Neoconservative responsibility for the Iraq war

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 36 Comments
Bill Kristol, who along with
Robert Kagan, founded the
Project for the New American Century in 1997

The other day I published a dialogue with Ron Kampeas of JTA on the question, 
Do Jewish neoconservatives bear responsibility for the Iraq war disaster? Two very smart friends in the media have sent me addendums to the discussion.

Both are more thoughtful than my (quick) response to Kampeas. Letter one:

You are missing data points in this debate that fit your argument, and which you could cite in your defense.

Yes, Cheney and the White House rose to office looking to unseat Saddam, but where did the motivation to do this spring from? The Bush administration ethos was not built in a day, on January 20, 2001. Remember, Iraq was decimated after the First Gulf War, yet that article you cited the other day on Israel’s Eastern Front tells us Israelis were already in a huff about Iraq rebuilding immediately after the war:  “Iraq was in fact the primary threat that the IDF believed it faced until the mid-1990s following the First Gulf War,” till the focus allegedly shifted to Iran.

In fact, the Israeli focus on Iraq ties together neatly with Clean Break , wherein a group of U.S. neoconservatives wrote lines for a partisan political speech for incoming prime minister Bibi Netanyahu, and included policy background. That document clearly states these U.S. neoconservatives’ interest in upending Saddam and rather hilariously proposed that replacing Saddam with a Hashemite kingdom (Democracy!) would weaken Iran’s position. That was 1996. In 1997, Bill Kristol and Robert Kagan, two leaders of the neoconservative movement, launched the Project for a New American Century. The ‘founding principles’ and subsequent letters and documents of PNAC were signed by a who’s who of neoconservative allies like Cheney and Rumsfeld, but the signatory lists for each are dominated by neoconservatives, including but not limited to Norman Podhoretz, whose views with regard to Israeli/Jewish interests you’ve delved into at length.

By 1998, the group issued its letter to Clinton on Iraq, making “the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power” a top policy priority, and prescribed “a willingness to undertake military action.” The signatories included again non-Jewish aggressive nationalists like Bolton and Rumsfeld, but the list is again dominated by the neoconservatives who would, like those colleagues, move into positions of power in the Bush administration, among them Perle, Abrams, Wolfowitz and of course the group’s founders.

In 2000 Kristol and Kagan launched a book, ‘Present Dangers’, where Perle wrote the chapter on Iraq. Weeks after 9/11, another PNAC letter prioritized Iraq. In April 2002, yet another letter “urg(ing) [Bush] to accelerate plans for removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq,” including, as you mention, citing terror against Israel as a reason.

People will dismiss these points as conspiracy theorizing. But is this history real? Does anyone deny it happening? Is it just a coincidence that the champions of these causes, clearly linked by Clean Break to issues of Israel, ended up in prominent posts in the Bush administration which by then merely happened to come into office already decided on leveling Iraq? Can we deny that these efforts were unequivocally spear-headed — both in public opinion and in policy apparatuses — by dyed-in-the-wool neoconservatives? (Remember: the Cheneys, Rumsfelds and Boltons signed the letters, but the organization itself was founded by two neoconservative leaders.)

Kampeas’s bit about anti-Semitism is a weird strawman. It’s not that The Jews caused the war, but rather that Some Jews — Jewish neoconservatives, who despite common acquiescence to their narratives in the larger Jewish establishment, still constitute a vast minority of American Jews — were leaders in the push for war with Iraq.

One can hypothesize that they were not the single, deciding factor in the push, but one cannot deny the simple fact that they, along with, yes, a few of their aggressive nationalist allies in tow, led the charge for war with Iraq. Then it actually happened. But not, we’re told, just because of them.

You should ask Kampeas: What other group, if not neoconservatives who happen to be Jewish, pressed this hard early and often for attacking Iraq? I want names and citations.

Second letter:

I was very interested to read your most recent response to Ron Kampeas. It is, as you say, a “good debate.” If I may chime in on it, I think you have made some errors in parts of your argument.

