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Neocons Concentrate on Promoting U.S.-Iran War
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Alpha



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 49114

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:17 pm    Post subject: Neocons Concentrate on Promoting U.S.-Iran War Reply to topic

http://www.wrmea.com (the following appears in the March, 2005 issue of the 'Washington Report on Middle East Affairs' magazine):


Neocons Concentrate on Promoting U.S.-Iran War

By Andrew I. Killgore

Steven P. Weisman wrote in The New York Times of Nov. 19 that the ?biggest challenge? in President George W. Bush?s second term is ?how to contain? Iran?s nuclear program. In fact, however, Iran constitutes no threat to the United States. Its ?threat? is to Israel, according to ?some? (read neocons) in the administration who believe that Iran supports violence against Israel and helps the resistance in Iraq.

In 1996 the Zionists put Iran back in the American doghouse by means of Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi?i guerrilla group which Iran was helping to fight Israel?s illegal occupation of south Lebanon. With the Zionists charging that Hezbollah was a terrorist group, the United States passed legislation imposing sanctions against any company spending $20 million on Iran?s or Libya?s oil or gas industry. In 2001 the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA), which effectively meant that no oil or gas pipeline could transit Iran from the Caspian region, was extended for five years.

Since Hezbollah eventually forced Israel to withdraw from south Lebanon in 2000, Weisman, an neocon/Zionist front man, now claims that Tehran is supporting Hamas and Islamic Jihad. One can only express disappointment that the neocons? latest tactic ? self-serving as always, of course ? is so lacking in subtlety and imagination.

During the American war on Iraq, Israel has been free to expand its settlements in the West Bank and to build its apartheid wall. With Washington effectively encouraging Israel, the other ?Quartet? members ? Russia , the European Union and the United Nations ? likewise have been unable to stop Israel from its campaign to ethnically cleanse all of Palestine.

The ultimate neocon goal is a U.S. war with Iran over the nuclear issue. That would serve to postpone indefinitely Washington?s attention to the Palestine question. In ?A Clean Break?: A New Strategy For Securing the Realm,? the 1996 white paper prepared for Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by the neocons/Zionists Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Douglas Feith, the authors envisaged America fighting Israel?s enemies in the Middle East. It contained not a word about the consequences for the United States ? raising a question about the judgment, if not the loyalty, of the three authors.

In November Iran finally agreed that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) could inspect its nuclear sites with no prior notice. Japan, which had withheld its agreement, then signed a contract to develop Azadegan, Iran?s largest oil field. The New York Times on Nov. 23 reported that Iran had ?frozen? its nuclear activities in an effort to persuade the world that it does not seek nuclear weapons. Accusing Iran of lying, the National Council of Resistance in Iran, the political front of the People?s Mojahedin resistance organization, which works closely with Israel firsters in Congress, claimed Iran was running a secret uranium enrichment program in Tehran. Dr. Mohamed El Baradi, head of the IAEA, charged the Mojahedin with making accusations with no proof.

When Iran was secretly allied with Israel from 1972-1979, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi declared, without objection from the U.S. or Israel, that Iran planned to build 10 nuclear power plants. Now, however, Iran faces a threat of U.S. ? sponsored sanctions, if not war, if it doesn?t ?prove? itself innocent of seeking nuclear weapons.

If Iran is determined to get the nuclear bomb it may go ahead and risk military attack ? a formidable challenge for any military adversary. China is a long-time friend of Iran, and one potential attackers would not want to offend. More importantly, perhaps Iran?s size (628,000 square miles), topography and weak neighbors render it geopolitically nearly impregnable. An attack from the south ?which could only be mounted by the United States ? would be launched 500 miles from Tehran, and troops and supplies would have to traverse the rugged Zagreb Mountains.

With Washington?s tepid approval, Britain, France and Germany have been negotiating with Iran to stop processing uranium to the ?bomb? level. Tehran finally has agreed to cease ? but only temporarily. The Europeans see Iran?s agreement as progress, but the U.S. charges Iranian deceit. Nevertheless, the temporary agreement means that the U.S. will be unable to get European approval to impose U.N. sanctions against Iran.

A NUCLEAR IRAN INEVITABLE

It is probably inevitable that, sooner or later, Iran will get the atomic bomb. The Persian Cyrus the Great became head of the then ? largest empire stretching from the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush in the 6th century BC. The Iranians are proud of their history and of themselves. The most populous country in the region, it has always been important. So we can count on Iran becoming a nuclear power. This does not mean, however, that it will constitute a danger to Israel ? which according to informal speculation, possesses 200 nuclear weapons.

Nevertheless, Israel will continue to harp on the danger to the Jewish state of Iran getting the bomb, and the necessity of a U.S. attack to prevent it. This would tie up the United States and divert American efforts to address Israel?s occupation of Palestine.

But as settling the Palestinian issue would go far to removing the main cause of hatred and violence against the United States, Americans must not fall for the neocons? agenda of permanent U.S. war against Israel?s enemies. In a Dec. 13 Washington Post op-ed article signed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and the former foreign ministers of Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, the diplomats urge the United States to support, as a first step, the agreement concluded between Iran and the European powers.

Entitled ?How to Approach Iran, ?the article recommends that Washington consider launching commercial and diplomatic engagement with Iran. ?Some in Washington hope and expect the Euro-Iranian talks will collapse altogether,? the diplomats note. Again, the ?some? are the neocons/Zionists who fanatically refuse to abandon their campaign to promote an Iranian-American war.

The Dec. 15 Financial Times reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi is willing to talk to the U.S. about his country?s nuclear program. One thus can still hope that the neocons will not succeed in igniting an Iranian-American war.

TELLING LIKE IT IS

A Jan. 12 panel discussion on U.S. policy toward Iran hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. and broadcast on C-SPAN ended with a statement remarkable for its frankness. In response to an audience question regarding the ?Israel factor? in U.S. policy toward Iran, Kenneth Pollack, research director of the Brookings Institution?s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, responded:

?Look, I?ll be very blunt?I know we all would like the Israelis to take care of this problem for us. They can?t. That?s why they are on such a war path. The problem Israel has is: a) they have the same intelligence problem we have. As I said, the Israelis, their intelligence analysts, also do not feel they know enough about the Iranian nuclear program to strike those facilities. Second, they have the tyranny of distance. Osiraq was in reach of Israeli F-16s, refueled once. Iranian nuclear facilities are not. Israel has 25 aircraft that can make it to the main Iranian nuclear facilities ? 25 F-15 Is, that would be getting there on fumes?OK? They would probably be carrying bombs about the size of this water glass, because they would require that much fuel to get out there. I spent a lot of time with Israeli air force officers who were looking hard at this problem, and they all believed they cannot do it. And that is why you are hearing the government of Israel shouting so loudly, because they believe that the United States has been ignoring this problem for too long. They are deathly afraid that the Iranians are getting close. They know they can?t take care of it, and they want us to so.?


MORDECHAI VANUNU NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE

On Dec. 19, 2004 over 40 journalists, including seven TV cameras, attended a standing-room-only press conference in East Jerusalem to hear Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, Mordechai Vanunu and Knesset member Issam Makhoul. Below is the press conference issued afterward by the International Campaign to Free Mordechai Vanunu.

AT A PRESS CONFERENCE held in East Jerusalem on Dec. 19, Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire announced that she is nominating the Israeli nuclear whistleblower for the 2005 prize. Vanunu has been nominated for the prize every year since 1989. Maguire received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976, in recognition of her work for peace in Ireland. ?Mordechai Vanunu has paid a heavy prize in order to protect us all from nuclear weapons. We are all indebted to him for telling the truth to power and I have come to thank him on behalf of his human family,? Maguire said. Explaining that she had arrived in Israel from a women?s peace conference in Jordan, Maguire urged Israelis and Palestinians to work nonviolently for peace. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate urged the Israeli government to free Vanunu from the restrictions that keep him hostage in Israel and to ?let Mordechai come home for Christmas.? Maguire added that she would continue to nominate Vanunu for the award ?until he gets it.?

