Remember the Saturday Night Live Character, Roseanne Roseannadanna? Her favorite response to any complication or complaint was to tell the source of the problem, “There’s always something. If it isn’t one thing it’s the other.”
Which reminds me of our friends, the Israelis. It’s always something with them. They want money, so we give them money. In Israel’s case we gave them $383.00 per person in 2017, which comes out to about $3.3 Bil cost to us for that year. The next largest comparable recipient was Jordan who received $153.00 per Jordanian per year from us.
The Congo got $6.00 per person for the year. Everybody got a sandwich…one sandwich. There’s no crying in baseball or foreign aid. Where did you get the idea life is fair?
The Israelis don’t just sit back and see how big a check we send them. On the contrary, it’s a “negotiation” with members of Congress who have received contributions from pro-Israel sources pressing whoever happens to be President to give Israel more. That’s the way the game is played with the Israelis. It doesn’t make them loved. Maybe they don’t care.
Netanyahu and Obama had a sit down at the end of the Obama administration. Subject: The Aid Package. Obama suggested ten years at $3.8 Bil per year. A sizable raise from prior years. Ever so charming Netanyahu, told Obama, in so many words, “I don’t need you I’ll deal with whoever replaces you and get more.” Netanyahu eventually came back and accepted the ten-year at $3.8 Bil per year deal. That’s a pretty big number for Israel, a country that has more billionaires than the entire continent of Africa.
Which raises the obvious question, when is Israel going to support itself? They could, very easily, in terms of dollars and cents. But psychologically, that’s a horse of a different color. They have a sweet deal now snuggled up next to the meanest toughest military ever. Going cold turkey on their own would be a completely different world. They might have to trim the arrogance and beef up the humility, so to speak.
Money, is the easy part of babysitting Israel. It’s the wars Israel wants us to fight that cost us in all sorts of ways. On September 12, 2002, one year and one day after 9/11, private citizen, Benjamin Netanyahu (he was between his first and second term as Israel Prime Minister), appeared before a House of Representatives Committee and lectured the Committee Members. His message: “there is absolutely no doubt that Saddam Hussein and the nation of Iraq possess weapons of mass destruction.” It was, in Netanyahu’s opinion, our duty to go to war against Iraq.
We went to war, as Netanyahu said we should, and lost 4507 – confirmed dead. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Israel did not join us in battle. They never do. Apparently, it’s not their cup of tea. Shooting out the eyes and knees of demonstrators 300 yards away in Gaza, seems more like their idea of a good time.
A little-known State Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, went on the record opposing the Iraq War. He won a seat in the US Senate and, in 2008, was elected President. Netanyahu is still around pushing belligerence towards Iran. And Joe Biden is keeping a safe distance from him…so far.
The deal is different now. There is no appetite for a repeat of Iraq 2003, with Iran now. The Israelis are trying to sell the idea that Iran is irredeemably bad and we should keep them sanctioned and look for countries to hate them and thereby isolate and weaken them further. The role Israel has cut out for their pals, the USA, is to give money to a country that doesn’t see the reason for hating or even disliking Iran.
The money is supposed to rev up the target country and make them act appropriately hostile towards Iran. The idea is to surround Iran with Sunni states who, if paid enough, will pledge their undying love for Israel and distaste for Iran, a Shia state.
An article to this effect just appeared in Israel Hayom, the Israeli Newspaper founded by the late Sheldon Adelson and now owned and operated by his widow, Miriam Adelson, the richest person in Israel. Mrs. Adelson’s “sponsorship” of the ideas expressed in the article will not be lost on low lives like Cruz, Pompeo, Cotton and Rubio seeking to ring their little cash registers.
There’s money to be made hating Iran. Even more if you can get a war and some serious killing going.
There has to be something wrong with shoveling cash out the door to a country full of billionaires and giving the back of our hand to dirt poor countries where the slaves headed for North America originated. How long can that way be our way of doing things before people ask, what’s up with us? Does that old saying, “America is great because America is good” still apply?
I took a look at a document that just came into my possession courtesy of my daughter, Kathleen Callaghan, Teacher, Baltimore, MD. The document is Henry Kissinger’s Senior Thesis at Harvard, written in 1950. Its 386 pages long and the title is “The Meaning of History: Arnold Toynbee; Oswald Spengler; Immanuel Kant.”
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
It’s a wonderful piece of work, but an arduous slog. I love the audacity of the subject…determining what history means. I’ve been working with it a bit but have much more to do. I can share with you a couple of quotes from Kissinger’s work 70 years ago that apply to our subject today…or, maybe not.
In no particular order:
“Foreign policy is the ultimate standard of inward fitness.”
“All truly great achievements in history resulted from the actualization of principles not from the clever evaluation of political conditions.”
“Everything existing is modified by time.”
Comments are welcome at tomc[at]wednesdayswars[dot]com. Comments will be addressed in subsequent posts.