Latest | Recent Articles | Multimedia Page | TV | Search | Blog

Email this article | Print this article | Link to this Article

If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
16 Sept 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
News, Views, & Analysis Governments, Lobbies, & the
Corporate Media Don't Want You To Know

The most honest, most comprehensive, and most mobilizing news and
analysis on the Middle East always comes from MER. It is indispensable!"
Robert Silverman - Salamanca, Spain

MIDDLEEAST.ORG

IRAQI DEBACLE
IRAQI CATASTROPHY
IRAQI DISASTER


MER - Mid-East Realities - MiddleEast.Org - Washington - 16 Sept:
The retired American military is able to speak up in public, free to attempt to maintain some semblance of honor and dignity. Retired four-star General Anthony Zinni -- former American commander in the Middle East -- has been leading the charge publicly condemning both the war and its conduct for some time already. But now there are many others as the short article by Sidney Blumenthal in today's Guardian reveals. Indeed, the leaks pouring from the Pentagon through the pens of journalists like Seymour Hersh, and even the pages of the
Washington Post, highlight the extreme anquish, hurt, and sense of betrayal many in the professional military are feeling about the civilian neocon commanders in the office of the Secretary of Defense and the White House whom they rightly blame for what has happened.

As for the 'illegality' of the Iraq War, Kofi Annan is a weak though cultured man -- indeed that's why the U.S. took the job of U.N. Secretary-General away from Boutros-Ghali and gave it to Kofi. He failed to speak and act when it would have really mattered. Indeed, Annan did so much of the American bidding in allowing the U.N. to be repeated used, both before and after the invasion. And now, so late in the day, here he comes with a few verbal gestures aimed at his own historical reputation now that he may have managed to debug his own office and the Security Council from the long-arm of the CIA. But sorry Kofi...where were you when we needed you?



Far graver than Vietnam

Most senior US military officers now believe
the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster
on an unprecedented scale

Sidney Blumenthal
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian

'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.

But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan."

W Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the anti-US insurgency, centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.

"We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."

After the killing of four US contractors in Fallujah, the marines besieged the city for three weeks in April - the watershed event for the insurgency. "I think the president ordered the attack on Fallujah," said General Hoare. "I asked a three-star marine general who gave the order to go to Fallujah and he wouldn't tell me. I came to the conclusion that the order came directly from the White House." Then, just as suddenly, the order was rescinded, and Islamist radicals gained control, using the city as a base.

"If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation by a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious requirement to resist that occupation," Terrill explained. "Most Iraqis consider us occupiers, not liberators." He describes the religious imagery common now in Fallujah and the Sunni triangle: "There's talk of angels and the Prophet Mohammed coming down from heaven to lead the fighting, talk of martyrs whose bodies are glowing and emanating wonderful scents."

"I see no exit," said Record. "We've been down that road before. It's called Vietnamisation. The idea that we're going to have an Iraqi force trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches the imagination. They will be tainted by their very association with the foreign occupier. In fact, we had more time and money in state building in Vietnam than in Iraq."

General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."

Terrill believes that any sustained US military offensive against the no-go areas "could become so controversial that members of the Iraqi government would feel compelled to resign". Thus, an attempted military solution would destroy the slightest remaining political legitimacy. "If we leave and there's no civil war, that's a victory."

General Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it - after the election. The signs are all there."

He compares any such planned attack to the late Syrian dictator Hafez al-Asad's razing of the rebel city of Hama. "You could flatten it," said Hoare. "US military forces would prevail, casualties would be high, there would be inconclusive results with respect to the bad guys, their leadership would escape, and civilians would be caught in the middle. I hate that phrase collateral damage. And they talked about dancing in the street, a beacon for democracy."

General Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration and the senior military officers over Iraqi was worse than any he has ever seen with any previous government, including Vietnam. "I've never seen it so bad between the office of the secretary of defence and the military. There's a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic."

Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Clinton, is Washington bureau chief of salon.com







Iraq war was illegal and breached UN charter, says Annan

Ewen MacAskill and Julian Borger in Washington
Thursday September 16, 2004
The Guardian

The United Nations secretary general, Kofi Annan, declared explicitly for the first time last night that the US-led war on Iraq was illegal.

Mr Annan said that the invasion was not sanctioned by the UN security council or in accordance with the UN's founding charter. In an interview with the BBC World Service broadcast last night, he was asked outright if the war was illegal. He replied: "Yes, if you wish."

He then added unequivocally: "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view and from the charter point of view it was illegal."

Mr Annan has until now kept a tactful silence and his intervention at this point undermines the argument pushed by Tony Blair that the war was legitimised by security council resolutions.

Mr Annan also questioned whether it will be feasible on security grounds to go ahead with the first planned election in Iraq scheduled for January. "You cannot have credible elections if the security conditions continue as they are now," he said.

