22 June 2005 Free

News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know

"...the U.S. went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration 'neocons' so 'the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world.' "
Former Top CIA Official

"One victim of this slow bleeding in Iraq is the American military as an institution. Across America, the National Guard, designed to assist civil authorities in domestic crises is in tatters. ... Now the rot is beginning to spread into the regular Army. Recruiters are coming up dry... "
Former Top White
House Official

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When Will the Fingers Also Point to ISRAEL?

MER - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 22 June:
It was a week ago now that at a Capitol Hill meeting sponsored by Democrats to parody the Impeachment of George Bush for lying and deceiving the Congress about Iraq that a former high-ranking CIA Official mentioned the unmentionable -- the Israelis he said were significantly responsible.
But the powers that be in Washington continually play these things down and all-too-easily accuse anyone so brazen as to raise Israeli involvement and responsibility of 'anti-semitism' -- and that is supposed to be that.
It's all designed of course to attack and discredit the messinger and, moreover, to make everyone else who has reached the same conclusions too fearful and intimidated to speak up.
So you need read very carefully this Washington Post article which was innocently titled "
Democrats Play House To Rally Against the War" rather than the title we have put on it "Democrats Play Bush Impeachment Over Iraq War and Israel Stands Accused".
As for the crucial charge that Israel was at least partly behind it all coming from such a ranking former CIA official who use to brief non other than George Bush the Senior at the White House -- well...that is buried in the story and not presented in a very serious way as it surely deserves to be.
And indeed, just the next day none other than the Chairman of the Democratic Party, Howard Dean, rushed forth to blanketly condemn all those who dare point the finger at Israel, no matter how informed, no matter what the facts, as "Anti-Semitic"...and that is supposed to be that.

Democrats Play Bush Impeachment Over Iraq War
And Israel Stands Accused

Washington Post - June 17, 2005 - A06 - By Dana Milbank: In the Capitol basement yesterday, long-suffering House Democrats took a trip to the land of make-believe.

They pretended a small conference room was the Judiciary Committee hearing room, draping white linens over folding tables to make them look like witness tables and bringing in cardboard name tags and extra flags to make the whole thing look official.

Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) banged a large wooden gavel and got the other lawmakers to call him "Mr. Chairman." He liked that so much that he started calling himself "the chairman" and spouted other chairmanly phrases, such as "unanimous consent" and "without objection so ordered." The dress-up game looked realistic enough on C-SPAN, so two dozen more Democrats came downstairs to play along.

The session was a mock impeachment inquiry over the Iraq war. As luck would have it, all four of the witnesses agreed that President Bush lied to the nation and was guilty of high crimes -- and that a British memo on "fixed" intelligence that surfaced last month was the smoking gun equivalent to the Watergate tapes. Conyers was having so much fun that he ignored aides' entreaties to end the session.

"At the next hearing," he told his colleagues, "we could use a little subpoena power." That brought the house down.

As Conyers and his hearty band of playmates know, subpoena power and other perks of a real committee are but a fantasy unless Democrats can regain the majority in the House. But that's only one of the obstacles they're up against as they try to convince America that the "Downing Street Memo" is important.

A search of the congressional record yesterday found that of the 535 members of Congress, only one -- Conyers -- had mentioned the memo on the floor of either chamber. House Democratic leaders did not join in Conyers's session, and Senate Democrats, who have the power to hold such events in real committee rooms, have not troubled themselves.

The hearing was only nominally about the Downing Street Memo and its assertion that in the summer of 2002 Bush was already determined to go to war and was making the intelligence fit his case. Joseph C. Wilson IV, a former ambassador whose wife was outed as a CIA operative, barely mentioned the memo in his opening statement. Cindy Sheehan, who lost a son in Iraq, said the memo "only confirms what I already suspected."

No matter: The lawmakers and the witnesses saw this as a chance to rally against the war. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) proclaimed it "one of the biggest scandals in the history of this country." Conyers said the memos "establish a prima facie case of going to war under false pretenses." Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) concluded that "the time has come to get out" of Iraq.

