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The Downing Street Memo

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Why hasn’t the Downing Street Memo garnered more attention in the mainstream media? It claims that intelligence regarding WMDs in Iraq was being “fixed around” the Bush Administration’s desire to go to war in Iraq. Doesn’t the memo prove that Bush lied to take us to war?

Not really.

James S. Robbins of the American Foreign Policy Council shows why (see here). Here are the crucial paragraphs:

“Dearlove’s comments include the intriguing passage noted above, ‘Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.’ To the president’s critics, the meaning is clear — the WMD intelligence was being faked to support the rationale for intervention.

“This passage needs some clarification. Maybe Rycroft or Dearlove could elaborate; by ‘fixed around’ did they mean that intelligence was being falsified or that intelligence and information were being gathered to support the policy? There is nothing wrong with the latter — it is the purpose of the intelligence community to provide the information decision-makers need, and the marshal their resources accordingly.

“But if Dearlove meant the former, he should be called upon to substantiate his charge. It can be weighed against the exhaustive investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on prewar intelligence assessments in Iraq. The committee examined this very question, whether the White House had pressured the intelligence community to reach predetermined conclusions supporting the case for war. The investigation found no evidence that ‘administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities’ or that ‘the Vice President’s visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.’ One would think that the Senate investigation would have somewhat more weight than the secondhand impressions of a foreign intelligence officer, but if Mr. Dearlove is able to elaborate, one hopes he will.”

So, the reason that the Downing Street Memo has not garnered more mainstream media attention is that (1) its substance is old news and (2) its allegation, if that is what “fixed around” really is, has already been thoroughly investigated and refuted.

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  • http://www.downingstreetmemo.com Michael W

    I would have to say that the National Review addresses only a couple of the issues within the DSM and thy do so in a very patisan way. For example the Memo says that Bush will justify the war with Terrorism and WMD. The author only addresses WMD and not Terrorism.

    Also the arguement that WMD in Iraq had a clear consencious in the world is false simply ask Hans Blix.

    What about the lack of a plan after the war, why did we not have enough body armour if the war was planed in July and I am sorry but yes from day one we knew Bush had his sites on Iraq but the memo doesn’t state it was an option it states it’s the only option that is in fact a huge difference even the right wing cannot spin.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    First, why is it “partisan” to focus only on WMD, not WMD and terrorism? Do you mean “partial”?

    Second, Iraq was known to be a state sponsor of terrorism. For example, it sent copious amounts of money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Surely state-sponsored terrorism is a legitimate casus belli.

    Third, even the Downing Street Memo assumes that Iraq had WMD, so I’m not sure why it’s necessary to bring Hans Blix into the picture.

    Fourth, you write, “why did we not have enough body armour if the war was planed in July.” Doesn’t that argue, contra your contention, that there was no plan for war? That it was a hobbled together affair?

    Fifth, regime change in Iraq was United States policy beginning in 1998, under the Clinton Administration, a fact which you conveniently fail to note.

    And sixth, what about the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and its report, which concluded that our intelligence was flawed, but not politically “fixed”? Don’t the conclusions of a bipartisan senatorial committee carry more weight than a single line in a single memo that reports hearsay?

  • http://notesfromtherealworld.blogspot.com/ Kevin Baas

    Regarding teh 5th paragraph: “This passage needs some clarification. Maybe Rycroft or Dearlove could elaborate; by ‘fixed around’ did they mean that intelligence was being falsified or that intelligence and information were being gathered to support the policy? There is nothing wrong with the latter — it is the purpose of the intelligence community to provide the information decision-makers need, and the marshal their resources accordingly.”

    There IS something seriously wrong with the latter: it means that the president was without from the senate information that ought to have communicated. Where by such means the president induces the congress to enter into actions harmful to their country which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them. (that is, the whole truth), that is an impeachable offense under constitutional law.

  • http://lettersandpapers.blogspot.com Dan Lewis

    “And sixth, what about the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and its report, which concluded that our intelligence was flawed, but not politically “fixed”? Don’t the conclusions of a bipartisan senatorial committee carry more weight than a single line in a single memo that reports hearsay?”

    According to a Washington Post news story picked up on the San Francisco Chronicle (a month ago):
    “Although critics of the Iraq war have accused Bush and his top aides of misusing what has since been shown as limited intelligence in the prewar period, they have been unsuccessful in getting an investigation of that matter. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has dropped its previous plan to review how U.S. policymakers used Iraq intelligence, and the president’s commission on intelligence did not look into the subject because it was not authorized to do so by its charter, Laurence Silberman, the co-chairman, told reporters last month.”
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/05/13/MNG55CON9Q1.DTL

    So in fact, we have not had an investigation of the political use of pre-war intelligence by the Bush Administration, and we are not likely to get one.

    Guess why.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    The political use of intelligence is not the same thing as the fabrication of intelligence for political reasons. And perhaps there has been no followup investigation because investigators know there’s no “smoking gun” to be found, despite what activists would like to hope. If you believe that there’s been no investigation because Republicans are blocking it, then win some elections.

  • BillB

    Dan Lewis hit it on the head.

    As for comment # 5

    >The political use of intelligence is not the same thing as the fabrication of intelligence for political reasons.< No, but they're a stones throw away. How about not politicizing any intelligence? Now there's a novel thought.

    >And perhaps there has been no followup investigation because investigators know there’s no “smoking gun” to be found, despite what activists would like to hope.< I kinda think we deserve an investigation to get at the truth, whatever it may be. The people who originally didn't want a 9/11 commission couldn't possibly be hiding anything? Could they? Transparency strikes again!

    Besides, I'd think this would rank up there somewhat, after all the investigative interest, time and money spent getting to the bottom of an oval office blow job. Just a thought.

    >If you believe that there’s been no investigation because Republicans are blocking it, then win some elections.<

    So I trust as a patriotic American in search of the truth you’ll be voting Democratic?

    The only thing worse than Americans who don’t care enough to be informed are those who know better but could care less about any sense of morality and ethics.

    Long live the Party!

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Logic students: Can you spot the two logical fallacies in BillB’s post? Hint: petitio principii and ad hominem. He assumes, despite evidence from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that the White House is hiding something. (His faith in the badness of the Bush Administration is worthy of any fundamentalist.) And he assassinates the character of anyone who disagrees. Who else, after all, could he be referring to when he writes disparagingly of those who “know better but…care less”? Well, I know and I care, and I find the Senate committee’s report convincing. Do I care less about morality and ethics simply because I disagree with you?

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    For the sake of fairness, I engaged in a bit of ad hominem myself with that crack about fundamentalists. My apologies.

  • Andyc1444@gmail.com

    Consider the deeper implications:

    “The facts were being fixed around the policy.”

    If you cannot use facts to support a policy perhaps the policy should be changed.

    This president however has proclaimed and has a reputation for not changing his policy under nearly any circumstances. We live in a changing world. We rely on new information everyday to help shape business decisions. Not doing so can be disasterous. If your ford and the price of gas goes up maybe it’s not a good idea to keep making the same number of SUV’s.

    Saddam may at one time have had WMD. That does not mean that he still has or had them. Saddam may have chosen wisely disarm.

    It’s my deep concern that the president made the decision based on his opinion and not the facts. For this reason we need a firm explanation or perhaps a clarification from the president. If indeed Saddam was in compliance with the UN ultimatum before the war effort then this county has at best commited a grave mistake. Our own inteligence failures should not be the concern of Iraq or the world and do little calm a passionate insurgency.

    For this reason the efforts of many senators to request a simple explanation for these issues should be greatly supported. If the president has commited no wrong doing then his explanation should clearly show this.

    As of yet no one in this administration nor Blair’s has denided the content of the text. If you text is untrue than than a statement of denial should promptly be presented to the american people, Iraq and the world.

    Unfortunatly the unwillingness of the president or the administration the address these issues presents the assumption of worng doing and should be recieved as a great non-partisen concern by the american people.

    Not addressing these questions presents a great national security problem and may very well provoke more terrorism against this nation.

    I urge every true american to support the efforts of John Conyers so that we may have an explanation or a statement of denial from our president.

    Please visit http://www.johnconyers.com to support these efforts.

  • I.G.Shadduck

    Is the media guilty of silencing the truth? again?

  • http://marc-lawrence.com/owned.html Marc

    Bush lied.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    It’s all a Freemason conspiracy…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    And by ‘all’ he means the entire history of the United States.

    Dave

  • M Paulding

    Robbins’ screed on the Downing Street Memo is about as unbiased as Joseph Goebbels on Mein Kampf!

    His National Review piece is so lame I’m not even bothering to comment on it.

    You guys are wasting my time.

  • BillB

    RE # 7

    Me from # 6
    >I kinda think we deserve an investigation to get at the truth, whatever it may be. The people who originally didn’t want a 9/11 commission couldn’t possibly be hiding anything? Could they? Transparency strikes again!< You
    >He assumes, despite evidence from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, that the White House is hiding something.< I fail to see an assumption here. Simply noting the potential for funny business.

    Note >to get at the truth, whatever it may be.< Of course if you feel there's nothing to hide, what's the problem with confirming that by following through with the investigation? You'll have to forgive me for having less faith than you when it comes to the possibility of the process having been politicized.

    Ut oh, is that another assumption?

    me
    >The only thing worse than Americans who don’t care enough to be informed are those who know better but could care less about any sense of morality and ethics.< you
    >And he assassinates the character of anyone who disagrees.<

    Absolutely, in terms of disagreeing about the need to know the truth. Anyone who in anyway lends support to the “Party of God” that purports to have such lofty ethics and morals, while having to be dragged kicking and screaming to look in the mirror and view their own warts, deserves it.

    You know, now that I think of it the administration that leaked Valerie Plame’s name as punishment for Ambassador Wilson not playing Niger nuke ball couldn’t possibly be up to any other shenanigins? Could they?

    It’s good that we got to the bottom of that one I tell ya. Oh wait, we didn’t. Oops.

    And the administration that kept citing a the cia debunked/forged memo as proof of Iraq’s impending mushroom cloud capabilities re the same affair long after they were repeatedly advised of it’s bogusness was in no way interested in twisting intelligence.

