Monday, July 28, 2008

Black Milk Blues: Elite Power and the Efficacy of Force

Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 27 July 2008
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7a/Israel_us_flags.jpg/200px-Israel_us_flags.jpg
I.
A reader offers an intriguing comment below:

[Referring to a previous post on Israel and the United States, "Shep" writes]: Interesting perspective, Chris… One thing I don't understand, though, is how the destruction of the American financial system (which is well on its way to occurring, aided by the humongous war-related expenses) serves the interests of the "Old American Establishment". I can see that the Zionist Jews might not be as emotionally invested in the weakening of the US, simply because America isn't their country.

Is the key the fact that the Establishment simply sees that the entire "Western Industrial Society" Ponzi scheme is about to collapse of its own weight, and are sucking up as much of the country's money and property as possible? Or perhaps is the real reason the prevalence of the apocalyptic "End-timers" who are pushing for a final, violent conflagration in the Middle East to fulfill their misguided notions of biblical prophesy, to herald the rapture? Or maybe the eugenicists, who want to see many, many less people on the planet, see this as an opportunity to drastically cut back on the flow of oil around the globe and thus engender mass genocide?

Again, I don't doubt that the reasoning in your post is solid but what is the overarching reasons for the current apocalyptic world trend? In short, who is driving the bus off of the cliff, and why?

Pertinent questions indeed. Here is my attempt at a reply:

First, I don't believe that the American financial system is about to collapse -- certainly not to the extent that it will actually harm the power and privilege of those on the very top, whether these be the "Old American Establishment" or new-style war-profiteers, etc. Of course we have already seen vast ruin and great suffering caused by the economic turmoil generated to a large degree by the endless Terror War. But who is suffering from it? Not the managers and operators of the great financial houses, who get bailed out by the government or escape the collapse of their institutions in golden parachutes. They live on in comfort and safety to gouge and exploit another day.

And not the bribed and greased politicians whose policies create such a fertile environment for economic predators. Every now and then some bottom-feeding goober like Curt Weldon gets caught up in the net for being too obviously greedy -- but what of the bipartisan legislative leadership that over the past several decades have cultivated this toxic, predatory environment, with perfectly legal, finely-crafted laws written for them by corporate lobbyists? They go on to fat-cat careers as lobbyists and consultants, or they run for president, or they sit on corporate boards, or they go home and play golf. When they are in office, they (and their successors) protect the system they have nurtured and tendered; they won't let it "collapse."

Again, this is not to deny that millions -- perhaps even tens of millions – of people will end up in very dire straits, losing houses, losing jobs, losing insurance, going hungry. This is not to deny that businesses will fold, whole industries could be rolled up like a carpet, and communities will languish and fade or die. But we have seen all this before, and the wealth and privilege of our monied elites didn't disappear; neither did their means of acquiring more wealth and power.

You ask why the old American Establishment would acquiesce in policies that "weaken the United States." But I think the underlying assumption of this question is unsound. It implies that the common good – the welfare and well-being of individual, non-elite American citizens – is somehow synonymous with the strength or success of the United States in the eyes of our elites. But this is not true, and never has been. They identify "American interests" solely with what benefits their own kind. They equate American "strength" with the ability to kill large numbers of people at short notice whenever they desire, and to bully and humiliate those they don't kill into submission, in some form or other.

The American state still retains these capabilities, and our elites are quite willing to see tens of millions of their fellow citizens go down the tubes in order to keep this gargantuan war-and-extortion machine going. To our elites, this ruination is not a "financial collapse," because their wealth and privilege remains intact, the markets remain intact, and if a bit of bother shaves a few decimal points from their fortunes, they will make it up later. And in what sense has the United States actually been "weakened," in their understanding, by the Terror War? The same nations that always jumped to America's tune still do so. Those that are powerful enough to put up some resistance do so, as they have always done. "Oh, but we've lost so much influence with our allies," some people say -- as if Europe is not as cowed as it's always been. "Oh, but a lot of them wouldn't join us in the Iraq War, because Bush is such a boor, a bully, etc." The fact is, of the four largest European powers, two of them, Britain and Italy, did join in the military invasion of Iraq, while the other two, Germany and France, cut no ties with the United States, took no action to stop or protest the war whatsoever; they just didn't send troops to Iraq. (They did send them to Afghanistan, where they are now killing civilians at an admirable clip.) So what? Britain didn't send troops to fight with America in Vietnam. Was that because we had lost so much influence and respect in Europe in the 1960s?

