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by America Firster
Thursday, Oct. 16, 2003 at 7:50 PM
Bush JINSA/PNAC Neocons Follow "A Clean Break" for War with Syria
Please review the "A Clean Break" mention below as it is very important because it is the blueprint for further war in the Middle East for the JINSA/PNAC Neocon agenda which is mentioned in the following article by Robert Fisk (whom I saw speak in Berkeley last Thursday night):
Here is the "Men from JINSA and CSP" article (by Jason Vest) which Fisk mentions in the above article (so why haven't we seen Jason Vest interviewed on "Hardball" as I have the contact information for him as well):
Please Read about "A Clean Break" in this article by Justin Raimondo:
Also, read about it in this article:
Pentagon official (JINSA/PNAC Zionist Extremist Richard Perle): US may take action against Syria
10/14/03: (ASSOCIATED PRESS) Pentagon adviser Richard Perle said Tuesday that the recent Israeli attack on an alleged training camp for Palestinian militants in Syria was long overdue and that he would not rule out U.S. military action against the Arab state.
Perle, a close adviser to U.S. President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, spoke at a Jerusalem conference of conservatives from the United States and Israel.
"President Bush transformed the American approach to terrorism on Sept. 11, 2001, when he said he will not distinguish between terrorists and the states who harbor them," Perle said.
"I was happy to see that Israel has now taken a similar step in responding to acts of terror that originate in Lebanese territory by going to the rulers of Lebanon in Damascus."
Israel has said the training camp it targeted in an Oct. 5 airstrike was used by Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian militant group that had carried out a suicide bombing in the Israeli port city of Haifa two days earlier, killing 20 people.
Israel has accused Syria of allowing Palestinian militant groups to train and operate from its territory. The Israeli air strike was the first attack on Syrian soil in three decades.
Perle said he hoped the air strike reflected a new Israeli policy similar to the Bush doctrine.
"We have problems with the Syrians who continue to support terrorism. We have to find a way to get them to stop," Perle later told The Associated Press.
Asked whether this would include possible U.S. military action against Syria, he said: "Everything's possible."
Perle said it would not be difficult to commit forces to Syria despite heavy U.S. troop commitments to Iraq and the Korean peninsula, along with a continued presence in areas such as the Balkans and Liberia.
"Syria is militarily very weak," he said.
Perle stepped down from his position as chair of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board this spring, following allegations that he had used his position with the Pentagon to further business deals in Singapore and the United States. He is still a member of the board.
Perle said that the Bush administration's "road map" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians by 2005 had failed, but that he supported the ideas Bush introduced in a speech on June 24, 2002.
In that speech, Bush outlined his vision for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, and called for a change in Palestinian leadership.
The Night After (about the JINSA/PNAC Cabal in the current Bush regime) by Israeli Uri Avnery:
Dual Loyalities in the Current Bush Regime (by former CIA):
Here is more on Fisk:
Fisk articles are accessed via subscribtion via www.independent.co.uk as he writes for the London Independent newspaper, but they can be accessed for free at www.nzherald.co.nz
Sharon stirs up conflict in pursuit of Greater Israel policy
By Jean Shaoul
15 October 2003
Israel has taken an unprecedented series of measures designed to widen the sphere of conflict beyond the West Bank and Gaza. They are aimed at heightening tensions with its neighbours, Syria and Lebanon, provoking a conflict that can be used as a pretext to launch a supposedly defensive campaign as a cover for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's expansionist policy.
Defence Minister Shaoul Mofaz has moved troops up to Israel's northern border with Lebanon. This follows the death of an Israeli soldier on border patrol near Israel's most northern town of Metullah.
While Israel blamed Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese group, for the attack, Hezbollah denied any involvement in the incident. The Lebanese authorities said that Israeli troops had made an unprovoked attack on two vehicles on a road in the south of the country. The following day, Israel sent jets and helicopter gunships over the border, killing a four-year-old Lebanese boy in the village of Houla.
These events follow hard on the heels of Israel's provocative bombing of Ain Saheb, a Palestinian refugee camp, north west of Damascus, in Syria. The air strike that flattened part of the camp was the first direct attack on Syria for 30 years.
No one should be taken in by Sharon's claim that it was in retaliation for the suicide attack on a Haifa restaurant that killed 20 people and wounded a further 60. The Haifa bombing was carried by a young woman from Jenin in the West Bank in revenge for the deaths last June of her brother and cousin, killed by Israeli troops in their pursuit of Islamic Jihad. She had no connection with the refugee camp at Ain Saheb.
