Motivating enemies: Interventionists and the UN veto

For most of a decade I have said in books, articles, interviews, and speeches that America’s war with the growing Islamist movement is motivated by the Islamists’ belief that U.S. foreign policy is an attack on their faith and brethren. Generally, this effort has been akin to yelling into a closet. The dominance of pro-Saudi and especially pro-Israel political influence and money in both political parties, the media, and the academy is just too strong to allow more than fleeting opportunities to tell Americans that they — and their soldier-children — are and will continue to be at war because of the impact in the Muslim world of the foreign policy of Washington and its NATO allies.

This week, however, all Americans have a chance to see for themselves how Washington‘s bipartisan, interventionist foreign policy provides our Islamist enemies with their main motivation and encourages young Muslim males to seek out membership in Islamist organizations fighting the United States and its allies. If the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, goes ahead and asks the United Nations to recognize Palestine as an UN member state, and the Obama Administration then vetoes the chance of a positive response — as would any Republican administration — Americans will see clearly and unequivocally how a U.S. foreign policy decision motivates Islamists to war and provides them with their major source of unity and enduring cohesiveness. Actions cause reactions, and, in this case, the pro-Israel lobby will have a harder time than usual telling Americans that U.S. foreign policy does not promote war with Muslims. The Obama veto will surely kill Americans and promote domestic Islamist violence in the years ahead.

The foregoing, of course, is absolutely not an argument for the Obama Administration to vote for recognition of a Palestinian state. What happens to the Palestinians and their country in the future is a matter of indifference to the genuine national-security interests of the United States, as is the future of Israelis and their state. Indeed, life in the United States would go on without missing a beat if Palestine and/or Israel disappear from the earth next week or at any future point.

Over several thousand years of human history nation-states have come and gone as result of their own actions and follies, and this winnowing process has proven beyond doubt that no nation-state has a right to exist. To argue otherwise — as the Israel-Firsters do — is simply to ignore history and reality; to inject via political corruption a set of personal and not widely held religious beliefs into the formation of U.S. foreign policy; and to put all Americans at risk of war for the fundamentalist, near-fanatical religious beliefs of some Jewish- Americans and their full partners in political corruption and war mongering, parts of the Christian Evangelical community.

The proper, pro-America role for the Obama Administration is to publish a non-interventionist doctrine declaring that it will abstain from any vote taken at the UN on the issue of full membership for Palestine. Obama officials could simply explain that this is an issue of no genuine national-security concern to the United States — exactly the type of issue America‘s Founders advised their countrymen to steer clear of — and from Washington’s perspective should be left to the two parties in the conflict to work out, Israelis and Arabs. President Obama and UN Ambassador Rice could also explain to UN members the fact that no nation has a right to exist, although this reminder may be a bit superfluous now that the United Nations itself has proven that point by becoming the West’s pliant interventionist tool for helping to destroy such UN member-states in good standing as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and Yemen.

So Americans should keep their eyes on the current UN meeting and remember what happens in that forum if there is a vote on Palestinian membership and Washington vetoes it. The negative, war-promoting impact of that veto may not be visible right away, but you can bet that the next time an Islamist group fights and dies to kill U.S. soldiers, Marines, and private citizens, and those of our Western allies, it will publicly cite among its main motivations unqualified U.S. support for Israel and the the Obama veto.

And you can be just as sure that that Islamist group will not cite as its motivation early presidential primaries in Iowa, the presence of women in the workplace, or the civil liberties of Americans. Those claims (lies, really) will have to come from the usual suspects, Neoconservatives, senior Republican and Democratic leaders, Israel-Firsters, Evangelical preachers, the academy, and most of the media; in other words, from those people who are least likely to have soldier-children to be killed in the wars with Islam they seek to start but never intend to win.

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.