Condoleeza Rice Names The System

Back in 1965, the original Students for a Democratic Society sponsored a march in Washington DC against the US war in Vietnam. It was the largest march against the war to that point, with around 25,000 people attending. The protest is not famous for its numbers as much as it is famous for one of the speeches given there. The speaker was SDS president Paul Potter and, if a speech can be summed up with one quote, the speech Potter gave that day can be summed up with this excerpt:

What kind of system is it that justifies the United States or any country seizing the destinies of the Vietnamese people and using them callously for its own purpose? What kind of system is it that disenfranchises people in the South, leaves millions upon millions of people throughout the country impoverished and excluded from the mainstream and promise of American society, that creates faceless and terrible bureaucracies and makes those the place where people spend their lives and do their work, that consistently puts material values before human values and still persists in calling itself free and still persists in finding itself fit to police the world? What place is there for ordinary men in that system and how are they to control it, make it bend itself to their wills rather than bending them to its?

We must name that system. We must name it, describe it, analyze it, understand it and change it. For it is only when that system is changed and brought under control that there can be any hope for stopping the forces that create a war in Vietnam today or a murder in the South tomorrow or all the incalculable, innumerable more subtle atrocities that are worked on people all over — all the time.

As the antiwar movement grew in numbers and deepened its analysis, more and more of its members did name that system and the name they gave it was imperialism. According to the American Heritage dictionary, imperialism is “the policy of extending a nation’s authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.” Naturally, the nature of modern imperialism is closer to the second half of the proffered definition than it is to the first. However, the former was a necessary historical development for the latter to occur. Since the invasion of Afghanistan by Washington in October 2001, the use of the word imperialism has experienced a renaissance as the media and others attempt to define the nature of US foreign policy in the post-911 era. This use has risen in all quarters, not just among critics of that foreign policy. Indeed, folks like Thomas Friedman proudly trumpet the fact of US imperialism in their writings as if they have been newly freed to call a spade a spade.

However, there is one fallacy in the current usage. That fallacy is that the term is quite often only used in relation to the neocon Project for A New American Century, as if it is only the neocons who support an imperialist foreign policy in Washington. Until now, only those on the far left and far right are willing to call all those politicians, generals, corporate chiefs and mediots that support the political system in DC imperialist. .

Now, however, it is time to add Condoleeza Rice to that list. In a speech given to the Economic Club in New York on June 6, 2007, Rice did everything but utter the word as she summoned forth the ghosts of Rough Rider Teddy Roosevelt and Cold War architect Dean Acheson and stated that the Bush foreign policy is not a break with previous administrations, but a continuation of what she called “100 years of American realism.” Or, as she put it, “We believe that our principles are the greatest source of our power, and we are led into the world as much by our moral ideas as by our material interests.” Of course, when Washington can convince the US public that those material interests (Washington’s true principles) and moral interests coincide, then that “American realism” works best. Looking back, if one examines the actions of Teddy Roosevelt, they will recall that he was an aggressive supporter of the US colonization of the Philippines under the guise of liberating them. This was merely a continuation of his determined campaign to go to war with Spain in the Caribbean when he served as the Secretary of the Navy under President McKinley. In fact, Teddy once stated, “I should welcome almost any war, for I think this country needs one.” While president, Roosevelt served the needs of US international trade by garnering US control of the Panama Canal.

As for Dean Acheson, he understood that the only way for the United States to maintain and expand the power it assumed during and immediately after World War Two was by finding a new enemy. Like many others in Washington and London, he understood that the communist movement in all of its forms was the greatest challenge to the desires of US capitalism. Consequently, he named Stalinist Moscow as the number one enemy and the numerous struggles for independence from colonialism then occurring as close seconds. What this meant was that these national liberation movements were denied US support even if they were not communist. Consequently, many of these movements turned towards Moscow for assistance, a phenomenon that often gave the Moscow allied elements in the movements a greater hand than other elements. As Tom Hayden points out in his upcoming book How To End the War in Iraq, this tendency to blame all national liberation struggles on Moscow and (later) Beijing is but one of the reasons the Iraq war architects and supporters failed to predict the Iraqi and Afghani insurgencies.

