Archive for December 12th, 2009
Dr. Stephen Sniegoski’s ‘The Transparent Cabal’ book was just mentioned in “The Independent” by long-time British journalist
discussing the role of the neoconservatives (regarding the current Iraq war
“These facts and many in the same vein can be found in two scholarly,
well-argued books – The by Professors John Mearsheimer and
Stephen Walt, and The Transparent Cabal by Stephen Sniegoski. I recommend them to Howard Jacobson and anyone else who may be interested in this important issue.”
Richard Ingrams’s Week: Ian Fleming’s creations are preferable to reality
You could say a similar mistake was made by the producers of the James Bond films when they changed 007’s chief M into Dame Judi Dench. Dame Judi is, as we know, a national treasure, much loved and cherished for her performances at the Old Vic and elsewhere. But she hardly seems the sort of person who is going to put the fear of God into Smersh or al-Qa’ida.
Much the same is true of Sir John Sawers, the real-life M, who could be seen live on TV this week giving his evidence to Sir John Chilcot’s Iraq inquiry. Once the private secretary to Tony Blair, Sir John Sawers, umm-ing and ah-ing his way along, seemed a singularly unimpressive figure, the sort you wouldn’t even pass the time of day with at the office Christmas party. Equally uninspiring was another of nature’s stooges, Sir John Scarlett, formerly head of the Joint Intelligence Committee, who also gave evidence to the inquiry and who seemed to find it a strain putting his words in the right order.
Of course, it may be the case that the heads of MI6 have always been like that, and it was only us poor suckers, fed on Ian Fleming’s fantasies, who imagined them as quietly spoken supermen nursing war wounds and speaking 16 languages.
But if they weren’t at all like that, at least they had the good sense to remain in the shadows, leaving us with our comforting illusions.
The evidence is there in print
It may be due to the popularity of the internet but people don’t seem to be reading books as much as they used to. The other day, for example, the Daily Mail headlined the “exclusive” news that our faulty intelligence about Saddam’s WMD had been provided by an Iraqi cab driver. But I read that story originally in a fascinating book called Curveball which I mentioned in this column in February last year.
I hesitate to accuse my colleague Howard Jacobson of ignorance because he is an exceptionally well-read man, more so than me. But all I would say in defence of his critique of my recent comments about the American neocons is that I read it all in books. As long ago as 1996, three of the most influential neocons – Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser – wrote a report, A Clean Break, for the incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him to “focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq – an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right”.
A few years later, those same men, now in the American government, were advising George Bush to adopt exactly the same policy. And it was not me but an Israeli journalist, Akiva Eldar who at the time warned the neocons that they “are walking a fine line between their loyalty to American governments and Israeli interests”.
These facts and many in the same vein can be found in two scholarly, well-argued books – The Israel Lobby by Professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, and The Transparent Cabal by Stephen Sniegoski. I recommend them to Howard Jacobson and anyone else who may be interested in this important issue.
A politician unafraid to speak honestly
Asked by a rival paper to choose my book of the year I nominated Chris Mullin’s diary A View from the Foothills, which I have just finished reading.
At a time when MPs are getting such a bad press it is reassuring to find at least one of them who is a decent human being genuinely concerned with the welfare of his fellow human beings and not just someone on the make – which is what everybody, after yet more revelations about expenses, nowadays assumes all MPs to be.
A junior minister, first under John Prescott then with Clare Short and lastly at the Foreign Office in the days of Jack Straw, Mullin never loses sight of how limited his powers are, even, for example, when it comes to trying to control the spread of Cupressus leylandii.
Interesting, too, to be reminded of the powerful spell that Tony Blair exercised over MPs even one as worldly wise as Chris Mullin. As the dogged defender of the Birmingham Six, who posed with them on the steps of the law courts after their eventual acquittal, Mullin knew better than anyone the way in which judges are prepared to ignore the vital evidence in order to uphold the status quo. Yet when Lord Hutton produced his shameful whitewash of Blair in 2004, Mullin shared the general feelings of relief, reporting that “suddenly a great cloud lifted” with Blair looking “happier than he has done for months”.
