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Iraq: A War For Israel

05 January, 2006

By Mark Weber


The United States Invasion of Iraq in March-April 2003, and the occupation of the country since then, has cost more than fifteen hundred American lives and many tens of billions of dollars, and has brought death to many thousands of Iraqis.

Why did President Bush decide to go to war? In whose interests was it launched?
 
In the months leading up to the attack, President Bush and other high-ranking US officials repeatedly warned that the threat posed to the US and world by the Baghdad regime was so grave and imminent that the United States had to act quickly to bomb, invade and occupy Iraq.
 
On September 28, 2002, for example, he said: "The danger to our country is grave and it is growing. The Iraqi regime possesses biological and chemical weapons, is rebuilding the facilities to make more and, according to the British government, could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given... This regime is seeking a nuclear bomb, and with fissile material could build one within a year.
 
"On March 6, 2003, President Bush declared: "Saddam Hussein and his weapons are a direct threat to this country, to our people, and to all free people... I believe Saddam Hussein is a threat to the American people. I believe he`s a threat to the neighborhood in which he lives. And I`ve got good evidence to believe that. He has weapons of mass destruction... The American people know that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction." These claims were untrue. As the world now knows, Iraq had no dangerous "weapons of mass destruction," and posed no threat to the US. Moreover, alarmist suggestions that the Baghdad regime was working with the al-Qaeda terror network likewise proved to be without foundation.
 
So if the official reasons given for the war were untrue, why did the United States attack?
 
Whatever the secondary reasons for the Iraq war, the crucial factor in President Bush`s decision to attack was to help Israel. With support from Israel and America`s Jewish-Zionist lobby, and prodded by Jewish "neo-conservatives" holding high-level positions in his administration, President Bush who was already fervently committed to Israel resolved to invade and subdue one of Israel`s chief regional enemies. This is so widely understood in Washington that US Senator Ernest Hollings was moved in May 2004 to acknowledge that the US invaded Iraq "to secure Israel," and "everybody" knows it. He also identified three of the influential pro-Israel Jews in Washington who played an important role in prodding the US into war: Richard Perle, chair of the Pentagon`s Defense Policy Board; Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Defense Secretary; and Charles Krauthammer, columnist and author. [1]
 
Hollings referred to the cowardly reluctance of his Congressional colleagues to acknowledge this truth openly, saying that "nobody is willing to stand up and say what is going on." Due to "the pressures we get politically," he added, members of Congress uncritically support Israel and its policies.
 
Some months before the invasion, retired four-star US Army General and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark said in an interview:
 
"Those who favor this attack [by the US against Iraq] now will tell you candidly, and privately, that it is probably true that Saddam Hussein is no threat to the United States. But they are afraid at some point he might decide if he had a nuclear weapon to use it against Israel." [2]

Fervently Pro-Israel
 
President Bush`s fervent support for Israel and its hardline premier is well known. He reaffirmed it, for example, in June 2002 in a major speech on the Middle East. In the view of "leading Israeli commentators," the London Times reported, the address was "so pro-Israel that it might have been written by Ariel Sharon." [3]
 
Condoleeza Rice, Bush`s National Security Advisor, echoed the President`s outlook in a May 2003 interview, saying that the "security of Israel is the key to security of the world." [4]
 
In an address to pro-Israel activists at the 2004 convention of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Bush said: "The United States is strongly committed, and I am strongly committed, to the security of Israel as a vibrant Jewish state." He also told the gathering: "By defending the freedom and prosperity and security of Israel, you`re also serving the cause of America." [5]
 
Long Range Plans
 
Jewish-Zionist plans for war against Iraq had been in place for years.
 
In mid-1996, a policy paper prepared for then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined a grand strategy for Israel in the Middle East. Entitled "
A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," it was written under the auspices of an Israeli think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies. Specifically, it called for an "effort [that] can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right..." [6]
 
The authors of "A Clean Break" included Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser, three influential Jews who later held high-level positions in the Bush administration, 2001-2004: Perle as chair of the Defense Policy Board, Feith as Undersecretary of Defense, and Wurmser as special assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control.
 
The role played by Bush administration officials who are associated with two major pro-Zionist "neoconservative" research centers has come under scrutiny from The Nation, the influential public affairs weekly. [7]
 
The author, Jason Vest, examined the close links between the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Center for Security Policy (CSP), detailing the ties between these groups and various politicians, arms merchants, military men, wealthy pro-Israel American Jews, and Republican presidential administrations.
 
