Jim Lobe

Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.



  1. Agreed, an important piece. If the ships keep coming, and are clearly, only, humanitarian in nature, will that break the blockade? It just might. Will breaking the blockade lead to a rolling-up of the occupation? On that I’m not so sure. But it might.

    I really like this piece. It’s in line with what I’ve been saying about a nonviolent approach being the key to Palestinian statehood. I do, however, believe that a 2-state solution is no longer possible — that is, I don’t think the Palestinians will sincerely accept same. If they do accept it, they will move on from there to demanding the whole of Palestine. A Jewish apartheid state is doomed. There is still time for a Palestine in which all peoples and creeds live together democratically. Palestine can be a Jewish homeland without being a Jewish “state.” But we need a major change in the Israeli outlook before it’s too late. Israeli has no far-seeing statesmen (or women),not a one.

  2. Jon, I’m sorry you seemed out of pocket during the Turkey/Israel Flotilla Flap. I agree with much of what you write, here and elsewhere, even if I enjoy picking at those details where we differ. Anyway, if there is a real rift between Turkey and Israel, I believe that WILL change our relationship with Israel. It seems to me Turkey is indispensable to the US Military where Israel is worth less without Turkey. Turkey provides access to critical routes into the Middle East, Caucuses and the former Soviet Basin.

    While our entire political establishment has been keeping faithful to the guiding star of David, reality could catch them unawares. Perhaps we will just have a conniption once we are faced with the absurdity of our policies.

  3. I don’t see the Lobby or the Christian Right changing their views because of Turkey’s strategic importance. And since a majority of American politicians kowtow to one or both of these groups, I don’t believe your thesis carries weight.

    When some major disaster to America occurs that can be seen as undeniably the result of our connection to Israel, public opinion will turn and the politicians will have to follow. Until that happens, I see no real change occurring,

  4. That may happen. It may take that to change opinion. In a world of sophist and intellectual and political cowards, I don’t know if the Military Brass have the brass balls to make this fight public.

    Yet, I think we will see change coupled with pandering. (the alternative is worse than this scneario) This is yet another self deception, and the reconciling of our “books” is being deferred.

    I like to say that dams don’t work. They may persist for centuries, but eventually, they fail. This is a dam of another kind, a resisting of the forces equilibrium. Entropy (death) eventually wins, the longer we resist equalizing of forces the greater the risk of cataclysm. The alternative, to belabor the analogy, is slow leaks through fractures, and this Turkey Israel rift is a real fracture.

    I don’t know if the politicians will simply pander to the religious right and Zionists or if there will be an internal divide in our own gov’t. This could lead to a coup, or military takeover–which might ironically be less militant than our current power structure.

    I’m don’t disagree with your point, but that doesn’t mean the military will lightly burn that bridge. I don’t know how aware our political leadership is regarding our covert ops. There are many opportunities for rogue activity, free lancers and the like, not to mention those approved covert ops. There’s no simple dichotomy here, but a range of actions, positions and policies, overt and covert.

  5. The U.S. military is not going to stage a coup over national security matters. Why would the military want to take responsibility for a country with so many problems? It’s just not going to happen that way.

    Now, you may find at some future point that the country is in danger of falling apart — economic collapse, defeat in war, ecological catastrophe or some combination of all three could leave us in a situation that requires the central government to bring in the military to provide essential services, maintain order, and keep the country from splitting apart. In that situation you might see a “creeping coup” as the military takes over (and not necessarily deliberately) from a civilian leadership that can’t cope. But the U.S. military is never going to stage a coup d’etat as in a banana republic. It conceivably could’ve happened in 1863-64, if Gettysburg had been lost. It might’ve happened in the period of the Cuban Missile crisis, but didn’t. (Or did it? Were rogue elements of the military involved in Dallas? That remains an open question.)

    The military today will follow the political winds. If the winds shift against Israel, the soldiers will follow. If not, they won’t go beyond the occasional remark about damage to our interests in the Islamic world. And remember that the one active duty general who spoke up in this vein was Petraeus, a figure who has achiveved a position of political untouchability. And he spoke on this matter once, and left it at that.

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