Sunday, January 15, 2012

False flag operations: How independent of the United States is Israel?


A story is emerging that United States intelligence services are aware of and angry about members of Israel's intelligence services impersonating US agents to orchestrate terrorist actions in Iran. This is the report of Mark Perry's recent article in Foreign Policy Magazine.

I think there are three broad messages advanced by the article. 1) The audience of the article is to believe that the United States is actually sincere in its opposition to terrorism in general, and not opportunistically opposed to terrorism against some targets while favoring it against others. 2) The audience is to believe that Israel operates, and is therefore capable of operating outside of US control. 3) The audience is also to believe that this Israeli program has introduced some degree of tension to the US/Israeli relationship.

In a practical sense, I don't believe any of these three messages are true.

But while the intended implications of the article are probably false, the details I'd guess are likely true. The amount of coordinated lying that would be necessary to get a professional journalist to publish an article in one of the US' most mainstream foreign policy periodicals sourced by recently retired and active high-level US intelligence officials is implausible.

If an Israeli agent was to contact a Muslim anywhere in the world, why would he not claim to be American, or maybe European? Why introduce the additional issues involved with representing the government that occupies Jerusalem when instead one can just claim to represent a different government? I've always assumed that would be Israel's way of operating ever since Israel's inception.

I think we can assume the base of the story is true and I imagine it is also true that there has been some discussion of Israel's practice of impersonating Americans in Washington to some degree. It is also true that Americans are not necessarily happy with or supportive of this Israeli practice.

The story is basically true, but let's look at the false implications:

Ideally the United States opposes terrorism. Ideally the United States believes humans have an inherent right to government that makes policies that reflect their values. There are today well over 100 million people living in pro-US dictatorships in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE and others. Israel would not be viable without these dictatorships. The one quasi-moral proposition in the Middle East that the United States effectively supports is that there must be an enforced Jewish majority state.

The United States continuously demonstrates that it is willing, and in fact eager, on behalf of Israel to compromise on the ideal that representative institutions should be empowered to make policy. Most recently in former US President Jimmy Carter's statement that Egyptian democratic control of Egyptian policy currently made by the pro-US military dictatorship would be "a little excessive". Democracy is literally the United States' founding value. I can't imagine there being any question that no matter how defined, the United States would compromise its much more recent opposition to terrorism on Israel's behalf.

More interesting is the question of how independent Israel is of the United States. A point to bear in mind is that the amount of leverage the US has over Israel is immeasurable. Israel cannot survive as a Jewish state vigorous without US assistance. If the United States threatens to withhold that assistance, Israel has no choice but to do whatever the US tells it to do. There is nothing the United States could want Israel to do that Israel could refuse to do.

This point is not well understood, so I want to spend some more time here. It is instructive to look at the fall of Apartheid in South Africa. The US formally approved sanctions over-riding Ronald Reagan's veto in 1986. Eight years later in 1994, the flag and national language had changed, a majority Black government was in place and the enforced White political majority state was over.

Israel as an enforced Jewish political majority state is in a more, not less, vulnerable position than South Africa as an enforced White political majority state. Apartheid South Africa never had potentially hostile neighbors whose military expenditures compared to South Africa's. South Africa had a regional nuclear monopoly and a far greater gap in industrialization from its potential adversaries. South Africa also had natural river and desert barriers separating its most important population and industrial centers from any form of external attack.

The Whites of South Africa accepted the indignity of living under the rule of non-Whites while facing much less of an imminent physical threat to their country than Israel would face the day after the US hypothetically withdrew its support.

Saudi Arabia spends more than 2.5 times what Israel spends on its military. Saudi Arabia does not militarily dominate Israel because it follows the orders not to issued by the United States. The Saudi government expends a tremendous amount of resources both bribing and punishing its own people to maintain this relationship with the United States that keeps it militarily subordinate to Israel.

Similar, if less extreme stories can be told about all of the US' colonies in Israel's region, including Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and others.

