Challenge and Opportunity in a Time of War

Published: 2002-09-01

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As we go to press, President Bush and the US government – prodded by Israel, this country's powerful Jewish-Zionist lobby, and the pro-Israel "amen corner" – are pushing for war against Iraq.

To justify war against a country that's in disfavor with Israel – a conflict that will inflict immense human suffering, claim countless human lives, and cost untold billions of dollars – the President and his administration provide pretexts that reconfirm the old adage that truth is the first casualty in wartime.

Vice President Dick Cheney said (August 26) that Iraq's Saddam Hussein poses a "mortal threat" to the United States. That's preposterous. Iraq is not even a threat to its immediate neighbors, who oppose Bush's war plans.

"Many of us are concerned that Saddam Hussein will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon," Cheney also says. But he cites no evidence to support this claim. And even if this concern is valid, why isn't the US preparing for war against Israel and China, to name just two countries that already have nuclear weapons?

The Bush administration also cites the Baghdad regime's abuses of human rights and international law. We have no affection for Saddam Hussein, but if such abuses justify military action, the United States should be preparing for war against half a dozen countries including Israel, which has a long record of human rights abuses and lawlessness, and which has defied more United Nations Security Council resolutions than any other country.

Just about the only country that enthusiastically backs Bush's plans for military action against Iraq is Israel. That's understandable, because this would be a war, first and foremost, for Jewish-Zionist interests. General Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander, recently acknowledged: "Those who favor this attack now tell you candidly, and privately, that it is probably true that Saddam Hussein is no threat to the United States. But they are afraid at some point he might decide if he had a nuclear weapon to use it against Israel." (The Guardian, Britain, August 20)

Rarely in history have the political leaders of a great nation been so obviously beholden to alien interests. In May more than 90 percent of the US Congress supported a resolution backing the policies of the Sharon government – which is never able to muster more than 60 percent support in Israel's own parliament. "This is a remarkable phenomenon," one Arab writer aptly remarked, "that Americans would do well to consider carefully."

In June President Bush delivered his long-awaited speech on the Middle East. It was so pro-Israel, reported the London Times (June 26), that leading Israeli commentators said it might have been written by Ariel Sharon.

Former President Bill Clinton – who avoided military service during the Vietnam war – recently told a Jewish audience that if Iraq attacked Israel, he "would grab a rifle and get in the trench and fight and die" for the Zionist state. (New York Post, August 2).

The increasing isolation of Israel and the United States in the world is reflected in the United Nations General Assembly where, time and time again, countries representing nearly the entire world's population pass resolutions critical of Israeli lawlessness opposed only by the US and Israel (and perhaps one or two tiny US dependencies in the Pacific). And in the UN Security Council, the US has repeatedly been alone in opposing otherwise unanimous resolutions condemning Israel's lawless behavior.

Progress and Impact

During this perilous and challenging time, we've been busy.

As we report in this Journal issue, scholars, activists and friends of the Institute, some from as far away as Australia, Argentina, and Switzerland, came to Irvine, California, for the 14th IHR Conference over the weekend of June 21-23. Solid, inspiring addresses by a range of outstanding speakers, reinforced an upbeat spirit about the future. (Details about how to order video and audio tapes of the lectures are elsewhere in this issue.)

Among the highlights: Joseph Sobran took a witty, incisive look at America's strange relationship with Israel; a survivor of Israel's 1967 attack on the USS Liberty spoke about the treacherous assault; Robert Faurisson presented numerous specific examples of punishments during the Second World War of Germans, by German authorities, for mistreatment of Jews; and a Croatian scholar shed light on the suppressed story of the brutal mistreatment of German prisoners in postwar Yugoslavia.

A new IHR leaflet, "A Look at the 'Powerful Jewish Lobby'," issued in June, was quickly circulated widely on the internet, and was reprinted in Community News, a monthly newspaper distributed in northern California, and in the latest issue of The Nationalist Times, a monthly paper published in Pennsylvania. It was also printed in the July 16 edition of Arab News, the leading English-language daily paper of Saudi Arabia.

Our new media initiative to get the IHR on radio talk shows has already resulted in several broadcasts, bringing our message to hundreds of thousands of listeners. This project is in the hands of a local volunteer, who is mailing out announcements to talk show hosts and producers across the country.

To help tackle the mountain of work that needs to get done here, a capable man recently joined our staff. If our budget permits, we hope to bring on an additional staff member soon. (If you're interested, and have good writing and computer skills, please contact us.)

We've also launched a new on-line service, IHR News, that routinely distributes selected news and commentary by e-mail. To subscribe to this free service, just write to [email protected]

While it is difficult to measure the IHR's effectiveness with precision, it's safe to say that the Institute's global reach and impact during the past two years has never been greater. For one thing, radio interviews with me now routinely reach hundreds of thousands of listeners overseas.

IHR articles, reviews and essays are reprinted widely, and translations regularly appear in French, German, Spanish and other languages. An interesting case in point is a twice-monthly magazine in India, Dalit Voice, "The Voice of the Persecuted Nationalities Denied Human Rights." which has reprinted IHR essays in several recent issues.

Nothing better points up the impact of the IHR, and its potential for the future, than the anxious way that Jewish-Zionist groups closely track our activities. This is reflected, for example, in a recent (June 14) frontpage article in the Forward, the country's most influential Jewish community weekly, which reported apprehensively on our new media initiative and the 14th IHR Conference.


Since its founding, a primary goal of the IHR has been to promote peace through understanding of the causes of war. But we not only oppose war, we expose those who incite war.

Accordingly we speak out forthrightly against the dangers to America and humanity of Jewish-Zionist power. We have been especially concerned, of course, about the systematic distortion of history – perhaps most obviously manifest in the seemingly endless "Holocaust" propaganda barrage. A relentlessly Judeocentric view of history distorts our view of the past, and even of ourselves, and makes impossible informed planning for the future.

Now, and especially because of developments over the past year, I've never been so optimistic about the future.

In radio talk show appearances, in conversations with people across the country, from press reports, and more, I see an encouraging new spirit of openness and growing skepticism of government and media propaganda. Israel and the Jewish-Zionist lobby are on the defensive as never before. More people than ever see through Zionist lies about the Israel-Palestine conflict. This new awareness is reflected in recent public opinion polls, which show that ever more Americans support an even-handed US policy in the Middle East.

During this time of preparations for war, escalating war rhetoric, hate-mongering, and new assaults against civil freedoms, the IHR's voice of truth and sanity is more needed than ever. However great the danger, this is also a time of tremendous opportunity.

The IHR is the only history research and publishing center in America that boldly and conscientiously identifies the enemies of freedom and peace, educating the thoughtful public with solidly referenced books, articles, reviews and tapes. The IHR is uniquely positioned to speak, factually and forthrightly, about the US-Israel "special relationship," Jewish-Zionist power, the historical background to the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Zionist threat to world peace, and much more.

To reach many more people, across America and around the world – by expanding our outreach on radio and television, launching important new books, hiring new staff members, and much more – we urgently need your sustained support. In this crucially important struggle, your help is vital.

– Mark Weber

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Mark Weber
Title: Challenge and Opportunity in a Time of War
Sources: The Journal of Historical Review, vol. 21, no. 3 (May/August 2002), pp. 2f.
Published: 2002-09-01
First posted on CODOH: April 21, 2013, 7 p.m.
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