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.
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.”
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.”
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!