Archive for February 15th, 2010

AIPAC lackey Hillary Clinton still pushing sanctions against Iran for Israel

AIPAC lackey Hillary Clinton still pushing sanctions against Iran for Israel

Saudi FM al-Faisal doubts Iran sanctions plans

Saudi doubts over Iran sanctions
Imposing more sanctions on Iran over its nuclear programme would not be a quick enough solution, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister has said.

Prince Saud al-Faisal said the threat posed by Iran demanded a “more immediate solution” than sanctions.

He spoke in Riyadh alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who earlier said Iran was “becoming a military dictatorship”.

On Tuesday Turkey’s foreign minister is due in Iran aiming to mediate.

Turkey is a Nato member, and Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to try and promote a deal on Tehran’s nuclear programme between Turkey’s western allies and Iran’s Islamic government.

More sanctions?

Speaking at a joint Riyadh news conference with Mrs Clinton, Prince Saud said: “Sanctions are a long-term solution. They may work, we can’t judge.

“ We don’t want to be engaging while they are building their bomb ”
Hillary Clinton US Secretary of State

“But we see the issue in the shorter term maybe because we are closer to the threat… So we need an immediate resolution rather than a gradual resolution.”

While the Saudi minister did not detail his vision of a quick solution in public, it is likely that options were discussed behind closed doors in the meeting between Mrs Clinton and King Abdullah, says the BBC’s Kim Ghattas, who is travelling with the top US diplomat.

Earlier, aides to Mrs Clinton – who is on a tour of the Gulf to try to build support for more sanctions on Iran – revealed she would press Saudi Arabia to help persuade China to support a tougher stand against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

China, which can wield a veto on the UN Security Council as a permanent member, is against imposing more sanctions.

Beijing fears a major loss of revenue from investments in Iran, and disruption of oil supplies from a country providing it with 400,000 barrels a day, our correspondent says.

The Saudi foreign minister said that China, also a top importer of Saudi oil, did not need to be prodded by the kingdom to know what it ought to do about sanctions against Iran.

He added that efforts to rid the Middle East of nuclear weapons must also apply to Israel.


Speaking to students at a Qatar university earlier on Monday, she said Iran’s elite army corps, the Revolutionary Guard, had gained so much power they had effectively supplanted the government.

“We see that the government of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the parliament, is being supplanted and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship. That is our view,” Mrs Clinton said on her maiden visit to the kingdom.

On Sunday, she urged Iran to reconsider its “dangerous policy decisions”.

Mrs Clinton told a conference in Qatar it was leaving the international community little choice but to impose further sanctions.

The US and its allies fear Iran is attempting to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful.

Turkish mediation

Turkey has already offered to store Iran’s nuclear material as part of a swap arrangement agreed last year.

Under terms of that deal, Iran would get medical isotopes from France in return for handing over its own enriched uranium.

Turkey’s government hopes its offer to act as a nuclear repository will appeal more to Iran than storing its uranium elsewhere, says the BBC’s Jonathan Head in Istanbul.

But Iran is still insisting that any nuclear swap must take place on its own soil.

If no deal can be done with Iran, Turkey will soon be forced to choose its historically strong alliance with the US and Europe, and its desire for closer friendship with its eastern neighbour, our correspondent adds.

Iran, meanwhile, rejected criticism from the West about its human rights record.

“Iran is becoming one of the predominant democratic states in the region,” said Javad Larijani, secretary general of the Iranian High Council for Human Rights.


Iran moving toward military dictatorship, Clinton says

The secretary of State, speaking in Qatar, says sanctions against the Islamic Republic must be aimed at the Revolutionary Guard, which she warns is supplanting the government.
By Borzou Daragahi

February 16, 2010

Reporting from Beirut

Bluntly warning that Iran is sliding into military dictatorship, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told an audience in Qatar on Monday that economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic should be increasingly aimed at its elite Revolutionary Guard.

