Over the last several years I have watched the rise of an important new intellect on the American scene. Ron Unz, publisher of The American Conservative, has demonstrated time and again the extraordinary ability to reexamine settled issues and show that the accepted conclusion was incorrect.
One of his early achievements was to dispose of the myth of immigrant crime by demonstrating that “Hispanics have approximately the same crime rates as whites of the same age and gender.” You can imagine the uproar, but Unz won the debate.
Unz provoked and prevailed in another controversy when he concluded that Mexican-Americans have approximately the same innate intelligence as whites, with their lower IQs being due to transitory socio-economic deprivation.
He next surprised by showing the connection between the declining real value of the minimum wage (about one-third less than in the 1960s) and immigration. Americans cannot survive on one-third less minimum income than four decades ago, and the unfilled jobs are taken by Hispanics who live many to the room. A higher minimum wage, Unz pointed out, would cure the illegal immigration problem as American citizens would fill the jobs.
I wrote about some of Unz’s remarkable findings. One of my favorites is his comparison of the responsiveness of the Chinese and US governments to their publics. I found his conclusion convincing that the authoritarian one-party Chinese government was more responsive to the Chinese people than democratic two-party Washington is to the American people.
The person is rare who can take on such controversial issues in such a professional way that he wins the admiration even of his critics. In my opinion, Ron Unz is a national resource. He has established online libraries of important periodicals and magazines from the pre-Internet era, information that otherwise essentially would be lost. I have not met him, but he donates to this site and is an independent thinker free of The Matrix.
Unz’s latest article, “Our American Pravda,” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/our-american-pravda/ is a striking account of the failure of media, regulatory, and national security organizations and subsequent coverups that leave the public deceived. Unz uses the Iraq war as one example:
“The circumstances surrounding our Iraq War demonstrate this, certainly ranking it among the strangest military conflicts of modern times. The 2001 attacks in America were quickly ascribed to the radical Islamists of al-Qaeda, whose bitterest enemy in the Middle East had always been Saddam Hussein’s secular Baathist regime in Iraq. Yet through misleading public statements, false press leaks, and even forged evidence such as the “yellowcake” documents, the Bush administration and its neoconservative allies utilized the compliant American media to persuade our citizens that Iraq’s nonexistent WMDs posed a deadly national threat and required elimination by war and invasion. Indeed, for several years national polls showed that a large majority of conservatives and Republicans actually believed that Saddam was the mastermind behind 9/11 and the Iraq War was being fought as retribution. Consider how bizarre the history of the 1940s would seem if America had attacked China in retaliation for Pearl Harbor.
“True facts were easily available to anyone paying attention in the years after 2001, but most Americans do not bother and simply draw their understanding of the world from what they are told by the major media, which overwhelmingly—almost uniformly—backed the case for war with Iraq; the talking heads on TV created our reality. Prominent journalists across the liberal and conservative spectrum eagerly published the most ridiculous lies and distortions passed on to them by anonymous sources, and stampeded Congress down the path to war.
“The result was what my late friend Lt. Gen. Bill Odom rightly called the “greatest strategic disaster in United States history.” American forces suffered tens of thousands of needless deaths and injuries, while our country took a huge step toward national bankruptcy [and a police state]. Economics Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and others have estimated that with interest the total long-term cost of our two recent wars may reach as high as $5 or $6 trillion, or as much as $50,000 per American household, mostly still unpaid. Meanwhile, economist Edward Wolff has calculated that the Great Recession and its aftermath cut the personal net worth of the median American household to $57,000 in 2010 from a figure nearly twice as high three years earlier. Comparing these assets and liabilities, we see that the American middle class now hovers on the brink of insolvency, with the cost of our foreign wars being a leading cause.
“But no one involved in the debacle ultimately suffered any serious consequences, and most of the same prominent politicians and highly paid media figures who were responsible remain just as prominent and highly paid today. For most Americans, reality is whatever our media organs tell us, and since these have largely ignored the facts and adverse consequences of our wars in recent years, the American people have similarly forgotten. Recent polls show that only half the public today believes that the Iraq War was a mistake.”
Unz covers a number of cases of criminality, treason, and coverups at high levels of government and points out that “these dramatic, well-documented accounts have been ignored by our national media.” One reason for “this wall of uninterest” is that both parties are complicit and thus equally eager to bury the facts.
Unz is raising the question of the efficacy of democracy. Does the way democracy works in America provide any more self-rule than in undemocratic regimes? He offers this example:
“Most of the Americans who elected Barack Obama in 2008 intended their vote as a total repudiation of the policies and personnel of the preceding George W. Bush administration. Yet once in office, Obama’s crucial selections—Robert Gates at Defense, Timothy Geither at Treasury, and Ben Bernake at the Federal Reserve—were all top Bush officials, and they seamlessly continued the unpopular financial bailouts and foreign wars begun by his predecessor, producing what amounted to a third Bush term.”
In an article not long ago, I raised the issue whether Americans live in The Matrix with their perceptions and thoughts controlled by disinformation as in George Orwell’s 1984.
Unz adds to this perspective. He tells the story of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky’s plan to transform Russia into a make-believe two-party state complete with heated battles fought on divisive and symbolic issues. Behind the scenes the political elites would orchestrate the political battles between the parties with the purpose of keeping the population divided and funneling popular dissatisfaction into meaningless dead-end issues. In such a system, self-serving power prevails. After describing Berezovsky’s plot, Unz asks if Berezovsky got his idea from observing the American political scene.
Thinking further about the propagandistic nature of the US media, Unz writes:
“Individuals from less trusting societies are often surprised at the extent to which so many educated Americans tend to believe whatever the media tells them and ignore whatever it does not, placing few constraints on even the most ridiculous propaganda. For example, a commentator on my article described the East German media propaganda he had experienced prior to Reunification as being in many respects more factual and less totally ridiculous than what he now saw on American cable news shows. One obvious difference was that Western media was so globally dominant during that era that the inhabitants of the German Democratic Republic inevitably had reasonable access to a contrasting second source of information, forcing their media to be much more cautious in its dishonesty, while today almost any nonsense uniformly supported by the MSNBC-to-FoxNews spectrum of acceptable opinion remains almost totally unquestioned by most Americans.” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/american-pravda-reality-television/
Unz’s view of the US media as propagandists for power is consistent with that of John Pilger, one of the last remaining real journalists who refuses to serve power, and with Gerald Celente, who sums up the sordid American media in one word–”presstitutes.” I know from my own media experience that an independent print and TV media no longer exists in the West. The American media is a tightly controlled disinformation ministry.
Those few Americans who are free of the constraints imposed by dogmas on their ability to think and to process information have a huge responsibility for their small number. The assault on the rule of law began in the last years of the Clinton regime, but the real destruction of the US Constitution, the basis for the United States, was achieved by the neoconservative George W. Bush and Obama regimes. Wars without declarations by Congress, torture in violation of both US and international law, war crimes in violation of the Nuremberg standard, indefinite detention and assassination of US citizens without due process of law, universal spying on US citizens without warrants, federalization of state and local police now armed with military weapons and uniforms, detention centers, “your papers, please” (without the Gestapo “please”) not only at airports but also on highways, streets, bus terminals, train stations, and at sporting events.
On May 5 Obama gave the commencement address at Ohio State University. No doubt that the graduates thought that they were being honored by being addressed by the world’s greatest tyrant.
Obama told the graduating class, to applause, that their obligation as citizens is to trust the government. Outdoing George Orwell’s Big Brother, Obama said in public to a graduating class of a great university without shame: “You have grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as . . . some sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.”
Listen to my propaganda, not to those constitutional experts, legal authorities, and critics of me, the First Black President, who tell you to beware of unaccountable government. Due process is decided by the demands of the war on terror. If there is a war on terror, do you want a fair trial or do you want to be safe? I am going to make you safe by not giving defendants accused of terrorism, who some liberal-pinko-commie judge would set free, a fair trial.
Making you safe by enveloping you in a police state is a nonpartisan undertaking. Just listen to Lindsay Graham and Peter King and John McCain. These Republican leaders are demanding the police state that I am providing.
As my own legal department, The US Department Of Justice, decided, the Dictator, I mean, elected president, has the power to save the country from domestic and foreign terrorists by abrogating the US Constitution, an out-of-date document that binds our hands and prevents us from keeping you, our serfs and minions, I mean our cherished citizens, safe.
Trust me. That is your obligation as a US citizen. Trust me and I will make you free, happy, employed sometime later in this century when the Amerikan Empire controls the world.
The US Constitution was written by people who opposed Empire. These people were misguided, just like the Roman Republicans who did not understand the need for a Caesar. The American Empire, as the neoconservatives have made clear, is what keeps you free from terrorism. We have to kill them over there before they come over here. And those who are over here will be killed too. We tolerate no dissent. That part of the Constitution is gone, along with the rest of it.
Now give me my honorary doctorate, another sign of approval of my usurpation.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.
How long can media keep printing lies about the Iraq War? Today’s Washington Post (3/22/13) provides one answer, since they printed an 0p-ed by former Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley where he argued this:
After Hussein was deposed, we did not find the stockpiles of WMDs that all the world’s major intelligence services, the Clinton and Bush administrations and most members of Congress thought that he had. It was less an intelligence failure than a failure of imagination. Before the war, no one conceived what seems to have been the case: that Hussein had destroyed his WMD stocks but wanted to hide this from his enemy Iran. The U.S. team charged with searching for WMDs concluded that Hussein had the intention and the means to return to WMD production had he not been brought down. (With Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, it is a good bet that he would have.)
This is complete, utter nonsense; a serious newspaper would be ashamed to print it.
Long before the war, the government had intelligence from the most famous defector from Iraq, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law Hussein Kamel. The government publicly claimed that what Kamel told them confirmed their threats about Iraq’s WMDs.
So it is 100 percent false to talk about “a failure of imagination.”
It is also false to talk about how “all the world’s major intelligence services” were in agreement on Iraq intelligence. Some remained quite skeptical about the analysis being promoted by the Bush administration. As a matter of fact, the Washington Post (3/18/03) printed an article to the effect right before the before the war started:
As the Bush administration prepares to attack Iraq this week, it is doing so on the basis of a number of allegations against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that have been challenged—and in some cases disproved–by the United Nations, European governments and even U.S. intelligence reports.
