The Rise of Racist Islamophobia

The New Face of American Emperialism

Jeffrey Goldberg has written a piece , full of all the usual shtick, to call for the US to engage in a war with Iran.    The piece contains the normal false premises and bravado used by Goldberg and other neocons in the past; how the United States should spare Israel the  pain of an attack against Iran, because of its nuclear weapons potential, by attacking Iran itself or how the American president can’t possibly understand the gravity of a situation faced by the Israelis or doesn’t have the ‘balls’ to act proactively for the commonly shared interests of the two countries, America and Israel, and so on and so on.

Two glaring items stand out concerning Goldberg’s piece.  First and foremost is why should anyone take any stock in what he has to say given his dismal record of fact based reporting and his background?!   Goldberg agitated for the Iraqi war/invasion using  information he either knew was faulty or simply didn’t care enough to confirm its veracity and we all know where that led us.  That embarrassment didn’t make him go away or remain in the background of agenda driven media reporting, rather he’s back and asking for more war and destruction based on a premise he knows to be doubtful at best or simply untrue………..again.

Meanwhile one of the reasons why he’s on this personal crusade against Iran, his intimate involvement in the Israeli government because of his service in the IDF goes unmentioned.  It’s really no secret why, in my opinion; Goldberg isn’t the only prominent American-Israeli to serve in the IDF and then return to influence American policy vis-a-vis Israel.  Rahm Emmanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff is another as well as Ethan Bronner of the New York Times, whose son reportedly serves in the IDF are two more examples of people in high profile, influential positions with close ties to Israeli concerns who are able to influence American public opinion and policy with regards to the Middle East.   The Israeli desire/need  to expand their borders at the expense of other sovereign states,  unilaterally use such states’ natural resources without resorting to negotiations and changing their security requirements  based on the needs of “zionism” which may or may not have anything to do with the needs of modern day statehood  are things Americans might not see as a cause to go to war .  Hence the need for people like Goldberg whose job is to make just that case.

In this context of Goldberg’s IDF service it is simply not possible for him to be objective in his role as a reporter, and let’s be honest he’s not reporting anything rather he’s presenting the Israeli view on their need to destroy Iranian nuclear technology,  because it is “known” he, Goldberg, shares this view. A journalist’s biases and agendas all too often DO get in the way of  good reporting on issues of the day, and some expect and want that.   Otherwise how do you account for the dearth of Arab/Muslim reporters on the pages of the NYT, or WaPo backed by editors who think their ethnicity won’t affect their ability to elucidate clearly the talking points of main stream media and its supporters in governmnet, American or Israeli?  Those editors know the experiential and cultural  filter such people might bring to the job will not make it possible for them to slant the news in the direction editors would want it to go for a territorially expansive and militarily aggressive state that encroaches on its neighbors sovereignty.

In fact that is exactly why people like Goldberg are prominently displayed throughout media to make the case for whatever administration or regime, American or Israeli, is in power at the moment because given access to the holders of power they are expected to make the case for policy being touted by those officials  whereas  Arab/Muslim reporters are not  privileged with that access because it is known they are generally not disposed to be tools for political Zionism.

However, the theme that really is provocative and reminiscent of moving the goal posts to constantly justify the raison d’etre of Israel is the notion buried deep in Goldberg’s piece that although a nuclear Iran poses no existential threat to  Israel, the mere fact that notion is intimidating means it would convince enough Israelis not to live there, contribute to an accelerated brain drain of Israeli settlers moving to other places in the world and somehow diminish Israel’s existence.

The real threat to Zionism is the dilution of quality,” Barak tells Goldberg. “Jews know that they can land on their feet in any corner of the world. The real test for us is to make Israel such an attractive place, such a cutting-edge place in human society, education, culture, science, quality of life, that even American Jewish young people want to come here … Our young people can consciously decide to go other places [and] stay out of here by choice.”


“[Israelis] are good citizens, and brave citizens, but the dynamics of life are such that if … someone finishes a Ph.D. and they are offered a job in America, they might stay there … The bottom line is that we would have an accelerated brain drain.”

In other words a threat to Israel is anything that causes its intelligentsia to leave that country to look for greener pastures and the fact Iran might possess nuclear weapons could possibly frighten Israelis now or in the future  to live elsewhere.  Job/educational opportunities in other countries that are inviting enough to Israelis to make them leave the state of Israel are a threat, which begs the question, how would Israel deal with such a “threat”?

In other words, Israeli elites want the United States to attack Iran’s nuclear program — with the potentially negative repercussions that Goldberg acknowledges — so that Israel will not experience “a dilution of quality” or “an accelerated brain drain.”


Israeli elites want to preserve a regional balance of power strongly tilted in Israel’s favor and what an Israeli general described to Goldberg as “freedom of action” –the freedom to use force unilaterally, anytime, for whatever purpose Israel wants. The problem with Iranian nuclear capability — not just weapons, but capability  — is that it might begin constraining Israel’s currently unconstrained “freedom of action.”

