Why We Should Leave Iraq Now

News Abroad

Mr. Weiss is an emeritus professor of history, Lehman College and The Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a writer for the History News Service.

We face a paradox in Iraq: the longer we stay, the stronger our enemies become. We cannot defeat either the insurgency or the civil war resulting from our invasion and occupation; in fact, both have grown stronger. Nor can we protect the Iraqis we came to save. A corrupt Iraqi government wastes the billions we have allocated for rebuilding, while the middle class flees to avoid the danger. The Pentagon trains Iraqis to fight, but we may well be training the army of our future enemies.

We could have been spared this debacle had our government consulted the historic origins of Iraq. In search of empire and oil, England formed Iraq from provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire after World War I, but British officials ignored the ethnic and religious antagonisms dividing its peoples. Just as did our neo-conservatives who promoted our invasion of Iraq, Winston Churchill, then head of the British Colonial Office, believed Iraqis would greet the British as liberators. But when he tried to build a unified Iraq, experts warned Churchill that Iraqis would resist occupation by Christian"infidels" who threatened their traditions and values.

Like the Bush administration, Churchill ignored the advice. Instead, he picked the Sunni Faisal bin Hussein, king of Syria and a supporter of the British, to be Iraq's constitutional monarch. Once in office, King Faisal denounced British domination and proclaimed"Iraq for the Iraqis." As predicted, Sunni and Shiite clerics declared holy war against the British, and their followers assassinated British officials and killed British soldiers.

In only a year or two, the British press and public came to oppose Churchill for wasting lives and money to force Iraqis to accept an occupation they despised; even British troops agitated to return home. Churchill, President Bush's role model, withdrew, knowing better than to"stay the course" of a failed policy.

But we have remained. Our Iraqi government survives only because it huddles in the Green Zone of Baghdad with a small army of bodyguards. Elsewhere violence rules and Iraqis increasingly lose faith in the prime minister, Nouri al-Malaki, who is unable to halt the violence. Yet we insist that Iraq can become a democratic model for the rest of the Muslim states of the Middle East.

But our faith in democratic elections is misplaced. In Algeria in 1992, Islamic militants won the elections, and in 2006 elections in the Gaza Strip, the home of Palestinians, gave victory to the violent Islamic terrorists of Hamas. Militants also did well in the recent Egyptian elections. Yet our leaders greeted the Iraqi elections as a success, although the winning Shia majority hoped to put Iraq on the road to becoming an authoritarian Islamic State.

Tragically, Iran, Iraq's powerful neighbor and a looming enemy of the United States, is the main beneficiary of the chaos we have created. With 70 million subjects, support for terrorists and potential nuclear capability, Iran is a far greater threat than Iraq ever was. Moreover, the government we created in Iraq is drawing closer to Iran, while Iran, according to the American military, is arming Shia militias.

By killing tens of thousands of Iraqis, we have enraged Muslims everywhere and multiplied recruits for terrorism, as our own intelligence agencies recently reported. Given the consequences of our ill-considered invasion, it seems criminal to sacrifice more American soldiers and dollars to support our enemies and trap our troops in a civil war. Morality dictates that we repair the destruction we have caused, but we do not have the power even to do that.

Caught in our own trap, we should admit that we have brought ruin to Iraq, seriously damaged our own interests and aided our enemies. Such are the consequences of ignoring history when making present policy. We should leave, and we should leave now.

This piece was distributed for non-exclusive use by the History News Service, an informal syndicate of professional historians who seek to improve the public's understanding of current events by setting these events in their historical contexts. The article may be republished as long as both the author and the History News Service are clearly credited.

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omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

"Morality dictates that we repair the destruction we have caused,"

is the ,seemingly, pseudo redeeming phrase lightly thrown in by Professor Weiss. But soon discarded with an abrupt, categorical and decisive:

" but we do not have the power even to do that."

Granted there is nothing the USA can do to bring back to life the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi dead (665000 according to the latest count) as a direct result of the total breakdown of law and order legislated and vigorously applied by the USA.

the USA can :
*Apologize to the Iraqi people and the Arab nation and the Moslem world for its aggressive ,unwarranted invasion.

*Rescind its past edicts to disband the Iraqi Army and all other national security forces that led to the post conquest total breakdown of the Iraqi state and of law and order.

*Bring in an international force and hand over the command of present US troops in Iraq to an international NON American command that will truly and actually work for pacification and reconstruction.

* Transfer all financial allocations to US military forces in Iraq to genuine civil reconstruction purposes in IRAQ.

*Disband and disarm all foreign led, armed and financed militias that went into Iraq on the coattails of the US army mainly from Iran;
*Disarm and disband the criminals ridden police and army forces commissioned and armed by the USA

* Give up its plans for and hand over to the reconstituted, reinstated, Iraqi army all its constructed, and under construction, military bases.

Will America do that?
OF course NOT!
Does the USA have the POWER to do that?
Yes it does have the power.
Does the USA have the WILL to do that?
Of course NOT.
America can do all that and much more ...should it will to forgo its imperialist designs in the region, that sent it to Iraq in the first place.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Clarke;
You state:
"Despite your long participation on those comment boards, Mr. Baker you are still managing to utterly miss the central feature of America's Iraq fiasco: massive and reckless incompetence."

As a matter of fact I do not believe that I have missed:"the central feature of America's Iraq fiasco: massive and reckless incompetence."
That, the incompetence of the Bush/Wolfowitz administration, being your (plural), the American public's problem ,is of little, secondary, concern to me!
My main concern is, in that order:
a) the fate of Iraq
b) The USA servile and blind submission to the Jewish/Zionist lobby and Israeli dictates
c)the "Bush/Wolfowitz" principle of bullying, actually terrorizing, the world into submission to their respective imperialist/Zionist agenda.

