Obama obeisance: ‘expanded role’ in NATO for a religiously-defined state in Middle East

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 21 Comments

While Israel — cheered on by its American boosters led by AIPAC and Mitt Romney — beats the drums for a war against Iran, President Obama in late July signed the United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act — hardly a signal that Obama wants to defuse the explosive situation. The Rose Garden signing, attended by AIPAC representatives, came on top of the latest in a series of harsh economic sanctions against the Iranian people. This intensifying economic warfare is predictably creating hardship for average Iranians, including shortages of life-saving medicines.

The Act pledges “To help the Government of Israel preserve its qualitative military edge amid rapid and uncertain regional political transformation.” Israel already possesses by far unparalleled military superiority in the region. It has a nuclear arsenal estimated at 200–300 warheads, some of them submarine mounted. (Unlike Iran, Israel, which does not officially acknowledge its nuclear arsenal, will not sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.) This puts the faux alarm over Iran’s alleged nuclear-weapons program in perspective. Both U.S. and Israeli intelligence say that Iran is not building a weapon and has not even decided to do so.

The Act details the ways in which the U.S. government will “assist in the defense of Israel.” (Note that there has never been a treaty of alliance between the United States and Israel.)

For example, the Act mandates that the U.S. government “Provide the Government of Israel defense articles and defense services through such mechanisms as appropriate, to include air refueling tankers, missile defense capabilities, and specialized munitions.” Ynet, the Israeli news service, reported, “The legislation, which provides for special aerial armament, is also likely to allow Israel to acquire bunker buster bombs, a privilege previously denied by the Bush Administration.”

The word “defense” is repeated often in the Act, but no weapons system is purely defensive. Even a shield can protect the one who is attacking.

Keep in mind that the U.S. government already gives Israel $3 billion a year in military aid under the most favorable terms.

One provision of the Act in particular is rather curious: “Work to encourage an expanded role for Israel with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including an enhanced presence at NATO headquarters and exercises.” NATO was created in 1949 ostensibly to discourage a Soviet invasion of western Europe. When the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO became a U.S.-led police force available to enter civil wars and other conflicts anywhere in the world. It has also been used provocatively against Russia, by paving the way for the admission of states on the Russian doorstep.

What possible role could Israel have in NATO? This is clearly a bid to expand U.S. policing of the world, which makes other powers, such as Russia and China, apprehensive — justifiably so.

Perhaps most egregious of all, the Act’s first provision “reaffirm[s] our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state” (emphasis added). Thus Congress, speaking for the American people, has put in writing its commitment to a state based on ethno-racial considerations. Israel is the only country in the world that even in theory does not belong to all its citizens. Rather it is said to belong to the Jewish people, no matter where individual Jews live. Jews from around the world can move to Israel and quickly become citizens, yet a Palestinian born in Palestine and driven out by Zionist militias in 1948 may not return.

To this commitment, Rep. Ron Paul objected that the U.S. government should not “guarantee the religious, ethnic, or cultural composition of a foreign country.” This insistence on Israel’s forever remaining a Jewish state gives the lie to Israeli claims to being a fully democratic country.

Thus, no matter who wins the election, the American people are joined at the hip with Israel. This means they are at the mercy of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is either itching for war with Iran — a war that would certainly draw in the United States (Israel can’t do the job alone) and have disastrous consequences for the people of the region, as well as most Americans — or is blackmailing Obama to get additional favors from the U.S. government between now and Election Day.

21 Responses

  1. Ranjit Suresh
    August 23, 2012, 12:44 pm

    In other words, Ron Paul has more integrity than President Obama and virtually all Democratic politicians, aside from, in this particular vote, John Dingell. Although, not enough alas to break with the Republicans or risk the career of his son.

    At some point, liberals in America may have to decide if Medicare or the Department of Education is more important than America bombing other countries, imposing sanctions on civilians, and supporting a racist garrison state on the other side of the globe. What’s better: a genuinely isolationist paleoconservative or a neoliberal interventionist like Obama? The choice is obvious to me. But then, we’ll never be given the opportunity to make the decision.

