Very good, in-depth post detailing the who’s who of the architects of the Iraq War, their history in US policy vis-a-vis Iraq and their personal/academic/media roles and connections which were put to use during the Bush Jr administration to get everyone on board for an invasion of Iraq.
Testament to how subverted and compromised the ‘anti-war’ Left is in the US is the ‘no wars for oil!’ slogan that was born after the US invaded Iraq in 2003. Easy to assume, after all, is the apparent fact that the only reason the US would invade a Middle Eastern state would be to get its oil. That’s apparently all the Middle Eastern states have and the string of other factors that went into shaping the conditions for a US invasion of Iraq goes completely ignored. History can’t be ignored, whether it’s from yesterday or a decade ago. That this is all information available in the public domain just makes it even worse.
Just a short dismissal of the ‘war for oil’ explanation, although it’ll become apparent enough gradually in the course of the post; China was the main benefactor of the boom in Iraqi oil-production following the US invasionwith former Bush administration Defense Department (DoD) official Michael Makovsky saying that US ships and other security measures had ended up merely protecting China’s access to the Iraqi oil. The US didn’t invade Iraq to ban others from getting its oil and Iraqi oil continued to be sold on the world market just as countries like Iraq and Iran would gladly have done if not for sanctions. Iraq, during its years under the horrid and criminal sanctions imposed on it during the 90s up till 2002, had already been doling out its oil on the international market in exchange for pitiful amounts of food aid as part of the UN’s Oil for Food Programme. 576 000 children would starve to death during the course of this programme, and Iraq would continue to be preyed upon for its oil. Pretty good deal right there, and no need for an expensive invasion and ensuing quagmire whereby an anti-Iranian Arab dictator with a history of literally working with the US (Iran-Iraq War) is removed and pro-Iranian anti-Saddam elements empowered. So who wanted Saddam gone?
The answer lies in Israel, and the workings and profiles of the Bush administration DoD post-2001 with regard to Iraq highlight very well that a certain section of the US govermment and media spectrum was working relentlessly to secure what had been a decades-old Israeli Likud policy of destabilizing Iraq and removing a major military adversary of Iraql.
From page 15 onwards in this rather large FBI document obtained by irmep.org’s Grant F Smith (it’s not secret information that required an FOIA lawsuit but it’s a massive document and I like using it) is the full, in-depth description of how the neoconservatives – a mostly Jewish clique of former Communist turned right-wing Republican war hawks and ardent Zionists – rose to prominent positions in the DoD in larger numbers than ever before and produced the false intel on Iraqi chemical weapons, ties to Al Qaeda and so on to give us the eventual 2003 Iraq War. Characteristic of their methods involved setting up new intel-gathering offices to cherry-pick rumours from personally picked out sources (like the famous Iraqi exile and neocon affiliate Ahmed Chalabi who’d later turn into an Iranian spy) and ensure they found the ear of the president himself via their neocon comrades in the White House as well as in the State Department. The ‘mobile chemical weapons labs under Saddam’s palace’, the ‘yellowcake uranium purchased by Iraq from Niger’ (falsified document complete with the forged signature of a retired Nigerian foreign ministry official) and similar myths came not from the traditional intelligence community in the DoD comprising the CIA and other agencies, but from the Office of Special Plans and similar other fraudulent intelligence-gathering offices prime neocons in the DoD set up. In fact, the purging of non-neocon, regular career officials from the DoD and ignoring of the CIA was a prime tactic used by the neocons, of which the most notorious were probably Paul Wolfowitz (deputy Secretary of Defense) and Douglas Feith (Undersecretary of Defense for policy) who set up the new offices in pre-existing sections of the DoD and began bringing in fellow neocon affiliates and Israel-enthusiasts like David Wurmser and William J Luti to run their fraudulent intel-gathering units.
Saddam Hussein and Iraq, while it’s become clear by now remaining a potential partner for the US and highly leverage-able state given the immense damage it took during the 80s and 90s to its infrastructure, economy and society, were Israeli targets since the mid-1970s and had been continuously attacked by Zionist-centric media outlets, think tanks, lobbyists and activists throughout that period who’d go on and form the neocon clique.
Just to demonstrate that Zionism and close ties to Israel’s government and strategic circles were the defining aspect of this mostly-Jewish clique of neoconservatives, a little background info is in order. That their oft-repeated claims of Israeli and US security objectives being joint at the hip are cover for their status as de facto foreign agents and that they push for strategic, geopolitical policies of a purely Israeli origin shall be established as a point of secondary importance throughout this.
