Wednesday, 20 February 2013

America Shamed Again: A Colonized People — Paul Craig Roberts

Americans have been shamed many times by their elected representatives who cravenly bow to vested interests and betray the American people. But no previous disgraceful behavior can match the public shame brought to Americans by the behavior of the Senate Republicans in the confirmation hearing of Senator Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

Forty Senate Republicans made it clear that not only do they refuse to put their service to America ahead of their service to Israel, but also that they will not even put their service to America on a par with their service to Israel. To every American’s shame, the Republicans demonstrated for all the world to see that they are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Israel Lobby. (The Israel Lobby is not their only master. They are also owned by other powerful interest groups, such as Wall Street and the Military/Security Complex.)

The most embarrassing behavior of all came from the craven Lindsay Graham, who, while in the act of demonstrating his complete subservience by crawling on his belly before the Israel Lobby, dared Hagel to name one single person in the US Congress who is afraid of the Israel Lobby.

If I had been Hagel, I would have written off the nomination and answered: “You, Senator Graham, and your 40 craven colleagues.”

Indeed, Hagel could have answered: The entire US Congress, including Rand Paul who pretends to be different but isn’t.

The real question is: Who in the Congress is not afraid of the Israel Lobby?

The hatchet job on Hagel is driven by fear of the Israel Lobby.

Perhaps the worst affront Israel’s American representatives ever inflicted on the US military was the coverup of the Israeli air and torpedo boat attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. The Israeli attack failed to sink the Liberty but killed and wounded most of the crew. The survivors were ordered to silence, and it was 12 years before one of them spoke up and revealed what had happened (James Ennes, Assault On The Liberty). Not even Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chief of Naval Operations and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff could get Washington to own up to the facts.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, February 20th, 2013.]


steven andresen said...


This issue is interesting.

There is a debate about who controls whom. People like Roberts argue that Israel controls the United States through the political support, or opposition, coming from Israeli political action committees. On the other hand, people like Chomsky argue that the United States controls Israel through their military and financial support. Chomsky believes, or says, that if the U.S. would threaten to hold back military aid, the IDF would stop whatever they would then be doing. This is why, so it is said, why the IDF has not yet attacked Iran on their own. They are afraid the the U.S. would oppose that move and punish them by withholding aid, etc.

The argument is never hashed out very well so that you can see all the moves in these arguments. I would like to find such an argument.

Do you know of any?

SpookyOne said...


I believe that the 'Israel controls the US' side of this argument is addressed all the time at

In those posts there is some acknowledgement that it is not all a one way street. Some wishes of the present Israeli Netanyahu Government are resisted because openly attacking Iran would be a step to far for many in the US Government bureaucracy. The elected politicians must, despite being heavily paid by pro-Israel lobby groups, take some account of their domestic position.

I think Chomsky has it wrong.

Israel does not have total control but, in US politics, if you seriously or heavily criticise Israeli policy then you are gone. Cynthia McKinney is an example, although she also attacked other corrupt aspects of the Government. It seems to be a balancing act with the proviso that criticism of Israel that goes too far ends in political suicide.

If we look at what happened with the 911 investigation we find connections to Israel that were covered up. Going back in time we see the same with the USS Liberty attack, which was much easier to hide because of its far off and unknown nature. I would also point to US support, or rather lack of opposition, for the recent Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza.

The US media is very onesided on the Israel question. Past posts on here document how the media treats the deaths of Palestinian children (they hide the numbers) vs how they treat deaths of Israeli ones. The same goes for their adults except the numbers are acknowledged.

However, some blatant crimes committed by Israel, that occurred in the past, like the Jonathan Pollard spy case, is something that cannot easily be written off. Allowing someone who has committed serious espionage to go free after he was convicted would potentially raise a lot of questions. Covering up the case before it went to trial, or dismissing the evidence at the time, is another matter. In 1987, in the circles that Pollard ran into, justice could not be kept at bay IMO.

Going back to Chomsky, Israel is tring to covertly attack Iran with some intelligence (drone) help from the US and sanctions. We have seen assassinations of Iranian scientists and support of the MEK terrorist group plus, seemingly, cyber attacks on the nuke facilities (Stuxnet).

Elements in the US and Israel are trying to foment war or strikes, but they have to deal with the consequences of these actions keeping in mind Russian, Chinese and world reaction to blatant acts of aggression, especially as the WMD canard is less viable.

