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High Priests of War Cover Quotes/Foreward Preface Exec Summary
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THE HIGH
PRIESTS
OF WAR


. . .“If it were not for the strong support of the Jewish community for this war with Iraq, we would not be doing this. The leaders of the Jewish community are influential enough that they could change the direction of where this is going, and I think they should.”

. . .— U.S. Congressman Jim Moran (Democrat of Virginia) speaking at a public forum in his congressional district.1

. . .Despite the very public frenzy in the United States that followed these remarks by liberal Congressman Jim Moran, even the influential New York-based Jewish newspaper, Forward, was forced to admit in its Feb. 28, 2003 issue that the role of the pro-Israel lobby and its adherents who held high-level policy-making positions in the administration of President George W. Bush were increasingly becoming a topic of public discussion. Congressman Moran had simply summarized the issue in a few short but controversial remarks.
. . .Forward cited liberal American Jewish columnist Michael Kinsley who wrote on Oct. 24, 2002 that Israel’s central role in the American debate over possible war with Iraq was “the proverbial elephant in the room.” Of that elephant, Kinsley added: “Everybody sees it, no one mentions it.” Forward stated it flatly: “Kinsley was referring to a debate, once only whispered in back rooms but lately splashed in bold characters across the mainstream media, over Jewish and Israeli influence in shap-


across the mainstream media, over Jewish and Israeli influence in shap

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ing American foreign policy.”2
. . .The Jewish newspaper noted that now, even “mainstream” American publications, ranging from The Washington Post to The Economist and even broadcast outlets such as CNN and MSNBC were featuring frank and open discussion of the topic. According to Forward’s assessment:

. . .Many of these articles project an image of President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon working in tandem to promote war against Iraq. Several of them described an administration packed with conservatives motivated primarily, if not solely, by a dedication to defending Israel.
. . .A few respected voices have even touched openly on the role of American Jewish organizations in the equation, suggesting a significant shift to the right on Middle East issues and an intense loyalty to Sharon. Still others raise the notion of Jewish and Israeli influence only to attack it as anti-Semitism.3

. . .Yet, as if in confirmation of the basic thrust behind Congressman Moran’s comments, even Ari Shavit, writing on April 9, 2003 in Ha’aretz, the Israeli newspaper, declared simply: “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neo-conservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.”4
. . . In fact, as we will demonstrate, the historical record indicates — beyond question — that the then-impending war on Iraq was indeed largely the product of a long-standing — and carefully calculated and orchestrated — plan. That this plan aimed to establish an American global hegemony based upon the geopolitical aims of a small, but influential, group of policy makers inside the administration of President George W. Bush — a group tied intimately, for nearly a quarter of a century, to the grand design of a “Greater Israel,” a longtime dream of the Zionist pioneers who founded the state of Israel and whose modern-day hawkish “right wing” followers are increasingly influential in all areas of Israeli society, particularly in the government realm.
. . .This select group of Americans — now increasingly well known — describe themselves as the “neo-conservatives.” They constitute a virtual “War Party” in America. They are unabashedly admiring and supportive of the hard-line Likud bloc in Israel led by Ariel Sharon. These neo-conservatives have directed policy decisions inside the Bush administration that have essentially placed the United States of America (under President


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George W. Bush) in firm alliance with the Sharon regime in Israel.
. . .The study we are about to undertake will provide a comprehensive overview of the history and development of the neo-conservative network, naming names and linking their policies to the elements in Israel with which they are allied.
. . .But it is important to recognize that, in many respects, the policies that the neo-conservative “War Party” has been advancing are, from a historical standpoint, much at variance with the traditional American outlook. The policies of the “War Party” represent only a miniscule — albeit forceful and influential — faction in America. Philip Golub, a journalist and lecturer at the University of Paris VIII, has written of the neo-conservative strategy:

