THE NEW AMERICAN CENTURY is a compelling factual history of neoconservatism and its influence on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East during the first decade of the twenty-first century. Click on image above for details.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Just a quick thought today. It seems that Americas are a bit upset with Netanyahu at the moment and its not just about the peace talks with the Palestinians breaking down. Apparently Netanyahu has adopted a neutral stance over the Ukraine crisis.

One has to wonder why.

One really good reason I can think of is because Netanyahu doesn’t want to upset Putin because he doesn’t want to give Putin an excuse to provide sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Iran. Russia has already cancelled the S300 missile sale to Iran but could just as easily reinstate the order if Israel decided to side up with the US and the West against Russia over the Ukraine business. The last thing Netanyahu wants is Iran to armed with sophisticated Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) prior to Israel attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


In an article in the Washington Post today, right-wing Zionist extremist and neoconservative columnist, Jennifer Rubin, writes that America should give Israel a bunch of their latest bunker busting bombs with which to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. And not only does she want America to provide the weapons, but she also wants America to provide the Israelis with the B52 bombers needed to deliver the bombs.

For the most part in the past Jennifer Rubin has been simply written off as a neocon nutjob because of her outlandish and often outrageous ideas and the chances of this particular idea getting off the ground – literally or figuratively – is about zilch. However, while America is very unlikely to pull any B52’s out of mothballs for the Israelis to use as she suggests, US Secretary of State John Kerry is making noises about not being very optimistic about getting a deal with Iran and saying that, if Iran were to decide on ‘a breakout’ to build a bomb, ‘the president would respond immediately’. Kerry didn’t allude to exactly how Obama would respond though Obama has in the past told the Israelis that no matter what, he’d ‘always have their back’.

Netanyahu, of course, would be more than happy to take America’s bombs and bombers and, if they were given to him, Netanyahu would take that as a green light to go ahead and actually use them. Not only that, but Netanyahu would also likely presume that after Israel kicks off the war by bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities, the US would then finish off the regime in Iran while Israel takes on their other enemies, Hamas and Hezbollah.

As I wrote last week, Israel have already put Iran back on the front burner and have also been provoking Hamas in the Gaza Strip by shooting non-combatant Palestinians as well as prodding Hezbollah by making low-level flights over Lebanon. The next round of talks with the Iranians aren’t looking too hopeful and the Israelis and their neocon and Republican supporters in the US are getting restless.

It’s just a matter of time before something gives.

Monday, April 07, 2014


With the Israel-Palestine talks in tatters due to Palestinian president Abbas threatening to put a halt to Netanyahu’s stretching out of the process to buy time, the Israelis have resorted to bringing the issue of Iran’s so-called ‘nuclear weapons program’ back to the forefront in an effort to provoke instability that may lead to the war the Israelis so desperately want. Abbas’s threat to go to the UN to seek membership of various international organisations seems to have been the tipping point which has caught Israel off balance.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has spent the last fourteen months trying to get a peace settlement between Israel and Palestine but with neither side actually wanting any kind of settlement that didn’t give each all that they wanted, the talks were doomed to failure before they even started. The two main sticking points, one for each side, was the Israeli demand from the Palestinians that they recognise Israel as a Jewish state and, on the Palestinian side the demand for the right of return of the refugees. Then, of course, there was the issue of the settlements; Israel refuses to abandon them while the Palestinians insist they go.

The only reason the Israelis went along with the talks was to buy time while they waited for the right geo-political environment to evolve in which they could launch an attack on Iran. In order to buy that time the Israelis mumbled stuff about freezing settlement building without actually doing it, and also released some Palestinian political prisoners knowing that at any time they could be rearrested – especially when Israel decides to go to war against Iran and fully occupy the West Bank to prevent Palestinian retaliation from West Bank Palestinian fighters for attacking Iran. For the Palestinians it was an opportunity to show the world how intransigent the Israelis are wanting more and more of land earmarked for a Palestinian state and dictating what the final form a Palestinian will take. It also brought time for the BDS movement to take hold in terms of opening debate about Israeli oppression even if it’s not doing much to actually hurt the Israeli economy.

But now the talks have faltered, Netanyahu and his right-wing cohorts have got impatient. They see the opportunity of striking at their enemies slipping away. Events are overtaking the Israelis. International support for the Palestinian cause, particularly in the West, is gathering pace. The BDS movement’s actions are beginning to bring awareness of the Palestinians plight into the glare of the mainstream media. This is having the effect of delegitimising Israel for its actions persecuting and oppressing the Palestinian people both in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. As Thomas Friedman has recently written, the world is beginning to see Israel as nothing more than colonisers and the backlash to that is the increasing demand from the world for there being a one state solution with full democratic rights for all.

