the midst of a
furious debate over the key role of pro-Israel ideologues
in pushing us into war, the
FBI has announced it is looking into the possibility
that "a foreign government is using a deception campaign
to foster support for military action against Iraq."
the forged "evidence" the U.S. submitted to the UN to
support their contention that Iraq sought fissionable
materials? We now learn that, according to the Washington
"Officials are trying to determine whether the documents
were forged to try to influence U.S. policy, or whether
they may have been created as part of a disinformation
campaign directed by a foreign intelligence service.
… [The forged documents] came to British and U.S. intelligence
officials from a third country. The identity of the
third country could not be learned yesterday."
Unless it's the African nation of Niger – where Iraq
was supposedly trying to buy uranium to develop nukes
– that is desperately trying to drag us into war, for
obscure reasons of its own, the identity of this mysterious
"third country" is no mystery.
way of deception, thou shalt do war" – the Mossad,
Israel's legendary intelligence agency, have more than
lived up to their motto in the past, and, in this instance,
seem to have surpassed themselves. To feed the U.S.
such a crude forgery – the fake letters were rife with
fairly obvious and easily checkable errors – and have
Colin Powell take it to the UN as "proof" of Iraqi perfidy
was a calculated insult, and soon had the desired result.
Attitudes hardened on the Security Council, and prospects
faded for a compromise that would give the Iraqis at
least some small hope that war could be avoided. As
the loose cannon known as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
rolled around on the American ship of state, alienating
even the British, the likelihood increased that the
President would lose patience and jumpstart the stalled
war drive, even if that meant going it alone.
Alone, that is, but for Israel.
The FBI, which may or may not have jurisdiction over
the investigation into the forged "evidence," is not
exactly hot on the trail of the forgers and their possible
connection to a "third country," as their spokesman
made all too clear:
"We're looking at it from a preliminary stage as to
what it's all about."
it all about, Ari? That's a key question the President
ought to ask the next time he gets on the horn to Israeli
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
What it's all about is this: as Pat
Buchanan points out in the latest issue of The
American Conservative, a cabal of pro-Israeli lobbyists
and high administration officials planned this war from
start to bloody finish. They have been gunning for Iraq
– and Iran, and Syria, and Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan
– since long before 9/11. When the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon were attacked, the neoconservative
branch of the War Party came to the President with "a
pre-cooked meal," as Pat put it on MSNBC yesterday [Wednesday].
In a debate with a spokesman for the American Jewish
Committee, publisher of the stridently pro-war Commentary
magazine, Pat quoted Commentary editor Norman
Podhoretz calling for "World War IV" – regime
change not just in Iraq, but in a whole slew of Middle
Eastern countries, including even Egypt (the second-biggest
recipient of U.S. aid, after Israel).
"In whose interest," thundered Pat, "is such a policy
being pushed? Why not 'liberate' Cuba?" The AJC spokesman,
reduced to stuttering evasion, said he didn't "necessarily"
agree with Podhoretz's polemics. But he didn't say he
disagreed with the editor of his own publication, either.
Buchanan is right. The tragic irony of this war is that
it is being fought to secure an empire: not our own,
but Ariel Sharon's. As
Arnaud de Borchgrave pointed out in the Washington
Times, the "Bush-Sharon Doctrine" was formulated
by Israel's staunch supporters within the Bush regime.
The documentary trail leads straight back to a number
of high administration officials, including Paul Wolfowitz,
Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser and Elliot
Abrams, who have relentlessly pursued Israeli rather
than American interests.
This fifth column has been backed up by a phalanx of well-connected
neoconservative think-tankers organized around Bill
Kristol and the Project
for a New American Century, which is heavily
involved in the war propaganda apparatus on the home front.
If you want to know why we are headed toward a bloody and
disastrous war in Iraq, you have merely to peruse
the pages of a 1996 study, "A Clean Break," co-authored
by Feith, Perle, and Wurmser, and prepared for then-Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in which regime-change in Iraq
is cited as the path to security for Israel. Syria, the authors
aver, is the main danger to Israel – and the path to
Damascus goes through Baghdad.
As America pursues an imperial project, Israel, formerly
an island in an Arab sea, may be able to break out of
its militarily precarious position and find enough elbow
room to secure defensible borders – and, not incidentally,
realize the longstanding Likudnik dream of a "Greater
Israel." As to whether Israeli security is worth
the price of an American effort of monumental proportions
– and uncounted Iraqi casualties – the answer
to that question depends on where you sit – in Washington,
or Tel Aviv. The problem is that U.S. policymakers make
no such differentiation.
