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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #108 - 3 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. Who are we fighting for? (
   2. Lockboxes, Iraqi Loot and a TRAIL TO THE FED (ppg)
   3. Oil-for-Food report delayed at least 3 months (ppg)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 16:24:31 EDT
Subject: Who are we fighting for?

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

        The Neocons' War on behalf of Israe l

        Relax, because now we're allowed to talk about the real reason for
the Iraq war

   by Justin Raimondo

In detailing "the conservative crack-up" over the Iraq war, E. J. Dionne

"The isolationist conservatives around Pat Buchanan cannot understand why w=
went to war in the first place =E2=80=93 and they opposed it from the begin=
ning. These
conservatives speak explicitly about the 'costs of empire,' much as the lef=
does. They argue that globalism is really 'globaloney' and that being an
empire is incompatible with being a republic."

Actually, that's not true. We "isolationists" =E2=80=93 conservatives and
libertarians alike =E2=80=93 understand all too well why we went to war. As=
 Pat Buchanan put it
in the run-up to the invasion:

"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 cha=
them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo
Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging U.S. relations with ever=
y 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 friend=
s and
allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubr=
and bellicosity.

"=E2=80=A6 They charge us with anti-Semitism =E2=80=93 i.e., a hatred of Je=
ws for their
faith, heritage, or ancestry. False. The truth is, those hurling these char=
harbor a 'passionate attachment' to a nation not our own that causes them t=
subordinate the interests of their own country and to act on an assumption =
somehow, what's good for Israel is good for America."

Buchanan named names, tracing the development of the "what's good for Israe=
is good for America" doctrine to the influential sect known as
neoconservatives: ex-leftists who defected from the Democratic party in the=
 1960s and 1970s
over the Vietnam War, and wormed their way into top GOP policymaking circle=
eventually winding up in charge of George W. Bush's foreign policy.

He cited "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm," a 1996
policy paper co-authored by Richard Perle (up until recently, head of the
Pentagon's Policy Advisory Board), Douglas Feith (today Undersecretary of D=
efense for
Policy), and David Wurmser (Vice President Dick Cheney's top Middle East po=
advisor). The realm in question is Israel, and the report was presented to
then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The paper argued that Israel had no choice but to break out of its old poli=
of containing the threat to its security and go on the offensive: deliverin=
a knockout blow to Iraq was deemed imperative in order to secure a
stranglehold over Syria, which is depicted as the main danger to the Jewish=
 state. The
road to Damascus runs through Baghdad, or so the theory went, and now Georg=
e W.
Bush has implemented the first phase of that plan =E2=80=93 with Perle, Fei=
Wurmser, and their neoconservative confreres egging the President on, and b=
him every time he seems to go wobbly.

This theme =E2=80=93 that an Israeli-centric foreign policy is the real rea=
son for
this war =E2=80=93 was not looked on with favor when the shooting began. Bu=
t a year
later, by a simple process of elimination, it is the only rational explanat=
left standing.

They said it was "weapons of mass destruction" in Saddam's possession, and,
when those failed to turn up, they fell back on Iraq's alleged responsibili=
for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. When that canard was debunked, however, the=
Party was reduced to claiming that Saddam's tyranny alone was sufficient as=
, and that their real goal =E2=80=93 their primary goal =E2=80=93 is to spr=
ead Democracy,
Goodness, and Light throughout a region still mired in the Dark Ages. The
unwillingness to call elections any time soon, however, along with Abu Ghra=
ib and
Paul Bremer's propensity for acting like a dictator, soon disabused all but=
most gullible of such hifalutin' notions.

That left only the truth, and it is this: Israel is the chief beneficiary o=
this war, with Bin Laden coming in a close second. We have opened up an
Eastern front on Tel Aviv's behalf, not only eliminating a secular Arab opp=
onent of
Israel, but also pressing the Syrians to kowtow to a nuclear-armed Israel,
sending tremors through the rest of the Arab world. No sooner had we taken
Baghdad, then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made his move, ingesting =
hunks of the West Bank under the guise of a "withdrawal," and blithely igno=
muted criticism by the U.S. State Department as his government subsidized y=
more "settlements" on Palestinian land. A "Wall of Separation" was built =
=E2=80=93 with
U.S. taxpayers' money =E2=80=93 to underscore the Likudniks' contempt for w=
public opinion, and especially American public opinion.

