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Israel appears more at ease, now that American and British bombs are falling on Iraq, harvesting the lives of many innocents.
Yet despite Israel’s unambiguous role in all of this, few have connected the dots regarding the role played by Israel and its mouthpieces in the United States. Israel’s task was to destroy one of the few remaining countries in the region that opposed the US proxy in the Middle East. Following Iraq, Israel was promised, that next would come Syria, Iran, Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance.
Many conveniently blame the war on the ‘neo-conservatives’ in the American administration, some ‘embedded’ in the many think tanks that have tremendous influence on the decision-making process in Washington. But the relationship between the so-called neo-conservatives and the state of Israel is yet to be exposed.
Those who recall events that preceded the war, know too well how the "doves" within the administration, at least for a short while, opposed the military option on Iraq vs. those who championed the ‘total war’ strategy starting in 1992 (not following September. 11, 2001 as many are lead to believe), as outlined in the ‘Wolfowitz Doctrine.’ Paul Wolfowitz, one of the most vibrant advocates of Israel’s policy in the US government was then the undersecretary for policy in the Pentagon.
In March 1992, Wolfowitz, who was delegated to draft the "Defense Planning Guidance", outlined his ambitions instead, where he proposed that nations should be ‘discouraged’ from "challenging our leadership". Wolfowitz was one of the first to propose the pre-emptive war, (used by Israel in its war against the Arabs in 1967) to allegedly "prevent the development of weapons of mass destruction". Wolfowitz, who seemed to get along very well with the right wing elements within Israeli governments, ‘accidentally’ neglected the fact that Israel’s nuclear program was active as early as 1952, with the creation of the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC). He worried little about Israel, but aimed at ‘disarming’ the sanctions devastated nation of Iraq.
The Wolfowitz proposal, which eventually gained momentum and won over the support of the administrations’ big names, shamefully manipulating the September 11 tragedy to score cheap victories for Israel to subdue its rivals in the Middle East.
The neo-conservatives gained yet more ground when President George Bush appointed Elliot Abrams, described by a recent newsletter of the Washington-based Council for the National Interest on March 14, 2003 as "a convicted felon in the disgraceful Iran-Contra operation, outspoken mouthpiece for Israel and critic of the peace process." Oddly, the anti-peace advocate was made the President’s new chief advisor in the Middle East.
The pro-Israeli circle in the Administration, ferocious advocates of the pre-emptive war strategy and whose duel allegiances seem to disregard the interests of the American people, was almost complete. Abrams joined the ranks of pro-Israeli war hawks, including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and most notably Donald Rumsfeld, whose infamous referral to the Palestinian occupied territories as "so-called occupied territories (being) a result of a war which (Israel) won", left many pondering whether the US was at all committed to peace and stability in the Middle East.
Many people across the US must have doubted the alleged relationship between al-Qaeda and the September 11 terrorist attacks on one hand, and Iraq on the other. (Considering that even George Tenet of the CIA had bluntly told a Congress Committee that, evidence of such links proved unsubstantiated.)
Why has the United States suddenly decided to jump into the swamp of redrawing the geo-political map of the Middle East, considering that neither its oil imports nor its growing multinational corporations’ influence in the region is at risk (excluding the backlash inspired by the anti-American sentiment, itself inspired by the cruelty of the Israeli army in the occupied territories. It’s no secret that Israel uses American weapons to kill Palestinians, money to build and expand its illegal settlements and political backing to thumb its nose at international law and the international community.)
Zelman Shuval, a former Israeli ambassador to Washington shed some light on the answer in an article, published in the Hebrew newspaper Yediot Ahronot on January 16, 2003. Shuval, said that Israel should make ‘behind the scenes’ efforts to get the American administration to attack Iraq "sooner rather than later". Postponing, delaying or canceling the war, he asserted, would create "very negative consequences" for Israel.
Of course, the United States’ government has its own reasons to attack Iraq: global supremacy, strategic control, oil of course, the failure of the Afghanistan war to boost the sense of security among Americans, diverting the attention from the major financial scandals involving top government officials, diverting attention from the crumbling economy and soaring unemployment. But even with these reasons, Israel, its strong Washington lobby and major players within the administration, were always on top of things, pushing for a war that was vehemently rejected by a few countries shy of the whole world.
Not only that Israel’s role in this war has been overlooked, but also pro-Israeli pundits have done their best to lead the American people to look the other way from Israel’s real political motives in the war. Jerry Falwell and his fanatic cronies on one hand, preached to millions about how Israel is "a key player in end times events," for, "according to scripture things are falling into place for Jesus’ return â¤| the great Tribulation, Armageddon and the millennial reign of Christ."
In the meantime, pro-Israeli media collaborators thought of every wrong reason to justify the war, from liberating Iraq, to making the world a better place, to explaining how the war fits neatly into the "clash of civilizations" theory, a theory mainly aimed at engaging the world in a dishonest debate over cultural feuds, while the issue resides in business, power, control and politics. On the other hand, few dared to propose that Israel will not be able to carry out its illegal policies in the Middle East: land confiscation, unfair ‘peace’ proposition, ethnic cleansing, and coercing its Arab neighbors into accepting Israel’s regional supremacy. (Who would dare say no to Israel once Iraq is occupied, and while the US military machine is present to crush any dissent? In fact, who would dare question the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Arab lands, in violation of international law, if the United States is itself occupying an Arab country, also in violation of international law?)
It was no coincidence when Secretary of State, Collin Powell rushed to address lobbyists from the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, AIPAC, on March 30, less than two weeks after the launching of the Iraq War. Powell renewed the United States’ commitment to Israel, condemned Palestinian bombings as a "cowardly acts", (no word on the murder of scores of Palestinians preceding the bombings), and assured Israel and its agents in the US of the sacred bond between his country and Israel. But most importantly, he promised a much safer Middle East for Israel after the toppling of the Iraqi government and President Saddam Hussein. Both Powell and the AIPAC members of course knew too well that Israel had, for many years, over two hundred nuclear warheads, including some thero-nuclear devices (aka, hydrogen bombs), a secret revealed by Mordechai Vanuni, a former Israeli nuclear technician, and also revealed by U-2 Spy Plane photographs. (Suddenly a fully developed arsenal of Weapons of Mass Destruction is no longer a concern)
Placing most of the American army in desert battles to fight an illusionary enemy, while allowing Israel to run wild, threatening an entire region and defying international law in its oppression of the Palestinian people, will by no means bring ‘peace and prosperity’ to the Middle East. Moreover, hypocrisy, double-standards, and most certainly, unjust wars have never achieved, neither peace nor security. What they have done is evoked yet more anger, hatred, rebellion, and, dare I say, terrorism. Perhaps before fighting terrorism in the mountains of Tora Bora, we should examine where terrorism truly originates: our own unjust policies.
RAMZY BAROUD is the editor-in-chief of PalestineChronicle.com and the editor of the anthology "Searching Jenin: Eyewitness Accounts of the Israeli Invasion 2002." 50 percent of the editor’s royalties will go directly to assist in the relief efforts in Jenin. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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