The attack is a signal that Syria is now firmly within Israel's sights and that Israel has the power to hit at targets deep inside the country. "Israel will not be deterred from protecting its citizens and will strike its enemies in every place and in every way," said Sharon at a memorial service for Israeli soldiers killed during the 1973 war.
Sharon acts in the knowledge that he has been given a green light by the Bush administration. Syria has sought a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the raid as an unprovoked attack and an illegal act against another state, but this was blocked by Washington which has signally failed to condemn Israel. President George W. Bush told reporters in Washington that he had telephoned Sharon and told him, "Like I have consistently done, that Israel's got a right to defend itself, that Israel must not feel constrained in defending the homeland."
Bush's statement will tell Sharon and his right-wing backers that Israel's actions against Syria are deemed to be consistent with America's own intentions in the Middle East and a threat that Syria could meet the same fate as Iraq if it does not cut off all lines of support to the Palestinians-real or imagined.
Israel responded with an announcement that states "harbouring terrorists" were legitimate targets. Foreign Ministry spokesman Gideon Meir said, "Israel views every state harbouring terrorist organisations and the leaders of those terrorist organisations who are attacking innocent citizens of the state of Israel as legitimate targets out of self defence."
It has sent a map purporting to pinpoint "Palestinian terror networks" in Damascus to the press. Israel has in effect served notice that it intends to exploit the excuse used by the US and Britain to launch their criminal war against Iraq to justify whatever military attacks it sees fit.
Hezbollah's general secretary, Syyed Hassan Nasrallah, has responded by warning that it will retaliate if there are more raids on either Syria or Lebanon.
Sharon has long sought to get the US to eliminate his regional rivals, particularly Iraq and Iran, or allow Israel to do so. The war on Iraq, the general talk of a "war against terror" and the citing of Iran and Syria as part of Bush's "axis of evil" have spurred on Sharon's ambitions. Washington has on occasion acted to restrain Sharon, but the Bush administration's reluctance to support him was only tactical because of the need to maintain the support of the Arab regimes.
Sharon has settled on provocations against Syria as the best way of escalating the situation. More importantly from Sharon's perspective, outside of a political conflict with Syria and an invasion of Lebanon, where Syria is the chief power broker, Sharon's project of a Greater Israel is simply not possible.
Anyone who has the slightest familiarity with Sharon's bloody record will recognise his political strategy. Sharon was after all the architect of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
That invasion, which led to the bombing and siege of Beirut, the expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organisation and the atrocities at Sabra and Shatilla, was also presented as a defensive reaction to Palestinian raids on Israel's northern towns. It was prepared through numerous provocations against the Palestinians and Lebanon and was designed to torpedo an earlier peace plan that recognised Israel's right to exist and called for a Palestinian state in the territories occupied by Israel since the 1967 war.
Then as now, such a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cut across Israel's plans, only partially implemented in the June 1967 war, to expand its borders to the Litani River. Such "natural" boundaries would be easier to defend and give Israel access to the headwaters of the Jordan River. It was to take 18 years before Israel finally pulled out of Lebanon. But 21 years after the siege of Beirut, as far as Sharon is concerned, Lebanon is still unfinished business.
It was Sharon who, in September 2000, incited the present intifada by entering the Temple Mount with a huge armed entourage. That too was a deliberate provocation aimed at scuppering any final chance of salvaging the 1993 Oslo Accords and expanding the settlements on the West Bank.
More recently, while appearing to assent to Bush's Road Map that called for negotiations for a mini Palestinian state and an immediate cessation of the intifada by the Palestinians, Sharon mounted one provocative attack after another in order to torpedo even a truncated Palestinian state on land that his political constituents, Israel's ultra-nationalists, claimed as their own.
Likewise, in the name of security, he has built a "security wall" that cuts deep into the occupied West Bank, effectively seizing control of large swathes of Palestinian land and confining the Palestinians to a humiliating and squalid ghetto existence.
Regarding Lebanon and Syria, this is not the first occasion in recent times that Israel has upped the ante. In September 2002, Sharon raised the political temperature by threatening military action against Lebanon if it diverted the waters of the Wazzani and Hasbani rivers, tributaries of the river Jordan that flow into Israel.
Israel also accused Syria of supplying Hezbollah militants in south Lebanon with thousands of surface-to-air missiles capable of striking northern Israeli towns and cities and demanded that Syria rein in the Islamic fundamentalist group. Hezbollah is on the US's list of proscribed terrorist organisations.
On that occasion, the US dispatched engineers and envoys to calm the situation and prevent the conflict cutting across its plans for war against Iraq. This time, at least some sections of the Bush administration view the prospect of escalating the conflict with equanimity and Sharon feels he has carte blanche to do as he pleases.
