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Thursday, August 24, 2006

A religious motive for the Iraq war deception?

(By Chris Moore, -- Shockwaves from what more and more critics are saying was a Bush administration program to entangle the United States ever deeper into Middle East politics by deceiving the country into the Iraq war continue to reverberate through American society.

Testimony in the recent court-martial hearing of Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, who has been charged with refusing to join his brigade's deployment to Iraq, speaking contemptuously of the president and committing acts unbecoming an officer, has shone yet another spotlight on the possibly illegal means by which the administration secured the introduction of thousands of American troops into the Mideast under the pretext of eliminating Iraqi weapons of mass destruction from the hands of terrorists.

‘Most of the hearing was consumed by defense testimony, with three witnesses attacking the Bush administration's approach to the war and asserting that an officer could justifiably refuse to participate,’ said a Seattle Times account of the court-martial hearing.

“There was no authorization from the U.N. Security Council ... and that made it a crime against the peace,” said Francis Boyle, a University of Illinois professor of international law, who said the Army's own field manual required such authorization for an offensive war.

Boyle, an outspoken critic of the administration policy in Iraq, went into considerable detail about the rules for war as detailed in the Army Field Manual. He accused the administration of using fraudulent means to persuade Congress to authorize the war, twice-failing to get U.N. Security Council authorization for the war and then allowing war crimes to occur.’

Watada’s case may be bolstered by a new book by Thomas E. Ricks, a military reporter for the Washington Post. Titled ‘Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq,’ Ricks’ book says the Bush administration deceived the American public about the existence Iraqi weapons of mass destruction that the administration claimed could one day be used against America--weapons that an exhaustive post-invasion search failed to turn up.

‘It already is abundantly apparent in mid-2006 that the U.S. government went to war with Iraq with scant solid international support and on the basis of incorrect information - about weapons of mass destruction and a supposed nexus between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda's terrorism - and then occupied the country negligently,’ Ricks writes.

In a review of ‘Fiasco’ for the Seattle Times, Bruce Ramsey takes note of Ricks’ venture into fleshing out the psychological motives that might have animated Bush and his Iraq war policy makers: ‘Ricks profiles Defense Undersecretary Paul Wolfowitz, an early champion of belligerency, and reveals how Wolfowitz's family's losses in the Holocaust shaped the way he thinks…Ricks argues that Bush and his senior advisers wanted a fight, and deceived themselves as well as the public about Iraq's ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ ’

This isn’t the first time Wolfowitz’s name has come up in relation to the allegedly deceitful use of his government employment on behalf of the pursuit of a personal vendetta or agenda. According to a 2004 report in Asia Times by Jim Lobe, ‘Wolfowitz was investigated in 1978 for providing a classified document on the proposed sale of a US weapons system to an Arab government to an Israeli official via an [Israel lobby] AIPAC staffer.

‘In 1992, when he was serving as under secretary of defense for policy, Pentagon officials looking into the unauthorized export of classified technology to China found that Wolfowitz's office was promoting Israel's export of advanced air-to-air missiles to Beijing in violation of a written agreement with Washington on arms re-sales.’

Douglas Feith, who served under Wolfowitz in the run up to the Iraq war, also has a checkered past of covert dealings on behalf of Israel. He was removed from his position as a Middle East analyst in the National Security Council in 1982 when he came under suspicion by the FBI for passing classified material to Israeli embassy officials, reports say.

In 2004 respected scholar James Petras took critical note of the large number of committed Jewish nationalists working in the Pentagon under Wolfowitz and elsewhere within the Bush administration and found that they were the driving force behind the Iraq war:

‘Wolfowitz, Feith, [Elliot] Abrams, [Richard] Perle, [Michael] Rubin et al were the most zealous promoters of the war against Iraq. They worked closely with other Zionist ideologues like Bush speechwriter David Frum to promote the notion of ‘axes of evil,’ to engage in a sequence of wars against Muslim regimes hostile to Israeli colonial policy in Palestine and beyond. Wolfowitz, Feith set up the parallel ‘intelligence’ agency (the Office of Special Planning) run by fellow Zionist Abram Shulsky using [Ahmed] Chalabi to provide phony data on Iraq to precipitate that war. An army of ‘Israel First’ academic and journalist ideologues wrote, spoke and acted to justify the US attack on Iraq as the first part of a regional war to destroy any and all regimes critical of Israeli expansionism.’

Certainly President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld were well-aware of the record of shady dealings on behalf of Israel by Wolfowitz, Feith and other Jewish nationalists eventually hired by the administration. Federal agencies perform exhaustive security clearance checks on all recruits to national security-sensitive areas of the government prior to their employment, which means that the administration knew exactly what it was getting when it brought them into service--and likely waived any national security concerns raised.

In fact, given Bush’s apparent Christian Zionists religious beliefs (a recent Nation magazine report says that the White House holds secret Middle East policy meetings with dispensationalist Christians who believe that “supporting Israel's expansionist policies is ‘a biblical imperative’”), Wolfowitz and Feith’s staunch Jewish nationalist credentials and their reported history of attempting to advance that country’s interests through the co-opting of U.S. government resources on behalf of the Israeli agenda may well have been the exact characteristics the administration was looking for in those to whom it planned to entrust the formulation of America’s foreign policy.

