The Greek Debt Crisis
Bombing for Ethnic Cleansing
Edward S. Herman
Conflict in Syria
John W. Whitehead
The Great Obama Bailout
Good News Clubs
The Christian Right Quiz
Steel Workers March
Military Threats in Iran
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Bombing for Ethnic Cleansing and Hegemony Rights
In this post-Orwell and post-Kafka age, Israel can threaten to bomb Iran to preserve Israel’s ethnic cleansing rights in Palestine and the United States can put “all options on the table” in dealing with that “dire Iranian threat” in order to maintain and strengthen U.S. hegemony in the Middle East (and show that Obama is no wimp), with the firm support of the Western establishment (and Saudi Arabia). This all takes some breathtaking double standards and hypocrisy. But the power of the axis of evil (the U.S. and Israel), the long-standing demonization of the target, the complicity of the European Union (EU), the subordination and instrumentalizing of the UN and International Criminal Court, and the subservience of the mainstream media, make it all possible.
It all rests, too, on the imbalance of power and the “perils of dominance,” which Gareth Porter argues was “the road to war in Vietnam” (title and subtitle of his excellent book). If you have overwhelming power, you think you can get away with anything and that you can push up against the edge in threatening war, waiting for the target to recognize prospective defeat and surrender in advance. If it doesn’t surrender, you can hope to win more or less easily with your superior power, and preserve your ability to ethnically cleanse and/or maintain your prime bullying power in a region, and your credibility.
Given this imbalance and structure of interests and pressures, Iran’s getting nuclear weapon capability would be a benefit to peace as it would to some modest degree diminish the axis of evil’s freedom to dominate and ethnically cleanse. The West’s support of Israel’s buildup of nuclear weapons was destabilizing, peace-threatening, and supportive of large-scale ethnic cleansing. It was and remains a violation of the spirit and letter of the UN Charter and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The claim that Iran poses a threat because of its nuclear activity is valid, but only in the sense that it might slightly weaken U.S. hegemony, Israel’s freedom to dispossess, and U.S. and Israeli aggression rights.
The double standard here is breathtaking. Israel is openly threatening to attack Iran and the media report it without the slightest indignation. A good chunk of the political class openly approves the idea and urges U.S. support of this planned aggression. The reservations of the liberal media and politicos rest on the possibility that the attack might lead to a really major military conflagration and might cause oil prices to skyrocket and recessionary conditions to intensify. But that this would also be a gross violation of the UN Charter is not a problem for them. Ban Ki-Moon is silent about this threatened violation of the Charter that he is supposed to be enforcing (but actually betrays on a daily basis as he serves as a U.S. puppet).
When Ahmadinejad made his statement that Israel would some day be wiped off the map, this was given huge publicity in the West as showing the “sinister” quality of the Iran government and the threat it posed to Israel and the West.
But Ahjmadinejad never explicitly threatened an Iranian attack on Israel. There is solid evidence that his much cited and stripped down statement was mistranslated and misinterpreted—that he was actually paraphrasing Khomeini’s earlier statement that Israel would one day be transformed from an ethnically exclusive state to a more tolerant one, as the Soviet Union was transformed, not by force but by political processes.
But, while Ahmadinejad’s statement outraged Western officials and pundits, although in its valid form and substance it contained no threat of an Iranian attack, Israel’s very clear and explicit threat to attack Iran aroused not the slightest indignation and demands for counter action in the Free World. The double standard and associated lying run deep there.
It is also a sick comedy that the excuse for this possible attack is that Iran may be close to nuclear weapons capability. That Iran needs this—and needs the weapons—for elementary defense, is made obvious by the Israeli threat and the failure of the West to constrain Israel. In fact, the U.S. and other Western states have connived to allow Israel to become a nuclear weapons state outside the supervisory reach of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), while engaging in righteous indignation and threats over Iran’s imperfect cooperation with the IAEA, again an object lesson in double standards and hypocrisy.
It is almost amusing to see how carefully the mainstream media (and politicos) play dumb over Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, as if this is a natural right and raises no questions about inequality of law and rules enforcement and about why only Israel has the right of self defense. In the “world’s greatest newspaper” (Paul Krugman), David Sanger, and David Broad have written literally scores of articles on IAEA reports and claims about Iran’s nuclear program and supposed lack of cooperation, with only the rarest passing mention of Israel’s nuclear arms. This same newspaper could also write 70 editorials on the imminent U.S. attack on Iraq between September 11, 2001 and March 21, 2003, without once mentioning international law or the UN Charter. This is great war propaganda service.
