When Refusing to Kill Has a Higher Sentence Than Murder

When Refusing to Kill Has a Higher Sentence Than Murder

Ann Wright, t r u t h o u t

September 20, 2008

From the beginning of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States military has come under intense criticism and scrutiny for the deaths of civilians. This week, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made trips to Afghanistan and Pakistan to “acknowledge” the deaths of innocent civilians in attacks in those countries.

In the five and one-half years of the US occupation of Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed by US military personnel at checkpoints, during convoy movements and during operations to find the “enemy.” In the half-decade of US military presence in Iraq, a very small number of US military personnel and an even smaller number of CIA and contractors have been charged with manslaughter or murder in these deaths. The deaths of most civilians are counted in the “costs of war.” A few dozen military have been court-martialed on allegations of mistreatment, manslaughter and murder of Iraqi civilians. With a very few exceptions, most who were court-martialed have been acquitted. Those who were convicted have generally served light sentences.

This week we see again that punishment is less for murdering four Iraqis than for refusing to participate in a war that many citizens, and many in the military, see as a crime against the peace – a war crime.

On September 18, 2008, the US Army sentenced Specialist Belmor Ramos to seven months in prison, demotion to private and a dishonorable discharge for standing guard from a turret in a Humvee while three others in his unit, the First Infantry Division, bound, blindfolded, shot in the heads and dumped the bodies of four unidentified Iraqi men into a Baghdad canal in 2007 in retaliation for deaths in Ramos’s unit. According to Associated Press reports, during the court-martial, Ramos admitted his guilt: “I wanted them dead. I had no legal justification or excuse to do this.”

Ramos had been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, for which he could have received a life sentence. The military judge in Ramos’s court-martial in Vilsek, Germany, would have sentenced him to 40 years in prison had the military prosecutor not agreed to a plea bargain for seven months to testify in the upcoming court-martials of the three non-commissioned officers – Sgt. John E. Hatley, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr. – who were charged on September 16, 2008, with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice.

Longer Sentences for Resisting War Than for Murdering Civilians

Just one month ago, US Army Private Robin Long was sentenced to fifteen months in prison, reduced to private and given a dishonorable discharge for having been absent without leave from the Army rather than serving in a war he believed was unlawful. He had been deported from Canada where he had been speaking on his concerns about the legality of the war for three years and was handed over by Canadian immigration officials to the US military for prosecution. One month earlier, US Army Private First Class James Burmeister voluntarily returned from Canada and was sentenced in July 2008 to six months in prison for refusing to return to Iraq after two previous tours in which he was hit by three IEDs. In May 2008, Private First Class Robert Weiss was court-martialed in Vilseck, Germany, and sentenced to 7 months in jail for refusing to go to Iraq. Also in May 2008, Private First Class Ryan Jackson was also court-martialed and sentenced to 100 days in jail for refusing to go to Iraq.

In 2007, the court-martial of US Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer who refused to deploy to Iraq, ended in a mistrial. He is still on active duty with the Army. Also in 2007, US Army Sergeant Mark Wilkerson refused to return to Iraq and was sentenced to seven months in jail. The Army denied the conscientious objection application of US Army medic Specialist Agustin Aguayo; he refused to return to Iraq and was sentenced to eight months in jail. Also in 2007, Specialist Melanie McPherson, a US Army Minnesota Reservist, refused to go to Iraq in a job she was not trained for; she was court-martialed and sentenced to three months in jail.

In 2006, US Army Specialist Dale Bertell refused to return to Iraq and was sentenced to four months in jail. US Army Texas National Guard Specialist Katherine Jashniski refused to deploy to Afghanistan; she was sentenced to four months in jail. US Army Sergeant Ricky Clousing of the 82nd Airborne Division refused to return to Iraq and was sentenced to three months in jail. US Marine Corporal Ivan Brobeck voluntarily returned from 18 months in Canada and was court-martialed for refusing to return to Iraq; he was sentenced to eight months in jail.

