Home   Bookmark and Share

 Print Friendly and PDF

The announcement last week by the United States of the largest military aid package in its history – to Israel – was a win for both sides.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could boast that his lobbying had boosted aid from $3.1 billion a year to $3.8bn – a 22 per cent increase – for a decade starting in 2019.

Mr Netanyahu has presented this as a rebuff to those who accuse him of jeopardising Israeli security interests with his government’s repeated affronts to the White House.

In the past weeks alone, defence minister Avigdor Lieberman has compared last year’s nuclear deal between Washington and Iran with the 1938 Munich pact, which bolstered Hitler; and Mr Netanyahu has implied that US opposition to settlement expansion is the same as support for the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews.

American president Barack Obama, meanwhile, hopes to stifle his own critics who insinuate that he is anti-Israel. The deal should serve as a fillip too for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic party’s candidate to succeed Mr Obama in November’s election.

In reality, however, the Obama administration has quietly punished Mr Netanyahu for his misbehaviour. Israeli expectations of a $4.5bn-a-year deal were whittled down after Mr Netanyahu stalled negotiations last year as he sought to recruit Congress to his battle against the Iran deal.

In fact, Israel already receives roughly $3.8bn – if Congress’s assistance on developing missile defence programmes is factored in. Notably, Israel has been forced to promise not to approach Congress for extra funds.

The deal takes into account neither inflation nor the dollar’s depreciation against the shekel.

A bigger blow still is the White House’s demand to phase out a special exemption that allowed Israel to spend nearly 40 per cent of aid locally on weapon and fuel purchases. Israel will soon have to buy all its armaments from the US, ending what amounted to a subsidy to its own arms industry.

Nonetheless, Washington’s renewed military largesse – in the face of almost continual insults – inevitably fuels claims that the Israeli tail is wagging the US dog. Even The New York Times has described the aid package as “too big”.

Since the 1973 war, Israel has received at least $100bn in military aid, with more assistance hidden from view. Back in the 1970s, Washington paid half of Israel’s military budget. Today it still foots a fifth of the bill, despite Israel’s economic success.

But the US expects a return on its massive investment. As the late Israeli politician-general Ariel Sharon once observed, ­Israel has been a US “aircraft carrier” in the Middle East, acting as the regional bully and carrying out operations that benefit Washington.

Almost no one blames the US for Israeli attacks that wiped out Iraq’s and Syria’s nuclear programmes. A nuclear-armed Iraq or Syria would have deterred later US-backed moves at regime overthrow, as well as countering the strategic advantage Israel derives from its own nuclear arsenal.

In addition, Israel’s US-sponsored military prowess is a triple boon to the US weapons industry, the country’s most powerful lobby. Public funds are siphoned off to let Israel buy goodies from American arms makers. That, in turn, serves as a shop window for other customers and spurs an endless and lucrative game of catch-up in the rest of the Middle East.

The first F-35 fighter jets to arrive in Israel in December – their various components produced in 46 US states – will increase the clamour for the cutting-edge warplane.

Israel is also a “front-line laboratory”, as former Israeli army negotiator Eival Gilady admitted at the weekend, that develops and field-tests new technology Washington can later use itself.

The US is planning to buy back the missile interception system Iron Dome – which neutralises battlefield threats of retaliation – it largely paid for. Israel works closely too with the US in developing cyber­warfare, such as the Stuxnet worm that damaged Iran’s civilian nuclear programme.

But the clearest message from Israel’s new aid package is one delivered to the Palestinians: Washington sees no pressing strategic interest in ending the occupation. It stood up to Mr Netanyahu over the Iran deal but will not risk a damaging clash over Palestinian statehood.

Some believe that Mr Obama signed the aid package to win the credibility necessary to overcome his domestic Israel lobby and pull a rabbit from the hat: an initiative, unveiled shortly before he leaves office, that corners Mr Netanyahu into making peace.

Hopes have been raised by an expected meeting at the United Nations in New York on Wednesday. But their first talks in 10 months are planned only to demonstrate unity to confound critics of the aid deal.

If Mr Obama really wanted to pressure Mr Netanyahu, he would have used the aid agreement as leverage. Now Mr Netanyahu need not fear US financial retaliation, even as he intensifies effective annexation of the West Bank.

Mr Netanyahu has drawn the right lesson from the aid deal – he can act against the Palestinians with continuing US impunity.

- See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2016-09-19/palestinians-lose-in-us-military-aid-deal-with-israel/#sthash.fL4Eq28N.dpuf

America and Lackeys Insult People of the World

By Finian Cunningham

November 03, 2016 "Information Clearing House" - "SCF" - And it’s not just Russia that Washington is insulting – it's the entire world. Such is the preposterous hypocrisy of US leaders and their international network of cronies.

US client regime Saudi Arabia – the world's most repressive – being given a seat on the UN human rights council over the weekend while Russia was forced out of it is just one glaring insult among many.

Russia’s top diplomat was referring to US officials and Western allies accusing Russia of “barbarism” and “war crimes” in its ongoing military intervention in Syria.

Yet these unverified, hysterical charges that Washington levels against Moscow in Syria are proven against the US and its allies who have committed huge war crimes in dozens of countries over recent years. Crimes that go unaccounted for.

Lavrov cited the case of former Yugoslavia in particular where, in 1999, US-led NATO warplanes killed thousands of civilians in air strikes on public infrastructure. Since then, illegal overseas wars launched by Washington – in brazen violation of international law – have proliferated with a death toll counted in millions.

