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A Realist Look at U.S.-Israel Relations:

Here is a brief, interesting "realist" look at U.S.-Israel relations. The key paragraph:

The patron-client relationship forged during the 1960s grew largely out of Washington's desire to manage the Arab-Israeli conflict more effectively in order to protect American national interests. Washington feared that an existentially threatened, but militarily potent, Israel might act in ways that could harm American access to oil, facilitate further Soviet penetration of the Middle East, and even embroil the United States in a regional war. At the core of this patron-client relationship sat a "security-for-autonomy" bargain. Washington would provide Jerusalem with security assistance in the form of arms, money, and diplomatic backing, thereby greatly enhancing America's commitment to the Jewish state's survival. In exchange, Washington would demand that Jerusalem surrender a significant amount of its autonomy in the realm of foreign policy decision making. The United States, in other words, sought influence over Israel's foreign policy in order to channel it in directions consistent with the protection of American national interests. Contrary to the belief of many opponents of the American- Israeli patron-client relationship, Washington has never given Jerusalem a "blank check." The Jewish state has consistently had to pay a considerable price for American arms, money, and diplomatic backing.

Articles like this make it hard to take seriously Mearsheimer and Walt's claim that they abandoned their standard realist outlook on international relations with regard to the U.S.-Israel relationship because there was no way to fit the square peg of this relationship into the round hole of realist theory.

One thing that is almost entirely neglected in the relevant literature, including in the article linked above, is the role of AIPAC in creating a closer patron-client relationship between the U.S. and Israel. Contrary to the critics who see AIPAC as a font of "dual loyalty," AIPAC has always vigorously tried to improve U.S.-Israel relations in the American national interest, both because its American constituency demands this emphasis, and even more so because it's a lot easier to sell Congress on aid to Israel in pursuit of American national interest than on moral grounds. As AIPAC has grown increasingly influential, the U.S.-Israel relationship has grown closer; Israel has seen some real benefits from this, but, by becoming so reliant on U.S. military and diplomatic assistance, Israel has also come under increased U.S. "control," to the extent that Israel rarely undertakes any significant military or diplomatic initiative without U.S. permission. Perhaps, as the article under discussion suggests, this would have occurred in any event, because it is in both countries' best interest. But while the role of AIPAC in increasing U.S. aid to Israel has received plenty of attention, its role in helping assure that Israel is also under the U.S.'s thumb is virtually ignored.

neurodoc:
Don't hold your breath waiting for the M&W claque to change their minds. The M&W thesis serves them far too well ideologically for counterarguments to cause them to let go of it.
9.14.2008 5:50pm
JB:
Israel has, in the post-Cold War years, surrendered less and less autonomy while receiving the same security. Recall in 1990-91 when George H.W. Bush was able to make them lie quiescent under Saddam's scud missles to preserve the Arab elements of the anti-Iraq coalition, and compare that to how Israel's responses to much less dangerous Hamas bombardments have damaged the U.S. effort to get Sunni Arab states to help with the current Iraq war.
9.14.2008 6:19pm
Asher (mail):
In exchange, Washington would demand that Jerusalem surrender a significant amount of its autonomy in the realm of foreign policy decision making.

Would this not change if the Palin "we shouldn't second-guess what Israel has to do to defend itself" mantra were taken literally?
9.14.2008 6:21pm
LM (mail):
I suspect that's all essentially true, which is why I favor cutting the financial umbilical cord, both to free Israel to act autonomously and to put to rest the fantasies of Israel's secret control over the U.S via AIPAC.

That said, to make your comment completely accurate, I'd add a "notwithstanding Larry Franklin."
9.14.2008 6:21pm
JB:
That does raise another question--What do we gain from the alliance with Israel that we wouldn't gain from remaining neutral?

Its continued existence is beneficial to us, but Israel is perfectly capable of ensuring its existence without our help.
9.14.2008 6:28pm
Uthaw:
Israel is perfectly capable of ensuring its existence without our help.

That assumes, of course, that nobody arms the Arabs after we stop arming Israel.
9.14.2008 6:40pm
Wheat Free Terrier (mail):
"'Israel is perfectly capable of ensuring its existence without our help.'

That assumes, of course, that nobody arms the Arabs after we stop arming Israel."

Moreover, without the authority of U.S. backing, Israel's bluffs would be less effective, meaning that Israel would have to "put in more of its own chips" in order to achieve the same deterrent effect.

