October 13, 2005

Intrigue, Vectors and a Mosaic of Fault Lines

Vector Vexation

Since the punditocracy has shown a predilection for making comparisons between Iraq's struggle to forge a constitution with our own in the late 18th Century, I thought it would be worthwhile to inject the philosophical thesis of one of the framers, James Madison, into the mix. The always recommended Publius from Legal Fiction provides an insightful backdrop:

When Madison and others were arguing in favor of the large democratic republic now known as the U.S. of A., the conventional wisdom was not on their side. The prevailing view was that, in order to succeed, a republic had to be small and largely homogenous because "factions" would inevitably develop. The fear was either that diverse factions in a large republic would make it unstable, or that one faction would seize power and oppress the minority (or even the majority). The larger the republic became, the more likely it would be that these problems would arise - or so everyone thought.

In the Federalist Papers (#10), Madison - developing an idea of empiricist David Hume (one of my heroes) - turned that wisdom on its head. He argued that the best way to preserve stability and prevent tyranny of a majority or minority faction was to increase the size of the republic. This is an important contribution to political thought....Madison's argument was that by increasing the size of the country, you increase the diversity of interests and factions, which in turn makes it much more difficult for any one faction to seize power or act against the public interest. In other words, the bigger your group gets, the harder it becomes for any one faction to control it - and given the history of mankind, that's a good thing. Here's Madison in his own words:

The smaller the society, the fewer probably will be the distinct parties and interests composing it; the fewer the distinct parties and interests, the more frequently will a majority be found of the same party; and the smaller the number of individuals composing a majority, and the smaller the compass within which they are placed, the more easily will they concert and execute their plans of oppression. Extend the sphere, and you take in a greater variety of parties and interests; you make it less probable that a majority of the whole will have a common motive to invade the rights of other citizens; or if such a common motive exists, it will be more difficult for all who feel it to discover their own strength, and to act in unison with each other. Besides other impediments, it may be remarked that, where there is a consciousness of unjust or dishonorable purposes, communication is always checked by distrust in proportion to the number whose concurrence is necessary.
What's really cool is that you can clearly see the influence of Newtonian physics (and Enlightenment rationalism more generally) at play in Federalist #10. The various factions are like vectors that will cancel each other out or push the governmental body towards the common good (or at least away from corruption and tyranny). It's all very logical.
One can immediately see how such a theory is relevant to the current dynamic in Iraq, with the various competing ethnic and religious factions, but Publius saves us some of the work by connecting the dots in a subsequent post.
The vectors are really the key to the theory of the big republic. The idea is that they become so diverse and overlapping in a large republic that they result in fluid coalitions that vary by issue. Because it's hard for any one faction (or interest group) to hold together on all issues, it's harder for that faction to maintain the power necessary to undermine the government.

At first glance, you would think that the theory of the big republic should give us hope for Iraq's future. After all, the great fear is that ethnic factionalism will rip the country apart - or that one faction will come to dominate the others. However, by creating a national republic of elected representatives, the factions would be multiplied. For instance, urban Shi'a would have common cause with urban Sunni on certain issues, and so on. The idea would be to drown the ethnic factions within a sea of Newtonian vectors and shifting coalitions.

It sounds nice, but I don't think it will work in Iraq. And here's why. I think the ethnic tensions run so deep and are so bitter that they will prevent new vectors from forming. In a sense, the tensions have formed impenetrable floodwalls around each ethnic group that prevent other common interests from "leaking through" to forge the shifting coalitions so essential to Madison's theory. Fellow urban-dwellers from rival ethnic camps who might otherwise have a common interest won't be able to get past the ethnic hatred. This centuries-old hatred will prevent the new urban coalition from forming.

Pat Lang offers a similar, though somewhat different, perspective (via praktike):

