Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 12:30 pm Post subject: Cheney and Neo-Cons Plotting More Wars
|Coming War with Iran:
Rumsfeld is gone, but the veeps other loyalists remain.
----- Original Message -----
From: Israel Shamir
Sent: Thursday, November 16, 2006 4:35 PM
Subject: [shamireaders] new wars ahead
This very interesting and informative article by our Washington friend Jeff Steinberg fits well with our latest transmissions. It appears in the Nov. 17, 2006 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Cheney and Neo-Cons Plotting More Wars
by Jeffrey Steinberg
On March 11, 2003, as final preparations were under way for the neo-cons' greatest triumph--the invasion of Iraq--New Yorker magazine investigative reporter Seymour Hersh exposed an extortion scheme by neo-con Richard Perle, to extract tens of millions of dollars out of the Saudi royal family, in league with the infamous Iran-Contra arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi. The scheme involved a Perle company, Trireme Partners LP, which wanted a piece of the billions of dollars in homeland security contracts soon to be issued by the Kingdom. The proposal, according to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, then the Saudi Ambassador in Washington, smacked of a quid pro quo: Perle, a leading critic of the Saudi regime, would drop the propaganda barrage and the calls for regime change, coming out of his Defense Policy Board, and the Saudis would cough up.
Several senior U.S. intelligence officials recently told EIR that some higher-ups in the Saudi royal family, perhaps including Prince Bandar, who is now the national security advisor to King Abdullah, regret that they didn't take the bait and pay off Perle and his partners back in January 2003. A few million dollars might have saved them several years of headaches, as the neo-con propaganda Wurlitzer waged a non-stop regime-change campaign against them. But even more to the point, suddenly, the Saudis, along with several other Sunni Arab regimes, find themselves as strange bedfellows with Washington's neo-cons and with the Ehud Olmert government in Israel--in common cause against Iran.
A Nov. 3, 2006 teaser from Vanity Fair magazine revealed that the neo-cons are going through a major retooling--wiping their hands of the entire Iraq fiasco, and placing the blame for the failure squarely on the shoulders of President George W. Bush and his team of national security incompetents and nincompoops. In a preview of a story to appear in the January 2007 Vanity Fair, author David Rose delivered excerpts from interviews he conducted in October 2006 with some of the cream of the neo-con crap--starting with the ``Prince of Darkness,'' Perle himself, and also including Kenneth Adelman, who gained infamy by proposing that the U.S. Lovers of Iraqi faker Ahmed Chalabi, and Iraq warhawks to a man, these neo-cons are now saying that if they had it to do over again, knowing that the Bush-Cheney-Rice team was the most incompetent national security management group in the post-World War II history of America, they would have opted for an alternative to war.
In a scene worthy of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, these modern-day Brutuses have stabbed President Bush and Condi Rice in the back. As far as the neo-cons are concerned, according to a number of informed Washington sources, both Iraq and George W. Bush are yesterday's news. They are now preparing to survive the fall of the House of Bush, and are already making plans for the next confrontations: against Iran and Russia, to name the top two targets du jour.
While the Bush Presidency is flaming out in the aftermath of what has been dubbed the ``Nov. 7th Massacre,'' the neo-cons are still a formidable force inside the Republican Party, with some leading neo-con superstars, like John Podhoretz, already touting Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as the elephant they intend to ride back into the Oval Office. Across the aisle, another crew of hardcore neo-cons is preparing to surface within the Democratic Party, should a donkey take the Presidency in 2008. It is reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter era, when scores of life-long ``Scoop Jackson Democrats,'' led by Perle, Stephen Bryen, Ledeen, Gaffney, and Elliott Abrams, slithered over to the GOP as ``Reagan Democrats,'' and, after Ronald Reagan's landslide victory in 1980 over Jimmy Carter, occupied top civilian posts at the Pentagon, and cushy consulting jobs with the Reagan National Security Council.
Whichever party lands in the White House come January 2009, the neo-cons hope to be there to share in the spoils. Either way, they are busily organizing a ``Get Iran'' war alliance with frightened Sunni regimes in the Persian Gulf and Arab world and Israel--to make sure that the Bush-Cheney regime commits one more fatal atrocity--a military strike on Iran's purported secret nuclear weapons sites--before leaving office (see preceding article).
To make sure that this Iran war happens before Team Bush leaves office, the neo-cons are working through their one reliable partner remaining inside the regime--Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney's office remains Neo-con Central, with David Wurmser and John Hannah still on staff. Elliott Abrams remains the Cheney ``mole'' at the National Security Council.
According to Middle East and Washington sources, this crew was responsible, earlier this year, for trashing all efforts by the Syrian regime of Bashar Assad to reopen direct peace talks with Israel, talks that no Israeli regime prior to that of Ariel Sharon, would have flat-out rejected, no matter how much pressure came down from Washington.
More recently, they are reportedly pushing a covert weapons-smuggling operation into the West Bank, arming Fatah factions to launch what would rapidly become a full-scale civil war against Hamas. The noted retired Israeli general, Shlomo Brom, in a recent paper for the Jaffe Center at Tel Aviv University, warned that such an outbreak of communal violence among the Palestinians would be bad for Israel, provoking a likely split between a Fatah-controlled West Bank and a Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Both sides would be vying to prove that they are more effective in terrorizing Israel, through suicide bombings and rocket attacks, the general warned, and this would make life unbearable in the Jewish state.
Arab sources have added that in his recent trip to Washington, Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt was given a similar offer of ``covert military aid'' to take on Hezbollah inside that war-ruined nation, which still hasn't recovered from its 15-year civil war (1975-90). Such covert operations, aimed at provoking the neo-cons' beloved perpetual warfare throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region, do not depend on Pentagon muscle, so the departure of Donald Rumsfeld from the scene, and his replacement by former CIA Director Robert Gates, a Brent Scowcroft and James Baker III ally (and presumable a Dick Cheney enemy), does not necessarily interfere with the game.
In fact, as the Democrats prepare to take back control of the U.S. House and Senate in January 2007, they face a world map of hot-spots, all set to blow, with the slightest provocation (see accompanying map).
Several senior Washington intelligence veterans, and one regional vice president of a major U.S. defense firm, say that their greatest fear--between now and the New Year when the Democrats take the keys to Capitol Hill back--is a ``Gulf of Tonkin'' incident, a provocation covertly arranged originating from Washington, that would provide the pretext for war. The most likely target of such a scheme: Iran. The most likely architect of such an operation: Dick Cheney and his remaining coterie of neo-con troublemakers and whatever assets they have recruited from within the Special Forces community and the ``black operations'' side of the intelligence community. One burning question is whether President Bush has already signed a Presidential Intelligence Finding, authorizing these covert tricks.
On Oct. 10, 2006, the web-based magazine World Politics Watch ran a provocative story, echoing the new neo-con scheme, under the headline ``Mideast Realignment: Could Iran Unite Arabs and Israelis?'' Noting the rumors, officially denied by both sides, that Prince Bandar had secretly met in Jordan with a top Israeli government official, Frida Ghitis wrote that ``a handful of Middle East observers were not surprised to hear of possible talks between Israel and the kingdom. That's because they political transformation is fear of Shi'ite Iran by Sunni Arabs. As a result, the traditional enemy of Arabs, Israel, could gradually begin developing a subtle but powerful alliance with Sunni Muslim regimes in the Arab world.... It is this natural convergence of interests that has the potential to recast the political landscape from the traditional one of Arabs versus Israelis, which has dominated the Middle East since the late 1940s, into a Sunni vs. Shi'a alignment, with Israel and Sunni governments on the same side.''
This, Washington sources emphasize, is the latest neo-con wet dream. For years the neo-cons have been preaching their own brand of Leon Trotsky's ``Permanent Revolution,'' masked in the cry for ``democracy.'' From the start of the Bush-Cheney regime up to recent months, the number one target of these latter-day Jacobins had been what Middle Eastern historians referred to as the ``Sunni Stability Belt,'' the ruling combination of hardline monarchies and dictatorships that kept the oil patch safe and stable from the time of Sykes-Picot (1916) on. Now that the neo-con ``Shi'ite Card'' has turned Iraq into Hell-on-Earth, the flexible neo-con fantasists have modified their rhetoric, to suddenly find common cause with the very Sunni Arab monarchs and dictators whom they targetted only months ago, with such schemes as their 1996 ``A Clean Break.''
The neo-cons are shameless sophists, who have no problem distorting the truth beyond recognition--if it suits their goal of perpetual power. Will the Sunni Arab lions and the Israelis be so stupid as to walk into this trap?
Cheney Escalates Lunatic War Drive Against Iran
by Jeffrey Steinberg
Lyndon LaRouche minced no words in discussions with colleagues on Nov. 22, accusing Vice President Dick Cheney and the "Israeli Mafia" of being behind the latest destabilization of Lebanon—the assassination on Nov. 21 of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel. LaRouche cited other Israeli provocations since the Lebanon War of July 2006, including a string of confrontations with French peacekeepers, and threats to attack German ships in the Mediterranean that are part of the Lebanon peacekeeping effort, as "state-of-mind" evidence of the war intent.
Things have become so tense between the French and Israeli governments over the Lebanon crisis, that French soldiers serving in the Lebanese peacekeeping mission are now authorized to shoot at Israeli Air Force jet fighters overflying Lebanon, after a failed Paris meeting in mid-November between French and Israeli military officials.
LaRouche warned that the climate is being set for an Israeli military raid on Iran's purported nuclear weapons sites, which would lead to a mobilization of support for a larger attack on Iran, involving the United States and other nations—with the quiet but enthusiastic backing of many frightened Sunni Arab regimes, which are being stampeded by the Cheneyacs in Washington into this suicidal stance.
LaRouche characterized the Gemayel assassination as a signal of Israeli plans to launch a military strike against Iran in the near future—at the urging of Cheney and his own masters within the Anglo-American "war party."
Evidence of these Cheney-encouraged Israeli attack plans have been visible in recent weeks, including in President Bush's widely reported comments to French President Jacques Chirac that, "I do not discount the possibility that Israel will attack Iran, and if it does this—I will understand it." Those comments were reported in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz on Nov. 22. And President Bush has reportedly repeated the point recently in several other venues.
A Nov. 22 editorial in Ha'aretz signed by Gideon Samet further warned of just such an Israeli sneak attack on Iran: "Close your eyes and think about the possibility that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, together with the chief of staff, the minister for strategic threats, and his other advisers, will wrack his brain and decide to act against the Iranian nuclear threat—and imagine what this means for you. This is the man," he warned, "who is responsible for managing a failed war against a guerrilla army in Lebanon. Does this make you feel calm?" Samet referenced the Seymour Hersh article, published in the Nov. 20 New Yorker magazine, which warned that Cheney is still intent on a military attack on Iran, and that U.S. and Israeli special forces commandos are already operating on the ground inside the country, planting site markers for future bombings, and organizing sabotage operations by Kurds, Baluchis, and Azeris.
On Nov. 24, speaking in Jerusalem at a conference of the Orthodox Union, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a close Cheney ally, openly called for Israeli action against Iran in the most rabid of terms. Describing Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as representing a greater danger for the Jewish people than did Adolf Hitler, because of Iran's alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, Netanyahu declared, "The future of the Jewish state is as in danger as it has ever been in the last half-century." Making a not-so-veiled reference to Israel's own extensive, undeclared nuclear weapons program, Netanyahu said, "We must use the powers that we've amassed to make the Jews no longer defenseless and able to shape their destiny and protect their future. This is the most important thing that we can do today. Everything else is secondary." Several weeks earlier, in a speech in Los Angeles, Netanyahu was even more blunt: "It's 1938, and Iran is Germany. And Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs."
LaRouche concluded his warning of an imminent Cheney-encouraged Israeli attack on Iran with a caution against what he called "kinematic thinking." Do not look for narrow cause and effect, LaRouche warned. There has been a long-term master plan to blow up the entire extended Southwest Asia and Persian Gulf region, to bring about an end to the post-1648 Westphalian era of the nation-state system, and in particular, to destroy the United States. This, he concluded, is what is driving Cheney and company to now seek to play the Israeli "breakaway ally" game to detonate that long-standing plan.
Such a U.S.-backed Israeli strike against Iran, though militarily inconsequential—unless Israel were to use nuclear weapons—would trigger a wave of global asymmetric warfare, the kind of permanent "clash of civilizations" that Britain's Arab Bureau operative Dr. Bernard Lewis has been promoting for decades. Lewis, like long-time British agent-of-influence Dr. Henry Kissinger, has been a top advisor to Vice President Cheney, frequently leading informal seminars at the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington.
Kissinger Speaks—and Cheney Acts
Kissinger himself weighed in for an Israeli strike against Iran in a ponderous op-ed piece, published in the Nov. 24 Washington Post, and several European newspapers. While ostensibly promoting diplomatic dialogue among the United States, Europe, the Sunni Arab states, and Tehran, Kissinger pointedly wrote: "The nuclear negotiations with Iran are moving toward an inconclusive outcome. The Six [the UN Security Council's permanent five plus Germany—ed.] eventually will have to choose either effective sanctions or the consequences of an Iranian military nuclear capability and the world of proliferation that implies. Military action by the United States is extremely improbable in the final two years of a Presidency facing a hostile Congress—though it may be taken more seriously in Tehran. Tehran surely cannot ignore the possibility of a unilateral Israeli strike if all negotiation options close."
Later in the same op-ed, Kissinger also promoted the idea, already being peddled by neo-conservatives in the Vice President's office and at the American Enterprise Institute, of an American-European-Sunni Arab alliance with Israel against Iran—what Kissinger euphemistically called a "policy of equilibrium" between Iran and the Sunni regimes.
The same time that Kissinger's rant appeared in the Post, the Wall Street Journal published a Nov. 24 wildly provocative lead front-page story, titled "Religious Divide: To Contain Iran, U.S. Seeks Help From Arab Allies." Mischaracterizing the flurry of U.S. diplomacy as "a bid to stabilize the region and build a coalition to contain Iran's Shi'ite regime," author Jay Solomon accurately catalogued a full-court press by top Bush Administration officials, to align Sunni Arab regimes against Tehran, in what amounts to a bizarre war alliance of Washington, Tel Aviv, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. Solomon did quote Middle East scholar Vali Nasr of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterrey, California, warning against such a campaign: "The whole rhetoric of containing Iran could spark competing extremism," he warned. "Washington doesn't want to be seen as actively encouraging this."
Or do they? The fact that Vice President Cheney, the leading war-hawk in the Bush Administration, kicked off the Sunni Arab dialogues, with a Nov. 24 trip to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, underscores that some in the Bush Administration are in no way backing off from plans for hard military confrontation before leaving office—perhaps, even before the 110th Congress is sworn in at the beginning of January 2007.
Joshua Muravchik, an AEI resident scholar and leading neo-con propagandist, put it bluntly in an article published in the November/December 2006 issue of Foreign Policy. "Make no mistake," he wrote, "President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office. It is all but inconceivable that Iran will accept any peaceful inducements to abandon its drive for the bomb. Its rulers are religio-ideological fanatics who will not trade what they believe is their birthright to great power status for a mess of pottage. Even if things in Iraq get better, a nuclear-armed Iran will negate any progress there."
Muravchik warned, "The global thunder against Bush when he pulls the trigger will be deafening, and it will have many echoes at home.... We need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared to defend the action when it comes.... The defense should be global in scope. There is a crying need in today's ideological wars for something akin to the Congress for Cultural Freedom of the Cold War, a global circle of intellectuals and public figures who share a devotion to democracy. The leaders of this movement might include Tony Blair, Vaclav Havel, and Anwar Ibrahim."
Other War Councils
In addition to Cheney's meetings with King Abdullah and other top Saudi officials, President Bush is also scheduled to be in Amman, Jordan at the end of November, to meet with King Abdallah II and with Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite who has fallen out of favor with Washington, amidst talk of a U.S. "Sunni turn," which has also been dubbed "re-Baathification."
