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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/6/15

Unshackling the Reality of Liberty

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Attack on the USS Liberty

All Conspiracy, No Theory

For any number of reasons Ray McGovern's recent article on the USS Liberty attack underscores the absolute imperative for the fate of the ship and its crew and Israel's involvement in it to be kept on the political and public radar.

The first is that despite being well-documented in countless articles, books and documentaries, not nearly enough folks even after all this time -- both Stateside and elsewhere -- are aware of the backstory of this tragic, lamentable crime, as it was hushed up by everyone involved with the ever reliable mainstream media (MSM) as always, complicit handmaidens in such. In this respect and with numerous precedents to go by, we can all imagine the 'all hell breaks loose' hue and cry if a bunch of Jihadi-fuelled 'terror-meisters' of the ISIS ilk managed to perpetrate a similar attack on a US vessel.

The second reason is the reality that no-one, either in the US or in Israel, was ever held to account for this -- let's call a spade a spade -- unconscionable war crime. As McGovern has duly noted, this included the father of the estimable Senator John McCain (R-AZ), one of Washington's principal spearchuckers in the pursuit of hegemony and amongst the most righteous and subservient of Israeli apologists, with McCain senior by most accounts being party along with many others to the cover-up that went to the highest levels of the US government at the time.

And the third reason is that the Liberty narrative should be held up as a constant reminder for us all of Israel's pernicious impact on the geopolitical order and its ongoing ability to literally get away with murder, to say nothing of its propensity for flouting international law with impunity. In this case we're talking the premeditated "murder" of active service personnel of the armed forces of its own principal patron and protector, America, itself a nation with a long history of selective adherence to the basic principles of international law.

That said, although I for one am an unabashed critic of Israel and its foreign policies, and in particular, its inordinate influence via the Israel lobby in the U.S. on America's own foreign policy and military and national security affairs -- along with the legislative and democratic process in general -- I fully appreciate those engaging in any form of criticism of Israel are treading a fine line. To even question, much less condemn Israel, its policies or its motives and actions in the Greater Middle East and elsewhere -- no matter how gingerly and 'rationally' one might approach the subject -- automatically invites accusations of "anti-Semitism" and similar name-calling. And sometimes a whole lot worse, as we'll see shortly.

Such accusations are of course amongst the most damning -- albeit gratuitous -- epithets than can be leveled at anyone wanting to be taken seriously as a writer, journalist and political commentator. It is a response the Zionists and hardliners in Israel and the country's apologists in the US and elsewhere have an easy propensity for to be sure. It further explains why so few political figures -- including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders -- will contemplate such critiques in their public utterances, no matter their private feelings and views.

Yet there is no way of escaping the deplorable reality of the fate of USS Liberty for those still habitually inclined to bury said "reality". Nor should there be. For others, that is those willing to see it for what it represents, it remains one of the truly ugly blots on the morally desertified landscape of US/Israel relations. It is moreover a savage indictment not just on Israel itself but on all those so-called 'American friends of Israel' who have created and fed this increasingly out-of-control monster, in far too many instances at total odds with their own country's national interest.

In fact we might even say the Liberty attack provided a marker for the way that relationship has been managed from that point onward. If Israel can get away with such a heinous act, then there was/is no holding them back. Not only can we legitimately ask questions and speculate about what other attacks or acts of terrorism Israel has been involved in and/or perpetrated on the US, quite a few folks have actually done with so with compelling, if not irrefutable argument. These include the JFK assassination, the Oklahoma bombing, and 9/11, to cite just three.

Moreover, for those willing to objectively view and unflinchingly report on Israel's larger role within the geopolitical firmament -- one that continues to be sponsored, fostered and sanctioned by the Washington establishment at great expense to us all -- one suspects (or at least trusts) they are themselves becoming increasingly impervious to and dismissive of such labels and name-calling. The more the Israelis and their sundry apologists trot out such self-serving, ad hominem nonsense, the less meaningful and rational it becomes and is perceived to be. As it should be.

For what it is worth, here in Australia it seems to some degree we are less anal retentive about criticism of Israel as we are with the "anti-Semitic" brush being arbitrarily applied whenever it is expedient to do so. Herein it is interesting to note that former Aussie Prime Minister -- Malcolm Fraser, now sadly deceased -- in an interview a few years back publicly declared his view about Israel's role in the attack on the Liberty, confirming the attack was in fact a deliberate act of war, and that it was covered up. Predictably, the Israel lobby here in Australia and those predisposed to defend Israel come hell or high water dismissed his observations as the "rantings" of someone with "anti-Semitic" tendencies.

Few could argue though that Fraser -- a senior Cabinet minister at the time of the 1967 attack in the government of one of the US's staunchest allies -- was in a position to know the details. (Two years later he was actually appointed Defence Minister.) And given Fraser's unimpeachable stature and credibility nationally and internationally -- in everything from defending human rights to fighting discrimination -- this of course was a ludicrous response to his revelations.

But tellingly, perhaps not surprisingly though, there was little commentary in the MSM -- specifically the Rupert Murdoch/News Ltd owned national 'paper of record' The Australian, Murdoch himself being a high profile supporter of Israel -- that gave any credence to the veracity of Fraser's statements or attempted to revisit the backstory behind this incident. They were of course all too ready to ignore and dismiss Fraser's 'rantings'. After all he had long since retired from political life, and may not have been considered as politically relevant. (We should try and imagine though any comparable public figure in the U.S. doing what Fraser did; it would just be unthinkable!)

On the other hand there is the case of Mike Carlton, a highly respected, veteran Aussie journalist and broadcaster who resigned last year in the aftermath of an almighty brouhaha over public comments he made criticising Israel's Gaza Strip adventures. Gaza is of course a place where once again indiscriminate murder, terror and general mayhem is perpetrated by the Jewish state with impunity, with the US all but giving the nod or at least looking the other way.

Although Carlton worked for Fairfax Media, the arch-rival media outlet to Murdoch's News Ltd., there was much conjecture that he'd been ostracised and pushed out as a result of intense pressure brought to bear by The Australian newspaper and by the Australian Jewish lobby. Interestingly, the majority of the Australian public were relatively sanguine about the whole affair.

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Greg Maybury is a Perth (Australia) based freelance writer. His main areas of interest are American history and politics in general, with a special focus on economic, national security, military and geopolitical affairs, and both US domestic and (more...)

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