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Is the President Beginning to See the Light?

Jan 02, 2006

President Bush has done a lot of sabre rattling toward Iran in the past, but it appears that he is now having second thoughts. A number of factors appear to be making him re-think his position, and this has the Israeli hawks worried.

On December 31, 2005 the Jerusalem Post wrote: "The United States government reportedly began coordinating with NATO its plans for a possible military attack against Iran." After citing a report from a German newspaper, it continues, "According to the report, CIA Director Porter Goss, in his last visit to Turkey on December 12, requested Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to provide military bases to the United States in 2006 from where they would be able to launch an assault. . . Although Der Spiegel [German newspaper] could not say that these plans were concrete, they did note that according to a January 2005 New Yorker report, American forces had entered Iran in 2005 in order to make possible targets for an aerial assault."

That sounds ominous. However, on Jan. 1, 2006, which was the next day, another Israeli newspaper, "Haaretz," published an article entitled, "American Jews' split personality," reporting the political conflict between the Orthodox Jews in America and the Reform and Conservative Jews. The article begins with:

"The attack by AIPAC [American Israel Political Action Committee], the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S., on the Bush administration over its handling of the Iranian nuclear question, is unprecedented. It took the shape of a broad media campaign that included press releases and targeted members of Congress. Last week the Washington Post . . . noted that this is the first time that AIPAC has issued broad and open criticism of the Bush administration. . . . [T]he pro-Israel lobby describes Bush's recent policy decisions on Iran as 'dangerous' and 'disturbing' and even claims that they are actually helping Iran to achieve nuclear capability."

AIPAC is disturbed because "after the administration decided last month to accept the more conciliatory Russian approach, which recommended avoiding an open confrontation with Iran in the UN Security Council for the time being."

The article went on to show that Jews in America are divided in opinion, not merely on war with Iran but also with the current war with Iraq. Apparently, the American Jewish Committee did a survey and discovered that 78 percent of the Reform Jews oppose the war in Iraq, but only 38 percent of the Orthodox Jews oppose it.

The article says, "AIPAC and the proponents of a tough line in the Jewish community will soon have to convince not only the administration but also a JEWISH MAJORITY that is skeptical about American involvement in the Middle East."

"A similar split is evident on the questions of dividing Jerusalem, the separation fence, identification with Israel and visits to Israel."

This past year two senior officials of AIPAC were caught spying. They are Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, who received classified information from Lawrence Franklin, alleged by the FBI to be an Israeli spy in the Pentagon. Franklin, one of the Pentagon's policy experts on Iran and the Middle East, was indicted in June. The FBI investigation was headed by Dave Szady, and the story was broken by CBS News last year.

Franklin worked in the Pentagon Office of Special Plans, headed by Richard Perle. This is the same Perle who was caught giving classified information to Israel even back in 1970 while working for Sen. Henry Jackson. (Jackson was forced to fire him, but even so, he got off with a mere reprimand.)

The Wickipedia says of him, "On several occasions it has been alleged that Perle has behaved in an unethical manner to his own financial gain, or politically, to the benefit of Israel. His behavior in both the public and private spheres has been investigated and in 2005 the board of Hollinger International singled him out in a report citing diversion of profits from shareholders to executives."

"Perle is a leading advocate of an aggressive US policy toward Iraq. . . In line with the key neoconservative belief that liberal democracy should be spread across the world, Perle believed Iraq would be the best place to first introduce democracy into the Arab states, saying: 'I think there is a potential civic culture in Arab countries that can lead to democratic institutions, and I think Iraq is probably the best place to put that proposition to the test'."

Interestingly enough, Perle is a director for Hollinger, which owns the Jerusalem Post. So perhaps the Post's article on Dec. 31st claiming that the US is planning a strike against Iran is more of a Perle plan than a Bush plan.

Anyway, getting back to Lawrence Franklin, the Pentagon's alleged Israeli spy who worked for Richard Perle . . . considering Perle's background, I find it ludicrous to think that Franklin would pass on classified information without Perle's knowledge or direction. This court case could prove interesting.

The Israeli lobbyists, Rosen and Wiessman, were supposed to be defended in court by Nathan Lewin, hired by AIPAC. Lewin was the defense lawyer for Israeli spy, Stephen Bryen, back in 1978. Last week AIPAC backed down and stopped paying their legal fees, and so Rosen and Weissman are suing AIPAC. The case comes up in April 2006. It could get ugly, and who knows what might come out in testimony as a result of this bad blood?

But one thing seems to be emerging--President Bush is starting to suspect something sinister. I think he is beginning to smell lox and bagels coming from the direction of his cabinet.

Certainly, it has to disturb him that his Iraq policy, shaped by Perle and his long-time Zionist friend, Paul Wolfowitz, is backfiring with American support for the war going lower and lower each day. And even Bush's evangelical pro-Jewish position doesn't help, seeing that so many American Jews oppose this war. If he were to support the side of the Jewish majority opinion, he would pull out of Iraq.

I first began to suspect that President Bush was getting his eyes opened last June 15 when I read an article from the BBC News entitled "Israel-US relations in crisis."

The article reads, "Israeli arms sales to China have provoked a 'crisis' in relations with the US, according to a senior Israeli parliamentary official [Yuval Steinitz].

"Washington has refused to negotiate with Israel on the issue of the Chinese arms deal for months. The US has also imposed sanctions on the Israeli defence industry, according to media reports. It has suspended several joint weapons and technology projects with Israel, the reports say.

"Israel has supplied China with Harpy Killer unmanned attack drones, designed to target radar systems."

When I first learned of this, I was astounded, because I had to read about it from a foreign news media. This ought to have been big news in the American media, but it was not. I have been watching since then for further indications that Bush is becoming disgusted with the Israelis and is beginning to realize that they aren't quite as "chosen" as he once thought.


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Category: Middle East
Blog Author: Dr. Stephen Jones