The Debate Over Israel as ‘US Aircraft Carrier’

Diana Johnstone responds to readers’ comments on “The Myth of Israel as ‘US Aircraft Carrier,” an article she recently co-authored with Jean Bricmont.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressing an AIPAC forum in Washington, D.C., Jan. 10, 2023. (DoD, Alexander Kubitza)

By Diana Johnstone
Special to Consortium News

As was to be expected, considering the extreme complexity of the U.S.-Israel relationship, our recent article on “The Myth of Israel as ‘US Aircraft Carrier’ in Middle East,” far from settling this controversial issue, aroused numerous objections. We see these disagreements as an invitation to respond, in the hope that a friendly debate can contribute to clarifying the issues.

The Aircraft Carrier Image

A reader directly asks us “what individual or entity is the quotation ‘The Myth of Israel as “US Aircraft Carrier” in Middle East’ borrowed from or attributed to?” 

There is no single answer, inasmuch as this image is used quite frequently, originally by advocates of the U.S.-Israel alliance, to justify it. That the Zionists make this claim is to be expected, and is no more credible than their other claims.

Our questioning of that expression is directed primarily at pro-Palestinian friends, usually on the left who accept and spread the belief that Israel is a U.S. “strategic asset,” usually meaning it contributes to U.S. control of Middle East oil. 

This assumption is often based on the notion that a capitalist power must act in its own economic interest, and thus could not be fooled by ideology or bribery into acting against its own interests. 

Not wanting to engage in ad hominem attacks on commentators with whom we largely agree on just about everything else, we have been reluctant to name names. But here goes: a perfect example is a recent interview with the excellent economist Michael Hudson by Ben Norton. Both identify as Marxist. Their interview is titled “Israel as a Landed Aircraft Carrier.”

Norton introduces his interview by citing Biden’s notorious declaration, “if there were not an Israel, we would have to invent one.” 

Michael Hudson takes up the theme. He stresses that U.S. support to Israel, is “not altruistic” (no doubt), and provides his own explanation.

“Israel is a landed aircraft carrier in the Near East. Israel is the takeoff point for America to control the Near East…The United States has always viewed Israel as just our foreign military base…” 

His initial justification for this statement is historic. 

“When England first passed the act saying that there should be an Israel, the Balfour Declaration, it was because Britain wanted to control the Near East and its oil supplies…”

However, we maintain that the reasons for the Balfour Declaration (discussed at length in the book by Alison Weir that we cite) are long out of date and cannot explain current U.S. official devotion to Israel.

By the time Israel came into being, after World War II, the U.S. had effectively taken control of the region and its oil sources and had no particular interest in Israel.

Saudi King Ibn Saud converses with FDR (right) through an interpreter, Feb. 14, 1945, on board the USS Quincy, in the Suez Canal, during which U.S. secured Saudi oil flows in exchange for U.S. security guarantees. (U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons)

Hudson’s second justification is a generalization about U.S. imperialism: 

“And that’s really the U.S. strategy all over the world; it’s trying to fuel other countries to fight wars for its own control.”

But in fact, the fighting and dying in the Middle East has been done by the United States itself and certain NATO allies, while the only people Israeli soldiers are actively fighting are the Palestinians, whose destruction provides no advantage to the United States.

Uzi Arad in 2011. (Harald Dettenborn, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0 de)

Hudson’s third justification is an anecdote.  From his work at the Hudson Institute, he became a close associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main national security adviser, Uzi Arad. Once they were together at a party in San Francisco, and

“one of the U.S. generals came over and slapped Uzi on the back and said, ‘you’re our landed aircraft carrier over there. We love you.’ ”

So that is what a U.S. general said, and probably believed. It is certainly what the Israeli lobby has been telling the Americans for a long time, to justify all that money and military aid.  But is it true? 

Perhaps one can say that Israel is an aircraft carrier salesman who never delivers the aircraft carrier.  Because Israel for a long time has had the rare privilege of NOT housing a U.S. military base, or at least not housing it openly. 

Only in 2017, the U.S. and Israel revealed the inauguration of “the first American military base on Israeli soil,” which the U.S. military said was not an American base but merely living quarters for U.S. personnel working on a secret Israeli radar site in the Negev desert evidently spying on Iran. This facility serves Israeli defense interests.  Some aircraft carrier!

And all through the Middle East, the U.S. has its own floating aircraft carriers, as well as great big genuine, non-floating military bases. The largest is Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, and there are important military bases in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. 

Netanyahu as Zelensky

However, Hudson’s argument does not in fact explain how Israel serves U.S. purposes as a military asset, as an “aircraft carrier” in the sense of an unsinkable military base which the U.S. can use to attack its enemies. Rather, Hudson sees Israel as an expendable pawn, a puppet used by Washington to trigger a war that the U.S. wants to wage against Iran, to the ruin of Israel itself. 

Hudson sees Netanyahu as “the Israeli version of Zelensky in the Ukraine.” Just as the U.S. used Ukraine to provoke Russia, the United States pushes Netanyahu to escalate against Gaza so that he will provoke Hezbollah to come to the aid of the Palestinians, and since Hezbollah is described as an Iranian proxy, this will be the excuse for the U.S. to go to war against Iran.

March 21, 2019: Netanyahu on phone with U.S. President Donald Trump during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to Jerusalem. (U.S. State Department/Ron Przysucha)

Hudsdon said:

“The whole world has noticed that the U.S. now has two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean, right off the Near Eastern shore, and it has an atomic submarine near the Persian Gulf…. And it’s very clear that they’re there not to protect Israel, but to fight Iran. Again and again, every American newspaper, when it talks about Hamas, it says Hamas is acting on behalf of Iran….

America isn’t trying to fight to protect Ukraine. It’s fighting for the last Ukrainian to be exhausted in what they’d hoped would be depleting Russia’s military. …Well, the same thing in Israel. If the United States is pushing Israel and Netanyahu to escalate, escalate, escalate, to do something that at a point is going to lead [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah to finally say, ‘okay, we can’t take it anymore.

We’re coming in and helping rescue the Gazans and especially rescue the West Bank, where just as much fighting is taking place. We’re going to come in.’ And that’s when the United States will then feel free to move not only against Lebanon, but all the way via Syria, Iraq, to Iran.”

So this implies that the U.S. military and civilian strategists are eager to find an excuse to go to war with Iran, after having failed to gain full control of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan or Syria after attacking them militarily (with help from certain NATO allies, but not from Israel). And Iran is a much more formidable power than any of those.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Armed Forces are having difficulty in recruitment (although they may be counting on filling the ranks with some of the undocumented immigrants flooding across the southern borders).  Bogged down in Ukraine, preparing for conflict with China, are U.S. leaders really eager to get into a major war with Iran? 

This speculation raises the key question raised by a number of Consortium News readers: what is meant by the U.S. national interest?

The National Interest

As we anticipated, there are readers on the left who interpret our appeal to “the national interest” as proof that we are defenders of capitalism. One reader writes: “The defense of capitalism in this article is truly bewildering. The authors conflate U.S. interests with Corporate interests.” That conflation is being done by the reader who assumes that “national interest” cannot be diversely defined. 

Our position is simple. We are not aware of any realistic prospect for abolishing the American capitalist system in the foreseeable future, even though there are many symptoms of its radical decline both domestically and in international relations. This decline is due largely to the way the “national interest” is currently defined and pursued. 

“This assumption is often based on the notion that a capitalist power must act in its own economic interest, and thus could not be fooled by ideology or bribery into acting against its own interests.”

Our view is that even under capitalism, some policies are better or worse than others. When it comes to the urgency of the survival of the Palestinian people, or more broadly, of sparing humanity the devastation of nuclear war, prudent policies are worth the risk of benefiting some less harmful branches of capitalism in some way. 

Although the political system is largely paralyzed, there exist contrary ways of defining the national interest, and some are more perilous for the future of humanity than others.

The current policies that define the official “national interest” in the United States did not spring forth from a unanimous understanding or scientific analysis of what is best for capitalist profit or for anything else. The current ruling foreign policy doctrine is the product of specific influences and individuals that can be named and identified. 

To be precise, the “national interest” that is being pursued by the current administration both on the elected top and especially the deep state below is a theoretical construct that has been created by the convergence of two powers that have excluded their rivals from the process.

These two powers are the military-industrial complex and the intellectual branch of the Zionist lobby, known as the “neoconservatives.”

The Lobby as Policy Maker

 Biden in Israel, July 2022. (U.S. Embassy Jerusalem, Flickr, CC BY 2.0)

U.S. foreign policy has encountered moments where positive change was possible: after withdrawal from Vietnam, and even more, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  At that point, all the interests linked to the military industrial complex were under threat from the prospect of a “peace dividend” involving substantial disarmament. 

What was needed was a fresh ideological justification for the MIC, and this was provided by the growing influence of the privately-financed think tanks that began their takeover of foreign policy definition in the 1970s. 

In the following decades, these institutions came under the decisive influence of Zionist donors such as Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson and AIPAC itself, which founded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. These think tanks provided echo chambers for pro-Israel neocon intellectuals to shape editorial policy of major liberal media as well as foreign policy itself.

Here is the point: current U.S. policy is not the natural expression of “capitalist corporate interests,” but rather is the product of that process, of the deliberate takeover of U.S. foreign policy by a highly motivated, coherent and talented group of intellectuals, some with dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship.  This policy has a name: the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine & PNAC

The text is available on internet and speaks for itself. It was written as the initial version of the Defense Planning Guidance for the 1994–1999 fiscal years in the office of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Paul Wolfowitz, an ardent Zionist. 

The version leaked to The New York Times in March 1992 was officially toned down after it caused an uproar, but it has remained as the guidelines for aggressive U.S foreign policy ever since. 

Basically, the doctrine announces that the main objective of the United States is to retain its status as the world’s only remaining superpower. No serious rival must be allowed to develop. 

This amounts to decreeing that history has come to a stop, and denies the natural historical process whereby China, for instance, which in the past was a leading power, must not be allowed to resume that status. 

Wolfowitz during a press conference at the Pentagon on March 1, 2001. (DoD photo by R. D. Ward)

In 1997, neocons William Kristol and Robert Kagan founded the “Project for the New American Century” with the clear purpose of defining U.S. foreign policy in line with the Wolfowitz Doctrine.

As the “world’s pre-eminent power,” the United States must “shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests.” This was to be done neither by virtuous example nor by diplomacy, but by military strength and the force of arms.

PNAC members including Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz took control of policy under President George W. Bush and have kept it ever since.

Inside one administration after another, Robert Kagan’s wife, former Cheney aide Victoria Nuland (who last week said she would be resigning her State Dept. position) has advanced the neocon agenda, notably by managing the Ukrainian disaster. PNAC dissolved itself in 2006, announcing that its job was done.

This job amounted to linking the powerful military industrial complex to the global extension of U.S. power that was turned first and foremost against Israel’s Arab neighbors, starting with Iraq.

This branch of the Lobby, inside the government itself and mainstream media, on the false claim that Iraq was a dangerous enemy of the U.S., got the U.S. to attack and destroy a regime that was in fact an enemy of Israel. 

The U.S. was fighting on Israel’s behalf, not the other way around.

The neoconservatives have designed the policy which AIPAC pays members of Congress to support. Every senator has taken AIPAC money.

National Interests Can Be Redefined

The Wolfowitz doctrine is expressed in Nuland’s anti-Russian Ukrainian policy as well as in the American provocations surrounding Taiwan. These policies are not inevitable, even under capitalism. 

The expansion of NATO, as an example, was firmly opposed by a generation of U.S. foreign policy experts who have been sidelined and expelled from the policy-making process by the triumphant neocons. 

Some are still alive, and others can emerge.  So it is neither far-fetched nor “pro-capitalist” to suggest that a more realistic, less arrogant and belligerent foreign policy might be possible.  

Such a change cannot be easy, but may be favored precisely by growing recognition of the multiple failures of the reigning neoconservative foreign policy.

For this, a free debate is necessary, in which it is possible to challenge the role of the Lobby without being accused of plagiarizing the Protocols of the Elders of Zion

It is obvious that in the United States, where this debate is most significant, there are Zionists who are not Jewish, while a very large proportion of the Jewish population is highly critical of Israel and has nothing to do with the Lobby. 

The government in Jerusalem proclaiming itself “the Jewish State” as it slaughters native Palestinians is responsible for any current rise in misguided anti-Jewish feelings, which that government blatantly exploits to attract Jewish immigrants from France and New Jersey, in particular.

A reader suggests: “Some folks may find it emotionally and psychologically comforting to blame The Lobby and Israel for the evil of U.S. foreign policy, and somehow the good ol USA is an unwitting victim.”

Can’t we more accurately suggest: “Some folks may find it emotionally and psychologically comforting to blame the U.S. foreign policy for everything rather than risk the inevitable furious reactions to any mention of the Lobby and Israel?”  

“The U.S. was fighting on Israel’s behalf, not the other way around.”

Certainly U.S. foreign policy is responsible for everything it does, and that is a gigantic evil. But that does not mean that everyone else is totally innocent. 

The Lobby is most certainly responsible for doing all it can to encourage the very worst tendencies in U.S. arrogant exceptionalism, the MIC, Islamophobia and Christian evangelical fantasies, when they can be used against Israel’s adversaries.

And we maintain that encouraging the worst tendencies is not in the American interest.

Diana Johnstone was press secretary of the Green Group in the European Parliament from 1989 to 1996. In her latest book, Circle in the Darkness: Memoirs of a World Watcher (Clarity Press, 2020), she recounts key episodes in the transformation of the German Green Party from a peace to a war party. Her other books include Fools’ Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (Pluto/Monthly Review) and in co-authorship with her father, Paul H. Johnstone, From MAD to Madness: Inside Pentagon Nuclear War Planning (Clarity Press). She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

74 comments for “The Debate Over Israel as ‘US Aircraft Carrier’

  1. Joseph Tracy
    March 14, 2024 at 15:05

    I think the deepest failure of this argument and many arguments on this topic has to do with the willingness to ignore the powerful role of the mythological framework of what has come to be called “Western Civilization”. The settler colonialism and also the capitalist imperialism of the west is deeply rooted in the original Zionist text of Joshua leading Israel into ” Zion”and conquering the Canaanites and other peoples of the Levant based on a promise to the legendary father of everyone in the whole region named Abraham. These conquered people were to be slaves ( Not surprisingly a Zionist rabbi recently proclaimed the slavery should be restored in Israel) and the numerous wars that followed in bible history , some internal, intertribal wars ( similar to Zionists beating up Orthodox Jews but more like a war) established the legendary Kingdom of the Jews. All of this biblical story is massively disputed as having much of any relationship to reality by leading Israeli historians, and archeologists and really by a long history of textual and historic analysis going back to the Hasmonean Dynasty. Most of history before 70CE in this region was multi-cultural or dominated by invading empires, with only about 200 years when Jewish kings ruled or even served as local authorities under the Romans, Greeks, Persians etc.

    This text which is the foundation of the Zionist model came into the Mediterranean and Europe mostly via Christianity but also through Jewish communities. When European Christians fought wars, invaded other regions etc, the brunt of destruction tended to fall on indigenous peoples and their non-biblical beliefs or on heretics who refused the Zionist model of Christianity that prevailed via Constantine, via the papal hierarchy and later among nationalist protestants.The violence was often described and justified by the stories of Joshua, Elijah and David. When European tools of war were turned on India, East Asia and the New world they frequently characterized those they conquered in Biblical language as heathens, unbelievers, devil worshippers, idolaters and immediately put them to work as slaves for the new miracle gold egg producing goose they called corporation and Christian Kingdom.

    What I am saying is that while all of this warlike conquest was taking place in the ancient world under a different pantheon or under Zoroastrianism etc. long before armed Christianity and with it the text of Judaism became a major component of Western mythos, that that Zionist mythos is the central mythos of the west and is still deep in our stories, our violent cinema, our theories of worthy and unworthy peoples, our affinities, our statecraft, and our way of thinking and it has at this point almost nothing to do with the nonviolent teachings of Jesus or the peaceable kingdom embraced by several Hebrew prophets, which are more likely to be the moral foundations of opposition to Empire than something embraced by the west. Instead the western mythos and magic of sacrificial blood offerings prevails as the corporatized rape of the planet, the divide and conquer, the dispossession of indigenous peoples and local ways of life of local wisdom and belief. We are now moving to new visions of transcendence and freedom and eternal life through meting with our electronic devices and the purity of the perfect global government.

    This may sound to some like an assault on Judaism. But I think not. Even the Abrahamic faiths have all evolved branches that leave behind violence and the literalism of violent texts and the dangers of false histories.. We can see it in the Anabaptists and Quakers, in Sufism and peace loving mystics of Islam, in the Hassidic traditions, in Gandhi, Martin King, Tolstoy, Jewish Voices for peace and the beautiful heritage of wisdom carried by the many non western peoples of our planet. These peace traditions , and visions of sustainable, life-based, cooperative ways of life are still available.

  2. Ricardo2000
    March 14, 2024 at 15:03

    US politicians don’t have “National Interests” because they are completely corrupt.
    White Western politicians only answer to money and so only have “Oligarch Interests” in mind, of which AIPAC is the most organized.

    Washington-NAYOYO, now and always, makes collaborators of the most corrupt, violent human rights abusers. 

    Dr. Hunter S. Thompson: “We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world — bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts.”

    Americans have never conducted foreign policy by any ethical standard, but only for temporary domestic political advantage and criminal greed.

    Cordell Hull, US Secretary of State (1933-1944): “He may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he is our son-of-a-bitch”.
    Recently, US trained military yahoos committed 9 coups in West Africa. 
    Of course, military coups are cheaper than honestly negotiating Oil & Gas rights
    with responsible, democratically elected, popularly supported, local leadership.
    ‘Los Zetas’, Mexico’s worst narco gang were trained and armed by US ‘special forces’. 

    Honduras, where democracy was recently restored after a US-OAS coup installed a president and family
    now facing decades in US prisons for drug trafficking. 

    El Salvador, where ex-President Cristiani is facing murder charges for the executions of 6 Catholic priests,
    their housekeeper and her young daughter, who advocated for negotiations and peace. 

    These most recent examples of US war crimes and human rights abuses don’t cover
    Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, Chile and every Latin American country.

    Harold Pinter: “US foreign policy is best defined as follows: kiss my arse or I’ll kick your head in.”

    Iran, Mexico, and Venezuela supported the Allies through WWII with cheap, highly profitable crude oil.
    As reward, courtesy of the CIA, they received poverty, contempt, traitorous collaborators, military coups and death squads.

