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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Lobby’

Biden’s efforts to appease Israel on Iran have failed on all fronts – Responsible Statecraft

Posted by M. C. on December 16, 2021

It’s not the nuclear deal that’s the problem for Tel Aviv, but the very idea that Washington and Tehran would reach any detente at all.

What Israel doesn’t want they won’t get.

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/12/12/bidens-efforts-to-appease-israel-on-iran-have-failed-on-all-fronts/

Written by
Trita Parsi

The New York Times Friday published an important analysis of ongoing U.S.-Israeli tensions over Washington’s efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which had succeeded in curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. As helpful as it is in understanding where things stand between Washington and Tel Aviv, however, the article misses a more fundamental takeaway from recent developments: Biden’s immense efforts to appease Israel in hopes of tempering the latter’s opposition to the JCPOA have not only failed but were likely based on faulty assumptions and were thus a mistake from the outset. 

Diverging Israeli and American views on the JCPOA is nothing new. But senior officials on the Biden team thought President Obama could have handled the Israelis better by coordinating more closely with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and actually heeding some of his hawkish advice. This belief, however, is unfounded.

The fundamental question is this: Are Israel and America’s views on a negotiated settlement with Iran ultimately reconcilable or not? Was there— and is there now — a way to clinch a lasting deal with Iran on its nuclear program that also satisfies Israel? 

The answer lies in understanding that the details of the deal are not the real problem. It’s rather the very idea of Washington and Tehran reaching any agreement that not only prevents Iran from developing a bomb, but also reduces U.S.-Iran tensions and lifts sanctions that have prevented Iran from enhancing its regional power. 

Many of Washington’s partners in the Middle East worry more about a U.S.-Iranian rapprochement and its geopolitical implications — a likely tilt in the regional balance of power in Iran’s favor, especially given the widespread perception the United States is eager to extricate itself from the neighborhood — than Iran’s nuclear advances. “So long as the United States works to contain Iran’s political influence and undermine its economy,” I wrote in Foreign Affairs in February, “the balance of the region will artificially tilt in favor of these states — a tilt that their own power cannot sustain.” 

Indeed, Obama’s fruitless efforts to persuade Washington’s regional partners and their allies in Washington to go along with the JCPOA had demonstrated that no amount of deference or consultation could change their categorical opposition to a deal with Iran. To the great frustration of some former Obama officials who had gone through this experience, the Biden team thought they could square this circle.

In December 2020, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes publicly implored Biden not to repeat this mistake: “I plead with [Biden],” he said on the PodSaveAmerica podcast. “Do not think there is any ounce of good faith that will be coming your way from Bibi Netanyahu, from MBS, and from the Tom Cottons of this world. These people have no interest in a deal. They’ve never had an interest in a deal,” he declared. “How many times do we have to go through this play? This is in the hands of the Biden people to say: ‘We don’t need to listen to these people.’”

But Biden chose to listen to them. Instead of returning to the JCPOA in the first days and weeks of his administration, critical time and effort were spent trying to persuade Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to get onboard with diplomacy. 

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Jon Ossoff Victory Proves That the Israel Lobby Still Has an Iron Grip on Democrats

Posted by M. C. on February 4, 2021

Israel has an iron grip on the entire congress and Washington in general.

https://www.mintpressnews.com/jon-ossoff-victory-proves-israel-lobby-still-has-iron-grip-democrats/275042/

by Jessica Buxbaum

Jerusalem — Jon Ossoff’s historic win was presented as defying America’s far-right. His election to office helped flip the Senate blue and after six long years, changed Mitch McConnell’s title from majority to minority leader. He defeated Donald Trump ally Sen. David Perdue by teaming up with a Black reverend associated with the late civil rights icon, Rep. John Lewis. And he was the first Jew to win a Georgia Senate seat while a racist, anti-Semitic mob raided the U.S. Capitol.

Despite these progressive feats, Ossoff’s political experience and campaign donations reveal he’s more aligned with the Democratic establishment than meets the eye.

Ossoff’s undeniable love affair with the Israel lobby

Ossoff was one of the pro-Israel lobby’s top donation recipients for the 2019-2020 campaign cycle, ranking at number four with a total of $607,915. J Street, the Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), New Israel Fund, and the Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs (JACPAC) all funded his campaign. Out of the Israel lobbying groups, JACPAC handed Ossoff the most money with a sum of $12,250. Pro-Israel groups J Street, DMFI, and the Jewish Democratic Council for America endorsed him as well.

Before becoming a senator, Ossoff didn’t have many political credentials to his name. According to The Forward, he handled foreign policy issues as a congressional aide for Georgia Rep. Hank Johnson. In the role, he “work[ed] on legislation improving military funding for Israel and mandating tougher inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities.”

While he supports the Iran Deal and opposes Israeli annexation of the West Bank, the senator has openly embraced Zionist views. He is opposed to the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, has supported Israeli attacks on Gaza, commended Israel’s normalization agreements with Arab countries, and supports a two-state solution. A two-state solution is a longtime Democratic Party position, but progressive public support for it is diminishing with the growing momentum for the One Democratic State Campaign.

Foreign policy wasn’t a large section of Ossoff’s campaign platform. As a state senate hopeful upholding a “Black-Jewish alliance,” he focused more on domestic race relations than geopolitics. However, Ossoff’s campaign did publish a document outlining his stance on Israel. In it, he pledged unwavering support for the state, specifically lauding his commitment to Israel’s security and his opposition to BDS as well as any legislation permitting the U.S. to divest from Israel.


Ossoff promised to “vigorously” defend Israel from peaceful boycotts


“Israel’s security requires the Israel Defense Forces to maintain a Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the region. U.S. foreign assistance ensures that Israel has the military and intelligence capabilities necessary to maintain that QME, to defend itself against missile and rocket threats, and to prevent terrorist attacks within Israel,” the statement read.

“In the Senate, I will push for strong, mutually beneficial, and mutually respectful U.S.-Israel relations, whose strength can sustain Congressional support for the appropriation of U.S. foreign assistance vital to Israel’s security,” Ossoff said.

This excerpt suggests Ossoff supports continuing U.S. military aid to Israel—an issue that received nationwide condemnation after Congress voted to give $600 to Americans amid a pandemic-spurred recession yet handed $500 million in aid to Israel.

In addition to the pro-Israel endorsements Ossoff snagged, he often touts his connections to pro-Israel politicians. His June, 2020 position paper cited his relationship to Michael Oren, the far-right Israeli ambassador he studied under at Georgetown University. Ossoff also credits his historic rise in politics to Rep. Lewis. While Lewis is remembered as a prominent civil rights activist, he was also staunchly pro-Israel. Like Ossoff, he opposed the BDS movement and was considered a friend to Israel.

The Democratic Party toeing the line with pro-Israel funds

Along with Ossoff being the first Jew elected to Georgia’s senate, Rev. Raphael Warnock also made history as the first African-American elected to Georgia’s senate. Together the Democratic pair attributed their success to having fostered a strong Black-Jewish alliance.

Despite his win, Warnock’s campaign was marred with controversy prior to the state’s highly-publicized runoff election in January. Warnock’s Republican opponent, Kelly Loeffler, targeted the reverend’s past criticism of Israel in an attack ad. Warnock signed a letter in 2019 comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa. He also criticized Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and slammed Israel for shooting Gazan protesters.

Loeffler’s smears worked. His campaign was losing public support and funding was drying up. Two days after Loeffler’s attacks, Rev. Warnock immediately backtracked and released a statement “condemning” the BDS movement and declaring his support for Israel. His quick reversal earned him an endorsement from the Israel lobby group DMFI. Similar to Ossoff, Warnock was also part of the Israel lobby’s top 10 campaign donation recipients, securing funding from J Street, DMFI, and the New Israel Fund. Warnock may not have been as successful with fundraising if he had maintained his previous position on Israel.

Sut Jhally, documentary filmmaker and communications professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, was surprised at how easily Warnock caved to pro-Israel pressure.

“He was persuaded by the mainstream Democrats to win the Georgia election, so he had to make this horrible statement about Israel and BDS,” Jhally told MintPress News.

Warnock and Ossoff ran for Senate on a civil-rights-branded agenda. But for Jhally, you can’t call yourself a progressive if you ignore Palestine.

“The test of whether you’re a true progressive is your position on Israel,” Jhally said. “Because you can’t be progressive about everything else and espouse human rights for everyone else and not espouse human rights for the Palestinians.”

Warnock’s swift 180 on Palestine-Israel demonstrates just how strong of a grip the Israel lobby has on the Democratic Party. While the Trump administration’s policies favorited Israel, the Democratic Party is largely kept in check with pro-Israel funding.

An analysis by the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs shows the pro-Israel lobby contributes significantly more money to Democrats than Republicans. And those campaign funds appear to be doing their job in scratching both the Democrats’ and the lobby’s backs. The top recipient of Israel lobby donations in 2020, President Joe Biden, has made it clear he’s willing to reverse every Trump-era policy except those related to Israel.

Keeping with the status quo

Criticism of Israel is growing louder in the Democratic Party with remarks from more progressive politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. And while Professor Jhally agrees there’s an unprecedented divide emerging in the party over Israel, that will only generate discussion and not substantial policy reform.

“The Israel lobby is still very powerful within both the Republican and Democratic parties and their role right now is to make sure policy does not change,” Jhally said. “And that is about putting pressure on progressives and making sure BDS becomes delegitimized.”

With BDS—arguably the best international strategy available to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine—still seen as a dirty word in American politics, Democrats will likely adhere to the Israel lobby’s agenda rather than risk losing money or being perceived as anti-Israel. And that means sticking with the status quo in the Democratic establishment: condemning BDS, promising U.S. aid to Israel, and supporting Israel’s right to defend itself against “terrorists.” Just like the self-proclaimed progressive Ossoff did in cementing his election win.

Feature photo | Artist Brandon Litman holds up a U.S. Senator-elect Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., campaign poster on Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Atlanta. Brynn Anderson | AP

Jessica Buxbaum is a Jerusalem-based journalist covering Palestine, Israel, and Syria. Her work has been featured in Middle East Eye, The New Arab, and Gulf News. Republish our stories! MintPress News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

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Grant Smith on the Covid-19 Relief Money Helping to Fund the Israel Lobby

Posted by M. C. on July 14, 2020

https://scotthorton.org/interviews/7-10-20-grant-smith-on-the-covid-19-relief-money-helping-to-fund-the-israel-lobby/

by

Grant Smith discusses the Israel lobby’s deep involvement in the U.S. economy, this time as regards the American firms in the business of promoting Israeli interests, who have recently received large sums of money through special coronavirus relief programs. Smith cross-referenced the list of companies receiving such aid with pro-Israel lobbying groups from his previous research, finding a great deal of overlap, particularly among the recipients of large “loans” (which under certain circumstances don’t even need to be repaid). These firms include the Zionist Organization of America, Friends of the IDF and the Israeli American Council, among others. Smith hopes that bringing this type of influence to light will also help Americans understand the Israeli government’s unjust and inhumane subjugation of the Palestinian people, and the many ways that our government enables it.