. . .The neo-conservative right has been attempting, with varying success, to establish itself as the dominant ideological force in the United States for more than 25 years, especially in the definition of foreign policy.
. . .Long thwarted by democratic process and public resistance to the national security state, it is now on the brink of success, thanks to George Bush’s disputed electoral victory in 2000, and to 11 September 2001, which transformed an accidental president into an American Caesar. President Bush has become the neo-conservative vehicle for a policy that is based on unilateralism, permanent mobilisation and “preventive war.”
. . .War and militarisation would have been impossible without 11 September, which tipped the institutional balance in favour of the new right. Apart from such opportunist motives as seizing the strategic chance to redraw the map of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, this choice reflects much more far-reaching imperial ambitions . . .
. . .This authoritarian project became feasible in the unipolar world after 1991, when the US got a monopoly on the use of force in interstate relations. But it was conceived in the 1970s, when the extremist coalition now in control was first formed.
. . .The aim is to unite the nation and secure US strategic supremacy worldwide. The instruments are war and permanent mobilization, both requiring the constant identification of new enemies and the establishment of a strong national security state, which is independent of society.5

. . .American author Michael Lind points out that the imperial dream outlined by the neo-conservative clique “was opposed by the mainstream U.S. foreign policy elite and by a majority of the American people, who

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according to polls opposed U.S. military action in Iraq and elsewhere without the support of allies and international institutions like the United Nations. The foreign policy of the radical right was enthusiastically supported by only two groups in the United States — neo-conservative policymakers and intellectuals at the elite level, and Southern Protestant voters within the mass voting public.”6
. . .Despite widespread opposition — both in the United States and cross the globe — on March 17, 2003, American President George W. Bush formally announced that a war upon Iraq was imminent. After many long months of acrimonious debate, the American president declared that the United States — allied with Britain and a handful of countries — would effectively “go it alone,” without the support of the world community.
. . .Some critics would call to attention the fact that March 17 was the eve of Purim, the traditional Jewish holiday celebrating the victory by the ancient Jewish people over their hated enemy, Haman. However, not all Jews — in America or elsewhere — lined up with the “neo-conservative” clique, even though, in fact, most of the pivotal neo-conservative leaders are indeed Jewish.

RICHARD PERLE & WILLIAM KRISTOL

. . .As American Jewish writer Stanley Heller pointed out in the days prior to the attack on Iraq: “We owe it to Americans to tell them the whole truth, that part of the war drive is being fueled by a wacko militarist clique from Israel and its interlocking bands of American Jewish and Christian supporters.”7 In addition, Professor Paul Gottfried — an American Jewish academic who calls himself a “conservative” but who objects strenuously to the activities of the self-styled “neo-Conservatives” — added, writing elsewhere:

No one who is sane is claiming that all Jews are collaborating with [neo-conservative pro-war leaders such as] Richard Perle and [William] Kristol. What is being correctly observed is a convergence of interests in which neo-conservatives have played a pivotal role. At this point they control almost all [Washington, D.C.] “conservative” think tanks, the “conservative” TV channel [pro-Zionist billionaire Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News],The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and several major presses, together with just about every magazine that claims to be conservative.8

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. . .Professor Gottfried’s comments thus introduce us to two key names that shall appear again and again in these pages: Richard Perle and William Kristol. They are perhaps the two most influential of the “War Party” neo-conservatives—by virtue of combined position, outreach and financial clout. They are the central players who have been responsible, in overwhelming part, for shaping the policies of the Bush administration that have led to the current conflict in the Middle East involving the deployment of American military forces against Iraq and the undeniably disastrous occupation which has followed.
. . .Although we shall learn much more about Perle and Kristol, a brief introduction to the two neo-conservative figures is appropriate.
. . .Often called “the Prince of Darkness,” Richard Perle (who is Jewish) has been active in pro-Israel causes in official Washington since the mid- 1970s when he was then an aide to powerful (now deceased) Sen. Henry
M. Jackson (D-Washington), a leading congressional supporter of Israel. During that period, Perle was investigated on charges of espionage for Israel. Later Perle became a lobbyist for Israeli arms interests and eventually was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to a key post in the Department of Defense.
. . .After leaving the Reagan administration, Perle remained active in Washington, DC, enmeshed in a wide variety of institutions and organizations, almost exclusively devoting his energies to advancing Israel’s cause, and particularly that of the Likud Party of Ariel Sharon. Of recent date, Perle has maintained a special affiliation with the “neo-conservative” think tank known as the American Enterprise Institute.
. . .However, when George W. Bush assumed the presidency, he named
Perle to head the Defense Policy Board, a little-known but influential advisory board. It was from this post that Perle — utilizing his multiple contacts with longtime associates named to high posts inside the Bush administration itself — began making an active drive to advance the war against Iraq.
. . .Although Perle resigned as chairman of the Defense Policy Board just days after the firing of the opening guns against Iraq — following allegations that he had conflicts of interest, stemming from his private financial business dealings that intersected with official government policies upon which he had an impact and from which he stood to personal-

