Israel as America’s Serbia

One of the things I remember liking about the George Herbert Walker Bush administration is that he kept Israel on a tight leash. He had a coterie of smart Jewish advisors, if I recall correctly, who helped craft our foreign policy.

Those days are long gone. Today both political parties try to outbid each other to placate the most unreasonable Israeli settlers like those who burned down a Palestinian Mosque a couple days ago. This, of course, has the effect of angering the vast majority of people living in the Middle East who are Muslims.

It reminds me of the beginnings of World War I which seemed to come as a major surprise to those nations caught fighting it. There were all sorts of secret agreements that led each to declare war on the others when an ally was attacked. Many of the major players had governments that did not survive the war including Tsarist Russia. Russia had a secret agreement to protect tiny Serbia should it be attacked. It was an alliance largely based upon religious loyalties. When Serbia was attacked by Habsburg Austria all the other secret agreements kicked into effect.

On the eve of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis John Kennedy was reading Barbara Tuchman’s masterpiece the Guns of August about the unwitting march to war. It was very much on his mind as he prepared to deal with the still secretive and paranoid USSR.

Israel is America’s Serbia and the GOP in particular gives almost unanimous carte blanche to the hardest of Jewish hardliners who think nothing of displacing Arabs from their homes so that Jews can move in. I don’t think this will lead to World War III but its unsettling that an unbending core of Republicans believe the end of days is imminent and are rooting for Republicans to bring it about more hastily. If an when it happens it won’t just be Russia that comes to an end. It will be the end of the world. These are my kind of patriots.

Folks like Karl Rove have called these folks “crazies” then worked their butts off to get them to the polls. Now the crazies are running one house of Congress and the Republican Party.

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