One name Ms. Rice failed to mention was Henry Kissinger’s. That man truly understands the reality of US imperialism and has called it realist politics ever since the first day he started serving in Richard Nixon’s White House (if not before). More important than Henry the K., however, is the fact that Dr. Rice places the Democrats’ opposition to the Bush strategy squarely in its place. Her speech made it clear that there are not two foreign policies at work in the upper echelons of the Washington-Pentagon-Wall Street axis, only a few differences in the methods used to achieve the goals of a single policy. That policy is the policy that best serves the corporate capitalist need to expand and dominate. Or, as the American Heritage dictionary puts it: “a policy of extending a nation’s authority… by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.”

Paul Potter’s speech forty some years ago made it clear that there was a system in place that drove the US war machine and its diplomatic auxiliary. Since the invasion of Afghanistan, that system has been called by its real name by the shameless ones that currently run the country. Condoleeza Rice’s attempt to include the aggressive strategy of the neocons in the tradition of what she terms American realism may be scorned by the liberal opposition, but their scorn is misdirected. Ms. Rice could not be more correct. Her tracing of a historical line from the imperial ravings of Teddy Roosevelt to the policy papers of the Bush administration (with a nod to Dean Acheson and Harry Truman) is closer to the truth than any speech by any of the current leaders in the Democratic race for the 2008 election. If she had only included Woodrow Wilson, Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton, that line would have been nearly complete.

Ron Jacobs is the author of The Way The Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground and Tripping Through the American Night, and the novels Short Order Frame Up and The Co-Conspirator's Tale. His third novel All the Sinners, Saints is a companion to the previous two and was published early in 2013. Read other articles by Ron.

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  1. Gary Corseri said on June 12th, 2007 at 8:47am #

    Ron Jacobs underscores the essential concept of naming things properly. We have understood this metaphorically throughout the ages, but not so well politically. Metaphorically, the first great power God grants Adam is the right to name the animals. Ulysses, in his confrontation with the Cyclops, describes himself as “No-man.” When the Cyclops calls out for help, he says to his father Neptune, “No-man is hurting me.” Neptune is befuddled, and Ulysses escapes. In the East, Confucius, asked to provide one great idea to encourage political, social and domestic tranquility replies, “We must rectify the names.”

    It is preposterous for Rice to describe American imperialism over the past 100 years as “realism.” Whose realism? we must ask. I would go back even further than Jacobs and describe the entire history of Western man upon the continent of “Turtle Island” as an arc of imperialism, conquest, slavery, slaughter and exploitation that may not yet have reached its apogee. Jacobs serves truth-seekers well in reminding us to constantly look behind the euphonious words like “freedom” and “democracy,” to consider the vile ‘realities” they mask.

  2. atheo said on June 13th, 2007 at 8:06am #

    This whole article is premised on bogus propaganda. The US policy in Iraq etc… is not based on “realism” or US “material interests”. We are now paying more than 300% more for oil due to these wars for Israel. We live in a radically less secure world which is much more hostile to US multi-national corporate penetration. In fact, our present state of affairs, for which Rice shares responsability, represents an abandonment of “realism”.

  3. Ron Jacobs said on June 13th, 2007 at 1:20pm #

    The the point of the article–that it isn’t realism–it’s imperialism.

  4. atheo said on June 13th, 2007 at 5:53pm #

    The point of my comment is that US policy is not serving imperial interests, in fact they have been and are continuing to be harmed. Zionist ends are the only goal being served.

  5. ron jacobs said on June 13th, 2007 at 6:09pm #

    I can’t agree. While US and Israeli interests are often intertwined, the fact remains that the US has been an imperialist nation much longer than Isreal has been around. Furthermore, Israel ultimately depends on the US for its existence–not the other way around. If it weren’t for the money Washington provides, Israel would not exist.

