Friday, January 05, 2007

 

Ritter: Israel Lobby Behind Hostilities with Iran

It pays to read the Jewish press. Below are excerpts from "Book: Israel, Lobby Pushing Iran War" by Nathan Guttman, writing in the Jewish Daily Forward, December 29, 2006. This article has a very different spin from the interesting interview that Scott Ritter gave to Amy Goodman concerning his book Target Iran: The Truth About the White House's Plans for Regime Change in October, 2006. From the Forward:
A former United Nations weapons inspector and leading Iraq War opponent has written a new book alleging that Jerusalem is pushing the Bush administration into war with Iran, and accusing the pro-Israel lobby of dual loyalty and “outright espionage.”

In the new book, called “Target Iran,” Scott Ritter, who served as a senior U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and later became one of the war’s staunchest critics, argues that the United States is readying for military action against Iran, using its nuclear program as a pretext for pursuing regime change in Tehran.

“The Bush administration, with the able help of the Israeli government and the pro-Israel Lobby, has succeeded,” Ritter writes, “in exploiting the ignorance of the American people about nuclear technology and nuclear weapons so as to engender enough fear that the American public has more or less been pre-programmed to accept the notion of the need to militarily confront a nuclear armed Iran.”

Later in the book, Ritter adds: “Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.”

Ritter’s book echoes recent high-profile attacks on the pro-Israel lobby by former President Jimmy Carter and by scholars Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer. Ritter, who recently returned from a weeklong speaking engagement on The Nation cruise, speaks of a “network of individuals” that pursues Israel’s interests in the United States. The former weapons inspector alleges that some of the pro-Israel lobby’s activities “can only be described as outright espionage and interference in domestic policies.” Ritter also accused the American Israel Public Affairs Committee of having an inherent dual loyalty. He called for the organization to be registered as a foreign agent. ...

In his book, Ritter also accuses the pro-Israel lobby of invoking the memory of the Holocaust and of crying antisemitism whenever Israel is accused of betraying America. “This is a sickening and deeply disturbing trend that must end,” Ritter writes. ...

Ritter argues that the Bush administration knows that inspections can solve the Iranian nuclear problem but, at the urging of Jerusalem and its American allies, is in reality pursuing a different goal: regime change in Tehran.

“Israel has, through a combination of ignorance, fear and paranoia, elevated Iran to a status that it finds unacceptable,” Ritter writes in his book. “Israel has engaged in policies that have further inflamed this situation. Israel displays arrogance and rigidity when it comes to developing any diplomatic solution to the Iranian issue.” ...

In early 2004, Ritter charged in an interview on the Web site Ynet, operated by the daily Yediot Aharonot, that Israeli intelligence had deliberately overstated what it knew to be a minimal threat from Iraq in an effort to push America and Britain to launch a war. Ritter’s accusations were roundly rejected across the Israeli political spectrum. Security officials interviewed by the Forward insisted that no branch of the military could or would deliberately skew the findings in that way, but they also said that Israeli intelligence tended to exaggerate threats because it was operating under flawed assumptions.

Now Ritter is arguing that a similar effort is under way to produce an attack against Iran.

Speaking to the Forward this week, Ritter stressed that he is not accusing all American Jews of having dual loyalty, saying that “at the end of the day, I would like to believe that most of American Jews will side with America.” ...
Concerning the role of Israeli intelligence in pushing for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Guttman writes above: "Ritter’s accusations were roundly rejected across the Israeli political spectrum." This is simply untrue.

In "Israel knew Iraq had no nuclear weapons," Laurie Copans writes:
Jerusalem - A government critic said on Tuesday that Israel was aware before the war against Iraq that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction, but Israel did not inform the United States. ...

But lawmaker Yossi Sarid, a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, said on Tuesday that Israeli intelligence knew beforehand that Iraq had no weapons stockpiles and misled US President George Bush. ...

Last year Israel appointed a stern general, Amos Gilead, as its liaison with the population. Gilead filled the airwaves with dire warnings of possible chemical or biological attacks from Iraq.

Sarid, who represents the dovish opposition Meretz Party, said it was just a costly show - Israeli intelligence knew the threat was "very, very, very limited."

"It was known in Israel that the story that weapons of mass destruction could be activated in 45 minutes was an old wives' tale," said Sarid, regarding a claim leading up to the war.

"Israel didn't want to spoil President Bush's scenario, and it should have," Sarid said.

Israeli critics say the government of Sharon maintained the state of alert for its own political reasons, to help galvanise public opinion in favour of harsh steps against the Palestinians. ...
This explanation makes no sense. Israeli leaders have never been at a loss for excuses or public support to brutalize Palestinians. This is merely a smoke screen to obscure Israel's role in pushing for the American war on Iraq.

Then, there's this Associated Press article:

General: Israelis exaggerated Iraq threat
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli intelligence overplayed the threat posed by Iraq and reinforced the U.S. and British assessment that Saddam Hussein had large amounts of weapons of mass destruction, a retired Israeli general said Thursday.

The Israeli assessment may have been colored by politics, including a desire to see the Iraqi leader toppled, said Shlomo Brom, who was a senior Israeli military intelligence officer and is now a researcher with Israel's top strategic think tank. ...

In an article in Strategic Assessment, a publication of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, Brom said weapons of mass destruction probably would not be found in significant quantities in Iraq.

He said Israeli intelligence overplayed the potential danger before the war. ...

Brom told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that "Israeli intelligence was a full partner with the United States and Britain in developing a false picture of Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction capability." ...

Brom said the Israeli assessment may have been influenced by politics. "Israel has no reason to regret the outcome of the war in Iraq," he wrote, noting Saddam was an implacable enemy. ...
In the Strategic Assessment article Brom writes: "In the questioning of the picture painted by coalition intelligence, the third party in this intelligence failure, Israel, has remained in the shadows." Quite so.

In addition to the bogus Israeli intelligence, bogus American intelligence was cooked up by a cabal of Zionists in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans. For more info on that group see:

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