August 22, 2007
It is a good thing to be out of the loop; that’s what a vacation is for. Recently I attended an invitational croquet tournament in the New York area. Between playing and running off to various social activities, there was no time left to think about the problems of the wider world. It helped that I did not have a television in my room. In fact, the wider world, as well as all issues related to health and personal finances, receded to virtual invisibility. Is that why so many business and retired people play golf? For me, there is croquet and tennis. Somehow, though, between the matches and the cocktail and dinner parties, I stumbled across a copy of the Financial Times of London, the edition from Monday, July 23rd. There was an important guest editorial on page 7, which item does not seem to have shown up on the radar screens of the paleoconservative, anti-war and right-wing crowd with whom I run, when off the croquet and tennis courts.
The article is entitled “America must pull out of Iraq to contain civil war“ and was authored by Samuel Berger and Bruce Riedel. You no doubt recall Sandy “sticky fingers” Berger, Bill Clinton’s national security adviser from 1997-2000. There must have been something very disturbing indeed in the Clinton-era national security files at the National Archives, because in 2003 Berger decided to abscond and destroy certain, still unknown documents relating to terrorism, and he almost went to prison because of it. Otherwise, Sandy Berger seems like a nice enough chap, except for his professional association with Martin Indyk and Dennis Ross in the seven year fraud known as the Oslo “peace process” which culminated in the blowup at Camp David in the summer of 2000, at the tail end of Bubba’s reign.
It was at Camp David in July of 2000 that Tel Aviv and Washington found out that Yasser Arafat was not prepared to go down in history as a Quisling who enabled the perpetual military occupation of Palestine. Accordingly, Arafat was smeared and forthwith relegated to the outer void by Tel Aviv, Washington and the EU, while a search for the next prospective Quisling began. In the meantime, Ariel Sharon, G.W.‘s new best friend, went to work hammer and tongs in the occupied territories, as he had done years before during the invasion Lebanon, where he is remembered as “The butcher of Beirut”. And then, the following summer of 2001, Uncle Sam got hit with 9/11, which terrorist atrocity was a direct, gigantic blowback from botched and blighted American foreign policies directed at the Middle East over several decades. Is a pattern emerging here?
The near-treasonous shenanigans, proactive malfeasance and gross nonfeasance in Washington relating to the tragedy of Palestine by top level Washington politicians and their “expert advisors” remains ongoing and unassailable. It is a national scandal, studiously ignored by the establishment press and by most everybody else. The so-called experts, in case you haven’t noticed, are invariably little more than Likud fellow travelers and agents of AIPAC. In this respect, it has been a revolving door at the White House, under both Clinton and Bush, and every office holder on Capitol Hill as well as every Washington reporter knows it. Why on God’s good earth would Zionist zealots like Elliott Abrams and David Wurmser be placed in charge of U.S. policy vis-a-vis Israel and the Arabs? It is insane. Inquiring minds would like to know the reason why. Could it have something to do with raw domestic politics, campaign contributions, special interest groups and Washington lobbies? What do you think?
As for Bruce Riedel, the co-author of the FT article, he is described as a nonresident “senior fellow” at The Saban Center for Middle East Studies, Brookings Institute. Riedel is a long-time CIA veteran who worked for Clinton and then briefly in the Cheney Regency at the NSC from 2001-2002. Surprisingly, he does not appear to be just another run-of-the-mill Likudnik on the Washington merry-go-round. I say surprisingly, because of his association with The Saban Center, which outfit is such an obvious front organization for the Israel Lobby.
The Center is bankrolled by the international media kingpin Chaim “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel” Saban, a deep-pockets contributor to Democrats and a bosom buddy of Bubba and Hillary and Howard Dean. Not too long ago, Saban, who is headquartered in Los Angeles , took over the largest television news outlet in Germany, SAT.l Media. Welcome to the benefactions of globalism and thought control. The director of research at The Saban Center is Kenneth Pollack, a prime propagandist for the invasion of Iraq, best known for his slick, insipid and fatuous book, The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq, fulsomely praised in 2002. The subject matter was Saddam Hussein and his cache of WMDs, supposedly threatening “America and its interests”. You see to what dead end such idiocy and hubris have brought us. The aforementioned Indyk—suprise, surprise—is the Director of The Saban Center.
