Progressive Calendar 02.26.07
From: David Shove (
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 00:51:28 -0800 (PST)
             P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R    02.26.07

1. Klobuchar sit-in 2.27 8:30am
2. Tillie Olson     2.27 6:30pm
3. 9-11 video       2.27 6:45pm

4. NC Coop/WAMM     2.28 8am
5. N-V peaceforce   2.28 10am
6. Violence/women   2.28 12noon
7. CCHT housing     2.28 4:30pm
8. IRV caucus info  2.28 7pm
9. Nikki Giovanni   2.28 7:30pm

10. Kevin Zeese   - Can Hillary be trusted?
11. Dave Lindorff - Impeachment is on the loose
12. Gary Leupp    - AIPAC demands "action" on Iran
13. Larry Portis  - The cultural connection: Zionism & the United States
14. ed            - Zionist/BushCo nationalist anthem

--------1 of 14--------

From: Michael Cavlan greenpartymike <ollamhfaery [at]>
Subject: Klobuchar sit-in 2.27 8:30am

You are invited to join other activists for Peace and Justice who are
meeting at Senator Klobuchar's office at Fort Snelling to make your
feelings clear on one of the most important issues we face today, the Iraq
War and it's continued funding.

Senator Klobuchar is on the record being opposed to the principle of
stopping funding this illegal and immoral war for oil and corporate

She has been quoted saying that "we need to remember that the troops in
Iraq are fighting for our freedoms". Senator Klobuchar has also said that
"the idea of a pre-emptive, first strike on Iran cannot be ruled out."

Given that there are now two Naval Strike Forces currently in the Persian
Gulf and another on the way and the Bush Administration is continuing its
bellicoise rhetoric and blatant lies, mirroring its actions before the
Iraq War, we need to remind Senator Klobuchar of some things. She needs to
remember that she is supposed to represent we the people of Minnesota and
not simply the intersts of her wealthy, corporate campaign contributors.

In that spirit, we ask you to join us every Tuesday, at Senator
Klobuchar's Fort Snelling Office any time from 8:30 am till 5 pm. Even
just 10 minutes of your time is welcomed. Bring your signs, your voice,
your passion and compassion, your vision, bring a friend.

Remind Senator Klobuchar of who she works for and what the will of the
people of Minnesota is. To stop this immoral and illegal war now, bring
the troops home and no support for the Bush Agenda in regards to Iran.

1 Federal Drive
Whipple Federal Building Suite 298
Fort Snelling, MN

The Whipple Building is easily accessable from the Fort Snelling stop on
the LRT. Any questions or directions call Senator Klobuchar's office above
or Michael Cavlan (612)327-6902

--------2 of 14--------

From: patty <pattypax [at]>
Subject: Tillie Olson 2.27 6:30pm

Hi, Tuesday, Feb. 27, guest, Judith Jones will present an evening of
Tillie Olsen, feminist writer who died recently at the age of 94.  Tillie
Olsen found her voice while raising 4 children and finding the time to
write while on the bus or after the children were in bed.  A Socialist and
Communist, she wrote to help those condemned to silence---the poor, racial
minorities, and women, to find their voice.

Pax Salons ( )
are held (unless otherwise noted in advance):
Tuesdays, 6:30 to 8:30 pm.
Mad Hatter's Tea House,
943 W 7th, St Paul, MN

Salons are free but donations encouraged for program and treats.
Call 651-227-3228 or 651-227-2511 for information.

--------3 of 14--------

From: alteravista [at]
Subject: 9-11 video 2.27 6:45pm

Tues. Feb. 27, 6:45 pm:  "9/11 Mysteries.  Part 1:  Demolitions." Merriam
Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul.  Free.

This video moves from "myth" through "analysis" and into "players" of how
a 110-story building collapsed in 10 seconds.  The 9/11 picture is not one
of politics or nationalism or loyalty, but one of simple physics.  Listen
to the voices of those who heard and experienced the explosions that
brought the Twin Towers down, and discuss follow-up.

Presented by MN911 group--people who question the official story about
9/11/01 and demand an independent investigation. FFI 651-633-4410.

The next meeting of this group is Wed. 3/7 evening.  Place to be
determined, depending on number attending.  Please e-mail your interest.

--------4 of 14--------

From: wamm <wamm [at]>
Subject: NC Coop/WAMM 2.28 8am

"Produce for Peace" North Country Co-op Donates 5% to WAMM

Wednesday, February 28, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. North Country Co-op,
Riverside and 20th Avenue on the West Bank in Minneapolis. Women Against
Military Madness (WAMM) will be the beneficiary of North Country Co-op's
"Produce for Peace" campaign. In recognition of the importance of the
coming months for our country's involvement in the Iraq War, North Country
Co-op is donating 5% of all produce sales to a group working for peace.
North Country Marketing and Membership Manager Erik Esse. "More than ever,
we need WAMM's energy to bring some sense back to our national
priorities." North Country, the Twin Cities' oldest food co-op, has a
tradition of supporting the peace movement from its inception in 1971 to
today. FFI: Visit <>.

--------5 of 14--------

From: Mary Lou Ott <tfalk [at]>
Subject: N-V peaceforce 2.28 10am

Learn to talk about Nonviolent Peaceforce!
As supporters we know you care about the Nonviolent Peaceforce
Yet it is hard sometimes to explain to others just what NP is doing.

We are having a Speakers Training Wednesday February 28 from 10-12 am. Pat
Keefe and myself will assist Larry Olds who will facilitate the training.
Larry is a retired professor and good friend of Nonviolent Peaceforce. He
is currently working with American Alliance for Popular Adult Education.
Larry is fun and this will be a spirited two hours. Please join us. RSVP
to this office either by e-mail or phone. 612- 871-0005 We look forward to
being with you.

Mary Lou Ott - Nonviolent Peaceforce 425 Oak Grove Street Minneapolis,
Minnesota 55403 tfalk [at]

--------6 of 14-------

From: erin [at]
Subject: Violence/women 2.28 12noon

February 28: 2007 Violence Against Women Action Day Rally at the Capitol.
Join the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, the Minnesota Coalition
Against Sexual Assault, the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault
Coalition and the Minnesota Network on Abuse in Later Life at Noon at the
Minnesota Capitol Rotunda. More info: 651/646-6177 or

--------7 of 14--------

From: Philip Schaffner <PSchaffner [at]>
Subject: CCHT housing 2.28 4:30pm

Learn how Central Community Housing Trust is responding to the
affordable housing shortage in the Twin Cities. Please join us for a
1-hour Building Dreams presentation.

St. Paul Session: Feb 28 at 4:30p

We are also happy to present Building Dreams at your organization, place
of worship, or business. Space is limited, please register online at: or call Philip Schaffner at 612-341-3148 x237

Central Community Housing Trust 1625 Park Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 341-3148

--------8 of 14-------

From: Andy Hamerlinck <iamandy [at]>
Subject: IRV caucus info 2.28 7pm

Greetings DFL Caucus Goers!

The Saint Paul Better Ballot Campaign is making a move to bring Instant
Run-off Voting (IRV) to our fair city! Critical in this endeavor will be
getting the official nod from the St. Paul DFL. For those of you "IRV
Friendly" and "IRV Curious", we will be holding an Instant Run off Voting
Caucus training at 2 convenient locations next week.

Please join us at either Linwood Rec Center* or the East YMCA** on
Wednesday FEB 28 at 7:00 pm to learn more about why IRV is a better way
for St. Paul to vote. We will provide a short, entertaining training
session, an IRV resolution for you to present at caucus and some
hot-off-the-presses IRV literature (see a preview at our website
<> ). We currently have
about half of the precincts in your ward covered. Even if there is a
presenter for the IRV resolution, we would like to have as many supporters
there as possible. We expect strong support, but we would like to have
folks be willing to speak in support of the resolution.

If you are interested in sponsoring an IRV resolution or learning more
about the St. Paul Better Ballot Campaign, but cannot make it to the
training, please contact Paul Busch at pobusch [at]
<> . We are looking for a sponsor for each
precinct, so please include your ward and precinct in your email message
and we will be in touch!

Thanks! Paul Busch 651-646-4656

Training locations:
*Linwood Recreation Center
860 St Clair Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

**East YMCA
875 Arcade Street
Saint Paul, MN 55106

--------9 of 14--------

From: Stephen Feinstein <feins001 [at]>
Subject: Nikki Giovanni 2.28 7:30pm

At Institute for Advanced Study:
Subject: Poet, Activist, Nikki Giovanni at Ted Mann Feb 28!!

Celebrate Black Heritage Month and Women's History Month with Poet,
Activist, and Professor Nikki Giovanni. Giovanni's presentation, "Truth
Telling and the Need for Poetry: From the Harlem Renaissance to Hip-Hop,"
will demonstrate the power of words as a call to action.

Reception and book signing follow.
7:30 p.m., Ted Mann Concert Hall

FREE, but Tickets Required - Information: 612-624-2345
105 Northrop - Coffman Union - W Bank - Skyway - St. Paul Student Ctr

--------10 of 14--------

Senator Clinton, Iraq and the Peace Movement
Can Hillary Be Trusted?
February 24 / 25, 2007

The 2006 election showed the Republican Party that opposition to the Iraq
War was the dominant political issue of the year - trumping all others.
Their failure to understand voter anger over the war cost them the
majority in the House and Senate. Candidates are now learning that the war
is continuing to trump all other issues. And a recent Gallup Poll shows
that 7 out of 10 Americans say the war will be a key factor in whom they
support in 2008.

The front runner in the Democratic primary, Sen. Hillary Clinton, is
feeling the heat. Even though she will raise more money than any candidate
in history, has universal name recognition and is building an
unprecedented political machine - the Iraq War looms. While her allies are
trying to portray her nomination as inevitable it is evident she now knows
the Iraq War can undo her inevitability. Seventy-four percent of Democrats
say the Iraq War will be a factor in their 2008 vote according to a
February Gallup Poll and one out of two say it will be a major factor.

Wherever she goes the Iraq War follows her. She is starting to have public
confrontations with voters about the war. At a widely reported town
meeting in New Hampshire New Hampshire resident Roger Tilton urged her to
apologize for her vote in favor of the use of force resolution and told
her that voters can't hear all the good things is saying until she deals
with the war. Anti-war voters, who are becoming an organized force, are
letting her know - if you're wrong on Iraq you are wrong for America.

But, she doesn't want to look weak so she postures for the cameras. At
another New Hampshire town hall when she was asked again about her vote
for the war she said: "If the most important thing to any of you is
choosing someone who did not cast that vote or said his vote was a
mistake, then there are others to choose from." She may live to regret
that comment.