In order to prevent Iran from achieving legal nuclear weapons capabilities like those Japan, Brazil and many other countries have, the United States seems to have slowed the development of missile defense against the US' own primary nuclear rival Russia. That's probably a good thing for Russia and maybe for the world, but that is a very expensive concession the United States has made for the sake of maintaining Israel's regional nuclear monopoly. The United States has withdrawn threats to act on concerns regarding China's currency policies for Chinese cooperation over Iran. Again probably good for China and for the world, but another compromise of US core interests.

Keeping Israel viable as an enforced Jewish majority state is an excruciatingly expensive proposition for the United States.

The threat by the US to stop making these expenditures would mean that there could not be an Israel. There is no Israeli policy that any Israeli government could maintain in the face of such a threat.

But like South Africa, Israel has a nuclear monopoly. Some people think Israel has a "Samson Option" in which it could destroy its region or even attack the United States if its enforced Jewish majority political system was threatened. Israel using nuclear weapons likely would not ultimately result in the extinction of both Israel as an enforced Jewish political majority state and Judaism as a religion and ethnic group, but that would be a serious risk, especially long-term. As hostile as Israel's strategic situation could ever be, an Israel nuclear attack on anyone could only ever make it worse.

It is unthinkable that any Israeli or Jewish leadership would prefer to make their strategic environment worse while also risking the future of Judaism as an ethnic group and religion rather than, like White South Africans, suffer the indignity of losing their enforced political majority and living under non-Jewish rule. There is no "Samson Option". Israel depends for its existence on a host of expensive actions by the United States, such as maintaining a structure of colonies on its behalf, and without those actions, Israel is not viable with or without nuclear weapons.

Israel is a US supplicant. It cannot act in opposition to US will and continue to exist as an enforced Jewish political majority state.

That leads to the last false implication of the Perry article, that there is tension between the United States and Israel over the false flag or any issue. The United States, for domestic political reasons, structurally bends its foreign policy in favor of Israel. As long as that is the case, in practical terms it does not make sense to speak of tension. The US domestic political system would not allow the US to effectively express any tension, so in any meaningful sense, such tension could not exist.

Israel has the ability to reject what the US claims to request only to the degree that the United States is incapable, for domestic political reasons, of imposing consequences for that rejection. False flag operations are in this case no different from settlements in the occupied territories. In practical terms they do not cause tension because in practical terms they do not impact the US' foreign policy alignment on Israel's behalf. Actions that the United States must, for political reason, act as if it supports, in practical terms it supports.

So the Perry article is somewhat interesting. It exonerates the US of committing certain actions that the US admits are crimes against Iran, but does not do so in a convincing or practically meaningful way.

24 comments:

Dermot Moloney said...

Nothing in the sourrounding sentences challenges my critique of these various pieces.

Lidia said...

I am sorry, but Arnold is right. It is of no use to point to all times DM is not reading my arguments :(

Nevermind, others still could read me and him and see who is closer to reality :)

Arnold Evans said...

There's really no point in going back and forth forever.  After he's said what he wants to say, every reader is welcome to read the thread and judge for themselves.

Dermot Moloney said...

This is simply a cop out for you cant think of any comebacks for the pieces i highlighted which were properly critiqued.

Again, i read your claims and arguments such as your statement that "there was NO time when "the arab world more or less as a whole was quite militarily agressive towards israel".  

This as i pointed out is not true, the fact that seem to be unaware of the 48 and 67 wars suggests that your knowledge of the situation isnt the best for these were major events in the arab israeli conflict.

Arnold Evans said...

We're talking about really well understood history.  The colonial subject Arab countries always posted limited opposition to Israel, even during the wars you mention.  I'd agree with Lidia that there is a limit to which this would be worth arguing.

Dermot Moloney said...

"We're talking about really well understood history."

Lidia understanding seems somewhat myopic, yours also seems somewhat limited.

"The colonial subject Arab countries always posted limited opposition to Israel"
Again historic events shows that this isnt true, coalition of arab nations actually went to war with israel, outside of war they had very hostile and poor relations with israel.

Dermot Moloney said...

I mean how much more opposition do you want, do you them to start another war which kills thousands excess lives?

Lidia said...

WITHOUT real independent Arab state opposition to Zionism, Israel  HAVE murdered thousands of non-Jews only in the last 5 years (Lebanon and Palestine). With real independent from USA and Zionism Arab states around, Israel would very possible NOT murder all those people. Not mentioning other Zionist crimes - including virtually daily murder of Palestinians. DM is a  great advocate of USA bombing Afghanistan for saving Afghans lives. But it seems that for DM all murdered by Israel are not "excess", even though victims of possible war against israel would be "excess". 

By the way, Zionists  very openly admit now, that their objections to nuclear Iran are not as much about the threat of annihilation of Israel, but merely about the possible  deterrent against even more Zionists murder of Lebanese and Palestinians (Zionists talks about Hizbollah and Hamas, but they murder non-Jews regardless their party affiliation, including children)
 http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5j6cM7OiLSr8jUKzuwQsiB29jiewg?docId=452270f0248d4f0fb53899b8c38c5ee5



With independent Arab states such deterrent would be much stronger and would REALLY save lives, without even a need for bombing and war. Zionists  facing united front of democratic and popular will-based Arab states would be doomed even without those state using the weapons. As much as n7 wants Zionists to commit suicide, I bet Zionists would prefer to quit and return to their native lands, and with the end of Zionism it is even possible that Mizrahi Jews would be able to return to the ME states form which they were uprooted by Zionism. After all, there are 60 000 Jews in Iran and they do not want to leave, not they are forced to.

Dermot Moloney said...

Lidia, im sorry but you clearly are not that knowledgeable about the situation, this is shown by your lack of awareness of the 48 and 67 wars which were very major events.

Again many of the arab states and others such as iran and turkey did oppose many of israels actions but opposition can only do so much.

"But it seems that for DM all murdered by Israel are not "excess" "

Actually i do consider those killed in such conflicts such as operation cast lead as causing excess deaths. If arab nations  were to intervene in military conflict like in 48 and 67 the number of excess deaths would likely be even greater, it would be like iraq (as in a war which overall increased the number of deaths which were already occurring) as opposed to afghanistan ( which decreased the level of suffering). 

As we saw in the past the arab coalition attacks tended to make a bad situation worse, with israel if anything expanding its borders.

"their objections to nuclear Iran are not as much about the threat of annihilation of Israel"

I believe that i have already stated this elsewhere.

"Arab states would be doomed even without those state using the weapons."

Again this is unlikely, the main threat against israel is the very foolish policies of the likudnik party which is dragging its heals on helping to create a Palestinian state.

" I bet Zionists would prefer to quit and return to their native lands"

I dont think you understand what the word means.

"Mizrahi Jews would be able to return to the ME states form which they were uprooted by Zionism."

They had to leave due to discrimination they were facing in the nations that they had lived in for some time, also the idea that the descendents of around 600,000 jews are going to return to their former nations is far fetched.

"60 000 Jews in Iran "

Where did you get this figure? I dont believe this is correct, the actual figue is around 10,000 to 25000, it was higher but amny jews fled iran.

"they do not want to leave, "

As i said many jews did flee iran and many others are slightly restrained for they are laws which hinder the movement of jewish families.

Lidia said...

Every time I say to myself - it is not worth it to answer to DM. But even if DM could not get it, at least somebody else could.

Of course, DM repeats the same whitewash of Zionism as Cole - they really find each other - about "likudiniks", as if ALL Zionists are not the same colonizers on Palestinian land. As a matter of fact, it was "left" Labor party which for many years murdered Palestinians and robbed their land - before and after 1948. 

On the other hand one should not be too harsh to DM. Maybe he simple cannot read :(After all, I have said that all crimes of Zionisms including mass-murder could be stopped by independent (as opposed to colonial and semi-colonial) Arab states even WITHOUT armed intervention. But DM could only argue that armed struggle against Zionism would bring "excess death". Really, I am starting to suspend that DM is even more bloodthirsty than n7, of course, when is blood spilled by NATO or Israel DM always find ways to justify it or at least to justify absence of resistance to such massacres. 