I do not think the US is fully holding Israel back, although at times, in the theatre show of public media, it seems they might be. I think they are playing the 'good cop, bad cop' routine. Israel lacks the capability to seriously hurt Iran (without using their nukes) and is aware that by going alone it might find itself even more vilified. I think rather than the US Government holding them back, it is a dual US-Israeli strategic holding back on this operation. In places where the conditions are right, like Syria, there is a green light to engage in highly destructive war - funding it and supporting it. I do not think the US is covertly helping the Syrian opposition for humanitarian reasons. They are helping Israel.

In summation, the neocons can 'sculpt reality', but they cannot brainwash everyone into thinking white is black and black is white 24/7 about all issues. They have to bide their time. And yes, I do think the US system has been captured to a large degree, but not completely, by Israeli interests. The evidence in my opinion seeems to favour such a conclusion.


steven andresen said...


Thank you for your response.

I think you are correct about the predominance of what WRH presents. He does not present very much at all of what Chomsky and his position might be arguing on this issue. Xymphora is more extreme, too.

I am not remembering how Chomsky responds to this debate. I suspect he has some kind of argument somewhere in his books.

I suspect his response goes to the relative power of US corporations and corporate interests verses whatever Israel has to offer. He might say that it's only reasonable to expect the dog to be wagging the tail, instead of the other way around.

In his "Perilous Power," for example, he says that AIPAC isn't as powerful in the US as "American liberal intellectuals. I think he goes on to argue that the US seemingly goes along with what Israel wants, not because it is being forced to do these things it doesn't want to do in the middle east, but, rather, because the "liberal" intellectuals who develop policy in government themselves want to do these things. The idea that the U.S. is being pressured and would not otherwise go along with Israel is based on the myth that the US would not be out there land stealing and so on.

Actually, I find that argument fairly strong. It is consistent with the observation that the US developed "manifest destiny," genocide of the native populations, and slavery of blacks, all on its own.

I guess I would point out that whether or not the dog wags the tail, or the tail wags the dog, the underlying question is whether we or they should be out land stealing. The who is wagging who question distracts us from addressing that question.


SpookyOne said...


I think looking at the mechanics of what is actually going on in Israel/Palestine should help inform the person as to whether we should endorse or protest such behaviour - this is aside from any 'wagging the dog' arguments.

So, when obvious instances of gross injustice occur, one might expect calls for restraint or some kind of sanction in order to defend human rights etc. This would be a responsible reaction from an objective point of view. Palestinians homes being bulldozed because the land is declared to be the property of new settlers seems hard to defend except from a religious point of view - ie God gave them the land.

In my mind it appears that many supposedly informed politicians, media entities and some in academia, are all too quiet when faced with reasonably clear instances of injustice perpetrated on the Israeli side of the equation, and many of them do not appear to be hardline Christian Zionists.

Therefore, in terms of the tail wagging the dog argument, I think that the mechanics of what is actually going on in the US media, in intellectual and government circles has to be taken into consideration considering the silence and one sided nature of the issue in general. It's like there is a blanket silence and distortion of the issue.

I agree that there is a level of culture that might contribute. The news media helps to create this with one sided coverage, and perhaps Christian-Zionist sentiments from those who lean towards the devoutly religious. However, more 'liberal' minded secular intellectuals should be engaging in more honest appraisals.

I think the lack of honest assessments of the situation comes down to politics of these informed people -- which brings me back to specific mechanics of influence, and money and power in media, politics and academia.

I'm pretty sure editorial control of the mainstream media, in cahoots with the wealthy establishment network keeps a lid on what sort of stories investigative journalists are allowed to air. Likewise, various Universities, with their sponsors and links to Government can find themselves in hot water if various academics speak out, although we have had pockets airing their views like John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt with their book: The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy.

Of course there is the matter of US politicians almost ALWAYS going before AIPAC to get their campaigns approved plus gaining monetary donations.

I think Chomsky has made an erroneous supposition in terms of generalising that the Dog must surely wag the tail and he goes from there. The sorts of things we see in the alternative news coverage indicate behind the scenes arm twisting and bribery put onto MANY individuals in politics that show they cannot actually act so independently- even if informed of injustices and even if they are not beholden to a Chrisitian-Zionist mind set.

I would argue that there has been a long running inteligence-type-cultural-group pressuring of key institutions in the US over many decades to influence policy and thought and that it is not an accident or straightforward US sensibilities that allows the Israelis to carry on without any serious condemnations.

There are levels of restraint in this game however. Too much corruption and mayhem in the open will wake up the sheep, and cause annoying problems to deal with for the establishment- as opposed to playing a slow game that people cannot easily detect.