Understandably, many Americans had hoped that the incoming Obama administration would institute the promised changes away from the Bush policies of war and economic turmoil that have become so wearily familiar. That such hopes were misplaced is already clear.
Knowledgeable observers of course never held out any real expectation that America’s disastrous course over the last eight years would be reversed by a McCain, an Obama, or for that matter a Hillary Clinton victory. As the primaries turned into the election, it was always abundantly clear that the same powers were operating as usual behind the throne.
Paul Craig Roberts puts it aptly in a recent column, “Conned Again”: “Obama’s selection of Rahm Israel Emanuel as White House chief of staff is a signal that change ended with Obama’s election. The only thing different about the new administration will be the faces.”
Scholar James Petras offers similar comments:
What makes these arguments untenable is the fact that Obama’s public pronouncements, his top policy advisers, and the likely policymakers in his government have openly defined a most bellicose foreign…. On the major issues of war, peace, the economic crisis and the savaging of the US wage and salaried class, Obama promises to extend and deepen the policies which the majority of Americans reject and repudiate.
See this for yourself. Obama clearly promises to do the neoconservatives’ bidding for Israel, as Israeli peace advocate Uri Avnery noted. Obama’s appearance before AIPAC, he wrote, was an appearance that “broke all records for obsequiousness and fawning.” A good live image of this can be found in Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show clip that TOO has featured on its site for some months now.
Petras is a man worth reading. In two previous books, The Power of Israel in the United States (2006) and Rulers and Ruled in the US Empire: Bankers, Zionists and Militants (2007), he lucidly outlined the power structure that controls Washington. (See my review of both books for The Occidental Quarterly here).
Now this productive retired professor has come out with a new book, Zionism, Militarism, and the Decline of U.S. Power. As in his two previous books, he makes clear that changing the occupant of the White House won’t change US policy in the Middle East.
Petras’s key concept is the “Zionist Power Configuration,” or ZPC. It is a term we would do well to remember, for this power is more than just another lobby as claimed by Mearsheimer and Walt and President Carter. Rather, the ZPC is
much more sinister, both as a transmission belt for the policies and interests of a colonial power hell-bent on domination in the Middle East, and as the most serious authoritarian threat to the democratic freedoms of Americans. No single individual who dares criticize Israeli policy can escape the long hand of the pro-Israel authoritarians. . . . Booksellers are picketed, editors are intimidated, university presses and distributors are threatened, university presidents are blackmailed, local and national candidates are browbeaten and smeared, meetings are cancelled and venues are pressured, faculty are fired or denied promotion, corporations are blacklisted, union pensions funds are raided, and theater performances and concerts are cancelled. And the list of repressive actions taken by these authoritarian Zionist organizations at the national and local levels runs on, arousing fear among some, anger among many more and a slowly burning resentment and growing awareness among the silent majority.
Obama is not going to challenge this power.
Bush took the nation to war against Iraq because, as Petras argues, “The Zionist elite in the Bush regime invented the pretext and the propaganda for war and most important, successfully designed and operationalized the US invasion of Iraq.” Now Petras can point out that Obama’s top advisers “have long and notorious links to the top echelons of the principal Zionist propaganda mills.” Members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations wrote the speech Obama gave in front of AIPAC and “formulate his Middle East policy.”
None of this is a secret. On the contrary, it is there for anyone with curiosity to see. Thus, “there was no ‘conspiracy’ or ‘cabal’ — the Zionist campaign was brazenly public, aggressive and reiterative,” in Petras’s words. Or, as reflected in the title of Stephen Sniegoski’s fine book on the neoconservatives, it is a “Transparent Cabal.”
So jettison those flimsy hopes that positive change will come with January snow showers. Instead, accept that Petras is right when he says that, based on Obama’s top policy advisers, contributors, speech writers and likely candidates for cabinet posts, “there is virtually no hope of ‘influencing from within’ or ‘applying popular pressure’ to change Obama’s slavish submission” to the ZPC.
After all, did the popular mandate to end the Iraq War by electing a Democratic House succeed? Not at all. As I wrote in my TOQ review of Petras’s books,
Due in large part to Jewish Lobby control over the Democratic Party, an unmistakable message was given to the country: “the strategy Bush actually committed to was that which was in line with Israel’s ‘strategic interest’ of extending its power and domination in the Middle East.” When new Democratic Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi hinted at holding back funding for Bush’s war, the Lobby sent a clear message against it, and Pelosi “swallowed the frog in silence.”
In reality, Pelosi had no need to feel particularly humiliated since, in Petras’s view, such kowtowing to the Lobby was expected. As a mere congresswoman, she had far less prestige than a president, two of whom Petras describes in his characteristic way: “Bush has the dubious distinction of being the President-most-servile-to-a-foreign-power in US history (exceeding his predecessor, ex-President Clinton, Zionist Emeritus)”(Petras is no kinder to Clinton’s wife Hillary, numbering her among one of the “Zionist-colonized Senators.”)
Again, we are fortunate to have explication of power relations as crystal clear as Petras gives us. That he is writing from the far Left shows that awareness of Jewish power spans the political spectrum:
The lesson is clear: the rise of Judeo-fascism represents a clear and present danger to our democratic freedoms in the United States. They do not come with black shirts and stiff-arm salutes. The public face is a clean-shaven, neck-tied attorney, real estate philanthropist or Ivy League professor. But there is rising anger and hostility in America against the ZPC, against its arrogant authoritarian communal attacks on our democratic values, to say nothing of our national interests. Sooner or later there will be a major backlash—and it will reflect badly on those who, through vocation or conviction, engage in the firings, censoring and intimidation campaigns against the American majority. The American people will not remember their cries of ‘anti-Semitism’; they will recall their role in sending thousands of American soldiers to their death in the Middle East in the interests of Israel, and how that war has diminished the United States’ image in the world, to say nothing of its economic well-being and democratic freedoms at home.
There can be no hiding the ominous insinuations in the above. A Jewish reader may well come away from it sensing an anti-Semitic pogrom in the distance. Petras adds to this fear by contrasting the tiny numbers of the ZPC with the vast numbers of the majority:
Ultimately, the Zionist Power Configuration, despite its wealth and current dominance over US Middle East policy, knows that it represents less than 1% of the population: Its membership is an elite without a mass base. They have power only as long as the other 99% of the population is inactive, manipulated or intimidated to serve Israel’s interests.
The Perfect Storm?
It is far too early, however, for the American majority to suspect it may have a chance to painlessly throw off the ZPC yoke. Surely any elite that has manipulated the United States to the extent it has must also have taken into account resistance, both real and potential.
Consider then something I wrote in a previous column: “A separate point to note here is the brazenness with which American Jews in power put other Jews in top slots.” With such a small base, it is only logical that the ZPC must maximize leverage by controlling top positions, most especially those with the power and authority to exercise force, particularly lethal force.
The position of Secretary of Homeland Security is such an obvious position. Further, it can operate almost without restrictions by declaring something to be “a terrorist threat.” That position is currently occupied by Michael Chertoff, a Jew. Ditto for our current Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, another powerful American who “just happens to be” a committed Jew.
Have a look at the military structure as well. As an online biography states, “Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum serves as Chief, National Guard Bureau, Arlington, Virginia. He is the senior uniformed National Guard officer responsible for formulating, developing and coordinating all policies, programs and plans affecting more than a half a million Army and Air National Guard personnel.” And he is Jewish.
Another site relates that “When he assumed the duties of assistant commandant of the Marine Corps in September 2005, [Robert] Magnus, 59, became second-in-command of 180,000 Marines and one of only five four-star generals in the Corps.” Also Jewish.
Finally, a recent military shakeup resulted in a Jewish pilot being tapped for U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff. One begins to feel that this is all just a little too convenient, particularly when considering that the U.S. military is not known as a popular destination for American Jews.
Petras also caught this irony, stating that “less than 2/10 of one percent (0.2 percent) of the US soldiers in Iraq were Jewish and probably very few of those were on the front lines. More young American Jews volunteer to serve in the Israeli Defense Forces.” This very much recalls Pat Buchanan’s claim that should America prosecute the first war on Iraq in favor of Israeli interests, the fighting would be done by kids “with names like McAllister, Murphy, Gonzales, and Leroy Brown,” a comment which made the ADL very unhappy.
With such top positions of command and control occupied by American Jews, many of them highly committed to the fate of Israel, are we witnessing the coming together of forces that could create a “perfect storm” of retribution against majority Americans who might question or threaten this power structure?
Accounts from Petras and others suggest that we might be.