Tag Archives: Israel

A New Year’s Wish, by Philip Giraldi

It’s wishful thinking, but maybe 2021 could be the year the US stops being Israel’s cat’s paw. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

There has been one good thing about the COVID-19 virus – for the first time many among the general public are beginning to ask why a rich country like Israel should be getting billions of dollars from the United States taxpayer at a time when many Americans are struggling. Inevitably, of course, the press coverage of the questions being asked about the cash flow failed to discuss the real magnitude of the “aid,” trade concessions, co-production projects and dicey charitable contributions that our federal and many state governments shower on the Jewish state, which easily exceed $10 billion per year.

During his 2016 campaign Donald Trump swore that he would be the best friend that Israel has ever had in the White House, a pledge that some of us viewed skeptically as Trump was also committed to bringing the troops home from “useless wars” in Asia, most of whom were in the Middle East supporting Israeli interests. More recently Trump admitted that America was in the Middle East to “protect Israel” and he has indeed proven to be the great benefactor he promised to be in responding fully to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wish list. Trump has increased tension dramatically with Iran, moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, has recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Syrian Golan Heights, and has basically given Israel the green light to do whatever it wants on the Palestinian West Bank, including getting rid of the Palestinians. And as all that has played out the Israelis have attacked and killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, Syria and the West Bank with impunity, protected by the U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council against any consequences for their actions while a subservient Congress gives Netanyahu twenty-eight standing ovations and bleats that “Israel has a right to defend itself.” Trump has made the United States completely complicit in Israeli war crimes and has committed a few of its own to include the widely condemned assassination of the senior Iranian official Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad one year ago.

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‘Thinking Machiavelli, Acting Mussolini’, by Alastair Crooke

Iran may not have nuclear weapons, but it never the less has upended war and geopolitical strategy in important ways that the US ignores at its peril. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

Earlier this month, the Lebanese al-Manar TV aired footage of Israeli bases in Upper Galilee, which were filmed by a Hizbullah drone. An Israeli base in Brannite and a command centre in Rowaysat al-Alam in northern Israel can be seen in the footage. According to Southfront, whose military expertise is highly regarded, Hizbullah now operates a variety of drones, some with combat capabilities. Reports suggest that Hizbullah has established a formidable stealth drone and smart cruise missile force (with support from Iran). The Russia-linked, military site, Southfront, concludes that today, the movement is better trained and equipped than many armies around the world.

Israel is convinced that, for the first time, that the ‘next war’ will not be limited to Lebanese territory; that its own borders will be violated; and that offensive combat forces will enter settlements and homes and clash with Israeli troops.

This is giant ‘chess’ – where a combination of armed drones, suicide drones and ‘smart’ missiles likely will predominate (rather than tanks, as in the 2006 war). In its evolving thesis of a new war with Hizbullah, Israel believes that all its airfields will be bombed with precision missiles. (And is therefore trying to get from the U.S., a few squadrons of the new generation F-35B jets that do not need long runways, so as to try to secure its air superiority in the face of a possible swarm drone or missile attack on its air defences).

This represents just one component to Iran’s transmutation of any Israeli or American ‘military’ option against Iran into a suicide ‘Red Pill’ for whomsoever might launch it. Quietly, while all the world was focussed on the ‘Big One’ (putative nuclear weapons), over the last four years, Iran has built a conventional ‘swarm’ and ‘smart’ (and virtually undetectable by radar) ‘ant’s hive’ of ‘micro’ weapons circling across the region – from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq to Yemen.

Although it is still to sink-in to European and American thinking (obsessed with the possibly now passé framework of the ‘Big One’ – the JCPOA), Iran quietly has inverted the calculus. It possesses the leverage now. And it has other trade options (through looking East) opening to it. Israel and its Gulf State ‘allies’, by contrast are on the defensive.

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Antisemitism Claims Mask a Reign of Political and Cultural Terror Across Europe, by Jonathan Cook

Antisemitism has become a weapon aimed at anyone who questions or criticizes Israel. From Jonathan Cook at unz.com:

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has run a fascinating long report this week offering a disturbing snapshot of the political climate rapidly emerging across Europe on the issue of antisemitism. The article documents a kind of cultural, political and intellectual reign of terror in Germany since the parliament passed a resolution last year equating support for non-violent boycotts of Israel – in solidarity with Palestinians oppressed by Israel – with antisemitism.

The article concerns Germany but anyone reading it will see very strong parallels with what is happening in other European countries, especially the UK and France.

The same European leaders who a few years ago marched in Paris shouting “Je suis Charlie” – upholding the inalienable free speech rights of white Europeans to offend Muslims by insulting and ridiculing their Prophet – are now queuing up to outlaw free speech when it is directed against Israel, a state that refuses to end its belligerent occupation of Palestinian land. European leaders have repeatedly shown they are all too ready to crush the free speech of Palestinians, and those in solidarity with them, to avoid offending sections of the Jewish community.

 

How Iranian nuclear scientist was murdered

There is a whole genre of assassination fiction. Here’s a real life account, from various news agencies, at informationclearinghouse.info:

Assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist ‘involved 62 operatives

November 29, 2020 “Information Clearing House” – Remarkable detail of the plot to kill an Iranian nuclear scientist emerged on Saturday, a day after the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh reverberated around the world.

Sixty two people were involved in the scheme, according to Mohamad Ahwaze, an Iranian journalist who exposed the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic in his country.

Ahwaze said he had obtained leaked Iranian information.

Iranian officials have blamed Israel’s Mossad for the assassination. One American official and two other intelligence officials also told the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack.

Ahwaze said that 12 members of the team, who he described as being highly trained and assisted by ‘security and intelligence services abroad’, were deployed to the city of Absard, 50 miles east of Tehran.

The mountain retreat of 10,000 people is where many Tehranis have second homes, and Fakhrizadeh, 59, had a villa there.

Another 50 people, Ahwaze said, helped with logistical support. He did not specify whether they were in Iran, or abroad.

The team had been watching Fakhrizadeh, and knew that he was going to be driving from Tehran to Absard on Friday.

They planned the attack for a roundabout in Absard, at the foot of a tree-lined boulevard which enters the city.

A Hyundai Santa Fe with four passengers, four motorcyles and two snipers were waiting for him at the scene of the ambush, along with a booby-trapped Nissan pickup.

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Confronting the Islamic Republic of Iran: Give Peace a Chance, by Doug Bandow

Since Iran tossed out the US puppet, the Shah, in 1979, the US government’s attitude towards that country has been unremitting hostility. Maybe a different approach is in order. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

As President Donald Trump prepares to leave office, Iran is leading the news after the assassination of a top Iranian nuclear engineer, likely by Israel with U.S. knowledge if not assistance. The Obama administration criticized a similar Israeli hit in 2012, but Trump lauded the latest murder. He has been fixated on Iran since taking office.

The president’s monomania may reflect his determination to reverse Barack Obama’s policies. Or perhaps surrounding himself with Israel-friendly hawks did the trick. In any case, Trump effectively turned US policy over to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, with predictably disastrous results.

The president abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA, designed to limit Iran’s nuclear activities, and launched full-scale economic war against Tehran, his so-called “maximum pressure” campaign. However, MbS and Netanyahu, as well as the coterie of neocons who remain influential in Washington, wanted more and pushed the US toward real war with the Islamic Republic. To Trump’s credit, he drew back from exploding the Mideast despite ample encouragement from Washington’s bipartisan war party.

Yet his “maximum pressure” campaign backfired spectacularly. Indeed, the issue resulted in his greatest foreign policy failure: Trump has made the Middle East more dangerous, less stable, more repressive, and less free. Iran has been transformed: the young most favorable to the West are disillusioned; relative moderates such as President Hassan Rouhani have been discredited internally; hardline factions most hostile to America have taken over parliament and are likely to win the presidency; few Iranians irrespective of their political persuasion trust Washington to fulfill any future agreements; China and Russia have increased cooperation with Tehran.

Heck ‘uva job, Donny!

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Did Jews Fail to Deliver? by Israel Shamir

No president has kowtowed to Israel quite as blatantly as Donald Trump. A fat lot of good it did him in the election. From Israel Shamir at unz.com:

President Trump gave to Israel all she could wish for; he hoped that in return, the Jews would give him America to rule another term. A simple give-and-take, but it didn’t work out as intended. If he were to run for the presidency of Israel, he would have it. If Brooklyn were to decide who’d inhabit the White House, he would be the Chosen one. But Trump’s plan to bribe US Jews by bearing gifts to Israel failed completely.

East Europeans define the difference between Jews and Hungarians (or Poles) as follows. All of these would sell their grandmother for a fistful of coins; but only a Jew would deliver. This non-delivery of America will be remembered by future US presidents. Perhaps we witness a defining moment for the downturn in American support of Israel, in direct contradiction to the main thesis of our colleague Philip Giraldi who said this week that “Israel’s Power Is Unlimited”. Why did it happen? The US Jews didn’t take the bait. And now for details.

“Zionist” is a euphemism for “Jew”, isn’t it? Up to a point. Zionists, that is Jews (and others) who care and work for Israel, are strongly supportive of the US President, but Jews that matter, that is elite liberal progressive US Jews, won’t support Trump even if he were to pave Tel Aviv with golden bricks. Three out of four US Jews voted for Joe Biden, about the same proportion of Jews who voted for Barack Obama, though Obama was quite critical towards Israel, while Trump did all the Israelis could wish for.

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A Peace Deal Like No Other, by Philip Giraldi

President Trump and Mike Pompeo are trying to set up an Israeli/Arab alliance against Iran. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:

Much ado about nothing, but Act 2 is coming up

It is odd that the White House is gloating over its claimed peace agreement in the Middle East at the same time as one of the signatories is bombing Syria, Lebanon and Gaza. It all suggests that peace in the region will exclude designated enemies and the friends of those enemies, since the ties among the three parties – Israel, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain – is transparently in part an offensive alliance directed against Iran and its friends, to include Syria and Lebanon. A significant amount of the horse trading that preceded the gala signing ceremony in the White House involved who would get what advanced American weapons down the road. The UAE wants F-35 fighter bombers while Israel is already asking for $8 billion for more top-level weapons from the U.S. taxpayer to maintain its “qualitative edge” over its new found friends.

For the more sagacious readers who chose to ignore what took place, a short recap is in order. Last Tuesday President Trump hosted a White House signing ceremony during which Israel established formal ties with the two Arab states. The agreement was dubbed the Abraham Accord because it purports to build on the foundation provided by the fraternity, as one might put it, of the three Abrahamic religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. More specifically, it created the mechanism for diplomatic, economic, and cultural ties between Israel and the two Arab countries. It should be observed that both the UAE and Bahrain are close to being client states of the U.S. Bahrain is in fact the home port of the U.S. Fifth Fleet that operates in the region and it also hosts headquarters of the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT). Both countries have long had de facto semi-secret relations with Israel on security issues and Israelis have been able to travel to them as long as they do not do so on an Israeli passport. And they both also know that the road to improving already good relations with Washington passes through Israel.

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Maintaining Pretence Over Reality: ‘Simply Put, the Iranians Outfoxed the U.S. Defence Systems’, by Alastair Crooke

The neocons inside and outside the Trump Administration can talk all they want about waging war against Iran, but supported by the Chinese and Russians, Iran would be a tough, perhaps impossible, nut to crack. From Alastair Crooke at strategic-culture.org:

So it never was then a ‘peace agreement’ between Israel and the UAE. It was ‘normalisation’ for the purposes of mounting a military alliance against Iran. Pompeo suggested so, this weekend. He said that the UAE and Israel have agreed to form a security and military alliance against Iran to ‘protect’ U.S. interests and the Middle East. This agreement and any that might follow means that there will be an Israeli military and security military presence in the Gulf, and a joint Israeli-UAE intelligence base on Socotra Island in the Red Sea basin overlooking the Bab al-Mandab Strait. According to Pompeo, this agreement will transform the conflict in the Middle East from being Arab-Israeli, to Arab-Iranian, and perhaps Arab-Turkish later on.

The language used by Pompeo is significant in another way. Trump is proud of having taken Jerusalem ‘off the table’ (in the context of negotiations with the Palestinians). He says he has taken the Golan and the Jordan valley ‘off the table, too’. Pompeo’s formulation of the conflict transformation he believes he has just engineered says something else too: It is that the Palestinian issue is ‘off the table’ as well. It is now all about Iran (in Trump’s optic). The Palestinians are to stew in their own juices.

Well, Pompeo perhaps was speaking loosely when he designates it now an Arab-Iranian conflict. It is (at least for now), the UAE alone that has put itself on the Front Line. The Qatari-owned Al Quds al-Arabi scathingly noted that “in this alleged alliance against Iran … were the unwanted were to happen, and [a larger] war break out against Iran, the Emirates will be on the receiving end of the blows – and will be the biggest loser.”

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Horror in Beirut, by Philip Giraldi

Like many things that happen in the Middle East, we’re probably never going to know the whole story. Philip Giraldi speculates, at unz.com:

The Establishment explanation for what occurred in Beirut’s port on August 5th is that the horrific series of explosions that killed hundreds, injured thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless was a terrible accident that came about due to a multi-faceted failure by Lebanon’s corrupt and incompetent government. Or at least that is the prevalent narrative in the international media, but a more critical examination of what took place is a bit like peeling an onion only to discover that there are layers and layers of alternative possibilities that just might place the catastrophe in a broader context.

The story, which is generally being accepted, is that a Russian-leased but Moldovan flagged ship the Rhosus carrying nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate from Batumi in Georgia to Mozambique wound up unexpectedly in Beirut’s port in November 2013 due to a leak in the hull and mechanical problems. It was then impounded and blocked from exiting due to alleged general unseaworthiness as well as its inability to pay disputed debts and docking fees. The dangerous cargo was offloaded and stored in a Hanger number 12 in the port a year later. Ammonium nitrate can be used to make fertilizer but it also can also be used in explosives. The two ton “fertilizer bomb” used to destroy the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995 killing 168 people was, for example, primarily ammonium nitrate.

The ship and cargo, which was supposedly destined for a Mozambican company that produced commercial explosives, was then de facto abandoned by its lessee and sat in the port with its Russian captain and three Ukrainian crewmen while the issue was being largely ignored by the Lebanese government. The crew were basically being held as hostages by the port authorities, unable to leave the ship and, it was claimed, frequently on the verge of starvation. They were eventually released and allowed to fly home in 2014 while the Rhosus itself, emptied of its cargo, reportedly sank in an unused corner of the port in 2018.

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War Crimes and War Criminals: Who Will Be Held Accountable? by Philip Giraldi

Let’s see, if the US invades your country, perhaps to change the regime, and you fight the invading force, you’re a terrorist. It makes perfect sense. From Philip Giraldi at strategicculture.com:

There is something unique about how the United States manipulates the “terrorism” label to avoid being accused of carrying out war crimes. When an indigenous militia or an armed insurgency like the Taliban in a country like Iraq or Afghanistan attacks American soldiers subsequent to a U.S. invasion which overthrew the country’s government, it is considered by Washington to be an act of “terrorism.” Terror attacks de facto permit a carte blanche response, allowing virtually anything as retaliation against the parties involved or countries that support them, including the assassination of foreign government officials. But for the attacker, whose perspective is quite different, the incident often could reasonably be described as legitimate resistance to a foreign occupier and much of the world might agree with that assessment.

So, it all comes down to definitions. The United States covers its version of reality through liberal use of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which more-or-less gives a blanket approval to attack and kill “terrorists” anywhere at any time. And how does one become a terrorist? By being included on the U.S. government’s heavily politicized annual list of terrorist groups and material supporters of terrorism. That was the argument that was used by the United States when it killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January, that his organization, the Qods Force, was on the “terrorist” lists maintained by State and the Treasury Department and he was therefore held to be guilty of any and all attacks on U.S. military carried out by Qods or by presumed Iranian surrogate militias.

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