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

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
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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.

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