The United States decimated North Korea and Vietnam under both Democratic and Republican rule. It decimated Iraq under Republican rule, but the Democrats did not object, nor have they since withdrawn the troops. It started a war in Afghanistan that Republicans bequeathed to the Democrats and that will continue for many years to come.
Since World War II, the American war industry has never stopped growing. Eisenhower, in his farewell speech 50 years ago when he left the White House to Kennedy, warned against the increasing power of the American arms industry: "We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." His prophecy comes true on a daily basis.
In the ensuing 50 years, this industry has expanded enormously to encompass far-flung economic realms. Prophecies of the United States' decline as a superpower were not premature, but they sometimes seemed like watching a theater performance. Superpowers do not exit the stage and call to congratulate the winner with Anglo-Saxon politeness.
The American economy relies on this gigantic war machine. The policy of peace that some Democrats support is based on a different economics, but the way is long and hard, and it seems it is more difficult to beat China and India on this field. Even the president who became a symbol even before having done anything in office, and received the Nobel Peace Prize simply because he fulfilled Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream, doesn't have a good speech for the data on stagnant growth and unemployment; he has no response to America's decline.
When a bank chairman is replaced, the bank's investment policy is unlikely to change drastically. The president of the United States is like the chairman of a huge bank, and the differences between him and his political rivals are really dwarfed when they are viewed from the bloody morasses of Vietnam and Iraq, or even our own.
For years, the "peace camp" has pinned its hopes on an American president who will come and extricate us from the occupation. This folly also reflects Israel's dependence on the United States in general.
It is convenient to forget that no other country in the world has received a gift of $100 billion since its establishment 63 years ago. It is convenient to forget that for decades, Israel has been the pipeline through which the United States funded the American arms industry: The money it disburses goes through Israel and back to those industries. It is convenient for our gentle doves to forget that the Israeli project is first and foremost an imperial one, through which the United States - whether by stick (bombings deep inside Egypt, the destruction of Beirut, the starvation of Gaza ) or by carrot ("We'll pressure them if you are nice to us" ) - continues to rule the region.
True, it is sad to see the "liberators of Libya" denying the 44-year-old military dictatorship in Palestine. True, it is sad to compare Obama the symbol - and the hopes it was so easy to pin on him, especially from afar - with the symbol's real meaning.
But the pro-Americanism of the Israeli peace camp is even sadder. Like beggars at the gate, its members stand there and say to the White House, which is built on so much oppression and horror throughout the world, "Don't be a Lieberman; help us to be righteous."
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