Issam Makhoul, member of the Israeli Parliament (Knesset), who in February 2000 initiated the first parliamentary debate on nuclear policy ever to be held in Israel, stated: ?Only those who struggle for total disarmament of the Middle East, including Israel, of all weapons of mass destruction?nuclear, biological and chemical?have the moral right to condemn Iran for its nuclear project. The countries that equip Israel with the means to launch nuclear warheads, that supply it with submarines and enable it to develop its missiles, do not have the moral right to condemn the Iranian nuclear arsenal.

?Along with Mordechai Vanunu, I and other Israeli activists refuse to be silenced. We continue to demand that our government reveal the truth about its WMDs, enable a full international inspection of all WMD sites and dismantle its arsenal. To this end, we are currently involved in organizing an international conference on a nuclear-free Mediterranean area, to be held in April 2005. This date marks the first anniversary of Vanunu?s release from prison. This date will hopefully mark the beginning of an anti-nuclear movement in Israel.

?Mordechai Vanunu is not a traitor, he is an Israeli hero. The nuclear bomb does not protect Israel, it endangers Israel.?

Mordechai Vanunu, recently elected rector of Glasgow University in Scotland, described the restrictions that were imposed on him when he was released from 18 years? imprisonment in April 2004, the subsequent police harassment and threats to which he has been subjected, and the impact that they have on his ability to rebuild his life. Asked why he refuses to speak to the Israeli media in Hebrew, Vanunu answered?in Hebrew: ?The government of Israel refuses to recognize my human rights. I am prohibited from speaking to foreigners. I say to the Israeli public: I am not your enemy. All I want is for Israel to abolish its nuclear weapons, to respect the rights of the Palestinian people and to let me go free.? Continuing in English, Vanunu stated that he has no further secrets to reveal about Israel?s nuclear reactor and that he demands the right to express his anti-nuclear views, to speak freely to the media and to write his prison memoirs. All he wants for Christmas, Vanunu said, was to be free to leave Israel and celebrate with his adoptive family in the USA.

Mordechai Vanunu also mentioned in the following article:

http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/93-05262004-306907.html

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See the 'A Clean Break' discussion via the link near the bottom of the following URL:

http://www.irmep.org

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More on the Zion Neocon 'A Clean Break' (War for Israel)

http://www.sourcewatch.org/wiki.phtml?title=Iraq_War

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JINSA (Jewish Institute on National Security Affairs):

http://www.robert-fisk.com/articles114.htm

The following is the 'Men from JINSA and CSP' article (for 'The Nation' by Jason Vest) which Fisk refers to in the above article:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20020902&s=vest


One can read the actual 'A Clean Break' document via the embedded link at the following URL:

http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j100603.html

And what professor Kevin MacDonald conveys in his 'Thinking about Neoconservatism' article:

http://www.vdare.com/misc/macdonald_neoconservatism.htm

Iran in the Crosshairs?: As U.S. Increases Threats, Iran Vows to Form "United Front" With Syria


http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/17/1530224

The Anti-Conservatives


http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=29513

RITTER SAYS THAT US PLANS JUNE ATTACK ON IRAN


http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=29754

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Neocon Middle East Policy: 'Clean Break' Damage Assessment


Neocon Middle East Policy:

The 'Clean Break' Plan Damage Assessment


http://www.irmep.org/cbda.htm





A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm is a definitive Middle East Policy strategy authored and implemented by operatives in the highest levels of the US government.

There is just one problem. The plan was a strategy for Israel , not the United States of America .

Neocon Middle East Policy reviews strategies and consequences of the "Clean Break" plan authored by Richard Perle, David Wurmser, and Douglas Feith in 1996. It analyzes the core assumptions of the policy, cost of tactics that have already been implemented and discusses the likelihood others will be executed in the future.

Neocon Middle East Policy then turns to the most difficult questions of all, "Can a policy crafted for a foreign government and presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serve as a blueprint for US regional policy? At what cost in credibility, blood, treasure and American integrity? At what cost to Israel?" Neocon Middle East Policy is a must-read for anyone concerned about the convergence of US and Israeli foreign policy in the Middle East.

Contributors: Adib Farha, Adam Shapiro, Dr. E.Faye Williams, Grant F. Smith, Khaled Dawoud, Mohammed Kaddam.


Publication Date: March 1, 2005

ISBN # 0-9764437-3-2

Cover Price $9.95

Shipping Weight 9 Ounces


http://www.irmep.org/cbda.htm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bush's Inaugaral Address: The Israeli Connection Continues


http://www.thornwalker.com:16080/ditch/snieg_inaugural.htm

http://www.nowarforisrael.com


http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_oilwar.htm#1

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1522978,00.html


March 13, 2005

Revealed: Israel plans strike on Iranian nuclear plant
Uzi Mahnaimi



ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans for a combined air and ground attack on targets in Iran if diplomacy fails to halt the Iranian nuclear programme.

The inner cabinet of Ariel Sharon, the Israeli prime minister, gave ?initial authorisation? for an attack at a private meeting last month on his ranch in the Negev desert.

Israeli forces have used a mock-up of Iran?s Natanz uranium enrichment plant in the desert to practise destroying it. Their tactics include raids by Israel?s elite Shaldag (Kingfisher) commando unit and airstrikes by F-15 jets from 69 Squadron, using bunker-busting bombs to penetrate underground facilities.

The plans have been discussed with American officials who are said to have indicated provisionally that they would not stand in Israel?s way if all international efforts to halt Iranian nuclear projects failed.

Tehran claims that its programme is designed for peaceful purposes but Israeli and American intelligence officials ? who have met to share information in recent weeks ? are convinced that it is intended to produce nuclear weapons.

The Israeli government responded cautiously yesterday to an announcement by Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, that America would support Britain, France and Germany in offering economic incentives for Tehran to abandon its programme.

In return, the European countries promised to back Washington in referring Iran to the United Nations security council if the latest round of talks fails to secure agreement.

Silvan Shalom, the Israeli foreign minister, said he believed that diplomacy was the only way to deal with the issue. But he warned: ?The idea that this tyranny of Iran will hold a nuclear bomb is a nightmare, not only for us but for the whole world.?

Dick Cheney, the American vice-president, emphasised on Friday that Iran would face ?stronger action? if it failed to respond. But yesterday Iran rejected the initiative, which provides for entry to the World Trade Organisation and a supply of spare parts for airliners if it co-operates.

?No pressure, bribe or threat can make Iran give up its legitimate right to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes,? said an Iranian spokesman.

US officials warned last week that a military strike on Iranian nuclear facilities by Israeli or American forces had not been ruled out should the issue become deadlocked at the United Nations.

Additional reporting: Tony Allen-Mills, Washington

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Pollack associated with AIPAC espionage via the Pentagon:

http://www.warwithoutend.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=40990


Last edited by Alpha on Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:13 pm; edited 16 times in total
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Alpha



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 49114

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2005 6:25 pm    Post subject: More on 'A Clean Break' from Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' Reply to topic

More on 'A Clean Break' from Bamford's 'A Pretext for War'


http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=28769
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Alpha



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 49114

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: More on 'A Clean Break' from Bamford's 'A Pretext for Wa Reply to topic

Alpha wrote:
More on 'A Clean Break' from Bamford's 'A Pretext for War'


http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=28769


Pat Buchanan also mentions (below) the 'A Clean Break' (war for Israel) agenda of the Zionist -JINSA/CSP/PNAC- Neoconservatives:

http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html


March 24, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservative



Whose War?

A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interest.

by Patrick J. Buchanan


The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also gotten something it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations have been exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S. journalism, Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: “Can you assure American viewers ... that we're in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?”

Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and the War Party is not amused. Finding themselves in an unanticipated firefight, our neoconservative friends are doing what comes naturally, seeking student deferments from political combat by claiming the status of a persecuted minority group. People who claim to be writing the foreign policy of the world superpower, one would think, would be a little more manly in the schoolyard of politics. Not so.

Former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot kicked off the campaign. When these “Buchananites toss around ‘neoconservative’—and cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen—it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is ‘Jewish conservative.’” Yet Boot readily concedes that a passionate attachment to Israel is a “key tenet of neoconservatism.” He also claims that the National Security Strategy of President Bush “sounds as if it could have come straight out from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible.” (For the uninitiated, Commentary, the bible in which Boot seeks divine guidance, is the monthly of the American Jewish Committee.)

David Brooks of the Weekly Standard wails that attacks based on the Israel tie have put him through personal hell: “Now I get a steady stream of anti-Semitic screeds in my e-mail, my voicemail and in my mailbox. ... Anti-Semitism is alive and thriving. It's just that its epicenter is no longer on the Buchananite Right, but on the peace-movement left.”

Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan endures his own purgatory abroad: “In London ... one finds Britain's finest minds propounding, in sophisticated language and melodious Oxbridge accents, the conspiracy theories of Pat Buchanan concerning the ‘neoconservative’ (read: Jewish) hijacking of American foreign policy.”

Lawrence Kaplan of the New Republic charges that our little magazine “has been transformed into a forum for those who contend that President Bush has become a client of ... Ariel Sharon and the ‘neoconservative war party.’”

Referencing Charles Lindbergh, he accuses Paul Schroeder, Chris Matthews, Robert Novak, Georgie Anne Geyer, Jason Vest of the Nation, and Gary Hart of implying that “members of the Bush team have been doing Israel's bidding and, by extension, exhibiting ‘dual loyalties.’” Kaplan thunders:

The real problem with such claims is not just that they are untrue. The problem is that they are toxic. Invoking the specter of dual loyalty to mute criticism and debate amounts to more than the everyday pollution of public discourse. It is the nullification of public discourse, for how can one refute accusations grounded in ethnicity? The charges are, ipso facto, impossible to disprove. And so they are meant to be.

What is going on here? Slate's Mickey Kaus nails it in the headline of his retort: “Lawrence Kaplan Plays the Anti-Semitic Card.”

What Kaplan, Brooks, Boot, and Kagan are doing is what the Rev. Jesse Jackson does when caught with some mammoth contribution from a Fortune 500 company he has lately accused of discriminating. He plays the race card. So, too, the neoconservatives are trying to fend off critics by assassinating their character and impugning their motives.

Indeed, it is the charge of “anti-Semitism” itself that is toxic. For this venerable slander is designed to nullify public discourse by smearing and intimidating foes and censoring and blacklisting them and any who would publish them. Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.

And this time the boys have cried “wolf” once too often. It is not working. As Kaus notes, Kaplan's own New Republic carries Harvard professor Stanley Hoffman. In writing of the four power centers in this capital that are clamoring for war, Hoffman himself describes the fourth thus:

And, finally, there is a loose collection of friends of Israel, who believe in the identity of interests between the Jewish state and the United States. … These analysts look on foreign policy through the lens of one dominant concern: Is it good or bad for Israel? Since that nation's founding in 1948, these thinkers have never been in very good odor at the State Department, but now they are well ensconced in the Pentagon, around such strategists as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.

“If Stanley Hoffman can say this,” asks Kaus, “why can't Chris Matthews?” Kaus also notes that Kaplan somehow failed to mention the most devastating piece tying the neoconservatives to Sharon and his Likud Party.

In a Feb. 9 front-page article in the Washington Post, Robert Kaiser quotes a senior U.S. official as saying, “The Likudniks are really in charge now.” Kaiser names Perle, Wolfowitz, and Feith as members of a pro-Israel network inside the administration and adds David Wurmser of the Defense Department and Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council. (Abrams is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, editor emeritus of Commentary, whose magazine has for decades branded critics of Israel as anti-Semites.)

Noting that Sharon repeatedly claims a “special closeness” to the Bushites, Kaiser writes, “For the first time a U.S. administration and a Likud government are pursuing nearly identical policies.” And a valid question is: how did this come to be, and while it is surely in Sharon's interest, is it in America's interest?

This is a time for truth. For America is about to make a momentous decision: whether to launch a series of wars in the Middle East that could ignite the Clash of Civilizations against which Harvard professor Samuel Huntington has warned, a war we believe would be a tragedy and a disaster for this Republic. To avert this war, to answer the neocon smears, we ask that our readers review their agenda as stated in their words. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. As Al Smith used to say, “Nothing un-American can live in the sunlight.”

We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America's interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging U.S. relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people's right to a homeland of their own. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubris, and bellicosity.

Not in our lifetimes has America been so isolated from old friends. Far worse, President Bush is being lured into a trap baited for him by these neocons that could cost him his office and cause America to forfeit years of peace won for us by the sacrifices of two generations in the Cold War.

They charge us with anti-Semitism—i.e., a hatred of Jews for their faith, heritage, or ancestry. False. The truth is, those hurling these charges harbor a “passionate attachment” to a nation not our own that causes them to subordinate the interests of their own country and to act on an assumption that, somehow, what's good for Israel is good for America.



The Neoconservatives

Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism's long march to power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.

A neoconservative, wrote Kevin Phillips back then, is more likely to be a magazine editor than a bricklayer. Today, he or she is more likely to be a resident scholar at a public policy institute such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) or one of its clones like the Center for Security Policy or the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). As one wag writes, a neocon is more familiar with the inside of a think tank than an Abrams tank.

Almost none came out of the business world or military, and few if any came out of the Goldwater campaign. The heroes they invoke are Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, and Democratic Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (Wash.) and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.).

All are interventionists who regard Stakhanovite support of Israel as a defining characteristic of their breed. Among their luminaries are Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, and James Q. Wilson.

Their publications include the Weekly Standard, Commentary, the New Republic, National Review, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Though few in number, they wield disproportionate power through control of the conservative foundations and magazines, through their syndicated columns, and by attaching themselves to men of power.



Beating the War Drums

When the Cold War ended, these neoconservatives began casting about for a new crusade to give meaning to their lives. On Sept. 11, their time came. They seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America's rage into all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic “rogue states” that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.

The War Party's plan, however, had been in preparation far in advance of 9/11. And when President Bush, after defeating the Taliban, was looking for a new front in the war on terror, they put their precooked meal in front of him. Bush dug into it.

Before introducing the script-writers of America's future wars, consider the rapid and synchronized reaction of the neocons to what happened after that fateful day.

On Sept. 12, Americans were still in shock when Bill Bennett told CNN that we were in “a struggle between good and evil,” that the Congress must declare war on “militant Islam,” and that “overwhelming force” must be used. Bennett cited Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and China as targets for attack. Not, however, Afghanistan, the sanctuary of Osama's terrorists. How did Bennett know which nations must be smashed before he had any idea who attacked us?

The Wall Street Journal immediately offered up a specific target list, calling for U.S. air strikes on “terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt.” Yet, not one of Bennett's six countries, nor one of these five, had anything to do with 9/11.

On Sept. 15, according to Bob Woodward's Bush at War, “Paul Wolfowitz put forth military arguments to justify a U.S. attack on Iraq rather than Afghanistan.” Why Iraq? Because, Wolfowitz argued in the War Cabinet, while “attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain … Iraq was a brittle oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable.”

On Sept. 20, forty neoconservatives sent an open letter to the White House instructing President Bush on how the war on terror must be conducted. Signed by Bennett, Podhoretz, Kirkpatrick, Perle, Kristol, and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, the letter was an ultimatum. To retain the signers’ support, the president was told, he must target Hezbollah for destruction, retaliate against Syria and Iran if they refuse to sever ties to Hezbollah, and overthrow Saddam. Any failure to attack Iraq, the signers warned Bush, “will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”

Here was a cabal of intellectuals telling the Commander-in-Chief, nine days after an attack on America, that if he did not follow their war plans, he would be charged with surrendering to terror. Yet, Hezbollah had nothing to do with 9/11. What had Hezbollah done? Hezbollah had humiliated Israel by driving its army out of Lebanon.

President Bush had been warned. He was to exploit the attack of 9/11 to launch a series of wars on Arab regimes, none of which had attacked us. All, however, were enemies of Israel. “Bibi” Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister of Israel, like some latter-day Citizen Genet, was ubiquitous on American television, calling for us to crush the “Empire of Terror.” The “Empire,” it turns out, consisted of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, and “the Palestinian enclave.”

Nasty as some of these regimes and groups might be, what had they done to the United States?

The War Party seemed desperate to get a Middle East war going before America had second thoughts. Tom Donnelly of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) called for an immediate invasion of Iraq. “Nor need the attack await the deployment of half a million troops. … [T]he larger challenge will be occupying Iraq after the fighting is over,” he wrote.

Donnelly was echoed by Jonah Goldberg of National Review: “The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense.”

Goldberg endorsed “the Ledeen Doctrine” of ex-Pentagon official Michael Ledeen, which Goldberg described thus: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” (When the French ambassador in London, at a dinner party, asked why we should risk World War III over some “shitty little country”—meaning Israel—Goldberg's magazine was not amused.)

Ledeen, however, is less frivolous. In The War Against the Terror Masters, he identifies the exact regimes America must destroy:

First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia. … Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged. …We have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution. … Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.

Rejecting stability as “an unworthy American mission,” Ledeen goes on to define America's authentic “historic mission”:

Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. … [W]e must destroy them to advance our historic mission.

Passages like this owe more to Leon Trotsky than to Robert Taft and betray a Jacobin streak in neoconservatism that cannot be reconciled with any concept of true conservatism.

To the Weekly Standard, Ledeen's enemies list was too restrictive. We must not only declare war on terror networks and states that harbor terrorists, said the Standard, we should launch wars on “any group or government inclined to support or sustain others like them in the future.”

Robert Kagan and William Kristol were giddy with excitement at the prospect of Armageddon. The coming war “is going to spread and engulf a number of countries. … It is going to resemble the clash of civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. … [I]t is possible that the demise of some ‘moderate’ Arab regimes may be just round the corner.”

Norman Podhoretz in Commentary even outdid Kristol's Standard, rhapsodizing that we should embrace a war of civilizations, as it is George W. Bush's mission “to fight World War IV—the war against militant Islam.” By his count, the regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil (Iraq, Iran, North Korea). At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as ‘“friends” of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority. Bush must reject the “timorous counsels” of the “incorrigibly cautious Colin Powell,” wrote Podhoretz, and “find the stomach to impose a new political culture on the defeated” Islamic world. As the war against al-Qaeda required that we destroy the Taliban, Podhoretz wrote,

We may willy-nilly find ourselves forced … to topple five or six or seven more tyrannies in the Islamic world (including that other sponsor of terrorism, Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority). I can even [imagine] the turmoil of this war leading to some new species of an imperial mission for America, whose purpose would be to oversee the emergence of successor governments in the region more amenable to reform and modernization than the despotisms now in place. … I can also envisage the establishment of some kind of American protectorate over the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, as we more and more come to wonder why 7,000 princes should go on being permitted to exert so much leverage over us and everyone else.

Podhoretz credits Eliot Cohen with the phrase “World War IV.” Bush was shortly thereafter seen carrying about a gift copy of Cohen's book that celebrates civilian mastery of the military in times of war, as exhibited by such leaders as Winston Churchill and David Ben Gurion.

A list of the Middle East regimes that Podhoretz, Bennett, Ledeen, Netanyahu, and the Wall Street Journal regard as targets for destruction thus includes Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and “militant Islam.”

Cui Bono? For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam?

Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.

Indeed, Sharon has been everywhere the echo of his acolytes in America. In February 2003, Sharon told a delegation of Congressmen that, after Saddam's regime is destroyed, it is of “vital importance” that the United States disarm Iran, Syria, and Libya.

“We have a great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after” the war on Iraq, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations. After U.S. troops enter Baghdad, the United States must generate “political, economic, diplomatic pressure” on Tehran, Mofaz admonished the American Jews.

Are the neoconservatives concerned about a war on Iraq bringing down friendly Arab governments? Not at all. They would welcome it.

“Mubarak is no great shakes,” says Richard Perle of the President of Egypt. “Surely we can do better than Mubarak.” Asked about the possibility that a war on Iraq—which he predicted would be a “cakewalk”—might upend governments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, former UN ambassador Ken Adelman told Joshua Micah Marshall of Washington Monthly, “All the better if you ask me.”

On July 10, 2002, Perle invited a former aide to Lyndon LaRouche named Laurent Murawiec to address the Defense Policy Board. In a briefing that startled Henry Kissinger, Murawiec named Saudi Arabia as “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent” of the United States.

Washington should give Riyadh an ultimatum, he said. Either you Saudis “prosecute or isolate those involved in the terror chain, including the Saudi intelligence services,” and end all propaganda against Israel, or we invade your country, seize your oil fields, and occupy Mecca.

In closing his PowerPoint presentation, Murawiec offered a “Grand Strategy for the Middle East.” “Iraq is the tactical pivot, Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot, Egypt the prize.” Leaked reports of Murawiec's briefing did not indicate if anyone raised the question of how the Islamic world might respond to U.S. troops tramping around the grounds of the Great Mosque.

What these neoconservatives seek is to conscript American blood to make the world safe for Israel. They want the peace of the sword imposed on Islam and American soldiers to die if necessary to impose it.

Washington Times editor at large Arnaud de Borchgrave calls this the “Bush-Sharon Doctrine.” “Washington's ‘Likudniks,’” he writes, “have been in charge of U.S. policy in the Middle East since Bush was sworn into office.”

The neocons seek American empire, and Sharonites seek hegemony over the Middle East. The two agendas coincide precisely. And though neocons insist that it was Sept. 11 that made the case for war on Iraq and militant Islam, the origins of their war plans go back far before.



“Securing the Realm”

The principal draftsman is Richard Perle, an aide to Sen. Scoop Jackson, who, in 1970, was overheard on a federal wiretap discussing classified information from the National Security Council with the Israeli Embassy. In Jews and American Politics, published in 1974, Stephen D. Isaacs wrote, “Richard Perle and Morris Amitay command a tiny army of Semitophiles on Capitol Hill and direct Jewish power in behalf of Jewish interests.” In 1983, the New York Times reported that Perle had taken substantial payments from an Israeli weapons manufacturer.

In 1996, with Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, Perle wrote “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” for Prime Minister Netanyahu. In it, Perle, Feith, and Wurmser urged Bibi to ditch the Oslo Accords of the assassinated Yitzak Rabin and adopt a new aggressive strategy:

Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria's regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq.

In the Perle-Feith-Wurmser strategy, Israel's enemy remains Syria, but the road to Damascus runs through Baghdad. Their plan, which urged Israel to re-establish “the principle of preemption,” has now been imposed by Perle, Feith, Wurmser & Co. on the United States.

In his own 1997 paper, “A Strategy for Israel,” Feith pressed Israel to re-occupy “the areas under Palestinian Authority control,” though “the price in blood would be high.”

Wurmser, as a resident scholar at AEI, drafted joint war plans for Israel and the United States “to fatally strike the centers of radicalism in the Middle East. Israel and the United States should … broaden the conflict to strike fatally, not merely disarm, the centers of radicalism in the region—the regimes of Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli, Tehran, and Gaza. That would establish the recognition that fighting either the United States or Israel is suicidal.”

He urged both nations to be on the lookout for a crisis, for as he wrote, “Crises can be opportunities.” Wurmser published his U.S.-Israeli war plan on Jan. 1, 2001, nine months before 9/11.

About the Perle-Feith-Wurmser cabal, author Michael Lind writes:

The radical Zionist right to which Perle and Feith belong is small in number but it has become a significant force in Republican policy-making circles. It is a recent phenomenon, dating back to the late 1970s and 1980s, when many formerly Democratic Jewish intellectuals joined the broad Reagan coalition. While many of these hawks speak in public about global crusades for democracy, the chief concern of many such “neo-conservatives” is the power and reputation of Israel.

Right down the smokestack.

Perle today chairs the Defense Policy Board, Feith is an Undersecretary of Defense, and Wurmser is special assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, John Bolton, who dutifully echoes the Perle-Sharon line. According to the Israeli daily newspaper Ha'aretz, in late February,

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials … that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards.

