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Japan's Embrace of a Phony War on Terror

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It was not a threat to be taken lightly, as Saban, the billionaire Israeli-American media mogul, had been the largest overall contributor to the Democratic National Committee during the 2001-2002 cycle, when, according to Matthew Yglesias, “the party leadership was backing the Iraq War.”

In case there are some outraged Democrats who might protest that Saban’s support for the party was probably not just about Iraq, that he more than likely also approved of the Democrats’ liberal domestic policies, Saban’s own words should disabuse them of that notion. On September 5, 2004 he told the New York Times, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.”

Considering that this self-confessed monomaniac used to spend hours on the phone with Ariel Sharon, the so-called “man of peace” who in a saner world would have been hauled to the Hague for war crimes, Saban’s influence over the Democrats should be cause for concern, to say the least.

Now that the Iraqi “threat” to Israel has been effectively neutralized by the American invasion and seemingly endless occupation (America’s West Bank?), Saban’s current paramount concern appears to be the “existential danger” that Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons now pose to Israel, a state which already has hundreds of nuclear weapons — the only one in the Middle East which does. Yet Israel is also the only one which is not under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the only one which has not acceded to the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Despite these facts, Saban’s recent acquisition of Univision, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the US, as part of a wider AIPAC outreach strategy to the growing Hispanic community, is probably intended to convince its 3.7 million viewers of the urgent need to spill more American blood, much of it Hispanic, in curbing the Iranian “threat.”

Lest anyone dismiss Haim Saban as an isolated ideologue attempting to use his wealth — he’s the 102nd richest person in America — to remake US foreign policy in the image of the Likud party, consider that close to 60 percent of Democratic Party funding (compared to 35 percent for the Republican Party) comes from mainly hardline pro-Israeli Jews, unrepresentative of American Jews in general, who tend to be antiwar unless Israel is directly involved.


Rosen, another PNAC signatory, even had the chutzpah to lead the witch-hunt that prevented Charles Freeman from becoming chairman of the National Intelligence Council, practically smearing the respected diplomat as an “anti-Semite” for his failure to confuse American interests with Israel’s. In that key position, Freeman would have been responsible for supplying the President with sound intelligence about genuine threats facing America, as opposed to the fake intelligence that led to the Iraq war, some of which made its way to the White House from Ariel Sharon’s office via Douglas Feith’s Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon, as recounted in Julian Borger’s 2003 Guardian article, “The Spies Who Pushed For War.”

You’d think Rosen would have kept a lower profile at least until his own trial was over, which was ultimately quashed in early May, apparently due to White House pressure. But perhaps he was confident in the knowledge that in Washington Israel’s security is “sacrosanct,” as Obama assured his AIPAC sponsors, whereas America’s security seems to be for sale to the highest bidder, at least as long as most Americans are kept in the dark about the costs of their “special relationship” with Israel.

Dying for a lie

While US taxpayers had subsidised Israel to the tune of at least $108 billion up to 2006 (currently $3 billion a year) the Japanese too have paid dearly for their subordination to a US Empire prone to fight Israel’s wars.

“The seriously ill Japanese economy takes every possible step to prop up the equally ailing US economy, pouring Japanese savings into the black hole of American illiquidity in order to subsidize the US global empire, fund its debt, and finance its over-consumption,” writes McCormack. “Japan has become the sine qua non of Washington’s global, superpower strategy and status.”

Japan’s commitment to the War on Terror has brought added costs. One estimate puts the cost of Japan’s post-9/11 “rear support” at $90 billion. Tokyo promised another $5 billion for rebuilding an Iraq that had been destroyed by lies.

But Japan’s treasure is no longer sufficient to satisfy Washington’s demands of its “client state.”

Richard Armitage, yet another PNAC signatory, once told an Australian audience that an “alliance” meant that “Australian sons and daughters…would be willing to die to help defend the United States. That’s what an alliance means.” As long as the Israel lobby maintains its stranglehold over US foreign policy, that also means being willing to die to defend Israel against its neighbours, who increasingly see its drive for regional hegemony as a real threat to their existence. And as long as Japan remains in the American embrace, it won’t be long before Japanese parents will be expected to make a similar sacrifice.

Now if only there were a powerful Japan lobby in Washington — let’s call it AJPAC — things might be a lot different.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is a freelance writer living in Japan who writes a monthly political column for Kansai Time Out magazine, in which this article was originally published. He also contributes a monthly column to the Irish language internet magazine Beo!

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Maidhc O'Cathail is a widely published writer based in Japan.

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I haven't read it, but it sounds like it would be ... by Oh on Wednesday, Jun 3, 2009 at 8:08:33 PM
....no wonder the Democrats won't grow a spine... by Bia Winter on Thursday, Jun 4, 2009 at 8:23:34 AM