You Only Get the Truth From Former Officials

by BOUTHAINA SHAABAN

Warning us about the Obama administration’s submission to Israeli pressure, in an interview with Lebanon’s OTV, Michael Scheuer, a former senior CIA officer, said: “Three hundred million Americans could wake up tomorrow to discover that a foreign leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, led them to war with Iran, which might lead to war with the rest of the Muslim world”.   He added, “Israel has no value whatsoever when it comes to American interests.  It does not produce or give us anything we need.  The only thing we get from it is that it is leading us to a religious war it seeks with Islam”.

Documents released by the National Security Archives Center, after having been declassified, show that hours after the 9/11 attacks, former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld talked about attacking Iraq – according to minutes of a meeting held that day – and asked for “evidence which shows an alleged relationship between the former head of the Iraqi regime and al-Qaeda leader”.  The United States acknowledged later that no relation existed between the former Iraqi regime and the 9/11 attacks.  Nevertheless, it went ahead with invading Iraq.

In his memoirs, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that “there was no evidence to prove Iraqi ties to al-Qaeda”, or that it possessed mass destruction weapons”.  The decision to invade Iraq was taken on the first day that George W. Bush and his team took office.

Shall we wait, every time, for a certain official responsible for waging a war to retire, to know the real objective of that war?  The more important question is: why do not Western officials, who play leading roles in their countries with impact on the lives of millions of people in other countries, dare say the truth and behave accordingly?  Why do they, in moments such as the attack on Iraq, toe the line of other forces and reduce themselves to mere instruments?  The answer might be that these forces are capable of putting an end to their political existence altogether under one pretext or another.

If we examine what is happening today, in light of what happened in the past, we find that the six countries involved in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program state repeatedly that they “prefer a diplomatic solution with Iran”.  President Obama, during his election campaign, said he “does not want or intend to strike Iran”.  Who then is drumming up war against Iran?  And who is drumming up war against it or against Lebanon every time the prospects of a peaceful settlement looms in the horizon? 

There are two main factors here: the first is that most mainstream Western media are sympathetic to Israel.  That is why most Western officials do not dare say the truth when it comes to Israel’s crimes.  They might whisper in private, or write in their memoirs after they leave office and become ‘former’ officials about the racist reality of Israel.  But it is rare to find a Western official prepared to sacrifice his position to reveal the truth.  That is why private memoirs of ‘former’ officials shed light on past events.  But we should learn the lesson from past decisions which brought destruction and disasters to millions of people in order to avoid similar ones which could bring the world similar disasters.

The second factor is that Arabs in general still deal with the United States, which gives billions of dollars worth of weapons to Israel, in addition to the money given to expand settlements and support settlers, as if it were neutral and an honest broker between Arabs and Israelis. Not an honst broker?  They only need to recall footage of American Secretary of State Hilary Clinton arriving in occupied Palestine and received by Shimon Peres, holding his hands and massaging them with warmth and affection.  She did so, as if she had not heard the racist statements of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who said about the Arabs, on the Jewish New Year celebrations, “God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians”; and as if she did not hear of Israeli soldier Eden Aberjil, after she posted photos of her blindfolded Palestinian prisoners on Facebook, “I would enjoy killing Arabs”.  All this racism did not merit a word of condemnation from any Western official.

BOUTHAINA SHAABAN is Political and Media Advisor at the Syrian Presidency, and former Minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer and professor at Damascus University since 1985. She has been the spokesperson for Syria. She can be reached through nizar_kabibo@yahoo.com

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Geoffrey McDonald
Obama’s Overtime Tweak: What is the Fair Price of a Missed Life?
Brian Cloughley
Hypocrisy, Obama-Style
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
A Day of Tears: Report from the “sHell No!” Action in Portland
Tom Clifford
Guns of August: the Gulf War Revisited
Renee Lovelace
I Dream of Ghana
Colin Todhunter
GMOs: Where Does Science Begin and Lobbying End?
Ben Debney
Modern Newspeak Dictionary, pt. II
Christopher Brauchli
Guns Don’t Kill People, Immigrants Do and Other Congressional Words of Wisdom
S. Mubashir Noor
India’s UNSC Endgame
Ellen Taylor
The Voyage of the Golden Rule
Norman Ball
Ten Questions for Lee Drutman: Author of “The Business of America is Lobbying”
Franklin Lamb
Return to Ma’loula, Syria
Masturah Alatas
Six Critics in Search of an Author
Mark Hand
Cinéma Engagé: Filmmaker Chronicles Texas Fracking Wars
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Patrick Hiller
The Icebreaker and #ShellNo: How Activists Determine the Course
Charles Larson
Tango Bends Its Gender: Carolina De Robertis’s “The Gods of Tango”