In her book, Maddow bemoans the decisions being made about going to war behind closed doors in the executive branch, with the House and Senate, the supposed "check and or balance," being left out of the loop. But the most bellicose calls for government secrecy (meaning keeping the public in the dark) and draconian punishments for those who leak information are members of the House and Senate. We also get standard speeches from these august statesman (meaning semi-literate stumble bums with envelopes stuffed with cash bulging from their coat pockets) braying for war on Iran, war on Syria, killing Julian Assange of Wikileaks and similar Ciceronian orations.
About US imperialism:
By saying the USA is a predatory imperialist power (you don't have to engage in Marxist-Leninist theoretics to reach this conclusion, anyone can figure it out empirically) I'm not saying that it's unique. It's just that the USA muscled aside the tattered French and English imperialist operations at the end of WWII, and remains on top. But not necessarily for long. The rise of China and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa)shows the handwriting is on the wall. Thus, the US rulers become all the more desperate to try and stay on top. Technology has been enlisted with a vengeance to make up for lost ground economically and politically in the world. Israel plays an important role in this regard. Many new weapons and security/repression technologies are tested on the Palestinians by Israel in US-Israel joint military and business ventures.
About AIPAC and US power:
Maybe you could say that Israel and the USA are locked in a mutual death-grip. It clearly is a unique relationship. In the early days of the state of Israel there was some friction with US policy. Especially in 1956 when Israel joined in with French and British attack on Egypt in reaction to Nassar's nationalization of the Suez Canal. President Eisenhower ordered them out. He wasn't going to tolerate any reassertion of the old colonial powers. It was time for the new colonialist:the USA.
Since 1967 backing Israel in all things has been the basic policy, with some twists and turns due to the cold war. With the Soviet demise and Egypt locked in as a US client state, the Israel uber alles policy had smooth sailing for many years.
Now things are different and the maintenance of US hegemony over the Mid-east and its resources is not a sure thing. The tight embrace of Israel is starting to ill serve US imperialism. It needs to have some flexibility and the current Israel "policy" in problematic. Israel needs the US to protect it politically, economically and militarily, but it's also an ungrateful, insubordinate protectorate of the US. Israel has political clout in the belly of the beast: AIPAC, Zionist organizations, politicians, people with huge amounts of money. Israel and its minions invoke a dishonest,threadbare "moral high ground," which involves guilt-baiting and smearing anyone critical of Israel as antisemitic, holocaust deniers, and so on. To recognize the strange, outsized leverage that Israel has in US politics does not mean that they directly cause and are solely responsible for the US playing a destructive role in the Mid-east. If AIPAC and its money disappeared overnight, the US government would still play the same role. But it could be more flexible without AIPAC terrorizing US politicians.