Eileen Fleming asked:
Recently Senator John McCain erroneously claimed Iran is training and supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq. McCain corrected himself after Senator Joseph Lieberman [of whom it has been whispered holds dual USA and Israeli citizenship] whispered in his ear, “You said that the Iranians were training al-Qaeda. I think you meant theyâ€™re training in extremist terrorism.”
McCain prefaced and ended with an apology “the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda, not al-Qaeda. Iâ€™m sorry.”
Robert Dreyfuss, investigative reporter whose latest article in The Nation is entitled, â€œHothead McCainâ€ explains, â€œIf you thought George Bush was bad when it comes to the use of military force, wait â€™til you see John McCain.â€
McCain thinks that the Vietnam War could have been won if we had just stayed another five, ten or fifteen years, and he is gleefully prepared to do the same in Iraq, despite the fact that Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad’s blows the doors off the US military surge by traveling into the belly of Baghdad: an open air prison which divides Sunni and Shia populations behind 12ft high walls.
Those concrete walls in Baghdad are dwarfed by the 30ft high concrete ones in the ‘Holy’ Land; which is in pieces, Bantustans. Both builders of those walls claim to be democracies and that the walls are for Security. Both builders of those walls exhibit the schizophrenic discipline of thinking two contradictory truths at the same time. Coined by Orwell as doublethink, the Ministry of Peace wages war, the Ministry of Truth fabricates lies and the Ministry of Love tortures and kills any it deems threatening. Most threatening for Big Brother are those with independent thought.
In 2007, Naomi Klein, in her book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, argued that at the height of the 2003-07 economic boom, the military industrial complex was driving Israel’s tremendous economic growth, and Israel had the largest GDP growth of any Western country.
Klein theorized that the source of Israel’s tremendous economic growth in the past five years cannot be attributed simply to its encouragement of high tech entrepreneurship and basic science. Its success must be understood, rather, as a product of its ability to use the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank as a laboratory for defense industry innovation — and to showcase their wares.
“Young Israeli computer scientists and engineers gain their training in the military, and then go on to start the kind of technology companies that have proliferated wildly in Israel and whose products are much sought after abroad. The entire Israeli hi-tech sector and not just military technology per se, is thus an outgrowth of Israel’s hyper militarization. The Israeli economy’s tech sector grew by 20% in 2006 alone, and Israel is now the foreign country with the second most US stock exchange-listed companies. Klein’s point that Israel’s military-derived technologies are an economic growth-driver because they can be tested in situ is correct, but it is insufficient for describing the magnitude of the military’s tremendous penetration of the country’s economy. Palestinians under occupation can indeed be seen as human “guinea pigs” and not just merely military targets, as Klein claims, but the society’s militarization is far more profound than even she suggests.” 
After the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Israel’s economy was devastated, but then came 9/11, and “suddenly new profit vistas opened up for any company that claimed it could spot terrorists in crowds, seal borders from attack and extract confessions from closed-mouthed prisonersâ€¦Many of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs are using Israel’s status as a fortressed state, surrounded by furious enemies, as a kind of twenty-four-hour-a-day showroom–a living example of how to enjoy relative safety amid constant warâ€¦Israel now sends $1.2 billion in “defense” products to the United Statesâ€”up dramatically from $270 million in 1999â€¦That makes Israel the fourth-largest arms dealer in the worldâ€¦Much of this growth has been in the so-called “homeland security” sector. Before 9/11 homeland security barely existed as an industry. By the end of this year, Israeli exports in the sector will reach $1.2 billion–an increase of 20 percent. The key products and services are â€¦precisely the tools and technologies Israel has used to lock in the occupied territories. Israel has learned to turn endless war into a brand asset, pitching its uprooting, occupation and containment of the Palestinian people as a half-century head start in the “global war on terrorâ€¦ Israel’s policy of erecting walls and checkpoints to seal off the occupied territories are also “laboratories where the terrifying tools of our security states are being field-tested Palestinians–whether living in the West Bank or what the Israeli politicians are already calling “Hamasistan”–are no longer just targets. They are guinea pigsâ€¦” 
Poster-boy for Israel’s Industrial Security/Surveillance Complex is the Christian convert from Judaism, Mordechai Vanunu. Every email Vanunu has ever written, snail mail received, phone call conversation and walk he has ever taken through east Jerusalem, has potentially been monitored 24/7, since his release from an Israeli prison in 2004.
During my first trip to east Jerusalem in June 2005, Vanunu told me that during the first two years of his 18 years in jail [most all in solitary confinement] a light shone above his head 24/7 in a tomb sized cell. When ever he closed his eyes a guard would come in and shine a brighter light into his face and say, “Just checking if you had committed suicide yet.”
A few weeks ago, and thirty odd years from my first time, I reread Orwell’s 1984, that was published in 1949. I was struck at how much Vanunu reminded me of Winston Smith, Orwell’s man with an independent thought that Big Brother; The Party incarnate found so threatening they tortured him beyond his endurance in order to break him, brainwash him and strip him of his humanity.
In 1987, in Ashkelon Prison, Vanunu wrote, I had “no choice. I’m a little man, a citizen, one of the people, but I’ll do what I have to. I’ve heard the voice of my conscience and there’s nowhere to hideâ€¦yes, it’s there all right. I’m all right. I do see the monster. I’m part of the system. I signed this form. Only now I am reading the rest of it. This bolt is part of a bomb. This bolt is meâ€¦Who else knows? Who has seen? Who has heard?” 
