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A Departure That Leaves a Debate in Its Wake


Chas Freeman leads a panel discussion last year. (Middle East Policy Council photo)

Chas Freeman, whose selection last month as chairman of the National Intelligence Council sparked controversy -- mostly from supporters of Israel who opposed his taking a more balanced view of the region -- stepped down under fire yesterday. Freeman was set to oversee the production of national intelligence estimates, the reports that represent the consensus view of the intelligence community.

I interviewed Freeman three years ago, and have followed his work since then. He is a profoundly independent thinker, a provocateur and a gadfly. Until recently, he ran a small Washington think tank and dedicated himself to seeking answers to questions that otherwise might never even have gotten asked, because they were too embarrassing, awkward, or difficult.

Weighing in on his appointment on the Nieman Watchdog blog a few weeks ago, I called him a one-man destroyer of groupthink.

I felt more secure knowing that with his involvement in the process, there would never be another national intelligence estimate -- say, about Iran -- like the one concocted in the run-up to war in Iraq.

And now he's gone, driven out by withering criticism that was not solely based on his views on Israel, but substantially so.

As Mark Mazzetti writes in the New York Times: "Mr. Freeman had come under sharp criticism for his past statements about Israel as well as for his association with the Saudi and Chinese governments....

"A former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Mr. Freeman had in recent years questioned Washington's steadfast support for Israel. He had also been deputy chief of mission at the American Embassy in Beijing. His critics unearthed past statements that they contended had seemed to support the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989."

Freeman argued in a 2007 speech that making peace between Israelis and Arabs was a critical step to solving the terrorism problem. He decried "the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation that is about to mark its fortieth anniversary and shows no sign of ending." And he said: "There will be no negotiation between Israelis and Palestinians, no peace, and no reconciliation between them – and there will be no reduction in anti-American terrorism – until we have the courage to act on our interests. These are not the same as those of any party in the region, including Israel, and we must talk with all parties, whatever we think of them or their means of struggle."

Earlier yesterday, at a Senate Armed Services Committee, Freeman's would-be boss, National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, defended the appointment in extraordinarily strong terms. Via Thinkprogress, Blair said: "Those of us who know him find him to be a person of strong views, of inventive mind from an analytical point of view – I'm not talking about policy – and that when we go back and forth with him, a better understanding comes out of those interactions. That's primarily the value that I think he will bring....

"I think I can do a better job if I'm getting strong analytical viewpoints to sort out and pass on to you and to the president than if I'm getting precooked pablum judgments that don't really challenge."

Freeman's departure leaves behind it an important question: Should it really be off limits for a political appointee to openly suggest that the U.S. commitment to Israel be balanced with a concern for the rest of the region? In modern Washington, does "impartiality" in the context of the Middle East actually mean reflexive, nearly unconditional support for Israel?

Freeman himself, in an angry note to friends yesterday, argued that the attacks against him "show conclusively that there is a powerful lobby determined to prevent any view other than its own from being aired, still less to factor in American understanding of trends and events in the Middle East....The aim of [the Israel Lobby] is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors."

The entire episode "will be seen by many to raise serious questions about whether the Obama administration will be able to make its own decisions about the Middle East and related issues."

Glenn Greenwald blogs for Salon: "In the U.S., you can advocate torture, illegal spying, and completely optional though murderous wars and be appointed to the highest positions. But you can't, apparently, criticize Israeli actions too much or question whether America's blind support for Israel should be re-examined."

And Andrew Sullivan blogs for Atlantic about "What Real Power In Washington Means": "You get to dictate to a president who he can and cannot appoint to his own intelligence staff. This was not a Senate-confirmation issue. And it was not because of some financial or tax issue. It was because of what he believed. And a president is simply not allowed to have that kind of diversity of view in his administration. And he knows this is a battle he shouldn't fight."

By Dan Froomkin  |  March 11, 2009; 1:20 PM ET
 
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Comments

This is a sorry reminder that U.S. foreign policy is actually dictated by Israel and the Israeli lobby. It's also another sign that while Obama might still be "hoping" for change, he hasn't demonstrated much willingness to fight for it.

