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
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
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... - # 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 ... - 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

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

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

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
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
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

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.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

BORGES fragmento sur

Thursday, March 12, 2009

David Chirot: Visual Poems from "Death from theis Window"

Hersh: Cheney Ran Intl. Death Squad

(from WIB-LA)

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes 'executive assassination ring'

At a "Great Conversations" event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an "executive assassination ring."

Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn't written about yet.

In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were "an honest response to a question" from the event's moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and "not something I wanted to dwell about in public."

Hersh didn't take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what he needs on the topic to be "effective... that is, empirical, for even the most skeptical."


At the end of one answer by Hersh about how these things tend to happen, Jacobs asked: "And do they continue to happen to this day?"

Replied Hersh:

"Yuh. After 9/11, I haven't written about this yet, but the Central Intelligence Agency was very deeply involved in domestic activities against people they thought to be enemies of the state. Without any legal authority for it. They haven't been called on it yet. That does happen.

"Right now, today, there was a story in the New York Times that if you read it carefully mentioned something known as the Joint Special Operations Command -- JSOC it's called. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office. They did not report to the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or to Mr. {Robert} Gates, the secretary of defense. They reported directly to him. ...

"Congress has no oversight of it. It's an executive assassination ring essentially, and it's been going on and on and on. Just today in the Times there was a story that its leaders, a three star admiral named {William H.} McRaven, ordered a stop to it because there were so many collateral deaths.

"Under President Bush's authority, they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. That's been going on, in the name of all of us.
(from WIB-LA)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Date: Mon, 9 Mar 2009 20:33:41 +0100







El destino es caprichoso, hace un par de días os anunciaba que en PROYECTOS RECIENTES se encontraba puesto
por cosas del destino, la revista ecológica de literatura y poesia experimental: BIBLIA, por un error en la maquetación,
me atribuyo la autoria de una obra de Franklin Fernández. Y para desfacer el entuerto, pongo en conocimiento de todos ustedes
la presente nota al igual que lo hará en su momento la publicación portuguesa.

Obra perteneciente a Franklin Fernandez atribuida a César Reglero


Express your personality in color! Preview and select themes for Hotmail®. See how.

from steve dalachinsky visual and poetry collaboration and audio up 4 previous and ... please check out

> Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 01:48:11 -0400
> From: skyplums@JUNO.COM

> "Get Away" went up today:
> Six more to go!

Windows Live™ Contacts: Organize your contact list. Check it out.

Art Vitam gives news about Claire Jeanine Satin - book artist -

Date: Tue, 10 Mar 2009 17:46:06 +0100
Subject: Art Vitam gives news about Claire Jeanine Satin - book artist -

Art Vitam gives news about Claire Jeanine Satin - book artist - Dear all,

We are glad to inform you with Claire Jeanine Satin's news (... Mostly in France, but one show in Minneapolis ! ...)

Délires de Livres, Biennale du livre-objet
organised by the association Am'Arts
From April 11 to May 4 at Collégiale Saint-André in Chartres (France)
A vernissage will be held on Saturday, April 18 at 11.30am

Salon du Livre-Objet
organised by LA SECU and works presented by Art Vitam
(official agenda of Europe XXL - Lille 3000)
May 21st & 22nd from 2pm to 7 pm at Ancienne Gare Saint-Sauveur in Lille (France)

Solo Show at Galerie Susan Hensel
Minneapolis, MN, (USA)
July 2009

Le livre est une œuvre d'art
Show cureated by Sophie Blachet
Organised at Galerie Europ'Art, Aigues-Mortes (France)
October 11 to November 8
A vernissage will be held on Octobre 11th from 2pm to 7pm

... And we hope ...

Salon du Bijou d'art
organised by the city of Mougins (France)
Will be held  May 9 and May 10 on the Village Square

And ...

The Art Institute of Chicago of The University of Chicago just bought a book from the artist.
The Library of Congress, Rare Books and Special Collections - Washington DC bought a third book !!

The last but not the least ....
A book on Claire Jeanine Satin's life, books and artistic experience, written by Sophie Blachet will be published this summer!!

If you wish to contact us, you can always email us at
You want to see her works? Click here


Art Vitam
Art gallery specialised in European & American contemporary artists

P.O Box 975
Miami Beach, FL 33119
+1 305 571 8342

Touquet Centre d'Affaires
Aéroport du Touquet
62520 Le Touquet
+ 33 (0)6 01 82 75 69

Hotmail® is up to 70% faster. Now good news travels really fast. Find out more.

The American Criminal Injustice System

The American Criminal Injustice System

By Paul Craig Roberts

The US has the highest incarceration rate and the biggest prison population of any country in the world. With 5 percent of the world's population, the US has 25 percent of the world's prison inmates.

UN to investigate secret prisons:

UN to investigate secret prisons:

The UN has launched an investigation into secret detention centres around the world, including those run by America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

ICH: 5 re Silencing/Attacking Freeman and Chavez

Freeman Withdrawal Marks Victory for Israel Lobby

By Daniel Luban and Jim Lobe

Amb. Chas Freeman withdrew from consideration for a top intelligence post in the Obama administration on Tuesday, following a vitriolic battle that pitted Republican lawmakers and pro-Israel hardliners opposed to his appointment against liberals and members of the intelligence and diplomatic communities who had come to his defence.


The Tactics Of the Israel Lobby

By Charles Freeman

I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.
U.S. analyst withdraws from top post after criticism for anti-Israel views:
  Silencing/Attack Freeman and Chavez
Since news of Freeman's nomination, Jewish organizations have leveled criticism at the pick due to his history of opposition to Israel's policies in the Palestinian territories.
Freeman: US run by Israeli Lobby:
"The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors,"
Demonizing Chavez: Israel to use 'anti-Semitic' card against Chavez?:
Tel Aviv embarks on a quest to turn its allies against Caracas after President Hugo Chavez ordered a break in diplomacy with Israel.

Windows Live™: Discover 10 secrets about the new Windows Live. View post.

