by Walter C. Uhler
2 August 2007
As virtually every literate citizen on our planet knows, since the nineteenth century anti-Semites have been extolling the crackpot and wicked Protocols of the Elders of Zion in order to prove a conspiracy by Jews to rule the world. Even today, alas, the Protocols remain popular and believable throughout the world, especially the Middle East. Yet, since the end of the Cold War there has been little in the political behavior of the Jews among America’s neoconservatives to refute such beliefs. After all, it was people with the names Paul Wolfowitz, Irv Lewis Libby and Eric Edelman, who “in 1992…co-authored a security doctrine for the United States that aimed at perpetual hegemony and implied perpetual aggression to prevent the emergence of ‘peer’ powers.” [Juan Cole, “Informed Comment,” July 21, 2007]
Moreover, throughout the 1990s many Jews among America’s neoconservatives demonstrated an alacrity to play fast and loose with the lives of America’s soldiers. For example, in 1995 Charles Krauthammer urged the United States to “unashamedly” lay down “the rules of world order” and be “prepared to enforce them.” In 1996 Robert Kagan wrote “Military strength alone will not avail if we do not use it actively to maintain a world order which both supports and rest upon American hegemony.” [Quotes from Andrew J. Bacevich, The New American Militarism, pp. 84-85]
Granted, America’s neocons were not the only people eager to expend American military blood on the battlefield during the 1990s, witness the now infamous question by Madeleine Albirght to Colin Powell in 1993: “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” [Ibid, p. 24] But the neocons established a stranglehold on warmongering, especially when it came to attacking Iraq.
Simply recall the three chicken hawk American neoconservative Jews, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, who signed on in 1996 to write a policy paper — “A Clean Break: A Strategy for Securing the Realm”– for Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Perle, Feith and Wurmser recommended that Israel find pretexts for waging wars of aggression that would roll back its Arab neighbors. Moreover, “The centerpiece of their recommendations was the removal of Saddam Hussein as the first step into remaking the Middle East into a region friendly, instead of hostile, to Israel.” [James Bamford, A Pretext for War, p. 262]
Arguably, such behavior constituted treason. According to James Bamford: “It was rather extraordinary for a trio of former, and potentially future, high-ranking American government officials to become advisers to a foreign government. More unsettling still was the fact that they were recommending acts of war in which Americans could be killed, and also ways to masquerade the true purpose of the attacks from the American public.” [Ibid, p. 263]
A year later, as Scott McConnell has written, William Kristol and Robert Kagan wrote an article, “Saddam Must Go,” in which they asserted: “We know it seems unthinkable to propose another ground attack to take Baghdad. But it’s time to start thinking the unthinkable.” [Scott McConnell, “The Weekly Standard’s War,”The American Conservative, September 21, 2005]
Explicitly willing to shed the blood of America’s servicemen and women, in January 1998, Kristol and Kagan also wrote an Op Ed titled, “Bombing Iraq isn’t Enough,” which the New York Times was reckless enough to publish. (At this point, it’s worth noting the observation made by Robert Parry: “Under principles of international law applied from Nuremberg to Rwanda, propagandists who contribute to war crimes or encourage crimes against humanity can be put in the dock alongside the actual killers.” [Consortium News, Posted August 21, 2006])
Nevertheless, on January 26, 1998, Kristol and Kagan “along with more than a dozen other neoconservative luminaries sent a letter to President Bill Clinton denouncing the policy of containing Iraq as a failure and calling for the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein.” [Bacevich, p. 90] Subsequently both houses of the Republican-controlled congress passed the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which the impeachment-threatened Clinton signed into law – notwithstanding the fact that it violated U.S. treaty obligations under the Charter of United Nations.
In 2001, months before the attacks on 9/11, neocon Michael Ledeen wrote that Mao was correct when he asserted that revolution sprang “from the barrel of a gun.” It was America’s “inescapable mission to fight for the spread of democracy.” [Bacevich, p. 88]
After 9/11, the neocons’ drumbeat for shedding American military blood became deafening. Krauthammer asserted: “the way to tame the Arab street is not with appeasement and sweet sensitivity but with raw power and victory…. The elementary truth that seems to elude the experts again and again…is that power is its own reward.” [Ibid, p. 93] (In light of the fact that the reckless spilling of American military – and innocent Iraqi – blood has produced a proliferation of terrorists and terrorist attacks around the world, it’s surprising that jingoist Krauthammer still has his job at the Washington Post.)
