Israel, Mishegas, Politics

Making Sense of the Senseless never met a neocon conspiracy it didn’t like. So, I’ve got a question for Justin Raimondo:
Yesterday George “I’m The Decider” Bush was caught on microphone saying to his secret buddy Tony Blair:

[W]hat they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit, and it’s over.
[…] I felt like telling Kofi to get on the phone with Assad and make something happen. We’re not blaming Israel. We’re not blaming the Lebanese government.

Do those sound like the words a man conspiring to invade Syria? If not, how does that jive with your whole “the Elders of Zio–” oh, excuse me, “the Israel lobby is dragging our nation to war” theory? Greg Palast would be happy to bitchslap you with the latest issue of Tikkun.

Elsewhere in la-la land:

Crossposted from Orthodox Anarchist

9 thoughts on “Making Sense of the Senseless

  1. The knee jerk anti-Israel reaction from the left continues to astound me. The only reason the far right supports Israel is that if every Jew is murdered, their god arrives. What’s a Jewish progressive to do? And don’t tell me to become a conservative. I’m not that selfish.

  2. Mobius, did you not see Kristol’s (not Billy) latest piece, saying this is “our war?” [] Remember, this is the guy who told R. Hertzberg that only Jews are neocons (recounted in ‘A Jew in America’), despite the non-Jewish surnamed folk of the neocon ilk, such as Cheney, Rummy, Rice, and idiot-boy.
    Even the neocon editor of Philly’s ‘The Jewish Exponent,’ continues to claim that, yes! the Iraq war is good for Israel.
    So, what can we expect of Juanito? He’s getting his material from the mainstream media, which genuflects to the neocons, whether Jewish surnamed or not (witness how the media portrayed Cheney’s shooting his hunting partner in the face).

  3. “And don’t tell me to become a conservative. I’m not that selfish. ”
    Of course not. Please continue to promote economic policies that fail time and time again, leaving misery, poverty, loss of freedom, backwardness and sometimes death in their wake. Please continue to bash America and the West (you can leave the Jew-bashing to your comrades) at every opportunity. All the while, continue to enjoy the benefits of a wealthy and relatively economically free society while trashing its underpinnings. That’s the kind of selflessness we need from a hero like you.

  4. I find the Berlin protest deeply disturbing, but note that there have been various candle-lit peace protests around the world and, here in the US, protests uniting anti-war groups that grew largely around Iraq with other sympathetic parties (Arabic, Jewish, and otherwise). The message of these events has been focused on a cease-fire and an end to violence against Lebanon. Agree with them or not, but these events are in stark contrast to the tragically anti-Israel protesters in Berlin.
    The Neocon conspiracy is ridiculous, of course, but it misses the point that pro-war Republicans and Democrats alike are again using an independent piece of foreign affairs to retroactively justify our invasion of Iraq. The new angle is “you can’t support Israel now and used to have opposed the war in Iraq!” (Wait, did I get my past imperfect subjunctive pluperfect right there?) It seems to me that we ought to be able to justify foreign policy in the specifics of the situation, taking into account the reality of that situation, without resorting to meaningless generalizations like “we’re fighting evil.” But that doesn’t make for very good politics, of course.

  5. Critical comments on the Palast article from Bill Weinberg at WW4 Report.
    Greg Palast risks jeopardizing his wild popularity among the leftoid legions by raining on their increasingly beloved “Jewish Conspiracy” theory. Bashing this bosh is long overdue, but we sure wish Palast had done a better job of it. His arguments here are so weak and garbled that they can be easily shot down by the Judeophobes. They constitute a strawman which actually renders a disservice to the cause of opposing Jewish scapegoating.
    Palast correctly cites agendas to privatize Iraq’s oil and weaken Saudi Arabia as underlying motives of the Iraq adventure—but confuses these two aims as part of a single, exclusively “neocon” program, undermining his thesis of a rivarly between “Big Oil” and neocon wonks. Yes, the imperative to humble (or actually destabilize) Saudi Arabia emerged from the neocons, with their notorious Jewish surnames and distrust even of Washington’s Arab allies, as is made abundantly clear in their own documents. The US and Saudi oil barons are, in contrast, completely oleaginous, and both stood to gain from the inflated prices that resulted from the Iraq war. But (notwithstanding Philip Carroll’s after-the-fact denials) the privatization agenda was more likely a point of convergence for the neocons and Big Oil, which would prefer to have direct control over Middle East oil fields, rather than having to operate through state oil companies, as they now do in Saudi Arabia since the nationalization of Aramco.
    Misreading the privatization of Iraq’s oil strictly as a neocon program, Palast assumes it is dead in the water. In fact, Iraq’s new constitution equivocates on state control of the country’s oil—and the fact that it provides for any degree of state control of the oil is a sop to the Iraqi people, not to Big Oil! It is a necessary compromise, to allow the client regime to stay in power. And it has been the courageous and heroic efforts of Iraqi trade unionists which have beaten back actual attempts to establish corporate control of the country’s oil industry, in defiance of threats, abductions and assassinations. Perversely (and illogically), Palast would attribute this victory to the oil interests themselves!
    Palast uses his condescending favorite line—”And there you have it”—as if he has cleared up everything, even as he muddies the water like this. His basic thesis that Big Oil and the neocons have been uneasy allies in this war, and have contradictory agendas, is a sound one. But not only does he mis-identify those purposes—he commits the greater error still of assuming that either power bloc has exercized fundamental or determinant influence in the decision to go to war in Iraq. Palast is correct that the neocons themselves have been humbled and largely dethroned since Iraq has turned into a debacle, but he writes as if Exxon and its ilk are making a mint from Iraq’s oil. They aren’t. They are making a mint from war-inflated prices, but there is too much chaos in Iraq for the oil to be effectively exploited—and Bush is fine with that. Because, as we have repeatedly argued, the war is not fundamentally about either protecting Israel or a windfall for Exxon, but about preserving and extending US global dominance. It is less about “getting” Iraq’s oil for Exxon or US consumers, than keeping it off the global market, so that it won’t be used by an imperial rival such as Russia or China, or even an upstart Islamic state, to beef up military and industrial power. It is a means to prevent (as one Pentagon document put it) “advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” As we have noted, even the neocons’ own documents have been quite explicit about this goal.
    Meanwhile, alas, the anti-war left chases after shadows like the supposed Zionist conspiracy—and Palast, perhaps unwittingly, abets this error by posing an equally garbled and specious alternative. If you want to wade through this exercise, here it is—from the summer issue of Tikkun magazine, online at the modestly-named
    [Tikkun article appears here]
    Also note that while supposedly defending the Jews from calumnies, Palast refers to the Heritage Foundation’s resident Evil Jew, Ari Cohen, as “hissing” (like a snake, no doubt) about supposed Arab control of the State Department! Amazing that Tikkun let him get away with that one.
    See our last posts on Iraq, the struggle for control of oil, the perennial “Jewish influence” bugaboo, and why Greg Palast is a pain in the ass.

  6. Billmon was interesting until he wrote: “Hezbollah may have given the Israeli government and military policy establishment (including the Washington D.C. branch) precisely it needs most at this particular moment.”
    At that point I lost my interest in his opinions.

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