Archive for October 14th, 2010
From: Kourosh Ziabari
Subject: Interview with Philip Giraldi: Israel’s policies are manifestly evil
Date: Thursday, October 14, 2010, 2:46 PM
I’ve conducted a new interview with Philip Giraldi, the former CIA
officer and anti-war activist. We’ve discussed the latest developments
of the Middle East, the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the
possibility of a peaceful compromise between Iran and the United
States and the impact of Israeli lobby on the long-term policies of
the White House.
I hope it will be useful for publication
I’ll look forward to hearing from you
Israeli policies are manifestly evil: Philip Giraldi
Interview by Kourosh Ziabari
Philip Giraldi is a former counter-terrorism specialist and military
intelligence officer of the United States Central Intelligence Agency.
Now, he chairs the Council for the National Interest as the Executive
Director. CNI is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the
transformation of United States’ Middle East policy.
As a CIA officer, Giraldi served in different countries including
Turkey, Italy, Germany and Spain. He is now a Francis Walsingham
Fellow at The American Conservative Defense Alliance. He has appeared
on several radio and TV programs including Good Morning America,
MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, BBC, Al-Jazeera and 60 Minutes.
Giraldi works with the American Conservative magazine as a
contributing editor and writes a regular column for the Antiwar
website. He is an outspoken critic of the hawkish policies of the
United States and has publicly decried Washington’s unconditional
support for the state of Israel.
Philip Giraldi joined me in an exclusive interview to discuss the
latest developments of the Middle East, the prospect of
Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the possibility of a peaceful compromise
between Iran and the United States and the impact of Israeli lobby on
the long-term policies of the White House.
Kourosh Ziabari: Why is the Israeli lobby so powerful, influential and
authoritative? Almost all of the major media conglomerates in the
United States own to well-off Jews who are committed to maintaining
the interests of the state of Israel in the U.S. Some experts say that
Israel is the representative of the United States in the Middle East
region, but some others suggest that it’s Israel which determines the
future of political developments in the United States. What’s your
take on that?
Philip Giraldi: The Israel Lobby is so powerful because it
deliberately set out to establish control over key elements in the
United States. It has demonstrated a number of times that politicians
who are perceived as being unfriendly to Israel will face serious
problems in being reelected because the Lobby mobilizes to provide
money and media support to opponents. This means that congress is
afraid to oppose anything that Israel and its Lobby wants. The same
holds true for the presidency. Every presidential candidate must be
seen as friendly to Israel or he will be attacked in the media and
denied millions of dollars in political contributions, making it a
safer option to support Israel. Finally, pro-Israeli interests control
much of the media and, more important, dominate the opinion and
editorial pages, making the only narrative that most Americans hear
about the Middle East highly favorable to Israel and highly critical
of all Israel’s enemies. As a result, Israel is able to control U.S.
foreign policy as it relates to the Middle East and also much of the
KZ: The recent call by the Iranian President on framing a fact-finding
group to probe into the 9/11 attacks sparked intense controversy
around the United States. Is it because the United States considers
9/11 a red line which should not be crossed?
PG: Many Americans believe that 9/11 was never properly investigated.
Some believe that the U.S. and, or Israeli governments were actually
involved. The Federal government does not want the case to be reopened
because a truly open investigation might reveal things that it would
like to keep hidden. I do not know what exactly those things might be,
but, at a minimum, there was a high level of incompetence within the
government in the lead up to the attacks, both by Democrats and
KZ: The former Italian President had once said that Mossad had played
a role in the 9/11 attacks. Is there any convincing evidence that
Israel was behind the 9/11 attacks? Can we rely on some implications
including the five dancing Israelis who were seen cheering while the
Twin Towers collapsed, or the closure of Zim Shipping Company’s
headquarters at the World Trade Center two week before the 9/11
PG: Most intelligence officers believe that Israel, which was
conducting a massive and illegal spy operation inside the U.S. aimed
at Arabs living here, knew at least parts of the 9/11 conspiracy. It
did not share that information and it is also clear that leading
Israeli politicians welcomed the attacks because they made Washington
a totally committed ally in full agreement with the Israeli view of
Islamic terrorism. The Israel view, i.e. that anyone hostile to Israel
is a terrorist, has done great damage to the United States because it
has created enemies where no enemies previously existed.
