Letter: To All Those Who Should Know...
12 September 2004
Letter: To all those who should know and should speak out
I find it odd and a bit disturbing that the ongoing back and forth in the media and among politicians over the war in Iraq is still operating on the premise that WMD were the sincere motive for the war -- more than a year after Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz stated plainly that WMD were chosen as the prime pretext mainly for bureaucratic reasons: "we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction," and later: "I'm not concerned about weapons of mass destruction." Everyone in Washington and in the media know this, yet the discussion goes on as if there is no dispute.
Philip Zelikow, executive director of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States and former member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, spoke before an audience at the University of Virginia, where he teaches history, on September 10, 2002. There he stated: "Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat [is] and actually has been since 1990 - it's the threat against Israel." "And this is the threat that dare not speak its name." "[T]he American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell."
General Anthony Zinni (Ret.) was Commander of the United States Central Command from 1997 to 2001, in charge of all American troops in the Middle East. This is the position formerly held by General Norman Schwarzkopf and until recently by General Tommy Franks. Following his retirement, the Bush administration appointed Zinni special envoy to the Middle East. In a recent interview with CBS News, Zinni stated: "I think it's the worst kept secret in Washington. That everybody - everybody I talk to in Washington has known and fully knows what their agenda was and what they were trying to do." "[In] one article, because I mentioned the neo-conservatives who describe themselves as neo-conservatives, I was called anti-Semitic. I mean, you know, unbelievable that that's the kind of personal attacks that are run when you criticize a strategy and those who propose it." "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 don't believe there is any serious political leader, military leader, diplomat in Washington that doesn't know where it came from." The officials Zinni mentioned were Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith, former chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle, National Security Council member Elliott Abrams, and Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. According to Zinni, they pushed the war against Iraq because they saw it as a way to "strengthen the position of Israel."
Senator Ernst Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) announced on August 4th, 2003 that he would not be seeking reelection to the Senate. Hollings, 81, had spent 50 years in public life. He graduated from the Citadel in Charston in 1942 and served in the army during WW2. He was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives at age 26, elected governor in 1958 at age 36, and has worked in the United States Senate since 1966, achieving seniority in 2003 following the death of Senator Strom Thurmond. On May 6th, 2004 Hollings issued an editorial to The Charleston Post and Courier, in which he stated that there was in fact no threat to the United States from Iraq, and that the attack was in reality "President Bush's policy to secure Israel." Hollings named "Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer" as the architects of this policy, and stated that: "[George W. Bush] started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days after inauguration. And, without any Iraq connection to 9/11, within weeks he had the Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq." Following his editorial, the Anti-Defamation League responded with accusations of anti-Semitism and demands for an apology. Hollings fired back: "I won't apologize for this column; I want them to apologize to me." "Talking about 'anti-Semitic.' They're not getting by with it." In a follow-up piece published in The Slate on June 23rd, Hollings explained: "In 1996, a task force was formed in Jerusalem including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser. They submitted a plan for Israel to incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Clean Break [A New Strategy For Securing the Realm] . . . Saddam Hussein was to be removed in Iraq and replaced with a Hashemite ruler favorable to Israel." (This possibility was recently discussed on Hardball with Chris Matthews (11/16/03) by James Woolsey. Woolsey is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is a member of the Policy Advisory Board to the Secretary of Defense, and is on the board of The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.) Hollings: "The plan was rejected by Netanyahu, so Perle started working for a similar approach to the Mideast for the United States. Taking on the support of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Cambone, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld et al., he enlisted the support of the Project for the New American Century. The plan hit paydirt with the election of George W. Bush. Perle took on the Defense Policy Board. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith became one, two and three at the Defense Department, and Cheney as vice president took Scooter Libby and David Wurmser as his deputies. Clean Break was streamlined to go directly into Iraq."
Rep. James Moran (D) of Virginia spoke before a gathering at an antiwar forum in Reston, Virginia on March 3, 2003. He told the audience: "If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this." "The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should." Moran immediately came under fire for his comments, with condemnations from Jewish groups and fellow lawmakers on the hill. Despite national efforts to oust him, however, he recently defeated well-funded primary challenger Andrew Rosenberg and expects to be elected to his eighth term in November.