I live in Europe, and I honestly haven't seen any genuine, substantial loss of "respect" -- i.e., fear -- regarding American economic and military power among the European elites. Yes, Bush is deeply unpopular here; but again, so what? Have European nations proposed sanctions against America as a "rogue state" which launched a wanton act of aggression against another country? Have they banned Bush officials from visiting European states, as they have done with, say, the regime in Zimbabwe? Have they launched massive disinvestment campaigns to disassociate themselves from the gang of criminals in Washington? They have done of these things. They have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to harm or hinder in any practical way the agenda of America's elites. So where then is the "weakening" of American power on the world scene -- in real-life terms, not poll ratings?

All of this is just my opinion of course, but I honestly think that this idea that the American power structure is about to collapse is just a fantasy. Again, this is not to say that great suffering -- and horrific blowback -- are not in store for the ordinary American citizen. Many fierce chickens are coming home to roost, from both our rapacious foreign policy and our predatory economic policies. And yes, in human terms, in moral terms, in terms of our dreams of and aspirations toward a world that is more just, more humane, more peaceful and more civilized, the Terror War – along with its elder brother, the decades-long, multitrillion-dollar militarization and brutalization of American society known as the Cold War – have both weakened the United States. But as I noted above, our elites don't think in those terms; that is not how they measure the success or failure of American policy.

And so they keep pushing on. Not because they are trying to load up before the inevitable Ponzi scheme ends, and not because they're trying to bring on the Rapture or reduce the population. No, they are plowing ahead with their agenda for one reason: because they believe it will work. They believe that, in the end, they will be able to impose, by force and threat, a geopolitical situation in which American power will remain the vastly dominant force in world affairs. They are moving ahead with their agenda of force because they believe that force works.

And they believe this because history shows that force often does work; in fact, their own history shows that it can work. For example, wasn't it so terrible that the Native Americans were dispossessed of their lands and resources by aggressive war, brutal "counter-insurgency" campaigns, ethnic cleansing and deceit? Wasn't that just awful? Why, these days you can even find rock-ribbed Republicans and Terror War stalwarts who will work up a tear or two for what happened to the poor old Indians. But so what? It worked. We got the land. We got the resources. We built unimaginable fortunes from them. And all Americans have for many decades enjoyed the fruits of the genocidal decimation of the Indian peoples.

The same thing with slavery. Wasn't it just too terrible for words, what happened to the poor Africans? Sold, chained, killed, in their millions? But the force and brutality worked, didn't it? On both sides of the Atlantic, there are respected and venerable institutions, huge family fortunes, whole cities and regions whose modern prosperity is founded squarely on the slave trade and its associated enterprises.

Likewise, the Israeli dominationists believe that they can, in the end, win through by force; that they can subdue the Palestinian people, they can cow and break the Arabs and the Persians -- or at least overawe them with force and the ever-present threat of force. And they believe this not because they want to destroy the world, but because they think it will work. And as neither the American nor the Israeli militarists care what happens to the actual human beings in their own countries or in their designated targets -- and as they themselves will be insulated from the consequences of their policies in any case -- then the game of war and domination seems worth the candle. Why not give it a try? What's the harm? Especially for the Americans. Because whatever the final result, the game itself is so immensely profitable. Just look at how much wealth and state power has accrued to the Terror War masters and their cronies in the last few years. (And you can multiply that by the decades of Cold War profit for the military-industrial complex.)

II.
But of course the real secret is that the game will never end. There is no finish line, no stopping point. Empires rise and fall, and elites always try to assert their dominance, they always try to be top dog -- and they have always, always, seen how much power and profit there is to be had in war and rumors of war. So "who is driving the bus off the cliff?" We are: human beings, in thrall to the base motives of our imperfect, chaotic monkey-brains. I wrote about this theme several years ago, taking off from a couple of recent atrocities at that time in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

Why [did these things happen]?

They would have us believe it is because Ishmael warred with Jacob. They would have us believe it is because this or that Divine Will requires it. They would have us believe it is because ethnicity or nationality or religion or some other arbitrary accretion of history and happenstance must override both the innumerable commonalities of all human beings and the radical, irreplaceable uniqueness of each individual.

They would have us believe anything other than the truth: that everyone and everything will die; that all nations, ethnicities, religions and structures will fall away into rubble, into nothingness, and be forgotten; and that even the planet itself will be reduced to atoms and melt away, like black milk, into the cold deeps of empty space. And in the face of this truth, nothing matters ultimately but each specific, fleeting instance of individual being, the shape we give to each momentary coalescence of atomic particles into a particular human situation.

That's all we have. That's all there is. That's what we kill when we murder someone. That's what we strangle when we keep them down with our boot on their throat...

