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12/4/2006 IRmep on the Diane Rehm Show - National Public Radio 12/2/2006 IRmep Regional Development Analysis
From Lavon to Pierre Gemayel: Will We Ever Learn? AL-EQTISADIAH NEWSPAPER
Steve Roberts, Syndicated Columnist:   The big solution that is supposed to come out of the Baker-Hamilton commission is somehow expanded Middle East Discussions, bring in Iran, bring in Syria.  He made the point that Iran has been extremely recalcitrant on its nuclear program.  Syria has been equally recalcitrant if not more so.  They helped assassinate a leading Christian, the evidence is pretty clear, they helped assassinate a leading Christian politician just last week...

Diane Rehm, host:  And here's an email from Grant (Smith, director of research at IRmep) who says "your guest stated that Syria was involved in the assassination of a 'Christian Politician'.  There is no hard evidence of that.  Is it the Israeli propaganda hour now?

Steve Roberts, Syndicated Columnist:  That's a very unfair comment, the "Israeli propaganda hour."  If anybody in this government doubts, or any thinking person doubts that Syria was involved in the assassination of Pierre Geymayel, I'd like to know that...

Diane Rehm, host:  I wonder if we do have any proof?

Steve Roberts, Syndicated Columnist: I didn't say there was proof.  But there is an international investigation going on into the assassination of Rafic Hariri, and other politicians.  Syria has done everything to try to block that investigation.  Every bit of evidence we have, in the long history here, is of a violent intervention in Lebanon, and I don't know anybody who knows anything about that region, who doubts that Syria is involved in that assassination.   It has nothing to do with Israeli propaganda.

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Audio Clip (MP3)  Full Analysis (HTML) Full Analysis (HTML)
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Jane Harman:  Unfit for Chair of the House Intelligence Committee
The recent Democratic Party take-over of the House and Senate has opened new leadership positions in many key committees.  Representative Jane Harman is a six-term member of Congress who was widely thought to be next in line to head the House Intelligence Committee.   However, Israeli-American media mogul Haim Saban's behind-the-scenes lobbying for Harmon on behalf of the Israel lobby and a US Department of Justice Investigation into this influence peddling has placed a Harmon chairmanship in jeopardy.  DNC chairman Howard Dean pledged to Americans that going into Iraq and militarily occupying the country was the wrong move for America.   Empowering and rewarding agents of the Israel lobby that was so instrumental in driving the US into war in Iraq while laying the groundwork for US military action against Iran is not in the interest of the Democratic leadership or America.  AIPAC initiatives in the 110th Congress are tainted by the prosecution of two members of the Israel lobby, Rosen and Weissman, scheduled to begin next year.  Few members of Congress will find it wise to even consider AIPAC's initiatives until the outcome of this critical trial is decided.  Additional lines of prosecution stemming from the investigation of AIPAC could ultimately find, as IRmep believes, that the organization operates illegally as an unregistered foreign agent, subject to registration and oversight under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
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10/18/2006 Radio Interview Mendicino Public Radio KZYX
Voters Insist on Qualified and Uncompromised Middle East Policymakers
"...there is a group that is as rabidly blinded [as the neocons] on the Democratic side that is chomping at the bit to bring their dogma back into power.  Whether it is Martin Indyk or Dennis Ross, people who have a track record of failure, these are people who are primarily buttressed by enormous amounts of money from limited, narrow interest groups, who would like to crowd out the expertise and judgment of genuine scholars, of whom there is a surplus in US universities..."
Audio MP3
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Emerging Arab Equities Markets
Price Earnings Ratios Still Matter
The crash of the Saudi stock market in many respects has been different than the most recent crash affecting US investors. From September 2000 to January 2, 2001 the NASDAQ, heavily populated by technology stocks, dropped 45.9%. In October 2002, the NASDAQ dropped to a 78.4% decline from its all-time high.  Some of the factors driving the crash were similar to afflictions of the Saudi stock market.  The most important was ignoring the fundamentals and overvaluing stocks.

Regional Arab investors can be satisfied that the uglier, corruption related factors of cooked financial accounts, inflated earnings through crooked accounting, and conflict of interest between research firm analysts and investment bankers touting initial public offerings that led to the US crash were not major factors in the Saudi Market.
Full Analysis in Arabic (PDF)
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Israel Lobby Initiates Hispanic Strategy
"Invademos a Iran"

AIPAC, the tip of the Israel lobby spear in Washington, began an executive search for a Deputy Director for Hispanic Outreach  (PDF)   in August of 2006.  Reporting directly to AIPAC's "National Outreach Director" in Washington, the responsibility of the new deputy director will be to "develop relationships with key members of the Hispanic community and encourage their involvement in political advocacy in support of the US-Israel relationship."

