MER FlashBack - 2 Years Ago
Invasion/Occupation Remembered and Dissected
"IRAQ WAR IS THE CLIMAX OF THE
writes top British Middle East expert
"It truly is a sorry state of affairs in the US today, especially in Washington, especially in 'establishment' Jewish circles... In other words don't expect
to see this very important article by Patrick Seale on the Op Ed page of The Washington Post
... Indeed, don't expect the very subject of the extraordinary power and shady workings of the Israeli/Jewish lobby on network American TV screens or popular newspaper pages
an informal agreement not to do so, a lot of fear for what happens if one
does, and, truth be told, many persons connected with 'the lobby' are in
fact owners and senior editors of the publications and TV networks who
are guilty of such culpable journalistic and historical negligence." - Mark Bruzonsky
"The United States has embarked on an imperial adventure in the Middle
East. This is the true meaning of the war against Iraq... Washington is
intoxicated by the vision of imposing a Pax Americana on the Arab
world... The fatal flaw is that this is not a purely American project.
Rather it must be seen as the culmination of America's
strategic partnership with Israel..."
- Patrick Seale
MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 2 April 2005: It was two years ago that the official shock-and-awe U.S. invasion/occupation of Iraq was at its peak. But the planning and preparations for the war -- political, propaganda, and CIA preparations in addition to military -- had been ongoing for some time. And the U.S.-Israeli alliance that was considerably responsible for what happened -- now more fully morphed into a modern-day Christian/Judeo crusade masked with the ad nauseum rhetorical sloganeering about 'freedom' and 'democracy' -- is racing full-speed ahead to deal with Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the Palestinians, and all others foreign and domestic who stand in the way of the Pax Americana Israelica New World Order.
IT'S REALLY A JOINT ISRAELI-AMERICAN WAR ON THE ARABS AND ON MUSLIMS...AND ONE BROUGHT ON BY THE ISRAELI/JEWISH LOBBY AND MINIONS IN WASHINGTON
A few days ago I bumped into Stephen Rosenfeld, long-time past Editor of the Editorial Pages of the Washington Post and card-carrying American Jewish "liberal" long-associated with the the Labor Party/Peace Now wing of the powerful Israeli/Jewish lobby -- one of the main reasons for today's historic war and Israeli neo-Apartheid in the Middle East.
We had a little conversation over coffee about what has happened to our country, about what has happened to Israel, and about what has happened to American journalism. The subject of complicity in war crimes came up; as did the biases and inadequacies of today's major American media, Washington Post certainly high-up on the list. I reminded Rosenfeld that 25 years ago when I first began writing from Washington he had written an editorial specifically applauding me personally by name for my insights into things Middle Eastern. By this time of course he was squirming a little...and we both were aware we had little more to say to each other.
It truly is a sorry state of affairs in the US today, especially in Washington, especially in 'establishment' Jewish circles, regardless of whether hard-line right (Likud) or hypocritical left (Labor/Meretz). So...in other words...don't expect to see this very important article by Patrick Seale on the Op Ed page of The Washington Post; those who have replaced Rosenfeld are just as bad...actually considerably worse.
Indeed, don't expect the very subject of the extraordinary power and shady workings of the Israeli/Jewish lobby on network American TV screens or popular newspaper pages -- there's an informal agreement not to do so, a lot of fear for what happens if one does, and, truth be told, many persons connected with 'the lobby' are in fact owners and senior editors of the publications and TV networks who are guilty of such culpable journalistic and historical negligence.
In the lead-up to this war, one which the hard-line Zionists and Christian fundamentalists clearly used 9/11 as the excuse to bring about, rather than the cause, the new American President changed the foreign-frequent-visitor policy of the White House on its head. For the last President that award went to none other to Yasser Arafat. For this new President the award goes to Ariel Sharon, who was in fact given the green light by Bush personally to put old Arafat under house arrest.
