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Old November 21st, 2012, 06:06 AM   #1
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Another great essay by one of my favorite historians:



Quote:

America, Israel, Gaza, the World

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD



As Israeli airstrikes and naval shells bombarded Gaza this weekend, the world asked the question that perennially frustrates, confuses and enrages so many people across the planet: Why aren’t the Americans hating on Israel more?



As in Operation Cast Lead, the last big conflict between Israel and Hamas, and as during the operation against Hezbollah in Lebanon, much of the world screams in outrage while America yawns. If anything, many of Israel’s military operations are more popular and less controversial in the United States than they are in Israel itself. This time around, President Barack Obama and his administration have issued one statement after another in support of Israel’s right to self defense, and both houses of Congress have passed resolutions in support of Jerusalem’s response.



Commentators around the world grasp at straws in seeking to explain what’s going on. Islamophobia and racism, say some. Americans just don’t care about Arab deaths and they are so blinded by their fear of Islam that they can’t see the simple realities of the conflict on the ground. Others allege that a sinister Jewish lobby controls the media and the political system through vast power of Jewish money; the poor ignorant Americans are the helpless pawns of clever Jews. Still others suggest that it is fanatical fundamentalists with their carry on flight bags packed for the Rapture who are behind American blindness to Israel’s crimes.



America is a big country with a lot of things going on, but the real force driving American support for Israeli actions in Gaza isn’t Islamophobia, Jewish conspiracies or foam-flecked religious nuts. It’s something much simpler: many though not all Americans look at war through a distinctive cultural lens. Readers of Special Providence know that I’ve written about four schools of American thinking about world affairs; from the perspective of the most widespread of them, the Jacksonians, what Israel is doing in Gaza makes perfect sense. Not only are many Jacksonians completely untroubled by Israel’s response to the rocket attacks in Gaza, many genuinely don’t understand why the rest of the world is so steamed about Israel—and so angry with the United States.



Americans as a people have never much believed in fighting by “the rules.” The Minutemen who fought the British regulars at Lexington and Concord in 1776 thought that there was nothing stupider in the world than to stand in even ranks and brightly colored uniforms waiting to shoot and be shot like gentlemen. They hid behind stone walls and trees, wearing clothes that blended in with their surroundings, and took potshots at the British wherever they could. George Washington saved the Revolution by a surprise attack on British forces the night before Christmas; far from being ashamed of an attack no European general of the day would have countenanced, Americans turned a painting of the attack (“Washington Crossing the Delaware”) into a patriotic icon. In America, war is not a sport.


Continued here:

http://blogs.the-american-interest.c...aza-the-world/
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Old November 21st, 2012, 08:05 AM   #2
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It's an interesting read, but the conclusion?



Quote:
...the Israelis are honest, competent and reliable friends — good people to have on your side in a tight spot.




When was the US in a tight spot, and it was good to have the Israelis on our side? When?



Never. This is a myth, a widely repeated myth that crumbles the very minute any thought is given to it ... but people by and large give no thought to it.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #3
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Whatever the cause, and whatever ends up occurring, I don't want Stephen Harper dragging us into this mess.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imaginethat View Post
It's an interesting read, but the conclusion?



Quote:
...the Israelis are honest, competent and reliable friends — good people to have on your side in a tight spot.




When was the US in a tight spot, and it was good to have the Israelis on our side? When?



Never. This is a myth, a widely repeated myth that crumbles the very minute any thought is given to it ... but people by and large give no thought to it.


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Old November 29th, 2012, 09:33 AM   #5
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<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="imaginethat" data-cid="439520" data-time="1353517546">

It's an interesting read, but the conclusion?

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;"><blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">




...<span style="color:#000000;">the Israelis are honest, competent and reliable friends — good people to have on your side in a tight spot.</blockquote>

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">When was the US in a tight spot, and it was good to have the Israelis on our side? When?