AIPAC's focus on the Hispanic community dovetails with an unprecedented opportunity for Spanish language media outreach.  Shareholders of Univision Communications, the leading Spanish-language broadcaster in the U.S., voted to sell the company last week to a group of private-equity firms for $12.3 billion.  The deal was signed even though a higher bid from Mexican TV giant Grupo Televisa was still on the table.  Led by media mogul Haim Saban, the US group acquired the equivalent of the "ABC" network in terms of Spanish speaking US viewership.  Among all Spanish-language US networks, Univision averaged 3.7 million viewers followed by Telemundo at 880,000 and TeleFutura's 660,000 viewers.

Full Analysis (HTML)
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9/14/2006 falls_church4.jpg (3630 bytes) Falls Church News-Press
A “Clean Break” From Law: Espionage and Engineering the War In Iraq by Nathan Hamme
"The question of whether this document amounts to an engineered coup of American foreign policy control by a non-governmental institution, Smith noted, is dependent largely upon your definition of terms: is it a “conspiracy theory” or a “conspiracy of theories?” Some find the ties between the paper, the persons who authored it, and the similarities in United States foreign policy tenuous; others believe the “Clean Break” theory has been implemented by its creators behind the backs of American citizens, cleanly breaking from precedence and American values rather than achieving its intended goals of peace and prosperity.

Smith noted that the specific attention paid to the paper's rhetorical message is certainly intended to sway the public to adopt a militant attitude towards Israel's—and, by association, America's—perceived enemies. The paper comments that Netanyahu could use the possibility of cooperation between the United States and Israel on the topic of missile defense systems as a boon for the largely unrelated militaristic policies. This would not only advance Israel's goals of security, but “it would broaden Israel's base of support among many in the United States Congress who may know little about Israel, but care very much about missile defense.” Mr. Smith, and many in the audience, were particularly concerned over this forthright attempt at manipulating US representatives."
Full Analysis (PDF)
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9/8/2006-9/15/2006 VOA Panel Discussionvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
Secret Prisons and the Geneva Convention
It is not clear that Republican members of Congress are going to accept a military tribunal process that permits secret evidence, hearsay evidence, or testimony extracted under trauma.  The moral issue is clear.   We've seen what happened to Moazzem Begg, a British citizen who was taken in Pakistan and transferred through various prisons, until Guantanamo. He just published a book called "Enemy Combatant" in which he says, from first hand experience, that he was tortured.  This is a big problem because there are more Moazzem Beggs mixed into the group.  Sure, some are terrorists, but without a process, we are never going to know who isn't.

Full VOA Discussion (Spanish Real Video 256kbps)  Transcript (English HTM)

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US Foreign Policy and Terrorism: Still Inviting Attacks
Five years after 9/11, US foreign policy still suffers the scorn of most of the Middle East, a growing number of Americans and invites a terror response from a small number of extremists.   The brutalization of Palestinians and gradual Israeli occupation of their lands continues unabated and with tacit Bush administration approval.  This central regional conflict, a key motivator of the attacks, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, could be ended with firm American resolve.  Instead, recognizing the 9/11-Israel occupation link and any action has been stifled by the shock troops of the Israel lobby.   Worse, a cadre of highly compromised American policymakers have saddled the US with its own brutal occupation, Iraq, under the dubious justification of responding to the 9/11 attacks.  As US policy continues to invite terrorism retaliation against all US citizens, the coming "accountability moment" at the polls may achieve a turn away from the final disaster urged on by Neoconservatives and other partisans of the Israel lobby: a US nuclear attack on Iran.
Grant Smith discusses the flaws of neoconservative foreign policy theories (You Tube)
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8/29/2006 12:30-2:00 p.m Public Forum -  The Palestine Center
The Clean Break Plan: A Conspiracy of Theories?
After being elected as Israel's Prime Minister in 1996, Binyamin Netanyahu called on a group of policy advisors in the United States to outline policy recommendations and future strategies Israel can adopt in dealing with the U.S., the Palestinians and the Arab countries. The group, which included Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, produced a document called, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” The document, which has been made public and analyzed by Smith and the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, is being re-examined because many of the recommendations, mainly toppling the government of Iraq, moving away from the land for peace formula with the Palestinians and the destabilization of “regional challengers” such as Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, are in full implementation.

Grant Smith is director of research at the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, a nonprofit that studies the foreign policy formulation process in Washington, D.C.

This briefing is free and open to the public. However, registration is required. To register, call 202-338-1290 (ext. 11) or email your name, affiliation, and contact information to RSVP. A light lunch will be served to registered guests at 12:30 p.m. The briefing and "Q and A" will follow from 1:00-2:00 p.m. Please register no later than noon Monday, 29 August 2006.
Presentation Slides (PDF) Transcript (HTML) Video (You Tube) Press Coverage (Falls Church News Press)
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08/23/2006 Radio Interview - KZYX & Z, 90.7, 91.5, Mendocino County Public Radio
Neoconservative Policy Front Groups
Grant Smith:  "When we look at the tax filings of PNAC, what we notice is that although it is broadly chartered as a non-profit to discuss policy and put forward ideas through publications, the entity itself published almost no information throughout its most active period, and was essentially a front group for what we believe,  was research and analysis which was sold through the Weekly Standard, the Bill Kristol organ of policy for the entire neoconservative galaxy here in Washington, DC.  When we make allegations of tax fraud, all we have to do in PNAC's case is reveal that less than 1% of the revenue that they received from wealthy donors was actually dedicated to the core cause of the nonprofit, while most of the people on the payroll were actually selling their content through a "for profit" magazine.  This is probably one of the most technical and smallest charges we make in the book, "Deadly Dogma", but it's relevant.  When you start peeling away the layers of some of these major policy papers and looking at the major actors, you begin to see the illegal activity and unindicted crimes that should receive more prosecutorial attention."