    You know, you’ve changed my mind. I see no reason to investigate further.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Out of curiosity, has anyone seen any comments anywhere from any of the people involved in the meeting which generated the memo? One would think that someone might have come forward with a clarification.

    Dave

  • http://www.afterdowningstreet.org David Swanson

    There is a coalition of veterans’ groups, peace groups, and political activist groups, which launched on May 26, 2005, a campaign to urge the U.S. Congress to begin a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. http://www.AfterDowningStreet.org

  • Nancy

    What good will it do? Bush will simply proclaim it to be “absurd”, as he does all criticism, and drift on his merrie way, leaving his faithful remoras to finish the attack. Even should it get all the way to him having to testify, he’ll just have a joint Q&A session w/Cheney like he did before, and of course whatever committee questions him will be too polite to be more than ginger about it, and he’ll emerge, as usual, claiming innocence and ‘victory’. Apparently if you deny and ignore enough, you CAN get away with anything – even on an international scale.

  • M Paulding

    Dave in #16 said:

    >>Out of curiosity, has anyone seen any comments anywhere from any of the people involved in the meeting which generated the memo? One would think that someone might have come forward with a clarification.<<

    Dave, I have found nothing, zero, and not for lack of trying. It is highly unlikely that anyone, particularly Rycroft, will come forward. A clarification begets questions, and I’m sure that none of the participants in the July 23, 2002 meeting want to go down that road.

    The fact that no one in Blair’s government has come forward, and the additional fact that the Bush administration refuses to comment, indicates that they’re stonewalling.

  • M Paulding

    By the way, guys and gals, silt3.com has put together a complete transcript of the BBC documentary, “The Power of Nightmares”, which aired last October. If you’re looking for an interesting analysis of what the neocons are up to, this is it.

    It’s guaranteed to scare the hell out of you, and in their own words.

  • Nancy

    I’m beginning to feel about the US government the way a mainstreet German must have felt when Hitler hijacked the administration and set up the Reich. These neocons are a nightmare, and the majority of conservatives seem oblivious to the implications down the road, nor do they seem to care – as long as their nominal party ‘wins’ and stays in power, regardless of its corruption and betrayals even of its own citizens.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    I have the feeling that this debate could go round and round forever, so this will be my last comment. If you believe that George W. Bush committed an impeachable offense by taking the nation to war in Iraq, then by all means press for his impeachment. I doubt a bill of iimpeachment will ever leave the House, and I further doubt that the Senate will ever take one up, for three reasons: (1) there’s nothing to the charge, (2) Republicans control both houses of Congress and (3) Democrats will see impeachment as an electoral loser and not vote for it. Point (1) obviously is my POV on this subject, as well as that of the Robbins article to which I linked. And, even more obviously, it is not the POV of most of the commentators. Points (2) and (3) are simply political realities, for now at any rate. So, it all goes back to something I said earlier: If you don’t like the current administration or Senate or House, change them. That’s not meant as a taunt, by the way, just plain old advice.

  • Nancy

    When you’re right (correct), you’re right. G.P., I do think you’re right about 1, 2, & 3 above.

  • M Paulding

    Nancy, up to now all we could do was speculate. Now, some facts have begun to emerge, some hard evidence, and they are raw meat.

    You’ve got the memo. On Saturday, the Associated Press reported that Bolton, Bush’s UN nominee, flew to Europe at approximately the same time to demand the resignation of Jose Bustani, then head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Bolton’s former deputy said that Bustani “had to go” because he was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. Gee, I wonder why Bolton didn’t want them going there. The UN has since ruled that Bustani’s dismissal was illegal.

    Tim Russert, on “Meet The Press”, confronted the RNC chairman with the memo on Sunday. The guy blustered, but Russert is smart enough to know that the guy stonewalled. When politicians start stonewalling, reporters start smelling blood, and asking more questions.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>The fact that no one in Blair’s government has come forward, and the additional fact that the Bush administration refuses to comment, indicates that they’re stonewalling.<<

    I also found no information clarifying the memo from anyone like Dearlove or Rycroft, but Blair’s press secretary has made a statement to the effect that there was ‘nothing new’ in the memo that wasn’t already a matter of public record.

    I think one of the most important aspects of this is that the memo really is a third hand account of what was said. It’s Rycroft’s interpretation of Dearlove’s interpretation of what was said in the US briefing. My inclination is to think that ‘fixed’ is Dearlove’s wording not that of the original briefing he attended. I would think someone could come forward and say that.

    Dave

  • M Paulding

    Dave, I would venture to say that some questions will be asked during Blair’s visit to the U.S.

    The Washington Post came out with a story just a few minutes ago entitled “The Downing Street Memo Story Won’t Die”. After the Bolton story’s publication (referred to in my comment 24), it appears that the Post may be smelling blood.

  • Maargen

    “This passage needs some clarification. Maybe Rycroft or Dearlove could elaborate; by ‘fixed around’ did they mean that intelligence was being falsified or that intelligence and information were being gathered to support the policy? There is nothing wrong with the latter — it is the purpose of the intelligence community to provide the information decision-makers need, and the marshal their resources accordingly.”

    It’s really odd to what lengths Bush apologists will go to excuse their Dear Leader. Robbins here says that there is nothing wrong in making a decision first, THEN looking for information to support the decision. So presumably if this Robbins were looking for a car, he’d buy it first, THEN find out about safety and gas mileage. Buy stock first, THEN research the company.

    There’s nothing wrong with that?

    That leads to one of the problems discussed in the Senate’s report on Iraqi intelligence. Information was received before the war that there were no WMD in Iraq. However, the administration wasn’t questioning whether Saddam had WMD, only where they were and how many. Any information they received that said there were none was disregarded.

    Anyone who says that there is nothing wrong with creating policy first, then gathering intelligence to support it is an idiot or a liar. Those who are so quick to accept Robbins’ illogic aren’t very good at critical thinking.

  • Jason

    The phrase which includes the word “fixed” isn’t as important as you make it be.

    The possibility that in the desire for war was regime change – recognizing that that alone is not a legal ground – officials began attempting to shape (or “fix”) their case into a legal one.

    If the primary desire is regime change (and the memo indicates so), then the administration lied to the American public by focusing on alleged terrorist connections and WMDs.

  • Jason

    Layering lies upon lies. Those who cover for the crimes of criminals are complicit in those crimes and are also, therefore, guilty.

    Not all of the American people are stupid enough to believe the contents of this DSM critique. Shame on the liars who cover for the liars!

  • Patriot

    Is anyone interested in who provided the “evidence” that is clearly false regarding Saddam’s WMD? Who had the most interest in having the United States attack Iraq? Who has the “best” intelligence” on what is happening in the Middle East? And to what extent did Israel entice the United States into believing that Saddam had WMD?

    The following may provide a clue:

    “Israel’s spy agencies were a ‘full partner’ with the US and Britain in producing greatly exaggerated prewar assessments of Iraq’s ability to wage war, a former senior Israeli military intelligence official has acknowledged.

    Shlomo Bron, a brigadier general in the Israel army reserves, and a senior researcher at a major Israeli think tank, said that intelligence provided by Israel played a significant role in supporting the US and British case for making war.

    Israeli intelligence agencies, he said, “badly overestimated the Iraqi threat to Israel and reinforced the American and British belief that the weapons of mass destruction existed.”

    Source : “Ex-General Says Israel Inflated Iraqi Threat,” Los Angeles Times, Dec. 5, 2003.

    Now – considering that Israel knows when a feather drops off a bird in the Middle East – how could it not know what Saddam had and did not have?

    Considering that “curveball” is the designated culprit, and is not named – who could it be and who was the employer?

    Israel has been the primary beneficiary in this war, and it seems that “curveball” could have been involved directly or indirectly with Israeli intelligence.

    The dots seem to connect – anyone have a better scenario?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    No, we’re interested in hearing your opinions on the Holocaust, Patriot…but you should have already known that.

    Dave

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Having the memory of Desert Storm fresh in my mind, I tried to rationalize this latest Iraqi invasion as a son’s commitment to finish the job his father started. I know it sounds personal and petty but I did find some honor in the thought that there was a perception that G.W. Bush wanted to finish the job his father began. Desert Storm was a completely justifiable military action which was not completed as it should have been. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Colin Powell in particular, and the remainder of Bush 41’s Administration dropped the ball. In all probability there were lies told. The WMD issue, while concerning, is something that should be left to history to review. We’re there. We own it. There’s no time for back pedaling trying to analyze what we’ve done. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people, our military and to America to complete the job. We’ve invested too much in Iraq to leave it in a mess that can’t be repaired.

    ADS also known as AfterDowningStreet.org is beginning to pick up steam in demanding some answers to the Downing Street Memo. There is talk that concrete evidence to back up the memo could result in the impeachment of George W. Bush. Wary political watchers in America seem to downplay the possibility. Should this alleged evidence ever surface, American politicians may be forced by public sentiment to delve into a full Congressional inquiry. Reports tonight indicate that Sen. Kerry will bring the Downing Street Memo to the floor of the Senate this week. The Democrats once again are making a fatal mistake and will fuel the fires of hate politics that continue to poison the legislative branch of government.

    Inaction on the part of the United States Senate in this matter is nothing short of immoral. The citizens of the United States deserve a full accounting of the Downing Street Memo. We deserve to know if the memo is fabricated. Though John F. Kerry is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it is my hope that Senator Biden, the ranking Democrat; or Senator Lugar, the committee chairperson, will bring the Downing Street matter to the table for business. I am urging bloggers from both sides of the aisle to come together to ask the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to take a serious look at this issue. Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee include: Senator Richard Lugar, R-IN; Chuck Hagel, R-NB; Lincoln Chaffee, R-RI; George Allen, R-VA; Norm Coleman, R-MN; George V. Voinovich, R-OH; Lamar Alexander, R-TN; John E. Sununu, R-NH; Lisa Murkowski, R-AK; Mel Martinez, R-FL; Joseph Biden, D-DE; Paul S. Sarbanes, D-MD; Christopher J. Dodd, D-CT; John F. Kerry, D-MA; Russell D. Feingold, D-WI; Barbara Boxer, D-CA; Bill Nelson, D-FL and Barak Obama, D-IL.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>Reports tonight indicate that Sen. Kerry will bring the Downing Street Memo to the floor of the Senate this week. The Democrats once again are making a fatal mistake and will fuel the fires of hate politics that continue to poison the legislative branch of government. <<

    Kerry seems to have a real political deathwish.

