about whether any of the six journalists might identify the administration official who had told them that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, Loeb replied, “I doubt it, and I hope not. It’s a sad, sad day for journalism when they do.”

Could those “really good intelligence sources” that Loeb didn’t want to talk about have been the same people whose false “intelligence” induced America to invade Iraq?

It’s worth noting that, as with the Jessica Lynch tale, Loeb had served as a reliable media conduit for the bogus intelligence hyping the so-called Iraqi threat. Moreover, Loeb appears to have been close to the chief architect of that disastrous strategic blunder.

It was Loeb who reported Paul Wolfowitz’s call within a month of the 9/11 attacks for an end of the Posse Comitatus Law, a legal doctrine that had prevented the U.S. military from engaging in domestic law enforcement since 1878.

Two years later, Loeb was also on hand to report that Wolfowitz was “unhurt” when explosive projectiles struck the al-Rashid hotel in central Baghdad where the Deputy Defense Secretary was staying.

Considering his apparent closeness to Israeli agents of influence, it stretches credibility that Loeb was “clueless” about the relationship that forced the resignation of the CIA director. Despite his groveling emails to Israel partisan Max Boot, it appears that Petraeus was never forgiven for questioning the “sacrosanct” relationship with Israel. And then there was the need for smoke and mirrors to obscure the 9/11 anniversary attack in Benghazi.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

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Harman’s Daily Beast depicts Jill Kelley’s family as refugees from Muslim persecution

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
November 14, 2012

In a report entitled “Jill Kelley’s Campaign to Befriend Petraeus, Allen, and Other Top Brass,” The Daily Beast describes the solicitous “unpaid social liaison” to the U.S. military as “the daughter of a couple who had been outcasts in their native Lebanon for being Catholics in an overwhelmingly Muslim land.” The article goes on to assert without any further evidence that, “The persecution had finally driven John and Marcelle Khawam to emigrate to America in the 1970s.” But with Muslims currently comprising no more than 59.7% of the population, Lebanon could hardly be described as “an overwhelmingly Muslim land.” Moreover, the Khawam family emigrated from the one part of the country where they were least likely to have been persecuted as “outcasts” for their faith:

Jounieh (Arabic جونيه, or Junia, جونية) is a coastal city about 16 km (10 mi) north of Beirut, Lebanon. Jounieh is known for its seaside resorts and bustling nightlife, as well as its old stone souk, ferry port, and cablecar (le télphérique), which takes passengers up the mountain to the shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa. Above Jounieh, and on the way to Harissa, a small hill named Bkerké (Arabicبكركي, or Bkerki), overlooking the Jounieh bay, is the seat of the Patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. Residents of Jounieh and the surrounding towns are overwhelmingly Christian Maronites. Consequently, Jounieh is considered to be the largest Christian Maronite city in the world.

If the Khawams were not driven from their overwhelmingly Christian hometown by an intolerant Muslim minority, was there some other reason they left the Levant? Economic necessity hardly explains their flight either. As a Christmas 1988 review of their restaurant in the Philadelphia Inquirer noted:

John Khawam is a musician and was considered one of the leading organists in Lebanon. Marcelle was an accomplished cook who spent a good deal of her time entertaining people involved in the arts and politics.

Whatever brought the Khawams to America, it’s clear that their twin daughters inherited Marcelle’s penchant for entertaining high-profile figures.

As for The Daily Beast’s dubious Islamophobic explanation, it may not be a coincidence that one of the website’s owners is being touted as a likely replacement for the disgraced Director of Central Intelligence — notwithstanding her apparent willingness to come to the aid of Israel lobbyists indicted for espionage against the United States. It is hardly a coincidence either that the woman who precipitated Petraeus’ fall from grace comes from an ethno-religious group that has provided the Jewish state with many a willing collaborator against its Muslim neighbors.

Update: Interestingly, The Daily Beast has removed the claims about Muslim persecution cited above, which now describes Kelley as:

the daughter of John and Marcelle Khawam, a Catholic couple who had emigrated from Lebanon in the 1970’s with little more than a determination to do better.

The article continues unchanged as follows:

John had been a noted organist at home and went to work playing in a Philadelphia restaurant, the Middle East. It was owned by Jimmy Tayoun, a Philadelphia politician who replaced a city councilman who was convicted of taking bribes—and then was himself convicted of the same. Tayoun served almost three years, but remained an eminence on the Philadelphia political scene. He was happy when the Khawams opened a series of restaurants of their own, all called Sahara.

“They’re an American dream,” Tayoun says.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 14, 2012 at 3:57 pm

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Joseph Braude: The Persian Spring’s Pro-Israel Herald?

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
November 13, 2012

In a November 12 article in Tablet Magazine entitled “Saudis’ Proxy War Against Iran,” Joseph Braude writes:

Extensive reporting from local sources in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states reveals that several countries surrounding Iran are beginning to back the country’s ethnic dissidents as a way of waging a proxy war against the mullahs. In Saudi Arabia, media and clerical elites recently mobilized to raise public awareness about the situation of Ahwazi Arabs, frame their cause as a national liberation struggle, and urge Arabs and Muslims to support them. Saudi donors are providing money and technological support to Ahwazi dissidents seeking to wage their own public information campaign, calling on Ahwazis to rise up against their rulers. The Saudi initiatives, in turn, join ongoing ventures by Azerbaijan and Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government to organize and train other dissident groups.

