Giving Peace Very Little Chance

Exclusive: What the next U.S. president can do to bring endless warfare to an end is one of the most important issues of Campaign 2016, but it is getting only a cursory treatment in debates as politicians seem to fear neocon wrath if they seek peace, writes Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

After nearly 15 years of Mideast war with those conflicts growing ever grimmer you might expect that peace would be a major topic of the 2016 presidential race. Instead, there has been a mix of warmongering bluster from most candidates and some confused mutterings against endless war from a few.

No one, it seems, wants to risk offending Official Washington’s neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment that is ready to castigate any candidate who suggests that there are other strategies besides more and more “regime changes” that might extricate the United States from the Middle East quicksand.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Late in Thursday’s Democratic debate when the topic of war finally came up former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued toeing the neocon line, calling Iran the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world, when that title might objectively go to U.S. “allies,” such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of whom have been aiding Sunni jihadists fighting to overthrow Syria’s secular regime.

Israel also has provided help to Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which has been battling Syrian troops and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters near the Golan Heights and Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians has played a key role in stirring up hatred and violence in the Middle East.

But Clinton has fully bought into the neocon narrative, not especially a surprise since she voted for the Iraq War, pushed the disastrous Libyan “regime change” and has sought a limited U.S. military invasion of Syria (to prevent the Syrian army from securing its border with Turkey and reclaiming territory from jihadists and other rebels).

Blasting Iran

In Thursday’s debate coming off her razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses Clinton painted Iran as the big regional threat, putting herself fully in line with the neocon position.

“We have to figure out how to deal with Iran as the principal state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Clinton said. “They are destabilizing governments in the region. They continue to support Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon against Israel.

“If we were to normalize relations right now [with Iran], we would remove one of the biggest pieces of leverage we have to try to influence and change Iranian behavior. I believe we have to take this step by step to try to rein in Iranian aggression, their support for terrorism and the other bad behavior that can come back and haunt us.”

Iran, of course, has been a longtime neocon target for “regime change” along with Syria (and before that Iraq). Many neocons were disappointed when President Barack Obama negotiated an agreement to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remained peaceful (an accord reached after John Kerry replaced Clinton as Secretary of State). The neocons had been hoping that the U.S. military would join Israel in an air war to “bomb-bomb-bomb Iran” — as Sen. John McCain once famously declared.

Yet, there were other distortions in Clinton’s statement. While it’s true that Iran has aided Hezbollah and Hamas in their resistance to Israel, Clinton ignored other factors, such as Israeli acts of aggression against both Lebanon, where Hezbollah emerged as resistance to an Israeli invasion and occupation in the 1980s, and the Palestinians who have faced Israeli oppression for generations.

Silence on the ‘Allies’

In the debate, Clinton also avoided criticism of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for their military and financial assistance to radical jihadists, including Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Al Qaeda’s spinoff, the Islamic State. At the urging of Clinton, the Obama administration also approved military shipments to Syrian rebels who then either turned over or sold U.S. weapons to the extremists.

Iran’s role in Syria has been to help support the internationally recognized government of Bashar al-Assad, whose military remains the principal bulwark protecting Syria’s Christian, Alawite, Shiite and other minorities from possible genocide if Al Qaeda-connected jihadists prevailed.

Clinton also ignored her own role in creating a haven for these terror groups across the Middle East because of her support for the Iraq War and her instigation of the 2011 “regime change” in Libya which created another failed state where Islamic State and various extremists have found a home and started chopping of the heads of “infidels.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who battled Clinton to a virtual tie in Iowa, took a somewhat less belligerent position at Thursday’s debate, repeating his rather naive idea of having Sunni states lead the fight against Sunni jihadists. On the more reasonable side, he indicated a willingness to work with Russia and other world powers in support of an anti-jihadist coalition.

“It must be Muslim troops on the ground that will destroy ISIS, with the support of a coalition of major powers, U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Russia,” Sanders said. “So our job is to provide them the military equipment that they need; the air support they need; special forces when appropriate. But at the end of the day for a dozen different reasons the combat on the ground must be done by Muslim troops with our support. We must not get involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.”

