CHIROT ZERO ZINE--ANNOUNCING NEW BLOG

Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
---
http://chirotzerozine.blogspot.com
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at david.chirot@gmail.com
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... books.google.com/books?isbn=0312263805... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../leonard-peltier-american_n_265764.html - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667
icasualties.org/oif/

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453
http://icasualties.org/oef/


=

Cost of War in Iraq

$691,188,637,164

Cost of War in Afghanistan
$229,137,844,021

The cost in your community

www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual


VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL
No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
GAZA-GUANTANAMO-ABU GHRAIB—THE GLOBE
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com
Addresses: david.chirot@gmail.com
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208
USA

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'



Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'


The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.


The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

JVP: Review of Zeev Maoz's Defending the Holy Land--Ellen Cantarow: The Wages of Force: Expansion, Not Peace / ZNet

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jewish Peace News <jpn@jewishpeacenews.net>
Date: Wed, Mar 25, 2009 at 6:05 PM
Subject: Ellen Cantarow: The Wages of Force: Expansion, Not Peace / ZNet
To: david.chirot@gmail.com

This is a a book review of Zeev Maoz's Defending The Holy Land:  A Critical Analysis Of Israel's Security & Foreign Policy
(University of Michigan Press: 2006).
The reviewer, Ellen Cantarow, writes:
"Anyone seeking the background behind Israel's demonizing of Hamas; its destruction of Gaza; its slide into today's fascism (my word, not Maoz's) should read this book. According to its author Israel has been a "Sparta state" from its inception, its national psyche veering between arrogance and paranoia. Shaped by the belief that all Arabs and their states would destroy Israel if they could, the Jewish state's policies have been rooted from the start in Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall" doctrine. Adopted by Jabotinsky's arch-rival Ben Gurion, this doctrine has translated throughout Israel's history as repeated military blows "to convince the Arabs of the futility and illogic of their dreams. Over time, the Arabs will come to accept the Jewish state and to make peace with it" (9)."
The book, the reviewer says "brings a crushing weight of historical and analytical detail to bear on all arenas of Israel's security and foreign policy".

Not surprisingly, the book was ignored by mainstream media when it came out.  Cantarow conjectures that  Maoz's "unimpeachable credentials" have made the book most threatening:
"He headed the Masters program of the Israeli Defense Force's National Defense College; he also directed the Graduate School of Government Policy and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. Of five major wars he analyzes here, he fought in three: the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, and the 1982 Lebanon War. In the early 1990s he briefly advised Yitzhak Rabin on strategic affairs. His thirty-year ambition to write this book was driven by his frustration with "the persistent failure of the policy community to learn from Israel's mistakes . . . " (viii)."

Racheli Gai.



http://www.zcommunications.org/znet/viewArticle/20927

The Wages Of Force: Expansion, Not Peace

A review of Zeev Maoz's Defending The Holy Land: A Critical Analysis Of Israel's Security & Foreign Policy (University of Michigan Press: 2006).

 March 21, 2009 By  Ellen Cantarow
[Footnote added March 22. 2009]

In 1997 Hamas offered Israel a 30-year truce. Jordan's King Hussein delivered the offer: Israel's response was to send Mossad agents to Jordan where they tried to kill Hamas leader Khaled Meshal by dropping poison in his ear. The incident (described by former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy in his book, Man in the Shadows), not only deeply embarrassed the King, it also failed to kill Meshal. (Other peace bids were made; all were rejected, though none, perhaps, as dramatically as this.)

Hamas has also honored both short and long ceasefires, not the least of which took place during the six months preceding Israel's recent devastation of Gaza. A January 2009 Huffington Post article by Nancy Kanwisher, Johannes Haushofer, & Anat Biletzki shows that in any "conflict pause" between 2000 and 2008 ("conflict pause" means a cessation of hostile actions on both sides) Israel most often killed first, shattering the peace. The longer the "conflict-pause," the greater Israel's propensity to break it with violence.

The 1997 assassination attempt illustrates what Zeev Maoz, in his landmark work, Defending the Holy Land, calls Israel's "over my dead body" approach to peace. One form of Israeli ceasefire violation has been targeted assassinations, which Maoz says became policy -- a specific "tactic intended to ignite escalation" -- in the al-Aqsa Intifada. (He himself cites "four separate occasions" on which "Israel violated an implicit cease-fire that the Palestinians imposed upon themselves by assassinations that caused escalation" [287].)