Clinton, who was in Doha, the capital, for a conference on relations between the U.S. and the Islamic world, appeared to suggest that such a strategy could help rein in the ideologically motivated branch of the Iranian military by widening rifts within Iran’s domestic political establishment.”We are planning to try to bring the world community together in applying pressure to Iran through sanctions adopted by the United Nations that will be particularly aimed at those enterprises controlled by the Revolutionary Guard, which we believe is, in effect, supplanting the government of Iran,” she said during a visit with students at Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Qatar, according to news agencies

“We see that the government of Iran, the supreme leader, the president, the parliament, is being supplanted and that Iran is moving toward a military dictatorship,” she said.

The Revolutionary Guard was created after Islamic clerics toppled the U.S.-backed monarch and took control of Iran during a 1979 revolution. Since that time, Iran’s government has been a blend of an authoritarian theocracy and a republic.

In recent years, though, members of the Guard have risen to positions of political and economic power, and have been accused by Iranian opposition figures of staging an electoral “coup d’etat” last year. If the Revolutionary Guard is taking control, it could require a different — and perhaps more drastic — response from Washington.

Clinton’s analysis of Iran’s political dynamics, which jibes with the latest assessments by Washington think tanks, suggests a U.S. attempt to use economic pressure to widen the divisions between hard-liners in the Guard and the rest of the Iranian political establishment, as well as with the opposition.

“The idea is to apply pressure on the Revolutionary Guard in order to force a wedge between the opposition movement and the guards, and to affect the guards’ decision-making on the nuclear program,” said Alireza Nader, an Iran analyst at the Rand Corp. “It might be an encouragement of the opposition movement in Iran, which also faces Revolutionary Guard repression.”

Even within the Guard, there are differences of opinion and priority. “There are some who are concerned about the economy and making money,” Nader said. “Sanctions might apply enough pressure on the guards to realize that the nuclear program is very costly.”

George Perkovitch, a proliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said that some in the Guard might see the nuclear program as key to their own control of the government.

“This would be a big change, with a lot of implications that people will need time to think about,” he said. “There’s nothing good about it.”

An Iranian official dismissed America’s threat of further sanctions, saying that even if they were applied they would only help make Iran more self-sufficient.

“The international economic embargo that they always waved as a threat and applied against us is a failing policy,” Abolfazl Zohrevand, an advisor to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told Iran’s state-owned Arabic-language Al Alam news channel. “This threat might cause some complications, but we may also welcome it because it is a reason for our remarkable scientific progress.”

Iran has so far counted on Russia and China, which have U.N. Security Council veto power as well as strong economic and political ties to Tehran, to prevent the harshest sanctions advocated by the West from gaining the clout of international law.

U.S. government officials have imposed their own sanctions on individuals and organizations connected to the Guard, and are trying to enlist U.N. allies to add more levels of punishments. Clinton’s comments signal a move by the Obama administration to mobilize its allies as well as the Iranian opposition.

Clinton, in her visit to Doha, just across the Persian Gulf from Iran’s southern coast, acknowledged in a talk Sunday that relations had yet to improve between the U.S. and the Islamic world since President Obama’s speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last year. On Monday, she addressed the widespread view that prospects for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians had dimmed, saying she was hopeful of a breakthrough.

But most of her attention during the visit was focused on Iran and its nuclear activities, which Tehran insists are focused solely on civilian purposes.

Though Clinton denied that the U.S. plans military action against Iran, she raised concerns about whether Tehran intends to build a nuclear bomb.

“The evidence is accumulating that that’s exactly what they are trying to do,” she said Sunday. She did not offer specifics.

After negotiations stalled between the West and Tehran over a possible deal to convert some of Iran’s nuclear material into fuel plates for a medical reactor, Iranian officials upped the ante last week by announcing they would produce their own, more-purified nuclear fuel in a step that would edge them closer to weapons-grade uranium.

U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in 2007 that Iran had ended work on a nuclear bomb by late 2003. But an upcoming U.S. National Intelligence Estimate might alter that assessment.

Clinton’s comments were broadcast on television from Qatar, which maintains robust diplomatic and economic ties with Iran.

