Washington’s next military crusade is beckoning

Published May 2nd, 2006 - 06:49 GMT

by Amr Ismail*

 

Washington’s hegemonic strategy made it the chief adversary of social progress, peace and democracy. Contradictions of America’s capitalism are getting sharper, and the language of force and total destruction is hardly absent from delivered statements by White House officials and some members of congress. Can we justifiably signal Israel for using the US as proxy for war and for its chief role in manipulating the American public?

 

There is a great sense of anticipation for what could transpire following the recent publication of  “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy” – an academic paper by two Harvard professors. What prompts John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt to come forward with their discussion on The Israel lobby and US foreign policy is likely their well deserved conviction that the Project of The American Century is not in the interest of the United States, and that the entire premise of a prolonged series of current and coming wars, interventions and nation building falls back on only one justification – securing Israel’s realm as advanced by AIPAC and other loosely coupled lobbying organizations on behalf of the tiny nation. The authors didn’t deny Christian Zionists’ their due credit and contribution.

 

The two distinguished realist academics bravely fingered AIPAC as the force behind foreign policy, and shrewdly cemented the validity of their assertions by generating exactly the kind of response and attacks they had anticipated prior to publishing. Both professors have long been well placed in and around the hallways of foreign policy, and they are well aware that anything remotely connected with the whole of the Middle East, whether to do with intelligence services, business interests or the likes is generated for the US lawmakers and politicians by Israel. It’s probably not that surprising to Mearsheimer and Walt to observe how little Americans know about the Middle East, or how far that little knowledge is distorted for the great majority of Americans.

 

Accusations of anti-Semitism, and critiques on the exclusion of corporate and imperial interests from the discussion were leveled against Mearsheimer and Walt; yet such accusations are anything but factual or objective, and critiques of exclusion deny the authors their right to closely examine the role of the lobby which, as events continue to unfold, appears to be the one behind the war trail the US is currently wading in. Hence, critics should start by examining facts related to the rush to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the follow up call for war on other countries in the region.

 

In fact, Mearsheimer and Walt’s discussion reveals, what to many is, the tip of the iceberg. Once AIPAC and its sister organizations are seen amongst their political and academic teammates, media affiliates, and corporate sponsors, one can envision how flawed and criminal policies that favor the tiny nation, particularly those damaging to US interests, are sold to Americans. AIPAC fundamentally differs from say a China lobby or the NRA; it is common that there is a dominant lobby within a given political structure, it is also common that a dominant lobby may represent only a fraction of the population; but what must not be tolerated is placing the interests of that lobby above national interests, which is treason. I recall that the first Cindy Sheehan’s televised comments sighted Israel as the reason and motivator for war in Iraq; it didn’t pick up steam then.

 

On Capitol Hill September 12, 2002 former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu testified before the House Government Reform Committee in a hearing entitled Conflict With Iraq, an Israeli Perspective. Natanyahu tutored House members on the benefits of adopting pre-emption attacks and on ignoring international law:

 

“Did Israel launch that preemptive strike (referring to Israel’s pre-emptive bombing of Iraq’s nuclear site in 1981) because Saddam had committed a specific act of terror against us? Did we coordinate our actions with the international community? Did we condition this operation on the approval of the United Nations? No, of course no. Israel acted because, it understood, we understood, that a nuclear- armed Saddam would place our very survival at risk. And today the United States must destroy the same regime because a nuclear-armed Saddam will place the security of our entire world at risk”.

 

“Today the United States must destroy the same regime because a nuclear-armed Saddam will place the security of our entire world at risk”. “Today, nothing less than dismantling his regime will do because Saddam's nuclear program has fundamentally changed in those two decades. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the sizes of washing machines that wan be hidden throughout the country”.