Clinton will not apologize pundits say because she wants to be seen as
decisive, confident and strong, especially important because she is a
female. But she did say that if she knew what she knows now she would have
voted differently. That is a major step forward for a candidate who has
been a consistent supporter of the war.

When it became evident that was not enough she took the next step and put
forward her own Iraq exit strategy and in the press release announcing it
said: "Now it's time to say the redeployment should start in ninety days
or we will revoke authorization for this war. This plan is a roadmap out
of Iraq. I hope the President takes this road. If he does, he should be
able to end the war before he leaves office."

Sen. Clinton obviously does not want to be shackled with the Iraq War when
she becomes president. More than once she has criticized President Bush
for letting this war continue through the end of his presidency. And, at
the recent Democratic National Committee meeting she promised "If we in
Congress don't end this war before January 2009, as president, I will."

When I posted the Clinton plan to the VotersForPeace discussion list one
person commented:

"Excuse me, but am I the only one who remembers how brown her nose was not
too long ago? Is it me or do these politicians just change their minds
with the flow of public opinion? I want a candidate that is strong on what
they believe, not one that is blown with the wind. Tomorrow she may forget
what her plan is if elected. I don't trust her anymore. She's changed her
mind too many times as far as I'm concerned."

Another asked: "Could Hillary Clinton be in a hurry to play catch up due
to the anti-war voices being so vocal at her Iowa appearances?"

Others have expressed concern about her willingness to support a military
attack on Iran, particularly her comments to AIPAC, the hard right Israeli
lobby: "We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or
acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat ... no option can
be taken off the table."

These anti-war voters reflect the view of many who have serious doubts
about Sen. Clinton's new anti-Iraq War stand. Not only did Clinton vote
wrong on the initial use of force resolution, she has consistently opposed
any discussion of exit strategies and has voted for every penny of more
than $420 billion appropriated for the war. She has been a critic of
President Bush but she has given this irresponsible commander in chief a
blank check for war.

She is someone who saw the U.S. having a long term military stay Iraq.
When she returned from a Thanksgiving trip to Iraq in 2003 Senator Clinton
was asked on ABC's This Week how long the U.S. would be in Iraq. Her
response was a reminder that the U.S. still has bases in Korea and
elsewhere long after those wars had ended.

In December 2005 she wrote that she would not accept any timetable for
withdrawal and would not embrace Rep. Jack Murtha's call for "redeployment
of troops." Further, she called on President Bush to finish "this war with
success and honor" restating her rejection of "a rigid timetable that the
terrorists can exploit."

In June of 2005 she spoke to the progressive-Democratic "Take Back America
Conference" in Washington, D.C. and was booed and jeered by progressive
activists in the Democratic Party. As she left the podium people chanted
"Bring the troops home; stop the war now." No doubt, she thought this
might be a moment where she could show that she did not kowtow to the
anti-war interests in the party. Norman Solomon described this as
"premature triangulation."

Since 2005 she has moved at glacial speed toward her new "I'll end the
war" position. The question for peace voters is, can voters opposed to the
war trust her? Populist anti-war candidate, former Senator Mike Gravel,
told the DNC Convention this year that anyone who voted for the initial
use of force resolution showed they did not have the judgment to be
president. The other clearly anti-war candidate, the only person running
who voted against the use of force resolution, Dennis Kucinich also
referred to the 2002 vote as a test at a candidate forum in Nevada "We had
an audition for president in October, 2002."

Even those who voted wrong on the Iraq War in 2002 criticize Clinton for
her vote. Senator Chris Dodd, who has apologized for his mistaken vote,
has chided Clinton for not apologizing. John Edwards indirectly criticized
Clinton saying "We've had ... six years of a president who is incapable of
admitting that he was wrong, incapable of admitting that he's made a
mistake. It's time for a different kind of leadership in this country. We
need a leader who will be open and honest with you and with the American
people, who will tell the truth, who will tell the truth when they've made
a mistake."

Clinton was not only wrong in 2002 when she gave Bush the authority to
attack Iraq but she has been wrong for most of the time since then. Can
peace voters trust her judgment? Can her newfound anti-war views be

More than election year words and promises are needed. Sen. Clinton needs
to start to lead now on this important issue. That means really taking
strong action to end this war. She is already perceived as a leader of the
Democratic Party. If she says she will not support another penny for the
'stay the course' approach of the president that is such a disaster for
U.S. foreign policy, U.S. troops and the Iraqi people then she will move
the Democratic Party which has the power to end the war with her.

It only takes 41 votes to stop the $93 billion supplemental requested by
President Bush for Iraq. If Senator Clinton were to lead a filibuster to
end the war then she would be doing more than making election year
promises and telling the voters what she thinks they want to hear. She
would actually be leading the U.S. out of a quagmire and correcting the
error of her pro-war votes. Can Senator Clinton convince 41 out of the 51
Democrats to join her in ending the war? If she can then she will really
be showing leadership and will become a legitimate anti-war candidate for
2008. Otherwise the inevitable nomination may be lost to the power of the
anti-war voter in 2008.

Kevin Zeese is executive director of Democracy Rising and co-founder of

--------11 of 14--------

Impeachment is on the Loose
Breaking the Dam in Olympia
February 24 / 25, 2007

If the state of Washington ends up passing a joint legislative resolution
next month calling on the US House of Representatives to initiate
impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Cheney,
it will because 900 people who crammed into this capital city's Center for
the Performing Arts last Tuesday evening, and countless others across the
state, pushed them into it.

