Wednesday, December 18, 2013

John Tirman Redefines What An Ally Is

The Huffington Post had dropped all pretense of objectivity or evenhandedness with its latest published blog post by John Tirman, director of MIT's International Studies. We encountered Tirman and his "die Israel die" mentality back in March of 2012, a piece that won him a lot of friends at Mondoweiss, and he's at it again. The title of his latest work is Israel: The Chimera of Friendship and it is a dedicated screed about why Israel and the US shouldn't be allies. 

Tirman leads off with a summary of the latest examples of US-Israel cooperation, US aid to Israel and the statements of both side's leaders. But there's a cloud on this sunny day. Israel dares to disagree with the US on Iran!
"Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman suggested recently that the Jewish State would seek new allies in the world. Netanyahu has been harsh in his criticisms of the deal and has sought to quash it, while also renewing threats to bomb Iran. The Israel Lobby in the U.S. is working feverishly to disparage the deal and to coerce members of Congress to vote for new sanctions on Iran that would effectively end the negotiations."
Lousy Jews! Don't they know their place, which is to just do whatever the US tells them? That's what allies do, right?

But no time to yell at Israel for not obeying the US, Tirman's got some neo-Nazi style ZOG myths to spread around:
"The pressure for additional sanctions is almost completely the work of the Israel Lobby, principally the American-Israel Political Action Committee, AIPAC, which exercises extraordinary influence through its campaign contributions. But AIPAC's intimidation works mainly because of the Israel-as-sole-ally notion, one intoned by virtually every politician and the main reason there is a large contingent on the Hill ready to vote for more sanctions."
It's a refreshing change of pace that Tirman doesn't credit the Israel Lobby's "extraordinary influence" to Jewish money. Most of his readership would probably disagree. But hey, I think they'll forgive him this one infraction, as he's now prepared to dispute the notion Israel is a US ally.
Israel has been an ally in a dodgy region that remains under the sway of strong militaries and reactionary monarchies, a human-rights disaster zone and one where grotesque inequality is the norm. And Israel and the United States do share some important values (constitutional government, political freedoms) and history (both are expansionist, settler nations that were ready to abuse the natives to gain territory and control).
 Nice description of Israel and US as "expansionist and settler." We've already destroyed the notion the conquering imperialist Arabs are natives, no reason to go down that road again, but it's always nice that Tirman, while pretending to have US interests at heart, also attacks the US. Great way to ingratiate yourself with your non-far left readers, if you even have any.
"But Israel's determination to be the spoiler of U.S.-Iran cooperation while continuing and intensifying its 46-year occupation of Palestine now casts doubt on its status as U.S. friend and ally.A rational actor in the region would recognize the beneficial effects of encouraging Iran to stand down from the nuclear precipice. In a region where the United States, usually foolishly, has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on security -- trillions if counting the long-term costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- we owe it to ourselves to lower tensions and build cooperative relationships. Israel is the main obstacle to this broad and highly desirable goal of U.S. security and prosperity.Israel's forceful occupation of Palestine is also an enormous cost to the United States. The fervent devotion to Israel by American politicians has linked the oppression of Palestinians to America in the eyes of much of the world."
Tirman uses classic far left rhetoric here. "Rational actors" and "friends of the US" would of course agree with me, which means that anyone who doesn't agree isn't "rational" or a "friend." Who can argue with such flawless logic?

In reality, Israel's occupation of "Palestine" has much more of a cost to Israel than the US, just as ending the occupation would have a greater risk to Israel than the US. Ditto with a nuclear Iran. Many of Israel's politicians consider the recent deal with Iran to be a huge mistake because they don't believe the deal will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. The Gulf states and many Republicans agree with Israel on this point. Are all of them "irrational" or "enemies of the US"? Tirman would probably say yes, because in his world, anyone who doesn't agree with him isn't 100% evil all of the time.

Note the massive irony of the middle paragraph above. The US (despite Israel's misgivings) invades Iraq and Afghanistan, massively destabilizing the region and, as Tirman points out, spending billions of dollars. Yet Tirman blames Israel, not the US's own aggression, for preventing the US's goal of "security and prosperity" in the region. That's the kind of rhetoric one can expect from a brainwashed partisan.