It is really good that it seems that peoples of the ME are NOT going to depend on DM and his( and not only his, but of all colonialists)  logic - they sure could fare better than that.

Dermot Moloney said...

"it is not worth it to answer to DM."
Its hard not to come to the conclusion that this is because you cant think of a somewhat remotely decent reply for even when you do reply it often contains mistakes and errors.

"DM repeats the same whitewash of Zionism as Cole "

Juan cole far from white washing zionism is actually quite critical of it very often, also when did i state that the labour party has never been aggressive towards the Palestinians. Again lidia you are making a habit of arguing against a straw man of your own creation as opposed to me.

I just correctly stated that the likudnik party as some very foolish policies which in the long run are quite threatening to the state of israel, this is true.

I also read your piece perfectly well, you said "But it seems that for DM all murdered by Israel are not "excess", even though victims of possible war against israel would be "excess". "

My piece was completely related to that and challenged its position and implication.

"Actually i do consider those killed in such conflicts such as operation cast lead as causing excess deaths. If arab nations  were to intervene in military conflict like in 48 and 67 the number of excess deaths would likely be even greater, it would be like iraq (as in a war which overall increased the number of deaths which were already occurring) as opposed to afghanistan ( which decreased the level of suffering)."  

"After all, I have said that all crimes of Zionisms including mass-murder could be stopped by independent (as opposed to colonial and semi-colonial) Arab states even WITHOUT armed intervention."

Again the available evidence does not completely support such a claim, also the nations in question are not colonies such as syria, turkey, iran and even saudi arabia. 

"I am starting to suspend that DM is even more bloodthirsty than n7"

That is hardly true, for i always try to go for the option which causes the least distress to those involved, this is in stark contrast to your friend arnold who admitted that he would do otherwise as i suspect you would too if doing what's right clashed with your idealogical beliefs.

"when is blood spilled by NATO or Israel DM always find ways to justify it"

Again lidia you are arguing against a straw-man as opposed to myself. As i said before i am critical of actions which the available evidence shows to have cost excess lives or caused excess misery, that is why i think the iraq war shouldnt have happened or that operation cast lead was wrong. To claim that i always justify such actions is a lie.

"It is really good that it seems that peoples of the ME are NOT going to depend on DM and his( and not only his, but of all colonialists)  logic"

Because i am not the head of a country or hold some other significant title my logic ( like yours) is not going to affect the middle east, however id like to think that the idea of supporting the option which causes the least distress would be viewed favourably. 

Peter Lain said...

Let's just be honest about it, Arabs League hates Israel because it's a political and ideological threat, that's why terrorist groups in Gaza get funding and weapons while the Lebanese apartheid Palestinians don't get anything.

I'm also not afraid of Iran getting nukes, more likely that they'll refine 100% uranium and supply terrorist networks with enough yellowcake to make Jerusalem uninhabitable for a few thousand years.

George Carty said...

Peter, I think you've been drinking the anti-nuclear Kool-Aid.  Uranium (whether natural, depleted, or low- or high-enriched) is only barely radioactive, and would therefore be useless for use in a dirty bomb.

Dirty bombs are overrated in general (how would a terrorist build a lethal dirty bomb, without being killed by the radiation before he was able to deliver the bomb to its target?), but if you did want to go down that road, you'd want something like caesium-137 or cobalt-60, not uranium!

http://depletedcranium.com/do-our-port-inspectors-know-cs-137-from-th-232/

Arnold Evans said...

Welcome to mideastreality.

Please answer the questions in the following blog post

Arnold Evans said...

