Harun Yahya - Articles - Behind the Scenes of the Iraq War

Behind the Scenes of the Iraq War


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The plan for the Iraq war, which has erupted in the face of opposition from the entire world, was drawn up at least decades ago, by Israeli strategists. In its attempt to realize its strategy of destabilizing or dividing the Middle Eastern Arab states, Israel has Egypt, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia on its list of subsequent targets.

As these lines are being written, the United States of America has begun striking at Iraq. Despite the fact that most countries of the world, and even the majority of the USA's allies, opposed it, the US administration was determined for the strike to go ahead. When we look behind the scenes of this insistence, it seems that Israel and its powerful lobby in the US, have the greatest share in the make-up.

In fact, Israel's policy aimed at the fragmentation of Iraq has lengthy historical roots…


The Age-Old Israeli Plan to Divide Iraq

An ambitious report entitled "A Strategy for Israel in the 1980s," which appeared in the World Zionist Organization's periodical Kivunim in February 1982 disclosed a strategy aimed at making the whole of the Middle East a kind of "living space" for Israel. The report, drawn up by Oded Yinon, an Israeli journalist and formerly attached to the Foreign Ministry of Israel, set out the scenario of the "division of Iraq" in these terms:

Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria… Iraq is, once again, no different in essence from its neighbors, although its majority is Shi'ite and the ruling minority Sunni. Sixty-five percent of the population has no say in politics, in which an elite of 20 percent holds the power. In addition there is a large Kurdish minority in the north, and if it weren't for the strength of the ruling regime, the army and the oil revenues, Iraq's future state would be no different than that of Lebanon in the past… In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north. i

This was not the only announcement of the Israeli plan to atomize Middle East, including Iraq. As Israel Shahak, the notable Israeli scholar known for his dedication to a peaceful solution in the Middle East, explained that Yinon was just echoing the views of Israeli hawks:

The idea that all the Arab states should be broken down, by Israel, into small units, occurs again and again in Israeli strategic thinking. For example, Ze'ev Schiff, the military correspondent of Ha'aretz (and probably the most knowledgeable in Israel, on this topic) writes about the "best" that can happen for Israeli interests in Iraq: "The dissolution of Iraq into a Shi'ite state, a Sunni state and the separation of the Kurdish part" (Ha'aretz 6/2/1982). Actually, this aspect of the plan is very old. ii

Thus, the plan was a serious one and this has been confirmed by the age-old Israeli support to non-Arab or non-Muslim minorities in the Muslim Arab states. The rebellious Kurds of northern Iraq was one of these strategic allies of Israel. During their revolt against the Baghdad regime, 1961-75, they have been financially and militarily supported by Israel. Israelis would love to see them carve up the northern part of Iraq, no matter how bloody and devastating such a civil war would be. However, the revolt failed in 1975, after loosing the support of its major patron, the Shah.

Fifteen years later, a new opportunity arose for Israel, an opportunity from the ambitions of the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.


Israel's Role in the Gulf War

Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, after his bloody war against Iran in the 80's, invaded Kuwait in a sudden attack on August 1, 1990, giving rise to an international crisis. Israel headed the list of those forces that encouraged that crisis. Israel was the fiercest supporter of the attitude adopted by the United States in the wake of the invasion of Kuwait. The Israelis even regarded the United States as moderate, and wanted a harsher policy. To such an extent in fact that the President of Israel Chaim Herzog recommended that the American use nuclear weapons. On the other hand, the Israeli lobby in the United States was working to bring about a wide-ranging attack on Iraq.

