Beinart says Israel lobby played no part in war plans (he still won’t speak for himself!)
(Mondoweiss) by Philip Weiss
Peter Beinart at the Daily Beast argues that Obama’s double-down Afghan strategy demonstrates that the Israel lobby lacks influence over such decisions, because this time, unlike Iraq, the Israel lobby is sitting on its hands.
"So if the Israel lobby played a major role in luring America into the Iraq war, you’d expect its absence from the Afghan debate to have made a difference. But it hasn’t. It’s not just that the Obama administration decided to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan without any pressure from Jerusalem. It’s that virtually all the prominent “neoconservatives” who allegedly backed the Iraq war out of concern for Israel backed the Afghan surge too, even though this time, Israel and its lobbyists took no position.
"Neoconservatives backed the surge because although they are Zionists, Zionism is not their foreign-policy ideology; Manicheanism is…
"Walt and Mearsheimer are wrong: The neocons aren’t warlike on Israel’s behalf; they’re just plain warlike."
This is a deceptive analysis. In attempting to argue that Zionism is not an important factor in American foreign-policy decisions, Beinart uses the walnut-shell of Manicheanism. Undoubtedly the neocons are manichean. The real issue is and always has been: how important is Zionism to the neocons’ and liberal hawks’ thinking?
Beinart is himself a liberal hawk and Israel lobbyist who supported the Iraq mistake. It seems from this column that he is supporting the Afghanistan mistake too. Beinart is hardly a neutral observer. Last year he conducted private sessions for AIPAC big-funders on how to influence the 2008 election. He also published a book pushing the Iraq war as a good thing for the Arab world in which he made no mention of the Israeli occupation.
Beinart really ought to begin any honest analysis by telling us: How important were his Israel feelings to his support for Iraq? But he doesn’t. He’s hiding behind the Zionist neocons, whom he seems to distance himself from even as he behaves like them.
It is important to remember that neoconservatism came out of the Jewish community (per Heilbrunn, Ginsburg, Garfinkle, and Friedman, all authors on the subject); and that neocons became neoconservative in some large measure because of support for American militancy on behalf of Israeli militancy following the scary Yom Kippur War. Norman Podhoretz went all the way with this ideology, and supports the idea of World War IV with the Muslim world with Israel as the front line. Many other neocons, and liberal hawks who were influenced by the neocon ideology, would endorse that strategy. I wonder how much of that stuff Beinart believes.
Beinart is right that Afghanistan brings a different set of motivations. Many of the liberal-hawk Israel-lobbyist types– the Tom Friedman’s of the world– are now against Afghanistan. And surely there are some realists who support the Afghan surge out of concern for Pakistani nukes. But the issue that Beinart seeks to obscure, because of his own Zionist warmaking resume, is, How important is Zionism to the intellectuals who are pushing war in the Middle East?...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
Beinart wrote: 'virtually all the prominent “neoconservatives” who allegedly backed the Iraq war out of concern for Israel backed the Afghan surge too, even though this time, Israel and its lobbyists took no position.'
Perhaps the open Israel lobby is keeping its powder dry for the push for a U.S war against Iran. Besides, it doesn't need to go all out for every surge since it has its crypto Israel lobby, comprised of Jewish nationalist neoliberals and Jewish nationalist neocons, both well ensconced in American media, to do Israel's bidding for it.
It looks like international Zionism has learned from its mistakes, and will only openly get out front, and go all-out, when its Jewish Zionist agents operating under cover of "objective" mainstream media, or quietly making back-room deals with the corrupt Congress, are unable to incite more American wars for Israeli interests by themselves. Then it will send in the naked Israel lobby arm-twisters.
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