The Establishment is “furious”, according to Xymphora. In a series of blog entries, the anonymous columnist has been penciling in his map of the political territory. On this map, “The American Establishment”, presumably consisting of elites from Wall Street and Main Street who are members of liberal Protestant or Roman Catholic churches, are juxtaposed against the Jewish Neo-cons and Christian Zionists who make up the bulk of the Bush administration. “The Establishment” represents old American money, the Carnegies and Rockefellers and other robber barons of the 19th and early 20th centuries; as well as the heritage of FDR and the New Deal, the preservation of American capitalism through “benevolent” government interventions like Social Security. Under presidents like Nixon, Johnson and Reagan, this “Establishment” was very well represented in the halls of power.
Under Xymphora’s scenario, the “Establishment” acquiesced in (or facilitated) the presidency of George W Bush because some aspects of the Neocon agenda are consistent with Establishment goals, and because vice president Cheney appeared to be safely in the establishment camp.
But, Xymphora argues, the Neocons, Christian Zionists, and Israeli government sympathizers of the Bush administration have gone far beyond the Establishment mandate, and the entire foreign policy of the United States has been turned to the service of AIPAC and the Jewish lobby. Thus, we are facing not only the disastrous turn of events in Iraq, but also the prospect of nuclear adventures in Iran, adventures which would be the graveyard of the American Establishment’s wealth and position in the world.
As evidence of the growing discontent of the “Establishment” at this unexpected turn of events, Xymphora discusses a confrontation between William F. Buckley Jr. and the neocon Norman Podhoretz. Buckley protests that he had been tricked into supporting the Iraq war, and sputters ‘Aren’t you embarrassed by the absence of these weapons?’
You can’t get any more old school American Establishment than Buckley, and he is here reflecting the incomprehension at the evil of the Jewish neocons, the fury at their continued lies and warmongering, and the frustration at the impotence of the traditional American power structure to do anything about it.
In the latest installment of the series (this morning, June 28,2007) Xymphora takes issue with a “socialist reductionist” analysis of the role of Zionism and neoconservatism in European politics, written by Gabriel Ash of dissidentvoice.org. Ash evokes this portrait of the agenda of European corporate globalists, which would seem to apply perfectly well to the American establishment as well:
After WWII, the specter that used to haunt Europe was invited to sit at the table and given a small plate in return for no longer moving furniture at night. This arrangement, known as the welfare state, made possible the rebuilding of a capitalist Europe. But it was expensive. With the Soviet Union no longer, Europe’s capital is asking itself why it should continue paying. The financial world has a clear agenda. It is not made in Brussels or in Whitehall. If at all, it is made in the City of London. It is drummed up almost daily in the pages of The Financial Times and weekly in The Economist. European wages are too high. Social services are too lavish. Workers are living too long, working too little, enjoying too much time on the French Riviera. “ Europe” (namely the financial owners) cannot afford it. It makes European labor “uncompetitive”. There is too much “rigidity” in labor markets (i.e., too much stability in people’s lives). And taxes, needless to say, are far too high. What really hurts is that financial profits are too low and stock markets below the moon.
Ash goes on to observe that the Neocon agenda of demonization of the Islamic world is a perfect propaganda motif to for camouflage of the corporate economic program:
Having an enemy across the border — alien, total, menacing — helps the right assert political power domestically, the power it now needs to liberate stock markets from the fetters of the welfare state. This is the revolution’s goal, and support for Israel is right at the center of it. Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” thesis is manna from heaven for Israel because it places its fight against the Palestinians in a larger struggle that includes the whole West. This was always a conscious and important Zionist goal. ….
Radicalizing Europe’s Muslims therefore serves Israel’s purpose. But it is also, in line with Schmitt’s and Huntington’s ideas, a blessing for the neoliberal assault. Western support for Israel inflames Muslim public opinion and produces instances of fanaticism that in turn help inflame popular animus against Muslim immigrants. Practically all organized support for Israel is involved in demonizing Islam. The demonization of Islam strengthens the appeal of the most radical Islamists and increases the likelihood of terrorist attacks. Terrorism breeds fear and fear breeds obedience to authority and conformism. Divide and conquer. …. It works in the US. It works in Israel. Why shouldn’t it work in Europe? Needless to say, a state about to go smash labor and destroy public services needs all the obedience it can generate. It also needs vast police powers, and what better way to justify curtailing civil rights than a frenzy surrounding terrorism?
