Category Archives: Neocons

The ‘Israelification of America’

Boehner, and any other US politician is out of order to 
"invite" any foreign leader to address the US congress 
in official capacity.

Posted on February 2, 2015

Obama-Netanyahu bout over the US-Iran nuclear deal has just entered into its final stage. Barack Obama’s statement during his State of Union address that “American want him to talk to Iran rather go to war with Iran”, really pissed-off the powerful Jewish Lobby which now controls both US Congress and Senate. Immediately after Obama’s address, Speaker of the House John Boehner sent an official invitation to Netanyahu to address both houses before Israeli elections in March without first consulting with the White House, which is a normal practice.

The White House announced that Obama will not meet Netanyahu if arrives in Washington to address the Congress over Iran’s nuclear issue. In response, Netanyahu said that he “would go wherever he is invited.” Knowing Netanyahu’s past performance, he never needed government’s invitation to visit European or North American nations as long as he is invited by powerful Jewish lobby groups in those nations. Latest example is Netanyahu’s visit to Paris to mourn the five Zionist Jews killed during Charlie Hebdo and Kosher market shooting despite the fact France’s Jewish president Francois Hollande warned Netanyahu not to attend the ‘million man march’ in Paris to demonize Islam and Muslims.

Strangely, even Michael Oren, former Israel’s ambassador in Washington has criticized both John Boehner and Netanyahu for jeopardizing Obama’s efforts to stop Iran’s ambition to make a nuclear bomb. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a fanatic anti-Muslim Jew, in an Opinion post published by Observer on January 30, 2015, blasted Oren for butting in US-Israel relations.

“I am a Jew and I am an American. That makes me a double target of the Iranians who hate Jews and Americans in that order. Iran is as much a threat to my country as it is to Israel, if not more. I salute the Speaker of the House for inviting the Prime Minister of America’s foremost ally to address Congress,” wrote Boteach.

Netanyahu cannot afford to miss two opportunities to blast Iran, Hizbullah and Assad in Washington DC – AIPAC Annual Policy Conference (March 1-3, 2015) and John Boehner’s invitation to address the US Congress.

On December 2, 2011, American Jewish investigative journalist, Max Blumenthal, claimed Israelification of the US domestic security at Lebanese news website Al-Akhbar.

The expression Israelification of America was popularized by one of America’s top foreign policy experts and military historians, professor Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich (Boston University). Bacevich points out that the US has “stumbled willy-nilly into an Israeli-like condition of perpetual war” with horrific consequences for the US economy and Constitution. Bacevich, whose son Andrew was killed in Iraq War, is author of several books.

However, both Stanley Hilton and Francis Boyle don’t agree with the “willy-nilly” stuff. Both claim that Israel with the help of Neo-conservatives pre-planned 9/11 to destroy any American resistance in Israelification of the United States.

Zio-Nazi Jew Edward Luttwak, actually wrote a doctoral dissertation outlining the Zionist plan to overthrow democracy through a 9/11-style stealth coup d’état. Luttwak’s dissertation was published in 1968 as Coup d’État: A Practical Handbook. Italian journalist Mauricio Blondet, in his 2002 book September 11th: A Coup d’état explains that the neoconservatives used Luttwak’s Coup d’État as their step-by-step guide in staging 9/11.

Cementing a comprehensive deal with Iran over its civilian nuclear program has provided a golden opportunity for Barack Obama to clip AIPAC wings forever – and freeing America from Israeli domination and Zionist traitors in the Congress and the Senate. The great majority of American Jews too are fed-up with the AIPAC and its American stooges. These Jews, like other patriotic Americans want Obama to talk to Iranian leaders and resolve all issues peacefully for the larger interests of America.

“I am totally outraged at Speaker Boehner for inviting Netanyahu. I think it was deliberately designed to undermine the president – that’s close to subversion,” said Rep. John Yarmuth, a Jewish Kentucky Democrat while adding, “You know, I’m a Jewish member of Congress, I’m a strong supporter of Israel, but my first obligation is to the Constitution of the United States, not to the Constitution of Israel. And unfortunately, I think, some of the demands that are made of members by AIPAC and some strong Jewish supporters are that we pay more attention to Israel more than to the United States.” Luckily, the Zionist entity never has a Constitution.

via The ‘Israelification of America’ | Rehmat’s World.

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Neocons: The ‘Anti-Realists’ in Suits are Destroying America

THE BANKRUPTING OF AMERICA IS DELIBERATE & PLANNED

Posted by VNN on January 17, 2015

This neocon madness – this “anti-realism” – has been playing out in the real world on a grand scale, destroying real lives and endangering the real future of the planet.

kagan NEOCON

by Robert Parry

Consortium News

Historically, one of the main threads of U.S. foreign policy was called “realism,” that is the measured application of American power on behalf of definable national interests, with U.S. principles preached to others but not imposed.

This approach traced back to the early days of the Republic when the first presidents warned of foreign “entangling alliances” – and President John Quincy Adams, who was with his father at the nation’s dawning, explained in 1821 that while America speaks on behalf of liberty, “she has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when conflict has been for principles to which she clings, as to the last vital drop that visits the heart. …

“Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.”

JOHNNY COME LATELY NEOCONED

However, in modern times, foreign policy “realism” slid into an association with a cold calculation of power, no longer a defense of the Republic and broader national interests but of narrow, well-connected economic interests. The language of freedom was woven into a banner for greed and plunder. Liberty justified the imposition of dictatorships on troublesome populations. Instead of searching for monsters to destroy, U.S. policy often searched for monsters to install.

In the wake of such heartless actions – like imposing pliable “pro-business” dictatorships on countries such as Iran, Guatemala, Congo, Indonesia, Chile and engaging in the bloodbath of Vietnam – “realism” developed a deservedly negative reputation as other supposedly more idealistic foreign policy strategies gained preeminence.

Some of those approaches essentially turned John Quincy Adams’s admonition on its head by asserting that it is America’s duty to search out foreign monsters to destroy. Whether called “neoconservatism” or “liberal interventionism,” this approach openly advocated U.S. interference in the affairs of other nations and took the sides of people who at least presented themselves as “pro-democracy.”

In recent years, as the ranks of the “realists” – the likes of George Kennan, Henry Kissinger and Brent Scowcroft – have aged and thinned, the ranks of the neocons and their junior partners, the liberal interventionists, swelled. Indeed, these “anti-realists” have now grown dominant, touting themselves as morally superior because they don’t just call for human rights, they take out governments that don’t measure up.

The primary distinction between the neocons and the liberal interventionists has been the centrality of Israel in the neocons’ thinking while their liberal sidekicks put “humanitarianism” at the core of their world view. But these differences are insignificant, in practice, since the liberal hawks are politically savvy enough not to hold Israel accountable for its human rights crimes and clever enough to join with the neocons in easy-to-sell “regime change” strategies toward targeted countries with weak lobbies in Washington.

In those “regime change” cases, there is also a consensus on how to handle the targeted countries: start with “soft power” – from anti-regime propaganda to funding internal opposition groups to economic sanctions to political destabilization campaigns – and, then if operationally necessary and politically feasible, move to overt military interventions, applying America’s extraordinary military clout.

Moral Crusades

These interventions are always dressed up as moral crusades – the need to free some population from the clutches of a U.S.-defined “monster.” There usually is some “crisis” in which the “monster” is threatening “innocent life” and triggering a “responsibility to protect” with the catchy acronym, “R2P.”

But the reality about these “anti-realists” is that their actions, in real life, almost always inflict severe harm on the country being “rescued.” The crusade kills many people – innocent and guilty – and the resulting disorder can spread far and wide, like some contagion that cannot be contained. The neocons and the liberal interventionists have become, in effect, carriers of the deadly disease called chaos.

And, it has become a very lucrative chaos for the well-connected by advancing the “dark side” of U.S. foreign policy where lots of money can be made while government secrecy prevents public scrutiny.

As author James Risen describes in his new book, Pay Any Price, a new caste of “oligarchs” has emerged from the 9/11 “war on terror” — and the various regional wars that it has unpacked — to amass vast fortunes. He writes: “There is an entire class of wealthy company owners, corporate executives, and investors who have gotten rich by enabling the American government to turn to the dark side. … The new quiet oligarchs just keep making money. They are the beneficiaries of one of the largest transfers of wealth from public to private hands in American history.” [p. 56]

And the consolidation of this wealth has further cemented the political/media influence of the “anti-realists,” as the new “oligarchs” kick back portions of their taxpayer largesse into think tanks, political campaigns and media outlets. The neocons and their liberal interventionist pals now fully dominate the U.S. opinion centers, from the right-wing media to the editorial pages (and the foreign desks) of many establishment publications, including the Washington Post and the New York Times.

By contrast, the voices of the remaining “realists” and their current unlikely allies, the anti-war activists, are rarely heard in the mainstream U.S. media anymore. To the extent that these dissidents do get to criticize U.S. meddling abroad, they are dismissed as “apologists” for whatever “monster” is currently in line for the slaughter. And, to the extent they criticize Israel, they are smeared as “anti-Semitic” and thus banished from respectable society.

Thus, being a “realist” in today’s Official Washington requires hiding one’s true feelings, much as was once the case if you were a gay man and you had little choice but to keep your sexual orientation in the closet by behaving publicly like a heterosexual and surrounding yourself with straight friends.

In many ways, that’s what President Barack Obama has done. Though arguably a “closet realist,”Obama staffed his original administration with foreign policy officials acceptable to the neocons and the liberal interventionists, such as Robert Gates at Defense, Hillary Clinton at State, Gen. David Petraeus as a top commander in the field.

Even in his second term, the foreign-policy hawks have remained dominant, with people like neocon Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland enflaming the crisis in Ukraine and UN Ambassador Samantha Power, an R2Per, pushing U.S. military intervention in Syria.

A Slow-Motion Catastrophe

I have personally watched today’s foreign-policy pattern evolve during my 37 years in Washington — and it began innocently enough. After the Vietnam War and the disclosures about bloody CIA coups around the globe, President Jimmy Carter called for human rights to be put at the center of U.S. foreign policy. His successor, Ronald Reagan, then hijacked the human rights rhetoric while adapting to it to his anticommunist cause.

Because Reagan’s usurpation of human rights language involved support for brutal right-wing forces, such as the Guatemalan military and the Nicaraguan Contra rebels, the process required an Orwellian change in what words meant. “Pro-democracy” had to become synonymous with the rights and profits of business owners, not its traditional meaning of making government work for the common people.

But this perversion of language was not as much meant to fool the average Guatemalan or Nicaraguan, who was more likely to grasp the reality behind the word games since he or she saw the cruel facts up close; it was mostly to control the American people who, in the lexicon of Reagan’s propagandists, needed to have their perceptions managed. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Victory of Perception Management.“]

The goal of the young neocons inside the Reagan administration – the likes of Elliott Abrams and Robert Kagan (now Victoria Nuland’s husband) – was to line up the American public behind Reagan’s aggressive foreign policy, or as the phrase of that time went, to “kick the Vietnam Syndrome,” meaning to end the popular post-Vietnam resistance to more foreign wars.

President George H.W. Bush pronounced this mission accomplished in 1991 after the end of the well-sold Persian Gulf War, declaring “we’ve kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all.”

By then, the propaganda process had fallen into a predictable pattern. You pick out a target country; you demonize its leadership; you develop some “themes” that are sure to push American hot buttons, maybe fictional stories about “throwing babies out of incubators” or the terrifying prospect of  “a mushroom cloud”; and it’s always smart to highlight a leader’s personal corruption, maybe his “designer glasses” or “a sauna in his palace.”

The point is not that the targeted leader may not be an unsavory character. Frankly, most political leaders are. Many Western leaders and their Third World allies – both historically and currently – have much more blood on their hands than some of the designated “monsters” that the U.S. government has detected around the world. The key is the image-making.

What makes the process work is the application and amplification of double standards through the propaganda organs available to the U.S. government. The compliant mainstream American media can be counted on to look harshly at the behavior of some U.S. “enemy” in Venezuela, Iran, Russia or eastern Ukraine, but to take a much more kindly view of a U.S.-favored leader from Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Georgia or western Ukraine.

While it’s easy – and safe career-wise – for a mainstream journalist to accuse a Chavez, an Ahmadinejad, a Putin or a Yanukovych of pretty much anything, the levels of proof get ratcheted up when it’s a Uribe, a Saudi King Abdullah, a Saakashvili or a Yatsenyuk – not to mention a Netanyahu.

The True Dark Side

But here is the dark truth about this “humanitarian” interventionism: it is spinning the world into an endless cycle of violence. Rather than improving the prospects for human rights and democracy, it is destroying those goals. While the interventionist strategies have made huge fortunes for well-connected government contractors and well-placed speculators who profit off chaos, the neocons and their “human rights” buddies are creating a hell on earth for billions of others, spreading death and destitution.

Take, for example, the beginnings of the Afghan War in the 1980s – after the Soviet Union invaded to protect a communist-led regime that had sought to pull Afghanistan out of the middle ages, including granting equal rights to women. The United States responded by encouraging Islamic fundamentalism and arming the barbaric mujahedeen.

At the time, that was considered the smart play because Islamic fundamentalism was seen as a force that could counter atheistic communism. So, starting with the Carter administration but getting dramatically ramped up by the Reagan administration, the United States threw in its lot with the extremist Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia to invest billions of dollars in supporting these Islamist militants who included one wealthy Saudi named Osama bin Laden.

At the time, with Great Communicator Ronald Reagan leading the way, virtually the entire U.S. mainstream media and nearly every national politician hailed the mujahedeen as noble “freedom fighters” but the reality was always much different. [See, for instance, Consortiumnews.com’s “How US Hubris Baited Afghan Trap.”]

By the end of the 1980s, the U.S.-Saudi “covert operation” had “succeeded” in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan with Kabul’s communist regime ultimately overthrown and replaced by the fundamentalist Taliban, who stripped women of their rights. The Taliban also provided safe haven for bin Laden and his al-Qaeda terrorist band, which – by the 1990s – had shifted its sights from Moscow to Washington and New York.

Even though the Saudis officially broke with bin Laden after he declared his intentions to attack the United States, some wealthy Saudis and other Persian Gulf billionaires, who shared bin Laden’s violent form of Islamic fundamentalism, continued to fund him and his terrorists right up to – and beyond – al-Qaeda’s attacks on 9/11.

Then, America’s fear and fury over 9/11 opened the path for the neocons to activate one of their longstanding plans, to invade and occupy Iraq, though it had nothing to do with 9/11. The propaganda machinery was cranked up and again all the “smart” people fell in line. Dissenters were dismissed as “Saddam apologists” or called “traitors.” [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.“]

Who-to-blame-for-Iraq-War

By fall 2002, the idea of invading Iraq – and removing “monster” Saddam Hussein – was not just a neocon goal, it was embraced by nearly ever prominent “liberal interventionist” in the United States, including editors and columnists of the New Yorker, the New York Times and virtually every major news outlet.

At this point, the “realists” were in near total eclipse, left to grumble futilely or grasp onto some remaining “relevance” by joining the pack, as Henry Kissinger did. The illegal U.S.-led invasion of Iraq also brushed aside the “legal internationalists” who believed that global agreements, especially prohibitions on aggressive war, were vital to building a less violent planet.

An Expanding Bloodbath

In the rush to war in Iraq, the neocons and the liberal interventionists won hands down in 2002-2003 but ended up causing a bloodbath for the people of Iraq, with estimates of those killed ranging from hundreds of thousands to more than a million. But the U.S. invaders did more than that. They destabilized the entire Middle East by disturbing the fragile fault lines between Sunni and Shiite.

With Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein ousted and hanged, Iraq’s vengeful Shiite politicians established their own authoritarian state under the military wing of the U.S. and British armies. Neocon hubris made matters worse when many former Sunni officials and officers were cashiered and marginalized, creating fertile ground for al-Qaeda to put down roots among Iraqi Sunnis, planting a particularly brutal strain nourished by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Zarqawi’s Al-Qaeda in Iraq attracted thousands of foreign Sunni jihadists eager to fight both the Westerners and the Shiites. Others went to Yemen to join Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Trained in the brutal methods of these Iraqi and Yemeni insurgencies, hardened jihadists returned to their homes in Libya, Syria, Europe and elsewhere.

Though the disaster in Iraq should have been a powerful cautionary tale, the neocons and the liberal interventionists proved to be much more adept at playing the political-propaganda games of Washington than in prevailing in the complex societies of the Middle East.

Instead of being purge en masse, the Iraq War instigators faced minimal career accountability. They managed to spin the Iraq “surge” as “victory at last” and maintained their influence over Washington even under President Obama, who may have been a “closet realist” but who kept neocons in key posts and surrounded himself with liberal interventionists. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Surge Myth’s Deadly Result.”]

Thus, Obama grudgingly was enlisted into the next neocon-liberal-interventionist crusades in 2011: the military intervention to overthrow Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi and the covert operation to remove Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. In both cases, the propaganda was ramped up again, presenting the opposition groups as “pro-democracy moderates” who were peacefully facing down brutal dictators.

In reality, the oppositions were more a mixed bag of some actual moderates and Islamist extremists. When Gaddafi and Assad – emphasizing the presence of terrorists – struck back brutally, the “R2P” crowd demanded U.S. military intervention, either directly in Libya or indirectly in Syria. With the U.S. mainstream media onboard, nearly every occurrence was put through the propaganda filter that made the regimes all dark and the oppositions bathed in a rosy glow.

After the U.S.-led air war destroyed Gaddafi’s military and opened the way for an opposition victory, Gaddafi was captured and brutally murdered. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who might be called a “neocon-lite,” joked: “We came, we saw, he died.”

But the chaos that followed Gaddafi’s death was not so funny, contributing to the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomatic personnel in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, and to the spreading of terrorism and violence across northern Africa. By July 2014, the U.S. and other Western nations had abandoned their embassies in Tripoli as all political order broke down.

Syrian Madness

In Syria, which had long been near the top of the neocon/Israeli hit list for “regime change,” U.S., Western and Sunni support for another “moderate opposition” led to a civil war. Soon, what “moderates” there were blended into the ranks of Islamic extremists, either the Nusra Front, the al-Qaeda affiliate, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or simply the Islamic State, which evolved from Zarqawi’s Al-Qaeda in Iraq, continuing Zarqawi’s hyper-brutality even after his death.

Though the mainstream U.S. media blamed almost everything on Syrian President Assad, many Syrians recognized that the Sunni extremists who emerged as the power behind the opposition were a grave threat to other Syrian religious groups, including the Shiites, Alawites and Christians — and that Assad’s authoritarian but secular regime represented their best hope for survival. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Syrian Rebels Embrace al-Qaeda.“]

Senator McCain meeting with Syrian Opposition – photo credit Voltaire.

Finish reading

Israel Hayom | Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) : ‘I want Israel to know: Congress has your back’

In an interview with Israel Hayom, n. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) vows to make sure that the Iranian nuclear talks are “handled properly” • The U.S. should embargo anyone who boycotts ISesrael, and never give up on the peace process, he says.

Boaz Bismuth
“We have shared interests and common enemies,” says Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

|

Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi

If you ask U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) whether the average Israeli citizen should believe the mainstream media’s assertion that relations between Israel and the U.S. are in decline and that the decades-long friendship between them is unraveling, the answer would be a definitive no. If not stopped, he may even launch into a detailed monologue on how committed the entire U.S. Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, is to the Israeli cause.

“There’s been some friction between the administration and the Israeli government but I would say that the friction that has reared its head at times is not the strongest indicator of the relationship,” Graham, 59, says. “I think the U.S.-Israel relationship’s anchor tenant is the Congress.”

He says there is nothing preventing the U.S. from standing by Israel while simultaneously supporting nuclear talks with Iran (without lifting sanctions), the way he does, in efforts to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. Or while supporting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his efforts to jumpstart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On the latter, he makes sure to point out that “the United Nations is not a good venue for Israel when it comes to the peace process.” This during the same week that the U.N. actually rejected the Palestinian proposal for statehood.

Q: So what is the average Israeli citizen to think about relations between Israel and the U.S.?

“Presidents come and go. [George H.W.] Bush 41’s administration had problems with Israel’s policies [led by then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir]. In business terms, the anchor tenant is the Congress.

“There’s wide bipartisan support in a couple of areas: that the peace process should not be turned over to the United Nations. I sent a letter to the administration together with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) urging the administration to veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that would start getting involved with the peace process. The last thing in the world we should do is to avoid direct negotiations.

