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US strategy, 13-22/12/01 (2)

US strategy, 13-22/12/01 (2)

*  Washington hawks get power boost [Guardian article on the impetus
currently enjoyed by the warmongers]
*  NSC head: Iran, Iraq, Syria must be confronted [This is actually about
Israeli strategy but the distinction between Israeli and US strategy with
regard to keeping Arabs in line is becoming a little blurred]
*  `U.S. has no plans to strike Iraq at present' [Condoleeza Rice addressing
a conference in Israel]
*  Liberate Iraq, Unleash Democracy [This article gives an interesting
account of the 1995/6 debacle in the Kurdish zone, indicating that the INC
were comprehensively betrayed by the CIA. It doesn¹t mention that Iraqi
troops entered the autonomous zone at the invitation of the KDP because the
PUK was effectively supporting an invasion from Iran. We can only assume
that the US breathed a huge sigh of relief when S.Hussein intervened to sort
the whole thing out (Œclean it up¹, as the Americans might say), despite the
massacre of the INC presence which ensued. The article also shows the
academic specialist in Muslim fundamentalism, Bernard Lewis, as a supported
of the goal of US world hegemony]
*  The march to Baghdad [Extract expressing Israeli unease that if Saddam is
faced with certain death nothing will restrain him from doing something
unimaginably terrible]
*  U.S. massing its troops near Iraq
*  Middle Israel: The Babylonian Option[A comparatively benign Jewish vision
of the post Saddam settlement, leaving us wondering how the ŒMiddle Israel¹
phrase crept into the title]
*  The spymaster's prescription [A really nasty piece of work from James
Woolsey, speaking in Israel. It leaves me regretting that literature from
the Nazi and Fascist eras is not more readily available. It would make for
interesting comparisons, for example with the following: 'When this is over,
either we are going to be held in contempt in the Mideast as we are now, or
we are going to be feared and respected. There is nothing in between.'  In
one respect, Woolsey does differ from Hitler, perhaps learning from his
experience, when he advises Israel that ŒOccupations of a hostile population
are not easy to run¹. He suggests, as if Israel needed the advice, dividing
the Palestinians into Œself-governing¹ bantustans entirely at Israel¹s mercy
and rigorously excluded from access to the Israeli economy. In fact much
like the Nazi ghetto system. He concludes, however, with what one assumes is
a light-hearted touch of satirical humour:  "For democracies, war is the
last resort. It's the first resort for dictators who need foreign enemies."],3604,619784,00.html

by Julian Borger
The Guardian, 17th December

The gathering for a recent dinner at an expensive Washington hotel was
officially to honour the "Keepers of the Flame" - US security officials
deemed by their more conservative colleagues to have fought the good fight
for bigger defence budgets and tougher policies.

It was also a celebration.

The mostly casualty-free military successes in Afghanistan have
significantly boosted the power of Washington's "super-hawks" - a tight-knit
group of former cold warriors who have returned from more than a decade in
policy exile to grasp the levers of power once more.

"It's taken us 13 years to get here, but we've arrived," the evening's host,
Frank Gaffney, the head of a hawkish Washington thinktank, declared to
applause and murmurs of agreement.

The new defence establishment clustered around the defence secretary, Donald
Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, is clearly winning the policy
debate against the state department.

In the latest of a string of setbacks for Colin Powell's multilateralist
approach, the secretary of state's attempts to keep negotiations going with
Moscow over missile defence was abruptly brought to an end last week with
the announcement that the United States would withdraw from the anti
ballistic missile (ABM) treaty.

Meanwhile, the hardliners are capturing key squares on the chessboard of
Washington power, at the expense of the moderates at state.

Barring a military disaster in the Afghan endgame, the Pentagon is almost
certain to win its battle to pursue the war of terrorism into Iraq and
suspected terrorist havens across the world.

"This is the third significant military campaign, after Desert Storm and
Kosovo, in which air power has been the decisive element and where
casualties have been negligible," John Pike, the chief analyst at the online
security newsletter, said.

"To the extent that the administration now can't tell the difference between
a war and a firepower display, there is a greater temptation to resort to

But the hawk ascendancy has had other far-reaching implications.

Significant foreign policy issues have been annexed by the Pentagon and its
militant allies, including the negotiation of key international treaties and
the handling of the Israel Palestinian conflict.

John Bolton - the Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz group's own man in the state department
- was forced on Mr Powell despite the secretary of state's strenuous

Mr Bolton is under secretary of state for arms control and international
security. He serves as senior adviser to the president on non-proliferation
and disarmament - a role which causes grim amusement in the state department
as he opposes multilateral arms agreements on principle.