The crowd at the arts center had come to attend an event organized by the
Citizens Movement to Impeach Bush/Cheney, a local ad hoc citizens'
organization in this little burg that had convinced the local city council
to make the 1000-seat auditorium available for a hearing on impeachment.

When I and my two co-speakers, CIA veteran Ray McGovern and former federal
prosecutor Elizabeth de la Vega, came out on the stage, we all felt not
like political speakers or authors, but like rock stars. The applause was
deafening, not just at the start of the program, but after each speaker's
points were made.

It was clear that even if the Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi
(D-CA) says impeachment is "off the table," a sizeable hunk of the
American public is hungering for a taste of it.

Washington is one of a group of states where a serious effort is underway
to pass joint legislative resolutions that, thanks to Rules of the House
penned by Thomas Jefferson and in effect for nearly length of the
Republic, would put impeachment back on the table at the House right under
Speaker Pelosi's nose. The significance of the gathering in Olympia is
that a freshman senator from Olympia, Eric Oemig, has introduced a bill in
the state senate calling for such a resolution. His bill, S6018, is slated
to go to a hearing on March 1, to determine whether it can be considered
by the full senate, and impeachment activists are planning to have
hundreds - perhaps thousands - of backers on hand to make sure it gains
committee approval.

"We don't hear any of our leaders today talking about impeachment," Oemig
told the crowd. "So the fact that the grass roots have built up the way
they have is remarkable!"

Oemig brushed aside what he said was a common argument among colleagues in
the legislature that impeachment was not the state's business, and that it
would "interfere" with more pressing state matters. Noting that the war in
Iraq - one of the key impeachable crimes because of the lies that were
used to justify it - is costing hundreds of billions of dollars, Oemig
pointed out how many crucial projects affecting Washington State residents
were in jeopardy because of lack of federal funding. He noted too that
issues like the president's violation of civil liberties and his abuses of
power directly affect citizens of the state. "I don't think this is a
partisan issue," he said. "Many of my Republican colleagues have grave
concerns about some of the Constitutional violations of this

In my own address, I focused on some key Bush constitutional violations
and crimes which I believe are the best arguments to use in convincing
conservatives and Republicans of the importance of impeachment. Among
these are Bush's order for the National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on
American citizens, his use of so-called "signing statements" to invalidate
(so far) 1200 laws or parts of laws passed by the Congress, and his
authorization of torture. In the first case, I noted that the president
has already been declared, by a federal judge, to have committed a felony
by violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. In the second
case, I explained that Bush is claiming - illegally - that the so-called
"War" on Terror makes him a commander in chief unfettered by the
Constitution, with not just executive, but also legislative and judicial
authority - a claim of dictatorial power that has no basis in the
Constitution. Finally, I pointed out that in authorizing and failing to
punish torture, the president, by making it less likely that enemy
fighters will surrender, has been directly causing death and injury among
US troops.

The biggest laugh came when I pointed out that failing to impeach Bush
over the signing statements issue would mean that the next president -
perhaps Hillary - would be able to cite Bush as a precedent and also
ignore Congress. "That," I said, "should put the fear of god into

McGovern told the crowd that the administration had destroyed the CIA,
preferring "faith-based" to real, hard-nosed intelligence. With the angry
intensity of a man who has given nearly 30 years of service to the
government only to see it trashed by a know-nothing, criminal
administration, he suggested that impeachment was the best way to bring
the War in Iraq to an end and to prevent the launching of yet another
illegal war - this time against Iran.

De la Vega, a veteran federal prosecutor, and author of a new book, The
U.S. v. Bush, which imagines a grand jury investigation and indictment of
the president and vice president on a charge of fraud, laid out the case
that the Bush administration has in essence been a criminal syndicate
defrauding the American public on a scale far worse than Enron. Meanwhile,
she said, the Congress, the media and the American public have, like the
Queens neighbors of stabbing victim Kitty Genovese, averted their eyes
from the crime.

Questions following the three presentations focused on why the Congress
has been so unwilling to act to initiate impeachment, and on what the
American people can do.

The answer all the speakers gave in one way or another was to organize -
to convince neighbors, co-workers and friends of the need to impeach the
president, to lobby a cowardly Congress to act, and, most importantly, to
help move Sen. Oemig's bill forward in the Washington Senate and House.

At present, three states, Washington, Vermont and New Mexico, have bills
calling for joint impeachment resolutions (other states, including Rhode
Island, New Jersey and California, may also see bills submitted). Under
Thomas Jefferson's Rules of the House, any one of those resolutions, if
passed and forwarded to the House of Representatives, could start the
process of impeachment.

It seems likely that if Washington passed Oemig's bill (it currently has
eight co-sponsors), or if one of the ones moving through the legislatures
of Vermont or New Mexico were to pass, the other states might follow suit.
As well, representatives in Congress could feel emboldened to submit their
own bills of impeachment.

In other words, the dam will burst, and impeachment will be underway.

In Olympia, as 900 fired-up and fed-up citizens left the hall last Tuesday
- signing impeachment petitions on the way out - it was clear that the dam
had already burst, at least locally.

