Tuesday, June 30, 2009
The Israeli Medical Association (IMA) has ignored repeated requests to examine such evidence, the rights groups say, even though it has been presented with examples of Israeli doctors who have broken their legal and ethical duty towards Palestinians in their care.
The accusations will add fuel to a campaign backed by hundreds of doctors from around the world to force Yoram Blachar, who heads the IMA, to step down from his recent appointment as president of the World Medical Association (WMA).
More than 700 doctors have signed a petition arguing that Dr Blachar has disqualified himself from leadership of the WMA, the profession’s governing ethical body, by effectively condoning torture in Israel.
The campaign against Dr Blachar has gained ground rapidly since his appointment as president in November. Critics said his alleged complicity in the use of torture in Israeli detention facilities can be traced to 1995, when he became chairman of the IMA.
Until 1999, when Israel’s Supreme Court restricted torture, Israeli doctors routinely supervised the medical treatment of abused detainees, mostly Palestinians from the occupied territories.
During that period Dr Blachar surprised many colleagues by expressing support for Israeli interrogators’ use of “moderate physical pressure” in a letter to The Lancet, the British medical journal. The phrase covers a wide range of practices from beatings and binding prisoners in painful positions to sleep deprivation. It is regarded by human rights organisations as a euphemism for torture.
Despite the 1999 court ruling, a coalition of 14 Israeli human rights groups known as United Against Torture concluded in its latest annual report in November that Israeli detention facilities are still using torture systematically. Israeli doctors are also being relied on to treat the resulting injuries.
Last week, Physicians for Human Rights and the Public Committee against Torture in Israel published a joint report examining hundreds of arrests in which Palestinians were bound in “distorted and unnatural” ways to inflict “pain and humiliation” amounting to torture.
The report noted instances where prisoners, including a pregnant woman and a dying man, were shackled while doctors carried out emergency procedures in a hospital.
According to the report, the doctors violated the Tokyo Declaration, the key code of medical ethics adopted by the WMA in 1975 that bans the use of cruel, humiliating or inhuman treatment by physicians.
Ishai Menuchin, the head of the Public Committee, said his group had been lobbying strenuously against Israeli doctors’ complicity in torture since it issued a report, Ticking Bombs, in 2007, arguing that torture was routine in Israel.
The Public Committee highlighted the testimonies of nine Palestinians who had been tortured by interrogators. The report also noted that in most cases Israeli physicians treating detainees “return their patients to additional rounds of torture, and remain silent”.
In June last year, Physicians for Human Rights drew the IMA’s attention to two cases in which the attending doctor failed to report signs of torture on a Palestinian.
Anat Litvin of Physicians for Human Rights told the IMA: “We believe that doctors are used by torturers as a safety net – take them out of the system and torture will be much more difficult to enact.”
The groups stepped up their pressure in February, writing to Avinoam Reches, the chairman of the IMA’s ethics committee. They demanded that his association investigate six cases of doctors who failed to report signs of torture.
In one case, a prison doctor, under pressure from interrogators, agreed to retract a written recommendation that a detainee be immediately hospitalised for treatment.
Prof Reches promised to conduct an inquiry. However, last month the two human rights groups criticised him for failing to investigate their claims, accusing him of holding only “amicable and unofficial” conversations over the phone with a few of the doctors concerned.
“We have sent to the IMA many testimonies from victims of torture who were referred to doctors for treatment,” Dr Menuchin said. “But the IMA has yet to do anything about it.
“A significant number of doctors in Israel, in detention facilities and public hospitals, know torture is taking place, but choose to avert their gaze.”
This month, Defence for Children International issued a report on the torture of Palestinian children, noting that in several of the cases it cited, Israeli doctors had turned a blind eye. A boy of 14 who was beaten repeatedly on a broken arm reported the abuse to a doctor who, he said, replied only: “I had nothing to do with that.”
The report stated that the group “has not encountered a single case where an adult in a position of authority, such as a soldier, doctor, judicial officer or prison staff, has intervened on behalf of a child who was mistreated”.
