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July 15, 2006

Israel Makes Its 'Clean Break'


by Karen Kwiatkowski

I removed myself from TV and the Internet for a few days, and when I got back, Israel had morphed the attacks on Gaza and the odd buzzing of Damascus into a full-scale assault into Lebanon, and escalated her military threats to Syria.

John Bolton is a happy man today. That blubbering bundle of self-righteousness, speaking from the UN, is totally on board with Israelís attacks, and her security strategy.

Justin Raimondo, as usual, is prescient and correct. "A Clean Break: Strategy for Securing the [Israeli] Realm" is progressing as planned. Re-read the whole document, if you wish. Itís just an idea, a recommendation, written by a group of passionately pro-Israel Americans for a particular Likud candidate in 1996.

Who knew?

There are dead Gazans, Palestinians, Lebanese, Syrians, and Israelis, ruined infrastructure everywhere, and crushing hopelessness. There is a sense that calling for peace and love in a time of war and hate is childish at best, and at worst, treason. In their own words, the Israelis are simply conducting a bloody "settling of accounts." How Old Testament of them!

The so-called Christian and liberty-loving country of the United States has truly suffered little Ė so far Ė for Israelís lack of neighborliness.

Sure, billions of US tax revenues in aid to Israel cost us all a little something. Most foreign aid is a counterproductive and unconstitutional waste, and our aid to Israel is no exception. Sure, America has been betrayed in the past. Israel has repeatedly conducted espionage against the U.S. Israelís government has sold and shared U.S. classified military technology with our competitors and enemies. Israel has even attacked us militarily a time or two. The most flamboyant of the Israeli attacks on her loyal benefactor was the 1967 attempt to sink the U.S.S. Liberty, including all souls on board. Was there a message here?

As the Pentagon franticly designs some kind of reasonable US citizen evacuation plan for the 25,000 Americans in Lebanon, while trying to ensure safety and tactical advantage for the entire Middle East deployment, surely intelligent men and women in the service of the United States share doubtful glances as they receive their orders. As the U.S. Marine Corps kicks into high gear, it does so with a foreboding memory of the last time we went to Beirut in response to an aggressive Israeli security strategy

Israelís hawks have long recognized that the co-optation, or barring that, the destruction of Iraq was necessary for a more permanent approach, the clean break, the assertion of Israelís monopoly of force in the Middle East. Our country, for only two trillion dollars and a few hundred thousand dead and maimed on all sides, has facilitated the destruction of Iraq.

Were we really needed for the next phase, launched this week?

I think not. My sense is that the reasonable minds in Washington, New York, and around the world had succeeded in maintaining a compromise of a long corrupted American foreign policy in the Middle East, dating from before the Carter Doctrine. The compromise was, and is, that we would permanently base within and preside over a shattered Iraq, but would support no further expansion of the war into Israelís second phase target, Syria, or her third phase target, Iran.

I suspect that my conclusion was shared by those controlling Israelís foreign policy. "A Clean Break" Ė the strategy apparently being implemented before our eyes Ė was not only about Israelís security. It was very significantly about Israelís independence from the United States.

Many in America oppose the U.S. knee-jerk, unquestioning support for Israel. Many more worry that the Israeli lobby is unusually influential in Washington, while remaining hidden and unaccountable to average Americans. Still others are alarmed that Israelís constant war mentality has become our new American model, and that Iraq and our own borders have become our own occupied territories, teeming with terror and constituting a never-ending threat to our lives, prosperity and value system.

Some even wonder why no-one has told President George W. Bush that we do not currently have any treaties or formal alliances of defense with Israel Ė and that if Bush wishes to defend Israel against her enemies, he will either need to personally don a uniform and get on an airplane to Tel Aviv, or else defy the Constitution yet again.

However, there may be a bit of good news in this story. That uniquely Christian idea that we may be graced when we do not deserve it may be in evidence here, amidst the terror and hate we ourselves have facilitated in the Middle East.

If we can pierce the emotion, we may recognize that with Israelís independent action this week Ė a cruel slap to her perceived enemies, and a betrayal of American interests in the Middle East Ė she has indeed progressed into a new phase of independence.

She has achieved a clean break. For many years, Israel has been completely competent to behave as a nation among nations, but she has, as American and European mothers and fathers know only too well, been afflicted with we facetiously call "failure to launch."

She has wanted a generous parent on the Security Council, to provide warmth and aid, validation and protection, a sympathetic ear and a devoted advocacy. Perhaps, as Israel executes her "Clean Break," America Ė led by the next Congress of the United States Ė can finally begin to truly celebrate Israelís independence, and like tired parents, reorganize our own lives and objectives and dreams accordingly.

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Karen Kwiatkowski, Ph.D., a retired USAF lieutenant colonel, has written on defense issues with a libertarian perspective for militaryweek.com, hosts the call-in radio show American Forum on Saturday nights, and blogs occasionally for Huffingtonpost.com. To receive automatic announcements of new articles and upcoming guests on her American Forum radio program, click here. She is also a columnist for LewRockwell.com.

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