So the Post is publishing something that flies in the face of what its own reporters documented at the time.
What about the idea that Iraq was hiding its absence of WMDs from Iran? If they were, they weren’t do a very good job of it. Before the war, Saddam Hussein went on CBS with Dan Rather (60 Minutes II, 2/26/03) and stated quite clearly that he had no such weapons: “I think America and the world also knows that Iraq no longer has the weapons,” he told Rather. You can watch the video here.
To top it all the off, the parenthetical at the end–which stands as a final justification for the war–is completely unsupported; there is no evidence to suggest that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon.
Does the Post factcheck op-eds? By the looks of it, they do not. But something tells me that if you submitted a column that made completely factual observations about Iraq–saying, for example, that there was clear evidence before the war that Iraq had destroyed its WMDs, and that Iraq had done its best to make clear that it didn’t possess any–you would have little chance of getting it published. And if, by some miracle, it did make through the early editing process, someone would demand that you substantiate these accurate claims.
No such burden would appear to have been placed on Stephen Hadley, who was part of the team that told the lies that took the country into war. Thanks to the Washington Post, he is still doing so.
This was August 5, 2002:
And this was November 8, 2011:
This was September 9, 2002:
And this was October 9, 2012:
This was also September 9, 2002:
This was September 17, 2002:
And this was May 9, 2006:
This was September 22, 2002:
And this was November 6, 2011:
This was September 10, 2002:
And this was November 9, 2011:
This was September 17, 2004:
And this was January 27, 2009:
This was October 6, 2004:
And this was January 25, 2010:
This was April 25, 2005:
And this was October 8, 2012:
This was September 6, 2007:
And this was February 4, 2013:
Ten years ago today, Colin Powell made the Bush administration’s case for going to war against Iraq. Much of what he said about Iraq’s threats to the United States was false. But the media coverage gave the opposite impression, and most of the pundits and journalists who promoted the justifications for the war paid no price for their failures.
As FAIR reported at the time, even before the Powell address there were reasons to be skeptical of the administration’s claims. On February 4, 2003, FAIR published “Iraq’s Hidden Weapons: From Allegation to Fact,” which made the point that “it has not been demonstrated that Iraq continues to hold unconventional weapons.” FAIR criticized coverage like that of the New York Times (2/2/03), which asserted that “nobody seriously expected Mr. Hussein to lead inspectors to his stash of illegal poisons or rockets, or to let his scientists tell all.”
As the FAIR release concluded:
The media convey to the public the impression that the alleged banned weapons on which the Bush administration rests its case for war are known to exist, and that the question is simply whether inspectors are skillful enough to find them.
Powell’s address was instrumental in pushing a faulty media line on Iraq’s WMDs further. That much was clear in the coverage right after his appearance at the United Nations, as FAIR documented on February 10 in “A Failure of Skepticism in Powell Coverage.”
In Andrea Mitchell‘s report on NBC Nightly News (2/5/03), Powell’s allegations became actual capabilities of the Iraqi military: “Powell played a tape of a Mirage jet retrofitted to spray simulated anthrax, and a model of Iraq’s unmanned drones, capable of spraying chemical or germ weapons within a radius of at least 550 miles.”
Dan Rather, introducing an interview with Powell (60 Minutes II, 2/5/03), shifted from reporting allegations to describing allegations as facts: “Holding a vial of anthrax-like powder, Powell said Saddam might have tens of thousands of liters of anthrax. He showed how Iraqi jets could spray that anthrax and how mobile laboratories are being used to concoct new weapons.” The anthrax supply is appropriately attributed as a claim by Powell, but the mobile laboratories were something that Powell “showed” to be actually operating.
Commentator William Schneider on CNN Live Today (2/6/03) dismissed the possibility that Powell could be doubted: “No one disputes the findings Powell presented at the U.N. that Iraq is essentially guilty of failing to disarm.” When CNN‘s Paula Zahn (2/5/03) interviewed Jamie Rubin, former State Department spokesperson, she prefaced a discussion of Iraq’s response to Powell’s speech thusly: “You’ve got to understand that most Americans watching this were either probably laughing out loud or got sick to their stomach. Which was it for you?”
If you turn to FAIR’s “Iraq and the Media: A Critical Timeline” (3/19/07), you see that February 6 Washington Post op-ed page had Mary McGrory writing: “I don’t know how the United Nations felt about Colin Powell’s ‘J’accuse’ speech against Saddam Hussein. I can only say that he persuaded me, and I was as tough as France to convince.” She added that she “heard enough to know that Saddam Hussein, with his stockpiles of nerve gas and death-dealing chemicals, is more of a menace than I had thought.”
And Richard Cohen (2/6/03) announced that the debate was over:
The evidence he presented to the United Nations–some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail–had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn’t accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool–or possibly a Frenchman–could conclude otherwise.
Obviously, the fools and Frenchmen were correct. And as FAIR documented, independent-minded journalists were reporting that some of the administration’s claims did not stand up to scrutiny. The Associated Press had a detailed look at the state of Iraq intelligence on January 18. The skepticism and good judgment of those reporters (and others) should have been the rule, not the exception, if journalists had been doing their jobs.
But most journalists did a different job. And most of them faced no consequences whatsoever for being so disastrously wrong.
Most Americans would prefer to forget that we are approaching the first anniversary of the expulsion of U.S. military forces from Iraq. The Republican Party, which rallied behind George W. Bush to invade the country and occupy it, has suffered from a short memory relating to that misbegotten war even as it agitates for new and similar military interventions.
Much of the silence on the subject is certainly due to the fact that most Democrats and nearly all the media were also on board, though perhaps for reasons that did not completely coincide with the Bush neocons’ imperial vision. And after the war began and the occupation took on its misbegotten form under Jerry Bremer, Dan Senor, and a host of neocon acolytes brought on board to reshape the country, the saga ran on and on. As Iraq broke down into its constituent parts due to Bremer’s inept proconsulship, a development that might normally lead to a rethink of the entire project, Pentagon-based neoconservatives instead regrouped, doubled down and contrived the 2007 “surge” to fix things. That the surge was a poorly conceived and executed military dead end and a complete failure to do anything but deepen the divisions within Iraq seemed irrelevant, political partisanship inevitably rushing in to interpret it as a success to provide cover for the foolish politicians, generals and bureaucrats in Washington who had conceived it. As recently as the Republican presidential debates earlier this year the “surge” in Iraq was cited by several candidates as a litmus test for those who believe in the “right kind” of foreign policy. Those who did not believe in the myth of the surge as a subset of American Exceptionalism were outside the pale, most notably Representative Ron Paul.
Iraq, correctly labeled the “worst mistake in American history,” has to be remembered because of what it should have taught about Washington’s false perception of the U.S. vis-a-vis the rest of the world. One of America’s poorest secretaries of state of all time, Madeleine Albright, once said that the U.S. is the only “necessary nation” because it “sees far.” She could have added that it sees far though it frequently doesn’t understand what it is seeing, but that would have required some introspection on her part. Albright’s ignorance and hubris have unfortunately been embraced and even expanded upon by her equally clueless successors and the presidencies that they represented. Iraq should be an antidote to such thinking, a prime lesson in what is wrong with the United States when its blunders its way overseas as the self-proclaimed arbiter of the destinies of billions of people.
Everyone but the “realist” and largely traditional conservative and libertarian minority that opposed the Iraq venture from day one has turned out to be dead wrong about the war and many continued to be wrong even when the U.S. military was eventually forced to leave the country by the Baghdad government. The Iraq war was born from a series of lies.
The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 based on two alleged threats as defined by the Bush administration and Congress. First, it was claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and also delivery systems that would enable it to strike directly against the United States. Second, it was frequently argued that Iraq had somehow been involved in 9/11 through its intelligence services. Both contentions were completely false, were known by many in the White House to be fraudulent, and, in some cases, were bolstered by evidence that was itself fabricated or known to be incorrect. Many in the Pentagon and CIA knew that the case being made for war was essentially bogus and was being contrived to satisfy United Nations requirements for armed intervention. Though there were a couple of principled resignations from the State Department, almost everyone in the bureaucracy went along with the fraud.
Digging deeper there were other uncited reasons for going to war and some led back to Israel and its lobby. All of the most passionate cheerleaders for war were also passionate about protecting Israel. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein had been paying money to the families of Palestinians killed by Israel and there was a perception that he was a potential military threat. When the U.S. took over control in Baghdad one of the first projects to be considered was a pipeline to move Iraqi oil to the Israeli port of Haifa.
Fast forward eight years, to the end of the U.S. military presence. The neocons continued to see a strategic objective in the shambles that they had made. In an op-ed in the Washington Post on the impending U.S. departure from Iraq one year ago, neocons Kimberly and Fred Kagan delusionally entertained five “American core interests” in the region. They were: that Iraq should continue to be one unified state; that there should be no al-Qaeda on its soil; that Baghdad abides by its international responsibilities; that Iraq should contain Iran; and that the al-Maliki government should accept U.S. “commitment” to the region. As the Kagans are first and foremost apologists for Israel, it should be observed that Iraq’s “international responsibilities” would be understood as referring to the expectation that Baghdad not be hostile to Tel Aviv.
But looking back a bit, in 2003 Iraq was a good deal more unified and stable than it is today; there was no al-Qaeda or other terrorist presence; Saddam generally abided by a sanctions regime imposed by the U.N.; and Iraq was the principal Arab front line state restraining Iran’s ambitions. Then, as now, the U.S. was clearly “committed” to the region through the overwhelming presence of its armed forces and one should add parenthetically that Iraq in no way threatened the United States, or anyone else. It was precisely the U.S. invasion that dismantled the Iraqi nation state, introduced al-Qaeda to the country, wrecked the nation’s economy, and brought into power a group of Shi’a leaders who are anti-democratic and adhere much closer to Tehran and Syria than to Washington. Nor are they very friendly to Israel, quite the contrary, and there is no oil pipeline. So none of the “core interests” sought by the United States as defined by neocon doctrine have actually been achieved, or, rather, they have actually been reversed due to the invasion and occupation by the United States arranged and carried out by the Pentagon neoconservatives.
