Mary Poppins and Newt Gingrich

by craig on December 13, 2011 12:20 pm in Uncategorized

Being in Africa appears to make me more whimsical that when I am in my book-lined study at home. One of the joys of having small children is that you can get to do childish things, with an excuse. I took Cameron to the Hornby model centre in Broadstairs a few weeks ago. I never tire of watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. And recently I re-watched Mary Poppins. I never much liked this, and still am not a great fan, but I had never before realised that the entire thing is an attack on materialism and the banks, particularly the City of London.

There is a moment when Banks finally rebels and turns on the big banker and says: “It turns out, with due respect, when all is said and done, that there’s no such thing as you!” The world of bankers has become even more of a fantasy since, of meaningless “wealth” unrelated to production, and casino speculation.

But the phrase sent my mind flitting to Newt Gingrich. The Palestinians are very real indeed – I used to have a Palestinian girlfriend, and she definitely existed. Palestine is mentioned in Herodotus, and if the bible bashing Gingrich can’t see that “Palestine” and “Philistine” are the same word, he is a greater fool than I supposed. Or does he believe in etymological creationism, that all words were formed by God on the same day in precisely their current form?

The misery of the Palestinian people, squeezed into ever shrinking bantustans, is very very real. What Gingrich is doing is indicating his acquiescence in the genocidal policy of Israel towards the Palestinians. Given what is already happening, it is not a great leap from declaring someone does not exist, to seeking to make that a reality.

Gingrich appears an evil, corrupt, debased manifestation of the real agenda of the United States. He is the picture in America’s attic, with all its evil shown up-front. The man is a walking caricature of seething hatreds. Surely it is Newt Gingrich who does not really exist?

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  1. Sadly Newt does exist and is enjoying a fair bit of support right now. In fact, he is repeating Golda Meir’s old propaganda about the non-existence of the Palestinian people.

    The good news is that he will be knocked off his perch at some point. The bad news is that it is likely to be by someone even more extreme than him. I despise the Democrats but the Republican Party is the original bottomless well of stupidity and ignorance.

  2. Njegos
    they have created a “democracy” where people “choose” from what they are offered not from what they want.
    Anyway, offtopic, but who is talking about freedom of speech here?:

  3. If Gingrich wins the nomination from the contest of the grotesques, he intends to have John Bolton as his running mate. Not kidding.

  4. An illustrated dictionary would have a picture of Gingrich next to the word “Chutzpah”. As Leader of the House, he led the prosecution of Clinton over his affair with Monika Lewinsky, while all the same time himself having an adulterous affair with another intern. He’s now on his third wife, each being phased in on top of the previous one (with god knows how many interns etc. in the meanwhile).
    Gingrich tried to serve divorce papers on his first wife as she was waking up from breast surgery. But after all, as he said, “She’s not pretty enough and too old to be the wife of the United States president, and anyway – she’s got cancer.”
    Stepping down as Leader of the House in the face of a record number of “ethics violations”, paying a $300K fine to avoid prosecution and possibly jail, Gingrich tried to dismiss the loss of his position on mean-spirited bigots (somehow!) going after his daughter for being a lesbian.
    Bragging that he gets $60K for a lecture, he explained that he didn’t need to be a lobbyist, and the near $2M he got from the mortgage agency Freddie Mac/ Fannie Mae (privitised government agencies to provide banks with federal money for mortgages) was for giving them a history lesson. That lesson was basically, he later explained, “Don’t give mortgages to people who can’t afford them”. Nice work if you can get it!
    As Leader of the House, Gingrich forced a shutdown of the federal government back in the 1990s, in a fit of pique at having to sit at the back of Air Force One during a trip. “It’s petty, but I think it’s human”, he admitted.
    It’s possible to write a volume of books of the corruption and hypocrisy of this man, without even mentioning his utter lack of personal morality. He’s achieved the distinction of being _the_ most corrupt politician the US has seen in some time, if ever, while he still passes himself off as an intellectual and of the highest integrity. Perhaps he truly does belong in the White House.

  5. It looks as if Newt is struggling to find the money to continue his campaign. His opaque funding body, American Solutions, Inc has achieved its primary purpose, to get him up and running, but Gingrich has left it and without him it has been obliged to shut down…apparently without sending its donors in his direction. It’s a tangled tale. But where does an aspirant right (or left)winger go these days in the hope of meeting people who will point friendly businessmen with money to burn in your direction?
    That’s right. AIPAC. And Newt has friends there.
    AIPAC’s current executive director, Howard Kohr, is a conservative Republican who was hired largely because of his personal and political closeness to Newt Gingrich,
    All Newt has to do is make the right noises. And that is what he is doing.
    There is no other lobby in Washington, not one, that has that kind of power. That was obvious when Prime Minister Netanyahu, a consistent opponent of U.S. policies, received a congressional reception worthy of the Second Coming. …. Woe to the senator or Senate aide who even imagines such a thing today.

  6. I think the Newt illustrates very well that, on issues you don’t personally care about, one can transition from understanding a strong opinion from your political base (that the whole of Israel and Palestine belongs just to Israel) to actually believing that one believes it. But he doesn’t believe it, of course, yet may not actually be possessed of the necessary self-awareness to know that he is “required” to.
    Hopefully this is too much for some of the moderates on the right wing. I think they do exist!