Back to the FT article at hand, which I suspect was written by Riedel, who truly is an expert, not a Zionist apparatchik. I found myself agreeing with most of his outlook and ideas, but wondering why the points made in the article had not occurred to him earlier—say, before the invasion. Maybe they did, but were then tossed into the waste paper basket due to the stress and exigencies of the moment—meaning the heady, irrational atmosphere created by the frantic rush to war, led by those “useful idiots”, Dick Cheney and G.W.
Item: “None of Iraq’s neighbors were eager for the invasion four years ago…. All of them saw the US and UK occupation as inherently destabilising….” Understood and agreed, Mr. Riedel. So why invade in the first place?
Item: “Iraq is already a safe haven for al-Qaeda terrorists who have attacked Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon….” Correct, the point being that it was not a safe haven before. So why did Washington invade, thereby creating such a terrorist haven for attacks upon Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon? Is that in America’s best interests?
Item: “…it is imperative that the US make clear…we plan no permanent military presence in Iraq, no bases and no special relationship. We want a fully independent Iraq, not a client state.” Do we? Are you joking, Mr. Riedel? To what end is Cheney building the largest U.S. embassy in the world in the Green Zone? May I ask the simple question for the last time, why was it imperative to invade the country? Iraq under Saddam Hussein was fully independent and not a client state of the US. Why create the inferno which exists today? Would it not have been far wiser, more prudent and less expensive simply to lift non-military sanctions on Iraq after 9/11, but keep an embargo on military supplies?
At all times please bear in mind that in 2002 there were no WMDs left in Iraq, none whatsoever, and Saddam Hussein had no connection whatsoever with 9/11. Iraq was no threat to anybody. The UN inspectors had arrived essentially at that conclusion. It was only George Tenet’s CIA—with lots of help from Douglas Feith’s Lie Factory at the Pentagon and from Mossad—which manufactured unsubstantiated stories to the contrary. The FT article, alas, does not address such outstanding issues, which are related to malfeasance, influence peddling, and espionage.
That is why we urgently need an American Inspector Maigret to investigate who was behind the decision to invade Iraq. The invasion was entirely unnecessary, wanton and ruinous. On its face, it remains inexplicable. America and the world have a right to know who was responsible for it, and those responsible should be held accountable for their actions, if need be with jail sentences. No cover-up and no pardons, please.
The whole subject deserves to be thoroughly investigated, starting of course with AIPAC and with the so-called “neocons“, the intellectual outriders for AIPAC, whom Taki has referred to as “Fifth Column fanatics“; and then with the front organizations like The Saban Center and The American Enterprise Institute; next in line would be the Middle East, private-agenda “experts” like the aforementioned Indyk, Ross, Pollack, Abrams, Feith and Wurmser, among others. The American Maigret would have to be appointed by the Senate and the Congress, with full powers to follow the investigation wherever it might lead. Can you imagine Maigret sitting down for a talk with Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, “Scooter” Libby, Henry Kissinger, Karl Rove, not to mention G.W.?
There is a long list of such dubious characters to be interviewed. There is a need to assess their conflicting motives and their level of participation. If it can be done, only an inscrutable, nonpartisan, nonplussable genius like Maigret would be capable of unearthing what actually happened. The problem is, at the end of the day could the politicians in Washington take it? Could they handle the truth? Could the country at large? The answer is, probably not. Accordingly, the chances of an honest investigation into the enterprise of Iraq are, realistically speaking, next to zero. The powers-that-be would like us to think that this mad misadventure somehow happened by accident.
Politics and campaign contributions rule. Washington cannot be expected to investigate itself. The perpetrators have gotten away with it, and are “moving on“ to other ventures and venues. After all, their mission has been accomplished. It is Uncle Sam who is paying the price in blood, treasure and credibility. It is Uncle Sam who has been taken to the cleaners. The bill grows momently more colossal. Is there no accountability?
Patrick Foy is author of The Unauthorized World Situation Report.