Mr. Mahajan writes, "All of this feeds into some desire many people have for not wanting to see the United States as an imperial nation, at least not as a deliberately imperial one -- just one that is misled by Israel.", which strikes me as ironic because I think he may not want to see something: Israel's imperialism.
My take on it is that the Iraq war certainly has already been used for Israel's imperialism with regard to Iraq as well as that of the United States. I think that the same way claims about security are used as excuses for the United States' imperialism, the security talk just masks greed which is often called "interests," another code word.
He mentioned "benefits for Israel like the cheaper oil through the revival of the Mosul-Haifa pipeline and, presumably, the right of Israeli corporations to do business in Iraq." But you wrote, " These are small potatoes compared to the cost of the war and also to the aid Israel already gets from the United States -- and minuscule compared to what ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco would make in the long run if Iraq's oil was privatized." I am not sure what he means by this. Surely the people that make profits off of business deals exploiting Iraq are not concerned about the costs of the war. The US taxpayers pay for the costs of the Iraq war and reconstruction, the money is not coming out of the pockets of the corporations that profit from the deals that will be imposed upon Iraq.
I agree that talk about Israel's security isn't serious but I think you miss the point that the talk is cover for Israel's "interests" (meaning Imperial ambitions)
And Mr. Netanyahu is looking forward to it: "It won't be long when you will see Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa," Mr. Netanyahu told a group of British investors in London. "It is just a matter of time until the pipeline is reconstituted and Iraqi oil will flow to the Mediterranean."
Note that Netanyahu does not say "It is a matter for the Iraqi people to decide" what he says is "It is just a matter of time".
On Sunday, August 24, Israeli National Infrastructure Minister Yosef Paritzky vowed to discuss the issue with the U.S. secretary of energy during his envisaged visit to Washington next month.
He asserted that the whole project depends on Jordan's consent, adding that the kingdom would receive a transit fee for allowing the oil to flow through its territory.
Note that he didn't say "the whole project depends on the Iraqi people's consent.
So the US plans for "democracy" in Iraq are clear. What is really meant by "democracy" is a government that will do the business deals that both the US and Israel want. Already Israel's greed is evident and they are acting like they are owed something. The justifications for getting what they want are being floated out there. Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon’s government "views the pipeline to Haifa as a ‘bonus’ the U.S. could give to Israel in return for its unequivocal support for the American-led campaign in Iraq," according to Haaretz.
And Israel corporations are already getting what they want. Iridium to supply Iraq with $4-5m in public phones
Iridium Satellite (Israel) will also market thousands of mobile phones. globes
Given how the injustices of Israel have outraged many in that area of the world, it is outrageous for Israel to even be involved. (and for the US for that matter) The obvious question not asked is would the Iraqi people want to be giving Israel these deals. Based on opinion polls I have seen of the views of other Arabs in the region I think the answer is no. The idea that we are allowing democracy in Iraq is a sick joke. Background on Israel, visit this link:What Americans Need to Know About Zionism