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Emet m'Tsiyon

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Carter/Baker/Walt-Mearsheimer/Polk Assault on Israel Part I -- Who Is James Baker?

Baker, Carter, and their allies are not new at being Israel's enemies. What is new is the coordinated attack against Israel by certain wealthy and powerful Establishment personalities. Carter's receipt of funding from Arab potentates in the Persian Gulf is fairly well known. So are Baker's ties to Arab big money. However, Baker's background was not known to me before reading an article by Michel Gurfinkiel, "Report on Baker" [France-Israel Information, Oct-Nov-Dec 2006]. Gurfinkiel is on the editorial board of the French weekly newsmagazine, Valeurs Actuelles. Full disclosure: I met Gurfinkiel in Paris years ago and held lengthy talks with him].

His article is important both for his description of Baker's personal background and for his account of US policy towards Israel over the years. I will add information of my own to my excerpts from Gurfinkiel's article.

Baker was a close and trusted advisor of Bush Senior for many years. The Baker-Hamilton Commission
was mandated by Congress with White House assent. But it was managed by three private foundations, one of them Mr Baker's own foundation.
Joseph Farah, a Lebanese American journalist, called Baker "a legal pimp for Saudi Arabia" [World Net Daily, 8 December 2006]. True enough, in my opinion. But it doesn't go far enough.

James Addison Baker III is the heir of a law firm founded in 1840, when Texas was still an independent state by . . . [among others] Judge James Baker, first of the name.
In 1874, one of the partners
was named to the Texas Supreme Court, sold his shares to his partners, the firm taking the name Baker & Botts. In 2000 it became Baker Botts LLP
According to its official history on line [www.bakerbotts.com], the firm worked at first for the biggest fortunes in Texas, coming out of large estate agriculture: the kings of cotton, of rice, of sugar cane, and of wood. It later turned toward port activities and railroads. Starting in 1901, it specialized in oil. Among its clients: Humble Oil [forerunner of Exxon], Gulf Oil [which later incorporated Chevron], Texas Co. [today Texaco]. This is not to speak of Howard Hughes' oil drilling company, bought out by the Baker family and known today under the name of Baker Hughes.
In contrast to certain "conservatives" and advocates of "realism" in foreign policy, who see Baker as purely loyal to America, to the United States, supposedly unlike the Jewish lobby considered loyal to Israel, it might be accurate to view Baker as loyal to oil first, last, and always.
Born in 1930, James Addison Baker III followed in his youth the course of patricians: college at Princeton, miltary service in the Marines [he reached the rank of lieutenant], law school at the University of Texas, practicing law in the firm of friends, Andrews & Kurth.
But his passion was politics. As a good Texan, that is, a Southerner, he first belonged to the Democratic Party: the Republicans had, during the Civil War, been the party of Lincoln, hence the party of the anti-slavery North, while the Democrats were in fact for nearly a century, from the 1880s to the 1960s, the party of the South, vanquished then restored, where slavery was replaced by racial segregation.
This may characterize most Southern Democrats of that period but --to be fair-- not all Democrats in the country. However, jimmy carter and ramsey clark grew up in the thirties and forties in the South with racial segregation, often called jimcrow. Their families supported and most likely benefitted from that system, and belonged to the KuKluxKlan. Carter made racist statements while appealing for votes during his election campaigns in Georgia before running for president. Even then, in 1976, he made appeals to racist and segregationist sentiment [see earlier post]. Hence, it's especially galling to hear ramsey clark pretend to champion civil liberties [by befriending Khomeini and Saddam Hussein, inter alia] and to hear Carter smear Israel with the "apartheid" label. In this context, the crowd that applauded carter at Brandeis University [Brandeis was a Zionist, by the way] displayed stupidity and/or ignorance and/or moral corruption. Simply to applaud carter is morally corrupt. One of Carter's fakeries was --during the 1976 presidential campaign-- to pretend to be a poor, Southern country boy. That was part of his appeal at the time to an electorate fed up with the Washington politicians. But the people caught up with carter four years later and threw him out of office by a large margin of votes. Carter's denial of Jewish rights to live in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza, parts of the ancient Jewish homeland, is racist and represents an apartheid policy.

Back to Baker, when the Democratic presidents, Kennedy and Johnson, promoted black civil rights in the 1960s, ending legal racial segregation in the USA, the bulk of
Southern Whites passed over as a block to the Republican Party. James Baker followed this movement.
In his new party, he was first the campaign director for George HW Bush, a Republican patrician from New England transplanted into the South, who ran for the post of senator from Texas after two years in the House of Representatives. This first experience ended quickly. Bush Senior had been in the 1960s a partisan of racial segregation and of the death penalty for "recidivist homosexuals." On the threshold of the 1970s, he displayed a more moderate face, that of a "classic Republican." That did not convince the liberal Texans --including the black electorate, which was now important. But it prevented him from mobilizing his old friends of the extreme right.
I state at this point that Eliyah m'Tsiyon does not believe in primitive, misleading notions and labels like "right" and "left." To continue:
In spite of this failure, Bush Senior and Baker became friends. They have the same sensibilities, the same reflexes. And the same interests in the Texas oil industry.
. . . .
. . . in 1980, he directed Bush Senior's campaign in the Republican primaries. He failed again. The "classic Republican" was beaten by Ronald Reagan, a populist Republican and --already-- a "neo-conservative."
Serving in the Reagan administration, Baker and his sponsor, Bush Senior, took anti-Israel positions, whereas Reagan, Cheney, Alexander Haig, and George Shultz were considered pro-Israel. Meanwhile, the law firm of
Baker Botts was one of the official legal representatives of Saudi Arabia in the United States.
[to be continued]
- - - - - -
Coming: More on Baker/Carter, more on propaganda, peace follies, Jews in Jerusalem, etc.


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