Thursday, September 18, 2003

Iraq War At Any Cost /UN Security Council debate

A behind-the-scenes look at the dealings of the diplomatic world, as the UN Security Council members debated whether or not to go to war in Iraq in 2003 and opposing members vied for influence and power.

Part one:

Part two:

Part three:

Part four:

Part Five:

Part Six:

Thursday, August 28, 2003

halliburton's No Bid Contracts

Halliburton's Deals Greater Than Thought
By Michael Dobbs
Washington Post

Thursday 28 August 2003

Halliburton, the company formerly headed by Vice President Cheney, has won contracts worth more than $1.7 billion under Operation Iraqi Freedom and stands to make hundreds of millions more dollars under a no-bid contract awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, according to newly available documents.

The size and scope of the government contracts awarded to Halliburton in connection with the war in Iraq are significantly greater than was previously disclosed and demonstrate the U.S. military's increasing reliance on for-profit corporations to run its logistical operations. Independent experts estimate that as much as one-third of the monthly $3.9 billion cost of keeping U.S. troops in Iraq is going to independent contractors.

Services performed by Halliburton, through its Brown and Root subsidiary, include building and managing military bases, logistical support for the 1,200 intelligence officers hunting Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, delivering mail and producing millions of hot meals. Often dressed in Army fatigues with civilian patches on their shoulders, Halliburton employees and contract personnel have become an integral part of Army life in Iraq.

Spreadsheets drawn up by the Army Joint Munitions Command show that about $1 billion had been allocated to Brown and Root Services through mid-August for contracts associated with Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Pentagon's name for the U.S.-led war and occupation. In addition, the company has earned about $705 million for an initial round of oil field rehabilitation work for the Army Corps of Engineers, a corps spokesman said.

Specific work orders assigned to the subsidiary under Operation Iraqi Freedom include $142 million for base camp operations in Kuwait, $170 million for logistical support for the Iraqi reconstruction effort and $28 million for the construction of prisoner of war camps, the Army spreadsheet shows. The company was also allocated $39 million for building and operating U.S. base camps in Jordan, the existence of which the Pentagon has not previously publicly acknowledged.

Over the past decade, Halliburton, a Houston-based company that made its name servicing pipelines and oil wells, has positioned itself to take advantage of an increasing trend by the federal government to contract out many support operations overseas. It has emerged as the biggest single government contractor in Iraq, followed by such companies as Bechtel, a California-based engineering firm that has won hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. Agency for International Development reconstruction contracts, and Virginia-based DynCorp, which is training the new Iraqi police force.

The government said the practice has been spurred by cutbacks in the military budget and a string of wars since the end of the Cold War that have placed enormous demand on the armed forces.

But, according to Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) and other critics, the Iraq war and occupation have provided a handful of companies with good political connections, particularly Halliburton, with unprecedented money-making opportunities. "The amount of money [earned by Halliburton] is quite staggering, far more than we were originally led to believe," Waxman said. "This is clearly a trend under this administration, and it concerns me because often the privatization of government services ends up costing the taxpayers more money rather than less."

Wendy Hall, a Halliburton spokeswoman, declined to discuss the details of the company's operations in Iraq, or confirm or deny estimates of the amounts the company has earned from its contracting work on behalf of the military. In an e-mail message, however, she said that suggestions of war profiteering were "an affront to all hard-working, honorable Halliburton employees."

Hall added that military contracts were awarded "not by politicians but by government civil servants, under strict guidelines."

Daniel Carlson, a spokesman for the Army's Joint Munitions Command, said Brown and Root had won a competitive bidding process in 2001 to provide a wide range of "contingency" services to the military in the event of the deployment of U.S. troops overseas. He said the contract, known as the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, or LOGCAP, was designed to free uniformed personnel for combat duties and did not preclude deals with other contractors.

Carlson said the money earmarked for Brown and Root was an estimate, and could go "up or down" depending on the work performed.

The Joint Munitions Command provided The Washington Post with an updated version of a spreadsheet the Army released to Waxman earlier this month, giving detailed estimates of money obligated to Brown and Root under Operation Iraqi Freedom. Estimates of the company's revenue from Iraq have been increasing steadily since February, when the Corps of Engineers announced the company had won a $37.5 million contract for pre-positioning fire equipment in the region.

In addition to its Iraq contracts, Brown and Root has also earned $183 million from Operation Enduring Freedom, the military name for the war on terrorism and combat operations in Afghanistan, according to the Army's numbers.

Waxman's interest in Halliburton was ignited by a routine Corps of Engineers announcement in March reporting that the company had been awarded a no-bid contract, with a $7 billion limit, for putting out fires at Iraqi oil wells. Corps spokesmen justified the lack of competition on the grounds that the operation was part of a classified war plan and the Army did not have time to secure competitive bids for the work.

The corps said the oil rehabilitation deal was an offshoot of the LOGCAP contract, a one-year agreement renewable for 10 years. Individual work orders assigned under LOGCAP do not have to be competitively bid. But Waxman and other critics maintain that the oil work has nothing to do with the logistics operation.

The practice of delegating a vast array of logistics operations to a single contractor dates to the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War and a study commissioned by Cheney, then defense secretary, on military outsourcing. The Pentagon chose Brown and Root to carry out the study and subsequently selected the company to implement its own plan. Cheney served as chief executive of Brown and Root's parent company, Halliburton, from 1995 to 2000, when he resigned to run for the vice presidency.

At the time, said P.W. Singer, a Brookings Institution scholar and author of "Corporate Warriors," it was impossible to predict how lucrative the military contracting business would become. He estimates the number of contract workers in Iraq at 20,000, or about one for every 10 soldiers. During the Gulf War, the proportion was about one in 100.

Brown and Root's revenue from Operation Iraqi Freedom is already rivaling its earnings from its contracts in the Balkans, and is a major factor in increasing the value of Halliburton shares by 50 percent over the past year, according to industry analysts. The company reported a net profit of $26 million in the second quarter of this year, in contrast to a $498 million loss in the same period last year.

Waxman aides said they have been told by the General Accounting Office that Brown and Root is likely to earn "several hundred million more dollars" from the no-bid Corps of Engineers contract to rehabilitate Iraqi oil fields. Waxman, the ranking minority member on the House Government Reform Committee, had asked the GAO to investigate the corps' decision not to bid out the contract.

After a round of unfavorable publicity, the corps explained that the sole award to Brown and Root would be replaced by a competitively bid contract. But the deadline for announcing the results of the competition has slipped from August to October, causing rival companies to complain that little work will be left for anybody else. Bechtel, one of Halliburton's main competitors, announced this month that it would not bid for the corps contract and would instead focus on securing work from the Iraqi oil ministry.

In addition to the Army contracts, Halliburton has profited from other government-related work in Iraq and the war on terrorism, and has a $300 million contract with the Navy structured along similar lines to LOGCAP.

Pentagon officials said the increasing reliance on contractors is inevitable, given the multiple demands on the military, particularly since Sept. 11, 2001. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is a champion of "outsourcing," writing in The Post in May that "more than 300,000 uniformed personnel" were doing jobs that civilians could do.

Independent experts said the trend toward outsourcing logistic operations has resulted in new problems, such as a lack of accountability and transparency on the part of private military firms and sometimes questionable billing practices.

A major problem in Iraq, Singer said, has been the phenomenon of "no-shows" caused by the inhospitable security environment, including the killing of contract workers, including a Halliburton mail delivery employee earlier this month.

"At the end of the day, neither these companies nor their employees are bound by military justice, and it is up to them whether to show up or not," Singer said. "The result is that there have been delays in setting up showers for soldiers, getting them cooked meals and so on."

A related concern is the rising cost of hiring contract workers because of skyrocketing insurance premiums. Singer estimates that premiums have increased by 300 percent to 400 percent this year, costs that are passed on to the taxpayer under the cost-plus-award fee system that is the basis for most contracts.

The LOGCAP contract awarded to Brown and Root in 2001 was the third, and potentially most lucrative, super-contract awarded by the Army. Brown and Root won the first five-year contract in 1992, but lost the second to rival DynCorp in 1997 after the GAO criticized the Army for not adequately controlling contracting costs in Bosnia.

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity: Neoconsevative Iraq Just War Theories Rejected

(Note the prominace of Fr. Ratzinger in this story- he would become the next Pope.)

Pope John Paul II calls War a Defeat for Humanity: Neoconservative Iraq Just War Theories Rejected

by Mark and Louise Zwick

The most consistent and frequent promoter of peace and human rights for the last two decades has been Pope John Paul II.

From Iraqi War I to Iraqi War II, he has echoed the voice of Paul VI, crying out before the United Nations in 1965: War No More, War Never Again!

John Paul II stated before the 2003 war that this war would be a defeat for humanity which could not be morally or legally justified.

In the weeks and months before the U.S. attacked Iraq, not only the Holy Father, but also one Cardinal and Archbishop after another at the Vatican spoke out against a "preemptive" or "preventive" strike. They declared that the just war theory could not justify such a war. Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran said that such a "war of aggression" is a crime against peace. Archbishop Renato Martino, who used the same words in calling the possible military intervention a "crime against peace that cries out vengeance before God," also criticized the pressure that the most powerful nations exerted on the less powerful ones on the U.N. Security Council to support the war. The Pope spoke out almost every day against war and in support of diplomatic efforts for peace.