This whole situation encouraged the idea in the United States that the attack against Iraq under consideration was actually planned in Israel's interests. Pat Buchanan summarized this idea in the words "There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East - the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United State."iii

Israelis had also initiated a serious propaganda campaign on the issue. Since this campaign was largely waged in secret, Mossad also entered the equation. Rogue Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky provides important information on this subject. According to Ostrovsky, Israel had wanted to wage war with the United States against Saddam long before the Gulf crisis. So much so in fact, that Israel began to implement the plan immediately after the Iran-Iraq war. Ostrovsky reports that Mossad's Psychological Warfare department (LAP - LohAma Psicologit) set about an effective pro-war campaign using disinformation techniques. iv


A Mossad Agent Describes the Gulf War

Ostrovsky describes how Mossad used agents or sympathizers in various parts of the world in this campaign. Among the tools employed in the campaign were the horrible massacres done by missiles launched against civilian targets in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war. As Ostrovsky makes clear, Mossad's later use of these missiles as a propaganda tool was quite peculiar, since those missiles had actually been directed towards their targets by Mossad, with the help of information from US satellites. Having supported Saddam throughout his war with Iran, Israel was now disclosing his crimes. Ostrovsky writes:

The Mossad leaders know that if they could make Saddam appear bad enough and a threat to the Gulf oil supply, of which he'd been the protector up to that point, then the United States and its allies would not let him get away with anything, but would take measures that would all but eliminate his army and his weapons potential, especially if they were led to believe that this might just be their last chance before he went nuclear. v

The Israelis were so determined on this matter, and with regard to the United States, that on August 4, 1990, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy issued a diplomatically worded threat to William Brown, the American ambassador to Israel, stating that Israel "expects the U.S. will fulfill all of the goals it set for itself at the beginning of the gulf crisis," in other words that it attack Iraq. According to Levy, if the United States failed to do so, Israel would act unilaterally. vi

It would be of enormous benefit to Israel to have the United States engage in the war and for Israel to remain entirely uninvolved: and that is indeed what happened.


Israel Forces the USA to War

However, the Israelis were actively involved in the United States' war plans. Some US staff officers involved in planning Operation Desert Storm received fine tactical advice from the Israelis that "the best way of wounding Saddam was to strike at his family."

The Mossad-inspired propaganda campaign reported by Ostrovsky set up the necessary public backing for the Gulf War. It was again Mossad local assistants who lit the touchpaper for the war. The Hill and Knowlton lobbying firm, run by Tom Lantos of the Israeli lobby, prepared a dramatic scenario to convince members of Congress on the subject of war against Saddam. Turan Yavuz, a noted Turkish journalist, describes the incident:

October 9, 1990. The Hill and Knowlton lobbying firm organizes a sitting in Congress on the subject of "Iraq's Barbarities." A number of "eye witnesses" brought to the session by the lobbying firm maintain that Iraqi troops killed new-born babies in the hospital wards. One "eye witness" describes the savagery in enormous detail, saying that Iraqi soldiers killed 300 new-born babies in one hospital alone. This information deeply disturbs the members of Congress. This works to President Bush's advantage. However, it later emerges that the eye witness brought by Hill and Knowlton to Congress is in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington. Nevertheless, the daughter's account is sufficient for members of Congress to give Saddam the nickname "Hitler". vii

This leads to just one conclusion: that Israel played an important role in the United States' to wage its first war on Iraq. The second one is not much different.


The Pretext of "War Against Terrorism"

Contrary to popular belief, the plan to attack Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime by force was prepared and placed on Washington's agenda long before the genesis of the "war against terrorism," which emerged in the wake of September 11. The first indication of this plan emerged in 1997. A group of pro-Israeli hawkish strategists in Washington D.C. began to put forward the scenario of the invasion of Iraq by manipulating the "neo-con" think-tank, called PNAC (Project for The New American Century). The most notable names in the PNAC were those of Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, who as defense secretary and vice-president would be the most influential figures in the George W. Bush administration.

An article titled "Invading Iraq Not a New Idea for Bush Clique: 4 Years Before 9/11 Plan Was Set" written by William Brunch and published in the Philadelphia Daily News, sets out the following facts:

But in reality, Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, and a small band of conservative ideologues had begun making the case for an American invasion of Iraq as early as 1997 - nearly four years before the Sept. 11 attacks and three years before President Bush took office.

An obscure, ominous-sounding right-wing policy group called Project for the New American Century, or PNAC - affiliated with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rumsfeld's top deputy Paul Wolfowitz and Bush's brother Jeb - even urged then-President Clinton to invade Iraq back in January 1998. viii


Is Oil the Real Objective?