Three months before the U.S. invaded Iraq, Joshua Muravchik observed, “Military conquest has often proved to be an effective means of implanting democracy.” [Ibid, p. 85] And, three months into the war, Max Boot (another neocon chicken hawk warmonger who, subsequently, even attempted to excuse the war crimes committed at Abu Ghraib), urged the spilling of American military blood for the purpose of “imposing the rule of law, property rights and other guarantees, at gunpoint if need be.” [Ibid. p. 33]
But perhaps the worst of all the bloviating “gutless wonders,” who demanded the spilling of American military blood after 9/11 was effete William Kristol. After 9/11, it was Kristol’s Weekly Standard that incessantly beat the war drums for invading Iraq. And it did so by repeating the BIG LIE: Saddam was linked to al Qaeda.
According to Scott McConnell, in the very first issue published after 9/11, the Weekly Standard “laid down a line from which the magazine would not waver over the next 18 months.” Their line was “to link Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden in virtually every paragraph, to join them at the hip in the minds of readers, and then lay out a strategy that actually gave attacking Saddam priority over eliminating al Qaeda.” [McConnell, “The Weekly Standard’s War,” The American Conservative, September 21, 2005]
Neocon Douglas Feith supported the Weekly Standard party line from inside the bowels of the Pentagon. It was Feith’s Policy Counterterrorism Evaluation Group that devoted almost a year after 9/11 to hyping shards of evidence already dismissed by the officially responsible intelligence agencies in order to falsely assert that Saddam Hussein had ties to al Qaeda.
Neocon Richard Perle did something similar, but in the public realm. In October 2002, Perle criticized the intelligence about Iraq coming from the CIA while assuring Judith Miller of the New York Times, that Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress (INC) “has been without question the single most important source of intelligence about Saddam Hussein.” [Thomas E. Ricks, Fiasco, p.57] Shamefully, Miller became the Times’ stenographer for Chalabi and the neocons.
Darth Cheney also was an eager recipient of Chalabi’s disinformation. It was Cheney, in the fall of 2002, who complained: “We’re getting ready to go to war, and we’re nickel-and-diming the INC at a time when they’re providing us with unique intelligence on Iraqi WMD.” [The New Republic, December 1, 2003]
Unfortunately, as Americans learned after the invasion, every piece of intelligence supplied by Chalabi’s INC informants proved to be bogus. Did Chalabi care? No. When asked whether he felt any remorse about his role in duping Americans into an invasion of Iraq, Chalabi responded: “No. We are in Baghdad now.” [Ibid, p, 389] Given that Chalabi was sponsored by the neocons, one is compelled to ask: Was this stupidity or was it treason?
Consequently, given the eagerness of America’s neoconservatives to spill American military blood, perhaps it’s time to reconsider the words of Stanley Fish: “Much of the world has been opposed to the Iraq war from its beginning, and now after four years 70 percent of Americans share the world’s opinion. Some who deplore the war believe that those who got us into it and cheered it on did so, at least in part, out of a desire to improve Israel’s position in the Middle East. Those who hold this view (and of course there are other analyses of the war’s origins) fear that the same people – with names like Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Abrams, Kristol, Kagan, Krauthhammer, Wurmser, [the convicted felon] Libby and Lieberman – are pushing for a strike against Iran, arguably a greater threat to Israel than Iraq ever was.” [Fish, New York Times online on March 4, 2007]
A glaring omission from Fish’s list, of course, is the name of Norman Podhoretz, a Jew who fervently hopes that President Bush will bomb Iran. Yet, Professor Fish wrote his inflammatory words precisely to condemn their implicit anti-Semitism. And properly so!
Keep in mind that the majority of America’s Jews opposed the invasion of Iraq. Consequently, it’s America’s neoconservatives, including it Jewish members, who deserve America’s condemnation, not America’s Jews. Thus, rather than give anti-Semitic believers of the old “Protocols” any further reason to nurture such nonsense about Jews, I suggest that the American public, especially America’s men and women in uniform, focus their attention instead on the willingness of America’s neocons (both Jewish and Gentile) to establish a new “Protocol” – the “Protocol of the Elders of American Neoconservatism.”
Under this new “Protocol,” American neoconservatives are permitted to urge the spilling of American military blood for neoconservative objectives – including world domination — but without having to fight, kill or die for those objectives themselves.
Were America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to push back against such cowardly warmongering, they just might save themselves from the worst excesses of this “Protocol.” For example, when William Kristol recently wrote about progressives, “They Don’t Really Support the Troops,” our troops should keep in mind that his real objective was to mask his own criminal complicity – and the complicity of America’s neocons — in the deaths of more than 3,600 American soldiers, as well as tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis.
For, as readers of Thomas E. Ricks’ book, Fiasco already know, by clamoring for war, it was the neocons who failed to support the troops. How so? Because many of America’s senior military leaders (both active and retired) opposed the very invasion of Iraq that the neocons begged for.