JINSA and CSP members, notes Vest, "have ascended to powerful government posts, where... they`ve managed to weave a number of issues support for national missile defense, opposition to arms control treaties, championing of wasteful weapons systems, arms aid to Turkey and American unilateralism in general into a hard line, with support for the Israeli right at its core... On no issue is the JINSA/CSP hard line more evident than in its relentless campaign for war not just with Iraq, but `total war,` as Michael Ledeen, one of the most influential JINSAns in Washington, put it... For this crew, `regime change` by any means necessary in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority is an urgent imperative."
 
Samuel Francis, author, editor and columnist, has also looked into the "neo-conservative" role in fomenting war. [8]
 
"My own answer," he wrote, "is that the lie [that a massively-armed Iraq posed a grave and imminent threat to the US] was fabricated by neo-conservatives in the administration whose first loyalty is to Israel and its interests and who wanted the United States to smash Iraq because it was the biggest potential threat to Israel in the region. They are known to have been pushing for war with Iraq since at least 1996, but they could not make an effective case for it until after Sept. 11, 2001...
 
"What has been happening inside the Bush administration is no less a nest of treason than the Soviet spy rings of the New Deal era, and if political reality doesn`t demand its exposure, simple loyalty to the United States does."
 
In the aftermath of the 2001 Nine-Eleven terror attacks, ardently pro-Zionist "neo-conservatives" in the Bush administration who for years had sought a Middle East war to bolster Israel`s security in the region exploited the tragedy to press their agenda. In this they were backed by the Israeli government, which also pressured the White House to strike Iraq.
 
The Jerusalem correspondent for the Guardian, the respected British daily, reported in August 2002: "Israel signaled its decision yesterday to put public pressure on President George Bush to go ahead with a military attack on Iraq, even though it believes Saddam Hussein may well retaliate by striking Israel." [9]
 
Three months before the US invasion, the well-informed Washington journalist Robert Novak reported that Israeli Prime Minister Sharon was telling American political leaders that "the greatest US assistance to Israel would be to overthrow Saddam Hussein`s Iraqi regime." Moreover, added Novak, "that view is widely shared inside the Bush administration, and is a major reason why US forces today are assembling for war." [10]
 
Israel`s spy agencies were a "full partner" with the US and Britain in producing greatly exaggerated prewar assessments of Iraq`s ability to wage war, a former senior Israeli military intelligence official has acknowledged. Shlomo Bron, a brigadier general in the Israel army reserves, and a senior researcher at a major Israeli think tank, said that intelligence provided by Israel played a significant role in supporting the US and British case for making war. Israeli intelligence agencies, he said, "badly overestimated the Iraqi threat to Israel and reinforced the American and British belief that the weapons [of mass destruction] existed." [11]
 
For some Jewish leaders, the Iraq war is part of a long-range effort to install Israel-friendly regimes across the Middle East. Norman Podhoretz, a prominent Jewish writer and an ardent supporter of Israel, has been for years editor of Commentary, the influential Zionist monthly. In the Sept. 2002 issue he wrote: "The regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil [Iraq, Iran, North Korea]. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as `friends` of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt`s Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen."
 
Patrick J. Buchanan, the well-known writer and commentator, and former White House Communications director, has been blunt in identifying those who pushed for war: [12]
 
"We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America`s interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging US relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people`s right to a homeland of their own. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubris, and bellicosity..."
 
Cui Bono? For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam?"
 
Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud."
 
Uri Avnery an award-winning Israeli journalist and author, and a three-time member of Israel`s parliament sees the Iraq war as an _expression of immense Jewish influence and power. In an essay written some weeks after the US invasion, he wrote: [13]
 
"Who are the winners? They are the so-called neo-cons, or neo-conservatives. A compact group, almost all of whose members are Jewish. They hold the key positions in the Bush administration, as well as in the think-tanks that play an important role in formulating American policy and the ed-op pages of the influential newspapers... The immense influence of this largely Jewish group stems from its close alliance with the extreme right-wing Christian fundamentalists, who nowadays control Bush`s Republican party. ..Seemingly, all this is good for Israel. America controls the world, we control America. Never before have Jews exerted such an immense influence on the center of world power."
 