    Operation Gladio, post-WWII CIA support for the first Bandera Nazi war criminals, and any country seeking actual democracy, also stand as examples of the Washington’s criminal stupidity.

    Harry S. Truman: “I never would have agreed to the formation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo.”

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 14, 2024 at 20:37

      Ahhh, the joy of a breath of vigorously healthy fresh air.

      DOG bless the good Dr. may he be blessed by the powers of DOGma!

      Great comment Sir!

    • DW Bartoo
      March 14, 2024 at 21:12

      Superb comment, Ricardo2000.

      It ought also be recalled that during WWII, Ho Chi Minh was especially helpful to the OSS, the CIA’s predecessor.

      A fact rarely mentioned and completely obscured when the U$ went to war with Vietnam, a nation which never posed any threat to the U$.

      A war of choice and profit.

      As was the war against Korea.

      And ALL wars since, none of which have been officially and legally declared.

      It is said that all “our” wars of choice and proxy, of “regime change” and “responsibility to protect” have killed upward of 20 million human beings.

      Ain’t we something special?

      Dog’s Gift to the world.

      What a pathetic, vicious lot.

      Yet, “we” are always the victim of “those who hate us for our freedoms”, we are never the aggressor, but goodness manifest.

      That is our fairytale: we are pure as the driven snow while those we “defend” against are evil incarnate.

      A simple binary which invariably “sells”.

      Fear and hate are easy to monger, and profitable beyond belief.

      In an honest society, war-profiteering would be a criminal act – the essential crime against humanity.


      It is the pathway to riches, power, influence, and Full Spectrum Dominance.

  3. March 14, 2024 at 14:46

    History is record of empires that brought about their own ruin by making bad decisions. Empire managers are not necessarily wise or even smart. Generally, they’re clever in-fighters who know how to claw their way the top of the power structure, but once up there, they may find themselves at their level of incompetence.

    Such is the case of the Neocons; they’re in power, but they’re not skillful managers of the US empire. Their unconditional support for Israel’s genocide is a classic example of self-sabotage. So was their policy of pushing NATO eastward and provoking Russia. Their obsession with US primacy and actions to maintain it — wars, proxy wars, sanctions — are hastening the end of US primacy.

    The Neocons are not even good militarists. Just look at how they equip the Air Force with F-35s.

    Lies and propaganda is the only thing they’re good at. Their management of the corporate media machine is superb.

  4. Mike
    March 14, 2024 at 09:50

    Like the previous article, this one says nothing that isn’t obvious, or bizarre. The ONLY “positive” development cited by the author, in the previous article, was the promotion of free speech by Elon Musk. This says it all, and is truly bizarre seeing as Musk clearly uses X to promote the Israeli slaughter of Palestinians.

    The author is taking people like Hudson to task with no substantive engagement, opposition, or discussion. Again, she simply repeats what is already well known. Criticism of Marxists and/or actual Leftists is the purpose of the article.

    The “US “interest, as is obvious, is corporate and military interests. The author says this when she cites the military-industrial complex and neocons as controlling the US interest as articulated in the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Then she says the US interest can be redefined. That is her only point.

    Which takes us directly back to the first article, where she says the interests of economic elites may be undergoing the redefinition she speaks of. How? Where? With Elon Musk promoting free speech. This is nonsense. Her analysis cannot be taken seriously.

    • JonnyJames
      March 14, 2024 at 16:32

      I agree with the points you raise Mike. Prof. Michael Hudson is an economist, economic historian and geopolitical analyst and his track record speaks for itself. I have read almost every book he published and have learned a great deal. His predictions and observations are likely the most accurate of any academic in his field and that has been the case for decades. Anyone with a sense of intellectual honesty will agree, even if they don’t agree with some of his points. (Hudson predicted the crash of 08 well in advance, and with the most detailed explanation, for example)

      Elon Musk is an amoral, deranged oligarch, just like the rest. You have to be a deranged sociopath in order to become an oligarch in the first place. There was a Harvard study published on this not too long ago, and it confirms what we already know. Instead of worshiping celebrity-oligarchs, we should demand an end to the corrupt system that enables them.

      The old-school “left” does not exist in the USA, except for a very few – what is called “left” in the USA are largely warmongering right-wing authoritarians, but with a rainbow bumper sticker and a BLM lawn sign. The so-called conservatives are the same but they have an anti-abortion bumper sticker. That’s about it. I largely ignored the comments about “Marxists”. There are very few so-called Marxists out there, and very few have read all three volumes of Capital. (Marx was an economist, like it or not). Critics of Marx, almost without fail, have never read the three volumes.

      At least Diana is anti-Zionist, and anti-Israel. I will accept any ally we can get, even though there may be some hypocrisy in supporting an oxymoronic oligarch who supposedly supports free speech. (or tilting at windmills of purported “marxists”) The USSR has been gone for over 30 years, after all.

  5. Dern
    March 14, 2024 at 00:08

    The current Gaza slaughter should lay to rest the Chomskian argument once & for all.

    The total US/Western support for something that is only causing them hostility and a headache, while Israel openly undermines and undercuts ever Biden claim, all prove who’s the real boss.

    Zionist Jewish oligarchs use their great power in the government, economy, and media, to push a pr-Istael line, while crushing opponents.

  6. bardamu
    March 13, 2024 at 18:18

    With applause for the discussion, a few responses—-

    Anyone who sees sign that neoconservative policies have lost traction in Washington might chime in any time. By many signs, they have gone shrill with failure–wars expand, incomes contract, censorship increases, human rights wither, electoral options are pared away year by year.

    “US interests” may be variously defined. In the usage of the John Mearsheimer sort of self-styled “realist” school, these are mostly coterminous with the interests of a given nation’s ruling class–the people who make foreign policy decisions. Even people who do distinguish between this and the good of the population often fail to distinguish between rulers’ interests and the longevity of a power system or structure or political order. However, as institutions fall apart, these differences become critical. Think of how loyalties fail when a business goes bankrupt, and you might explain a lot of decisions in Washington.

    Granted, Israel is a nation, not an aircraft carrier. Analogies are never perfect, and they are usually imperfect in part by being overly simple. Its surly military is not an asset for Americans generally. However, it is perceived as an asset to the US ruling class in relation to neoconservative ideology. The US has been willing to put troops on the ground in many places, but that does not at all mean that it does not use proxy wars, mercenaries, and client-state dynamics to extend its reach and to cover its actions. Ukraine is an obvious current example, but the long term bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia is another, and the funding of ISIS to destabilize Syria, the funding of the Contras to destabilize Sandinista Nicaragua in the 80’s, and the artificial propping of the regime of South Vietnam in the 50’s through 70’s is another.

    The behavior is constant. Proxy-ism and client state dynamics go on regardless of the level of above-board US military presence. At the same time, the US relationship with states that are more or less poised as clients varies. Germany barely murmured at the destruction of its Nordstream gas sources, and it is not because anyone doubted that this was done at least at US behest. The US dictates a considerable amount of policy in Australia, but Australia is not Germany, and neither is Israel. All of these relationships are partially unfixed and considerably opaque beyond their larger lines of operation.

    It reminds me of a simile someone used to describe the relationship between rulers and subjects. Rulers’ powers are far from absolute, but they are usually effective. It’s more like riding a horse than it is like driving a car. One cannot just pull the reigns and yank the horse over; the horse is the stronger and does have its own mind. On the other hand, riders usually arrive where they intend to go with little incident.

    So Israel does lobby and bribe itself in place. But it is also clearly viewed as a foreign policy asset by a lot of Washington, if not so many Americans. It is one of many states that way, but each independently work out a somewhat different relationship with the hegemon. The client state is in some sense devoured, yet it also survives, to some extent as a parasite or symbiont–though one that has lost more than it has gained by the relationship, with the exception of its ruling class.

    In all these cases, though, causality is distributed, as it usually must be. And culpability ought to be as well, in whatever sense we understand that otherwise. If Hudson is concerned that the US receive its blame for the genocide that it funds, that strikes me as completely correct. At the same time, if Diana Johnstone argues that Israel should bear responsibility for its actions as an independent actor, that strikes me as equally valid and certain, and not in the least bit contradictory. It is not as though two people cannot be equally and absolutely guilty of a single murder, and the principle does not hold less well when the murders are in the tens of thousands and rising.

  7. James P McFadden
    March 13, 2024 at 18:13

    Max Blumenthal provides an excellent analysis of the Zionist-Neocon policy with regards to Gaza, and the Democratic Party that facilitates and supports this genocide. He notes that Republicans are just as bad, so don’t expect either wing of the duopoly to change the policy or stop the slaughter of children, women, and babies.


    The deep indoctrination of Israelis who believe in their righteousness, who believe that the IDF is the most virtuous, humane military in the world, despite IDF torture and slaughter of Palestinians, is described by Gideon Levy in this 2015 speech.


    And Ilan Pappe provides a frank analysis of what Israel does to Palestinians


    All three are worth watching to understand ideology driven insanity of this genocide that is facilitated by the Biden administration. There is no lesser evil this November in the big two Parties.

  8. Mike
    March 13, 2024 at 17:04

    I think it should be pretty clear by now that the US is in a situation where we are subordinates of Israel, doing their bidding, but they pretend to be our partners working in our own best interest. Israel’s “Clean Break” document laid out the plan and you watch year after year as it plays out. I’ve come to believe that the War on Terror was completely orchestrated by Israel and they continue to manipulate the US into working against our own best interests to carry out this Clean Break plan; which is actually in no one’s best interest. We need to purge Israeli control from our country and put on trial those that have broken laws during Israel’s infiltration of our government.

