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NITA: Blowback From The Blowhards

Blowback From The Blowhards

Not Important? Think Again
20 September 2002
Sanders Research Associates

Spot the Terrorist

Robert Fisk has the right take on the Bush administration. With Saddam Hussein having unconditionally agreed to allow in the weapons inspectors, the US is all dressed up with no war to go to. This is highly embarrassing, at least if you are in the administration, or one of those pro-war types that are demanding that the US execute for Israel all of its foreign policy wish list. Let’s see, get rid of Saddam, get rid of Saudi Arabia, get rid of Syria, get rid of Iran, get rid of Libya – gosh, there’s no one left in the Middle East except Israel! How convenient! They just happen to have 13 divisions and 400 nuclear warheads!

Richard Perle on Iraq: “Trust me.”

You must be kidding. Perle has been bobbing up and down since the late 70s when he made a name for himself as a super hawk. Head of a group called the Defense Policy Board at the Pentagon, from which vantage point he has advocated regime change in Iraq and everywhere else in the Middle East (except Israel, naturally). More recently he has dusted off the canard about Mohammed Atta of 911 notoriety meeting Iraqi intelligence in Prague to plan the deed. As the third link in this group shows, even the American establishment is beginning to feel uneasy about all this bluster, to say nothing about the lies.

Who are these people?

You might well ask. As the following article in the Guardian documents, Perle’s connections with the American Enterprise Institute are close to Israeli intelligence.,7792,777100,00.html

But don’t take my word for it. Visit the Middle East Forum, which bills itself as “Promoting America’s Interests.” As the Guardian piece above points out, it was founded by Meyrav Wurmser, wife of David Wurmser, a colleague of Perle’s at the AEI, and a former Israeli intelligence officer (is there such a s thing as a former intelligence officer?) named Yigal Carmon.

MEF attacks the Middle East Studies Association, the mainstream talking shop for academics specialising in the Middle East, for honouring Edward Said one year after 911. Of course, the idea of the organisation honouring any Palestinian is what really rankles, as their bile directed at Hanaan Ashrawi suggests. The real problem for MEF is that these are both individuals who speak English as well as (indeed better than) Bibi Netanyahu and are very photogenic, and are consequently not so easy for an American audience to dismiss. They are threatening ground that the Israel lobby has long claimed as its exclusive hunting ground. I should declare myself; I am a University of Michigan Graduate, studied Arabic literature there, and am a member of the Middle East Studies Association. Trust me, Mr. Perle.

And what are they doing?

For a more balanced perspective on American policy, the following exchange is much more illuminating than the frankly polemic and bombastic MEF is capable of producing. What’s more, the writers have nothing to do with the Middle East or Middle East studies, but are superb analysts.

Getting control of the money, for one thing.

The Pentagon, shy in the face of public scrutiny of its missing $2.3 trillion, has hired IBM to sort out its IT systems. IBM in turn has hired, among others, Accenture, DynCorp and AMS. AMS just keeps going from strength to strength since “losing” over $60 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. There seems to be no job too sensitive or prestigious that this firm cannot do for the government in spite of this.

As for Dyncorp: they aren’t listed, count Harvard and the Carlyle Group among their shareholders, and have their hands on both the Department of Justice and the FBI computer networks, so surely it makes sense to involve them in the DOD as well? Well doesn’t it?

Accenture, you may recall, is the new name for Arthur Andersen. Is this the payoff for a job well done for Enron?

Another subcontractor for IBM on the Pentagon project is Science Applications International Corp, “sometimes called S-CIA for its intimacy with the U.S. intelligence community,” according to Red Herring Magazine. Like DynCorp, it brags about being “employee owned” as if it were a great capitalist success. A success it is, but capitalism has nothing to do with it. Its connections with the intelligence community and the Pentagon do. Cost-plus contracting by non-listed companies doing “national security” work that no one is allowed to look too closely into is a great way to make money; or dare we say it, steal someone else’s?

Spearheading this effort for the Pentagon is the redoubtable Dov Zackheim, whose family connections include Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. As the attached book review indicates, Zackheim has gone to great lengths to portray himself as “even-handed” when it comes to matters pertaining to American versus Israeli interests. Good for him. One wonders though, at the wisdom of having anyone in such a sensitive job who could be subject to such a potential conflict of interests? Of course to hear the Perles or the Netanyahus of the world tell it, Israeli interests are American interests. Having established his credentials by helping to squelch the Lavi project (or did he?) Zackheim helped Israel secure a far more valuable submarine capability that today gives it the capacity to launch nuclear capable cruise missiles. Thanks to that, Israel can presumably hit any target within a few hundred miles of any coastline with a nuclear warhead.

Stop Press! Lockheed Martin top contractor for Department of Commerce!

And for the EPA as well. Note also the pole positions held by Dyncorp and S-CIA (sorry, SAIC)

Most Japanese oppose attack on Iraq

Well, we asked the question in the last issue, here is the answer.


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