Neocons ‘pushed’ mindless Bush into ‘idiotic war’ — Chris Matthews

Israel/Palestine
on 116 Comments

Chris Matthews on Hardball last night, at 13:00 or so

One other applaud for your dad [Ronald Reagan]. I will say this, he would not have taken us into that idiotic war in Iraq. No way in the world would the neocons have pushed him into that war like they did with that guy W who had nothing in his head to fight back with.

This is an important moment from the streetsmart sage. Even though the Israel lobby has paid for Matthews to go to Israel, and MSNBC refuses to come clean on the junkets, he knows why we went to war in Iraq, because of a feverish ideology that captured a stupid president. Joe Klein explained this long ago, as did Walt and Mearsheimer. Don’t confuse the issue with talk about oil (the Russians and the Chinese have the big concessions now), or American imperialism (Iraq is now against the U.S. on Iran) or Cheney or Bush being deciders. The neocons had a powerful theory, and powerful positions. They were the best and the brightest all over again; and many of them were ultra-Zionists.

116 Responses

  1. Kathleen
    August 24, 2012, 2:27 pm

    Yeah yeah yeah Chris Matthews has made strong statements about how stupid the invasion of Iraq was and that is a good thing. Chris Matthews had Bill Kristol, David Frum, Frank Gaffney etc on before the invasion allowing them to repeat their WMD dangerous hooey. He did lightly challenge them. But he did not go so far as to have those who were seriously questioning the validity of that “pack of lies” like former weapons inspector Scott Ritter (inspector in Iraq for close to 8 years,) Former President Jimmy Carter, Dr. Zbig, former CIA analyst Flynt Leverett, Prof Cole, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern…all of these folks were questioning the intelligence before the invasion. Matthews could have easily had them on. Now he might have gotten fired like Phil Donahue but Matthews balls had all ready shriveled..too worried about his paycheck. Ok the MSM royally f—ed up before the invasion of Iraq that is why many of us went on line for our news.

    But now let’s just say Chris Matthews had learned his lesson (but he has not) he could easily have on middle east experts on who are questioning the push for an attack on Iran and questioning the validity of the claims that Israel and the I lobby are making about Iran like Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett..come on these folks are serious professionals. He could have on Professor Juan Cole, Mearsheimer and Walt. Weapons inspector Robert Kelly who is questioning the claims about Iran being made. Guess what? Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, etc do not go there. They make no effort to have legitimate and professional experts on these issues on their shows to help inform the public about IAEA reports etc. Nope Rachel repeats the unsubstantiated claims and Matthews just allows that space to stay neutral…silent.

    Lessons learned from Iraq in the MSM…0

    • Philip Weiss
      August 24, 2012, 2:40 pm

      you’re right Kathleen, and we need to keep pushing him on that. Where are the Leveretts? Where are Walt and Mearsheimer? He’s afraid, that’s why he won’t touch it. Though he’ll sneak out the truth as he did last night…

      • Mooser
        August 24, 2012, 3:30 pm

        “you’re right Kathleen, and we need to keep pushing him on that.”

        I’m sure you just gave Mathews his daily dose of the best medicine. No doubt he’s wandering around the house, repeating ‘who is Phil Weiss, and why is he saying these terrible things about me’?

      • Kathleen
        August 24, 2012, 11:06 pm

        But somewhere Chris Matthews knows he is a yellow bellied coward on the I/P issue and Iran. I have talked with Matthews several times in person, my sense is he is an honorable person trying on some deep level to be a fair and just person in his life and on his show. But he falls way short when it comes to playing hardball on these particular issues (most of the MSM lines up the same way) is it because he would get fired, lose his paycheck? I think so. But whatever the case is he comes up way short on covering these particular issues honestly if at all.

      • Theo
        August 25, 2012, 9:14 am

        In other words he is just an average american who will do anything to make a buck!! He must be very depressed when he cashes in that large check every month, after hearing all that critic from left and right.
        But don´t worry, when the time comes he will cross the river, just like Beinart is doing right now, to be again on the sunny side of life.

      • Krauss
        August 24, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Phil, I disagree with the role of the neocons to some extent.

        I think Mearsheimer is right when he says that without them, the war wouldn’t have happened but only with them, it wouldn’t have happened either.

        They were a major force but not a primary force. I just re-read Cheney’s oil speech to a major lobby organization in London from 1999; he stakes it all exceptionally clearly.

        He says perfectly clearly that to secure tightening oil supplies(due to increased depletion from existing fields), you need to free up ‘politically constrained oil reserves, most of which is in the Middle East’.

        In the early 1990s there was an oil glut, by the turn of the Millenium, Cheney looked downstream 5-10 years and saw what we have now, a stagnation. Iraq can in theory produce up to 10 mb/d – the same level as the mighty Saudi Arabia. What keeps them down is political constraints and lack of infrastructure, both of which could be fixed with an oil-friendly government.

        Your second point, that most of the contracts went to the Chinese is only partly true. For the central government that is true, but the Kurds have been smart and unilaterally given tons of oil leases and contracts to Western oil giants ahead of the go-ahead signal from Baghdad, this has given them in practice semi-autonomy.

        But even this point obscures the fact that the U.S. never wanted all, or even most, of the oil.

        The U.S. since the ‘Carter Doctrine’ in the late 1970s have clearly had the goal of clearing the flow of oil in the Persian Gulf. That means not only physical constraints(e.g. the Strait of Hormuz) but also producing constraints. The point of the Carter Doctrine, which is really the only one of the major foreign policy doctrines surviving the Cold War, is to ease global trade, which oil is a crucial ingredient, as well as to have a firm grip on the surroundings(witness the explosion of U.S. military bases since a few decades back around the area).

        The neocons knew all this, so they aligned their strategy for what’s best for Israel. And that was a really smart move but even Mearsheimer admits that they wanted to go for Iraq first only because it was seen as a ‘soft target’ and would give Iran the fear of invasion, which it initially did. And they also knew that Iraq was very interesting for the oil men like Cheney who knew what had to be done since years back and so you’ve had two confluencing forces.

        On Iran, it’s all neocons and nothing else. Yet nothing.
        AIPAC has more influence within the Democratic party than the Republican party even if it keeps tabs on both. It also spends more time and energy on the Democratic party because the Republican party’s base is 40 % evangelical, which takes care of the pro-Likudnik bit by itself to a large extent.

        If Cheney and Rumsfeld hadn’t wanted to, Iraq wouldn’t have happened. The neocons did have roles within the administration but the often as deputies or henchmen.

        Bush wasn’t as stupid as people think(but he wasn’t intellectual in the sense of curious) but Rumsfeld and Cheney were certainly no fools and carried tremendous clout.

        Again, without the neocons, the Iraq war would have been much harder, not least because of their sympathetic media connections(Jeff Goldberg et al), but with only them and nobody else you get a lot of commotion in the media but not much done (like now in Iran).

      • Keith
        August 24, 2012, 5:48 pm

        KRAUSS- An article today over at Znet lends considerable support for your position on Iraq. Greg Muttitt, author of the new book “Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq,” indicates that he received documents which “laid out for the first time pre-war oil plans hatched in the Pentagon by arch-neoconservative Douglas Feith’s Energy Infrastructure Planning Group (EIPG).” He discusses the history of the project, noting that “Here, in writing, was the approach adopted in the years to come by the Bush administration and the occupation authorities: lie to the public while secretly planning to hand Iraq over to Big Oil.”

        A problem developed. “There turned out, however, to be a small kink in the plan: the oil companies declined the American-awarded contracts, fearing that they would not stand up in international courts and so prove illegitimate. They wanted Iraq first to have an elected permanent government that would arrive at the same results. The question then became how to get the required results with the Iraqis nominally in charge. The answer: install a friendly government and destroy the Iraqi oil industry.”

        Additional problems developed which he discusses, however, control of the oil was central to the invasion planning. An invasion, I might add, which Israel initially was cool to, only becoming enthusiastic when told that Iraq would lead to Iran. Of course, things haven’t gone according to plan and Iraq remains unstable, however, oil in the ground is money in the bank available as a source of future power, current arrangements notwithstanding. link to zcommunications.org

        I tend to differ with you on Iran, however. It is difficult to imagine Iraq’s oil being coveted, while Iran’s oil is ignored. The same logic applies in both cases. For a variety of reasons, Iran is of immense strategic importance, achieving control could be a make or break for empire. We are engaged in low intensity warfare with Iran right now- boycott, special ops, terrorism, etc. Even with reduced Iranian oil exports, there is currently a glut. Militarily eliminating the rest of it would serve multiple objectives. Off line but potentially available when propitious. And while the neocons started the ball rolling, Obama appears to have adopted the high risk militaristic game plan. It is inconceivable to me that the US would embark on a high risk major military operation without a consensus among the ruling elites, without an expectation of significant benefit. Of course, my views represent a small minority on Mondoweiss.

      • bob
        August 24, 2012, 6:00 pm

        He says perfectly clearly that to secure tightening oil supplies(due to increased depletion from existing fields), you need to free up ‘politically constrained oil reserves, most of which is in the Middle East’.

        I thought this old argument had been buried a long time ago.

        Oil companies were fighting and lobbying to increase trade to both Iraq and Iran. If they wanted to secure the sources, they would have listened to the oil companies (including Cheney) and not went with the sanctions.

        In the late 1990′s, Saddam was begging to sell their oil, and U.S. companies like ExxonMobil (and the American Petroleum Institute) were lobbying to ease the sanctions . link to nytimes.com
        Meanwhile, the lobby, as it were, was pushing for both Iraq invasions (yes, the first one, too link to mondoweiss.net link to mondoweiss.net .

        Neoconservatives were pushing for this war since the nineties, when people like Cheney were arguing against sanctions and calling a proposed Iraq invasion a “quagmire.” During this time, neoconservatives were pressuring Clinton to pass the Iraq Liberation Act, and got him to do it when he was pressed with a sex scandal with Lewinsky. Clinton was mocked by people like Brownback for not doing anything with it. Neocons explicitly called a “focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq — an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right”.

        Here is a breakdown from Woodward. He and others cover Cheney’s turn around, and how it occurred sometime after 9/11. Close friends noted how this event simply changed him.

      • ColinWright
        August 24, 2012, 6:55 pm

        bob says “I thought this old argument had been buried a long time ago…”

        Ha ha ha. You thought it could actually be killed. What a hoot…

        My own theory is that people basically can’t — or won’t — comprehend the ideology of their political opponents. So the motives of their opponents must be mercenary. Everyone wants to make a buck — that must be it. Any other explanation would require actually understanding their outlook.

        Ergo, the war was ‘for the oil.’ I’m old enough to recall the same claim being made about Viet Nam. In World War One, the idea was that it was all done at the behest of the international arms merchants. According to its critics, the Spanish American War was fought at the behest of United Sugar (somewhat truer there than elsewhere, but still hardly a complete explanation.)

        As a general proposition though, given that the US decides to intercede in a conflict, those who oppose that intercession will decide we are doing it ‘for the oil.’ That will never change.

        To get back to the actual case under discussion, though, I’m confident we would have invaded Iraq even if there hadn’t been a drop of oil in it. Ergo, oil was not the reason we invaded Iraq.

      • bob
        August 24, 2012, 6:55 pm

        “laid out for the first time pre-war oil plans hatched in the Pentagon by arch-neoconservative Douglas Feith’s Energy Infrastructure Planning Group (EIPG).” He discusses the history of the project, noting that “Here, in writing, was the approach adopted in the years to come by the Bush administration and the occupation authorities: lie to the public while secretly planning to hand Iraq over to Big Oil.”

        This plan by the neocons to shift over to a privatized system is not new. People wrote about it years ago. Here is Palast in 2005. The oil industry hated that plan and they didn’t get their way.

        Whats is new information here is directly connecting it to Douglas Feith. Neocon of Office of Special Plans, allegations connecting Al Qaeda to iraq, etc.
        In a fight between Oil companies and neoconservatives, its nice to know who the originator is.

      • Mooser
        August 24, 2012, 7:10 pm

        “To get back to the actual case under discussion, though, I’m confident we would have invaded Iraq even if there hadn’t been a drop of oil in it. Ergo, oil was not the reason we invaded Iraq.”

        And to think I spent so much time worrying about the reasons for the War on Iraq, when I could have simply consulted your confidence.
        No wonder you write so many comments, there’s so many things we need to know, and you’re so “confident”.

      • David Doppler
        August 24, 2012, 8:26 pm

        I’d like to see more introspection on the part of the MSM, or former MSM journalists, on how this pathology works. I’ve been watching The Newsroom, the new HBO Series, in which corporate control/influence over the news team is being depicted, although Jane Fonda, of all people, plays the Corporate CEO (surprisingly well, so far), explaining to a mid-level executive how the anchor who wants to get us back to days of Murrow and Cronkite, in his contemptuous treatment of the Tea Party members of Congress for their ignorance, affects the other 96% of her business that she has to work with Congress over. In this fictional account, the anchor is being set up by the corporate office to take a fall over personal misbehavior. The NSA is feeding information to the same mid-level exec to the effect that this American news organization is doing exactly what News of the World was caught doing – illegal wiretapping in the form of hacking into peoples’ voicemail, etc. Lots of drama, some good episodes, but not sure whether there’s any real insight there, derived from actual knowledge of how these things work. Would sure like to see some real journalists who work or worked in that environment comment on the show, or just explain exactly how newspeople come to ignore the elephant in the room. How Matthews let’s slip his aggressive contempt for W and the neoCons, but then slips back into passivity when it comes to giving them the stage to beat Iran war drums. An unexamined life is not worth leading.