Conversely had this BW administration been as competent politically as it was miltarily (which practically destroyed Iraq) would that, the invasion, conquest and ongoing destruction/dismemberment of Iraq, be
*in the ulerior interest of the USA?
*of the Middle East ? or
*of the crucial necessity for an American/Arab-Moslem rapprochement and dealienation?

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

For anybody, sober or drunk, to believe that the USA is, in any imaginable way out to:
"Actively acting against such primieval backwardness and allowing freely thought-out theological alternatives and the self-criticism and intellectual grounding necessary to achieve that would be even better." is not only self delusion but betrays a huge amount of ignorance of the true underlying imperialist/neocon/Zionist economical, religious/cultural and expansionist objectives of the Bush/Wolfowitz (US/Israeli) administration!
We have no illusions; it is the American public that is being taken for a ride .And it is the American public who should watch out where that unholy alliance is driving the USA.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Clarke
Astute and perceptive though you often are you have got it all wrong.Horribly wrong.
Sometimes I wonder why.

President Bush might be the shrunken alcohol damaged head you often describe; Wolfowitz , Perle, Abrams, Feith and the rest of the cabal ARE NOT.

Reread W&M re AIPAC and what, and who, makes AIPAC the omnipotent force in America's foreign policy particularly in the Middle East.
That is one bridge you will have ,eventually, to cross.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

According to Simon:
"The influence of AIPAC does also not explain Harry Truman's stance in 1948. "

(Re: History can explain, if you can see it (#99397)
by E. Simon on October 12, 2006 at 4:46 PM)

BUT a very interesting book :

(Jewish History, Jewish Religion:

The Weight of Three Thousand Years

by Professor Israel Shahak)

Does explain Truman's action.

In the forward by Gore Vidal you read:

Sometime in the late 1950s, that world-class gossip and occasional historian, John F. Kennedy, told me how, in 1948, Harry S. Truman had been pretty much abandoned by everyone when he came to run for president. Then an American Zionist brought him two million dollars in cash, in a suitcase, aboard his whistle-stop campaign train. 'That's why our recognition of Israel was rushed through so fast.' As neither Jack nor I was an antisemite (unlike his father and my grandfather) we took this to be just another funny story about Truman and the serene corruption of American politics.

Unfortunately, the hurried recognition of Israel as a state has resulted in forty-five years of murderous confusion, and the destruction of what Zionist fellow travellers thought would be a pluralistic state - home to its native population of Muslims, Christians and Jews, as well as a future home to peaceful European and American Jewish immigrants, even the ones who affected to believe that the great realtor in the sky had given them, in perpetuity, the lands of Judea and Samaria. Since many of the immigrants were good socialists in Europe, we assumed that they would not allow the new state to become a theocracy, and that the native Palestinians could live with them as equals. This was not meant to be. I shall not rehearse the wars and alarms of that unhappy region. But I will say that the hasty invention of Israel has poisoned the political and intellectual life of the USA, Israel's unlikely patron.

Unlikely, because no other minority in American history has ever hijacked so much money from the American taxpayers in order to invest in a 'homeland'. It is as if the American taxpayer had been obliged to support the Pope in his reconquest of the Papal States simply because one third of our people are Roman Catholic. Had this been attempted, there would have been a great uproar and Congress would have said no. But a religious minority of less than two per cent has bought or intimidated seventy senators (the necessary two thirds to overcome an unlikely presidential veto) while enjoying support of the media.

In a sense, I rather admire the way that the Israel lobby has gone about its business of seeing that billions of dollars, year after year, go to make Israel a 'bulwark against communism'. Actually, neither the USSR nor communism was ever much of a presence in the region. What America did manage to do was to turn the once friendly Arab world against us. Meanwhile, the misinformation about what is going on in the Middle East has got even greater and the principal victim of these gaudy lies - the American taxpayer to one side - is American Jewry, as it is constantly bullied by such professional terrorists as Begin and Shamir. Worse, with a few honorable exceptions, Jewish-American intellectuals abandoned liberalism for a series of demented alliances with the Christian (antisemtic) right and with the Pentagon-industrial complex. In 1985 one of them blithely wrote that when Jews arrived on the American scene they 'found liberal opinion and liberal politicians more congenial in their attitudes, more sensitive to Jewish concerns' but now it is in the Jewish interest to ally with the Protestant fundamentalists because, after all, "is there any point in Jews hanging on dogmatically, hypocritically, to their opinions of yesteryear?' At this point the American left split and those of us who criticised our onetime Jewish allies for misguided opportunism, were promptly rewarded with the ritual epithet 'antisemite' or 'self-hating Jew'."

To enjoy the whole book refer to:

Always noting the name of its author:
Israel Shahak
Thus spake another decent Jew!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Your statement :
"But as long as you want to pin it all down onto money Omar (I do not,do not put words in my mouth/that is typically dishonest of you and yours) at least we can say that Jews will likely retain talents for not only making money but for creating and contributing to vibrant and dynamic economies "
is true enough

The sad thing about this correct statement is that Jewish money,talent and undoubted ability has been, mostly,overwhelmingly at the service of a racist, retrogressive and aggressive creed:Zionism and an agressive, expansionist and racist state:Israel.
Both, historically, foredoomed as retroactive, aggressive and racist.

That you do not appreciate Professor Shahak is only to be expected for he is a learned, openminded and fair man and as such is the nemesis of Zionism,racism and Israel!
You can stay with Eckstein that is more in your moral league!