Both Tom Hayden and Paul William Roberts wrote on Nov. 24 that secret talks have already taken place between leading Iraqi Sunni insurgents and Bush Administration officials in Amman. One meeting, according to Jordan's Prince Hassan, included former Iraqi Vice President and Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, who is being looked to as a key interlocutor between Washington and leading Sunni insurgents. Prince Hassan told journalist Roberts that Secretary of State Condi Rice has "made a personal appeal to the Gulf Cooperation Council last month to act as intermediaries between the U.S. and the armed Sunni resistance, not including Iraq's Al Qaeda leaders."
A further indication of this policy turn was also cited in the Wall Street Journal: On Nov. 30, Rice will hold meetings with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, and the member states of the GCC, the six Persian Gulf Sunni oil sheikhdoms. According to the Journal, "They are expected to discuss how to deter Iran from meddling in the politics of neighbor countries and from developing a nuclear arsenal.... The visits come amid U.S. efforts to build a Sunni-based regional alliance. U.S. naval fleets have engaged in training exercises with several Persian Gulf countries. Last month, the U.S. conducted war games with Bahrain, Qatar, the U.A.E. and about two dozen other countries about 20 miles outside of Iran's territorial waters. The exercises were part of the Bush Administration's Proliferation Security Initiative, which seeks to stanch weapons trafficking."
New Stovepipes for Old
Much hoopla has been made of the pending release of the recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Commission, a Congressionally sponsored and White House-endorsed Iraq Study Group (ISG). But there are growing signs that the Cheney gang inside the Bush Administration has already moved preemptively to undercut the impact of the effort, by launching an in-house Iraq policy review, to be completed simultaneous to the Baker-Hamilton effort. The primary input of the Baker-Hamilton group has been long anticipated: Start direct talks, with no preconditions, with Tehran and Damascus. But a Nov. 23 Newsday story by Washington bureau chief Tim Phelps warned that, "Internal strife within the Baker Commission, outright opposition from President George W. Bush and Tuesday's assassination of a cabinet member in Lebanon are complicating the prospect of U.S. overtures to Syria and Iran over Iraq, informed sources say. A source who spoke recently to a leader of the Iraq Study Group said he complained bitterly about internal dissension and partisanship among members of the supposedly bipartisan group, and was worried about reaching consensus on the key issues."
Further threatening the efforts of the ISG is a revival of the pre-Iraq war "stovepipe" of dubious intelligence directly to the Vice President's office from the Pentagon, bypassing the CIA and other major intelligence community components. The existence of this stovepipe was featured in the latest Seymour Hersh New Yorker piece, "Iran: The Next Act," but earlier reports that the chief Iraq pre-war intelligence spinmeister, Abraham Shulsky, of the Office of Special Plans, had been reassigned to work on "the Iran problem" at the Pentagon's Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Policy, had already raised eyebrows.
Hersh revealed that a new, highly classified CIA study, based on U.S. technical intelligence efforts, raised serious doubts that Iran was conducting an ambitious secret nuclear weapons program. But that CIA assessment has been challenged by "intelligence from Israeli spies operating inside Iran," who "claimed that Iran has developed and tested a trigger device for a nuclear bomb." According to Hersh, the details of the Israeli spies' findings have been withheld from the CIA, but the "raw" intelligence has been passed from the Pentagon to Cheney's staff, and is being used as powerful ammunition in the faction fight inside the Bush White House.
The stakes in this fight are enormous. An Israeli or American bombing attack against Iran would unleash chaos on a regional or global scale; and a new oil price shock, an almost certain consequence of a hard confrontation with Iran, would blow out the global financial system, adding to the chaos.
Which brings us back full circle to Lyndon LaRouche's warning that the events now unraveling in Southwest Asia are not the result of tragic reactions and counter-reactions. They are the playing out of a master-plan for global disaster, that would destroy the United States, en route to plunging the planet into a New Dark Age. This is why LaRouche insists that the path to peace in the war-torn Middle East begins with the impeachment of Dick Cheney and George Bush.
Rise and Decline of the Neocons:
Neo-Cons or Just Plain "Cons"
No Surprise....at least it is starting to come out in the main news that Israel is a primary sponsor of the UNITED STATES using it's own forces to attack Iran. Benjamin Netanyahu himself has appeared on TV shows in the US to "inform" us Americans of the danger Iran poses to US.
US meaning UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL.
US could bomb Iran nuclear sites in 2007: analysts
President George W. Bush could choose military action over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities next year, political analysts in Washington agree.
"I think he is going to do it," John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a military issues think tank, told AFP.
"They are going to bomb WMD facilities next summer," he added, referring to nuclear facilities Iran says are for peaceful uses and Washington insists are really intended to make nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
"It would be a limited military action to destroy their WMD capabilities" added the analyst, believing a US military invasion of Iran is not on the table.
US journalist Seymour Hersh also said at the weekend that White House hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney were intent on attacking Iran with or without the approval of the US Congress, both houses of which switch from Republican to Democratic control in January after the November 7 legislative elections.
The New Yorker weekly published an article by Hersh saying that one month before the elections, Cheney held a meeting on Iran in which he said the military option would never be discarded.
The White House promptly issued a statement saying the article was "riddled with inaccuracies."
Joseph Cirincione, Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy at the Center for American Progress, a Democrat-friendly think tank, also believes the US government could decide to attack Iran.
"It is not realistic but it does not mean we won't do it," he told AFP in an interview. "It is less likely after the elections but it is still very possible."
"If you look at what the administration is doing, it seems that it is going to inevitably lead us to a military conflict," he said, adding that no alternative solution was being sought, including discussions with Iran on Iraq, which could lead to talks on Iran's nuclear program and role in the region.
"Senior members of the (Bush) administration remain seized with the idea that the regime in Iran must be removed," Cirincione said.
"The nuclear program is one reason, but their deeper agenda is this belief that American military power can be used to fundamentally transform the regimes in the Middle East," he added.
With the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, hardliners in the government have lost one of their leading advocates, and his replacement, former former Central Intelligence Agency chief Robert Gates, has in the past favored direct talks with Iran, said the expert.
"But they remain within the administration at the highest level, the office of the vice president, the national security council staff, perhaps the president himself," Cirincione added.
He also accused neoconservative circles of promoting the military option against Tehran.
In a Sunday op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, Joshua Muarvchik, resident scholar at the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, called for getting tough with Iran.
"We must bomb Iran," he said. "The path of diplomacy and sanctions has led nowhere ... Our options therefore are narrowed to two: we can prepare to live with a nuclear-armed Iran, or we can use force to prevent it."
Israel has also been pushing Washington to get tough on Iran.
Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh did not rule out preventive military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, in a recent interview with the English-language Jerusalem Post.
However, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad seems unperturbed. On Monday he said Israel was incapable of launching a military attack on Iran's nuclear sites and called Israeli threats "propaganda."
Friday, November 17, 2006
Neocons blame Bush for Iraq fiasco
By HELEN THOMAS
WASHINGTON -- The mid-term elections sounded the requiem for the group of neoconservatives who helped design the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq .
It's over for them and their big dreams of pre-emptive wars and conquest of the Middle East . If anything, this group has left America weakened by the tragic military misadventure in Iraq . They convinced President Bush it would be a "cakewalk" to invade and occupy Iraq but it has turned out otherwise. Those power-driven ideologues have learned that the price for their dream was high -- too high.
So much for their calamitous "Project for A New American Century," which laid out the agenda to transform several Arab nations to their liking. It also meant sending Americans to kill and die for reasons yet to be explained by the president.
The neocons now blame a dysfunctional Bush administration -- not their own ignorance of the history of the Arab world. They have belatedly learned that Iraqis -- like any other people -- will fight any foreign invader and occupier. History would have shown them that overcoming an insurgency in the form of internal resistance has been a losing proposition. Look at the experiences of such high-powered nations as the U.S. in Vietnam , the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and the French in Algeria .
Among the first of the Iraq war architects to bail out was Paul Wolfowitz, former deputy defense secretary, who now heads the World Bank. When he spoke several months ago at the National Press Club and was asked about Iraq , he replied: "That's not my problem."
Many top-strata Pentagon civilians close to Rumsfeld's inner circle are expected to be getting pink slips when Rumsfeld departs after former CIA director Robert Gates is confirmed as his successor.
Another Iraq hawk who has departed is Douglas Feith, the former Defense Department official who set up a separate intelligence unit in the Pentagon to offset the more dovish CIA analysis of the mythical military threat by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Feith is now teaching at Georgetown University .
David Rose has written about the demise of the neocons in an article titled "Now They Tell Us" to be published in the January issue of Vanity Fair magazine. Rose quotes Richard Perle, who long advocated "regime change" in Iraq , as being shocked at the brutality of the war. "I underestimated the level of depravity," Perle told Rose, adding that "an American withdrawal that leaves Iraq as an anarchic 'failed state' is not inevitable but is becoming more likely."
And get this: Perle, former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board Advisory Committee, blamed Bush. "The decisions did not get made that should have been made," Perle said. "At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible," he said. In retrospect, Perle said, if he had the chance to do it again, he would not have advocated the invasion of Iraq .
Rose said he had expected to encounter disappointment among the neocons but instead found them to be despairing and angry over the incompetence of the Bush administration they once saw as "their brightest hope."
Former White House speechwriter David Frum who coined the "axis of evil" slogan for Bush to single out Iran , North Korea and Iraq as dangerous, also blames Bush for the Iraq quagmire.
Rose quoted Frum him as saying that the insurgency has proved "it can kill anyone who cooperates" with the U.S. -- and the U.S. has "failed to prove it can protect them." That situation, he added "must ultimately be blamed on failure at the center, starting with President Bush."
With friends like the neocons, Bush needs no enemies.
There is an irony in the president's diplomatic visit to Vietnam this week, evoking memories of another U.S. military misadventure. But he will also see a silver lining even in defeat, as old wounds are forgotten and new friends are made.
For that reason Bush should swallow his pride, acknowledge a colossal mistake, restore our moral image on the international stage and set the nation on a peaceful course in the 21st century.
It's not too late.
* Helen Thomas is a columnist for Hearst Newspapers. E-mail:
How Neoconservatives Conquered Washington – and Launched a War
by Michael Lind
April 10, 2003
America's allies and enemies alike are baffled. What is going on in the United States? Who is making foreign policy? And what are they trying to achieve? Quasi-Marxist explanations involving big oil or American capitalism are mistaken. Yes, American oil companies and contractors will accept the spoils of the kill in Iraq. But the oil business, with its Arabist bias, did not push for this war any more than it supports the Bush administration's close alliance with Ariel Sharon. Further, President Bush and Vice President Cheney are not genuine "Texas oil men" but career politicians who, in between stints in public life, would have used their connections to enrich themselves as figureheads in the wheat business, if they had been residents of Kansas, or in tech companies, had they been Californians.
Equally wrong is the theory that the American and European civilizations are evolving in opposite directions. The thesis of Robert Kagan, the neoconservative propagandist, that Americans are martial and Europeans pacifist, is complete nonsense. A majority of Americans voted for either Al Gore or Ralph Nader in 2000. Were it not for the overrepresentation of sparsely populated, right-wing states in both the presidential electoral college and the Senate, the White House and the Senate today would be controlled by Democrats, whose views and values, on everything from war to the welfare state, are very close to those of western Europeans.
Both the economic-determinist theory and the clash-of-cultures theory are reassuring: They assume that the recent revolution in U.S. foreign policy is the result of obscure but understandable forces in an orderly world. The truth is more alarming. As a result of several bizarre and unforeseeable contingencies – such as the selection rather than election of George W. Bush, and Sept. 11 – the foreign policy of the world's only global power is being made by a small clique that is unrepresentative of either the U.S. population or the mainstream foreign policy establishment.
The core group now in charge consists of neoconservative defense intellectuals. (They are called "neoconservatives" because many of them started off as anti-Stalinist leftists or liberals before moving to the far right.) Inside the government, the chief defense intellectuals include Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy secretary of defense. He is the defense mastermind of the Bush administration; Donald Rumsfeld is an elderly figurehead who holds the position of defense secretary only because Wolfowitz himself is too controversial. Others include Douglas Feith, No. 3 at the Pentagon; Lewis "Scooter" Libby, a Wolfowitz protégé who is Cheney's chief of staff; John R. Bolton, a right-winger assigned to the State Department to keep Colin Powell in check; and Elliott Abrams, recently appointed to head Middle East policy at the National Security Council. On the outside are James Woolsey, the former CIA director, who has tried repeatedly to link both 9/11 and the anthrax letters in the U.S. to Saddam Hussein, and Richard Perle, who has just resigned his unpaid chairmanship of a defense department advisory body after a lobbying scandal. Most of these "experts" never served in the military. But their headquarters is now the civilian defense secretary's office, where these Republican political appointees are despised and distrusted by the largely Republican career soldiers.
Most neoconservative defense intellectuals have their roots on the left, not the right. They are products of the influential Jewish-American sector of the Trotskyist movement of the 1930s and 1940s, which morphed into anti-communist liberalism between the 1950s and 1970s and finally into a kind of militaristic and imperial right with no precedents in American culture or political history. Their admiration for the Israeli Likud party's tactics, including preventive warfare such as Israel's 1981 raid on Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor, is mixed with odd bursts of ideological enthusiasm for "democracy." They call their revolutionary ideology "Wilsonianism" (after President Woodrow Wilson), but it is really Trotsky's theory of the permanent revolution mingled with the far-right Likud strain of Zionism. Genuine American Wilsonians believe in self-determination for people such as the Palestinians.
The neocon defense intellectuals, as well as being in or around the actual Pentagon, are at the center of a metaphorical "pentagon" of the Israel lobby and the religious right, plus conservative think tanks, foundations and media empires. Think tanks such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) provide homes for neocon "in-and-outers" when they are out of government (Perle is a fellow at AEI). The money comes not so much from corporations as from decades-old conservative foundations, such as the Bradley and Olin foundations, which spend down the estates of long-dead tycoons. Neoconservative foreign policy does not reflect business interests in any direct way. The neocons are ideologues, not opportunists.
The major link between the conservative think tanks and the Israel lobby is the Washington-based and Likud-supporting Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (Jinsa), which co-opts many non-Jewish defense experts by sending them on trips to Israel. It flew out the retired general Jay Garner, now slated by Bush to be proconsul of occupied Iraq. In October 2000, he cosigned a Jinsa letter that began: "We ... believe that during the current upheavals in Israel, the Israel Defense Forces have exercised remarkable restraint in the face of lethal violence orchestrated by the leadership of [the] Palestinian Authority."
The Israel lobby itself is divided into Jewish and Christian wings. Wolfowitz and Feith have close ties to the Jewish-American Israel lobby. Wolfowitz, who has relatives in Israel, has served as the Bush administration's liaison to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Feith was given an award by the Zionist Organization of America, citing him as a "pro-Israel activist." While out of power in the Clinton years, Feith collaborated with Perle to coauthor a policy paper for Likud that advised the Israeli government to end the Oslo peace process, reoccupy the territories, and crush Yasser Arafat's government.
Such experts are not typical of Jewish-Americans, who mostly voted for Gore in 2000. The most fervent supporters of Likud in the Republican electorate are Southern Protestant fundamentalists. The religious right believes that God gave all of Palestine to the Jews, and fundamentalist congregations spend millions to subsidize Jewish settlements in the occupied territories.
The final corner of the neoconservative pentagon is occupied by several right-wing media empires, with roots – odd as it seems – in the British Commonwealth and South Korea. Rupert Murdoch disseminates propaganda through his Fox television network. His magazine, the Weekly Standard – edited by William Kristol, the former chief of staff of Dan Quayle (vice president, 1989-1993) – acts as a mouthpiece for defense intellectuals such as Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith and Woolsey as well as for Sharon's government. The National Interest (of which I was executive editor, 1991-1994) is now funded by Conrad Black, who owns the Jerusalem Post and the Hollinger empire in Britain and Canada.
Strangest of all is the media network centered on the Washington Times – owned by the South Korean messiah (and ex-convict) the Rev. Sun Myung Moon – which owns the newswire UPI. UPI is now run by John O'Sullivan, the ghostwriter for Margaret Thatcher who once worked as an editor for Conrad Black in Canada. Through such channels, the "gotcha!" style of right-wing British journalism, and its Europhobic substance, have contaminated the US conservative movement.