“Secondly, there’s a lot of bipartisan support for the idea that sanctions against Iran brought them to the table, and the Iranians need to understand that the sanctions are not going away, unless we get a deal that we all can live with.”

How else does Congress’ support for Israel come into play?

“When it comes to military assistance, economic assistance, Congress is firmly in Israel’s camp. There is absolutely no support in any segment of American political life to restrict aid to Israel. There is absolutely no support for the idea of sanctioning Israel over the settlement issue.

“Sen. Schumer and I are planning to introduce a Hamas sanctions bill that would sanction companies that do business with, or countries that support Hamas, we view it as a terrorist organization. We passed one resolution after another during the recent conflict with Hamas in Gaza supporting Israel’s right to defend itself, applauding Israel’s efforts to restrict civilian casualties and condemning Hamas efforts to inflict as much violence as possible.”

You mentioned the need for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The Palestinian initiatives to gain statehood at the United Nations without first negotiating a peace agreement with Israel are going to be met with a lot of bipartisan resistance. I think that there is a lot of support on both sides of the aisle to make sure that the U.N. is put on notice that if they give membership status to the Palestinians, any subdivision of the U.N. that recognizes the Palestinians as a state, their funding would be terminated. We did that with UNESCO.”

Despite his clear tone, Sen. Graham makes sure to clarify that “I just want the Israeli people to know that Congress does have your back. I am by no means anti-Palestinian. I am pro-Israel and I want to help the Palestinian people with their legitimate ambitions.”

He also reiterates that “there will be a lot of bipartisan opposition to any effort by the Palestinians to use the International Criminal Court in the Hague against the Israel Defense Forces.”

In Graham’s view, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the key issue, and the most urgent problem at this time is the Iranian nuclear threat.

“The Iranian nuclear ambitions are the biggest threat to the world in general,” he says. “Israel needs to be reassured that Congress will be there in an appropriate way. I can assure you that the Republican control of Senate and the House will be pushing measures to make sure that the Iranian nuclear negotiations are handled properly, that sanctions are reimposed if the Iranians walk away from the table or if they cheat on any deal.”

According to the New York Times, the White House is not committed to bringing an Iranian deal, should one be reached, to Congress for approval. How will you react if they do bypass Congress?

“They seem to want our approval when it comes to operations in Syria and Iraq. We, the Congress, created the sanctions, and we should have a say on whether the deal justifies lifting the sanctions. I don’t know how this will turn out, but I think there will be a strong bipartisan vote in favor of the idea that any deal between the P5+1 [and Iran] should come before Congress before the sanctions are lifted. I can’t think of a more important decision that the world will make in 2015 than how to handle the nuclear ambitions of the ayatollahs in Iran.

“Islamic State and al-Qaida and radical Islam are a threat to our way of life. The Arab world is beginning to see radical Islam as a threat to their way of life as well. There is an opportunity here for the United States, Europe, the Israelis and Arab states to work together against two common enemies: radical Islam and the nuclear ambitions of the ayatollahs in Tehran.”

With an emphasis on Iran?

Finish reading: Israel Hayom | ‘I want Israel to know: Congress has your back’.

Most Americans Say US Gives Too Much Aid to Israel by Grant Smith

Surveys are more accurate with the inclusion of key facts

by Grant Smith, September 30, 2014

Most Americans believe the United States is giving too much foreign aid to Israel according to an online survey. The American Public Opinion on U.S. Aid to Israel (PDF) survey was fielded via Google Consumer Surveys between September 26-29, 2014 as a necessary follow-up to the release of the influential Chicago Council on Global Affairs 2014 report. Middle East analysts eagerly await the biennial Chicago Council survey results and its frank reflections of American views about foreign policy toward the region. Many are surprised by Chicago Council’s conclusions that 64 percent of Americans prefer not to take sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict and that 55 percent would oppose sending U.S. troops to protect Israel if it struck Iran.
However, this year the Chicago Council also concludes that the majority of Americans would keep economic and military aid to Israel, Mexico, Taiwan, Afghanistan Iraq, Egypt and Pakistan “about the same.” Only a small percentage would increase aid, while most of the rest would prefer to decrease or stop aid altogether. One problem identified by the Chicago Council is that most Americans believe such aid to most countries is far more than it actually is. A second issue is that “this question was asked before August violence between Israel and Palestinians…” Despite these factors, the Council confidently concludes “Americans tend to support maintaining or increasing military aid to Israel, Taiwan and Mexico. In a pattern similar to preferences for economic aid, the public tends to favor decreasing or stopping military aid to Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.”

The Chicago Council survey suffers a fatal third flaw in its approach to the foreign aid question – lack of relevant comparative data given to respondents. The 2014 U.S. foreign aid budget (PDF) for Mexico is $206 million; Afghanistan is $749 million while Pakistan is $881 million with Iraq getting $73 million. Meanwhile Egypt and Israel receive lion’s shares with $1.6 billion to Egypt and a whopping $3.1 billion for Israel.

Furthermore, aid to Israel has increased on average 30 percent annually since 1970. Israel now receives 9 percent of the entire U.S. foreign aid budget while benefiting from Egypt’s 5 percent share which is justified as maintaining the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace agreement. In Israel’s case, the figure understates actual aid levels since Congress is regularly tapped by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its donor network for additional military aid and joint program funding. Official figures also omit the value of intelligence sharing, such as the massive flows of raw intelligence on Americans approved by President Obama in 2009 and revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

How do Americans really feel about aid to Israel when it is put in perspective? To find out, IRmep surveyed the same statistically significant number of American adults as the Chicago Council (around 2,108). Obviously, the IRmep Google Consumer Survey was fielded after the brutal Israeli invasion of Gaza – a significant difference. The survey question, however, included the necessary context that the Chicago Council left out, asking, “The U.S. gives Israel over $3 billion annually (9% of the foreign aid budget and more than any other country). The amount is.” Respondents could choose between “much too much, too much, about right, too little, and much too little.” The order of choices were randomly reversed to avoid bias.
Almost 61 percent of Americans say the U.S. is giving too much aid to Israel. 33.9 percent said the U.S. gives “much too much” while 26.8 percent said it is “too much.” Some 25.9 percent felt aid to Israel was “about right” but only 6.1 percent said it was “too little” and 7.3 percent is “much too little.”
That such an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the U.S. is giving too much aid to Israel may surprise many who are accustomed to seeing polls and surveys (including Chicago’s) incorrectly claiming overwhelming U.S. support for Israel. It should not be this way. The fault lies in flawed questions and lack of relevant context. Comparing American opinion between Israel, Hamas and Iran is about as useful as comparing U.S. aid to Mexico and Israel, though the former may comfort Israel affinity groups (which do a lot of their own proprietary polling) and congress members. Many important questions about Israel are never asked in U.S. surveys. Where results would likely produce a bad outcome, entire categories of polls – such as the World Values Survey in Israel – are almost never fielded.
Chicago Council also confidently notes that Americans uniformly despise Iran, citing the 1979 hostage crisis and Iran’s nuclear program as the core reasons. According to the Chicago Council survey analysis, “They are also prepared to use force if necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Chicago claims that the third highest perceived threat to U.S. vital interests is “the possibility of unfriendly countries becoming nuclear powers” followed by the even more specific number four, “Iran’s nuclear program.”

