For all of those who think that the US gov. is an independent entity, we offer the following for consideration. The general picture is depressing, especially when any rational discussion of the actions of a political entity are put off-limits by a manipulation of a legitimate tragedy.
From the Signs page archives:
"What should we do? Let’s ask Israel!"
Thursday, April 22, 2004
By Raff Ellis
(YellowTimes.org) – The Tribune Company’s local newspaper has a weekly “Friday Forum” page where mail is solicited in answer to timely questions such as, “Has the U.S. stayed too long in Iraq?” The paper printed 17 responses for that one and, knowing full well that the result would hardly be scientific, I attempted to gauge current public attitudes by statistically tallying the answers.
Had I answered the call for letters, I would have simply said, “Let’s ask Israel!” After all, they have been influencing America’s shots in the Middle East for a long time and, as reported on Israeli radio, Vice President Cheney told Sharon before the war started, “We will attack Iraq first and foremost for Israel's sake.” Philip Zelikow, former member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, now the executive director of the 9/11 commission told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002, that the prime motive for the invasion of Iraq was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East.
The Israelis and their U.S.-based claque, of course, eschew any influence or responsibility for America’s policy decisions even though PM Sharon has on many occasions bragged about Israeli and Jewish influence. As he said to Shimon Peres on October 3rd, 2001, during a Knesset debate (reported on Kol Yisrael): "Every time we do something you tell me America will do this and will do that . . . I want to tell you something very clear: Don't worry about American pressure on Israel. We, the Jewish people, control America, and the Americans know it."
The hand of Israel can be seen in many areas including America’s intelligence operations. Although the CIA and FBI are taking the heat for pre-9-11 intelligence failures, nothing is mentioned about Israel’s influence in this area. Vice President Dick Cheney was briefed by Mossad’s director-general, Efraim Halevy in March, 2002 (as reported in the intelligence newsletter Globe-Intel), that Saddam Hussein had placed squadrons of suicide pilots at “hard stand readiness,” ready for instant take-off.
Cheney was told that the aircraft were carrying biological and chemical canisters, including nerve agents designed to destroy human immune systems and that Mossad had identified no fewer than a dozen other storage sites in and around Baghdad. “We believe some of them are buried beneath mosques in the city suburbs,” Cheney was told.
Our Congress bristles at the notion that it is often called “Israeli occupied territory,” yet it routinely passes legislation drafted or suggested by American Israel Political Action Committee (AIPAC) that lavishes praise and money on that foreign government. Millions in “loans” are forgiven each year. Grants, which are given to Israel in lump sum at the beginning of the year, are loaned back to the U.S. and we taxpayers not only get to foot the bill for the principal, but also for the interest -- on our own money! Pro-Israeli lobbies in America operate on a budget of more than $30 million a year, used to influence both Congress and American public opinion. Given the billions drained from the U.S. treasury over the years, I’d say it was money well spent.
There are no boundaries to Israel’s wishes and to our government’s desire to fulfill them. The TV images are still fresh from the White House of the president, walking on an appropriately blood-red carpet, side-by-side with the grinning and “courageous” war criminal Ariel Sharon. It is clear by Bush’s actions that he bases important decisions on what his hero Sharon and Israel wants.
He sent Americans to fight, bleed and die for them. He has given his blessing to Sharon’s atrocities against Palestinians and title to large portions of the West Bank, even though it wasn’t his to give. Forget about the Geneva Conventions, International Law and U.N. Resolutions, Bush has decided that Israeli support is more important than any laws, agreements or American lives. Ironic isn’t it that Bush used to be fond of saying that Saddam needed to be punished for not obeying U.N. Resolutions even though Israel is the world’s record holder for ignoring such resolutions. The same excuses, such as the violation of human rights and possession of WMDs, that were used to go to war in Iraq are forgiven for Sharon & Co.
So, if you want to know what we should do next in Iraq, let’s do as we always do — ask Israel! Are you as comfortable with that as I am?
And the U.S. is nothing if not consistent. From today's Signs:
An Updated List of Vetoes Cast by the United States to Shield Israel from Criticism by the U.N. Security Council
By Donald Neff
Prior to the Nixon administration, the United States had never employed its veto power in the U.N. Security Council. It was first used March 17, 1970 over Southern Rhodesia. The second U.S. veto came two years later, when Washington sought to protect Israel from a resolution condemning Israel for one of its attacks on its neighbors. Since then, the United States has cast its veto a total of 39 times to shield Israel from Security Council draft resolutions that condemned, deplored, denounced, demanded, affirmed, endorsed, called on and urged Israel to obey the world body.
1. Sept. 10, 1972—Condemned Israel’s attacks against Southern Lebanon and Syria; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention
2. July 26, 1973—Affirmed the rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, statehood and equal protections; vote: 13 to 1, with China absent.
3. Dec. 8, 1975—Condemned Israel’s air strikes and attacks in Southern Lebanon and its murder of innocent civilians; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention.
4. Jan. 26, 1976—Called for self-determination of Palestinian people; vote: 9 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
5. March 25, 1976—Deplored Israel’s altering of the status of Jerusalem, which is recognized as an international city, by most world nations and the United Nation’s; vote: 14 to 1.