The session took an awkward turn when witness Ray McGovern, a former intelligence analyst, declared that the United States went to war in Iraq for oil, Israel and military bases craved by administration "neocons" so "the United States and Israel could dominate that part of the world." He said that Israel should not be considered an ally and that Bush was doing the bidding of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

"Israel is not allowed to be brought up in polite conversation," McGovern said. "The last time I did this, the previous director of Central Intelligence called me anti-Semitic."

Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), who prompted the question by wondering whether the true war motive was Iraq's threat to Israel, thanked McGovern for his "candid answer."

At Democratic headquarters, where an overflow crowd watched the hearing on television, activists handed out documents repeating two accusations -- that an Israeli company had warning of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and that there was an "insider trading scam" on 9/11 -- that previously has been used to suggest Israel was behind the attacks.

The event organizer, Democrats.com, distributed stickers saying "Bush lied/100,000 people died." One man's T-shirt proclaimed, "Whether you like Bush or not, he's still an incompetent liar," while a large poster of Uncle Sam announced: "Got kids? I want yours for cannon fodder."

Conyers's firm hand on the gavel could not prevent something of a free-for-all; at one point, a former State Department worker rose from the audience to propose criminal charges against Bush officials. Early in the hearing, somebody accidentally turned off the lights; later, a witness knocked down a flag. Matters were even worse at Democratic headquarters, where the C-SPAN feed ended after just an hour, causing the activists to groan and one to shout "Conspiracy!"

The glitches and the antiwar theatrics proved something of a distraction from the message the organizers aimed to deliver: that for the Bush White House, as lawyer John C. Bonifaz put it, the British memo is "the equivalent to the revelation that there was a taping system in the Nixon White House."

Of course, Democrats controlled the real committees back then -- though Conyers was not deterred. "We have a lot of work to do as a result of this first panel," he told his colleagues. " 'Tis the beginning of our work."

Dean Condemns 'Anti-Semitic Literature'

The Associated Press

Washington Post - June 18, 2005 WASHINGTON -- A handful of people at Democratic National Headquarters distributed material critical of Israel during a public forum questioning the Bush administration's Iraq policy, drawing an angry response and charges of anti-Semitism from party chairman Howard Dean on Friday.

"We disavow the anti-Semitic literature, and the Democratic National Committee stands in absolute disagreement with and condemns the allegations," Dean said in a statement posted on the DNC Web site.

Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, organized the forum on Thursday at the Capitol to publicize and discuss the so-called Downing Street memo. That document suggests that the Bush administration believed that war with Iraq was inevitable and that the administration was determined to use intelligence about weapons of mass destruction to justify the ouster of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The Sunday Times of London has reported that the prewar document, which recounts a meeting of Prime Minister Tony Blair's national security team, was leaked from inside the British government. The White House has rejected the memo's assertions.

Conyers' event occurred in a small Capitol meeting room, and an overflow crowd watched witnesses on television in a conference room at DNC headquarters. According to Dean, some material distributed within the DNC conference room implied that Israel was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

One witness, former intelligence analyst Ray McGovern, told Conyers and other House Democrats that the war was part of an effort to allow the United States and Israel to "dominate that part of the world," a statement Dean also condemned.

"As for any inferences that the United States went to war so Israel could 'dominate' the Middle East or that Israel was in any way behind the horrific September 11th attacks on America, let me say unequivocally that such statements are nothing but vile, anti-Semitic rhetoric," Dean said.

"The inferences are destructive and counterproductive, and have taken away from the true purpose of the Judiciary Committee members' meeting," he said. "The entire Democratic Party remains committed to fighting against such bigotry."