In Britain, a veteran member of Britain`s House of Commons bluntly declared in May 2003 that Jews had taken control of America`s foreign policy, and had succeeded in pushing the US into war. "A Jewish cabal have taken over the government in the United States and formed an unholy alliance with fundamentalist Christians," said Tam Dalyell, a Labour party deputy and the longest-serving House member. "There is far too much Jewish influence in the United States," he added. [14]
 
Summary
 
For many years now, American presidents of both parties have been staunchly committed to Israel and its security. This entrenched policy is an _expression of the Jewish-Zionist grip on America`s political and cultural life. It was fervent support for Israel shared by President Bush, high-ranking administration officials and nearly the entire US Congress that proved crucial in the decision to invade and subdue one of Israel`s greatest regional enemies.
 
While the unprovoked US invasion of Iraq may have helped Israel, just as those who wanted and planned for the war had hoped, it has been a calamity for America and the world. It has cost tens of thousands of lives and many tens of billions of dollars. Around the world, it has generated unmatched distrust and hostility toward the US. In Arab and Muslim countries, it has fueled intense hatred of the United States, and has brought many new recruits to the ranks of anti-American terrorists.
 
Americans have already paid a high price for their nation`s commitment to Israel. We will pay an ever higher price not just in dollars or international prestige, but in the lives of young men squandered for the interests of a foreign state until the Jewish-Zionist hold on US political life is finally broken.

Notes

  1. Remarks by Ernest F. Hollings, May 20, 2004. Congressional Record Senate, May 20, 2004, pages S5921- S5925.

  2. The Guardian (London), August 20, 2002.

  3. R. Dunn, "Sharon Could Have Written Speech," The Times (London), June 26, 2002.

  4. S. Lewin, "Israel`s Security is Key to Security of Rest of World," Jewish Press (Brooklyn, NY), May 14, 2003. Rice`s interview with the Israeli daily Yediot Aharnonot is quoted.

  5. Bush address to AIPAC convention, Washington, DC, May 18, 2004.

  6. Text posted at: www.israeleconomy.org/strat1.htm See also: J. Bamford, A Pretext for War (Doubleday, 2004), pages 261-269; B. Whitaker,     "Playing Skittles with Saddam," The Guardian (Britain), Sept. 3, 2002.

  7. J. Vest, "The Men From JINSA and CSP," The Nation, Sept. 2, 2002.

  8. S. Francis, "Weapons of Mass Deception: Somebody Lied," column of Feb. 6, 2004.

  9. Jonathan Steele, "Israel Puts Pressure on US to Strike Iraq," The Guardian (London), August 17, 2002.

  10. Robert Novak, "Sharon`s War?," column of Dec. 26, 2002.

  11. L. King, "Ex-General Says Israel Inflated Iraqi Threat," Los Angeles Times, Dec. 5, 2003.

  12. P. J. Buchanan, "Whose War?," The American Conservative, March 24, 2003.

  13. Uri Avnery, "The Night After," CounterPunch, April 10, 2003.

  14. F. Nelson, "Anger Over Dalyell`s `Jewish Cabal` Slur," The Scotsman (Edinburgh), May 5, 2003; M. White, "Dalyell Steps Up Attack On Levy," The Guardian (London), May 6, 2003. #2018 05/05.

Reader Comments:

Iraq War and Israel

Respected Sir; Assalam o Alaikum!
Mr.Bush had been named Bush The Lion-Heart like the legendary Richard if two things would not happen.
1- If innocent people women and children would not have been killed in Iraq.
2- If men with men and women with women would not have been married according to his country regulations.

Mohammad Ilyas, Pakistan - 19 January, 2006

missing the point, friend

Daud, I agree with you on some points. I am an American and Jew and I would like to see the Israel and Palestine joined first in a confederation and eventually merged into a truly secular democratic state. And it has bothered me for a long time that I - who was born in Los ANgeles with grandparents born in Eastern Europe - could move to Israel and get instand citizenship, whereas some people actually born on that land can't go back. Yes, some policies of Israel are blatently racist.

And the above article is also blatently racist.

The issue here is not the legitimacy of the state of Israel, but the baseless accusation by the author of this article that Israel has something to gain from the Iraq war and that American Jews, because they are supposedly more loyal to Israel (a place most of them have never even visited) than the USA, are responsible for sinking America into the war.

I was against this war. Every Jewish person I knew was against the war (of course I do live in 'The Peoples Republic of New York' but still...).

The leaders of this war are Christians. The Iraq war does not in any way improve Israel's security.