According to Xymphora’s view, both in the United States and Europe, the “Establishment” globalists are a distinct group of people from the Zionists and Neocons. Further, Xymphora is convinced that the Zionists have taken the initiative to create the state of affairs which has been so convenient for the Establishment, but which has now led to their newfound powerlessness and alarm. Xymphora is not buying any Chomskian analytical claim that the Establishment’s interests are served by the entire Zionist project, whether it comes from Chomsky himself, or whether it is coming from Ash in the guise of a structuralist formulation.
Right-wing politicians in Europe like Israeli politicians because they share a general political culture. This culture is necessary in Israel in order to build the empire (you have to lack empathy in order to kill and displace Arabs). The European politicians aren’t up to some Noamian conspiracy theory involving class interests. Being overly specific about the plans of the conspirators isn’t necessary and makes the theory implausible. The simple answer is better: birds of a feather flock together.
The Western right-wing was in a horrible state in the 1970s, in full political and intellectual crisis. At the same time that Israel was planning its historic tactical alliance with American Evangelicals, it was also planning how it was going to get away with all the human rights abuses that would be required to realize the Project. If you line people up from most empathetic to least empathetic, the right-wingers will all be at one end of the line. These are the people who don’t care about human rights, and thus would allow Israel to do what the Zionists felt they were going to need to do. It was thus necessary to assist in jump-starting the return of the right. ….
The process of fostering and bolstering the ‘new Right’ was started by Israel in the late 1970s, at just about the same time it was starting its unlikely relationship with the American Christian Right, and for the same reasons. It so happens that the ‘new Right’ politicians share qualities with the Israelis that lead them to have similar ‘values’ (if I can use that word). It is not exactly a coincidence that these qualities lead to both Zionist Empire building and the destruction of social welfare programs in Europe, but it is not a conspiracy either. The factors that really tie all these seemingly diverse people together are personal and cultural. Of course socialist reductionists would say we are confused – our class consciousness is wonky – but we know better.
For all the vigor of this denunciation of “Noamian conspiracy theory”, Xymphora has made an important concession here: “birds of a feather flock together.” It’s hard to see where the Chomskian view goes much farther than that. And Ash doesn’t go much farther either:
Is this a “conspiracy?” Not in the cinematic sense of a powerful cabal meeting in secret and issuing marching orders. But there are plenty of secret and public conversations taking place through which the different elements of financial and political elites — the institutions, the corporations, the media, the civil society pressure groups, etc. — hone their common interests and learn to align and “conspire” — to speak in the same language and rally around common causes and strategies. Describing exactly how this alignment takes place is important and difficult. My purpose here is limited to the easy part — to sketch this ideological front and to identify its purpose by recognizing the historical patterns it repeats.
In observing all of this discussion, it is not my purpose to determine whether or not there is “a powerful cabal meeting in secret” – although when you think about it, the fact that the Zionist agenda is playing such a key role in Europe where (as Xymphora points out) there is no Jewish lobby because there is no Jewish population, at the very least signifies a globalization of this “Establishment” anti-Islamic fetish. And it is not my purpose to point out that both Ash and Xymphora do not acknowledge the common interest of the American and European elites in the oil of the Middle East. (Xymphora has mentioned this in other columns, and has complained that no abundance of Iraqi oil has yet started to flow into globalist tankers and pipelines. Perhaps the “Establishment” is not as impatient as Xymphora.)
Rather, my point is that the “American Establishment” is probably not a monolithic power structure, but rather it is a diverse collection of individuals with different viewpoints. Some of them might take a long-term (Millsian crackpot realist) globalist perspective, and see the Zionist confrontation with Iraq and Iran as an important part in a struggle to contain the Islamic “menace” (and, incidentally, to control the profits from development of all that oil, making sure the Chinese pay a steep price for whatever trickle flows their way.) Some of these might even be members of that “powerful cabal”, fully aware that the drama is nothing but a re-enactment of historical patterns that always play out to that cabal’s advantage.
Other members of the Establishment might be more tied to American nationalist interests, and those are the ones who are more likely to be outraged that America alone is paying the bill, and America alone is suffering the loss of international standing and prestige, for this Zionist adventure in Iraq. And the bill is about to get a lot more expensive, if the fighting branches out to Iran or Syria or both. It seems very reasonable to assume that such “American Establishment” figures really do exist, and that their rage is just as palpable as Xymphora states – although hard evidence of this is hard to come by. And if this “Establishment” has a pre-ordained role to play (either according to Historical Pattern, or by the edict of the “Powerful Cabal” if indeed it exists), then they might very well be largely unconscious of any such script. All they know is their rage, and their unaccustomed powerlessness.
If all this theorizing about the “American Establishment” is correct, we might expect to see some concrete manifestation emerging in electoral (or postmodern) politics. My suggestion is that the emergence of Michael Bloomberg’s independent candidacy for the presidency, may be exactly this manifestation. With both the Democratic and Republican parties solidly in the Zionist camp, Bloomberg’s flip-flop between parties seems symbolic of the “American Establishment” failure to find a home within the existing political landscape. So far, his (undeclared) campaign has been talking about bipartisanship and “common sense” and he has not signaled his intentions for Iraq or Iran. Although at this point Bloomberg is lagging behind Hillary and Giuliani in early polls, he could easily climb as he gains name recognition, especially with Hillary’s strong negatives. In the fundraising race, Bloomberg has more money than everyone else combined, so in that sense perhaps he should be regarded as a front-runner. And if indeed he is going to take on the role of spearheading an Establishment response to the Neocons, he has an ace in the hole: his somewhat unconventional but unmistakably Jewish background may make it difficult for any accusations of anti-Semitism to stick. Lenni Brenner, writing at counterpunch.org (8/21/06) explains:
Obscenities come forth nonstop from him. In 1995, before he thought of running for public office, he was interviewed by Jerusalem Report, an Israeli magazine. It informed its readers that he had “no particular desire to visit Israel.” He “had a bar mitzvah in a Conservative synagogue; is currently a member of one temple in Westchester and one in Manhattan.” But, he proudly announced, “’I’m not terribly religious …. I don’t spend time davening [praying – LB]. If I don’t call God, he won’t call me.’ But he does have firm views on Israel, and on Jewish philanthropy: ‘I won’t give too much money to the U[nited] J[ewish] A[ppeal],’ he says, ‘because of the hold the religious have on Israel. I have one wish: Shoot all the clerics.’”
At 13, religious Jewish boys celebrate their bar mitzvah. They become adult members of synagogues. The Conservative Judaic sect upholds most doctrines of Orthodoxy, Israel’s state religion, except where they conflict with modern life. Conservatives go along with biblical bans on pork, shrimp, lobster. But Orthodoxy says no riding on the Sabbath day of rest, while Conservative suburbanites drive cars to their synagogues, often many miles from their homes.
Bloomberg moved on from his family’s Conservativism. “Temple” is what the Reform sect, America’s largest Judaic group, calls a synagogue. They are a zillion miles from Orthodoxy. They and the Conservatives have women rabbis. But they pride themselves on their gay rabbis, while Conservatives fight over ordaining them. However, beyond temple membership, there isn’t evidence that he believes in any theology.
He is the ultimate joiner. The Jewish mayor proudly says that, as a teenager, he was “an Eagle Scout, and sold more Christmas wreaths than anyone.” When he grew up and became rich he joined endless charities, a few Jewish, most secular, because that’s what rich Americans are supposed to do. His political ambitions started when he’d call on other rich for donations. Give to his charity and he’d give to your favorite politician’s campaign. He was then a Democrat yet he’d fund Republican snakes, Democratic rats, whoever you wanted. He has no serious principles in religion or politics.
Whatever his theology or lack thereof, he knew that Conservatives and Reform are not recognized by Israel. They are allowed synagogues there, but the state doesn’t recognize marriages or divorces solemnized by their rabbis. So 1995 Bloomberg, nonpolitical businessman, denounced Israel for denying equality before the law to his sect.
In my last blog entry here, I argued that Zbigniew Brzezinski’s prophecy of a “terrorist attack” to provoke a war with Iran might prove to be correct. But predicting the future is always a perilous activity, and Bloomberg’s candidacy might possibly open up an alternative unfolding of the fractal space of time. Perhaps conspiracies such as Brzezinski hinted at, must be floated first among the elite to judge possible reactions. If sufficient challenges emerge, it’s hard to see how the conspiracy could move forward for fear of exposure in the mass media. Is it possible that Bloomberg’s candidacy represents just such a challenge to the Zionist march to war in Iran? Other explanations are possible. Only time will tell.
The “powers that be” may know of “Tecumseh’s curse” but they are clearly not bound by it. Perhaps if Bloomberg does well enough in his campaign, George W Bush may outlive the end of his presidency after all.