A bankrupt and discredited country
The Era of American Leadership Is Over
February 01, 2009
By  Paul Craig Roberts 

Vast numbers of people in the United States and abroad are hoping that 
President Obama will end America’s illegal wars, halt America’s support for 
Israel’s massacre of Lebanese and Palestinians, and punish, instead of reward, 
the shyster banksters whose fraudulent financial instruments have destroyed 
economies and imposed massive sufferings on people all over the world.  If 
Obama’s appointments are an indication, all of these hopeful people are going 
to be disappointed.

James Petras examines Obama’s foreign policy appointments and finds the largest 
collection of Zionist militarists  outside of Avigdor Lieberman’s far right 
political party in Israel.  

Petras concludes that Obama’s "diplomatic" team has Iran in its sights, an 
hostility that meshes with Israel’s own intent.  Not realizing that a member of 
the press had been mistakenly invited to a selected audience, the Israeli 
ambassador to Australia said that Israel’s attack on Gaza was a dress rehearsal 
for a major attack on Iran.  Netanyahu, the expected winner of Israel’s March 
elections, has again declared that Israel will not permit Iran to have a 
nuclear energy program as it would provide the basis for developing nuclear 

It makes no sense for Israel to baldly state its intention to attack Iran if 
Israel does not mean it.  What if the Iranians believe the Israelis and decide 
to strike first with their long-range missiles?  

Obama’s economic appointments are just as discouraging.  Obama chose as his 
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, the man who helped Bush’s Treasury 
Secretary, Hank Paulson, engineer the $700 billion dollar rip off of the US 
taxpayer, money that was gifted to the crooked banksters who destroyed 
Americans’ pensions, jobs and health care coverage.

These banksters, and the negligent federal regulators that enabled them, should 
be put in prison, not handed hundreds of billions of dollars.

Instead, Obama has appointed one of the chief orchestrators of the rip off to 
the helm of the Treasury.  Obama’s National Economic Council is just as 
depressing.  Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, is its head.  Summers 
recently declared that he had no inkling that a financial crisis was about to 
hit.  Why did Obama put a person without a clue in charge?

Summer’s colleagues are just as bad. Obama has appointed Diana Farrell, lead 
author of a phony study that claimed offshoring of American jobs is a win-win 
game for Americans, as deputy director of the National Economic Council.  
Farrell is affiliated with McKinsey & Company, a firm that helps American 
corporations offshore their operations.  In his book,  Outsourcing America, 
economist Ron Hira tore Farrell’s McKinsey report to shreds.

Why not appoint Ron Hira and Nouriel Roubina, who predicted the crisis, to the 
National Economic Council?

With Israel’s most fervent American allies whispering in one ear and banksters 
and offshoring propagandists whispering in the other, how can President Obama 
fulfill any of the hopes that people have?

The discouraging fact is that even when faced with crisis in the economy and in 
foreign policy, the American political system is incapable of producing any 
leadership.  Here we are in the worst economic crisis in a lifetime, perhaps in 
our history, and on the brink of war in Pakistan and Iran while escalating the 
war in Afghanistan, and all we get is a government made up of the very people 
who have brought us to these crises. 

Just as the Bushites could not admit the failure of their man, the Obamacons 
will not be able to admit the failure of their man.

The era of American leadership has passed.  America’s shyster financial system 
has brought economic crisis to the world.  America’s wars of aggression are 
seen as serving no purpose except the enrichment of the military industries 
associated with Dick Cheney.  The world is looking elsewhere for leadership.

Vladimir Putin made a play for this role at Davos, where his speech at the 
opening ceremony was the most intelligent speech of the event.  

Putin reminded the World Economic Forum that "just a year ago, American 
delegates speaking from this rostrum emphasized the US economy’s fundamental 
stability and its cloudless prospects.  Today, investment banks, the pride of 
Wall Street, have virtually ceased to exist.  In just 12 months, they have 
posted losses exceeding the profits they made in the last 25 years."