KZ: What’s your take on the exercise of double standards by the U.S.
over Israel’s nuclear issue?
PG: There is no justification for Washington’s hypocrisy over Israel’s
nuclear weapons program. Israel should be held to the same standard
as everyone else, but the action of the Israeli Lobby means that it
will never be accountable for anything as long as Washington is in a
position to protect it.
KZ: As someone who has closely worked with one of the most sensitive
parts of the U.S. government, do you like the continuation of
belligerence and hostility between Iran and the United States? Are
these two nations fated to be at odds forever? Can you foresee
promising horizons of reconciliation and friendship?
PG: I do not believe that Washington and Tehran are natural enemies. I
believe that they have been turned into enemies by the media and the
activity of the Israel Lobby. Unfortunately, that situation will not
change until Washington completely overturns its policies in the
Middle East, something that might not happen in our lifetimes. Many
young Iranians, the bulk of the population, do not harbor any real
hostility towards the United States and if the policies were to change
I believe the two countries could again become friendly.
KZ: Is it plausible to be a former CIA officer at the same time as
being an outspoken critic of the U.S. administration? You’ve been
quite forthright in your criticism of the U.S. foreign policy,
especially with regards to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Haven’t been any
pressure on you to soften your tone or retreat from your stance?
PG: I have never been pressured to soften my criticism of the US
government’s foreign and security policies. There are many former
intelligence officers who have also been highly critical of
developments since 9/11. It is because intelligence officers quickly
recognize lies when they hear them and are not very tolerant of a
government that lies its way to war.
KZ: Iran marked the 20th anniversary of the conclusion of 8-year war
with Iraq last month. Iranians well remember that it was the United
States and its European allies, who persuaded, equipped, funded and
aided Saddam Hussein in invading Iran. 20 years later, they came
together to topple the very Saddam they had supported in war with
Iran. Saddam killed more than 400,000 Iranians. My uncle was one of
them. Can you put yourself in the place of an Iranian citizen who
witnessed the war? What would be your feeling then?
PG: For the United States, the support of Saddam Hussein against Iran
was a quid pro quo that goes back to the holding of the U.S. Embassy
hostages in Tehran after the Islamic revolution. It was revenge pure
and simple in hopes that Iraq would prove victorious and bring down
the Iranian government. As an Iranian, you have a right to be outraged
by what happened but the Embassy seizure was also outrageous. The U.S.
response was, as it often is, disproportional and I am ashamed of my
government’s support of wars to fix political disputes.
KZ: and for the final question, how do you estimate the prospect of
PG: There is no hope for resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict
as long as the United States continues to permit the Israelis to
expand and commit crimes against humanity directed towards the
Palestinian people. Evil is evil no matter how you try to dress it up
and the Israeli policies are manifestly evil. The Palestinians cannot
ever accept a peace settlement that requires being held in a large
outdoor prison camp by the Israelis supported by the United States.
The ‘View’ co-hosts get in a heated debate with Bill O’Reilly over the Ground Zero mosque. Watch here: http://ow.ly/2TAnU
Goldberg, Behar walk off ‘View’ set during O’Reilly interview
No way neoconned Bill is going to address motive for those Muslims!
Neoconned Bill O’Reilly talks about the trillion dollars spent by Obama Administration but doesn’t address how much the neocon inspired/pushed Iraq & Afghan quagmires have cost US!:
The Cost of War: Are Americans disconnected from the country’s wars?
The True Cost of War:
Philip Giraldi on the Jones Resignation (The Return of Sandy Berger)
The Iran Report
Posted By Philip Giraldi On October 13, 2010 @ 11:00 pm In Uncategorized |
Twenty-first century going-to-war requires that the proper procedures be observed, even if the United States Congress has become shy about declaring war as required by the constitution. There was never any doubt that George W. Bush and his neocon team would go to war with Iraq, but they first obtained what they believed to be adequate justification from the United Nations and a green light in the form of a congressional resolution before they actually initiated conflict. Currently, there is no piece of paper relating to a possible new war that is more important than the impending National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran, which has been a work in progress for more than a year and a half. The last NIE on Iran, released in late 2007, was controversial in that it concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and had not resumed it. The document was immediately attacked by neoconservatives and the media, who responded that the Iranians might have a secret program and were intending to revive their efforts. Israel and its supporters have since been insisting that there is, in fact, a hidden program and have been constantly sending out alarms suggesting that a nuclear weapon is only six months or a year away. They keep revising forward the date whenever six months or a year passes without a weapon actually making an appearance.
