Israel, Iraq, & US Jews

Rabbi Arthur Waskow 6/2/2004

Dear Friends,

Below you will find three items — a speech by veteran Senator Fritz Hollings; an article in The Forward, the nearest thing there is in the US to a national Jewish newspaper; and comments of my own.

They all explore the relationship between US support for the present Israeli government and the US decision to go to war against Iraq.

They also explore whether certain views on that relationship are anti-Semitic.

Senator Hollings is of that embattled species, the Southern liberal Democrat. After six terms in the Senate, he is retiring. The Forward article discusses his speech and the recent remarks of General Anthony Zinni.

As the run-up to the Iraq War began, Zinni was in charge of the the US forces in the Middle East. He said publicly that to secure and govern Iraq, the US would need far more troops on the ground than Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the President were assigning. He was fired.

He was right.

More recently, both the Senator and the General asserted that the US went to war against Iraq in order to protect Israel.

In both cases, some Jewish groups and others charged that their assertions were anti-Semitic.

The speech and the article follow. After them, I will add my own views on both issues: (1) Was protecting Israel the key factor, a factor, or no factor at all in the Bush Administration's decision to invade Iraq? (2) Are assertions that it was a key factor anti-Semitic?

Shalom, Arthur

By Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina
United States Senate
May 20, 2004

[Ernest "Fritz" Hollings of South Carolina, 82, soon to retire from the Senate at the end of his sixth term, is a graduate of The Citadel who saw combat in the Army in World War II. In Jan. 1991 he voted against the Gulf War resolution. In Oct. 2002 he was one of the 29 (out of 50) Democratic senators to vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq — a vote he now regrets. For a southern senator, his voting record has been quite liberal (2002 ratings: ADA 85; ACLU 60; AFSCME 100; LCV 65). He is known for having "one of the quickest and sharpest tongues in the Senate" (2004 Almanac of American Politics). He came under fire this month for a May 6 opinion piece in the Charleston Post and Courier that was remarkable for advancing two ideas: that securing the state of Israel was a leading motive for the invasion of Iraq, and that the Global War on Terror is a conceptual absurdity.The first of these led to a charge from Sen. George Allen of Virginia that the article was an anti-Semitic, conspiracy theory statement. This provoked a remarkable speech on the floor of the United States Senate on May 20. An article from last Friday's *Forward* related to this controversy follows the speech. Then come my own comments — AW ]

I thank my distinguished colleagues. I have, this afternoon, the opportunity to respond to being charged as anti-Semitic when I proclaimed the policy of President Bush in the Mideast as not for Iraq or really for democracy in the sense that he is worried about Saddam and democracy. If he were worried about democracy in the Mideast, as we wanted to spread it as a policy, we would have invaded Lebanon, which is half a democracy and has terrorism and terrorists who have been problems to the interests of Israel and the United States.

It is very interesting that on page 231, Richard Clarke, in his book "Against All Enemies," cites the fact that there had not been any terrorism, any evidence or intelligence of Saddam's terrorism against the United States from 1993 to 2003. He says that in the presence of Paul Wolfowitz.. He says that in the presence of John McLaughlin of the CIA. In fact, he says: Isn't that right, John? And John says: That is exactly right.

The reason was when they made the attempt on President Bush, Senior, back in 1993, President Clinton ordered a missile strike on Saddam in downtown Baghdad, the intelligence headquarters, and it went right straight down the middle of the headquarters. It was after hours so not a big kill—but Saddam got the message: You monkey around with the United States, a missile will land on your head.

So, in essence, the equation had changed in the Saddam-Iraq/Mideast concerns whereby Saddam was more worried about any threat of the United States against him than the United States was worried about a threat by Saddam against us.

I want to read an article that appeared in the Post and Courier in Charleston on May 6; thereafter, I think in the State newspaper in Columbia a couple days later; and in the Greenville News—all three major newspapers in South Carolina. You will find that there is no anti-Semitic reference whatsoever in it.

The reason I emphasize that upfront is for the simple reason that you cannot put an op-ed in my hometown paper that is anti-Semitic. We have a very, very proud Jewish community in Charleston. In fact, it is where reform Judaism began. The earliest temple, Kadosh Beth Elohim, is on Hasell Street. I have spoken there several times. I had the pleasure of having that particular temple put on the National Register. This particular Senator, with over 50 years now of public service, has received a strong Jewish vote.

Let me emphasize another thing because the papers are piling on and bringing up again a little difference of opinion I had on the Senate floor with Senator Metzenbaum. It was not really a difference. We were discussing a matter, and we referred to each's religion in order to make sure there would not be any misunderstanding or tempers flaring. The distinguished Senator from North Carolina, Mr. Helms, referred to himself as the Baptist lay leader, Senator Danforth as the Episcopal priest. I referred to myself as the Lutheran Senator. And when Senator Metzenbaum came on the floor, I referred to him as the Senator from B'nai B'rith, and he took exception. He thought it was an aspersion. I told him: Wait a minute, I will gladly identify myself as the Senator from B'nai B'rith. I did not mean to hurt his feelings. I apologized at that time but not for the legitimacy and the circumstances of the particular reference.

