Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Crown Jewels of the Obama Administration

Those of us not yet moribund with Outrage Fatigue Syndrome (see previous post) were flabbergasted to learn that while tens of thousands of  people were protesting against the Keystone Pipeline in front of the White House last weekend, the president was far, far away in Florida, golfing with oil and gas barons.

Meanwhile, Michelle Obama was off on her annual Aspen ski vacation, hosted once again by billionaires Jim and Paula Crown, who own and control a big chunk of defense/security contractor General Dynamics. The Crowns, as you may know, are prominent Obama campaign bundlers,  having helped to finance Obama from the very start of his career in Illinois state politics. The General Dynamics arm of their vast corporate empire now has major contracts with every single one of this country's intelligence agencies. Although it has reported a paper loss in profits since the winding down of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the looming budget sequester, the prospects of an endless drone war and Orwellian spy state have them champing at the bit. 

And why not? The use of drones under Obama is skyrocketing, as is the growth of military bases throughout the world. Africa is all set to be re-colonized by American corporate interests. Therefore, an annual ski junket for the Obama women, along with a few relatively paltry donations to his continuing campaign apparatus is the least the Crown family can do. It is the slim price they have to pay to remain full-fledged and well-compensated partners in the state-sponsored terror campaign that constitutes Obama's foreign policy, euphemistally described as the disposition matrix of pre-emptive self-defense. In other words, an illegal campaign of murder-by-drone of civilian "pre-criminals."

Nicolas Davis has written an exhaustive, detail-oriented account of the tangled relationship of the Obamas and the Crowns. It is well worth a read. His chilling conclusion:
Benjamin Ferencz, who wrote the preface to my book on the U.S. war against Iraq, is the last surviving prosecutor from the Nuremberg war crimes trials. He has described how the lead defendant at the Einsatzgruppen trial, SS-Gruppenfurher Otto Ohlendorf, Ph.D., defended the massacres of tens of thousands of civilians with an argument that is all too familiar today: preemptive self-defense. Ohlendorf told the court that Germany invaded other countries to prevent them from attacking it; that Jews had to be killed because “everyone knew” they supported the Bolsheviks; and that Jewish children had to be killed because, if they grew up and found out what the Germans had done to their parents, they too would become enemies of Germany.
As Ferencz explains, this illegitimate principle of preemptive self-defense is the same one by which Presidents Bush and Obama justify their war crimes today: our fear entitles us to attack countries and kill people to prevent them doing the same to us or our allies at some point in the future. Ohlendorf never showed any remorse for his crimes, even as he went to the gallows at Landsberg Prison in 1951. He was the highly educated product of a political system dominated by military-industrial interests and extreme nationalism that made war crimes seem justifiable, rational or even necessary. By selecting its senior officials through “legalized bribery” within a superficially democratic system, the United States has developed a more sophisticated way to institutionalize and justify ever-expanding plutocracy, militarism and war crimes. This may be more sustainable and palatable—but that does not necessarily make it less dangerous.
General Dynamics, meanwhile, has a brand new gadget it wants to sell to Obama for some of that civilian spying and pre-emptive killing. Called the Micro Air Vehicle (MAV), it is capable of perching, hovering, flying, spying -- and killing you.  Conor Friedersdorf, who cadged a copy of a promotional video that General Dynamics produced for the Air Force, has posted it on his Atlantic blog. He calls it the "most terrifying drone video yet." (I hadn't realized there were apparently a whole series of scary drone videos out there terrorizing Americans. The real enchilada, of course, is terrorizing and bug-splatting whole neighborhoods in Pakistan).You can watch the video here. It has all the hallmarks of state-sponsored dread: dystopian urban graphics, a doomsday soundtrack, the constant drumbeat of paranoia. It is perfectly designed to boost the adrenaline and checkbook-grabbing urges of every procurement official who watches it, instilling fear of all the dangerous civilian populations who walk, breathe and eat, both at home and abroad.  Writes Friedersdorf:

When I watch that simulation I am horrified. I also think to myself, this technology is more likely to diminish American security than to enhance it. In a world without micro-drones, our military remains overwhelmingly powerful. But what about a world where micro-drones are pervasive? Who knows? Sure, we have a technological advantage right now, but micro-drones sure seem like a disruptive technology that will eventually help rather than hinder attempts at asymmetric warfare.
Yet the U.S. government is making no effort to enlist other powerful nations with the most to lose and establish international norms against the use of drones (in the way we've stigmatized biological weapons) -- rather, we're continuing to fuel a drone arms race that guarantees widespread proliferation. Perhaps such an effort would fail, but to never even try seems shortsighted.
How far ahead is President Obama thinking?
 
He might have asked what President Obama is thinking, sending his wife and daughters to frolic on the largesse of war profiteers and weapons manufacturers at the same time he is pretending to campaign for domestic gun control.  But perhaps I am being unfair. The Crown Family is like family to him. He said so himself at their home last year at yet another of their many bribe-fests fund-raisers:

.... actually the Crown family from the grandpas all the way to the grandkids, they supported me when I ran for State Senate; supported me when I lost a congressional race; supported me when I won my Senate race; and then supported me in my run for the presidency. These guys have been friends for a really long time. And Michelle and I love them to death, and to see how remarkable their children have turned out, watching them grow up, is a great thing to see. So please give the Crowns a big round of applause. (Applause.)
So I am not going to give a long speech. This really is family. You guys know me.
And know him they should. The Crowns are part of the shadow government, not only supplying the state with its weapons and the politicians with their money, but essentially dictating policy at the same time. Grandpa Lester Crown has reportedly even served as a personal envoy between Israeli hardliners and the president over a potential attack on Iran.

