Mobilizing for March 18
In mobilizing for the third anniversary of the occupation of Iraq, it is wise to read veteran journalist John W. Cooley's book "An Alliance Against Babylon: The U.S., Israel, and Iraq" (Pluto Press, 2005). I went ahead and typed some excerpts that may benefit readers who are genuinely interested in building a massive and independent movement for sanity and peace (buy this book if you want to learn more). You may consider joining the growing movement around March 18 and making sure that it is inclusive of Arabs and Muslims, immigrants, and disenfranchised communities in the US (the primary victims of the drive to enrich special interests). I added my comments at THE END especially about the positive energy growing thanks to such intellectual fervor as that of Cooley and others COMBINED with grass root building (bottom up not top down).
Begin Quote from Cooley's book
P. 204. Karen Kwiatowski, a retired U. S. Airforce lieutenant-colonel who became a pentagon intelligence analyst in May 2002, has clearly traced Bush's tilt towards Israel and toward war in Iraq. Her assignment was in the office retired navy Captain Bill Luti, who under Bush became a deputy undersecretary of defense. She saw how other key personnel in this supposedly neutral "political" section of the pentagon were being replaced by people with ideological mindsets, most from outside the government. Her office-mate, a career civil servant specializing in U.S. military-political relations with Egypt warned her that if she wanted to succeed, "don't say anything positive about the Palestinians."
p. 205. In late summer of 2002, Kwiatowski and others noted the establishment on the fifth floor of the Pentagon a new "Office of Special Plans" (OSP). They were cautioned not to comment on this or discuss it with anyone outside. All desk officers were instructed to use briefing materials from the OSP in preparation for their background reports (Karen Kwiatowski, "In Rumsfeld's Shop: A Senior Air Force Officer Watches as teh Neocons Consolidate their Pentagon Coups," The American Conservative, p. 1, online). The distinguished investigative reporter Seymore Hersh explained in May 2003 the workings of the "Cabal", as the Office's incumbants "self-mockingly" called themselves. Hersh described how they produced their own intelligence reports, independent of the CIA, DIA, or other agencies (though they often incorporated information from them) to influence public opinion and government policy in favor of war with Iraq...The OSP director was Abram Shulsky, a scholar who closely followed the radical ideas about bringing "democracy" to the Middle East, and who was a disciple of the political philosopher Leo Strauss... Shulsky's associates included Douglas Feith, Bill Luti, and Paul Wolfowitz. ... Kwiatowski observed that visiting Israeli generals and others were sometimes admitted to the Pentagon without having to show their IDs or to sign in, as authorized by Douglas Feith. Washington insider were aware that the OSP was rewriting intelligence, or "bending" it, for the eyes of the senior decision-makers...The OSP had an Israeli counterpart in Prime Minister's Sharon's office in Jerusalem. It was an office depending neither on Mossad nor on Aman, the military intelligence organization. Its reports were written in English, not Hebrew, and sent directly to Washington.
p. 206 As the most important and powerful Israel lobby organization in the United States, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) proudly recalled in a background paper in October 2003, the two governments work closely together in "combatting terrorism and the threat of weapons proliferation." Israel is a formal (and the only non-NATO) member of a five-nation, US-led Technical Support Working Group on counter-terrorism. .... AIPAC may provide a hint to the functioning of the two OSPs in Jerusalem and Washington: The Strategic Policy Planning Group, it reports, "meets to discuss ways to improve and strengthen the strategic relationship between the United States and Israel" on "missile defense, stopping rogue states from acquiring weapons of mass destruction, and early-warning procedures". An average of 300 U.S. Pentagon and military personnel visit Israel every month. Senior Israeli military commanders visit the United States and tour American facilities. Reciprocal visits to Israel are made by senior uniformed commanders from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coastguard "for exchanges with the IDF leadership."
p 207. One of Israel's staunchest supporters in Washington, Michael Ledeen, responded to an op-ed article in the Wall Street Journal by Brent Scowcroft, a former National Srcurity Advisor critical of the neoconservative campaign for war with Iraq. Ledeeen noted that Scowcroft feared that if we attack Iraq " 'I think we could have an explosiion in the Middle East. It could turn the whole region into a cauldron and destroy (Bush's) War on Terror.' One can only hope that we turn the region into a cauldron, and faster please. If ever there was a region that richly deserved being cauldronized, it is the Middle East today. If we wage the war effectively, we will bring down the terror regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria, and either bring down the Saudi Monarchy or force it to abandon its global assembly line to indoctrinate young terrorists. That's our mission in the war against terror," Ledeen concluded.
p. 208 Israeli academic analysts, including retired intelligence officers, produce papers that are highly influential in Israel's (and America's) policy and defense establishments. These analysts were unanimous about the benefits for Israel of a U.S. Attack to remove Saddam Hussein and, once and for all, the strategic threat of Iraq's army on its eastern front. =The author goes on to cite a number of these studies, MQ=
p. 217. Israel's actual role in Iraq, though it rarely made headlines, was manifold: war testing of jointly-developed weapons; Israeli classroom and field training of U. S. Special Forces in the same rough tactics that the IDF has been using for years to keep the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza subdued, and in the parallel task of fighting terrorism; solid support for the propaganda and psy-war fronts ...
