This article is © 2009 by Stephen J. Sniegoski.
This page is © 2009 by WTM Enterprises.
All rights reserved.


Obama, nuclear-arms reduction,
and the power of the Israel Lobby


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As the United States berates Iran for its nuclear program — though there is no substantial proof that the latter country even intends to develop nuclear weapons — Washington intentionally overlooks Israel's existing nuclear arsenal so that the latter country will remain free from international inspection. Reporting in the Washington Times on October 2, Eli Lake points out that President Obama has apparently pledged to Israel that the United States will continue its head-in-the-sand approach toward Israel's nuclear arsenal despite Obama's pontificating about the need for a nuclear-free world, an aspiration for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

As Lake indicates, the United States and Israel made a secret agreement in 1969 protecting Israel from inspections, and Israel has now succeeded in having Obama reiterate it. Obama has, in fact, put the agreement on much firmer ground, since no formal record of the original pact actually exists.

Undoubtedly, such a secret agreement makes a mockery of Obama's idealistic talk of a nuclear-free world as well as his call for government transparency. It is reminiscent of the idealistic preaching of the Allies in the World War I period about a just peace based upon national self-determination and "open treaties openly arrived at," occurring at the same time they were making secret treaties that would enable the victors to carve up the spoils of war among themselves. When revealed, the Allies' hypocrisy caused popular disillusionment with the postwar peace settlement and helped pave the way for World War II.

Is Obama simply a hypocrite, and his anti-nuclear-arms preaching only empty rhetoric? The nations of the world can see the obvious double standard, making any real international agreement impossible. However, even if Obama were totally indifferent to improving the world, which I don't think is the case, he would derive personal benefits (e.g., international acclaim) if his nuclear-arms reductions proposals achieved some type of implementation — perhaps some newly created award transcending the Nobel Prize..

Why then does Obama, the head of the world's most powerful nation-state, and globally recognized as the worldıs foremost advocate of peace, allow the parochial interests of a small foreign nation, Israel, to stand in the way of his global agenda for the reduction of nuclear armaments?

As one Senate staffer told Times reporter Lake, "The president gave commitments that politically he had no choice but to give regarding Israel's nuclear program." Let's emphasize and then analyze those key words: "politically he had no choice." The staffer (and it should be noted that Senate staff make their living by understanding political reality) presented the lack of choice as an objective fact, not a subjective fear on Obama's part. It is not simply that Obama fears the power of Israel and the Israeli Lobby; rather, according to the Senate staffer, if Obama went against the interests of Israel on the nuclear issue, the Israel Lobby would wreck his presidency and prevent his re-election. That would explain why Obama did not even dare to try to get the Israeli government to compromise at all on its position of ambiguity regarding nuclear weapons, which might lead it, for example, to declare itself a member of the nuclear club and allow inspections.

While the idea of a powerful Israel Lobby is vociferously denied by the mainstream and is often excoriated as an expression of anti-Semitism, the power of the Israel Lobby over the president of the United States in this case underscores the very immensity of its political influence.

Of course, the Israel Lobby is so powerful that every mainstream player who wishes to remain in that august position must never publicize its real power.

That is not to say that the power of the Lobby is unlimited. Israel and its Lobby have not yet demonstrated the power to directly force the United States into a war on Iran. And the war on Iraq required skillful propaganda manipulation by the neoconservatives who were strategically ensconced within the Bush administration.

Israel and its Lobby's inability so far to pressure the United States to attack Iran has resulted largely from resistance by the old foreign-policy establishment and the military, aided by a general realization of the likely catastrophic consequences of such military action. However, Israel and its Lobby have been able to get Washington to pursue policies that bring the United States close to war, and without that pressure the relations between the United States and Iran would be far more tranquil. (See the CFR-sponsored report "Iran: Time for a New Approach," 2004, discussed on page 259 of my book, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel)

Unless American politicians, and especially the president, show greater resistance to the Israel Lobby, it is quite likely that the United States will eventually drift into war with Iran. But effective resistance to the Israel Lobby would require politicians to take positions that could lead to their political destruction. And that, perhaps, is not possible.

October 19, 2009

© 2009 by Stephen J. Sniegoski.
This page © 2009 by WTM Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Further reading: Dr. Sniegoski's "Afghanistan: Back door to war on Iran," TLD, September 15, 2009.

For the background of the neoconservatives' effort to push the United States into war on Iran, see Dr. Sniegoski's book The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (Amazon.com link).

The Website for Dr. Sniegoski's book is at home.comcast.net/~transparentcabal/.

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