The corners of the neoconservative pentagon were linked together in the 1990s by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), run by Kristol out of the Weekly Standard offices. Using a P.R. technique pioneered by their Trotskyist predecessors, the neocons published a series of public letters whose signatories often included Wolfowitz and other future members of the Bush foreign policy team. They called for the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq and to support Israel's campaigns against the Palestinians (dire warnings about China were another favorite). During Clinton's two terms, these fulminations were ignored by the foreign policy establishment and the mainstream media. Now they are frantically being studied.
How did the neocon defense intellectuals – a small group at odds with most of the U.S. foreign policy elite, Republican as well as Democratic – manage to capture the Bush administration? Few supported Bush during the presidential primaries. They feared that the second Bush would be like the first – a wimp who had failed to occupy Baghdad in the first Gulf War and who had pressured Israel into the Oslo peace process – and that his administration, again like his father's, would be dominated by moderate Republican realists such as Powell, James Baker and Brent Scowcroft. They supported the maverick senator John McCain until it became clear that Bush would get the nomination.
Then they had a stroke of luck – Cheney was put in charge of the presidential transition (the period between the election in November and the accession to office in January). Cheney used this opportunity to stack the administration with his hard-line allies. Instead of becoming the de facto president in foreign policy, as many had expected, Secretary of State Powell found himself boxed in by Cheney's right-wing network, including Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Bolton and Libby.
The neocons took advantage of Bush's ignorance and inexperience. Unlike his father, a Second World War veteran who had been ambassador to China, director of the CIA, and vice president, George W was a thinly educated playboy who had failed repeatedly in business before becoming the governor of Texas, a largely ceremonial position (the state's lieutenant governor has more power). His father is essentially a northeastern moderate Republican; George W, raised in west Texas, absorbed the Texan cultural combination of machismo, anti-intellectualism and overt religiosity. The son of upper-class Episcopalian parents, he converted to Southern fundamentalism in a midlife crisis. Fervent Christian Zionism, along with an admiration for macho Israeli soldiers that sometimes coexists with hostility to liberal Jewish-American intellectuals, is a feature of the Southern culture.
The younger Bush was tilting away from Powell and toward Wolfowitz ("Wolfie," as he calls him) even before 9/11 gave him something he had lacked: a mission in life other than following in his dad's footsteps. There are signs of estrangement between the cautious father and the crusading son: Last year, veterans of the first Bush administration, including Baker, Scowcroft and Lawrence Eagleburger, warned publicly against an invasion of Iraq without authorization from Congress and the U.N.
It is not clear that George W fully understands the grand strategy that Wolfowitz and other aides are unfolding. He seems genuinely to believe that there was an imminent threat to the U.S. from Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction," something the leading neocons say in public but are far too intelligent to believe themselves. The Project for the New American Century urged an invasion of Iraq throughout the Clinton years, for reasons that had nothing to do with possible links between Saddam and Osama bin Laden. Public letters signed by Wolfowitz and others called on the U.S. to invade and occupy Iraq, to bomb Hezbollah bases in Lebanon, and to threaten states such as Syria and Iran with U.S. attacks if they continued to sponsor terrorism. Claims that the purpose is not to protect the American people but to make the Middle East safe for Israel are dismissed by the neocons as vicious anti-Semitism. Yet Syria, Iran and Iraq are bitter enemies, with their weapons pointed at each other, and the terrorists they sponsor target Israel rather than the U.S. The neocons urge war with Iran next, though by any rational measurement North Korea's new nuclear arsenal is, for the U.S., a far greater problem.
So that is the bizarre story of how neoconservatives took over Washington and steered the U.S. into a Middle Eastern war unrelated to any plausible threat to the U.S. and opposed by the public of every country in the world except Israel. The frightening thing is the role of happenstance and personality. After the al-Qaida attacks, any U.S. president would likely have gone to war to topple bin Laden's Taliban protectors in Afghanistan. But everything that the U.S. has done since then would have been different had America's 18th century electoral rules not given Bush the presidency and had Cheney not used the transition period to turn the foreign policy executive into a PNAC reunion.
For a British equivalent, one would have to imagine a Tory government, with Downing Street and Whitehall controlled by followers of the Rev. Ian Paisley, extreme Euroskeptics, empire loyalists and Blimpish military types – all determined, for a variety of strategic or religious reasons, to invade Egypt. Their aim would be to regain the Suez Canal as the first step in a campaign to restore the British empire. Yes, it really is that weird.
The Israel Lobby
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
Additional at following URL:
Chalmers Johnson (author of 'Blowback' and 'The Sorrows and Empire') was recently interviewed by Ian Masters as well (see www.ianmasters.org) as the interview with Michael Lind will be added there to archive in the future:
Dr. Chalmers Johnson on the rise of a militaristic Japanese leadership, supported by American neocons, and what he views as a crisis of American democracy with the passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Dr. Chalmers is an author and professor emeritus of the University of California, San Diego. He is also president and co-founder of the Japan Policy Research Institute, an organization promoting public education about Japan and Asia. He has written numerous books including, most recently, two essential examinations of the consequences of American empire, Blowback: the costs and consequences of American empire and The Sorrows of Empire: militarism, secrecy and the end of the republic. Blowback won an American Book Award in 2001, and was re-issued in an updated version in 2004. Sorrows of Empire, published in 2004, updated the evidence and argument from Blowback for the post-9/11 environment. Johnson was centrally featured in the Eugene Jarecki-directed film Why We Fight, which won the 2005 Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. His forthcoming book is "Nemesis: the last days of the American Republic."
Scroll down to the link for Professor Kevin MacDonald's 'Thinking about Neoconservatism' at the following URL as it conveys that the Jewish Neocons use non-Jewish front people that they can hide behind and then throw overboard when their nefarious agenda has been exposed:
Neoconservatism as a Jewish Movement:
Israel's influence of US policy & the Israeli lobby:
AIPAC and the Neocon (War for Israel) agenda:
Whose War? (Israel's war):
ISRAEL LOBBY SAYS PENTAGON 'INFILTRATED'
JINSA Israel Firsters: IRAQ DOWN, IRAN LEFT TO GO:
Jewish JINSA/PNAC Neocon Perle 'turns' against the Iraq war:
Iran: The Next War (for Israel):
Scroll down to the 'Pro-Israel Lobby Under Attack' UPI article at the following URL:
Jewish 'American' AIPAC diplomat with Iraq after Iran/Syria
Bush Doesn't Fear Attack on Iran: Israeli Envoy:
Rahm Emanuel's Dirty Secret
Check out Professor Kevin MacDonald's 'Thinking about Neoconservatism' article as well (scroll down to such at the following URL):
Why Are There Four Carriers In The Persian Gulf?:
Israel's reign of terror must be stopped
December 05, 2006
US Defense Secretary-Designate Gates puts writing on the wall for Israel
Do the Israelis need another “roadmap” to realize their only option?
Redacted from article by Yitzhak Bighorn
YnetNews.com, December 5, 2006
WASHINGTON – US Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates provided Tuesday a gloomy prediction regarding the future of the Middle East. During his testimony at his Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing to replace Donald H. Rumsfeld, Gates was asked about Iran's nuclear program and President Ahamdinejad's threats to wipe Israel off the map.
Gates replied that the Iranian president's threats were serious, but that there were greater forces in Iran than Ahmadinejad who are interested in nuclear ability as a power of deterrence against nuclear countries surrounding them – Pakistan in the east, Russia in the north, Israel in the west and the United States in the Persian Gulf.
The senators asked Gates whether he could guarantee that if Iran possesses nuclear weapons it would not put its threats against Israel into action. Gates answered that he did not believe anyone could guarantee such a thing.
During the hearing, however, Gates stated that he would not recommend to the president to attack Iran, but only as an "absolute last resort" and if crucial American interests (not Israeli - jsk) were being threatened. He estimated that an American military operation against Iran could lead to chemical and biological terror attacks. "I think that we have seen, in Iraq, that once war is unleashed, it becomes unpredictable," he said, adding that the consequences of a military confrontation with Iran could be dramatic.
He added that while Iran cannot directly attack the Americans, it had the ability to close the Persian Gulf for oil exports, to launch a terror campaign in the Middle East and Europe and even in the US. It's realistic, he said. An American attack in Iran, Gates said, would not help the US in Iraq but would rather damage its interests there. (As James Baker III’s imprimatur, “F--- the Jews," is displayed all over the new “diplomacy” - Jsk)
The Iranians, he said, could supply terror groups with weapons for mass destruction, mainly chemical and biological. He added that Tehran also had the ability to operate Hezbollah and undermine the situation in Lebanon. As for Syria, Gates said a US attack on that country would unleash a wave of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. It would have "dramatic consequences for us in Middle East," Gates said. "It would give rise to greater anti Americanism than we have seen to date. It would immediately complicate our relations with every country in the region."
Gates was chosen by US President George W. Bush to replace Donald Rumsfeld following the latter's resignation, and many in the US hope that he will be the person to bring American soldiers back from Iraq. He admitted that in the current situation, the US was not winning the war in Iraq, but made it clear that it was not fleeing Iraq and would withdraw in an organized manner after the Iraqi government and its security forces are able to control the situation and defend themselves. The developments in Iraq in the next two years will influence the future of the entire Middle East, he said, adding that a strategy must be developed which will not leave Iraq in chaos and will give the region hope. If Iraq is not stabilized in a year or two, the entire Middle East will be on fire, he said.
He also estimated that even if there is a significant withdrawal of forces from Iraq in the future, American forces will remain in the country for many years to provide support for the Iraqi army.
Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Last edited by Alpha on Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:29 pm; edited 18 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 11:21 pm Post subject:
|Subject: Re: PERFECT STORM BUILDING IN PERSIAN GULF
Allen L Roland, Ph.D.
PERFECT STORM BUILDING IN PERSIAN GULF
The Persian Gulf perfect storm: Israel preemptively attacks Iran's nuclear facililities, Iran retaliates directly against Israel, U.S. launches massive attack on Iran, Hezbollah and Syria attack Israel ~ WW III : Allen L Roland
The gale force winds of war are blowing in the Persian Gulf and all the signs are there ~ if you take the blinders off.
1. The United States has assembled the Eisenhower carrier attack strike force along with mine sweepers in the gulf supposedly for war games.
2. Visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has returned to his country with reassurances from the Bush administration that it is not backing down from its view that Iran and its nuclear program are a world threat. http://tinyurl.com/vvrpm This same scenario happened this last summer with Cheney,Olmert and Netanyahu before Israel launched their devastating retaliatory invasion of Lebanon ~ with the intent of neutralizing Hezbollah before eventually attacking Iran.
3. Bibi Netanyahu ( Israel's Dick Cheney ) and Darth Vader himself ( Dick Cheney ) are eager to launch a preemptive strike on Iran. Cheney's rationale, of course, is Regime Change. Bibi is playing the fear card ~ " Ahmadinejad Is Preparing Another Holocaust For Israel " ~ Benjamin Netanyahu
4. Iran announces intent to move away from U.S. dollar: Iran may have signed a virtual "death warrant" by openly declaring a governmental decision to move away from the dollar in the country's foreign-exchange transactions, says WND columnist Jerome Corsi
Remember, this is exactly what Saddam did and we attacked shortly after he made that decision.
5. Ex-Iranian president warns U-S against invading : Iran's former president has a warning for the White House: don't even think about invading his country.Hashemi Rafsanjani (hah-SHEH'-mee rahf-sahn-JAHN'-ee) says what he calls the Bush administration's "iron fist policy" is a failure. And he adds it would be "dangerous" for the U-S to think it can do in Iran what it's done in Iraq and Afghanistan.
6. Israel does not want the United States to pull out of Iraq but needs a justification for their continued presence in the region, particularly with a Democratic Congress eager to disengage, so why not a preemptive war with Iran.
7. Russia is going ahead with a contract to deliver sophisticated air defence systems to Iran, a Russian defence ministry official said, despite appeals from Washington to reconsider
http://tinyurl.com/ssnn2 So Israel wants to strike now before the air defense systems are in place.
8. AIPAC and Jewish Groups Side With Bush on Bolton : In the first post-election battle between the Bush administration and the Democrats, the Jewish community is standing behind the president as he pushes the candidacy of John Bolton.
The Israeli 's need Cheney / Bush stooge U.N. Ambassador John Bolton to provide cover for them after their premptive strike ~ and Bolton's term is effectively over in January.
9. This is Cheney's ( ' the natural state of man is war ' ) last chance to implement his discredited neocon middle east design ~ before a new and unsympathetic Democratic Congress takes office in January.
10. Bush's only chance to avoid humiliating investigations and indictments is to go to war with Iran and here's the likely scenario ~ and aftermath.
The Persian Gulf perfect storm: Israel preemptively attacks Iran's nuclear facililities, Iran retaliates directly against Israel, U.S. launches massive attack on Iran, Hezbollah and Syria attack Israel ~ WW III, to which I add, Oil prices soar, stock market crumbles, Bush declares National Emergency and perhaps martial law ~ and Congress remains powerless.
As such, this lameduck period is extremely dangerous for the Bush/Cheney administration is still very much in power and is still very likely to use it.
Allen L Roland
Allen L Roland is a practicing psychotherapist, author and lecturer who also shares a daily political and social commentary on his weblog and website allenroland.com He also guest hosts a monthly national radio show TRUTHTALK on Conscious talk radio www.conscioustalk.net
Thanks to Tom Feeley / Information Clearing House for many links
Allen Roland’s weblog: http://blogs.salon.com/0002255/
Dr. Stephen Sniegoski (who wrote the 'Israeli Origins of Bush II's War' article via http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_isrorgs.htm ) responds below to what Dr. Allen Roland wrote above:
Israel does seem to be pushing for war. However, the author still puts
inthe crazy "Iran announces intent to move away from U.S. dollar: Iran
may have signed a virtual 'death warrant' by openly declaring a
governmentaldecision to move away from the dollar in the country's
Now if this were considered to be so dangerous to the US why are the
neocons and Israel leading the charge for war? The establishment--Brzezinski, Scowcroft, Baker, Gates--are for negotiating with Iran even about Iraq. This is just an unfounded argument--even from the economic standpoint since the amount of dollars involved in Iranian transactions is miniscule compared to the massive amounts of dollars held by China. And Iran is already, I believe, engaging in barter agreements that do not use the dollar.
And how would dropping bombs on Iran going to change the government
there anyhow? There is no evidence that the US plans to occupy Iran.
The dollar argument is simply another effort to avoid a focus on
neocon/Israel involvement which concerns Israeli's security interests.
The Israel Lobby
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt
Scroll down to the 'Pro-Israel Lobby Under Attack' UPI article at the following for more about the 'JINSA crowd' running the Pentagon:
Colin Powell conveys to Washington Post editor (Karen DeYoung) that the 'JINSA crowd' is in control of the Pentagon:
If the following isn't Bush giving the rogue state of Israel permission to attack Iran, then what is it (keep in mind that Bush and Cheney have both mentioned that the US would 'defend' Israel if is attacked by Iran - like in an Iranian counterattack as I think this is exactly how Cheney and the JINSA/PNAC Neocon cabal via AEI and his office are plotting to get US involved in another war for Israel with Iran):
Last update - 06:05 20/11/2006
Bush: I'd understand if Israel chose to attack Iran
By Yossi Verter, Haaretz Correspondent
The United States lacks sufficient intelligence on Iran's nuclear facilities at this time, which prevents it from initiating a military strike against them, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told European politicians and diplomats with whom she has recently met.
Rice mentioned three reasons why the United States is currently unable to carry out a military operation against Iran: the wish to solve the crisis through peaceful means; concern that a military strike will be ineffective - that it would fail to completely destroy Iran's nuclear capabilities; and the lack of precise intelligence on the targets' locations.
U.S. President George W. Bush and President Jacques Chirac of France met several weeks ago. Bush told his French counterpart that the possibility that Israel would carry out a strike against Iran's nuclear installations should not be ruled out.
Bush also said that if such an attack were to take place, he would understand it. According to European diplomats who later met with Rice, the secretary of state did not express the same willingness to show understanding for a possible Israeli strike against Iran.
Nonetheless, Rice did not discount the possibility that such an operation may take place.
In recent talks with their Israeli counterparts, French government officials estimated that Iran would reach the "point of no return" in its nuclear program by spring 2007, in approximately five months.
At that point, according to Israeli sources, Iran will be in a position to simultaneously operate approximately 3,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium.
