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chris hitchens
03-18-2003, 05:14 PM
[ QUOTE ]
<hr /></blockquote> "I have heard it said that Iraq has had not months but 12 years in which to complete disarmament, and that our patience is exhausted. Yet it is more than 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. We do not express the same impatience with the persistent refusal of Israel to comply. I welcome the strong personal commitment that the Prime Minister has given to middle east peace, but Britain's positive role in the middle east does not redress the strong sense of injustice throughout the Muslim world at what it sees as one rule for the allies of the US and another rule for the rest."

http://www.counterpunch.org/christison1213.html



December 13, 2002

A Rose By Another Other Name
The Bush Administration's Dual Loyalties
by KATHLEEN and BILL CHRISTISON
former CIA political analysts

Since the long-forgotten days when the State Department's Middle East policy was run by a group of so-called Arabists, U.S. policy on Israel and the Arab world has increasingly become the purview of officials well known for tilting toward Israel. From the 1920s roughly to 1990, Arabists, who had a personal history and an educational background in the Arab world and were accused by supporters of Israel of being totally biased toward Arab interests, held sway at the State Department and, despite having limited power in the policymaking circles of any administration, helped maintain some semblance of U.S. balance by keeping policy from tipping over totally toward Israel. But Arabists have been steadily replaced by their exact opposites, what some observers are calling Israelists, and policymaking circles throughout government now no longer even make a pretense of exhibiting balance between Israeli and Arab, particularly Palestinian, interests.

In the Clinton administration, the three most senior State Department officials dealing with the Palestinian-Israeli peace process were all partisans of Israel to one degree or another. All had lived at least for brief periods in Israel and maintained ties with Israel while in office, occasionally vacationing there. One of these officials had worked both as a pro-Israel lobbyist and as director of a pro-Israel think tank in Washington before taking a position in the Clinton administration from which he helped make policy on Palestinian-Israeli issues. Another has headed the pro-Israel think tank since leaving government."

The link between active promoters of Israeli interests and policymaking circles is stronger by several orders of magnitude in the Bush administration, which is peppered with people who have long records of activism on behalf of Israel in the United States, of policy advocacy in Israel, and of promoting an agenda for Israel often at odds with existing U.S. policy. These people, who can fairly be called Israeli loyalists, are now at all levels of government, from desk officers at the Defense Department to the deputy secretary level at both State and Defense, as well as on the National Security Council staff and in the vice president's office.

We still tiptoe around putting a name to this phenomenon. We write articles about the neo-conservatives' agenda on U.S.-Israeli relations and imply that in the neo-con universe there is little light between the two countries. We talk openly about the Israeli bias in the U.S. media. We make wry jokes about Congress being "Israeli-occupied territory." Jason Vest in The Nation magazine reported forthrightly that some of the think tanks that hold sway over Bush administration thinking see no difference between U.S. and Israeli national security interests. But we never pronounce the particular words that best describe the real meaning of those observations and wry remarks. It's time, however, that we say the words out loud and deal with what they really signify.

Dual loyalties. The issue we are dealing with in the Bush administration is dual loyalties-the double allegiance of those myriad officials at high and middle levels who cannot distinguish U.S. interests from Israeli interests, who baldly promote the supposed identity of interests between the United States and Israel, who spent their early careers giving policy advice to right-wing Israeli governments and now give the identical advice to a right-wing U.S. government, and who, one suspects, are so wrapped up in their concern for the fate of Israel that they honestly do not know whether their own passion about advancing the U.S. imperium is motivated primarily by America-first patriotism or is governed first and foremost by a desire to secure Israel's safety and predominance in the Middle East through the advancement of the U.S. imperium.

"Dual loyalties" has always been one of those red flags posted around the subject of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict, something that induces horrified gasps and rapid heartbeats because of its implication of Jewish disloyalty to the United States and the common assumption that anyone who would speak such a canard is ipso facto an anti-Semite. (We have a Jewish friend who is not bothered by the term in the least, who believes that U.S. and Israeli interests should be identical and sees it as perfectly natural for American Jews to feel as much loyalty to Israel as they do to the United States. But this is clearly not the usual reaction when the subject of dual loyalties arises.)

Although much has been written about the neo-cons who dot the Bush administration, the treatment of the their ties to Israel has generally been very gingerly. Although much has come to light recently about the fact that ridding Iraq both of its leader and of its weapons inventory has been on the neo-con agenda since long before there was a Bush administration, little has been said about the link between this goal and the neo-cons' overriding desire to provide greater security for Israel. But an examination of the cast of characters in Bush administration policymaking circles reveals a startlingly pervasive network of pro-Israel activists, and an examination of the neo-cons' voluminous written record shows that Israel comes up constantly as a neo-con reference point, always mentioned with the United States as the beneficiary of a recommended policy, always linked with the United States when national interests are at issue.

The Begats

First to the cast of characters. Beneath cabinet level, the list of pro-Israel neo-cons who are either policy functionaries themselves or advise policymakers from perches just on the edges of government reads like the old biblical "begats." Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz leads the pack. He was a protégé of Richard Perle, who heads the prominent Pentagon advisory body, the Defense Policy Board. Many of today's neo-cons, including Perle, are the intellectual progeny of the late Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a strong defense hawk and one of Israel's most strident congressional supporters in the 1970s.

Wolfowitz in turn is the mentor of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, now Vice President Cheney's chief of staff who was first a student of Wolfowitz and later a subordinate during the 1980s in both the State and the Defense Departments. Another Perle protégé is Douglas Feith, who is currently undersecretary of defense for policy, the department's number-three man, and has worked closely with Perle both as a lobbyist for Turkey and in co-authoring strategy papers for right-wing Israeli governments. Assistant Secretaries Peter Rodman and Dov Zachkeim, old hands from the Reagan administration when the neo-cons first flourished, fill out the subcabinet ranks at Defense. At lower levels, the Israel and the Syria/Lebanon desk officers at Defense are imports from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a think tank spun off from the pro-Israel lobby organization, AIPAC.

