Who really pulls the strings?
We hope John Mersheimer and Stephen Walt are paying attention to the WikiLeaks story.
The two professors, you may recall, wrote a book in 2007, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” in which they contended that the Israel Lobby (a politically correct way to say the Jews) really pulls the strings on American foreign policy in the Middle East — to favor Israel, whether that’s in the best interest of the United States or not.
Well, the Mersheimer-Walt theory took a shot to the bow with the publication this week of the first of some 200,000 plus State Department cables providing startling revelations of foreign leaders and dangerous situations around the world.
Perhaps the most startling of those revelations was that Arab leaders are just as concerned, if not moreso, of the growing nuclear weapons threat Iran poses. In one 2008 cable, the Saudi ambassador to the United States reminds U.S. Gen. David Petraeus of the many times Saudi King Abdullah urged the United States to attack and “cut off the head of the snake.”
So to all those people who say the Israel Lobby is trying to get America to fight Israel’s wars, we say this: Your 15 minutes of fame are up.
It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that the Arab states are getting nervous about Iran. The dispute between Sunni Muslims (mostly Arab) and Shiite Muslims (largely Iranian) goes back more than 1,000 years — an older quarrel than the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Talk about bad blood.
And since Iran is said to have missiles that can reach targets as far away as Germany — including American military bases — then it’s easy to see how the United States, which depends on oil from the region and has boots on the ground there, has serious national interests of its own to protect.
The cables also reveal that a year ago, “top Israeli defense officials in a meeting with their U.S. counterparts, set 2010 as the absolute deadline to squeeze Iran on its nuclear program” JTA reported. “Now Israeli officials say the date is 2012.”
Well, if the Israel Lobby is so all-powerful, one wonders why it couldn’t get U.S. officials to act sooner, instead of putting off for two years a solution to the greatest threat to Israeli security.
None of the cables released — so far anyway — cast any serious embarrassment on Israel, but they have provided conclusive proof that Arab leaders say very different things in private than they do in public.
That should be kept in mind before pundits conclude that it’s the Jews who call the U.S. shots on the Middle East.