Local professor obsessed with Israeli influence on US

By Vic Rosenthal

Sasan Fayazmanesh is chairman of the Economics department at California State University Fresno (CSUF), a university that has been called world-class in the misbehavior of its athletes, one of whom was arrested for biting off someone’s lip in a bar fight. But I digress.

Fayazmanesh often writes about US policy towards Iran, and appears obsessed with Israel’s influence on the US. A recent interview (www.payvand.com/news/07/mar/1248.html) is an example. In it he claims that

under no previous administration has the relation between US and Israel been as close as under the current, Bush Administration…as it is well known, the Middle East Policy of the current administration has been determined by the “neoconservatives,” individuals who virtually see no distinction between the “interest” of the US and Israel and might even put the “interest” of the latter above the former.

This would be news to many of us who feel that the policies of the administration are anything but protective of Israel’s interests. For example, the US ‘timetable’ which requires Israel to remove checkpoints and allow Palestinian convoys from Gaza to the West Bank is one such policy. Another is recent arms deals with Saudi Arabia, including the sale of JDAMs (the so-called ‘smart bombs’). Finally, it’s likely that US desire to get Syria to close her border with Iraq is behind the current talk about Israel opening negotiations with Syria — which would result in Israel being forced to return the Golan heights at a time when Syria continues to supply Hezbollah in Lebanon and is conducting an unprecedented military buildup including WMDs .

Nevertheless, Fayazmanesh is convinced that Jewish neocons (I counted seven ‘neocons’ mentioned, six of whom are Jewish) dominate US policy in the Mideast. And of course he has much to say about the all-powerful AIPAC, including a good word for the biased and tendentious, antisemitic, Mearsheimer/Walt study — but he does not mention the way AIPAC backed down on the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act after the arrest of staffers Weissman and Rosen.

He doesn’t expect the US to get out from under Jewish domination in the next administration, either:

…presidential candidates from both parties are singing the same [anti-Iranian] tune. The question is which wing of the Israeli lobby groups will be put in charge of formulating the Middle East policy when one of these candidates is elected. Will it be Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross type or Wolfowitz and Perle kind?

According to Fayazmanesh, Iran is not trying to develop nuclear weapons, and even if she were, there would be nothing for Israel to be afraid of because her own nuclear capability. But nevertheless, “Israel and its various affiliates in the US are now the leading force in pushing the US in the direction of confrontation with Iran”, because Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah.

Of course the US has been at odds with Iran since the capture of the American embassy in 1979, before the founding of Hamas and Hezbollah. One of Hezbollah’s first acts was to blow up the US Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, killing 241 US service personnel.

Fayazmanesh is unhappy with the way Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia seem to buy the “USraeli” (he modestly admits that he did not invent this locution) ‘myth’ of Iranian aggressive intentions:

As mentioned earlier, having failed to achieve the desired result in Iraq, the US and Israel are now trying to create the myth of the Shiite crescent headed by Iran. As I also indicated, the traditional Arab client states of the US appear to be accepting this new myth and are going along with the idea of joining US and Israel in the “containment” of Iran. Whether Iran can change this trend appears to be doubtful given the nature of these Arab regimes and their long, historical, and symbiotic relation with the US. That leaves Iran with a very limited choice of allies, such as Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.

His point of view is remarkable, especially the part about ‘choosing’ Hezbollah — almost entirely a creation of Iran — as an ally. But more important is his paranoid, almost pathological inversion of reality in which Israel (and its Jewish lobby) is the primary threat to Iran, rather than the target of Ahmadinijad’s desire to become the great hero of the Muslim world by destroying the Little Satan (and maybe the great one too).

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