Campaigners against Dr Blachar’s appointment as the head of the WMA say its Israeli sister association’s inaction on torture is unsurprising given its chairman’s public stance.
Derek Summerfield of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “The IMA under Dr Blachar is in collusion with the Israeli state policy of torture. Its role is to put a benign face on the occupation.”
Dr Blachar told the Israeli website Ynet last week that such criticisms were “slanderous”, saying he and the IMA denounced all forms of torture.
The WMA, with nine million members in more than 80 countries, was established in 1947 as a response to the abuses sanctioned by German and Japanese doctors during the Second World War.
In 2007, the WMA’s general assembly called on doctors to document and report all cases of suspected torture.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Anyone using Twitter over the past few days knows that the topic of the Iranian election has been the most popular. Thousands of tweets and retweets alleging that the election was a fraud, calling for protests in Iran, and even urging followers hack various Iranian news websites (which they did successfully). The Twitter popularity caught the eye of various blogs such as Mashable and TechCrunch and even made its way to mainstream news media sites.
Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -
1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
3. “IranElection” was each of their most popular keyword
4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.
Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran’s election.
JPost actually ran a story about 3 people “who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers.” Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? JPost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.
JPost, a major news organization, promoted these three Twitterers who went on the be the source of the IranElection Twitter bombardment. Why is JPost so concerned about Iranian students all of a sudden (which these spammers claim to be)? I must admit that I had my suspicions. After all, Que Bono? (who benefits).
There’s no question that Israel perceives Iran as an enemy, more so than any other nation. According to a recent poll, more than half of Israel’s population support using military force against Iran if they do not cease from developing nuclear energy (which they have the legal right to do as per the NNP treaty). Oddly enough, this comes out of a country which is not a cosigner to the NNP treaty and has no right to develop nuclear energy, yet posses an arsenal of nuclear BOMBS.
Of course, Mousavi himself plays an important role in causing the social unrest within Iran. How often do you see a candidate declare himself the winner before any votes are counted and then, when faced with defeat, call the entire election process a fraud? As obvious as it was in our own 2000 election, Al Gore would not touch the topic of voter fraud. No major US politician goes near the subject. They know full well that such an accusation would shake the entire foundation of our democracy and threaten the political structures that are in place.
These twitting spammers began crying foul before the final votes were even counted, just as Mousavi had. The spammer @IranRiggedElect created his profile before a winner was announced and preformed the public service of informing us in the United States , in English and every 10 minutes, of the unfair election. He did so unselfishly, and without any regard for his fellow friends and citizens of Iran, who don’t speak English and don’t use Twitter!
[Update] JPost removes the evidence and issues a response
Meet The Spammers
3146 followers. 31 friends.
340 tweets in past 4 days. none before that.
Top 5 words - iranelection, cnnfail, mousavi, tehran,
All tweets in English
Time: Bulk between 12pm and 2pm eastern standard time
Most retweets: @StopAhmadi @IranElection09 @change_for_iran
14,000 followers. 0 friends
117 tweets in 2 days. none before that.
All tweets in English
Time: Bulk between 8:00 pm and 11:00 pm eastern.
Top 5 words: iranelection, people, police, right, students
800 followers. 9 friends.
196 tweets in 3 days. none before that.
185 in English. 11 in Farsi (Arabic appearing letters. Not sure if it’s Farsi)
Time: bulk between 2:00pm and 6:00pm eastern. Also 1:00am.
Top 5 words: iranelection, rt, mousavi, tehran, march
Most retweets: @IranRiggedElect @StopAhmadi
6199 followers. 53 friends.
1107 tweets in past 3 days. None before then.
top 5 words: iranelection, ppl, news, rt, iran.
All tweets in English
Time: bulk between 9:00am and 5:00pm eastern
Most retweets: @mohamadreza @mahdi
1433 followers. 142 friends
(protected account. cant see data)
The following all have the same photo in their profile and are followed by the profiles previously mentioned.
http://twitter.com/Change_for_Iran (14,000 followers)
http://twitter.com/IranElection09 (800 followers. 9 friends.)