This article is nothing more than a classic anti-semetic (anti-jew) accusation. Its a long running European tradition. Its tragic though, that scape-goating the Jews has become such a popular past-time in Muslim countries. But hey, politicians need to give their people someone to hate, or they'll turn on the politicians.

DBernstein, United Kingdom - 20 January, 2006

Article is Not Anti-Semitic

I find this article to be extremely well-documented, well-evidenced, as per my own personal observations and feelings regarding this illegitimate war against the Middle Eastern peoples, and I am of Jewish, Polish and German heritage. For the Jewish respondents to lash out in such a vicious manner against the author and his article is only going to reinforce the negative feelings many Arabs and Europeans have against world Jewry. Perhaps we should all begin to read the Haaretz. The Jews are oftentimes critical of themselves in their own papers and actually serve to affirm many alleged "stereotypes" non-Jews hold against them. Perhaps their is some truth to some of these accusations and I think every Jew would do well to accept criticism in a constructive manner and attempt to get along with Arabs and Europeans. I really don't think the constant Holocaust study indoctrination and hatred for Hitler, etc., will ever help with the cause for "Jewish acceptance" among non-Jews. I myself am engaged in Jewish studies and I want to know why these stereotypes abound. I would like to be proactive instead of accusative regarding the issue. I think it's the only way to come to an understanding on both sides.

Veronika Clark, A.A., B.A., Pakistan - 21 January, 2006

Proof?

Veronika, where did the article prove that the Iraq war is good for Israel?

Certainly Jews around the world have much introspection to do, and many wrongs to correct because of many injustices that Israel inflicts on its people and others. (as do many many other nations around the world) But I still see absolutely no proof that the war was carried out for Israel's benefit. I ask you again - how does Israel benefit from such instability in the region. The invasion has already lead to a pro-Tehran Shiite dominated government in Iraq. How is that good for Israel? The Iraqi government, like most Arab governments, will never recognize Israel until the Palestine issue is settled. The invasion of Iraq does nothing to further that goal and only gives more support to the most radical elements in Arab society.

I don't recall mentioning the Holocaust here, but if you are dismissive of its significance in the course of history, well I just don't know what to say about that. I don't like the constant invoking of the Holocaust as a justification for Isreal doing whatever it wants. But look at the flip side - 'the catastrophe' - as the founding of Israel is called in the Arab world - is constantly invoked by Muslim and Arab leaders. This event was a terrible tragedy, an injustice which displaced millions of people from their rightful homes. Perhaps three million people out of an Arab population in the hundreds of millions. The German genocide of Europe's Jews killed one third of ALL the Jews in the entire world. Both are important events and worthy of study and understanding. HOwever, both are frequently abused in the name of injustice.

Finally you seem to be perplexed at anti-semitism, as if there must be some reason deep down inside that people hate the Jews, as if this is some sort of great mystery. I'd say it started sometime around time that Christians started preaching that we killed their Messiah. Ever since Jews have been a convenient political scapegoat for failed and corrupt leaders. This practice, with Gays in place of Jews, helped Bush win the 2004 election. Its the same evil that helped elect George Wallace governor of Alabama by frightening white people with the supposed future ruin of black political power, or when Mugabe persecutes white Zimbabweans to increase his popularity, or Idi Amin kicking out the Ugandans of Indian descent, or Milosevic using Bosnian and Kosovar muslims to distract the Serbs from their own misery, or... well are you getting it yet?

By the way, the Iraq war IS ABOUT OIL.


DBernstein, United Kingdom - 24 January, 2006

ps - I read Ha'aretz

Show me an article in Ha'aretz which explains how the war was launched for the benefit of Israel.