On Jan. 26, 1998, President Clinton received a letter imploring him to use his State of the Union address to make removal of Saddam Hussein's regime the “aim of American foreign policy” and to use military action because “diplomacy is failing.” Were Clinton to do that, the signers pledged, they would “offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.” Signing the pledge were Elliott Abrams, Bill Bennett, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz. Four years before 9/11, the neocons had Baghdad on their minds.



The Wolfowitz Doctrine

In 1992, a startling document was leaked from the office of Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. Barton Gellman of the Washington Post called it a “classified blueprint intended to help ‘set the nation's direction for the next century.’” The Wolfowitz Memo called for a permanent U.S. military presence on six continents to deter all “potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” Containment, the victorious strategy of the Cold War, was to give way to an ambitious new strategy designed to “establish and protect a new order.”

Though the Wolfowitz Memo was denounced and dismissed in 1992, it became American policy in the 33-page National Security Strategy (NSS) issued by President Bush on Sept. 21, 2002. Washington Post reporter Tim Reich describes it as a “watershed in U.S. foreign policy” that “reverses the fundamental principles that have guided successive Presidents for more than 50 years: containment and deterrence.”

Andrew Bacevich, a professor at Boston University, writes of the NSS that he marvels at “its fusion of breathtaking utopianism with barely disguised machtpolitik. It reads as if it were the product not of sober, ostensibly conservative Republicans but of an unlikely collaboration between Woodrow Wilson and the elder Field Marshal von Moltke.”

In confronting America's adversaries, the paper declares, “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively.” It warns any nation that seeks to acquire power to rival the United States that it will be courting war with the United States:

[T]he president has no intention of allowing any nation to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago. … Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing or equaling the power of the United States.

America must reconcile herself to an era of “nation-building on a grand scale, and with no exit strategy,” Robert Kagan instructs. But this Pax Americana the neocons envision bids fair to usher us into a time of what Harry Elmer Barnes called “permanent war for permanent peace.”



The Munich Card

As President Bush was warned on Sept. 20, 2001, that he will be indicted for “a decisive surrender” in the war on terror should he fail to attack Iraq, he is also on notice that pressure on Israel is forbidden. For as the neoconservatives have played the anti-Semitic card, they will not hesitate to play the Munich card as well. A year ago, when Bush called on Sharon to pull out of the West Bank, Sharon fired back that he would not let anyone do to Israel what Neville Chamberlain had done to the Czechs. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy immediately backed up Ariel Sharon:

With each passing day, Washington appears to view its principal Middle Eastern ally's conduct as inconvenient—in much the same way London and Paris came to see Czechoslovakia's resistance to Hitler's offers of peace in exchange for Czech lands.

When former U.S. NATO commander Gen. George Jouwlan said the United States may have to impose a peace on Israel and the Palestinians, he, too, faced the charge of appeasement. Wrote Gaffney,

They would, presumably, go beyond Britain and France's sell-out of an ally at Munich in 1938. The “impose a peace” school is apparently prepared to have us play the role of Hitler's Wehrmacht as well, seizing and turning over to Yasser Arafat the contemporary Sudetenland: the West Bank and Gaza Strip and perhaps part of Jerusalem as well.

Podhoretz agreed Sharon was right in the substance of what he said but called it politically unwise to use the Munich analogy.

President Bush is on notice: Should he pressure Israel to trade land for peace, the Oslo formula in which his father and Yitzak Rabin believed, he will, as was his father, be denounced as an anti-Semite and a Munich-style appeaser by both Israelis and their neoconservatives allies inside his own Big Tent.

Yet, if Bush cannot deliver Sharon there can be no peace. And if there is no peace in the Mideast there is no security for us, ever—for there will be no end to terror. As most every diplomat and journalist who travels to the region will relate, America's failure to be even-handed, our failure to rein in Sharon, our failure to condemn Israel's excesses, and our moral complicity in Israel's looting of Palestinian lands and denial of their right to self-determination sustains the anti-Americanism in the Islamic world in which terrorists and terrorism breed.

Let us conclude. The Israeli people are America's friends and have a right to peace and secure borders. We should help them secure these rights. As a nation, we have made a moral commitment, endorsed by half a dozen presidents, which Americans wish to honor, not to permit these people who have suffered much to see their country overrun and destroyed. And we must honor this commitment.

But U.S. and Israeli interests are not identical. They often collide, and when they do, U.S. interests must prevail. Moreover, we do not view the Sharon regime as “America's best friend.”

Since the time of Ben Gurion, the behavior of the Israeli regime has been Jekyll and Hyde. In the 1950s, its intelligence service, the Mossad, had agents in Egypt blow up U.S. installations to make it appear the work of Cairo, to destroy U.S. relations with the new Nasser government. During the Six Day War, Israel ordered repeated attacks on the undefended USS Liberty that killed 34 American sailors and wounded 171 and included the machine-gunning of life rafts. This massacre was neither investigated nor punished by the U.S. government in an act of national cravenness.

Though we have given Israel $20,000 for every Jewish citizen, Israel refuses to stop building the settlements that are the cause of the Palestinian intifada. Likud has dragged our good name through the mud and blood of Ramallah, ignored Bush's requests to restrain itself, and sold U.S. weapons technology to China, including the Patriot, the Phoenix air-to-air missile, and the Lavi fighter, which is based on F-16 technology. Only direct U.S. intervention blocked Israel's sale of our AWACS system.

Israel suborned Jonathan Pollard to loot our secrets and refuses to return the documents, which would establish whether or not they were sold to Moscow. When Clinton tried to broker an agreement at Wye Plantation between Israel and Arafat, Bibi Netanyahu attempted to extort, as his price for signing, release of Pollard, so he could take this treasonous snake back to Israel as a national hero.

Do the Brits, our closest allies, behave like this?

Though we have said repeatedly that we admire much of what this president has done, he will not deserve re-election if he does not jettison the neoconservatives’ agenda of endless wars on the Islamic world that serve only the interests of a country other than the one he was elected to preserve and protect.

March 24, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservative
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:39 am    Post subject: Iran warns U.S. not to 'play with fire' Reply to topic

http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1305420,00.html

Comment

Israel, not Iran, is wild card in explosive Middle East pack

David Hirst in Beirut
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian

When George Bush first identified the two Middle East members of his "axis of evil", Iran clearly ranked as a far more formidable adversary than Saddam Hussein's Iraq.
But President Bush went after the easier target instead. So "did we invade the wrong country?" asks a leading commentator, Charles Krauthammer, speaking for many neo-conservative hawks as the US refocuses on Iran.

From their standpoint, it must surely look as if they did. For the neo-cons, overthrowing Saddam was nothing if not regional in purpose, the opening phase of a grand design to "transform" the entire Middle East.

But such are the region's cross-border dynamics that success was never going to be assured in one country unless it embraced others too.

Yet it is hardly success in Iraq that accounts for the increasingly urgent concerns about Iran; it is more likely the spectre of catastrophic failure. For if the Islamic Republic was always the most dangerous of "rogue states", it is now more dangerous than it was at the outset of the Iraq adventure. It simply has to be subdued.

"If nothing is done", Mr Krauthammer argues, "a fanatical terrorist regime openly dedicated to the destruction of the 'Great Satan' will have both nuclear weapons and the terrorists and missiles to deliver them. All that stands between us and that is either revolution or pre-emptive strike. Both of which are far more likely to succeed with 146,000 American troops and highly sophisticated aircraft standing by just a few miles away in Iraq."



Such talk does not seem to frighten the mullahs. They do worry about the strategic encirclement which the US has thrown around them. Yet, paradoxically, they are emboldened too. For they think that if they are more vulnerable, so - over-extended and floundering - is their adversary.

They are saying it loud and clear: we have strategic assets to match America's, and the cost of any US or Israeli attempt to exploit their military advantages against us will be great and region-wide.

Iran claims it is not developing nuclear weapons. But much of its behaviour, at least that of the once again dominant, hardline clerical establishment, indicates a deliberate attempt to cloak the claim in ambiguity, nourishing the convictions of all those who believe that Iran is developing such weapons. Certainly, at least, it wants to create the impression that it is acquiring the kind of firepower that only weapons of mass destruction can supply.