In his testimony before the court-martial hearing, Lt. Watada’s expert witness Francis Boyle didn’t go into details about the motives of the Bush administration’s deceitful Iraq war initiative, only that the administration used fraudulent means to persuade Congress to authorize the war. To be fully effective, future critics may need to establish the administration’s motives as well. The Christian Zionist/Jewish nationalist religious/ethnic loyalties to Israel held by top administration officials may well be a good place to start.

Friday, August 04, 2006

If you support Israel, you support World War III

(By Chris Moore, -- Writing for, Sydney Blumenthal documents how Bush administration neocons and their apparatchik private-sector allies are trying to use the current Israeli conflict to widen the “war on terror” into World War III:

“Inside the administration, neoconservatives on Vice President Dick Cheney's national security staff and Elliott Abrams, the neoconservative senior director for the Near East on the National Security Council, are prime movers behind sharing NSA intelligence with Israel, and they have discussed Syrian and Iranian supply activities as a potential pretext for Israeli bombing of both countries, the source privy to conversations about the program says. (Intelligence, including that gathered by the NSA, has been provided to Israel in the past for various purposes.) The neoconservatives are described as enthusiastic about the possibility of using NSA intelligence as a lever to widen the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Israel and Hamas into a four-front war.”

Blumenthal says that because Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice may have qualms about widening the war (“recently she has come under fire from prominent neoconservatives who oppose her support for diplomatic negotiations with Iran to prevent its development of nuclear weaponry”) she has come to be seen as a thorn in the side of neocon plans for escalation.

"‘Dump Condi,’ read the headline in the right-wing Insight Magazine on July 25. ‘Conservative national security allies of President Bush are in revolt against Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, saying that she is incompetent and has reversed the administration's national security and foreign policy agenda,’ the article reported.”

Blumenthal continues: “A month earlier, [neocon guru Richard] Perle, in a June 25 Op-Ed in the Washington Post, revived an old trope from the height of the Cold War, accusing those who propose diplomacy of being like Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister who tried to appease Hitler…Rice, agent of the nefarious State Department, is supposedly the enemy within.
‘We are in the early stages of World War III,’ [Newt] Gingrich told Insight. ‘Our bureaucracies are not responding fast enough. We don't have the right attitude.’”

So now it is clear: first the neocons tried to spark World War III by lying America into a war in Iraq, which because so many neocons are also Jewish nationalists, was to be fought primarily by Americans on behalf of Israel. It didn’t work. Americans don’t want World War III because they know it would have to be conducted against all of Islam, which would be a war that neither side could possibly ever win on any decisive level; much of the world would simply become the new battle ground in a never-ending, Israeli vs. Palestinian style conflict which would accomplish exactly nothing except the devastation of lives, economies and infrastructures.

Because World War III via invasion of Iraq didn’t work, the neocons are trying a second, more direct route--through support of Israel: either America continues to support Israel, and follows wherever that path leads (and the neocons know it will lead to confrontation with Syria and Iran and eventually all of Islam) or it withdraws its support for the Jewish state altogether.

Brinkmanship junkies that they are, the neocons are betting America is dumb enough to continue to support Israel. And because they are also insane, the neocons think the resulting conflict with Islam can be won.

But look at what their previous thinking has wrought their favorite country: year after year of ongoing war--and this despite overwhelming military power by Israel, which has been thrown billions in aid and armaments by dimwitted American politicians and Jewish and Judeo-Christian supporters of Jewish nationalism for decades. If America invades the entire Middle East, it will be the exact same thing on a larger scale, as we have already seen in Iraq--yet another example of the destructive results of neocon ignorance and bigotry.

“Ideas have consequences” used to be a favorite conservative slogan. And it is true, they do. In the case of the neocons, stupid ideas have disastrous consequence, as their warped schemes have proven time and again.

So where are the Democrats on all of this? Like neocon Republicans, still staunch supporters of Israel--which makes them supporters of World War III by default.

As’s Justin Raimondo writes:
“The left-liberal wing of the Democratic Party, which is making political capital out of the Iraqi quagmire, has nothing to say about Israel's Lebanese quagmire – and especially not about our part in subsidizing and egging them on. The Democrats pushed to have Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki barred from speaking to a joint session of Congress because he had dared describe the Israeli invasion of Lebanon as ‘aggression’ – a faux pas in Washington no matter what party you belong to. Congress voted to endorse the murderous Israeli assault, without mentioning any need for restraint or deploring the targeting of civilians and Lebanon's infrastructure: there were only eight dissenting votes.”

The foot-in-both-camps Democrats, just like the hand-wringing Republicans who are too smart to want to conduct World War III, have tried to have it both ways for too long. They want to support Israel, but they don’t really want to wage a global war.

Sorry, but it is simply no longer feasible to have it both ways. Either you are a supporter of Israel, Jewish nationalism and World War III--and all that waging such a war on behalf of Jewish nationalism implies--or you are opposed to Israel, Jewish nationalism and World War III.

If you are in opposition, you must support the immediate suspension of all aid to Israel, military and otherwise, until it reforms its system into a democracy that ensures equal rights under the law for all instead of special rights for Jews over gentiles, which has resulted in its current quasi-fascist incarnation, and a big headache for America. This should be followed by a suspension of aid to all other Middle Eastern countries and regimes that do not meet the same equal rights standards. If this results in the temporary ascension of Islam, so be it. The free markets will deal with Islam in their own way and in their own time. The West may even learn a little something about maintaining higher moral principles from the Muslims in the process.

The alternative is World War III. The Jewish nationalists and their supporters in America won’t have it any other way.

Chris Moore is publisher of