And then there is the cost. The U.S. lost nearly 5,000 soldiers killed plus 35,000 more wounded while the documented Iraqi dead number more than 110,000, though the actual total is almost certainly much, much higher, perhaps exceeding one million. Ancient Christian communities in Iraq have all but disappeared. Columbia economist Joseph Stiglitz has estimated that the total cost of the war will be in the $5 trillion plus range when all the bills are finally paid. The U.S. economy has suffered grave and possibly fatal damage as a result of a war that need not have taken place.
The lesson to be learned from Iraq is actually quite simple. Military intervention in a foreign land unless a genuine vital interest is at stake is a fool’s errand due to the unforeseen consequences that develop from any war. And when intervention is actually necessary (hard to imagine what those circumstances would be) it must have an exit strategy that starts almost immediately. Remembering the government chicanery that led to the events of 2003 through 2011 means that the lies that are currently being floated to justify regime change in both Syria and Iran by the same neocons who produced the Iraq debacle should be treated with extreme skepticism and summarily rejected. Iraq also provides the insights that enable one to judge the Afghanistan enterprise for what it really is: a failure now just as it will be five years from now at far greater cost in lives and treasure for Afghans and Americans alike. If the United States cannot learn from the experience of Iraq it is doomed to repeatedly fail in similar endeavors until the last soldier comes home in a body bag and the last dollar is spent, leaving behind an empty treasury and an impoverished American people.
Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues.
As usual, Paul Pillar hits the mark in his latest blog post at the National Interest in asking “Why are the Neocons Still Around?,” suggesting that when you are responsible for “one of the biggest and costliest blunders in the history of U.S. foreign relations” [the Iraq war], retirement from public affairs — as opposed to beating the drums for a new Middle East military adventures — might be a more seemly course of action.
What applies to U.S. neo-cons should also apply to the current prime minister of Israel who, given his many years of growing up and living in the United States, as well as his close personal relations with leading U.S. neo-cons, has either drunk the same kool-aid or helped to brew it up himself. (After all, it was in 2001 that Bibi was bragging about how easy the United States could be “moved to the right direction.”) And just like then, he is now leading the charge for war with Iran in ways that are not only increasing the chances of a major breach between the United States and Israel, as M.J. Rosenberg and other informed observers see it, but are also raising serious questions among the national-security elite in Israel about his fitness to lead.
So, given his current efforts to take the U.S. to war in Iran, I thought it might be useful to review at least part of Netanyahu’s advice and exhortations to Washington in the run-up to the Iraq war. Coincidentally, it was almost exactly ten years ago when he testified at seemingly interminable length before the House Government Reform Committee about the absolute necessity for Washington to effect regime change in Iraq as the next step — the first was ousting the Taliban — toward destroying the “entire terror network” (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, Arafat, etc.) and “ventilating” the Middle East in much the same that the U.S. and its allies “ventilated” Nazi Germany after World War II. You will be quick to see that Netanyahu echoed many of the same points that were being made at the time by Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Bill Kristol, et. al. who spoke with similar confidence (and profound understanding of the region) about the necessity for war and the unmitigated good that would come of it.
It’s also worth remembering that Netanyahu testified before Congress on this issue five days after then-White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told the New York Times in reference to the administration’s push for a war resolution on Iraq, “From a marketing point of view, you don’t roll out new products in August.” In that context, Netanyahu’s testimony has to be seen as part of the administration’s public campaign to roll Congress. Bibi subsequently drew heavily on his testimony in an op-ed published on the Wall Street Journal’s neo-con editorial page (September 20, 2002) and in an interview with the Washington Times a month later (October 23). Let there be no mistake: Bibi was a big booster of “one of the biggest and costliest blunders in the history of U.S. foreign relations,” as Pillar describes it.
Here’s some of examples of the wisdom he shared with Congress about Iraq, the alleged threat it posed, and how to transform the region:
On why invading Iraq — instead of pursuing Al Qaeda — was the top priority:
I think the first question is, do you want to merely avenge September 11th or do you want to win the war on terror? If you want to stop with September 11th, go after al Qaeda.
…[T]here is no international terrorism of any kind — al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, you name them, all of them — there is no international terrorism if you take away the support of sovereign states. And the sovereign states are few. If you want to win this war, you just have to neutralize these states. In neutralizing them, you have two options. It’s like when kamikaze fighters are coming at you and bombing you. You can shoot one; you can shoot the other. But if you really want to stop it, you have to shoot down the aircraft carriers. There are only a handful of aircraft carriers. …So, I think if you want to win the broader war on terror, you have to get rid of these regimes.
And the question of time [for taking preemptive action], I think the sooner the better. But now the question is when you choose a target, I think Iraq brings two things, a confluence of two things. One, it is sufficiently important in this network to have a tremendous effect. If it collapses, it will have a beneficial seismic effect…
And today the United States must destroy the same regime because a nuclear-armed Saddam will place the security of our entire world at risk. And make no mistake about it — if and once Saddam has nuclear weapons, it is only a matter of time before those weapons will be used.
If a preemptive action will be supported by a broad coalition of free countries in the United Nations, all the better. But if such support is not forthcoming, then the United States must be prepared to act without it.[Emphasis added.]
On Saddam’s (presumed) nuclear program, Netanyahu had no doubts whatsoever:
“Two decades ago, it was possible to thwart Saddam’s nuclear ambitions by bombing a single installation. But today, nothing less than dismantling his regime will do, because Saddam’s nuclear program has fundamentally changed in those two decades. He no longer needs one large reactor to produce the deadly material necessary for atomic bombs. He can produce it in centrifuges the size of washing machines that can be hidden throughout the country. And I want to remind you that Iraq is a very big country. It is not the size of Monte Carlo. It is a big country. And I believe that even free and unfettered inspections will not uncover these portable manufacturing sites of death.”
“There’s no question that [Saddam] had not given upon on his nuclear program, not [sic] whatsoever. There is also no question that he was not satisfied with the arsenal of chemical and biological weapons that he had and was trying to perfect them constantly. …So I think, frankly, it is not serious to assume that this man, who 20 years ago was very close to producing an atomic bomb, spent the last 20 years sitting on his hands. He has not. And every indication we have is that he is pursuing, pursuing with abandon, pursuing with ever ounce of effort, the establishment of weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. If anyone makes an opposite assumption or cannot draw the lines connecting the dots, that is simply not an objective assessment of what has happened. Saddam is hell-bent on achieving atomic bombs, atomic capabilities, as soon as he can.
…There was a constant upgrading of these weapons, constant upgrading of these weapons, constant efforts to make them more lethal and to expand the reach of the delivery systems to deliver them.”
So we have all these dots and we say, well, we don’t know exactly what is happening. You know, it’s like you’re about to see somebody plunge the knife into someone, you’re looking through a keyhole. You followed a murderer. You know that he is suspected that he’s already killed a few people and you see him trailing somebody and you’re trailing him. He shuts the door. You’re looking through the keyhole and you see him grasping the throat of this person, raising the knife and then the light goes out, and the next thing you know a bod is found. And you can say, ‘Well, you know, I didn’t actually see him en flagrante, in the act, if you will,’ but I think, Mr. Kucinich, that it is simply not reflecting the reality to assume that Saddam isn’t feverishly working to develop nuclear weapons, as we speak.
There is not question whatsoever that Saddam is seeking and is working and is advancing towards the development of nuclear weapons — no question whatsoever. And there is no question that once he acquires it, history shifts immediately.
On how regime change in Iraq will have wondrous effects on the region:
…If you take out Saddam, Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region.
So what is the next step? I believe that the next step is to choose — it’s not a question of whether you have to take action but what kind of action and against whom. I think of the three [Iraq, Iran and Libya, all "racing to develop nuclear weapons"], Saddam is probably in many ways a linchpin, because it is possible to take out this regime with military action and the reverberations of what happens with the collapse of Saddam’s regime could very well create an implosion in a neighbor regime like Iran for the simple reason that Iran has, I don’t want to say a middle class, but it has a very large population that might bring down the regime, just as has [sic] brought down the shah’s regime. So I think that the choice of going after Iraq is like removing a brick that holds a lot of other bricks and might cause this structure to crumble. It is not guaranteed. The assumption of regime removal in Iraq, an implosion in Iran, an implosion in Libya is an assumption. It is not guaranteed. But if I have to choose should there be military action first against Iraq or first against Iran, I would choose exactly what the president had chosen, to after Iraq.
The three principles of winning the war on terror are the three W’s — winning, winning and winning. The more victories you amass, the easier the next victory becomes. The first victory in Afghanistan makes a second victory in Iraq that much easier. The second victory in Iraq will make the third victory that much easier, too, but it may change the nature of achieving that victory.
Democratization is the answer:
The test and the great opportunity and challenge is not merely to effect the ouster of the regime, but also transform that society and thereby begin too the process of democratizing the Arab world. I think that’s absolutely essential.
…I think the greatest protection ….against the return of another Saddam, another bin Laden, another Mullah Omar …is to ventilate these societies with the winds of freedom. Democracy, or, if I want to be realistic, democratization, coupled with an economic package. I think that should be the step afterwards in Iraq. And I think it would actually stabilize Iraq. It might send a message — I think it will — to neighboring Iran, to neighboring Syria. And the people will wake up and they’ll say, “We can have a real life. We can have a choice. Our children can have a future.” That’s not a bad idea.
On regime change in Iran:
I once said to the …heads of the CIA, when I was prime minister, that if you want to advance regime change in Iran, you don’t have to go through the CIA cloak-and-dagger stuff — what you want to do is take very large, very strong transponders and just beam ‘Melrose Place’ and ‘Beverly Hills 2050′ [sic] and all that into Teheran and into Iran, because that is subversive stuff. …[B]ut it may take a long time.
If Bush strikes Iraq, Saddam will hit Israel:
I want to say that I’m here today as a citizen of a country that is most endangered by a preemptive strike, for it is, I think, clear that in the last gasps of Saddam’s dying regime, he will attempt to launch his remaining missiles, his remaining payloads, including biological and chemical payloads, at the Jewish state.