  6. atheo said on June 13th, 2007 at 8:12pm #

    US hegemonic power has been in decline for almost four decades now since the failure in Vietnam and the subsequent removal of gold backing the dollar. You open your article in that era and your analysis seems better applied to that era.
    During the 91′ Gulf war the US acted as a mercenary force for a coalition of foreign interests. In it’s present use as an occupation force the US military serves globally based zionist interests, not simply Israeli interests. The Israel lobby does not reflect Israeli based economic, military, or political power. I do not suggest any intertwined interests between Israel and the US, I do suggest a relationship of dominance and subservience as reflected by US submission to the Israeli aggressions in Palestine and Lebanon which are contrary to US imperial interests.
    Rather than base your analysis on national power (military, financial, or corporate) alone, factor in forces that are not strictly national. For example, in a global economy with mobile capital, financial and economic power is easily drained from a declining imperial entity. Giovanni Arrighi has written about historical examples of this occurring where Genoese capital used the larger land and population base of Spain to project it’s influence on the world in the 16th century. Other examples are given in his book The Long Twentieth Century.

  7. sk said on June 13th, 2007 at 11:04pm #

    FYI, an interesting rejoinder to Arrighi’s thesis outlined in this essay.

    Economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote the following about Roman imperialism in 1919:

    “…That policy which pretends to aspire to peace but unerringly generates war, the policy of continual preparation for war, the policy of meddlesome interventionism. There was no corner of the known world where some interest was not alleged to be in danger or under attack. If the interests were not Roman, they were those of Rome’s allies; and if Rome had no allies, then allies would be invented. When it was utterly impossible to contrive such an interest–why, then it was the national honor that had been insulted. The fight was always invested with an aura of legality. Rome was always being attacked by evil-minded neighbors, always fighting for a breathing space. The whole world was pervaded by a host of enemies, and it was manifestly Rome’s duty to guard against their indubitably aggressive designs.”

  8. ron jacobs said on June 14th, 2007 at 4:35am #

    Like most others who see Israeli hopes for a greater Israel as the be all and all cause of every US move in the MIddle East, this commentator leaves out the role of oil. Washington is interested in one thing in the Middle East–control of its energy resources. Israel firs into this plan quite nicely sometimes and not so nicely at other times. The so-called hegemonic decline of the US is partially true, yet does not lead to a situation where the US follows Tel Aviv’s lead.

    The so-called mobil capital is still primarily US-based. It only moves to where it can make the most money for US-based interests. The role of nation states has not diminished in the so-called new world. Indeed, the increasing number of new nation states in the past decades has made it easier for the lUS to manipulate those nations for its own purposes. Of course, these attempts do not always succeed, but the fact remains that the US is on top of the heap and intends to stay there, barring somekind of popular uprising.

  9. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 7:27am #

    Ron, I suggest that you need to study up on the oil industry. Are the interests of the oil industry harmed by the US’s pro-Israel policies? Most definately.
    As to “most mobile capital still being US based”, the fact is that the US is a net debtor nation and with currently rising interest rates will soon succumb to debt trap dynamics.
    In this article all you have done is provide a phony left platform for Rice’s fall back position.Your world view is 40 years out of date. I suggest that you read The Power of Israel in the US by James Petras to update your outlook.

  10. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 7:30am #

    @ Sk

    Your rejoinder link doesn’t work. Do you have a title?

  11. Max Shields said on June 14th, 2007 at 7:51am #

    aetho, you may be confusing imperialism with rationalism. There is nothing that says an imperialist state must be acting “objectively” rational. Imperialism is driven by a fundamentalism (or ideology), a deep unquestioning belief in the SYSTEM. Rationality is shaped to fit that fundamentalism.

    Condi, on the other hand is clueless – US policies today are not shaped by cold war realism.

  12. Max Shields said on June 14th, 2007 at 8:04am #

    To you point about Israel’s relationship to the US, I think Ron has his finger on it.

    I would only add that Israel is to the US a kind of beach head, US/Israel is a modern day protectorate relationship. I’m sure this would be a very stinging commentary for many Israeli people, that they exist in the Middle East as a buttress for US and Western hegemony and not much else.

    US/Israeli strings are tighter than some, but US relationships with the former Shah of Iran and Saudis are not all together different. Iraq/Saddam never reached that level, but he was the default base to protect the US inherited hegemony in the Middle East. The invasion and occupation of Iraq was clearly to secure another beachhead. And Bush/Cheney have not given up on those claims.