“Iran has consistently failed to live up to its responsibilities,” she said Sunday. “It has refused to demonstrate to the international community that its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.”

U.S. State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley told Qatar’s Al Jazeera television that Iran’s actions fed Washington’s suspicions.

“Given the current trajectory that Iran is on — the fact that it still has centrifuges spinning and the fact that it is unwilling to constructively engage the international community — we have to assume that Iran is pursuing a nuclear program,” he told Al Jazeera.

After Tehran announced it would increase enrichment levels, U.S. officials and Western experts said Iran might be bluffing and that it lacked the technical prowess to efficiently produce the higher-grade uranium. A new International Atomic Energy Agency report detailing the latest technical and regulatory aspects of Iran’s nuclear program is due out this week.

Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, asserted Monday that it was within both Iran’s rights and know-how to produce higher-grade uranium. “We are authorized to enrich uranium up to 100% because we are a member of the IAEA. However, we respect our obligations. Those who cannot believe our ability to produce nuclear fuel will see its proof in the IAEA reports later.”

Times staff writer Paul Richter in Washington contributed to this report.

Published: 2010/02/16 01:37:17 GMT

Israel Lobby Still Pushing Hard for Confrontation with Iran

The Israel Lobby (of which The Israel Project is a part) is still pushing hard for confrontation with Iran no matter how many Americans may have to die/get horribly wounded as a result of such (such confirms the Mearsheimer/Walt book yet again):

From: The Israel Project []
Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 3:41 PM

Subject: Top U.S. Officials in Middle East to Lay Groundwork for Stronger Action on Iran


Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644 (office), 202-365-0787 (cell),
Jennifer Packer: 202-207-6122 (office),

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Top U.S. Officials in Middle East to Lay Groundwork for Stronger Action on Iran
Biden Expected in Israel Next Week for First Official Visit

Experts for comment
Iran Press Kit

The United States’ military chief, secretary of state and other high-ranking officials are touring key Middle East nations starting this week as part of an effort by the Obama administration to build support for its increasingly assertive stance against Iran’s nuclear program.[1]

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen arrived in Jordan Monday (Feb. 15) after holding talks earlier in the day in Israel with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and on Sunday (Feb. 14) with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi.[2] At a press conference there, Mullen emphasized his determination to peacefully prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.[3] Mullen began his five-nation tour on Sunday in Cairo where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. He will also travel to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.[4]

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is traveling in the Persian Gulf to advance the United States’ Iran policy with regional partners.[5] Clinton arrived in Saudi Arabia Monday,[6] where she is scheduled to meet with Saudi King Abdullah and Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.[7] On Sunday, Clinton was in Doha, Qatar where she spoke at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum and met with Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani.[8]

Under Secretary of State William Burns is also expected in the Middle East this week, traveling to Lebanon on Feb. 16 and Syria on Feb. 17 for talks with both nations’ leaders.[9] Lebanon sits on the Security Council and could block sanctions if influenced by its neighbor Syria, a key Iranian ally.[10] Also, Vice President Joe Biden is expected in Israel next week for his first official visit, although the trip is still unannounced.[11] Deputy Secretary of State Jim Steinberg also plans to travel to Israel on Feb. 21 for high-level discussions about Iran.[12]

During her discussions with Saudi King Abdullah, Clinton reportedly hopes to gain a commitment that the kingdom will provide China with needed oil if China supports a fourth round of sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council.[13] China, a permanent member of the Council, has continued to oppose U.S. efforts to secure tougher sanctions.[14]

Clinton, speaking Sunday night at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum questioned Iran’s continued defiance. “What does Iran have to hide? Why is Iran refusing to live up to its international obligations, which would lead to political and economic integration with the international community that would actually benefit the Iranian people? Iran leaves the international community little choice but to impose greater costs for its provocative steps.”[15]

An indication of the White House’s growing seriousness about sanctions came last week when Under Secretary of Treasury Stuart Levey announced the United States was imposing financial sanctions on an engineering firm affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, designated by the U.S. as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction,[16] as well as a supporter of multiple terrorist groups.[17]

