Tennesseans who long for peace rather than bloody, nation-bankrupting wars in the Middle East that seem to resolve nothing, may quite understandably ask why the U.S. government once gave money and weapons to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.
Perhaps Tennesseans should also ask why our government continues to give billions of dollars in financial aid and advanced weapons to the messianic morons running Israel.
Now hold on! Who the hell am I to call Israel’s leaders such terrible things? Well, I’m only passing on information provided by former directors of Israel’s famous (or infamous) intelligence services.
Yuval Diskin, the recently retired director of Shin Bet (Israel’s equivalent of the FBI) has been quoted by the Jerusalem Post and other major news services as saying he has “no faith” in the ability of Israel’s leaders to handle the Iranian nuclear threat. Diskin accused Israel’s leaders of “misleading the public.” He also seemed to question their sanity when he told a gathering in Kfar Saba, “I don’t believe in a leadership that makes decisions based on messianic feelings.” He went on to say that “I have observed them from up close” and “I fear very much that these are not the people I’d want at the wheel.”
Diskin is not the only intelligence service director to criticize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking Israeli politicians. In his first public interview since retiring as director of the Mossad (Israel’s equivalent of the CIA), Meir Dagan called the Netanyahu government’s plans to attack Iran “the stupidest thing I have ever heard.” Dagan seems to agree with Diskin that the real problem is Israel’s crackpot leadership. For example, in a recent 60 Minutes interview, Dagan told Lesley Stahl that “The regime in Iran is a very rational regime” while questioning Israel’s sanity. The spymaster’s appearance on 60 Minutes was apparently an attempt to reach American policymakers in the hope of preventing yet another unnecessary war.
Benny Gantz, the chief of staff of the Israeli military, has also said publicly that Iran’s leaders are rational.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert recently said that there is plenty of time to achieve a diplomatic solution with Iran and has warned that the war hawks’ rhetoric is “creating an atmosphere and a momentum that may go out of their control.”
If we put all this together, it seems rather obvious that a number of Israelis “in the know” are aware that Israel’s hawks have lost their marbles (if they ever had any to begin with). It even seems possible that Diskin and Dagan may have stepped down from their posts specifically to warn the world of the dangers the hawks pose to world peace.
President Obama has been trying to find diplomatic solutions to the problems posed by Iranian nukes. But Mitt Romney has pledged his unyielding (and seemingly unthinking) support for Israel.
According to an article in the New York Times, “Romney has suggested that he would not make any significant policy decisions about Israel without consulting Mr. Netanyahu — a level of deference that could raise eyebrows given Mr. Netanyahu’s polarizing reputation, even as it appeals to the neoconservatives and evangelical Christians who are fiercely protective of Israel. In a telling exchange during a debate in December, Mr. Romney criticized Mr. Gingrich for making a disparaging remark about Palestinians, declaring: ‘Before I made a statement of that nature, I’d get on the phone to my friend Bibi Netanyahu and say: “Would it help if I say this? What would you like me to do?” ’ ”
Martin S. Indyk, a United States ambassador to Israel in the Clinton administration, said that whether intentional or not, Mr. Romney’s statement implied that he would “subcontract Middle East policy to Israel.” Other observers have called this strange behavior “the Israeli tail wagging the U.S. dog.”
In any case, this is just one in a long list of reasons that I won’t be voting for Mitt Romney in the upcoming presidential elections. Giving money and weapons to messianic morons so that they can attack Iran on the same false premises used to attack Iraq seems likely to produce the same type of results we saw when a certain messianic moron with the initials G.W.B. did his thing.
Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.