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The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity

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The best thing about this political moment in the U.S. (if not for the good people of Iraq) is that the rise of ISIS and the Republican candidates’ embrace of the Iraq war is posing that deep and permanent question to the American public, Why did we invade Iraq?

Last night Chris Matthews asked that question again and David Corn said it was about the neoconservative desire to protect Israel. Both men deserve kudos for courage. Here’s part of the exchange:

Matthews: Why were the people in the administration like [Paul] Wolfowitz and the others talking about going into Iraq from the very beginning, when they got into the white house long before there was a 911 long before there was WMD. It seemed like there was a deeper reason. I don’t get it. It seemed like WMD was a cover story.

Corn: I can explain that. For years. Paul Wolfowitz and other members of the neocon movement had talked about getting rid of Iraq and there would be democracy throughout the region that would help Israel and they came to believe actually a very bizarre conspiracy theory that al Qaeda didn’t matter, that Saddam Hussein was behind all the acts of violence…

Matthews: The reason I go back to that is there’s a consistent pattern: the people who wanted that war in the worst ways, neocons so called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney.. it’s the same crowd of people that want us to overthrow Bashar Assad, .. it’s the same group of people that don’t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don’t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians, they want to fight that war. They’re willing to go in there and bomb. They have a consistent impulsive desire to make war on Arab and Islamic states in a neverending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive, that’s why I have a problem with that thinking. … we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Why did they take us to Iraq, because that’s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran.

What a great exchange. And it shows up Paul Krugman, who mystifies this very issue in the New York Times. (“Errors and Lies,” which poses the same question that Matthews does but concludes that Bush and Cheney “wanted a war,” which is just a lie masquerading as a tautology.)

Here are my two cents. We invaded Iraq because a powerful group of pro-Israel ideologues — the neoconservatives — who had mustered forces in Washington over the previous two decades and at last had come into the White House were able to sell a vision of transforming the Middle East that was pure wishful hokum but that they believed: that if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor. It’s a variation on a neocolonialist theory that pro-Israel ideologues have believed going back to the 1940s: that Palestinians would accept a Jewish state if you got rid of their corrupt leadership and allowed the people to share in Israel’s modern economic miracle.

The evidence for this causation is at every hand.

It is in the Clean Break plan written for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996 by leading neocons Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser — all of whom would go into the Bush administration — calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein and the export of the Palestinian political problem to Jordan.

It is in the Project for a New American Century letters written to Clinton in 1998 telling him that Saddam’s WMD were a threat to Israel. (A letter surely regretted by Francis Fukuyama, who later accused the neocons of seeing everything through a pro-Israel lens.)

It is in the PNAC letter written to George W. Bush early in 2002 urging him to “accelerate plans for removign Saddam Hussein from power” for the sake of Israel.

the United States and Israel share a common enemy. We are both targets of what you have correctly called an “Axis of Evil.” Israel is targeted in part because it is our friend, and in part because it is an island of liberal, democratic principles — American principles — in a sea of tyranny, intolerance, and hatred.

It is in Netanyahu testifying to Congress in 2002 that he promised there would be “enormous positive reverberations” throughout the region if we only removed Saddam.

It is in Wolfowitz saying that the road to peace in the Middle East runs through Baghdad. (Possibly the stupidest thing anyone has ever said in the history of the world, including Douglas Feith.)

It is in all the neocon tracts, from Perle and Frum’s An End to Evil, to Kristol and Kaplan’s The War Over Saddam, to Berman’s Terror and Liberalism, saying that Saddam’s support for suicide bombers in Israel was a reason for the U.S. to topple him.

It is in war-supporter Tom Friedman saying that we needed to invade Iraq because of suicide bombers in Tel Aviv— and the importance of conveying to Arabs they couldn’t get away with that.

It is in the head of the 9/11 Commission, former Bush aide Philip Zelikow, saying Israel was the reason to take on Iraq back in 2002 even though Iraq was no threat to us:

“Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I’ll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 – it’s the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002. “And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don’t care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn’t want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell.”

It is in Friedman saying that “elite” neoconservatives created the war in this interview with Ari Shavit back in 2003: 

It’s the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman says. It’s the war the neoconservatives marketed. Those people had an idea to sell when September 11 came, and they sold it. Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. Friedman laughs: I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.

It is in Tony Judt’s statement about the Israel interest in the war back in 2003:

For many in the current US administration, a major strategic consideration was the need to destabilize and then reconfigure the Middle East in a manner thought favorable to Israel.

And yes this goes back to rightwing Zionism. It goes back to Norman Podhoretz and Irving Kristol launching neoconservatism in the 1970s because they said that the dovish policies of the Democratic Party were a direct threat to Israel– an analysis continued in this day by Norman Braman, Marco Rubio’s leading supporter, who says that the U.S. must be a military and economic power in order to “sustain” Israel.

An Economist blogger wrote several years ago that if you leave out the Zionism you won’t understand the Iraq war:

Yes, it would be ridiculous, and anti-semitic, to cast the Iraq war as a conspiracy monocausally driven by a cabal of Jewish neocons and the Israeli government. But it’s entirely accurate to count neoconservative policy analyses as among the important causes of the war, to point out that the pro-Israeli sympathies of Jewish neoconservatives played a role in these analyses, and to note the support of the Israeli government and public for the invasion. In fact any analysis of the war’s causes that didn’t take these into account would be deficient.

Many writers, including Joe Klein, Jacob Heilbrunn, and Alan Dershowitz, have said the obvious, that neoconservatism came out of the Jewish community. And I have long written that the Jewish community needs to come to terms with the degree to which it has harbored warmongering neoconservatives, for our own sake.

But America needs to come to terms with the extent to which it allowed rightwing Zionists to dominate discussions of going to war. This matter is now at the heart of the Republican embrace of the war on Iran. There is simply no other constituency in our country for that war besides rightwing Zionists. They should be called out for this role, so that we don’t make that terrible mistake again. And yes: this issue is going to play out frankly in the 2016 campaign, thanks in good measure to Matthews.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is senior editor of and founded the site in 2005-06.

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135 Responses

  1. pabelmont on May 19, 2015, 12:05 pm

    Phil: Fantastic historical essay. thanks.

    However: ” * * * at last had come into the White House were able to sell a vision of transforming the Middle East that was pure wishful hokum but that they believed: that if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor. ”

    Phil, you write “but that they believed” ?? Do you have evidence of that?

    Some people take orders, or take direction for purposes of careerism who say things that they don’t at all believe, maybe things that they’ve never thought about. If Israel told you to say something, would you necessarily believe it?

    Witness Jeb Bush tangling himself up recently about the Iraq war. He was stumbling, trying to remember what his handlers had told him was the “right” answer — the “right answer” today, maybe not in 2003, when nearly the whole Congress said what their handlers told them was the right answer, “Yes to war!!!”. Who knows what a politician believes? Especially in this age of big-money-openly-renting-politicians-mouths.

    • Krauss on May 19, 2015, 1:53 pm

      Understanding Iraq will take a lot longer than understanding Vietnam, precisely because Jewish concerns were and are still so central to understanding the primary motivations by going into war.

      No, it wasn’t all about the Jewish neocons(and their liberal helpers, from Goldberg to Remnick), but it was a very large part of it, as the Economist stated.

      Further, non-neocons like Krugman obviously don’t want to talk about it, so they obscure things on purpose because they are nervous about having this discussion.

      I read Krugman’s blog with regularity and he has great things to say on economics but is usually a political coward when it comes to foreign policy. He quoted Josh Marshall(himself a Zionist and a former Iraq war booster) where Marshall himself slams people who have selective amnesia on the Iraq war, trying to say they shouldn’t be blamed for their support back then even if Marshall is guilty of the same thing he attacks other people of, as a former Iraq war booster himself. I am reading it and I wonder, Krugman, do you not see your own hypocrisy in quoting this man approvingly?

      And as Matthews stated, the legacy of the Iraq war continues, in the calls to go into Syria, to go into Iran(or at least bomb it into the stone-age), a kind of permanent war in the Middle East. It just never ends, and Israel looms large for the neocons.

      Walt/Mearsheimer’s 2006 book will not only be the most important foreign policy book of the first decade but likely the most important foreign policy book of the first quarter of this century, precisely because the issues it raises are still burning hot today.

      One day people will be amazed how these two prominent scholars were marginalized and smeared for telling the truth(and a mild-mannered version at that, too).

      • Mooser on May 19, 2015, 4:24 pm

        “Krauss, I followed Josh Marshall’s (“a Jew and a Zionist”) articles on this. As I remember, Marshall concluded it was all about oil. He did not want to see Israel as a factor.

      • bryan on May 20, 2015, 2:19 am

        I totally agree with you on the importance of Walt and Mearsheimer’s book, and also on Krugman’s cowardice on foreign policy matters. But he himself explains that cowardice: In this op-ed he merely says that “our news media in general have a hard time coping with policy dishonesty. Reporters are reluctant to call politicians on their lies, even when these involve mundane issues like budget numbers, for fear of seeming partisan” which explains absolutely nothing, since any comment on politics or policy is inevitably partisan. However in another op-ed he is more specific: “It seems obvious from here that the narrow-minded policies of the current [Israeli] government are basically a gradual, long-run form of national suicide — and that’s bad for Jews everywhere, not to mention the world. But I have other battles to fight, and to say anything to that effect is to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israeli policies tantamount to anti-Semitism.” (

        Hence the absolute urgency of clarifying that anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism, and that criticism of the State of Israel, and indeed of the policies of its supporters in the Diaspora, is entirely legitimate, and entirely consistent with American and international values. This neocon advocacy of war, war and war (Iraq, Syria, Iran) is the ideal battleground on which to fight, because the contradiction between Israeli interests and American interests is so clear.

      • atime forpeace on May 20, 2015, 2:09 pm

        Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski Ph.D. tells how she witnessed Douglas Feith and his WINEP/JINSA/AEI buddies deliberately lie the people of this country into war in Iraq.

      • Kathleen on May 21, 2015, 4:22 pm

        At time for peace. Lt Colonel Karen Kwiatowski’s piece came out after the invasion. Jason Vest piece in the Nation in August 2002 “The Men from Jinsa and CSP” was one of the more cutting edge pieces before invasion.

        Ritter, McGovern, and others tried and tried to warn the public before invasion.

    • Kathleen on May 23, 2015, 8:48 am

      Ok so great that Chris Matthews is clarifying now how the Bush administration was so successful at lying to the public and convincing the majority of folks (by no means all) to support the invasion based on their “pack of lies”

      What Chris Matthews did not do before the invasion was provide the American public with the many experts who were seriously questioning the validity of the Bush administration’s so called intelligence. I watched almost every night before invasion. Along with many other sources. Chris had Kristol, Frum, Gaffney etc on and gave them somewhat of a hard time about the false claims. However he did not have Ritter, Dr.Zbig, El Baradei, Ray McGovern and other CIA analyst who were questioning the created, cherry picked and easily disseminated (MSM mostly went along) intelligence coming out of Feith’s Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon. Libby and Cheney knocking any push back down. Chris Matthews did not have those questioning on his program.

      So while it is easy to do now after hundreds of thousands are dead, injured and millions displaced because of the Iraq invasion. The bigger question now is whether Chris Matthews and his ilk will provide the American public with expert analysis of the P5+1 on his program. Flynt and HIllary Mann Leverett, Dr.Zbig, former weapons inspector Scott Ritter etc. Will he call out those who are actively trying to undermine the deal? Or will he once again call those undermining and pushing us towards a military confrontation with Iran out in 10 years?

      Call the warmongers out persistently over the next six weeks. Help the American public understand the P5+1. Let the public know Iran signed the IAEA NPT and has the legal right to enrich up to 20%. That Iran is giving up a great deal. That Israel refuses to sign the NPT and the Chemical Weapons Treaty. Do it now not 12 years after a brutal invasion.

  2. just on May 19, 2015, 12:14 pm

    Maybe it adds nothing to any conversation, but what took them so long?

    I very much appreciate Matthews linkages here:

    “Matthews: The reason I go back to that is there’s a consistent pattern: the people who wanted that war in the worst ways, neocons so called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney.. it’s the same crowd of people that want us to overthrow Bashar Assad, .. it’s the same group of people that don’t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don’t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians, they want to fight that war. They’re willing to go in there and bomb. They have a consistent impulsive desire to make war on Arab and Islamic states in a neverending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive, that’s why I have a problem with that thinking. … we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Why did they take us to Iraq, because that’s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran.”

    So why is this unprecedented to hear on MSM, including MSNBC? Why now, instead of before “shock and awe” and the deaths of millions of Iraqis from sanctions and the all- out military aggression by the “coalition of the willing”?

    It’s because the media was and is a crucial member of the “coalition of the willing” and handmaidens to the neocons and pnac. They still don’t tolerate any deserved criticism of Israel~ a grotesque and unwavering hypocrisy that is noted throughout the rest of the world.

    Only this morning I read this from EI:

    “Softball interviews with Israeli ministers breach impartiality code, BBC admits

    A BBC investigation has found that one of its senior presenters, Sarah Montague, breached the organization’s editorial standards on impartiality in a radio interview she conducted with Israeli defense minister Moshe Yaalon in March.

    The investigation was carried out following allegations of pro-Israel bias against Montague’s interview by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and a number of concerned individuals who complained to the BBC.

    The ruling against Montague is the second time in recent months that the BBC has upheld a complaint initiated by the PSC.

    In the first ruling, the BBC’s Editorial Complaints Unit (ECU) agreed with complainants that an online BBC article about Gaza’s tunnels had breached the organization’s accuracy guidelines by presenting its pro-Israel author, Eado Hecht, as an “independent” defense analyst.

    The two ECU rulings highlight just how often the BBC provides an unchallenged platform to Israel’s spokespeople.”…

    It’s only the tip of an enormous iceberg……

    Thanks, Phil.

    • philweiss on May 19, 2015, 12:17 pm

      Thanks for that Yaalon thing. Incredible. A man who has likened nuking Iran to Hiroshima. When will we wake up?

      • just on May 19, 2015, 12:35 pm

        That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?

        From the link to EI:

        …”The two ECU rulings highlight just how often the BBC provides an unchallenged platform to Israel’s spokespeople.

        Montague’s interview with Yaalon on the current affairs radio program Today was shocking in that a supposedly impartial journalist remained completely silent as the defense minister told lie after lie on air, including the outrageous claim that “the Palestinians enjoy already political independence … And we are happy with it.”

        In his first response to complainants, George Mann, assistant editor of Today, wrote via email: “I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Sarah Montague’s interview with Moshe Yaalon … Having listened back [to the interview], I feel she challenged him well.”

        There were, however, no challenges from Montague to Yaalon’s propaganda, so Mann’s statement was deluded at best, an act of complicity in defending the bias at worst.

        After being challenged again, Mann continued to defend his presenter and so complaints were made to the ECU, which, in the BBC’s complaints system, is one stage away from the BBC Trust.

        Last week, all complainants received an email message from Fraser Steel, the BBC’s head of editorial complaints, on behalf of the ECU.