  9. Hank
    March 13, 2024 at 13:28

    While we impotently split hairs over the whys and wherefores, thousands of people are being killed and starved. Let this be a lesson to all. A child can understand economic injustice, any child knows that killing is wrong. Intellectual exercises have more than ever replaced action and organizing because the pressures of the attention economy demand another article, another debate, another clip, another viral comment. We need more Chavez, less Chomsky.

  10. Cara
    March 13, 2024 at 12:46

    Excellent summation of the forces and dynamics behind the current U.S./Israel relationship and how it bears on the genocide unfolding in Gaza. Kudos to Diana Johnstone for so thoroughly addressing this issue head on. There is no way out of this dangerous quagmire unless we understand precisely how we got here. And that is the problem with analysis such as those put forth by Norton, Hudson, and others who obsessively focus on the role of the U.S. empire in Israel’s war on Gaza without understanding the forces that have shaped U.S. policies (the Israel Lobby being one of them) and their motivations.

    • John
      March 14, 2024 at 11:29

      Hudson, Norton, Ritter, McGovern, Johnson, even Slebota all recognize it is the Oligarchy that is pushing American Foreign Policy. They clearly understand what is going on. Johnston mentions a few of them and blames current misadventures solely on the Zionists.
      Every single American Billionaire is part of this group! The Oligarchy is well exposed by Aaron Good’s outstanding historical series “US Empire and the Deep State”


      The Oligarchy was founded when America was colonized. It maintains its position of privilege through criminal activities as well as misdirective political organizations. Even some of those organizations you believe stand against the Oligarchy are, like Bernie Sanders, merely front organizations that dilute and diffuse successful organization against the Oligarchy.

      The debate over whether or not Israel is a landed aircraft carrier (a term used by Douglas MacArthur to describe Taiwan) obfuscates the issue and I find it trivial and silly, accomplishing exactly what the Oligarchs want — casting dispersions on individuals like Hudson who should be a major ally. It is as stupid and non-productive as the feud between Ritter and Lira.

      The Oligarchy is not some super-secret organization with a single purpose. The Oligarchs prey on one another (Lehman Brothers) just as much as they prey on the American Public. Remember Jeffrey Epstein? Remember Bill Gates was a “friend” of Epstein?

  11. Andrew
    March 13, 2024 at 12:20

    Israel does serve the larger Wolfowitz doctrine of preventing any power to rise and challenge the US, even if its not the unsinkable aircraft carrier that some seem to think it is. Israel is a Crusader state, an outpost of the West at a strategic point in the Middle East. It also functioned as a chaos bomb that allows the US to play various other countries in the ME off against each other. It also served US regional satraps who could blame Israel for the problems in their own nations.

    But Israel usually acknowledged its status as a vassal of the west, if a favored one. The problem is now it has slipped the leash and exposed the Western lies of benevolence as they aid it in its genocide. Its shows its true face to the world and the world and the world cannot abide it. The US satraps are unwilling to upset the status quo but they face a choice, especially with the anger of their peoples. And like the original Crusader states, eventually the regional powers all lined up against them.

    • Joseph Tracy
      March 14, 2024 at 12:05

      Andrew summarizes some important truth here. Also until recently a major argument of Israel and the US was that it was the sole democracy in the Middle East and therefore demonstrated the key cover argument for the blatantly imperialist Wolfowittz doctrine( not exactly a new idea itself). The cover argument , the public and media argument, is that Israel is an example of the US role in supporting democracy. That an apartheid state should be held out as a democracy always reeked of racism, but Israel countered it by denying that it was apartheid with the aid of AIPAC and giving full rights to gay citizens. The fact that nobody in the West Bank or Gaza had such rights didn’t bother the cowering US media or political parties with their sieg heil version of democracy.
      So whether these benefits to the US are enough to counter the costs to freedom of thought, boycott, and public protest, the military and economic costs ( we are 34 trillion in the hole) or any real long term benefits to any agenda apart from Israeli style global fascism advocated by the 4th reich advocate Wolfowitz is still powerfully brought into question by Ms. Johnstone.

  12. Tony
    March 13, 2024 at 07:12

    What is interesting is that President Truman’s support for Israel was widely opposed within his administration.

    Probably the most outspoken opponent was Defence Secretary James Forrestal who was fired from the administration and, later, according to the official narrative, jumped to his death from the 16th floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital.

    However, there does seem to me to be some problems with this:

    Would a devout Catholic really kill himself?

    Why would he be treated in that hospital when he was no longer in government?

    Why was he placed on the 16th floor when he was supposed to be suffering from serious mental health issues?

    Further reading:

    The Assassination of James Forrestal by David Martin.

    The book lists some websites which I do not like the look of but the issues raised in the book are well worth considering. His claim is that Forrestal was killed by pro-Israeli agents because he thought support for Israel was wrong for America.

  13. Sam F
    March 13, 2024 at 06:27

    Thank you for this excellent analysis. Indeed “free debate is necessary” for “a more realistic, less arrogant and belligerent foreign policy” but suppressed by IL influence on mass media. The remarkable IL control of fundamentalist protestantism needs further analysis, as does the feedback of US Israel “aid” as bribes to US political parties.

    • Selina Sweet
      March 13, 2024 at 11:01

      What – please – is IL?

      • Sam F
        March 13, 2024 at 12:12

        The Israel Lobby.

  14. jamie
    March 13, 2024 at 05:12

    I think is a very complex argument; Israel is probably not only an interest of US in middle east, but rather a western interest in middle east. I wonder how many middle-eastern nations are truly pro democracy or pro-west, taking away economic interests, probably none. And so, since Europe is largely dependent on oil and gas from middle east (even more now) we could apply the same reasoning to Europe view of Russia, that is, how risky is to depend energetically from countries which do not share our values.

    What would happen if Israel disappear from middle-east? Would those countries sell oil and gas at the same conditions as today? Would they have more leverage once Israel is gone?
    Israel is a military powerhouse (at lest on paper), no middle eastern nation currently equals it, and that it is thanks to the west.
    Till, now, Egypt knows, going against Israel can be very painful. So in my opinion Israel serves the west as a deterrent against forming an anti-west middle-east coalition. Iran is kept on “check” by Israel, Syria knows just to well the risks, Iraq as well. Israel does the dirty work for the west, and that is why Europe has supported, openly or covertly, the genocide in Gaza.

    Even more now that Europe has made the huge mistake to “free herself” from Russian energy to become more dependent on north africa and middle east. And knowing the huge oil and gas field in west bank and near Gaza’s coasts (which large part belongs to the palestinians), Israel has become of greater importance to the west for energy supply.

    But I guess it won’t matter if Israel does not end this shameful massacre, the anti-Israel coalition (and anti-west) is growing by the days.

  15. Eric
    March 13, 2024 at 04:41

    “the only people Israeli soldiers are actively fighting are the Palestinians”
    — Not true. Israel regularly bombs Syria, Iran and Lebanon — though not on the ground.

    The aircraft carrier analogy is indeed imperfect, yet it is not disproven by the lack
    of (acknowledged) U.S. military bases in Israel. If Israel performs the military functions
    regarding its neighbours that U.S. bases do elsewhere, the essence of the analogy holds.

    Which leads to the real debate: who is the master? Increasingly it looks like Israel runs the show,
    and thus the analogy fails.

    • Joseph Tracy
      March 14, 2024 at 13:02

      I agree with Eric that the issue of Israeli bombing attacks on Syria, their past and current military attacks on Lebanon, and Israeli murders in Iran are important and a bit of a flaw in Johnstone’s strong but not perfect argument. Also, what exactly is US policy in the region, what was the real point of the war on Iraq or Libya? I would say all these can quite reasonably be seen as efforts to destabilize and destroy any regional Islamic model of modernization, or creation of vibrant economies that would rival Israel, or challenge US hegemony. Also as long as the US public accepted the military abuses by Israel against Palestinians, Syria, and Iran as legitimate self defense, and as long as their spyware and invasion of the misinformation industry could be seen in the same terms, this provided the US with powerful cover for atrocities like the wars in Iraq or Libya or Africa. Israel has also actively supported South African apartheid and several of the nastiest military dictators.
      What are on display now are the original goals of Zionism and the US empire and the willingness to kill or cripple anyone in the way of that agenda. Genocide is now Western policy. The 4th reich is here, thinly disguised as the 2 puppet parties, and the phony politics of the anglo-euro-zionist slaves of the oligarchs with their massive agenda of total surveillance and censorship. The reich has been here since the murder of Kennedy and the US wars to save colonialism. The 3rd world war is the final failing plan to retain power. Nobody can win.

  16. Ace Thelin
    March 12, 2024 at 23:54

    The way I have long stated it is that the U.S. and Isreal are partners in crime. Israel, from the beginning has been a European Colonial project, born in the cesspool of 19th century European racism and global colonisation. Just one example is the fact that Isreal bombs Syria on a regular basis while the U.S. steals 65,000 barrels of oil a day. The Zionist Colonial project will collapse as U.S. global power diminishes. Stand with the oppressed peoples of the world fighting against western imperialism. Free Palestine!

  17. Dave E
    March 12, 2024 at 23:00

    Great point about the Wolfowitz Doctrine. But isn’t there a huge natural gas field just off the coast of Palestine? Could that not also have something to do with this situation?