The Sunni Arabs are supporting the insurgencies because they are unwilling to accept the radical re-distribution of power and wealth on the basis of "one man, one vote" that we are sponsoring. Why are we doing that? It is because we believe, deeply, that justice in voting rights for INDIVIDUALS produces government that embodies a "National Compact" that is accepted by all. The Middle East is not like that. In the Middle East people self-identify in a number of ways, only one of which is at the level of the individual. More importantly, people there predominately see themselves as members of COMMUNITIES of various kinds whether they be ethno-religious, tribal, clan, regional or just plain family. A system that strips an individual's community of power and wealth is inevitably going to be seen as HOSTILE and to be defeated.
Despite the pessimism, I believe Publius (and maybe Lang as well) would agree that the value of Zal Khalilzad's nominal breakthrough with respect to the constitution was that it might buy time for the formation of cross-sectarian/ethnic "vectors" or "non-communitarian" enclaves. If the agreement to re-form a constitutional panel after the December elections can sap some of the support for, and participation in, the various insurgencies, then Zal will have created the requisite space to allow for the softening of ethnic/sectarian boundaries. Put off the inevitable day of reckoning as long as possible and hope that a renewed national entity can supersede the more communal impulses. Even if it is only enough to forestall the commencement of an all-out civil war, it might carve out the breathing room necessary to allow Iraqis to begin identifying along less rigid lines and to act on what are, underneath it all, vastly differing goals, aspirations and conceptions of what life should look like in the new Iraq that don't necessarily neatly form along strict ethnic/sectarian lines. Without the emergence of non-communal based vectors, Iraq's future is bleak.

Fault Lines and Tectonic Shifts

There is evidence that the political situation may, in fact, be more fluid than some have warned. The cross-ethnic alliance between the Kurds and Shiites is showing signs of fraying. Recently, there appeared to be a rift forming within this marriage of convenience, with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (a Kurdish leader) calling on Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari (a Shiite and leader of the UIA) to resign his post over issues related to power sharing and the resettlement of the hotly contested city of Kirkuk. If the Kurds bolted the coalition, the UIA would have to look for another partner in order to maintain a majority in the assembly - no easy task in the current state of affairs. Of course, this could have been just one more example of Kurdish brinkmanship in order to get a better deal, and faster, on Kirkuk. Nevertheless, it is an indication of how fragile at least this alliance is.

Beyond the Kurdish/Shiite sniping, there is an increased interest in the future of the UIA - which is by no means a settled question. Many are speculating that the UIA will splinter into several groups each with differing agendas, ahead of the December elections. The grand coalition of Shiite parties has, after all, always been a somewhat heterodox conglomeration of characters that are not all natural political allies outside of their common religious affiliation.

One of the main irritants in the UIA universe has always been the brash, though cunning, Moqtada al-Sadr. Throughout the occupation, Sadr has, with surprising skill, been cultivating a political niche for his faction, casting himself as the independent voice of the downtrodden (a natural fit for the heir to Sadr City), in opposition to the Americans and those that work with or for them. Rhetorically, he often heaps dispersions on the UIA leadership calling them corrupt, obsequious to the CPA and unable to deliver basic services to the people (thus capitalizing on what are grim realities of electricity shortages, unemployment, and other infrastructural decay). Sadr's independent streak even went as far as to lead him to take a hostile stance to the draft constitution - before he watered down his opposition in the face of mounting pressure.

There are indications that Sistani is taking this posturing by Sadr seriously by proceeding to distance himself from the current Iraqi government that has proven to be less than effective, and not entirely popular even amongst Iraq's Shiites. Just last week there was this statement from Sistani (via Swopa):

Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has told his closest followers not to run in December elections or support any candidates, aides said, suggesting no party stands to win his backing.

That could spell difficulties for the parties in the already much criticised government coalition, who profited in January's poll from a wide perception that they had Sistani's blessing.[...]

A statement from Sistani's office said any official of his clerical organisation who runs on a party list or openly supports candidates will "lose his status as a representative".

"Sayyid Sistani bans his representatives from nominating themselves in the next election after they proposed to run," said the statement.

In addition to Sistani cutting ties with the UIA to counter Sadr's advances, SCIRI's Badr Corp has had more than a few run-ins with Sadr's Mahdi militia. In other words, this is not one big happy family and each player is intent on jockeying for its own larger share of power. If the UIA dissolves, for lack of Sistani's blessing or otherwise, I predict we will see Iyad Allawi make a comeback for the December elections (to be held whether or not there is a "yes" or "no" vote on the constitutional referendum) in an effort to cobble together pieces of the various factions into something of a fourth way - distinct from ethnic/sectarian identification (in fact, Allawi will probably be on the scene in December regardless of the UIA's demise or continued existence - despite the fact that some 20 members of his cabinet were just indicted on corruption charges).

Allawi, or a politician in the same vein (the unsinkable Ahmed Chalabi?), will try to lure the more secular and/or disillusioned Shiites from the UIA bloc as well as Kurdish and Sunni groups willing to coalesce around a common political purpose. There certainly are numerous Sunni factions from which Allawi could seek to forge alliances, and the Sunnis are far from monolithic in their outlook for the future. Much will depend on the tack taken by Sunni voters in the December elections, and the extent to which the politicians they elect will feel constrained by communal demands ala Pat Lang above.