        Steel, announcing that he would be upholding the complaint, wrote: “Mr. Yaalon was allowed to make several controversial statements … without any meaningful challenge, and the program-makers have accepted that the interviewer ought to have interrupted him and questioned him on his assertions.”

        Steel then tries to excuse Montague’s appalling silence as Israel’s defense minister took over the BBC airwaves by claiming that Montague was badly briefed by researchers and didn’t have much time to make the recording.

        He concludes: “The result was that the output fell below the BBC’s standards of impartiality.””…

        I go back in time to last summer’s massacre of Gaza by Israel, and the seemingly unending coverage on US MSM with the Israeli reps both in the US and from Israel. It was entirely pro- Israel and biased commentary from them with their “right to self- defense” being regurgitated ad nauseam. It took the video of the 4 little boys being shredded to make some people look a bit shaken. Ayman Mohyeldin was temporarily re-assigned by MSNBC for telling the truth until the furor over that decision rose to a fever pitch and MSNBC relented.

        “On July 16, 2014, Mohyeldin witnessed and reported via a series of tweets, the death of 4 Palestinian children who were playing soccer and hide-and-seek on a Gaza beach during the 2014 conflict.[11] The first missile killed one child and the second killed the other 3. The killings were witnessed by many in the international press. Just moments earlier Mohyeldin was kicking a soccer ball with these boys in front of his hotel.[12][13]

        Although Mohyeldin was a live witness to the event,[14] NBC correspondent Richard Engel reported the story from Tel Aviv. NBC followed by pulling Mohyeldin from Gaza and terminating his reporting duties from Gaza indefinitely. Engel was sent to replace him in Gaza.[15] NBC has been subsequently criticized by independent media outlets for removing Mohyeldin. NBC has not explained its actions[16] and reasons for pulling Mohyeldin.

        Mohyeldin was returned to Gaza on July 18, 2014, after NBC received heavy criticism[17] for pulling him out of Gaza. NBC has offered no justification for either pulling him from Gaza, nor sending him back. On Sunday, Aug 3, 2014 Ayman announced via social media that after 4 weeks on the road he was “taking time to be with family..” Less than 48 hours later, Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease fire.”

      • bryan on May 20, 2015, 2:27 am

        If only America had a news media with the international prestige of the BBC and the intent to preserve that prestige by a complaints procedure (not perfect but on numerous occasions like this it has worked), then then Americans could have a much better grasp of political realities.

      • Kathleen on May 21, 2015, 4:33 pm

        Just, Phil , others…ok we can congratulate and celebrate Matthews focusing hard on who lied, who got us in until the cows come home. Corn did it before invasion. However Matthews did not play hardball before the invasion. He did have Kristol, Frum, Gaffney on and gave them hard times about their warmongering.

        But he missed the inform the public with accurate information or even having those who were talking at the top of their lungs questioning the validity of the intelligence on his program. People like Ritter, El Baradei, Dr.Zbig, former middle east analyst Ray McGovern. Even David Corn was shouting out against before the invasion.

        I was watching Matthews almost every night before invasion. Along with listening to NPR, Democracy Now, CNN, Washington Journal. Matthews did not play hardball before the invasion like he is now. Not at all.

        So the question is will Matthews and his ilk have on qualified guest now to inform the public on accurate information about Iran. Our history with them the P5+1 negotiations and hopefully what will be a signed agreement. Will he have Hillary Mann Leverett on now? Will he have former IAEA weapons inspector Scott Ritter on now? Will he have qualified guest on to talk about Iran outside of the unqualified MSNBC contributors?

        Or if the same people who lied the U.S. into Iraq are successful at taking down the P5+1 negotiations leading us to more sanctions then to what the neocons hope is a military confrontation with Iran. Will Matthews etc play hardball once again after what possibly could be a future military confrontation with Iran?

        Play hardball now Chris Matthews not after there are serious breakdowns

  3. amigo on May 19, 2015, 12:20 pm

    Someone should send this article to Tony Poodle Blair and let him reflect on his true legacy. Allowing himself to be used by a bunch of war monger zionists to kill countless numbers of Iraqi people .

    Blair became a Catholic presumably because he could be forgiven in the confessional but he forgets that forgiveness is only given to those who confess and show contrition and promise not to repeat that sin.Blair has shown zero contrition and has consorted with zionist Israel in it,s ongoing war against the Palestinian people.

    How could so many have been fooled by so few.

    Never again.

    • John O on May 19, 2015, 12:31 pm

      Blair was flirting with Catholicism long before that. He had a habit of going to Mass with Cherie and taking communion alongside her, until Cardinal Basil Hume, no less, told him to either convert or stop pretending.

      • amigo on May 19, 2015, 12:59 pm

        Thanks for the clarification John.

      • just on May 19, 2015, 1:09 pm

        Good grief, John O! That makes perfect sense wrt Blair, doesn’t it?

        I went looking around when you posted, and found this:

        “After 30 years as a closet Catholic, Blair finally puts faith before politics

        His spiritual awakening goes back at least 30 years, to his time as an undergraduate at Oxford, but due to political considerations Tony Blair’s conversion to Catholicism has been a long time coming.
        He has been attending Catholic mass, often with his family but also occasionally alone, since long before he became prime minister. His wife, Cherie, is a lifelong and practising Catholic, and in accordance with church rules their children have been brought up as Catholics and were sent to church schools.

        More than 10 years ago Mr Blair was slipping into Westminster cathedral and occasionally taking communion, until the late Cardinal Basil Hume told him to stop because it was causing comment as he was not a Catholic – an injunction that bemused him at the time. …

        …Mr Blair, like President George Bush, ignored the condemnations and warnings of the Pope and all other church leaders over the war in Iraq. …

        …The criticism of Ruth Kelly when she was education secretary because of her membership of the lay sect Opus Dei – at a time when the novel The Da Vinci Code had made the group more widely known – also showed that the old prejudice could still be deployed. Mr Blair probably thought he could do without the extra hassle.

        He has kept his personal religious views largely out of his political life. Ostentatious religiosity does not go down well in Britain. He dropped his wish to end a prime ministerial broadcast on the eve of the Iraq invasion with the words: “God bless” on the advice of Alastair Campbell, who famously told him “We don’t do God”.”…

  4. annie on May 19, 2015, 12:36 pm

    another great article phil. it will be condemned by the usual cohorts as “counting jews” but so what? it’s true, every word of it is true. i’m so sick of all the silencing.

    • just on May 19, 2015, 12:40 pm

      +1, Annie!

      • Bornajoo on May 20, 2015, 2:16 am

        + another 1 Annie!

        Great stuff Phil

    • Citizen on May 19, 2015, 7:54 pm

      Jewish Geography: Jews counting influential Jews in disapora.
      Anti-Semitism: Gentiles counting influential Jews in dispora.

  5. JeffB on May 19, 2015, 12:59 pm


    There is a problem with your order of events. Regime change was USA policy prior to the Bush Administration:
    The act was passed 360-38 in the U.S. House of Representatives and by unanimous consent in the Senate and of course Clinton signed it. So your conspiracy theory has to involve more or less the entire national elected American government. Moreover it can’t be associated with the Bush administration since they weren’t in power yet.

    Iraq’s unfavorables were over well over 90% from 1990 on. The people who didn’t like Iraq were the American people. Generally over 60% of Americans favored military action against Iraq to end Saddam Hussein’s rule throughout the 1990s. Bush’s (who let’s not forget is Christian) propaganda pushed that to the mid 70s prior to the vote. The American people don’t like anti-American governments and generally favor military action to get rid of them. No great conspiracy.

    Where Jews might have had any impact, was in the peace movement. That’s where you see a big shift in opinion. Normally when there is a buildup to war there is an active peace movement in the United States. But.

    a) Saddam Hussein had funded suicide bombings
    b) The peace movement for the 2nd Iraq war was expressly anti-Zionist.

    So Jews who form about 50% of the USA’s peace activists sat this one out. They didn’t take part in the pre-war peace movement and Democratic politicians faced a situation where liberals instead of being united against the war were divided. We can see that because the after war peace camp because exclusively focused on Iraq and Democrats went back to being more hesitant about the war. So while I don’t think Iraq had anything to do with Zionism I’d say anti-Zionism dividing liberals was far more crucial to the Iraq war effort than Zionism.

    In 1991 the vote was
    House: 250 to 183
    Senate: 52 to 47

    In 2002 the vote was:
    House: 297-133
    Senate: 77-23

    George Bush ran for re-election in 2004 on the Iraq war and won. The blame for Iraq goes to he American people. There was no conspiracy.

    • philweiss on May 19, 2015, 2:20 pm

      I was raised to believe that the pen is mightier than the sword; that Jewish thinkers Marx, Freud and Einstein had changed the modern world; and that the “best and brightest” got us into the Vietnam War on the basis of theories about communism and capitalism.
      So I believe that ideas have consequences.
      There is no doubt that the American people bear blame for reelecting Bush, and that Bush and Cheney deserve principal blame, for starting that goddamn war. But again:
      Ideas have consequences. It takes a vision to make policy. Neoconservatives had a vision.

      • JeffB on May 19, 2015, 4:11 pm


        deas have consequences. It takes a vision to make policy. Neoconservatives had a vision.

        That I agree with. But the point is that the neoconservatives had influence even earlier than Bush. They were already pushing the USA towards war with Iraq. That was our policy pre-Bush. You want to have a timeline you have to account for 1998.

        In terms of ideas I think there are two visions at play here:

        There is a broader vision shared by about a quarter of the American population Wilsonian idealism . This is a belief that the USA should work to spread democracy and capitalism. I’d actually say you are in that camp as much as they are (though possibly not as much the capitalism part). I’m not saying you agree on means, but you do like an active American foreign policy and spreading American ideals.

        In both administrations you had people who disliked Iraq and hate Ba’athism. The question was were they willing to tolerate the consequences of chaos in the Middle East? For conservative Zionists chaos in the middle east is a huge net plus. But that enthusiasm among Zionists would have been equally present among congressional Republicans in the Clinton administration.

        Here is the change IMHO. The foreign policy realists had been concerned that the destruction of Ba’athism would leave a vacuum and that a weakened Ba’athism was better for the USA than revolution. Which is an important dispute which the foreign policy realists lost inside the Republican party? I’m going to say a more likely cause is the inadvertent effect of social issues.
        Foreign policy realists came from northeastern and midwest. That is Republicans who were losing elections to Democrats as those states went Blue while Southern Republicans (mainly Jacksonian) were winning elections. Jacksonians were unusually hawkish after 9/11 and George Bush was able to form a Wilsonian-Jacksonian alliance on Iraq. Saddam Hussein thumbing his nose at the USA for years insulted their honor. Yes a stupid reason to go to war but Jacksonians are all into the whole honor thing.

        Now I think that’s because secular Jews, like any other secular who are attracted to the Republican party are almost never attracted over social issues. They are either economic conservatives (and few Jews are really into the neo-Confiderate economics that the current Republican party champions) or foreign policy hawks. But Jewish Republican foreign policy haws are a few tenths of a percent of the population.

        So I agree ideas are the core, but they are Andrew Jackson’s ideas about America’s foreign policy not Netanyahu’s. And in terms of root causes, collateral damage from the reactions against Roe vs Wade and the Civil Right Act’s change to America’s political demography.

        If Jewish Republican Zionists had enough pull to easily get us into wars, Netanyahu really would be the Republican Senator from Israel.

      • MRW on May 19, 2015, 5:16 pm


        Ideas have consequences. It takes a vision to make policy. Neoconservatives had a vision.

        They also had a plan: deregulate the media (abolish state rules) and consolidate it. 1985. Reagan never met a deregulation he didn’t like. The independent voices were bought out. This was engineered to remove contention and prevent information getting to the people. Lobbies (of all stripes) would never have gained the foothold they did without making damn sure that all lobbies had to do was move to DC and concentrate on the 535 congressmen (House and Senate). No one else had a voice.

      • Mooser on May 19, 2015, 5:53 pm

        “And in terms of root causes, collateral damage from the reactions against Roe vs Wade and the Civil Right Act’s change to America’s political demography.”

        Yup, nuttier than a fruitcake. “JeffyB” The ‘ Tea Party Zionist’. That’s right JeffyB, if only those damned women and minorities had stayed in their places, America wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. It’s all their fault!

      • oldgeezer on May 20, 2015, 12:47 am


        I have some fruitcake I could sell with a lower caloric content.

        It’s been a weekend (plus) of a lot of long posts. I’m stuck several days in the past trying to wrap my head around a religiously observant atheist Jew sitting in judgement and acting as a gatekeeper as to who is a Jew or Israeli. Arguing for a religiously supremacist state while arguing for the equality of all people (not peoples which was specifically not said). The icing on the cake is wars could have been avoided but for the danger of treating people as equals. That dangerous path led us (the wes) to war.

        In the spirit of saying something kind, that is some very original thought.

      • Mooser on May 20, 2015, 11:59 am

        Well, I’ve been trying to avoid saying this straight out, but I think it’s just awful of the Moderators to take advantage of a delirious old man.

      • just on May 20, 2015, 12:10 pm

        No kidding, oldgeezer. It’s exhausting.

        Thank you and Mooser, too!


      • Mooser on May 20, 2015, 2:54 pm

        “In the spirit of saying something kind, that is some very original thought”

        It’s pretty much straight wing-nuttia with a twisted Jewish twist.

      • traintosiberia on May 20, 2015, 7:51 pm

        “Late last week, amid little fanfare, Senators Joseph Lieberman, Lindsey Graham, and Robert Casey introduced a resolution that would move America further down the path toward war with Iran.

        “According to Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now, the resolution got 15 Democratic supporters only “after days of intense AIPAC lobbying, particularly of what some consider ‘vulnerable’ Democrats (vulnerable in terms of being in races where their pro-Israel credentials are being challenged by the candidate running against them).”

        What’s more, says Friedman, the non-binding status may be temporary. “Often AIPAC-backed Congressional initiatives start as non-binding language (in a resolution or a letter) and then show up in binding legislation. Once members of Congress have already signed on to a policy in non-binding form, it is much harder for them to oppose it when it shows up later in a bill that, if passed, will have the full force of law.”

        In one of the election related debates ,Liberman (Joe) boasted how he and Mc Cain pressed for the passage of the Iraq Accountability Bill long before the 2003 war .

    • PeaceThroughJustice on May 19, 2015, 2:22 pm

      “Saddam Hussein had funded suicide bombings.”

      Stop repeating this old lie.

      Israel’s policy was bulldoze the houses of the families of suicide bombers, as well as the houses of relatives. Iraq, like the rest of the world (but not the US Congress), protested against this barbaric policy and sent aid to the homeless families. This is not “funding suicide bombings.”

      • echinococcus on May 19, 2015, 3:04 pm

        Don’t be so hard on Jeff. Now he’s found a site to carpet wall-to-wall with his endless excretion, being answered by nearly every discussant including Phil, he’s less likely to use his time torturing someone else.