Looked at in purely geopolitical terms, the war in Iraq is diverting the
energy, resources, and focused hatred of the Arab "street" away from the Is=
and toward =E2=80=93 us. In undertaking what promises to be a project of ma=
ny years,
the U.S. invasion has shifted the balance of power =E2=80=93 already weight=
ed in
Israel's favor, thanks to massive American military aid =E2=80=93 decisivel=
y and perhaps
permanently in favor of the Israelis. Bristling with weaponry, including nu=
arms, and not shy about mobilizing its international amen corner to
aggressively defend its interests, Israel is fast achieving the status of r=

Israel seems to be the one exception to the new U.S. theory of global
preeminence =E2=80=93 what might be called the Wolfowitz Doctrine, since he=
 was one of the
first to put it in writing =E2=80=93 that no power should rival U.S. hegemo=
ny in any
region of the world.

Now, it is fair to ask, why is that? But not everyone thinks it's fair, or
even decent, to ask any such thing.

When General Anthony Zinni, former commander of all U.S. forces in the Midd=
East, went on national television and told the truth about the key role
played by the neocons in dragging us into this unwinnable and increasingly =
war, the voices of political correctness were raised to a pitch of shrillne=
ss not
heard since the early 1990s. Back then it was Buchanan =E2=80=93 always ahe=
ad of his
time =E2=80=93 who first identified "Israel's amen corner" as the sparkplug=
 and chief
inspiration of the War Party, just as the first Gulf War broke out. Now, in
the disastrous wake of the Second Gulf War, the rest of the country seems t=
o be
catching up with him.

Zinni, a registered Republican who voted for Bush in 2000, reflected the
views of a broad swath of the thinking public when he told 60 Minutes:

"I think it's the worst kept secret in Washington. That everybody - everybo=
I talk to in Washington has known and fully knows what their agenda was and
what they were trying to do.

"And one article, because I mentioned the neo-conservatives who describe
themselves as neo-conservatives, I was called anti-Semitic. I mean, you kno=
unbelievable that that's the kind of personal attacks that are run when you
criticize a strategy and those who propose it. I certainly didn't criticize=
 who they
were. I certainly don't know what their ethnic religious backgrounds are. A=
I'm not interested.

"I know what strategy they promoted. And openly. And for a number of years.
And what they have convinced the president and the secretary to do. And I d=
believe there is any serious political leader, military leader, diplomat in
Washington that doesn't know where it came from."

Zinni was mercilessly smeared by all the usual suspects, but the mud didn't
stick. Instead, it boomeranged, and, instead of isolating him, suddenly
everyone was citing him, and defending him, including author Tom Clancy, wh=
o has
co-written with Zinni a new book that promises to let the cat out of the ba=
g as
far as the origins of this war are concerned. While neocon sock-puppets on =
order of Jonah Goldberg flailed angrily about, retailing the obligatory
innuendoes, The Forward, the oldest Jewish newspaper in America, intervened=
recognize the new reality, and "The Ground Shifts" was the very apt title o=
f their
editorial on the subject:

"As recently as a week ago, reasonable people still could dismiss as
antisemitic conspiracy mongering the claim that Israel's security was the r=
eal motive
behind the invasion of Iraq. No longer. The allegation has now moved from t=
fringes into the mainstream. Its advocates can no longer simply be shushed =
dismissed as bigots. Those who disagree must now argue the case on the

Arguing for or against anything strictly on the merits is going to be a who=
new experience for the neocons. Smearing their enemies and lying is, for
them, a matter of course =E2=80=93 it isn't just a matter of tactics, it's =
part of who and
what they are.

As Israeli "settlers" push out the Palestinians under the protection of
U.S.-made helicopter gunships and tanks, American soldiers are taking heavy
casualties on the Eastern front =E2=80=93 and the U.S. homeland gets ready =
for a "summer of
terror." How can anyone make a rational argument that this is in America's
national self-interest? It isn't possible, and so the neocons have no argum=
only a barrage of lies and smears. Argue their case strictly "on the merits=
It can't be done, unless they want to openly argue that America's interests
must be subordinated to Israel's. Strip away the ideological pretenses, the
sexed-up "intelligence," and the "patriotic" window-dressing, and what you =
see is
the naked reality of Israel's fifth column in America.