His remarks come amid a marked deterioration of the situation on the ground, an upsurge of violence that has claimed 200 lives in four days and raised questions over the ability of the interim Iraqi government and the US-led coalition to maintain control over the country.

They also come as Mr Blair is trying to put the controversy over the war behind him in the run-up to the conference season, a new parliamentary term and next year's probable general election.

The UN chief had warned the US and its allies a week before the invasion in March 2003 that military action would violate the UN charter. But he has hitherto refrained from using the damning word "illegal".

Both Mr Blair and the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, claim that Saddam Hussein was in breach of security council resolution 1441 passed late in 2002, and of previous resolutions calling on him to give up weapons of mass destruction. France and other countries claimed these were insufficient.

No immediate comment was available from the White House late last night, but American officials have defended the war as an act of self-defence, allowed under the UN charter, in view of Saddam Hussein's supposed plans to build weapons of mass destruction.

However, last September, Mr Annan issued a stern critique of the notion of pre-emptive self-defence, saying it would lead to a breakdown in international order. Mr Annan last night said that there should have been a second UN resolution specifically authorising war against Iraq. Mr Blair and Mr Straw tried to secure this second resolution early in 2003 in the run-up to the war but were unable to convince a sceptical security council.

Mr Annan said the security council had warned Iraq in resolution 1441 there would be "consequences" if it did not comply with its demands. But he said it should have been up to the council to determine what those consequences were.



Please forward MER articles to others in their entirety with proper attribution.
Your comments and information and welcome in the new MER FORUM.


MID-EAST REALITIES - www.MiddleEast.Org
Phone: (202) 362-5266 Fax: (815) 366-0800
Email: MER@MiddleEast.Org
Copyright 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved

If you don't get MER, you just don't get it!
Click here to subscribe by email


September 2004


Magazine






Iran and Syria now Targeted
(September 30, 2004)
Now the Americans and Israelis have Iran and Syria in their sights.

MER Warned About Jewish Neocons and Israeli Lobby Years Ago
(September 30, 2004)
Think back now to the days before the Bush/Cheney regime took power in Washington, before the term 'neocon' and the policy of 'pre-emption' were in wide use, and to before 9/11 was even imagined by all but a very few. MER was already long ago raising the warning flags, explaining what was really happening in Washington as well as in the Middle East, previewing what has since come to be; all while so many others were proclaiming the 'peace process is irreversible' and Yasser Arafat was the most frequent foreign guest at the American White House!

MER Articles - Sept 1998
(September 30, 2004)


Intifada II Enters Year Five
(September 28, 2004)
The figures for the Intifada are brutal. Adjusted for the size of the U.S. population, that is if the Israeli occupation were taking place in the U.S., over 300,000 Americans would have been killed in just the past 4 years alone, well over a million seriously injured, many millions imprisoned and tortured, plus considerable land confiscated, homes destroyed, and occupying Jewish 'settlers' taking over.

MER Articles - September 1997
(September 28, 2004)
These MER Articles were published in September 1997. The perspective they offer on events since is crucial.

Maps tell the Real Story 'on the ground' where it counts
(September 26, 2004)
The Israelis now control all Palestinian areas through hundreds of military Checkpoints, No-go zones, By-pass 'Jews only' Roads, Settlements, Outposts, and in recent years Fences, Walls, and Electronic Monitoring systems throughout the West Bank similar to what was done in the past to Gaza. In addition all Palestinians must even receive Israeli military permission to travel from one city and village. The situation is today far worse than Apartheid was in South Africa. As a result, no real, contiguous, and even minimally sovereign Palestinian State is possible any longer in the area that was Palestine in 1947.

Anglican group calls for Israel sanctions
(September 24, 2004)
A few months ago the American Presbyterians officially took the first major Church steps to sanction Israel, recalling how South Africa was treated in the days of Apartheid not that long ago. Now an influential Anglican group is pushing for a combination of boycott and divestment from Israel when their senior Church leaders next meet.

USA at MOMENT of NATIONAL CRISIS
(September 24, 2004)
"Over the last three years, practicing a philosophy of deliberate deception, fear-mongering and abuse of authority, the Bush administration has done more to undermine the republic of Lincoln and Jefferson than the cells of al-Qaida. It has willfully ignored our fundamental laws and squandered the nation's wealth in bloody, open-ended pursuits.... We have arrived at a moment of national crisis."

Sy Hersh - Readers' Comments
(September 23, 2004)
Important articles and exclusive insights like this would not be easily available, or oftentimes available at all, but for MER. These Readers' Comments this week concern the recent MER article about Washington journalist Seymour Hersh and his recent interviews and talks about his new book Chain of Command:

ARAB AMERICANS - REALITIES NOT DECEPTIONS
(September 22, 2004)
The real message to the tough-minded politicos in Washington is this: There's nothing to worry about from Arab Americans...working overtime they can only mobilize quite few in numbers...they are not even protesting against the upcoming agreement itself likely to be soon signed across the street...they know nothing about the power of civil disobedience...they have no powerful or even significant allies...their leadership is naive and oftentimes foolish...and the Arab organizations we work with can be counted on to keep them under control come what may.

IRAN - The U.S. and Israel Prepare to Attack
(September 22, 2004)
The new massive arms sale of 'bunker busting' bombs to Israel has two major purposes at this point in addition to furthering the Bush/Cheney election campaign -- to prepare for real war with Iran sooner rather than later, while at the same time attempting to further intimidate one more time those in Tehran to 'comply, resistance is futile'.

About MER - Please Read and Contribute Today
(September 21, 2004)
Reorganizing and overcoming all the obstacles has come at a considerable price in time, effort, and funds. We have to appeal now for your substantial financial support; for a truly independent and hard-hitting organization must have truly independent funding or it cannot continue and have impact. Please contribute today to make MER possible and of growing impact. Thank you!

Sy Hersh - Israeli Disinformation and Cover-Up?
(September 21, 2004)
In fact, the more one thinks about this, the more one reaches the possible conclusion that while Hersh is on target (though incomplete) when it comes to the torture scandal, when it comes to the geostrategic, especially when it comes to matters relating to Israel, Hersh may well be being used for disinformation and continually engages in a kind of self-censorship and cover-up.

Journalists and Professors With Chilling Warnings
(September 20, 2004)
"Every generation has its test of principle in which people of good faith can no longer remain silent in the face of authoritarian ambition. If we cannot join together to fight the abomination of American camps, we have already lost what we are defending."

The 'Fucking' Crazy and Stupid Washington Neocons
(September 19, 2004)
Of course they only talk this way when they've really had it and when they think the befuddled largely ignorant general public won't hear. But the reality is these two top American Generals who have been saluting to power their whole lives, and who themselves are very much a part of the terrible corrupted system, are known to feel the senior neocons empowered by Bush and Cheney are out of control and sometimes a little fucking out of their minds!

Feith of Israel
(September 18, 2004)
MER 'Washington Scene'EXCLUSIVE: Click to Listen to Douglas Feith at an Israeli lobby White House rally while Bill Clinton was still President, Feith was not yet back in government, and more than a year before 9/11 was to happen. For some time in Washington Feith has been a prominent member of the extended Israeli-Jewish lobby speaking at times as harshly and unrelentingly as any Israeli propagandist. Persons in the media should contact MER for more extensive information and additional audio and video clips of Feith - 202 362-5266 and press@MiddleEast.Org

Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism
(September 17, 2004)
But, when writing about the situation in Washington and the linkages between persons and groups that brought about the Iraqi invasion/occupation, Sperry makes significant contributions in his book Crude Policies that need to be understood.

Washington's Pathetic Arabist Hustlers - National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
(September 16, 2004)
But the most tragic reality of all is that in the process of what they have done for themselves this pathetically incestuous Washington cabal of 'Arabists' has squandered crucial decades, all together more than a hundred million dollars, and even now with the Middle East on fire and Washington gripped by policy warfare very very few even want to bother to come and get their free lunch with them.

Iraqi Debacle, Iraqi Disaster
(September 16, 2004)
Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

EYEWITNESS TO SLAUGHTER IN BAGHDAD
(September 15, 2004)
On Sunday as the details of this murderous U.S. attack on a Baghdad crowd were first being reported, MER asked an officer on Commanding U.S. General Abizaid's staff how could the U.S. be using attack helicopters to fire on crowds in Baghdad and still think Iraqis wouldn't hate the Americans. He suggested it must have been to protect troops still in the damaged vehicle. A few hours later when told that was not the case, that the troops had already been rescued, he suggested maybe there was a need to destroy the vehicle for 'intelligence' reasons. When told the vehicle was already destroyed and on fire he could only shrug... How telling... This unusually gripping first-hand report from the exploding streets of Baghdad:

Bin Laden More Popular Than Bush in Egypt
(September 14, 2004)
With Iraq exploding, the Americans attacking street crowds in Baghdad with bombs and missiles, and the U.S. military already stretched to the breaking point both in terms of manpower and credibility, Washington's propaganda machine is in overdrive both at home and abroad. Even so, even in long-time American ally Egypt, Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda are considerably more popular than George W. Bush and the U.S.

Iraq Exploding in Rebellion and Death
(September 12, 2004)
At least 37 people were killed in Baghdad alone. Many of them died when a U.S. helicopter fired on a disabled U.S. Bradley fighting vehicle as Iraqis swarmed around it, cheering, throwing stones and waving the black and yellow sunburst banner of Iraq's most-feared terror organization.

'Fucking Crazies' Powell Explodes - Withdraw from Iraq Financial Times Editorializes
(September 12, 2004)
The U.S. policy in the Middle East is already a disaster of historical proportions. In a new book being published in a few days no less an authority than U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell himself is quoted describing the top neo-conservatives in the Bush administration as 'fucking crazies' during the build-up to war in Iraq.

9/11 - 'War of the Worlds'
(September 11, 2004)
Immediately when 9/11 occurred the publisher of MER was asked to quickly write about it's meaning and ramifications for the about-to-be-published October issue of a European Edition of Playboy Magazine.

9/11 began a long time ago and for very real reasons
(September 11, 2004)
Those who were reading MER six years ago were giving a prescient foretaste of what has since come, and why. This MER article was originally published on 25 August 1998. Read it now keeping in mind that what has been happening since was being caused and was foreseeable then; just as what is being done now is creating the still bleaker future now ahead if today's course in Washington is not significantly altered...and soon.

Chechnya - Crucible for Hatred and Terrorism
(September 10, 2004)
It is a genocidal war Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for more than any other. But then neither the U.S. nor the European powers nor the U.N. for that matter have had the vision, the determination, and the courage to step in. And thus the fingers of responsibility and blame should be pointing in many simultaneous directions at this time.

Israeli Spying in USA Fox Series Spiked and Covered-Up
(September 10, 2004)
AIPAC and Israel's many official and unofficial lobbyists are now mounting a major campaign to bring the FBI investigation to an end with only minor charges involving 'mishandling' of classified documents. The pressures on everyone in Washington are no doubt intense; especially in this election year. And so what happened in November 2002 should be especially instructive; and in view of the most recent charges and investigations should be resurrected:

Chechnya - Crucible for Hatred and Terrorism
(September 8, 2004)
This look back on the terribly brutal Russian war in Chechnya to prevent Chechnyan independence must be understood to be the crucible in which the horrifying events of recent days were brewed. It is a genocidal war Vladimir Putin is personally responsible for more than any other; but then neither the U.S. nor the European powers nor the U.N. for that matter have had the vision, the determination, and the courage to step in. And thus the fingers of responsibility and blame should be pointing in many simultaneous directions.

Aljazeera Caves Again
(September 8, 2004)
Coerced self-censorship and forcing the media to constantly be wary of offending the powers that be is a long-time hallmark not only in the Middle East, Russia, and China, but also in the West and the United States. The techniques and methods are different, especially when it comes to the American scene, but in many cases the results are similar.

Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq, Kashmir - Occupations All
(September 7, 2004)
Brutal occupations all -- Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq, Kashmir. All examples of when overwhelming military force is used by a major power to put down popular resistance to historical subjugation and injustice.

IsraelGate +
(September 6, 2004)
Major efforts are now underway in Washington to head off, cover up, derail, what we earlier today for the first time called ISRAELGATE. IsraelGate is potentially the most significant scandal to rock relations between the U.S. and Israel ever -- since the Lavon Affair and 1956 war when President Eisenhower faced down the Israelis, then 1967 with the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, and then the Pollard spy affair nearly twenty years ago now. But now the stakes are much much higher than ever for the following three reasons:

ISRAELGATE!
(September 5, 2004)
Now that the new Israeli spy scandal has broken into public view, the top-level connections between the Jewish neocons at the Pentagon and the National Security Council -- among them Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, and Elliott Abrams -- the following and associated stories first published earlier this year deserve much more than a second look. They should in fact be the basis for a full-fledged journalistic investigation into what could yet be called ISRAELGATE.

Israel, Neocons, Lobby, and Spying
(September 4, 2004)
For there are those in Washington and in the media who know very well that it was the Israelis and the Jewish neocons, working in tandem, who worked relentlessly to push the U.S. into the invasion and occupation of Iraq. And there are those who are well aware that the Israelis and the Jewish neocons are now working in tandem to push and cajole the U.S. to take on Iran, Syria, and all who stand in the way of their plans for the U.S. and Israel in partnership to control the Middle East strategically, politically, and economically.

Revered Muslim Cleric Calls On Muslims To Fight The U.S.Occupier
(September 3, 2004)
"Al-Qaradawi was one of 93 prominent Muslim figures who in August called on Muslims around the world to support resistance against US forces in Iraq and its apppointed interim Iraqi government."

Bush Speaks, Eocons (Christian Evangelicals + Jewish Neocons) Rule
(September 2, 2004)
As George W. Bush prepares to outline his 'vision' and 'agenda' to the American nation tonight from besieged New York City he today published the following appeal to American Jews in The Forward newspaper. Ironically, in the same issue of The Forward, the latest Israeli and Jewish Lobby spy scandal gets much play including the additional article below:




© 2004 Mid-East Realities, All rights reserved