Friday, March 12, 2010

Iran's spies show how it's done

Iran's spies show how it's done

By Mahan Abedin

The dramatic arrest of Abdulmalik Rigi, Iran's most wanted man, on February 23 continues to be shrouded in mystery. But with information and insights gleaned from security sources in Tehran, Asia Times Online can reveal some of the most intricate background details leading to this stunning arrest.

The imagery - and the concomitant political message - was compelling. The image of a young man being surrounded by balaclava-clad security officers by the side of a small commercial plane was designed to send the strongest possible message to Western intelligence services, their political masters and the Western public in general. If the West led by the mighty United States has failed in its nearly nine-year pursuit of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, embattled
Iran managed to get its man with minimal political and economic cost.

Aside from frustrating American subversion efforts in Iran's southeast, the capture of the Jundallah leader sends an unmistakable message that in the intelligence wars of the Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran has once again seized the initiative. The repercussions of this will be felt across all spheres and at all levels, boosting Iran's diplomatic and political posture in the region, and thus making the country less vulnerable to American and Israeli bullying.

Rigi: Downfall of a terrorist
How a young man of 31 years with little formal education became the most serious and proximate security threat to the Islamic Republic is undoubtedly the most interesting dimension of ethnic politics in post-revolutionary Iran. The story of Rigi is still littered with unanswered questions. Security sources in Tehran contend that he has been cooperative in custody and surely enough there was no obvious hint of duress or coercion in his hastily-arranged "confession" that was aired on Iran's Press TV two days after his arrest. (See The demise of a 'good-for-nothing bandit', Asia Times Online, March 13.)

From an ideological point of view, the emergence of the Sunni militant Jundallah group is undoubtedly tied to the geopolitical and ideological concussions that have engulfed the region since the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, and the subsequent American-led military intervention in Afghanistan.

Iranian authorities believed their country to be immune from the kind of Sunni militant terrorism that had plagued neighboring countries, in particular Pakistan and Iraq. The idea that Shi'ite-majority Iran with its deep-rooted culture and civilization and strong sense of national identity and cohesion could fall victim to indigenous practitioners of this retrograde and savage form of terrorism hadn't even crossed the minds of many Iranian security officials. This is not so much a failure at the intelligence and security levels, but an indication of profound cultural arrogance and misplaced self-assuredness.

Jundallah is believed to have emerged in a coherent form in 2003, its organizational origins rooted in the twin security threats unique to the Sistan and Balochistan province, namely organized crime and a small but vocal secessionist movement. Balochi separatism, in different forms and guises, has been an irritant to the modern Iranian nation-state since the 19th century.

In recent decades what started out as a tribal revolt against the perceived intrusions of the central government developed distinctly ethnic and religious overtones, with self-declared champions of the Baloch people bemoaning the so-called Persian and Shi'ite character of the Iranian state.

On the surface, the victory of the Islamic revolution of 1979 and the country's transition from an absolute monarchy to a semi-democratic Islamic Republic was a body-blow to the small numbers of militant secessionists in Balochistan, as well as elsewhere, in particular Iran's Kurdish regions in the northwest, insofar as the Islamic Republic promoted more inclusive notions of nationality and citizenship.

But beneath the surface old grievances continued to fester - reinforced by years of central government neglect of local infrastructure - and accentuated by perceived sectarian policies. This is the backdrop to the emergence of Jundallah, which unlike previous generations of Baloch nationalists, openly embraced a religious and at times sectarian rhetoric, projecting itself as a Sunni Islamic movement at war with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Jundallah's strong religious and sectarian rhetoric, coupled with its tactics of suicide bombings and beheadings (painfully reminiscent of the atrocities perpetrated by Sunni jihadi groups in neighboring Iraq, Pakistan and Afghanistan), was a major shock to Iranian security officials, who by 2004 had begun to realize the extent of the problem, and quickly took remedial action.

The Islamic Republic prides itself on having efficient and adaptive security and intelligence services. Iranian officials often cite the successful experience of these agencies in countering a broad range of security and intelligence threats, including terrorism by left-wing and secessionist groups and intense espionage and subversion activities by Western intelligence services, over the past 30 years to underscore their skills and capabilities. It seems that the full gamut of these capabilities was deployed against Jundallah and its local allies in Iran and Pakistan to great effect, to the extent that the group is now for all intents and purposes decapitated and probably a spent force.

Using old tribal espionage networks established decades ago, the Ministry of Intelligence successfully penetrated Jundallah, recruiting many of its members, including top commanders. Although security sources in Tehran decline to comment on the matter, sources close to Jundallah-centered investigations in Tehran and Zahedan (capital of Sistan and Balochistan province) claim that the Ministry of Intelligence had recruited Rigi's younger brother, Abdulhamid.

Certainly, the behavior of Abdulhamid Rigi and the leniency afforded him by Iranian security and judicial authorities has raised many questions and lends credence to the suspicion that Abdulhamid was recruited as an agent, probably in late 2007.

Despite having been tried and sentenced to death for several murders, Abdulhamid has regularly given interviews to Iranian media since his ostensible "arrest" in 2008. In these interviews he has claimed to have met American diplomats and secret agents in Karachi and Islamabad in Pakistan, thus buttressing the unflinching belief of Iranian intelligence chiefs that Jundallah has had a US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) tail all along.

Skillfully using former senior leaders of terrorist and insurgent groups as a means of putting pressure on these groups and sabotaging their morale is a tried and tested trademark of the Iranian intelligence services. The same tactics have been used extensively and highly effectively against a number of other terrorist organizations, most notably the Mujahideen-e-Khalq Organization, which ranked as the country's number one security threat during the 1980s and much of the 1990s.

But there is something distinctly unusual about Abdulhamid Rigi's media appearances insofar as he seems more like an enthusiastic and skillful prop for his new masters rather than a captured and broken terrorist leader.

While security sources in Tehran decline to be drawn on Abdulhamid's precise relationship with the Ministry of Intelligence, they admit that his help was invaluable in tracking his brother's movements and unearthing his extensive ties to the CIA. According to these sources, Iranian intelligence had been monitoring Abdulmalik Rigi round the clock since August 2009, but moving against him was difficult due to strong American backing and the fear of exposing invaluable methods and agents.

But the major suicide bombing on October 18, 2009, which targeted a conference hall in the Pishin area of Sistan and Balochistan where senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders were hosting a reconciliation meeting with local tribal elders, killing dozens of IRGC officers, including the deputy commander of the Guards' land forces, forced a decisive move against Rigi.

While the Ministry of Intelligence was not overly enthusiastic about ensnaring Rigi prematurely - for fear of compromising intelligence operations targeting Rigi's American masters in Pakistan and Afghanistan - the IRGC (which is now the dominant power in Sistan and Balochistan) brought sufficient pressure to bear, finally resulting in Rigi's capture in late February.

Security sources in Tehran are keen to highlight Abdulmalik Rigi's jet-set lifestyle, describing constant travel between Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Islamabad, Kabul and Central Asian capitals since early 2006. On the day of Rigi's arrest, Minister of Intelligence Heidar Moslehi appeared at a carefully arranged press conference giving details on Rigi's contacts and movements.

According to the intelligence minister, Rigi had even traveled to the British overseas territory of Gibraltar, from where he was allegedly moved to a European country, presumably to meet top Western intelligence chiefs. While independent verification of these claims is next to impossible, these carefully managed leaks are best understood as a means of inflicting sufficient public relations damage to Western intelligence without revealing anything solid by way of methods and knowledge.

In any event, security sources in Tehran tell Asia Times Online that they have "massive" amounts of information and documents in their possession that link Jundallah to the CIA and specialized branches of the United States military operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They also claim that the CIA had prior knowledge of the suicide bombing in Pishin in October (which was a massive blow against the IRGC) but there is an ongoing debate within security circles in Tehran as to whether the Americans had actively instigated the terrorist attack.

The outcome of this debate may well have serious repercussions, possibly prompting IRGC Qods force retaliation against American secret agents operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The IRGC Qods force is believed to have identified every noteworthy component of American intelligence activity in the region and the Qods force has the capability to strike a deadly blow against American intelligence assets in the region and beyond.

The precise details surrounding Abdulmalik Rigi's arrest are the subject of considerable debate. The Iranian government is content for confusion to prevail, especially since it feels it has succeeded in achieving two immediate post-arrest public relations objectives; to depict the operation as an all-Iranian affair (with no assistance rendered by any foreign intelligence service) and to paint Rigi as an American agent.