Dave Lindorff is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the
Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns
titled "This Can't be Happening!" is published by Common Courage Press.
Lindorff's newest book is "The Case for Impeachment",
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff [at]

--------12 of 14--------

"An American Strike on Iran is Essential for Our Existence"
AIPAC Demands "Action" on Iran
February 24 / 25, 2007

Former CIA counterterrorism specialist Philip Giraldi, comparing the
propaganda campaign against Iran to that which preceded the war on Iraq,
has recently declared, "It is absolutely parallel. They're using the same
dance steps - demonize the bad guys, the pretext of diplomacy, keep out of
negotiations, use proxies. It is Iraq redux." He's only one of many in his
field (including Vincent Cannistraro, Ray McGovern, and Larry C. Johnson)
doing their best to expose the Bush-Cheney neocon disinformation campaign
according to which Iran is planning to produce nukes in order to commit
genocide, while abetting terrorists in Iraq who are killing American

Their efforts, and those of many others, are producing results. The
mainstream corporate press is far more skeptical about administration
claims pertaining to Iran than they ever were towards the equally specious
claims made about Iraq on the eve of the 2003 invasion. The American
people are now inclined to distrust claims made by nameless officials
about Quds Force-provisioned IEDs and EFPs, etc., supposedly smuggled by
"meddling" Iranians into Iraq. Unfortunately the Congress dominated by
Democrats elected in a popular expression of antiwar sentiment has not
taken a firm stance against an attack on Iran based on lies. Maybe given
the nature of the power structure it simply can't.

Giraldi matter-of-factly sums up the unfortunate politics of situation.

"The recent formation of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus should. .
. .be noted as well as AIPAC's highlighting of the threat from Iran at its
2006 convention in Washington, an event that featured Vice President Dick
Cheney as keynote speaker. More recently, Senator Hillary Clinton
addressed an AIPAC gathering in New York City. Neither was shy about
threatening Iran. AIPAC's formulation that the option of force 'must
remain on the table' when dealing with Iran has been repeated like a
mantra by numerous politicians and government officials, not too
surprisingly as AIPAC writes the briefings and position papers that many
Congressmen unfortunately rely on."

In other words, the American Israel Political Action Committee is the main
political force urging - indeed, demanding - U.S. action. That's the AIPAC
already under scrutiny for receiving classified information about Iran
from Lawrence Franklin, former Defense Department subordinate of Douglas
Feith. (That's the neocon Feith who supervised the Office of Special Plans
- headed by Abram Shulsky, the neocon specialist on Leo Strauss who
currently heads up the Iran Directorate at the Pentagon - that shamelessly
cherry-picked intelligence to support the Iraq attack. That's the Franklin
who worked in the OSP, and was sentenced last month to 13 years in prison.
Feith has not been indicted on any charge and continues to insist in
defiance of reason and even a Pentagon internal investigation finding it
"inappropriate" that his office's disinformation project was "good
government." Small wonder Gen. Tommy Franks, formerly head of the U.S.
Central Command, famously called Feith "the fucking stupidest guy on the
face of the earth." Congressional investigations are just now getting
underway into Feith's role in facilitating the invasion of Iraq.)

That's the AIPAC embarrassed by the indictment of its policy director
Steven Rosen and senior Iran analyst Keith Weissman for illegally
conspiring to pass on classified national security information to Israel.
Despite the already intimate ties between Israeli and U.S. intelligence
(documented by Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski among others) it seems the
Israelis felt obliged to spy on the Pentagon to learn just how inclined
the Americans were to oblige them by attacking Iran.

Now, as Israeli calls for a U.S. attack on Iran become more shrill by the
day, AIPAC recognizes that the American people profoundly distrust Vice
President Cheney and the nest of neocon liars he has sheltered. The
Bush-Cheney war machine has been pretty well exposed, and that must worry
the warmongers within the group. Israeli Defense Force chief artillery
officer Gen. Oded Tira has griped that "President Bush lacks the political
power to attack Iran," adding that since "an American strike in Iran is
essential for [Israel's] existence, we must help him pave the way by
lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and
US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iran issue
to a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure." Tira urges the
Lobby to turn to "potential presidential candidates. . . so that they
support immediate action by Bush against Iran," while Uri Lubrani, senior
advisor to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, tells the Jewish Agency's Board
of Governors that the US "does not understand the threat and has not done
enough," and therefore "must be shaken awake."

Many Americans would find such statements deeply offensive in their
arrogance and condescension. President Bush has indeed been weakened by
the "Iraq failure" Tira acknowledges, arising from a war that the Lobby
once endorsed with enormous enthusiasm. (As Gen. Wesley Clark put it way
back in August 2002, "Those who favor this attack now will tell you
candidly, and privately, that it is probably true that Saddam Hussein is
no threat to the United States. But they are afraid at some point he might
decide if he had a nuclear weapon to use it against Israel." Recall that
that weapon was imaginary.) So now, the Israeli war advocates aver, the
U.S. president needs to be helped to do the right thing and attack Iran by
lobbyists who will use their power to force the fools in the Democratic
Party, especially presidential candidates. Because Americans don't
understand and have to be shaken out of their current skeptical mode.

By who? By AIPAC, of course! The confidence expressed by these gentlemen
(in the second most powerful political action committee in the country) is
quite extraordinary. But alas, maybe it's warranted. Giraldi
dispassionately concludes:

"Knowing that to cross the Lobby is perilous, Congressmen from both
parties squirm and become uneasy when pressured by AIPAC to 'protect
Israel,' even if it means yet another unwinnable war for the United
States. The neocons know full well that if a war with Iran were to be
started either inadvertently or by design, few within America's political
system would be brave enough to stand up in opposition."