Anyone seeking the background behind Israel's demonizing of Hamas; its destruction of Gaza; its slide into today's fascism (my word, not Maoz's) should read this book. According to its author Israel has been a "Sparta state" from its inception, its national psyche veering between arrogance and paranoia. Shaped by the belief that all Arabs and their states would destroy Israel if they could, the Jewish state's policies have been rooted from the start in Jabotinsky's "Iron Wall" doctrine. Adopted by Jabotinsky's arch-rival Ben Gurion, this doctrine has translated throughout Israel's history as repeated military blows "to convince the Arabs of the futility and illogic of their dreams. Over time, the Arabs will come to accept the Jewish state and to make peace with it" (9).

The book brings a crushing weight of historical and analytical detail to bear on all arenas of Israel's security and foreign policy. Readers will find blow-by-blow analyses (including details of military decisions, arms used, tactics chosen, advances, retreats, etc.) of all of Israel's wars from Sinai in the mid-1950s through Lebanon in 1982 (the book ends in 2004). Here, too, is a compendium of its "lesser" conflicts from 1949 through the first part of the al-Aqsa Intifada.

Maoz gives careful attention to Israel's secretive nuclear policy and its impact on the region. An illuminating exploration of Israel's intervention into the affairs of neighboring states includes Israel's covert operations in the Sudan, where it supported the Black Sudanese south against the Arab north from 1965-75; the West Bank, where it tried to create "village leagues" -- these were manned by thugs loathed by the general population -- to supplant the PLO. (When that didn't work, it supported Muslim groups that morphed into Hamas.) A section on the "causes and implications of the mismanagement of National security & foreign policy" includes a detailed discussion of how Israel's military came to dominate its civil society (including its court system).

This book was ignored (by The New York Times among others) when it appeared. My guess is that it wasn't the book's bulk (at over 700 pages including end notes and references this is a huge volume) that caused editors to ignore it. Certainly it wasn't its plain-spoken but occasionally "poli-sci" style: such books are routinely reviewed in the Times and The New York Review of Books. I suspect that the book was simply too damning of policies slavishly underwritten by the US, and unquestioningly accepted by US intellectuals -- including, say, the editors of the Times. Length and unwieldiness might have been an excuse; but the real reason probably lies in today's unhappy atmosphere of censorship (both by the "self" and by the guardians of public thought in this arena).

I also suspect that a strike against Maoz is his unimpeachable credentials. He's enough of an "establishment man" to be dangerous -- hence, better ignored. He headed the Masters program of the Israeli Defense Force's National Defense College; he also directed the Graduate School of Government Policy and the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. Of five major wars he analyzes here, he fought in three: the War of Attrition, the Yom Kippur War, and the 1982 Lebanon War. In the early 1990s he briefly advised Yitzhak Rabin on strategic affairs. His thirty-year ambition to write this book was driven by his frustration with "the persistent failure of the policy community to learn from Israel's mistakes . . . " (viii).

Israel committed one of its worst mistakes in 1971. That February, President Anwar Sadat announced to Egypt's People's Assembly a possible "interim agreement" with Israel. Within days this became a full-blown peace offer brokered by the UN's Gunnar Jarring in trilateral negotiations with Israel, Egypt and the US. Egypt's foreign minister wrote Jarring that Egypt would "enter into a peace agreement with Israel containing all the . . . obligations as provided in Security Council Resolution 242 . . . once Israel withdrew from the Sinai" (412; emphasis mine). The offer, comments Maoz, "could not be overstated . . . At the end of the road was what the Israelis had been, presumably, praying for over the past twenty-three years: a full-fledged peace treaty . . . It implied a formal acceptance of and peace with a Jewish state in the Middle East by the strongest and most important Arab state" (412).

If Israel had said yes to Sadat in 1971, the Palestinians might well have been quiet (subsequent leaked Israeli intelligence has revealed that Israel was considering letting the old families in the occupied territories run their affairs as they had under the Ottoman Empire). Egypt would have been removed as Israel's greatest Arab threat; Egyptian compliance with the treaty would have been a touchstone for future negotiations with other Arab states.

Before 1967 Israel would have accepted Sadat "with both hands," says Maoz. "In 1971, however, the price tag for this deal appeared excessively high . . ." (412). In short, Israel's greed trumped its desire for peace. It wanted to hold onto what it had conquered in the Sinai in 1967; in specific it wanted to build a huge city on the site of a tiny settlement called Yamit (Israel was forced to evacuate that in 1982).

