Monday, October 13, 2014

Israel Attack on USS Liberty - 1967

Apartheid in Palestine - 2014

... some folks never seem to change

My grandmother used to say, "Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you what you are."

If this is true, Israel's apartheid treatment of Palestine and their July-August 2014 murder of 495 children in Gaza, much of it done with U.S. arms and munitions, tells me my government is the same as Israel's Netanyahu government and is complicit in its apartheid and its murder.

If this 2014 slaughter of 495 innocents doesn't turn your stomach and make you question U.S. friendship with this rogue nation, you need to remember Israel's 1967 deliberate attack on the USS Liberty, a U.S. Navy spy ship in international waters, and the murder of 34 of our sailors. And, no surprise, the vicious attack was immediately covered-up by President Johnson, Admiral John S. McCain (Senator John McCain's father) and, years later, by Senator McCain.

The recent resurfacing of this horrific story in my consciousness was especially troubling because I had all but forgotten it. No wonder. In June, 1967 I was 31, married, with 4 children and living in San Jose. A few months later, we moved to another city and welcomed our 5th child. Those were the days when few mothers worked outside the home, so providing for a family of 7 and finding a good job in my field kept me far too busy. Outside of work, I was active as a Rotarian, campaigned and was elected to the school board, and led a 1,000-home homeowner's association which I had founded. Our busy lives kept me so distracted from the "Big Picture" that the 60's passed in a blur, including the horror of the USS Liberty. I likely accepted the official story of "mistaken identity" put forth at the time by Israel and my government. Besides, having served my country in the Navy Air Force, I had learned to accept the official stories of my government. But no longer.

Here are 3 YouTube videos that tell much of the Liberty story, a total of 71 minutes, an incredible tale that needs to be remembered and retold, over and over.

As a nation we take great pride in honoring our fallen heroes. But we also dishonor them, as we did with those killed and wounded in the attack on the USS Liberty when, in the name of politics, we fail to support them and bring their murderers to justice.

President Johnson's White House and the Congress, in the name of friendship, rushed to protect Israel in it's deliberate attack on our ship instead of  exposing the treachery that cost the lives of American heroes. Many Americans are critical of the U.S. government's friendship with Israel and, one can assume, none more so than the men and families of the 34 dead, 179 wounded, and their shipmates, who learned, too late, that Israelis were not friends - nor, sadly, were the leaders of their own U.S. government.

I suggest the viewing of these videos in sequence.

USS Liberty Cover-up - Full movie  (52 min.)

The story is told mainly by the surviving, eye-witness sailors from the Liberty, including its commanding officer.

McCain and Israel Bombing of the USS Liberty in 1967  (8 min.)

Clear, forceful statement by Ralph Nader, 2008 presidential candidate, in a debate, challenging candidate John McCain about his support of the cover-up. John McCain's father, Admiral McCain, headed the board of inquiry and delivered his final report only 8 days after the inquiry and never interviewed one Israeli! Senator McCain (an ex-sailor!) never answered Nader's challenge.

John McCain Confronted about USS Liberty Cover-up - Memorial Day 2012  (11 min.)

I can't find any response by John McCain except this shameful one. Observe the reaction of the military audience. If I had been in a military audience in 1967 and as unaware as so many of us were, my reaction would likely have been the same. But now I know.

Much of this video contains the words of Ray McGovern, a friend from my DC days. An ex-CIA senior analyst, for years Ray helped write the CIA's daily intelligence assessment for the President. He offers two possible reasons for the attack and confirms the Israeli strafing of U.S. lifeboats to ensure no one would survive.

If the Liberty attack doesn't rock your boat, doesn't make you question U.S. support of Israel, what will it take? And what about the horrors Israel continues to commit on Palestinians with U.S. arms, U.S. tanks, U.S. gunships, U.S. rockets, and with almost unquestioned U.S. Presidential and Congressional support? Please join me in raising your voice on behalf of the children and people of Palestine. A very wise person said, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to remain silent?"

Please see my recent blog, Palestine Solution - Move Israelis to South Carolina

Like many Americans, I believed we needed to get out of Palestine and let the Israelis and Palestinians solve it themselves. This would be a step forward. The problem is, the U.S. won't get out. We pour billions into Israel's military and government coffers every year, vote against Palestine in the Security Council of the UN and, in a very direct way, support the domination and apartheid of Israel. If we would stop direct support to Israel, then share our support, good will, and power equally with Israelis and Palestinians, we could begin to heal the breach and help create peace. Our neutrality and support would certainly help both peoples reconcile.

