A. Loewenstein Online Newsletter

Zionists are Israeli brand managers, no more


Posted: 02 Apr 2012


Perceptive comments by Bernard Avishai on American Jews (or Jews anywhere, really) who can’t/won’t tolerate criticism of Israel:

American Jews who proclaimed their friendship to Israel most noisily could not readily imagine what it might be like to live there. So the ways democratic norms fostered tolerance for religious dissent, or contributed to resolving tensions between Arabs and Jews nonviolently—a peace process without end, after all—did not seem a priority.  What did matter was managing Israel’s brand. The goal was securing Israel’s moral prestige and being associated with it. Israelis did not have friends, “Israel” had fans.

Just how does billions of dollars disappear through Kabul airport?


Posted: 02 Apr 2012


The lying liar behind Iraq war says he lied


Posted: 02 Apr 2012


No kidding:

A man whose lies helped to make the case for invading Iraq – starting a nine-year war costing more than 100,000 lives and hundreds of billions of pounds – will come clean in his first British television interview tomorrow.

“Curveball”, the Iraqi defector who fabricated claims about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, smiles as he confirms how he made the whole thing up. It was a confidence trick that changed the course of history, with Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi’s lies used to justify the Iraq war.

He tries to defend his actions: “My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime’s oppression.”

The chemical engineer claimed to have overseen the building of a mobile biological laboratory when he sought political asylum in Germany in 1999. His lies were presented as “facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence” by Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, when making the case for war at the UN Security Council in February 2003.

But Mr Janabi, speaking in a two-part series, Modern Spies, starting tomorrow on BBC2, says none of it was true. When it is put to him “we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie”, he simply replies: “Yes.”

US officials “sexed up” Mr Janabi’s drawings of mobile biological weapons labs to make them more presentable, admits Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, General Powell’s former chief of staff. “I brought the White House team in to do the graphics,” he says, adding how “intelligence was being worked to fit around the policy”.

As for his former boss: “I don’t see any way on this earth that Secretary Powell doesn’t feel almost a rage about Curveball and the way he was used in regards to that intelligence.”

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