If it was a war for oil, the US lost

on 142 Comments

Although the Bush administration denied it, the conventional wisdom on the part of the anti-war movement was that the war on Iraq was launched in order for the US to take over Saddam’s oil supplies which would give Washington an even more dominant position in the region. That there was no concrete evidence that the war was supported by the oil companies was discounted and, as it had been in 1991 during the first Gulf War, "No blood for oil!"became the battle cry.

If the war was indeed about oil, then, as the NY Times reported on Friday, the US lost.

Those espousing that theory had company, however. It was the view held by most Iraqis.

"If true," writes the Times’ Rod Nordland. "then the war failed in more ways than some critics charge."

"It wasn’t until last week that the first major oil field exploitation contract was signed with a foreign company–BP in a joint deal with China’s state-run China National Petroleum Corporation.

"Exxon Mobil… has an oil field deal awaiting final approval from Iraq’s oil ministry. The Italian oil giant Eni, whose junior partner is the American-owned Occidental Petroleum is expected to sign a similar deal. These, however, are service contracts.so the foreign oil companies don’t actually own the rights to any new oil they may find."

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142 Responses

  1. Richard Witty
    November 15, 2009, 8:52 pm

    The primary motivation for the war was certainly to secure the supply chain for oil.

    That US firms (as if there are any that aren’t entirely global in capital ownership or operations) would secure contracts, is skew to the question.

    You say nothing in that post, Blankfort.

    • Chaos4700
      November 15, 2009, 10:26 pm

      Considering you basically parroted the post he made (and appended one of your trademark unsupported statements crafted merely to tear into the author) and considered that substance? Financier, heal thyself.

    • Citizen
      November 16, 2009, 1:42 pm

      The primary motivation for the war was certainly to secure Israel.
      That some US firms might secure contracts is skew to the question.

  2. VR
    November 15, 2009, 9:07 pm

    It is not necessary for the US to become the beneficiary of the oil, the only design that needed to be a was fulfilled was to control the levers – the tap, not to drink from it. I knew that sooner or later you would post this, I even anticipated it from your last post, however if you want to lead it back to Chomsky (again) – he never said that (that they were trying to secure the oil for their own use), he said that they would control the area from which the oil flowed. So China getting the oil does not prove jack shit. You can see and hear this for yourself in numerous places from Chomsky, I listened to it recently in his contributions to the 2006 documentary Greasy Rider (where the subject had not even concluded to this degree yet, who was getting the contracts, etc.), where he said it was control of the region that mattered, twice (where the oil comes from).

    We won’t even get into how you closed the other post (Obama’s capitulation, the whodunnit), where I extended gentleman like deference (benefit of the doubt) and you responded like you did. I guess I will just watch my back next time.

    • bob
      November 15, 2009, 9:10 pm

      control the levers

      Oil is a highly fungible resource. It doesn’t work like that.

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 9:18 pm

        “Levers” is a euphemism for controlling the region and the destination of the oil bob, just in case you are confused by the phrase. It also implies the exploration, rigging, refining, and transport of the oil – NONE of it in the hands of the Iraqis. Ergo the phrase “levers,” as a simplification. Now, if you want to argue at all about any of this I can assure you that you have brought a knife to a gun fight, with the information I have at hand to prove my point. I am more than capable of handling numerous assaults from different directions if you would like to gang up on your points.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 9:25 pm

        In case you are unaware of this bob, China owns the USA. Need I say more

        I think so. You are going to want to substantiate such a amazingly bold statement of “owns”.
        Define “owns.”

        Include how, at the beginning of the hyper-acceleration of China’s economy in the early 1990’s/late 1980’s, China was a net exporter of oil and now is an overall consumer of about three times Iraq’s oil production.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 9:32 pm

        NONE of it in the hands of the Iraqis.

        This isn’t true.

        controlling the region and the destination of the oil bob

        Oil is a highly fungible resource. It doesn’t work like that. Chomsky misses this by a mile.

        jack shit.

        Cool down.

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 9:41 pm

        It is called China owning 1 trillion in demanding debt bob.

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 9:42 pm

        The US controls the port Bob, it does not necessarily have to own the vessels…

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 9:45 pm

        Chomsky missed nothing by a mile, you are just misrepresenting what he said, and than saying he missed it by a mile big difference. Why don’t you go take a look at the documentary Greasy Rider produced in 2006, than you can keep denying when you hear him say it from his own mouth.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 9:51 pm

        It is called China owning 1 trillion in demanding debt bob.

        This isn’t “owning” the US by a long shot.

        The US controls the port Bob, it does not necessarily have to own the vessels…

        Oil is highly fungible. Ill walk you through this. Lets imagine Chomsky gets his druthers. …the US decides to enact an entire embargo and block all Gulf oil to China (a hugely amazing feat and one that would shock the world)

        China gets about 60% of its oil from the Mid East..
        Chinese oil imports: 3.19 Million bbl/day (2007) out of a global 78.9 million bbl/day (2005 est.).

        China gets this oil from somewhere else.
        link to eia.doe.gov

        The Oil unpurchased from the gulf gets put on the fungible oil market and then purchased by someone else.

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 11:49 pm

        OK bob, let me walk you through this – the big boys in the market play with lock-down procedures, so it does not matter if another entity buys the oil or not. This is why earlier Iraq could be sanctioned in the food for oil program. Oil can be off-shored, instruments of in lieu substitution can be used, etc. This is the reason why one nation can thrive while its neighbor barely survives (it is also the use of boarders and the nation-state concept). So the fungible argument only works in an atmosphere of freedom in the market, and when push comes to shove freedom is expendable. The same rule applies for all commodities and currencies, in fact in the case of oil it does not matter where along the lines of exchange the roadblock occurs, at the beginning, midway, or in the final payoff.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 11:58 pm

        OK bob, let me walk you through this – the big boys in the market play with lock-down procedures, so it does not matter if another entity buys the oil or not.

        If the US, by some miraculous event is able to close off gulf oil to China -and not set off the entire world against the US- China has the ability to get the 3.19 m bbl/day from other sources. Its a fungible system.

        Thats how it works. It was made even more fungible to counter boycotts.

        The US can’t ‘roadblock’ oil from entering China. Chomsky made a serious oversight not addressing the global fungible oil markets.

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 1:03 am

        With all due respect Bob, that does not address the politics of oil

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:13 am

        v… “With all due respect Bob, that does not address the politics of oil”

        Let’s review. The idea of controlling a highly fungible resource was brought up by you repeatedly.

        It is not necessary for the US to become the beneficiary of the oil, the only design that needed to be a was fulfilled was to control the levers – the tap, not to drink from it.

        he said that they would control the area from which the oil flowed.

        where he said it was control of the region that mattered, twice (where the oil comes from).

        controlling the region and the destination of the oil bob, just in case you are confused by the phrase.

        Fungibility has everything to do with a gross oversight Chomsky fails at. How about you address the post to you regarding oil as a highly fungible commodity and how it is a key oversight by Chomsky when he makes his assertions about control.

    • VR
      November 15, 2009, 9:12 pm

      In fact, the Iraqi government is nothing but a puppet arrangement. I am sure no one here is going to argue that the US actually went in there to “liberate” the Oraqis, than again I might be surprised…

      • potsherd
        November 15, 2009, 9:17 pm

        They’re appearing surprisingly detached these days.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 9:17 pm

        Iraqi government is nothing but a puppet arrangement.

        Somehow this puppet government is able to deny the ‘vaunted’ oil corps their marginal short term oil deals and give them and the more lucrative long term deals to America’s competitor: the Chinese.

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 9:20 pm

        In case you are unaware of this bob, China owns the USA. Need I say more?

    • Kathleen
      November 16, 2009, 9:58 am

      “control the levers- the tap”

      Those secret energy meetings that Cheney resided over….who was there and what went on needs to be released

      • Tuyzentfloot
        November 16, 2009, 10:10 am

        I once joked about those meetings that big oil kept asking “So you’re going in, replace the man and get out. Nothing fancy right? You’re not going to try anything fancy?” And then Cheney “Sure, sure. We’re not going to do anything wild that would upset the region. We’re just going to replace Saddam. It’s ok. Trust me.”

  3. VR
    November 15, 2009, 9:26 pm

    I grow weary of the non-factual sniping for the sake of personalities, can we raie it a notch? I have not raised even 5% of my argument and already it turns into a petty exchange with no worthy reciprocation of facts. Next…

    • bob
      November 15, 2009, 9:28 pm

      Don’t play the victim. I’m still waiting for you to define how China “owns” the US.

  4. bob
    November 15, 2009, 9:35 pm

    Sunday 22 December 2002
    Oilmen don’t want another Suez
    Critics of US policy claim it aims to carve up Iraq’s oil wealth. But, argues Anthony Sampson, oil companies fear the fallout from a new Gulf war

    Sunday, December 8, 2002; Page B01
    A Crude View of the Crisis in Iraq
    If oil is the question, Iraq is not the answer.
    But it requires several leaps of logic — as well as inattention to developments in the rest of the world’s markets, particularly in Russia, the Caspian region and West Africa — to conclude that the current Iraq crisis is all about oil. No U.S. administration would launch so momentous a campaign just to facilitate a handful of oil development contracts and a moderate increase in supply — half a decade from now.