Inserted into the department to oversee the destruction of the ABM treaty,
Mr Bolton was also instrumental in torpedoing international negotiations in
Geneva earlier this month aimed at enforcing the toothless 1972 biological
weapons convention.

Mr Powell does not have a counterweight to Mr Bolton in the Pentagon, and he
is about to lose an important ally in the White House.

Bruce Reidel, a Clinton holdover who has echoed the state department's
emphasis on the need to maintain an Arab coalition, is due to leave his job
as head of the national security council Middle East desk next week.

The hawks' candidate to take over is Zalmay Khalilzad, an Afghan-American
with little experience in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, whose empire
will include the Middle East, Iran and Iraq.

Three years ago, he co-signed a letter to the then president, Bill Clinton,
calling on him to throw his weight wholeheartedly into an effort to topple
Saddam Hussein. The letter was also signed by Mr Rumsfeld, Mr Wolfowitz, Mr
Bolton and others.

And for the Washington hawks, Israel is a strategic ally which should not be
bullied into giving ground - a view promoted by Doug Feith at the Pentagon,
and Frank Gaffney, his former colleague at the Centre for Security Policy

"The so-called Middle East 'peace process,' which began with secret
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in Oslo, has materially contributed to the
present, catastrophic situation," the CSP argues on its website.

"Successive concessions made in the name of advancing the 'peace process' by
both Labour and Likud-led governments of Israel have not appeased demands
for further concessions, only whetted Arab appetites for more."

The CSP has now established itself as an influential player in Washington, a
policy powerhouse focused on establishing a radical, unilateralist and
aggressive new defence doctrine.

The ballroom for the "Keepers of the Flame" gathering was packed with the
high priests of the new security establishment. They included Mr Rumsfeld,
Mr Feith and another Pentagon advisor, JD Crouch, sitting alongside the
former CIA director, James Woolsey, a leading proponent of a new war against

Among them was Richard Perle, known as the "prince of darkness" in the
Reagan-era arms race, who has been reborn as the chairman of the defence
policy board.

Mr Rumsfeld was the night's keynote speaker. He declared his happiness at
being able to speak his mind "among friends" and embraced the mood by
telling a cheering audience that after finishing off al-Qaida and the
Taliban, "we'd best go after the rest of the terrorists".

For the time being, at least, there is little in Washington to stop Mr
Rumsfeld chasing America's foes all the way to Baghdad.

America's top sabre-rattlers

Donald Rumsfeld - A veteran of the cold war chosen by the vice-president,
Dick Cheney, in the face of opposition from Colin Powell, now secretary of
state. His radical policies and abrasive manner initially provoked
resistance from the Pentagon generals. But the war on terrorism has made him
the most powerful member of the cabinet and he is expanding his influence
into foreign policy fields normally managed by the secretary of state.

Paul Wolfowitz - Mr Rumsfeld's deputy, and the foremost exponent of a new
war against Saddam Hussein. He is a former academic with a wide-ranging
network of travellers and sympathisers, commonly referred to in Washington
as the "Wolfowitz cabal".

Doug Feith - The Pentagon's policy supremo and a former director of the
Centre for Security Policy (CSP), who has led the charge for a more
pro-Israel Middle East policy.

Frank Gaffney - a former defence policy official and Rumsfeld acolyte who
now runs the CSP - a thinktank and ideological seminary for young hawks. He
advocates the scrapping of the Oslo peace process, the forceful promotion of
the national missile defence system, and a settling of scores with Baghdad.

Richard Perle - Known as Ronald Reagan's "prince of darkness" for his
distaste for disarmament treaties, and his hawkish attitude towards the
Soviet Union. Mr Perle retains an important role in the defence policy
board, a Pentagon thinktank which he chairs.

John Bolton - The hawks' man inside the state department. Despite the
objections of Colin Powell, he was appointed undersecretary of state for
arms control, non-proliferation and international security, even though he
is a committed unilateralist who opposes global arms treaties on principle.

Zalmay Khalilzad - the top Afghan-American in the administration. Three
years ago, he signed a joint letter with Donald Rumsfeld and other hawks,
calling on the Clinton administration to topple Saddam.

He is seeking to take over the Middle East portfolio when Bruce Reidel steps
down later this month.

Jerusalem Post, 17th December

National Security Council head Uzi Dayan said this morning that, "Iran, Iraq
and Syria must be confronted on the international level."

"These three countries mix terror, weapons of mass destruction, and threaten
the State of Israel," Dayan said.

"Farther down the road, we are going to operate against groups and terrorist
states Iran, Iraq, and Syria.

