Phi Beta Iota: Chuck Spinney nailed it in the 1980’s and before; Robert Steele and the USMC under Commandant Al Gray nailed it from 1988 onwards, and nothing has changed. Both the politics and programs of the US Government are corrupt and uninformed across the board, for one simple reason: US intelligence leaders lack the integrity to live up to their mission: to acquire the truth at any cost so as to reduce all other costs. Below are two stories highlighted by Chuck Spinney that represent the tragedy of a dishonest network of political, policy, and intelligence twits pretending to be leaders when all they are really doing is enabling the continuing looting of the public purse.
Reps. Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) made the comments at a discussion panel at the Cato Institute on Thursday.
Going into Iraq “was a mistake because I thought we had to finish the job in Afghanistan,” Rohrbacher told the panel, echoing a popular Democratic talking point at the time. “In retrospect, almost all of us think that was a horrible mistake,” Rohrbacher said. “Now that we know that it cost a trillion dollars, and all of these years, and all of these lives, and all of this blood … all I can say is everyone I know thinks it was a mistake to go in now.”
Asked by panel moderator Grover Norquist what percentage of Republican congressmen agree with that view, McClintock said, “I think everyone [in Congress] would agree that Iraq was a mistake.” McClintock added that he believed the Bush administration also made a mistake in the way it entered the Afghanistan war. “I think virtually everyone would agree going into Afghanistan the way we did was a mistake,” he said.
Chuck Spinney: … it is a shame that this kind of writing ends up being printed in a UK paper instead of a main stream US paper. The author, Avi Shlaim, is a native Israeli and one of the most prominent of the “new historians” of the 1980s. His book, “The Iron Wall,” which is based on meticulous research of Israeli archival data, is must reading for anyone trying to understand how the roots of zionist ideology set the stage for the emergence of permanent conflict in what is now clearly an apartheid state. Not surprisingly, he no longer resides in Israel and is now a professor at Oxford.
President Netanyahu is undermining US interests. The sooner President Obama makes his support conditional, the better
Israelis are not renowned for their good manners, but their treatment of Vice-President Joe Biden during his recent visit to their country went beyond chutzpah. Biden is one of Israel’s staunchest supporters in Washington, and the purpose of his visit was to prepare the ground for the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. An official announcement that Israel planned to build 1,600 new Jewish settler homes in East Jerusalem scuppered the talks, alienated the Palestinians, and infuriated Biden. It was a colossal blunder that is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the special relationship between the two countries.
America subsidises Israel to the tune of $3bn (around £2bn) a year. America is Israel’s principal arms supplier, enabling it to retain the technological edge over all its enemies, near and far. In the diplomatic arena too, America extends to Israel virtually unqualified support, including the use of the veto in the UN Security Council to defeat resolutions critical of Israel. America condemns Iran for its nuclear ambitions, while turning a blind eye to Israel’s possession of a large arsenal of nuclear weapons.
This unparalleled generosity towards a junior partner is largely the result of sentimental attachment and shared values. Israel used to present itself as an island of democracy in a sea of authoritarianism. But its own actions have shredded this image to pieces. It is now well on the way to becoming a pariah state. During the Cold War, Israel also used to promote itself as a “strategic asset” in helping to check Soviet advances in the Middle East. But since the end of the Cold War, Israel has become more of a liability than an asset.
America’s most vital interests lie in the Persian Gulf; to ensure access to oil, the US needs Arab goodwill. Here Israel is a major liability, as a result of its occupation of Palestinian land and its brutal oppression of the Palestinian people.