Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Diplomatic Friends Forevah!

As a followup to my last post, I'd just like to add that I have no love for Israel.  Just as I have no love for England, Germany, Russia, Syria, or any other country that I'm not a citizen of.  I don't hate them, but I fail to see why we're expected to give Israel extra love.  Israel puts their interests above ours, just as we should put ours above theirs.  That's what grown-up countries do; while immature countries declare BFF's and imagine that our interests will always be identical. 

Alliances are fine, but I've always found the extra love we're supposed to have for Israel to be almost as weird as our hatred of Cuba is.  Grow up!  This is the real world, not a fricking playground.  American diplomacy should reflect that.  After all, the French tricked us into Vietnam based upon our romantic notion of helping them preserve freedom, while they had no such silly notions and were just colonizers who wanted help keeping the natives from taking over.  And the French were savvy enough to bail, while we kept fighting an epic struggle that only existed in our minds.  

That war wasn't about communism; it was about colonization.  And by misunderstanding the nature of the war we were in, we kept making the wrong moves and didn't understand why they weren't working.  And to this day, there are still millions of romantic do-gooders who fail to understand why that war was unwinnable; thanks to deceptions by our "ally" France, a country many of these same people detest.  Irony. 

And the point isn't that we should be dicks to Israel or any other ally, but merely that foreign policy is no place for romantic ideals and chivalry.  It's every country for themselves, and it's about time America realized that.  Israel isn't our BFF.  They're an ally, and one that hasn't been super great to us.  And the more we treat them as a separate country from our own, the more pressure we can put on them to help fix this horrible situation; and that includes pressuring them on issues like the illegal settlements, which doom any talk of a two-state solution.

Or...we can keep drawing love hearts around their country while they keep abusing our friendship so they can win this the hard way.


Mahakal / महाकाल said...

Every country for themselves, or a system of international anarchy, is hardly conducive to a peaceful world. Not saying that we should endorse everything that our allies do, but that we shouldn't have alliances? Please.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Mahakal - I clearly endorsed the idea of allies. My problem is with supposed BFF allies like Israel who we're supposed to have identical policies as; which you yourself just rejected. Israel has no such idea about us, spies on us, and takes policy positions that don't align with ours. I fail to see why we shouldn't do the same.

Having good allies is part of the "every country for themselves" idea. We have allies because it benefits us, not because we're BFF's who must always support each other. Again, what I'm endorsing isn't some isolationist policy, but rather, just laying clear the general understanding that all other countries are working with.

Mahakal / महाकाल said...

I'm not sure how we're supposed to have identical policies as Israel, since this country is governed by a completely different constitution and set of laws, and is not normally thought of as a homeland for the Jewish people, though many Jews live here as well (perhaps more than in Israel, even, but proportionately it's a tiny fraction of the population).

I get what you're saying, basically, but I think it's an oversimplification. I'm very glad that Barack Obama is showing leadership in telling Israel that we won't stand by and allow settlements to grow, when clearly many settlements will have to be abandoned in order to secure peace. But this is in Israel's interest too, not just ours.

Prior administrations have basically not been willing to tell honest truths to our allies, much less anyone else.

Doctor Biobrain said...

Mahakal - I'm not sure what you're talking about, as you're in agreement with me. The only difference seems to be that you don't seem to understand that our position is considered controversial and borderline anti-Semitic by the "conventional" wisdom of the day. By that standard, any suggestion that Israel might be at all to blame for the continuing fight is wrong and hurts our alliance with them. And that's much more so here than in Israel, where they're allowed to actually discuss this kind of thing without being labeled Jew haters.

And what I meant by having the same policy as Israel was in how we're supposed to support everything they do. Even as it is, the Bush "road map" was supposed to put a freeze on all settlements, including "naturel growth," yet Bush gave an unofficial go-ahead on it anyway; just to make them happy. Not because they had a problem with truth, but rather, because we're supposed to give Israel everything they want. And we already have Dems pushing back against Obama's stand, as given in the link below.

And as you suggest, the settlements are a detriment to peace. But for many of the settlement proponents, that's the whole point. They don't just want the settlements, they want the entire West Bank; and the settlements are meant to be provactive land grabs. No, it's not in Israel's foreign policy interests to support them; it's domestic politics that demands them. So our foreign policy on this has been to support Israel's political needs. And that just doesn't make any sense for us. And I'm sure you'll agree with that, so again, I'm not sure where our disagreement is.


Mahakal / महाकाल said...

Well, it's hard for me to be anti-semitic since I'm Jewish. :)

Green Eagle said...

As someone who has lived and worked in Israel, I just want to add that I do not believe that the settlement issue in any way pits American interests against Israeli interests. Leaving aside those "settlements" that are really suburbs of Jerusalem, the vast majority of the rest have to go. This is in Israel's long term interest as well as ours, and most Israelis I knew when I lived there agreed fully with this position.

We must not forget that a large majority of these settlers are Americans and their children, not native Israelis. Thus this is our problem too, and we need to work to resolve it. So, good for you, Barack, for being willing to state in public what most Israelis know to be true.

Anonymous said...

Green Eagle's comment brings to mind a documentary I saw about the settlements and the violence and harassment fanatic settlers dish out on the Palestinians around them. For some reason I kept forgetting the filming was done in the West Bank, kept thinking it was a documentary on white thugs in Brooklyn because that's the accent I kept hearing.