      • ToivoS
        August 24, 2012, 9:29 pm

        Bob and Colin. You both get this right. I recall those dumb signs in the anti-Iraq war demonstrations — ‘it is all about oil’ — and going grrrr, it is mostly about Israel. But those fools couldn’t face that fact then. For the reason “it would be too devisive” I remained silent for the sake of unity. Hopefully today we have moved beyond that point. The push for war against Iran should be obvious to any sentient observer — “It is all about Israel”.

      • Kathleen
        August 24, 2012, 11:13 pm

        They were a major and a primary force. Have you read Lt Col Karen Kwiatowski’s The New Pentagon Papers, Seymour Hersh’s The Stovepipe, Jason Vest’s article in the Nation in the fall of 2002 The Men From Jinsa and CSP. Go read Phase I and Phase II of the SSCI focused on pre war intelligence?

        They were a major and primary force

      • traintosiberia
        August 24, 2012, 11:53 pm

        Neocons were looking for an opportunity.They were on the look out from at least 1979 when Wolfowitz was overheard as reporeted by NYTimes , how he wanted to smash Iraq along with Libya . It was in line with the dreams of Oded Yinon -Oded Yinon’s
        “A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties”
        Published by the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982 Special Document No. 1 (ISBN 0-937694-56-8).
        Their plans , a crappy ideas at best suddenly became a possibility created by the fear,confusion,anger,and hatred after 911. But that fear,confusion,and uncertainty of who did and why could have given risen to a different possibility,could have instigated a broader fact finding ,soul-searching invetstigation and an attempt could have been made to follow all the clues .
        The Israeli angle was entirely and effictively suppressed.
        This alone tells a differnet story. Here lies the power of the neocons above and beoyond of all other relevant players in this warmongreing game. It was they who pushed for war.
        Oil was introduced as an after thought to hide the footprints of neocons.Oil lobby was conspicously absent in this palnning. US could have got all the oils without going to war.
        Saddam was eager to sell oil to US before and after 911 at any price and arrangement US could have asked for.
        I beleive from the remarks of Ledeen and other neoocns that the post -invasion fiasco was also their dream. It was a calculated destrcution of the society and it was anticipated and allowed by israeli centric neoocns to the detriment of US interest . During this whole time of war preparation and media mangment of pro-war position, it was Israel who changed the ground reality in Palestine and lebanon to their advantage.Not only that ,they went to work for next phase of the PNAC plans of 1-rewriting the ME maps and 2-Focussing on Iran.
        Prior to 911 for 11 years ,neocon-infested media looked at Iraq as a threat to US ignoring the massive destruction of that society,economic opportunity lost to US and the build -up of muslim anger against US and abscence of any raeson for the oppressive sanction.
        It serevd their narrow purpose.
        The media honchos in 90s created a mind set among Americans that allowed more and more bills in the Congress and senate to be passed, again at the pressure of the same honchos pushing for a war against Iraq. Slowly American were made to accecpt that an war with Iraq was necessarry and the necessity of war became the yardstick to meausre the resolve and preapredness of any American political hopefuls for any major offices in political debates on TV.No other view was allowed. America was conditioned to hate Iraq. 911 added fuel to that perception.

      • traintosiberia
        August 25, 2012, 8:02 am

        Oil companies want to do bcuisness and make money but that has been obstructed ,belittled,denounced by Israeli centric politician and non-oil buisness men even during Truman organization .During 90s neocons repeatedly denonuced anyone advocating for return of business -based relationship to Iraq, Libya,and they continue to do today in case of Iran.It is this group that has obstructed the pipeline diplomacy between India and pakistan and Iran. The possibility immense benefit ( political,economic,and soical ) that would accrue to US and to that volatile hindu-muslim -fanatics-infested environment was killed to satisfy not oil comapnies but the neocons and Likudnik.

        Here is Palast in 2005 – (link below in another comment ) confirm the diablocial plans of neocons of using oil to further destabilize ME. They wanted more oil in market ( that means low price and less benfit for Oil companies also ) to crush OPEC ( read Saudi Arab) and carry on the dastardly agenda while all the way spreading the canard of Oil comapnies/oil interest pushing for war. Susceptible and Attention Deficit Americans will see the word Oil and War and Bingo!! We are at war for oil!

        The diversion like the nuclear diversion in 1960s and the diversion of WW2 military equipmnets,bombs,fighter planes through Bulagaria, Nicaragua,Cuba in 1946-49 will be obscured and kept hidden.
        This war against OPEC ( sadui ) is in keeping with the power-point briefings by one guy (intrduced by Pearle ) to Defense Board where he introduced the idea to familar neoocns and other still not converted how to plan and take
        control of Saudi Arab,Egypt and other countries in ME in order to solve terrorsim and Palestine problem . It is and it was Israel. Its not oil.

      • traintosiberia
        August 25, 2012, 8:09 am

        “If Cheney and Rumsfeld hadn’t wanted to, Iraq wouldn’t have happened”

        Then the media would have gone after them for failures to protect US, for 911 and for scores of other issues that Americans did not and still dont know.Bush would not have been elected again in 2004. All the doubt raised by 911 commisson ( started 2 years after would have satrted immidiately by pressure from media ) would have been repeatedly assailed and exposed further and Cheny-Bush would not have the priviliges of being interviewed off record. Who knows what else would have happened.
        US has seen what can happen to a president like Obama for not pushing for war against Iran even 10 years after when 911 almost gone from conscious memory.

      • irishmoses
        August 25, 2012, 10:35 am

        Kathleen,
        I think it was far more than “major and primary” force. I think it was foundational. It starts with Clean Break which is all about enhancing Israel’s power and influence in the Middle East. It then morphs into PNAC which was a major neocon move where the motive is supposedly to enhance US interests. Ultimately, the major pro-Likud neocons end up controlling all or most of the shots in the Bush administration, including the three originators of Clean Break, Pearle, Feith and Wurmser, plus Wolfowitz, Abrams, Libby, Cheney and Rumsfeld, et al. So the connection between enhancing Israel’s power and influence and the Iraq invasion is not just “major”, it’s foundational. The other reasons or justifications all came later.

        The key question is what motivated the post 9/11 decisionmakers (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld)to invade Iraq. I suspect it was the later justifications (e.g. a democratic Iraq will cause all the dominos to fall) not Israel that motivated the actual decision to go to war.

        It’s also important to note that this was not a “Jewish” show or plan. It was the pro-Likud, Greater Israel, branch of the neocons that came up with the idea then managed it until a clueless Bush and 9/11 gave them the shot to try out their hare-brained scheme.

        What is SSCI (Phase I and Phase II)? Do you have a link?

      • Keith
        August 25, 2012, 11:20 am

        BOB- Thanks for the link which serves to buttress my case and totally undermine yours. Below are several quotes from the Palast post which confirms that oil was a primary motivation for the decision to invade Iraq. The original planning was done by the oil industry long before 911. The difference between the oil companies and the neocons was over how best to administer Iraqi oil, there is no indication whatever of oil industry resistance to invasion. Oil company executives in charge of administering Iraqi oil foiled neocon plans to sabotage OPEC and crash oil prices, hardly surprising. All of this completely consistent with my long held position and totally at odds with the Mondo narrative that oil was not a factor.

        “The Bush administration made plans for war and for Iraq’s oil before the 9/11 attacks sparking a policy battle between neo-cons and Big Oil, BBC’s Newsnight has revealed.”

        “”Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.”

        “The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq’s oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq’s oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.”

        Philip Carroll, the former CEO of Shell Oil USA who took control of Iraq’s oil production for the US Government a month after the invasion, stalled the sell-off scheme.
        Mr Carroll told us he made it clear to Paul Bremer, the US occupation chief who arrived in Iraq in May 2003, that: “There was to be no privatization of Iraqi oil resources or facilities while I was involved.”

        “The chosen successor to Mr Carroll, a Conoco Oil executive, ordered up a new plan for a state oil company preferred by the industry.”

        “In addition, Ms. Jaffe says US oil companies are not warm to any plan that would undermine Opec, “They [oil companies] have to worry about the price of oil.
        I’m not sure that if I’m the chair of an American company, and you put me on a lie detector test, I would say high oil prices are bad for me or my company.”

      • irishmoses
        August 25, 2012, 12:33 pm

        Keith, Bob, Toivo, Krauss, Colin, et al:

        There is a tendency to look for a single cause for the Iraq war. Different players such as Big Oil, Likudnik Neocons, etc. had their own agendas and motives for wanting the Iraq War, and each made attempts at using their influence to insure that the decision for war was made.

        Even though we know the Likudnik neocons came up with the original war on Iraq idea (see Clean Break) which was to promote Israel’s power and influence, and just because many of the upper level people in the Bush administration were either middle of the road neocons or strident Likudnik neocons, that does not lead to the conclusion that the war on Iraq happened because of the pro Israel Likudnik neocons.

        The ultimate and critical question is why did Bush decide to approve the war. What motivated Bush? Was it a desire for Iraqi oil, was it the belief that democratizing Iraq would cause all the ME dominos to fall in our favor, was it to protect Israel, was it revenge for the assassination attempt on his father, was it some freudian desire to eclipse his father’s accomplishments, or was it a combination of all or some of the above or some totally different reason? Who knows. I doubt Bush would have done it just to enhance Israel interests, after all he refused to go along with Israel’s desire to bomb Iran in his second term. I doubt it was to gain ME oil since invading Saudi Arabia would have been a lot easier and got us a lot more oil. I suspect he probably bought into the democratizing Iraq argument and maybe felt the other reasons were icing on the cake.

        From what I’ve read, I think the neocons, particularly the Likudnik version, had the most direct influence on Bush. I suspect they knew they needed a compelling reason for him to decide to go to war and Israel as a reason was not going to cut it. So, they concocted one or more other reasons that they could sell him on, like the democratization/domino theory. But ultimately, that’s all speculation on my part.

        I think it is a mistake to confuse neocon, and particularly pro-Israel Likudnik neocon motives and influence with causation. I think there was a mixture of motives among the major players who were pushing for the war and trying to convince Bush to pull the trigger: Wolfowitz probably was influenced by his Israel ties (but he wasn’t involved in Clean Break and he seemed pretty moderate on the I-P issue); Cheney and Rumsfeld probably saw oil as a big reason but more likely wanted to do it because they thought it would enhance US interests and because the US was the only superpower and damn well could do it.

        The real shame is that nobody who knew what a disaster it would be (and there were many) came forward to fall on their sword, go public, resign, and tell why. Colin Powell comes to mind but maybe he drank some of the kool-aid along the way.

        Fortunately, everybody has learned a valuable lesson and we will never make such a disastrous mistake again…..

      • seanmcbride
        August 25, 2012, 12:52 pm

        Keith,

        Greg Palast is an Israeli gatekeeper in the alternative media who has tried to scapegoat the oil industry for engineering the Iraq War. The truth is, oil industry leaders (like James Baker) were highly skeptical about the war and pro-Israel militants in the neoconservative and Christian Zionist wings of the Israel lobby were the ringleaders of the war.

        Steven Sniegoski, Craig Unger and James Bamford (among other serious investigators) have dug deeply into this subject, focusing on the abundant empirical data while eschewing grand and simplistic Marxist theories about a vague and abstract corporatocracy.

        Is Greg Palast a “liberal Zionist”? — I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that he is. I vaguely remember that his hot buttons on that subject are quite prominent and easily pushed.

        You still haven’t managed to name any Fortune 500 CEOs who have been agitating for a war against Iran. The question is still on the table: please name them. I can easily name one hundred or so prominent Israelis, neoconservatives and Christian Zionists who have been raucously lobbying for an Iran War — they care much more about Israel than they care about the American corporatocracy or capitalism in general. For them, it’s all about emotional ethnic and religious nationalism, not rational calculations of economic self-interest.

      • bob
        August 25, 2012, 3:07 pm

        BOB- Thanks for the link which serves to buttress my case and totally undermine yours.
        ….

        “”Big Oil” appears to have won. The latest plan, obtained by Newsnight from the US State Department was, we learned, drafted with the help of American oil industry consultants.”

        “The industry-favoured plan was pushed aside by yet another secret plan, drafted just before the invasion in 2003, which called for the sell-off of all of Iraq’s oil fields. The new plan, crafted by neo-conservatives intent on using Iraq’s oil to destroy the Opec cartel through massive increases in production above Opec quotas.”

        If you followed the last 5 years, or if read the book you presented, you would know that the “industry favored” plan did not succeed.

        You need to reread your sources without trying so desperately to find oil.

      • bob
        August 25, 2012, 3:10 pm

        Greg Palast is an Israeli gatekeeper in the alternative media who has tried to scapegoat the oil industry for engineering the Iraq War.

        His bias is why I like this citation.

        The article clearly shows the fight between Neoconservatives and “Big Oil” over what was a Neoconservative plan. Big Oil loathed it and did not get their way.

        Information like this is one of the most powerful arguments against the “get the oil” nonsense out there. Its even better when it comes from Palast, who assumes the industry will be victorious.

        Whoops!

      • MRW
        August 25, 2012, 3:54 pm

        @IrishMoses,

        Not exactly accurate: Wolfowitz probably was influenced by his Israel ties (but he wasn’t involved in Clean Break and he seemed pretty moderate on the I-P issue)

        Read Grant Smith:

        Clean Break or Dirty War? Israel’s Foreign Policy Directive to the United States

        Executive Summary

        Great changes are seldom achieved without a plan. The Israeli policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” (ACB) was authored by a group of policy advisors to Israel. Subsequently, nearly all members ascended to influential policy making positions within U.S. government, media, and academic circles. Many of the ACB policies such as toppling the government of Iraq are now in full implementation and present new challenges to the global community. Others, such as the reform of Israel’s economy have been abysmal failures, but generate little visibility or impact outside of Israel. (See Exhibit 1)

        link to irmep.org

        Paul Wolfowitz signed the PNAC letter (author of Clean Break) on January 26, 1998 to President Clinton:
        link to newamericancentury.org

        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.