Hinting at his agenda in writing the piece, Braude adds:

“These players seem poised to escalate in the months to come, whether Americans or Israelis attempt to work with them or not.”

Then, in a rhetorical style reminiscent of think tank fellows affecting objectivity as they strive to influence U.S. Middle East policy in a pro-Israel direction, Braude concludes on an ostensibly cautious note, weaving both idealist and realist strands into his argument:

This regional proxy war, now escalating, is morally questionable: Should ethnic groups’ legitimate political aspirations be exploited for other purposes? Should attacks on civilian targets, such as mosques, ever be sanctioned? It is also strategically questionable: Will some of these dissidents go on to support a radical agenda and attack the West? Is the fragmenting of Iran into several states in the long-term interest of the region and the United States.? For all its tradeoffs, it belongs in both the public discussion and the quieter conversations about our next steps on Iran policy.

However, if the experience of Iraq, Libya and Syria is any guide, that “public discussion” and those “quieter conversations” will amount to little more than Israel partisans advising American policymakers that their next steps should be to “work with” the Saudi-backed Iranian dissidents as part of the broader Israeli-driven campaign of, what Braude describes as, “bleeding the regime.”

While the piece appears in “a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture” which features some of America’s staunchest supporters of Israel, the author’s bio offers no definitive indication of a pro-Israel agenda:

Joseph Braude, a Middle East specialist, broadcasts a weekly commentary in Arabic on Morocco’s Radio MED network. He is the author, most recently, of The Honored Dead: A Story of Friendship, Murder, and the Search for Truth in the Arab World.

On closer inspection, however, the Middle East specialist’s “search for truth in the Arab world” would appear to be somewhat less than disinterested.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

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After the 2012 Election: WINEP Discusses Implications for U.S. Middle East Policy

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 10, 2012 at 5:56 am

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From Roumania to Syria: The Jewish Lobby’s Role in Promoting U.S. ‘Human Rights’ Foreign Policy

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
November 7, 2012

The foreign policy of Ulysses S. Grant was “remarkable” for its concern about human rights issues, according to the author of a new book on the 18th president of the United States. “America, prior to the Civil War, had been very reluctant to call out other countries on issues of human rights,” said Jonathan Sarna, the author of When General Grant Expelled the Jews, during a discussion of the book presented by the National Archives and the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington in celebration of Jewish American Heritage Month in August this year.

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November 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm

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Israel’s Brazilian lobby prompts fears of ‘false flag’ to be blamed on Palestinians

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
November 5, 2012

With little in the way of evidence, Tel Aviv and its foreign support network have been quick to blame Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah for the recent spate of terrorist plots around the world against Israeli targets. Central to the Israeli narrative on the alleged threat posed by Tehran is that the so-called “world’s leading state sponsor of terror” would be further emboldened were it to acquire nuclear weapons. The incessant focus on stopping the Islamic Republic’s most likely non-existent nuclear weapons program has, however, had the effect of diminishing to some extent the once almost automatic association in the public mind of the dispossessed Palestinans with global terrorism. But that may be about to change.

Writing on the Mondoweiss blog, Professor Marc H. Ellis cites a letter he just received from the organizers of a pro-Palestinian conference in Brazil:

Zionists are in contact with the mayor of Porto Alegre (PoA) and the governor of Rio Grande do Sul (PoA is the capital of Rio Grande do Sul state) against the World Social Forum Free Palestine. In part they succeed, because now the WSF have lost the Usina do Gasômetro, the place where it would be held.

Brazilian Organizing Committee is trying to maintain Gasômetro, but, as we don’t know what will happen, we are trying to ensure other places in Porto Alegre for the conferences, activities, lectures and a local for the media work (the traditional one and the independent one, as well as the News Agency Free Palestine, which I coordinate and whose journalists will keep informed the public and the media about what is going on at the WSFFP in real time).

The Zionists from Federação Israelita do Rio Grande do Sul (Israeli Federation) said to the governor, Tarso Genro, that they fear attacks from Palestinian “radicals” against their properties. It makes some of us to think that they can promote a false flag in PoA and blame the Palestinians for it.

Given the Jewish state’s penchant for using false flag terrorism to advance its strategic goals, the Brazilians’ suspicions should not be lightly dismissed.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship.

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 5, 2012 at 8:22 am

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Leopold Amery: The Secret Zionist Who Drafted the Balfour Declaration

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From the Council for the National Interest:

The drafter of the Balfour Declaration was a secret Zionist in what historian William Rubinstein states was “probably the most remarkable example of concealment of identity in twentieth-century British political history”

“…it is no exaggeration to describe him as a ‘secret Jew’ who worked tirelessly on behalf of Jewish causes. Because of his increasingly significant political position, he was immensely influential in bringing about the success of the Zionist enterprise which eventually led to the establishment of the State of Israel.”

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

November 5, 2012 at 6:31 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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