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Democracy, Presidential Election and the Lobby: Part 3
by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
2008-05-10 10:09:17
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Can the Influence of the Lobby be curbed?

Poor Senator Obama! He may identify himself as a friend of Israel, but fact remains that the Lobby does not trust him as one of their own and is doing everything possible to deny him the Democratic ticket. Perception is reality in politics. Obama is fully aware of the power of the Lobby. With a middle name Hussein and being grandson of Kenyan Muslims, Obama is asked to run the extra mile to swear his fealty to the Zionist state.

He demonstrated his support for the rogue state during last year's criminal invasion of Lebanon, which killed more than 1,000 Lebanese civilians: "I don't think there is any nation that would not have reacted the way Israel did after two soldiers had been snatched. I support Israel's response to take some action in protecting themselves." [What a pathetic demonstration of servitude at the altar of the Lobby! And yet no yarmulke!] Even Obama's Christian faith (he was baptized in 1988 by Rev. Wright) is looked upon as a fake one. One in ten Americans falsely perceive him as a Muslim.

In January, Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League (another powerful Jewish lobby), demanded that Obama condemn Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, as an anti-Semite to which Obama promptly relented. Then pressure mounted to denounce his own pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was described as having "very strong anti-Israel views." Again, Obama, as a politician, caved in to the pressure from the pro-Israel lobby. It is worth mentioning that Dr. Wright did not say anything new that we had not known about Israel's support of apartheid South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, which included providing technical assistance in the development of a South African nuclear weapon and supplying Israeli-made weapons, flouting a UNO-imposed embargo.

As Philip Giraldi, an ex-CIA officer, has recently observed, even the water cannons used to attack black demonstrators were manufactured in the Israeli kibbutz Beit Alfa. In the UN, Israel opposed an end to racism. When speaking about the root cause of 9/11, Dr. Wright did not say anything new that we had not heard before from (late) Malcolm X who had said: the chickens have come back to roost - referring to the assassination of President Kennedy. As a pastor who is mindful of his accountability before God, Dr. Wright did not shy away from his moral duty to condemning America for her monumental crime against the Native American people or the Black Africans who were brought to this country as slaves, or government's crime for internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, or for dropping bombs in Japan, Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan that had killed so many civilians. Some video clips from his sermons are now selectively used by racist and bigots at the service of the Lobby to defeat Obama. He is depicted in TV ads as an extremist. He is censured for not only acquaintance he may have had but also for being praised or liked by those who are identified by the Lobby as hostile or not subservient to the Zionist state. That is the Lobby's rule!

Senator Obama's military adviser included retired Air Force General Merrill McPeak who in a 2003 interview correctly pointed out that the American politicians were afraid of Jewish voters who "vote … in favor of Israel and no politician wants to run against it" and that Israelis must "stop settling the West Bank and Gaza Strip." Another adviser - Samantha Power - who politically 'incorrectly' suggested that the billions of dollars "servicing Israel's military" should actually be invested "in the state of Palestine" if one truly wanted to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East. Another adviser Robert Malley advocated negotiations with the Hamas.

The Lobby is also alarmed about Dr. Zbignew Brzezinski's potential influence in modifying foreign policy should Obama become the president. Dr. Brzezinski is probably the most brilliant American strategist alive when it comes to international affairs, who in his must-read book – The Choice: Global Domination or Global Leadership – has made a compelling case for American leadership in the globe through partnership and not unilateralism. But such candid opinions from American-centric advisers are unwelcome in the USA today where the Lobby has managed to thrust their Israel-centric agenda. Obama is accused of having a "Jewish problem." Afraid of further antagonizing the powerful Lobby, he has disowned many such well-meaning advisers and well-wishers.

So, when it comes to the Middle East, it seems American policy as usual. That is the pervasive message people are hearing loud and clear from all the three major contenders – McCain, Obama and Clinton. As a matter of fact none of them could have reached the stage they are in today without passing the litmus test of the Lobby that proved that they are "Israel-firsters." However, as we have noticed not all are perceived evenly.

The Lobby has several affiliated think tanks dealing with the Middle East. Many of these are run by neoconservatives. None of these are neutral and/or American-centric. As a matter of fact, unlike university research centers, these are Israel-centric advocacy groups with tremendous influence on American foreign policy. William Kristol's Project for the New American Century was an advocate of war against Iraq. The American Enterprise Institute included such individuals as Richard Perle and David Wurmser who were instrumental in influencing policy towards Iraq in the early days of Bush Administration. It also includes 'experts' like Michael Ledeen and Michael Rubin.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri), which specializes in translating and distributing articles that show Arabs in a bad light, is run by David Wurmser's wife, Meyrav, along with Colonel Yigal Carmon, formerly of Israeli military intelligence. Meyrav also runs the Middle East section at another think tank - the Hudson Institute, where Perle joined the board of trustees. In addition, Meyrav belongs to the Middle East Forum, which is run by Robert Satloff, Patrick Clawson, Michael Rubin, William Kristol and Daniel Pipes. The Council on Foreign Relations claims to be a non-partisan think tank. It is run by Richard Haass whose view on the Middle East is very pro-Israel.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) was founded in 1985 by Martin Indyk when he was the director of research for AIPAC. It is considered the most influential of the Middle East think tanks, and the one that the U.S. State Department takes most seriously. Its current executive director is Robert Satloff. Patrick Clawson is Deputy Director for Research, who is also affiliated with the Middle East Forum. Its Board members include among others: Samuel Lewis, Martin Peretz (editor of New Republic), Richard Perle, and James Woolsey.

