Kwiatkowski on the Neoconservative Coup at the Pentagon
The LA Weekly interviews Karen Kwiatkowsky, retired US Air Force Lt. Colonel, who watched the Neocon network take over Middle East policy at the Pentagon with her own eyes. She says the war aims of this group were threefold: 1) To position US companies to get Iraq oil and other contracts, which would not have happened had sanctions continued to loosen with Saddam in power; 2) to create a new Iraq that would be friendly to the establishment of military bases in that country, given that the basing situation in Saudi Arabia was unsatisfactory [and that many in the Pentagon believe the oil-rich and unstable Persian Gulf needed permanent US bases to guarantee oil security); 3) they were threatened by Saddam’s decision in the year 2000 to price oil in Euros, which threatened the stability of the dollar.
I doubt that the Euro issue was that pressing for the Neocons; it sounds more like something Cheney and Rumsfeld would worry about. In fact, all three of the reasons she says were given for the Iraq war would have appealed outside the circle of the Neocons. I am surprised she left out what surely was the Neocons’ major concern, which is that Iraq, Iran and Syria stood in the way of Ariel Sharon’s continued theft of Arab land in the Occupied territories and potentially elsewhere, by virtue of their willingness to support groups like Hezbollah and the Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. The Neocons wanted to knock down Saddam, Khamenei and al-Asad in hopes that those countries would be so weakened and preoccupied with internal power struggles that Sharon would have an unimpeded opportunity to pursue his dreams of Greater Israel and the final destruction of the Oslo Peace Accords.
As it happens, the emergence of the Iraqi Shiites has immensely strengthened Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani issued a strongly worded condemnation of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians in 2002. In fact, the Sunni clerics in Iraq celebrated Hezbollah’s success in forcing Sharon to exchange prisoners. The rise of Sunni nationalist and fundamentalist resistance movements in Iraq may well hold threats to Israel down the road, as well. In all likelihood, the hubris of the Neocons in Washington has actually made Israel less secure than it was with a contained Saddam.