    • jamie
      March 13, 2024 at 05:48

      Yes, I agree, even geographically, Israel is very strategic, a door for commercial purpose. Gone Israel, Muslim countries would totally control that route, increasing their leverage against the west.

  18. Rafael
    March 12, 2024 at 21:39

    It’s good that the authors have responded, because their rejoinder clarifies what’s at issue between them and those, such as myself, who criticized their first article. In essence we hold incompatible views of the world.

    The first view is based on history, and specifically the history of the world capitalist system which has ruled the earth for hundreds of years. This system combines its domestic activities with a Euro-American empire whose center is currently in the US, having previously been located in England, and in other places like Netherlands, Iberia, Italy, France. This system requires the plunder, and often the expulsion or extirpation, of the people of the so-called Global South. On this first view, the genocide we witness in Gaza (and concurrently in Congo!) is only the latest chapter in a book of horrors to which the US was actively contributing long before AIPAC was even thought of.

    The second view is that of Bricmont and Johnstone. It ignores history and the global system, and focuses instead on minutiae of local politics, like this or that donor to the Biden campaign, or this or that policy-document. On this view the US is being led around by the nose by a cabal of Zionists (Jews and Christian “Fundamentalists”) acting on behalf of a tiny state in western Asia. If you understood the continuity between Euro-American imperialism today and the whole sweep of its history, you could never take such an analysis seriously.

    On this second view, you can fool yourself into thinking that you have discovered a way to end the genocide in Gaza. You only need to convince the American ruling class that their support of Israel is not really in their own selfish interest (which the authors choose to name as the “national interest”). This appears to be the point of their article. Indeed it contains a kernel of truth, in that different strategies are in fact available to the empire. But the antiwar movement would be fatally mistaken to let itself be drawn into a discussion along these lines; leave it to the policy elites!

    The authors also have a bad habit of ignoring — and even denying — inescapable facts that contradict them. The excellent comments by Panomic, James P McFadden, and Bill Appledorf point out some important examples.

    One example is their claim that the US has not used proxies and others to fight wars on its behalf in the MENA region. Perhaps they’ve already forgotten the way the US used Iraq to attack Iran (providing chemical weapons for that purpose). Or their use of “ISIS” and other “jihadists” which they (via the CIA) helped to create.

    Equally inexplicable is their assertion that the US doesn’t need Israel because it has already “taken control of the region and its oil
    sources”. Have they never heard of OPEC, or the fact that Saudi Arabia is joining BRICS, or the rapprochement between the latter and Iran? Maybe they’ve forgotten that the US once had, in the Shah, a second policeman in the region, alongside of Israel. How reliable was he? In fact the only ally/proxy on whom the US can depend there is Israel.

    They even seem to think that the connection between Zionism and the British empire is some sort of red herring. Do they forget that Zionist forces fought for the British in the 1930’s, or that Zhabotinsky, a founder of the fascist wing of Zionism, was made a member of the “Order of the British Empire” for his services during WWI? Do they not understand that for the English, the Zionist project was the implanting of “another Ulster” in the Middle East? (The strategy of Divide and Rule is after all not a hallucination of left-wing historians.)

    Do they not understand that policy makers frame maximum and minimum goals? If you cannot stabilize a region under the control of puppet states and vassals, then at least you can destabilize it so that it cannot resist. Israel fulfills this function admirably.

    The authors also appear to dismiss the analogy between Netanyahu and Zelensky. Strange because Zelensky doesn’t dismiss it. In fact he has openly embraced it.

    Finally, on the “American National Interest”. Instead of accepting that this concept is illegitimate, the authors double down on their
    appeal to it. But now they say that it must be “diversely defined”. Does this really mean anything?

    • Rafael
      March 13, 2024 at 20:27

      NOTE. Only after posting this comment did I notice although the second article appeared to speak for both of them, Jean Bricmont was not explicitly a co-author. If I inadvertently attributed to him any views that only Diana Johnstone holds, then I owe him an apology.

    • Antiwar7
      March 14, 2024 at 13:07

      No, the Johnstone-Bricmont thesis does not at all focus on the “minutiae of local politics”. It looks at facts, the main one being that Israel does not at all behave as, or get used as, an aircraft carrier for the United States. Do you deny that fact?

      So if that’s the case, what is the real reason for the US government’s unconditional backing for Israel?

      The authors point at the neoconservatives, a very small but very influential group of DC intellectuals, with jobs inside and out of government, guiding AIPAC money. AIPAC is no “minute” creature of “local politics”. It’s destroyed many promising political careers, from all across the US.

      By exposure, this small group can be stopped. They’re not only complicit in this genocide in Gaza, but in the millions of other unnecessary deaths caused by their insane number of wars launched since 1991: the Gulf War, Somalia, Yugoslavia (Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Iraq again, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc.

      They were smart enough to use “democracy” to sell their total-world-domination-by-force Wolfowitz Doctrine, but we’re smart enough to see through it.

      • Rafael
        March 14, 2024 at 21:37

        Thanks for your comment, Antiwar7. My answers follow.

        They are “minutiae” in comparison to the big picture of five centuries of Euro-american imperialism, within which Israel (as it has become) is only a small cog. This is what I tried to make clear with “the first view”.

        The aircraft carrier metaphor is a red herring. Moreover, as many comments have pointed out, Israel does bomb and invade neighbors on behalf of the empire. It also trains reactionary forces worldwide, including police forces in the good old USA. If you think that Israel does not serve (and serve as part of) the empire, then of course we will draw different conclusions.

        You rightly list many of the criminal wars launched since 1991. But unlike you, some of us see behind these crimes, not only the “small group” you and Johnstone see, but the entire worldwide capitalist class, which can be stopped only if their world-system is replaced by something more humane.

  19. Michael G
    March 12, 2024 at 21:35

    Listening to John Mearsheimer the other day.
    He tells me the two defining characteristics of a Super Power are it’s military and economic might.
    What has underpinned US economic policy since October ’79 (the Volcker Shock) has been Neoliberalism.
    Or Capitalism without conscience, unrestrained greed.
    Neoliberalism has severely weakened our military as well.
    Neoliberalism drives Neoconservatism.
    Neoconservatism drives the Wolfowitz Doctrine.
    The Wolfowitz Doctrine drives The Project for a New American Century.
    Therefore capitalism is driving current foreign policy, that’s axiomatic.
    We are in end stage capitalism.
    Financialization, money for nothing.
    What comes after that is Socialism by Revolution.
    You can’t ask capitalism to dial it back. Capitalism wouldn’t know what your talking about.

    • spectator
      March 13, 2024 at 02:08

      On target! There is no “reform” of capitalism right now which is in its end stage, hyperimperialism. The central stage if set for a showdown between China and the USA. Russia is a sideshow where the capitalist class got diverted by the neocons. That’s why Nuland has to go.

    • Kuhio
      March 13, 2024 at 11:12

      Well put.

  20. wildthange
    March 12, 2024 at 21:13

    It is fear of western monotheistic religious full spectrum dominance is slipping away due to military technological power of supposedly barbarian cultures now coming up to pare militarily and economically. Unfortunate these man made gods were also made for wars with god given sanctions.
    These are gods of male sexual dominance and territorial imperatives of the top predator species that is the imminent threat to human civilization in this age with their WMD s and addiction to aggression. The military culture senses that they might lose their favorable profit motives as well due to anti war pressures born of WWI and Vietnam and the patented lies of Iraq and Afghanistan and beyond.
    They love their phallic weaponry too much.

  21. Kerry Johnson
    March 12, 2024 at 20:49

    [Note: a bit incoherent, but written hurriedly. Sorry.]

    Excellent and stimulating article!

    Another way of framing this discussion is the long-term debate about “which is the dog? and which is the tail?” I sense that one reason this is still debated is because the situation is not altogether clear. (However, it may be the case, at the same time, that there is a ‘lack of clarity’ BECAUSE there are ‘interests’ who wish to keep the windshield muddy.)

    Johnstone largely succeeds in presenting the case that Israel is NOT an insignificant participant is US foreign policy dynamic (while there is a psychological ‘interest’ within the US power structure to deny this). The “aircraft carrier” analogy does not quite work, since there seems to be two captains and two helmsmen, somewhat at the same time.

    Additionally (particularly in her first article), she makes a good case that Israel does NOT serve any real US interests, outside of the MIC and ideologues.

    Where Johnstone’s presentation stumbles a bit is in the tying of pro-Israel neocon cabal to an ‘imperial mindset’ that has been evident since the rise of city-states (pre-US, pre-capitalism), and NOT in just the minds of the neocons. Certainly, the US has been on an imperialist bent since almost its first charter.

    (As an aside, there DOES seem to be some economic advantages for ’the few’, in carrying out imperialist policies, but the ‘thinking’ involved seems to go beyond that, to merely wanting to dominate. It’s a sickness that has ruined the world since pre-history.)

    (Also, it can easily be shown/seen that the US government has corruption baked into its system — with the necessity of raising vast sums of money to run political campaigns — which exists any reference to Israel. If we could somehow excise Zionist influence, the corruption within this country would continue.)

    Yes, there are Zionists (within and without the US government; both Jewish-identified and Christian-identified) who have much influence over US policy. And it seems that the neocons are definitely pro-Israel, but they also seem to be “pro-imperial” at the same time.

    It seems convincing that the neocons would like to attack Iran, at least in part to protect Israel from a perceived enemy, but there really isn’t any evidence that wanting conflict with Russia and China are in any way related to this ‘project’ (to ‘protect’ Israel).

    Yes, the MIC has much influence, and strong ‘interests’, but its existence still does not quite explain the ‘imperialist mindset’.

    I am personally puzzled by this ‘imperial mindset’, since it is so foreign to my thinking. I’ve been contemplating for some time, whence this impulse arises, and how does it perpetuate itself … indefinitely?

    My best guess to date is the existence of people with anti-social personalities, who seek status and power (as well as lacking empathy), who attain personal power, and then start a process of ‘corruption’ within institutions. They then tend to instill a number of self-perpetuating ‘sub-cultures’ within governing structures, which perpetuate over generations.

    It may be the situation that there are both Zionists (Christian, Jewish, secular) who wish to attack Iran, on behalf of Israel, and imperialists who merely want to crush and dominate oil-rich and independently powerful Iran (even at the expense of Israel’s existence). Further, there are capitalists within the MIC, finance, and oil industries (etc.), who merely see an opportunity for short-term personal gain, and there are Christians who want to bring about “the end-times”. It might also be the case that there are Zionists neocons who want to attack Iran, but are too blinded by their ideology to see that this strategy puts Israel at grave risk.

    This whole matter seems quite complex, and I see NO easy and quick way to change these various dynamics.


  22. Sam F
    March 12, 2024 at 19:44

    Thank you for this excellent analysis. Indeed “free debate is necessary” for “a more realistic, less arrogant and belligerent foreign policy” but suppressed by IL influence on mass media. The remarkable IL control of fundamentalist Protestantism needs further analysis, as does the feedback of US Israel “aid” as bribes to US political parties. The IL has long controlled the mass media narrative and thereby the viewpoint demands of the tribes upon which the majority of boob tubers are dependent socially and financially.

  23. Panomic
    March 12, 2024 at 18:11

    “after having failed to gain full control of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan or Syria after attacking them militarily (with help from certain NATO allies, but not from Israel)”

    Israel routinely strikes Syria with its Air Force and missiles, including its airport. Not sure how effective it is, but it still counts as “help” for whatever regime-change plans the US is working on its own or with its “opposition groups”. Israel also routinely strikes Lebanon.

    Just because Syria and Lebanon haven’t fallen doesn’t mean Israel isn’t a party to military regime-change efforts (or even just causing injury, annoyance, inviting counterattacks…) there, and literally serves as an “aircraft carrier” via sending aircraft to attack those targets.

    • Ace Thelin
      March 12, 2024 at 23:49

      thank you. Israel bombs Syria on a regular basis while the U.S. steals 65,000 barrels of oil a day.

  24. James P McFadden
    March 12, 2024 at 17:18

    I tend to agree with Aaron Mate: “Israel’s service to US power is coupled with the power of the lobby that helps keep Congress in line.” By “Congress in line” I believe Aaron means on foreign policy as defined by “US power.” Since “US power” has been wielded by the neocons for 40+ years, this seems to align with what Johnstone is saying. The argument seems to be between definitions of US national interest. Does it mean corporate interest (profits), or America public interest, or neocon interest in global domination? We can toss out the middle one. We are left with corporate versus neocon interests — which are Venn diagrams that don’t fully overlap. But the Venn diagram between neocon interests and Zionist interests do seem to overlap more.
    Lastly, here is a good documentary on the Israeli lobby from 2016 – worth watching.
    Occupation of the American Mind

    • Michael G
      March 13, 2024 at 21:23

      Corporate interests = neocon interests, they fully overlap. No Venn diagram. What keeps Congress in line is money. Lobbyists, all of them, are what would be called “bagmen”. The first thing that needs to happen is to get money out of Congress. It used to be illegal for congress persons to trade with insider information. Now there’s an app where you can follow Pelosi’s investments.

  25. Gregory
    March 12, 2024 at 16:09

    Here are the thoughts that came to mind while reading these two articles.

    1) The authors claim that the U.S. engages in decades long complicated maneuvers in order to start a war against a particular country. But in the past the U.S. has waged many wars on remarkably flimsy grounds. Take the Panama invasion as prime example. This was after the cold war so they couldn’t use the commies as an excuse and it was before 9/11 so they couldn’t use terrorism. It was something about a serviceman’s wife being offended by a local or something like that and we went full blown war and they did it with ease, no media questioned it, nobody has ever been held accountable, nobody batted an eye. Yet according to this article we’re supposed to believe the U.S. befriends Israel to the tune of a trillion dollars and tons of political capital just to start a war with Iran? It doesn’t add up.

    2) If Israel can effectively hijack the entirety of Congress and therefore the government as a whole, then why are they apparently the only ones that can do it. What stops any other country from doing exactly the same thing? Israel is by no means the richest country or the country with the most citizen representatives (what is it, 1.5%?). So to believe Israel is doing this, we have to understand why only Israel can do this and no other country can. That part of the story was missing.

    3) Israel provides assistance to U.S. imperialist designs not just in the Middle East but globally. For example, they were involved in helping fight the civil wars in Central America by way of intelligence and other types of nefarious deeds. You’re getting hung up on the idea that since Israel is in the Middle East its only benefit to us could be in the Middle East. But I wager we’d have a special relationship with them no matter where they were, as long as they’re willing to support our neo-colonialist maneuvers wherever they may be.

    4) Mike Gravel, once senator from Alaska, was a close family friend. I had many sit-down dinners with him where we talked about politics at great length. Never once did he mention the Israel lobby. Had they been controlling him like is being claimed here, he would have talked about it, for sure. Unfortunately he died recently so I can’t ask him directly.

    5) There are a number of members of congress who speak out against Israel’s actions – particularly about what’s going on now in Gaza. It’s not many, but it’s more than zero. And according to this article, the exitence of even one should be impossible.

    6) On “National Interest” Noam Chomsky has a better analysis when he points out that the nation consists of different classes of people each with their own conflicting interests. What might seem crazy and not in the interest of the Nation as a whole might be extremely beneficial for the small class of rich decision makers who hold the reins of power. They can definitely act against the interests of the country as a whole, if they benefit directly. Spending endless money on the military is a perfect example – against the interests of the nation, but totally for the interests of investors in the military industrial complex.

    7) The authors keep using the term “behalf” as if each country is monolithic. They assume either the U.S. was fighting Iraq on Israel’s behalf or the other way around, with no 3rd option. In reality the U.S. will fights wars on nothing more than the behalf of the military industrial complex.

    8) I don’t believe the government was sold on attacking Iraq on the basis that Iraq was a dangerous enemy. The government actively fabricated evidence to that effect and it would be strange if they were fabricating evidence if they believed the lies about Iraq being so dangerous were acutally true.

  26. March 12, 2024 at 15:14

    This article seems to assume that the U.S. security state serves “the national interest.”

    The visible, elected U.S. political state advertises “the national interest” as, from the domestic perspective, “peace, stability, and prosperity” and, from the perspective of foreign affairs, “freedom, democracy, and human rights” for everyone on Earth.

    For the unelected, partially visible and mostly invisible, U.S. security state, however, “the national interest” is U.S. hegemony: “full spectrum dominance” by the U.S. of everyone on Earth militarily, economically, and ideologically.

    Hegemony, paradoxically, as Glenn Diesen explains in his new book, “The Ukraine War and the Eurasian World Order,” is intended to impose peace, stability, and prosperity on the world under the management and control of the hegemon, but in order for the hegemon to maintain control, “threats” to its hegemony, which are perceived everywhere as by a jealous husband or any other control freak, must be neutralized constantly by destabilizing perceived rivals, undermining their economies, and fighting wars, including proxy wars, to weaken them and defeat them strategically.

    From this perspective, it is not hard to understand why the Israel lobby is not required to register as a foreign agent, and thus prevented from funding U.S. politicians’ electoral campaigns. Yes, those self-same politicians depend on the lobby financially, but the U.S. security state could, with interminable leaks by “anonymous intelligence officials” to U.S. corporate media, create in the American public an image of Israel and the Israel lobby that would make the image they have created of Vladimir Putin with this technique appear holier than Mother Theresa.

    Israel is an instrument of U.S. hegemony in southwest Asia. imagine there were peace in Israel. Who in the region would feel threatened militarily? If Palestinians were prosperous and free, what conflict would destabilize the region politically? On what basis would Russia and China be forced to defend their economic interests and the safety of their trading partners in the region?

    The U.S. security state’s interest in Israel is to promote instability in the region. The claim that this is antithetical to “the national interest” of the United States assumes that the slogans of U.S. political state reflect the interests of the U.S. security state, which brings us back to the Israel lobby and why the security state allows it to control U.S. politics.

    The U.S. hegemon has run itself up against a nuclear stone wall, not only in Ukraine, where its Banderite proxies successfully drew the Russian Federation into a brutal ground war the Banderites cannot possibly win because NATO and the U.S are out of weapons and the Banderites are out of men, but also in Israel, where the Zionists are on the verge of drawing Hezbollah, and thus the entire region and ultimately nuclear powers Russia and China, into their impossible-to-win war of conquest.

    One would think this would force the hegemon to surrender its “rules-based order” of sovereign inequality to the emerging multipolar world order of sovereign equality and learn how to operate in an internation environment based on mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non- interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

    This might not, however, be the case, and the temptation to use nuclear weapons in an effort to maintain its long-gone position as the world’s hegemon, could easily end it all for all of us.