  7. AntiDespot:

    Absolutely right. People are told what to want by the fawning corporate media, as Ray McGovern rightly calls it (eg. more ridiculous airport security, more FBI sting operations against terrorists, fewer namby-pamby civil rights). The Repugnants or Demagogues duke it out with promises of infinitely large budgets for this continual destruction of real democracy. The sheep are herded into voting pens after which they fall back into their deep media-inspired lobby-driven coma for another 4 years. Great system. Just what the Founding Fathers had in mind, no doubt.


    I saw that item about Bolton. Talk about evil.


    What does it say for the state of American democracy that someone like this has got even this far?

  8. The irony of all this is that the modern Israeli identity is at least as much of a contrivance as the modern Palestinian identity, if you want to use the Gingrich formulation.
    (And no, I am not saying that either identity is invented. I’m just saying what would happen if the Gingrich standard was applied consistently.)

  9. People not existing, and making them not exist is exactly what Zionism is all about.

    They sang about a land without a people for a people without a land.
    When in fact the land had a people, and the people had a land.
    The land of Palestine had the Palestinians. The true descendants of the Children of Israel. These people had deeds to the land and keys their houses and many also had documented family trees stretching right back the the Children of Israel.

    It was a lie to say the land didn’t have a people. So the white Zionists started exterminating the people. And have carried on exterminating them to this very day.

    It was also a lie to say the Jewish people didn’t have a land, because they all had citizenship in various European countries and America. To make it a fact, Zionist Bankers helped the Nazis take power.
    And Zionists continue to aid Nazis such as the BNP and EDL to this very day.

  10. I’m not sure why anyone cares who gets elected in the US, or anywhere else for that matter. We cheered when Clinton was elected. We cheered when Obama was elected.
    Much better to elect a much more obviously despicable scumbag, and at least have a laugh in the meantime. We’re gonna get fucked anyway.
    Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice uh eh uh….

  11. Palestine flag was raised at UNESCO, as we Middle Eastern say “that is spitting in his eyes”.

    If we are talking about invention, then “American” is the biggest invention of all.. Americans are collections of immagrants who slaughtered the Indigeous Indian and stole their lands. No wonder that they identify with Zionists.

  12. Were the palestinian Jesus and His Mother terrorists or inventions .
    I think I am the first to wish you the Joy and Peace of Christmas. Keep strong and rest in confidence.
    We will work unbroken together to be strong enough to eventually stop the rot.
    Faltering is human but picking yourself up again is heroic. Your dreams will come true.

  13. Unfortunately, Craig, Gingrich probably knows his Old Testament well enough to feel that the world would be a better place *without* the Philistines. They don’t get a very good press in the Bible, strangely enough.

    I have never understood why anyone thinks it’s OK for a few million Europeans and Americans to go and settle on some land they happen to fancy in the Near East, casually ejecting the inhabitants and then killing them if they protest. But that’s so similar to the way the Americans came by their own country that they refuse to see any objection.

  14. To be fair…
    Not the only commentator to point out that Newt’s position is not even in Israel’s interest. But goes into the idea in some depth.

  15. I’ve always thought it rather apt that USans thought a Newt was appropriate to represent them in the corridors of (publicly visible) power.

  16. Edward Said made an interesting film for the BBC about his return home to Palestine in 1998, a few years before his death:
    This was before the BBC became the totally useless outfit it is today. Even then though the BBC were unable to get the programme broadcast in the US. It’s doubtful it would be made by the BBC today.

  17. Newt is making sure that he has the jewish votes, not Obama and what better than to paraphrase Golda meir and her racialist attitudes. To choose Bolton as his running mate will be fun, gaffs galore. To see them win would mean that Armageddon Inc. is on the throne. More war and more economic crimes by bankers who so seemingly get away with it. How come that nobody of RBS was found guilty of anything?

    How come that not a single journalists will get their arse singed for hacking our phones? Too powerfull to touch, my god, accolade they do not deserve for licking boots.

  18. Njegos – ‘they have created a “democracy” where people “choose” from what they are offered not from what they want.’
    I’m not aware we’ve ever had any other kind of ‘democracy’, in the USA or UK. Politics is the art of spurious binary choices – and on a mass scale it works every time.

  19. I am not “under some rock” 7 wars have been planned about 8 years ago in the US, wesley clark has said this. the project for greater Israel requires slum clearance, move the cattle to another field.

  20. I’ve just finished “Palestine – a Personal History” by Karl Sabbagh.
    The start of Chapter 7 is fascinating – “Palestinian Arabs might have ended up governing their own country if a Russian Jew living in Manchester had not developed a chemical process for extracting nail-varnish remover from horse-chestnuts.”…
    Apparently the efficient production of acetone for production of explosives in WW1 was so crucial that the inventor could name his price. His price was (if the book is to be believed) to have a major effect on the Balfour Declaration.
    …”Lloyd George later quipped to a meeting of the Jewish Historical Society: ‘Acetone converted me to Zionism.'”