Its counselor is the former US diplomat, Dennis Ross. His bias for Israel is well known. WINEP includes Jewish academics like Martin Kramer, who also belongs to the Middle East Forum and is a former director of the Moshe Dayan Centre at Tel Aviv University, and Matthew Levitt of the Johns Hopkins University. Every four years, WINEP convenes a "bipartisan blue-ribbon commission" known as the Presidential study group, which presents a blueprint for Middle East policy to the newly-elected president.

The Saban Center for Middle East, formed in 2002, is part of the Brookings Institution. Far from being an objective observer of the Middle East, the Center is funded by Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban, who in a 2004 interview said, "I'm a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel." The Center is headed by Martin Indyk, born in England, who has been a strong advocate for Israel, first as research director of AIPAC and then as the founder and first executive director of WINEP. He was naturalized by Congress in 1995 so that Bill Clinton could name him U.S. ambassador to Israel. His true loyalty is to Israel.

Haim Saban is extremely close to the Clintons and is also reported to be the largest contributor to the Democratic National Committee. When Bill Clinton was president, Saban and his wife slept in the Lincoln bedroom on a number of occasions. Like its founder, the Saban Center is Israel-centric in its policy analysis, sponsoring bilateral meetings in Jerusalem to discuss issues of common concern.

All these think tanks are well funded by their 'anonymous' (actually Lobby) benefactors and are well organized. Ideas sown by one element are watered and nurtured by the others. As can also be seen many of the experts do belong to multiple think tanks.

In today’s political culture in America, the Lobby’s mission has become an embedded value and is therefore rarely scrutinized. But as has been argued by thirty authors in a recently published book - Persecution, Privilege & Power, ed. Mark Green, BookSurge Publishing (2008) - it is high time for a serious transparent investigation of America's special relationship with the Zionist enterprise, esp. when the wars in Iraq and Palestine drag on. The sooner the better, otherwise, America will continue to drag her own grave much like other former great powers of our planet. Will the next president have the courage to deal with this most important challenge to America's future?

[Dr. Siddiqui lives in Pennsylvania and can be reached at saeva@aol.com. His book – Wisdom of Mankind – is now available in Bangladesh.]

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Emanuel Paparella2008-05-10 14:43:09
Wow! What extraordinary imagination! Barack Obama seen as a dupe and a servant of the USA pro-Israel lobby, who is at the same time a secret “Muslim plant” in conspiracy against America who if elected president would take the oath of office using a Koran rather than a Bible. Obviously Dr. Siddiqui (doctor in what? We are not told) has never heard of Aristotle’s principle of contradiction: a thing cannot be and not be at the same time. But perhaps he is merely referring to the confusion in the mind of 1 in 10 Americans who actually believe that Senator Obama is a secret Muslim and is merely using Christianity as a front for his own conspiratorial political agenda. (continued below).

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-10 14:47:47
One such suggestion came from none other than Senator McCain a few days ago. His own brand of Aristotelian syllogism goes like this: Amahs would like to see Obama become president, Amahs is anti-Israel, therefore Obama is anti-Israel and a secret Moslem sympathizer (after all his African grandfather was a Muslim); in conclusion Obama is a subversive, I am the all-American super-patriot, and therefore I should be elected president. Obama is not allowing him to get away with that smear, but certainly Senator Clinton is secretly happy about it and has in fact been furnishing quite a bit of ammunition to Mc Cain to be used later on once the Democratic Party has a nominee. Which means that the coming election in November is the democrat’s to lose and they may in fact once again snatch defeat out the jaws of victory. All that is needed now is another fictitious documentary by Michael More to assure another four years of Republican administration which will continue Bush’s disasters. They have done it before. I am afraid that articles such as the above will only increase the confusion in the mind of misguided people, especially those who have a hard time distinguishing anti-Zionism (i.e., pro European colonialism and Imperialism) from Nazi and neo-Nazi anti-Semitism. Certainly the article does precious little to clarify that crucial issue and it has in fact a pungent flavor of anti-Semitism, even if it is to be hoped that such is not Dr. Siddiqui’s intention given the fact that Arabs are also semitic people.

Emanuel Paparella2008-05-10 14:50:50
(continued from above)
Here is a excerpt from an article worth reading in its entirity by Prof. Robert Wistrich, former director of the European Institute of Modern History in London titled Muslim Antisemitism:

"Arab and Muslim antisemitism is the Trojan Horse designed to undermine the West's belief in its own values. Islam is at present winning this war because Europe is cooperating - because of its lust for oil, because of electoral considerations with the increased Muslim populations in their countries, because of past colonialist "sins" and because of the naive belief that the "weak" is always right. But the West must not sacrifice Israel on any altar of appeasement.
Europe is liable to find itself once more entrapped in a complex of partners in destructive crime, and Israel has not yet begun to relate to this serious problem through a coherent strategic policy, frequently playing into the enemy's hands. Both of them - Europe and Israel - must change their ways."

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