Is Israel a Strategic Asset or Liability? – Wilkerson

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Wilkerson - Is Israel a Strategic Asset or Liability?

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson argues that American one-sided support for Israel is a danger to the region and U.S. interests. He says the U.S. should withdraw militarily from the Middle East and end support for Israel and Saudi Arabia. Doing so would encourage regional compromise, not war. Larry Wilkerson on theAnalysis.news with Paul Jay.

Transcript

Paul Jay

 Hi, I’m Paul Jay. Welcome to theAnalysis.news. Don’t forget the donate button. Subscribe button, the share button, sign up for the email list and all of that. Be back in a few seconds with Larry Wilkerson.In a speech during a Senate session on June 5th, 1986 still at the height of the Cold War, Joe Biden said this about Israel. Now joining me to discuss just what is the “strategic interest” in the Middle East is Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson. He was chief of staff to Colin Powell at the State Department and at the Joint Chiefs. Thanks very much for joining me, Larry.

Larry Wilkerson

Thanks for having me, Paul.

Paul Jay

So before we get into today or post collapse of the Soviet Union, let’s go back to 1986 and into the early 90s, but especially that period towards the height of the Cold War. Why was Israel considered such a strategic interest of the United States? And is what Biden says true, at least at that time? If there hadn’t been in Israel, the United States would have invented it.

Larry Wilkerson

Let me take you back to 1947 1948 for just a minute and then I’ll fast forward. I gave a speech at the National Press Club a few years ago. It was called Israel is not a strategic asset. It’s a strategic liability. What I said in that speech at the beginning was I quoted the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the study they did for Truman when he was thinking about recognizing Israel. Should it be in that position? The Joint Chiefs essentially predicted what has happened. They have basically said this is not a strategic asset, it’s a strategic deficiency, and and it is so because there are 400 million Arabs and just a few Jews and this is taking on all of those Arabs in perpetuity. They talk about it in a lot of other things, too, the partition of Palestine and so forth and so on. At any rate, it caused George Marshall, not a man, to be persuaded to this kind of position in any cavalier way to tell Truman essentially, I might not vote for you if you recognize Israel, which took Truman by complete surprise and Truman’s kind of cavalier response back was essentially very accurate. “I know there are more Jews in New York than there are Arabs,” because Truman was looking at the vote and what it would do for the Democrats.

Fast forward to the time you’ve just talked about. What has Israel become in what was very inchoate at that time – 1947/48 – Soviets hadn’t even exploded an atomic weapon yet, is suddenly very cohesive, and it’s the Cold War and it’s a threat that has nuclear weapons and a threat that has a poisonous ideology we thought called communism, and a threat that in 1986, Ronald Reagan had painted as big as a ten foot gorilla in order to support his arms buildup in the early 80s. So here we are with Biden saying what he said. In that particular time, as it had been since the Cold War really began to burn hot, you could argue that happened even after the death of Stalin and certainly with the explosion of the bomb before Stalin’s death, Israel took on the appearance of an unsinkable aircraft carrier at a very strategic location in the eastern Mediterranean. In fact, probably you could say the only place we could land, as it were, if we had to, and it had a fairly and growing competent army, air force and other elements to.

So at that time, as I admitted in my speech, you could say it was a reasonably sound strategic asset, wasn’t going anywhere. It was a democracy. Maybe it was a kibbutz based democracy because most of those Jews who came out of Europe post Hitler were Jews who subscribe to socialism and worse, communism, and so it was a very different country then. It didn’t have the society it has today. A predatory capitalist society, a crony capitalist society, where less than 60 families own half the state, where the defense complex owns fifty one percent of the land and so forth.

It just wasn’t the same country it is today. But let’s take the real breaking point. When the Cold War went away, we no longer needed Israel and therefore the other factors that the Joint Chiefs have been so vividly pointing out in 1947, even without the Cold War, suddenly became paramount. The most dominant one was twenty two Arab nations with millions and millions of Arabs who were opposed in some way or another to Israel, not necessarily existentially opposed, but in some way or another might at some point in time take to the field, as several times they did, to go after Israel, became more of a growing strategic liability.

