Pro-Israelis: Iraq “Not Our Problem !”
By Ziad A.E. Jazairi
Arab American Voters Coalition
20 December, 2006
Houston, Texas, USA.
Paul Wolfowitz, one of the most hawkish of the “Pro-Israelis”, former defense secretary to Donald Rumsfeld, when recently asked, at the National Press Club, responded “That’s not my problem!” about the war in Iraq. Wolfowitz thus validated the argument that the Israel Lobby promotes interests that do not coincide with U.S. interests in the conduct of our foreign policy in the Middle East.
Pro-Israelis prodded the U.S. to war in Iraq had set their sights on starting the war, and not necessarily on winning it. A war that would devastate Iraq and keep that country in turmoil for several generations would certainly be in Israel’s best interest. It would weaken one of Israel’s key “enemies”, destabilize the whole region and divert attention from the continued dispossession of land from and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians by Israelis. The last thing that Israel would want to see would be a prosperous, free and democratic Iraq. A future of prolonged chaos, violence and “terrorism” would serve its purpose much better, thank you.
It is no surprise therefore to see Wolfowitz, along with others in the Israel Lobby trying to now extricate themselves from the Iraq Quagmire. These pro-Israelis were some of the most ardent, vocal and effective in the chorus supporting and causing the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Now that the damage is done, it no longer serves their political purpose to remain steadfast in supporting an administration in which they were a part.
As a matter of fact, Richard Perle, the chief architect of the concept of “Pre-emptive” war which gave this administration the justification and the “moral” ground for going to war in Iraq, now blames Bush for the way the war has been conducted. Kenneth Adelman, Pentagon insider and lifelong pro-Israeli, who wrote in the Washington Post that President Bush’s National Security Team are “the most incompetent teams in the post-war era .. deadly, dysfunctional”; and David Frum, former White House speechwriter, who put the blame of the disaster in Iraq on a “failure at the center” starting with President Bush.
In contrast to the pro-Israeli outlook towards a devastated, weak and divided Iraq, our United States interests in the Middle East would have been well served by “winning the peace” and “winning the hearts and minds” of the Iraqi people. We had and still have a strong interest in the aftermath of the fighting, and the war, as an end in itself, was not in U.S. interests. The removal of Saddam Hussain was a worthy aim, and so were the goals of freeing Iraqis, giving them liberty, a democracy and shaping Iraq as a model for others in the region.
The differences between Israeli and American interests in this matter are clear. The invasion and war in Iraq is a good example of what Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt wrote about in their study in early 2006 about the Israel Lobby and its effect on U.S. foreign policy. In that report, put out by the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, the authors concluded that pro-Israelis and the Israeli Lobby have so skewed American foreign policy in the Middle East as to make it serving Israeli rather than U.S. interests.
There has been numerous and serious mistakes in the conduct of the war in Iraq so far. The war itself was and is not in the interest of the United States. In terms of its effect on the war of terrorism, it has actually served to produce the opposite results. If in 2000 there were 5 or 10 thousand people ready to sacrifice their life for what they perceived as U.S. arrogance and hypocrisy in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, there are likely to be 500 thousand today who would be willing to do the same thing. A multiple of 50 in just about 7 years.
But even though the Iraq situation is an immediate problem, largely caused by the Israel Lobby in the U.S., the more intractable and vital problem is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It has had a real and serious effect on regional stability for a half a century. That conflict also directly effects the situation, the parties, the people and our success or failure in Iraq.
We should therefore discern where U.S. interests end and Israeli interests start when it comes to the Middle East. The recent Iraq Study Group report, a group chaired by Secretary James A. Baker,III and Senator Lee H. Hamilton, is a good start in efforts to resolve the Iraq problem. The report makes numerous recommendations, including ones calling for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the formula “land for peace” on which several U.N. resolutions and other agreements were based on. The report cautions against taking and implementing some recommendations and not others.
Because the Study Group Report recommends a resolution be found to the Israeli-Palestinian problem, and movement towards peace undertaken, the Israel Lobby is likely to go into overdrive in the U.S. to fight these recommendations. They will do this by trying to discredit the report; by trying to support some of its recommendations, but not others. They will claim that the Israel-Palestine issue has no bearing on Iraq; that the report precepts are erroneous. The Israel Lobby will endlessly create smoke screens, all in concert to defeat efforts towards peace which will prevent Israel from further dispossessing Palestinians of their land.
The winning of war or peace in the Middle East should not be left to the influence and whim of the Israel Lobby. That region of the world is far too important to American interests. War and peace in the Middle East should be looked on from the perspective of American vital security and long term interests, and not the perspective of Israeli interests.
Americans needs to recognize these conflicting interests and that there are individuals in government who may have double allegiance, or worse. As far back as the late 60’s Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas referred to Congress as “Israeli Occupied Territory”. AIPAC and the Israel Lobby have since succeeded, with the help of officials such as Henry Kissinger and others who followed, in placing large numbers of Lobby members and supporters within the State and Defense Departments. AIPAC, and its affiliated PAC’s, need to be required to register as “Agents” of a foreign nation.
Winning the war in Iraq, resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and other goals critical to U.S. National Interests in the Middle East ought to be a problem for Wolfowitz, the Perle’s, Wurmser’s, Feith’s and others of their colleagues in the Israel Lobby.
Arab American Voters Coalition
firstname.lastname@example.org * www.votercoalition.org
P.O.Box 421984 * Houston, Texas 77242-1984