Some of those errors lean unnecessarily to the right, so to speak, by conceding too much to the neoconservatives’ regarding the role of Israel in their motives. Other of your arguments lean too far left by making sweeping negative generalizations about “the neoconservatives” that glop together two generations of neoconservatives as one undifferentiated big, bad thing.

But let me address your characterizations of neoconservative motivations in supporting the Iraq war. You state: “No one ever said that Cheney and Bush and Rumsfeld didn’t start the war. They started the war. No one said that some of these planners didn’t have a deluded American interest in mind that had nothing to do with Israel. The irresponsibility that Kampeas is exhibiting here is the claim that ideas are not important in such matters. The best and brightest fostered the Vietnam war for some reasons I haven’t studied; and in this instance, the idea that was relentlessly promoted by the neoconservatives was the claim that by imposing democracy by force on an Arab nation of importance, democracy would take hold across the region. This was a very powerful and very stupid idea. It held sway. It affected Ken Pollack and Tom Friedman deeply. …neoconservativism came out of the Jewish community, and its forefathers Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz specifically formulated the school because they feared that a weak American military program would drive a knife into Israel, as Kristol framed it. In the runup to the Iraq war, neoconservatives, who were to be sure not only Jewish, pushed the Iraq war because they said Israel’s war against terror is our war. In countless manifestos for the war (Paul Berman, Kristol and Kaplan, Wurmser, Frum, Perle), Saddam’s actions against Israel in supporting suicide bombers were described as a threat to the west. Israel was on their minds.”

In fact, they did not hold that we should attack Iraq because Israel’s war on terror was our war. They were much more explicit about both Israel being on their minds, and on the specific way that they hoped the Iraq war would aid Israel.

Shortly before the war started, this piece by Larry Cohler-Esses appeared in the Forward that elucidated this. “One-Track Minds on Two-Track Mideast Solutions, January 24, 2003.” Excerpts follow [six long paragraphs, marked off by quotations]:

“In 1975, Assistant Secretary of State Harold Saunders scandalized Congress by becoming the first administration official to tell lawmakers that the Palestinian problem was the “heart of the conflict” between Israel and its Arab adversaries. Despite the shellacking Saunders took for his stance, a generation of Israeli and Western peacemakers ultimately adopted his view that the Palestinian problem was both solvable and the key to unsnarling the layers of wartime barbed wire between Israel and its Arab adversaries.

“Now, the Bush administration has all but declared war on Iraq, while the Israeli-Palestinian conflict sinks every day to new lows. And there are some — perhaps even Bush himself — who seem ready to flip Saunders’s premise on its head. Maybe, they say, settling the “Arab problem” is the key to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, not the other way around. It’s a corollary to the goal of region-wide reform, if not revolution, that Pentagon policy-makers such as Paul Wolfowitz seek via the defeat of Saddam Hussein’s bloody regime. Indeed, Fouad Ajami, one of the foremost cheerleaders of the Wolfowitz project, describes one of its great virtues as the chance to deal a fateful body blow to “virulent pan-Arabism” of the sort that sustains violent Palestinian resistance, including terrorism, against Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. …

“It’s a conclusion that proponents believe a chastened Syria and Iran — both of which would be encircled by American bases and/or Israel after an American victory over Iraq — will also reach. David Makovsky of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy explains, “The Bush administration’s hope is that with Iraq’s defeat, there will be dividends in the Iran-Syria-Hezbollah cluster, and that if Saddam goes, then Yasir Arafat’s star dims. Then, it’s a new constellation. If all of a sudden you have a more benign environment, concessions that are impossible for Israel under current conditions may become possible.”

“That’s one possibility. It may even be supported by Wolfowitz, the administration’s resident Wilsonian idealist. ..

