William Blum's Anti-Empire Report —
it’s “must” reading

April 22, 2006

this page is at http://site.www.umb.edu/faculty/salzman_g/Strate/2006-04-22.htm

     One of the really great truth-tellers I've come to rely on is William Blum. His once-a-month Anti-Empire Report is something I just don't miss. Today his latest issue came, with the first item on the debate following the Mearsheimer-Walt paper, "The Israel Lobby". Reproduced below, but with slightly fancier format — my weakness — is that first part, but followed by the endnotes for his complete report. Of his several books I’ve read only Killing Hope, but was so impressed with his work and exposition that I've given a few copies to other folks, including my dentist here in Oaxaca who wanted to give it to his son, a tennis-mad college student in the U.S., hoping to turn him on to reality. Blum is "on duty" 25 hours a day 8 days a week!

The Anti-Empire Report — Some things you
need to know before the world ends
April 22, 2006

by William Blum

Your War Channel-all war-all the time-24/7-25/8-round the clock-
breaking only for commercials for Halliburton and Bechtel


      The recent paper by two prominent academics, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, on "The Israel Lobby", has spurred considerable discussion both in the mainstream media and on the Internet about the significance of the role played by this lobby in instigating the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The answer to this question may reside ultimately, and solely, in the minds of the neo-conservatives, in or close to official government positions, who lobbied for years to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein; an early instance of this being their now-famous letter to President Clinton in January 1998, which, in no uncertain terms, called for an American strategy that "should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime from power". Warning of Saddam's potential for acquiring weapons of mass destruction, the neo-cons, in language at times sounding frenzied, insisted that his removal was absolutely vital to "the security of the world in the first part of the 21st century" and for "the safety of American troops in the region, of our friends and allies like Israel and the moderate Arab states, and a significant portion of the world's supply of oil."

      This of course was a gross exaggeration. In 1998, after seven years of relentless US bombing and draconian sanctions, Iraq was but a pitiful shell of its former self and no longer a threat even to its neighbors, much less "the world". There were those who hated Saddam, but the only country that had any good reason to fear Iraq, then or later, was Israel, as retaliation for Israel's unprovoked bombing of Iraq in 1981. The letter to Clinton was signed by Elliott Abrams, Richard L. Armitage, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, John Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter W. Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, and Robert B. Zoellick(1), most of whom, if not all, could be categorized as allies of Israel; most of whom were soon to join the Busheviks. What could have prompted these individuals to write such a letter to the president other than a desire to eliminate a threat to the safety of Israel? And when they came into power some began immediately to campaign for regime change in Iraq.

      There are those who argue that the United States has invaded numerous countries without requiring instigation by Israel. This is of course true, it's what the empire does for a living. But to say that the Israel lobby played a vital role in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 is not to suggest an explanation for the whole history of US foreign interventions.

      To the role of the Israel lobby we must add two other factors carrying unknown degrees of weight in the decision to invade Iraq: controlling vast amounts of oil, and saving the dollar from the euro by reversing Saddam Hussein's decision to use the latter in Iraq's oil transactions (and this reversal was one of the first edicts of the occupation).

      Whatever ambiguity may remain about the role of the Israel lobby in the invasion of Iraq, it's clear that if and when the sociopaths who call themselves our leaders attack Iran, Israeli security will be the main reason, with the euro in second place because Iran has been taking -- or at least threatening to take -- serious steps to replace the dollar with the euro in oil transactions. Iran of course also has lots of oil, but unless the United States aims at conquest and occupation of the country -- and where will Los Socios find a few hundred thousand more clueless American bodies -- access to and control of the oil would not be very feasible. The Israel lobby appears to be the only major organized force that is actively pushing the United States toward crisis in Iran. Along with the lobby's leading member, the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), there's the American Jewish Committee (AJC), which has taken out full-page ads in major US newspapers with the less-than-subtle heading: "A Nuclear Iran Threatens All", depicting radiating circles on an Iran-centered map to show where its missiles could strike.

      "The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel," declared George W. last month. "That's a threat, a serious threat. It's a threat to world peace. I made it clear, and I'll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel."(2)


(1) Letter to Clinton: http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

(2) Agence France Presse, March 20, 2006

(3) Newsweek, April 3, 2006

(4) Washington Post, April 15, 2006, p.2

(5) Associated Press, March 27, 2006

(6) Philadelphia Inquirer, March 26, 2006

(7) Dahlia Lithwick, Slate.com, March 28, 2006

(8) Washington Post, April 14, 2006, p.1

(9) Deutsche Presse-Agentur, April 13, 2006

(10) www.unodc.org/unodc/terrorism_convention_civil_aviation.html

(11) Washington Post, April 9, 2006, p.2

(12) Associated Press, March 29, 2006

(13) For many other examples of the mind on anti-communism, see William Blum, Freeing the World to Death, Chapter 12 ("Before there were terrorists there were communists and the wonderful world of anti-communism")

(14) Ryan Lizza, "Where angels fear to tread", New Republic, July 24, 2000

(15) The Washington Post, August 2, 1997, p.A1 and February 6, 1998, p.B1 re Tempelsman. Other speculation in various places has concerned diamond investors Jean Raymond Boulle and Robert Friedland, each with alleged ties to Clinton.

(16) Federal Information and News Dispatch, Inc., State Department Documents and Publications, March 29, 2006

(17) Washington Post, April 17, 2006, p.3

      William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

      Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at http://www.killinghope.org.

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