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

Mr Clarke;
Your statement:

"How much more we lose than Iraq will at least partly depend on how long we continue to coddle those who rubberstamped this corrupt and inept foreign folly."
An Extremely sound and perceptive statement.
However Iraq is NOT the only tragedy/fiasco facing the USA.
I would add to your statement the following:

and look for the inspiration, the dubious instigators behind this foreign policy.
A thoughtful review of this (Iraq) and other policies of the GWB/Wofowitz administration will uncover forces and interests at work in the USA whose primary allegiance is NOT for the USA nor is their primary concern the interests of the USA.
Welcome back.

omar ibrahim baker - 10/19/2007

A thoughtful review of this (Iraq) and other policies of the GWB/Wofowitz administration will uncover forces and interests at work in the USA whose primary allegiance is NOT for the USA nor is their primary concern the interests of the USA.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Despite your long participation on those comment boards, Mr. Baker you are still managing to utterly miss the central feature of America's Iraq fiasco: massive and reckless incompetence. Fratboy George W. Bush knows about as much about "imperialist" designs" as his dog does. Yes, the U.S. has power, but this power has not been used to much effect under this inept clown of a neo-president. He and his fellow chickenhawk blunderers in Washington have heedlessly squandered American power in order to turn Saddam’s dangerous but at least consolidated and contained tyranny into a hotbed of unpredictable chaos, lawlessless and terrorism, and without dissuading or thwarting Iran or North Korea in the slightest. Mr. Simon, meanwhile, might have a point about the lack of Saudi contrition -for the deaths of 1/2% as many American civilians as have died in Iraq- except for the glaring fact that the neo-con cowards he cannot stop blindly defending, in interjection after interjection on HNN, never gave a damn about the serial sins of their oil buddies in Saudi Arabia. Why should the Saudis apologize when they are being coddled?

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

It is good to hear than Mr. Simon is among the small minority of HNN commenters and authors who have publicly stated opposition to "western dependence on oil." I second the motion of at least identifying a key problem.

"Let the record" also "show" that I have never espoused "nativism" and that nativism has no great relevance to anything on this page.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. Baker asks: "had this BW administration been as competent politically as it was militarily (which practically destroyed Iraq) would that, the invasion, conquest and ongoing destruction/dismemberment of Iraq" be in the interests of the USA?

No, and no one in the administration has ever advocated the "destruction" or "dismemberment" of Iraq, nor is there any good evidence that such dismemberment is in the interest of any country (including Israel) or that anyone in the US admin. ever wanted it.

What these blundering cowards quite evidently wanted was a war against a bad foreign despot so that they could pretend to be war heroes, and if that fizzled, great spreaders of democracy. They hoped for a short cakewalk, but never gave a damn whether they were bungling American into a morasss greatly weakening American security instead. These neo-con hypocrites are not great imperialist warriors. Bush was more likely asleep or on cocaine than paying attention if Cecil Rhodes was ever mentioned by one of his history professors in college.

You can be concerned about Iraq or about Zionism but this does not mean that either of these explain the voting patterns and leadership choices of the 95% of American voters who are not Jewish (let alone Zionist) and who would be unable ever asked to name the countries bordering Iraq. The voters have been negligent, lazy and apathetic, and con-artists Cheney, Rove, Bush et al have screwed them over like never before in this country's history.

Simon: you are right that Baker is inconsistent, as all of us are from time to time. But, I fail to see any great relevance to the issue of this page: How the US might extricate itself from the Iraq quagmire without making things even worse than they already are. Getting Moslems to be more critical of the terrorists in their midst is a good idea, which the Bushies have basically utterly ignored, but it won't get America's bruised backside out of the broken pottery barn.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I have read "W&M" and many others re AIPAC. The machinations of this notorious propaganda and brainwashing machine explain a great deal about US policy towards Israel and the Palestinians, and explain even better the "blind spot" which too many Americans have in that directions, but they do not begin to explain everything that happens in America and the world.

The influence of AIPAC does not explain

a) why America uses twice the oil per unit of GNP as other industrialized countries

b) why the EU is reluctant to let Turkey join it

c) why half the Democrats in Congress voted for a "war resolution" in 2002 giving the most incompetent president in living memory an unprecedented blank check to blunder endlessly overseas and trash America's military might, because "members of Al Qaeda are known to be in Iraq"

d) why voters picked GW Bush over FJ Kerry in 2004 despite both candidates toeing the AIPAC lines 101%

For that you need history, Mr. Baker not just your well-honed grievances against the state of Israel for its past and present misdeeds, some of which were provoked by horrors and misdeed perpetrated against it, and most of which probably would have occured even without US support (kneejerk or intelligent).

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

I must say, compared to Amitz, the rest of you in this thread are almost paragons of sober reasonableness. On the subject of books, Mr. Friedman, I am reading "Fiasco" by Ricks. He is a Washington Post journalist, not a historian, but his book is a well-written account very pertinent to the topic of this page.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

The challenge re Saudi and Jordan is off-topic but fair. The torrent of insults is neither. And it is hardly consistent to "eagerly await" an answer from someone is a "hypocrite" and "a waste of everybody's time."

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Iraq for Churchill was a minor career episode for a man with many decades of significant experience in international affairs.

Iraq for G. W. Bush has been THE major and defining career episode for a man with very little prior experience in international affairs.

Staying in Iraq vs. getting out is really not the main issue facing America. Our politicians surely will get us out sooner or later, probably by cutting and running but proclaiming (dubiously) something else.