“At the side of the current President Bush — and Wolfowitz — are  a panoply of Pentagon hawks with a history of bristling, deeply ideological opposition to the notion that peace should be based on large territorial concessions to create a sovereign Palestinian state. One of these is Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy generally seen as the No. 3 official in the Pentagon. I can bear personal witness to Feith’s adamancy on the issue. As a reporter during the late 1980s and early 1990s for Washington Jewish Week — whose attorney he was — I debated him several times over dinner on the very notion of Palestinian peoplehood. It was also personal. Feith was then one of the two principals of the Washington law firm Feith & Zell — the other being his close friend Mark Zell, a West Bank settler and prominent ideologue for the settlers movement. Zell recently wrote that “if you deny the legitimacy of our [West Bank] habitations, you deny the legitimacy of the entire Jewish state.” In 1996, Feith co-wrote [CLEAN BREAK, referenced above] a proposed agenda for the incoming administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with, among others, Richard Perle, now chair of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board, and David Wurmser, now special assistant in the State Department. Territorial compromise is not part of the agenda. Rejection of the Oslo peace process forms its core. The paper declares “removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq” to be “an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions.” …

“In other words, it is vanquishing the Arab problem that will quiet the Palestinian conflict — and, apparently, enable Israel to retain its settlements. Last August, the influence of these counselors was apparent on Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, whose sway over Bush these days is undisputed…. “

About your error leaning too far left, so to speak: You cite Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol from that generation to make your case that neocons have always and everywhere been about defending Israel. They were, for sure, all Zionists. But important members of the first generation–folks like Daniel Bell, Nathan Glazer, Seymour Martin Lipset, Saul Below–brought to early neoconservatism a greater diversity of views on Israel (and on the question of publicly criticizing Israel) than most folks have bothered to notice or acknowledge. Several supported Peace Now…

The second gen, unfortunately, are just lockstep apparatchik mediocrities.

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36 Responses

  1. MRW
    January 2, 2012, 11:03 am

    Phil, re: the first letter. Watch this, eight minutes with General Clark in 2007. Clark covers everything in the first letter, but states it started earlier than Clean Break. (The longer piece it came from rounds it out, esp. the Q&A.)

    (h/t anonymouscomments)

  2. dumvitaestspesest
    January 2, 2012, 11:05 am

    Another question worth the answer.
    Do the same Jewish neoconservatives, that bear responsibility for the Iraq war disaster, are drumming loudly for a new war, this time with Iran??
    a) Yes, they do (plenty of proof)
    b) no, they don’t (hm, really?).

  3. dumvitaestspesest
    January 2, 2012, 11:18 am

    Very important video to see.
    “Financial interests behind Islamophobia”
    Interview with Max Blumenthal.

    • chet
      January 2, 2012, 1:40 pm

      thx for the link – very informative.

      Isn’t it a shame that the brilliant and articulate Max Blumenthal doesn’t get more TV exposure?

  4. pabelmont
    January 2, 2012, 12:22 pm

    On Israeli legitimacy: “Bank settler and prominent ideologue for the settlers movement. Zell recently wrote that “if you deny the legitimacy of our [West Bank] habitations, you deny the legitimacy of the entire Jewish state.””

    Agreed: first, the logic is correct, and, second, both are illegitimate.

    I myself do not believe that Israel has any legitimacy at all other than that which comes from hopes, dreams, memories, quasi-national myths, and, of course, the barrel of a gun. (Note well that the Palestinians have all of these except the last and, in addition, have the immensely important long-term recent habitation-in-place. The last is the only one that really matters in “realpolitik”.)

    (In the USA, the several Native-American tribes or peoples which used to occupy all of this great continent also have hopes, dreams, memories, and tribal beliefs (or myths). Even long-term recent habitation-in-place. But no guns.)

    However, peace-making does not require legitimacy from either side. Curiously, it may produce legitimacy.

    (Of course, the signatories must legitimately represent the peoples involved. The government of Israel can represent the people of Israel even if I’d deny it the right to represent the entire world-body of Jewish folks. The PLO might, if it repairs a lot of recent damage, represent the Palestinians in diaspora as well as inj G&WB&EJ).