The choice was fateful. The Yom Kippur War, which largely owed to Israel's rejection, cost the lives of three thousand Israeli soldiers; a "staggering" loss of equipment; $10 billion in overall damages. (Arab losses, of course, were far higher.) On at least two occasions (October 9 and 23), Israel armed its nuclear warheads, bringing the region to the brink of nuclear war (164). (Maoz thinks it's reasonable "to suppose that [Israel] had two to three dozen bombs and a dozen or so nuclear warheads on its Jericho missiles" (165). He also feels that "nuclear deterrence did not do what it was supposed to do" (315). Soviet intelligence must surely have passed knowledge of Israel's nuclear doings to Egypt, but neither Egypt nor Syria was deterred from pressing forward. (The chapter on Israel's nuclear policy greatly expands the idea of its futility and its sparking of a regional arms race.) After the war Israel's defense spending soared from 15% to 25% of GDP, "the largest in the world at
that time" (165). Beyond sheer expense in blood and money, in January, 1974, Israel agreed "to a far worse deal" with Egypt (417).*

Was the choice of expansion over peace worth it? Maoz thinks not. The Yom Kippur War did improve Israel's relations with the US; at the same time it increased Israel's military dependence on the Americans. The Yom Kippur War further isolated Israel elsewhere in the world and, in Maoz's view, "marked the growing legitimacy accorded by the international community to the PLO" (167). Israel's security establishment (IDF intelligence) continued dominating its foreign-policy decisions. Among other things this produced Israel's ties with "pariah states such as South Africa . . . " (168).

Maoz use the specific terms "expansion" and "annexationist" only in reference to later events: "Once religious ideology became a major drive in the settlement policy, an unspoken alliance was formed between annexationist elements in the Labor Party and the Likud Party, on the one hand, and national-religious groups such as Gush Emunim, on the other" (489). But Israel's expansionist ambitions are very clear in Maoz's account of Sadat's 1971 offer. Elsewhere, the author describes Israel's territorial fixation as a far earlier motive:

"Even before 1948 . . . Zionist leaders strongly believed that the outcome of any political settlement in Palestine would be determined by the demographic distribution of the ethnic groups residing in it . . . Settlements form a human and physical fait accompli" (17).

In regard to the Sinai war,

 "The Israeli leadership had been itching for war since the early 1950s...A large number of people in the military and political elite believed...that the outcome of the 1948 war had not been decisive . . . in providing Israel with defensible borders . . . Both military and political leaders...were actively searching for an appropriate pretext to occupy the West Bank" (74).

In regard to Israel's relations with Syria: "Whenever requested to define the military requirements of a possible agreement with Syria, the IDF opted for territorial control rather than for security arrangements . . . " (403).

The theme I've extrapolated from the book (that Israel's expansionism has historically trumped peace) is not Maoz's. But the evidence exists for such a conclusion. A flaw is that there's so much detail, one can easily lose the forest for the trees. But the details do often make for arresting reading.

Readers will be reminded how "traditional" Israel's brutal siege against Gaza was, how rooted in the past its subsequent destruction of the Strip, by reading the chapter, "Unlimited Use of the Limited Use of Force." Here, Maoz goes back sixty years to describe a policy of collective punishment against civilians. From 1949 on, Israel struck villages from which 1948 refugees had "infiltrated" into the Jewish state. Moshe Dayan comments as follows:

"The only method that proved effective, not justified or moral [emphasis mine], but effective, when Arabs plant mines on our side (is retaliation.) . . . if we harass the nearby village . . . then the population there comes out against the (infiltrators) . . . and the Egyptian Government and the Transjordanian government are (driven) to prevent such incidents, because their prestige is (assailed) . . . " (279).

What has changed in 55 years is that Israel's leaders exhibit naked arrogance in committing outlaw acts -- there's no thought of using a phrase like "not justified or moral." Yet the use by Ben Gurion, Dayan, and subsequent leaders of collective punishment inevitably produced today's Israel. So has its long history of provocation. "[D]isproportionate responses to provocations, as well as military initiatives not in response to specific provocations" (232) include:

Moshe Dayan's order to his general staff, October 23, 1955, to overthrow Nasser's regime by "bring[ing] about a decisive confrontation with Egypt in the nearest possible future." "Gradual deterioration" (Dayan's term) would materialize through acts of disproportionate force against Egyptian provocations. If nothing else worked to make Egypt react satisfactorily, Dayan would order "the occupation of the Eilat Straits by the IDF" as "the detonator that will blow up the entire powder keg" (63-65). (Result: Nasser is not overthrown. The Sinai war is a military success, but it does not result in "making the region safer for Israel and the West . . . just the opposite" (79).