John Paul II sent his personal representative, Cardinal Pio Laghi, a friend of the Bush family, to remonstrate with the U.S. President before the war began. Pio Laghi said such a war would be illegal and unjust. The message was clear: God is not on your side if you invade Iraq.

After the United States began its attacks against Iraq, FOX News actually reported the immediate comments of the Holy Father, made in an address at the Vatican to members of an Italian religious television channel, Telespace: "When war, as in these days in Iraq, threatens the fate of humanity, it is ever more urgent to proclaim, with a strong and decisive voice, that only peace is the road to follow to construct a more just and united society," John Paul said. "Violence and arms can never resolve the problems of man."

Americans were largely unaware of the depth and importance of the opposition of Church leaders to an attack on Iraq, since for the most part the mainstream media did not carry the stories. In the same way, many Americans were unaware that Pope John Paul II spoke against the first Gulf War 56 times. Media in the United States omitted this from the commentaries on the war. Many have also been unaware of the number of Iraqis killed in that war (not to mention the war which recently "ended"). In February 2003 Business Week published an interview with Beth Osborne Daponte, a professional demographer who worked for the Census Bureau. The first Bush administration tried to fire her because her published estimates of the number of Iraqi deaths conflicted with what Dick Cheney was saying at the time. She was defended by social science professionals and was able to keep her job. Her estimates: 13,000 civilians were killed directly by American and allied forces, and about 70,000 civilians died subsequently from war-related damage to medical facilities and supplies, the electric power grid, and the water system.

In the past few years, Catholic neoconservatives have been attempting to develop a new philosophy of just war which would include preemptive strikes against other nations, what might be called a "preventive war." George Weigel has published major articles defending this position since 1995. First Things magazine published his articles and editorially agreed with this point of view. The present Bush administration has used these writings to defend the strike against Iraq. Shortly before the war began, through the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, President Bush sent Michael Novak to go to Rome to try to justify the war to the Pope and Vatican officials. Catholic News Service reported that the two-hour symposium was attended by some 150 invited guests, including lower-level Vatican officials, professors from church universities in Rome and diplomats accredited to the Vatican. Since with one voice Rome had already rejected the argument for a preventive war, Novak took the approach that a war on Iraq would not be a preventive war, but a continuation of a "just war," Iraqi War I, and actually a moral obligation. He argued that a was also a matter of self-defense, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, was an un-scrupulous character, and therefore it was only a matter of time before he took up with Al Qaida and gave them such weapons.

Novak did not succeed in convincing Church leaders-in fact, some commentators reflected that his efforts might have had the opposite effect. Novak's credibility in this argument was perhaps under-mined by his employment at the American Enterprise Institute, heavily funded by oil companies, some of whom began advertising in the Houston Chronicle for em-ployees to work in Iraq even before the war began. Administration officials denied for months that the goal of the war on Iraq was related to oil. On June 4, 2003, however, The Guardian reported the words of the U.S. deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz (one of the major architects of the war). Wolfowitz had earlier commented that the urgent reason given for the war, weapons of mass destruction, was only a "bureaucratic excuse" for war. Now, at an Asian security summit in Singapore he has declared openly that the real reason for the war was oil: "Asked why a nuclear power such as North Korea was being treated differently from Iraq, where hardly any weapons of mass destruction had been found, the deputy defense minister said: "Let's look at it simply. The most important difference between North Korea and Iraq is that economically, we just had no choice in Iraq. The country swims on a sea of oil."

John Paul II has sought to distance the Catholic Church from George Bush's idea of the manifest Christian destiny of the United States, and especially to avoid the appearance of a clash of Christian civilization against Islam. Zenit reported that in his Easter Sunday message this year John Paul II "implored for the world's deliverance from the peril of the tragic clash between cultures and religions." The Pope also sent his message to terrorists: "Let there be an end to the chain of hatred and terrorism which threatens the orderly development of the human family." As he had done in his invitation to religious leaders from many faiths to Assisi at the beginning of 2002, he reached out again to leaders of other religions: "May faith and love of God make the followers of every religion courageous builders of under-standing and forgiveness, patient weavers of a fruitful inter-religious dialogue, capable of inaugurating a new era of justice and peace."

Catholic World News quoted the Latin-rite Bishop of Baghdad, Bishop Jean-Benjamin Sleimaan as saying in the Italian daily La Repubblica that the Pope's high-profile opposition to a war on Iraq has helped to avoid a sort of Manichaeism that would set up an opposition between the West and the East, in which Christianity is linked to the West and Islam to the East.

While the Iraqi War II turned out to be "short," violations of "just war" principles abounded. Bombing included such targets as an open market and a hotel where the world's journalists were staying. While most television and newspaper reports in the United States minimized coverage of deaths and injuries to the Iraqi people, reports of many civilian casualties did come out. CBS news reported on April 7 stories of civilians pouring into hospitals in Baghdad, threatening to over-whelm medical staff, and the damage inflicted by bombs which targeted homes: "The old, the young, men and women alike, no one has been spared. One hospital reported receiving 175 wounded by midday. A crater is all that remains of four families and their homes-obliterated by a massive bomb that dropped from the sky without warning in the middle afternoon." The Canadian press carried a Red Cross report of "incredible" levels of civilian casualties from Nasiriyah, of a truckload of dismembered women and children arriving at the hospital in Hilla from that village, their deaths the result of "bombs, projectiles."

As talk escalated about a U. S. attack on Iraq, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, began stating unequivocally that "The concept of a 'preventive war' does not appear in the Catechism of the Catholic Church." His comments had been published as early as September 2002 and were repeated several times as war seemed imminent.

Cardinal Ratzinger recommended that the three religions who share a heritage from Abraham return to the Ten Commandments to counteract the violence of terrorism and war: "The Decalogue is not the private property of Christians or Jews. It is a lofty expression of moral reason that, as such, is also found in the wisdom of other cultures. To refer again to the Decalogue might be essential precisely to restore reason."

Preparation of a new shorter, simpler version of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will soon begin and, according to reports and interviews with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, it will probably include revisions to clarify the section on just war, as the official version has done against capital punishment in a civilized society. Cardinal Ratzinger will head up the Commission to write the new catechism. In an interview with Zenit on May 2, 2003, the Cardinal restated the position of the Holy Father on the Iraq war (II) and on the question of the possibility of a just war in today's world.: "There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a "just war."

In almost every one of his addresses to groups large or small and in each visit to other countries, such as his recent visit to Spain, John Paul II has cried out for peace.

At the Ash Wednesday Mass this year the Pope reemphasized the theme that peace comes with justice: "There will be no peace on earth while the oppression of peoples, injustices and economic imbalances, which still exist, endure." He insisted that changes in structures, economic and otherwise, must come from conversion of hearts: "But for the desired structural changes to take place, external initiatives and interventions are not enough; what is needed above all is a joint conversion of hearts to love."

In his Easter message the Holy Father drew attention not only to the Iraq War, but to "the forgotten wars and protracted hostilities that are causing deaths and injuries amid silence and neglect on the part of considerable sectors of public opinion." The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano carried the Pope's Easter message of peace with a headline in very large letters, Pace (peace), taking up a quarter of a page. He has asked Catholics to pray and do penance and ask Christ for peace, a peace "founded on the solid pillars of love and justice, truth and freedom."

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXIII, No. 4, July-August 2003.

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Joe Wilson's Op-Ed for New York Times

This editorial comes from a man that was a friend of the Bush family (financial supporter of Bush #1), a decorated statesman from Bush #1 for his bravery during the first Gulf War.

This editorial would lead to a smear campaign.

This smear campaign would lead to the leaking of Mr. Wilson's wife's name and her identity as an undercover CIA operative.

The leak was assailed by President Bush (#2) who said the leaker would be caught and brought to justice.

Instead, independent council Patrick Fitzgerald, only charged the Vice Presidents assistant I Scooter Libby with: 2 counts of Purgery, 2 counts of Giving False Statemensts and 1 charge of Obstruction of Justice.

Wilson's wife has filled a civil lawsuit accusing Cheney, Libby, Rove and 10 unnamed administration officials or political operatives of putting the Wilsons and their children’s lives at risk by exposing his wife.

Published on Sunday, July 6, 2003 by the New York Times
What I Didn't Find in Africa
by Joseph C. Wilson 4th

Did the Bush administration manipulate intelligence about Saddam Hussein's weapons programs to justify an invasion of Iraq?

Based on my experience with the administration in the months leading up to the war, I have little choice but to conclude that some of the intelligence related to Iraq's nuclear weapons program was twisted to exaggerate the Iraqi threat.

For 23 years, from 1976 to 1998, I was a career foreign service officer and ambassador. In 1990, as chargé d'affaires in Baghdad, I was the last American diplomat to meet with Saddam Hussein. (I was also a forceful advocate for his removal from Kuwait.) After Iraq, I was President George H. W. Bush's ambassador to Gabon and São Tomé and Príncipe; under President Bill Clinton, I helped direct Africa policy for the National Security Council.

It was my experience in Africa that led me to play a small role in the effort to verify information about Africa's suspected link to Iraq's nonconventional weapons programs. Those news stories about that unnamed former envoy who went to Niger? That's me.

In February 2002, I was informed by officials at the Central Intelligence Agency that Vice President Dick Cheney's office had questions about a particular intelligence report. While I never saw the report, I was told that it referred to a memorandum of agreement that documented the sale of uranium yellowcake — a form of lightly processed ore — by Niger to Iraq in the late 1990's. The agency officials asked if I would travel to Niger to check out the story so they could provide a response to the vice president's office.

After consulting with the State Department's African Affairs Bureau (and through it with Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick, the United States ambassador to Niger), I agreed to make the trip. The mission I undertook was discreet but by no means secret. While the C.I.A. paid my expenses (my time was offered pro bono), I made it abundantly clear to everyone I met that I was acting on behalf of the United States government.

In late February 2002, I arrived in Niger's capital, Niamey, where I had been a diplomat in the mid-70's and visited as a National Security Council official in the late 90's. The city was much as I remembered it. Seasonal winds had clogged the air with dust and sand. Through the haze, I could see camel caravans crossing the Niger River (over the John F. Kennedy bridge), the setting sun behind them. Most people had wrapped scarves around their faces to protect against the grit, leaving only their eyes visible.

The next morning, I met with Ambassador Owens-Kirkpatrick at the embassy. For reasons that are understandable, the embassy staff has always kept a close eye on Niger's uranium business. I was not surprised, then, when the ambassador told me that she knew about the allegations of uranium sales to Iraq — and that she felt she had already debunked them in her reports to Washington. Nevertheless, she and I agreed that my time would be best spent interviewing people who had been in government when the deal supposedly took place, which was before her arrival.

I spent the next eight days drinking sweet mint tea and meeting with dozens of people: current government officials, former government officials, people associated with the country's uranium business. It did not take long to conclude that it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had ever taken place.

Given the structure of the consortiums that operated the mines, it would be exceedingly difficult for Niger to transfer uranium to Iraq. Niger's uranium business consists of two mines, Somair and Cominak, which are run by French, Spanish, Japanese, German and Nigerian interests. If the government wanted to remove uranium from a mine, it would have to notify the consortium, which in turn is strictly monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Moreover, because the two mines are closely regulated, quasi-governmental entities, selling uranium would require the approval of the minister of mines, the prime minister and probably the president. In short, there's simply too much oversight over too small an industry for a sale to have transpired.

(As for the actual memorandum, I never saw it. But news accounts have pointed out that the documents had glaring errors — they were signed, for example, by officials who were no longer in government — and were probably forged. And then there's the fact that Niger formally denied the charges.)

Before I left Niger, I briefed the ambassador on my findings, which were consistent with her own. I also shared my conclusions with members of her staff. In early March, I arrived in Washington and promptly provided a detailed briefing to the C.I.A. I later shared my conclusions with the State Department African Affairs Bureau. There was nothing secret or earth-shattering in my report, just as there was nothing secret about my trip.

Though I did not file a written report, there should be at least four documents in United States government archives confirming my mission. The documents should include the ambassador's report of my debriefing in Niamey, a separate report written by the embassy staff, a C.I.A. report summing up my trip, and a specific answer from the agency to the office of the vice president (this may have been delivered orally). While I have not seen any of these reports, I have spent enough time in government to know that this is standard operating procedure.

I thought the Niger matter was settled and went back to my life. (I did take part in the Iraq debate, arguing that a strict containment regime backed by the threat of force was preferable to an invasion.) In September 2002, however, Niger re-emerged. The British government published a "white paper" asserting that Saddam Hussein and his unconventional arms posed an immediate danger. As evidence, the report cited Iraq's attempts to purchase uranium from an African country.

Then, in January, President Bush, citing the British dossier, repeated the charges about Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Africa.

The next day, I reminded a friend at the State Department of my trip and suggested that if the president had been referring to Niger, then his conclusion was not borne out by the facts as I understood them. He replied that perhaps the president was speaking about one of the other three African countries that produce uranium: Gabon, South Africa or Namibia. At the time, I accepted the explanation. I didn't know that in December, a month before the president's address, the State Department had published a fact sheet that mentioned the Niger case.

Those are the facts surrounding my efforts. The vice president's office asked a serious question. I was asked to help formulate the answer. I did so, and I have every confidence that the answer I provided was circulated to the appropriate officials within our government.

The question now is how that answer was or was not used by our political leadership. If my information was deemed inaccurate, I understand (though I would be very interested to know why). If, however, the information was ignored because it did not fit certain preconceptions about Iraq, then a legitimate argument can be made that we went to war under false pretenses. (It's worth remembering that in his March "Meet the Press" appearance, Mr. Cheney said that Saddam Hussein was "trying once again to produce nuclear weapons.") At a minimum, Congress, which authorized the use of military force at the president's behest, should want to know if the assertions about Iraq were warranted.

I was convinced before the war that the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein required a vigorous and sustained international response to disarm him. Iraq possessed and had used chemical weapons; it had an active biological weapons program and quite possibly a nuclear research program — all of which were in violation of United Nations resolutions. Having encountered Mr. Hussein and his thugs in the run-up to the Persian Gulf war of 1991, I was only too aware of the dangers he posed.

But were these dangers the same ones the administration told us about? We have to find out. America's foreign policy depends on the sanctity of its information. For this reason, questioning the selective use of intelligence to justify the war in Iraq is neither idle sniping nor "revisionist history," as Mr. Bush has suggested. The act of war is the last option of a democracy, taken when there is a grave threat to our national security. More than 200 American soldiers have lost their lives in Iraq already. We have a duty to ensure that their sacrifice came for the right reasons.

Joseph C. Wilson 4th, United States ambassador to Gabon from 1992 to 1995, is an international business consultant.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company


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Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Blix: I was smeared by the Pentagon

Blix: I was smeared by the Pentagon

Helena Smith in New York
Wednesday June 11, 2003
The Guardian

Hans Blix, the UN chief weapons inspector, lashed out last night at the "bastards" who have tried to undermine him throughout the three years he has held his high-profile post.

In an extraordinary departure from the diplomatic language with which he has come to be associated, Mr Blix assailed his critics in both Washington and Iraq.

Speaking exclusively to the Guardian from his 31st floor office at the UN in New York, Mr Blix said: "I have my detractors in Washington. There are bastards who spread things around, of course, who planted nasty things in the media. Not that I cared very much.

"It was like a mosquito bite in the evening that is there in the morning, an irritant."

In a wide-ranging interview Mr Blix, who retires in three weeks' time, accused:

·The Bush administration of leaning on his inspectors to produce more damning language in their reports;

·"Some elements" of the Pentagon of being behind a smear campaign against him; and

·Washington of regarding the UN as an "alien power" which they hoped would sink into the East river.

Asked if he believed he had been the target of a deliberate smear campaign he said: "Yes, I probably was at a lower level."

Before he had even flown to Iraq to relaunch the sensitive weapons inspections after a four-year hiatus last November, senior US defence department officials were excoriating the septuagenarian as the worst possible choice for the post.

It was just the beginning. By autumn, the happily married father of two was being branded in Baghdad as a "homosexual who went to Washington every two weeks to pick up [his] instructions".

"The Iraqis were spreading that rumour about me early in the autumn and then I heard the counter-rumour that I had told my wife, Eva, about this rumour and that she said she had never noticed it. My alleged comment to her," he said, breaking into laughter, "was that nor had I." But the criticism clearly hurt.

A lot of the sniping "surely came" from the Pentagon, said Mr Blix, who has since won plaudits for his handling of the unenviable brief of divining whether Iraq had disarmed.

Staff attached to the UN monitoring and inspection commission, headed by the Swede for the past three years, openly say there is no love lost between hawks in the Bush administration and their mission.

Mr Blix, a former foreign minister, prefers to remain sanguine. "By and large my relations with the US were good," he said, reiterating his belief that the Iraqi regime would likely never have complied with any of the UN resolutions around disarmament had it not been for the presence of 200,000 US troops in the region.

"But towards the end the [Bush] administration leaned on us," he conceded, hoping the inspectors would employ more damning language in their reports to swing votes on the UN security council.

Washington, he claimed, was particularly upset that the UN team did not "make more" of the discovery of cluster bombs and drones in March.

He said Washington's disappointment at not getting UN backing for an attack was "one reason why you find scepticism towards inspectors".

The life-long civil servant -who is looking forward to returning to a shared life with his wife in Stockholm as he turns 75 - said he was convinced that "there are people in this administration who say they don't care if the UN sinks under the East river, and other crude things".

Instead of seeing the UN as a collective body of decision-making states, Washington now viewed it as an "alien power, even if it does hold considerable influence within it. Such [negative] feelings don't exist in Europe where people say that the UN is a lot of talk at dinners and fluffy stuff."

That was especially worrying given President Bush's openly proclaimed belief in the doctrine of pre-emptive strikes. "It would be more desirable and more reasonable to ask for security council authority, especially at a time when communism no longer exists and you don't have automatic vetoes from Russia and China," he said.

Similarly it would be much more "credible" if a team of international inspectors were sent into Iraq instead of the 1,300-strong US-appointed group now conducting the search for weapons of mass destruction, he said.

Monday, March 24, 2003

TURNING POINT? Battle Rages at Nasiriya River Crossings -- March 24, 2003

U.S. Marines continued to fight a pitched battle at several bridges over the Euphrates River at the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriya, a region central to opening a route north to Baghdad.

Fighting has reportedly increased in intensity on Monday, with U.S. forces firing heavy rounds of 155mm artillery into the city, Reuters correspondent Sean Maguire reported.

"We can see impact flashes in the city," Maguire said late Monday local time from a position some three miles south of the city. He said that a battalion fought small arms fire as they pushed through Nasiriya, while U.S. Marines were dug in with large columns of heavy armor south of the Euphrates.

