Monday, October 16, 2006


The "JINSA Crowd" and the Iraq War

According to two recent reviews of former Secretary of State Colin Powell's new biography, Powell points the finger at pro-Israel hawks in the Defense Department as responsible for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. Below is an excerpt from an October 9, 2006, Los Angeles Times review by columnist Tim Rutten* of Soldier: The Life of Colin Powell by Karen DeYoung.
There is one bit of malice at work in the Powell-DeYoung version of these now familiar events that should not pass unremarked upon. According to the author, the then-secretary went out of his way to identify the pro-war neoconservatives as affiliates of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a think-tank with decidedly hard-line views on Israel's security. "Powell referred to Rumsfeld's team as the 'JINSA crowd.' " Later in "Soldier," readers are told that the neoconservatives in the Defense Department — nearly all of them Jews — supported war against Iraq as the first step to replacing Arab despots with democratic governments that would sever their ties to the Palestinians, thereby enhancing Israel's security. In explaining why he did not resign over his profound differences with the White House, Powell cited the example of Gen. George C. Marshall, who refused to quit as secretary of State even though he opposed President Truman's recognition of Israel as a quest for "Jewish votes."

Whatever his bitterness over his mistreatment, Powell knows that these old and wholly unmeritorious allegations of dual loyalty are a slander. He knows better and so does DeYoung. Their presence in this book is another blot on his record.
See also: "Bushies 'used' Colin, wife sez" in the New York Daily News; "Why won't anyone say they are Jewish?" (first appeared in Adbusters) and The Israel Lobby and the US War Against Iraq.

* Consider the source. On February 4, 2006, in an LA Times article entitled "Drawn into a religious conflict," Tim Rutten wrote: "The West's current struggle with a murderous global Sunni Muslim insurgency and the threat of a nuclear-armed theocracy in Iran makes it clear that it's no longer possible to overlook the culture of intolerance, hatred and xenophobia that permeates the Islamic world."

In "Lebanon photos: Take a closer look," published August 12, 2006, Rutten wrote:
What the major news organizations ought to be doing is to make their own analysis of the images coming out of Lebanon and if, as seems more than likely, they find widespread malfeasance, some hard questions need to be asked about why it occurred. Some of it may stem from the urge every photographer feels to make a photo perfect. Some of it probably flows from a simple economic imperative — a freelancer who produces dramatic images gets picked up more and paid more. Moreover, the obscenely anti-Israeli tenor of most of the European and world press means there's an eager market for pictures of dead Lebanese babies.

It's worth noting in this context that there is no similar flow of propagandistic images coming from the Israeli side of the border. That's because one side — the democratically elected government of Israel — views death as a tragedy and the other — the Iranian financed terrorist organization Hezbollah — sees it as an opportunity. In this case, turning their own dead children into material creates an opportunity to cloud the fact that every Lebanese casualty, tragic as he or she is, was killed or injured as an unavoidable consequence of Israel's pursuit of terrorists who use their own people as human shields. Every Israeli civilian killed or injured was the victim of a terrorist attack intended to harm civilians. That alone ought to wash away any blood-stained suggestion of moral equivalency.

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