    If the Israelis make peace and admit that (New, smaller) Palestine legitimately occupies G&WB&EJ, then it does so legitimately. who else could create this legitimacy than those who own all the barrels of all those guns? And if the Palestinians make peace and admit that (New/pre-1967) Israel legitimately occupies pre-1967 Israeli territory (no matter how illegitimately it previously may have done so), then that occupation becomes legitimate.

    The business of the civil societies via BDS, etc., and of the nations, is to increasingly demonstrate that Israel’s present illegitimacy will cost it more than making peace will cost it.

    Happy 2012 everybody!

  5. GalenSword
    January 2, 2012, 12:55 pm

    Just a note on A Clean Break —

    A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm was prepared for the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in Jerusalem.

    The biography of David Yerushalmi on the website of the IASPS in Jerusalem provides some information on the money connection:

    From the Institute’s founding, Yerushalmi took a leading role as a substantial financial contributor, in addition to serving on the Board of Trustees for over a decade and as Chairman for more than five years. In 1991, teaming up with the Institute’s policy experts, Yerushalmi was instrumental in establishing the Israel Export Development Co., Ltd., as an entrepreneurial policy tool to initiate radical free market reforms in Israel. Working along side fellow board members and shareholders such as Robert Tishman, Jerry Speyer, Larry Silverstein, Lawrence Tisch, Eugene Grant and Sy Syms, Yerushalmi was appointed the company’s CEO and Chairman.

  6. Avi_G.
    January 2, 2012, 1:21 pm

    In 1998, Congressman Benjamin Gilman introduced the Iraq Liberation Act whose stated aim was regime change in Iraq.

    Within days, Congress passed the bill and on October 31st, Bill Clinton signed that bill into law.

    In other words, Neo-Conservatives were not the sole agitators for war against Iraq. By 1998, the Clinton White House had become the most Israel-friendly administration in the history of the United States. That assessment is not mere commentary. It is based on the fact that the Clinton administration granted Israel an unprecedented amount of military aid.

  7. Gellian
    January 2, 2012, 4:10 pm


    Here’s another way of getting at the issue. Poll us your readers, those of us who were in favor of invading Iraq. Ask us how many of us really think we were fooled by Jewish neocons. That will help clarify the issue, because right now I frankly still don’t see what you’re driving at. I mean, most of the debate about invading Iraq happened out in the open. The idea that democracy would flower in the Middle East if we could set one example of it going in Iraq sounded like a good idea to me–wrong as hell, as it turns out, but that’s hardly to say those promoting it were doing it because it was all about Israel.

    It was also about us. I was one of the ones who thought promoting democracy in the Middle East would be a good idea, not because I cared then or now about Israel at all, but because I thought it was less likely to get us killed here in the U.S. going forward.

    What about the rest of your readers?

    • Annie Robbins
      January 2, 2012, 4:56 pm

      Poll us your readers, those of us who were in favor of invading Iraq.

      ah huh. and how many people might that be? i fail to see how skipping over everyone who saw what was coming down is very helpful. poll the fools!

    • Jeffrey Blankfort
      January 2, 2012, 5:27 pm

      The ludicrous notion that the neocons supported the overthrow of Iraq because it would lead to a series of democratic changes in the region is apparently still out there despite the ample prove that supporting democracy anywhere, including the US, was the last thing they had in mind, as was exemplified by Paul Wolfowitz’s nasty reaction to Turkey’s initial refusal to allow the US to use its bases as a launching pad for the Iraq war on the basis that 96% of the Turkish people were against it.

      Moreover, the neocons have waged a low intensity propaganda war against our fellow “democracies” in Europe which only surfaces when they refuse to genuflect to US foreign policy dictates, the most obvious of whom being France when it refused to support the Iraq war when, as in Turkey, polls confirmed that the majority of the people of France were against it. They much preferred the Tony Blair variety, who despite polls showing that the majority of Brits were against the war, he steadfastly kept on with it, backed to the bloody hilt by the UK version of the Israel Lobby.

      Has one ever heard a single neocon or any spokesperson for the Israel Lobby of which it is an essential part, say a single word against the laws that allowed huge campaign contributions to infect our political process even before the Citizens United case? The answer is a resounding, “No!”