Juan Cole on the 1948 war:

The third map shows the status quo after the Israeli-Palestinian civil
war of 1947-1948. It is not true that the entire Arab League attacked
the Jewish community in Palestine or later Israel on behalf of the
Palestinians. As Avi Shlaim has shown,
Jordan had made an understanding with the Zionist leadership that it
would grab the West Bank, and its troops did not mount a campaign in the
territory awarded to Israel by the UN. Egypt grabbed Gaza and then
tried to grab the Negev Desert, with a few thousand badly trained and
equipped troops, but was defeated by the nascent Israeli army. Few
other Arab states sent any significant number of troops. The total
number of troops on the Arab side actually on the ground was about equal
to those of the Zionist forces, and the Zionists had more esprit de
corps and better weaponry.


http://www.juancole.com/2010/03/map-story-of-palestinian-nationhood.html

Dermot Moloney said...

Arnold this doesnt challenge my argument, i said a coalition went to war with israel, this is true. I also never claimed that israel had less troops fighting than the arabs.

Lidia said...

It is funny that the first part of PL post is just repeating stupid Zionist propaganda, albeit in some incoherent manner :)
But the second part takes the cake! PL clearly is  not even aware what yellow cake is. Even I know that it is NOT 100% uranium :)

Arnold Evans said...

:-)

Dermot Moloney said...

"Israel would not be viable without these
dictatorships."

How would one test this claim? The claim also becomes dubious when one remembers that they were times in the past when the arab world more or less as a whole was quite militarily agressive towards israel, yet israel did not cease to exist.

"The one quasi-moral proposition in the Middle East that
the United States effectively supports is that there must be an enforced
Jewish majority state."

Actually israel is an UN recognised state and is therefore given all the rights that states deserve, being allowed to exist being one of them.

"There is nothing the United States could want Israel to do that Israel could refuse to do."

The us certainly has influence just as israel has influence in the us but one must remember that israel overall did quite well for itself before it started to receive us aid, therefore it is not entirely dependent on the us for its existence.

Arnold Evans said...

Every sentence fragment you've highlighted is explained in the surrounding sentences.  I could rewrite them in response to you, but why would I?

Did you read the context for your selections the first time? If not, on what basis could I believe you'd read it the second time?

Lidia said...

DM sould look into history to know that there was NO time when "the arab world more or less as a whole was quite militarily agressive towards israel" (i.e. arab rulers, mostly put into their place by colonizers and even getting stipend from them). 

I could testify that Zionists were standing till the end and beyond for Mubarak and are VERY nervous even though Egypt is still not free from USA dictate. 

UN recognized means nothing regarding colonialism. All colonies WERE recognized. Status quo is not eternal, it has been changing and would change even more.

Yes, influence, sure . Billions of dollars are SOME influence. Military and diplomatic by the superpower defense are another. Not that Zionists provide anything alike to USA, but they sure know how to buy USA congress with USA taxpayer money (even Friedman admitted as much before being forced to took his words back). 

Dermot Moloney said...

They were militarily agressive in 1948 and 1967 and israel had quite poor relations with them even when they were not engaged in combat.

"mostly put into their place by colonizers"

The us doesnt have any colonies in their countries.

"I could testify that Zionists were standing till the end and beyond for Mubarak"

It depends on the zionist.

"UN recognized means nothing regarding colonialism."

Actually un recognition is an important factor, also the un helps combat actual colonies by highlighting that the settlements in the west bank are illegal.

"Yes, influence, sure . Billions of dollars are SOME influence."

Yes, it is some influence, but it doesnt allow control.

George Carty said...

I don't think anyone claims that Israel would ever attack the United States.  The Samson Option (if it did extend beyond the Middle East) would far more likely involve nuking Europe.  What better way to avenge the Holocaust than by incinerating the continent that perpetrated it?

Lidia said...

GC, I wonder, from WHERE have you got your profound "knowledge" about The Samson Option? Have you by chance read too much some crazier than usual Zionist propaganda? Just curious :)

I could tell you a great secret - maybe I am too optimistic, but I am SURE - not even the most hare-brained Zionist nut is NOT going to hoist himself on nukes just for the hell of it. Of course, the very existence of nukes in Israel made it even more dangerous - there are always possibility of a human error, technical malfunction, earthquake and so on.