  13. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 11:41am #

    @ Max

    What evidence can you show of Israel serving as a beach head? Qatar and Kuwait serve that purpose, how does Israel add to the equation?
    Your analysis seems short on reality. I will grant that there are similarities between Kuwait and Israel, but in regards to Kuwait there is a quid pro quo, the Gulf Arabs keep the dollar afloat through the purchase of US treasuries (to the tune of $2 billion weekly), a type of tribute. Jeb Bush is requiring that Florida state employee pensions be invested in questionable Israel bonds, can you show a similar example for Saudi Arabia? By way of comparison, the US pays tribute to Israel.

  14. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 11:42am #

    Ron Jacobs,

    Please come forward with your “war for oil” conspiracy theories. I’m waiting.

  15. M. Williams said on June 14th, 2007 at 12:59pm #

    I think the idea that the fact we are paying now some 300% more for gas is evidence that our war in Iraq is not one of oil-driven imperialism is ridiculously false. It assumes that US imperialism has the interests of it’s average citizens at heart–a sweetly naive concept.

    The truth is that US imperialism has always had corporate interests at heart. Simply observe the record-setting profits reported by oil companies in the US at a time when Iraq and the Middle East are descending into chaos and the price of oil is subsequently sky-rocketing. High oil prices are a boon the the oil interest because their profit margins are percentage-based and a 20% profit (or whatever it may be) at $4 per gallon is significantly higher than at $2 per gallon.

  16. Max Shields said on June 14th, 2007 at 2:22pm #


    Your missing my point. It seems you’re looking for identical arrangements, and that is just not (never) the case.

    I’m not sure what would convince you and so I’m reluctant to pursue this. I didn’t mention Kuwait – could have but didn’t. The point is that you have been arguing that the US is a client of Israel (you didn’t use the word “client” but in effect that is what you’re saying). I agree with Ron that it is the other way around. The US doesn’t dominate Israel, but it strongly influences her actions and can force constraint or provide a green light for military action. The evidence is really everywhere. We saw it last summer in Lebanon and it is still occurring there. Brush fires are started (and frequently run out of control as witnessed in Lebanon and with the US in Iraq). The methods are the same.

    Yes, of course, Israel is a client state and it’s political policies, like ours are loosely tied to the people. Fear is the modus operandi. The Holocaust is used to keep the flame of aggression going where that serves the purpose. Here, we now use global terrorism, Islamofascism, and whatever else seems to work.

    It’s perpetual conflict. Look behind almost all the unrest and you’ll find signs of US involvement – Darfur, Somalia, all over the Middle East, Afganistan, Pakistan….

    I’m sorry if that reality doesn’t match your own. It is well documented and can be found in the works of Chomsky, Chamlers Johnson, Gareth Porter, Ray McGovern, Andrew Bacevich, and countless others on all sides of the political spectrum. These are serious scholars.

    As far as Israel as US beach head, why not start here:

  17. Max Shields said on June 14th, 2007 at 2:24pm #

    Just one other point, the relationship is symbiotic, but not particularly rational (one could say pathological).

  18. sk said on June 14th, 2007 at 4:57pm #

    Try this or this to get the paper by Panitch and Gindin contra Arrighi. Also, an Arab point of view on the influence Israel exercises over US policies.

  19. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 5:01pm #

    M. Williams,
    You present the “war against oil” theory, which is that the Bush regime went into Iraq with the intention of disrupting oil exports in order to limit global supply. While this theory is more plausible than the “war FOR oil” theory, it falls apart when one considers that the Bush regime could have simply imposed tighter sanctions and achieved the same result at almost no cost or risk. A naval embargo would have resulted in few to no casualties.

  20. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 5:11pm #


    “The US doesn’t dominate Israel, but it strongly influences her actions and can force constraint ”

    In fact Jeffrey Blankfort has written on this subject and documented cases in each US administration where an attempt is made to resolve the occupation (in furtherance of US imperial interests) and is disallowed by Israel.

    “We saw it last summer in Lebanon and it is still occurring there”

    In fact last summer Rice went to Lebanon and was turned into a yoyo by Israel.