    The reason the public is so ambivalent about the memo is that it really doesn’t look like the smoking gun that partisans want to think it is. There’s nothing in there which is really new or unexpected, the ‘fixed’ phrasing is obscure and unclear to a lot of people, and unless you’re really looking for a reason to hate Bush, the memo in and of itself isn’t terribly damning.

    Going after the memo so hard is yet another in a series of moves where the democrats horrendously misjudge public sentiment and suffer for it. Not that the Republicans don’t do exactly the same thing – look at the Terry Schiavo debacle.

    More and more it becomes clear that about 2/3 of the population of the country doesn’t want extremism or aggressive partisanship of any sort from either end of the political spectrum. We’re sick of the Neocons and we’re sick of the anti-bush left. We just want both of them to shut up and go away.

    dave

  • Patriot

    If Mr Nalle is so interested in how many people were killed during WWII, he should have that as a topic — elsewhere — I saw no reference to it in this blog.

    The topic here relates to the current matter of how we got into this Iraq morass — not what happened during WWII.

    Mr Nalle also refers to what “WE‘RE interestsd in”. — Who is this “WE”?

    An inquiring mind would like to know.

    Trying to tie what Bush’s father didn’t do in 1991 – with his son’s attacking Iraq in 2003 is an exercise in futility.

    The DSM is interesting in telling us what was said behind the scenes – but it doesn’t tell why it was being said, does it?

    An inquiring mind would like to know the source of this war – it’s having a hard time being revealed.

    If the real source of this war had been revealed – the DSM would not be of much interest.

    Yet – small-minded “blind little game players” like Mr Nalle — want to keep their eyes closed to the rational possibilities that have been revealed – as though they do not matter – or because they are “untouchable” according to their view of political correctness — and — this is done by pure obfuscation, i.e., by trying to change the subject — something Mr Nalle appears to believe he has developed into an art form.

    Let’s consider two simple facts…

    Fact One:

    In an address to pro-Israel activists at the 2004 convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Bush said:

    “The United States is strongly committed, and I am strongly committed, to the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state.” He also told the gathering: “By defending the freedom and prosperity and security of Israel, you’re also serving the cause of America.”

    That appears to be reason to go to war in Iraq…

    Fact Two:

    Condoleeza Rice, Bush’s National Security Advisor, echoed the President’s outlook in a May 2003 interview, saying that the “security of Israel is the key to security of the world.”

    That also appears to be reason to go to war in Iraq…

    It looks like they are both singing from the same songbook – the question is — who wrote the song?

    Go figure…

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    In my opinion, there are numerous reasons that would have justified the war in Iraq: (1) failure to comply with relevant US resolutions, (2) continued attacks on Allied plans protecting Kurds and Shia in the no-fly zones, (3) active support for Palestinian terrorism, and (4) brutal persecution of (and mass killing of) ethnic and political opponents of the regime. The administration mentioned these, of course, but focused on WMDs, much to their later chagrin, since Iraq did not possess any WMDs at the time of the invasion. But remember, Hussein had a decade-long track record of hiding weapons and denying UN weapons inspection agents to potential hiding places. Moreover, even though he had no WMDs, he evidently found it important to give the impression that he still had them. That, it seems to me, is the only reasonable explanation for his failure to document the destruction of his WMDs even as the war effort began. That is also why US and other intelligence agencies generally thought Hussein still had WMDs, however erroneous that turned out to be In my opinion, reasons (1)–(4) were sufficient to justify the war in Iraq, so I’m not swayed by the fact WMDs were not found. In my opinion—and I’m sure it is a minority opinion in BlogCritics—we were right to go to war even in the absence of WMDs.

    Did Bush lie? Did the administration fabricate evidence? Not in my opinion, but if the Senate would like to launch another investigation, and if it would like to impeach the president, then it is free to do so. But Democrats should be prepared for the negative backlash that such actions would most likely bring. Dave is right: 2/3rds of America simply want the debate over the war to go away. And Silas is right too; we’re there, and we’ve got to finish the job.

    Patriot, however, is living in the fever swamps of antisemitism if he thinks it’s acceptable to blame the Jews.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    That should be UN resolutions, not US resolutions. (I’ll let the readers decide whether that was a Freudian slip.)

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Oh, and before you accuse me of being a Republican shill, I should point out that my thinking about the war in Iraq was significantly shaped by Kenneth Pollack’s book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, which offered a multilayered case for war, including WMDs the kinds of arguments I mentioned in points (1) through (4). Pollack was an Iraq expert in the National Security Council of the Clinton Administration.

  • Nancy

    I still don’t understand why we didn’t just go the cheap route and take Hussein out by assassination – it would have been, uh, challenging, but probably not impossible. And don’t bother with the business about ‘that’s against US law,’ since I’ve never read or heard about US law being a consideration when we ever wanted anything. The only explanation I find is that W wanted war to massage his ego so he could be a ‘wartime president’. We could have spent a lot less and it would have saved lives.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    And it would have left Uday and Qusay Hussein in charge, and they were every inch the sons of their father.

  • Nancy

    Don’t be silly; we would obviously have made it simultaneous hits, as many as we wanted. We could have promised whoever sanctuary in the US, citizenship for self & family, and lifelong income, medical insurance, etc. and gotten away with it all for only about 1/2 a billion, even for a whole slew of assassins. Men don’t think logically….

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    More and more it becomes clear that about 2/3 of the population of the country doesn’t want extremism or aggressive partisanship of any sort from either end of the political spectrum. We’re sick of the Neocons and we’re sick of the anti-bush left. We just want both of them to shut up and go away.

    Dave, you are so on the money. This country is tired of extremes and like it or not we’re a middle of the road kind of society. The problem is that we tend to go to the extreme when it seems like our politicians arten’t responding to us.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Nancy, when you criticize someone for thinking illogically, it might be more helpful if you didn’t engage in fallacious reasoning yourself. “Men don’t think logically” is an unwarranted generalization, after all. And, given how many soldiers it took to surround Uday and Qusay, you might consider that it probably would take an entire army to back up the group of assassins needed to kill all the Baathist officials who would be willing to continue Hussein’s terror. In fact, it would probably take as many soldiers as we’ve currently got in Iraq.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Silas, Culture War? The Myth of a Polarized America by Morris P. Fiorina backs up the point you made in #41 with polling data. I think that’s why Bill Clinton was such an effective politician. He sounded like a moderate and often governed from the middle.

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 35

    There are numerous reasons being kicked around as to how the war in Iraq could be “justified”. The answer is that there is no “justified” reason. The reasons kicked around do not provide any “justification” whatsoever.

    The “failure to comply with relevant UN resolutions” fails because if UN resolutions were not complied with — the UN would have been the arbiter of that and there was no UN approval of our invasion.

    And keep in mind that the all-time winner of not complying with UN Resolutions is Israel.

    The excuse that Iraq was guilty of, “continued attacks on Allied planes protecting Kurds and Shia in the no-fly zones” fails as excuse because no American planes were damaged or shot down.

    And as far as I know — the overflights were not sanctioned by the UN and conducted only by American and British planes. The US and British had no right under international law to conduct those flights — just as Bush Senior had no right to push on to Baghdad in 1991.

    Iraq’s “continued attacks on Allied planes” borders on the excuse Nazi Germany gave to invade Czechoslovakia, i.e., the Sudetenland — which if you recall — was a region of the northern Czech Republic along the Polish border – long inhabited by ethnic Germans, and seized by the Nazis in September 1938, on the pretext that it had made aggressive moves toward Germany.

    Furthermore, if killing Americans is the criteria to attack a country, let us not forget the incident in 1967 when Israel attacked the USS Liberty, killing 34 Americans and wounding over 170 — and there was no retaliation — in fact — there was a cover-up by our own government and an edict to the survivors to “shut up” or face court martial. (We really do have the best government money can buy).

    The excuse that Iraq provided “ active support for Palestinian terrorism” is not sufficient reason to go to war and sacrifice thousands of American lives and spend hundreds of billions of (borrowed) dollars. Why should we now get involved between two warring factions which we as a country, decided many years ago not to get involved in.

    Furthermore, Saddam was providing money to the families whose homes were bulldozed by Israel — not to the terrorists themselves. And as I understand it, Iran and other Middle East countries actually provide money directly to Palestinian groups — up front. So if that is the reason — we attacked the wrong country.

    Saddam was indeed guilty of “brutal persecution of (and mass killing of) ethnic and political opponents of the regime“. But that had been going on for thirty years and I might add was during a time when we supplied Saddam with support in various forms. If we did nothing for thirty years — why attack in 2003? And this reason becomes even more ridiculous when considering how many other regimes there are around the world that are just as bad if not worse — what country do you want to invade next? I won’t belabor the point by mentioning who they are.

    There has to be something else going on.

    Of course, we (correction, not we – Bush) focused on WMDs.

    But we knew that there were no WMD’s — so let’s put that one to rest.

    We all knew that Saddam was nothing but a bluffer — remember how the “Mother of all Battles” turned out?

    And remember Scott Ritter? — he made it crystal clear that Saddam wasn’t hiding any WMD’s — and he was there on the ground in Iraq — not in Washington. And the flimsy slide show that Colin Powell put on at the UN didn’t even fool my elderly mother.

    The excuse that “even though he had no WMDs, he evidently found it important to give the impression that he still had them.” — doesn’t mean anything worth talking about.

    It should be clear that we are still searching for the real reason the US attacked Iraq.

    Did Bush lie? Either he did or he is a complete fool. If my elderly mother could see through it all, why couldn’t he?