Just like family. The Crowns are also major shareholders in JP Morgan Chase, that too-big-to-fail, too-big-to-jail bank the size of a country that has enjoyed continuous deregulation and immunity from prosecution in the Obama administration. Jim Crown, who  heads the bank's risk policy board, recently became embroiled in the London Whale Fail scandal, in which billions of dollars were mysteriously "lost." No indictments, no investigation.

Just like family. One big, happy, fat, incestuous family. The old name for the corporatization of government was fascism. Now they prefer to call it Public Private Partnership. Euphemisms are the sugar that helps the propaganda medicine go down.
 

40 comments:

Zee said...

"Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal: micro air vehicles."

Coming soon to your backyard barbecue to spy on you and your friends, and maybe blow your heads off if their controllers don't like your politics.

Denis Neville said...

The parallels between what happened during the rise of Nazi Germany and what is occurring today in the United States are bone-chilling.

“What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.”

"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.”

- Milton Mayer, “But Then It Was Too Late,” excerpt from They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/511928.html

Like the Germans, we, too, are ordinary citizens living ordinary lives. Bread and circuses distract us from considering the evil around us. We don’t have time to think. There is so much going on in our lives. It provides an easy excuse not to think for people who do not like to think in the first place.

How blind we are to our own evil. We hear about the drone strikes against innocent civilians, or unlawful detainment, or abuse and torture of prisoners, or violation of civil rights. What do we think? What do we say? "It can't be helped," or "It's a necessary evil," or "I can't stop it." What do we do? Nothing. How are the lives of ordinary Germans in the 1930s different from average Americans today?

Tyranny always descends upon lethargic citizens in the cloak of patriotic conformity. It comes like a thief in the night. Once the national conscience has been drugged and sedated and put to sleep, it is difficult to reawaken it. The self-deception of the German people should have sounded the alarm bells against our own complacency in the face of propaganda-driven manipulation and fear. People, who seem insignificant, good citizens, who do as they're told, the nobodies; who knew they could be so important and so dangerous?

Jay - Ottawa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jay - Ottawa said...

Just saw Spielberg’s “Lincoln,” the film centered on the Thirteenth Amendment. I haven’t seen all its competitors for tomorrow’s Oscars, but “Lincoln” seems worthy enough.

We should not, Walter Mitty style, presume to think of ourselves as stealth Lincolns with a fraction of his wisdom, nor as the stoic soldiers who died or were crippled for life, nor as the slaves themselves freed from bondage by passage of the amendment.

May I presume to see a wrong-way parallel of sorts with what’s happening in our own time. Unlike Lincoln’s day we lack leaders who devote themselves with passion to the interests of those who are not grandees. The entire machinery of state now moves in reverse, against humanity. More of us are gradually being enslaved to moneymen. The Congress is for the new slavery. This president is for it. The Court is wholeheartedly and consistently for those who would enslave us further. Whenever grand sums of the country’s wealth are spent, they go to solidify empire, not tend to the rot within.

For millions of Americans of today the Underground Railroad amounts to doubling up with relatives who still have a room to spare and an extra plate at the table. Instead of slave work from dawn to dusk we have the forced idleness of unemployment to wear us down. No whips, just debts or the fear of debt keeps Americans in line. The new slave masters – the Crowns, the Kochs, and the Blankfeins – they prosper to the degree that we have less and less. Their plantation mentality is in the saddle.

Money won’t buy you happiness. How many times have we heard that? But enough of it usually buys you an adequate amount of independence from private interests as well as the state.

It has been decided in high circles that most Americans have too much freedom. Too much freedom is downright dangerous to the homeland. Therefore, to protect American democracy, drones must watch over us, as if we were children. Furthermore, the excess of spending money in the pockets of common people, which level is determined by rich people, must continue to be squeezed out of the lower classes and funneled up to the managers of stability.

This is a novel slavery for most living Americans, but it is a slavery that has gone on uninterrupted for eons in other lands. America really was an exception for its majorities, for a while. Welcome back to our new solidarity with the rest of struggling humanity. in a world where disparity has always been the norm. Only struggle at great cost will buy back a new emancipation.

4Runner said...

General Dynamics is a huge player in the MIC, a major sucker on the big teats of the Pentagon. If you'd like a grimly fascinating read, check out the website Military Industrial Complex.com, which updates contracts awarded daily (mostly on a cost-plus-fixed-fee basis) by DOD agencies. There's also an alpha list of recipients--not only the industrial biggies, but also universities, health organisations, media firms, etc. All in need of some very serious sequestration.

Pearl said...

Karen I will say it since you may not want to be labeled as anti-semitic.
I'll take on that title for you! The article you referred to about the
Crowns, close friends and contributors to Obama, mentioned in the Nicola Davis article, are wealthy Jews who represent the worst elements of Judaism in this day and age. Israel is now a divided nation because of the struggle between the haves and have nots financially and politically, led by a corrupted administration a la Netanyahu, catering to the worst elements here and abroad who have supported invasions and wars of other countries and ignored the oppression of the Palestinians as well as any possibility of peace in the Middle East by also drumming up a
war against Iran.