In identifying who dragged us into this war, and why, General Zinni "change=
the terms of the debate," says The Forward, and "he is not one to be waved
off." Not that they agree, exactly. They blame the President, "unilateralis=
and the "ideological predilections" of this administration, although they a=

"The truth is, of course, that Zinni is partly right =E2=80=93 but only par=
Securing Israel was one of the war hawks' motives, but not the only one, pr=
not even the main one."

But what were these "ideological predilections" that the Bushies brought wi=
them to the table if not the neoconservative ideology embraced by his top
foreign policy advisors and officials =E2=80=93 an ideology that, aside fro=
m championing
a foreign policy aiming at "benevolent global hegemony," elevates Israel to=
special status among America's allies, and advocates unconditional support =
the actions of its ultra-rightist government?

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) has made the trenchant point that Bush's policies ha=
made Israel, and Jews worldwide, less safe, but the mantle of victimhood is
not so easily surrendered by the radical Zionist faction: this is "blaming =
victim," says the Likudnik chorus, a stance that neatly sidesteps the issue=
whether or not anyone, Jew or Gentile, feels the least bit safer these days=

According to Jonah Goldberg, the term "neoconservative" =E2=80=93 up until =
now a
recognized term in the American political lexicon, meaning "a liberal who's=
mugged," a Scoop Jackson Democrat turned Reagan Republican =E2=80=93 is jus=
t a "code
word" for "Jew." But it's too late for special pleading and the usual
victimological histrionics just won't do, as Rich Lowry, Goldberg's boss ov=
er at
National Review, makes clear in an interview with columnist Bill Steigerwal=
d in the <
teigerwald/s_196286.html>Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

"With the war on terror, you saw neoconservatives emerging as a distinct
tendency within conservatism, mostly on foreign policy; its hallmarks being
extreme interventionism, extremely idealistic foreign policy, and emphasis =
democracy building and spreading human rights and freedom and an overestima=
tion, in
my view, of how easy it is to spread democracy and liberty to spots in the
world where it doesn't exist currently."

It seems the neocons aren't creatures of pure myth, the unicorns of the
American political bestiary, but living breathing individuals, and, what's =
they're a movement separate and distinct from ordinary unprefixed
run-of-the-mill conservatives, with their own doctrines and organizations. =
So, is it
"anti-Semitic" to separate them out from the rest of the Republican Right, =
and name
them "as being the planners and instigators of the war in Iraq?" asks
Steigerwald. Lowry's reply is more than a little equivocal:

"No. No. It would be false. It wouldn't necessarily be anti-Semitic. It wou=
be accurate to say that some of the most articulate and powerful expression=
of the case for war have come from people who are neoconservatives. So that=
not anti-Semitic. But if you take a couple of steps beyond that, you begin =
get into territory that is a little shady, I would think."

So Jonah is wrong, at least according to his boss, that merely employing th=
term "neocon" is the equivalent of shouting "Sieg Heil!" at the top of one'=
lungs. It's amazing to see how far the boundaries of neoconservative politi=
correctness are being stretched, these days, but then Lowry =E2=80=93 perha=
remembering how much his magazine depends on the largesse of big neoconserv=
foundations =E2=80=93 snaps back and comes out with this murky business of =
taking "a couple
of steps beyond that." What "steps" is he talking about?

One need only step up to a computer terminal, and read Seymour Hersh's
detailed sketch of the "Office of Special Plans," or perhaps Julian Borger'=
s, and
Jim Lobe's, to go beyond merely naming the neocons as the chief culprits in=
dirty business of invading and occupying a nation that had never posed a re=
threat to us. What occurred in the run-up to war was not merely an
intellectual debate, as Lowry genteelly pretends, but a battle between two =
factions, one of which had seized the reins of power in Washington, accordi=
ng to
Bob Woodward, who writes in  that Cheney and the neocons had, in effect, se=
up "a separate government."

In examining this highly organized effort, and in effect writing the histor=
of what amounted to a coup d'etat, a number of reporters, including
on-the-scene observers such as Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski, point to an Isra=
eli component
as a key element in the intelligence apparatus that pushed us into war.
Robert Dreyfuss, writing in The Nation, cites a former U.S. ambassador with=
ties to the CIA:

"According to the former official, also feeding information to the Office o=
Special Plans was a secret, rump unit established last year in the office o=
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel. This unit, which paralleled 's =E2=
=80=93 and
which has not previously been reported =E2=80=93 prepared intelligence repo=
rts on Iraq in
English (not Hebrew) and forwarded them to the Office of Special Plans. It
was created in Sharon's office, not inside Israel's Mossad intelligence ser=
because the Mossad =E2=80=93 which prides itself on extreme professionalism=
 =E2=80=93 had
views closer to the CIA's, not the Pentagon's, on Iraq. This secretive unit=
, and
not the Mossad, may well have been the source of the forged documents
purporting to show that Iraq tried to purchase yellowcake uranium for weapo=
ns from
Niger in West Africa, according to the former official."

A Jewish conspiracy? No. An Israeli covert action? Perhaps.

Anti-semites may see no difference, but, then again, neither do the neocons=
To them, an attack on the Wolfowitz-Feith-Shulsky Axis of Deception is an
attack on "the Jews." The Nazis (no, I'm not providing a link!) concur, add=
"And rightly so." But this terminological confusion, as Michael Lind trench=
pointed out in an excellent essay in The Nation, is rooted in journalistic
sloppiness and the error of conflating ethnicity and ideology:

"It is true, and unfortunate, that some journalists tend to use
'neoconservative' to refer only to Jewish neoconservatives, a practice that=
 forces them to
invent categories like 'nationalist conservative' or 'Western conservative'
for Rumsfeld and Cheney. But neoconservatism is an ideology, like
paleoconservatism and libertarianism, and Rumsfeld and Dick and Lynne Chene=
y are
full-fledged neocons, as distinct from paleocons or libertarians, even thou=
gh they are
not Jewish and were never liberals or leftists. What is more, Jewish neocon=
s do
not speak for the majority of American Jews. According to the 2003 Annual
Survey of American Jewish Opinion by the American Jewish Committee, 54 perc=
ent of
American Jews surveyed disapproved of the war on Iraq, compared with only 4=
percent who approved, and American Jews disapproved of the way Bush is hand=
the campaign against terrorism by a margin of 54-41."

The idea that naming names =E2=80=93 identifying specific government offici=
als as
tireless advocates of war with Iraq =E2=80=93 is the equivalent of painting=
 a swastika on
a synagogue door is, as longtime conservative activist Paul Weyrich put it =
Steigerwald, "really outrageous." Weyrich's answer to the "anti-Semite" sme=
needs to be read and absorbed by all thinking conservatives, especially tho=
who supported the war:

"I really resent the idea that if you question who it is that planned the w=
=E2=80=93 just because you ask questions about them =E2=80=93 it is automat=
anti-Semitic. It is not. It is legitimate to ask these questions. It is leg=
itimate to
have a debate about the legitimacy and effect of this war. If that means
questioning some of the people who are involved in it, so be it. The presid=
ent is a
very committed Christian. Should we say that, 'Well, we can't question anyt=
that Bush does, because if we did it would be anti-Christian'? That's silly=

Silly =E2=80=93 in a sinister kind of way. Political correctness is not ent=
irely a
phenomenon of the Left, as Rush Limbaugh and his fellow neoconized
"conservatives" would have you believe: the Right has its own version, whic=
h is, in many
ways, even more rigid than any campus "speech code." But the failure of the
neocons' war is introducing a note of glasnost into the conservative camp, =
as E.
J. Dionne and others are beginning to notice. When even George Will begins =
notice that something is terribly wrong, you know something must be up=E2=


Hey, I knew there was a reason for this startling turn of events =E2=80=93 =
it must
have been my article in the June issue of Chronicles magazine on the compli=
of the American media, and especially Judith Miller of the New York Times, =
lying us into war. The piece appeared just before the Times "ombudsman" cam=
out with his long overdue apology =E2=80=93 and how's that for timeliness?!=
 Nope, it's
not online =E2=80=93 sheesh, you mean you haven't subscribed to Chronicles =
Boy-oh-boy, you sure are missing out. I've been writing for the magazine fo=
r years,
and hope to continue doing so as long as they'll let me, so, c'mon, don't
deprive yourself. Go here and check it out=E2=80=A6.