        Wolfowitz was in it up to his ears.

      • MRW
        August 25, 2012, 4:01 pm

        Greg Palest was the journalist who blasted the Enron Valdez stories. First on the scene to report the damage, etc. You may not agree with his conclusions but he’s a credible journalist and does great work. He had to leave the US to report from London, so to speak although he does have a NYC base, because he was annoying TPTB here. I think he also managed to piss off the BBC, where he was reporting from, because he wasn’t telling the company tale. He opened his own website instead.

      • bob
        August 25, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Greg Palest was the journalist who blasted the Enron Valdez stories. First on the scene to report the damage, etc. You may not agree with his conclusions but he’s a credible journalist and does great work. He had to leave the US to report from London, so to speak although he does have a NYC base, because he was annoying TPTB here. I think he also managed to piss off the BBC, where he was reporting from, because he wasn’t telling the company tale. He opened his own website instead.

        Palast was one of the early ones to cover this split between the neoconservatives and “big oil” on Iraq. That coverage is good.
        He goofed in that particular article on his speculation that the “industry” would win in the privatization/nationalization fight. They did not.
        The information on the fight and his speculation makes this a terrific source when discussing whether “big oil” went into Iraq ‘to get the oil.’

      • MRW
        August 25, 2012, 4:34 pm

        All of you guys are forgetting Paritzky. He let the cat out of the bag a week after the Iraq War started in March 2003.

        Infrastructure Minister Paritzky dreams of Iraqi oil flowing to Haifa

        National Infrastructures Minister Joseph Paritzky has requested an assessment of the condition of the old oil pipeline from Mosul to Haifa, with an eye toward renewing the flow of oil in the event of friendly post-war regime in Iraq.

        link to haaretz.com

        Israel went nutz when it was revealed, because the Iraq War had oil as an issue alright, but it was oil for Israel not us. Then Ed Vuillamy wrote the reasons why here on April 19, 2003 and it opened Pandora’s Box. Don’t any of you guys remember this? Netanyahu was scrambling for months to shut it up and the story changed completely by the end of August: Israel was erased from the equation, Paritzky was demoted and smeared as a drunkard or porn perp, and the whole story hushed up. This is one report you should save (took me an hour to find it):

        Israel seeks pipeline for Iraqi oil
        US discusses plan to pump fuel to its regional ally and solve energy headache at a stroke

        Plans to build a pipeline to siphon oil from newly conquered Iraq to Israel are being discussed between Washington, Tel Aviv and potential future government figures in Baghdad. [MRW: these plans were in play BEFORE the Iraq War started. I have Pentagon photos of Bush at the DoD in late 2002 in front of a map showing the H1, H2, and H3 bases that American troops were to set up first in NW Iraq along the old Mosul-Haifa pipeline–far from the action around Baghdad–the one the Israelis wanted to reopen. Don’t forget all the pipeline blowups to make the Mosul-Haifa pipeline reopen possible.]

        The plan envisages the reconstruction of an old pipeline, inactive since the end of the British mandate in Palestine in 1948, when the flow from Iraq’s northern oilfields to Palestine was re-directed to Syria.

        Now, its resurrection would transform economic power in the region, bringing revenue to the new US-dominated Iraq, cutting out Syria and solving Israel’s energy crisis at a stroke.

        Here’s the kicker:

        In 1975, Kissinger signed what forms the basis for the Haifa project: a Memorandum of Understanding whereby the US would guarantee Israel’s oil reserves and energy supply in times of crisis. […]

        The plan was promoted by the now Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and the pipeline was to be built by the Bechtel company, which the Bush administration last week awarded a multi-billion dollar contract for the reconstruction of Iraq.

        The memorandum has been quietly renewed every five years, with special legislation attached whereby the US stocks a strategic oil reserve for Israel even if it entailed domestic shortages – at a cost of $3 billion (£1.9bn) in 2002 to US taxpayers.

        link to guardian.co.uk

      • MRW
        August 25, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Gazprom had put a 25% premium on physically delivering oil to Israel, which since 1999 was driving Israel around the bend. Ariel Sharon was Interior Minister before Paritzky (not sure of the exact title and not willing to check now). Anyway, it was Sharon who came up with this idea about opening the old pipeline to ease Israel’s energy issues and cutting the Russians out of it. They needed that war to get it done.

        The 2002 update to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) also included a phrase that the US would be liable for the shipping costs of the promised oil to Israel no matter the cost to Americans in need or dollars. See Jane’s Defense weekly for those details.

      • bob
        August 25, 2012, 4:44 pm

        All of you guys are forgetting Paritzky.

        No. Its just that connecting any oil plans directly to the neocons wraps it up in a blanket of either concerns for Israel or Israeli concerns – especially when you have an “oil industry” opposing the plan. Frankly, thats all the argument you need.

      • Keith
        August 25, 2012, 4:59 pm

        BOB- “You need to reread your sources without trying so desperately to find oil.”

        I have quoted two sources, one provided by you, which discuss both neocons and the oil companies planning for the control of Iraqi oil right at the start of the Bush administration, talking about oil, oil ,oil, not about Israel at all, and you conclude that oil was not a factor! It was all about Israel! You have certainly found the right home at Mondoweiss, where this is all too common.

      • Keith
        August 25, 2012, 5:03 pm

        BOB- “The article clearly shows the fight between Neoconservatives and “Big Oil” over what was a Neoconservative plan. Big Oil loathed it and did not get their way.”

        According to the article you linked and the article I linked, Big Oil was successful in stopping premature privatization. They also stomped the neocons into the ground concerning destroying OPEC and crashing oil prices. And from this you conclude that “Information like this is one of the most powerful arguments against the “get the oil” nonsense out there.” No doubt you also feel that recent oil contracts indicate that oil was/is not a factor. Perhaps you are unaware that we live in a hydrocarbon society in which control of these resources and the setting of prices is of immense strategic importance. The fact that things have not worked out as either Big Oil or the neocons planned does not alter the fact that both were very concerned with Iraqi oil, something which you continue to deny based upon spurious arguments.

      • Keith
        August 25, 2012, 5:19 pm

        SEANMCBRIDE- “You still haven’t managed to name any Fortune 500 CEOs who have been agitating for a war against Iran.”

        Since it would be virtually inconceivable that a Fortune 500 CEO would publicly agitate for war (do you have recent examples?), this proves nothing except that you have bizarre standards of proof and are not to be taken seriously.

        “Greg Palast is an Israeli gatekeeper in the alternative media who has tried to scapegoat the oil industry for engineering the Iraq War.”

        Ah, more McBride proof by labeling. If you don’t like what someone says, call them names and later describe this as empirical evidence.

      • ColinWright
        August 25, 2012, 6:20 pm

        Keith is providing a good example of what I have been talking about lately:

        ‘progressives’ trying to ram whatever comes up into their pre-conceived paradigm.

        Anyone with a mercenary motive can see that an attack on Iran is a real lose-lose all around. No one who’s in it for the money is going to be for that. Hell, that’s part of the reason I’d object to it. I’ve got quite a portfolio — and I’ve no desire to see it go south.

        There are moral objections as well — but the sheer, damn-fool stupidity of the whole thing provides ample grounds for opposing it.

      • seanmcbride
        August 25, 2012, 7:53 pm

        Keith wrote:

        “Since it would be virtually inconceivable that a Fortune 500 CEO would publicly agitate for war (do you have recent examples?), this proves nothing except that you have bizarre standards of proof and are not to be taken seriously.”

        Keith — you have passed over the line into pure comedy. Supposedly I have “bizarre standards of proof” because I have asked you to provide any evidence whatever to support the belief that a vague and undefined American corporate elite is agitating for a war against Iran. You can’t name a single name. You can’t provide any reasonable and persuasive rationale to explain why they would be obsessed with going to war against Iran. I think it is *you* that has bizarre standards of proof. :) Wake up, dude. Learn how to deal in facts, not half-baked Marxist theories.

        The campaign to attack to Iran is originating overwhelmingly from Likud Zionists and emotional Jewish nationalists like Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Elliott Abrams, Eric Cantor, etc. — most of them are Jewish neoconservatives or neoliberals, and members of the same Greater Israel-centric lobby that engineered the Iraq War (“the JINSA crowd,” in the words of Colin Powell).

        An American war against Iran would devastate the American economy and severely damage the economic interests of the Fortune 1000 and nearly all Americans. THAT is why you have been unable to turn up any Fortune 500 CEOs who are interested in going to war against Iran. Iran is barely on their radar — their minds are occupied with more important issues.

        For the real scoop on Greg Palast, try Googling:

        1. greg palast was the invasion of iraq a jewish conspiracy
        2. greg palast the left wing of the lobby
        3. greg palast chomsky for dummies

        Palast is indeed a “liberal Zionist” who sometimes sounds like a shrieky Pamela Geller when he encounters criticism of the Israel lobby.

      • Keith
        August 25, 2012, 9:13 pm

        COLLIN WRIGHT- “There are moral objections as well — but the sheer, damn-fool stupidity of the whole thing provides ample grounds for opposing it.”

        I agree completely. I also opposed the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the destruction of Libya, the creation of AFRICOM and US involvement in Africa, the expansion of NATO into a US out of area strike force now dangerously expanding eastward. None of these things are to the benefit of the 99%. All of these things have happened or are happening. Why? Is there an empire or isn’t there? Does this empire behave in the more-or-less traditional fashion, or is it now controlled by the Zionists and the Israeli lobby?

        Most of the active commenters seem to share Phil’s opinion that the Israeli lobby is the root cause of imperial misbehavior, going so far as to deny any other factors, including denying that oil could be a factor. Mondoweiss is one of the very few places where the strategic significance of oil is pooh poohed. I try to occasionally sneak in a more strategic perspective which is usually greeted with a certain hostility as the faithful rush to defend the Mondo narrative from my Mondo apostasy. And while I repeatedly have emphasized that the lobby is indeed strong, the notion of the lobby as one of several (many?) competing forces is criticized as Marxist grand theory disconnected from reality, even though I am not a Marxist, and the history of US interventions and war mongering seem quite real to me, hardly a ‘theory.’

        You seem quite upset with me for ‘ramming’ a ‘pre-conceived scenario’ which will somehow jeopardize your ‘portfolio.’ I can assure you, Collin, that my comments have negligible impact here, and zero impact on whomever is calling the shots on Iran. I am unsure why you would feel more secure in regards your portfolio if it was strictly the Israel lobby pushing to attack Iran. Good luck on your portfolio in these uncertain times.

      • Kathleen
        August 25, 2012, 9:24 pm

        Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’neil said in Ron Susskinds book “the Price of Loyalty” that at the very earliest Bush cabinet meetings (before 9/11) Wolfowitz was talking about invading Iraq. Wolfowitz was a major player. I think it was Stepen Green who wrote the “Serving Two Flags: Neo Cons, Israel and the Bush Administration” Green goes through a list of dual loyalist or really Israel firsters, Stephen Breyen, Ledeen, Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle all who had their security clearances come under serious scrutiny and then a few of the investigations into their intelligence hanky panky get shut down. Sound famaliar… Aipac espionage trial dismissed under Obama and Eric Holder.

      • Keith
        August 25, 2012, 9:52 pm

        SEANMCBRIDE- “Supposedly I have “bizarre standards of proof” because I have asked you to provide any evidence whatever to support the belief that a vague and undefined American corporate elite is agitating for a war against Iran. You can’t name a single name.”

        I have, in the past, indulged you with quotes from various strategic analysts. These were summary statements supported by voluminous referenced sources. You ignore all of this to pretend that everyone who disagrees with you is a vague Marxist. You place an undue emphasis on the public statements of selected persons which support your point of view, totally ignoring the facts on the ground and the global political economy, something you describe as a vague Marxist theory, always misrepresenting a strategic perspective as “Marxist.” The names that I have named are in my commenter profile. As for your analysis, I don’t place much stock in your endless lists, more of an obsession than an analysis. You do like to label people and cite your label as proof.

        I conclude with a quote from one of my previous responses to you. “If you are unable to conceptualize beyond the individual, public quotes and imputed psychology, you will be unable to appreciate the overall thrust of policy. The strategic importance of oil too vague for you? The World Bank, IMF, Federal Reserve, NAFTA, GATT, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, CENTCOM, AFRICOM, NATO, Business Roundtable, World Economic Forum, etc, are all nothing but “a vague and abstract capitalist corporatocracy?”

      • tree
        August 25, 2012, 10:33 pm

        Since it would be virtually inconceivable that a Fortune 500 CEO would publicly agitate for war (do you have recent examples?), this proves nothing except that you have bizarre standards of proof and are not to be taken seriously.

        “Virtually inconceivable.” To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means.

        Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, currently #278 on the Fortune 500, is a perfect present day example of a Fortune 500 CEO publicly agitating for war on Iran. He’s also a fine example of how overly relying on profit motive to explain actions by capitalists is a weakness within Marxist thinking. He isn’t advocating for war with Iran because he thinks it will bring him some windfall profit. In fact, by throwing huge sums at Gingrich and then Romney he is acting contrary to his monetary interest in making yet more money, since his considerable political contributions could be spent instead on investments that could yield a more likely return. He is doing this because of emotional and ideological considerations that have nothing to do with profit motives.

      • bob
        August 26, 2012, 4:03 am

        ColonWright: pre-conceived paradigm.
        and
        seanmcbride: Keith — you have passed over the line into pure comedy. Supposedly I have “bizarre standards of proof” because I have asked you to provide any evidence whatever to support the belief that a vague and undefined American corporate elite is agitating for a war against Iran. You can’t name a single name.