Jeffrey Blankfort: "The way you describe it, with solid evidence, makes it look like a new Mafia.  And that they really, not only pay no attention to international law, but they see US law as something they can skip, eliminate, and not pay any attention to...You list espionage, conspiracy, wire fraud, military contract fraud, extortion, private correspondence with a foreign government, false tax returns, bribery of public officials.  It is all in there, and yet, you don't see this in the mainstream press... "

Audio (MP3)
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08/15/2006 Radio Interview - WBAI Pacifica
"Deadly Dogma" and the Drive for FARA, Espionage Act and Wire Fraud Prosecutions
On August 15, 2006 Grant Smith appeared with WBAI Radio host Shelton Walden to discuss the new book and how the IRmep's Center for Policy and Law Enforcement is educating US attorneys about FARA, Espionage Act and wire fraud prosecution strategies:

Grant Smith: "There are all of these wonderful laws on the books to combat perennial corruption that can affect any government. And yet we see a lot of police and prosecutor attention focused on petty crime and theft and narcotics trafficking and that sort of thing. We see very few willing to step up the plate and look at some of these mustier and dustier but more important statutes, that, if properly enforced, would actually clean up government."

Audio (MP3)
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wwrl1600sm.jpg (4201 bytes) 08/14/2006 Radio Interview - WWRL New York
UN Resolution 1701 and the Underlying Drivers of Middle East Conflict
Dr. Ron Daniels:  "Now UN resolution 242.  A lot of people get up and start pounding about the enforcement of these resolutions.  There was all of a sudden, a lot of discussion about the resolution which called upon the Lebanese government to disarm Hezbollah, which hadn't been done.  But isn't it the case too that Israel has resolutions that have been longstanding, that have been out there for awhile that Israel hasn't complied with?"

Grant Smith:  "Absolutely, in fact that is just the question.  1559 is a relatively new resolution calling for Hezbollah to disarm and get out of southern Lebanon.  Lebanon has taken the same approach that, unfortunately, that some Bush administration officials have taken, of kind of reinterpreting UN resolutions, to say that we (Hezbollah) are the army of southern Lebanon.  And that creates a lot of problems.  But 242 is a UN Security Council resolution that was adopted on November 22 of 1967, again, after the '67 war, which was calling for a withdrawal of Israeli forces from "territory occupied in the recent conflict", meaning the Six Day War.  Now (Israeli Ambassador) Daniel Gillerman was put on the spot in a UN standup a couple of days ago by someone confronting him with this, and he completely obfuscated the issue by saying "well that wasn't a security council resolution" and a number of other things which weren't true.  So there's just this unwillingness to really face up to these larger regional issues in spite of the fact of there being various peace plans, which would allow for full Arab recognition of Israel if only it returns to 1967 borders.  Some of the larger issues are not on the table, and those are the issues that are going to drive both parties back to conflict."

Audio (MP3)
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linktv.jpg (3148 bytes) 8/11/2006 Television Interview - "Viewpoint"
The 'Clean Break' Plan Scorecard
Viewpoint:   Tell me about the "Clean Break" plans for Congressional support.
Grant Smith:  "In terms of Congressional support, it is amazing what this document states.  For example there is a very clear piece in there talking about how in the interest of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Congressmen should be tempted with pork from missile defense contracts to make them more interested in Israel.  Two completely unrelated topics, in order to achieve a policy objective there.  You could say that this group of advisors that are attempting to do these things on behalf of a foreign power..that there are actually laws on the books such as the Foreign Agent Registration Act which explicitly prohibit that type of activity.    There is some very strange and troubling information if you read the 'Clean Break' plan carefully."
Windows Media Video Stream (48Kbps)   Audio (MP3)
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8/11/2006 AIPAC Espionage Case Dismissal Gambit Fails:
Opinion clears way for Logan Act and FARA Prosecutions
Judge Ellis made it clear that lack of prosecutions under any criminal statute is not a safe harbor or license for would be criminals, including AIPAC officials.

"that the rarity of prosecution under the statutes does not indicate that the statutes were not to be enforced as written. We think in any event, the rarity of use of the statute as a basis for prosecution is at best a questionable basis for nullifying the clear language of the statute, and we think the revision of 1950 and its reenactment of section 793(d) demonstrate that Congress did not consider such statute meaningless or intend that the statute and its prohibitions were to be abandoned."

