Max Puts the Boot into Pakistan

Maidhc Ó Cathail

Pro-Israeli hawk urges U.S. to “get tough” with sole Islamic nuclear power

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

While much attention has been paid to Admiral Mike Mullen’s allegations that Pakistan’s ISI was behind recent attacks on American targets in Afghanistan attributed to the Haqqani network, the subsequent call by an influential neoconservative pundit for the United States to “get tough with Pakistan” seems to have gone unnoticed.


Writing this week in two of the neoconservative flagship outlets, Commentary and The Weekly Standard, Max Boot argues for a more aggressive U.S. approach to Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency. “I suggest we start treating Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency the way we treated Iran’s Quds Force in Iraq,” Boot opines in Commentary, an influential magazine founded by the American Jewish Committee, a key component of the pro-Israel lobby. “That is to say, apply the full range of our power–everything from diplomatic pressure, economic sanctions, to kinetic military action–to curb the menace posed by this group.”

Currently a senior fellow in national security studies at the influential Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot clearly has the kind of influence that could turn his not-so-humble suggestion into American policy. In March 2010, General David Petraeus, then head of U.S. Central Command, turned to Boot for help when some articles appeared in the American media noting that Petraeus’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee implied that Washington’s uncritical support of Israeli policy toward the Palestinians was hurting U.S. interests in the region.

Petraeus forwarded one of the articles to Boot, with a note saying, “As you know, I didn’t say that. It’s in a written submission for the record….” In his reply, Boot dismissed the source’s credibility, but promised Petraeus that he would write “another short item pointing people to what you actually said as opposed to what’s in the posture statement.” Appreciative, but clearly still concerned to ingratiate himself with Israel’s powerful supporters, six minutes later Petraeus wrote back: “Thx, Max. (Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night?! And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome…).” When the Russian-born Jewish writer assured the four-star general that this wasn’t relevant since he wasn’t being accused of being anti-Semitic, a relieved Petraeus signed off with a “Roger!” followed by a smiley emoticon.

The embarrassing spectacle of one of America’s most eminent military commanders seeing fit to grovel in such a demeaning way before a young pro-Israeli hack would surely have ended General Petraeus’s career in Washington before it began if the American public had been made aware of the incident. The Israel-centric U.S. media, however, chose to studiously ignore the revealing Petraeus-Boot correspondence. As a consequence of the media’s silence, the servile Petraeus is currently director of the CIA, overseeing the murderous drone strikes which are predictably enraging the Pakistani people; while his self-assured confidant is goading American policy-makers from his safe perch at the neocons’ primary warmongering media outlets to escalate such provocative policies against the world’s sole Islamic nuclear power–a country which, not insignificantly, has been designated as Israel’s greatest strategic threat by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

While most Americans remain oblivious to the crimes being committed in their names around the world, those concerned about Pakistan’s security would do well to remember that what’s on the pages of Commentary and The Weekly Standard one day will most likely be on the lips of the Israel lobby’s compliant Congressmen and Pentagon and White House officials the next.

Maidhc Ó Cathail is an investigative journalist and Middle East analyst.

New Truths For Those With Eyes To See

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Lawrence Davidson, 16 Feb 2011

Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently came to Israel and Jordan to assure these two “partners” of the steadfast nature of U.S. loyalty. An aide to Mullen put it this way, “at this critical time in the Middle East [Admiral Mullen] wants to reassure our…partners…that the military relationship we have enjoyed with them remains strong.” “Enjoy” is actually a strange word to use here. The Israelis regularly violate U.S. law by using American weapons against Palestinian civilians and have on occasion sold American military equipment and information to less than friendly third parties. The Jordanians are significant to Washington only to the extent that they keep Israel’s eastern border quiet while the Zionists ravage the West Bank. So, what’s to enjoy?

Just before his February 14th meeting with the Israeli President Shimon Peres, Mullen noted that “the connection and relationship with the Israeli Defense Forces goes back decades.” The implication here is that this history makes the relationship a strong and lasting one. That probably did not reassure the Israelis very much, for they are were shocked at how readily Washington dropped its support for Hosni Mubarak after a “connection and relationship” that went back thirty years. Actually, that reversal on the part of Washington is a fine and sobering lesson for the rulers in Jerusalem. Nothing lasts forever. The odds are good that in, say the next three decades, U.S. readiness to drop support of Zionist apartheid might be politically feasible, maybe even probable.