Israel has gone beyond the point of no return. After decades of trying to blame the Palestinians for there not being a Palestinian state, the West has finally woken up to the fact that all the while Israel has been holding up the Palestinians as being intransigent, it has been the Israelis that have insidiously been ensconcing themselves on lands that they claim are god-given to them that all along have had been earmarked to be part of a future Palestinian state.

The Zionists of Israel have painted themselves into a corner. Their wars, most of which, contrary to Israeli propaganda, had actually been provoked by Israeli actions, have succeeded only in proving to the world that their intentions have never really been about anything else other than creating an expansionist Greater Israel. They’ve annexed the Golan Heights and they have gradually taken over the West Bank. They have invaded several times south Lebanon but have always failed make good their occupation there. The Israelis hold up their withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as being an expression of their desire for peace but in reality all they created was the world’s largest prison on a tiny strip of land surrounded by a fence and a vast no-mans land as well as being blockaded from using the sea in order to trade.

Israel, of course, could march back into the Gaza Strip at any tick of the clock but cannot without some casus belli to do so. The same with the West Bank.

With the cards now stacked against them, the Israelis need to resort to their usual stunt of creating – or, in this case, recreating – an existential threat that would allow them to take on all of their enemies while at the same time realise their goals of re-occupying the Gaza Strip, fully militarising the West Bank and annexing the settlements as well as invading and occupying south Lebanon al with a view of creating a Greater Israel in the future.

And so it’s back to Iran which, as I reported last week, Israel has put back on the front burner. At the same time, Israel has also begun provoking Palestinians in both the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. Over the last few months Israel has shot dead several innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. In retaliation Palestinian fighters have launched rockets into Israel. Israel in turn has launched air strikes into the Gaza Strip. In explaining their reasons for the attacks the Israelis simply say they are in retaliation to the rocket strikes on Israel. Not mentioned is the reasons why Palestinian fighters launched the rockets in the first place.

Meanwhile, Israel have resumed the frequency of their low level mock air attacks over Lebanon in a bid to provoke a response from Hezbollah, a tactic they used to start their 2006 war against Hezbollah when Hezbollah responded to Israeli provocation by capturing several Israeli soldiers on the Lebanon-Israel border and launching thousands of rockets into Israel.

Israel’s position is now desperate. With the six months nearly up on the agreement between the P5+1 and Iran over Iran’s nuclear program, Israel are likely to insist that they reserve the right to unilaterally strike Iran if deems it is a threat in anyway. Such a strike would then trigger the all-out war Israel has been all along been hoping for.

Time, it seems, may be running out for the Israelis. The world needs to be aware that they might lash out at any time.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014


Australians are slowly edging toward facing the reality of what the boatpeople saga is really all about.

The catch-cry of the right-wing Australian commentariat and politicians has been ‘Stop the Boats’. They have claimed in their rhetoric that by stopping the boats the drownings will stop.  They have said that, in order to deter others from making the perilous journey across the sea in leaky boats, those that do safely make it to Australia’s shores must be treated harshly by being told they will never be able to settle in Australia and that they’ll be placed in camps in places that are alien and inhospitable to them and where they may face an unknown future which may remain unknown for a very long time. All this, so we are told, is necessary ‘to stop the drownings’.

Accompanying the rhetoric of ‘Stop the Boats’, there has been a relentless tirade of commentary from both commentators and politicians demonising boatpeople by accusing them of being ‘queue jumpers’, ‘economic refugees’, ‘country shoppers’, and even ‘terrorists’. From Australia’s right-wing government the rhetoric has been no less relentless. Policies have been wrapped in nationalistic slogans and titles such as ‘Border Protection’ and ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ as though Australia was being invaded by some kind of sneaky guerrilla force attempting to stealthily infiltrate Australia rather than desperate people merely seeking asylum.

Along with the ‘Stop the Boats’ and the ‘Stop the Drownings’ rhetoric, a new catch-cry was heard: ‘Stop the People Smugglers’ and ‘Put the People Smugglers out of business’, both slogans clearly designed to shift  attention away from the actual refugees.

Both the Abbott Coalition government and the former Labor government of Rudd and Gillard have fallen over themselves to placate a now negative Australian public opinion about boatpeople.

But all of these slogans and excuses avoid saying what this is really all about.

For some reason, the non right-wing mainstream media to a very large extent have also avoided mentioning it while the right-wing media have gone to great lengths to deny that which the Left in the blogosphere and social media have been saying all along; that Australia’s policies are not about ‘Stopping the Boats’ or ‘Stopping the Drownings’ or ‘Border Protection’ or ‘Stopping the People Smugglers’ or ‘Stopping Queue Jumpers’ or ‘Stopping Economic Refugees’, they’re about stopping non-European, non-white, Muslims from coming to Australia and threatening the very core of what can only be called ‘Australianism’. In other words it’s about racism – pure and simple.

The cheerleaders for this racism – and the main source of the swing in public opinion away from the ‘fair go’ attitude of the post-White Australian era of the 70s and 80s – has been the emergence of extreme right-wing columnists in the mainstream media dominated by the Murdoch-owned newspapers.

Ironically, one of the reasons Australians are now edging toward facing the reality of the boatpeople saga really being about racism is because of the current debate over the change to Australia’s laws about racial discrimination and vilification.

Much of the debate about changes to the racial discrimination and vilification laws has be been brought about by the judgement of a Victorian court against one of the most vocal of the mainstream media’s anti-boatpeople protagonists, Andrew Bolt of the Herald-Sun newspaper. The judgement was not related to boatpeople but to one of Bolt’s other hobby horses, the demonisation of light coloured Indigenous persons who choose to identify as Aboriginal for cultural purposes, though Bolt actually accuses them of choosing to identify as Aboriginal in order to obtain some kind of pecuniary advantage.

Bolt denies being a racist; indeed, he declares that he is anti-racist. He even goes so far as to say that those who say that he is a racist are, in fact, racist themselves because they are preventing Australia becoming a nation where all Australians, regardless of skin colour or ethnicity, should be treated equally as ‘Australians’. He argues that recognising ‘race’ differences – and that includes recognition of different cultures, heritage and religions as well as actual race – is dividing Australians and, therefore, is racist. He calls it the ‘New Racism’, a term purloined from Bolt’s arch-nemesis, the historian Robert Manne. Manne, who first coined the term ‘New Racism’ in an article written in 2002 entitled ‘Beware the New Racism’ in which he argues that racism is no longer restricted to just blood and biology but also to culture and religion. Bolt, who has had a long-standing argument with Manne about the ‘Stolen Generations’, has seen fit to usurp Manne’s tag for use in describing his own version of ‘New Racism’.

What Bolt refuses to accept is that recognising and acknowledging the culture and heritage of people from different ethnicities and racial backgrounds has absolutely nothing to do with being ‘racist’ from his peculiar viewpoint but has everything to do with the sharing of heritage and the tolerance and respect of Australians’ differences regardless of whether it’s blood and biology or culture and religion. It’s not about ‘racism’, it’s about embracing and recognising diversity within a nation’s peoples.

Bolt and his fellow right-wing commentators by virtue of having access to one of Australia’s largest media organisations have over nearly two decades managed to manipulate public opinion to such an extent that Australians have been turned from being a nation keen to give people a ‘fair go’ to being a nation of intolerant bigots. The problem for Australia now is how to turn Australia’s world-wide reputation of being racists and bigots around and that can only be done by recognising that Australia has, indeed, become racist, and that in turn can only be done by education.

The current debate about bigotry in Australia can provide an opportunity to turn things around. Hopefully, that process of education, a process which rebuts the notion of Bolt’s so-called ‘New Racism’ and rejects the creeping new trend of ‘democracy by public opinion’ which gives power to those that have the wherewithal to manipulate public opinion, has now begun.

The debates are not about Left and Right politics; it’s about the morality of right and wrong and the elimination of poll-driven politics.

It’s time for Australia to put this glitch in our reputation as an easy going fair-minded multicultural society behind us and rebuild a more tolerant Australia free of racial bigotry.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014


After nearly five months of little being said about Iran by the Israelis while talks have been underway between the so-called P5+1 and Iran over Iran’s perceived ‘nuclear weapons program’, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put the issue of Iran well and truly back on to the front burner. It has been reported that Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon have ordered the Israeli military to continue preparing for an attack against Iran for ‘sometime this year’. A budget of some $2.89 billion has been allocated to the military for the purpose.

However, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Israel’s latest posturing has come at a bad time with at least one other issue, namely the crisis in the Ukraine and Crimea, taking global political prominence ahead of what Israel thinks is Iran’s supposed ‘nuclear weapons program’.

Since in reality Israel would be unable to unilaterally strike Iran without US help or back up, and since the US will be unlikely to provide such back up while the Ukraine crisis still threatens, Israel’s sabre rattling is far more likely to be just an attempt to bring the matter of Iran back to the world’s attention.

Nonetheless, once the Ukraine and Crimea crisis is resolved – and there’s very little the West can actually do about it anyway apart from threaten a few ineffectual sanctions – then once again the Israeli will be hoping it can lobby support in the US for an attack against Iran.

While it is possible that Israel could risk launching a unilateral pre-emptive strike against Israel in the hope that the US will then feel that it has no choice other than to enjoin Israel in an all-out regime changing attack against Iran, it is unlikely that Netanyahu would order such a strike without knowing for a certainty that Obama will ‘have his back’.