The same double standard, propaganda service, and just plain poor journalism, is evident in the reports and comments on Israeli and Iranian “terrorism.” A string of Iranian scientists have been assassinated, facilities and military personnel have been bombed, and sophisticated cyber-warfare has been used to damage Iranian nuclear programs. It is fairly openly acknowledged that Israel’s Mossad has been working with the Iranian terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) in carrying out these assassination and bombing attacks. Although this was admitted by several U.S. officials on NBC news (Brian Williams, “Israel turns to terror gang to kill Iranian scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News,” February 9, 2012), it is treated in the mainstream media, with no indignation or calls for action against this state sponsorship of terrorism, perhaps because the United States is the indirect sponsor as the funder-protector of Israel. With this sponsorship, Israel has a right to invade Lebanon, drop and leave perhaps a million cluster bombs there before its exit in 2006, ethnically cleanse Palestinians and Bedouins, terrorize Iran, and threaten and perhaps directly bomb Iran.
But Iran is named a U.S.-official sponsor of terrorism, so attention, gullibility and indignation are in a different realm altogether when it is charged with terrorism. It will be recalled that it was regularly charged with the crime of supplying weapons to one of the contesting parties in Iraq at the height of the Iraq fighting, when the only legitimate supplier (and major direct killer) was that distant invader protecting itself from Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. So Iran’s behavior there was alleged to be villainous.
More recently, Iran was alleged to be behind an alleged planned assassination attempt against the Saudi ambassador to the United States in Washington, DC. Iranian officials were supposed to have hired an expatriate living in the United States to contract with operatives of a Mexican drug cartel to do the assassination job. Amazingly, the man hired was a troubled and incompetent individual and the Mexican he contacted was a DEA agent, a remarkable coincidence. This effort violated all rational principles of intelligence operations on the part of Iran and flew in the face of its recent attempts to spruce up diplomacy and mend its relationship with its Arab neighbors (including Saudi Arabia). This assassination plot, which never got off the ground, would have been damaging to Iran’s national interests, even if successfully carried out. On the other hand, it served well the interests of the powerful war parties in the United States and Israel. This was almost surely another combination false flag and entrapment operation.
The follow-up terrorist actions in India, Georgia, and Thailand also have the smell of false flag operations. In the Delhi bombing of an Israeli car, it is notable that nobody was killed or badly injured. Gareth Porter shows that the bomb effort seemed designed not to do serious bodily injury. (Porter, “Who was behind the Delhi bombing?,” Aljazeera, March 2, 2012.) Also, Iran has a strong interest in maintaining India’s goodwill, as it is an important outlet for Iranian oil and gas, in defiance of Western efforts to get India to cut these off.
Contrary to Israeli claims, the Tbilisi and Bangkok bombings did not use the “same kind of devices” and, as Porter says, these bombing efforts were contrary to Iranian interests, but strongly suggestive of Israeli false flag operations. Interestingly, these terrorist actions, unlike those carried out by Mossad and MKO in Iran, didn’t result in any deaths. But in the Free Press, they provided “confirmation” of Iran’s terrorist proclivities, while the treatment of Israel’s sponsored real killings in Iran have gotten something close to a free pass.
Edward S. Herman is an economist, media critic, and author of numerous articles and books. His latest is The Politics of Genocide (with David Peterson).
Z Magazine Archive
AnnouncementsLABOR - May 1 is May Day. Workers of the world will celebrate the 124th anniversary of International Worker’s Day. Born out of a call for an 8-hour workday in the United States, this day is an opportunity for all workers to show their solidarity with one another, as well as to renew the call for labor rights.
FARM CONFERENCE - The Farm Conference on Community and Sustainability will be held May 24-26 in Summertown, TN, in partnership with the Fellowship of Intentional Communities. Tour green homes, see sustainable food production, learn about solar installations, alternative education, midwifery, and more.
Contact: Douglas@thefarmcommunity.com; http://www.thefarmcommunity.com/.
PALESTINE - The Conference of the Palestinian Shatat in North American will be held June 3-5 in Vancouver. The conference will examine the future of the Palestinian liberation movement.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.palestinianconference.org/.