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Never. This is a myth, a widely repeated myth that crumbles the very minute any thought is given to it ... but people by and large give no thought to it.</blockquote>
You are free to reach whatever conclusion you like regarding the US - Israeli relationship since 1948.


I, on the other hand, tend to agree with the following analysis:

<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">

The US-Israeli special relationship has traditionally been defined in terms of a moral obligation, shared cultural and political values, and common interests.1 During the Cold War, in the context of the geopolitical struggle with the Soviet Union, Israel also came to be seen as a strategic asset. It served as a bulwark against Soviet influence, defeating Soviet allies in 1967, 1969–1970, 1973, and again in 1982, victories that were a blow to Soviet prestige and a vindication for U.S. arms. And it served as a counter to radical Arab nationalism—tipping off the moderate leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia regarding coup plots and assassinations and working with the United States to turn back a Syrian invasion of Jordan in 1970.2 U.S. military support for Israel and U.S.-Israel security cooperation contributed to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and, since 1982, have deterred the outbreak of a major interstate conflict involving Israel and its neighbors—while U.S. munitions and military equipment stockpiled in Israel have been available for use by the United States (and Israel) for various regional contingencies.3 Finally—and somewhat counterintuitively—the U.S.-Israel special relationship helped spur closer U.S.-Arab ties following the 1973 war, because many Arabs believed that only Washington could deliver the Israeli concessions that they required for peace.4


Since the end of the Cold War, however, the United States and Israel have often preferred not to publicly discuss the details of their security relationship, lest it draw unwanted attention and complicate U.S. efforts to work with Arab and Muslim allies, first to contain Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and later to defeat al-Qaeda. As a result, many of the benefits of U.S.-Israel security cooperation have gone unrecognized, making it easier for critics to portray Israel as a strategic liability.5 Although this view has not gained broad currency in the U.S. government, it has, in recent years, garnered support in some media, academic, and policy advocacy circles. Other critics see U.S.-Israel relations primarily, if not exclusively, through the prism of the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, ignoring or neglecting the many ways that the United States benefits from the relationship.


A decade after 9/11, al-Qaeda is a fragmented, weakened organization. And while the war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates is far from over, the United States faces a changed, more complex global security environment, defined not only by the hard security challenges posed by terrorism and conventional/hybrid military threats, but also by new and emerging soft security challenges.6


Israel possesses highly professional intelligence services and counterterrorism forces, and has pioneered many of the technologies and concepts that are transforming the face of modern warfare, including unmanned vehicles/robotics, rocket and missile defenses, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, passive and active defenses for armored vehicles, and cyberwarfare. It thus remains an important partner in efforts to deal with the hard security challenges of the future and in preserving the competitiveness of the U.S. defense-industrial base—through joint development efforts or the coproduction of cutting-edge Israeli systems. Just as important, Israel is well positioned to contribute to U.S. efforts to deal with emerging soft security challenges related to economic competitiveness, the information technology revolution, sustainability (i.e., water and food security, and the quest for energy alternatives), and public health, which will test U.S. resilience and require broad international cooperation if they are to be solved. And while this is not a relationship of equals—the United States clearly provides a great deal more to Israel than it receives—it is a relationship that benefits both countries and that has intrinsic value above and beyond moral commitments, democratic ideals, domestic politics, or the Arab-Israeli peace process.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/p...ce-with-israel
</blockquote>
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Old November 30th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #6
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<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="baloney_detector" data-cid="441112" data-time="1354214030">


*
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="imaginethat" data-cid="439520" data-time="1353517546">


It's an interesting read, but the conclusion?

*
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">





...<span style="color:#000000;">the Israelis are honest, competent and reliable friends — good people to have on your side in a tight spot.
</blockquote>

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">When was the US in a tight spot, and it was good to have the Israelis on our side? When?

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Never. This is a myth, a widely repeated myth that crumbles the very minute any thought is given to it ... but people by and large give no thought to it.</blockquote>
You are free to reach whatever conclusion you like regarding the US - Israeli relationship since 1948.


I, on the other hand, tend to agree with the following analysis:

<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">


The US-Israeli special relationship has traditionally been defined in terms of a moral obligation, shared cultural and political values, and common interests.1 During the Cold War, in the context of the geopolitical struggle with the Soviet Union, Israel also came to be seen as a strategic asset. It served as a bulwark against Soviet influence, defeating Soviet allies in 1967, 1969–1970, 1973, and again in 1982, victories that were a blow to Soviet prestige and a vindication for U.S. arms. And it served as a counter to radical Arab nationalism—tipping off the moderate leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia regarding coup plots and assassinations and working with the United States to turn back a Syrian invasion of Jordan in 1970.2 U.S. military support for Israel and U.S.-Israel security cooperation contributed to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and, since 1982, have deterred the outbreak of a major interstate conflict involving Israel and its neighbors—while U.S. munitions and military equipment stockpiled in Israel have been available for use by the United States (and Israel) for various regional contingencies.3 Finally—and somewhat counterintuitively—the U.S.-Israel special relationship helped spur closer U.S.-Arab ties following the 1973 war, because many Arabs believed that only Washington could deliver the Israeli concessions that they required for peace.4


Since the end of the Cold War, however, the United States and Israel have often preferred not to publicly discuss the details of their security relationship, lest it draw unwanted attention and complicate U.S. efforts to work with Arab and Muslim allies, first to contain Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and later to defeat al-Qaeda. As a result, many of the benefits of U.S.-Israel security cooperation have gone unrecognized, making it easier for critics to portray Israel as a strategic liability.5 Although this view has not gained broad currency in the U.S. government, it has, in recent years, garnered support in some media, academic, and policy advocacy circles. Other critics see U.S.-Israel relations primarily, if not exclusively, through the prism of the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, ignoring or neglecting the many ways that the United States benefits from the relationship.


A decade after 9/11, al-Qaeda is a fragmented, weakened organization. And while the war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates is far from over, the United States faces a changed, more complex global security environment, defined not only by the hard security challenges posed by terrorism and conventional/hybrid military threats, but also by new and emerging soft security challenges.6


Israel possesses highly professional intelligence services and counterterrorism forces, and has pioneered many of the technologies and concepts that are transforming the face of modern warfare, including unmanned vehicles/robotics, rocket and missile defenses, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, passive and active defenses for armored vehicles, and cyberwarfare. It thus remains an important partner in efforts to deal with the hard security challenges of the future and in preserving the competitiveness of the U.S. defense-industrial base—through joint development efforts or the coproduction of cutting-edge Israeli systems. Just as important, Israel is well positioned to contribute to U.S. efforts to deal with emerging soft security challenges related to economic competitiveness, the information technology revolution, sustainability (i.e., water and food security, and the quest for energy alternatives), and public health, which will test U.S. resilience and require broad international cooperation if they are to be solved. And while this is not a relationship of equals—the United States clearly provides a great deal more to Israel than it receives—it is a relationship that benefits both countries and that has intrinsic value above and beyond moral commitments, democratic ideals, domestic politics, or the Arab-Israeli peace process.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/p...ce-with-israel
</blockquote>


*
</blockquote>


*


I want somebody to explain when Israel was good people to have on our side in a tight spot.
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Old November 30th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="imaginethat" data-cid="441447" data-time="1354266305">

<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="baloney_detector" data-cid="441112" data-time="1354214030">


<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="imaginethat" data-cid="439520" data-time="1353517546">



It's an interesting read, but the conclusion?
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">





...<span style="color:#000000;">the Israelis are honest, competent and reliable friends — good people to have on your side in a tight spot.</blockquote>
<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">When was the US in a tight spot, and it was good to have the Israelis on our side? When?

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Never. This is a myth, a widely repeated myth that crumbles the very minute any thought is given to it ... but people by and large give no thought to it.</blockquote>You are free to reach whatever conclusion you like regarding the US - Israeli relationship since 1948.


