Monday, April 24, 2006

Wash Post on Jewish Lobby Article

The Washington Post reported on the Walt-Mearscheimer article on the influence of the Jewish Lobby on American Mid-East policy.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Brazil's Nuclear Program Still Progressing

USA Today reports that Brazil is still improving its nuclear program, and like Iran is developing enrichment, but it is cooperating with the IAEA. As I have said before, the US is largely responsible for starting Brazil down this road by refusing to supply the uranium fuel for a Westinghouse reactor that it sold back in the 1960s or 70s when Brazil was trying to achieve more independence from foreign oil after the Arab oil embargo. Brazil has made progress in the nuclear field, as well as in the substitution of ethanol for gasoline, two possibilities that President Bush suddenly discovered in his last State of the Union address. By contrast, Brazil has been steadily working on them for over 30 years.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Condi Rice's Oil Connections

With all the outrage about Exxon CEO Lee Raymond getting a $400 million retirement package, it's worth remembering Secretary of State Condi Rice's ties to the oil industry. She was a director of Chevron for ten years, from 1991 to 2001. She had a Chevron tanker named after her; however, the "Condoleeza Rice" was renamed the "Altair Voyager" shortly after she was named President Bush's National Security Adviser in 2001. Along with Bush's and Cheney's ties to the oil industry, the San Francisco Chronicle reported: "But critics said the ship served as a giant floating symbol of the Bush administration's cozy ties to the oil industry." Any questions why gas is approaching $3.00 a gallon and why VP Dick Cheney made $8 million last year?

If Exxon can pay $400 million for one man's retirement, and Chevron can build a Condi Rice tanker, you'd think somebody could afford to build a new oil refinery in the US. But apparently when you're a big shot investing money in your oil company has a low priority. The top priority is to get yours, pay yourself lots of money! Stockholders and consumers take 2nd or 3rd place, much less doing anything for your country. Poor America. Those she makes rich curse her.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

NYT Op-Ed on Walt-Mearsheimer Paper

The New York Times has an excellent op-ed on the Walt-Mearsheimer paper on the power of the Jewish Lobby in America. One of its best points is that criticism of Israel or of American policy toward Israel is not necessarily anti-Semitism. The use of the anti-Semitism epithet is effective, but if overused or used improperly, it may become like the boy crying wolf. Then what do Jews do if true anti-Semitism rears its head?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Dispute over German Archives

This Washington Post article about the difficulty of access to German archives dealing with the Holocaust reminds me of a question I sometimes have when I hear about the Holocaust. How many Holocaust survivors cooperated with the Nazi death camp guards as "capos"? These were Jews who assisted the German prison guards in suppressing their Jewish fellow prisoners. While I would guess they were not favorably viewed by the other prisoners, they could grant favors. There was an example of this in the movie, "The Pianist." As one review notes, the star "was saved from transport to the death camps by a Jewish capo."

If, in fact, many Holocaust survivors were capos, they would probably never admit it. It would be interesting if these archives could shed any light on this issue.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Non-Proliferation Links

The NYT has published a list of non-proliferation site links:

The following related sites provide further information about nuclear technology and proliferation.

Managing the Atom Project, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard UniversityConducts policy-relevant research on issues affecting the future of nuclear weapons and nuclear energy technology.

Institute for Science and International SecurityNon-profit, non-partisan institution dedicated to informing the public about science and policy issues affecting international security. Its efforts focus on stopping the spread of nuclear weapons, bringing about greater transparency of nuclear activities worldwide and achieving deep reductions in nuclear arsenals.

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Non-Proliferation ProjectClearinghouse of information, maps, chronologies and links on nuclear proliferation.

Nuclear Threat InitiativeNTI works to reduce the global threat from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and is co-chaired by Ted Turner and Sam Nunn.

Center for Non-Proliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International StudiesProvides information and analysis to combat the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Federal Police of Malaysia: Press ReleasePress briefing report by Federal Police of Malaysia on their investigation of the Khan Network. Excellent source of fairly detailed information not normally made available to public.

Clarke & Simon on Iran War

Just when I thought the people I used to work with at State were out of the news cycle, there appears an op-ed by Richard Clarke and Steve Simon in the NYT. They argue, correctly, that it would be a bad idea to bomb Iran.

In the late 80's or early 90's, I worked for Assistant Secretary of State for Politico-Military Affairs Richard Clarke, and Steve Simon was one of his underlings, along with me.

More Income Disparity in Japan

The New York Times reports that income disparity is increasing in Japan. This appears to be another result of globalization, and the increasing precedence of capital over labor. Good jobs are disappearing everywhere, and reappearing where they are not "good" by world standards because the pay is so low, although they may be good for the country to which they move. In some cases, e.g., Mexico, the person moves to the job but remains Mexican, in others the job itself moves to Mexico. This is efficient, but is good only for those who own the enterprises that are doing the work.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

NY Times on Jewish Lobby Article

The New York Times finally ran an article about the paper written by the professors from Harvard and Chic ago about the Jewish Lobby. However, the article consists mainly of derogatory comments by mostly Jewish commentators without explaining what the article said. The NYT article also says the Atlantic magazine refused to publish the article.

