Friday, July 2, 2010

A Conservation Worth Sharing (Part 2)

I wrote briefly about my exchange with the usually pretty moderate user Yank in France yesterday, but I wanted to share our other conversation here. I'll post the conversation first and then my comments afterward. It started with him saying the following:
"You may be right in a way, but US taxpayers give $3bn per year to Israel and over twice that amount via indirect aid.
Without US support of Israel, there probably would have never been the 9/11 attacks!
Without 9/11, there would have never been the long and costly war in Iraq.
Without 9/11, there would have never been a war in Afghanistan.
So, you see, America's onesided support of Israel has cost Americs TRILLION$$$
But what the heck, I guess America doesn't need the money, because it is overflowing with jobs, wealth and happiness, right?"
I asked him why he was blaming Israel because George Bush mishandled the American reaction to the 9/11 attacks.

"Yes, "that's cool", so why sweep ONE of the main reasons for going to war against Iraq in 2003?!
"Pressure from Israel and the Lobby was not the only factor behind the decision to attack Iraq in March 2003, but it was critical. Some Americans believe that this was a war for oil, but there is hardly any direct evidence to support this claim. Instead, the war was motivated in good part by a desire to make Israel more secure. According to Philip Zelikow, a former member of the president’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, and now a counsellor to Condoleezza Rice, the ‘real threat’ from Iraq was not a threat to the United States. The ‘unstated threat’ was the ‘threat against Israel’, Zelikow told..."
If you have not checked out the above site, you are missing out on perhaps the MOST AUTHORITY AND INFORMATIVE SITE ON ISRAEL AND THE US!"
 I pointed out that pundits and political advisers have been saying for years that the war in Iraq was about many things, including oil, American imperialism and George Bush's messiah complex. He said:
"Two points:
(1) Israel was definitely PRESSURING the US to attack Iraq;
(2) Within the US, Jewish neocons, historically close to Israel, led the drive to topple.
Of course, you will say I am anti-semtic for saying so, but that is precisely the reason given by the JERUSALEM POST for naming Wolfowitz their MAN OF THE YEAR in 2003!
"As one retired Israeli general later put it, ‘Israeli intelligence was a full partner to the picture presented by American and British intelligence regarding Iraq’s non-conventional capabilities.’
[Quotes by Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak suggesting America should take action against America follow, and then more praise of Walt and Mearshimer.]"

 I guess I'll start with the whole "why we invaded Iraq"....thing. For most of the time that I have been politically aware, people have been telling me that we invaded Iraq for a multiple (bad) reasons but Israel was never one of them. They were usually oil, American imperialism, George Bush thinking he was on a mission to liberate democracy, etc. And of course conservatives say that even though it was  a bad decision the end result of an Iraqi democracy will be beneficial to America. But usually, most leftists and centrists believed the reasons listed above.

Now, though, we have another presumed liberal telling me that no, Israel and it's supporters pushed America into war. It had nothing to do with oil. The idea is laughable in and of itself, but let's go through the talking points.
-Of course, we must consider that all of Yank's sources are from Walt and Mearshimer, but let's assume for a minute that his history is correct and that AIPAC did want a war in Iraq. It isn't, naturally, AIPAC never lobbied for the Iraq War, but let's assume that it is. Even if AIPAC tried it's hardest, no lobby group could ever push America into a war that it didn't truly want. I have heard from other people that AIPAC was responsible for deceiving the Bush administration, but that's a discussion for another time.
-Anyway, then we have the Jerusalem Post Man of the Year claim. Check out this quote from the actual JPost article on the subject:
"Not that this alone qualifies Wolfowitz as the Jerusalem Post's Man of the Year. The war in Iraq had many authors: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair, George Bush. Wolfowitz may have been an early and vocal advocate, but he was cheering from the second row."
It's interesting how Yank (and presumably Walt and Mearshimer) single out the one Jewish guy in that entire list for blame, isn't it?
-As for the quotes by Peres and Barak, let me remind you that Barak was not in power in 2003. Sharon was. Nor was Peres President of Israel either, Moshe Katsav was. It seems disingenuous to imply that these people had any actual power behind their opinions at the time.
-Finally, I think it's funny that the "most authoritative and informative site on Israel and the US" is the London Review of Books' review of "the Israel Lobby." Methinks someone didn't actually look at the website before he posted it.

So to conclude, it's just another example of how a well meaning individual can be suckered by almost anti-Semitic tropes into completely embarrassing himself.


  1. He is just a classic nut, placing him in the majority.

    Sharon specifically stated that attacking Iraq was not in Israel's interest, because the real threat was from Iran.

  2. The lesson is that dislike of Israel can easily be generated in people who know nothing about the Middle East conflict by its enemies. And its very difficult to undo all the damage later.

    This is what Israel and its supporters are up against today.