Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the CIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
Deferring Sanity

Netanyahu in Congress

by JENNIFER LOEWENSTEIN

The special US-Israeli relationship is as secure today as it has ever been. There is no danger that Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress will have a “destructive” effect on our commitment to Israel’s “security”. After listening to National Security Adviser, Susan Rice’s, speech to AIPAC this evening, I shut off the television and realized, to my chagrin, that, if anything, Israel may even benefit from the international media soap opera touched off by Netanyahu’s hubris: shame on our political leaders, news commentators and spin doctors for allowing the personal animosity between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, divert us, yet again, from the real issues.

Bypassing President Obama, Netanyahu accepted an invitation by Senate Majority Leader, John Boehner, to address the US Congress on the topic of Iran. It would hardly surprise me to learn that this invitation was deliberately engineered to humiliate Obama publicly; to bolster the mainstream Republican agenda on Iran; and to elevate Netanyahu’s standings in the upcoming Israeli elections this March 17th. Whether his speech to Congress will, in fact, have a positive effect on the latter is arguable and depends, to some extent, on just how outrageous and duplicitous the content of Netanyahu’s lecture turns out to be.

A few things remain unclear: either Netanyahu doesn’t read the news, he is hoping that nobody else notices Israel’s de facto alliance with ISIS, or he is more concerned with poking Obama in the eye publicly than in the future of his country, a fact that would not surprise me. Focusing on the dangerous forces lurking in his “neighborhood”, Netanyahu singles out Iran, Lebanon (by which he presumably means Hizbullah), Syria, and Hamas. Unlike most Americans, Netanyahu views the potential of a nuclear capable Iran as a greater threat to regional stability than the spread of ISIS and extremist groups, such as al-Qaida.

With even Saudi Arabia, fearing Blowback, reversing course on its official policy toward ISIS by making it illegal for its nationals to fight in foreign wars (an about face from the nation whose extremist, fundamentalist form of Islam — Wahhabism — has been among its leading exports for over 40 years, and certainly its deadliest) it is that much more disturbing to note the silence echoing from Tel Aviv.

Instead Netanyahu has regaled us with tirade after tirade on the ramifications of an Iranian nuclear bomb and the existential threat it poses little Israel — ironic since Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, has categorically stated that his country doesn’t want one.

Why would he lie? A nuclear-armed Iran would be its country’s suicide note to the world before being “obliterated” (to use former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s, word) by the United States. Iran would...

CounterPunch’s Top Stories
MIKE WHITNEY
“I want to appeal to the Ukrainian people, to the mothers, the fathers, the sisters and the grandparents....
JOHN PILGER
The recent 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was a reminder of the great crime of fascism,...
EVA GOLINGER
There is a coup underway in Venezuela. The pieces are all falling into place like a bad CIA...
URI AVNERY
Who is the ruler of Israel? Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, of course. WRONG. The real ruler of Israel is one Sheldon...
JOSHUA FRANK
Brian Williams, the talking hair-do at NBC Nightly News, is stepping down for a few days after reluctantly admitting he...
MIKE WHITNEY
“There’s no city left. It’s destroyed.” — Anonymous Ukrainian soldier following the battle of Debaltsevo In less than a year,...
MIKE WHITNEY
“The ongoing dispute between the German and Greek governments is nothing less than a democratic revolution against German...
ANDREW LEVINE
Suddenly last summer, Vladimir Putin, formerly once a decent enough Russian leader (with a few unsettling quirks), turned...
JOSEPH E. LOWNDES
Liberal writers have been lining up for the last month to decry American Sniper along predictable, ideologically comfortable...
Visit our archives for even more interesting articles from past CounterPunch authors.