Similarly, the Kurds (though acting as one) are actually, at the very least, two competing groups so a fourth faction might be able to lure a few outliers away from the fold (though I imagine, as always, the level of autonomy and the status of Kirkuk will be the guiding principles of any Kurdish politician). The question remains, though, will Sistani give a group of secularists his blessing? Without it, could this fourth faction really garner enough electoral support to supplant the more religious parties, or even become a player in a future coalition? I think there is at least a possibility of the latter occuring. If successful, this could be the fruition of the Madisonian call for the formation of "vectors" - especially if it forces other groups to react in kind by reaching out across ethnic/sectarian lines. It will test whether there are indeed impenetrable boundaries around each faction that prevents inter-factional cooperation. Unfortunately, both Allawi and Chalabi are less than ideal choices to be the uniting force behind the movement to broach these divides. Each has more than enough baggage, dubious ethical character and a historical closeness to the Americans that will not help in establishing their legitimacy or appeal.

My guess is that Zal Khalilzad has been working to bolster the fourth faction (regardless of its figurehead) behind the scenes, while trying to plant the seeds of dissension amongst the competing members of the UIA - the better to counter the prospect of Iranian influence over Iraq should a unified UIA continue to dominate the Iraqi political landscape. But any attempt to encourage intra-communal fragmentation bears its own risks. As Anthony Shadid noted, there is a dark side to the stoking of internecine hostilities:

This question of civil war is really pressing, and I think it is actually important to say whether one is under way or not. I believe it is, but maybe not in the way we've fashioned it in the past: Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. When I think of the civil war in Iraq, I'm struck by the fault lines that are getting less attention. There is the sometimes explosive rivalry between Hakim's Badr militia and the Sadr forces. We've seen time and again the flaring of differences in western Iraq between insurgent groups. (As far back as last year, I heard an Iraqi guerrilla from Fallujah, of the nationalist variety, vowing to shoot any Arab expat trying to give him orders.) We should be careful in not minimizing differences between the two Kurdish parties. Understandably our attention is focused on Zarqawi's threats to wage an unrelenting campaign against Shiites. But in the long run, it's the intra-communal battles that I think are more decisive and worrisome.
In Iraq, the political game is afoot. That in itself is worth noting. The stakes are monumental, and the question remains: will the intrigue end in tragedy, or are these just the growing pains of a society learning to adjust to the parameters of a Madisonian "big republic." The prospects for success are not aided by the fact that there are so many armed groups involved, and the associated violence that continues to ravage the nation. I'm not overly optimistic, but time will hopefully prove me wrong.

Posted by at October 13, 2005 07:33 PM | TrackBack (1)
Comments

Thanks, Eric, for a really fine if rambling post.

It's also nice to see some guarded optimism for a change.

We Americans like to catch the bad guys in the space of a single sit com episode, commericals included. Wars are supposed to last a year or two at most, and God forbid if they go beyond a single election cycle.

That cannot always be arranged, as more than one Prez has discovered to their chagrin.

Posted by: JohnFH at October 13, 2005 09:39 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Apologies for the ramble-osity. Naturally, I blame the opaque nature of Iraqi politics. It demands a ramble with a healthy dose of tangents.

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 13, 2005 09:49 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The worrisome thing about all of this jockeying is that so many of the factions have guns. That, and there are groups out there that answer to no one, groups that answer to Iran, and groups that answer to no one knows who. And that's just the guys nominally working within the system. The whole thing reminds me of a combination of Weimar Germany and the late Roman Republic.

Posted by: Andrew Reeves at October 13, 2005 10:46 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

the most interesting aspect of all of these "vectors" is that at this point, the only real potential point of general agreement sufficient to create a working political alliance is getting the US out of Iraq. The Kurds still want us around, but the majority of Iraqis see (rightfully or not) the the US presence as the primary cause of Iraq's problems. (Not that one can blame them --- the "flypaper"/"fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" rhetoric is an invitation to see the US presence as the reason why remains wracked with violence.)

Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 13, 2005 11:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Andrew,

Agreed.


