Rami G Khouri writes: For anyone who wonders why so many people around the world criticize American and Israeli foreign policy and militarism, this has been a valuable learning week. I refer to the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be the next U.S. defense secretary, and the twin Israeli attacks against military targets in Syria.
The juxtaposition of these two events clarifies again two core trends in American and Israeli foreign policy: their insistence that they are above international law and can use their military anytime, anywhere in the world, if they feel this serves their security interests, regardless of the credibility of the evidence to justify their attacks; and, the unwritten rule that American policies in the Middle East should conform above all else to the dictates of Israel, before considering the interests of the U.S. itself or the nearly 600 million other people who live in the Middle East.
My gut reaction to watching some of the Hagel confirmation hearings is to thank the American Founding Fathers for implementing the doctrine of the separation of powers and checks-and-balances among the different branches of government. For if some of the ideological zealots, intellectual wrecks, and pro-Israel songbirds who sit on the Senate foreign relations committee were ever to assume executive power, the world would be a much more violent and dangerous place. [Continue reading...]