LABOR - The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association’s 45th annual conference will be held May 3-5, in Portland, OR. This year’s theme is Labor Under Attack: Learning from the Past and Preparing for the Future. A call for presentations, workshops and papers is currently underway.
Contact: PNLHA, 27920 68th Ave. East, Graham, WA 98338; 206-406-2604; PNLHA1@aol.com; http://www3.telus.net.
MARIJUANA - On the first Saturday of May marijuana legalization activists will hold informational and educational events, rallies and marches in over 300 cities around the world.
ECONOMICS - The Union For Radical Political Economics will hold its 39th annual conference May 9-11 in New York City.
RECLAIM THE DREAM - The 2013 Poor People’s Campaign & March from Baltimore to Washington D.C. will be May 11. Communities, schools and unions interested in participating are encouraged to contact the Baltimore People’s Assembly.
Contact: 410-500-2168; 410-218-4835; BaltimorePeoplesAssembly@gmail.com; Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Baltimore and the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly, 2011 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218.
MOTHER’S DAY - The 17th Annual Mother’s Day Walk For Peace will be May 12th, in Dorchester, MA. The walk began in 1996 for families who had lost children to violence. The day has become a way for thousands of people to financially support the work of the Louis Brown Peace Institute.
Contact: http://www.ldbpeaceinstitute.org/; http://mothersdaywalk4peace.org/.
NATO 5 - An International Week of Solidarity with the NATO 5 has been called for May 16-21. Supports call on supporters to raise awareness of the NATO 5 and support funds for the defendants on the one-year anniversary of their preemptive arrests.
Contact: email@example.com; https://nato5support.wordpress.com.
MOUNTAINTOP - The 2013 Mountain Justice Summer Activist Training Camp will be held May 19-27 in Damascus, VA. It will be a week of workshops, field trips to view Mountain Top Removal coal mines, direct actions, and service project.
FEMINIST SCI-FI - The feminist science fiction convention WisCon 37 is scheduled for May 24-27 in Madison, WI.
Contact: WisCon, ? SF3, PO Box 1624, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.wiscon.info/.
ANARCHY FEST - A month-long Festival of Anarchy is scheduled for May in Montreal. The festival includes The Montreal Anarchist Bookfair (May 19-20).
Contact: http://www.anarchistbookfair.ca/; http://www.radicalmontreal.com/.
LABOR - The International Labor Rights Forum will present: Down the Supply Chain, Driving Corporate Accountability, on May 22 in Washington, DC. The Labor Rights Awards Ceremony and Reception will honor pioneers in supply chain worker organizing, working solidarity and international labor rights policy.
MULTICULTURE - The 26th annual National Conference on Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE) will take place May 28-June 1, in New Orleans.
Contact: SWCHRS, 3200 Marshall Avenue, Suite 290, Norman, OK 73072; 405-325-3694; email@example.com; www.ncore.ou.edu.
MEDIA - The 2013 Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference will be held May 29-31, in San Francisco, CA. Participants will include educators, community leaders, media professionals, journalists, nonprofit leaders, policymakers and students.
RADIO - The 38th Annual Community Radio Conference is schedule for May 29-June 1, in San Francisco, CA, with discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20004; 202-756-2268; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nfcb.org/.
BRADLEY MANNING - On June 1, a rally will be held at Fort Meade in support of Bradley Manning.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike-A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides scheduled, music, exhibitors and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; email@example.com; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in New York City.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduated Center, ? Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16, in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops on civil rights, media and other topics.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; email@example.com http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5 day Seminar at University of Havana, plus visits to a cooperative, urban garden, community development project, social research centers, and educational & medical institutions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.globaljusticecenter.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; email@example.com; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process throughout the U.S.
SOCIALISM - The Socialism 2013 Conference is scheduled for June 27-30 in Chicago, featuring talks and panel discussions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.socialismconference.org.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles under the heading, Intersections: Teaching and Learning Across Media.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from branches across the continent to learn new skills and build One Big Union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13th, the 11th Annual Peacestock: A Gathering for Peace, will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www.peacestockvfp.org.
CHILDREN’S DEFENSE - July 15-19, join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children at CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, for five days of spiritual renewal, networking, movement building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the 19th annual Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.childrensdefense.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference in the world.
