According to Micheal Scheuer, America needs to end its role as Israel’s permanent bodyguard.
Scheuer is a 20-year CIA veteran–as well as an author, historian, foreign policy critic and political analyst.
Testifying before the House Committee on Homeland Security on October 9, 2013, Scheuer warned:
“If it was up to me, I’d dump the Israelis tomorrow. All I worry about is that continuing preaching of American politicians to the American people that our relationship with the Israelis doesn’t cause us to have dead Americans and extraordinary expenses in fighting the Muslim world.”
For decades, the United States has pursued two policies in the Middle East, one based on relations with the Arab world and the other based on relations with Israel.
Policy 1: Maintaining access to vast amounts of Arab oil at low prices.
Policy 2: Maintaining the security of Israel.
Since the Arabs and Israelis hate each other, each side constantly tries to sway American support in its direction.
Every step the United States takes to defend Israel–diplomatically or militarily–ignites hatred of Americans among Islamics.
And every step–diplomatically or militarily–the United States takes to improve its relations with Islamic countries convinces Israelis that they’re being “sold out.”
President George W. Bush tilted strongly toward Israel. That convinced Israelis to go on building settlements in occupied Arab territory–and alienated the Arabs.
President Barack Obama, seeking a balanced approach, leaned heavily on Israel to stop building settlements. Israel has continued doing so–thus alienating the Israelis while leaving the Arabs enraged.
In short: The United States is like a giant who has one foot stuck in Israel and the other stuck in any Islamic country–leaving his private parts fully exposed to whichever side wants to take a shot at them.
This is not to deny that Israel has a right to exist. Every nation--including Israel–has the absolute right to defend itself from aggression.
But no nation–including Israel–should have the right to expect another nation to act as its permanent bodyguard.
Millions of Americans believe they are morally obligated to defend Israel owing to the barbarism of the Holocaust. America, however, was never a party to this, and has nothing to atone for.
But there is another reason many Americans feel committed to Israel. And it has nothing to do with concern for the fates of Israelis.
It lies in the mythology of the Christian Right: Many fundamentalist Christians believe that, for Jesus Christ to awaken from his 2,000-year slumber, Israel must first re-conquer every inch of territory it supposedly held during the reign of Kings David and Solomon.
Right-wing Christian fantasy: Dead man hovering
After Christ returns, they believe, the Jews will face a choice: Become Christians or go to hell. For evangelical Christians, Jews remain the eternal “Christ killers.”
And if Jews must assume temporary control of the Middle East to bring about the return of a man who died 2,000 years ago, so be it.
This is also the view of many Right-wing members of the House of Representatives and Senate. Clearly, people who hold such totally irrational views shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office.
Unfortunately, such unbalanced views are shared by millions of equally irrational evangelical Christians.
During his appearance before the House Committee on Homeland Security, Michael Scheuer absolutely rejected the conservatives’ assertion that jihadists wage war on us because they “hate us for our freedoms.”
SCHEUER: These people are fighting for something substantive, for something religious. ….They are not going to fight us because we have women in the workplace.
That is an insanity. What they are fighting us about is what we do.
…I would draw your attention to the reality that, to the best of my knowledge, neither we nor any of our NATO partners have yet to capture a Western Islamist fighter whose words or documents have shown a motivation to attack based on hatred for liberty, elections or gender equality.
Invariably, they attribute their motivation to U.S. and Western military intervention and support for Israel and Muslim tyrannies.
Scheuer’s take on Israel brought him into direct conflict with Rep. Peter T. King (R-New York).
Congressman Peter T. King
KING: I would just say we would have more dead Americans if we didn’t stand by our allies in the Middle East. We would just be encourage al-Qaeda to take advantage of us.
SCHEUER: You know, you are presiding over a bankruptcy. What can be worse? What has been the goal of al-Qaeda since it was formed? To bankrupt the United States.
Who is winning today, sir? We are done like dinner.
KING: We are winning and we will continue to win unless we take the advice of people like you.
SCHEUER: Sir, you are exactly wrong. We are losing. Two U.S. field armies were defeated by men in the field with weapons from the Korean War.
KING: The fact is we have not been successfully attacked since September 11.
SCHEUER: The fact is, sir, we have had two military defeats overseas, which is far more important.
And, warns Scheuer, more defeats–domestic and international–lie ahead unless the United States radically changes its policies toward the Middle East.