    • Michael G
      March 13, 2024 at 21:36

      I always understood Israeli diplomacy in regards to it’s Arab neighbors to be:

      “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue.”
      -Jim Malone

      The Arab States in the region have to stop at knife.
      Because Israel is the only one with nuclear capability.
      That’s why everyone is treating Israel with kid gloves.
      Israel has 90, a 100 will cause nuclear winter.
      Israel has gone too far this time, the entire World is angry.
      But to the Neoconservative/Capitalists they are still just Serial Killer Jr’s.

      US interests in the region haven’t changed since the end of the second world war.

      “With the change of Zionism’s guardianship and
      custody from Britain to the United States in the
      aftermath of the Second World War, Zionism
      continues to be a geopolitical configuration
      (rather than a national reality), which facilitates
      western multilateral hegemony over
      the Arab world’s strategic location (straits and
      waterways), cultural heritage (antique and
      Biblical history), (and) economic resources…”

      -Mohamaden Ould Mey as quoted by Harpal Brar in
      “Genesis of Zionism” published in January/February issue of LALKAR, and reprinted as
      part of “ZIONISM A Racist, Anti-Semitic and Reactionary Tool of Imperialism”

      “The continuing imperialist obsession with disarming every Middle Eastern country while
      preserving Israel’s weapons of mass destruction
      is an illustration of such continuity”

      -Harpal Brar Ibid. p.37

      The US ends justify the Israeli means.
      No reason to bring the Israel Lobby in to obscure the abject horror wrought by Capitalism.

    • Adams
      March 14, 2024 at 10:50

      Logically and clearly stated without psychobabble or jargon. Thank you.

  27. JonnyJames
    March 12, 2024 at 14:36

    With that said: I appreciate and largely agree with Diana Johnstone. I am also very impressed that she took the time to read comments and include that in her following article. We all agree that US foreign policy does not further the national interest if we define that as benefiting the vast majority of the population. Sadly, the ruling class does not see it that way.

    • Susan Siens
      March 13, 2024 at 14:26

      I think what we’re seeing now is the domestic destruction of our “national interest.” We’ve generally been content to destroy other countries and peoples, and now we’re eating ourselves alive, and many people find this utterly bewildering. I’ve always been highly critical of the U.S., but I have to admit that life in 2016 and life now do differ. This is happening even on the local level with someone such as Maine’s governor (Janitor Mills as the teleprompter reader on TV called her; this is why I will NOT stop watching TV!) gluing her lips to Bill Gates’s butt, wanting to turn southern Maine into a version of silicon valley, ruining our beautiful land with endless industrial wastelands aka “renewables,” not even enforcing traffic laws (so more people will die?), etc.

      Having read Whitney Webb’s One Nation Under Blackmail, I totally agree with Diana Johnstone’s analysis. Once you understand the role of organized crime within the USUK and Israeli governments (actually built into the foundation of Israel), you understand that we function as Israel’s puppet and not vice versa. I do not believe that government officials here have ever stated, “We can destroy Israel whenever we want,” but Israeli officials have indulged in that precise sentiment regarding the U.S.

      • JonnyJames
        March 13, 2024 at 18:13

        The sad thing is none of this matters in the end: the US govt. is corrupt to the core, the empire is slowly rotting and collapsing and we are all going to suffer. The end game is war with China. The Obama/DT/JB regimes have all stated that China is the biggest existential threat to the US and US hegemony. The late John Pilger produced a documentary “The Coming War on China” some years ago, and the tensions have only got worse. The Doomsday Clock is at 90 seconds to midnight.

  28. March 12, 2024 at 13:51

    Defending our “national interests” has long been used to justify our government’s belligerent foreign policies, supporting the overthrow of foreign governments and waging wars around the world where it has no business. It is long past time that our “national interests” is exposed for what it really is.

    The truth of the matter is that our “national interests” are not in the interest of the vast majority of Americans – certainly not my interests and probably not in the interests of anyone reading this comment. These “national interests” do not benefit me in any way. In fact, all they do is increase my tax burden and that of my descendants for generations to come. On top of that they are deadly, destructive, environmentally disastrous and rick total annihilation.

    Actually, our “national interests” only benefit a small minority of Americans – those who stand to profit from war, who are in a position of influence and power to send others into battle, but themselves are unwilling to fight to defend our country. It galls me that those who advocate the loudest for war are the very ones who will profit the most but will never be don a uniform and carry a gun into battle.

    And what’s truly sad is that so many Americans will listen to the group that benefits from our “national interests”, drink their Kool-Aid and vote for their puppet politicians..

    • Selina Sweet
      March 13, 2024 at 11:45

      A most hearty thank you for providing historical events and influences that affirm my intuitions about the parasitic USA attachment to Israel and those about the illegality parading as legal of the democracy wrecking influence of the AIPAC lobby for foreign interests.AIPAC money donated to all legislators’ pocketbooks??unless you are a bit of a political freak, you would have as zero comprehension of the motivational background of Biden’s psychopathic genocidal exhibition as you would Russia’s/Putin’s historical antecedents to his Ukraine invasion pertaining to the scurrilous West’s deceptions. The 4th Estate is thoroughly corrupted in its one sidedness and sins of mega omissions. Propaganda machines without one serious moral/ethical splinter. The questions for me become. How to: break the neocon stranglehold, trance in our governance? Force legislators to reckon AIPAC as a foreign influencer? Shake up the Intelligence Fraternity of Inflated Power Complexes? Put a citizen leash on the Military Corporate weapons Complex? Institute ethical reform of the 4th Estate?

  29. Drew Hunkins
    March 12, 2024 at 12:22

    Thank you so much Ms. Johnstone, you’ve been one of the brightest lights for decades commenting on war, geopolitics and global affairs.

    The Zionist supremacist domination over the United States must end! It’s completely intolerable that this creepy, sadistic and arrogant cult of people have this much sway over our lives.

    This power must be addressed and called out, it must be challenged relentlessly daily, in every forum. The smears will come, but the work must go on.

    No other lobby — big oil, big pharma, Silicon Valley — has this kind of power and influence over Washington’s Middle East policy and domestic concerns; merely look at the ADL’s efforts to suppress free speech on virtually every influential platform.

    In order to end this disgusting annihilation of the Palestinian people it starts here in the U.S., challenging the Zionist power configuration in New York, DC, and California.

    Any scholars, activists or intellectuals failing to point out the power of the pro-Israel matrix are leaving out (deliberately?) the biggest piece of the puzzle right now in analyzing American socio-politico-economic life.

    For further reading:

    “Power of Israel in the United States” by James Petras
    “They Dare to Speak Out” by Paul Findley
    “Against our better Judgement” by Alison Weir
    “Jewish History, Jewish Religion” by Israel Shahak
    “Wandering Who?” by Gilad Atzmon

    • Susan Siens
      March 13, 2024 at 14:28

      As always, a cogent comment. And thank you for the list of books. I’d really like to read the Shahak book if I can find it.

      • Drew Hunkins
        March 13, 2024 at 17:01

        Thank you for the kind words. Always a pleasure hearing from you.

        Stay strong!

  30. Helga I. Fellay
    March 12, 2024 at 12:15

    I stumbled over the phrase “extreme complexity of the U.S.-Israel relationship” as I see this relationship as possibly the least complex relationship of all. Israel commands and the US obeys. Nothing could be simpler than that.

    • Susan Siens
      March 13, 2024 at 14:28

      Excellent, Helga!

  31. Larry Gates
    March 12, 2024 at 11:49

    Would it be more accurate to say America is Israel’s giant aircraft carrier?

  32. Henry Steen
    March 12, 2024 at 11:49

    I agreed with the article as originally written and the new essay is a welcome addition and expansion. I am going to reread Chomsky’s “Origins of the Special Relationship”.

  33. JonnyJames
    March 12, 2024 at 11:47

    My comment from the earlier article was twisted around in this article,. I wrote originally that some folks might find it comforting to blame Israel for US foreign policy and somehow think that our great “elected” officials are unwitting victims. I didn’t mean the author, but it is a general observation.

    One question that is still not answered is: why do the centers of power (oligarchy) all support Israel?

    It’s not an either or argument. Michael Hudson, Norm Finkelstein, Ali Abunimah, Walt and Mearsheimer, Allison Weir all raise valid points, as does Diana Johnstone. There is no one explanation.

    The US is a declining empire. All three branches of govt. are institutionally corrupt, political bribery is legal and formalized (Citizens United etc.) The fact that The Lobby has so much power and influence is the fault of our “elected” leaders. The Lobby represents convergent interests of the oligarchy: BigOil, BigFinance, and the MICIMATT (see Ray McGovern) and BigTech and BigMedia all support Israel. If the oligarchy supports Israel, then of course so do the puppet-politicians.

    Let’s not be nationalistic or naive: The US has no functioning democracy. Our so-called leaders will do whatever their donors tell them to. Who do you blame first The Lobby or the crooks who take their money and profit from genocide?

    The Lobby is perhaps the largest symptom of the institutional rot and corruption of a decaying empire. The corruption from within will destroy the US empire, not an outside force. This is usually the case with the Rise and Fall of the Great Powers.

    • DW Bartoo
      March 12, 2024 at 20:42

      Once again, Jonny James your comments are much appreciated, for the humanity, conscience, and courage those comments reflect.

