From James Petras' latest essay Capitalism in the Second Decade of the 21st Century: From the 'Golden' to the Dark Ages of Capitalism (23/4/12):
New Wars in the Midst of Crises: Zionists Pull the Trigger
"In what is likely a first in world history, a global imperial power, the US, is subject to the dictates and pays tribute (in the form of military and economic aid to the tune of over a hundred billion dollars over the past half century) to a marginal state, Israel, with little significance to the world economy and few allies. Never in past empires has a tiny minority, US Zionists, forcefully acted on behalf of the tributary state and had such a powerful influence in harnessing the imperial state to serve the military interests of a foreign power. Never in history has a prosperous elite, educated in the most prestigious schools and occupying strategic economic, cultural and political positions of power, driven an empire into a series of prolonged colonial wars which prejudice major private institutions (oil industry), drain the public treasury, impoverish the vast majority of taxpayers and consumers of energy in pursuit of the goal of a 'Greater Israel'.
"Finally, never in the history of modern social analysis has the public and blatant display of elite power and political manipulation on behalf of a foreign regime been so deliberately slighted and obfuscated by complicit or intimidated scholars and journalists, another instance of the pervasive power of intimidation of the Zionist power configuration.
"It is precisely this elite exercise of power on behalf of a foreign regime that explains the repeated costly imperial wars against Arab and Islamic countries, even in the midst of a major prolonged economic crisis. Since the Israel Lobby's first and abiding loyalty is to Israel, they have no qualms about deepening the US fiscal deficit based on trillion dollar military expenditures for wars to advance Israeli domination in the Middle East.
"The 52 Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations and their 'Israel First' followers in Congress, State, Treasury and the Pentagon have escalated economic sanctions and military preparations for war with Iran despite the loss of a major market for US exports and the sidetracking of scarce economic resources to unproductive military expenditures. As a result of war threats emanating from Washington and Tel Aviv, speculators have pushed up the price of oil by 20% in the first 6 months of 2012, further undercutting any hope of an economic recovery. A US-Israeli attack on Iran will not result in a short localized war. It will result in a regional conflagration, sharply reducing the flow of oil, sending prices skyrocketing and in short order lead to a world depression. Given the extremist Israeli regime's success in securing blind obedience to its war policies from the US Congress and White House with regard to Iraq (2003), Libya (2011) and Lebanon (2006), any doubts about the real possibility of an attack on Iran, with a major catastrophic outcome, can be set aside." (petras.lahaine.org)