Click below for the JPost Articledenial of service for users of the targeted system. (Recognize the avatar?) BUT….their latest spamming campaign (Against CS) is backfiring.
Spammers get a taste of their own medicine!: Block CS eh? It’s not us being blocked…..
[Update 4] The Guardian: Iran’s election result may not be fraudulent. Our polling suggests that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory is what voters wanted
[Update 5] Iran blocked access to twitter yesterday BUT that doesn’t stop the “Iranian Students” from continuing to tweet every 10 or so minutes.
[Update 6] Iranian intelligence arrested “Agents” within the country “who masterminded the recent post-election violence in Tehran.”
[Update 7] JPost removes the evidence and issues a response
[Update 8] Tehran- Riots orchestrated by enemies
[Update 9] Washington Post: “Twitter’s impact inside Iran is zero,” said Mehdi Yahyanejad, manager of a Farsi-language news site based in Los Angeles. “Here, there is lots of buzz, but once you look . . . you see most of it are Americans tweeting among themselves.”
[Update 10] CIA Factbook: Languages spoken in Iran: Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%. Sure, some of the more educated people (a small amount) do speak English but its not at all popular.
[Update 11] This post became one of the most followed, tweeted and retweeted stories regarding the #IranElection on the net yesterday. The 3 “Iranian Student” spammers specifically mentioned this post as did hundreds of others. So, um, where are the Iranians?? The screen shot below is of our traffic yesterday by country.
Disclaimer: Before I get attacked as being an Anti-Semite,you should know that I am half Jewish. Alternatively, I hope that people do not misinterpret this as some “JEWISH” conspiracy. It isn’t. These are the workings of the extreme right wing of Israeli politics. They have their own Bush’s and Cheney’s there too.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Israeli Embassy spokesperson "Bennie" Thugstein announced today that Israel will close its embassies in New York and DC due to a lack of qualified personnel.
"We're in a real bind here. Many of our best administrators have been hired by President Obama to fill his cabinet with Zionists and Israeli-Firsters. While that makes us extremely happy, it also leaves us short of key people needed to staff our combination embassy/MOSSAD hangouts," said Thugstein.
Thugstein also said that "While we probably could get some help from our good friends at the AIPAC Lobby, that wouldn't be much help, since their forte is bribing and corrupting the U.S. Congress and not running a bureaucracy."
Thugstein added that they might promote some key MOSSAD personnel to upper echelon positions, but that they were so busy now creating conditions for the next false-flag against America, that they wouldn't have enough time to devote to running the day to day operations of the embassies.
"We also talked with our good friends on Wall Street and tried to recruit some, but they said they hand their hands full, literally, looting American pension funds and 401K retirement accounts and couldn't part with any of their staff, so we'll just have to bite the bagel and for now, close some embassies until this staffing shortage is over."
Reporting from Washington, this is Moe Ronn for Holocau$t™ News
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I, Ward Boston, Jr. do declare that the following statement is true and complete:
For more than 30 years, I have remained silent on the topic of USS Liberty. I am a military man and when orders come in from the Secretary of Defense and President of the United States, I follow them.
However, recent attempts to rewrite history compel me to share the truth.
In June of 1967, while serving as a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps, Department of the Navy, I was assigned as senior legal counsel for the Navy’s Court of Inquiry into the brutal attack on USS Liberty, which had occurred on June 8th.
The late Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, president of the Court, and I were given only one week to gather evidence for the Navy’s official investigation into the attack, despite the fact that we both had estimated that a proper Court of Inquiry into an attack of this magnitude would take at least six months to conduct.
Admiral John S. McCain, Jr., then Commander-in-chief, Naval Forces Europe (CINCUSNAVEUR), at his headquarters in London, had charged Admiral Kidd (in a letter dated June 10, 1967) to “inquire into all the pertinent facts and circumstances leading to and connected with the armed attack; damage resulting therefrom; and deaths of and injuries to Naval personnel.”