Secretary Clinton’s Speech at U.S.-Islamic World Forum
Remarks by Secretary Clinton and Qatari Minister Al Thani

Experts available for comment (United States and Israel)

In the United States:

David Albright, President, Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS)
Tel: 202-547-3633; E-mail:

Ilan Berman, Vice President for Policy, American Foreign Policy Council;
author, “Tehran Rising: Iran’s Challenge to the United States” (2005);
Tel: 202-543-1006 (office);

Debra Burlingame, Sister of Charles F. “Chic” Burlingame, III, pilot of American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11; Co-founder, 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America; Director, World Trade Center Memorial Foundation; Tel: 914-844-3146; E-mail:

Patrick Clawson, Ph.D., Deputy Director for Research,
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy;
Tel: 202-452-0650 ext. 220 (office), 202-302-1722 (cell);
Web site:

Frank Gaffney, President, The Center for Security Policy and Founder,;
Web site:

Andrew Grotto, Senior National Security Analyst, Center for American Progress; Tel: 202-682-1611 (office);

Larry Haas, Visiting Senior Fellow, Georgetown Public Policy Institute;
Tel: 202-257-9592 (cell);

Sam Kermanian, Secretary General, Iranian American Jewish Federation;
Tel: 310-854-1199 (office, direct); E-mail:

Orde Kittrie, Professor of Law, Arizona State University; former U.S. State Department attorney specializing in nuclear nonproliferation and sanctions;
Tel: 480-727-8572 (office); E-mail:

Dr. Michael Ledeen, Freedom Scholar, Foundation for Defense of Democracies;
Contact through Judy Mayka, Tel: 202-621-3948; E-mail:

Valerie Lincy, Editor,;
Tel: 202-223-8299 (office); E-mail:;

Claire Lopez, Consultant and Former Executive Director, Iran Policy Committee;
Tel: 703-583-9573 (office); E-mail:

Cliff May, President and Executive Director, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies;
Contact through Judy Mayka, Tel: 202-621-3948; E-mail:

Lily Mazahery, President, Legal Rights Institute
Tel: 202-834-7150; E-mail:

Gary Milhollin, Executive Director, Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control;
Tel: 202-223-8299 (office); E-mail:

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Founder and President, The Israel Project;
Tel: 202-857-6644 (office);

Michael Rubin, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute;
Tel: 202-862-5851 (office); Fax: 202-862-4877; E-mail:

Rick Santorum, Former U.S. Senator (R-Penn.), Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center; Contact Virginia Davis, Cell: 215-528-9368; Home office: 610-658-9658;

U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., Chairman, International Terrorism, Non-Proliferation & Trade Committee;
Tel: 202-225-5911 (office);

Ken Timmerman, President, Middle East Data Project, Inc.;
Author, “Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran” (2005);
Tel: 301-946-2918 (office); E-mail:;

Peter Zimmerman, Professor Emeritus, King’s College, London
Tel: 703-966-6680;

In Israel:

Amb. Jeremy Issacharoff, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of National Security Studies;
Tel: 011-972-3- 640-0400 ext 463 (work); Tel: 011-972-50-620-3887 (cell); E-mail:

Professor Ze’ev Maghen, Lecturer in the History of the Middle East, The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Bar-Ilan University;
Tel: 011-972-3-531-7812 (office); 011-972-52-383-4069 (cell); E-mail:;

David Menashri, Chair of Modern Iranian Studies, Tel Aviv University;
Tel: 011-972-3-640-8911 or 011-972-3-640-6161 (office); 011-972-8-940-1467 (home);



[1] Youssef, Nancy A., “U.S. begins Mideast push for ideas on Iranian solution,” The Miami Herald, Feb. 14, 2010,

[2] Ferziger, Jonathan, “Barak Tells Mullen Israel, U.S. Can Patch Differences (Update1),” BusinessWeek, Feb. 15, 2010,

[3] Lecker, Maya, “Mullen: Attack on Iran could have ‘unintended consequences,’” The Jerusalem Post, Feb. 14, 2010,,7340,L-3849059,00.html

[4] Youssef, Nancy A., “U.S. begins Mideast push for ideas on Iranian solution,” The Miami Herald, Feb. 14, 2010,

[5] “Clinton warns Iran not to ‘build their bomb,’” BBC News, Feb. 14, 2010,

[6] Kessler, Glenn, “Clinton expected to seek Saudi Arabia’s help in confronting Iran,” The Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2010,

[7] “Clinton warns Iran not to ‘build their bomb,’” BBC News, Feb. 14, 2010,

[8] Landler, Mark, “Clinton Pleads for Patience at U.S.-Islamic World Forum,” The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2010,

[9] “Under Secretary Burns Travel to Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, and Azerbaijan,” U.S. Department of State Office of the Spokesman, Feb. 12, 2010,

[10] “Clinton warns Iran not to ‘build their bomb,’” BBC News, Feb. 14, 2010,

[11] Benhorin, Yitzhak, “US Vice President Biden to visit Israel,” YnetNews, Feb. 15, 2010,,7340,L-3849143,00.html

[12] Landler, Mark, “U.S. Envoys Head Out on a Mission to Rally Iran’s Neighbors,” The New York Times, Feb. 12, 2010,

[13] Kessler, Glenn, “Clinton expected to seek Saudi Arabia’s help in confronting Iran,” The Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2010,

[14] Morris, Harvey, “China move threatens to delay tougher Iran sanctions,” The Financial Times, Jan. 18, 2010,

[15] “Secretary Clinton’s Speech at U.S.-Islamic World Forum,”, Feb. 14, 2010,

[16] Rozen, Laura, “U.S. announces sanctions on Iran-linked firm,” Politico, Feb. 11, 2010,

[17] “Background Note: Iran,” U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, September 2009,


The Israel Project is an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. The Israel Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.

George Washington, A Passionate Attachment, and Israel

George Washington, A Passionate Attachment, and Israel

Monday, February 15, 2010 6:14 PM

From: “Stephen Sniegoski”

To: “Sniegoski, Stephen”


Monday, February 15, was celebrated by the US federal government as George Washington’s Birthday this year. (The federal holiday is officially the third Monday of February, though Washington’s actual birthday is February 22. It should be pointed out that the mainstream media and advertisers like to call this day “Presidents’ Day” and a small number of states do officially use that designation.) The holiday is usually accompanied with a celebration of Washington’s life and achievements as leader of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States (under the Constitution), but one thing that is usually ignored in any public discussion is his “Farewell Address” of 1796, especially the part where he discusses the serious danger to the United States from Americans with a “passionate attachment” to a foreign country and advises his countrymen that “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence . . . the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. . . . Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other.” The relevance of Washington’s words to the role of a particular foreign country today is all too apparent, and is clearly spelled out in the book, “The Passionate Attachment: America’s Involvement With Israel, 1947 to Present,” co-authored by the late George Ball, who served as Under Secretary of State for Economic and Agricultural Affairs in the administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson from 1961 to 1968, and his son, Douglas B Ball. And the years since the book’s publication in 1992 have seen Israel’s influence over US policy increase geometrically.

Washington’s “Farewell Address” was his political testament to the nation as he prepared to leave the presidency at the end of his second term. Washington never delivered the address in public and it was originally published in the Philadelphia Daily American Advertiser on September 19, 1796 and then reprinted in papers around the country. It very quickly gained great popularity and for more than a century held a place in the pantheon of sacrosanct American documents.

Although the address also dealt with domestic issues, the section on international relations was more significant in actually providing a standard for American policy. During the time of Washington’s presidency, the “passionate attachment” of many idealistic Americans was to the new revolutionary republic of France, which was at war with England and other European monarchies. Not only did idealistic Americans feel an ideological affinity for a fellow republic involved in a life-or-death struggle with monarchical regimes, but many Americans held that a debt of gratitude was owed to France because of its military support during the American Revolution and that the United States was still obligated to abide by the 1778 alliance with France which did not include an end date. Washington, however, astutely held that in foreign policy the United States should pursue its own interests and not be involved in another country’s conflicts, which could only bring on unnecessary problems.

