News ID: 8905
Publish Date: 30 July 2012 - 23:01
Ron Jacobs is an American author and journalist. He is the author of "The Way the Wind Blew: a History of the Weather Underground" and "Short Order Frame Up."

His collection of essays and other musings titled "Tripping Through the American Night" was published in April 2011. This book includes Ron's articles about life in the United States from a libertarian left viewpoint. His new novel is "The Co-Conspirator's Tale" which was released by Fomite Publications.

Ron Jacobs has strong anti-imperialist viewpoints and is opposed to the George Bush's War on Terror. Writings and articles of Jacobs have been featured by CounterPunch and other international journals. He believes that Israel is a client state of the United States and that if any nation in the world attempts the folly of attacking Israel, it will be confronted with a mighty and forceful response by the United States which unconditionally supports the Israeli regime.

What follows is the full text of interview with Ron Jacobs in which he answered our questions regarding Islamophobia in the United States, the truth behind the 9/11 attacks, the foreign policy of the United States and the upcoming U.S. Presidential elections.

Q: What's your viewpoint regarding Iran's nuclear program? The United States and its European allies have long pressured Iran to abandon its nuclear program, while neglecting the nuclear arsenal of Israel, filled with 200 atomic warheads. At the same time, the very countries which demand Iran to halt its nuclear program are the nuclear states with hundreds of atomic bombs in their armory. Isn't such an attitude toward Iran an exercise of double standards?
 
A: Let me begin by stating that I oppose all nuclear weapons and power plants. However, the hypocrisy of the nuclear-armed states in demanding that Iran have no nuclear capabilities is insulting to the intelligence of the world. While Washington and Tel Aviv demand that Iran stop any activity that might lead to nuclear weapons development, both countries continue to upgrade and expand their nuclear capabilities.
If the UN Security Council is truly interested in a nuclear-free Middle East, it should begin serious work on creating a nuclear weapons free zone throughout the Middle East as recommended by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 66/25.

Q: More than one decade after the 9/11 attacks, there's still rigorous debate in the United States on whether it was a false flag operation with the complicity of Mossad and CIA or not. It was after the 9/11 attacks that George Bush set in motion his War on Terror plan, leading to the invasion of two countries and killing of thousands of innocent civilians. Who do you think was behind the 9/11 attacks? What's your viewpoint on the bloody War on Terror?

A: I do not believe the 9/11 attacks were a false flag operation. That being said, I also think that it doesn't matter whether or not they were. After all, the power elites in the United States achieved most of what they wanted in the wake of the attacks. Civil liberties have been abrogated; the military budget continues to increase at obscene amounts; the Department of Homeland Security was established and has militarized the civilian areas of the United States--airports, police forces, transportation in general, etc.
 
The war on terror is a bloody continuation of the continuing attempt by the Pentagon and Wall Street to dominate the world in every manner possible. It has provided the military with an enemy that will never be defeated and an excuse for the military to go into any country it chooses in pursuit of that enemy.

Q: You may agree that the ideology of War on Terror was accompanied by the fomentation of anti-Islamic sentiments. Following the 9/11 attacks, Islamophobia and prejudice against Muslims dramatically surged in the United States and Europe. Was fueling Islamophobia a predetermined plan by the U.S. government? What's your idea?

A: In retrospect, it seems that the US did have some kind of contingency to go after Muslims. Whether or not this was just one of the multitude of contingencies the war-makers contrive or if it was specific to a scenario like 9/11, it has the markings of Tel Aviv on it as well. Historically, there has always been a fear of Islam among many of the Christian churches. That goes back to the Crusades, at least. Of course, this fear hems in nicely with the fact that many of the world's Muslims live in regions of the world that contain resources coveted by the US and the rest of the west.

Q: The United States has been involved in tens of military expeditions around the world which have claimed the lives of thousands, if not millions, of innocent civilians; from Mexico to Spain, Vietnam to Cuba, Haiti to Japan and Afghanistan to Iraq. Is it a rational and fair justification that since the U.S. has been a political and economic superpower, it's entitled to attack other countries, invade their soils and plunder their resources?

A: The powers-that-be certainly champion that rationalization. Like every colonialist and imperial power throughout history, the US believes it is superior to the peoples and nations it invades and dominates. Of course, this is nonsense, but without such hubris, empires could not exist.

Q: Has the U.S. administration taken steps to limit the freedoms of its citizens? I read in one of your articles that the government has attempted to criminalize the organizing of antiwar protests. What about the consequences the PATRIOT Act has had for the people? Would you please explain more about that?

A: The PATRIOT Act renders many rights guaranteed in the first ten amendments to the US Constitution null and void. By labeling whatever and whomever it chooses "terrorist," the PATRIOT Act enables law enforcement to use any means it considers necessary when going after those it considers terrorist or terrorist sympathizers. The situation that I wrote about concerned a number of individuals in the US Midwest who worked in organizations dedicated to providing solidarity to the Palestinians and various rebel groups in Latin America. Some of the members visited these countries and are now being investigated.
 
Their homes and offices were raided in pre-dawn raids last autumn. Other similar cases have arisen in the wake of the protests against NATO that took place in Chicago in Spring 2012. Several young people remain in prison awaiting trial after being set up and framed by police agents and informers on "terrorism" charges.
 
Some Other provisions of the PATRIOT Act forbid protests within several hundred meters of US politicians and officials, allow law enforcement to demand library and bookstore records of individuals without warrants and with the provision that anybody being investigated or working at an establishment approached by law enforcement cannot talk about the visit under penalty of prison.

Q: Have you spotted any similarities between the policies of President Obama with those of his predecessor George W. Bush? He had promised to take up reconciliation and détente with the Muslim world, but he continued drone attacks in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, intensified sanctions on Iran and failed to help Palestinians fulfill their rights. Can we say that Obama is different from Bush only in terms of strategies, rather than large-scale policies?

A: Obama and Bush's policies are one and the same, especially when it comes to foreign policy. This is always the case. While the two parties differ somewhat when it comes to tax laws, job creation and other domestic type policies, they march in lockstep when it comes to foreign policy. It would be a lie to say otherwise. As for differences in strategies, the primary one I see is that Obama is much more willing to use drones in his wars.
 
This is similar to Bill Clinton's use of cruise missiles. Obama also seems more willing to try and build consensus before he goes to war. The NATO attack on Libya is a good example of that. He waited until other nations called for the bombing, then jumped in. Yet one can be fairly certain that the US was involved from the onset.

Q: The Occupy Wall Street movement has been seemingly quashed as a result of the police suppression and intimidation in the United States. It has, however, had significant achievements such as bringing to light the invincibility of Capitalism. What's your take on that?

A: The Occupy movement does seem to have been a flash in the pan, as we say here. (Interviewer's note: flash in the plan is referred to something which disappoints by failing to deliver anything of value, despite a showy beginning.) The actions of the police certainly had a lot to do with that. Unfortunately, very little has changed. The Democratic Party has done what it usually does with left-leaning protest movements: it has co-opted as many of the protesters as it can into working for Democratic candidates who will then dash these protesters' hopes once again.
 
I think the biggest fault with the Occupy movement is that its understanding of capitalism is naive. Although there were those in the movement with an understanding that capitalism can not be reformed for long because it needs to consume and expand to survive, there were also many people in the movement who felt otherwise. It was essentially a liberal movement in the end.

Q: Let's turn to the United States' foreign policy. What do you think of Washington's all-out, unconditional support of the Israeli regime? What links these two countries so inextricably? Is it that the United States believes that it should continue to pay ransom to Israel because of the hardships the Jews tolerated during the World War II? Does the U.S. government intend to maintain a sustainable control over the Middle East and its oil-rich countries with the presence of Israel?

A: Israel is Washington's armed foothold in the Middle East, the world's energy supply. While not always a cooperative client, Israel would not exist without the understanding by most of the planet that if one attacks Israel then one will have to deal with the world's most lethal military--that of the US. I think that the so-called Israel Lobby cynically manipulates US guilt over the genocide of the Jewish people in World War Two, but don't for a moment think that the US government as an institution really cares about that at all.
 
After all, it was the US government that refused the resettlement of thousands of Jewish refugees in the late 1930s in the US; and it was the US government that provided cover for several Nazi war criminals after the war. Israel is much like the United States. It is a nation created by destroying another people and stealing their land. Washington needs Israel and, more importantly, Israel needs Washington.

Q: What's your viewpoint regarding Iran's nuclear program? The United States and its European allies have long pressured Iran to abandon its nuclear program, while neglecting the nuclear arsenal of Israel, filled with 200 atomic warheads. At the same time, the very countries which demand Iran to halt its nuclear program are the nuclear states with hundreds of atomic bombs in their armory. Isn't such an attitude toward Iran an exercise of double standards?

A: Let me begin by stating that I oppose all nuclear weapons and power plants. However, the hypocrisy of the nuclear-armed states in demanding that Iran have no nuclear capabilities is insulting to the intelligence of the world. While Washington and Tel Aviv demand that Iran stop any activity that might lead to nuclear weapons development, both countries continue to upgrade and expand their nuclear capabilities. If the UN Security Council is truly interested in a nuclear-free Middle East, it should begin serious work on creating a nuclear weapons free zone throughout the Middle East as recommended by the UN General Assembly in Resolution 66/25.

 

Q: What's your prediction for the upcoming U.S. Presidential Elections? Is Obama a one-term president, as Yvonne Ridley has forecasted? What changes will take place in America's foreign policy if a Republican president comes to power?

A: At this time, I think Obama will be re-elected, if for no other reason than the image Mitt Romney presents seems to be difficult for most Americans to take. His lack of compassion, inability to understand what life is like for working people and his overall blandness make him an unlikable candidate. However, that can change depending on what happens over the next several weeks.
 
There are very powerful right wing forces arrayed against Obama who see this election as their chance to ring the death knell for any politics besides their ultra-right, pro-corporate, pro-war plan for the nation. Obama has not done himself any favors by alienating many on the liberal left who are dismayed by his failure to close Guantanamo Bay, get out of Afghanistan, and create jobs, among other unfulfilled promises.
 
If a Republican president comes to power, I predict that the US will be involved in a war with Iran. This war will end up involving US ground troops and probably embroil much of the world. I know that's a dismal forecast, but it is what I fear.
 

Yjc.ir
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