Then, as I pointed out in my speech, when Israel began to take on the tone intent that it has today with nuclear weapons. There’s another issue we we should discuss. Why is it the only state in the world that the United States supports, it has nuclear weapons and lets it get away with saying it doesn’t have nuclear weapons or being ambiguous about it, but it began to take on an entirely different appearance. Once we get well into the post-Cold War period, it becomes quite obvious and this starkly confronts me when I’m special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Colin Powell, when the first Gulf War breaks out.

I’m looking back on the Iran-Iraq war and what happened in that war and using it to inform the advice I’m giving to the chairman and the chairman is looking at whether or not we should use force under H.W. Bush in Iraq or in Kuwait to kick the army out of Iraq. I begin to understand and we all begin to understand, including H.W. Bush, the president, what a liability Israel is and we’re frantically trying to keep Israel out of this war because of what the Joint Chiefs said years before.

If Israel comes into this war, it’ll be a disaster because then every Arab country will have all manner of reason, not only to hate the United States for what it’s doing, even under UN auspices, but it also intensifies distrust and dislike and hatred for Israel because Israel will come into the war as allied with the United States, formally on the ground fighting an Arab country, and we did everything we could to keep Israel that war. We bent over backwards to keep Israel out of that war, even when they were hit with Scud missiles, you may recall. We still told them we sent emissaries there in addition to the ones we already had there and said, don’t you enter this war, don’t you dare into this war because you’ll screw the pooch. You will mess everything up and that was when I began to realize and the military began to realize and not me, the military, that Israel was not an asset anymore. At best, the only strategic value was the Jews in America who affiliated themselves with Israel and that was a potent and popular population and we had to deal with that politically, domestically. We also realized that there was this hangover from the Holocaust. I’m being very, very clear with you. I’m not being ambiguous. There was this hangover from the Holocaust that we were partly guilty for it. There were all these things that tied us to Israel and that was a strategic link and so we were reluctant to suggest in any way that that link ought to be broken for that very purpose, but as time went by and I assess this situation more and more, and when I gave that speech at the National Press Club.

Paul Jay

What year was that speech?

Larry Wilkerson

 2016. It’s still on YouTube. You can see it. Only about 60,000 hits so far so it needs some more. I came to a conclusion and that’s why I decided to answer the call and give that speech that Israel had shifted even with that tie that sort of personal tie, domestic to domestic and so forth, to being a strategic liability and part of the mechanism, part of the reality that convinced me is she’s no longer a democracy.

Israel is not a democracy. She’s an apartheid state. At that time, when I gave a speech she was an apartheid state, certainly in the West Bank. Carter had even written a book about it. She was becoming rapidly an apartheid state in the 1967 borders, Israel, and in other places. Once we get Trump on board, she is an apartheid state in almost every extent that she exists. I predict, I’ve said this a number of times, in ten years, Israel will be a fully blown apartheid state, just like South Africa was. In twenty years. Israel will not be a state. She’ll be gone. That’s why I said in that speech, and I have said subsequently, publicly and privately, Israel is in its most dangerous time and we are part of that danger because we’re aiding and abetting this state that is not a democracy, that exercises power brutally, that looks more like those who oppress them in the forties and the late thirties than they do the democracy we first recognized, and that’s not good for the United States and it’s not good for Israel. My chief worry for the United States is Israel will lead us into that debacle.

Paul Jay

Now, to what extent are the views you’re espousing, the views of either the Joint Chiefs, the preponderance of the leadership of the military, and even the foreign policy complex? Because certainly in a public way, there’s no wavering on this among the politicians. On the whole.

Larry Wilkerson

It’s a sacrosanct issue. It’s not a third rail. It’s a sacrosanct issue. It’s sacred. You cannot touch it. One reason is because Israel has used the antisemite card to the point where people shiver when anything happens that Israel might lie down and use the antisemite card. It’s not as effective as Shanker said it. God bless the place. It’s Israel’s voicebox. What is it? They claim to be the Institute for Freedom and Democracy [Foundation for Defense of Democracy] or something like that, but they really are the institute for Israel, and you’ve got a lot of Cheney’s old gang working over there, John Hannah, for example, and what they’ve done is, as Shanker himself said, use the antisemite card so many times and many times erroneously, just as propaganda or whatever, that they’ve weakened it considerably.