Undoubtedly, the conservative Washington eschewed the radical direction that the French revolution had taken (though in his public statements he remained supportive of republicanism per se in France) , but he expressed his opposition to supporting France in terms of the concrete interests of the United States and not the domestic practices of the French Republic. Consequently, Washington’s Farewell Address applied this principle to American foreign policy in general, not just in situations where an unappealing regime was involved. During Washington’s time, this position could be used to apply also to support for Britain, which was desired by some high Federalists. As Washington wrote: “So likewise a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification.”

Washington certainly faced some serious problems in this area, especially in the case of the Genêt Affair. Edward-Charles Genêt (referred to as Citizen Genet in the egalitarian revolutionary lexicon of the French Revolution) was a brilliant linguist and ardent republican, who was made the French Minister to the United States by the Girondins when they ran the revolutionary government. Genêt arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in early April 1793 and instead of traveling to the temporary US capital in Philadelphia to present himself to President George Washington for accreditation, the colorful Genêt tarried in South Carolina where he harangued crowds with radical republican ideals and raised soldiers and privateers for service against France’s enemies—England and Spain. When Genêt finally left for Philadelphia, he stopped along the way to continue these same activities while being feted by adoring crowds.

Genêt’s activities obviously endangered American neutrality in the war between France and Britain, which Washington had pointedly declared in his Neutrality Proclamation of April 22, 1793. When Genêt met with Washington, he asked for what amounted to a termination of American neutrality and after being turned down, he defied the United States government by continuing to promote military activities against France’s enemies. But while he was able to cause some radical Americans to attack “old man Washington,” as Genet came to call him, his appeal to Americans waned since most Americans identified more with their president than with French republican ideas, and when the more radical Jacobins overthrew the Girondins in June 1793, Genêt fell from favor at home, too. Ultimately, Genêt would have to beg asylum from Washington so as to not be sent back to France to be tried and likely guillotined. A non-vindictive Washington would grant his request, and a chastened Genêt would marry and live out his life in the United States as an American citizen.

The similarity of Genêt to some Israel luminaries has not been missed. In March 2003, Patrick J. Buchanan wrote in his mastery article “Whose War?” that immediately after the 9/11 terrorism, “‘Bibi’ Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister of Israel, like some latter-day Citizen Genet, was ubiquitous on American television, calling for us to crush the ‘Empire of Terror.’ The ‘Empire,’ it turns out, consisted of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, and ‘the Palestinian enclave.’ Nasty as some of these regimes and groups might be, what had they done to the United States?” Of course, the obvious answer to Buchanan’s rhetorical question was “nothing,” but they were all obvious enemies of Israel. Fortunately, for “Bibi” the political climate was much more favorable for this approach than it had been for the hapless Citizen Genêt in the 1790s.

Obviously, with Israel “passionate attachment” has reached a level that Citizen Genêt could never have dreamed of. For now it has become politically necessary for the United States to fully and unconditionally support a foreign country. And there is almost absolute agreement among all America’s political leaders, with deviation simply verboten.

And support for Israel since the beginning of the Bush administration has involved war and the threat of war by the US against Israel’s adversaries with the invasion of Iraq and now the belligerent stance toward Iran. While Israel was in the background as a reason for war against Iraq, it is front and center in the move toward war on Iran. And the dangers used to justify an attack on that country more often than not pertain to Israel, not the United States. Thus concern about Iran’s aid to Hamas and Hezbollah, threats to eliminate Zionism or even to “wipe” Israel off the map, and a possible nuclear weapons program do not really involve sufficiently serious threats to the security of the United States to justify an actual Middle East war.