DBernstein, United Kingdom - 24 January, 2006

Mr. Bernstein, Let Me Clarify

Okay Mr. Bernstein, allow me to clarify what I meant when I brought the Shoah and Hitler into this argument. Essentially, what I was getting at is what I believe to be the "perception" held by (what seems to be) many Jewish people that anything written about Jews or Israel that is not "likeable" is dismissed as "Anti-Semitic." For example, if I was to write a paper on the good things Hitler did, for instance his "Work through Joy" program, I would be "labeled" by many Jews as "Anti-Semitic." Why? It is my belief that the attacks against the author of this piece, which I believe is accurate regardless of how the war has subsequently turned out, were only wielded because many Jewish readers perceived the piece to be "Anti-Semitic." The fact of the matter is, the author is fundamentally correct. The war was certainly, at least in part, a war "for Israel" aimed at bettering the Israeli situation. Unfortunately, that is not what happened...in fact we're seeing quite the opposite. It seems to have actually fomented more negativity against Israel, almost as though it has "backfired." I will cite Vietnam as an example of this same concept. America went into Vietnam not to have it end disastrously (as it did) but to further and promote American interests. Okay, back to my point about the Haaretz. If I read the Haaretz (and am a non-Jew), Might I perceive some of the articles and commentaries as "Anti-Gentilic?" My point with this question is to show you, Mr. Bernstein, that labeling a commentary or piece as "Anti-Semitic" does not do any good. Trying to understand the piece and how it fits into the broader picture is important. That is why I brought up the Shoah. If Jews were to study the Shoah from a German perspective they would come to understand this event. If they continue to lash out and label everyone who does try to present an explanation of it or attempts to "justify" it, then the battle goes on. My point is to look at this piece (as well as any other) from the perspective of the "other." Someone in this world believes that the war in Iraq is/was a "war for Israel." Mr. B, Why? This is the question to ask. The evidence is there, the arguments made in the paper are strong, and in fact at least one Jewish author is cited in this piece. It is no more "Anti-Semitic" than an essay I write on "Why Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Not a Great American" is "Anti-African." Maybe I think Farrakhan is a great American instead. Is my paper "Anti-African" just because some of my sources are "Anti-African" and/or questionable?

Veronika Clark, United Kingdom - 26 January, 2006

so its not about the oil?

Oh, I absolutely looked at this piece, and anything else I read, from the perspective of the 'other'. You are assuming that because I concluded that it is a classic case of anti-Semitic writing, and because I am Jewish, I just can't possibly have fairly come to that conclusion. Is it not possible for a Jewish person to actually identify anti-semitism? If I had been any other nationality or skin color and read that article, I would still have come to the conclusion that it is racist.

Back to the topic at hand:

I am still waiting for an explanation as to how the war in any possible scenario could have benefited Israel.

The evidence is not there, the arguments made in the article are not strong, and what one Jewish writer (and Pat Buchanan, for gods sake!) has to say on the subject is hardly proof of anything. There is no explanation of how any outcome could have been good for Israel, just implications that because a few Jews were involved in planning the war, therefore its all about Israel.

Also, please explain what seeing the Shoah from 'the German perspective' means.

As far as the perceptions of Jews towards the Shoah, you seem baffled as to why any Jewish person might be sensitive to someone praising Hitler. Rational or not, its understandable that a Cambodian might get a little indignant at hearing about the good things Pol Pot accomplished, or why an African-American might be emotional in a discussion of the great things accomplished by slavery in America. The cases of something being labelled anti-Jewish wrongly are far more the exception than the rule.

Most Germans I know see the Holocaust exactly the same way many Jews, or anyone who has read even the most basic history on the topic, see it: a ruling class used racism to further their power. Its been done again and again throughout the world (see the examples I sighted in a previous post) and its been done A LOT with the Jews. If I'm missing something in my 'perspective' here, please let me know.

I can see so many real and provable reasons why this war was launched with the goal of stealing Iraq's oil and furthering American hegemony around the world.

You will have to enlighten me, Ms. Clark, with some solid facts proving the war could have been to Israel's benefit.

DBernstein, United Kingdom - 29 January, 2006

your a bosso

this is a crock. the reason we went to war in Iraq was to divert attention away with President Bush's uncertainty.
He made a clear argument that Iraq was providing a safe heaven for Al-Quida. Then there was oil and I think he saw a way to wiggle in to control Iraq's oil. Isreal has been a viable source of intelligence for the region and this might be a reason to defend this resource. The whole region in the Middle East promotes stone age life and treats women worse then dogs. So ignorring these points and saying US was trying to protect Isreal is just prejudice in my opinion.

sam, United Kingdom - 15 March, 2006

peace on earth

i just want to let you know that we need peace, love, joy, goodness,patience, self- control, kindness, meekness and humble heart. This is the fruit of Spirit. The very character of God. Hate, anger, spirit of jealousy, to destroy, steal and to kill came from the enemy - demons and satan. all negative mind-emotion- action-words etc.. is not good. God loves us all, He wants us to be a blessings to others. We love you with the love of the Lord.
God bless.

blessing, Pakistan - 16 June, 2006

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