Why were the PNAC members so determined to attack Iraq? The same article continues:

While oil is a backdrop to PNAC's policy pronouncements on Iraq, it doesn't seem to be the driving force. [Ian] Lustick, [a University of Pennsylvania political science professor and Middle East expert,] while a critic of the Bush policy, says oil is viewed by the war's proponents primarily as a way to pay for the costly military operation.

"I'm from Texas, and every oil man that I know is against military action in Iraq," said PNAC's Schmitt. "The oil market doesn't need disruption."

Lustick believes that a more powerful hidden motivator may be Israel. He said Bush administration hawks believe that a show of force in Iraq would somehow convince Palestinians to accept a peace plan on terms favorable to Israel… ix

This, therefore, is the principal motivation behind the plan to attack Iraq: to serve Israel's Middle East strategy.

This fact has also been identified by other Middle East experts. Cengiz Çandar, a Turkish Middle East expert, for instance, describes the real power behind the plan to attack Iraq thus:

... Who is directing the attack on Iraq? Vice-President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. These are the "senior level" backers of the attack. Yet the rest of the iceberg is even richer and more interesting. There are a number of "lobbies."

Heading these lobbies are the Jewish Institute for Security Affairs team, pro-Likud and Israeli-right and known for their close relations with US arms manufacturers. These have close relations with the "arms lobby," Lockheed, Northrop, General Dynamics and Israeli military industries ... JINSA's fundamental principle is this: America's and Israel's security are inseparable. In other words, they are the same thing.

JINSA's objective is not solely the overthrow of the Saddam regime in Iraq: it also supports the overthrow of the Saudi Arabian, Syrian, Egyptian and Iranian regimes with a logic of "total war," and the subsequent importation of "democracy." ... In other words, a number of American Jews on the same wavelength as the most extreme factions in Israel at the moment comprise the hawks in Washington. x


The Israeli Strategy for The Muslim Middle East

In short, there are those in Washington who are encouraging a war aimed first at Iraq and then at Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Egypt. The most distinguishing feature of these is that they are lined up alongside, and even equivalent to, the "Israeli lobby."

No matter how much they speak of "American interests," these people are actually supporting Israeli interests. A strategy of waging war against the whole of the Middle East and turning all the peoples of the region against it cannot be to the United States' advantage. The adoption of such a strategy can only be possible if the United States is bound to Israel, by means of the Israeli lobby, which is profoundly influential in this country's foreign policy.

It is for these reasons that behind the strategy which began to be set in motion after September 11 and is aimed at re-arranging the entire Islamic world, lies Israel's strategy for dominating the Middle East. Ever since its foundation, Israel has aimed at restructuring the Middle East, making it manageable and secure to itself. The search for security is of course a legitimate one, but the way that Israel chose to achieve this end is wrong: From the beginning, Israel decided to establish security behind an "iron wall" that would separate itself from the Arabs, and most important of all, protect the lands that Israel occupied through methods of invasion, colonization and depopulation. This strategy of reaping the wind had its consequence as a century of constant clash between Israelis and Arabs. Had Israel chosen a peaceful path to secure its existence, by building good relations with its Arab neighbors and refraining from aggression, Jews and Muslims could peacefully co-exist in the Middle East, as they have done before for centuries.

However, the radical Zionist ideology still denies any chance to peace and relentlessly tries to transform the whole Middle East to create a "living space" for Israel. It has been using its influence in the United States for that purpose in recent years, and to a large extent directs Washington's Middle East policy. The post-September 11 climate gave Israel the opportunity it had been seeking. Pro-Israeli ideologues who for years had been propounding the falsehood that Islam itself - not some militant radicals who use Islam as a shelter - posed a threat to the West and the United States, and who encouraged the mistaken concept of a "clash of civilizations," have been trying to incite the United States against the Islamic world in the wake of September 11. As early as 1995, Israel Shahak of the Jerusalem Hebrew University wrote former Israeli Prime Minister Rabin's obsession with "the idea of an Israeli-led anti-Islamic crusade". Nahum Barnea, a commentator from the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, stated that same year that Israel was making progress "[to] become the Western vanguard in the war against the Islamic enemy." xi

All that has happened in the years which have followed is that Israeli hawks have made their intentions even clearer. The political climate in the wake of September 11 prepared the ground for this intention to be made a reality.