Neo-cons have not made many inroads at the State Department, except for John Bolton, an American Enterprise Institute hawk and Israeli proponent who is said to have been forced on a reluctant Colin Powell as undersecretary for arms control. Bolton's special assistant is David Wurmser, who wrote and/or co-authored with Perle and Feith at least two strategy papers for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in 1996. Wurmser's wife, Meyrav Wurmser, is a co-founder of the media-watch website MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), which is run by retired Israeli military and intelligence officers and specializes in translating and widely circulating Arab media and statements by Arab leaders. A recent investigation by the Guardian of London found that MEMRI's translations are skewed by being highly selective. Although it inevitably translates and circulates the most extreme of Arab statements, it ignores moderate Arab commentary and extremist Hebrew statements.

In the vice president's office, Cheney has established his own personal national security staff, run by aides known to be very pro-Israel. The deputy director of the staff, John Hannah, is a former fellow of the Israeli-oriented Washington Institute. On the National Security Council staff, the newly appointed director of Middle East affairs is Elliott Abrams, who came to prominence after pleading guilty to withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra scandal (and was pardoned by President Bush the elder) and who has long been a vocal proponent of right-wing Israeli positions. Putting him in a key policymaking position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is like entrusting the henhouse to a fox.

Pro-Israel activists with close links to the administration are also busy in the information arena inside and outside government. The head of Radio Liberty, a Cold War propaganda holdover now converted to service in the "war on terror," is Thomas Dine, who was the very active head of AIPAC throughout most of the Reagan and the Bush-41 administrations. Elsewhere on the periphery, William Kristol, son of neo-con originals Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, is closely linked to the administration's pro-Israel coterie and serves as its cheerleader through the Rupert Murdoch-owned magazine that he edits, The Weekly Standard. Some of Bush's speechwriters * including David Frum, who coined the term "axis of evil" for Bush's state-of-the-union address but was forced to resign when his wife publicly bragged about his linguistic prowess * have come from The Weekly Standard. Frank Gaffney, another Jackson and Perle protégé and Reagan administration defense official, puts his pro-Israel oar in from his think tank, the Center for Security Policy, and through frequent media appearances and regular columns in the Washington Times.

The incestuous nature of the proliferating boards and think tanks, whose membership lists are more or less identical and totally interchangeable, is frighteningly insidious. Several scholars at the American Enterprise Institute, including former Reagan UN ambassador and long-time supporter of the Israeli right wing Jeane Kirkpatrick, make their pro-Israel views known vocally from the sidelines and occupy positions on other boards. Probably the most important organization, in terms of its influence on Bush administration policy formulation, is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). Formed after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war specifically to bring Israel's security concerns to the attention of U.S. policymakers and concentrating also on broad defense issues, the extremely hawkish, right-wing JINSA has always had a high-powered board able to place its members inside conservative U.S. administrations. Cheney, Bolton, and Feith were members until they entered the Bush administration. Several lower level JINSA functionaries are now working in the Defense Department. Perle is still a member, as are Kirkpatrick, former CIA director and leading Iraq-war hawk James Woolsey, and old-time rabid pro-Israel types like Eugene Rostow and Michael Ledeen. Both JINSA and Gaffney's Center for Security Policy are heavily underwritten by Irving Moskowitz, a right-wing American Zionist, California business magnate (his money comes from bingo parlors), and JINSA board member who has lavishly financed the establishment of several religious settlements in Arab East Jerusalem.

By Their Own Testimony

Most of the neo-cons now in government have left a long paper trail giving clear evidence of their fervently right-wing pro-Israel, and fervently anti-Palestinian, sentiments. Whether being pro-Israel, even pro right-wing Israel, constitutes having dual loyalties * that is, a desire to further Israel's interests that equals or exceeds the desire to further U.S. interests * is obviously not easy to determine, but the record gives some clues.

Wolfowitz himself has been circumspect in public, writing primarily about broader strategic issues rather than about Israel specifically or even the Middle East, but it is clear that at bottom Israel is a major interest and may be the principal reason for his near obsession with the effort, of which he is the primary spearhead, to dump Saddam Hussein, remake the Iraqi government in an American image, and then further redraw the Middle East map by accomplishing the same goals in Syria, Iran, and perhaps other countries. Profiles of Wolfowitz paint him as having two distinct aspects: one obessively bent on advancing U.S. dominance throughout the world, ruthless and uncompromising, seriously prepared to "end states," as he once put it, that support terrorism in any way, a velociraptor in the words of one former colleague cited in the Economist; the other a softer aspect, which shows him to be a soft-spoken political moralist, an ardent democrat, even a bleeding heart on social issues, and desirous for purely moral and humanitarian reasons of modernizing and democratizing the Islamic world.

But his interest in Israel always crops up. Even profiles that downplay his attachment to Israel nonetheless always mention the influence the Holocaust, in which several of his family perished, has had on his thinking. One source inside the administration has described him frankly as "over-the-top crazy when it comes to Israel." Although this probably accurately describes most of the rest of the neo-con coterie, and Wolfowitz is guilty at least by association, he is actually more complex and nuanced than this. A recent New York Times Magazine profile by the Times' Bill Keller cites critics who say that "Israel exercises a powerful gravitational pull on the man" and notes that as a teenager Wolfowitz lived in Israel during his mathematician father's sabbatical semester there. His sister is married to an Israeli. Keller even somewhat reluctantly acknowledges the accuracy of one characterization of Wolfowitz as "Israel-centric." But Keller goes through considerable contortions to shun what he calls "the offensive suggestion of dual loyalty" and in the process makes one wonder if he is protesting too much. Keller concludes that Wolfowitz is less animated by the security of Israel than by the promise of a more moderate Islam. He cites as evidence Wolfowitz's admiration for Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for making peace with Israel and also draws on a former Wolfowitz subordinate who says that "as a moral man, he might have found Israel the heart of the Middle East story. But as a policy maker, Turkey and the gulf and Egypt didn't loom any less large for him."