Discussed on the show:

Grant F. Smith is the author of a number of books including Big Israel: How Israel’s Lobby Moves AmericaDivert!, and most recently The Israel Lobby Enters State Government: Rise of the Virginia Israel Advisory Board. He is director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington, D.C.

This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty ClassroomExpandDesigns.com/ScottListen and Think AudioTheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.

Donate to the show through PatreonPayPal, or Bitcoin: 1Ct2FmcGrAGX56RnDtN9HncYghXfvF2GAh.

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Explaining Syria, by Philip Giraldi – The Unz Review

Posted by M. C. on February 19, 2020

Jeffrey’s formula is just another recycling of the myth that the Syrian opposition consisted of good folks who wanted to establish democracy in the country. In reality, it incorporated terrorist elements right from the beginning and groups like ISIS and the al-Qaeda affiliates rapidly assumed control of the violence. That Jeffrey should be so ignorant or blinded by his own presumptions to be unaware of that is astonishing.

https://www.unz.com/pgiraldi/explaining-syria/

The first week in February was memorable for the failed impeachment of President Donald Trump, the “re-elect me” State of the Union address and the marketing of a new line of underwear by Kim Kardashian. Given all of the excitement, it was easy to miss a special State Department press briefing by Ambassador James Jeffrey held on February 5th regarding the current situation in Syria.

Jeffrey is the United States Special Representative for Syria Engagement and the Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL. Jeffrey has had a distinguished career in government service, attaining senior level State Department positions under both Democratic and Republican presidents. He has served as U.S. Ambassador to both Turkey and Iraq. He is, generally speaking, a hardliner politically, closely aligned with Israel and regarding Iran as a hostile destabilizing force in the Middle East region. He was between 2013 and 2018 Philip Solondz distinguished fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think tank that is a spin-off of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). He is currently a WINEP “Outside Author” and go-to “expert.”

Professor John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and Stephen Walt, academic dean at Harvard University ‘s Kennedy School of Government, describe WINEP as “part of the core” of the Israel Lobby in the U.S. They examined the group on pages 175-6 in their groundbreaking book The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy and concluded as follows:

“Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a ‘balanced and realistic’ perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda … Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks.”

In early 2018 Jeffrey co-authored a WINEP special report on Syria which urged “…the Trump administration [to] couple a no-fly/no-drive zone and a small residual ground presence in the northeast with intensified sanctions against the Assad regime’s Iranian patron. In doing so, Washington can support local efforts to stabilize the area, encourage Gulf partners to ‘put skin in the game, drive a wedge between Moscow and Tehran, and help Israel avoid all-out war.”

Note the focus on Iran and Russia as threats and the referral to Assad and his government as a “regime.” And the U.S. presence is to “help Israel.” So we have Ambassador James Jeffrey leading the charge on Syria, from an Israeli perspective that is no doubt compatible with the White House view, which explains why he has become Special Representative for Syria Engagement.

Jeffrey set the tone for his term of office shortly after being appointed by President Trump back in August 2018 when he argued that the Syrian terrorists were “. . . not terrorists, but people fighting a civil war against a brutal dictator.” Jeffrey, who must have somehow missed a lot of the head chopping and rape going on, subsequently traveled to the Middle East and stopped off in Israel to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. It has been suggested that Jeffrey received his marching orders during the visit.

Two months later James Jeffrey declared that he would like to see Russia maintain a “permissive approach” to allow the Israelis to attack Iranian targets inside Syria. Regarding Iran’s possible future role in Syria he observed that “Iranians are part of the problem not part of the solution.”

What Jeffrey meant was that because Israel had been “allowed” to carry out hundreds of air attacks in Syria ostensibly directed against Iran-linked targets, the practice should be permitted to continue. Israel had suspended nearly all of its airstrikes in the wake of the shoot down of a Russian aircraft in September 2018, an incident which was caused by a deliberate Israeli maneuver that brought down the plane even though the missile that struck the aircraft was fired by Syria. Fifteen Russian servicemen were killed. Israel reportedly was deliberately using the Russian plane to mask the presence of its own attacking aircraft.

Russia responded to the incident by deploying advanced S-300 anti-aircraft systems to Syria, which can cover most of the more heavily developed areas of the country. Jeffrey was unhappy with that decision, saying “We are concerned very much about the S-300 system being deployed to Syria. The issue is at the detail level. Who will control it? what role will it play?” And he defended his own patently absurd urging that Russia, Syria’s ally, permit Israel to continue its air attacks by saying “We understand the existential interest and we support Israel” because the Israeli government has an “existential interest in blocking Iran from deploying long-range power projection systems such as surface-to-surface missiles.”

Later in November 2018 James Jeffrey was at it again, declaring that U.S. troops will not leave Syria before guaranteeing the “enduring defeated” of ISIS, but he perversely put the onus on Syria and Iran, saying that “We also think that you cannot have an enduring defeat of ISIS until you have fundamental change in the Syrian regime and fundamental change in Iran’s role in Syria, which contributed greatly to the rise of ISIS in the first place in 2013, 2014.”

As virtually no one but Jeffrey and the Israeli government actually believes that Damascus and Tehran were responsible for creating ISIS, the ambassador elaborated, blaming President Bashar al-Assad for the cycle of violence in Syria that, he claimed, allowed the development of the terrorist group in both Syria and neighboring Iraq.

He said “The Syrian regime produced ISIS. The elements of ISIS in the hundreds, probably, saw an opportunity in the total breakdown of civil society and of the upsurge of violence as the population rose up against the Assad regime, and the Assad regime, rather than try to negotiate or try to find any kind of solution, unleashed massive violence against its own population.”