      The latest exposure of this “war for democracy” theory has been the loudly expressed concerns of the neocons that the democratic push of the Arab Spring that Egypt was experiencing posed a threat to Israel. And yet we still have people like Gellian promoting the idea that overthrowing Iraq had anything to do with establishing a democracy. The neocons, of course, have been outraged that Obama did not leave a huge contingent of troops there to make sure that Iraq stays on our side but does anyone think that what we are seeing in that country are the birth pangs of Democracy, as Condi Rice, called the attempt by Israel backed by the US to thwart democracy in Lebanon in 2006 which, despite its arcane political system, might be said to be no less democratic than the US?

      • Gellian
        January 2, 2012, 8:03 pm

        “And yet we still have people like Gellian promoting the idea that overthrowing Iraq had anything to do with establishing a democracy. ”

        I’m not promoting that idea myself, not at least as I mean to explain myself. What I’m saying is that this was the idea that was in the air, that I remember discussing myself with a fair number of people including academics who knew something of the matter (of which I of course wasn’t one). To say that overthrowing Iraq hasn’t didn’t end up accomplishing that goal is merely to state the obvious, but with the benefit of hindsight for those of us who didn’t foresee things turning out this way back in 2001-2-3.

        What most impressed me at the time was the anthrax, still to this day a mystery. While those letters were circulating and everyone was freaked out and nobody knew where it was coming from, it didn’t seem wildly implausible that Saddam was connected with it. He was the only leader in modern times to use chemical warfare and we’d been crushing his country with punishing sanctions for years. That was another factor that persuaded me to support the invasion even though I, like many others I knew, had no illusions that Iraq was responsible for 9-11.

        It’s easy to condemn people like me now, especially those of you who were wiser at the time. What I’m trying to offer here is an honest assessment of the political climate at the time.

      • Jeffrey Blankfort
        January 2, 2012, 8:37 pm

        I’m not condemning you, Gellian. I’m trying to say that climate you refer to, the installation of democracy in Iraq by launching an unprovoked war on that country and killing hundreds of thousands of its people and displacing millions more, was deliberately and dishonestly circulated by the neocons who don’t have a single democratic bone in their collective bodies and you, and many others bought into it, thanks to the useful idiots in the press who spread it and continue to spread it to the public as if it was the truth.

      • jewishgoyim
        January 2, 2012, 9:23 pm

        To Blankfort:

        To Gellian:
        You say: “What I’m saying is that this was the idea that was in the air,”
        Who put the damned idea in the air?? Look at the signatories to all the neocons missives (PNAC…) dating back to the 90s!!!!!!!!!!!!
        You have the problem of not having been aware of things at the time. For those who were, it was crystal clear and it is now very difficult to convey the simple evidence of how much neocons were involved in propagandizing for war. But that’s at the heart of good propaganda “2.0”: people should not realize where it’s coming from and what interests it serves!

        You’ve been bamboozled by your corporate media. But if now you’re reading MW, there is hope… (though I would start some serious studying if you want to get up to speed – sorry for the patronizing but it needs to be said).

      • yourstruly
        January 3, 2012, 1:44 pm

        the drumbeat for the iraq war was predominately about wmd. establishing democracy was an afterthought, hastily pushed by msm only when it became obvious that there were no wmd.

      • Walid
        January 3, 2012, 1:49 am

        “… the attempt by Israel backed by the US ”

        Jeffrey, you misread it. It was an attempt by the US using Israel; after 6 days, Olmert said it had been enough but the US and its Lebanese partners said no, and that the show had to go on. Israel was just the hired thug.

        You were so correct in your assessment that Lebanon’s arcane political system is no less democratic that the US’.

    • Avi_G.
      January 2, 2012, 7:30 pm

      Here’s another way of getting at the issue. Poll us your readers, those of us who were in favor of invading Iraq. Ask us how many of us really think we were fooled by Jewish neocons.

      Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have found the court jester.

    • libra
      January 2, 2012, 8:24 pm

      Gellian, do you really think you were in some way a “promoter” of the war? Where do you think this idea of “spreading democracy” came from in the first place and how did it get so much publicity?

      The reality is that the invasion of Iraq was a war long sought by the neoconservatives. They seized 911 as an excuse to put their plans into effect. Not only did these warmongers needed to get the machinery of government to go along with it, but they needed a compliant public. Didn’t you notice they went through a whole sequence of rationales for war? Are you still unaware of what they did, not just in the US but in Europe and at the UN?

      I don’t blame you for going along with it at the time. After all, there was a huge propaganda and misinformation effort. But to still believe that what you thought had anything to do with the cause seems rather egotistical to me. Or are you one of those people who just like to feel guilty? Which really is just another form of egotism.

      This issue is important as no doubt there are some less innocent people at work who want to spread the guilt around. Because if we are all guilty then no one is guilty. Then the public awareness of the real instigators can remain low, leaving them free to pull off the same trick again with Iran.

    • American
      January 2, 2012, 9:04 pm

      Let ask you something Gellian…what made you think that the US could turn a Muslim country with a thousand year old civilization of it’s own into a western style democracy by militarily invading it?

      • Gellian
        January 2, 2012, 10:00 pm

        “Let ask you something Gellian…what made you think that the US could turn a Muslim country with a thousand year old civilization of it’s own into a western style democracy by militarily invading it?”

        Bingo. That’s the magic question, and the answer is: Germany post-WW2.

        Let me explain before everyone shoots me down. We live in an age in which Holocaust ‘remembrance’ and ‘never again’ have become litmus-test mantras, and the idea that liberating a country from their own tyrannical leader is considered a good thing. Such at least is the mantra, and in some ways I still subscribe to it. It’s easy for many here either to forget or ignore that Saddam was one of the worst tyrants of the second half of the 20th century–he maliciously invaded Iran and used chemical weapons against them, costing millions of lives of both his own and Iran’s citizens.

        I thought the reasoning would be relatively straightforward–we cut off the head, assist the Iraqis to birth democracy as we assisted denazification in western Germany after WW2 and via the Marshall plan, and bingo, the Arabs would want democracy which, they could see from the generally acknowledged material superiority of the west, seems to be the way out of miring poverty.

        Clearly I was wrong about that and have underestimated the deep reservations Arab/Muslim countries have for statism in general and democracy in particular. As I say, I’m not a political scientist. On the other hand I don’t think my way of thinking can all be chalked up to ‘neocon propaganda’. I do think there was plenty of propaganda going about, but I still thought the reasoning I outlined above was correct.

        Thanks to Jeff Blankfort above for the gracious reply, too.

      • libra
        January 2, 2012, 10:42 pm

        Gellian: “Clearly I was wrong about that and have underestimated the deep reservations Arab/Muslim countries have for statism in general and democracy in particular.”

        It hasn’t yet crossed your mind that most people don’t like having their country invaded for any reason? You should check out that Ron Paul video.

      • MRW
        January 2, 2012, 11:27 pm


        It’s easy for many here either to forget or ignore that Saddam was one of the worst tyrants of the second half of the 20th century–he maliciously invaded Iran and used chemical weapons against them, costing millions of lives of both his own and Iran’s citizens.

        No, he wasn’t. He was a dictator–in fact, Iraq had some of the finest doctors and most advanced medical facilities in Europe and the ME until 1980–but we, the USA, got him to fight with Iran to destabilize it; we promised money, international prestige, etc. We wanted payback for Khomeini double-crossing the CIA in first quarter of 1979 after the ouster of the Shah, which we engineered in return for K. letting us run the country behind the scenes. Sort of a ‘you do your religion, we’ll do the rest’ sort of thing. Khomeini was in exile in the south of France. The CIA planned and trained his followers there in low-tech guerilla things like having civilians walk in five mile circles for the cameras to make it seem as if the people were leaving in droves. Using radios strung up on lamp-posts to broadcast instructions. Same thing happened at the beginning of the Kosovo War. (I knew to watch for it, same people, same suitcases, same clothes four hours later.) But Khomeini fucked the CIA after we spent all that money. That’s where the term Blowback came from.