A LITTLE LOOK AT HISTORY AND THE NEOCON ROLE IN IT:
Paul Wolfowitz, one of the best known and most experienced neocons, has family in Israel and is well acquainted with Israeli government officials as being one of the best-known figures of the ‘Jewish right-wing’, as Haaretz puts it. This seems to be a common feature among neoconservatives and he himself offers a fine example of an industrious career as one. He’s also known as one of the main architects of the Iraq War. Of immense significance, however, is also his acting as a de-facto representative for Israeli strategic interests whilst he worked in the US government even prior to his stint under Bush Jr. Secret memos like this highlighted the Israeli perspective in the Iran Contra Affair and this as an example. Seeking ‘approval’ for Israel to act as a third-party supplier of weapons to Iran to use against Iraq (which the US was openly backing during the war) were the work of Wolfowitz and other neocons despite the outrage the American public would’ve had were it been made public at the time that the country that’d taken hostage Americans at the Tehran US Embassy for more than a year was being given arms in exchange for its release of those hostages. The Israeli interest in all of this was facilitated by key neocons like Wolfowitz in the DoD in the Reagan administration who cared more about what the violent, fascistic Menachim Begin of Israel wanted to achieve by inserting Israel into the Iran-Iraq-US mess. That this would break out into a huge scandal toward the mid 1980s showed it was a specific, Zionist, neocon faction of the US government which followed Israeli goals even when they interfered directly with the official US policy which carefully took into account things Israel didn’t care all that much about. From ‘The US-Israel-Iran Triangle’s Tangled History’ by the late and great Robert Parry, who first broke the story of the entire Contras Affair (involving more than just Iran but the Nicaraguan part isn’t that heavily linked to Iraq so I’ll leave it out, I already need to make a turn back to Iraq-centric stuff here):
Determined to help Iran counter Iraq and hopeful about rebuilding at least covert ties to Tehran, Begin’s government cleared the first small shipments of U.S. military supplies to Iran in spring 1980, including 300 tires for Iran’s U.S.-manufactured jet fighters. Soon, Carter learned about the covert shipments and lodged an angry complaint.
Risking pissing off the White House and other government institutions to facilitate Menachem Begin of Israel. Unsurprising, considering Wolfowitz was a neocon and basically an Israeli agent following an anti-Saddam line as opposed to the anti-Iran line that the US government had on the surface.
Begin also was upset at Carter’s perceived failure to protect the Shah of Iran, who had been an Israeli strategic ally. Begin was worried, too, about the growing influence of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as it massed troops along the Iranian border
More neoconservative pro Israel hawks in the US that the Israelis continued using as their entrypoint into manipulating US policy actively included Robert McFarlane and Michael Ledeen.
According to this analysis, Labor’s desire to open its own arms channel to Iran laid the groundwork for the Iran-Contra scandal, as the government of Prime Minister Shimon Peres tapped into the emerging neoconservative network inside the Reagan administration on one hand and began making his own contacts to Iran’s leadership on the other. Reagan’s National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, who had close ties to the Israeli leadership, collaborated with Peres’s aide Amiram Nir and with neocon intellectual (and National Security Council consultant) Michael Ledeen in spring 1985 to make contact with the Iranians.
Begin (followed by Peres), being like most Israeli leaders geared toward seeking hegemony, expansion and considering even returning territory annexed through wars of aggression from other countries to be ‘bending over’, wanted basically to neutralize Iraq as Iraq under Saddam had been an Arab nationalist state. Whatever his flaws, and he had many moral flaws, Saddam was anti-Israel while being ‘pragmatic’ and fairly multipolar vis-a-vis his relations with the US and its rival the USSR. Which meant, to a neocon like Wolfowitz, that Israel had to be given first priority and thus Saddam removed. The Peres government didn’t particularly care for America’s views on Iran, either.
Wolfowitz and his fellow neocons also vehemently condemned George HW Bush’s refusal to actually take out Saddam Hussein himself when the US attacked Iraq following a huge media circus arranged by Tom Lantos when he orchestrated the now-famous Fake Nayirah Testimony which claimed Iraqi crimes against humanity in Kuwait. Tom Lantos, a Congressman who the Sibel Edmonds testimony revealed to be a spy for Israel alongwith Wolfowitz in the late 90s/early 2000s, was an enthusiastic Zionist and had obvious interest in railroading the US into War in Iraq. The neocons let their frustrations at Bush not having taken Baghdad and removed Saddam be known in a famous 1998 document called Project for the New American Century.
As information about PNAC made its way slowly into the mainstream media, ABC Nightline’s Ted Koppel could no longer avoid it. On March 5th, he told his audience, that “Back in 1997, a group of Washington heavyweights, almost all of them neo-conservatives, formed an organization called the Project for the New American Century. In an article titled ‘A War for Israel’ written by former photographer-journalist Jeff Blankfort(famous as the only man to sue the ADL and win, in a case where they spied on him decades ago):
Then in September of 2002, during the buildup to the invasion, the Glasgow Sunday Herald reported that it had discovered “A secret blueprint for U.S. global domination [which] reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure regime change even before he took power in January 2001.”75 What it was describing was the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), and it even had a web site which spelled out its plans until they were subsequently removed. That it was discovered by a Scottish newspaper was another telling commentary on the state of American journalism.
Founded in June of 1997, following the Clean Break by a year, part of PNAC’s plan was for the U.S. to take control of the Gulf region with overwhelming and deadly military force. “While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification,” the PNAC document explains, ”the need for a substantial American force-presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.” (My emphasis) 76
As information about PNAC made its way slowly into the mainstream media, ABC Nightline’s Ted Koppel could no longer avoid it. On March 5th, he told his audience, that “Back in 1997, a group of Washington heavyweights, almost all of them neo-conservatives, formed an organization called the Project for the New American Century. They did what former government officials and politicians frequently do when they’re out of power, they began formulating a strategy, in this case, a foreign policy strategy, that might bring influence to bear on the administration then in power, headed by President Clinton. Or failing that, on a new administration that might someday come to power. They were pushing for the elimination of Saddam Hussein. And proposing the establishment of a strong U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf, linked to a willingness to use force to protect vital American interests in the Gulf. All of that might be of purely academic interest were it not for the fact that among the men behind that campaign were such names as, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. What was, back in 1997, merely a theory, is now, in 2003, U.S. policy. Hardly a conspiracy, the proposal was out there for anyone to see. But certainly an interesting case study of how columnists, commentators, and think-tank intellectuals can, with time and the election of a sympathetic president, change the course of American foreign policy.“(My emphasis) There was something different about this operation, however. Politicians out of power may plot how to return to power, but this group was more than that. It had been organized and was largely being run by the Jewish neo-cons whose activities we have been following, plus neo-con journalists and neo-con think-tank members with a long history of connections to the Israeli right wing and whose faces and opinions dominate the TV screens when issues of U.S foreign policy are under discussion. And as indicated above, it had the support of the leading American-Jewish lobbying organizations.
Heading up PNAC was William Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, the leading journal of the neo-cons, and Robert Kagan, a columnist for the magazine as well as for the Washington Post, whose columns in the Post and whose joint columns with Kristol in the Weekly Standard have maintained a steady drumbeat for Washington to send more U.S. troops to Iraq and keep to its original unilateralist position.
William (Bill) and father Irving Kristol are among the most well-known neocon Jews who’d been advocating the Israeli policy of removing Saddam for decades. The Weekly Standard had a policy of corroborating every lie about Iraq that began pouring out of the neocons’ mouths during the lead-up to the invasion and spread out like wildfire by voices such as them and Judith Miller, herself closely affiliated to the neocons in government at the time.
In February of 1998, PNAC wanted to let President Clinton and the American public know its position on Iraq… Heading the list of over 40 signatures were its authors, Stephen Solarz and Perle, with the rest, beginning with Elliot Abrams, following alphabetically. Among the others were both Feith, and Wurmser, who at the time was heading the Middle East desk at the American Enterprise Institute. It included most of the board of JINSA and Wolfowitz, as well as soon-to-be Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who must have become aware of the direction in which the center of power was moving and what opportunities it would provide.
Pretty blatant now, isn’t it? Regarding the close collaboration between the media and the Bush administration neocons for propagating their idea that Iraq needed to be invaded, the closeness of media war-on-Iraq enthusiast Judith Miller to Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff at the White House, ‘Scooter’ Libby, a neocon and Wolfowitz disciple, is a good example. Judith Miller had been complicit in trying to help cover up for Libby after he and a ‘coterie of White House officials’ leaked to the press the identity of a CIA cover agent, Valerie Plame, in revenge for her sending her husband to Niger to investigate the aforementioned ‘yellowcake uranium from Niger bought by Iraq’ propaganda. Yeah, the same one that appeared during Bush’s 2002 State of the Union address that was written by David Frum, another neocon Zionist. He did just say ‘from Africa’ instead of ‘Niger’ though; too dumb to remember the name of the African country I guess.
Miller had made a career out of blaming everything on Iraq, including the Oklahoma City Bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. As for her friend Libby, had served as an attorney for near two decades for the MOSSAD-linked billionaire Marc Rich who had close ties to the Israelis and was recently pardoned by President Donald Trump after several years of the Plame affair.
So there’s an idea of how this Zionist neocon network worked in railroading the US media, the US government, the US military and the American public into a war against Iraq. I’ve left out the anthrax letters part since I’ve not a firm grasp of that particular set of operations but suffice to say, having their cronies in the media to peddle their lies for the sake of a war the traditional intelligence officials, many military persons and the various career officials they purged in the DoD had no enthusiasm for, certainly was a blessing.