Is it not time to be done with lies at last? Especially the chief lie now running through the world like a plague, putrescent and vile: that we kill each other and hate each other and drive each other into desperation and fear for any other reason but that we are animals, forms of apes, driven by blind impulses to project our dominance, to strut and bellow and hoard the best goods for ourselves. Or else to lash back at the dominant beast in convulsions of humiliated rage. Or else cravenly to serve the dominant ones, to scurry about them like slaves, picking fleas from their fur, in hopes of procuring a few crumbs for ourselves.

That's the world of power – the "real world," as its flea-picking slaves and strutting dominants like to call it. It's the ape-world, driven by hormonal secretions and chemical mechanics, the endless replication of protein reactions, the unsifted agitations of nerve tissue, issuing their ignorant commands. There's no sense or reason or higher order of thought in it – except for that perversion of consciousness called justification, self-righteousness, which gussies up the breast-beating ape with fine words and grand abstractions....

Beyond the thunder and spectacle of this ape-roaring world is another state of reality, emerging from the murk of our baser functions. There is power here, too, but not the heavy, blood-sodden bulk of dominance. Instead, it's a power of radiance, of awareness, connection, breaking through in snaps of heightened perception, moments of encounter and illumination that lift us from the slime.

It takes ten million forms, could be in anything – a rustle of leaves, the tang of salt, a bending blues note, the sweep of shadows on a tin roof, the catch in a voice, the touch of a hand, a line from Mandelshtam. Any particular, specific combination of ever-shifting elements, always unrepeatable in its exact effect and always momentary. Because that's all there is, that's all we have – the moments.

The moments, and their momentary power – a power without the power of resistance, defenseless, provisional, unarmed, imperfect, bold. The ape-world's cycle of war and retribution stands as the image of the world of power; what can serve as the emblem of this other reality? A kiss, perhaps: given to a lover, offered to a friend, bestowed on an enemy – or pressed to the brow of a murdered child.

Both worlds are within us, of course, like two quantum states of reality, awaiting our choice to determine which will be actuated, which will define the very nature of being – individually and in the aggregate, moment by moment. This is our constant task, for as long as the universe exists in the electrics of our brains: to redeem each moment or let it fall. Some moments will be won, many more lost; there is no final victory. There is only the task.

So do we counsel fatalism, a dark, defeated surrender, a retreat into bitter, curdled quietude? Not a whit. We advocate action, positive action, unstinting action, doing the only thing that human beings can do, ever: Try this, try that, try something else again; discard those approaches that don't work, that wreak havoc, that breed death and cruelty; fight against everything that would draw us down again into our own mud; expect no quarter, no lasting comfort, no true security; offer no last word, no eternal truth, but just keep stumbling, falling, careening, backsliding, crawling toward the broken light...

And what is this "broken light"? Nothing more than a metaphor for the patches of understanding – awareness, attention, knowledge, connection – that break through our darkness and stupidity for a moment now and then. A light always fractured, under threat, shifting, found then lost again, always lost. For we are creatures steeped in imperfection, in breakage and mutation, tossed up – very briefly – from the boiling, chaotic crucible of Being, itself a ragged work in progress toward unknown ends, or rather, toward no particular end at all. Why should there be an "answer" in such a reality?

That is my general opinion of the human predicament. But back to specifics for a moment: although the American Empire assuredly will one day melt away like "black milk" (the phrase, of course, comes from Paul Celan), it seems to me that at this time the American power structure is no immediate danger of collapsing in any way that will greatly harm the position of our elites. For in addition to the "conventional" war machine that dwarfs all others in the world, behind every twist and turn of American policy -- no matter which party happens to be in office-- lies the overwhelming threat of nuclear destruction on a global scale. No other country, not even Russia, can match that power. No other country, except America, has ever used that power.

It is like a man who keeps a loaded pistol in his hand, with his finger on the trigger, at all times, no matter what he is doing: negotiating a business deal, going to a ball game, playing with his children, shopping at the supermarket, making love to his wife. It's always there; he doesn't have to mention it, he doesn't have to point to it -- everyone gets the message, everyone feels the threat. As long as the American elite have the weapon of overwhelming nuclear destruction in their hand, their power and influence is not going to fade very much -- no matter how many Americans go under financially, or are killed in the elites' endless wars or in the blowback from their murderous adventures.


And that's another reason why the game will go on. The elites in other nations not only covet that kind of power, they also feel they have to protect themselves, and their own positions of wealth and privilege, from it. In the long run, things look grim for the home team -- that is us, the human race -- but despair is not an answer either. No one knows what will happen -- or indeed, what can happen -- as our race tumbles forward through time. And so I ended that earlier piece thusly:

This and this alone is the only "ideology" behind these writings, which try at all times to fight against the compelling but ignorant delusion that any single economic or political or religious system – indeed, any kind of system at all devised by the seething jumble of the human mind – can completely encompass the infinite variegations of existence. What matters is what works – what pulls us from our own darkness as far as possible, for as long as possible. Yet the truth remains that "what works" is always and forever only provisional – what works now, here, might not work there, then. What saves our soul today might make us sick tomorrow.