Lukasiak,

Agreed. Here is a relevant excerpt from a Nathan Brown paper touching on the "delicacy" of the subject:


Neither Shiite nor Kurdish leaders are ready to join calls for a timetable for withdrawing foreign forces. Both show some embarrassment about the extent of their security dependence on the United States by proclaiming that they want foreign forces to leave as soon as possible, but they also insist that discussion of the subject is premature and that drawing up a timetable is inappropriate in the midst of raging violence. The sensitivity of the subject explains why committee members have given very few public comments on the matter.[...]

Moreover, even if most Shiite and Kurdish leaders are in no hurry to have the United States leave, virtually all Sunni leaders feel quite differently. Indeed, to the degree that the Sunni opposition has formed a clear demand, it is for the withdrawal of foreign forces. Those Arab Sunnis who have begun to participate in drafting the constitution have obviously dropped their demand that the United States withdraw before the constitution is written, but they have exposed themselves to severe criticism for doing so. And although some Sunni leaders have made clear that they will work for full electoral participation in any future balloting, none has indicated that they are content to have the United States stay, even temporarily.

Thus the presence of foreign forces may be dealt with obliquely (perhaps by having parliament approve treaties), but a clear dynamic has arisen: Those favoring the continued presence of U.S. and other troops are politically dominant but rhetorically on the defensive; they are unlikely to wish to call attention to their position more than is necessary. [emph. added]

My comment at the time:

So even our allies are forced to downplay their support for our continued presence, while those opposed to our being in country openly flaunt their position. That is not exactly fertile ground for establishing permanent bases and long term military presence - regardless of what the ultimate plan is as envisioned in the White House.

Nathan Brown's pdf:

http://www.carnegieendowment.org/files/PO19Brown.pdf

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 13, 2005 11:42 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Eric....

I don't think that the question of US support is about the feelings of the "leadership" of various factions -- its about popular support in Iraq for the idea of getting the US out of Iraq.

One can hardly blame the Iraqi people for wanting the US to withdraw. After all, its just about the only clearly articulated position of the "nationalist"/Baathist insurgents, and one gets the impression that the "foreign element" (aka al Qaeda) is in Iraq and causing violence because of the US presence.

The popular support for a US withdrawal may result in new "vectors" within established Iraqi political partices being established (or might just translate into greater support for al Sadr, who is the Shiite most indentified with the "US out of Iraq" position.) The best hope for Iraq may well be if al Sadr forms a coalition with the Sunni's that is based on demands for a US withdrawal.

Posted by: p.lukasiak at October 14, 2005 03:43 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

eric - generally i agree.

Some caveats

this

"And here's why. I think the ethnic tensions run so deep and are so bitter that they will prevent new vectors from forming. In a sense, the tensions have formed impenetrable floodwalls around each ethnic group that prevent other common interests from "leaking through" to forge the shifting coalitions so essential to Madison's theory. Fellow urban-dwellers from rival ethnic camps who might otherwise have a common interest won't be able to get past the ethnic hatred. This centuries-old hatred will prevent the new urban coalition from forming."

is hard to gather without being on the ground in Iraq. and even then Im not sure its possible to tell - you get reports of bitter hatred, and reports of different attitudes, intermarriage, etc. Id be skeptical of any reports either way.


pt 2.

Pat Lang. Im sorry, i cant read him without vomiting.


3. Sadr

Not just an appeal to the down trodden, or whatever. Federalism, esp on resources doesnt just hurt Sunnis - it hurts the Shiites who live in Baghdad. Sadr represents the Shiites who have most to lose from federalism (except for the upper class Shiites in Baghdad who vote for Allawi or Chalabi or smaller groups, and virtually all of whom seem to be proUS bloggers:) )

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 14, 2005 02:56 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I don't think that the question of US support is about the feelings of the "leadership" of various factions -- its about popular support in Iraq for the idea of getting the US out of Iraq.

I think the point of the Nathan Brown excerpts was that the "leadership" was feeling the heat from the populace. Even though many might want the US to stick around, they are in a pinch because the public seems so against it. In other words, I don't think we disagree, I just think Brown was addressing the dynamic from a slightly different perspective. At the end of the day though, it amounts to the same thing: if the people want us to go, we will likely have to leave.

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 14, 2005 03:01 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

LH,

1. I think there's a chance that the situation is more fluid than as presented. That was what I was trying to convey - if a bit rambling. But that diagnosis could also be right enough that it ends up spoiling the process.

