http://www.infowars.com/a-neocon-preps-us-for-war-with-iran/A Neocon Preps US for War with Iran
August 16, 2010
I guess I was naïve in thinking that The Atlantic
and its American-Israeli writer Jeffrey Goldberg might shy away from arguing for yet another war — this one with Iran — while the cauldrons are still boiling in Afghanistan and Iraq.Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic.
It’s worth remembering how Goldberg helped to make the case for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. For instance, on Oct. 3, 2002, as America’s war fever was building, Goldberg wrote in Slate
, the online magazine:
“The [Bush] administration is planning … to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.”
Looking back on Goldberg’s commentaries at the time, it’s also a reminder of how many U.S. publications that are considered centrist or even liberal were bending over backward to get in line with that coming invasion.
Even earlier, on March 25, 2002, Goldberg filled the pages of The New Yorker with a mammoth 17,000-word story hyping Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s ties to terrorism and glossing over the ambiguities regarding the gassing of civilians in the Kurdish city of Halabja during the Iran-Iraq war.
Goldberg’s magnum opus
, entitled “The Great Terror
,” earned him high marks from other neocons and essentially “made” Goldberg’s career. The story was also made to order, so to speak, for President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.
Presenting Goldberg with an award for the article, the Overseas Press Club saw fit to note that former CIA director James Woolsey described the story as a “blockbuster.” Woolsey, the self-described “anchor of the Presbyterian wing of JINSA (The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs),” has been a strong advocate for the use of force against any and all perceived enemies of Israel.
Woolsey also was the prime manufacturer and a key disseminator of bogus “intelligence” on the Saddam-al-Qaeda connection. In The New Yorker
article, while exaggerating Iraq’s links to terrorism, Goldberg quotes Woolsey complaining about the CIA’s alleged aversion to learning about Saddam’s ties to al-Qaeda.
It is a safe bet that Goldberg’s prose under the subhead “The Al-Qaeda Link” was inspired by Woolsey. But it gets worse; the detail in that section came mostly from a drug dealer in a Kurdish prison, whom a British journalist, following upon Goldberg’s reporting, quickly determined to be a “liar.”A Friendly Reception
Yet, not surprisingly, Goldberg emerged from his work prepping the PR ground for the U.S. invasion of Iraq as a well-respected “journalist,” so much so that he was afforded deferential treatment when he made a tour of the cable TV news programs this week promoting his new case for a new war, this time with Iran.
Goldberg had just produced a new magnum opus
for another prestige journal, The Atlantic
, entitled “The Point of No Return
,” explaining Israel’s case for bombing Iran and the reasons why the United States should join in.
On Wednesday, Goldberg swatted away softball questions from MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell, who joined in a friendly chat about whether the U.S. or Israel or both should opt for what Mitchell described as a “military response” to the “Iranian nuclear threat,” and when.
Goldberg claimed that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sees the challenge from Iran as being on a par with the Holocaust, believing that Iran is bent on the destruction of Israel with its 6 million people.
“Are you persuaded that Israel would take action against Iran unilaterally?” asked Mitchell. “Yes, I am; I am,” Goldberg responded.
Goldberg added that he believes that President Barack Obama is not prepared to live with a nuclear Iran but that it remains an open question whether he would take military action to prevent that eventuality. Goldberg said Obama “probably” would not.
And that being the case, Goldberg thought Netanyahu would be inclined to unleash Israeli forces unilaterally and absorb any damage this might do to bilateral relations with Washington.
At the end of the Mitchell interview, she lofted what appeared to be a canned question and, in response, Goldberg seemed downright eager to share what he called a “secret,” as he put it.
Mitchell asked when Obama planned to visit Israel. Goldberg, however, expressed a concern: “The Israelis are worried about Obama coming; they don’t want him to be boo-ed wherever he goes; that’s the last thing they need. Obama is not popular in Israel in the way Bush and Clinton were.”
The unmistakable message: An Obama tour of Israel could be an ugly affair.Chatting with Wolf
Goldberg walked through a similar discussion on the merits of war when he appeared on CNN, a guest of Wolf Blitzer’s “The Situation Room.”