Various estimates by international experts hold that Monday Iran is operating 340-600 such centrifuges.
In talks with Israeli sources several days ago, a French government official asserted that an Israeli military attack against Iran would be "a total disaster" in terms of its implications for the entire world.
According to the French official, such a strike would at best delay the completion of Iran's nuclear program by two years.
The attack would also result in Iran cancelling its membership in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, cause a great deal of agitation in the Arab world, lead to a rise in oil prices, and could result in a major Iranian military response that would not target Israel alone.
US closely involved in Israel's attack on Lebanon
Middle East Times
November 18, 2006
WASHINGTON -- Even though it has strongly denied it, the Bush administration, notably Vice President Dick Cheney, was "closely involved" in the planning of Israel's invasion of Lebanon - planning that started well before Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers July 12.
In fact, the US told Israel it would be better to attack sooner than later so that the Pentagon has more time to learn from Israel's tactics to aid its own contemplated assault against Iran before Bush leaves office January, 2009.
According to several former and current US government officials, Elliott Abrams, a deputy national security advisor, and Cheney backed the Israeli plan, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh wrote in The New Yorker, an American magazine that closely tracks events in the Middle East. (A spokesman for Abrams denied his involvement.)
Both Bush and Cheney believed a successful Israeli aerial attack on Hezbollah's underground command-and-control centers in Lebanon "could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American preemptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations, some of which are also buried deep underground," Hersh wrote. Cheney reportedly was enthusiastic about an opportunity to learn from Israel's attack for future US military operations against Iran.
As far back as spring, "under pressure from the White House to develop a war plan for a decisive strike against Iran's nuclear facilities," ranking US Air Force officials met with their Israeli counterparts. What's more, early last summer, before Hezbollah crossed into Israel to capture the two soldiers, Hersh wrote, several Israeli officials made separate visits to Washington "to get a green light for the bombing operation and to find out how much the United States would bear."
A consultant to the US government stated, "Israel began with Cheney. It wanted to be sure that it had his support and the support of his office and the Middle East desk of the National Security Council," Hersh wrote. The Israelis outlined a major bombing campaign to start after the next Hezbollah provocation.
Israel believed that by targeting Lebanon's infrastructure, such as highways, fuel depots, bridges, and the Beirut airport, it could get Lebanon's Christian and Sunni populations to turn against Hezbollah, the magazine said. The plan was held to be "the mirror image of what the United States has been planning for Iran," a former senior intelligence official told Hersh.
US Army, Navy, and Marine Corps leaders are arguing a like plan against Iran carried out by the US Air Force will not work. They claim it will lead to sending in ground forces, just as the Israelis did in Lebanon.
Richard Armitage, deputy Secretary of State during Bush's first term, told Hersh: "If the most dominant military force in the region - the Israel Defense Forces - can't pacify a country like Lebanon, with a population of 4 million, you should think carefully about taking that template to Iran, with strategic depth and a population of 70 million." He added the only thing Israel's bombing accomplished was "to unite the population against the Israelis."
"The Israelis told us it would be a cheap war with many benefits," a US government consultant said to have close ties to Israel told Hersh. "Why oppose it? We'll be able to hunt down and bomb missiles, tunnels, and bunkers from the air. It would be a demo for Iran."
The New Yorker further reported that important intelligence being gathered by the US at White House insistence is being funneled "directly to the top" with little or no analysis by the National Security Agency in violation of its strictures. The source for this information, a Pentagon consultant, said Cheney "had a strong hand" in this development.
"The long-term administration goal was to help set up a Sunni Arab coalition - including countries like Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt - that would join the United States and Europe to pressure the ruling Shiite mullahs in Iran," Hersh wrote. "But the thought behind that plan was that Israel would defeat Hezbollah, not lose to it," a consultant with close ties to Israel said.
One Middle East expert is quoted as saying Hezbollah's military showing "is a massive setback for those in the White House who want to use force in Iran. And those who argue that the bombing will create internal dissent and revolt in Iran are also set back."
"Strategic bombing has been a failed military concept for 90 years, and yet air forces all over the world keep on doing it," observed John Arquilla, a defense analyst at the Naval Postgraduate School. He told Hersh, "The warfare of today is not mass on mass. You have to hunt like a network to defeat a network. Israel focused on bombing against Hezbollah, and, when that did not work, it became more aggressive on the ground. The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result."
The New Yorker article, "Watching Lebanon: Washington's interests in Israel's war," appeared in the August 21 issue.
Sherwood Ross is an American reporter and columnist. Reach him at
Take a look at this fifth columnist (serving Israel first) Jewish neocon Elliott Abrams via the article in the left margin of the following URL:
Thursday, November 16, 2006
America in No-Win War for Israel
Congress and the Senate are in Democratic control, Rumsfeld has resigned, and mainstream media calls it all a referendum against the war. America is fed up. America wants change.
Yes, America has spoken. But about what? America hasn’t said no to tax cuts, individual freedom, traditional marriage, or many other aspects of conservatism. America wasn’t saying “no” to limited government and individual freedoms, to the first Amendment or the right to bear arms.
America was saying “no” to a Republican party steered by neoconservative Zionism.
The dots will never be connected by mainstream media, but the facts are there. In midterm elections, America yelled “no” to an Israel-first agenda that left American boys dead in Iraq, squandered American money and reputation, and, oh yeah, caused the deaths of 44,206 Iraqi civilians.
There’s only one tiny problem: Americans don’t know who they’re mad at. The lefties among us think the war was about oil; the loyal Republicans think the war was about national security. Few are looking at the neoconservative Jews (Paul Wolfowitz, Elliot Abrams, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, among others) who crafted this war on behalf of Israel.
As Ari Shavit, writing in the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz bluntly stated, “The war in Iraq was conceived by twenty-five neo-conservative intellectuals, most of them Jews, who are pushing President Bush to change history.” (April 9, 2003)
Americans don’t like what’s being done in their name, but they don’t even see who’s doing it. It’s like screaming at your brother while your dad is beating you.
We went into Iraq primarily to make the Mideast safe for Israel. It wasn’t about terrorism. It wasn’t about oil. It was about a tiny desert state the size of New Jersey whose American supporters happen to pretty much control the Mideast policy of the US government.
Unfortunately, this will remain true whether the colors of the House and Senate are red or blue. AIPAC boasts that during the midterm elections campaign, “nearly every viable candidate met with AIPAC professional staff members and submitted a position paper summarizing his or her views on U.S. Middle East policy.” Wanting to reassure Jewish voters leaning Democrat, AIPAC assured America that Congressional support for Israel would remain in force no matter which party was in power.
Arabs hope otherwise. They’re glad Rumsfeld is out and Bush is going down. Check out BBC’s selection of quotes from Arab media; it paints a pretty clear picture (“Mid-East media hail Bush defeat,” Nov. 9, 2006).
Palestinian daily Al-Quds says naively: “We hope this will lead to a review of the aspects of US foreign policy which many Americans oppose, including the blind bias to Israeli policy at the expense of Palestinian and Arab rights.”
They can keep hoping till the sea turns to Kool-Aid, but as much as 60 percent of Democratic funding comes from Jewish constituents. We’re more likely to see Al Gore deny global warming than to see Democrats stand against Zionist interests. So much for the “referendum.”
But keep steaming, America. Read the news reports of 19 Gazan women and children killed in their sleep by the IDF last week. Stay tuned for the coming invasions of Iran and Syria.
Maybe someday you’ll get fed up enough to pass a referendum on the real issue: Jewish control of American resources and foreign policy, for the sake of the state of Israel.
Last edited by Alpha on Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:57 pm; edited 10 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:27 am Post subject:
|Netanyahu and CNN trying to sell why AMERICANS must destroy Iran for Israel
Israel's Netanyahu Woos Techies, Demands Bombing of Iran (for Israel, of course!):
Be sure to read (via the following URL) how American Jew Jack Bernstein warned that Zionists (Israel firsters) would try to trick US into fighting wars in the Middle East for Israel with many Americans to die/get horribly wounded like we have already experienced in the Iraq quagmire (with Iran to be attacked for Israel as well):
Keep in mind that the 'A Clean Break'/war for Israel agenda was written for Netanyahu by Jewish JINSA/PNAC Israeli firsters Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Douglas Feith (scroll down to pages 261-269/321 of esteemed intelligence author/writer James Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book at the following URL):
Subject: CP: Netanyahu and the End Times ('A Clean Break'/war for Israel agenda mentioned as well)
From: "Jeffrey Blankfort"
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 13:35:55 -0800
Subject: [IntelligentMinds] CP: Netanyahu and the End Times
Thanks to Ismail Z for the emphases:
Netanyahu and the End Times
By DAVE HIMMELSTEIN
Towers sway. Seismic jolts rattle the realm. A mainstream epiphany is at
hand: the extent of ideological and operational "twinning" of Israel and the
United States. The diversionary benefits of an attack on Iran become ever
more compelling-- but Iran looms large in the epiphany. The blarney still
runneth over, but it runneth scared.
Vintage Zionist bravado was uncorked by Benjamin Netanyahu during his
closed-door meeting last month with American contributors to an Israeli
military recruitment program targeting ultra-religious Jews. The
American-educated former Israeli Prime Minister, now hardline opposition
leader and magnet for the right, has called for a pre-emptive nuclear strike
against Iran. Netanyahu was the original recipient of the neo-con
expansionist "clean break" blueprint in the nineties, which was eventually
recycled back in the U.S. as the Program for a New American Century.
While appreciative of anticipated largesse, Netanyahu told the visiting
heavy hitters that their vessel was sinking. With intermarriage and
assimilation swamping the good ship Diaspora, there is "no future" for Jews
living outside Israel. Journalists immediately took embarrassing note that
the last Israeli politician to give public voice (in 2000) to that hoary
backroom chestnut was President Moshe Katsav, currently accused of rape.
While survival is a thematic staple in Jewish organizational discourse,
there's a certain comic-opera quality to anointing Israel as guarantor of
Jewish identity and well-being at a time when the state is sliding into
quasi-pariah status on the international stage. But Israeli triumphalism
cannot be laughed away. With an estimated 200+ nuclear weapons at its
disposal, this graustark-on- steroids could threaten to unleash chaos if it
felt unacceptably squeezed, the worst-case scenario involving the suicidal
Israel's own internal viability was called into question later in the month
by the Israeli American mathematician and game-theory guru who won the Nobel
Prize in economics last year. Professor Robert (Yisrael) Aumann, who moved
to the United States half a century ago, told an audience at the College of
Judea and Samaria, in occupied Ariet, that long-term continued existence of
Israel is at risk due to insufficient appreciation of its uniqueness,
aggravated by excessive sensitivity to war casualties.
Of course, triumphalism finds its natural home in religion, and the new
chief rabbi of the Israeli military, Rabbi Avi Ronsky, is so confident of
divine support, he's willing to write off the earthbound kind. "I am not
sure", he sniffed, when an interviewer asked if there is such a thing as
secular zionism. Meanwhile, from his base on seized Palestinian land in the
northern West Bank, extremist Rabbi Yousef Falay provided the always
salutary reminder that fundamentalist fever is an equal-opportunity
affliction, with his call for Palestinian males to be "exterminated" if they
refuse to flee Palestine. And, indeed, the "transfer" option has to be
considered very much back on the table now that expulsion advocate Avigdor
Lieberman has been brought into the Israeli cabinet.
Back in the United States, the pro-Israel lobby can feel the ground moving
beneath its feet. Certainly, it can boast of continued success in
maintaining the gloss on Israel's public image while airbrushing
embarrassing warts. 81% of Americans believe Arabs' real goal to be the
destruction of Israel, not the return of occupied land, according to a poll
by the American Jewish Committee. The same poll also showed that for three
out of four American Jews, concern for Israel is an integral part of their
Jewish identity, although that sense of identification is dropping sharply
with each succeeding generation.
But the lobby itself is blinking in an unaccustomed spotlight, its coy
wink-nudge invisibility at an end. That its very existence--let alone its
machinations- -has come under public scrutiny is due largely to debate
generated by the report published earlier this year (now being turned into a
book) by Professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, of Harvard and the
University of Chicago, respectively. The lobby's sway has received a public
thumping by no less than Zbigniew Brezinski, national security advisor under
Jimmy Carter (himself the author of a new book conflating treatment of
Palestinians with Apartheid). Brezinski told a New America Foundation
dinner: "Bush should say, either I make policy on the Middle East or AIPAC
AIPAC, lobby linchpin, finds itself center stage in the unfolding (and
unsurprisingly under-reported) espionage trial of Steve Rosen and Keith
Weissman, former AIPAC policy director and an AIPAC Middle East analyst,
respectively. As part of his plea-bargain, Pentagon staffer Larry Franklin
admitted passing the documents (reportedly concerning Iran) to the AIPAC
staffers. And the presiding judge, T.S. Ellis of the US District Court in
Alexandria, Virginia, has ruled there existed "ample probable cause to
believe" that the defendants were acting as "foreign agents" when the
government wiretapped them. (In a congressional spinoff, the FBI and Justice
Department are investigating claims of collusion between AIPAC and Rep. Jane
Harman of California, ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
In return for lobby support for her reappointment, Harman allegedly agreed
to press the government to go easy on Rosen and Weissman.)
Meanwhile, Israel goes on creating unilateral "facts on the ground." Just as
the mainstream media were starting to wrap their minds around the
devastation undergone by the physical and social landscapes of Lebanon, and
the time-release followup of unexploded cluster bombs, Israel chose to run
amok in Gaza, and Beit Hanoun joined the ranks of war-crime discourse. In
these internet-facilitate d times, the obscene disparity between Israel's
high-minded rhetoric and its depraved practice is too flagrant to be
concealed. In most of the rest of the world a backlog of pent-up indignation
is building to a breaking point.
Israel's unconditional defenders hunker down in sulky, solipsistic denial,
and more "liberal" Zionists squirm with increasing discomfort. But from the
outset, Zionism has evoked conscientious disavowal in both secular and
religious Jewish circles around the world, a relatively unknown dissident
tradition embraced by many "recovering Zionists." This tendency achieved
notable __expression in the United States in the months following initiation
of the first Palestinian Intifada. In February 1988, eighteen professionally
and intellectually prominent American Jews published "Time To Dissociate
>From Israel" as a full page ad in The Nation (the statement had picked up
hundreds of additional signers by the time it was republished in the New York Review of Books). Listing particulars of Israel's "tragically misguided
approach" and "racialist ideology", the signers of the statement affirmed:
"We can no longer condone or be associated with such Israeli behavior, nor,
do we believe, should our country." Similar statements have appeared
sporadically in the intervening years.
As always, the current surge in criticism of Israel will be countered by
accusations of antisemitism, especially when prickly questions are raised
about the dual American-Israeli citizenship of a number of pivotal neocons.
And, eventually, the fallback of last resort, the Holocaust, will be invoked
as all-sheltering dispensation for Zionist and Israeli misbehavior. However,
this figleaf is overdue for closeup examination, something along the lines
of the privately commissioned inquiry begun in 1980 and headed by Arthur
Goldberg, former Supreme Court justice and ambassador to the UN. A hornet's
nest was stirred by this retrospective look at shortcomings in the way
American Jewish organizations responded to the needs of Jewish refugees
fleeing Hitler, and the project collapsed in rancor after a year. The wider
and deeper issues of German Zionism's symbiotic relation with the Nazi
regime have been masterfully explored in Lenni Brenner's groundbreaking
Zionism in the Age of the Dictators (inexcusably out of print but available
online by Googling up the title).
Given the fabled tangle of Jewish fractionalism, it's often been said that
the only thing holding American Jews together is Israel. What would it take
for Israel to fall definitively from the graces of its putative overseas
constituency? The mind shudders at the implied order-of-magnitude escalation
necessary to overshadow everything that's been perpetrated to date.
A collateral question suggests itself: What would fill the identity vacuum?
Obviously, religious believers could embrace some form of traditional Jewish
observance. But for the rest of us, what touchstone of Jewish spiritual
identity could evolve after the "molting" process?
Many social justice secularists consider prophetic haranguing as some kind
of quintessentially Jewish spiritual vector. And today it bumps up against a
different spiritual vector that has made capacious headway among North
American Jews, namely, the practice of Asian-derived systems of
Can prophetic wrath coexist with transcendence of ego?