2. We'll agree to disagree on Mssr. Lang.

3. Quite true on Sadr. Wilier than most presumed I would guess.

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 14, 2005 03:04 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

re Pat Lang

Michael Rubin, NRO

"Upon her retirement, Kwiatkowski took her story to Jeff Steinberg, editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, the journal of Lyndon LaRouche's movement. Pat Lang, former chief Middle East analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency, circulated Kwiatkowski's deposition to Steinberg in a September 16, 2003, e-mail in which he carbon-copied, rather than blind carbon-copied his distribution list. Among the recipients were prominent journalists and producers, scions of the alternative press, and a smattering of current and former intelligence analysts who often serve as sources in news analyses and articles.

Many journalists and pundits ignored the deposition, tainted as it was by innuendo and falsehood. LaRouche, after all, has both peddled the theory that Queen Elizabeth II is a drug dealer and that former Vice President Walter Mondale was a Soviet agent. They dismissed Lang's endorsement that "Jeff Steinberg is a first rate scholar. I am not concerned with where he works." That a former high-ranking Defense Intelligence Agency official--one that is still welcomed to frequent lunches and meetings with former colleagues--appears to maintain close ties to members of the LaRouche organization is a separate issue.

The Steinberg memorandum of the Kwiatkowski conversation is a study in conspiracy and innuendo. Based on Kwiatkowski's recollection that she bumped into a Fletcher School classmate of Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Bill Luti on the platform of the Pentagon Metro station, Steinberg speculates that there may be a wider Israeli conspiracy. After all, according to Steinberg, the Fletcher School was the "roost" of Uri Raanan, a former Israeli diplomat. Jonathan Pollard, convicted of espionage, had attended the Fletcher School. Steinberg neglected to mention that Raanan taught at Tufts for two decades, is a renowned scholar of Russian politics, and currently directs Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology, and Policy at Boston University. Steinberg also omits that Pollard failed to matriculate from Tufts."

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 14, 2005 06:30 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Guardian/Observer


"Lang popped up again, last week with the claim that he had learnt from his associates that Chalabi and his defectors were an Iranian intelligence scam, 'one of the most sophisticated and successful intelligence operations in history'.

I assume Lang, who is widely admired in Washington, would not knowingly disseminate inaccurate information. But it is possible his political beliefs may make him credulous. The Pentagon, he said, had been seized by extremists, 'Zionist revisionists', whose goal was to 'de-Arabise' the Middle East. Ariel Sharon's Likud party had in effect directed America's invasion of Iraq, and the way to visualise Likud's power was as 'a steel barbell, with one ball in Israel and another in the Pentagon, among the neo-conservatives'.

Now, with the war fought and Iraq on the brink of catastrophe, does any of this matter? It does: for the propaganda battles continue to resonate politically. Disinformation helped to drag Britain and America into a war. It is vital it does not become a significant factor in the attempts to prevent an Iraqi disaster now. "

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 14, 2005 06:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

"I assume Lang, who is widely admired in Washington, would not knowingly disseminate inaccurate information. But it is possible his political beliefs may make him credulous. The Pentagon, he said, had been seized by extremists, 'Zionist revisionists', whose goal was to 'de-Arabise' the Middle East. Ariel Sharon's Likud party had in effect directed America's invasion of Iraq, and the way to visualise Likud's power was as 'a steel barbell, with one ball in Israel and another in the Pentagon, among the neo-conservatives'."

Sounds on target to me. Plenty to back that assertion. What's your point?

Posted by: ghost at October 16, 2005 12:44 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

http://www.juancole.com/2004/08/pentagonisrael-spying-case-expands.html

Sart here LW and follow the maze. There's plenty out there.

But the neocons are pretty much in your face with their connections to Isreali defense agencies and industries, hard right Likud publications and that sort of thing. Ledeen, Wurmser, the whole bunch have been agitating for taking out Iran, Syria and even Saudi Arabia; much of this being done in the Jewish press.

They count on folks being afraid of being labled anti-semite. It's a bully sort of pulpit.

Posted by: ghost at October 16, 2005 01:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

LH, I have to hand it to you. I though when you complained about Lang that you just strongly disagreed with his analysis, and that you really believed in Wolfowitz and Perle. I didn't expect you to stoop so low as to imply anti-semitism. I stand corrected.

So was Shinseki anti-semitic because he disagreed publicly with Wolfowitz? Was Franks anti-semitic for calling Feith "the stupidest motherf***er on the planet? Did Wolfowitz get fired because of anti-semitism, or because he sucked?