Goldberg: “The question is what can the Obama administration do to stop the Iranians from pursuing the nuclear program … it seems unlikely to me at this point that Iran is simply going to say, because President Obama asks, you know, we’re going to end our nuclear program.”
Blitzer: “You have concluded that an Israeli air strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities is — in your word — a near certainty?”
Goldberg: “Well, it’s a near certainty, in the long term, but even in the next year I give it a 50 percent or better chance. Next year, meaning by next July.”
Not that it probably would have mattered, but someone probably should have told Andrea Mitchell and Wolf Blitzer that more skeptical observers have described Goldberg’s previous “journalism” in very unflattering terms.
One critic deemed
Goldberg’s pre-Iraq War reporting for The New Yorker
as “a journalism-school nightmare: bad sources, compromised sources, unacknowledged uncertainties … with alarmist rhetoric that is now either laughable or nauseating, depending on your mood.”
For instance, the fact that many civilians were gassed as Iraqi and Iranian forces clashed on March 16, 1988, in the area of Halabja, just barely inside Iraq’s border with Iran, is beyond dispute.
However, what is not clear is the blockbuster charge that it was the Iraqis, rather than the Iranians, who used the deadly chemical warfare agents. The U.S. government has pointed the finger in both directions, often depending on which side of the conflict Washington was tilting toward.
A joint CIA and Defense Intelligence assessment focused in on the “blood agents (cyanogen chloride) deemed responsible for most of the deaths in Halabja and determined that the Iraqis had no history of using those particular agents, but that the Iranians did.
That particular CIA-DIA report concluded that, despite the conventional wisdom, “the Iranians perpetrated this attack.”
Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, a senior CIA analyst on Iraq during its war with Iran, told Roger Trilling of the Village Voice
that he is one among many who believe that Goldberg’s account of the killings at Halabja was wrong and that the issue was far from academic.
Pelletiere said: “We say Saddam is a monster, a maniac who gassed his own people, and the world shouldn’t tolerate him. But why? Because that’s the last argument the U.S. has for going to war with Iraq.”
It may well have been the most emotionally riveting argument, I suppose.Debunking the Junk
But what about Iraq’s alleged WMDs and supposed ties between Iraq and al-Qaeda? Goldberg made an attempt to include those canards as well, focusing mostly on chemical and biological warfare agents. (He left to the New York Times’
Judith Miller, who was later fired, and Michael Gordon, who is still chief military correspondent, to do the heavy lifting for the lies about Iraq’s supposed nuclear weapons.)
A final story about Jeffrey Goldberg’s pre-Iraq-invasion stories: Just a week before Congress bowed to Bush’s request for war authorization against Iraq, Goldberg was writing in Slate
about the dangers of “aflatoxin,” which he had cited 15 times in his New Yorker
“Aflatoxin does only one thing well,” Goldberg wrote. “It causes liver cancer. In fact, it induces it particularly well in children.”
However, Goldberg’s obsession with “aflatoxin” didn’t stand up too well after the U.S.-led invasion found no evidence that Iraq still had bio-weapons stockpiles. Regarding aflatoxin, Charles Duelfer, the Bush administration’s chief weapons inspector in Iraq, concluded that there was “no evidence to link those tests [of aflatoxin] with the development of biological weapons agents for military use.”
Ken Silverstein of Harper’s
, among the more serious journalists who have had macabre fun critiquing Goldberg’s contribution to the Iraq War effort, wrote “Goldberg’s War
,” one of the best critiques.
“Whatever Saddam’s regime intended to do with the aflatoxin … it did not involve wholescale tot-slaughter. But it seems to me that Goldberg was out to prove that Saddam was singularly evil — a man who would kill kids using cancer, no doubt cackling with glee as he watched them expire — because the American public might be less willing to support a war if he was merely an evil dictator, which are a dime a dozen.”
But who is Jeffrey Goldberg and how did he achieve such influence, helping to create the false conventional wisdom that sleep-walked the American people into war with Iraq and is now pointing toward a new war with Iran?