Monday, April 28, 2008

The Cost of Imperial Israel

Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under Reagan, has written yet another excellent essay on U.S. foreign policy, entitled “What the Iraq War Is About.” Roberts argues, as the quotes below show, that Iraq is all about imperial Israel. I suspect he would argue that U.S. hostility toward Iran is about exactly the same thing.

My position is slightly different in that, as I have said before, I believe there are two primary reasons for Washington’s hostility toward an independent stance on the part of either Iraq or Iran: Israel and oil (feel free to substitute the word “power” for “oil”). Independent of a desire to ensure the ability of Israeli militarists to continue their expansion, oil (upon which power rests) and a broader concern with power itself still seem to me to explain a good deal of the enthusiasm for war. I admit that this costly war was illogical as a means of obtaining oil: Iraq and Iran under all their various regimes are always happy to sell us their oil. But that just shows the Administration couldn’t do its arithmetic.

As for the possible additional reason--that war was correctly seen as a highly profitable corporate business, I would encourage others to offer evidence about how significant that reason might be.

All that being said, Roberts’ logical argument about the centrality of supporting Israeli regional dominance is well and concisely stated. Quotes follow, but the whole article is strongly recommended. What is missing from the argument is evidence. Perhaps some of us will live long enough to see that in official U.S. records to be released in 30 years or so (assuming our democracy still lives). In the meantime, readers are cordially invited to offer whatever evidence, confirmatory or disconfirmatory, they may have.

Roberts’ key points:

If the U.S. invaded Iraq for any of the succession of reasons the Bush regime has given, why would the U.S. have spent $750 million on a fortress "embassy" with anti-missile systems and its own electricity and water systems spread over 104 acres? No one has ever seen or heard of such an embassy before. Clearly, this "embassy" is constructed as the headquarters of an occupying colonial ruler.
The fact is that Bush invaded Iraq with the intent of turning Iraq into an American colony....

If colonial rule were not the intent, the U.S. would not be going out of its way to force Sadr's 60,000-man militia into a fight. Sadr is a Shi'ite who is a real Iraqi leader, perhaps the only Iraqi who could end the sectarian conflict and restore some unity to Iraq. As such he is regarded by the Bush regime as a danger to the American puppet Maliki. Unless the U.S. is able to purchase or rig the upcoming Iraqi election, Sadr is likely to emerge as the dominant figure. This would be a highly unfavorable development for the Bush regime's hopes of establishing its colonial rule behind the facade of a Maliki fake democracy. Rather than work with Sadr in order to extract themselves from a quagmire, the Americans will be doing everything possible to assassinate Sadr.

Why does the Bush regime want to rule Iraq? Some speculate that it is a matter of "peak oil."…This explanation is problematic….

The more likely explanation for the U.S. invasion of Iraq is the neoconservative Bush regime's commitment to the defense of Israeli territorial expansion. There is no such thing as a neoconservative who is not allied with Israel. Israel hopes to steal all of the West Bank and southern Lebanon for its territorial expansion. An American colonial regime in Iraq not only buttresses Israel from attack, but also can pressure Syria and Iran not to support the Palestinians and Lebanese. The Iraqi war is a war for Israeli territorial expansion. Americans are dying and bleeding to death financially for Israel. Bush's "war on terror" is a hoax that serves to cover U.S. intervention in the Middle East on behalf of "greater Israel."

Note that nothing in the above in any way questions the right of Israel to exist as one among many Mideast states within its legally recognized international borders. The issue here concerns only whether or not Israel will be supported in its drive to expand beyond those borders to occupy Palestinian and Lebanese land and whether or not Israel's policy, in effect since the 1980s, of reliance on overwhelming military force to dominate the whole region will be supported.

No comments: