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May, 2006


Israel's "Rat Pack" In Washington
By Edward W. Miller MD

"Thanks to John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt, the issue of the Israel Lobby is out in the open and being debated and may it never be put back into the bottle. Many problems still remain, of course. Getting the Zionists out of the movement would be a good start." -Jeff Blankfort, columnist

Recently, two distinguished professors, Professor of Political Science at Chicago University, and Professor of International Affairs at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, teamed up to publish an in-depth and critical study of the history and political influence of AIPAC, the Israeli lobby.)
Their study, which I briefly summarize here, shows Israel as our largest annual recipient of direct economic and military assistance, a total since World War II, of well over $140 billion (in 2004 dollars). The $3 billion assistance each year, is worth $500 for each Israeli.

Washington also provides Israel with diplomatic support and since 1982, has vetoed 32 Security Council Resolutions critical of Israel. According to our General Accounting Office, Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage operations against the US of any ally." In addition to Jonathan Pollard, a new controversy erupted in 2004 when it was revealed that key Pentagon official, Larry Franklin had passed classified information to an Israeli diplomat.

Israel's willingness to spy on its principal patron casts further doubt on Israel's strategic value. Founded as a Jewish state, Israel treats its 1.3 million Arabs as second-class citizens. The creation of Israel in 1947-48 involved acts of ethnic cleansing, including executions, massacres and rapes by Jews.

During the first Intifada, the IDF distributed truncheons to its troops to break the bones of stone-throwing Palestinians. The response to the second Intifada has been even more violent, leading Ha'aretz to declare that "the IDF : is turning into a killing machine." Since then, for every Israeli lost, Israel has killed 3.4 Palestinians, the majority innocent bystanders. Yitzhak Shamir, a terrorist and later prime minister, once declared that "neither Jewish ethics nor Jewish tradition can disqualify terrorism as a means of combat."

The Study reports that Jewish Americans have set up an impressive array of organizations to influence American foreign policy, of which AIPAC is the most powerful.

That Lobby includes prominent Christian evangelicals like Gary Bauer, Jerry Falwell, Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson, as well as Dick Armey and Tom DeLay.

Another source of the Lobby's power is its use of pro-Israel congressional staffers, who are in a position to make decisions for the senators they "serve." The core of the Lobby's influence in Congress is its ability to reward legislators and congressional candidates who support its agenda, and punish those who challenge it. Anyone seen as hostile to Israel can be sure that AIPAC will direct campaign contributions to his or her political opponents.

AIPAC also organizes letter-writing campaigns and encourages newspaper editors to endorse pro-Israel candidates. The bottom line is that AIPAC, a de facto agent for a foreign government, has a stranglehold on Congress. Thus one of the three main branches of our government is firmly committed to supporting Israel. As former senator, Ernest Hollings, noted on leaving office, "you can't have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here."

The Lobby also has significant leverage over the executive branch. Although Jews make up fewer than 3 per cent of the population, they make large campaign donations to candidates from both parties. The Washington Post estimated that Democratic presidential candidates 'depend on Jewish supporters to supply as much as 60 per cent of their money, (which explains why Nancy Pelosi felt it necessary to pledge allegiance to AIPAC just after she assumed the Democratic leadership.)

AIPAC's perspective prevails in the mainstream media. Journalist Eric Alterman lists 61 columnists and commentators who can be counted on to support Israel reflexively and without qualification. To discourage unfavorable reporting, the Lobby organizes letter-writing campaigns, demonstrations and boycotts of news outlets whose content it considers anti-Israel.

One CNN executive said he sometimes gets 6000 email messages in a single day complaining about a story. In May 2003, the pro-Israel Committee for Accurate Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) organized demonstrations outside National Public Radio stations in 33 cities; it also tried to persuade contributors to withhold support from NPR until its Middle East coverage became more sympathetic to Israel.

Boston's NPR station, WBUR, reportedly lost more than $1 million in contributions as a result.

Pro-Israel forces have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA).

Silencing critics by organizing blacklists and boycotts-or by suggesting that critics are anti-Semites-violates the principle of open debate on which any democracy depends. In exposing the details of AIPAC performance, Professors Error! Bookmark not defined. and Error! Bookmark not defined. have made a significant contribution towards a more democratic America. AIPAC's backlash will, hopefully, not unduly affect their distinguished careers. Writer Gabriel Ash recently pointed out that the Israel Lobby is a dedicated network of a half dozen or so major organizations, about 60 smaller ones, and at the grassroots level, in key cities, a couple of hundred community relations councils and federations, and several thousand synagogues.

Bringing democracy to Iraq has proved to be an increasingly dangerous and expensive process so let's re-examine how AIPAC's "Rat Pack" and others has lead Bush and congress down the road into the present political and economic catastrophe. The Bush crusade to seize Iraq might been driven in part by Cheney's oil friends. The SF Chronicle (10 Mar 2003 ) reported a company tied to our Vice President had already won a Pentagon contract "for advice on rebuilding Iraq oil fields after a possible war." A more likely but hidden impetus behind Bush's War was revealed in the March/April 2003 magazine, MOTHER JONES, by investigative reporter Robert Dreyfuss: who said the United States "has steadily been accumulating military muscle in the Gulf, building bases, selling weaponry and forging military partnerships. Now, it is poised to consolidate its might in a place that will be a fulcrum of the world's balance of power for decades to come. At a stroke, by taking control of Iraq, the Bush administration can solidify a long-running strategic design." Dreyfuss quoted James Akins, former US diplomat and once ambassador to Saudi Arabia: "It's the Kissinger Plan," said Akins. "I thought it had been killed, but it's back." According to Akins, the plan to seize Arab oil was initiated in 1975 in a series of well-placed articles in such magazines as Harpers, Business Week, and Commentary.

Dreyfuss notes: "The idea began to gain favor among a feisty group of hard-line, pro Israelites who played important roles in President Reagan's Defense Department." Lead by Richard Perle, then chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board, and previous Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. This group "occupied several dozen key posts in the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department." Dreyfuss also noted a Washington think tank developed: "Project for the New American Century." Members then included Richard, Perle, strategist Robert Kagan, William Kristol, NEW REPUBLIC publisher, Martin Peretz, and ex-CIA Director James Woolsey and were "tied to a web of similar neo-conservative, pro-Israel organizations."

Dreyfuss quoted Diplomat Akins: "It's a team that looks all too familiar, seeking to implement the plan first outlined back in 1975. It'll be easier once we have Iraq... we already have Qatar and Bahrain too so it's only Saudi Arabia we're talking about, and the United Arab Emirates."

Robert Dreyfuss also quoted Michael Klare, Hampshire College professor, and author of RESOURCE WARS, who concluded that: "Controlling Iraq is about oil as power, rather than oil as fuel... Control over the Persian Gulf translates into control over Europe, Japan, and China. It's having our hand on the spigot."

The legitimacy of Muslim concern was outlined by George Bisharat, Hastings Law professor, in a SF Chronicle column. Bisharat wrote: "The real reason we are going to war is the messianic vision of a small but influential group of strongly pro-Israel hawks within the Bush administration. Their goal is unilateral global domination through absolute military superiority." Bisharat noted the group's leader, Richard Perle: "had helped author a study for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyhu which described Saddam Hussein's overthrow as an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right." War against Iraq would eliminate any obstacle to a disposition of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on terms that satisfy Israel's territorial ambitions on most or all of the West Bank.

In a 2004 article: TREASON IN HIGH PLACES: PENTAGON ZIONISTS, AIPAC and ISRAEL, writer James Petras noted: "The FBI investigation into Israel espionage agents in the Pentagon is part of a major struggle between prominent Zionists in the Pentagon and the US Security apparatus. Ever since the Bush regieme came into power there has been a fierce... war between Pentagon Zionists ...their military collaborators... and the professional military and intelligence apparatus." Petras added: "From 9/11/2001 to the invasion of Iraq, the Pentagon Zionists and their civilian militarists had the upper hand: They marginalized the CIA, and established their own intelligence services to "cook the data." They pushed through the doctrine of sequential wars, beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq and projecting wars with Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries. The Pentagon Zionists increased Israel's power in the Middle East, and promoted its expansionist colonization of Palestine." Petras adds: "It's clear that Israeli agents, not simply Zionist ideologues, infest the top echelon of the Pentagon."

A day by day observation of this dangerous parasite's quiet insinuation into Washington's intelligence, defense, planning and political systems was offered by a retired Lt. Colonel in the Air Force, Karen Kwaitkowski (see Global Outlook, Issue 8 pg. 15-20). Kwaitkowski wrote: "From May 2002 until February 2003, I observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of Special Planning (OSP) and watched the latter stages of the neoconservative capture of the policy-intelligence nexus in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq... I watched neoconservative agenda bearers within the OSP usurp measured and carefully-considered assessments, and though suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis, promulgate what were in fact falsehoods to both Congress and the Executive Office of the President."

Kwaitkowski described in detail how longtime professionals in important Defense Department offices were replaced by agents from Jewish-orientated, agenda-bearing think tanks "including the Middle East Research Institute, the Washington Institute form Mideast Policy, and the Jewish Institute for International Affairs."

Adding : "That the Pentagon was implementing its own foreign policy had not yet occurred to me." Kwaitkowski described how the Neocons in the Office of Special Plans, developed "talking points," propagandistic in style. "All desk officers were ordered to use them verbatim in material intended for higher-ups and people outside the Pentagon. Talking points included Saddam Hussein's... using chemical weapons against his own people... his relations with terrorists... aid to Palestinians, aggressive nuclear weapons program" Thus, instead of developing defense policy alternatives and advice, the OSP was being used to manufacture propaganda and pseudo war planning .

Columnist Charlie Reese ( reported that Washington Neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser's policy paper had advised Netanyhu to abandon the peace process, reject "land for peace," Reese added: "... removing Saddam from power didn't cost Israel one shekel or one life."

Writer, Christopher Bolyn (American Free Press 7 Nov, 2005) noted that Neocon' plans to have US attack Iraq originated in Isrrael. Quoting Israel Shahak's translation from the Hebrew of "The Zionist Plan for the Meddle East," a plan written by Oded Yinon an official with the Foreign Ministry of Israel, and published in a journal of the World Zionist Organization in 1982. The plan calls for the dissolution or balkanization of both Syria and Iraq."

Iraq rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets" Yinon wrote in 1982.." Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraqi power constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. "

Much of the day to day politicking for AIPAC has been accomplished by the Lobby's "Rat Pack" in Washington, the so-called "Neocons" who presently are being moved, about by the Bush administration, like objects on a chess board, sometimes to guard them from too-critical public scrutiny.

Paul Wolfowitz, once Bush's second ranking official at the Pentagon, who, after General Eric Shinseki in February 2003 had testified before Congress Armed Services Committee that peacekeeping forces in Iraq "would require several hundred thousand troops," publicly called Shinzeki's estimate" wildly off the mark", and told congress, "Iraqis would welcome the Americans;" has been kicked upstairs to chair the World Bank and get him out of the spotlight. (New York Times, 16 April, 2006)

Richard Perle, once Pentagon policy adviser, former Likud policy adviser, international investor, and ardent supporter of the war in Error! Bookmark not defined. and known in Washington circles as "The Prince of Darkness," quietly resigned February 2004, supposedly to continue his work with the Error! Bookmark not defined., and Karl Rove "George W. Bush's brain" has just been hauled off the campaign speaker circuit and returned to his speech-writing, advisory post in the White House.

Best we Americans learn to keep a closer eye on these dangerous parasites and their parent organizations.

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