  21. Tom Welsh, you have put your finger on the problem.

    ‘I have never understood why anyone thinks it’s OK for a few million Europeans and Americans to go and settle on some land they happen to fancy in the Near East, casually ejecting the inhabitants and then killing them if they protest. But that’s so similar to the way the Americans came by their own country that they refuse to see any objection.’

    And it isn’t so long ago either.

    But it was ‘us’, wasn’t it, and the Israelis were, and are, ‘us’ – so of course they can’t be doing anything wrong in following ‘our’ great example.

  22. Guess then youll like this video about NG

  23. It makes no difference who is in the White House (s/be Red House for all the blood it has spilt). All support Israel including Obomber who has just lit the Menorah for Hannukah. Such ‘a jolly holiday’ as Julie and Dick sang. Three years ago, Israel was planning to launch its greater Shoah on Gaza, Cast Lead, named after the Hanukah toy, the dreidel.
    On the other side of the Atlantic ocean and at the Eastern end of the Mediterranean, the mayor of Nazareth doesn’t like Christmas trees going up. They are ‘provocative’.

  24. Some hope here?

    A new political party has entered the fray as an alternative to Democrats and Republicans ahead of the 2012 elections. On Monday, former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson announced will run for president with the newly formed Justice Party. Although hailing from a solidly Red state, Anderson has been known as one of the most progressive mayors of any major U.S. city in recent years. During his two mayoral terms from 2000 to 2008, Anderson was an outspoken champion of LGBT rights, environmental sustainability, and the antiwar movement in opposition to the Iraq War. Vowing to fight the influence of money over politics, Anderson kicked off his campaign on Monday with a pledge to limit individual donations to $100 a person. Anderson and the Justice Party say they hope to build a grassroots movement heading into the November 2012 elections. “We launched the Justice Party because the entire system is so corrupt,” Anderson says. “It’s so diseased that we know that the public interest is not being served by anyone in the system right now, particularly, [by] the two dominant parties who have sustained this corrupt system and who are sustained by it.”

  25. I like one of Shlomo Sand’s hypotheses, that is, the palestinians were the Jews that stayed behind and were converted to Islam as the religion swept across the Middle East. This in turn means that the Israeli’s are defacto committing fratricide.Tragic but possible.The land was definitely inhabited before 1947, because my Aunt and Uncle were with the British Army there.They loved it until the Jewish terrorist groups began their campaigns of terror and ethnic cleansing.They talked about how the arabs could make the desert green… a phrase I heard used about the Israeli’s many years later.
    Ron Paul is being quite aggressive for once in his campaigning and here is his vid on Newt

  26. Just in case you were feeling there was not enough insanity in the ME.

    “Last night, three days after the killing of Mustafa Tamimi – who was killed by a 40mm grenade to the face by a soldier sitting in a protected vehicle – several young settler hoodlums tried to forcibly cross the border to Jordan, in order to create an outpost there. Ha’Kol Hayehudi, Israel’s equivalent of the Rwanda Radio, claimed their purpose was to remind us all that Jordan, too, is a part of Israel.”

  27. Gingrich’s statements are no doubt motivated by his fight for the American Republican nomination. But so extreme is his position that even the Israeli government doesn’t agree with him. For their own survival, in the long term Israelis are going to have to treat Palestinians justly and seek harmony with them, otherwise Israel will find it increasingly difficult to maintain support even from so staunch an ally as the United States.

  28. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Newts are not quite as clever.

  29. Donny Darko, Ron Paul has consistently talked of how costly in financial terms are US wars all over the world, and how the US should concentrate on home policies. Despite being a tea-party Republican if he was to keep to his word he is worthy of being president. Quite clearly if he got in he would be surrounded by advisors telling him that things are so bad at home unless we get to steal this Middle Eastern oil, we will have no economy. I think they use the same trick as the Masons, that is, swear them in, compromise them in some way, and then they’re ‘one of us’.
    Unfortunately I listened to Obama’s inaugural speech and thought there was hope for the world yet, bringing the troops home, closing Guantanamo, and so on, and what did we get? That’s right. Some more of the same, the Uncle Same.

  30. I won’t sing it.
    (Country and Western Ballad on the Retirement of President Reagan)

    In the land where the free bald-eagle flew
    they built the biggest, stinking loo
    the empires of the world had seen,
    a perpendicular latrine,
    the White House.

    With a constipated grunt and groan
    an actor-bum came to the throne,
    hellbent on this, his greatest role,
    to fill the presidential bowl,
    the White House.

    Now the bowl gets filled with his daily voids,
    he holds a donor card for haemorrhoids,
    assured if he forgets his words,
    he can fall back on this bowl of turds,
    the White House.

    Its sewerage system spans the earth,
    distributing crud for all it’s worth,
    one vast fertilisation plan
    to shit on every living man,
    (and woman too, Mary Lou),
    the White House.

    It has a privy chamber with gates galore,
    a closed Watergate and a welded door,
    Irangate, that’s a sluice-gate, sure,
    backing up in the open sewer,
    the White House.

    With a big, big bundle of stars and stripes
    Uncle Sam gets up and calmly wipes
    his gerontocratic arsehole clean,
    then pulls the chain in the earth’s latrine,
    the White House.