In 2005, US Army Sergeant Kevin Benderman refused to return to Iraq and was sentenced to 15 months in jail; he served 13 months. US Army Specialist Blake LeMoine refused to return to Iraq and served seven months in jail. When the conscientious objection application of US Army Private Neil Quentin Lucas was denied, he refused to go to Iraq and served 13 months in jail.

In 2004, US Army Sergeant Camilo Mejia refused to return to Iraq and was sentenced to 12 months in jail. The highest-ranking non-commissioned officer to refuse orders to Iraq, US Army Sergeant First Class Abdullah Webster, was sentenced to 14 months in jail. He was within two years of retirement when he refused to deploy to Iraq. US Navy Petty Officer Third Class Pablo Paredes refused to deploy on a ship carrying Marines to a war he considered illegal. He was sentenced to three months confinement. The US Marines denied the conscientious objection application of Corporal Joel Klimkewixz and he was sentenced to seven months in jail.

In 2003, the US Marines denied the conscientious objection application of Marine Reservist Stephen Funk and sentenced him to six months in jail. All of the war resisters who have been court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq or Afghanistan have been given either dishonorable or bad conduct discharges.

Thousands of other military service members who privately and silently oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been given administrative discharges upon their voluntary return to the military after having been absent without leave.

Light Sentences for the Murders of Iraqis

Some of the more prominent cases where US military personnel have been court-martialed, but not necessarily convicted, for the murders of Iraqi civilians include:

On August 29, 2008, a civilian jury in Riverside, California, acquitted former US Marine Sergeant Jose Nazario Jr. on charges of voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of four unarmed Iraqi detainees during the siege of Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004.

In June, 2008, a U.S. military judge dismissed charges against Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, who had been accused of failing to investigate the November 2005 massacre of 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha. Of the eight Marines originally charged in the Haditha massacre, only one still faces prosecution. Criminal charges have been dismissed against six of the Marines and a seventh Marine was acquitted.

In 2007, seven Camp Pendleton Marines and a Navy corpsman were charged with murder and related offenses in the April 2006 kidnapping and killing of a 57-year-old retired Iraqi policeman in the village of Hamdania northwest of Baghdad. Only one of the men, squad leader Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins III, remains in jail, convicted of murder and sentenced by a Camp Pendleton military jury to 15 years. The other six either served out the terms they agreed to in plea deals or had their sentences commuted by Lieutenant General James Mattis, the Commanding General of Camp Pendleton. Mattis ordered the men below Hutchins’s rank released after a military jury in July 2007 found Corporal Trent Thomas guilty for his role in the murders but limited his sentence to time already served. In releasing the others, General Mattis determined that Thomas’s sentence created an unfair disparity for his fellow Marines who had been convicted with higher sentences.

In December 2007, US Marine Reservist Lance Corporal Delano Holmes was convicted of negligent homicide for the stabbing death of Iraqi Army Private Munther Jasem Muhammed Hassin, a man he shared guard duty with at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, on December 31, 2006. Holmes killed Hassin, stabbing him 17 times, slashing him another 26 times and nearly slicing his nose from his face. A military jury sentenced Holmes to time served, the second time in five months that a Camp Pendleton Marine military court jury allowed a defendant convicted in a homicide case to be sentenced to only time served. Holmes was reduced in rank from lance corporal to private and given a bad conduct discharge.

In August 2008, Article 32 hearings were held in Vilsek, Germany, to determine whether to proceed with criminal charges against Staff Sergeant Jess Cunningham and Sergeant Charles Quigley for the death of an Iraqi. The hearing officer has not yet decided whether the two will be court-martialed.

