October 11th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Flora Lewis: "One Man's Private Obsession With Mideast Peace" (IHT, July 11, 1995

Flora Lewis: "One Man's Private Obsession With Mideast Peace" (IHT, July 11, 1995

  I take great pride in having inducted John Whitbeck into the Black
Sheep Society by giving him that necktie referred to below. No one has
worked harder than John for the Palestinian cause, and he should not
regret  all the time and energy he has devoted to it. Some day truth,
justice,  rationality, legality, and peace will prevail.  We need to
remain optimistic.
    Bob Keeley

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        Flora Lewis: "One Man's Private Obsession With Mideast Peace"
(IHT, July 11, 1995)
Date:   Tue, 10 Oct 2006 21:45:11 +0300
From:   John Whitbeck


TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

Having flashed back last night to Abe Foxman's effort to intimidate me
(and probably Flora Lewis too) in 1995 -- which, I must confess, did
fill me with some degree of fear and trembling at the time -- I have
re-read the provocative article by Flora Lewis which launched Abe into
his attack mode (transmitted below). I certainly must have looked like a
threatening character!

A decade later, this article fills me with mixed emotions. It recalls an
intensity of optimism which I had almost forgotten once possessed me. It
was tremendously exciting to believe that one had found the solution to
one of the world's great problems, to at least be listened to by major
"players" and to work directly with the political leadership of the
people I wished to help.

Looking back on my 12 years of irrational optimism, I cannot help
feeling that I was naive. For the past six years, since Camp David 2000,
I have been rationally pessimistic -- and right. Life was more
satisfying when I was still naively optimistic, but, sadly, I can no
longer see even a hint of a reason to be optimistic. (The only hope is
that, having been proven wrong in my optimistic period, I might also be
proven wrong in my pessimistic period.)

Cecil Rhodes once said, "It is trying to do the things that cannot be
done that makes life worthwhile." That provides some consolation for
failure. I certainly don't regret having tried. Still, I often wonder
whether I could have done more -- when there was still a chance to make
a difference.

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Chris Keeley

Who is holding peace hostage?

Who is holding peace hostage?

The Israel Lobby Sells Wars: The Strategic Trap of Military Confrontation

It is now widely confirmed that one of the major reasons we chose to put
a priority on toppling Saddam Hussein was due to the lobbying efforts
for Israel within the Congress and the Bush Administration. The
commitment of almost the entire military force of the United States to a
senseless campaign in Mesopotamia, the ancient land between two rivers,
has led to unexpected consequences that will be with us for decades. One
of those is the possible military confrontation with Iran, which would
again ignore the limits of American power and the potential for
disastrous effects for our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt,
Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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Chris Keeley

McGovern & Polk: "Out of Iraq" (Simon & Schuster)

McGovern & Polk: "Out of Iraq" (Simon & Schuster)

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck

In the article which I have just circulated, Chris Hedges cites several
times my distinguished recipient Bill Polk, whom he quite properly
characterizes as "one of the country's leading scholars on the Middle East".

Transmitted below is Simon & Schuster's release notice for Bill's new
book, co-written with George McGovern, which was published early this
month. Bill is currently on a book promotion tour of the United States.
The moment may finally be ripe for sensible alternatives.


*OUT OF IRAQ

A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now

By George S. McGovern and William R. Polk*


Former Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern and veteran
Middle East expert William Polk call for a phased withdrawal of American
troops from Iraq to begin by December 31, 2006, and to be completed
within six months, in their new book, *OUT OF IRAQ: A Practical Plan for
Withdrawal Now* (Simon & Schuster; October 3, 2006; $15.00). McGovern
and Polk are blunt in their judgment – now shared by many senior
military commanders, intelligence officers, and diplomats – that the
Bush Administration’s decision to invade and occupy Iraq was a
“calamitous mistake.” They present an incisive analysis of the way they
believe Americans were misled into the Iraq war and assess the damage it
has caused to Americans, Iraqis, and U.S. standing in world affairs. But
their unique contribution to the ongoing debate about the war is a
highly specific, 24-point plan for how to stop the hemorrhaging and get
out of Iraq with the least possible human and financial cost.

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Chris Keeley

Chris Hedges: Bush’s Nuclear Apocalypse

TO: Distinguished Recipients
FM: John Whitbeck
Transmitted below, to cheer everyone up, is an article by Chris Hedges,
former Middle East bureau chief of the New York Times.
I am unable to view the recent polls showing a 23% Democratic lead in
nationwide voting intentions for next month's Congessional elections
with unnuanced pleasure. I fear that, the bigger the poll gap is, the
more likely the regime will opt for an "October Surprise" -- and that it
will be the one Hedges describes.

*Chris Hedges: Bush’s Nuclear Apocalypse*

* *

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/200601009_bushs_nuclear_apocalypse/

Oct 9, 2006

By Chris Hedges

/Editor’s Note: The former Middle East bureau chief for The New York
Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us
Meaning” reports on Bush’s plan for Iran, and how a callous war,
conceived by zealots, will lead to a disaster of biblical proportions./

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