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Congress Prostrates Itself Before the Golden Calf yet Again: Interview with Lawrence Wlikerson

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We have just watched, yet again, the American Congress euphorically "worship" a walking, talking Golden Calf, one of the great BS artists of modern times, and a reactionary Tribalist to boot, who believes in oppressing another ethnicity, stealing their land, beating, bombing, humiliating and killing them, all because they are not part of his "tribe" and have the temerity to fight for their rights. I am talking, of course, about Benjamin Netanyahu, Right-wing Prime Minister of Israel and preeminent "used car" salesman, who can talk you right out of your teeth and then get you to buy his gas-hogging, constantly breaking down Edsel of a state that is mired in religious and ideological extremism, hyper-nationalism, certifiable paranoia, Mafia-like geopolitical instincts, pathological hatred of another religion and ethnicity - yep, increasingly Apartheid, armed-to-the-teeth Israel.

And here to discuss this in a public service video with Paul Jay, host of the Real News Network, is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell and an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary in Virginia. Following the video is the transcript:


Bio:

Lawrence Wilkerson is a retired United States Army soldier and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on US national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making."

*******

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington. On Tuesday, May 24, when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the American Congress, he received no less than 26 standing ovations. Now, we're not going to show you all 26, but here's a taste of the atmosphere. The Prime Minister spoke about Hamas. He spoke about peace negotiations. He spoke about Jerusalem. But his fundamental message I took as being there is not going to be any more peace negotiations. You cannot take a position on the issue of refugees, Jerusalem, Hamas, and other issues that are completely beyond any possibility of Palestinian agreement and think there's going to be peace negotiations. But here's how the mainstream American news covered all this. Apparently, he was offering a compromise. He said one sentence which went like this.

~~~BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: In any real peace agreement, in any peace agreement that ends the conflict, some settlements will end up beyond Israel's borders.~~~
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JAY: Well, when you know everything else you've said has essentially torpedoed any possibility of any real negotiations, I'm not sure it's such a big concession to say, yeah, we know something's going to be outside '67 borders, especially when you said we're really not going back to '67 borders anyway. So now joining us to talk about these reception in Congress and the American coverage in the news media of Netanyahu's speech is Larry Wilkerson. Thanks for joining us, Larry.

LARRY WILKERSON, FMR. CHIEF OF STAFF TO COLIN POWELL: Thanks for having me.

JAY: And I'm sure everyone knows Larry was Colin Powell's chief of staff. He now teaches in a couple of universities in Washington and is an expert on national security and foreign policy issues. Thanks. So, first of all, what did you make of the congressional response? It was quite overwhelming. You rarely see this even when the presidents come and give State of the Unions.

WILKERSON: Even the obsequiousness of the United States Congress from time to time during States of the Union or other type speeches doesn't come anywhere near this. I mean, this was a reputation, really, of the standing policy position of the sitting president of the United States by the separate and equal branch of government, the Congress, with a foreign leader being the center pole around which they coalesced this opposition. It's really quite remarkable.

JAY: I mean, it's usually considered outrageous to critique US foreign policy when you're abroad in another country. Now, this is in the United States, but it's kind of similar. You've got a foreign leader, and you know your own president, two days ago, first of all, on Hamas, kind of opened the door for a role with Hamas, saying the Palestinians are going to have to explain how Hamas can be part of this. He didn't call Hamas a terrorist organization. His positioning on the '67 borders, while word for word is not that different than what Netanyahu says,--
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WILKERSON: UN Security Council Resolution 242.

JAY: --it's a longstanding US position--last George Bush, Clinton. Why does Congress respond this way?

WILKERSON: It's a mystery to me, except money. I mean, that's the only answer I can come up with. There's a lot of money involved. And even though there are some congressmen and women out there who are not--we can check--recipients of that money directly, they still understand that a powerful entity in America is the lobby group AIPAC for Israel and that that generates a lot of coin, a lot of money for people who may support positions that they will support and so forth and so on. That has to be one reason. But I think probably a bigger reason, and one we overlook a lot, is this psychological angst that Americans have in general about their failure to respond positively, if you will, in the '30s when Jews were being harassed by the looming Nazi regime to the point that when we did finally get into finding out about what the Nazis were doing during the war itself, it was quite heinous--I mean, the concentration camps, the deaths of so many Jews and others. And there is some psychological guilt, I think, left over from that, and that guilt sort of excuses Israel when it does things that are not in its own interests, certainly in the United States' interests, and are against our values and the professed values of Israel itself. We forgive those almost blanket-wise.

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I am a student of history, religion, exoteric and esoteric, the Humanities in general and a tempered advocate for the ultimate manifestation of peace, justice and the unity of humankind through self-realization and mutual respect, although I am not (more...)
 

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A very apt description of Bibi in your preface. An... by Chris Cook on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 11:41:24 AM

 

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