The Vietnam syndrome

By Arnaud de Borchgrave
June 21, 2005

Admittedly stretched very thin, the U.S. military has the courage, the stamina and the weapons to see the Iraq insurgency through, however long it takes.
The body politic is another story. Already, congressional support for the war is flagging. Some Republican internationalists are letting it be known, albeit off the record, if the Iraq war vote came up today, knowing what they now know, they would be nays.
Cartoonists juxtapose Vice President Dick Cheney's conclusion the insurgency was in its "last throes" with President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" from the deck of an aircraft carrier May 1, 2003. Public impatience with the war of liberation that turned out to be a guerrilla war of attrition is growing. Diminished public support is palpable.
The pernicious Vietnam syndrome is worming its way through the halls of congress -- and the court of public opinion. Over half the country no longer supports the war. Half those polled take the Vietnam analogy seriously and want to get out now. Fifty-six percent say it wasn't worth it. More than half also say U.S. security was not enhanced by the war.
Army recruitment and re-enlistment goals are falling short by 40 percent. The capabilities for fighting two-and-a-half wars simultaneously have long since fallen to the post-Cold War cost-cutters in two Clinton administrations. The two wars at the same time strategy is also a distant memory.
The now famous Downing Street memo, written by Sir Michael Dearlove, then head of MI6, the British secret intelligence service, and now dean of Pembroke College at Cambridge University, has convinced many former war hawks the Bush administration's strategy for a quick war on the cheap was snare and delusion. The Rumsfeld Doctrine did not foresee the need for prolonged occupation, as Iraq required.
If Kim Jong-il -- the unpredictable absolute dictator of North Korea -- were to order his million-man army to cross the Demilitarized Zone and dig in a few miles to the south, on the outskirts of Seoul, the U.S. would have to resort to tactical nuclear weapons to force him back whence he came.
It is now glaringly obvious the war had nothing to do with Iraq's phantom weapons of mass destruction, and everything to do with a strategy that may have been misguided. Iraq, the war's strategic thinkers posited, was to become the Arab world's first democracy. Democratic Iraq would then become a magnet for surrounding authoritarian states. And Israel, surrounded by Arab democracies, could at last relax and look forward to at least a quarter-century of peace and tranquility.
The illusion that 24 million Iraqis would go back to work after a few joyous days of celebration a la France circa 1944, and that oil would pay Uncle Sam's war bills, was conventional wisdom at the highest echelons of government. Everything was slam-dunk, from WMD to the rallying of the Iraqi army to the coalition. Talk of a possible Sunni-inspired-insurgency was ridiculed.
Recently retired generals, speaking off the record with journalists they have known since they were junior officers in Vietnam 35 years ago, go so far as to say Iraq has broken the back of the U.S. military. Richard A. Clarke, former top counterterrorist honcho at the White House, writing in the Sunday New York Times magazine, has picked up similar asides from his military contacts.
"One victim of this slow bleeding in Iraq," says Mr. Clarke, "is the American military as an institution. Across America, the National Guard, designed to assist civil authorities in domestic crises is in tatters. ... Now the rot is beginning to spread into the regular Army. Recruiters are coming up dry, and some, under pressure to produce new troops, have reportedly been complicit in suspect applications."
By the end of President Bush's term, Mr. Clarke writes, "the war in Iraq could end up costing $600 billion, more than 6 times what some key Pentagon officials had projected." Many other costs are also beginning to become clearer.
Mr. Bush is unlikely to change course because opinion polls show the majority of Americans don't like the heading. He has staked his presidency on seeing it through to a viable Iraqi democracy taking root and then being able to defend itself without the U.S. cavalry standing by to ride to the rescue.
Cutting out in the middle of an insurgency would have incalculable consequences. Islamist extremists would see this as the defeat of the world's only superpower -- and a clear track for jihadi mayhem in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan, not to mention a civil war in Iraq.
But the American people know more about Social Security's cloudy future than about the stakes in Iraq. It is now incumbent on Mr. Bush to use the bully pulpit to spell out the tragic geopolitical consequences of failure in Iraq. Failure is not an option. But at present, failure is an all too tragic possibility.
Karl Rove can't wait for the dog days of August -- or another Michael Jackson circus to keep the president's poll numbers from getting any worse. But only Mr. Bush can do that. From Abu Ghraib to Sen. Richard Durbin's addlepated remarks about Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler and Pol Pot, the U.S. continues losing ground all over the world. Repair work is long overdue there.

Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

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