      • JWalters on May 19, 2015, 6:50 pm

        JeffB thoroughly shredded his credibility, showing no ability to deal with facts or logic, in this discussion thread:

        His purpose is to give the appearance of erudite objections to the facts and logic presented in Mondoweiss articles. His superficial slop will give some budding young Zionists an excuse to ignore those facts and logic, for awhile anyway.

    • Hostage on May 19, 2015, 4:31 pm

      So your conspiracy theory has to involve more or less the entire national elected American government. Moreover it can’t be associated with the Bush administration since they weren’t in power yet. –

      LoL! Let me help you get some clue: It’s no “conspiracy theory” when we know for a fact that our government ran an illicit war propaganda campaign in violation of its own international obligations under Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. A bogus “Iraqi National Congress (INC)” was created at the behest of the U.S. government for the purpose of fomenting the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. That work was done by a PR firm, Rendon Group, working under an exclusive contract with our government worth millions of dollars.

      After the first Gulf War, President Bush Sr. and his Defense Secretary Dick Cheney had publicly urged Iraqis to “take matters into their own hands.” By the time the joint resolution that you are citing got adopted years later in the Clinton era, a hardcore Neocon Republican movement had taken control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 50 years and they were tired of waiting. They pushed for adoption of the “sense of the Congress” resolution on the question.

      Bush Jr’s campaign was being organized and advised by a bunch of the same Neocons who developed and published a plan that said “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.” Many of the very same Neocons had authored or endorsed a similar plan for Netanyahu, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”. In any event we know for a fact from members of his own camp and cabinet that Bush Jr was looking for an excuse to invade Iraq months before 9-11 ever happened. See “Bush Sought ‘Way’ To Invade Iraq? O’Neill Tells ’60 Minutes’Iraq Was ‘Topic A’ 8 Months Before 9-11”

      I’ll leave it up to you to make the child-like argument that the majority of our members of Congress were not influenced decisively by the Neocons in the military industrial sector or the Israel Lobby.

      • JeffB on May 19, 2015, 5:13 pm


        Republican hawks, the oil industry, the military industrial sector. You are citing huge chunks of the government. Your theory is not a conspiracy that’s the system doing what it is supposed to do balance out interest groups and organize them into common policy.

        The conspiracy would involve a smaller group.

        As for an illegal propaganda campaign… I live in America. People are entitled to express their positions. If “our government” broadly was running a propaganda campaign that’s them doing their job, organizing the population and trying to achieve policy consensus. If some tiny faction were able to create policy without agreement that’s a conspiracy. If some large faction were able to get broad public agreement for policy, that’s democracy.

      • MRW on May 19, 2015, 5:28 pm

        That work was done by a PR firm, Rendon Group, working under an exclusive contract with our government worth millions of dollars.

        Beautifully described by John MacArthur (foreword by Ben Bagdikian) in “Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War.” (1993)

      • Citizen on May 19, 2015, 8:08 pm

        Chris Matthews tonight kept asking the question re who’s responsible for getting us into War on Iraq? He noted nobody is asking this question. Yet he never mentioned PNAC, the neocons or the Israel Lobby. No mention of the Special Plans unit under Bush JR packed with Jewish Zionists. Nor did he tie any answer in with the push for war on Syria and Iran. Finally no mention that Jeb Bush circle of consultants are all former consultants for Daddy Bush or/or Bro Bush, including Wolfowitz, the architect of the Iraq War. Your thoughts?

      • Atlantaiconoclast on May 19, 2015, 11:23 pm

        Why are people so vulnerable to this ridiculous charge of “conspiracy theory”!? Conspiracies happen every single day. Certainly, powerful people conspire just as much if not more than the lower rungs of society.

    • on May 19, 2015, 4:48 pm

      The act was passed 360-38 in the U.S. House of Representatives and by unanimous consent in the Senate and of course Clinton signed it. So your conspiracy theory has to involve more or less the entire national elected American government.

      Gee, really Jeff B? No kidding it involves more or less the entire Congress …. have you never heard of AIPAC?

      • Citizen on May 19, 2015, 8:19 pm

        OTOH, Chris Hayes showed Pelosi saying she didn’t go with the neocon intelligence data at the time & thought the data did not evidence a reason to attack Iraq. Barnie Frank said the Democrats who voted for the war were those, like Hillary, who were POTUS wannabes. Lesson learned? Frank says we have learned the lesson. He says Lindsey Graham would invade Chicago.
        Frank says some interventions are good. Frank dissed Hayes as a noninterventionist. Frank said should have ended war in Afghanistan once Al Quaida guy killed.

    • Walker on May 19, 2015, 7:26 pm

      The American people don’t like anti-American governments and generally favor military action to get rid of them.

      Please post evidence that Americans “generally favor military action to get rid of (anti-American governments)”.

      This is characteristic of the quality of your argumentation. You simply made this up.

      • JeffB on May 19, 2015, 11:15 pm


        Please post evidence that Americans “generally favor military action to get rid of (anti-American governments)”

        Here are your base numbers for diplomacy over military for the population when they are asked general questions about dealing with hostiles:

        As you can see the government starts with a slight majority out of the gate. Once diplomacy fails or falters the numbers skyrocket quickly, except in unusual circumstances.



        This is characteristic of the quality of your argumentation. You simply made this up.

        Now you can apologize for being an asshole rather than phrasing that request politely.

      • oldgeezer on May 20, 2015, 12:24 am


        Your original claim was
        “The American people don’t like anti-American governments and generally favor military action to get rid of them. No great conspiracy. – See more at:

        You were asked to provide proof that Americans generally favour military action against anti-American governments in order to get rid of them

        The examples you provided don’t provide a shred of proof towards your proposition. In each of those specific cases the cause for war was not sold on any government being anti-American. Indeed they were sold on the need for war based upon trumped up charges, backed by fabricated evidence.

        If there’s an asshole here (and I’m pretty sure that’s the first time I’ve used anything that could be considered a cuss word here) it has to be you.

        I eagerly await all the apologies you are due, which happens to be none.

      • Theo on May 20, 2015, 9:58 am

        ….americans generally favour military action….

        It is correct, this nation is so brainwashed, that if an arab or chinese say they do not like Coca Cola, it is immediately ranked as an anti US treath and requires a “defensive” military action.
        We are kept in constant fear since WWII. Remember the McCarthy witchhunt, seeing communist agents in everyone who liked red meat! How many innocent peoples` career was destroyed with senseless charges?
        Now we have the “islamic terror”, they are all over and ready to invade the USA. The FBI produce cases, where they first instigate unbalanced persons, then later arrest them for planning terrorist acts. The greatest nation in this world has the pants full since decades, because our politicians and the MSM need it so for their plans.
        As far as the military/industrial takeover goes, it is true. The military orders expensive or useless items, (do you remember the $1,000 toilette seats for the Navy), in return retiring generals get a cushy jobs with one of the defense contractors. To be able to produce more and more planes, tanks and artillery, the old ones must be destroyed, therefore we need wars after wars. Since 1945 how many years did we have without a military conflict? I remember none.

    • Atlantaiconoclast on May 19, 2015, 11:20 pm

      You conveniently left out the part about the framing, largely by Jewish neocons, of the Muslim world, via 9/11 and the anthrax attacks, the latter of which could only have been done by inside agents in the US. Of course Americans largely supported war in the beginning, They were lied to! And they began to truly believe that Israel’s battle was theirs.

      • Marnie on May 20, 2015, 6:30 am

        @Atlantaiconoclast and oldgeezer – Thanks for injecting much needed truth into the pack o’ lies provided by “JeffB”. Americans or anybody else for that matter cannot make good decisions when they are not given the real facts. Many Americans regret their support for Iraq and realize they were sold down the river by the greed of the neocons.

        JeffB don’t speak for Americans any better than you do for Israelis or Jews. Please frame your crazy talk with “It’s my opinion, blah,, blah, blah”. Don’t let the door slam on your behind as you exit stage RIGHT. Or do.

      • JeffB on May 20, 2015, 8:21 am


        You conveniently left out the part about the framing, largely by Jewish neocons, of the Muslim world

        I simply talked about opinion. This is part of MW nonsense that polled opinion shouldn’t count because of “propaganda”. We live in a democracy. Everyone gets to frame their opinions and the undergo a competition. Public opinion and the winner of that competition are the same thing. At the time of there were sources like The Nation, Mother Jones the bulk of the European press which made a strongly anti-war case. Americans were exposed to the anti-war movement and anti-war congressmen. They were aware that such a case existed and rejected it.

        Talking about political opinion in the absence of the other side expressing their views is like talking about how you should have won the football game if only the other side was never given possession of the ball and thus not allowed to score touchdowns.

        Now having expressed all that. The dislike of the Muslim world does not come from Jews. It comes from the oil crisis, it comes from terrorism, it comes from a century of war, and it comes from the fact they are non-Christian. Jews are not the ones who made Nasser lead an anti-American movement during the cold war and cost Americans a fortune in extra taxes. Jews are not the ones who made Algerians engage in a mass cleansing their French population after achieving independence. Jews are not the ones who made Iranians take and torture American hostages and humiliate the United States for a year. Jews are not the ones who decided that the Arab powers should jack American oil prices. Jews are not the ones who decided that Palestinians should become synonymous with airplane hijackings and acts of violence all over Europe as a way to gain attention. And Jews are not the ones who decided to blow up the twin towers. Islam has a bad reputation in the United States because of Muslim behavior, they worked hard to keep their bad reputation. The neocons had a fertile ground. Moreover I don’t see any distinction between the attitudes of “Jewish neocons” and the Christian neocons.


        As for the anthrax attacks, the FBI conducted multiple investigations and there was some degree of House of Representatives oversight and review. The likely culprit was Bruce Ivins, a religious Roman Catholic. His motive was he was upset about pro-choice Catholic senators which is why he picked Daschle and Leahy to get the anthrax. He also appears to have wanted to frame the women at the Princeton Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, a sorority he had been hostile to since at least 1992, which was why he choose anthrax and mailed it from the postbox outside their sorority.

        No one in this story is Jewish. Nothing about the story is Jewish or remotely tied to Israel. I think you should take a moment to reflect on the fact that given a story you knew nothing about your first inclination was to suspect the Jews did it.

        And those of you on MW who like to argue time and time again that BDS is anti-Semitic it is just anti-Zionist, and you really do have respect for the truth. This was coming from your side. Why was I the one who corrected this? Why didn’t you all jump in?

      • andrew r on May 21, 2015, 1:25 am

        It comes from the oil crisis, it comes from terrorism, it comes from a century of war, and it comes from the fact they are non-Christian.

        Would you feel a bit embarrassed at learning the major Palestinian plane hijackers, George Habash, Wadi Haddad, Leila Khaled, were Christians? For good measure so is Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy.

        RE: the ’73 oil embargo, there’s good reason to believe western oil companies colluded with OPEC on raising the price of oil, since they made a huge windfall while small-town gas stations were closing up. Besides that the embargo was a death-knell for OPEC countries using oil as a political weapon against the United States, and even the actual embargo was essentially ineffective at threatening US oil supplies.

        You might be making the point that the average American is too lazy to analyze these situations in-depth, but that doesn’t mean you need to exhibit the same laziness.

      • Philemon on May 26, 2015, 9:04 pm

        JeffB, you’re a little behind the times on the Bruce Ivins’ stuff. They really don’t let you in on the latest talking points, do they?
        “No formal charges were ever actually filed against him for the crime, and no direct evidence of his involvement has been uncovered.”

        “On May 15, 2011, the panel released its findings, which ‘conclude[d] that the bureau overstated the strength of genetic analysis linking the mailed anthrax to a supply kept by Bruce E. Ivins.’ The committee stated that its primary finding was that ‘It is not possible to reach a definitive conclusion about the origins of the B. anthracis in the mailings based on the available scientific evidence alone.'”

        JeffB, my personal opinion is that you have a sophomoric grasp of history, philosophy, linguistics and probably lots of other subjects. I don’t think you take a scholarly interest in any of them. I think you use whatever passing gleanings you get to buttress your prejudices.

        You have way too much of your personality invested in a bizarre construct of Israel and its “Jewish army…” as though it personally gives you naches. When you are not claiming to be “utilitarian” in simplistic “greatest good for greatest number” terms, you are generally channelling Thrasymachus.

        If my personal opinion gives you offense, that’s too bad.

    • traintosiberia on May 20, 2015, 9:26 am

      It was in 1979 when Wolfowitz set his eyes on Saddam and Ghaddafi ( Sunshine Warrior NYT) .He wanted to remove both .He had to wait .1990 following Iraq invasion of Kuwait ,FM Levy of Israel made the threats of attacking Iraq if West didn’t. That was the time when Solarz went around to get the democrat on board and Bush was called ‘wimp” for vacillating . Saudi and Egyptian attempt for a peaceful solution was rebuffed . Buchanan confirmed the fact that the war was desired and forced by Israeli supporters in Congress .Tom Lantos manufactured the incubator story to arouse angry hateful emotion . ( Same Lantos who would call Shroeder and Chirac prostitutes in 2002 for demanding more inspection and discounting terror connection)
      Push for war started from Jewish lawmaker . Initially Americans were told that the congress could scare Saddam by just stating that America would use force .Once that was passed ,lawmaker started demanding against diplomacy and pressed for war ( it was like 2013 Red Line crossing over Syria . ” Hey President when are you going to attack now the Sarin had has been used by Syria” or like No Fly Zone over Libya ,once achieved , Sarkozy and Levy used it to achieve their ulterior motive) .

      Prior to 911 various agencies were reporting of impending attacks on US but the neocons in the cabinet ignored it .Even Israel supplied the warnings but as usual misled US by tagging Saddam to that possible terror attacks. Between 1991 and 2001 , Wolfowitz tried publicly to share his hatred of Saddam by blaming him for 1993 WTC bombing . Laurie Mylorie wrote the book documenting saddam relation to OK bombing. Israeli PM Rabin blamed Saddam for OK bombing . Bodanksy blamed saddam ,Al Quida and Iran for all kind of terrors committed by Al Quida . Albright when faced with the possibility of the UNSCOM declaring Iraq to be free of nuclear material ,asserted that the sanctiosn would t be lifted unless Saddam were gone. Saddam stopped cooperating with UNSCOM .US bombed Iraq. Same Albright whose appointment owed a lot to the influence of the Jewish lobby . Sanction continued . In 2000 Clinton was thinking of decreasing the level of sanction but was overruled

      PNAC was writing position paper from 1996 and it published the updates on their existing one in 1998 and 2000 essentially demanding revocation of Oslo and removing Saddam and Assad . These paper writers would occupy Bush cabinet to propel their ideas . Jerusalem Post remarked that the foreign policies of Bush would be influenced by these Jewish presence in the government . Cheney was already hobnobbing with JINSA from 1994 . 911 came and very soon the direction of the understanding of the events were channeled to 19 hijackers and secret Saudi flight but not to the intentional ignoring of the warnings, 911 dancing Israelis , Art student mystery and not to the odd behaviors of 160 or so Israelis foreigners with military and intelligence connections . Media was told what to think and where not to look. Meanwhile Saddam was declared to be responsible in collusion with Al Quida by the PNAC staffers within and outside the government .

