by George Washington
"Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is currently saying that Dick Cheney's vision of policy towards the Middle East after 9/11 was to re-draw the map: "Vice-President Dick Cheney's vision of completely redrawing the map of the Middle East following the 9/11 attacks is "not stupid," and is "possible over time," former British Prime Minister Tony Blair says. In his new book, "A Journey," the former Labour Party leader wrote that Cheney wanted a wholesale reorganization of the political map of the Middle East after 9/11. The vice president "would have worked through the whole lot, Iraq, Syria, Iran, dealing with all their surrogates in the course of it - Hezbollah, Hamas, etc," Blair wrote.
What does this mean? Well, as I have repeatedly pointed out, the "war on terror" in the Middle East has nothing to do with combating terror, and everything to do with remaking that region's geopolitical situation to America's advantage. For example, as I noted in January: "Starting right after 9/11 - at the latest - the goal has always been to create "regime change" and instability in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon; the goal was never really to destroy Al Qaeda.
As American reporter Gareth Porter writes in Asia Times: "Three weeks after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld established an official military objective of not only removing the Saddam Hussein regime by force but overturning the regime in Iran, as well as in Syria and four other countries in the Middle East, according to a document quoted extensively in then-under secretary of defense for policy Douglas Feith's recently published account of the Iraq war decisions. Feith's account further indicates that this aggressive aim of remaking the map of the Middle East by military force and the threat of force was supported explicitly by the country's top military leaders. Feith's book, "War and Decision," released last month, provides excerpts of the paper Rumsfeld sent to President George W Bush on September 30, 2001, calling for the administration to focus not on taking down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network but on the aim of establishing "new regimes" in a series of states..."
General Wesley Clark, who commanded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization bombing campaign in the Kosovo war, recalls in his 2003 book "Winning Modern Wars" being told by a friend in the Pentagon in November 2001 that the list of states that Rumsfeld and deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz wanted to take down included Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Somalia and Lebanon. When this writer asked Feith which of the six regimes on the Clark list were included in the Rumsfeld paper, he replied, "All of them."
The Defense Department guidance document made it clear that US military aims in regard to those states would go well beyond any ties to terrorism. The document said the Defense Department would also seek to isolate and weaken those states and to "disrupt, damage or destroy" their military capacities - not necessarily limited to weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Rumsfeld's paper was given to the White House only two weeks after Bush had approved a US military operation in Afghanistan directed against bin Laden and the Taliban regime. Despite that decision, Rumsfeld's proposal called explicitly for postponing indefinitely US airstrikes and the use of ground forces in support of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in order to try to catch bin Laden. Instead, the Rumsfeld paper argued that the US should target states that had supported anti-Israel forces such as Hezbollah and Hamas.
After the bombing of two US embassies in East Africa [in 1998] by al-Qaeda operatives, State Department counter-terrorism official Michael Sheehan proposed supporting the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance in Afghanistan against bin Laden's sponsor, the Taliban regime. However, senior US military leaders "refused to consider it", according to a 2004 account by Richard H Shultz, Junior, a military specialist at Tufts University. A senior officer on the Joint Staff told State Department counter-terrorism director Sheehan he had heard terrorist strikes characterized more than once by colleagues as a "small price to pay for being a superpower". No wonder former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told the Senate that the war on terror is "a mythical historical narrative".
But can Cheney's desires can't be equated to U.S. foreign policy as a whole? Well, the number two man at the State Department, Lawrence Wilkerson, said: "The vice president and the secretary of defense created a "Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal" that hijacked U.S. foreign policy." And Cheney was the guy who set up the secret shop at the Pentagon to bypass the intelligence agencies and push fake "intelligence" showing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
And as I wrote in 2009: "5 hours after the 9/11 attacks, Donald Rumsfeld said "my interest is to hit Saddam." He also said "Go massive... Sweep it all up. Things related and not." And at 2:40 p.m. on September 11th, in a memorandum of discussions between top administration officials, several lines below the statement "judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [that is, Saddam Hussein] at same time", is the statement "Hard to get a good case." In other words, top officials knew that there wasn't a good case that Hussein was behind 9/11, but they wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to justify war with Iraq anyway.
Moreover, "Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the [9/11] attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda". And a Defense Intelligence Terrorism Summary issued in February 2002 by the United States Defense Intelligence Agency cast significant doubt on the possibility of a Saddam Hussein-al-Qaeda conspiracy. And yet Bush, Cheney and other top administration officials claimed repeatedly for years that Saddam was behind 9/11. See this analysis. Indeed, Bush administration officials apparently swore in a lawsuit that Saddam was behind 9/11.