Letter & Links for Linh Dinh: The " New McCarthyism" & American Sheep Sleep--w/Visual Poetry & Fotos--

This Letter is a couple weeks old now, but thought to put it up as a "Companion Piece" to today's # new articles, one of which is the statement made by Charles Freeman as he withdrew from the Chair of the NIC he had been offered due to the combined efforts of "the Israeli Lobby."

Since the Letter below is about such efforts in other areas of American life, the two entries combined may give a bit of a picture of activities that many have have pointed out, and backed with evidence, are negative in their effects for both the USA and Israel.
Not to mention tens millions of people in the Middle East

As Linh himself writes, he is shocked to find such things going on Bard, the liberal college has taught at in the summers for five years. This example gives some idea of how unquestioning, unaware so many are in the US regarding things happening right in front of them that deeply affect their lives, and their rights as American citizens. This marks the fourth year at this blog I've hoped to present some information, examples, and have Mail Art and Visual Poetry Calls that may help give a "sharper picture" of these events and their effects on the daily lives of Americans and persons worldwide.

In the Declaration of Independence there is a warning about exactly the situation which Charles Freeman in his statement calls " . . .constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country."

When double standards regarding the International and Civil Laws and Rights of persons are accepted unquestioningly as "the norm," in order to protect an Apartheid State, and that further double standards, falsehoods, twistings of language are needed to silence any form of open discussion, let alone to call an Apartheid State's practice
Apartheid, what begins to be created is the kind of approach to language itself which has steadily been developing in the last quarter century in the USA.
This language of sophistry and double talk, Orwell's "Newspeak," has made it possible for the acceptance without much protest of the use of torture, of rendition flights, Guantanamos in side and outside the US, the idea of there being a "Wrong War" and a "Right War," . . . one can go on and on--

One aspect of this damage to language is that it takes away awareness of what is in front of people, Hidden in Plain Site/Sight/Cite. This unawareness leads to the unquestioning acceptance of falsehoods as "true," to the unblinking beliefs in whatever so and so the Authority has said, and the lack of research into issues in al fields and the continual revisions of history that are creating a new form of standardization in knowledge which is to be the One, the True, the Great--

If one cannot ask questions, if one cannot discuss and create in freedom from suppression and harm, then one no longer is living in a Democracy. And for some time now, Americans have not been.

It is amazing to me that so very few American artists, poets, writers, "intellectuals" and citizens have been speaking out against the events of the last decade. It is in part due to the suppression of debate by a variety of very powerful, very well funded and very much embedded in the media pressure and interest groups have in the US, and in part to "cowardice," such as that of "avant" and "language"and other poetries Amiri Baraka wrote of three years ago, and recently the new Attorney General spoke of in terms of race.

One is suppressed from saying what is obvious, and so one begins to be afraid, and then one begins to accept things which are the opposite of the obvious, and tries to convince oneself that this "new" "avant" "flarf" or "conceptual" way is something "transgressive," "liberating" and "real" that will both make one feel "far out" and at the same time keep one's job safety on the tenure or administrative tracks.

Perhaps the fleeing to the page began due to the opening fire on students at Kant and Jackson State--? The Age of Nixon, of law and order, the Silent Majority, did't take a dive with Nixon, but found new life under guises that would have received plaudits and happy laughter at the "fun" from Nixon and the Great Revolutionary of Reaction, Ronald Reagan. After all , now poets and writers were succumbing to the forms of language recommended by these "pioneers"--

And once language had abandoned the streets, it became an ever easier mark for the Newspeak and Double Standards and silencing that exist now, along with the ongoing torture, bombings, renditions and al the rest.

This is the Time of the New Extreme Experimental American Poetry & Arts . . .

Note: I began this a few days ago as a letter for fellow poet and translator Linh Dinh, primarily as a means to provide him with some links that I thought might be of interest/use for him. Recently the Attorney General of the USA called his fellow citizens “cowards” when it comes to questions concerning race. This is a provocative pronouncement, especially coming from an Attorney general who under the Clinton Administration in a different capacity worked so hard for the pardon of the fugitive criminal financier Marc Rich, while Clinton ignored the plea for pardon for Leonard Peltier, American Indian Movement activist, writer and artist, now serving his 37th year of imprisonment for a crime evidence points to his never having committed, convicted after a trial in whcih the number of illegalities employed made it a virtual kangaroo court.

As my mother and some friends pointed out to me, the Attorney General perhaps may be thinking of racism regarding White and Black peoples, and not those racisms in the US towards American Indians, Asians, Latinos, and Inuit Peoples.

Since I began writing, I posted at one of my blogs two brief articles on the refusal of the Obama Administration to participate in an international conference on racism (while possibly participating in a form of study committee--) because, while it is opposed to anti-Semitism, it lists Zionism as a form of racism, with racism defined as the belief/practice of superiority of one race over another(s). Even if one claims Zionism is not Racism, certainly the practice of State Apartheid supported by the USA wholeheartedly and backed up with weapons, fuel, and cash is.

I also posted the latest update from Muzzlewatch re the situation at Hampshire College in re its efforts to become the first American campus calling for boycott and divesture of the college from firms linked to the Apartheid policies of the State of Israel, just as Hampshire was also the first college to do so against the then Apartheid regime of South Africa. With the entry of Alan Dershowitz into the fray, the College has begun to back off and to disown the actions of some of the students.