Posted by: trt2539 | March 11, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

//Should it really be off limits for a political appointee to openly suggest that the U.S. commitment to Israel be balanced with a concern for the rest of the region?//

No. This kind of critical thinking when it comes to questioning a foreign policy based on an assertion that Israel can do no wrong is long overdue, especially for a country that claims it wants to fight a war on terror. Start by admitting that an atrocity is an atrocity and go from there if you want the world to heal.

Posted by: SarahBB | March 11, 2009 1:42 PM | Report abuse

politically a difficult position to be in. During the campaign, Obama scrutinized on strength of support of Israel; connection to Saudi Arabia somewhat odious today knowing Bush family connections. Probably needs to be in background under contract as an advisor. Real issue will be comparing intelligence with Israel on Iranian weapon development and intention. They want us to attack and we are cautious about Iran. His replacement will have a difficult tenure.

Posted by: jpotter1 | March 11, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Well at least he can still get a job as a spokesman for CAIR, so not a complete loss I guess.

Posted by: luca_20009 | March 11, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The aipac lobby has more power than the president, meaning, essentially, Israel dictates foreign policy in the United States.

Posted by: Ami_Blue1 | March 11, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

So much for Obama's efforts to bring divergent viewpoints together to solve major problems...

We're also seeing this in the National Health Care formulations.

Who, specifically, were the sources of complaints against Freeman?? Any Congressfolk?

Posted by: Spectator | March 11, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

This stinks. I'm going to call the White House and complain. Freeman is exactly the kind of person you want in that position.

Posted by: steveh46 | March 11, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Racist = Criticizing any Obama administration policy.

Not Racist = Nominating an anti-Semite to one of the most powerful positions in government.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I am very concerned, as many of you are, about the obvious overt influence the pro-Israeli activists are having on our government. I would REALLY like to see an open intelligent discussion on how we can begin to change this situation at the grassroots level. I am totally disgusted that my tax dollars are being used to brutalize the Palestinians. Let the Israelis buy their own guns and bullets. I am not anti-semitic, but I am having a hard time fighting the urge to be anti-Israeli. Are they another entity that is too big to fail? The USA has been bailing them out for waaaay too long now. Just like the banks, they should be able to survive on their own without out taxpayer dollars. Currently, I believe, Israel is the number one recipient of US foreign aid. Shocking.

Posted by: kgeakin | March 11, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Diverse opinions should be welcomed. Predudiced opinions should not be.

Posted by: Wallenstein | March 11, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I have to say I agree with kgeakin. "I am not anti-semitic, but I am having a hard time fighting the urge to be anti-Israeli."

I too wish Obama had fought harder for this choice.

Posted by: ctnickel | March 11, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I think that it is outrageous that a political lobby has such power over American foreign policy. Isreal has been blatantly creating settlements on land that IS NOT THEIRS! The Israelis created a nuclear weapon illegally. What gives them any authority as a foreign nation to dictate our foreign policies?

The Holocaust was a terrible event in the world society. But that does not give Israel cart blanche in their territorial movement in Palestine. I personally think that maybe the Holocast was just treatment for such criminals. They can't say, "We were persecuted" and then do the same exact thing against the Palestinians. It just doesn't cut it!

Posted by: sailorflat | March 11, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I must admit I never heard of Freeman until yesterday.

The fact that he withdrew of his own accord suggests to me that there may be truth lurking behind some of the accusations against him that he labled defamatory.

It's disturbing to me that Freeman apparently identified with and endorsed the Mersheimer-Walt writings on the "Israel Lobby," publications which I think crossed the line from "realism" regarding Israel to thinly veiled anti-Semitism.

All that being said, while I support the continued existence of the State of Israel, and while I will not take as a given that U.S. policy is dictated by Israel or an "Israel Lobby," I do agree that U.S. policy has to be made by and for the U.S.