I, on the other hand, tend to agree with the following analysis:

<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">

The US-Israeli special relationship has traditionally been defined in terms of a moral obligation, shared cultural and political values, and common interests.1 During the Cold War, in the context of the geopolitical struggle with the Soviet Union, Israel also came to be seen as a strategic asset. It served as a bulwark against Soviet influence, defeating Soviet allies in 1967, 1969–1970, 1973, and again in 1982, victories that were a blow to Soviet prestige and a vindication for U.S. arms. And it served as a counter to radical Arab nationalism—tipping off the moderate leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia regarding coup plots and assassinations and working with the United States to turn back a Syrian invasion of Jordan in 1970.2 U.S. military support for Israel and U.S.-Israel security cooperation contributed to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and, since 1982, have deterred the outbreak of a major interstate conflict involving Israel and its neighbors—while U.S. munitions and military equipment stockpiled in Israel have been available for use by the United States (and Israel) for various regional contingencies.3 Finally—and somewhat counterintuitively—the U.S.-Israel special relationship helped spur closer U.S.-Arab ties following the 1973 war, because many Arabs believed that only Washington could deliver the Israeli concessions that they required for peace.4


Since the end of the Cold War, however, the United States and Israel have often preferred not to publicly discuss the details of their security relationship, lest it draw unwanted attention and complicate U.S. efforts to work with Arab and Muslim allies, first to contain Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and later to defeat al-Qaeda. As a result, many of the benefits of U.S.-Israel security cooperation have gone unrecognized, making it easier for critics to portray Israel as a strategic liability.5 Although this view has not gained broad currency in the U.S. government, it has, in recent years, garnered support in some media, academic, and policy advocacy circles. Other critics see U.S.-Israel relations primarily, if not exclusively, through the prism of the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, ignoring or neglecting the many ways that the United States benefits from the relationship.


A decade after 9/11, al-Qaeda is a fragmented, weakened organization. And while the war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates is far from over, the United States faces a changed, more complex global security environment, defined not only by the hard security challenges posed by terrorism and conventional/hybrid military threats, but also by new and emerging soft security challenges.6


Israel possesses highly professional intelligence services and counterterrorism forces, and has pioneered many of the technologies and concepts that are transforming the face of modern warfare, including unmanned vehicles/robotics, rocket and missile defenses, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, passive and active defenses for armored vehicles, and cyberwarfare. It thus remains an important partner in efforts to deal with the hard security challenges of the future and in preserving the competitiveness of the U.S. defense-industrial base—through joint development efforts or the coproduction of cutting-edge Israeli systems. Just as important, Israel is well positioned to contribute to U.S. efforts to deal with emerging soft security challenges related to economic competitiveness, the information technology revolution, sustainability (i.e., water and food security, and the quest for energy alternatives), and public health, which will test U.S. resilience and require broad international cooperation if they are to be solved. And while this is not a relationship of equals—the United States clearly provides a great deal more to Israel than it receives—it is a relationship that benefits both countries and that has intrinsic value above and beyond moral commitments, democratic ideals, domestic politics, or the Arab-Israeli peace process.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/p...ce-with-israel</blockquote>
</blockquote>


I want somebody to explain when Israel was good people to have on our side in a tight spot.</blockquote>


So then, what sort of circumstance would you consider to be a "tight spot?"


And, I think you might need to entertain the possibility that what you personally think is a "tight spot" may not be the same as what Walter Russell Mead thinks is a "tight spot."
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Old December 1st, 2012, 08:00 AM   #8
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<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="baloney_detector" data-cid="441564" data-time="1354307028">


*
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="imaginethat" data-cid="441447" data-time="1354266305">


*
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="baloney_detector" data-cid="441112" data-time="1354214030">


*
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote" data-author="imaginethat" data-cid="439520" data-time="1353517546">




It's an interesting read, but the conclusion?
<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">






...<span style="color:#000000;">the Israelis are honest, competent and reliable friends — good people to have on your side in a tight spot.
</blockquote>
<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">When was the US in a tight spot, and it was good to have the Israelis on our side? When?