In only one murder case in Iraq have convicted US military personnel received substantial sentences. In August 2007, a military jury convicted US Army Private First Class Jesse Speilman of rape and four counts of felony murder for the rape and murder of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a 14-year-old Iraqi girl, and the murders of her parents and younger sister on March 12, 2006, in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad. Speilman was sentenced to 110 years in prison, but will be eligible for parole in ten years. During their court-martial, Specialist James P. Barker and Sergeant Paul Cortez testified they took turns raping Abeer while Private Steven Green shot and killed her mother, father and younger sister. They also testified that Green shot Abeer Qassin in the head after raping her. They then set her body on fire to destroy evidence. Cruz was sentenced to 100 years in prison under a plea agreement and will be eligible for parole in 10 years. Barker pleaded guilty at his court-martial and was sentenced to 90 years in a military prison, with the possibility of parole. Private Bryan Howard was sentenced to 27 months in prison under a plea agreement. Private Steven D. Green was discharged from the Army for anti-social behavior before the murders had been discovered. However, he was arrested and charged with rape and murder in the Western District Court of Kentucky. He will be tried in that court on April 29, 2009. His attorney has filed documents for an insanity defense.

Higher Punishment for Killing Fellow Servicemen Than Iraqis

Punishment for murder of other U.S. service members is dramatically higher than for murder of Iraqi and Afghan civilians.

In April 2003, US Army Sergeant Hasan Akbar, a member of the 101st Airborne Division, allegedly threw grenades into a tent at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait that killed two officers and wounded 14. Akbar was sentenced to death in April 2005.

In June 2005, US Army 42nd Infantry Division Staff Sergeant Alberto Martinez allegedly killed two superior officers with an anti-personnel mine and grenades inside one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces, near Tikrit, Iraq. Martinez’s court-martial is underway at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

Earlier this week, on September 14, 2008, two US Army soldiers, assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division, were shot and killed, reportedly by another soldier at their base, near the town of Iskandariyah, about 30 miles south of Baghdad. The soldier who reportedly killed the two others is confined and will be brought before a military magistrate this week for pretrial procedural determinations.

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Economic Problem and Solution In a Nutshell

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Economic Problem and Solution In a Nutshell

July 21, 2008

The Federal Reserve bank is a private corporation. They are an international banking cartel which makes money by printing and loaning money at interest. They are acting to crash the economy through dollar devaluation–printing and loaning money without economic justification. This is for two reasons: further centralization of power and centralization of wealth.

Throwing the Federal Reserve bankers in jail and throwing away the key would be the best solution. You’ll never hear an outcry like this in the MSM since the international bankers own the MSM and the mainstream politicians.

We should create a true public fiat currency like the Lincoln Greenback. This will be fought hard by the international banking cartel who own the MSM and mainstream politicians.

Since these two solutions won’t likely come about without millions marching on Washington or storming the Federal Reserve banks, I’m proposing a list of solutions that can help.

Force the Federal Reserve to increase rates and reduce the amount of printing money.

Stop wasteful spending in Congress. Start reducing the national debt. Stop paying the Federal Reserve to print money.

Implement trade tariffs to bring back the idea of fair trade to make up for wage inequalities. This will result in economic growth as jobs come home to the U.S.

Drill for oil and get aggressive with domestic alternative energy solutions. This will result in economic growth as jobs come home to the U.S.

Tax reform. Implement the Fair Tax, a progressive national sales tax with a monthly prebate that replaces all income, capital gains, and corporate taxes. I’d suggest keeping a 10% corporate tax, which is still well low enough to keep jobs in America unlike the current high corporate tax, to pay for higher monthly prebates so that the Fair Tax will be even more attractive as a progressive tax.

Corporate tax acts as a sales tax. The costs are passed to the consumer. It also acts as a tariff to level the playing field between small business and corporations. If it is too high, like it currently is, it forces corporations to leave the country.

Tax reform will cure many ills of our current system and bring the jobs back home.

Be weary of solutions that may further consolidate wealth and power, such as the North American Union, Amero, and carbon taxes. Be weary of a gold standard since it can be manipulated by outside and inside forces.

Money is a means of exchange. It is not a commodity.

The end of American capitalism as we knew it

The end of American capitalism as we knew it

Even where private deposit insurance exists, this is only sufficient to handle bank runs on a subset of the banks in the system. Private banks collectively cannot self-insure against a generalised run on the banks. Once the state underwrites the deposits or makes alternative funding available as lender of last resort, deposit-based banking is a license to print money. That suggests that either deposit-banking licenses should be periodically auctioned off competitively or that depostit-taking banks should be in public ownership to ensure that the tax payer gets the rents as well as the risks.The argument that financial intermediation cannot be entrusted to the private sector can now be extended to include the new, transactions-oriented, capital-markets-based forms of financial capitalism. – Willem Buiter


September 17, 2008

Willem Buiter
FT.com

This is what I read this morning on FT.com: “The US Federal Reserve announced that it will lend AIG up to $85bn in emergency funds in return for a government stake of 79.9 per cent and effective control of the company – an extraordinary step meant to stave off a collapse of the giant insurer that plays a crucial role in the global financial system. Under the plan, the existing management of the company will be replaced and new executives will be appointed. It also gives the US government veto power over major decisions at the company.”

I almost decided to go back to bed, convinced I must be dreaming.The proximate cause of the demise of AIG as a private firm were its ‘monoline’ activities, its exposure to massive amounts of credit risk derivatives like CDS, many of them linked to the US real estate sector. The largest insurance supermarket in the world, with a balance sheet in excess of $1 trillion nationalised because it was deemed too big and too globally interconnected to fail! The fear that drove this extraordinary decision is that AIG’s failure would increase counterparty risk, actual and perceived, throughout the financial system of the US and the rest of the world, to such an extent that no financial institution would have been willing to extend credit to any other financial institution.Credit to households and non-financial enterprises would have been the next domino to fall, and voilà! , financial Armageddon.

I cannot judge the likelihood of the disaster scenario, but if there ever was a case for applying the precautionary principle in economic analysis, then this is it. It was also done in the right way, by insisting on controlling public ownership, i.e. nationalisation, of the company.The existing management is gone – again as it should. We will find out whether they left with golden parachutes or with just a carton box packed with their personal belongings.

The precise implication of the deal for the old shareholders will also matter for the ultimate judgement on its fairness and on what it does to incentives for future risk taking. Since the existing shareholders were obviously not completely wiped out by the deal, they do well out of it – probably too well. The public take-over appears to imply that all creditors other than the ordinary and preferred shareholders will be made whole. From the perspective of incentives for future excessive risk taking, this is regrettable.

A charge on the creditors, modulated according to the seniority of the debt, would have been preferable.But perhaps my concern about incentives for future risk taking is moot, because it assumes that private, profit-seeking enterprises will again, in the future, pursue the kind of financial activities engaged in by AIG.

If financial behemoths like AIG are too large and/or too interconnected to fail but not too smart to get themselves into situations where they need to be bailed out, then what is the case for letting private firms engage in such kinds of activities in the first place?

Is the reality of the modern, transactions-oriented model of financial capitalism indeed that large private firms make enormous private profits when the going is good and get bailed out and taken into temporary public ownership when the going gets bad, with the tax payer taking the risk and the losses?

If so, then why not keep these activities in permanent public ownership?There is a long-standing argument that there is no real case for private ownership of deposit-taking banking institutions, because these cannot exist safely without a deposit guarantee and/or lender of last resort facilities, that are ultimately underwritten by the taxpayer.

Even where private deposit insurance exists, this is only sufficient to handle bank runs on a subset of the banks in the system. Private banks collectively cannot self-insure against a generalised run on the banks. Once the state underwrites the deposits or makes alternative funding available as lender of last resort, deposit-based banking is a license to print money.