Sanders continued, “We cannot be the policeman of the world. We are now spending more I believe than the next eight countries on defense. We have got to work in strong coalition with the major powers of the world and with those Muslim countries that are prepared to stand up and take on terrorism. So I would say that the key doctrine of the Sanders administration would be no, we cannot continue to do it alone; we need to work in coalition.”

Sounding Less Hawkish

While Sanders clearly sought to sound less hawkish than Clinton and did not repeat his earlier talking point about the Saudis and others “getting their hands dirty” he did not address the reality that many of the Sunni countries that he hopes to enlist in the fight against the jihadists are already engaged on the side of the jihadists.

Clinton, as she seeks to cut into Sanders’s lead in New Hampshire polls, has been stressing her “progressive” credentials, but many progressive Democrats suspect that Clinton could become a neocon Trojan Horse.

Arch-neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, has praised Clinton’s aggressive foreign policy.

Kagan, who was made an adviser to Clinton’s State Department (while his wife Victoria Nuland received big promotions under Clinton), said in 2014: “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.” [For more, see’s “Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?”]

Not only did Clinton vote for the Iraq War and support it until it became a political liability during Campaign 2008 but she rejoined the neocon/liberal-hawk ranks as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. She routinely sided with neocon holdovers, such as Gen. David Petraeus, regarding Mideast wars and Israel’s hardline regime in its hostilities toward the Palestinians and Iran.

In 2011, Clinton pushed for “regime change” in Libya, chortling over Muammar Gaddafi’s torture-murder in October 2011, “We came. We saw. He died.” Since then, Libya has descended into a failed state with the Islamic State and other jihadists claiming more and more territory.

Clinton also favored an outright (though limited) U.S. military invasion of Syria, setting up a “safe zone” or “no-fly zone” that would protect militants fighting to overthrow the secular Assad government. Over and over again, she has adopted positions virtually identical to what the neocons prescribe.

But Sanders, although he opposed the Iraq War, has hesitated to challenge Clinton too directly on foreign policy, apparently fearing to distract from his focus on income inequality and domestic concerns. He apparently has chosen fuzziness on foreign policy as the better part of political valor.

GOP Neocons Score

On the Republican side, the first week of the presidential delegate-selection process saw two candidates who mildly questioned the neocon conventional wisdom face reversals. Billionaire Donald Trump was upset in the Iowa caucuses and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul shut down his flailing campaign.

Trump has noted his opposition to the Iraq War and his willingness to cooperate with Russia in the fight against jihadist terror, while Paul pushed a libertarian-style approach that questioned neocon interventionism but not as aggressively as his father did, apparently hoping to avoid Ron Paul’s marginalization as “an isolationist.”

While Trump and Paul stumbled this week, neocon favorite Marco Rubio surged to a strong third-place finish, catapulting past other establishment candidates who while largely me-too-ing the neocon orthodoxy on foreign policy are not as identified with pure neoconservatism as the youthful Florida senator is.

However, even the non-neocons have opted for visceral warmongering. Tea Party favorite and winner of the Republican Iowa caucuses, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has vowed to “carpet bomb” Islamic State strongholds and promised to see “if sand can glow in the dark,” as he told a Tea Party rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The phrase “glow in the dark” popularly refers to the aftermath of a nuclear bomb detonation.

However, as hardline as Cruz is, he still received a tongue-lashing from the neocon-flagship Washington Post for not doing a “full-neocon” when he suggested that the United States should not focus on “regime change” in Syria. Cruz has worried that overthrowing Assad’s government might pave the way for a victory by the Islamic State and other Sunni jihadist terrorists.

In a Dec. 31, 2015 editorial, the Post’s editors instead hailed neocon favorite Rubio for arguing “forcefully” for Assad’s removal and castigated Cruz for saying Assad’s ouster was “a distraction at best and might even empower the jihadist.”