Thus all we can do is to keep looking, working, trying to clear a little more space for the light, to let it shine on our passions and our confusions, our anger and our hopes, informing and refining them, so that we can see each other better, for a moment – until death shutters all seeing forever.

Source: http://www.chris-floyd.com/

*************************************

Dogs of War: Hijacking National Policy
Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 27 July 2008
There is always much talk in the blogosphere (and elsewhere) of the Israeli tail wagging the American dog. As we have often noted here, there are many figures on the anti-war side who seem to believe that the owners and operators of the gargantuan American war-and-empire machine -- people like the Bushes, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, just to name a few prominent players of current and recent times -- are basically decent, amiable, honest doofuses whose noble aspirations and good intentions have been subverted and perverted by a gaggle of wily Jews. America's foreign policy -- and its military might -- have been hijacked by the Israelis and their many agents of influence in the U.S. power structure, we're told.

The ultimate implication of such a belief -- although this conclusion is rarely stated publicly by the Wag-Dog contingent -- is that if it were not for the sneaky Jews, the U.S. government would never have waged a war of aggression in Iraq and would not be plotting another one against Iran. Time and again we're told that the American elite are acting against their own interests, that they are being hoodwinked by a foreign power into doing things they would never have done on their own.

As we've discussed at length elsewhere, this is a ludicrous, insupportable and historically ignorant viewpoint -- as well as a desperate (if usually unconscious) attempt to cling to a deeply ingrained idea of American exceptionalism: we wouldn't do those kinds of things, we must have been tricked into it by some sinister, sneaky, alien element. [Another version of the same viewpoint holds that America's government leaders are not amiable doofuses but corrupt traitors who have been bought with Jewish gold. But again this is just American exceptionalism in disguise: our system would never produce war criminals and mass murderers in high places on its own; if the Jews hadn't bribed the Administration and Congress, then America would never have gone to war in the Middle East. To which history gives the only possible reality-based reply: Yeah, right.]

But while it's understandable that people would seek to blame outsiders for the crimes committed by their own nation -- even to the extent of believing that a minor country could somehow force the overlords of a great empire to act against their own will -- it's odd that almost no one considers the opposite [and blatantly obvious] view: that the American dog wags the Israeli tail -- and that, if anything, is the Israeli elite that have been subverted, bought off and hijacked to serve the interests of American empire.

One can occasionally see glimpses of this reality. For example, the estimable "Angry Arab," the learned professor As'ad AbuKhalil, points us to a key passage in a recent Washington Post story:

... Israeli leaders routinely get half or more of their campaign contributions for party primaries from overseas, and mostly from American donors. The fundraising trend is especially pronounced on Israel's political right; politicians who advocate aggressive military action against Iran and Hamas and who maintain an uncompromising stance against ceding land to the Palestinians have typically found generous support for their views in the States. Former prime minister and Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu, for instance, received approximately $400,000 -- 75 percent of his donations for a 2007 primary -- from U.S. contributors, according to the Israeli comptroller's office. By contrast, Israeli donors accounted for less than 5 percent of reported contributions to Netanyahu, who hopes to return to power if Olmert falls and who has sharply criticized the current government for its willingness to cut deals with Israel's enemies.

Netanyahu is of course the darling of the war-profiteering wing of the U.S. Establishment, especially those especially devo
ted to maintaining and expanding America's "unipolar domination" of world affairs. One such faction took quiet root in the Cheney-led Defense Department during the administration of the elder George Bush and later flowered into the open, aggressive militarism of the Cheney-Rumsfeld "Project for the New American Century" group, which, as we've noted here before, produced a veritable blueprint of the Bush Administration's later policies – including the imposition of a U.S. military presence in Iraq (even if Saddam Hussein was no longer in power there), the vast expansion of military spending, new military bases in Central Asia, and other measures which the group admitted could not be speedily implemented, if at all – unless the American people were "catalyzed" into supporting this radical militarist agenda by "a new Pearl Harbor." This blueprint was issued in September 2000.

