Archive for July, 2010
Who Owns General Petraeus?
Posted By Philip Giraldi On July 28, 2010 @ 11:00 pm
Anyone who has ever served in the military would confirm that to become a general in the armed forces of the United States requires highly developed political skills. One must be politically astute to guide large military forces while at the same time answering to largely ignorant constituencies in Congress, the White House, and the media. Many generals tire of the exercise after a certain point and retire to well paid sinecures on the boards of defense contractors. Others stage their own forms of rebellion, speaking the truth and walking the plank as a reward. Admiral William Fallon insisted in 2008 that there would be no war with Iran on his watch. He was forced to retire soon after. More recently, General Stanley McChrystal voiced his displeasure with the White House’s management of the Afghan war to a journalist and likewise was forced into early retirement.
Some generals, however, like the give and take of politics and harbor their own ambitions to hold high office. General Douglas MacArthur challenged President Harry Truman and was spoken of as a possible Republican candidate while General Dwight D. Eisenhower rode his own military fame to the presidency in 1952 and 1956. It is widely believed in the media that the current top general David Petraeus harbors similar ambitions. Eisenhower won the election virtually without campaigning, but Petraeus understands that he must satisfy some key constituencies before he throws his hat in the ring.
The tradition that general officers should provide disinterested advice to policymakers based on their best judgments and the most current available intelligence has long since passed. Modern generals first test the wind before they offer an opinion and then carefully tailor their comments to support the prevailing policy. Petraeus, who is regarded as an intellectual and even somewhat of an iconoclast, is no different. His counterinsurgency strategy, far from a new development, is a replay of similar thinking during the Vietnam war and a repudiation of the Powell Doctrine, which asserted that wars should be in the national interest, with attainable objectives, fought using overwhelming force, and incorporating a clear exit strategy. In short, Petraeus is the architect of the counterinsurgency long war combined with nation building strategy that has been embraced by both Presidents Bush and Obama.
Petraeus’ apparent close relationship with the neoconservatives and the Israel Lobby is a matter of concern, particularly if he does aspire to be president. Some have plausibly identified him as the neocon candidate for 2012 though others note appreciatively that he initiated a long overdue national debate with his Senate testimony in March 2010, observing as he did that the failure to achieve peace in Israel-Palestine has endangered United States soldiers in the region. To be sure, Petraeus quickly did damage control for the statement in the Senate, helping in the orchestration of an article that described him as a friend to Israel who did not view the conflict with the Palestinians as a matter of great concern. In May 2010 Petraeus received the Irving Kristol award from the American Enterprise Institute, indicating clearly that the Israel Lobby and the neocon establishment regard him as a favorite son.
Petraeus’ personal link to the neocons is through Max Boot and the two Kagans, Kimberly and Fred. All three have advised the general and have been cheerleaders for his “surge” policies. Kimberly Kagan has written a book featuring Petraeus entitled The Surge: A Military History. A series of emails (http://tinyurl.com/2dvpb2o) to Boot that appears to have been inadvertently revealed to Israel Lobby critic James Morris suggests that Petraeus’ ambitions led him to seek expert advice on how to mend fences with the Jewish community after his Senate testimony faux pas. He asked Boot “Does it help if folks know that I hosted Elie Wiesel and his wife at our quarters last Sun night? And that I will be the speaker at the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camps in mid-Apr at the Capitol Dome…,” exceptional pandering by a four star general and also a comment that suggests a certain naïveté on the subject. Petraeus even weasel worded about his actual testimony before the Senate, telling Boot “As you know I didn’t say that. It’s in a written submission for the record…” He also collaborated with Boot on the preparation of an article entitled “A Lie: David Petraeus, Anti-Israel” that appeared on March 18, 2010, appropriately enough, in Commentary magazine, a publication founded by the American Jewish Committee.
But maybe the neocons should think twice about their captive general. Many who harbor political ambitions rightly fear the power of the Israel Lobby, but fear is a far remove from affection. Many Congressmen held hostage by the Lobby resent it and long for the time when they would be able to support genuine American interests relating to the Middle East. Petraeus surely understands that no one can get nominated by a major party to run for president of the United States if the Israel Lobby and its media supporters say no. If he wants to get elected, he has to watch what he says and bend his knee, but he might not like it just as President Barack Obama clearly did not enjoy the battering he took from the Lobby in the fight for the Democratic nomination. Israel and its friends just might wind up selecting a strong leader with some very definite views that ultimately could lead to Washington distancing itself from Israel in a very decisive fashion. As a war hero with no particular political baggage, he would be a formidable opponent for any foreign Lobby, including that of Israel. And as a former general who has led troops in the field, he might become a president who actually believes the needless waste of his soldiers is unacceptable.
