Location: Beirut, Lebanon

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Israeli Operatives in the U.S.

By Jeff Gates

July 20, 2010 "Veterans Today" -- Americans know that something
fundamental is amiss. They sense—rightly—that they are being misled no
matter which political party does the leading.

A long misinformed public lacks the tools to grasp how they are being
deceived. Without those tools, Americans will continue to be
frustrated at being played for the fool.

When the “con” is clearly seen, “the mark” (that’s us) will see that
all roads lead to the same duplicitous source: Israel and its
operatives. The secret to Israel’s force-multiplier in the U.S. is its
use of agents, assets and sayanim (Hebrew for volunteers).

When Israeli-American Jonathan Pollard was arrested for spying in
1986, Tel Aviv assured us that he was not an Israeli agent but part of
a “rogue” operation. That was a lie.

Only 12 years later did Tel Aviv concede that he was an Israeli spy
the entire time he was stealing U.S. military secrets. That
espionage—by a purported ally—damaged our national security more than
any operation in U.S. history.

In short, Israel played us for the fool.

>From 1981-1985, this U.S. Navy intelligence analyst provided Israel
with 360 cubic feet of classified military documents on Soviet arms
shipments, Pakistani nuclear weapons, Libyan air defense systems and
other intelligence sought by Tel Aviv to advance its geopolitical

Agents differ from assets and sayanim. Agents possess the requisite
mental state to be convicted of treason, a capital crime. Under U.S.
law, that internal state is what distinguishes premeditated murder
from a lesser crime such as involuntary manslaughter. Though there’s a
death in either case, the legal liabilities are different—for a

Intent is the factor that determines personal culpability. That
distinction traces its roots to a widely shared belief in free will as
a key component that distinguishes humans from animals.

Agents operate with premeditation and “extreme malice” or what the law
describes as an “evil mind.” Though that describes the mental state of
Jonathan Pollard, Israeli leaders assured us otherwise—another example
of an evil mind as the U.S. was played for the fool.

Played for the Fool, Again

Pollard took from his office more than one million documents for
copying by his Israeli handler. When those classified materials were
transferred to the Soviets, reportedly in exchange for the emigration
of Russian Jews, this spy operation shifted the entire dynamics of the
Cold War.

To put a price tag on this espionage, imagine $20 trillion in U.S.
Cold War defense outlays from 1948-1989 (in 2010 dollars). The bulk of
that investment in national security was negated by a spy working for
a nation that pretended throughout to be a U.S. ally.

Pollard was sentenced to life in prison. Israel suffered no
consequences. None. Zero. Nada. Not then. Not now. Then as now, we
were played for the fool.

At trial, Pollard claimed he wasn’t stealing from the U.S.; he was
stealing secrets for Israel—with whom the U.S. has long had a “special
relationship.” He thought we should have shared our military secrets
with them. That’s chutzpah. That also confirms we were played for the

Looking back, it’s easy to see how seamlessly we segued from a global
Cold War to a global War on Terrorism. In retrospect, the false
intelligence used to induce our invasion of Iraq was traceable to
Israelis, pro-Israelis or Israeli assets such as John McCain (see

Even while in prison, Pollard’s iconic status among Israelis played a
strategic role. Was it just coincidence that Tel Aviv announced a $1
million grant to their master spy less than two weeks before 911? Is
that how Israel signaled its operatives in the U.S.?

Did that grant have any relationship to the “dancing Israelis” who
were found filming and celebrating that mass murder as both jets
smashed into the World Trade Center?

Absent that provocation, would we now find ourselves at war in the
Middle East? Surely no one still believes that America’s interests are
being advanced in a quagmire that has now become the longest war in
U.S. history.

“I know what America is,” Benjamin Netanyahu told a group of Israelis
in 2001, apparently not knowing his words were being recorded.
“America is a thing you can move very easily, move it in the right

Let’s face it: the U.S. was again played for the fool.

With oversight by Israeli case officers (katsas), Israeli operations
proceed in the U.S. by using agents, assets and volunteers (sayanim).
Let’s take a closer look at each.

The Sayanim System

Sayanim (singular sayan) are shielded from conventional legal
culpability by being told only enough to perform their narrow role.
Though their help may be essential to the success of an Israeli
operation, these volunteers (sayanim also means helpers) could pass a
polygraph test because their recruiters ensure they remain ignorant of
the overall goals of an operation.

In other words, a sayan can operate as an accomplice but still not be
legally liable due to a lack of the requisite intent regarding the
broader goals—of which they are purposely kept ignorant. Does that
intentional “ignorance” absolve them of liability under U.S. law? So
far, yes.

Much like military reservists, sayanim are activated when needed to
support an operation. By agreeing to be available to help Israel, they
provide an on-call undercover corps and force-multiplier that can be
deployed on short notice.