Gen. Tommy Franks, chief of U.S. Central Command, told reporters Monday U.S. forces had worked for days to gain a foothold on Nasiriya.

"Our forces are in there now and they're going to remain in there," Franks said.

A CNN reporter embedded with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force said the U.S. death toll at Nasiriya stood at 10, saying commanders told him it could rise further. Twelve soldiers have been wounded, while 16 others are still missing.

Meanwhile, a U.S. supply convoy continued to run for miles along the main highway to Baghdad bypassing Nasiriya on Monday. The convoy is currently using a pontoon bridge to cross the Euphrates, flanked by Marines armed with M-16 automatic rifles, the Associated Press reported.

On Sunday, U.S. officials said during a Central Command press briefing that the bridges at Nasiriya were under coalition control.

However, units of the Fedayeen, an irregular milita group loyal to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, attacked the region later Sunday reportedly dressed in civilian clothes. The group is said to have ambushed six coalition vehicles.

Five of the soldiers captured in the fighting later appearing in a videotape broadcast on Iraqi television. The videotape also showed what are said to be four dead Americans in an Iraqi morgue.

The strife caused U.S. officials to indicate that the bridgeheads were now secure, but the area in between was not, Reuters reports.

"This is one of few urban centers they really have to touch," Reuters correspondent Sean Maguire reports. "A relatively small group of guerilla fighters can hold up a whole brigade."

Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said on Sunday that foreign troops headed to Nasiriya had been "taught a lesson they will never forget."

U.S. officials said that increased Iraqi resistance showed the battle at Nasiriya was growing more complicated.

"Clearly they are not a beaten force," Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Sunday. "This is going to get a lot harder."

Neocons Want A Series Of Wars in the Middle East

March 24, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservative

Whose War?

A neoconservative clique seeks to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interest.

by Patrick J. Buchanan

The War Party may have gotten its war. But it has also gotten something it did not bargain for. Its membership lists and associations have been exposed and its motives challenged. In a rare moment in U.S. journalism, Tim Russert put this question directly to Richard Perle: “Can you assure American viewers ... that we’re in this situation against Saddam Hussein and his removal for American security interests? And what would be the link in terms of Israel?”

Suddenly, the Israeli connection is on the table, and the War Party is not amused. Finding themselves in an unanticipated firefight, our neoconservative friends are doing what comes naturally, seeking student deferments from political combat by claiming the status of a persecuted minority group. People who claim to be writing the foreign policy of the world superpower, one would think, would be a little more manly in the schoolyard of politics. Not so.

Former Wall Street Journal editor Max Boot kicked off the campaign. When these “Buchananites toss around ‘neoconservative’—and cite names like Wolfowitz and Cohen—it sometimes sounds as if what they really mean is ‘Jewish conservative.’” Yet Boot readily concedes that a passionate attachment to Israel is a “key tenet of neoconservatism.” He also claims that the National Security Strategy of President Bush “sounds as if it could have come straight out from the pages of Commentary magazine, the neocon bible.” (For the uninitiated, Commentary, the bible in which Boot seeks divine guidance, is the monthly of the American Jewish Committee.)

David Brooks of the Weekly Standard wails that attacks based on the Israel tie have put him through personal hell: “Now I get a steady stream of anti-Semitic screeds in my e-mail, my voicemail and in my mailbox. ... Anti-Semitism is alive and thriving. It’s just that its epicenter is no longer on the Buchananite Right, but on the peace-movement left.”

Washington Post columnist Robert Kagan endures his own purgatory abroad: “In London ... one finds Britain’s finest minds propounding, in sophisticated language and melodious Oxbridge accents, the conspiracy theories of Pat Buchanan concerning the ‘neoconservative’ (read: Jewish) hijacking of American foreign policy.”

Lawrence Kaplan of the New Republic charges that our little magazine “has been transformed into a forum for those who contend that President Bush has become a client of ... Ariel Sharon and the ‘neoconservative war party.’”

Referencing Charles Lindbergh, he accuses Paul Schroeder, Chris Matthews, Robert Novak, Georgie Anne Geyer, Jason Vest of the Nation, and Gary Hart of implying that “members of the Bush team have been doing Israel’s bidding and, by extension, exhibiting ‘dual loyalties.’” Kaplan thunders:

The real problem with such claims is not just that they are untrue. The problem is that they are toxic. Invoking the specter of dual loyalty to mute criticism and debate amounts to more than the everyday pollution of public discourse. It is the nullification of public discourse, for how can one refute accusations grounded in ethnicity? The charges are, ipso facto, impossible to disprove. And so they are meant to be.

What is going on here? Slate’s Mickey Kaus nails it in the headline of his retort: “Lawrence Kaplan Plays the Anti-Semitic Card.”

What Kaplan, Brooks, Boot, and Kagan are doing is what the Rev. Jesse Jackson does when caught with some mammoth contribution from a Fortune 500 company he has lately accused of discriminating. He plays the race card. So, too, the neoconservatives are trying to fend off critics by assassinating their character and impugning their motives.

Indeed, it is the charge of “anti-Semitism” itself that is toxic. For this venerable slander is designed to nullify public discourse by smearing and intimidating foes and censoring and blacklisting them and any who would publish them. Neocons say we attack them because they are Jewish. We do not. We attack them because their warmongering threatens our country, even as it finds a reliable echo in Ariel Sharon.

And this time the boys have cried “wolf” once too often. It is not working. As Kaus notes, Kaplan’s own New Republic carries Harvard professor Stanley Hoffman. In writing of the four power centers in this capital that are clamoring for war, Hoffman himself describes the fourth thus:

And, finally, there is a loose collection of friends of Israel, who believe in the identity of interests between the Jewish state and the United States. … These analysts look on foreign policy through the lens of one dominant concern: Is it good or bad for Israel? Since that nation’s founding in 1948, these thinkers have never been in very good odor at the State Department, but now they are well ensconced in the Pentagon, around such strategists as Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith.

“If Stanley Hoffman can say this,” asks Kaus, “why can’t Chris Matthews?” Kaus also notes that Kaplan somehow failed to mention the most devastating piece tying the neoconservatives to Sharon and his Likud Party.

In a Feb. 9 front-page article in the Washington Post, Robert Kaiser quotes a senior U.S. official as saying, “The Likudniks are really in charge now.” Kaiser names Perle, Wolfowitz, and Feith as members of a pro-Israel network inside the administration and adds David Wurmser of the Defense Department and Elliott Abrams of the National Security Council. (Abrams is the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, editor emeritus of Commentary, whose magazine has for decades branded critics of Israel as anti-Semites.)

Noting that Sharon repeatedly claims a “special closeness” to the Bushites, Kaiser writes, “For the first time a U.S. administration and a Likud government are pursuing nearly identical policies.” And a valid question is: how did this come to be, and while it is surely in Sharon’s interest, is it in America’s interest?

This is a time for truth. For America is about to make a momentous decision: whether to launch a series of wars in the Middle East that could ignite the Clash of Civilizations against which Harvard professor Samuel Huntington has warned, a war we believe would be a tragedy and a disaster for this Republic. To avert this war, to answer the neocon smears, we ask that our readers review their agenda as stated in their words. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. As Al Smith used to say, “Nothing un-American can live in the sunlight.”

We charge that a cabal of polemicists and public officials seek to ensnare our country in a series of wars that are not in America’s interests. We charge them with colluding with Israel to ignite those wars and destroy the Oslo Accords. We charge them with deliberately damaging U.S. relations with every state in the Arab world that defies Israel or supports the Palestinian people’s right to a homeland of their own. We charge that they have alienated friends and allies all over the Islamic and Western world through their arrogance, hubris, and bellicosity.

Not in our lifetimes has America been so isolated from old friends. Far worse, President Bush is being lured into a trap baited for him by these neocons that could cost him his office and cause America to forfeit years of peace won for us by the sacrifices of two generations in the Cold War.

They charge us with anti-Semitism—i.e., a hatred of Jews for their faith, heritage, or ancestry. False. The truth is, those hurling these charges harbor a “passionate attachment” to a nation not our own that causes them to subordinate the interests of their own country and to act on an assumption that, somehow, what’s good for Israel is good for America.

The Neoconservatives

Who are the neoconservatives? The first generation were ex-liberals, socialists, and Trotskyites, boat-people from the McGovern revolution who rafted over to the GOP at the end of conservatism’s long march to power with Ronald Reagan in 1980.

A neoconservative, wrote Kevin Phillips back then, is more likely to be a magazine editor than a bricklayer. Today, he or she is more likely to be a resident scholar at a public policy institute such as the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) or one of its clones like the Center for Security Policy or the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). As one wag writes, a neocon is more familiar with the inside of a think tank than an Abrams tank.

Almost none came out of the business world or military, and few if any came out of the Goldwater campaign. The heroes they invoke are Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Harry Truman, Martin Luther King, and Democratic Senators Henry “Scoop” Jackson (Wash.) and Pat Moynihan (N.Y.).

All are interventionists who regard Stakhanovite support of Israel as a defining characteristic of their breed. Among their luminaries are Jeane Kirkpatrick, Bill Bennett, Michael Novak, and James Q. Wilson.

Their publications include the Weekly Standard, Commentary, the New Republic, National Review, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Though few in number, they wield disproportionate power through control of the conservative foundations and magazines, through their syndicated columns, and by attaching themselves to men of power.