Apologies for the run-amok p0ker metaphor.
9.14.2008 7:01pm
Yankev (mail):

and to put to rest the fantasies of Israel's secret control over the U.S via AIPAC.
Fantasies by their nature do not depend on reality. The absence of AIPAC, Israel, and any appreciable influence of Jewish Americans on US foreign policy did not stop the anti-war nativist crowd from charging that Jews were pushing FDR into war with Germany. Would any cabal worthy of the name tip its hand as blatantly as AIPAC?
9.14.2008 7:17pm
obi juan (mail):
Israel might act in ways that could harm American access to oil

So could Iran. Should we forge a close relationship with Iran?
9.14.2008 7:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
That does raise another question--What do we gain from the alliance with Israel that we wouldn't gain from remaining neutral?

Its continued existence is beneficial to us, but Israel is perfectly capable of ensuring its existence without our help.
As the article points out, what we gain is that we gain some control over Israel's actions. Israel could indeed ensure its existence without our help, but we might not like the sort of things it might do.
9.14.2008 7:34pm
Wheat Free Terrier (mail):
"So could Iran. Should we forge a close relationship with Iran?"

First, Israel has without a doubt proven itself responsive to diplomatic carrots. Iran has not. Second, and this is related to the first point, Israel is a free democracy while Iran is an oppressive and dangerous caliphate. If we don't *have* to be friends with Iran to avert an evil greater than itself, we ought not to be.
9.14.2008 7:40pm
JB:
"'Israel is perfectly capable of ensuring its existence without our help.'

That assumes, of course, that nobody arms the Arabs after we stop arming Israel."

Israel can use its economic superiority over the Arabs to buy our weapons.

As the article points out, what we gain is that we gain some control over Israel's actions. Israel could indeed ensure its existence without our help, but we might not like the sort of things it might do.



I don't think we ought to like the sorts of things it's doing now. Not for moral reasons (we might object or we might not, but that's an unnecessary aside), but for practical ones. (I also don't think we have so much control over them as one would think--we've been unwilling to test that severely for a while, but Israel has ignored enough warnings to not expand settlements that I feel safe in saying that we do not control that part of their policy at all, for instance).
9.14.2008 7:41pm
Cornellian (mail):
Washington would demand that Jerusalem surrender a significant amount of its autonomy in the realm of foreign policy decision making.

Yet Palin said in the Gibson interview that Israel should be able to do pretty much anything it wants in the name of self-defense and the U.S. shouldn't "second guess" that decision.

Are we getting our money's worth out of that relationship or are we not?
9.14.2008 8:23pm
NowMDJD (mail):

Israel might act in ways that could harm American access to oil

So could Iran. Should we forge a close relationship with Iran?

We'd love to have a close relationship with Iran, and did before Khomeni took over. If we did again it would help stabilize the area's politics.

(I also don't think we have so much control over them as one would think--we've been unwilling to test that severely for a while, but Israel has ignored enough warnings to not expand settlements that I feel safe in saying that we do not control that part of their policy at all, for instance).

At one time, American aid accounted for 20% of the Israeli economy. Now it accounts for 2%, as the Israeli economy has grown, and American aid has remained static.

But even with this minimal economic dependence, there is still military dependence. To the extent that Israel (or any other country) relies on American arms, spare parts, etc. for its military security, the US can exert pressure by cutting off shipments.
9.14.2008 8:24pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
I don't see how we've benefited. If what we gain is peace between Israelis and Arabs, the logical result is that we don't benefit from the existence of Israel (equivalently we don't benefit from the existence of the Arab regimes, but nobody has raised that question). It says Israel is a potential source of military force but whenever they've offered to assist we've refused because nothing would rile up the neighbors more than if their rhetoric about Zionist and Crusader occupation was a reality. How bad would it have to get before that worst-case scenario was reached, and considering that how relevant is that scenario?

There were some Jews that encouraged us to enter WW2 (and as Lindbergh said, who could blame them for trying under such circumstances), but the real culprit was the same people that schemed us into the previous war: the British.

I've got a recent post on realism, neo-conservatism, isolationism and liberal internationalism here.
9.14.2008 8:45pm
TCO:
Pollard will die in jail. Good.
9.14.2008 9:09pm
Sam H (mail):
You must remember that part of State is pro-Arab and they want to keep as much control over Israel as possible.
9.14.2008 9:23pm
JB:


But even with this minimal economic dependence, there is still military dependence. To the extent that Israel (or any other country) relies on American arms, spare parts, etc. for its military security, the US can exert pressure by cutting off shipments.