    • quercus
      August 23, 2012, 4:00 pm

      Ranjit Suresh, this American HAS decided that the issues of Medicare and the Department of Education are far less than important than the hideous drone attacks and other outrages perpetrated by this Administration. It is why I will be happily writing in (if necessary) the name of RON PAUL, on a presidential ballot in November. There is no difference between Obama and Romney in foreign policy; the only thing different about Romney is extreme unctuousness and servility to the pro Israel crowd.

      I have my own speculation about Ron Paul’s reasons for not breaking with Republicans, and I’m not sure it’s to do with his son’s career.

      • Citizen
        August 23, 2012, 6:05 pm

        @ QUERCUS
        What would those reasons be? I will likely also write in Ron Paul, but I am looking at Jill Stein; have you checked out her foreign policy?

      • quercus
        August 23, 2012, 6:32 pm

        @Citizen. I think it because no third party candidate has yet come close to making any real progress in the two party system we have. I believe Ron Paul wants to change the direction of the Republican party, and not create a new party. It’s the reason I think Jill Stein will be essentially unimportant. Handing out leaflets with other Ron Paul supporters before the primary, I hear from most of them they too wish to change the direction of the Republican party, most particularly foreign policy.

      • lysias
        August 23, 2012, 7:25 pm

        There’s a long two-part interview of Jill Stein by Kevin Gosztola on the Dissenter part of Firedoglake.

      • Citizen
        August 23, 2012, 8:14 pm

        @ quercus
        I agree with you about third parties, but I really don’t see the GOP changing its foreign policy even with Ron infiltration; it’s trying to add more to the military budget, not less, which is obscene; I mean, our military budget is already bigger than the next 10 big spenders combined and all of those countries are tight allies of ours except China and Russia (with India being the only neutral country of the 10). Jill Stein wants to cut our military budget in half, which is actually a reasonable stance, but GOP won’t even cut a tenth of it.

      • Theo
        August 24, 2012, 9:49 am

        With Jill Stein you would just waste your voice, in the USA no third party have even the tiniest chance until we change the whole voting system.
        One person = one vote and if no party gets the absolute majority, 50% and 1 vote, then two parties together must form a goverment, as europeans almost aways must do.
        Besides, making Dr. Stein the president of the USA is about the same as making Joe the Plummer the president of Goldman Sachs.

  2. Bumblebye
    August 23, 2012, 1:03 pm

    An expanded role in NATO, which Turkey is a member of? That’ll not be welcomed by many NATO members. iirc, somewhere on Craig Murray’s blog he has a post about the upset felt within nato over the flotilla massacre.

  3. hophmi
    August 23, 2012, 1:54 pm

    “When the Soviet Union collapsed, NATO became a U.S.-led police force available to enter civil wars and other conflicts anywhere in the world.”

    Is the far-left still complaining about their friend Slobodan Milosevic?

    “It has also been used provocatively against Russia, by paving the way for the admission of states on the Russian doorstep.”

    So? It’s clear that without NATO, some of these states would be completely dominated by Moscow.

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 23, 2012, 2:33 pm

      “Is the far-left still complaining about their friend Slobodan Milosevic?”

      LMAO. He was a nationalist pineing away for his ethnicity’s ancient “homeland” that had long been lost to his people. Sounds like you and your fellow zios, hoppy.

    • MarkF
      August 23, 2012, 3:44 pm

      “Is the far-left still complaining about their friend Slobodan Milosevic?”

      Not as loudly as the chicken-hawk neocons complaining that we should completely encircle Russia as to entrench us in another excellent overseas adventure with fly-over country boys and girls in the trenches. Iran then Russia you say?

      • Theo
        August 24, 2012, 9:57 am

        Last time Russia was conquered was by the mongols 800 years ago!!
        Let´s hope no smartass in Washington, or Tel Aviv, ever gets the idea to pick on that bear. We can get useful advise from Napolean, the turks and from the germans on what not to do.

