By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
“I do not believe the National Intelligence Council could function effectively while its chair was under constant attack by unscrupulous people with a passionate attachment to the views of a political faction in a foreign country.
“The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth. The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.
“There is a special irony in having been accused of improper regard for the opinions of foreign governments and societies by a group so clearly intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government – in this case, the government of Israel. I believe that the inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for US policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics has allowed that faction to adopt and sustain policies that ultimately threaten the existence of the state of Israel. It is not permitted for anyone in the United States to say so. This is not just a tragedy for Israelis and their neighbors in the Middle East; it is doing widening damage to the national security of the United States.”
-- Ambassador Charles Freeman on declining his appointment as Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2009
Many conservatives take vicarious pleasure in America’s superpower status. Bush’s flaunting of American power is one reason conservatives took scant notice of Bush’s police state measures and ill-conceived wars. Conservatives were so delighted with Bush giving the finger to the UN, the world community and especially France, a country conservatives have despised ever since Charles DeGaulle refused to follow the American line, that conservatives paid no attention to Bush’s assault on civil liberty and his squandering of America’s reputation.
I wonder how much longer conservatives will be strutting around now that the “defeated” Taliban are denying the Peshawar/Khyber Pass supply route to the unipower’s military for resupply of its troops in Afghanistan. The US has had to go hat in hand to the Russians to request a resupply route through Russian territory, and has been told it can transport non-munition supplies only. The Russians might be willing for Obama to send arms through if Obama repudiates Bush’s decision to put anti-ballistic missile defenses in the American puppet states of Poland and Czech Republic.
The Polish government is concerned about repeating its World War II mistake of putting its fate in the hands of a distant protector instead of with the military power on its border and recently admonished Washington not to renege on the missile deal. Poland is clinging desperately to Bush’s promise of nuclear war in defense of Poland, just as seven decades ago the Polish colonels thought they could stick their finger in Hitler’s eye, because Britain had given Poland a guarantee.
Iraq is another embarrassment for conservatives, with the Iranian-allied Shi’ite party, not the superpower, dictating the withdrawal agreement. The US remains in Iraq only as a useful scapegoat for the Shi’ite rulers.
But what’s really going to blow the legs out from under conservatives is the realization that the great superpower is the chattel goods of the Israel Lobby.
The Obama administration, despite the Democrats’ decisive electoral victory in last November’s election, has demonstrated that the superpower cannot appoint its own
chairman of the National Intelligence Council. Charles Freeman, a distinguished and independent-minded American, former ambassador and former Assistant Secretary of Defense, found his appointment blocked by Steve Rosen, a former official of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) currently under indictment as an Israeli spy, and a handful of American Jewish neoconservatives closely identified with the right-wing government in Israel.
How is the United States a superpower when it cannot appoint the official who oversees the National Intelligence Estimate without the approval of the Israeli right-wing government and its American agents?
Conservatives will say, of course, that Israel is the “only democracy in the Middle East.” The question whether Israel, or, for that matter, America, is a democracy is beside the point. The point is that Israel has shown that it can control not merely US foreign policy but also US intelligence policy.
Last Thursday America’s Overlord sent the Chief of Staff of the American-financed and supplied Israel Defense Forces, General Gabi Ashkenazi, to meet with President Barack Obama, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General James Jones, National Security Advisor, and Dennis Ross, the US State Department’s Special Advisor for the Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports that General Ashkenazi will also meet with “senior American journalists and with the heads of AIPAC, the American pro-Israel lobbyist group.”
General Ashkenazi will also “be a guest of honor at the annual ‘Supporters of the IDF [Israeli Defense Forces]” convention in the city of New York and will address its participants.
General Ashkenazi will also be meeting with former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger “as well as with the heads of the New York Jewish Federation.”
The official reason for General Ashkenazi’s visit is to warn America about the threat that Iran presents to the United States. In reality, the general has been sent to stir up an American attack on Iran.
The military/security complex will welcome the opening of a new front on the “war on terror.” The American arms industries desperately need a new war to replace Iraq. “Our” government in Washington desperately needs new reasons to suppress American civil liberties. The traitorous Bush Republicans and their Democratic enablers desperately need justification for committing America to multi-trillion dollar illegal wars. The neoconservatives desperately need a rationale for the lies they told to start what they hope are long-term wars in the Middle East. The neocon madmen even want to overthrow Saudi Arabia, one of America’s largest creditors.
Conservatives will welcome these developments with open arms. America will have a chance to redeem itself. America can yet prove it is a superpower by conquering both Iran and Afghanistan. Once these victories are in hand, Israel can destroy both Hamas and Hezbollah, and the new Israel can incorporate Palestine and southern Lebanon.
While conservatives dream these dreams, China’s premier, Wen Jiabao, expressed on Friday, March 13, his fears that the US Treasury’s credit is not good and that his country’s $1 trillion investment in American debt is endangered. Premier Wen said, “We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.”
Contrast Premier Wen’s concern with the optimism coming out of the Obama administration and what remains of Wall Street.
Then exercise Charles Freeman’s independent thinking and make up your own mind. Is America a superpower, or is America a rapidly declining country destroyed by gratuitous wars and shyster banksters?
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com