Before making such broad claims it would again be useful to insert the type of control questions that would not only improve survey quality (which Chicago Council does at a basic level) but also ascertain whether respondents have been subjected to a propaganda or scare campaign that explains their most elevated but unfounded worries. In the case of Iran, the Israel lobby has been relentless in its campaign to pit Americans against Iran – and it has really paid off.

Although no credible Western intelligence agency believes Iran currently has nuclear weapons – a majority – 58.5 percent of Americans now do according to IRmep’s Google Consumer Survey.

Most polls dealing with Middle East policy would produce better results by giving American respondents some key facts and relevant data before asking hard questions. What many such polls most reveal is the sorry state of American news reporting and stunning success of Israel lobby propaganda campaigns.
Read more by Grant Smith

via Anti-War

Ted Cruz: married to the establishment

If you consider yourself a Cruzer supporter watch where you step. If you think the “tea party” is your safe haven, you’ll be disappointed when you find out it’s just another appendage for GOP neocon leadership propaganda. 

The mouse trap is baited, don’t lunge for the cheese. Promise us all you’ll jump off a bridge after you support whom you thought was the ‘lesser of two evils’, when in fact there is no lesser! The Cruzer and an opponent  worship at other alters than you or me.


 
Good Fellas Blankfein, Goldman CEO and
Head Abortion Meister Buffett
During his CPAC speech this weekend, Senator Ted Cruz took shots at previous Republican presidential candidates Dole, McCain, and Romney, for lacking a “clear distinction” from big-government democrats. Well, I think Mr. Cruz has got some ‘splaining to do. It seems he’s just as married—literally—to the establishment as any of them.
A report from the ever-busy infowars.com reveals that Cruz’s wife, Heidi, has some rather behemoth credentials:

Cruz’s insider connection is a family affair. His wife, Heidi, is a Goldman Sachs vice president in Houston, Texas, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also served as an economic advisor for the Bush administration. In 2011, a Cruz campaign spokesman portrayed Heidi as “an expert on North American trade,” in other words she is savvy when it comes to globalist transnational trade deals like NAFTA, the single most destructive government move against the American worker in history.
She was also a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations (see her bio at Claremont McKenna College), a position that expired prior to her husband’s attack on the globalist organization.

The details come from a pagelisting Clermont-McKenna College’s Board of Advisors, on which Mrs. Cruz apparently served. In addition to being one of only three of W’s economic advisors,

She also served in the Administration as the economic director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council at the White House, advising the President and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. She also is a former director at the U.S. Treasury Department and was special policy assistant to Ambassador Robert B. Zoellick, then Chief U.S. international trade negotiator.

It also reveals that before Goldman Sachs, she worked for another tentacle of the vampire squid, JPMorgan, “focusing on international structured finance.”
None of this says “Tea Party,” “small government,” “sound money,” and contrary to Cruz’s latest pitch, it also does not much support “standing on principle”—unless that “principle” is fiat money, TARP bailouts, financing wars, revolving doors, etc.
Now perhaps Mrs. Cruz’s career is not representative of the Senator’s views. Or, if it is, perhaps the Senator has changed views in recent years. He did later blast the CFR, but that seems to have come only after his wife’s Term ended, and only when trying to present himself as a Tea Party candidate.
But Cruz has wasted no time showing us to his views. Only a day after falling a distant second behind Ran Paul (Paul 31%, Cruz only 11%) in the CPAC straw poll, Cruz took a swipe, albeit a weak one, at Paul. Breitbart.com reports that despite being a “big fan” of Rand Paul, Cruz stated, “I don’t agree with him on foreign policy.”
There’s no doubt Paul is not an imperialist or a warmonger, but he has certainly deviated from his father’s uncompromising non-interventionism. When Fox News Sunday asked about his foreign policy, Paul answered,

I see my foreign policy in the same line as what came out of, probably, the first George Bush. Henry Kissinger wrote something in the Washington Post two days ago [here] which I agree with. I see it coming out of the mainstream of the Republican position.
I opposed with real fervor the involvement of us in Syria, and that became the dominant position in the country—both Republican and Democrat. There’s not one Republican who’s saying we should put military troops in Crimea, in the Ukraine. So I think I’m right in the middle of that position.
And I think that those who would try to argue that somehow I’m different than the mainstream Republican opinion are people who want to take advantage for their own personal political gain. I’m a great believer in Ronald Reagan. I’m a great believer in a strong national defense. . . .

It’s perhaps not surprising then that in his sideswipe at Paul, Cruz didn’t really give any real specifics, just vague sentimental references:

U.S. leadership is critical in the world. I agree we should be reluctant to deploy military force aboard, but there’s a vital role, just as Ronald Reagan did. When Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an Evil Empire, when he stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and said ‘Tear down this wall.’ Those words changed the course of history. The United States has a responsibility to defend our values.

Of course, Paul seems to share all of these platitudes: who doesn’t believe in “defending our values”? Who doesn’t believe in “U.S. leadership”? So as criticisms these fall flat.

The real questions are things like, “Do we need 800 international military bases to accomplish this?” “Do we need to maintain military bases in 63 countries?” “Do we need standing armies of 255,000 soldiers in foreign countries?” “Can anyone who believes in fiscal responsibility and small government seriously maintain $680+ billions each year in ‘defense’ spending?” And this is all not even considering the biblical doctrines regard the military and war (Paul has hinted at some. Cruz has not, as far as I know).
Since Paul shares the views Cruz mentioned, it seems that Cruz is either uniformed (unlikely), dishonest (harsh), or is engaging in careless political volleys.
Consider the results of CPAC, the latter seems most likely.
In fairness, Cruz was asked about Paul by an interviewer, so he had no choice but answer. But his answer is vague grandstanding on things Paul agrees with.
So, if we are to believe that Cruz’s answer distinguishes him from Paul somehow, then he must have very different definitions of “U.S. leadership” and “defending our values” than those articulated by Paul. For Cruz, these must be euphemisms for “imperialism” and “interventionism.”
If Cruz’s familial associations—Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, W, CFR— are any indication, then I think we know the answer. I suspect there is, therefore, some truth in Infowar.com’s conclusion:

Like the domestication of the Tea Party and the expulsion of its more purist liberty-minded activists, the Cruz the warrior pitted against the establishment motif is another slick subversion directed at the political elite’s most puissant opposition – the real Tea Party and a threatening number of patriot activists gnawing at the edges of the political establishment.

If Cruz gets more prominent for the 2016 primary, I suspect there will be an attempt to scrub these associations.