As these plans developed from Cheney's Pentagon – where they were originally overseen by his aides Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby – the role of Israel as a tool for their implementation took on more importance. There developed a mutually beneficial symbiosis between the American Dominationists and the militant Israeli hardliners like Netanyahu. American "neo-con" stalwarts like Richard Perle and Douglas Feith worked on Netanyahu's "Clean Break" strategy, which, like the PNAC plan for America, envisioned a much more aggressive and militarized posture. In this shared vision, war and domination are exalted, and the only acceptable peace is the peace of the conqueror, with the shattered, humiliated enemy at his feet. The Muslim nations of the Middle East were to be broken down, bit by bit, atomized into warring internal factions, seeded with ethnic and religious strife, rendered impotent and humiliated, given pliable client governments and made ready for the return of Western domination.

[It should be noted that Israeli and American policy were already quite aggressive and militarized before the PNACkers and Clean Breakers came along; we're certainly not harking back nostalgically to some lost golden age. But there can be no doubt that the last few years have seen an acute intensification of the worst elements in long-running American and Israeli policy.]

Thus, as the Post story notes, American money began flowing into the coffers of hardline Israeli politicians – the very ones who sought (and succeeded) in bending Israel's policies to the agenda of the American dominationists. Jewish businessmen in America have been happy to help bankroll this effort; after all, they don't have to live with the consequences of the aggressive, hardline policies they support in far-off Israel. Perhaps the most salient point in the passage quoted by AbuKhalil is the fact that only 5 percent of Netanyahu's financial support in his last primary outing came from actual Israelis. Fully three-quarters came from Americans. And this kind of spread can be found across the board. Very few Israelis give substantial, material support to the radical militarists in silk suits like Netanyahu. Yet American money keeps the Israeli hardliners in high cotton. Their policies in turn continue to line up in every significant respect with the agenda of America's "unipolar dominationists."

So just who is wagging whom here?
Source:
Dogs of War: Hijacking National Policy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 27 July 2008
There is always much talk in the blogosphere (and elsewhere) of the Israeli tail wagging the American dog. As we have often noted here, there are many figures on the anti-war side who seem to believe that the owners and operators of the gargantuan American war-and-empire machine -- people like the Bushes, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, just to name a few prominent players of current and recent times -- are basically decent, amiable, honest doofuses whose noble aspirations and good intentions have been subverted and perverted by a gaggle of wily Jews. America's foreign policy -- and its military might -- have been hijacked by the Israelis and their many agents of influence in the U.S. power structure, we're told.

The ultimate implication of such a belief -- although this conclusion is rarely stated publicly by the Wag-Dog contingent -- is that if it were not for the sneaky Jews, the U.S. government would never have waged a war of aggression in Iraq and would not be plotting another one against Iran. Time and again we're told that the American elite are acting against their own interests, that they are being hoodwinked by a foreign power into doing things they would never have done on their own.

As we've discussed at length elsewhere, this is a ludicrous, insupportable and historically ignorant viewpoint -- as well as a desperate (if usually unconscious) attempt to cling to a deeply ingrained idea of American exceptionalism: we wouldn't do those kinds of things, we must have been tricked into it by some sinister, sneaky, alien element. [Another version of the same viewpoint holds that America's government leaders are not amiable doofuses but corrupt traitors who have been bought with Jewish gold. But again this is just American exceptionalism in disguise: our system would never produce war criminals and mass murderers in high places on its own; if the Jews hadn't bribed the Administration and Congress, then America would never have gone to war in the Middle East. To which history gives the only possible reality-based reply: Yeah, right.]

But while it's understandable that people would seek to blame outsiders for the crimes committed by their own nation -- even to the extent of believing that a minor country could somehow force the overlords of a great empire to act against their own will -- it's odd that almost no one considers the opposite [and blatantly obvious] view: that the American dog wags the Israeli tail -- and that, if anything, is the Israeli elite that have been subverted, bought off and hijacked to serve the interests of American empire.

One can occasionally see glimpses of this reality. For example, the estimable "Angry Arab," the learned professor As'ad AbuKhalil, points us to a key passage in a recent Washington Post story:

... Israeli leaders routinely get half or more of their campaign contributions for party primaries from overseas, and mostly from American donors. The fundraising trend is especially pronounced on Israel's political right; politicians who advocate aggressive military action against Iran and Hamas and who maintain an uncompromising stance against ceding land to the Palestinians have typically found generous support for their views in the States. Former prime minister and Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu, for instance, received approximately $400,000 -- 75 percent of his donations for a 2007 primary -- from U.S. contributors, according to the Israeli comptroller's office. By contrast, Israeli donors accounted for less than 5 percent of reported contributions to Netanyahu, who hopes to return to power if Olmert falls and who has sharply criticized the current government for its willingness to cut deals with Israel's enemies.