  31. Newt’s argument is not unique to him – it’s common among people who are blindly pro-Israel.

    It’s based on false claims made by American historian Joan Peter in her book ‘From Time Immemorial’ about how Palestinians were all supposedly Arab immigrants to the British Mandate of Palestine after zionist settlers there ‘made the desert bloom’.

    Norman Finkelstein went through all the sources she cited in her book in his own book ‘Image and Reality of the Israel-Palestine conflict’ and found that not one of her sources said what she claimed it did. In fact Arabs had lived in Palestine for centuries and there was no basis to their claims.

    The argument that Palestinians are ‘really just Arabs’ and should go to Arab countries is like arguing that the French have no right to France as they are just Europeans and should go and live in Belgium; or that Americans are really just North Americans like Canadians, so should get out of America and go to Canada to make way for others.

    The argument that Israel’s existence in 1020 BC is attested by the Bible is an argument based on either religious fundamentalism or right by conquest (As the Israelites killed and drove out Canaanites and others or forced them into slavery to form the ‘kingdom of Israel’ ; and so no different from the Islamic fundamentalist argument that the whole of Israel and Palestine is defined as ‘Muslim lands’ as they were conquered by the Prophet Mohammed and his followers in the 7th century.

    The only legitimate basis for the modern state of Israel is the UN resolution which established a Jewish and an Arab state alongside one another in what was the British Mandate of Palestine – and that resolution did not entitle them to most of the West Bank (which Israeli governments of all parties refer to by it’s biblical name of ‘Judaea and Samaria’)

  32. If Newt Gingrich didn’t exist, Jews would’ve had to invent him. Oh, wait. The poster who cites the ‘Palestine never existed’ meme as nothing new is right, and it can be found repeatedly being referenced in extreme right-wing US Protestant circles, masquerading as holy writ.

  33. Some meaningless drivel from the BBC on Werrity in The Spectator. Cannot find any link to the origin. Weird?


  34. @ Craig,

    ” What Gingrich is doing is indicating his acquiescence in the genocidal policy of Israel towards the Palestinians.”

    And which frontrunner US politician aspiring to be President does anything but acquiese…Obama…so, who then?


  36. Newt Gingrich is synonymic to Mr X Factor Culture man; stabbing the poor, needy and sick in the back and putting electronic health records virtually in the public domain.
    Gingrich – SEPTEMBER 11, 2006: “What is still neither understood nor accepted is that Iraq is only one campaign in an emerging Third World War.”

  37. KingFelix wrote:”If Newt Gingrich didn’t exist, Jews would’ve had to invent him.”

    Denigrating Jews, Muslims, Blacks, Gays, Christians etc.. i know, is NOT ON here. No fascism please.

  38. Mary i scanned the BBC article a few times wondering how to sum it up, but ‘meaningless drivel’ is hard to improve upon. Its got a photo of the cads all dressed up, a few statements of reminiscing from the too friendly chum Werrity himself, perfectly composed almost soothing. A passing mention of some dim business. Thanx again BBC.

  39. Newt Gingrich is disgusting. He’s a people denier. That’s as bad as being a Holocaust denier.

    He should realise that under his logic that Israelis and Americans are also invented people.

    It’s worth googling Gingrich’s warmongering grovelling to his paymasters at the AIPAC conference. Actually save you the other … here’s the link

    Ingo said above “Newt is making sure that he has the jewish votes, not Obama and what better than to paraphrase Golda meir and her racialist attitudes. To choose Bolton as his running mate will be fun, gaffs galore.”

    Newt isn’t chasing the Jewish vote. The Jewish population of the USA is around 1.7% and is relatively insignificant. He is sucking up to his Zionist donors. No one gets to President of the USA without appeasing the Zionists. Anyone in politics knows this, but many are scared to admit it

    You can google Obama’s nice little brown nose to them at the AIPAC conferences too.

  40. Donny Darko: I like one of Shlomo Sand’s hypotheses, that is, the palestinians were the Jews that stayed behind and were converted to Islam as the religion swept across the Middle East. This in turn means that the Israeli’s are defacto committing fratricide.Tragic but possible.
    Yes, that sounds interesting. What was the name of the book in which I can read more about this?
    Donny Darko: The land was definitely inhabited before 1947, because my Aunt and Uncle were with the British Army there
    I have no idea who has been making the claim that it was uninhabited before 1947.

  41. Donny Darko
    Was that before of after Sand’s reverse-conversion?
    It seems to me there’s an undercurrent there – implanting suggestions that “the Jews never left”

  42. boniface goncourt

    14 Dec, 2011 - 6:10 am

    Strangely, the biggest victims of zionism are the Israelis themselves. For the moment, they think they are free to ignore decency. But when Big Zio finds a more profitable location for drugs, pornography, weapons, organ trafficking, sex slavery, money-laundering etc, the colonists will be left to their fate.

    The US Sixth Fleet already has plans for Der Tag, to evacuate foreign embassy staff and Israeli government bigwigs from the seafront at Tel Aviv, while the rest are left to the mercies of their erstwhile victims.

    Territory was never an issue. It was all about hiding global crime activities behind national sovereignty, and at the same time cementing zionist power in Europe and North America. By ensuring perpetual war with the Palestinians, the Jews imagine they can permanently exploit the guilt loop of ‘never again’.