Moreover, President Bush's March 18, 2003 letter to Congress authorizing the use of force against Iraq, includes the following paragraph:
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
Therefore, the Bush administration expressly justified the Iraq war to Congress by representing that Iraq planned, authorized, committed, or aided the 9/11 attacks. See this. Indeed, the torture program which Cheney created was specifically aimed at producing false confessions in an attempt to link Iraq and 9/11. So it should be clear to any honest, thinking person that Cheney and the U.S. used 9/11 as a pretext to redraw the map of the Middle East.
Cheney's Oily Dream But that doesn't mean the Cheney's goals had any impact on 9/11, right? Well, it is surely just a coincidence that the Afghanistan war was planned before 9/11. See this and this. And that top British officials, former CIA director George Tenet, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and many others say that the Iraq war was planned before 9/11. Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, a high-level National Security Council officer and others say that the Iraq war was really about oil. They must be conspiracy theorists.
And it is surely meaningless that Cheney made Iraqi's oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. As I pointed out in 2008: "You may have heard that the Energy Task Force chaired by Dick Cheney prior to 9/11 collected maps of Iraqi oil, Saudi and United Arab Emerates fields and potential suitors for that oil. And you might have heard that the oil bigs attended the Task Force meetings. But you probably haven't heard that - according to the New Yorker - a secret document written by the National Security Council (NSC) on February 3, 2001 directed NSC staff to cooperate fully with the Energy Task Force as it considered the “melding” of two seemingly unrelated areas of policy: "The review of operational policies towards rogue states,” such as Iraq, and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields”. It is difficult to brush off Cheney's Energy Task Force's examination of arab oil maps as a harmless comparison of American energy policy with known oil reserves because the NSC explicitly linked the Task Force, oil, and regime change.
But don't believe me... The above-linked New Yorker article quotes a former senior director for Russian, Ukrainian, and Eurasian affairs at the NSC said: "If this little group was discussing geostrategic plans for oil, it puts the issue of war in the context of the captains of the oil industry sitting down with Cheney and laying grand, global plans." See also this essay.
As I wrote last year: "CIA director Leon Panetta told the New Yorker: "When you read behind it, it’s almost as if he’s wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point." News commentator Ed Schultz said today that Cheney is wishing for a terrorist attack on the U.S. What should we make of all this?
Well, everyone knows that Cheney is ruthless: Cheney is the guy who pushed for torture, pressured the Justice Department lawyers to write memos saying torture was legal, and made the pitch to Congress justifying torture. The former director of the CIA accused Cheney of overseeing American torture policies. Cheney is also the guy who: Helped found the Project for a New American Century, which called for a new American empire well before 9/11, and lamented that, without a "catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor", transformation of America into an empire would be very slow. In the 70's - Cheney was instrumental in generating fake intelligence exaggerating the Soviet threat in order to undermine coexistence between the U.S. and Soviet Union, which conveniently justified huge amounts of cold war spending. See also this article.
30 years later, Cheney was largely responsible for generating fake intelligence about Iraq in order to justify the war. And, according to former British Defense Secretary, Cheney has called the shots in the failed Iraq war. According to former high-level intelligence officer Melvin Goodman, Cheney orchestrated phony intelligence for the Congress in order to get an endorsement for covert arms shipments to anti-government forces in Angola Cheney has been perhaps the leading advocate for strengthening the powers of the White House to the point of monarchy for at least 20 years. Cheney was involved in debates concerning illegal wiretaps 30 years ago. Cheney was probably responsible for outing CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh says that the military ran an "Executive Assassination Ring" throughout the Bush years which reported directly to Cheney. Hersh also says that Cheney is the main guy helping to fund groups which the U.S. claims are terrorists. (see confirming articles here and here).
A well-known writer said of Dick Cheney: "For his entire career, he sought untrammeled power. The Bush presidency and 9/11 finally gave it to him..."
Cheney also knew 9/11 was going to happen. The government knew that terrorists could use planes as weapons - and had even run its own drills of planes being used as weapons against the World Trade Center and other U.S. high-profile buildings, using REAL airplanes - all before 9/11. Indeed, the government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers' own mouths before 9/11. Indeed, Cheney was in charge of all counter-terrorism exercises, activities and responses on 9/11 (see this Department of State announcement; this CNN article; and this essay).
The Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta, testified to the 9/11 Commission: "During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President… the plane is 50 miles out… the plane is 30 miles out… and when it got down to the plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the vice president “do the orders still stand?” And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said “Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!?" (this testimony is confirmed here and here).
Could it be that Cheney got so lost in his dreams of redrawing the map of the Middle East (and grabbing some oil along the way) that he- as the guy in charge of all counter-terrorism efforts for the United States on 9/11- spaced out and forgot to engage America's standard air defenses? I don't know... but - unfortunately - Cheney's oily dream has turned into a nightmare for America."