Nonetheless, Peres hid the anxiety that reportedly pervades the Israeli elites, and told Mullen, “for us, the US is the best friend we have….The greatness of the U.S. is that you draw strength from giving and not from taking.” What a odd but also revealing thing to say! The truth is that with just a few exceptions, such as the reactionary government temporarily in power in Canada, the U.S. is just about the only devoted friend Israel has. On the other hand, Peres hit the nail on the head about the U.S. giving rather than taking. Washington gives modern, developed, high tech Israel more “foreign aid” that any other country. We give Israel billions in aid even as our own people’s needs go unfulfilled and our debt grows ever greater. And, as Peres points out, we get almost nothing from them. If the truth be known, Israel as a “strategic asset” is greatly overblown. The greatest thing Israel has ever given to the U.S. is an added incentive for al-Qaeda’s September11th attacks.

The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reports that the Israelis are particularly worried that any new Egyptian regime will scrap the 1979 peace treaty between the two countries. Yet, as much as some of the leaders of the protest movement in Egypt would like to do this, there is almost no chance of it happening. No sane Egyptian wants another war with Israel and the present survival of the Egyptian army depends mainly on U.S. subsidies. If Obama vetoed the Egyptian army turning its American guns on its own people, he will hardly approve of their shooting those same guns at the Israelis. Ex-IDF Chief Gabi Ashkenazi had it right when he said that “peace is a strategic asset” for Egypt. However, public pressure may very well lead to the normalizing of the Gaza border and collapse or at least weakening of Israel’s criminal blockade of 1.6 million Palestinians. That will make the Israelis testy enough, raising to a greater volume their lament about terrorists getting weapons along with enough food to raise the Gazan calorie consumption above the malnutrition level.

Regardless of Admiral Mullen’s reassurances, realistic leaders with smart advisers work on the premise that things inevitably change and you need to prepare for reasonable contingencies. If Israel’s leaders want to know what their reasonable contingencies might be, they should consult the prognostications of one of their own moderates, Daniel Levy of the New America Foundation. In a 13 February 2011 piece he tells the Israelis that they can expect: the eventual end of the closure of Gaza, the tamping down of Egyptian belligerency toward Iran, and no more Egyptian support of that long running farce known as the “peace process.” Nor will Egypt be turning a blind eye to Israel’s illegal colonization process on the West Bank. While Egypt won’t express any of this in saber rattling way, its diplomats around the world and at the UN will soon adjust their voice to a wholly new tune.

The sad thing is that Israel has almost no capacity to positively adjust to any of these changes much less meet them half way for the sake of real peace. They do not have the eyes to see the new truths in front of them because Israeli foreign policy does not reference foreign reality. Rather it is an expression of domestic pressures and ambitions, and those have long been shaped by a driving sense of manifest destiny that has countenanced the theft and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian land. By the way the same situation exists in Washington. American foreign policy only rarely references foreign reality. Perhaps President Obama’s instruction to the Egyptian generals not to kill their own people with American weapons was one of those rare moments. However, Admiral Mullen’s quick trip to Israel was a sure sign that business had returned to normal and the U.S. was back to shaping its foreign policy to the demands of its powerful domestic Zionist lobby.

Each of us perceives the world from our own “domestic” perspective. Yet success is most often a function of how close our actions coincide with the reality outside of us, in that complex world, both natural and human, over which we have no assured control. To act successfully in the world we must be able to get perceive beyond the domestic blinkers and come to know the foreign reality that surrounds us. You might have noticed that Hosni Mubarak could not do this. Some day the Israeli elites, bound as they are to their myopic ideology, might share his fate.

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson

Dr. Lawrence Davidson is professor of history at West Chester University. He is the author of numerous books, including Islamic Fundamentalism and America’s Palestine: Popular and Official Perceptions from Balfour to Israeli Statehood.

The author is a regular contributor to articles can be found on, Logos Journal, and Dr. Davidson also maintains an online blog, you can find it at