The main issue is whether those Americans responsible for inflicting this collosal disaster on our country are ever called to account. We "lost " Iraq when we elected G.W. Bush in 2004. How much more we lose than Iraq will at least partly depend on how long we continue to coddle those who rubberstamped this corrupt and inept foreign folly.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

One step at a time. First step is to identify the ineptitude, the perpetrators of it, and the failed "opposition" to it. That is already a big step because fully reaching it means the retirement, in everlasting disgrace, of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice at. al. (perpetrators) and Kerry, H. Clinton, Lieberman, Schumer, et. al. (rubberstampers). Without such a calling a spade a spade step, I am rather doubteful as to whether any more far-reaching housecleaning would be possible.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Nothing I have ever said on HNN has the remotest connection to Stalinism. I am talking here about properly, legally and democratically bringing to account those most directly responsible for the worst foreign policy disaster in the history of the country you recently immigrated to and ignorantly insult again and again.

Peter K. Clarke - 10/9/2007

Mr. B.,

1. The name is Wolfowitz with an L
2. He has not been properly brought to account for his colossal incompetence in the Iraqi "cakewalk"
3. He has at least double the IQ of our pitiful serial fool poster here, four times the skill at speaking and writing English, and is infinitely better at staying on topic without crude & ignorant insults.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/21/2006

Hey, leave the extra-ordinary racistness of Saudi Arabia alone, they have (our) oil in their sand.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/21/2006

Jewish population in Israel about 34%?

Sorry to waggle your data source, but the figure is supposed to be 37% according to Israeli sources, and as I said, this data is totally unreliable according to many other sources. The 17-19% population more in line with reality.

In fact Israel although immigrating many people from poorer locations such as Russia and Africa, are not quite keeping up with many now leaving Israel, including back to Russia.

Severe economic and welfare problems, inequality, corruption and rampant crime (Mafia signature), and according to 10/5/05 in New York Weekly Jewish newspaper, "Israel was then 4th among Western Nations in crime, also for that year more Jewish people killed by other Jewish than by Palestinian."

Fact is the Jewish population reported by Israel is judged by many as political in nature, having nothing to do with reality.

Check out Israeli youth who are refusing to report for military duty, check out the torture center called "Facility-1391" (left over of old Brit Op) and lawsuits against same.

This will tell you who (Ultra-Orthodox radicals) and New Sanhedrin "Temple Mount Faithful" are who instigate Israel problems, also reason the secular majority in Israel are joining an exodus.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/21/2006

PNAC-Cabal was a proposal for Israel to shed it's connection to US?

PNAC (Bush-Admin) set up the "Office of Special Plans" to 'manufacture' needed WMD-fables in order to persuade America and UN of "Mushroom Clouds."

Take a look at the OSP list of workers, part of them appeared to be agents of Israel Mossad. Or is passing Top-Secret information to Israeli agents (and being caught) part of the Bush-Admin. plan?

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/21/2006

Why not leave Iraq, Rumsfled seems to have successfully initiated the Pentagon Salvadore Option.

Carl Becker - 10/15/2006

The US led occupation of Iraq has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, made our many enemies stronger while US citizens at home have been gradually, and will be, increasingly, made to pay one of the highest of prices: more loss of personal freedom, especially now using the latest device, the Military Commissions Act. Before Iraq, terrorism used to be just a crime, we had plenty home-grown terrorists before 9/11, but now with the MCA in force, the military is assuming the functions of the police in our country on one big legalized manhunt where unfortunately innocent will without fail be caught up in the net, and now it looks like, if the sociopaths get their way, there will be a perpetual war against terror, even though terror has always been with us. OBL couldn’t have dreamed of such success, that we’d be such morons. It didn’t have to be this way, the American people didn’t have to be this stupid.

From the constantly changing rhetoric by the sociopaths running this country it was obvious from the beginning that they knew nothing about following the advice of their generals ordering the conduct of warfare in Iraq, that it would lead to the brink of civil war if they ignored them, and put Israel, surrounded by hostile states, in even worse danger than it already was (Iran going nuclear), and now this administration has gone on to create a bigger state of fear by expanding on the reason for the Iraq war which will affect peoples all over the world: as in Bush calling it the war between good and evil, Cheney, saying the world is depending on us, that without us the world will be lost – these people are deluded, they have lived in rarefied air too long to understand they are not the Caesars they think they are.

N. Friedman - 10/14/2006

Mr. Simon,

True indeed.

E. Simon - 10/14/2006

DO you have the balls, Dwayne, to identify whom you are charging with echoing "PSYOP's propaganda" so that they "can easily be identified with the Fascist mind set."?

I do not use these terms willy-nilly, frequently, nor for propaganda, but after considering Omar's rants and deranged responses to those way out of his league of irrationality from a mere few weeks back, do not mind being as imprecise as a scholar such as Jeff Herf is willing to sanction - specifically when it comes to someone so happy to appropriate both fascist and Islamic themes during his rule as was Saddam Hussein. But perhaps recognizing that would defeat the purpose of your propaganda and allow others to more easily recognize what kind of ill-informed "mind set" your mind must be set in. I suppose any clarification in that regard would actually require something more substantive than a few wussy pot shots every now and then. Consider me unsurprised about that.

E. Simon - 10/14/2006

Omar's just a perpetually-aggrieved lunatic who doesn't deal in reality or rational dialogue - as he likely has too much support somewhere for his lunacy. Eckstein put him back into his place over the last few weeks, and aside from a few rabid and deranged snipes back, he stayed away until now. Peter, on the other hand, seemed to have emerged a bit more sober, or at least more on-task. There is no sense in dealing with Omar as if he were the least bit capable of anything remotely resembling a rational exchange.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/14/2006

Please check the following link:


and get an idea about who this Shahak really was. Also if one does a search about Shahak will see that the best of his supporters are holocaust deniers and white supremacist sites.
Our Omar props his flimsy arguments with a failed chemistry professor after using a successful pornographer in his Jew hating endeavor.