If the Islamic Republic does not actually have the unconventional means, not yet at least, to lend substance to its militant rhetoric, it does have conventional means that have long been an intrinsic, largely surreptitious, part of its whole "revolutionary" modus operandi.

In fact, through Iraq, the removal of its arch-enemy Saddam and the emancipation and new aspirations of the long-suppressed Shia majority, it has them in new and providential abundance. "Some military commanders in Iran", said the defence minister, Ali Shamkani, "are convinced that preventive operations which the Americans talk about are not their monopoly. We too are present from Khost to Kandahar in Afghanistan, in the Gulf, and we can be in Iraq, where US forces won't be an element of strength, but our hostage."

No wonder that, for the new Iraqi government, the Muqtada al-Sadr rebellion was as much about Iran as it was about Mr Sadr.

And then there is always Lebanon and Hizbullah, that everlasting flashpoint in reserve. Quiescent of late, Hizbullah is ever ready to re-enter the jihadist arena, drawing on the arsenal of rockets with which, according to Israel, Iran has been systematically supplying it.

"This", says the veteran Israeli military analyst Zeev Schiff, "is an Iran-Syria-Hizbullah array", and its use, almost certain in the event of an American or Israeli strike on Iran, could escalate into "all-out war".

It is clear that the mullahs do not want a full-scale showdown; in parading their assets they seek to deter, rather than provoke. In fact they have always wanted better relations with the US, provided they get something in return, and that they, not their reformist rivals, control the process. If anything, the urgency now lies on the other side; hence the urgings of pundits like Mr Krauthammer to "strike before Iran's nukes get hot".

But perhaps the real wild card lies less in the Iranian "rogue state" than it does in what amounts to the Israeli one. Israel has repeatedly warned that it may sooner or later take direct action to stop an Iranian nuclear bomb "going critical".

As Amos Perlmutter, Michael Handel and Uri Bar-Joseph recount in their book Two Minutes over Baghdad, the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, was once part of a three-man inner circle that kept even the very sympathetic administration of President Ronald Reagan completely in the dark as they planned and carried out the daring 1981 airstrike on Iraq's Osirak nuclear plant.

That exploit had little visible fallout. But a repeat performance against Iran today would be universally perceived as American in spirit, even if exclusively Israeli in execution, and the whole Middle Eastern mess which America came to Iraq to clean up would instantly cross a new threshold in scale, virulence and unpredictability.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran warned the United States on Sunday not to attack its nuclear facilities and said talks with European nations might produce a deal to defuse the dispute over its alleged ambitions to build atomic weapons.

"They know our capabilities. We have clearly told the Europeans to tell the Americans not to play with fire," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told a weekly news briefing, referring to Washington's refusal to rule out the use of force.

He said Iran was determined to continue its nuclear energy program despite pressure from Washington, which accuses Tehran of pursuing atomic weapons and says it does not rule out any option to stop it acquiring them.

France, Britain and Germany, on behalf of the European Union, have been trying to persuade Iran to scrap potentially weapons-related activities in return for economic incentives.

Iran has said repeatedly it will not give up plans to build a heavy-water reactor, which can be used to make weapons-grade material, in exchange for a light-water reactor offered by the Europeans, which is less useful for a weapons program.

"We will not under any circumstances replace our heavy-water research reactor," Asefi said on Sunday. "We will continue building our heavy-water reactor."

But Asefi said there was a chance of a deal with the Europeans, describing the latest round of Iran-EU talks, which took place in Geneva on Friday, as "deeper and more professional."

Mohammad Saeedi, director-general for international affairs at Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, on Sunday said Iran's parliament could force the government to resume uranium enrichment. Enriched uranium can be used in nuclear power plants or in weapons.

"Parliament is preparing a bill which will oblige the organization to produce part of the fuel needed for our nuclear reactors," Saeedi told the official IRNA news agency.

The Moscow-built 1,000-megawatt Bushehr nuclear reactor, Iran's only nuclear power plant, will begin operating in late 2005 and reach full capacity in 2006.

Hardline lawmakers, accusing President Mohammad Khatami's government of making too many concessions in its nuclear talks with European countries, last year obliged the government by law to press ahead with efforts to develop a nuclear energy program.
Asefi accused Washington of not respecting international rules and urged it to abandon unilateral policies. "The world can no longer pay the price of U.S. officials' foolishness," he said.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said last week Tehran must accept terms offered by the European Union or be referred to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

Iran denies U.S. accusations it is building bombs under cover of a civilian nuclear energy program. But Asefi said it would never permanently end its disputed nuclear activities.

"Iran strongly insists on its views and we will not give up our people's legitimate right," he declared.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,1416263,00.html

Iran and Syria confront US with defence pact

Ewen MacAskill in Beirut and Duncan Campbell
Thursday February 17, 2005
The Guardian

Iran and Syria heightened tension across the Middle East and directly confronted the Bush administration yesterday by declaring they had formed a mutual self-defence pact to confront the "threats" now facing them.
The move, which took the Foreign Office by surprise, was announced after a meeting in Tehran between the Iranian vice-president, Mohammed Reza Aref, and the Syrian prime minister, Naji al-Otari.
"At this sensitive point, the two countries require a united front due to numerous challenges," said Mr Otari.
Regarded as rogue states by the White House, Iran is under pressure over its nuclear ambitions, while Syria came under renewed scrutiny over the assassination this week of the former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
Yesterday's announcement came as the Israeli foreign minister, Silvan Shalom, predicted that Tehran would have the knowledge to produce a nuclear weapon within six months.
Speaking in London, he accused Iran of preparing nuclear weapons that would be able to target "London, Paris and Madrid" by the end of the decade.
"We believe the Iranians will never abandon their dreams" of nuclear weapons, Mr Shalom said. "It is not Israel's problem any more, it is the world's problem."
He said that "the question is not if Iran will hold a nuclear bomb in 2009, 2010, 2111, it is whether they have that knowledge. In six months, they will finish the tests to have the knowledge to produce weapons of mass destruction".
A British official cautioned that Israel has always put Iran's nuclear development "ahead of the estimates here and in the US".
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"But no one knows for sure. We know the Iranians will not surprise us tomorrow, but whether it will be one year, or five or 10, we do not know."
The potential for further conflict in the region was highlighted yesterday by the reaction of the financial markets to speculative reports of an explosion near a nuclear facility in Iran. Oil prices surged by more than a dollar. It later emerged that the explosion had been caused during construction of a dam.
Though Syrian diplomats insisted the alliance with Iran was not a move to provoke the US, there was no qualification when the declaration was made in Tehran. Speaking at the end of the talks, the Syrian prime minister said: "This meeting, which takes place at this sensitive time, is important, especially because Syria and Iran face several challenges and it is necessary to build a common front."
Mr Aref added: "We are ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats."
Syria and Iran do not have a natural affinity but are alleged by western governments to have engaged in covert military cooperation in the past.
The British official said the pact could just be rhetoric, "a marriage of convenience" for two countries feeling a need to bolster one another.
Syria has recently been engaged in a diplomatic offensive to try to ward off US criticism, and its ambassador to the UN, Imad Moustapha, reflected this yesterday, denying the pact was anti-American.
"Today we do not want to form a front against anybody, particularly not against the United States," he said.
But tension between the countries remains high.
Washington recalled its ambassador to Damascus on Tuesday after the assassination of Mr Hariri, who advocated the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon.
As well as withdrawal from Lebanon, the US has called on Damascus to close the headquarters in the capital of Hamas, the main Palestinian group responsible for suicide bombers; to end its support for Hizbullah, the Lebanese-based, anti-Israeli militia; and to block support for the insurgency in Iraq from within Syria. It has also called on Iran to end its support for Hizbullah.
Washington at present is focused on pressing the security council to introduce new sanctions against Iran and Syria.
Iran denies having ambitions to build a nuclear weapon and claims its programme is for purely civil purposes.
Iran's intelligence minister, Ali Yunesi, claimed yesterday the US has been flying spy drones over Iran's nuclear sites and they would be shot down if they came within range.
Negotiations in Geneva between Britain, France, Germany and Iran aimed at resolving the crisis ended last week. Further talks are planned, but the US and Israel are sceptical about the value of these talks.
The Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, said in Berlin that the negotiations could succeed. "I believe there are possibilities ... to remove the concerns of the European side," he said.