Judge Ellis may be signaling from the bench to both the DOJ and grand juries across America a new willingness to try criminal statutes AIPAC would rather see lying dormant.   The two most relevant are the Logan Act and Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). No person or organization has ever been successfully prosecuted under the 1798 Logan Act. Logan Act clauses clearly seek to outlaw the kinds of core AIPAC lobbying activities achieved by ongoing communications links and coordinated activities with a foreign government....

Full Analysis HTML
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8/1/2006 Inc Magazine inc.jpg (4388 bytes)
A Whole New World by Darren Dahl
The Middle East never appeared on Michael Connelly's list of potential new markets when he thought about expanding overseas. Canada seemed like the next logical step for Connelly's company, New York City-based Mosaica Education, which had started 50 charter schools in seven U.S. states and Washington, D.C., teaming up with local education boards and managing everything from lesson plans to the cafeteria. "I never would have dreamed of the Middle East," Connelly says.

Everyone was a little worried about how it would all come together on the first day of school, Campbell says. But it did. Mosaica met its obligations for the first year, and Qatar renewed the company's contract for 2006. The success has drawn the attention of Abu Dhabi. This fall, 35 Mosaica employees are scheduled to begin converting schools there. Connelly expects the Middle East to account for about 20 percent of Mosaica's $91 million in projected revenue this year.

Connelly, who now makes a couple of trips overseas each year, is emboldened. He plans to branch out further in the Middle East and venture into Asia. He is now in talks with Bahrain, Oman, and Turkey, as well as China and Korea. Mosaica is not the only company benefiting from a surge in Mideast demand for U.S. goods and services. This year, U.S. exports to the region are expected to increase 56 percent, to $40 billion. Below, the top 15 importers. (Source: The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy)

Full Report

Country 2006 Merchandise Imports from the U.S.
Saudi Arabia $10.7 billion
United Arab Emirates $10.2 billion
Egypt $5.1 billion
Kuwait $2.4 billion
Iraq $2.2 billion
Algeria $1.5 billion
Qatar $1 billion
Jordan $1 billion
Oman $920 million
Morocco $800 million
Lebanon $580 million
Bahrain $450 million
Yemen $350 million
Tunisia $220 million
Syria $200 million
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7/24/2006 Lebanon Burning
America is normally a "can-do" country, but not when it comes to Middle East policy.  As a result of two "do-nothing" diplomats, one at the UN, the other in the State Department, Lebanon is burning.  Though a recent CNN poll reveals most Americans favor robust US diplomatic intervention leading to a cease-fire, the Bush administration continues to reject wielding its considerable influence over Israel to discontinue an unrelenting campaign of "collective punishment" across Lebanon.  The acceleration of "bunker buster" bomb deliveries to Israel leaves no doubts that top neoconservatives along with Bush administration officials welcome a confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon planned since 1996 in spite of the drastic civilian consequences.  International law is again being undermined.

The Bush administration's failure to intervene could have dire future consequences. A new regional "Nakba" may begin to produce refugees and retaliation-driven radicals who have no doubts as to the origin of the bombs and artillery shells exploding  across Lebanon.  They are "made in the USA".   

7/25/2006 Imad Moustapha "Bombs or Blankets?"
7/25/2006 Saudi Arabia "Who pays for the Israeli Mess?"
7/25/2006 AFP Official Israeli Pretext for Attack on Lebanon Unraveling
7/25/2006 Bankok Post UN Now Taking Direct Casualties from Israeli Pounding

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7/21/2006 VOA Panel Discussionvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
"Saving Private Ryan" or the "Clean Break" Plan?

Pedro Rodriguez Diario ABC de Espanol: To me it looks like an amplified version of what happened in Gaza with Hamas last month (June) with the capture of a soldier.   We're talking about the use of force, destruction, detentions, incursions, but with absolutely no results.  In other words, Israel is applying the same response techniques that got it no results in Gaza to Lebanon.

Grant Smith, IRmep: I think there are very important events that everyone is overlooking.  There is a movie called "Saving Private Ryan".  This is NOT "Saving Private Ryan".

The conflict in Gaza started on June 8 when the Israelis assassinated a Hamas military officer.  Then on June 9, there was the terrible Israeli attack on a family picnicking on the Gaza beach in which eight people died.  The entire Arab world watched video of a little girl running along the beach looking at the bodies of her family.

Hamas started launching rockets in response, with their home-made rockets against Israel in reaction to this violence.   Never the less there were thirty more deaths on the Gaza side due to Israeli artillery.  Then on the 24th of June we have Israel crossing into Gaza and taking two Palestinian prisoners, names unknown, who have never been heard from again.  Finally on June 25 we have the Hamas attack and capture corporal Shalit who everyone knows from the extensive news coverage. 

So there were many events, much more complex than the simple capture of prisoners, on both sides.  There is also a much larger story  in Lebanon.  In June, in the south of Lebanon the Lebanese Army captured a Mossad operative group of Abu Rafeh who had assassinated various people in Hezbollah in 2004 and 1999.   So if one is only focusing on isolated events, you might think this is all about kidnapping.  But really the conflict has been building on both borders. 

