From The Poet: a must read

16 Jul

Let me quote The Poet’s email:

This is a must-read by any standard, comrades. It created a lot of fuss when published a few months ago but this is the first time I’ve got to read it. It explains a lot of things. It runs to about 41 pages but the print is big and the style is very readable.

Promise me you’ll read it.

The article is here in Google cache. You may prefer the London Review of Books version: The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.

For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centrepiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel. The combination of unwavering support for Israel and the related effort to spread ‘democracy’ throughout the region has inflamed Arab and Islamic opinion and jeopardised not only US security but that of much of the rest of the world. This situation has no equal in American political history. Why has the US been willing to set aside its own security and that of many of its allies in order to advance the interests of another state? One might assume that the bond between the two countries was based on shared strategic interests or compelling moral imperatives, but neither explanation can account for the remarkable level of material and diplomatic support that the US provides.

Instead, the thrust of US policy in the region derives almost entirely from domestic politics, and especially the activities of the ‘Israel Lobby’. Other special-interest groups have managed to skew foreign policy, but no lobby has managed to divert it as far from what the national interest would suggest, while simultaneously convincing Americans that US interests and those of the other country — in this case, Israel — are essentially identical…

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One response to “From The Poet: a must read

  1. The Poet by email

    July 17, 2006 at 10:09 am

    Another must read. The Middle East Aflame and the Bush Administration Adrift by Tom Engelhardt.

    So, as the world spins on a dime, where exactly are we?

    As a man who is no fan of fundamentalists of any sort, let me offer a proposition that might make some modest sense of our reeling planet. Consider the possibility that the most fundamental belief, perhaps in all of history, but specifically in these last catastrophic years, seems to be in the efficacy of force — and the more of it the merrier. That deep belief in force above all else is perhaps the monotheism of monotheisms, a faith remarkably accepting of adherents of any other imaginable faith – or of no other faith at all. Like many fundamentalist faiths, it is also resistant to drawing any reasonable lessons from actual experience on this planet…

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