      I am curious to learn what you might think of the suggestion at Naked Capitalism that tweaking the curricula of the Ivvies and Oxbridge might well encourage the oligarchic elite to a kinder, more gentle sensibility?

      Frankly, I consider it gar-bage.

      Presumably, the great favor it found among many, who likely have had the privilege of an excellent education, and it will become evermore a privilege as “education”, especially of “Higher Educatoon” as such institutions now regard themselves as “businesses” rather than “investors” in society, depend increasingly upon their development staff to procure funding from the wealthy as “government” no longer appears to consider critical thinking skills to be of value, indeed appear to regard such skills as a threat to the political class, that such favor must reflect a belief that solution is top-down, and that hoi paloi ought not much intrude into the rarified reaches of of policy and actual awareness of what is done in their name.

      • Susan Siens
        March 13, 2024 at 14:33

        Where did you get the idea that the Poison Ivy League offers an “excellent education”? The only “educated” as opposed to “eddicated” people I’ve ever met are people who educate themselves. This may mean they have a high school education, or they may have attended public universities, and there’s even a few who manage to survive the indoctrination they receive from so-called elite universities. I see little besides trash coming out of these latter institutions, trash such as Obama, Summers, etc.

        • DW Bartoo
          March 13, 2024 at 17:09

          Susan, I quite agree that autodidacts are truly educated, as they have learned how to learn.

          Perhaps, I ought to have made more clear my disdain and disgust with the educated?

          Consider that the Ivvies and Oxbridge are but meatmarkets, where the elite look at those who are lessor as potentially worth inviting into the bloodlines of power and dominance.

          Were I to say to those of a certain age, “How did you measure up to the metrics of Harvard?”, many would instantly understand what I meant.

          Further, at football universities, “politics” is of the sandbox variety, where the aim is to bash opponents on the head with the heaviest toy in the sandbox, whilst at the Ivvies, it is Snake Pit politics, where the aim is to destroy reputation, career, and prospects.

      • JonnyJames
        March 13, 2024 at 19:29

        Thank you DW,

        I missed that one. The elites will never be kinder or gentler, no matter what the curriculum. It seems history shows that only organized resistance can bring about better conditions for ordinary people.

        The financialization of education in general, even so-called public universities means that, like you say, it’s strictly business. I know, I am a former academic. The top-heavy administration is overpaid and have too much power. Academic freedom is an illusion, especially in the economics and politics departments. An education in economics is little more than indoctrination into a cult-like ideology of neoclassical/neoliberal “theory”. Most unis in the US only hire “adjunct” faculty: part-time, no benefits, and required to mark exams without getting paid etc. I can’t afford to go without medical benefits and not get paid for hours worked.

        • DW Bartoo
          March 14, 2024 at 16:02

          A delight to learn more of your personal experience, Jonny James.

          I agree completely with your assessment of economics as “taught” in the U$. Indeed, it is not until advanced degrees that the religious cant may even be acknowledged as such.

          During the 1950s I watched rural industry, thus local economy, be destroyed, in the 60s and 70s the industry of large towns and small cities, along with their local economies, were destroyed.

          We all remember that great “off-shoring” when virtually all industry, and substantive “local” economies were destroyed.

          In all three instances the claim was “greater efficiency”, but the truth was monopolization and the end of industrial capitalism and the substitution of what Hudson terms “financialized capitslism”. What also was lost, in all three, were knowledge bases that neither the PMC nor political class seemed to realize made this nation more vulnerable and much weaker.

          The clever, dis-connected elite have savaged our society precisely as their antecedents had savaged societies and nations all over the globe.

          It is oft said that the M$M has misled the many, yet academia has failed that many quite as well.

          Soon, comments will “close”.

          However, this discussion, in all its facets, must be continued, and I very much appreciate your most significant contributions to this broader dialogue, here and elsewhere.


  34. brian
    March 12, 2024 at 11:34

    Seymour Hersh in his sub-stack article tells the story of being at a DC party where an Israeli official was approached by a US Military official and overheard that US officer thanking the Israeli official for being a “US Aircraft Carrier”….also read Mike Benz book on what influences current US Foreign Policy ,quite a read…its the “Blob”…a term coined by Obama foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes and also mentioned in an opinion piece in 2020 by Robert Kagan (husband of Victoria Nuland) of the Bookings Institution .

  35. Peter DeLorenzo
    March 12, 2024 at 10:06

    Excellent and full of truth. Thank you, Diana Johnstone.

  36. hetro
    March 12, 2024 at 09:52

    However the aircraft carrier image came about it is obvious by now the captain of that carrier is a helpless lackey with Netanyahu at the helm. And Net is fully in bed with key events in the 90’s, PNAC and full spectrum dominance, which has led on to the self-glorification of the neo-con movement and “the one indispensable nation” nonsense. It took years to penetrate and overcome Vietnam fallacies, and apparently the same is true now for this Zionist conceit and bullying. Continuing analysis and debate are crucial to the emergence of new thinking, and I believe it is happening. There is a ferment, a bubbling forth for change, real change, greatly helped by articles and exchanges like this one.

    • DW Bartoo
      March 12, 2024 at 20:26

      My great appreciation to Diana Johnstone for encouraging the controversy of serious debate and discussion.

      We need not agree on all points or even most.

      It is sufficient that substantive exchange is occurring.

      Indeed, this must needs continue and expand, for we are addressing common plight. From such a beginning we may well develop a common sensibility, a common sense, and a shared, mutually examined understanding which may evolve into serious consideration of what we must do to join to together to accomplish needful, necessary, and long overdue change.

      My appreciation, as well to Consortium News for having the courage to encourage and hopefully, to sustain that encouragement of discussion and debate in a society little accustomed to consideration and serious discussion.

  37. Duane M
    March 12, 2024 at 09:20

    This is a great essay and a lovely example of the power of constructive dialogue. Commenters here engaged with the earlier essay by Johnstone and Bricmont, and Johnstone has engaged with those comments to provide a clearer and more forceful demonstration of her original thesis.

    And the Wolfowitz Doctrine should be read by anyone who wishes to understand the dynamics of the US empire’s self-destructive foreign policies. Which are day-by-day ratcheting the world closer and closer to thermonuclear hell.

    Kudos and gratitude to Ms. Johnstone!

  38. March 12, 2024 at 09:34

    Hmmm… so the tail really is wagging the dog? There is some truth to Johnstone’s article but I think it really is an over-simplification of an extremely complex situation that extends all the way back to at least the Balfour Declaration in 1917 and indeed to the creation of the (secular) Zionist project of the 19th century, which itself was intimately connected to British Imperialism. Thus you might say that the US ‘inherited’ Israel from the British. The necon’ project’ best illustrated by the PNAC exposes the fears, the myopia and the hubris of capitalism’s thinkers, one might say the naivety of capitalism’s intellectuals who are not known for their long term thinking. Thus Israel became a useful ally for US imperialism, one might say a convenient ally given the history of Europe, Nazi Germany and the two-faced role of Britain in the entire, sordid enterprise.

    I suppose the question to answer is how did the US capitaliast class allow the rabid (unhinged?) Zionists to take so much comntrol over US foreign policy? Perhaps because the US and Israel became partners in the preservation of the US empire? So there is no dog with a tail to wag, Israel is in fact, the imperialist partner of the US.

    • Susan Siens
      March 13, 2024 at 14:39

      Well, one reason Zionists have so much control over U.S. policy (and not just foreign) is that they’ve been spying on American politicians and institutions for quite a while. First, we got Rosenstiel, then we got Roy Cohn, then we got Jeffrey Epstein, all of whom worked for Israeli “intelligence” [sic]. It’s not just the campaign donations, but video of these grotesque men having sex with other men (that has little power anymore), having sex with children, financial shenanigans, etc. It’s amazing how many powerful males are full-blown pedophiles, but as Gail Dines puts it, all porn leads to child porn.

  39. Stephen Phillips
    March 12, 2024 at 08:30

    Have you forgotten that the aircraft carrier analogy is attributed to Bibi ? (in 2017)

    TEL AVIV – In a visit Monday to the USS George H.W. Bush – docked outside of Haifa after five months of combat against the Islamic State — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu likened the state of Israel to a “mighty aircraft carrier” of the United States.


    “We are here on a mighty aircraft carrier of the United States and a few miles from here, there is another mighty aircraft carrier of our common civilization – it’s called the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said.

    • Duane M
      March 12, 2024 at 09:25

      And because Bibi Netanyahu said that, you therefore believe it true? I think it is more fruitful to look at the historical events and their relationships, as Ms. Johnstone has done. There will always be room for more than one interpretation, but actions tell more than words.

      • Stephen Phillips
        March 12, 2024 at 11:52

        Good point. Here’s a much better one. The point being “unsinkable”
        US Secretary of State General Alexander Haig in 1982 described Israel as “the largest American aircraft carrier in the world that cannot be sunk”

      • Tim N
        March 13, 2024 at 08:30

        That’s right. People forget that the criminal Netanyahu is first and foremost a cynical and skilled politician. He’s telling his audience what they want to hear.

  40. March 12, 2024 at 08:01

    Excellent analysis. Unfortunately, the US public is so divided and generally ignorant of what is actually happening in the world (due to endless omissions of key facts by the corporate-owned news) that there will never be a consensus on what is happening, what went wrong, or how to fix things. The divide and conquer strategy used by the corporate owned news (e.g., FOX vs. MSNBC) will ensure that the public can never be rallied to any cause that will change the status quo.

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