    However, as the world gets bored with Israelis and their ‘holocaust’, even the Americans will lose interest.

    BTW Prof Shlomo Sand’s book is an invaluable read.

  43. OT –
    The Werritty item on R4 2200 News cited a Spectator interview: presumably not yet published. The spectator is where all stories about neocons go to die, and I am sure the interview was as gentle as would be needed , considering Werritty’s delicate and suddenly self-effacing nature.
    I note that Werritty considers the imputations against him “short on detail”. Well, yes. That is something of a problem. Perhaps he could remedy the shortness of detail available on his activities?
    Also, he protests that he has never represented himself as having any expertise in defence matters. So, WTF was he doing on his frequent visits to the MoD?

  44. Hague is putting our money behind his sabre rattling, massive air activities over Norfolk. Tornadoes are performing highlevel as well as attack loops, others are flying low level sorties, one hell iof a racket. They are turning right over my head.

    Since Lybia’s attack has cost 150.000 their lives, there was a low in flying , since last week the activities have gone up dramatically. Whatever is coming is near.

  45. off the subject :

    today BBC website : Students turn to prostitution to fund studies… Shame on Clegg, Shame on Cameron. Apparently the percntage of students in the sex industry has gone up drastically in the last 10 years.

  46. Hague is putting our money behind his sabre rattling, massive air activities over Norfolk. Tornadoes are performing highlevel as well as attack loops, others are flying low level sorties, one hell iof a racket. They are turning right over my head.

    Since Lybia’s attack has cost 150.000 their lives, there was a low in flying , since last week the activities have gone up dramatically. Whatever is coming is near. (Ingo)
    Check. Also look out for F-15’s from Lakenheath. This has been going on for days….day and night.

  47. Courtenay I put up that Haaretz piece on Israeli racism being deleted plus some info on changes in the ownership of the paper.
    13 Dec, 2011 – 7:20 am

    This details the American lobby’s activities in stifling criticism.
    Tuesday, December 13 2011
    Joseph Dana

    Coordinated American-Israeli effort working to smear critical voices
    Last Friday evening, B’Tselem employees were busy sending out press releases and compiling media kits detailing the use of tear gas by the Israeli military in the West Bank. For the past ten years, B’Tselem has been one of the only Israeli organizations documenting routine violations of military and civilian law by Israeli soldiers. On Friday, an unidentified Israeli soldier shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian protester, with an American-made tear gas canister, who was throwing stones at armoured military jeeps in the village of Nabi Saleh. The military claims this was an ‘exceptional’ incident but the facts show that it is not.

  48. Indeed Komodo, seen the F 15 as well. Lakenheath, perpetual US territory asigned to them on a beermat after the second great unpleasantness, is not very far as the crow flies. It is also the most concentrated nuclear weapons pile in Europe, by my estimations, as every transit plane to the US lands there first or takes off from Lakenheath or Mildenhall.

    On a totally different tack, i.e. survival in the US south, this article makes it clear that some of the US cities will run out of water very soon, everybody is hoping for lots of snow in the Rockies. Aquifers and the Colorado river, supplying unsustainable Cities such as Vegas, will soon have to be rationed in some way.

  49. $30,000 per hour…nice work etc etc…and for such a responsible company too…

  50. O/T We know that this is not even the true number. The poor souls. What prospects for them in the New Year?
    BBC BREAKING NEWS:UK unemployment rose by 128,000 between August and October to
    2.64 million

  51. Ingo, Komodo, whatever is coming is near. It’s worrying that while Cameron was courting the Australians, William Hague (Tin Man ‘I haven’t got a heart’) was in the good old US of A chatting up Hilary Clinton (The Wicked Witch of the West) and they were not talking about the merry land of Oz! Last night on Channel 3 News a reporter was bigging up the need for rebel support or it might not be possible to ovrethrow the Assad regime.
    On another note yesterday I attended a small vigil in support of Bradley Manning outside the US Embassy. There is to be a bigger demonstration on Saturday (17 Dec, which I unfortunately cannot make) but hope others can.

  52. Shlomo Sands, ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’. Fantastic book. He gives an example of a German (I think)Christian priest, convert from Judaism, applied to live in Israel and was refused on the grounds he wasn’t ‘Jewish’. Converts to Judaism are allowed entry so who are the Jewish people? Race or religion – Israeli Government don’t seem to know.

  53. In Newt Gingrich’s case, such politically-motivated ignorance pays. Some relevant background on the GOP presidential candidate from a 1995 Washington Report piece:

    ‘Marianne Gingrich, wife of House Speaker Newt Gingrich, has been hired by the Israel Export Development Co., Ltd (IEDC) as its vice president for business development. Mrs. Gingrich’s interest in Israel’s proposed free-trade zone, designed to attract foreign investment to Israel, was said to have begun during an eight-day trip to Israel she and her husband made in August 1994 at the expense of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Israel’s Washington, DC lobby. “If I were going to get a political payoff, it would not be for the amount of money I am making,” said Mrs. Gingrich, who has no experience in the field. Her salary, which she has drawn since August, is $2,500 per month, “plus commissions.” Neither she nor her employers would disclose the size of the commissions. Speaker Gingrich told the Baltimore Sun, which broke the story in February, that his wife previously had her “own business.” IEDC President Larry Silverstein told The Wall Street Journal that Gingrich was one of a number of congressmembers who were lobbied to support his company’s proposal.’