    Chomsky is a lifelong zionist and spares no extreme to deny the power of the Israel lobby. Your list of authers could be expanded to include some that do not conform to the foundation funded fake left dogma. I realise that it’s easier to go with the conventional. I don’t consider motherjones a reliable or worthwhile source.

  21. Max Shields said on June 14th, 2007 at 7:55pm #


    Just as I thought, no facts, no reason, no cogent argument, just an empty diatribe.

    Your links contradict one another. On the one hand there is the issue of imperialism/capitalism and then you introduce Israel’s control over the US foreign policy. You can’t have it both ways. Either US imperialism drives the ship of state or Israel does. I say it’s the former and Israel has its proxy role to play.

    From an Arab or Arab-American perspective I can see that Israel would seem to have influence over US policies. But that is not really the case. The US favors Israel because Israel is of Western making. It is a Western beach head in a great sea of Arabs and Persians.

  22. atheo said on June 14th, 2007 at 9:09pm #

    @ Max

    Your pert response is the “empty diatribe”, try explaining what happened to Bush’s roadmap. Is that an example of the US imposing it’s will or Israel disallowing US resolution?

  23. sk said on June 15th, 2007 at 5:38am #

    I’m not sure where the contradiction lies. Here’s an excerpt from the concluding paragraphs of Joseph Massad’s article, ‘Blaming the Lobby’:

    AIPAC is indeed powerful insofar as it pushes for policies that accord with US interests and that are resonant with the reigning US imperial ideology. The power of the pro-Israel lobby, whether in Congress or on campuses among university administrators, or policy-makers is not based solely on their organisational skills or ideological uniformity. In no small measure, anti- Semitic attitudes in Congress (and among university administrators) play a role in believing the lobby’s (and its enemies’) exaggerated claims about its actual power, resulting in their towing the line. But even if this were true, one could argue, it would not matter whether the lobby has real or imagined power. For as long as Congress and policy-makers (and university administrators) believe it does, it will remain effective and powerful. I of course concede this point.
    What then would have been different in US policy in the Middle East absent Israel and its powerful lobby? The answer in short is: the details and intensity but not the direction, content, or impact of such policies. Is the pro- Israel lobby extremely powerful in the United States? As someone who has been facing the full brunt of their power for the last three years through their formidable influence on my own university and their attempts to get me fired, I answer with a resounding yes. Are they primarily responsible for US policies towards the Palestinians and the Arab world? Absolutely not. The United States is opposed in the Arab world as elsewhere because it has pursued and continues to pursue policies that are inimical to the interests of most people in these countries and are only beneficial to its own interests and to the minority regimes in the region that serve those interests, including Israel.

  24. Max Shields said on June 15th, 2007 at 5:58am #


    Yes, the article by Mr. Massad does support the point I’ve been making here. My apologies for a hasty mis-reading.

    Middle East and Western hegemony began way before Israel and certainly before AIPAC. Lobbies are an issue. Identifying root cause is essential if we are ever to change the situation.

    The title of this piece indicates that there is a systemic problem and I concur. The players and the dynamics of a moment in time alter but the system continues on its institutionalized and determined trajectory.

  25. atheo said on June 15th, 2007 at 7:05am #

    “The players and the dynamics of a moment in time alter but the system continues on its institutionalized and determined trajectory.”

    And that “system” is racist conquest and COLONISATION. Yes, the crusades preceded Israel, that wasn’t about cornering the worlds last ceder trees either. Myths (such as “war for oil”) are for the masses, wars are about domination and real estate. Rice’s attempt at promoting a “material interest” myth is being pushed on the ignorant with the assistance of Ron Jacobs.

  26. Max Shields said on June 15th, 2007 at 8:33am #

    atheo, without trying to make Ron Jacobs case, I’m a bit confused by yours. First, it appeared as if you were putting the entire US foreign policy at the feet of Israel – the proverbial tail wagging the dog. I disagreed, and you disagreed with me. Fine.

    But now you’re pursuing the course of “racism” and “colonization” (aka imperialism) as the systemic issue. I agree. I also agree that war is about utter destruction of another. War is genocide; there is no middle ground, and never has been. (And that is why war is evil incarnate.)

