Sunday, June 24, 2007

JUSTICE FOR LIBERTY

Over on Counterpunch, Alison Weir has an article about how one of the MSM, 'USA Today', either utterly ignored the USS Liberty aniversary or misreported it through gross inaccuracies that would lead an unsuspecting reader to the stupefyingly improbable position that the two-hour Israeli attack was a case of "mistaken identification" ('USA Today and the USS Liberty', www.counterpunch.com/weir06232007.html).

Apparently, in the eyes of "USA Today', any reasonable person who would entertain the possibility that if on a bright calm crystal-clear June day a certain nation's pilots report over the radio to their headquarters that a ship they have been watching for 8 hours is American by its flag and configuration, and if the pilots are then told to attack it anyway, and if after they fire all their rockets and napalm and leave, and if then an hour or so later elements of that same certain nation's surface navy arrive and then launch torpedoes into into the US Navy ship and then machine-gun the crew and liferafts of said US Navy ship ... well, anyone who would lean toward the strong possibility that such a country's attack was intentional would simply be a 'conspiracy theory' wingnut. Yah. I'd say that anyone who could swallow the 'mistaken identity' excuse is either - as the Victorians used to say - "a scoundrel or a fool". I'll go a tad further: I assert that to be a Liberty-denier is tantamount to being a Holocaust-denier. And that same certain nation is techy as all hell about folks denying its Holocaust.

How can it possibly be that We have come to this pass? That Our own government refuses to impose appropriate consequences for the crapulous criminal treachery, the act of war, perpetrated against Us on that June day in 1967?

Of course, one part of the answer is that the government itself refused to go to the assistance of the ship when it sent a clear and timely distress call reporting itself under attack. Indeed, the government recalled not one but two flights of Navy warplanes launched as a matter of course to defend the ship. Our government. Did that.

But that just makes the initial question even more intense: How the hell have We come to this? How in hell did this happen? What keeps it going? What in hell is wrong with our mainstream media? What has been wrong with them - on this point certainly - for 40 years? Because almost no MSM notice of the 40th anniversary of the attack on the USS Liberty has been taken (and yet for several months now Our attention has been invited loudly and unceasingly to the 40th anniversary of the release of a Beatles album).

This site has already Posted a couple of times on USS Liberty ('Infamy' and 'Unprofessionally Military', both in June of 2007). Let me get more into the dynamics that I think might answer that question.

The Democrats under LBJ were well aware in 1965 that they were going to pay at the polls for their support of the Civil Rights Act of that year, and were then stunned into political terror when the Watts riots erupted less than a week after LBJ had put the Party on the line by signing the Act. The Party was desperate to replace all those white Southron voters who would (and did) leave the Party after 1965.

The Party's embrace and slavish nurture of the assorted Identities and their assorted revolutions staring in the mid-1960s, including as well its support of the entirely novel 'phase' of Civl Rights that it termed "affirmative racism", can be explained in great part as a desperate political strategy to raise fresh blocs of voters out of the very earth.

In addition to the new Identities, however, the Party turned to the American Jewish demographic. This was hardly surprising. The American Jewish community had been deeply intertwined with the Democratic Party since the earliest days of the New Deal, the traditional Jewish concern for social justice meshing neatly with huge opportunities for communal self-betterment and advancement in those remarkable days of the 1930s.

But in the later 1940s, led by another vote-desperate President - Harry Truman - the Party had quickly recognized the absolute political need to recognize the State of Israel. It was an iffy proposition from the point of view of the best interests of the United States; anyone looking at the postwar Detroit gas-guzzlers in their chrome-plated excess could see that an awful lot of oil was now going to be a national necessity. But at the time We were still living off domestic oil production and 'the Arabs' could still be mistaken for merely the last, shredded remnants of the Ottoman Empire.

The Soviets started dabbling in the Middle East, and courted the Arab nations, who invited them in through the front door, to counter the influence of the Israeli state that the US had dropped in through a hole chopped in the roof. That set the tone for the 1950s, with the US now trying to keep a rein on its bumptious and hardly subservient client state - Israel - as the Soviets tried to pull the Arab nations into the modern world sufficiently to complicate US diplomacy in the Middle East.