    Mrs. Gingrich’s generous employer, Larry Silverstein, later went on to become the owner of the WTC Twin Towers just 6 weeks before 9/11. On the morning of September 11, he cancelled a scheduled breakfast meeting in the Windows on the World restaurant on the 107th floor of the North Tower due to his wife’s insistence that he couldn’t miss an appointment with his dermatologist (see the interview he gave to Bloomberg’s Greg Miles). Shortly afterwards, Mr. Silverstein received phone calls from not one but three Israeli prime ministers — Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu — asking how their lucky friend was (Sara Leibovich-Dar, “Up in smoke,” Haaretz, Sept 9, 2002, article no longer available on the Haaretz website).

  54. Ingo – I don’t think your ‘tangent’ is irrelevant to this at all.

    The article you linked was originally on Alternet on 4 December. This was my comment on the thread:

    ‘It isn’t just the US who should be worried by this. The Middle East is an area which is recognisably at flash-point level, and the supply of water is probably the one thing about which no politician is willing to talk, but which every politician knows could be the spark that ignites the tinder. It’s not just the Jordan either. The Tigris and Euphrates are being dammed in their headwater areas in Turkey, and there is concern that the water on which Iraq depends will be diminished considerably. In the Nile valley the treaties under which Egypt receives a set percentage of the river water are being questioned especially by Ethiopia (source of the Blue Nile and Atbara tributaries), but also by Sudan and Uganda, and now by Southern Sudan.

    Access to water supplies may be the trigger for wars in other parts of the world, especially in Central Asia and in Russia.

    It is a world-wide problem.’

    And of course, Syria has a legitimate claim to the Golan Heights: one of the main sources of the Jordan.

    No, supremely relevant, I would say.

  55. This is fun:
    “Cyber war on US drones? Another spy craft crash, now in Seychelles”
    With America still scrambling to explain why and how they lost a drone aircraft over Iran last week, the Pentagon is trying to make sense of how another high-tech unmanned spy craft crashed Tuesday morning in the Seychelles …
    The MQ-9 Reaper has the capability of launching laser-guided bombs and air-to-ground missiles, although the DoD says the craft in question was not armed and no injuries resulted in the crash.
    The Reaper, what a bloody name

  56. “Shlomo Sands, ‘The Invention of the Jewish People’. Fantastic book.”
    I attended a lecture he gave on the topic of his book. His thesis is fascinating.

  57. I remember when Thatcher stated that she “had no plans to” privatise water.
    I remember when Cameron “had the utmost confidence” in Fox.
    And I remember when Hague said this:
    Adding to the lexicon of lies. Doubleplusgoodspeak.

  58. Not recent but still topical.
    Will Nile Water Go To Israel?:
    North Sinai Pipelines And The Politics Of Scarcity
    by Ronald Bleier (
    The vital importance of the Nile to Egypt, the river’s furthest downstream state, is widely accepted and well documented. Throughout recent history Egypt has exerted the greatest degree of control over the Nile both politically and physically. Egypt’s dominance over the Nile is a function of the influence of colonial agreements, the shifting, yet timely alliance and support from global superpowers, and the power of Egypt relative to the instability of the upstream states. As a result, Egypt has been able to make unilateral decisions regarding out-of-basin use of Nile water.
    Unfortunately some of these decisions have put into question the responsibility and justice of Egypt’s stewardship of Nile waters. Indeed, under the pressure of a burgeoning population, as well as for political reasons, the Egyptian government has for two decades embarked on a misguided program of diverting billions of cubic meters(1) of precious Nile water out of basin and into land reclamation and development projects in the Sinai desert.
    One of the most costly and politically and economically dubious of these efforts is a huge land reclamation project in the North Sinai desert called the North Sinai Agricultural Development Project ( NSADP). The North Sinai development is currently estimated to cost about $1.5 billion (about 5 billion Egyptian pounds) and is going forward despite the warnings of its own environmental impact study. Since 1987 this project has been diverting Nile water to agricultural development plots west of the Suez Canal.
    However, in an even more dangerous and politically sensitive development, for the first time, plans are in place and work has already begun to facilitate the diversion of Nile water to the North Sinai desert east of the Suez Canal by means of tunnels underneath the Canal. The project was given dramatic confirmation in November 1996 when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, addressing Arab journalists in Cairo, announced the opening of a third tunnel underneath the Suez Canal.(2) In addition, the Wall Street Journal reported that “[I]n October [1997], Nile water will … begin flowing through the Peace Canal … and will irrigate 600,000 acres in the [North] Sinai desert.”(2A)
    The last leg of the project will bring Nile water just south of the North Sinai town of El Arish, only 40 km away from the border of the Gaza Strip at Rafah. Most alarming to many in the region are the rumors that the project will ultimately bring Nile water to Israel. As a matter of fact, a similar project was envisioned as early as 1974 by Israeli water expert, Elisha Kally, as a way of satisfying Israeli water needs.
    Does anyone know if the project is still ongoing?