How are sayanim called to action? To date, there’s been no attempt by
U.S. officials to clarify that key point. This may explain why Pollard
was again in the news on July 13th with a high-profile Israeli
commemoration of his 9000th day of incarceration.

To show solidarity with this Israeli-American traitor, the lights
encircling Jerusalem were darkened while an appeal was projected onto
the walls of the Old City urging that President Obama order Pollard’s
release from federal prison.

Pollard has long been a rallying point for Jewish nationalists,
Zionist extremists and ultra-orthodox ideologues. In short, just the
sort of people who would be likely recruits as sayanim. The news
coverage given this Day of Adoration may help explain how Israel
signals its helpers that an operation is underway and in need of their

Are pro-Israelis once again playing Americans for the fool?

When not aiding an ongoing operation, sayanim gather and report
intelligence useful to Israel. This volunteer corps is deeply imbedded
in legislative bodies, particularly in the U.S.

Thus far, this Israeli operation has advanced with legal impunity as
the Israel lobby—though acting as a foreign agent—continues even now
to pose as a “domestic” operation.

Morris Amitay, former executive director of the American Israel Public
Affairs Committee, explains how this invisible cadre aids the Israel
lobby in advancing its geopolitical agenda:

“There are a lot of guys at the working level up here [on Capitol
Hill]…who happen to be Jewish, who are willing…to look at certain
issues in terms of their Jewishness…These are all guys who are in a
position to make the decision in these areas for those senators…You
can get an awful lot done just at the staff level.”

What sayanim are not told by their katsas is that an Israeli operation
may endanger not only Israel but also the broader Jewish community
when these operations are linked to extremism, terrorism, organized
crime, espionage and treason. Though sayanim “must be 100 percent
Jewish,” Ostrovsky reports in By Way of Deception (1990):

“…the Mossad does not seem to care how devastating it could be to the
status of the Jewish people in the Diaspora if it was known. The
answer you get if you ask is: “So what’s the worst that could happen
to those Jews? They’d all come to Israel. Great!” [Mossad is the
intelligence and foreign operations directorate for Israel.]

Assets, Agents and Sayanim

Assets are people profiled in sufficient depth that they can be relied
upon to perform consistent with their profile. Such people typically
lack the state of mind required for criminal culpability because they
lack the requisite intent to commit a crime.

Nevertheless, assets are critical to the success of Israeli operations
in the U.S. They help simply by pursuing their profiled personal
needs—typically for recognition, influence, money, sex, drugs or the
greatest drug of all: ideology.

Thus the mission-critical task fulfilled by political assets that the
Israel lobby “produces” for long-term service in the Congress—while
appearing to represent their U.S. constituents.

Put a profiled asset in a pre-staged time, place and circumstance—over
which the Israel lobby can exert considerable influence—and Israeli
psy-ops specialists can be confident that, within an acceptable range
of probabilities, an asset will act consistent with his or her

Democrat or Republican is irrelevant; the strategic point remains the
same: to ensure that lawmakers perform consistent with Israel’s
interests. With the help of McCain-Feingold campaign finance “reform,”
the Israel lobby attained virtual control over the U.S. Congress.

The performance of assets in the political sphere can be anticipated
with sufficient confidence that outcomes become foreseeable—within an
acceptable range of probabilities. How difficult was it to predict the
outcome when Bill Clinton, a classic asset, encountered White House
intern Monica Lewinsky?

Senator John McCain has long been a predictable asset. His political
career traces its origins to organized crime from the 1920s. It was
organized crime that first drew him to Arizona to run for Congress
four years before the 1986 retirement of Senator Barry Goldwater.

By marketing his “brand” as a Vietnam-era prisoner of war, he became a
reliable spokesman for Tel Aviv while being portrayed as a “war hero.”
No media outlet dares mention that Colonel Ted Guy, McCain’s
commanding officer while a POW, sought his indictment for treason for
his many broadcasts for the North Vietnamese that assured the death of
many U.S. airmen.

As a typical asset, it came as no surprise to see McCain and
Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, a self-professed Zionist, used to
market the phony intelligence that took us to war in Iraq. McCain’s
ongoing alliance with transnational organized crime spans three

His 1980’s advocacy for S&L crook Charles Keating of “The Keating 5”
finds a counterpart in his recent meetings with Russian-Israeli
mobster Oleg Deripaska who at age 40 held $40 billion in wealth
defrauded from his fellow Russians.

McCain conceded earlier this month in a town hall meeting in Tempe,
Arizona that he met in a small dinner in Switzerland with mega-thief
Deripaska and Lord Rothschild V.