Netanyahu is of course the darling of the war-profiteering wing of the U.S. Establishment, especially those especially devo
ted to maintaining and expanding America's "unipolar domination" of world affairs. One such faction took quiet root in the Cheney-led Defense Department during the administration of the elder George Bush and later flowered into the open, aggressive militarism of the Cheney-Rumsfeld "Project for the New American Century" group, which, as we've noted here before, produced a veritable blueprint of the Bush Administration's later policies – including the imposition of a U.S. military presence in Iraq (even if Saddam Hussein was no longer in power there), the vast expansion of military spending, new military bases in Central Asia, and other measures which the group admitted could not be speedily implemented, if at all – unless the American people were "catalyzed" into supporting this radical militarist agenda by "a new Pearl Harbor." This blueprint was issued in September 2000.

As these plans developed from Cheney's Pentagon – where they were originally overseen by his aides Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby – the role of Israel as a tool for their implementation took on more importance. There developed a mutually beneficial symbiosis between the American Dominationists and the militant Israeli hardliners like Netanyahu. American "neo-con" stalwarts like Richard Perle and Douglas Feith worked on Netanyahu's "Clean Break" strategy, which, like the PNAC plan for America, envisioned a much more aggressive and militarized posture. In this shared vision, war and domination are exalted, and the only acceptable peace is the peace of the conqueror, with the shattered, humiliated enemy at his feet. The Muslim nations of the Middle East were to be broken down, bit by bit, atomized into warring internal factions, seeded with ethnic and religious strife, rendered impotent and humiliated, given pliable client governments and made ready for the return of Western domination.

[It should be noted that Israeli and American policy were already quite aggressive and militarized before the PNACkers and Clean Breakers came along; we're certainly not harking back nostalgically to some lost golden age. But there can be no doubt that the last few years have seen an acute intensification of the worst elements in long-running American and Israeli policy.]

Thus, as the Post story notes, American money began flowing into the coffers of hardline Israeli politicians – the very ones who sought (and succeeded) in bending Israel's policies to the agenda of the American dominationists. Jewish businessmen in America have been happy to help bankroll this effort; after all, they don't have to live with the consequences of the aggressive, hardline policies they support in far-off Israel. Perhaps the most salient point in the passage quoted by AbuKhalil is the fact that only 5 percent of Netanyahu's financial support in his last primary outing came from actual Israelis. Fully three-quarters came from Americans. And this kind of spread can be found across the board. Very few Israelis give substantial, material support to the radical militarists in silk suits like Netanyahu. Yet American money keeps the Israeli hardliners in high cotton. Their policies in turn continue to line up in every significant respect with the agenda of America's "unipolar dominationists."

So just who is wagging whom here?

Source:
Dogs of War: Hijacking National Policy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 27 July 2008
There is always much talk in the blogosphere (and elsewhere) of the Israeli tail wagging the American dog. As we have often noted here, there are many figures on the anti-war side who seem to believe that the owners and operators of the gargantuan American war-and-empire machine -- people like the Bushes, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, just to name a few prominent players of current and recent times -- are basically decent, amiable, honest doofuses whose noble aspirations and good intentions have been subverted and perverted by a gaggle of wily Jews. America's foreign policy -- and its military might -- have been hijacked by the Israelis and their many agents of influence in the U.S. power structure, we're told.

The ultimate implication of such a belief -- although this conclusion is rarely stated publicly by the Wag-Dog contingent -- is that if it were not for the sneaky Jews, the U.S. government would never have waged a war of aggression in Iraq and would not be plotting another one against Iran. Time and again we're told that the American elite are acting against their own interests, that they are being hoodwinked by a foreign power into doing things they would never have done on their own.

As we've discussed at length elsewhere, this is a ludicrous, insupportable and historically ignorant viewpoint -- as well as a desperate (if usually unconscious) attempt to cling to a deeply ingrained idea of American exceptionalism: we wouldn't do those kinds of things, we must have been tricked into it by some sinister, sneaky, alien element. [Another version of the same viewpoint holds that America's government leaders are not amiable doofuses but corrupt traitors who have been bought with Jewish gold. But again this is just American exceptionalism in disguise: our system would never produce war criminals and mass murderers in high places on its own; if the Jews hadn't bribed the Administration and Congress, then America would never have gone to war in the Middle East. To which history gives the only possible reality-based reply: Yeah, right.]

But while it's understandable that people would seek to blame outsiders for the crimes committed by their own nation -- even to the extent of believing that a minor country could somehow force the overlords of a great empire to act against their own will -- it's odd that almost no one considers the opposite [and blatantly obvious] view: that the American dog wags the Israeli tail -- and that, if anything, is the Israeli elite that have been subverted, bought off and hijacked to serve the interests of American empire.