"We must pay attention to .. these groups and states.. They must be dealt
with on an international level as soon as possible," Dayan said at the
Herzliya Conference on the Balance of National Strength and Security last

Mossad head Ephraim Halevy said at the conference that Palestinian Authority
Chairman Yasser Arafat seems to lack the desire to take a strategic decision
to end the violence in the territories and fight Islamic extremism, as the
international community and Israel have demanded

by Amnon Barzilai
Ha'aretz, 18th December

The U.S. has no plans to strike at Iraq at present, U.S. National Security
Adviser Condoleezza Rice said yesterday, speaking by satellite to a select
audience at the Herzliya Convention for National Security.

Rice said the U.S. will focus its military operations against the terrorist
organization Al Qaida in Afghanistan and around the world until it is
demolished and its leaders brought to justice.

Rice also addressed U.S. policy toward Palestinian terror in Israel. "You
can't fight Al Qaida and at the same time, hug Hamas and Hezbollah," said

The convention this week is being attended by Israel's top security chiefs,
including the defense minister, the Israel Defense Forces' chief-of-staff,
and the heads of the Mossad and the Shin Bet security service. It is being
sponsored by the Institute for Strategy and Policy of the Herzliya
Interdisciplinary Center.

When asked by one of the participants whether the next stage in the war
against terror will involve a war against Iraq, Rice responded that despite
the fact that Iraq poses a threat to the stability of the Middle East and
even to the United States, plans for attacking Iraq are not being considered
at present.

The Israel Air Force's former commander, Major General Eitan Ben-Eliahu
(Res.), addressed the possibility of increasing military cooperation between
Israel and the U.S. Rice commended the cooperation between the two
countries. She stressed the high level of coordination in the development of
anti-missile technology, mentioning the Arrow anti missile system as a
common project of Israel and the U.S. She also noted that the Israel Defense
Forces and the U.S. military habitually stage joint exercises.

Rice said she endorsed further expansion of cooperation between the
countries on development of anti-missile technology.

Former Mossad chief Shabtai Shavit asked the national security adviser how
America's close ties with the fundamental Islamic state Saudi Arabia fit
with America's moral beliefs. Rice responded that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia
have a deep friendship, which was brought to light in the Gulf War, and
again in America's war against terror. Rice said that the U.S. does not
attempt to impose its values on its friends despite differences in belief.

by Robert L. Bartley
Wall Street Journal, 17th December

As fighting winds down in Afghanistan, Ahmad Chalabi is moving from
obscurity to the biggest issue in the next step of the war against
terrorism. He's president of the Iraqi National Congress, the anti-Saddam
group "dedicated to the institution of constitutional, democratic, and
pluralistic government in Iraq."

U.S. officials up to and including President Bush have suggested that the
war against terrorism is likely to include Iraq. Saddam is clearly
developing weapons of mass destruction, has actually used poison gas and
sent terrorists trying to assassinate former President George Bush. But in
thinking about military action against Iraq, you come quickly to the
question of the INC, with military proposals and political ambitions highly
controversial here and abroad.

I remember a dinner, for example, where Mr. Chalabi recounted his
conversations with the authorities in Saudi Arabia. Yes, they kept telling
him, we will help your attempt to overthrow Saddam Hussein. Yes, we are
willing to spend money. But late in the week came the caveat: But of course,
you will have to forget all this business about installing a democracy.

The Iraqi National Congress asserts, further, that the Iraqi people so hate
the Saddam dictatorship that they would rise in revolt and rally to its
banner if only the U.S. gave it unambiguous backing. Would a new war against
Iraq require the 500,000 troops the U.S. deployed in 1991? Or could it be
more like the Afghan fighting, with a local militia backed by U.S. airpower
and special forces?

Pentagon civilian planners, it's widely reported, give Mr. Chalabi enough
credence to consider the INC as a potential umbrella group for bringing
together an armed resistance. Mr. Chalabi, a University of Chicago
mathematics Ph.D. from a wealthy Shi'ite family that left Iraq when the
Hashemite monarchy was overthrown in 1958, also enjoys the support of the
U.S. Congress, which earmarked $29 million for the INC's use last year.

The CIA and the State Department, by contrast, regard Mr. Chalabi and his
ideas with deep suspicion. State refuses to release money to the INC except
for activities outside of Iraq, for example, using the Congressional funds
not as support but as a leash. The CIA animus is notorious, perhaps deriving
from charges of financial improprieties surrounding the 1989 closing of a
bank Mr. Chalabi ran in Jordan. More likely Jordanian authorities were
intent on keeping him from exposing their then-substantial financial
dealings with Saddam Hussein, and the real root of CIA feelings is that in
the past it was burned in dealings with the INC.