Now here we go again, some years later. The Senator from Virginia, Mr. George Allen, and I are good friends. Maybe after this particular thing he might feel different, but I know his role as the chairman of the campaign committee. And so I have an article here where Senator Allen denounces Senator Hollings' latest political attack, Senator Hollings' antisemitic, political conspiracy statement.

Let me read my column here from the May 6 Post and Courier, and you be the judge:

With 760 dead in Iraq, over 3,000 maimed for life—home folks continue to argue why we are in Iraq—and how to get out. Now everyone knows what was not the cause. Even President Bush acknowledges that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. Listing the 45 countries where al-Qaida was operating on September 11, the State Department did not list Iraq. They listed 45 countries and at that particular date on September 11, 2001, they did not even list Iraq.

Richard Clarke, in "Against All Enemies," tells how the United States had not received any threat of terrorism for 10 years from Saddam at the time of our invasion. On page 231, John McLaughlin of the CIA verifies this to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. In 1993, President Clinton responded to Saddam's attempt on the life of President George H.W. Bush by putting a missile down on Saddam's intelligence headquarters in Baghdad. Not a big kill, but Saddam got the message—monkey around with the United States and a missile lands on his head. Of course there were no weapons of mass destruction. Israel's intelligence Mossad knows what's going on in Iraq. They are the best. They have to know. Israel's survival depends on knowing. Israel long since would have taken us to the weapons of mass destruction .....

Let me divert for a second there. I was here when Israel attacked the nuclear facility in Baghdad during the 1980s. In all candor, when President Bush, on October 7, 2002, said, after all that buildup by Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld and everybody else, that facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait until the smoking gun is a mushroom cloud, I thought we were attacking for Israel. I thought that they knew about some kind of nuclear development there. And rather than getting them in further trouble with the United Nations and the Arab world, that its best friend, the United States, would knock it out for them. That is why I voted for it. I got misled. Our attack on Iraq, the invasion of Iraq is a bad mistake. I will get into that later. But let me read even further:

..... With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel. Led by Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, for years there had been a domino school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel's security is to spread democracy in the area. Wolfowitz wrote: "The United States may not be able to lead countries through the door of democracy, but where that door is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt, American power may be the only way to open it up."

Namely, invasion. That is Wolfowitz talking. And on another occasion: Iraq as "the first Arab democracy ..... would cast a very large shadow, starting with Syria and Iran but across the whole Arab world." Three weeks before the invasion, President Bush stated: "A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example for freedom for other nations in the region."

I referred to those three gentlemen because I know them well. They are brilliant. I have been for years associated one way or the other with each of them. I read Charles Krauthammer. I wish I could write like he can. With respect to Richard Perle, he was sort of our authority in the cold war, best friend of Scoop Jackson. That is how I met him 38 years ago almost. I followed him and I followed his advice, and that is in large measure how we prevailed in the cold war. So I have the highest respect for Richard Perle.

And, of course, the other gentleman, Paul Wolfowitz, Paul Wolfowitz, I met him in Indonesia when he was Ambassador. He came back. We were good friends. He was looking around for a position, and I know I offered him one—in fact, we might go to the records and find temporarily he might have been on my payroll for a few weeks. But I have always had the highest regard for Paul Wolfowitz.

That is why I referred to him. I had their sayings and everything else. But let me go, diverting for a minute, right to the Project For The New American Century. I have a letter that was written on May 29, 1998, to Newt Gingrich, the Speaker, Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader. These are the gentlemen who said this: We would use U.S. and allied military power to provide protection for liberating areas in northern and southern Iraq, and we should establish and maintain a strong U.S. military presence in the region and be prepared to use that force to protect our vital interests in the Gulf and, if necessary, to help remove Saddam from power.

And that is signed by—and I want everybody to remember these names—Elliot Abrams, William J. Bennett, Jeffrey Bergner, John R. Bolton, Paula Dobriansky, Francis Fukuyama, Robert Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, William Kristol, Richard Perle, Peter Rodman, Donald Rumsfeld, William Schneider, Jr., Vin Weber, Paul Wolfowitz, James Woolsey, Robert B. Zoellick. There is a studied school of thought of the best way to secure Israel. We have been going for years back and forth with every particular administration, you can see where we are now.