Could Amos and Buddha jam on Get Over Yourself?
Dave Himmelstein is a writer and editor in Montreal. Reachable through
This is another way that a war with Iran can take place.. Going after Syria and Iran via Hezbollah in Lebanon.. Read pages 261-269/321 about the 'A Clean Break' war for Israel/agenda from esteemed US intelligence author/writer James Bamford's 'A Pretext for War' book via the following URL:
Jeffrey Blankfort wrote:
It seems that everyone, at least who is quoted, is afraid to name the most obvious country responsible for Gemayel's killing and the only one that benefits unequivocally, namely, Israel. At the very moment that Syrian representatives are meeting in Damascus and Jamal Talabani is on his way to Iran, at the very time when it has become apparent that the US will be seeking the help of both Syria and Iran to help extricate itself from Iraq, the last thing that Syria would need is to be accused of another killing. Israel, either directly, or through intermediaries, many of whom may not have been aware who they were working for, has been assassinating people in the region for years and may have killed Hariri as well and made it look like it was done by Syria. The big question that no one seems to have raised in any of the media that I have seen is "Why was the murder of Hariri so important as to have resulted in UN sponsored international investigation while the more obvious murders of foreign heads of state (which Hariri was not) by the US over the past five decades and assassinations carried out by Israel have been ignored. The answer, I believe, is that Syria, beginning with the neocons Perle, Feith and Wurmser's Clean Break in 1996 was targeted for destruction by Israel, a position advanced by the American Jewish Lobby. and formulated in the Lebanese Restoration and Syrian Accountability Act, crafted by AIPAC, and overwhelmingly approved by the lobby's trained seals in Congress.
http://www.guardian .co.uk/print/ 0,,329640756- 111416,00. html
Who benefits? Rival theories over the murder of Gemayel
Thursday November 23, 2006
There are two competing theories in Beirut for who killed Pierre Gemayel. They reflect Lebanon's deep cleavage since Syrian forces withdrew amid popular demonstrations after the assassination of Rafik Hariri in February 2005.
The US-backed government and its supporters accuse Syria and, in some cases, its ally Hizbullah. They say Syria wants to scupper an international tribunal to try those accused of killing Mr Hariri. A UN report links Lebanese and Syrian security services to the Lebanese prime minister's death, but Damascus denies involvement.
"Bottom line, there is one less minister in a government Syria and its allies want to bring down," said Michael Young, editor of the Lebanese Daily Star of Mr Gemayel's killing.
The theory suggests that, after six cabinet ministers resigned this month and the killing, Syria's agents in Lebanon need kill only two more and they will achieve a collapse of the government, because it will be constitutionally inquorate. A fresh government will block the tribunal, and Damascus will avoid the embarrassment of standing trial over Mr Hariri.
Other related theories suggest rogue elements in Syrian security acting outside President Bashar al-Assad's knowledge, seeking to intimidate Lebanese MPs in the run-up to ratification of the UN tribunal.
The other main theory accuses the US or its allies in Lebanon of killing Mr Gemayel to stop the opposition, led by Hizbullah, from bringing down the government and curtailing American influence. It also suggests an attempt to isolate Syria once again, just as the west wants to re-engage Damascus over possible help in Iraq. "The killing of Gemayel gave the embattled government a bit of breathing space and reinvigorated the pro-government forces' withering anti-Syrian cause, which has been primarily fuelled by the assassination of its leaders," said Amal Saad Ghorayeb of Beirut's Carnegie Middle East Centre.
Proponents of this theory believe the killing only makes it harder for Lebanese opponents of the tribunal in its current form to vote against, for fear of being associated with a pro-Syrian agenda. "If anything this assassination has expedited the decision in the UN to pass the resolution," said Mr Ghorayeb, referring to security council members Russia and Qatar, who had reservations, but came on board hours after Mr Gemayel's killing.
MSNBC 'Hardball' host Chris Matthews was too cowardly to address the Mearsheimer/Walt paper ( http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html ) on the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) when he was given a copy of the Mearsheimer/Walt paper at USC in Los Angeles earlier this year, but he must have at least read such for its mention of the 'A Clean Break'/war for Israel agenda co-authored by Jewish JINSA/PNAC (war for Israel) Neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser because Matthews went after Wurmser (who is in Dick Cheney's office) hard and mentioned the 'A Clean Break' agenda and PNAC in the process during his broadcast yesterday:
Chris Matthews (host of MSNBC's 'Hardball' program) was given a print-out of the Mearsheimer/Walt study on the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby when he was at USC in Los Angeles recently (see the last few sentences of the following article) and is yet to address such on 'Hardball' - shows the power/influence of the lobby is alive and well still:
Fifth columnist pro-Israel lobby pushing US to bomb Iran for Israel like it did with Iraq:
Scroll down to the 'Pro-Israel lobby under attack' UPI article at the following URL:
Pro-Israel (AIPAC) lobby pushing hard for US to attack Iran:
Last edited by Alpha on Fri Nov 24, 2006 11:30 am; edited 8 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 1:42 am Post subject: Jewish Neocon Max Boot wants war for Israel in Iran next
|Jewish Neocon Max Boot wants war for Israel in Iran next
What is interesting about the following is look how Jewish neocon Max Boot (who is mentioned in Pat Buchanan's 'Whose War?' article via http://www.amconmag.com/03_24_03/cover.html as well) is fine with what is going on in Iraq and wants similar strife in Iran seemingly in accordance with Israeli Oded Yinon's 'divide and conquer' plan which is mentioned in the 'Israeli Origins of Bush II's War' via http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_isrorgs.htm ):
Movers and Shakers of U.S. Foreign Policy
By: Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich
11/14/06 "ICH" --- - The Milken Institute is situated in the heart of Santa Monica, Southern California. This ‘publicly supported independent economic think tank’ which has received a landmark multi-year grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles to help the ‘independent’ research of Milken realize its goal of establishing Israel as one of the top 10 countries in terms of quality of life and GDP per capita , was hosting author and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations Max Boot on November 9th. He was launching his new book “War Made New: Technology, Warfare and the Course of History – 1500 to Today”. My interest in attending was to hear his strategy on Iran.
As a person who is considered to be one of the top 500 most influential people in the making of US foreign policy, it came as a jolt to hear him redefine America’s national interest and find myself having to re-learn the definition of ‘enemy’. What was alarming was that with the exception of a couple of Iranian friends, the crowd did not find his remarks contentious.
The mesmerized audience was happy to accept that an ‘enemy’ was anyone who fought back when his/her country was invaded. Using 21st century terminology ‘Jihadist’, he was referring to the 1859 invasion of Sudan by the British and the ease with which the crazy ‘jihadist Mahdi’ and his followers were gunned down without any fear of repercussion that the enemy, the terrorist Sudanese, would follow the good guys who had gone to Sudan to invade the country, back to England. Of course, these days with open borders this posed a problem. The same theory applied to the Algiers, according to Max, it was so easy back then to kill the ‘enemy’ without fear of ‘enemy Jihadists’ retaliating. I was left with a clear picture of an enemy – one who resisted occupation of his/her country.
Max Boot was talking about Iraq, but I believe he had Israel at heart and he was moving on to Iran.
Obviously he was pleased with the sectarian violence and the civil war in Iraq. Having admitted that he was totally oblivious of the Iranian culture, he was endorsing using the terrorist group Mojahedeen-e-Khalg (MEK) currently being trained in Iraq to break up Iran in a similar fashion in order to weaken the central government. He proudly shared his knowledge that Iran was only 51% Persian and the remainder 49% despised being under the Persian dominance. A bold statement for a man who pleads ignorance about Iranian culture! Grinning ear to ear, he had come up with the magic solution to stop Iran’s nuclear program and prevent it from giving weapons to the insurgents in Iraq.
Having sat through his talk and a host of irrelevant questions, finally the microphone found its way to me.
I told him that maybe the book had prevented him from keeping current, but according to BBC on line , the Office of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction auditor has reported that KBR, a subsidiary of Halliburton is arming the insurgents and not Iran. More than 14,000 weapons supplied by Halliburton destined for the Iraqi government found their way to the insurgent groups after Pentagon lost track of them!
The look of impatience and annoyance crept to his cheeky face; he was anticipating more insolence from my corner..
I reminded him that America had lost over 3000 lives fighting a ‘war on terror’, it had spent over $3 trillion dollars (I did not even mention the poor Iraqis), and here he was suggesting that we co-opt a group listed on the State Department’s foreign terrorist organization (FTO), when in fact we had been down that road in the past when we helped arm the Mujahedeen and train Osama ben Ladin. The consequences of that little venture came back to haunt us on 9/11. Why would he even contemplate putting America’s credibility on line, and make the possibility of another 9/11 feasible.
I was also curious to know why he defined the ‘jihadist, terrorist enemy’ as someone who wanted to defend his country – I was confused on that one. I wandered if Islam was a factor - even in 1859.
I suppose I should not have asked such a dumb question from such a smart man. After all, he is in Washington and I am in Salt Lake City. His beautifully articulated response, as if rehearsed often times before, was that the fascist Stalin was an ally of the US during World War II, so even if ‘we detest the MEK, we should use them to forward our national interest’.
I am not a history scholar, but I had read that the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941 prompted the United States to see the Soviet Union as an embattled country being overrun by fascist forces, and this attitude was further reinforced in the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. They joined forces to fight their enemies in spite of difference in ideology. The MEK terrorist group who have killed Americans are the enemy, not only in the context of having taken American lives, but in the broader sense of America’s ‘war on terror’.
He also said the mistake we made in Afghanistan was to leave too quickly. Puzzled, I thought does he intend for the US to go into Iran after the MEK and stay there – colonize or what? I never got the microphone back to ask these disturbing questions, nor did he explain what he meant about ‘jihadist, terrorist enemy’ – I suppose if America sent the MEK to Iran and nationalist Iranians fought them, which every single Iranian would, man, woman, child, young and old, they would all be labeled ‘jihadist, terrorists’ – what an irony to call a nationalist a terrorist for fighting terrorists!
Max Boot confidently announced that ‘it is in our national interest’ to disintegrate Iran and start a war using the MEK. He is not without influence. Already the co-founder and President (Technology) of Google search engine, Sergey Brin, has complied with his wishes. Iran’s map has been redrawn on the world’s number one search engine . But as he admitted, he is ignorant of the Iranian culture. They are livid and will not let this rest.
In the forum at the Milken Institute, attended by rich folks ready to write checks in praise of his clever ideas and ideals, an audience of 99% Jewry, whose national interest was Max referring to?
He did speak of America’s failure in the Iraq war, but did it serve Israel? With the disintegration of the threat from Iraq, over 650,000 dead Iraqis, the United States illegal invasion, its use of torture, the violation of the Geneva Conventions, and the world’s focus on the war there, more than any other time Israel seems to have a carte blanche to massacre its neighbors and expand its illegal occupation of Gaza.
Having convinced America to attack and destroy Iraq, ‘independent’ institutions that serve Israel’s interests, are now persuading the White House to destroy Iran, with no regard for the country that has stood staunchly behind Israel – America itself. America has repeatedly put its moral credibility and its national interest on line for Israel, thanks to Milken and similar think tanks, persuaded by influential people like Max Boot. And the people of Middle East pay the price.
Without a doubt, in the very near future, Americans will wake up with a jolt and realize that they have paid the heftiest price of all. Their White House can no longer make a decision without Israel’s blessing. They will recognize that gone with the lives of their sons and daughters, is their reputation, and they have become a nation both morally and fiscally bankrupt only to enable the growth of an unstoppable fiend in the Middle East. Armed with nuclear weapons backed by American policy makers, the ugly face of this fiend may well turn on the US if the next veto is denied, or if peace in the Middle East is chosen over another bloody and senseless war. That will be the real Armageddon.
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich has lived and studied in Iran, the UK, France, Australia and the US. She obtained her Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and she is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Middle East Studies concentrating in Political Science. She has done extensive research on US foreign policy towards Iran and Iran’s nuclear program.
Terrorist (MEK) Group to Hold Convention in Washington, DC, Blocks from White House
Be sure to read the 'Thinking about Neoconservatism' article by Professor Kevin MacDonald via the following URL for more about these serving Israel first fifth columnists like Max Boot, Richard Perle and others:
Last edited by Alpha on Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:16 pm; edited 4 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:53 am Post subject:
|Nancy Pelosi and Israel
"As for foreign policy, [Nancy] Pelosi is as Zionist friendly as any Straussian neocon, albeit in a fuzzy Democrat sort of way, and thus we can expect more murder and mayhem in the Middle Eastern neighborhood.
"Pelosi 'denies that the key issue is Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza,' writes Mark Gaffney. 'The real issue, she states, is the survival of Israel' and 'the biggest danger to Israel today comes from Iran, whose nuclear ambitions, though still unproved, also threaten the US. Her perspective contains the seed of ominous things to come, because, after all, something will have to be done about Iran, right? Yes, and soon.... Meanwhile, Pelosi manages to overlook Israel's brutal treatment of the Palestinians,' a consistent crime, recently magnified to disgusting dimension by Israel's recent attack on Beit Hanoun in the Gaza, killing innocents in their beds.
"'The United States will stand with Israel now and forever. Now and forever,' Pelosi avowed last year at the AIPAC meeting, never mind the seeming inexhaustible crimes against humanity."
--Kurt Nimmo, "George and Nancy Make Nice" (Nov. 9, 2006)
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 1:31 am Post subject: How else to get recruits for the war for Israel meat grinder
|Top Democrat: Bring back the draft
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Americans would have to sign up for a new military draft after turning 18 if the incoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has his way.
New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars. He believes a draft would bolster U.S. troop levels that are currently insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft, and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said.
Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, said he will propose a measure early next year.
In 2003, he proposed a draft covering people age 18 to 26. This year, he offered a plan to mandate military service for men and women between age 18 and 42. It went nowhere in the Republican-led Congress.
Democrats will control the House and Senate come January because of their victories in the November 7 mid-term election.
At a time when some lawmakers are urging the military to send more troops to Iraq, "I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft," said Rangel.
He also proposed a draft in January 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Standby Reserve, said he agreed that the U.S. does not have enough people in the military.
"I think we can do this with an all-voluntary service, all-voluntary Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. And if we can't, then we'll look for some other option," said Graham, who is assigned as a reserve judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.
Rangel and Graham appeared on "Face the Nation" on CBS.
Polls show most Americans oppose a draft
Rangel, the next chairman of the House tax-writing committee, said he worried the military is strained by its overseas commitments.
"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," Rangel said.
He said having a draft would not necessarily mean everyone called to duty would have to serve. Instead, "young people (would) commit themselves to a couple of years in service to this great republic, whether it's our seaports, our airports, in schools, in hospitals," with a promise of educational benefits at the end of service.
Graham said he believes the all-voluntary military "represents the country pretty well in terms of ethnic makeup, economic background."
Repeated polls have shown that about seven in 10 Americans oppose reinstatement of the draft and officials say they do not expect to restart conscription.
Outgoing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told Congress in June 2005 that "there isn't a chance in the world that the draft will be brought back."
Yet the prospect of the long global fight against terrorism and the continuing U.S. commitment to stabilizing Iraq have kept the idea in the public's mind.
The military drafted conscripts during the Civil War, both world wars and between 1948 and 1973.
The Selective Service System, an agency independent of the Defense Department, keeps an updated registry of men age 18-25 -- now about 16 million -- from which to supply untrained draftees that would supplement the professional all-volunteer armed forces.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 2:02 am Post subject: Sy HERSH: IRAN ATTACK - more or less likely ?
|Watch/listen to following 'Democracy Now' interview with Amy Goodman about what is included below:
Tuesday, November 21st, 2006
The Next Act: Will the Republicans' Mid-Term Loss Hurt Chances of a War on Iran?:
November 21, 2006
'No Proof' of Iran Nuclear Arms Program,
Says Secret CIA Report
The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has not found conclusive evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, a US magazine has reported. Veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, writing in The New Yorker, cites a secret CIA report based on intelligence such as satellite images. Correspondents say the alleged document appears to challenge Washington's views regarding Iranian nuclear intentions.