A Beloved ‘Group Think’

It is one of Official Washington’s most beloved “group thinks” that Syrian “regime change” a neocon goal dating back to the 1990s must take precedence over the possible creation of a military vacuum that could bring the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda to power.

After all, it won’t be the sons and daughters of well-connected neocons who are sent to invade and occupy Syria to reverse the capture of Damascus by the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda. So, the Post’s editors, who in 2002-03 told the American people as flat fact that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was hiding WMD, engaged in similar exaggerations and lies about Assad in demonizing Cruz for his apostasy.

“Mr. Cruz is arguing for a stridently anti-American and nakedly genocidal dictator who sponsored terrorism against U.S. troops in Iraq and serves as a willing puppet of Iran,” the Post wrote.

That is typical of what a politician can expect if he or she deviates from the neocon line, even if you’re someone as belligerent as Cruz. Any apostasy from neocon orthodoxy is treated most harshly.

There is, by the way, no evidence that Assad is “nakedly genocidal” his largely secular regime has never targeted any specific ethnic or religious group, indeed his government is the principal protector of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other minorities that have been targeted by Sunni extremists for death.

Nor did Assad sponsor “terrorism against U.S. troops in Iraq.” By definition, terrorism is political violence against civilians, not against a military occupation force. Assad also sought to collaborate with the Bush-43 administration in its “war on terror,” to the point of handling torture assignments from Washington.

But distortions and falsehoods are now the way of the modern Washington Post. The newspaper will say anything, no matter how dishonest or unfair, to advance the neocon cause.

But the most dangerous outcome from these pressures is that they prevent a serious debate about a most serious topic: what the next president must do to bring the costly, bloody and endless wars to an end.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and

26 comments for “Giving Peace Very Little Chance

  1. Richard Steven Hack
    February 10, 2016 at 15:00

    Oh, come on, it has nothing to do with “fearing neocon wrath”!

    These ARE politicians who want war because they are owned and operated by the military-industrial complex who finances their campaigns and bribes them to keep US wars going. Or they fear the wrath of rich Jews in the US who do the same if they don’t kowtow to Israel’s need to destroy the Middle East. Or both in the same entity.

    Face it, Robert. The US government is CORRUPT to the core. NONE of these politicians really have the interests of the US electorate at heart and never did.

  2. Stenka Rozumova
    February 9, 2016 at 14:05

    I do not know if somebody will bother to answer me.
    What is the percentage of Allovite christians, shi; ites and sunni’s?

  3. J'hon Doe II
    February 6, 2016 at 10:09

    “[Hitler] has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all ‘progressive’ thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security, and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; tin pacifists somehow won’t do. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flag and loyalty-parades… Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a grudging way, have said to people ‘I offer you a good time,’ Hitler has said to them ‘I offer you struggle, danger and death,’ and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet.”

    – George Orwell, a review of Mein Kampf in 1940

  4. Peter Loeb
    February 6, 2016 at 06:34


    This writer was “informed” about what was said in a debate
    which was—as previously suspected by years of political
    instinct—which was essentially nothing.

    I would like more (by anyone) about how those of us who share
    an interest in the realities of foreign policy can develop a sound
    knowledge base, not for next week, but for the long-term.
    Parry’s (and others’) views on foreign policy should respond not “if”
    but “WHEN” neocons from some party take over.

    A basis for beginning is Gabriel Kolko’s book ‘THE ROOTS OF AMERICAN
    FOREIGN POLICY”, especially the epilogue “Reason and Radicalism”.

    I know that screaming into a television will not transform policy.

    Well..what about Jill Stein? A profile, sources of funding, etc. might be
    helpful. Of course, it might be argued that a vote for Stein is no more
    than a meaningless protest vote. But from where I stand, no
    other vote seems productive.

    (Note as Kolko presciently points out, there is never a single
    savior who will be at at the center of a transforrmative revolution.
    This is a persistent liberal/progressive illusion. )

    I read somewhere that Bernie Sanders voted for all (most) of
    the SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION bills which was how
    the Iraq war was funded. Is this true?