Or perhaps a bigger sin, that the INC was burned by the CIA. For Mr. Chalabi
and his allies are no armchair revolutionaries. They took advantage of the
U.S. "no fly" zone to establish a presence in northern Iraq, attract
defectors, momentarily unify the perpetually feuding Talabani and Barzani
Kurds, and in 1995 launch a meaningful offensive. Just before the offensive
opened, Washington withdrew offers of U.S. support offered by a CIA
operative in the field, and the Kurds started fighting each other instead of
Saddam. After an abortive coup attempt sponsored by the U.S. and Saudis the
following year, Saddam sent tanks into the Kurdish zone to expel the INC;
some 150 of its defectors were executed or killed in the fighting.

The U.S., that is, chose to support a palace coup rather than a popular
uprising. It did the same thing in the immediate aftermath of the Gulf War,
when insurrection broke out in all but three or four of Iraq's 18 provinces.
The U.S. decided let an abjectly defeated Saddam fly armed helicopters to
suppress the revolts. Bush administration planners apparently felt the
uprising interfered with a planned coup, and may even have thought the
helicopters were part of the anti-Saddam plot. The lesson seems to be that
Saddam is much better at coups than the CIA and Saudis are.

Backing a popular uprising certainly carries risks. John Foster Dulles
pretty much stopped talking of "roll-back" in Eastern Europe, for example,
when he found himself unable to justify the risk of supporting the 1956
Hungarian uprising. But the prospects of both military success and political
democracy in Iraq deserve to be reassessed in the light of experiences since
September 11.

The Afghan fighting goes far to vindicate visions of a new era of warfare,
with the decisive factor being not massive formations but small, mobile and
exceedingly precise strikes. And the spectacles of the Afghans greeting U.S.
troops as liberators and Iranian students demonstrating in favor of the U.S.
suggest that even among Muslims democracy, or at least freedom in some form,
may not be so wild a dream.

In the past couple of weeks I've talked to two authorities who find Mr.
Chalabi's hopes quite plausible, both militarily and politically. Former CIA
director James Woolsey has in his private capacity become something of an
INC advocate, for example representing some of its members in disputes with
immigration authorities. He stresses that since the Gulf War airpower has
become much more deadly‹only one in 10 bombs dropped then was a smart
munition, now even the gravity bombs have a lot of guidance. Regular troops
massing to confront a citizen militia would be devastated from the air.

A second and even more impressive believer is Princeton historian Bernard
Lewis. His warnings of Muslim rage in 1990 and Osama bin Laden's jihad
against the U.S. in 1998 confirm him as our pre-eminent expert on the Middle
East. As recently as 1996, he wrote pessimistically about the prospects of
democracy in the Middle East. That, he now says, was before he got to know
the Iraqi National Congress.

He divides Middle Eastern nations into three categories: In those with
anti-American dictatorships, Iraq and Iran, public opinion is pro-American.
In those with pro-American dictatorships, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, public
opinion is anti-American. And finally, in the democracies, Israel and
Turkey, both governments and people are pro-American. He adds that Saddam
has let his conventional military degrade while investing in weapons of mass
destruction, which makes him more dangerous every year he remains in power.

An anti-terrorist offensive against Iraq would of course be no light thing,
given his capabilities with poison gas and threats to attack Israel. But
it's far from clear a popular uprising need fail. And it's entirely clear,
at least to me, that the objective should be not to enthrone a
Saudi-approved strongman, but to create a pluralistic and modernizing Iraq.

Mr. Bartley is editor of The Wall Street Journal. His column appears Mondays
in the Journal and on

by Ron Dermer
Jerusalem Post, 20th December


But here is where it gets tricky.During the Gulf War, by making clear that a
non-conventional strike against its citizens will be answered by a massive
non-conventional counter-attack, Israel deterred Saddam from using weapons
of mass destruction.

But should Saddam's head already be on the American chopping block, such
deterrence will prove ineffective. Put simply, a man who is certain to die
once is not threatened by the prospect of a second certain death.

We should have no illusions that a man willing to kill thousands of his own
countrymen will have any qualms about killing tens of thousands of Jews.That
is why a dying Saddam is likely to be a deadly Saddam.

It is also why preparing the Israeli public for America's march to Baghdad
is surely the most pressing issue now facing the country.{1E0998FE-D41D-4CB0-95A5

by Michael Higgins
National Post (Canada), 20th December

More than 20,000 American troops have been moved into Qatar and Kuwait in a
possible sign the United States is shifting its focus on terrorism to Iraq.

Also yesterday, the Czech parliament approved a plan to send up to 400
anti-chemical warfare and medical troops to help the United States. It is
believed some of the troops could be sent to Kuwait.

Analysts say stationing troops in Kuwait, where similar Czech units fought
during the Gulf War, is a signal the campaign is shifting from Afghanistan
and might be broadened to include Iraq and its leader Saddam Hussein.