These remarks are revealing. Anyone not so fearful of broaching the issue of dual loyalties might at least have raised the suggestion that Wolfowitz's real concern may indeed be to ensure Israel's security. Otherwise, why do his overriding interests seem to be reinventing Anwar Sadats throughout the Middle East by transforming the Arab and Muslim worlds and thereby making life safer for Israel, and a passion for fighting a pre-emptive war against Iraq * when there are critical areas totally apart from the Middle East and myriad other broad strategic issues that any deputy secretary of defense should be thinking about just as much? His current interest in Turkey, which is shared by the other neo-cons, some of whom have served as lobbyists for Turkey, seems also to be directed at securing Israel's place in the region; there seems little reason for particular interest in this moderate Islamic, non-Arab country, other than that it is a moderate Islamic but non-Arab neighbor of Israel.

Furthermore, the notion suggested by the Wolfowitz subordinate that any moral man would obviously look to Israel as the "heart of the Middle East story" is itself an Israel-centered idea: the assumption that Israel is a moral state, always pursuing moral policies, and that any moral person would naturally attach himself to Israel automatically presumes that there is an identity of interests between the United States and Israel; only those who assume such a complete coincidence of interests accept the notion that Israel is, across the board, a moral state.

Others among the neo-con policymakers have been more direct and open in expressing their pro-Israel views. Douglas Feith has been the most prolific of the group, with a two-decade-long record of policy papers, many co-authored with Perle, propounding a strongly anti-Palestinian, pro-Likud view. He views the Palestinians as not constituting a legitimate national group, believes that the West Bank and Gaza belong to Israel by right, and has long advocated that the U.S. abandon any mediating effort altogether and particularly foreswear the land-for-peace formula.

In 1996, Feith, Perle, and both David and Meyrav Wurmser were among the authors of a policy paper issued by an Israeli think tank and written for newly elected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that urged Israel to make a "clean break" from pursuit of the peace process, particularly its land-for-peace aspects, which the authors regarded as a prescription for Israel's annihilation. Arabs must rather accept a "peace-for-peace" formula through unconditional acceptance of Israel's rights, including its territorial rights in the occupied territories. The paper advocated that Israel "engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism" by disengaging from economic and political dependence on the U.S. while maintaining a more "mature," self-reliant partnership with the U.S. not focused "narrowly on territorial disputes." Greater self-reliance would, these freelance policymakers told Netanyahu, give Israel "greater freedom of action and remove a significant lever of pressure [i.e., U.S. pressure] used against it in the past."

The paper advocated, even as far back as 1996, containment of the threat against Israel by working closely with * guess who? * Turkey, as well as with Jordan, apparently regarded as the only reliably moderate Arab regime. Jordan had become attractive for these strategists because it was at the time working with opposition elements in Iraq to reestablish a Hashemite monarchy there that would have been allied by blood lines and political leanings to the Hashemite throne in Jordan. The paper's authors saw the principal threat to Israel coming, we should not be surprised to discover now, from Iraq and Syria and advised that focusing on the removal of Saddam Hussein would kill two birds with one stone by also thwarting Syria's regional ambitions. In what amounts to a prelude to the neo-cons' principal policy thrust in the Bush administration, the paper spoke frankly of Israel's interest in overturning the Iraqi leadership and replacing it with a malleable monarchy. Referring to Saddam Hussein's ouster as "an important Israeli strategic objective," the paper observed that "Iraq's future could affect the strategic balance in the Middle East profoundly" * meaning give Israel unquestioned predominance in the region. The authors urged therefore that Israel support the Hashemites in their "efforts to redefine Iraq."

In a much longer policy document written at about the same time for the same Israeli think tank, David Wurmser repeatedly linked the U.S. and Israel when talking about national interests in the Middle East. The "battle to dominate and define Iraq," he wrote "is, by extension, the battle to dominate the balance of power in the Levant over the long run," and "the United States and Israel" can fight this battle together. Repeated references to U.S. and Israeli strategic policy, pitted against a "Saudi-Iraqi-Syrian-Iranian-PLO axis," and to strategic moves that establish a balance of power in which the United States and Israel are ascendant, in alliance with Turkey and Jordan, betray a thought process that cannot separate U.S. from Israeli interests.

Perle gave further impetus to this thrust when six years later, in September 2002, he gave a briefing for Pentagon officials that included a slide depicting a recommended strategic goal for the U.S. in the Middle East: all of Palestine as Israel, Jordan as Palestine, and Iraq as the Hashemite kingdom. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld seems to have taken this aboard, since he spoke at about the same time of the West Bank and Gaza as the "so-called occupied territories" * effectively turning all of Palestine into Israel.

Elliott Abrams is another unabashed supporter of the Israeli right, now bringing his links with Israel into the service of U.S. policymaking on Palestinian-Israeli issues. The neo-con community is crowing about Abrams' appointment as Middle East director on the NSC staff (where this Iran-contra criminal has already been working since mid-2001, badly miscast as the director for, of all things, democracy and human rights). The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes has hailed his appointment as a decisive move that neatly cocks a snook at the pro-Palestinian wimps at the State Department. Accurately characterizing Abrams as "more pro-Israel, less solicitous of Palestinians" than the State Department and strongly opposed to the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, Barnes gloats that the Abrams triumph signals that the White House will not cede control of Middle East policy to Colin Powell and the "foreign service bureaucrats." Abrams comes to the post after a year in which it had effectively been left vacant. His predecessor, Zalmay Khalilzad, has been serving concurrently as Bush's personal representative to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban and has devoted little time to the NSC job, but several attempts to appoint a successor early this year were vetoed by neo-con hawks who felt the appointees were not devoted enough to Israel.