    With appreciation,

    —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

    • Ethan Allen
      February 6, 2016 at 17:48

      Re: Peter Loeb – February 6, 2016 at 6:34 am
      Good Sir:
      Aside from your declaration…

      “I know that screaming into a television will not transform policy.”

      …this rather inchoate word-stew of idle conjectures and superfluous conflations, ostensibly
      presented as carefully crafted and informed opinion, seems a bit dissonant.
      Your obtusely veiled inquiry…

      “I would like more (by anyone) about how those of us who share
      an interest in the realities of foreign policy can develop a sound
      knowledge base, not for next week, but for the long-term.
      Parry’s (and others’) views on foreign policy should respond not “if”
      but “WHEN” neocons from some party take over.”

      …while purporting your “interest in the realities of foreign policy”,
      portends that Robert Parry has some how not been involved in factually
      reporting on the inept policies and practices of NeoCons and their NeoLiberal
      fellow travelers for decades. With all due respect, your view of informed
      reality should be made of “sterner stuff”.
      If you decide to proffer further inquiry, sans derisive rhetoric and dissembling, I,
      for one, would be happy to respond in like kind.
      “The public good before private advantage.” TP
      As Usual,

      • Peter Loeb
        February 7, 2016 at 07:57


        It is nearly impossible to understand what Mr. Allen
        is trying to say. I tried to make it clear how much
        I value Consortiumnews’ contributions.

        I can only refer Mr. Allen to Gabriel Kolko’s
        in particularl “The Epilogue: Reason and Radicalism.”

        For myself, I can only say that as son of a professional
        political functionary, as a former election “junkie”,
        I have interest in the specific points of this
        year.s candidates. I have commented on them

        In short after decades of listening to electoral rhetoric
        I find it mostly terribly boring coming in second perhaps
        only to the State of the Union Address (“The economy
        is sound” etc).

        I am grateful indeed for Robert Parry’s analysis of
        what was and was not said .(That way I don’t have
        to watch/listen to the stuff and its so-called analysis
        in the media.)

        My main point (see Kolko, op cit) is that
        we will undoubtedly have a government by the
        “revolutionary” right (or center). We must prepare
        by a knowledge and correct analysis of what is
        (See Kolkol again) and inner preparation for
        how to deal with coming disastrous policies
        by all current contenders.(bipartisan “group
        think” according to R. Parry).

        As I wrote to “Abbywood”, the “revolution” will
        change nothing with the election of only one

        —Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA


  5. Mike Lamb
    February 6, 2016 at 04:20

    In 1969 the book “13 Days” taken from the notes of Robert F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis was published.

    Robert Kennedy wrote how the final lesson of the Cuban Missile Crisis was to put yourself in the other country’s shoes. To look at the situation as your opponent sees it to see what your opponent wants and needs.

    Robert Kennedy wrote that you should not put your opponent into a corner from which they cannot easily get out. Doing so could lead to disaster.

    Robert Kennedy wrote that you should not humiliate your opponent.

    That means none of the “we’re number one,” and “you’re losers” crap that we see today in sports and virtually everything else.

    Robert F. Kennedy, brother of President John F. Kennedy was “in the room” during the Cuban Missile Crisis and by having the ear of President Kennedy his advice helped to avert the disaster for the entire world which could have occurred.

    I do not see this wisdom in Secretaries of State Kerry, Clinton, Rice, Powell, Albright, Christopher, Eagleburger, Baker, Schultz, or Haig.

    Clearly this wisdom is not shown by any of the questioners in any of the 2016 Presidential debates and barely touched by any of the candidates.

    Foreign Policy has come to mean the use of force rather than the use of wisdom.

    Hell, “The American Conservative” has said that supporting no fly zone over Syria should be disqualifying for being elected President.

    The shame of a liberal quoting from a conservative magazine to support what should be an obvious liberal position.

    John Kerry almost 45 years ago asked: “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?.”

    But today John Kerry and many of the rest of his generation, which includes me, fail to ask “How do you ask a man to be the first man to die for a mistake?”