The Only Way to World Peace: An Islamic Union

The situation may be summarized as follows: Israel's aim is to reshape the Middle East in line with its own strategic interests. In order to do this, it needs a "world power." That power is the United States; and Israeli hawks, thanks to their influence there, are trying to wage a militant American strategy against the Islamic world. Although Israel is a small state with a population of only 4.5 million, the plans drawn up by Israeli strategists and their counterparts in the West are directing the world affairs.

What needs to be done in the face of this?

1) "Counter lobby activities" need to be adopted in the face of the Israeli lobby's influence in the United States in order to develop dialogue between the United States and the Islamic world and to invite it to seek peaceful solutions to Iraq and similar problems. A wide section of the United States wishes to see their country adopt a fairer Middle East policy. Many statesmen, strategists, journalists and intellectuals have expressed this, and a "peace of civilizations" movement must be carried forward in cooperation with them. The approach inviting the US administration to peaceful solutions must be carried forward at governmental and civil society organization level.

2) A reconciliation between Israel and the Muslim Middle East must be sought. There are many "peaceniks", i.e. pro-peace Israelis, too. Many Israeli statesmen, religious leader, opinion leaders and many Jews from all around the world are urging the Israeli state to refrain from its brutal occupation and accept a just peace to live along with their Arab neighbors. Cooperation with them, especially on the inter-faith level, should be initiated and encouraged. One thing should never be forgotten: The rise of radicalism, enmity and violence is bad for all parties.

3) Alongside all this, a deeper rooted solution lies in a project which can resolve all the problems between the Islamic world and the West and deal with the fragmentation, suffering and poverty in the Islamic world and totally alter it: An Islamic Union. Recent developments have shown that the whole world, not just Islamic regions, stands in need of an "Islamic Union." This Union should heal the radical elements in the Islamic World, and establish good relations between Muslim countries and the West, especially the United States.

This Union, can find a solution to the mother of all problems: The Arab-Israeli conflict. With Israel retreating to its pre-67 borders and Arabs recognizing its right to exist, there can be real peace in the Middle East. And Jews and Muslims - both Children of Abraham and believers in one true God - may peacefully co-exist in the Holy Land, as they have done during the past centuries. Then, Israel would need no strategy to destabilize or divide the Arab States. And it will not have to face the results of occupation in forms of terrorism and constant fear of annihilation. Then, both the Israeli and Iraqi (and Palestinian) children may grow up in peace and security. That is a Middle East that any sane person should work to see.


i- (ed.) Israel Shahak, The Zionist Plan for the Middle East; from Oded Yinon's "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties" Published by the Association of Arab-American University Graduates, Inc. Belmont, Massachusetts, 1982 Special Document No. 1 (ISBN 0-937694-56-8); http://www.geocities.com/roundtable_texts/zionistplan.html
ii- (ed.) Israel Shahak, The Zionist Plan for the Middle East; http://www.geocities.com/roundtable_texts/zionistplan.html
iii- http://www.infoplease.com/spot/patbuchanan1.html
iv- Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception, pp. 252-254.
v- Victor Ostrovsky, The Other Side of Deception, p. 254
vi- Andrew and Leslie Cockburn, Dangerous Liaison, p. 356.
vii- Turan Yavuz, ABD'nin Kürt Kartı (The US' Kurdish Card), p. 307
viii- William Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 27, 2003
ix- William Bunch, "Invading Iraq not a new idea for Bush clique" Philadelphia Daily News, Jan. 27, 2003
x- Cengiz Çandar, "Iraq and the 'Friends of Turkey' American Hawks", Yeni Şafak, September 3, 2002.
xi- Israel Shahak, "Downturn in Rabin's Popularity Has Several Causes", Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, March 1995.