By the early 1960s JFK knew that within a very few years US domestic oil was going to be unable to fulfill the majority of the country's needs. He was looking at some amount of rapprochement with the now-able-to-stand Arab nations that had been erected on top of the planet's largest known oil reserves. But suddenly he was gone. That was 1963.

Then came 1965, as above described. Then came that June of 1967. The Israelis were going to have their pre-emptive war and the Arabs, cocky because of their Soviet support, were inclined to give it to them. LBJ was already up to his big jug ears in Vietnam and things weren't going well there. And he needed all the domestic support he could get.

And so, as the Liberty incident demonstrates, the Democrats indeed went 'soft' on national defense. But not primarily because they 'lost' Vietnam, but because they had permitted an attack - an act of war - upon an American naval vessel to continue, and many members of its crew massacred. And then having thus committed an act of treachery against the United States, the vote-starved Democrats initiated - with the help of a mostly friendly media - a cover-up. A cover-up aided and abetted by the 'political correctness' that was already helping to lubricate the path of the newly-hatching Identities.

In the end, while the media focused on the eventual loss of Vietnam, the far more culpable failure - indeed treason - in the matter of the USS Liberty attack was enveloped and smothered in the dust of events. Purposely. Israel was now our 'ally'. No treaty, no request for one, and no agreement to abide by any regulations, restrictions or rule or law except those of its own privileged interests - as if Israel had appointed itself to "00" status, like the then-new James Bond's status as "007". Do whatever it takes, Mr. Bond.

Of course it was a 'special' ally. Oh yeah! What other ally had committed an act of war that shed copious amounts of American blood and been met with a unilateral American bestowal of 'alliance'? Without any treaty needing to be signed? And was showered with American foreign and military aid in consequence of its act of war?

The Democrats' greatest betrayal of the Sixties wasn't Vietnam. Not hardly. And it constitutes one of the great reasons for the Democrats decades-long refusal to face up to the Liberty incident: the Democrats and the Israelis are now bound by what in SS circles was known as the Blutbund: the bond that arises from knowing that each has shed innocent blood. The Israelis committed an act of war and arguably a war crime. The Democrats not only committed the treason of allowing it, but then rendered their treason ongoing by actually paying the Israelis huge sums in military and foreign aid with the money of the very People the Democrats had betrayed.

But as the Seventies progressed, another 'crime' - and this one also ongoing - was layered into this mess, layer upon layer like a lasagna. The Israelis, cashing the checks without yielding to the desperate affections of their truckling suitors, developed a strong PAC presence whereby great chunks of the tax monies sent to them would be kicked back to American pols in the form of political donations. Before long Democrat and - increasingly - Republican pols were hooked onto the steady flow of kickback cash. And in a country where no reliable voter-majority could be maintained, where a single litmus-test could determine candidacies and elections, both Parties had quietly come to the conclusion that money was a pol's best friend.

Thirdly, in a synergy that became more manipulable as time went on, the Victimist and the Manichean mindsets replaced a prior public maturity at the very heart and soul of Our culture. The Victimist mindset reduced Our public emotional posture to a toxic combination of paranoid fear and outraged vengeance: there is danger of crime and there are criminals lurking everywhere, folks must take the word of the 'experts' that only vengeance can stop these perpetrators, and nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of stopping them, and if anybody doubts that then let them look upon the victim of this outrageous crime (cue filmclip). Replacing the old American sense of balance and pragmatism about crime with an unquenchable bathos and outrage on behalf of the Victim certainly rendered American public discourse and atttiude far more amenable to the foreign policy gambits of the Israeli government, which of course represented and indeed constituted the greatest Victimization of them all: the Holocaust and the on-going obstructions of the Arab states to the agenda and vision of the Israeli state.

The Manichean mindset replaced a complex, nuanced, careful assessment of and well-considered response to events with a crude, vivid, simplistic either-or: you're either with us or against us, and if you doubt that then that proves you're against us too (Hitler used the code phrase "und niemals verzweifeln"), and since you oppose us then you must be pure Evil because (this part politely left unspoken until 1994 or so) we are pure Good. This was a child's unripeness, reflecting - as it does in children - an incompletely developed cognitive apparatus and a lack of experience and reflection upon experience (including mediation upon one's own mistakes, failures, and sins ... like them Kathliks always depress you about). But now it became the national mindset and heartset.