Let 'em buy, but why are we giving them that 2%? And if we're continuing to give it to them, then why not pressure them in some useful way? For quite some time, we've been quietly telling Israel to do things, whispering to them that they don't have to, and then acting surprised when they ignore us. How does that benefit us at all?

As the benefits of the Israeli alliance have gone down, the costs have gone up. Eventually it will stop being worth it.
9.14.2008 10:43pm
Barry P. (mail):
Israel is a free democracy while Iran is an oppressive and dangerous caliphate.

Last I checked, Ahmedinnerjacket was elected. And Iran is one of the few large countries in the world that has never invaded another one. Iran simply refuses to put US interests before its own, which is enough to get tagged as "evil" by the David Frum.
9.15.2008 12:01am
SIG357:
But while the role of AIPAC in increasing U.S. aid to Israel has received plenty of attention, its role in helping assure that Israel is also under the U.S.'s thumb is virtually ignored.


So is AIPAC on Israels side, or a secret anti-Zionist conspiracy? This is getting convoluted.
9.15.2008 12:16am
DavidBernsten (mail):
AIPAC is devoted to "strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship." It's rather obvious who the junior partner is going to be there. But it's really part of AIPAC's underlying ideology that America is a force for good in the world (which is why many on the left hate AIPAC so), so tying Israel's fate to the America's is good for Israel, good for America, and good for the world.
9.15.2008 12:22am
Barry P. (mail):
...America is a force for good in the world

LOL.

Part of what makes the US a great place to live is the fact that it is one of the few places unafflicted by US foreign policy.
9.15.2008 12:42am
cac (mail):
"but the real culprit was the same people that schemed us into the previous war: the British"

Curse Churchill and his strike on Pearl Harbour!

On less ludicrous note, If The Economist is to be believed, the US influence cuts boths way - it's not just about forcing Israel to be less belligerent. It appears that the Israelis were keen to talk to the Syrians rather earlier than they've been doing but were pressured by the US who didn't want Syria's isolation to be lifted in any way.
9.15.2008 12:45am
DG:
{Last I checked, Ahmedinnerjacket was elected. And Iran is one of the few large countries in the world that has never invaded another one. Iran simply refuses to put US interests before its own, which is enough to get tagged as "evil" by the David Frum.}

Please. Surely you know that "democracy" in Iran consists of being allowed to vote for one of a number of pre-approved Islamic clerics, vetted by the Guardian Council. And the president selected in this manner is still not the supreme authority.

Iran is plenty belligerent without actually invading anyone. Ask the Lebanese, the Iraqis, or the Israelis. Quds Force, anyone?
9.15.2008 2:07am
Milhouse (www):

The Jewish state has consistently had to pay a considerable price for American arms, money, and diplomatic backing.

Far too high a price.
9.15.2008 2:31am
Barry P. (mail):
DG:

Ahmedinejad is not, and never was, a cleric. He is a career politician. Likewise for his predecessor, Rafsanjani, who is also a billionaire (and likely crooked) businessman.

Your characterization of Iran as a belligerent in the Iran-Iraq war is also utterly false. As for the Quds Force, they've been on the same side as us more often than not (e.g., supporting Kurds against Saddam, supporting the Mujahadeen against the Soviets, supporting Bosnia against the Serbs, supporting Northern Alliance versus Taliban.)
9.15.2008 2:36am
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Israel just purchased 1000 bunker buster bombs from the USA. Liberals are outraged.
9.15.2008 2:50am
Galsworthy:
Wow, that was the first fully thought out, comprehensive and wide ranging article explaining the benefits to America of it's alliance with Israel in terms that really make sense. It is a compelling case even if one disagrees with it. One can quibble - as one poster above does - over the likelihood of things getting so bad in the Arab world that America needs to use Israel as a military base, but it is in the very nature of an "insurance policy" to guard against remote but possible scenarios. And international politics are inherently unpredictable. The possibility doesn't seem at all remote to me. Anyways great article - now how do we get these arguments into wider circulation and make them an enduring part of the conversation on this fraught issue?
9.15.2008 2:54am
Milhouse (www):

Recall in 1990-91 when George H.W. Bush was able to make them lie quiescent under Saddam's scud missles to preserve the Arab elements of the anti-Iraq coalition,

And how Bush then screwed Israel over. In return for that quiescence Bush promised Shamir $10B in loan guarantees to build housing for immigrants from the former USSR, no strings attached; the unspoken intention at the time was to build this housing in the Territories, thus consolidating Israel's hold on them, and Shamir decided the net gain to security was worth sitting through the Scuds. Once the war was over and he no longer needed the cooperation, Bush pretty much reneged on the promise, and I don't remember if they ever got it in the end. (Remember that these were loan guarantees, not actual loans, and since Israel has never defaulted on a loan they would actually not cost the USA anything.)

Remember also that it was that quiescence (especially combined with the above screwing over by Bush) that caused Shamir's government to lose the next election. Voters who didn't appreciate sitting in their shelters while the government did nothing, and got nothing out of it, turned to Rabin, "Mr. Security", and believed his promises that he would never compromise their security (ha!).
9.15.2008 3:00am
JB:
Milhouse,
Which is another reason why the alliance may be bad for both sides. The USA continually needs to do all kinds of sensitive maneuvering among the Arab states, which is made significantly more difficult by its friendship with Israel; Israeli governments, in order to maintain the friendship, have to screw themselves over on the domestic political front.

I think both would benefit if the USA gave Israel an ultimatum on the settlements, Israel called its bluff, and the USA withdrew its aid (while still letting Israel buy its stuff and making clear that it still wouldn't stand for actual state-on-state war against Israel). The USA would be free of a millstone about its neck in relations with the rest of the region, Al-Qaeda would be confounded, and Israel would be free to satisfy domestic political opinion without distorting its policies to satisfy its ally.

I visited Israel this past December, and as an American Jew I say that they've made it. They're their own country, their own culture, and the idea that there is some sort of natural, symbiotic alliance between the two countries closer than between anywhere else is absurd. Given that abandoning the aid would not lead to Israel's destruction, I see no reason why we need to hold their hand. Doing so only distorts the politics of both countries and creates huge piles of hypocrisy.
9.15.2008 3:55am
Litigator-London:
Is not the Israel-USA relationship precisely that discussed in Washington's Farewell Address to the Nation ?
9.15.2008 4:22am
Milhouse (www):
I agree that it would be better for Israel to refuse the aid, but there is another consideration: that aid was promised to Israel by President Carter, in return for giving up the Sinai peninsula. Israel lost not only the strategic depth and the room for maneuvers, but also the economic resources, including oil and gas, and the aid promised was to compensate for that loss.

(Of course Egypt was promised matching aid in return for nothing at all. The same imbalance was seen in the first Gulf War, when Egypt got tens of billions of loans cancelled, while Israel was left begging merely for a loan guarantee.)

I believe that money to be a moral obligation on the USA, and the only way I can see the USA getting out of that moral obligation would be to reconquer the Sinai for Israel, which is never going to happen. The matching funds for Egypt, OTOH, are not an obligation, because Egypt gave up nothing at Camp David, and should therefore be cancelled.

Nevertheless, were I the Israeli PM, I'd tell the USA that it could keep its money, if instead it gave me a million visas for Arabs with clean criminal records who wished to emigrate. Reducing the non-terrorist Arab population would greatly simplify dealing with the terrorists who would remain. Of course nobody would be forced to leave if they didn't want to, but I think most would. And I'd ask for an iron-clad written guarantee that the USA would veto all anti-Israel Chapter 7 resolutions in the Security Council,m as well as any proposed NATO military action against Israel (a la Serbia). And a written guarantee of the right to buy arms from the USA, at full price, but with no restrictions. None of this would actually cost the USA anything, and it would save the billions of aid money it currently gives.
9.15.2008 4:47am
JB:
Israel got 30 years of peace and security in exchange for that strategic depth. Egypt would not have made peace without getting Sinai back at any rate, and without Egypt making peace those 30 years would have been much more violent and less prosperous for Israel than they have been (without Egypt, there is no chance of a state-on-state Arab-Israeli war working for the former--had Israel not made peace with Sadat, the 1980s would have seen at least one more state-on-state conflict).

That is to say, the USA strongarmed Israel into doing what was in its interest anyhow (possibly providing a strategic excuse for Begin to do what was a good idea but supremely unpopular). The trade of strategic depth for the removal of the need to use it was a good trade, and does not create a moral obligation on the USA beyond an ironclad guarantee to come in on Israel's side in a war with Egypt (which we should make anyhow, even with the withdrawal of aid).

It is also the foreclosure of the possibility for the USA to do this kind of strongarming that makes the alliance fruitless for both sides. With the USA reduced to merely a hulking presence backing up Israel without guiding it, Israel can be more confident in pursuing short-term solutions against its long-term interest, and is restricted from giving things up in the short term for the sake of the long.

The USA on the other hand is jerked around in the way Litigator-London alludes to.
9.15.2008 4:59am
Milhouse (www):
The "state of peace" with Egypt has been no better than the "state of war" with Syria. If another full-scale war had been got up by the Arabs, with prospects of success, there's no question that Egypt would have joined it; Sadat said explicitly that the Camp David treaty did not override Egypt's treaty obligations to its Arab allies. The reason there hasn't been a full-scale war is because the Arabs have been waiting first for the Lebanon proxy war to play itself out, and then for the "Palestinian" war. So long as it seems that this can whittle away at Israel's size and will to live, they will let it go on; once it seems to have achieved all it can, then it will be time to start preparing for the final war.

Remember Sadat's "Poor Menachem" boast: "I already got back 90% of the Sinai plus the oil fields and what has he got in return? A piece of paper."

Camp David also had Israel recognise, for the first time, that there was a "Palestinian" nation with its own rights and interests separate from those of the greater Arab nation; that concession is the root of all the current problems.
9.15.2008 10:24am
Yankev (mail):

Iran is plenty belligerent without actually invading anyone. Ask the Lebanese, the Iraqis, or the Israelis.
While you're at it, ask in Buenos Ares. And ask the British, whose embassy in Terhan came under gunfire after the British arrested a former Iranian ambassador in connection with a terror bombing.
9.15.2008 11:06am
mel (mail):
As the article points out, what we gain is that we gain some control over Israel's actions. Israel could indeed ensure its existence without our help, but we might not like the sort of things it might do.\

But if we aren't using Israel as a client state, why would we want control over Israel's actions?

That is: the only reason we want control over Israel's actions is because we are afraid of being blamed for those actions. Take away the foreign aid and the client state relationship, and we are much less likely to be blamed.

Everyone benefits: Israel no longer has to fight by Marquess of Queensbury rules, and we don't get blamed as much for Israel's self-defense by the Arabs.
9.15.2008 12:46pm
PLR:
That said, to make your comment completely accurate, I'd add a "notwithstanding Larry Franklin, Steven Rosen and Keith Weissman..."
Added just a couple more for the heck of it. Others can play if they wish.
9.15.2008 12:48pm
JB:
The "state of peace" with Egypt has been no better than the "state of war" with Syria.

Except that Egypt, unlike Syria, has not been actively funding terrorist groups within and on the borders of Israel.


If another full-scale war had been got up by the Arabs, with prospects of success, there's no question that Egypt would have joined it; Sadat said explicitly that the Camp David treaty did not override Egypt's treaty obligations to its Arab allies.

After the bungling of previous wars, and cutthroat internal politics of the Arab League (including Egypt being thrown out of that body), do you really think any other Arab state would have taken that as a guarantee with any teeth? Or would they have rightfully concluded that (a) "with prospects of success" is a hole wide enough to let Egypt flee from any obligation it wanted, and (b) there's no point in planning a war if all the participants aren't there at the beginning (compare 1967, when Egypt was forced into hasty mobilization by Syrian adventurism, to 1973, when they advanced together in a meticulously-planned effort)?


The reason there hasn't been a full-scale war is because the Arabs have been waiting first for the Lebanon proxy war to play itself out, and then for the "Palestinian" war. So long as it seems that this can whittle away at Israel's size and will to live, they will let it go on; once it seems to have achieved all it can, then it will be time to start preparing for the final war.

Except that instead Israel has gotten richer and more powerful while the Arab economies have stagnated. At a certain point they were waiting, but by now they realize that they are even more hopelessly outclassed (witness last year's incident with the Israeli bombing in Syria). A failure in a military test with Israel is about the only thing that can bring down the police states of Egypt and Syria, who are the only states who could possibly think of duking it out.

Remember Sadat's "Poor Menachem" boast: "I already got back 90% of the Sinai plus the oil fields and what has he got in return? A piece of paper."

And in retrospect he was completely wrong. Israel got 30 years of freedom from threats of existential invasion, and has used that to become even more dominant. Mubarak in 2008 is nowhere near as powerful or as free to act as Sadat in any year.

Camp David also had Israel recognise, for the first time, that there was a "Palestinian" nation with its own rights and interests separate from those of the greater Arab nation; that concession is the root of all the current problems.

So Begin got Israel's strongest and only real challenging foe to stand down, thus breaking up the military alliance that made existential invasions possible, and what did the Arabs get? A piece of paper.

Let Israel go back on its concession there, if it seems beneficial. The only thing stopping it is USA pressure, and should Egypt decide to fight again, 30 years of Israeli prosperity and 30 years of Egyptian stagnation and collapse will serve Israel far better than possession of the Sinai would have. Remove that USA pressure, and we will see if it is truly in Israel's interests to do that.
9.15.2008 12:54pm
LM (mail):
PLR:

Added just a couple more for the heck of it. Others can play if they wish.

Rosen and Weissman are implied by Franklin. I only mentioned him at all because his name is more familiar to some.
9.15.2008 1:16pm
Litigator-London:
Mel: It is too late. See: ISRAEL'S NUCLEAR WEAPONS-Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army and also Strategic Israel-MSNBC. The rest of the world knows of the strategic imbalance and would now hold the USA accountable for the use of WMD by Israel. And as Farr put it in his paper: "One other purpose of Israeli nuclear weapons, not often stated, but obvious, is their "use" on the United States. America does not want Israel's nuclear profile raised. They have been used in the past to ensure America does not desert Israel under increased Arab, or oil embargo, pressure and have forced the United States to support Israeli diplomatically against the Soviet Union. Israel used their existence to guarantee a continuing supply of American conventional weapons, a policy likely to continue."
9.15.2008 1:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
But if we aren't using Israel as a client state, why would we want control over Israel's actions?

That is: the only reason we want control over Israel's actions is because we are afraid of being blamed for those actions. Take away the foreign aid and the client state relationship, and we are much less likely to be blamed.
It's not an issue of "blame." It's an issue of our interests, such as the free flow of oil from the Gulf. If Israel decides to deal with Iran's nuclear program unilaterally, that flow is likely to be severely interrupted whether or not we're "blamed" for Israel's acts.
9.15.2008 3:21pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
The US has shamelessly allowed Israel to dictate US Mideast policy. As I have already pointed out many times, none of the other 14 members of the UN Security Council ever voted "no" in support of any of approx. 40 US vetoes of resolutions directed against Israel in the period 1972-2006, and in the period 1988-1997 there was an unbroken string of ten 14-1 such vetoes (i.e., there were no abstentions). That's inexcusable.

Milhouse said,

Camp David also had Israel recognise, for the first time, that there was a "Palestinian" nation with its own rights and interests separate from those of the greater Arab nation; that concession is the root of all the current problems.

In 1974 (I believe), long before the Camp David accords, the Arab nations -- including Jordan -- recognized the PLO as the official representative of the Palestinians, even though most of the territory lost in the 1967 Six-day war previously belonged to Jordan. So it is wrong to say that the recognition of a "Palestinian" nation was something that started with the Camp David accords.
9.15.2008 4:56pm
LM (mail):
Larry Fafarman,

Your response to the quoted article is so well concealed I can't find it at all.
9.15.2008 7:41pm
TCO:
Remember the USS Liberty.
9.15.2008 10:43pm
Larry Fafarman (mail) (www):
LM:
Your response to the quoted article is so well concealed I can't find it at all.

How in the hell can you say that? My comment is a direct response to the quoted article! How is the USA's foreign relations helped by voting against all or most of the other 14 Security Council members on resolutions directed against Israel, and never getting a single supporting vote in 40 USA vetoes?

The UN potentially has a lot of power, but the USA has gutted the UN's power so far as Israel is concerned.
9.15.2008 11:37pm
TGGP (mail) (www):
I can't believe I forgot to link to Bryan Caplan's Terrorism: The Relevance of the Rational Model.

It's true that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. It's also true that Napoleon III initiated war with Germany. But in both cases the attacked government was getting what it sought. You can read that even in pro-FDR biographies (nearly hagiographies often enough).
9.16.2008 12:55am