Many forget today that Reagan’s decision to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev was harshly criticized by the Republican hawks of his time, some of whom would even call Reagan an appeaser. In the Middle East, Reagan strategically pulled back our forces after the tragedy in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 241 Marines, realizing the cost of American lives was too great for the mission.

Without a clearly defined mission, exit strategy or acceptable rationale for risking soldiers lives, Reagan possessed the leadership to reassess and readjust.

Today, we forget that some of the Republican hawks of his time criticized Reagan harshly for this too, again, calling him an appeaser. . . .

How many leaders were as great as Reagan, willing to admit their mistakes, learn from them and put their country before their own reputation and legacy?

Today’s Republicans should concentrate on establishing their own identities and agendas, as opposed to simply latching onto Ronald Reagan’s legacy—or worse, misrepresenting it.

Source AmericanVision

Koch Front Group Mails False Registration Information to Hundreds Of North Carolina Voters

By Jason Easley
PoliticusUSA, September, 26, 2014
Koch brothers front Americans For Prosperity is reaching into their bag of dirty tricks by sending hundreds of North Carolina voters and one cat incorrect voter registration information.
According to the Raleigh News & Observer:
Hundreds of North Carolinians – and one cat – have received incorrect voter registration information, according to the N.C. State Board of Elections. The information – an “official application form” – was sent by Americans for Prosperity, a national conservative group with a state chapter based in Raleigh.
Since then, hundreds of people who received the forms have called and complained to the State Board of Elections, said Joshua Lawson, a public information officer for the board.
“It’s unclear where (Americans for Prosperity) got their list, but it’s caused a lot of confusion for people in the state,” Lawson said. One resident even received a voter registration form addressed to her cat, he said.
In North Carolina, it is a felony to intentionally send out incorrect voter registration information. Americans For Prosperity is claiming that the incorrect info was a mistake, so no charges will be filed. What makes the actions of Americans For Prosperity suspicious is that the correct information is publicly available on the Board Of Elections website.
The letter that the Koch group sent gave voters the wrong office and zip code to send their information to. One of the great mysteries is how a house cat got on the Koch list. Trying to register a cat to vote Republican would take the Koch’s voter fraud efforts to a whole different level. Americans For Prosperity is either an incredibly sloppy organization or they were continuing the modern tradition of trying to help Republicans win by keeping as many voters away from the polls as possible. This isn’t the first time that Americans For Prosperity has made this “mistake.”
In 2011, the group pulled the same stunt during the Wisconsin recall elections. It is difficult to believe that they are making a mistake when AFP keeps doing it over and over again. Republicans aren’t doing as well as they thought they would in the polls, so it looks like the Koch brothers are reaching deeper into their bag of dirty tricks in an attempt to complete their purchase of the United States Senate.

via constatine report

Why Christians Are Criticizing Cruz-and Israel

What is there to add to the extremely rich vein of commentary elicited by Ted Cruz’s  shameless Israel lobby pandering at a Washington forum intended to call attention to the plight of Mideast Christians in the age of ISIS? The pieces by Ross Douthat, Michael Brendan Dougherty, and the several posts by Rod Dreher say a great deal of what needs to be said, making many points I would likely never have thought of.
One takeaway from the controversy, which continues to reverberate around the conservative blogosphere, is how many socially conservative/Christian/Republican-leaning thinkers have sensed, perhaps for the first time in their relatively young careers, how morally flawed is the entire Christian Zionist/McCainist/Commentary/Washington Free Beacon/Likudnik group, whose views have long driven “mainstream” conservative foreign-policy opinion in Congress and the GOP presidential primaries. 
I think this may grow into an important schism on the right, one that weakens neoconservatism, to the Republican Party’s long-term benefit. I don’t want to ascribe views to people who don’t necessarily have them, but when I see young conservatives reacting viscerally against the tweets from the Breitbart site and other movement conservatives, tweets putting scare quotes around the word “Christian” in order to denigrate the Mideast patriarchs and bishops and other figures who attended the gathering, attacking them because they failed some sort of “stand with Israel” litmus test, it feels like a kind of Kronstadt moment. This sentiment also comes when I see the disgust felt when Weekly Standard editor Lee Smith implies that Mideast Christians are simply a kind of ISIS lite. 
I witnessed personally a comparable repulsion a year or so ago, when an old friend, long a prudently neocon-friendly author and Wall Street Journal writer, reacted to the smearing of Chuck Hagel by the same group. It’s as if the Israel lobby has grown so accustomed to the deference accorded it by everyone else in the American political system, it has lost any sense of its own limits.
Still there are other points to be made. Several of Cruz’s critics responded as if the Mideast Christians who came to the gathering deserved a sort of indulgent understanding for their lack of enthusiasm for Cruz’s admonition that Israel is their greatest friend. 
It was sometimes noted as historical fact that most Palestinian Christians live under Israeli occupation, and that others were ethnically cleansed by Israel in 1948; that the Lebanese Christians had once been Israel’s allies, which had not worked out well for them: in other words, all these groups had understandable excuses for their chilliness towards Israel. These Christians are, according to this discourse, genuinely vulnerable—they can be forgiven for not loving Israel. But this argument—and there are elements of it in most of the conservative pieces which chastized Cruz—scants the fact that Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestine is also opposed, often quite publicly and with increasing energy, by ever growing numbers of non-Mideast Christians.
I wonder if Cruz would similarly walk out and denounce Pope Francis as an anti-Semite, considering the new Pope visited the Holy Land and expressed his wishes for dignity and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians and said a prayer outside the Israeli wall that severs Bethlehem from neighboring Jerusalem and has largely rendered the town of Jesus’s birth a walled off ghetto. (The Israeli right went into conniptions about the Pope’s visit, with the incomparable Caroline Glick accusing the Pope of licensing “Holocaust denial” by his prayer at the Bethlehem separation wall.) If there is an argument that the Pope, with his stand in support of peace and dignity for both peoples in the Holy Land, is some kind of outlier among Catholics, I have not yet heard it.

Finish reading

Israel Versus Judaism

You say it doesn’t affect you because you’re not Jewish – – but, it certainly does when your own government takes the side which chooses the destruction of you and your country.

This website was created to expose the violence and oppression perpetrated by the Zionists and their State of “Israel” against the Jewish people who remain true to the Almighty, Judaism and the Torah.

August 16, 2013:
Anti Zionist Jews Protest Brutality at Ancient Cemetery in Beis Shemesh

[ Read More ]

Desecration of Ancient Graves

In March, 2010, Zionist archeologists began excavating ancient graves in Zippori and other towns in the Holy Land.
View photographs and read about the excavation and the violence that followed.

Judaism does not condone violence. Judaism demands that Jews be good citizens of the countries in which they reside and that they live peacefully with respect for and subservience to the ruling powers.