Transcript HTML 
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Are the Final Stages of the Neoconservative "Clean Break" Plan Now Underway?
Israel's extermination of a Palestinian family picnicking on the beach in June has touched off a growing regional conflict as Hamas and Hezbollah launched indiscriminate retaliatory attacks and detentions against the Jewish state.   Israel has now unleashed a broad "collective punishment" campaign against critical infrastructure in Gaza as well as Lebanon, targeting civilian electric power stations, bridges, airport runways, and apartment blocks suspected of sheltering resistance fighters.

Some observers of the campaign of collective punishment see only tit-for-tat responses to terrorist acts.  Others believe Israel is now implementing the final stages of the 1996 neoconservative "Clean Break" plan authored by key Bush administration officials and former heads of Likud. 

2003 Research Report :  "Clean Break or Dirty War?"
Q&A: Under Cover of Conflict: Al-Aqsa Mosque also at Risk?
Essay:  "No, this is not 'Our' War"

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IRmep referenced in "Soft Power: the Means to Success in World Politics"
by Joseph S. Nye, Jr, Dean of the Kennedy School of Government - Harvard University
Chapter 2: "Sources of America's Soft Power" pp.  43-44
soft_power.jpg (3315 bytes)The effects of the Iraq War should not be exaggerated.  Dire predictions notwithstanding, Arabs did not rise up to destroy American interests in the Middle East...because many of them knew Saddam Hussein's record.  As mentioned earlier, images of a country are composed of several elements, and respondents to polls showed a greater dislike of American policies than of American people.  Nonetheless, there have been boycotts of American producers, and the American share of merchandise exported to the Middle East had already dropped from 18 to 13 percent from the late 1990's to 2001 partly in response to America's "perceived loss of foreign policy legitimacy" (reference: Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, "Dividends of Fear: America's $94 billion Arab Market Loss," June 30, 2003)
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5/12/2006 VOA Panel Discussionvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
The Ahmadinejad Letter and the Iran Nuclear Confrontation
Adriana Amat, Voice of America: What do you think of the White House reaction to the letter?

Grant Smith, IRmep:  I think their response was almost inevitable. We can see in the letter that Ahmadinejad at first tries to show some commonalties, and nexus between religions. However, a little later in the letter there is one existential confrontation after another. For example when he is talking about the actions of Bush in Iraq, the prisoners in Guantanamo,

Pedro Rodriguez Diario ABC de Espa´┐Ża: 9/11 conspiracies....

Grant Smith, IRmep: yes..all topics that aren't really on the negotiating table, as stated by Secretary of State Rice. And once more, Ahmadinejad talks about Israel, and whether it was really correct to locate it in the Middle East after WWII. For the Bush Administration, Israel is a matter of faith, and non-negotiable. The letter could actually be underscoring and supporting the analysis of the Bush administration that there is an existential confrontation with Iran. The letter almost serves as evidence of this [for Bush].
Transcript HTML  Windows Media Video 150 KBPS
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5/10/2006 Policy Research Note
Punishing the Victim
HR 4681 and the Congressional Siege on Palestinians

AIPAC's 290 Congressional co-sponsors and staffers are facing massive opposition in their bid to pass punitive legislation on Palestinians.  An array of organized opposition from the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Council for the National Interest, Council on Arab Islamic Relations, and Jewish groups such as the Israel Policy Forum, Americans for Peace Now, and Jewish Alliance for Justice has swamped representative offices with calls to scuttle the legislation. 

The bill makes a number of outrageous and purposefully unrealistic demands on the Palestinian Authority while selectively ignoring the history of Israel.  Like other legislation, the H.R. 4681 makes no mention of Israeli actions driving the cycle of violence in the region:  illegal settlements, annexations of Palestinian territory, theft or retention of Palestinian financial assets, and ongoing targeted killings sanctioned by the Israeli government or colonizers.   Essential facts are ignored by H.R. 4681.   In the ongoing conflict since the year 2000, Israelis have killed nearly four times as many Palestinians.  29,786 Palestinians have been injured in the violence, vs 7,633 Israelis.

Full Policy Research Note HTML    PDF
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5/11/2006 Letter - London Review of Books
The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
We wrote ‘The Israel Lobby' in order to begin a discussion of a subject that had become difficult to address openly in the United States (LRB, 23 March). We knew it was likely to generate a strong reaction, and we are not surprised that some of our critics have chosen to attack our characters or misrepresent our arguments. We have also been gratified by the many positive responses we have received, and by the thoughtful commentary that has begun to emerge in the media and the blogosphere. It is clear that many people – including Jews and Israelis – believe that it is time to have a candid discussion of the US relationship with Israel. It is in that spirit that we engage with the letters responding to our article. We confine ourselves here to the most salient points of dispute.
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4/29/2006 - The Washington Post Finally gets its Story Straight
Mainstream Media:  Spinning the AIPAC Spy Case as a 1st Amendment Issue
On Saturday, April 29, 2006 the Washington Post issued a correction to a Walter Pincus story about the AIPAC espionage case at the insistence of IRmep.