For assets such as McCain to be indicted for treason, the American
public must grasp the critical role that such pliable personalities
play in political manipulations. McCain is a “poster boy” for how
assets are deployed to shape decisions such as those that took our
military to war. In the Information Age, if that’s not treason, what

The predictability of a politician’s conduct confirms his or her
qualifications as an asset. They are routinely developed and
“produced” over lengthy periods of time and then—as with John
McCain—maintained in key positions to influence decision-making as key

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was candid in his assessment four
weeks after 911. He may have been thinking about John McCain when he
made this revealing comment:

“I want to tell you something very clear, don’t worry about American
pressure on Israel, we, the Jewish people control America, and the
Americans know it.” [October 3, 2001]

Indictments for Treason

Are assets culpable? Do they have the requisite intent to indict them
for treason? Does John McCain possess an evil mind? Did he betray this
nation of his own free will or is he typical of those assets with
personalities so weak and malleable that they can easily be

As federal grand juries are impaneled to identify and indict
participants in this trans-generational operation, how many sayanim
should the Federal Bureau of Investigation expect to uncover in the
U.S.? No one knows because this subtle form of treason is not yet well

Victor Ostrovksy, a former Mossad katsa (case officer) wrote in 1990
that the Mossad had 7,000 sayanim in London alone. In London’s 1990
population of 6.8 million, Israel’s all-volunteer corps represented
one-tenth of one percent of the residents of that capital city.

If Washington, DC is ten times more critical to Israel’s geopolitical
goals (an understatement), does that mean the FBI should expect to
find ten times more sayanim per capita in Washington?

What about sayanim in Manhattan, Miami, Beverly Hills, Atlanta,
Boston, Charleston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver,
Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia,
Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa,

No one knows. And Tel Aviv is unlikely to volunteer the information.
This we know for certain: America has been played for the fool. And so
has our military.

This duplicity dates back well before British Foreign Secretary Alfred
Balfour wrote to an earlier Lord Rothschild in 1917 citing UK approval
for a “Jewish homeland.” In practical effect, that “homeland” now
ensures non-extradition for senior operatives in transnational
organized crime.

To date, America has blinded itself even to the possibility of such a
trans-generational operation inside our borders and imbedded inside
our government. Instead the toxic charge of “anti-Semitism” is
routinely hurled at those chronicling the “how” component of this
systemic treason.

Making this treason transparent is essential to restore U.S. national
security. That transparency may initially appear unfair to the many
moderate and secular Jews who join others appalled at this systemic
corruption of the U.S. political system.

Yet they are also concerned that somehow they may be portrayed as
guilty by association due to a shared faith tradition. That would be
not only unjust to them but also ineffective in identifying and
indicting those complicit.

This much is certain: a Democrat as president offers no real
alternative to a Republican on those issues affecting U.S. policy in
the Middle East.

Today’s corruption predates the duplicity in 1948 that induced Harry
Truman to extend recognition to this extremist enclave as a legitimate
nation state. Our troubles date from then.

That fateful decision must be revisited in light of what can now be
proven about the “how” of this ongoing duplicity—unless Americans want
to continue to be played for the fool.

A Vietnam veteran, Jeff Gates is a widely acclaimed author, attorney,
investment banker, educator and consultant to government, corporate
and union leaders worldwide. He served for seven years as counsel to
the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. He is widely published in the
trade, popular and academic press.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kill a Turk and Rest by Uri Avnery

ON THE high seas, outside territorial waters, the ship was stopped by the navy.

The commandos stormed it. Hundreds of people on the deck resisted, the soldiers used force. Some of the passengers were killed, scores injured. The ship was brought into harbor, the passengers were taken off by force.

The world saw them walking on the quay, men and women, young and old, all of them worn out, one after another, each being marched between two soldiers…
The ship was called “Exodus 1947”. It left France in the hope of breaking the British blockade, which was imposed to prevent ships loaded with Holocaust survivors from reaching the shores of Palestine. If it had been allowed to reach the country, the illegal immigrants would have come ashore and the British would have sent them to detention camps in Cyprus, as they had done before. Nobody would have taken any notice of the episode for more than two days.

But the person in charge was Ernest Bevin, a Labour Party leader, an arrogant, rude and power-loving British minister. He was not about to let a bunch of Jews dictate to him. He decided to teach them a lesson the entire world would witness. “This is a provocation!” he exclaimed, and of course he was right. The main aim was indeed to create a provocation, in order to draw the eyes of the world to the British blockade.

What followed is well known: the episode dragged on and on, one stupidity led to another, the whole world sympathized with the passengers. But the British did not give in and paid the price. A heavy price.

Many believe that the “Exodus” incident was the turning point in the struggle for the creation of the State of Israel. Britain collapsed under the weight of international condemnation and decided to give up its mandate over Palestine. There were, of course, many more weighty reasons for this decision, but the “Exodus” proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I AM not the only one who was reminded of this episode this week. Actually, it was almost impossible not to be reminded of it, especially for those of us who lived in Palestine at the time and witnessed it.

There are, of course, important differences. Then the passengers were Holocaust survivors, this time they were peace activists from all over the world. But then and now the world saw heavily armed soldiers brutally attack unarmed passengers, who resist with everything that comes to hand, sticks and bare hands. Then and now it happened on the high seas – 40 km from the shore then, 65 km now.

In retrospect, the British behavior throughout the affair seems incredibly stupid. But Bevin was no fool, and the British officers who commanded the action were not nincompoops. After all, they had just finished a World War on the winning side.

If they behaved with complete folly from beginning to end, it was the result of arrogance, insensitivity and boundless contempt for world public opinion.

Ehud Barak is the Israeli Bevin. He is not a fool, either, nor are our top brass. But they are responsible for a chain of acts of folly, the disastrous implications of which are hard to assess. Former minister and present commentator Yossi Sarid called the ministerial “committee of seven”, which decides on security matters, “seven idiots” – and I must protest. It is an insult to idiots.

THE PREPARATIONS for the flotilla went on for more than a year. Hundreds of e-mail messages went back and forth. I myself received many dozens. There was no secret. Everything was out in the open.

There was a lot of time for all our political and military institutions to prepare for the approach of the ships. The politician consulted. The soldiers trained. The diplomats reported. The intelligence people did their job.

Nothing helped. All the decisions were wrong from the first moment to this moment. And it’s not yet the end.

The idea of a flotilla as a means to break the blockade borders on genius. It placed the Israeli government on the horns of a dilemma – the choice between several alternatives, all of them bad.

Every general hopes to get his opponent into such a situation.

The alternatives were:

1. To let the flotilla reach Gaza without hindrance. The cabinet secretary supported this option. That would have led to the end of the blockade, because after this flotilla more and larger ones would have come.
2. To stop the ships in territorial waters, inspect their cargo and make sure they were not carrying weapons or “terrorists”, then let them continue on their way. That would have aroused some vague protests in the world but upheld the principle of a blockade.
3. To capture them on the high seas and bring them to Ashdod, risking a face-to-face battle with activists on board.

As our governments have always done, when faced with the choice between several bad alternatives, the Netanyahu government chose the worst.

Anyone who followed the preparations as reported in the media could have foreseen that they would lead to people being killed and injured. One does not storm a Turkish ship and expect cute little girls to present one with flowers. The Turks are not known as people who give in easily.

The orders given to the forces and made public included the three fateful words: “at any cost”. Every soldier knows what these three terrible words mean. Moreover, on the list of objectives, the consideration for the passengers appeared only in third place, after safeguarding the safety of the soldiers and fulfilling the task.

If Binyamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, the Chief of Staff and the commander of the navy did not understand that this would lead to killing and wounding people, then it must be concluded - even by those who were reluctant to consider this until now – that they are grossly incompetent. They must be told, in the immortal words of Oliver Cromwell to Parliament: “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

THIS EVENT points again to one of the most serious aspects of the situation: we live in a bubble, in a kind of mental ghetto, which cuts us off and prevents us from seeing another reality, the one perceived by the rest of the world. A psychiatrist might judge this to be the symptom of a severe mental problem.

The propaganda of the government and the army tells a simple story: our heroic soldiers, determined and sensitive, the elite of the elite, descended on the ship in order “to talk” and were attacked by a wild and violent crowd. Official spokesmen repeated again and again the word “lynching”.

On the first day, almost all the Israeli media accepted this. After all, it is clear that we, the Jews, are the victims. Always. That applies to Jewish soldiers, too. True, we storm a foreign ship at sea, but turn at once into victims who have no choice but to defend ourselves against violent and incited anti-Semites.

It is impossible not to be reminded of the classic Jewish joke about the Jewish mother in Russia taking leave of her son, who has been called up to serve the Czar in the war against Turkey. “Don’t overexert yourself’” she implores him, “Kill a Turk and rest. Kill another Turk and rest again…”

“But mother,” the son interrupts, “What if the Turk kills me?”

“You?” exclaims the mother, “But why? What have you done to him?”

To any normal person, this may sound crazy. Heavily armed soldiers of an elite commando unit board a ship on the high seas in the middle of the night, from the sea and from the air – and they are the victims?

But there is a grain of truth there: they are the victims of arrogant and incompetent commanders, irresponsible politicians and the media fed by them. And, actually, of the Israeli public, since most of the people voted for this government or for the opposition, which is no different.

The “Exodus” affair was repeated, but with a change of roles. Now we are the British.

