Blame Israel and AIPAC for a U.S. war in Iran

Larry Derfner writes: I never went along with the argument that the Israel lobby, taking its directions from Jerusalem, pushed the United States to invade Iraq in 2003. Israel wanted the U.S. to knock over Saddam, of course, but it didn’t make a lot of noise about it, and neither did its Washington lobbyists because Israel and AIPAC knew they didn’t have to push against an open door. The Bush administration wanted to go to war against Saddam as soon as 9/11 happened, and while I’m sure the administration saw the benefit to Israel as one more reason to invade, that was never the main reason. The Bush team fought that war because of its misbegotten notion of America’s national security, and they would have fought it even if there had been no Israel lobby – even if there had been no Israel.

But Iran is different. Israel and AIPAC have been leading the charge on this one for years, and they’re hardly hiding it – the Israeli campaign for America to get tough, tougher, toughest on Iran has been as bombastic as could possibly be. If America ends up bombing Iran first (unlikely), or being drawn into a war as a result of Israel’s bombing Iran first (much more likely), that American war will be stamped “Made In Israel” – not by Walt and Mearsheimer, but by everyone with eyes and ears in his or her head.

This is new. For all the Israel lobby’s power over U.S. policy in the Middle East, it has never led the U.S. into a war the White House and Pentagon clearly did not want to fight. And that’s what’s happening, that’s what’s been happening for nearly four years – the Obama administration and U.S. military establishment don’t want to fight in Iran, and Israel and AIPAC have been dragging them toward it with all their might.

Again, this is unprecedented. And it is quite a responsibility for Israel and the American Jewish leadership to assume – one they don’t want to face, though, because if they did, they might have to restrain their war-mongering, and for the AIPAC crowd, war-mongering on Israel’s behalf is just too much fun. But here’s the deal: If Israel hits Iran and Iran hits back at American targets and draws the U.S. into a war, and that war doesn’t go well for the U.S. – if American troops start getting killed, if the U.S. economy suffers, if the U.S. finds itself stuck in a war it doesn’t want and doesn’t know how to get out of – then not only Israel, but American Jews, too, are likely to be blamed by the U.S. public at large.

And for the first time in history, blaming the Jews for getting America into a war would not be anti-Semitic lunacy, it would be a logical reaction. I want to stress here that blaming American Jews in general for “wagging the dog” would be totally wrong and unfair – most of them are liberal doves. However, blaming AIPAC, the rest of the Israel lobby and, above all, Israel for wagging the dog would be like adding two and two.

For some Israelis, the risk of American Jews ending up getting blamed for a war against Iran might look less like a risk than potentially part of the upside. From this vantage point a backlash against Jews would not demonstrate the recklessness of the Israel lobby; it would demonstrate the recklessness of belonging to the diaspora and the necessity of “returning” to Israel. The irony is that the ranks of the lobby are filled with Jews whose choice is to love Israel from afar. For those for whom home is really New York or Miami, such a return would in truth be a form of exile.

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6 thoughts on “Blame Israel and AIPAC for a U.S. war in Iran

  1. delia ruhe

    In October, when the unemployment rate will have remained unchanged or got worse, Obama will shift his focus to the christian zionists and other hawks by executing an October surprise against Iran. He will then campaign as a “war president“ and win his re-election. The rest will unfold, post-election, much as Larry describes it.

  2. Leslie Garrett

    One hundred years ago two countries in Europe had levels of Jewish influence comparable that in the USA today: Russia and Germany. The Communist Revolution was the culmination of that process in the former case. When the stock market collapse came in 1929 more than twelve hundred of fewer than fifteen hundred seats on the Berlin exchange were in Jewish hands. The holocaust was undeniably horrible, but it did not occur in a vacuum. The Germans were understandably frightened and angry. For half a century and more the Americans have been reproducing the conditions that shattered Germany as fast as they can, with academia and Hollywood mounting a wall of propaganda so solid that no questions could ever be asked. By the 1960s if you wanted to discuss the Middle East honestly with a university professor in the USA you did it out in the parking lot, out of earshot of everyone else, and this has only gotten worse.

  3. Kevin E

    If most American Jews are “liberal doves”, then it would be in their best interest to oppose any move against Iran. If war breaks out, the Jews WILL be blamed , mainly for being INACTIVE in the run up to disaster. There will be no where to hide, and it will get very ugly. And that will be the end of Israel. So it goes.

  4. Fillmorehagan

    Whether or not there is a war with Iran depends almost entirely on the Iranian ability to hit back hard. The US and Israel are bullies who prefer to take on weak opponents who cannot effectively retaliate. If Iran can make them (and especially Israel) pay a heavy price there likely will be no war.

    Israel and its “amen” corner in the US and other western countries is by far the main threat to global peace today.

  5. Norman

    And if those rogue Nuclear bombs are already in place to strike Israeli population centers, then what? Will Israel then use their nukes to hit U.S. cities? This just may turn out to be one big surprise for everyone.

  6. DE Teodoru

    Once again, the brilliant Defner, missed the point. The point about Iraq was that 9/11 made the will inevitable and for Israel’s leaders the issue was the direction, which they gave in full until Bush had had enough by 2007. Desperate that they could not get the Little Bush President to attack Iran as the second feature after Iraq, they decided to go public– AFTER starting two bloodbaths in Lebanon and Gaza. That Israel is screaming now is only the Holocaust Psychosis manifesting when the spoiled beats don’t get their way. It is not getting their way, not the Holocaust, that bothers them.So it was in the late 1930s with the Zionists.

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