Tirman follows up on Israel's policies inconveniencing the US:
"If one assumes, as I and countless international relations experts do, that violent Jihadism is a principal threat to the United States, this is a damning indictment of Israel."
Yes, if violent jihadist Muslims don't want Israel to exist and are attacking it for it, that is clearly Israel's fault. Heaven forbid Tirman actually blame violent jihadist Muslims for their own behavior! What should Israel do to appease these jihadists, and thus escape Tirman's damning indictment? He doesn't say, but we can guess: Destroy itself and turn over all its land to the Muslims. Stupid Israel for not doing that! Doesn't it know how inconvenient it's making life for the US? What kind of country doesn't commit suicide for the sake of its allies? Cut them out of the will!

He also runs into the interminable (no pun intended) problem that is "violent jihadism.' By the way, I'm surprised that he actually used that term, seeing as how offensive it is. Doesn't he know that "jihad" just means inner struggle to make yourself a better person. Anyway, almost every country in the world has been attacked by "violent Jihadism:" Spain, Britain, Somalia, Pakistan, Indonesia, China, Russia, etc. I could go on. As you may have noticed, none of the countries that I mentioned are exactly on good terms with Israel. A couple of them don't even have diplomatic relations with it. So why is that the one time America is threatened by radical Islam, that's somehow Israel's fault, whereas when everyone else is threatened by radical Islam, it isn't? Don't expect Tirman to answer that very simple question.

Tirman then wraps up. Seriously. He declares he has made his case for why Israel and the US are no longer allies and gets out. To sum up, his evidence is: Israel disagrees that the nuclear deal with Iran is great and Israel occupies "Palestine." If this is the best the Huffington Post editorial staff can come up with, they've got a long way to go before the US-Israel alliance is destroyed. Naturally the comments section ate it up, but who cares about them.

1 comment:

  1. What you left out was John Tirman propagated this conspiracy theory of the following quotes attributing it to what he claims General Petreaus told Congress:

    "The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the [region]," General David Petraeus told Congress three years ago. ...... The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel.

    General Petreaus did NOT tell Congress that. He explained this when questioned about it. That was in a Central Command 56 page report but we don't know who said it. It was also referring to the PERCEPTION that the Arab "moderate" Nations have of America.

    There is NOTHING in the Iran 6 months deal that will promote greater security or prosperity for America, as Tirman suggests and blames Israel for obstructionism. It's not only kicking the can down the road, it was a precedent which contravened hard laborious efforts at the U.N. for sanctions against Iran for developing nuclear enrichment. Now America and other 5 U.N. members have given Iran 'breathing room" to enrich nukes to 5% and so far no checks in place to remove the higher 20% enriched uranium or other centrifuges. A more comprehensive deal is still trying to be worked out, which means this 'deal' for 6 months is not really much of anything worthy. The point is Iran is close to critical breakout capacity. Many scholars have said that as well, so there's no uniformed opinion on this. Rouhani see's the last deal as a step to receiving full rights to have nuclear weapons.

    Tirman also lay's all blame for Middle East instability with Israel of course and scurrilously brands them the evil doers or not doers. Through his profound hate Israel lenses, all anti American sentiment would be washed a side once America divorces itself from the chimera beliigerent...and whatever other pejorative adjective you can come up with to associate with..... Israel whom he finds so inherently repugnant.

    He states after repeating the mantra of Zionist own Congress ( which must be the 3rd time within the article) that he can find very little , nothing of comparable value for why Israel should be an ally and friend. I would suggest that's b/c he only reads websites which align with with his leftest ideology that are therefore anti Israel or worse. He glosses over the sharing of intelligence, and minimizes it as simply being an activity of bilateral relations. Funny b/c before Israel had a strong relation with America Israel provided critical information of Intelligence during the cold war worth tens or hundreds of millions in the late '60's (try calculating that with inflation as he does with 'cost' of aid to Israel) and took serious personal risks when they loaned America the Soviet MiG 21 Aircraft.

    His whole article is to scapegoat Israel for all America's security troubles including 911. That foments hatred towards Jews and Israel, but he could careless. It's something the antisemitic conspiracy theorists will eat up, as will Presstv which he has been interviewed on and other hate Israel sites can use to further defend their positions. He is forwarding the old extreme anti Israel views that America should give into terrorists demands which would make America a safer place. Sounds like a case of wife abuse syndrome to me.


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