Let's not forget that in meeting with Jewish Americans in Florida about one year ago, Candidate Obama said openly and frankly that in Israel there is ongoing discussion and debate about all aspects of policy, regarding peace, settlements, creation of a Palestinian state, etc., and that discussion and debate in the U.S. should be no less broad.

Let's also not forget that it was DNI Blair who appointed Freeman, and Blair isn't going anywhere. Let's hope he finds a replacement for Freeman who is equally independent in thought and analysis, but with a bit lower profile.

Posted by: bfieldk | March 11, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Please Dan,

Chas Freeman's 'parting shot' letter should be an indication of his bias. Funny while you are pounding Israel, you never mentioned Mr. Freeman's association with the Chinese government and business interests. Do you really want a person writing intelligance estimates on China whose main complaint on the Chinese handling of the Tiananmen Square Massacare (although you and your friends would probably call it an 'incident')was that the regime erred mainly in waiting too long to crack down on the demonstrations?

Good riddance.

Posted by: V4vigilant | March 11, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I've enjoyed Dan Froomkin's work from the time I first read his column. The WaPost should be condemned if they fire him for directing a light on a subject that the most of America's press is scared to explore. Good work Dan. Leave a blog address and we'll find you.

Posted by: binckeslaw | March 11, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I am an avid reader of this column and of The New Republic (online at http://www.tnr.com). I find that the viewpoints are generally similar, so it's interesting to see where they diverge.

I read at TNR that Freeman is an apologist for Saudi Arabia and The People's Republic of China, writing recently that "the Politburo's response to the mob scene at 'Tiananmen' stands as a monument to overly cautious behavior on the part of the leadership" and that "the truly unforgivable mistake of the Chinese authorities was the failure to intervene on a timely basis to nip the demonstrations in the bud."

TNR also points out that Mr. Freeman is on the payroll at the Saudi-funded Middle East Policy Center and is a board member of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. This makes it hard for me to believe that the viewpoints he brings into play are truly independent; if I wrong him, and they are actually what he believes, I would still find those viewpoints troubling and hard to reconcile with the need for objective analysis that his role would have called for.

Posted by: tadks | March 11, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Dan! While others on the Intertubes (Glenn Greenwald for one) have spoken openly about how you can't work in Washington if you don't kowtow to the orthodoxy of 'poor little Israel' you are the only writer at the entire WaPo who has said anything. One hopes you aren't fired for it!

Posted by: marcedward1 | March 11, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Not Racist = Nominating an anti-Semite to one of the most powerful positions in government."

Who was an anti-semite nominated to one of the most powerful positions in government? I've never heard of that happening.

Posted by: steveh46 | March 11, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Dan, please continue to highlight this story. Is there are way to reverse this? If a change in US/Israel policy could somehow be engineered perhaps there would be a chance for peace in the Middle East one day. As long as each administration gives Israel unblinking support there is no hope.

Posted by: gposner | March 11, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

steveh46 - calling critics of Israel 'anti-semites' is par for course, an attempt to silence anyone who doesn't believe that the purpose of the USA is propping up a mistake of a state. You might notice that nearly every writer at the WaPo is 100% pro Israeli, in the 'Israel can do no wrong' school of thinking. Of course most of them also supported the war (while it was popular) and never looked back.

Posted by: marcedward1 | March 11, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

So now tell me that the Israeli lobby does not control the Senate and a lot of other things. Funny how this guy got past Rahm Emmanuel ! But don't trust me. I am a Muslim. I don't work for a fifth column.

Posted by: Aeschylus | March 11, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Anti-semitic = Israel less than perfect.

Balanced = kill more Palestinian babies.

Israel a strong US ally = selling top-secret US military technology to Communist China.

Treason = Israel is more important than the USA.

BOW 2 ISRAEL! Nope, not this American.

Posted by: Garak | March 11, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"It's disturbing to me that Freeman apparently identified with and endorsed the Mersheimer-Walt writings on the "Israel Lobby," publications which I think crossed the line from "realism" regarding Israel to thinly veiled anti-Semitism."