But in any event, the better way to do it is go right in and establish our predominance in Iraq and then, as they say, and I have different articles here I could refer to, next is Iran and then Syria. And it is the domino theory, and they genuinely believe it. I differ. I think, frankly, we have caused more terrorism than we have gotten rid of. That is my Israel policy. You can't have an Israel policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here. I have followed them mostly in the main, but I have also resisted signing certain letters from time to time, to give the poor President a chance.

I can tell you no President takes office—I don't care whether it is a Republican or a Democrat—that all of a sudden AIPAC will tell him exactly what the policy is, and Senators and members of Congress ought to sign letters. I read those carefully and I have joined in most of them. On some I have held back. I have my own idea and my own policy. I have stated it categorically.

The way to really get peace is not militarily. You cannot kill an idea militarily. I was delighted the other day when General Myers appeared before our Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense and he said that we will not win militarily in Iraq. He didn't say we are going to get defeated militarily but that you can't win militarily in Iraq.

The papers are the ones that pointed out Wolfowitz, Pearle, and Charles Krauthammer were of the Jewish faith. They are the ones who brought all this Semitism in there. I can tell you that right now, I didn't have that in mind. I had my friends in mind and I followed them. We had this in the late 1990s under President Clinton, when we passed a resolution that we ought to have Saddam removed from power, have a regime change. I was wondering how it went. I had to find my old file on this — Project For The New American Century.

Now, going back to my article, I wrote: "every President since 1947 has made a futile attempt to help Israel negotiate peace. But no leadership has surfaced amongst the Palestinians that can make a binding agreement. President Bush realized his chances at negotiation were no better. He came to office imbued with one thought reelection."

I say that advisedly. I have been up here with eight Presidents. We have had support of all eight Presidents. Yes, I supported the President on this Iraq resolution, but I was misled. There weren't any weapons, or any terrorism, or al-Qaida. This is the reason we went to war. He had one thought in mind, and that was reelection. I say that about President Bush. He is a delightful fella, a wonderful campaigner, but he loves campaigning. You cannot get him in the White House or catch him there, hardly. He doesn't work on these problems at all.

I have worked with all of the Presidents. I know the leadership goes to the White House and tries to work with him. He is interested in one thing, and that is to be out campaigning. So he had one thought in mind, and that was reelection.

Again, let me read: "Bush thought tax cuts would hold his crowd together and that spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote from the Democrats."

Is there anything wrong with referring to the Jewish vote? Good gosh, every one of us of the 100, with pollsters and all, refer to the Jewish vote. That is not anti-Semitic. It is appreciating them. We campaigned for it.

I just read about President Bush's appearance before the AIPAC. He confirmed his support of the Jewish vote, referring to adopting Ariel Sharon's policy, and the dickens with the 1967 borders, the heck with negotiating the return of refugees, the heck with the settlements he had objected to originally. They had those borders, Resolution No. 242—no, no, President Bush said: I am going along with Sharon, and he was going to get that and he got the wonderful reception he got with the Jewish vote. There is nothing like politicizing or a conspiracy, as my friend from Virginia, Senator Allen, says—that it is an anti-Semitic, political, conspiracy statement.

That is not a conspiracy. That is the policy. I didn't like to keep it a secret, maybe; but I can tell you now, I will challenge any one of the other 99 Senators to tell us why we are in Iraq, other than what this policy is here. It is an adopted policy, a domino theory of The Project For The New American Century.

Everybody knows it because we want to secure our friend, Israel. If we can get in there and take it in 7 days, as Paul Wolfowitz says, then we would get rid of Saddam, and when we got rid of Saddam, now all they can do is fall back and say: Aren't you getting rid of Saddam?

Let me get to that point. What happens is, they say he is a monster. We continued to give him aid after he gassed his own people and everything else of that kind. George Herbert Walker Bush said in his book All The Best in 1999, never commit American GIs into an unwinnable urban guerrilla war and lose the support of the Arab world, lose their friendship and support. That is a general rephrasing of it.

The point is, my authority is the President's daddy. I want everybody to know that. I don't apologize for this column. I want them to apologize to me for talking about anti-Semitism. They are not getting by with it. I will come down here every day—I have nothing else to do—and we will talk about it and find out what the policy is.

Let me go back to this particular column: But George Bush, as stated by former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and others, started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days before the Inauguration.

There is no question, he got a briefing. That was the first thing he wanted out of former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen. Then the nominee, about to take the oath of office as President of the United States, wanted to be briefed on Iraq. They had this policy in mind coming to town. Mr. President, 9/11 had nothing to do with it, and we all know it now. We have to understand it because that is the only way really to help Israel and get us out of the soup. Everybody is worrying about Iraq. We better worry about Israel because we certainly have put her in terrible jeopardy with this particular initiative.

