Let me start by some apologetics, albeit redundant, before getting on with this article.
One very well-known website insists that its contributors use as many references to other published articles in various media as possible. The readers then have the opportunity to bounce back and forth between multitudes of referenced articles, supposedly gaining greater confidence as to the credibility of the writer. Since I don't believe in that practice, I don't write for that website.
Overindulgence in quoting other sources of data works well for writers of PhD theses as the proof that enough research has been done in preparing the dissertation. This is an academic exercise and often even a requirement for writers of non-fiction books who are expected to use references, pro and con, to better demonstrate the author's position. But, anyone who has been involved in public speaking or writing on controversial issues will testify how futile it is to quote corroborating references to substantiate one's contentions.
Believe it or not, there are workshops and how-to manuals on ways of harassing and discrediting speakers and writers whose views the detractor might oppose. One of the most effective strategies is to question those references and sources of data and statistical information. The detractor could just as easily site references to other sources of data and statistics that contradict any position. The game then becomes proving in vain whose statistics or references are more credible! So, why even bother?
The bottom line remains the fact that what you say or write is basically your opinion. Those who choose to read your articles or attend your lectures usually accept that you have in fact done your homework and know what you are talking about, or they'd listen to Rush Limbaugh or read Charles Krauthammer.
NOW, TO THE TOPIC AT HAND:
On May 17th, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, held its annual meeting in Washington D.C. AIPAC, as the umbrella Israeli lobbying organization, has served the interests of Israel and the Jewish people diligently and effectively for some fifty years. A more appropriate acronym for this organization would have been IPAC, Israeli Political Action Committee.
This year the featured speakers included, first, Steny Royer the Democratic Minority Whip in the House, who rose to a rousing praise of Israel and the unequivocal support of Israel's regime and its policies. Then followed Rep. Tom Delay of Texas, the Republican Majority voice, who stopped just short of officially pledging allegiance to the Star of David. The high moment was the appearance and the speech by the President of the United States of America, whose remarks in support of the policies of the Likud government could have been dictated by the eloquent Benjamin Netanyahu himself.
I must admit I was a little nauseated by those performances. For a moment I wondered what country I was living in.
A few weeks ago, Senator John Kerry went on record announcing his full support for Israel, declaring that Israel can never find a stauncher supporter than this Democratic candidate for President of the United States.
As we have noticed, the support for Israel straddles all political movements in this country, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, etc. If you do not see or hear blatant pro Israel sentiments from those other camps, it is simply because they are not really running for any political office. Those who do, must!
Well now; Israel happens to be one of the smallest countries in the world, with a population of just over 5 million, and no natural resources such as oil and gas or strategic mineral deposits for others to lust over. Ever since its creation, Israel has been an economic drain, a bottomless pit, for the United States, with no end in sight. Strategically, Israel has served only one purpose for its benefactor; it has been the source of continuous agitation, instability and chaos, and now hatred in the world's main oil producing region. America's unquestioned support for Israeli policies has been the biggest, if not the sole, contributor to America's negative image in the minds of practically all Middle Easterners, Moslem and non-Moslem, as well as now even for the rest of the planet.
Of course, if America's strategic and economic interests in the Middle East with its oil reserves were better served by the perpetuation of such hostile atmosphere and unrest, a case could be made for this passionate attachment to the main source of all this agitation. I have been personally perplexed by this rationale for decades now.
So, why this kowtowing to the Israeli lobby by some of the highest ranking members of Congress and even the President? Analysts have often rationalized it by pointing to the fact that this is an election year and the Jewish vote can make or break any candidate's chances. Is this why John Kerry also jumped at the opportunity to join the ranks of Israel worshippers?
Here the problem is twofold: One way is to conclude that all those gestures of praise and support for Israel and its policies are no more than paying lip service to the powerful and influential Jewish lobby in order to gain its support, or at least to avoid being torpedoed by it in the upcoming elections. Another way to look at it is to believe in the genuineness and sincerity of those warmly expressed sentiments by our highest administration officials and hopefuls.
Either way, the whole picture seems very troubling indeed.
