in response to a
"Stop and think" installment
To the editor ...
I agree with Mr. Strakon that there is division within the U.S. ruling class regarding Iraq, and doubtless many of the senior Insiders (both Jewish and non-Jewish) are greatly irritated with the neocons' belligerence. In fact, I think the United States is heading toward an era of political instability, akin to the period from the mid '60s to the late '70s, that will reflect that conflict within the ruling class.
However, I tend to think that the division within the ruling class will be along ethnic lines; that is, it will for the most part pit the Jewish against the non-Jewish components of the ruling class. It is true that, among the Jewish power structure, only the neocons were enthusiastically agitating for war, and it is also true that the Jewish power structure, though pro-Israel, is not particularly pro-Likudnik. Still, the Iraq war does benefit Israel primarily, not only in the destruction and fragmentation of a potential military rival, but more importantly (in my eyes) in the establishment of a more or less permanent U.S. military garrison that is capable of watching Israel's back as that state deals both with its Palestinian problem and with its other enemies in the region (Iran, Syria). And of course the American force may even strike out anew in further support of Israeli policies.
Also, sustained chaos and "blowback" from the war helps to further the basically totalitarian agenda of the Jewish component of the ruling class, which is in contrast to the basically authoritarian agenda of the non-Jewish component. (Keep in mind that, although the non-Jewish component has an interest in the destruction of traditional economic arrangements, it is not clear why it should have any great interest in pursuing the massive attitudinal adjustments and ethnic transformation that characterize the U.S. therapeutic-managerial state; it would seem that only the Jewish component would be served by those policies.)
So I cannot think that the Jewish power structure fails to see the enormous benefits of this war for helping both Israel and also some of its other interests, even if it is not terribly pleased with the neocons' particular methods and even if it doesn't plan to object to any punishment meted out to them. I can't see that the war could have proceeded without the implicit approval from this group in the ruling class; at the very least they had to refrain from actively opposing the neocons in order for the neocons to be effective. Witness the basic compliance of the media in the run-up to war. Since overall Jewish power is strongly pro-Democrat, it is interesting that all of the Democrat presidential candidates with a realistic chance of winning the election are happy to snipe at Bush's management of the war yet give assurances that the troops will stay for the foreseeable future. (I believe that a second-term Gore administration would also have attacked Iraq, albeit somewhat more deftly than Bush.)
Doubtless the war will hamper many of the material interests of the ruling class (Big Oil certainly isn't getting much out of it), and that will likely include some Jewish interests as well. However, within the ruling class, only the Jewish component has a strong non-material interest in the war that will likely serve as a counterweight to any monetary losses they suffer. That is in contrast to the non-Jewish components, some of whom are on record as opposing the war and, at any rate, stand to lose much and gain little from continued and costly military activity. At some point, as with Vietnam, public support for withdrawal will become impossible to ignore, and then the ruling class will be faced with its own conflict over how to proceed. Unlike Vietnam, however, that internal conflict will cross material and ideological lines because of the ethnic interests involved.
December 8, 2003;
posted December 15.
Nicholas Strakon comments
I hope I will hear from other readers, as well as from our TLD writers, on this vital but difficult question. I will be addressing it no doubt more than once in the future.
I find particularly thought-provoking DJM's distinction between the authoritarian and totalitarian agendas that he says are held, respectively, by the major wings of the ruling class. Though I might not couch it just as he has done, I believe he may be homing in on an important aspect of the question.
To Strakon's original
To letters page.