The United States moved the headquarters of its 3rd Army to Qatar two weeks
ago and defence analysts have reported large numbers of troops being moved
into the region since.

The 3rd Army is the ground component of the U.S. Central Command, which
oversees America's military operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan
and was in charge of coalition forces during the Gulf War.

The Pentagon has insisted it is merely rotating troops but defence analysts
say about 24,000 troops have been moved in with barely a brigade, about
4,000, moving out.


Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Defence Secretary, said on Tuesday Somalia had
hosted al Qaeda leaders in the past. He said Yemen and Sudan were also known
to harbour active al Qaeda cells.

"The only way to deal with a terrorist network that is global is to go after
it where it is," said Mr. Rumsfeld. He added the alliance should "prepare
now for the next war." Yesterday Mr. Rumsfeld said a senior German official
was "flat wrong" when he said the United States had marked war-ravaged
Somalia as its next target.

Meanwhile, Abdi Guled Mohamed, the Somali Transport Minister, said yesterday
the government wants to be an ally of the United States in the war on
terrorism. Somalia is home to the Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya, or "Islamic
Union," a fundamentalist group that has been linked to al-Qaeda.

On the other side of the Gulf of Aden, Yemen yesterday sent special army
troops led by the son of its president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to search for
Muslim militants linked to bin Laden in what was believed to be a bid to
pre-empt any U.S. strike. The action was taken a day after clashes killed at
least 18 people from both sides.

by Amotz Asa-El
Jerusalem Post, 20th December

"This may be your last visit here," an official Iraqi escort told a Western
journalist during a recent visit to Baghdad's Saddam Tower, destroyed by
Allied bombings during the Gulf War, only to be rebuilt twice as tall.

Now the Iraqis say this tower will be among the first targets of the United
States' attack which they believe is just a matter of time.ÊThe blows ahead
for Iraq seem almost as arrogantly invited and hopelessly irreversible as a
Greek tragedy's foregone conclusion.

United States President George W. Bush did not mince words when he said that
Saddam had better allow United Nations inspectors into his country, or else.
Saddam, for his part, lost no time flatly rejecting the American demand,
making it clear for those who still doubted it that even 32 years after
seizing power and one morning after Taliban's dismemberment, the Iraqi
leader still enjoys nothing more than the smell of fire, blood and guts.

And so, an impressive group of notables, ranging from former CIA head James
Woolsey to former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, now openly call for an
attack on Iraq, and intelligence agencies predict one by March.

What remains to be explored is just what an attack should actually seek,
avoid, and accomplish.

MILITARILY, Iraq is incredibly vulnerable. The US Army is intimately
familiar with it, its Air Force is positioned in nearby Turkey, and Saddam's
troops, unlike the Taliban's, are mostly deployable only in easy-to-target
flatlands. Politically, however, Iraq might prove more slippery.

What, then, should Washington do? Create the first Arab democracy? Slice off
a Kurdish state? Replace Saddam with a pro-Western despot?

Iraq was sinfully conceived in the aftermath of World War I, as Britain and
France carved up the fallen Ottoman Empire's spoils, lumping together enemy
populations so that the colonialist masters could divide and rule. That this
was disastrous, not only in Iraq, has since become obvious. The question now
is whether an attack on it will merely change Iraq's leadership, or also its
historic direction.

Back in '91, Washington's assumption was that Saddam's threat remained
essentially regional and affected the broader world only insofar as the free
flow of oil was concerned. Since then the US has learned, the hard way, that
despots like Saddam can threaten world stability itself, and can never be
assumed to have been "taught their lesson."

THE CHALLENGE ahead of America now seems even more tricky, considering that
Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia oppose an attack on Saddam.
Fortunately, America is less concerned today with such a lack of sympathy
for its designs than it was before the Afghan campaign. If it managed there
with no more than lip service from myriad Arab regimes, it may do so in
Iraq, too.

But what if it over-kills, and loses political currency in the Arab world
and moral altitude in the free world?

There is an alternative to all out war. The US can leave the Iraqi people
largely unscathed and aim its guns instead at the regime's hard core, which
comprises only a few hundred people whose removal will, in one fell swoop,
leave Iraq in a political vacuum. America should then allow regional forces
to re-shape Iraq politically, and foreign powers to help it to its feet

Politically, once Saddam is overthrown, America can make one of two choices:
Either leave Iraq intact or redraw its borders. If it opts for the former,
the US might prod a new regime to create a federation in which minorities
and regions long neglected, abused and tormented by Saddam would have a role
in shaping their own destiny.