      It was Wolfowitz who claimed and insisted Saddam was the person responsible for 911, hours after the event. That idea was propagated and rehashed and echoed repeatedly by his colleagues and very soon by the media . American didn’t believe Saddam was . They blamed to Al Quida . American didn’t believe Saddam was a threat even in late 2002.

      While in Israel the ideas of immidiaetly attacking Iraq were manufactured for Americans to swallow and advices that US should attack Syria and Lebanon and Iran . Wolfowitz confirmed the same views to the Pentagon . OSP was created for intelligence . Russia would not buy the claims of link between saddam and 911 or WMD or anthrax . Anthrax was another clue to the direction of the complicity of someone by the name of Jack who wanted to frame an Egyptian even before the anthrax letter became known to public but after the letter was mailed .FBI would exonerate the Egyptian but would not ask how Jack knew .Jack had worked on anthrax before .

      Niger documents were fabricated by the neocons most likely by Micahel Ledeen . CIA didn’t buy it. CIA was bypassed and it reached Cheney’s office in time .

      .Once the war became certain Israel started distancing somewhat publicly knowing fully well that America couldn’t climb out of the slippery slope .By that time relentless media barrage have increased pro war sentiment from a minority voice to majority one .

      Expecting a quick cakewalk and greet with Iraqi desert roses , people were apoplectic with positive exuberance .Some let the cat out . Friedman counted the number of the neocons exactly 25 without which the war couldn’t have happened . Karuthammer and Krsitiol kept on eductaing American public on TV and Wolfiowtz mentioned something about oil to pay for the war killing 2 birds – the war would be cheap and war could be blamed on oil. Zelikow reminded the student that the war was for the safety of Israel and never was about threat to US.

      Following the lions were the hyenas who were prowling for possible land garb in Palestine sensing that the west would remain busy filled with hubris and hate towards anything muslim or Arab . Israel killed Arafat and called Bush Chamberlien .It called quite a few guys Hitler also . suddenly the open season was declared on muslim ,Arab and Islam . It was the zenith of Israel like 1967 .
      Did I mention Chalabi? He was rejected by CIA ( as was Niger document in 2001) but made his way back to State Dept and Pentagon through Israel in mid 90s .
      Throughout 1990 ,neither NYT nor CNN would inform anybody in US of the effects of sanction and the illegality of the sanction.
      Did I mention the power point presentation by Laurent Mirawich, a protege of Perle who advised the Pentagon to go after Saudi Arab and Egypt also. Perle,Feith,Abrams,and Wolfowitz were all ex con and they would insert themselves again to commit most vicious crimes .
      General Zinni, State Secretary AI Haig and Moran and Hollins would identify the culprit behind the war.
      Oil would be blamed but the only oil connection was between the possible pipe line to Haifa and Halliburton. Oil industries did not want this war . Rumsfield and Clawson spoke of the opportunities for oil industry but that was their threat of withholding the loot from some other countries not supporting the war.

      Before getting lost to the hubris of Wilsonian democracy or real politics as you are throwing around to distract from the Jewish influences to this war, to the long lasting sanction,to constant demonizing of Saddam in the media and to the first Gulf war ,lets just look again how Iran and Syrian imbroglio developed ,lets see who is doing and has been doing what .
      Before looking into the number of supporters for or against in both houses ,lets look at the number of supporters for an war against Iran and how it was reached and who started the war rhetorics . It was neocon. It was Israel. Sensing the revulsion of American at the consequences of Iraq war, Neocon started delinking Iran from the 2003 war as if it never happened, as if Iraq war developed out of blue from some crazy oil lobby and from Bush father complex problem.
      Oil industry didn’t want this war . They don’t want war with Iran. They wanted business and Saddam was more than happy to oblige but Clinton and Bush regime under the neocon influences made that impossible .
      Yes this war 2003 was made by the neocons . What could have happened if Bush didn’t go? He would then be under the threat of getting exposed as wimp. He would have been asked by CNN,FOX ,WSJ,NYT and other outlet why he ignored the warnings ( he didn’t his neocon gangs did) . It is interesting that when faced with the grave implication Wiliam Safire didn’t confirm that he said Air Force 1 was under threat of being taken down. 911 atmosphere was the very atmosphere that Israel knew it could use to its advantage . Netanyahu rebuked the Israeli Firster to focus too much on Chinese crackdown of 1990. That was the best time to get things ( war and land grab) done while the world was distracted . Israel and neocon abused the 911 victims ,abused the fear ,hatred,and emotion . American wanted to know why 911. Answer was given by media and the neocon- Saddam bad, Islam bad, radical Islam want to destroy West, they hate freedom . The bastards forgot to say Radical Islam hated Wilson , hated Churchill, hated Founding Father,Reagan ,Kennedy . They could have got away with anything . Bush was afraid . So was American but for different reason.
      It was not love for peace or democracy that got the coalition in 1990 or in 2003 getting on board . It was money,it was bribe,it was threat and promises of dough in various shapes and sizes. WTO and Saudi Arab’s financial help to Russia in 1990, scaring Saudis in 1990 by false satellite , and so on . Same was in 2003 .
      No Wilsononoan democracy . It was pure hatred of Zionist foisted on the rest that got 2003 war. The door was opened by the Zionist in 1990.

    • traintosiberia on May 20, 2015, 8:27 pm

      It was no secret what AIPAC and some Senators were up to in 1990-

      “3 When I was first elected to Congress six years ago (1974) I deliberately
      sought an assignment on the Foreign Affairs Committee precisely because I
      wanted to be in a position to be helpful to Israel.. Solarz

      3 All of that might be of purely academic interest were it not for the fact
      that among the men behind that campaign were such names as, Dick Cheney,
      Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. What was, back in 1997, merely a
      theory, is now, in 2003, U.S. policy. Hardly a conspiracy, the proposal was
      out there for anyone to see.-* ABC Nightline’s* Ted Koppe

      4 In 1991,(Cheney the organization had given him its “Distinguished
      Service Award” and he was declared to be “excellent” on issues of
      U.S.-Israeli security cooperation, according to JINSA’s director of special
      projects Shoshana Bryen

      5 Why speak about an attack when you are defending freedom as you did in
      World War I, World War II and now in [World War] III? … I don’t think
      this is a campaign against Iraq, neither their people nor the land, but
      against a terrible killer, a dictator who already initiated two aggressive
      wars – one against Muslim Iran for seven years at a cost of 1 million
      [lives] and against an Arab Kuwait… foreign minister Shimon Peres to
      Rabbi William Berkowitz

      6AIPAC leaders acknowledged that the lobby “had worked in tandem with the
      [first] Bush administration to win passage of a resolution authorizing the
      president to commit U.S. troops to combat.” A *Wall Street Journal* article
      at the time noted that the “behind-the-scenes campaign avoided AIPAC’s
      customary high profile in the Capitol and relied on activists – calling
      sometimes from Israel itself – to contact lawmakers and build on public
      endorsements by major Jewish organizations.”

      “Yes, we were active,” AIPAC’s director Tom Dine, told the paper. “These
      are the great issues of our time. If you sit on the sidelines you have no

      7 And, to be sure, money had its role with Democrats who had benefited from
      large contributions from pro-Israel PACs being among the swing votes.
      Having “pro-Israel liberals behind the resolution made it easier to hold
      moderate Republicans as well.”2

      8 While the U.S. Congress was divided over going to war in 1990, “there is
      one place in the world which is longing for war,” said retired Major
      General Matti Peled, a former Knesset Member and, before his death, a
      leader of the Israeli peace camp, “and that is Israel… Every commentator
      finds it his duty to join the party of the war-mongers. Arrogant statements
      about the slowness of the Americans are heard every day.”25

      Anti-war activists paid no attention to such statements or to the
      activities of the Israel lobby then, nor have they since.26
      While they
      chanted, “No Blood for Oil!,” in national protests on October 25th,
      Kinsley, a mainstream liberal, described the situation as “the proverbial
      elephant in the room… Everybody sees it, no one mentions it.”27

  6. Nevada Ned on May 19, 2015, 3:42 pm

    I hate to rain on Phil’s parade, but here goes.

    I agree the US invaded Iraq under the urging of the neoconservatives.
    But here’s question: the US has invaded a LOT of countries.
    A short list would include: US invasion of Panama (when George HW Bush was President)
    US invasion of Grenada (Reagan was President)
    Us invasion of Haiti (a few decades back)
    US invasion and occupation of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (presidentsKennedy, Johnson, Nixon)
    US invasion of Dominican Republic (1965, Johnson)
    US invasion of Cuba (Bay of Pigs, Kennedy)
    US invasion of Iraq (twice, under George Bush 41 and 430
    Now US invasion of Afghanistan, bombing of Pakistan (Obama)

    the list goes on, and on especially in the earlier 20 century when the Us invade a lot of Latim American countries

    The point is this: the Iraq was is not the first time that the US has invaded another country.

    My position is that, yes the Israel lobby (neoconseratives) was a factor, in the invasion of iraq in the Second Persian Gulf War.

    But what about the other invasions? Including the First Persian Gulf War (George H W Bush)? That GHW Bush had a famously frosty relationship with the Israelis.

    In my opinion, the US might very well have invaded Iraq in 2002 even without the support of the Israel lobby. After all, we invaded a lot of countries and the Israel lobby was not the reason on those cases. The US was invading Latin American countries long before the 1947-1948 establishment of Israel.

    For a history of US Dollar Diplomacy, see

    Dollar Diplomacy, by Scott Nearing old book, (published around 1920, lots of info about distant past US interventions)

    Killing Hope, by former State Department employee Bill Blum (available online at
    a list of US interventions, complied by Zoltan Grossman which can be found

    • philweiss on May 19, 2015, 4:31 pm

      but if the US invaded Iraq b/c of the influence of the neocons, that’s the point. I’m sure there were plenty of other imperial reasons for the other invasions. This also had an imperial element, no doubt, but the Gulf war under GHWB was a war for oil, or for plainly identified national interests. This was not. That’s our difference. I see no “national interest” in this war, but pure folly.

      • JeffB on May 19, 2015, 5:09 pm


        National interest is easy. Assume Cheney’s plan worked and fracking hadn’t turned out to be such a godsend. Today we control the flow of Iraqi oil. We have a bases agreement allowing us to station unlimited troops in Iraq. We have a huge force in Afghanistan so Iran is menaced on both sides with at best only semi hostile force to the North (that is unless Iran has already been flipped). The USA through Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and possibly Iran has control of the flow of middle eastern oil.

        One can disagree with Cheney’s vision. Fracking turned out to make oil much less important. But it is hard to see how that isn’t in the US’s national interest.

      • Philip Munger on May 19, 2015, 7:51 pm

        I’ve always thought a big part of the 1990-91 Gulf War was to clearly illustrate to the world that the USA could put together, mobilize, supply and use a war coalition rapidly, just as the dust from the debris of the USSR was finally settling.

      • just on May 19, 2015, 7:54 pm

        Bingo, Philip.

        I remember US reservists assuring me that they would never be “called up”, too.

        I remember training suddenly taking place in places like right outside Yakima, WA. I remember being told by a very few folks that the US was planning for wars in deserts, not in jungles. I remember being told that a “new world order” was what was in the wings.

      • Keith on May 20, 2015, 10:09 pm

        PHIL- “…but the Gulf war under GHWB was a war for oil, or for plainly identified national interests.”

        Funny, I thought that Saddam still controlled the oil fields at the end of hostilities. Perhaps you can share with us how this was war for oil and in the national interest?

        PHIL- “I see no “national interest” in this war, but pure folly.”

        As opposed to the Korean war? The Vietnamese war? The invasion of Panama? The destruction of Nicaragua? The Libya intervention? The Afghanistan intervention? The Syrian intervention? The Ukrainian intervention? Perhaps you can share with us your definition of “national interest?” For God sake Phil, imperial policy has nothing to do with some vaguely defined “national interest” and everything to do with elite power-seeking. “National interest” is just a label the elites put upon elite policy to make it appear that there is something in it for the non-elites.

        As for the first Gulf War, it was less about oil per se than about destroying Iraq as a potential Middle East power and competitor to the US and Israel. It’s all about power. It’s ALWAYS all about power.

    • on May 19, 2015, 4:51 pm

      Hey Nevada.

      We care talking about US foreign policy of the past 20 years or so.

      Any major military actions on that time period not taken under the sway of The Lobby?

      Of course not. And the fact that the Empire invaded other countries 30 years, 50 years, 100 years ago does not change the fact.

      You guys. Any stretch to avoid the obvious.

      • Nevada Ned on May 20, 2015, 2:53 am

        Anything in last 20 years?

        2002 attempted military coup in Venezuela, as U S attempts to oust Hugo Chavez.
        Chavez defeats coup attempt.

        2009 military coup in Honduras succeeds, US thwarts attempt of Honduras to break free of US influence.

        Siege of Cuba (blockade) continues

        US occupation of Guantanamo continues

        UN General Assembly passes annual resolution calling for end of US blockade of Cuba. Vote is overwhelming, opposed by the US, Israel, and a few Pacific atolls.

        By the way, I never denied that there is an Israel lobby, or that the lobby has influence.
        My point is that the lobby does not act alone. And other factors also apply — desire of US to control the oil of the Middle East, for example.

        Whoever controls the oil of the Middle East really has a lot of power over China and Japan, which need to import oil. Coincidentally, China and Japan happen to be economic rivals to the US.

        Incidentally, if y you’re willing to back 28 years, consider the Lavi fighter airplane. Israel developed the Lavi with help from the US. But after the development was finished, the plane never went into production. The plane would have been a competitor to the US fighter planes. So Israel, under US pressure, cancelled their own airplane. The 1987 cancellation of the Lavi shows conflict between the US and Israel. And it’s an inconvenient fact for those who think that Israel always gets what it wants from the US.

    • traintosiberia on May 20, 2015, 9:38 am

      This is the reason ( tendency to use military ) that attracted Neocons to Scooper “Boeing “Jackson and to Reagan. It was the reason McGovern was denounced by Neocon. Militarism was seen essential by Kristol and Podohoretz if Israel were going to survive the changing scenarios in the world post 1967 .

    • Keith on May 20, 2015, 10:33 pm

      NEVADA NED- “My position is that, yes the Israel lobby (neoconseratives) was a factor, in the invasion of iraq in the Second Persian Gulf War.”

      The danger in including the neocons (and myriad other pro-Israel groups) as part of an ill-defined Israel Lobby is that the impression is created that the neocons act at the behest of Israel. They do not. In fact, Israel was initially wary of the Iraq war, wanting the US to attack Iran instead, until the neocons sold them on the Iraq invasion as part of an overall plan which targeted Iran next. That the neocons are strongly pro-Israel is beyond doubt. That they represent and speak for Israel is a serious mistake. These guys are imperial warmongers. That the neocons have had a major influence on imperial policy is also obvious. That their writings have found a receptive audience among the imperial elites seems to be overlooked. I rather get the impression that many Mondoweissers have difficulty dealing with the complexity of imperial geostrategy preferring a simpler narrative. For them, focusing on a uniquely powerful Lobby which causes a semi-benevolent empire to do evil things fits the bill to a tee. For what it is worth, I have made your argument countless times in the past to no avail. It is easy to believe what is convenient to believe.