Putin made his case that the existing financial system based on the US dollar 
and American financial hegemony has failed. 

Putin showed that his economic understanding was superior to that of the Obama 
team when he said that creating more debt on top of the "hopeless debts," as 
Obama is doing, would "prolong the crisis."  

With another swipe at America’s failed economic leadership, Putin said it is 
time to get rid of virtual money, false financial reports, and dubious credit 
ratings.  Putin proposed a new reserve currency system to "replace the obsolete 
unipolar world concept."

Putin said that a secure world requires cooperation which requires trust.  He 
made it clear that the Americans have proven that they cannot be trusted.

This was a powerful message.  It got a lot of applause.

Source with hyperlinks : http://vdare.com/roberts/090201_bankrupt.htm


Proof that the organized Jewish community opposes free speech
By Kevin MacDonald, PhD

It is something of an axiom of Jewish life that “Is it good for the Jews?” 
remains the litmus test of Jewish communal activity - in other words, interest 
over principles. A good example is free speech. There can be little doubt that 
the organized Jewish community sees free speech as a problem because it may be 
used to criticize the behavior of Jewish organizations and especially Israel.

In Canada the response of the organized Jewish community to recent 
demonstrations against Israel was to attempt to invoke Canada’s restrictions on 
free speech in order to silence their critics. The Canadian Jewish Congress 
complained that protests against Israel’s incursion into Gaza contained images 
that were “uncivil, un-Canadian, that demonize Jews and Israelis.” They are 
asking the police to investigate the matter for referral to the Canadian Human 
Rights Commission which is in charge of enforcing laws that infringe on free 
speech. Although the organized Jewish community in Canada has strongly 
supported the thought crime legislation (see below), Bernie Farber, the head of 
the CJC, stated “we are firm supporters and believers in the need to be able to 
demonstrate passionately in free and democratic societies.”

Because of the First Amendment, we are still a ways from the situation in 
Canada here in the US. Nevertheless, the ADL has been in the forefront of 
promoting hate-crime legislation in America, and there can be little doubt that 
they see the First Amendment as a barrier to their interests in suppressing 
thoughts and speech critical of Israel and other Jewish interests.

An example of the efforts of the organized Jewish community in the direction of 
thought control is the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004. This law 
created an office of “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism” within 
the State Department, headed by Gregg J. Rickman. The act not only requires the 
State Department to document acts of anti-Semitism, but also to “combat acts of 
anti-Semitism globally.”

The act does not say what the U.S. must do to combat anti-Semitism around the 
world. I assume combating anti-Semitism wouldn’t require any more in the way of 
lives and money than, say, the war in Iraq - another project spearheaded by 
Jewish activism on behalf of Israel. But that may be wishful thinking as the 
same activists are avidly promoting a war with Iran which would likely be even 
more disastrous.

In any case, the office issued its most recent Contemporary Global 
Anti-Semitism Report (GASR) in March of last year. The document is an excellent 
example of Jewish activism that would be unremarkable except that it is now 
officially ensconced at the highest reaches of the U.S. government. As we shall 
see, it goes beyond criticizing anti-Jewish actions to anti-Jewish attitudes, 
such as statements about Jewish influence.

The report performs the by now familiar casuistry on Israel as a cause of 
anti-Semitism. The reader is led to believe that the allegations of Israeli 
atrocities are overblown propaganda - when the real question is just how 
Palestinians manage to survive at all in the occupied territories. The recent 
horrifying incursion into Gaza is only the most recent example. Not only did 
Israel carry out a starvation-inducing blockade during a ceasefire and an 
assault that finally provoked Palestinian retaliation, there seems little doubt 
that Israel committed war crimes - particularly the use of white phosphorus 
bombs in densely populated civilian areas.

The report complains that Israel’s bad behavior is singled out while nobody 
cares when other governments behave inhumanely. The problem here is that 
because Israel’s bad behavior is an important ingredient in enflaming the 
entire region, it should interest everyone. And because of the role of the 
Israel Lobby in shaping American policy, Israel’s bad behavior is even more 
properly the concern of all Americans. American taxpayers are not being asked 
to massively subsidize other badly behaved governments, nor are they asked to 
fight and die in wars designed to advance the interests of those governments.