So there are people like Mearsheimer and Walt, for example, two academics who wrote the Israel lobby and have taken on that lobby in a significant way. There are people now who are actually talking about what I’m talking about, that Israel is a liability, not an asset. I don’t know how far that’s going to go before they figure that out. To the extent that they’re successful again or they are successful again, AIPAC no longer has the power that it once had. AIPAC was probably along with the NRA and maybe Big Tobacco before it kind of went down and maybe Big Pharma and some of the others, the real estate lobby and so forth. AIPAC is probably the most efficient and probably one of the most effective lobbies in Washington. But with the Gqiba, they got to defeat their first major defeat. They did not stop that agreement under President Obama. Now they got close. They got so close that with Trump, they were able to achieve their goal later, but the fact that Biden is able to come back and be making progress right now in renegotiating it is is clear evidence that AIPAC no longer has the sway it had.

Paul Jay

Just to make sure just to make sure everyone understood. You’re talking about the Iran nuclear agreement, right?

Larry Wilkerson

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the agreement with Iran. So it is changing very incrementally, very slowly. The relationship is changing. Probably one of the most dramatic changes is if you poll young Jewish Americans, you will find those under 30 and then those under 50 and then those under 65 have very differing views of Netanyahu, but in all age categories, they are negative. They are better than 50 percent.

Paul Jay

There’s quite a bit of polling that shows that it’s not an electoral advantage for either party among a majority of Jews to support Netanyahu and these kinds of aggressive attacks on Gaza and such that it actually hurts them electorally. Among the Jewish community, those who are really in support of Netanyahu are some very wealthy like Sheldon Adelson types, although he’s more Republican, but there’s Haim Saban and there’s a bunch of billionaires. The money is very important, but electorally, what is important are evangelicals who are more pro-Israel than most of the ordinary Jews in the country are.

Larry Wilkerson

John Hagee and his Christians United for Israel is a perfect case in point. Hagee’s support for Israel is almost irrational, especially when you read what Hagee writes in some of his books about how the Jews are responsible for the crucifixion of Christ and so forth and yet they’re allied with Israel and when you ask them, like Max Blumenthal did, when you stick a microphone in front of their face and force them to fess up, as it were, you get these kind of pandering words like, well, at the end, all the Jews will convert

Paul Jay

Or go to hell.

Larry Wilkerson

Yeah, yeah, exactly. That’s the other side of it.

Paul Jay

Most, including me, are going to go to hell.

Larry Wilkerson

Yeah. It’s very untenable position, however, it’s understandable from the perspective of one factor, the rapture and a lot of these fundamentalist. Christians who are also increasingly, I think, identified as nationalist Christians, that is Christianity should be the national religion, almost like fascism, then you identify a group that clearly think the rapture is imminent, that the end times are imminent, and that this alliance with Israel, the tighter it gets, the stronger it gets, the more apt it is to bring about the Antichrist, to bring about the end times and to bring about Christ to the center of the Earth and the establishment of the thousand year kingdom. They actually actually believe this.

Paul Jay

We need to add that some of that they are in very senior leadership positions in the U.S. military. So this isn’t just some marginalized souls here.

Larry Wilkerson

Absolutely.

Paul Jay

So this poll in Israel. A serious poll, 1500 people or something, which is a pretty decent sampling. The question is, if it became known that Iran had a nuclear weapon, would you support Israel using a first strike nuclear weapon against Iran, knowing that it might kill two million people. Now, it was very clear, apparently in the question that Iran was not threatening to use this weapon, just that Iran possessed such a weapon. If my memory serves me right, it was 60 percent of Israeli respondents supported a strike against Iran that could kill two million people. In the strategic thinking of the United States military when they game out. What to do if Iran has a nuclear weapon is that part of the game that, in other words, a strategic interest of the United States is to be able to have Israel use Israel to attack Iran with a nuclear weapon, if that’s the way they want to go?

Larry Wilkerson

I’ve never heard that in my 31 years in the military. I’ve never heard espoused by anyone in the military. I’m not saying that, especially with this Christian nationalism movement within the military, that there hasn’t been more recently than my service someone speculating or talking about that, but in my time, no one ever talked about it, but let’s come back to my original point. What you just talked about is, if you will, the existential reason why Israel is a strategic liability and not an asset.

Paul Jay

Because they just might do something like this.