  59. Oh, WELL spotted, Maidhc! Silverstein’s as bent as they come, greedy with it, and very close to Likud. That explains much.

  60. Got a spare £1,071 billion? You can have 10 MQ 9 Reapers.
    ‘As you sow, surely shall you reap’??

  61. Hasten to say that was the price for Reapers in 2008. Probably double that now.

  62. To lose one drone may be regarded as a misfortune,to lose two looks like carlessness…
    Alternatively it may all be a fiendish double-triple bluff by the US.Is it possible they let one go in Iran deliberately,full of misleading tech and warez in order to throw Iran etc off-course in the reverse engineering game?

  63. “Is it possible they let one go in Iran deliberately”
    (or) to provoke a reaction from Iran that would give an excuse for war?

  64. and then there’s this bit:
    “It was reported earlier this year that drones dispatched from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada were plagued with a computer virus that made its way into the cockpits of the crafts without American authorities able to quickly identify it.
    Even though US military officials claimed that the virus didn’t harm the security of US aircraft, it is suspicious that now two American drones have been downed in only such a short amount of time ..”

  65. @ Nuid
    I also noticed on that link the DoD denied a missing drone only to change thier tune when Iran paraded one publicly.I’m no expert on these techy matters but if each drone costs up to $100 milion(or more?)surely within that price point they’d have very advanced shields and protection from all sorts of invasive potential?
    There’s alot more to this narrative than we are being told,that’s for sure.

  66. “surely within that price point they’d have very advanced shields and protection from all sorts of invasive potential?”
    They would. But (as far as I know, and I’m no techie) anything involving computers is susceptible to being ‘breached’, so to speak. I think it was in Iraq (?) that the video feed from drones was intercepted by means of a $25 gizmo that could be bought just about anywhere.
    In theory, with enough tech know-how, someone could get between the drone and its controllers (via a virus or otherwise) and send it somewhere other than its intended target. That’s the risk they run. (There are others here who would know a lot more than me on that subject!)

  67. Shlomo Sand – The Invention of the Jewish People:
    Newt Gingrich – The Invention of the Palestinian People:
    “Blood Chilling”

  68. Angry, who said it was true?
    Arsalan used the word “true” but he did not refer to Shlomo Sand or his thesis. Be accurate, please.

  69. National identity is always a construct. That is a theme of The Catholic Orangemen of Togo. But plainly both Jews and Palestinians exist.

  70. AngrySoba: Shlomo Sand – The Invention of the Jewish People:
    Newt Gingrich – The Invention of the Palestinian People:
    “Blood Chilling”

    Seems quite reasonable responses given that one is a Professor of History, who has written a academic book on the subject of his own countrymen, and the other is a morally bankrupt Demagogue seeking to win Jewish financial & electoral support.

    Your repeated laboured attempts to expose anti-Semitism are almost as outlandish as Abe Foxman’s ;

  71. Craig:

    ‘National identity is always a construct.’ As you say above. Along with religion, political beliefs, money – in fact, all the things the human race is so fond of fighting over.

  72. and another window into what is happening in the United States today:
    “They call themselves Christians, but the evangelical group that demanded Lowe’s home improvement chain yank its television ads from a reality show about Muslim families sounds more like a club for bigots …
    As in its latest denunciation — of TLC’s “All-American Muslim.” The reality show chronicles the lives of five unremarkable families from Dearborn, Mich., a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population. It’s essentially a cast of squares: high school sweethearts, power couples with busy careers, a father who coaches the local football team. Except they aren’t Christian.
    Which this group [The Florida Family Association] finds unbearably offensive. It called the show “propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda’s clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values”.”
    When is it going to dawn on them that the attack on their liberties is from their own Government?
    Or, is this group simply propagandising on behalf of that Government?

  73. Gingrich is experiencing severe erosion of his support in Iowa, and the chief beneficiary appears to be Ron Paul. The Hill: Poll: Front-runner Newt Gingrich’s lead in early-voting Iowa has evaporated:

    Newt Gingrich’s onetime 9-point lead over the GOP field in Iowa is down to 1 point, and it’s Ron Paul who’s breathing down his neck.

    Gingrich is at 22 percent, according to a Public Policy Poll released on Tuesday. He’s followed by Paul at 21 percent, Mitt Romney at 16 percent, Michele Bachmann at 11 percent, Rick Perry at 9 percent, Rick Santorum at 8 percent, Jon Huntsman at 5 percent, and Gary Johnson at 1 percent.

    Gingrich’s favorability with Tea Party supporters plummeted this week from 35 percent to 24 percent, bringing his overall favorability down from 62 percent favorable versus 31 percent unfavorable, to only 52 percent favorable versus 40 percent unfavorable.

    Paul’s favorability numbers meanwhile, were almost the inverse of Gingrich’s. The Texas lawmaker is now at 61 percent favorable versus 31 percent unfavorable, compared to last week when he was at 52 percent favorable and 38 percent unfavorable.