As well, U.S. Jews are now divided with the younger generations questioning Israeli politics, and Obama caters to the right wing elements who have been an important part of his financial and voter support. Many of Obama's
advisors as well on other fronts come from this pool and have convinced the
Jewish voters that without him in charge the country will be overrun by
right wing elements who will target Israeli supporters and allow Iran to destroy Israel. .

I am happy to see that several Jewish Peace groups in the U.S.
are violently opposing what is happening in this area and are calling for boycotts of Israeli goods and services. I do not know the extent of their support of Obama at this point but probably feel they can influence his outlook but many are waking up to the facts finally, if not slowly.

If you want to find corruption, just follow the money trail. Obama is
a bona fide member of this club.

Outsida said...

When Lyndon LaRouche supporters displayed pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache, they weren't so far off. When Tea Party members said Obama would take away their guns, they really weren't so far off either. When religious fanatics said Obama was the anti-Christ, well, they might have been onto something.

They all sensed that Obama was not who he claimed to be. Maybe they were just operating from gut impressions or intuitions rather simple racial prejudices, false reasoning, or plain old idiocy. Or maybe they were tuned into their lower, reptile brain that sensed danger. Sometimes those more in tune with their primitive instincts do better than those relying solely on their intellect.

So, brainiacs, what beliefs about Obama have WE on the 'Intellectual Left' been right about? Just about nothing! Zero. Zip. Nada. So much for brainpower.

We were even duly warned. A community organizer, part-time law instructor, half-term U.S. Senator, and former Illinois state senator who routinely voted 'present' were not exactly glowing qualifications to be President and Commander in Chief of the world's sole superpower. What was glowing was his smile, his charm, his demeanor, and his powerful monied connections. Karen nailed it when she identified who Crowned Obama our King.

The fact that Obama kept his academic background shrouded in secrecy to this very day should have strongly hinted that the man was hiding secrets, but nooooo, that still doesn't ring a warning bell. Oh well, that's all water over the damned now.

So what to do? Writing, speaking out, and sharing thoughts may seem like entertaining but powerless gestures of futility, but they resonate deeply with others and create a force of real power that should not be underestimated.

There are many of us with grave misgivings about Obama and what he and his cabal are doing to our country and world. We should know that humans the world over are united by Mind, and it's time we start realizing and applying it. If you can't believe in religion, at least consider the wonders that modern physics is revealing. There is power between and within us all.

Pearl said...

Great comment Karen for Maureen's article, Pom Pom Girl for Feminism which was not too bad a column.
The fact that you already are high on top of the recommendations speaks well
for an audience that might not agree with your sentiments. Many of these
'successful' women unfortunately become role models for young aspiring women who can't define the meaning of success many of whom believe among other things that being able to join the men in combat is a victory for women. Also, you saved me from having to write a comment as you covered the
waterfront so well filling in the ugly gaps in the subject's background that Maureen omitted.

I can't believe they are repeating the endless long, boring saga of Lee
Radziwell in the N.Y.Times once again who many readers consider has real
class - must come from all that money that she married numerous husbands
for, name dropping, lucky family connections, numerous face lifts and self absorption. And only wasting the space of 8 full pages yet!


Pearl said...

Outsida: your comment ' We should know that humans the world over are
united by Mind, and it's time we start realizing and applying it. If you can't believe in religion, at least consider the wonders that modern physics is revealing. There is power between and within us all.'

Great, however the following negative interpretation is unfortunately sometimes utilized as follows:

Sequester Threatens Top-Secret Military Research

To view this email as a web page, click here.
http://cl.exct.net/?qs=492d2a3f7e110587a7af86e87391f82ff1bb871339105bbd9c5bde0c3920ee36ilitary
Research by Alan Grayson


Pearl said...

In reference to my comments about anti-semitism in my recent comment Karen printed, lest anyone misconstrue my meaning, it was a sarcastic way of indicating how any political comments against the right wing branch of Jewish supporters of Israeli policies can bring on attacks about that person being anti semitic and in my case I am a self hating Jew, etc. etc. I felt that Karen spelled things out clearly especially with her reference links about the wealthy donors to the Obama's life styles but I want to remind you that people who were not happy about how Israel was behaving in the past especially during various invasions as in Lebanon and tried to speak out were maligned and censored. I know this from personal experience as well as friends who were afraid to say anything that might bring on such insults and it is very brave of Karen to connect the unhappy contributions both financial and political of conservative wealthyJews such as the Crown family to the current administration.

This is changing and the Peace groups I mentioned were very silent about what was happening until fairly recently which surprised me. But the hawkish AIPAC ** has tremendous influence in the political affairs of the U.S. and Canada as well as the UN. Prime Minister Harper is a great friend of the Israeli current leadership and has made state visits to Israel to demonstrate his support.

**
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States.

James F Traynor said...

You can buy one of these little jobbies from Sears for about $760, sans the lethal equipment. And power supply limited to batteries. But, what the hell, it's a beginning. Could make a nifty, and very mobile, IED.