It's disturbing to think that a sentient being with access to the internet could write such dishonest crap. You are referring to the "lobby" which just killed his chance at a position in the administration. Is it "anti-Semitic" of me and others to admit that FACT? Do you realize how you and others cheapen the term anti-Semite with this nonsense?
How much is AIPAC paying you?

Posted by: StrangelyEnough | March 11, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Throughout my life I have
A) admired the Israelis for carving out and defending a place for themselves in the world after the holocaust.
B) been appalled that the Israelis carved out and essentially invaded another people's space, displacing those people and taking more as time goes on.
C) been amazed that they have been able to survive when so many want them gone, and
D) been annoyed that they survive because we give them such a large portion of our foreign aid, not to mention using them to test-drive new weapons systems on the people around them.
In short, Israel is a paradox that costs us greatly, so it seems to me that having a few more analysts who raise doubt and sharp questions contrary to the herd mentality would be an advantage in managing this paradox. But this road only runs one way, doesn't it? Unfortunate for those of us who truly want to see actual civilization (evidenced by honest, open debate) take hold in America.

Posted by: SanDiegoBS | March 11, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

kgeakin, I've called all of my representatives, and I'm planning to call Schumer's office today to complain about his role, though I don't live in NY.

But if anyone knows of an organized group that seeks to act as a counterweight to AIPAC, please post here, because I'd love to get involved. It's about time that we treated Israel as what it is -- a somewhat democratic religious state that relies on military power to preserve peace for themselves, at the expense of millions of people living in Palestine and Lebanon.

Posted by: davestickler | March 11, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, for those with frustrations, it's clear that we need to do more than just post comments on newspaper articles.

I've picked up my phone, and I hope you will too! And perhaps we can even open up our pocketbooks when the next election rolls around.

Posted by: davestickler | March 11, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

And what about Rosen, the AIPAC official who is set to go on trial for SPYING FOR Israel and was involved in trying to get rid of Freeman? Here's an American citizen whose loyalty is NOT to his own country but to a foreign power: Israel! Something is really wrong with this setup. And if one dares criticize Israel or the fanatics who support it for its action in Gaza for killing women and children and for occupying the West Bank; one ipso facto becomes anti-Semitic. Enough!
Israel is risking hitting a wall, a hard wall one of these days. It will happen and it'll be ugly, pretty ugly and Israelis and their supporters won't have anybody to blame but themselves

Posted by: bis2e | March 11, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Most obnoxious of all are the endlessly repeated lies .. that Israel is a valuable ally, that Israel is a western style democracy. As an ally Israel is like the juvenile delingquent son we have to keep bailing out of juvenile court as he commits one savage crime after another and gets away with it every time. And the idea that Israel is a democracy is a sick joke, Israel is just another stinking religion-addled Middle Eastern country just like Syria and Iran; democracies don't herd enthnicities within their population behind barbed wire.

I had hopes that Obama might represent a change from this stupid support for that rotten little country. How disappointing.

And just look how Joe Lieberman jumped on this appointment, always looking out for Israel, clearly higher in his priorities than his own country. Senator Joe, you can go to hell.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | March 11, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The real story here is how well organized the AIPAC campaign against Freeman was. Think the Washingtyon Post is going to touch this? Neither do I.

Max Blumenthal writes:

The assault on Charles “Chas” Freeman Jr., a former ambassador tapped to lead the National Intelligence Council, is the first blow in a battle over the Obama administration’s Middle East policy. Steven Rosen, a former director of the American Israel Political Affairs Committee due to stand trial this April for espionage for Israel, is the leader of the campaign against Freeman’s appointment. In his wake, a host of critics from the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg to the New Republic’s Marty Peretz have emerged to assail Freeman’s comments on Israeli policies and demand that Obama rescind the diplomat’s appointment. The campaign against Freeman spread to Congress, where a handful of representatives including the top recipient of AIPAC donations, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), called for an investigation of Freeman’s business ties to China and Saudi Arabia.