The report graciously states that “responsible criticism” of Israel’s policies 
is acceptable. (Thanks!) But there’s a catch: “Those criticizing Israel have a 
responsibility to consider the effect their actions may have in prompting 
hatred of Jews.”

This, of course, has the effect of proscribing criticism of Israel for fear of 
being called an anti-Semite. Presumably responsible criticism of Israel does 
not include books like John Mearsheimer and Steven Walt’s The Israel Lobby, 
despite its academic tone and masterful marshalling of evidence. Jewish 
activists have routinely accused the authors of resurrecting the Protocols and 
other vicious acts of anti-Semitism.

As the report notes, Israel is without doubt the source of most anti-Jewish 
words and deeds in the contemporary world. But the report also points to 
traditional Jewish stereotypes as a continuing concern: Jews as more loyal to 
Israel and Jewish interests than the interests of their country of residence; 
and Jews as having inordinate influence and control over media, the economy or 
government. For example, according to ADL surveys, substantial percentages of 
Europeans believe that Jews have too much power in business and in 
international financial markets. (The percentages range from around 20% in 
Germany to 60% in Hungary.)

Similarly, ADL surveys indicate that beliefs that Jews are disloyal are common 
among Europeans, ranging from 39% in France to 60% in Spain. The report notes 
that “those who believe that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to their own 
country tend to believe that Jew­ish lobbying groups and individual Jews in 
influential positions in national governments seek to bend policy toward 
Israel’s interests.”

In other words, these anti-Semites are living under the illusion that 
organizations like AIPAC actually have some influence. And they may even 
believe that highly placed Jews like Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams and Richard 
Perle may have steered U.S. policy in a way that benefited Israel to the 
detriment of the United States.

As I noted in my review of Mearsheimer and Walt,

Pro-Israel activists such as Perle typically phrase their policy 
recommendations as aimed at benefiting the United States. Perle does this 
despite evidence that he has a strong Jewish identity and despite the fact that 
he has typical Jewish concerns, such as anti-Semitism, the Holocaust, and the 
welfare of Israel. Perle poses as an American patriot despite credible charges 
of spying for Israel, writing reports for Israeli think tanks and op-eds for 
the Jerusalem Post, and maintaining close personal relationships with Israeli 

Needless to say, the GASR is not a good place to find nuanced or fair 
treatments of these issues.

The GASR also has a section deploring ethnic nationalist movements of non-Jews, 
mainly in Eastern Europe, complaining that these movements are commonly 
anti-Jewish. Typically the anti-Jewish sentiments of such movements stem from 
the perception that Jews are an elite with considerable power and that this 
elite opposes the ethno-nationalism of non-Jews-a view that certainly has some 
basis in reality. (Jewish opposition to ethno-nationalism is restricted to 
non-Jews in areas where Jews form a Diaspora; it does not, of course, apply to 

For example, the GASR singles out Roman Catholic institutions as “encouraging 
anti-Semitism and ethnic and religious chauvinism.” Chief among the offenders 
is a conservative Catholic radio station in Poland, Radio Maryja, cited for 
claiming that “Jews were pushing the Polish government to pay exorbitant 
private property restitution claims [for Holocaust reparations], and that 
Poland’s President was ‘in the pocket of the Jewish lobby.’”