Beating the War Drums

When the Cold War ended, these neoconservatives began casting about for a new crusade to give meaning to their lives. On Sept. 11, their time came. They seized on that horrific atrocity to steer America’s rage into all-out war to destroy their despised enemies, the Arab and Islamic “rogue states” that have resisted U.S. hegemony and loathe Israel.

The War Party’s plan, however, had been in preparation far in advance of 9/11. And when President Bush, after defeating the Taliban, was looking for a new front in the war on terror, they put their precooked meal in front of him. Bush dug into it.

Before introducing the script-writers of America’s future wars, consider the rapid and synchronized reaction of the neocons to what happened after that fateful day.

On Sept. 12, Americans were still in shock when Bill Bennett told CNN that we were in “a struggle between good and evil,” that the Congress must declare war on “militant Islam,” and that “overwhelming force” must be used. Bennett cited Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and China as targets for attack. Not, however, Afghanistan, the sanctuary of Osama’s terrorists. How did Bennett know which nations must be smashed before he had any idea who attacked us?

The Wall Street Journal immediately offered up a specific target list, calling for U.S. air strikes on “terrorist camps in Syria, Sudan, Libya, and Algeria, and perhaps even in parts of Egypt.” Yet, not one of Bennett’s six countries, nor one of these five, had anything to do with 9/11.

On Sept. 15, according to Bob Woodward’s Bush at War, “Paul Wolfowitz put forth military arguments to justify a U.S. attack on Iraq rather than Afghanistan.” Why Iraq? Because, Wolfowitz argued in the War Cabinet, while “attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain … Iraq was a brittle oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable.”

On Sept. 20, forty neoconservatives sent an open letter to the White House instructing President Bush on how the war on terror must be conducted. Signed by Bennett, Podhoretz, Kirkpatrick, Perle, Kristol, and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer, the letter was an ultimatum. To retain the signers’ support, the president was told, he must target Hezbollah for destruction, retaliate against Syria and Iran if they refuse to sever ties to Hezbollah, and overthrow Saddam. Any failure to attack Iraq, the signers warned Bush, “will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism.”

Here was a cabal of intellectuals telling the Commander-in-Chief, nine days after an attack on America, that if he did not follow their war plans, he would be charged with surrendering to terror. Yet, Hezbollah had nothing to do with 9/11. What had Hezbollah done? Hezbollah had humiliated Israel by driving its army out of Lebanon.

President Bush had been warned. He was to exploit the attack of 9/11 to launch a series of wars on Arab regimes, none of which had attacked us. All, however, were enemies of Israel. “Bibi” Netanyahu, the former Prime Minister of Israel, like some latter-day Citizen Genet, was ubiquitous on American television, calling for us to crush the “Empire of Terror.” The “Empire,” it turns out, consisted of Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Iraq, and “the Palestinian enclave.”

Nasty as some of these regimes and groups might be, what had they done to the United States?

The War Party seemed desperate to get a Middle East war going before America had second thoughts. Tom Donnelly of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) called for an immediate invasion of Iraq. “Nor need the attack await the deployment of half a million troops. … [T]he larger challenge will be occupying Iraq after the fighting is over,” he wrote.

Donnelly was echoed by Jonah Goldberg of National Review: “The United States needs to go to war with Iraq because it needs to go to war with someone in the region and Iraq makes the most sense.”

Goldberg endorsed “the Ledeen Doctrine” of ex-Pentagon official Michael Ledeen, which Goldberg described thus: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” (When the French ambassador in London, at a dinner party, asked why we should risk World War III over some “shitty little country”—meaning Israel—Goldberg’s magazine was not amused.)

Ledeen, however, is less frivolous. In The War Against the Terror Masters, he identifies the exact regimes America must destroy:

First and foremost, we must bring down the terror regimes, beginning with the Big Three: Iran, Iraq, and Syria. And then we have to come to grips with Saudi Arabia. … Once the tyrants in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Saudi Arabia have been brought down, we will remain engaged. …We have to ensure the fulfillment of the democratic revolution. … Stability is an unworthy American mission, and a misleading concept to boot. We do not want stability in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and even Saudi Arabia; we want things to change. The real issue is not whether, but how to destabilize.

Rejecting stability as “an unworthy American mission,” Ledeen goes on to define America’s authentic “historic mission”:

Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law. Our enemies have always hated this whirlwind of energy and creativity which menaces their traditions (whatever they may be) and shames them for their inability to keep pace. … [W]e must destroy them to advance our historic mission.

Passages like this owe more to Leon Trotsky than to Robert Taft and betray a Jacobin streak in neoconservatism that cannot be reconciled with any concept of true conservatism.

To the Weekly Standard, Ledeen’s enemies list was too restrictive. We must not only declare war on terror networks and states that harbor terrorists, said the Standard, we should launch wars on “any group or government inclined to support or sustain others like them in the future.”

Robert Kagan and William Kristol were giddy with excitement at the prospect of Armageddon. The coming war “is going to spread and engulf a number of countries. … It is going to resemble the clash of civilizations that everyone has hoped to avoid. … [I]t is possible that the demise of some ‘moderate’ Arab regimes may be just round the corner.”

Norman Podhoretz in Commentary even outdid Kristol’s Standard, rhapsodizing that we should embrace a war of civilizations, as it is George W. Bush’s mission “to fight World War IV—the war against militant Islam.” By his count, the regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil (Iraq, Iran, North Korea). At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as ‘“friends” of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority. Bush must reject the “timorous counsels” of the “incorrigibly cautious Colin Powell,” wrote Podhoretz, and “find the stomach to impose a new political culture on the defeated” Islamic world. As the war against al-Qaeda required that we destroy the Taliban, Podhoretz wrote,

We may willy-nilly find ourselves forced … to topple five or six or seven more tyrannies in the Islamic world (including that other sponsor of terrorism, Yasir Arafat’s Palestinian Authority). I can even [imagine] the turmoil of this war leading to some new species of an imperial mission for America, whose purpose would be to oversee the emergence of successor governments in the region more amenable to reform and modernization than the despotisms now in place. … I can also envisage the establishment of some kind of American protectorate over the oil fields of Saudi Arabia, as we more and more come to wonder why 7,000 princes should go on being permitted to exert so much leverage over us and everyone else.

Podhoretz credits Eliot Cohen with the phrase “World War IV.” Bush was shortly thereafter seen carrying about a gift copy of Cohen’s book that celebrates civilian mastery of the military in times of war, as exhibited by such leaders as Winston Churchill and David Ben Gurion. (( See: <span style="font-style:italic;">Neocon Eliot Cohen Chosen as State Department Counselor))

A list of the Middle East regimes that Podhoretz, Bennett, Ledeen, Netanyahu, and the Wall Street Journal regard as targets for destruction thus includes Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and “militant Islam.”

Cui Bono? For whose benefit these endless wars in a region that holds nothing vital to America save oil, which the Arabs must sell us to survive? Who would benefit from a war of civilizations between the West and Islam?

Answer: one nation, one leader, one party. Israel, Sharon, Likud.

Indeed, Sharon has been everywhere the echo of his acolytes in America. In February 2003, Sharon told a delegation of Congressmen that, after Saddam’s regime is destroyed, it is of “vital importance” that the United States disarm Iran, Syria, and Libya.

“We have a great interest in shaping the Middle East the day after” the war on Iraq, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told the Conference of Major American Jewish Organizations. After U.S. troops enter Baghdad, the United States must generate “political, economic, diplomatic pressure” on Tehran, Mofaz admonished the American Jews.

Are the neoconservatives concerned about a war on Iraq bringing down friendly Arab governments? Not at all. They would welcome it.

“Mubarak is no great shakes,” says Richard Perle of the President of Egypt. “Surely we can do better than Mubarak.” Asked about the possibility that a war on Iraq—which he predicted would be a “cakewalk”—might upend governments in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, former UN ambassador Ken Adelman told Joshua Micah Marshall of Washington Monthly, “All the better if you ask me.”

On July 10, 2002, Perle invited a former aide to Lyndon LaRouche named Laurent Murawiec to address the Defense Policy Board. In a briefing that startled Henry Kissinger, Murawiec named Saudi Arabia as “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent” of the United States.

Washington should give Riyadh an ultimatum, he said. Either you Saudis “prosecute or isolate those involved in the terror chain, including the Saudi intelligence services,” and end all propaganda against Israel, or we invade your country, seize your oil fields, and occupy Mecca.

In closing his PowerPoint presentation, Murawiec offered a “Grand Strategy for the Middle East.” “Iraq is the tactical pivot, Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot, Egypt the prize.” Leaked reports of Murawiec’s briefing did not indicate if anyone raised the question of how the Islamic world might respond to U.S. troops tramping around the grounds of the Great Mosque.

What these neoconservatives seek is to conscript American blood to make the world safe for Israel. They want the peace of the sword imposed on Islam and American soldiers to die if necessary to impose it.

Washington Times editor at large Arnaud de Borchgrave calls this the “Bush-Sharon Doctrine.” “Washington’s ‘Likudniks,’” he writes, “have been in charge of U.S. policy in the Middle East since Bush was sworn into office.”

The neocons seek American empire, and Sharonites seek hegemony over the Middle East. The two agendas coincide precisely. And though neocons insist that it was Sept. 11 that made the case for war on Iraq and militant Islam, the origins of their war plans go back far before.