Petraeus’ report to the Senate Armed Services Committee was groundbreaking, a fact that was recognized at the time. It came after a team of staff officers conducted a series of off-the-record meetings with Arab allies in the Middle East in December 2009. All America’s friends emphasized that it had become increasingly difficult to generate popular support for US policies in light of the Israeli repression of the Palestinians. The responses were so alarming that Petraeus arranged a briefing for Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a month later. Mullen also was shocked by the depth of the antipathy towards the United States caused by Israeli policies and the report to the Senate was the result.
It is important to go back to the original statement to the Senate that started the furor about Petraeus’ views. Do not for a second think that the assessment of Israel and Palestine was something that made it into the 56 page Central Command posture statement by accident or because Petraeus did not notice it. The report was prepared by Petraeus’ staff and it is absolutely certain that he read every line of it and endorsed it before he appeared before the Senate committee. The report’s full title is “Statement of General David H. Petraeus, US Army Commander, US Central Command before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the Posture of US Central Command, 16 Mar 2010.” This is what it says:
- “The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests… Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiments, due to perception of US favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of US partnerships with governments and peoples in the region and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.”
Though carefully expressed, there is no ambiguity to the statement and no doubt that it represents General Petraeus’ thinking. It means what it says, basically that Israel’s behavior weakens Arab regimes friendly to the US, makes it impossible to develop popular support for Washington’s programs, and strengthens terrorism. The result is that American soldiers and diplomats in the Middle East and Central Asia are threatened by irresponsible and unsustainable Israeli policies.
This means that the genie is out of the bottle no matter what Max Boot does to try to coax it back in or spin it into meaninglessness. It is also important to bear in mind that the Petraeus’ statement was not an isolated incident, a sign of what might amount to a new awareness in Washington that Israel represents a strategic liability. In March, Joe Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “This is starting to get dangerous for us. What you’re doing here undermines the security of our troops…” And Admiral Mike Mullen has warned his counterpart General Gabi Ashkenazi that Israeli actions are hurting the US posture throughout the Mideast region.
So who owns General Petraeus? At this point, maybe no one. If he does have political ambitions he is certainly smart enough to know that crossing the neocons and the Lobby would be suicidal as he would be subjected to a devastating media assault. But he is a smart man who understands that the relationship with Israel is a liability. If he were to become president would his better angel come to the fore? We can only hope.
Read more by Philip Giraldi
Article printed from Antiwar.com Original: http://original.antiwar.com
Who Voted for War With Iran, Mr. Obama? (by Philip Giraldi):
A Cakewalk against Iran (by Philip Giraldi)
GOP Blank Check for War
Obama Warned Israel May Bomb Iran
Why put an attack on Iran back on the table?
AIPAC influenced/neoconned House OK’s possible Israeli raid on Iran
Two Resolutions, One World War
US military chief admits to Iran attack plan
Lastly, take a look at the following URL for the warning that John Mearsheimer & Stephen Walt (authors of ‘The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy’ book which was an expansion of their London Review of Books ‘The Israel Lobby’ article mentioned at the following URL) tried to give US a few years ago:
The Last Bastion of American Morality Is Under Assault
For OpEdNews: paul craig roberts – Writer
The morality of the American people now resides, insecurely, in the Presbyterian Church. Every other institution of American society — the evangelical churches, the bought-and-paid-for American media, both houses of Congress, the executive branch, both political parties, the corporations, the financial sector, the universities — all support Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians. Only the Presbyterians dissent.
The genocide is cloaked behind the propaganda that no Palestinians lived in Palestine until after the Israelis arrived, that all Palestinians are terrorists who want to murder innocent peace-loving Israelis, and that the terrorist Palestinians are armed by the few remaining Muslim governments that so far have escaped becoming American puppet states.
The solution, of course, is for the few remaining independent countries in the Middle East to be brought by force under US and Israeli hegemony.
The Presbyterian Church, as it is the only US organization that is not under the Israel Lobby’s suzerainty, is included among the independent institutions that must be brought to heel.
The Presbyterian Church, which alone in America has a moral conscience, has been disturbed for some time by the Israeli/American policy of Palestinian extermination. In violation of international law and under the protection of US diplomacy and America’s UN veto, Israel has evicted Palestinians from their homes and villages since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank in 1967 and even before. The remaining small parts of the West Bank in which Palestinians still reside have been turned by Israel into ghettos cut off from the rest of Palestine.
The Presbyterians, being meek Christians, have only mild criticisms of Israel, which are packaged together in the church’s Middle East Study Committee’s report with the Presbyterians’ commitment to Israel’s continued existence and to “our American Jewish Friends.” The Presbyterian report even disavows divestment from Caterpillar, the US company that supplies Israel with the machines that destroy Palestinian homes, thus driving Palestinians from their lands so that zionist settlers can confiscate their properties. It was a Caterpillar bulldozer that killed the American Rachel Corrie who was protesting Israel’s destruction of Palestinian homes.
The Presbyterian report expresses concern that “the window of opportunity for an end to the occupation and the viability of a two-state solution is rapidly closing.” The Presbyterians fear that violence begets violence, and that the two sides are sliding into wanton willful murder of one another in violation of God’s commandments.
The Presbyterian document states: “We do affirm the legitimacy of Israel as a state, but consider the continuing occupation of Palestine (West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem) to be illegitimate, illegal under international law, and an enduring threat to peace in the region. Furthermore, we recognize that any support for that occupation weakens the moral standing of our nation internationally and our security.”
For Israel and the vast media and American political apparatus that Israel controls, this was too much. Israel is never guilty of anything. Only Palestinians are guilty. Anyone who criticizes Israel is anti-semitic and aligned with terrorists who want a second Holocaust.
The extreme Zionist Jerusalem Post; the moderate American Jewish newspaper, the Forward, and even a Mormon blog declared war on the Presbyterian Christians.
Israel, of course, denies that there is any illegal occupation of Palestine despite this being the finding of every country, the UN, and even Israel’s American protector, the US government. The Jerusalem Post accuses the Presbyterians of expressing “contempt for Israel” attempting “to delegitimize Israel” and justifying “Palestinian terror against the Jewish state.”
And there you have it. Any person or organization that is not all apologies for Israel’s dispossession of Palestinians from their homes, villages, and lands, any person or organization that does not accept that 5-year old Palestinian children shot down in the streets by Israeli soldiers or zionist settlers were terrorists about to bring down the Israeli state, anyone who does not genuflect before the Israeli line on everything is an anti-semite who wants to renew the Holocaust and exterminate the Jewish people.
The Rabbis in every American community will buttonhole the Presbyterian ministers and ask them to explain why they are anti-semites and beat their wives. The Presbyterian General Assembly, which meets in July, will again be intimidated, as it was previously, and vote down the recommendations in the church’s report on the Israeli/Palestinian issue.
The weak forces of morality will again be defeated by the Israelis, and the extermination of the Palestinians will continue.
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS Hon. Paul Craig Roberts has had careers in scholarship and academia, public service, and journalism. He served in the Congressional staff and as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan Administration.
Latest update 09:48 26.07.10
Oliver Stone: Jewish control of the media is preventing free Holocaust debate
Outspoken Hollywood director says new film aims to put Adolf Hitler, who he has called an ‘easy scapegoat’ in the past, in his due historical context.
By Haaretz Service
Jewish control of the media is preventing an open discussion of the Holocaust, prominent Hollywood director Oliver Stone told the Sunday Times, adding that the U.S. Jewish lobby was controlling Washington’s foreign policy for years.
In the Sunday interview, Stone reportedly said U.S. public opinion was focused on the Holocaust as a result of the “Jewish domination of the media,” adding that an upcoming film of him aims to put Adolf Hitler and Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin “in context.”
“There’s a major lobby in the United States,” Stone said, adding that “they are hard workers. They stay on top of every comment, the most powerful lobby in Washington.”
The famed Hollywood director of such films as Platoon and JFK, also said that while “Hitler was a Frankenstein,” there was also a “Dr Frankenstein.”
“German industrialists, the Americans and the British. He had a lot of support,” Stone told the Sunday Times, adding that “Hitler did far more damage to the Russians than the Jewish people, 25 or 30 [million killed].”
Referring to the alleged influence of the powerful Jewish lobby on U.S. foreign policy, Stone said that Israel had distorted “United States foreign policy for years,” adding he felt U.S. policy toward Iran was “horrible.”
“Iran isn’t necessarily the good guy,” Stone said, insisting that Americans did not “know the full story.”
Stone’s comments to the Sunday times echo pervious remarks by the Hollywood director, regarding what he conceives as the distorted view of figures such as Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin in U.S. media.
Earlier this year, Stone, speaking at the at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Pasadena said that “Hitler is an easy scapegoat throughout history and it’s been used cheaply.”
“He’s the product of a series of actions. It’s cause and effect … People in America don’t know the connection between World War I and World War II, Stone said adding that through his documentary work he has been able to “walk in Stalin’s shoes and Hitler’s shoes to understand their point of view.”
“We’re going to educate our minds and liberalize them and broaden them. We want to move beyond opinions … Go into the funding of the Nazi party. How many American corporations were involved, from GM through IBM. Hitler is just a man who could have easily been assassinated,” Stone said.
Gilad Atzmon: Oliver Stone apologized for Telling the Truth
Oliver Stone mentions AIPAC on Bill Maher:
Israel Attacks Gaza, Silence from Mainstream Media about Israeli Violations of International Law
One Billion more Chinese borrowed dollars to ‘pay’ even more for Israel as US States go broke! We are done for as Ron Paul has said!
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and the United States have signed an agreement to make the Arrow II ballistic shield capable of shooting down missiles at a higher altitude, the Israeli Defense Ministry said on Sunday.
The Arrow III will allow Israel “to deal with the threat of ballistic missiles with long range” and will give it “the ability to shoot down weapons of mass destruction outside the atmosphere,” the ministry said in a statement.
Israel, which describes its Arrow system as a defense against Iran, says the upgraded version will cap off its multi-tier air defenses.
The Arrow is jointly produced by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries and the American firm Boeing Co. and has absorbed close to $1 billion in direct U.S. funds since its 1988 inception.
The Israeli air force said last year that the Arrow III would take more than four years to complete and that would depend on what resources were made available for the project.
The United States, Western powers and Israel suspect Iran’s civilian nuclear program is designed to produce a nuclear bomb. Tehran denies this.
Israel, which is assumed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal, has hinted it could resort to force to prevent Iran attaining the nuclear means to threaten its existence.
Iran has threatened to retaliate for any attack on its nuclear facilities by firing medium-range missiles at Israel.
(Reporting by Dan Williams; Writing by Joseph Nasr, Editing by Alison Williams)
So predictable that the pro-Israel biased ‘American’ media doesn’t mention the Israel factor (for terrorism motivation) once in this segment and even edited the video of the Brit 7/7 Muslim who did!
Afghanistan war logs: US covered up fatal Taliban missile strike on Chinook | World news | guardian:
Massive leak of secret files exposes truth of Afghan occupation
Report: Pakistan Aiding Afghan Insurgency
Leaked documents on Afghan quagmire
WikiLeaks exposes the unseen war (video)
A whistleblower website publishes what it says are more than 90,000 U.S. military reports about Afghan War:
White House unloads on WikiLeaks: “irresponsible…made no effort to contact us…opposes US policy in Afghanistan”
WikiLeaks Iraq Cache More Than Three Times As Big
Israel Hiding Behind The “Iranian Threat” : ICH – Information Clearing House
U.S. strike on Iran likelier than ever, former CIA chief says
RE: giving Israel a green light to attack Iran. H.Res.1553 declares unwavering support for Israel to “use all means necessary,” to “eliminate nuclear threats” posed by Iran.
Letter 1 to bonehead Boehner:
Khalid Sheikh Mohammad involvement in the terror upon America, “By his own account…stemmed from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”
Abdulmutallab’s Christmas Day 2009, attempt to blow up a plane was fueled by “his sympathies toward the Palestinians and anger over Israel’s actions in Gaza.”
RE: Israel, John Bolton and H.Res. 1553
The resolution declares preemptive support for Israel to “use all means necessary,” to “eliminate nuclear threats” posed by Iran.
What about the threats posed by:
5:35 US and Israeli Nuclear Deceptions
In 1963, Shimon Peres, was Israel’s Deputy Minister of Defense met with President John Kennedy, at the White House.
Kennedy told Peres, “You know that we follow very closely the discovery of any nuclear development in the region. This could create a very dangerous situation. For this reason we monitor your nuclear effort. What could you tell me about this?”
Peres replied, “I can tell you most clearly that we will not introduce nuclear weapons to the region, and certainly we will not be the first.”
By September of 1986, Peres was convulsing over Vanunu, who had been employed as a lowly tech in his progeny; Israel’s clandestine underground nuclear weapons centre in the Negev called the Dimona.
Peres ordered the Mossad, to “Bring the son of a bitch back here.”