Even more ominously, within days of Israel seeking to widen the conflict, Israeli and US officials have confirmed that US-supplied Harpoon cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads are being deployed in Israel's fleet of three Dolphin-class submarines. With one submarine designated for the Persian Gulf, another for the Eastern Mediterranean and the third on standby, Israel, the region's only nuclear power, has the ability to strike not only its Arab neighbours but also Iran. The announcement is designed to browbeat Syria and Iran into meeting US-Israeli demands.
The Los Angeles Times cited officials as saying that the sea-launch capability gives Israel the ability to target Iran more easily should it develop its own nuclear weapons. In 1981, Israel, in its raid on Iraq's Osirek nuclear plant, had launched a risky, low flying mission across Jordan and Iraq in a bid to evade their radar systems. Sea power would make a similar operation very much easier.
The rising tensions among Israel's neighbours take place as Sharon has mounted a dramatic escalation in the repression of the Palestinians. Last week Defence Minister Shaoul Mofaz authorised the rapid call up of two infantry reserve battalions of 800 troops each. He has ordered the reinforcement of defensive positions and clamped down on the already draconian travel restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
On October 10 Israeli armed forces launched a massive two-day invasion of Rafah, the largest refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and home to more than 70,000 people. Eyewitnesses said that more than 40 tanks were seen pulling out of the camp on Saturday night. At first, the troops penned the Palestinians into their homes and then went in and demanded at gunpoint that the residents leave. Thirty minutes later, the tanks had bulldozed the houses. Israel claimed that the houses were used to fire on security forces or concealed tunnel entrances. Eight Palestinians, including two boys aged eight and 15, were killed and more than 50 were injured.
Peter Hansen, commissioner general for the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) who went to assess the scene said it looked as though it had been hit by an earthquake. Up to 120 homes were flattened which means, given the shortage of housing and cramped living conditions, that up to 1,500 Palestinians have been left homeless.
For Sharon and the Israeli financial elite, the stepping up of the war against the Palestinians and any military operation against an external enemy also serves another purpose: to smother the mounting class conflict at home, where strikes are a daily occurrence. Under Israeli law, putting the country on a war footing with a major call up of reservists automatically renders strike action illegal.
ISRAEL IS THE PROBLEM
Ex-Aide: Powell Misled Americans
Oct. 15, 2003: (CBS) The person responsible for analyzing the Iraqi weapons threat for Colin Powell says the Secretary of State misinformed Americans during his speech at the U.N. last winter.
Greg Thielmann tells Correspondent Scott Pelley that at the time of Powell's speech, Iraq didn't pose an imminent threat to anyone - not even its own neighbors. "…I think my conclusion [about Powell's speech] now is that it's probably one of the low points in his long distinguished service to the nation," says Thielmann.
Pelley's report will be broadcast on 60 Minutes II, Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Thielmann also tells Pelley that he believes the decision to go to war was made first and then the intelligence was interpreted to fit that conclusion. "…The main problem was that the senior administration officials have what I call faith-based intelligence," says Thielmann. "They knew what they wanted the intelligence to show. They were really blind and deaf to any kind of countervailing information the intelligence community would produce. I would assign some blame to the intelligence community and most of the blame to the senior administration officials."
Steve Allinson and a dozen other U.N. inspectors in Iraq also watched Powell's speech. "Various people would laugh at various times [during Powell's speech] because the information he was presenting was just, you know, didn't mean anything -- had no meaning," says Allinson.
Pelley asks, "When the Secretary finished the speech, you and the other inspectors turned to each other and said what?" Allinson responds, "'They have nothing.'"
Allinson gives Pelley several examples of why he believes Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction. One time, he was sent to find decontamination vehicles that turned out to be fire trucks. Another time, a satellite spotted what they thought were trucks used for biological weapons.
"We were told we were going to the site to look for refrigerated trucks specifically linked to biological agents," Allinson tells Pelley. "…We found seven or eight [trucks], I think, in total, and they had cobwebs in them. Some samples were taken and nothing was found."
Rumsfeld's Billion Slush Fund
By Fred Kaplan
10/10/03: (Slate) For all the debate over President Bush's billion supplemental request for military operations and economic reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq, no one seems to have noticed that the sum includes a slush fund of at least .3 billion, which Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld can spend pretty much as he pleases.
Last week, the congressional armed services committees-and this week the House Appropriations Committee-marked up the supplemental, excising a few hundred million that Bush had requested for new hospitals, housing, and sanitation. But the committees didn't touch a nickel of the slush fund-and there's a cravenly wink-and-nudge reason why they didn't.