Despite the short amount of time we were given, we gathered a vast amount of evidence, including hours of heartbreaking testimony from the young survivors.
The evidence was clear. Both Admiral Kidd and I believed with certainty that this attack, which killed 34 American sailors and injured 172 others, was a deliberate effort to sink an American ship and murder its entire crew. Each evening, after hearing testimony all day, we often spoke our private thoughts concerning what we had seen and heard. I recall Admiral Kidd repeatedly referring to the Israeli forces responsible for the attack as “murderous bastards.” It was our shared belief, based on the documentary evidence and testimony we received first hand, that the Israeli attack was planned and deliberate, and could not possibly have been an accident.
I am certain that the Israeli pilots that undertook the attack, as well as their superiors, who had ordered the attack, were well aware that the ship was American.
I saw the flag, which had visibly identified the ship as American, riddled with bullet holes, and heard testimony that made it clear that the Israelis intended there be no survivors. 10. Not only did the Israelis attack the ship with napalm, gunfire, and missiles, Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned three lifeboats that had been launched in an attempt by the crew to save the most seriously wounded — a war crime.
Admiral Kidd and I both felt it necessary to travel to Israel to interview the Israelis who took part in the attack. Admiral Kidd telephoned Admiral McCain to discuss making arrangements. Admiral Kidd later told me that Admiral McCain was adamant that we were not to travel to Israel or contact the Israelis concerning this matter.
Regrettably, we did not receive into evidence and the Court did not consider any of the more than sixty witness declarations from men who had been hospitalized and were unable to testify in person.
I am outraged at the efforts of the apologists for Israel in this country to claim that this attack was a case of “mistaken identity.”
In particular, the recent publication of Jay Cristol’s book, The Liberty Incident, twists the facts and misrepresents the views of those of us who investigated the attack.
It is Cristol’s insidious attempt to whitewash the facts that has pushed me to speak out.
I know from personal conversations I had with Admiral Kidd that President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara ordered him to conclude that the attack was a case of “mistaken identity” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Admiral Kidd told me, after returning from Washington, D.C. that he had been ordered to sit down with two civilians from either the White House or the Defense Department, and rewrite portions of the court’s findings.
Admiral Kidd also told me that he had been ordered to “put the lid” on everything having to do with the attack on USS Liberty. We were never to speak of it and we were to caution everyone else involved that they could never speak of it again.
I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that statement as I know that the Court of Inquiry transcript that has been released to the public is not the same one that I certified and sent off to Washington.
I know this because it was necessary, due to the exigencies of time, to hand correct and initial a substantial number of pages. I have examined the released version of the transcript and I did not see any pages that bore my hand corrections and initials. Also, the original did not have any deliberately blank pages, as the released version does. Finally, the testimony of Lt. Painter concerning the deliberate machine gunning of the life rafts by the Israeli torpedo boat crews, which I distinctly recall being given at the Court of Inquiry and included in the original transcript, is now missing and has been excised.
Following the conclusion of the Court of Inquiry, Admiral Kidd and I remained in contact. Though we never spoke of the attack in public, we did discuss it between ourselves, on occasion. Every time we discussed the attack, Admiral Kidd was adamant that it was a deliberate, planned attack on an American ship.
In 1990, I received a telephone call from Jay Cristol, who wanted to interview me concerning the functioning of the Court of Inquiry. I told him that I would not speak to him on that subject and prepared to hang up the telephone. Cristol then began asking me about my personal background and other, non-Court of Inquiry related matters. I endeavored to answer these questions and politely extricate myself from the conversation. Cristol continued to return to the subject of the Court of Inquiry, which I refused to discuss with him. Finally, I suggested that he contact Admiral Kidd and ask him about the Court of Inquiry.
Shortly after my conversation with Cristol, I received a telephone call from Admiral Kidd, inquiring about Cristol and what he was up to. The Admiral spoke of Cristol in disparaging terms and even opined that “Cristol must be an Israeli agent.” I don’t know if he meant that literally or it was his way of expressing his disgust for Cristol’s highly partisan, pro-Israeli approach to questions involving USS Liberty.
At no time did I ever hear Admiral Kidd speak of Cristol other than in highly disparaging terms. I find Cristol’s claims of a “close friendship” with Admiral Kidd to be utterly incredible. I also find it impossible to believe the statements he attributes to Admiral Kidd, concerning the attack on USS Liberty.
Several years later, I received a letter from Cristol that contained what he purported to be his notes of our prior conversation. These “notes” were grossly incorrect and bore no resemblance in reality to that discussion. I find it hard to believe that these “notes” were the product of a mistake, rather than an attempt to deceive. I informed Cristol that I disagreed with his recollection of our conversation and that he was wrong. Cristol made several attempts to arrange for the two of us to meet in person and talk but I always found ways to avoid doing this. I did not wish to meet with Cristol as we had nothing in common and I did not trust him.
Contrary to the misinformation presented by Cristol and others, it is important for the American people to know that it is clear that Israel is responsible for deliberately attacking an American ship and murdering American sailors, whose bereaved shipmates have lived with this egregious conclusion for many years.
Dated: January 9, 2004
at Coronado, California.
Ward Boston, Jr., Captain, JAGC, USN (Ret.)
Senior Counsel to the USS Liberty Court of Inquiry
Monday, June 8, 2009
It's about Time. And it's truly unfortunate that these lawsuits couldn't be filed in the United States where we seem to have lost our way, discarded the Constitution and embraced Fascism.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The annual Global Corruption Barometer report released by Transparency International shows that 86 percent of Israelis --the highest level in the world--say the government's efforts to fight Corruption are ineffective.
Only 13 percent of Israelis believed that the government is taking the necessary measures to fight Corruption, Haaretz reported.
In 2006, 66 percent of those questioned did not believe in their government's anti-Corruption efforts.
The global public opinion survey represents the views of citizens from 69 countries around the world, including 500 in Israel.
The survey asks people about their attitudes toward local Corruption and their own personal involvement in such corrupt acts as bribery.
Senior Israeli officials including Israel's incumbent Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman are charged with being engaged in several cases of financial Corruption.
Many other Israeli former officials including former president Moshe Katsav, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, former Israeli finance minister Avraham Hirshson and Knesset (Parliament) member Shlomo Benizri have been involved in corruption cases.
Doron Navot of the University of Haifa and the Israel Democracy Institute says in Israel "not only do the government and elected officials not fight political Corruption, but in recent years they see politicians and elected officials fighting the guardians - those battling against Corruption - and trying to weaken them and advance reforms that harm the fight against Corruption."
Friday, June 5, 2009
Japan may be “in the American Embrace,” as Gavan McCormack’s Client State cogently argues, but in whose embrace is America?
In Client State: Japan in the American Embrace, Gavan McCormack demonstrates how Japan’s apparent nationalist turn owes much to the need to conceal the country’s increasing subordination to American imperial designs. However, a closer examination of the driving forces behind the US Empire in the 21st century suggests that both countries may be serving a quite different agenda.
Rightly described as a “masterful” analysis by fellow Japan expert Chalmers Johnson, McCormack’s 2007 book expertly documents how Japan’s postwar “peace constitution” has been steadily attenuated to the point of meaninglessness, as Tokyo has consistently bowed to pressure from Washington to become more active in its support of US hegemony, culminating in a “merger” of their military forces in the wake of 9/11.
McCormack claims that this is “an agenda heavily in the American, rather than the Japanese national interest.” But in what sense could the extremely costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now being expanded into Pakistan under the “antiwar” commander-in-chief Obama, be said to be in “the American interest”?
These illegal wars of aggression have been costly to America not only in terms of the trillions of dollars added to its ballooning national debt, but also in terms of the incalculable loss of credibility that it has suffered in the eyes of world opinion, appalled by the shameless lies about WMDs, the lurid scenes of torture in Abu Ghraib, and the massive casualties inflicted by high-tech weaponry on innocent civilians, whose lives are casually dismissed as “collateral damage” in the never-ending pursuit of the elusive Bin Laden.
The so-called War on Terror may be extremely profitable for weapons manufacturers, private military corporations, and the venal pro-war pundits they fund, but who else does it benefit?
Big Oil, says the antiwar left. But the “no blood for oil” adherents too may be misinformed, according to one leading analyst of the Iraq war. “Contrary to the view of most American progressives that oil, and specifically the interests of Big Oil, is the primary mover, there is no evidence that the major US oil corporations pressured Congress or promoted the war in Iraq or the current confrontation with Iran,” James Petras argues in The Power of Israel in the United States. “To the contrary: there is plenty of evidence that they are very uneasy about the losses that may result from an Israeli attack on Iran.”
And as for the American people, or at least those lucky enough to hold their jobs in the coming Wall Street-induced depression, they will be paying dearly in greatly increased taxes for their government’s folly for the foreseeable future.
Considering all this, it is difficult not to concur with the conclusion of a policy paper published by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) that the War on Terror has been “for the most part, extremely damaging to US interests.”
The 2003 paper, “Clean Break or Dirty War?” by Irmep, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that studies US-Middle East policy formulation, shows how policies originally prepared for Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 by a study group which included the likes of Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser under the title “A Clean Break: A Strategy for Securing the Realm” came to shape US foreign policy under the Bush administration.
“A Clean Break” (ACB) advocated getting rid of Saddam Hussein, and the destabilisation or overthrow of the governments of Iran, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia for Israel to be truly safe. Many of the same themes were repeated in the Project for the New American Century’s 2000 document “Rebuilding America’s Defences,” which, after the “catastrophic and catalysing event” of 9/11, became the official US policy of “preemptive war” in the US National Security Strategy of 2002, authored by PNAC signatory Paul Wolfowitz.
As the IRmep paper explains, “...no set of policies ever come to fruition without an active and vocal distribution and implementation network.” This small but influential neocon network,” it is argued, “have achieved amazing success at seasoning and baking ACB policy agenda items into a tenuous mold as ‘vital interests’ of the United States itself.”
The IRmep paper damningly concludes: “Many US actions are simply so inexplicable that consideration of their chief benefactor, Israel, is the only reasonable explanation. And as Americans dismiss Arab government charges that Israel is attacking them by proxy across the region, the evidence shows that the Arabs are correct. ‘A Clean Break’ is, at heart, an Israeli proclamation of ‘Dirty War.’”
The spies who love the USA
Indeed, Americans recently got an inkling of just how corrupted their political system has been by Israeli interests, or at least they would have if the mainstream media had given the latest twist in the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) spy scandal the serious attention it deserved. For those who haven’t been following the story on Antiwar.com, where Justin Raimondo, Grant F. Smith, Philip Giraldi and others have written extensively about it, here’s what happened.
Jeff Stein, who writes for Congressional Quarterly, reported in April that two former national security officials had read transcripts of National Security Agency wiretaps in which Democrat Congresswoman Jane Harman was overheard talking to a “suspected Israeli agent” who wanted her to lobby the Justice Department on behalf of two former AIPAC officials under indictment for violating the 1917 Espionage Act. The two lobbyists, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, were charged with passing on classified information about Iran to the press and the Israeli embassy, which they had received from Colonel Lawrence Franklin, who had been a top Iran analyst in Douglas Feith’s office at the Pentagon before Franklin pled guilty to espionage in 2005. In return for Harman’s assistance, the Israeli operativepromised to pressure House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to give Harman the chair of the House Intelligence Committee by threatening to withhold the political contributions of Haim Saban if she didn’t.
It was not a threat to be taken lightly, as Saban, the billionaire Israeli-American media mogul, had been the largest overall contributor to the Democratic National Committee during the 2001-2002 cycle, when, according to Matthew Yglesias, “the party leadership was backing the Iraq War.”