    Did the administration fabricate evidence? If they didn’t — who did”

    Somebody provided false information. Who is to be held accountable?

    That is the only question worth answering.

    Let’s not rely solely on any official government body to “investigate” this matter… we should all know that our government flows and goes in the direction of the lobbyists and their money. Let’s not be so naïve as to believe that any investigation by those being investigated will produce anything but more lies.

    Sure — we’re there, just as we were in Vietnam.

    If history teaches us anything — it is that nationalism wins out — and we are not part of that equation.

    We have finished our job — we did what we said we were going to do — we got rid of Saddam — and his (phantom) WMD’s.

    Time to go home and let Israel pick up the broken pieces.

    Why Israel? Because Israel wanted it done.

    Now just how did Israel think it could go about achieving — “A Clean Break”?

    Simple,

    The US-led attack on Iraq provided the method of removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, which was an important Israeli strategic objective.

    In mid-1996, a policy paper prepared for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined a grand strategy for Israel in the Middle East. Entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” it was written under the auspices of an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Specifically, it called for an “effort that can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right… The authors of “A Clean Break” included Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser, three influential Jews who later held high-level positions in the Bush administration, 2001-2004: Perle as chair of the Defense Policy Board, Feith as Undersecretary of Defense, and Wurmser as special assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control.

    Now because I have made the above statement — there are some who will resort to name-calling rather that debate the claim on its own merits.

    It is pitiful that there are some who cannot distinguish between anti-Semitism — which is
    an intense dislike and prejudice against Jewish people — and anti-Zionism which is a against Zionism — a movement that arose in the late 19th century to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine — and which now has morphed into an organization in the United States that seeks to control US foreign policy in the Middle East to a degree that is antithetical to the interests of the American people.

    As an aside — I am sure you all know that many American Jews are anti-Zionists.

    However, I am confident that this clarification will not impress or convince any Zionists in the audience that there is a difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

    That is because the lie has to continue — to ensure that Israel remains the recipient of American taxpayer largesse to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

    And those who question any policy that is contrary to what Zionists demand are — guess what? — Of Course — they are ANTI-SEMITIC!!!

    P.S. A Semite is a member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including Arabs, Armenians, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians as well as Jews.

    Just thought I would mention it.

  • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

    Hey P, a couple of things:

    1 – None of your posts get deleted from BC. So, in the future, why not refer to any one of your anti-zionist posts (choose the best one) instead of writing the same thing over and over.

    2 – Please explain what you mean by “Zionism … has morphed into an organization in the United States that seeks to control US foreign policy in the Middle East to a degree that is antithetical to the interests of the American people.” What do you see as so bad about Americans who support a Jewish homeland influencing the foreign policy of the US?

    Mark

  • http://www.templestark.com Temple Stark

    When people say obvious things it is not brilliance or amazing. It is obvious.

    Restating the obvious shows sanity but little else. Practically.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    He means the ZOG, MDE. He’s just not willing to use the common term and out himself as a racist.

    Again, Patriot. Start a thread of your own. You’ve got more than enough bigoted ranting to merit a long article.

    Dave

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 45

    I write what is relevant to a given post.

    But I see that you are more interested in technique than content. And are you attacking the messenger rather than the message?

    But at least you have responded with an intelligent question.

    What do I mean by “Zionism has morphed into an organization in the United States that seeks to control US foreign policy in the Middle East to a degree that is antithetical to the interests of the American people”?

    The simple answer is that our Middle East foreign policy is controlled and is set solely by a foreign entity. That should never happen in this country — especially when the stakes are so high.

    The American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) sets our Middle East foreign policy. There has been no US policy in the Middle East over the past 40 years that has not been set without the approval of AIPAC. When there is a decision that could favor either AIPAC or American interests — the AIPAC organization wins out.

    AIPAC is the most feared lobby in Washington. AIPAC has for years been powerful because there is virtually no resistance to it.

    Who is going to oppose AIPAC — when the American people for the most part don’t understand the ramifications of the issues involved and how these decisions affect us economically and otherwise.

    And if you ever observe a meeting of AIPAC on C-SPAN, you would hear — with open frankness — that Israel does indeed control US foreign policy in the Middle East.

    That is antithetical to American interests — Zionist interests are not necessarily American interests.

    You ask — “What do you see as so bad about Americans who support a Jewish homeland influencing the foreign policy of the US?”

    I will respond later with an answer to this question. It does not have a short answer.

    P.S. Dave Nalle — butt out. I know where you’re coming from — you sound like a nazi or a communist (take your pick) — who wants the microphone all to himself.

  • http://jcb.pentex-net.com John Bambenek

    I think posts that talk about Zionism should link to Amazon with “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion”

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    In other words, AIPAC is the ZOG, right Patriot?

    Dave

  • Patriot

    Dave — you sound like a parrot with a ten-word vocabulary.

    (And I’m being kind).

  • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

    re: “But I see that you are more interested in technique than content. And are you attacking the messenger rather than the message?”

    Technique is important. If one expects nothing new in your comments, then she will stop spending her time reading them carefully. You have to ‘kick the can down the street’.

    Attacking? No comprendo.

    re: “Who is going to oppose AIPAC — when the American people for the most part don’t understand the ramifications of the issues involved and how these decisions affect us economically and otherwise.”

    Please fill in the blanks. What are these ‘ramifications of the issues’ and how will these ‘decisions affect us economically and otherwise’?

    I look forward to your post answering my previous question, as well. That is, what do you see as so bad about Americans who support a Jewish homeland influencing the foreign policy of the US?

    Mark

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    The debate about Israel and its place in the Middle East and American Foreign Policy can be discussed ad nauseum. The bottom line is that two entities have a direct impact on our Middle East policies: Israel and Saudi Arabia. It depends on the situation in the world at a given moment as to which government gets the clout.

    Personally, I advocate the internationalization of Jerusalem as a district under U.N. control so that all three major religions are free to exercise their religious crap within its walls. Israel and Palestine both have every right to exist and they need to really start talking TO each other.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Patriot, the reason I accuse you of antisemitism is because you focus on the Jews to the exclusion of every other reasonable consideration about our interests in the Middle East. So, for the record:

    We have interests in the Middle East that have nothing to do with Israel. A continuous supply of oil is the most obvious.

    We have interests in the Middle East that coincide with Israel’s. For example, we benefit from a decrease in Islamist terrorist activity, just as Israel does, and Iraq was a terror-sponsoring state. Similarly, we benefit from a politically stable, democratic Middle East, as does Israel. But then again, so does the entire Middle East. Hussein started two major was against Muslims: in Iran and in Kuwait. For strategic reasons, we supported him against Iran (which had overthrown the Shah, a traditional ally and held Americans hostage). We rebuffed him over Kuwait for a variety of reasons, among them, the threat to Saudi Arabia and our oil supply.

    Speaking of Iran, let me digress for a moment. If AIPAC drove our foreign policy, we would never have let the Shah of Iran fall to Khomeini. Why? Because Iran had good relations with Israel under the Shah. But we did. So how was Israel dictating our foreign policy? Or how was Israel dictating our policy when we greenlighted France providing Hussein with weapons? Or how was Israel dictating our foreign policy in the 1956(?) Suez Crisis when Israel, Britain, and France invaded Egypt to take back control of the Suez Canal. We told them to get out. Or how does Israel control our foreign policy when President Bush announces—the first president to do so—his support for Palestinian statehood? Granting Palestinians statehood within “eretz Israel” is contrary to Zionist thinking, and most Israeli leaders have been opposed to it. Here Bush seems to be leading Israel rather than being led by it.

    So, we have interests in the Middle East that are independent of Israel as well as some that coincide with them. We also have interests in Israel that arise from the fact that she is a democracy and an ally.

    But we also have interests in Israel that contradict her interests. We have sold airplanes to Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations, for example. We have held extensive talks with Syria’s leadership, prior to the war in Iraq at any rate.

    In other words, we have complex interests in the MIddle East that cannot be contained merely by saying, “AIPAC made us do it.” Indeed, has it ever occured to you that AIPAC is successful because it preaches to the choir? Perhaps the House and Senate are pro-Israeli groups, on the whole, because that reflects the views of their constituents. AIPAC simply builds on their support. If you’d like to blame anyone for America’s support for Israel, perhaps you’d do better by focusing on the pro-Israeli stance of American premillenialist evangelicals whose theology tells them that the reestablishment of the state of Israel is the fulfillment of divine prophecy.

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    George, the reason I accuse him of anti-semitism is simpler than yours – I do it because he repeatedly references neo-nazis and holocaust deniers as sources.

    Dave

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Thanks for the info, Dave! I’ll ignore Patriot’s posts in the future.

  • Patriot

    A Sampling of the Impact of American Zionism:

    AIPAC caused the 1973 Oil Embargo and the resulting economic upheaval for the following decade. Inflation reached as high as 21%, millions of jobs were lost, government programs (still with us) had to be indexed to keep up with inflation and the stock market went into the doldrums until 1982.

    The political pressure which resulted in our government condoning the attack on the USS Liberty – and then squelching what the crew had to say about the Israeli lie that it was only a “mistake” — led to an act of treason by Lyndon Johnson. Keep in mind that our own government silenced the crew when the sailors tried to tell the news media what actually happened — and for 38 years Congress has refused to have hearings on the matter.

    NOTE: Today. June 8th, is the 38th anniversary of the Attack on the USS Liberty. Will there be any official government recognition of this vicious unprovoked attack on an American naval vessel in international waters? (only in your dreams).

    Because of AIPAC — our politicians pass laws in the Congress providing billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money to Israel each year. Passing budget laws in this country that fund Israel is a violation of our Constitution but it is done because AIPAC intimidates our politicians into doing it. We send several billion dollars to Israel each year in spite of the fact that Israel is based on a state religion and the First Amendment of our Constitution states that, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.

    The laws funding Israel — passed by the United States Congress would be declared illegal if they were passed to benefit any other state or political entity established on religious grounds. It is clear that American taxpayer dollars sent to Israel are unconstitutional but no voice is raised against this trampling on our Constitution.