Rosen’s tactics follow a familiar pattern he has displayed throughout his career, in which he viciously undermined anyone in the foreign-policy community deemed insufficiently deferential to Israel—even his own boss.

But it was Rosen who first publicly accused Freeman of unholy ties to foreign governments and Rosen who first attacked Freeman’s relatively benign statements about the Israeli occupation. His tactics follow a familiar pattern he has displayed throughout his career, in which he viciously undermined anyone in the foreign-policy community deemed insufficiently deferential to Israel—even his own boss. But with Rosen’s indictment for spying for a foreign government, his attacks are resonating less strongly than in the past.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2009-03-10/obamarsquos-mideast-policy-smackdown

Posted by: ColinLaney | March 11, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

So, because the "Israel Lobby" is against him, the right thing to do is to appoint to a position of responsibility someone who apparently feels that the PRC was *too timid* in its response to the 1989 Tiananmen protests?

I must be hopelessly naive - doesn't it matter at least somewhat what the nominee believes and advocates beyond the Mideast?

Posted by: tadks | March 11, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I have been an ardent supporter of Israel since 1948. But today we have reached the point where the tail is blatantly wagging the dog and it must cease.

Israel has been locked in conflict with cynical and sleazy and brutal Palestinian 'governments' for so long they have inevitably become the very thing they have been fighting.

Palestinian leaders, indeed all Arab leaders, do not want peaceful coexistence with Israel, the want Israel itself, lock, stock, and barrel. And until the can be convinced that they can't have it, through a combination of Israeli resolve and American diplomacy no peace will be even remotely possible.

Finally, Mr President, this is a resignation you cannot afford to accept. Get that man back on the job and tell the entire Israeli Lobby that you won't be intimidated by them and that they can stick it where the sun don't shine!

Posted by: ruinedbruin | March 11, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

It transparent meretricious sophistry for anyone to claim that AIPAC and the various pro-Israel figures got so exercised about this appointment over the man's ties to Saudi Arabia.

Uhm, is there anyone in the world with closer ties to Saudi Arabia than the Bush family? I don't remember AIPAC freaking out about the prospect of either Bush being elected President.

As for China, Did any of these people or groups object to China being admitted to the WTO or given MFN status?

If you wanted this point to be taken seriously, the people involved would need some kind of track record of being concerned with human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia or China. They've never cared before, but in a giant cosmic coincidence, they become very worried about such things at the same time as a critic of Israel was appointed to this post.

Amazing.

Posted by: Scientician | March 11, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Freeman connection to Saudi Arabia may bring up a question of human rights. Who knows what belief Freeman is.

Would Obama have someone who believes in white only policy or simply ignores it? You have to hold your nose from the stink when it comes to Saudi Arabia. They don't do too well on women's rights either.

So passing on Freeman maybe for the best for everyone. I hate to see both the questions and answers confirmation hearing would show. On the other hand if he was open minded his knowledge could be a loss. I don't think the Isreal lobby would be a problem if he went to them and explained himself unless of cause that would be a problem in itself. My guess is that it is!

Posted by: artg | March 11, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

The Obama-Hillary strategy for dealing with Muslim countries will be to talk nicer but keep arming and funding Israel's killing of Palestinians. This will work with the govts we bribe like Egypt and Jordan, but everybody else realizes that the President's chief of staff decided to join the Israeli army (not the U.S. army) during Gulf War I, and that anybody willing to say boo to the Israeli lobby will have their career and character destroyed.

Posted by: walker6 | March 11, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@davestickler: "But if anyone knows of an organized group that seeks to act as a counterweight to AIPAC, please post here, because I'd love to get involved."

They're not a counterweight, per se, but J Street was formed as a more moderate and reasonable alternative to AIPAC.

Posted by: BigTunaTim | March 11, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

You answered your own question: because Freeman "is an independent thinker." Translation, he is not an AIPAC tool. We can't have independent thinkers in the Middle East where religious extremism on both sides creates perpetual war. Better to let Hamas and Hezbelloh go on murdering people and allow Israeli extremists to continue to seize land that does not belong to them: the AIPAC solution.

Posted by: maxfli68 | March 11, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

I can't figure out was Freeman an anti-Semite? Or was he a veiled anti-Semite? Or perhaps, a thinly veiled anti-Semite? I wonder can a non Jew criticize Israel without being included in one of those categories?

We've know for years the answer is only a Jew can freely criticize Israel and then it takes an enormous amount of courage to do so if he/she lives in the US. We've know for years Israel controls the US policy toward it. We've known for years we gladly pay them an annual stipend in the billions and then call them our best ally.

There is nothing new in the Freeman case. It is the same old, same old, and I suppose I probably fit in one of the categories mentioned above for daring to say such a thing.

Glenn Greenwald is right. There is one topic we cannot discuss in America. It is the topic of our unquestionable support for everything Israel does? It is off limits even though a majority of the citizens think it should be aired and examined.

Tell me something isn't drastically wrong with America when a free discussion of an issue is barred.

Perhaps we'll wait to bring this topic up again when we are at war with Iran on some phony excuse and someone suggests that we went to war with Iran because Israel told us to. Ooops, we won't be able to say that because to do so would put us in one of the above categories.

Posted by: llyonnoc | March 11, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

So, let's imagine for a moment that tomorrow, a peace deal is struck in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. All hostilities cease and the two sides live happily ever after. What then happens to the BILLION$ that the US pumps annually into the Israeli economy? What happens to the excuse for radicals on both sides to continue their destructive ways?

Too many powerful people have a vested interest in seeing that peace NEVER comes to this region.

Posted by: hadenuff1 | March 11, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

I used to be stronly pro-Israel, but the Israelis, the Bush administration, and Likud have driven me to an anti-Israel position. I don't want us giving the Isrealis American weapons to kill Palestineans and destroy Palestinean cities. I don't want us to contunue to illegally allow Israel to use US-supplied cluster bombs against civilians. Israel doesn't want Iran to have one nuclear weapon when the Israelis are estimated to have 300. The worst part is, it doesn't matter what the majority of the American people think or believe - Congress will always support Israel, because of the money. Repbulcians and Democrats, they are all owned by AIPAC.

Posted by: dickdata | March 11, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing wrong with a lobby, except when that lobby denies that it is a lobby and is granted ways to operate that shield its influence. Schumer carries water for AIPAC and JINSA and the American Jewish Committee, not because they are Jewish or employ Jews, but because they fight any efforts for the US to have a normal relationship with Israel. The US alliance with Israel during the Cold War was grounded in some notion of US national interests. Today, years after the end of the Cold War, it is grounded in sentimental psychosis that is doing damage to the US and permits Israel to do whatever it wishes to its neighbors. That Israel is given a freehand in the M.E. by the US means that what Israel does boomerangs onto the US. It's not healthy and it's a bad sign that Freeman withdrew his nomination. In a world of globalized media, it will also send a strong signal to the Arab allies of the US that the U.S. govt. is incapable of even listening to views that contradict those of the lobby and its contractors in Congress.

Posted by: freespeechlover | March 11, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

But if anyone knows of an organized group that seeks to act as a counterweight to AIPAC, please post here, because I'd love to get involved. It's about time that we treated Israel as what it is -- a somewhat democratic religious state that relies on military power to preserve peace for themselves, at the expense of millions of people living in Palestine and Lebanon.

Posted by: davestickler | March 11, 2009 4:08 PM
-----------------------------
You can count for one.
Jews were invited in 1198 to Britain to help their economy. The reason, it is famous about Jews knowledge of depending usery in the finacial transactions.
he Jews came in, started the business, they thrived, became the financial market masters. They built & lived in the nicest houses, they wore the best clothes, and became arrogants and lobbiests.
The british irritated at the Jews behavior, and started to move, until their king at the time had it, then issued a dicree to confescate the Jews riches, and throw them out of the country. Britain stayed free of Jews until the eighteen century, when they came back.
Anyway, we should follow suit with the British people at that time, and we should unify in one font to fight AIPAC and its backers? We should unify under the leadership of this brave man Mr. Freeman.
He should be our nominee for President in 2012.

