I don't mean to say I told you so, but...
(Foreign Policy) -- By Stephen M. Walt --
Probably the most controversial claim in my work with John Mearsheimer on the Israel lobby is our argument that it played a key role in the decision to invade Iraq in 2003. Even some readers who were generally sympathetic to our overall position found that claim hard to accept, and some left-wing critics accused us of letting Bush and Cheney off the hook or of ignoring the importance of other interests, especially oil. Of course, Israel's defenders in the lobby took issue even more strenuously, usually by mischaracterizing our arguments and ignoring most (if not all) of the evidence we presented.
So I hope readers will forgive me if I indulge today in a bit of self-promotion, or more precisely, self-defense. This week, yet another piece of evidence surfaced that suggests we were right all along (HT to Mehdi Hasan at the New Statesman and J. Glatzer at Mondoweiss). In his testimony to the Iraq war commission in the U.K., former Prime Minister Tony Blair offered the following account of his discussions with Bush in Crawford, Texas in April 2002. Blair reveals that concerns about Israel were part of the equation and that Israel officials were involved in those discussions.
Take it away, Tony:
"As I recall that discussion, it was less to do with specifics about what we were going to do on Iraq or, indeed, the Middle East, because the Israel issue was a big, big issue at the time. I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis, the two of us, whilst we were there. So that was a major part of all this."
Notice that Blair is not saying that Israel dreamed up the idea of attacking Iraq or that Bush was bent on war solely to benefit Israel or even to appease the Israel lobby here at home. But Blair is acknowledging that concerns about Israel were part of the equation, and that the Israeli government was being actively consulted in the planning for the war.
Blair's comments fit neatly with the argument we make about the lobby and Iraq. Specifically, Professor Mearsheimer and I made it clear in our article and especially in our book that the idea of invading Iraq originated in the United States with the neoconservatives, and not with the Israeli government. But as the neoconservative pundit Max Boot once put it, steadfast support for Israel is "a key tenet of neoconservatism." Prominent neo-conservatives occupied important positions in the Bush administration, and in the aftermath of 9/11, they played a major role in persuading Bush and Cheney to back a war against Iraq, which they had been advocating since the late 1990s. We also pointed out that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and other Israeli officials were initially skeptical of this scheme, because they wanted the U.S. to focus on Iran, not Iraq. However, they became enthusiastic supporters of the idea of invading Iraq once the Bush administration made it clear to them that Iraq was just the first step in a broader campaign of "regional transformation" that would eventually include Iran.
At that point top Israeli leaders from across the political spectrum became cheerleaders for the invasion, and they played a prominent role in helping to sell the war here in the United States. Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington, DC in April 2002 and spoke in the U.S. Senate, telling his audience "the urgent need to topple Saddam is paramount," and that the campaign "deserves the unconditional support of all sane governments." (It sure sounds like he was well aware of the discussions in Crawford, doesn't it?) In May, foreign minister Shimon Peres said on CNN that "Saddam Hussein is as dangerous as bin Laden," and that the United States "cannot sit and wait." A month later, former Prime Minister Ehud Barak wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post recommending that the Bush administration "should, first of all, focus on Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein."...MORE...LINK
Chris Moore comments:
Tony Blair, like his criminal neoliberal cohort Bill Clinton, is a shrewd and calculating operator. Note his language in the paragraph above vis-à-vis Israeli involvement in instigating the illegal Iraq war:
"As I recall...I think, in fact, I remember, actually, there may have been conversations that we had even with Israelis..."
Blair is sending signals a mile wide to Anglo-American liberal-fascist ideological Zionist elements, the Israel lobby, and their controlled mainstream media in response to the increasing demands in Britain that he be tried for war crimes: get on board my defense, or my testimony can bring down the entire corrupt house of cards.
Blair is also a talented politician and clever manipulator able to detect which way the political wind is blowing, or likely to be blowing soon, and the wind is most definitely shifting in an anti-Zionist direction. So he may also be sending signals to the anti-Zionist ranks: I'm willing to cut a deal in which I will implicate the Israelis in the criminal Iraq war enterprise in exchange for immunity or leniency.
It's really only a matter of time before George W. Bush is in Blair's shoes, as well. And he'll probably eventually role over on or attempt to extort the Zionists, just as Blair is in the process of doing today. This is how snakes behave, by their nature. They really all deserve one another.
Chris, great analysis. Not many have made this point. Blair uses the Clinton scheme of triangulation. Blair seems to be throwing some meat to the public, as a warning sign to the Zionists.
I would think they will bend over backwards for him at this point. They don't need a domino effect occurring throughout the world at this time.
Any idea why Blair became a Catholic recently?
Post a Comment