Saturday, September 8, 2012

Israel Cracks the Whip

By now, we should all be used to the idea that no one has a chance of being nominated for president by either of the major parties without first having been vetted by Israel, and, being found worthy, received the Zionist Seal of Approval. We have become so accustomed to this historically-unprecedented situation that we just take it for granted, and nary a voice of protest is raised when the proceedings are described in grotesque detail in the mainstream media.

I describe the situation as “historically unprecedented”, but that's not quite true. If we adopt a colonial model, it fits quite well, in fact. The old European colonial powers were fond of putting up puppets and empty suits as “leaders” of their colonies – ones who would have some credibility with the natives, since they were of that extraction. But in fact, these puppets were servants of the colonial powers, and cared little or not at all for the welfare of their fellow countrymen. Even in cases where there was the semblance of an election, you can be sure that all of the “viable” candidates came from the same source, i.e. the vetting process on the part of the colonialists. And the servitude of the selected figurehead was carried out in many forms – diplomatic, political, economic, social... even spiritual.

And so it is in this case – again, if we adopt the colonial model with Israel as the colonial power and us as the colony. And are they not, in fact, our diplomatic, political, and economic masters... and do they not have a lot to say about even our society and our religious practices? I used to think the best model was that of Israel being the 51st state, but I realized that was much too conservative – we would never devote this level of resources to any one state, to say nothing of relying on it as our main source of foreign policy.

So what is remarkable in all this is not, after all, the fact of a colonizer and a colony; these pairings have been around throughout most of recorded history. What is remarkable is the means by which the situation came about. Israel did not take us by force of arms, or even economically in the direct sense. The deed was accomplished almost entirely through diplomacy – but not without plenty of, let's say, economic and political “incentives” (including, I imagine, a good deal of bribery and blackmail). And of course there had to be plenty of what is called “softening up the battlefield” -- the primary weapon in that case being the Holocaust narrative (which I have, in previous posts, characterized as a “true myth”). Falling all over ourselves in the late 1940s to accommodate the Jews, who had been through so much, did not seem unreasonable – and the diplomatic folly that accompanied it was not recognized as folly at the time, nor is it recognized as such to this day, except by a very few. And yet when you look at the “War on Terror”, and our uneasy (at best) relations with the Islamic world, that's where it all started. So the costs of our “eternal alliance” with Israel are incalculable, and increasing with every passing day... and yet the reaction of our leaders, politicians, and major parties is to simply direct more of our national wealth toward this cause (and “cause” is the right word, since it makes absolutely no sense from a pragmatic/realistic point of view).

This is the baseline which must form the basis for any realistic discussion of Israel, the Near East, the Middle East, and terrorism – and, for that reason, is universally ignored by politicians and the media. Any “intractable” diplomatic, economic, or social problem can be traced to some form of dogmatism or rigid thinking on the part of the people involved – a failure of imagination, or of “thinking outside the box”. There are countless Gordian Knots scattered across the American landscape waiting for some Alexander to come along and cut them, ignoring the niceties of politics – but I see no such person anywhere in the political landscape outside of the paleoconservative ranks... and they aren't allowed to get anywhere near any of our real problems on the off chance that they might solve them.

So with that as background, let us consider the latest gambit on the part of our friendly enemy – the accusation that we are, somehow, secretly negotiating with Iran and promising to not get involved if Iran is attacked by Israel. Now granted, this report came out in an Israeli newspaper – but what are the chances that the Israeli press is any more independent, and any less a servant of the regime, than the American press is? Slim to none, I'd say. In other words, if it wound up in an Israeli paper it wound up there for a reason – just as any pro-government article in the New York Times or the Washington Post would. It would, at the very least, constitute a “feeler” or “trial balloon”, designed to get a reaction or to accomplish something diplomatically or in terms of public relations.

So what, then, would be the point of an accusation like this? First we have to consider alternative cases, such as: (1) It's not true, and the accusers know this; (2) It's true, and the accusers know that; or (3) The accusers aren't certain. In the first case, the point would be to, by accusing them of something that is not (yet) the case, warn Obama and his State Department, AKA Hillary's Playhouse, to not even think about negotiating, or making any sort of deal, with Iran. Which is another way of telling Obama & Co. not to wander off the reservation at this critical time (as if there was ever a non-critical time for Israel) – which reflects the chronic paranoia of the Israelis, since when has any American president or his administration ever wandered off the reservation? Never, as far as I know – but it never hurts to yank on the choke chain now and then just to remind everyone who's boss.

I think we can dismiss the second case (It's true, and the accusers know that) simply because we have not spoken a word to Iran since the hostage crisis... and, as far as I know, don't intend to. The hostage-taking was an act even more inexcusable than Cuba going communist – and we know how that served to rigidify our relations with Cuba for all these many years. Besides, what possible utility would secret negotiations with Iran have? They've been trying to provoke a war with us and Israel for years now... they have their reasons, I suppose (or, alternatively, are totally insane)... and what could we possibly tell, or promise, them that would serve to modify their behavior? Furthermore, doing anything behind Israel's back (1) is impossible, owing to the skills of their intelligence service and the fact that they have agents scattered throughout our government; and (2) would violate our repeated “BFF” pledges of eternal alliance, etc. Unconditional commitment to Israel is, possibly, the most profound and deeply-rooted element of our international and diplomatic identity and self-image, and we're simply not going to allow it to be threatened by any sort of momentary expediency, even should one be perceived to exist.

As to the third case (The accusers aren't certain) – once again, there are ample reasons for bringing us back into line now and then, even when we haven't stepped out of line. See, ultimately, the Israelis don't trust us. We may be a good and loyal servant, who never openly rebels, but... who knows what evil lurks in our goyish hearts? Even “trusties” in a prison get locked up at night. And besides, America is full of all sorts of suspicious characters, all of whom are likely to be “anti-Semitic” just below the surface, if not on it. Think about “white supremacists”, Klansmen, American Moslems, Catholics... even some black people (“After all I done for you”... etc.)! And how about those “haters”, the paleocons? And the libertarians, who might be neutral when it comes to race and religion, but who tend to be isolationist when it comes to foreign affairs? Surely we can't have that. So no, the United States can't be trusted – especially when it has a president who might be half Moslem... or something.

But let's not overlook the extent to which the story might make sense. Supposedly, we offered Iran our non-involvement in an attack by Israel in order to keep Iran from attacking our “interests” in the Gulf. Well... what are our interests in the Gulf? Oil, certainly – but mainly strategic interests centered on our alliance with Israel. So we're telling Iran that we won't join Israel in attacking them as long as they don't attack our resources that only exist in order to support Israel? I hope some wise mufti in Iran can make sense of this, 'cause I sure can't. If Iran sees – correctly – our foreign policy and Israel's as one and the same, then it can – also correctly – see Israel's military resources and ours as one and the same. So what sense would it make for them to hold off on retaliating against our “interests” when those interests are also the interests of Israel?  Presumably someone in the Obama administration – yes, even there! -- is realistic enough to realize this.

It is amusing, however, to see Israel cracking the whip at this very delicate time in our political life – i.e. that quadrennial season when we go through the motions of a “democratic process” and pretend that the American citizen actually has a voice in who our next figurehead will be. This is a drama that, for all its absurdity, is held sacred, and any threatened disturbance is greeted with great apprehension. There is always talk of an “October surprise”, for example – a dirty trick of some sort that one party plays on the other in order to insure victory. But what if the October surprise comes from outside our borders – from overseas? And from an “ally” to boot? Now surely that would be a most indelicate and etiquette-defying thing. So the very threat of something like that is enough to get our politicians' attention, regardless of content, truth value, or ultimate consequences.

There is another nuance to this business, however, that it would be wrong to overlook. An Israeli official, in response to the allegations, opined that “There would be no need to make such a promise to the Iranians because they realize the last thing they need is to attack U.S. targets and draw massive U.S. bombing raids.” But do the Iranians realize this? Seems doubtful, otherwise why would they have been provoking us for years, defying us, and practically inviting an attack? We have to remember that Islamists are not afraid of death; they glory in it, in fact. And they are not concerned with civilian casualties except as propaganda and recruiting tools (which means, the more the better). They have already seen the effect of our invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan – only a strengthening of resistance and of radical Islam. So why not join the fun? Why not provoke an attack, then once attacked use that to further energize Islamic resistance to Western invasion, occupation, meddling, and economic imperialism? We gave Iraq and Afghanistan all we had in the way of conventional weaponry, and they still fought back; what are we going to do, nuke Tehran? Even that might not work. So no, the reasoning of the Israeli official makes sense if one possesses a “Western” mind set about these things... but to the inscrutable Arab/Islamist mind it's just crazy talk. And it's this lack of comprehension, in fact, that has proven such a barrier to our success (by any normal standard) in that region – not that we were necessarily looking for success, but still...

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