Most of the supplemental request is fairly straightforward: billion to maintain the tempo of military operations, billion for military personnel, .1 billion for security and a new Iraqi army, .7 billion for electrical power, and so forth.
But deep within, the document proposes the following allowance:
Not less than .4 billion, to remain available until expended, may be used, notwithstanding any other provision of law, for payments to reimburse Pakistan, Jordan, and other key cooperating nations, for logistics, military and other support provided, or to be provided, to United States military operations.
First, look closely at those first three words: Not less than. In other words, Rumsfeld could transfer more than .4 billion for this purpose-how much more, who can say? The section goes on to say that Rumsfeld must notify the appropriate congressional committees whenever he uses any of this money, and that the payments must be made with the concurrence of the secretary of state. But otherwise, the bill emphasizes that he alone determines how to spend this money "and such determination is final and conclusive."
Another section, subtitled the "Iraq Freedom Fund," states that the secretary of defense can transfer ,988,600,000 from one part of the overall billion supplemental to any other part, again, as long as he notifies the committees when he does this. (As with the previous allowance, the committees appear to have no power to disapprove these transfers.)
Still another section reads:
Upon his determination that such action is necessary in the national interest, the Secretary of Defense may transfer between appropriations up to billion of the funds made available in this title.
Again, he "shall notify the Congress promptly of each transfer."
Another section gives Rumsfeld authority to "transfer not more than 0 million of the funds appropriated in this title to the contingency construction account … to carry out military construction projects not otherwise authorized by law." So much for pulling in the reins on Halliburton and Bechtel.
Then there is this section:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, from funds available to the Department of Defense for Operations and Maintenance in fiscal year 2004, not to exceed 0 million may be used by the Secretary of Defense, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, to provide assistance to military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other friendly nearby regional nations to enhance their capability to combat terrorism and to support U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Egregious syntax makes this one a little hard to follow, but maybe that's because the leeway it allows is quite a bit broader than in the other sections. It gives Rumsfeld the power not merely to transfer funds within the billion, but to transfer up to 0 million from the Pentagon's entire operations and maintenance budget-in other words, from programs that have nothing to do with Iraq, Afghanistan, or terrorism.
Finally, the president has a little slush fund, too. One section notes that he may transfer "any appropriation made available in this title," as long as it does "not exceed 0 million."
Add them all up: .3 billion-11 percent of the entire, already-controversial sum (and that doesn't include the expandable loophole provided by the "not less than" clause).
There is no overlap or double-counting in this calculation. Each of these separate sections explicitly notes, "The transfer authority provided in this section is in addition to any other transfer authority available to the Department of Defense" (italics added), or words to that effect.
In the supplemental document, the Pentagon offered explanations for these loopholes. Transfer accounts are "necessary due to the dynamic nature of these operations," or "to provide the flexibility needed to allocate funding to those components that are actually incurring costs," or "to help the Department address the unpredictable scope, duration, and intensity of these military operations."
Certainly postwar Iraq and Afghanistan are a lot more unpredictable than, well, the Pentagon predicted. Much of life is unpredictable. That's why budgets have supplementals. The entire billion request is officially designated "an emergency requirement." Yet much of it is broken down into specific line-items or at least general categories of spending. Is the situation really so unpredictable that more than billion of that sum-and possibly much more (the "not less than" clause)-might need to be spent in ways so quickly, and so differently from what is currently imagined, that Rumsfeld must be given the authority to move it around, from one account to another, without prior congressional approval? If the circumstances do warrant it, couldn't he simply put forth another supplemental? The present supplemental didn't run into many obstacles, despite growing criticism of the whole operation; there's no reason to fear that a subsequent one would, either.
So why have three committees of Congress essentially abrogated such a sizable chunk of their oversight powers? Mainly because they wanted to. The lawmakers can play populist politics, tossing out hundreds of millions of dollars for new Iraqi hospitals, housing, garbage trucks, and business subsidies. They can thunder that their constituents-the American people-don't get federal money for such niceties, so why should Iraqis? Meanwhile, they know that Rumsfeld can use some of the slush-fund money-the "transfer funds"-to put them back in the budget, very low key, notifying the committees but not needing their permission. Responsibility is thus eluded, electoral-politics points are gained.
The trick lets legislators avoid a few hundred million dollars' worth of potential outrage from the constituents. The price they pay, though, is that Rumsfeld gets several billion dollars of walking-around money for whatever projects in the region he may want to enrich.
Fred Kaplan writes the "War Stories" column for Slate.
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