Contact: email@example.com; http://yeacamp.org/.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
LABOR - The Eastern Conference For Workplace Democracy: Growing Our Cooperatives, Growing Our Communities, will be held at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA, July 26-28.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://east.usworker.coop/.
WOMEN/LYNNE STEWART- Radical Women is asking for support letters and cards to be sent to Lynne Stewart. Stewart is a civil rights attorney and political prisoner who is currently in jail. She has breast cancer and authorities have denied her request for transfer from her Texas prison to the New York City hospital where she received medical attention during a prior bout of breast cancer. Send messages and cards to: Lynne Stewart 53504-054, Federal Medical Center Carswell, P.O. Box 27137, Fort Worth, TX 76127.
Contact: 747 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109; 415-864-1278; RadicalWomenUS@gmail.com; http://lynnestewart.org/; http://www.radicalwomen.org/.
HAITI/WOMEN - Haiti’s government is considering a legal reform measure that would prohibit and punish all sexual assault, including marital rape. MADRE and the International Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict are launching a petition to raise international support for this push to address violence against women in Haiti.
Contact: 121 West 27th Street, #301, New York, NY 10001; 212-627-0444; email@example.com; http://www.madre.org.
SYRIA/MIDDLE EAST - The Middle East Children’s Alliance (MECA) is currently seeking funds to assist more than 200,000 refugees fleeing violence in Syria.
FOLK FESTIVAL - The Falcon Ridge Folk Festival will be held August 2-4, in the Berkshires, NY.
Contact: http://www.falconridgefolk.com/; firstname.lastname@example.org.
WAR RESISTERS - The War Resisters League will hold its 90th anniversary conference, Revolutionary Nonviolence: Building Bridges Across Generations and Communities, August 1-4, at Georgetown University. The event will focus on the U.S.’ long history of antimilitarism.
Contact: 339 Lafayette Street, New York, NY 10012; 212-228-0450; email@example.com; http://www.warresisters.org.
POPULAR ECONOMICS - The Center for Popular Economics is holding its 2013 Summer Institute August 4-9 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. No background in economics is needed for this intensive training. This year’s theme is, The Care Economy: Building a Just Economy with a Heart.
Contact: Center for Popular Economics, PO Box 785 Amherst, MA 01004; 413-545-0743; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.populareconomics.org.
VETERANS - Veterans for Peace is holding the 28th annual convention August 6-11 in Madison, WI. This year’s theme is, Power To The Peaceful.
DEMOCRACY - The Democracy Convention will take place August 7-11 in Madison, WI. The convention brings together nine conferences including topics such as media, education, defense, race, environment and others.
MEN - The 38th National Conference on Men & Masculinity: Forging Justice: Creating Safe, Equal and Accountable Communities, presented in partnership with HAVEN, will be held in Detroit, MI, August 8-10.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.nomas.org/.
OCCUPY - An Occupy National Gathering will be held in Kalamazoo, MI, August 21-25.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://occupynationalgathering.net/.
COMMUNITIES - The Communities Conference is a networking and learning opportunity for co-operative or communal lifestyles, with workshops, events and entertainment; scheduled for August 30-September 2 at the Twin Oaks Community in Louisa, Virginia.
LABOR DAY - The 29th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a celebration of the ethnic diversity and labor history of Lawrence, MA, will be held September 2, in honor of the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. There will be music, dance, poetry, drama, ethnic food, historical demonstrations, walking & trolley tours.
Contact: PO Box 1137, Lawrence, MA 01842; 978-794-1655; http://www.breadandrosesheritage.org/.
OCCUPY WALL STREET - September 17 is the two-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Events are planned in New York City and worldwide.
TEACHERS - The 13th Annual Conference, “Teaching for Social Justice: The Politics of Pedagogy,” will be held October 12 in San Francisco, CA. The free event features workshops, resources, and free childcare.
Contact: 415-676-7844; email@example.com; http://www.t4sj.org/.
HAITI - International Action, which brings clean water and chlorinators to Haiti, seeks office space capable of housing up to six people and their office equipment.
Contact: Zach Bremer, Zbrehmer@haitiwater.org; 202-488-0735; http://www.haitiwater.org/.
MEDIA - The Union for Democratic Communications and Project Censored are sponsoring a joint conference on media democracy, media activism and social justice to be held November 1-3 at the University of San Francisco. Proposals for presentations, workshops and panels from activists and critical scholars are invited.