On the “right direction” in which Bush and the U.S. are heading (recalling, for a second, Bibi’s boast about the ease with which Washington can be “moved in the right direction” in the 2001 video):
I think, in a similar way, the bombing of September 11th opened the eyes of Americans to see the great conflict and the great danger that faces us. And once opened, then, the overpowering will of the majority of the people of the United States, of the steamroller, is inevitably moving to decide this battle. I think this is — I think this was called by Congressman Lantos “a hinge of history,” and it is exactly that. It is a hinge of history.
And one year later, I can come here and say that history is moving in the right direction; that had America not woken up, had America not mobilized its action, had it not — have — if it had not had the courageous leadership of President Bush, then I wouldn’t be able to say that I’m confident today. But I am saying that I believe that the war on terror is going in the right direction and that I am confident that if we pursue this direction, then we will achieve victory. And victory is victory for America and victory for Israel and victory for Britain, victory for all the democracies, however vacillating and however reluctant their governments are. This is a victory for all free societies, and I’m sure it will be achieved.
All of which raises the question: given his proven powers of analysis and foresight, why are we listening to Bibi Netanyahu on how to deal with Iran?
The Dictator-A Film Review
On the face of it, Baron Cohen’s The Dictator is a horrid film. It is vulgar, it isn’t funny and if it has five good jokes in it, they appear in the two minute official trailer. In short, save your time and money – unless of course, you are interested in Jewish identity politics and neurosis.
Similar to Cohen’s previous work, The Dictator is, once again, a glimpse into Cohen’s own tribal morbidity. After all, the person and the spirit behind this embarrassing comedy is a proud self-loving character who never misses an opportunity to express his intimate affinity to his people, their unique comic talent and their beloved Jewish state. But let’s face it, Cohen isn’t alone, after all, he has created The Dictator together with a Hollywood studio. So, it’s reasonable to say that what we see here is just one more Hollywood-orchestrated effort to vilify the Arab, the Muslim and the Orient.
I guess that Arab rulers, regimes and politics are an ideal subject for a satirical take, still, one may wonder what exactly does Sacha Baron Cohen know about the Arab World? As far as the film can tell, not much. Instead, Cohen projects his own Zionist and tribal symptoms onto the people of Arabia and their leaders.
In the film, Cohen plays General Hafez Aladeen, the Arab ruler of the oil-rich North African rogue state Wadiya. On the face of it, he is the satirical version of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi, but in reality, Aladeen’s actions are no less than a vast amplification of the crimes committed by Israel and its war criminals such as Shimon Peres, Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni.
When Baron Cohen ridicules the Arab Dictators who obsessively seek WMD and nuclear weapons he should bear in mind that it is actually his beloved Jewish state that has, since the 1950s, been pushing the entire region into a nuclear race. It is his Israeli brothers and sisters who express every too often their lethal enthusiasm to destroy Iran and other regional entities. When Baron Cohen mocks the Arab rulers who murder their opponents and kill kids, women and elders, he once again projects Israeli symptoms because it is actually the Jewish state that so often engages in systematic mass murder and war crimes on a colossal scale. Someone should remind Cohen that the pictures of white phosphorus pouring over UN shelters were taken in Gaza, not in Saddam’s Baghdad, Homs (Sirya) or imaginary Wadiya. When Sacha Baron Cohen presents the Arab leader as a savage rapist he may want to remind himself that Moshe Katzav, who was, until recently, the President of the Jewish State is now locked behind bars after being sentenced for rape. It is therefore far from coincidence that when Cohen attempts to bond with his protagonist Dictator Aladeen, he actually speaks in his mother tongue, Hebrew. Cohen speaks Hebrew because Aladeen is not an Arab dictator, he is actually an Israeli patriot like Cohen himself.
But let’s try to transcend ourselves beyond Baron Cohen’s projections and confess: as much as Cohen’s new film is lame, Cohen, himself is far from being a fool. In fact, he has managed to bring to light a few interesting and astute political insights. For example, towards the end of the film Dictator Aladeen produces a remarkable speech at the UN in favour of dictatorship. In front of the delegations, Aladeen draws a pretty profound list of unintended parallels between the USA and dictatorship. Delivering a sharp political criticism by means of comedy deserves respect.
Another provocative insight is delivered through the character of Zoey (Anna Farris), a devout feminist and a human right activist. Zoey runs a multi-ethnic eco-friendly grocery store in Brooklyn. She is the ultimate solidarity campaigner and this time she rallies against Aladeen and his regime. While Zoey invades the street demonstrating against Aladeen’s brutality, Aladeen’s Chief of Staff Tamir (Ben Kingsley) plots against his ruler inside the UN building. He sells out his country’s assets to oil tycoons and world leaders. The cinematic meaning of it all is clear- the bond between the so-called Left and the imperial powers has been established. Zoey, the lefty progressive seems to work towards the exact same goal as the leading corrupted capitalist expansionist forces. They all want to bring the Aladeen regime to an end. I guess that many of those who monitor solidarity activism and discourse would agree with Cohen’s readings. After all, it was feminists and women’s rights groups that, in the 1990s, prepared the ground for the War against Terror and the invasion of Afghanistan. The Left was also very reluctant to support the democratically elected Hamas. I guess that a Leftist, thrown into a room together with Dershowitz and Bin Laden, would probably attempt to bond first with Dershowitz.
But Zoey isn’t just a progressive solidarity and human rights activist. As the plot progresses, Aladeen and Zoey fall for each other. Towards the end of the film ‘solidarity activist’ Zoey and Dictator Aladeen get married. This is when Dictator Aladeen and the rest of us find out that Zoey is actually a Jew. From a cinematic perspective, the Jew, the human rights campaigner and the solidarity activist leader are all one. This amusing reading is unfortunately consistent with the reality of the solidarity movement. Those who monitor Jewish Left activism detect a relentless effort among some Jewish campaigners to tribally hijack and even Zionize the discourse of solidarity, human rights and marginal politics. However, from a Judaic perspective, Zoey, the new wife of Dictator Aladeen is nothing short of an incarnation of Biblical Queen Esther. Like Esther, Zoey has managed to infiltrate into the corridors of a lucrative foreign power.
I guess that with AIPAC controlling American foreign policy and 80% of Tory MPs being CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel) members, a Jewish queen of a fictional Wadiya is almost exotic.
According to its June 3, 1997 Statement of Principles, the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was created to advance a “Reaganite foreign policy of military strength and moral clarity,” a policy PNAC co-founders, William Kristol and Robert Kagan, had advocated the previous year in Foreign Affairs to counter what they construed as the American public’s short-sighted indifference to foreign “commitments.” Calling for a significant increase in “defense spending,” PNAC exhorted the United States “to meet threats before they become dire.”
The Wolfowitz Doctrine
The idea of preemptive war also known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine—subsequently dubbed the “Bush Doctrine” by PNAC signatory Charles Krauthammer—can be traced as far back as Paul Wolfowitz’s Ph.D. dissertation, “Nuclear Proliferation in the Middle East,” which was based on “a raft of top-secret documents” his influential mentor, Cold War nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter, somehow “got his hands on” during a post-Six Day War trip to Israel. The “top-secret” Israeli documents supposedly showed that Egypt was planning to divert a Johnson administration proposal for regional civilian nuclear energy into a weapons program. Among those who signed PNAC’s Statement of Principles were Wohlstetter protégés Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Wolfowitz, who despite having been investigated for passing a classified document to an Israeli government official through an AIPAC intermediary in 1978 would be appointed Deputy Secretary of Defense in the George W. Bush administration, where he would be the first to suggest attacking Iraq four days after 9/11; Wolfowitz protégé I. Lewis Libby, who later “hand-picked” Vice President Dick Cheney’s staff mainly from pro-Israel think tanks; Elliott Abrams, who would go on to serve as Bush’s senior director on the National Security Council for Near East and North African Affairs, his mother-in-law, Midge Decter, and her husband, Norman Podhoretz; and Eliot A. Cohen, who would later smear Walt and Mearsheimer’s research on the Israel lobby’s role in skewing U.S. foreign policy as “anti-Semitic.”
On January 26, 1998, PNAC wrote the first of its many open letters to U.S. presidents and Congressional leaders, in which they enjoined President Clinton that “removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power […] now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.” Failure to eliminate “the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use” its non-existent weapons of mass destruction, the letter cautioned, would put at risk “the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil.” An additional signatory this time was another Wohlstetter protégé, Richard Perle, a widely suspected Israeli agent of influence whose hawkish foreign policy views were shaped when Hollywood High School classmate and girlfriend, Joan Wohlstetter, invited him for a swim in her family’s swimming pool and her father handed Perle his 1958 RAND paper, “The Delicate Balance of Terror,” thought to be an inspiration for Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove.
Having helped sow the seeds of the Iraq War five years before Operation Iraqi Freedom, PNAC wrote a second letter to Clinton later that year. Joining with the International Crisis Group, and the short-lived Balkan Action Council and Coalition for International Justice, they took out an advertisement in the New York Times headlined “Mr. President, Milosevic is the Problem.” Expressing “deep concern for the plight of the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo,” the letter declared that “[t]here can be no peace and stability in the Balkans so long as Slobodan Milosevic remains in power.” It urged the United States to lead an international effort which should demand a unilateral ceasefire by Serbian forces, put massive pressure on Milosevic to agree on “a new political status for Kosovo,” increase funding for Serbia’s “democratic opposition,” tighten economic sanctions in order to hasten regime change, cease diplomatic efforts to reach a compromise, and support the Hague tribunal’s investigation of Milosevic as a war criminal. Now that “the world’s newest state” (prior to Israel’s successful division of Sudan) is run by a “mafia-like” organization involved in trafficking weapons, drugs and human organs, there appears to be much less concern for the plight of the ethnic Serbian population of Kosovo.
