JUAN COLE'S AIPAC-ISRAELI SPY-NEOCON POST
Juan Cole at Informed Comment had a lengthy and interesting post today on the possible connection between AIPAC, Israeli intelligence and Bush administration Neocons at the Pentagon
. Overall, consdering the topic, it's a pretty measured and balanced post. Having debated Juan in the past on H-Diplo over Neoconservatism's origins, foreign policy ideas and ties to Israel, the news of an FBI investigation gave Professor Cole ample opportunity to take a few partisan cheap shots at the Bush administration, which he declined to do, sticking instead to serious policy analysis. Cole's earlier Senate testimony on Iraq
was much in the same spirit. It's this understanding of the difference between politics and policy coupled with his expertise on the Mideast that will someday, I predict, see Juan Cole working for the NSC or the State Department in a future Democratic administration. Mark my words.
Nevertheless, Juan completely loses me at the end of his post. First here:
"If al-Qaeda succeeds in another big attack, it could well tip the country over into military rule, as Gen. Tommy Franks has suggested. That is, the fate of the Republic is in danger. And the danger comes from two directions, not just one. It comes from radical extremists in the Muslim world, who must be fought. But it also comes from radical extremists in Israel, who have key allies in the US and whom the US government actively supports and against whom influential Americans are afraid to speak out."
If anyone believes, right or left, that the American people would accept military rule as a way of life then they are completely out of their gourd. If such an insider putsch were ever tried here it would look a great deal like the August Coup in the Soviet Union and be about equally successful. This is not Weimar Germany where General von Seeckt could truthfully warn the civilian government in Berlin that " the Army stands behind me ". Not only would public reaction be violently in opposition but the U.S. military in " the homeland" would probably either mutiny if given such an order or disintegrate as a cohesive force.
If there is another apocalyptic act of terror inside this country by Islamist radicals the outcome will most likely be a massive retaliation against the leading anti-American states of the Muslim world. The gloves will come off, there will be a draft and we will have a war on the scale of WWII. If radiological or biological weapons are used to inflict mass casualties on American citizens by terrorists the subsequent consequences could very well involve nuclear war. If foreign statesmen who are currently playing a double game with Islamist terror groups do not believe this will happen they are whistling in the dark.
"If I had been in power on September 11, I'd have called up Sharon and told him he was just going to have to withdraw to 1967 borders, or face the full fury of the United States. Israel would be much better off inside those borders, anyway. It can't absorb 3 million Palestinians and retain its character, and it can't continue to hold 3 million Palestinians as stateless hostages without making itself inhumane and therefore un-Jewish. And then I'd have thrown everything the US had at al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, and frog-marched Bin Laden off to justice, and rebuilt Afghanistan to ensure that al-Qaeda was permanently denied a base there. Iraq, well, Iraq was contained.
Israel's settlement policies are a complete and utter failure but if a President Cole had announced such a move on September 12, 2001 the American public would have reacted with collective disbelief. President Cole might very well be impeached if he insisted on such a policy.
Moreover, if the U.S. will force Israel out of the West Bank after a terror bombing then why not Britain out of Northern Ireland ? India out of Kashmir ? Russia out of Chechnya ? China out of Tibet ?
Becoming the big anti-Zionist stick for al Qaida in reaction to 9/11 is not exactly the precedent I would have wanted an American president to set.