New IRmep book now available!
|12/4/2006 IRmep on the Diane Rehm Show -
National Public Radio
||12/2/2006 IRmep Regional Development
|From Lavon to Pierre
Gemayel: Will We Ever Learn?
|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...
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.
|Audio Clip (MP3) Full Analysis (HTML)
||Full Analysis (HTML)
Unfit for Chair of the House Intelligence Committee
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.
Radio Interview Mendicino Public Radio KZYX
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..."
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.
Analysis in Arabic (PDF)
|Israel Lobby Initiates Hispanic Strategy
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.
|9/14/2006 Falls Church
|A Clean Break From Law: Espionage and Engineering the War In Iraq
by Nathan Hamme
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'sand, by association, America'sperceived 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)
VOA Panel Discussion
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
|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.
discusses the flaws of neoconservative foreign policy theories (You Tube)
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.
Transcript (HTML) Video (You Tube)
Press Coverage (Falls
Church News Press)
Radio Interview - KZYX & Z, 90.7, 91.5, Mendocino County Public Radio
Policy Front Groups
"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... "
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."
| 08/14/2006 Radio
Interview - WWRL New York
|UN Resolution 1701 and the Underlying Drivers of
Middle East Conflict
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?"
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."
| 8/11/2006 Television
Interview - "Viewpoint"
|The 'Clean Break' Plan Scorecard
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)
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
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 Antiwar.com
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.
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
||2006 Merchandise Imports from the U.S.
|United Arab Emirates
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.
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
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
7/25/2006 Bankok Post UN
Now Taking Direct Casualties from Israeli Pounding
|7/21/2006 VOA Panel
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.
|Are the Final
Stages of the Neoconservative "Clean Break" Plan Now Underway?
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.
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?
this is not 'Our' War"
|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
"Sources of America's Soft Power" pp. 43-44
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)
|5/12/2006 VOA Panel
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�a: 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
|Transcript HTML Windows Media Video 150 KBPS
Policy Research Note
|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
Letter - London Review of Books
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.
Responding to Critics HTML
The Washington Post Finally gets its Story Straight
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
Opinion Essay -
The AIPAC Trial Begin:
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
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.
"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
|Full essay HTML
Opinion Essay -
|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
Grant F. Smith summarizes the possibility of Iran turning the tables on the Bush
administration on WAMU's radio program, the Kojo Nnamdi Show.
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
|Full essay HTML
Academic Survey Research Exposition
|Israel Lobby Exposes US to Avoidable Hostility Overseas while
Smearing Academic Critics as "anti-Semitic" --Mearsheimer and Walt Study
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
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
BBC World Service Interview
|The Israeli Elections and US Lobby
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 Discussion
|The Israel Lobby
and US Foreign Policy
||2006 US National Security
Strategy and Iran
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
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
||Real Video Broadcast in Spanish (48
||English Transcript HTM
Publishing Book Release
Dogma: How Neoconservatives Broke the Law to Deceive America
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
ISBN # 09764437-3-2
In Stock - Ships immediately
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."
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
|Full Press Release HTM
Judge Ellis ruling on IRmep's Amicus filing request PDF
|Dubai Ports World Comes to America:
Questions and Answers about the Deal
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.
Question: Isn't the DP World acquisition a
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 Initiativea 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."
Research Note (HTM) (PDF)
Insight About US Middle East Policy
|"....so 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..."
Academic Survey Research Exposition
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".
MEASURE results HTML PDF
Voice of America Roundtable
|US and World Bank
Should Continue Funding Palestinians, Reactivate Hamas 2004 Peace Offer
Broadcast in Spanish (150
kbps) Windows Media Video (48 kbps)
English Transcript Coming Soon
IRmep editorial for Arab News
|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
This is not necessarily so. The transformation from terrorist to statesman is the
biography of many of Israel's founding fathers...
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
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...
Video Broadcast in Spanish (150 kbps) English
Policy Research Note
|Waste Driven Demand Raises Petroleum Prices:
Full Question and Answer HTML PDF
Continue (Year 2005 Research and