  7. Kay24 on May 19, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Great article Phil, and I am glad someone one finally brought up the part played by the PNAC, who were instrumental in promoting this unnecessary war. PNAC seems a very diabolical group, and full of zionists pretending to be concerned about the US.

    We should not forget the part the media played in lying and urging the country to attack Iraq.
    Judith Miller, and as this article states David Brook, and many others, who still seems to show no remorse, just like the neocons, that they were responsible for the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands innocent civilians, and our kids who were sent there on a fool’s errand.

    “David Brooks wrote a witheringly condescending column portraying Reid as an unhinged conspiracy theorist because he accused the administration of falsifying its Iraq intelligence. In his column, Brooks cited numerous officials from outside the Bush administration who believed Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction. Therefore, Brooks concluded, only a conspiratorial loon would suspect Bush of manipulating the intelligence. (Brooks’s column repeatedly describes Reid as “writing important notes in crayon on the outside of envelopes.”)

    Let us also not forget that those who suffered for speaking against the war, and the false intelligence, Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame among them. This war has cost us too much in lives and affects our economy even today, and it is a shame that those who perpetrated this lie, are walking around the nation free, and even being interviewed by our good for nothing media.

    We knew that the intelligence given to us was faulty, and that Colin Powell’s evidence at the UN sounded feeble, yet the media did nothing to question the insanity going on at that time.

    • JWalters on May 19, 2015, 6:54 pm

      The movie about the Bush administration’s traitorous attack on Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, “Fair Game”, is excellent in my opinion. It is both factual and well done.

    • Citizen on May 19, 2015, 8:28 pm

      Media definitely worked as stenographers for Chaney et al. The goy neocons manipulated the facts around their determination to attack Iraq for oil & the Jewish contingent did the same, in behalf Israel. All really knew what they were doing. Brit Intel & CIA gave evidence there was no connection of Saddam with Al Quaida nor that Sad Sack had WMD. Downing St Memo, etc. Still Waiting for main media to get into this; Chris Matthews wants to, but he’s sticking vague for now.

      • Kay24 on May 19, 2015, 9:49 pm

        It is utterly unbelievable that you see those who sold the war, exaggerated the dangers from Hussein, and made a big deal about yellow cake, and weapons that could reach the US mainland, now still think every one is better off without Hussein. No one has the honestly to admit it was a HUGE mistake, and that they were wrong. Even the Presidential wannabes like Jindal and others stay it was the right thing to do. PNAC signatories played a major role in this fiasco, and if they had their way, Iran would be shocked and awed too. Hussein was a tyrant, but he was able to keep waring factions apart, and we should have not taken a bad situation and made it worse, just to have access to oil, or please the zionists who have their own agenda.

  8. Alexanderplatz on May 19, 2015, 4:50 pm

    This comment from Alexanderplatz is for Phills “The US is at last facing…”

    This is indeed a very fine and very much needed summary. Hopefully it will play a role to break the barriers. But in a way the road to the war is even more problematic than Phil tells us. When he says that the neocons “… at last had come into the White House were able to sell a vision of transforming the Middle East that was pure wishful hokum but that they believed: that if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor” he is talking only half of the truth.

    Originally it was not at all the interest in democracies which concerned them. The basic idea was dropped by Oded Yinon in the spring of 1982. In his famous A strategy for Israel in the 80ties he is talking about “The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, [that] is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target.
    “Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel”.

    Couldn’t it be that this idea which could not be sold to the world, but was an idea for intern Israeli use only was later on hidden in the nicely veil of democracy what was acceptable and even a goal to achieve to anybody in the world and especially to the Americans? And isn’t this also what we see happening before our eyes at this very moment?
    The question IMO should be: when did the idea of democracy come to the fore front and was the originally idea of dissolution carefully put into the refrigerator?

    By the way talking about Israel’s ‘targets’ is in itself laughable, as if there could be any target without the US sanctioning it.

    • Citizen on May 19, 2015, 8:37 pm

      No doubt PNAC derived from Yinon’s strategy for Israel. After the 9/11, “the new Pearl Harbor,” (cf: Reichstag Fire, Gulf of Tonken, Remember the Maine, etc), the neocons-Zionists got busy ASAP; Frum added a macro: “War between cultures, Axis of Evil”, main bone of contention with Israel is that Israel wanted Iran knocked out first & Shrub/Chaney wanted Iraq knocked out first; Americans won; but do to no rational or slightly thoughtful post attack plan, all fell apart. US media should explain this to the public because the neocons-zionists-PEPs are still toiling to do the PNAC agenda at expense of US blood & Treasure, even though PNAC now operates under a different handle.

    • Brewer on May 20, 2015, 4:08 am

      Since first coming across the Yinon document some six years ago it has become, in my opinion, the touchstone for all that I have witnessed in the Middle East.
      When Bush II declared War on Iraq, I asked one of my colleagues “why”. When he replied “for the oil of course”, I quickly calculated the projected cost of the War and realised that the entire Iraqi oil reserves, were they simply stolen, would not represent a realistic return on the investment in war.
      In my semi-retired state I have had the leisure to research. Educated in History and Philosophy and a writer well used to academic rigour, I consider myself analytical, not inclined toward popular sentiment but sceptical of mainstream media comment.

      Events in the Middle East are a puzzlement but most observers satisfy themselves with simplistic rationales – “they hate our freedom”, “we are bringing democracy and modernization”, “securing resources” despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

      In my view, there is one unifying theory which, once understood, makes sense of it all, eliminates all the “buts” in the argument and in fact explains a great deal more besides.

      Israel exemplifies an ideology that has adherents in all states. Israel is the guiding light of right-wing thinkers who truly believe that its, not just survival, its expansion is crucial to the furtherance of their ideology.

      The breaking up of the States that surround Israel is essential to Israel’s survival. The Yinon plan makes that very clear. If one admits of the influence of Israel within the U.S. political establishment (and who could seriously deny it), and understands the significance of the “Strategy” – all the pieces fall into place.

      (Posted in memory of Israel Shahak)

  9. MRW on May 19, 2015, 5:32 pm

    Don’t forget General Clark’s admission: Wes Clark – America’s Foreign Policy “Coup”.

  10. JWalters on May 19, 2015, 6:33 pm

    I too applaud Matthews and Corn for speaking up publicly on how this needless war was manufactured.

    As to why this war was manufactured, Phil suggests the neocons believed “if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor.” This theory it seems to me is mistaken.

    First, this theory overlooks the atrocious, racist treatment of the Arabs in Palestine by the Zionist invaders. And this atrocious, racist attitude toward Arabs has continued today, as Mondoweiss has so well documented. The Arabs are never going to like that attitude or the oppressive actions that continually flow from it, and nobody else would either.

    Second, and more important, it overlooks the war profiteering motive for creating continuing conflict. Articles have been written about the immense profits from the Iraq war (over 35 billion for Halliburton). Highly decorated U.S. Marine Major General Smedley Butler has told us “War is a Racket”. And even Tom Paine complained about war profiteers. So why would discussion of this factor be ignored in the current context? Because it SUPPRESSED by the power of vast amounts of money, as discussion of numerous other Israel-related issues are suppressed by the huge reservoir of money. Mondoweiss has repeatedly documented this suppression of discussion.

    The war profiteers’ influence in the case of Israel’s war is described in “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”. Israel was created with brutality and injustice in order to trigger a profitable religious conflict, which it has done and continues to do today. The facade of some noble purpose is now cracking and starting to crumble, thanks in no small part to the internet and sites like Mondoweiss.

  11. RoHa on May 19, 2015, 7:28 pm

    “if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor. ”

    I seems to me that the more democratic Arab countries become, the less likely they are to embrace Israel.

    • marc b. on May 20, 2015, 4:20 pm

      I seems to me that the more democratic Arab countries become, the less likely they are to embrace Israel.

      yup. and the other way round too. Israel’s closest Arab allies are the most despotic regimes.

  12. just on May 19, 2015, 7:50 pm

    O/T, but not unrelated at all, a reminder that tonight is the premiere of Frontline’s

    ” ‘Secrets, Politics and Torture’

    From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk (United States of Secrets, Losing Iraq, Bush’s War, The Torture Question) comes the dramatic story of the fight over the CIA’s controversial interrogation methods, widely criticized as torture. Based on recently declassified documents and interviews with key political leaders and CIA insiders, the film investigates what the CIA did — and whether it worked.”

    Link to view online and schedule is here:

  13. JLewisDickerson on May 19, 2015, 10:17 pm

    RE: “For many in the current US administration, a major strategic consideration was the need to destabilize and then reconfigure the Middle East in a manner thought favorable to Israel.” ~ Tony Judt

    NEW YORK TIMES / IHT (2006): “He [i.e., Bush] told Sharon in that first meeting that I’ll use force to protect Israel, which was kind of a shock to everybody,”* . . .

    * SEE – “Bush and Israel: Unlike his father”, By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, International Herald Tribune, 2006

    [EXCERPT] WASHINGTON — When they first met as U.S. president and Israeli prime minister, George W. Bush made clear to Ariel Sharon that he would not follow in the footsteps of his father.
    The first President Bush had been tough on Israel, especially the Israeli settlements in occupied lands that Sharon had helped develop.
    But over tea in the Oval Office that day in March 2001 – six months before the Sept. 11 attacks tightened their bond – the new president signaled a strong predisposition to support Israel.
    “He told Sharon in that first meeting that I’ll use force to protect Israel, which was kind of a shock to everybody,” said one person present, granted anonymity to speak about a private conversation.
    “It was like, ‘Whoa, where did that come from?'”
    That embrace of Israel represents a generational and philosophical divide between the Bushes, one that is exacerbating the friction that has been building between their camps of advisers and loyalists over foreign policy more generally. As this president continues to stand by Israel in its campaign against Hezbollah, even after a weekend attack that left many Lebanese civilians dead and provoked international condemnation, some advisers to the father are expressing increasingly deep unease with the Israel policies of the son.
    “The current approach simply is not leading toward a solution to the crisis, or even a winding down of the crisis,” said Richard Haass, who advised the first President Bush on the Middle East and worked as a senior State Department official in the current president’s first term. “There are times at which a hands-off policy can be justified. It’s not obvious to me that this is one of them.”
    Unlike the first President Bush, who viewed himself as a neutral arbiter in the delicate politics of the Middle East, the current president sees his role now through the prism of the war on terror. This President Bush, unlike his father, also has deep roots in the evangelical Christian community, a staunchly pro- Israeli component of his conservative Republican base. . .


  14. peters on May 19, 2015, 10:27 pm

    don’t we know what happened really? we all know. but has it been thoroughly gone into how our country was hijacked? how was so much power wrested away to benefit so few? how was the press silenced? where did the money come from? was it planned from the start? did it happen organically? was there plotting between israel and powerful people in the us? who knew and when did they know it? who in power now is in on the “joke”? everyone? what about the military? where does the nsa come in? was gwb scooped up and groomed? ( no one in texas took him seriously). was obama? clintons?
    sorry if this is obvious. just haven’t seen a real examination of history.

  15. Walker on May 20, 2015, 1:48 am

    Now you can apologize for being an asshole rather than phrasing that request politely.

    JeffB, it is annoying that I can’t reply to your post directly.

    The saddest thing about your “evidence” is that apparently you can’t tell how bogus it is. You muster just three examples from among the many scores of anti-American governments that have been around over the years. Of your three cases, Iran and Iraq only illustrate the public’s being “sold on the need for war based upon trumped up charges, backed by fabricated evidence”, as oldgeezer put it. We attacked Afghanistan only because it hosted Osama bin Laden, not because it had an anti-American government.

    Your response confirms my original point about the quality of your argumentation. The bad language is just icing on the cake.

    • JeffB on May 20, 2015, 7:46 am


      You muster just three examples from among the many scores of anti-American governments that have been around over the years

      First off it is time for you to present some evidence if you are going to be critical of the evidence presented. You are just spouting off.

      Second the very first graph was diplomacy vs. military asked in general about the the importance of force vs. diplomacy.

      Third the case of Iran proves the opposite of your claim. Iran is a government where the USA government has had a non-military / sanctions policy. Yet the American public still favors war. That’s not he public being sold on a war that’s the public wanting a war despite policy (propaganda) in opposition. And as far as trumped up, I think the Americans are generally not aware of the extent to which Iran was funding anti-USA forces that killed Americans in Iraq. Had thy been I suspect the support for war with Iraq would be in the 80+% range.

      Finally on Afghanistan. The government refused to do what America told it to and thus was deposed. That was wildly popular.

      Now my claim was that Americans don’t like anti-USA governments. You argued that was a fabrication. So now present some examples of governments hostile to the USA that are popular among Americans.

      • Walker on May 20, 2015, 12:26 pm

        JeffB @ May 19, 2015, 12:59 pm:

        The American people don’t like anti-American governments and generally favor military action to get rid of them.

        Walker @ May 19, 2015, 7:26 pm

        Please post evidence that Americans “generally favor military action to get rid of (anti-American governments)”. This is characteristic of the quality of your argumentation. You simply made this up.

        JeffB @ May 20, 2015, 7:46 am:

        Now my claim was that Americans don’t like anti-USA governments. You argued that was a fabrication. So now present some examples of governments hostile to the USA that are popular among Americans.

        JeffB can’t type anything without redisplaying his tendency to just make things up.

        This is not really funny, though. This shell game type of argumentation, designed to deceive, is a standard approach of hasbarists. They are very good at it.

      • annie on May 20, 2015, 12:41 pm

        “generally favor military action to get rid of (anti-American governments)”….. You simply made this up.

        the vast majority of jeff’s analysis here he “simply makes up” (and the twists and turns when you call him on it trying to shimmy out of it). he presents it as fact instead of his flawed wishful thinking. people should just ignore him (including me). it’s like junk food cramming up the discourse, bad for ones health. and a paper tiger to boot.

      • Mooser on May 20, 2015, 3:04 pm

        ” people should just ignore him “

        Good idea, and one I will implement from now on without fail. After all, I have an whim of iron.

      • Froggy on May 20, 2015, 8:05 pm

        @ jeffb : ‘If “our government” broadly was running a propaganda campaign that’s them doing their job, organizing the population and trying to achieve policy consensus.’

        That’s what the Nazis did.

      • Mooser on May 20, 2015, 11:23 pm

        ‘If “our government” broadly was running a propaganda campaign that’s them doing their job, organizing the population and trying to achieve policy consensus.’

