Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 16, 2009

Backlash For AIPAC

by Debs is Dead

I'm telling ya the backlash is a coming. The arrogance of AIPAC and it's attendant Zionist lobbies is unbelievable - it is just the sort of behavior that had the leaders of organised superstition right about "pride coming before the fall". I totally recognise that it won't seem like that at the heart of empire - but the dismissal of the espionage case caused an amount of head scratching from the citizenry. That being followed so soon after by such blatant obeisance to a foreign lobby will be duly noted by the citizenry and it will come back to bite every AIPAC aligned pol on the ass sooner than most can comprehend.

If I was Jewish and and living in America I would be ceaseless in my haranguing of these megalomaniacs to stop now! - because when the shit does hit the fan it will be the average Jewish American who will bear the brunt of the community backlash. There is a delicate balance to be struck if one is living as part of a cohesive minority culture within a much larger host culture.

Some members of the smaller culture can be tempted to play the power game whereby the smaller culture concentrates 'power players' together in a way that rarely happens in the larger culture, where each 'person of standing' is dissipated for want of a better word, amongst the general populace. When this does happen, forms of nepotism, cronyism and a 'one hand scratches the other' accepted reality takes hold - eventually to the point where the players imagine that 'everyone is in on the game' and then they convince themselves that they are impervious to consequences.

Of course this model isn't confined to ethnicities - organised societies such as the freemasons can make this mistake; when they do and larger society finally catches up the price is high. The masons are all but dead here now. The reaction from a larger society sick of jobbery and corruption, was to ensure that anyone believed to be associated with that organisation didn't get a promotion, didn't get the contract. No one wanted to let masons in lest they took the place over.

A mob of the old lodges, many of which are 'architecturally interesting' buildings have fallen into disrepair, torn down for a 'medical centre' or the carpark of a mall, or been sold as 'conversation piece' homes. The freemason who told me this was really angry about it - not at the larger society's prejudice and paranoia although that was pretty over the top when I was growing up here, but at the short-sightedness of the greedy pricks who corrupted freemasonry for selfish ends.

A lot of these types didn't join a lodge to tickle the palms of the powerful, most masons probably joined because it was an established family tradition dating back centuries, brought here from Scotland. A place where men enjoyed the camaraderie of their fellow members a couple of evenings a month.

Some Hindu citizens of the subcontinent have been known to refer to Sikhs as 'the Jews of India'. Sikhs position within Indian society does parallel that of Jews in some western cultures. There are some very powerful Sikhs in the political and business elites of India but also within the military (Sikhs make up 10–15% of all ranks in the Indian Army and 20% of its officers, whilst Sikhs only form 1.87% of the Indian population, which makes them over 10 times more likely to be a soldier and officer in the Indian Army than the average Indian.- wikipedia), a situation yet to develop with Jews in America but the close integration between American forces and the IDF could change that.

Few in India would take issue with the numbers of Sikhs within the elite - except when the larger community forms an opinion that these powerful Sikhs are plotting together to gain advantage over the larger community. Then there is a backlash from the community. When that happens it is rarely the members of the Sikh elite who get chased by mobs and have their homes set afire. No it is the ordinary shitkicker Sikh going about his business that cops the wrath of the backlash.

The same thing will happen in America, very soon, probably after there is a major 'reversal' ie a defeat in Afghanistan with major casualties, and the wider community will be looking for a scapegoat.

Do the over-confident assholes of AIPAC really believe all those arrogant senators and congresspeople enjoy being made to show obeisance to them? Sure some of these pols will have lapped up the swill of Zionist propaganda - most pols like to have some easily accessible ideology to cling to as their rationale for the chicanery they get up to.

But most pols have formed their self-justifying hodgepodge of ideals snatched from the grab bag of 'acceptable' 'American' religious and political beliefs, long before they become powerful enough to pique AIPAC's interest. Those pols would prolly like nothing better than to see the current 'flavour of the month' ideology used to excuse their evildoing, cop its comeuppance.

Sure self preservation will make pols slow to act - most will wait until they are certain there are votes to be won from kicking organised Zionism in the nuts. Even so a few confident careerists will have a punt in one of those career making or breaking moves that if successful will have their peers cursing to themselves for 'not thinking of it first' as they leap onto the bandwagon.

The first sign of a backlash will most likely be from the same cabal of right wing blogs and facist shock-jocks that nutured the Zionist lobby into what the lobby imagines is its 'unassailable position'.

You see the Cheney roadshow won't get much traction, because getting to the right of Stepinfetchit particularly on America's militaristic imperialism, is pretty much impossible (Incidentally the asshole has just kicked yer constitution back out the door as he brings back imprisonment without due process less than two months after he 'promised' to be rid of it. Ha! another knee to the groin of the dkos and firedog lake peaceniks who imagined that a dem prez would restore the constitution and a digression) so when the die hard rethugs realise that being more militaristic than stepinfetchit just isn't possible they will hunt around for something to discredit the way that oblamblamblam goes about killing unwhite folks.

So a reversal on the battlefield, most likely Afghanistan will have rethugs looking for a point of difference between dem and rethug methodology. Not easy because you can't fit a rizla between the two on killing Muslims - except, the rethugs will say; "We didn't climb totally into Israel's back pocket" (yeah right) "No" they'll continue "lookit what we did when we found that Israel had gone too far and taken advantage of 'the special relationship' We charged them with espionage and what is practically the first thing these liberal wimps do? they let those foreign spies go free - that's what".

Now the first few times this is said it certainly won't be outta the mouth of a proper pol ie not a senator or a congressperson, it will come from a 'known hardline conservative' and all eyes will be on the larger population to see how they react. measuring 'buy-in'. There will be considerable buy-in while 'respected pols' try "this isn't about race it's about whether this administration's first loyalty is to the people of America or to citizens of a foreign country".

Followed up with "the reason we aren't making any headway in '.....'(I'm not going to use the current dehumanising nym for the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan but you know the term I mean -DiD) isn't the fault of our troops (dutiful pause while everyone metaphorically salutes the cannon fodder) it is because we aren't following our priorities, we are sacrificing those to the priorities of a foreign country." blah blah blah it will go on, and, if as is highly likely - especially from the politics is a game of football mob - this line does get neanderthal rethugs more animated than they've been since Katrina - it will be game on.

AIPAC will find out there is nothing truer than the saying one week a rooster - next week a feather duster. Meanwhile ordinary, normal Jewish Americans find themselves being asked to answer why it is that 'you people' put loyalty to a foreign nation ahead of loyalty to Amerika the nation which 'gave you people everything'.

It can't happen? Just wait and soon you'll see it happen.

Remember this. The one thing we can be sure of is nothing stays the same. AIPAC is currently at the top and that means there is only one way for them to move - DOWN!

Posted by b on May 16, 2009 at 6:17 UTC | Permalink


[wadosy comments deleted - b.]

Posted by: b | May 16 2009 8:47 utc | 1

Can't happen soon enough

Posted by: Ognir | May 16 2009 8:58 utc | 2

Intruiging commentary Debs, particularly the suggestion that AIPAC will eventually come under fire from the right. However, you appear to conflate AIPAC with American Jews, and I am not so sure how valid that is. AIPAC neither reflects the interests nor depends on the support of middle-class American Jews, a majority of whom appear to have lost enthusiasm for the Zionist project; rather, the organization is supported by a small coterie of conservative Jewish billionaires, such as Sheldon Adelson, Gary Erlbaum and Edgar Bronfman (at least one of whom has fortunately had his wings clipped by the financial crisis). Hence, I question whether the anticipated backlash against AIPAC will have much effect on "ordinary Jewish families".