Although Abrams has no particular Middle East expertise, he has managed to insert himself in the Middle East debate repeatedly over the years. He has a family interest in propounding a pro-Israel view; he is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, one of the original neo-cons and a long-time strident supporter of right-wing Israeli causes as editor of Commentary magazine, and Midge Decter, a frequent right-wing commentator. Abrams has written a good deal on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, opposing U.S. mediation and any effort to press for Israeli concessions. In an article published in advance of the 2000 elections, he propounded a rationale for a U.S. missile defense system, and a foreign policy agenda in general, geared almost entirely toward ensuring Israel's security. "It is a simple fact," he wrote, that the possession of missiles and weapons of mass destruction by Iraq and Iran vastly increases Israel's vulnerability, and this threat would be greatly diminished if the U.S. provided a missile shield and brought about the demise of Saddam Hussein. He concluded with a wholehearted assertion of the identity of U.S. and Israeli interests: "The next decade will present enormous opportunities to advance American interests in the Middle East [by] boldly asserting our support of our friends" * that is, of course, Israel. Many of the fundamental negotiating issues critical to Israel, he said, are also critical to U.S. policy in the region and "require the United States to defend its interests and allies" rather than giving in to Palestinian demands.

Neo-cons in the Henhouse

The neo-con strategy papers half a dozen years ago were dotted with concepts like "redefining Iraq," "redrawing the map of the Middle East," "nurturing alternatives to Arafat," all of which have in recent months become familiar parts of the Bush administration's diplomatic lingo. Objectives laid out in these papers as important strategic goals for Israel * including the ouster of Saddam Hussein, the strategic transformation of the entire Middle East, the death of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, regime change wherever the U.S. and Israel don't happen to like the existing government, the abandonment of any effort to forge a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace or even a narrower Palestinian-Israeli peace * have now become, under the guidance of this group of pro-Israel neo-cons, important strategic goals for the United States. The enthusiasm with which senior administration officials like Bush himself, Cheney, and Rumsfeld have adopted strategic themes originally defined for Israel's guidance *and did so in many cases well before September 11 and the so-called war on terror * testifies to the persuasiveness of a neo-con philosophy focused narrowly on Israel and the pervasiveness of the network throughout policymaking councils.

Does all this add up to dual loyalties to Israel and the United States? Many would still contend indignantly that it does not, and that it is anti-Semitic to suggest such a thing. In fact, zealous advocacy of Israel's causes may be just that * zealotry, an emotional connection to Israel that still leaves room for primary loyalty to the United States * and affection for Israel is not in any case a sentiment limited to Jews. But passion and emotion * and, as George Washington wisely advised, a passionate attachment to any country * have no place in foreign policy formulation, and it is mere hair-splitting to suggest that a passionate attachment to another country is not loyalty to that country. Zealotry clouds judgment, and emotion should never be the basis for policymaking.

Zealotry can lead to extreme actions to sustain policies, as is apparently occurring in the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz-Feith Defense Department. People knowledgeable of the intelligence community have said, according to a recent article in The American Prospect, that the CIA is under tremendous pressure to produce intelligence more supportive of war with Iraq * as one former CIA official put it, "to support policies that have already been adopted." Key Defense Department officials, including Feith, are said to be attempting to make the case for pre-emptive war by producing their own unverified intelligence. Wolfowitz betrayed his lack of concern for real evidence when, in answer to a recent question about where the evidence is for Iraq's possession of weapons of mass destruction, he replied, "It's like the judge said about pornography. I can't define it, but I will know it when I see it."

Zealotry can also lead to a myopic focus on the wrong issues in a conflict or crisis, as is occurring among all Bush policymakers with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The administration's obsessive focus on deposing Yasir Arafat, a policy suggested by the neo-cons years before Bush came to office, is a dodge and a diversion that merely perpetuates the conflict by failing to address its real roots. Advocates of this policy fail or refuse to see that, however unappealing the Palestinian leadership, it is not the cause of the conflict, and "regime change" among the Palestinians will do nothing to end the violence. The administration's utter refusal to engage in any mediation process that might produce a stable, equitable peace, also a neo-con strategy based on the paranoid belief that any peace involving territorial compromise will spell the annihilation of Israel, will also merely prolong the violence. Zealotry produces blindness: the zealous effort to pursue Israel's right-wing agenda has blinded the dual loyalists in the administration to the true face of Israel as occupier, to any concern for justice or equity and any consideration that interests other than Israel's are involved, and indeed to any pragmatic consideration that continued unquestioning accommodation of Israel, far from bringing an end to violence, will actually lead to its tragic escalation and to increased terrorism against both the United States and Israel.

What does it matter, in the end, if these men split their loyalties between the United States and Israel? Apart from the evidence of the policy distortions that arise from zealotry, one need only ask whether it can be mere coincidence that those in the Bush administration who most strongly promote "regime change" in Iraq are also those who most strongly support the policies of the Israeli right wing. And would it bother most Americans to know that the United States is planning a war against Iraq for the benefit of Israel? Can it be mere coincidence, for example, that Vice President Cheney, now the leading senior-level proponent of war with Iraq, repudiated just this option for all the right reasons in the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War in 1991? He was defense secretary at the time, and in an interview with the New York Times on April 13, 1991, he said:

"If you're going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein, you have to go to Baghdad. Once you've got Baghdad, it's not clear what you will do with it. It's not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that's currently there now. Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Ba'athists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists. How much credibility is that government going to have if it's set up by the United States military when it's there? How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for the government, and what happens to it once we leave?"