To note this is to be accused of "anti-Semitism," and
compared to the
clueless Rep. James P. Moran (D-Virginia), who wrongly
"'If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish
community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing
this,' Moran said in comments first reported by the
Reston Connection and not disputed by Moran. 'The leaders
of the Jewish community are influential enough that
they could change the direction of where this is going,
and I think they should.'"
We are supposed to believe that this remark was made
at an "antiwar meeting," but in fact it was a follow-up
to the regular series of constituent meetings Moran
has held on the Iraq war issue. Most of the people attending
were, to be sure, antiwar, but the meetings were open
to all, and were not organized by antiwar groups. Furthermore,
at that meeting, Rep. Moran told his assembled constituents
that it is futile to oppose the war and that he didn't
want to do it because open opposition would endanger
him politically, as the Reston Connection, a
local newspaper, reported:
"War with Iraq is a 'foregone conclusion' and will likely
come at the next new moon, March 13 or March 21, U.S.
Rep. James Moran (D-8) told about 120 people assembled
at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Reston Monday night.
Democratic opposition in Congress would be futile at
this point, he said, and may cost the Democrats their
seats, a risk Moran said he was unwilling to take. That
did not sit well with his overwhelmingly anti-war audience.
'We look to you to make it not happen,' Reston resident
Adrian Farrel told Moran. "We look to you to go to the
wider community and to find ways to make it not happen.
So what are you going to do?'
Moran replied that his 13 years in Congress had given
him a certain measure of credibility but added, 'I need
to use that in a measured way so I don't lose it.'"
He then proceeded to lose it, not only with his loopy
comments quoted above, but by opposing the idea that
the Democrats should introduce an antiwar resolution.
After all, he whined, "it might embarrass them in the
Polls show Americans of the Jewish faith are split on
this war in roughly the same proportions as the rest
of the population. The idea that the leaders of the
Jewish community have that much influence over the fanatical
Likudniks currently in power in Israel is highly doubtful.
The canard that, as the Washington Post headline
on the Moran story put it, "the Jews
are Pushing War" is obviously wrong. But this doesn't
mean that some American Jews aren't pushing for
war. Take five of the most prominent leaders of the
War Party, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, David Wurmser,
Douglas Feith, Elliot Abrams – all are high administration
officials, all are Jewish and doggedly devoted to Israel's
cause, and each and every one of them has been agitating
for war with Iraq for years. Three of them co-authored
a policy proposal written for Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu calling for regime change in Iraq
as a means of getting at Syria. But it is wrong to name
these officials, according to National Review's
"They loudly invoke the hook-nosed roll call of Wolfowitz,
Perle, Abrams, and – before he joined National
Review – David Frum, but then they mumble and
whisper through the roster of the Jews' Gentile bosses:
Rumsfeld, Powell, Ashcroft, Card, Cheney, and, let's
not forget, George W. Bush, scion of the famously less-than-philo-Semitic
No one in
the peace camp has given Rumsfeld a pass, nor
has Cheney been exempt from criticism; but Rumsfeld
is a doer, not a thinker, he reads policy papers but
doesn't write them. The Vice President, for his part,
has been largely invisible: warmongering from an undisclosed
location is problematic at best. As for Powell, his
views are remarkably dovish in an administration filled
with super-hawks, and it seems unlikely that either
the Attorney General or the White House chief of staff
has much to do with the formulation of foreign policy.
How many times has Goldberg castigated
the Reverends Jackson
and Sharpton – he once
described Al Sharpton as "a man who'd be willing
to call Mother Nature a bigot if it rained in Harlem"
– for "playing the race card" when cornered? Yet
now he, as
Mickey Kaus said of Lawrence Kaplan, is "playing
the anti-semitic card" in an attempt to ward off a legitimate
critique of the administration's war plans: a critique,
made by Buchanan, and others, that this war serves Israeli
but not American interests.
Oddly, it was the War Party that raised "the Jewish
question" in relation to the Iraq debate early on by
insisting that opposition to this war is the moral and
political equivalent of painting a swastika on a synagogue
door. Andrew Sullivan has charged that the merging of
anti-war and anti-semitic currents is "inevitable,"
because Jew-hating is "the acrid glue that unites Saddam,
Arafat, Al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Iran and the Saudis. And
if you campaign against a war against that axis, you're
bound to attract people who share these prejudices."