I highly recommend the following video (90 mins) of a recent lecture by Norman Finkelstein at Evergreen College, in which he discussed the evolution of the dual-allegiance issue you allude to above, and the rise and fall of support for Israel among American Jews. I don't think NF contradicts anything you say, just elaborates the issues in more detail and perhaps with more nuance. He cites polls, BTW, which suggest support for Israel among middle-class American Jews has fallen below 50% and is destined to decline further.

Norman Finkelstein - The Coming Breakup of American Zionism, Part 1

Posted by: Colin | May 16 2009 9:00 utc | 3

Ali Gharib/IPS: Lobbies Gear Up Ahead of Bibi-Barack Meet

In his Wall Street Journal opinion article, Abrams says it’s not outlandish for a Democrat to lose the support of U.S. Jews: "It can happen," he says, citing President Jimmy Carter’s (1977–1981) reelection bid, when his Jewish support dropped from 71 percent to 45 percent.

Abrams hinges his opinion on the issue of what to do about Iran’s alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, which has emerged as one of the likeliest points of contention between Obama and Netanyahu: The U.S. is laying the groundwork for engagement with Iran and Israel has hinted that further nuclear development may lead to a unilateral Israeli attack.

"[I]f Mr. Obama is tougher on Mr. Netanyahu than [Iranian leaders], it won’t take long for nerves to fray [among U.S. Jews]," Abrams wrote.

But M.J. Rosenberg of the Israel Policy Forum, a pro-peace group that recently sent its own letter, signed by four former U.S. ambassadors, calling for the "immediate renewal of U.S.-mediated Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel" and a freeze on West Bank construction, disagrees.

"It should be noted that despite what some may think, American Jews are Americans and, it must be said, overwhelmingly Democratic," he wrote last Friday. "They will back their president if he pushes hard for Middle East peace."

That is a big IF of course.

Posted by: Colin | May 16 2009 9:21 utc | 4

I don't really think it matters if AIPAC has the support of US Jews or not. It is so powerful now that it can easily squeeze the rich donors by threatening to out them. They may not like the rules but there are benefits to staying within the group rather than being exiled as a despicable self hating Jew.

the rabid right has never really accepted the Jews anyway as far as I can tell. They probably admire their ballsiness and wish they too could just plink away at their enemies with no fear of punishment but at the end of the day those are the guys who killed Jesus and that just doesn't sit well with the born agains and evangelicals.

but more importantly, the fear of being labeled anti-semitic is huge in the US. I have had a conversation where a man actually corrected me when I spoke of a Jew, he said I should say Jewish person instead...and this in slightly more than a whisper. Everyone talks about the Jews at barbeques and dinner parties and all kinds of stereotypes and biases come out but never will anyone publicly say those things. Hell, until a few years ago you couldn't even write about it on blogs like the SmirkingChimp without getting your comments deleted. Now there is some commentary and it is importantly coming from Jewish writers who are able to do so with only the threat of being called a self-hating Jew coming from people like Pamela Geller and her ilk. But it is confined to low traffic blogs and never ever will it be on corporate media. and if it aint on teevee, it didn't happen

in Germany elections are coming up and the parties have their billboards everywhere. I saw one from the Republican Party that said very clearly Islamisten Raus! (Islamists out!) and was actually shocked. I wondered what other religion you could put in there and get away with it and finally decided that any one would work except one. but the fact that Germans would express the same kind of sentiments toward people they do not consider their own so forcefully a mere 60 years after doing some really serious expression of dislike kind of took me back. It is the same in the US, we are taught to fear and loathe Islamics because they stay to themselves and have a funny religion, we are taught to pity and admire the Jews because they stay to themselves and have a funny religion. I guess that makes sense to someone though I don't really get it.

Posted by: dan of steele | May 16 2009 9:34 utc | 5

I'm not sure wadosy's comments should have been deleted. They were of course rote, pointing out several repositories of antisemitism in U.S. culture that have by circumstances been neutralized or co-opted. I'm not totally clear on what "other" sorts of backlash Debs is talking about that would target average Jewish people if it were not some kind of resurgence of antisemitism, or guilt by association with the Israeli government by association to AIAPC.

Posted by: anna missed | May 16 2009 9:54 utc | 6

I get the feeling that Debs is banking on the ying yang effect, towit, I say the banking ying yang effect took 3 years too long to correct it self.

Yes, but who has a permanent land based aircraft carrier on the shores of the east meditterean?

You predict the end, of AIPAC, the cost will be huge.

Posted by: Cloned Poster | May 16 2009 9:58 utc | 7

[comment via email from Debs is Dead]

OK. Firstly I am well aware that a substantial segment of jewish amerikans don't support the zionist project, which is why they should be at the forefront of reining AIPAC in, not because they are any more responsible for this mess than any one else, they aren't, but out of self preservation, because like the ordinary middle class Sikhs have discovered from time to time in India, it is they that the rabid portion of the larger community turns on, anyone who is available and appears to fit the stereotype.

Honestly can you really see any other way this can end? AIPAC has become so arrogant and self assured in their despicable conduct, spying on their allies, chasing respected academics out of their jobs, persuading amerikans that the idealistic sons and daughters of amerika like Rachel Corrie were terrorists, that there can only be one conclusion to this ugliness.

Amerika now has a much bigger and richer aircraft carrier in the ME, Iraq, don't imagine for one moment that some in the empire's foreign policy engine room haven't come to the conclusion that the biggest obstacle to imperial hegemony over the arab world is arabs' belief that amerika is too close to israel.

Who knows how far the backlash against aipac will really go, but consider this. Some of the aipac bosses are fairly sharp and therefore must know that judeophobia is no longer a significant issue for most jews in the west. Knowing that they must also recognise the inherent danger of repetitively claiming that amerika and europe are still 'anti-semitic' as they like to call it. That is mainstream citizens will turn off and others, those who make up life's natural bigots will turn against them claiming that "see the jews don't even quit when they are ahead".
In other words, at least some in aipac must recognise they have a bull by the horns and that their choices are limited and getting more so as time passes.

Unless aipac can be made to wither which is a big ask made near impossible by the insane attitudes of israel's elected politicians, there will be a backlash and, as I said before, it is far more likely to come from the right than the left.

amerikans have been well trained to pay those on the left no mind no matter how well intentioned or rational what the 'leftie' says may sound to them.

The opposite is true of loony rightists who get the oxygen for propagating the most outrageous and egregious swill. Assassinate Chavez, nuke the iranians, all the sort of stuff which a rational society would dismiss outta hand as the ravings of a nutter, are seriously reported then debated, so just from a logistic point of view, the push against jews must come from the right.
And it will blow out to a generalised attack on jews no matter how it may start as an attack on corrupt lobbysits pushing zionism, because that is so much easier to sell to society at large.

It shouldn't be but it is - because those old, probably instinctive fears of someone who is of a different culture are much easier to crank up to a passion than asking joe "I'm pissed my job has gone and amerika isn't respected anymore" the plumber to rationally analyse the forces at work within amerika's political process that allowed another nation's priorities to be put ahead of amerika's own.

We can all hope that amerikan jews won't be put in the same spot as japanese or arab amerikans have been pushed - to have to prove a negative - that they don't favour israel over their own country, but honestly who really believes that the crazy juggernaut which has every pol from the prez down kissing ass and sacrificing amerika's best interests, can just be quietly wound down?

Historically these sorts of divisions between a local community's best interest and minority support to sacrifice that for a distant 'purer motive' end with a bang not a whimper. The closest parallel I can think of was in england when a substantial chunk of the ruling elite wanted to go back to catholicism. Sure a few token elite catholics lost their heads but most of the blood that was split was that of the 'true believers' ordinary xtians whose belief system didn't allow them to swap their allegiances around as if they were a pair of shorts.
Now I hasten to add I don't believe for one moment that amerika is going to go through schism like that, but I do reckon that in both cases the minority opinion is too committed to just 'back off'.

Politics may not follow the arc of a pendulum - swing that far to the right then neatly swing back to the left the same distance, but equally, no political position is ever in stasis.
The careerism which motivates professional politicians means that every strongly held tenet is eventually swapped for it's opposite equally strongly held tenet, otherwise the same bludgers would stay in control for ever, and young dentally correct 'up and comers' with an easy smile and no scruples would never make it outta their law practice.

As soon as a political cause reaches it's zenith it begins to wane. Why? because it's purpose has been fulfilled. It has carried a mob of self serving assholes to the heights of power, and that means those that desire to replace those self serving assholes can only do so by singing a different tune.

I don't reckon yer average middle of the road redneck rethug pol has ever been entirely happy with the zionist project anyhow. Sure it was a favourite amongst the bible bashing thickos that are needed to make up the numbers at the ballot box, but that same mob was just as happy voting for rethugs when they were reminded how the commie jews murdered jesus.

Of course practicalities come in to play as well.

aipac spread a mob of money round both sides of the empire party - so they got both sides to sing the song. Thing is now that times are tight, and the madoff mob have made off with a heap of the moola that financed aipac's legislative payola, right when everyone is feeling the pinch (apart from the banksters that is, and their agenda is very different from aipac's) it is gonna be tough to wet everyone's beak next election.

So if the dems are still in the box seat at the '10 mid terms, maybe aipac will have to get all pragmatic and point their now limited resources to the side they reckon most likely to win. Somehow I doubt they will be so silly as to cut all the rethugs off, but even so it is likely that a lot of pols are gonna get less in '10 than they did in '08.

Materialist types are weird about these things. You give a materialist nothing, ever, and the chances are he's not gonna hate you as much as he dislikes the bloke who gave him $100 every week until he ran out of dosh. That is the bloke who is really gonna cop a materialist's wrath, because Mr materialist had come to depend on that money and regard it as his - even before he got it. So now it doesn't feel as if mr generosity had just turned off the tap - it feels like that asshole, who acts like he's so good to me, has stolen $100 a week, straight outta my pocket.

Sure there is a lot of supposition here but it is informed supposition lol.
None of us have a crystal ball, but every time I think about the way the amerikan body politic has been captured by aipac, and consider where it could possibly go from where it now is, everything points to a backlash - As I reckon I have shown, there is simply nowhere else for it to go.

[end comment via email from Debs is Dead]

Posted by: b | May 16 2009 12:22 utc | 8

I fully agree w/Deb's premise, comparisons to Germany past, Free Mason analogy and even India's similarly incestuous caste structures... all as relevant comparisons to AIPAC's bizarre influence of US policy. I also think her last +/- 25% of musings through less tangible abstractions diffuse focus from the main point.

With that said, IMO larger point is missed. I've watched US econ collapse very, very closely going back to at least 3/08, and have not only stayed ahead of collective-media-electronic-lobotomy of US public's minds but prospered during this time. I see absurd daily commentary on CNBC, WSJ and just about everything else pumping current S&P sucker's rally, projecting growth for which there is no foundation, etc etc. And I see fed's balance sheet of assumed toxic assets losing value faster than DOW of last quarter, BO's policies refinancing the crooks who stole US' collective savings/investments, and an utter... UTTER failure to do anything w/last vestiges of Treasury's assets to promote meaningful econ activity.

So AFAIC, the larger point missed is that in pursuit of W's Iraq adventure some years ago at behest of array of AIPAC placed policy wonks which accelerated both US collective moral grounding while simeoultaneously draining funds at enormous rates to the point of financing these mis-adventures with Chinese bond purchases... the US is broke. The economic engines we had as recently as 2000 are gone... literally. We have a collective econ conscious primed to expect return of good times on another bubble, and I see no initiative here beyond that.

Seems damn clear to me that US' influence over matters AIPAC has directed our resources to are near end of finance cycle... eg. again, we are broke and there's no hope on the way. And at least in my mind, that these fine jewish "thinkers"... Feith, Abrams and all the rest who got us here, knowing full well their ruthlessness in pursuit of narrow zionist objectives, done as supposed agents of US government while entirely undermining the same... this entire episode is one of orchestrated decline of US at the service of a few Zionist preservationists. And incredibly... as in OMFG how stupid can people be, with wasteland littering these efforts both here and all over ME, we are still having public discussions about fine points of anti-semitism as focal point in supporting these fuckers.

As a metaphor, I'd compare this to Satan being focal point of theological discussion of the resurrection and it's meaning.

US public deserves exactly what it's getting.

Posted by: jdmckay | May 16 2009 12:53 utc | 9


You're a brave soul for opening this can of worms.

One point I'd like to make is that when the average angry-american starts focusing his/her anger it will not be reasoned anger, but anger that reaches out to the weakest perceived instigators and that will be unfortunate individuals who happen to fit the angry mob's loose idea of oppressor.

Think Germany after the Reichstag fire and the un-holy anger unleashed upon German Jews... If this scenario comes to play in america... it will split americans into at least two sides that will bicker with each other rather than focus on the evil perps.

I'm kind of fuzzy this morning and I don't think I'm making my point: I am trying to say that what AIPAC, and its congressional minions, are attempting to do is to define all their underhanded dealings as "cultural protections" (keeping the Jewish people safe from future Pogromes) when in reality they are the same greed-driven power grabs political/business types have been using to scam the broader populations since before there were "jews" and "muslims" and "christians".

The power elite are purposely using elusive language to hide their true intent... and the broader population individually hears what they want to hear: the bible-thumpers hear prophecy about to come true and Jesus' return to earth; redneck jews hear they are gonna get a safe haven from Nazi-like persecution; average Joes hear there will finally be peace and prosperity; conspiracy freaks hear nothing but crazy new world order plans (which keeps us happy)

The powerful have learned the magic of how language divides people, 'cause you and I can't even agree on what color "blue" is, let alone agree on whether it's Bolshevik Jews or Nazi white supremacists that are the cause of all the world's problems (neither, it's the rich fuckers, duh!)

I wish that humans would stick to calling themselves "humans" rather than all these silly labels that separate us without defining how we relate to one another.

Can it be any more basic than that? Human; simple, elegant and a word that defines every christian, muslim, jew, american, russian, cuban, black, white, tan, yellow, or even on St Paddy's day, green, person that has ever lived. These words are the jingoistic, stupid reasons we use to hate all the other humans we share the planet with.

Once we stop thinking of our neighbors as "others" and see that they are much like us, we will stop wanting to kill, maim, steal or enslave them.

Posted by: DavidS | May 16 2009 14:38 utc | 10

There is one way out: the "two-state solution". I'm hearing it more and more, from American and Israelis alike. Of course, this is not a real solution, only a postponement, or worse, but it will be sold to Americans as creative, compassionate, forward-looking change.

Posted by: senecal | May 16 2009 14:39 utc | 11

I like Senecal's two state solution. Let's go for it! Two states--Israel and America, separate and distinct.

Posted by: JohnH | May 16 2009 14:54 utc | 12

JohnH-Hee Hee Hee :)

Posted by: DavidS | May 16 2009 15:07 utc | 13

jdmckay says it well. US is broke. But the indications seem to be that this has put nary a dent in the swaggering projection of military power as the surrogate for accepting the fate of coming down to earth and being just another nation-state.

As to the whole backlash thing, logical as it seems -- and perhaps wishful thinking by many of us in a more benign form (slap down AIPAC good and hard once and for all) -- the persistence of the symbiosis between AIPAC and US pols/media, etc., has defied gravity for so long its hard to imagine it's ending. It is an architecture that defies reason, and perhpas that's the rub; it's built on a sturdy foundation of emotional maimpulation.

Posted by: DonS | May 16 2009 15:16 utc | 14

Debs is in a familiar position -- wrong.
He was wrong before that "the citizenry" of Iraq would demand a US military pullout, and has now apparently recanted and recognized the permanence of the "bigger and richer aircraft carrier in the ME, Iraq."
And he's wrong again that US "mainstream citizens" will have any effect on limiting The Lobby. The simple facts are that (1) The Lobby controls the largest single bloc of campaign financing in the US and that (2) Money talks and BS walks, every time. Especially Debs's.

Posted by: Don Bacon | May 16 2009 15:48 utc | 15

#15 is right, backlash ain't going to happen. Fact is AIPAC members work harder than just about anybody. MOA commentators and AIPAC critics couldn't even organize a ice cream social. Dream on.

Posted by: Johnny Staccato | May 16 2009 16:39 utc | 16

I agree with Debs, but substitute NAACP for AIPAC. Ironically, AIPAC will help drive that wedge as deep as it will go, because it will distract from their machinations. As the U.S. economy continues to deteriorate, a threshold will be reached in which scapegoats must be found, flushed out, and persecuted. Those scapegoats will be significant minorities, most notably African Americans with Hispanics taking a close second. When Obama fails, and he will, African Americans will reap the wrath of a entrenching and resurgent fascist right block. It's going to be ugly, folks. All those old hatreds, buried just beneath the veneer of political correctness, are going to come out of the closet with forceful fury. AIPAC will more than kindly oblige such strife. Afterall, in their view, African Americans rejected Jewish American support during the civil rights crusade, so when things start heating up, for real, that former support will be quite the opposite.

I hope against hope none of the above comes to fruition, but I can't help but see it approaching with purposeful rapidity. I know one thing, I don't want to be here to witness it. I have no camp. I refuse to partake in a conflict that is being fometed by social engineers as we speak.

Posted by: Obamageddon | May 16 2009 17:12 utc | 17


That's a first, for me, to know that Sikhs are a sort of 'Jews of India'. And I'm not sure whether they'd be happy with the comparisons, given the current behaviour of the said ethnic group. I have little patience for a group which use history as an excuse to browbeat others into silence but not learn from the very same texts that pogroms all start with a kernel of truth and quickly spirals into targetted killings of entire villages. i.e. tax collections in Poland and the revolt of the peasantry.

But I digress. Coming to Sikhs, I really do not see the victimhood part from the chaps I meet. When Indira Gandhi died, the mob went after Sikhs BUT they'd have gone after Biharis or a Marathi if the ethnicity of the killers had been different. Such was the sycophancy around the Gandhi family. Still is, going by the current elections.

As for the Sikhs? After 14 commissioned enquiries, no justice.

The last 300 years has been brutal to the border state from Afghans, Mughals, the British and finally Partition. Yes, there is a sense of victimhood but not due to their supposed wealth were they attacked.

The sweep of history which I think is not something one can control, is it?

And your post makes it sound as though they're not part of India(though, they have every reason to think so after Indira's assassination). They're still the same, boisterous, courageous, kind and generous.

Posted by: shanks | May 16 2009 17:42 utc | 18

re: "bigger and richer aircraft carrier in the ME, Iraq."

Actually, that would be Kuwait.

The US is occupying something like 20% to 30% of the total land area of Kuwait. Right now it's the "rear with the gear" as the saying goes, but could easily return to main "aircraft carrier" status. Not to mention Bahrain (Navy base).

Of course, the National Security State always wants more bases, rather than fewer.

Posted by: matter | May 16 2009 18:15 utc | 19

Debs' commentary reminded me of Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land where Tony Judt said that he feared a backlash in American society. M.J. Rosenberg at TPM has also blogged about fearing a backlash, as has Phil Weiss. However, in the documentary mentioned above, journalist Robert Fisk also warned of the mainstreaming of anti-semite views if the current situation of silencing critics continues.

I am afraid that when the backlash comes (if it does) it will be from the radical right with a conflation of Jews and the fundamentalist zionists (which progressive critics of Israel do not make). I think we saw a beginning of that with Kim Hendren. When I first read about that, a chill went down my spine. I can only hope that AIPAC paid attention ... unless that's what they are hoping. Will we still dare to criticize once the real anti-semites have come out of the woodwork? Wouldn't it be easier then to conflate the backlash with anti-semitism? Something that AIPAC would very much like see happening now with the current critics of Israel. Are we fighting an already lost battle?

Posted by: ptw | May 16 2009 19:51 utc | 20

DiD's argument is premised upon the connections between Israel and the US becoming an obvious burden for the citizenry, as in 'we can't pay for your dialysis machine because it costs us billions a year to finance the IDF's adventures in Gaza and Lebanon.'

The current economic situation is one in which budget priorities are very likely to be examined. And, if Debs were alive he'd be barnstorming the states doing the appropriate cost/benefit analysis in front of the taxpayers. So, if only in self defence, would every demagogue and aspiring politician in the land.
The issue, with states going bankrupt and both jobs and services disappearing, is an easy one to raise. Not least because the real basis of Israel's ability to bully at will is not its military might, nor its allies in Europe and America but the brittle and rapidly disintegrating dictatorships in Egypt, Ramallah, Jordan and Arabia which, at the cost of several billions a year in sordid bribery, are holding down and holding back the masses.
In short DiD is only saying what anyone who fears racism understands which is that AIPAC is guaranteeing a revival of anti-semitism. And why not? Zionism needs anti-semitism, ruthless zionists would like nothing better than to see its revival. Their stock in trade, after all, is a 'refuge for Jews' endangered, as they always have been and will be (so goes the zionist theory) among the gentiles.

It's a 'win win' deal: either AIPAC gets everything it asks for or the Jewish community, most of which has more grown up priorities, is driven back into Israel or its defence.

Posted by: ellis | May 16 2009 23:52 utc | 21

AIPAC critics couldn't even organize a ice cream social

visited jstreet lately?

as for MOA commentators Johnny, you aren't invited to our next social!

Posted by: annie | May 17 2009 1:28 utc | 22


Speaking of Iran and that region, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sent out a "Dear Colleague" e-mail Tuesday asking for signatures "to the attached letter to President Obama regarding the Middle East peace process."

The letter says the usual stuff, emphasizing that Washington "must be both a trusted mediator and a devoted friend to Israel" and noting: "Israel will be taking the greatest risks in any peace agreement."

Curiously, when we opened the attachment, we noticed it was named "AIPAC Letter Hoyer Cantor May 2009.pdf."

Seems as though someone forgot to change the name or something. AIPAC? The American Israel Public Affairs Committee? Is that how this stuff works? cs

Posted by: rio | May 17 2009 2:11 utc | 23

I disagree with the idea that a backlash is coming. DiD really has one sound argument in the whole post: “Amerika now has a much bigger and richer aircraft carrier in the ME, Iraq”.

Is this good enough reason for the establishment to drop its support for Israel? I highly doubt that. It is not about how much support Aipac has in the Jewish community, it is about how much Israel is able to serve the US interests in the area.

There is no way the ecurity establishment would let an important-from the security as well as from the resources pov- country lose its protection. The US-Israel relationship is not about what Obama or any other President thinks or has some grand ideas about resolving problems in the Middle East, it is about how the Pentagon sees the strategic situation in the area.

Obama can make as much noise as he can or float as many grand designs for some permanent settlement; he will fail to get them by the Pentagon in the near future. That is where the Aipac or Israel’s real strength lies.

So far the Obama admin is backtracking on every single issue that has some conflict with the Pentagon positions. From Gitmo to now the Abu Gharib pictures. It took one visit to the WH by Gen. Odienro and the whole moral high plank that Obama tried to occupy during the campaign and afterwards, came tumbling down and the O admin brazenly backtracked from its earlier promises. When the Pentagon needed to release those pictures, they were conveniently leaked to Seymour Hersch but now they are state secrets again and the release would hurt the soldier’s lives.

The O admin tried to “develop” some new policy in Af-Pak sector, but as we see it backtracked there too and the Pentagon is in charge of US relations with Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Just continue watching this drama. The O admin might win one or two battles in the next four years but mostly it will follow whatever is in the US security interests and the Pentagon has complete control in that area. After the Iraq invasion, Bush and Cheney were mostly fighting fires that were ignited by different agencies and they got in line quickly. The O admin will get in line even faster.

Posted by: Hasho | May 17 2009 3:08 utc | 24

After posting #24, I went to read Glen Greenwald and he has listed actions form the last week alone. Pentagon is the common thread.

From Salon:
Indeed, all week long, and even before that, the greatest enthusiasm for Obama's decisions on so-called "terrorism policies" and civil liberties (with some important exceptions)has been found in the pages of The Weekly Standard and National Review.

Can anyone deny what the NYT and Post are pointing out today? This is what happened this week alone in the realm of Obama's approach to "national security" and civil liberties:

Monday - Obama administration's letter to Britian threatening to cut off intelligence-sharing if British courts reveal the details of how we tortured British resident Binyam Mohamed;

Tuesday - Promoted to military commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, who was deeply involved in some of the worst abuses of the Bush era;

Wednesday - Announced he was reversing himself and would try to conceal photographic evidence showing widespread detainee abuse -- despite the rulings from two separate courts(four federal judges unanimously) that the law compels their disclosure;

Friday - Unveiled his plan to preserve a modified system of military commissions for trying Guantanamo detainees, rather than using our extant-judicial processes for doing so.

Posted by: Hasho | May 17 2009 3:33 utc | 25

After posting #24, I went to read Glen Greenwald and he has listed actions form the last week alone. Pentagon is the common thread.

Indeed, all week long, and even before that, the greatest enthusiasm for Obama's decisions on so-called "terrorism policies" and civil liberties (with some important exceptions) has been found in the pages of The Weekly Standard and National Review.
Can anyone deny what the NYT and Post are pointing out today? This is what happened this week alone in the realm of Obama's approach to "national security" and civil liberties:
Monday - Obama administration's letter to Britian threatening to cut off intelligence-sharing if British courts reveal the details of how we tortured British resident Binyam Mohamed;
Tuesday - Promoted to military commander in Afghanistan Gen. Stanley McChyrstal, who was deeply involved in some of the worst abuses of the Bush era;
Wednesday - Announced he was reversing himself and would try to conceal photographic evidence showing widespread detainee abuse -- despite the rulings from two separate courts (four federal judges unanimously) that the law compels their disclosure;
Friday - Unveiled his plan to preserve a modified system of military commissions for trying Guantanamo detainees, rather than using our extant-judicial processes for doing so.

Posted by: Hasho | May 17 2009 3:36 utc | 26

I recognize a suggestion that an anti-Jewish backlash is coming in the US and that it will come from the right. This is misguided. This survey">">survey shows how Democrats are more likely to blame the Jews for the economic crisis, which suggests, perhaps counter-intuitively, that it is the American "progressive" quasi-left that is most anti-Semitic in current Amerika.

Posted by: Zemoralist | May 17 2009 3:43 utc | 27

Debs is basically right. It's just not obvious how it is going to work in the detail.

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about an event about a month ago, which interested me as an indicator of the way things might be going in the US.

As you know, I'm a Brit, and I happen to be over in the US at the moment teaching a class in a Californian university for a couple of months. At the beginning of April, I went with my daughter to hear the Angry Arab debate with the Israeli Consul General at San Francisco University - the affair is discussed on his blog. Well, after the standard openings, it became pretty evident that the audience was quite hostile to the Consul-General, and started catcalling and barracking him. Me, I thought, I've never seen this in the US before, great chance, let's see how far we can push him. By the end of the session, the Consul-General ran out of defences and was reduced to mumbling that we were out of sync with the rest of the world. What he meant by that, of course, was that we were out of sync with Israel's vision of the world, which he took to be also valid in the US; there's no way an Israeli diplomat in Europe would dare say that.

Funnily enough the affair doesn't come over like that in the Angry Arab's blog. Firstly it turns out he is quite self-centered, only interested in himself, but more importantly, after thinking about it, I reckon he was afraid, if he'd told the truth, of attacks on his (tenured) university post (for organising a barracking of the CG (which he did not do; it was spontaneous)).

That last fear is one of the strongest impressions I have of the pro-Arab/pro-Muslim camp in the US at the moment. They are very much on the defensive, in a way that seems to me, as an outsider, unjustified. I sat last week through an hour's film about what "a billion Muslims think"; it was about a Gallup poll. But in fact it was an hour's excusing of American Muslims over 9/11.

Personally, I think now's the the time to be more positive. That one event in SFU showed what could be done. In a way I felt it was a sort of turning point - well as I recognise that SF is hardly typical.

Posted by: alex | May 17 2009 4:01 utc | 28

When Obama fails, and he will, African Americans will reap the wrath of a entrenching and resurgent fascist right block.

as if its ever been any different

Posted by: jony_b_cool | May 17 2009 4:20 utc | 29

I think Debs covers this in his original comment, but I'm a slow learner -- how exactly is this anti-AIPAC sentiment going to arise in the US Congress, which is 100% intimidated/controlled by AIPAC?

If it doesnt arise there, how is it going to arise anywhere among the US public, which can only think in binary terms -- good/bad, liberal/conservative,intellectual elites/good ol' boys?

OK, scapegoating is the mechanism, and Rove and his minions will pull fourteen Jews out of the hat! Still, it feels like a long-shot.

Posted by: senecal | May 17 2009 4:29 utc | 30

[comment by Debs is Dead via email]

@shanks good to hear from you although I do have to dispute your contention that my comment about Sikhs being the 'jews of India' a comment I have heard more as an aside than a direct accusation from other Indians when a sikh businessman or politician is caught at something fairly naughty. In fact the last time I heard it was just the other day from a friend of mine embarrassed by the sleazy activities of this chap a new politician in a new government. Indian citizens are both pleased to see the compatriots suceed in political involvement and hugely embarassed by any mistakes or crookedness those pols make. Another time a pol caught up to no good was dismissed as being a 'Fijian Indian" and therefore of no account. Humans find it easier to dismiss others if they can reclassify them as someone unlike themselves.

The point I was trying to make was not that Sikhs are some sort of professional victim as some jews may try to pretend they are but that Sikhs are a minority culture within a larger culture - a position which as I outlined before, can give some well placed Sikhs great power to abuse the whole society Sikhs included, but which also leaves other ordinary citizen Sikhs greatly exposed when the corrupt get caught.

As I'm sure you are aware shanks the occasional attacks on the Sikh community are not all related to the assassination of Mrs Gandhi. Anti-sikh riots were cranked up in the 60's, particularly in the Punjab when some pols found it convenient for their larger ends. Unlike the pograomns against Sikhs in the late 40's which were primarily between Indian muslims and Sikhs, the 60's pogroms were the work of Hindu 'community leaders' who felt that the Sikh push to create the Sikh state in the Punjab which Nehru was alleged to have promised Sikh's back in the 40's, would disadvantage them. The death of Mrs Gandhi in 1984 was the result of sikh hindu conflict which became worse during the 70's rather than the cause of it.
As far as how I feel about Sikhs I wasn't aware that was germane, but my first wife's family are Sikhs, Indian army types who were among the first to move to Chandigarh when it was founded after independence. They certainly consider themselves to be Indian and I have never considered them to be anything else. When I stayed with them (a long time ago now) they showed themselves to be friendly, good company, hospitable and gracious hosts.

But as we know history is a subjective bugger if it weren't we wouldn't have much to talk about in here.

Whether I believe the amerikan colonisation of Iraq will last (I don't see it existing in 2015) or not is irrelevant to my point. What is relevant is what the imperial elite believe. They believe that their toehold in the ME has now become a stranglehold. They have bases spread across the ME right up to the Iranian border and it is that belief by them that determine how necessary they consider kissing israel's butt, especially if they believe that doing so weakens the 'stranglehold'.

Pseudo liberals and lefties who try to personalise discussions, mix half assed new age socialism with fervent nationalism, and remind me of the last time those that claimed all men are equal but some are more equal than others came to power by claiming to be able to mix socialism and nationalism together to create 'national socialism'.

There is the contradiction inherent in those who claim to be 'of the left' or 'humanist' but who support the murderous amerikan empire. Any successful result would create a world far less safe, more capricious and completely oppressive than anything even a corporate capitalist could dream up. The corporatist will stop when there is unlikely to be a further gain to the 'bottom line' - but the ethno-pseudsocialist' whose primary motivation is actually misanthropic, claims to have ideals on their side and so keeps going until every last human has been classified as fit to be embraced or shot.

I promised myself that if I posted at MoA again I would ignore them and so I shall.

[end comment by Debs is Dead via email]

Posted by: b | May 17 2009 4:40 utc | 31

b: Do the world and MoA a favor, and take down MoA for 3 days while you study:

Then come back with useful HUMINT quants, instead of this hackspit DiD crap...

Posted by: Shaka Zulu | May 17 2009 5:40 utc | 32 David Steel who is a former Marine and intelligence officer that is promoting Open Source Intelligence advocate... b, don't shut down for three days just to read this stuff.

I imagine it will take you about thirty minutes to get to the meat of the matter...

Posted by: DavidS | May 17 2009 9:16 utc | 33

dan of steele wrote: I don't really think it matters if AIPAC has the support of US Jews or not. It is so powerful now that it can easily squeeze the rich donors by threatening to out them.

Yes. In many ways, discourse about ‘jews’ or jewish persons, or mainstream US jews, and so on, serves to distract away from money, arms, power, oil, war in the ME.

Israel made ‘anti-semitism’ a political instrument. A classic of hysterical victimology. It is a lot of hogwash. Also, a very weak strategy, bound to fail or collapse in the long - albeit it very long - run. (Not to deny that some true anti-semitism exists, alongside many other racial/ethnic/national prejudices..) However, one can’t have it both ways, that is, see the fabled ‘anti-semitism’ as a manipulative tool without much substance, while at the same time believing that a ‘new’ anti semitism, or a resurgence, or an unmasking of hidden attitudes could, or would, result in a backlash towards Jews, in the US. So I would have to come down on the side that states that no such backlash will occur.

Posted by: Tangerine | May 17 2009 10:25 utc | 34

Debs, thanks for all your trouble, but I personally think a lot of your article is wishful thinking. The U.S. and Israel are joined at the hip, so even if AIPAC suffers setbacks and liberal Jewish groups like J Street gain prominence, in the end nothing will change for the better. If b manages to post the comments I tried to post on May 17 links you'll see why.

Posted by: Parviz | May 17 2009 10:38 utc | 35

Shifts in Public opinion will follow shifts in elite opinion and that will only follow a shift in the Middle East balance of power. In other world, Iran acquires nukes, Russia and China challenge U.S. dominance in the region, Client states like Egypt, Jordan and Saudi start to waiver and defeat of American interests in Iraq and Afghanistan. The latter two being the more acute threat and the one which motivates any U.S. policy change right now. Add to that any military confrontation involving Israel that ends like summer of '06 or worse.

As total support of Israel begins to extract a serious and obvious price denominated in U.S. regional control, you will see a serious shift in attitude in the minds of the military and intelligence elite. This will be especially true if Israel is perceived as the second most powerful regional player...after Iran.

Iran has all the potential to do this. A large and sophisticated, arable land, oil, natural gas and a Europe that is going to need both. Add to that a government that, however corrupt and undemocratic at home, seems committed to advancing national power.

First, watch where the price of oil and natty go in the coming years. Watch Europe's reaction. How much pressure must the U.S. apply to keep Europe in step on Iran sanctions? Watch the relative global economic clout. Can the U.S. enforce its sanctions regime, or is its power eroding? Once that falls, Iran's economy will experience astounding growth. Along with it will come military power and international prestige. Along with, the chance to gain influence in the anti-wester populations of the Arab and Muslim worlds.

Israel simply can't maintain its current form if it is the region's second tier power. There will be a serious crash in puppet credibility (Mubarak, Abdullah) and pressure from within to join the growing Iran.

In a world where the U.S. will find it increasingly difficult to compete and maintain its current lead over Russia and China, it will become too obvious that having Iran (and the Muslim world) on their side rather than against them will be too important to throw it all away for Israel's sake.

AIPAC is very powerful. The media's tendency to follow its talking points is strong.I do not underestimate that. AIPAC can get America to walk to the edge of the cliff. But it can't make them take the final step. And with each step closer, as the cliff's edge comes into view, the louder the voices of the Brzezinskis, the Howard Bakers and the Anthony Zinis become.

None of this is written in stone. It could be that the U.S. will be abe to maintain its hold on the region and global finance, etc. But I'm not inclined to bet that way. The aforementioned changes will happen as all great shifts do; gradually gradually gradually...then all of a sudden.

None other than the Israelis and their U.S. cheerleaders recognise this fact. Hence the extraordinary steps taken to ensure continued aggression toward Iran. The nuclear program is only partly the reason.

To illustrate this point, I leave you with the words of the great Charles Krauthammer on one of the rare occasions in which he has an actual, perhaps accidental, insight;

Israel's Lost Moment

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 4, 2006; Page A17

Israel's war with Hezbollah is a war to secure its northern border, to defeat a terrorist militia bent on Israel's destruction, to restore Israeli deterrence in the age of the missile. But even more is at stake. Israel's leaders do not seem to understand how ruinous a military failure in Lebanon would be to its relationship with America, Israel's most vital lifeline.

For decades there has been a debate in the United States over Israel's strategic value. At critical moments in the past, Israel has indeed shown its value. In 1970 Israeli military moves against Syria saved King Hussein and the moderate pro-American Hashemite monarchy of Jordan. In 1982 American-made Israeli fighters engaged the Syrian air force, shooting down 86 MiGs in one week without a single loss, revealing a shocking Soviet technological backwardness that dealt a major blow to Soviet prestige abroad and self-confidence among its elites at home (including Politburo member Mikhail Gorbachev).

But that was decades ago. The question, as always, is: What have you done for me lately? There is fierce debate in the United States about whether, in the post-Sept. 11 world, Israel is a net asset or liability. Hezbollah's unprovoked attack on July 12 provided Israel the extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate its utility by making a major contribution to America's war on terrorism.

America's green light for Israel to defend itself is seen as a favor to Israel. But that is a tendentious, misleadingly partial analysis. The green light -- indeed, the encouragement -- is also an act of clear self-interest. America wants, America needs, a decisive Hezbollah defeat.

Unlike many of the other terrorist groups in the Middle East, Hezbollah is a serious enemy of the United States. In 1983 it massacred 241 American servicemen. Except for al-Qaeda, it has killed more Americans than any other terror organization.

More important, it is today the leading edge of an aggressive, nuclear-hungry Iran. Hezbollah is a wholly owned Iranian subsidiary. Its mission is to extend the Islamic Revolution's influence into Lebanon and Palestine, destabilize any Arab-Israeli peace, and advance an Islamist Shiite ascendancy, led and controlled by Iran, throughout the Levant.

America finds itself at war with radical Islam, a two-churched monster: Sunni al-Qaeda is now being challenged by Shiite Iran for primacy in its epic confrontation with the infidel West. With al-Qaeda in decline, Iran is on the march. It is intervening through proxies throughout the Arab world -- Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine, Moqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army in Iraq -- to subvert modernizing, Western-oriented Arab governments and bring these territories under Iranian hegemony. Its nuclear ambitions would secure these advances and give it an overwhelming preponderance of power over the Arabs and an absolute deterrent against serious counteractions by the United States, Israel or any other rival.

The moderate pro-Western Arabs understand this very clearly. Which is why Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan immediately came out against Hezbollah and privately urged the United States to let Israel take down that organization. They know that Hezbollah is fighting Iran's proxy war not only against Israel but also against them and, more generally, against the United States and the West.

Hence Israel's rare opportunity to demonstrate what it can do for its great American patron. The defeat of Hezbollah would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would lose its foothold in Lebanon. It would lose its major means to destabilize and inject itself into the heart of the Middle East. It would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower.

The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel's ability to do the job. It has been disappointed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has provided unsteady and uncertain leadership. Foolishly relying on air power alone, he denied his generals the ground offensive they wanted, only to reverse himself later. He has allowed his war cabinet meetings to become fully public through the kind of leaks no serious wartime leadership would ever countenance. Divisive cabinet debates are broadcast to the world, as was Olmert's own complaint that "I'm tired. I didn't sleep at all last night" (Haaretz, July 28). Hardly the stuff to instill Churchillian confidence.

His search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well. That confidence -- and the relationship it reinforces -- is as important to Israel's survival as its own army. The tremulous Olmert seems not to have a clue.

Posted by: Lysander | May 17 2009 12:54 utc | 36

I tried posting my last comment several times yesterday but could not. Finally I tried on my old PC instead of my MAC and it worked. Since then, Parviz posted his comment on the links thread. I would emphasize that any "backlash," if it occurs at all, will occur in the corridors of elite power where the American empire is cherished and maintained. The public will follow the new discourse and we were always at war with oceana.

I would argue that possibly the very beginnings of a backlash are visible now. Obama's "changes" are purely changes in style and rhetoric, true. But that is a start. The elite will try their smallest offer first and if that fails, they will offer a tiny bit more. Watch the reaction to Lebanon's June elections for a clue. If the Hizbullah coalition wins, they will huff and puff for a while and then come to grips with it, recognizing eventually that Hizbullah is not Hamas and there's nothing they can do about it.

Posted by: Lysander | May 17 2009 13:08 utc | 37

I remember a discussion with a Jewish lady and she talked quite a bit about about how it turns out that a highly disproportionate number of the top socialist thinkers & leaders in the Lenin era were Jewish.

I also remember the American adage -- "get a good Jewish lawyer" when in trouble with the law.

And I was thinking -- what if we could get an old-school Jewish Bolshevik in the same room with a Jewish criminal attorney from LA, what are they going to talk about ?

Posted by: jony_b_cool | May 17 2009 13:31 utc | 38

Quite how this will play out leaves me a bit uneasy. See

Mile wide inch deep google search.

What does that mean? If true, that at heart, an Amerikan is not a killing fanatic (I know, I know, my bar is set very low) but 'normal' people with a sense of fairness(there's nothing quite like a broad brush at stereotyping) .Then, inevitably, it will lead to street lynching like the way Debs outlined. Or if they're a bit sophisticated, the silent outcaste treatment that is still practised in India.

Their 'kind' are not welcome; at establishments, social functions, conversations and will face office ostracism.

In the larger context, in my personal view, these 'smart' guys are actually the fall guys in the generational fight between Xianity and Islam. If the Jews actually manage to do somethng against Islam, great;then taking care of the rent boys of 30 odd million jews is not difficult for Xianity when the diaspora are fractions of the larger Xian population.

If the Jews fail, no matter, it was a good try. Besides, these guys are supposed to get converted according to the Good Book but got themselves killed in the service of the Lord.

While I'm not in favour of Huntington's clash of civilisations theory, there are lots of people who are itching for an epochal confrontation. And not wanting to risk their lives and sons, there's always the cannon fodder, Jews.

With religion, it's hard to get at the reasons why people do it, against astronomical odds with so little payoff.

So, that's my feverished theory, rent boys who go around doing demented things in the Holy Land angering 1/4 of the worldwide population while the other 1/4 pulls some strings or the other, praising the 'ooooo so smart' IQ of the stupid sods.

But it doesn't matter what theory I believe, there's a sense of inevitability about their overreach.

Posted by: shanks | May 17 2009 13:34 utc | 39

Lysander (36), superb commentary on Iran's growing power and the inevitability of its regional ascent owing to the U.S.'s eventual and tired withdrawal. You should read Robert Baer's "The Devil We Know" which corroborates everything you write, and obviously with more detail and historical references to justify his view.

Regrettably, you're also correct that Iranians will simply have to tolerate the corruption and stifling restriction on freedoms that will follow.

Posted by: Parviz | May 17 2009 13:50 utc | 40

lysander @ 36

(...)It could be that the U.S. will be abe to maintain its hold on the region and global finance, etc.

Seems pretty obvious to me that hold on "global finance" underpinns hold on "the region", eg: that w/out funding for US/AIPAC forced compliance by conquest the "hold" disappears.

But I'm not inclined to bet that way. The aforementioned changes will happen as all great shifts do; gradually gradually gradually...then all of a sudden.

Seems pretty obvious to me the "gradually gradually" part of the finance shifts is well past us, even if America hasn't yet bothered to look in the rear view mirror to date.

I do think you're spot on re: Europe's interests in relying upon Persian gas/oil likely to be future fulcram upon which this shift away from US dominance occurrs. And I also think that w/out a very public and honest accounting of Iran's legitimate reasons for distrust of US (Mossadeq affair)... not to mention W's Iraq misadventure and BO's subsequent gutless assimilation of this event into uncritical US lore... there will be no hope of US restoring legitimate posture to influence unfolding realignments.