The new Iran NIE has been delayed a number of times because of conflicting demands from the CIA analysts involved and from the White House. The analysts, badly burned by the heavily politicized 2002 NIE on Iraq, which led to a war, and also nervous about the barrage of criticism of the 2007 NIE on Iran, want the estimate to be completely credible and very tightly analyzed and reviewed. The Obama Administration wants, instead, a document that will give it whatever option it seeks to pursue vis-à-vis the Mullahs. That in-house conflict has led to a very delicate balancing act as the report has been crafted, particularly as the analysts have been unable to develop any hard information suggesting that Iran does have a nuclear weapons program.
I have been advised that the new Iran NIE, which is still being negotiated, will likely reflect a compromise giving everyone what they want. The report will say that there is no solid information indicating that Iran has revived its pursuit of nuclear weapons, but the fact that Tehran has taken steps to hide aspects of its United Nations inspected nuclear energy program suggests that there is indeed an intention to move towards development of a weapon. The estimate will suggest that development of a weapon might already be in progress, though it will not state that in any definitive way. The report will conclude that until Iran permits complete transparency and total access to its nuclear program, while at the same time surrendering its own capability to enrich uranium, the assumption will have to be that there is indeed a secret effort underway to develop what is referred to as “breakthrough capability” related to a possible weapon. Breakthrough capability means that all the pieces will be in place making it possible to construct a weapon in short order.
There will be additional caveats and weasel-worded language in the report, plus some dissents, that will make the conclusion a soft one, but its conclusions will be leaning towards the side of “It’s better to be safe than sorry.” The CIA analysts will be able to claim that they indicated that there is no hard evidence for a weapons program and that even the conclusions are based on soft analysis while the White House will be able to keep “all options on the table” and will not be boxed in. The Obama Administration does not want to go to war, but if a conflict does somehow develop it does want to be able to cite the NIE as partial justification.
It does not take a great deal of insight into the dynamics of the relationship between Tehran and Washington to see that the NIE is a political statement more than it is any serious analysis. It is a document produced by a government agency in support of a government policy that in turn is designed to allow that selfsame government to pursue any number of options. It will be a very “what if?” document which possibly is demanding that Iran prove to a skeptical Washington and Tel Aviv what very well might be a negative, i.e. that it has no weapons program. Or, as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld put it in a discussion of possible Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, “The absence of evidence is no evidence of absence” and, in another speech, “…there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know.” If it turns out that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and Washington goes to war anyway, it will have to be chalked up to one of the unknowns that we did not know.
All of the above would be something out of a Shakespearean play in which two people exchange their identities or have their girlfriends get somehow mixed up, resulting in comedic exchanges and a great deal of confusion, but for the fact that war is such a serious business. Nearly six thousand Americans and hundreds of thousands of foreigners have died as a result of the two wars fought in which the “absence of evidence” was deliberately engineered into allegations unsupported by any facts that resulted in Washington initiating wars of choice. It will not be any different in the case of Iran.
So why do an NIE at all? The new report will likely be politics as usual cloaked in the illusion of objectivity and process. It might be far preferable if Washington would deal honestly with the American people and the rest of the world for a change. How about a White House-issued statement calling itself an NIE that says something like this: “Even though we have no hard evidence that Iran has a nuclear arms program we have decided that since Tehran has not been completely forthcoming on some aspects of its nuclear energy program it might be intending to develop a weapon. The White House is under constant pressure from Israel and its supporters in congress and the media to do something about the threat from Iran, so we have asked the CIA to prepare a document that will enable us to bomb Iran if we decide it is politically expedient to do so. Or alternatively not to bomb Iran if we decide not to do so because, in our judgment, the voters cannot stomach another war. The decision on what to do about Iran will be based on what happens in midterm elections next month and on a White House assessment of what has to be done to insure the re-election of President Obama. That might require a new war or maybe not, but rest assured that it will have nothing to do with the genuine threat that Iran might actually pose and nothing to do with any balance of power in the world or vital American national interests. It will all come down to appeasing the Israel Lobby and managing the election cycle. Thank you.”
Read more by Philip Giraldi
Article printed from Antiwar.com Original: http://original.antiwar.com