ON SPECIAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH ISRAELJuly 20, 2012
During the past months I've been commenting about the geopolitical realignment taking place in the world, but there is one stable feature throughout all this transition, and it is the "special relationship" that supposedly obtains between the US and Israel. After all(we're reminded time and time again), the USA is allied to the only real democracy in the Middle East, right? (On that basis, why don't we have better relations with the world's largest democracy, India? but that's an inconvenient question).
This article was sent to me by a friend, and in reading it, I have to say, it echoes my own doubts and misgivings about that "special relationship" with Israel before which every American politician, be he or she Republithug or Dummycrook, must bow:
This article encapsulates, in part, some of the reasons for why, having begun with high post-World War Two capital and cachet in the Muslim world, the US has squandered that capital and made more enemies than it has to retain friends. The result has been a transformation of American society and culture itself:
"Here at home, many of the passionate supporters of Israel, including Sens. Joe Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and John McCain, are also advocates of more government snooping in areas that were once regarded as private. This is no coincidence, as supporting both Israel and the growing police state appear to go together. The Transportation Security Administration is modeled on Israeli border security, with its intrusive searches and ability to engage in largely arbitrary behavior. There are frequent demands from Congress to force the TSA to copy exactly Israeli air travel security practices, including profiling and prolonged interrogations of travelers. Indeed, many of the private security companies operating in the United States, particularly relating to air travel, are already Israeli. The PATRIOT Act also derives from the Israeli model of limiting civil liberties in terrorism cases to enable the police and security services to operate more freely. Unlimited detention without charges for terrorism suspects, recently introduced in the U.S. as part of the National Defense Appropriation Act of 2013, is similar to Israeli practices when dealing with Palestinians. In a step toward the “disloyal” second-class status afforded to Arab citizens of Israel, American Muslims have been singled out as enemies of the state by Rep. Peter King and others, a convenient label that also allows critics to indict their countries of origin as terrorist havens. "
Let us be clear of what the real underlying implications are here: imagine a world in which the post-war Arabists in the State department had triumphed. Would there still have been a Muslim brotherhood, or Wahabists in Saudi Arabia, or a growing movement toward Islamic fundamentalism? Possibly, but it would have been met with diplomatic pressure, and internal resistance. Would there have been a 1993 World Trade Center bombing, highjackings, a PLO? A Hamas? A 9/11? Possibly, but again, doubtful.
And there are also murky possibilities here. Let it be forgotten, Secretary of Defense James Forrestal told President Truman that US recognition of Israel was a big mistake, and he made no secret of his opposition to it.
Forrestal, of course, was suicided when he supposedly threw himself out of his sixteen story hospital window at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
See you on the flip side.