Without any Iraq connection to 9/11, within weeks President Bush had the Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq. He was determined. President Bush thought taking Iraq would be easy. Wolfowitz said it would take only 7 days. Vice President Cheney believed that we would be greeted as liberators, but Cheney's man, Chalabi, made a mess of de-Baathification of Iraq by dismissing Republican Guard leadership and Sunni leaders who soon joined with the insurgents.

Worst of all, we tried to secure Iraq with too few troops. In 1966 in South Vietnam, with a population of 16 million, General William C. Westmoreland, with 535,000 U.S. troops, was still asking for more troops. In Iraq, with a population of 25 million, General John Abizaid, with only 135,000 troops, can barely secure the troops, much less the country. If the troops are there to fight, there are too few. If they are there to die, there are too many. To secure Iraq we need more troops, at least 100,000 more. The only way to get the United Nations back in Iraq is to make the country secure. Once back, the French, Germans, and others will join with the U.N. to take over.

With President Bush's domino policy in the Mideast gone awry, he can't keep shouting "Terrorism war." Terrorism is a method, not a war. We don't call the Crimean war, with the charge of the light brigade, the cavalry war, or World War II the blitzkrieg war. There is terrorism in Northern Ireland, there is terrorism in India, and in Pakistan. In the Mideast, terrorism is a separate problem, to be defeated by diplomacy and negotiation, not militarily.

Here, might does not make right. Right makes might. Acting militarily we have created more terrorism than we have eliminated.

The title of this article is "Bush's failed Mideast policy is creating more terrorism," and, I could add, jeopardizing the security of Israel.

They say: He talks like a big fan of Israel. I am. I have a 38-year track record. I will never forget some 34 years ago meeting with David Ben-Gurion. He talked about little Israel, less than 3 million at that time in a sea of 100 million.

Let's say Israel has 5 million people there now, but there are 150 million Muslims surrounding it. If you punch the particular buzzer I did with Yitzhak Rabin one day down on the Negev to scramble the air force, I think it was 21 seconds they were up in the air, and in a minute's time, they were outside over Jordan.

Militarily, Israel is a veritable aircraft carrier. You can hardly fly and you are out of the country, and everybody has to understand that. You cannot play the numbers game Sharon plays. He thinks he can do it militarily.

I want to remind you, it was in that 6-day war—the book is "Six Days of War" by Michael Oren. Look on page 151, and Major Ariel Sharon says: Look, we are going to decimate the Egyptian army and you will not hear from Egypt again for several generations. And Levi Eshkol, the Prime Minister, on page 152 says: "Militarily victory decides nothing. The Arabs will still be here."

That is my theme. I have watched it over the years. You have to learn not to kill together, but to live together. The finest piece I ever read was right in this morning's paper. There is still hope. I refer to an article: "Israeli Arabs Exalting in a Rare Triumph." There are a million Israeli Arabs. They won a soccer match in Tel Aviv. The majority of the team was of Israeli heritage, and they held an Israeli flag, if you can imagine that in the political United States of America. They are living together. Every Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion has realized that fact: that they have to learn to live together. They all moved, and they almost had it under Ehud Barak and President Clinton. Arafat proved he did not want peace. He did not accept it. That was our one chance.

Unfortunately, rather than working on that one chance and continuing, Ariel Sharon went in their face at Temple Mount, the intifada started, and he has been killing 10 to 1. He plays the numbers game, almost like we had in Vietnam. He thinks he can eliminate by moving the ball some, getting some more settlements, bulldozing a house, but he is creating terrorism.

I had a headline the other day. When I saw it, I showed it to my staff. I said: You all come in here, I want to ask you something. "Israel plans to destroy more Gaza dwellings." You see that headline? I asked staff members: Suppose they bulldoze your daddy's home. Wouldn't you want to cut their throat? They said: In a New York minute.

How do you create terrorists? Where is the front line in the so-called war on terrorism? I learned the answer recently on a trip I was on with the distinguished chairman of the Appropriations Committee and the chairman of the Armed Services Committee. We talked for over an hour with the King of Jordan. He finally cautioned at the very end, when we stood up, he said: You have to settle this Israel-Palestine question. That is the only way to get on top of this. We went over to Kuwait to the Prime Minister when he got through, he said: You have to settle the Israel-Palestine situation. I will quote Mr. Musharraf, the President of Pakistan. When we got there, he cautioned if you can settle the Israel-Palestine question, terrorism will disappear around the world.

Then we came in on a Friday evening to make a little courtesy call with the French. The distinguished Senator from Virginia with Lafayette—and I have slept in Lafayette's bed over there in Richmond, VA, and I helped with that particular thing because I believe and remember the French help. I will never forget—everybody is going to the 60th anniversary of D-Day, but I was at the 50th anniversary and we went over to Ste-Mere-Eglise, where a major, who was a Citadel graduate, had broken through the line and saved us from having to leave the beachhead and go back to England. They made a movie of it. A shell burst killed him. They laid him down on their side. He is buried on the side of the chapel.

