Who's Whose Proxy?
by Simon Jones
May 27, 2003
"Abracadabra!" says the Prince of Darkness, as he pulls the wagging doggie out of his hat -- by its tail. US foreign policy, as officially inscribed in the Nixon Doctrine, the use of smaller states to carry out its 'proxy wars', has now been turned on its head (or rather its tail): Israeli foreign policy (Greater Israel, the final solution for the Palestinians, the overthrow of anti-Israeli Middle East governments) is now being carried out by its 'proxy', the sole world superpower, the USA.
I take issue with Chomsky, for whom Israel is more an extended US military outpost, something that can be directed and controlled from the White House, if only the will is there to do so. After all, the argument goes, Bush I was able to tell the Jewish lobby to lay off, at least a little bit (remember the tempest in the teapot when Bush I threatened to withhold 'aid' because of those pesky settlers (many - US immigrants, BTW)?
Well, let's just wait for Fahrenheit 911 for insight into Bush I's love affair with the Ladens. The point is, Bush I was/is at best a reluctant neocon, so it's not all that surprising who (excuse me Mr Linguist - 'whom') my favorite neocon, Bill Safire, voted for in 1992. Betrayed by Bush I, this arch neocon con bent over (I'll let you decide in which direction) to put an X beside his nemesis Slick Willie.
Whoa! Could it be the neocons jumped ship (momentarily in light of Bush II's miraculous conversion), betting on a wishy-washy Dem able to sweet-talk Arab and Jew alike, rather than trying to convert Bush? Could the tail indeed be wagging the dog, as revisionists Jeffrey Blankfort and Michael Neumann would have us think?
Ah, for the civilized foreign policy of Bush I, in retrospect an angel, though I doubt very much he would have had the guts to lift sanctions, let Hussein fade away naturally, and the world lurch along on to its thorny (but at least non-apocalyptic) Galgotha. That would presuppose far too much sanity.
No the Zionist lobby is no footnote to US politics. Since the 1970s it has become the guiding force of American politics. The great neocon con(spiracy) is now official.
How this astounding transformation took place under our very eyes during the past 50 years is one of the great magic acts in human history.
Once upon a time.
The idea of population transfer accompanied the Zionist movement from its very beginnings, first appearing in Theodore Herzl's diary. The very act of purchasing the land and evacuating the Arab tenants from the early 20th century on, the 'disappearing' of the Arabs, lay at the heart of the Zionist dream, and was a necessary condition of its existence. There was little dispute
among Zionists about the desirability of forced transfer -- or its morality. However, the Zionist leaders learned not to publicly proclaim their mass expulsion intent because 'this would cause the Zionists to lose the world's sympathy.' 
The key issue was to find an opportune time to initiate the mass expulsion process that would not incur the world's condemnation. In the late 1930s, Ben-Gurion wrote: 'What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible in such great hours is not carried out - a whole world is lost.' The 'revolutionary times' would come with the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, when the Zionists were able to expel 750,000 Palestinians (more than 80 percent of the indigenous population), and thus achieve an overwhelmingly Jewish state, though not including all the Zionist leaders wanted. The opportunity to grab additional land took place as a result of the 1967 war; however, the occupation of the additional territory brought the problem of a large Palestinian population, and world opinion was now totally opposed to forced population transfers, equating such an activity with Nazism.
So far, so good. Israel could be seen up to the '67 war as just another US-sponsored anti-communist outpost (with an oddly socialist domestic agenda). OK, a rather nasty one, prone to attack its neighbors, unable to stick to basic international law, but heck, they all have voting relatives in the US and they do love us so (no 'playing the US against the Soviets'). They were definitely 'our bastards'.
But this is where the plot thickens: the transition from the Nixon/Kissinger detente to the Carter/Brzezinski and the Reagan neocons. Up to Nixon/ Kissinger, US government policy was devoted to promoting stable governments in the Middle East that would allow the oil (important word - repeat oil) to flow to the Western industrial nations.