        Sure, Dr. Pangloss, whatever you say. After all, everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

      • Citizen on May 21, 2015, 10:42 am

        @ Mooser
        Geez, I’m so old I had to give up tending my tiny tomato garden due to lack of energy, too many bugs, crows, squirrels, etc; there’s nothing like fat tomato off the vine, with some salt. But this articles touches many on MW over its years, & I’ve read all of them since 2008, plus many other sources. I think Big Oil had little to do with Bush Jr’s war on Iraq; I think PNAC had a lot to do with it–and is still operating in a bipartisan way, for regime change in ME states Israel does not like as they’re not cooperative enough with Israel’s agenda. The only bone of contention with the neocons and Israel was that Israel wanted to screw Iran first, not Iraq, but Israel took a temporary back seat to Bush Jr’s desire to attack Iraq as it didn’t like his Daddy, and to Chaney, who stood to gain lots of $ from an attack on Iraq; the Zionists in the neocon camps had to go along with that, as did Israel–both would’ve preferred an attack on Iran first. They are pushing for it now on bipartisan basis, but Obama’s intent on Iran Deal for legacy reasons, & last time Obama left attack on Syria to congress, Putin stepped in, making it easy to withdraw war for an increasingly tired and war impoverished US public. Even if Obama gets his Iran Deal, Israel makes out because Congress will continue to be bought by orchestration of AIPAC donor dollars and Israel First Billionaires and Israel, never the fryer/freier, sucker, will get “such a deal!” in the form of 50 super expensive free F-35s and more defensive missile systems, courtesy of US tax payers, the ultimate suckers, blinded, bamboozled, laughed at by Israel & US main media & Congress. When Smedley Butler wrote War Is A Racket, Israel did not yet exist. His ghost should write a new book about how that’s still true, but now, US Zionists have added an extra ingredient to core content of US aggression: America’s Jewish Establishment, just a “slight” twist on the old WASP formula, one that morphs the motive to not just Imperial profit but also Israeli hegemony in ME, with more lebensraum to come.

      • Mooser on May 22, 2015, 7:59 pm

        The way I remember it, Gulf War 1 was touted as such as success, that nobody was concerned about being blamed for Bush Jr.’s Iraq invasion, it was going to be a slam-dunk. It was more like the neo-cons and Israel-firsters were afraid they wouldn’t get enough credit for creating the war.

    • oldgeezer on May 21, 2015, 12:26 am

      “First off it is time for you to present some evidence if you are going to be critical of the evidence presented. – See more at:

      Why? You haven’t present any evidence to prove your assertions. Posting links unrelated to your claim is not evidence.

      “Second the very first graph was diplomacy vs. military asked in general about the the importance of force vs. diplomacy. – See more at:

      Unless the page is screwed up in my browser, not it’s not. It’s a restrospective look at a decision made over a decade ago about a specific case and not at all about what Americans generall favour.

      “Iran is a government where the USA government has had a non-military / sanctions policy. Yet the American public still favors war. That’s not he public being sold on a war that’s the public wanting a war despite policy (propaganda) in opposition. – See more at:

      You are delusional. I think the regime in Iran is reprehensible but to pretend it has not been the target of 36 years of propaganda from both the government and media is … Well it’s actually beyond delusional and 36 years of propaganda can lead to a lot of people favouring war.

      “Now my claim was that Americans don’t like anti-USA governments. – See more at:

      No, as with your outright lies about Arabic/Aramaic your claim was Americans prefer war over diplomacy for governments that are deemed anti-American.

      If there are things that can be learned from your posts the first is that you make false claims, even about your own prior claims, and the second is that nothing you claim has anything to do with reality.

      Truth for the zionists that post on this blog seems to have an extremely amorphous quality.

  16. ivri on May 20, 2015, 3:03 am

    Here is a very simplistic explanation for the Iraq war. Since the dawn of History the rule was that you don`t dare attack a world superpower – it must keep its image to function. Bin-Laden did that and the usual response did come. Afghanistan first and then another target in the Arab world from which the attack on the US originated. Iraq was a “target of convenience”: Saddam was already on the hit list for a long time, nuclear proliferation fears, there was the oil potential and yes, as politically incorrect it is, assisting Israel in different ways. Saddam subsidized terror in Israel, the Iraq war removed Israel as the main instability cause in the region and if Iraq turns pro-West and democratic it would be on good terms with Israel.
    For these reasons you can bet that despite what is said here the Iraq issue will fade (rather than kept central) – overtaken by a host of far more actual and urgent ones.

    • oldgeezer on May 20, 2015, 11:58 pm

      “Saddam subsidized terror in Israel”

      No he didn’t. He provided compensation to the families which suffered from war crimes and crimes against humanity perpertrated by the Israeli. Crimes that even the Israeli government legal advisers noted were crimes. Crimes that the world turned a blind eye to.

      Hussein was a dictator and murderer. The world is better without him but the cost wasn’t justified in the loss of human life and the destruction of the future of those who lived.

      But subsidize terror in Israel? Pull the other leg. A nation born out of Jewish terror and which inflicts terror on civilians to both enlarge and maintain the state ever since. In reality Israel is far worse than Iraq. In Iraq the people had no choice but to put up with the barbarity of the state while in Israel they actively chose it as the preferred option.

  17. Dan Crowther on May 20, 2015, 10:11 am

    The Neocons believe in democracy? Laughable. Its just so hard to take you seriously Phil. Your naive schoolboy routine is so tired. They wanted nothing to do with arab democracy, they wanted to balkanize the region, which they’re doing. It was always about Israel dealing with tiny powerless enclaves, not defanged but popularly supported governments.

    There are no mitigating factors here, Phil – and please spare us the standard liberal bullshit about possible good intentions. There were no good intentions. That was all PR. Why are you so naive?

    • geokat62 on May 20, 2015, 7:42 pm

      It is very important to remember the source of the Bush Doctrine of promoting democracy at the point of a gun. It was a book (The Case for Democracy) by Natan Sharansky who was a refusnik and former Interior Minister of Israel. Rather than having a genuine desire to liberate the peoples of the ME, Sharansky devised an ingenious scheme that would destabilize Israel’s remaining enemies. These countries were targeted because they were supporting the Palestinians in their struggle against Israeli oppression. The common trait among these countries was that they were led by autocrats – Hussein in Iraq, Assad in Syria, Gaddafi in Libya – or autocratic regimes – the theocracy in Iran. Since these regimes proved difficult to subvert from without, Sharansky’s brilliant idea was to topple them from within. And this would require little effort thanks to how most of these countries were artificially constructed on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The Sykes-Picot Agreement was based on the principle of “Divide and Rule.” So Shia, Sunni, and Kurd were placed within a common border. Good luck trying to establish a functioning democracy under these circumstances. So next time someone talks about the virtue of “spreading democracy,” remember these are really code words for spreading instability and ultimately, bringing about regime change

    • Keith on May 20, 2015, 10:52 pm

      DAN CROWTHER- “The Neocons believe in democracy? Laughable.”

      I agree completely. Unfortunately, there are many Mondoweissers who eat this sort of thing up. By the way, welcome back stranger!

    • oldgeezer on May 21, 2015, 12:09 am

      I have to agree. It had nothing to do with democracy. It had everything to do with balkanizing the region to prevent any potential rival to Israeli power in the region. For some of the neocons with was about the oil for sure which only goes to show how incredibly stupid they were as the cost of the oil would never result in a profit for the state but only the companies that received contracts. It was never in American interrests. They were patsies to those who wanted to destroy the states in the region.

      The lives and future of 50-100 million people in the region have been destroyed. Iran as a target will add another 77 million to the total.

      The neat thing is it doesn’t cost Israeli treasure or lives to secure it’s future. And so what if at the end of the day only a few hundred millions of people suffer.

  18. tony greenstein on May 20, 2015, 11:03 am

    I have severe doubts with this.

    For a start Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government was none too keen on the Iraq war. Iran was their main enemy not Saddam.

    Secondly this article mistakes rhetoric for reality. Wolfowitz et al may have justified the attack on Iraq in terms of defence of Israel, but that isn’t necessarily true. It could be and I believe it is a good camouflage.

    The key explanation is indeed energy policy and oil. It was outlined in the Bush Task Force Report ‘Strategic Energy Policy – Challenges for the 21st Century’ which led to the Future of Iraq Project and the report of its Oil and Energy Working Group, which details the restructuring of the Iraqi oil company and the insertion of the international oil companies into that industry.

    I refer to a show by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC ‘Why We Did It’ for more details but the case is pretty convincing.

    Those arguing for Israel being the cause make a major mistake, w hich Walt and Mersheimer also do. Israel is an alibi, Israel is a good talking point, the Israeli lobby is a convenient explanation BUT it’s not the real reason that the US acts as it does, including the invasion of Iraq.

    The US supports Israel because it is in its, the US’s interest, not because of out of some altruistic desire to help Israel. If supporting Israel was against US interests then the US would begin to dissociate itself from Israel, it would raise – as Reagan did over the AWACs sale to Saudi Arabia – the issue of a dual loyalty. People need a little imagination. Don’t mistake the effusive expressions of concern for Israel with the genuine article.

    Israel is loved as long as it is in the US’s interests to love it. But US imperialism is a fickle creature.

    • Qualtrough on May 20, 2015, 12:43 pm

      Tony- I am sure that many of us here would love to hear a detailed explanation of how support for Israel supports US interests, I know I would. Please?

      • Citizen on May 21, 2015, 10:54 am

        Even General Petraeus told Congress US blind support of Israel painted a target on every US soldier abroad. It was even broadcasted on CSPAN. And that everytime he went anywhere, the first subject any Arab diplomat brought up was US rubber-stamping of Israel’s policies and conduct in the region. BTW, Petraeus (Betray US) at the time, had a briefcase under his feet that he never used; it contained documentation galore of what he said. Nobody in Congress pushed him to clarify, show evidence; they just “moved on,” as in “Nothing here, let’s move on.” Main media also dropped this ball, and our Press stenographers for their own careers have never showed any interest.

    • Brewer on May 21, 2015, 3:25 am

      “The key explanation is indeed energy policy and oil.”
      Do the damn numbers. Here is a start:

      NEW YORK The U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

      • Citizen on May 21, 2015, 10:57 am

        @ Brewer
        No. although that should be the calculus for those speaking in the interests of the US public. Truth is, the de fact calculation is, what’s good for the 1% here & simultaneously, for Israel, as Israel sees it.

      • Keith on May 21, 2015, 7:21 pm

        BREWER- “Do the damn numbers.”

        Are you totally unfamiliar with the term “military Keynesianism?” The US is a militaristic society where the MIC significantly stimulates and directs the economy. What you call “cost” Boeing calls “profit.” Perhaps that is why the US military spending is so astronomical. Just for laughs, why don’t you calculate how much money the US loses by having about 1000 military bases, then let your congressional representative know that we can save a bundle by slashing military spending.

      • Brewer on May 22, 2015, 4:15 am

        Citizen and Keith.
        I have given consideration to both your points long since. They are valid but neither individually nor together do they constitute a unifying theory given the lead up to, the conduct of the War and its’ aftermath. Certainly they are contributing factors but if you follow the careers of the major cheerleaders, only some have connections to the plutocracy and Military/Industrial. All have strong ties to Israel or are the tools of those who do. Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle and Wurmser devised “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” for the Israeli Govt.
        I will try to put something more comprehensive together soon, unfortunately I am occupied elsewhere at present.

  19. hophmi on May 20, 2015, 1:52 pm

    Shorter Phil: Blame the Jews for a policy supported by the vast majority of the Gentiles in the United States by studiously missing the forest for a small tree.

    We did not go to war in Iraq for Israel’s sake. We went because we have national security and oil interests in the Middle East, because we’d fought a war with Saddam before in which he had ethnically cleansed Kurds, and because the President of the United States had a personal vendetta against the guy. To the extent that neocons wished for democracies in the Middle East, it was out of that old belief that people do better when they’re not living under authoritarian dictators, although I realize that the radical left has never taken this up, because they’ve supported many of these same dictators over time.

    Phil’s Israel fallacy is a house of cards, and unfortunately, it’s tinged with antisemitism.

    “A letter surely regretted by Francis Fukuyama, who later accused the neocons of seeing everything through a pro-Israel lens”

    That is not what Fukuyama said; you’re spinning it. Fukuyama said simply that American problems were not the same as Israeli problems, and that the neocons had a habit of viewing them as the same. That is not the same thing as saying that neocons see everything through a pro-Israel lens.

    • just on May 20, 2015, 2:34 pm

      You can blame PNAC and their Zionist supporters, including our governments. All of them, including “the Jews” in Israel. It was only one disastrous play in the complex “chess game” toward regional hegemony. Phil is pointing out the obvious. The Israeli government “warned” against the war on Iraq, while quietly chortling. Same thing happened with 9/11 when Netanyahu declared that the tragedy was good for Israel.

      “The Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv on Wednesday reported that Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu told an audience at Bar Ilan university that the September 11, 2001 terror attacks had been beneficial for Israel.

      “We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq,” Ma’ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events “swung American public opinion in our favor.””

      Who is PNAC?

      “The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) was a neoconservative[1][2][3] think tank based in Washington, D.C. that focused on United States foreign policy. It was established as a non-profit educational organization in 1997, and founded by William Kristol and Robert Kagan.[4][5] The PNAC’s stated goal was “to promote American global leadership”.[6] The organization stated that “American leadership is good both for America and for the world,” and sought to build support for “a Reaganite policy of military strength and moral clarity”.[7]

      Of the twenty-five people who signed the PNAC’s founding statement of principles, ten went on to serve in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush, including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz.[8][9][10][11] Observers such as Irwin Stelzer and Dave Grondin have suggested that the PNAC played a key role in shaping the foreign policy of the Bush Administration, particularly in building support for the Iraq War. …

      …Signatories to Statement of Principles[edit]
      Elliott Abrams[5]
      Gary Bauer[5]
      William J. Bennett[5]
      John Ellis “Jeb” Bush[5]
      Dick Cheney[5]
      Eliot A. Cohen[5]
      Midge Decter[5]
      Paula Dobriansky[5]
      Steve Forbes[5]
      Aaron Friedberg[5]
      Francis Fukuyama[5]
      Frank Gaffney[5]
      Fred C. Ikle[5]
      Donald Kagan[5]
      Zalmay Khalilzad[5]
      I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby[5]
      Norman Podhoretz[5]
      J. Danforth Quayle[5]
      Peter W. Rodman[5]
      Stephen P. Rosen[5]
      Henry S. Rowen[5]
      Donald Rumsfeld[5]
      Vin Weber[5]
      George Weigel[5]
      Paul Wolfowitz[5]”

      And if you still stubbornly accept and accede to your brainwashing, listen to General Wesley Clark. Perhaps he can help you:

      • Kay24 on May 20, 2015, 5:55 pm

        That is a very powerful statement by Gen.Wesley Clark. It is so revealing and shows once again how war hungry the neocon zionists were.

        I am amazed that the involvement of PNAC and what it stands for is NEVER mentioned or brought up in the media. Again, it is swept under the rug because the criminals are supported by the media.

    • Citizen on May 21, 2015, 11:00 am

      @ hophmi
      Fukuyama later said that neocons had a habit of conflating Israel’s problems with US problems; in short he retracted his earlier view that the puny state & sole superpower had the same interests.

      • Mooser on May 24, 2015, 7:40 pm

        If I’m not mistaken, when the oil companies were offered Iraq’s oil after the war, they refused it.

    • traintosiberia on May 22, 2015, 8:55 am

      Not a single oil company took out advertisement ( how many ad have we seen against Iran in NYT sponsored by oil coterie and how many by Israel coterie? in recent times) against Saddam. . Oil company didn’t provide the napkin,pen,table to support those napkins,or the ideas to any senators or congress to write any resolution against Iraq.
      Oil company CEO didn’t try to join the chorus of Max Boot,Wolfowitz, Sharon,Barak,Netanyahu,Ephrain Haveily, Perle,Wurmser,Libby,Luty,Kagan, and AEI JINSA,and WSJ editorial staff whose phonetic production intellectual fuel psychological limit were exclusively spent to destroying Iraq,Libya,Saudi Arab,Yemen,Somalia,and Syria .
      In 2001 Jan – August media focussing on the business and industry were reporting of the tension between the Bush cabinet and the oil industry. Oil industry was desperately pushing for business and lifting of sanction on Iraq so that they could start doing business .
      Scholar of the the oil and gas industry were reporting of the powerlessness of the oil cartel to move any policy decisions in Bush ( the industry might have hoped for significant changes given the fact Cheney was involved with oil ,with Saudi and had contacts across ME . His company was doing business at that time both in Iraq and Iran without losing money or getting attacked by any rebel,fanatics or fundamentalist or Baathist . Oil industry was aware of the Cheney’s membership of JINSA ) cabinet towards lifting or softening of sanction . Israel and neocons were raising concerns that the oil industry wasn’t on board . The neocon mind in news paper was exhibiting angry panic that the oil industry might try to shape the Middle East policy of engagement.

      In 1947 business and oil were used by the Zionist ,by the NYT and by the 5 th column in Truman administration that the US was succumbing to the oil industry pressures. There was no oil industry ,no CEO no board of director and no owner of any oil company or oil exploration company who put up resistance to Truman or Marshall or Forester over this. They didn’t bring large number of people out on the street . NYT didn’t quote them fit there was none .
      Oil and access to the waterway did feature in the discussion . But that was the concern of the scholar,academic,and the State department. Their concern was motivated not by any personal or group gain . Nobody paid them to think so. They looked at the national interest and they argued for the national interest . It was debate and discussion and sharing opinion .
      NYT blamed these entities for being concerned with national interest! ( you can read Truman by McCalluagh ) . At UNGA Zionist were given US delegates passes so that they could talk to delegates on the assembly floor of UN in Nov 1947. Supreme Court judge Franfurter threatened Phillipine president to vote in favor ,Niles pressurized Liberia,Weizmanput pressure on France . There was no oilman ,there was no oil woman . None . Nada! Nope! Nothing !

    • traintosiberia on May 24, 2015, 2:01 am

      Your observation of the Kurdish massacre can be likened to the observation or suggestion that US went to war in 2003 was to spread democracy and free people from tyranny . Its a layer on top of the preceding excuses that didn’t hold water ,that didn’t have sustaining power which was the search,capture ,and dismantling of the WMD which was on top of the doomsday predicting lies of Mushroom threat clouding Western sky which was fabricated to fix the intelligence around the war plans which was based on Wolfowotz ardent desire to see Saddam gone paving the way for PNAC vision and towards the break up of ME as dreamt by M Ledeen.
      Kurdish massacre was not raised in media in 1990. It wasn’t presented to US or UK public . It was not brought out as an issue to UN. Years earlier US has failed to condemn the gassing. So this isn’t valid . It wasn’t valid .
      Bush spoke of ” our ways of life” in 1990. AIPAC started working behind the scene. Israeli FM Levy was threatening to start attacks on Saddam if West failed . Bush was called wimp.
      Lantos manufactured baby killings in hospital. Human right or democracy wasn’t used. Actually it was told by media that it wasn’t up to West to bring democracy when Shia and Kurd rebel failed . Using this and in violation of UN ,west imposed no fly zone.
      To maintain the sanction, UK created a perverted second channel of intelligence program known as Rockingham program.
      US media and terror expert like Emerson ,Bodansky, and few other made sure that the focus on Iraq as a threat never got scrutinized and challenged.
      Poor Kurdish experience would be revisited numerous times to explain lies after lies and hide the sinister intention again and again as perverted way to expiate guilt for destroying a highly developed advanced society.

  20. PilgrimSoul on May 20, 2015, 4:08 pm

    I knew some neo-cons, and was regularly subjected to neo-con arguments regarding the Middle East, when I was on the left. The future neo-cons were active in a caucus within the Socialist Party, then in the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, which was led by Michael Harrington. At the same time many of them were active in caucuses within one or more of the Trotskyist organizations. It was quite fashionable at that time to assume that one could be both a Zionist and a socialist. A fair amount has been written about the neo-cons who were in Trotskyist organizations, but they apparently didn’t consider themselves Zionists until later.

    I first became aware of how racist they were while listening to a conversation among several of them about the manner in which Israel was about to create “facts” on the ground with settlements. (Actually, Israel was at that time already engaged in doing so.) One of the women in this group had converted to Judaism because of all the excitement connected with the 1967 war, and the settlement project. She was engaged to a Jewish Zionist who was extremely right wing. They considered themselves socialists, and were supporters of the Labor Party in Israel, but the real emotional orientation was toward an intense and seemingly criminal kind of religious nationalism. I will never forget the look in this woman’s eyes when she talked about displacing Palestinians.

    They both went to the right rather quickly, and became part of the neo-con stampede into the Republican Party and its new ideological foundations.

    One analysis that always made sense to me was that becoming a neo-con was part of a process of assimilation by people who found it painful to be Jews. They became good Americans by becoming Republicans, and good Israelis by becoming Likudnik–that is, Revisionist–Zionists. But they left their Jewishness behind, in their mad rush to respectability.

    • Mooser on May 20, 2015, 11:27 pm

      “But they left their Jewishness behind, in their mad rush to respectability.”

      C’mon, already, huh? They left one kind of Jewishness behind, and choose another. There have been “court Jews” for hundreds of years.

  21. JJW van Waning on May 20, 2015, 6:11 pm

    Concur with this article and with Daniel Luban’s analysis in the Right Web of May 19, 2009:

    ‘..War motives generally overlapped and blurred within the minds of supporters, and closer examination of the war’s architects refutes the simplistic notion that there was a single “real reason” that was universally shared and all-important.

    It is clear that the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular have been a fixation of U.S. policymakers since well before the emerging threat of transnational terrorism. The most important reason for this was the U.S. government’s strategic interest in ensuring a stable and continuous oil flow from the Gulf region. A secondary reason, which was particularly important for several key war architects, was the region’s significance for the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflicts.

    These preoccupations help explain why a so-called “rogue state” like Iraq was treated as a far more serious threat to U.S. interests than similarly brutal or aggressive regimes elsewhere in the world, and why regime change in Iraq had been a longtime goal of U.S. policymakers. They also help explain why, in the much-changed political environment that followed the 9/11 attacks, the United States seized upon Iraq as the proper test case for its new goals of deterrence and democratization, despite the country’s tenuous connection to the overarching framework of the “global war on terror.” By thinking in this way about the motives behind the war, we may be able to reach a deeper understanding of how the United States came to be in Iraq, and how—or whether—it can avoid similarly misguided adventures in the future.’

    Daniel Luban writes for PRA’s Right Web (

    – See more at:

    Concur also with James Fallows in The Atlantic of May 19, 2015:

    ‘..The war was going to happen. The WMD claims were the result of the need to find a case for the war, rather than the other way around. Paul Krugman is exactly right when he says:

    The Iraq war wasn’t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that…’

  22. Keith on May 20, 2015, 8:05 pm

    PHIL- “Here are my two cents. We invaded Iraq because a powerful group of pro-Israel ideologues — the neoconservatives — who had mustered forces in Washington over the previous two decades and at last had come into the White House were able to sell a vision of transforming the Middle East that was pure wishful hokum but that they believed: that if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor.”

    With all due respect, Phil, you live in a fantasy world. Only an idiot would believe that democratizing the Middle East would benefit militaristic, Zionist Israel. A quick glance at opinion polls of the Arab population would dispel that notion. Only the self-deluded would believe that the neocons believed that democratizing the Middle East would benefit Israel. These guys aren’t that stupid. Ever heard of pretexts? The neocons were/are militarists and liars who sell militarism. You need to forget the BS and focus on the facts on the ground.

    No one thought that Iraq was a threat, and that includes Israel which wanted the US to go after Iran. The neocons talked Israel into supporting the Iraq war on the presumption that Iran would be next. Yes, the neocons were the driving force behind the Iraq war, but it involved empire and oil and a grandiose plan to destroy OPEC, something the oil companies opposed. Guess what, big oil won.

    Of course, Iraq didn’t go as planned, hence, the ongoing destabilization of the Middle East has been delayed, but appears in full swing now. And who is responsible for that, the neocons or Obama? These guys may provide the pretexts for imperial policy but they don’t set imperial policy. As for Iran, you continue to mistakenly talk about Iran only in reference to the Lobby. Iran, Russia and China are the three targets of an extraordinarly risky imperial gambit to weaken or destroy these three potential rivals to imperial hegemony during a brief window of opportunity prior to a global financial restructuring. The neocons are warmongering jerks but, make no mistake, the odious neocon militarism has become official imperial policy. It is no longer possible to separate Zionism and Israel from empire. And it is extremely misleading to pretend that you can. The problem is much bigger and more serious than Israel and Zionism viewed in isolation.

    • Brewer on May 21, 2015, 2:13 am

      You are getting close but this: Iraq didn’t go as planned is not correct.
      Iraq has gone precisely as planned.
      The plan was basically to degrade Iraq back to a dysfunctional state. That is why 26 modern Universities along with their faculties were obliterated.
      Here is a list of 193 academics killed.
      Estimates were around 380 by 2006.
      Here is an article from 2012 about the destruction of the institutions and paltry efforts to rebuild:

      In 2004, John Agresto, the US Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Education, assessed the rebuilding needs of devastated Iraqi universities. He requested from Congress $1.2 billion even though the UN and World Bank had estimated it would take almost $2 billion to “ensure minimal quality standards of teaching and learning.” Nonetheless, Agresto received $8 million, less than 1 percent of what he had asked for.

      You need to dig deep but the inescapable conclusion is that the complete destruction of Iraqi society was deliberate, as is that of Syria and Libya – as per the Oded Yinon plan.

      • oldgeezer on May 21, 2015, 2:33 am


        Well stated. While I can’t provide a link it was stated openly at that the time that the goal wasn’t only to destroy the facilities but to destroy the knowledge which is why academics were targetted.

        We similar rhetoric being deployed against Iran today.

        zionism and it’s fellow travellers are a real blight upon humanity and a existential threat to human life.

      • Brewer on May 21, 2015, 3:37 am

        Thanks from one old geezer to another – and I am getting old for when I read of this atrocity I wept old man’s tears. Nothing in my studies of History steeled my imagination for a crime so heinous.
        Was it known that preservation of the intellectual capital of Iraq was essential to its’ rebuilding? Of course it was.
        Was the destruction of its’ intellectual capital deliberate?
        Of course it was. If it was not, protection would have been a priority.

      • aiman on May 21, 2015, 4:52 am

        +200, Brewer and old geezer!

      • just on May 21, 2015, 9:49 am

        Absolutely, aiman.

        Many thanks, Brewer and oldgeezer.

        “…and I am getting old for when I read of this atrocity I wept old man’s tears. Nothing in my studies of History steeled my imagination for a crime so heinous.”

        So well told that it brought tears to my own eyes, Brewer.

      • Keith on May 21, 2015, 6:58 pm

        BREWER- “You are getting close but this: Iraq didn’t go as planned is not correct. Iraq has gone precisely as planned.”

        Both the neocons and Big Oil wanted to rapidly secure Iraqi oil and quickly move on to the next countries on the neocon list (7 countries in 5 years, remember?). However, Iraqi resistance to the occupation and US oil plans was much stronger than anticipated, hence, there was a significant delay before the empire attacked Libya and Syria. It was this resistance which caused the empire to bring in John Negroponte and Col (ret) James Steele to implement the Salvadoran death squad option and to foment sectarian conflict. It was only after the US failed in its Iraqi occupation goals that the empire defaulted to the destroy it and leave it tactic, along with the use of al Qaeda and ISIS/ISIL as imperial proxy mercenaries. As for destroying Iraq, that was mostly accomplished in the first Gulf War and sanctions which followed.

      • Brewer on May 21, 2015, 7:58 pm


        The destruction of intellectual capital was implemented from what my American friends call the “get-go”.
        Dig deeper. Follow the tracks of Wolfowitz, Perle, Ledeen (who orchestrated the laptop “evidence”) , Abrams, Feith, the Wurmsers et al . Read this Mondo article about “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” again and follow the links:

        The pattern is unmistakeable. The same names keep popping up.

        Now that MW has at last brought this to the table I will try to put all the evidence into some coherent order. Unfortunately I am busy with other projects at the moment.

  23. JLewisDickerson on May 20, 2015, 10:14 pm

    RE: “The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity”

    MY COMMENT: The Red Right Hand of the neocons!

    A MID-SPRING EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, proudly brought to you by the purveyors of new Über-Xtreme Ziocaine™ Ultra CR (Controlled Release) Transdermal Patch: Let The Good Times Roll!

    . . . You ain’t have no self-respect,
    you feel like an insect
    Well don’t you worry buddy,
    cause here he comes
    Through the ghettos and the barrio
    and the bowery and the slum
    A shadow is cast wherever he stands
    Stacks of green paper in his
    red right hand

    (Organ solo)
    You’ll see him in your nightmares,
    you’ll see him in your dreams
    He’ll appear out of nowhere but
    he ain’t what he seems
    You’ll see him in your head,
    on the TV screen
    And hey buddy, I’m warning
    you to turn it off
    He’s a ghost, he’s a god,
    he’s a man, he’s a guru
    You’re one microscopic cog
    in his catastrophic plan
    Designed and directed by
    his red right hand
    ~ Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (1994)

    • JLewisDickerson on May 20, 2015, 10:24 pm

      P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA (Red Right Hand):

      [EXCERPT] “Red Right Hand” is a 1994 song and single from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
      It first appeared on the album Let Love In, where it ran at 6:10. It was later released as a single at the condensed length of 4:48. It has since become one of Cave’s signature tunes, performed at most of his concerts.
      • Song title
      The liner notes for Murder Ballads points out that the phrase “red right hand” is from a line in John Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost that refers to the vengeful hand of God. The opening song on the album, “Song of Joy”, states of a murderer: “It seems he has done many, many more, / quotes John Milton on the walls in the victim’s blood. / The police are investigating at tremendous cost. / In my house he wrote ‘his red right hand’. / That, I’m told, is from Paradise Lost.”
      The aforementioned appearance in Paradise Lost (Book II, 170-174) is: “What if the breath that kindled those grim fires, / Awaked, should blow them into sevenfold rage, / And plunge us in the flames; or from above / Should intermitted vengeance arm again / His red right hand to plague us?”.
      The term itself appears to be Milton’s translation of the term “rubente dextra” in Horace’s Ode i.2,2-3 . . .

