FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Cheney, Israel and Iran

by GARY LEUPP

“There is a race currently underway between different flanks of the administration to determine the future course of US-Iran policy,” writes Washington insider Steven C. Clemons on his Washington Note blog. “On one flank are the diplomats, and on the other is Vice President Cheney’s team and acolytes — who populate quite a wide swath throughout the American national security bureaucracy.” This is “worrisome” because the “person in the Bush administration who most wants a hot conflict with Iran is Vice President Cheney.”

Clemons cites a Cheney aide as indicating “that Cheney himself is frustrated with President Bush and believes, much like Richard Perle, that Bush is making a disastrous mistake” by supporting the diplomatic approach to Iran apparently favored by the State Department. So Cheney plans to deploy an “end run strategy” around the president (who’s more swayed at present by Condi Rice’s “realists” than Cheney’s neocons) if his flank doesn’t prevail and Bush resists the demand of the neocons and the AIPAC lobby for a bloody showdown.

“The thinking on Cheney’s team is to collude with Israel, nudging Israel at some key moment in the ongoing standoff between Iran’s nuclear activities and international frustration over this to mount a small-scale conventional strike against Natanz using cruise missiles This strategycould be expected to trigger a sufficient Iranian counter-strike against US forces in the Gulfas to compel Bush to forgo the diplomatic track that the administration realists are advocating and engage in another war.”

This is the most frightening piece I’ve read some time, along with Justin Raimondo’s latest column on antiwar.com that draws upon it. Raimondo citing a recent CNN interview with Seymour Hersh links Cheney and Deputy National Security Advisor Elliott Abrams (the most powerful neocon presently in the administration) to U.S. support for the Sunni Fatah al Islam militia in Lebanon as a means to weaken Hizbollah. “George W. Bush,” he declares, “is totally out of the loop” in what Raimondo calls “the Cheney administration.”

These reports have the ring of truth, it seems to me. Bob Woodward citing Colin Powell has documented how Cheney and his neocon gang formed “a separate little government” back in 2002 in order to arrange the assault on Iraq, preceded by a campaign of disinformation which the fool in the Oval Office might well have swallowed eagerly and uncritically. Cheney stated on Don Imus’ MSNBC show in January 2005 that “Given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards.” He implied that if the U.S. didn’t take action against Iran, the Israelis might have to and be justified in doing so. AIPAC and neocon thinktank advocates of an Iran attack have the sympathetic ear of legislators in both parties. Despite setbacks and what thinking people might see as the thorough discrediting of the neocon faction resulting from the exposure of administration lies, the proponents of the broad neocon plan (the imposition of pro-U.S., Israel-friendly regimes throughout Southwest Asia) remains on track.

Cheney, Clemons states, is frustrated with Bush. Perhaps the mentor-disciple relationship he enjoyed with the younger, trusting, ignorant, impressionable president has waned over time. Perhaps Bush really believed the disinformation items placed on his desk by Douglas Feith, Abram Shulsky and the other Office of Special Plans operatives that have now been so well exposed, and now blames Cheney and his neocons for his embarrassment. Maybe he’s been urged by dear friend Condi to question Cheney’s judgment about Middle East policy. And maybe the most powerful vice-president in U.S. history in response to a cooling relationship is indeed persuing an “end run strategy” to realize the neocon agenda, leaving Bush out of the loop.

It’s been clear for five years at least that Cheney, the key figure in this administration formally headed by a hopelessly confused little boy still learning to talk, wants to get the boy to issue the orders necessary to bring down the Iranian and Syrian governments and crush their allies in Lebanon and Palestine. He and his chief of staff “Scooter” Libby, along with Perle and the whole cabal, seemed so in charge until the Iraqi people through their resistence to occupation caused the American people to realize the costs of imperialist aggression and created some space for critical journalism in an incipiently fascist atmosphere. Now there is indeed a “race underway” not just between two factions of the administration but between the antiwar movement and the Apocalypse Now movement spearheaded by Cheney.
Immediately after 9-11 Cheney spoke of a war to last generations, comparable to the Cold War, a war that wouldn’t be limited to a response to al-Qaeda but have multiple and changing targets. Here’s a man well aware of his mortality, at 66 having suffered four heart attacks, comfortable generating that artificial unprovoked war necessarily building upon ignorance and Islamophobia. He probably feels that if he unleashes total hell on Southwest Asia he will still die comfortably surrounded by his grandchildren. He’s smugly assured he won’t ever face the fate of a Tojo Hideki or a Heinrich Himmler. He’s probably right about that, but he’s surely impeachable, even on the grounds of what Clemons suggests may be “criminal insubordination” against his dumbass boss.

Last month Rep. Dennis Kucinich introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives to impeach Cheney, in part because he has “openly threatened aggression against the Republic of Iran, absent any real threat to the United States, and has done so with the United States’ proven capability to carry out such threats.” Don’t these latest reports augment the case against, and underscore the urgency to impeach, this monster?

GARY LEUPP is Professor of History at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Comparative Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa Japan; Male Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is also a contributor to CounterPunch’s merciless chronicle of the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan and Yugoslavia, Imperial Crusades.

He can be reached at: gleupp@granite.tufts.edu

 

 

Gary Leupp is Professor of History at Tufts University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Religion. He is the author of Servants, Shophands and Laborers in in the Cities of Tokugawa JapanMale Colors: The Construction of Homosexuality in Tokugawa Japan; and Interracial Intimacy in Japan: Western Men and Japanese Women, 1543-1900. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, (AK Press). He can be reached at: gleupp@tufts.edu

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
Binoy Kampmark
Cyclone Watch in Australia
Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail