Friday, March 6, 2009

Charles “Chas” W. Freeman Jr. - a breath of fresh air?

From Intelligence Chairman Freeman Stirs Israeli Ire

"A rarity in Washington, the secret was kept well until the announcement from National Intelligence Director Dennis C. Blair: His deputy as chairman of the National Intelligence Council is Charles “Chas” W. Freeman Jr., a Chinese-speaking iconoclast with a brilliant analytical mind that is anathema to the Israel lobby and the neocons."


"Another conclusion, guaranteed to raise Israeli hackles, is Freeman's long-held belief that the terrorism the United States confronts is largely because of "the brutal oppression of the Palestinians by an Israeli occupation that has lasted over 40 years and shows no signs of ending." Accurate or not, this same refrain is heard from scholars to politicians to journalists in Arab and other Muslim capitals the world over."


"Mercifully for Freeman, his job is not subject to Senate confirmation. Had it been, he would have been axed with a nod from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee."

From Setback for pro-Israel hawks in US:

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - "The brutal oppression of the Palestinians by the Israeli occupation shows no sign of ending ... Israel no longer even pretends to seek peace with the Palestinians, it strives to pacify them ... American identification with Israel has become total."

"These are excerpts from a 2007 speech by Charles (Chas) Freeman, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, whose appointment as chairman of the National Intelligence Council was announced on February 26 and is turning into a test case for the strength of Washington's right-wing pro-Israel lobby."

"Signs are that its influence might be waning under the administration of President Barack Obama. Does that mean the days of unquestioning American support for Israel are coming to en end? Probably not. But the furious reaction to Freeman's appointment from some of the most fervent neo-conservative champions of Israel points to considerable concern over the possible loss of clout."


In Obama's War Justin Raimondo says

"Illusions die hard. Especially the ideological kind. When the illusion of Barack Obama, the peacemaker, is finally dispelled, we are going to wake up and find ourselves waist-deep in a war that will soon threaten to dwarf the disastrous invasion of Iraq, both in human and material cost."

"The Europeans, too, have more respect for history, having suffered from an excess of it; perhaps they'll remember the fate of the previous would-be conquerors of the proud Afghan people: the Russians, the British, the Golden Horde, and even Alexander the Great. They all failed, and the bones of their centurions are dust beneath the feet of a warrior people. In that kind of terrain, against that kind of enemy, there is no such thing as victory – there is only a question of how long it will take for them to drive us out – or whether we go bankrupt before that happens, and be forced to withdraw. The Europeans, with their keen sense of history, know this, and I doubt very much that they'll be lured into sending large numbers of their armed forces into Afghanistan."


"Of course, back then, the battlefield of the neocons' choice was Iraq, but that was just a prelude to the main act, the ultimate goal of the War Party in America: the conquest of proud and mighty Persia, the seat of an ancient empire that once extended from the Bosporus to the Indus and rivaled the Romans in its military prowess and cultural sophistication. Iran is a big country, nearly four times the size of Iraq, with more than twice the population, and its people will fight. There is no question of us occupying the country: it would require more resources than even the US could muster – an occupation force surely of over one million, at the very least, and the prospect of a very long war that would last, perhaps, far longer than our ability to wage it. Yet we have said that Iranian possession of nuclear weapons – or perhaps having the mere capability to produce nukes – is grounds for war. So what kind of suicidal policy are we pursuing?"

"There has been a lot of talk about the Israel lobby lately: its power, which is often decisive, was unchecked during the Bush administration, as we gave unconditional and unquestioning support for the Israeli government's every action. A recent book by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, documents the key role played by de facto agents of a foreign government in catalyzing and shaping the exercise of American power. They point to the alliance of neoconservatives, pro-Israel lobbying groups on Capitol Hill, and born-again Christian fundamentalists out in the heartland as a tripartite alliance that puts Israel's regional agenda over and above distinctively American interests in the Middle East and beyond. Their book shows how the neoconservatives moved with alacrity after 9/11 to maintain that Israeli and American interests were and always would be in such perfect symmetry as to appear identical. "We are all Israelis now" was New Republic editor Marty Peretz's response to the terrorist attacks, and US foreign policy subsequent to that signal event was conducted in a largely Peretzian manner. This close alignment didn't begin to fray and diverge until the latter days of the Bush administration, when the Israel lobby and its neoconservative auxiliary – fresh from their conquest of Iraq – began to take up the cry of "On to Tehran!" Bush, having been burned by the neocons once, wasn't about to go through that again: "Fool me once"…

"In any case, the Bushies weren't going along with the program, and so they were unceremoniously dumped by the neocons, who came out in public denouncing their former Great Leader, and complaining that the Revolution had been betrayed. About what you might expect from a lot of ex-Trotskyists – but that's another story …"


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