A few days ago, Linh Dinh wrote to inform me that a foto of mine was at one of his blogs, and to give the link of a letter by Joel Kovel to Bard College that is at his other blog. Linh expressed surprise and dismay that Bard, a liberal arts college where he has taught in the summers, would be capable of acting in the manner which Kovel accuses it of; that is, that his being relieved of his teaching duties there is related to his having stirred unwanted controversy in a number of quarters with his writings and ideas regarding a “One State Solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and his being critical of both Israel State Policies and aspects of Zionism.
Photo is at:

The Bard/Kovel incident is but the latest in a long series of such controversies, reaching back through many years, and is not even the first time Kovel has been a lightning rod for attacks from various Right Wing Pro-Israel groups, in what in many other Western countries and journals—including in Israel-- has been called America’s “New McCarthyism.”
(See links below for more re Kovel and the termination of U Michigan’s Distributing of Pluto Press in the USA due to objections to one of his books by Stand with Us.)
Ironically at the same time the Bard-Kovel controversy is going on, Bard and the Palestinian Al Quds University are opening an exchange program:
Colleges join hands in U.S.-Palestinian venture
By Ethan Bronner
Published: February 16, 2009

JERUSALEM: It would be hard to find two institutions of higher learning that seem more different than Bard College, an upscale, bucolic college in Dutchess County, New York, and Al Quds University, a struggling, sprawling Palestinian institution in and near this disputed capital.
Yet the two schools have decided to join forces in an unusual venture aimed at injecting American educational values and expertise into Palestinian society, in hopes of contributing to a future democratic State of Palestine. Although the effort has been many months in the planning, those involved say the recent war in Gaza and a political turn rightward in Israel make it more important and urgent.
The plan, relying largely on outside financing, includes a liberal arts honors college and a master's degree program in teaching, both located at Al Quds and granting joint degrees, as well as a model high school to serve as an educational laboratory. The starting date for the first two is September; the high school is to open in 2010.Rregarding Joel Kovel and the stoppage of Pluto press’ Distribution in the USA by U Michigan Press, following continual pressure from Stand With Us, a right-wing pro-Israel “watch group,” here are a series of links detailing the history of that controversy. The Dearborn Underground link is included to give the “other side of the story” from those of the other links.

The University of Michigan Press, which was the American distributor of books published by Pluto Press, a radical, British publisher, went through a long saga with Kovel’s book: First they stopped distribution of it, then reinstated it, then stalled over whether to keep their contract with Pluto Press, then decided to keep the contract, then all but cut ties Pluto Press by changing the terms of third-party distribution deals.
Muzzlewatch’s self-description: “Tracking efforts to stifle open debate about US-Israeli foreign policy.”
Another irony, among so many in the current situation, in which being critical of what is often called “the world’s last Colonial Power” is subjected to attack and silencing, is not only reminiscent of McCarthyism, but is one of the causes for the Declaration of Independence, in which separation from a Colonial Power and its silencing of criticisms against it and its influence on the ideas and behaviors of those in positions of power to suppress freedom of thought and expression is deemed of the utmost necessity. A further irony is that in the USA, which is so good at imposing its ideas & ideals on other countries By All Means Necessary, is in turn being treated in the same manner by a Colonial Power which is heavily armed, funded and supported by the US. In a bizarre way, the US has come full circle and returned to being a Colony, or Colonies, manufacturing goods and paying “taxation without representation” to a Colonial master, one which demands that there be no criticism allowed of the actions of the Master, nor any regulation or control over what the Master does with the weapons and monies continually supplied to it; even, as with the demand for more cluster bombs during the Invasion of Lebanon, the supplying of such weapons violates the US’ own laws against providing them to a State known to be using them on civilians.
One may say then that America, so noted for “American Exceptionalism,” in turns makes exception for Israel within the US’ own laws and life as a society. That this exceptionalism impinges so often on the First Amendment Rights of American citizens is in itself a question that is as much as possible removed from the realm of discourse and debate. Since so many decisions made involving tax payer dollars, the rights of individual citizens, and much of American Foreign Policy are contingent upon suppression of discourse and information, inquiry, one may ask what it is that is so important to keep out of the public mind and view that is necessary to the continuance of such actions?
There is one other exception to American Laws and Rights and that is the American Indian, as the USA consistently refuses to sign the International Recognition of the Rights of the Indigenous. Perhaps this holds one of the keys to the silencing of questions regarding the actions undertaken by the US on the part of the State Policies of the Israeli Administrations through the decades.
Recently the new Attorney General of the US accused Americans of “cowardice” when it comes to facing questions of race. To what extent and into how many areas the Attorney general meant, I cannot say; I wonder if he meant in such areas as that even with the election of a Black president the US vigorously supports the world’s one Apartheid State, not to mention the exceptions made—and an impending judgment before the Supreme Court will have more to say regarding this—for the recognition and treatment of American Indians as well as a great any other Racial, Ethnic and Religious groups within the US.
How can Democracy reconcile itself with “Exceptionalisms” which make the practice of Apartheid acceptable? In an open, democratic society there would at least be present debate and inquiry on the subject, and protests allowed, if that is the “will of the people.” Instead, one finds that in order to protect the status quo of “exceptions,” suppression must be used by “Any means Necessary,” including loss of livelihood of “out of line” individuals, , interference with distribution of presses, threats made by means of blackmail, intimidation, campaigns with vast funding and influences and the deliberate use of disinformation. All of these actions contribute to creating indeed an atmosphere not only of silence, but of “cowardice,” due to the continual application of the pressures of FEAR—aka “scare tactics.”
In short, in order to protect and advance undemocratic ideas and ideals, undemocratic methods are necessary.
In the last four decades especially there has been an erosion, slowly, steadily and in recent years more swiftly –of the Constitution, of Human Rights, Civil Rights, of the first Amendment and the Fourth Amendment has been turned into not much more than a fig leaf so full of holes it is not much use for covering or protecting even a mouse hole. This continual assault does indeed produce forms of cowardice, of silencing, of caving in to pressures which go against what once had been considered—if not always protected and practiced-- “inalienable rights,” and are now basically reserved for the elites and the extremely wealthy.

A Year ago, Linh wrote:
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Crimes against humanity in Gaza
David-Baptiste Chirot is about the only American poet who's focussed on Israel's enormous crimes against humanity in Gaza. As Israel's enabler, the U.S. has even more blood on its hands.

