Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.....
The following excerpts come from pages 261-269 of Bamford's 'A Pretext
for War' book*:
"Then Bush addressed the sole items on the agenda for his first high
level national security meeting. The topics were not terrorism--a
subject he barely mentioned during the campaign --or nervousness over
China or Russia, but Israel and Iraq. From the very first moment, the
Bush foreign policy would focus on three key objectives: get rid of
Saddam, end American involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process, and rearrange the dominoes in the Middle East. A key to the
policy shift would be the concept of pre-emption.
The blueprint for the new Bush policy had actually been drawn up five
years earlier by three of his top national security advisors. Soon to
be appointed to senior administration positions, they were Richard
Perle, Douglas Feith, and David Wurmser. Ironically the plan was
orginally intended not for Bush but for another world leader, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
At the time, the three officials were out of government and working
for conservative pro-Israel think tanks. Perle and Feith had
previously served in high level Pentagon positions during the
presidency of Ronald Reagan. In a very unusual move, the former--and
future--senior American officials were acting as a sort of American
privy council to the new Israeli Prime Minister. The Perle task force
to advise Netanyahu was set up by the Jerusalem based Institute for
Advanced Stategic and Political Studies, where Wurmser was working. A
key part of the plan was to get the United States to pull out of peace
negotiations and simply let Israel take care of the Palestinians as it
saw fit. "Israel," said the report, "can manage it's own affairs. Such
self-reliance will grant Israel greater freedom of action and remove a
significant lever of pressure used against it in the past."
But the centerpiece of the recommendations was the removal of Saddam
Hussein as the first step in remaking the Middle East into a region
friendly, instead of hostile, to Israel. Their plan "A Clean Break: A
New Strategy for Securing the Realm," also signaled a radical
departure from the peace-oriented policies of former Prime Minister
Yitzhak Rabin, who was assassinated by a member of an extreme right-
wing Israeli group.
As part of their "grand strategy" they recommended that once Iraq was
conquered and Saddam Hussein overthrown, he should be replaced by a
puppet leader friendly to Israel. Whoever inherits Iraq, they wrote,
dominates the entire Levant strategically. Then they suggested that
Syria would be the next country to be invaded. Israel can shape it's
strategic environment, they said.
This would be done, they recommended to Netanyahu, by re-establishing
the principle of pre-emption and by rolling back it's Arab neighbors.
From then on, the principle would be to strike first and expand, a
dangerous and provocative change in philosophy. They recommended
launching a major unprovoked regional war in the Middle East,
attacking Lebanon and Syria and ousting Iraq's Saddam Hussein. Then,
to gain the support of the American government and public, a phony
pretext would be used as the reason for the original invasion.
The recommendation of Feith, Perle and Wurmser was for Israel to once
again invade Lebanon with air strikes. But this time to counter
potentially hostile reactions from the American government and public,
they suggested using a pretext. They would claim that the purpose of
the invasion was to halt Syria's drug-money and counterfeiting
infrastructure located there. They were subjects in which Israel had
virtually no interest, but they were ones, they said, with which
America can sympathize.
Another way to win American support for a pre-emptive war against
Syria, they suggested, was by drawing attention to its weapons of mass
destruction program. This claim would be that Israel's war was really
all about protecting Americans from drugs, counterfeit bills, and WMD--
nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
It was rather extraordinary for a trio of former, and potentially
future, high-ranking American government officials to become advisors
to a foreign government. More unsettling still was a 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
Once inside Lebanon, Israel could let loose--to begin engaging
Hizballah, Syria and Iran, as the principle agents of aggression in
Lebanon. Then they would widen the war even further by using proxy
forces--Lebanese militia fighters acting on Israel's behalf (as Ariel
Sharon had done in the 80's)--to invade Syria from Lebanon. Thus, they
noted, they could invade Syria by establishing the precedent that
Syrian territory is not immune to attacks emanating from Lebanon by
Israeli proxy forces.
As soon as that fighting started, they advised, Israel could begin
"striking Syrian military targets in Lebanon, and should that prove
insufficient, striking at select targets in Syria proper [emphasis in
The Perle task force even supplied Nentanyahu with some text for a
television address, using the suggested pretext to justify the war.
Years later, it would closely resemble speeches to justify their own
Middle East wars; Iraq would simply replace Syria and the United
States would replace Israel:
Negotiations with repressive regimes like Syria's require cautious
realism. One cannot sensibly assume the other side's good faith. It is
dangerous for Israel to deal naively with a regime murderous of its
own people, openly aggressive towards its neighbors, criminally
involved with international drug traffickers and counterfeiters, and
supportive of the most deadly terrorist organizations.
The task force then suggested that Israel open a second front in its
expanding war, with a focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in
Iraq--an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right--as a
means of foiling Syria's regional ambitions.
