Monday, July 07, 2003

A conspiracy theorist should always look for the conspiracy at the highest power level possible. While it is interesting to discover who pulled the trigger, and more interesting to discover who planned the operation which led to the trigger being pulled, and perhaps even more interesting to discover who was involved in the cover-up, the most interesting discovery is who in the power elite set the whole operation into motion. I have been writing nasty things about the neocons and their unhealthy and treasonous influence on the foreign policy of the United States. I firmly believe that their ultra-Zionism is leading the United States deeply astray, probably into disaster, and all for the interests of a tiny group in Israel who don't even have the interests of the majority of Israelis in mind. Having said that, I am also convinced that the influence of the Israeli lobby on American politics is overstated. If you look at the highest level of the conspiracy, it is clear that American policy towards Israel is predicated on the interests of the American power elite. Indeed, the interest shown over what is regarded as the inordinate power of the Jewish lobby serves to cover the fact that American policy towards Israel benefits the highest American elites, and no amount of lobbying would work if American policy towards the Middle East didn't benefit these American power brokers. Keeping the Middle East conflict going provides great benefits for those in positions of power in the United States:

  1. It provides uncertainty in the area of the oil fields, thus artificially raising the price of oil, which benefits multinational oil companies, American independent producers, and American oil-field service companies.

  2. It provides a market in both Israel and its Arab enemies for huge purchases of American arms, which are paid for, in the case of Israel, out of the American taxpayer dollars given to Israel (thus representing a direct transfer of American taxpayer dollars to American arms manufacturers), and in the case of the Arabs, out of some of the profits made on the sale of the oil.

  3. It provides the basis for the protection racket which the United States runs in the Middle East, where the deal is that the oil producers will reinvest most of their oil profits in America (this reinvestment is more important than the fact that the oil is priced in dollars, but the deal also covers the implicit agreement to sell oil for American dollars only), thus creating the turbocharged economy we have seen in the last twenty years, in return for the promise of American protection of the corrupt elites in these oil producing countries (the recent attack on Vinnell in Saudi Arabia represents the tip of this iceberg). You can just see the American ambassador walking up to the palace of some Arab sheikh and saying: "Nice palace you got here - it would be a shame if anything were to happen to it."

  4. It ensures that ideas contrary to the interests of the American elites such as nationalization of the oil industry are never even considered.

  5. It puts the United States and the interests of its elites constantly in the forefront in the whole Middle East.

While the neocon attack on Iraq was clearly manipulated to benefit the interests of the Israeli Likudniks, it would never have been allowed to happen if it did not also benefit the highest levels of the American military-industrial complex (whose interests, needless to say, differ greatly from the interests of the vast majority of the American population). The cleverness of the neocon strategy was to fit their plans within the framework of the interests of traditional American power. Similarly, the fact that Sharon seems to control Bush is misleading, as Sharon's policies are those which will lead to constant Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which is exactly what the American power structure wants. It is rare, but not unheard of, for people to see through the fog that has been created to hide what is really going on.