“Securing the Realm”

The principal draftsman is Richard Perle, an aide to Sen. Scoop Jackson, who, in 1970, was overheard on a federal wiretap discussing classified information from the National Security Council with the Israeli Embassy. In Jews and American Politics, published in 1974, Stephen D. Isaacs wrote, “Richard Perle and Morris Amitay command a tiny army of Semitophiles on Capitol Hill and direct Jewish power in behalf of Jewish interests.” In 1983, the New York Times reported that Perle had taken substantial payments from an Israeli weapons manufacturer.

In 1996, with Douglas Feith and David Wurmser, Perle wrote “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” for Prime Minister Netanyahu. In it, Perle, Feith, and Wurmser urged Bibi to ditch the Oslo Accords of the assassinated Yitzak Rabin and adopt a new aggressive strategy:

Israel can shape its strategic environment, in cooperation with Turkey and Jordan, by weakening, containing, and even rolling back Syria. This effort can focus on removing Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq—an important Israeli strategic objective in its own right—as a means of foiling Syria’s regional ambitions. Jordan has challenged Syria’s regional ambitions recently by suggesting the restoration of the Hashemites in Iraq.

In the Perle-Feith-Wurmser strategy, Israel’s enemy remains Syria, but the road to Damascus runs through Baghdad. Their plan, which urged Israel to re-establish “the principle of preemption,” has now been imposed by Perle, Feith, Wurmser & Co. on the United States.

In his own 1997 paper, “A Strategy for Israel,” Feith pressed Israel to re-occupy “the areas under Palestinian Authority control,” though “the price in blood would be high.”

Wurmser, as a resident scholar at AEI, drafted joint war plans for Israel and the United States “to fatally strike the centers of radicalism in the Middle East. Israel and the United States should … broaden the conflict to strike fatally, not merely disarm, the centers of radicalism in the region—the regimes of Damascus, Baghdad, Tripoli, Tehran, and Gaza. That would establish the recognition that fighting either the United States or Israel is suicidal.”

He urged both nations to be on the lookout for a crisis, for as he wrote, “Crises can be opportunities.” Wurmser published his U.S.-Israeli war plan on Jan. 1, 2001, nine months before 9/11.

About the Perle-Feith-Wurmser cabal, author Michael Lind writes:

The radical Zionist right to which Perle and Feith belong is small in number but it has become a significant force in Republican policy-making circles. It is a recent phenomenon, dating back to the late 1970s and 1980s, when many formerly Democratic Jewish intellectuals joined the broad Reagan coalition. While many of these hawks speak in public about global crusades for democracy, the chief concern of many such “neo-conservatives” is the power and reputation of Israel.

Right down the smokestack.

Perle today chairs the Defense Policy Board, Feith is an Undersecretary of Defense, and Wurmser is special assistant to the Undersecretary of State for Arms Control, John Bolton, who dutifully echoes the Perle-Sharon line. According to the Israeli daily newspaper Ha’aretz, in late February,

U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials … that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards.

On Jan. 26, 1998, President Clinton received a letter imploring him to use his State of the Union address to make removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime the “aim of American foreign policy” and to use military action because “diplomacy is failing.” Were Clinton to do that, the signers pledged, they would “offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor.” Signing the pledge were Elliott Abrams, Bill Bennett, John Bolton, Robert Kagan, William Kristol, Richard Perle, and Paul Wolfowitz. Four years before 9/11, the neocons had Baghdad on their minds.

The Wolfowitz Doctrine

In 1992, a startling document was leaked from the office of Paul Wolfowitz at the Pentagon. Barton Gellman of the Washington Post called it a “classified blueprint intended to help ‘set the nation’s direction for the next century.’” The Wolfowitz Memo called for a permanent U.S. military presence on six continents to deter all “potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.” Containment, the victorious strategy of the Cold War, was to give way to an ambitious new strategy designed to “establish and protect a new order.”

Though the Wolfowitz Memo was denounced and dismissed in 1992, it became American policy in the 33-page National Security Strategy (NSS) issued by President Bush on Sept. 21, 2002. Washington Post reporter Tim Reich describes it as a “watershed in U.S. foreign policy” that “reverses the fundamental principles that have guided successive Presidents for more than 50 years: containment and deterrence.”

Andrew Bacevich, a professor at Boston University, writes of the NSS that he marvels at “its fusion of breathtaking utopianism with barely disguised machtpolitik. It reads as if it were the product not of sober, ostensibly conservative Republicans but of an unlikely collaboration between Woodrow Wilson and the elder Field Marshal von Moltke.”

In confronting America’s adversaries, the paper declares, “We will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively.” It warns any nation that seeks to acquire power to rival the United States that it will be courting war with the United States:

[T]he president has no intention of allowing any nation to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago. … Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing or equaling the power of the United States.

America must reconcile herself to an era of “nation-building on a grand scale, and with no exit strategy,” Robert Kagan instructs. But this Pax Americana the neocons envision bids fair to usher us into a time of what Harry Elmer Barnes called “Perpetual War, Perpetual Peace.”

The Munich Card

As President Bush was warned on Sept. 20, 2001, that he will be indicted for “a decisive surrender” in the war on terror should he fail to attack Iraq, he is also on notice that pressure on Israel is forbidden. For as the neoconservatives have played the anti-Semitic card, they will not hesitate to play the Munich card as well. A year ago, when Bush called on Sharon to pull out of the West Bank, Sharon fired back that he would not let anyone do to Israel what Neville Chamberlain had done to the Czechs. Frank Gaffney of the Center for Security Policy immediately backed up Ariel Sharon:

With each passing day, Washington appears to view its principal Middle Eastern ally’s conduct as inconvenient—in much the same way London and Paris came to see Czechoslovakia’s resistance to Hitler’s offers of peace in exchange for Czech lands.

When former U.S. NATO commander Gen. George Jouwlan said the United States may have to impose a peace on Israel and the Palestinians, he, too, faced the charge of appeasement. Wrote Gaffney,

They would, presumably, go beyond Britain and France’s sell-out of an ally at Munich in 1938. The “impose a peace” school is apparently prepared to have us play the role of Hitler’s Wehrmacht as well, seizing and turning over to Yasser Arafat the contemporary Sudetenland: the West Bank and Gaza Strip and perhaps part of Jerusalem as well.

Podhoretz agreed Sharon was right in the substance of what he said but called it politically unwise to use the Munich analogy.

President Bush is on notice: Should he pressure Israel to trade land for peace, the Oslo formula in which his father and Yitzak Rabin believed, he will, as was his father, be denounced as an anti-Semite and a Munich-style appeaser by both Israelis and their neoconservatives allies inside his own Big Tent.

Yet, if Bush cannot deliver Sharon there can be no peace. And if there is no peace in the Mideast there is no security for us, ever—for there will be no end to terror. As most every diplomat and journalist who travels to the region will relate, America’s failure to be even-handed, our failure to rein in Sharon, our failure to condemn Israel’s excesses, and our moral complicity in Israel’s looting of Palestinian lands and denial of their right to self-determination sustains the anti-Americanism in the Islamic world in which terrorists and terrorism breed.

Let us conclude. The Israeli people are America’s friends and have a right to peace and secure borders. We should help them secure these rights. As a nation, we have made a moral commitment, endorsed by half a dozen presidents, which Americans wish to honor, not to permit these people who have suffered much to see their country overrun and destroyed. And we must honor this commitment.

But U.S. and Israeli interests are not identical. They often collide, and when they do, U.S. interests must prevail.
Moreover, we do not view the Sharon regime as “America’s best friend.”

Since the time of Ben Gurion, the behavior of the Israeli regime has been Jekyll and Hyde. In the 1950s, its intelligence service, the Mossad, had agents in Egypt blow up U.S. installations to make it appear the work of Cairo, to destroy U.S. relations with the new Nasser government. During the Six Day War, Israel ordered repeated attacks on the undefended USS Liberty that killed 34 American sailors and wounded 171 and included the machine-gunning of life rafts. This massacre was neither investigated nor punished by the U.S. government in an act of national cravenness.

Though we have given Israel $20,000 for every Jewish citizen, Israel refuses to stop building the settlements that are the cause of the Palestinian intifada. Likud has dragged our good name through the mud and blood of Ramallah, ignored Bush’s requests to restrain itself, and sold U.S. weapons technology to China, including the Patriot, the Phoenix air-to-air missile, and the Lavi fighter, which is based on F-16 technology. Only direct U.S. intervention blocked Israel’s sale of our AWACS system.

Israel suborned Jonathan Pollard to loot our secrets and refuses to return the documents, which would establish whether or not they were sold to Moscow. When Clinton tried to broker an agreement at Wye Plantation between Israel and Arafat, Bibi Netanyahu attempted to extort, as his price for signing, release of Pollard, so he could take this treasonous snake back to Israel as a national hero.

Do the Brits, our closest allies, behave like this?

Though we have said repeatedly that we admire much of what this president has done, he will not deserve re-election if he does not jettison the neoconservatives’ agenda of endless wars on the Islamic world that serve only the interests of a country other than the one he was elected to preserve and protect.

March 24, 2003 issue
Copyright © 2003 The American Conservativen

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The Global Fight against Terrorism: Status and Perspectives

Dr. Horst Teltschik, ministers, participants, distinguished guests, ladies and Gentlemen. Thank you. I'm delighted to be with you. It's a particular pleasure to be back in Old Europe! I'm told that when I used that term the other day, it caused a bit of a stir. Frankly, I don't understand w hat the fuss was about-at my age, I consider "old" a term of endearment.

One of the advantages of age is perspective-when you are as old as I am, you've seen a lot of history. I lived through our depression, and World War II. A young man when the NATO Alliance was founded, the names Churchill, Roosevelt, Adenauer, Marshall and Truman were not figures I learned about from history books. They were leaders we followed over the years, as Europe drifted into war and then was lifted from the ashes of World War II. They helped build our transatlantic Alliance, and fashioned it into a bulwark against tyranny and in defense of our common values and our freedom.

When the President appointed me Ambassador to NATO in the early 1970s, it was a defining moment in my life. I worked closely with dedicated and highly skilled diplomats such as Andre de Starke of Belgium, then the dean of the NATO council, my close friend Francois de Rose, then the French Ambassador to NATO, Franz Krapf of the Federal Republic of Germany, and so many other talented diplomats. None of us could have imagined then that NATO leaders would one day meet in Prague, where we would invite Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania to become members of the Atlantic Alliance.

It is remarkable how Europe has changed just over the course of my lifetime. Thanks to NATO's efforts, the center of Europe has indeed shifted eastward-and our Alliance is stronger for it.

Not only is the map of Europe being transformed, but so too is the map of the world. Out of the tragedy of September 11th came great responsibilities, to be sure, but also unprecedented opportunities - to tear down calcified barriers left over from earlier eras, and build new relationships with countries that would have been unimaginable just a few short years ago. And that is precisely what we have been doing in the global war on terror.

Our coalition today includes some 90 nations - almost half the world. It is the largest coalition in human history. We are fighting alongside old allies and new friends alike. (Whoops - there's that word "old" again). Some are involved in the military effort in Afghanistan. Others are helping elsewhere in the world - in Asia, the Gulf, the Horn of Africa. Some are helping with stability operations; still others are providing basing, re-fueling, over-flight, and intelligence. Some not participating in the military effort are helping in the financial, diplomatic and law enforcement efforts. All of these efforts are important, and deeply appreciated by all nations committed to the global war on terror.

As to Iraq, we still hope that force may not be necessary to disarm Saddam Hussein. But if it comes to that, we already know that the same will hold true - some countries will participate, while others may choose not to. The strength of our coalition is that we do not expect every member to be a part of every undertaking.

The support that has already been pledged to disarm Iraq, here in Europe and across the world, is impressive and growing. A large number of nations have already said they will be with us in a coalition of the willing - and more are stepping up each day.

Last week, the leaders of Britain, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain issued a courageous statement declaring that "the Iraqi regime and its weapons of mass destruction represent a clear threat to world security," and pledging that they "remain united in insisting that his regime be disarmed."

Their statement was followed this week by an equally bold declaration by the "Vilnius 10" - Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania, Albania, Croatia and Macedonia. They declared: "Our countries understand the dangers posed by tyranny and the special responsibility of democracies to defend our shared values. We are prepared to contribute to an international coalition to enforce [Resolution 1441] and the disarmament of Iraq."

Clearly, momentum is building - momentum that sends a critically important message to the Iraqi regime - about our seriousness of purpose and the world's determination that Iraq must disarm.

Let me be clear: no one wants war. War is never a first or an easy choice. But the risks of war need to be balanced against the risks of doing nothing while Iraq pursues the tools of mass destruction.

It may be difficult for some to understand just how fundamentally September 11th transformed our country. Americans saw the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Towers as a painful and vivid foreshadowing of far more deadly attacks to come. We looked at the destruction caused by terrorists, who took jetliners, turned them into missiles, and used them to kill 3,000 innocent men, women and children - and we considered the destruction that would be caused by an adversary armed with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Instead of 3,000 killed, it could be 30,000, 300,000, or more.

Konrad Adenauer once said that "history is the sum total of things that could have been avoided." With history, we have the advantage of hindsight. But we must use that advantage to learn. Our challenge today is even more difficult: it is to connect the dots before the fact - to prevent an attack before it happens - not to wait and then hope to pick up the pieces after it happens.

To do so, we must come to terms with a fundamental truth - we have reached a point in history when the margin of error we once enjoyed is gone. In the 20th century, we were dealing, for the most part, with conventional weapons that could kill hundreds or thousands of people. If we miscalculated - if we underestimated or ignored a threat - we could absorb an attack, recover, take a deep breath, mobilize our forces, and go out and defeat our attackers. In the 21st century, that is no longer the case; the cost of underestimating the threat is increasingly unthinkable.

There is a momentous fact of life we must come to terms with: it is the nexus between terror and weapons of mass destruction. On September 11th, terrorist states discovered that missiles are not the only way to strike Washington - or Paris, or Berlin. There are other means of delivery - terrorist networks. To the extent a terrorist state transfers weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups, they could conceal their responsibility for an attack.

To this day, we still do not know with certainty who was behind the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. We still do not know who is responsible for the anthrax attacks in the U.S. The nature of terrorist attacks is that it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to identify those responsible. And a terrorist state that can conceal its responsibility for an attack would not be deterred.

We are all vulnerable to these threats. As President Bush said in Berlin, "Those who despise human freedom will attack it on every continent." We need only to look at the recent terrorist bombings in Kenya and Bali, or the poison cells recently uncovered here in Europe, to see that is the case.

Last week, President Bush spoke to the world about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime. This week, Secretary Powell presented additional information in the Security Council:

* Intercepted communications between Iraqi officials,
* Satellite images of Iraqi weapons facilities, and
* Human intelligence - from agents inside Iraq, defectors and detainees captured in the global war on terror.

He presented not opinions, not conjecture, but facts demonstrating:

* Iraq's ongoing pursuit of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons;
* Its development of delivery systems, including missiles and unmanned vehicles;
* Its tests of chemical weapons on human beings;
* Its ongoing efforts to deceive UN inspectors and conceal its WMD programs; and
* Its ties to terrorist networks, including al-Qaeda-affiliated cells operating in Baghdad.

It is difficult to believe there could still be any question in the minds of reasonable people open to the facts before them. The threat is there to see for those who will see it. And if the worst were to happen - and we had done nothing to stop it - not one of us here today could honestly say that it was a surprise. It will not be a surprise. We are on notice. Each of our nations. Each of us individually. The only question remaining is: what will we do about it?

We all hope for a peaceful resolution. But the one chance for a peaceful resolution is to make clear that free nations are prepared to use force if necessary - that the world is united and ready to act.

There are those who counsel that we should delay preparations for war. Ironically, that approach could well make war more likely, not less - because delaying preparations sends a signal of uncertainty, instead of a signal of unity and resolve. If the international community once again shows a lack of resolve, there is no chance that Saddam Hussein will disarm voluntarily or flee - and thus little chance of a peaceful outcome.

There is another reason to prepare now: NATO member nations have an Article V commitment to defend Turkey, should it come under attack by Iraq. Those preventing the Alliance from taking even minimum measures to prepare to do so, risk undermining the credibility of the NATO Alliance.

The stakes are high. Iraq is now defying the 17th UN Security Council resolution. The Council voted to warn Iraq that this was its "final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations." The resolution, which passed unanimously, did not say the "next to final opportunity." It said the "final opportunity." Those voting knew what it said. They were explicitly reminded what it said. The question is did the UN mean it? Did they mean it? We will soon know.

17 times the UN has drawn a line in the sand - and 17 times Saddam Hussein has crossed that line. As last week's statement by the eight European leaders so eloquently put it: "If [those resolutions] are not complied with, the Security Council will lose its credibility and world peace will suffer as a result."

Let me add these sad thoughts about the state of the United Nations. An institution that, with the support or acquiescence of many of the nations represented in this room, would permit Iraq, a terrorist state that refuses to disarm, to become the chair of the United Nations Commission on Disarmament, and which recently elected Libya - a terrorist state - to chair the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, seems not to be even struggling to regain credibility.

That these acts of irresponsibility could happen now, at this moment in history, is breathtaking. Those acts will be marked in the history of the UN as either the low point of that institution in retreat, or the turning point when the UN woke up, took hold of itself, and moved away from a path of ridicule to a path of responsibility.

To understand what is at stake, it is worth reminding ourselves of the history of the UN's predecessor, the League of Nations. When the League failed to act after the invasion of Abyssinia, it was discredited as an instrument of peace and security. The lesson of that experience was best summed up at the time by Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King, who declared, "Collective bluffing cannot bring about collective security."

That lesson is as true today, at the start of the 21st century, as it was in the 20th century. The question before us is - have we learned it?

There are moments in history when the judgment and resolve of free nations are put to the test. This is such a moment. The security environment we are entering is the most dangerous the world has known. The lives of our children and grandchildren could well hang in the balance.

When they look back on this period, what will they say of us? Will they say we stood still - paralyzed by a straightjacket of indecision and 20th century thinking - while dangers gathered? Or will they say that we recognized the coming danger, united, and took action before it was too late?

The coming days and weeks will tell.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Ashcroft's Paradox of Prevention

The main reason this text is inportant in the History of the Iraq war, is that it brings up for the first time the "paradox of Prevention"

This paragraph:

..traditional law enforcement -- prosecution. Prosecution is retrospective; it re-creates a past event. It is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with the benefit of the picture on the box top. Our new, international goal of terrorism prevention, on the other hand, involves anticipation and imagination about emerging scenarios, the puzzle pieces of which have yet to come into alignment. Together, our nations are finding new ways to anticipate these dangerous scenarios and to identify, intercept and disrupt them before they become tragic terrorist realities.

Would be the rationale for the US jailing thousands of people, some in secret prisons, without charges brought against them, without trials or any reepresentation, based on the mere fact that they may in the future possibly be part of a terrorist activity. As in the Science fiction book and movie called Minority Report- the would be criminal is arrested prior to them commiting a crime.

Posted by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)

*EPF116 02/10/2003
Text: Ashcroft Says Information Sharing Vital to Battling Terrorism
(He praised the work of a 90-nation coalition fighting terrorism) (2070)

Attorney General John Ashcroft says a coalition of 90 nations have come together in the fight against global terrorism to support freedom, the rule of law and shared values.

"We have come together because our nations share a commitment to the rule of law, supporting freedom of speech, religious tolerance, political democracy and equality between men and women," Ashcroft said February 10 in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. "We have come together because the targets of terrorism are not buildings, people, or even nations. The targets of terrorism are the shared values of free peoples."

Ashcroft said that the worldwide coalition has achieved unparalleled police-to-police cooperation among different national law enforcement agencies.

And chief among cooperation and sharing has been the sharing of vital information, he said. "I have said often that in this global war on terror, the best friend of prevention is information, and the best friends of information are cooperation, coordination and collaboration. Nations that stand on the side of the rule of law have embraced these principles, understanding also that we are bound to encounter occasional difficulties and temporary glitches as we embark on a new quest for international security," he said.

Following is the text of Ashcroft's remarks, as prepared:

(begin text)

Prepared Remarks of Attorney General John Ashcroft
Council on Foreign Relations
February 10, 2003

(Note: The Attorney General Often Deviates From Prepared Remarks)

Thank you. It is truly a pleasure to be here today.

In the early summer of 1941, as London endured the worst bombing of the Blitz, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt offered this message of solidarity and defiance to the people of Great Britain: "We, too, born to freedom, and believing in freedom, are willing to fight to maintain freedom. We, and all others who believe as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees."

Over 60 years later, it is difficult to think of a phrase that better describes the path America has taken against the tyranny of terrorism -- to risk dying on our feet rather than living on our knees. When enemies of liberty struck this nation 17 months ago, we had two choices: either succumb to fanatics or fight in defense of freedom.

America has made the choice to fight terrorism, not just for ourselves but for all freedom-loving people. And all across the world, freedom-loving people have joined the side of liberty, justice, and respect for the rule of law.

The terrorists sought to divide nations -- and indeed they have, though not in the way they intended. Where once we saw a world divided East versus West, today we see a new model of division, not based on ethnicity or geography. The gulf between nations now separates those devoted to the rule of law from those devoted to the tyranny of terrorism. It is the divide of civilization versus chaos.

The acts of terror the world has witnessed have welded a bond, not driven a wedge, among freedom-loving nations. Those who were murdered on September 11 were not only Americans, but citizens from a multitude of nations. In response, a multitude of nations has risen up in defense of freedom and commitment to the rule of law. Our fight, as President Bush noted, is not just America's fight, but the world's fight. In the words of the President, quote, "This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom."

I would add that "progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom" only flourish in rule-of-law, rather than rule-of-terror, environments.

In order to fight and to defeat terrorism, the Department of Justice has added a new paradigm to that of prosecution -- a paradigm of prevention. We are working to bridge the gaps in our domestic law enforcement and security activities with greater cooperation and information sharing. We have broken down some of the artificial barriers separating needlessly our law enforcement and intelligence communities. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies have united in unprecedented cooperation, committed to a common goal.

We have thought anew and acted anew in pursuit of this goal, and freedom-loving nations have responded in kind. Since September 11, a coalition of 90 countries has come together in a fight against terrorism that is changing the world. We have come together because our nations share a commitment to the rule of law, supporting freedom of speech, religious tolerance, political democracy and equality between men and women. We have come together because the targets of terrorism are not buildings, people, or even nations. The targets of terrorism are the shared values of free peoples.

It is these shared values -- and the institutions that protect and nurture them -- that are under attack by terrorists today. And as long as nations share a commitment to freedom, equality and justice, we will be -- we must be -- partners in the struggle to defeat those who fear freedom, hate equality, and mock justice.

Over the past year-and-a-half, I have had the opportunity to meet with dozens of foreign leaders to discuss ways to enhance our joint law enforcement capabilities, and have seen firsthand the strong partnerships we have forged with freedom-loving nations throughout the world. Today alone I will meet with officials from two of the world's great powers, China and Great Britain.

Some critics, however, misinterpret or mischaracterize our relationships with our allies, believing them to be strained, damaged, or even non-existent.

To paraphrase Mark Twain, another native Missourian, the reports of the demise of international cooperation in the war on terror have been exaggerated greatly. Today, nearly 17 months after the attacks of September 11, our relationships with our foreign allies are stronger, not weaker. The bonds of sympathy and support hold firm. Indeed, what began as expressions of compassion have been transformed into commitments to action.

Law enforcement agencies across Europe have joined with the United States to form partnerships that have enhanced the security of all our nations. Let me cite a few examples:

-- The United States has forged deep ties of cooperation with Switzerland, including a special "working arrangement" with the Federal Department of Police and the Swiss Anti-terrorism Task Force.

-- Since September 11, we have worked side by side with officials in Germany to track down terrorists. Just last month, German authorities arrested two suspects in Frankfurt as part of an ongoing investigation coordinated by the FBI and German law enforcement.

-- Scores of formal U.S. requests for evidence needed in a wide variety of terrorism investigations -- from bank records to witness interviews -- have been granted promptly by rule-of-law respecting countries across Europe.

-- We have reached landmark information sharing agreements with EUROPOL (European Police).

-- We have established points of contact among American law enforcement agencies and EUROPOL and EUROJUST (European Council unit).

-- The United States has welcomed EUROPOL officers who have been assigned to Washington, and we in turn have assigned U.S. prosecutors to serve as liaisons with EUROJUST.

-- We have collaborated on terrorism threat assessments and identified several European-based terrorists and terrorist organizations.

-- We have cooperated closely to freeze the assets of suspected terrorists and financiers in an effort to cut off terrorists' ability to fund terrorism.

-- We are also in the process of negotiating an unprecedented judicial cooperation agreement between the United States and the European Union.

Our partners in the war on terrorism extend far beyond Europe. We are working hand in hand with law enforcement officials from Pakistan to Colombia, and from Canada to China.

-- Under the leadership of the former Solicitor General of Canada, Lawrence MacAulay, and current Solicitor General Wayne Easter, Canadian law enforcement has been an indispensable and strong partner with the United States. Long before the attacks of September 11, Canada provided consistent and invaluable assistance to law enforcement officials in the United States. And since the attacks, our nations have collaborated more closely than ever to secure our borders and protect our citizens from the threat of terrorism.

-- In December 2001, the United States and the People's Republic of China established a Counter-Terrorism Working Group. As a direct result of the Working Group's efforts, the FBI now has its first office ever in China. And the Department of Justice now has an Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Beijing as a Resident Legal Advisor.

-- We have cooperated closely with law enforcement officials in Colombia and other South American nations to bring charges against key members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), two guerrilla groups designated by the State Department as foreign terrorist organizations. These indictments strike at the heart of the nexus between drug trafficking and terrorism.

Our worldwide coalition has achieved unparalleled police-to-police cooperation among different national law enforcement agencies. Here in America, we have made great strides toward improving the integrity in our governmental systems that secure freedoms, while remaining true to the rule of law.

-- We are reforming immigration systems by using biometrics, including fingerprinting, to ensure the integrity of the free movement of people in our free countries;

-- We are updating and adapting continuously our counterterrorism and intelligence systems, as well as participating in law enforcement exchanges, to allow for information to be exchanged in real time;

-- And we are improving and securing trade systems to ensure the integrity of the free flow of goods through cargo inspections and container security.

The brief history of the war on terror to this point has taught us we will either stand together to defend freedom, or we will fall together to freedom's enemies. I have said often that in this global war on terror, the best friend of prevention is information, and the best friends of information are cooperation, coordination and collaboration. Nations that stand on the side of the rule of law have embraced these principles, understanding also that we are bound to encounter occasional difficulties and temporary glitches as we embark on a new quest for international security.

In the past, our focus has been on traditional law enforcement -- prosecution. Prosecution is retrospective; it re-creates a past event. It is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with the benefit of the picture on the box top. Our new, international goal of terrorism prevention, on the other hand, involves anticipation and imagination about emerging scenarios, the puzzle pieces of which have yet to come into alignment. Together, our nations are finding new ways to anticipate these dangerous scenarios and to identify, intercept and disrupt them before they become tragic terrorist realities. We are working together as never before to overcome obstacles we confront along the way.

As President Bush said in the days following the September 11 attacks, "The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain." That outcome can already be seen in the liberation of the long-oppressed people of Afghanistan; on the faces of women unveiled in newfound liberty and enrolled once again in schools; in the smiles of children awakened to the potential of life and the promise of freedom under the rule of law.

Forty-two years ago last month, President John F. Kennedy inspired a world confronting the menace of communism -- and relished the opportunity history placed before his generation to see communism defeated. Kennedy said, quote, "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger .... I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation."

These words resonate deeply in 2003. As freedom-loving nations, we now find ourselves in the midst of an historic struggle for the values of democracy. We cannot escape the challenge history has placed before us. It is more than a duty, and more than a privilege; it is the calling of our time. We will rise to this challenge and will answer this call. Let history record that we, together -- this people and this generation -- defended freedom in its hour of great danger.

Thank you very much.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site:

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