        We gave Saddam the chemical weapons from three companies here. One of them was Bush’s although since he was VP, it operated under a blind trust. This was recorded in extraordinary detail in a Senate subcommittee investigation that I used to have a copy of. Think it was around 1988. Kennedy ran it. Every chemical weapon, from sarin on down was listed, and the source given. All USA. The Government Printing Office had a copy of it, but you can’t get it now. We trained Iraq in how to use the chemical weapons. There’s a video of the retired officer (teaches in upstate NY I think) who ran it on the web.

        As for Germany, Eisenhower starved and slaughtered 1.5 million Germans after the war was over…while the Nuremberg trials were going on and we were beating our chests about our great moral order and honor. So we eliminated fathers and sons who could procreate the next generation. Pure eugenics.

        The New York Review of Books 2007
        After the Reich: The Brutal History of the Allied Occupation
        by Giles MacDonogh

        Search for the September 1989 Saturday Night article called, “The Last Dirty Secret of World War Two”
        Eisenhower violated every Geneva Convention rule and melted the evidence with quicklime.

        Search for: In ‘Eisenhower’s Death Camps’: A U.S. Prison Guard’s Story
        By Martin Brech

        I have these articles but they’re old copies and don’t have links.

      • Gellian
        January 3, 2012, 6:16 am


        With all due respect (but no more), that’s a cartoonish oversimplification. In all invasions some of the people want it, others resist. But of course there are precedents for what we’d proposed with Iraq. Look at how the American army was greeted in Sicily back in World War 2–literally with flowers. The Italians believed or pretended to believe that we were liberating them from a great tyrant. Look at Libya just a few months ago. Many people welcomed foreign intervention.

      • yourstruly
        January 3, 2012, 1:54 pm

        in contrast to iraq, germany had a history of democracy prior to the nazi takeover.

      • American
        January 3, 2012, 3:01 pm


        You forget the most important part about Libya……the Libyans ASKED for outside help.
        And LIMITED help–no foreign boots on the ground—air cover and strikes on Gaddafi forces…that’s all.

      • talknic
        January 3, 2012, 7:01 pm

        Gellian 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm

        “and the answer is: Germany post-WW2”

        LOL. Germany was busy taking over other countries, bombing the crap out of England , invading Poland, France, shipping Jews off to be slaughtered. Even sinking US merchant shipping in the Atlantic There is no comparison with Iraq/Saddam pre WW2 …

        Post WW2 The Marshal plan was an investment scheme still paying huge dividends to which of the countries it invaded? England? Poland? France? Who are the recipients outside of Germany?

        “We live in an age in which Holocaust ‘remembrance’ and ‘never again’ have become litmus-test mantras, and the idea that liberating a country from their own tyrannical leader is considered a good thing”

        Bush Jnr was a candidate. How many grunts died in his idiotic escapades? How much money has been spent? Blair was another. Both ignoring huge demonstrations against the war on Iraq. The different in those demonstrations and the Syrian and Libyan demonstrations is that the latter have been armed uprisings, revolts/civil wars.

        Civil wars are within the boundaries and the business only of the states in which they occur. (there was no civil war in Iraq even though there were plenty of civilians who had guns, before Saddam gave out a small arms in 2003) Civil wars are always met at the beginning by the state and rightly so. All states have a responsibility to maintain order for the majority. Just how far the state should go, is a very blurred line and immensely difficult for any Govt facing an armed uprising.

        When outside influences interfere in a civil war without a request from the state concerned, they do so A) against the UN Charter and B) usually for their own purposes. NATO Has not interfered in Syria. Syria has no oil

        The US always acts to protect US interests, US citizens are used to protect the US’s interests. US interests in the Mid East is for strategic position against China and Russia (those who dare win) dictated by the US’s need for energy and the smooth flow from the source to the US gas tanks. Energy policy is dictated by the DOE, those policies are carried out by the business sector (oil companies) who in turn express their needs to DOE who formulate policy and the Government policy in policing to protect US interests. A viscous circle.