Since 2006, I have hosted two Mail Art/Visual Poetry calls to due with not only Lebanon/Palestine, begun at the start of the July 2006 Israeli Invasion of Lebanon, but also, in the current call, Walls, Prisons, Surveillance, Torture in Gaza, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and the prisons across the world and the “Gitmos Across the USA,” for which there is a detailed sidebar of informations and links at my blog

This Call is concerning these practices as world wide phenomena, and in especial these practices which are funded by the USA in Israel, Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo, and in nations where Americans ship rendition detainees to such as Egypt, and a host of others, including in eastern Europe, as well as actions sponsored by the 700 plus bases the USA has worldwide.
Currently the US is constructing its newest most mega-Prison at Bagram, in Afghanistan, at which the policies of the Bush Administration are being continued by the Obama government.
While Gaza is the world’s single largest prison in history, the USA currently boats 2, 000, 000 civilians of its own in prisons, leading the world both numerically and by percentage of population in this category of “achievements.”
This does not include the untold numbers of “illegal aliens” and their families kept in horrific conditions in both work places such as were found at Pottsville, Iowa, (the world’s largest kosher meat packing plant) and many another, and in the camps set aside for the families of such workers when the workers are arrested, instead of the owners who have also broken the law in hiring them.
The focus on events in Israel/Palestine is due to a number of reasons; first, because the US spends ten million dollars a day minimum in aid to Israel, supplies it with the most advanced possible weaponries, surveillance systems and in turn purchases a good deal from Israel, which is the world’s 4th largest military as well as the 4th largest exporter of surveillance/security/weapons technologies. Second—the US is supporting Apartheid, which calls into question the US’ own attitudes and ideas regarding racism and the “superiority” of one race or ethnic group over another, supposedly something banned in the US. Third, it is supporting an ethnic cleansing which is very reminiscent of that which the US conducted against Indigenous peoples, including my relatives and ancestors in the US, and continues now by other means.
When a child, one is told that a person’s friends are a reflection on one’s own character. Historically the US has backed, installed, funded, protected, armed a great many anti-democratic States and Governments, Regimes, Elites, Juntas and Emperors, Shahs, Dictators and hosts of other criminals. Torture, taught at the School of the Americas, has been a routine method for extending American influence—until recently, when it has openly become part of the US’ own practices and is continuing to be despite the fine statements of the President.
The use of torture, the use of rendition, the support for Apartheid, all these corrode any semblance of democracy and in turn are disastrous for Free Speech, Free Expression and for the language itself, which becomes riddled with so many double standards, hypocrisies and sophistries, that it ceases to have any “direct meaning” and devolves into Orwell’s Newspeak, a kind of automaton Double Talk.

Almost a year after the post re my blog, Linh posted a note at the Harriet Blog with the following:

Tahseen al-Khateeb, whose translations of Arabic poetry I've featured on this blog, circulated an understandably outraged email:
It's very obvious-- without a single thread of doubt-- that the "conscience" of the Western intellectuals (if there's any!) is in a deep COMA! As if the Palestinian blood is water and what's happening in Gaza is some kind of a video game! What a shame! SLEEP WELL!

In the weeks since this statement was made, the US has seen a flurry of activities of protest, as well as the expected heavy counter attacks from such well known figures as Alan Dershowitz (who authored, following 9/11, a NY Times piece suggesting modifications in the First Amendment and who has made public calls in the past for the extermination of Palestinians, as well as leading the charge in the 2008 overturn of Norman Finkelstein’s approved tenure at DePaul, followed by Finkelstein’s being banned for ten years from entering Israel) and a host of such groups as Stand with Us, a right-wing Pro-Israel group that was instrumental in the loss of Pluto Press’ University of Michigan American distributorship because of one book it had published by—--the afore-mentioned Joel Kovel.

Here are some recent examples--

Here is one example in full that is of great importance:

UCLA professor helps launch boycott of Israel

Nearly 200 US professors follow suit; others cite need for pressure on
Palestine, too

By *Anna Andersen *

Monday, February 23, 2009
The committee was
formed in response to a call for support by
Palestinian civil society and follows the guidelines drafted by the
Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel,
which was launched in 2004, according to its Web site.

The call is “inspired by the struggle of South Africans against
apartheid and in the spirit of international solidarity, moral
consistency and resistance to injustice and oppression,” according to
its mission statement.

Although there have been local efforts to boycott and divest from
Israeli companies in the past, this is the first attempt in the United
States to organize an academic and cultural boycott on a national level,
Hale said.

The U.S. boycott was largely provoked by the recent attack on Gaza, in
which hundreds of children were killed, Hale said.

“The bombing of the Islamic University of Gaza was an important
impetus,” she added.
“That made us think Israeli academics should take a
stand and put pressure on their universities, which are highly
implicated in the developing of weapons through scientific research, not
unlike other universities.”

However, the boycott is institutional and is not aimed at individual
academics and cultural figures, Hale said.

It means that foreign exchange and cooperative programs with Israel
would cease, but it doesn’t mean that Israeli academics would stop being
invited to speak at UCLA or that their work would cease to be published,
Hale added.

The academic and cultural boycott of Israel is part of a global boycott,
divestments and sanctions movement supporting Palestine . . .

Still, the U.S. Academic and Cultural Boycott of
Israel campaign
believes it is time to take a stance, “especially in light of the
censorship and silencing of the Palestine question in U.S. universities,
as well as U.S. society at large,” according to the campaign’s mission


Before continuing, here are examples of some links dealing with silencing of dissent, different points of view, on line and in print and in speech--
Dissent despite repressive silencing in Israel
Posted on January 23 2009 by Jewish Peace News

The silencing of dissent in Israel part II
Posted on January 23 2009 by Rob Lipton

The following are just a very few taken from a long article which cites a great many specific cases as well as providing a huge amount of informationm with tons of links, about on line censorship practised by various pro-Israel groups: on line censorship of you tube, facebook, Wikipedia etc are all from this link, as also is the information below, given just to show some of the examples—
“megaphone”, endorsed by the IDF (Israeli army) and government
See here:

Megaphone desktop tool
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Megaphone desktop tool is a Windows "action alert" tool developed by Give Israel Your United Support (GIYUS) and distributed by World Union of Jewish Students, World Jewish Congress, The Jewish Agency for Israel, World Zionist Organization, StandWithUs, Hasbara fellowships, HonestReporting, and other pro-Israel public relations, media watchdog, or activism organizations. The tool delivers real-time alerts about key articles, videos, blogs, and surveys related to Israel or the Arab-Israeli conflict, especially those perceived by GIYUS to be highly critical of Israel, so that users can vote or add comments expressing their support of Israel. The tool was released in July during the 2006 Lebanon War.
According the Jerusalem Post, Amir Gissin, head of the Public Affairs Department of the Foreign Ministry of Israel, has expressed support for the tool's use. "The Foreign Ministry itself is now pushing the idea, urging supporters of Israel everywhere to become cyberspace soldiers in the new battleground for Israel's image."
• Current list of Internet Megaphone alerts
The above as well as a huge number of specific cases and groups performing on line censorship of you tube, facebook, Wikipedia etc are all from this link, as also is the information below, given just to show some of the examples—
And a little tidbit from the Jpost on JIDF. Notice that this JIDF group infiltrated and then took over a FACEBOOK group using some type of software, because they did not like the answer they got from FACEBOOK when they complained. The group, according to FACEBOOK was a political discourse group, and as such, FACEBOOK refused to close it down. So the JIDF took action themselves. See here:
Jul 29, 2008 21:16 Updated Jul 30, 2008 9:47
Jewish Internet Defense Force 'seizes control' of anti-Israel Facebook group
In the JIDF's latest efforts, the group has been working around the clock to dismantle the group on Facebook titled, "Israel is not a country! Delist it from Facebook as a country." That group had tens of thousands of members.
Facebook's negligence and abdication of responsibility gave us no option but to take matters in our own hands," the JIDF added.
The JIDF would not specify what technological methods it used to gain access to the group, but said it succeeded in doing so after the old administrators left.
The JIDF received a response from Facebook, he said, which called the anti-Israel group "legitimate political discourse." Facebook was not available for comment.
"[The JIDF] gained control of the group without compromising Facebook's security," Oboler said. "What they have done… is taken away the hate that was spreading through [the group's] membership. It's a shame that Facebook themselves did not remove it. It has taken a lot of effort from [the JIDF], while it would have taken Facebook one click."
The JIDF said its efforts are not limited to Facebook, but extend to anti-Semitism and anti-Israel posts found throughout the Internet, including on sites such as Google, Google Earth, YouTube and Wikipedia.
So what group or site will they come for next? Beware of who you allow to join your groups and blogs, they will join and then destroy your site.
Remember this, he who controls the internet controls the news and controls the battle for the hearts and minds of the general public. If any of this makes you angry or outraged, write to your Elected Representatives and demand that Israel stop censoring the internet. Who made them “Judge, Jury and Executioner”
We are all intelligent enough to make up our own minds *if* we are allowed to see unfettered information ourselves, why is Israel so worried? Because the internet is the LAST place news is free and where news can freely be put online for all to see. Don’t’ let Israel gain control of what you see, hear and read. America must stop being Israel’s “poodle”.
More information on this subject in tomorrow’s blog, check back then or subscribe to this blog.
Here is the JIDF’s YOUTUBE LIST OF CHANNELS AND USERS (note the first scrolling box are all the accounts they have managed to suspend or close down, but scroll down the page more to see the active list they are currently working on now, you may be listed!)
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, don't say anyhing bad about Israel, or they will come for you in the night…………………
thus concludes Sinéad's fine report.
And this is what I found while digging into it some more:
Wage Cyberwar Against Hamas, Surrender Your PC
By Noah Shachtman EmailJanuary 08, 2009 | 1:10:27 PM

A group of Israeli students and would-be cyberwarriors have developed a program that makes it easy for just about anyone to start pounding on pro-Hamas websites. But using this "Patriot" software, to join in the online fight, means handing over control of your computer to the Israeli hacker group.