In fact, the neocons have fostered the spilling of American military blood in Iraq in at least three different ways. First, through their drumbeat for the unprovoked, illegal, immoral invasion of Iraq, a country that had no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to al Qeada and no initial connection to Bush’s so-called war on terrorism. (Iraq became connected only after Bush’s blunder drew jihaidsts like flies to that God-forsaken country.)
Second, through their ideologically inspired negligence, the neocons helped to create the debacle that our troops now face in Iraq. The negligence of neocon Douglas Feith deserves particular scorn. He simply blew off his responsibilities to plan for the post-invasion occupation. Consider the words of a Bush administration official: “Feith ought to be drawn, quartered and hung…He’s a sonofabich who agitated for war in Iraq, but once the decision is made to do it, he disengages. It was clear there were problems across the board – with electricity, with de-Baathification, with translators, with training the Iraqi police – and he just had nothing to do with it. I’m furious about it, still.” [Ricks, pp. 167-68]
Even worse than Feith’s negligence, was the ideologically inspired negligence of Paul Wolfowitz. Remember Wolfowitz’s asinine assertion: “It’s hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam’s security forces and his army. Hard to imagine.” [George Packer, The Assassins’ Gate, pp. 114-15]
Thus, thanks, in part, to Wolfowitz, the U.S. military went into Iraq with insufficient troop strength, and thus proved unable to prevent either the widespread looting or the subsequent emergence of the insurgency, which soon blossomed into a civil war. As a consequence, more American military blood was spilled (and continues to be spilled) in Iraq than was necessary.
Finally, nothing better establishes the failure of the neocons to support the troops than the opposition of their views to the sobering assessments made by America’s military leaders.
First, consider the words about the “surge” recently uttered by William Kristol: “[T]hese soldiers, fighting courageously in a just cause, could still win the war.” [Weekly Standard , 30 July 2007]
Putting aside his “just cause” canard, simply contrast Kristol’s disingenuous words with the assessment made more than three years ago — on May 12, 2004 — by Bush’s chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers: “[T]here is no way to militarily win in Iraq.”
Better yet, contrast Kristol’s words with the assessment made by Bush’s Joint Chiefs’ nominee, Adm. Michael G. Mullen, just three days ago: [T]here is no purely military solution in Iraq.”
Clearly, Kristol’s encouraging words were designed to service the “Protocol of the Elders of American Neoconservatism.”
Second, juxtapose the airy words (now signifying nothing) uttered by Robert Kagan in 1996 with the recent assessments made by retired General William Odom and the vary same Adm. Mullen.
Kagan: “Military strength alone will not avail if we do not use it actively to maintain a world order which both supports and rest upon American hegemony.”
Odom: “No U.S. forces have ever been compelled to stay in sustained combat conditions for as long as the Army units have in Iraq. In World War II, soldiers were considered combat-exhausted after about 180 days on the line. They were withdrawn for rest periods…In Iraq, combat units take over an area of operations and patrol it daily, making soldiers face the prospect of death from an IED or small arms fire or mortar fire each day. Day in and day out for a full year, with only a single two-week break, they confront the prospect of death, losing limbs or eyes, or suffering serious wounds.” [Odom, “‘Supporting the Troops’ Means Withdrawing Them,” Neiman Watchdog, 5 July 2007]
Mullen: American forces are “not unbreakable.” [William Branigin, “Joint Chiefs Nominee Notes Toll on Military, Need to Plan for Iraq Drawdown,” Washington Post, August 1, 2007]
Sidney Blumenthal recently wrote an exceptionally thoughtful article for salon.com (“Operation Iraq Betrayal” http://www.salon.com/opinion/blumenthal/2007/07/26/cheney/ ), which demonstrated that the Bush administration and its neocon supporters have escalated their stab-in-the-back blame game for losing Iraq. Eric Edelman’s ill-considered slap down of Senator Hillary Clinton and William Kristol’s attack on The Nation and The New Republic are but two recent examples of this slimy phenomenon. Bush’s recent warning to congress, lest it vote to withdraw our troops, constituted a third.
But, as the evidence presented above clearly demonstrates, it has been the American soldier who has been stabbed in the back. America’s neoconservatives have repeatedly demonstrated that they are quite willing to fight to the last drop of American military blood (but not their own!) for the sake of America’s empire, the world’s oil and Israel.
If only our American servicemen and women knew!
Walter C. Uhler is an independent scholar and freelance writer whose work has been published in numerous publications, including The Nation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Military History, the Moscow Times and the San Francisco Chronicle. He also is President of the Russian-American International Studies Association (RAISA).