=E2=80=93 Justin Raimondo


Message: 2
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: Lockboxes, Iraqi Loot and a TRAIL TO THE FED
Date: Sun, 6 Jun 2004 18:19:07 -0400

NYTimes, June6

Lockboxes, Iraqi Loot and a Trail to the Fed

New York Times

WHEN a United States Army sergeant broke through a false wall in a small
building in Baghdad on a Friday afternoon a little over a year ago, he
discovered more than three dozen sealed boxes containing about $160 million
in neatly bundled $100 bills.Later that day, soldiers found more cash in
other hideaways near the Tigris River, in an exclusive neighborhood that
elite members of Saddam Hussein's government once called home. By the end of
the evening, they had amassed 164 metal boxes, all riveted shut, that held
about $650 million in shrink-wrapped greenbacks.  ...


.....  Asked by the House Financial Services Committee last Wednesday what
mistakes the Fed made in its examinations of UBS, Mr. Baxter said, "We did
not follow the old audit admonition: trust, but verify."


Message: 3
From: "ppg" <>
To: <>
Subject: Oil-for-Food report delayed at least 3 months
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 01:02:53 -0400

Telegraph UK
Iraqi judge orders arrest of American aide to Chalabi
By Colin Freeman, Charles Laurence and Damien Mcelroy
(Filed: 06/06/2004)

An arrest warrant has been issued for Ahmed Chalabi's right-hand man in
Baghdad, the American consultant Francis Brooke, who tried to stop the
recent raid on the politician's headquarters in the Iraqi capital.

In the latest in a series of damaging blows for Mr Chalabi, an Iraqi judge
said that Mr Brooke had obstructed the Iraqi police. He is believed to have
returned to Washington, leaving his former master to tackle claims that his
Iraqi National Congress passed American secrets to Iran.

"He stopped the raid by telling the police they didn't have the legal power
to do it because he was an American and they were Iraqis," said Judge Zuhair
Al-Maliky, of the central criminal court in Baghdad. "

As a result, the raid didn't go as planned. The warrant is for interfering
with the work of the Iraqi police in their legitimate business.

" America has recently withdrawn its support from Mr Chalabi, who was once
its favoured candidate to run post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. The FBI is
investigating claims that Mr Chalabi passed classified information to Iran,
allegations that he denies.

The inquiry was launched after United States intelligence officers
intercepted a message sent by Iranian spies in Baghdad to Teheran.

The message allegedly reported how Mr Chalabi told the Iranians that
Washington's code-breakers had cracked their communications channels -
information Mr Chalabi said had been let slip by a "drunken American".

Mr Brooke, who is an evangelical Christian, has worked with Mr Chalabi since
1990 - first as a consultant paid by the CIA and most recently as a
consultant for BKSH and Associates, a company run by Charlie Black, a
Republican Party veteran.

Reports from Iran suggest that Mr Brooke acted as an intermediary between
Washington and Teheran, passing letters between the two governments, which
do not have bilateral relations.

Yesterday, Mr Brooke could not be reached for comment, although a colleague
in Baghdad said that the arrest warrant was part of a politically-motivated
campaign to discredit Mr Chalabi and his followers.

Mr Brooke has boasted of engineering the war on Iraq by providing America
the evidence it was seeking on weapons of mass destruction. "I'm a smart
man," he told The New Yorker magazine last week. "I saw what they wanted,
and I adapted my strategy."

Among the records held by Mr Chalabi in his Baghdad headquarters - which
were stripped during a raid last month - he claimed to have material
relating to the scandal-hit oil-for-food programme run by the United Nations
during Saddam's rule.

Last night, it emerged that on the same day as the raid, computer files
belonging to the British consultant investigating the oil-for-food scandal
were destroyed by hackers and a back-up databank in his Baghdad office wiped

Claude Hankes Drielsma, a British businessman and long-time acquaintance of
Mr Chalabi, accused America and Britain of mounting a "dirty tricks"
campaign to obstruct his inquiry.

"I think you have to expect this to happen with events of the magnitude of
those we are dealing with," he said.

His report on oil-for-food, written for the international accounting company
KPMG, was due to be released in three weeks but its publication has been
delayed for at least three months, he said.

"This report would have been even more damning than anticipated. This would
not sit comfortably with the political agenda in Washington or London.

"I believe that what Washington wants is to keep the lid on things until
after the presidential election. The White House believes that the report
will be detrimental to President Bush's re-election campaign."

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