Never mind. I can forgive Mullin anything, if only for this description of Christmas: “We opened our presents by the tree… I did my best to look cheerful but I find it a deeply depressing experience watching children who have everything piling up new possessions. Such a relief when it was over.”
Additional at http://TINYURL.COM/THETRANSPARENTCABAL
Britain’s Inquiry into the Iraq War and the Israel Lobby Taboo (by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski)
The Chilcot Inquiry: Britain’s 9/11 Commission
Richard Ingrams UK Independent article referenced above also mentioned the Mearsheimer/Walt (‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ book – see http://www.israellobbybook.com & http://tinyurl.com/mearsheimer as well).
One just has to read Dr. Stephen Sniegoski’s ‘The Transparent Cabal’ book to see how the JINSA/PNAC/AEI Neocons pressured for US (via JINSA/PNAC/AEI associated Dick Cheney whose wife is a fellow at AEI) to invade Iraq in order to secure the realm for Israel in accordance with the ‘A Clean Break’ agenda (access the ‘A Clean Break’ link at the upper right of http://NEOCONZIONISTTHREAT.COM if interested further):
In-Depth Discussion: In Israel’s Interest – US Policy Influenced by Media and Neocon Agenda:
A New and Revealing Study of the Influence of the Neocons
The Making of Recent U.S. Middle East Policies (favorable review of Dr. Stephen Sniegoski’s ‘The Transparent Cabal’ book):
The Middle East Policy Council (MEPC which Ambassador Chas Freeman was the head of ) did a positive review of ‘The Transparent Cabal’ in their ‘Middle East Policy’ publication which is referenced at the following URL:
Review of Transparent Cabal in Middle East Policy
Will Stephen J. Sniegoski’s Dissection of the Neocons Get ‘Boycotted’ (see links posted at bottom of comments section)?
Karen Kwiatkowski review in “ Review.”
Stephen Sniegoski’s lecture on his book, “The Transparent Cabal”:
Civil War(s) in Iraq/Afghanistan: Back Door to War on Iran (by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski):
Iraq war was for Israel (not for Iraqi oil!)
John Mearsheimer on the Afghan quagmire:
What motivated the 9/11 hijackers? See testimony most didn’t:
The Gorilla in the Room is US Support for Israel:
It’s Time to Leave Afghanistan
Posted By Rep. Ron Paul On December 11, 2009 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized | 1 Comment
Statement before the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee on December 10, 2009.
Mr. Speaker thank you for holding these important hearings on US policy in Afghanistan. I would like to welcome the witnesses, Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry and General Stanley A. McChrystal, and thank them for appearing before this Committee.
I have serious concerns, however, about the president’s decision to add some 30,000 troops and an as yet undisclosed number of civilian personnel to escalate our Afghan operation. This “surge” will bring US troop levels to approximately those of the Soviets when they occupied Afghanistan with disastrous result back in the 1980s. I fear the US military occupation of Afghanistan may end up similarly unsuccessful.
In late 1986 Soviet armed forces commander, Marshal Sergei Akhromeev, told then-Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, “Military actions in Afghanistan will soon be seven years old. There is no single piece of land in this country which has not been occupied by a Soviet soldier. Nonetheless, the majority of the territory remains in the hands of rebels.” Soon Gorbachev began the Soviet withdrawal from its Afghan misadventure. Thousands were dead on both sides, yet the occupation failed to produce a stable national Afghan government.
Eight years into our own war in Afghanistan the Soviet commander’s words ring eerily familiar. Part of the problem stems from a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation. It is our presence as occupiers that feeds the insurgency. As would be the case if we were invaded and occupied, diverse groups have put aside their disagreements to unify against foreign occupation. Adding more US troops will only assist those who recruit fighters to attack our soldiers and who use the US occupation to convince villages to side with the Taliban.
