In American politics, the interests of two powerful factions are never questioned by an adoring, pusillanimous Congress: the US Military (really the political-economy of the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex) and Israel (a foreign country represented by the Israeli lobby and its domestic allies). To date, the interests and welfare of these two factions have been in harmony, but what happens if those interests diverge?
Uri Avnery, a hero of the 1948 War and a prominent Israeli peace activist, explores the ramifications this question in the attached important opinion piece.[Note: General Petraeus’s statement to Senate Armed Services Committee, discussed by Avnery, can be downloaded.]
March 22, 2010
THIS WEEK, Petraeus conveyed an unequivocal message: after reviewing the problems in his AOR (Area Of Responsibility) – which includes, among others, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Yemen – he turned to what he called the “root causes of instability” in the region. The list was topped by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
In his report to the Armed Services Committee he stated: “The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR…The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support. The conflict also gives Iran influence in the Arab world through its clients, Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas.”
Phi Beta Iota: Zionism and the Israeli government (not the nation and not the Jewsih faith) have become synonymous with state terrorism and genocide and other atrocities. The clear-cut statement by the General represents a “coming of age” in which a handful of our military leaders–General Mike Flynn among them, General Tony Zinni decades ahead of today’s pack–are recognizing that the US national and defense intelligence communities are irrelevant, the policy process is corrupt, and no one has been rising to the necessary standard that Phi Beta Iota represents: the truth at any cost lowers all other costs. In no way does this accurate and necessary assessment of Israeli perfidy excuse the Arab dictators that have been so willing to take the US dollar and US military assistance while doing nothing at all to stabilize and reconstruct Palestine. It may be that the next big step the General takes is to realize that after Israel, the military-industrial complex and the completely incapacitated US intelligence community are the greatest impediments to creating a prosperous world at peace.