p. 219. Israeli instructors in 2003 began training U.S. forces in the kind of aggressive counter-insurgency tactics with which Israel enforces its own nearly 40-year-old occupation of the Palestinian territories. As early as September 2002, Martin van Creveld, military historian and strategist at Hebrew University, briefed US Marine officers at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He found his auditors to be "interested in what it would be like fighting a guerilla war, especially urban warfare of the kind we were conducting in Jenin," on the West Bank.
p. 232. In the end, I can only repeat my deep conviction, even deeper now than when I first published it during my first years in the region in the 1960s and 1970s: none of the Middle Eastern conflicts, including those affecting what was once Mesopotamia, will ever be peacefully resolved until there is a fair settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs."
End Quote from Cooley's book.
Mazin Qumsiyeh's additional comments: In his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man" (Plume Books) John Perkins articulates how he and others were at the forefront of the campaign to make many countries literally bankrupt and thus unable to resist US demands both government (e.g. votes at the UN) and corporate (owning their natural resources). He argues that his work was frontline and that if it fails then the other two levels of US pressure materialize in order: covert undermining of governments (e.g. as happened in removing democratically elected governments in places like Latin America in the 1970s-1980s and Iran in 1953) and as a last resort direct military intervention. The neocons' main interest was to accelerate the process of going through the first two options to arrive at the third (military) in the case of the Middle East because time was not in their favor especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Those neocons articulated their impatience in the so called "Project for New American Century". It ominously predicted several years before 9/11/2001 that: “no moment in international politics can be frozen in time: even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself ... (the new world order) must have a secure foundation on unquestioned US military preeminence ... The process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor." Having received their "new Pearl Harbor" in 2001, they immediately went to work (as Richard Clarke discussed in his book after he left the Bush administration): to remove restraints on use of force, accelerate privatization and control of world natural resources, abrogate arms controls, ignore international law, militarize space, strengthen countries that violate human rights and international law as long as they are “allies” (e.g. Egypt and Israel), and do “regime change” in the guise of "bringing democracy" (only if engineered to produce the result the US/Israel like, if not then the people will be punished as in the case of Palestinians in the occupied areas). Iraq was to be the main target in this process to reengineer the world to suite special interests. See also http://www.qumsiyeh.org/connectingthedotsiraqpalestine/
As people mobilize for the third anniversary of the war, many are becoming more politically aware of material such as that published by Hersh, Christison, Cooley, Kwiatowski, Clarke, Perkins, and others (most with inside information). In being more aware, they build a diverse and independent and informed movement. Diverse in every aspect of the word (ethnicity, gender, political affiliation, economic status, etc.), independent of being beholden to political parties that are now promoting war on Iran (e.g. Howard Dean was stating that Bush's war on Iraq diverted attention from the real threat, Iran), and informed of material that elites and those with hidden agendas want to keep hidden. It is important for the majority (i.e. those who oppose war) to challenge all candidates and elected officials who support wars and attacks whether on Iraq, Palestine or Iran . The imperial US/Israeli agendas do not end by elections but by an informed mass movement both here and in the Middle East.
As an example of informed and well-supported actions for the third anniversary, I note that in CT, dozens of groups (partial list below, also 500 individuals have signed on and we are mobilizing at 25 supportive mosques in CT) support a statewide march and rally (March 18, 11 AM New Haven, CT starting at 169 Grand Ave) with the following demands:
End the War in Iraq!
Bring the Troops Home Now!
No Attack on Iran!
Justice for the Palestinian People!
Nuclear Disarmament Now!
Hands off Arabs, Muslims, and the Immigrant Community! Civil rights for all!
Supporting Groups (list in formation, will be updated at http://ctunitedforpeace.org)
Al-Awda, Palestine Right to Return Committee, CT
American Friends Service Committee, CT
Bridgeport Teachers For Peace
Connecticut Coalition for Peace and Justice
Connecticut Peace Coalition, New Haven
Connectict Communist Party USA
Central Connecticut State University Progressive Student Alliance
Danbury Committee for World Peace
Genesis Internet Café
Greater Hartford Coalition on Cuba
Greater New Haven Peace Council
Green Party, New Haven
Hartford Catholic Worker
Hartford Bring the Troops Home Now
International Socialist Organization
Justice for Palestinians Committee, Danbury
LaBOR aRT & MuRAL PRoJECT
La Paloma Sabanera Coffeehouse & Bookstore
Latinos Contra la Guerra, Hartford
La Voz Latina, Trinity College
Manchester Peace Coalition
Middle East Crisis Committee
National Organization of Women, CT Chapter
People of Faith-CT wwwfaithCTorg
Regional Coalition For Immigrant Rights
Southern Connecticut State University Campus Anti-War Network
Todo Connecticut Con Vieques
We Refuse to Be Enemies
World Can't Wait, Danbury chapter
World Can't Wait, New Haven chapter
World Can't Wait, Stonington chapter
University of Connecticut Progressive Student Alliance
UConn Free Press
Unidad Latina en Accion, New Haven
United Students Against Sweatshops -- UConn