Dayan's candid discussion, in a mid-1970s interview, of IDF provocations against Syria, designed to push that country and Egypt towards the 1967 war: "It worked like this: we would send a tractor to plow some place in the demilitarized zone where nothing could be grown, and we knew ahead of time that the Syrians would shoot. If they didn't shoot, we would tell the tractor to move deeper (into the DMZ) until the Syrians got mad eventually and fired on it . . . We thought then, and it lasted for a long time, that we can change the armistice lines by a series of military operations that are less than war, that is, to snatch some territory and hold on to it until the enemy would give up on it . . . " (103). (Result: the 1967 War is a victory, but it contains the poison pill of occupation and further conflict. It makes Israel arrogant and stupid enough to ignore all warnings, and be ravaged by the Yom Kippur War.)

Israel's blanket-bombing of southern Lebanese towns and villages in July 1983 caused thousands of Lebanese to flee toward Beirut. "Operation Accountability" was meant to make the population reject Hezbollah: the opposite effect was achieved.


This book should take its place in your library next to, say, those of Israel's "revisionist" historians, Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle and, more recently, Idith Zertal's and Akiva Eldar's Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel's Settlements in the Occupied Territories (1967-2007) (Nation Books, 2007).

If you're daunted by the book's length, begin with the first chapter, an excellent overview of the whole that includes concise summaries of each subsequent chapter. You may want to jump to the concluding "Findings and Lessons." Then dip at will into the chapters you find most intriguing (each has a convenient closing summary). Keep coming back over time: this is a book one digests over the course of many sittings.

Problems: I find the index sometimes frustrating: look for "Yamit" -- it's missing. Look for "assassinations" or even "targeted assassinations" -- also missing. A substantive flaw: while Maoz at points alludes to the US's influence on Israel's conduct, he doesn't hammer away at it as a theme.

Then there's his belief that Israel's policies of force have been "failures" or "folly." But what if the inevitable escalation of war into war, "limited conflicts" into further conflagrations, were deliberate? As I write this review, Avigdor Lieberman has just become Israel's new Foreign Minister. Gaza lies in ruins. (On the walls of a shelter where twenty-seven members of one family were killed by an air strike, are inscribed Israeli soldiers' sentiments born of sixty years of "Iron Wall" indoctrination: "Make war not peace," "Arabs need to die," and "Arabs 1948-2009." Such genocidal hatred will flourish only more luridly with the incoming government.) In the West Bank including East Jerusalem, settlement expansion goes on apace. Settler and army attacks against Palestinians and international supporters continue unabated. As usual, Obama hasn't said boo, nor has Hillary Clinton (her only remark about the destruction of 1,000 Gazan homes was that it was "unhelpful"). The real lesson
of this book may be grim: force works.


* [Note added March 22, 2009] In 1974, following the Yom Kippur War, Israel had to agree to a "much worse deal" than Sadat had offered in 1971. But withdrawal from the Sinai wasn't part of the deal -- that happened only after Camp David (1978-79). Moreover, the burden of blame for Israel's rejection of Sadat's 1971 peace offer falls on the US's Henry Kissinger (then national security adviser), whom Maoz describes as having been in a "turf battle" with Secretary of State William Rogers who did favor the peace plan. Absent Kissinger, Israel might well have followed a different path in 1971 -- and even after. Those who want to follow up on the Kissinger role should also consult Noam Chomsky's The Fateful Triangle from p. 65.

................................................................
--------
Jewish Peace News editors:
Joel Beinin
Racheli Gai
Rela Mazali
Sarah Anne Minkin
Judith Norman
Lincoln Shlensky
Rebecca Vilkomerson
Alistair Welchman
------------
Jewish Peace News archive and blog: http://jewishpeacenews.blogspot.com
------------
Jewish Peace News sends its news clippings only to subscribers. To subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage your subscription, go to http://www.jewishpeacenews.net


No comments: