Clarifications around the AIPAC spy affair

It’s in Haaretz:

The U.S. Justice Department is expected to file indictments against two former senior American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) staffers – Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman – and, according to sources familiar with the affair, the charges will be subsumed under the Espionage Act.
A Virginia grand jury is now examining the evidence in the case, which involved receipt of classified defense information from Larry Franklin, a Pentagon official, and its transfer to the representative of a foreign country, Naor Gilon, of the Israeli embassy in Washington.(…)
Franklin called Weissman and asked for a meeting to discuss an important subject. At the meeting, in a mall near the Pentagon, Franklin told Weissman that Iranian agents were trying to capture Israeli civilians working in the Kurdish area in northern Iraq. Around the same time there had been conflicting reports in Washington about an Israeli presence in Kurdish Iraq.

And of course Justin Raimondo links it back to the resignation of Douglas Feith. Raimondo has another interesting comment here.

Now my comment: Why didn’t we see any of this in the Lebanese Press let alone on TV? I think that is why Lebanese will never fully realize what’s going outside their tiny district.
A district they continue to “fragmentalize”.

Bernard Lewis revealed

By myself, In an article that you can for now find at Tribune Libanaise. I try to trace the CORROSIVE influence Lewis had on Academia as well as on Media in the shaping of a simplified and chauvinistic world-view of historical and current Middle East. Please comments are welcome here and at the Tribune website.

For those interested in writing on the Middle East or Lebanon please do send your ideas or articles to me that I will forward to Albert Costanian who’s in charge for Tribune Libanaise. Your opinion is crucial at a time of complete disarray in the lovely region of ours.

An Israeli struck by reason

An excellent article by Zvi Bar’el that makes fun of cultural arguments as espoused by American hawkish circles in a very very interesting way:

t is definitely confusing. Up until three months ago, it was clear to everyone that the Sunnis were the enemies of the United States and the new Iraqi government. Up until a month ago, everyone knew that the U.S. proscribed Hezbollah and that Hamas was an enemy of the Palestinian nation in Washington’s eyes. And another small matter: We knew that the collapse of the Soviet Union gave birth to a number of new states and that the greatest success had actually been achieved in the “Muslim republics.” Freedom and democracy in Muslim states were always a dream that gave America goose bumps.

And now everything is upside down. Stay tuned.

do not trust others when you can do the job yourself

Aoun has finally agreed with the above saying and is running for parliamentary elections:

The fiery retired general said talks on linking up with Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and Saad al-Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, had produced no agreement on a joint ticket for the polls.

Democracy in Lebanon is showing us all the rot that was once tamed in an all be it controversial way. But the rot is now unleashed. Extremists and narrow-minded candidates are mushrooming from all sides:

– Christians (the list is infinite) and their oh so dangerous paranoïa, feeling of superiority, chauvinism, etc.
– Druze (Jumblatt) and their ‘progressivist’ hypocrisy
– Sunnis (Hariri) and their new found power level and popularity

Coincidentally, I was living a similar experience at home trying to expel a nest of cockroaches from my house: the more time passed, waiting to find the right medicine, the more the number of insects grew exponentially. The last regime method (before the Syrian departure) would have been to keep them at bay using force if necessary (i.e. security services abuses). Similarly, I was expelling them out of the house leaving them to go and find their way on the streets. But the more I did this, the more their babies grew resentful and came back in an increasing number swirming in my kitchen.
I had to use the eradicate-all-of-them method! Called a guy to come and put some deadly product. Since then, I saw a couple of them dying.
Morality of the story: Too bad petty politics cannot be managed like one would deal with a nest of cockroaches.

four big American military bases to build Democracy

in Iraq:

the decision to in vest in the bases, which will require the construction of more permanent structures such as blast-proof barracks and offices, is seen by some as a sign that the US expects to keep a permanent presence in Iraq.

When will the people understand that you just cannot preach democracy as if it was some kind of recipy. However, what you can and might do in these specific times of ideological splendors, is use ‘democracy’ as useful tool to keep knowledge consumers at bay.

Expert in mixing neocolonialism and globalization

For globalism to work, (…) America cannot be afraid to act like the almighty superpower that it is. . . .The hidden hand of the market will never work without the hidden fist—McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonald-Douglas, the designer of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. (…) The war in Iraq is the most important liberal, revolutionary US democracy-building project since the Marshall Plan. It is one of the noblest things this country has ever attempted abroad.

Now who’s this crazy, another neocon? Christian zionists? another extreme “ist”? nope, it’s Thomas Friedman.

what a wonderful world

Arabs (of course not Syrians) and Israelis are going to walk hand in hand to see how to ‘develop the Middle East’ at the World Economic Forum taking the next three days in beautiful resorts on the shores of the dead sea:

The pope has sent a representative. OPEC dispatched its president. Top Israeli and Iraqi officials will be here.