For years the killing of Saddam Hussein had been among the highest,
and most secret, priorities of the Israeli government. In one stroke
it would pay Saddam Hussein back for launching Scud missiles against
Israel, killing several people, during the Gulf War. Redrawing the map
of the Middle East would also help isolate Syria, Iraq's ally and
Israel's archenemy along its northern border. Thus, in the early
1990's, after the US-led war in the Gulf, a small elite team of
Israeli commandos was given the order to train in absolute secrecy for
an assassination mission to bring down the Baghdad ruler.
The plan, code-named Bramble Bush, was to first kill a close friend of
the Iraqi leader outside the country, someone from Hussein's hometown
of Tikrit. Then, after learning the date and time of the funeral to be
held in the town, a funeral Hussein was certain to attend, they would
have time to covertly infiltrate a team of commandos into the country
to carry out the assassination. The murder weapons were to be
specially modified "smart" missiles that would be fired at Hussein as
he stood in a crowd at the funeral.
But, the plan was finally abandoned after five members of the team
were accidently killed during a dry run of the operation.
Nevertheless, removing Saddam and converting Iraq from threat to ally
had long been at the top of Israel's wish list.
Now Perle, Feith, and Wurmser were suggesting something far more
daring--not just an assassination but a bloody war that would get rid
of Saddam Hussein and also change the face of Syria and Lebanon. Perle
felt their "Clean Break" recommendations were so important that he
personally hand-carried the report to Netanyahu.
Wisely, Netanyahu rejected the task force' plan. But now, with the
election of a receptive George W. Bush, they dusted off their pre-
emptive war strategy and began getting ready to put it to use.
The new Bush policy was an aggressive agenda for any president, but
especially for someone who had previously shown little interest in
international affairs. We're going to correct the imbalances of the
previous administration on the Mideast conflict, Bush told his freshly
assembled senior national security team in the Situation Room on
January 30, 2001. We're going to tilt it back toward
Israel. . . .Anybody here ever met Ariel Sharon? Only Colin Powell
raised his hand.
Bush was going to reverse the Clinton policy, which was heavily
weighted toward bringing the bloody conflict between Israel and the
Palestinians to a peaceful conclusion. There would be no more US
interference; he would let Sharon resolve the dispute however he saw
fit, with little or no regard for the situation of the Palestinians.
The policy change was exactly as recommended by the Perle task force's
"Clean Break" report.
I'm not going to go by past reputations when it comes to Sharon, Bush
told his newly gathered national security team. I'm going to take him
at face value. We'll work on a relationship based on how things go.
Then he mentioned a trip he had taken with the Republican Jewish
Coalition to Israel. We flew over the Palestinian camps. Looked real
bad down there, he said with a frown. Then he said it was time to end
America's efforts in the region. I don't see much we can do over there
at this point, he said.
Colin Powell, Secretary of State for only a few days, was taken by
surprise. The idea that such a complex problem, in which America had
long been heavily involved, could be simply brushed away with the
sweep of a hand made little sense. Fearing Israeli-led aggression, he
He stressed that a pullback by the United States would unleash Sharon
and the Israeli army, recalled Paul O'Neill, who had be sworn in as
Secretary of the Treasury by Bush only hours before and seated at the
table. Powell told Bush, the consequences of that could be be dire,
especially for the Palestinians. But Bush just shrugged. Sometimes a
show of strength by one side can really clarify things, he said.
Powell seemed startled, said O'Neill.
Over the following months, to the concern of Powell, the Bush-Sharon
relationship became extremely tight. This is the best administration
for Israel since Harry Truman, said Thomas Neuman, executive director
of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs "JINSA" a pro-
Israel advocacy group. In an article in the Washington Post titled
"Bush and Sharon Nearly Identical on Middle East Policy," Robert G.
Kaiser noted the dramatic shift in policy.
For the First time, wrote Kaiser, a US administration and a Likud
government in Israel are pursuing nearly identical policies. Earlier
US administrations, from Jimmy Carter through Bill Clinton's, held
Likud and Sharon at arm's length, distancing the United States from
Likud's traditionally tough approach to the Palestinians. Using the
Yiddish term for supporters of Sharon's political party to the new
relationship between Bush and Sharon, a senior US government official
told Kaiser, "The Likudniks are really in charge now."
With America's long struggle to bring peace to the region quickly
terminated, George W. Bush could turn his attention to the prime focus
of his first National Security Council meeting; ridding Iraq of Saddam
Hussein. Condoleezza Rice led off the discussion. But rather than
mention anything about threats to the United States or weapons of mass
destruction, she noted only that Iraq might be the key to reshaping
the entire region. The words were practically lifted from the "Clean
Break" report, which had the rather imperial-sounding subtitles: "A
New Strategy for Securing the Realm."
Then Rice turned the meeting over to CIA Director George Tenet, who
offered a grainy overhead picture of a factory that he said "might" be
a plant "that produced either chemical or biological materials for
weapons manufacture." There were no missiles or weapons of any kind,
just some railroad tracks going to a building; truck activity; and a
water tower--things that can be found in virtually any city in the US.
Nor were there any human intelligence or signals intelligence reports.