Then earlier this week non other than Colin Powell went over to the AIPAC convention (that's the lead public organization of the Israeli/Jewish lobby) and gave a rousing speech before the 3000 assembled that may well go down in history as his opening shot to be America's first Black (or almost Black) President -- or at least VP should Cheney tire or be medically unfit for the job in 2004.
Oh yes, almost forgot, the retired top General the Pentagon is pushing to take over running Iraq -- General Commander President should be his title -- is one long associated with the Israelis, one who has been wined and dined by the Israelis on their dime, and a long time JINSA devotee (that's Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, a lobbying group to which a list of today's powerbrokers have been associated for years among them Abrams, Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith...and the list goes on).
And...more about this sordid situation in today's Washington as well others whose public profile is not as harsh but who are also part of the extended team -- including Wolf Blitzer and Ted Koppel -- in the weeks ahead.
WAR IS THE CLIMAX OF THE
By Patrick Seale*, 21 March 2003
The United States has embarked on an imperial adventure in the Middle East. This is the true meaning of the war against Iraq. The war is not about the disarmament of Iraq. That was always a hollow and cynical pretext. No one with any real knowledge of the situation believed that Iraq, on its knees from two disastrous wars and from twelve years of punitive sanctions, presented any sort of 'imminent threat' to anyone. In any event, from the start of last November when UN inspectors returned to Iraq under Security Council Resolution 1441, the Washington hawks wanted the inspectors to fail and then pressed impatiently for war, just when inspections showed real signs of progress.
Nor is the war only, or even primarily, about toppling Saddam Hussein. Indeed the White House announced that US forces would enter Iraq whether or not the Iraqi leader resigned and left the country. The war has bigger aims: it is about the implementation of a vast - and probably demented - strategic plan.
Washington is intoxicated by the vision of imposing a Pax Americana on the Arab world on the model of the imperial 'order' which Britain imposed on the entire region in an earlier age -- with its Gulf and South Arabian strong points protecting the route to India, its occupation of Egypt in 1882, and then the extension of its rule after the First World War to some of the Arab provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire. The result was the creation under British tutelage of Iraq, Palestine and Transjordan.
America's imperial ambitions
With bases across the region from Oman to Central Asia, America is now seeking to recreate the British Empire at its apogee. The occupation of Iraq, a major Arab country at the strategic heart of the region, will allow the United States to control the resources of the Middle East and reshape its geopolitics to its advantage - or so the Anglo-American strategists hope. But if things go badly, history may well judge the war to be a criminal enterprise - unjustified, unprovoked, illegitimate, catastrophic for the Iraqi victims of the conflict and destructive of the rules of international relations as they have evolved over the past half century.
The fatal flaw is that this is not a purely American project. Rather it must be seen as the culmination of America's strategic partnership with Israel which began 36 years ago when, in 1967, President Charles de Gaulle told Israel that it would lose French support if it attacked its Arab neighbours. Israel promptly switched its attentions from Europe to the US, which it gradually made its main external ally and subsidizer. The relationship has since grown more intimate with every passing year, to the extent that the tail now wags the dog.
Much of the ideological justification and political pressure for war against Iraq has come from right-wing American Zionists, many of them Jews, closely allied to Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and occupying influential positions both inside and outside the Bush administration. It is neither exaggeration, nor anti-Semitism, as they would have it, to say that this is a Bush-Sharon war against Iraq.
As is now widely understood, the genesis of the idea of occupying Iraq can be dated back to the mid-1990s. Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board and often described as the intellectual driving force behind President Bush's world-view, has for years been pressing US and Israeli leaders to go to war against Iraq. On 8 July 1996, shortly after Benyamin Netanyahu's election victory over Shimon Peres, Perle handed Netanyahu a strategy paper entitled 'A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm'. It called for the removal of Saddam Hussein as a key Israeli objective and as a means of weakening Syria.