Oops, did I just get listed? Wasn't suggesting it, Suits, Officers, CEOs, Special Forces. Just pointing it out. Hey, Mr. Custer, I don't wanna go! Or be renditioned, maximally interrogated and terminated with extreme prejudice. After all I'm an American citizen and, by definition, exceptional. Hmm, designation revoked by executive order, you say. But I still don't wanna go! I'm gonna tell the Sunflower goddess on you! She'll know what to do.

John in Lafayette said...

Gee, Pearl. What makes you think anyone might get the idea you're anti-Semitic? I mean, drumming up the old "wealthy Jews control the US/world" canard isn't remotely anti-Semitic, is it?

Karen didn't raise the Crown's religion as an issue. Why do you? Why wasn't the Walton's religion important when Karen wrote about WalMart, but the Crown's religion is important when writing about drones?

I know. I know. You're not anti-Semitic. You don't hate ALL Jews. Only the evil ones who control the US government and all the banks.

Pearl said...

John: My feeling was that Karen didn't directly bring up the religion of the Crown family because she did not want to be labeled as anti semitic
although she did connect us to the Davis report that was very explicit about the reasons behind their friendship and financial support of Obama. You will have to ask her about this.

And I can't tell if your comment is sarcastic or not because you end it by
saying I hate all evil Jews who support the banks and the government (is that a supportive comment or not?). You might add that I have the same unfriendly feelings to atheists, Catholics, muslims, etc. who equally
support those who control and manipulate the rest of us. My focusing on the Jewish involvement specifically is a result of observing first hand living there many years ago what was happening to Jewish divisiveness about Israel
and I speak out for those who are afraid to say anything. I can't tell you how many non Jews I knew in the Democratic party when I spent winters in Florida who, as a result of comments I made at meetings warning about the agenda of Israel's leaders, came to me privately telling me that they didn't dare open their mouths about the issues I raised since they might be insulted and gossiped about everywhere as anti semites. And they thanked me for having the courage to speak up.

As far as walmart goes, I don't even know if the Walton family are Jewish or not but I hate them regardless, however they do not whisper policy on the Middle East in Obama's ears. Besides, I was ahead of my time as finally the peace groups I mentioned caught up with my thinking along these lines and warned all of us that their members would be subjected to insult and 'shunning' in their communities as a result but to pursue the truth - their groups have several well known reformed Rabbis as members. There were many incidents in Canada over the years when Jewish women organized protests in
front of the Israeli Embassy about the suppression of the Palestinians and other issues and were publicly lambasted and called vicious names in all the media by the conservative Jewish organizations.

And Jews are specifically mentioned in their influence with Obama because
it involves important government national decision making involved in a
strategic area of the world. I could compare it with loyal Catholics who
finally spoke out about the abuse by priests of young children many of whom
were called liars and anti Catholics, and on and on it goes. That was a
horrible situation but did not influence the agendas of nations in other spheres.

Jewish history has many off the record stories of Jews who opposed agendas and religious practices and who were considered traitors to their clan. They seemed to make a lot of sense when I read the details of what they were protesting and I will make the excuse that I think I must be a descendent of some of them!
Regardless of some estimates of my beliefs (also against the right wing
religious groups in Israel), I think I am a good person, a good Jew if you
wish and hope one day the human race will become completely assimilated and
stop killing each other and being labeled.

Would love to have a clarification of your comment John, out of curiosity,
and are you not sure yourself about where you stand in all this?

And Karen you certainly stir up so many things to think and talk about!

Outsida said...

Pearl, I agree with you 100%. Thanks for your courage. It's too bad that it's risky and takes courage to openly speak the truth about the powerful Jewish influence, even if you're Jewish.

John in Lafayette has some 'splainin' to do.

Kat said...

I had a comment that posted then disappeared yesterday, so I'm just testing.
I hope I didn't say anything inflammatory. It didn't seem that way to me.

John in Lafayette said...

Karen and Denis both point out that there are a lot of parallels between what happened in Nazi Germany and what is happening in the US today. I agree, and one of those parallels is the stigmatizing of the Jews. From the right it comes to us in the form of branding anything non-Christian (and not just Judaism) as un-American.

But we also see much of it coming from the left, and in many ways the anti-Semitism coming from the left bears far greater resemblance to that of the Nazis.

The Nazis used a number of nefarious tactics to stigmatize the Jews and to set them as a thing apart from the rest of German society, making it that much easier to win the support of the populace in their campaign of extermination. One of the principal ones was to convince everyone that German Jews were not Germans at all. Rather, they were part of some international conspiracy to rule the world through control of the banks and industry, or through the control of politicians from behind the scenes. The Jews, therefore, therefore needed to be wiped out.

Lots of non-Jews support Israel. Lots of non-Jews run big banks. Lots of non-Jews build drones. Lots of non-Jews worked at Enron. Lots of non-Jews - like Barack Obama and George Bush - run the country. Yet somehow, their religion is of no interest to anyone. It's only when someone Jewish gets involved in these things that religion is brought into the equation. Why? Anyone possessed of even a rudimentary understanding of history should be asking that question.

That doesn't mean the Crown family's conduct should not be looked at critically. But the conduct should be examined only for what it is and opposed/supported for what it is. The religion of the person involved in the conduct is irrelevant, and raising the issue can only lead one to question the motivation of the person who raised it.