Somewhere, a new Leon Uris is planning to write his next book, “Exodus 2010”. A new Otto Preminger is planning a film that will become a blockbuster. A new Paul Newman will star in it – after all, there is no shortage of talented Turkish actors.

MORE THAN 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson declared that every nation must act with a “decent respect to the opinions of mankind”. Israeli leaders have never accepted the wisdom of this maxim. They adhere to the dictum of David Ben-Gurion: “It is not important what the Gentiles say, it is important what the Jews do.” Perhaps he assumed that the Jews would not act foolishly.

Making enemies of the Turks is more than foolish. For decades, Turkey has been our closest ally in the region, much more close than is generally known. Turkey could play, in the future, an important role as a mediator between Israel and the Arab-Muslim world, between Israel and Syria, and, yes, even between Israel and Iran. Perhaps we have succeeded now in uniting the Turkish people against us – and some say that this is the only matter on which the Turks are now united.

This is Chapter 2 of “Cast Lead”. Then we aroused most countries in the world against us, shocked our few friends and gladdened our enemies. Now we have done it again, and perhaps with even greater success. World public opinion is turning against us.

This is a slow process. It resembles the accumulation of water behind a dam. The water rises slowly, quietly, and the change is hardly noticeable. But when it reaches a critical level, the dam bursts and the disaster is upon us. We are steadily approaching this point.

“Kill a Turk and rest,” the mother says in the joke. Our government does not even rest. It seems that they will not stop until they have made enemies of the last of our friends.

Uri Avnery is the sage of Israel. The founder of the Israeli peace movement, Gush Shalom, Avnery calls for the reinvigoration of the peace movement by direct engagement.

Friday, June 04, 2010

An Open Letter to Turkey

Dear Turkey,

Ever since you decided to trade in the Secularism of Ataturk for the Islamism of Erdogan, you also seem to have dispensed with the ability to coexist with non-Muslims on a peaceful basis. These days all we ever seem to get from you, is video clips of your leader, Prime Minister Erdogan, barking at us like a dog that its owner carelessly let off the leash. And if you don't know that Erdogan's owner lives in Riyadh, then you don't know very much of what goes on in your own country.

But your affairs are your own affairs. And our affairs are our affairs. If you want to let a fanatic in a cheap suit destroy Turkish nationalism in the name of Islam, that's your business. But when he gets into business with terrorist organizations who attack and murder our soldiers, then it's our business. And when a country that persecutes its Kurdish, Assyrian and Armenian citizens, and sends their elected representatives to jail-- presumes to self-righteously lecture us on how to manage our affairs, it had better remember that holding a stone throwing contest in a glass house will just lead to piles of broken glass.

You say you want an international investigation into the flotilla raid? Sure. Right after we have an international investigation into that minor matter of Armenian genocide that you've been ducking for quite a while. As the new "standard bearer" in fighting for human rights, I'm sure you will agree that it's only fair that Turkey should undergo the same scrutiny it demands for other countries.

And then we can move on to the more than 10,000 political prisoners in your jails. A number that at times has topped 100,000. An independent investigation could also begin by looking into the torture and murder of political activists such as Engin Ceber. They could meet with representatives of TAYAD, the organization representing the families of prisoners. And they would no doubt be fascinated by the more than 1500 children in your prisoners who are there on "terrorism" charges. Like that 12 year old you arrested in 2008 for singing a Kurdish folk song. So by all means wrap yourselves in the banner of "Human Rights" and we'll turn it into a noose and strangle you with it.

In Israel, Arabs are a legally recognized minority. Arabic is taught in schools and used as a legally recognized language. Meanwhile Kurdish identity is all but banned in Turkey. Kurdish names, folk songs and even the Kurdish language itself has been repressed. Your regime has actually prosecuted and removed officials for simply incorporating a Kurdish phrase into a greeting. You screech self-righteously about the "Palestinian children"-- perhaps we should talk about the hundreds of Kurdish children arrested for throwing stones at protests. Arrested and charged with terrorism. Just more of the thousands of political prisoners of oppressed minorities in your prisons.

And perhaps next time your dog Erdogan gets up to bark up at us about human rights, we can stuff this in his mouth. Jenin, the Second Lebanon War and every armed encounter between Israel and Islamic terrorists over the last 20 years combined together killed fewer people, than your country did in 1997 alone. After you get through lecturing us on the use of force against Islamic terrorists, shall we discuss how many times you used jets to bomb Kurdish rebels who were lightly armed at best. Including in 2008 when you invaded sovereign Iraqi soil in order to continue your genocide of the Kurdish people.