Perhaps lost in the brouhaha is a fundamental question for a democracy: can a highly funded narrowly focused lobbying group force the banning of an entire Press from distribution with the USA, all in the name of suppressing one book and continuing attacks on its author, resulting in the present controversy??
During both the period the Pluto Press controversy and also the truly “cruel and unusual punishment” meted out to Professor Norman Finkelstein’s tenure at DePaul University, I sent out all the petitions that came my way for both controversies, and updates re the events as they transpired. None of these emailings seemed to generate any discussion, nor gain any interest in the pattern of attacks on persons, galleries, institutions, bookstores, museums, that was going on continually and still is. The silence was deafening, as the phrase goes. Since I received no responses, I can only wonder what the reasons were and are. Yet it has been noted since the Iraq Invasion that American intellectuals, artists, poets have seemed to ignore the events going on in their name—the uses of torture, the breaking of international and American Laws on a routine basis, and the ongoing funding and support for an Apartheid State that also has showed no concern at all for the Laws it expect every other country to live by.
Amiri Baraka wrote a couple years ago in the Poetry Project Newsletter of the cowards of academia and the poetic establishments there and in the mainstream regarding voicing any kind of direct and open opposition to the policies of the US and Israeli governments who are massacring citizens with US tax payer dollars, dollars which are taken away from the tax payer and invested in mass death, torture, imprisonments and Apartheid.
In Torture: Cancer of Democracy, Phillipe Vidal-Naquet describes how the use of torture by a Nation’s armies eats away at the inner being of that country’s citizens. Once the boundary line has been crossed in which the citizens are aware of what is happening, and accept it as a matter of daily routine, they have begun to surrender any sense of ethics, inquiry, questioning and independent thought unless they begin to become aware that it is not simply torture alone that is destroying the Democratic/ values of a Nation, it is the entire system which is supporting it, which is involved and which is responsible. Infected by this “Cancer,” the inner life of a society is eaten away and what remains on the outside are a bunch of shells going through the motions of being a “Democratic Society.” The Cancer of Torture joins that of Apartheid support and the acceptance of Exceptionalism as being an absolute and moral Right for the US and Israel, while condemning al others to a second rate at best if not a far more inferior status.. The treatment of the Palestinians, Iraqis, Afghanis, Lebanese and many others is well into the War crimes territory, yet it is not noticed at all, because it is claimed that any thing but non-human treatments to be given to the non-humans who constitute the populations of these areas of colonization, invasions, occupation, hatred and lies. History and language become ever more distorted with each passing day, and it is especially language which functions as the method for maintaining silence on the one hand and on the other the forcing to speak of torture.
While millions scream in pain, in terror, in loss, and agony that they are not recognized nor treated as human beings are guaranteed to be treated by Internal Law, while these screams go on on one side of the Wall on the other side is the face of the Wall of Silence, as though complicit yet not opposed carry on their daily existence.
This Wall is built of words as much as mortar and cement, steel rods—for it’s the language one uses that enables one to employ two standards at the same time regarding the rights of persons, the freedom of peoples, and their vey existences. As one observer said of what is allowed by the Israelis to enter Gaza as food and supplies—“Enough to exist, but not enough to live on.”
Can one not hear immediately the debates over how many calories people need to live? It was discovered already two years ago that Palestinians in the West Bank were allowed substantially less drinking and washing water per annum that is considered possible to live on. And that is the West Bank—in Gaza there is basically no water that is potable at all. But then, one can imagine debates about how much water people really need, how much they may be thirsty and how much might just be elaborate acting to play to the cameras of the world’s scarce journalists and humanitarian organizations allowed to even go inside these areas. In Iraq, there is far less water and electricity available to the people than there was before the Invasion and Occupation. In Afghanistan, conditions have steadily deteriorated below even the levels of deep poverty the society has always existed in as far as the invaders are concerned. During the early phases of the disaster in Afghanistan, when the US claimed to be winning the War—an interview on television with a high ranking US official made it very clear that t in order to sustain any kind of life in Afghanistan, it was necessary to look the other way while the heroin trade erupted twice each year in ever grater frenzies of dollars and demonic strengths never before seen on the streets of the US, especially in the suburb, where heroin is considered higher class than smoking crack.
The official was asked the same question three times and each time gave the same answer—that allowing the heroin trade to go on was the most immediately available means by which the State of Afghanistan could begin to fund its efforts towards becoming a “democratic State” free of terrorism and terrorists.
With one stroke so to speak, this smilingly bland “Quiet American” had just opened the Gates of Hell of heroin addiction to millions of Americans. And their deaths also, as a very high number of overdoses have occurred, even in older users which had before been unheard of, due to the strength of the new heroin on the streets.
The costs to families, health care providers in a time of scarcity for treatment centers and programs, cannot even begin to be measured—and these are “behind the lines” in the invaders’ own” "homeland,” on top of the full scale murder being conducting on the Afghan people.
The wars waged abroad take many more tolls on the American people than they are allowed to know of—
For example, a huge number of obvious Post Traumatic Stress Disorder returned veterans of the Wars are not diagnosed deliberately, so that the government will not have to pay for any of the costs of their treatment. Left out in the wind, dangling by a slim thread at best—ever more soldiers return home to kill themselves, and others also—but the suicide rate among the returnees is of an epidemic proportion.
A friend of mine who was two years in Iraq is in such agony and insanity—his very being is a scream for help—a walking time bomb that will destroy himself and al those around him—and no doctor who has seen him will offer any form of diagnosis. For once the diagnosis is made; the doors are open for the government to start paying to take care of its veterans—
Not taking care of these women and men is a sentence of death for a vast number of veterans, who return home to find no one to defend them after they have done their defense of their country. Families are helpless after a certain point, and are in torment as this unknown monster runs rampant until stopping its agony with its own hands.
Yet the “Quiet American” in charge of al this death and destruction at home and abroad remains just that—Quiet, and makes sure as much as possible that the American public remains quiet.

When a friend of mine first used the term “School of Quietude” I thought he was speaking of the Language and avant poets, who have been so silent al these years regarding any of these events. It was hilarious in a bitter way to find out that this is a name for certain kinds of “mainstream” poets and their imitators.
Yet—are they not al of the same school, that of the Quiet American--?
In Graham Greene’s novel of that name, the Quiet American seems innocent young person filled with virtues gleaned from various US policy books and the guru author of a number of these. Yet below the nice, quiet surface there is lurking as ever the mass murderer an his influx of destructive weaponry, his aim to install a dictator in the place of either a Democratic Government or a Communist one, and the fervent hope that someone the world could be much “cleaner.”
Those who have mania for cleaning today are ethnically cleansing with the full support of the USA, and the American language meanwhile gets a good purging also, of the words and ideas and books, documentaries, you tube videos, films, songs, art and dance performances which they are told might contaminate them with the dirtiness of those non human existences barely existing who are in store for as an Israeli Minister put it last year, a Shoah for the Palestinians, and no doubt sooner than later an attack on Iran.
Will there be any language other than a Double Newspeak of a quiet language which is held in the mind simultaneously with that one which demands vengeance, destruction, violence, torture and bombing bombing ever more bombing?--

US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (
Join the US Campaign and our allies around the world in a month of action supporting boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) targeting Israel's military occupation. March offers many opportunities for action, including Israeli Apartheid Week (March 1-8), Rachel Corrie Remembrance Day (March 16) and Global BDS Action Day (March 30). We also urgently need to support Hampshire College Students for Justice in Palestine's recent victory winning campus divestment from Israeli Apartheid.
Two weeks ago, Hampshire College announced that it was divesting from a mutual fund which has holdings in six corporations that support Israel's military occupation. Now Hampshire's administration is caving to pressure from Alan Dershowitz and trying to reinvest in two of these corporations - Motorola and Terex. Write to Hampshire College's President, Ralph Hexter, and tell him to stand strong for divestment. Click here to send him an email! Click here to organize locally for our national boycott of Motorola.
Take Action: President Obama to Sanction Israel?
February 23, 2009
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MuzzleWWatch: Charles Freeman's Statement & 2 Articles re his withdrawing from NIC Chair appontment

"MuzzleWatch" - 3 new articles

1. Charles Freeman’s statement on shameful smear campaign
2. Bullies win: Charles Freeman out.
3. Greenwald declares end of the “neocon lynch mob”- Charles Freeman tests thesis.
4. More Recent Articles
5. Search MuzzleWatch

Charles Freeman’s statement on shameful smear campaign

Wow. Wow. Wow. Chas Freeman says, ” I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country….It is apparent that we Americans cannot any longer conduct a serious public discussion or exercise independent judgment about matters of great importance to our country as well as to our allies and friends.” Foreign Policy has his entire statement:

Retired Amb. Chas Freeman, who said today that he no longer accepts an offer to chair the National Intelligence Council, has just sent this message:

You will by now have seen the statement by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair reporting that I have withdrawn my previous acceptance of his invitation to chair the National Intelligence Council.