A New Pearl Harbor
One year after the publication of its September 2000 report, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses,” the “new Pearl Harbor” PNAC implied might be necessary to hasten acquiescence to its blueprint for “benevolent global hegemony” occurred on 9/11. Nine days after that “catastrophic and catalyzing event,” it wrote to endorse President Bush’s “admirable commitment to ‘lead the world to victory’ in the war against terrorism.” However, capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, the letter stressed, was “by no means the only goal” in the newly-declared war on terror. “[E]ven if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq,” cautioned the PNACers. “Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.” Disingenuously characterizing Israel’s enemy Hezbollah as a group “that mean[s] us no good,” the Israel partisans called on the administration to “consider appropriate measures of retaliation” against Iran and Syria if they refused to “immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah.” Touting Israel as “America’s staunchest ally against international terrorism,” they counseled Washington to “fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism.” The letter concluded by urging President Bush “that there be no hesitation in requesting whatever funds for defense are needed to allow us to win this war.”
PNAC’s concern for “America’s staunchest ally” was even more evident in its next letter to the White House. On April 3, 2002, it wrote to thank Bush for his “courageous leadership in the war on terrorism,” commending him in particular for his “strong stance in support of the Israeli government as it engages in the present campaign to fight terrorism.” Evoking the memory of the September 11 attacks “still seared in our minds and hearts,” the Israel partisans thought that “we Americans ought to be especially eager to show our solidarity in word and deed with a fellow victim of terrorist violence […] targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles—American principles—in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred.” Returning to its favorite theme of regime change in Iraq, PNAC cautioned, “If we do not move against Saddam Hussein and his regime, the damage our Israeli friends and we have suffered until now may someday appear but a prelude to much greater horrors.” Prefiguring the cheerleading of Kristol and Kagan et al. for the “Arab Spring,” they assured Bush that “the surest path to peace in the Middle East lies not through the appeasement of Saddam and other local tyrants, but through a renewed commitment on our part […] to the birth of freedom and democratic government in the Islamic world.”
Having “developed, sold, enacted, and justified” a disastrous war over non-existent WMD, PNAC’s final report in April 2005 entitled “Iraq: Setting the Record Straight” claimed that “the case for removing Saddam from power went beyond the existence of weapons stockpiles.” Smugly concluding à la Madame Albright that “the price of the liberation of Iraq has been worth it,” PNAC soon after quietly wound up its operations. However, in 2009, PNAC co-founders Kristol and Kagan were instrumental in setting up its successor organization, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), whose self-appointed mission is to address the “many foreign policy challenges” facing the United States “and its democratic allies,” allegedly coming from “rising and resurgent powers,” such as China and Russia, and, perhaps most significantly, from “other autocracies that violate the rights of their citizens.”
FPI’s February 25, 2011 letter to President Obama gave a clear indication of the significance of that mission statement. Approvingly citing the president’s declaration in his 2009 Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech that “Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later,” they told him that he “must take action in response to the unfolding crisis in Libya.” Warning of an impending “moral and humanitarian catastrophe,” the letter recommended establishing a no-fly zone, freezing all Libyan government assets, temporarily halting importation of Libyan oil, making a statement that Col. Qaddafi and other officials would be held accountable under international law, and providing humanitarian aid to the Libyan people as quickly as possible. “The United States and our European allies have a moral interest in both an end to the violence and an end to the murderous Libyan regime,” averred FPI. “There is no time for delay and indecisiveness. The people of Libya, the people of the Middle East, and the world require clear U.S. leadership in this time of opportunity and peril.”
With Libya in the midst of a genuine catastrophe brought on by that “humanitarian intervention,” FPI turned its attention to the foreign-stoked strife in Syria. On February 17, 2012, it joined the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a think tank closely aligned with the Israel lobby whose leadership council is dominated by PNAC alumni, in urging President Obama “to take immediate steps to decisively halt the Assad regime’s atrocities against Syrian civilians, and to hasten the emergence of a post-Assad government in Syria.” Acknowledging that Syria’s future is “not purely a humanitarian concern,” the letter writers revealed their primary concern about Syria in their remark that “for decades, it has closely cooperated with Iran and other agents of violence and instability to menace America’s allies and partners throughout the Middle East.”
Wars of Muslim Liberation
Commenting on Obama’s reluctance to intervene in Libya, Bill Kristol mocked the president’s “doubts and dithering” about “taking us to war in another Muslim country.” Declared the founder of the Emergency Committee for Israel, “Our ‘invasions’ have in fact been liberations. We have shed blood and expended treasure in Kuwait in 1991, in the Balkans later in the 1990s, and in Afghanistan and Iraq—in our own national interest, of course, but also to protect Muslim peoples and help them free themselves. Libya will be America’s fifth war of Muslim liberation.” In a follow-up note to the Weekly Standard, Paul Wolfowitz had “one minor quibble”: “Libya, by my count, is not ‘America’s fifth war of Muslim liberation,’ but at least the seventh: Kuwait – February 1991, Northern Iraq – April 1991, Bosnia – 1995, Kosovo – 1999, Afghanistan – 2001 and Iraq – 2003.” With Syria awaiting its “liberation” in 2012, perhaps it’s too early yet to say, “Shukran, Israel.”
Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on the Israel lobby’s influence on U.S. foreign policy.
- The Host and the Parasite – How Israel’s Fifth Column Consumed America (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Eliot Cohen, Mitt Romney’s Man on Iran (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Israel Lobby Pushes for US Action Against the Syrian Government (alethonews.wordpress.com)
In 2002 and early 2003, the Bush administration made its case for war with Iraq. There were assertions given about Saddam’s maintenance of weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda. What was never said explicitly, however, was that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. Yet by late 2003, seventy percent of polled Americans thought Saddam Hussein was personally behind 9/11. Bush’s Republican voters were especially convinced of this.
Yet Bush and his officials never said this. And after the multiple disasters of the Iraq war began to present themselves with great clarity, the Bush officials were questioned about their pre-war intel. Yet they could say, strictly speaking, one thing they never claimed was Saddam was behind 9/11.
Condoleezza Rice had said something about the attacks originating in the same region or area as Iraq. There was all sorts of insinuation that Saddam might have been involved. And surely the Bush team never put an ounce of effort into disabusing the American people of the completely false notion that Saddam was behind 9/11. The vast majority of Americans believed it—indeed, at times, more Americans thought Saddam was behind the attacks than believed the Iraq War was just!—yet it was not only completely untrue, but not directly rooted in any explicit assertion given by the administration. Various pro-war commentators had said it, but Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell—none of them ever did.
Fast forward a decade to the current day. Seventy-one percent of Americans—almost exactly the percentage that thought Saddam was behind 9/11—think that Iran has nuclear weapons. It’s a small sample, but it is consistent with polls over the last couple years, each one showing a majority believing Iran already has nukes, and almost nine out of ten Americans sure that Iran is seeking them.
Indeed, talking with “respectable” liberals—the type who listen to NPR and watch Jon Stewart—I find repeatedly that even folks who don’t want to go to war assume that every reasonable American knows that Iran is on the brink of having nukes, if the regime doesn’t already have them.
What’s bizarre about this, other than the fact that there is no credible evidence that Iran has nuclear weapons, is that no one in a position of official authority is claiming it either! Every report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, even when framed in a way to make Iran seem ominous, confirms the “non-diversion” of nuclear materials to weaponization purposes. The CIA and intelligence community have consistently stood by the National Intelligence Estimate findings that Iran has not sought a nuclear weapon since 2003 (and Iran doing so back then is only suspected based on very scant evidence produced by the Israeli government).
Even if Iran wanted to make nuclear weapons, it would probably take three or more years. Iran is reportedly attempting to enrich its uranium to 19.75% LEU. Nuclear weapons require 95%—and there is no evidence that Iran has the means to do this. It is even more dubious to believe a nuclear-armed Iran would be some sort of unprecedented threat for the United States, but that’s neither here nor there.
So what’s the deal? The Obama administration (and the Bush administration, and the UN) have all had the same official position: Iran doesn’t have nukes, and the Iranians probably aren’t looking to get them. Yet seven out of ten Americans think Iran already has them. Meanwhile, every Republican presidential candidate except Ron Paul warns about the unparalleled threat of a nuclear Iran, and the Obama White House punishes the country with tighter sanctions and ever more threats.
Indeed, Obama has thrived on the insinuation that Iran has nukes. When he acted tough back in 2009 because Iran had been caught red-handed with its fledgling nuclear facility at Qom—a civilian nuclear facility that Iran readily alerted the international community to, consistent with its continuing adherence to the Non-Proliferation Treaty to which Iran is a signatory—he did so against a backdrop of insinuation that of course everyone knows Iran wants nuclear weapons. He did this even though all that existed at Qom, according to an IAEA official, was a “hole in a mountain.” Why didn’t the president remind the public instead that there is little to worry about, since the entire Defense Department and intelligence community confirm that Iran has no nuclear weapons program?
If a war begins with Iran, it will largely be on the basis of propaganda believed by the public, propaganda that the government has never officially articulated. In the past, the U.S. thrived on outright lies for war: the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, Kuwaiti babies being ripped from incubators, and so forth. There has long been a fair share of unsubstantiated allegations involved behind major U.S. wars—the USS Maine being sunk by the Spanish, the Zimmerman Telegram posing an actual threat to the United States, the Serbians committing genocide of ethnic Albanians, killing many tens of thousands of civilians in the late 1990s, and so on.
Yet today lies and unproven allegations are not enough. The U.S. warfare state appears to thrive on insinuation in its war propaganda. The U.S. war machine’s top brass never outright declare the most provocative claims about U.S. enemies. That way, when the war goes south and people begin accusing the political class of misleading them, the empire’s defenders can easily say (accurately in word if not in spirit): “Bush never claimed Saddam was behind 9/11! Obama never claimed Iran had nuclear weapons!”
But don’t think for a moment that our rulers aren’t glad the American people believe what they do. It makes wars so much easier to wage when the public buys into all sorts of nonsense. The plausible deniability that insinuated propaganda gives the ruling class is just icing on the cake.
- US spooks say no Iranian nukes (rt.com)
JINSA Online, September 13, 2001
Jewish Institute For National Security Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Thomas Neumann, Executive Director, JINSA
This Goes Beyond Bin Laden
WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2001 – In the face of horrendous acts of terrorism against the United States, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) calls on the American government and on all world leaders to be decisive in their actions to confront the terrorists and their supporters, who rely on our taking half measures in response.