Since Cheney clearly changed his mind between 1991 and today, is it not legitimate to ask why, and whether Israel might have a greater influence over U.S. foreign policy now than it had in 1991? After all, notwithstanding his wisdom in rejecting an expansion of the war on Iraq a decade ago, Cheney was just as interested in promoting U.S. imperialism and was at that same moment in the early 1990s outlining a plan for world domination by the United States, one that did not include conquering Iraq at any point along the way. The only new ingredient in the mix today that is inducing Cheney to begin the march to U.S. world domination by conquering Iraq is the presence in the Bush-Cheney administration of a bevy of aggressive right-wing neo-con hawks who have long backed the Jewish fundamentalists of Israel's own right wing and who have been advocating some move on Iraq for at least the last half dozen years?

The suggestion that the war with Iraq is being planned at Israel's behest, or at the instigation of policymakers whose main motivation is trying to create a secure environment for Israel, is strong. Many Israeli analysts believe this. The Israeli commentator Akiva Eldar recently observed frankly in a Ha'aretz column that Perle, Feith, and their fellow strategists "are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments and Israeli interests." The suggestion of dual loyalties is not a verboten subject in the Israeli press, as it is in the United States. Peace activist Uri Avnery, who knows Israeli Prime Minister Sharon well, has written that Sharon has long planned grandiose schemes for restructuring the Middle East and that "the winds blowing now in Washington remind me of Sharon. I have absolutely no proof that the Bushies got their ideas from him . But the style is the same."

The dual loyalists in the Bush administration have given added impetus to the growth of a messianic strain of Christian fundamentalism that has allied itself with Israel in preparation for the so-called End of Days. These crazed fundamentalists see Israel's domination over all of Palestine as a necessary step toward fulfillment of the biblical Millennium, consider any Israeli relinquishment of territory in Palestine as a sacrilege, and view warfare between Jews and Arabs as a divinely ordained prelude to Armageddon. These right-wing Christian extremists have a profound influence on Bush and his administration, with the result that the Jewish fundamentalists working for the perpetuation of Israel's domination in Palestine and the Christian fundamentalists working for the Millennium strengthen and reinforce each other's policies in administration councils. The Armageddon that Christian Zionists seem to be actively promoting and that Israeli loyalists inside the administration have tactically allied themselves with raises the horrifying but very real prospect of an apocalyptic Christian-Islamic war. The neo-cons seem unconcerned, and Bush's occasional pro forma remonstrations against blaming all Islam for the sins of Islamic extremists do nothing to make this prospect less likely.

These two strains of Jewish and Christian fundamentalism have dovetailed into an agenda for a vast imperial project to restructure the Middle East, all further reinforced by the happy coincidence of great oil resources up for grabs and a president and vice president heavily invested in oil. All of these factors * the dual loyalties of an extensive network of policymakers allied with Israel, the influence of a fanatical wing of Christian fundamentalists, and oil * probably factor in more or less equally to the administration's calculations on the Palestinian-Israeli situation and on war with Iraq. But the most critical factor directing U.S. policymaking is the group of Israeli loyalists: neither Christian fundamentalist support for Israel nor oil calculations would carry the weight in administration councils that they do without the pivotal input of those loyalists, who clearly know how to play to the Christian fanatics and undoubtedly also know that their own and Israel's bread is buttered by the oil interests of people like Bush and Cheney. This is where loyalty to Israel by government officials colors and influences U.S. policymaking in ways that are extremely dangerous.

__________________________________________________ __________________________


Kathleen Christison worked for 16 years as a political analyst with the CIA, dealing first with Vietnam and then with the Middle East for her last seven years with the Agency before resigning in 1979. Since leaving the CIA, she has been a free-lance writer, dealing primarily with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Her book, "Perceptions of Palestine: Their Influence on U.S. Middle East Policy," was published by the University of California Press and reissued in paperback with an update in October 2001. A second book, "The Wound of Dispossession: Telling the Palestinian Story," was published in March 2002.


Bill Christison joined the CIA in 1950, and served on the analysis side of the Agency for 28 years. From the early 1970s he served as National Intelligence Officer (principal adviser to the Director of Central Intelligence on certain areas) for, at various times, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Before he retired in 1979 he was Director of the CIA's Office of Regional and Political Analysis, a 250-person unit. They can be reached at: christison@counterpunch.org



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eg8r
03-18-2003, 05:59 PM
There is no chance I am reading all that on a bulletin board. But to think there is anything new there about US not doing anything about Israel but we doing something about Iraq is old news. Sometimes you choose who you think is your worst enemy and go after them.

Also, if you really think this is the first administration that has a chosen one country as an ally over another country then I don't know what to say. Clinton turned his head many of times to the Iraqi's and was more busy with his wonderful foreign relations and giving away nuclear secrets to the Chinese.

Sure we cannot change the past and should try and do a better job in the present and future, but some of the people need to give this tired old battle a rest. I can find a quote pretty quickly of Daschle praising a war/force effort against Saddam back when Clinton was President, but now he feels that Bush has let the country down by using the military. Why was it okay when Clinton was President but not okay with Bush as President?

eg8r

TomBrooklyn
03-18-2003, 06:03 PM
This is an unusual post for someone to make for there first post. I did not read it, I don't have the desire to read something that long that I don't even know what it is. How about posting a summary of it, Chris, whoever you are.

bluewolf
03-18-2003, 07:00 PM
Why should I believe you? I dont even know you.