As the United States pursues a war policy on behalf of Israel’s interests, no one is allowed to point out this obvious fact, even though many of the ardent champions of this policy are closely connected to Israel. These people are instead regarded as American patriots and followed by the gentile super patriot masses who listen to Fox News and right-wing talk radio. Even the critics of the war hawks do not really differ in their assessment when they have described neocon Israel Firsters such as Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and Norman Podhoretz as overwrought American nationalists. The prescient Washington foresaw this inversion of truth when he wrote: “Real patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favorite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.” And the real American patriots who oppose the wars in the Middle East are often condemned as traitors and defeatists, as neocon David Frum, the author of the Bush’s “Axis of Evil” speech, characterized them in his article “Unpatriotic Conservatives: A war against America,” which appeared in the April 7, 2003 issue of the National Review, once the bastion of American conservative nationalism in the United States. (Born and raised in Canada, Frum was not even an American citizen when he wrote this article.)

Washington, sufficiently wise and modest, and not given to the utopian optimism in regard to the United States, acknowledged that his warning would not “prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations.” But Washington hoped that his words might “be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

So while it would be wise for Americans to heed Washington’s warning today, it unfortunately appears that the American polity has fallen too far for Washington’s words to have any effect. And most likely, Washington’s words on the issue of international relations are no longer even known to any but a few specialists on American history and foreign policy, and the United States will likely run “the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations,” namely deterioration and destruction, which cannot be but hastened by its involvement in unnecessary wars.

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Stephen Sniegoski


Washington’s Farewell Address 1796

[Section dealing with Foreign Policy ]

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it – It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

In offering to you, my countrymen, these counsels of an old and affectionate friend, I dare not hope they will make the strong and lasting impression I could wish; that they will control the usual current of the passions, or prevent our nation from running the course which has hitherto marked the destiny of nations. But, if I may even flatter myself that they may be productive of some partial benefit, some occasional good; that they may now and then recur to moderate the fury of party spirit, to warn against the mischiefs of foreign intrigue, to guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism; this hope will be a full recompense for the solicitude for your welfare, by which they have been dictated.

How far in the discharge of my official duties I have been guided by the principles which have been delineated, the public records and other evidences of my conduct must witness to you and to the world. To myself, the assurance of my own conscience is, that I have at least believed myself to be guided by them.

In relation to the still subsisting war in Europe, my proclamation of the twenty-second of April, I793, is the index of my plan. Sanctioned by your approving voice, and by that of your representatives in both houses of Congress, the spirit of that measure has continually governed me, uninfluenced by any attempts to deter or divert me from it.

After deliberate examination, with the aid of the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied that our country, under all the circumstances of the case, had a right to take, and was bound in duty and interest to take, a neutral position. Having taken it, I determined, as far as should depend upon me, to maintain it, with moderation, perseverance, and firmness.

The considerations which respect the right to hold this conduct, it is not necessary on this occasion to detail. I will only observe that, according to my understanding of the matter, that right, so far from being denied by any of the belligerent powers, has been virtually admitted by all.

The duty of holding a neutral conduct may be inferred, without anything more, from the obligation which justice and humanity impose on every nation, in cases in which it is free to act, to maintain inviolate the relations of peace and amity towards other nations.

The inducements of interest for observing that conduct will best be referred to your own reflections and experience. With me a predominant motive has been to endeavor to gain time to our country to settle and mature its yet recent institutions, and to progress without interruption to that degree of strength and consistency which is necessary to give it, humanly speaking, the command of its own fortunes.

Though, in reviewing the incidents of my administration, I am unconscious of intentional error, I am nevertheless too sensible of my defects not to think it probable that I may have committed many errors. Whatever they may be, I fervently beseech the Almighty to avert or mitigate the evils to which they may tend. I shall also carry with me the hope that my country will never cease to view them with indulgence; and that, after forty five years of my life dedicated to its service with an upright zeal, the faults of incompetent abilities will be consigned to oblivion, as myself must soon be to the mansions of rest.

Relying on its kindness in this as in other things, and actuated by that fervent love towards it, which is so natural to a man who views in it the native soil of himself and his progenitors for several generations, I anticipate with pleasing expectation that retreat in which I promise myself to realize, without alloy, the sweet enjoyment of partaking, in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever-favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cares, labors, and dangers.