CIA analysis finds no Iranian nuclear weapons drive: report
WASHINGTON (AFP) - A classifed draft CIA assessment has found no firm evidence of a secret drive by Iran to develop nuclear weapons, as alleged by the White House, a top US investigative reporter has said.
Seymour Hersh, writing in an article for the November 27 issue of the magazine The New Yorker released in advance, reported on whether the administration of Republican President George W. Bush was more, or less, inclined to attack Iran after Democrats won control of Congress last week.
A month before the November 7 legislative elections, Hersh wrote, Vice President Dick Cheney attended a national-security discussion that touched on the impact of Democratic victory in both chambers on Iran policy.
"If the Democrats won on November 7th, the vice president said, that victory would not stop the administration from pursuing a military option with Iran," Hersh wrote, citing a source familiar with the discussion.
Cheney said the White House would circumvent any legislative restrictions "and thus stop Congress from getting in its way," he said.
The Democratic victory unleashed a surge of calls for the Bush administration to begin direct talks with Iran.
But the administration's planning of a military option was made "far more complicated" in recent months by a highly classified draft assessment by the Central Intelligence Agency "challenging the White House's assumptions about how close Iran might be to building a nuclear bomb," he wrote.
"The CIA found no conclusive evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running paallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the International Atomic Energy Agency," Hersh wrote, adding the CIA had declined to comment on that story.
A current senior intelligence official confirmed the existence of the CIA analysis and said the White House had been hostile to it, he wrote.
Cheney and his aides had discounted the assessment, the official said.
"They're not looking for a smoking gun," the official was quoted as saying, referring to specific intelligence about Iranian nuclear planning.
"They're looking for the degree of comfort level they think they need to accomplish the mission."
The United States and other major powers believe Iran's uranium enrichment program is ultimately aimed at producing fissile material for nuclear weapons.
Iran insists it will use the enriched uranium only to fuel nuclear power stations, something it is permitted to do as a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
The major powers have been debating a draft United Nations resolution drawn up by Britain, France and Germany that would impose limited sanctions on Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile sectors for Tehran's failure to comply with an earlier UN resolution on halting enrichment.
On Wednesday, Israel's outgoing US ambassador Danny Ayalon said in an interview that Bush would not hesitate to use force against Iran to halt its nuclear program if other options failed.
"US President George W. Bush will not hesitate to use force against Iran in order to halt its nuclear program," Ayalon told the Maariv daily.
Israel, widely considered the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear power, views Iran as its arch-foe, pointing to repeated calls by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe the Jewish state off the map.
Sy HERSH: IRAN ATTACK - more or less likely ?
Jeff Blankfort wrote:
Hersh: In the current issue of Foreign Policy, Joshua Muravchik, a prominent neoconservative, argued that the Administration had little choice. "Make
no mistake: President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities before leaving office," he wrote. The President would be bitterly
criticized for a preëmptive attack on Iran, Muravchik said, and so neoconservatives "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared
to defend the action when it comes."
The main Middle East expert on the Vice-President's staff is David Wurmser, a neoconservative who was a strident advocate for the invasion of
Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Like many in Washington, Wurmser "believes that, so far, there's been no price tag on Iran for its
nuclearefforts and for its continuing agitation and intervention inside Iraq," the consultant said. But, unlike those in the Administration who are
calling for limited strikes, Wurmser and others in Cheney's office "want to end the regime," the consultant said. "They argue that there can be
no settlement of the Iraq war without regime change in Iran."...
The Bush Administration, if it does take military action against Iran, would have support from Democrats as well as Republicans. Senators Hillary
Clinton, of New York, and Evan Bayh, of Indiana, who are potential Democratic Presidential candidates, have warned that Iran cannot be permitted
to build a bomb and that -- as Clinton said earlier this year -- "we cannot take any option off the table." Howard Dean, the chairman of the
Democratic National Committee, has also endorsed this view.
New Yorker Issue of 2006-11-27
by SEYMOUR M. HERSH
A month before the November elections, Vice-President Dick Cheney was
sitting in on a national-security discussion at the Executive Office
Building. The talk took a political turn: what if the Democrats won both
the Senate and the House? How would that affect policy toward Iran, which
is believed to be on the verge of becoming a nuclear power? At that point,
according to someone familiar with the discussion, Cheney began
reminiscing about his job as a lineman, in the early nineteen-sixties, for
a power company in Wyoming. Copper wire was expensive, and the linemen
were instructed to return all unused pieces three feet or longer. No one
wanted to deal with the paperwork that resulted, Cheney said, so he and
his colleagues found a solution: putting "shorteners" on the wire--that
is, cutting it into short pieces and tossing the leftovers at the end of
the workday. If the Democrats won on November 7th, the Vice-President
said, that victory would not stop the Administration from pursuing a
military option with Iran. The White House would put "shorteners" on any
legislative restrictions, Cheney said, and thus stop Congress from getting
in its way.
The White House's concern was not that the Democrats would cut off funds
for the war in Iraq but that future legislation would prohibit it from
financing operations targeted at overthrowing or destabilizing the Iranian
government, to keep it from getting the bomb. "They're afraid that
Congress is going to vote a binding resolution to stop a hit on Iran, à la
Nicaragua in the Contra war," a former senior intelligence official told
In late 1982, Edward P. Boland, a Democratic representative, introduced
the first in a series of "Boland amendments," which limited the Reagan
Administration's ability to support the Contras, who were working to
overthrow Nicaragua's left-wing Sandinista government. The Boland
restrictions led White House officials to orchestrate illegal fund-raising
activities for the Contras, including the sale of American weapons, via
Israel, to Iran. The result was the Iran-Contra scandal of the
mid-eighties. Cheney's story, according to the source, was his way of
saying that, whatever a Democratic Congress might do next year to limit
the President's authority, the Administration would find a way to work
around it. (In response to a request for comment, the Vice-President's
office said that it had no record of the discussion.)
In interviews, current and former Administration officials returned to one
question: whether Cheney would be as influential in the last two years of
George W. Bush's Presidency as he was in its first six. Cheney is emphatic
about Iraq. In late October, he told Time, "I know what the President
thinks," about Iraq. "I know what I think. And we're not looking for
exit strategy. We're looking for victory." He is equally clear that the
Administration would, if necessary, use force against Iran. "The United
States is keeping all options on the table in addressing the irresponsible
conduct of the regime," he told an Israeli lobbying group early this year.
"And we join other nations in sending that regime a clear message: we will
not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."
On November 8th, the day after the Republicans lost both the House and the
Senate, Bush announced the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld, and the nomination of his successor, Robert Gates, a former
director of Central Intelligence. The move was widely seen as an
acknowledgment that the Administration was paying a political price for
the debacle in Iraq. Gates was a member of the Iraq Study Group--headed by
former Secretary of State James Baker and Lee Hamilton, a former
Democratic congressman--which has been charged with examining new
approaches to Iraq, and he has publicly urged for more than a year that
the U.S. begin direct talks with Iran. President Bush's decision to turn
to Gates was a sign of the White House's "desperation," a former
high-level C.I.A. official, who worked with the White House after
September 11th, told me. Cheney's relationship with Rumsfeld was among the
closest inside the Administration, and Gates's nomination was seen by some
Republicans as a clear signal that the Vice-President's influence in the
White House could be challenged. The only reason Gates would take the job,
after turning down an earlier offer to serve as the new Director of
National Intelligence, the former high-level C.I.A. official said, was
that "the President's father, Brent Scowcroft, and James Baker"--former
aides of the first President Bush--"piled on, and the President finally
had to accept adult supervision."
Critical decisions will be made in the next few months, the former C.I.A.
official said. "Bush has followed Cheney's advice for six years, and the
story line will be: `Will he continue to choose Cheney over his father?'
We'll know soon." (The White House and the Pentagon declined to respond
detailed requests for comment about this article, other than to say that
there were unspecified inaccuracies.)
A retired four-star general who worked closely with the first Bush
Administration told me that the Gates nomination means that Scowcroft,
Baker, the elder Bush, and his son "are saying that winning the election
in 2008 is more important than the individual. The issue for them is how
to preserve the Republican agenda. The Old Guard wants to isolate Cheney
and give their girl, Condoleezza Rice"--the Secretary of State--"a chance
to perform." The combination of Scowcroft, Baker, and the senior Bush
working together is, the general added, "tough enough to take on Cheney.
One guy can't do it."
Richard Armitage, the Deputy Secretary of State in Bush's first term, told
me that he believed the Democratic election victory, followed by
Rumsfeld's dismissal, meant that the Administration "has backed off,"
terms of the pace of its planning for a military campaign against Iran.
Gates and other decision-makers would now have more time to push for a
diplomatic solution in Iran and deal with other, arguably more immediate
issues. "Iraq is as bad as it looks, and Afghanistan is worse than it
looks," Armitage said. "A year ago, the Taliban were fighting us in units
of eight to twelve, and now they're sometimes in company-size, and even
larger." Bombing Iran and expecting the Iranian public "to rise up"
overthrow the government, as some in the White House believe, Armitage
added, "is a fool's errand."
"Iraq is the disaster we have to get rid of, and Iran is the disaster we
have to avoid," Joseph Cirincione, the vice-president for national
security at the liberal Center for American Progress, said. "Gates will be
in favor of talking to Iran and listening to the advice of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, but the neoconservatives are still there"--in the White
House--"and still believe that chaos would be a small price for getting
rid of the threat. The danger is that Gates could be the new Colin
Powell--the one who opposes the policy but ends up briefing the Congress
and publicly supporting it."
Other sources close to the Bush family said that the machinations behind
Rumsfeld's resignation and the Gates nomination were complex, and the
seeming triumph of the Old Guard may be illusory. The former senior
intelligence official, who once worked closely with Gates and with the
President's father, said that Bush and his immediate advisers in the White
House understood by mid-October that Rumsfeld would have to resign if the
result of the midterm election was a resounding defeat. Rumsfeld was
involved in conversations about the timing of his departure with Cheney,
Gates, and the President before the election, the former senior
intelligence official said. Critics who asked why Rumsfeld wasn't fired
earlier, a move that might have given the Republicans a boost, were
missing the point. "A week before the election, the Republicans were
saying that a Democratic victory was the seed of American retreat, and now
Bush and Cheney are going to change their national-security policies?" the
former senior intelligence official said. "Cheney knew this was coming.
Dropping Rummy after the election looked like a conciliatory move--`You're
right, Democrats. We got a new guy and we're looking at all the options.
Nothing is ruled out.' " But the conciliatory gesture would not be
accompanied by a significant change in policy; instead, the White House
saw Gates as someone who would have the credibility to help it stay the
course on Iran and Iraq. Gates would also be an asset before Congress. If
the Administration needed to make the case that Iran's weapons program
posed an imminent threat, Gates would be a better advocate than someone
who had been associated with the flawed intelligence about Iraq. The
former official said, "He's not the guy who told us there were weapons
mass destruction in Iraq, and he'll be taken seriously by Congress."
Once Gates is installed at the Pentagon, he will have to contend with
Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Rumsfeld legacy--and Dick Cheney. A former
senior Bush Administration official, who has also worked with Gates, told
me that Gates was well aware of the difficulties of his new job. He added
that Gates would not simply endorse the Administration's policies and say,
"with a flag waving, `Go, go' "--especially at the cost of his own
reputation. "He does not want to see thirty-five years of government
service go out the window," the former official said. However, on the
question of whether Gates would actively stand up to Cheney, the former
official said, after a pause, "I don't know."
Another critical issue for Gates will be the Pentagon's expanding effort
to conduct clandestine and covert intelligence missions overseas. Such
activity has traditionally been the C.I.A.'s responsibility, but, as the
result of a systematic push by Rumsfeld, military covert actions have been
substantially increased. In the past six months, Israel and the United
States have also been working together in support of a Kurdish resistance
group known as the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan. The group has been
conducting clandestine cross-border forays into Iran, I was told by a
government consultant with close ties to the Pentagon civilian leadership,
as "part of an effort to explore alternative means of applying pressure on
Iran." (The Pentagon has established covert relationships with Kurdish,
Azeri, and Baluchi tribesmen, and has encouraged their efforts to
undermine the regime's authority in northern and southeastern Iran.) The
government consultant said that Israel is giving the Kurdish group
"equipment and training." The group has also been given "a list of
inside Iran of interest to the U.S." (An Israeli government spokesman
denied that Israel was involved.)
Such activities, if they are considered military rather than intelligence
operations, do not require congressional briefings. For a similar C.I.A.
operation, the President would, by law, have to issue a formal finding
that the mission was necessary, and the Administration would have to brief
the senior leadership of the House and the Senate. The lack of such
consultation annoyed some Democrats in Congress. This fall, I was told,
Representative David Obey, of Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat on the House
Appropriations subcommittee that finances classified military activity,
pointedly asked, during a closed meeting of House and Senate members,
whether "anyone has been briefing on the Administration's plan for
military activity in Iran." The answer was no. (A spokesman for Obey
confirmed this account.)
The Democratic victories this month led to a surge of calls for the
Administration to begin direct talks with Iran, in part to get its help in
settling the conflict in Iraq. British Prime Minister Tony Blair broke
ranks with President Bush after the election and declared that Iran should
be offered "a clear strategic choice" that could include a "new
partnership" with the West. But many in the White House and the Pentagon
insist that getting tough with Iran is the only way to salvage Iraq. "It's
a classic case of `failure forward,'" a Pentagon consultant said. "They
believe that by tipping over Iran they would recover their losses in
Iraq--like doubling your bet. It would be an attempt to revive the concept
of spreading democracy in the Middle East by creating one new model
The view that there is a nexus between Iran and Iraq has been endorsed by
Condoleezza Rice, who said last month that Iran "does need to understand
that it is not going to improve its own situation by stirring instability
in Iraq," and by the President, who said, in August, that "Iran is backing
armed groups in the hope of stopping democracy from taking hold" in Iraq.
The government consultant told me, "More and more people see the weakening
of Iran as the only way to save Iraq."
The consultant added that, for some advocates of military action, "the
goal in Iran is not regime change but a strike that will send a signal
that America still can accomplish its goals. Even if it does not destroy
Iran's nuclear network, there are many who think that thirty-six hours of
bombing is the only way to remind the Iranians of the very high cost of
going forward with the bomb--and of supporting Moqtada al-Sadr and his
pro-Iran element in Iraq." (Sadr, who commands a Shiite militia, has
religious ties to Iran.)
In the current issue of Foreign Policy, Joshua Muravchik, a prominent
neoconservative, argued that the Administration had little choice. "Make
no mistake: President Bush will need to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities
before leaving office," he wrote. The President would be bitterly
criticized for a preëmptive attack on Iran, Muravchik said, and so
neoconservatives "need to pave the way intellectually now and be prepared
to defend the action when it comes."
The main Middle East expert on the Vice-President's staff is David
Wurmser, a neoconservative who was a strident advocate for the invasion of
Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Like many in Washington, Wurmser
"believes that, so far, there's been no price tag on Iran for its nuclear
efforts and for its continuing agitation and intervention inside Iraq,"
the consultant said. But, unlike those in the Administration who are
calling for limited strikes, Wurmser and others in Cheney's office "want
to end the regime," the consultant said. "They argue that there can be
no settlement of the Iraq war without regime change in Iran."
The Administration's planning for a military attack on Iran was made far
more complicated earlier this fall by a highly classified draft assessment
by the C.I.A. challenging the White House's assumptions about how close
Iran might be to building a nuclear bomb. The C.I.A. found no conclusive
evidence, as yet, of a secret Iranian nuclear-weapons program running
parallel to the civilian operations that Iran has declared to the
International Atomic Energy Agency. (The C.I.A. declined to comment on
The C.I.A.'s analysis, which has been circulated to other agencies for
comment, was based on technical intelligence collected by overhead
satellites, and on other empirical evidence, such as measurements of the
radioactivity of water samples and smoke plumes from factories and power
plants. Additional data have been gathered, intelligence sources told me,
by high-tech (and highly classified) radioactivity-detection devices that
clandestine American and Israeli agents placed near suspected
nuclear-weapons facilities inside Iran in the past year or so. No
significant amounts of radioactivity were found.