Alternatively, Iraq's borders may be re-drawn so as to create a Kurdish
state. Such a move would have to involve traditionally anti-Kurdish Turkey
and Iran. Ankara can be coaxed into accepting such a deal by persuading
Brussels to realize Ankara's supreme foreign policy goal, which is to join
the European Union. Iran can be lured by granting it advantages it has long
been seeking in the Shat-el-Arab area and a special relationship with Iraq's
Shi'ite minority.

Whichever of these options is chosen, it would delegate Iraq's redefinition
to Mideastern powers and inhabitants, and thus not only avoid the colonial
era's tragedies, but also help heal the fundamentalism, terrorism and
despotism that festered in its aftermath.

Yet Iraq's political re-invention would mean nothing if not coupled with an
economic gospel. The new regime in Baghdad should be expected to cooperate
with a major international reconstruction program.

Iraq is the only Middle Eastern country blessed with both water and oil, a
population that is neither too big (like Egypt's) nor too small (like most
Gulf states'), and a middle class that, while not large enough, is still
broader than any other Arab country's.

With such a rare balance of resources, Iraq could long ago have been turned
into a Near Eastern tiger economy, if only it had not been abandoned to the
devices of thugs who worship honor, power and conquest, and don't care a fig
for prosperity, stability and progress. There were times - entire centuries
- before and after its embrace of Islam when the land between the Euphrates
and Tigris rivers was among the world's richest and most cosmopolitan. The
Jews monumentalized those times by creating the Babylonian Talmud back when
Mesopotamia was famous for the very common sense, affluence and tolerance,
whose restoration should be the hallmark of a post-Saddam Iraq.

By Jeff Barak
Jerusalem Post, 20th December

Measuring the different degrees of fraud Former CIA chief James Woolsey
tells Jeff Barak why the next step in the US war on terrorism must be to
bring down Saddam Hussein

Former CIA chief James Woolsey has no doubt as to what should be the next
objective in the war against terror: The destruction of Saddam Hussein.
Fighting a global war against terrorism without targeting Iraq, he says, "is
sort of like Hamlet without the prince."

Woolsey was here this week for a 13-hour stay in Israel to give the keynote
address at the opening of the Herzliya Conference, a speech that won the
plaudits of Israel's military and intelligence community. Talking off the
cuff ­ "I haven't written out a speech since I was 12, except for times when
I was speaking in an official capacity" ­ the ex-CIA head charmed his
audience with a mixture of dry humor and tough talk. In the bar of the Dan
Accadia afterwards, nursing a glass of red wine during an interview with The
Jerusalem Post, Woolsey was continually praised by passers-by for the
sharpness of his lecture.

Unlike his Israeli counterparts, such as Mossad head Ephraim Halevy who
spoke before him, or former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit, for whom lecturing
is a serious business, Woolsey enjoys entertaining his audience: "Mr
Chairman," he begins his speech, "I was deeply honored to be asked to be
with you here tonight, but to tell you the truth since I'm: a) a lawyer, b)
from Washington DC and c) I've spent some time out in the CIA, I'm
prettywell honored to be invited into any polite company for any purposes

But the message he brought with him was far from polite conversation. "We
are at war to the death. There should be no mistake about this. September 11
galvanized us into serious action in exactly the same way that December 7,
1941, did."

Most of the time, Woolsey notes, American foreign policy is seen as a
contest between three schools of thought: Jeffersonianism, which sees the US
as a model of democracy and very reluctant to interfere abroad ­ "Colin
Powell is classified as a Jeffersonian;" Hamiltonianism, which puts commerce
and business first; and Wilsonianism, which advocates idealism at home and
abroad, a strong commitment to international organizations, and a strong
involvement in human rights abroad.

But now, he says, there is a fourth school: Jacksonianism. "Jacksonians,"
according to Woolsey, "share the characteristic of [the seventh US
president] Andrew Jackson, where, whenever crossed in any way in which he
thought his honor or the country's honor had been fundamentally attacked,
Jackson was absolutely and totally ruthless in destroying his enemies. And,
I might add, universally successful. "Jacksonians instinctively understand
something that a Mideast scholar said to me a few days aftern September 11.

'When this is over, either we are going to be held in contempt in the
Mideast as we are now, or we are going to be feared and respected. There is
nothing in between.' " With the 80 percent to 90 percent support ratings for
President Bush and the approximate 80 percent support for taking out Saddam
Hussein's regime,"the Americans are Jacksonians today," Woolsey insists. For
Woolsey, Iraq is the "center of gravity" of world terrorism and weapons
proliferation. "If you break it, a lot of other things may fall too," he

CONTAINMENT of Iraq, which was the Clinton policy, is "a mug's game," he
maintains. "The problem is while you are containing them, they are working
on ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction."

