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Lobby vs. Lobby, continued

By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday June 20, 2006 08:38 AM

Tim D. writes:
I think the most fascinating result of the [Mearsheimer-Walt] paper is that the great sages of Middle East policy and Israel-US relations (Chomsky, Finkelstein, Neumann, Massad and the Christisons to name a few) came to such varying conclusions over the actual influence of the Lobby on U.S. foreign policy. It seems to me though, that if you take all these myriad analyses, you get something close to the reality of the situation.

To be sure, Israel has its own interests in the Middle East - the most important of which is the realization of the Zionist project (i.e. a Jewish state in the holy land with an undivided Jerusalem as its capital). The Israel lobby has been exceedingly successful in bringing American military, economic and political might to bear in furthering this primary goal. U.S. material support - in it's numerous forms - to Israel has been indispensable in helping the Zionists to vanquish and or marginalize all those who dare to oppose their plan (in the Middle East and here at home) and the Lobby has worked hard to make sure that tap of material support doesn't run dry.

That said however, the Israel lobby is obviously only one of many lobbies vying to craft U.S. foreign policy in a way that advances their interests. The counterveiling influence of corporations/multinationalscertainly cannot be discounted. They have certainly had their hands on the reigns of the U.S. foreign policy war horse far longer than Israel has. I mean has anyone here ever read Smedley Butler's famous anti-interventionist tract, War is a Racket? That was written back in 1935, yet if one were to read it now, he or she might easily believe it was published yesterday!

Nevertheless, there should be no doubt in anyone's mind that sometimes - perhaps even many times - the interests of the various lobbies happen to converge to form a single mutually-benefitting policy. For instance, one might easily imagine that toppling Saddam was desirable for the Israeli government and Exxon-Mobile. Saddam was a bitter enemy who allegedly sponsored Palestinian terrorism against Israel and he was a quota buster, pumping oil far too liberally for companies that thrive on oil scarcity and the attendent high prices.

Comments (6)

j s paine:

"the interests of the various lobbies happen to converge to form a single mutually-benefitting policy"

right on tim D
very clear passage indeed

and since we live in an imperfect world
(even looked at from
my personal amerikan idol
..the devil's point of view )

and sure enough ain't there
many a slip....

not only along
any old road to hell
that turns out
to be paved only with wrongly
perceived good profit intentions

sometimes miracle of miracles
the tail CAN
wag the dog

a more powerful co -alition of lobbys
gets caught knapping
or looking else where
and a policy slips past em
or maybe the
momentum of past "righteousness"
carries a policy forward well past its expiration date
but folks are busy
and change particularly paradigm change
that needs time for
an "agonizing reappraisal"
and reformulation
blah blah blah...

in any event

often enough to add interest and variety
the hegemons
( in this case
the giant trans national corporations and their hi fi friends)
can have internal conflicts
that neutralize em ..more or less and
a potential greater power co alition
may not effectively form in time to stop
a nimble waiting
outfit or group of outfits


the iraqathon
to me
is a case of opportunity siezedby such a group

not by aipac
but as tim D suggests
by the houston oilers and their co evals
the official armorers
to his majesty
uncle S
where does aipac et al
come in ???

well who wouldn't use
their effectiveness
given a convergence of interests

so the fired up
zionophilic cabal
served ably
as both a light cavalry
a mosby's raiders
to flumox the fourth estate
and as embeded third men inside america's
to blow up
thought bridges
block the free passage of taboo ideas
and all sorts of other
clever acts
that are part of
any attempt to sabotage
the infrastructure of collective intellect

well i really verbosified here eh ??
to wrap her up...
is todays crooked tale
its jejune to add
the long haul really counts

that tells
and tolls the deal
in this case
only when
the fat lady
of wall street
that hideous
slattern sings
will this or any other game really be over
and like the red queen madame wall street
plays to win

so odds are
it won't end till she's
got it all her way
then and
only thenwill it be
to tot up
the final score

and so
how longs the long haul???

as yogi would say
that all depends
on how long it is

So how, praytell, are the multinationals that own the media and the military industries, as well as Congress, conceivably a counterveiling force to Zionist lobbyists?


If you step back from the lobby question and ask instead "who runs America?", it's clear that from the beginning of the nation it's been wealth. Kevin Phillips' book on the provenance of America's wealthy families (I cant remember the title) makes this clear. Wealthy families have been replaced by wealthy corporations, but the vectors are the same. The important Secretaries (State, Treasury and Defense) always go to either Wall Street figures or corporate CEOs. A democracy or workers or the many is just a figment of our imagination, occasionally dusted off to distract popular resentment, as under the New Deal.

My point is (to paraphrase Karl Rove) you may analyse lobbies all you wish; wealth will merely find new ways to control government before you're finished.


BOBW -- Wealth certainly calls the shots, but wealth is not monolithic. Different groups of wealthy people have different ideas and priorities. Sometimes these divisions can get pretty severe. E.g. German wealth versus Franco-British wealth in 1914.


MJS -- that's what makes it interesting, discovering which sector of wealth has its hands on the reins of government at the moment, and whether that's good or bad for the rest of us. Four years ago I was pretty sure that Wall Street would soon call an end to Bush's reckless championing of oil's desires, but I was wrong there. My point, though, is that Democracy should be more than just watching sectors of wealth fight each other.


Bobw -- I agree with you, of course, that "democracy is more than just watching sectors of wealth fight each other." The reason to watch those fights, though, is that they can sometimes create opportunities for us.

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