We must begin by condemning them and their organizations by name; we know who they are. Osama Bin Laden, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad are only the most prominent. The countries harboring and training them include not just Afghanistan – an easy target for blame – but Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, the Palestinian Authority, Libya, Algeria and even our presumed friends Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
We must make them believe there is not one inch of soil on the planet that is a haven or training ground for them.
The United States can have no political relationship with any country or group whose citizens celebrate the death of innocent Americans. There is nothing to justify dancing in the streets and rejoicing over an American tragedy. This behavior tells us who our friends are, and who wishes our mortal enemies well.
A long investigation to prove Osama Bin Laden’s guilt with prosecutorial certainty is entirely unnecessary. He is guilty in word and deed. His history is the source of his culpability. The same holds true for Saddam Hussein. Our actions in the past certainly were not forceful enough, and now we must seize the opportunity to alter this pattern of passivity.
In response to the attack on September 11, 2001 JINSA calls on the United States to:
• Halt all US purchases of Iraqi oil under the UN Oil for Food Program and to provide all necessary support to the Iraq National Congress, including direct American military support, to effect a regime change in Iraq.
• Bomb identified terrorist training camps and facilities in any country harboring terrorists. Interdict the supply lines to terrorist organizations, including but not limited to those between Damascus and Beirut that permit Iran to use Lebanon as a terrorist base.
• Revoke the Presidential Order banning assassinations.
• Overturn the 1995 CIA Directive limiting whom the U.S. can recruit to aid counter-terrorism in an effort to boost our human intelligence.
• Freeze the bank accounts of organizations in the US that have links to terrorism-supporting groups and their political wings. Ask other countries and financial institutions to do the same.
• Demand that Egypt and Saudi Arabia sever all remaining ties with Osama Bin Laden, including ties with Saudi-sponsored nongovernmental organizations and groups abroad that raise money for Bin Laden and other terrorist organizations.
• Suspend US Military Aid to Egypt while re-evaluating Egypt’s support for American policy objectives, and re-evaluate America’s security relationship with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States unless both actually join in our war against terrorism.
• Ensure that American technology, arms, technical support and personnel are not supplied to countries that do not fully support American objectives regarding terrorism, and through which terrorists might acquire American materiel. Ask our allies and other countries to undertake similar restrictions.
• Reassess the visa process by which nationals from hostile nations are permitted to enter the United States. And tighten controls at the Canadian and Mexican borders to prevent access by people without appropriate documentation.
• Strengthen American law enforcement efforts to identify and eliminate terrorist cells operating in the United States.
• Take immediate steps to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.
The terrorists who struck on Tuesday changed the physical and political landscape of America. We in JINSA trust that our government and our people will make them regret that day.
Current url source: http://zfacts.com/p/160.html
Aletho News notes that the original source link is no longer active and that the full content can therefore not be ascertained, however The Guardian published excerpts from the release which can be referenced at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/sep/01/usa.georgebush
- Chomsky Acknowledges the Neocons as the Dominant Force in Pushing for Iraq War (alethonews.wordpress.com)
Seven years after the illegal invasion of Iraq by the Anglo-American fascist armies, it is clear today that the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Iraqi nation was a premeditated and unprovoked act of naked aggression aimed at expanding U.S.-Israel Zionist power. These barbaric crimes ‘should never be forgotten and never be forgiven’.
“By violating international laws and conventions in 2003 in order to attack a defenceless nation for no reason [other than serving Israel’s Zionist-fascist ideology], George W. Bush [and Tony Blair were] reclaiming those most primal instincts that had led the Mongol barbarians Hulagu and Turko-Tamerlane to destroy Baghdad in 1258 and 1401 respectively. And by going back to the law of the jungle, Bush [and Blair] did not just destroy Baghdad and the whole of Iraq, but [they] also instigated a treacherous plan against the precious legal and institutional heritage that mankind has been laboriously building since the Treaty of Westphalia of October 24, 1648, generally considered the founding document of the nation-state and the first attempt at outlawing the right of might”, writes Tunisian journalist Hmida Ben Romdhane (La Presse de Tunisie, April 11, 2010). Unlike the destruction of Baghdad by the barbarian Mongols, the destruction of the Iraqi society by the West’s most recent militarised religio-fascist alliance of George Bush and Tony Blair is an act of terrorism that will live in infamy.
There is no doubt that the barbaric attack on Baghdad in March 2003 will remain one of the most violent acts of terrorism in the history of mankind. According to U.S. officials, “Shock and Awe” was aimed at terrorising the entire Iraqi population and intimidating Iraq’s neighbours, particularly Syria and Iran. After 13 years of genocidal sanctions, that deprived Iraqi children and the population as a whole of essential medical supplies and nutrition, Iraqis are virtually defenceless in the face of overwhelming violence.
It is estimated that the 13-year long U.S.-Britain imposed sanctions – coated with the United Nations despicable colour – caused the death of more than 2 million innocent Iraqi civilians, including the death of more than 600,000 children under the age of 5 years. The sanctions were accurately described as the real weapons of mass destruction (WMD). According to John Mueller and Karl Mueller, the brutal and inhumane sanctions against the Iraqi people have caused far more deaths over time than the combined use of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons in the two world wars (Foreign Affairs, May/June 1999).
Unsatisfied by the enormous atrocity and resilience of the Iraqi people and their government, the U.S. and Britain concocted a pretext (WMD and link to terrorism) to justify an illegal act of aggression to occupy Iraq. After the pretext was exposed as a lie, the U.S. and U.S. accomplices concocted a new pretext to justify the illegal aggression, the West’s “moral responsibility” and concern for the welfare of the Iraqi people. The so-called “Responsibility to Protect” or R2P – not applicable to the Palestinians – was the same concept used by the German Nazis to justify Nazi terror. The difference was that the Nazis were allegedly “protecting ethnic Germans” in Poland and Russia.
Not since the Fascist army of Adolf Hitler invaded and occupied parts of Europe has the world witnessed such barbaric violence and destruction as that being perpetrated by the Anglo-American fascist armies. [Editor notes that the author seems to be forgetting the barbaric atrocities committed by the European and US powers in Malaya, Kenya, Korea, Algeria, Vietnam etc...] For most Iraqis today, living under U.S. military Occupation is no less brutal than Poles or Russians were living under the brutal Nazi occupation that most Westerners considered barbaric.
Prior to the invasion, Iraq was subjected to a massive and vicious propaganda campaign. The country was portrayed as a pariah state by mainstream-Zionist media and their despicable journalists distorting facts and promoting aggression. Iraq’s late president Saddam Hussein was demonised and used as a moral compass to justify Anglo-American aggression and war crimes.
Western opportunists and America’s apologists who pretended to be “against” the Anglo-American aggression and hide behind the “No War for Oil” Zionist deception have long fallen in line. The so-called “liberal class” and “progressives” have often described the murderous Occupation as a “failure” and “incompetence”, praised the U.S.-staged fraudulent elections and attacked the legitimate Iraqi Resistance as “violent insurgency” and “bigoted Sunnis”. Their criticism of the Occupation and U.S. imperialism has always been an intellectual cowardice. If the U.S. failed to impose its Zionist-imperialist agenda on Iraq, credit must go to the Iraqi Resistance. It shatters the myth of invincibility of the ‘world’s only superpower’.
From time to time the “liberal class” and “progressives” criticise Barack Obama’s policies and calling him ‘worse than Bush’, as if Obama has the power to make changes to U.S. criminal policies. The motive is to manipulate the public and deflect attention away from the anti-Muslim Zionist ruling class that control the centres of power and finance in America. We all know that Obama has no real power to make changes. He is just another product, a tool, of the Zionist ruling class. Indeed, the Obama Administration is the most Zionist administration in U.S. history.
After seven years of hibernation, the “liberal class” and “progressives”, including Israel’s apologists are back to show their loyalty (backflipping), attacking Iran and condemning Iran’s alleged “rigged” elections. It is important to remember that Iran doesn’t pose a threat to any nation, but Israel with its fascist ideology and an arsenal of nuclear weapon poses a threat not only to entire region but to the world. The same Zionist propaganda that led to the aggression against Iraq is being recycled.
The Zionists’ (the architects of the war) murderous strategy in Iraq was to destroy the fabric of the Iraqi society, and turn Iraq into a colonial dictatorship subservient to U.S.-Israel Zionist power. There was no “failure” or “incompetence” on the part of the U.S. government, as suggested by the loyal “opposition”. The destruction of Iraq was planned at least two years before the aggression in 2003. It was driven by the neo-conservative and neo-liberal ideologues (in lay terms, Zion-fascists) with strong ties to Israel’s fascist regime. “They openly stated that their top priority was to advance Israel’s agenda, which, in this case, was a U.S. war against Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, occupy the country, physically divide Iraq, destroy its military and industrial capability and impose a pro-Israel/pro-U.S. puppet regime”, writes American sociologist James Petras.
As a result of the illegal invasion and seven years of murderous Occupation, an estimated 1.5 million defenceless Iraqi civilians, mostly women, children and young men, have been murdered, with the majority by the invading Anglo-American armies. It is the most premeditated and barbaric mass murder of innocent civilians in the history of human civilisation. The “new” Iraq is a nation of orphans and widows.
Furthermore, many American officials and international organisations have quietly acknowledged that the destruction of Iraq’s cultural heritage was deliberate and premeditated. It was designed to remove Iraq’s history as the birthplace of civilisation. Even Adolf Hitler never thought of committing such heinous crimes during the Nazi occupation of Europe. Priceless cultural artefacts may have been stolen by Nazi officials but never destroyed. In Iraq, Museums and galleries holding the history of world civilisation were trashed and looted. Libraries were ransacked and books were burned en masse. It was all performed under the watchful eyes of the invading armies. As James Petras noted: “[T]he destruction of the scientific, academic, cultural and legal foundations of an independent state means increasing reliance on the Western (and Chinese) multinational corporations and their technical infrastructure – facilitating imperial economic penetration and exploitation”.