A current senior intelligence official confirmed the existence of the
C.I.A. analysis, and told me that the White House had been hostile to it.
The White House's dismissal of the C.I.A. findings on Iran is widely known
in the intelligence community. Cheney and his aides discounted the
assessment, the former senior intelligence official said. "They're not
looking for a smoking gun," the official added, referring to specific
intelligence about Iranian nuclear planning. "They're looking for the
degree of comfort level they think they need to accomplish the mission."
The Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency also challenged the C.I.A.'s
analysis. "The D.I.A. is fighting the agency's conclusions, and disputing
its approach," the former senior intelligence official said. Bush and
Cheney, he added, can try to prevent the C.I.A. assessment from being
incorporated into a forthcoming National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian
nuclear capabilities, "but they can't stop the agency from putting it out
for comment inside the intelligence community." The C.I.A. assessment
warned the White House that it would be a mistake to conclude that the
failure to find a secret nuclear-weapons program in Iran merely meant that
the Iranians had done a good job of hiding it. The former senior
intelligence official noted that at the height of the Cold War the Soviets
were equally skilled at deception and misdirection, yet the American
intelligence community was readily able to unravel the details of their
long-range-missile and nuclear-weapons programs. But some in the White
House, including in Cheney's office, had made just such an assumption --
that "the lack of evidence means they must have it," the former official
Iran is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty, under which it is
entitled to conduct nuclear research for peaceful purposes. Despite the
offer of trade agreements and the prospect of military action, it defied a
demand by the I.A.E.A. and the Security Council, earlier this year, that
it stop enriching uranium -- a process that can produce material for
nuclear power plants as well as for weapons -- and it has been unable, or
unwilling, to account for traces of plutonium and highly enriched uranium
that have been detected during I.A.E.A. inspections. The I.A.E.A. has
complained about a lack of "transparency," although, like the C.I.A.,
has not found unambiguous evidence of a secret weapons program.
Last week, Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced that Iran had
made further progress in its enrichment research program, and said, "We
know that some countries may not be pleased." He insisted that Iran was
abiding by international agreements, but said, "Time is now completely on
the side of the Iranian people." A diplomat in Vienna, where the I.A.E.A.
has its headquarters, told me that the agency was skeptical of the claim,
for technical reasons. But Ahmadinejad's defiant tone did nothing to
diminish suspicions about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
"There is no evidence of a large-scale covert enrichment program inside
Iran," one involved European diplomat said. "But the Iranians would not
have launched themselves into a very dangerous confrontation with the West
on the basis of a weapons program that they no longer pursue. Their
enrichment program makes sense only in terms of wanting nuclear weapons.
It would be inconceivable if they weren't cheating to some degree. You
don't need a covert program to be concerned about Iran's nuclear
ambitions. We have enough information to be concerned without one. It's
not a slam dunk, but it's close to it."
There are, however, other possible reasons for Iran's obstinacy. The
nuclear program -- peaceful or not -- is a source of great national pride,
and President Ahmadinejad's support for it has helped to propel him to
enormous popularity. (Saddam Hussein created confusion for years, inside
and outside his country, about whether Iraq had weapons of mass
destruction, in part to project an image of strength.) According to the
former senior intelligence official, the C.I.A.'s assessment suggested
that Iran might even see some benefits in a limited military strike --
especially one that did not succeed in fully destroying its nuclear
program -- in that an attack might enhance its position in the Islamic
world. "They learned that in the Iraqi experience, and relearned it in
southern Lebanon," the former senior official said. In both cases, a more
powerful military force had trouble achieving its military or political
goals; in Lebanon, Israel's war against Hezbollah did not destroy the
group's entire arsenal of rockets, and increased the popularity of its
leader, Hassan Nasrallah.
The former senior intelligence official added that the C.I.A. assessment
raised the possibility that an American attack on Iran could end up
serving as a rallying point to unite Sunni and Shiite populations. "An
American attack will paper over any differences in the Arab world, and
we'll have Syrians, Iranians, Hamas, and Hezbollah fighting against us --
and the Saudis and the Egyptians questioning their ties to the West. It's
an analyst's worst nightmare -- for the first time since the caliphate
there will be common cause in the Middle East." (An Islamic caliphate
ruled the Middle East for over six hundred years, until the thirteenth
According to the Pentagon consultant, "The C.I.A.'s view is that, without
more intelligence, a large-scale bombing attack would not stop Iran's
nuclear program. And a low-end campaign of subversion and sabotage would
play into Iran's hands -- bolstering support for the religious leadership
and deepening anti-American Muslim rage."
The Pentagon consultant said that he and many of his colleagues in the
military believe that Iran is intent on developing nuclear-weapons
capability. But he added that the Bush Administration's options for
dealing with that threat are diminished, because of a lack of good
intelligence and also because "we've cried wolf" before.
As the C.I.A.'s assessment was making its way through the government, late
this summer, current and former military officers and consultants told me,
a new element suddenly emerged: intelligence from Israeli spies operating
inside Iran claimed that Iran has developed and tested a trigger device
for a nuclear bomb. The provenance and significance of the human
intelligence, or HUMINT, are controversial. "The problem is that no one
can verify it," the former senior intelligence official told me. "We don't
know who the Israeli source is. The briefing says the Iranians are testing
trigger mechanisms" -- simulating a zero-yield nuclear explosion without
any weapons-grade materials -- "but there are no diagrams, no significant
facts. Where is the test site? How often have they done it? How big is the
warhead -- a breadbox or a refrigerator? They don't have that." And yet,
he said, the report was being used by White House hawks within the
Administration to "prove the White House's theory that the Iranians are
track. And tests leave no radioactive track, which is why we can't find
it." Still, he said, "The agency is standing its ground."
The Pentagon consultant, however, told me that he and other intelligence
professionals believe that the Israeli intelligence should be taken more
seriously. "We live in an era when national technical intelligence" --
data from satellites and on-the-ground sensors -- "will not get us what we
need. HUMINT may not be hard evidence by that standard, but very often
it's the best intelligence we can get." He added, with obvious
exasperation, that within the intelligence community "we're going to be
fighting over the quality of the information for the next year." One
reason for the dispute, he said, was that the White House had asked to see
the "raw" -- the original, unanalyzed and unvetted -- Israeli
intelligence. Such "stovepiping" of intelligence had led to faulty
conclusions about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction during the
buildup to the 2003 Iraq war. "Many Presidents in the past have done the
same thing," the consultant said, "but intelligence professionals are
always aghast when Presidents ask for stuff in the raw. They see it as
asking a second grader to read 'Ulysses.' "
HUMINT can be difficult to assess. Some of the most politically
significant -- and most inaccurate -- intelligence about Iraq's alleged
weapons of mass destruction came from an operative, known as Curveball,
who was initially supplied to the C.I.A. by German intelligence. But the
Pentagon consultant insisted that, in this case, "the Israeli intelligence
is apparently very strong." He said that the information about the trigger
device had been buttressed by another form of highly classified data,
known as MASINT, for "measuring and signature" intelligence. The Defense
Intelligence Agency is the central processing and dissemination point for
such intelligence, which includes radar, radio, nuclear, and
electro-optical data. The consultant said that the MASINT indicated
activities that "are not consistent with the programs" Iran has declared
to the I.A.E.A. "The intelligence suggests far greater sophistication and
more advanced development," the consultant said. "The indications don't
make sense, unless they're farther along in some aspects of their
nuclear-weapons program than we know."
In early 2004, John Bolton, who was then the Under-Secretary of State for
Arms Control (he is now the United Nations Ambassador), privately conveyed
to the I.A.E.A. suspicions that Iran was conducting research into the
intricately timed detonation of conventional explosives needed to trigger
a nuclear warhead at Parchin, a sensitive facility twenty miles southeast
of Tehran that serves as the center of Iran's Defense Industries
Organization. A wide array of chemical munitions and fuels, as well as
advanced antitank and ground-to-air missiles, are manufactured there, and
satellite imagery appeared to show a bunker suitable for testing very
A senior diplomat in Vienna told me that, in response to the allegations,
I.A.E.A. inspectors went to Parchin in November of 2005, after months of
negotiation. An inspection team was allowed to single out a specific site
at the base, and then was granted access to a few buildings there. "We
found no evidence of nuclear materials," the diplomat said. The inspectors
looked hard at an underground explosive-testing pit that, he said,
"resembled what South Africa had when it developed its nuclear weapons,"
three decades ago. The pit could have been used for the kind of kinetic
research needed to test a nuclear trigger. But, like so many military
facilities with dual-use potential, "it also could be used for other
things," such as testing fuel for rockets, which routinely takes place at
Parchin. "The Iranians have demonstrated that they can enrich uranium,"
the diplomat added, "and trigger tests without nuclear yield can be done.
But it's a very sophisticated process -- it's also known as hydrodynamic
testing -- and only countries with suitably advanced nuclear testing
facilities as well as the necessary scientific expertise can do it. I'd be
very skeptical that Iran could do it."
Earlier this month, the allegations about Parchin re‘merged when Yediot
Ahronot, Israel's largest newspaper, reported that recent satellite
imagery showed new "massive construction" at Parchin, suggesting an
expansion of underground tunnels and chambers. The newspaper sharply
criticized the I.A.E.A.'s inspection process and its director, Dr. Mohamed
ElBaradei, for his insistence on "using very neutral wording for his
findings and his conclusions."
Patrick Clawson, an expert on Iran who is the deputy director for research
at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a conservative think
tank, told me that the "biggest moment" of tension has yet to arrive:
does the United States keep an Israeli decision point -- one that may come
sooner than we want -- from being reached?" Clawson noted that there is
evidence that Iran has been slowed by technical problems in the
construction and operation of two small centrifuge cascades, which are
essential for the pilot production of enriched uranium. Both are now under
I.A.E.A. supervision. "Why were they so slow in getting the second cascade
up and running?" Clawson asked. "And why haven't they run the first
much as they said they would? Do we have more time?
"Why talk about war?" he said. "We're not talking about going
to war with
North Korea or Venezuela. It's not necessarily the case that Iran has
started a weapons program, and it's conceivable -- just conceivable --
that Iran does not have a nuclear-weapons program yet. We can slow them
down -- force them to reinvent the wheel -- without bombing, especially if
the international conditions get better."
Clawson added that Secretary of State Rice has "staked her reputation on
diplomacy, and she will not risk her career without evidence. Her team is
saying, 'What's the rush?' The President wants to solve the Iranian
before leaving office, but he may have to say, 'Darn, I wish I could have
solved it.' "
Earlier this year, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert
created a task force to cošrdinate all the available intelligence on Iran.
The task force, which is led by Major General Eliezer Shkedi, the head of
the Israeli Air Force, reports directly to the Prime Minister. In late
October, Olmert appointed Ephraim Sneh, a Labor Party member of the
Knesset, to serve as Deputy Defense Minister. Sneh, who served previously
in that position under Ehud Barak, has for years insisted that action be
taken to prevent Iran from getting the bomb. In an interview this month
with the Jerusalem Post, Sneh expressed skepticism about the effectiveness
of diplomacy or international sanctions in curbing Iran:
The danger isn't as much Ahmadinejad's deciding to launch an attack but
Israel's living under a dark cloud of fear from a leader committed to its
destruction. . . . Most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews
would prefer not to come here with families, and Israelis who can live
abroad will . . . I am afraid Ahmadinejad will be able to kill the Zionist
dream without pushing a button. That's why we must prevent this regime
from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs.
A similar message was delivered by Benjamin Netanyahu, the Likud leader,
in a speech in Los Angeles last week. "It's 1938 and Iran is Germany. And
Iran is racing to arm itself with atomic bombs," he said, adding that
there was "still time" to stop the Iranians.
The Pentagon consultant told me that, while there may be pressure from the
Israelis, "they won't do anything on their own without our green light."
That assurance, he said, "comes from the Cheney shop. It's Cheney himself
who is saying, 'We're not going to leave you high and dry, but don't
without us.' " A senior European diplomat agreed: "For Israel, it
question of life or death. The United States does not want to go into
Iran, but, if Israel feels more and more cornered, there may be no other
A nuclear-armed Iran would not only threaten Israel. It could trigger a
strategic-arms race throughout the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia, Jordan,
and Egypt -- all led by Sunni governments -- would be compelled to take
steps to defend themselves. The Bush Administration, if it does take
military action against Iran, would have support from Democrats as well as
Republicans. Senators Hillary Clinton, of New York, and Evan Bayh, of
Indiana, who are potential Democratic Presidential candidates, have warned
that Iran cannot be permitted to build a bomb and that -- as Clinton said
earlier this year -- "we cannot take any option off the table." Howard
Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has also endorsed
this view. Last May, Olmert was given a rousing reception when he
addressed a joint session of Congress and declared, "A nuclear Iran means
a terrorist state could achieve the primary mission for which terrorists
live and die -- the mass destruction of innocent human life. This
challenge, which I believe is the test of our time, is one the West cannot
afford to fail."
Despite such rhetoric, Leslie Gelb, a former State Department official who
is a president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, said he
believes that, "when push comes to shove, the Israelis will have a hard
time selling the idea that an Iranian nuclear capability is imminent. The
military and the State Department will be flat against a pre‘mptive
bombing campaign." Gelb said he hoped that Gates's appointment would add
weight to America's most pressing issue -- "to get some level of Iranian
restraint inside Iraq. In the next year or two, we're much more likely to
be negotiating with Iran than bombing it."
The Bush Administration remains publicly committed to a diplomatic
solution to the Iranian nuclear impasse, and has been working with China,
Russia, France, Germany, and Britain to get negotiations under way. So
far, that effort has foundered; the most recent round of talks broke up
early in November, amid growing disagreements with Russia and China about
the necessity of imposing harsh United Nations sanctions on the Iranian
regime. President Bush is adamant that Iran must stop all of its
enrichment programs before any direct talks involving the United States
The senior European diplomat told me that the French President, Jacques
Chirac, and President Bush met in New York on September 19th, as the new
U.N. session was beginning, and agreed on what the French called the "Big
Bang" approach to breaking the deadlock with Iran. A scenario was
presented to Ali Larijani, the chief Iranian negotiator on nuclear issues.
The Western delegation would sit down at a negotiating table with Iran.
The diplomat told me, "We would say, 'We're beginning the negotiations
without preconditions,' and the Iranians would respond, 'We will suspend.'
Our side would register great satisfaction, and the Iranians would agree
to accept I.A.E.A. inspection of their enrichment facilities. And then the
West would announce, in return, that they would suspend any U.N.
sanctions." The United States would not be at the table when the talks
began but would join later. Larijani took the offer to Tehran; the answer,
as relayed by Larijani, was no, the diplomat said. "We were trying to
compromise, for all sides, but Ahmadinejad did not want to save face," the
diplomat said. "The beautiful scenario has gone nowhere."
Last week, there was a heightened expectation that the Iraq Study Group
would produce a set of recommendations that could win bipartisan approval
and guide America out of the quagmire in Iraq. Sources with direct
knowledge of the panel's proceedings have told me that the group, as of
mid-November, had ruled out calling for an immediate and complete American
withdrawal but would recommend focussing on the improved training of Iraqi
forces and on redeploying American troops. In the most significant
recommendation, Baker and Hamilton were expected to urge President Bush to
do what he has thus far refused to do -- bring Syria and Iran into a
regional conference to help stabilize Iraq.
It is not clear whether the Administration will be receptive. In August,
according to the former senior intelligence official, Rumsfeld asked the
Joint Chiefs to quietly devise alternative plans for Iraq, to pre‘mpt new
proposals, whether they come from the new Democratic majority or from the
Iraq Study Group. "The option of last resort is to move American forces
out of the cities and relocate them along the Syrian and Iranian border,"
the former official said. "Civilians would be hired to train the Iraqi
police, with the eventual goal of separating the local police from the
Iraqi military. The White House believes that if American troops stay in
Iraq long enough -- with enough troops -- the bad guys will end up killing
each other, and Iraqi citizens, fed up with internal strife, will come up
with a solution. It'll take a long time to move the troops and train the
police. It's a time line to infinity."