Judaism teaches us, that the right for the Jewish people to have self rule in the Holy Land is not unconditional. Since the destruction of our Holy Temple over two thousand years ago, the Jewish people have been exiled from this land by Divine decree. The Talmud tells us that G-d obligated us not to rebel against the ruling bodies, and not to take the land of Israel by force (see Babylonian Talmud tractate Kesubos 111A).

The aggression that Zionism presents in originally taking the Holy Land from its indigenous inhabitants is the first flag that exposes this movement for what it is — a real deviation from Judaism. Judaism forbids us from taking the land away from those who currently have jurisdiction over it. That such things should be done not only in opposition to Judaism, but in the name of the very Judaism it defies is simply large-scale fraud. 

Zionism, once exposed, proves to be the greatest enemy, the worst nightmare, to the Jewish religion and it’s practitioners, that exists to date. Zionism, strikes out regularly at Jews who remain true to Torah and its precepts. There are many Jews who protest against the very existence of the State of Israel, and who are quite vocal, albeit peaceful, about their opposition. 

Whenever Zionist policies or activities run counter to the Torah stance, Torah-true Jews come forward to unmask the imposter. 

Unfortunately, they have many opportunities to voice their stand, because few countries in the world tramples on the religious rights of its inhabitants as regularly as does the State of Israel. Witness, the routine autopsies which are done against the stated, tearful wishes of the family. Witness, the ancient, sacred burial grounds ripped open with abandon for the construction of yet another mall, with bare bones, hundreds of years old treated to the absolute desecration of careless disposal, and the list goes on and on… Protesters suffer terribly at the hands of the Zionists, who try to quash all opposition and deal with their peaceful detractors in the most brutal fashion. 

This fact, too, is yet another proof that this movement cannot speak for Judaism — because Judaism opposes aggression and would never sanction the bloodshed of brothers who seek only to remain true to the Torah.

Neo-Con Republicans Make Pilgrimage to Vegas to Kiss the Ring of Oligarch Sheldon Adelson

Chris Christie, Sheldon Adelson and Jeb Bush are pictured in this composite. Republican hopefuls are appearing in Vegas in part to court . (politico.com)

Posted on April 1, 2014

Oligarchs are ruining America. They are ruining the economy through their rampant theft and corporate welfare handouts. They are ruining our social structure with their billions used to buy and sell politicians as well as entire Presidential elections. They represent an existential threat to the Republic and the cancer needs to be addressed at once.
Oligarchs now control both phony political parties. On the Democratic side, we have Warren “tax loophole” Buffett and George Soros. On the Republican side, we must become increasingly aware of casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who boasts an estimated net worth of around $37 billion.
For those still daydreaming that the GOP may nominate a more libertarian-leaning candidate in 2016, rather than the typical big government, warmongering neo-con, the biggest obstacle in your way is Sheldon Adelson and his billions. This threat was on clear display this past weekend in Vegas when Chris Christie, Paul Walker and Jeb Bush all made the pilgrimage to “kiss his ring.”
The serious threat to our political system posed by Adelson was covered by both “left-leaning” and “right-leaning” commentators (although I hate those terms). First, Juan Cole writes at Bill Moyers that:
A series of pro-corporation Supreme Court decisions and the latter’s disingenuous equation of money with speech, including Citizens United, have turned the United States from a democracy to a plutocracy. It is not even a transparent plutocracy, since black money (of unknown provenance) has been allowed by SCOTUS to flood into elections. These developments are not only deadly to democracy, they threaten our security. It is increasingly difficult to exclude foreign money from US political donations. We not only come to be ruled by the billionaires, but even by foreign billionaires with foreign rather than American interests at heart.
The perniciousness of this growing plutocracy was on full display on Saturday, as GOP governors Scott Walker, Chris Christie and John Kasich trekked off to Las Vegas in an attempt to attract hundreds of millions in campaign donations from sleazy casino lord Sheldon Adelson. 

Since Adelson is allegedly worth $37 billion, he could fund the Republican side of a presidential election (which costs $1 billion) all by himself. In the last presidential election he is said to have donated $100 million.
One important thing he thing he failed to mention was that Jeb Bush was also there, featuring prominently at a private dinner with Adelson and others.
The case of Adelson exhibits all these issues of corruption and eccentricity. Much of his current fortune is recent and derives from the Macao casino, and Adelson has admitted to “likely” breaking Federal rules against using bribes to do business in other countries. (A reference to allegations that his company was involved in rewarding legislators of the Chinese Communist Party for supporting his Macao project.) There was a time when this admission alone would put the donor off limits for mainstream politicians.
Adelson has a right to vote and advocate for his candidates. But the idea that he and his like should choose the next president is too awful to contemplate. One person, one vote isn’t one person, $100 million worth of votes. That isn’t democracy…
CBS has also chimed in with some interesting commentary:
Both Christie and Bush are cut from the same mainstream Republican cloth: well liked by the donor class and viewed suspiciously by conservative activists. If they both compete in 2016 — and to be clear, neither has decided on a bid — they’ll be fighting for the roughly same slice of the Republican pie, and perhaps more importantly, many of the same donors.
But as Christie stumbled, Bush soared. The former governor was feted at a private dinner on Thursday to kick off the weekend. The dinner was held at Adelson’s private airplane hangar.
Bush delivered brief remarks at the dinner, and after one attendee urged him to run for president, the crowd of donors burst into applause, according to a report in the Washington Post.
That report described how many of the GOP’s top money men are giving Jeb Bush a fresh look in light of Christie’s recent struggles.
“He’s the most desired candidate out there,” Brian Ballard, a prominent bundler for both John McCain and Mitt Romney, told the Post. 
“Everybody that I know is excited about it.”
Finally, conservative pundit Patrick Buchanan notes:
Victor Chaltiel, a major donor and Adelson friend who sits on the board of Las Vegas Sands, tells us Sheldon “doesn’t want a crazy extremist to be the nominee.” Adds Shawn Steel, a big California GOP money man, Sheldon is a “very rational guy.”
Perhaps. But last fall at Yeshiva University, this “very rational guy” gave this response to a question from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach on whether he supports U.S. negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program:
“No. What do you mean support negotiations? What are we going to negotiate about? What I would say is, ‘Listen, you see that desert out there, I want to show you something.’ … You pick up your cell phone and you call somewhere in Nebraska and you say, ‘OK let it go.’
“So, there’s an atomic weapon, goes over ballistic missiles, the middle of the desert, that doesn’t hurt a soul. Maybe a couple of rattlesnakes, and scorpions, or whatever.
“And then you say, ‘See! The next one is in the middle of Tehran. So, we mean business. You want to be wiped out? Go ahead and take a tough position and continue with your nuclear development.
Those are the words of the guy who is likely to determine the Republican Presidential nominee.
It’s incredibly disturbing that what we may end up with is another Bush running for the White House in 2016. Meanwhile, we all know Hilary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee. Of the hundreds of millions of Americans, why must we stick to two families (let’s not forget how Jeb Bush presented the “Liberty Medal” to Hillary Clinton last summer).
Face it, America today is far more similar to feudalism than a democracy or a republic.
It’s well past time we rein in the oligarchs.
In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

SOURCE

A Must Read: The Lord is in Control, So Don’t Worry (and above all, don’t DO anything)

 “The Neutralizers” subverting the Christian South: Evangelists Glenn Beck, John Hagee, Dave Barton

by Al Benson Jr.

