Press TV interview with Dr. Stephen Sniegoski (Author of ‘The Transparent Cabal’)
The Making of Recent U.S. Middle East Policies
By BILL and KATHLEEN CHRISTISON
Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel, Enigma Editions, Norfolk, Virginia, 2008
Not a few honest political analysts have long recognized the tight relationship between the Israel-U.S. partnership and the disastrous Bush administration adventures throughout the Middle East, including its backing for Israel’s systematic oppression of the Palestinians. Stephen Sniegoski has had the persistence to ferret out mountains of impossible-to-challenge evidence that this Israel-U.S. connection is the driving force behind virtually all Middle East decisionmaking over the last eight years, as well as the political courage to write a book about it.
Sniegoski’s new book demonstrates clearly how U.S. and Israeli policies and actions with respect to Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the other Gulf states, and even most recently Georgia are all tied together in a bundle of interrelated linkages, each of which affects all the others. The right wing of Israeli politics, the neoconservatives in the U.S. who strongly support Israel, and the aging Israel lobby in the United States all have worked together, and are still doing so, to bring about more wars, regime changes, and instability, specifically the fragmentation of any Middle Eastern states that might ever conceivably threaten Israel.
In addition, one purpose of such wars and other changes is explicitly to intensify the discouragement of Palestinians as the latter’s potential allies are knocked off one by one, making it easier for Israel, over time, to finish off the Palestinians. That’s the theory. Those who believe it is vital to improve the human rights situation and the political outlook for the Palestinians must not only work to reverse present Israeli policies, but it is probably more important that we in the United States work even harder to reverse U.S. policies.
This is a long but quite splendid book. After a foreword by ex-Congressman Paul Findley and an introduction by Professor of Humanities Paul Gottfried, Ph.D., the text itself has 382 pages covering the entire history of the neoconservatives from the 1960s to 2008. The author has clearly spent untold hours reading all the writings he could find by not only the top few neocons but also numerous others who are far less well known but still important figures in the movement.
The neocons, by the way, are by and large not conspiratorial. They prefer to write voluminously and act openly with respect to their philosophies and actions. The word “transparent” in the title of the book emphasizes this very point. On the other hand, the neocons are also very skilled propagandists and are more than willing to spin “facts” in many situations in ways that often do not leave readers with an honest, unvarnished version of “truth.”
Sniegoski states his own main argument as follows:
“This book has maintained that the origins of the American war on Iraq revolve around the United States’ adoption of a war agenda whose basic format was conceived in Israel to advance Israeli interests and was ardently pushed by the influential pro-Israeli American neoconservatives, both inside and outside the Bush administration. Voluminous evidence, much of it derived from a lengthy neoconservative paper trail, has been marshaled to substantiate these contentions.” [Page 351]
The author then points out that
“… what was an unnecessary, deleterious war from the standpoint of [“realists” in] the United States, did advance many Israeli interests, as those interests were envisioned by the Israeli right. America came to identify more closely with the position of Israel toward the Palestinians as it began to equate resistance to Israeli occupation with ‘terrorism.’ … Israel took advantage of the new American ‘anti-terrorist’ position. The ‘security wall’ built by the Sharon government on Palestinian land isolated the Palestinians and made their existence on the West Bank less viable than ever. For the first time, an American president put the United States on record as supporting Israel’s eventual annexation of parts of the West Bank. Obviously, Israel benefited for the very reason that the United States had become the belligerent enemy of Israel’s enemies. As such, America seriously weakened Israel’s foes at no cost to Israel. The war and occupation basically eliminated Iraq as a potential power. Instead of having a unified democratic government, as the Bush administration had predicted, Iraq was fragmenting into warring sectarian groups, in line with the original Likudnik goal.” [Pages 356-357]
And yet one more quote is in order here:
“Since one is dealing with a topic of utmost sensitivity, it should be reiterated that the reference to Israel and the neoconservatives doesn’t imply that all or even most American Jews supported the war on Iraq and the overall neocon war agenda. … A Gallup poll conducted in February 2007 found that 77 percent of [American] Jews believed that the war on Iraq had been a mistake, while only 21 percent held otherwise. This contrasted with the overall American population in which the war was viewed as a mistake by a 52 percent to 46 percent margin. … [Nevertheless,] evidence for the neoconservative and Israeli connection to the United States war is overwhelming and publicly available. There was no dark, hidden ‘conspiracy,’ a term of derision often used by detractors of the idea of a neocon connection to the war. … It should be hoped that … Americans should not fear to honestly discuss the background and motivation for the war in Iraq and the overall United States policy in the Middle East. Only by understanding the truth can the United States possibly take the proper corrective action in the Middle East; without such an understanding, catastrophe looms.” [Pages 371-372]
The reader will note that the above excerpts all come from near the end of Sniegoski’s book. Before reaching this point in the book, you will be treated to informative and well-written chapters on the origins of the neoconservative movement, the Israeli origins of the United States’ Middle East war agenda, and neocon planning against Iran, as well as chapters entitled “World War IV” (a very important chapter), and “Democracy for the Middle East.” A particularly important chapter on “Oil and Other Arguments for the War” argues that oil was not as important a reason for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq as was Israel.
This book is a veritable bible on the neocons — and a frightening one. Anyone who thought that neocon thinking and policymaking had become passé with the political eclipse of the likes of Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, and Douglas Feith will be disquieted to find that these individuals were only the tip of the iceberg and that on all issues having to do with Israel neocon thinking lives on in policymaking councils and is about to be passed on to the next administration, whether it be Democratic or Republican.
Bill Christison was a senior official of the CIA. He served as a National Intelligence officer and as director of the CIA’s Office of Regional and Political Analysis.
Want to see what intellectual and moral bankruptcy looks like? Take a look at this video of neocon Norman Podhoretz, Rudy Giuliani’s foreign policy advisor, at his book reading appearance in New York which turned into a hostile affair. Podhoretz talks about World War IV taking as long to win as World War III, which is kind of weird, when exactly did we fight and win World War III? Further evidence that the neocons are delusional megalomaniacs. Podhoretz eventually loses it and tells the crowd to “shut up”.
Israel & The Iranian Oil Bourse Reality
Soon after the invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain, the Bush administration re-converted Iraq’s oil transaction currency back to the U.S. petrodollar. Iraq under Saddam Hussein in the year 2000 required that euros be used as payment for its oil sales. This conversion by Iraq was an underlying reason for the invasion by the United States; Saddam Hussein established a dangerous precedent that threatened the monopoly of the petrodollar which had the potential to destabilize the U.S. dollar.
The war in Iraq was much more than the securing of the valuable resource of oil, for the United States it was to protect and continue the dominance by the greenback as the world’s Reserve Currency which is made possible because currently the U.S. dollar is the currency used by most nations for their purchase of oil. This petrodollar cycle is the economic mechanism which has allowed a highly debted nation such as the United States to keep its superpower status. If the petrodollar cycle comes to an end or is severely restricted then the U.S. dollar which is sitting on a precarious inflated bubble could collapse and send the American economy into a dangerous freefall.
Iran in 2003 began accepting euros as the exchange currency for their oil exports and in March 2006, Iran will begin their own Oil Bourse that will directly compete with New York’s Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and London’s International Petroleum Exchange (IPE). These two American owned oil exchanges use the U.S. dollar as their monetary exchange mechanism for the purchase of oil. Iran’s plan to establish an Iranian Oil Bourse utilizing the stronger euro for their oil trade represents a dangerous threat to the monetary supremacy of the U.S. dollar and to the American imperial prowess that the petrodollar sustains.
Therefore, you have a serious new dynamic in the global economic condition that is currently being dominated by the United States. A successful Iranian oil exchange would possibly bring on a radical devaluation of the U.S. fiat currency which would in-turn increase for the United States the costs of maintaining a military preponderance throughout the world. For the neoconservatives within the American establishment, a successful Iranian oil exchange would threaten the economic viability in their belligerent conquest of the Middle East.