“A working prophet, is able to see deeper than most of us into the human soul. Orwell in 1948 understood that despite the Axis defeat, the will to fascism had not gone awayâ€¦the irresistible human addiction to power were already long in placeâ€¦the means of surveillance in Winston Smith’s eraâ€¦[are] primitive next to the wonders of computer technologyâ€¦most notably the Internet.” 
“Universal peace and justice are the goals of man, and the prophets have faith that in spite of all errors and sinsâ€¦[and] although under the illusion of fighting for peace and democracyâ€¦all the fighting nations lost moral considerationsâ€¦the unlimited destruction of civilian populationsâ€¦atomic bombsâ€¦can human nature be changed so that man will forget his longing for freedom, dignity, integrity, love-can man forget that he is human?” 
The “Fabric of Life Road” in occupied Palestine is in reality an apartheid road; separate and unequal. Palestinians must travel through sewage and tunnels, but Israelis ride on only well maintained contiguous highways. At the checkpoint from Jerusalem to the little town of Bethlehem in occupied territory, the Ministry of Tourism draped a thirty foot high doublespeak sign that proclaims: “Peace be with you” a lo
ose translation of “War is Peace.”
In Orwell’s epic, Winston Smith played the role of the archetype of all threats to Big Brother; an in
dividual with an open and free mind, independent thought, memory of history, a voice of dissent and willing to take bold action. Orwell’s Big Brother tortured all threats in order to get inside their head and then to brainwash them into accepting doublethink as truth.
The atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a baby step compared to the 21st century slaughter that can be achieved by thermonuclear weapons with capacities to wipe out 100% of a country within minutes. The Industrial Military Complex cranks out new weapons about every five years and soon the minds driven mad with doublethink-“war is peace”- will create 100 or 1,000 megaton bombs.
“Orwell demonstrates the illusion of the assumption that democracy can continue to exist in a world preparing for nuclear warâ€¦leadersâ€¦have only one aim, and that is powerâ€¦and power means to inflict unlimited pain and suffering to another human beingâ€¦â€¦how can a minority of one be right?…we spend a considerable part of our income and energy in building thermonuclear weapons, and close our minds to the fact that they might go off and destroy one third or one half of our population and that of the enemyâ€¦another example of doublethink-from a Christian standpoint” is the evil of killing any other. [Ibid]
Vanunu threatens Israel in 2008, far more than he did in 2004.
Vanunu has not only continued to speak out for a nuclear free Middle East, he has also become a spokesperson regarding the Christian Exodus from east Jerusalem, where he has lived these last four years. 
Over the last four years of house arrest, Vanunu has met thousands of tourists and pilgrims. Everyone of them understands that the only way Vanunu can hurt Israel is with bad PR.
If Israel had practiced justice and mercy, they would have let Vanunu go in 2004, and chances are, that by now Vanunu would have faded into a footnote in history, instead of keep making it.
In Israel’s 60th anniversary year, Vanunu exposes how the Jewish state is a democracy in name only, for it continues to forbid him-an Israeli Christian the right to speak to a sister or brother in Christ if they happen to be from a foreign country.
Today’s Big Brother: The Industrial Military Media Security/Surveillance Complex, has not yet found the way to stop the flow of independent thought streaming through the world wide web.
Last week, Vanunu was scheduled to return to court on Easter Sunday, fighting a six month jail sentence, handed down in July 2007 that was rendered because Vanunu spoke to professional foreign media in 2004. He also was being punished for attempting to travel by cab the five miles into the little town of Bethlehem; occupied territory, on Christmas Eve 2004, but he ended up in a jail cell that night too.
From emails Vanunu wrote to me, March 24-27, 2008:
“Court hearing postponed to May 13, 2008-the appeal against 6 month prison sentence for speaking to foreign media. I found out about the change a few days before Easter, but not until Easter Day, did I learn about the day for the next hearing. My lawyer and prosecutor want to move it to different day.
“â€¦â€¦I think the hearing was postponed because, from the beginning of the trial until now, they really don’t know what they want. All was a game to try to put me under new pressure to see if they can gain something by holding me hereâ€¦
“All this means is that Israel just continues what they have done since my release in 2004, delaying and holding me hereâ€¦instead of sending me for real freedomâ€¦they want me very poor and angry, but I am survivingâ€¦One thing is very clear: my case is over. They should let me go freeâ€¦
“â€¦My lawyer is very busy with the trial of the previous presidentâ€¦Kasav. He was accused of rape and sexual harassment by many women in his office, while as a minister office many years ago, and again in his palace as president. But the turmoil here is that the prosecutor made a deal with him; no trial no prison sentence, just a symbolic punishment. So today he will go to court with my lawyer to get his deal and be totally freeâ€¦
“â€¦There is a lot of suffering hereâ€¦Israel wants to hide so much because it is not good for its image as a democracy and a friend of Americaâ€¦
“1984, yes I read it many times and many years ago.1984 is here in 2008.”
1. Lincoln Shlensky, Jewish Peace News editor, email March 28, 2008, to subscribe: http://www.jewishpeacenews.net
4. Thomas Pynchon, Foreword, Centennial Edition 1984
5. Erich Fromm, Afterword, Centennial Edition 1984
7. “30 Minutes with Vanunu” “13 minutes with Vanunu” freely streaming @ http://www.wearewideawake.org/