The United States and Israel: Which One Takes More Advantage of the Other?
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh
Executive Editor of Iran Review
It is now a generally recognized and accepted assumption that “the United States government and statesmen have been, and still are, one way or another under the influence and swayed by demands of various Israeli governments.” The impact of the Israeli lobby on the United States policies; round the clock efforts by the American authorities to explain their positions to Tel Aviv and assuage warmongering Israeli officials; all-out support of the United States for Israel in the face of loud protests from the world’s public opinion and various governments over Israel’s misbehavior including occupation and oppression of the inhabitants of Palestinian territories; as well as unquestioning veto of any global initiative which may smack of opposition to Israel’s plans and policies in the United Nations Security Council are but a few pieces of evidence in favor of that assumption. Regardless of whether the United States’ behavior is a result of its frustration with respect to Israel, or the outcome of Israel’s sway over the United States, there are many more reasons to uphold the aforesaid assumption. The valuable study conducted by Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, entitled “The Israel Lobby” (1) provides very strong proof in favor of this assumption.
However, one may claim that there is another flip side to this story or, at least, this is not the whole truth. Is it possible to assume that “the United States is not under complete influence of Israel, but rather, it is just keeping a face by emphasizing on ‘the United States’ commitment and obligation to protect security of Israel’, while at the same time taking great advantage of its apparent support for Israel?”
A review of the following facts will shed more light on this issue.
Firstly, the United States has used Israel as “shock absorber” not only on the surface, but also at the depth of many international issues and developments. For example, many American officials are currently worried about Israel’s warnings and its warmongering language against Iran. The United States’ unwillingness to set a time limit for Iran's nuclear energy program, opposition to any unilateral Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear facilities, making promises to support the security of Israel and many similar issues are hitting the headlines in international print media every day. However, in reality, under this turbulent atmosphere, it is Israel which is being depicted as an emotionally impulsive and irrational player with the United States playing the role of a rational player (of course, the first part of this proposition is more than true). Under these apparently turbulent circumstances, the United States will have an opportunity to assess many policies. Washington can use Israel as scapegoat to see what reactions any possible threat of attack on Iran will elicit and, in doing so it will be able to simulate the possible future scene before taking any action. Although it is true that an attack by Israel will be seemingly different from an attack by the United States, Washington is well aware that such an attack will evoke two kinds of reactions: from the states, and from the nations. With regard to nations, the American officials have reached the conclusion that societies which are opposed to Iran attack, in particular, and to all kinds of war and warmongering, in general, are also opposed to policies of both the United States and Israel. With regard to the states, they know that those governments which are officially opposed to warmongering also oppose the policies of both the United States and Israel. On the other hands, governments which support military attack on Iran are also those governments which do not care for their own public opinions. Therefore, on the whole, the United States knows that in case of any possible attack on Iran, nobody will blame it solely on Israel and this is the most important point. The United States is currently offered with an opportunity to evaluate possible regional and international reactions to a military attack on Iran. The White House politicians are well aware that in case of such attack, the international public opinion will make no distinction between the United States and Israel. It is here that Israel enters Washington’s scenario as the guinea pig of the United States.
Secondly, the United States has always announced that it wants to give an additional opportunity to diplomacy (which in fact means unilateral, forceful, and non-smart sanctions). Israel’s war cries will make it possible for the United States to stand aside without spending so much energy, and witness positive votes of various countries to anti-Iranian resolutions adopted by the International Atomic Energy Agency or the Security Council. In fact, the voting countries justify their measure by arguing that these resolutions, at least, help to keep the issue in question within framework of international organizations and do not allow Israel to abuse any opportunity! At any rate, such state of affairs will only benefit the United States policies.
Thirdly, in case of any attack on Iran or a full-fledged war, two outcomes will follow: 1) The United States will suffer the least damages because Israel will be initiator of the attack and will be also the main target of Iran's reprisal; and 2) high voltage of regional hatred for Israel will also make Tel Aviv the target of even more intensified abhorrence of regional nations in case of a solitary attack on Iran or even one carried out in coordination with the United States.
Fourthly, almost all measures taken against Iran's nuclear energy program like assassination of Iran's nuclear scientists, development of Stuxnet computer virus, as well as training of such opposition forces as Jundallah and Mojahedeen Khalq Organization (MKO) to carry out destabilizing and anti-security operations in Iran are blamed on Israel. Although this is essentially true, it also provides intelligence and security forces of the United States with the opportunity to study the consequences and impact of such measures without engaging in direct confrontation with Iran. Thus, they are using Israel as a proxy in their intelligence and security war against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Fifthly, it is undeniable that the United States pursues special strategic goals in a very important region like the Middle East. The focus on Israel and the issue of military attack on Iran as well as continued repetition of such claims in Western media, which also reflect the United States’ opposition to such attack, has engrossed the Middle Eastern mass media as well as the public opinion for months. At the same time, being the main protagonist of this scenario from behind the scenes will be beneficial to the United States in that a large part of the global attention has been deflected away from those areas where the United States does not want to be a focus of the world’s attention. The most important of those areas are recent developments in the South China Sea as well as the creeping show of force by both China and the United States in that region.
Sixthly, Israel has been constantly a troublesome political player which has endeavored to destabilize the Middle East. Since the occupation of Palestine, the Israeli regime has been the nidus of turmoil in the region during the past 70 years. It has problems with Turkey; is in constant conflict with Iran; has tense relations with the public opinion in the Arab world, and so forth. This situation is to the best benefit of a superpower which is willing to maintain its balancing and controlling role in such a vital region as the Middle East and to do this, which pawn will be more beneficial to the United States than Israel?
Seventhly, there is another important point to should be considered here: Israel threatens Iran; unpopular Arab governments shiver with fear, and the United States sells them arms with a sinister grin on its face!
As said before, the seven aforesaid facts are under no circumstances meant to downplay the extraordinary impact and influence of Israel on the United States, but are simply reminders of how the United States is also benefiting from this synergistic relationship. In most cases, despite their apparently deceptive façade, such interests have made Israel a practical plaything in the hands of the United States. On the one side of the equation, there is Israel; a cause of incessant insecurity in the Middle East which continuously draws the attention of international public opinion to this region and makes regional countries spend the lion’s share of their energy and capacities to resolve problems caused by Israel. However, on the other side and where less attention is focused, there is an active superpower in play which sells arms, controls other emerging superpowers while innocently reminding other countries of its benevolent, balancing, and controlling role in the region.
Key Words: United States and Israel, Israeli Lobby, Israel as Scapegoat, Attack on Iran, US Strategic Goals, Golshanpazhooh
More By Mahmoud Reza Golshanpazhooh:
*Iran, Canada and Some Considerations: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-Canada-and-Some-Considerations-2.htm
*Non-Aligned Movement: Iran's Real Achievements: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Non-Aligned-Movement-Iran-s-Real-Achievements.htm
*NAM Summit: Outcomes and Opportunities: http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/NAM-Summit-Outcomes-and-Opportunities.htm