    • VR
      November 15, 2009, 9:50 pm

      If you want to argue with the protesters who walked the streets with signs bob, be my guest, but try not to pretend that this is what I am saying, or what Chomsky said, in the sense of the US wanting to use the oil itself. Controlling the region is good enough, and all of its implications above which you have not answered one wit, except with non-factual witless retorts.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 9:53 pm

        but try not to pretend that this is what I am saying

        These are clearly not addressed to you and are meant as relevant reading for the thread. Try and be less defensive, please.

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 9:57 pm

        Ah, OK bob, share away…lol

  5. VR
    November 15, 2009, 9:58 pm

    However, next time try not to quote me and act like you are answering anything bob, and I will not make the mistake again…

    • bob
      November 15, 2009, 10:01 pm

      v..

      Please make this thread less petty. There was no quote to you @ the 9:35 pm post. To make the thread less petty, i will refrain from responding to these types of posts here on out and will stick to real points.

      Get back on point and respond to 9:51 pm.

      Thanks,

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 10:28 pm

        Just in case it is not visible, v.., please respond to the post @ 9:51 pm, regarding yours and Chomsky’s oversight on fungiblity

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 10:35 pm

        It was already answered bob, just in case you cannot see it

      • VR
        November 15, 2009, 10:37 pm

        Oh, and “fungiblity” has nothing to do with anything I said

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 10:41 pm

        Oh, and “fungiblity” has nothing to do with anything I said

        It most certainly does. If you are going to claim “The US controls the port Bob, it does not necessarily have to own the vessels…,” you have to note that even in a completely best case scenario of Chomsky’s, where the US can block all oil shipped to China, that this doesn’t work.

        China gets its oil from other countries. Those other countries get their oil from the freshly available gulf sources.

  6. Brewer
    November 15, 2009, 10:14 pm

    If America had confiscated all of Iraq’s annual oil production I doubt it would have realized sufficient capital to pay for the War. Just do the numbers.
    A more credible thesis is that any Arab Nation that approaches a condition of economic and social cohesion sufficient to mount coherent opposition to Israel’s colonialism is likely to find itself degraded to an impotent state.
    Oded Yinon wrote about this a long time ago:

    link to counterpunch.org

    • Chaos4700
      November 15, 2009, 10:27 pm

      I think you nailed it, bucko. The oil was just icing on the cake that Israel baked for the Bush family.

  7. syvanen
    November 15, 2009, 10:35 pm

    Anyone who believes that the US has gained better control over ME oil because of our war against Iraq and sanctions against Iran are clearly deluded. Our influence over those oil supplies has been lessened. American hostility against those countries were not driven by oil at all. The hostility comes from Zionist and lobby influence inside the US to enhance Israel’s power in the region. In fact, we have lost influence over oil because our foreign policy has been driven by a totally different ideology, namely the Zionist ideology. If the American oil companies ever realize how they have been hurt by this foreign ideology then I think we might start to see some powerful capitalist forces inside the US begin to resist this pressure from Israel. At some point they will have to confront the powerful capitalist forces that support Zionist ideology if they wish to remain . There is a real conflict of interests that have not yet been made visible. But I do believe that if the Zionist forces cost the oil industry too dearly, we may yet see that battle between the two titans begin to be played out in the political arena.

    As an aside, I hope people begin to realize that Chomsky’s views are utterly wrong . His insistence that Israel is supporting or is a tool of American capitalism is ludicrous and should not be taken seriously.

    • Chaos4700
      November 15, 2009, 11:03 pm

      I think you’re right, syvanen, but I think you’re only showing that the Bush administration and their cronies were the clearly deluded ones. This wasn’t “merely” about oil but I do think it was a major factor — and it wasn’t about pumping cheap oil into the US economy. It was about the oil industry turning a profit on the supply constriction and fear in the short term, and securing Iraqi oil fields for future exploitation in the long term.

      But I think that was only a brass ring that the neocons were reaching for that was out of reach. I think there were multiple reasons we went into Iraq; the oil angle was one. Israel’s strategic interests (over ours…) was another. The neo-Crusade angle was yet another. It certainly has been for Erik Prince and the “Clash of Civilizations” war profiteers.

      I don’t think Chomsky’s view is actually wrong. It’s merely incomplete. The US and Israel are doing a warped sort of waltz with each other, and both think they are the ones leading the dance.

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 11:13 pm

        It was about the oil industry turning a profit on the supply constriction and fear in the short term

        The “oil industry” as it were, was lobbying to drop sanctions to trade with Saddam – and Saddam was looking to trade with US companies. The James Baker institute “cautioned against expectations of an Iraqi oil bonanza with the assessment that “Iraq’s oil industry is in desperate need of repair and investment” after more than two decades of wars and sanctions. It also warned that the pace of recovery in Iraq’s oil sector would depend on the post-invasion political and security environment. ”

        After the neoconservatives won out andpushed out Colin Powell’s arab coalition/ pressure on the Israeli’s plan (ala George Bush I) out of the picture, the plan to hit Iraq rolled forward. Here there were two plans, again one favored by the neocons, and the other favored by some in the oil industry and the state department.

        The neocons won this, too.
        link to dir.salon.com

    • Call Me Ishmael
      November 15, 2009, 11:21 pm

      Syvanen: “If the American oil companies ever realize how they have been hurt by this foreign ideology then I think we might start to see some powerful capitalist forces inside the US begin to resist this pressure from Israel.”

      An excellent point worth repeating. The same might be said of other politically-powerful economic agents that (purport to) represent “American national interests” perceived to suffer damage from the consequences of our special relationship with Israel.

      • Chaos4700
        November 15, 2009, 11:30 pm

        Well, that’s what eventually happened with South Africa and apartheid, isn’t it? Jack Abramoff and his International Freedom Foundation was on board with the apartheid government as long as it was profitable. Once that changed, they were the first rats to get off that sinking ship.

  8. Call Me Ishmael
    November 15, 2009, 10:43 pm

    In reading over the above thread, I gather that v… is being so defensive about his opinions – not to say v…enomous or v…ituperative – because as a loyal Chomskyite he wants to maintain the fiction that there is no such thing as an Israel Lobby, and therefore the Lobby could not possibly have been the essential factor leading to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq after 9/11, as asserted by M&W.

    • VR
      November 15, 2009, 11:17 pm

      No, CMI, that is the assumption here and the reason why they keep burying themselves deeper in the idea that the war in Iraq and US presence in the region is solely for the sake of Israel. The same goes for the denial of the lobby, I never denied it, it is a ridiculous position – however the lobby’s activity and view that they supported the war in Iraq was enough to serve their purpose, and so they stood by as a cheering team. But to say that the US did none of this for its own benefit is patently ridiculous.

      The force of their view that it is primarily for the sake of Israel, the war in Iraq – causes them to make ridiculous pontifications like syvanen, that we have lost influence – even though we have thousands of troops there. That is like saying if someone is in my house with a weapon pointed at me that I am perfectly free to do as I please. The port is not secured by America even though it is littered by American and British vessels.

      Others make equally ridiculous statements, that the government in Iraq is not a puppet regime at all (they probably make the same assertions about Afghanistan). Even though a good portion of them travel in and out of Iraq every other month to their million dollar estates in Europe.

      They want to make me appear like I am some sort of idiot that walks around with a protest sign saying “no blood for oil.” When in reality just securing the territory, as I said before is enough to control the oil, and not necessarily for US use, etc. Apparently they have no idea about how “free trade” (which is nothing of the sort) functions, nor how its doors can open and close especially with specific boots on terrain.

      Another thing they seem incapable of is discerning the ebb and flow of information out of Iraq, by the MSM and have devolved to groundless speculation. The problems with their position are legion, all imperial interest of Euro-America disappears, and Israel becomes the ruler of the world! It is all so ludicrous that it is almost beyond words…lol

      • bob
        November 15, 2009, 11:33 pm

        Israel becomes the ruler of the world! It is all so ludicrous

        Totally ludicrous lin the way that a strawman defense could only be. How about you address the post to you regarding oil as a highly fungible commodity and how it is a key oversight by Chomsky when he makes his assertions about control.

      • Call Me Ishmael
        November 15, 2009, 11:43 pm

        v, just a friendly suggestion: Try to give more credit for intelligence in (many of) those whose opinions differ from yours. After all, each of us is trafficking mainly in opinions about intrinsically complex issues and questions which no one entirely understands.

      • syvanen
        November 16, 2009, 1:00 am

        OK V you said it not me:

        They want to make me appear like I am some sort of idiot that walks around with a protest sign saying “no blood for oil.”

      • Dan Kelly
        November 16, 2009, 1:11 pm

        The Chomsky view of the “lobby” is this: There is indeed a lobby, but its objectives are only met when they happen to coincide with “U.S. imperial interests.”

        If one wants to believe the people who make up the “lobby” spend untold billions of dollars and the better part of their lives to accomplish something that is going to happen anyway because it’s part of the U.S. imperial plan, then that is one’s prerogative.

        If the people who make up the vast Zionist Power Structure are that dumb, we’d have nothing to talk about.

