July 17, 2006
interests are being considered, members of Congress act like trained
poodles. They jump dutifully through hoops held by Israel's lobby."
George W. Ball (1909-1994), former U.S. Undersecretary of State
"The [Pro-Israel] Lobby has succeeded in redefining
anti-Semitism to include any criticism of Israeli behavior, an inferred
threat that prompts all major media to ignore or sanitize reports of
Paul Findley, U.S. Republican Congressman, (1961-83)
"I've never seen a president-I don't care who he is-stand up to them [the Israelis].
It just boggles your mind. -They always get what they want. The
Israelis know what's going on all the time. ... If the American people
understood what grip those people have on our government, they would
rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on."
Admiral Thomas Moorer, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, July 1970-June 1974
Dead children lying on the ground-that's the barbarous legacy left
by the Israeli bombings of Lebanon, in early July 2006. In less than
one month, the Israeli government willfully delivered two collective
punishments against civilians, in direct violation of international law
according to the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War;
first, it was against Gaza's civilian Palestinian population; then,
they extended this unquestionable policy to the civilian population of
Beirut and other regions of Lebanon.
The government of Israel
has been lighting fires in the Middle East for more than half a
century. Incredibly, this nation of only six million people has decided
to be a law unto itself, with the voluminous aid and active support of
various American administrations. When bombs kill hundreds of
civilians, among them many women and children, it cannot be argued that
these victims are accidental "collateral damage", the euphemistic term
used in such circumstances, not when the supposed target of those
attacks, the Lebanon-based Hezbollah organization, suffered only three deaths as a result of the bombings.
Is there not a larger agenda involved here? Could it be that the
real aim of these atrocities is to provoke and bait Syria into
supporting Lebanon, providing the justification to attack Syria? Then,
if Iran were to come to the rescue of the Lebanese Shiites, an attack
could also be launched against that country. And, as is often the case
historically, [see how World War I started] such a conflct could easily escalate into a larger conflagration.
This is a scenario that rabid neocon ideologues in Israel and in the U. S. have referred to publicly over the years. The blueprint was even published ten years ago, in 1996, by a group of well-known members of the pro-Israel Lobby (Richard
Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert
Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser). Their policy statement
for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, of the Likud Party,
was entitled "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm", and it called for a strategy of total war in the Middle East, using the military power of the United States.
Here is what they proposed in their grand neocon plan:
"An effective approach", [to break Israel's encirclement and isolation]
"and one with which Americans can sympathize, would be if Israel seized
the strategic initiative along its northern borders by engaging
Hizballah, Syria, and Iran, as the principal agents of aggression in
Lebanon." ..."This effort can focus [first] on removing Saddam
Hussein from power in Iraq - an important Israeli strategic objective
in its own right - as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions."
The irresponsible haste with which George W. Bush approved
of Israel's attack against Lebanon (on July 13, 2006), may be a clear
indication that he has fully adopted the grandiose neocon plan for war
in the Middle East. In fact, his March 20, 2003 illegal attack against
Iraq was part of the overall plan.
In September 2000, a few weeks before the November elections, a
similar plan for endless war in the Middle East was penned by Dick
Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush and Lewis Libby,
under the auspices of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC),
and called "Rebuilding America's Defenses".
It was a plan whose main elements were initially outlined in 1992, when
Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz were in charge of the Defense Department.
The plan called for the U. S. to take military control of the
oil-rich Middle East, taking advantage of the demise of the Soviet
Union. It says:
"The United States has for decades sought to play a more
permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict
with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a
substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of
the regime of Saddam Hussein." The plan called also for permanent military bases in the Middle East region "even should Saddam pass from the scene", because "Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has."
Therefore, the escalation of conflicts in the Middle East should be
a surprise to no one, unless one has been asleep for the last fifteen
A bit of history.
The creation of the state of Israel was initially accepted by
British politicians, after World War I. They had been pressured for
years by Zionists to use Great Britain's hegemonic power in the Middle
East in their favor. Indeed, it was thought after World War I, that the
collapse of the Turkish Ottoman Empire and the transfer of many of its
Middle East territories to the British Empire created a golden
opportunity for establishing a Hebrew state in Palestine, the paramount
goal of the Zionists. Lord Walter Baron de Rothchild, leader of the British Jewish community, persuaded the government of Prime Minister David Lloyd-George, to issue the famous Balfour Declaration, of November 2, 1917, offering European Jews a "national home" in Palestine, "with the condition that nothing should be done which might prejudice the rights of existing communities there."
The Balfour letter, sent to Rothschild, was to be transmitted to the
Zionist Federation, a private British Zionist organization.
It is well to remember that the British government of the time was
not disinterested in this endeavor. In fact, the Lloyd-George
government was anxious to persuade the American government, through
American Jewish interests, to join the war in Europe against the
It is also of highly historical significance that the state of
Israel, since its unilateral creation in 1948, has violated
international law countless times, and with impunity, thanks mainly to
the military and diplomatic protection it has enjoyed for decades from
the United States.
Ever since its creation, the state of Israel has behaved in a
provocative way. A recent example among thousands is the arrest, on
June 29, 2006, by Israeli soldiers of most of the elected Hamas
leadership in Palestine, including eight cabinet ministers, 25 members
of parliament, and other Palestinian officials, claiming they were
responsible for an assault against an Israeli military post. As with
the above mentioned incidents in Gaza and Lebanon, such actions
represent collective punishment reprisals and are unlawful under the
1949 Geneva Convention. On other occasions, the government of Israel
has repeatedly issued threats to extra-judicially assassinate political leaders in different countries, and there are clues that it has carried out such threats.
On an even larger scale, the government of Israel could be accused of implementing a policy of genocide against the nearly 4 million Palestinians in the occupied territories of Palestine.
By refusing to seriously negotiate the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as requested by the United Nations and
most of the international community, and by continuing to encroach on
Palestinian lands with new and expanded settlements as well as erecting
its "separation" wall, it is clear that Israel's real intent is to
choke the Palestinian people by leaving them with only some isolated
uneconomical and bantustan-like lands. So far, the Israeli leadership
has never been held accountable for the sufferings it has imposed upon
the Palestinian people.
Contrary to more even-handed American administrations, the Bush-Cheney administration has weighed in unconditionally in favor of Israel. Even
though most American administrations since Harry Truman have often
sided with Israel against its Muslim neighbors, and have empowered it
with financial and military aid, they have been cautious enough to take
a balanced diplomatic posture regarding the sempiternal
Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nevertheless, people all over the world
are puzzled to see a relatively small country dictate its policies to
the United States and to the world. Such a situation has a lot to do
with the working of American domestic politics. Most Americans do not
clearly realize how the arrival of George W. Bush in the White House,
on January 20, 2001, represented a genuine victory for the powerful pro-Israel lobby. As
Israel's fifth column in America, it has the means to successfully
"spin" the news coming from the Middle East in favor of Israel. -Bush
II has gone as far as declaring Israel his only true ally in the Middle
East. On March 20, 2006, for example, his message was unequivocal: "I made it clear, and I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel."
That may be the most compelling reason why the government of Israel
has steadfastly refused international mediation to resolve its conflict
with the Palestinians, from whom it has taken lands, properties and
thousands of lives. Supported covertly or openly by the United States,
Israel has preferred a permanent state of war with its Palestinian
'citizens' to a negotiated settlement, and it has relied on a
sophisticated brand of state terrorism to fulfill its political goals.
Without this tacit complicity of the U.S. government, and sometimes,
with the support of some European countries, the Israeli government
could not do anything close to what it is doing in the Middle East.
It is a fact that Israel has used preemptive military aggression and
systematic retaliation rather than mediation in the world court to
solve its conflicts. This could be an indication that Israel realizes
that its legal case is not very strong and that a military approach
seems to be, in its view, less problematic and more rewarding than a
court-imposed compromise. -It is a shame. And the United States
government, through its one-sided military and diplomatic support, is
an accomplice to the mess that prevails in that part of the globe and
must accept much of the blame for the negative fall-out that this
unresolved conflict creates in the entire Muslim world and even
worldwide. The U. S. has imposed its veto dozens of times to prevent
the United Nations from reigning in the illegal acts of Israel. This is
truly the consequence of an Israel-United States Axis.
Rodrigue Tremblay is professor emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal and can be reached at rodrigue.tremblay@ yahoo.com
He is the author of the book 'The New American Empire'.
Visit his blog site at www.thenewamericanempire.com/blog.
Author's Website: www.thenewamericanempire.com