There was no confirming intelligence, Tenet said.
It was little more than a shell game. Other photo and charts showed US
air activity over the "no fly-zone," but Tenet offered no more
intelligence. Nevertheless, in a matter of minutes the talk switched
from a discussion about very speculative intelligence to which targets
to begin bombing in Iraq.
By the time the meeting was over, Treasury Secretary O'Neill was
convinced that "getting Hussein was now the administration's focus,
that much was already clear," But, O'Neill believed, the real
destabilizing factor in the Middle East was not Saddam Hussein but the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict--the issue Bush had just turned his back
on. Ten years after the Gulf War, said O'Neill, "Hussein seemed caged
and defanged. Clearly, there were many forces destabilizing the
region, which we were now abandoning."
The war summit must also have seemed surreal to Colin Powell, who said
little during the meeting and had long believed that Iraq had not
posed a threat to the United States. As he would tell German Foreign
Minister Joschka Fischer just a few weeks later, "What we and other
allies have been doing in the region, have succeeded in containing
Saddam Hussein and his ambitions. . . .Containment has been a
In addition to the "Clean Break" recommendations, David Wurmser only
weeks before the NSC meeting had further elaborated on the way the
United States might go about launching a pre-emptive war throughout
the Middle East. America's and Israel's responses must be regional not
local, he said. Israel and the United Staes should adopt a coordinated
strategy, to regain the initiative and reverse their region-wide
strategic retreat. They should broaden the conflict to strike fatally,
not merely disarm, the center of radicalism in the region--the regimes
of Damascus, Baghdad, Tehran, Tripoli, and Gaza. That would re-
establish the recognition that fighting with either the US or Israel
is suicidal. Many in the Middle East will then understand the merits
of being an American ally and of making peace with Israel.
In the weeks and months following the NSC meeting, Perle, Feith and
Wurmser began taking their places in the Bush administration. Perle
became chairman of the reinvigorated and powerful Defence Policy
Board, packing it with like-minded neoconservative super-hawks anxious
for battle. Feith was appointed to the highest policy position in the
Pentagon, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. And Wurmser moved into
a top policy position in the State Department before later becoming
Cheney's top Middle East expert.
With the Pentagon now under Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and
his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz--both of whom had also long believed that
Saddam Hussein should have been toppled during the first Gulf War--the
war planners were given free reign. What was needed, however, was a
pretext--perhaps a major crisis. Crisis can be opportunities, wrote
Wurmser im his paper calling for an American-Israeli pre-emptive war
throughout the Middle East.
Seeing little reason, or intelligence justification, for war at the
close of the inaugural National Security Council meeting, Treasury
Secretary Paul O'Neill was perplexed. Who, exactly, was pushing this
foreign policy? He wondered to himself. And "why Saddam, why now, and
why [was] this central to US interests?"
The following excerpts come from pages 318-322 of Bamford's 'A Pretext
for War' book*:
"Hadley and Libby were part of another secret office that had been set
up within the White House. Known as the White House Iraq Group (WHIG),
it was established in August 2002 by Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card,
Jr., at the same time the OSP (Office of Special Plans) was
established in Feith's office. Made up of high-level administration
officials, its job was to sell the war to the general public, largely
through televised addresses and by selectively leaking the
intelligence to the media.
In June 2002, a leaked computer disk containing a presentation by
chief Bush strategist Karl Rove revealed a White House political plan
to use the war as a way to "maintain a positive issue environment."
But the real pro-war media blitz was scheduled for the fall and the
start of the election season "because from a marketing point of view,
you don't introduce new products in August," said Card.
At least once a week they would gather around the blonde conference
table downstairs in the Situation Room, the same place the war was
born on January 30, 2001, ten days into the Bush presidency. Although
real intelligence had improved very little in the intervening nineteen
months, the manufacturing of it had increased tremendously. In
addition to Hadley and Libby, those frequently attending the WHIG
meetings included Karl Rove, Condoleezza Rice, communications gurus
Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin and James R. Wilkinson; and legislative
liaison Nicholas E. Calio.
In addition to ties between Hussein and 9/11, among the most important
products the group was looking to sell as Labor Day 2002 approached
were frightening images of mushroom clouds, mobile biological weapons
labs, and A-bomb plants, all in the hands of a certified "madman." A
key piece of evidence that Hussein was building a nuclear weapon
turned out to be the discredited Italian documents purchased on a
street corner from a con man.
The WHIG began priming its audience in August when Vice President
Cheney, on three occasions, sounded a shrill alarm over Saddam
Hussein's nuclear threat. There "is no doubt," he declared, that
Saddam Hussein "has weapons of mass destruction." Again and again, he
hit the same chord. "What we know now, from various sources, is that
he . . . continues to pursue a nuclear weapon." And again: "We do
know, with absolute certainty, that he is using his procurement system
to acquire the equipment he needs in order to enrich uranium to build
a nuclear weapon."
Facing network television cameras, Cheney warned, "We now know that
Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons. . . . Among
other sources, we've gotten this from firsthand testimony from
defectors, including Saddam's own son-in-law." The relative was
Hussein Kamel, who defected to Jordan in 1995 with a great deal of
inside information on Iraq's special weapons programs, which he
managed. He was later convinced by Saddam to return to Iraq, but
executed by the ruler soon after his arrival.
But what Kamel told his interrogators was the exact opposite of what
Cheney was claiming he said. After numerous debriefings by officials
from the United States, the UN, and Jordan, he said on August 22,
1995, that Saddam had ended all uranium-enrichment programs at the
beginning of the Gulf War in 1991 and never restarted them. He also
made clear that "all weapons --biological, chemical, missile, nuclear--
were destroyed." Investigators were convinced that Kamel was telling
the truth, since he supplied them with a great deal of stolen raw data
and was later murdered by his father-in-law as a result. But that was
not the story Feith's OSP, Bush's WHIG, or Cheney wanted the American
public to hear.
At the same time that Cheney began his media blitz, Ariel Sharon's
office in Israel, as if perfectly coordinated, began issuing similar
dire warnings concerning Hussein and pressing the Bush administration
to go to war with Iraq. Like those from Cheney, pronouncements from
Sharon's top aide, Ranaan Gissin, included frightening "evidence" ---
equally phony --- of nuclear, as well as biological and chemical,
"As evidence of Iraq's weapons building activities, " said an
Associated Press report on the briefing, "Israel points to an order
Saddam gave to Iraq's Atomic Energy Commission last week to speed up
its work, said Sharon aide Ranaan Gissin. 'Saddam's going to be able
to reach a point where these weapons will be operational,' he
said. . . . Israeli intelligence officials have gathered evidence that
Iraq is speeding up efforts to produce biological and chemical
weapons, Gissin said."
It was clear, based on the postwar reviews done in Israel, that
Israeli intelligence had no such evidence. Instead, the "evidence" was
likely cooked up in Sharon's own Office of Special Plans unit, which
was coordinating its activities with the Feith/Wurmser/Shulsky Office
of Special Plans. The joint get-Saddam media blitz would also explain
the many highly secret visits by the Israeli generals to Feith's
office during the summer..
"Israel is urging U.S. officials not to delay a military strike
against Iraq's Saddam Hussein, an aide to Prime Minister Ariel
Minister said Friday," the AP report continued. " "Any postponement of
an attack on Iraq at this stage with serve no purpose,' Gissin told
the Associated Press. 'It will only give him [Saddam] more of an
opportunity to accelerate his program of weapons of mass
As expected. Sharon's callw as widely publicized and increased
pressure on Congress, which often bows to Israel's wishes, to vote in
favor of the Bush war resolution. "Israel To U.S.: Don't Delay Iraq
Attack," said a CBS News headline. "Israel is urging U.S. officials
not to delay a military strike against Iraq's Saddam Hussein, an aide
to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Friday," said the report.
The story also made the news in London, where the Guardian newspaper
ran the headline: "Israel Puts Pressure on US to Strike Iraq." It went
on, "With foreign policy experts in Washington becoming increasingly
critical of the wisdom of a military strike, and European governments
showing no willingness to support an attack, the Israeli prime
minister, Ariel Sharon, wants to make it clear that he is the US
president's most reliable ally."
It was as if the Feith-Wurmser-Perle "Clean Break" plan come full
circle. Their plan for Israel to overthrow Saddam Hussein and put a
pro-Israel regime in his place had been rejected by former Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Now Bush, with Sharon's support,
was about to put it into effect.
Across the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Tony Blair also
contributed to the war fever by releasing a much-hyped report that
reinforced the White House theme that Iraq was an imminent threat not
only to the United States but also to Britain. In addition to
including a reference to the bogus Iraq-Niger uranium deal, the report
-- later dubbed the "doggie dossier"--made another frightening claim.
It warned that Iraq could launch a deadly biological or chemical
attack with long-range ballistic missiles on British tourists and
servicemen in Cyprus with just forty-five minute's notice.
Only after the war would it be publicly revealed that the reference
was not to a strategic weapon that could reach Cyprus, but simply to a
short-range battlefield weapon that could not come anywhere close to
Cyprus. And because all the missiles were disassembled, even to fire
on them on the battlefield would take not forty-five minutes but days
of assembly and preparation. At least three times prior to the war,
Blair was warned by intelligence officials that the report was
inaccurate, but he made no public mention of it.. "
* The paperback edition of A Pretext for War includes new Afterword
Arithmetics of Disdain,
It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on Hobeika and his party.... But Listed a small Hand Grenade thrown at a U.S. franchise in the middle of the night when the place was closed, empty and no one was hurt? The White House wanted to ensure the terror attack on Mr. Elie Hobeika, and his party of three young men with families, was censored from the report. The reason was simple: this attack ultimately had Washington's and Israel's fingerprints all over it....Given the actual climate of political cacophonies, deceit, deception and intrigue in Lebanon of today, Lebanon of the LIARS of NEOCONVILLE, it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Mr. Elie Hobeika was a visionary Leader and a Hero.Lebanon will probably never know a Leader of this caliber.My dear friend ELIE, you have been reborn on January 24th 2002.Heroes are reborn the day of their Martyrdom .ELIE, you are more alive today, than many living political corpses,walking and talking in Beirut Lebanon every day, until resurrection.At a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"- G. Orwell A U.S. intelligence source revealed to me, that in the world of intelligence "carve out" subcontracts such confusion is often the case with "plausible deniability" being a foremost concern in ALL covert operations, especially in Elie Hobeika's case on January 24th 2002, & Hariri's Feb. 14th 2005... Notwithstanding Jacques CHIRAC's gesticulations and false sorrow for the loss of his "friend" Rafic HARIRI, he has been regularly organizing official meetings in Paris for Asef Shawkat with his services to secure SYRIA for and with Assef Shawkat,....