Jeffrey’s formula is just another recycling of the myth that the Syrian opposition consisted of good folks who wanted to establish democracy in the country. In reality, it incorporated terrorist elements right from the beginning and groups like ISIS and the al-Qaeda affiliates rapidly assumed control of the violence. That Jeffrey should be so ignorant or blinded by his own presumptions to be unaware of that is astonishing. It is also interesting to note that he makes no mention of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, kneejerk support for Israel and the unrelenting pressure on Syria starting with the Syrian Accountability Act of 2003 and continuing with embrace of the so-called Arab Spring. Most observers believe that those actions were major contributors to the rise of ISIS.

Jeffrey’s unflinching embrace of the Israeli and hardline Washington assessment of the Syrian crisis comes as no surprise given his pedigree, but in the same interview where he pounded Iran and Syria he asserted oddly that “We’re not about regime change. We’re about a change in the behavior of a government and of a state.”

Some of James Jeffrey’s comments at last week’s press conference are similarly illuminating. Much of what he said concerned the mechanics of relationships with the Russians and Turks, but he also discussed some core issues relating to Washington’s perspective on the conflict. Many of his comments were very similar to what he said when he was appointed in 2018.

Jeffrey expressed concern over the thousands of al-Nusra terrorists holed up in besieged Idlib province, saying “We’re very, very worried about this. First of all, the significance of Idlib – that’s where we’ve had chemical weapons attacks in the past… And we’re seeing not just the Russians but the Iranians and Hizballah actively involved in supporting the Syrian offensive… You see the problems right now in Idlib. This is a dangerous conflict. It needs to be brought to an end. Russia needs to change its policies.”

He elaborated, “We’re not asking for regime change per se, we’re not asking for the Russians to leave, we’re asking…Syria to behave as a normal, decent country that doesn’t force half its population to flee, doesn’t use chemical weapons dozens of times against its own civilians, doesn’t drop barrel bombs, doesn’t create a refugee crisis that almost toppled governments in Europe, does not allow terrorists such as HTS and particularly Daesh/ISIS emerge and flourish in much of Syria. Those are the things that that regime has done, and the international community cannot accept that.”

Well, one has to conclude that James Jeffrey is possibly completely delusional. The core issue that the United States is in Syria illegally as a proxy for Israel and Saudi Arabia is not touched on, nor the criminal role in “protecting the oil fields” and stealing their production, which he mentions but does not explain. Nor the issue of the legitimate Syrian government seeking to recover its territory against groups that most everyone admits to be terrorists.

Virtually every bit of “evidence” that Jeffrey cites is either false or inflated, to include the claim of use of chemical weapons and the responsibility for the refugees. As for who actually created the terrorists, that honor goes to the United States, which accomplished that when it invaded Iraq and destroyed its government before following up by undermining Syria. And, by the way, someone should point out to Jeffrey that Russia and Iran are in Syria as allies of its legitimate government.

Ambassador James Jeffrey maintains that “Russia needs to change its policies.” That is not correct. It is the United States that must change its policies by getting out of Syria and Iraq for starters while also stopping the deference to feckless “allies” Israel and Saudi Arabia that has produced a debilitating cold war against both Iran and Russia. Another good first step to make the U.S. a “normal, decent country” would be to get rid of the advice of people like James Jeffrey.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is councilforthenationalinterest.org, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is inform@cnionline.org.

 

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The Israel Lobby’s Hidden Hand in the Theft of Iraqi and Syrian Oil

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2019

https://www.mintpressnews.com/israel-lobby-helped-stolen-oil-iraq-syria/263327/

By Agha Hussain Agha Hussain and
Whitney Webb Whitney Webb

KIRKUK, IRAQ — “We want to bring our soldiers home. But we did leave soldiers because we’re keeping the oil,” President Trump stated on November 3, before adding, “I like oil. We’re keeping the oil.”

Though he had promised a withdrawal of U.S. troops from their illegal occupation of Syria, Trump shocked many with his blunt admission that troops were being left behind to prevent Syrian oil resources from being developed by the Syrian government and, instead, kept in the hands of whomever the U.S. deemed fit to control them, in this case, the U.S.-backed Kurdish-majority militia known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Though Trump himself received all of the credit — and the scorn — for this controversial new policy, what has been left out of the media coverage is the fact that key players in the U.S.’ pro-Israel lobby played a major role in its creation with the purpose of selling Syrian oil to the state of Israel. While recent developments in the Syrian conflict may have hindered such a plan from becoming reality, it nonetheless offers a telling example of the covert role often played by the U.S.’ pro-Israel lobby in shaping key elements of U.S. foreign policy and closed-door deals with major regional implications.

Indeed, the Israel lobby-led effort to have the U.S. facilitate the sale of Syrian oil to Israel is not an isolated incident given that, just a few years ago, other individuals connected to the same pro-Israel lobby groups and Zionist neoconservatives manipulated both U.S. policy and Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in order to allow Iraqi oil to be sold to Israel without the approval of the Iraqi government. These designs, not unlike those that continue to unfold in Syria, were in service to longstanding neoconservative and Zionist efforts to balkanize Iraq by strengthening the KRG and weakening Baghdad.

After the occupation of Iraq’s Nineveh Governorate by ISIS (June 2014-October 2015), the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) took advantage of the Iraqi military’s retreat and, amidst the chaos, illegally seized Kirkuk on June 12. Their claim to the city was supported by both the U.S. and Israel and, later, the U.S.-led coalition targeting ISIS. This gave the KRG control, not only of Iraq’s export pipeline to Turkey’s Ceyhan port, but also to Iraq’s largest oil fields.