To allow the oil to flow, it was not necessary for these governments to befriend Israel - in fact they could openly oppose the Jewish state. This suited K just fine. He was no particular fan of Israel. He was truly cosmopolitan and his politics were realpolitik He had prickly relations with Israeli officials throughout his career. Though raised in an orthodox household, he was totally secular, and opposed the founding of Israel as a racial state in 1948, no doubt having recognized the US as the de facto secular Jewish state, where, as he liked to opine "one could walk across the street with one's head erect". 
Always seeing foreign affairs through his Cold War lenses, after the '67 war K advocated a prolonged stalemate on the Middle East, trying to convince Arabs that relying on the Soviet Union would lead nowhere. However, he was jolted into action by the oil boycott following the war in '73 and it required all his genius as shuttle diplomat to negotiate a settlement between Egypt and Israel, not without lashing out at the ruthless Israelis (some, like Yitzak Rabin, once-upon-a-time personal friends). Always ready with a witticism, he cracked at the time: "If it were not for the accident of my birth, I would be anti-Semitic," and "Any people who have been persecuted for 2000 years must be doing something wrong."
However, Israeli fanaticism and persistence in the face of a muddled US policy and K's intrigues with the Arabs inadvertently consolidated the Zionist grip on US Middle East policy. Playing for the all-important Jewish vote had now become a key factor in electioneering. K's so-called linkage policy with respect to the Soviet Union - Vietnam or human rights concessions to get US arms reduction concessions - became an important element in the Zionist policy of building the Israeli population through immigration. With detente and a relaxation of exit visas from the Soviet Union, there was massive emigration of Jews to Israel culminating in the rather outrageous Jackson-Vanik trade amendment demanding even larger quotas of Jewish émigrés, an unprecedented interference in a country's internal affairs. It predictably backfired and exacerbated anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union (is it possible this was the Zionist intent?), temporarily reducing Jewish emigration to a trickle.
Meanwhile, the increasingly high-profile AIPAC (American-Israeli Political Affairs Committee) lobbied against K's detente politics, even going so far as to send a public letter to President Ford, signed by 76 senators, demanding massive military and economic aid for Israel, and calling on Ford to make clear that "The US acting in its own national interests stands firmly with Israel." K was enraged and railed at Ambassador Dinitz: "This letter will increase anti-Semitism. It will cause people to charge that Jews control Congress." Bravo, Nobel Henry!
In his thankless shuttles between Israel and Egypt, K was hounded in Jerusalem by right wing Jews: "Jew boy! Go home!" using a phrase Nixon had used on one of the Watergate tapes, which they knew would drive K mad. It did. And it worked: Israel gained a huge military aid package $2.6b plus advanced F-16 fighter jets for signing the Sinai II accord. "How can I, as a Jew who lost 13 relatives in the holocaust, do anything that would betray Israel?" he would say in exasperation to Jewish leaders (who nonetheless loathed him, if for the wrong reasons).
Despite their lack of clear-cut success with Kissinger, Ford and later Bush senior, the Zionists still seemed to have a Midas touch. Whatever the political winds in Washington (accommodate the Arabs, attempt (feebly) to curb Israel settlements), whatever the Arabs may do (oil embargo, hijack, launch war, resist, suicide bomb, find massive sympathy around the world), their mission has continued to move inexorably forward, so it would seem, towards victory. To expulsion of the Palestinians, destruction of the Islamic world, the permanent enchantment of America under a Zionist spell of the End of History (or Armageddon - whatever).
It was during the 1980s, with the coming to power of the rightwing Likud government, that the idea of expulsion publicly resurfaced. And this time it was directly tied to a larger war, with destabilization of the Middle East seen as a precondition for Palestinian expulsion. Such a proposal, including Palestinian population removal, was outlined in 'A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s,' in the World Zionist Organization's Kivunim in 1982. The article called for Israel to bring about the dissolution and fragmentation of the Arab states into a mosaic of ethnic groupings, clearly inspiring Ariel Sharon from 1988 on in his threat to make war on Israel's Arab neighbors if the Palestinian uprising continued. The war, he stated, would provide the circumstances for the removal of the entire Palestinian population from the West Bank and Gaza and even from inside Israel proper.  This is the underlying 'road map' for Bush II's Middle East peace plan, whatever the latest sanitized version making the rounds may be. Sharon's pompous prevarications are merely playing for time. Waiting for the next 'revolutionary times.'