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-----------------------------------------------------------------------------


http://www.guardian.co.uk/iran/story/0,,1415881,00.html

5pm update
________________________________________
Iran and Syria form 'common front'

Agencies
Wednesday February 16, 2005

Iran and Syria, both locked in rows with the United States, said today that they would form a common front to face challenges and threats.
A high level meeting between the two countries concluded with Iranian vice-president, Mohammad Reza Aref, telling a press conference that the Islamic republic was "ready to help Syria on all grounds to confront threats".
The Syrian prime minister, Naji al-Otari, said it was a necessary alliance because both countries faced "several challenges".
Jitteriness in the region was exacerbated today when Iranian state television initially blamed reports of an explosion near the Bushehr nuclear power plant on an unidentified aircraft firing a missile.
The Iranian media has been full of stories of unidentified flying objects in recent weeks, and Tehran accused the US today of flying unmanned spy planes over the country in a search for evidence of what Washington calls Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Iran insists it is only developing a civilian nuclear programme to meet its energy needs.
Claims from the Iranian intelligence minister, Ali Yunesi, that "most of the shining objects that our people see in Iran's airspace are American spying equipment" chimed with a report in the Washington Post that the drones have been flying over Iran for nearly a year.
George Bush calls Iran "the world's primary state sponsor of terror" and US officials charge Syria with allowing Palestinian militants and Iraqi insurgents to operate from its soil.
Syria's ambassador to the United States told CNN that the front was not an anti-US alliance. "We do not want to form a front against anybody, particularly not against the United States," he told the channel.
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"Syria is trying to engage constructively with the United States. We are not the enemies of the United States, and we do not want to be drawn into such an enmity."
Relations between the US and Syria are less strained than those with Iran - a member of Mr Bush's "axis of evil" - but tensions have been rising since the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri on Tuesday.
US officials do not specifically blame Damascus for the assassination, but argue that Syria's military presence and its political power-broking role are generally responsible for Lebanon's instability.
The Bush administration withdrew its ambassador to Damascus yesterday to express its "profound outrage" at Mr Hariri's death. Mourners at his funeral procession today called on Syrian president, Bashar Assad, to "remove your dogs from Beirut".
In further signs of a tough new stance, the Reuters news agency reported that US officials were considering new sanctions against Syria over its refusal to pull troops out of Lebanon and the belief that it lets Palestinian militants and Iraqi insurgents operate from within its borders.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Could Bush Possibly Make the Same Mistake Twice? Yeah. Reply to topic

http://www.antiwar.com/reese/?articleid=4816


Could Bush Possibly Make the Same Mistake Twice? Yeah.

by Charley Reese
The Bush administration is making the same mistakes with Iran that it made with Iraq. It makes allegations unsupported by facts, refuses to negotiate and threatens sanctions or military action, neither of which is feasible.

In short, it has no rational Iran policy.

The Bush administration seems to be under the impression that the Iranians are pursuing the development of a nuclear weapon. Sound familiar? The Iranians deny it. The administration says, in effect, that they are lying. If the administration has any proof, let's see it. It was so all-fired certain that Iraq was not only pursuing nuclear weapons but had stockpiles of other weapons, all of which has been proven untrue. That was a mistake that has cost us 1,400 lives and 10,000 wounded. Make that mistake with Iran, and you'll see a heck of a lot more body bags coming back to the United States.

Our silly secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, says that the Iranians must live up to their international obligations. Again, a familiar propaganda note. The Bush people claimed Iraq was not complying with U.N. resolutions, but in fact it had. The trouble is that, so far as we can tell, the Iranians are also complying. They signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which the Bush administration's pet country, Israel, has refused to sign. The Iranians are cooperating with the International Atomic Energy Agency and are allowing inspections, which Israel does not. They have a right under the treaty to enrich uranium, but are negotiating with the European Union to forgo that right.

The United States refuses to participate in those negotiations and several times has tried to get the IAEA to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council, where it hopes sanctions will be applied. The IAEA has rightfully refused to do so. Even if it did so, China or Russia would certainly veto any resolution mandating sanctions.

Ms. Rice coyly said recently that a military attack against Iran is not on the Bush agenda "at this point." That's a nothing statement, because it does not rule out a military attack.

Are the Iranians pursuing a nuclear weapon? I don't know. They say they are not. But they are more or less surrounded by nuclear powers – the United States, Israel, India and Pakistan. Their reasoning for pursuing nuclear plants is feasible. They know their main export, oil, will run out one day, so by using nuclear fuel to produce internal power, they can extend the life of their most profitable export. They are certainly wise to disperse their facilities, given the fact that the Israelis bombed Iraq's only nuclear reactor in the 1980s.

But let's assume Iran does develop a nuclear weapon. I don't care. I've lived most of my life 30 minutes from total destruction by tens of thousands of the Soviet Union's nuclear warheads. The Bush administration's claim that nuclear deterrence, which worked against a superpower, will not work against a smaller and poorer country is bunk. Israel alone has enough nuclear warheads to pulverize Iran.

Oh, the administration says the Iranians will hand over a nuclear weapon to a terrorist organization. Well, where is any evidence of that? The evidence does show that once countries develop nuclear weapons, they keep pretty tight control over them.

But more to the point, if we don't want Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, why not negotiate? Why keep threatening the Iranians? It doesn't make any sense. If I were an Iranian, I would assume that President Bush intends eventually to attack the country. That would be stupid, but if you look at the stupidity of the Iraqi mess, you can't rule it out. Never believe that Bush won't do something just because it's dumb.

Iraq, with just over 20 million people, a flat terrain and a dilapidated military, has given us quite a bit of trouble. Try Iran, which has nearly 70 million people, a mountainous terrain and a much more effective military. You Bush lovers should write your man and advise him to let that sleeping dog lie.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:12 pm    Post subject: US Flying Drones over Iran (getting ready to bomb Iran) Reply to topic

US Flying Drones over Iran (getting ready to bomb Iran):


http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/02/14/1517241
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 8:14 am    Post subject: Israel continues to push the agenda... Reply to topic

Israel continues to push the agenda...

http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au/co...7%5E663,00.html


Israel warns on weapons

14sep04

ISRAEL warned yesterday that Iran could be in a position to develop nuclear weapons without outside help within six months.

As the United Nations' nuclear watchdog prepared to meet to set a deadline for Iran to allay suspicions it is secretly making atomic weapons, Israeli military intelligence head General Aharon Zeevi said time was running out for the international community to deal with Tehran.

"The next six months will determine if Iran will achieve in the spring of 2005 a non-conventional capability in the sphere of nuclear research and development," he said. "This does not mean that it will have a bomb in 2005. It means that it will have all the means at its disposal to build a bomb." ...