Everything is changing so rapidly, Syrians are going to wake up one day and realize they did not take the globalization train

political economy of Oil

A very interesting article with a thorough historical overview debunking some of the myths around American politics of Oil. The US is less dependent on Middle East oil than one would think, and that the classical leftist argument, that the war was to control oil resource is far from being a rigorous one. It is more a reason of business than of State that’s for sure.

Why Galloway?

because of this:

There is little doubt that the neocons in the British Labor Party are working hand-in-glove with people like Coleman and his neocon friends and political supporters in AIPAC to punish Galloway and make it hard for him to use his reinstated House of Commons platform to launch expected fierce broadsides against Blair and other pro-Iraq War Laborites, most notably Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Defense Secretary John Reid, and former Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon. The neocons also want to deal a blow to the anti-war Respect Party, which gave Labor a run for its money in a number of other hotly contested constituencies in Britain.
Coleman, who also sits on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, used his Oil for Food charges against Galloway, former French Interior Minister Charles Pasqua, and an unnamed former French foreign minister to bolster the nomination of John Bolton as U.S. ambassador to the UN. The Bolton affair has revealed even more proof that a shadow intelligence network has operated within the U.S. government.
Bolton had on his staff a “special adviser” named Matthew Freedman who pulled down a $110,000 per annum salary. Freedman is also a lobbyist who represents “private clients.” He refused to tell the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who those clients were. However, it has been discovered that Freedman, a long time GOP operative like Bolton, is tied to the same oil industry network that once used Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as agents of influence.
The State Department’s Bureau of Near East Affairs reported that Bolton met with Mossad officials in Israel without obtaining country clearance from the bureau.

AIPAC again making the headlines

For a complete list of bad deeds click here.
And here’s a taste of it:

AIPAC has also lobbied heavily for U.S. funding of various Israeli weapons programs, including its Arrow missile defense system. Its Web site explains: “Since 1990 the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Ballistic Missile Defense Organization have cooperated to develop missile defense technology to counter the threat of long-range missiles, which are being developed by countries such as North Korea and Iran. This military cooperation between the U.S. and Israel has resulted in the deployment of the Arrow missile defense system, and the continuing development of the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL).” (…)
Several high-profile Bush administration folks have had financial interests in many of the weapons systems pushed by AIPAC, including Jay Garner, the former “mayor of Baghdad,” whose SYColeman produced parts for the Arrow missile system. Garner also has strong ties to the neoconservative Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

History repeats itself

According to Sami Moubayed:

all the actors of Beirut 1990 are still there. Former president Amin Gemayel, who appointed Aoun prime minister in 1988, upsetting tradition in Lebanon because Aoun was a Maronite, is still there. Patriarch Man Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, who worked for Aoun’s downfall, is also still in religious office. Ex-prime minister Salim al-Hoss, who led a rivaling cabinet in 1989-1990, is there, and so is Samir Gagegea, who Aoun had viciously fought in the eastern districts of Beirut. The general who had been chief-of-staff and who had orchestrated Aoun’s exodus from Baabda Palace, stands today in Baabda Palace, the legitimate and internationally recognized president of the Lebanese Republic.

A very interesting article to check out. Provides an up-to-date analysis of the current political challenges Lebanese politicians have to meet.

Academic Bias

An exhaustive article on pro-Israeli bias on American campus high in colors and links. For those who need a rigorous introduction into the other side of “liberty” in the US.

A Bernard Lewis’ valet named at the NSA

This is exactly what we’ve been scared about since we started understanding these topics. An this is how American foreign policy and public opinion, gets shaped.

US strategy in the Middle East

Check out this good (and lengthy!) article published not long ago in Haaretz. It gives a realist (slight israeli bias) account of what the US plans to do here and the challenges that awaits key countries on a case by case basis. A lot of Shia/Sunni talk can be found, showing a direct acknowledgement of how an American policy maker (neocon specifically) would read the map.

back from a long trip

I have been busy playing music and waiting to see who’s going to take charge in my country. Seems that nothing much has changed. Just a minor power reshuffle. I mean no significant changes could be expected to occur for the average people like myself and many others in Lebanon.
I have stopped reading the news for quite some time now and it feels rejuvenating.
Now that I am back in the mess, things are less messy than what I use to percieve. Maybe because at the time, I was drowning in piles of threats and biases, built on ignorance, stupidity, and greed. Now I know that all these attributes are natural features of human beings. That’s why I feel better: the more I grow, the more I accept ugly things.