Bill Safire is nobody's fool. Abandoning Bush I for refusing to 'go all the way' against Hussein and for attempting to mollify Arab leaders, he could foresee that for all the sweet talk, his namesake would up the ante in Iraq with unremitting and punishing UN sanctions and daily bombing in hopes of toppling Hussein 'naturally'. Bill's little dalliance with Monica even precipitated an especially nasty bombardment. Could his namesake be so clever as to be behind even this little assignation? And then there's Bill's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, yet another Jewish refugee, who made very clear that sanctions would never be lifted while Hussein was still in power. And the so-called Oslo accords which gutted an already rump Palestine and were doomed to lead nowhere, and yet were almost foisted on a naïve Arafat using every last ounce of Slick Willie's charm.
Just to drive home where his true beliefs lay, Clinton's last effort in office, at great personal cost, was to pardon convicted tax evader Marc Rich, a dual Israeli-American, another neocon icon; and Hillary Clinton continues the neocon mission as senior Senator for New York and future Dem presidential hopeful. And we always have Joe Lieberman panting in the wings if Dubya falters. Where is the doggie wagging the tail in all of this?
Now that the revolutionary situation called for by early Zionists has been handed to them on a silver platter – 9/11 -- the Zionist mission has gone into full gear, abetted by the apocalyptic Christian right in the US. The tail is whipping doggie wildly back and forth, sending the poor American people into a state of frenzy. The scenario of widespread war throughout the Middle East is now being enacted. But just as it looks like Greater Israel might make it triumphantly to the finish line, the waters have begun to look a bit muddy.
There are some neocons and imperialist fellow travelers who are beginning to get cold feet. While control of the Middle East oil supply would certainly buttress United States dominance of the world and provide hardcore security for Israel, it should be noted that American imperialists such as Brzezinski and Scowcroft, are cool to such a Middle East war (Brzezinski has his own frightening New World Order to promote, with Israel not quite so prominent). And oil companies themselves are skeptical of the value of sending the world into turmoil. War tends to be bad for markets (except of course the arms market). Besides, direct colonial control of a country's internal affairs would be a significant break with American policy of the past half century. Already Afghanistan is coming back to life, and it's not paying much attention to its US-imposed puppet regime. God knows what Iraq will look like when the rubble clears there.
This leaves the neocons' and pro-Israeli Likudniks' motives as the only logical reason for the Trotskyite 'permanent war' scenario. It is when a country is desperate that it launches risky wars. Despite the rantings and ravings of the Bush clique, there is no reason to think the US is desperate, while, despite the stolid Likud calm which Sharon exudes as he methodically destroys an entire people, Israel clearly IS.
Thus we can only marvel at the brilliant success of the Israeli plan to get the US to bash one of its enemies after another. Well done, Prince of Darkness!
Oh, wait... There IS one other explanation. Maybe Dubya thinks the whole thing is one humungous video game. After all, he never traveled abroad before being plunked down in the White House. And his grip on reality is far from solid. The 'out there' for him is more an abstraction. Besides, now that he's universally hated around the world, he can never really see (or smell) any of the fallout anyway. So what the hell! Let's whip their goddamn ass and good!
In his 'Farewell Address,' George Washington expressed the view that the greatest danger to American foreign relations would be the 'passionate attachment' of influential Americans to a foreign country to the detriment of the United States.
Wake up, George, before it's too late! You too, Dubya!
Simon Jones is a Canadian freelance journalist living in Uzbekistan. He writes for Peace Magazine (Toronto) and has published pieces in Counterpunch and YellowTimes.org. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* See also Simon Jones’ “Just What Does Kissinger Think of the Neocons?”
1) Tom Segev, One Palestine, Complete: Jews and Arabs Under the British
Mandate (NY, 2000)
2) Kissinger's farewell speech as Secretary of State 1977.
3) Stephen J. Sniegoski, War on Iraq - Conceived In Israel, Current Concerns