I’ve just read two posts on the Information Clearing House website. Both bear yesterday’s date and combine (as does ICH) a capacity for accuracy and insight with flawed understanding. One, on deepening inequality in the USA, I hope to address in a future post.
The other, Israel Cracks the Whip, is by ex CIA gamekeeper turned poacher Philip Giraldi. It argues that Joe Biden is being told what to do by Benjamin Netanyahu, and opens with these (slightly abridged) words:
Anyone believing the USA is not Israel’s poodle should note the comedy playing out now. Biden was president under a week when Netanyahu told him he’d be receiving a possibly unwelcome visit from Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, to explain correct policy when dealing with Iran. And lest there be any confusion, Israel Defense Force chief of staff Ltn General Aviv Kochavi announced that any Biden attempt to mend fences with the Islamic Republic will have to meet certain conditions or Israel will exercise other options.
I recommend reading in full. In under 1400 words Giraldi says things we need to hear and won’t find in the Guardian or New York Times. But the USA is no more Israel’s “poodle” than Britain is Northern Ireland’s. That Israel can exert pressure on US leaders is not in doubt. Her capacity to intimidate, and to influence policy in the West, makes her lobby the world’s most powerful – witness its role in the fall of Jeremy Corbyn. No US senator aspiring to high office will lightly incur its displeasure. Does this make Washington Israel’s poodle? I say it does not.
That same opener tells us that the visit of Mossad boss Yossi Cohen is “possibly unwelcome”. What’s that supposed to mean? Without explanation, let alone substantiation, the phrase is worthless but it does play to the gallery of a subset of opposition to Israel (often tinged with antisemitism) whose grasp of the nature of imperialism runs from limited to non existent.
Here’s another extract. Having noted Israeli demands that Iran stop enriching uranium and producing advanced centrifuges, Giraldi informs us that:
The irony is, of course, that it is Israel that has a secret nuclear arsenal that it created by stealing uranium and triggers from the United States
These things and more are offered as evidence of Washington’s subservient position vis a vis Israel. But the critical reader, while welcoming the factual aspects on offer, will note that these would only constitute proof of subservience were they to go against the interests of America’s ruling class. And therein lies the problem.
Giraldi, whose revelations have been and I expect will continue to be of value to bloggers like me, lacks a class perspective. One consequence is to confuse office with power, governance with rule. (I don’t say these have nothing to do with one another; simply that they are not the same.) Another, related, blinds him to the truth that Israel serves the designs of America’s and other Western ruling classes very well. Like other half-baked criticisms of Israel – and however intelligent, well informed and well meaning these often are, their analyses will always be half-baked without a class and imperialism perspective – he sees the USA as fighting Israel’s wars.
No Mr Giraldi (and all who share your limited view of this) American soldiers in the middle east are not killing (and occasionally dying) for Israel. They are doing so, as ever, to protect profits on Wall Street. And if you’ll forgive my nit-picking, Israel has “secret” (the world’s worst kept) nuclear capacity not because it “stole” the “uranium and triggers” from the USA but because it suited the USA’s true rulers to let her have them.
For a more penetrative and comprehensive understanding of relations between Washington and the West on the one hand, Israel on the other, I recommend Stephen Gowans’ 2019 book, Israel: A Beachhead in the Middle East. I reviewed it in this post.
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