The correction came after IRmep engaged in one month process working through the newspaper's Ombudsman office. At first Ombudsman Deborah Howell was reluctant to issue a correction. At stake was a citation in an AIPAC espionage trial story in which reporter Walter Pincus misquoted the 1917 Espionage Act. The Act is used to prosecute persons suspected of relaying classified information which can be used to "the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign country."

After receiving numerous examples from IRmep of how Pincus' mistake was being propagated into other news stories trivializing AIPAC lobbyist Weissman and Rosen's alleged criminal activities, the Washington Post finally gave in and committed to a correction of the story.
Full Statement HTML
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4/21/2006 - Opinion Essay - antiwar.jpg (1373 bytes)Antiwar.Com - arab_news_logo_sm.gif (1490 bytes)Arab News - arab_american.jpg (5783 bytes)Arab American News
Let The AIPAC Trial Begin:
Why Prosecuting Rosen and Weissman Matters

Today Judge T.S. Ellis III offered a rare second opportunity to the Rosen and Weissman defense team.  They again made their case that the indictment of the two former AIPAC lobbyists was "trampling on their 1st Amendment rights".   Although Judge Ellis established an August, 2006 trial date he continues to consider a motion to dismiss charges altogether.

In a similar March 30, 2006 hearing[i], the defense concentrated on portraying the 1917 Espionage Act as fundamentally flawed and unconstitutional.  The indictment charges Rosen and Weissman with violating sections of the Act by having "unlawful possession" of "information relating to the national defense." Written in 1917, and never updated, the Espionage Act does not use the term "classified" when referring to national defense information.  The law's musty antiquity offers the defendants abundant openings for attack.   

The mainstream press has come to the aid of Rosen and Weissman by promulgating the "slippery slope" argument.  The Washington Post has argued more than once that the charges leveled against two foreign lobbyists run amok could soon be turned against investigative reporters. 

The "everybody does it" defense, of course, is pure nonsense.  Prosecutorial discretion means that the press won't be a DOJ target any time soon.   But cracking down on think tanks and lobbies trafficking classified information is another matter. 

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4/10/2006 - Opinion Essay - counterpunch.jpg (7128 bytes) - CounterPunch aljazeerah.jpg (6240 bytes)
The Bush Administration's Final Surprise:
Chinese or Russian Nuclear Missiles Based in Iran
Bush's biggest surprise yet may be just around the corner. Like the other "challenges" it will largely be a disaster of his own making: both highly predictable, but nevertheless devastating. Bush's fatally flawed Middle East policies may drive either Russia or China to base nuclear missiles in Iran. China might do it, in order to maintain needed access to natural gas and petroleum reserves. The US rejection of China's $18.5 billion bid to purchase a US petroleum company UNOCAL in 2005 has not been forgotten.  Rather, it serves as a reminder that access to reserves may have moved beyond the reach of buyers, to occupiers.  China could also benefit from offering a "strategic nuclear umbrella" in the region as a checkmate to the US's forward Pacific naval deployment and maneuvers, endless administration rhetoric about Taiwan, and pressure for not doing enough to reign in North Korea. Chinese missiles in Iran would be a not-too-subtle rebuke to the US, simultaneously reaffirming sovereignty and the legitimacy of Chinese national interests without creating a direct threat to the US homeland.

Russia, for its part, might wish to create a "nuclear stockade" around territory it does not wish to see turned into another Iraq or radioactive slag heap. By basing short and intermediate range nuclear missiles in Iran, Russia could send the unmistakable message that it is unwilling to see yet another seething mass of violence and destruction created in its back yard by the US. It would create a standoff with Israel's nuclear missiles, many of which are believed to target Russian cities. Russia's key interests in deployment are the continued long term access to the Iranian market for engineering services and large scale projects as well as the protection of military exports. A Russian "sphere of influence" in a willing Iran would counter and balance the expected permanent US military presence in Iraq.
Will A Nuclear Iran be the Bush Administration's Final Surprise?

Grant F. Smith summarizes the possibility of Iran turning the tables on the Bush administration on WAMU's radio program, the Kojo Nnamdi Show.

"Why wouldn't Russia consider basing missiles in Iran by invitation to deter rivals or prevent Iran from becoming a chaotic cauldron of death and destruction like Iraq?   Or a nuclear slag-heap like some neocons are predicting?"  (4/10/06)

Listen to the segment (mp3)
Read more IRmep analysis on Iran

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Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition
Israel Lobby Exposes US to Avoidable Hostility Overseas while Smearing Academic Critics as "anti-Semitic" --Mearsheimer and  Walt Study Accurate
The Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition (MEASURE) project polled Middle East academics about the Walt and Mearsheimer report titled "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy"  The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep) compiled and presents survey responses drawn from a pool of 2,300 academics with advanced degrees in Middle East area studies. The surveyed group's terminal degree profile is 61% PhD, 14% MA, 13% MS. The survey was fielded between March 31 and April 5, 2006. Key Findings:

1. 49% of Middle East academics polled believe that the academic community is "hostile" to studies that are critical of the Israel Lobby and US policies toward Israel. 26% believe academia is "open" to such findings.