    Mike Lamb

  6. Abbybwood
    February 6, 2016 at 02:50

    I am STILL awaiting the “Peace Dividend”.

    Does anyone else remember that fabled bullshit from Thatcher and George H. W. Bush::

    Suckers! “Never give a sucker an even break”, eh?!

    Perhaps it is time for Mr. Sanders to DEMAND that “PEACE DIVIDEND” we were all promised DECADES ago??!!

  7. Joe Tedesky
    February 6, 2016 at 01:07

    During the MSNBC debate Hillary stated very clearly how none of her National Security Advisors thought that Bernie Sanders could be a suitable Commander in Chief. What Hillary didn’t mention, was how all of her advisors were the same advisors who have advised our various presidents to jump into all these wars of chaos. Candidate Sanders has mentioned how we must spend more on social programs, and how we spend far to much on our ever stretched out military adventurism. How much college tuition would result from a ten percent cut in defense spending? The problem with our U.S. Establishment is by any mention of less militarism you are considered a traitor, for the lack of a better word. Read James W Douglas’s JFK’s Murder and Why it Matters, and listen to how Douglas describes Washington’s reaction to John Kennedy’s back channel negotiations he was having with Nikita Khrushchev to have a reference to what I am trying to point out here. America is way to invested into war, and mischief making to just up and quit this kind of manipulative bullying. If Bernie doesn’t make it to the White House I hope that he will inspire some young follower to travel this impossible road, to someday gain office where they may make the much needed changes that the world is waiting for. The U.S. can do better, we just need the right leaders who may follow to become that shinny city on the hill, that our politicians like to brag about all the time.

  8. dale t hood
    February 5, 2016 at 22:08

    Let’s not forget, as we watch in fear and loathing this obscene charade, that the CEO of Diebold (interchangeable with Sequoia, the other voting machine), a convicted fraud criminal, promised to Bush, “we will deliver Ohio”.Then,who was Florida’s Sec. of State?

    Elections are a farce we still fall for? Something else must be done.

  9. onno
    February 5, 2016 at 21:36

    After watching the presidential debates of the Republicans and Democrats I have to conclude that the overall quality of the debates have declined. The contrasts with the Democrat candidates is extreme where you have a warmonger like Hillary Clinton against a peace minded Saunders. Hillary Clinton’s aggressive style in the debates is exceptional and approaches hysteria, especially looking at her eyes I see an ambitious woman who will do ANYTHING to become the first female president of USA.
    However, her track record as Secretary of State has been a disaster and her ONLY accomplishment was that she accumulated more air-miles then Secretary Albright. On top of that Clinton has shown in the debate not only to bluff but to lie to the public but she does it with such conviction that voters become intimidated, regretfully.
    Most important in this debate – like Robert Parry – emphasized is the fact that she doesn’t want to upset the ‘NEOCON clique in Washington and especially her big sponsors the DEFENCE INDUSTRY, the large banks and US conglomerates.
    Concluding, I am very much worried when Clinton become the next US president we will have WW III because she will become the tool of the establishment identical to Obama.because of her lack of leverage, competence and lack of knowledge of international affairs. In addition she represents a negative form of feminism and therefore, will chase away more conventional nations from USA increasing the present international tension between East and West.
    As Secretary of State she showed no negotiation qualifications and she therefore will make USA more isolated than it became under Obama whose pro-Muslim speech in Cairo was the beginning of the destabilization in the Middle East.
    Finally, like Robert Parry indicated the US president will NOT be elected by the American people but by the powerful Washington establishment and the MSM propaganda machine brainwashing the American people, therefore, it’s simply who has the most money.

  10. CK
    February 5, 2016 at 21:23

    Jeb Bush was a signee of the PNAC document advocating a hawkish foreign policy. It is never mentioned in any of the news coverage, surprisingly even in liberal news outlets.

  11. Ethan Allen
    February 5, 2016 at 18:40

    Robert…Thank you, as usual, for this succinct and factually informative reporting on the sad and dysfunctional condition of not only the framing of our nation’s political discourse, but also for continuing to remind your readers of the corporate media’s propagandists efforts to control and degrade informed public opinion.
    “Work is love made visible.” KG
    As Usual,

      February 6, 2016 at 00:13

      No one mentions that bombing and shooting other weapons destroys the Earth and its air and increases global warming. So War by any name is Suicidal. I think it should be avoided for that reason alone. There are many other human reasons, too. No more babies blown apart and burned and made parentless!

  12. Abe
    February 5, 2016 at 16:53

    As Aleppo is finally encircled and begins the process of liberation from NATO-backed terrorists who have besieged and occupied parts of the city since 2012, and as Syrian forces backed by its allies overwhelm enemy fronts across the rest of Syria, desperation across the West is palpable.

    “Peace talks” in Geneva have all but collapsed with the West and its collection of terrorists and client political fronts coming to the negotiation table with absolutely nothing to bargain with. The political component of the West’s proxy war has been ineffective and impotent almost from the beginning of the conflict in 2011. The militant component has been waning and upon Russia’s entry into the conflict, folded over and sent on the run.

    This tenuous position has caused the West to once again dust-off its plans to invade and occupy Syrian territory along the Turkish-Syrian border – in the last remaining Islamic State-Al Qaeda supply corridor yet to be cut off by Syrian and Kurdish forces.

    The call has manifested itself in both Turkish and Saudi military preparations, and now in an op-ed in the Washington Post.

    Titled, “The diplomatic case for America to create a safe zone in Syria,” Nicholas Burns – U.S. undersecretary of state for political affairs from 2005 to 2008 – and James Jeffrey – U.S. ambassador to Iraq from 2010 to 2012 – proposed:

    “As the talks proceed, Obama and Kerry must also consider stronger measures to protect millions of civilians at risk, including establishing humanitarian corridors to reach those subjected to air assaults by the government and attacks by terrorist groups on the ground. Most important, we believe the Obama team will have to reconsider what it has rejected in the past: the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria to protect civilians, along with a no-fly zone to enforce it.”

    Of course, between this measure, and calls for the US to dump further resources into the defeated proxy terrorists on the ground in Syria, all Burns and Jeffery are proposing is the transformation of Syria into the “Libya of the Levant.”

    Readers should recall that precisely the same prescription was applied to Libya in 2011. “Moderate rebels” were also armed, funded, and given aircover amid a NATO-enforced no-fly zone in order to overthrow the government. What resulted was an orgy of genocidal mass murder and then the subsequent fracturing and destruction of the nation-state that was Libya.

    Washington Post Op-Ed Calls for “Safe Zones” in Syria
    By Tony Cartalucci

  13. Abe
    February 5, 2016 at 15:56

    It is the myth of Israeli exceptionalism, and its contradictions go to the heart of the radical disconnect between world opinion – including growing swathes of Jewish and Israeli opinion – and the actions of the war party in Israel and in the United States. Yet most of us still see the conflict through the lens of some exceptionalism, as if through Alice’s looking glass.

    Exceptionalism is the ideology that holds that one’s country is above and beyond any other in the world, more righteous, more holy, and others less so. The late, great, Jewish American historian Howard Zinn wrote an essay in 2005 on “The Myths of American Exceptionalism”:

    “Expanding into another territory, occupying that territory, and dealing harshly with people who resist occupation has been a persistent fact of American history. This was often accompanied from early on with a particular form of American exceptionalism: the idea that [our] expansion is divinely ordained.”

    Exceptionalism is an ideology propagated by the power elites of two nations of vastly different proportions and histories – Israel and the U.S. – but each declaring a divinely manifest destiny, each justifying a permanent state of exception, each engaging in extrajudicial assassinations and occupations, each with its second-class humanities and “internal enemies.”

    It is ideas like exceptionalism – and the grim realities of the state of exception – that enable nation-states to defend policies of expansionism, violations of international law, the dispatching of international activists. All the more so for young states with centuries of colonialism etched into the land and consciousness.