One should ask these spineless politicians how they suppose the people
will remember their votes and positions within weeks of the "immediate
action" Tira and his allies in the Bush administration (most notably Condi
Rice's deputy Elliott Abrams, the most powerful neocon remaining in the
team) are demanding. Will they not be blamed for the total collapse of
cooperation between the U.S. occupation and Iraq's Shiite majority, the
fall of the current client regime dominated by Iranian allies, the
intensification of Shiite militia attacks on U.S. forces, the broadening
of the current two-front war to enflame all of Southwest Asia?

One should ask those squirming manipulators blissfully ignorant of the
Islamic world - clueless about the difference between Arabs and Persians
or Sunnis and Shiites, coached almost entirely by State Department
Zionists who don't bother to conceal their Islamophobia - to recognize
that American Jewry is not generally pro-neocon nor united in support of
an Iran attack. Indeed many American Jews are alarmed at Israeli/AIPAC
efforts to push the U.S. into another crusader war on a Muslim nation. (A
lot of them are in New York. Hillary might consult with them rather than
suppose that her ticket to the presidency is the support of the
Cheney-friendly Lobby. But I wouldn't hold my breath on that.)

One should ask the Lobbyists as well as the government of Israel that they
think they serve (as well as the people of Israel, honestly divided in
their opinions) how the security of the Jewish State will be abetted by a
generalized war between Israel's great patron and the entire Muslim world.

When one plays this Islamophobic game of exploiting ignorance, fear,
hatred and bigotry; when one conflates al-Qaeda with Iraq with Hamas with
Hizbollah with Iran knowing that most Americans know little about the
details and will be inclined to side (for now) with Israel against Muslims
in general; when one lies (as the neocons do with such arrogance,
supposing they will escape any consequences of the lies down the
road) - then one invites a backlash. We live in a racist culture that
easily slides into religious bigotry. Why use that culture (not so
dissimilar to the German culture of the 1930s) so shamelessly - against
Arabs and other Muslim peoples of the Middle East? One's disinformation
with its murderous results in the Muslim world might just produce the
ignorant conclusion that could sweep Middle America down the road: "The
Jews made us do it." That's what the red-necks including a whole lot of
today's brain-dead Christian Zionist fundamentalists will say as soon as
everything goes wrong in the Middle East, Jesus doesn't come back and is
nowhere in sight, and the three U.S. troops killed per day becomes six or
ten for no good goddamned reason.

"They have the money, they control the media and the politicians. They
made us attack Iran and now look what's happening." That's what the
ignorant who can one day cry "Nuke 'em all!" referring to Muslims, and the
next day swear "Fucking Christ-killers" will say. Is the Lobby's paranoia
about Iran's uranium enrichment so severe as to risk that kind of
assessment, that kind of blowback bigotry?

We are perhaps arriving at a critical point in the history of the powerful
Lobby, including its capacity to intimidate honest, critically reasoning
people who do not embrace its fears, prejudices and preoccupations. It's
under unprecedented scrutiny following the carefully argued paper by John
Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy"
and Jimmy Carter's book Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid both published
last year, to which it's reacted with its wonted technique of character
assassination. The political power of the Lobby would appear to be
reaching its zenith; and while it used its hand subtly in the build-up for
war on Iraq, it now uses it in crude, bullying fashion. Israeli officials
weren't publicly calling for the simple-minded Christian-Zionist Bush to
"smite" Iraq to defend Israel in 2003, but now they're nervously demanding
that Bush destroy Iran's nuclear facilities to prevent a "genocide" worse
that that accomplished by Hitler! Their boldness betrays a confidence that
they can indeed continue to shape American political discourse about the
Middle East (to the exclusion of any audible Arab or Muslim voice) and
that to challenge them is indeed "perilous."

"Attack Iran! NOW! Or support GENOCIDE! and side with the new HITLER!
Destroy Iran's nuclear facilities! NOW! Or reveal your thinly-disguised

That's the hyper-message calculated to stimulate an assault, to which the
calm counterterrorism analyst Giraldi draws our attention. One could
respond to the message with a polite, firm, principled refusal:

No thanks this time, AIPAC. You're just not credible. Can't do it for you.
My constituents aren't into more war, and they think this whole Iran
thing's a lot of hype. I can't support nuking Iran, and frankly, I don't
see how you can either. I don't think you speak for all or even most
American Jews, and you can't scare me this time by accusations of
anti-Semitism. I can't have an attack on Iran my conscience, sorry. I'd
rather be defeated in the next election. Keep your money; I just can't do
what you ask.

Will the Congress targeted by the Lobby be able to say that? If it
doesn't, all the belated, posturing moves to limit Bush's power, withdraw
troops and end the imperialist war in Iraq will mean nothing. An attack on
Iran will unleash the gates of hell. The attackers will argue that a new
situation makes all prewar debate irrelevant (or even if encouraging doubt
about the "existential" cause, downright treasonous). The fascistic
proclivities of the administration will blossom immediately. The legal
basis has been laid for the repression of the dissent an Iran attack will
naturally inspire. Prison camps, suspension of habeas corpus. The
proponents of the war are comfortable with these things, and the waters
have already been tested.

O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter'd,
When shalt thou see thy wholesome days again?

Can the American people allow this unelected unpopular administration,
headed by a manifestly stupid sadistic fool, to continue to provoke
international contempt and fear, while planning more carnage?

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct
Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands
and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The
Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy
in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a
contributor to CounterPunch's merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq,
Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at: gleupp [at]

--------13 of 14--------

The Cultural Connection
Zionism and the United States
February 24 / 25, 2007

Not long ago, I met Eyal Naveh, an Israeli historian, who explains that
the United States has been the "model" for the Israeli state and society.
He claims that the US was first a model for the Zionist pioneers, then for
the founders of the state of Israel. Like the US, Israel was to be an
entirely new country created in a savage, untamed land peopled only by
savages. Like the US, Israel would be unique in its democratic
institutions, its multicultural society and its modernity. Israel would
also, like the US, apply the most advanced technology in the resolution of
existential problems and towards the achievement of a high standard of

I agree with Naveh that the US influence over the Zionist enterprise is
important. What is less understood is how Israel has become a model for
the US. Recently the work of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt has raised
the question of how Israel, through the Zionist lobby in the US, has
perhaps come to exercise a virtually direct control over US policy in the
Middle East. This is an important debate in which others, such as Noam
Chomsky and Bill and Kathleen Christison have made important
contributions. In this debate, in my opinion, the cultural connections
between Zionism and the United States should not be minimized.

Because the state of Israel was created in part under the inspiration of
the US - the frontier society forged in North America - images of the US
have come to constitute an essential element of the vision that many
Americans have of Israel and Palestine. In great part, the US
understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict involves an image of the
US itself, an image first projected onto the Zionist settlements, and then
onto the state of Israel. This is a process of "image transfer" which
began long before the recognition of the state of Israel in 1948 and the
substitution of US authority in the region for that of Great Britain.

The US presence, or involvement, in Israeli and Palestinian affairs was
prepared long in advance of any concern for the "peace process". This US
involvement has been not only the initiative of individual
presidents - whatever their motivations - but an emotional commitment
generated by a sense of identification. Identification between the
American experience and the Zionist-Israeli experience was prepared by the
refraction of a certain image of the United States through the prism of
Zionist propaganda and colonization in Palestine. In the history of the
United States in relation to Israel, this refracted image is both the
means and the end (the objective) in the process of ideological formation.

How did the historical experience of the United States help shape the
image of Palestine? How did the "New Jerusalem" contribute to a change in
the vision of the "old Jerusalem"?

A first connection is between an understanding of the Jewish Diaspora and
the Protestant-puritan Diaspora of the seventeenth century. Despite deep
currents of anti-Semitism, the parallel between John Winthrop leading the
brave Puritans to the Promised Land and Moses leading the children of
Israel back to the Holy Land has been regularly exploited in (what is
today) the United States. For example, Thomas Jefferson suggested that the
official seal of the United States could depict the "Children of Israel"
following a pillar light sent by God.

The associations envisioned by Jefferson are eloquent: the notion of a
chosen people - the Elect - to whom providence has assigned a spiritual
mission linked to the conquest of a particular land. All this provides the
basis for an affinity that is, in fact, more than elective - it is divine.
More specifically, both chosen peoples were, ultimately, "people without a
land" called upon to colonize "a land without a people".

When we speak of the colonizers, of America and Palestine, it is logical
to forget the indigenous inhabitants of both places, for it was the land
that was colonized - not the people living on it. The importance of the
American Indians and the Palestinians comes from the fact that they have
figured as obstacles to the fulfillment of the missions in question. Both
groups have, in different ways, been characterized as lower forms of
civilization slowing the march of progress. Both peoples have been
described as savage and cruel.

This image, at its worst racist and genocidal, at its best paternalistic,
is well documented as it concerns Native Americans. As regards non-Jewish
Palestinians, there is less documentation and more controversy. The rise
of cultural prejudice and even racism concerning the non-Christian and
Jewish populations of the Middle and Near East is not a popular subject in
the West. The ideas presented in, for example, Edward Said's Orientalism,
or in Martin Bernal's Black Athena, are in no way flattering to Western
culture or to Western people in general.

The history of this negative form of "Orientalism" is being written today.
I, for one, have attempted to elucidate how an already prejudiced
perception of Palestinians was sharpened in the 1920s by Zionist
spokespersons. Over a period of several years, religious designations, or
territorial designations, ceased to be used in reference to non-Jewish
inhabitants of Palestine. By the mid-1920s, only two parties in conflict
were referred to-the "Jews" and the "Arabs". A concurrent tendency existed
to refer to both groups as "races". I call this the "racializing of
ethnicity". Although the vogue of racializing social terminology was
abandoned (in most informed circles) after the outbreak of World War II,
the cultural prejudices have persisted.

The development of a more exclusionary terminology used to designate the
undesirable populations is certainly one characteristic of colonization.
In order to preserve their own dignity, the colonizers are morally
constrained to denigrate the human obstacles to the accomplishment of
their project. Comparison of the two colonial experiences reveals how one
borrowed from another, and vice-versa.

The history of the British colonies in North America, and then the history
of the United States throughout the nineteenth century is that of
continuous colonization. The religious and economic motives typical of the
seventeenth century continued to inspire settlers until the "closing" of
the Frontier in the 1890s. What appear as the real novelty of the
nineteenth century were the various utopian experiments in communal
living. Hundreds of socialistic communities were established throughout
the United States during the nineteenth century. To our day, such
initiatives continue as part of the social and cultural landscape.

The Zionist settlements in Palestine combined all these same motivations.
Not only were the Zionist colonies of different types, they sometimes - as
in the case of the Kibbutzim - united in themselves religious Puritanism
and secular socialistic modernity. This was a phenomenon appealing to
United-Statesians reared on frontier myths, such as the idea of
cultural-spiritual regeneration through a confrontation with adversity and

The "closing" of the US frontier in the early 1890s, accompanied by the
rapid development of a mythologized literature and cinema concerning the
Western hero, certainly facilitated support for the Zionist project. The
idea of pioneers struggling to establish themselves in a hostile
environment was romantic, and familiar.

Related to the settlement of frontiers by hardy pioneers, another affinity
between Americans is the development and application of new agricultural
techniques. "Making the desert bloom" was a powerful slogan and image for
both emergent national cultures. US botanical technology, such as new
plant varieties, insecticides, and chemical fertilizers, contributed to
the success of Jewish settlements in Palestine. Going from the Great
American Desert to Palestine was more than a symbolic transfer of images.
In addition, in both cases, it involved a denial of the agricultural
achievements of the indigenous inhabitants.

Another affinity between the creations of the American and Israeli
"nations" is the demographic importance of immigration. Both populations
are considered the product of disparate "waves" of new immigrants and
their assimilation into a "New World" culture including a new language
seen as deriving from those existing (although "American" cannot be said
to be as innovative as modern "Hebrew"). The interconnection of American
and Zionist immigration has meant the projection of an image of the United
States onto the Zionist project. This projection has been assisted by 1)
the idea of immigration as the means of recomposing or regenerating a
population and, 2) the fact that so many Jews from Russia, Poland and
elsewhere immigrated to the United States. Jewish immigrants in the US
were prone to support emigration to Palestine. (In the latter half of the
twentieth century, a significant number of their descendants immigrated to

Other factors in the development of support for Zionism in the United
States include a Christian education tending to reinforce revulsion for
the "loss" of the Holy Land to Islam. The Christian Crusades of the Middle
Ages tended to be particularly celebrated in the US towards the end of the
nineteenth century.

Anti-Semitism also encouraged acceptance of the Zionist project in
Palestine. Those who resented their presence viewed favorably the transfer
of Jews to a relatively desolate part of the world. This factor
intensified after World War II when the Jewish refugees became an
embarrassment to Western governments, even though anti-Semitism was

Such are some of the cultural affinities and conditions that have
contributed to the orientation of US policies relative to the
Israel-Palestine conflict. In some significant ways, US nationalism is
linked to, or seen as having affinities with Jewish nationalism as
represented first by the Zionist movement and then by the Israeli state.
It is why Israel is not seen in the United States as an alien culture in
the Middle East, but rather as an extension of American historical
experience. It is perhaps in this cultural-ontological sense that Israel
is the "51st state" (and not primarily because of the extensive economic,
financial and military ties).

For all of these reasons, the rhetoric of nationalism in the
Israel-Palestine conflict tends to reinforce established cultural values,
values stemming from American historical experience. It is also why, in
the United States, many people find it difficult to take seriously
Palestinian claims, just as they could not take seriously the claims of
the "Indian Nations". The similarities, in any case, are striking. One
century later, the Palestinian resistance to colonization and ethnic
cleansing is being dealt with in much the same ways as that of the
Indians: forced evacuation, concentration in "reservations" (which could
be called "Bantustans" or "autonomous territories"), periodic massacre and
racist humiliations.

Consider, in the above light, how differently Israeli and Palestinian
leadership must be perceived. On the one hand, there have been Israeli
leaders like Golda Meir and Benjamin Netanyahu, Americans or
American-educated, speaking faultless "American". On the other hand, the
Palestinian leaders most often have an alien aspect; not to speak of the
late Yassir Arafat, with his colorful headdress and his strange uniform of
dubious origin. The cultivated descendants of brave Western-like pioneers
make a singular contrast with the Palestinians.

The analogies and metaphors are there, underlying a US policy conceiving
of "peace" mostly in terms of acquiescence or accommodation to the image
and interests of the United States projected onto the Israeli state, an
Israeli state considered by US policy makers to be a model for the Middle
East in general.

For these US policymakers, it is not only a question of propagandistic
manipulation, of the conscious deception of the public. The metaphors and
analogies founded upon the special affinities between the US and the state
of Israel are rather rooted in the social and cultural histories of both
their societies and politics. If hypocrisy and bad faith are integral to
political behavior, in the service of collective interests as much as in
the service of individual designs, it is to be expected that such
self-deception should be pronounced in, on the one hand, the critical,
early phases of nation-state-making and, on the other hand, during the
construction of an imperial presence in the Middle East.

Larry Portis is a professor of American studies at the University of
Montpellier, France and a founding member of Americans for Peace and
Justice in Montpellier. He can be contacted at larry.portis [at]

--------14 of 14--------

 Zionist/BushCo nationalist anthem

 My land is my land
 Your land is my land
 From the east where I say
 To the west where I say

 All land is my land
 My land is all land
 This land was made for me and me


   - David Shove             shove001 [at]
   rhymes with clove         Progressive Calendar
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