I can't speak for Karen, but perhaps, Pearl, Karen never raised the issue of the Crown's religion because the Crown's religion doesn't matter; only their relationship to General Dynamics and the Obamas does.

There is a very big difference between being critical of Israeli policy and being anti-Semitic. I'm very critical of Israeli policy myself. And while I would love to engage you on that at some point (I think we would agree on much), my whole point here and now is that that is not germane to this particular issue. This column was never about Israeli policy or American policy toward Israel. So why should the Crown family's religion be raised at all?

Outsida said...

Glenn Greenwald is another intelligent and thoughtful person who has serious concerns about the undue influence of the Jewish lobby on US politics. He often gets viciously attacked and accused of being anti-Semitic. Mr. Greenwald is Jewish and a respected attorney, civil rights litigator, and author of numerous books. I think the world of him and highly respect his well-thought out and documented writings focusing on security and liberty.

Unfortunately, I've never seen his blog listed on Karen's blogroll, so here is the link for those who don't already read him regularly:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/series/glenn-greenwald-security-liberty

James F Traynor said...

No Pearl, I, for what it's worth, don't think you're an antisemite. Hell, from what you've written, I know it. The holacaust or shoa scared the living shit out of everybody. Could we be that fucking bad!!? Oh yeah, we could and can and probably will again. And don't forget the Turks and the Armenians. The government of Israel and a significant subset of the Jewish people aren't encouraging in that regard either. But, need I point out, we're all the same damn species, an erect, hairless ape capable of inventing calculus, building Notre Dame and the gulag and Guantanamo. And crazier than a shit house rat.

John in Lafayette said...

Let's take a look at that statement, "..undue influence of the Jewish lobby."

What, exactly, is the "Jewish lobby?" Is it AIPAC? Some other group? Some combination of groups?

Because when we say there is such a thing, we then have to ask, what is it they are lobbying for that is of interest only to Jews?

Then you have to ask yourself what we mean by "undue." Because my understanding of the word is "excessively disproportionate."

So if the so-called "Jewish lobby" exists solely to support Israel, then I would suggest their influence is not at all disproportionate. American public opinion is overwhelmingly in favor of supporting Israel, and American foreign policy reflects that.

If it's your contention that the "Jewish lobby" exists for some other purpose apart from that, then I would like to ask what other policy goals they might be pursuing that would be of benefit to them solely because they're Jewish?

If anyone can tell me why the government pursuing a foreign policy with overwhelming broad-based support is wrong, or tell me how it is the government is being influenced to formulate other policies that are of benefit only to Jews without sounding anti-Semitic I'll shut up.

falken751 said...

I especially like my President golfing with a dirtball like Tiger Woods.

falken751 said...

I meant to say I "didn't" like my President golfing with a dirtball like Tiger Woods. Were they talking about the wh-res they screwed while being married?

James F Traynor said...

You're pretty good in the sophistry department , John. Majorities aren't right all that much, especially when they've been propagandized to a fare-thee-well. Remember the Germans, John? If you do, and agree that there was a holocaust, then, following your reason, you've got to be anti-teutonic. Because a majority of the American people are pro Israel doesn't make Israel right in its treatment of the Palestinians. And AIPAC definitely is having undue influence and exercising it all the time - along with our very own energy sector. You're a good little soldier, John, now lay off Pearl.

Outsida said...

@John in Lafayette

My mistake. I shouldn't have used the words 'Jewish Lobby' and 'undue influence'. I would have chosen my words more carefully had I realized they would be parsed. The issue is far broader and deeper than just AIPAC. I certainly didn't do it justice, not by a long shot. I totally bombed.

Someone far more erudite has already spoken about this matter, so again, I refer you to Glenn Greenwald and strongly urge you to read his essays on the US-Israel Military Cartel. Oops! My words, not Greenwald's.

Try this short and simple one for starters, although there are many more.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/04/israel-nukes-palestine-un-vote-rogue

Kat said...

Mystery solved! I posted in the wrong place. I'm sure everyone will be breathing a sigh of relief. I'll paste my comment here because it would be sad if my sharp insights were not seen by all.
Your post certainly underscores how the bots continue in their mass delusion-- look at the comments on the OFA article. People believe in this mythical creature known as "the progressive billionaire". Their dollars are going to serve as a counterweight to those ol' obstructionist Republicans so that Mr. Obama may enact his bold progressive agenda. Hah.
At least even the NYT readers are not buying what Sheryl Sandberg is selling. Never mind though, we'll be seeing her all over the morning shows whether we want to or not. I see her book is blurbed by Chelsea Clinton, Jeffrey Immelt, Wendy Kopp, and Condi. Now that's a ringing endorsement.
Besides all the criticism Karen had to offer I'm thinking why does it always have to be a woman must be more like a man? And really what a sad little prize she wants women to fight for.
I did enjoy this reader comment: everyone at facebook delusional and in the middle of a manic narcissistic high? it's like studio 54 but without the music and fun
And, oh what the ehck. Pearl is no anti Semite.

Kat said...

ehck? A mistake, but I like it.

John in Lafayette said...

Speaking of sophistry, Mr. Traynor.....

Please don't tell me we went the route of "Jews control the media and have propogandized the American public until they don't know right from wrong..."