The propensity of governments to create secrets out of the obvious is one of the more tedious aspects of international relations. But this secret is not obvious, and it is not trivial. Though it is true, and I hold the KEY.
Fabrications, LIES , False Flag operations, CIA and MOSSAD.It has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt,that ALL stories which came out immediately after the Assassination of Mr.Elie Hobeika, Fares Sweidan,Dimitri Ajram, and Waleed El-Zein, were completely &utterly FALSE. It was a pure fabrication by the KILLERS;AND the CIA'S Foreign Denial and Deception Committee (FDDC),to cover their tracks. Standard operating procedure...101I mean by that, the stories relating to Elie trying to find IMAD Moughnieh, the alleged attempted contacts with CIA, MOSSAD, etc. , the missing Iranian diplomats, the 9 most wanted by CIA, whose names have been circulated then,on purpose by CIA, to 7 ministers in the Lebanese Government, etc. [names which CIA has completely forgotten now,one of them has proven since to be a CIA asset himself...] ALL these were a tortuous web of lies to cover the tracks of the Murderers of CIA, MOSSAD, and their Syro-Lebanese tools.Special ongoing Investigation.Oct. , 2007- On September 15, 2001, just four days after the 9-11 attacks,CIA Director George Tenet provided President [sic] Bush with a Top Secret"Worldwide Attack Matrix"-a virtual license to kill targets deemed to be a threat to the United States in some 80 countries around the world. The Tenet plan, which was subsequently approved by Bush, essentially reversed the executive orders of four previous U.S. administrations that expressly prohibited political assassinations. Mr. Elie Hobeika will be the first target of the US administration, to pave the way for its Iraq Invasion .It planned to directly control the "Energy Basin" and ALL the OIL Transportation routes,from Pipelines to the Maritime avenues and choke points in the Gulf areas, and from central Asia to Mauritania and beyond.But most of all, Mr. Elie Hobeika will be made to pay dearly with his life,for daring to change his politics and views, after experiencing first hand,THE BRUTALITY OF THE ISRAELIS AND THE AMERICANS ,and their CULTURE OF VIOLENCE , Intrigue, murder & very bad Politics.The BUSH+CHENEY Energy MATRIX, coming to a place near you SOON.The awakening is near. It will be like a hurricane passing with untold fury.Mark my Words: .....
THE assassination of yet another Lebanese MP — the seventh anti-Syrian figure to be murdered since the slaying of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005 — has brought Lebanon to the brink of a catastrophe. It threatens to be even more devastating than the 1975-90 civil war. The country’s survival as an independent unified state is now at stake. The divide between anti-Syrian and pro-Syrian blocs is now unbridgeable.
As to fears of fresh civil war, it is already a reality. With ministers and pro-government MPs being assassinated, the government even more besieged than the one in Iraq, surviving MPs in hiding, who can talk of political normality? Lebanon is at war with itself. How long before that translates into general armed conflict is anyone’s guess. It would be naive to imagine that Ghanem’s killing will be the last. The anti-Syrian majority in Parliament is now razor-thin. Those behind this and the other killings are obviously determined to bring down the government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora by the physical elimination of its parliamentary majority.
There can be no doubt that more assassinations are planned and will be attempted. If that happens and the Lebanese government falls as a result and is replaced by a pro-Syrian government, it will trigger a wave of retaliatory violence — against Hezbollah, against the Shiite community and against pro-Syrian figures. Open warfare waits in the wings.
Syrian protestations that it had nothing to do with Antoine Ghanem’s murder and the others may be true. It is quite possible that the killings are wholly internal, the work of pro-Syrian elements inside Lebanon who want power back. There are certainly some who do not want a new president elected to replace Emile Lahoud. It is even possible that Israelis were behind the killings, intent on destabilization and making Syria appear the villain — possible but unlikely; they have much to lose if a Hezbollah-dominated, pro-Syrian government were installed in Beirut.
The problem is that very few believe Syria’s innocence. They ask the question “who benefits?” and, in the case of each assassination, come up with the same answer: Damascus and its clients in Lebanon. That belief robs Syria of having an acceptable role in Lebanon for a long time to come. The majority of Lebanese want their sovereignty to be absolute; with no interference from anyone — be they Syrian, Israeli, Iranian, American or whatever. That dream, however, is being car-bombed to oblivion....
Forget what you've heard about objectivity. Not even cameras are objective. To nearly everything you analyze (and report on) you bring notions based on - but not limited to - your class, gender, skin color, ethnicity, native language, upbringing, education, religion, culture, playground experiences, political orientation, the influences of people you trust and things about the way our brains work that nobody even knows yet. Like sponges, we absorb stereotypes and clichés about other people's attitudes and behavior which skews our perceptions in ways we don't even realize. So don't fool yourself into believing in objectivity. The best you can achieve is fairness, and that's a tough path to stick to as well.
And then we'd have a talk about the textbook description of objectivity, which is that "every story has two sides," a pernicious dualistic myth that profoundly undermines what is supposed to be a search for truth....
The even greater danger with these dark clouds forming over Lebanon is for the region. With Syria’s links to Iran, Iran’s links to Hezbollah, rising tension over Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions, there is a chain explosion waiting to happen. An Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, an American attack on Iran, a Syrian attack on Israel, more Lebanese assassinations: One could trigger another. The temperature is fast rising on the Middle East’s northern rim — and it is near flash point.
Dear Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
http://judiciary.senate.gov/ , thanks for your
great work defending the USA Constitution, with
"EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW" ,Separation
between Churches and State and Free Speech,
and my questions are:1) since most likely the Senate
will approve Michael Mukasey as the new A.G.of
the United States, and since as you know,he is an
orthodox Israeli-American and with dual citizenship,
American and Israeli,
http://phillyfreedom.blogspot.com/ , NYT Sept.
18.07 "Washington outsider with many sides"
for info on Mukasey as Judge of the WTC-
Insurance 9/11 case , will he respect other
religions exactly thesame as his?2) since he is an
ordained rabbi within his orthodox community,will his partners get treatment better or different in any way
from the one you or I or anybody else would get from
him in the United States of America?
3) what happens to all the Security Contracts
and Military deals he and his son Marc are
doing with the Companies and Interests of
Giuliani Partners and other associates ?
4) what happens with all the deals they
worked on in his son's law firm,
Bracewell&Giuliani?since Bracewell&Giuliani has
offices in the South Asia, like in Kazakhstan,a big
oil supplier ruled by an extreme undemocratic leader,
Nazarbayev, will the Mukasey's and Giuliani's
get special deals? with no supervision? political
donations? will the actual law firm of Mukasey
get special deals too? will anybody ask ? or will
they just say yes :blindly?
5) Michael Mukasey
and his son Marc are strong AIPAC supporters ,
but will anyone in the Senate ask anything about their relationship to these political-military-religious-financial
and foreign groups? we know that no one
will,but is that right? isn't special treatment?
6) Chairman,this powerful military-religious-
financial group , of which Michael Mukasey is
a leader, will have unprecedented influence in
the Justice Dpt. ,White House and Congress,
not to mention over the average taxpayer,
and since many members of the orthodox
community to which he belongs are diamond,
gold,jewelry,insurance ,real estate and tobacco
dealers and wholesalers while claiming Tax
Exemption due to religious condition,will his
appointment stop all the Investigations of the
IRS and Justice Dpt.as well as Commerce,etc.?
and back taxes?
do average Americans have a guarantee of
when we start getting prosecuted for asking
questions,what recourse do we have ? any ?
and since orthodox Mukasey will most likely
install many members of his organized religious
group into office,will we be forced to request
help from the same community like his with
the special privilege?7) Judge Mukasey was in
charge of the 9/11/01 Trial case between the
leaseholders of the WTC,SIlverstein-Goldman-
Pacific-etc., and the 23 Insurance Companies these
new leaseholders called just days before 9/11 to
open dozens of policies over everything in
the Towers, services,leases,businesses,contracts,
profits,hardware,you name it,their premiums
were millions of dollars a week, didn't make
any business sense,unless they knew what was
going to happen a few days later ,and
everybody in N.Y. and around the world
was waiting for answers from the Trial ,
and then Judge Mukasey put a lid on the
Trial and no news came out, NOTHING !!!!
and everybody asked why ?, if it is a patriotic
case,why no news at all ?why the secrecy ?
why Judge Mukesay didn't want anybody in
America to know everything about Silverstein
and his dozens of policies? , then we also found
out that then N.Y.State A.G. Eliot Spitzer
wrote a Friend of the Court brief supporting
Silverstein,the AG siding with one of the
parties!, and the Judge and Spitzer started to
push the Insurance Companies to settle for 2
events,a total of 7 billion dollars to Silverstein
and his partners, many of the Insurance
Companies refused because they knew
something was not right and eventually they
settled on 4.6 billion dollars for Silverstein ,
but we still never got any details in any
newspaper ,radio or TV,NOTHING ! I WOULD
LIKE TO ASK JUDGE MUKASEY WHY ? ,
but we do know that no one will ask him
anything in D.C., he and his Orthodox
Congregation partners rule,after all they all
go to Israel together and share Religious
Ceremonies with Kissinger, Chertoff,
Bloomberg ,Silverstein,etc., and yet we hear
S. Schumer and other neocons saying to the
media that they want to learn more from
the man !8) Chairman,this new A.G. will have
unprecedented influence over President Bush
and VP Cheney,since he is the only one that
can prosecute the 2,is it wise to have a
member of a foreign religious-political group
having so much power over the President and
the Vice-President of the United States of
America ? safe ? smart? patriotic?We know that MR..Mukasey was selected by
Joshua Bolten and approved by Senator
Schumer and others,so since "they" run
Washington,it's a done deal ,hearing Senator
Schumer telling the Media how wonderful
Mukasey is and that his nomination cuts
down on pressure on the White House, do
they extorted a deal from the President:
Our orthodox candidate and we stop asking
for White House U.S. Attorney papers and
information?is that why Bush looks so depressed?
is that how Schumer,Bolton, Emanuel,Specter,
Lieberman and Bloomberg are going to run
because clearly with Mukasey as A.G.,they
run this country lock,stock and barrel,it's
that how our Constitutional Rights end ?
Extortion of the President of the United
hearing Schumer and Specter, it's clear that it
was all about getting the Christians out of the
Justice Dpt. and installing the neocon orthodox
in, is that how they do it ?A partner of Mukasey
as adviser to Giuliani , the neocon Pedhoretz,
has repeatedly pushed with Pr.Bush to bomb Iran,
to attack, and since Sen. Lieberman and Sen. Kyl
are pushing to brand Iran's Military a terrorist
Organization, is this the beginning of a concerted
effort to push for war? it's important to remember
all this , because in 2002 and 2003 all these
neocons with Sen.Schumer,S.Coleman,
were pushing for war every day on the media
and yet now they are attacking anyone that
mentions it, they are warning elected officials
like R.Moran that to mention these facts is
anti-this and anti-that and "watch it ", they
are bullying any one that mentions what happen
before the USA went to Iraq,and worst: they
insist now on their media that only Bush-
Cheney-Rice-Rumsfeld are responsible , that
no one else pushed for this war:
THEY ARE RE-WRITING HISTORY!!! and
it looks like its not the first time, it sounds
like they always pull the same trick: they push
for war,financed with their Hedge Funds and
then with the media they erase any links to
themselves, this is criminal; to push for war
and then to hide and blamethe Christians
only,that's evil and SHOWS LOTS OF
WEAKNESS ON THE PART OF THE USA,
THIS IS A DISASTER FOR THIS GREAT
COUNTRY! to confirm an organized
religious-political-military from a foreign sect
and laws to Attorney General is
un-Constitutional,illegal, un-American and
goes against the core of the USA values,
thousands died to defend the USA
Constitution from foreign religions, how can
the Senate now approve a religious leader ?
will they even ask this question? will they
commit High Treason ?when you look at these
incompetent and criminal decisions against the
Rule of Law and the Declaration of Independence,
how can Taxpayers petition the Government
for any rights?Thanks for your great work defending
America from foreign and domestic enemies,
in my humble opinion, this situation
looks to me like occupation and foreign control,
and to you ?America knows that George Washington,
Lincoln and all the Founding Fathers would be proud of
your defense of the USA Constitution against
High Treason and High Crimes,
NO COMMENT ....... "For Now..."
Saakashvili Ordered me to Get Rid of Patarkatsishvili’ – Okruashvili
Ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili has made yet another startling allegation against his former ally, President Saakashvili. The president, he said, had personally ordered him to liquidate Badri Patarkatsishvili, a business tycoon.
Speaking live on Imedi TV’s talk show On the Air late on September 25, Okruashvili said: “Saakashvili told me that we should get rid of him [Patarkatsishvili], in the same way as happened to Rafik Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister, who was killed in a car bomb attack.”
“In July 2005,” Okruashvili said, “Saakashvili asked me: what did I think about getting rid of one person… - Badri Patarkatsishvili? And then he [Saakashvili] outlined a very detailed plan on how to get rid of him.”
Okruashvili continued: “It was absolutely clear to me that it was a trap for me as well, because they would have gotten rid of me as well after getting rid of Patarkatsishvili.”
He said in response he told Saakashvili that he needed time to think about it.
“Meanwhile, I met with one person who at that time was working with the Americans and told him about the president’s proposal,” Okruashvili said. “I did it in the hope that the information would have been passed on to the Americans… It was Zaza Gogava [now Chief-of-Staff of the Georgian armed forces] However it did not work. Because after a month Saakashvili again repeated his demand about getting rid of Patarkatsishvili.”