In case there are some outraged Democrats who might protest that Saban’s support for the party was probably not just about Iraq, that he more than likely also approved of the Democrats’ liberal domestic policies, Saban’s own words should disabuse them of that notion. On September 5, 2004 he told the New York Times, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.”
Considering that this self-confessed monomaniac used to spend hours on the phone with Ariel Sharon, the so-called “man of peace” who in a saner world would have been hauled to the Hague for war crimes, Saban’s influence over the Democrats should be cause for concern, to say the least.
Now that the Iraqi “threat” to Israel has been effectively neutralized by the American invasion and seemingly endless occupation (America’s West Bank?), Saban’s current paramount concern appears to be the “existential danger” that Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons now pose to Israel, a state which already hashundreds of nuclear weapons - the only one in the Middle East which does. Yet Israel is also the only one which is not under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the only one which has not acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Despite these facts, Saban’s recent acquisition of Univision, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the US, as part of a wider AIPAC outreach strategy to the growing Hispanic community, is probably intended to convince its 3.7 million viewers of the urgent need to spill more American blood, much of it Hispanic, in curbing the Iranian “threat.”
Lest anyone dismiss Haim Saban as an isolated ideologue attempting to use his wealth - he’s the 102nd richest person in America - to remake US foreign policy in the image of the Likud party, consider that close to 60 percent of Democratic Party funding (compared to 35 percent for the Republican Party) comes from mainly hardline pro-Israeli Jews, unrepresentative of American Jews in general, who tend to be antiwar unless Israel is directly involved.
Rosen, another PNAC signatory, even had the chutzpah to lead the witch-hunt that prevented Charles Freeman from becoming chairman of the National Intelligence Council, practically smearing the respected diplomat as an “anti-Semite” for his failure to confuse American interests with Israel’s. In that key position, Freeman would have been responsible for supplying the President with sound intelligence about genuine threats facing America, as opposed to the fake intelligence that led to the Iraq war, some of which made its way to the White House from Ariel Sharon’s office via Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon, as recounted in Julian Borger’s 2003 Guardian article, “The Spies Who Pushed For War.”
You’d think Rosen would have kept a lower profile at least until his own trial was over, which was ultimately quashed in early May, apparently due to White House pressure. But perhaps he was confident in the knowledge that in Washington Israel’s security is “sacrosanct,” as Obama assured his AIPAC sponsors, whereas America’s security seems to be for sale to the highest bidder, at least as long as most Americans are kept in the dark about the costs of their “special relationship” with Israel.
Dying for a lie
While US taxpayers had subsidised Israel to the tune of at least $108 billion up to 2006 (currently $3 billion a year) the Japanese too have paid dearly for their subordination to a US Empire prone to fight Israel’s wars.
“The seriously ill Japanese economy takes every possible step to prop up the equally ailing US economy, pouring Japanese savings into the black hole of American illiquidity in order to subsidize the US global empire, fund its debt, and finance its over-consumption,” writes McCormack. “Japan has become the sine qua non of Washington’s global, superpower strategy and status.”
Japan’s commitment to the War on Terror has brought added costs. One estimate puts the cost of Japan’s post-9/11 “rear support” at $90 billion. Tokyo promised another $5 billion for rebuilding an Iraq that had been destroyed by lies.
But Japan’s treasure is no longer sufficient to satisfy Washington’s demands of its “client state.”
Richard Armitage, yet another PNAC signatory, once told an Australian audience that an “alliance” meant that “Australian sons and daughters...would be willing to die to help defend the United States. That’s what an alliance means.” As long as the Israel lobby maintains its stranglehold over US foreign policy, that also means being willing to die to defend Israel against its neighbours, who increasingly see its drive for regional hegemony as a real threat to their existence. And as long as Japan remains in the American embrace, it won’t be long before Japanese parents will be expected to make a similar sacrifice.
Now if only there were a powerful Japan lobby in Washington - let’s call it AJPAC - things might be a lot different.
Maidhc Ó Cathail is a freelance writer living in Japan who writes a monthly political column for Kansai Time Out magazine. He also contributes a monthly column to the Irish language internet magazine Beo!