The call for an attack on Iraq was then taken up in 1997 by a right-wing American group called The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), whose members included Richard Perle; Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Eliot Abrams, Middle East director of Bush's National Security Council; Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq; and two influential conservative editors, William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Norman Podhoretz of Commentary. With friends such as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfled and Vice-President Dick Cheney, and backed by half a dozen right-wing think-tanks, this group formed a formidable pressure group. The terrorist attacks on the United States of 11 September 2001 gave these advocates of American empire and of the US-Israeli alliance their chance. They were able to make the inexperienced President George W Bush, who came to power after a questionable election, the vehicle for their agenda.
The result is the war we are now witnessing. The ultimate objective is to change the map of the Middle East by destroying or intimidating all the enemies of the US and Israel. If America's imperium turns out to be benevolent, which is most improbable, the Arabs may accept it for a while. But they will always resist Israel's domination of their region. That is the flaw in the project.
Britain's Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair is a strange bedfellow of these right-wing ideologues. He has spoken passionately not only of the need to 'disarm Iraq' but also of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict. He has castigated France for opposing the war and of thereby allegedly missing the chance of promoting Arab-Israeli peace. This is contorted and unconvincing logic.
Blair knows that Sharon, who has rubbished the Quartet's 'road-map' and has devoted his life to the achievement of a 'Greater Israel', has no intention of allowing the emergence of a viable Palestinian state. On the contrary, he is using the crisis to continue his wholesale destruction of Palestinian society. Blair has not commented on the 80 Palestinians Israel has killed, and the hundreds it has wounded, in the first 18 days of this month, nor has he spoken of the 48,000 Palestinian houses damaged or destroyed in the past 30 months. Blair has squandered a great deal of his integrity in order to protect Britain's so-called 'special relationship' with Washington. But if, after the war, attention turns to the Arab-Israeli conflict, he will find that Sharon has more influence in the American capital than he has - in spite of the 45,000 British troops he has committed to battle. As evidence of this influence, neither the White House nor the State Department has chosen to protest at the death of a young American peace activist, Rachel Corrie, crushed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza this week as she tried to stop the demolition of a Palestinian home.
Will America's war meet resistance?
The United States is counting on a swift, successful, relatively 'clean' war in Iraq, in which American troops will be seen as liberators not occupiers. It intends to buy goodwill by embarking immediately on a programme of reconstruction of roads, power plants, hospitals, schools and so forth. But who will pay for this reconstruction? Will it be money drawn from Iraq's oil revenues? In particular, will American companies, who intend to secure the lion's share of the contracts, be paid out of the UN escrow account established under the oil-for-food programme? This will require a new Security Council Resolution. If France, Russia and China are cut out of the reconstruction contracts and the oil concessions, they will undoubtedly fight any such American monopoly. Some Western diplomats see this as the next diplomatic battle. In this war, the great unanswered question is whether American and British troops will meet any serious resistance, not just from the elite units of the Iraqi army but also from the civilian population. After the first flush of victory, will the occupying armies be harassed by hit- and-run guerrillas, as happened to Israel after its invasion of Lebanon in 1982? Will an Iraqi 'Hizballah' emerge on the model of the resistance movement which eventually drove Israel out of south Lebanon? A successful resistance movement needs outside support, a flow of arms and money, safe havens when the going gets tough. In Lebanon, Hizballah had such support from Syria and Iran. In 1983, it was Syria and its local allies that managed to defeat American attempts, brokered by George Shultz, then US Secretary of State, to draw Lebanon into Israel's sphere of influence. Who in the region today could extend help to an Iraqi resistance movement? Syria has become too vulnerable to play any such role, Iran too fearful of being the next target, Turkey too preoccupied in keeping a lid on Kurdish aspirations to statehood in northern Iraq. The most likely resistance might come from elsewhere. A non-state actor like Osama bin Laden's Al-Qa'ida, drawing inspiration and recruits from the violent anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments now sweeping the Muslim world, might take up the challenge. Occupation breeds insurrection. This is an axiom of history.
* Patrick Seale is one of the most experienced and distinguished western correspondents who has been writing about the Middle East for many decades in the British and international press.
If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org
Phone: (202) 362-5266 Fax: (815) 366-0800 Email: MER@MiddleEast.Org
Copyright © 2005 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved