John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: Critic says they shift their ground in book to blame Israel for the war in Iraq
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt appear at Princeton University tonight, to promote their book The Israel Lobby. I've held back while other critics have had their say, and many of them have done a splendid job. But I don't think anyone has understood the neat sleight of hand the authors performed in moving from article to book. The innovation in The Israel Lobby is their "cold feet" thesis about the Israeli genesis of the Iraq war.
But first, remember why pinning the Iraq war on the "Israel lobby" is so important to Mearsheimer and Walt. Their main argument isn't that the Palestinians are paying a terrible price for that support. In most quarters, that draws a simple shrug. Instead, the duo claim that Americans are paying the price for U.S. support for Israel. They paid it on 9/11, and they're paying it now in Iraq. The killers of 9/11 set out on their mission because of their rage against unconditional U.S. backing for Israel; and the pro-Israel lobby got America into the Iraq war because it served Israel's interests, not America's. America is bleeding so that Israel can avoid doing what it should have done years ago: give the Palestinians their state. And it's because Americans are dying that Israel shouldn't be indulged anymore.
Of the two arguments made by Walt and Mearsheimer, the 9/11 argument is the less effective. That's because very early on, Americans decided that Osama bin Laden, a Saudi, and the 15 of the 19 hijackers who were Saudis, weren't out to kill Americans over Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Al-Qaeda hates us for everything we do and represent--they're 200-proof hatred of America. Americans understood that instinctively, and it was confirmed by the 9/11 Commission Report. The report's narrative showed how the 9/11 plot developed precisely during the years when Bill Clinton fussed over Yasser Arafat. The report became a bestseller, and its impact has been profound.
So the Iraq argument is far more crucial to the Mearsheimer-Walt thesis, and it's also dearer to them. It's generally believed that their anger over the Iraq war drove them to write the book in the first place. They both opposed the war before it started, and they signed a prominent letter against it. Much to their chagrin, no one took much notice of their ironclad, realist arguments against going into Iraq. To the two professors, the United States had become an anomaly, a place where the national interest (as they saw it) wasn't driving foreign policy. They explained that anomaly by the distorting influence of the "powerful Israel lobby."
In their original article, Walt and Mearsheimer had a straightforward chain of causation for the Iraq war: Israel pushed the "Israel Lobby" (with a capital L), which pushed the neocons, which pushed the Bush administration into war. I immediately came back with a large body of evidence, proving that Israel wasn't much worried about Saddam, and instead wanted the United States to take care of Iran. Israeli cabinet ministers and officials went to Washington to stress Iran over Iraq, and these efforts even surfaced in prominent stories in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times--articles that Mearsheimer and Walt had missed entirely.
In the book, Mearsheimer and Walt admit that Israel was pushing for Iran over Iraq. And yes, they say, Israel only joined the Iraq bandwagon when the Bush administration seemed set on Iraq. But they haven't dismantled their thesis--far from it. Instead they've come up with the new and improved Mearsheimer-Walt thesis, and it goes like this: the Iraq war must still be blamed on Israel, because in the lead-up to the war, Israel and its lobby worked overtime to ensure that Bush didn't get "cold feet."
Believe it or not, this the new Mearsheimer-Walt twist: the "cold feet" thesis of Israel's responsibility for the Iraq war. For example, page 234: "Israeli leaders worried constantly in the months before the war that President Bush might decide not to go to war after all, and they did what they could to ensure Bush did not get cold feet." And this, page 261: "Top Israeli officials were doing everything in their power to make sure that the United States went after Saddam and did not get cold feet at the last moment."
Mearsheimer and Walt bring not a single footnote, in their copiously footnoted book, to substantiate this new and bizarre claim. You have to be pretty credulous to imagine that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld would waver "at the last moment" when they had Saddam squarely in their sights. You can read Bob Woodward forward and backward and find no evidence of wobble. Nor is there any evidence of Israeli worries that the Bush administration would waver on Iraq. Mearsheimer and Walt just made it up.
In doing so, they miss (or conceal) the real story. Israel did worry in the lead-up to the war--not about "cold feet," but about the "long pause." A year before the Iraq war, Natan Sharansky, then an Israeli cabinet minister, went on the record with this quote (missed by Mearsheimer and Walt): "We and the Americans have different priorities. For us, Iran comes first and then Iraq. The Americans see Iraq, then a long pause, and only then Iran." It never occurred to Israelis that Bush would get "cold feet" on Iraq, but they fretted endlessly over just how long the "long pause" would last, and they had good reason.
For example, four months before the war, Ariel Sharon told the London Times (November 5, 2002) that Iran should be put under pressure "the day after" action against Iraq. Mearsheimer and Walt bring the quote. But they incredibly omit what followed on the very same day: British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw shot back at Sharon on the BBC. "I profoundly disagree with him," Straw said, "and I think it would be the gravest possible error to think in that way." The London Timesreported the spat the next day ("Straw and Sharon 'Deeply Disagree'"), adding that both British and U.S. senior diplomats were "dismissive of Sharon's call." The paper went on to quote "a senior American" who spoke these words: "The President understands the nuances. You can't paint Iran as totally black in the same way as you do Iraq.… I would have a hard time buying the idea that after victory in Iraq, the U.S. is going to turn its sights on Iran."
So the Israelis had good cause to worry. Walt and Mearsheimer write (p. 261) that the Israelis "were convinced that Bush would deal with Iran after he finished with Iraq." No they weren't, because they knew Britain would oppose it, along with plenty of "senior Americans." Precisely because they weren't convinced, they kept coming back to it. And they were right to worry, because in the end, the United States accommodated the Brits. There would be no Iran follow-up. Why? Because Tony Blair did Bush an immense favor in Europe, and the British sent thousands of troops to Iraq. Bush's feet were snug and warm--nailing Saddam had 80 percent public support in America--but Blair felt the chill at home. To keep him on board, Bush gave him to understand that there wouldn't be an Iran sequel, at least not on Blair's watch.
Not only wasn't the Iraq war Israel's first choice; the war's aftermath was a defeat for Israel's own openly declared priorities. Israel is now living with the consequences of that defeat. Here we are in the last days of 2007, and the United States is still in the midst of the "long pause." Maybe it should be renamed: the latest U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran has turned it into lame-duck menopause. So much for the manipulative power of the "Israel lobby." The Iraq war and its aftermath prove exactly the opposite of what Mearsheimer and Walt claim they prove. They're evidence not of Israel's influence, but of the limits of Israel's leverage when it comes up against other major U.S. interests and alliances.
In sum, the Iraq war thesis of Mearsheimer and Walt is make-believe, and it doesn't get better from the article to the book--in fact, it's worse. Almost every reviewer has questioned it on some grounds, although not one has identified the "cold feet" thesis. But that's what I propose to call it, and it deserves to be known for what it is: a conspiracy theory, pure and simple.
Frankly I'm astonished when even skeptical reviewers of the book preface their criticisms by saying that the authors have done us some sort of service by opening the discussion. Can you imagine them saying the same thing about a book on intelligent design? That the details are preposterous, but the basic proposition deserves to be discussed seriously by serious people? Yet here we have a thesis, insisting that U.S. foreign policy is run by Zionist intelligent design, and Mearsheimer and Walt have made it a perfectly legitimate subject for academic discussion and tony dinner party conversation. If you say otherwise, you're accused of "stifling debate."
In the real world, Mearsheimer and Walt, far from being stifled, have become media staples, and tonight they'll have yet another podium, at Princeton. The respondent will be Princeton professor Robert O. Keohane, another much-ballyhooed theory-maker who's already hailed the bravery of the duo. "It is bad for political science if some important forces and pressures are systematically concealed," he's said. I think it's a lot worse for political science if some big-name theorists systematically ignore evidence and make it up. If I were a Princeton student thinking of entering a field led by this crowd, it might give me... well, cold feet.
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N. Friedman - 12/22/2007
Israel did or did not want the US to invade Iraq. If it did not so want, then your thesis cannot be correct. If, however, Israel did want the US to invade Iraq, that still does not show your thesis, since such does not show that Israel controls the US.
As for the view of Americans about Israel, you might examine polling. Americans, whatever they think about Iraq, seem to admire and support Israel. In some polling, the margin supporting Israel over Palestinian Arabs is not quite 10-to-1 (45% - 4.6%). Go figure. Perhaps, it is all that peaceful expression which comes from Palestinian Arabs groups such as Hamas and Fatah.
A. M. Eckstein - 12/21/2007
It is my usual reaction to your self-imposed ignorance, Omar.
omar ibrahim baker - 12/21/2007
It is gratifying to note that your reaction, Professor, is a sigh!
Hopefully that would become your standard reaction.
art eckstein - 12/21/2007
In the face of all the evidence, Omar just goes on as if it doesn't exist and writes that the Iraq invasion is "one flagrant and timely instance" of US foreign policy being controlled by Israel.
But Israel OPPOSED the invasion of Iraq. The evidence is overwhelming at this. Sharon was reprimanded by the British foreign minister in PUBLIC for it!
Nothing, however, fazes Omar: so he simply reasserts his Nazi-like ideological poison and fanatical hatred despite the fact that on Ira he is clearly false on the facts. It's stunning. Lesson to be learned: His is a pre-empirical mind.
omar ibrahim baker - 12/21/2007
"The M & W thesis, however, is something quite different. It has the tail wagging the dog. "
One thing ( the Iraqi conquest) DOES NOT exclude the other(the tail wagging the dog). .
On the contrary Israel's role in furthering the Iraq conquest is just one flagrant, and timely, instance .
Its invocation certainly hurts more the Zionist lobby than the other previous instances because:
-Its failure is undeniably too tangible to deny
-Opposition to it is USA wide
-Its human and financial cost to the USA is huge and is increasingly perceived as such by the American public
-Its effect will endure for long
-It could turn out to BE the turning point from general indifference to an "affaire".
I guess that US general public awareness about the pernicious influence of Israel on US interests , as for the conquest of Iraq, hurts more than any other instance of Zionist influence for the above reasons.
A. M. Eckstein - 12/20/2007
Yep, I got it. But the *discussion* is on whether M&W are correct in their thesis that "the Israel Lobby" controls US foreign policy, and that the invasion of Iraq demonstrates this. Clearly, however, the M&W thesis is historically invalid on the basis of empirical evidence. Case closed.
That Omar yammers on about Israel in general is simply yet another example of his mental inability to focus intellectually on the topic at hand. No surprise there.
N. Friedman - 12/20/2007
It would appear that Omar realizes that his quoted material does not support the M & W thesis. Omar's concern is that the US might do something that might benefit Israel. On his theory, that is itself a problem.
N. Friedman - 12/20/2007
Thank you for your post.
Addressing your points of interest (and, also hoping that you will respond in kind)...
1. You write: What exactly do you mean by "influential" in this context?
To what extent the Israel lobby together with Israeli governments influences the US policy in MIddle East, in general, and its policy towards Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular, in your view?
I think that those who lobby for Israel have a fair influence over rhetoric used by Congress and the White House but rather limited influence over US policy. I think that actual US foreign policy is determined mostly by competing interests of the US, not lobbying. I think that were the US to take a hard line on the Israelis, Israel has sufficient power in the Middle East to frustrate entirely US interests in the region such that the US has to take Israel's concerns centrally into consideration.
At the same time, there are very strong historical parallels between Israel's history and American history that, most especially but not only for certain branches of American Protestantism, impact on how Americans think about the problem. Hence, European notions of, for example, "settler state" and "colonial" state do not resonate in the US and likely never will. And, the form of Christianity which has had considerable influence in the US - tracing back to those who referred to America as the new Israel - has substantial influence on how Americans think about Israel. So, things that, to you, seem wrong do not seem wrong to Americans.
So far as rhetoric is concerned, Congress will issue declarations favoring the Israelis. But, when push comes to shove, US policy is very far away from what you perceive as the radical right Israeli position.
So far as what I perceive US policy to be, the US favors a two state solution. So, that differs from the perception you have of the matter. The US perceives Israel's concerns as one interest to be balanced against other interests of the US. Other interests that are balanced are, for example, the interests of the Saudis - who have massive financial and property holdings in the US and a very strong lobbying force (likely far stronger than Israel's lobbying force) - and other Arab nations friendly to the US.
You write: Secondly, if the authors of the book
really adhere to the simplistic point
that the Washington administrations or even just current one blindly (but
precisely) followed the prescriptions handed to them by Israeli lobby in forming their policies in Middle East (in regard to Iraq, in particular) I would agree with you that they definitely exaggerated the relevant facts. ... I did, and what I drew from it (as well as from many other respectable sources) that the main contributors to the formation and propagation of the Bush administration
Middle-East strategy, with Iraq as its part, were the following people: You then go on to name names.
I would start, first and foremost, with Wolfowitz. He, if you investigate carefully, holds very different view about the Arab Israeli conflict than you appear to think. He is known to be sympathetic to the Palestinian Arab cause and strongly favor a Palestinian Arab state, rejecting entirely the "Likud" line. Such is well documented, by the way, and he makes no secret about it. So, you are lumping together people with divergent views, as if they all walked in lockstep.
I must next note that the M & W thesis, by their own admission, requires that Israel pushed for the Iraq war. I read Israeli papers. I think it can be said that Israelis did not like Saddam (because, just perhaps, he was paying people to kill Israelis, because his country remained at war with the Israelis and because his country had, during the first Gulf War, shot missiles at the Israelis) and were happy to see him go. But, the Israeli papers noted that Israel's spies, unlike those of most other countries, did not think Iraq was readying itself to make war against anyone (most especially, as far as Israelis spies were concerned, against Israel) or even working hard toward obtaining nuclear weapons, as the US alleged.
The Israelis thought - and still think - that Iran does have such intentions and is working on such weapons. So, the Israelis, unlike the US, who have to live in their part of the world, were not pushing the US to do anything against Iraq. As Professor Eckstein points out, the Israelis were, in fact, counseling otherwise and were, as he noted, told to shut up by the British.
M & W cannot have it both ways. Israel either largely controls US policy or it does not. If it does, why would it, as M & W allege, have to play cheerleader to a war they secretly opposed? That bears explanation and, I think the explanation is not found in the facts but in the assumptions that M & W bring to the facts they have examined - in this case, according to Professor Kramer, facts they basically made up.
Here is a fact that has some bearing on their thinking. Back in 2003, Mearsheimer (along with about 1,000 other American academics) signed a letter-like petition that worries about Israel taking advantage of the invasion of Iraq in order to expel millions of Palestinian Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza Strip and perhaps even Arab Israelis from Israel. That is such a flight from reality as to suggest that the signatories know nothing about Israel, its politics or concerns. In reality, we have two academics who really do not like Israel (and, it would be interesting to find out who they receive funds from) manipulating facts to reach a conclusion they hold for reasons unrelated to the facts - rather, to their pre-dispositions.
Now, you name a lot of names. But, I do not see the significance. You claim they all think the same thing. But, that is clearly not so. Rumsfeld and Cheney do not consider themselves as neo-cons and do not agree with that way of thinking at all. They are traditional, hard-line Republicans who, I presume, thought that the US could advance American interests by landing an army in Iraq. So, at best, we have advisers to advisers who liked what their bosses were doing. In short, there is a coincidence of interest, not an identity of ideas.
You note that such people belong to the same think tanks. Consider, Arnold, that Cheney and Rumsfeld belong to a lot of think tanks. They are politicians of sorts so that belonging to a think tank tells me very little. Consider: do you know why they belong to a particular think tank? Could it be to manipulate those in the think tank?
Consider, Arnold, that the Bush administration was filled with people who agreed with the Iraq policy. So, choosing names tells me very little. Why the names you choose? Why not other people who had other rationales - and there were such people.
Consider what Wolfowitz said long ago: he noted that there was a lack of agreement about the rationale for attacking Iraq so it was decided by the administration to focus on weapons because it was deemed unimaginable that Iraq was not pursuing nuclear weapons - i.e., it was the one thing on which all of them could agree. That basically means that, in fact, there were a lot of Republican factions which favored a war with Iraq. So, why focus on those with most Jewish sounding names? The reason is animus against Israel and/or Jews.
You next opine about the sequence of events. Yes, the Israelis are worried about Iran. But, no, the Israelis are not making things up. The Iranian Revolution, once it came into Islamist hands, has advocated Israel's destruction repeatedly. Such was a cornerstone of the ideology of Khomeini - and, I suggest you read some of his writings on the topic. It is one of the things that hold the Iranian Islamist regime together. And, the Israelis are not making things up. That is a nutty thesis that assumes that Israel is ruled by idiots.
The Israelis may be mistaken but they are not making up facts. I suggest you read a book called Children of Jihad, by Jared Cohen, who spent time recently in Iran. He notes the posters all over the country that read "Death to Israel." Such is official Iranian policy. It is not, he notes, the view of the average Iranian but it is the view of the conservative religious element of the country - the element which, in fact, rules the country.
You next discuss the two criminal theory. I skip that because, as I noted above, the Israelis have genuine reasons to be concerned about Iran.
You then attempt to compare the impact of Israel's lobbying with that, for example, of Taiwan. In fact, Taiwan's lobby likely has greater influence that Israel does. You need to consider that Taiwan's influence concerns a superpower, China. That is a billion people and it is, by far, the dominant military power in that part of the world. So, Taiwan complicates US relations with China by lobbying. Israel's impact on its region concerns a greater number of countries which, however, have one issue in common: they all are hostile to Israel existing as a country. And, unlike Taiwan, Israel's influence is due to its actual ability to impact US policy by its actions in the region, not its lobbying.
Again, I do not think your theory makes any sense. I think it is, as Professor Eckstein argues, based on the Judeocentric theory, which is, in essence, a conspiracy theory - one that, in fact, is not consistent with known facts.
Now, you note that Perle and Wolfowitz were in the Bush administration. But, it has not occurred to you that their views do not remotely coincide with Israel's views. In fact, their views vary greatly from Israel's views. Consider that Perle was involved in a petition letter - which is a rather famous letter - which favored Israel invading Iraq and the US ceasing the provision of aid to Israel. That did not find any favor with any major Israeli politicians including, I might add, Netanyahu (to whom the letter was addressed). So, Perle has his own ideas that, if you ask me, are based on fantasy. Wolfowitz, as you evidently do not know, favors the Israelis ceding land to form a Palestinian Arab state - which the far right wing in Israel, to whom he is allegedly aligned, find short-sighted.
So M & W have lumped together as one a number of people with diverse ways of thinking and diverse. Why? Because M & W are so biased against Israel that they are unable to think clearly. Again, M signed a fantasy theory letter about Israel, a theory which is divorced from reality.
You inquire why requests by Israel for aid make it into the papers. Consider: Israel has a far broader base of support in the US than do many other groups. But note: the 7 billion dollars now being thrown into the trashcan called the PA is also in the papers. I think the reason that aid to Israel gets into the paper while, for example, large amounts of aid to Egypt do not is that that Americans like the Israelis a lot more than they like the Egyptians and, on top of that, there are a lot more reporters in Israel than in Egypt, which means they need to file stories. But consider: the biggest aid program the US has is aid to Germany, where the US spends tens of billions of dollars every year on an army to protect Germany from your country of origin. That injects ten times the amount of economic aid to Germany as is spent on Israel and, on top of that, it involves the stationing of US troops. In both cases, the aid is intended to advance US interests.
As for your view about lobbying, the US is a republic. Lobbying is a basic right under the Constitution. If Americans want to be friendly with Outer Mongolia, they have a right to lobby Congress, etc., to advance that cause. The other way around is called fascism, where the government tells the people what their interests are.
art eckstein - 12/20/2007
M & W's thesis is that the Israelis were the culprits and the CONTROLLERS in the US invasion of Saddam's Iraq.
Not that one U.S. motive in the invasion was to protect Israel. That is esp the case because the evidence shows that the Israeli govt (and for that matter public opinion polls as well, but we are talking about govt actions) OPPOSED the US invasion of Iraq. The Israeli govt feared that such an ivnasion would be detrimental to israeli interests, esp by diverting attention from Iran--as has, indeed, turned out to be the case.
And far from "controlling US foreign policy," the Israelis were IGNORED.
THAT is the point: the Israelis, far from controlling US foreign policy, were IGNORED in Bush's obsession with Iraq. Omar, as usual, simply doesn't get it.
N. Friedman - 12/20/2007
So, if that is the case, it shows that the US and Israel are allied. Alliances are nothing unusual in US history.
The M & W thesis, however, is something quite different. It has the tail wagging the dog. And that thesis is contradicted by the fact - and it is a fact - that the Israeli government tried to persuade the US not to take on Iraq.
omar ibrahim baker - 12/20/2007
"What is said is that protecting Israel was - or may have been - one of the motives for attacking Iraq. And, that may well be the case, Omar. "
That is specifically my point in this particular post!
As to the rest I leave it to the more knowledgeable M&W who truly worry about the USA.
I note, with respect, your aversion to extrapolation unlike the childish poster who can do no better than putting words in other people's mouths.
Arnold Shcherban - 12/20/2007
Political lobbying, in general, is legal in this
country on one main reason: it gives
legal opportunity to the both parties involved in the process, as well as to the judicial branch that legalized the process to cram their pockets with greenery over mutual "favors".
Arnold Shcherban - 12/20/2007
<That Israel has an influential lobby is not denied.>
I have a couple questions to you N.:
What exactly do you mean by "influential" in this context?
To what extent the Israel lobby together with Israeli governments influences the US policy in MIddle East, in general, and its policy towards Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in particular, in your view?
Secondly, if the authors of the book
really adhere to the simplistic point
that the Washington administrations or even just current one blindly (but
precisely) followed the prescriptions handed to them by Israeli lobby in forming their policies in Middle East (in regard to Iraq, in particular) I would agree with you that they definitely exaggerated the relevant facts.
However, have you even read the book you comment on?
I did, and what I drew from it (as well as from many other respectable sources) that the main contributors to the formation and propagation of the Bush administration
Middle-East strategy, with Iraq as its part, were the following people:
Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Steven Bryen, Elliott Abrams, John Podhoretz, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Attorney General John Ashcroft; I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, chief of staff and chief national security advisor to Vice President Cheney (whose Yale University professor and mentor was... Paul Wolfowitz); Pentagon disinformation officer Abram Shulsky; Gary Schmitt, executive director of the Kristol-led Project for the New American Century (PNAC); David Brook, another editor of The Weekly Standard; Werner Dannhauser, who left academia to assume the editorship of the flagship neo-con magazine Commentary following the retirement of Norman Podhoretz; and Robert Kagan, also of The Weekly Standard, and the son of leading Yale University ideolouge Donald Kagan.
The great majority of those folks do represent Israel lobby, as they are not only figure prominently in different pro-Israeli organizations (which is fine, if taken for a face value), but are well-known for their radical views on Israeli-Arab conflict.
So noone claimed that Rumsfeld and Cheney, are <marginal>; they just belong to the same "ThinkTank", as their ideological mentors.
It is just one of the situations characterized by famous proverb: "birds of feather flock together".
In this particular one the non-Jewish neocons flocked with radical Israel lobby, so what's the surprise here?
To blame all the Jews, or even all American Jews for that is certainly anti-semitic, but to say that the radical Israeli lobby had nothing or little to do with the Bush administration "policy" in Middle East is dishonest and misleading, as it follows from the list of that policy formulators and fierce supporters.
It is analogous to asserting that Jewish Bolsheviks had nothing or little to do with the crimes of Stalinism.
I've already cursorily commented on Kramer's, yours, and others' strongest argument of all -
the Iranian one - by saying that the deviation was just chronological, i.e, first Iraq, then Iran.
And what have we seen since the US agression agaist Iraq?
Exactly what the Israelis wanted on the first place the wardrum beat against Iran, with all commonplace US war propaganda methods, "necessary" lies, "enemy" demonization, and full military preparedness for the so-called preemptive strike, as usual suspects.
But all this is no evidence... except a single well-publicized (perhaps, exactly with the diversive purpose to get it noticed) fact that many Isreali governmental officials wanted the US strike Iran first the only one that is.
Strange, at the least, logic...
Imagine two criminals (it is just an example of a faulty logic) working out a plan to rob two places within certain period of time. They both agree on their desire to rob the both places, but in the view of the first criminal one particular place is much more lucrative and urgent (on some reasons) to be robbed, while another one sees the urgency and, therefore the chronology, differently; otherwise, the first one participates fully in the development of the robbery plan. So, just based on that difference we have to conclude that the first criminal had no or little influence on the robbery design, and therefore should be exonerated?
Next issue. You're absolutely right
when pointing out the other countries' lobbies. As you might remember I once commented on this lobbying feature of the US political life by saying that it is wrong and has to be abolished. The rationale: You can have as many pro-something public organizations, as long as they promote cultural, and social needs of their ehtnic groups within the host country, but it is wrong and purely detrimental to give them capabilities to influence the foreign policies of the host country towards the states they are not even citizens of, and often have never been ones.
But anyway, does, e.g., Taiwanian lobby has such an influence on the formation of the US policy towards Vietnam and North Korea, as Isreali one on the US policy towards, previously (in 1990s) Iraq, and now Iran?
Name pro-Taiwan's or pro-India officials (members of their respective lobbies) in, say, Clinton or Bush administration which have been as much influential as two of the major contributors to the Iraq war (according to the well-known facts) Wolfowitz and Perle?
Where and when did you hear and see the extent of support for and requests to the US federal government on behalf of those countries in mass media, as you continiously see and hear them for Israel?
It is not that I'm saying it should not be so. I merely show you that those other lobbies are much, much less powerful than the subject of our polemics in practically all aspects.
However, you may be right about the anti-Castro lobby.
This one is also powerful, but only in regard to a very small region: Cuba and its immediate surroundings.
And I'm glad you mention it, 'cause I want to tell you how powerful this lobby is even now, though there are no Cubans in the positions comparable to the ones of Perle, Wolfowitz, and others (so one can realize by what multiplying factor it could increased provided there would have been so many anti-castro Cubans in the US government, as are anti-Arab, radical Likudniks.)
I heard a speach of one senator, I believe, from Florida taken over full session of the US Senate.
The main thrust of the speach
was an objection to the proposed by Democrat majority resolution against governments of Venezuela, Peru, and Equador accusing them in alleged illegal cooperation with Iran, and even in offerring their territories for terrorists training camps or something like it.
What actually was most relevant in that speach to our current polemics that the senator told the Senate audience, in particular, how many times the other senators (and not just from Florida) complained
to him privately that they were sick and tired of the pressure the anti-Castro lobby put them under, so that they unwillingly granted that lobby their votes on the respective Senate issues, just to get rid of them and their supporters and keep the Senate seats. If you ask me it also shows
the lack of integrity and of political courage on the part of those senators... but Paris worth the Mass, right?
If the small anti-Castro lobby can be that powerful, I'm certain from what I know, see and hear in this country almost every day that the Israeli lobby is incomparably more numerous, influential, and powerful.
To assert otherwise is to deny reality.
art eckstein - 12/19/2007
Omar remains impervious to facts, and to the weight of evidence that contradicts his Jewish conspiracy thesis.
1. Even if what Zelikow says were correct, and that is disputed by other experts, he is not saying what Omar wants him to say--that Jews and israel CONTROL US foreign policy on Iraq. See Friedman's comments from yesterday, below, posted at 1:53 p.m. All he is saying is that the US GOVERNMENT thought the overthrow of Saddam would help Israel.
2. But this is NOT what the Israeli govt thought, as Kramer and others have forcefully pointed out. The Israeli's DIDN'T want an invasion of Iraq, because they thought it would be a distraction from the main enemy, Iran. They therefore tried to STOP this US policy, and at the highest level, to the point where Sharon was rebuked as an obstructionist by the British Foreign Secretary. They failed. So much for "control."
The powerful evidence on this will not, however, stop Omar and his Jewish conspiracy obsession--he is committed to this world view, that "magic Jews" are behind everything. And facts, especially contrary evidence, mean nothing to him. He has never learned that one must actually deal with the contrary evidence that others present. To do so, of course, is basic historiographical method.
Joseph Mutik - 12/19/2007
These two shameless anti-Jewish ideological activists concocted a book accusing American Jews of engaging in very legal activities, like lobbying, and also falsely accusing the Jews of acting against the U.S. interests.
Does anyone know if these two "scholars" wrote anything about other groups, in the USA, acting against U.S. interests?
Don't give them the podium, ignore them!
omar ibrahim baker - 12/19/2007
Of course some "others" would say otherwise.
The important point here is that Zelikow is in the KNOW because of his position in the administration and his very clear words were quoted as said verbatim ;and never denied.
While the others, like yourself, would only guess, speculate and theorize for an ulterior purpose that is NOT hard to fathom Zelikow spoke out of inner most knowledge and first hand experience!!
M&W are only, I suspect, the tip of the iceberg, others will soon follow and the whole web of active and dormant "Israel First" supporters in the American administration together with their pernicious influence on US policies and interests will be unveiled!
The importance of the whole episode of M&W is that, in the USA, it is no longer a taboo to question, dissect and evaluate the influence and impact of the Israel First, USA Second, lobby and pressure groups at the highest academic level and publish a book about it .
A book that, sadly to Kramer &Co, was NOT “STIFLED”!
When the full fall out of the Iraq adventure , particularly in the political and financial domains, dawns on the USA the role and motives of the neocon/Zionist lobby in this historical American debacle will be examined ” taboolessly” in much greater detail yours will have a lot to answer for .
The neocons will, for structural reasons, be able to re submerge in the main stream while their Zionist partners will remain, also for structural reasons, exposed!
N. Friedman - 12/18/2007
No offense, but the source you cite does not support the thesis that US policy was controlled by the Israelis through Israel's friends in the US. Not one word in what you quoted says that.
