The fracas unrolled by Natanyahu’s speech to the USA Congress, when relating it to Asia issues, instigates a look back to World War II when Madam Chiang Kai-shek spoke before Congress, in 1943, at the time of the Cairo Declaration.
Fearing Chiang Kai-shek might go for accommodation with the Japanese and wait for the USA to defeat them before making any moves, that dodgy old fox cashed in on his well polished Christian image in the USA to bend the ear of President Roosevelt who was embellishing Chiang as some kind of stalwart – though he was a total rogue and ripping off the USA left, right and centre. It was election year and Roosevelt needed the Christian vote. Thus Madam Chiang was encouraged to address both houses of Congress, giving her ‘face’ – to get corrupt Nationalist co-operation in the war against Japan.
At almost whatever cost, Roosevelt’s military aids at the highest level wanted China to stay allied to the USA in that moment when China was needed as a base for any seaborne attack on Japan – recall that already Japan had overrun Manchuria, Peking, Nanking, Manila, Bangkok and Indonesia…
Returning to today, so how did election-bound Netanyahu coerce his lobbyists in Congress to invite him to speak when it was well understood that that would upset President Obama? For Chiang, the case is made above, what is so important about Israel for today’s USA?
Netanyahu’s speech was evidently aimed at the electors back in Israel, and at his opponents in Congress – likewise Chiang in his case. Interestingly, with Natanyahu, while scores of democrats boycotted the show (at least 60), others attended reluctantly, fearful of the political consequences of upsetting the pro-Israel lobby – ie., the money.
The USA though at the time of this invite are pursuing far broader objectives than circling the wagons around Israel, its negotiations with Tehran are directed not merely at curbing its nuclear programme, but at creating conditions in the Middle East that will facilitate the US’s latter-day imperialism using the infamous “pivot” toward escalating military confrontation with Russia, North Korea and China.
Later it was widely acknowledged that Chiang’s appearance in Congress was a sad error; in the case of the Natanyahu appearance, that acknowledgment is already with us.
Photo shows Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, PresidentFranklin D. Roosevelt, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill – they met at the Cairo Conference (Cairo), November 25, 1943.