Treason Is Inevitable

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An editorial by Tony Judt in the New York Times weighs in on the controversial Mearsheimer-Walt essay on The Israel Lobby:

The damage that is done by America’s fear of anti-Semitism when discussing Israel is threefold. It is bad for Jews: anti-Semitism is real enough… but for just that reason it should not be confused with political criticisms of Israel or its American supporters. It is bad for Israel: by guaranteeing it unconditional support, Americans encourage Israel to act heedless of consequences…

BUT above all, self-censorship is bad for the United States itself.

I am cheered to see such an important taboo subject being discussed rationally in the epicenter of the mainstream media. And yet, in the end, Judt is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. He concludes with this:

…it will not be self-evident to future generations of Americans why the imperial might and international reputation of the United States are so closely aligned with one small, controversial Mediterranean client state. It is already not at all self-evident to Europeans, Latin Americans, Africans or Asians. Why, they ask, has America chosen to lose touch with the rest of the international community on this issue? Americans may not like the implications of this question. But it is pressing. It bears directly on our international standing and influence; and it has nothing to do with anti-Semitism.

What he is implicitly saying here is that the U.S. can have its “international standing and influence” (Empire) and not have the undue influence of organizations like AIPAC and treasonous behavior like that of Richard Perle and Douglas Feith. He is wrong.

This is really simple. When the government is involved with regulating domestic industry, handing out subsidies and granting special favors then it is inevitable that there will be corporate lobbying. There is no way that political decisions that can cost (or benefit) a company millions and billions of dollars are going to be uninfluenced by those companies. You can pass campaign financing laws every day and it won’t ultimately make a difference.

In precisely the same way, there is no way that countries who could be bombed or subsidized or defended by the U.S. Empire are going to be prevented from influencing who the Emperor decides to curse or bless. You can close all the embassies, shut down all the AIPACs, China lobby outfits, etc. and it won’t make a difference.

If you are going to be in the Empire business then treason is inevitable.

3:06 pm on April 19, 2006