The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Archive for April 2013

The Boston Bombing — The Eerily Predictable Symbolism of an Age of Terror

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
The Passionate Attachment
April 16, 2013

Yair Rosenberg, a writer at Tablet Magazine and the editor of the English-language blog of the Israeli National Archives, makes an intriguing observation about the multiple explosions at the Boston Marathon. Commenting on a photo taken by the Boston Globe’s John Tlumacki of a grey-haired runner lying in the middle of the road surrounded by Boston police officers reacting at the scene, Rosenberg draws attention to what might best be described as the uncannily predictable symbolism associated with such terror events:

Eerily, the photo above depicts first responders after the explosion, with the Israeli flag visible in the background—on Israel’s own memorial day.

The day referred to is Israel’s official Memorial Day, Yom Hazikaron, which is the shorter Hebrew term for the “Day of Remembrance for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism.” Enacted into law in 1963, the national observance had been traditionally dedicated to IDF soldiers — including those who have died in the Operation Cast Lead assault on the imprisoned population of Gaza — but has now been extended to “civilian victims of Palestinian political violence and Palestinian terrorism.”

Apart from that reminder of Israel’s perceived victimhood, the significance of the iconic image of the world’s flags fluttering in the foreground of the terror scene will not be lost on Tel Aviv and its foreign agents as they will surely tout the Boston Marathon bombing as yet another assault on the entire civilized world — with a besieged, peace-seeking Jewish state bravely standing in the front lines.

Update: The photographer who captured the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon appears to share Yair Rosenberg’s fixation on Israel’s victimhood. In an interview with TIME Magazine, John Tlumacki makes some intriguing associations. Describing it as a “haunting” attack on the city of “Liberty,” the veteran Boston Globe staffer notes that it happened in front of “all the flags of the nations.” Then, for no apparent reason, the one-time Pulitzer Prize finalist recalls his trip(s) to the Jewish state:

I always wondered what it would be like when I see photographers covering this stuff all over the world. You go to Israel and then there’s an explosion and photographers are there. It’s haunting to be a journalist and have to cover it. I don’t ever want to have to do that again.

Update II: A Soros-funded Project Syndicate column by Dominique Moisi, a senior adviser at IFRI (The French Institute for International Affairs), would have us believe that the Brothers Tsarnaev are experts in the symbology of terror:

The scale of the Boston attack was, of course, much smaller than that of September 11, 2001. But Americans will remember this homegrown plot as a highly symbolic moment: an attack on a venerable international sporting event on Patriots’ Day. The marathon is a cherished event, for it reflects the peaceful values of a democratic society that seeks to transcend its challenges through sheer endurance. Will an attack on such a symbol reinforce the prevalence of fear in an American society that was once defined by hope?

Update III: The following announcement by the European Jewish Congress helps put Moisi’s observations on the symbology of terror into context:

The Representative Council of French Jewry, the CRIF (Conseil Représentative des Institutions Juives de France), held its first national convention Sunday, November 19th outside Paris, entitled “Being Jewish in France in 2007, the New Challenges.” About 500 people attended this event, with the participation of the French intellectual Bernard Henri Levy, as well as of Alexandre Adler, Dominique Moisi and François Heisbourg, well-known specialists of international strategy who held a debate about the Iranian threat.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst. He is also the creator and editor of The Passionate Attachment blog, which focuses primarily on the U.S.-Israeli relationship. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @O_Cathail.

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

April 16, 2013 at 5:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Incredible Tale of Gwenyth Todd and the Naïve Neocons

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By Maidhc Ó Cathail
Special Report
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
May 2013

Given the proliferation of crimes, both foreign and domestic, known to have been committed by the U.S. government in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, there is an understandable willingness among large swathes of the public to believe almost anything told them by someone claiming to be blowing the whistle on an increasingly rogue “world’s policeman.” And, as a rule, the more persecution the whistleblower appears to suffer for exposing the global cop’s transgressions, the greater the desire to believe her story—no matter how far-fetched it might be.