  9. Jeffrey Blankfort
    November 15, 2009, 11:30 pm

    You got it Ishmael! Reading the earlier rapid exchange of posts between Bob and the poster called “v,” it became clear that the “v” would not stand for victory in that exchange unless he/she acknowledges that the war was actually fought for China which, as ‘v’ repeated several times, “owns the USA” and thus, that China would be the primary beneficiary of Iraq’s oil is consistent with that “fact.”

    But then, how does ‘v’ square that with what he/she thinks is even more important, that the US controls the port, “the levers – the tap, not to drink from it”? If China owns the USA, then it is y, according to ‘v’s “analysis,” China that controls the port, the levers, the tap and the US has generously offered up close to 5000 lives on behalf of China (which should earn its gratitude and some sought after concessions in the currency department).

    What is interesting is that in none of the posts that ‘v’ has made to this story, or to the one decribing Obama’s capitulation, has he offered up a single source to back anything he said. It’s pure opinion. Some valid. Some pure b.s. In this thread it’s been pure b.s. Bob’s two articles, attesting to the lack of support for the oil industry for the war, ‘v’ dismisses out of hand and ends up in the contradiction described in the above paragraph. He’s fortunate he didn’t sign his name to his posts.

    Finally, one should remember that George Bush Sr., his Secretary of State Jim Baker, and his National Security Advisor Gen. Brent Scowcroft were all against the war, and the three of them had closer ties to the oil industry than either Dubya or Cheney (Haliburton NOT being an oil company.)

    The argument that this just might have been a war fought on Israel’s behalf seems to have benefited thus far from this thread. For those of you might want some more evidence of this or who might disagree I offer this article that I wrote at the end of 2003.
    link to leftcurve.org

  10. Call Me Ishmael
    November 16, 2009, 12:04 am

    I read Blankfort’s article cited above (in the spring of 2004, as I recall), and it had a great impact on my thinking at the time, and subsequently. Like Philip Weiss, he was one of the few who dared to criticize the Israel Lobby in print, something I deeply appreciate.

  11. VR
    November 16, 2009, 12:16 am

    “…it became clear that the “v” would not stand for victory in that exchange unless he/she acknowledges that the war was actually fought for China…”

    First of all I am a “he.” Secondly, I made no assertion of the sort, but made a general statement that control of the region is sufficient and the user – beneficiary of the oil does not necessarily have to be the USA. Third, your statements devolve from there because you based your premise on something that was never said (the owning of the USA has to do with debt, not necessarily the reason for the war or a beneficiary being China). You fellows are so cock sure of yourselves that you stumble, get up and keep running like nothing happened…lol

    Than you move on to once again say that I am somehow tied to the oil for war for the US oil companies, here, let me relieve you of the false assumption – I never said that, in fact I have not even implied such. The reason why I did not discuss it with Bob is that it is patently stupid position which I have never held. So it is not necessary to respond to your paragraph that follows up on your (and Bob’s false assumption).

    If you think the war was solely fought for Israel more power to you. However, let me give you a bit of advice – you respond upon a basis of assumption, which is similar to your arguments, it is not a good method of debate, a lot of pot holes. Finally, there is no denial of Israel or the Lobby’s involvement in pushing for the war, there is also no denial it what they thought it might mean for them (more security), but that it was solely launched on that basis is not tenable.

    • bob
      November 16, 2009, 12:19 am

      The reason why I did not discuss it with Bob

      What you are not discussing with bob is a gross oversight Chomsky has made in presenting “control” without a discussion on the global and highly fungible oil markets. I wonder if you can pick up where chomsky left off.

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 12:28 am

        I am going to assume you have a hard time seeing posts on this site Bob, and with the assumption I am being kind.

        Please see my post, November 15, 2009 at 11:49 pm. Than pick it up from there.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 12:38 am

        I am going to assume you have a hard time seeing posts

        I saw it, and responded to it already
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 1:05 am

        Just for safety, what I said above was it does not address the politics of oil (fungibility), but you keep talking about markets as if they are disconnected from such, it just is not true.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:15 am

        but you keep talking about markets as if they are disconnected from such

        Actually, when you avoid the concept of fungibility in discussing oil control you are talking about oil disconnected from markets.

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 1:26 am

        The supply of oil can be controlled by any number of outside sources, whether it is fungible on the market or not Bob.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:32 am

        The supply of oil can be controlled by any number of outside sources, whether it is fungible on the market or not Bob.

        Actually, this goes against fungibility.

        Lets re-review China, once again. Lets imagine Chomsky gets his druthers. …and the US decides to enact an entire embargo and block all Gulf oil to China (a hugely amazing feat and one that would shock the world)

        China gets about 60% of its oil from the Mid East..
        Chinese oil imports: 3.19 Million bbl/day (2007) out of a global 78.9 million bbl/day (2005 est.).

        China gets to buy this oil from somewhere else. Viola! China buys it on the market from sources that easily can come from somewhere else (see below).
        link to eia.doe.gov

        The Oil unpurchased from the gulf gets put on the fungible oil market and then purchased by someone else.

        Chomsky completely overlooks this. Not only can’t the US stop China from getting the oil they need, even if by some miracle the US could pull off blocking oil to China without enraging the entire world… but you have the obvious problem of enraging the entire world.

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 1:35 am

        The “fungibility” (easy exchange) of oil is less important in the new environment than it used to be. Petroleum companies would like to go back to actually owning fields in the Middle East, since there are big profits to be made if you get to decide when you take it out of the ground. As Chinese and Indian competition for the increasingly scarce resource heats up, exclusive contracts will be struck.

        Oil is fungible only after its out of the ground. The name of today’s game is control of reserves, not markets. I would add that the fungibility argument assumes orderly markets in a peaceful world. The world is going to end up in a fight to the death for the oil that remains. When the world’s at war, oil’s fungibility doesn’t count for much. (During WWII, for example, Germany couldn’t just go out and buy the oil it needed. Lack of oil, as much as anything else, insured Germany’s defeat.) How seriously you take the oil motivation ultimately depends on how seriously you take the implications of Peak Oil.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:41 am

        Generally when I talk to people who follow Chomsky, I wait for the apocalyptic future world scenario to come out when fungability is brought up

        When the world’s at war

        The problem is, of course

        As Chinese and Indian competition for the increasingly scarce resource heats up

        The US hyper-accelerated this Asian demand and competition. Chomsky’s model looks at a US that is selfishly looking at its self interests. We have strongly derailed off of this paradigm once we bring up war, scarcity, and China and India’s voracious appetite and competition

        QED

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 2:13 am

        It tempers, this voracious competitive world, with a world economy and if you happen to be a multi-national corporation. In the global economy there are certain nations where their population is valuable and others where it is not. The government does not represent the people, it represents these moneyed interests (instrumentally through corporations) – actually it has never been any different since the beginning, it has just increased.

        Thomas Barnett a number of years ago used to give debriefing lectures for the Pentagon, and what he did was to show what the “role” of the US was in this global economy. Essentially, it all broke down to the worlds troubleshooters in the sense of military action. Things pretty much follow that pattern, while the people are more and more estranged –

        THE PENTAGONS NEW MAP

        Essentially I am saying they do not give a damn about you. They are the date of any one with juice. So the problem is not merely localized, it does not adhere to the solving of one subject (no matter how valid it might be at the moment), it is the nature of the system – not conspiratorial but systemic. Reform is not going to address it, the removal of one elite element is not going to do it, and the only thing lacking for the remedy is the distracted people and their being totally undone in a system which is set to self-destruction. Nothing short of a revolution is going to stop it.

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 2:18 am

        Sorry, the link did not take, lets try it again –

        THE PENTAGONS NEW MAP

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 2:29 am

        The government does not represent the people, it represents these moneyed interests (instrumentally through corporations) – actually it has never been any different since the beginning, it has just increased.

        This is where the wheel spins around to a long tautology, despite repeated logical contradictions. Some are mentioned here. Some are mentioned in “control” of the oil spigot and how this is not possible due to the global fungible oil market. This wraps around back to how this point ignores the ideological and the various defeats by ‘big industry’ to those in the lobby

        However, here is the crux of the problem here

        Things pretty much follow that pattern

        Let me ask you one basic starting question. This is very important.

        • How many causal laws of human cultural behavior are there?

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 3:13 am

        Now you are getting ridiculous Bob, do you think I am going to go through all of the epistemological schools here? Gimme a break. I tell you what, instead of your prejudiced interrogation why don’t you look at the link I produced, get back to me when you are done.

      • Call Me Ishmael
        November 16, 2009, 6:34 am

        “Oil is fungible only after its out of the ground. The name of today’s game is control of reserves, not markets.”

        v…, there is ample evidence that Donald Rumsfeld and the US military high command never intended a long-term military occupation of Iraq. The neocons themselves always advocated the installation of a “democratic” government there, thinking that in itself would eliminate a possible threat to Israel. But no sensible person could have believed that any elected government in Iraq would conceivably favor a long-term foreign military occupation of their country. (Dubbya, the decider in chief, would not have been capable of an independent assessment of the matter.)

        The idea that the Iraq war could result in long-term US control of Iraq’s oil reserves is ludicrous on its face. I’m sure that most oil industry executives were smart enough to know that.

    • bob
      November 16, 2009, 3:15 am

      all of the epistemological schools here?

      Post one, then.

      Post one causal law of human behavior.