6. June 29, 1976—Affirmed the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
7. April 30, 1980—Endorsed self-determination for the Palestinian people; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
8. Jan. 20, 1982—Demanded Israel’s withdrawal from the Golan Heights; vote: 9 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
9. April 2, 1982—Condemned Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip and its refusal to abide by the Geneva Convention protocols of civilized nations; vote: 14 to 1.
10. April 20, 1982—Condemned an Israeli soldier who shot 11 Muslim worshippers on the Temple Mount of the Haram al-Sharaf near the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem; vote: 14 to 1.
11. June 8, 1982—Urged sanctions against Israel if it did not withdraw from its invasion of Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
12. June 26, 1982—Urged sanctions against Israel if it did not withdraw from its invasion of Beirut, Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
13. Aug. 6, 1982—Urged cut-off of economic aid to Israel if it refused to withdraw from its occupation of Lebanon; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
14. Aug. 2, 1983—Condemned continued Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine territories of West Bank and Gaza Strip, denouncing them as an obstacle to peace; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention.
15. Sept. 6, 1984—Deplored Israel’s brutal massacre of Arabs in Lebanon and urged its withdrawal; vote: 14 to 1.
16. March 12, 1985—Condemned Israeli brutality in Southern Lebanon and denounced Israel’s “Iron Fist” policy of repression; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
17. Sept. 13, 1985—Denounced Israel’s violation of human rights in the occupied territories; vote: 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
18. Jan. 17, 1986—Deplored Israel’s violence in Southern Lebanon; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
19. Jan. 30, 1986—Deplored Israel’s activities in occupied Arab East Jerusalem which threaten the sanctity of Muslim holy sites; vote: 13 to 1, with 1 abstention.
20. Feb. 6, 1986—Condemned Israel’s hijacking of a Libyan passenger airplane on Feb. 4; vote: 10 to 1, with 1 abstention.
21. Jan. 18, 1988—Deplored Israeli attacks against Lebanon and its measures and practices against the civilian population of Lebanon; vote: 13 to 1, with Britain abstaining.
22. Feb. 1, 1988—Called on Israel to abandon its policies against the Palestinian uprising that violate the rights of occupied Palestinians, abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and formalize a leading role for the United Nations in future peace negotiations; vote: 14 to 1.
23. April 15, 1988—Urged Israel to accept back deported Palestinians, condemned Israel’s shooting of civilians, called on Israel to uphold the Fourth Geneva Convention and called for a peace settlement under U.N. auspices; vote: 14 to 1.
24. May 10, 1988—Condemned Israel’s May 2 incursion into Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
25. Dec. 14, 1988—Deplored Israel’s Dec. 9 commando raids on Lebanon; vote: 14 to 1.
26. Feb. 17, 1989—Deplored Israel’s repression of the Palestinian uprising and called on Israel to respect the human rights of the Palestinians; vote: 14 to 1.
27. June 9, 1989—Deplored Israel’s violation of the human rights of the Palestinians; vote: 14 to 1.
28. Nov. 7, 1989—Demanded Israel return property confiscated from Palestinians during a tax protest and allow a fact-finding mission to observe Israel’s crackdown on the Palestinian uprising; vote: 14 to 1.
29. May 31, 1990—Called for a fact-finding mission on abuses against Palestinians in Israeli-occupied lands; vote: 14 to 1.
30. May 17, 1995—Declared invalid Israel’s expropriation of land in East Jerusalem and in violation of Security Council resolutions and the Fourth Geneva convention; vote: 14 to 1.
31. March 7, 1997—Called on Israel to refrain from settlement activity and all other actions in the occupied territories; vote:14 to 1.
32. March 21, 1997—Demanded Israel cease construction of the settlement Har Homa (called Jabal Abu Ghneim by the Palestinians) in East Jerusalem and cease all other settlement activity in the occupied territories; vote: 13 to 1, with one abstention.
33. March 26, 2001—Called for the deployment of a U.N. observer force in the West Bank and Gaza; vote: 9 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
34. Dec. 14, 2001—Condemned all acts of terror, the use of excessive force and destruction of properties and encouraged establishment of a monitoring apparatus; vote: 12-1, with 2 abstentions.
35. Dec. 19, 2002—Expressed deep concern over Israel’s killing of U.N. employees and Israel’s destruction of the U.N. World Food Program warehouse in Beit Lahiya and demanded that Israel refrain from the excessive and disproportionate use of force in the occupied territories; vote: 12 to 1, with 2 abstentions.
36. Sept. 16, 2003—Reaffirmed the illegality of deportation of any Palestinian and expressed concern about the possible deportation of Yasser Arafat; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
37. Oct. 14, 2003—Raised concerns about Israel’s building of a securiy fence through the occupied West Bank; vote 10 to 1, with 4 abstentions.
38. March 25, 2004—Condemned Israel for killing Palestinian spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in a missile attack in Gaza; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
39. Oct. 5, 2004—Condemned Israel’s military incursion in Gaza, causing many civilian deaths and extensive damage to property; vote: 11 to 1, with 3 abstentions.
Comment: This list speaks for itself regarding the US position in the Middle East.