One can occasionally see glimpses of this reality. For example, the estimable "Angry Arab," the learned professor As'ad AbuKhalil, points us to a key passage in a recent Washington Post story:

... Israeli leaders routinely get half or more of their campaign contributions for party primaries from overseas, and mostly from American donors. The fundraising trend is especially pronounced on Israel's political right; politicians who advocate aggressive military action against Iran and Hamas and who maintain an uncompromising stance against ceding land to the Palestinians have typically found generous support for their views in the States. Former prime minister and Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu, for instance, received approximately $400,000 -- 75 percent of his donations for a 2007 primary -- from U.S. contributors, according to the Israeli comptroller's office. By contrast, Israeli donors accounted for less than 5 percent of reported contributions to Netanyahu, who hopes to return to power if Olmert falls and who has sharply criticized the current government for its willingness to cut deals with Israel's enemies.

Netanyahu is of course the darling of the war-profiteering wing of the U.S. Establishment, especially those especially devo
ted to maintaining and expanding America's "unipolar domination" of world affairs. One such faction took quiet root in the Cheney-led Defense Department during the administration of the elder George Bush and later flowered into the open, aggressive militarism of the Cheney-Rumsfeld "Project for the New American Century" group, which, as we've noted here before, produced a veritable blueprint of the Bush Administration's later policies – including the imposition of a U.S. military presence in Iraq (even if Saddam Hussein was no longer in power there), the vast expansion of military spending, new military bases in Central Asia, and other measures which the group admitted could not be speedily implemented, if at all – unless the American people were "catalyzed" into supporting this radical militarist agenda by "a new Pearl Harbor." This blueprint was issued in September 2000.

As these plans developed from Cheney's Pentagon – where they were originally overseen by his aides Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby – the role of Israel as a tool for their implementation took on more importance. There developed a mutually beneficial symbiosis between the American Dominationists and the militant Israeli hardliners like Netanyahu. American "neo-con" stalwarts like Richard Perle and Douglas Feith worked on Netanyahu's "Clean Break" strategy, which, like the PNAC plan for America, envisioned a much more aggressive and militarized posture. In this shared vision, war and domination are exalted, and the only acceptable peace is the peace of the conqueror, with the shattered, humiliated enemy at his feet. The Muslim nations of the Middle East were to be broken down, bit by bit, atomized into warring internal factions, seeded with ethnic and religious strife, rendered impotent and humiliated, given pliable client governments and made ready for the return of Western domination.

[It should be noted that Israeli and American policy were already quite aggressive and militarized before the PNACkers and Clean Breakers came along; we're certainly not harking back nostalgically to some lost golden age. But there can be no doubt that the last few years have seen an acute intensification of the worst elements in long-running American and Israeli policy.]

Thus, as the Post story notes, American money began flowing into the coffers of hardline Israeli politicians – the very ones who sought (and succeeded) in bending Israel's policies to the agenda of the American dominationists. Jewish businessmen in America have been happy to help bankroll this effort; after all, they don't have to live with the consequences of the aggressive, hardline policies they support in far-off Israel. Perhaps the most salient point in the passage quoted by AbuKhalil is the fact that only 5 percent of Netanyahu's financial support in his last primary outing came from actual Israelis. Fully three-quarters came from Americans. And this kind of spread can be found across the board. Very few Israelis give substantial, material support to the radical militarists in silk suits like Netanyahu. Yet American money keeps the Israeli hardliners in high cotton. Their policies in turn continue to line up in every significant respect with the agenda of America's "unipolar dominationists."

So just who is wagging whom here?

Source:
Dogs of War: Hijacking National Policy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chris Floyd
Sunday, 27 July 2008
There is always much talk in the blogosphere (and elsewhere) of the Israeli tail wagging the American dog. As we have often noted here, there are many figures on the anti-war side who seem to believe that the owners and operators of the gargantuan American war-and-empire machine -- people like the Bushes, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, just to name a few prominent players of current and recent times -- are basically decent, amiable, honest doofuses whose noble aspirations and good intentions have been subverted and perverted by a gaggle of wily Jews. America's foreign policy -- and its military might -- have been hijacked by the Israelis and their many agents of influence in the U.S. power structure, we're told.

The ultimate implication of such a belief -- although this conclusion is rarely stated publicly by the Wag-Dog contingent -- is that if it were not for the sneaky Jews, the U.S. government would never have waged a war of aggression in Iraq and would not be plotting another one against Iran. Time and again we're told that the American elite are acting against their own interests, that they are being hoodwinked by a foreign power into doing things they would never have done on their own.