    Through the looking glass, even for those who still have eyes to see […], it can be hard to tell myth from fact, ideology from history.

    Through the Looking Glass: The Myth of Israeli Exceptionalism
    By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

  14. Abe
    February 5, 2016 at 13:22

    There is, by the way, ample evidence that Israel is “nakedly genocidal” – this largely ethnocratic regime has targeted Christians, Alawites, Shiite and Sunni Moslems for death using state terror locally and proxy forces regionally, principally the United States military and faux “Islamic” mercenary terrorists.

    Want peace?

    Bomb, bomb, bomb Israel.

    Oh, wait, they have nukes (since 1967).

    Never mind.

    • February 5, 2016 at 22:18

      yes they have nukes, but most important of all …
      they have the most powerful military force, and all it’s nukes on a leash. like a dog it can beat at will when it oversteps it’s bounds …
      remember the USS Liberty and Adm. Moorer.

  15. J'hon Doe II
    February 5, 2016 at 13:11

    PNAC posture prevails.
    As the “world’s sole superpower” we’ve become audacious treacherous heartless bullies.
    There are no calls for peace – only calls for more military spending. This cannot end well.

  16. Mark Thomason
    February 5, 2016 at 12:54

    This is the price we pay for Obama’s failure to prosecute the neocon war criminals. They flourished, and are now the DC insiders’ accepted Very Serious People. That would not be the case if some of their leaders were convicted and jailed.

    I know why Obama did it, but these are the wages of doing it.

  17. Drew Hunkins
    February 5, 2016 at 12:27

    Many of these candidates — even Bernie, sad to say — are in the pocket of the Zionist Power Configuration in America. The extremely powerful pro-Israel bloc in the United States wields considerable clout (no, they’re not omnipotent) when it comes to funding campaigns at the local, state and fed level; wielding power in the establishment media; and mounting smear campaigns against activists, intellectuals, candidates, professors, celebrities, media figures, etc.

    Bernie’s still by far the best candidate out there right now (no, he’s not perfect, he still kowtows to Israel a little too much, but much less than all the rest). Bernie’s the one who’s least likely to get the United States embroiled in a serious conflict anywhere on the globe. Hillary’s a warmonger, Cruz and Rubio are even worse than Hillary. Trump, despite all his faults, is probably also very unlikely to get the United States into any foreign entanglements, to his credit he doesn’t genuflect to the orthodoxy of Putin bash, Putin bash, Putin bash.

    • February 5, 2016 at 22:11

      what about Jill Stein?

      • rosemerry
        February 6, 2016 at 17:54

        If only she was given airtime or journalistic investigation and publicity of any sort! The Real News Network has recently interviewed her, and of course she is way ahead of anyone else in decent policies, and millions of Americans do not vote because of the pathetic quality of the candidates on offer, so she is a miracle waiting to happen!!!

  18. Sam
    February 5, 2016 at 12:10

    Ending the endless war requires ending the means and access of warmongers to power. The right wing must create foreign enemies to demand power as false protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. Then they use the power to steal public funds to distribute to their supporters.

    This works best when the public is distressed and angry, even when the ultimate causes of that are the same neocon warmongering. It requires the right wing to control public information by controlling mass media and elections. That can only be stopped by constitutional amendments to restrict funding of mass media and elections to limited and registered individual contributions. But no such political moves can be made because the tools of democracy, mass media and elections, are already controlled by economic concentrations owned by the plutocracy.

    So unfortunately, the solution to endless war is war against plutocracy in all its forms and components: the large corporations, the rich themselves, the mass media, the supporters of PACS and large donors themselves. If you want justice for all, if you want freedom, if you love the real America they have imprisoned, those are your targets, by any and all means that you can use to bring them down. And you will have the blessing of history to exactly the extent that you do that.

    • February 5, 2016 at 22:07

      I give this comment five “thumbs up” …

  19. LondonBob
    February 5, 2016 at 11:36

    Not sure I trust Cruz, give as much credence as W’s humble foreign policy spiel. Good article on Bloomberg about Trump, very encouraging.

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