The MSM thus are very very leery of the USS Liberty incident. Both Democrats and Republicans have huge amounts to lose, including being exposed as being agents of a foreign state and having placed the programme of a foreign state above America's for the purpose of political expediency and personal enrichment - over and above the original trahison of June 1967 itself. None of the MSM's corporate bosses are going to start reporting on a situation where there are no identifiable Good Guys and so where the story cannot be told - even with 'spin' - with any influential Player benefitting. All the Players at this table are guilty, and it's blood-guilt. In a corporate-run MSM where 'reporting' is now sold to the most attractive bidder, there will be no takers for the USS Liberty's story.

Robert McNamara is still within US jurisdiction. So for that matter is Jimmy Carter, who in 1980 went on his knees getting the Israelis to pay some indemnity to the survivors, which money Congress promptly included in the next check to the Israelis. The Israelis had to be begged to pay surviving servicemen and their families with money that Congress would be only too happy to provide ... and they still did it only grudgingly. A special ally indeed. Sooo speshullll.

What do McNamara and Carter have to say about all this? We should ask them. But I mean "We" in the most fundamental sense of the People. I can't think of any of our elected representatives, past or present, who might consider themselves to be 'in a position' to ask on Our behalf.

So the USS Liberty incident is not merely the tip of the iceberg. It provides a portal directly to the core of it. Or to the bottom of it. Where be dragons far more foul and lethal than any of the dinosaurs the Fundies claim were booked into steerage on the Ark with the lions and the lambs.

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3 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Irrespective of the truth of the matter, this issue has re-emerged mostly due to the large number of former (& current) John Birch Society members who have found a voice inside the campaign of Ron Paul for the presidency. See NY Times feature 22 July, 2007.

In politics, the truth of a matter is only one aspect of its valence. Why it emerges as a focus of attention when it does is an equally valid concern.

I applaud Dr. Paul's stance against the power of AIPAC but wonder about the whackidoos it attracts. I too am convinced there is more to be learned about the attack on the Liberty but I don't yet have a sound alternative theory for which I'd be willing to roll out the Lambeg Drums.

8:09 AM  
Blogger publion said...

I’m not so sure. I think the LIBERTY incident has gotten play this year because a number of people are starting to come to the conclusions that (2) the interests of the Israeli state are not only significantly incongruent with the interests of the United States but are increasingly antithetical to those interests and that (1) the elected Branches of the United States government – under both Parties – and the MSM have been betraying Us by dancing to the Israeli fiddler’s tune for 40 years.

And that (3) in being thus diddled – with malice aforethought – We have been and are paying dearly as a society, as a culture, as a polity, as a nation and as a People.

And that (4) Our aforementioned Branches and MSM are by now soooo enwhored that they could not disengage from this abominable embrace even if they could – organizationally or individually – muster the moral maturity to want to do so.

Now this is not a John Bircher rant. It esteems neither anti-Semitism nor isolationism. But it stems from a respect for truth and integrity, and not simply as abstract ideals but as vital prerequisites for genuine and responsible participation in human events.

Efforts to paint concerns about the LIBERTY as merely a smokescreen or even a ‘code’ for Bircher beserkers to piss their poison into the air are hugely inaccurate, by error or design.

I plan shortly to get back to Posting, but in the meantime heartily refer readers to Barry Lando’s stunningly revelatory Post on Alternet (originally on Truthdig) “Israel’s Primal Myth” (www.alternet.org/bloggers/lando/57598).

7:45 AM  
Blogger David said...

The number of people who have become conscious of the Israel Myth and its lobby surely includes you, me and normanfinkelstein.com

Apart from that, I'm unaware of any uptick in consciousness on this side of the Atlantic. Pastor Hagee's group Chriatian Zionist group CUFI seems to be growing by leaps and bounds with presidential candidates lining-up to kiss his ring. Are we to count on the prospects of the Kucinich candidacy as the measure of our hope?

The Lobby was indeed embarrassed by having to show its power so extravagantly in DePaul's firing of Finkelstein.

I suppose the Lobby may be said to lose every time they have to reach out and throttle somebody (on a Catholic faculty!) in broad daylight. Maybe that's progress after all.

Usually the source of such impertinence just disappears from the media without a trace and nobody asks why.

8:08 AM  

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