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Should the US Go to War for Israel?Dr. James M. Wall Salem-News.com
It was President George Washington who first warned the new American nation to beware of “foreign entanglements”.
(CHICAGO) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the annual AIPAC conference earlier this week. He also held a private meeting with US President Barack Obama.
In his AIPAC speech, Netanyahu evoked the Holocaust as the source of Israel’s special privileged status that permits Netanyahu to do whatever he decides to do to “control Israel’s fate”.
That, of course, includes bombing Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Netanyahu drew a parallel between the exchange of letters between the US War department and the World Jewish Congress in 1944.
The Wall Street Journal described the scene at the AIPAC conference:
During his meeting with Obama, Netanyahu elaborated further:
In an editorial comment, the British Economist responded:
What gives this leader of a foreign nation the license to speak in Washington with such confidence that he expects the US to join him in an attack on Iran, a nation that poses absolutely no threat to the US or its citizens?
Indeed, US intelligence agencies report that they have found no reason to believe that Iran poses an immediate threat to Israel.
So why should the US go to war for Israel over an issue that poses no more immediate danger to Israel than Iraq’s non-existent WMDs threatened its neighbors? That non-existent threat led to a disastrous and costly war for the US, a war that was strongly encouraged by Israel and its US allies in Congress.
Why is there even any serious discussion with a foreign nation over what the US should do regarding an attack against yet another Muslim nation that has made no threats against us?
There are two reasons why; first, there is the US Congress, and second, there is AIPAC.
After Obama delivered his required obescient speech to AIPAC, the Wall Street Journal reported:
No one in the US administration shall speak contrary to what our ally thinks is its best interest? Where would Rep. Cantor hear such a thing? Surely not in a Tea Party rally where loyalty to God and country are paramount.
We must look to AIPAC as the source of Rep. Cantor’s courage to denigrate the President of the United States.
President George Washington warned the new American nation in his 1796 farewell address that a “passionate atachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils”. He explained why:
On the Anti-War website, Grant Smith described how, in 1948, AIPAC began to seize control of US foreign policy.
AIPAC controls the US Congress through its network of Political Action Committees that follow AIPAC’s instructions on which candidates to politically and financially support, and which candidates to jettison.
The incumbent Israeli Prime Minister travels to Washington to personally lobby members of Congress. He also hosts visiting congressional delegations on their regular trips to Israel. An annual address to AIPAC is an essential part of that lobbying campaign.
This year, Prime Minister Netanyahu had Iran at the top of his agenda. He wants, and he fully expects, President Obama and the Congress to support Israel in its military assault against Iran’s nuclear installations.
There is no guarantee that Iran is even close to developing a nuclear capability, but in Netanyahu’s mind, even the possibility that Iran might one day develop an operational nuclear arms capability is sufficient cause for Israel, backed by the US, to destroy Iranian nuclear sites.
In short, the prime minister is ready for war against Iran, and he expects the US to fall in line behind him.
The irony of this arrogance is that Israel may well be at its lowest point of support from the world community.
David Remnick describes the extent to which Israel has become isolated from the world community. He writes in a Talk of the Town essay in the February issue of the New Yorker:
Remnick correctly takes note of the degree to which support for Israel affects the current US presidential campaign.
We know pretty much all we need to know about Netanyahu’s feelings toward Obama. The Prime Minister orders the President about like he might order a lowly member of his Israeli cabinet. He would be very happy to see the White House back in Republican hands.
No doubt, he is following the Republican presidential nomination fight as it unfolds state by state. He cannot be unhappy over the strong link between the Republican candidates and the Christian evangelical conservatives, a segment of the American population already safely ensconced within the Republican base.
The latest victory for the pro-Israel/Christian evangelical base came this weekend when Republican Candidate Rick Santorum won, as reported by The Wichita Eagle, an impressive caucus victory, two to one, over Mitt Romney.
Santorum won with the strong support of that state’s governor, Sam Brownback, a former two-two term member of the US Senate. Governor Brownback is both a conservative evangelical Christian, and a strong supporter of Israel.
Salon describes Kansas as “ground zero for the takeover of the GOP by Christian-infused movement conservatism and the extinction of middle-of-the-road Republicanism.”
Southern primaries Tuesday in Alabama and Mississippi should go to either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum, a political development that will force Romney to veer even deeper into the ”Christian-infused movement conservatism”/pro-Israel zealotry of his Republican base.
Israel’s media campaign about Iran as a threat was examined by Sheera Frenkel of McClatchy Newspapers. Among her conclusions:
If the US is led by Israel to participate in another war in the Middle East, these McClatchy findings suggest that this war could be one of the biggest sales promotion successes in modern political history.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, in another context, “Think about that.”
_____________________________Journalism was Jim Wall’s undergraduate college major at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He has earned two MA degrees, one from Emory, and one from the University of Chicago, both in religion. An ordained United Methodist clergy person; he and his wife, Mary Eleanor, are the parents of three sons, and the grandparents of four grandchildren. They live in Elmhurst, Illinois.
Jim served for two years on active duty in the US Air Force, and three additional years in the USAF (inactive) reserve. While serving with the Alaskan Command, he reached the rank of first lieutenant. He has worked as a sports writer for both the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, was editor of the United Methodist magazine, Christian Advocate for ten years, and editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine for 27 years, starting in 1972. Time magazine wrote about the new editor, who arrived at the Christian Century determined to turn the magazine into a hard-hitting news publication. The inspiration for Wall Writings comes from that mindset and from many other sources that have influenced Jim’s writings over the years, including politics, cinema, media, American culture, and the political struggles in the Middle East. Jim has made more than 20 trips to that region as a journalist, during which he covered such events as Anwar Sadat’s 1977 trip to Jerusalem, and the 2006 Palestinian legislative election. He has interviewed, and written about, journalists, religious leaders, political leaders and private citizens in the region. You can write to Jim Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Jim's Website: Wall Writings
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