FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

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

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 and was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. She can be reached through nizar_kabibo@yahoo.com

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
Dan Bacher
New CA Carbon Trading Legislation Answers Big Oil’s Call to Continue Business As Usual
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail