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17 Sept 2004 - MiddleEast.Org - MER is Free
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MIDDLEEAST.ORG - MER - Washington - 17 September:
In crucial ways Paul Sperry is a typical right-wing American journalist -- he knows nearly nothing about and cares little about the Middle East. When talking about Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or Iraq Sperry has little knowledge or sophistication and represents far more the simple-minded black-and-white problems with U.S. policies than the solutions. 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. Even so he is completely incomplete in his analysis, nearly totally it seems overlooking the extraordinary Israeli influence in today's Washington and the crucial role of the top-level Jewish neocons in the Pentagon, National Security Council, and throughout official Washington that Bush and Cheney specifically empowered. But then the Hoover Institute and the Hudson Institute, et. al., have for so long feared to get on the wrong side of the extended Israeli-Jewish lobby, and in too many cases have in fact been infiltrated by it. MER




Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies
Hijacked the War on Terrorism

By Paul Sperry

"I voted for Bush, but I don't plan to vote for a
Republican or a Democrat this time. Both parties
disgust me now, quite frankly."
Book Cover


Paul Sperry, formerly Washington bureau chief of Investors Business Daily, is now a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Crude Politics: How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2003).



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An Interview with the author of Crude Politics, Paul Sperry

Barnes & Noble.com: Crude Politics is subtitled "How Bush's Oil Cronies Hijacked the War on Terrorism." Who are these "cronies"?

Paul Sperry: They include onetime Caspian energy industry lobbyist Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's broker for regime change in Kabul and now Baghdad; Dick Cheney, whose Halliburton Co. has long been a player in both the Caspian and in Iraq; Condi Rice, longtime director of ChevronTexaco, the Caspian's biggest investor and also a player now in Iraq; Deputy Secretary of State Rich Armitage, formerly a powerful Caspian lobbyist in Washington; commerce secretary Don Evans, whose former oil firm is partly owned by Unocal, the original lead investor in the trans-Afghan pipelines that Khalilzad lobbied for and which are now on the fast track to development...the rest of the cronies are listed in the "Players & Power Brokers" section in the front of Crude Politics. Many of them were among the principals who crafted the post-9/11 war strategy.

B&N.com: You're politically conservative, yet you criticize the approach Bush has taken to the war on terror. At what point did you start to feel that Bush wasn't doing the right thing?

PS: My doubts really crystallized in December 2001, when Osama bin Laden escaped from Afghanistan and many of my Special Ops and CentCom sources began griping about the Bush administration's odd military strategy of focusing on the Taliban and "regime change," while using local Afghan proxy fighters to hunt down bin Laden.

B&N.com: You cite our relationship with Pakistan, an ostensible "ally" in the war on terror, as an "unholy alliance." Why is that?

PS: Pakistan is the world's epicenter of anti-American terror. As I document in Crude Politics, almost every terrorist act against the U.S. or its interests abroad has had a Pakistani connection. That includes September 11th. Pakistan is where terrorists, including senior members of al-Qaida, meet, train, study and hide out -- all under the nose of Pakistani strongman, Musharraf.

Why is Bush so deferential to Musharraf? Why has he bought him off with billions of dollars in U.S. aid? One reason is he agreed to sign a deal with U.S. puppet Hamid Karzai in Kabul, also a onetime energy consultant, to develop the Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAP), which continues on through Pakistan. The Taliban, which Musharraf backed, was blocking its development. The multibillion-dollar gas pipeline is now on the fast track -- unlike the hunt for bin Laden.

B&N.com: Should Saudi Arabia be included in any "axis of evil" when it comes to harboring and fostering terrorism? Why did the administration whisk Osama's relatives out of the country only days after 9/11?

PS: If the Bush Doctrine were applied evenly and apolitically, which it isn't, we would count Saudi Arabia among our enemies, not allies. In fact, there is far, far more evidence linking Riyadh to al-Qaida and September 11th than Baghdad. Of course, don't tell that to Bush, who has fudged the evidence in both cases. The main reason he allowed Osama's relatives to be whisked out of the country after September 11th is the same reason he won't declassify those 28 pages on Saudi in the 9/11 report: Prince Bandar. He and the Bush family go way back, and it was Bandar who lobbied the White House to spirit the bin Ladens out of the country, and it is Bandar and his wife and brother-in-law, Prince Turki, who are cited in the 9/11 report as possible co-conspirators. What's more, it's a fact, not a rumor, that Bush's father and consigliere James Baker personally have done business with the bin Laden family. In Crude Politics, I produce a secret letter between a top Bush administration official and a Saudi official that reveals the alarming degree of access and clout the royal family has with this administration. Bottom line: Bush is covering for the Saudis, and it's not just for strategic geopolitical reasons.

B&N.com: Is Bush guilty of exploiting one of the worst American tragedies of all time?

PS: I'm afraid so. The book's subtitle is not just for effect. They really did hijack this war to pursue their hidden agendas. But that doesn't mean they didn't want to bring al-Qaida leaders to justice, their royal benefactors notwithstanding. They did, and still do, it's just that the war provided a golden opportunity to do other things at the same time -- namely, to open up new oil frontiers -- and that's where they blew it. Trying to kill two birds with one stone sewed such a high degree of complexity into the operation that it caused them to take their eye off the main quarry, bin Laden, and now he's still threatening us two years after he attacked us.

I pray we get him tomorrow, before he can order another major hit on us. That would be the real victory, though it would still be somewhat pyrrhic. If we had caught him in the winter of 2001 -- when we had a bead on him in southern Afghanistan, and a golden chance to take him out -- I doubt the American people would have countenanced this messy Iraqi dogleg in the war on terror, or the further erosion of our civil liberties. And I'm certain our economy and mutual fund balances would look better.

B&N.com: Why didn't Bush send a massive number of ground troops into Afghanistan to get Osama, as he later did to get Saddam? Was it fear of a "quagmire," something we may well now be facing in Iraq?

PS: Well, that's the reason he gave, anyway. But the Afghan plan as drafted by senior White House security adviser Khalilzad, who staffed the Pentagon during the early 2001 transition, called for using local Afghan proxies to give the different tribal factions a stake in the new U.S.-approved regime. Unfortunately, they betrayed us by letting Osama escape across the border into Pakistan. Bush followed Khalilzad's blueprint right down to installing him as Afghan envoy and lifting the Pressler Amendment and other sanctions on Pakistan. The blueprint is documented in two policy white papers Khalilzad wrote, one of which is revealed for the first time in Crude Politics.

And now Bush is following Khalilzad's plan in Baghdad, where he's grooming an oil-tied Iraqi defector to replace Saddam Hussein. The influential Khalilzad, an Afghan native and a Muslim, is not exactly a household name, and the White House likes it that way. He is a shadowy operator. He gets no mention whatever in Bob Woodward's book on the war, but readers will become well acquainted with Mr. Khalilzad in Crude Politics.

B&N.com: The question of whether the Bush administration lied about the threat Iraq posed to us is running rampant in the headlines. Do you feel Bush and his people deliberately misrepresented the situation in order to get the American people behind the Iraq war?

PS: Absolutely, there is no question now that Bush sold the American people a bill of goods about the alleged Iraqi threat to them. And even if they stumble on some evidence of a weapons of a mass destruction program or a clear al-Qaida link at this late juncture, it still won't confirm Bush's prewar rhetoric, because we now know the intelligence underlying the rhetoric was soft -- and in some cases fabricated. The cat's officially out of the bag: We went into Baghdad on a hunch, not on hard intelligence. Any evidence we find now in Iraq isn't confirmation, it's luck.

That's no way to prosecute a war, and certainly no way to start a war. And it's the height of irresponsibility to do so in the middle of a war on al-Qaida, the real threat to America. Bush diverted resources -- such as troops, intelligence assets, Arabic translators -- from the hunt for bin Laden and his top henchmen like Dr. Zawahiri. That's inexcusable, and Bush supporters with any modicum of intellectual honesty should be mad as hell about it. And that's coming from someone who voted for Bush.

B&N.com: Considering that both Bush and Vice President Cheney, as well as and a fair number of their appointees, have worked in the oil business, should we be all that surprised that they seem so eager to establish oil supplies in both Afghanistan and Iraq?

PS: Actually, as cynical as I am, I thought this would be one crisis in which politicians would shove their ulterior motives, hidden agendas, and special interests down a deep dark hole and just do what's right for the country for a change. But the oil motive is something antiwar protesters assumed right off the bat -- and it turns out they were right. They've been easy to dismiss, however, because they've failed to articulate the who-what-when-where-why-and-how when they have charged, "It's about oil!"

Crude Politics documents it, chronicles it, provides new dots, makes all the connections, providing the actual road map to the conspiracy. But again, the war has not been all about oil, as many protesters charge, and I should note that I viewed the Afghanistan counterstrikes as morally justified, and am more hawk than dove, but it certainly has been a good piece of it. To make any real sense of the administration's war strategy, you have to follow the oil. It really is that simple, although how they've gone about it is quite complicated. The political and corporate connections alone are fascinating.

B&N.com: Both Afghanistan and Iraq seem to be falling apart, after U.S. intervention was supposed to stabilize things there and "liberate" the civilians. What will both countries look like a year from now, in your opinion?

PS: The only thing that will be liberated in those Islamic nations is the UN economic sanctions on their rogue regimes -- sanctions that until now had precluded U.S. oil companies from investing there. That's why "regime change," something you'll recall that candidate Bush considered a bad word, suddenly became so important. Though there have been some successes, all we've really done in Afghanistan is scatter al-Qaida terrorists, like so many angry red ants, without killing their queen. Bush might as well have just taken a big stick and stirred up a giant anthill.

Same goes for Iraq, though we didn't even scatter al-Qaida there. We displaced a lot of Iraqi citizens, families, children, many of them Shiites who weren't at all a part of Saddam's regime and who are growing increasingly resentful of the U.S. occupation. But there's too much oil money at stake in both countries for us to leave. Our military will be there to provide security for U.S. investments for decades to come. Tragically, instead of just getting bin Laden and getting out, Bush only drove us deeper into a part of the world that already hates us.

I pray there will be no Bush blowback, like the blowback from his father's Saudi-centric actions in the Gulf 12 years earlier. I pray our young soldiers whom Bush put in harm's way over there won't continue to be sitting ducks. But I am not optimistic.

B&N.com: With Bush running hard for reelection, is it safe to assume he won't be getting your vote? Do you see anyone on the Democratic side you'd feel comfortable voting for instead?

PS: Like I said, I voted for Bush, but I don't plan to vote for a Republican or a Democrat this time. Both parties disgust me now, quite frankly.







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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:




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