<span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;">Never. This is a myth, a widely repeated myth that crumbles the very minute any thought is given to it ... but people by and large give no thought to it.</blockquote>
You are free to reach whatever conclusion you like regarding the US - Israeli relationship since 1948.


I, on the other hand, tend to agree with the following analysis:

<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote">


The US-Israeli special relationship has traditionally been defined in terms of a moral obligation, shared cultural and political values, and common interests.1 During the Cold War, in the context of the geopolitical struggle with the Soviet Union, Israel also came to be seen as a strategic asset. It served as a bulwark against Soviet influence, defeating Soviet allies in 1967, 1969–1970, 1973, and again in 1982, victories that were a blow to Soviet prestige and a vindication for U.S. arms. And it served as a counter to radical Arab nationalism—tipping off the moderate leaders of Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia regarding coup plots and assassinations and working with the United States to turn back a Syrian invasion of Jordan in 1970.2 U.S. military support for Israel and U.S.-Israel security cooperation contributed to peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and, since 1982, have deterred the outbreak of a major interstate conflict involving Israel and its neighbors—while U.S. munitions and military equipment stockpiled in Israel have been available for use by the United States (and Israel) for various regional contingencies.3 Finally—and somewhat counterintuitively—the U.S.-Israel special relationship helped spur closer U.S.-Arab ties following the 1973 war, because many Arabs believed that only Washington could deliver the Israeli concessions that they required for peace.4


Since the end of the Cold War, however, the United States and Israel have often preferred not to publicly discuss the details of their security relationship, lest it draw unwanted attention and complicate U.S. efforts to work with Arab and Muslim allies, first to contain Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and later to defeat al-Qaeda. As a result, many of the benefits of U.S.-Israel security cooperation have gone unrecognized, making it easier for critics to portray Israel as a strategic liability.5 Although this view has not gained broad currency in the U.S. government, it has, in recent years, garnered support in some media, academic, and policy advocacy circles. Other critics see U.S.-Israel relations primarily, if not exclusively, through the prism of the Israeli- Palestinian peace process, ignoring or neglecting the many ways that the United States benefits from the relationship.


A decade after 9/11, al-Qaeda is a fragmented, weakened organization. And while the war on al-Qaeda and its affiliates is far from over, the United States faces a changed, more complex global security environment, defined not only by the hard security challenges posed by terrorism and conventional/hybrid military threats, but also by new and emerging soft security challenges.6


Israel possesses highly professional intelligence services and counterterrorism forces, and has pioneered many of the technologies and concepts that are transforming the face of modern warfare, including unmanned vehicles/robotics, rocket and missile defenses, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, passive and active defenses for armored vehicles, and cyberwarfare. It thus remains an important partner in efforts to deal with the hard security challenges of the future and in preserving the competitiveness of the U.S. defense-industrial base—through joint development efforts or the coproduction of cutting-edge Israeli systems. Just as important, Israel is well positioned to contribute to U.S. efforts to deal with emerging soft security challenges related to economic competitiveness, the information technology revolution, sustainability (i.e., water and food security, and the quest for energy alternatives), and public health, which will test U.S. resilience and require broad international cooperation if they are to be solved. And while this is not a relationship of equals—the United States clearly provides a great deal more to Israel than it receives—it is a relationship that benefits both countries and that has intrinsic value above and beyond moral commitments, democratic ideals, domestic politics, or the Arab-Israeli peace process.

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/p...ce-with-israel
</blockquote>
</blockquote>


I want somebody to explain when Israel was good people to have on our side in a tight spot.</blockquote>


So then, what sort of circumstance would you consider to be a "tight spot?"


And, I think you might need to entertain the possibility that what you personally think is a "tight spot" may not be the same as what Walter Russell Mead thinks is a "tight spot."


*
</blockquote>


*


Use <span style="color:#0000ff;">your definition of a tight spot, and tell me how it was good to have Israel on our side.
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