Many critics of the invasion and occupation of Iraq have argued persuasively that its proponents were most interested in securing a strategic advantage for Israel in the Middle East . They point to the decades old ideological and political relationships between Washington 's neocons and the Likud of Israel.
Yet, doubters of this theory question how such a small cabal of conspirators could seize the military and foreign policy establishments and direct the Middle East policy of this great nation. They refer to the latter as 'conspiracy nuts' at best or anti-Semites at worst.
If there was any doubt as to who is pulling the strings on the marionettes in the Beltway, last Thursday evening's debate between Kerry and Bush made it very clear.
Explaining to the nation why invading and occupying Iraq was worth losing the respect and support of the world, hundreds of Americans killed, thousands injured, tens of thousands of Iraqis killed, injured and displaced, and spending billions of dollars that we do not even have available, the candidates had the following to say:
BUSH: 'A free Iraq will help secure Israel .'
Of course, nobody from Iraq has indicated that this is an aspiration or even remotely within the national thought process. Not even Washington 's favorite stooge, Iyad Allawi, has indicated that the demise of Saddam will give rise to a Phoenix of support for Israel . Nothing in Iraqi history suggests any such inclination.
On the contrary, Iraqis acting freely will undoubtedly stiffen their resistance to Israel for several reasons. First, Iraqis are aware that Israel , with U.S. approval, unilaterally denied them the right to become a nuclear power while secretly maintaining its own nuclear arsenal. Secondly, Iraqis know that the U.S. and Israel conspired to assist Iran in its war against Iraq in an attempt to have both countries bleed themselves to death. Thirdly, Iraqis know that Israel has instigated Kurdish separatism within Iraq . Lastly, most Iraqis understand that they were invaded to 'secure Israel .'
A free Iraq will not help secure Israel . Not even an Iraq under U.S. occupation is likely to do that. That objective may exist in the minds of the neocons who so carefully planned the destruction of Iraq . It has never existed in the minds of Iraqis.
KERRY: 'I'm going to get it right for those soldiers, because it's important to Israel, it's important to America, it's important to the world, it's important to the fight on terror.'
Kerry's priorities place Israel 's concerns over those of the United States , the world and the fight on terror. While listing nuclear non-proliferation as his number one priority, Kerry, like Bush, is silent about Israel 's failure to submit to International Atomic Agency inspection and its refusal to acknowledge or abandon its nukes.
In Kerry's world, the determination of what our Middle East policy should be neither begins nor ends with what is best for America . This is the problem. The relationship is not even symbiotic. Recent revelations of Israeli espionage in the Pentagon demonstrate that Israel will always act for its own benefit. Most nations do. Why would we subordinate ours to a nation from which we receive nothing of value and which causes us to incur the wrath of billions around the world?
What nation are Bush and Kerry running for the Presidency of? Whose support are they seeking with their carefully delivered words? The old adage has it: 'You get what you pay for.' Is the ability of Israel 's supporters to buy 'friends and influence people' in the nation's capital speculative? Each candidate seeks to distance himself from the other, but when it comes to subordinating American interests to those of Israel , they are simply two sides of the same coin.