Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The ‘Superpower’ Conceit

It's nothing but trouble

by Justin Raimondo, July 29, 2009

(Cartoon by Khalil Bendib)

"The great foreign policy initiative unleashed by the Obama administration, the one that is supposed to earn our new president a place on Mount Rushmore, is a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian question. This issue has bedeviled American presidents starting with Jimmy Carter and continuing through Bill Clinton.........

Forget the Israeli-Palestinian problem. We have problems of our own. If we want to end Arab-Muslim enmity that results from our unthinking and immoral support for Israeli aggression, then there’s a very simple way to achieve this noble aim: cut off all aid to Tel Aviv. Once the $3 billion-plus subsidy is ended, the link between the U.S. and Israel’s racist policies in the occupied territories will end, too. That the Obama administration would never even consider such a "radical" proposal as asking the Israelis to stand on their own feet is all we need to know about the future of our career as an honest Mideast broker. With all this talk of Obama cracking down on the settlement question and demanding "concessions" from the Israelis, when it gets right down to it the president has no real bargaining power. Since Obama can’t, or won’t, threaten Tel Aviv with a withdrawal of funding, Netanyahu and his government can hold out indefinitely, effectively blocking any real progress toward a settlement.

The reason, as John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have tirelessly pointed out, is the inordinate power of the Israel lobby to dominate the policymaking process, and specifically the legislative process. The Democratic Party’s fundraising apparatus would suffer a near-fatal blow if the lobby’s wealthy friends decided to withhold their support. Obama may have to choose between a Nobel prize and his party’s political fortunes. And we know which option he’ll choose."

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