“Then I met with another person in Turkey, whose identity I can not reveal. He also has close links with the Americans. He's not a Georgian citizen. I told him about Saakashvili’s plan. This information, it seemed, was delivered to the Americans, because since then Saakashvili never talked with me about getting rid of Patarkatsishvili.”President Saakashvili, who is currently in New York for the UN General Assembly Session, has yet to comment on his former ally’s allegations.
Irakli Okruashvili, ex-defense minister and once President Saakashvili’s closest ally, has accused the president of engaing in “anti-state steps” and “ordering murders.”
In his first public statement since he quit the government last November, Okruashvili also finally announced the launch of his political party – Movement for United Georgia. He refused to take question after his ten-minute speech, but said he planned to give further details and “answer all questions” during a TV appearance planned for later on Tuesday.
“I will definitely speak more on these crimes, which were masterminded by the authorities,” he said. Okruashvili added: “I was ordered by Saakashvili several times to liquidate certain influential and important people, which I refused to do.” He gave no further details.
There has been considerable speculation that “a war of compromising materials” would precede Okruashvili’s political comeback and the unveiling of his new opposition party.
Okruashvili said at the news conference in his party's headquarters in downtown Tbilisi that “fascist trends” and “anti-state steps undertaken by the authorities” had convinced him and his co-thinkers to set up the new movement. He also suggested that it hadn't been easy to launch the party.
People, he said, “are terrorized” because of “repression.” “Those with dissenting opinions are deemed ‘enemies of the state’ and the government is refusing to hold a dialogue with them,” he said.
This, he said, had made it difficult to convince people to engage in public life.
Okruashvili said that the anti-corruption campaign was “unreal.” The prisons, he said, were full of petty criminals, while corruption continued to thrive among “top level officials, Saakashvili’s inner circle and his family.”
“Three years ago when I was Interior Minister,” Okruashvili said, “I arrested Temur Alasania, the president’s uncle, for extortion of USD 200,000. I, however, had to release him on the president’s insistence.”
He also accused the authorities, and personally Saakashvili, of, as he put it, “a deliberate anti-Orthodox Church campaign” and “of fighting against Georgian traditions and values.”
“Saakashvili has an inner hatred of the Georgian Orthodox Church,” Okruashvili said. “The Georgian church is the most respected institution in Georgia. [Because of this] he [Saakashvili] perceives the Church as his main competitor. While in his inner circle, I often heard him talking about splitting the Church and discrediting the clergy.”
He also said that there was “a clear attempt” by the Saakashvili administration “to re-write Georgia’s history, as if nothing Georgian existed before the Rose Revolution, and everything new is being created by Saakashvili.”
Okruashvili also made an obvious attempt to appeal to other walks of life by saying that the older generation, those over 50, had been “neglected and humiliated.”
Internally displaced persons from Abkhazia and South Ossetia, he said, “were not regarded as human beings during ex-President Shevardnadze’s regime and this trend has continued in the Saakashvili regime as well.”
He also criticized the authorities’ policies towards the secessionist regions.
“We were one step away from reclaiming one of our lost territories,” Okruashvili said, apparently referring to South Ossetia.
Several months before his resignation from the cabinet, Okruashvili said that he had planned to celebrate the 2007 New Year in Tskhinvali, the capital of breakaway South Ossetia. Commentators said that Saakashvili’s decision to move Okruashvili last November from the Defense Ministry to the Ministry of Economy was largely because of Okruashvili’s perceived hawkish stance on South Ossetia.
In his speech on September 25, Okruashvili said that “only Saakashvili’s weakness, inability and fear” had foiled plans to reclaim the secessionist region. He also said Saakashvili was too weak to take an unspecified “historic decision.”
He also criticized Tbilisi’s decision to create the provisional South Ossetia administration, led by Dimitri Sanakoev. Okruashvili said Sanakoev had no respect and authority among the population of the region. He also said that installing Sanakoev was “an imaginary attempt” to unite the country.
Okruashvili explained his decision to “quietly” quit the government without voicing his discontent was because of, as he put it, his sense of “civil responsibility.”
“Army officers, who are still my friends, asked me to do it quietly,” he said and added that by doing so he had denied the country’s enemies an opportunity to speculate on a split within the government.
Okruashvili admitted that he shared “the responsibility for some mistakes because I was also once part of this government.”
“I, however, have done nothing but good for my country when in government,” he added. “So any attempt to discredit me will fail.”
Towards the end of his speech, he implied that he might have presidential ambitions.
“Georgia will be united only if it has a president who doesn't humiliate and insult its own people,” Okruashvili said.
Throughout his speech, Okruashvili's fellow party members stood beside him. They include: lawmakers Tea Tlashadze, Ketevan Makharashvili, Koka Guntsadze, Gia Tortladze and Gia Tsagareishvili; former Deputy Defense Minister Levan Nikolaishvili and a lawyer, Eka Beselia.
Two former journalists from Rustavi 2 TV station, Nana Lezhava and Natia Lazashvili, were also there. Both quit the TV station shortly after Rustavi 2 changed hands last November following Okruashvili’s resignation.