There seems to be a mindset in the evangelical community today, (though it’s not really new, it’s been there for 150 years) which, to me, seems like the great neutralizer of the church. It seems to be most prevalent in those you could wish would be more active and concerned, but are not. They seem to be possessed of the concept that if God is in control of all things, which He is, then there are some areas where believers just don’t need to get involved.
Should you become involved in one of these “forbidden” areas they will question you about any comments you happen to make. The question they usually start out with is “Do you believe God is in control of all things?” If you answer “yes” to that they will bombard you, almost immediately with the next question which will be “Then what are you so upset about?” 

The result of this is, in many cases, to shut down your complaint so you will feel a bit foolish trying to carry it any further, especially if you are in a group setting, and at that point, you are supposed to quietly bow out and allow the discussion to return to such important topics as “personal holiness.” 


Why discuss politics, education, the state of the culture or anything along those lines when you can just ignore all that and dwell on personal holiness? This somehow becomes the end-all of all discussion. It all amounts to personal holiness (pietism) and nothing else. I can’t count the times I have had this done to me and I am sure most of the folks that have done it were not real happy with me, because I refused to play the game and shut up.

Let me state here, before someone jumps up screaming, that I am not opposed to personal holiness. The Scriptures enjoin us to seek to live holy lives, to treat others as we would be treated, and, realizing we simply cannot do that in our own strength, we must admit that we need a Savior  who has already done all this perfectly for us and now sits at the right hand of God, Jesus, the God-man.

Along with this, at least for those of us in Reformed circles, there should come a certain outlook, a certain worldview if you will. Part of that worldview is that God is very concerned with what goes on here on earth and He wants His people to be concerned about it also. We are not just supposed to “get saved so we can go to Heaven” and that’s all there is.  Since “the earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof” I believe He wants us to be concerned about all areas of life–education, culture, art, music, –and the most dreaded of all for Christians–politics. God wants His people to be involved in what is happening in the world. He wants them to be concerned about it and He wants them to be knowledgeable about it. We are not just supposed to be so concerned with our own personal holiness that we let the world go to hell.

Many of our problems in this country today, along with our lack of repentance, are present just because Christians don’t want to be bothered. It’s really too much trouble to learn about a problem and why it exists, so why bother? If the Lord is in control, He’ll take care of it all, so I don’t need to do anything about it, or know anything about it. All I have to do is “trust God” and go on my merry way. Oh, there is one other thing I must do. Should someone come along that points out a particular problem, I need to try to keep their comments to a bare minimum so no one really gets shook up over this (especially me)!

The evangelical protests against any action at all run the gamut from “If God’s in control why worry about it” to “You’re not showing much love talking about all this stuff.” The idea being that if your were just a little more “loving” you would be content to give evil politicians or public school “change agents” a pass. The novel concept that Christians could also be “loving” by seeking to expose evil has never occurred to them, and probably won’t, as long as they can keep those who question what goes on quiet enough.

Many of these are the same folks that tell you that Romans 13 means that you must give unquestioning obedience to whatever government, at any level, wants to do. Government has the “authority” so you just cave in. After all, it’s what they do.The concept that governments are responsible to God, and that, under God, their authority is limited, is something that never seems to occur to them. It’s lots easier just to knuckle under than it is to find out what government has the legitimate authority to do or to require of you and what it does not. No one questions that where government performs its God-given functions it should be obeyed.  

Dave Barton at the RNC in Philadelphia, 2000

I am not preaching anarchy here. But what’s to be done when government starts usurping functions it has no right to? That’s another question–and one many in the evangelical community would prefer not to have to deal with–so just do whatever they tell you to do and shut up–after all, it is the government. I wonder how many Christians realize that in taking such an attitude what they are doing is reauthorizing the “divine right of kings” (or presidents) to do whatever they want.


This mindset, carried to its logical conclusion in this country, would leave us still as subjects of Great Britain and that Christian patriot, Patrick Henry, would never have gotten to say “give me liberty or give me death.” Or better yet, would Martin Luther have even dared to nail up his 95 theses on the door of the cathedral? After all, the Pope might not have liked it. Once you allow any government, church government or civil government unrestrained power they will do whatever they want, no matter how evil, until they are resisted.

Our current regime tells us we are being forced to buy “health care” and it has performed, along with the regimes before it, many unconstitutional actions.  The usual evangelical response to this is “God’s in control, so what are you upset about?”
The thought comes to mind that, possibly, God has allowed some of what has happened to occur in order to provoke a response from His people–repentance, yes, but also resistance to evil.  And the response for most of the church today is still “Hey, the Lord’s in control, just don’t worry about any of this (and certainly don’t ever try to DO anything about any of it).” And some tend to look down their noses at you for being such a cretin as to even dare to bring up some of these things. You’re just supposed to be silent, cave in to tyranny, all the time seeking more “personal holiness.”

Another thing we (are supposed to learn) in Reformed circles is that God works in history and that He is often please to use “means” (people) to do some of what He wants done. You can ask, what would have happened to the kids in public schools in West Virginia 40 years ago if their parents had not risen up and fought the corrupt school system and the rotten books it tried to foist on the kids? Would those kids have been better off if their Christian parents had just practiced “personal piety” and said nothing about the horrible textbooks? You know the answer to that one.

What if the Lord decides to use people to upset evil politicians, corrupt “educators” and others who do what they shouldn’t? Oh, I know, we don’t discuss all that. That’s not a debatable topic. That might require getting involved and learning something new, and we’re not sure we’re ready for that, so throttle the one who makes such an absurd suggestion and let’s all get back to personal pietism.

Now you might think I sound a little ticked at some of my fellow believers for their almost total lack of response in areas I feel they ought to be concerned about. You’d probably be somewhat correct in that assumption. I’ve been listening to evangelical responses in some areas for almost four decades, and most of it boils down to “Why are you telling us about the current Marxist in the White House when, in love, we should just be ignoring what he is doing to the country and loving him?” I often wonder if many evangelicals have ever (probably not) come up with the possible thought that “loving” whoever the current occupant of the Oval Office is might just entail exposing some of what he is doing and calling him to repentance for it. And this doesn’t just apply to whoever is currently the president, or the governor, or the head of the local school board.

After all, they don’t call Washington “Sodom on the Potomac” for nothing, and the same thing could probably be said for a number of state capitals.

As long as we continue to play the “just love ‘em and don’t get upset over anything” game, nothing will change.  The country will be judged and go down the tubes and the church will be judged also. What about the possibility that the Lord would like a response from His people to what is happening, and He’s not getting it?


SOURCE revisedhistory