Friday, December 8, 2006

Between Acts

It would appear, from here on the Moon – where the demise of a mom-and-pop Christmas tree farm, a comedian’s use of an out-of-favor racial term, and a dress worn by the First Lady look less important than wars – that some changes are taking place which might make a real difference in American life. (I’m aware the “America” covers a much bigger area than the United States, but to avoid awkwardness in writing this blog, I use “American” in a limited sense.)

Specifically, it might seem that recent events point to a weakening of the power of the pro-Israel forces that have had a stranglehold on the U.S. government for many years. That stranglehold has perverted U.S. foreign policy into an illogical, indefensible, self-defeating farce that has cost thousands upon thousands of American lives – including those lost in the Twin Towers.

I might as well say right here that I am very skeptical about things changing, but for now the outer signs are pleasant to behold:

The vaunted Israeli army was shattered by Hezbollah in spite of U.S. diplomatic efforts to “give Israel time” and materials to win, and Israeli civilians endured a bit of the rockets’ red glare that they’ve inflicted on Palestinians for so long.

The U.S. was seen more openly than ever before as one hundred percent aligned with Israel. Any pretext of the U.S. to be an “evenhanded peace broker” became even more laughable than before.

The U.S. was clearly seen to have backed a loser in prolonging the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, shamelessly rushing equipment and armaments to Israel to worsen its bombing of civilian areas, with no result except the glory of Hezbollah and pictures of Jewish troops dragging their tails in retreat.

The U.S. voters repudiated the Bush Iraq policy, the hideous Rumsfeld was fired, and we are told that the neocons are on the run.

A new party is coming into control in Washington, a party which – although most of its members betrayed the people and their principles by cravenly voting to permit the war – has more anti-war advocates than the party it is replacing.

There is a general feeling that the current president and his team have been pushed into the background by a wiser team recruited from Bush Senior’s entourage which is less pro-Israel and more inclined to diplomatic solutions in the Middle East.

It has become public knowledge that the Iraq war is lost. There is plenty of public information showing that Israel and its American backers were responsible for causing the ruinous war, even though that information is far from a popular topic in the American media.

The Iraq Study Group has recommended talks with Syria and Iran as part of extracting the U.S. from its disaster in Iraq, specifically contradicting the longstanding policies of Bush and the Israel Lobby.

From all the above, a reasonable mind –- watching from out here on the Moon -- could conclude that there are big changes underway in U.S. foreign policy, and that yesterday’s evil leaders might begin to function as allies, while the millstone of Israel may finally be slipping from the American neck.

But is this a turning point in history or just another adjustment on the way to achieving the same pro-Israel goals?

Two things are certain: The goals of Israel which have dominated U.S. policy have not changed, and the Israel Lobby, while no doubt doing a lot of scurrying about behind the scenes, has not suddenly lost its potential for political and financial power.

The “behind the scenes” analogy appeals to me. We are between acts in a theater. The curtain has fallen on the first act and the audience wonders excitedly how things will turn out in the next act. Meanwhile there are sounds of scenery and props being bumped and dragged and placed. The stage set will surely look different when the curtain rises, but what about the plot of the play?

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