We went to the services. We had talks there. This little old lady came. She was about 80 years old, walking with a cane. I was listening to the mayor, and she pulled my jacket and she said: Thank you, Yank. If you had not come we would be goose-stepping. I turned to her and I said, thank you, madam, because if you had not come, we would still be a colony.

The majority of the troops on the field at Yorktown with the surrender of Cornwallis were French troops. We had French troops that helped us get this so-called freedom. All this anti-French stuff, do not give me french fries and everything else, is crazy.

I was proud to appear with the Senator from Virginia. But Chirac, he said, look, we have to have western solidarity. We have to work together now and we have to watch this competition from China in the Far East, and we in the western world have to stick together. He said he wanted to help in Iraq, but he needed a U.N. resolution to cover. He said what we have to do is do something about Israel and Palestine. I said, what would you do? He said, I would put in a peacekeeping force. I said, would French troops come? He said, French troops would come immediately. We would be part of it and we would separate them from killing each other every day.

My position is, and I believe in this particular policy as strongly as I know how, might does not make right, but right makes might. We have lost our evenhanded posture and reputation in the Mideast. We are in worse off shape with Israel, our principal interest in the gulf. Sharon has not helped us at all. We see him going back and forth. They say, oh, no, it is negotiation. But we are throwing over the United States-Israel policy of some 35 years insofar as negotiating the settlements and the refugees. We are saying forget about all of that, let Sharon keep bulldozing them. Now in the morning paper on the front page one sees the killing of children, they are saying, we are defending Israel. That is the U.S. policy. That is not just Israel's policy.

They are coming in there with U.S. equipment, U.S. gun helicopters, U.S. tanks that are bulldozing. That is our policy. That is the reason for 9/11, whend Osama said, I do not like American troops in Saudi Arabia, get the infidel out. That is why they went right into that thing. Where do you think we get all this talk about hate America? I do not buy that stuff. I have traveled the world. They love Americans.

Recently we met with the Ambassadors of Germany and France, and Britain in our policy committee and they said the young people are disillusioned. They always look to the United States for the moral position and taking and defending that particular position. They do not look there anymore.

We are losing the terrorism war because we thought we could do it militarily under the domino policy of President Bush, going into Iraq. That is my point. That is not anti-Semite or whatever they say in here about people's faith and ethnicity. I never referred to any faith. I should have added those other names from the Project For The New American Century, but I picked out the names I had quotes for. And for space, I left other things out.

Mr. President, on May 12 of this year, I had printed in the RECORD the article in its entirety.

This particular op-ed piece appeared in the Post and Courier. Never would they have thought, having read it, if it was anti-Semitic, that they would have ever put it in there. Nor would the Knight Ridder newspapers in Columbia, SC. Nor would the Metro Media newspapers in Greenville, SC. But the Anti-Defamation League picked it up and now they have given it to my good friend, Senator Allen of Virginia. I have his particular admonition how I am anti-Semitic and I cannot let that stay there.

My staff knew I was coming over and waiting my turn in order to talk under the Pastore rule. I know I am as vitally interested as anybody can be about this issue. Our distinguished colleague from Washington, Senator Cantwell, knows this subject backward and forward.

The reason I had not known or gotten all fired up is I have been doing some other work and South Carolina has already looked to me for everything at that Savannah River plant. I am on the Energy Appropriations Subcommittee and we have gotten all the money—do not worry about money. This is a policy of nuclear waste disposal, high-level waste, being reclassified under an end-around-end deal of trying to make it low-level waste and, as Senator Cantwell says, pouring in some sand and concrete on top of it. The scientists say, watch out, the remains in these tanks are 50 percent as deadly and dangerous as the entire tank container.

Back to Saddam, everybody is glad we have gotten rid of Saddam, but we can see what has happened. There is an old saying we learned in World War II that no matter how well the gun is aimed, if the recoil is going to kill the gun crew, you do not fire.

Did this White House and administration ever think of the recoil? It severely injured the gun crew. Yes, ordinarily to get rid of Saddam, like they put a missile on the intelligence head, they could have put a missile on him any time they wanted, but they did not want to do that. They wanted the domino policy to ensue.

No, no, getting rid of Saddam was not worth almost 800 dead GIs and over 3,500 maimed for life. Some say every time we want to criticize the policy, we are weakening the GIs. I am strengthening the GIs. I said let's get enough in there so they can secure themselves. We have 135,000 now. A third of those are guarding the other third, and that means leaving a third, 35,000 or 40,000 troops, running out like a fire drill to any particular trouble and coming back in and eating. I have been there. You can see it in Rafah. They are building a big old thing like in Kosovo, where we hunker down and act like we are in charge of Kosovo. The Albanians are in charge of Kosovo.