[...]

http://rightweb.irc-online.org/anal...4/0409feith.php
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Is Iran the next target Reply to topic

http://www.aljazeerah.info/Opinion%20editorials/2003%20Opinion%20Editorials/May/24%20o/Is%20Iran%20the%20next%20target%2C%20Patrick%20Seale.htm


Opinion, May 24, 2003, Al-Jazeerah.info

Is Iran the next target,
Patrick Seale

The Daily Star, 5/24/03



Now that Iraq has been conquered, hard-line American Jews, supporters of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, are urging the United States to overthrow the Islamic government in Iran. A systematic campaign of accusations, lies, propaganda and disinformation, very similar to the one which preceded the attack on Iraq, is now being mounted against Iran by a cabal of neoconservatives in Washington.
As in the case of Iraq, the real reasons for the campaign against Iran remain uncertain and ambivalent. Is the goal to spread “democracy” in the Middle East so as to make the United States safe from “terrorism?” Or is it to destroy any regional challenge to Israel? The most likely explanation is that it is a combination of both. The neoconservatives, who now dictate the pace and direction of US foreign policy, consider that American and Israeli interests are identical and cannot be separated.
To understand the way American opinion is shaped, one needs to read and listen to what is being said in the American press and in Washington’s numerous right-wing think tanks. The Weekly Standard is a leading organ of neocon opinion. Its editor, William Kristol, one of the most strident voices in favor of the Iraq war, has now turned his bellicose attention to Iran. In a lead editorial on 12 May he wrote:
“The liberation of Iraq was the first great battle for the future of the Middle East. The creation of a free Iraq is now of fundamental importance. We are already in a death struggle with Iran over the future of Iraq. The theocrats ruling Iran understand that the stakes are now double or nothing ­ as success in Iraq sounds the death knell for the Iranian revolution.
“So we must help our friends and allies in Iraq block Iranian-backed subversion. And we must also take the fight to Iran, with measures ranging from public diplomacy to covert operations. Iran is the tipping point in the war on proliferation, the war on terror, and the effort to reshape the Middle East. If Iran goes pro-Western and anti-terror, positive changes in Syria and Saudi Arabia will follow much more easily. And the chances for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement will greatly improve.
“On the outcome of the confrontation with Tehran, more than any other, rests the future of the Bush Doctrine ­ and, quite possibly, the Bush presidency ­ and prospects for a safer world.”
I have quoted Kristol’s editorial at length because it is a clear expression of the neocon’s determination to pressure, even blackmail, President George W. Bush into using American power to “reshape” the Middle East in Israel’s interest.
At a conference at the Saban Center in Washington on May 14, Kristol enlarged on his views by remarking that a US strike against Iran might possibly take place before the November 2004 American presidential elections.
Another leading neocon guru, Michael Ledeen, who throughout the 1990s called for an attack against Iraq, is now pressing as persistently for an attack on Iran. The new “Center for Democracy in Iran,” an American group calling for regime change in Tehran, is largely his creation. The flavor of his approach may be grasped from a speech he delivered at the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs in Washington on April 30, entitled “Time to focus on Iran ­ The Mother of Modern Terrorism.”
In it, he declared: “The time for diplomacy is at an end; it is time for a free Iran, free Syria and free Lebanon.” A week later, on May 6, at a conference at the American Enterprise Institute, another leading neocon think tank, Ledeen repeated his call for a US attack on Iran, in which he was supported by Uri Lubrani, a long-time adviser to Israel’s Defense Ministry and architect of Israel’s disastrous “security zone” in Lebanon, which was only wound up when Israeli forces were finally driven out of south Lebanon in 2000.
In their campaign against Iran, neocons and pro-Israeli lobbyists are joined by exiled Iranian monarchists, active among the large Iranian community in California, who pin their hopes on Reza Pahlavi, son of the late pro-Israeli Shah. In a recent interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Reza Pahlavi declared: “The fall of the current regime would not only liberate the forces of a great nation, it would free the world of an imminent atomic risk and the biggest terrorist network in existence.”
Inflammatory accusations leveled against Iran by US officials, by friends of Israel, right-wing ideologues and others are given wide prominence on American television and in the mainstream American press. They usually include the following: that Iran’s nuclear program has reached such an advanced stage that it might soon test a nuclear weapon; that it is developing biological weapons and is seeking foreign help in developing chemical weapons; that it supports such “terrorist” organizations as Hizbullah in Lebanon as well as militant Shiite groups in Iraq and Afghanistan; and, most recently and sensationally, that the suicide bombings against residential compounds in Riyadh were planned by top Al-Qaeda commanders sheltering in Iran,
According to the American TV program Nightline, Al-Qaeda leaders in Iran include Seif al-Adel, wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in East Africa. Needless to say, no firm evidence in support of these serious allegations is ever produced. It is noteworthy, however, that the charge of Iranian-Al Qaeda complicity strongly resembles the accusation of links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda made repeatedly against Baghdad in the run-up to the war ­ but of course never documented or proven.
In spite of the clamor from the neocons, few experts predict an early American military assault on Iran. For one thing, fear of a new wave of terrorist attacks, following the bombings in Riyadh and Casablanca, has captured America’s attention, almost to the exclusion of other foreign policy worries. For another, the United States has its hands full in Iraq, where resistance is mounting to the American occupation and where the task of putting the country back on its feet is proving far more difficult than Washington had anticipated.
For all these reasons, some experts believe that a military strike against Iran by either the US or Israel ­ or by both together ­ would only become a possibility if there were convincing proof that Iran was about to test a nuclear weapon or that an Al-Qaeda cell located in Iran had attacked US or Israeli targets in the past or was about to do so in the immediate future.
Rather than risk a major military assault, these experts believe that, if the United States and Israel wanted to send a strong message to Iran, they were more likely to use special forces against Iranian proxies in Iraq or Lebanon, or seek to undermine the Tehran regime by encouraging separatist tendencies among Iran’s Azeri and Baluchi communities, in an effort to destabilize the country.
The truth would seem to be that policy-makers and opinion formers in the United States are divided over what to do about Iran. Some follow the president’s lead in characterizing the Islamic Republic as the leading member of the “Axis of Evil.” They identify political Shiism backed by Iran as one of America’s most dangerous enemies and they fear that Iraq can never be stabilized unless Iran and its Shiite supporters in Iraq are neutralized ­ a totally impossible task unless the Shiite community is slaughtered en masse!
A radically different point of view, however, is that America’s most fearsome opponent is not Shiiism but fundamentalist Sunni Islam, as preached and practiced by Osama bin Laden and other Islamic extremists. According to this view, the United States should forge an alliance with Shiite Iran and encourage the emergence in Iraq of a Shiite-dominated government, thereby creating a “friendly” counterweight to the Sunni-ruled oil states of the Gulf. There have been repeated references in the American press to discreet meetings of US and Iranian representatives in Geneva, suggesting that some sort of dialogue is, in fact, in progress.
The policy debate in Washington has rarely been sharper. Following the swift military victory in Iraq, the neocons imagined they had gained in influence and routed their critics. Now, however, with Iraq in chaos, terrorism rampant, Sharon unrestrained, and the dollar and the American economy heading lower, the tide is turning once again. The strategic wisdom of the neocons is being questioned.
The sensible opinion would seem to be that America will need to show some success in rebuilding Iraq and resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict before it turns its attention to the mullahs in Tehran.

Patrick Seale, a veteran Middle East analyst, wrote this commentary for The Daily Star
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:29 am    Post subject: A Likudnik Israeli writes: Iran - a nuclear belligerent Reply to topic

A Likudnik (greater Israel) Israeli writes:


Iran - a nuclear belligerent


http://itszone.co.uk/zone0/viewtopic.php?t=29353
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:49 am    Post subject: Americans ready to die for Israel AGAIN? Reply to topic

Bush says US will support Israel against Iranian threat

36 minutes ago Mideast - AFP



WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W. Bush (news - web sites) said the United States would support Israel if its security came under threat from Iran.



"Iran has made it clear they don't like Israel, to put it bluntly. And the Israelis are concerned about whether or not Iran develops a nuclear weapon, as are we, as should everybody," Bush told a press conference after naming a new national intelligence director.


The US leader said the main aim was to support diplomatic attempts to solve the crisis over Iran's nuclear programme.


But he added: "Clearly, if I was the leader of Israel and I'd listened to some of the statements by the Iranian ayatollahs that regarded the security of my country, I'd be concerned about Iran having a nuclear weapon as well.


"And in that Israel is our ally and in that we've made a very strong commitment to support Israel, we will support Israel if her security is threatened," Bush said.


Britain, France and Germany have led attempts to persuade Iran against nuclear weapons development and Bush said this would figure strongly in his talks during a visit to Europe next week.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The following is from http://www.whatreallyhappened.com

US May Use Proxy To Attack Iran

I think it is probably more accurate to say that the US will use Israel to strike the first blow and wait for Iran to strike back, in order to maintain the illusion that Iran is starting it all.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ 2-17-05

*********************************************************

Here comes the "booga booga"!

The government needs to ramp up the public fear of Al Qaeda (nudge nudge wink wink) so the public doesn't stop to realize that there is no more evidence of Syria's part in the assassination of Hariri than there was of Saddam's WMDs.

http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/ 2-17-05
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