Bush regime retread, Philip Zelikow, appointed to Obama’s Intelligence Advisory Board
President Obama has appointed Philip Zelikow to serve on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board the White House announced this past week.
Zelikow served on the same presidential board between 2001 and 2003 under Bush during which time he revealed the perceived threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq which necessitated preemptive invasion.
“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us?” asked Zelikow. “I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 — it’s the threat against Israel. And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell,” said Zelikow at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts.
Apparently a war, sold to the world on false pretenses, for the sole benefit of Israel presented no dilemma for Zelikow. But then, Zelikow’s academic background places him squarely in league with the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) proponents of wars for Israel as reported at Wikipedia.
In writing about the importance of beliefs about history, Zelikow has called attention to what he has called “‘searing’ or ‘molding’ events [that] take on ‘transcendent’ importance and, therefore, retain their power even as the experiencing generation passes from the scene.” [...]
In the November-December 1998 issue of Foreign Affairs, Phillip D. Zelikow co-authored an article with Ashton B. Carter, and John M. Deutch entitled “Catastrophic Terrorism” describing a “Pearl Harbor” type of event that might occur in the United States that would result in the suspension of civil liberties and the increased surveillance of citizens. It seemed to describe exactly what has come to pass under the Bush Administration. They speculated that if the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center had succeeded, “the resulting horror and chaos would have exceeded our ability to describe it. Such an act of catastrophic terrorism would be a watershed event in American history. It could involve loss of life and property unprecedented in peacetime and undermine America’s fundamental sense of security, as did the Soviet atomic bomb test in 1949. Like Pearl Harbor, the event would divide our past and future into a before and after. The United States might respond with draconian measures scaling back civil liberties, allowing wider surveillance of citizens, detention of suspects and use of deadly force. More violence could follow, either future terrorist attacks or U.S. counterattacks.”
Of course Zelikow was indispensable in heading up the 9/11 commission, an appointment which was opposed by the 9/11 Family Steering Committee which cited his “close ties” to the Bush administration. Zelikow had an obvious conflict of interest, having previously worked on the Bush transition team, which recommended candidates for Cabinet positions and other top national security appointments. Many Bush administration security positions had been filled by people associated with the PNAC (such as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) which advocated for war on Iraq, and lamented that the goal would take a long time, unless there was a catalyzing event like “a new Pearl Harbor.” After completing his work with the 9/11 Commission, Zelikow was hired by Condoleezza Rice as Counselor at the State Department until 2007.
Zelikow authors Bush Doctrine of preemptive war
David Ray Griffin points out another conflict of interest in Zelikow’s appointment to the 9/11 commission, “the document in which the Bush Doctrine was first fully articulated—the 2002 version of The National Security Strategy of the United States of America (NSS 2002) —was written by the same person who was primarily responsible for the 9/11 Commission’s report: its executive director, Philip Zelikow.”
Griffin describes the connection between the events of 9/11 and the subsequent Bush Doctrine:
People known as neoconservatives (or simply neocons), the most powerful member of whom has been Dick Cheney, did not like the idea that America’s use of military power could be constrained by the prohibition against preemptive-preventive war. In 1992, Cheney, in his last year as secretary of defense, had Paul Wolfowitz (the undersecretary of defense for policy) and Lewis (“Scooter”) Libby write the Defense Planning Guidance of 1992, which said that the United States should use force to “preempt” and “preclude threats.” In 1997, William Kristol founded a neocon think tank called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). In 1998, a letter signed by 18 members of PNAC—including Kristol, Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld, and James Woolsey—urged President Clinton to “undertake military action” to eliminate “the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction.”
Only after 9/11, however, were the neocons able to turn their wish to leave international law behind into official US policy. As Stephen Sniegoski wrote, “it was only the traumatic effects of the 9/11 terrorism that enabled the agenda of the neocons to become the policy of the United States of America.” Andrew Bacevich likewise wrote: “The events of 9/11 provided the tailor-made opportunity to break free of the fetters restricting the exercise of American power.”