You talk about stolen land, when your entire country is stolen land, from Cyprus to Istanbul. Your regime is a racist illegitimate entity based on the oppression of the Kurds, the Armenians, the Assyrians, the Circassians and numerous others. You went directly from being Imperialists to Fascists to Islamists, a truly dubious achievement for any nation. Your history is filled with slavery, ethnic cleansing, genocide and invasion. And that's just in the last century alone. If you had any sanity or shame, you would dig a hole, crawl into it, and hope that no one mentions words like "Minority Rights" or "Territorial Legitimacy" in your presence, instead of trying to use them as a club against a nation whose national history predates yours by thousands of years. We had kingdoms and a civilization that changed the world, back when your ancestors were still trying to decide whether to eat the sheep or rape it.

But let us get back to your precious Islamist flotilla, decorated with Turkish flags that used to be more than just red versions of the Saudi flag. That ship you filled up with Muslim Brotherhood members and Islamist radicals bound for our shores. Over in your wonderful nation of boundless freedom, reporters have been put on trial for even interviewing leaders of terrorist groups. You sentenced the head of a Kurdish party to six months in prison for calling the head of the PKK, Mr. Ocalan, instead of just Ocalan. He joins the more than 800 Kurdish politicians you imprisoned in the last year alone. And after all that you actually have the nerve to pretend to be "outraged" when Israel intercepts your flotilla full of political terrorists?

But of course we know how strongly you feel about blockades. Like the time you blockaded Armenia for Sixteen Years. Very well then. If you insist on sending vessels flying the Turkish flag to aid Hamas, perhaps we'll begin sending vessels flying the Israeli flag to aid the PKK. We're not big fans of the PKK, but since you've decided to friend Hamas, then what's good for the turkey, just might be good for the gander. We can also fill a flotilla full of senile troublemakers, phony survivors and leftist radicals-- along with a few hundred well armed "activists" who know how to use a knife. Or perhaps we won't bother with any of that. Instead for every boat flying the Turkish flag that invades our territory, we'll donate a million to the PKK. I wonder how many rocket launchers that would buy. Perhaps the next time, your air force sweeps in to bomb Kurds out of their homes, they might get a surprise or two.

And then there's the Republic of Cyprus, which has actually been helping us stop weapons smuggling. They might benefit from significantly upgraded air defenses. While the US insists on equalizing weapons sales to Turkey and Greece, we just might have something tastier to offer to one side. And the citizens of the Republic of Cyprus might actually be able to sleep soundly in their beds, instead of being intimidated by savages showing off their F-16's over their heads. The Cyprus National Guard likes our drones, just like you do. But what if they had a much better equalizer at their disposal? Being a small non-Muslim nation surrounded by much larger Muslim countries, we do have a certain fondness for the infidel underdog.

Oh I know, what you're going to say. This means war. But you might want to consider that we've fought and beaten enemies many times our size. And what exactly was the last war you won single-handedly? And no, bombing starving Kurdish rebels from the air, or occupying Cyprus doesn't count. And how long could you fight that war, before a domestic Kurdish insurgency overthrows your little empire. If that doesn't happen, you might want to think about the big Russian bear at your back. The bear has been eyeing you for a long time now. And with your military engaged in a disastrous war for the Great Caliphate, your borders would be temptingly open. And who exactly would bail you out then?

Oh I know you've made many great news friends, such as Ahmadinejad and that nice burnoosed king in the Arabian Desert, who tells your Erdogan when to jump and how high, but if you think Iran is about to pass up Russian nukes in order to bail you out, you've got another thing coming. Meanwhile old Abdullah in the desert can't even protect himself without the US Marines. And if you think Obama would send them in to save your asses, you've got another thing coming. I'm sure if there were Russian tanks headed to Ankara, he'd make a vocal statement about it. And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would pretend not to laugh while hanging up the phone.

There is of course the European Union. Last time Russia pulled that trick, it was Britain that bailed you out in the Crimean War. But these days Her Majesty's Empire isn't quite in the same shape it used to be. Sure Cameron, Clegg and Harman will lick Erdogan's feet. But none of them want to be the next Tony Blair either. Germany doesn't like you very much anymore. Perhaps that time when it got enmeshed in WW1 to protect your Ottoman Empire may have put them off. Or your internal campaign of subversion exploiting Germany's horde of Turkish laborers. What are you left with then? France, Italy or perhaps Austria will forget that whole pesky Gates of Vienna thing and this time ride to your rescue.

No, when Russian commandos are ripping off your wife's Burqa-- there will be no one left to save you. Not your newfound allies, or Erdogan who will take the first plane to Riyadh, with as many Lira as his sweaty hands can shove into the pockets of his cheap suit. And just think of it, as the Hagia Sophia church that you turned into a mosque, will become a church again. Istanbul will once again be Constantinople, which means a certain catchy 20's song will require a rewrite. Of course it may not happen exactly that way. But it will happen. Erdogan's plan to suppress and integrate Kurds into a Muslim Turkey will not succeed. And his antagonizing of former allies means that Turkey is exchanging friends, for enemies. Meanwhile your new friends happen to share borders with you and have territorial claims on your land.