What is said is that protecting Israel was - or may have been - one of the motives for attacking Iraq. And, that may well be the case, Omar. But, that does not show that Israel favored the same policy. It only shows that protecting Israel is part of US policy - which is certainly the case.
I suggest you read what you quote more carefully.
A. M. Eckstein - 12/18/2007
Omar didn't read the whole story:
Here is the end of it, from someone with very good credentials as a Middle East expert himself:
"Others say that the administration should be blamed for not making known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading Iraq. 'They [the administration] made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it,' said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.
But he downplayed the Israel link. 'In terms of securing Israel, it doesn't make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-term strategic threat,' he said."
Despite Zelikow's opinion in 2002, the FACTS as related by Kramer, now known in 2007, are that Sharon worked to PREVENT the Iraq War. He was rebuked by the British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw for doing so. Period.
omar ibrahim baker - 12/18/2007
A man much more knowledgeable about the inner forces formulating US policy , particularly under president Bush, than Professor Eckstein is Philip Zelikow.
As reported in the following article Zelikow HAD ABSOLUTELY no doubt about was the real motive behind the USA/BUSH decision to conquer and destroy Iraq.
Latter denials never touched on the actual words Zelikow used at the University of Virginia.:
"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," ("Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and the future of the war on al-Qaeda. “)
Two points re Zelikow:
1-He had the highest degree of access, and security clearance, to the inner most circles and documents of the decision making centers at the White house
2-He said whatever he had to say about the real motives behind the conquest of Iraq while serving at the White house .
The pertinent points from the said article follow.
The complete article is at:
Iraq was invaded 'to protect Israel' - US official
By Emad Mekay
WASHINGTON - Iraq under Saddam Hussein did not pose a threat to the United States, but it did to Israel, which is one reason why Washington invaded the Arab country, according to a speech made by a member of a top-level White House intelligence group.
Inter Press Service uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001 - the 9/11 commission - in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch US ally in the Middle
Zelikow made his statements about "the unstated threat" during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president. He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.
"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," Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on September 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of September 11 and the future of the war on al-Qaeda.
"And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell," said Zelikow.
The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 600 US troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington's desire to defend the Jewish state.
The administration, which is surrounded by staunch pro-Israel, neo-conservative hawks, is currently fighting an extensive campaign to ward off accusations that it derailed the "war on terrorism" it launched after September 11 by taking a detour to Iraq, which appears to have posed no direct threat to the US.
Israel is Washington's biggest ally in the Middle East, receiving annual direct aid of US$3-4 billion.
Even though members of the 16-person PFIAB come from outside government, they enjoy the confidence of the president and have access to all information related to foreign intelligence that they need to play their vital advisory role. Known in intelligence circles as "Piffy-ab", the board is supposed to evaluate the nation's intelligence agencies and probe any mistakes they make. The unpaid appointees on the board require a security clearance known as "code word" that is higher than top secret.
The national security adviser to former president George H W Bush (1989-93) Brent Scowcroft, currently chairs the board in its work overseeing a number of intelligence bodies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, the various military intelligence groups and the Pentagon's National Reconnaissance Office.
Neither Scowcroft nor Zelikow returned numerous phone calls and e-mail messages from IPS for this story.
Zelikow has long-established ties to the Bush administration. Before his appointment to PFIAB in October 2001, he was part of the current president's transition team in January 2001. In that capacity, Zelikow drafted a memo for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on reorganizing and restructuring the National Security Council (NSC) and prioritizing its work.
Richard A Clarke, who was counter-terrorism coordinator for Bush's predecessor president Bill Clinton (1993-2001) also worked for Bush senior, and has recently accused the current administration of not heeding his terrorism warnings. Clarke said that Zelikow was among those he briefed about the urgent threat from al-Qaeda in December 2000.
Rice herself had served in the NSC during the first Bush administration, and subsequently teamed up with Zelikow on a 1995 book about the unification of Germany.
Zelikow had ties with another senior Bush administration official - Robert Zoellick, the current trade representative. The two wrote three books together, including one in 1998 on the United States and the Muslim Middle East.
Aside from his position on the 9/11 commission, Zelikow is now also director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs and White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia. His close ties to the administration prompted accusations of a conflict of interest in 2002 from families of victims of the September attacks, who protested his appointment to the investigative body.
In his university speech, Zelikow, who strongly backed attacking the Iraqi dictator, also explained the threat to Israel by arguing that Baghdad was preparing in 1990-91 to spend huge amounts of "scarce hard currency" to harness "communications against electromagnetic pulse", a side-effect of a nuclear explosion that could sever radio, electronic and electrical communications.
That was "a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to ride out a nuclear exchange - they [Iraqi officials] were not preparing to ride out a nuclear exchange with us. Those were preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis," according to Zelikow.
He also suggested that the danger of biological weapons falling into the hands of the anti-Israeli Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its Arabic acronym Hamas, would threaten Israel rather than the US, and that those weapons could have been developed to the point where they could deter Washington from attacking Hamas.
"Play out those scenarios," he told his audience, "and I will tell you, people have thought about that, but they are just not talking very much about it".
"Don't look at the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, 'gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in Israel?' Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant."
To date, the possibility of the US attacking Iraq to protect Israel has been only timidly raised by some intellectuals and writers, with few public acknowledgements from sources close to the administration. Analysts who reviewed Zelikow's statements said that they are concrete evidence of one factor in the rationale for going to war, which has been hushed up.
"Those of us speaking about it sort of routinely referred to the protection of Israel as a component," said Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. "But this is a very good piece of evidence of that."
Others say that the administration should be blamed for not making known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading Iraq. "They [the administration] made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it," said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.
But he downplayed the Israel link. "In terms of securing Israel, it doesn't make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-term strategic threat," he said.
art eckstein - 12/18/2007
Sure, E. S.--I'm always ready to provide relevant information.
The pt of Kramer's article is that the israeli's did NOT want a US war with Iraq because it would distract the US from what Israel saw as the main threat, Iran. They made this perfectly clear. The idea that the Israelis tried to keep the Bush govt from having "cold feet" on Iraq flies against all the evidence. They made it perfectly clear at the highest levels (i.e., Sharon to Straw) that they did not want this war because it would distract attention from Iran. They failed in their attempt to stop the war, and US attention HAS been distracted from Iran, as the israeli govt feared.
Now, however, "Jew-centered" people such as Mearsheimer and Walt (and of course Omar, with his "magic Jews" capable of anything) blame ISRAEL for a war the Israeli govt opposed, and opposed because it was not in israel's ultimate interest. So much for the US govt following Israeli's interest.
And yet the anti-semites still manage to blame Israel, even if--as in Mearsheimer's and Walt's case--it means violating the main principle of scholarly analysis upon which they have built their academic careers.
Here's a true story: my friends Richard Ned Lebow, Kenneth Waltz, and Robert Jervis, illustrious political scientists all (and Waltz is the leader of all international-systems theorists) met with Condi Rice in late 2002 to try to convince her not to do Iraq. Their argument was that if the US won, this would "unbalance the world system" so much that hard (military) counter-balancing of the US by Russia and China would be the natural result; that was if the US WON. If the US lost, it would LOSE. Iraq was in their view a no-win situation for the US. Condi was disdainful, and rejected their analysis, "You don't understand how the world works," she told them.
Whether they were right or wrong, the fact is that Lebow, Waltz and Jervis are all Jewish. Lebow told me this story. It looks like just another part of the "Jewish conspiracy" to start the Iraq war, I suppose.
Joseph Mutik - 12/18/2007
There is a very interesting website
with a lot of data about lobbying.
and press on "Top Spenders" on the left side and you will get a list of top spenders. The first place in this list is the "US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE"
the main architect of moving American jobs to China, India, Latin America etc. We are talking about many millions of American Jobs. Does it serve the U.S. interests? Go figure?! But if some Jew haters make noise about the Jews the attention and the discussion time is moved from real problems to usual Jew hating.
If one searches the databases she/he can find out about the top ranked Defense Industry spending for lobbying. The good old "Military Industrial complex" interested in wars and in keeping U.S. bases all over the world. Why does the very wealthy Europe need American bases at the expense of tens of billions of dollars every year (compared to about $2.4 billion/year in aid to Israel). Go figure?! But if some Jew haters make the old noise about Jews and Israel the attention and the discussion time is moved from the real problems to hating Jews.
Hating Jews has its institutionalized beginnings around 325 AD when the council of Nicaea codified the New Testament. The hate evolved and in the 19th century "the protocols of the elders of Zion" begun the era of Jew hating conspiracy theories. One of the common tactics of the Jew haters is crying their crocodile tears when they are accused of anti-Jewish (anti-Semitic) hatred. John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are not different, they wrote a "scholarly" new "protocols of the American elders of Zion" and dare to say that they don't hate Jews!
The Jewish lobby has as its main issue: Keeping the Jewish citizens of Israel alive and well and support the Israeli right to self defense!
John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt are a part of the chorus that uses Jew hatred as a means of diverting the discussion about the real enemies of American interests to the old conspiracy theories noise about the Jews!
E. Simon - 12/18/2007
Thanks for mentioning that story about Bush and his mom, which I'd never heard about. I did, however, remember his subsequent "joke" to Israelis upon visiting them that they'd all be going to hell. The Barbara Bush/Billy Graham story provides some entertaining context.
art eckstein - 12/17/2007
US foreign policy was determined by Bush, Cheney, Powell, Rice, and Rumfeld. Not a single one of these people is Jewish. In fact, on a personal religious level, Bush believes that Jews are probably going to Hell because they are not saved by Jesus. He had a big fight with his mother about this, in which Billy Graham had to intervene. I am not making this up.
To look for "Jewish control" of these via Jewish puppet-masters situated at the second or third level of bureaucracy--the incompetent Perle, or the ideologically-rigid neocon Wolfowitz, or the political hack Feith--is to focus obsessively on Jews and "Jewish influence" at the expense of real analysis. Such obsessive focus on Jews, making THEM the center of the US story, is prima facie evidence of anti-semitism. See Jeffrey Goldberg's devastating review of Mearsheimer and Walt in the New Republic last April. Here's the analytical key:
"Many people in the West are queasy about attaching the label of anti-Semitism to almost anybody, so let me begin by describing bin Laden's view of history less inflammatorily--not as anti-Semitic, but as Judeocentric. He believes that Jews exercise disproportionate control over world affairs, and that world affairs may therefore be explained by reference to the Jews.
"A Judeocentric view of history is one that regards the Jews as the center of the story, and therefore the key to it. Judeocentrism is a single- cause theory of history, and as such it is, almost by definition, a conspiracy theory."
The same holds true with the "Israeli lobby." No one denies that there are forces that are influential for Israel, as N. Friedman said. But they do not act by themselves, they are not the only "lobby" in existence, other and better-funded lobbies are busy on other issues or the same issues but opposed to them (most obviously, Big Oil), they do not CONTROL US foreign policy. This latter point is shown by the numerous Congressional approvals of arms to Arab countries which these pro-Israel forces strenously opposed, and the constant criticism of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. It got to the point in 2002 where Ariel Sharon stated publicly that Israel was being sold out by the US govt like Czechoslovakia in 1938 was betrayed by the British.
That, of course, remains a possible scenario--despite certain folks' obsessive focus on "magic Jews".
N. Friedman - 12/17/2007
With due respect, M & W assert that Israel, through its lobby, has controls US Middle East policy, not that Israel has an influential lobby. That Israel has an influential lobby is not denied. What is denied is that such lobby controls US policy, something that is a demonstrable falsehood to the extent of being pretty much a calumnious lie.
How do we know such is false? First and foremost, Israel did not push for a war against Iraq. Israel's concern was Iran. That means on the single most critical issue effecting Israel, the Israel's position was ignored.
Evidently, M & W - and now you - think Rumsfeld and Cheney too marginal to have been the driving force for a war they pined for, as the evidence clearly shows.
Second, notwithstanding any lobby, the US gives aid to countries at war with Israel - to the extent that such countries raise funds for people to massacre Israelis -, most particularly to Saudi Arabia. Were Israel to call the tune, Saudi Arabia would not get a dime. The reason that Saudi Arabia gets money is that it sells the US a lot of OIL, so Saudi Arabia has a lot of money and, in addition, a lot of influence, backed by a powerful lobby.
And consider: it was not the Israel lobby which pined for Bush to declare that US policy wants a Palestinian Arab state. That, no doubt, was the work of those who think it a good thing to declare which is not something that the Israelis were looking to hear.
The rest of your comment suggests you know very little about the US. Small and large countries in the US have powerful domestic supporters with, in some instances, very strong lobbies. Among them: Taiwan, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, etc.,etc.. Moreover, there are powerful lobbies in the US that oppose specific countries. Among them: Cubans against Castro's Cuba.
Now, the fact is that the Israel Lobby argument requires, in order even to make sense, that Israel influenced US policy on Iraq, since Iraq was the biggest US initiative in many, many years. Yet, the evidence - including that admitted to by M & W - shows that is complete nonsense. Rather, Israel supported US policy in order not to lose influence with the Bush administration. And, more than that, the war was going to occur no matter what Israel's friends said since Congress authorized it (not due to Israel but due to election concerns) and because the public supported it, as polling shows.
art eckstein - 12/17/2007
Legitimate criticism of a book for gross historical inaccuracies and gross simplification of analysis is not the same as "stifling" a book. That's the kind of censorship that happens routinely in the Muslim world, not in the West.
I will just say that Walt and Mearsheimer made their careers advocating the proposition that states act primarily because of EXTERNAL circumstances, the balance of international power, the disposition of power and capabilities across the international system, and NOT because of internal pressures. They suddenly have come up with ONE exception: Omar's "magic Jews." No wonder he likes them, since it feeds his paranoia.
The huge influence of Big Oil, and the Saudis, with the $20 million at a time endowments of positions in "Islamic Studies" at major universities (something no Jews can come close to matching)--well, let's not talk about THEM!
But I fear such complexities are too much for Omar. He prefers conspiracy theories in which "the Israelis" compelled the US govt to invade Iraq--although all the evidence now shows that the israelis were against this. But...who cares about EVIDENCE in Omar's world? He's proven THAT fact, time and again.
Arnold Shcherban - 12/17/2007
He proved, if taken for a face value, that current US government
has not followed the Israeli lobby's Mid-East prescriptions WORD TO WORD, mainly in regard to CHRONOLOGY of the US agressions against Iraq and Iran.
But the authors of the book he clearly and sharply opposes to have never asserted that the US foreign policy is/was just an exact replica of the Israeli one. In their book they just show with facts and logic of facts that the Israel lobby influences the US policy in the region in very profound ways, much more extensively and intensively than it is commonly acknowledged by the official propaganda, mainstream media, and academic establishment.
Even if the extent of that pressure/influence in reality
is less than the authors tried to demonstrate, it should be, at the least, surprising to any unbaised observer that such a little country as Israel should have such a powerful lobby, perhaps the most powerful among all other foreign lobbies within the highest echelons of executive branch of the single superpower of the world.
omar ibrahim baker - 12/17/2007
"IRAQ or IRAN first to be destroyed , by the USA, for Israel's sake?"
Is the foremost question underlying the unconcealed ire of Mr Kramer at the W&M book.
Should the issue be scrutinized from the "Israeli" strategic perspective, the dominant factor with Kramer , the following facts would weigh most heavily in furthering the destruction of Iraq as the ISRAELI PRIRORITY:
- a major ARAB state in area and population
- endowed with considerable agricultural (land and water) mineral (oil) and human resources
-embarked on a serious scientific/technological, army building and military industrialization effort
-resistant to and unyielding to US influence and doctrinaire anti Zionist
-intrinsically and structurally, nationalistically, unviable to co exist with a nuclear Israel
-anti Zionist only under its present, Islamic, regime
-erstwhile, and potentially, an ally of the USA and Israel, directly and indirectly
-nationalistically liable to co exist with a nuclear Israel, if nuclear parity is attained
IRAQ and IRAN
-Both potential competitors to Israeli nuclear monopoly and regional military supremacy.
As such IRAQ, particularly as a natural partner in any future, doctrinaire anti Zionist anti Israel wider all Arab effort pauses much more of a threat in the intermediate and long term run to ISRAEL than IRAN in which any change of regime is liable to neutralize or reverse its anti Israel policies.
Wolfowitz no less had absolutely no doubts about Israeli priorities; his major and probably only concern.
According to Woodward he was for an anti Iraq ( not anti Afghanistan , no mention of Iran then) campaign immediately after 9/11 !
omar ibrahim baker - 12/17/2007
Mr.Kramer can hardly conceal his vexation at a BOOK and is clearly worried that:
" In the real world, Mearsheimer and Walt, far from being stifled, have become media staples, and tonight they'll have yet another podium, at Princeton.".
And is equally unhappy that :
" The respondent will be Princeton professor Robert O. Keohane, another much-ballyhooed theory-maker who's already hailed the bravery of the duo. "
Who, Professor Keohane,happens to have uttered :
"It is bad for political science if some important forces and pressures are systematically concealed,"
a hardly disputable proposition except , of course, by Mr. Kramer who would have rather the whole issue:
The Zionist establishment is clearly worried about a BOOK and would rather it was "stifled"!
When a lobby/community/bloc/interest group best renowned for its
"Intellectual" prowess is worried about a BOOK; that is telling a great deal.
When that same lobby/community/group/establishment ,with more reach and influence in the media and academia than any other, would rather that that BOOK NOT be read, dissected , deconstructed and rebutted BUT "stifled"; that is an other note worthy indication of the importance of that BOOK .
Kate Wagar - 12/16/2007
I'm partial to the theory that oil men, having won the presidency and higher offices, plunged us into war with Iraq to take over its oil wells. The Republican Neocons had been planning since the 1980s to worm their way into the oil fields and take control. When you got the Pres, VP, and DOD calibrating their lies, all that was missing was the opportune time, and bin Laden took care of that. I believe the Israeli issue was secondary. Our president lied to us, and we ended up at war.
N. Friedman - 12/15/2007
This article punches another humongous hole in the nasty "They made us do it" theory.
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