View Full Version : Bush advisor says war was for Israel

30th March 04, 12:46 PM

Iraq War Launched to Protect Israel - Bush Adviser

by Emad Mekay

03/29/04 "IPS" -- WASHINGTON - IPS uncovered the remarks by Philip Zelikow, who is now the executive director of the body set up to investigate the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001 -- the 9/11 commission -- in which he suggests a prime motive for the invasion just over one year ago was to eliminate a threat to Israel, a staunch U.S. ally in the Middle East.

Zelikow's casting of the attack on Iraq as one launched to protect Israel appears at odds with the public position of President George W. Bush and his administration, which has never overtly drawn the link between its war on the regime of former president Hussein and its concern for Israel's security.

The administration has instead insisted it launched the war to liberate the Iraqi people, destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and to protect the United States.

Zelikow made his statements about ”the unstated threat” during his tenure on a highly knowledgeable and well-connected body known as the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), which reports directly to the president.

He served on the board between 2001 and 2003.

”Why would Iraq attack America or use nuclear weapons against us? I'll tell you what I think the real threat (is) and actually has been since 1990 -- it's the threat against Israel,” Zelikow told a crowd at the University of Virginia on Sep. 10, 2002, speaking on a panel of foreign policy experts assessing the impact of 9/11 and the future of the war on the al-Qaeda terrorist organization.

”And this is the threat that dare not speak its name, because the Europeans don't care deeply about that threat, I will tell you frankly. And the American government doesn't want to lean too hard on it rhetorically, because it is not a popular sell,” said Zelikow.

The statements are the first to surface from a source closely linked to the Bush administration acknowledging that the war, which has so far cost the lives of nearly 600 U.S. troops and thousands of Iraqis, was motivated by Washington's desire to defend the Jewish state.

The administration, which is surrounded by staunch pro-Israel, neo-conservative hawks, is currently fighting an extensive campaign to ward off accusations that it derailed the ”war on terrorism” it launched after 9/11 by taking a detour to Iraq, which appears to have posed no direct threat to the United States.

Israel is Washington's biggest ally in the Middle East, receiving annual direct aid of three to four billion dollars.

Even though members of the 16-person PFIAB come from outside government, they enjoy the confidence of the president and have access to all information related to foreign intelligence that they need to play their vital advisory role.

Known in intelligence circles as ”Piffy-ab”, the board is supposed to evaluate the nation's intelligence agencies and probe any mistakes they make.

The unpaid appointees on the board require a security clearance known as ”code word” that is higher than top secret.

The national security adviser to former President George H.W. Bush (1989-93) Brent Scowcroft, currently chairs the board in its work overseeing a number of intelligence bodies, including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the various military intelligence groups and the Pentagon's National Reconnaissance Office.

Neither Scowcroft nor Zelikow returned numerous phone calls and email messages from IPS for this story.

Zelikow has long-established ties to the Bush administration.

Before his appointment to PFIAB in October 2001, he was part of the current president's transition team in January 2001.

In that capacity, Zelikow drafted a memo for National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice on reorganizing and restructuring the National Security Council (NSC) and prioritizing its work.

Richard A. Clarke, who was counter-terrorism coordinator for Bush's predecessor President Bill Clinton (1993-2001) also worked for Bush senior, and has recently accused the current administration of not heeding his terrorism warnings, said Zelikow was among those he briefed about the urgent threat from al-Qaeda in December 2000.

Rice herself had served in the NSC during the first Bush administration, and subsequently teamed up with Zelikow on a 1995 book about the unification of Germany.

Zelikow had ties with another senior Bush administration official -- Robert Zoellick, the current trade representative. The two wrote three books together, including one in 1998 on the United States and the ”Muslim Middle East”.

Aside from his position at the 9/11 commission, Zelikow is now also director of the Miller Center of Public Affairs and White Burkett Miller Professor of History at the University of Virginia.

His close ties to the administration prompted accusations of a conflict of interest in 2002 from families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, who protested his appointment to the investigative body.

In his university speech, Zelikow, who strongly backed attacking the Iraqi dictator, also explained the threat to Israel by arguing that Baghdad was preparing in 1990-91 to spend huge amounts of ”scarce hard currency” to harness ”communications against electromagnetic pulse”, a side-effect of a nuclear explosion that could sever radio, electronic and electrical communications.

That was ”a perfectly absurd expenditure unless you were going to ride out a nuclear exchange -- they (Iraqi officials) were not preparing to ride out a nuclear exchange with us. Those were preparations to ride out a nuclear exchange with the Israelis”, according to Zelikow.

He also suggested that the danger of biological weapons falling into the hands of the anti-Israeli Islamic Resistance Movement, known by its Arabic acronym Hamas, would threaten Israel rather than the United States, and that those weapons could have been developed to the point where they could deter Washington from attacking Hamas.

”Play out those scenarios,” he told his audience, ”and I will tell you, people have thought about that, but they are just not talking very much about it”.

”Don't look at the links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, but then ask yourself the question, 'gee, is Iraq tied to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the people who are carrying out suicide bombings in Israel'? Easy question to answer; the evidence is abundant.”

To date, the possibility of the United States attacking Iraq to protect Israel has been only timidly raised by some intellectuals and writers, with few public acknowledgements from sources close to the administration.

Analysts who reviewed Zelikow's statements said they are concrete evidence of one factor in the rationale for going to war, which has been hushed up.

”Those of us speaking about it sort of routinely referred to the protection of Israel as a component,” said Phyllis Bennis of the Washington-based Institute of Policy Studies. ”But this is a very good piece of evidence of that.”

Others say the administration should be blamed for not making known to the public its true intentions and real motives for invading Iraq.

”They (the administration) made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it,” said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.

But he downplayed the Israel link. ”In terms of securing Israel, it doesn't make sense to me because the Israelis are probably more concerned about Iran than they were about Iraq in terms of the long-term strategic threat,” he said.

Still, Brown says Zelikow's words carried weight.

”Certainly his position would allow him to speak with a little bit more expertise about the thinking of the Bush administration, but it doesn't strike me that he is any more authoritative than Wolfowitz, or Rice or Powell or anybody else. All of them were sort of fishing about for justification for a decision that has already been made,” Brown said.

30th March 04, 12:51 PM
”They (the administration) made a decision to invade Iraq, and then started to search for a policy to justify it. It was a decision in search of a policy and because of the odd way they went about it, people are trying to read something into it,” said Nathan Brown, professor of political science at George Washington University and an expert on the Middle East.

He had no reason for doing it, and everyone and his brother is trying to second guess why the hell we invaded Iraq. He did it because his dad couldn't defeat the guy, and now he had his finger on the red button and he could try. You should be more mad at Bush for bringing us into a war that was completely unecessary. Yes, Saddam and his evil children deserved to be toppled and die. But they weren't a world threat, and I don't believe Bush is a puppet of anyone -- just a guy who wants to flex his muscles. The truth is coming out about the reasons for this war, and it's not pretty. One stupid man can make the whole world cascade into turmoil.

30th March 04, 01:01 PM
just a guy who wants to flex his muscles. The truth is coming out about the reasons for this war, and it's not pretty. One stupid man can make the whole world cascade into turmoil.

Sadly, despite the fact that 99.9% of the US know this, he is still going to be the next president.

It's funny, I was actually talking to a guy from Texas the other day who was acting like WMD's are going to be found in Iraq...

30th March 04, 01:04 PM
So, like, we know he used WMD's (chemical, I believe) but so far we haven't found actual evidence of a nuclear/biological/chemical R&D facility?

My only problem with that point is it's not like the UN's empty threats didn't give him more than ample time and opportunity to clean the shit up and move/hide it.

30th March 04, 01:07 PM
The Iraqi scientists have come out and said they never had anything, because all of it was destroyed in the early 1990s. They were working on stuff, but didn't have the ability to actually produce anything. It was all empty talk on Saddam's part.

30th March 04, 01:10 PM
Duly noted.

30th March 04, 01:21 PM

In his February 5, 2003, presentation to the U.N. Security Council, Secretary of State Colin Powell charged that Iraq had begun constructing mobile facilities to produce biological weapons in the mid-1990s. This program involved, he charged, the manufacture of mobile trailers and railcars to produce biological agents, designed to evade U.N. inspectors. Agent production reportedly took place from Thursday night through Friday, a period during which the United Nations did not conduct inspections due to the Muslim holiday.

This paper presents a joint CIA-DIA evaluation of two specialized tractor-trailers and a mobile laboratory truck discovered in Iraq after the U.S. invasion. Kurdish forces took one tractor-trailer into custody near Mosul in late April. U.S. troops discovered the other in early May, at the al-Kindi Research, Testing, Development, and Engineering Facility in Mosul. U.S. troops also found the mobile laboratory, in late April. The CIA and DIA analysts concluded that the discoveries constituted "the strongest evidence to date that Iraq was hiding a biological warfare program."

The text of this paper reviews the Intelligence Community's pre-war sources on the Iraqi mobile program (including a chemical engineer, a civil engineer, and a defector from the Iraqi Intelligence Service), and the Community's pre-war assessment of the program. The paper also asserts that the discovered plants are consistent with intelligence reports, and that legitimate uses, including hydrogen production, are unlikely.

According to a subsequent New York Times report, engineers from the Defense Intelligence Agency who examined the trailers concluded in June that the vehicles were probably used to produce hydrogen for artillery weather balloons, as the Iraqi had claimed.

Transcript of David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, January 28, 2004

Source: http://www.ceip.org/files/projects/npp/ pdf/Iraq/kaytestimony.pdf

David Kay appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee shortly after he resigned as special advisor to the Iraq Survey Group. Kay states, referring to the expectation that there would be substantial stocks of, and production lines for, chemical and biological weapons in Iraq, that "we were almost all wrong, and I certainly include myself here." He also notes that other foreign intelligence agencies, including the French and the German, also had believed that Iraq possessed such stocks and production lines. In addition, he discusses the issue of whether political pressure had any impact on the content of the October 2002 national intelligence estimate (Document 15). Kay also notes that "based on the work of the Iraq Survey Group … Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of [U.N.] Resolution 1441. He goes on to note the discovery of hundreds of instances of activities prohibited by U.N. Resolution 687.

30th March 04, 01:55 PM
The Iraqi scientists have come out and said they never had anything, because all of it was destroyed in the early 1990s. They were working on stuff, but didn't have the ability to actually produce anything. It was all empty talk on Saddam's part.
And with him refusing to let weapons inspectors view everything, touting his weapons programs to his neighbors, etc... Lends credibility to the belief that he had them and was producing more....he brought it all on hmself.

30th March 04, 02:44 PM
I don't disagree he was wrong in his actions, and he was a horrible leader of a country, but that doesn't mean that we had to go in there and put American lives at risk like we have and are doing now. People are dying over there and I think there should be a very good reason why someone should have to sacrifice themselves for this country. I don't think Bush had a good enough reason. Others think we had to go in there and play world policeman for our saftey. But it's not putting a stop to terrorism, quite the opposite.

30th March 04, 02:50 PM


See, we couldn't justify a war with Iran, so we got Saddam to do our dirty work for us, we gave him weapons, training, Hell, Rumsfeld was IN Iraq during all this time trying to convince Saddam to build a pipeline for oil straight across the area for our ease of use. he balked, we took our toys, leaving the oens we couldn't find and left him to his own devices.

While attempting to reverse engineer the weapons we gave him, he used them to kill thousands of Kurds. From his perspective, it was very scientifical to gathering data, to the normal human mind it was atrocious.

Saddam was NEVER a threat to the US, he was used to take the attention away from 9/11. Everyone on the Defense Council knew there was no way to track down Al-Qaeda members and make them pay right away, it would take years for them to gather the needed data to start hunting them down effectively, so what do they do for the folks wanting blood now? Go right back to Saddam like they did last time.

What much of the population fails to realize is we've been in bed with Saddam for nearly 20 full years. We've given him the technology, money, weapons and training to commit all these crimes and we created the man. He was no threat to anyone but the Kurds. There are much bigger fish to fry, but the Spin Doctors moved in so fast to start this war, many people didn't question it. Those that did question it were labeled 'Anti-American'... even those people who are American were labeled Anti-American. It's the new 'Communism', being Anti-American.

Our administration has been saying he's a threat to America and such, well, only if he opens his mouth and starts talking about what people like Rumsfeld and Powell were doing for him back in the 80's. The Desert Storm/Shield manuevers were a joke, we walked all over Iraq with little to now resistance then left when we got to Bahgdad, and why? To keep him around for a scapegoat for whenever we needed him.

Bush pushed everything through Congress with little resistance because he bullied them all, when the UN refused to take part in the offensive he turned his back on them and went without them. Bush literally wanted this and pushed everyone into doing it using the 9/11 backlash as his reasons when iraq had ZERO to do with 9/11. No intelligence has proven otherwise, no proof has been offered to prove this, we are there under false pretenses.

31st March 04, 02:51 AM
we've been in bed with Saddam for nearly 20 full years.
Much, much longer, WE (the USA) helped him to take control of the Baath party and seize control of the country. We "sponsored" his war with Iran and made sure he stayed in power. But like every other dictator he became uncontrollable and would no longer do the bidding of his "masters" and went rabid.
So, like a rabid dog, we had to put him down. He was our problem since we put him in power, and now its time to correct that mistake.