So when that day of reckoning comes, you will find that you have made enemies of former allies such as Israel and the US-- and that the new allies Erdogan has found for you in Iran and Syria would prefer a Russian controlled Turkey, that has no chance of ever reverting to a Kemalist government. And Erdogan's godfather in Saudi Arabia commands oil money, not troops. And while he might be willing to sink Turkey for the sake of Islam, perhaps there are Turks who value their nation, more than Islamism. If not, you can look forward to Erdogan "reforming" your country, until it has the military might of Pakistan, the literacy level of Saudi Arabia and the poverty rate of Egypt. It is of course your choice.

A people have the right to choose their destiny, for good or ill. And if you find that this letter is filled with contempt, it is a contempt fully merited by a regime that seeks to cloak its shameful betrayal of a former ally in the guise of human rights, when it brutally suppresses the rights of its own minorities. You may wish to go on dancing to the tune being played by Erdogan, to sheet music composed in Riyadh. It is a very good tune. Filled with hate, violence and religious fanaticism. That also is your choice. But know that whatever you have was bought and paid by your ancestors who understood that Turkey would either modernize out of the gutter of Islam, or it would be washed away by the colonial tide. Your power does not come from Islam, it comes from the bread crusts of civilization that fall from the table of Europe. Abandon them for the red hued madness of the Jihad, and you will not rule over an empire, but over a wasteland. If you doubt that, look to the south and to the east. Look to the desert. You came from there once. And if you throw away civilization for the fanatical madness of Islam-- you will return there again.

Sincerely Yours

A Descendant of a Subject of the Ottoman Empire

Monday, January 26, 2009

Israel, Turkey and the politics of genocide

Globe and Mail Update

January 23, 2009

President Obama — I love saying those words — has momentarily united the world. Almost. Among the exceptions, though barely noticed by the mainstream media, is the estrangement of Turkey and Israel, previously staunch allies in the turbulent Middle East.

At first blush, this alliance may seem counterintuitive, but in fact it makes good strategic sense for both countries. Israel gets a warm working relationship with one of the largest Muslim countries in the world, while enriching Israel's all-important industrial-military complex. Less than two months ago, for instance, came the news of a deal worth $140-million to Israeli firms to upgrade Turkey's air force. In the hard-boiled, realpolitik terms that determine Israel's strategies, it's a no-brainer. Almost.

In return, Turkey gets military, economic and diplomatic benefits. But it also gets something less tangible, something that matters deeply for reasons hard for outsiders to grasp. As part of the Faustian bargain between the two countries, a succession of Israeli governments of all stripes has adamantly refused to recognize that in 1915 the Turkish government was responsible for launching a genocide against its Armenian minority. Some 1.5-million Armenian women, men and children were successfully killed.

I should make clear that this Israeli position is not held casually. On the contrary. Over the years Israelis, with a few notably courageous exceptions, have actually worked against attempts to safeguard the memory of the Armenian genocide. (The bible on this issue is the excellent book by an Israeli, Yair Auron, called The Banality of Denial: Israel and the Armenian Genocide, 2003.)

For many, this may well be a pretty esoteric sidebar to the world's many crises. But readers need to understand that every Turkish government for almost a century now has passionately denied that a genocide took place at all. Yet the vast majority of disinterested scholars of genocide have publicly affirmed that it was indeed a genocide, one of the small number in the 20th century (with the Holocaust and Rwanda) that have incontestably met the definition set down in the UN's 1948 Genocide Convention.

For Armenians in the Western world, even after 94 years, nothing is more important than persuading other governments to recognize this. For Turkish authorities, even after 94 years, nothing is more important than preventing that recognition. In that pursuit, Israel has been perhaps Turkey's most powerful ally. After all, if the keepers of the memory of the Holocaust don't acknowledge 1915, why should anyone else?

But the Israeli-Turkish bargain goes well beyond Israel. Not only is Israel, of all the unlikely states in the world, a genocide denier, but also many established Jewish organizations in other countries, especially the United States, have followed suit. In the United States, those who argue that denying the Holocaust is psychologically tantamount to a second holocaust have taken the lead in pressuring presidents and Congress against recognizing the reality of 1915. Resolutions calling for recognition are regularly pushed by American-Armenians and their many supporters. Jewish groups regularly lead the opposition. Some believe that members of these groups in fact understand perfectly well the rights and wrongs of the case. But a mindset that backs any and all Israeli government initiatives trumps all else. And successfully. Repeated attempts in Congress to pass this resolution has failed, even though the list of nations that now recognizes the Armenian genocide has grown steadily and, thanks to Stephen Harper, now includes Canada.

It is this rather unseemly, if not unholy, Israeli-Turkish deal that has been among the many victims of the latest Israeli attack on Gaza. Whether the Israelis anticipated it or not, the Turkish government turned against its erstwhile ally with a vengeance, pulling few punches. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan accused Israel of "perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents." Mr. Erdogan described Israel's attack on Gaza as "savagery" and a "crime against humanity."

Israel formally described this language as "unacceptable" and certain Israeli media outlets have raised the stakes. The Jerusalem Post editorialized that given Turkey's record of killing tens of thousands of Kurds in northern Iraq, "we're not convinced that Turkey has earned the right to lecture Israelis about human rights." Israel's deputy foreign minister was even more pointed: "Erdogan says that genocide is taking place in Gaza. We [Israel] will then recognize the Armenian-related events as genocide." Suddenly, genocide turns into a geopolitical pawn.

It isn't easy to choose a winner in the cynicism stakes here. Here's what one Turkish columnist, Barcin Yinanc, shrewdly wrote: "When April comes, I can imagine the [Turkish] government instructing its Ambassador to Israel to mobilize the Israeli government to stop the Armenian initiatives in the U.S. Congress. I can hear some Israelis telling the Turkish Ambassador to go talk to Hamas to lobby the Congress."

I'm guessing some readers work on the naïve assumption that an event is deemed genocidal based on the facts of the case. Silly you. In the real world, you call it genocide if it bolsters your interests. If it doesn't, it's not. It's actually the same story as with preventing genocide.

What happens now? Candidate Obama twice pledged that he would recognize the Armenian claim of genocide. But so had candidate George W. Bush eight years earlier, until he was elected and faced the Turkish/Jewish lobby. Armenian-Americans and their backers are already pressing Mr. Obama to fulfill his pledge. With the Turkish-Israeli alliance deeply strained, the position of the leading Jewish organizations is very much in question this time. Whatever the outcome, be sure that politics, not genocide, will be the decisive factor.

Gerald Caplan, author of The Betrayal of Africa, writes frequently on issues related to genocide.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Open Letter to Barack Hussein Obama, President-elect of the United States of America

By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Former Prime Minister of Malaysi
January 1, 2009

Dear Mr. President,

I did not vote for you in the Presidential Election because I am Malaysian.

But I consider myself one of your constituents because what you do or say will affect me and my country as well.

I welcome your promise for change. Certainly your country, the United States of America needs a lot of changes.

That is because America and Americans have become the most hated people in the world. Even Europeans dislike your arrogance. Yet you were once admired and liked because you freed a lot of countries from conquest and subjugation.

It is the custom on New Year's day for people to make resolutions. You must have listed your good resolutions already. But may I politely suggest that you also resolve to do the following in pursuit of Change.

1) Stop killing people. The United States is too fond of killing people in order to achieve its objectives. You call it war, but today's wars are not about professional soldiers fighting and killing each other. It is about killing people, ordinary innocent people by the hundreds of thousands. Whole countries will be devastated.

War is primitive, the cavemen's way of dealing with a problem. Stop your arms build up and your planning for future wars.

2) Stop indiscriminate support of Israeli killers with your money and your weapons. The planes and the bombs killing the people of Gaza are from you.

3) Stop applying sanctions against countries which cannot do the same against you.

In Iraq your sanctions killed 500,000 children through depriving them of medicine and food. Others were born deformed.

What have you achieved with this cruelty? Nothing except the hatred of the victims and right-thinking people.

4) Stop your scientists and researchers from inventing new and more diabolical weapons to kill more people more efficiently.

5) Stop your arms manufacturers from producing them. Stop your sales of arms to the world. It is blood money that you earn. It is un-Christian.

6) Stop trying to democratize all the countries of the world. Democracy may work for the United States but it does not always work for other countries.

Don't kill people because they are not democratic. Your crusade to democratize countries has killed more people than the authoritarian Governments which you overthrew. And you have not succeeded anyway.

7) Stop the casinos which you call financial institutions. Stop hedge funds, derivatives and currency trading. Stop banks from lending non-existent money by the billions.

Regulate and supervise your banks. Jail the miscreants who made profits from abusing the system.

8) Sign the Kyoto Protocol and other international agreements.

9) Show respect for the United Nations.

I have many other resolutions for change which I think you should consider and undertake.

But I think you have enough on your plate for this 2009th year of the Christian Era.

If you can do only a few of what I suggest, you will be remembered by the world as a great leader. Then the United States will again be the most admired nation. Your embassies will be able to take down the high fences and razor-wire coils that surround them.

May I wish you a Happy New Year and a great Presidency.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad

(Former Prime Minister of Malaysia)