      This is very important.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 3:17 am

        cultural behavior.

  12. coltsfan
    November 16, 2009, 1:30 am

    there was actually a good article about this in the journal Middle east critique. It was titled “The US invasion of Iraq explanations and implications” volume 16 issue 3, pgs 209-228 sept 2007.It gets really good from page 12 onwards. Id also like to add that the middle east is considered the most important strategic location in the world for a reason, and a lot of has to do with denying other powers control of the resources in the gulf as Iraq tried to do in the early nineties.

  13. Jeffrey Blankfort
    November 16, 2009, 1:48 am

    v, I generally assume that when someone writes “owns” he or she means “owns” in the sense that one possesses something. That China has more than a trillion dollars of US debt is well known. Given the ability and the willingness of the Fed to print more money and thus devalue that debt which it has already done, there is a question of how significant it is in terms of influencing US policy in the Middle East. I suspect it is very little.

    Under the circumstances, your present attempt to get around your original statement then raises the question, why did you mention China in the first place, apart from the fact that it does seem that China has benefited from the war to a greater extent than the United States? As for the notion that what is important is that the US controls the taps of Iraqi oil, like a bartender at a brew pub, is simply laughable.

    Here’s the skinny. The oil companies had done just fine before the war because keeping the region stable and free from threats is a necessity which is why they opposed the war. One doesn’t expect to find such understanding in the ranks of the anti-war movement, unfortunately, but it’s a reality that can’t be argued with, at least with any substance.

    This was one of the reason those connected with oil, Daddy Bush, Baker and Scowcroft opposed the war. (By the way, does Chomsky ever mention that or try to explain it?) The second reason is that they realized by deposing Saddam the US was likely to get into a quagmire which would stand to benefit Iran which is what happened and if you don’t think Iran has also gained from the war, there is nothing left to talk about.

    • coltsfan
      November 16, 2009, 1:56 am

      i dont think V is arguing that the war was fought for oil companies, its almost an indefensible poistion. A far better theory is that it was fought to increase the United States’ strategic dominance of the middle east. This has been a staple of middle east policy since the cold war. Its not just the chomskyite faction that says this.

      • Dan Kelly
        November 16, 2009, 2:25 pm

        A far better theory is that it was fought to increase the United States’ strategic dominance of the middle east.

        How would fighting a war in Iraq ” increase the United States’ strategic dominance of the middle east?”

        The United States’ interests in the region do not depend on costly wars. It is well known in the business community, and has been stated time and time and time again, that peace and stability in the Middle East are far better for business than war and instability.

        Israel’s interest in the region (Eretz Israel) does depend on costly wars. It is well known in Israel, and has been stated time and time and time again by leading Israelis from its founders through its modern day pols and militarists, that war and instability in the surrounding region are far better for Israel than peace and stability.

    • Dan Kelly
      November 16, 2009, 1:43 pm

      That China has more than a trillion dollars of US debt is well known. Given the ability and the willingness of the Fed to print more money and thus devalue that debt which it has already done

      And China has been extremely vocal in their concern about this of late. It’s all over the press, even the U.S. press, if one cares to look for it.

      Chomsky and his followers never make a serious inquiry into world events from a financial perspective. They stick to straight imperialist notions. It’s interesting, because Marx himself predicted that finance capital would separate and become an entity unto its own. Chomsky et al seem unable, or unwilling, to follow this route.

      • coltsfan
        November 16, 2009, 7:33 pm

        sorry for the late reply you ask how would costly wars increase US strategic dominance in the middle east. First to the planners of the war this war wasn’t supposed to be costly it was supposed to play for itself. Second a friendly government in IRaq allied with the US and letting the US have numerous megabases as it was originally dictated in the SoFA would definitely increase US dominance of the region. Keeping bases in Saudi Arabia was already proving too costly. Third removing a government that was unfriendly to the US, and replacing it with one that was supposed to be closely aligned with the US would definitely increase US dominance.

      • coltsfan
        November 16, 2009, 7:35 pm

        and for the last time no one here is talking about oil companies, we are talking about strategic interests. i.e transforming the middle east by getting rid of non compliant government such as iraq, and iran.

      • Dan Kelly
        November 16, 2009, 8:19 pm

        transforming the middle east by getting rid of non compliant government such as iraq, and iran.

        You don’t get rid of “non-compliant governments” by obliterating the country.

        “Strategic interests” is generally taken to mean business or raw materials. The only raw materials the region has that anyone is seriously interested in is oil, and oil companies had no desire to see instability in the regions created via war, just as American business has no desire to see huge, largely untapped markets destroyed.

        American “strategic interests” are gained in every other part of the world via covert operations and the like, not waging wars. The wars in the Middle East are intended to destroy the countries and fragment the entire area in the interest of Israeli “security,” not to create a favorable environment for American business.

  14. Queue
    November 16, 2009, 1:59 am

    In his book “A Pretext for War” James Bamford concludes, after conducting an exhasutive number of interviews with Pentagon & W administration insiders, that “the security of Israel was the chief motor for the war.” In other words it was a war for Israel.

    General Zinni and Senator Fritz Hollings have said essentially the same thing.

  15. Queue
    November 16, 2009, 2:29 am

    “Control of reserves” doesn’t matter as long as oil is brought to market, which would be done no matter who controls the reserves.

    Commodity markets ensure a centralized price discovery mechanism. For instance if Russia wants to gouge Europe for the price it charges for crude oil, European buyers could pay a slightly higher price for crude oil coming from the Gulf of Mexico and ship it to Europe. The integration of oil markets means that once transportation costs to oil refineries are included oil prices from disparate sources effectively converge to a single price. The price differences for crude oil are almost entirely attributable to transportation costs.

    Its the same reason why i don’t buy or sell my shares of stock different from the national best ask or bid: the market provides a centralised price discovery and execution mechanism.

    • bob
      November 16, 2009, 2:32 am

      Chomsky makes a huge error skipping this.

    • Call Me Ishmael
      November 16, 2009, 5:59 am

      Seeing that “Queue” has appeared here, I would like to take the opportunity to point to an excellent recent article by Paul Craig Roberts at Counterpunch.org, entitled:

      “America’s Dismal Future: How the Lobby Made Mincemeat of the Obama Administration”.

      Quoting from the article:
      “Allegedly, the US is a superpower and Israel is a client state whose very existence depends entirely on US military and economic aid and diplomatic protection. Yet, in the real world it works the other way. Israel is the superpower and the US is its client state.”

      Here’s the link:

      link to counterpunch.com

      • Richard Witty
        November 16, 2009, 7:03 am

        Queue’s arguments about markets supports the view that the war was to secure the supply chain for oil, rather than the limited Blankfort speculation of US based company contracts.

        Prior there was homeostasis and stability in the supply chain (with a great deal of tension), and the idiocy of initiating war on presumptive reasoning created instability and temporarily disrupted markets.

        The neo-conservative view was that that homeostasis was temporary and very fragile. Who knows if that is accurate or not. The horrific performance of US intelligence and political judgement in going to war is obvious.

        The only valid argument that could be made about Israel’s importance in the mix is as tipping issue. But, that is a FAR CRY from cause.

        The reality is that Bush wanted to repair his father’s “failure”, to redeem himself as contributing something of value, and that that is a very poor basis of governmental policy. (That is also a tipping motive).

  16. Shmuel
    November 16, 2009, 2:49 am

    Jeffrey and others,
    What were the causes of the first Gulf War, and if different from those of the second war, how did they affect the decisions of the Bush Jr. administration?

    • bob
      November 16, 2009, 2:58 am

      I put a couple of links here regarding this.

      It is important to note that Secy. Powell reflected the diplomatic aims of the first Bush administration when he was pushing for

      2001
      the virtually exclusive focus on Osama bin Laden and his network, Al Qaeda, and the expansive American courtship of most Arab countries, has left Israel feeling isolated and uneasy.

      The logic is simple. This is a war in which Arab allies are vital to Washington. Their price — imposed in part by the need of the Arab governments to justify working with the United States to their own publics — is a visible American effort on behalf of the Palestinians.

      That means American pressure on Israel for more concessions, and an American readiness to overlook the organizations and states that Israel would like to see crushed as terrorists and supporters of terrorists: Hamas, Hezbollah, the various armies of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Syria, Iran.

    • bob
      November 16, 2009, 3:02 am

      Here’s something to highlight the split between when Bush was taking his queues from Powell to the neocons.

      November 18, 2001
      As President Bush prepares to host Ramadan feasts at the White House this week to bolster Muslim support for the war on terrorism, he is shadowed by criticism of the administration’s outreach efforts to American Muslims during the past two months.

      Jewish groups and some conservatives have been lobbying the president to stop courting certain Muslim leaders who, they say, have equivocated on terrorism by condemning the Sept. 11 attacks but praising Hamas and Hezbollah. Those two groups, which are fighting Israel, are on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

      “It’s a very simple proposition,” said Phil Baum, executive director of the American Jewish Congress. “The White House …

  17. syvanen
    November 16, 2009, 3:23 am

    A bunch of us beat up on v… because we see a hole in his argument. Basically western big oil not only did they not benefit from the sanctions against Iran and the war against Iraq but that they have lost. The only beneficiary of these actions were the Zionists (though in the long run, as M&W have shown, even Israel loses here). So v… defends himself with this statement:

    Essentially I am saying they do not give a damn about you. They are the date of any one with juice. So the problem is not merely localized, it does not adhere to the solving of one subject (no matter how valid it might be at the moment), it is the nature of the system – not conspiratorial but systemic. Reform is not going to address it, the removal of one elite element is not going to do it, and the only thing lacking for the remedy is the distracted people and their being totally undone in a system which is set to self-destruction. Nothing short of a revolution is going to stop it.

    I read this paragraph three times and I cannot figure out what the point is. Perhaps more discerning souls can extract some meaning here. But what I think this means is that v… has run out of cogent arguments and is now throwing sand and gobbledegook into the thread to cover his indefensible positions. It is something that I have thought for many years — the chomskyids are trying to explain everything with a basically flawed ideology that becomes absurd when analyzing reality.

    • VR
      November 16, 2009, 3:58 am

      “The only beneficiary of these actions were the Zionists (though in the long run, as M&W have shown, even Israel loses here). So v… defends himself with this statement:”

      Now you have stooped to syvanen, to non-contextual statements, that was not the reply I gave that is circling back to the underlying systemic cause toward the end of this long senseless gauntlet. I do not operate in that fashion, using a ploy of preconceived conclusions and trying to funnel a person through to your conclusions, I have a tendency to let a person think for themselves. However, back to what my reply was –

      “The force of their view that it is primarily for the sake of Israel, the war in Iraq – causes them to make ridiculous pontifications like syvanen, that we have lost influence – even though we have thousands of troops there. That is like saying if someone is in my house with a weapon pointed at me that I am perfectly free to do as I please.”

      Than you go on to say –

      “…the chomskyids are trying to explain everything with a basically flawed ideology that becomes absurd when analyzing reality.”

      There is no flawed ideology, just plain facts, just because you accuse with what you and your compatriots use, that is, another flawed ideology – some ephemeral view of the United States, part myth and part indoctrination, does not negate the facts in regard to the history of the United States and the systemic debacle it finds itself in. It is similar to what Jefferey dismissed on another post –

      “…they suffer from the fact that the political line of the organized opposition to Zionism in this country has been set by various varieties of self-styled Marxists, Trotskyists whose political viewpoints do not allow consideration of the role played by domestic pressure groups, regardless of their size.”

      Which really causes one to ask, what is your ideology? What do you do, run around with American flags on your vehicles? If you met me in person would you say after a while “America, love it or leave it?” You miscalculate the size of the problem, dismiss the very nature of what the country was defined as even by the so-called “founding fathers” from the beginning, and then broach half truth conspiracy theories about what the “real” problem is. All I have to say is that it is simply amazing – but you go ahead and build that “local” response and try to reform this system. That way, after you have failed (because of your miscalculations about what we are dealing with), I can have a good time laughing at the “Blankfordites” (as opposed to the Chomskyites) … LOL

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 4:07 am

        underlying systemic cause

        Like our discussion has gone…

        Let me ask you one basic starting question. This is very important.

        • How many causal laws of human cultural behavior are there?

        v…
        Now you are getting ridiculous Bob, do you think I am going to go through all of the epistemological schools here? Gimme a break.

        Post one, then.

        Post one causal law of human (cultural) behavior.

        This is very important.

        I’m still waiting.

      • syvanen
        November 16, 2009, 4:22 am

        Thanks, you make my point.

      • syvanen
        November 16, 2009, 4:25 am

        Whoops, my comment was directed at v.., not Bob.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        November 16, 2009, 12:04 pm

        ‘v’
        This discussion is about the relative roles that oil and support for Israel played in mounting a war on Iraq, not about how we change American society. When argument fails, as it obviously has in your case, you become desperate and tell us what we need here is a revolution, not only off topic but a prospect so remote that it is evidently designed either to shift the argument to pipe dreams or to end it.

        Back to the argument, Witty has written that the war was about securing the supply of oil from Iraq. That was never a problem. Saddam was always ready and willing to sell oil to whoever had the money to pay for it. The deal that China just consumated was, in fact, initiated under his regime. Oil was the economic life blood of Saddam as it will be for the current regime. So that argument simply doesn’t hold.

        It has been remarked that General Zinni and Senator Hollings (AFTER he had announced he would not run again) said it was a war for Israel but there was also someone who was even closer to the scene who did the same, namely Colin Powell
        who placed the blame on “the JINSA crowd.” He was referring to the Jewish Inst. for National Security Affairs, a neocon operation heavily weighted with former military officers tied to Israel which tends to operate under the radar of the nation’s media and that of virtually all the known pundits of “the left.” (I write “virtually” because I assume there may be one or two out there who I have missed). It’s website is http://www.jinsa.org and I recommend that readers here thoroughly check it out. Powell’s assessment was verified by Doug Bloomfield, a former top-level AIPAC staff member who, writing about the buildup to an attack on Iran in the Jerusalem Post (7/16/8) referred to the efforts
        of “the neocon hawks who brought us the glorious liberation of Iraq and democratization of the entire Arab world” and who are trying to do the same to Tehran
        http://www.jpost.com
        /servlet/Satellite?cid=1215330995585&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

        Now to ‘v’ and to Witty, or anyone else locked into their mindset (and sorry if I make you two seem so chummy but that’s the way it looks after shaking the sieve), other than your personal OPINIONS, please offer just a shred of hard evidence that this war was not waged primarily, whatever Dubya might have thought, for the benefit of Israel.

        The notion that Dubya did it to avenge Saddam’s alleged attack on his dad has always been amusing but defies serious consideration. Moreover, it doesn’t square with Dubya’s response to the late Tim Russert who asked him how he reconciled his decision to go to war on Iraq with the opposition to going to war on the part of George Bush Sr. “I answer to a higher father,” was Dubya’s response.

  18. Tuyzentfloot
    November 16, 2009, 3:36 am

    If it was a pure neocon anti OPEC war , then the neocons lost too. If it was about disintegrating Iraq, the neocons won.
    I more or less agree with v… that control can take many forms, and some of them involve control of reserves, control of pipelines and routes, and control of refineries. The free market cannot counteract all that.
    I prefer the idea that the aim was controlling the region. Then controlling its oil is a considerable part of it.

    I believe that few politicians took the WMD claim seriously. What the claim provided was a convenient excuse to legitimize support. Preferably the claim has some degree of truth behind it, but that doesn’t mean it was considered relevant. So when Military analysts would draw a huge distinction between posessing old chemical and biological weapons stocks, and posing an actual military threat. That is of course also why Colin Powell is being disingenious when he claims having been fooled about the WMD . Nobody considered Iraq a military threat. So a find of old mustard gas grenades, we’re talking about weapons that existed in WWI, feeds into the ‘technical violation’ claim, which feeds into the ‘imminent military threat’ claim, but only as long as you take care to obfuscate the distinction. Scott Ritter did a good job early on to draw that distinction. I recall that Wolfowitz also made the interesting claim before the war that he could take Iraq with what was it, 10.000 or 40.000 soldiers.

    • VR
      November 16, 2009, 4:11 am

      Exactly Tuyzentfloot, but they do not want to delve into this – so they keep screaming that the war was fought for Israel’s security – as if Iraq could be a threat to anyone, even their neighbors was laughable. Unfortunately I think we are dealing with more than just a theory gone wild, they have some really deep foundational problems about how things function in the states or the nature of what we are dealing with as a people.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 4:24 am

        as if Iraq could be a threat to anyone, even their neighbors was laughable.

        It was complained about by Perle, Feith, other Neocons, AIPAC, Bibi Netanyahu, Shimon Peres, Ariel Sharon, Right wing Israeli papers,

        How about focusing on the fundamentals of the positivist outlook there and post up one causal law of human cultural behavior?

      • Tuyzentfloot
        November 16, 2009, 4:30 am

        As if Iraq could be a threat oh but if the situation with Iraq would have been allowed to normalize, then Iraq would become a player again. It’s legitimate being a player in the region, but of course not tolerable.

  19. Rehmat
    November 16, 2009, 4:58 am

    It’s interesting how recently the very media supporting the war in the Muslim world in the begining are criticing the US government’s failure to win the war – both in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, a politically aware person would know that both wars were conceived in Israel (PNAC).

    Afghanistan was invaded (after the occurence of the “proposed” big event, the 9/11) for exploiting the Caspian oil fields by running oilpipe through Afghanistan to Pakistani port of Gwadar. But the not much reported reason was to bring-back the heroin for the drug-lords.

    Iraq was invaded for being considered a threat to Israel – just like Iran now – with oil being used as a ‘carrot’ for the brainwashed American public. A huge quantity of Iraqi oil has already been stolen – but Americans have failed to dismember the country into “three states (the Sunni Iraq, the Shia Iraq, and the Kurd Iraq) as the Zionist planned – at least so far.

    Afghanistan: Occupied for drugs
    link to rehmat1.wordpress.com

  20. Richard Witty
    November 16, 2009, 6:06 am

    I think Blankfort’s logic is thin and strained. He states that because US based oil companies have not acquired as many or as advantageous oil contracts as they would have liked, that that “proves” that the war was not fought to secure the supply chain for oil (there is no such thing as a US oil company, they are ALL global).

    Maybe I’m misreading his thesis.

    That seems to be a ludicrous conclusion. The neo-conservatives primary advocacy was for oil. Bush and Cheney’s and almost all of their appointments’ main emphasis in public life was around oil. The military regards the supply chain for oil as THE primary concern.

    The only question is that some regarded the best way to secure the supply chain for oil to be to renounce any association with Israel entirely (the Arabists), on the assumption that that is what the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Emirates’ want (which seems false, as they periodically and reluctantly ask Israel and the US to do dirty work for them); or to include defense of Israel in the means to secure the supply chain for oil.

    In that decision, Israel’s role is moderately changing secondary means to what is considered a primary concern.

    We still undertake very very little voluntary, incentivized, or mandatory energy efficiency in the US, even now. The distraction (the mean distraction) of exagerated emphasis on Israel as “reason for war” keeps us stuck relative to both energy conservation and internal social emphasis and social justice.

    • Chaos4700
      November 16, 2009, 8:18 am

      Maybe I’m misreading his thesis.

      Sadly, that’s about the most profound thing you’ve stated. Did you actually use the term Arabist? Really? Good God, man. You going around claiming to be a liberal is like watching a man pretend to be gay and then proceed to, ahem, score a home runs on anything with double X chromosomes and a blood alcohol level. It’s insulting.

    • Richard Witty
      November 16, 2009, 8:21 am

      Chaos,
      Add some value to the discussion, rather than ONLY character assassinate.

      If you think I missed his thesis, why don’t you HELP and clarify the apparent differences.

      • Chaos4700
        November 16, 2009, 8:25 am

        Yeah, because watching you spout a shoddy argument and then roll on the ground spurting blood from your eyes like a regal horned lizard adds a lot to the debate.

        You don’t care about the thesis, that’s the point. How many times do I have to point out that you attack the authors and the headlines and never address the substance of anything?

      • Richard Witty
        November 16, 2009, 8:36 am

        So, model what you suggest.

        Demonstrate for me our differences in thesis, and where you stand.

      • Chaos4700
        November 16, 2009, 8:51 am

        Witty, you don’t have a thesis. You’re spouting Islamophobic terminology. I’m not going to waste my time. It’s like explaining to a member of the KKK why black people are not, in fact, the cause of all their problems.

      • Richard Witty
        November 16, 2009, 9:07 am

        Its sad that that is the extent of your reading of my posts.

        Just to reiterate:

        I am a Zionist in the sense that I believe that the Jewish people are a people, deserve a home place to confidently self-govern, and that Israel is the common sentimental and current home.

        I believe strongly in the dual nature of the Israeli project, Jewish AND democratic, and that those are simultaneously applicable, through the medium of equal due process under the law.

        I support the development of a viable Palestinian state on the West Bank (and Gaza if that comes to pass), that is also dually Palestinian and democratic. I believe that Israel should HELP this come to pass, so that Palestinians have real opportunity, on humane grounds AND for the purposes of Israeli security and prosperity.

        I regard the two-state approach as best because it optimizes self-governance.

        I oppose the single-state theory on those grounds, becuase it currently results in a diminution of self-governance (democracy), rather than a realization of it. I oppose BDS as punitive and vague (a HORRIBLE combination for human rights).

        I regard the original and applied thesis of “THE Israel Lobby as exagerated, confusing (monolithic or not monolithic), and subject to gross exageration, that is not contested sufficiently by authors or by Phil.

      • Chaos4700
        November 16, 2009, 9:34 am

        Witty, there was nothing democratic about the Nakba. There generally never is, with any sort of ethnic cleansing. Jews only became a majority on most of the land in Palestine because they emptied whole villages by military force, then actively prevented the return of those refugees.

        Israel was built on blood and theft, not democracy. Unless you confront that, Witty, you will continue to spell yourself out as an enabler and collaborator in war crimes.

      • Richard Witty
        November 16, 2009, 10:09 am

        As there was nothing democratic about the suppression of European Jews’ immigration in the 30’s, 40’s and late 40’s.

        As there was nothing democratic about the Arab uprising of the late 30’s, as there was nothing democratic about the 1947 civil war, as there was nothing democratic about the 1948 coordinated (poorly) war to remove Israel from the map, and Israelis from the soil (ethnic cleansing) even though Israel was authorized by UN resolution and ratified.

        And, as there certainly wasn’t anything democratic about the holocaust, WW2, Russian pogroms, etc.

        There was something democratic about the intentional purchase of land, improvement of land, establishment of institutions of self-governance.

        There was something democratic about early efforts to form coalitions with Arab parties to establish bi-national state in the 20’s. (Rejected.)

        The nakba is an injustice, many elements that still requires remedy. It just is misrepresentative (a lie) to only describe the establishment of the state of Israel as undemocratic, or invalid.

        And, the Israeli primary law with its dual nature of Jewish AND democratic, is a great democratic model.

      • Citizen
        November 16, 2009, 1:52 pm

        Zionism was created from the notion jews would take the land from the natives; and so from the start it was implemented. Witty knows this. He has responded multiple times, in essence, so what? All land was initially stolen from somebody. Hasbara #4.
        Is this type of thinking progressive or regressive? You decide.

      • VR
        November 16, 2009, 4:51 pm

        Witty, not that we meet on many points, but as an aside, next they will be telling us about the “benefits” of black lists, it is just a matter of time. Sing hail to the red, white, and blue…

  21. Citizen
    November 16, 2009, 7:20 am

    Here ‘s an article written in 2002 that stresses the theory that oil was central to how we were dealing with Iraq (although Israel is mentioned in passing). But the reason I offer it is that it covers some oil business strategies that aren’t covered so far here, or at least not in such detail–perhaps someone here may see how this article’s content fits in with the debate going on here:
    link to globalpolicy.org

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      November 16, 2009, 12:29 pm

      Thanks for the link. The writer, Jim Paul, has been observing and writing about the Middle East for years and his opening statement would seem to confirm the “war for oil” theory, except that it accepts without reservation, until the last paragraphs, the argument for war that was obviously being presented on Capitol hill by the neocons as their justification for the war:

      “Oil is at the heart of the crisis that leads towards a US war against Iraq. For more than a hundred years, major powers have battled to control this enormous source of wealth and strategic power. The major international oil companies, headquartered in the United States and the United Kingdom, are keen to regain control over Iraq’s oil, lost with the nationalization in 1972.”

      The article is filled with much background information but it provides a cozy scenario that ignores the geopolitical effects that overthrowing the Iraq regime would certainly have and already has.

  22. Citizen
    November 16, 2009, 7:41 am

    And here’s an article written last month that operates as a follow-up to the 2002 article
    I referenced–2 excerpts:

    “After a 35 year wait, American and British oil corporations are on the verge of securing control of Iraq’s vast oil reserves. Becca Fisher reveals how the unholy alliance of Big Oil, government and the IMF is getting closer to its goal of reconstructing the Iraqi state to gain secure oil supplies.”

    “The Iraqi cabinet have just this month approved a new Hydrocarbon Law. It is expected to be passed by the Iraqi parliament in the next few months. If passed, this law
    will represent a fundamental restructuring of the Iraqi state in order to hand over control of Iraq’s oil into foreign hands. It also requires the fundamnetal re-definition of terms like ‘sovereignty’ and ‘democracy’.

    COVERT PRIVATISATION

    The new law would allow foreign oil companies to sign long term contracts, giving them exclusive rights over Iraq’s huge oil fields. Its very terms reflect the public opposition to privatisation in Iraq, as the proposed contracts carefully ensure that the state still owns the oil whilst the company controls production, secures huge rates of profit, and is immune from Iraqi state regulation. As former Iraqi oil minister, Ibrahim Bahr al-Uloum, puts it, ‘The Iraqi oil sector needs privatisation but it’s a cultural issue’[1]. The solution has been to disguise the plunder in this covert form of privatisation.”
    link to corporatewatch.org

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      November 16, 2009, 12:42 pm

      Another interesting article promoting the “war for oil” theory although Friday’s news would seem to contradict the analysis. To be sure, foreign oil companies would only be too happy to be able to profit from Iraq’s oil reserves but absent the stability of the political system that is not likely to the case in the near future since oil facilities and pipelines are vulnerable to sabotage by anyone with a bulldozer. In 1970, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine broke the pipeline that crossed from Iraq into Northern Jordan leaving a huge black oil pool there as evidence.

    • bob
      November 16, 2009, 12:59 pm

      COVERT PRIVATISATION

      Like what Blankfort brings up, these discussions on Oil seem to gloss over how there were two conflicting plans, setting off a hidden policy war between neo-conservatives at the Pentagon, on one side, versus a combination of “Big Oil” executives and US State Department “pragmatists”.

      Areil Cohen and the Heritage Foundation wrote up the “Privatization plan.” The industry wanted to keep them nationalized, flood the market, and crush Israel’s enemies in OPEC.

      As per the writing of this link, it appeared that the oil industry had a chance to finally enact their plan. It didn’t happen. The whole structure is still in a complete shambles.
      link to news.bbc.co.uk

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:06 pm

        Oh, and the best part about Ariel Cohen et. al. plan to privatize (over the objections of the US Oil Industry), is that now were seeing privatization… where China is reaping the long term contracts.