    Our politicians violate the Constitution because to do otherwise subjects them to political pressure and intimidation by the Israeli lobby.

    To date — our government has sent over 200 billion dollars to the State of Israel — not counting the 500 billion or so, that it will cost us to get rid of Israel’s enemy in Iraq. Over the years, we had no control over how the money we sent to Israel was spent — but be rest assured that without it — hundreds of illegal settlements could not have been built — settlements that are now a stumbling block to achieving George Bush’s plan for a two-state solution (give George credit for trying).

    The ACLU is a junkyard dog when it comes to public funding of religious school education of children, school vouchers, students saying a prayer at a school function, reciting the name of God, any Christmas display on public property, or any other issue that even remotely touches upon a conservative religious interpretation of the First Amendment. There is something drastically wrong when our tax dollars cannot be used to educate our own children in our own cities and towns, and we cannot display any Christian symbol without going to the Supreme Court, but billions of our tax dollars can be spent freely each year to support Israel, a religion-based government. To make matters worse, our tax dollars are used to subsidize the building and expansion of illegal Zionist settlements in the occupied West Bank. If that is not enough, it is commonly agreed that if peace ever comes to the Middle East and there is a dismantling of the illegal Zionist settlements, the American taxpayer will foot the bill. We will have to pay to re-settle the Zionist settlers who knowingly settled on land knowing their being there was a violation of international law.

    It is repeated over and over that –Israel is a “democracy”. But Israel does not pass the “democracy” test. To comply with the definition of “democracy”, Israel would have to accept the proposition that “all men are created equal”, and subsequently treat Arabs as equals. Instead, Arabs (and others) — because they are Moslem or Christian or whatever, are treated as non-equals. Only Jews are invited to live in Israel. This inequality based on religion is subsidized with American tax dollars.

    Imagine the outrage and firestorm that would ensue if the United States Congress sent several billion each year to any religion-based entity. The ACLU would object vigorously — but not a peep here.

    Yet for decades our Congress and Presidents have sent several billion dollars each year to Israel, a government that was founded on religion and is based on religion. The First Amendment clearly opposes the support of any religion. The President and the Congress have failed to keep their oath to faithfully defend the Constitution of the United States.

    Amazing!!!

    Those who dare raise a voice against Israel based on what this country is all about — and what it is not about — are blacklisted and attacked by the Israeli lobby and its fellow travelers.

    This country should get out of the Middle East and simply trade with the countries there — and let the UN — which created Israel — deal with issues between the countries.

    Then we can sit back — enjoy life and let others solve their own problems.

    Our interference in other parts of the world is the reason we have “terrorists” attacking us.

    Please Note: The “terrorists” are not attacking Norway or Sweden.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Wait, the Jews caused the 1973 oil embargo? If they are so powerful that they can shape the oil policy of even viciously antisemitic countries like Saudi Arabia, then perhaps—a la the Borg—resistance is futile.

    And Israel is a religion-based nation, not a democracy? Tell that to the 18% of Israeli citizens—Arab Muslims, Arab Christians, and Druze—who are neither ethnic nor religious Jews. Oh, and tell all the secular Israelis who can’t stand the Orthodox that they live in a religion-based country and see how negatively they react. Oh, and then look at a country like Saudi Arabia, which is a religion-based country, where all citizens must be Muslims and where conversion is forbidden by law. Then come back and tell me that Israel is religion-based and non-democratic.

  • http://www.biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Patriot, Nazi Central called. Your membership card is in.

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 59

    Thank you — I could hear the click of your boots as you sent this message, but I see you are so delirious with your propaganda, Herr Kain — that you mistook me for Comrade Nalle.

    Please stay tuned for the next broadcast from America — land of freedom of speech and other conservative notions..

  • Nancy

    At the risk of getting flamed myself, I would like to see us a little less unlaterally favoring Israel, and being more even-handed towards some of the Arab states. I think our policy (to date) of ‘Israel right or wrong’ is not entirely wise or fair. It doesn’t help (with me, at least) that they have been caught spying on us on several occasions as well.

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 58

    Sorry George — sometime you get your facts straight — and sometime you don’t.

    This time you don’t…

    Let’s look at what caused the 1973 oil embargo.

    Prior to October, 1973, we were buying oil from Saudi Arabia for one quarter the price we would pay shortly thereafter.

    In October, 1973 — the Arabs had regained territory lost in the 1967 war. Israel wanted to re-take the Arab land — but needed US support to the tune of 2 billion dollars. On October 17, 1973, Saudi Arabia publicly warned the US that if it provided the 2 billion dollars to Israel — that Saudi Arabia would place an embargo on oil shipments to the United States. On that day, Richard Nixon sold out the American economy and the American people for his own political benefit. Nixon caved in to political pressure from AIPAC, the Jewish lobby in Washington, in defiance of a clear warning from Saudi Arabia to stay out of the 1973 War. The connivance of Nixon in Watergate is a drop in the bucket compared to what he did to the economy of this country before he was kicked out for other reasons.

    The 1973 oil embargo resulted in interest rates of 21% and inflation which caused the price of an automobile to creep up from $2,500 to $10,000 by the end of the decade and the price of a house to go from $30,000 to $100,000.

    Tax rates rose through “bracket creep,” capital formation stopped in its tracks, and it soon took two workers to produce the same income that one had brought home before. The resulting “stagflation” that had its roots in the high price of oil permeated our economy for well over a decade.

    The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has dragged on decades. The United States could resolve it by recognizing and enforcing Israel’s pre-1967 borders. But Israel insists on keeping land to which it has no claim according to International Law. So we in this country are subjected to massive economic disruption because of a few square miles of land on the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea.

    I fail to see how this makes any sense.

    There is only one way to resolve the conflict. Confiscated land has to be returned — and it would have been — except for AIPAC.

    Middle East wars have cost us hundreds of billions of dollars and severe disruption to our economy caused by oil pricing, starting in 1973 — when Nixon succumbed to the Israeli lobby.

    And what keeps the pot boiling is Israel’s intransigence in adhering to international law and UN Resolutions – which I am sure you are aware of — so I will not provide a compendium of those infractions here.

    ***

    Now — for the matter of “freedom of religion”. Ask the 18% of Israeli citizens—Arab Muslims, Arab Christians, and Druze—who ever tried to preach their religion publicly. Ask them if they can bring in others (like relatives) to settle in Israel — the same way that those whose mothers are Jewish can.

    And the battles between Orthodox and secular Jews is based on what? Is it not the problem that the secular Jews are upset with the Israeli “religious” laws?

    There is also an interesting contradiction here… “the Jewish state”… “is a democratic state”? How can that be? Does Israel’s Constitution guarantee freedom of religion? Of course the answer is no. There is no Constitution and no religious protection. Just try preaching Christianity to a Jew in Israel and see where it lands you. It would be interesting to define in what way Israel is a democracy — other than that they have elections. But many other countries, like Iran, that are not real democracies also have elections. These countries typically also discriminate against those who practice other religions.

    You judiciously chose Saudi Arabia, which is a religion-based country, where all citizens must be Muslims and where conversion is forbidden by law to make your point about religious intolerance. But I don’t care what the Saudis do — it’s not on my radar screen. Now if the US was sending billions of dollars in aid to Saudi Arabia — as it had been doing to Israel — I would be just as concerned.

    It is not a part of our Constitution that American taxpayers have to support a Jewish state as we have done for decades. In fact, our Constitution prohibits any law supporting “an establishment of religion”. But in fact, we are supporting an “an establishment of religion” when we send billions of our taxpayer dollars to keep Israel afloat. The question remains, why does our government subvert its own Constitution? This question is not debated, and there is not even any debate as to why there is no debate.

    P.S. I forgot — Mr Nalle has stated why there is no debate — it is forbidden by his New Mind Control and Censorship Commissariat.

  • http://www.publichealthpage.com MDE

    So P your arguments are these:

    1 – By supporting Isreal instead of the ME oil producers we brought the 70’s oil embargo down on our own heads.

    2 – It is unconstitutional for our government to financially support a religious entity.

    re 1 – True enough, and by supporting England rather that Germany in the late 30’s we brought WWII down on our heads.

    On the other hand, it’s not clear to me that the oil producers were not looking for reasons to flex their united muscles in any case. Our pro Isreal stance was convenient.

    re 2 – This is nonsense. Congress can give your tax money to whatever foreign gov it wants to. Try reading the establishment clause with things American in mind.

    Mark

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Patriot, does it really make sense to you to blame the Israelis for an oil embargo imposed by Arabs against America when America offered to help the Israelis defend themselves from a war started by Arabs? Isn’t that a bit like blaming a rape victim who enlists your aid in defending herself from a sexual predator cop who proceeds to arrest you because you assaulted a police officer?

    And nice try on the whole “Israel is not a democracy” argument, but consider this: (1) An atheist Jew has as much a right of return as an Orthodox Jew, which obviates your claim that Israel is a religion-based state. (2) Israel routinely changes out its governments, with Labor and Likud alternately forming (un)stable coalitions with smaller parties. The issue is not merely the holding of elections, but whether those elections actually change things. Israel, unlike the pseudo-democracies you cite, does not fix its elections so that the ruling party stays perpetually in power. Its parties actually have to convince a notoriously fractious group of voters that they are best capable of governing. In my book, that’s a democracy.

    As to your remark about Israel being in violation of UN Security Council resolutions, it might be helpful if you actually cited one. The one usually cited is Resolution 242, which spoke of the withdrawal of “Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict.” But it also called for “termination of all claims or states of belligerency,” and it recognized that “every State in the area” possesses the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.” Israel has demonstrated that it is willing to trade land for peace time and time again: (a) it returned the Sinai to Egypt as the result of its peace agreement, (b) it returned administrative control of the West Bank and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, and (c) Sharon is moving to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza and leave it Judenrein, which would seem to be a desirable outcome in your opinion. Unfortunately, with notable exceptions (Egypt and Jordan), Arabs retain their belligerent stance toward Israel, most especially Palestinian Arabs who call for justice in English and jihad in Arabic. You might argue that Israel hasn’t fulfilled its responsibilities, but so what! It’s not required to commit suicide by unreciprocated gestures of good will.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    >>re 2 – This is nonsense. Congress can give your tax money to whatever foreign gov it wants to. Try reading the establishment clause with things American in mind.<<

    Mark, you forget that Congress is controlled by the ZOG, so it is the evil jews of AIPAC/ZOG who are taking your money and giving it away to their zionist compatriots in Israel.

    Dave

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 63

    No Mark — if you recall from your American history book — Japan attacked us — and we responded in kind. Then — because Germany and Japan had a mutual defense treaty — Germany declared war on the United States. We responded to Germany’s declaration of war against us…

    And before that — you should recall that German subs were launching torpedoes at our ships — such as the Reuben James. The U.S.S. Reuben James was torpedoed and sunk in the early morning hours of October 31, 1941, with the loss of 115 of 160 crewmen, including all officers. Although not the first U.S. Navy ship torpedoed before the war, the Reuben James was the first one lost.

    So you believe that Congress can give your tax money to whatever foreign government it wants to?

    The Vatican (a country with ambassadors) will be glad to hear this. Perhaps it can lay claim to a few billion dollars a year (on a per capita basis it should get about 10 times more than Israel).

    But can’t you just hear the squealing of the ACLU at this “violation of Church and State”???

    I can.

    P.S. I don’t recall that Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country attacked us during or before the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

    Also — in 1973 the Israelis were fighting to retain land that UN Resolutions 242 and 338 dictated had to be returned to the Arab countries — and we helped Israel violate International Law (Oh well — laws are made to be broken — I believe Adolf said that in the late thirties.)

    Also recall that in the 1967 War — Israel conducted a “preemptive war” by destroying all the Egyptian planes on the ground. Israeli planes flew over the Mediterranean at very low levels to avoid detection. (Sort of like what happened at Pearl).

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 54

    George — Your mind has been corrupted by paying too much attention to the repetitive chatter of the Blog Parrot — Comrade Nalle.

    Please clear your mind of Comrade Nalle’s generalizations, innuendos, snide remarks and other bullshit — and pay attention to facts such as names, places, dates, references and other such things that Comrade Nalle does not understand or appreciate.

    Yes!!! — “We have interests in the Middle East that have nothing to do with Israel.”

    I could not agree with you more — but we do not serve those interests by playing only the games that Israel says we can play.

    I focus on Israel because — it has been the source of disruption in the entire Middle East for decades. I have no problem with what Israel does or does not do — I focus when Israel (AIPAC) drags us into supporting their intransigent policies — and demanding our unwavering support — even when what is does is a violation of International Law.

    Of course a continuous supply of oil is a vital concern. And that is exactly why I tend to focus on what happens in the Middle East.

    You say that we benefit from a decrease in Islamist terrorist activity, just as Israel does.

    Whoa!!! Stop right there!!!

    The reason there ARE Islamist terrorists is because Israel has adamantly refused to adhere to UN Resolutions for over 50 years. Are you not aware that whenever the UN has attempted to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict — the United States vetoes the UN Resolution in the Security Council at the behest of Israel (AIPAC)?

    So you believe that Iraq was a terror-sponsoring state. Yes, but the terror was limited to Iraq (like Cuba) — and we haven’t invaded Cuba yet.

    Sure we benefit from a politically stable, democratic Middle East. But are we going about it in the right way? The answer is no — you don’t start out by lying about the objective — and trying to deceive the American public.

    Now you say — “If AIPAC drove our foreign policy, we would never have let the Shah of Iran fall to Khomeini“.

    Give me a break — what could we do? Nuke the Iranians?

    So how was Israel dictating our foreign policy with regard to Iran?

    Our support of Iran to suit Israel before the Shah was thrown out — was a factor as to why the Shah was thrown out.

    How was Israel dictating our policy when we allowed France to provide Hussein with weapons?

    Give me another break — what good would it do to tell France what to do? What planet have you been living on for the past 50 years? And did we not provide support to Saddam ourselves? We were in no position to tell France — hey there — don’t do what we have been doing.

    And how was Israel dictating our foreign policy in the 1956?

    At last — a good question. It didn’t.

    But it didn’t because we had a leader with integrity. Please recall that Dwight Eisemhower was President then — and he took no crap from anyone — he was one of the last great American Presidents.

    Next question:

    How does Israel control our foreign policy when President Bush announces—the first president to do so—his support for Palestinian statehood?

    To his credit in 2002, George Bush broke a long-standing tradition and declared that the Palestinians were entitled to a Palestinian state. This violated the 50-year old policy of both Democrat and Republican administrations which let Israel be the sole determinant of what Palestinian land the Palestinians were entitled to own and control. But after a lot of hot air — Israel still insists on being the sole determinant of what Palestinian land the Palestinians will be entitled to own and control.

    Bush’s change of policy did not go well with the supporters of Israel, either in Israel and more importantly, in this country. Naively believing that as president of the United States, the world’s only superpower, he had the power to do this –. Bush tried to step in and enforce what the rest of the world had been saying for years, that Israel should stop its occupation, aggression and subjugation of the Palestinians, and that there should be a Palestinian state. Bush soon learned that Israel determines United States policy in the Middle East, not the President of the United States. Bush learned that he needed Israel’s permission to go along with his objective.

    Bush’s first step was to tell Israel to get out of the West Bank. In the Spring of 2002, Bush told Sharon to withdraw from the West Bank “without delay.” Sharon ignored it. Shortly thereafter, Bush told Sharon to withdraw from the West Bank “immediately.” Sharon ignored Bush again.

    Initially, Bush told Sharon that Israel had to negotiate with Arafat because he was “the elected leader of the Palestinians.” Sharon snubbed Bush and attacked Arafat in his compound, while also demolishing Palestinian buildings in a show of the military power that Israel receives from the United States.

    Whatever Bush tried to do to bring about a just and lasting settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sharon rejected. This flagrant snubbing of the leader of the world’s most powerful country, would have made headlines in the United States if France or Germany or Russia had done it. However, our media doesn’t criticize Israel, regardless of what it does. There was no negative reaction from the American media, the United States Congress or any political party on Sharon’s obvious flagrant snubbing of Bush. Bush was soon made to realize that even as president of the most powerful country in the world, he had no influence over matters involving Israel, unless it was to agree to send more it money. He found that the United States Congress and the American media are controlled by the Zionist lobby, and he was overridden.

    Bush overlooked Sharon’s snubbing and adopted the Israeli positions. Sharon told Bush that the path to a Palestinian state was through Baghdad. The rationale was that once Iraq was conquered and it stopped supporting the Palestinian cause, a peace accord with the Palestinians could be achieved. The plan was simple. An attack using the full force of the American military on Iraq would resolve Israel’s problem in dealing with the Palestinians. Once the Palestinians did not have Iraq as a supporter, it would accept peace on Israel’s terms.

    Bush reversed his position on negotiating with Arafat, the elected leader of the Palestinians, and said that Israel did not have to negotiate with him.

    Immediately, the Israeli PR campaign against Arafat was supported and picked up by the American news media to further denigrate Arafat. When considering the veracity and credibility of Sharon or Arafat, it has to be kept in mind that in 1994, Arafat received the Nobel Peace prize along with Rabin and Peres. At the same time, Sharon’s reputation was, “the butcher of Sabra and Shatila refugee camps” and he was in danger of being charged as a war criminal. Based on our media bias it is not unusual that Sharon should be invited to the White House, considering his background. Even the Israeli Knesset denounced Sharon after the Sabra and Shatila massacres. However, our government and media is very forgiving when it comes to crimes that Israel commits.

    After he received repeaated rejections from Sharon, Bush starting doing whatever Sharon wanted. Sharon made it clear to Bush who was in the driver’s seat, and when Sharon went to Washington in June, 2002, to meet with Bush, he knew he would get whatever he wanted. For a long time Sharon had made it clear that Israel considered Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as its primary threat and an Iraqi regime change would take care of the problem. With the overthrow of Hussein, the Palestinians would lose their biggest moral supporter, and Israel could then deal with the Palestinians on terms that Israel dictated. Sharon’s legacy depends on a military defeat of the Palestinians and keeping whatever Palestinian land it wants. Iraq’s support of Palestinians was a painful thorn in the side of Sharon.

    As directed by Sharon, Bush announced the United States would go to war against Iraq. There was no negative reaction from the American media, the United States Congress or any political party on Sharon’s flagrant snubbing of Bush, the world’s most powerful leader of the world’s most powerful country, and no criticism of the role Bush took as Israel’s surrogate.

    This capitulation comes as no surprise to those who are aware of the many instances of Israelis controlling our country to our detriment, both in blood and money.

    Anyone who doesn’t see the connection between what Ariel Sharon wanted Bush to do in Iraq and our invasion of Iraq has been asleep (it cannot be a coincidence that Bush reversed telling Sharon to get out of the West Bank and declared Iraq to be the problem in the Middle East, just after Sharon met with Bush in mid-2002).

    And Bush took the bait and went along with Sharon’s plan — an attack and an easy victory — or so claimed by Sharon (did he know something we are just learning?)

    Sharon told Bush “the road to peace in Jerusalem led through Baghdad”. Of course, this is false — but Sharon convinced Bush it was true.

    When the International Court of Justice ruled that the Sharon’s Wall that confiscates Palestinian land is illegal Bush agreed. Our position on the wall had been clear. We said we did not support it. But when it came to putting some action where our mouth was, our government suddenly developed a yellow streak on its back as it does every time Israel needs a US veto in the UN Security Council. Our government under George Bush immediately came out and said that the United States rejects the ruling of the International Court of Justice. Instead, we announced that — as usual — we are on Sharon’s side.

    What Israel wants — Israel gets. What it really wants is just the best land — without the people. Israel has come to realize that it doesn’t want the Palestinian people — and although they have been referred to as “vermin”, “ants”, (Menachem Begin’s favotite), and other animals — they can’t just be “eliminated” — but they do have to be “contained” in “concentrated’ areas — such as Gaza, one of the most densely populated tracts of land in the world. It is home to about 1.3 million Palestinians, about 33% of whom live in refugee camps. Gaza also has been home to about 8,000 Jewish settlers.

    The Bush administration has supported Sharon’s Gaza plan. The Bush administration has agreed that Palestinian refugees are to be repatriated not to Israel but to Palestine; and second, Israel should not be required to return to its 1967 borders. Both of these concessions violate international law and numerous United Nations resolutions that Bush and other presidents previously agreed to.

    And as far as the West Bank is concerned, the Bush administration has now supported a unilateral proposal by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to dictate a peace settlement. This proposal refutes Bush’s own “Roadmap to Peace” — which shows that Bush is afraid to contradict Sharon.

    Bush’s willingness to embrace Sharon’s “vision” — in particular, the demand for U.S. concessions to Israel’s negotiating position with the Palestinians — has caused a backlash in the Arab world and to some extent has eroded Bush’s other goals in the Middle East.

    So, the interests we have in the Middle East have been damaged by the Bush -Sharon axis.

    You say that we also have interests in Israel that arise from the fact that it is a democracy and an ally.

    It is difficult to see how a state founded on Jewish law (the Head Rabbi still is in control) can be a “democracy”.

    Now if Israel would adopt our Constitution — I would agree that would make it a democracy. But if we — the United States were to take on the Israeli form of government — would you say that you lived in a “democracy”? I think not.

    Sure we have sold airplanes to Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations — but they are inferior to the planes we sell to Israel — mainly useful for keeping their own populations under control – but practically worthless against the weapons we supply to Israel.

    We have held extensive talks with Syria’s leadership, prior to the war in Iraq at any rate… So what???

    Virtually every problem we have in the Middle East can be contained categorized as, “AIPAC made us do it.”

    What AIPAC has accomplished is remarkable. It has organized its forces which number about 300,000 to march to the beat of their drummers. Whenever an issue comes up — our Congress is deluged with calls…

    That’s the way it works — nothing wrong with that except the American people are asleep and don’t know or understand why their economic well-being went to hell during the 70’s — and will suffer from the war in Iraq — and all they do is complain about the end result — not trying to find out why it happened.

    Stay tuned…

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    >>George — Your mind has been corrupted by paying too much attention to the repetitive chatter of the Blog Parrot — Comrade Nalle.<<

    I have to admit I admire your resolve in not clearing up the impression that you’re an antisemitic holocaust denier when all you would have to do is state your real position, one way or the other one time to get people to take you seriously. It shows a real loyalty to the cause….really an almost religiously fanatical loyalty.

    Dave

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 64

    Sorry George — you have it wrong…

    In 1973 — Richard Nixon had no business trading the economic well-being of the entire nation for over a decade to “help Israel defend itself” in the 1973 war which was “started” by the Arabs. You should recall that the 1973 War was really a continuation of the 1967 War — which was started by Israel. The Arabs were trying to get back the land taken by Israel in 1967.

    If the Arabs had regained their land — it is likely that a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Arab conflict could have been achieved long ago. If the Arabs had regained their land– and world public opinion would have been totally changed — the Arabs would have felt justified and that would have forced an early resolution of the conflict. Instead — our involvement had the deleterious effect of emboldening Israel in holding onto Arab land thereby keeping the Arabs dedicated to violent methods to regain what they believed was rightfully theirs. And as we know — these violent methods have

    And Saddam would not have had one less cause to pursue.

    In 1973, the American people had no say in the decision to “help” Israel. The result of the oil embargo was almost as devastating to our economy as the Great Depression. It plagued us for over a decade.

    Can you imagine what the response would have been if the American people were told what Nixon’s decision would mean to them economically?

    Can you imagine what the response would have been if the American people had been asked to vote on whether to trade their economic well-being for a decade in exchange for sending Israel 2 billion dollars more that year?

    I am confident I know the answer.

    And on the issue of whether. “Israel is a democracy”, the issue of “right of return” does not include any non-Jew who lived in Israel before 1948. What kind of “democracy” dictates that residents who lived there previously cannot return to their homes.

    That’s like telling a citizen of our country who goes abroad and upon returning –”sorry — you can’t be here — somebody else has moved into your house — and no — you can’t even go to see it”.

    Some “democracy”…

    Of course each Arab who was denied “return rights” to a former home — (which applies under International Law) — could convert and become a Jew — and then the Arab could return. The Arab — upon converting and becoming a Jew — could return? Is that the way it works?

    As far as Labor and Likud are concerned — you are talking about Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum insofar as these issues are concerned. The decimated Arab population is so low that they do not have a voice in what affects their human rights. In my book, that’s not a democracy.

  • Patriot

    RE: Comment 64 (addendum)

    Now let’s see why the United States is hated as much as Israel in a large part of the world — and why young Arabs are willing to strap a bomb to themselves just to inflict punishment on Israelis and Americans.

    Why Americans? Because what Israel does is recognized as what the United States does — because of our blind support of Israel. It is a trap that AIPAC has gotten us into and because what Israel does is not under our control — our leaders have written a blank check. We should all thank our leaders for their splendid leadership.

    In regard to Israel violating UN Security Council resolutions”

    Since the establishment of the United Nations at the close of World War II, international law has recognized the unacceptability of the acquisition of territory by war.

    Israel is currently in violation of more United Nations resolutions than any other country in the world. From resolutions demanding that the annexation of East Jerusalem be reversed, to those demanding the end of settlement construction, to those demanding withdrawal to 1967 borders, to those demanding an end to political assassinations, to those requiring compensation to the victims of its military assaults, and over 32 United Nations Security Council resolutions passed since 1968 have been ignored by Israel.

    At a time in which violations of such resolutions are used as a pretext for war on Iraq, it is strange that Israel has faced no consequences for its continual denial of UN resolutions and rights guaranteed under international law.

    A few basic UN resolutions, 181, 194, 242, and 338, are among the most well-known dealing with the conflict. Various Israeli politicians have claimed to support various of these resolutions, and have developed their own interpretation of 242 that enables the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt to supersede the rights of Palestinians.

    Other resolutions currently violated by Israel include:

    Resolution 252 (1968) Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind measures that change the legal status of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and properties thereon.

    Resolution 262 (1968) Calls upon Israel to pay compensation to Lebanon for destruction of airliners at Beirut International Airport.

    Resolution 267 (1969) Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

    Resolution 271 (1969) Reiterates calls to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem and calls on Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying powers.

    Resolution 298 (1971) Reiterates demand that Israel rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

    Resolution 446 (1979) Calls upon Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying powers, to rescind previous measures that violate these relevant provisions, and “in particular, not to transport parts of its civilian population into the occupied Arab territories.”

    Resolution 452 (1979) Calls on the government of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction, and planning of settlements in the Arab territories, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

    Resolution 465 (1980) Reiterates previous resolutions on Israel’s settlements policy.

    Resolution 471 (1980) Demands prosecution of those involved in assassination attempts of West Bank leaders and compensation for damages; reiterates demands to abide by Fourth Geneva Convention.

    Resolution 484 (1980) Reiterates request that Israel abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

    Resolution 487 (1981) Calls upon Israel to place its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency.

    Resolution 497 (1981) Demands that Israel rescind its decision to impose its domestic laws in the occupied Syrian Golan region.

    Resolution 592 (1986) Insists Israel abide by the Fourth Geneva Conventions in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.

    Resolution 605 (1987) “Calls once more upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide immediately and scrupulously by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War, and to desist forthwith from its policies and practices that are in violations of the provisions of the Convention.”

    Resolution 607 (1986) Reiterates calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its practice of deportations from occupied Arab territories.

    Resolution 608 (1988) Reiterates call for Israel to cease its deportations.

    Resolution 636 (1989) Reiterates call for Israel to cease its deportations.

    Resolution 641 (1989) Reiterates previous resolutions calling on Israel to desist in its deportations.

    Resolution 672 (1990) Reiterates calls for Israel to abide by provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Arab territories.

    Resolution 673 (1990) Insists that Israel come into compliance with resolution 672.

    Resolution 681 (1990) Reiterates call on Israel to abide by Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Arab territories.

    Resolution 726 (1992) Reiterates calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its practice of deportations from occupied Arab territories.

    Resolution 799 (1992) “Reaffirms applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention…to all Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and affirms that deportation of civilians constitutes a contravention of its obligations under the Convention.”

    Resolution 1004 (1994) Calls upon Israel, as the occupying power, “to take and implement measures, inter alia, confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by settlers.”

    Resolution 1073 (1996) “Calls on the safety and security of Palestinian civilians to be ensured.”

    Resolution 1322 (2000) Calls upon Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying power.

    Resolution 1402 (2002) Calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian cities.

    Resolution 1403 (2002) Demands that Israel go through with “the implementation of its resolution
    Resolution 1402, without delay.”

    Resolution 1405 (2002) Calls for UN inspectors to investigate civilian deaths during an Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp.

    Resolution 1435 (2002) Calls on Israel to withdraw to positions of September 2000 and end its military activities in and around Ramallah, including the destruction of security and civilian infrastructure.

    As a result of Israel’s rejection of International Law — we in the United States are regarded as complicit in Israel’s violations — it is well known that without American dollars and military might — Israel would not be able to
    be the pariah that it has become.

    ***

    The Palestinian people saw the loss of its homeland as unjust because they were not consulted in the creation of the state of Israel. In 1947, the Jewish population owned 3% of Palestinian land.

    The Palestinians objected to a plan that effectively deprived them of half of the land that had always belonged to them.

    And in fact, the lines at the end of the 1948 war were drawn giving greater boundaries to the state of Israel than those in the original partition plan.

    Because of ethnic cleansing via massacres and terror — approximately one million Palestinians became refugees. Today, there are eight million Palestinians in the world; half are refugees.

    The boundaries that the Palestinians say they will settle for is only 22% of what was once their land. But Israel wants more.

    Israel has not withdrawn nor offered to withdraw to the borders prescribed in Resolution 188, nor has it agreed to recognize a Palestinian state in the remainder of Palestine.

    In the 1967 war, Israel conquered the Gaza Strip (under Egyptian control), the Sinai (Egyptian land) the West Bank of the Jordan River (under Jordanian control) and the Golan Heights (Syrian land). Despite common allegations to the contrary, the 1967 war was not a defensive war for Israel.

    Israel launched strikes against Jordan and Egypt to begin the war. At that time, it annexed East Jerusalem and illegally expanded the borders of Israeli-held Jerusalem. It also took control of all the occupied territories.

    United Nations Security Council Resolution 242, citing “the inadmissibility of territory acquired by war,” immediately called upon Israel to vacate the territories it occupied in 1967.

    This was followed by Security Council Resolution 338 in 1973, reiterating these points. It has become a ritual for the United Nations to declare Israel’s occupation illegal and call for its end.

    Nevertheless, Israel has continued its occupation. It has even constructed numerous illegal “settlements” — on occupied Palestinian territory, created by seizing Palestinian land and water and building huge structures with massive military presences surrounding them — all around Palestinian cities.

    The construction of the settlements has encircled Palestinian cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a huge ring of occupied territory.

    The United Nations has repeatedly declared these settlements illegal and a violation of international law; but the Israeli government continues to provide significant economic advantages for those willing to live in a settlement.

    And these settlements more than doubled during the period of the Oslo “peace process”, a process that, contrary to Israeli assertions, never recognized the validity of either United Nations resolution 188 or 242.

    Israel insisted upon a Palestinian “state” broken up by Israeli military zones, without water rights, or border rights, and encompassing the settlers, their “security zones,” and their military guards.

    Contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits collective punishment from being used against a population in supposed retribution for the acts of a few, Israel has continually applied brutal collective punishment to the Palestinian people.

    Palestinian land has been subject to “closure” since 1993; Palestinians, who had once served as a labor army in Israel, have faced raates unemployment as high as 50%.

    The entire Gaza Strip became the world’s largest prison, enclosed by a fence with its citizens largely prohibited from entering along any of the borders.

    Military checkpoints divide Palestinian territory ao that passage from city to city or place to place that once took minutes now takes hours and trips that once took hours now take days. The Palestinian agricultural trade has
    Gone to hell — with produce and crops rotting at military checkpoints; people are denied medical care while waiting at checkpoints; the entire population goes through this humiliating ritual merely to pass from place to place within their own land.

    Civilian cities, refugee camps and villages are bombed and subject to military attack; crowded apartment buildings are bombed; civilian homes are demolished; the institutions of civil society have had their records, equipment and material systematically destroyed.

    Palestinian cities live under curfew-often a twenty-four hour, shoot-to-kill curfew, in which any Palestinian on the street may be killed by Israeli soldiers. Palestinian education has been attacked, first by curfew preventing students from ever reaching school, and specifically through the repeated closure of Palestinian universities.

    These measures are collective punishment. Any Palestinian is subject to indignity, imprisonment, torture and death. Rather than “dissuading terrorism,” such tactics serve only to perpetrate a war against millions of Palestinian civilians — and

    War crimes: Most recently, Israel denied the United Nations access to the Jenin refugee camp, the site of widespread destruction in April 2002.

    Despite Israeli assurances that the army did nothing wrong in Jenin, the complete demolition of a huge area of a highly populated refugee camp indicates a severe lack of concern for human rights, and Israel repeatedly denied independent investigators access to the site.

    In November 2002, the human rights group Amnesty International issued a report on Israeli actions in Jenin and Nablus charging “clear evidence” of Israeli war crimes, including the targeting of civilians, political assassinations, the use of human shields, and the demolition of homes.

    However, Israeli war crimes did not begin with Jenin and Nablus. In Lebanon in 1982, now-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon led Israeli troops in Lebanon who stood aside to allow Phalangist Lebanese armies access to the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Chatila, and thousands were murdered. Israel’s Kahane commission found Ariel Sharon personally responsible for the war crimes in Lebanon. Nonetheless, Sharon is still Prime Minister of Israel, honored rather than prosecuted for his war crimes.

    In 1996, Israel blocked an investigation similar to that planned for Jenin after a bombing that killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians. Israel has repeatedly sought to evade prosecution or investigation for these crimes.

    In August 2002 Israel made a bilateral agreement with the United States that both countries would protect the other from prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

    Partners in crime?

    Refugees forced from their homes during time of war, or caused to flee from their homes by conflict and war-are guaranteed by law their right to return to their homes and homeland.

    Nevertheless, the millions of refugees created by the wars of 1948 and 1967 are denied their rights to return to their homeland.

    In United Nations Resolution 194 upon which Israel’s admission to the United Nations was predicated — the United Nations declared that the Palestinian refugees must be granted their right to return home, or given the option to be compensated for their loss. But refugees have received no return, no choice, and even no compensation.

    Instead, the human rights of millions of Palestinians are denied on the basis that their ethnicity and religion pose a threat to Israel.

    Israel has openly defied the terms of its own admission to the United Nations for decades, as it refuses to honor the refugees’ right of return.

    Instead, it has implemented as “Basic Law” a “Law of Return” for any Jewish person in the world wishing to settle in Israel. While Jews from around the world are granted citizenship, government support, and recognition (which Americans pay for), Palestinians whose land was stolen in 1948 are recognized not at all.

    After the war of 1948, refugees’ property was officially expropriated under the Absentee Property Law, which declared anyone not present on their land at the close of the war an “absentee landholder” and granted their property to the state.

    Over 92% of Israel today consists of land officially stolen, while refugees continue to live in camps, relying on support from the United Nations — while refugee repatriation has taken place around the world; most recently in Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo — but Palestinian refugees have been denied their return rights.

    Israel has continued to pursue its institutionalized policies of racism, discrimination and oppression. Emboldened by the impenetrable safety net of United States aid, Israel does whatever it wants — regardless of the law. Unlike other countries receiving foreign aid, Israel’s aid is unencumbered with restrictions — and it may be used directly to promote settlements, engage in military incursions inside the occupied territories, and other acts in violation of international law. For too long, Americans have stood silent. It is our money that allows the Israeli government free rein in its assault on the Palestinian people.

    Oh — what a breeding ground for terrorism!

    We have bred a generation of “terrorists” by our own foreign policy and the American taxpayer has paid for it in money and blood.

    And all this with best wishes from AIPAC!!!

  • jo

    “I think one of the most important aspects of this is that the memo really is a third hand account of what was said. It’s Rycroft’s interpretation of Dearlove’s interpretation of what was said in the US briefing. My inclination is to think that ‘fixed’ is Dearlove’s wording not that of the original briefing he attended. I would think someone could come forward and say that.”

    sounds like you are trying to put words in other peoples mouths.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Patriot, your recitation of UN Security Council Resolutions and Israeli history is all very interesting, of course, but it lacks context. In fact, it amounts to saying that we ought to blame Israel simply for existing, since if it did not declare independence in 1948, none of the wars or terrorist acts that followed would have taken place. And while you quickly condemn Israel for its injustices—and like every other nation, it has plenty of injustices—you fail to address several issues: The UN recognized Israeli nationhood from the beginning, the Arabs did not. So, do you agree that—given your solicitude for UN Security Council Resolutions—the state of Israel has a fundamental right to exist? If not, why not?

    Under what circumstances do alleged Israeli injustices to Palestinians legitimate invasion by Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia (1948)? If they had not invaded, Israel could have settled its issues with the Palestinians peacefully. So, was the invasion justified or unjustified? If justified, on what grounds? It certainly seems to violate the UN’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty as a nation. And if Arab nations can invade a country without UN approval in order to deal with human rights abuses there, then why can’t the US invade Iraq to deal with far more significant human rights violations? If unjustified, then aren’t you admitting that the problems between Israel and its neighbors stem from an Arab act of agression?

    After 1948, a roughly equal amount of Jews were expelled from Arab countries as were Palestinians from their homeland. Where are the UN SEcurity Council Resolutions calling for their repatriation to their homelands? In fact, why don’t we have a Jewish refugee problem? Isn’t it because Israel took them in? Isn’t it true that Arab countries deliberately kept the Palestinians in refugee status during their control of the territories in order to foment opposition to the state of Israel’s existence?

    Between 1948 and 1967, Jordan and Egypt had control of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, respectively. Where are the UN Security Council Resolutions calling on them to return the land to the control of the Palestinians? Why did the UN acquiesce in the occupation of those pieces of Palestinian property for so long?

    For me, the basic issue boils down to this: Israel has a right to exist as a sovereign nation, which the UN Security Council has recognized from early on, but which the Arab countries have not acquiesced to until recently. You are ambivalent about Israel’s existence, I take it.

  • http://georgepwood.com George P. Wood

    Let me add this: Israel has a right to exist, and the Palestinians have a right to a nation. And both of them have the right to a statehood free of constant threat of military action against them. The “land for peace” slogan is a viable bargaining position, in my opinion. That requires territorial compromises from Israel and the end of jihad and intifada from the Palestinians. Obviously, the details of “land for peace” are tricky, but they can be accomplished if both sides act in good faith. That’s my final post on this subject.

  • Patriot

    I am not ambivalent about any UN Resolution.

    I have a real problem with coumtries that consistently ignore UN Resolutions.

    And Israel is the chief violater —

    AND WITHOUT OUR TAX DOLLARS ISRAEL WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO IGNORE UN RESOLUTIONS.

    That is the crux of matter.

  • Melissa

    I am shocked and amazed . I was sure that Bush would say , Whoops you caught me this time. The memo says Bush had made up his mind to remove Saddam , Bush said he was trying to avoid that. He lies and lies and lies….

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    I’m shocked and amazed that you can be so ill-informed, Melissa. Bush did not say he was trying to avoid removing Saddam. Everyone agreed on that from the UN to the Congress to Bill Clinton. Bush said he was trying to avoid removing him militarily if it could be done politically. It turned out that the political solution wasn’t getting anywhere, so he went with the military option. Not at all the same thing.

    Dave

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