 

“So knowing this, I ask all the governments and others who oppose or question the president's plan to look at it from the other end of the logic: Do you believe that action can be taken against Saddam only after he builds nuclear bombs and uses them? And do the various criticisms, especially overseas, believe that a clear connection between Saddam and September 11 must be established before we have a right to prevent the next September 11? Well, I think not”.

 

Back in August NBC reporter Jim Miklaszewski alleged that Iran is smuggling arms to Sunni insurgents in Northern Iraq, Ladeen commented by saying “The Koran, whatever the particular exegesis employed, is no obstacle to tactical alliances, any more than Mein Kampf prevented...Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin from making alliances with their presumed mortal enemies when circumstances warranted”. Ladeen’s analysis, which is shared by other neocons and policy makers, alleges that Shia Iran chose to arm Iraqi Sunnis and not the Shia - their ideological brothers! There is no logic, common sense, or basis to this assumptive analysis; If Iran were to arm anyone in Iraq against the US, it would be the majority Shia, and if Iran were to choose sides in a sectarian conflict, it would still be the Shia. It’s noteworthy that Ladeen immediately ruled out the possibility of an existing or an emerging small terrorist cell sympathizing with the insurgency on the other side of the border, and accused Tehran flat out. Ladeen is the one amongst neocons with extensive expertise on Iran; his political philosophy is indelibly stamped in the minds of foreign policy makers:

 

"Change -- above all violent change -- is the essence of human history,"
"Creative destruction is our middle name. We do it automatically . . .. It is time once again to export the democratic revolution."

 

"Total war not only destroys the enemy's military forces, but also brings the enemy society to an extremely personal point of decision, so that they are willing to accept a reversal of the cultural trends,"

"The sparing of civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority . . .. The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people."

 

"No one I know wants to wage war on Iran and Syria, but I believe there is now a clear recognition that we must defend ourselves against them,"

 

Meanwhile, Jerry Falwell is making inroads with republicans and democrats alike to seek commitment and endorsement to war efforts, he can be seen in the friendly company of John McCain, Ted Kennedy, and the list is getting long. This is very significant, keeping in mind that Rev. Falwell, his followers and this White House administration firmly believe in and work towards blocking any peace efforts between Palestinians and Israelis. That puts the US on a head-on collision course with a Muslim world that is, simultaneously, pushing hard for Palestinian rights and a lasting peace in that region. It’s Mr. Falwell’s vision that America follows the path to destruction to achieve eternal salvation, paying no attention whatsoever to anything less than divine, and as he puts it himself to millions of Americans:

 

“I am fully expecting between now and the coming of the Lord that this world is going to experience a spiritual awakening unlike anything in the past. There is going to be an invasion of god on this planet, and changing of lives: real biblical evangelism. There is going to be a terrific harvest of souls somewhere between here and the Rapture. I believe that god’s role for America is a catalyst, that he wants to set the spiritual time bomb off right here. If that is the case, America must stay free. And for America to stay free we must come back to the only principles that god can honor: the dignity of life, the traditional family, decency, morality and so on. I just see myself as one to stand in the gap and, under God, with the help of millions of others, to bring the nation back to a moral standard so we can stay free in order that we can evangelize the world. And protect the Jews.”

 

"I think that Muhammad was a terrorist," "I've read enough of the history of his life, written by Muslims and non Muslims, to say that he was a violent man of war."

 

I wonder how know-it-all Karen Hughes would explain such undemocratic wisdom in a goodwill tour to the Muslim world!! or how would she execute the intended goal of the administration, which is to make Arabs and Muslims respect democracy in general and the US in particular?  Notably Hughes’s long serving mission prior to her appointment as goodwill ambassador, was to groom Bush junior for the presidency and to create his image. He emerged a president with the weakest command of language, and the least liked or respected in generations. And this week, Aljazeera polled its online readers and a majority, reflecting Arab public opinion, believes that Bush is waging a crusade against Islam. That’s Hughes’s other “mission accomplished”.