You can't force-feed democracy. It has to come from within. We helped liberate Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, 60-some years ago, and Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia have not opted for democracy, nor has Libya, nor has Egypt, nor has Lebanon, nor has Syria, nor has Iraq, nor has Iran, nor has Afghanistan, nor has Pakistan, nor has Jordan, nor has Yemen, nor has Aden, nor has Saudi Arabia, nor has the United Arab Emirates.

Come on. So we have to go out and not speak sense with respect to policy, and when you want to talk about policy, they say it is anti-Semitic. Well, come on the floor, let's debate it. Because my friend from Virginia admonishes me. Referring to me he says, "I suggest he should learn from history before making accusations." I didn't make any accusations. I stated facts. That is their policy. That is not my policy.

Mind you me, when we went into Iraq, the only people in the world who favored that policy were the people of the United States and the people of Israel. The people of Jordan, Iraq, Britain, Spain, Poland, Italy, Japan, everywhere around the world said you just don't invade a sovereign country no matter how bad the rascal is. We have Kim Jong of North Korea—he has weapons of mass destruction, but we don't do anything there.

Don't give me this about how we saved this and we did this or did that. We have to sort of learn that the front line now is not the Pentagon but the State Department. We have to work through diplomacy. We live in a global economy and a global world. That is only going to come about economically, politically, diplomatically, and by negotiations.

The United States, until this invasion and this domino policy for Israel—don't tell me it is otherwise, about spreading democracy. They know what they are talking about. They are insisting on it. It is not a Jewish policy or a Semite policy. It is their domino policy. That is exactly what it is. But they know how to make you tuck tail and run. Not the Senator from South Carolina. We don't run, we don't win, we are not right, we are wrong a lot of times, but I have thought this out as thoroughly as I know how, and it worries me that here we are.

I said after we got into that thing in Vietnam with the Gulf of Tonkin—I came there at that particular time, in 1966, went to Vietnam when we were under fire three times—actually over into Cambodia before and that kind of thing. We finally came up with McNamara writing a book saying he was wrong.

I'll never forget, McNamara comes out to Allie Richenberg near Saint Albans to get his tennis lesson at 7 o'clock, and Bob Mcnamara turned to Allie and said, "Allie, what do you think about my book?" He said, "It's as bad as your backhand. You should not have written it."

But we had to wait 20 years for that one, and we killed 58,000 Americans. Now we have killed almost 800, maimed for life thousands of others. Are we going to just continue on?

What would the Senator from South Carolina do if I were king for a day? Yes, I would put the troops in to get security, and I would step up the election. I can tell you right now, I have run for all kind of offices, 20-some statewide offices and campaigns. But don't put me in on that temporary coalition. That fellow, El Baradei, who is running around the United Nations to get a temporary coalition or government to turn power over to on June 30—don't put me in that. I immediately have to repudiate the United States, that I am not a stooge for the United States. We just have our fingers crossed that we can hold law and order so we can have an election. But don't wait until 2005, or December; by September 30, let's get that election going.

Let's realize we are in real trouble. Saudi Arabia is in trouble. Israel is in trouble. The United States is in trouble. I am going to state what I believe to be the fact. In fact, I believe it very strongly. They just are whistling by on account of the pressures that we get politically. Nobody is willing to stand up and say what is going on.

It was a mistake like Vietnam. We got misled with the Gulf of Tonkin, we got misled here, and we are in that quagmire. "Municipal guerrilla war and a quagmire," that says George Herbert Walker Bush. I will end on my authority—President George Herbert Walker Bush said: Never commit U.S. troops into an unwinnable urban guerrilla war and turn off the Arab world. Look in that book of his and you will see exactly what I am talking about. He is not anti-Semitic. He is sensible. He didn't go in.

Yes, Colin Powell, General Powell said if you are going in, let's have enough troops. They tried to do it on the cheap. They were ill advised. My friend Paul Wolfowitz said you will do it in 7 days. Come on. And they let the Republican Guard back into the city of Baghdad and into the Sunni triangle, and the next thing you know, when Chalabi, who has now been demoted or set aside—he did away with their leadership and everything, so they got turned off and they buddied up with the insurgents, and now we have hell on our hands. Everybody knows that.

So it has been ill prepared, ill advised, and ill administered. The entire thing is a mess. Don't give me "support the troops, support the troops." I have been with troops, about 3 years in combat, so don't tell me about troops. I have always supported the troops.

You ask how many Senators have gotten a Woodward Award from the U.S. Army. They don't give that out lightly. I have been with every Secretary of Defense until this one, and I think he is brilliant, but I think he has made a mistake going along with this domino policy. We have it now out on the table, and we will all talk about it, and we will be around and ready to debate it.

