Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Israel Factor ranks Presidential Candidates + Part 3, Dahr Jamail's interview with Ray McGovern

These are two separate articles, but one very clear connection; the US-Israeli 'entanglement'. I will let you read and do your own manner of deducing. Excerpt from part 3, Dahr Jamail's interview with Ray McGovern:
In the final installment of this interview series for Truthout, McGovern discusses links between US/Israeli policy, the need for change if there is to be true security for either country, the Bush administration's use of torture, and the likelihood of a US attack on Iran.

DJ: What is the solution for this dysfunctional entanglement between the US and Israel regarding their failed policy in the Middle East?

RM: It is very hard to perceive a solution to the entanglement between our country and Israel. No one has more power than the Israeli lobby. We know the study that professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt did was criticized, as they predicted, as being anti-Semitic. But they didn't tell half of the story. They omitted, for example, the USS Liberty.

Let me tell you about the USS Liberty. It was off the coast of Israel during the 1967 war. It was an intelligence collection ship. The Israelis knew what it was. The ship had a great big American flag flying on top of it. On the 8th of June, three days into the war, Israeli fighter bombers reconnoitered the ship and then came back an hour later and did their damnedest to sink it. Not only that, but torpedo boats participated in this, knowing that it was a US ship. 34 US sailors were killed, 171 US sailors were severely wounded. The ship limped back on its own power into Malta.

In the midst of all this, during the engagement, the commander of the 6th Fleet, having been apprised of what was going on, immediately ordered fighter bombers to do battle with whoever was attacking the USS Liberty. Guess what happened? They were called back halfway. They were called back halfway. By whom? By President Lyndon Johnson and by Defense Secretary Robert MacNamara.

When the sailors who survived got off that ship, they were allowed to sleep one night. The first thing the next morning, they were told they would be court-martialed if they ever mentioned that Israel had deliberately tried to sink their ship. They were sworn to secrecy. And that secrecy held for about 20 years, but now the story is out. The navy lawyers who were cajoled into suppressing the real story have come out and told exactly what the story was.

Why do I mention all this?

Among other things, Admiral [Thomas Hinman] Moorer, who had been chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, did his own investigation and came up with the fact that the Israelis did this.

Now, Congress suppressed this information, our press suppressed this information, so what effect did this have on the Israelis? I think the Israelis concluded that this was pretty good - that they could literally get away with murder. They could literally get away with murder, and the US government would not criticize Israel even if they killed 34 US soldiers and wounded 171. That was 1967.

Since then, the Israeli lobby in this country has become even more powerful. And the money they disperse to various candidates, congressman and senators has become even more grandiose, and it's not possible to discuss this or get politicians to be honest about this sort of thing. So what do we have to do? I think we just have to plug away at the media and do alternative media, studies and articles and point out that this is precisely what George Washington warned against and that Israeli interests are not the same as ours. That the neo-cons have great difficulty distinguishing what they perceive to be Israeli interests and those of the US and we have to adopt a more balanced policy.
Beware of being called an anti-semite, even though any reasonable person who'd criticize these policies and political maneuvring would consider any ordinary American, Israeli and ultimately, anyone else in that region worthy of being saved from the political elites who play these games and manipulate their 'own'. Whoops, I said I would just let you read for yourself and make up your own mind..read next; The Israel Factor; ranking the Presidential candidates (from 1 being bad to 10 being great):
It's been a week since our first Israel Factor survey, and my initial analysis rightly dealt with the clear winner, Rudy Giuliani. All the while, however, a question about the loser was troubling me: Why was Barack Obama ranked bottom?

Talking to some of the panelists this week, I tried to understand if there was anything significant about the fact that the popular senator from Illinois came last, or if it was just coincidence. I got different answers from different panelists, and, delving into Obama's numbers again, now I think it's time to present some limited conclusions.

Let's start with the data:

The panel involved in this project were taking from a wide selection of the political spectrum, read more HERE to see how the panel was put together and the type of questions that were asked in order to implement the point system. There are some honest questions asked and questions addressing two sides are represented.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lindsay Lobe said...

Am interesting post. I agree the US has been hostage, to the Israelis for along time.

But I think this arises as consequence of almost non existent coherent foreign policy. That is until the flawed more recent engagement, what you might call it as the war on terror, or a coalition of the willing. As consequence most initiatives in the past few decades arise from an inward view of the world, a failure to engage with others outside the US. Rather policy is directed to protect the US when its is perceived be under threat only. including the Jewish state, forming an integral part of the countries powers block. I don’t think Democrats were too smart in the past either, although your posting might give some light on current more progressive thinking.

What needs to emerge is neither blues or red future policy but a coherent Foreign Policy, adopted by both parties in a by partisan approach. Fat chance of that happening under the current Administration but the Democrats should be introducing such an initiative in the run up top the lower house congressional elections especially if they gain power. Initiatives such as a Marshall type Pan, which emerged with great success after WW 2 need to be considered.

It requires a much more balanced approach and the need to persuade Israel to tone down its aggression at times and remove its settlers from occupied lands , taken in previous encounters. I notice very little meat or matters of substance ever seems to get much coverage. The US remains an insular country, with its military might I guess that is an option, but it’s loosing more and more credibility as time goes on.
Best wishes

12:50 AM  
Blogger Yohay Elam said...

I think that he has been somewhat too harsh on Israel. During the current administration, I don't it's only the Jewish lobby that drives American support of Israel, but also true religious ideology.
In the Clinton era, the US had a much more balanced role and had the trust of the Palestinians and several Arab countries. The situation was completely different back in the 90s.

Anyway, also for Israel, the ties with the current US administration are bad. America didn't make a real effort to stop the war earlier. There are also reports here that the US is against peace talks between Israel and Syria. It's a pity, since in Shepardstown, 6 years ago, almost all the issues between Israel and Syria were settled. Peace was very close then. If negotiations would start again, an agreement could be reached quite easily. Without US support, Israel will not make such a move.
The close ties hurt Israel also in other issues: The US strikes a veto on lucrative arms sales that Israel makes. It is in the name of national security, but many times they just don't want the competition.

Well, I also think that the ties between the 2 countries have become too close for both countries.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Lindsay, wise words again (as usual). I think you need to grow a beard mate to match your reputation! Insular is so right. It drives me bananas and I live here! I agree with you re. the Foreign Policy but (but?) yes, but, I don't think that is going to happen. The democrats might be not as hawkish, but they are still bound by their perceived interest of divide and conquer.
Yohay, I thought the Israel Factor was quite interesting actually. I agree that this Administration has been quite bad for Israel because if there is one thing this administration is 'good for' is to have others do their dirty work or not being afraid to be 'dirty'. I have a feeling that they're hoping and possibly priming Israel to strike Iran. I think the good old fashioned notion of deterance would work just fine. Btw ..did you see this article on how UN inspectors dispute the neocons claim of Iran's supposed nuclear reddiness? It would not be the first time this gov't would use false information in order to go to war. That is why we're in Iraq!
I sure hope that for the sake of Israelis that they can be more vocal of their gov't than we can be here (too big a country, too much apathy) and make sure your gov't doesn't use any excuse to go to war, this one here would love to do nothing but..
Ingrid

1:44 PM  

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