In the first case, we are led to believe that the Jewish interests must have an inordinate amount of influence on the affairs of state in this country. In other words, Interests of Israel and the Jewish people have a direct and consequential influence on the outcomes of the presidential and congressional elections in the world's most powerful nation, the United States of America. Here we have to concede that the tail does, in fact, wag the dog.
If that is really the case, it warrants further analysis. How is it, one might wonder, that just 1.3% of the population has such a stranglehold on the destiny of this nation? How is that possible? Could it be that the country's news and entertainment media, in other words the main sources of information and indoctrination for the American public, are somehow dominated by Jewish interests?
We know from experience that making such countercurrent, indeed counter cultural, statements categorizes one as a conspiracy theorist at best, and an anti-Semite at worst. Conspiracy theorists are rightly regarded as anti-intellectuals, and anti-Semites are, of course, correctly viewed as bigots or racists. So, how does one dare even ask such questions without being called a closed-minded bigot? This has, in fact, been the most effective weapon against those skeptical enquirers who stand up to ask such counter-intuitive questions.
The second alternative was that our Israel worshippers are honestly and genuinely supportive of that little state half-way around the world, and regard it as America's best friend and indispensable ally in that sea of hostility and turmoil.
Here, even more troubling questions might be raised. Assuming that Israel is truly America's one and only ally and an indispensable strategic asset safeguarding America's interest in the Middle East rationalizes much about our policies and involvements in that region. But this is one hell of an assumption that requires some deep thinking.
To make this case, the only rationale I could possibly muster is to conclude that agitation, instability and bloodshed in the Middle East do, in fact, promote America's best interests in that area of the world. This would inevitably lead to the conclusion that peace, democratic reforms and regional prosperity would alleviate the need for our military presence there and somehow jeopardize our control over the strategic resources of the Middle East. While one could take such a position, there are serious problems with that argument from an economic point of view. Question, therefore, one must ask is, would America's policies in the Middle East have been the same if the state of Israel were created somewhere in Poland or Ukraine?
Israel, of course, is not located in Poland or Ukraine, it is where it is and will stay where it is, and its antagonists better learn to deal with that fact. Furthermore, based on the historical precedents and the current state of political affairs, no sign looms in the horizon of America's Middle East policies to warrant any realistic expectations for a meaningful change in the foreseeable future. The recent addresses at the AIPAC gathering in Washington, as well as John Kerry's remarks, ensure the continuation of Washington's attitude in that regard.
Those who can see that America's strategies in the Middle East are not conducive to America's best interests have no option but to conclude that these policies are proving productive for the perceived interests of the state of Israel. In better words, America has been engaged in promoting Israel's agendas and fighting Israel's wars. Unless the cost of this blind, passionate attachment to this appendage half-way around the world becomes too high to bear, as it is currently being felt in our Iraqi quagmire, any criticism of this relationship or curbing of Israel's powerful lobby will be mercilessly bashed as anti-Semitic and conspiratorial, even anti-patriotic!
Ahmad Chalabi and his Iran connections may serve as a convenient diversionary tactic at this time to take the focus away from the real culprit. The real culprit is that shrewd fox that has been riding on the elephant's back, guiding and prompting it to step on and destroy its long list of enemies and antagonists. This fox has no incentive or intention to rest until all its detractors are somehow defused and rendered powerless, no matter at whose expense!
All those organizations listed by the State Department as terrorist, and counties that are regarded as sponsors of international terrorism or members of the axis of evil, are simply thorns on Israel's side. Not even Iraq posed any threat to America's safety or security. The little sycophant, Steny Royer, and the used-car dealer stereotype, Tom Delay, pointed to Iran as the real threat to America's security, deserving of a higher priority for preemptive attack than Iraq ever was.
America's increasingly more costly presence in Iraq has provided Israel with the perfect opportunity to intensify its campaign of terror against the Palestinian population. As the world unanimously condemns Israel for its barbarism, the White House and the State Department cautiously advise the Sharon government to show some restraint while quickly endorsing Israel's right to self-defense! Some restraint that is going to encourage!!
Once the task is accomplished the fox will look around for the next elephant, perhaps a bigger one, like the future global economic giant, China, to come along. Our diehard Israel worshippers better watch out; that day is not that far away!
... Payvand News - 5/28/04 ... --