Notwithstanding the existence of several plausible theories surrounding Rigi's arrest, the bulk of the speculation has centered on Kyrgyzstan Airways flight QH454 en route to Bishkek from Dubai. According to most Iranian media reports, Iranian jets forced the plane to land before arresting Rigi with at least one accomplice. Kyrgyz authorities initially confirmed the arrests but then protested to Iran for forcing the plane to land and denied that any passengers were missing once the plane had landed at its destination.

Security sources in Tehran depict Abdulmalik Rigi as quiet and withdrawn. They describe a resourceful operative who despite lack of any formal education was able to develop a sophisticated relationship with the CIA and the US military, as well as the intelligence services of Pakistan, the UAE and "several" Central Asian states.

But they are also keen to downplay his physical daring and maintain that Rigi lacks physical courage and that his reluctance to place himself in "dangerous scenarios" had caused friction in Jundallah. This information ties in with accounts from journalist sources in Tehran who claim that Rigi's brother, Abdulhamid, fell out with him because of his increasing penchant for the "good" life and his reluctance to take part in operations.

Iran strikes back
By any standard, Abdulmalik Rigi's arrest is a major success for the Islamic Republic's intelligence services. This dramatic operation has boosted the morale of Islamic Republic loyalists throughout the Middle East and caused considerable dismay and embarrassment to Iran's Western enemies.

The arrest came in the wake of the assassinations of Iranian physicist Massoud Ali Mohammadi in Tehran in early January and legendary Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai later that month. While investigations into Mohammadi's assassination (by a remote-controlled bomb) are ongoing, Iranian authorities have already pointed an accusing finger at America and Israel, without providing much by way of evidence.

In the case of Mabhouh, although the Dubai police moved quickly to identify the assassins (who are widely believed to belong to the Israeli intelligence service Mossad), Iranian security chiefs believe the assassination could not have occurred without some complicity by UAE political and security chiefs.

The Iranians believe that at the very least high UAE officials had enabled the Mossad operation by creating a permissive operational environment for the Israeli spy service in Dubai. Although Mabhouh was not scheduled to meet Iranians in Dubai, he is believed to have had strong ties to the Iranian security establishment and this same establishment believes that the assassination was designed to send a strong signal to Iran and its allies.

Despite the amateurish way the assassination was carried out, it was nonetheless a morale boost for the Israelis and the Americans and was interpreted as such in Tehran. However, Rigi's arrest once again tipped the balance of confidence in favor of the Iranians, especially since, unlike Mabhouh's assassination, the operation was carried out with flawless precision and efficiency and moreover it was neither immoral nor did it violate any international laws.

Whether the Islamic Republic will be able to reap the full political and diplomatic dividends of this major intelligence success will depend on large measure to what extent Iranian policymakers can think imaginatively about all the conflict points between Iran and the United States, especially in regards to policy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan and the nuclear standoff. It will also depend on to what extent Iran can keep up the momentum of this success in the intelligence and security sphere with a view to continuing to deter Israeli military aggression, either against Lebanon or Syria, or far less likely against Iran itself.

The Real World: Tehran

Kill ‘em all, and let God sort ‘em out....

As the drums beat against the backdrop of a U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf, war with Iran seems more inevitable than it does likely. But does Iran pose a real threat to our national security or are they being used as a convenient scapegoat to divert the American people’s attention away from an impending financial collapse here at home?

War has always been used as a good exit strategy from the economic turmoil our banking masters create for us. Both world wars were initiated to face down fiscal meltdowns and it appears likely that they are using that same strategy to justify a third. But don’t expect to hear any mention of that once the shelling begins. It will be all about Ahmadinejad and the fictitious nuclear weapons program he has stashed away in his basement. That’s right! Same lie…different guy.

Truth is always the first casualty of war. Our kids come next. With fewer jobs to go around, social unrest becomes more certain especially among our nation’s youth. And what better way to quell the young and the restless from a potential uprising than to send them off to the front lines? Of course some will go reluctantly while others will consider it an honor to serve. Certainly there will be proud parents; they’ll slap a yellow “Support Our Troops” sticker on the back of their truck and break down in tears every time they hear “I’m proud to be an American” at the NASCAR track. But they will never acknowledge that their son is being used as cannon fodder for the banking cartels or worse yet– as Henry Kissinger describes them - “…dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns of foreign policy”.

Americans have been breeding soldiers since day one and as long as there is land to steal, property to seize and people to kill, there will always be a demand for more. But the United States government does not want to wait until your son’s 18th birthday to sell him on a military career- they want to get him young! And recruitment starts the minute you set the boy down in front of that television set. Since 9/11 the United States government and the American media have unilaterally orchestrated a massive campaign to win the hearts and minds of the young and prepare them for war! Graphically violent television programs and movies have made our children indifferent to death and destruction. Video games, particularly “first person shooter games”, actually teach kids to kill reliably and without hesitation after they condition their minds to make firing a weapon an “automatic response”.

Our nation has been in a constant state of war since 1991 and many young adults have no memory of a time when we have been at peace. Add that to all the virtual reality mayhem that’s been force-fed into their minds and it’s no wonder we see the level of aggression and recklessness from today’s youth. And you don’t have to even have kids of your own to witness a demonstration of this kind of behavior. Just check out popular youth-centric reality shows like “Jersey Shore” or “the Ruins” to get a glimpse into the lives of the modern young adult: blackout drinking, multiple sex partners, fits of rage and violence. And it’s not just the men engaged in these things. The girls can be just as scary.

Now compare them to the young adults who grew up before the war with Iraq, back when one of the first youth-centric reality shows made its debut:

In 1992, MTV launched “The Real World”, the longest running program in MTV history. Every episode starts off the same with a voice-over running simultaneously with a collage of scenes from that particular season’s show:

“This is the true story… of seven strangers… picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…The Real World.”

This was one of the first “reality” shows I remember seeing that dealt with average, ordinary young adults engaged in average, ordinary affairs that we can all relate to. It’s sort of a microcosm of contemporary American “pop culture”. Take a look at the characters from that first season. Sure they had their spats but, at least for the most part, they treated each other with a lot more respect than what we see today. These young people seemed more interested in art, careers and relationships than the drug-induced fistfights, date rapes and drunken tirades we see now. It’s a rather frightening example of just how morally bankrupt we’ve allowed our children to become in such a short period of time. But don’t worry! While your kids might not make functional members of society they just might find themselves right at home in the United States Armed Forces. There they can complete their life-long indoctrination and then be sent off to take out all their pent up rage on the young Iranian population…who are being subjected to their own brand of Western brain-washing.

Those who would believe that Iran is such a great threat to our American way of life and believe them to be at the forefront of a rising Islamic conspiracy to take over the world should take the time to examine the youth of that nation. After all, once their parents die off they will be the next in line to carry such a thing out. Wouldn’t it be interesting to follow the daily lives of seven Iranian youths…

…picked to live in a house…work together and have their lives taped… to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real…

What do you think that might look like? Well, if slurs like “Sand Nigger”, “Camel Jockey” or “Rag head” dominate your vernacular then you may imagine these youths to be engaged in daily rituals of flag desecration, effigy burning and beheadings. Maybe you envision them to be part of a society of radical jihadists who quote passages from the Qur’an advocating the killing of the “infidels”. Perhaps you suspect their waking hours are spent polishing their hand grenades and brushing up on the latest ways to carry out suicide bombings on American troops. If this is your perception, then you are not living in the real world. Iran, and more particularly its largest city Tehran, has a youth culture much like our own. They lead secular lives that are often at odds with the ruling regime. They have parties, wear western clothes, dance to western music and even drink alcohol and use drugs. The regime itself acknowledges that young Iranians have distanced themselves from their Islamic faith much like the youth here have distanced themselves from their Christian faith. Like their western counterparts, the Iranian kids are not interested in politics and world domination. They’re kids! They want simple things: music and art, food and drink, affection and comfort.

But you may be wondering how something like this could happen in a place that is seen by many as an extremely repressive theocratic dictatorship? Well, the Iranian government has complained, for years, about the Westernization of their culture. Some may argue that that is a good thing. There certainly are beautiful aspects of Western Civilization but it’s not the virtues of liberty and freedom that are being propagated on the Iranian people. What they are being enticed to embrace are the secular aspects: sexual promiscuity, entertainment, indulgence and vanity.

On September 12, 2002, current, but then former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the U.S. House’s Government Reform Committee and, according to a UPI article of the time titled “Netanyahu: Subvert Iran with Television”:

“…called upon the United States to effect regime change in both Iraq and Iran, prescribing a military invasion to topple the government in Baghdad and the transmission of ribald television programming via satellite into Persia, where he said the influx of pop culture would prove “subversive” to the conservative Islamic regime.

Citing the hundreds of thousands of satellite television dishes in Iran, Benjamin Netanyahu told the House Government Reform Committee that the United States could incite a revolution against the conservative Iranian clergy through the use of such Fox Broadcasting staples as “Melrose Place” and “Beverly Hills 90210″ — both of which feature beautiful young people in varying states of undress, living, glamorous, materialistic lives and engaging in promiscuous sex”.

“This is pretty subversive stuff,” Netanyahu told the committee. “The kids of Iran would want the nice clothes they see on those shows. They would want the swimming pools and fancy lifestyles.”

And this suggestion did not fall on deaf ears. During the Bush Administration the US Congress voted $120 million for anti-regime media broadcasts into Iran, and about $75 million funding opposition parties. According to then Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice:

“The United States wishes to reach out to the Iranian people and support their desire to realize their own freedom and secure their own democratic and human rights”.

And how has this strategy worked out over the years? Well apparently it’s working. In 2006, CBS News did an expose about the recent epidemic of nose jobs that has become popular with the young men and women in Tehran and reported that some young Iranian women are more obsessed with their appearance than their counterparts in the west. And you thought that the only part of an Iranian woman you can see are her eyes!

“A Western nose is more beautiful”, says one young woman in Farsi.

The report goes on to say that Newsha Tavakolian, a photographer working on a book about the phenomenon, stated that the nose craze started with satellite TV from the West.

“Everyone saw how the Western women, they have very small nose and look almost like Barbie, and the Iranian women, they see them and they say, ‘Oh, I want to look like them’. They want to make their nose small”.

A more recent example of how Western influence has impacted the Iranian culture can be seen during the 2009 Iranian Presidential election when thousands of young adults took to the streets of Tehran to protest the re-election of President Ahmadinejad. To those who get their world news from the MSM, this appeared to be a grass-roots demonstration of a nationwide sentiment of dissatisfaction and distrust of the Regime and the voting process. But this was no organic uprising. Prior to the elections, tens of thousands of tweets began pouring into the popular Internet social site “Twitter”. They claimed that these “tweets” originated in Iran but were written in English by only a few recently registered users with the same photo profile. These “tweets” painted an exaggerated picture in support of the protests and stinks of the meddling of billionaire Rothschild stooge George Soros and his “Open Society Foundation”. Using this seemingly humanitarian NGO as a front, Soros and his group regularly outfit and fund opposition parties inside so-called repressive regimes that he wants to destabalize. These “color revolutions” have sprung up all over the Middle East and Europe and have been successful in fomenting dissent among the populations of Moldova, Greece, Georgia and the Ukraine among others. Soros operative Evgeny Morozov is on the board of the OSF’s “Information Program” that openly uses the internet to instigate democratic movements inside closed societies in order to destabilize governments. On his personal blog, Morozov admits that he regularly visits targeted nations with the intent of “studying opportunities that information technology and Internet networking present for overthrowing authoritarian regimes”.

But of all the assaults perpetrated against the Iranian people, none is more destructive then the rise in the nation’s drug problem. Since the deployment of U.S. troops into Afghanistan opium production has increased ten fold. Iran is the main supply route for product headed to Europe and tons of it ends up on the streets of Tehran on a daily basis. The Iranian government has accused the U.S. of supporting the drug trade as a way of maintaining a level of insecurity in order to justify their presence in the region. Besides that, the same Tribal leaders that helped the U.S. fight the Taliban are the ones who operate the biggest poppy fields. Allowing them to continue growing is part of their payment. We also know there to be a significant CIA presence in Afghanistan and there is no reason to doubt that they are engaged in flooding drugs into Iran just like they’ve been known to do over here for decades. And it’s not just Opium that is finding it’s way on the streets of Tehran. The very American drug Methamphetamine and the very Israeli drug MDMA (also known as Ecstacy) are also prevalent among the designer drugs finding its way into the hands of the Iranian youth. And, as you might suspect, this has contributed greatly to the moral collapse of that nation. With few jobs to turn to, kids are finding nothing better to do than get high; and along with that comes the associative problems of prostitution and violent crime.

