Voice in the Wilderness

The news about the "war on terror" your local newspaper won't print.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

The New Klingons Part V: Israel

Wolfowitz. Perle. Kristol. Kagan. Feith. Jews all. Members in good standing of the Project for the New American Century.
The neocons, a group of extreme ultra-right conservative politicians, mostly Jews, have basically taken over American foreign policy for the sake of protecting the Jewish state. (Oilempire.us)

Many of the most well-known and influential neoconservatives...are Jewish! It becomes functionally impossible to talk about neoconservatism, which exists as a political ideology, without mentioning the people who drive it - most of whom are Jewish. (pandagon.net)

The future PNACers authored a paper back in 1996 for then-Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, entitled "A Clean Break," which targeted Iraq, Iran and Syria, providing Israel with a strategy to influence American government to support Israeli imperialism and ethnocide against the Palestinians and other Mid Eastern nations. Virtually all the PNACers found jobs within the Bush administration, whose foreign policy is now shaped solely for the benefit of Israel. (Information Clearing House)
There are more extreme nutcase sites, to be sure. Hateful ones. But you don't have to turn over wingnuts to unearth the sentiment that those who founded the Project for the New American Century did it solely for advancing a pro-Israel foreign policy. To hear these people explain it, an aggressive Middle East policy would benefit Israel if the states of Iraq, Iran and Syria were overcome by American military force. To be sure, there are some pro-Israel position papers and essays on the PNAC's website. One reprint of an op-ed in the conservative fringe paper The New York Sun castigates the International Court of Justice for ruling against Israel's security wall. In 2000, Dore Gold, Israel's former ambassador to the U.N., penned a screed condemning the government of Ehud Barak for even considering land for peace. But for the most part, Israel is absent from most PNAC papers. The word is nowhere to be found in its Statement of Principles. The only mention of Israel in the PNAC's seminal paper, "Rebuilding America's Defenses," refers the SCUD missile threat from Iraq, an example of what the group says is the overall ballistic missile threat. Writing in Foreign Policy magazine, Max Boot tries to set the record straight:
With varying degrees of delicacy, everyone from fringe U.S. presidential candidates Lyndon LaRouche and Patrick Buchanan to European news outlets such as the BBC and Le Monde have used neocon as a synonym for Jew, focusing on Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Eliot Cohen, and others with obvious Jewish names. Trying to resurrect the old dual-loyalties canard, they cite links between some neocons and the Likud Party to argue that neocons wanted to invade Iraq because they were doing Israel?s bidding.

Yes, neocons have links to the Likud Party, but they also have links to the British Tories and other conservative parties around the world, just as some in the Democratic Party have ties to the left-leaning Labour Party in Great Britain and the Labor Party in Israel. These connections reflect ideological, not ethnic, affinity. And while many neocons are Jewish, many are not. Former drug czar Bill Bennett, ex-CIA Director James Woolsey, the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus, social scientist James Q. Wilson, theologian Michael Novak, and Jeane Kirkpatrick aren?t exactly synagogue-goers. Yet they are as committed to Israel?s defense as Jewish neocons are?a commitment based not on shared religion or ethnicity but on shared liberal democratic values. Israel has won the support of most Americans, of all faiths, because it is the only democracy in the Middle East, and because its enemies (Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, and Syria) also proclaim themselves to be the enemies of the United States.

Michael Lind adds a voice from the left in The Nation magazine:
It is true, and unfortunate, that some journalists tend to use "neoconservative" to refer only to Jewish neoconservatives, a practice that forces them to invent categories like "nationalist conservative" or "Western conservative" for Rumsfeld and Cheney. But neoconservatism is an ideology, like paleoconservatism and libertarianism, and Rumsfeld and Dick and Lynne Cheney are full-fledged neocons, as distinct from paleocons or libertarians, even though they are not Jewish and were never liberals or leftists. What is more, Jewish neocons do not speak for the majority of American Jews. According to the 2003 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion by the American Jewish Committee, 54 percent of American Jews surveyed disapproved of the war on Iraq, compared with only 43 percent who approved, and American Jews disapproved of the way Bush is handling the campaign against terrorism by a margin of 54-41.
So who, then, are these New Klingons? Michael Lind paints them as Cold Warriors who never grew up, much like the Sixties hippies who still believe in peace, love and rock and roll:
[T]he global strategy of today's neocons is shaped chiefly by the heritage of cold war anti-Communism. Neocon hostility to the UN, too often explained solely in terms of UN condemnations of Israel, is a relic of the 1970s and '80s, when the General Assembly was dominated by an anti-American alliance of the Soviet bloc and Third World autocracies. The claim that we are waging "World War IV"--made by Elliot Cohen, James Woolsey and Norman Podhoretz--is a reflex of superannuated cold warriors, as are parallels between militant Islam and secular totalitarianism and the attempt to inflate China or post-Communist Russia into threats comparable to the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.
In other words, these are people who were caught up in the anticommunist struggles of the Fifties, Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, who made their careers on proclaiming the need for American militarism in the face of the Soviet threat, who felt humiliated by Vietnam and saw the decline of the world's other great powers as a fantastic opportunity to make amends for what hadn't been done before. To them, terrorism is the new communism, which must be opposed with strength of arms. Unlike communism, however, unleashing U.S. military might against suspected terrorists, and the nations which allegedly nurture them, carries no risks. There was always the danger that if you pushed the Russians so far, thermonuclear hell would fill the skies. No longer. We're the New Klingons. We have the might, we have the right, and we'll go where we please. Who's going to stop us?


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