Proponents of the president’s Afghanistan escalation cite the successful “surge” in Iraq as evidence that this second surge will have similar results. I fear they might be correct about the similar result, but I dispute the success propaganda about Iraq. In fact, the violence in Iraq only temporarily subsided with the completion of the ethnic cleansing of Shi’ites from Sunni neighborhoods and vice versa – and all neighborhoods of Christians. Those Sunni fighters who remained were easily turned against the foreign al-Qaeda presence when offered US money and weapons. We are increasingly seeing this “success” breaking down: sectarian violence is flaring up and this time the various groups are better armed with US-provided weapons. Similarly, the insurgents paid by the US to stop their attacks are increasingly restive now that the Iraqi government is no longer paying bribes on a regular basis. So I am skeptical about reports on the success of the Iraqi surge.
Likewise, we are told that we have to “win” in Afghanistan so that al-Qaeda cannot use Afghan territory to plan further attacks against the US. We need to remember that the attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, was, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, largely planned in the United States (and Germany) by terrorists who were in our country legally. According to the logic of those who endorse military action against Afghanistan because al-Qaeda was physically present, one could argue in favor of US airstrikes against several US states and Germany! It makes no sense. The Taliban allowed al-Qaeda to remain in Afghanistan because both had been engaged, with US assistance, in the insurgency against the Soviet occupation.
Nevertheless, the president’s National Security Advisor, Gen. James Jones, USMC (Ret.), said in a recent interview that less than 100 al-Qaeda remain in Afghanistan and that the chance they would reconstitute a significant presence there was slim. Are we to believe that 30,000 more troops are needed to defeat 100 al-Qaeda fighters? I fear that there will be increasing pressure for the US to invade Pakistan, to where many Taliban and al-Qaeda have escaped. Already CIA drone attacks on Pakistan have destabilized that country and have killed scores of innocents, producing strong anti-American feelings and calls for revenge. I do not see how that contributes to our national security.
The president’s top advisor for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, said recently, “I would say this about defining success in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In the simplest sense, the Supreme Court test for another issue, we’ll know it when we see it.” That does not inspire much confidence.
Supporters of this surge argue that we must train an Afghan national army to take over and strengthen the rule and authority of Kabul. But experts have noted that the ranks of the Afghan national army are increasingly being filled by the Tajik minority at the expense of the Pashtun plurality. US diplomat Matthew Hoh, who resigned as Senior Civilian Representative for the U.S. Government in Zabul Province, noted in his resignation letter that he “fail[s] to see the value or the worth in continued U.S. casualties or expenditures of resources in support of the Afghan government in what is, truly, a 35-year old civil war.” Mr. Hoh went on to write that “[L]ike the Soviets, we continue to secure and bolster a failing state, while encouraging an ideology and system of government unknown and unwanted by [the Afghan] people.”
I have always opposed nation-building as unconstitutional and ineffective. Afghanistan is no different. Without a real strategy in Afghanistan, without a vision of what victory will look like, we are left with the empty rhetoric of the last administration that “when the Afghan people stand up, the US will stand down.” I am afraid the only solution to the Afghanistan quagmire is a rapid and complete US withdrawal from that country and the region. We cannot afford to maintain this empire and our occupation of these foreign lands is not making us any safer. It is time to leave Afghanistan.
Read more by Rep. Ron Paul
- Who Wants More War? – December 7th, 2009
- Saving Face and Losing Lives – October 13th, 2009
- Instead of Bombs and Bribes,
Let’s Try Empathy and Trade – October 5th, 2009
- International Bailout Brings Us Closer to Economic Collapse – June 24th, 2009
- Hold the Torturers Accountable – May 25th, 2009
Ron Paul was excellent on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’ (especially near the end about the money wasted on the Iraq/Afghan quagmires):
Ron Paul on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Ron criticizes Ben Bernanke and the Fed. Explains the Austrian Economic view of how the “system is evil.” Tells how he as President would have pulled all the troops home from wars and from all the foreign bases around the globe.
John Mearsheimer on the Afghan quagmire:
The bottom line (to the Afghan quagmire):
Civil War(s) in Iraq/Afghanistan: Back Door to War on Iran (by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski)