In the run up to the Iraq war in 2002-03, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Great Britain worked so hard to get American approval that he was widely labelled as George W. Bush’s “poodle.” But who today yelps loudest when the kings of Saudi Arabia (that poor excuse for a nation) say “bark”? And when Israel’s reactionary government says, “go get ’em,” who’s the first to dash off? Is the United States, under Obama — and Bush before him — acting any differently to Saudi Arabia and Israel than Blair did with the U.S. before the Iraq war?
Americans like to think of themselves as the alpha dog – beholden to no one, master of the pack. But when you look at U.S. foreign policy today, the U.S. is more lap dog than alpha wolf. Indeed, if anything we’re poodles, jumping through flaming hoops being held by our Saudi and Israeli masters. And the more eagerly and obsequiously we obey, the more we get burned.
Evidence of this is everywhere. Leon Panetta, formerly head of the CIA as well as the Department of Defense, noted Bibi Netanyahu’s fondness for making speeches that were intended “to force the U.S. into a corner. “ More recently, Netanyahu gave an “instructional” speech on Iran’s nuclear program to his willing poodles in the U.S. Congress. Republicans and some Democrats stood up and cheered Bibi the Dog Whisperer. (He didn’t even have to blow a whistle to be obeyed.)
About the same time as Bibi’s performance, the Admiral of the Saudi Arabian Navy — oh, sorry “the King,” since the Saudis have no navy to speak of (unless aircraft carriers were part of their recent immense order of American weaponry) — instructed our intrepid Secretary of State, John Kerry, that we should send “boots on the ground” to fight the unruly ISIS gangsters that the Saudis are helping to finance. For some strange reason the King does not want to sully his newly purchased American weaponry in Iraq’s dirt. As usual, the Obama Administration appears all too willing to “go get ‘em” in obedience to the commands of the House of Saud.
If one still has doubts about how subservient America’s political leaders are to the commands of their Saudi and Israeli masters, in the last week we had 47 Republican Senators take it upon themselves to bypass the separation of powers and take foreign policy into their own hands. They wrote to the Iranian leaders that they will rescind any agreement the Iranians may sign on their nuclear program with the six nations, including the U.S., after Obama leaves office, even though they lack the formal power to do so. (Republicans must be counting on governors like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Florida’s Rick Scott, et. al., to exploit the Supreme Court’s weakening of the voting rights act to disenfranchise enough poor voters to win the 2016 presidential election.)
Americans, it’s time to take the dog whistle away from the likes of King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Bibi Netanyahu of Israel. It’s time to elect presidents and Members of Congress who don’t bark and wag their tails when the doggie whistle blows from America’s “allies” in the Middle East. It’s time to be masters of our own destiny, rather than raising our paw and rolling over whenever the Saudis or Israelis command us to do so.