I was at first disappointed at the Atlantic for not publishing the article, and at the NYT for publishing an article about it that only publishes the criticism of it, while saying very little about the article itself. Then, I realized that this is exactly the result of the Jewish lobby. It could destroy the Atlantic, and could do major damage to the NYT. The lesson is, from those the Lobby has already destroyed, like former Senator Charles Percy, "Be afraid, be very afraid."

An article by Alfred Lilienthal tells what happened to the NYT when it refused a Zionist ad shortly before Israel's creation:

To his great regret, Sulzberger [the owner of the NYT], some years earlier, had rejected an advertisement submitted by the American League for a Free Palestine, the U.S. counterpart of Menachem Begin’s extremist Irgun Zvai Leumi. The ad had defended their leader’s terrorist activity against the British and called for immediate establishment of the Zionist state of Palestine. The Times rejection of the extremist Zionist advertisement had been met with what Sulzberger later was to describe to me as “a frightening experience,” a virtual boycott of the paper, the details of which remain one of the most guarded secrets tucked away in a Times Square safe.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Senate Immigration Bill Fails

Reuters reports that the compromise Senate immigration bill has failed. Hooray! No amnesty today.

As several people have said, the US just ought to enforce the laws on the books. Contrary to Sen. John McCain's argument that it would be impossible to send 12 million illegals back home on buses, if we enforced the laws, they would mostly go of their own accord. They got here on their own. It would require some toughness. Life for them would have to be as bad here as in Mexico. We would have to make sure that illegals can't work, can't get food stamps, and in general can't get medical care, except for life threatening conditions. The Catholic church could help them by giving them food and shelter if it wanted to, but if they became a huge burden on the church, rather than contributors, the church would probably eventually encourage them to go home.

More on AIPAC article

Here's some more comment on the AIPAC article: Globalist 1; Globalist 2. The best thing is that it is a reply written by a Jew, but it does not accuse the authors of anti-Semitism.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Proposed Senate Immigration Bill Is Amnesty

The proposed Senate immigration bill as reported by the New York Times is an amnesty for illegal aliens. Anything that rewards them for an illegal act is an amnesty, and this bill proposes to do that for aliens who have been in this country for more than five years, i.e., the worst offenders.

This bill is racism at its worst. It favors Mexicans over all other races and nationalities because they are the main people who sneak over the border illegally. Sure, there are illegal Africans, Asians, and South Americans, but they mainly have to come in by the planeload and clear immigration at an airport. A few, but very few, non-Mexicans come sealed in shipping containers or by other unorthodox methods. Of the millions of aliens under consideration, the vast majority are Mexican. Indians, Russians, and Chinese be damned, especially if they have Ph.D.s or are highly skilled. The Senate doesn't want them! It wants uneducated Mexicans who sneak across the border.

The main thing that bothers me is the disregard of the rule of law. We have immigration laws, but now the Senate says they are only hortatory. I was upset at Republican disdain for international law early in the Bush administration, but now -- with increasing domestic acceptance of torture, denial of habeas corpus, warrantless wiretapping and other horrible things that it took the common law and the Constitution hundreds of years to outlaw -- deciding that there is no immigration law is consistent with the general Republican disdain for law. No wonder Enron's Ken Lay and company were good friends of the President, and they probably will be again when the press spotlight dims.

Perhaps I am upset because of my past job as a consular officer in Brazil issuing American visas. It breaks your heart to refuse a visa to someone, for example, who wants to visit his mother who is working illegally in the States, and whom he has not seen for years. But under the law, he is almost certain to stay and work in the US as his mother did, and thus, he is not eligible for a visa. But if he were Mexican, he could just sneak across the border. Why should there be one law for Mexicans and another for Brazilians (and Poles, and Thais, and Nigerians)? What's the point of breaking his heart, and yours, if Congress doesn't really care?

Replies to AIPAC Article

The Christian Science Monitor picks up more comment about the article on AIPAC's extraordinary influence on US politics. Alan Dershowitz weighs in for a Harvard rebuttal of a Harvard colleague. One of his worst arguments (on page 15) is, "Several years ago, I challenged those who made similar accusations to identify a single Jewish leader who equated mere criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism. No one accepted my challenge, because no Jewish leader has made such an absurd claim." Dershowitz's paper is just the thing he claims does not exist. He attacks his Harvard colleague as an anti-Semite for daring to criticize Israel.

Everybody attacks the original article because David Dukes of KKK fame agreed with it. But does that necessarily make it wrong? If David Dukes said the sky was blue, would that necessarily mean that it was green? The fact that someone who is frequently wrong says that something is right does not logically mean that he is wrong in this case. The argument should be judged on its truthfulness, not on some kind of guilt by association.