It's sad because every time you throw out false allegations of anti-semitism you weaken the cause of justice.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 17, 2005 05:16 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I dont "believe in Perle" whatever that means. I think Wolfowitxz is a brilliant man, with a very good approach to grand strategy, but probably a poor tactician, and he was simply not worth keeping in the DoD, though I think more of the tactical issues are Rummys fault than Wolfies.

Shinskie disagreed with Wolfowitz - he did not project an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Ghost - is there anything there
1. Once again Ledeen may speak for himself. I think Syria and Iran by their actions have justified treating them as adversaries. I fail to see how doing so constitutes "dearabizing" the mid east. Even if there were to be regime change in Syria, it would still be an arab country. Indeed, Sharon is not interested in "dearabizing" Gaza, let alone Syria.

Iran, I must point out, is not an arab state, so i fail to see how regime change there is relevant to "dearabization"

But its hard to demonize Likud just for wanting minor border changes around Jerusalem, so its necessary to say theyre for "dearabizing" the middle east.

Im not sure about the connections you refer to ghost. Some Neocons wrote papers that were advice to the Israeli govt in the late 90s - not commisioned by the Israeli govt or the Likud, despite claims to the contrary, IIUC. ANd what hard right likud publications do you refer to?

Clearly some neocons share a view of the world with some Likudniks in Israel. (though Wolfowitz probably less so than most) So what? How does this show " a barbell" in which they are "Likud power in washington" Clinton shared many ideas with Tony Blair - did that make him the UK Labour party rep in Washington? This is playing fast and loose with baseless accusations of disloyalty, and, quite frankly, it stinks.


Posted by: liberalhawk at October 17, 2005 03:13 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Eric

Do you see why im sensitive to someone like Lang? Look at ghosts response - we've got the whole Juan Cole "likudnik" screed going down. Do you share that view? Do you take it into account in evaluating sources?

Posted by: liberalhawk at October 17, 2005 03:16 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's not true.

Posted by: ghost at October 17, 2005 04:40 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

LH,

I try to look at all relevant connections, interests and prejudices, but more importantly I try to look at ideas. If the idea is a good one, I don't care who said it or why. The reverse, of course, is true.

It holds for Lang, Cole, Wolfowitz, Perle, etc.

Posted by: Eric Martin at October 17, 2005 06:23 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Well said, Eric.

Posted by: T-Bone at October 20, 2005 01:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

http://www.holology.com/images/neocon_links.jpg

There you LH. Get the lay of the land. Then I'll come back and start informing you of neocon activities within Israeli defense industry and ministry as well as Isreali publications (all hard right Likud stuff). It's much deeper and more serious than you try to make it sound.

Of course you could do the research yourself, but you won't. You don't want to know. That, or you are one who thinks that because of the holocaust Jews are entitled to anything and everything and anyones expense.


Yes, it's all circumstantial evidence, so far (though I believe that recent developments in prosecution related to Plame and to AIPAC are going to begin to seriously unravel this cabal's workings in a very public way).

I think you have to ask yourself why it's ok that a philosophically cohesive group with strong ties to Israeli militarism are in Washington in the highest places and are allowed to share so much info/intel. with Israel.

Do we have a group of Chinese Budhist defense experts in Washington?
Do we even have a group of folks of French or German or even English heritage and with ties to French, German, or English departments of defense working at the highest levels of our defense and intelligence agencies?

No. Of course not. It idea of it almost sounds absurd. But there you have it. Members of hard right Israeli organizations with top security access in Washington and formulating our national defense strategies.

The card you play, that of antisemetism, seems to keep people quiet.

And that is silly.

Posted by: ghost at October 20, 2005 01:31 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

oh, I should mention that these likud neocons are enabled by hard right christians that fund the like of bush and cheney; biblical literalists that believe that god gave Israel to the jews and who, in many instances, secretly - or sometimes not so secretly - relish the idea of bringing about armegeddon and, hence, the second coming. Also, they believe that muslims are the enemy of the true religion the bible.

So all neocons do not appear to be jews because there are christians in their ranks. However they are two distinct groups with interlocking beliefs and objectives.

Here's our friend MIchael Ledeen,

"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."

Note that the regimes he wants to bring are enemies of Isreal, not the US. This is a consistent theme among neocons.

None of these guys are too shy to admit their connections to Isreal. Why should I be to point out what is obvious?

Posted by: ghost at October 20, 2005 02:03 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink
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