Israel imported massive amounts of oil from the Kurds during this period, all without the consent of Baghdad. Israel was also the largest customer of oil sold by ISIS, who used Kurdish-controlled Kirkuk to sell oil in areas of Iraq and Syria under its control. To do this in ISIS-controlled territories of Iraq, the oil was sent first to the Kurdish city of Zakho near the Turkey border and then into Turkey, deceptively labeled as oil that originated from Iraqi Kurdistan. ISIS did nothing to impede the KRG’s own oil exports even though they easily could have given that the Kirkuk-Ceyhan export pipeline passed through areas that ISIS had occupied for years.

In retrospect, and following revelations from Wikileaks and new information regarding the background of relevant actors, it has been revealed that much of the covert maneuvering behind the scenes that enabled this scenario intimately involved the United States’ powerful pro-Israel lobby. Now, with a similar scenario unfolding in Syria, efforts by the U.S.’ Israel lobby to manipulate U.S. foreign policy in order to shift the flow of hydrocarbons for Israel’s benefit can instead be seen as a pattern of behavior, not an isolated incident.

 

“Keep the oil” for Israel

After recent shifts in the Trump administration in its Syria policy, U.S. troops have controversially been kept in Syria to “keep the oil,” with U.S. military officials subsequently claiming that doing so was “a subset of the counter-ISIS mission.” However, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper later claimed that another factor behind U.S. insistence on guarding Syrian oil fields was to prevent the extraction and subsequent sale of Syrian oil by either the Syrian government or Russia.

One key, yet often overlooked, player behind the push to prevent a full U.S. troop withdrawal in Syria in order to “keep the oil” was current U.S. ambassador to Turkey, David Satterfield. Satterfield was previously the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs, where he yielded great influence over U.S. policy in both Iraq and Syria and worked closely with Brett McGurk, the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Iraq and Iran and later special presidential envoy for the U.S.-led “anti-ISIS” coalition.

Over the course of his long diplomatic career, Satterfield has been known to the U.S. government as an Israeli intelligence asset embedded in the U.S. State Department. Indeed, Satterfield was named as a major player in what is now known as the AIPAC espionage scandal, also known as the Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal, although he was oddly never charged for his role after the intervention of his superiors at the State Department in the George W. Bush administration.

In 2005, federal prosecutors cited a U.S. government official as having illegally passed classified information to Steve Rosen, then working for AIPAC, who then passed that information to the Israeli government. That classified information included intelligence on Iran and the nature of U.S.-Israeli intelligence sharing. Subsequent media reports from the New York Times and other outlets revealed that this government official was none other than David Satterfield, who was then serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs.

Charges against Rosen, as well as his co-conspirator and fellow AIPAC employee Keith Weissman, were dropped in 2009 and no charges were levied against Satterfield after State Department officials shockingly claimed that Satterfield had “acted within his authority” in leaking classified information to an individual working to advance the interests of a foreign government. Richard Armitage, a neoconservative ally with a long history of ties to CIA covert operations in the Middle East and elsewhere, has since claimed that he was one of Satterfield’s main defenders in conversations with the FBI during this time when he was serving as Deputy Secretary of State.

The other government official named in the indictment, former Pentagon official Lawrence Franklin, was not so lucky and was charged under the Espionage Act in 2006. Satterfield, instead of being censured for his role in leaking sensitive information to a foreign government, was subsequently promoted in 2006 to serve as the Coordinator for Iraq and Senior Adviser to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

In addition to his history of leaking classified information to AIPAC, Satterfield also has a longstanding relationship with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a controversial spin-off of AIPAC also known by its acronym WINEP. WINEP’s website has long listed Satterfield as one of its experts and Satterfield has spoken at several WINEP events and policy forums, including several after his involvement with the AIPAC espionage scandal became public knowledge. However, despite his longstanding and controversial ties to the U.S. pro-Israel lobby, Satterfield’s current relationship with some elements of that lobby, such as the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), is complicated at best.

While Satterfield’s role in yet another reversal of a promised withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria has largely escaped media scrutiny, another individual with deep ties to the Israel lobby and Syrian “rebel” groups has also been ignored by the media, despite his outsized role in taking advantage of this new U.S. policy for Israel’s benefit.

 

US Israel Lobby secures deal with Kurds

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Impotent Republicans Are a Joke—the Democrats Don’t Take Republicans Seriously – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on November 18, 2019

The question that needs asking and an answer is: What are the Democrats up to? Why is the Democratic Party, once a representative of the working class, helping the military/security deep state unseat a president elected by the working class? Why has the major figure in the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, defined the American working class as “the Trump deplorables”?

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/11/16/impotent-republicans-are-a-joke-the-democrats-dont-take-republicans-seriously/

Paul Craig Roberts

With the entirety of the presstitute media endeavoring to turn second-hand hear-say into an impeachable offense, do not expect to hear any contrary news. Such as:

This on Zero Hedge: Adam Shifty Schiff involved in illegal sodomite drug den EXPOSED: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-10-20/adam-shifty-schiff-involved-illegal-sodomite-drug-den-exposed

This on en Volve: BOMBSHELL: Feds Investigating Adam Schiff’s ‘Disturbing Behavior’ At Ed Buck’s Sex House Of Death!: https://en-volve.com/2019/10/09/bombshell-feds-investigating-adam-schiffs-disturbing-behavior-at-ed-bucks-sex-house-of-death/

This on Infowars: NBC MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT, FRIEND OF ADAM SCHIFF ARRESTED FOR SEXTING 9-YEAR-OLD: https://www.infowars.com/nbc-medical-correspondent-friend-of-adam-schiff-arrested-for-sexting-9-year-old/

