Tales of the Gold Casino

Jeb Bush – at barely over 10 percent in the polls – is acting as if he’s already putting his preppy $500 loafers up on the Oval Office desk. Forget Iowa, and to heck with New Hampshire – he’s off on a trip to Europe, where he’ll reportedly echo the real President’s egregious polemics aimed at Vladimir Putin. Bush III will touch down in Germany, Poland, and Estonia, where fears of a Russian invasion are being stoked to extort more “aid” from Uncle Sap Sam. “There needs to be clarity in Moscow that we’re serious about protecting the one alliance that has created enormous amounts of security and peace,” the heir to the throne told neocon jabberer Hugh Hewitt.

While this “security and peace” bonanza seems a bit overstated – after all, the alleged “threat” NATO was formed to deter has been out of business for over twenty years – the expansion of the alliance has created enormous amounts of profits for US arms manufacturers, who produce the weaponry required by NATO to upgrade the arsenals of aspiring member states.

Bush has jumped on board the bipartisan cold war revivalism that’s all the rage in Washington foreign policy circles, coming out for sending “defensive” weapons to Ukraine – that beacon of freedom where journalists who don’t toe the government line are arrested for “treason.”

Speaking of Ukraine …

A major feature of the Russophobia epidemic is the accusation hurled at Moscow that the country is “homophobic.” Of course, Jeb isn’t about to jump on that particular bandwagon, but it’s appealing to the “liberal” wing of the new cold warriors, as well as lavender neocons like Jamie Kirchick. The diminutive gay neocon activist once went on “Russia Today” wearing awfully cute rainbow suspenders and yelping about “the horrific environment of homophobia in Russia.” (Ironically, he was invited on the show to comment on the fate of gay US serviceman Bradley – now ChelseaManning, which he refused to do.)

What’s odd – but not really – is that we’ve heard nothing from Jamie about the 30 minute Gay Pride march held in Kiev recently. Why so short? Because the parade was attacked by thugs from “Right Sector,” a gang of neo-fascists whose leader, Dmytry Yarosh, is a member of Parliament and a special advisor to the supreme commander of the Ukrainian military. Right Sector has been officially incorporated into the Ukrainian army and its brigades are the backbone of the “anti-terrorist” military campaign now being waged against the population of east Ukraine.

Kiev Mayor Vitaly Klitschko tried to talk the Ukrainian gays out of marching, saying he could not ensure their safety, but they went ahead and marched – and were met by some terribly butch Right Sector skinheads, who proceeded to beat the crap out of them. This ended the festivities.

Surely this is an example of “the horrific environment of homophobia” in Ukraine, n’est ce pas? And yet Jamie has so far failed to appear on Ukrainian media in his rainbow suspenders, calling out Right Sector – and Klitschko. But then again, even Kirchick’s supply of self-righteousness appears to be limited, and he has to save it up for regimes of which he disapproves. A cheerleader for the Maidan “revolution” that ousted the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovich, Kirchick apparently holds Kiev to a different standard. But then again, double standards – and doubletalk – are what the neocons are all about.

While we’re on the subject of neocons …

As you probably know their devotion to Israel is exceeded by … well, nothing. It’s a neocon litmus test that when the national interests of the US collide with Bibi Netanyahu, the latter is always in the right. And nothing gets their gander up like the growing movement to boycott Israel. Jonathan Tobin, writing in the neocon flagship Commentary, ascribes the campaign to – surprise! – “anti-Semitism.” In the neocon lexicon, all efforts to underscore Israel’s apartheid system are “anti-Semitic,” because, as Tobin avers:

“Since it seeks to subject the one Jewish state in the world and its people to a standard that is not applied to any other nation, it is a form of discrimination that is indistinguishable from anti-Semitism.”

Tobin forgets the example of South Africa, which was subjected to a similar – and very successful – boycott campaign. And of course the US regularly imposes sanctions on countries whose governments fail to kowtow to Washington.

But as I said above: double-standards – and doubletalk – are central pillars of neoconservative thought. Tobin is a textbook example of this: he complains that the boycott movement is an effort to “bully” the Israelis into treating the Palestinians decently, but when it comes to real bullying – exemplified by an amendment to the trade bill, which passed the Senate recently, designed to “discourage” our trading partners, particularly the Europeans, from targeting Israeli “settlements” in the West Bank with trade sanctions and boycotts – he and his fellows neocons are all for it.

And that reminds me …

The deputy speaker of the Israeli Knesset has been “outed” as a former pimp, meth-head, and all-around class act:

“Deputy Knesset Speaker Oren Hazan allegedly used hard drugs and arranged escort services for clients at the casino he managed in Bulgaria before entering politics, according to a report on Channel 2 News….

“Hazan, a freshman Knesset member for the Likud party and a member of the Knesset’s foreign affairs and defense committee, allegedly ran a casino in the Bulgarian resort town of Burgas. A worker at the Gold Casino was quoted in the report as saying there were business ties between Hazan’s casino and the Red Rose strip club.

“‘The driver would come here and talk to me,’ the club manager told the reporter, on camera. ‘I would tell him the price and then he would take.’ She said Hazan would pay up front and then ride off with the women.

” … The manager of the Red Rose strip club told Channel 2 that Hazan was ‘the big boss’ and seemed surprised when told Hazan was now in politics.”

Surprised? Actually, this is the perfect résumé, for a politician, and particularly this one. Hazan, an ultra-nationalist and a favorite of the “settler” movement, defended the segregation of Palestinians on Israeli buses by claiming that “Israeli women face ‘rampant’ sexual advances of Palestinian workers on the transport into Israel.” Now if only they would emigrate to Bulgaria, where I hear they can satisfy their “rampant” urges by paying a visit to the Gold Casino.

Pay up, boys, or take a cold shower.

Speaking of the Israelis …

Their American amen corner suffered a defeat in the US Supreme Court, where a US citizen brought suit demanding the right to list Israel as the birthplace of his child who was born in Jersusalem.

The court struck down a law passed by Congress that would have allowed this. The status of Jersusalem is, of course, a major sticking point in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the Israel lobby has repeatedly mobilized the US Congress to pass legislation declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel since the Clinton years. And while the yahoo caucus in the GOP has been most vocal about this issue, the effort has enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support.

Every President since Clinton has tenaciously resisted this campaign, rightly arguing that moving the US embassy to the Holy and Hotly Contested City would torpedo US-brokered peace talks and endanger the national security. But when the Israel lobby and the US Congress get together, America’s national security interests are thrown under the (segregated) bus.

And that’s it for this edition of the Bizarro World Chronicles, where up is down, right is wrong, and evil reigns in Heaven.

NOTES IN THE MARGIN

You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.

I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).

You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo is editor-at-large at Antiwar.com, and a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He is a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and writes a monthly column for Chronicles. He is the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].