Earlier this year, an effort was made to interest a number of prominent alternative media outlets in just such a “whistleblower” story. According to the professional-sounding pitch, an American contractor named Gwenyth Todd, while advising the Bahrain-based U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, had single-handedly foiled a plot involving “a few select high-ranking members of the U.S. Navy” to provoke a war with Iran. “Fearing of the powers she had obstructed, and fearing for her own safety, Todd left Bahrain moving to Australia,” wrote the anonymous promoter. “For her honesty, bravery, and service, Todd has been sought after by the U.S. Justice Department for prosecution and pursued by the FBI. Nearly all in the corporate press have chosen to ignore her case.”

But not only has Gwenyth Todd’s case not been ignored by the corporate press, it has in fact been the subject of a five-page Washington Post special by “SpyTalk” blogger Jeff Stein. Moreover, Stein’s Aug. 21, 2012 piece entitled “Why was a Navy adviser stripped of her career?” uncritically touts Todd’s conspiratorial narrative solely on the basis of interviews with Todd herself and “a half-dozen Navy and other government officials who demanded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, many parts of which remain classified.” Then, six months after having her story featured by one of America’s most influential pro-Israel daily newspapers, Todd was the unlikely focus of an even more credulous Iranian state television production. In February 2013, Press TV released “Untold Truths,” a half-hour-long program that introduced her as a “Middle East specialist” and “former U.S. government consultant.” The production began with a dramatic assertion: “In 2007, the U.S. tried to wage a war against IRAN. One person stopped it. This is her story.”

In the Washington Post and Press TV versions, the alleged conspiracy to start a war with Iran is said to have occurred in Bahrain in 2007. However, in a June 2012 article, Todd’s “senior editor” at the notoriously unreliable and ostensibly “anti-Semitic” Veterans Today (VT) website—with which Todd has “long worked” and currently serves on its motley editorial board of directors—sets the narrative two years earlier, and in a neighboring country. “Gwenyth Todd of the National Security Agency, close associate of Paul Wolfowitz and Condi Rice,” wrote Gordon Duff, “back in 2005, discovered a White House plot to stage an attack on American forces in Qatar.”

Confusing matters even more, another VT colleague and enthusiastic promoter of Todd’s story, Kevin Barrett, claims in a September 2012 piece first published by Press TV, “She stopped a 2006 neocon plot to stage a false flag attack in Bahrain intended to trigger war on Iran, and had to flee for her life to Australia.”

Although Todd presents herself as an “appalled” critic of the neoconservatives and the broader Israel lobby, there are good reasons to doubt her credibility on this point as well. In a Sept. 12, 2012 radio interview with Barrett, for example, she made the extraordinary claim that 9/11 was a “setback” for the neocons because it supposedly upset their plans for regime change in Iraq. According to Todd, their plan was to restore a pre-1958 type friendly regime, ruled by Ahmed Chalabi, with Iraq then serving as a base from which to launch regime change in Iran. In that same interview, she further claimed that the neoconservative agenda for Iraq had nothing to do with Israel. As if unaware of the fact that neocon Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz had once been investigated for having passed a classified U.S. document to an Israeli government official, she proffered as evidence, “Didn’t Wolfowitz admit to having affairs with Palestinian students?”

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

April 15, 2013 at 9:48 am

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Miko Peled Applauds Teachers Union of Ireland

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

April 13, 2013 at 7:15 am

Posted in Uncategorized

The Incredible Tale of Gwenyth Todd and the Naïve Neocons

with 40 comments

By Maidhc Ó Cathail
Special Report
Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
May 2013

Given the proliferation of crimes, both foreign and domestic, known to have been committed by the U.S. government in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, there is an understandable willingness among large swathes of the public to believe almost anything told them by someone claiming to be blowing the whistle on an increasingly rogue “world’s policeman.” And, as a rule, the more persecution the whistleblower appears to suffer for exposing the global cop’s transgressions, the greater the desire to believe her story—no matter how far-fetched it might be.

WRMEA subscribers can continue reading here

Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

April 13, 2013 at 3:26 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Susan Abulhawa: The problem in Palestine is ‘Jewish entitlement’

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Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

April 13, 2013 at 3:04 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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