By David Isenberg
Most discussions of possible United States military operations in the Persian Gulf, should Iran try to prevent maritime traffic from going through the Strait of Hormuz, generally say that while it would not be a cakewalk, it would not be an enormously difficult task either.
But that conventional wisdom is wrong, according to a recent report issued by an independent, non-profit public policy research institute in Washington DC. The report found that the traditional post-Cold War US military ability to project power overseas with few serious challenges to its freedom of action may be rapidly drawing to a close.
While such conclusions have been voiced before, most notably in regard to capabilities being developed by the People's Republic of China - which is developing an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) battle network that could constrain the US military's ability to maneuver in the air, sea, undersea, space and cyber-space operating domains - China is hardly the only country that has developed such options.
According to the report published by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), "Iran, in particular, has been investing in new capabilities that could be used to deter, delay or prevent effective US military operations in the Persian Gulf. Iran's acquisitions of weapons that it could use to deny access to the Gulf, control the flow of oil and gas from the region, and conduct acts of aggression or coercion, are of grave concern to the United States and its security partners."
The report, "Outside-In: Operating from Range to Defeat Iran's Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats"  notes that Iran has been preparing for a possible military confrontation with the United States for decades. Instead of engaging in a direct military competition, which would be pitting its weaknesses against US strengths, Iran has developed an asymmetric "hybrid" A2/AD strategy that mixes advanced technology with guerilla tactics to deny US forces basing access and maritime freedom of maneuver.
Even if Iran did not disrupt Gulf maritime traffic for long, it could still have a devastating impact. A recent report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that Iran's closure of the Strait of Hormuz would "neutralize a large part of current OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] spare capacity," saying "alternative routes exist, but only for a tiny fraction of the amounts shipped through the strait, and they may take some time to operationalize while transportation costs would rise significantly."
"A blockade of the Strait of Hormuz would constitute, and be perceived by markets to presage, sharply heightened global geopolitical tension involving a much larger and unprecedented disruption," it said.
The IMF said that "supply disruption would likely have a large effect on prices, not only reflecting relatively insensitive supply and demand in the short run but also the current state of oil market buffers".
"A halt of Iran's exports to OECD [Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development] economies without offset from other sources would likely trigger an initial oil price increase of around 20-30% (about US$20-30 a barrel currently), with other producers or emergency stock releases likely providing some offset over time," the report showed.
It stressed that "a Strait of Hormuz closure could trigger a much larger price spike, including by limiting offsetting supplies from other producers in the region".
"If you could cut off oil flow for even several weeks the global economy would be in depression. That would be a serious price to pay; it is a sobering thought," according to Patrick Cronin, a senior advisor at the Center for a New American Security, a Washington DC think-tank.
Attacking ships is not the only option available to Iran to disrupt oil supplies, according to Cronin. In a phone interview with Asia Times Online he said, "Forget about shutting down the Strait of Hormuz, you could hit the oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia; that would have enormous impact."
Cronin, who was involved in the reflagging of oil tankers during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, agrees that the Iranian ability to disrupt maritime traffic is real. "Iran is acquiring greater capabilities and has geographical advantages. Even back in the 1980s, we were very worried."
Currently, aside from military factors, Iran can take advantage of a number of political and demographic realities.
For example, the populations, governments and much of the wealth of the region are concentrated in a handful of urban areas within range of Iran's ballistic missiles. While attacks against Gulf cities may have little direct military utility, their psychological and political impact on regional governments could be significant, especially if Iran demonstrated the capacity to arm its missiles with chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear warheads.
And, as most analysts recognize, Iran could also mobilize its network of predominately Shi'ite proxy groups located across Southwest Asia to conduct acts of terrorism and foment insurrection in states that remain aligned with the United States.
Iran's proxies could become far more dangerous should Iran arm them with guided rockets, artillery, mortars and missiles (G-RAMM). Other groups, like the Lebanese Hezbollah, could conduct a terrorism campaign designed to broaden the crisis and hold US rear areas - even the US homeland - at risk.
And while that indirect approach may not succeed, Iran could use its ballistic missiles and proxy forces to attack US bases and forces in the Persian Gulf directly.