The aforementioned ‘freedom of action’ is just a euphemism for the ability of the Israeli government to invade, trespass upon the territorial sovereignty of its neighbors without any repercussions, much like what it has done in Gaza, Lebanon and the aerial attack against Syria a few short years ago. In other words those conditions that Israel wants extended to it as a state in the region it is not in any way considering giving to its neighbors because of the very basic  principle of ‘might makes right’. Israel is not willing to live by any internationally accepted code of conduct that does not allow it to persecute its neighbors in order to meet its constantly changing ideas of what constitutes existential threats and because Goldberg is able to make the case persuasively enough in American circles,  so prominently displayed on the pages of The Atlantic or even considered is an indication of how important people like him are to American imperialism.

Venezuela and moral authority

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at Lenin’s Tomb about whether Israel is a nation in decline.  I think the tense is wrong on the supposition for I think Israel’s descent into the abyss occurred  during the 1967 war, a war which even some of Israel’s staunchest supporters back then said was not one necessary to have fought. In other words Israel is a declined nation.

Yediot Aharonot of April 27 has published an 1976 interview with Moshe Dayan (which was not previously published). Dayan, who was the defense minister in 1967, explains there what led, then, to the decision to attack Syria. In the collective consciousness of the period, Syria was conceived as a serious threat to the security of Israel, and a constant initiator of aggression towards the residents of northern Israel. But according to Dayan, this is ‘bull-shit’ – Syria was not a threat to Israel before 67. Just drop it – he says as an answer to a question about the northern residences – I know how at least 80% of all the incidents with Syria started. We were sending a tractor to the demilitarized zone and we knew that the Syrians will shoot. If they did not shoot, we would instruct the tractor to go deeper, till the Syrians finally got upset and start shooting. Then we employed artillery, and later also the air-force… I did that… and Itzhak Rabin did that, when he was there (as commander of the Northern front, in the early sixties).

And what has led Israel to provoke Syria? According to Dayan, this was the greediness for the land – the idea that it is possible to grab a piece of land and keep it, until the enemy will get tired and give it to us. The Syrian land was, as he says, particularly tempting, since, unlike Gaza and the West bank it was not heavily populated.

From then on Israel’s war were fought because of greed, not for the security of its citizens but rather to take from its neighbors land and resources that they, the Israelis, coveted; Israel is too arrogant to negotiate with its neighbors whom it feels are inferior to them.  However taking a page from Lenin’s book, I would like to tie the decline of the American empire to that of the Israeli one.  For at the same time that Israel was attacking its neighbors and even its allies, a la the USS Liberty, the United States was fighting a war of aggression in a faraway land for reasons that had nothing at all to do with its security, and that war too was fought on the basis of deceit.

Over the years the US-Israeli alliance seemed to take divergent paths, even though there were very strong relations between the two countries, but the 90’s and the rise of neoconservative thought seemed to return the two countries to a common theme; they could fight whoever they wanted under whatever guise they wanted and expect there would be no consequences for their aggression.  That convergence to me is the beginning of the end for America, which was a light among nations and a moral leader as we began to  abandon our  racist ideology of Jim Crowism.

With the rise of the neoconservative school of thought, threats were inflated in importance and our country became a victim in the face of these threats, many if not most of them imagined.  There was an evil Soviet empire that at every turn meant to do us harm and there was the fifth element among us who worked for that evil empire that we had to expunge from our society.

This evolution in American politics mirrors what the Israelis have done to their own citizens and to their neighbors.  The only difference between us is the close proximity of Israel’s threats compared to ours; Israel’s enemies were its immediate neighbors, whereas our enemies were oceans removed from our borders.  Slowly however our enemies’ borders began to shift, move and became the very same enemies as Israel’s and that’s when our demise was sealed, because we accepted the Israeli rules of deception, we drank the kool-aide of lies and false flags in order to justify aggression, and threw away the notion of our national self interest and tied it with Israel’s interests.  In effect we became the tail that Israel wagged.

Gaza is proof of that, and the brazen statements of Ehud Olmert, that we were shamed into accepting the Israeli position, as if  theirs  was the only position we could reasonably take is one of the nails in our coffin.  The other nail is the response of other world countries to the Gaza atrocities; those other countries like Venezeula and Boliva, places we once called banana republics have assumed a moral stance that the slaughter of civilians won’t be tolerated, a position America can no longer take because of it’s skewed view of what’s in its interests.  Bolivia went so far as to saythe country’s authorities are to bring a formal complaint against the Israeli state to the International Criminal Court regarding the attacks on the Gaza Strip..’  By breaking off diplomatic relations with Israel, the very least a country can do in the face of this onslaught against international law by the Israelis, Bolivia, Venezeula, Qatar and Mauritania, two new players to object formally to Israel’s genocide, have taken a high road abandoned by the US after its moral decline.

The question for me now becomes can we recover, be resuscitated to where we once were?  As long as we rubber stamp Israel’s selection of leaders who are 20 times more homicidal than Ahmadadijad could ever hope to be, I don’t think we can restore the luster. When we can no longer muster the moral courage to support UN resolutions that we helped write because of our convoluted interests with Israel we are hopeless.  It’s a path we went down of our own volition; what’s troublesome is our “ally” watched us, encouraged us to take it, knowing where it would lead us.  That “ally” has had far more experience in human history with the deceit and betrayal of confidences than the young republic of America.  Perhaps the old saying ‘misery loves company’ is indeed true.  Speaking of Iran, I chuckled when I read the headline, ‘US condemns stoning executions’, and asked myself ‘on whose authority?’