I have concluded that the barrage of libelous distortions of my record would not cease upon my entry into office. The effort to smear me and to destroy my credibility would instead continue. I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country. I agreed to chair the NIC to strengthen it and protect it against politicization, not to introduce it to efforts by a special interest group to assert control over it through a protracted political campaign.

As those who know me are well aware, I have greatly enjoyed life since retiring from government. Nothing was further from my mind than a return to public service. When Admiral Blair asked me to chair the NIC I responded that I understood he was “asking me to give my freedom of speech, my leisure, the greater part of my income, subject myself to the mental colonoscopy of a polygraph, and resume a daily commute to a job with long working hours and a daily ration of political abuse.” I added that I wondered “whether there wasn’t some sort of downside to this offer.” I was mindful that no one is indispensable; I am not an exception. It took weeks of reflection for me to conclude that, given the unprecedentedly challenging circumstances in which our country now finds itself abroad and at home, I had no choice but accept the call to return to public service. I thereupon resigned from all positions that I had held and all activities in which I was engaged. I now look forward to returning to private life, freed of all previous obligations.

I am not so immodest as to believe that this controversy was about me rather than issues of public policy. These issues had little to do with the NIC and were not at the heart of what I hoped to contribute to the quality of analysis available to President Obama and his administration. Still, I am saddened by what the controversy and the manner in which the public vitriol of those who devoted themselves to sustaining it have revealed about the state of our civil society. It is apparent that we Americans cannot any longer conduct a serious public discussion or exercise independent judgment about matters of great importance to our country as well as to our allies and friends.

The libels on me and their easily traceable email trails show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East. The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.

There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.

The outrageous agitation that followed the leak of my pending appointment will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues. I regret that my willingness to serve the new administration has ended by casting doubt on its ability to consider, let alone decide what policies might best serve the interests of the United States rather than those of a Lobby intent on enforcing the will and interests of a foreign government.

In the court of public opinion, unlike a court of law, one is guilty until proven innocent. The speeches from which quotations have been lifted from their context are available for anyone interested in the truth to read. The injustice of the accusations made against me has been obvious to those with open minds. Those who have sought to impugn my character are uninterested in any rebuttal that I or anyone else might make.

Still, for the record: I have never sought to be paid or accepted payment from any foreign government, including Saudi Arabia or China, for any service, nor have I ever spoken on behalf of a foreign government, its interests, or its policies. I have never lobbied any branch of our government for any cause, foreign or domestic. I am my own man, no one else’s, and with my return to private life, I will once again – to my pleasure – serve no master other than myself. I will continue to speak out as I choose on issues of concern to me and other Americans.

I retain my respect and confidence in President Obama and DNI Blair. Our country now faces terrible challenges abroad as well as at home. Like all patriotic Americans, I continue to pray that our president can successfully lead us in surmounting them.

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Bullies win: Charles Freeman out.

In my post this morning, I suggested the nomination of Charles Freeman for top intelligence analyst post would be the test for Glenn Greenwald’s optimistic theory that the age of right-wing “pro-Israel” bullying was over. Well, score one for the bullies:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The candidate for a top U.S. intelligence post withdrew from the running on Tuesday after angering some in Congress with remarks on Israeli “oppression” of Palestinians, and about China.

The office of Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in a statement that Charles Freeman, who had been picked to head the National Intelligence Council, had asked not to proceed.

Blair had accepted Freeman’s decision with regret, the statement said.

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Greenwald declares end of the “neocon lynch mob”- Charles Freeman tests thesis.

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, one of the smartest commentators on the blatant hypocrisy (and self-destructiveness, it sadly needs to be said) of the Israel-right-or-wrong crowd. He has been writing lately about what he sees as the new irrelevance of the neocon/Israel-is-always-right bloviators.

Greenwald tends to group the Abe Foxman/Dershowitz types and the Wolfowitz/Perles in the same category, which may not be entirely fair. Nonetheless, as unpleasant as it may be to contemplate, the Israel/Jewish ties of many neocons who pushed for war with Iraq have now been thoroughly picked dry (by both both fair-minded analysts and anti-Semites, for good measure.)

Greenwald’s point is that these guys led us down the road to a terrible and useless war, and that folks aren’t going to listen to them now when they start screaming about Iran and Israel.

A few weeks ago, Greenwald took on The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg after Goldberg accused Greenwald of “doing the work of anti-Semites”, you know, for writing smart analysis about bad Israeli policy. One wonders if it occurs to any of these critics that nobody does the work of anti-Semites better than Israel- as Olmert himself recently observed as brought to our attention by Sol Salbe’s Middle East News Service- when they seemingly remorselessly attack a completely trapped and largely civilian population… but I digress.

Greenwald takes on the shrill tone of Jeffrey Goldberg’s attacks:

Indeed, people like Goldberg are becoming extra rancid and reckless in their rhetoric precisely because they know that these rhetorical devices have ceased working. There is a definite sea change when it comes to American policy debates toward Israel. They no longer possess the ability to stifle dissent through thuggish intimidation tactics and they know that, which is why they can now do nothing but turn up the volume on their name-calling attacks.