As a follower of Jesus, as a human being, as a man and a father, as an American, as a Vet, as an elder, I am ashamed of my government's support of Israel's apartheid government. I apologize to every Palestinian and say with as much sorrow and sincerity as I can muster, this is not done in my name.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Palestine Solution - Move Israelis to South Carolina!

The  targeting of innocent civilians, whether by 
unguided rockets or state-of-the-art guided shells,
is never justified. But there is a special place in hell
for those who order the shelling of hospitals and
schools where women and children are sheltering. 
Attacking sleeping children in shelters has to be humanity’s worst crime. It is ... monstrous. 

In response to the horror of Gaza, I offer the following words to encourage some thinking beyond the 10-second sound bites that influence so much of Americans’ decision-making. If your initial response to the Gaza massacre was, “Those damn Arabs need to stop firing rockets,” you'll find some thoughts here to disturb and, I hope, enlighten.

(Whoops, we’re already past 10-seconds - are you still with me?)

The South Carolina Option

I’m a Californian who has never been to South Carolina but I've heard Charleston is charming. And I know that, following hurricanes, the U.S. government repeatedly spends millions of U.S. tax dollars to rebuild devastated homes on the same beachfront lots on its Atlantic Coast. I know there are almost 5 million South Carolinians living in 32,000 square miles. And, to be perfectly candid, I've often heard that the Palmetto State is, well, backward. Speaking of backward, I  know Lindsey Graham is one of its U.S. senators and I've always been happy that he is from South Carolina instead of California.

I also know it to be a place where children are addicted to cigarettes and poisoned in the tobacco fields but this, while unforgivable, is not unique to South Carolina - tobacco companies target, exploit and poison children all over the world. And the state's economy is weak. A right-to-work state since 1954, South Carolina still has a $7.25 minimum wage. A September, 2003, Wells Fargo Securities report said, “After adjusting for inflation, median household income has declined 11.4 percent over the past 12 years.”

Truth is, I don't think about South Carolina often, so I’m running out of things I know. The only other thing I can tell you is that, one day, as I was enjoying coffee in a favorite café in Buenos Aires, the beautiful girlfriend of (then) married South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, came into the café. This doesn't tell us a lot about South Carolina but for a moment I connected with the current story of this southern state. Sanford later became the state's 1st District Congressman.

Okay, so what would help South Carolina get past some of its problems? Can't do much about protecting its governors from falling in love with beautiful Argentine women or men but, surely, something could be done about hurricane damage on its beaches. And about the backwardness. And maybe the tobacco thing. And wages.

Here's my thought. I know where there are 5½ million of some of the smartest people on the planet who can't get along with their neighbors. These people have had so much trouble accepting neighbors that they created an apartheid state to control them and encourage them to leave. They’ve killed thousands and ethnically cleansed and blockaded so many more that millions are now living in miserable conditions in refugee camps inside and outside the country. And, speaking of smart, after these folks do their cleansing, they live in the homes of those they have cleansed - no mortgages! Isn’t that smart! Yes, I'm talking about the smart Zionist Jews of the apartheid nation of Israel.

Now, before you start bashing me for picking on Israel and Jews, you should know that President Jimmy Carter, a neighbor of South Carolina, the 2002 Nobel Peace Laureate, and a frequent visitor to Palestine, describes Palestine as an apartheid state. He even includes apartheid in the title of one of his books, Palestine Peace Not Apartheid.

My idea is to invite all 5½ million Israelis to South Carolina to, in effect, cleanse Palestine … but in a good way. Currently, according to Wikipedia, the Jews occupy 8,500 square miles in Palestine (not counting illegally occupied land) and could easily fit into South Carolina. Think of the boost to the economy as 8,500 square miles of South Carolina rural land is sold to arriving Jews! The state has lots of coastline, too, and could easily accommodate another seaport. And just imagine what these smart, affable, good-looking immigrants could do about the hurricane problem and the tobacco poisoning.

More good news: after the move, the state would become a major manufacturer of Israeli armaments which would eliminate low wage concerns and give still another boost to the economy. I first heard about Israel armament manufacturing during the South African apartheid period when Israel provided great arms to maintain the white racist regime there. They provided the same deadly service to Central American fascists and to right-wing dictatorships in South America in the 1970's and 1980's. And, don't forget, the Israelis also have nuclear bombs. Having their own supply of nuclear bombs - and the well-paying jobs that come with this industry - would certainly make South Carolinians feel more secure! 