N. Friedman - 10/14/2006


I think if you do a bit more checking, you would find that the Jewish population of Israel constitutes 34.4% of world Jewry. The country's Jewish population is growing. Some people are, in fact, leaving while others are moving there - especially from France.

The country's rulers are not, as you assert, a radical minority and a radical minority is not in control. Even the Likud would, by American standards, be considered - based on support for welfare, medical care, etc., etc. - somewhat to the left of the Democrats in the US. There are, as in all countries, religious zealots but, in fact, such people are a rather small group with shrinking significance.

The murder rate in Israel is exceedly low. In fact, although its population is heavily armed, Israel's murder rate is only about 1.4 per 100,000 while the US rate is rate is about 2 1/2 to 3 times higher. In fact, if you also include number of Israelis killed by terrorists (e.g. in 2001), the Israeli rate is, for some years, still considerably lower than that in the US.

I think you need to do a lot more research before you draw conclusions. You clearly have been reading misleading propaganda.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/14/2006

After doing a somewhat extensive search of data on Israel today, I found the results very astonishing.

With only about 18% of the Jewish population of the world now in Israel (and many today leaving), it is my opinion these (except a very small radical minority in control) common citizens are being used to the hilt.

Crime, corruption, inequality and severe economic problems are almost out of control. A Jewish New York Weekly in later part of 2005 reported Israel rose to 4-5th in Western crime figures, with more Jews killed by other jews, than killed by Palestinians.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/14/2006

I find without surprise that those who echo PSYOP's propaganda like "Islamofascist" of course are not Islamist's, but if they shoot their mouth off long enough, can easily be identified with the Fascist mind set.

N. Friedman - 10/14/2006


I think you are mistaken about the PNAC program.

That program was a proposal for Israel to shed its connection with the US. And, it was also a proposal to try to get Israel to do the US's bidding against Iraq.

Which is to say, you have things entirely backwards.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/14/2006

The only way the United Nations will ever have enough untiy of power, is when they finally develop the guts to remove the "Five Perminent Member - Veto Power."

The UN was formed by the Super Power Empires (Fascist & Communist) to sanitize and legalize world domination.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/14/2006

The Bush-Admin (PNAC-Cabal) have literally followed the pre-planned war in Iraq since 1992, and common citizens still believe our gov does not realize they compound one error upon another.

May I remind you that the PNAC-Cabal operation in the Middle East according to their own 1997-plans have not varied one iota from their pre-planned Iraq war.

DeWayne Edward Benson - 10/14/2006

We set up a corrupt 'strong man' Iraq gov and trained many "police" that perhaps explains where a (very) large number of well train and armed "militia's" are 'popping up'. Then the Halliburton "privatizing" of Iraq infrastructure (oil) began, and Iraq citizens were kept destitute by hiring 3rd-world labor and Mercenary hit squads.

Insurgents my fleshly rear.

N. Friedman - 10/13/2006


It would be rather difficult for AIPAC to have influenced Truman since AIPAC did not exist in 1948.

The story about the money given to Truman sounds rather nonsensical, not to mention, rather unimportant. You seem to place a lot of significance in US support of Israel during a time when such support was bascially non-existent. In fact, during the 1948 war, the US did not support Israel. The US embargoed Israel from receiving arms. Instead, the USSR supplied Israel, via Czechoslovakia.

Further, the US sided against Israel in the 1956 war and was decidedly not involved in the 1967 war either. Only after the 1973 war did the US come to realize that Israel could advance American interests.

The idea of the shift in US policy was to dislodge Egypt, etc., from the Soviet camp. That policy worked rather well, as Egypt not only left the Soviet camp but settled its dispute with Israel.

US support for Israel ended one source of major wars - namely, wars between Arab states and Israel. And that was another benefit for the US, since support for Israel kept the peace, more or less, or, to be more exact, prevented major war.

So, in fact, you theory does not make a lot of sense. It is, so far as I can discern, propaganda.

E. Simon - 10/13/2006

Unless one is being sarcastic, of course.

The thread itself was off-topic, but his initiation of it was his attempt to deflect my explanation of why the U.S. electorate is more concerned with getting out of Iraq than it is with Israel, or more pertinently, what Omar feels Americans "owe" Iraq. He devoted a whole thread and an extended quote of a first post to misattributing an introduction to a political fringe activist/professional biochemist's support for Omar's rants against Israel. Surely such an unscholarly display of opinion deserves refutation, even if it was off-topic. And if you'll notice, it didn't get personal until the 4th post, when Omar took offense to my pointing this out by charging me with whatever racism he believes is the sum-total embodiment of all that is Israel, which is surely sinking to the depths of the gutter and intellectual desperation given the dialogue up until that point.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/13/2006