A successful Iranian Oil Bourse would create a shift away from the U.S. petrodollar towards the stronger petroeuro in the world’s oil markets. China, Russia, and the E.U. are working with the Iranians to make this a reality. If the United States tries militarily to stop the Iranian Oil Bourse and secure the continued dominance of the petrodollar, the potential for “blowback” from the Chinese is enormous. Iran is China’s principle oil exporter; therefore, Iran is an important strategic partner for China. China’s oil giant Sinopec Group has signed a US$70 billion oil and natural gas agreement with Iran. China holds over 600 billion dollars in U.S. Treasury Bills along with other assets which could be dumped as part of a retaliatory process too American aggression against Iran, thus creating a dollar crisis where other countries who hold large amounts of U.S. dollars in reserve would quickly dump their dollar assets.
The State of Iraq was conveniently fabricated into a military threat by the neoconservatives within the Bush administration as part of an aggressive ideology [PDF] that focused on the use of American military power in strategic areas of the world. In the Middle East, in particular, the neocon philosophy also tightly coincided with the security interests of Israel.
The current tensions between the United States and Iran over Iran’s Nuclear program has very little to do with nuclear weapons much like the illegal invasion of Iraq by the United States and Britain had very little to do with WMD or terrorism. Iran has not violated the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, in fact, under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); Iran has acted within the parameters of international law. Iran’s nuclear program is legal, and is a rightful exercise of an independent sovereign nation.
The IAEA is engaged in an apparent double standard when it disingenuously voted on Saturday February 4, 2006 to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council over dubious concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program. Under American pressure, an international crisis is nefariously being created. The IAEA have not found any evidence of an Iranian nuclear weapons program, yet Iran is being referred to the U.N. Security Council in similar fashion as Iraq was concerning their nonexistent WMD.
The consequences for this manufactured crisis with Iran is easy to predict, the result will be that nations in the future – outside of the West – that want to develop nuclear programs will do so in secret outside the rules and regulations of the Non-Proliferation Treaty like North Korea, Israel, Pakistan and India have done. Nations that develop nuclear capabilities in secret are not threatened or punished while nations like Iran that develop a nuclear program within the laws of the Non-Proliferation Treaty are subjugated to false accusations and intimidation.
Unfortunately, for Iran the political reality in the United States cannot tolerate a nuclear Iran because it potentially presents a threat to the security interests of Israel as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) recently revealed. President Bush has also signaled that the United States would defend Israel if Iran for whatever reason attacked Israel. Even if Iran were to respond to an initial attack by Israel as part of an act of self-defense, the condition of American politics and its subservience to Israeli interests [PDF] would place the United States square in the middle of another unnecessary war in the Middle East which would probably prove to be detrimental to the economic well-being of the United States.
America’s political establishment and its acquiescence to Israeli strategic concerns could prove to be detrimental to actual American interests. Israeli interests in American foreign policy as it pertains to the Middle East essentially control the behavior in both the Republican and Democratic parties. If the U.S. gets involved in a war with Iran, it will most likely do so under the circumstance of an Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, and to the subsequent insistence by Israeli cohorts within America that U.S. vital interests in the region coincides with Israel’s security requirements.
There is little doubt that Israel will attempt to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities. It will be similar to Israel’s raid on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility in 1981, but on a much larger scale. This massive first strike by Israel deep into Iranian territory would most likely quickly degenerate into a major conflict with the potential to drag other Muslim nations into the conflagration and into another general Middle Eastern war.
A conflict between the United States and Iran would be counter-productive to U.S. vital interests on many levels; politically, it would further isolate the United States with the rest of the world. Economically, it has the serious potential to burst the bubble that is the U.S. economy. Geo-strategically, it could bring on an unfortunate confrontation between the United States and China, and it would most likely place the United States in direct military confrontation with other nations in the Islamic world. There is no sustainable strategic benefit for the United States to get itself involved in a war with Iran.
There is currently much news in the MSM about the supposed threat that a nuclear Iran could be to all freedom-loving democracies in the world. As the War Party prepares yet again the American sheep to get ready for a confrontation with Iran, their exercise in “creative destruction” and their determination to initiate “World War IV,” as of this moment seems to be a sad possibility. Foreign entanglements do indeed carry a very high price.