Larry Wilkerson

Yes. We talk about irrational, theological-based people in Tehran. Turn yourself around, Mr. and Mrs. America, and look at Jerusalem and tell me what happened in the last few days isn’t stark evidence that Bibi Netanyahu has exploited politically and is using politically and is using to keep himself out of jail a more rabid religious theological orientation in Israel than Iran ever dreamed of using?

Paul Jay

Yeah, there’s not another country that I can think of in the world that could do what Israel is doing and still be played in a positive way. Though I must say less so this time the attacks on Gaza than last time. There’s a little more in the media. Each time they attack Gaza the media in the United States is a little bit more open to see the barbarity of it, but still, on the whole, the political class and such apologize for it, and now as we speak today, just a few minutes before we started this interview, Netanyahu announced a unilateral cease fire. I guess this is to some extent under the pressure of Biden or maybe he needed Biden to say it to do it, because every time they attack Gaza, no matter how much destruction they cause, it doesn’t take very long for Hamas in Gaza to come back again.

Larry Wilkerson

Here’s the military strategy. This is my time at the George Washington University. It’s my seminar on national security affairs and my young student, who was one of my most brilliant students who had served two years in the IDF, including a tour that encompassed service in Operation Cast Lead. When I got through talking to David about Operation Cast Lead.

Paul Jay

Well, remind people what that is.

Larry Wilkerson

It’s the operation in Gaza where this philosophy first took root that I’m going to tell you about military to military. I’m a former colonel in the U.S. military. He’s a former lieutenant in the idea who participated viscerally in this operation. He left his position and left Israel. The rule that they operated under was kill everything in sight, because we have to make the Palestinians understand, particularly Hamas, that we will slaughter everyone for one Israeli death, every one: man woman, child, dog, cat, you name it, that’s what our orders were and that’s what we did.

Paul Jay

Most Americans don’t understand how deeply racist, how deeply fascistized Israeli society has become. That when these attacks on Gaza take place and apartments are blown up and women and children are killed, that Netanyahu’s popularity goes up.

Larry Wilkerson

And he knows that. He’s learned that lesson.

Paul Jay

It’s starting to break down some in the United States, some of the media starting to acknowledge it, which I which I think is, you know, Biden even electorally realized he needed to say something much. He waited long enough to say something that in some ways he gave Netanyahu a way out.

Larry Wilkerson

Well, remember, I told you at one time I was asked to be a foreign policy adviser to Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and then someone read what I’d said about Israel. It might have been from that speech I was telling you about in The New York Times because they reported it and Bernie’s chief of staff called me and said, no, go away, go away, and I realized right away. Yet look how far Bernie Sanders has now come and what he said about Netanyahu’s government and so forth, and particularly about these operations in Gaza. People are waking up and as I’ve said before, if Israel loses our unqualified support, then Israel is on its own, and if it’s an apartheid state on top of that, still trying to be greater Israel and fulfill the Zionist wildest dreams, it will disappear. It will simply disappear.

Paul Jay

There’s a pressure being put on some members of Congress. People are asking some of the squad and other progressives to take this up. Under U.S. Law apparently, it is illegal to give aid to a country that hasn’t signed the nonproliferation agreement and has nuclear weapons. So, in fact, three billion dollars a year is not even legal.

Larry Wilkerson

Yeah, they don’t have nuclear weapons. They have Dimona out there and they’re going to modify and modernize Dimona, but they don’t have nuclear weapons. Everybody in the world knows they have nuclear weapons who has a brain.

Paul Jay

Well, Jimmy Carter, actually, in terms of an official, spilled the beans a few years ago and Carter came out and said they have. When you have a former president that obviously knows says that it’s kind of ridiculous, but maybe the reason the United States doesn’t acknowledge that they have it is precisely because it would make the aid illegal. They’d be acknowledging that.