That suggests that either deposit-banking licenses should be periodically auctioned off competitively or that depostit-taking banks should be in public ownership to ensure that the tax payer gets the rents as well as the risks.The argument that financial intermediation cannot be entrusted to the private sector can now be extended to include the new, transactions-oriented, capital-markets-based forms of financial capitalism.

The risk of a sudden vanishing of both market liquidity for systemically important classes of finanial assets and funding liquidity for systemically important firms may well be too serious to allow private enterprises to play. No doubt the socialisation of most financial intermediation would be costly as regards dynamism and innovation, but if the risk of instability is too great and the cost of instability too high, then that may be a cost worth paying.

These are issues that must be pondered not just in Washington but everywhere modern financial intermediation has taken root or is threatening to do so – in the financial heartland (Wall Street, the City of London, Frankfurt, Zurich, Tokyo and Dubai) and in the emerging markets that until recently were having their ears bent on the desirability of precisely the kind of financial institutions and markets that have now turned into trillion dollar collapsing dominos.

From financialisation of the economy to the socialisation of finance. A small step for the lawyers, a huge step for mankind. Who said economics was boring?

Saving the Wealthy Class from Itself

Saving the Wealthy Class from Itself

Now that our government has stepped in to effectively take over the financial industry, it is time for it to suspend the collection and foreclosure of mortgage and other debt instruments until the crisis is over. We need a foreclosure and default holiday that the government can fund as it has done for the owners of the businesses it has acquired. If the government allows for the renegotiation of mortgages and other debt instruments that are in default, the panic selling will stop and the real estate and equity markets will be given a chance to recover by having far less selling pressure. That is just common sense. – SDrobny


September 20, 2008

by SDrobny
http://www.opednews.com

The Gilded Age of America occurred after the Civil War and coincided with the industrial revolution of that period in which great wealth was concentrated to the upper classes. The wealth concentration to the very few resulted from the owners of business reaping most of the benefits of the productivity of the working class. The end of the Gilded Age coincided with the Panic of 1893 and a deep depression. The depression lasted until 1897 and marked a major political realignment in the election of 1896. After that came the progressive era accompanied by legislation to regulate the excesses of unfettered capitalism.
Approximately 30 years later we suffered the worst economic depression in our history because of the excesses of the 1920s unregulated capital and banking industries. Again the government stepped in to regulate the markets through the FDR administration, which prevailed for almost 50 years. The Republicans took control of government in 1981 and almost 30 years later we are again back into economic crisis. Do we now understand what the Republicans have done to our economy?

The reason all of this happens is because the productivity of America is not shared equitably between the working class and the ownership class. And when the working class runs out of money the economy has to tank as it has done several times in the last 140 years. Without government oversight and redistribution of wealth through a progressive tax system, the ownership class is actually self-destructing by stripping the working class of the ability to participate in the economy through consumption and investment. That is why we must help the rich predatory class understand that it is suicidal to continue the economic policy of the Republicans for the last 140 years.

One of the reasons the United States did not fall back into an economic depression after WW II was because there was a large underground economy during the war that made fortunes for those who had previously not had the opportunity to accumulate wealth. That, coupled with the shift to a consumer-oriented economy, allowed the U.S. to experience unprecedented growth from 1946-1962. Unfortunately the military budget has allowed for the skewing of wealth back up to the corporate class and the tax cuts of the Reagan and Bush regimes have again stripped the working class of its ability to participate fairly in economy.

When the middle class gets squeezed, mortgages are foreclosed and business loans default on a massive basis. This ultimately leads to unregulated and uncontrolled panic selling that we are experiencing right now. The lesson is very clear. Human nature is programmed to accumulate as much material wealth as possible to the detriment of the overall economy so it is incumbent upon government to prevent human instincts from destroying our economy.

Now that our government has stepped in to effectively take over the financial industry, it is time for it to suspend the collection and foreclosure of mortgage and other debt instruments until the crisis is over. We need a foreclosure and default holiday that the government can fund as it has done for the owners of the businesses it has acquired. If the government allows for the renegotiation of mortgages and other debt instruments that are in default, the panic selling will stop and the real estate and equity markets will be given a chance to recover by having far less selling pressure. That is just common sense.

