The most troubling prerogative of modern government is the ability of the sovereign or head of state to go to war. War means death, debt, and, if the decision is a bad one, the very end of civil society and the prevailing political order.
Because war is potentially so terrible, a number of nations have curtailed the ability of the executive authority to make such a decision without first satisfying conditions imposed through constitutional and other political restraints.
It is perhaps ironic that the world’s oldest republic, the United States, has ignored its own constitution to grant to the president the authority to enter into armed conflict through the simple expedient of not actually declaring war. America has been de facto at war continuously since 2001 and the recent National Defense Authorization Act has codified an unending conflict in which the whole world is a battlefield and everyone in it is a potential enemy combatant subject to no constitutional or legal protection.
Many critics of the perennially lopsided relationship that the United States enjoys with Israel have noted a disturbing shift in the relationship during the first three years of the Obama Administration.
To be sure, Obama appears to genuinely dislike Israel’s arrogant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a sentiment that is fully reciprocated. But Obama is bound hand and foot into an engagement with Israel in which he lacks leverage over what might or might not take place. Even George W. Bush was able to say no to Israel when it was mooted that Tel Aviv might attack Iran, but Obama has painted himself into a corner where the United States has little influence over what might occur.
Whether the Obama reticence is due to the control exercised by his Chicago billionaire patrons, the Crown and Pritzker families, both of which are strong supporters of the Middle East status quo, or whether it is just a more generalized fear about what might happen in the upcoming national elections, the result has been paralysis in Washington. Recent war games conducted by the Pentagon have confirmed that a new conflict with Iran started by Israel would quickly draw the United States in and would become regional in nature.
The war would not produce a good result for anyone involved and would be particularly bad for the United States, which would again slide into deep recession as energy prices soar.
So Israel can start a war and the United States can do nothing to stop it and will become a major victim of whatever plays out.
If that is true, why is the mainstream media ignoring the story? The account of the disturbing Pentagon war games did indeed appear in the New York Times and was picked up in a number of other places, but it quickly died out, as always happens with stories that are critical of Israel and its policies.
Supporters of Israel might also be quick to note that the hue and cry against another war is largely coming from the usual suspects who are philosophically opposed to interventionism, including supporters of Ron Paul and a number of contributors to this website. But given their underlying pretense that the US is supporting Israel due to its own national interests, perhaps they should take another look at a document that recently surfaced on WikiLeaks.
The document enables one to better understand that where Israel leads in foreign and security policy the United States will inevitably follow.
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