Putting into the proper Israeli perspective the demands PNAC made requires a look into the Israelis’ own way of thinking, especially the Likud, vis-a-vis regional strategy. In 1982, famous Israeli whistleblower-turned-activist-and-author Israel Shahak leaked to the world press a translated form of a document titled ‘A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties’ by Likud strategist and advisor to Ariel Sharon, Oded Yinon. Originally existing only in Hebrew, it appraised in detail the various faultlines present within the much-divided Arab world and how Israel was in a strong position to exploit those faultlines and secure hegemony via the break-up or balkanization of surrounding states into smaller, weaker ones. Keeping things to Iraq, it advocated its splitting up into Kurdistan, Sunni-dominated areas and Shia-dominated areas and suggested bringing down Iraq would remove a major obstacle to then curbing further potential threats. The connection to the neoconservative movement, which as we’ve discussed at this stage was busy in fulfilling strategic demands from the Israelis vis-a-vis Iraq and Iran (Israel briefly wished to try and see if it could influence the Iranians and not just ship weapons to them as part of the latter’s deal with the neocon-Republican-CIA axis to release hostages in favour for the arms), was also noted by Shahak.
PNAC’s already been described, and while the original document seems to have recently gone off the internet, much has been written about it such as the Blankfort article I listed above. It contained the broad geostrategic outlines of what the Oded Yinon paper had suggested, except with a lot more lip-service to US security and in more vague terms considering there wasn’t a Communist boogeyman around in 1998 to harp on about.
However, in 1996, a group of the neocons which included Richard Perle (served in the DoD during Reagan and Bush Jr administrations, was part of the Tom Lantos and Wolfowitz spying affair where they used AIPAC as a conduit to sell information from Congressional hearings to Israel and major neocon) and Douglas Feith as well as David Wurmser and his wife Meyrav wrote a 6-page policy document for Benjamin Netanyahu who’d been newly elected as Israel’s Likud PM. It regurgitated the same regional strategy vis-a-vis Iraq although paying more attention to Iran as a rising threat given the success of its religious partner Hezbollah (today a major force in anti ISIS operations and victor in the 2006 War against Israel) in attacking Israeli troops occupying Lebanon since 1982. The basic Likud approach since then has been to trash the idea of ‘negotiations’, angrily tear-up the memories of the Oslo ‘Peace Process’ (it was a bare-faced surrender and treachery by the PLO under Yasser Arafat and his crony Abu Mazen, i.e Mahmoud Abbas, whereby they sold off Palestinian land snatched via war by Israel in exchange for no concessions from Israel itself, even preventing Palestinian lawyers from viewing the terms of the deal being inked). Just like Begin considering returning the Sinai to Egypt as too ‘soft’, Netanyahu and the Likud have similarly been advocates of an aggressive Israel on all fronts; settlements, no Two State Solution (well this is obvious by now considering the proposed geography for a 2SS is impossible thanks to settlements) and aggression toward neighbouring states. Iraq was yet again slated for regime-change and policy guidelines for enhancing Israel’s influence over US Congress (a remarkable success, given that the Congress is basically AIPAC’s puppet now) and the US media (via think tanks etc such as FDD/AEI/JINSA/WINEP, all staffed with neocons or individuals close to Israel with a history of promoting myths about the countries its hyper-aggressive strategic paradigm as deemed targets since the 1980s). So basically, in geostrategic terms, just re-hashed Oded Yinon stuff.
Israel’s own actions also by and large compliment the policy advocacy contained in these documents over the decades. Destabilize and break up rival states so as to achieve greater Israeli dominance in the region. Hasn’t really worked if one thinks about the actual objectives, but it has caused immense damage throughout the region and a lot of suffering. The US makes enemies and spends immense amounts of US taxpayer dollars in fighting wars it wouldn’t be in had it not been for Israel via the neocons and the Lobby.
Oil and pipeline politics are, quite obviously, real (think Mossadeq coup in 1953 and gas politics between Europe, the US and Russia) but they featured nowhere in the build-up to the Iraq War. It was all taken forward by the neocons, mostly Jews who had an affinity for Israel.
Palestine is quite obviously a micro-concern. It’s a bunch of powerless people the Israelis murder now and then. Discourse on Israel has to be aimed at the workings of its fifth column in the USA and the Jewish Lobby there which pushes Israeli interests that are harmful to everyone but Israel. The USA went to war with Iraq because of Israel’s strategic depth inside of its administration and media, not the latest kid shot in the head in Gaza.
/u/stuckinavim I honestly hope I organized this information as well as I could. I had to leave out Syria/Lebanon/Iran stuff as much as I could and focus on Iraq and there’s still probably tidbits left out in the post itself yet which will probably be contained in the various articles, documents etc I linked.
So tl;dr Israel’s strategic approach to things is to break up its neighbouring states and make them weak and pliable, installing pro-Israel governments there much of the times. It may well be changed in the coming days given that, for a number of reasons, this plan has been met with failure due to the efforts of various foreign actors, but it’s worth following this stuff in detail.