Posted by: mali23 | March 11, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I think we need to redefine the term "supporters of Israel." The people who co-opted the phrase are neocons who are going to be "destroyers of Israel."

I consider Jimmy Carter a "supporter of Israel," but he sees the mistakes they are making in how they treat the Palestinians and Arab Israelis. His intention is not to harm Israel but to help it survive.

Only the most crazed, radical, hysterical right-wing nuts get to be called "supporters of Israel," just as the neocons in our country tried to make anyone who disagreed with them into terrorist sympathizers.

If you are allowing truly insane people to make decisions for you, you are in real trouble.

The "supporters of Israel" have made Israel into an international pariah, a nuclear-armed bully that western countries support with lip-service but really can't stand.

I remember in elementary school when we saw a "documentary" about Israel that portrayed Arab and Jew living in harmony under an enlightened government. Obviously, it was propaganda, but at least it was aspirational. Since then, Israel has become a criminal enterprise that is unworthy of anyone's support.

Posted by: motorfriend | March 11, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Of course, there is no benefit at all to America for being a "friend" of Israel! And the negatives are almost endless from the destruction of America's reputation and the revealed hypocrisy of our notional "moral Values" in supporting a blatantly genocidal, theocracy that has brutally subjugated the people who owned and lived on the land they coveted; to the death and destruction rained on its neighbors for “preventative” wars to protect its genocidal occupation of the lands “seized” in its endless wars of conquest to advance its line of “illegal” settlements into the illegally occupied lands in deviance of numerous UN resolutions; a body that gives it its only legal existence. The tragedy of 911can be directly attributed to the existence of Israel and what America has done to give aid and comfort to its “friend”!

Posted by: Chaotician | March 11, 2009 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Again, we are here in America the hostage of Israel lobby policy.
Still I don't know why?
Let us make some calculation in economic term, Israel costs us billions every year, and we don't make a penny out of economic dealing with her.
On the region of Arabs and Muslims world, we get our energy, in which it revives our vein life, we sell them with billions of dollar every year, that revives our economy, too?
On the ethic side, we support Israel blindly without limit which make the people of the world stand in array and chant death to America, and our flag always in a blaze as a sign of hate to our policy in support Israel?
In some instance, we fight Israel war, our boys and women sacrifice their lives to defend Israel? We give Israel the top of the natch of the saphisticated weapon to kill the Palestinians and support Israel to occupy their land and control their very life?
Then, with this fast comperison, what are we getting out of Israel? In time we are giving to her unlimited support? Do know what is the secret behind that? It is AIPAC? This organization select the staunch loyal to Israel from among our candidates to any office in USA. makes an agreement that candidate to support Israel at any cost, for that AIPAC gives each of them substantial amount of money and vote support and probubly a very experience Jewish, knows how to run ellection compaign preside on that candidate compaign committee? Here we go, candidate sell him/herself to foreign country interests, and an American Jewish person renders his\her service at disposal for the benifit of foreign country, and where is America's interests?
On the future foreshadowing: I anticipate, we are going to pay dearly for this policy in the future.
We are facing about 1.5 billion Muslim people, they spread and live on almost half of the globe, not to forget some of them live among us, most of them real born or covert American and they on the increase.
Those people will one day become a big power? then the history will repeat itself? will Israel can help us? No, she won't. Isreal as usual runs after what it good for her, we can see it clear she sell our technology to China now for her benefit, and AIPAC staffs spy on us for the mbenefit of Israel, too? Do you think the Israelis will stay and fight on our side? Definitely, no, probably they will jump to the stronger side. It might be the Arab side??