    • JLewisDickerson on May 22, 2015, 11:44 pm

      P.P.S. FROM WIKIPEDIA [The Left Hand of God (book)]:

      The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right is a 2006 book by Rabbi Michael Lerner. In it, Lerner argues that in order for progressive politics to survive in America, liberals must develop a respect for progressive forms of religion that can provide inspiration and a sense of “meaning” in people’s lives. Lerner argues that the Religious right seduces many well-intentioned Americans who hunger for higher purpose into supporting political candidates whose policies ultimately exacerbate the spiritual and moral vacuum that creates the desperation that makes the Religious Right appealing in the first place.
      The author summarizes:

      The unholy alliance of the Political Right and the Religious Right threatens to destroy the America we love. It also threatens to generate a revulsion against God and religion by identifying them with militarism, ecological irresponsibility, fundamentalist antagonism to science and rational thought, and insensitivity to the needs of the poor and the powerless.[1]

      The pivotal thesis of Part I is that American culture is dominated by a technocratic rationality and a bottom line of money and power that causes deep levels of depression in a large part of the population. This in turn makes much of the population vulnerable to being easily seduced by authoritarian forms of religion and tempts them to reject liberalism altogether, its strengths as well as its weaknesses. Lerner further argues that the cultural excesses of the Left in the 60s and 70s led to backlash in the 1980s. Rabbi Lerner believes that a solution is to develop a progressive form of religion which can speak to people’s real spiritual and emotional needs without pulling its followers into the dark side of religion.
      Lerner proposes a Spiritual Covenant with America that emphasizes a caring and nurturing society focused not merely on social responsibility but on human connectedness.

      • Boomer on May 23, 2015, 10:20 am

        Lerner also says that taking land from Palestinians and giving it to Jews from Europe, the U.S., and elsewhere is a form of “affirmative action,” justified by what the Nazis did, as well as subsequent antisemitism. Maybe Lerner is where Obama got his notions about the “direct line” between giving black Americans the right to vote and the creation of a Jewish state.

        To me, Lerner seems like a great exemplar of Zionist casuistry, using the word in the pejorative sense. He also seems like a great example of some more general human failings. I defer to your psychological expertise to diagnose and label them, if you wish. On the one hand, he has a great talent for using words and ideas that sound appealing, liberal, compassionate; on the other he defends policies and actions that are quite the opposite.

        I first learned about him when the Clintons first moved into the White House (the first time they moved in, that is). He got some notice as Hillary’s guru. Both he and Hillary said some things about Palestine that seemed promising to me. For a while, I sent some money to the Rabbi, to support his good works. But over time, I concluded that I had misunderstood. I concluded that he (like many other liberal Zionists, including Hillary) was in practice enabling and defending U.S. support for more oppression and dispossession. I haven’t followed his writing for years . . . perhaps he has changed. If so, probably someone here will tell me.

      • JLewisDickerson on May 27, 2015, 1:54 am

        RE: “Both he [i.e., Lerner] and Hillary said some things about Palestine that seemed promising to me. For a while, I sent some money to the Rabbi, to support his good works. But over time, I concluded that I had misunderstood.” ~ Boomer (from above)

        MY REPLY: I recall Lerner writing more recently that he thought Hillary Clinton had the right sentiments, but that she was unwilling to expend her (and Bill’s) political capital in support of those sentiments.

  24. David Doppler on May 21, 2015, 1:57 am

    “We invaded Iraq because a powerful group of pro-Israel ideologues — the neoconservatives — who had mustered forces in Washington over the previous two decades and at last had come into the White House were able to sell a vision of transforming the Middle East that was pure wishful hokum but that they believed: that if Arab countries were converted by force into democracies, the people would embrace the change and would also accept Israel as a great neighbor.”

    “wishful hokum . . . that they believed”????

    What about neocon Bernard Lewis’s view that the Middle East powers that were hostile to Israel should “Lebanonized,” turned into “squabbling, feuding, fighting sects, tribes, regions and parties”, led by rulers with a parochial, sectarian outlook and lacking a national “common identity.”

    It seems to me only the not-too-bright ones believed the process would work – the Bush-era Republican operatives who went to Baghdad full of fervor to remake Iraq, and who Garry Trudeau lampooned in a great cartoon, where a desperate Arab was crawling out of desert, croaking for “water, water,” and the eager-beaver believer said, “give this man a tax break!”

    The NYTimes re-reported Netanyahu’s 2002 testimony to Congress in the run-up to his recent speech to Congress, where he said, “if you take out Saddam . . ., I guarantee you it will have enormous positive reverberations throughout the region.”

    In the same breath he was preaching taking out Iran. It’s not to remake them as democracies, that’s just a line to sell poorly informed and gullible Americans (like W). The enormous positive reverberations he was pining for was to destroy their civil society and turn them into cauldrons of sectarian violence. The ones that still stand behind the Iraq war decision (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Netanyahu, Kristol, etc.), do so because they wanted it all along for other reasons, and they “fixed the facts and the intelligence to match the policy.” They never believed the hokum.

    Why else would Netanyahu tell his cabinet recently that his greatest fear is that Iran will reach a deal with the West, and then fully abide by every term of it?

    It is neocon dogma to destroy those countries and turn them into cauldrons of sectarian violence.

    • Citizen on May 21, 2015, 11:13 am

      @ David Doppler
      From a comparative cultural point of view, when a freier/frayer aka sucker culture, USA meets an Israeli culture that says, “laws are made to be broken,” whether it’s waiting in line for service, or circumventing international law, the dispute is what it is, for that reason.

    • traintosiberia on May 21, 2015, 8:22 pm

      ” Saddam is not like the Saudi Princes who spend bulk of their lives outside of their country,and who fritter away the Kingdom’s oil profit on prstitutes and bottles of champagne in Paris. No,Saddam is building railways! Creating electrical networks! Highways and other important elements of a serious State infrastructure!
      After eight years of war against the Iranian regime of Khomeini,he desperately needs to demobilize his Republican Guard,which incorporates so many of his technical elite in order to rebuild the war-devastated country.
      These people are his technicians,his engineers . If they are put to work in the way Saddam wishes,they will rapidly make Iraq the most advanced power in the region,and we can’t allow this to happen”
      DrEdward Luttwak,the author,lecturer,historian,military strategist and Pentagon consultant replied to the Blondet . Page 29 -30 Chapter 3 .neo- Conned Again Hpcrisy ,Lawlessness and the Rape of Iraq . Contributed by

      Maurizio Blondet
      ” nor is this a simple coincidence ,for Luttwak sits alongside with Michael Ledeen on ISC which is stacked with neoconservative warmongers” – page 35.
      Luttwak’s best selling book Coup d’Etat can explain the stealth takeover of Bush2 presidency by Neocons.
      Lutwak said those words in 1990. He in 2005 or sometime later would claim that the second Gulf war had nothing todo with WMD or terror . It was not based on anything that was remotely of US any interest.

  25. traintosiberia on May 21, 2015, 9:33 am
    Money given to those true anti wars (not like Carl Levine or similar other democrats ) compared to those who supported wars peanuts and less than pocket change . Money came from AIPAC .
    The American support for war was still at 30% ( NYT poll) 3 months before the war . It was massive propaganda ,negative violent aggressive race baiting ,threat ratcheting blitzkrieg across the whole MSM and the press releases from the interested war parties that made the changes . One way to achieve was to silence the domestic,foreign,international,European and Arab voices against the war.

  26. Kathleen on May 21, 2015, 11:15 am

    Great overview Phil. However Corn came out clearly before the invasion that he was against. He had an early blog where he took on some of these warmongers that was relentlessly attacked this is back before the invasion and I believe after. Corn made it clear where he stood and why.

    Now don’t get me wrong I love that Matthews is pounding the neocons hard and has been doing so for about four or five nights in a row. And has been doing so off and on since the invasion of Iraq. However easy to do now and ok most folks have swept the invasion of the rug with the hundreds of thousands dead, injured and millions displaced as a direct consequence of the invasion. But before the invasion Chris Matthews chose not to have those questioning the validity of the Bush administrations cherry picked, created and disseminated false pre war intelligence. Chris did not have former IAEA weapons inspector Scott Ritter who was on every outlet that would take him on before the invasion. He was questioning with known facts and his own direct inspection experience in Iraq during the Clinton administration. Matthews did not have IAEA head El Baradei on who came out in early March of 2003 and said the Niger Documents were false. Matthews did not have on Dr.Zbig, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Kathleen and Bill Christison on who were all questioning the validity of the intelligence. Chris did not get on the streets with the MSNBC cameras right there in his own back yard during the fall of 2002 when cumulatively millions of us hit the streets and halls of congress protesting, petitioning our Reps not to go along. Where was Chris then?

    Where was Chris and his cameras when the anti invasion march in New York in Feb 2003 where the march was being led by 9/11 families against the invasion (I was walking up front with friends who lost a daughter who was an airline stewardess on the United flight) WWII, Korean, Vietnam (some of my friends were in front) Desert Storm Vets were marching against the invasion with the 9/11 families. I pushed a 92 year old WWII Vet in that march. Where were those MSNBC cameras letting the rest of those at home wondering about the validity that millions were against the invasion?

    Ok Chris had Bill Kristol, David Frum, Gaffney and other neocons on and gave them a bit of a hard time. But he did not take it a step further and have reliable experts on who were questioning. Hell Phil Donahue was axed from I believe MSNBC because he was pushing back against invasion. Maybe that is why Chris did not push back hard. $$$$$$

    So now here we are the very same neocons have been and continue to push for more sanctions against Iran, stepping away from the P5+1, they are actively undermining a potential agreement. So will Chris and other MSM host step up to the plate and actually help the American public become better informed about the facts of the P5+1. The U.S. history with Iran. Will Chris have Flynt and HIllary Mann Leverett on? Will he have Professor Juan Cole on? Former head of the inspections in Iraq Scott Ritter on to talk about his book written almost 10 years ago “Target Iran” Or if the those very same neocons are successful at undermining the P5+1 agreement. Will Chris later say “Oh I was always for those agreements” Yet he never did the right thing before a potential destruction of those agreements by having those experts like Hillary Mann Leverett on his program.

    Appears Chris Matthews is still playing it safe in regard to a potential confrontation with Iran.$$$$$$$$

  27. KarlRKaiser on May 21, 2015, 11:00 pm

    You can say it: “Ziocon”

  28. traintosiberia on May 22, 2015, 1:13 am
    Buchanan names the names that were agitating for war when the shock and smoke still hadn’t settled on Ground Zero. The neocons even threatened G Bush against taking any decision other than attacking Iraq ,Syria,Lebanon,Saudi Arab,and Libya.
    Sept 22 , 2001 Bush adopted 1992 discredited Wolfowitz doctrine.

    In 1998 March , PNAC asked Clinton to bomb Iraq and told Clinton that they ( neocons ) would provide necessarry supports ( what support could they have provide? Relief from media attack ? Impreachment ? More salacious revealitions? ) . Clinton reeling and wobbling from Monics ( whose tape was destroyed by Neyanyahu . Netanyahu informed Clinton ) bombed Iraq in 1998 Dec.

    Redux 2012 Obama facing the GOP pressure through AIPAC who with Ilena Roth wrote Iran threat and sanction resolution outsmarted them by announcing executive order to impose more sanction on Iran in Jul 2012.

  29. PilgrimSoul on May 23, 2015, 7:52 pm

    Chris Matthews was instrumental in having Phil Donahue fired from NBC. Phil had a profound base among American women and was putting out the antiwar message in a way they liked. Chris, in those days, was attacking liberals for being insufficiently patriotic. Yes, it’s good Chris is angry at the neo-cons today, but a great deal of that anger is actually aimed at himself. He knows what actually went down, and the people he hurt. Like so many of these big-time machers on that network, he is a low-rent, bust-out, ratchet-mouth back-stabber.

  30. traintosiberia on May 24, 2015, 12:09 pm

    Why did American support the 2003 war? Bill Moyer provided the definite answer to that question- everybody saw Bill Kristol and no body saw those from the other side of the divide.
    Now the next question should have been why Bill Kristol got that platform or all the other platforms subsequently including the choosing of Sarah Palin ,or hammering of Hegel or penning the letter for Cotton to Iran or the platform to offer advice on any ME crisis ?

  31. traintosiberia on May 24, 2015, 12:45 pm

    There were other ways to silence the debate. By declaring some one of being guilty of something that is again beyond the horrible,akin to nazi,similar to fascism or not morally equivalent to the counterparty the debate was not only stifled and it was actually won by the anti peace gangs . The phrases and the words were coined at that time first time and de novo. Most of these words and phrases have come from the Zionist . The psychological numbing was carried out by the Zionist forces . Opinion and possibilities were presented as fact . Zionist in media ,academy,government offices and non government organization made sure that other voices or alternatives not heard ,they made sure that the Arab and Islam were perceived as evil incarnate.

  32. traintosiberia on May 24, 2015, 2:27 pm

    Nevada Ned

    “Israel soon discovered that it needed U.S. cooperation, however, and therein lay the cause of the Lavi’s (possibly temporary) demise. It was not feasible for Israel to develop one of the world’s most sophisticated aircraft on a self-sufficient basis, as originally hoped. The Lavi project consequently involved joint research, the use of some U.S. components (such as Pratt and Whitney engines) and U.S. taxpayers’ money.

    Some $1.3 billion of U.S. aid went into the Lavi before alarm bells went off in Washington: why was the U.S. paying Israel to develop and produce an aircraft that would compete on the international arms market with planes produced by its own companies and put American workers out of their jobs? The Reagan administration, averse to putting pressure on Israel over issues such as stopping settlement construction in the West Bank, leaned on the Israeli government, which duly caved in: the Lavi project was cancelled in 1987.”

    The Chinese J-10 has no U.S.-made parts: the engine is Russian-made, and nearly everything else is made in China. According to military affairs writer Tim Kennedy, however, “after Israel discontinued the largely U.S.-funded project, it sold China the plans for the Lavi and the associated secret U.S. technology.” (See “U.S. Military Technology Sold by Israel to China Upsets Asian Power Balance,” January 1996 Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, p. 12.)

    • RoHa on May 24, 2015, 7:34 pm

      The U.S. has used this experience to devise their Cunning Plan.

      1. Hand over F35s to Israel, along with details of software and technology.
      2. Israel find it can’t keep the planes working, sells everything to China.
      3. China incorporates all this shiny new technology into its planes.
      4. Chinese Air Force falls out of the sky.

      (Possible flaw in plan: assumes Chinese stupidity beyond the norm for officialdom.)

      • traintosiberia on May 24, 2015, 10:21 pm

        No one has claimed Americans are smart . They tied to do exactly samething on Iran. Isn’t that part of the online accusation investigation,and threat of jail time to the reporter who spilled this failed ploy ( James Risen )
        Israel is pea in a different pod here. They should have been suspected before being given 1,2 billion .
        Hasn’t Israel been repeatedly accused of spying including on getting hold of technology secret? Not that long ago we heard of something of a technological transfer illegally from Stanford .

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