Israel should not be blamed for Terrible President's Iraq War
Two otherwise respected historians have attacked the Israeli lobby and are attempting to blame Israel for the Terrible President's decision to invade Iraq. I have read this detailed article but found it less and less convincing as it reached its crescendo against the Israel lobby.
Do I think such a lobby exists? Absolutely. Do I think it is a powerful force among other lobbyists in Washington DC? Again, absolutely.
However, let's be clear that this particular lobby was not nor is not powerful enough to have taken or take the US into war against Iraq without non-Jews like Bush, Cheney, Rummy, Rice and other non-Jewish neo-cons, and the largely if not completely non-Jewish oil and gas industry. Remember, the Terrible President and his Dad are tight with the UAE, Saudis, Pakistanis and other Muslim (non-Jewish) nations--and the Bush family, starting with Dad, were not really very sympathetic to Israel compared to most US politicians.
This article by a pro-Likudnik makes a better point that Israel has consistently seen Iran, not Iraq, as the most formidable enemy over the past ten years at least. In fact, until one gets to his defense of the neo-conservatives near the end of his article, he makes a case that the Israeli public and enough Israeli leaders (not on the Likud side) were ambivalent from the start about the Terrible President's invasion of Iraq.
On the other hand, let's not accuse the two historians of making up their point about Israel being a motivator for the Iraq war: Here is an article where one of the Terrible President's top outside-inside advisers saying he was pushing the war against Iraq in order to help Israel. And here is Shimon Peres telling our nation's Terrible President in 2002 that Israel would be a "loyal soldier" for an attack on Iraq--though if you note the language, Peres is being passive and trying to put a good gloss over something Peres must have known was going to happen no matter what.
I can't find the right links, but more astute observers of American foreign policy, from Theodore Draper to Noam Chomsky have pointed out that Israel mostly follows U.S. dicates, not the other way around. This occurred during the Iran-Contra scandals, and as, again, both Draper and Chomsky independently pointed out during the trials of Poindexter and North, there were elements in the first Bush administration who sought to blame Israel. I think the same thing is happening now as the Iraq War loses favor among more and more elements of the American right wing.