I suggest that all borrowers be given an opportunity to have their loan payment plans be reduced to amounts that can be handled during this workout period. By doing that, there will be regular payments on these loans which will at least allow for some inflow to the financial companies that the government now owns. These types of loan assistance programs are central to our recovery and represent the necessary additional step to save the wealthy classes from themselves. It is not enough for the government to assist just the ownership of the financial industry. Now that the government is the effective owner, it must also fund the borrowers and keep the loans on the books to prevent even more of a crisis. The socialization of business that we are experiencing must be accompanied by a safety net socialization of the customer base in order for this plan to work.

A New and Revealing Study of the Influence of the Neocons: The Making of Recent U.S. Middle East Policies

A New and Revealing Study of the Influence of the

Neocons: The Making of Recent U.S.

Middle East Policies

By BILL and KATHLEEN CHRISTISONThis book is a veritable bible on the neocons — and a frightening one. Anyone who thought that neocon thinking and policymaking had become passé with the political eclipse of the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith will be disquieted to find that these individuals were only the tip of the iceberg and that on all issues having to do with Israel neocon thinking lives on in policymaking councils and is about to be passed on to the next administration, whether it be Democratic or Republican. – BILL and KATHLEEN CHRISTISON


Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Editions, Norfolk, Virginia, 2008

Not a few honest political analysts have long recognized the tight relationship between the Israel-U.S. partnership and the disastrous Bush administration adventures throughout the Middle East, including its backing for Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinians. Stephen Sniegoski has had the persistence to ferret out mountains of impossible-to-challenge evidence that this Israel-U.S. connection is the driving force behind virtually all Middle East decisionmaking over the last eight years, as well as the political courage to write a book about it.

Sniegoski’s new book demonstrates clearly how U.S. and Israeli policies and actions with respect to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the other Gulf states, and even most recently Georgia are all tied together in a bundle of interrelated linkages, each of which affects all the others. The right wing of Israeli politics, the neoconservatives in the U.S. who strongly support Israel, and the aging Israel lobby in the United States all have worked together, and are still doing so, to bring about more wars, regime changes, and instability, specifically the fragmentation of any Middle Eastern states that might ever conceivably threaten Israel.

In addition, one purpose of such wars and other changes is explicitly to intensify the discouragement of Palestinians as the latter’s potential allies are knocked off one by one, making it easier for Israel, over time, to finish off the Palestinians. That’s the theory. Those who believe it is vital to improve the human rights situation and the political outlook for the Palestinians must not only work to reverse present Israeli policies, but it is probably more important that we in the United States work even harder to reverse U.S. policies.

This is a long but quite splendid book. After a foreword by ex-Congressman Paul Findley and an introduction by Professor of Humanities Paul Gottfried, Ph.D., the text itself has 382 pages covering the entire history of the neoconservatives from the 1960s to 2008. The author has clearly spent untold hours reading all the writings he could find by not only the top few neocons but also numerous others who are far less well known but still important figures in the movement.

The neocons, by the way, are by and large not conspiratorial. They prefer to write voluminously and act openly with respect to their philosophies and actions. The word “transparent” in the title of the book emphasizes this very point. On the other hand, the neocons are also very skilled propagandists and are more than willing to spin “facts” in many situations in ways that often do not leave readers with an honest, unvarnished version of “truth.”