Larry Wilkerson

Well, you know, there’s so many illegalities. Let me just give you one example of how ridiculous this is. Richard Haass, when I was on the Policy Planning staff in state from 2001 to 2002, put me into Political-Military Affairs every morning, going to Lincoln Bloomfield’s, the assistant secretary for P-M [Political-Military Affairs], going to his meetings every morning and reporting back to Policy Planning. We’re in there one morning and an Apache helicopter firing a Hellfire missile had just fired into a hotel room, killing a much wanted, they said, leader of Hamas, which I have no reason to doubt, but it also killed all of his family, including his wife, his children, his brother and all these other people. Well, that was a misuse of American aid. If you read the law, you cannot use American arms under the contract that we have for these kinds of purposes. Guess what we did? We argued all morning on whether or not we were going to demarche them. In other words, send a diplomatic cable that said, shame on you, slap on your wrist. There was no talk of the law. There was no talk of illegality of the action. There was only talk about whether or not we’re going to slap them on the wrist. End of story. We didn’t even do that. 

Paul Jay

Let me go back to this idea. I’m going to argue that there’s a section at least at the CIA and U.S. military intelligence and others where Israeli intelligence, Mossad and such are a strategic asset, that the Mossad will go in and kill Iranian scientists.

Larry Wilkerson

So long as they’re not using their capabilities against you.

Paul Jay

Yeah, but that’s part of the idea that it is still a U.S. asset that the Israeli national security establishment can do stuff that the Americans wouldn’t like to do themselves, and not only that, they’re very good.

Larry Wilkerson

I actually was a beneficiary, if you will, or the unit for which I worked was a beneficiary of some Mossad-producers, Israeli intelligence-produced information during the Iran-Iraq war. I would say during the Cold War, that was basically true, that they were an asset in terms of intelligence sharing, but it immediately fell off after the Cold War ended because no one knew whether what we were getting was actually the truth and it became a real trial to try and sort it out and understand it, and so what the military does when that’s the case is usually discard it and it becomes unuseful. I don’t know how much that picked up.

Paul Jay

U.S. strategic interests. You can kind of break that down and ask U.S. strategic interest for whom? What I mean by that is the American elites, the military-industrial complex, the political class and such.

Larry Wilkerson

Does everyone know how the complex works with Israel? We pour arms and assets into them and they pay us back with our own money, or we give them arms and then we pay the contractor for our giving them arms. All right.

Paul Jay

Well, what I’m about to say is not an economic argument, but U.S. strategic interest, as I understand it, is not so much really, although they pretend it is about securing the country. It’s not defense. It’s not about national security primarily, although, of course, it has some features of that. It’s primarily about maintaining predominant control, U.S. hegemony, being the global superpower. That may be perceived by people in an honest way, that by maintaining the United States as the superpower helps defend the country from attacks, or it’s understood that to maintain American commercial superiority, it helps to be militarily dominant. Now one can argue whether that’s even true or not.

Larry Wilkerson

What it has to do with more Paul is domestic politics. I know people don’t like hearing this, but I teach this. Domestic politics is often more influential on national security decision making and even foreign policy decision making than national interest. The interest of the people in power is often more important than the genuine interest of the country. With Israel, that is ten times more powerful and true because you don’t get elected in this country if you don’t support Israel, period. Ask Chuck Percy. You don’t.

Paul Jay

Let me finish the thought, because I’m not disagreeing with you.

Larry Wilkerson

I just want to make sure you understand I think that this has really come full blown from what the Joint Chiefs predicted in the beginning, and it is now a domestic issue more than it is an international issue, a security issue or foreign policy issue.

Paul Jay

Well, whether it’s Israel or even other areas, what I’m getting at is a somewhat different question, which is the interest in being the dominant power in the Middle East, and at least it seems like the political and military class still thinks Israel is needed for America to be dominant in the Middle East, and you can argue it isn’t and you are that it’s not that kind of asset, but some will argue with you and say it is, but I’m raising a different question. Is it actually in the interest of the American people that the U.S. maintains its dominance around the world? That, in fact, the national interest, if you defined it by the interests of the majority of ordinary Americans, it’s actually not in their interest to be the dominant power in the world. You know, I can understand defense, but 800 military bases and so on and so on. That ordinary Americans really don’t benefit from this.

