Inevitably, if you argue current events, somebody is bound to say "All you do is talk about problems. You don't have any solutions."
Quite true. You see, before you can present solutions, you have to decide what the problem is. I had a problem about a month ago, a severe stomach pain. I had a solution. I took an anti-gas pill. A few hours later, I was being rushed into an operating room for an appendectomy.
I had guessed the wrong problem. That's why I chose the wrong solution. I was damned lucky there was time to make up for my mistake. Israel may not be so lucky. Nor we. Consider these points....
1. Israel depends absolutely and entirely on US support for its economy and its security. This tiny country with a population not much larger than metro Toronto gets more US foreign aid than any other country in the world. Virtually all of is powerful military is US equipped. This is a very, very dependent country.
(Just to put that in context, every year some 15 million children, twice the Jewish population of Israel, die of starvation.)
The US is very much larger, and with a far greater range of concerns. But Israel, heavily dependent Israel, insists that the US MUST automatically support Israeli policy no matter what its own interest might be. This has become an open fight, with Netanyahu publicly insulting the US president over it.
Do you see something out of balance in that? Canada is much bigger than Israel. It doesn't need foreign aid. It's a major market for the US, a far bigger one than Israel, and a far more important one for resources. And it's far more important for the future of the US economy and its defence than Israel is.
Can you imagine a Canadian prime minister publicly demanding that the US shape it entire foreign policy to put Canadian wishes in top priority? (Well, maybe. We have a Canadian prime minister stupid enough to be playing Netanyahu's game.)
2. No countries are friends. Toasts to eternal friendship sound nice at banquets. The reality is that all countries have interests that would lead them to slit anybody's throat.
The US was a great pal of the UK, Canada, France. But it didn't stir a finger when the UK was in danger of invasion and Canada was up to its neck in war. Nor did it help France. In fact, during the war, it bled as much money out of the UK as it could - and it tried very hard to take over the old, British and French empires. What do you think Vietnam was all about? As for being buddies with South Vietnam, it cooperated in the assassination of its president.
Canada and the US will brag about their "tolerance" of Jews. In fact, neither did a damn thing to help Jews in the 1930s, though we all knew what was going on. We wouldn't even accept them as refugees during the war. Both Canada and the US were thoroughly anti-semitic.
Just wait till the day coming soon when the US runs low on fresh water. See how nice it is to us when that happens. And it's not just the US. Canada would be just as bad if it were bigger.
The US does not help Israel because it is friends. It helps Israel because that gives the US a useful ally in the region. But that could change at any time.
3. But Nethanyahu has placed all his bets on a "friendship" with the US. It may not work much longer. The US, along with much of Europe, is an empire in collapse. It has not been impressive militarily for 70 years. It's hopelessly in debt. There is every chance it is facing internal disorder, every chance it will then have to drop Israel.
As it is, Israeli has spies in the U.S. Some have been caught, and deported or jailed. And there is no reason to doubt there are American spies in Israel. So much for friendship.
That means that anybody who encourages Israel into a war with a Moslem country may be cutting Israel's throat. Israel desperately needs to come to terms with its neighbours. Otherwise, the only edge it will have over them is its nuclear arsenal -and firing even one bomb could lead to consequences none of us can imagine.
4. The US would love to invade Iran. It already has, at least once; and it has also supported and supplied an Iraqi war with Saddam Hussein against Iran. But the dangers now are pretty high. The US has very foolishly interfered and warred with many Moslem countries in the last 70 years. It has created one hell of a reaction in the form of terrorism. It now has to contain that terrorism, reverse the slippage of its empire in Africa, the middle east and Latin America and, at the same time, face a rising China. Meanwhile, the US is steeply in decline, and may well have to make nice with Moslems.
In consequence, those many yahoos who think they are helping Israel with its demand for war against Iran are more likely to be helping it to destruction. Certainly, that is what is going through the minds of the Israeli Defence Force staff chiefs and Israeli intelligence. That's why they think - and have said publicly, that a war on Iran is sheer stupidity. More wars will be suicide for Israel. It needs peace.
Anyone who has a slick and easy solution for this problem, please write to us, and let the world in on your wisdom,
In return, I'll send that person an anti-gas pill to take next time he gets a sharp pain in the stomach.