2. 85% of Middle East academics polled believe that the Israel Lobby as described by Mearsheimer and Walt is "negative" to "extremely negative" to US interests.

3. 65% of Middle East academics polled believe that the most powerful intimidation tactic of the Israel Lobby is charging detractors as "anti-Semites", followed by attacks from the mainstream media by embedded Israel Lobby sympathizers (59%).

4. 91% of Middle East academics polled believe it is "extremely accurate" to "accurate" that the Israel Lobby's tactics expose the United States to avoidable hostility in the Middle East.

5. 86% of Middle East academics polled believe that the Israel Lobby places what it considers to be Israel's interests above the national interests of the United States.

See the full report for charts and comments HTML PDF

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3/23/2006 BBC World Service Interviewbbc_sm.jpg (2597 bytes)
The Israeli Elections and US Lobby

Carlos Chirinos: "Can the US recover some of its influence in the region through the new Israeli elections?"

Grant Smith: "The only way the US is going to recover its influence is maintaining an impartial position in the peace negotiations. But unfortunately, the Bush administration has a strong inclination toward the Israelis.

For example, the Roadmap for Peace stipulates that negotiations must define the "final status" of Palestinian refugees, and that the final borders must not be unilaterally imposed by any side. Never the less, in a letter published in the year 2004, president Bush supported the idea that the Israelis need not return to 1949 borders, and also accepted the idea that Palestinian refugees expulsed from Israel would have no 'right of return'.'

We've see the United States consistently taking Israel's side, and this has caused many problems for the Palestinians."

Carlos Chirinos: "But this attitude that you say that Bush is taking, is not exclusive to this administration, haven't other administrations done the same?"

Grant Smith: "This week, a report titled "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy" has generated interest and controversy for revealing just that, the indisputable existence of a strong lobby that unconditionally supports Israel. This is something many people recognize even though others would like it to be considered 'controversial'."

Full Interview HTML
3/23/2006 Harvard-Chicago U Report 3/17/2006 VOA Panel Discussionvoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy 2006 US National Security Strategy and Iran
rr.jpg (2986 bytes)The U.S. national interest should be the primary object of American foreign policy. For the past several decades, however, and especially since the Six Day War in 1967, the centerpiece of U.S. Middle East policy has been its relationship with Israel. 

The combination of unwavering U.S. support for Israel and the related effort to spread democracy throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardized U.S. security.

No lobby has managed to divert U.S. foreign policy as far from what the American national interest would otherwise suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that U.S. and Israeli interests are essentially identical

Jose Carreno El Universal Mexico: In what capacity is the Bush administration able to carry forward...the Bush government is so weak domestically?

Grant Smith, IRmep: Bush continues to be the US president. He has perhaps, 35% to 36% approval ratings, which is, frankly, awful. But he's president for a couple more years. If Bush has this (NSS) as the guiding vision, I don't have any doubts that he'll follow through with it. But it looks like the administration is seeking more international support. They are reaching out to Germany, Great Britain, and in particular Russia and China to communicate "hey, these are the problems and we've got to work together".

In 2006 there are US congressional elections, the politicians, and the political party that can corner the issue of "security for the people" will win the elections.
by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt Real Video Broadcast in Spanish (150 kbps
PDF Real Video Broadcast in Spanish (48 kbps
English Transcript HTM
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IRmep Publishing Book Release
Deadly Dogma: How Neoconservatives Broke the Law to Deceive America
Deadly Dogma corrects many common misperceptions about preemptive war, arms control, and fundamental principles of neoconservative policy with hard facts and well-sourced references.

Deadly Dogma leverages research from IRmep's Center for Policy and Law Enforcement to reveal thirty years of espionage, conspiracy to defraud the United States, wire fraud and tax fraud perpetrated by prominent neoconservatives.  The book makes a convincing case that the single most important step toward improving US Middle East Policy is uncompromised enforcement of US laws already on the books.

Institute for Research Publishing 2006
c. 252pp.

Trade Paper,

ISBN # 09764437-3-2
In Stock - Ships immediately

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Center for Policy and Law Enforcement
IRmep Amicus Brief in the AIPAC Espionage Case
A U.S. District Judge in Virginia has rejected the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy's (IRmep) request to file an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in the Espionage Act case against two former AIPAC lobbyists.  United States District Judge T.S. Ellis III issued a formal order stating that briefs from non-parties would not help him resolve the issues in the case because both parties' "extensive briefs on the various constitutional arguments thoroughly cover the subject and assure that the issues . . . have been fully explicated."

"Judge Ellis doesn't currently feel the need for outside briefs, and that's certainly his prerogative" said IRmep director of research, Grant F. Smith.   "IRmep's offer to discuss how AIPAC has evolved into a quasi intelligence service, unregistered foreign agent and how AIPAC's overseas activities place America under heightened risk of terrorism is an open offer.  We're standing by if Judge Ellis feels he wishes to call upon us."

Full Press Release HTM   Judge Ellis ruling on IRmep's Amicus filing request PDF
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Dubai Ports World Comes to America:
IRmep Questions and Answers about the Deal
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Question:  Why is DP World suddenly interested in US ports?
Answer: It makes a lot of sense that DP World is looking to operate directly in the US.  According to the National US Arab Chamber of Commerce 2006 forecast, US exports to UAE will soar to $10.19 billion this year.  If we apply the US Department of Commerce “Rule of Thumb” calculation of 17,000 jobs per billion dollars of US exports, the UAE demand alone will sustain 173,000 US jobs this year.The Middle East logistics industry, according to independent industry forecasts, is expected to grow at over 25 per cent annually.
  Isn't the DP World acquisition a security threat?

Answer: DP World is in the logistics business and like other shippers will not be wholly responsible for security at the ports it operates in the US.   However, it has worked closely with the United States and foreign governments in securing port facilities all over the world, including the Port of Aden in Yemen.  You may recall that this is the port where terrorists attacked the USS Cole.  Since the DP World acquisition, Aden is now has among the lowest Lloyd's of London insurance rates for terrorist related incidents.
US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) partners with UAE on the issue of port security.  The Emirates was the first Arab country to join CBP's Container Security Initiative—a program which places CBP officers at UAE ports to identify and pre-screen cargo headed for the US.  When the Gulf nation signed the deal in December 2004, US Ambassador to the UAE Michele Sison said, "They are now partnering with the United States and are a leader in protecting the global trading system."

Full Policy Research Note (HTM)   (PDF)
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George Washington's Insight About US Middle East Policy
" likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions, by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluged citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation..."
Full "Farewell Address" (HTM)
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Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition
US Policy Toward Hamas and Palestinians
The Middle East Academic Survey Research Exposition *MEASURE* fielded on 1/29/2006-2/1/2006 found that:

1. 55% of Middle East Academics polled believe the Bush Administration will engage in "low intensity, limited diplomatic relations" with the new Hamas led Palestinian Authority and only 2% believe it will give full diplomatic recognition.
2. 40% believe the administration should engage in "low intensity, limited diplomatic relations" with the new Hamas led Palestinian Authority while 50% believe it should give "full diplomatic recognition."
3. 96% of Middle East Academics polled believe that Israeli regional ambitions are "influential" to "highly influential" on Bush Administration policy toward the Palestinians.
4. Only 38% of Middle East Academics polled believe that the "roadmap to peace" and creating a Palestinian state are "influential" to "highly influential" on Bush Administration policy toward the Palestinians.
5.  71% of Middle East Academics polled believe that current Bush administration policy toward the Palestinians is functioning "poorly", 19% believe it is working "not very well".

Full MEASURE results  HTML PDF

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2/3/2005 Voice of America Roundtablevoa.jpg (1492 bytes)
US and World Bank Should Continue Funding Palestinians, Reactivate Hamas 2004 Peace Offer
Real Video Broadcast in Spanish (150 kbps)  Windows Media Video (48 kbps) English Transcript Coming Soon
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1/31/2006 IRmep editorial for Arab News arab_news_logo_sm.gif (1490 bytes)
Transforming Terrorists: An Israeli Case Study
There is much hubbub over the potential for Hamas to enter as a significant player in the Palestinian government. Neoconservative pundits warn that this will put the “terror masters” in control of any future Palestinian state, leading to chaos and horror for Israel and the region.

This is not necessarily so. The transformation from terrorist to statesman is the biography of many of Israel's founding fathers...
Full Editorial HTML
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1/6/2006 Voice of America Roundtable - Inter-American Forum
The Roadmap and US Policy After Sharon
Pedro Rodriguez, Diario ABC of Spain:  How can you explain the transformation of Ariel Sharon, he was minister of defense during the invasion of Lebanon, during which there were horrible massacres, he was considered by the government of Israel to be indirectly responsible and had to leave the ministry.  How has he reinvented himself to appear as a champion of peace?

Grant Smith:   I think to say he's a man of peace is going too far.  The transformation is that of a military man who has gained experience since his first battles.  He was in the first wars between Israel and the Arabs, and from the beginning experience of being in the low ground, in the bullets, wounded in battle, gave him the mentality to always seek  the higher, strategic, territory.    The climate now isn't so much about peace (for Sharon) but rather what is realistic in terms of a future for Israel.   What are the limits Israel can aspire to in the real world, in the current conditions?

The Arabs, as you've said, still consider him to be a war criminal, for the massacres of Sabra and Shatila...

Full Windows Video Broadcast in Spanish (150 kbps)  English Transcript (HTM)
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1/5/2006 Policy Research Note
Waste Driven Demand Raises Petroleum Prices:
Full Question and Answer    HTML  PDF

Continue (Year 2005 Research and Events)

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