Indeed, Woolsey who resigned as CIA director in December 1994 after two
years in the job due to the fallout in the Aldrich Ames case, has few kind
words to say about the former American president's handling of the Iraqi
regime. "In 1993, Saddam tried to kill former President Bush in Kuwait, and
President Clinton lobbed a few cruise missiles into an empty Iraqi
intelligence headquarters in the middle of the night. I have never
understood why killing Iraqi cleaning women and night watchmen was supposed
to be a lesson to Saddam."

The ex-CIA head accepts that there might be logistic reasons for delaying an
attack on Baghdad, but notes that even given the experience of the Vietnam
war, President George Bush does not have to worry about waning public
support for such an operation, should it drag on. "Particularly given the
[September 11] attack, I think the president has years ­ more than three. I
mean, there'll be setbacks, and blips in the polls and those sorts of
things, but generally speaking people will cut him a lot of slack."

Woolsey also has little doubt Iraq was implicated in the wave of anthrax
letters that hit the US after September 11. As he ironically told the
audience at Herzliya: "It is possible that there is no tie between the
anthrax mailed in the US and those who perpetrated September 11, that it is
entirely the product of, let's say, a crazed, American Nazi Ph.D.
microbiologist in a well-equipped laboratory in a cave somewhere under
Trenton, N.J. That's possible. "But if this crazed microbiolo-gist had
nothing to do with September 11, then it is a coincidence that he was ready
to mail the anthrax one week later. Or, he was thinking about it and then
after September 11 very quickly organized his laboratory and started mailing
anthrax in one week.

"Now if you think both of those scenarios are pretty unlikely, as I do, then
the only other alternative is that September 11 and the anthrax had
something to do with one another. And if those who suggest that if there is
an American or an independent terrorist group involved, that means that Iraq
is not involved, that's nonsense. There is no sole source of contracting
requirement for international terrorism. Joint ventures are entirely

While overthrowing Saddam would take more effort than destroying the
Taliban, Woolsey is confident it is possible, and less difficult than in
1991 because of the depleted state of the Iraqi military and defense
systems. And this time, Woolsey maintains, there is no need for a broad
coalition "in which we listen to the lowest common denominator." In fact,
"only one ally is essential ­ Turkey ­ for access to Arab land bases near
Iraq and land access to northern Iraq and for the expertise of its military.
We would have other countries with us ­ I believe, I trust this one [Israel]
and Britain, but we do not need a crowd to do this."

WOOLSEY is less clear when it comes to Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian
Authority. While he says that earlier he had some hope that Arafat "might
have had a tiny shred of Anwar Sadat in him, just enough maybe to get some
kind of deal done," this hope was extinguished when Arafat rejected
then-prime minister Ehud Barak's offer at Camp David. But this does not mean
Arafat should receive the same treatment as Saddam Hussein or Osama bin

In fact, like many others, Woolsey seems to grope towards unilateral
separation. "If it stays as hopeless as it looks right now, some way of
doing the fencing off option seems to me something that has to be
considered." Acknowledging that he doesn't have a grasp of the details of
which roads go where, which settlements are where, "but in principle, it
seems to me Israel would be able to hold on to strategically important
territory and make sure that no more weapons came into the PA. But the key
thing is: Are you going to let Palestinians come and go into Israel working,
because as long as they can come and go, they can have suicide bombers... I
don't know how you keep the suicide bombers out unless you separate the

Perhaps Israel should go back into the PA-controlled areas and take them
over? Woolsey is not convinced that that is the best option. "Somebody is
going to have to end up governing the Palestinians. If it's Israel, that is
a huge, terribly debilitating burden to undertake. Maybe Israel is willing
to do it, maybe it's the only option but it sure would not be the first one
I would take... Occupations of a hostile population are not easy to run."

Returning to his favorite theme of regime change in Iraq, Woolsey points out
that Baghdad helps support Palestinian terror, with the donations it sends
to the families of suicide bombers and those wounded in clashes with IDF

"I continue to think, although I can't be sure, good things will happen if
we start overthrowing regimes that back terrorism. However we phase it,
we've got about half a dozen loci of terrorisms that, in one way or another,
have to be changed: change the policy, change the people or change the
structure. In Iraq, I think you have to change the whole structure." For
other terror centers, such as the PA and Libya, the measures need not
necessarily be so harsh. "Mr Qadaffi has already gotten the message" he
says. "If you read anything he has written since September 11, he sounds ­
not a little bit, but exactly ­ like Tony Blair."

Iran, too, is changing, Woolsey says, and not just in elections which
routinely deliver, 70 percent to 75 percent votes for reformers, but in
demonstrations of young people after soccer games in Iran over the course of
the last month or so. "The chants have been "Long Live Freedom," "We love
America," and my favorite recent one ­ "Death to the Taliban in Kabul and in
Teheran. "Something is happening in Iran. It has not happened yet, but there
is some hope, not for reform by the mullahs but for the tumult of another
revolution, not tomorrow, perhaps not even within the next few months, but
the Mullahs are afraid and they should be. If the Baathist regime is
replaced in Iraq, we will have begun to reshape the Middle East."

In a quick survey of the new leaders in the Middle East, Woolsey has scant
regard for Bashar Assad: "I had some hopes for him for a few months... but
it sure doesn't look like it's borne out at all. He's a big disappointment
for anybody who hoped for change in Syria."

By contrast, Woolsey says he's "impressed" with Jordan's King Abdullah.
"He's about as good as you could possibly do for a potential partner in an
Arab state. He's got some real constraints on him because the majority of
his population are Palestinian, but his instincts are reasonable."

IN THE argument about whether the US security services should have been
better prepared for bin Laden's attack, Woolsey comes to the CIA's defense.

"Given the operational security that this September 11 thing was under, very
few people knew about it, it would have been very hard to penetrate it. Our
best shot was probably having broken into his satellite telephone
communications, which I don't think he thought we were reading, and then in
'98 that some-how came out and of course he stopped using it."

Woolsey does think, however, that his successor, John Deutch, did make life
more difficult for the CIA. "We placed too many restrictions on human
intelligence in the United States. We went for nearly six years with these
stupid guidelines that my successor issued that made it more difficult to
recruit spies if they had some violence in their background." For the CIA,
he points out, "and I imagine it's true for the Mossad, we get a lot of
people trapped inside bad governments who are willing to work for us.
Probably two-thirds of the Russian agents that Ames got killed were
essentially patriotic Russians who weren't in it for money, but just hated

"But inside terrorist organizations or criminal organizations, that's not
true. There's nobody in al-Qaida who doesn't want to be a terrorist. So it's
kind of crazy have to go through some extra hoops to recruit somebody if
they have some violence in their background... That's like telling the FBI
they should penetrate the Mafia but be real careful and try not to recruit
anybody who's an actual crook. It's crazy."

In the espionage world, "an awful lot of what's useful is a combinationof
human intelligence and technical intelligence. If you're spying on a drug
cartel, probably the best person to recruit would be the systems
administrator for the drug cartel's banks computer system. When we've done a
lot of stuff on proliferation, finding particular times when individual
ships were leaving port and so forth... it's often a combination of human
intelligence and either reconnaissance or signals intelligence."

According to Woolsey, Israel and the US are hated"because we are free. We
are hated by the Islamists ­ I prefer the totalitarian sounding formulation
rather than the religious one, so I say Islamist rather than Islamic
fundamentalism ­ because we believe in the freedom of speech, freedom of the
press, the education of women and openness, and everything that makes life
worth living in modern Israeli and American society." He traces the roots of
al Qaida to both the Wahabi branch of Islam, exported by Saudi Arabia, and
the influence of the ideology of the 1930s and '40s Moslem Brotherhood.

"I think the Saudi establishment gets itself a pass from the Wahabis by
helping the Wahabis set up madrasses in Pakistan, mosques in the United
States, and I think that's part of the problem. The Saudi establishment is
part of the problem because they've been exporting this extremely angry form
of Islam, which" he is clear to point out,"itself is not terrorist...

"Al-Qaida bears about the same relationship to mainline Moslem believers as
Torquemada bears to Jesus. There's no Sermon on the Mount in Torquemada...

"I would add there is the same kind of relation the guy who assassinated
[prime minister Yitzhak] Rabin bears to the Judaism I know in the States.
All the religions in one way or another can come up with nutcases, a fairly
large number of nutcases." Woolsey notes that a few years ago, one could
already see the signs of Islamism in the United States.

"Those who were active in American churches and synagogues began to perceive
it when these churches and synagogues would go to local mosques to put
together fundraising events for Bosnian Moslems and for the Moslems of
Kosovar, and would be told that the mosques in the United States, because a
number are Wahabi, could not cooperate with infidels such as you and me,
even in order to help fellow Moslems. That struck many Americans as being
not the Islam they thought was dominant."

Now that the identity of the enemy is known, Woolsey says America has to
prepare itself for "a very long and bloody war, including on the American
home front."

Moreover, unlike 1991 and the end of the Gulf War which left Saddam still in
power, "the keything is that we cannot abandon the cause of democracy in the
Mideast... We tried realpolitik with dictators and it got us September 11
and it got us the second intifada here."

Democracies, he points out, rarely fight one another. "For democracies, war
is the last resort. It's the first resort for dictators who need foreign
enemies." While accepting the democratization of the Middle East is a "tall
order," Woolsey is convinced that in post September 11,"America is back, and
it's back with a spirit that the world has not seen since 1945."

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