    Now if you think that Israel is the perpetrator of racism and a colonization of the Middle East – I say look again. The Middle East is a colony of the US. Like all colonies there is much anger and violence against the imperial colonist. Israel is a tool. The Israeli people and the American people (with the usual suspects of exceptions) are in much the same situation, complicit by default, but not altogether willing to admit what this nation does to bring home the “bacon”. Yes, the US government, its policies do bad things, very bad things.

    As far as oil, I don’t understand your denial of its role. Oil like Israel can be over-stated, but it is not without a significant role.

  27. atheo said on June 15th, 2007 at 8:49am #

    The only Americans colonising Palestine are ALL of one specific race. To define that race as American is disengenuous. There is no “bacon” being brought home to America. You have as yet made no substantive case that supports “war for oil”, mindless repetition is not persuasive.

    You need to stop denying the Jewish supremicism that is evidenced in Palestine and occupied Washington. Admit that zionism is not about western gentiles making gains in the middle east.

  28. ron jacobs said on June 15th, 2007 at 8:57am #

    Debating folks that believe Israel and the zionists are solely responsible for every negative thing in the Middle East is like debating folks on the opposite pole–those who believe Israel and the Zionists can do no wrong no matter who they kill and torture and steal land from because of Jewish history. One can’t argue with people who accept either of these as tenets of faith. US imperialism is the biggest cause of the earth’s injustice in the Middle East and elsewhere. This doesn’t mean Israel and other nations don’t cause their share of problems, but it is Washington that leads …

  29. Max Shields said on June 15th, 2007 at 10:34am #

    atheo, the “bacon” is what Americans get (crumbs compared to the wealthy, no doubt) but compare American crumbs to Indian peasants, Palestinians, Iraqis, peoples throughout Africa, and Asia (with the exception of Japan). And you tell me who gets the lion share of the world’s resources.

    Yes, the gap has grown in the US between the wealthy and poor to pre-Depression dimensions. But the US is untouched, in large part, by the conflicts we see around the world – and this has been the case nearly since US inception.

    I’m not denying Israel’s aggression and all that it’s policies represent; but these are not done in isolation. Just like US leaders use fear (of terrorism) to ignite the emotions of Americans to the slaughter, Israel leaders have used the Holocaust on its people to raise the spector of annihilation and thus the justification for its aggressive policies. But these are merely means to an end (that has no end). Imperialism is the crux of the issue, and US imperialism reigns supreme.

    If you think the US is the patsy of Israel, then the tragic joke is on you.

  30. atheo said on June 15th, 2007 at 11:24am #


    You are sidestepping the issue under discussion. I have already shown above that US imperialism does not “rule supreme”. Using this tired diversion to avoid acknowledging the reality of zionist domination of the US media, Congress, and Administration is both racist and politically reactionary. Quit trying to help Rice pull the wool over the eyes of the people, stop trying to sell the wars. Quit trying to bring the issue back to Israeli dominance, we are discussing zionist dominance, as I have made clear already.
    You have failed to respond to the points that I have made or the questions that I have posed, this alone bares the total bankruptcy of your position. To continue to push the fantasy that zionists don’t control the US regime is to act as their shill.

  31. Max Shields said on June 15th, 2007 at 12:20pm #


    You are either blinded by your own ideology (whatever that is); or you are just feigning an interest in this topic.

    You disagree with answers and sources I’ve and other have provided. You’ve singled out Chomsky as a zionist and now me as a racist. I guess I’m in good company.

    When confronted with an article on Israel as a US beach head (one of many – go ahead and google) you dismiss it because you don’t believe anything Mother Jones publishes, but never offer your list of contrary evidence, source, etc.

    No one on this thread, including me has supported Israel’s actions against the Palestinians. In a word, you have no real argument. Except you seem to see Israel and Jews as the cause of all of the world’s ills. There’s an all too frequently mis-used word for that.

  32. atheo said on June 15th, 2007 at 2:36pm #

    Chomsky is a self avowed zionist, are you saying that you are too?

    Why can’t you verbalise how Israel is performing the role as a “beach head”?

    Arguing that US policy is supporting our “material interests” is arguing for the policy, it is veiled as critique but still accomplishing the same end that Rice seeks. By the way, Bush also has argued the “war for oil” rhetoric. If you feel you are in good company, have at it.

    Again you have failed to back up your assertions:

    You state:

    “The US doesn’t dominate Israel, but it strongly influences her actions and can force constraint ”

    Explain what happened to Bush’s roadmap. Is that an example of the US imposing it’s will or Israel disallowing US resolution?

    You can insinuate anti-semitism all you want but it won’t change the fact that you have failed to defend your position.

  33. atheo said on June 15th, 2007 at 2:41pm #

    Ron Jacobs,

    Your reticence to argue in defense of your “war for oil” position suggests that you have no coherent basis for YOUR faith. I’m not the one with faith, I’m willing to examine your argument, you simply have none.

  34. sk said on June 15th, 2007 at 5:21pm #

    btw, imperialism in Middle East by European powers predates both Israel and US involvement in the region. Clips on the former here and here (despite some partisan editorializing), and revealing info on the the latter here.

  35. sk said on June 15th, 2007 at 6:27pm #

    If the last link about American involvement in the Middle East doesn’t work, try this.

  36. atheo said on June 15th, 2007 at 6:34pm #


    Imperialism by Turks also predates Israel. What’s your point?

  37. Max Shields said on June 16th, 2007 at 7:19am #

    atheo says: “Chomsky is a self avowed zionist, are you saying that you are too?”

    Chomsky has been called a self-hating Jew and anti-Semite by American Zionists. So you tell me what kind of “zionist” is Chomsky? He has been a supporter of the Palestinians and was very vocal in calling an immediate end to the Israel bombardment of Lebanon last year, calling it criminal. His record on the Middle East is clear and consistent regardless of what you or anyone else thinks of his proclamations.

    atheo: “Why can’t you verbalise how Israel is performing the role as a “beach head”?”

    I didnt’ think it was necessary to explain in detail. Very simply, Israel serves as a military base for US interests (and the West) in the Middle East, armed with state of the art weaponry, WMDs, nuclear arsenal – including a fleet of nuclear submarines BY THE USA. Israel’s economy, while pretty good by ME standards is not particularly robust. The US infuses it with above board and under the table subsidies to sustain it’s beach head.

    But Israel is not he only beach head, just a major one. Israel has served as a proxy against Hezbollah (Iran/Syria); and sides with the US on all US foreign policies – inside and outside the region. Israel is a client state. We have no treaty with Israel; we don’t need a treaty with a nation that exists at our behest.

    atheo: “Arguing that US policy is supporting our “material interests” is arguing for the policy, it is veiled as critique but still accomplishing the same end that Rice seeks. By the way, Bush also has argued the “war for oil” rhetoric.”

    US policy first and foremost supports geopolitical domination and corporate interests. A by-product in the past has been a high standard of living in the US built on relatively cheap oil. Aetha, you need to understand the value of OIL. It runs this country, the food you eat, everything is run on fossil fuel. It is the foundation of the world’s growth economic engine. To down play its importance and the threat of peak oil, is to miss reality and the anticipated collapse. If oil were to disappear – or greatly diminish – the US would become a wasteland.

    atheo: “Explain what happened to Bush’s roadmap. Is that an example of the US imposing it’s will or Israel disallowing US resolution?”

    The Bush administration was not committed to the “road map”. You don’t understand how superpowers impose their will.

    atheo: “You can insinuate anti-semitism all you want but it won’t change the fact that you have failed to defend your position.”

    And you seem to have no position.

  38. Deadbeat said on December 19th, 2007 at 10:48am #

    And that “system” is racist conquest and COLONISATION. Yes, the crusades preceded Israel, that wasn’t about cornering the worlds last ceder trees either. Myths (such as “war for oil”) are for the masses, wars are about domination and real estate. Rice’s attempt at promoting a “material interest” myth is being pushed on the ignorant with the assistance of Ron Jacobs.

    Wow! I wished I had seen this dialog sooner. atheo, I think the truth about Zionism’s influence may still have a chance to breakthrough as well as the truth about these fake foundation-funded “leftists”.

  39. ron said on December 19th, 2007 at 11:13am #

    dude, nobody funds me but my forty hour a week job and whatever pittance I make from my books..