And I could not even read this verbosity. barf

Laura

03-18-2003, 07:45 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I can find a quote pretty quickly of Daschle praising a war/force effort against Saddam back when Clinton was President, but now he feels that Bush has let the country down by using the military. Why was it okay when Clinton was President but not okay with Bush as President?

eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

Daschle simply wants to distance himself from Bush's policies for the sake of his Presidential run. There certainly is a dividing line in the democratic party now; there are those moderates who want to back bush in the time of war, and those more to the left who want establish a party distinctly different than the republicans. With Daschle, I think he also wants to be the democrat who has distanced himself from bush's policies in case this war doesn't go as planned. If that is the case than his chances of getting elected president are greatly higher. He has little to lose, as if the war is a success Bush will be very difficult to beat in 2004.

eg8r
03-18-2003, 09:17 PM
I don't know you and you have not posted much here at all, so I will try not to generalize...but... [ QUOTE ]
With Daschle, I think he also wants to be the democrat who has distanced himself from bush's policies in case this war doesn't go as planned. <hr /></blockquote> This quote is a perfect example of the Democrats that are more worried about themselves than their country. This is one of the most selfish posts I have seen in awhile (not directed at you, but anyone that believes this is justifiable). Daschle was one of the big complainers about Bush not being Bi Partisan in the beginning and not listening to the Dems on the Hill. Now Daschle is the biggest Partisan on the Hill. He makes me sick. There are so many things that he says that are lies, but he knows the majority of his followers will not search out any fact behind it. Daschle stated recently that Bush cut funds for Homeland security. Come on, what a loser, how can you cut funds to a program that was never in existence?

I am not directing this at you, unless you believe this is a viable reason for the way Daschle is acting. There have been quite a few times during this administration that the Democrats have switched sides and changed their minds midway. One example would be Dems supporting the President and pushing his policies for war, and then changing mid-stream once France took their stance.

This is a time when Congress, Americans, and anyone else that is enjoying the freedom and liberties provided here for them should stand united behind their President. Another big disgrace is the Dixie Chick that had the wonderful quote while boldly standing on foreign soil. Maybe you or others do not agree with the war, or maybe you do not like Bush's policies, or maybe you hate politics period and seek out the unfathomable utopia swarming around in your head, but now is not the time to speak out. One of the wonderful things about our country is Freedom of most of whatever you want to do and that comes with a price.

This is my opinion, and maybe this is easier for me to say since it is my party of choice leading the way, but I feel the same way no matter who is in administration. I was not a Clinton fan by no means, but when we went after Milosevic I was on his side (helps that I agreed with Clinton). This is an easy example but was true with most of Clintons foreign policy outside of selling nuclear/defense secrets to the Chinese.

eg8r &lt;~~~Off the bandwagon for now.

03-18-2003, 10:44 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Maybe you or others do not agree with the war, or maybe you do not like Bush's policies, or maybe you hate politics period and seek out the unfathomable utopia swarming around in your head, but now is not the time to speak out. One of the wonderful things about our country is Freedom of most of whatever you want to do and that comes with a price.
<hr /></blockquote>

First of all, I think any utopia in a human society is impossible. You say that now is not the time to speak out, but to be quite blunt I intend on saying whatever I wish. That is the beauty of freedom of speech. By your opinion, during the Vietnam war(which accomplished nothing other than loss of life) American citizens should have simply sat back and watched politicians govern the lives of their children who were being drafted.

[ QUOTE ]
but now is not the time to speak out. One of the wonderful things about our country is Freedom of most of whatever you want to do and that comes with a price. <hr /></blockquote>

No offense, but this statement makes little sense. If we have "freedom of most whatever" we want, yet the price of that freedom is that we should not take advantage of them... then what are these freedoms worth?

For the record, I am not a democrat or republican. I think that both the republican and democratic party have become so moderate, that they are just two sides of the same coin. I am frustrated by the overwhelming bi-partisan gov't in this country. Both parties are controlled by career politicians who I feel have little interest in the American people.

In regards to Daschle, I simply think he is a politician that wants power. He is taking stances that he simply feels are in his political interest in attaining that power. Perhaps this makes Dashcle shallow, but c'est le vie. I don't support Daschle, because I think he simply bounces back on forth on issues based on what is best in regards to his presidential run. If he is the democratic candidate come election time, I have no intention of voting for him come 2004. However, it is unlikely I will vote for Bush either unless he is successful in passing domestic policies which aid this country.

[ QUOTE ]
This is a time when Congress, Americans, and anyone else that is enjoying the freedom and liberties provided here for them should stand united behind their President. Another big disgrace is the Dixie Chick <hr /></blockquote>

In regards to the Dixie Chicks... I don't know if it is possible to find. But the person who made the anti-Bush comment once appeared on Politically Incorrect. By no means do I think Politically Incorrect was a forum for deep intellectual thought... but on the show the lead singer proved to have the intelligence equal to that of a peanut. I would never take offence to what she said, as she is an idiot.

03-18-2003, 10:54 PM
[ QUOTE ]
There is no chance I am reading all that on a bulletin board. <hr /></blockquote>

Haha... This is something we can agree on. I also I have read little of that message.

I find it hilarious that we have engaged in an arguement on this thread when neither of us have read the entirety of the initial post. That is what politics is all about... lol.

03-18-2003, 11:02 PM
[ QUOTE ]
This is a time when Congress, Americans, and anyone else that is enjoying the freedom and liberties provided here for them should stand united behind their President.<hr /></blockquote>

I forgot to toss this in. I would be much more willing to support this war if the President had gone to congress, as is supposed to happen as stated by the constitution. It seems that congressional approval of war has became a dated idea.

Vapros
03-19-2003, 12:54 AM
This crap has no place on this web site, and is a dangerous step in the wrong direction for us. Can we wind it up? Or delete it?

The profile for this poster identifies him/her only as 'Stranger'. I couldn't have put it better, myself.

