Saturday, July 05, 2003

The United States has a completely unhealthy relationship with Israel, and people are starting to notice it and write about it. The control of ultra-Zionist 'American' neocons over American foreign policy in the Middle East has brought the issue into focus, and the disaster that Iraq is rapidly becoming may in fact finally end the relationship. In the early 60's, Israeli politicians decided that Israel needed the United States as a sponsor in order to further their project of a Greater Israel, a project which involved taking a dangerously aggressive line with Israel's neighbors. Kennedy was more or less uncooperative (and, although I don't agree, some people think he was assassinated because of it), but they had much more luck with Johnson, and really hit the jackpot with Kissinger. The excuse for the relationship was that Israel would serve as the American bastion against the influence of the USSR in the Middle East. It is impossible to imagine now, but until the early 90's there was always a very strong pro-Arab influence over American politics, led by the influence of the big oil companies (you can see the transformation in George Shultz, who has gone from being extremely pro-Arab in the 80's to a browbeaten supporter of the Likud position now). The relationship has always been carefully managed, and the most interesting aspect of it was the smooth handoff at the end of the Soviet Union, when the basis of American support for Israel went seamlessly from Israel being a bulwark against Soviet influence to Israel being a bulwark against Islamic fundamentalism. The transformation was begun in the 1980's by the demonization of, amongst others, Ghadaffi, and of course continues to this day with the constant fascination with bin Laden and al-Qaeda. It is no coincidence that the Gulf War occurred right after the fall of the Soviet Union, no coincidence that the Palestinians were forced into a bad deal in the Oslo Accords, and no coincidence that the Likudniks used the Oslo Accords as a method of building up the settlements in the Occupied Territories while the Palestinian Authority had to suppress the natural reaction of the Palestinian people to the settlements. The neocons have been planning the takeover of American foreign policy for at least a decade, and the war on Iraq is the first stage in their plan to create total Israeli dominance in the Middle East based on overwhelming military force, with all the dying and expenditures assumed by the United States. The methodology was to fit the attack on Iraq into preexisting categories of American interest: the oil companies who want the oil and the oil development contracts, other American companies who want the reconstruction contracts, the military-industrial complex who want war and the profits that can be derived from war, the traditional conservatives who want to establish an American Empire, and those who can be easily fooled into thinking that the attack on Iraq is part of the war against terror after the 'Pearl Harbor' of 9-11. The real Likudnik reason for the attack is buried under everything else, and the rest of the world is treated to the spectacle of the greatest power in the world being led around by the nose for the interests of a tiny group in a tiny country. The Americans have now gotten themselves in a hole in Iraq which they can never get out of, a hole which will cost the lives of thousands of Americans, hundreds of billions of dollars of money from the pockets of American taxpayers, a future of continuous terrorist attacks on America and American interests, and the enmity of the rest of the world. Will the American people eventually come to realize who they have to thank for this mess? Wouldn't it have been easier just to let the Palestinians have their own country in the Occupied Territories?