by Michael Scheuer
Having watched John McCain and Barack Obama resolutely pledge their allegiance – and their countrymen's lives and treasure – to the defense of Israel via AIPAC, the media, and personal meetings with Israeli leaders, it is worth asking what could possibly drive these men to so ardently commit America to participation in other people's religious wars. This question is particularly important today as the Bush administration and the Israel-firsters continue to push for an unprovoked U.S. attack on Iran.
Let me say that I harbor no resentment over the actions of Israel's leaders. For more than 60 years, they have knowingly made their country a pariah in the Arab and Islamic worlds, just as the Palestinians have made themselves pariahs in much of the West. This is, of course, the right of both parties, but neither seems to want to face the consequences of their decisions. With demographic realities and increasingly radical, well-armed Arabs making them panicky about Israel's security, Israel's leaders naturally to try to lock down as much U.S. support as possible. Having consciously – if unwisely – put all their eggs in the U.S. basket since the 1973 War, Israel's leaders must do everything possible to protect their relationship with Washington.
The U.S. invasion of Iraq, it seems, was not enough for the Israel-firsters. Now, according to Sen. Joseph Lieberman, a U.S.-launched war on Iran is needed because "the threat that the U.S. and Israel face from the Islamic Republic of Iran is today greater than ever." Though based on the fantasy that Ahmedinejad's tin-pot regime is a threat to the world's only superpower, this is a perfectly commonsense position for Israel and its U.S.-citizen backers in AIPAC to champion. In their view, U.S. wars with Muslims are the ultimate good for Israel. Recall, if you will, the perfectly accurate April 2008, words of Benjamin Netanyahu, likely Israel's next prime minister: "We [Israel] are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq." These wars, Netanyahu said, have "swung American public opinion in our favor." How much more must Netanyahu and AIPAC believe that a U.S. war with Iran would add to this "swing" in Israel's favor?