Concentric Circles

In the bigger scheme of things, the psychic income which is generated from doing what you want to do and saying what you want to say has a much greater value than the monetary income which comes in a package along with the stranglehold and suffocation coming from the likes of David Axelrod, Jeff Zucker, and Eliot Cohen. In a sense, one cannot put a price tag on the ability and freedom to do what you want to do and say what you want to say, even with all the censorship and suppression that is pervasive and ubiquitous in society. Moreover, truth does seep through the censors and suppression to a certain extent, as suggested when women anchors and journalists wear blue or red, along with cheetah or tiger patterns.

Looming over the international system are countless dilemmas and problems. This is something which is undeniable to any thinking person. But the dilemmas and problems can be arranged in what are known as “concentric circles.” Thus, the “concentric circles” of the international system are arranged such that there is a peripheral problem on the outskirts of the circle, along with a middle problem and a core problem. At the periphery, there is the issue of competition and tension between the United States and China. At the middle, there are regional issues, the foremost of which are the tensions between Europe and Russia. Finally, there is the core problem. At the core of the “concentric circles” is the issue of the Middle East.

Moreover, this core problem – namely, the Middle East – becomes ever more acute when we take into consideration how American foreign policy is so entangled with this highly problematic part of the world. One of the more famous books of the 21st century which highlights America’s toxic and unhealthy entanglement with the Middle East is by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, titled “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy.” This book also happened to be a New York Times bestseller.

At the heart of the argument put forth by Mearsheimer and Walt is the conclusion – which one can support with history and facts – that the influence which the “Israel Lobby” has had on both America and Israel has been “harmful to U.S. as well as Israeli interests.” Mearsheimer and Walt added: “Until the lobby begins to favor a different approach, or until its influence is weakened, American policy in the region will continue to be hamstrung, to the detriment of all concerned.”

History and facts reinforce the argument put forth by Mearsheimer and Walt. For one, the heavy-handed approach which the neocons had towards both Afghanistan and the Middle East led to a resurgence of Russia and China on one hand, and the bolstering of Iran as a countervailing force to Israel in the Middle East. The plight of the Palestinians over the course of many decades is another issue which should weigh heavily on the moral conscience of American and Israeli policymakers.

Although Iran’s messianic state ideology is an impetus for the angst and fear that many people in Israel have vis-à-vis Iran, angst and fear cannot continue to govern a path dependency which has led to the current systemic situation, whereby the balance of power has fostered a situation such that Russia and China are tilting the balance of power against the United States on one hand, and Iran is tilting the balance of power against Israel on the other hand. The “ace in the hole” and the final trick in the bag for Israel is to start a Middle Eastern war and then drag the United States into such a war so that Iran is either weakened or destroyed. But that ploy or strategy will fail, as has everything else that the American-based neocons have employed over the course of the last twenty years. Thus, in the end, Israel will have to adjust over time to systemic forces and trends which override individual plans and strategies.

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