The Last Days of Uncle Sam

Wednesday, August 5, 2009 10:46 PM

I've been away at a croquet tournament for the past 10 days and hence have been out of touch with the passing folly of human events here in Ex America. I did manage to buy a New York Times from time to time and cut out a few items which caught my eye. One of these was a full page ad by the American Anti-Defamation League, dated August 4th, 2009. Somewhere along the line the ADL has expanded its 24/7 mission beyond defending American Jews against garden variety "anti-semitism". It has entered the august arena of foreign affairs, and has become a brazen, proactive flack for Zionism and Israel. 

Somehow it forgot to register as an agent of a foreign power, but that is par for the course. If the American Israel Public Affairs Committee got away with it for decades, why not the ADL, right? We are one big happy family anyway, all "friends of Israel", having a conversation over "how best to advance U.S. and Israeli interests". That's how Jeremy Ben-Ami sees it. He's the founder of something called J Street, what Haaretz terms a "left-wing Israel advocacy group" trying to engage the "right wing" yahoos over at AIPAC and the ADL. This is how U.S. foreign policy is formulated, and is one reason the Arab street and palaces are seething.

At the moment, the conversation centers upon the tempest-in-a-teapot controversy regarding Israeli settlements on Palestinian land occupied since 1967. This démarche was Obama's attempt to "hit the ground running" in the Middle East by negotiating an end to the "Arab/Israeli conflict". What the démarche amounts to, really, is little more than a suggestion by Obama and his "left-wing" handlers (Rahm Israel Emanuel, White House chief of staff, and Dave Axelrod, Obama's crackerjack political strategist) that Tel Aviv halt all expansion of illegal Jewish settlements on the West Bank. Egad! In response, Rahm and Ax have been blasted for being "self-hating Jews" by Israel's obnoxious Prime Minister, Bibi Netanyahu. Can you believe it? Rahm and Ax are not following orders, or at least they have wandered off the reservation without permission. Omigod! In the interim, Obama has hit the wall. He's imploding.

Evidently, Tel Aviv pines for days gone bye when Neocon apparatchiki Elliott Abrams, Scooter Libby and David Wurmser were in charge of the Middle East dossier at the White House. Nothing like in-house agents, on the spot, coordinating a single policy dictated by Likud and the Israel Lobby. What irks Bibi, the ADL and AIPAC is to discover any sign, however small, that the White House might actually formulate some kind of policy on its own, which policy might deviate, in any way, from whatever Tel Aviv has in mind at any given point in time.

For starters, it creates a bad precedent, to wit, the heretofore back-seat passenger (America) is telling the deranged front-seat driver (Israel) how to drive. Secondly, Tel Aviv and its American "right-wing" cheerleaders consider any stepping back from the Greater Israel agenda to be effrontery as well as an insult, and a clear indication that "self-hating" Jews like Raum and Ax are trying to elbow their way into the picture. Quelle horreur! 

The NY Times ADL full-page ad is part of the push-back to these alarming, unwanted developments. The ad is Orwellian flapdoodle and surprisingly succinct. In case you are wondering what all this has to do with the last days of Uncle Sam, I may be forced to expand the present missive into a full-blown article on my website and explain. In the meantime, I want to collect my thoughts on Jean-Luc Godard and write "Breathless, 50 Years On".  Breathless was filmed in Paris in the summer of 1959.