Peres ordered Vanunu’s kidnapping that included a clubbing, drugging and being flung upon an Israeli cargo boat back to Israel for a closed door trial.
In 1985, before quitting the Dimona, Vanunu shot 56 photos of the top-secret labs and production processes that proved Israel had become a major nuclear power by stockpiling between 100 and 200 atomic bombs within the six underground levels where plutonium production, and secret nuclear weapons were assembled without any knowledge, debate or authorization from its own citizens. Israel has yet to allow International Inspectors into the aged Dimona plant which is leaking and endangering the health of its own citizens.
In 2005, Vanunu told me:
“President Kennedy tried to stop Israel from building atomic weapons. Kennedy insisted on an open internal inspection.
“When Johnson became president, he made an agreement with Israel that two senators would come every year to inspect. Before the senators would visit, the Israelis would build a wall to block the underground elevators and stairways. From 1963 to ’69, the senators came, but they never knew about the wall that hid the rest of the Dimona from them.
“Nixon stopped the inspections and agreed to ignore the situation. As a result, Israel increased production. In 1986, there were over two hundred bombs. Today, they may have enough plutonium for ten bombs a year.”
On 24 April 2004, Uri Avnery wrote:
“Everybody understands that Vanunu has no more secrets. What can a technician know after 18 years in jail, during which technology has advanced with giant steps?
“But gradually it becomes clear what the security establishment is really afraid of. Vanunu is in a position to expose the close partnership with the United States in the development of Israel’s nuclear armaments.
“This worries Washington so much, that the man responsible in the State Department for ‘arms control’, Under-Secretary John Bolton, has come to Israel in person for the occasion. Vanunu, it appears, can cause severe damage to the mighty super-power.
“The Americans, it seems, are very worried. The Israeli security services have to dance to their tune. The world must be prevented by all available means from hearing, from the lips of a credible witness, that the Americans are full partners in Israel’s nuclear arms program, while pretending to be the world’s sheriff for the prevention of nuclear proliferation.”
LEARN MUCH MORE @ http://wearewideawake.org/
THE VANUNU SAGA 2005-2010!
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has argued “Another war in the Middle East is the last thing we need. In fact, I believe it would be disastrous on a number of levels.” Numerous credible studies have concluded that such strikes would suck the US into the conflict that would engulf the region in war.
Top U.S. Defense and Intelligence officials have also said that an attack on Iran would only set back Iran’s nuclear program a couple years.
The dangers of war, however, are great. It would put so much at risk:
The lives of innocent Americans, Israelis, and Iranians
The Pro-Democracy Movement in Iran
U.S. National Security and the stability of Iraq and Afghanistan
The global economy, which relies on oil flowing through the Persian Gulf
But war is exactly what many House Republicans are advocating in supporting this resolution.
As the House Republican Leader, you cannot remain silent on such a critical national security issue sponsored by one-third of your colleagues. Especially considering that some analysts predict the upcoming midterm elections could place you in a position to be Speaker of the House, I implore you to make clear where you stand on this dangerous resolution. As voters go to the polls this fall to decide who to vote for in their Congressional race, you must make clear whether a vote for House Republicans is a vote for another disastrous war in the Middle East.
I strongly urge you to denounce this dangerous resolution, which provides explicit support for military action against Iran with no consideration of the affects such a conflict would have on U.S. national security.
Congressman Boehner, violence only reaps more violence and the only way to peace is talking with your enemy-NOT bombing, sanctioning or torturing them.
Eileen Fleming, Producer “30 Minutes with Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”
Founder of WeAreWideAwake.org
Staff Member of Salem-news.com
Author of “Keep Hope Alive” and “Memoirs of a Nice Irish American ‘Girl’s’ Life in Occupied Territory”
Masters Of War-by Bob Dylan, from which I excerpt:
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks.
You that never done nothin’
But build to destroy
And you turn and run farther
When the fast bullets fly.
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain.
You fasten all the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion’
As young people’s blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud.
You’ve thrown the worst fear
That can ever be hurled
Fear to bring children
Into the world
For threatening my baby
Unborn and unnamed
You ain’t worth the blood
That runs in your veins.
How much do I know
To talk out of turn
You might say that I’m young
You might say I’m unlearned
But there’s one thing I know
That even Jesus would never
Forgive what you do.
Is your money that good
Will it buy you forgiveness
Do you think that it could
…you will find
When your death takes its toll
All the money you made
Will never buy back your soul…