        The PNAC policy for a New American Century was instituted by a Government and WhiteWashHouse infested with PNAC members.

      • teta mother me
        January 3, 2012, 8:35 pm

        MRW — interested to know a source for your information on Khomeini double-cross of US CIA that brought on Iraq war on Iran. if you please.

      • kapok
        January 3, 2012, 10:28 pm

        Look at Libya? Look at Bhopal. The CEO of Union Carbide is every bit the ruthless tyrant, terrorist, murderer; anything you like.

      • MRW
        January 4, 2012, 5:33 pm

        teta mother me,

        The State Department Foreign Service in Tangiers Morocco. Directly told…summer of 1979, while it was going on. Liquor loosens a lot of lips at foreign service parties and the late night parties downtown, and two of the people (CIA) involved with training the K contingent in France were big-time pissed that “he fucked us.” (I was hanging with the in-crowd there.) I was asked afterward to puhleeze honor a 25-year embargo on ever talking about it, which I did. After all, they had guns and an agency. ;-) I watched, subsequently, in the next two years the careful crafting of Iran as the big enemy to the Reagan admin to cover their tracks and get payback.

        The ayatollahs may have their religion to uphold, but they are Persians first, and what the US did to Iran in 1953 destroying their democratically elected govt and ushering in an emperor, the Shah, stuck in their craw, and according to what I was told as it was all unfolding that summer, it was something that they hadn’t taken into consideration. Probably because these guys, as I observed them, were drunk half the time they came up with their schemes, which they cabled home as actualities or threats.

      • MRW
        January 4, 2012, 5:57 pm

        teta mother me,

        The CIA thought that K was this malleable oaf they could manipulate. They made a big mistake…but hey, they were the Americans, the all-seeing, right?We wanted to get our hands on their remaining oil.

        Remember: in 1975, the Shah was told that his oil would run out in 2016. He got the Ford admin (Rumsfeld and Cheney) to get nuclear energy equipment sent to Iran to replace their energy problem with nuclear with all that oil disappearing. Iran was going to sell their oil on the open market to pay for it–all their oil–and use nuclear energy instead. The US/CIA wanted control over selling all that oil, and the Shah wasn’t giving it to them.

        Three Mile Island happened in 1978/79 timeframe, then Chernobyl in 1986. Iran is the most earthquake prone country in the world. They couldn’t afford to have their 75 million people wiped out with a meltdown of the reactors. So they got the Korean earth drillers, those massive machines, to build underground sites.

        Then, of course, that huge oil field was discovered in Iran in the last decade, and one of their old oil fields filled up as well. (People refuse to believe that oil is renewable, even when the resource figures since 1979 show otherwise.)

      • MRW
        January 4, 2012, 6:10 pm

        teta mother me,

        The US Nuclear Power ad featuring the Shah from that time period.

  8. Pixel
    January 2, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Released in September of 2000, Section V of Rebuilding America’s Defenses, entitled “Creating Tomorrow’s Dominant Force”, includes the sentence: “Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor” (p. 51).

  9. tombishop
    January 2, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Another good post by Glenn Greenwald which parallels an issue you raise:

    “End of the pro-democracy pretense” is at:

    • jewishgoyim
      January 2, 2012, 9:32 pm

      Yes and by the way, I saw the Wesley Clark video on Greenwald’s blog a few weeks ago. I think it needed to be quoted but then it may also have been some place else.

  10. American
    January 2, 2012, 9:22 pm

    The second letter Phil received gets to the heart of the Jewish neocons….it’s in both Clean Break and in PNAC.
    It was “break the Arab back” and their Palestine confiscation wouldn’t be a problem.
    It was total US and Israel control of the ME by force.
    They are all about force and domination…..using US power….not only in Israel’s behalf but in everything.

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