 

The DLC and leading democrats continue to play by the neocons’ rules. I also find the role played by an outspoken Murtha and the kind of attention he has been receiving from mainstream media to be illusive, especially taking into account, the more distinguished record of John Kerry, the foreign relations history of Joseph Biden, or the power and fiery character of Hilary Clinton. Was Murtha pushed on the public to divert attention from real war issues and to absorb the anger of many anti-war groups within his party? Clinton’s support for war on Iran and Kerry’s passivity seem to imply so. Last November Cheney, in a speech on “The Coming Victory” given at the Council on Foreign Relations and Policy quoted Joe Lieberman’ pro-war statements and conveyed lieberman’s solidarity to the neocon war project. By cheney’s account, working hand-in-glove with leading democrats on the “war on terror” couldn’t have been more harmonious. So who, in the US today, can seriously challenge this duopoly?

 

An impatient Rice declared yesterday on CBS that the US would go ahead and pre-emptively bomb Iran anyway if no progress were made in the ongoing talks and despite the IAEA report, which categorically stated that Iran is free of WMD’s.

 

It is North Korea that daringly announced it has WMD’s, not Iran;

 

It is Venezuela that threatened to cut oil supplies to the US when pressed, not Iran;

 

It is Pakistan that is run by a dictator who took power in a military coup, not Iran - a country with an elected president and an Islamic parliamentarian democracy;

 

It is both Norway and Iran that called for a new oil bourse that’s being rolled out to accept petro-euros next to petro-dollars;

 

It is the Sunnis in Iraq who run the insurgency against a US occupier, not the Shia who are aligned closely to Iran.

 

It is Israel who is a non-signatory country to the NPT, not Iran, a member of the NPT and one of the callers, together with the Arab league, for a WMD-free Middle East.

 

It is the US and Israel who have been naming Iran an axis of evil and have been threatening to pre-emptively bomb it (recall Cheney and Rumsfeld’s earlier statements about their ability to run simultaneous successful missions in different parts of the globe) whenever they feel like it, all before Iran’s current president was even elected!!

 

It was a former US presidential candidate and a White House mentor who openly called for the assassination of the elected leader of a sovereign nation – that happens to be a key energy supplier that offered much needed assistance during and after Katrina (a call that was denounced by the world but not the US government), not Iran, but Iran levels with the US when the latter escalates the rhetoric.

 

It is the insecurity, paranoia, and hype related to the geo-political tension and climate of fear created by the Bush administration that’s weighing on the oil market, not Iran, a member of OPEC, together with Saudi Arabia, they have been promptly meeting increased demand and filling up all shortages particularly ones from Iraq. One only needs to examine a chart of oil price movements in the past 5 years, stop at every noticeable volatile point to determine the right driver. Undoubtedly this volatility is the product of utter failure on the part of Pentagon planners’ to protect the country’s resources; today, Iraq oil output is nowhere near pre-war levels, not to mention the vacuum that has been created in an already reeling market. During the past five years events in Russia, Ukraine, Nigeria, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and in the United States have fundamentally changed business dynamics, and there are new rules creeping on Corporate Governance practices in that sector; the Bush administration appears to be ill positioned to influence markets or producers, as much as it was ill prepared in the way it overstated production quotas and dollars which would breakeven the cost of war – the long version war

 

But it is Iran who is the staunchest supporter of Palestinian rights, a strong ally to Lebanon’s HizbAllah – a parliamentarian Islamic political party, and a constant defender of Syrian’s right to sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Iran is very supportive of the new Hamas government, particularly as they denounced the use of violence and warmed up to an Arab sponsored solution.

 

That’s a good enough reason to blow Iran away – on behalf of Israel, until the last drop of American blood. Where is the exit?

 

It is an Israeli merry-go-round.

 

* Amr Ismail is a Canadian writer based in Brussels. He’s an independent business consultant. He studied social theory and holds a BA and a Masters in international business. Amr edits Leadaship.com


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