Whereas these smear tactics once inspired fear in many people, now they just inspire pity. They no longer work. Very few Americans are going to refrain from expressing their views on American policy towards Israel out of fear that the Jeffrey Goldbergs of the world are going to screech “anti-Semitism” at them. Neocons are far too discredited and their policies far too self-evidently destructive for them to intimidate anyone out of questioning their orthodoxies. Now, watching neocons recklessly spew their bitter little epithets in lieu of (and in order to suppress) debate is like watching an old, dying dragon sadly trying to breathe mighty fire from its mouth but collapsing in a debilitating coughing fit instead — or is like watching a disgraced, post-censure Joe McCarthy in 1956 stand in an empty Senate chamber and rail against hidden Communists. Nobody cares.

People like Jeffrey Goldberg — and his comrades at places such as Commentary and the ADL — have so abused, over-used, manipulated and exploited the “anti-semitism” and “anti-Israel” accusations for improper and nakedly political ends that those terms have become drained of their meaning, have almost entirely lost their sting, and have become trivialized virtually to the point of caricature.

In a different lengthy piece, also worth reading in full, Greenwald also points to NYT columnist Roger Cohen’s latest gutsy columns, the predictable blowback by the usual “neconservative lynchmob”, and Cohen’s refusal to back down. While I want to believe Greenwald that it’s a brand new day, and that analysts in this country might finally start to have reality-based conversations about Israel and US policy, the fact is that being a cohanim must play no small role in giving Cohen the cojones required to stand up to charges of anti-Semitism.

And now, here’s the chance to test Greenwald’s thesis: Charles Freeman. He’s been nominated to be the chair of the National Intelligence Council. As Stephen Walt wrote:

As soon as the appointment was announced, a bevy of allegedly “pro-Israel” pundits leapt to attack it, in what The Nation’s Robert Dreyfuss called a “thunderous, coordinated assault.” Freeman’s critics were the usual suspects: Jonathan Chait of the New Republic, Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard, Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, Gabriel Schoenfeld (writing on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal), Jonah Goldberg of National Review, Marty Peretz on his New Republic blog, and former AIPAC official Steve Rosen (yes, the same guy who is now on trial for passing classified U.S. government information to Israel)….

What unites this narrow band of critics is only one thing: Freeman has dared to utter some rather mild public criticisms of Israeli policy. That’s the litmus test that Chait, Goldberg, Goldfarb, Peretz, Schoenfeld et al want to apply to all public servants: thou shalt not criticize Israeli policy nor question America’s “special relationship” with Israel. Never mind that this policy of unconditional support has been bad for the United States and unintentionally harmful to Israel as well. If these pundits and lobbyists had their way, anyone who pointed that fact out would be automatically disqualified from public service.

Andrew Sullivan has a timeline of the attack machine and how it all works.

Phil Weiss says former AIPAC honcho-turned-spy-suspect Steve Rosen, is now calling for the head of Israel Policy Forum’s MJ Rosenberg, of all people (the clear-eyed progressive Zionist Rosenberg is one of the better true friends Israel has ever had), for supporting Freeman. Rosen can yell all he wants, but is anyone listening?

Now support is building in Congress for putting the kabosh on Freeman, so perhaps it is way too soon to do the victory dance over the death of pompous bully-ism.

As Greenwald said:

Ultimately, the greatest weapon to defeat these campaigns is to highlight the identity and behavior of their perpetrators. Just consider who is behind the attack on Freeman; how ugly and discredited are their tactics and ideology; and, most importantly, how absurd it is, given their disgraceful history, that they — of all people — would parade around as arbiters of “ideological extremism” and, more audaciously still, as credible judges of intelligence assessment. …..

It’s destructive enough to artificially limit debate on a matter as consequential as U.S. policy towards Israel. We’ve been doing that for many years now. But it’s so much worse that the people who have been defining and dictating those limits are themselves extremists in every sense of that word when it comes to Israel and U.S. policy towards that country. Their demands that no distinctions be recognized between Israeli and Americans interests have been uniquely destructive for the U.S. Few things are more urgent than an expansion of the debate over U.S. Policy in this area, which is exactly why this radical lynch mob is swarming with such intensity to destroy Freeman’s reputation and fortify the limitations on our debates which, for so long, they have thuggishly enforced. If someone like Freeman can occupy a position like Chair of the National Intelligence Council — handpicked by Obama’s DNI, an Admiral — the taboos they are so desperate to maintain will erode just that much further.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Fwd: Vote tonight on Gaza refugees


Amnesty International USA: TAKE ACTION NOW!
Tonight the Senate will vote on an amendment that would bar Palestinian refugees from Gaza from receiving resettlement protection in the United States.
Add your name right now to our letter opposing the Kyl amendment.
Dear david-baptiste,

Over the weekend, we got news that Senator Kyl introduced a shocking, discriminatory amendment that would bar the U.S. from accepting for resettlement Palestinian refugees fleeing Gaza.

The Senate will vote tonight on Senator Kyl's amendment. The late breaking nature of the amendment means even just a few letters faxed to some key Senators could determine the outcome of this vote.

Add your name to our letter opposing the Kyl amendment and we'll fax it automatically to your Senators' offices.

Gaza refugees have endured massive hardships, and were turned away from Israel and Egypt when fleeing their war–torn homes. This amendment serves no good purpose other than to discriminate against innocent refugees needing a safe haven.
© 2009 AFP
We've mobilized our crisis response team, and are speaking right now with other organizations asking them to sign onto our letter and meeting with Senate offices urging them to vote no.

Imagine your letters coming over the fax line just as our team sits down to meet with Senators. This is one of those moments when your individual action can make a dramatic impact.

Add your name right now to our letter opposing the Kyl amendment and we'll automatically fax it to your Senators' offices.

For decades our country has been a haven to refugees fleeing persecution. Senator Kyl's amendment serves no good purpose other than to discriminate against an entire group based on nationality alone. Any refugee who meets the criteria of the U.S. refugee program and the security protocols of the Department of Homeland Security should have access to our program irrespective of his or her nationality, ethnicity, or religion.

Please add your name to our letter and we'll fax it automatically to your Senators' offices.

Let's show the Senate that the America we believe in acts as a safe haven for refugees in need, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity or religion.


Sarnata Reynolds
Policy Director, Refugee and Migrant Rights
Amnesty International USA

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