The Irish Americans financed IRA terrorism and Taiwan lobby spends about as much as the Israeli lobby influencing the Congress but only the Jews get the attention.
When we talk about lobby we have the Congress in mind, but what about the Chinese and Indians who lobby the business community taking away US jobs, or the oil lobby keeping the US oil burning machine very well "oiled, or the European, Japanese and S.Korean lobby absorbing hundreds of billions of US dollars and lots of soldiers, for security, saving their own money? It's, of course, easier to distract and cover up real harm done to Americans by using the old "Jewish cabal" argument. The only thing unifying the islamo-fascists and red-fascists, in our days, is the anti-Jewish stance.
It's true that Truman supported the formation of the state of Israel because he was an outsider, FDR wouldn't have done it. The 1940s USA and UK, without the outsider Truman, would have done nothing against the eventual pogroms perpetrated by Poles or in the Balkans against the Jews trying to go back "home" from the tr transit camps where they were stranded.
Anyone interested in a good reading should read "The Chosen" by Jerome Karabel (a sociologist from UC Berkeley). He describes the birth of the present American system of college admissions, at the end of the 19th century beginning of 20th century. It begun at Harvard (and afterward copied at Yale and Princeton) when the system of admission, on merit only, caused the admission of too many Jews, so they decided to add the "character" requirements to the admission process. The new system has been used also against other ethnic groups, like Asians. In our days the political Harvard is doing again the "progressive" work endorsing the 21st century "new protocols of the elders of Zion" the present bone to chew for red and islamo fascists!

E. Simon - 10/13/2006

The book has gotten good reviews, is detailed and extensive, and Ricks - in interviews - seems to have a pretty good command of the issues. It seems to have been received as the ultimate account thus far of what was wrong with the whole thing in every respect.

E. Simon - 10/13/2006

How ignorant and full of donkey fertilizer you are with your statement:

"The sad thing about this correct statement is that Jewish money,talent and undoubted ability has been, mostly,overwhelmingly at the service of a racist, retrogressive and aggressive creed:Zionism and an agressive, expansionist and racist state:Israel."

I eagerly anticipate your "learned, openminded and fair" musings about the "racist state(s)" of Saudi Arabia:

"While the country allows religious minorities such as Christians and Hindus to enter the country as temporary workers, none of these minorities are allowed to build churches or temples or to pray in public. The U.S. State departments suggest that there are 500,000 to 1 million people who adhere to the Catholic faith.[6]

The exit and entry visa card requirements ask applicants for their religious affiliation and ban entry to anyone with an official stamp from the State of Israel.[1]

Furthermore, Saudi Arabia actually has explicitly stated on government websites that it bans entry to all Jews, regardless of nationality. [2]"


Or of Jordan:

"Jordan has a law that states that any Palestinian may immigrate and obtain Jordanian citizenship 'unless he is a Jew'. This law is not always enforced vis a vis the permiting of entrance to Palestinians. It is also illegal for a Jew to purchase land in the Kingdom."


But Allah knows you aren't "learned, openminded and fair" enough to do that!

Furthermore, you're a hypocrite and a coward.

And a waste of everybody's time.

N. Friedman - 10/13/2006


I have heard of the book. I have not read it, at least not yet.

E. Simon - 10/13/2006

I also don't take Gore Vidal to be all that authoritative or objective - or competent - in the way of any research abilities, nor do I know of anyone who does, so you can go quote him while praising the wierdo Shahak - to whom you misattribute Vidal's quotes - until the cows come home.

E. Simon - 10/13/2006

The title of Shahak's book rather says all we need to know about his own biases (you know, the kind that make him, in your eyes "decent," not that such a standard is one you would apply to your estimation of a decent Muslim), let alone his lack of any corroboration for the alleged quote by Kennedy. But as long as you want to pin it all down onto money Omar, at least we can say that Jews will likely retain talents for not only making money but for creating and contributing to vibrant and dynamic economies until long after the oil sheikhs have dried up and lost the only means they yet retain of achieving anything in the way of financial justifications for American support of any Arab regime in the Middle East.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/13/2006

What can one say about a guy who lumps together Bush, Cheney, H. Clinton, Lieberman etc. for swift punishment. The guy has wet dreams about Stalinist purges.
About M&W I believe it's a new kind of protocols in ivy league disguise. By the way, some red fascists at Harvard tried to circulate, last year, a letter calling for boycott against Israel but immediately a group of people bringing real money to Harvard wrote a letter where they threatened to quit and immediately the red fascist letter was silenced, so I guess they let them at least to write the new protocols.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

I think it is legitimate to comment on a comment. As for what Peter thinks, I'm not sure; his tone does seem to be a bit improved. Just be prepared for more food fights, is all I'm saying.

N. Friedman - 10/12/2006

Mr. Simon,

Peter is entitled to his views - even if I think he needs to read some books about the Muslim regions -. In any event, I was merely commenting on his comment.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

Those buffoons were also taken to task for making up novel definitions of "lobby," for never identifying, let alone explaining, their mythical definition for national interest, for wearing political buttons at an ostensibly academic event, and for mispronouncing a prominent House leader's name as "Boner," which you wouldn't expect from a supposedly esteemed researcher of political science.

But I digress. At even four paragraphs into your post I could say that I largely agree, but in the past these sorts of tangents have strongly distressed Peter, and there would be nothing wrong if he wishes to make sure this sticks to the topic of keeping dysfunctional American leadership out of the professionally dysfunctional Middle East that is home to the likes of guys like Omar, or how to accomplish that, pronto.

N. Friedman - 10/12/2006


I do not think W or M explain much of anything regarding US policy vis a vis the Muslim regions. I think they are merely frustrated that their ideas have not gained greater favor.

I might add that their ideas, if set into practice, probably would not really much please Omar. If I read them correctly, they would play Muslim off against other Muslims. I rather doubt, notwithstanding their anquish about US policy regarding Isarel, that they would help Omar's friends dismember Israel. And, Omar and those who think like him want nothing less.

W and M would, akin to the "realist" school, make high sounding noises for consumption by Arabs and Muslims while (given that the US does not have quite the amount of the leverage Israel's enemies imagine exists or, in fact, the differences in interest some allege) not doing very much.

In the end, the US still has more to gain from friendship with Israel than its demise - whether or not Israel should or should not cede land for Palestinians to use as a base to shoot missiles into Israel or, perhaps, re-arm in classic hudna fashion. Which is to say, the Islamic radicals are America's and Europe's enemies and groups like HAMAS do not, in fact, limit their agenda to Israel, as examination of the group's covenant reveals rather clearly.

I might add: I do not think that AIPAC has been all that strident over the years. They have usually adopted the position held by US administrations (e.g. backing Oslo and favoring a two state solution - something Omar and his group, not most Israelis, finds abhorent) - following the leader, as it were. This is not to take away from them for being an effective lobbying group. They certainly are - which is, of course, in the American tradition.

I note: the problem with people like M & W is that they call into question, in effect, the patriotism of people who have different ideas of policy than they hold. No one said it was wrong for pro-Greek Americans to side with Greece over Turkey - and to lobby hard for that position - notwithstanding the vital US interest during the Cold War with respect to Turkey. That should be the same thing with Israel.

People are free to hold the positions they like - but the loyalties of those on opposite sides should be left out of the discussion, whether directly or indirectly. That is the American way. M & W, as I see it, have made the issue personal. And that is deeply offensive and smacks of bigotry.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/12/2006

As usual out islamofascist Omar and our stalinisimo Clarke agree with W&M on the revived Jewish cabal taken out from the old protocols, very popular in the madras circles of Mr Omar.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

The influence of AIPAC does also not explain Harry Truman's stance in 1948. But I digress. We need to stay on the topic at hand, which is concerned with making sure that the dysfunctions of Omar's backyard don't attract the dysfunctions of dysfunctional American administrations, and how we can be extricated of them before we are extricated of the current administration.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

Peter, re: your last point. I agree. The two issues are very loosely, even distantly related, but can't be resolved on the same time scale as we should expect when it comes to Iraq.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

Oh no, Omar. You misread me. Quite the contrary. That part wasn't about the U.S. It IS about the Saudis and other Middle Eastern theocrats and autocrats that are NOT "(a)ctively acting against such primieval backwardness and allowing freely thought-out theological alternatives and the self-criticism and intellectual grounding necessary to achieve that." This has nothing whatsoever to do with what the U.S. does or doesn't do. And trust me, we have absolutely no illusions whatsoever about it, or its consequences, either.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

We'd have to be an incredibly powerful country, as well, to tolerate it.

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

And yet, what I find interesting, is that for all your reliance on brandishing others as hypocrites, you apparently say nothing of what kind of hypocrisy it would take for Baker to berate Bush while never taking to task the leaders in his own region. I just find that interesting. Maybe Baker's hypocrisy is something you wouldn't mind appropriating for the sake of getting at Bush or criticizing American global leadership. I guess we're a big enough country to tolerate that kind of deflection, even when it allows for foreign chickens and cells to come here to roost every now and then. Assuming that 9/11 was indeed, a "flukey" type of event...

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

Let the record show that I have never been an apologist for Western dependence on oil - Saudi or Middle Eastern least of all, as the first full paragraph shows. I am entirely unsympathetic to the continued idea of fossil fuels as an energy source.

Let the record also register my interest in Peter's admonishing of Baker for not specifically berating American incompetence in government and policy, as if substituting that stance for his sincere interest in reconstructing Iraq is what America needs from people in the Middle East who are ostensibly sympathetic to Iraq while remaining staunchly antipathetic to democracy - and government accountability - in their own sphere. It's an odd approach, but I guess that's the strategy of today's nativists - at least, of the nativists who are unsympathetic to American ideals. (Are there any other kind?)

Just find it interesting, is all. Maybe it's the right approach. Who knows?

E. Simon - 10/12/2006

And training the Iraqi security forces and army while a more humane Iraqi government takes charge.

But them's just small potatoes to the irhabi-sympathizing armchair jihadi specialists in self-victimology from Cairo to Kuwait who could never stomach the idea of taking control over their own destiny, when it is that much easier to take to the "street" and bemoan and bewail their failed ideologies and strategies and bitch about a Western world that doesn't owe them much more than the tough love of a better energy policy.

BTW, America's still waiting for Saudi Arabia's apology for inspiring and lending theological justification to the 9/11 hijackers. Actively acting against such primieval backwardness and allowing freely thought-out theological alternatives and the self-criticism and intellectual grounding necessary to achieve that would be even better. But we know that ain't never gonna happen. Why feel superior to the West through actual intellectual, social, economic and political achievements, when the inferiority complex of self-victimization allows for a brighter, if hazier light of glory at the end of a never-ending tunnel of meaningless Arab League summits and graphically over-sensationalized al Jazeera broadcasts?

You can get all the apologies in the world that you want. That doesn't change the fact that in the end, your region is going to accomodate to Western norms and Western civilization and not vice versa, no matter how many self-inflicted failings you perpetuate or how naively catastrophic no FUTURE American administration WILL EVER be in attempting to give a damn about trying to do anything about them again. The more dismantled military bases from the Land of the two holy mosques that are packed up - and beyond, the more you will have only yourselves to blame. As it should be. And the Islamofascist "leaders" who continue to abuse you in the meantime will be only your own fault. As you've always tolerated them.