This on thefederalist.com: Adam Schiff’s Star Witness Just Admitted Burisma Should Be Investigated For Corruption: https://thefederalist.com/2019/11/13/adam-schiffs-star-witness-just-admitted-burisma-should-be-investigated-for-corruption/?utm_campaign=ACTENGAGE

This on https://www.theepochtimes.com/criminal-indictments-could-be-coming-in-russiagate_3130866.html : Are Criminal Indictments Forthcoming: “All this suggests criminal deception of the FISA court, coordinated criminal leaks of classified information by U.S. intelligence agencies to disrupt the Trump presidency, the secret use of an asset by U.S. intelligence agencies to entrap a low-level Trump campaign aide, and the entrapment of Flynn, coupled with the criminal alteration of an FBI 302 to at least partially fabricate federal crimes against him.” https://www.theepochtimes.com/criminal-indictments-could-be-coming-in-russiagate_3130866.html

This on https://www.theepochtimes.com/barr-says-democrats-courts-are-engaged-in-efforts-to-cripple-presidential-power_3148046.html: Barr Says Democrats, Courts Are Engaged in Efforts to Cripple Presidential Power

With the absence of any integrity in the American print and TV media and the large presence of CIA, State Department, and Israel Lobby funded internet sites, Americans have no sure-fire way of knowing what information can be trusted. We do know that nothing said on CNN, MSNBC, NPR or written in the New York Times and Washington Post can be believed…

When you start thinking along these lines other puzzling questions come to mind. For example, why does the leadership of the Democratic Party seem to be in the hands of feminists and people of color on one side and crooks like Joe Biden on the other. What holds a party this naturtally divided together?

Why does an anti-white odor emanate from the Democratic Party, especially an anti-white heterosexual male ordor? Why are all of Epstein’s pedophile clients Democrats? Has the Democratic Party become the party of immigrant-invaders and sexual perverts?

Republicans come across as impotent, powerless, and stupid. They have stood there impotently while two of their more effective fundraisers and political advisers, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, were framed in broad daylight by the utterly corrupt Russiagate special prosecutor Robert Mueller and sentenced to prison. This never happens to Democrats. Only to Republicans. The Epstein case has disappeared…

Trump with the weakest response against an impeachment devoid of any evience is afraid to pardon Mueller’s victims, people convicted of offenses that are unrelated to the Russiagate investigation. The entire purpose of the false convictions of Manafort and Stone is to prove that Republicans are too scared to protect their own. Mueller’s purpose was to break-up the ranks of Trump supporters and turn them against one another. Once one runs for the exit, the rest follow…

Does Donald Trump only fight for himself? If so, we will see if he can by himself save himself.

Is Trump unable to fight because his own team belongs to the deep state?

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Lying for Israel: Why Nearly Everyone in Washington Does It — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on August 31, 2019

Later that day, on CNN, Lieu explained his objection to Friedman’s actions, saying “Actually, I think he should resign because he doesn’t see to understand that his allegiance is to America, not to a foreign power. He should be defending the right of Americans to go abroad to other countries and to visit their relatives.”

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/08/29/lying-for-israel-why-nearly-everyone-in-washington-does-it/

Philip Giraldi

 

It is not often that one hears anything like the truth in today’s Washington, a city where the art of dissimulation has reached new heights among both Democrats and Republicans. Everyone who has not been asleep like Rip Van Winkle for the past twenty years knows that the most powerful foreign lobby operating in the United States is that of the state of Israel. Indeed, by some measures it just might be the most powerful lobby period, given the fact that it has now succeeded in extending its tentacles into state and local levels with its largely successful campaigns to punish criticism or boycotting of Israel while also infiltrating boards of education to require Holocaust education and textbooks that reflect favorably on the Jewish state.

Occasionally, however, the light does shine in darkness. The efforts by Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar to challenge the power of the Israel Lobby are commendable and it is worth noting that the two women are being subjected to harassment by their own Democratic Party in an effort to make them be silent. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has attempted to make them the face of the Democrats, calling them “Jew haters” and “anti-Semites” while also further claiming that they despise the United States just as they condemn Israel. This has developed into a Trump diatribe claiming that American Jews who vote for Democrats are “disloyal.” By disloyal he meant disloyal to Israel, in a sense ironically confirming that in the president’s mind Jews have dual loyalty, which, of course, at least some of them do.

And Trump has further exercised his claim to the Jewish vote by accepting the sobriquet “King of Israel” bestowed by a demented talk radio host. As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already asserted that Trump’s election victory was the result of divine intervention to “save Israel from Iran,” the kingship is presumably an inevitable progression. One can only imagine what will come next.

One Democratic congressman who has apparently become fatigued by all that bipartisan pandering to Israel is Ted Lieu of California. Last Thursday Lieu rebuked Trump’s US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman over his support of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to allow Tlaib and Omar to visit the West Bank where Tlaib’s grandmother lives under Israeli occupation. Friedman had issued a statement saying that the United States “respects and supports” the Israeli action. He went on to elaborate “The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel is not free speech. Rather, it is no less than economic warfare designed to delegitimize and ultimately destroy the Jewish state. [Israel] has every right to protect its borders against those activists in the same manner as it would bar entrants with more conventional weapons.”

As Friedman was describing two thirty-something nonviolent first term congresswomen as nothing less than armed attackers about to be unleashed against the Jewish state because they support a peaceful boycott movement, Lieu apparently felt compelled to courageously respond to the ambassador, tweeting “Dear @USAmbIsrael: You are an American. Your allegiance should be to America, not to a foreign power. You should be defending the right of Americans to travel to other countries. If you don’t understand that, then you need to resign.”

