Washington insanity

Dispute with Israel underscores limits of U.S. power, a shifting alliance
By Glenn Kessler
Washington Post, 2010-03-24


President Obama and his aides
have cast the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,
not just the relationship with Israel,
as a core U.S. national security interest.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of the military’s Central Command,
put it starkly in recent testimony on Capitol Hill:
“The conflict foments anti-American sentiment
due to a perception of U.S. favoritism toward Israel.”

His comments raised eyebrows in official Washington --
and overseas --
because they suggested that
U.S. military officials were embracing the idea that
failure to resolve the conflict
had begun to imperil American lives.


Arab leaders have long said that
a peace deal would be possible
if the United States pressured Israel.
But many experts say such hope is often misplaced.
In the case of East Jerusalem,
Netanyahu believes that a halt to construction
represents political suicide for his coalition,
so no amount of U.S. pressure will lead him to impose a freeze --
at least until he is in the final throes of peace talks.

[Patrick Lang and his commentators, including Philip Giraldi,
discuss this article here.
For my discussion, see the comments to 2010-04-07-Eland.]

Let’s Get Our Own Foreign Policy House in Order Before Criticizing Others
by Ivan Eland
Antiwar.com, 2010-04-07

On March 31, 2010, the New York Times wrote an editorial
that briefly expressed horror
in response to the Moscow subway terror bombings,
then warned that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin might yet again
use terrorist attacks to further consolidate his power,
and finally lectured Russia that
the only way to defeat such extremism was to deal with the underlying causes.
Such a sermonizing editorial by any Russian publication after the 9/11 attacks
would have engendered outrage in America.
Yet the same conclusions and advice
that the Times gave to Russia in the wake of its tragedy
could equally be applied to post-9/11 U.S. policy.


[The article’s conclusion:]

And this from the flagship newspaper in a country that for many years
has refused to examine the root causes of the 9/11 attacks
and, in fact, has allowed its politicians to do more of the same.

Had the American media and members of Congress
actually examined Osama bin Laden’s writings
to attempt to honestly determine
his motives for attacking the United States,

the unnecessary long-term occupation of Afghanistan
and the feckless invasion and occupation of Iraq
might have been prevented

before they made the problem of blowback anti-U.S. terrorism worse.
Bin Laden has been clear that he attacks the United States
because of its intervention in and military occupation of Islamic lands.


Although it is easy to pick on the Times,
the newspaper’s view merely reflects
the lack of introspection
by the U.S. political elite and American society

about the ill effects of
a U.S. foreign policy of overseas interventionism
and hostile foreign reactions to it.

But then the pot should not call the kettle black,
but rather try to clean up its own act first.

Excellent points, Mr. Eland, especially your next to last paragraph.
As a supporting example,
consider the following excerpt from the Glenn Kessler WaPo article
Dispute with Israel underscores limits of U.S. power”:

“[General Petraeus’s] comments raised eyebrows
in official Washington -- and overseas --
because they suggested that
U.S. military officials were embracing the idea that
failure to resolve the [I/P] conflict
had begun to imperil American lives.”

What’s the story here?
Is “official Washington” really as out of touch with reality as Kessler implies?
Or is Kessler simply using his article as a warning to the military
not to get out of line and commit the terrible Washington faux pas of
telling the general public the truth about
why we and Islamic forces are fighting

these expensive, counter-productive, and winnerless wars?

those who confuse the public with the facts
(e.g., Finkelstein, Scheuer, Mearsheimer, Walt, Carter, Freeman, Zinni, and now Petraeus)
get painted by the ADL/AIPAC/MSM (what’s the difference?)
as either an idiot, fool, or anti-Semite,
and then are left slowly twisting in the wind,
all but without defenders in the Zionist-controlled chattering classes.)