  4. lysias
    August 23, 2012, 3:11 pm

    Perhaps most egregious of all, the Act’s first provision “reaffirm[s] our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state” (emphasis added). Thus Congress, speaking for the American people, has put in writing its commitment to a state based on ethno-racial considerations. Israel is the only country in the world that even in theory does not belong to all its citizens. Rather it is said to belong to the Jewish people, no matter where individual Jews live. Jews from around the world can move to Israel and quickly become citizens, yet a Palestinian born in Palestine and driven out by Zionist militias in 1948 may not return.

    I wonder if that provision would be subject to challenge in court as unconstitutional. It would arguably enshrine in law a different treatment under U.S. law for persons, including U.S. citizens, depending upon whether they are Jewish or not, and thus violate equal protection.

    • Citizen
      August 23, 2012, 6:11 pm

      Interesting, filing a suit against whom, Congress and Obama? For funding and covering for the only state in the world that claims and structurally shows it is an ethno-religious state violating the US Constitution? Get nowhere under the political question doctrine.

  5. seafoid
    August 23, 2012, 5:06 pm

    Chris Hedges in the latest issue of the Progressive is asked if there’s a difference between Obama and Romney. In the same way as there is between Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein is the reply. Probably very different people but they serve the same system.

    • Citizen
      August 24, 2012, 12:04 pm

      Sure, right away. I know how girls like to shop at the mall. Their favorite is shoes because shoes are most adaptable to their full wardrobe.

      • johnshoemaker
        September 4, 2012, 2:28 pm

        Citizen, you expressed interest in my mention of Schneerson. I tried to reply my thanks for the link you gave. This bellicose man didn’t appear before ’00.
        I am trying to initiate a discussion of why the nation of Israel acts as it does. Have you heard of the “tradition” that if the world doesn’t accept a Messiah before the year 6000 there will be a giant war? This can be avoided when the MSH controls an empire that establishes acceptable justice systems in all lands. His son will begin 1000 years of peace.
        Chabad.org was the purist exponent of Shneerson-speak prior to fall ’00. The page died at the same time that Charon assaulted the Dome of the Rock. Webmaster said a computer probem. A year later they returned with a new spirit. Before they never had text such as “giving up one sq. cm. of Israel is kicking sand in g-d’s face!” All the interesting tracts with psychological-intellectual value were removed. For instance a tract explaining significance of Latin word re-ligion. Reconnection. Which can occur when one squelches the internal dialogue–allowing reconnection of mind and body. If I hadn’t studied them for 7 years I wouldn’t have noticed. Even though Schneerson was dead(95) he was quoted as chiding the US in the first Gulf War for stopping at Basra.–. It was claimed that back then he’d predicted that the empire would be at asra again on a religious date in ’03–and asked that prediction be kept secret. I think the Likud-traditionaists who took over in ’00 invented his bellicosity.
        Strange as Nato supporting a religiously-defined state In ME or anywhere is this “computer-problem.”

  6. johnshoemaker
    August 25, 2012, 6:34 am

    Yes, sister Ann had a feetish. Support of infrastructure. Economical economy not vote attractive Your tract on Liberty most complete I’ve seen.

  7. dbroncos
    August 25, 2012, 11:08 am

    “Perhaps most egregious of all, the Act’s first provision “reaffirm[s] our unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel as a Jewish state”

    Americans are catching up to this kind of racist nonsense. See comments section of NYT opinion page debate on the question: Does our alliance with Israel hurt US credibility? (Aug. 24, edition) 90% of the commentary on the opinions of all 7 panelists is critical of Israel and the Special Relationship.

    “One provision of the Act in particular is rather curious: “Work to encourage an expanded role for Israel with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), including an enhanced presence at NATO headquarters and exercises.”

    And NATO members are ok with this? This provision is a bald attempt to shoehorn Israel into member state status in which other member states would be obligated to help Israel in times of war. Israeli war planes based in Turkey? Flying over Turkish airspace? Obama and his Zionist pals could be in for a disappointing surprise.

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