An article by James Petras was emailed to me this past Monday. Although the article is pre-midterm elections by just a few days , I think Tuesday's outcomes give strength to aspects of Petras' postions, notably, that pressure from the public sphere will play a manipulatable role in the confrontation between the ruling class strategy Baker represents and that of the NeoCons.
I think a weakenss of Petras' argument (or, at the least, that which I dont fully accept) is his continual refering to NeoCon as the ZionCon. With the way Petras employs the term one would assume that the primary basis of that neoCon thought which has been the overwhelming dynamo of the Bush administration is that it is a NeoCon ideology devised solely to support Israel. Petras ignores NeoCon thought that emphasis nation-building premised on Western democratic morals and culture. I see the Bush clique as an at times contradictory combination of secular NeoCon thought and the mesianic fundamentalism of the pro-Zionist Christian Right. I question if Petras dosent overestimate the later as the defining element of recent U.S. foriegn policy.
From, Texas Versus Tel Aviv: US Policy in the Middle East:
If Baker has moved methodically and prudently toward a re-orientation of US policy from the line pushed by the ZCCM (Zioncons), he has done so by carefully organizing an army of researchers, experts and notables whose reports will be distilled into a series of policy proposals which will argue for a ‘winning empire-building strategy’ as opposed to the current impasse and decline of empire. Baker knows first hand the power of the Zioncon configuration and therefore it is highly unlikely that he will openly attribute the current disastrous course of policy to the subordination of US policy to the interests of the State of Israel. Instead he has established an organizational apparatus whose composition in fact excludes the Zioncons, and therefore re-establishes US imperial interests as the centerpiece of policy-making. Likewise Baker will not directly confront Rumsfeld, Chaney, Rice, Elliot Abrams and the other civilian-militarists in power; instead he will present a series of findings and proposals, which will be incompatible with their tenure in office. Baker is counting on the growing majority of Republican and Democratic Congress-members questioning current policy, a shift in the mass media, growing dissent among active Generals, career State Department and Pentagon officials, sectors of the economic elite and massive repudiation by public opinion to force the Rumsfeld-Hadley-Abrams power center out of office and their replacement by officials and advisers more open to a new approach to the Middle East.
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