Retiring Senator Charges:
Pro-Israel Policy Led to War
Ernest F. Hollings
With 760 dead in Iraq and over 3,000 maimed for
life, home folks continue to argue why we are in Iraq—and how to get out.
Now everyone knows what was not the cause. Even
President Bush acknowledges that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9-11.
Listing the 45 countries where Al Qaeda was operating on Sept. 11 (70 cells in
the U.S.), the State Department did not list Iraq. Richard Clarke, in Against
All Enemies, tells how the United States had not received any threat of
terrorism for 10 years from Saddam at the time of our invasion.
On page 231, John McLaughlin of the CIA verifies
this to Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. In 1993, President Clinton
responded to Saddam’s attempt on the life of President George H.W. Bush by
putting a missile down on Saddam’s intelligence headquarters in Baghdad. Not a
big kill, but Saddam got the message—monkey around with the United States and a
missile lands on his head. Of course there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Israel’s intelligence, Mossad, knows what’s going on in Iraq. They are the
best. They have to know.
Israel’s survival depends on knowing. Israel long
since would have taken us to the weapons of mass destruction if there were any
or if they had been removed. With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign
country? The answer: President Bush’s policy to secure Israel.
Led by Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Charles
Krauthammer, for years there has been a domino school of thought that the way
to guarantee Israel’s security is to spread democracy in the area. Wolfowitz
wrote: “The United States may not be able to lead countries through the door of
democracy, but where that door is locked shut by a totalitarian deadbolt,
American power may be the only way to open it up.” And on another occasion:
Iraq as “the first Arab democracy . . . would cast a very large shadow,
starting with Syria and Iran but across the whole Arab world.” Three weeks
before the invasion, President Bush stated: “A new regime in Iraq would serve
as a dramatic and inspiring example for freedom for other nations in the
Every president since 1947 has made a futile
attempt to help Israel negotiate peace. But no leadership has surfaced amongst
the Palestinians that can make a binding agreement. President Bush realized his
chances at negotiation were no better. He came to office imbued with one
thought—re-election. Bush felt tax cuts would hold his crowd together and
spreading democracy in the Mideast to secure Israel would take the Jewish vote
from the Democrats. You don’t come to town and announce your Israel policy is
to invade Iraq. But George W. Bush, as stated by former Treasury Secretary Paul
O’Neill and others, started laying the groundwork to invade Iraq days after
inauguration. And, without any Iraq connection to 9-11, within weeks he had the
Pentagon outlining a plan to invade Iraq. He was determined.
President Bush thought taking Iraq would be easy.
Wolfowitz said it would take only seven days. Dick Cheney believed we would be
greeted as liberators. But Cheney’s man, Chalabi, made a mess of the
de-Baathification of Iraq by dismissing Republican Guard leadership and Sunni
leaders who soon joined with the insurgents. Worst of all, we tried to secure
Iraq with too few troops.
In 1966 in South Vietnam, with a population of 17
million, Gen. William C. Westmoreland, with 535,000 U.S. troops was still
asking for more. In Iraq with a population of 25 million, Gen. John Abizaid
with only 135,000 troops can barely secure the troops much less the country. If
the troops are there to fight, they are too few. If there to die, they are too
many. To secure Iraq we need more troops—at least 100,000 more. The only way to
get the United Nations back in Iraq is to make the country secure. Once back,
the French, Germans and others will join with the UN to take over.
With President Bush’s domino policy in the Mideast
gone awry, he keeps shouting, “Terrorism War.” Terrorism is a method, not a
war. We don’t call the Crimean War with the Charge of the Light Brigade the
Cavalry War. Or World War II the Blitzkrieg War. There is terrorism in Northern
Ireland against the Brits. There is terrorism in India and in Pakistan.
In the Mideast, terrorism is a separate problem to
be defeated by diplomacy and negotiation, not militarily. Here, might does not
make right—right makes might. Acting militarily, we have created more terrorism
than we have eliminated.