So what can we conclude from all this? Certainly the West has contributed to the almost certain death of Iran without having to drop one bomb. Patience would eventually see the country collapse under the weight of its own internal struggles. And even if they continued to exist, can anyone take all this into account and still insist that the dreaded Islamic threat to take over the world is being orchestrated within the borders of Iran? An often bantered about concept I hear from Islamophobes is that the Muslim population is exploding at a rate that will eclipse all other races and result in the world being delivered into the bondage of “Sharia Law”. Well, if that’s true, it’s unlikely that such a thing will originate out of Iran, whose collapsing birth rate during the past 20 years is the fastest recorded in any country, ever.

But all of these facts won’t stop the West because as far as they’re concerned, Iran isn’t dying fast enough. And when the bombs start dropping, maybe the youth of Iran will end their fascination with the West and realize that all their gifts were merely “Trojan Horses”. And when those kids wake up to that reality, America really will have something to worry about.

Monday, March 08, 2010

In the Emanuel/Obama administration, the "Tribe of Rahm" goes to the front of the bus

In the Emanuel/Obama administration, the "Tribe of Rahm" goes to the front of the bus...

Is It Antisemitic To Say Zionists Control USA Foreign Policy ?

WMR has learned that under tremendous pressure from White House chief of staff and pro-Israeli hawk Rahm Emanuel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi passed over House Ways and Means ranking Democrat Pete Stark (D-CA) in favor of Sander Levin (D-MI) to chair the all-important congressional committee. Levin replaces Representative Charlie Rangel (D-MY) who stepped aside "temporarily" amid an ethics probe of his personal financial interests.

Stark is known by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to be among the few members of Congress who does not walk in lock-step with the Israel Lobby. After the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006, Stark opposed a congressional resolution in support of the Israeli attack as a "one-sided resolution that condemns recent attacks against the State of Israel while failing to deplore Israeli violence against the people of Lebanon." In 1991, Stark criticized then-Representative Stephen Solarz (D-NY) as a pro-Israeli "field marshal" for championing the Gulf War.

The move by Pelosi puts Levin in charge of the House's tax legislation committee and a committee that also has influence over Social Security, unemployment benefits, and Medicare. Levin's brother, Senator Carl Levin, is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The control by a single family from Michigan of two of the most powerful committees in Congress is already giving rise to charges of nepotism and cronyism being engineered by Emanuel on behalf of his co-religionists...

Emanuel has also been instigating a stealth public relations campaign recently with "puff pieces" supporting Emanuel appearing in Washington Post stories written by Dana Milbank and Jason Horowitz. From the pieces in the Post, it appears that Emanuel is trying to cast blame of President Obama's troubles on policy advisor David Axelrod, who is clearly not in Rahm's tribal bivouac.

It is also readily apparent that it was Emanuel who was behind the White House offer to Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Representative Joe Sestak, who is a retired Navy admiral, to drop his campaign against Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter in exchange for a top job in the Obama administration. Specter is Jewish while Sestak is a Catholic.

The trading of a U.S. Senate seat for political favors is what landed former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich a criminal indictment, impeachment, and removal from office. WMR has learned from our Chicago sources that Emanuel was, in fact, offering Blagojevich presidential favors in return for appointing a Senator to replace Obama that was to Emanuel's liking. U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who, like Emanuel, is Jewish, was said to be that candidate. Blagojevich is a Serbian Orthodox. When Blagojevioch refused to play Emanuel's game, Emanuel began feeding damaging information to the corrupt and politically-motivated U.S. Attorney for Northern Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald.

In 2007, it was Emanuel who pushed for the election of Steny Hoyer (D-MD) as House Majority leader over the late Representative John Murtha (D-PA). Murtha was nominated by Pelosi and Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), among others. Hoyer was clearly Emanuel's candidate since Hoyer's sister, Bernice Manocherian, had previously served as the executive president of AIPAC. Last month, Murtha, an ex-Marine and critic of the Iraq war, died from an infection resulting from faulty gall bladder surgical procedures at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

Emanuel, as previously reported by WMR, also conspired with U.S. Judge Avern Cohn of the Eastern District of Michigan to threaten House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers's wife, former Detroit City Council President Monica Conyers who pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges last year, with a maximum prison sentence if Chairman Conyers continued his vocal criticisms of Obama's policies. Mrs. Conyers is due to be sentenced by Cohn on March 10.

There have been subtle hints that Conyers should step down as House Judicairy Committee chairman opening up the chairmanship to Representative Howard Berman (D-CA), one of AIPAC's and Israel's strongest supporters in the House. Berman is currently chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee having succeeded the late Representative Tom Lantos (D-CA), another hawkish supporter of AIPAC and Israel.

UPDATE: Today, Berman, after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal intervention urging him not to approve an Armenian genocide resolution in the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a move known to be strongly opposed by Turkey, saw to it that the measure was passed. Turkey retaliated by recalling its ambassador to Washington. In the House resolution, Turkey stands accused of launching an early 1900s genocide against Armenians in Anatolia. Berman is acting on behalf of Israeli interests who want to punish Turkey for its criticisms of Israel's invasion of and genocide in Gaza. Berman's actions came after close joint lobbying efforts by the Israeli and Armenian lobbies in Washington. In the past, AIPAC ensured that Armenian genocide resolutions were defeated in order to placate Turkey, once a close military ally of Israel. The House committee vote was a close 23-22, with Berman's support critical for passage. Another AIPAC hawk, Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY), also supported the resolution. Republicans and Democrats on the committee voted against the resolution. Many said American relations with Turkey were too important to risk them for a resolution on events that took place almost 100 years ago. However, AIPAC's members, as usual with genocide politics, whether in Rwanda, the Balkans, Turkey, or Gaza, put the interests of Israel ahead of those of the United States.

Former Representative James Traficant (D-OH), who served a seven-year prison sentence for corruption and who recently announced a run for his old seat as an independent, has claimed that AIPAC actually controls American foreign policy. WMR has heard similar statements from members of the House of Representatives, ranging from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans with the admonition that their statements are strictly "off-the-record."...

A difficult and complex question....back to the NEOCONS and the power behind the power...

As argued in the book Dark Crusade, Christian Zionism is a tool of imperial policy. It appears that Napoleon first tried an appeal to "Zionism" during his Egyptian Campaign but Palestine Jewish notables wisely opted to remain with the Ottoman side...

It then appears the British noticed this. On some reflection, the British perfected it with the advent of Palmerston and his son-in- law who was a Christian Zionist (or was posing as such).

British policy called for a Jewish entity in the Holy Land and they tried to persuade the Ottomans to this effect, dangling out financial goodies from "philanthropic" Jewish bankers in London etc. The Porte demurred. A bit later we find Anglo-Zionist circles bringing the "Balfour Declaration" forward. Of course we do note it was styled as a letter to the House of Rothschild.

IMO, Palmerston was an extremely able and calculating statesman not given to delusions and magical thinking...for him Christian Zionism was a tool to rally domestic support from the "masses" for his Middle East policy. Some of the Brits, like Sir Percy Sykes I think were rather delusional on the whole matter. But then again they were cynical enough to carefully stage Allenby's entry into Jerusalem to fit the Christian Zionist mode. I get into this in by book.

As indicated earlier , circles in the US have been pushing this politically since the 1891 memorial to President Harrison. Among the 400 names on the memorial we find the Rockefellers and so on. Some of the US elite circles may be superstitious and delusional enough to believe such nonsense and some may be quite cynical in their espousal of Christian Zionism.

Bush pere was cynical on the matter. He became persuaded to indulge in it because an advisor, Doug Wead, convinced him it meant an important block of votes. Bush son, also advised by Wead, was perhaps a mix of both: cynical to get the base he needed to be elected/reelected; delusional enough to believe it.

The Neoconservative policy types numbered a few dozen originally but they were influential and a number are actually wealthy like Perle from arms deal commissions and various "consulting." The Neoconservatives are simply put a group of opportunistic Revisionist Zionist policy types.

The early generation (once Trotskyites/ists in the 1930s) comes out of the Commentary Magazine milieu: Norman Podhoretz etal. This magazine was founded by the American Jewish Committee (AJC). The self-styled and self-appointed AJC was founded in 1906 in New York City.

Essentially AJC was an emanation of the Kuhn Loeb banking group which itself was an emanation of the London Rothschilds, Jacob Schiff of Kuhn Loeb being a New York agent of the Rothschilds one can say. A gentile, George Peabody, a bit earlier fronted for the Rothschild interests.

The elite "inner circle" mentality of the Neocon types derives in part from the method of Prof. Leo Strauss who separated an inner circle of "philosophers" (Neocons for example as "illuminated souls") from an outer circle of "gentlemen" (Cheney and Rumsfeld as those who needed coaching from the philosophers).

But again the Neocons are just hires in the bigger international picture. The real financial and political powers that be need consultants like lawyers, accountants, and policy types. Hires......