  74. Russian cruise missile presence (they can be equipped with tactical nukes) has paused the situation in Syria to provide a window of regrouping and rearming Hezbollah and Syrian government forces. Lebanon insurgent groups, financed and armed by using US Congress funds and trained by British ex SAS special forces also paid for with US dollars according to my contact, have now peaked.
    Many more fighters and weapons are appearing from Libya and Iraq and arriving via Turkey on the roads through Darkush and Qatal Maaf in the North. CIA trained terrorists have been caught arriving directly from Iraq at Al-Qa’im although the passage East is torturous and unpredictable especially by boat up the Euphrates river.

  75. Read the book Angrysoab !! You’ll learn something.
    Don’t worry, it’s not anti semitic. Actually the opposite.

  76. Since we are on the topic of the genocidal policy of Israel towards the Palestinians – may I introduce a dimension that brings in religion – and it is not a long strech to reach how humans justify their inhumanity to fellow humans by reference to the “Holy book” ( of whatever faith).

    Check this out –

  77. Donny Darko: Read the book Angrysoab !! You’ll learn something.

    I may get round to reading it at some point, yes. It might be interesting. I have listened to one of his recorded lectures before. The thing is, as with Gingrich, the point about the title of the book is that it is “trivially true” in the way that Gingrich was “trivially true” to say the Palestinian people were “invented” but both are tootling on their dog whistles.
    McKay: Seems quite reasonable responses given that one is a Professor of History, who has written a academic book on the subject of his own countrymen, and the other is a morally bankrupt Demagogue seeking to win Jewish financial & electoral support.

    Yes, I know. Although to be precise they were both professors of history.

  78. By the way, on the topic of Joan Peters’ book that others have said Gingrich is channeling, there was a review of the book by an academic called Yehoshua Porath, someone who was once classed as a dove, who seems to have become more hawkish. But it seems quite good in that it seeks to dispel a number of myths on both sides.

  79. Angry, you didn’t tell me who used the word “true” in relation to Sand’s book.

  80. Angry, you didn’t tell me who used the word “true” in relation to Sand’s book.

    Alright, I’ll assume the fans of the book don’t believe it is true. Just fascinating, fantastic and invaluable. But not true.

  81. There was actually quite a good Op-Ed piece in the IHT that I read today. You might like it too even though it was written by Thomas Friedman…

  82. There was another article opposite that called “We Are Palestinians”.
    Just thought that you might like to know that there are still a few voices like this in the evil MSM sometimes:

  83. Sorry Angrysoba, I barely find time to read the comments here, let only post comments, and alas even less times to follow-up all the links, which I’m sure will be very interesting; anyhow I leave you with this that you may (or may not!) find interesting;

    As far as can be determined by the historical record the earliest known inhabitants of the land known as Palestine, were the Philistines who lived in the costal areas, & the Canaanites who lived in town & villages further inland. These two people lived there at the same time, but were not related, as scholars now believe that the Philistines were ancient Greeks (from Crete), and the Canaanites were a Semitic people who spoke a northern Semitic language very similar to modern Arabic. Although the Philistines eventually seem to have left or disappeared (nobody is quite sure what happened to them), the land was named after them ,as Philistine is ancient Greek; much later when the Roman arrived they Latinised the name into Palestine (exactly the same way they transformed Odysseus into Ulysses, and countless other examples). By this time the area had already been invaded by Jewish tribes, as recorded in the Bible, who proceeded to slaughter the indigenous Canaanites, and occupy their land. After the Roman Period, only a small number of Jews remained, which allowed the native Canaanites to recover and once again dominate their ancestral homeland. With the coming of Islam & the Arab invasions, these indigenous Canaanites people mostly converted to Islam, and came to be known as “Palestinians”.

    Regarding Prof. Shlomo Sand’s book, called Matai ve’ech humtza ha’am hayehudi? (When and How Were the Jewish People Invented?; He researches lead him to conclude that the story of the Jews as a wandering and self-isolating nation of exiles from antiquity is nothing but “national mythology”, and that the present-day Palestinians are far more likely the descendants of the ancient Semitic people in Judea/ Canaan than the current predominantly Khazarian-origin Ashkenazi populace to which he & a large proportion of modern Israelis belong to. He argues that the Judaized Khazars constituted the main origins of the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe, speaking Yiddish, a language which is etymologically unrelated either to ancient Hebrew, or even to the language spoken by the very old Jewish community that existed in Germany even before the Middle Ages. This tallies to various DNA studies, such the extensive one by Ellen Levy-Coffman`s in 2005, (“A mosaic of people: the Jewish story and a reassessment of the DNA evidence”) which supports Sand’s book’s claims, as it concluded; “Jewish ancestry reflects a mosaic of genetic sources. While earlier studies focused on the Middle Eastern component of Jewish DNA, new research has revealed that both Europeans and Central Asians also made significant contributions to Jewish ancestry. Moreover, while the DNA studies have confirmed the close genetic interrelatedness of many Jewish communities, they have also confirmed what many suspected all along: Jews do not constitute a single group distinct from all others. Rather, modern Jews exhibit a diversity of genetic profiles, some reflective of their Semitic/Mediterranean ancestry, but others suggesting an origin in European and Central Asian groups. The blending of European, Semitic, Central Asian and Mediterranean heritage over the centuries has led to today’s Jewish populations.”

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