As we've discussed at length elsewhere, this is a ludicrous, insupportable and historically ignorant viewpoint -- as well as a desperate (if usually unconscious) attempt to cling to a deeply ingrained idea of American exceptionalism: we wouldn't do those kinds of things, we must have been tricked into it by some sinister, sneaky, alien element. [Another version of the same viewpoint holds that America's government leaders are not amiable doofuses but corrupt traitors who have been bought with Jewish gold. But again this is just American exceptionalism in disguise: our system would never produce war criminals and mass murderers in high places on its own; if the Jews hadn't bribed the Administration and Congress, then America would never have gone to war in the Middle East. To which history gives the only possible reality-based reply: Yeah, right.]

But while it's understandable that people would seek to blame outsiders for the crimes committed by their own nation -- even to the extent of believing that a minor country could somehow force the overlords of a great empire to act against their own will -- it's odd that almost no one considers the opposite [and blatantly obvious] view: that the American dog wags the Israeli tail -- and that, if anything, is the Israeli elite that have been subverted, bought off and hijacked to serve the interests of American empire.

One can occasionally see glimpses of this reality. For example, the estimable "Angry Arab," the learned professor As'ad AbuKhalil, points us to a key passage in a recent Washington Post story:

... Israeli leaders routinely get half or more of their campaign contributions for party primaries from overseas, and mostly from American donors. The fundraising trend is especially pronounced on Israel's political right; politicians who advocate aggressive military action against Iran and Hamas and who maintain an uncompromising stance against ceding land to the Palestinians have typically found generous support for their views in the States. Former prime minister and Likud Party leader Binyamin Netanyahu, for instance, received approximately $400,000 -- 75 percent of his donations for a 2007 primary -- from U.S. contributors, according to the Israeli comptroller's office. By contrast, Israeli donors accounted for less than 5 percent of reported contributions to Netanyahu, who hopes to return to power if Olmert falls and who has sharply criticized the current government for its willingness to cut deals with Israel's enemies.

Netanyahu is of course the darling of the war-profiteering wing of the U.S. Establishment, especially those especially devo
ted to maintaining and expanding America's "unipolar domination" of world affairs. One such faction took quiet root in the Cheney-led Defense Department during the administration of the elder George Bush and later flowered into the open, aggressive militarism of the Cheney-Rumsfeld "Project for the New American Century" group, which, as we've noted here before, produced a veritable blueprint of the Bush Administration's later policies – including the imposition of a U.S. military presence in Iraq (even if Saddam Hussein was no longer in power there), the vast expansion of military spending, new military bases in Central Asia, and other measures which the group admitted could not be speedily implemented, if at all – unless the American people were "catalyzed" into supporting this radical militarist agenda by "a new Pearl Harbor." This blueprint was issued in September 2000.

As these plans developed from Cheney's Pentagon – where they were originally overseen by his aides Paul Wolfowitz and Scooter Libby – the role of Israel as a tool for their implementation took on more importance. There developed a mutually beneficial symbiosis between the American Dominationists and the militant Israeli hardliners like Netanyahu. American "neo-con" stalwarts like Richard Perle and Douglas Feith worked on Netanyahu's "Clean Break" strategy, which, like the PNAC plan for America, envisioned a much more aggressive and militarized posture. In this shared vision, war and domination are exalted, and the only acceptable peace is the peace of the conqueror, with the shattered, humiliated enemy at his feet. The Muslim nations of the Middle East were to be broken down, bit by bit, atomized into warring internal factions, seeded with ethnic and religious strife, rendered impotent and humiliated, given pliable client governments and made ready for the return of Western domination.

[It should be noted that Israeli and American policy were already quite aggressive and militarized before the PNACkers and Clean Breakers came along; we're certainly not harking back nostalgically to some lost golden age. But there can be no doubt that the last few years have seen an acute intensification of the worst elements in long-running American and Israeli policy.]

Thus, as the Post story notes, American money began flowing into the coffers of hardline Israeli politicians – the very ones who sought (and succeeded) in bending Israel's policies to the agenda of the American dominationists. Jewish businessmen in America have been happy to help bankroll this effort; after all, they don't have to live with the consequences of the aggressive, hardline policies they support in far-off Israel. Perhaps the most salient point in the passage quoted by AbuKhalil is the fact that only 5 percent of Netanyahu's financial support in his last primary outing came from actual Israelis. Fully three-quarters came from Americans. And this kind of spread can be found across the board. Very few Israelis give substantial, material support to the radical militarists in silk suits like Netanyahu. Yet American money keeps the Israeli hardliners in high cotton. Their policies in turn continue to line up in every significant respect with the agenda of America's "unipolar dominationists."

So just who is wagging whom here?

Source: http://www.chris-floyd.com/

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