In a subsequent interview, the former senior Bush Administration official
said that he had also been told that the Pentagon has been at work on a
plan in Iraq that called for a military withdrawal from the major urban
areas to a series of fortified bases near the borders. The working
assumption was that, with the American troops gone from the most heavily
populated places, the sectarian violence would "burn out." "The White
House is saying it's going to stabilize," the former senior Administration
official said, "but it may stabilize the wrong way."
One problem with the proposal that the Administration enlist Iran in
reaching a settlement of the conflict in Iraq is that it's not clear that
Iran would be interested, especially if the goal is to help the Bush
Administration extricate itself from a bad situation.
"Iran is emerging as a dominant power in the Middle East," I was told
Middle East expert and former senior Administration official. "With a
nuclear program, and an ability to interfere throughout the region, it's
basically calling the shots. Why should they cošperate with us over Iraq?"
He recounted a recent meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who challenged
Bush's right to tell Iran that it could not enrich uranium. "Why doesn't
America stop enriching uranium?" the Iranian President asked. He laughed,
and added, "We'll enrich it for you and sell it to you at a fifty-per-cent
Last edited by Alpha on Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:20 am; edited 2 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:57 am Post subject: Bush war for Israel in Iraq causing anger against him
|Iraq war was good for Israel: Olmert
By Dan Williams
Wed Nov 22, 3:16 PM ET
The Iraq war was a boon for Israel's security, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday, voicing fresh endorsement for a Bush administration sapped by the unpopularity at home of its Middle East policies.
The mid-term election losses of U.S. President George W. Bush's Republican Party were widely considered a repudiation of his decision to topple Iraq's Saddam Hussein as part of a vision of democratizing the region and bolstering allies like Israel.
Olmert avoided explicit comment on the Republicans' fortunes during Washington talks with Bush earlier this month. But in a speech to visiting American Jews, Olmert made clear he had few regrets about the changes wrought by the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
"I know all of his (Bush's) policies are controversial in America. There are some who support his policies in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, and some who do not," he said.
"I stand with the president because I know that Iraq without Saddam Hussein is so much better for the security and safety of Israel, and all of the neighbors of Israel without any significance to us," added Olmert, who was speaking in English.
"Thank God for the power and the determination and leadership manifested by President Bush."
With U.S.-led forces mired in an Iraqi insurgency, political analysts have speculated that Bush may redirect his attentions toward solving an Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is a major grievance in the Arab and Muslim world.
That could prompt Olmert to reconsider his unilateral policies towards a Palestinian leadership that he has argued is incapable or unwilling to make peace with Israel.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a moderate who has been struggling to revive rapprochement efforts despite opposition from the Hamas Islamists with which he shares power, has said that Israel should seek peace as a key to wider regional calm.
Under Saddam, Iraq backed Palestinian militants and posed a menacing presence to Israel's east. During the 1991 Gulf war, Iraq rained missiles on Israel but Israel held its fire at the behest of Washington, which was wary of alienating Arab allies.
But Olmert's views on today's Iraq have not been shared by all Israeli experts.
Yuval Diskin, chief of the Shin Bet intelligence service, said in a leaked briefing earlier this year that Israel could come to rue Saddam's ouster if it deepens regional instability.
"When you take apart a system in which a dictator has been controlling his people by force, you have chaos," Diskin said in a recording broadcast by Israeli television. "I'm not sure we won't end up missing Saddam."
Another Myth Shattered:
"Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990--it's the threat against Israel," said Zelikow, the Bush political hack who worked for the NSC, the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board:
Zelikow's comments mentioned at the following URL as well:
Subject: Olmert Counting on Jewish Lobby to foil Baker-Hamilton
"On his way home from Los Angeles, the prime minister "calmed" the reporters - and perhaps even himself - by saying there is no danger of U.S. President George W. Bush accepting the expected recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton panel, and attempting to move Syria out of the axis of evil and into a coalition to extricate America from Iraq. The prime minister hopes the Jewish lobby can rally a Democratic majority in the new Congress to counter any diversion from the status quo on the Palestinians."
w w w . h a a r e t z . c o m
Last update - 09:47 20/11/2006
The Gewalt agenda
By Akiva Eldar
Ehud Olmert reminds us of a guy who shouts Gewalt! from the roof of his burning home, instructs his neighbors and disrupts the fire brigade trying to find the blaze. Meanwhile, he keeps adding logs to the fire. The prime minister embarked on a performance tour in Israel and the world to cry out Hamas!, and warn against Iran's nuclear program and the spread of radical Islam through the Middle East. He is asking the international community for help while meanwhile fanning the flame of radical Islam and fending off concerned neighbors and volunteer firemen seeking to block it from taking over the region.
One cannot expect a leader who declares he has no need for an agenda to contribute to the regional and international efforts to stabilize the Middle East. Nonetheless, unintentionally, Olmert's anti-Iranian campaign places this region at the top of the agenda of every country interested in what goes on here. The significance and urgency the international community gives the crisis increases with the intensity of the Gewalt. When a Jewish leader draws a parallel between Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hitler, he should not be surprised when Europe rushes to his aid.
The closer the nuclear threat gets to center stage, the higher the Arab-Israeli conflict climbs on the list of international priorities. Anyone who fears radical Islamic elements will take control of the territories and spread out over the neighboring Arab states must offer the occupied Palestinian population a just and acceptable solution. Whether this does or does not fit Olmert's "no agenda," even the friendly United States has discovered that pictures of children killed by an Israeli artillery shell do not contribute to a moderate Arab coalition.
Olmert recognizes that a coalition of this sort is invaluable in the struggle against a radical Shi'ite-Sunni coalition that refuses to come to terms with Israel's existence. In his address to the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities of North America in Los Angeles, he called on the pragmatic Sunni leaders to cooperate in the struggle against Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and their partners.
And for its part, what is Israel willing to do, besides offering military advice, undermining diplomatic initiatives, cutting off electricity in the Gaza Strip and starving its population? The Olmert-Peretz government has not even carried out its commitment to evacuate the illegal outposts.
The deadlock in the international community's diplomatic exchanges with Iran, and the American quagmire in Iraq, are transforming the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into the easier nut to crack: While Iran and global Jihad do not appear willing to reconcile with the "infidels," most of the Palestinian people are (still) interested in a diplomatic solution. Bashar Assad's pronouncements calling for renewed peace talks place the burden of proof on Israel. Syria, like the rest of the Arab League, supported the Beirut Declaration of 2002, which offers normalization with Israel in return for a withdrawal to the 1967 lines.
However, Olmert is foiling any possible progress on this track: On his way home from Los Angeles, the prime minister "calmed" the reporters - and perhaps even himself - by saying there is no danger of U.S. President George W. Bush accepting the expected recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton panel, and attempting to move Syria out of the axis of evil and into a coalition to extricate America from Iraq. The prime minister hopes the Jewish lobby can rally a Democratic majority in the new Congress to counter any diversion from the status quo on the Palestinians.
Just like a field of dry shrub, the slightest spark in the Gaza Strip may light up the entire region. The largest powers in the world, including the U.S. and Britain, played with fire in the Middle East and got burned. Hopefully Olmert's Gewalt will encourage them to put out the flames.
Last update - 13:57 19/11/2006
Report: Syria to demand Golan as price for aiding U.S. on Iraq
By The Associated Press
Neocons Blame Bush for Iraq Fiasco:
November 20, 2006
The Geriatric Squad
by Charley Reese
The Baker commission – or more accurately, the Geriatric Squad – is not likely to come up with a solution to the Iraq War.
The commission consists of some old political types – two ex-secretaries of state, Jim Baker and Lawrence Eagleburger; two ex-senators, Chuck Robb and Alan Simpson; two ex-congressmen, Leon Panetta and Lee Hamilton; an ex-Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day O'Connor; an ex-attorney general, Ed Meese; an ex-defense secretary, William Perry; and a lone black representative, Vernon Jordan. There's not a Middle East expert in the bunch.
Baker has already said in a public speech that the solution must be between "cut and run" and "staying the course." I don't know what that might be, unless it is a phased withdrawal. At any rate, they have held off making their report, in part due to the election.
It has occurred to me that perhaps the real goal of the invasion of Iraq has already been accomplished. That is, the real goal all along might well have been to half-destroy the country and create chaos. A country in chaos is not a strong country. It's been taken out of the play. That might explain Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's statement that the Iraq invasion has contributed greatly to Israel's security.
That could be the Middle East plan: Either become an obedient lackey of the U.S., or we'll turn your country into a chaotic mess. If that's the plan, then Syria and Iran are next on the list. That scheme, cruel and immoral as it is, would at least make more sense than believing democracy was ready to bloom in the desert. I suspect, however, it is beyond the brainpower available in the administration.
Robert Fisk, the British Independent's outstanding correspondent in the Middle East, believes we will eventually just blame the Iraqis, declare them too backward to take advantage of our help and use that as an excuse to withdraw.
Whatever the excuse or cover, we will eventually withdraw. The American people have finally woken up to the fact that there is no prize to be won with a so-called victory. There's not even a way to define victory. All of those young people's deaths and wounds are buying Americans nothing of value. They are dying for people who hate them.
I think a good case can be made that most of the leaders who take their countries to war are stupid. It became clear in World War I that with the advent of high explosives and the machine gun, nobody really wins a modern war. The cost in blood and treasure to the victor is usually not worth it. It takes a pretty dumb person not to figure out a better way to resolve some petty conflict other than by going to war.
Wars are usually fought over land and resources, so greed is at the bottom of most wars. It's easy, looking backward, to think that the way things happened was inevitable and the only way they could have happened. That's not true, however. There are nearly always alternatives to war.
An old Marine general once suggested that as soon as war breaks out, all of the munitions and weapons makers should be drafted and paid a private's salary until the war is over. I wish there were a way to make the political leaders who start wars stand in the front lines and catch the first bullets.
Alas, we live in the era of chickenhawk jingoists and behind-the-lines leaders. Nearly every one of those men who pushed so ardently for war in Iraq has never heard the whiz of a bullet past his ear.
Bush war for Israel in Iraq and support of Israel against the Palestinians causes anger against him in Indonesia
Bush arrives to anger in Indonesia
By JENNIFER LOVEN, Associated Press Writer 8 minutes ago
President Bush's unpopularity here in the world's most populous Muslim nation made intense security jitters and angry protests the hallmarks of Monday's six-hour trip to court Indonesian favor.
It was the second Indonesian stop of his presidency. Neither time has he spent the night, nor even more than a few hours, the result of safety concerns in a place where emotions about the Iraq war and his policies in the Middle East run hot.
Through sheets of rain, Bush flew by helicopter from the capital of Jakarta to this lush hilltop suburb for talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. The president and first lady Laura Bush strolled smiling up the red-carpeted steps of Bogor Palace, a graceful presidential retreat on vast grounds, signing a guest book and proceeding inside for the day's events.
From the Bush-Yudhoyono meeting and joint appearance before reporters through a discussion with moderate civic leaders and a state dinner, Bush was not interacting with the general populace or doing anything outside the palace confines.
Braced for the local reaction to the visit, thousands of police and rifle-toting soldiers patrolled Bogor's streets.
Demonstrations by Islamic hard-liners, students, housewives and taxi drivers alike have been staged every day this month, including a march by nearly 13,000 through Jakarta on Sunday where Bush was denounced as a "war criminal" and "terrorist." Thousands more marched Monday, carrying posters showing victims of violence in Iraq.
Anti-Bush protesters tried to seal off American-owned restaurants in two Indonesian cities, witnesses said, and demonstrations were held in at least 10 cities.
Bogor Police Chief Col. Sukrawardi Dahlan said authorities were investigating an unconfirmed report that a man wearing a suicide vest would infiltrate the protests. Authorities had also said that the threat of an al-Qaida-style attack had escalated as the visit drew near. The White House said it was confident in the security precautions being taken.
For Bush, the risks of the trip were worth it to bolster Yudhoyono's anti-terror cooperation, celebrate the country's democratic advances, and try to dent anti-American sentiment.
Indonesia has about 190 million mostly moderate Muslims, the most of any country. With significant Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities, it has a long tradition of secularism.
But Indonesia has increasingly grappled with extremists, suffering terrorist attacks in October 2002 and October 2005 in Bali, and in Jakarta in August 2003 and September 2004.
Yudhoyono has shared intelligence about the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah and overseen the arrest of hundreds of Islamic militants.
Indonesia, a country of 300 ethnic groups arrayed over thousands of islands, also is taking steps toward greater freedoms. In 1999, a democratic government replaced a pro-U.S. military dictatorship that had seized power in the 1960s.
Bush's visit comes near the end of an eight-day journey that included stops in Singapore and Vietnam.
When Bush last visited in 2003, talks with then-President Megawati Sukarnoputri were focused primarily on terrorism. The Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States had changed the equation, and criticism over the Indonesian military's human rights record and the East Timor crisis in 1999 gave way to close ties.
Now, the president is ready to expand the discussion to ways the United States can help improve education and health and bring capital investment to this vast Southeast Asian archipelago that remains deeply poor.
With many Muslims around the world regarding his foreign policies as an affront to their faith, Bush also was eager to be seen soliciting Yudhoyono's advice about the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, the North Korean and Iranian nuclear standoffs and other world affairs.
Bush was expected to highlight America's quick dispatch of aid after the December 2004 tsunami that left 131,000 dead, 37,000 missing and 570,000 homeless in Indonesia alone — and after a devastating earthquake in Pakistan in October 2005. He often speaks of both efforts as proof that the United States can be a compassionate friend to Muslim nations.
Yudhoyono, meanwhile, conducts an elaborate balancing act by welcoming Bush in such grand style.
He needs U.S. help combatting a bird flu outbreak that has killed 56 people — a third of the world's total — and in improving economic growth.
But Indonesia's first directly elected leader must avoid further angering Muslim parties and his political rivals who already accuse him of being subservient to the West.
He indicated before Bush's arrival that he would demand a timeline for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
And even though the Bush administration now conducts military exercises with Indonesia and has lifted a ban on selling military hardware here, Yudhoyno's government has said it would continue to buy weapons from Russia, not the United States.
Associated Press writer Zakki Hakim contributed to this story.
Angry Protests In Indonesia During Bush's Visit....
Last edited by Alpha on Fri Nov 24, 2006 1:29 pm; edited 3 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:03 am Post subject: Chris Matthews mentions 'A Clean Break' co-author Wurmser
|Chris Matthews was too cowardly to address the Mearsheimer/Walt paper ( http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/mear01_.html ) on the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby (AIPAC and similar) when he was given a copy of the Mearsheimer/Walt paper at USC in Los Angeles earlier this year, but he must have at least read such for its mention of the 'A Clean Break'/war for Israel agenda co-authored by Jewish JINSA/PNAC (war for Israel) Neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser because Matthews went after Wurmser (who is in Dick Cheney's office) hard and mentioned the 'A Clean Break' agenda and PNAC in the process during his broadcast yesterday:
NeoConservatives are still in control after the elections
Chris Matthews (host of MSNBC's 'Hardball' program) was given a print-out of the Mearsheimer/Walt study on the power/influence of the pro-Israel lobby when he was at USC in Los Angeles recently (see the last few sentences of the following article) and is yet to address such on 'Hardball' - shows the power/influence of the lobby is alive and well still:
Chris Matthews worked for President Carter as even Carter has had the courage to address the Mearsheimer/Walt paper as the following URL conveyes:
AIPAC and NeoCon Policy
on bombing Iran for Israel :
AIPAC Trying to Get US to Attack Iran for Israel :
Iran: The Next War (for Israel):
Pat Buchanan: Who is Planning Our Next War?:
War with Iran is imminent (for Israel, of course!):
Pro-Israel (AIPAC) lobby pushing hard for US to attack Iran:
Seymour Hersh discusses the coming war with Iran (which will be for Israel as well) on Amy Goodman's 'Democracy Now' broadcast this morning:
The Next Act: Will the Republicans' Mid-Term Loss Hurt Chances of a War on Iran?:
Additional at following URL:
Last edited by Alpha on Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:30 am; edited 7 times in total
Joined: 06 Jan 2003
|Posted: Thu Nov 23, 2006 12:51 am Post subject: Another Neocon Demands the Decimation of Iran
|Another Neocon Demands the Decimation of Iran
Tuesday November 21st 2006
Another Myth Shattered
Neocon Krauthammer Blames Iraqi Victims
||All times are GMT + 1 Hour
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