Later that day, on CNN, Lieu explained his objection to Friedman’s actions, saying “Actually, I think he should resign because he doesn’t see to understand that his allegiance is to America, not to a foreign power. He should be defending the right of Americans to go abroad to other countries and to visit their relatives.”

The outrage from the mighty host of friends of Israel came immediately, with accusations that Lieu was accusing Friedman of “dual loyalty,” that greatly feared derogatory label that is somewhat akin to “anti-Semitism” or “Holocaust denial” in the battery of verbal munitions used to silence critics of the Jewish state. Indeed, Lieu was accused of employing nothing less than a “classic anti-Semitic” trope.

Under considerable pressure, Lieu deleted the tweet and then issued something of an apology, “It has been brought to my attention that my prior tweet to @USAmbIsrael raises dual loyalty allegations that have historically caused harm to the Jewish community. That is a legitimate concern. I am therefore deleting the tweet.”

But the reality is, of course, that Friedman does not have dual loyalty. He has real loyalty only to Israel, which he demonstrates repeatedly by uncritically supporting everything the kleptocratic Netanyahu regime does with nary a pause to consider actual American interests. He has supported the weekly slaughter of unarmed Gazan civilians by Israeli sharpshooters, praised the bombing of Syria, pushed for the move of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, applauded the recognition by Washington of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and is an active supporter of and contributor to the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank. He has even pressured the State Department into ceasing its use of the word “occupation” when describing the situation on the West Bank. It is now “disputed.” So, it is no surprise that David Friedman, formerly a bankruptcy lawyer before he became ambassador, lines up with Netanyahu rather than with two American Congresswomen who, apart from anything else, have good reasons to travel to a country that is the largest US aid recipient in order to see conditions on the ground. To put it mildly, Friedman is a disgrace and a reflection of the character or lack thereof of the man who appointed him. If he had any decency, he would resign.

There is no benefit for the United States when an American Ambassador excuses the brutality of a foreign government, quite the contrary as it makes Washington an accomplice in what are often undeniably war crimes. Even though Congressman Lieu was clearly read the riot act and made to fly right by his own party’s leadership, it took considerable courage to speak up against both Israel and an American ambassador who clearly is more in love with the country he is posted to than the country he is supposed to represent. Of course, in never-any-accountability Washington a buffoon posing as an ambassador as Friedman does will get away with just about anything and, as the subject is Israel, there will hardly be a word of rebuke coming from anyone, to include the mainstream media. But the tweet by Lieu is nevertheless significant. Hopefully he will be among the first of many congressmen willing to put at risk their careers at times to speak the truth.

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Pandering to Israel Means War With Iran

 

 

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Tulsi Gabbard: R.I.P. – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on August 6, 2019

Those of us who actually know, such as myself and Stephen Cohen, have been warning for years that the orchestrated hostility against Russia is producing a far more dangerous Cold War than the original one.

A strong personality in what is allegedly the most powerful office in the world who allows his entire first term to be wasted by his opponents in an attempt to frame him and drive him from office is all we need to know about the likely fate of Tulsi Gabbard.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/05/tulsi-gabbard-r-i-p/

Paul Craig Roberts

It is unfortunate that Tulsi Gabbard succumbed to the Israel Lobby.  The forces of the Empire saw it as a sign of weakness and have set about destroying her.

The ruling elite see Gabbard as a threat just as they saw Trump as a threat.  A threat is an attractive political candidate who questions the Empire’s agenda.  Trump questioned the hostility toward Russia orchestrated by the military/security complex.  Gabbard questions the Empire’s wars in the Middle East. This is questioning that encroaches on the agendas of the military/security complex and Israel Lobby.  If fear of Israel is what caused Gabbard to vote the AIPAC line on the bill forbidding criticism of Israel, she won’t be able to stick to her line against Washington’s aggression in the Middle East.  Israel is behind that aggression as it serves Israeli interests.

But the Empire is taking no chances.  The Empire has sicced its Presstitute Battalion on her. Josh Rogin (Washington Post), Joy Reid (MSNBC), Wajahat Ali (New York Times and CNN), and, of course the Twitter trolls paid to slander and misrepresent public figures that the Empire targets.  Google added its weight to the obfuscation of Gabbard.

Gabbard, who in the second “debate” between Democratic Party candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, took down the despicable Kamala Harris with ease, was promptly labeled “an Assad apologist” and a conspiracist with Russia to put herself as a Putin agent in the White House.  https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/08/01/crazed-democrats-now-claim-it-is-tulsi-gabbard-who-is-in-conspiracy-with-putin/

Wars in the Middle East against Israel’s enemies and preparation for major wars against Iran, Russia, and China are the bread and butter for the powerful US military/security complex lobby.  All that is important to the military/security complex is their profits, not whether they get all of us killed.  In other words, their propaganda about protecting America is a lie.  They endanger us all in order to have enemies in order to justify their massive budget and power…

Washington, however, does gain by tearing up the INF treaty. At Europe’s risk, not America’s, Washington’s intermediate-range nuclear missiles stationed in Europe on Russia’s borders permit a preemptive nuclear attack on Russia.  Because of proximity, the warning time is only a couple of minutes.  Washington’s crazed war planners believe that so much of the Russian retaliatory capacity would be destroyed, that Russia would surrender rather than retaliate with diminished forces and risk a second attack.

Putin stresses this danger as does the Russian military.  US missiles on Russia’s border puts the world on a hair trigger. Aside from the fact that a nuclear attack on Russia is the likely intent of the criminal neoconservatives, nuclear warning systems are notorious for false alarms.  During Cold War I, both sides worked to build trust, but since the criminal Clinton regime Washington has worked to destroy all trust between the two dominant nuclear powers.  All that is required to obliterate life on earth, thanks entirely to the crazed fools in Washington, is one false alarm received by the Russians.  Unlike past false alarms, next time the Russians will have no choice but to believe it.

Intermediate-range nuclear missiles leave no time for a phone call between Putin and Trump.  The Russian leader who has suffered hundreds of diplomatic insults, demonization of his person and his country, illegal sanctions, endless false accusations, and endless threats cannot assume that the warning is false.

The idiots in Washington and the presstitutes have programmed the end of the world. When the alarm goes off, the Russian leader has no choice but to push the button…

The American government in Washington has been made so utterly stupid by its arrogant hubris that it has no comprehension of the dangerous situation that it, and it alone, has created.  We are all at risk every minute of our lives because of the power, of which President Eisenhower warned us more than a half century ago to no avail, of the US military/security complex, an organized powerful force determined and able to destroy any American president who would threaten their budget and power by making peace.

Donald Trump is a strong personality, but he has been cowed by the Israel Lobby and the military/security complex.  As reigning president, Trump sat there Twittering while an attack orchestrated by the military/security complex and the Democratic Party, with 100% cooperation from the American media, tried to portray him as a Russian agent as grounds for his impeachment.

A strong personality in what is allegedly the most powerful office in the world who allows his entire first term to be wasted by his opponents in an attempt to frame him and drive him from office is all we need to know about the likely fate of Tulsi Gabbard.

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Americans Are Consigning Themselves to the Trash Bin of History – PaulCraigRoberts.org

Posted by M. C. on July 29, 2019

These few lobbies mentioned above have resources between them in excess of the GDP of Russia.  It is totally impossible for Russia to outbid them.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/07/26/americans-are-consigning-themselves-to-the-trash-bin-of-history/

Paul Craig Roberts

The Democrats are even more insane than I thought.  The Trump-hater Nadler had a press conference with other Trump-hating Democrats and claimed, despite the absence of any evidence from Mueller, that Trump is a criminal.  Reassured by this certitude, the Democrats will continue their impeachment investigation, says Nadler.

Among the most crazed elements of the Democrats, Mueller is no longer the hero. Mueller sold out to Trump in order to protect himself, as Trump was going to have Mueller assassinated if Mueller did not clear him.  This conspiracy theory comes from those who ridicule skeptics of the official 9/11 story and various of the school shootings. The dastardly Mueller, more concerned with protecting himself than with cleansing the government of the Trump evil, suppressed the evidence of Trump’s guilt in order to save his own ass.

In other words, the Democrats, deserted by their hero, cannot let go of the orchestration we call “Russiagate.”

It is enough to drive a person to despair that among the abundant evidence of American election interference, no attention is given by Democrats to interference by the Israel Lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, the oil lobby, the Wall Street Lobby, the military/security complex lobby.  Sheldon Adelson, a single individual with a fortune from casino gambling of $33 billion, 300 million dollars, has more clout on the outcome of US presidential elections than Putin. These few lobbies mentioned above have resources berween them in excess of the GDP of Russia.  It is totally impossible for Russia to outbid them.

Assume that Russia, whose Gross Domestic Product is overshadowed by the resources of the Forbes 400, would try to compete with, for example, the Israel Lobby, in determining US foreign policy.  If Russia could compete with the Israel Lobby in controlling American political outcomes, would the Middle East have been destroyed by Washington, with millions of displaced and dispossessed refugees overrunning all Western countries? Surely not. Is Russia happy that the destabilization of the Middle East threatens the Muslim provinces of the Russian Federation with jihadists? Obviously not.  Nevertheless, the instability that Washington has introduced into the Western world serves the rise of Russia and China, not America and its empire.

One has to wonder how it serves the image and power of the United States to be portrayed, as it is portrayed, as fighting Israel’s wars for domination of the Middle East. How does the world avoid seeing the US of A as a two-bit vassal of Zionist Israel? Doesn’t Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, and Trump’s Jewish son-in-law make this perfectly clear every day? The President of the United States is nothing but the punk two-bit vassal of Zionism.

The US Department of State formerly was in the hands of “Arabists.”  Today it is in the hands of Zionists. Washington in its total incompetence has alligned with a tiny percentage of the population against the majority in the Middle East. This will come to no good result.

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Israel Lobby Rebuts Omar’s Claims About Its Immense Influence By Exerting Its Immense Influence – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on March 6, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03/05/israel-lobby-refutes-omars-claims-about-its-immense-influence-by-exerting-its-immense-influence/

In response to criticisms made by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar that US political leaders have too much allegiance to Israel and its lobbying groups, House Democrats have put forward an entire House resolution in accordance with demands made by AIPAC and the Anti-Defamation League.

“The backlash [over Omar’s comments] continued on Monday, as the Anti-Defamation League wrote a letter to Pelosi calling for a House resolution to specifically reject what the organization calls Omar’s ‘latest slur,’” Politico reports. “‘We urge you and your colleagues to send the unambiguous message that the United States Congress is no place for hate,’ the group’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, wrote in a letter.”

“The charge of dual loyalty not only raises the ominous specter of classic anti-Semitism, but it is also deeply insulting to the millions upon millions of patriotic Americans, Jewish and non-Jewish, who stand by our democratic ally, Israel,” tweeted the Israel lobbying group AIPAC on Friday in response to Omar’s comments.

“I hope @AIPAC isn’t too angry that it took Democratic House leaders almost 48 whole hours to do what they’re told to condemn their own member and will instead be understanding that it was a weekend and that’s what caused the delay,” snarked journalist Glenn Greenwald in response to the news of the House resolution.

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