The idea of preemptive-preventive war, which came to be known as the “Bush doctrine,” was first clearly expressed in the president’s address at West Point in June 2002, when the administration began preparing the American people for the attack on Iraq. Having stated that, in relation to “new threats,” deterrence “means nothing” and containment is “not possible,” Bush dismissed preemption as traditionally understood, saying: “If we wait for threats to fully materialize, we will have waited too long.” Then, using the language of preemption while meaning preemptive-prevention, he said that America’s security “will require all Americans . . . to be ready for preemptive action.” [...]
This unprecedented doctrine was, as we have seen, one that neocons had long desired. Indeed, neocon Max Boot described NSS 2002 as a “quintessentially neo-conservative document.” And, as we have also seen, the adoption of this doctrine was first made possible by the 9/11 attacks. Halper and Clarke themselves say, in fact, that 9/11 allowed the “preexisting ideological agenda” of the neoconservatives to be “taken off the shelf . . . and relabeled as the response to terror.”
The 9/11 attacks, we have seen, allowed the Bush-Cheney administration to adopt the doctrine of preemptive-preventive war, which the neocons in the administration—most prominently Cheney himself—had long desired. One would assume, therefore, that the 9/11 Commission would not have been run by someone who helped formulate this doctrine, because the Commission should have investigated, among other things, whether the Bush-Cheney administration might have had anything to gain from 9/11 attacks—whether they, in other words, might have had a motive for orchestrating or at least deliberately allowing the attacks. Amazing as it may seem, however, Philip Zelikow, who directed the 9/11 Commission and was the primary author of its final report, had also been the primary author of NSS 2002.
Lying behind Zelikow’s authorship of NSS 2002 was the fact that he was close, both personally and ideologically, to Condoleezza Rice, who as National Security Advisor to President Bush had the task of creating this document. Zelikow had worked with Rice in the National Security Council during the Bush I presidency. Then, when the Republicans were out of power during the Clinton years, Zelikow and Rice co-authored a book together. Finally, when she was appointed National Security Advisor to Bush II, she brought on Zelikow to help with the transition to the new National Security Council.
The Obama regime has expanded upon the Bush doctrine, claiming unchecked executive privilege to assassinate perceived enemies, even US citizens. Drone attacks are now occurring in six different countries. These operations are not being subjected to any outside scrutiny whatsoever. While the US regime claims that Yemen and Pakistan for example are “terrorist sanctuaries” there is little or no evidence that any threat to the US or even to its interests could be emanating from these places. What we are actually seeing is the methodical subjugation and terrorizing of the global Islamic population whom seem to have been reduced to having no human rights at all as well as having been marked for dispossession.
Military dominance over any nation which might attempt to resist this new order is a primary goal with Iran in particular in the cross hairs, though regime change is being pursued by State Department associated entities such as the National Endowment for Democracy through various non-military means as well in any nation which has supported the Hamas or Hezbollah resistance movements in any manner.
The background that Zelikow brings into the Obama regime bodes ill for the prospects of peace or the restoration of any respect for US or international law and frankly suggests that the Obama regime is headed toward further escalation of aggression and violence wherever threats or subversion fail to achieve Israel’s aims.
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“Responsibility to Protect” as Imperial Tool
By JEAN BRICMONT | February 20, 2012
The events in Syria, after those in Libya last year, are accompanied by calls for a military intervention, in order to “protect civilians”, claiming that it is our right or our duty to do so. And, just as last year, some of the loudest voices in favor of intervention are heard on the left or among the Greens, who have totally swallowed the concept of “humanitarian intervention”. In fact, the rare voices staunchly opposed to such interventions are often associated with the right, either Ron Paul in the US or the National Front in France. The policy the left should support is non-intervention.
The main target of the humanitarian interventionists is the concept of national sovereignty, on which the current international law is based, and which they stigmatize as allowing dictators to kill their own people at will. The impression is sometimes given that national sovereignty is nothing but a protection for dictators whose only desire is to kill their own people.
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