66. . . . . . . . . . MICHAEL COLLINS PIPER
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ly benefit — he remained a member of the board, and certainly its most influential, until his formal resignation in March of 2004.
. . .Considering all that we now know about Perle, it may be no coincidence that as far back as 1986 it was reported that once, while on a visit to Britain, Perle was introduced during a debate with then-Labor Party leader Denis Healey as “the person in charge of World War III.”9 Some Perle critics later suggested that the gentleman who made the remarks may have been empowered with psychic abilities, considering the critical role Perle has indeed played in sparking the American war against Iraq.
. . .William Kristol (also Jewish) is equally influential, although in a different realm. As the son of an equally influential father, Irving Kristol —
once described as the “godfather” of the neo-conservative movement — the younger Kristol parlayed his father’s connections into a post as chief of staff to Vice President Dan Quayle who served under the first President Bush. But that was only Kristol’s first step in his rise to vast power.
. . .After the Bush-Quayle defeat by Bill Clinton in 1992, the younger Kristol, through his own aggressive efforts — not to mention increasingly favorable promotion of Kristol — by the major media, emerged as perhaps the best known voice of the “neo-conservative” philosophy. He became actively involved in setting up a well-funded and far-reaching public relations and information network, linked to numerous foundations and think tanks with which his father had already been associated.
. . .In addition to accepting an appointment as editor of Rupert Murdoch’s weekly national neo-conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, Kristol also founded his own organization, Project for the New American Century.
. . .As we shall see, Kristol’s own operations and activities meshed precisely — actually, interlocked — with those of Richard Perle. And as the push for war against Iraq became increasingly more bellicose after George W. Bush became president — and then, even more so after the 9- 11 terrorist attacks, which the neo-conservatives repeatedly sought to link to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein — Perle and Kristol worked ever more closely, merging their own networks of influence to the point that the neoconservative philosophy became the guiding force behind the entire Bush foreign policy making apparatus.
. . .William Kristol — along with another close colleague, Robert

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Kagan — has been the foremost publicist for the neo-conservative imperial strategy. Their book, released in the year 2000, Present Dangers: Crisis and Opportunity in American Foreign and Defense Policy, was a comprehensive statement of the neo-conservative point of view, featuring essays by Perle — of course — and an assembly of other neo-conservative “stars” associated with Kristol and Perle.
. . .In a review of the book, former British diplomat Jonathan Clark commented that: “If the book’s recommendations were implemented all at once, the U.S. would risk unilaterally fighting at least a five-front war, while simultaneously urging Israel to abandon the peace process in favour of a new no-holds-barred confrontation with the Palestinians.”10
. . .Ironically, as Michael Lind, a foremost critic of the neo-conservatives, has pointed out: “This turned out to be a prediction of the policies that the administration of George W. Bush would adopt in the following two years.”11 Lind notes: “The radical Zionist right to which [Perle and Kristol] belong is small in number but it has become a significant force in Republican policymaking circles.”12 Lind adds that the chief concern of many of those in this neo-conservative network is “the power and reputation of Israel.”13 He points out that they have waged vicious public relations campaigns against anyone who stands in their way — even including prominent and influential American military leaders who have questioned the neo-conservative policies.