This is not about Israeli treatment of the Palestinians (we're probably very much in agreement on that). This is about the Crowns and their influence with the Obamas. I'm saying the Crown family's religion is irrelevant, while some commenting here seem to think somehow it is. Would the Crown family's conduct be less pernicious if they were Christian? Would General Dynamics be after something different if one of their major stockholders wasn't Jewish?

And you twist my words when you say I'm trying to justify majorities as being right. What I'm saying is that when one says American policy toward Israel is a result of the undue influence of Jews (who represent only 2% of the population) on the American government, while at the same time large majorities of Americans from across religious and political lines support that policy, is a lie. And a bigoted one, at that.

Pearl said...

'But we also see much of it coming from the left, and in many ways the
anti-Semitism coming from the left bears far greater resemblance to that of the Nazis.'

John: This comment you made makes no sense. In the l930's it was the leftist Jews in Germany who were smuggling out information to the U.S.about what was happening to their country and I remember my father showing it to friends. Indeed at my elementary school graduation in l935 when he was the invited speaker he surprisingly changed topic and
instead spoke and warned about the alarming trend in Germany of the rise of Hitler,to the mostly Jewish audience, many of whom walked out calling him a Communist.

As for religion being irrelevant in this case, nothing could be further from the truth. A major religious party of the Knesset in Israel has strong influence on policy decisions, such as allowing extremist minded settlers to continue to be invited to
make their homes there, and supporting the belief in expansionism based on biblical interpretation, both of which are a threat to any possibility for
peace negotiations in that area of the world which affects everyone.

But whether or not I am considered anti semitic is of least importance to
this discussion but mainly indicates how people can be silenced on important issues. In that context, I might call most Jews anti semitic since they harbor intense hatred of Arabs living in and out of Israel who are also semites. Besides, keeping people subjugated as well in other religions such as Islam, affects the political agenda of those countries . So now I have opened up another topic of discussion of the role religion plays in how the nations of our world are run.

And finally I will quote another statement you made:

'If anyone can tell me why the government pursuing a foreign policy with overwhelming broad-based support is wrong, or tell me how it is the government is being influenced to formulate other policies that are of benefit only to Jews without sounding anti-Semitic I'll shut up.'


Gee. No, I encourage you to speak out as this is the only way the truth can be exposed. And I am sure that you will agree that some of Obama's foreign policy decisions that have broad based support are wrong - very wrong.




Pearl said...

Would the Crown family's conduct be less pernicious if they were Christian ?"

Yes John, unless they were the extremist Christian groups supporting Israeli policies. Because, one of the motivations for the Crown family being so supportive and friendly to President Obama is pushing for support of the Israeli agenda which would not be likely if it was a non Jew doing so.

And as for 2% of the population being Jewish, the wealth among Jews in the U.S. is very much above the norm since education and motivation to succeed is very high in their
value system and they therefore have more influence financially on whom they support for office as well as holding important positions in U.S. corporations, and in the political arena.

John in Lafayette said...

Pearl,

I am not trying to silence you or anyone else. I very much enjoy reading your comments, and I apologize, sincerely, if my language was too strong.

But again, I am not talking about the the right wing parties in the Knesset. I believe they are very much wrong, and every bit as bigoted as any Klan member. I have no idea what makes them, or anyone, think that Palestinians somehow do not have a right to go to sleep at night secure in their own homes, and to live under a government that enjoys their consent.

But that wasn't the contention that was being made, and is a thing very much apart from the point I am trying to make. The contention was that the Crown family's religion was somehow germane when talking about their influence with the Obamas.

Again, I ask: Would the Crown family's conduct be any different or any less pernicious if they were not Jewish? Would they be more willing for JP Morgan Chase to be prosecuted if they were Baptists? Would they stop GD from manufacturing drones if they were Moslem? Would they stop spreading campaign cash around if they were Catholic?

Their conduct - as outlined in this column - is inimical to most of our best interests, but it isn't a result of their being Jewish.

Again, my most sincere apologies if I have offended, but I really felt it was important to make this particular point. And that's all I'm going to say on this.

Denis Neville said...

I’m with Pearl.

Obama’s biggest backers include members of Chicago’s “billionaire first families,” both Jewish, the Crowns and the Pritzkers. The Jewish establishment supported Obama, they funded him, and they exert influence over him.

Avraham Burg, The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes, writes “Jews hold stunningly powerful positions and clout in the United States. The combination of the American state's power and the Jewish power in the areas of legislation, administration, media, law, business, culture, and entertainment have made the Jews a defining factor of contemporary America. Because Israel is inseparable from the identity of American Jews, Israel is inseparable from the American experience."

The Crown family's religion is significant to understanding their influence with Obama.

Because Jews compose a huge segment of the power structure and are joined at the hip with Israel, it is simply impossible to speak about Middle East policy without speaking about this Jewish power. It explains some of the roots of Obama’s subservience to the government of Israel and his threats of aggression against Iran. The negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program are neither about Iran nor about nuclear bombs: They are about Israel.

Let’s not be naive about Obama and the Jewish connection.

GeneralJinjur said...

A few years ago Abner Mikva (Bill Clinton's lawyer when Clinton was President) was reported as having said that Barack Obama was "the first Jewish President." It was a surprising thing to have said and I can't remember the context.

John in Lafayette said...

"Jews compose a huge segment of the power structure...."