I appreciate the colleagues yielding to me. I wish I had all the time to put all these articles in. I want to thank—and I am going to sit here and support my friend from Washington. She has done a magnificent job stating what the issue is.

It is simply under the auspices of an accelerated disposal plan going around end to reclassify—and it is around end. I had not heard anything about it. I have been handling everything at Savannah River for 30 some years. I called up the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control—DHEC—and they were adamantly opposed and gave me the brief they signed a few weeks ago adamantly opposing it, with the assistant attorney general's name on it. They say this is DHEC policy. I talked to two members of DHEC and they said it was never brought up at their meetings. They do not know anything about it.

So, yes, it is a little rider for one special State that is injurious not only to the State itself—I say that advisedly—but also to the United States.

By Ori Nir And Ami Eden
** Lowey: Bush's Policies Increasing Danger to Jews Around the World **
28 May 2004 (subscribers only)
The simmering debate over the role of Jewish neoconservatives in drawing America into war in Iraq erupted with new fury this week. One of America's most respected ex-generals took to the airwaves to charge on CBS News' "60 Minutes" that the war had been fought for Israel's benefit, just days after a similar charge was leveled on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The retired general, Anthony Zinni, a past chief of the U.S. Central Command and President Bush's former Middle East special envoy, told "60 Minutes" on Sunday that the neoconservatives' role in pushing the war for Israel's benefit was "the worst-kept secret in Washington." Three days earlier, Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, a South Carolina Democrat, rose on the Senate floor to defend a newspaper essay he had written earlier in the month making the same charge. Both men complained that they had been unfairly labeled antisemitic for speaking out.

Their comments come just weeks after the United Nations' special envoy to Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, called Israel a "poison in the region" and said that American support for Israeli policies was making his job more difficult. In the face of these mounting criticisms, a leading Jewish Democrat on Capitol Hill, Rep. Nita Lowey of New York, told the *Forward* that the president's policies were increasing the danger to Jews across the world. "We are very worried about the rise of antisemitism internationally," said Lowey in an interview Monday with the *Forward*. She argued that disdain for the president and his policies has "stirred up" antisemitic feelings worldwide. "It's a real concern for me as a Jewish member
of Congress."

Lowey's comments drew sharp criticisms from officials at the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress. "That's absurd," said the ADL's national director, Abraham
Foxman, when informed of Lowey's comments. "It's worse than blaming the victim. It's blaming someone who stands up for the victim." David Twersky, the director of international
programs at the American Jewish Congress, also objected, telling the *Forward*: "Without being partisan about it, I am appalled that anyone should attribute the rise of antisemitism in the Islamic world, and separately in Western Europe, to George Bush's policies in the Middle East."

One Democratic activist, who asked not to be identified, defended Lowey's comments: "There is certainly a strong stream within the party, and particularly among progressives
— and many Jews are progressives — that George Bush's inability to play well with others and his inability to think diplomatically and multinationally ... has increased world hatred of the United States. There are many in the Arab world who believe that America is run by and owned by Jews. So it is not that hard to get from A to B. I tend to think that any independent analyst would tend to say the same thing. So why try to give [Bush] the benefit of the doubt? If he could connect these dots it would modify his behavior and make him think more diplomatically."

The Bush administration also was portrayed as reckless by Gen. Anthony Zinni during his interview with "60 Minutes," in which he said it "was the worst-kept secret in Washington" that neoconservatives had sold Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on a plan to
democratize the Middle East. Those remarks drew criticisms from officials at both the National Jewish Democratic Council and the Republican Jewish Coalition.

Just three days before Zinni's interview was broadcast, Hollings took to the Senate floor to defend his little-noticed claim earlier this month that Bush sent the country to war in order to win Jewish votes and protect Israel, after consulting with Deputy Secretary of Defense
Paul Wolfowitz, Under Secretary of Defense Douglas Feith and Richard Perle, the former chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board. In his May 20 floor speech, Hollings also
blasted the policies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the influence of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the lobbying powerhouse in Washington known as Aipac.
"You can't have an Israel policy other than what Aipac gives you around here," Hollings said. "I have followed them mostly in the main, but I have also resisted signing certain letters from time to time, to give the poor president a chance."

Hollings said he was motivated by a concern for Israel, which he insisted has been threatened by the turmoil in Iraq. But the South Carolina senator drew sharp criticism
from Jewish communal leaders, Jewish political activists from both parties, and Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including Senator John Kerry (Please see story on Page 4).
Foxman sent Hollings a letter May 14 arguing that the senator's remarks were "reminiscent of age-old, antisemitic canards about a Jewish conspiracy to control and manipulate the government."

During his floor speech, Hollings spoke angrily about critics who raised such claims. "I won't apologize," Hollings declared during a May 20 speech from the Senate floor. "I want them to apologize to me."

Zinni sounded a similar note in his "60 Minutes" interview, complaining that he was "called antisemitic" for writing an article in which he mentioned Bush's neoconservative
advisers."I mean, you know, unbelievable that that's the kind of personal attacks that are run when you criticize a strategy and those who propose it," Zinni said. "I certainly didn't
criticize who they were. I certainly don't know what their ethnic religious backgrounds are. And I'm not interested."

My own thoughts on these matters (AW):

I think that the Project for a New American Century was indeed at the heart of the Bush Administration's decision to attack Iraq.

PNAC's theorists became key actors in the Bush Administration, and their outlook became official US/ Bush policy. They are not really Republicans. They called themselves "the Vulcans." I call them the Dominator Party. War. Torture. Despoiling and poisoning the Earth. Invading human rights and civil liberties. Invading the privacy of citizens while hiding the acts of government. Stealing from the poor to enrich the super-rich. All policies of Domination.

Their decision for war had nothing to do with Iraqi weapons of mass destruction or Iraqi connections with Al Qaeda . Neither of those existed. Citing them was merely the way to win support from an America traumatized by 9/11.

And it had nothing to do with Saddam's being a brutal dictator. The US has worked with dozens of brutal dictators in the last 50 years, including Saddam Hussein himself when he was fighting Iran.

The Dominator Party focused on securing US domination of the world, including the power to prevent any other state/s from even beginning to challenge that domination.

To do that, the US would need to control the broader Middle East. It is the key source of the most crucial strategic commodity in the world — oil. And world oil reserves are tapering off.

When the PNAC theorists talked about "democratizing" the Middle East, they meant installing governments "friendly" to the US. Supportive of US policy. (Remember how enraged they were when democratic pressures in France, Germany, Turkey, and Spain brought their governments to oppose the US war against Iraq.)

And the closest US ally in the Middle East was Israel.

In Israel, not only the right-wing government but also many other Israelis saw Iraq looming as a long-range danger to Israel.

But Israel could not attack Iraq on its own, without inflaming even more hostility against Israel. So these Israelis saw an American attack on Iraq as good for Israel, and indeed Israel was the only nation in the world where an overwhelming proportion of the population supported the US war.

The PNAC theorists ALSO had strong connections with Israeli right-wing politicians. For them, "supporting Israel" did not mean supporting the Israel of Rabin or Sarid or Aloni or Peace Now.

Their basic approach to life and politics — domination by military means — powered BOTH their support of right-wing Sharonista Israeli policies toward the Palestinians and their support for US efforts to dominate the world.

At minimum, these two drives for domination worked in tandem, independent of each other — until they converged in policy toward Iraq.

It is also possible that the "Dominator Party" consciously believed that the two outlooks strengthened each other: that they supported US domination of the world and especially the Middle East as a boon to Israel, and supported Israeli direct occupation of the Palestinians and its military dominance over most of the Middle East as a boon to the US.

So the strongest American supporters of the right-wing Sharon government became strong supporters of a US attack on Iraq. Who were such people? The "Christian right," for its own theological reasons, and right-wing American Jews.

Even the many American Jews who supported middle-of-the-road Israeli thought and politics felt tugged toward the view that nullifying Iraq as a threat to Israel was a good idea.

So here is where motives and goals get tangled.

I do not think the PNAC "Dominator Party" that became so crucial in the Bush Administration chose the war against Iraq simply to benefit Israel. I think they chose war because they thought the occupation of Iraq would make US domination of the world much easier — AND they thought it would strengthen Israel's ability to dominate its neighbors, which ALSO, they thought, would strengthen the ability of the US to dominate the world.

Both strands of their outlook flowed from their basic view that military power is trumps, that the world's one military superpower can control the world.

They were wrong. Their arrogance bred stupidity, because the arrogant ignore all versions of reality except the one that confirms their arrogance.

They thought Iraq was easily conquerable. They were wrong.

They ignored the central teaching of all spiritual traditions: Arrogance leads to self-destruction, whether in individuals or nations. Pharaoh's army is drownded. The Cross defeats and transforms the Empire. God and Mohammed triumph over the powerful bosses who drove him out of Mecca.

So to the degree that Senator Hollings and General Zinni think the PNAC Dominator Party were solely motivated by a desire to protect Israel, I think their assessment is incorrect.

Does that mean I think their assessment is anti-Semitic?


I am sure there are some anti-Semites who, now that the Iraq war turns out to have been a disaster born of arrogant self-delusion, are glad to blame it on "the Jews."

But that does not mean that someone who looks at the evidence and sees a desire to support Israel as the main, or even the sole, reason for the war is anti-Semitic.

Once the Jewish people decided to create a Jewish nation-state and to enter cock-fight of international politics, we took on the sour as well as the sweet.

We take on the machinations all nation-states perform, and we become subj

Jewish and Interfaith Topics: