Thursday, August 04, 2016

The Intercept:
"FOR ALL THE chatter about animosity between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Washington Post reports that 'a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.' The U.S. already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel — more than any other country by far — but the new agreement Obama is set to sign 'significantly raises' that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

In response to this massive windfall, Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, 'Netanyahu was holding out for as much as $5 billion a year.' Also, Israel has been opposed to efforts to direct more of that aid to U.S. military contractors rather than Israeli ones (so this 'aid' package is as much a transfer of U.S. taxpayer money to weapons manufacturers in both countries as it is to Israel itself). ...

Usually, when someone hands you billions of dollars in aid, you’re not in much of a position to demand more. But the rules for Israel when it comes to U.S. policy, as is so often the case, are simply different. Even as Israel has aggressively expanded settlements of the West Bank (often in a way designed to most humiliate the U.S.) and slaughtered civilians in Gaza, U.S. aid simply increases more and more."

-->leave it to a source outside the US media to give us straight talk about the billions of US dollars going to Israel each year. Who voted for that? Only the elites running this country.


Lobe Log:
"As the drama-filled Democratic National Convention wraps up, political analyst Donna Brazile will take the reins of the party. Following Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s exit as chair of the Democratic Party after the release of emails revealing efforts to undermine Bernie Sanders’s campaign, Brazile will be tasked with leading the party through the rest of the election cycle. On stage in Philadelphia this week, the message pushed by speakers has been party unity. On the issue of U.S. policy towards Israel/Palestine, however, this appointment will not likely have the desired effect.

Donna Brazile has long had a close relationship with the far-right wing of the Israel lobby. A long-time friend of AIPAC, Brazile spoke at AIPAC’s annual policy conference several times, including in 2012, 2014, and 2015. She also traveled to Israel in 2013 with an AIPAC-affiliated group. Until 2008, she sat on the board of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. As John Judis noted in Slate in August 2015, the FDD is specifically dedicated to defending one particular democracy, Israel. A neoconservative think tank whose positions on the Israel/Palestine conflict align most with the far-right Israeli Likud party, the FDD was also one of the loudest opponents of the Iran deal."

-->Hillary's new DNC is as tight with Israel as her old one, despite the replacement of Debbie Wasserman. To the NYT, however, Donna Brazile is only a "longtime Democratic political adviser and TV pundit." What links to the Likud Party is that?


RealClear Politics:
"Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, spoke with CNN's 'Smerconish' Saturday morning about Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the 'New Cold War.'

Cohen says the media at large is doing a huge disservice to the American people by ignoring the substance of Trump's arguments about NATO and Russia, and buying the Clinton campaign's simplistic smear that Trump is a Russian 'Manchurian candidate.'

'That reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign,' Cohen said. 'And they really need to stop.'

'We're approaching a Cuban Missile Crisis level nuclear confrontation with Russia,' he explained. 'And there is absolutely no discussion, no debate, about this in the American media.' "

-->No debate at all, thanks to US media like the NYT that runs story after story speculating about how the Russians could have hacked Hillary Clinton's emails. Very little proof is offered, but that doesn't matter. Why not bring Chalabi back for a little more warmongering leaks? It's a specialty of our newspaper of record.

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