But I'm not an anti-Semite. Oh no, not me. I mean, I may be saying exactly what the Nazis were saying 75 years ago, but this time it's true!

I've had quite enough of all of you.

General Jinjur said...

I've been following this thread and according to John (in Lafayette, not the bible verses) we're all anti semitic including the Jewish people who've been quoted. Oy vey!

You can't have it both ways. On the one hand I hear Jewish people quite proud of their achievements,professional standing, nobel prizes, academic credentials, etc... and then on the other hand, I hear Jewish people claim that actually they have no influence. For goodness sake, own your achievements! If not for Erich Fromm, Rollo May and several other marvelous Jewish thinkers my life would be much less rich. I subscribe to Tikkun and get daily emails from JWR. My brother in law is Jewish. *If* there are any "Jewish" positions that are harmful to the United States we can hardly blame Israel/Jewish people for lobbying on Israel's behalf, we have only our Congress to be angry at if they're being bought/persuaded into doing things perceived as against the interests of the U.S.

In fact, I'd vote for Bernie Sanders for President in a heartbeat over any of the Presidential candidates we've had in the past many years.

Zee said...

@All--

Like John, I guess that I am a bit shocked at the regrettable choice of language being used on this thread by some of the commenters.

I don't believe that they were intended to come out sounding as such, but it is not difficult for me to see—even from my non-Jewish perspective—that some of the statements made here would sound to John—and, yes, to me—just like all the other baseless charges about Jewish conspiracies to control the world that have been made for the past two thousand years.

“And as for 2% of the population being Jewish, the wealth among Jews in the U.S. is very much above the norm since education and motivation to succeed is very high in their value system and they therefore have more influence financially on whom they support for office as well as holding important positions in U.S. corporations, and in the political arena.” --@Pearl (My bold and standard emphases.)

“Because Jews compose a huge segment of the power structure and are joined at the hip with Israel, it is simply impossible to speak about Middle East policy without speaking about this Jewish power. It explains some of the roots of Obama’s subservience to the government of Israel and his threats of aggression against Iran.” --@Denis Neville (My bold emphasis.)

My God! How dare those 2%-minority-Jews venture to succeed to the point of excess in our society by virtue of their “values system,” and then further dare to influence the American political system with their wealth?! (Just like everybody else who has money?) How dare they even dare to rise above the norm!? If it's not a conspiracy, well, what the hell is it? It must be a conspiracy!

(Actually, maybe the rest of us could use such a "values system," too.)

OK. So America's 2% population of Jews have wealth—and, hence, power—beyond their sheer numbers. So WHAT? Why should they NOT choose to use their wealth to influence politics and policy, JUST LIKE ALL THE REST OF US DO who contribute to political causes? That hardly constitutes a “cabal,” but it sure as shootin' sounds like that's what some you are charging successful Jews with being part of.


If you don't like the Crown family' politics, well, muster up your OWN support for different Middle-Eastern policies, if you can. Or lobby yourselves for legislation to reduce the influence of political action committees and lobbyists on Congress and the Prez!


But wealthy, conservative American Jews are not guilty of a “plot” merely because they dared to succeed when others chose to fail or, at best, to attain mediocrity, and then further dared to pool their resources to get the federal government to act in some particular way.

I think that @John in Lafayette is owed a bit of an apology.

Outsida said...

@John in Lafayette

Mormons comprise a huge segment of the power structure at all levels of government in Arizona and in many other states in the West, and it's not by accident or by sheer numbers, as they make up a relatively small segment of the population - less than 6% of the population in Arizona.

Most Mormons are disciplined, responsible, purpose-driven, well-organized, well-connected, family oriented, and strongly exhibit their values in their lifestyles. They also happen to use these fine qualities to position and cultivate themselves and other LDS members in society for accumulation of political and financial power. There is nothing wrong with any of that, per se. They are very successful.

The impacts on the rest of us by how they use their money and political power is another matter. Their interests and goals are strongly influenced by their religion, are very Conservative and pro-business (Chamber of Commerce), and do not necessarily reflect the majority of the non-Mormon population. However, their political power ensures that their way prevails.

We have a right to discuss these impacts without being labeled anti-Mormon, anti-Semites, or anything else that effectively shuts down discussion. Many of our states and our nation itself would operate more fairly and compassionately if power was not concentrated in the hands of those who were focused on their own group's limited interests, to the detriment of the rest of us.

p.s. Criticizing Obama does not make us Racists either, especially when we voted for him, donated money, and campaigned for his election.

Pearl said...

Denis: Your excellent comment includes something we should all be fearful about. I worry that Israel will concoct some kind of incident that will propel it into war against Iran and drag the United States along.
Remember Obama's pledge to protect Israel against any threats to its existence which can be interpreted
in various ways.

The fact that Israel has had hundreds of unreported nuclear missiles available for at least more than half a century (since we were there) has never been addressed and might explain some of the concerns of the countries around it including Iran. It is a dangerous situation which could explode under the right conditions especially with the kind of extremists in charge of Israeli policy presently.

Denis Neville said...

Use of the anti-Semitism bogy

Oy vey! The classic anti-semitic trope to attack any and all criticism of the Israel Lobby.