        The argument for “war for oil” doesn’t have a pillar to stand on, and when you scratch the surface for it, you find neoconservatives.

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:23 pm

        correction
        Areil Cohen and the Heritage Foundation wrote up the “Privatization plan.” The industry wanted to keep them nationalized. The Neoconservatives wanted to privatize, flood the market, and crush Israel’s enemies in OPEC.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        November 16, 2009, 3:56 pm

        I remember this article which was generally ignored by the “war for Israel” crowd. That it was written by Greg Palast, an avowed supporter of Israel, when pushed, who has branded Al Jazeera as “the terrorist’s network” is interesting.

        What is not mentioned and is less generally known is that the break-up of OPEC and the US distancing itself from Saudi Arabia have been key items on the neocon agenda. They have not gone anywhere because Saudi Arabia is viewed as a genuine asset in the eyes of the old-line Washington establishment as well as the arms industry. Apart from the Pentagon, the Saudis are its best customer. It has purchased far more expensive weaponry from the US than it could possibly use which leads one to the reasonable conclusion that it provides a necessary subsidy to the US arms industry as a rebate for the US allowing them to control their oil.

        A clear example of this was demonstrated following Gulf War One when the Saudis, who had largely bankrolled the war, told Bush Sr.that they could no longer afford to fulfill the terms of a contract they had made with McDonnell-Douglas for jet fighters they had made prior to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.

        In so many words, Bush told them that they had to keep to the deal, otherwise the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis would be forced to close. Bush solved the problem by arranging a payment plan for the planes and the jobs were saved. The brief report of this that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle noted that when learning that the contract had been rescued, the plant’s workers celebrated throughout the night.

    • VR
      November 16, 2009, 4:56 pm

      However Mr. Blankfort –

      “…pipelines are vulnerable to sabotage by anyone with a bulldozer.”

      However, there is nothing to worry about, haven’t you heard? Oil is fungible

  23. Citizen
    November 16, 2009, 8:03 am

    OTH (more or less) here is a 2004 article that appears to demolish Chomsky-V; it knocks off the various theories that the was was fought for Big Oil and/or American control of the spigot and/or for macro American hegemony, leaving the war as the result of the Likudnick fifth column in the USA: a war for Israel as the basic reason left standing for all to see:
    link to thornwalker.com

    • VR
      November 16, 2009, 10:02 am

      That is nice Citizen, but I never said it was fought for big oil. I think we have a repetitive process here, tell a lie long enough with force (opposing posters), and everyone starts believing it. Not a good way to have an argument.

      • Citizen
        November 16, 2009, 12:28 pm

        V, I see you did not read the article I referenced. You said, “…there is no denial of Israel or the Lobby’s involvement in pushing for the war, there is also no denial it what they thought it might mean for them (more security), but that it was solely launched on that basis is not tenable.”

        Read or reread the article I referenced. It might suggest to you that, although Israel First was not the only interest involved in taking us to war, it was the main interest. I think it’s fair to say that’s what most of the comments you responded to here were saying just that. I posted two other comments dealing with the complexity of the oil industry since that’s mostly what you argued about. You need to see the forest, not the trees.

    • VR
      November 16, 2009, 11:20 am

      The gambit sort of flows like this – they say oil generally without definition, than they attribute that when you say oil was involved, it has to be the crude visual of some dope marching around with a sign with lats say, Exxon / Mobil on it – but that was never said. It is attributed by this crew, totally dishonest. One cannot say, according to them “oil” without this scenario, nor can they say that control of the area (which includes oil) separate from this crude visual.

      So, they sort of run it like a gauntlet, constantly applying their label to you as they expostulate their preconceived positions. It is patently ridiculous.

      They attribute all ills in America to the Zionist cabal, never stopping to think what scenario they are setting up or possible historical repeat. Now, all of my considerations are based on facts of both history and the normal course of how the country functions – they cannot have it that way, they must have something that is insidiously “special.” They do not want a confluence of interest, but must say that all is abandoned at the behest and whip of Zionism. I could delve further into the issue, but really do not have the time.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      November 16, 2009, 1:04 pm

      This article by Stephen Sniegoski “Oil Not Israel,” carefully footnoted, remains the best piece I have seen that demolishes the notion that the Iraq war was fought for oil or for global dominance.

      As Sniegoski concludes:

      “Various converging pieces of evidence militate against the idea that the United States went to war to achieve global domination — a domination that was neither enhanced by the war nor, apparently, planned for. Moreover, the military and the experts closely connected to oil foreign policy, who were not neoconservatives, did not see the benefits to be derived from the war. If American global-power motives really predominated, it is hard to understand why support for the war was not more widespread, but instead was concentrated among neoconservatives. How could neocons see the advantages to be gained for American global power when they were invisible to most of the foreign-policy/national-security elite? As for the oil-profits motive, why would neocons be more interested in those purported profits than Big Oil itself?”

      • bob
        November 16, 2009, 1:13 pm

        Sniegoski’s contribution is to thoroughly review the mountain of material already published on the neocons to support a thesis held by many war critics – that neocons, abetted by the 9/11 attacks and their supporters within the administration, were able to “gain control” of U.S. policy.

        The book does one thing better than most other treatments – it hones in on the centrality of Israel in the neoconservative worldview, drawing out the significance of the relationship between neocons and the Israeli right, and placing the “war on terror” squarely within the neocon-Likud vision of Mideast peace.

        link to ipsnews.net

      • Citizen
        November 16, 2009, 1:35 pm

        Here’s Sniegoski in January of 2003 laying out the underlying Israel Firster takeover of our government’s foreign policy in the Middle East since the days of Scoop Jackson through Shrub’s neocon-riddled regime:
        link to currentconcerns.ch

    • Dan Kelly
      November 16, 2009, 2:03 pm

      Sniegoski has done much to debunk the “war for oil” theory. I believe the above article is the one that contains the quote from an oil executive who essentially says that U.S. oil companies stopped trying to win political battles with the Israel “lobby” (the Zionist Power Structure) many years ago. They (the oil companies) decided their resources were better spent largely on domestic and other areas, not on lobbying for Middle East initiatives, where they were defeated time and again by Israel and its adherents.

  24. Citizen
    November 16, 2009, 9:27 am

    On a different note, simply because Kafka was mentioned on a recent thread on this blog regarding the nature of human identity “with a Jewish flavor” a la Witty,
    I send you this reference suggesting Kafka never really surmounted this reality, and I am sure
    he’d agree if he was a bug on the wall:
    link to spiegel.de

  25. Kathleen
    November 16, 2009, 9:34 am

    Iraq war based on a “pack of lies” = a confluence of neo, oil, theo cons

    Don’t forget about the Project for A New American Century and their push for an unnecessary war in Iraq

    link to newamericancentury.org

    January 26, 1998

    The Honorable William J. Clinton
    President of the United States
    Washington, DC

    Dear Mr. President:

    We are writing you because we are convinced that current American policy toward Iraq is not succeeding, and that we may soon face a threat in the Middle East more serious than any we have known since the end of the Cold War. In your upcoming State of the Union Address, you have an opportunity to chart a clear and determined course for meeting this threat. We urge you to seize that opportunity, and to enunciate a new strategy that would secure the interests of the U.S. and our friends and allies around the world. That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.

    The policy of “containment” of Saddam Hussein has been steadily eroding over the past several months. As recent events have demonstrated, we can no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War coalition to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections. Our ability to ensure that Saddam Hussein is not producing weapons of mass destruction, therefore, has substantially diminished. Even if full inspections were eventually to resume, which now seems highly unlikely, experience has shown that it is difficult if not impossible to monitor Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons production. The lengthy period during which the inspectors will have been unable to enter many Iraqi facilities has made it even less likely that they will be able to uncover all of Saddam’s secrets. As a result, in the not-too-distant future we will be unable to determine with any reasonable level of confidence whether Iraq does or does not possess such weapons.

    Such uncertainty will, by itself, have a seriously destabilizing effect on the entire Middle East. It hardly needs to be added that if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, as he is almost certain to do if we continue along the present course, the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world’s supply of oil will all be put at hazard. As you have rightly declared, Mr. President, the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century will be determined largely by how we handle this threat.

    Given the magnitude of the threat, the current policy, which depends for its success upon the steadfastness of our coalition partners and upon the cooperation of Saddam Hussein, is dangerously inadequate. The only acceptable strategy is one that eliminates the possibility that Iraq will be able to use or threaten to use weapons of mass destruction. In the near term, this means a willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing. In the long term, it means removing Saddam Hussein and his regime from power. That now needs to become the aim of American foreign policy.

    We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration’s attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts. Although we are fully aware of the dangers and difficulties in implementing this policy, we believe the dangers of failing to do so are far greater. We believe the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf. In any case, American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.

    We urge you to act decisively. If you act now to end the threat of weapons of mass destruction against the U.S. or its allies, you will be acting in the most fundamental national security interests of the country. If we accept a course of weakness and drift, we put our interests and our future at risk.

    Sincerely,

    Elliott Abrams Richard L. Armitage William J. Bennett

    Jeffrey Bergner John Bolton Paula Dobriansky

    Francis Fukuyama Robert Kagan Zalmay Khalilzad

    William Kristol Richard Perle Peter W. Rodman

    Donald Rumsfeld William Schneider, Jr. Vin Weber

    Paul Wolfowitz R. James Woolsey Robert B. Zoellick

  26. Kathleen
    November 16, 2009, 9:36 am

    Netanyahu, Richard Perle etc part of the warmongering team and their agenda in the middle east

    link to informationclearinghouse.info

    A Clean Break:
    A New Strategy for Securing the Realm

    Following is a report prepared by The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ “Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000.” The main substantive ideas in this paper emerge from a discussion in which prominent opinion makers, including Richard Perle, James Colbert, Charles Fairbanks, Jr., Douglas Feith, Robert Loewenberg, David Wurmser, and Meyrav Wurmser participated. The report, entitled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” is the framework for a series of follow-up reports on strategy.

    Israel has a large problem. Labor Zionism, which for 70 years has dominated the Zionist movement, has generated a stalled and shackled economy. Efforts to salvage Israel’s socialist institutions—which include pursuing supranational over national sovereignty and pursuing a peace process that embraces the slogan, “New Middle East”—undermine the legitimacy of the nation and lead Israel into strategic paralysis and the previous government’s “peace process.” That peace process obscured the evidence of eroding national critical mass— including a palpable sense of national exhaustion—and forfeited strategic initiative. The loss of national critical mass was illustrated best by Israel’s efforts to draw in the United States to sell unpopular policies domestically, to agree to negotiate sovereignty over its capital, and to respond with resignation to a spate of terror so intense and tragic that it deterred Israelis from engaging in normal daily functions, such as commuting to work in buses.

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s government comes in with a new set of ideas. While there are those who will counsel continuity, Israel has the opportunity to make a clean break; it can forge a peace process and strategy based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism, the starting point of which must be economic reform. To secure the nation’s streets and borders in the immediate future, Israel can:

    * Work closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats. This implies clean break from the slogan, “comprehensive peace” to a traditional concept of strategy based on balance of power.
    * Change the nature of its relations with the Palestinians, including upholding the right of hot pursuit for self defense into all Palestinian areas and nurturing alternatives to Arafat’s exclusive grip on Palestinian society.
    * Forge a new basis for relations with the United States—stressing self-reliance, maturity, strategic cooperation on areas of mutual concern, and furthering values inherent to the West. This can only be done if Israel takes serious steps to terminate aid, which prevents economic reform.

    This report is written with key passages of a possible speech marked TEXT, that highlight the clean break which the new government has an opportunity to make. The body of the report is the commentary explaining the purpose and laying out the strategic context of the passages.

    • Citizen
      November 16, 2009, 2:05 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen, for your comments. The Sniegoski articles referenced above in various comments includes what you say and integrates it into the whole historical
      development domestically regarding the essential neocon motor without which we would not have attacked Iraq under Shrub.

  27. Todd
    November 16, 2009, 10:43 am

    I don’t know how accurate this take is, but it does tie different views together in a way that is interesting.

    link to sandersresearch.com

  28. VR
    November 16, 2009, 5:07 pm

    The feverish hunt and display for evidence here reminded (regardless of any context) me of something, and i could not put my finger on it, and than –

    THE ABUNDANCE OF EVIDENCE IS CLEAR

    What do you think? hehe

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      November 16, 2009, 7:09 pm

      That was supposed to be Chomsky in that pit, right, saying he was nor the messiah? And you were the one with the beard on the right, or was it the left in that mob, saying he was, right?

  29. VR
    November 16, 2009, 5:20 pm

    Than again, it might be closer to this –

    I HAVE DEFINITIVE PROOF!

  30. Brewer
    November 16, 2009, 7:22 pm

    Sorry to digress but I just can’t let RW’s comment go unchallenged.
    “As there was nothing democratic about the suppression of European Jews’ immigration in the 30’s, 40’s and late 40’s.”

    Not so. The overwhelming opposition to unlimited immigration is evidenced by the King Crane Commission – as if evidence was needed. No State would vote to allow wholesale immigration of one ethnic group to the point where it became a controlling bloc.

    “As there was nothing democratic about the Arab uprising of the late 30’s”

    This is an odd assertion. In the first place, the indigenous population were denied any form of democratic expression so they took the next step. An identical step was taken in what is now the U.S. in 1776 or thereabouts. I think most folk tend to view that little skirmish as the genesis of American Democracy

    ” even though Israel was authorized by UN resolution and ratified.”

    Quite simply untrue. The plan for partition was never ratified and the moment it was put on hold (at the insistence of the Americans who intended to create a bi-cultural State, Ben Gurion unilaterally declared Statehood in the full knowledge that War would ensue and with plans already laid for the expulsion of the indigenous people under the cover of general hostilities.

    Israel’s claim to be a Democratic State is really just a silly semantic game. Apart from the subtle racism practiced within the “Jewish State”, an occupation maintained for more than forty years during which the occupying power colonizes the subject territory is an annexation in all but name. It is only the label “occupation” that has allowed Israel totalitarian rule outside the Green Line without incurring the World’s condemnation. That is changing now that the internet has shone a light on the nature of the occupation.

    Incidentally, do “settlers” in the OT get to vote in Israeli elections?

  31. Jeffrey Blankfort
    November 16, 2009, 9:45 pm

    There also was nothing democratic about the UN vote for partition. Powerful zionists such as Bernard Baruch employed economic blackmail on a number of countries that were ready to vote against it and were assisted, in several instances, by their lackey, Walter White, head of the NAACP, which relied and still does on liberal Jews for funding. They got four countries to switch their votes from “no” to “yes” and seven to abstain. Baruch warned the UN delegate that voting against partition would cost him US aid.

    It is curious to see how much power the Jewish community was able to exert in this instance and on President Truman throughout his term in office, yet we are told these very same Jews did not have sufficient political clout to do anything to rescue the Jews of Europe just a year or two earlier.

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      November 16, 2009, 9:52 pm

      That was the delegate from France that was warned by Baruch that if France did not vote for partition, its aid would be cut. You can read about this and other examples of the exercise of Jewish political power in Mitchell Bard’s “The Water’s Edge and Beyond,” published in 1991 which is available on line and strongly recommended. Bard was a former AIPAC staff member and currently runs the Jewish Virtual Library web site and the American Israel Cooperative Enterprise which promotes US-Israeli business. A former editor of AIPAC’s Myth and Facts book, he also runs a blog where he regularly churns out similar hardline pro-Israel positions.

      • Richard Witty
        November 16, 2009, 10:12 pm

        Boy, do you use exagerated rhetoric. There was “NOTHING” democratic about the UN partition vote.

        You are naming a potential minor emphasis, that is within Baruch’s right to the extent that he had the power, even if it did happen.

        And, you have the fantasy that similar external pressures were not applied “undemocratically” at a thousand different instances directed to Israel.

        Lame.

      • Chaos4700
        November 16, 2009, 10:45 pm

        I suppose you consider European Zionists appropriating seventy-odd percent of Palestine after the UN kindly gave them a mere 56% on paper — to a 33% Jewish minority — perfectly democratic.

        You wouldn’t know democracy if it rang your doorbell and asked you to sign a petition, Witty.

    • VR
      November 17, 2009, 1:04 am

      “It is curious to see how much power the Jewish community was able to exert in this instance and on President Truman throughout his term in office…”

      This may shed some light Mr Blankfort, than again, maybe not. Gore Vidal makes some interesting comments in the forward he wrote for Israel Shahak’s volume Jewish History, Jewish Religion. The Weight of Three Thousand Years –

      “Sometime in the late 1950s, that world-class gossip and occasional historian, John F. Kennedy, told me how, in 1948, Harry S. Truman had been pretty much abandoned by everyone when he came to run for president. Then an American Zionist brought him two million dollars in cash, in a suitcase, aboard his whistle-stop campaign train. ‘That’s why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast.’ As neither Jack nor I was an antisemite (unlike his father and my grandfather) we took this to be just another funny story about Truman and the serene corruption of American politics.”

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        November 17, 2009, 2:15 am

        Vidal was referring to Abe Feinberg, who was reportedly the first of the big Jewish fundraisers as apart from donors. Abe knew where to go for the money and it is well documented that when Truman was running far behind and needed some serious funding to take a whistlestop train ride through the country speaking to voters, the way it was done in those days, it was Abe Feinberg who stepped up to make sure he had the money.

        AfterTruman won the election in 1948, one observer said the election was as much a victory for Feinberg as it was for Truman. Old Abe hung around to do the same for JFK and LBJ. Si Hersh, in The Sampson Option, describes how Feinberg then came to see candidate Kennedy and told him he’d take care of his bills “if you let us have control of your Middle East policy.” Feinberg remembered that JFK heard him out politely, but the next day, he reported the conversation to a friend and he was hopping mad. JFK didn’t oblige Feinberg, but he got the money anyway.

        Although one will think that JFK’s relations with Israel were just wonderful from most books on the subject, most gloss over his support or ignore his support for the Palestinian right of return, prentend his opposition to Israel going nuclear was mostly lip service and don’t mention at all his efforts to get the main lobbying group, the American Zionist Council, precursor to AIPAC, to register as a foreign agent. Most books on Jewish politics strangely enough don’t mention the American Zionist Council, at all.

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