THE ISRAELI CONNECTION

. . .Thus, it is clear that the pro-Israel orientation of the neo-conservatives
has been a primary matter of concern in the formulation (and conduct) of the policies they have sought to implement.
. . .And this raises the question as to how much influence the state of Israel (and its American adherents, particularly in the neo-conservative network) did indeed play in sparking the war against Iraq.
. . .As we have seen, the role of Israel in the Iraq affair was a problematic
one in terms of protecting Israel (and American Jews) from a possible backlash by many Americans who resented the idea that perhaps U.S. policy was being predicated on the interests of Israel alone.
. . .On November 27, 2002 The Washington Post reported that a group of

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American political consultants who had previously advised Israeli politicians had been hired by the Israel Project — described as “a group funded by American Jewish organizations and individual donors” — to draft a memo to American Jewish leaders and Israeli leaders as to the best means by which to address the raging controversy over Iraq. The memo advised them: “If your goal is regime change, you must be much more careful with your language because of the potential backlash. You do not want Americans to believe that the war on Iraq is being waged to protect Israel rather than to protect America.”14 However, as Michael Lind reflected in his new biography of President Bush, the influence of Israel and the neoconservatives is undeniable:

. . .Under George W. Bush, the American executive branch and the government of Israel were fused in a degree without precedent in American history. . . . Bizarre as it seems, thanks to the influence of the Israeli model on neo-conservatives in the Bush administration, the United States, the leading power in the world, began acting as though it were an insecure and besieged international pariah state, like Israel under the leadership of the Likud Party.15

. . .Writing in Time on Feb. 17, 2003, one of the most prominent of the American neo-conservatives in the media, columnist Charles Krauthammer, announced that the proposed war against Iraq “is not just to disarm Saddam. It is to reform a whole part of the world . . . What the U.S. needs in the Arab world is not an exit strategy but an entry strategy. Iraq is the beckoning door . . .” Krauthammer frankly named the targets of the neo-conservative war policy: “Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and beyond.”16
. . .In truth, published evidence indicates that the government of Israel did indeed desire a U.S. assault upon Iraq — as a first step toward additional action against other perceived enemies of the state of Israel. On February 18, 2003, the Israeli newspaper, Ha’aretz, reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was calling for the United States to move on Iran, Libya and Syria after what was presumed to be the successful destruction of Iraq by the United States — a view no different than that expressed by the aforementioned Krauthammer.
. . .Sharon said: “These are irresponsible states, which must be disarmed
of weapons of mass destruction, and a successful American move in Iraq

THE HIGH PRIESTS OF WAR . . . . . . . . . %59
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as a model will make that easier to achieve.” The Israeli prime minister told a visiting delegation of American congressmen that “the American action [against Iraq] is of vital importance.”17
. . .The Israeli newspaper also reported that in meetings with Sharon and other Israeli officials, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton — one of
the key “neo-conservatives” inside the Bush administration who had been promoting war against Iraq—had said, in the Israeli newspaper’s words, that Bolton felt that after Iraq had been dealt with “it would be necessary thereafter to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.”18
. . .In addition, on Feb. 27, 2003, The New York Times freely reported that Israel not only advocated a U.S. war on Iraq but that Israel also believed that, ultimately, the war should be expanded to other nations perceived to be threats to Israel. The Times stated:

Many in Israel are so certain of the rightness of a war on Iraq that officials are already thinking past that conflict to urge a continued, assertive American role in the Middle East. Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations last week that after Iraq, the United States should generate “political, economic, diplomatic pressure’’ on Iran. “We have great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after’’ a war, he said. Israel regards Iran and Syria as greater threats and is hoping that once Saddam Hussein is dispensed with, the dominoes will start to tumble.19

. . .And while there were American Jews, acting independently of the established Jewish community leadership organizations, who opposed the
war against Iraq, there is no question that elite American Jewish organizations closely tied to Israeli intelligence and the government of Israel were firmly behind the drive for war. Those organizations were acting as Jewish organizations, purporting to represent all Jewish Americans when in fact they did not.
. . .After the war erupted, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B’nai B’rith — described by critics as a propaganda arm of Israel’s clandestine services, the Mossad — issued a statement. It declared: “We express our support for the United States Government in its effort to stop Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the danger he poses to the stability and safety of the region. The need to stop Saddam Hussein is clear.”20

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CRITICS RISE UP IN AMERICA

However, while the Israeli leadership and their neo-conservative allies were calling for war, there were many Americans of all races, creeds and colors who were standing up and declaring their opposition.
. . .In the months of debate leading up to the American attack on Iraq, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) emerged as perhaps the most outspoken
and articulate congressional critic of the proposed war. He sounded out multiple arguments against the war, ruling it totally unfounded and counter to all traditional American policy:

. . .Unilateral military action by the United States against Iraq is unjustified, unwarranted, and illegal. . . .
. . .Unilateral action on the part of the United States, or in partnership with Great Britain, would for the first time set our nation on the bloodstained path of aggressive war, a sacrilege upon the memory of those who fought to defend this country. America’s moral authority would be undermined throughout the world. It would destabilize the entire Persian Gulf and Middle East region . . .
. . .Policies of aggression are not worthy of any nation with a democratic tradition, let alone a nation of people who love liberty and whose sons and daughters sacrifice to maintain that democracy.
. . .The question is not whether or not America has the military power to destroy Saddam Hussein and Iraq. The question is whether we destroy something essential in this nation by asserting that America has the right to do so anytime it pleases.
. . .America cannot and should not be the world’s policeman. America cannot and should not try to pick the leaders of other nations. Nor should America and the American people be pressed into the service of international oil interests and arms dealers . . .
. . .If the United States proceeds with a first strike policy, then we will have taken upon our nation a historic burden of committing a violation of international law, and we would then forfeit any moral high ground we could hope to hold.21

. . .Quite remarkably, even after the war actually began, Kucinich refused to be silent, refusing to be bullied into supporting the war under the guise of “supporting the troops” — a popular catchphrase that has historically been used to convince Americans to support an unpopular war after American troops have been formally committed to action. Undaunted by accusations of being “unpatriotic,” etc, Kucinich said:

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I support the troops. But, this war is illegal and wrong. I do not support this mission. I will not vote to fund this Administration’s war in Iraq. This war is killing our troops. This war is killing innocent Iraqi civilians. This war must end now. It was unjust when it started two weeks ago, and is still unjust today. The U.S. should get out now and try to save the lives of American troops and Iraqi citizens. Ending the war now and resuming weapons inspections could salvage world opinion of the United States. The greatest threat to the United States at this time is terrorism, which this war will breed.22

. . .Kucinich was not the only American public official to take a daring public stand against the war — but he was certainly one of the most forthright and outspoken.
. . .Just as American troops began their assault on the Arab republic, the longest serving member of the U.S. Senate — and the former leader of the Senate Democrats — Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia delivered a blistering address on the Senate floor, declaring the war to be totally at odds with traditional American policy. He said, in part:

. . .Today I weep for my country. I have watched the events of recent months with a heavy, heavy heart. No more is the image of America one of strong, yet benevolent peacekeeper.
. . .We proclaim a new doctrine of preemption which is understood by few and feared by many. We say that the United States has the right to turn its firepower on any corner of the globe which might be suspect in the war on terrorism. We assert that right without the sanction of any international body. As a result, the world has become a much more dangerous place. We flaunt our superpower status with arrogance.
. . .When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomatic efforts when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?23

. . .Clearly, although the neo-conservatives hardly reflected the thinking of many Americans of many political persuasions, they did indeed reflect a particular brand of philosophy and one indubitably bound up with the hard-line imperial agenda of Israel’s Likud.
. . .And with that in mind, it is appropriate to begin examining the nature of the neo-conservative network that rules the roost in official Washington under the administration of George W. Bush.

 

End of Sample Pages


 

High Priests of War Cover Quotes/Foreward Preface Exec Summary
  Pages 1-11 Photo Section  Index Catalog Page