From Unz Review
A new Declaration of Independence for 2018
Now that 2017 has ended with a whimper it is possible to look forward to what the new year might bring. Nuclear armed North Korea is the potential flash point for a new war, but unless leader Kim Jong-un is actually intent on personal and national suicide, it is unlikely that Pyongyang will take the steps necessary to escalate and trigger such an event.
Far more dangerous is the Trump White House, which seems to confuse acting tough with acting smart. Every time Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mentions negotiating he is contradicted by Nikki Haley or the president saying that diplomacy has played out, but the reality is that the incineration of the Korean peninsula and the deaths of hundreds of thousands or even millions, which such a war would inevitably produce, might just be a bridge too far even for the generals and assorted psychopaths that appear to be running the show. Which means that at a certain point the diplomats, perhaps in an arrangement brokered by Russia or China, will have to take over. Let us hope so anyway.
And the United States has also shot itself in the foot regarding Russia, an adversary with which Donald Trump once upon a time wanted to improve relations. But that was all before a politically driven Russiagate happened, turning Moscow into the enemy of choice once again, as it once was during the Cold War. In any event, dealmaker Trump did not appreciate that you can't improve relations when you threaten a vital interest of those you are wanting to improve relations with. The United States and its allies persist in running military exercises right on Russia's borders under the false assumption that President Vladimir Putin heads an expansionist power.
The recent decision to sell offensive weapons to Ukraine is a move that serves no American interest whatsoever while at the same time threatening Moscow's vital interests since Ukraine sits right on its doorstep. It is a bad move that guarantees that relations with Russia will continue to be in the deep freeze for the foreseeable future.
Note that all the major problems that America is experiencing versus the rest of the world are pretty much self-inflicted. In my view, looking beyond Russia and North Korea, America's principal foreign policy problems continue to be centered on the Middle East and all originate in the deliberate instability generated by Israel, currently joined in an unholy alliance by its former enemy Saudi Arabia. The Tel Aviv (excuse me, Jerusalem) to Riyadh axis is current working hard to bring a new war to the Middle East as part of their plan to have the United States military destroy Iran as a major regional power.
One might reasonably observe that the United States has no vital interest in what either Israel or Saudi Arabia does, but it does have some minor interests in the region, which include not allowing the area to become a breeding ground for transnational terrorist groups and safeguarding the movement of energy products so there will be no surge in prices that would hurt the energy dependent U.S. economy. That's about it, and the interests neither include nor justify starting World War III.
The problem with Israel is that it and its powerful billion-dollar domestic lobby have their hooks so deeply embedded in the American political system as well as in the national media that the Jewish state is virtually bullet-proof. Most recently, we have learned that Facebook has been deleting critical accounts at the request of the Israeli government. Meanwhile, that same government has been working hard to make any consideration of Palestine or the Palestinians disappear, recently successfully demanding that the National Basketball Association remove a website reference to Palestine, which Israel's sports minister described as an "imaginary state." NBA Commissioner Adam Silver apparently agreed. Even recent blockbuster revelations that Israel rather than Russia had been corrupting Team Trump produced a few Israelgate stories before disappearing completely down the memory hole.
Israel has consistently been able to make whoever is in the White House dance to its tune without suffering any serious consequences. With Donald Trump, one might even argue that it has been able to so condition the president that he goes around looking for things to do to please Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel has not even yet asked for. Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is one such gift, something that pleases Israel so much that it is going to name a train station after the president, but which gives nothing but grief to the United States and to American citizens and businesses abroad.
Of course, one might argue that Trump had help in coming to his decision. He is surrounded by Orthodox Jews as well as Christian Zionists like Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, all of whom appear to put Israel first -- not exactly a good formula for "Making America Great Again." The Jewish advisers also have financial and business ties to Israel, suggesting that Robert Mueller might look towards the Middle East if he actually wants to find foreign government interference in U.S. politics.
To cite only one recent example of how the constant pressure to please Israel and minimize its transgressions works in practice, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman apparently got into a pissing match with the State Department over its policy to refer to the Palestinian land that Israel has illegally stolen and settled as "occupied." Friedman, a passionate supporter of the fanatical settlers who have done much of the occupying, would prefer a different adjective, possibly "improved" or "returned-to-original-owners."
And Friedman might well be regarded as little more than a Zionist crank by comparison with Michael Makovsky, who heads the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Makovsky is much exercised over Iran's alleged ambitions and wants to counter them by redrawing most of the borders in the Middle East. He intones "Maintaining Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen in their existing forms is unnatural and serves Iran's interests."
Makovsky would like to break all those countries up into their component tribal, ethnic and religious parts, starting with separating the Kurdish region from Iraq and breaking Syria into three separate states. He does not mention that he is not original in this thinking as it reflects the Israeli Yinon Plan of the 1980s and the American neocon "Clean Break" proposal that was written by geniuses like Richard Perle, Doug Feith and David Wurmser and presented to Netanyahu in 1996.
Makovsky also does not mention that if there is a country in the Middle East that has artificial borders and strong sectarian divisions in the area that it rules over it is Israel, but, of course use of the word "border" would be somewhat inaccurate as an expansionist Israel has no declared borders at all.
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