        Agreed. His basic rebuttal was to state that neocons were ” talking about oil, oil ,oil” at the start of the war, somehow creating the mental block of these people concerned with their idea of Israeli interests in the region for years before, during, and after the war. Connecting any oil plans directly to the neocons wraps it up in a blanket of either concerns for Israel or Israeli concerns – especially when you have an “oil industry” opposing the plan. Frankly, thats all the argument you need.

      • traintosiberia
        August 26, 2012, 9:59 am

        Krauss-“but with only them and nobody else you get a lot of commotion in the media but not much done (like now in Iran).”
        Not much done? That is an Israeli and neocons perspective. Unless that country is pulverized to pieces to oblivion like Iraq was, nothing would ever rise to their estimation and appreciation of being realized or
        been achieved.
        There is a myth out there that oil was the factor and important factor for US going to war.
        A similar myth will be offered after Iran attack ( provided it ended the way Iraq war ended .If it succeeds in terms of American gain ,Neoocns wil lcome out of the closet to claim fame and recognition)
        that other countries supported American position in UN and IAEA supported Israeli intelligence and various US departments supported Israeli-neocons position. Behind the lies and myth-making , it will be forgotten how UN was manipulated and threatened ,how IAEA was politicized and how the Japanses guy in IAEA offered his service to safeguard US interest ( Israel has told US what the interest is ) after El baredi left.People will forget how El Baredi was castigated as Iranain tool, how his religion affected his views on Iran ( yes it was Isarel who demonized him ) and how US tried to stop his re election.
        People will forget how Indian prime minister was upbraided by US Congressmen for not toeing US ( israeli ) lines on Iran, and how India was forced to refer Iran’s IAEA dossier to UN opening the route for more sanctions by US-Israel and making a technical things into a political instrument of oppression. People will forget how State Department was denounced by neocons of being full of Arabist and mulsim sympathizers just for telling the truths . So they get someone else who has proved Israeli credentials and then they cite him as an expert supporting the Israeli lines! How convenient! Same goes for NPR,NY Times and CNN. Just get rid of Sanchez,and Oliver Nasr and Helen Thomas and the staff in Center for American progress! Or denounce Sorbon.
        People fall for same shit again and again. UN’s satellite showing saddam’s nuke facility and IAEA’s satellite showing Iran clearing some nuke mess or activity or both! Suddenly in the world made in Israeli image, Iran has found a way how to get rid of radiation fallout from nuclear activities ! Wow! (Iran will have good business in Fukushima and Chernoby)l!! With that possibility in mind IAEA doesn’t want to go Iran to inspect for it’s useless. Well is there a simple explanation that there is nothing illegal and that’s why , and lose the propaganda of management of false news to the service of Israel?
        Why the World will believe it? Well did not the world believe that Saddam will use WMD if not attacked immidiately but wont use it if attacked immidiately and threatened with annihilation. Same shitty argument is made today that Iran believes in end times and return of Mehedi.To accelerate that possibility Iran will use nukes to be annihilated for they are suicidal and unreasonable and more powerful per some neocons than the combined power of Hitler and Stalin and Mao in its hatred against US.
        Chances are that some philosophers from France will offer the reason of US going to war against Iran for Iran was executing the women on charges of fornication/infidelity.It will be same who out of excitement could not conceal his zeal for taking out Ghaddafi as he told Sarkozy that rebel would recognize Israel.

        Yes the myth making is in full swing and has always been.

      • Kathleen
        August 26, 2012, 10:16 am

        One of the reasons people can not name them is that Cheney and team refused to release the Energy task force records way back when. Where folks believe they divided up the oil resources in Iraq…made plans for the then upcoming fracking surge which is now in play

      • bob
        August 26, 2012, 12:00 pm

        One of the reasons people can not name them is that Cheney and team refused to release the Energy task force records way back when. Where folks believe they divided up the oil resources in Iraq…made plans for the then upcoming fracking surge which is now in play

        When discussing the “oil industry,” we do know that they were in direct opposition to the plan that the Neoconservatives envisioned and pushed through. The fight was visible before the war when the oil industry was lobbying to ease/drop the sanctions and after the war when they were fighting privatization.
        I wonder what people expect to find in these Energy task force records? We have verification after verification that the plan was neoconservative.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 26, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Where folks believe they divided up the oil resources in Iraq

        imho it wasn’t primarily divving up the oil resources as it was micro managing the transfer of wealth from the american people to war profitters, which was cheney’s specialty. halliburton/kbr and privatising the war and infrastructure, trillions in new projects, mercenary forces, diverting funds (remember rummy’s announcement of the missing trillions the day before 9/11 and the covert building of the military base while we were supposedly focusing on afghanistan) etc etc.

      • tree
        August 26, 2012, 1:04 pm

        I am unsure why you would feel more secure in regards your portfolio if it was strictly the Israel lobby pushing to attack Iran. Good luck on your portfolio in these uncertain times.

        You seemed to have missed Colin’s point, which is not surprising. He is pointing out that there is negligible corporate monetary interest in attacking Iran, and there is ample corporate monetary interest in NOT attacking Iran. The substantial interest in doing so comes from Israel and Israel’s supporters and/or lackeys, not from any monetary benefit to American corporations. Such an attack would most likely end up being a financial disaster for most American corporations.

      • seanmcbride
        August 26, 2012, 1:06 pm

        bob,

        The energy task force records are being kept secret to prevent the American public from understanding that Israel-centric neoconservatives (the most powerful arm of the Israel lobby) attempted to cajole, manipulate, maneuver, trick, entice, bully, etc. the US oil industry into supporting a war against Iraq that they didn’t really believe in. This much has been obvious from the start.

        These same Israel-centric neoconservatives are the ringleaders of the campaign to attack Iran. It is boneheaded to try to blame these disastrous Likud Zionist policies on the “corporatocracy” — that is bullshit. The vast majority of board members of Apple, Target, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, Best Buy, General Motors, Kroger, FedEx, Walmart, American Express, etc. are not obsessed with crushing the enemies of Israel. They are not fanatical Jewish nationalists. They do not even feel nationalistic about their own respective ethnic groups. They are AMERICANS.

      • seanmcbride
        August 26, 2012, 1:18 pm

        Who are these Israel-centric neoconservatives and Likud Zionists of whom we speak? Let’s never forget their names:

        1. Abram Shulsky
        2. Ari Fleischer
        3. Charles Krauthammer
        4. Cheryl Halpern
        5. Cliff May
        6. Dan Senor
        7. Daniel Pipes
        8. David Frum
        9. David Wurmser
        10. Dore Gold
        11. Douglas Feith
        12. Eliot Cohen
        13. Elliott Abrams
        14. Fred Hiatt
        15. Joe Lieberman
        16. John Podhoretz
        17. Joshua Muravchik
        18. Lewis Libby
        19. Max Boot
        20. Meyrav Wurmser
        21. Michael Ledeen
        22. Michael Rubin
        23. Mort Zuckerman
        24. Natan Sharansky
        25. Norman Podhoretz
        26. Paul Wolfowitz
        27. Reuel Marc Gerecht
        28. Richard Perle
        29. Robert Kagan
        30. William Kristol

        Just the tip of the iceberg — there are many more who share the same ideological profile and they constitute a single powerful social and political network.

      • bob
        August 26, 2012, 1:28 pm

        cheney’s specialty

        Cheney was not on board until after 9/11. He was quite opposed to an invasion plan before that.

      • bob
        August 26, 2012, 1:31 pm

        The energy task force records are being kept secret to prevent the American public from understanding that Israel-centric neoconservatives (the most powerful arm of the Israel lobby) attempted to cajole, manipulate, maneuver, trick, entice, bully, etc. the US oil industry into supporting a war against Iraq that they didn’t really believe in. This much has been obvious from the start.

        Perhaps. My point is we have an orgy of evidence now. There is little need for speculation.

      • irishmoses
        August 26, 2012, 1:54 pm

        MRW: “Wolfowitz was in it up to his ears.”

        The problem is that your above cites do not connect Wolfowitz to Clean Break. As far as I can tell, he wasn’t involved and did not sign off on that document or that group. While he was involved in PNAC, that group justified and promoted the invasion on the grounds that it enhanced US interests (I can find no reference to Israel in PNAC). True, Wolfowitz was promoting the invasion of Iraq from day one in the Bush administration. But, was he doing so because he felt it was good for US interests or for Israel’s or for both? I suspect both because of his strong ties to Israel. But I can’t put him in the Pearle, Feith, Wurmser camp as strident Likudnik neocons because I have no evidence he was involved in Clean Break. I think that is an important distinction when you attempt to “connect the dots” between Israel and the Iraq invasion.

        I see Wolfowitz as another whiz kid jerk like his predecessor Robert McNamara. Both so bright that they felt their opinions were immune from error and any opponents beyond contempt. Wolfowitz played a key role in structuring the invasion and preventing the use of sufficient troops to be able to successfully occupy Iraq. His savaging of Shinseki who told Congress it was insane to invade and occupy with so few troops was one of the great blunders of that war, second only to the decision to invade in the first place.

        So, I agree Wolfowitz “in it up to his ears” but I don’t agree that he was necessarily part of the Clean Break crowd. At least I’ve seen no evidence of that.

      • Keith
        August 26, 2012, 7:49 pm

        TREE- “He is pointing out that there is negligible corporate monetary interest in attacking Iran, and there is ample corporate monetary interest in NOT attacking Iran.”

        Last election, Wall Street was Obama’s biggest campaign contributor, however, you seem to feel that Wall Street, the oil companies, the US Chamber of Commerce, the MIC, the Business Round Table, the Council of Foreign Relations, the Federal Reserve and various other groups of concentrated power are meekly standing back, prepared to take a financial clobbering because of the overwhelming power of the Israel Lobby (which includes many of these same groups, I might add)? Apparently you feel that the empire is being run out of Tel Aviv? Do you feel that oil has any strategic value whatsoever?

        Actually, you represent the Mondoweiss core narrative. As such, any suggestion that there are any other factors involved in US Middle East policy than The Lobby, brings forth an unattractive defensive hostility. Since I have already indicated many times that I am adamantly opposed to US imperial policy in the Middle East and elsewhere, one would think that my perception of a certain imperial logic to empire’s actions would not prove offensive. Why does it have to be the Lobby and nothing else? Furthermore, if there is an escalation to full blown warfare over Iran, Israel will suffer much graver military consequences than the US. Beyond that, there will be significant global geo-strategic consequences which do not bode well for the 99%, all part of a great global power struggle. Why do you find this type of analysis so objectionable? Is it, perhaps, that dealing with a narrowly defined “lobby” seems more doable than dealing with an American based global corporate/financial empire on a rampage?

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2012, 12:06 am

        Bob that is total hooey. In Ron Susskind’s book “The Price of Loyalty” Former Secretary of the Treasury Paul O’Neil stated that Wolfowitz and Cheney were talking about invasion of Iraq at the very first Bush administration cabinet meetings in early 2001. Many believe the invasion plans were formulated by Cheney, Feith, Wolfowitz a solid decade before the invasion

      • Kathleen
        August 27, 2012, 12:12 am

        John Bolton, James Woolsey, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice (totally went along) the list goes on and on. Hope someone writes an account of where all the neocons are now. Quite a few on Romney’s foreign policy team

      • tree
        August 27, 2012, 1:56 am

        Last election, Wall Street was Obama’s biggest campaign contributor, however, you seem to feel that Wall Street, the oil companies, the US Chamber of Commerce, the MIC, the Business Round Table, the Council of Foreign Relations, the Federal Reserve and various other groups of concentrated power are meekly standing back, prepared to take a financial clobbering because of the overwhelming power of the Israel Lobby (which includes many of these same groups, I might add)?

        Those disparate groups are certainly not pushing for war with Iran, unless you know something that I don’t, other than your simplistic theory that “empire” must simply be one large corporate coherent group with one single agenda, and if there’s a push for war with Iran it must be in the interest of any and every powerful or monied group for such a war And I would not consider any of the groups you name as members of the Israel Lobby. I doubt that many would.

        Apparently you feel that the empire is being run out of Tel Aviv?

        Again, you are pushing a simplistic idea that all powerful groups in the US have a single agenda and not multiple and oftentimes competing interests. There seems to be some grand central “Empire is US” conspiracy group that runs the whole thing from somewhere, in your mind, so we must think it runs it from Tel Aviv. Life, and even power, doesn’t really run that way. I do feel that the most powerful outside force on our Middle East policy is Israel’s interest, due both to the corruption of our electoral system by all monied interests, including the Israel Lobby, and to the decades long efforts of that Lobby to limit open discussion and smear those who attempt to discuss the Middle East from a rational perspective as “anti-semites”. (And also due to the fact that, given our money corrupted system, there is no sufficiently monied interest group in the US on the opposite side of the issue to oppose the Israel Lobby.)

        Do you feel that oil has any strategic value whatsoever?

        Yes, of course, but our one sided support of Israel, a country without any oil, is contrary to our strategic interests in oil producing areas, many of which are in Arab countries that are antagonistic to Israel’s gross mistreatment of their fellow Arabs. Our strategic interest in oil in a country not so greatly influenced by the Israel Lobby would have us at the least be a real “honest broker” and, purely in the interest of US “empire” would have us favoring the Palestinians over Israel. This is clearly not the situation with our Middle East policy. It clearly isn’t based on the US strategic interest in oil.

        Actually, you represent the Mondoweiss core narrative. As such, any suggestion that there are any other factors involved in US Middle East policy than The Lobby, brings forth an unattractive defensive hostility.

        My beliefs are my own. I am explaining it to you and pointing out what I consider the faults of your own beliefs. You obviously don’t like that but instead of supporting your beliefs with your own counter points you feel the need to take about “an unattractive defensive hostility” on the part of others. That’s bad form for an argument in my book. But YMMV.

        Why do you find this type of analysis so objectionable?