In the “new” Iraq, Iraqis are living in a climate of fear and terror today. From the outset, the Occupation fomented violence in order to destroy the Iraqi society. Before the invasion, Iraqis lived side-by-side in every city and town regardless of ethno-religious backgrounds. They accommodated intermarriage and live in a cultural and mosaic society. To encourage anarchy and insecurity, the occupying army disbanded the Iraqi Army, police and security forces and replaced them with Kurdish warlords, political gangsters, imported death squads, and religious militias. “The ‘war of all against all’ served the interests of the U.S. Occupation forces”, writes James Petras. From the outset of the Occupation, the U.S. sought to control Iraq through violence and the colonial policy of ‘divide and rule’ by handing out political positions to expatriates along strictly ethno-religious lines. The so-called “political process” was designed to achieve this division of Iraq.
By propping up corrupt criminals, religious fundamentalists and terrorists who were parachuted into Iraq by the invading armies, the American and to a lesser extent the British governments were able to hide behind a facade of corrupt expatriate stooges and blaming them for the Occupation-generated violence and crimes. Corruption is one of the most effective colonial tools, brought into Iraq to deflect attention away from the Occupation. Transparency International has ranked (the ‘new’) Iraq as the fourth most-corrupt nation in the world in its annual survey. Indeed, the creation of a corrupt and illegitimate puppet government inside the Occupation Headquarters (known as the ‘Green Zone’) aimed at transforming Iraq into a “failed state” that needs Western interference and “help”.
Expatriate stooges were appointed and encouraged to compete against each other for the title of Iraq’s “strongman”. The more violent and corrupt the “strongman” the more accepted by the U.S. administration. Hundreds of young men are disappearing every month (if not every week) into “secret” prisons, where they are routinely tortured, raped, humiliated and many of them later murdered. Amnesty International (AI) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) were the first to blame the puppet government for crimes committed under the radar screen of the occupying forces while they remain silent when Iraqis are tortured, raped and massacred by U.S.-British invading armies. Both, AI and HRW reports on Iraq were consciously prepared to exonerate the occupying armies and depict Iraq as a “sovereign” nation marred by violence and violation of human right law.
Violence will continue to engulf Iraq’s major cities; just enough to justify the ongoing murderous Occupation. This serves U.S.-Israel Zionist interests and diverts public attention away from the Occupation. Furthermore, to enforce colonial divisions and facilitate the liquidation of anti-Occupation Resistance leaders, the U.S. occupying army used Nazi-like methods to separate populations along ethno-religious lines by erecting walls around neighbourhoods in Baghdad and other cities. For example, the Capital Baghdad with its marked ghettoes and perpetual violence is a mirror image of Warsaw under Nazi occupation under wretched living conditions.
Deterioration of Living Conditions
Since 2003, living conditions in Iraq continue to deteriorate. Once a middle-class nation, Iraq has been deliberately reduced to a state of abject destitution. In the “new” Iraq, nearly half the population live in extreme poverty. A report by the British charity organisation, Oxfam, shows that 43 percent of Iraqis live in absolute poverty and some 8 to 10 million Iraqis need emergency aid. The country is still under the genocidal sanctions. The official unemployment rate is more than 50 percent of the Iraqi active population. The illegitimate puppet government’s own statistics revealed that 45 percent of Iraqis live in absolute poverty lacking the necessities to survive. Nearly 62 percent (15.8 million) of Iraqis ‘completely depend’ on the food rationing system to survive from month to month. The system was created by President Saddam Hussein to confront the genocidal sanctions and avert mass starvation. Despite the reduction in the number of food and non-food items by the illegitimate puppet government, many Iraqis still depend on the system to survive.
After seven years of murderous Occupation and deteriorating living conditions, Iraq is suffering the worst refugee crisis in history. “Iraq would be the world’s second-worst crisis, as the report points out, second only to Afghanistan, and ahead of Sudan. So the strain on Iraq’s neighbours, particularly Jordan and Syria, and to a lesser extent on Lebanon is immense”, said Jessica Mathews, President of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a U.S. propaganda think-tank known for its pro-Israel Zionist bias. At least 2.7 million Iraqis are internally displaced (by violence) and living in conditions of extreme poverty, enduring constant attacks and eviction from temporary shelters. An estimated 3 million Iraqis, with the means to do so, have fled Iraq into exile in neighbouring countries. Only a small number of Iraqi refugees were allowed into those Western nations who pretend to have “liberated” Iraq. The majority of Iraqi refugees have found a safe haven in Syria and Jordan. Most of Iraqi refugees are in ‘legal limbo’, unable to work and with no hope of returning to their country. The primary causes for Iraqi refugees’ flight are violence, lack of access to water, sanitation, electricity, health care and education.
Targeting Iraq’s Education
Iraq’s education, once the best in the region, has been the target of the Occupation. Iraq’s education has been dismantled by the invading armies and their collaborators. The Iraqi curriculum has been changed to distort history and depicts the U.S. and Israel as democratic and civilised societies by covering up their war crimes, flagrant violations of international law, human rights, violent ideology, corruption, growing inequalities, gross injustices and racist policies at home and abroad. It is estimated that only 30 percent of the 3.5 million of school age were attending schools. The majority of the dropouts are female. According to a report by UNESCO, school attendance prior to the Anglo-American aggression was nearly 100 percent. The crisis is exacerbated by the increase number of orphaned children. There are at least 5 million Iraqi orphans, many of them live on the streets.
Iraqi universities and colleges have been besieged by U.S.-created extremists and criminals. Tens of thousands of prominent Iraqis, including academics, doctors, teachers and political personalities have been murdered in cold blood in a U.S-Israel orchestrated assassination campaign dubbed “De-Ba’athification”. Many had to leave Iraq for safety reasons, which contributed to brain drain.
The planned campaign was designed not only to kill Iraq as a nation by destroying Iraq’s human resources and independence, but also to remove the base of the Iraqi Resistance to the Occupation. Professional Iraqis who survived the murderous campaign have left the country, leaving an education system in a state of collapse. Students are being graduated en masse without the necessary professional knowledge, especially those who work in the health care services. “There is really a huge difference between now and the times of Saddam Hussein, when medical graduates left college with competence to treat any patient”, said Professor Fua’ad Abdel-Razak of Baghdad university (IRIN, 16 May, 2007). Before the invasion, education and healthcare with modern health facilities were universal.
Deterioration of Iraq’s Healthcare
Iraq’s healthcare system has deteriorated at an alarming rate with a devastating impact on the health of the Iraqi people. The deterioration of the healthcare services has seen a marked increase in mortality. According to UNICEF, under the Occupation, Iraqi children are now dying faster than before invasion. One in four children under five years of age is chronically malnourished. One in eight Iraqi children die before the age of five, and millions of Iraqi children are affected by post traumatic disorder. “Healthcare in Iraq since 2003 is worse than during the sanctions. At that time we had little equipment and medicine, but in the last three years we have lost almost all the specialists”, said Dr Majeed al-Naomi in a Baghdad clinic. It is estimated that at least, 25 percent of Iraq’s 18,000 physicians had left the country since the invasion in 2003 which is devastating the healthcare system.
Furthermore, Thousands of tons of white phosphorous shells, ‘depleted’ uranium (DU), napalm, cluster bombs, and neutron bombs were dropped on Iraqi population centres, including Baghdad Basrah and Fallujah. The Anglo-American armies used more than 1700 tons of DU during the 2003 invasion on top of more than 320 tons of DU used in 1991 attacks on Iraq. In the natural environment, these weapons’ particles have extremely long half-lives and there is strong evidence of their detrimental effects on the health of the Iraqi people.
Iraqi officials are reporting incidences of cancer, deformed babies and other health problems have risen sharply since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Many suspect the causes are contamination from weapons used in years of Anglo-American criminal wars and unchecked pollution. In Fallujah, Iraqi children are suffering from brain damage, deformity and cancer. An Iraqi doctor said that the rate of deformity and cancer among children in Fallujah is extremely high when compared with the rate of cancer and deformity of that in 2003. A spike in the number of births of stillborn, deformed and paralyzed babies there has alarmed doctors. Fallujah was the target of two massive assaults by the U.S. military. In Basra, Doctor Jawad al-Ali said: “We have seen new kinds of cancer that were not recorded in Iraq before the 2003 war, types of fibrous (soft tissue) cancer and bone cancer. These refer clearly to radiation as a cause.” In Basra, Leukaemia cases were up by 600 percent since 1990.
Access to clean water remains inadequate in many parts of the Iraq. According to the World Bank survey, 87.5 percent of the population have no adequate water supply, and 20 percent proper sewage disposal. In many parts of Iraq, including Baghdad and Basra, the water, soil and air are contaminated with radio-active particles caused by DU shells without adequate healthcare services the situation is rapidly worsening for the most vulnerable Iraqis, including women and children.
The Status of women
According to UNICEF, before the Anglo-American invasion, “Rarely do women in the Arab world enjoy as much power and support as they do in Iraq”. After seven years of U.S. Occupation, the status of Iraqi women has deteriorated beyond belief. The U.S.-imposed constitution has stripped Iraqi women of all the civil and basic rights that they enjoyed before the invasion and condemns them to statutory second-class citizens. Unemployment among Iraqi women is nearly 80 percent. A report by the Organisation for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) released on the fourth anniversary of the Anglo-American invasion stated that: “women of Iraq have gradually lost most of their 20th century gains and privileges in the last 4 years of occupation”. You would think European Islamophobes who pretend to support Muslim womens’ “liberation” in Europe would be concerned about Iraqi womens’ rights under Occupation. Instead, they are engaged in a fascist campaign of anti-Muslim hatred to justify Western war on Muslims.
According to Professor Maha Sabria of Al-Nahrain University in Baghdad, “The status of women here is linked to the general situation. The violation of women’s rights was part of the violation of the rights of all Iraqis. [...] At the same time women do not have freedom of movement because of the deteriorated security conditions and because of abductions of women and children by criminal gangs”. (Inter Press Service, 12 March 2010).
Furthermore, as a result of the U.S. Occupation and its violence, there are 2.5 million widows in Iraq, the highest in the world. According to the United Nations, in 2006, 90 to 100 women were widowed each day by the Occupation and its collaborators. Many of these widows do not know what happened to their spouses and most of them receive no assistance from the puppet government.
Throughout Iraq, women are living in fear of their lives and dignity. Kidnapping and rape are the common crimes under the Occupation. Over 10,000 women have suffered detention at the hands of U.S. forces and their Iraqi collaborators. The majority of detainees remain without charges. They are tortured and abused on regular basis. (See my: Iraq: A cluster of torture prisons, Online Journal, March 08, 2006). The situation for Iraqi women reflects the country’s situation under U.S. military Occupation.
Elections and Colonial Dictatorship
The recent U.S.-staged illegitimate elections were conducted in an atmosphere of terror and execution perpetrated by the Occupation forces and their collaborators. The final outcome of fraudulent elections was ensured. Like the 2005 elections, the 2010 elections were widely regarded, both in Iraq and outside Iraq, as rigged and fraudulent elections. The elections designed to legitimise the Occupation and validate a corrupt U.S.-imposed colonial dictatorship led by U.S. stooges. With a puppet government in place, the U.S. can claim that Iraq is sovereign and that U.S. Occupation of Iraq is legitimate (See my: Iraq’s Fraudulent Elections, New Matilda, January 19, 2005; Iraq: A Colonial Dictatorship, Global Research, April 29, 2005).
Unlike Iran’s recent free elections that have been condemned as “rigged” by the Zionist media and Western opportunists, Iraq’s fraudulent elections – under murderous foreign military Occupation – were promoted and praised as “democratic”. While Iyad Allawi, the U.S.-created thug claimed “victory”, prolonged post-elections’ wrangling is the norm. He has called for the privatisation of Iraq’s industries and Iraq’s oil and gas resources. Before he was parachuted into Iraq, Allawi was a Western-paid terrorist based in Europe. He still is a paid terrorist. In Iraq, Allawi and his associates were involved in terrorism, including the bombing of buses used by schoolchildren. Whatever, there is no evidence that a puppet government will demand an end to the Occupation. Meanwhile, Nori al-Maliki, the Iranian quisling has not given up his chance to continue serving U.S. and Iran interests from his office in the ‘Green Zone’.
Meanwhile, Obama’s “commitment” to troops’ withdrawal by the end of 2011 is flawed. It is a propaganda designed to manipulate the public and promote the perception that Iraq is a free and sovereign nation. The Occupation continues, but it is “invisible occupation”, as Priya Satia of Stanford University rightly called it. “In reality, most of the ‘withdrawing’ forces are merely relocating to forward operating bases where they appear to be hunkering down for a long entr’acte [pause] offstage in expensive, built-to-last [military bases]” (Financial Times, July 01, 2009). “But Iraqis are too shrewd to fall for invisible occupation again: indeed they never fall for it the first time … in 1932”, added Satia. Moreover, the so-called “Status of Forces Agreement” between the U.S. military and the puppet government is a fraud, because it was never ratified by the Iraqi people. It is a deal between an occupier and a puppet government.
American military bases are being built (against the wishes of the Iraqi people) to enforce a permanent colonial occupation and to serve U.S.-Israel Zionist interests… There are nearly 300 U.S. military bases in Iraq; many of them are the size of small towns. American advisors (at least 1,400 CIA agents) will remain stationed in the largest embassy in the world in the centre of Baghdad as a symbol of U.S. imperialism. In addition, there are at least 100,000 mercenaries (‘private war contractors’) fanning violence throughout Iraq.
Finally, the impacts of the murderous Occupation on the lives of the Iraqi people are reflected in numerous Western polls that revealed a significant majority of Iraqis despise the presence of U.S. troops and mercenaries and want an end to the murderous Occupation. Hence, without armed resistance, it is unlikely the U.S. will end its illegal colonial Occupation of Iraq. The legitimate Iraqi Resistance to the Occupation will continue until Iraq is liberated.
The premeditated and deliberate destruction of Iraq in pursuit of U.S.-Israel Zionist expansion constitutes a war of aggression that resulted in genocide. The ultimate responsibility of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Anglo-American fascist armies in Iraq rests with those who deliberately planned and executed an act of unprovoked aggression. George Bush, Tony Blair and their accomplices are guilty of war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. Their crimes are reminiscent of the crimes committed by Nazi leaders. In civilised societies they would be hanged for their crimes.
The Iraqi people have the right to live in a sovereign nation free of repression, torture and terrorism; to enjoy justice and respect for human rights, and prosperity. The only condition to build a new Iraq for all Iraqis, proud of its history and Arab identity, is the liberation of the Iraqi people from U.S. colonial Occupation.
Ghali Hassan is an independent writer living in Australia.
- Iraq energy auction gets muted interest (alethonews.wordpress.com)
By Ron Andreas
September 22, 2008
Unlike the Western oil majors, the militant Zionist proponents of greater Israel view stability and peace in the Middle East as inimical to their goals. Chaos and strife create the “revolutionary atmosphere” (as Ben Gurion one of the key founders of the state of Israel put it) in which more land and water resources can be taken under their control. This fact explains the motive behind the ceaseless provocations and destabilization that the Israeli military and secret services perpetrate.
The “iron wall” policy established by Ze’ev Jabotinsky prior to the founding of the Jewish state requires the expulsion of Christian and Muslim Arabs from Palestine. Such a goal requires war or other violent means. David Ben Gurion stated, “What is inconceivable in normal times is possible in revolutionary times; and if at this time the opportunity is missed and what is possible in such great hours is not carried out . . . a whole world is lost.” This reality, of the necessity for violent upheaval to achieve Zionist aims, exposes which party is the true aggressor in the Middle East.
Ralph Schoenman writes that the goal of capturing the “promised land” requires “Israel to bring about the dissolution and fragmentation of the Arab states into a mosaic of ethnic groupings.” This strategy has been put forward by Oded Yinon (an Israeli journalist with links to the Israeli Foreign Ministry) in 1982 in the World Zionist Organization’s publication Kivunim. Here’s what Oded Yinon had to say on Iraq:
“The dissolution of Syria and Iraq into ethnically or religiously unique areas, such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front. Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run, it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel.”
“An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and Lebanon.”
“In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul and Shiite areas in the South will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.”
In their struggle to expand the Jewish state in the “land of Israel,” Zionists have attempted to portray their interests as coinciding with those of the Western imperial powers. Conversely they have tried to portray their opponents as enemies of those powers. Yet the only business sector of the Western powers that has interests that align with Israel’s convulsive militarism is the military industrial complex. An elaborate structure has been established to forge a de facto alliance between Israel’s war hawks and the US military industrial complex. This alliance is evidenced in entities such as the Center for Security Policy, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
These think tanks and their neoconservative media mouthpieces published a number of policy papers that plainly call for regime change, border change, and demographic upheaval. In 1996 an influential Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, sponsored a document titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” which proposed that the Netanyahu regime “should ‘make a clean break’ with the Oslo peace process and reassert Israel’s claim to the West Bank and Gaza. It presented a plan whereby Israel would ‘shape its strategic environment,’ beginning with the removal of Saddam Hussein . . . to serve as a first step toward eliminating the anti-Israeli governments of Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.”
The “study group” behind the policy included Douglass Feith, David Wurmser, and Richard Perle among others. The document was intended for the incoming Israeli government yet many of its planners went on to become influential with the Bush regime.
In an “Open Letter to the President,” dated February 19, 1998, a number of neocon lobbyists recommended “a comprehensive political and military strategy for bringing down Saddam Hussein and his regime.” Among the letter’s signers were Elliot Abrahms, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Douglas Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser, Richard Perle, William Kristol, Frank Gaffney, Joshua Muravchik, Martin Peretz, and Steven Solarz. The similarities between the two document’s recommendations draw a stark picture of loyalty to the interests of Israel first and foremost, with the interests of the military industrial complex being served in a secondary way. Many of the same sponsors went on to issue a report titled: “Rebuilding Americas Defenses” which called for an expanded US military presence in the Middle East using Iraq as a stepping stone for regional force application: “While the unresolved conflict in Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
Nine days after 9/11, Paul Wolfowitz, Lewis Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney of the Project for a New American Century sent a letter to President Bush demanding measures against Iraq, Syria, and Iran “. . . even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the recent attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq . . . We believe the administration should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and its operations. Should Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration should consider appropriate measures of retaliation . . .”
On October 29, 2002 William Kristol and Robert Kagan revealed the unfolding agenda to the readers of the Weekly Standard in an article, ominously titled The Gathering Storm: “When all is said and done, the conflict in Afghanistan will be to the war on terrorism what the North Africa campaign was to WWII: an essential beginning on the path to victory. But compared with what looms over the horizon . . . a wide-ranging war in locales from Central Asia to the Middle East and, unfortunately, back to the U.S [emphasis added]. . . . Afghanistan will prove to be an opening battle . . . But this will not end in Afghanistan. It is going to spread and engulf a number of countries in conflicts of varying intensity. It could well require the use of American military power in multiple places simultaneously.”
The radical cabal of Zionists tried to enlist popular support for the wars by alluding to Iraq’s energy resources as Paul Wolfowitz did when he stated, “Iraq sits on a sea of oil.” However, after five years of occupation likely costing trillions of dollars, there is little hope of securing any preferential access to, much less, reliable control over any energy resources. Prior to the invasion, Exxon/Mobil was the world’s biggest publicly traded entity, a distinction that now falls on its Chinese competitor, SINOPEC.
While the relative market share of U.S. oil majors has declined, the destruction of Iraqi society, the devastation of its scientific and intellectual institutions, and the dismantling of its industrial infrastructure, all Zionist goals, have been achieved. Similarly, the American economy has been brought to a standstill due to high oil prices resulting from the wars and the current account deficit that is largely a result of borrowing for war spending. Over the course of the occupation, the U.S. dollar has declined in value by nearly 40 percent.
Nobel prize winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz has stated that the sanctions imposed on Iran coupled with the war atmosphere in the Gulf region, in general, have caused investment in and development of new oil production to come to a halt, exacerbating the high prices that result from the constant threats issuing out of Tel Aviv and the neocon institutes in Washington. It remains to be seen whether the non-Zionist elites in the Western world can begin to challenge the endless wars for Israel by, at the very least, opposing the sanctions against dealings with Iran.
- Israel, US faking intelligence to attack Iran: Ex-CIA analyst (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Hidden US-Israeli Military Agenda: “Break Syria into Pieces” (pakalertpress.com)