Posted by: mali23 | March 11, 2009 7:16 PM | Report abuse

RECKLESS ISRAEL LOBBY PUSHES UP AMERICAN KRYSTALNACHT CLOCK


As one acquainted with Amb. Chas Freeman, I can only feel relief that he is not back in government– not just yet. As a free citizen he has punched incredibly large holes in Israel’s fraud perpetrated on the American citizens it deems “dumb goyim.” And the most he did he did with facts and with sheer logic. He has been the father of MEANINGFUL DIALOGUE on Mideast issues, like a good physician relieving the pressure for outrage and retribution. From the point of view of American Jews, he pushes the Krystalhacht in America clock’s hands back further. Without Freemen free to speak his mind and encourage others to do so in his panels and journals, the pressure would greatly rise as people realize that, in contrast to America’s fully American Jewish mass, a few nominal Jews– like the ex-Leninist neocons, representing no one but the financial interests that pay them, of late Radical Zionism– are trying to dominate America. From the point of view of President Obama, having chosen as Chief of Staff an American who abrogated his US Citizenship by going to fight in the Israeli Army in the 1970s, losing Chas Freemen in a position of letting truth in to the President from within his own administration is a terrible loss. The Zionist run image of America is brought much larger into the public’s focus by the departure of Amb. Freeman, to the unfair peril of American Jews. But AIPAC, after all, works for Israel, takes its order from Israel and delivers stolen secret documents for Israel. Freeman’s withdrawal because of AIPAC perilously moves the minute hand on the Krystalnacht clock, a tragedy. Alas, the real issue is that a lot of Zionist activists see this as getting even with the “dumb goyim” Americans by imposing only pro-Israel choices on them. It is vital, they feel, to that personal “mensch-hood” maleness status of which they themselves feel deficient. So they go to extremes, foolishly believing that there’s no blowback to fear. All of us who fear anti-Semitism reborn here must deeply regret the pushing of Amb. Freeman out of government. But those of us who so value Amb. Freemen’s unsupressable brilliant analysis of Mideast Affairs this is a celebration of truth’s freedom to be heard in the public square. For he will richly provide for the millions seeking the truth past the insulting hasbara Israel chooses to dump on us “dumb goyim” a public bridge of facts over the BS. Welcome back to us all, Amb. Freeman. Working in Gov you would only be denied to us again.

Posted by: danieleteodoru | March 11, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: HughJassPhD | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM

Racist = Criticizing any Obama administration policy.

Not Racist = Nominating an anti-Semite to one of the most powerful positions in government.

__________________________________________

I love it. Talk about groupthink. And from a proclaimed PhD no less. Well I think any criticism of China is anti-taoist so there! Beware anyone criticizing Israeli policies. You will get the moniker too.
I think it's progress just seeing something in print about the subject. It's a start.

Posted by: diebrucke | March 11, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Racist = Criticizing any Obama administration policy.

Not Racist = Nominating an anti-Semite to one of the most powerful positions in government.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | March 11, 2009 2:27 PM

I think your name should be HugeJackassPhD

Racist = To hate Jews because they are Jews.

Not Racist = To hate Israel because they commit genocide against Arabs and fight U.S. proxy wars.

The first is wrong, but the second is righteous.

Posted by: kevinschmidt | March 12, 2009 2:54 AM | Report abuse

I personaly like to ask the Intelligence comunity,or just one Person from it,do You DARE to post the Number of Spying cases and the percentage of Jewish peaple who Spyed against US interests during the past 65 years. Remember the SALE of the Atom research to Russia (ups-the USSR)thay must have been Great Americans.Any Nobel price for at leastfor one of them?

Posted by: handjacan | March 12, 2009 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Those pro-Israel folk sure have a lot of power - Just because the guy was a flunky of our stellar allies, the Saudis and an appologist for the Chinese crack down on democratic movements doesn't mean he wouldn't be a sound voice for out of the box thinking. I think his best idea is that Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the source of all violence in the Arab world. Just think, if there was no Israel, peace, harmony and justice would spring up all over the Middle East. His voice will be sorely missed. Damn those Jews and their allies!

Posted by: jwillis898 | March 12, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

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