TomBrooklyn
03-19-2003, 02:12 AM
There have been many dangerous steps in the wrong direction lately. I doubt if this thread is worst of them, though I still haven't read a word of the first post.

Brevity = Authority!

bluewolf
03-19-2003, 06:04 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote johnnypanic:</font><hr> &lt;/font&gt;&lt;blockquote&gt;&lt;font class="small"&gt;Quote:&lt;/font&gt;&lt;hr /&gt;
This is a time when Congress, Americans, and anyone else that is enjoying the freedom and liberties provided here for them should stand united behind their President.<hr /></blockquote>

I forgot to toss this in. I would be much more willing to support this war if the President had gone to congress, as is supposed to happen as stated by the constitution. It seems that congressional approval of war has became a dated idea.
<hr /></blockquote>

OHHH. I did not know that the congress did not approve this. This is not good. Our constitution is based on checks and balances.

Laura

eg8r
03-19-2003, 07:38 AM
[ QUOTE ]
I forgot to toss this in. I would be much more willing to support this war if the President had gone to congress, as is supposed to happen as stated by the constitution. It seems that congressional approval of war has became a dated idea. <hr /></blockquote> You forgot to toss it in because it is mindless. Did you forget already that Congress already agreed with Bush months ago. Only until France stepped up and offered their veto power did half the democrats decided to change their position. I am sure you already knew this, my gosh you have probably linked it somewhere.

On another note pertaining to Congress, since the decision to ignore the UN and move forward, the Democrats on the hill have split. Half siding with Bush and half siding with Daschle. That gives around 70 75% support in Congress to Bush. How much more approval are you looking for?

Also in relation to 1441... [ QUOTE ]
The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution November 8 strengthening the weapons inspection regime for Iraq and giving Baghdad, in the words of the resolution, "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations." ...Finally, it warns Iraq that "it will face serious consequences" if it continues to violate its obligations as spelled out in the resolution.<hr /></blockquote> Not only did Bush have the support of his own country he had unanimous support from the Security Council. France is part of this council. Who was the first to defect?

Bush is finally doing something about it and the rest of the world is too afraid to do the same thing.

eg8r

Wally_in_Cincy
03-19-2003, 07:38 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote TomBrooklyn:</font><hr> This is an unusual post for someone to make for there first post. I did not read it, I don't have the desire to read something that long that I don't even know what it is. How about posting a summary of it, Chris, whoever you are. <hr /></blockquote>

This is an obvious drive-by post. Spam, if you will. Christopher Hitchens is an English journalist/historian. I've read some articles by him but it's been a while. This poster is not him.

I did not read the whole post but the general tone is the typical:

"The Jews control everything"

Paranoia, bigotry, anti-semitism, call it what you will. It's been going on for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It appeals to small minds who want to blame someone else for their sorry lot in life.

eg8r
03-19-2003, 07:39 AM
[ QUOTE ]
OHHH. I did not know that the congress did not approve this. This is not good. Our constitution is based on checks and balances. <hr /></blockquote> Congress did approve this. Go back through the news to last year around August Sept time frame leading up Nov agreement to 1441.

eg8r

eg8r
03-19-2003, 07:46 AM
[ QUOTE ]
You say that now is not the time to speak out, but to be quite blunt I intend on saying whatever I wish. <hr /></blockquote> LOL, no one ever accused you of being a sharp individual.
[ QUOTE ]
By your opinion, during the Vietnam war(which accomplished nothing other than loss of life) American citizens should have simply sat back and watched politicians govern the lives of their children who were being drafted. <hr /></blockquote> I did not say sit back, I said you should stand behind and support your President. You are quite caught up on Vietnam and since it is not all the far in the past this is probably why you remember it so well. Since you refuse to go back further in time read a book on the Revolutionary War. At this point in time the settlers and farmers were not very excited about having to fight the British, however they did and we won. You can pick and choose individual instances in time, but that is all you are doing. Choosing slight instances in a vast history of time. Before you cry wolf and say I did the same thing, I just want to reiterate I started by stating as a whole we should stand by our President. Good times and bad times. You choose to linger during bad times. I showed you one time that it was a good idea.

eg8r

Ward
03-19-2003, 09:24 AM
Eg8r

If you really want to back the administration, run down and enlist in one of the branches of service. I bet the Army could use some more good men.

Later






Later

Troy
03-19-2003, 10:05 AM
"I may disagree with your bumper sticker, but I support your right to stick it." Source unknown.

Barbara
03-19-2003, 10:43 AM
...Then kick naz's ass off this board.

His stupid posts on this forum just take up space.

Gee, do you think I was enlightened by his "50 things we wish girls knew" post? No. But I do think he should be reminded that this is an open forum and read by minors.

Grow the F up, naz.

Barbara

eg8r
03-19-2003, 10:45 AM
Whoa!!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif I have not read that post but I will now.

eg8r

eg8r
03-19-2003, 10:46 AM
I hear ya. I just don't know if I would be helping or hurting. LOL

My wife says I cannot do that. I have to stay here and just find a way to support the country from home. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

eg8r

bluewolf
03-19-2003, 12:41 PM
nAz is silly and perverted. But I like having at least one person on here that is more perverted than I am. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

I say nAz stays.

Laura

Sid_Vicious
03-19-2003, 12:45 PM
"But I do think he should be reminded that this is an open forum and read by minors."

Ol' Fast Larry Boy....well, maybe I've said enough. Seriously though, if the profanity filter passes naz's text, then it is cleaner than an average sit-com on any given night of television, and kids everywhere watch that 40 hours a week sometimes.

I kinda like much of the humor naz sends here, 'course I AM Sid Vicious, whad'ja expect ;-)

03-19-2003, 02:01 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Bush is finally doing something about it and the rest of the world is too afraid to do the same thing.
<hr /></blockquote>

And of course Americans are all always right.



[ QUOTE ]
Congress did approve this. <hr /></blockquote>

Find me a news article which shows congress's 2/3 approval to officially declare war on Iraq.

[ QUOTE ]
You are quite caught up on Vietnam and since it is not all the far in the past this is probably why you remember it so well. <hr /></blockquote>

I am a Vietnam veteran.

eg8r
03-19-2003, 02:16 PM
[ QUOTE ]
And of course Americans are all always right. <hr /></blockquote>OK

[ QUOTE ]
Find me a news article which shows congress's 2/3 approval to officially declare war on Iraq. <hr /></blockquote> Go back and add in the quote where I stated exactly what you said.
You can't. Just slow down and read what I wrote. I wrote that the Dems are now split in half. Half supporting Bush, half not supporting Bush. If you take the Republicans and add in the half of Dems showing support then you get the 70 to 75.

[ QUOTE ]
I am a Vietnam veteran. <hr /></blockquote> Great. I commend you for your efforts. Still does not make you right either. Were you are protestor when you were sent to Vietnam, or did you go over there because your country called you, or did you vehemently demand to go and fight. This all have different perspectives on the soldier.

If you were protesting, then it makes perfect sense on why you say the things you say and continue to bring it up. If you went because you were called and had no arguements, debates whatever, you just went because that is what you do, then I can understand somewhat of your stance. If you were the gung ho kind of guy then I am confused. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

Vietnam was a horrible thing, but I hardly compare this war to the Vietnam war.

eg8r

03-19-2003, 02:38 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I wrote that the Dems are now split in half. Half supporting Bush, half not supporting Bush. If you take the Republicans and add in the half of Dems showing support then you get the 70 to 75.
<hr /></blockquote>

I realize what you wrote. Your figure is far from objective. There was no official vote in congress. If you are correct, then a congressional vote would give it some sort of legitamacy. You can't simply go on opinions stated in newspapers; the constitution specifically tells the legal process to take in order to declare war. This has not been done.

[ QUOTE ]
f you were protesting, then it makes perfect sense on why you say the things you say and continue to bring it up. If you went because you were called and had no arguements, debates whatever, you just went because that is what you do, then I can understand somewhat of your stance. If you were the gung ho kind of guy then I am confused. <hr /></blockquote>

For the record I was drafted. But my opinion prior to the Vietnam war makes little difference in regards to my position now. I know many people that went into Vietnam as "gung-ho" young men, but when they got out(if they got out)... well the change can't even be described. If being a soldier in a war does not drastically change your opinion on war, and life in general then there is something very very wrong with you.

In anycase, in regards to our opinions on the current war - we will simply have to agree to disagree.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-19-2003, 02:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote johnnypanic:</font><hr>
...There was no official vote in congress. If you are correct, then a congressional vote would give it some sort of legitamacy....<hr /></blockquote>

There was a vote authorizing the President to use force to disarm Saddam. I can look it up if you want.

BTW there has not been an official declaration of war since WWII

03-19-2003, 03:30 PM
[ QUOTE ]
BTW there has not been an official declaration of war since WWII

<hr /></blockquote>

I know... and this troubles me.

[ QUOTE ]
There was a vote authorizing the President to use force to disarm Saddam. I can look it up if you want. <hr /></blockquote>

It is my opinion that if we are going to engage in war, there should be an official declaration of war by congress. However, I admit that this seems to have gone out of fashion considering all the armed conflicts that we have participated in without congressional approval. As you already said, there has been no official declaration of war by congress since WWII, including this war.

Wally_in_Cincy
03-20-2003, 01:58 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Barbara:</font><hr> ...Then kick naz's ass off this board.

His stupid posts on this forum just take up space.

Gee, do you think I was enlightened by his "50 things we wish girls knew" post? No. But I do think he should be reminded that this is an open forum and read by minors.

Grow the F up, naz.

Barbara <hr /></blockquote>

I think you hurt nAzee's feelings. He disappeared like *poof* /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

Wally~~thinks Barbara and nAz are both entitled to free speech /ccboard/images/graemlins/wink.gif

MikeM
03-21-2003, 03:54 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote eg8r:</font><hr> I just want to reiterate I started by stating as a whole we should stand by our President. Good times and bad times.
eg8r <hr /></blockquote>

/ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif Does this mean you stood by Clinton through his bad times?
/ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
MM

#### leonard
03-22-2003, 11:44 AM
As this old timer I knew said when he heard Richard Nixons name mentioned. Richard Nixon how many balls can he run.####

eg8r
03-22-2003, 12:04 PM
Yup, when he made decisions that affected the US during war, I did stand by him. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Thank you for allowing me to say this without having to bring it up on my own.
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote BBC News:</font><hr> The United Nations Security Council approved the deployment on Thursday, after Nato announced an end to its bombing campaign.
<hr /></blockquote> Clinton did not get approval till it was all over. I stood behind him then. Since I was not discussing this stuff on the board at the time, Warren how did you feel back then. Clinton did not even have as much approval as Bush has now and he went to war.

Guess where this next wonderful quote comes from.... [ QUOTE ]
"By comparison with what Clinton has done to Iraq alone, Milosevic for all his brutality is a rank amateur in viciousness. What makes Clinton's crimes worse is the sanctimony and fraudulent concern in which he cloaks himself."
<hr /></blockquote> I wonder if you guessed correct. It was from France. Surprise. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif Once again, I stood by Clinton during these times. Since I stated that I will stand behind the President during times of war, this example is just more proof.

I don't know if you were are trying to bring up anything partisan but if so, then it did not happen. I do stand behind our Commander and Chief during times of war. Even if it is a president like Clinton himself.

eg8r