“No discussion of the Lobby would be complete without an examination of one of its most powerful weapons: the charge of anti-semitism. Anyone who criticises Israel’s actions or argues that pro-Israel groups have significant influence over US Middle Eastern policy – an influence AIPAC celebrates – stands a good chance of being labelled an anti-semite. Indeed, anyone who merely claims that there is an Israel Lobby runs the risk of being charged with anti-semitism, even though the Israeli media refer to America’s ‘Jewish Lobby’. In other words, the Lobby first boasts of its influence and then attacks anyone who calls attention to it. It’s a very effective tactic: anti-semitism is something no one wants to be accused of.” - John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, “The Israel Lobby,” http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby

For decades, people have been afraid to speak out about the Israel/Palestine conflict for fear of being charged with anti-Semitism.

Peter Beinart, also labeled as being anti-semetic, on the looming danger to Israeli democracy and the American Jewish establishment’s refusal to confront it:

“A dramatic shift is taking place in Israel and America. In Israel, the deepening occupation of the West Bank is putting Israeli democracy at risk. In the United States, the refusal of major Jewish organizations to defend democracy in the Jewish state is alienating many young liberal Jews from Zionism itself. In the next generation, the liberal Zionist dream—the dream of a state that safeguards the Jewish people and cherishes democratic ideals—may die.” - Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism

The thrust of US policy in the Middle East derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country – in this case, Israel – are essentially identical.

@ Zee – “My Son, these maxims make a rule An lump them ay thegither: The Rigid Righteous is a fool, The Rigid Wise anither.” - Robert Burns

Pearl said...

John: 'I've had quite enough of all of you.'

I do take offense to this contemptuous comment from you. It reveals your true character, unfortunately, and discredits anything you may have written to us previously.

Jay - Ottawa said...

"So WHAT?" @Zee

Well, for starters, so the US is being pushed into war with Iran to please Netanyahu, or should I say AIPAC? That's all.

A couple of months ago Karen took us to the Muckety.com site. I went there again today to check on the degrees of relationship between the Crown dynasty of Chicago and other organizations. Likewise, for AIPAC.
http://www.muckety.com/James-S-Crown/5247.muckety
http://www.muckety.com/AIPAC/5019750.muckety

AIPAC is unusually powerful. It springs from a very small portion of the American community (2-3%). Because of its close ties with Israel, there is considerable debate as to whether it should be regarded as a lobby or a foreign agent. Never has such a small population or tiny national territory (Israel) exerted such a profound influence for so long over the United States. When Obama abases himself before AIPAC at its meetings, it’s reported he appears at the podium with two flag pins in his lapel: (1) the USA, (2) Israel.

AIPAC claims to represent Jews on matters political, both in the US and abroad. Many Jewish religious leaders back AIPAC. AIPAC is a conduit with two-way traffic between the US and Israel. Among Jewish organizations within the US I know of no other that comes close to matching it in money or influence. Critics, whether Jew or Gentile, who argue against AIPAC or recent Israeli governments do so at great risk.

Here’s a couple of no-holds-barred critiques of AIPAC among several I’ve read today. Even the footnotes are fascinating. Are they fair to AIPAC? Anti-semitic?
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/israels-willing-executioners-aipac-invades-washington/
http://original.antiwar.com/smith-grant/2012/09/23/aipac-drafted-us-aid-to-israel-illegal/

Isn’t it understandable that AIPAC, because of its wide influence and its general support throughout most of the Jewish community, be confused with Jews? Not all Jews agree with AIPAC. There are relatively few objectors within the Jewish community. Perhaps, to be more sensitive, we should say AIPAC, or the Jewish Lobby, instead of “Jews” when speaking of their influence in government and finance. Point taken.

Is it anti-semitic to criticize AIPAC because of what it does, or funds others to do? Does AIPAC represent Jews in the US, or Israel or both? Is there an equally strong Jewish organization in the US that stands in opposition to AIPAC? What is it called? When has it neutralized AIPAC? What about “The Jewish Lobby”? Is there such a thing? Would it be anti-semitic to criticize it?

With AIPAC being so muscular, so dominant, so unopposed in influential circles, one must be on guard not to confuse it with Jews generally. There are noble little publications like “Tikkun” where one gets another Jewish view, somewhat diluted, of course, by their open-door policy toward non-Jewish writers. Some rabbis have spoken up against AIPAC. They are few and pay a heavy price for their opposition. Likewise with the relatively few academics who speak up in opposition to AIPAC. Few congregants in the temples rise up in opposition. No organization has mustered the resources to neutralize AIPAC. To the outsider, the numbers in opposition to AIPAC do appear minimal and unimportant. Could that be the reason people refer to the Jewish community, or Jews in general, not AIPAC, when discussing Jewish influence in policy? Isn’t the overlap considerable between the organized Jewish community and AIPAC? But one should not say Jews in general do this or that. There are Jews who hang back from the AIPAC stampede, and we should bless them – even though such resistance does nothing to curb AIPAC's influence in the US or protect non Jews in the Middle East.

So what? So what if rich, well-educated and influential people band together and bully majorities to act against their own interests and justice for others? Just so long as they are smart, savvy, organized and successful. And know when to play the anti-semitic card. That's what counts.

bad boy said...

The Crowns?

Rothschild-style central banking got U.S. by the balls

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rothschild_family

David René de Rothschild

http://www.rothschildarchive.org/ta/