Posted by: jdmckay | May 17 2009 14:04 utc | 41


but that Sikhs are a minority culture within a larger culture - a position which as I outlined before, can give some well placed Sikhs great power to abuse the whole society Sikhs included, but which also leaves other ordinary citizen Sikhs greatly exposed when the corrupt get caught. is every other group. Don't you know every ethnic group is a minority in India? :-)

If you were using Sikhs as an example, sure go ahead. But tagging them along with Jews? Please, let's not go overboard with the superiority complex comparision. Sikhs live large and have defended themselves over and over again without anyone else's help. And I can't recollect the time when they went on colonial adventures over the weak and crippled.

Even if what you're saying is 100% correct, in the balkans that is India(we truly are, an amazing story of love & hate), their story is not unique. Every state, every ethnic group in all the compass directions has the same story as them.

Posted by: shanks | May 17 2009 14:08 utc | 42

The last para @42 should not be there. I was writing a longer piece and that post didn't come up. So rewrote and posted but that's from my initial draft.

Posted by: shanks | May 17 2009 15:42 utc | 43

Israel is pressing USA to attack Iran.
AIPAC last conference Myth was Iran a danger to the world.
Now if AIPAC preaches the same stuff to India or China Russia none will believe that Iran is actually a danger to them
Suppose Iran is as AIPAC preaches Israel has 200 nuclear weapons
Iran has none
Israel can obliterate every capital in Europe and the middle east.
Iran can't
Why is AIPAC lying......

Posted by: Phonk | May 18 2009 18:26 utc | 44

time for some damage control b?

Posted by: annie | May 19 2009 1:25 utc | 45

I think it's about 5 in the morning for b.

Posted by: anna missed | May 19 2009 2:57 utc | 46

at least it took awhile for the ugliness to show itself. and like any fundamentalist/racist/ignorant tirade, it's predictably boring.

Posted by: Lizard | May 19 2009 3:29 utc | 47


Posted by: DavidS | May 19 2009 3:47 utc | 48

I think it's about 5 in the morning for b

i thought of that anna missed. he should be waking soon.

Posted by: annie | May 19 2009 5:41 utc | 49

humph, my italics didn't come thru. well, the extra comments should call his attention to the thread...

wake up bernhard....

Posted by: annie | May 19 2009 5:42 utc | 50

yeah - okay - late in reading here

Deleted some five anti-semitic comments now ...

Posted by: b | May 19 2009 11:05 utc | 51

thank you!

Posted by: annie | May 19 2009 15:03 utc | 52

Are you some kind of hero for deleting so-called anti-Semitic commentary? Should we all be grateful to you? Seems to me you're just acting as another censor for the Jews. Don't they alread have enough censors at MSNBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, and Fox News?

Posted by: Chris Womak | May 19 2009 15:37 utc | 53

that a relatively small but extended clan of sometimes introvert long-haired people who favor tall hats and foods with quaint names, who emerged from a tiny priestly & scholarly kingdom in the medieval Middle-East, and who also happen to be culturally prudent about putting something away for a rainy day, would be held responsible over & over again for our failures --- all of which were 100% inevitable in the first place is ?????

and another 100% fact thats been around for a very long time is that it speaks a whole lot more about us than them.

we need this anger a lot more than we're willing to admit or we could try to confront the "facts about us", though if we did it would most certainly drive us into insanity.

Posted by: jony_b_cool | May 20 2009 1:52 utc | 54

Layin' it on pretty thick, jony-b-cool. Not that it wasn't amusing.

Posted by: BluegeneBop | May 20 2009 3:07 utc | 55

I don't see any significant backlash against AIPAC or Israel coming. That's just wishful thinking of a vocal but tiny minority, what is, with all due respect, the very definition of a lunatic fringe. On the contrary, the real growing backlash is against the anti-semitism, with more and more of the people in the world realizing that it is the anti-semites that are the threat and the source of the problem, not the Jews.

The reality is that the there has been virtually no significant support for the calls for boycotts and divestment against Israel. Not a single country supports it, at least none that haven't been against Israel since it was founded. Israel is surviving this economic crisis pretty well, or haven't you noticed? On the other hand, the global support for the blockade against the Gazans is still very strongly supported, with even Arab Muslim nations such as Egypt continuing to back it. (Think about that for a minute folks. Egypt borders Gaza. If there's so much support for the Gazans, why doesn't even Egypt open up their borders??? No one would stop them. The reason is they don't trust the Palestinians or think they're ready to live in peace more than anyone else in the world does.)

The reality is that in the last couple of years Israel has managed to destroy both Hezbollah and Hamas' ability to wage any signficant military action, and is an excellent position. Both groups are now reduced to verbal attacks, and no one is taking them seriously. In fact, they don't even have that much support in their own countries any more, after visiting so much destruction on their own people, but at at this point are pretty much dependent on Iranian support. It's taken Israel 60 years, but it has managed to defeat all of its enemies, and no longer faces any significant military threats (altho, admittedly, even a lot of Israelis can't see that). Sure, a few rockets and such, which are irritating and frightening, but nothing that poses any real military threat, not even close, and certainly nothing that even remotely compares to the threats its faced in the past. Iran is no threat. Any conflict between Israel and Iran, especially nuclear, would be mutual suicide, and the leaders of both countries know it perfectly well. It's all talk and politics, huge piles of red herrings, but there's no real threat of war at all. And someone should point out that this economic crisis gives both countries tons of reasons to avoid war. It's the last thing either country needs right now.

The reality is that both Israel in particular, and Jews globally, are in the strongest position they've been in in their entire 5,000 year history. They're the strongest they've ever been in military, economic and cultural power (by far), and have the highest standard of living ever, highest levels of education ever, longest life expectancy, are recognized by and trading with the most countries ever, and on and on. Nothing that the US, a rapidly failing and bankrupt state, does can have much impact. (As you folks yourselves continually point out, the US is so weak now that even a tiny nation one-hundredth its size can push it around. ;)) Popular mythology notwithstanding, Israel has never been dependent on US support, and isn't now.

But if you folks want to delude yourself into thinking that the anti-semites are winning, go ahead and think so. It doesn't matter. You have no real power. Jews aren't frightened by words, and it's really clear that that's all you have, and all you ever will have. You all may talk tough, but there ain't one of you that would ever pick up a gun and go fight. (And even if you did you'd get your butts kicked but good.) Heck, none of you would even donate money to buy the Palestinians weapons. Not a penny. You're all talk.

But don't mind me. Go ahead and dream on if that makes you happy. Shalom.

Posted by: mike | May 24 2009 7:05 utc | 56

Mike, your statement "Popular mythology notwithstanding, Israel has never been dependent on US support, and isn't now" is so off the wall that at first I thought it was tongue-in-cheek. Israel depends on Big Brother for literally everything, from the $ 6 bilion/year foreign aid, to WMD, intelligence assistance, the U.S. lobbies that ensure pro-Israeli politicians get elected, the kickbacks and profits on U.S. weapons deals that get re-directed to AIPAC to ensure the vicious circle of even more deals, even more kickbacks and even more money with which to buy or threaten recalcitrant politicans.

The only thing I agree with is that the Neocon-Zionist Conspiracy is as strong as ever, not in spite of but because of U.S. assistance.

Posted by: Parviz | May 24 2009 9:22 utc | 57

You all may talk tough, but there ain't one of you that would ever pick up a gun and go fight. (And even if you did you'd get your butts kicked but good.)

Whose gonna do this butt-kicking?

I'd hate to be one of the 1.7% of the world's population who'd have to do this "butt kicking"

Mike, you go and get your army and I'll meet you some where down south... or maybe Idaho, maybe Montana and we'll see whose butt gets kicked :)


Posted by: DavidS | May 24 2009 15:07 utc | 58

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