He doesn't say what or whom you attract if you're for
leveling the entire Arab world, but one can imagine.
Perhaps the sort who stoop to planting crude forgeries
to achieve their political goals, and even cruder smears
to defame their enemies.
has grandly decided that when anyone uses the term
"neoconservative," it's really a "code word"
for "the Jews" – thus relegating to the realm of "hate
speech" an entire body of scholarly
writings on what, up until now, has been considered
a prominent trend in American political thought.
Goldberg's well-known frivolity, however, is to be taken
less seriously than Bill
Keller's recent lengthy op ed piece in the New
York Times, which worried that "one of the more
enduring conspiracy theories of the moment" is "the
notion that we are about to send a quarter of a million
American soldiers to war for the sake of Israel." Keller
cites as "Exhibit A for this plot" the now infamous
study produced by Perle, Wolfowitz, and Wurmser, "A
Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,"
"The 'Clean Break' group, interestingly, did not call
for an American conquest of Saddam. With President Bill
Clinton in office, there was little hope of that. They
proposed that Israel handle it together with Jordan
But Keller is evading the real import of "A Clean Break":
the degree to which it reveals the centrality of the
Iraq war to Israel's long-range strategic vision. The
idea of bringing Turkey and Jordan in on the deal was
only a minor detail. With the Republican ascendancy
in Washington, the implementation of operation "Clean
Break" shifted, but its primary thrust – directed against
Iraq, and then Syria and Iran – has not.
Clifford D. May, chief honcho over at something called
for the Defense of Democracies, concedes
that it is "probably unfair" to ascribe the view that
this is a war being fought for Israel's sake to anti-Semitism.
But that doesn't really matter, you see, since "the
result will be, without doubt, to fuel anti-Semitism's
fires." May ranks Buchanan and columnist Robert Novak
with Rep. Moran by pulling a Goldberg and treating "neocon"
and "Jew" as if they were synonyms:
"Pundit and perennial candidate Pat Buchanan has long
been leveling similar charges. His most recent iteration
is that 'the neo-con vision is to conscript American
blood to make the world safe for Israel.' Columnist
Robert Novak appears to agree. He recently insinuated
that suspicions about Saudi financing of terrorism had
been manufactured by Israel."
Not that Israel would manufacture phony evidence – perish
It is absurd to claim that "neoconservative" is merely
"code" for Jew: Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, Jeanne
Kirkpatrick, Patrick Moynihan, and the staffs of Washington's
numerous "conservative" thinktanks would no doubt be
surprised that they've been conscripted into Judaism.
While it is true that many of the pioneers of neoconservative
thought are Jewish, people of the Jewish faith have
played the same leading role in other areas, from medical
science to political science. Jews have been the authors
of any number of theoretical systems, including psychoanalysis
and libertarianism. That they have been the progenitors
of the neoconservative movement in American politics
is hardly surprising; what is surprising, however, is
that these same people have so openly taken up the cause
of Israel, knowing full well that it would raise the
issue of "dual loyalty" – seeming to provoke if
not welcome what they invariably refer to as "rising
anti-semitism" in Europe and America.
It is a reckless policy, one just as foolhardy and dangerous
as their rush to war, precisely because it has the character
of a self-fulfilling prophecy. To tirelessly charge
your opponents with "anti-semitism," to hide behind
one's ethnicity and act as if you're above criticism
on account of your religion, is bound to persuade at
least some people that there are worse things than being
called an anti-semite.
But then a real "conspiracy theorist" would have no
trouble explaining this conundrum, as it so readily
feeds into the Zionist idea that Jews are safe only
in Israel. I hear the Israeli government has had trouble,
recently, in persuading the Jews of the diaspora to
come "home" to Israel. But if the millions who marched
in the last mass demonstrations against the war are
really out to "get" the Jews, then perhaps the more
gullible and easily frightened among them will come
to believe that it's time to accept the invitation.
The President of the United States and his closest advisors
have spurned the advice of their own generals, disdained
the objections of our longtime allies, and ignored the
protests of ordinary people worldwide – and for what?
A tinpot dictator at the head of a broken down Third
World fourth-rate military power is deemed to be a threat
of such overriding immediacy that his expulsion from
power has been catapulted to the number one priority
of the U.S. As we move, in fits and starts, toward war,
many people want to know why. The exposure of the latest
hijinks of a certain "third country" – and its amen
corner in the U.S. – would do much to clear up the mystery.
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