Larry Wilkerson

Watch my speech, keynote opening speech, nine forty five yesterday morning to your Connect, your Canadian Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, where I essentially said the United States would be better served in terms of its national interest, its domestic interest and its overall set of interests in the world if it were to withdraw from Central Command and the Levant and most of Africa, with the exception of the Red Sea, Djibouti now immediately. It is so clearly because from roughly the fall of the Shah, when the Shah really was our hedgemon and our sort of look over the situation in the Gulf and keep it peaceful, and we lost him and the balance was between Iran and Iraq. We did everything from offshore, we call it now offshore balancing. John Mearsheimer and other Stephen Walt talk about that, but what it meant was not a single soldier, sailor, airman or Marine on the ground in the Levant, not a one. Not this huge complex in Kuwait, huge complex and Qatar, huge complex in Bahrain, huge complex in Saudi Arabia. We didn’t have any of that. That started with the first Gulf War and was a huge mistake. In fact, bin Laden in a fatwa listed that as one of his reasons why he was going to attack the Great Satan, because we left troops on the ground in the holy places in Saudi Arabia. We knew that was a bad move in the military. We told everyone it was a bad move. Look, this is what we’ve been doing for so long. We don’t need to change that. No, look what we got now. We’ve got the greatest force laid out on the history of the globe in that region, naval, air, Marines, soldiers and so forth.

I said, get out, get out. Don’t just do what Joe Biden is doing and begin to act like you might get out, get out, get out. What does that do? Because I said, OK, what would Russia do? What would China do? What would Turkey do? And so forth. And I got down to Israel. What would Israel do? Grow up or die. That doesn’t mean we would leave them entirely. We’d still be able to get to them with formidable power. The formidable power today, by the way, and you know, this is cyberpower. The formidable powers is to bring the eastern seaboard to the United States by a slight little hack that a high schooler could have done down to its knees because it can’t get any gas for its cars. Imagine that writ large all across the country in power, in heating and air conditioning and everything that you can think of that’s networked in this country to include the financial system brought to its knees. That’s the future of warfare. So that’s another reason why you don’t need this hugely expensive and contractor-intensive force lay down in the Middle East. You just don’t get anything.

Paul Jay

Isn’t that part of the reason for doing all this? There’s so much money being made, but I should add, it’s not just defense of Israel. It’s defense of the Saudis and the Emirates and all these monarchies.

Larry Wilkerson

Look what’s happened with Biden. Trump did it to start with because he didn’t respond to the drone shoot down. He didn’t respond to the attack on the Saudi oil facilities. He did kill Soleimani, but that was a one off event. OK, look, bin Salman has changed his approach. He’s now talking to Tehran. Oman’s good offices have been offered and accepted. There are sizable, significant talks taking place right now. Why? Because the United States is no longer reliable. Well, let’s be completely unreliable.

Paul Jay

Well, then what happens to all those Saudi arms sales if Iran and the Saudis can be less antagonistic?

Larry Wilkerson

Exactly. I don’t for a minute say this is going to be easy. It’s not going to be easy because they’re going to be people from Lockheed Martin to Boeing lined up to stop you from doing it and they’re going to tell you that the sky is falling, that if you leave, the Russians will come in, if you leave, the Chinese will come in. At best, the Chinese will come in with soft power. They’re already there with soft power. They’re Son Tzu, they’re not Clausewitz’s. They’re going to do everything with soft power and then I pointed out that we have 800 bases on the globe and China and Russia together and the rest of the world have less than seventy. So tell me again how they’re going to come in and take over. Besides, if they do, then they’ll have all the headaches we have now.

Paul Jay

Well, reminds me of a quote when the British were debating what to do with Canada, whether to try to keep it a colony. The quote was, the colonies are a millstone around our neck. Get rid of them.

Larry Wilkerson

Give Canada to Washington and sink it.

Paul Jay

All right. Thanks for joining me, Larry.

Larry Wilkerson

Thanks for having me Paul.

Paul Jay

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  • Our friends, and family have been observing the rise of China throughout the world, with equitable trade in Eurasia, parts of Latin America, Germany and Italy.
    Our keen-eyed economists in Europe, along with highly educated people there are telling us that China is gobbling up raw materials from many different countries.
    The emergence of China is starting to impinge upon the US & it’s “world hegemony.”
    In turn, we now see the US trying to infringe on Germany with its rise as an EU hegemony. Ditto for Russia, and the Pipeline along with trying to slam China and Iran. Meaning, America is beginning to feel pinched.
    Colonel Wilkerson stated that Israel has become a liability. But he could have said more and that is:
    America’s hegemony needs to reduce the funding of Israel, in order to transfer those billions in targeting by sea, by land and air the rise of Eurasia, parts of Latin America, Russia and others who have found it much more attractive in doing business with China.

  • Interview:”There was this hangover from the Holocaust that we were partly guilty for it.”

    My comment: How? The USA under Mr. Roosevelt fought Mr. Hitler who was doing the holocaust. Yes, there are many insane books out there who blame Roosevelt for not having magical powers to rescue everyone from Hitler. But these books and everything in them are — uh, insane.
    This mythology was pioneered by extreme right-wing “Revisionist” Zionists. Unfortunately this crap is so widespread it filters into even lefties’, dissenters’ brains. Not the only thing where the 99% of the Left (and then everyone else) laps up extreme Right-wing propaganda as gospel truth.

    Interview: “Everybody in the world knows they have nuclear weapons who has a brain.

    Paul Jay
    Well, Jimmy Carter, actually, in terms of an official, spilled the beans a few years ago and Carter came out and said they have. When you have a former president that obviously knows says that it’s kind of ridiculous, but maybe the reason the United States doesn’t acknowledge that they have it is precisely because it would make the aid illegal. They’d be acknowledging that.”

    My comment: Not only that, but several Israeli Prime Ministers – it’s so common it’s nearly a duty of the office – have openly said in press conferences “We have nuclear weapons.” Then there is a perfunctory communication with the USA – this is all aimed at insulting the USA – and the PM comes back and says, “No, I didn’t say what I just said.”

    Interview: “..what they’ve done is, as Shanker himself said, use the antisemite card so many times and many times erroneously, just as propaganda or whatever, that they’ve weakened it considerably.”

    My comment: Right. The antisemite card is much more powerful in the UK. Here, grossly excessive familiarity has bred contempt. People just block it out, like an annoying advertisement. Or Jerry Seinfeld making fun of his Uncle Leo.

    Interview: “What it has to do with more Paul is domestic politics. I know people don’t like hearing this, but I teach this. Domestic politics is often more influential on national security decision making and even foreign policy decision making than national interest. The interest of the people in power is often more important than the genuine interest of the country. With Israel, that is ten times more powerful and true because you don’t get elected in this country if you don’t support Israel, period. Ask Chuck Percy. You don’t.”

    My comment: Absolutely right. Domestic politics is important. Capitalists, whatever don’t always get what they want, even when it is rational and coincides with ordinary peoples’ interest. Leftists, socialists should learn this, instead of wallowing in the most simpleminded, mechanistic, infantile and vulgar Marxism.

    Interview: “That, in fact, the national interest, if you defined it by the interests of the majority of ordinary Americans, it’s actually not in their interest to be the dominant power in the world. You know, I can understand defense, but 800 military bases and so on and so on. That ordinary Americans really don’t benefit from this.”

    My comment: Absolutely right.

    Overall, a great interview, great discussion from Jay & Wilkerson.
    We should all be thankful for TheAnalysis!

  • Maybe using accounting terms doesn’t help that much.

    But if you think it does then, not surprisingly, Larry did come up with the goods on this round of analysis on “Tiny” and “King size”. But Phyllis Bennis’ (off balance sheet) input would have been welcomed all the same.

    Once Larry spells it out — Overall, China appears to be the [reluctant?] beneficiary while the two powers — one “Tiny”, one “King size” — in their respective parts of the globe appear to wear themselves out in a slow but certain process of harsh capitalism that looks like reciprocity of self-mutilation — blood and bloodless depending on which hemisphere you call home.

    Problem is there’s no sovereign anti belligerence campaign in either government structure fired up with thunder and lightening to achieve exemplary “common good oriented democracy” with societies full of contented happy faces, envy of the world, everybody subscribing to “live and let live”.

    According to Larry’s accounting, that’s not either for “Tiny” or for “King size”.

    Imagine we’re in Manhattan’s legendary 21 Club for cocktails, “Tiny” and “King size” are seated with drinks when suddenly JJ HUNSECKER eyeballs their table easily thinking:

    “Sure they’re in JAIL. They’re PRISONERS of their own FEARS, of they’re own GREED and AMBITION. They’re in JAIL.”

    So when does “King size” finally face “Tiny” in a moment of solid conviction of conscious to say “This is the crossroads for me.”.

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