In comments to Vanity Fair magazine in April 2003, Veteran British Labor Parliamentarian Tam Dalyell, Father of the House of Commons and an MP for 41 years, the longest serving MP, accused Prime Minister Tony Blair of being unduly influenced in his Middle East policy by a number of close Jewish advisors, including Lord Levy, Blair's Middle East envoy, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, and Peter Mandelson, who he alleged were "skewing British foreign policy on the Middle East in favour of the Israeli Government." Dalyell stated: "Blair and Straw have become far too close to these people and Lord Levy, who is an unaccountable ambassador in the Middle East, is part of this group. They are acting on an extremely Zionist, Likud-nik agenda. In particular I am concerned that some of them are pushing for an attack on Syria, for reasons of Israeli security." "I am worried about my country being led up the garden path on a Likudnik, Sharon agenda," adding that "Straw, Mandelson and co" were leading "a tremendous drive to sort out the Middle East." Blair, Dalyell claimed, was also indirectly influenced by figures in the Bush administration, including Richard Perle, a Pentagon advisor and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. "It is an enormously sensitive issue and that's why very many of us have been extremely reticent about it, because we don't want to be seen as anti-Semitic." "I am fully aware that one is treading on cut glass on this issue and no one wants to be accused of anti-Semitism but, if it is a question of launching an assault on Syria or Iran . . . then one has to be candid." Dalyell mentioned seven advisers to President George Bush -- six of them Jewish -- as urging a strike against Syria. "They very much have captured the ear of the President of the United States. I said I thought that Blair was very sympathetic to them. I cannot understand why." "It's the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs . . . I think a lot of it is Likudnik, Mr. Sharon's agenda, and when it comes to an attack on Syria this is a very serious matter." "I am not going to be labelled anti-Semitic. My children worked on a kibbutz. But the time has come for candour."
In his 1989 book, They Dare to Speak Out, Rep. Paul Findley (R-Illinois) writes: "An FBI summary of a 1970 wiretap recorded [Richard] Perle discussing classified information with someone at the Israeli embassy. He came under fire in 1983 when newspapers reported he received substantial payments to represent the interests of an Israeli weapons company. Perle denied conflict of interest, insisting that, although he received payment for these services after he had assumed his position in the Defense Department, he was between government jobs when he worked for the Israeli firm." Perle headed the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board until March 2003, when he was forced to resign amid allegations of unethical business practices. The New York Times reported: "Even as he advises the Pentagon on war matters, Richard N. Perle, chairman of the influential Defense Policy Board, has been retained by the telecommunications company Global Crossing to help overcome Defense Department resistance to its proposed sale to a foreign firm . . . [Perle] is close to many senior officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, who appointed him to lead the policy board in 2001. Though the board does not pay its members and is technically not a government agency, it wields tremendous influence in policy circles. And its chairman is considered a "special government employee," subject to federal ethics rules, including one that bars anyone from using public office for private gain."
Lest you be inclined to attribute these statements to "anti-Semitism," consider the following statements by Jewish writers.
Joe Klein, February 5, 2003, Time Magazine
"A stronger Israel is very much embedded in the rationale for war with Iraq. It is a part of the argument that dare not speak its name, a fantasy quietly cherished by the neo-conservative faction in the Bush Administration and by many leaders of the American Jewish community. The fantasy involves a domino theory. The destruction of Saddam's Iraq will not only remove an enemy of long-standing but will also change the basic power equation in the region."
Ari Shavit, April 5, 2003 Haaretz News Service (Israel)
"The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.
In the course of the past year, a new belief has emerged in the town (Washington): the belief in war against Iraq. That ardent faith was disseminated by a small group of 25 or 30 neoconservatives, almost all of them Jewish, almost all of them intellectuals (a partial list: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, William Kristol, Eliot Abrams, Charles Krauthammer), people who are mutual friends and cultivate one another and are convinced that political ideas are a major driving force of history."
James Rosen, April 6, 2003 The Sacramento Bee (California)
"In 1996, as Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to take office, eight Jewish neoconservative leaders sent him a six-page memo outlining an aggressive vision of government. At the top of their list was overthrowing Saddam and replacing him with a monarch under the control of Jordan. The neoconservatives sketched out a kind of domino theory in which the governments of Syria and other Arab countries might later fall or be replaced in the wake of Saddam's ouster.
Lead writer of the memo was Perle. Other signatories were Feith, now Undersecretary of Defense, and Wurmser, a senior adviser to John Bolton, Undersecretary of State. Fred Donner, a professor of Near Eastern history at the University of Chicago, said he was struck by the similarities between the ideas in the memo and ideas now at the forefront of Bush's foreign policy."
Thomas Friedman, April 4, 2003 New York Times, Columnist
"I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened."
Dr. Henry Makow, Ph.D., February 10, 2003, Writer, Inventor of board game "Scruples"
"Everybody knows that:
The only country that fears Iraq's WMD's is Israel;
American-Jewish neo-conservatives on the Defence Policy Board (Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz) planned this war in 1998 and made it Bush Administration policy;
The purpose of the war is to change the balance of power in the Middle East."
Don't say you didn't know.
The White men and women of this country