        I find it wrong and simplistic. Those are my objections to it. You don’t even seem to “get” that the US’s strategic interest in oil and the oil companies’ interest in making huge profits are in large part contradictory to each other, as are the interests of many other major corporations and the oil companies interests, which is yet another reason why your monolithic “empire” theory doesn’t really hold much water.

      • Citizen
        August 27, 2012, 5:02 am

        @ tree, Keith,

        “Do you feel that oil has any strategic value whatsoever?

        Yes, of course, but our one sided support of Israel, a country without any oil, is contrary to our strategic interests in oil producing areas, many of which are in Arab countries that are antagonistic to Israel’s gross mistreatment of their fellow Arabs. Our strategic interest in oil in a country not so greatly influenced by the Israel Lobby would have us at the least be a real “honest broker” and, purely in the interest of US “empire” would have us favoring the Palestinians over Israel. This is clearly not the situation with our Middle East policy. It clearly isn’t based on the US strategic interest in oil.”

        Cheney’s Oil strategy report stealthily unveiled a continued reliance on foreign oil in the foreseeable future, and on US military might to secure same in the interest of favorable development and distribution of oil, most specifically to EU/US. Hence, we are not sitting all over the ME on military bases simply for Israel’s sake, but for our own. Hard not to believe Big Oil is unhappy with that state of affairs. OTOH, it’s hard to believe, accordingly, that Big Oil is happy with our blank check strategy regarding Israel, which works against both US and EU strategic oil interests.

        Read carefully, while also thinking of Iran:


        Officials told the public that oil had nothing to do with the motives for the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The only interest the United States has in the region is furthering the cause of peace and stability, not in [Iraqs] ability to generate oil, White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer said in late 2002. But a closer look at the administrations planning for the war reveals a very different picture. In a January briefing by an unnamed senior Defense official on U.S. plans for protecting Iraqi oil fields in the event of war, the Pentagon leadership revealed that Gen. Tommy Franks and his staff have crafted strategies that will allow us to secure and protect those fields as rapidly as possible in order to preserve those prior to destruction.
        The senior official, who presumably was Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, indicated that the Bush administration sought to capture Iraqs oilfields intact to provide a source of revenue for the reconstruction of the country. Under the Hussein regime, Iraq was a major oil supplier to the United States. It provided an average of 566,000 barrels per day in 2002, or 5% of total imports. Many in Washington hope to obtain far more oil from Iraq in the future. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Iraq possesses proven reserves of 112.5 billion barrels, more than any other country except Saudi Arabia, and it is thought to possess another 200 billion barrels in undeveloped fields. Iraq could become a leading oil supplier in the decades ahead, if a stable government is established that opens territory to exploitation by U.S. firms.
        Such an outcome is far from assured. Policy makers face the challenge of ensuring that Saudi Arabia and other gulf producers increase oil supplies enough to meet growing U.S. and international demand. Another challenge will be protecting the Saudi regime against internal unrest and insurrection.
        The need to increase Saudi production is particularly pressing. With one-fourth of the worlds known oil reserves, an estimated 262 billion barrels, Saudi Arabia is the only country other than Iraq capable of satisfying ever-increasing petroleum demands. According to the Department of Energy, Saudi Arabias net petroleum output must grow by 133% over the next 25 years, from 10.2 mbd in 2001 to 23.8 mbd in 2025, in order to meet anticipated world requirements at the end of that period. Expanding Saudi capacity by 13.6 mbd, which is the equivalent of total current production by the United States and Mexico, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It also will create enormous technical and logistical challenges. Western analysts believe the best way to achieve this increase is to persuade the Saudis to allow substantial U.S. oil-company investment. The Cheney report calls for exactly that. However, any effort by Washington to apply pressure on Riyadh is likely to meet with significant resistance from the royal family, who nationalized oil holdings in the 1970s and is fearful of being seen as overly subservient to the United States.
        The strong U.S. ties to the Saudi royal family are unpopular with the regimes many opponents. Additionally, growing numbers of young Saudis have turned against the United States because of its close ties to Israel and what is seen as Washingtons anti-Islamic bias. It was from this milieu that Osama bin Laden recruited many of his followers in the late 1990s and obtained much of his financial support. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Saudi government cracked down on some of these forces, but underground opposition to the regimes military and economic cooperation with Washington persists. Finding a way to eradicate this opposition while persuading Riyadh to increase its oil deliveries will be one of the most difficult challenges facing U.S. policy makers in the years ahead.”
        link to commondreams.org

      • RoHa
        August 27, 2012, 8:20 am

        “It also will create enormous technical and logistical challenges. Western analysts believe the best way to achieve this increase is to persuade the Saudis to allow substantial U.S. oil-company investment.”

        I bet the Chinese could do it. And will, given half a chance.

      • bob
        August 27, 2012, 8:21 am

        Kathleen:

        I forgot about Suskind. I really can’t recall why I dismissed him, either. Now I can’t weigh whether that was fair or not. Contingency plan? At any rate, thanks for bringing that up.

        a solid decade before the invasion

        Not going to happen. Cheney was calling regime change in Iraq a “quagmire” in the mid 1990’s. He was also privately conducting millions of dollars in business in Iraq (1997-2000) when the Neoconservatives were clamoring for regime change. On Iran, he was even more misaligned and the reasons are quite long here. These are parts of the reasons why Heilbrunn, Halper, Clarke, and others label Cheney (and Rumsfeld) not as neoconservatives.

      • Keith
        August 27, 2012, 6:41 pm

        TREE- “Those disparate groups are certainly not pushing for war with Iran, unless you know something that I don’t, other than your simplistic theory that “empire” must simply be one large corporate coherent group with one single agenda, and if there’s a push for war with Iran it must be in the interest of any and every powerful or monied group for such a war”

        Why have you created a straw man? I never said nor implied that the groups I mentioned either agreed with each other or were “one large corporate coherent group with one single agenda.” They each have their functions and inputs into overall policy, which, in turn, will inevitably reflect the desires of domestic concentrations of power. I was responding to your assertion that “The substantial interest in doing so comes from Israel and Israel’s supporters and/or lackeys, not from any monetary benefit to American corporations. Such an attack would most likely end up being a financial disaster for most American corporations.” My point was that the organizations which conduct the business of empire would appear to generally favor current policies, or are curiously silent in opposition, virtually inconceivable if, in fact, they felt current policies were leading to a “financial disaster for most American corporations.”

        Are you not aware that the US is a warfare state which has engaged in non-stop warfare against the Third World following WWII in order to achieve imperial objectives? Do you not think that this represents the power-seeking consensus of US financial and corporate elites? In his 2004 book “Killing Hope,” William Blum identifies at least 55 interventions since World War II. link to killinghope.org There is a map at his website if you scroll down. The US has consciously strived to establish global hegemony following WW II with the support and approval of the corporate and financial elite, many of whom rotate in and out of government. Have not US corporations benefited from US imperialism? Are the domestic concentrations of power not in control of the American empire? Are you suggesting that there is no empire? That there is no plan, no strategy, no means of implementation? Do you do any reading at all on this topic? On the global political economy? Global finance?

        “Yes, of course, but our one sided support of Israel, a country without any oil, is contrary to our strategic interests in oil producing areas….”

        Our support of Israel is to a large part a consequence of Lobby efforts, and no one has claimed otherwise. But that isn’t the point, is it? The original comment concerned the importance of oil in the Iraq invasion. You, along with the rest of the Mondo faithful, completely discount oil as a factor. Bob does. Sean does. You apparently do too, although you don’t appear to have much of a background in either global political economy or oil politics. Collin objected that from his perspective, an attack on Iran didn’t make economic sense. I agreed with him that from the perspective of the 99%, virtually none of US foreign and domestic policy makes sense. Alas, we aren’t calling the shots. What you and others apparently can’t understand is that what doesn’t make sense to you, makes a lot of sense to those calling the shots. American business did just fine as a consequence of World War II, and has been engaged in military Keynesianism ever since. There is a rich history of this out there for those who care to look, or to ignored and perhaps denied by ‘The Lobby did it’ crowd. Getting back to Iraq, I am going to provide a few quotes to give you a feel for the kind of information I get.

        “Henry A. Kissinger, Rockefeller’s well-compensated, multi-purpose minion and long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) said: “Control the oil and you can control entire Continents. Control food and you control people.”[2] Michael Collon, Belgian author said: “If you want to rule the world, you need to control oil. All the oil. Anywhere.”[3] link to rense.com

        “The American foreign policy establishment’s chief interest in Middle Eastern oil has always been about the imperial veto power the United States might achieve over its industrial and military rivals by controlling the world’s greatest strategic and material prize – the Middle East’s unmatched petroleum reserves. It’s not just or even mainly about cheap oil. It’s about the “critical leverage” (the words of President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor Zbigniew Bzrezinski) that control of Middle Eastern oil gives the U.S. over the rest of the oil-dependent world.” (Paul Street- Z mail 5/3/11)
        link to zcommunications.org

        “And talk about messy, who could forget what Dick Cheney said, while still Halliburton’s CEO, at the Institute of Petroleum in London in 1999: “The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.” No wonder when, as vice president, he came to power in 2001, his first order of business was to “liberate” Iraq’s oil. Of course, who doesn’t remember how that ended?” (Pepe Escobar)
        link to dissidentvoice.org

        “Prior to the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, US and other western oil companies were all but completely shut out of Iraq’s oil market,” oil industry analyst Antonia Juhasz told Al Jazeera. “But thanks to the invasion and occupation, the companies are now back inside Iraq and producing oil there for the first time since being forced out of the country in 1973.”

        “Dr Abdulhay Yahya Zalloum, an international oil consultant and economist who has spent nearly 50 years in the oil business in the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, agrees that western oil companies have “obtained concessions in Iraq’s major [oil] fields”, despite “there being a lack of transparency and clarity of vision regarding the legal issues….Dr Zalloum added that he believes western oil companies have successfully acquired the lions’ share of Iraq’s oil, “but they gave a little piece of the cake for China and some of the other countries and companies to keep them silent….Dr Zalloum was blunt. “The last thing the US cares about in the Middle East is democracy. It is about oil, full stop.” link to zcommunications.org

        “Iran has 150 billion barrels in petroleum reserves, among the largest reserves in the world, but they cannot be exploited by US corporations because of Israel lobby-inspired US congressional sanctions on Iran. US elites, especially Big Oil, dream of doing regime change in Iran so as to get access to those vast reserves.” (Juan Cole, 2005)
        link to zcommunications.org

        Iran is an energy-rich colossus, with oil and, more importantly, natural gas reserves that put it, with approximately 10% of global reserves, in the world’s top three oil economies alongside Washington’s client states of Saudi Arabia and Iraq. In sharp contrast, the US has less than 2% of global oil reserves.

        The conquest of Iran’s oil riches is the driving force behind America’s military agenda.
        The US-led conquest of Iraq – costing over a million lives in a nine-year occupation – is part of Washington’s long-held plans to dominate the globe’s vast energy resources that reside in the Persian Gulf and Central Asian regions. The decade-long war in Afghanistan is another flank in this US bid for hegemony over the fuel for the capitalist world economy. For nearly three decades, the US-led Western capitalist world has been deprived of exploiting Iranian energy wealth. The Islamic Republic has remained defiantly independent of Washington’s control, not just in terms of its vast hydrocarbon riches, but also politically. Iran is no puppet of the West as it was formerly under the despotic Shah Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi.
        link to globalresearch.ca

        “The war is on, and as pressure on Iran mounts, there is a temptation for the Iranians to lash out, to close the Straits of Hormuz for instance. If they do so, the Atlantic powers, the Israelis and the Gulf Arabs will take this as a casus belli. It will be enough to power up the cruise missile delivery systems. The political benefits for the US and Israel of such an attack are great. As Rami El-Amin puts it, “An attack or possible war on Iran would have the added effect of derailing the Arab revolutions and revolts and justify the continued presence of a large US military force in the oil-rich region.” (Vijay Prashad)
        link to counterpunch.org

        For China, all this spells potential strategic impairment. Although some of China’s imported oil will travel overland through pipelines from Kazakhstan and Russia, the great majority of it will still come by tanker from the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America over sea lanes policed by the U.S. Navy. Indeed, almost every tanker bringing oil to China travels across the South China Sea, a body of water the Obama administration is now seeking to place under effective naval control. (Michael T. Klare)
        link to zcommunications.org

      • tree
        August 28, 2012, 4:14 am

        My point was that the organizations which conduct the business of empire would appear to generally favor current policies, or are curiously silent in opposition, virtually inconceivable if, in fact, they felt current policies were leading to a “financial disaster for most American corporations.”

        Again with the “virtually inconceivable”? When you claimed that it was “virtually inconceivable” that a Fortune 500 CEO would publicly agitate for war, I pointed out that Sheldon Adelson has done just that, and not for any financial “empire” reasons, but because of ideological ones. You ignored the example you claimed to be asking for.

        As for your latest “inconceivable”, we are not at present at war with Iran, and hopefully never will be, but we do have a sanctions policy at present. However, several of the groups you mentioned above , and some you didn’t but easily could have— The US Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable, the National Association of Manufacturers, etc– in 2010 went so far as to send a letter to the US Government complaining that the then considered Iran sanctions bill was too restrictive and not in the US national interest. It was a rather mild complaint, but considering that domestic business groups usually are loathe to appear to be publicly criticizing US foreign policy, this step was a major one. You seem to be unaware of this. You also seem to be unaware that any domestic business group or corporation usually has to be quite circumspect about this kind of thing, lest they be tarred as supporting an “enemy” country obtaining nuclear weapons, or “supporting terrorism”, or worse–smears that could easily affect the bottom line because of backlash whipped up in US consumers by unscrupulous warmongers. So far from being “curiously silent” many of these groups have been as publicly in opposition as US corporations who are worried about domestic consumers’ attitudes towards them have allowed them to be. Again, you seem to discount the extent to which domestic concerns can dictate foreign policy decisions. I would not be surprised at all if, privately, some corporations have been much more outspoken about their concerns.

        link to voices.washingtonpost.com

        There were similar concerns from business about sanctions on Iraq, during that time period.

        Why have you created a straw man? I never said nor implied that the groups I mentioned either agreed with each other or were “one large corporate coherent group with one single agenda.” They each have their functions and inputs into overall policy, which, in turn, will inevitably reflect the desires of domestic concentrations of power.

        There’s no straw man there. Reread your third sentence. It does in fact imply that it is all one big machine with an ultimate single agenda. As does the term “Empire” as you employ it, meaning all corporate and US governmental power as if it is one entity rather than many competing and sometimes cooperating powers. Its an incredibly simplistic theory, if one can even call it that, and for someone who implies he has some great grasp of “global finance” and “global political economy” its a dead giveaway that he is in over his head.

        I follow what the facts and logic tell me is most likely true. I see plentiful signs that our war in Iraq and the possible war with Iran were and are being pushed by Israel and the neocons. I have seen little to indicate that the war in Iraq was pushed by the oil companies, and much to indicate it was not in their immediate interest or desire. I am familiar with oil economics and oil microeconomics. From an economic standpoint, a stable dictatorship, like Hussein’s in Iraq prior to sanctions, is the most beneficial environment for oil company hegemony and profits. You seem to think that things must happen in the world because they make economic sense to those in positions of power. That’s not always the way things happen, or even necessarily the way things happen the majority of times, and until you can understand that, you will be tied to the simplistic.

      • Keith
        August 29, 2012, 9:01 pm

        TREE- I hear you! It is “simplistic” to think that American foreign and domestic policy is planned, has power-seeking coherence, and reflects the overall consensus of the dominant elites, highly sophisticated to realize that when all is said and done ‘the lobby did it.’ I see no point in replying to your latest sophistry, you are a diehard defender of the Mondo narrative.

      • radkelt
        September 18, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Annie
        great insight/comment. would like to know where the missing trillions
        went.

    • quercus
      August 24, 2012, 3:27 pm

      @Kathleen. Chris Matthews is an employee. He doesn’t decide who will be on his program, his employer does. Talking about ‘pushing’ him to invite people such as Juan Cole, John Meirsheimer, Steve Walt, won’t get those folks on his show. He is not in control. If Chris Matthews said anything his employer had not authorized, he’d be out of a job faster than you can say lickety-split.

      • Krauss
        August 24, 2012, 4:58 pm

        Exactly. People like him are easily replaceable and he knows it.
        It’s sort of funny how increasingly left-wing MSNBC is on all issues(not a day goes by without them using the race card) but Israel is still totally off limits.

        Who ows MSNBC? Comcast. And who is part of the top helm at Comast? People like David Cohen, who went out of his way to go to UPenn and protest against BDS on his personal time.

        He also fundraises for the president at his personal home.

        This is why I’m always amused when I hear people say “well people support Israel in America” as if it was for mysterious reasons.
        Israel was treated much more even-handedly in the 50s, for example and then we’ve seen a steady erosion of independance as the lobby’s power has grown.

        And I think despite all the denials and feigned outrage, the lobbyists themselves know this to be true deep down. That’s why they keep doing it, because if you would have genuine debate on Israel, the left-wing discourse in the mainstream would change very, very rapidly and that’d be the end of the bipartisan support for Israel within just a few years and then what happens when a Democratic president rules next?

        That’s why Cohen and his ilk work overtime to censor and steer the debate where they want. Fear is their guiding light.

      • Kathleen
        August 24, 2012, 11:14 pm

        So when he had Bill Kristol, David Frum, Gaffney on on a regular basis his bosses were making all of those decisions.

      • quercus
        August 25, 2012, 7:34 am

        @Kathleen. Yes, I feel quite certain of that.

      • Kathleen
        August 26, 2012, 10:13 am

        At the Libby trial when I challenged Chris Matthews about his topic and guest list he responded “I am not in charge of the programming” Now I believe that to some degree….Chris, Rachel, Ed, Al all chewing on the big bucks that essentially becomes their God but Rachel Maddow has had Prof Cole (not recently) a few times to discuss some middle east issues and Dylan Ratigan had Glenn Greenwald on and they mopped the floor up with Cliff May so they have to have a bit of a say as to who they can and can not have on.
        We need to let them know we notice they are cowards on the I/P and Iran issue. Mix up that topic and guest list. They have been covering the upcoming election aud nauseum for months now with a few sprinklings of what ever the Obama administration wants them to say about Syria

  2. Kathleen
    August 24, 2012, 2:31 pm

    I think it is interesting how often Hollywood folks and lay folks alike are using Iran as an example of the bad bad bad guys. Normalizing demonizing Iran. Larry Davis did it during his young people go vote spot (Chris Matthews showed it) I had a friend on facebook do it this morning. Using Iran as the example of the bad bad bad guy is common place now just the way the neocons wanted it. Rachel Maddow does it. Terri Gross has done it a great great deal. Have not been listening to her as of late.

    Normalizing demonizing Iran. Done deal

    • MRW
      August 24, 2012, 2:59 pm

      To which I would answer, Kathleen, meaning what I would reply to them: ‘You’re either stupid, uninformed, or lying about who you’re carrying water for’.

      • Citizen
        August 24, 2012, 4:48 pm

        @ MRW, chalk it up to weak character, always revealed by a good salesman who believes what he is saying long enough to make his/her pitch and close the sale. He or she may have secret misgiving later, but the $ and the career is in the bank.

    • Mooser
      August 24, 2012, 3:34 pm

      “Normalizing demonizing Iran. Done deal”

      That’s what I keep on saying. They are showing you exactly what to do, it’s like a free consultation with high-powered image makers! Sometimes I wonder if Jewish participation in the I-P issues discussion is what insures it will never be effective. After all, it is simply not fair, nor is it realistic to expect people to demonise themselves.

    • Rusty Pipes
      August 24, 2012, 4:11 pm

      I have a hard time listening to Terri Gross if I don’t have to. Some of the most interesting topics are covered by her guest hosts. A few days ago, I caught part of an interview with Jane Mayer about her New Yorker article Schmooze or Lose. Excerpts from the interview are at Fresh Air, but not the section I found most interesting, about the difference in Bill Clinton’s and Obama’s style with donors. It was all about how Clinton knew how to make donors feel good and how big donors felt that Obama was inattentive. Mayer was remarking about how rich donors get used to feeling that they deserve more pampering and attention. There was no mention in the article, or in the part of the interview I heard, about the political agenda of a percentage of these major donors, indeed the article starts with the context of Obama’s Wall Street donors. In a talkshow with a Jewish interviewer about an article in the New Yorker with the yiddish word “schmooze” in the title, not one word is mentioned about the Zionist agenda of a sizable portion of Obama’s major donors. No, the donors’ discontent with Obama is all because he doesn’t pamper them enough.

      • Kathleen
        August 24, 2012, 11:17 pm

        Gross has been one of the MSM folks who has continually repeated the unsubstantiated claims about Iran on a regular basis

      • Krauss
        August 25, 2012, 3:27 am

        I don’t really buy that.

        Obama has been a record fundraiser by all accounts as a sitting President. He is beaten by Romney only because Romney is a creature of the 1 %(or rather the top 0.1 %) and that is his natural element.

        Journalists like Jane Meyer act like infatuated teen girls. It’s she that brought the attack on Koch(but notice that she refused to name Adelson until it became simply impossible to ignore him, it’s because she’s protective of her community).

        The latest screed is similar to Maureen Dowd’s infatuated Op-Ed where Obama’s introversion is described in noble terms. I’ll lay my cards on the table: I’m an introvert too. So I am in some sense glad that introversion is (finally) being celebrated and treated as something almost noble, but that is because they are both biased.

        Clinton, who’s a natural schmoozer, is being described as ‘needy’ and the undercurrent is that he’s just a bit uncomfortable.

        Romney’s also an introvert, as Dowd noted, but he got attacked for it. In another article he was slammed as having ‘no friends’ without any substance(if anything he looks like his social circle is wider than Obama’s even if both have relatively narrow social circles of genuine friends).

        I suppose as a left-wing liberal I should rejoice at this propaganda but even I notice total bias when I see it. It’s pretty annoying when people like Meyer are essentially acting like cheerleaders for only one team. Dowd is an Op-Ed journalist so that’s a different story. But Meyer is supposed to be objective.

        Meyer in particular, with her double standards between the Koch brothers and Adelson(who has taken a much more direct role in Romney’s campaign than the Kochs), is again doing the same double standards only this time for the Democrat.

        Clinton was always described as a natural politican etc when he was in office, and was contrasted with the ‘awkard’ and ‘stiff’ Bob Dole in the ’96 election. Now he’s suddenly described as ‘needy’ because they need to elevate their current President.

        Back in ’96 Dole was attacked for being someone who wasn’t good at schmoozing. Now Obama is being hailed for it and given an escape hatch if he loses the election, of it’s just those prissy billionaires!

        I mean the cynism here is staggering.
        And the reason why I’m not buying the stories is that deep down, I don’t think they celebrate introversion for it’s own sake. It just so happens that Obama is one and therefore introversion is a hook they can use to praise him and attack those who either don’t support him or attack him. Suddenly what they praised in Clinton before has become a liability, a sign of being ‘needy’ while introverts are now ‘noble’.

        I’d rather not have extroverts being demonized nor introverts being castigated for whatever reason, but the naked political motives behind the switch is exceptionally annoying and Meyer’s shilling for whoever is the Democrat is an example of that because her piece is so disingenious.

        It’s incidents like these that make me nod once in a while when conversatives howl about media bias. They overdo it, but once in a while they get it right.

  3. MRW
    August 24, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Clear as a bell, Phil. Short, smart, and direct. Nailed it.

    Add General Clark–7/8 min.
    link to youtube.com

    We really dilute the message when we allow people to mealy-mouth this (and write interminable inches obfuscating it…especially in the age of twitter). The ‘sunshine’ on the web are direct clear statements like this. ‘This is who caused it. Bam‘.

  4. seafoid
    August 24, 2012, 3:11 pm

    The war in Iraq had its own logic. It was more than just revenge and elite incompetence. Stimulus spending that got the US out of the recession of 2002. Debt added to the national account. US taxpayers are now seeing the bill. Would you like Medicare or a balanced budget ?

    • MRW
      August 24, 2012, 3:30 pm

      seafoid,

      Americans aren’t seeing the bill. They’re seeing their stupidity. In some cases, their ignorance. The difference being that ignorance doesn’t know, and stupidity doesn’t want to know.

      But you’re right that the stimulus got us out of the recession. If we had learned anything, we would know that an even greater stimulus would fix the economy now. Americans refuse to learn how federal accounting works, and approach it as if it were a business or their own household.

      Medicare and Social Security would be fixed with one thing: Congress passes a law that saves it, guarantees it. With a stroke of a pen. Done. It already does it for Part B of the Supplemental Medical Health Insurance and Part D. From the annual report of the Trustees of SS and Medicare:

      “Part B of Supplemental Medical Insurance (SMI), which pays for doctors’ bills and other outpatient expenses, and Part D, which pays for access to prescription drug coverage, are both projected to remain adequately financed into the indefinite future because current law automatically provides financing each year to meet the next year’s expected costs.”

      A balanced budget, at this time, does no one any favors when the private sector is loaded down with debt. It’s financial suicide. The US government issues the currency. (Where the hell does anyone think it comes from?) States, businesses, and households can’t create the currency; they have to earn their income. The US govt creates it by spending into the economy. The US government needs to be spending waaay more to get it rocking and rolling, and stop saving banks. We need infrastructure, education, communication, health care, and transportation innovations. Now. Vis-a-vis the bankers, heads responsible should have rolled since we’re supposed to be a nation of laws, not men, and deregulated fraud caused the crisis with Greenspan as maestro. (He should have gone to jail for lying to the Presidents….Of course, he came clean in August 2011 in an effort to save what’s left of his legacy.)

      • Citizen
        August 24, 2012, 5:02 pm

        And MRW, Medicare Part C is being savaged to fund tons of new Medicaid enrollees, under Obamacare. This is a direct transfer of benefits from paying (mostly) old whites to (mostly) non-paying non-white moms via their children. The over all % of single moms getting this government welfare is 40%; of these, the white moms are 30% of their population, Hispanics are 50% of theirs, and black moms are 70% of theirs.

      • MRW
        August 24, 2012, 5:34 pm

        @Citizen,

        Are you these “non-paying non-white moms” are all unemployed?

      • seafoid
        August 24, 2012, 5:24 pm

        The US govt also needs to raise taxes. A big stimulus plan coupled with decent additional taxes on those earning over 250K would go a long way. There should also be time limits on corporate cash sitting in corporate treasuries doing nothing.

        Overall the US is a mess. And it is time for labor to supplant capital again.

        link to pimco.com

        Ultimately, however, both labor and capital suffer as a deleveraging household sector in the throes of a jobless recovery refuses – if only through fear and consumptive exhaustion – to play their historic role in the capitalistic system. This “labor trap” phenomenon – in which consumers stop spending out of fear of unemployment or perhaps negative real wages, shrinking home prices or an overall loss of faith in the American Dream – is what markets or “capital” should now begin to recognize. Long-term profits cannot ultimately grow unless they are partnered with near equal benefits for labor. Washington, London, Berlin and yes, even Beijing must accept this commonsensical reality alongside several other structural initiatives that seek to rebalance the global economy. The United States in particular requires an enhanced safety net of benefits for the unemployed unless and until it can produce enough jobs to return to our prior economic model which suggested opportunity for all who were willing to grab for the brass ring – a ring that is now tarnished if not unavailable for the grasping. Policies promoting “Buy American” goods and services – which in turn would employ more Americans – should also be reintroduced. China and Brazil do it. Why not us?

        If structural solutions are not put in place, a six-pac market observer should look at both stocks and bonds as rather flabby knock-offs of their former selves; no resemblance at all to Jack LaLanne but more to a 55-year-old terminator grown fat and rendered out of shape by years of neglect and perhaps greed for short-term profits as opposed to long-term balance. There are no double-digit investment returns anywhere in sight for owners of financial assets. Bonds, stocks and real estate are in fact overvalued because of near zero percent interest rates and a developed world growth rate closer to 0 than the 3 – 4% historical norms. There is only a New Normal economy at best and a global recession at worst to look forward to in future years. A modern day, Budweiser-drinking Karl Marx might have put it this way: “Laborers of the world, unite – you have only your six-packs to lose.” He might also have added, “Investors/policymakers of the world wake up – you’re killing the proletariat goose that lays your golden eggs.”

      • Carowhat
        August 24, 2012, 8:52 pm

        seafoid: There should also be time limits on corporate cash sitting in corporate treasuries doing nothing.

        I have heard this argument before and never understood it. I thought rich corporations (like Apple) put their money in banks, which in turn lent out the money to other corporations, developers, whatever. If money sit’s idle it’s because the banks chose not to lend it out, not because the corporation which deposited the cash insists that it sit there.

        In any case, wherever Apple’s money is I’m sure it’s not in an underground vault at the Apple campus in Cupertino. Someone is doing something with it.

        Perhaps someone who understands how all this works could spell it out.

      • seafoid
        August 25, 2012, 6:36 am

        Banks aren’t lending. They are deleveraging which means reducing the size of their loan books. Corporates have money in money market instruments and short bonds. they have never had so much cash in history and they won’t spend it. The problem in the US is falling demand. Allowing companies to keep their cash instead of stimulating demand is pointless.

      • MRW
        August 26, 2012, 11:10 pm

        @seafoid,

        “The US govt also needs to raise taxes. . . . Overall the US is a mess.”

        The government DOES NOT NEED TO RAISE TAXES. Every needs to reeducate themselves from theoclassical (neoliberal) economics that is plain wrong. The government creates the currency! Why would it need to raise taxes? The federal government is the only entity in the world that can create the US currency…legally that is. Why would we need to borrow dollars from others? Why would we need to borrow or tax dollars from citizens who got their dollars from the US government to begin with?

        Taxes are used to heat up or cool down the economy. When the economy is in the state its in now…dead cold…then taxes are the last thing you need to pile on. And you need to increase spending. The spectre of inflation does not happen when the danger is deflation. The non-governmental sector (business, households) are deleveraging (using income to pay off debt). Households account for 70% of spending in this country. If they aren’t buying, because they’re paying off debt, then why would businesses hire people for jobs? The only other sector, the one that creates the currency, the government sector, has to spend: infrastructure, transportation, research, education, healthcare.

        “Think big deficits cause recessions? Think again!”
        link to epicoalition.org

        Pay attention to this line in the article:
        “In its first 150 years, the government periodically undertook systematic multi-year reductions in the national debt by taking in more revenues than it spent.”
        That means when the government is running a surplus, like the Clinton admin did. Every single government surplus was followed by a recession in our 200-year history.

        “Overall the US is a mess”

        What’s a mess is that we view the economy with the same eyes, ears, brains used to know the gold standard economy. Reagan was the worst offender.

  5. seafoid
    August 24, 2012, 4:06 pm

    On mindlessness

    Romney Blasts Supreme Court, Calling Health-Care Act “Worst Idea I Ever Had”

    Posted by Andy Borowitz

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Just minutes after the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney slammed the Court, calling the law “the worst idea I ever had.”

    “I vow to repeal this law on my first day in office,” he told a crowd at a campaign rally. “Until then, I will work tirelessly to make people forget that I used to totally love it.”

    At the White House, President Obama greeted the news of the Court’s decision in muted fashion: “I haven’t been this pumped since I smoked bin Laden.”

    Dissenters in the 5-4 decision included Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote, “The only medical procedures the government should pay for are forced transvaginal ultrasounds and exorcisms.”

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also had harsh words for the health-care law, telling reporters, “Under Obamacare, you will be forced to marry a gay doctor.”

    But perhaps the most negative appraisal came from Speaker of the House John Boehner: “This is a dark day for America. If we are forced to have health care, it’s only a matter of time before we have education.”
    .

    Read more link to newyorker.com

  6. AmericaFirstforaChange
    August 24, 2012, 6:53 pm

    Keep in mind that Chris Matthews initially supported the Iraq invasion and even slammed Phil Donohue who was against it before his MSNBC show was cancelled.. At least Chris Matthews woke up to the the nefarious neocon war for Israel agenda (link to tinyurl.com) and is now apparently against such. I had given him a print-out of the London Review of Books (LRB) Mearsheimer/Walt article (link to tinyurl.com) at USC in Los Angeles which he said he would read on the flight back to DC, but he never mentioned Mearsheimer/Walt on his MSNBC ‘Hardball’ show! Nor on his NBC Network ‘Chris Matthews’ show either!

    Hopefully Chris Matthews will speak out against the following as well:

    Israel lobby (AIPAC, Neocons) pushing Syrian regime change to weaken Iran:

    link to tinyurl.com

    By way of deception Israel trying to drag US into war on Iran before election:

    link to america-hijacked.com

  7. AmericaFirstforaChange
    August 24, 2012, 6:57 pm

    Why isn’t Mondoweiss covering the following yet?:

    The ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ film (http://www.valentinosghost.com) which James Morris is in (from link to youtube.com) will be one of two American documentaries screening at the upcoming Venice International Film Festival (world’s oldest and most prestigious film festival).

    PS: Just saw that ‘Valentino’s Ghost’ is listed at following URL (I guess that exchange James Morris had with Lee Hamilton which already has over half a million views will get a few more! :)

    Venice Film Festival Unveils Line-Up with Films from Malick, De Palma and Demme:

    link to thewrap.com

  8. AmericaFirstforaChange
    August 24, 2012, 7:05 pm

    PS: Noticed that Mearsheimer/Walt link for the London Review of Books (LRB) article I included in prior post above isn’t going through.. Here is it again:

    link to tinyurl.com

    link to warwithoutend.co.uk

  9. Carowhat
    August 24, 2012, 8:11 pm

    Rachel Maddow obviously knows what’s up. She is so silent on the issue it’s as if there is an elephant behind her chair and she’s urging us to agree it’s not there. I wonder what happens when (and if) she ever suggests having a non-Zionist on show. Or perhaps she’s just so progressive except for Palestine she’s just showing us what she really thinks.

    • MLE
      August 24, 2012, 11:31 pm

      It makes me sad because she’s seems so smart and common sense otherwise.

  10. dbroncos
    August 24, 2012, 8:29 pm

    Good op-Ed forum up at NYT. Seven contributors answer the question: Has support For Israel Hurt US Credibility? Israel firsters and critics of Israel alike. Most telling are the comments – thus far they’re overwhelmingly critical of the US-Israel relationship.

  11. jdfsau
    August 24, 2012, 9:34 pm

    RE: “But you’re right that the stimulus got us out of the recession.”

    The common refrain that invariably comes out of the left during economic downturns is that the unfeeling Republicans are against stimulus programs to revive the economy because they are cruel and unfeeling.

    Are you kidding! What do you think defense spending is? The defense budget is undoubtedly the biggest ongoing government stimulus program of all is is widely supported by virtually all the supposedly free market Republican politicians and many Democrats. Unlike many pure welfare programs, it continues in times of both prosperity and economic downturn. The Republicans support this funding because it directly benefits their own middle class constituents. Cut out this defense spending your will see places like Seattle, Houston, and Los Angeles, all of which all have sizable aerospace industries, going on like support. A place like Fort Hood, Texas will have its residents foraging for aluminum cans overnight if significant defense cuts are made.

    The cries for more taxes on the upper middle class and the rich are also problematical because these people are easily able to vote with their feet and move. I recently read that the high tax rate in California has resulted in the departure of one third (50 out of 150) of its highest tax payers. These people are moving to places like Texas and Florida that don’t have state income taxes. They could just as easily move out of the US and renounce their citizenship if they felt that the government was unduly picking on them. This is apparently what a growing number are thinking of doing. These people aren’t just socialite, coupon cutters living on inheritances. In many or most cases they are the entrepreneurs that set up companies that hired thousands of employees. When they leave, jobs leave also.

    Many on the left have a short memory of the effects of high taxation. The last time a country truly went after its highest income makers was in the UK starting post World War Two and ending in the 1970s. This was true income redistribution, not the fake sort like in the USA (or like that in the rest of Europe) where high marginal tax rates were mitigated by numerous deductions, tax shelters, or outright cheating which governments chose to overlook.

    The result of the high tax rates in the UK was the so called “brain drain” that occurred during this period. Huge numbers of technologically skilled high earners (medical doctors, engineers, etc) simply fled the country for places like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, a loss that crippled the UK for decades to come. (It ended up with the UK government totally corrupting both its tax system and the accounting systems of its private corporations by allowing tax free “perks” to be used in lieu of regular income in order to stop its most talented workers from fleeing. It wasn’t uncommon to see tuition at Eton College, gourmet lunches, free use of company owned villas in mainland Europe, or even prostitutes being doled out as tax free “perks” to favored employees.

    The ultra wealthiest UK citizens simply moved to places like Switzerland where the income they made outside the UK wasn’t taxed. When these mega earners moved they often ended up bringing defacto their company headquarters along with them. (Google the current residences of the founders of mammoth, privately held companies like IKEA and ALDI (owners of, among other things, the Trader Joe’s chain of stores). None live in their native countries because of high taxes. When they left jobs invariably followed them.)

    What people are seeing now is an economic debacle that resulted directly from an unfettered Federal Reserve Banking system that has promoted deficit spending for all sorts of government funding, both for defense and welfare, for decades. The Republicans always have made made great, faux, wailing sounds about this deficit spending but made no attempt to really control the (privately owned) Fed, its ultimate source, simply because they, like their Democratic brethren, are absolutely dependent on this unfunded spending for re-election. Ethanol anyone!

    • Carowhat
      August 25, 2012, 4:24 am

      jdfsau: Cut out this defense spending your will see places like Seattle, Houston, and Los Angeles, all of which all have sizable aerospace industries, going on like support. A place like Fort Hood, Texas will have its residents foraging for aluminum cans overnight if significant defense cuts are made.

      It always seemed to me that if you spent money on bridges, say, instead of bombs you’d have something which would help a community for decades, whereas another bomb in Afghanistan only makes the rubble bounce and creates a lot fewer jobs than bridges, power grids or even sidewalks. What’s wrong with sidewalks? Why would anyone oppose them? They last for 80 years or so and you can build them anywhere without opposition.

      • ritzl
        August 25, 2012, 8:52 am

        Totally right, Carowhat. $100B/year in-country combined for Iraq and Afghanistan. Money that does nothing to stimulate the current or future economy here.

        link to articles.businessinsider.com

        The GDP graphs for Afghanistan and Iraq are also interesting. Afghanistan in particular:

        AFG: link to google.com ($2.5B-2001 to $20B today)

        IRQ: link to google.com ($18B-2003 to $115B today, $80B from oil @ a hugely inflated $116/bbl)

        Maybe OT, but while I was at it, the GDP graph for Iran shows, quelle surprise, that Iran’s GDP has tripled in the same time frame due to the oil price rise driven by our multiple PG invasions and/or general speculation-generating sabre-rattling. IOW the more we (or some other small country in the region) accuse, the greater the pool of cash funding the “problem” (that isn’t really a problem) becomes, and the more likely we are to sink even more money into completely nonproductive mil O&M budgets spent entirely in the region for “preparedness” reasons. And so the cycle continues…

        IRN: link to google.com

  12. RoHa
    August 24, 2012, 11:27 pm

    Neocons ‘pushed’ mindless Bush into ‘idiotic war’

    This is news?

    Interesting that he seems to think that Reagan had something in his head.

    The splendid TV show Spitting Image had a regular segment called “The President’s Brain is Missing”, in which characters frequently opened Reagan’s head to reveal it was empty.

    And Trudeau titled one of his books In Search of Reagan’s Brain.

    • Taxi
      August 25, 2012, 3:35 am

      Actually, Spitting Image puppets often found a peanut when they “opened Reagan’s head”.

      • Shmuel
        August 25, 2012, 3:45 am

        Spitting Image puppets often found a peanut when they “opened Reagan’s head”.

        I think it was a walnut, but it was removed for a staged assassination attempt (somewhere it wouldn’t do any serious damage – his head) to boost the president’s ratings. It then went missing, leading to the segment RoHa mentioned.

      • Taxi
        August 25, 2012, 4:42 am

        Hahahaha – that’s right – now I remember!

        Thanks Shmuel.

  13. Taxi
    August 24, 2012, 11:58 pm

    Phil,

    I can’t believe you’re calling that over-caffeinated spittley millionaire a “streetsmart sage” – just cuz he had a fist-fight on the streets of Philly when he was 12 with another 12 year old?!

    He’s a corporate zio puppet who’s actually partly responsible for the country’s rush to assault millions of Iraqi people and their sovereignty.

    I challenge you, Phil, to present a single interview that Chris Mathews did during the rush to Shock-and-Awe where he challenges even ONE of his many neocon guests about the facts of the (non-existent) Iraqi WMD’s.

    Yeah sure he ain’t a fan of the neocons, but he sure NEVER sounded like he was against the Iraq war – I know this cuz I watched his show every day at the time.