This seems odd, since it would hardly be surprising if indeed Jews and Jewish 
organizations were pressuring the Polish government on this issue. Indeed, 
Norman Finkelstein points out:

In negotiations with Eastern Europe, Jewish organizations and Israel have 
demanded the full restitution of or monetary compensation for the pre-war 
communal and private assets of the Jewish community. Consider Poland. The 
pre-war Jewish population of Poland stood at 3.5 million; the current 
population is several thousand. Yet, the World Jewish Restitution Organization 
demands title over the 6,000 pre-war communal Jewish properties, including 
those currently being used as hospitals and schools. It is also laying claim to 
hundreds of thousands of parcels of Polish land valued in the many tens of 
billions of dollars. Once again the entire US political and legal establishment 
has been mobilized to achieve these ends. Indeed, New York City Council members 
unanimously supported a resolution calling on Poland ‘to pass comprehensive 
legislation providing for the complete restitution of Holocaust assets’, while 
57 members of Congress (led by Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York) 
dispatched a letter to the Polish parliament demanding ‘comprehensive 
legislation that would return 100% of all property and assets seized during the 

No sign of Jewish involvement there. Clearly, Radio Marija is way out of line.

Incidentally, Finkelstein has paid dearly for offending the Israel Lobby: 
blacklisted from employment in the academic world, deported and barred from 
Israel, and living in a rent-stabilized apartment near his boyhood home in 
Brooklyn. The Lobby clearly believes in free speech so long as it’s done in 
one’s closet and assuming the neighbors can’t hear it. (More on this below.)

Also related to Poland, the GASR notes that Maciej Giertych, European 
Parlia­ment Deputy and former head of the Political Party League of Polish 
Families, wrote a booklet “suggesting that Jews were unethical and a ‘tragic 
community’ because they did not accept Jesus as the Messiah.” The report also 
deplored the ADL’s finding that 39% of Polish respondents agreed that “Jews are 
responsible for the death of Christ.”

This is truly amazing. Here we have an official U.S. government report 
condemning a Polish politician and a large percentage of the Polish people for 
expressing religious ideas that date from the origins of the Church in 
antiquity. It’s very reminiscent of the situation in Canada where the Christian 
Heritage Party has been charged with promoting hatred because they published 
material opposing homosexuality for religious reasons stemming from their 
reading of the Bible.

Incidentally, the GASR complains that Giertych also claimed that “Jews ‘create 
their own ghettos’ because they like to separate themselves from others.” 
Residential segregation, of course, was standard Jewish behavior in the 
Diaspora beginning in the ancient world, and it certainly occurred in Poland 
well into modern times. Indeed, it continues in many areas of the Diaspora 
today. But, as with thought crimes generally, truth is no defense.

The GASR coyly states that “While the report describes many measures that 
foreign governments have adopted to combat anti-Semitism, it does not endorse 
any such measures that prohibit conduct that would be protected under the U.S. 

Nevertheless, the act requires the compilation of material that would 
presumably be protected by the US Constitution, in particular “instances of 
propaganda in government and nongovernment media that attempt to justify or 
promote racial hatred … against Jewish people.” When one considers that a great 
many of the attitudes mentioned in the GASR are either substantially factual or 
reflect common religious beliefs, they would certainly seem to fall within the 
protections of the First Amendment.

And it’s pretty clear where its heart lies. Indeed, as Ezra Levant has recently 
described, Jewish organizations and activists have been a major source of 
support for the Canadian Human Rights Commission, intervening in dozens of 
cases in favor of plaintiffs. Levant describes the Simon Weisenthal Center as 
“one of the most vicious interveners in Canadian Human Rights Commission 
censorship trials.” And Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress stated 
recently that “our anti-hate laws are probably the most underused.” Levant 
comments: “That sounds like Ian Fine, senior counsel for the CHRC, who declared 
that ‘there can’t be enough laws against hate.’ So while the rest of the 
country is realizing that our government censorship has gone too far, Farber 
says it goes nowhere far enough; it’s underused. He wants more censorship, more 
government intervention into thoughts and ideas - and the emotion called 

Clearly the office of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism is 
nothing if not a Jewish activist organization. And it doubtless would love to 
institute the same kinds of thought control in the U.S. that have made Canada 
into a police state. Indeed, it would be entirely within the letter of the law 
that created this monster if the United States were to declare war on Poland as 
a means of combating anti-Semitism. At least it won’t be necessary to invade 

Source with hyperlinks : 


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