Sniegoski states his own main argument as follows:

“This book has maintained that the origins of the American war on Iraq revolve around the United States’ adoption of a war agenda whose basic format was conceived in Israel to advance Israeli interests and was ardently pushed by the influential pro-Israeli American neoconservatives, both inside and outside the Bush administration. Voluminous evidence, much of it derived from a lengthy neoconservative paper trail, has been marshaled to substantiate these contentions.” [Page 351]

The author then points out that

“… what was an unnecessary, deleterious war from the standpoint of [“realists” in] the United States, did advance many Israeli interests, as those interests were envisioned by the Israeli right. America came to identify more closely with the position of Israel toward the Palestinians as it began to equate resistance to Israeli occupation with ‘terrorism.’ … Israel took advantage of the new American ‘anti-terrorist’ position. The ‘security wall’ built by the Sharon government on Palestinian land isolated the Palestinians and made their existence on the West Bank less viable than ever. For the first time, an American president put the United States on record as supporting Israel’s eventual annexation of parts of the West Bank. Obviously, Israel benefited for the very reason that the United States had become the belligerent enemy of Israel’s enemies. As such, America seriously weakened Israel’s foes at no cost to Israel. The war and occupation basically eliminated Iraq as a potential power. Instead of having a unified democratic government, as the Bush administration had predicted, Iraq was fragmenting into warring sectarian groups, in line with the original Likudnik goal.” [Pages 356-357]

And yet one more quote is in order here:

“Since one is dealing with a topic of utmost sensitivity, it should be reiterated that the reference to Israel and the neoconservatives doesn’t imply that all or even most American Jews supported the war on Iraq and the overall neocon war agenda. … A Gallup poll conducted in February 2007 found that 77 percent of [American] Jews believed that the war on Iraq had been a mistake, while only 21 percent held otherwise. This contrasted with the overall American population in which the war was viewed as a mistake by a 52 percent to 46 percent margin. … [Nevertheless,] evidence for the neoconservative and Israeli connection to the United States war is overwhelming and publicly available. There was no dark, hidden ‘conspiracy,’ a term of derision often used by detractors of the idea of a neocon connection to the war. … It should be hoped that … Americans should not fear to honestly discuss the background and motivation for the war in Iraq and the overall United States policy in the Middle East. Only by understanding the truth can the United States possibly take the proper corrective action in the Middle East; without such an understanding, catastrophe looms.” [Pages 371-372]

The reader will note that the above excerpts all come from near the end of Sniegoski’s book. Before reaching this point in the book, you will be treated to informative and well-written chapters on the origins of the neoconservative movement, the Israeli origins of the United States’ Middle East war agenda, and neocon planning against Iran, as well as chapters entitled “World War IV” (a very important chapter), and “Democracy for the Middle East.” A particularly important chapter on “Oil and Other Arguments for the War” argues that oil was not as important a reason for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as was Israel.

This book is a veritable bible on the neocons — and a frightening one. Anyone who thought that neocon thinking and policymaking had become passé with the political eclipse of the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith will be disquieted to find that these individuals were only the tip of the iceberg and that on all issues having to do with Israel neocon thinking lives on in policymaking councils and is about to be passed on to the next administration, whether it be Democratic or Republican.

Exposing the fallacy of anti-Zionism equaling anti-Semitism


Exposing the fallacy of anti-Zionism equaling anti-Semitism

Khaled Amayreh

lobby18.jpeg


21 September, 2008

Influential Zionist circles around the world have been bullying western governments to promulgate legislations that would incriminate critics of Israel on the ground that anti-Zionism is actually anti-Semitism in disguise.

The Zionist efforts have not been a complete failure as some western politicians and lawmakers are shamelessly parroting the Zionist canard, ignoring the huge chasm between the pathological hatred of Jews, commonly known as anti-Semitism or Judeophobia, and the moral rejection of Israel’s manifestly criminal policies toward the Palestinian people.

In recent years, a famous French author was found guilty of displaying “anti-Semitism” for writing a book on Zionist mythology with regard to Palestine.

In Austria, a British historian was dumped in jail for questioning the Israeli-Zionist narrative regarding the holocaust.

And in the United States, the country of the First Amendment, a major British Publishing House has been “ousted” because it publishes books the world-wide Jewish lobby considers “anti-Israeli.”

Fortunately, there are many conscientious Jews who courageously reject the Zionist claim that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same coin.

The small but increasingly active group, known as Natori Karta (guardians of the City) represents the most pronounced Jewish opposition to Zionism and Israel.

The group believes that Zionism is inherently immoral and antithetical to true Judaism.

In light, one is almost innately prompted to ask how can a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who include Torah sages of impeccable credentials be anti-Semites?

Well, the classical Zionist answer is that Jews who reject Zionism are self-hating Jews!!!

This explanation, however, is as valid as claiming that Germans who rejected the Third Reich were self-hating or incomplete Germans.

I am making this analogy because there is really more commonality between Zionism and Nazism than there is between Zionism and Judaism.

What do they want?

But what do the Zionists hope to achieve by trying to outlaw criticisms of and public opposition to Israel and Zionism, especially in the West?

Well, their ultimate goal is clear. They want the rest of the world to recognize and acknowledge that Israel is a special nation since Jews are said to be a special people.

They want the world to acknowledge that the rules and norms that apply to the rest of the world, e.g. the rule of international law, doesn’t apply to Israel.

They want me and you and the entire humanity to acknowledge that while war crimes and crimes against humanity may be condemned when perpetrated by the “goyim” (the non-Jewish world), the same crimes must be tolerated and even accepted as legitimate when perpetrated by Jews.

And when the world speaks up against such crimes when committed by Zionist Jews, the ready-made charge of “anti-Semitism” will be unleashed in the face of Israel critics.

And if the critics happen to be Jewish, the disgusting mantra of “self-hating Jews” will be invoked to silence and intimidate the Jewish critics.

Well, the world must never succumb to Zionist intimidation and bullying. We are supposed to be living in an ethical universe where right is right and wrong is wrong.

And if we allowed these self-worshiping megalomaniacs, God forbid, to have their way, then at one point we would be forced to morph ourselves into robot-like slaves in the service of a universal satanic power that is hell-bent on controlling the peoples of the world by controlling the governments of the world.

Hence, we must never allow ourselves to succumb to this monstrous “Jewish power” that is trying to bastardize universal morality and corrupt human conscience. We must continue to call the spade a spade even if we see it in the hands of the strongest of men.

Israel is not hated because it is Jewish

It is important though to make it abundantly clear that Israel is no more hated for being “Jewish” than Nazi Germany was for being Aryan or German.

Israel is hated because of her evil ideology and equally evil practices. A country whose birth and survival were and continue to be at the expense of another people is an evil country and has no right to exist.

A country that is dedicated to the destruction and obliteration of another people is an evil country regardless of how many admirers its has around the world.

Israel is hated because of its systematic, institutionalized oppression, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, home demolition, apartheid, racism and slow-motion genocide of non-Jews as is the case in the Gaza Strip.

Israel is hated because it oppresses people and discriminates against them in ways reminiscent of the Nazi era because the victims don’t belong to the “holy tribe”!!!

In short, Israel is hated because of its evil acts, not because of its Jewish identity. Claiming that it is hated because of its religion or “race” is a canard amounting to a Big Lie.

Anti-Zionism highest moral obligation

There is no doubt that anti-Semitism, like Islamophobia and other forms of racism, must be fought relentlessly and uprooted, although this may well be an impossible task, given the human nature.

However, anti-Zionism is a different thing, since Zionism represents evil in is ugliest form. Yes, Zionism produced many scientists and made some technological advancements. But so what? Nazi Germany, too, produced many scientists and made technological advancement.

In the final analysis nations, like individuals, are primarily judged according to their moral credentials not scientific achievements, especially if these achievements are utilized to further injustice toward fellow human beings. This is why a given scientist who does and supports evil should be viewed as an evil man no matter how many prestigious awards he has won.

For all these reasons, I believe that standing against Zionism is a high moral obligation upon the entire humanity.

In the final analysis, combating Zionism also serves the best interests of the Jewish people .