Iran's hybrid strategy would continue at sea, where its naval forces would engage in swarming "hit-and-run" attacks using sophisticated guided munitions in the confined and crowded waters of the Strait of Hormuz and possibly out into the Gulf of Oman. Iran could coordinate these attacks with salvos of anti-ship cruise missiles and swarms of unmanned aircraft launched either from the Iranian shore or from the islands guarding the entrance to the Persian Gulf.
That last scenario is hardly theoretical. Lieutenant General Paul K Van Riper (US Marine Corps-retired) gained notoriety after the Millennium Challenge 2002 wargame, which was a major exercise conducted by the US armed forces in mid-2002, likely the largest such exercise in history.
It cost $250 million and involved both live exercises and computer simulations. The simulated combatants were the US, referred to as "Blue", and an unknown adversary in the Middle East, "Red", commanded by Lieutenant General Van Riper.
Red received an ultimatum from Blue, essentially a surrender document, demanding a response within 24 hours. Thus warned of Blue's approach, Red used a fleet of small boats to determine the position of Blue's fleet by the second day of the exercise. In a pre-emptive strike, Red launched a massive salvo of cruise missiles that overwhelmed the Blue forces' electronic sensors and destroyed 16 warships.
This included one aircraft carrier, 10 cruisers and five of six amphibious ships. An equivalent success in a real conflict would have resulted in the deaths of over 20,000 service personnel. Soon after the cruise missile offensive, another significant portion of Blue's navy was "sunk" by an armada of small Red boats, which carried out both conventional and suicide attacks that capitalized on Blue's inability to detect them as well as expected.
In the years since then, Iran has been investing in the capabilities necessary to carry out Van Riper's strategy. Looking at its maritime forces, in mid-2001 Iran launched the first of a new type of locally built craft equipped with rocket launchers.
In July 2002, a conventional arms sale triggered sanctions on several Chinese companies. Beijing had transferred high-speed catamaran missile patrol boats to Iran. The C-14 boats are outfitted with anti-ship cruise missiles. Short-range anti-ship missiles for the patrol boats also were sold from China to Iran in January 2002. The high-speed gunboat can carry up to eight C-701 anti-ship cruise missiles, and usually have one gun.
Between 2003 and 2005, authorities in the Iranian navy continued to talk about their pushes for greater self-sufficiency, including the continued development of domestically produced missile boats and frigates, as well as new details about submarine projects.
In 2006 and 2007, the Iranian navy accepted new missile boats and a frigate, as well as two types of submarines. The Sina class missile boats, introduced in 2006, were essentially Iranian copies of Kaman missile boats already in service. Also in 2006, the Iranians deployed the first of the Nahang class of midget submarines, described as the first Iranian submarine designed and produced without foreign assistance.
In 2007, the Iranian navy accepted the first of three planned Mowj-class frigates, again essentially copies of a ship already in the Iranian inventory, the Alvand class. Also in 2007, it deployed the Qadir midget submarine, sometimes referred to as the first of the Yono class
As of 2008, the Iranian navy appeared poised to expand its fleet, most centered on stand-off anti-ship missile systems, mining operations and a wide range of smaller patrol and special operations craft. Iranian authorities have described the current mission as deterrence against aggression in their coastal waters and in prominent regional waterways.
Other analysts confirm some of CSBA's report's main points. In December, Anthony Cordesman, a well-respected expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, wrote:
Iran is reshaping its military forces to steadily increase the threat to Gulf shipping and shipping in the Gulf of Oman, It also is gradually increasing its ability to operate in the Indian Ocean.
This increase in Iranian capability is almost certainly not designed to take the form of a major war with the US and southern Gulf states, which could result from any Iranian effort to truly close the Gulf. It does, however, give Iran the ability to carry out a wide range of much lower level attacks which could sharply raise the risk to Gulf shipping, and either reduce tanker traffic and shipping or sharply raise the insurance cost of such ship movements and put a different kind of pressure on the other Gulf states and world oil prices.
A Center for Strategic and International Studies analysis released in January noted that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had these assets at its disposal:
• 20,000 Naval Guards, including 5,000 marines.
• Armed with HY-3 CSS-C-3 Seersucker (6-12 launchers, 100 missiles, 95-100 km), and 10 Houdong missile patrol boats with C-802s (120 km), and 40+ Boghammers with ATGMs, recoilless rifles, machine guns.
• IRGC air branch reported to fly UAVs and UCAVs, and control Iran's strategic missile force.
• Land-based, long-range anti-ship missiles based on land, islands (Seersucker HY-2, CSS-C-3), and ships (CSS-N-4, and others).
• Based at Bandar e-Abbas, Khorramshar, Larak, Abu Musa, al-Farsiyah, Halul, Sirri.
• Attacks on tankers, shipping, offshore facilities by naval guards.
• Iranian navy and air force also have key assets:
• Large-scale mine warfare capability using small craft and commercial boats.
• Free-floating mines, smart and dumb mines, oil spills
• 3 Kilo (Type 877) and unknown number of midget (Qadr-SS-3) submarines; smart torpedoes, (anti-ship missiles) and smart mine capability.
• Use of five minelayers, amphibious ships, small craft, commercial boats.
• Raids with eight P-3MP/P-3F Orion MPA and combat aircraft with anti-ship missiles (C-801K (8-42 km), CSS-N-4, and others).
But according to the CSBA report, US forces are still operating in large part in accordance with the strategy developed back in the Jimmy Carter administration (1977-1981) , when the paramount concern was the threat of a Soviet invasion.
Subsequently, US policymakers were concerned with the fall of the Shah of Iran and the rise of Khomeinism; and concern over Iraq's hegemonic ambitions during the Saddam Hussein era, but preparing to do battle with Iran over access to the Gulf itself is a relatively recent concern for which US forces have not sufficiently prepared.
And given how heavily the US depends on various bases and facilities in nationals like Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) , the US military should diversify and harden its Persian Gulf bases to complicate Iran's ballistic missile targeting, while creating an expanded network of distant shared access locations to support initial US power-projection operations from beyond the reach of Iran's anti-access threats.
Many US forces in the region are supported by bases that are in close proximity to Iran. In addition to the port facilities in Manama, US Navy ships frequent ports at Jebel Ali near Dubai in the UAE.
Central Command air forces operate from a number of locations in the region, including al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and al-Dhafra Air Base in the UAE. Al Udeid hosts the USCENTAF (US Air Forces Central Command) CAOC (Combined Air Operations Center), a critical command and control node for US air and space operations throughout Central Command. These and other US forward operating locations are well within the reach of numerous strike systems, including short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, that could be launched from Iran's coastal areas.
Proxy groups also could have a major impact on US forces and forward operating locations. Using commercially obtained overhead imagery, unconventional forces could fix the coordinates of Persian Gulf port facilities, airfields and fuel depots for guided mortar and rocket attacks.
Unconventional forces could also use advanced man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS), such as the Russian-made SA-24 to attack US aircraft transiting supposedly "friendly" airspace, and use ASCMs, antiship mines, or maritime improvised explosive devices against ships in the Suez Canal, Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf sea ports of debarkation (SPODs).
Iran would also have benefit from being able to exploit its interior lines of operation to deploy and frequently move its mobile ballistic missiles batteries to complicate US counter-strikes, as well as create a distributed resupply network that would be resistant to attack.
While Iran's ballistic missiles are not without limitations, such as limited accuracy for some of them and lack of launchers, the report finds that they give it a strike capability that would be difficult and expensive for US forces to counter. Over the course of the next 20 years, it is possible that Iran will make progress toward addressing these shortfalls.
According to Cronin, "Iran has levers here and their anti-access and area denial capabilities are proven. We would have a difficult time."
The report notes that more than 70% of the US Air Force's budget for new aircraft over the next decade - including a new bomber - will go toward just two programs, the F-35A and a replacement aerial refueling tanker. Such systems will lead to a fighter force that, when airborne, is more survivable in non-permissive areas. But this force will still be highly dependent on close-in bases or aircraft carriers, as well as aerial refueling.
The problem for US forces is that any conflict in the Gulf is going to be extremely non-permissive. The environment will be filled with guided ballistic and cruise missiles, maritime swarming tactics, proxy forces equipped with G-RAMM, and the threat of chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) attacks.
The fact that other countries are deploying anti-access capabilities is not news to the Pentagon. This month, it released a Joint Operational Access Concept report and noted many of the same anti-access/area-denial capabilities mentioned in the CSBA report.
According to the CSBA report, if the US military is to successfully sustain access to the Persian Gulf against a determined effort by Iran to shut if off, it would need more than weapons. It would also need a new operational concept "that reduces its emphasis on capabilities that are over-optimized for permissive threat environments in order to prioritize capabilities needed for a range of operations in environments that will be increasingly non-permissive in nature" that it currently does not have.
Achieving this within an increasingly constrained budget would require defense planners to make difficult decisions; "the United States cannot meet the challenges that Iran could pose to its vital interests in the Gulf by simply spending more and adding new capabilities and capacity," according to the report.
Interestingly, in light of the latest US national security strategy report that emphasizes Asia as the strategic theater of concern, the report found that the capabilities needed to support such a concept for the Western Pacific and an outside-in enabling concept for the Persian Gulf have a "remarkable amount of overlap".
Both emphasize the need to develop new long-range systems such as penetrating bombers and carrier-based unmanned aircraft; increase the US Navy's undersea magazine of standoff munitions; improve air and missile defenses; and pursue forward posture initiatives that will complicate the operational planning of an enemy force.
Among the report's recommendations:
• An Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft that will extend the reach and persistence of the US Navy's carrier air wings. The US Navy should also integrate payload modules into future Virginia-class attack submarines to partially reverse planned reductions in its capacity to conduct standoff cruise missile attacks, and develop a Large Displacement Unmanned Undersea Vehicle that could extend its undersea surveillance network.
• A ship-based, solid-state laser for defending against swarming boats and salvos of anti-ship cruise missiles, and equip a new Long-Range Strike Bomber to carry anti-ship missiles and mines.
• To help fulfill future expeditionary requirements, the navy should field a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle that is optimized for ground combat missions, and sustain sufficient amphibious lift capacity to support a joint theater-entry operation.
• Development of air-launched missiles that can intercept ballistic missiles in their boost phase, as well as invest in promising directed energy technologies that could improve terminal defenses against cruise and ballistic missiles at a negligible cost-per shot compared to current kinetic interceptors.
• The Department of Defense should also pursue advanced mines and non-lethal capabilities that could create physical barriers to terrorist G-RAMM attacks against US forces and forward operating locations.
David Isenberg is an adjunct scholar with the Cato Institute, a US Navy veteran, and the author of the book, Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq. The views expressed are his own. His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. His blog is PMSC Observer (isenberg.securitycontracting.net
Puttinb Israel First
by Justin Raimondo, January 30, 2012
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The campaign to lure the US into attacking Iran has one big problem to overcome before the War Party can taste success: the rather obvious fact that such a war would benefit Israel, and not the United States. This is why Israel’s partisans in the US constitute the spearhead of the pro-war agitation, why AIPAC has made this a consistent theme for the past few years, and why the billionaire Sheldon Adelson, aside from funding the Newtster, has poured untold millions into the same project. Hardly a day goes by without some Israeli government official reiterating, once again, that Iran represents an “existential threat” to the Jewish state, and threatening to strike the first blow if Uncle Sam fails to wake up in time, while Israel’s amen corner dutifully echoes the same line.
Israel and its more vehement partisans in this country have demanded the US attack Iran, even going so far as to raise the specter of another Holocaust if America fails to act. However, one argument they have failed to make is significant by its absence – they have failed to show how it is in America’s interest to launch a military strike. Indeed, they have neglected this part of the equation rather ostentatiously, and yet one can hardly blame them for this oversight for the simple reason that such a case would be impossible to make. An attack on Iran would deprive the world economy of a significant portion of its energy needs, and would likely result in an economic catastrophe in this country – to say nothing of the costs of the war, in blood and treasure. War-weary Americans are not in the mood for another invasion and occupation in search of nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction.” This is the War Party’s Achilles’ heel.
How to get around this is the problem at the heart of the War Party’s current project, and in order to do so they are employing the deadliest weapon in their well-stocked arsenal: the accusation of “racism,” the most toxic accusation anyone can make about someone in the current political climate. Specifically, they are accusing war opponents of “anti-Semitism.” After all, if Israel is the Jewish state, and that state’s very existence is threatened by the specter of Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program (which US intelligence has stubbornly failed to detect), then opposition to US military action is “anti-Semitism,” pure and simple.
Today’s war propagandists have figured out a way to make the issue of American interests, as opposed to Israeli interests, go away, and that is by policing the language of the debate. Are you calling someone who wants to pursue Israeli interests over and above those of his or her own country an “Israel firster”? Well, then, you are “anti-Semitic,” you are employing the oldest “anti-Semitic tropes” and echoing “neo-Nazis,” who – James Kirchick assures us – are the originators of the phrase. This is the argument made by “progressive” Spencer Ackerman in a recent issue of the Tablet, in which he joins the neoconservative assault on Glenn Greenwald, M.J. Rosenberg, and four bloggers over at the Center for American Progress who got slapped down for daring to wield (or imply) this supposedly “toxic” phrase.
There’s just one problem with this argument: it isn’t true. Ackerman cites Kirchick as the authority in this matter, but as a researcher the man Time columnist Joe Klein called a “dishonest prick” and a cheap “propagandist” leaves much to be desired. Kirchick claims the phrase originated with Willis Carto’s Spotlight newspaper, a cesspool of anti-Semitism, but this is false: it originated, as one can see here, with Alfred M. Lilienthal, an anti-Zionist Jew who wrote several books in the early 1950s and 1960s, notably What Price Israel? Lilienthal’s 1953 book was brought out by Henry Regnery, the noted conservative publicist and pioneer publisher, whose press also printed a number of other anti-Zionist and pro-Palestinian works, including Freda Utley’s Will the Middle East Go West? – which presciently argued American support for Israel would alienate the Arab world – Road to Beersheba, a novel by Ethel Mannin which dramatized the plight of a conquered people imprisoned in their own land, and a collection of photographs and text by the Swedish photographer Per-Orlow Anderson, They Are Human Too, which, in Regnery’s words, “brought us face to face with the tragedy of the Arab refugees, whom he photographed crowded into the inhospitable Gaza strip.” Which brings to mind the old saw about “the more things change.” Yet another example of the changeless nature of our politics was described by Regnery, who reported in his Memoirs of a Dissident Publisher:
“One unexpected consequence of the book’s publication was the visit from an agent of the FBI, who had been sent to make some inquiries about its author.”
“This was,” continues Regnery, “one of the less serious calls by government agents of one kind or another that frequently followed the publication of a book that displeased some group or individual of influence.” Our witch-hunters will surely characterize Regnery’s sardonic remark as evidence that he, too, was another one of those awful “anti-Semites” – after all, he was implying the Zionist lobby had enough influence to call out the dogs of the FBI and sic them on a mere photographer.
Yet Regnery’s views, and those of his attendant authors, were hardly considered “subversive” back then: indeed, theirs was the standard conservative position on the state of Israel, which, back in the day, was an ally of the Soviet Union and a proudly socialist state. It is inconceivable, of course, that the Regnery Publishing Co. of today would put out anything remotely resembling Lilienthal’s work: not with the conservative movement of 2012 dominated by warmongering neoconservatives and nutty Christian Zionists who see support for Israel as divinely ordained. In 1949, however, when Lilienthal wrote “Israel’s Flag is Not Mine” for Readers Digest, his critique of Zionist propaganda was shared by mainstream conservatives as a matter of course:
“Today we see Zionists boasting of ‘Jewish’ political strength, Zionist picket lines around British consulates, Zionists demonstrating against Foreign Minister Ernest Bevin when he arrives here to sign the Atlantic Pact, New York stores plastered with posters screaming ‘Do Not Buy British. Made Goods.’
“Are these people acting as Americans? Europe’s recovery through the Marshall Plan is the keystone of our bipartisan foreign policy, which the Communists are trying to sabotage. Any boycott of British goods, organized or unorganized, helps this destruction.”
It wasn’t any neo-Nazis, but Lilienthal, a political conservative and a devout Jew, who was the first to raise the question of “dual loyalty.” The “Israel Firster” meme originated, not with the neo-Nazi fringe, but with conservative Jews who, like Lilienthal, objected that:
“My one and only homeland is America. I am proud of my belief in the age-old Judaic concept of one God in Heaven and one Humanity here below. But my faith does not pull me into a feeling of narrowly tribal kinship with all others who worship God in this way. Whenever I read of Americans singing the Hatikvah, Israel’s national anthem, or see youth groups raising Israel’s flag beside the Stars and Stripes. I am outraged. For Israel’s flag and anthem are symbols of a foreign state; they are not mine.”
The Kirchicks, the Ackermans, the Goldbergs – and also the Cartos – want us to forget this heritage, which has been buried under the landslide of pro-Israel propaganda, because it challenges the premises of both the Israel-Firsters and the anti-Semites.
Lilienthal was no fringe character: a diplomat who worked in the State Department during the war, he served in the US Army in the Middle East, and was later a consultant at the founding conference of the United Nations. His opposition to Zionism as a political movement was initially shared by many if not most American Jews: see Jack Ross’s new book, Rabbi Outcast, for a biography of the most well-known figure in this movement, Rabbi Elmer Berger, which also serves as a detailed history of the American Council for Judaism, the organizational expression of this tendency. These Jews did not think it extraordinary that they would oppose the claims of a foreign government on their loyalties, and they warned – presciently, as it turned out – that American Jews would face charges of harboring dual loyalties because of the Zionists’ insistence that all Jews somehow owed allegiance to Tel Aviv.
In short, the “neo-Nazi” origins of the “Israel Firster” meme is a myth that depends on ignorance of the real history of American Jewish opposition to Israeli nationalism. Like all war propaganda, it is based on blanking out whole portions of the historical record in favor of a black-and-white version of events.
So don’t worry, Glenn – you can still use “Israel Firster” without being tainted by the stain of anti-Semitism.
Yet why use the term at all? Isn’t it just a nasty epithet, one that doesn’t illuminate any valid point about our impending war with Iran?
In a word: no. The advocates of war with Iran are finagling to set up the debate in terms of whether or not we will act to prevent another Holocaust – in which case opposition to bombing Tehran will be characterized as enabling mass genocide. Here is where the neoconservatives and the “responsibility to protect” “progressives” on the left will meet and merge.
That this “argument” is based on fantasy – the fantasy that Iran is indeed busy cooking up nukes, and is determined to wipe Israel off the map – is being obscured in a barrage of lies and phony “intelligence” similar to that which dragged us into attacking Iraq. But war propaganda and facts don’t mix: indeed, they are mutually exclusive. The idea behind any effective campaign designed to push us into war is to whip up an emotional storm, and a key part of this hysteria is smearing antiwar writers and politicians as “anti-Semites.” In the America of 2012, where political correctness is the Iron Rule, even the accusation – no matter how unfounded – of racial or religious bigotry is toxic, and the War Party hopes to poison the debate over Iran by injecting it into the discourse.
They must not be allowed to get away with it: the Language Police don’t have a warrant when it comes to “Israel Firster,” and appeasing them can only constrict the debate so that the essential motive of the pro-war forces is obscured. And, no, it won’t do to argue that Israel’s interests are not served by a US war with Iran: after all, if we aren’t allowed to argue in terms of what’s in America’s interests, and the interests of its people, then we are hogtied from the word go.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
I note that Freda Utley, mentioned above, who died in 1978, was the mother of Antiwar.com writer and conservative activist Jon Basil Utley. Here is a passage from Will the East Go West?:
“It would seem only too obvious that we are in danger of alienating not only the Arabs but also the far larger Islamic world, because our most-favored-nation treatment of Israel does give grounds for the accusation that she is ‘the spearhead of Western imperialism which still endeavors to divide and rule.’ The Arabs see that Israel is subsidized by huge, tax-free donations by American-Jewish citizens and by United States grants far larger than our economic aid to the Arab States, which, in spite of Israel’s small population, have made her militarily the most powerful State in the Middle East. This leads the Arabs to the false suppositions that America controls Israel, and that we are thus responsible for what she does. As I found during my brief visit to the Middle East, it was difficult to convince the Arabs that, although we pay the piper, we do not call the tune. Americans for sentimental reasons may like to hear music that evokes memories of King Solomon’s temple; but the tune that Israel plays with our permission, if not at our bidding, so grates on the nerves of Israel’s neighbors that they are tempted to call in a Soviet ‘policeman’ to throw both the piper and the sentimental visitor out.”
Complete text here.
Read more by Justin Raimondo
• The Greatest Threat – January 26th, 2012
• Adelson, Gingrich, and the Selling of America – January 24th, 2012
• Extremism in ‘Defense’ of Israel – January 22nd, 2012
• The Return of the Smear Bund – January 19th, 2012
• The Gingrich Doctrine: ‘Kill Them!’ – January 17th, 2012