Currently, US forces are bombing seven countries, including Iraq, Syria and Yemen, inflicting civilian deaths on a daily basis. Yet it is Washington and its Western minions who have the audacity to condemn Russia over its military operations to salvage Syria from a US-led covert war for regime change. That the US has orchestrated a criminal covert war in Syria since March 2011 – violating the human rights of millions of Syrians – is a shocking reality that only the servile Western media continues to conceal.

Last week, the Western propaganda campaign to demonize Russia scored a dubious “victory” by having Russia dropped from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). That move was achieved on the back of a media-driven agenda claiming that Russian air strikes were indiscriminately targeting civilians in the northern Syria city of Aleppo.

Never mind that Russian (and Syrian) aircraft have not been carrying out combat missions around Aleppo for nearly two weeks in order to facilitate humanitarian aid efforts in the war-torn city. Never mind that those aid efforts have been continually sabotaged by foreign-backed terrorist groups holding civilians under siege in eastern Aleppo for the past four years.

Russia’s military intervention in Syria over the past year has helped Syrian government forces liberate hundreds of towns and villages from a reign of terror imposed by foreign-backed mercenaries, all of which are integrated with the internationally outlawed terrorist networks Islamic State (Daesh) and Nusra Front. None of this is given any acknowledgment by the West and its subservient news media, which instead inverts reality by amplifying spurious claims leveled against Russia by the terrorist sponsors.

The battle for Aleppo is fully consistent with the objective of liberating Syria from a US-led criminal conspiracy to destroy the country and to replace the elected government of President Bashar al-Assad with a pro-Western puppet regime.

Over the weekend, Western media strained credulity by referring to “rebels breaking the regime’s siege on Aleppo”. These so-called rebels are none other than Al Qaeda-linked terrorists of Nusra Front and its myriad offshoots, like Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Fatah. It isn’t the Syrian army and its Russian ally that are holding the city siege. It is the terrorists. And over the weekend their shelling resulting in dozens of civilians being killed, including reportedly 14 children in government-held western Aleppo.

Even the abjectly one-sided Western media could not conceal the slaughter by terrorist “rebels” whom the United States and its allies have supported with money, weapons and training to do their geopolitical bidding in Syria since 2011.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Iraq, a US coalition that includes Britain, France and Turkey continued bombing the city of Mosul, ostensibly to defeat extremists holding a civilian population as human shields – extremists whom the US and its partners have covertly supported next door in Syria. US-led aerial bombardment of Mosul has resulted in heavy civilian casualties since the offensive was launched on October 17, according to local sources.

Elsewhere over the weekend, Saudi warplanes, supported by the US, Britain and France, ratcheted up even more crimes against humanity. Some 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi coalition began bombing the region’s poorest country in March 2015. In an air strike on the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, Saudi warplanes attacked a prison, killing more than 60 inmates and security staff. It was just the latest atrocity in a litany of such deadly strikes on civilian centers, including hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, family homes and even funeral halls.

Last week, UN agencies reported that nearly half the Yemeni population of 24 million is facing starvation. Images of skeletal children are emerging, wracked by dysentery and cholera. This barbaric nationwide ordeal has been created by the Saudi regime and its Western patrons imposing a sea and air blockade on the country. It is no exaggeration to say that the whole Yemeni nation is an imprisoned population that is being bombed over and over without the slightest compunction for women and children being blown to pieces.

Without American, British and French military support the Saudi slaughter in Yemen would cease immediately. Western-backed Saudi claims of Iranian subversion in Yemen, from allegedly supporting Houthi rebels, are a risible pretext. Washington and its clients are destroying Yemen simply because they can’t abide a popular, genuinely pro-democracy uprising succeeding in a vital oil-rich region that underpins US hegemony through despotic Arab rule, as in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf monarchical dictatorships.

On the same weekend that Russia was sanctioned at the UNHRC, it was yet another blood-soaked orgy of state-sponsored terrorism carried out by the US, its allies and their mercenary surrogates.

The US, Britain, France and Saudi Arabia are among the 47 member states represented on the Geneva-based human rights council. The Saudi feudalist monarchy, which executes prisoners convicted of “sorcery” and other crimes by public beheading, and which bans women from driving cars, only obtained its seat on the UNHRC due to Britain fixing the votes.

Russia, which has stood against the terrorist-sponsoring aggression in Syria by Washington and its rogue-state partners, is singled out for sanction over allegations of committing violations.

This censure is insulting because not only is it a travesty of justice. It is an insult to common intelligence which can see through the preposterous lies of the US and its accomplices.

The utter disconnect and deception by Washington and other Western governments may fool some of the people some of the time, but over the long-run such corruption is coming unstuck. The turmoil, anger and disdain among ordinary people towards criminals in high office is reaching boiling point in the US, Europe and across the world.

The more that these illegitimate rulers seek to justify their existence and criminal enterprises the more it offends ordinary human intelligence.

Russia is right to be aggrieved by the public insults that emanate from Washington and its lackeys. But Russia is certainly not alone in being grotesquely wronged. The whole world is aggrieved by putting up so far with an international oligarchy of thieves, exploiters and sponsors of terrorism. So far.

Click for Spanish, German, Dutch, Danish, French, translation- Note- Translation may take a moment to load.

What's your response? -  Scroll down to add / read comments 

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our FREE Daily Email Newsletter

For Email Marketing you can trust











 Please read our  Comment Policy before posting -
It is unacceptable to slander, smear or engage in personal attacks on authors of articles posted on ICH.
Those engaging in that behavior will be banned from the comment section.




In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information ClearingHouse endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

Privacy Statement