It's not as if your post doesn't have good points or ideas, but the main complaint I describe above, that you continue to miss and ignore, is at the crux of any potentially civil and meaningful relationship with the U.S. - upon which all of your points are to be predicated, should you even have any HOPE of them being successful.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/11/2006

The only crude insult I can see here is your response title to my Stalin message. Go ahead, my fellow American, with your Islamofascist collaborator and discuss allegiance. Both stalinists and fascists like very much to discuss Jewish allegiance, so your behavior is normal.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/10/2006

I came to the USA as "recently" as 1990 and I am US citizen for about 10 years (yes these Israelis have the right to double citizenship). I was here through Y2K bubble, web bubble and I am still making money. Great country great opportunities, I do business on both sides of the pond. As I told you before, if you want to see an ignorant and one who likes to insult, look in a mirror.

Yehudi Amitz - 10/10/2006

You would like show trials, wouldn't you?!

Yehudi Amitz - 10/10/2006

I wonder what his assassin had in mind when he killed Gandhi?

Amin Ali Golmohamad - 10/10/2006

Ok, you now have an aim - how can they (the US) get out?

The situation seems analogous to certain medical cases - where prescribing medicines to try and contain the disease is cheaper than actual dealing with the problem once and for all by surgery.

Also, if the US does leave - it may be incomplete, as it will still have its huge embassy in Baghdad to protect, hence leave quite a lot of troops behind to protect that may be necessary.

Arnold Shcherban - 10/9/2006

Ms. Reyes, surely believes every word
of the Bushes and not a word of the overwhelming majority of the international community, not even BBC.
The question (the answer to which is known to any knowledgable person)is begging to be asked here is the following: why is that when the same BBC, and other cursed now by right-wing conservatives media outlets at home and abroad, expressed, and still expresses, the opinions, and delivered and still delivers, information that coincided/es with the one respective of this country's conservative media outlets, the latter quoted/s the former (not always, but quite often), but when it contradicts them even slightly, BBC and others get slaughtered, thanks God
only orally, so far.
So, when Pentagon together with White
house claims that there were, say, just 500 Iraqis killed over the three weeks of the brilliant military operation, called Iraqi War, but other respected international organizations (whose data, if it satisfies the necessary one to justify the policies towards official enemies, is used all the time) who provide much higher figures of the Iraqis killed, are obviously lying, always being ascribed some ulterior motives (in sharp contrast with the purely idealistic and crystally honest American policy makers).

Double standards, double standards -- for the long time being the main ideological methodology of US
imperialism and Pan-Amerikana world design...

Robert Smith - 10/9/2006

Conservative estimates of the nuber of Iraqi deaths since the invasion are in the 200,000 range. About 50,000 of those have been killed by Coalition forces, mostly through air attack. Perhaps Perhaps about 50,000 have been killed by Jihadi insurgents (Ansar al Islam, Islamic Army in Iraq, etc).

Which leaves about 100,000 which have been killed by Shi'te militias, closely aligned with the new Iraqi government and Iran. The Iraqi "police" that the US is currently training are leading a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Sunnis, who are retaliating with support from the usual Jihadi sources.

So the United States faces the prospect of supporting either the Jihadis, the Shi'ite death squads, or the Kurdish sepratists (now engaging in open warfare with Turkey, when they're not operating their own death squads).

It seems that the only option left for the US is partition and forced displacement of millions, with the Kurds being the pro-US north, the Jihadis running the center, and Iran all but annexing the south. This is probably where Bush is headed.

Doreswamy Srinidhi - 10/9/2006

Very sensible advise. Countries who want to help should go back the UN and find a practical and hopefully a humane solution to this mess! I Really hope they do.

Kelly J Holmes - 10/9/2006

I wholeheartedly agree. After reading Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal and seeing The War Tapes and The US vs. John Lennon, I am now convinced more than ever that what will stop this war is a combination of domestic resistance (including soldiers and veterans), peaceful resistance of the Iraqi people (peaceful protests have happened, you just don't hear about them), and international protest. Sounds like a lot, but that's what had to happen to finally stop the also ridiculous Vietnam war. People like us need to make a commitment to spend a few minutes of our lives each day to work against this war, whether it's writing a (real) letter, posting on a blog, having an informed discussion with family or friends, or coming up with some new and different and creative way to fight against this war. As a wise man once said: "Whatever you do may seem insignificant, but it is most important that you do it." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Mike Schoenberg - 10/9/2006

Yes tens of thousands of Iraqi's have died as well as several thousand Americans. But the problem is that Iraq with it's 3 tribes would keep on killing each other and right now as the article pointed out the main bennefactor is Iran. There are so many things wrong with this war from our unwillingness to sacrifice in the way of higher taxes to the fact that there are now enough troops there. Next time we try to be saviors of democracy let's listen to the experts who warned of this mess.

Nancy REYES - 10/9/2006

".... By killing tens of thousands of Iraqis, we have enraged Muslims everywhere and multiplied recruits for terrorism, as our own intelligence agencies recently reported."

Ah yes....but to quote the joke about Tonto and the Long Ranger, "who is 'we', whiteman"...because most of the 50 000 Iraqis killed have been civilians or government employees killed by "insurgents".

So yes, let's "us" i.e. the Saudi Jordanian, European Iraqi and Syrians responsible for the carnage repent. They are the ones funding the "charities" that supply the bombs, and they are the ones looking the other way while their citizens blow up Iraqi civilians.

Now, you could argue the US started it all, but I would simply argue back that the only difference is that instead of Iraqis being murdered stealthily by Sadam Hussein (while CNN and other foreign correspondents know about it but didn't report it) what we have now is bad news every day.

So yes, it's getting worse. After all, given the spin I see on the international news, it will indeed get worse. CNNInternational and the BBC agree with you. America bad...and anti Americanism sells in countries that need scapegoats.

Except of course when tsunamis or landslides or typhoons hit, then it's hello US Marines.