- "The US is the only country in the world where the
peace movement is unwilling to recognize, publicly condemn or oppose the
major influential political and social institutions consistently supporting
and promoting the US wars in the Middle East. The political power of the
pro-Israel power configuration, led by the American Israel Political Affairs
Committee (AIPAC), supported within the government by highly placed pro-Israel
Congressional leaders and White House and Pentagon officials has been well
documented in books and articles by leading journalists, scholars and former
President Jimmy Carter. The Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) has over
two thousand full-time functionaries, more than 250,000 activists, over
a thousand billionaire and multi-millionaire political donors who contribute
funds to both political parties. The ZPC secures 20% of the US foreign
military aid budget for Israel, over 95% congressional support for Israel's
boycott and armed incursions in Gaza, invasion of Lebanon and preemptive
military option against Iran."
- US Middle East Wars: Social Opposition and Political
Impotence | DATELINE: July 4 2007
- "You cannot win the peace unless you know the enemy
at home and abroad,"
- US Marine Colonel from Tennessee.
- Everywhere I visit from Copenhagen to Istanbul, Patagonia
to Mexico City, journalists and academics, trade unionists and businesspeople,
as well as ordinary citizens, inevitably ask me why the US public tolerates
the killing of over a million Iraqis over the last two decades, and thousands
of Afghans since 2001? Why, they ask, is a public, which opinion polls
reveal as over sixty percent in favor of withdrawing US troops from Iraq,
so politically impotent? A journalist from a leading business journal in
India asked me what is preventing the US government from ending its aggression
against Iran, if almost all of the world's major oil companies, including
US multinationals are eager to strike oil deals with Tehran. Anti-war advocates
in Europe, Asia and Latin America ask me at large public forums what has
happened to the US peace movement in the face of the consensus between
the Republican White House and the Democratic Party-dominated Congress
to continue funding the slaughter of Iraqis, supporting Israeli starvation,
killing and occupation of Palestine and destruction of Lebanon?
- Absence of a Peace Movement?
- Just prior to the US invasion of Iraq in March 2003 over
one million US citizens demonstrated against the war. Since then there
have been few and smaller protests even as the slaughter of Iraqis escalates,
US casualties mount and a new war with Iran looms on the horizon. The demise
of the peace movement is largely the result of the major peace organizations'
decision to shift from independent social mobilizations to electoral politics,
namely channeling activists into working for the election of Democratic
candidates most of whom have supported the war. The rationale offered
by these 'peace leaders' was that once elected the Democrats would respond
to the anti-war voters who put them in office. Of course practical experience
and history should have taught the peace movement otherwise: The Democrats
in Congress voted every military budget since the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan.
The total capitulation of the newly elected Democratic majority has had
a major demoralizing effect on the disoriented peace activists and has
discredited many of its leaders.
- Absence of a National Movement
- As David Brooks (La Jornada July 2, 2007) correctly reported
at the US Social forum there is no coherent national social movement in
the US. Instead we have a collection of fragmented 'identity groups' each
embedded in narrow sets of (identity) interests, and totally incapable
of building a national movement against the war. The proliferation of these
sectarian 'non-governmental' 'identity' 'groups' is based on their structure,
financing and leadership. Many depend on private foundations and public
agencies for their financing, which precludes them from taking political
positions. At best they operate as 'lobbies' simply pressuring the elite
politicians of both parties. Their leaders depend on maintaining a separate
existence in order to justify their salaries and secure future advances
in government agencies.
- The US trade unions are virtually non-existent in more
than half of the United States: They represent less than 9% of the private
sector and 12% of the total labor force. Most national, regional and city-wide
trade union officials receive salaries comparable to senior business executives:
between $300,000 to $500,000 dollars a year. Almost 90% of the top trade
union bureaucrats finance and support pro-war Democrats and have supported
Bush and the Congressional war budgets, bought Israel Bonds ($25 billion
dollars) and the slaughter of Palestinians and the Israeli bombing of Lebanon.
- The Unopposed War Lobby
- The US is the only country in the world where the peace
movement is unwilling to recognize, publicly condemn or oppose the major
influential political and social institutions consistently supporting and
promoting the US wars in the Middle East. The political power of the pro-Israel
power configuration, led by the American Israel Political Affairs Committee
(AIPAC), supported within the government by highly placed pro-Israel Congressional
leaders and White House and Pentagon officials has been well documented
in books and articles by leading journalists, scholars and former President
Jimmy Carter. The Zionist Power Configuration (ZPC) has over two thousand
full-time functionaries, more than 250,000 activists, over a thousand billionaire
and multi-millionaire political donors who contribute funds both political
parties. The ZPC secures 20% of the US foreign military aid budget for
Israel, over 95% congressional support for Israel's boycott and armed incursions
in Gaza, invasion of Lebanon and preemptive military option against Iran.
