In a recent article in the Jerusalem Post, which was adapted from a speech given at the Nixon Center, Chas Freeman, former US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia clearly argued that the special relationship between the United States and Israel is a liability for the former. Yet, his logic is inherently flawed.
He is correct that Israel is the recipient of massive amount of financial aid, yet ignores the fact that the majority of that aid is given back to the United States in the form of weapons purchases. He notes that there are many joint military projects that have great benefit to Israel, yet rejects the conventional wisdom that once technology is created, it can be tweaked to meet the needs of various parties; but it has to start somewhere.
Yet, certain statements of his prove not that his logic is flawed, but that he is simply delusional.
He claims that the cause of Islamic fundamentalist rage against the United States is its support of Israel. Is it now? As a student of the field, I find this statement extremely far fetched. Shall we believe that the [failed] 1993 World Trade Center Bombing; the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers; the 1998 East African Embassies Bombings; the 2000 attack on the USS Cole; the [failed] Millenium attack on LAX; and September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the [failed] attack on Capitol Hill, were all because of the United States’ support for Israel? Or perhaps, could it be that the United States, by supporting the regimes of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, etc., stands in the way of the various Islamic fundamentalist organizations in their goal of establishing a global Islamic caliphate? After all, when Abdullah Azam was formulating his views on jihad, his animosity towards the United States, which he termed “the far enemy” was not based upon it’s relationship with Israel. Rather, “the far enemy” makes itself an enemy by supporting and propping up “the near enemy.” And who is the near enemy, in the eyes of Islamic fundamentalism? The “false” Arab/Muslim governments which do not govern by sharia law and which do not rule with the authority of a caliph. Yet, Freeman would have us believe that Israel is behind this.
Freeman claims that calls for the United States to attack Iran are merely statements made by Israel apologists, and that such a strike would only benefit Israel. Are we meant to believe that the United States would take military action that was not, in some way, to its own benefit. Are we meant to believe that the United States, which has always followed the policy that to deny your enemy the ability to strike you is far better than to defend against a strike, has suddenly changed its mind, and no longer believes that denial and deterrence are cornerstones of military strategy? Or, would Mr. Freeman like to convince us that a nuclear Iran would benefit the United States. After all, a government which has expressed clear animosity to the United States, which threatens its neighbors, and calls for the destruction of another sovereign state is clearly a government which the United States should trust with devastating technology.
It is no coincidence that Freeman served as the President of the Middle East Policy Council. (Don’t let the name fool you; it was previously called the American Arab Affairs Council, but that name made it seem biased). In addition, when calls for resignation came from Republicans and Democrats alike, when Freeman served as the Chair of the National Intelligence Council, he was quick to blame “the right-wing Likud” and “Lieberman lobby.” That’s right Mr. Freeman, is under the impression that the only reason anyone would question his qualifications, impartiality, and abilities, is if they are pro-Israel.
Mr. Freeman, how about sticking to what you do best (being a bigot), and leave policy making to those who aren’t so blinded by mindless hatred?