There are so many pluses to this idea I'm tempted to patent it as intellectual property! It’s almost a no-brainer. I don't believe there are many Arabs in South Carolina so the Jews would easily adapt to their new home. And, hopefully, the 30 billion+ public and private dollars Americans give to Israel each year could be made available for moving expenses, beginning with reparation payments to millions of Palestinian victims, instead of being used to help Israel maintain its apartheid state. I’ve always been ashamed of my government supporting apartheid and this would begin to mitigate some of that shame.

But, caveat emptor South Carolina! You need to ensure that after the Israelis come they don't acquire more land, create a militia, and a lobbying arm in Washington, then declare themselves a country. This is exactly what they did in Palestine. 

I recently heard British MP George Galloway say that during their search for a homeland, and before settling on Palestine (which was under British control), the Zionists had considered other locations where the British Empire had influence or control, specifically, the Seychelles, Uganda and Patagonia in Argentina.

Once a small group of wealthy Zionists settled on Palestine, they began buying up huge tracts of land and inviting Jews from around the world to come and populate the new land. So far, so good but then, as land was bought, tens of thousands of Palestinians were moved from their homes and the ethnic cleansing began. When the Jewish population was large enough and their military and lobbying apparatuses were in place, they made their move to create a nation. That's why I'm warning South Carolina up front, be very careful, because, if history repeats itself, you may be ethnically cleansed and find yourself living in South Dakota or, worse, California! 

To guard against a similar cleansing of the Palmetto State, South Carolinians would do well to study this map from Israeli-Californian Miko Peled's excellent book, The Son of The GeneralActually, the 2012 map needs to be updated: Mr. Netanyahu, leader of Israel’s apartheid state and of its latest slaughter of civilians in Gaza, including the targeting of hospitals and schools, announced two days after the recent 2014 cease-fire that 1,000 more acres of Palestine land would be annexed by Israel. 

This is a ridiculous idea

I agree. Moving Israelis to South Carolina is a ridiculous idea, but here's something equally ridiculous and morally reprehensible: the U.S. government supporting Israel's cruel, criminal, apartheid regime in our name and with our money. 

The truly, over-the-top ridiculous are those, especially in the White House and in the U.S. Congress, who won't look further than the next election or deeper than the level of Israeli funds in their election war chests or the impact of an ongoing and massive Israeli public relations campaign in the U.S. led by AIPAC. They fear that standing up and publicly condemning the bombing of 7+ UN schools, the murder of nearly a thousand women and children and the wounding of 10,000 more by the thugs of the Israel Defense Forces is far too risky. If you doubt this, consider the following, one of our Congress' most recent actions:

The almost unanimous Congressional vote of 395-8 in August to give $225 million for Israel's Iron Dome - instead of putting iron domes over Gaza hospitals and UN Schools - makes crystal clear the U.S. government's support of the apartheid state and  its slaughter of Palestinian civilians. Yes, we're talking about a Congress that didn't have time before it recessed to provide emergency funds for the immigration emergency at our own border, where thousands of children were crossing illegally, but did have time to send money to Israel! One very good thing about South Carolina is that 1st Congressional District Representative Mark Sanford was one of 8 members to vote against the Iron Dome bill!

This blind, unthinking, one could say cowardly, support of the Zionist agenda by our “leaders” guarantees the continuing operation of the largest open-air prison in the world in Gaza where desperate people can't work, can't travel, can't even eat or drink enough to maintain health. AND HALF OF THEM ARE CHILDREN! Shame on you, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, Graham, and all your cohorts (satirist George Carlin would use a more colorful name). Only 2% of the House had the courage to take the high ground!

Finally, let me make myself absolutely clear: I support the right of all people, Jews, Palestinians, South Carolinians, Californians, to have a homeland, a place where all may enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. But, when one people destroys the people and homeland of another to create its own homeland, we Americans should be first, not last, to call, Foul! 

I have known many Jews and always have had great sympathy and respect for them. They are an impressive people who have had more than their share of suffering, an inspiring people who have heroically met and triumphed over so much of what the world has unjustly inflicted on them, but I'm calling Foul! on the Zionist leadership in Israel and, specifically, on apartheid, and invite you to join me. 
While we're waiting for Israel to move to South Carolina or otherwise cleanse itself by becoming a decent neighbor and restoring peace and justice in Palestine, I'm boycotting all Israel products and business friends of this apartheid state. I  hope you will join me. Boycotts, disinvestment and sanctions healed South Africa from its cruelty. Let's heal Israel!

Here is a link to help you begin your research. It lists the companies being targeted for a boycott and the reasons they are targeted.