The US invasion and occupation policy in Iraq, including the fabricated
evidence justifying the invasion, was deeply influenced by top officials
with long-standing loyalties and ties to Israel. Wolfowitz and Feith, numbers
2 and 3 in the Pentagon, are life-long Zionists, who lost security clearance
early in their careers for handing over documents to Israel.
- Vice President Cheney's chief foreign policy adviser
in the planning of the Iraq invasion is Irving Lewis Liebowitz ('Scooter
Libby'). He is a protégé and long-time collaborator of Wolfowitz
and a convicted felon. Libby-Liebowitz committed perjury, defending the
White House's complicity in punishing officials critical of its Iraq war
propaganda. Libby-Liebowitz received powerful political and financial support
from the pro-Israel lobby during his trial. No sooner did he lose his appeal
on his conviction on five counts of perjury, obstructing justice and lying,
than the ZPC convinced President Bush to 'commute' his prison sentence,
in effect freeing him from a 30 month prison sentence before he had served
a day. While Democratic politicians and some peace leaders criticized President
Bush, none dared hold responsible the pro-Israel lobby which pressured
the White House.
- The Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations
(PMAJO) numbering 52 and their regional and local affiliates
are the leading force transmitting Israel's war agenda against Iran. The
PMAJO, working closely with US-Israeli Congressman Rahm Emmanuel and leading
Zionist Senators Charles Schumer and Joseph Lieberman, succeeded in eliminating
a clause in the budget appropriation setting a date for the withdrawal
for US troops from Iraq.
- In contrast to the successful vast propaganda, congressional
and media campaigns, organized and funded by the pro-Israel lobbies for
the war policies, there is no public record of the big oil companies supporting
the Iraq war, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon or the military threats of
preemptive attacks on Iran. Interviews with investment bankers, oil company
executives and a thorough review of the major Petroleum Institute publications
over the past seven years provide conclusive evidence that 'Big Oil' was
deeply interested in negotiating oil agreements with Saddam Hussein and
the Iranian Islamic government. 'Big Oil' perceives US Middle East wars
as a threat to their long-standing profitable relations with all the conservative
Arab oil states in the Gulf. Despite the strategic position in the US economy
and their great wealth ''Big Oil' was totally incapable of countering their
political power and organized influence of the pro-Israel lobby. In fact
Big Oil was totally marginalized by the White House National Security Advisor
for the Middle East, Elliot Abrams, a fanatical Zionist and militarist.
- Despite the massive and sustained pro-war activity of
the leading Zionist organizations inside and outside of the government
and despite the absence of any overt or covert pro-war campaign by 'Big
Oil', the leaders of the US peace movement have refused to attack the pro-Israel
war lobby and continue to mouth unfounded clichés about the role
of 'Big Oil' in the Middle East conflicts.
- The apparently 'radical' slogans against the oil industry
by some leading intellectual critics of the war has served as a 'cover'
to avoid the much more challenging task of taking on the powerful, Zionist
lobby. There are several reasons for the failure of the leaders of the
peace movement to confront the militant Zionist lobby. One is fear of the
powerful propaganda and smear campaign which the pro-Israel lobby is expert
at mounting, with its aggressive accusations of 'anti-Semitism' and its
capacity to blacklist critics, leading to job loss, career destruction,
public abuse and death threats.
- The second reason that peace leaders fail to criticize
the leading pro-war lobby is because of the influence of pro-Israel 'progressives'
in the movement. These progressives condition their support of 'peace in
Iraq' only if the movement does not criticize the pro-war Israel lobby
in and outside the US government, the role of Israel as a belligerent partner
to the US in Lebanon, Palestine and Kurdish Northern Iraq. A movement claiming
to be in favor of peace, which refuses to attack the main proponents of
war, is pursuing irrelevance: it deflects attention from the pro-Israel
high officials in the government and the lobbyists in Congress who back
the war and set the White House's Middle East agenda. By focusing attention
exclusively on President Bush, the peace leaders failed to confront the
majority pro-Israel Democratic congress people who fund Bush's war, back
his escalation of troops and give unconditional support to Israel's military
option for Iran.
- The collapse of the US peace movement, the lack of credibility
of most of its leaders and the demoralization of many activists can be
traced to strategic political failures: the unwillingness to identify and
confront the real pro-war movements and the inability to create a political
alternative to the bellicose Democratic Party. The political failure of
the leaders of the peace movement is all the more dramatic in the face
of the large majority of passive Americans who oppose the war, most of
whom did not display their flags this Fourth of July and are not led in
tow by either the pro-Israel lobby or their intellectual apologists within
- The word to anti-war critics of the world is that over
sixty percent of the US public opposes the war but our streets are empty
because our peace movement leaders are spineless and politically impotent.