Mark Perry is doing great work. The man who broke the Petraeus story now publishes "Petraeus wasn’t the first," in which he defends the reputation of former Army chief of staff and Sec’y of State George Marshall, who warned that Partition would create endless trouble for the U.S. This cost Marshall in the reputation mills, even though he’d won WW2 for us. A publisher in NY told Perry that Marshall was an anti-Semite, and Richard Holbrooke wrote as much in print, Perry says, but the charge is unfair. Marshall was merely "prescient". And who can argue with that based on this data:
In the period between the end of World War Two and Marshall’s meeting with Truman [May 12, 1948], the Joint Chiefs of Staff had issued no less than sixteen (by my count) papers on the Palestine issue. The most important of these was issued on March 31, 1948 and entitled "Force Requirements for Palestine." In that paper, the JCS predicted that "the Zionist strategy will seek to involve [the United States] in a continuously widening and deepening series of operations intended to secure maximum Jewish objectives." The JCS speculated that these objectives included: initial Jewish sovereignty over a portion of Palestine, acceptance by the great powers of the right to unlimited immigration, the extension of Jewish sovereignty over all of Palestine and the expansion of "Eretz Israel" into Transjordan and into portions of Lebanon and Syria.This was not the only time the JCS expressed this worry. In late 1947, the JCS had written that "A decision to partition Palestine, if the decision were supported by the United States, would prejudice United States strategic interests in the Near and Middle East" to the point that "United States influence in the area would be curtailed to that which could be maintained by military force." That is to say, the concern of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was not with [watch out, here comes a shocking statement] the security of Israel- but with the security of American lives.
Perry’s work shows that the US is finally recovering a realist/Arabist discourse, in large part because of our fatal occupation of Iraq because of the "widening and deepening" issue that Marshall identified years ago. About time.