    What’s even worse, is that after the fact of the war in Iraq, he started saying shit like: “some of us were against the war right from the beginning”. Really now?!!!!!!!

    Corpo media talkingheads like Chris Mathews utterly disgust me and to make him into some sorta hero here on Mondo is a complete turn-off.

    I despise the man and all his colleagues with a passion – enough so that after their conspiratorial silence during the Gaza assault, I cancelled my cable account and have lived happily ever after since.

  14. Kathleen
    August 25, 2012, 7:17 am

    Agree Taxi. Easy for Matthews to say oh some of us were against the invasion now. Watched him daily also never saw him really challenge the Bill Kristols and his ilk. Chris Matthews would say things like “from the best and the brightest” in an incredibly sarcastic way which I loved because you could pick up that is exactly what Kristol and Frum think about themselves. Their self absorption oozes from them. Actually kind of creepy. But Chris Matthews never had any of the hot shots on who had real credentials and were questioning the Bush administrations pack of lies. Never saw anyone with backbone and credentials on MSNBC who was questioning the invasion. Chris Matthews can claim that hooey all he wants but show us the clips of where he was really questioning the invasion before the invasion. Show us the guest list of who he had on and allowed to repeat all of that horrific WMD hooey. Hundreds of thousands are dead, injured, millions displaced in Iraq. Bill Kristol, Ledeen, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rice, Feith, Bolton all have blood on their hands..no in fact they are drowning in that blood. Hopefully in some other realm they will suffer horribly for their heinous crimes because we sure are not going to see them put on trial for their crimes against humanity.

    • Taxi
      August 25, 2012, 7:57 am

      Kathleen,
      The msm too has Iraqi and USA soldiers’ blood on its hands. Chris Mathews included.

      • Kathleen
        August 25, 2012, 12:14 pm

        Absolutely complicit and guilty as charged. Some MSM outlets more guilty than others. The New York Bloody Times..Judy “I was fucking right” Miller at the top of that list.

  15. traintosiberia
    August 25, 2012, 8:15 am

    AIPAC/Neocons are much more powerful tha NRA or Oil industry. Otherwise in this country there would have been bipartisan consensus on control,regualtion of gun and oil industry. There would beeen no stricter gun control in Chicago or NY or demand for more from police and from church and obviously from Democrtas in some areas. If Oil indsutry was that powerful , they would not have gone through the or would not have allowed the valid criticism they faced following leakage in Aalska and following BP disaster.Thye would not be facing ressiatnce to drilling or piplines from Canada.

  16. MK_Ultra
    August 25, 2012, 4:57 pm

    I have to disagree on this. Sure, I agree that Bush is an idiot. But, what’s the excuse of every other warmonger before him (starting with Lincoln) Republican or Democrat? It’s time to face the truth, the US is a blood thirsty empire which will never be satisfied unless it’s invading, occupying and bombing the crap out of anyone and everyone it wants something from. The US reminds me of the Borg in Stark Trek and it’s been that way since its inception. Bush wasn’t the first one to engage in wars of imperialism and he will most certainly not be the last one either. Take the Nobel Peace Price Laureate currently in the White House, for example. He’s neither a Republican nor an idiot and, supposedly, he’s not being pushed by the Neocons either. So, what’s his excuse again?

    • ColinWright
      August 25, 2012, 8:05 pm

      MK_Ultra : “… But, what’s the excuse of every other warmonger before him (starting with Lincoln) Republican or Democrat? It’s time to face the truth, the US is a blood thirsty empire which will never be satisfied unless it’s invading, occupying and bombing the crap out of anyone and everyone it wants something from. The US reminds me of the Borg in Stark Trek and it’s been that way since its inception. ..”

      That’s pretty disturbed. Also, quite insupportable. It essentially rests on not recognizing that reality is always a matter of shades of grey. Nobody has ever been completely without sin — as Jesus pointed out.

      However, more constructively, I’ll also point out that your attitude is completely counter-productive.

      If you want to wall yourself into a tiny little cell of morally impeccable cogniscenti who realize the truth but whom everyone else ignores, this sort of rant will work.

      If you actually want to have any measurable effect on any statistically meaningful number of people at all, you’d best come up with a different sales pitch.

  17. traintosiberia
    August 25, 2012, 7:14 pm

    It was Collin Powell who took umbrage at the Arab’s delays in recognizing Israel and reminded the benefit that would accrue to Arab after the pipeline from haifa to Baghdad was completed. poor guy was kicked out after 2004 for deviating from the line by a few inches here and there.
    Interestingly he even has admitted that the ‘JINSA crowd pushed for the war” .He never knew the ground rules.Never compromise your honesty .It is like selling the soul to devil.It will destroy you. He wanted to have both ways

    • ColinWright
      August 25, 2012, 8:13 pm

      Colin (not ‘Collin’) Powell would have made a fine president, in my opinion.

      I wonder if he had crossed party lines and run against Bush in 2004 if he would have won? We’d already realized Iraq was kind of a bust at that point. It’s possible…

      • ColinWright
        August 25, 2012, 8:16 pm

        Yep. Just reading the Wikipedia article on Colin Powell. Too bad he’s frigging 75 now…

        “…Powell was the subject of controversy in 2004 when, in a conversation with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, he reportedly referred to neoconservatives within the Bush administration as “fucking crazies.”…”

      • Kathleen
        August 26, 2012, 10:05 am

        And Powell ate the big one for the crazies. He is part of the Iraq death team who should be put on trial for crimes against humanity

      • Citizen
        August 26, 2012, 3:05 pm

        @ Kathleen
        Yep. We really are not in good hands with Allstate, despite how nice the actor looks and is in our new multicultural world.

  18. traintosiberia
    August 26, 2012, 1:35 am

    Keith- .
    Oil company fought hard in 2000 to repeal Iran-Libya sanction Act and lobbied Bush Gov. Who wrote that bill? AIPAC is the long and short answear.
    May 2001 , long before 911 Rose Brady reported in Business week that the issue of easing of sanctions putting pro Israeli Lobby against US Oil Lobby.
    “As far back as 1990 [big oil ] was asking US to cut a deal with saddam [because saddam signaled that he was open for business with US Oil] ” and told Cheny Task force on Energy Policy in 2001 for sanction on Iran-Libya to be lifted –Roger Burbach “Bush Ideologues Trump Big Oil ” in Alternatives 09/30/2001 and
    Daniel Cave,’The United States of Oil”. Salon.Nov 19,2001 on line -“There is no clear evidence ,right now,of oil company desires affecting US foreign policy.If anything,the terrorist attacks have reduced energy industry’s influence”
    Then there is Anthony Simpson,”Oilmen dont want another Suez” The Observer,Dec 22,2002 asserting that oil companies have little influence on US policy making and they are against the idea of neocon’s plan to widen the war which meant more destabilization,fire,burning of oilfields,and chaotic condition and unstable geographical situation in terms of ownership across new borders imposed by the neocon’s plans of redrawing the map.
    Then there is Charles A Kohlhaas ( Prof of Petroleum Engineering at Colorado Schoolof Mines)-“Invading Iraq for oil is a loser, a big loser.” He said “Slogan “no war for oil” is a big lie.,a blatant representation propagated for political reasons”-In The National Interest March 5,2003.
    Iraq continued to offer through official and secrets channel until very end of Feb 2003 preferential oil distribution and wealth sharing with American companies as documented by Guardian and Telegraph ( Nov 20023 ) and Counterpunch in Nov issues of 2003
    If iraqi oil was the reason , then why there was no post-invasion plans as documented and complained by CIA and by British , by George Tenet, and by David Corn and George Packer and by official historian of Iraq campaign? May be we should ask Anthony Zinni. He reported ‘neoocns did not give a shit to what happened in Iraq and the aftermath”.
    Weakening and Destabilization was neocabal’s dream.

  19. traintosiberia
    August 26, 2012, 1:56 am

    Keith
    In the run-up to Iraq war, we never met the Oil guys on TV or those who questioned the Niger Forgery, or who exposed the falsification of AlQuida-Saddam relation,Atta -Saddam relationship or who understood the IAEA assertions of lack of WMD .Neither we saw those people who cared and cherished for American hegemony over the globe like Brezinsky, supporting Iraq invasion .
    But we always saw on TV those figures and read opinions of those columnists on media whose obedience to Israel and subservience to AIPAC was never doubted .These manufactured experts and luminaries framed and shepherded the debate and forced the conclusion on the frightened and clueless masses . They seem to be still doing the same when one look at the Iran debate.
    Its time to ask the Oil Man and anybody out there who is a genuine champion of US hegemony what they feel US should do vs Iran. For oil is not pumped well under the gun and fire and hegemony don’t survive too long by going against the international rules or going against the wishes of the majority of the world opinion or by not following one own’s national interest .

    • Kathleen
      August 26, 2012, 10:03 am

      Dr. Zbig did not support that invasion

      • traintosiberia
        August 26, 2012, 10:54 am

        Sorry Kathleen for giving an impression like that. No he did not .He was a champion of continued US influences in ME and Eurasia ( It is an expression of nationalism and corporatism .People may or may not agree but he is not betraying American interest .He was a realist and believed US should not blindly follow Israeli diktat ) He is against any attack on Iran also again in line with his conviction that US interest is not furthered by meaningless wars based on falsification or armtwisting of International forums.

  20. DICKERSON3870
    August 26, 2012, 4:09 am

    RE: “Neocons ‘pushed’ mindless Bush into ‘idiotic war’ — Chris Matthews”

    A RELATED FACEBOOK GROUP
    Name: George W. Bush Virtual, Alternative Presidential Library
    Category: Common Interest – History
    Description: A group for individuals who seek to commemorate the true legacy (as opposed to the fabricated, ‘official’ legacy) of George W. Bush, “America’s Torture President™”, from 2001 to 2009.
    LINK – link to facebook.com

  21. traintosiberia
    August 26, 2012, 8:25 am

    Let’s hear the voice of Tom lantos, long gone but never forgotten .That creep called German,and French presidents whore for not supporting what was coming out of OSP and Israeli intelligence.The former was the shadow of the latter.
    But he had his eyes on whole ME.He introduced “Iran Counter Proloferation Act of 2007″ which was designed to impose an economic blockade on Iran and which targeted foreign subsidiaries of US companies (with explicit threat of penalty for US company). This nasty guy gloated ” The Corporate barons running giant oil companies-who have cravenly turned a blind eye to Iran’s development of nuclear weapons-have come to assume that the Iran Sanction Act will never be implemented.This charade will now come to a long overdue end”—June 26 2007, Hill’s Congress Blogs .

    Yes this is the length and breadth of Oil Power! A senile idiot who should have been asked to leave the House Foreign Chairmanship for strident comments against foreign leaders and should have been barred from any Governement offices get to demonize the economic backbone of this country with manufactured intelligence .
    Can anyone citing the open sources and available public information ask Israel and it’s supporters to come clean and stop warmongering? In Europe ,he will be in Jail and in this country he will not be heard again.

  22. traintosiberia
    August 26, 2012, 11:06 am

    How the fact was created?
    let’s look at Iran again

    “On August 1 US think-tank the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) published open-source satellite images showing “what appears to be the final result of considerable sanitization and earth displacement activity.” and same reporting agency AFP also says “IAEA may say ‘pointless’ to inspect Iran nuke site
    By Simon Sturdee | AFP – Fri, Aug 24, 2012-Iran has “sanitized” to such an extent a military base where nuclear weapons research allegedly took place that the UN atomic watchdog may say next week there is now little point inspecting it, Western diplomats told AFP.”
    Nowhere to find in that article or in IAEA’s report that –” think tank institute is run by David Albright who garnered extreme notoriety over the lies he spread about Iraq’s alleged WMDs.

    In fact, it is widely believed that Mr. Albright’s ubiquitous lies infernally contributed to the outbreak of the US-led invasion of Iraq, wreaking a humanitarian havoc upon the country and claiming the lives of over one million Iraqis. In other words, Albright paved the way for US military aggression and an ongoing violence in Iraq. Crowned with duplicity of first water, Albright is now at the helm of a shadowy institute which works under the cloak of a think tank.

    Prior to the outbreak of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Albright held a string of interviews with different western media and argued that Iraq had reconstituted its nuclear, biological and chemical weapons programs. Several months before the war, he said in an interview with PBS, “I personally believe there’s plenty of evidence for biological and chemical, and there’s sufficient evidence to believe that there’s a reconstituted nuclear weapons program. As an inspection attitude, I think you have to assume that they have more than what the evidence suggests, and that it’s very important for inspectors to go in there with a very skeptical attitude and insist that the Iraqis prove them wrong.”

    In another interview with CNN in 2002, Albright said, “In terms of the chemical and biological weapons, Iraq has those now. How many, how could they deliver them? I mean, these are the big questions.”

    Unfortunately, Albright’s fictitious reports were deliberately and systematically cited in different western media which afforded Bush administration an excuse to justify the invasion of Iraq.

    Now Albright is working as the president of an organization known as the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) ” link to globalresearch.ca

  23. irmep
    August 28, 2012, 7:20 am

    It is interesting that when U.S. oscilloscopes are smuggled to Pakistan, it is a huge international incident.

    When the same export-controlled equipment (used in nuclear weapons development) is smuggled to Israel through a front company (Telogy):

    link to efoia.bis.doc.gov

    …all it generates is a mild rebuke from the Albright “think tank” and an inconsequential monetary penalty.

    link to isis-online.org

    In the 1960s and 1970s, there would be FBI and CIA investigations. In 2010, it seems as though the U.S. has outsourced export control enforcement on dual-use nuclear technology to what appears to be yet another node of the Israel lobbying network.

    • seanmcbride
      August 28, 2012, 8:34 am

      “yet another node of the Israel lobbying network”

      So many nodes! :)

      And they can all be mapped, graphed and mined in precise ways.

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