April 23, 2002

Hegemony and Israel

Better Be Careful What You Wish For Dept.: Apparently, it never occurred to the neocons that if they persuaded the U.S. to smite their foes in the Middle East, such as Iraq and Iran, then America's special relationship with Israel would have to be cranked down, as Dick Cheney's recent trip to the Mid East to find bases for an Iraq invasion and the accompanying tilt away from Israel showed. (See this Weekly Standard editorial for a classic example of Don't-Get-Itness.) Back in September I wrote:

The neo-conservatives need to wake up to realize that if America really takes up the Imperial Burden in the Middle East like the Wolfowitz Wing is demanding, then America's special relationship with Israel is history. Support for Israel is purely a matter of domestic idealism. The American institution that thinks in the broad picture - the State Department - has always found Israel to be a nuisance.

The more the U.S. becomes responsible for running the whole Mid East, the more of an inconvenience Israel becomes. Republics can indulge warm and idealistic commitments precisely because their foreign entanglements are limited in number; empires must be cold and calculating because their burdens are so manifold.

No comments: