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Was the Invasion of Iraq A Jewish Conspiracy?

Did the Jews do it?

The US Con­gress will open hear­ings this week on the War in Iraq — a wee bit late one might think. But one ques­tion at the fore­front of the minds of many on both the Left and the Right is sure not to be asked: Did the Jews do it? I mean, after killing Jesus, did the Elders of Zion manip­u­late the gov­ern­ment of the Unit­ed States into invad­ing Baby­lon as part of a scheme to abet the expan­sion of Greater Israel?

The ques­tion was first posed to me in 2004 when I was speak­ing at a meet­ing of Mobi­liza­tion for Peace in San Jose. A mem­ber of the audi­ence asked, “Put it togeth­er — Who’s behind this war? Paul Wol­fowitz and Elliott Abrams and the Project for a “Jew” Amer­i­can Cen­tu­ry and, and, why don’t you talk about that, huh? And…”

But the ques­tion­er nev­er had the full oppor­tu­ni­ty to com­plete his query because, flushed and red, he began to charge the stage. The peace activists attempt­ed to detain the gen­tle­man — whose con­fed­er­ates then grabbed some chairs to swing. As the Peace Cen­ter was tak­ing on a some­what war­like char­ac­ter, I chose to call in the author­i­ties and slip out the back.

Still, his ques­tion intrigued me. As an inves­tiga­tive reporter, “Who’s behind this war?” seemed like a rea­son­able chal­lenge — and if it were a plot of Christ-killers and Illu­mi­nati, so be it. I just report the facts, ma’am.

And frankly, at first, it seemed like the gent had a point, twist­ed though his spin might be. There was Paul Wol­fowitz, before Con­gress in March 2003, offer­ing Amer­i­cans the bar­gain of the cen­tu­ry: a free Iraq — not “free” as in “free­dom and democ­ra­cy” but free in the sense of this won’t cost us a pen­ny. Wol­fowitz tes­ti­fied: “There’s a lot of mon­ey to pay for this that doesn’t have to be U.S. tax­pay­er mon­ey.”

A “Free” Iraq

And where would these bil­lions come from? Wol­fowitz told us: “It starts with the assets of the Iraqi peo­ple… The oil rev­enues of that coun­try could bring between $50 and $100 bil­lion over the next two or three years.”

This was no small mat­ter. The vulpine Deputy Defense Sec­re­tary knew that the num­ber one ques­tion on the minds of Amer­i­cans was not, “Does Sad­dam real­ly have the bomb?” but “What’s this lit­tle war going to cost us?”

How­ev­er, Wol­fowitz left some­thing out of his tes­ti­mo­ny: the truth. I hunt­ed for weeks for the source of the Pentagon’s oil rev­enue pro­jec­tions — and found them. They were wild­ly dif­fer­ent from the Wol­fowitz tes­ti­mo­ny. But this was not per­jury. Ever since the con­vic­tion of Elliott Abrams for per­jury before Con­gress dur­ing the Iran-Con­tra hear­ings, nei­ther Wol­fowitz nor the oth­er Bush fac­to­tums swear an oath before tes­ti­fy­ing. If you don’t raise your hand and promise to tell the truth, “so help me, God,” you’re off the hook with fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors.

How the Lord will judge that lit­tle ploy, we can­not say.

But Wolfowitz’s lit­tle num­bers game can hard­ly count as a Great Zion­ist con­spir­a­cy. That seemed to come, at first glance, in the form of a con­fi­den­tial 101-page doc­u­ment slipped to our team at BBC’s News­night. It detailed the eco­nom­ic “recov­ery” of Iraq’s post-con­quest econ­o­my. This blue­print for occu­pa­tion, we learned, was first devised in secret in late 2001.

Notably, this pro­gram for Iraq’s recov­ery wasn’t writ­ten by Iraqis; rather, it was pro­mot­ed by the neo-con­ser­v­a­tives of the Defense Depart­ment, home of Abrams, Wol­fowitz, Harold Rhode and oth­er desk­top Napoleons unafraid of mov­ing toy tanks around the Pen­ta­gon war room.

Nose-Twist’s Hid­den Hand

The neo-cons’ 101-page con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ment, which came to me in a brown enve­lope in Feb­ru­ary 2003, just before the tanks rolled, goes bold­ly where no U.S. inva­sion plan had gone before: the com­plete rewrite of the con­quered state’s “poli­cies, law and reg­u­la­tions.” A cap on the income tax­es of Iraq’s wealth­i­est was includ­ed as a mat­ter of course. And this was undoubt­ed­ly history’s first mil­i­tary assault plan append­ed to a pro­gram for tough­en­ing the tar­get nation’s copy­right laws. Once the 82nd Air­borne lib­er­at­ed Iraq, nev­er again would the Ba’athist dic­ta­tor­ship threat­en Amer­i­ca with boot­leg dubs of Brit­ney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time.”

It was more like a cor­po­rate takeover, except with Abrams tanks instead of junk bonds. It didn’t strike me as the work of a Kosher Cabal for an Impe­r­i­al Israel. In fact, it smelled of pork — Pig Heav­en for cor­po­rate Amer­i­ca look­ing for a slice of Iraq, and I sus­pect­ed its porcine source. I gave it a big sniff and, sure enough, I smelled Grover Norquist.

Norquist is the capo di capi of right-wing, big-mon­ey influ­ence ped­dlers in Wash­ing­ton. Those jeal­ous of his inside track to the White House call him “Gopher Nose-Twist.”

A devout Chris­t­ian, Norquist chan­neled a mil­lion dol­lars to the Chris­t­ian Coali­tion to fight the devil’s tool, legal­ized gam­bling. He didn’t tell the Coali­tion that the loot came from an Indi­an tribe rep­re­sent­ed by Norquist’s asso­ciate, Jack Abramoff. (The tribe didn’t want com­pe­ti­tion for its own casi­no oper­a­tions.)

I took a chance and dropped in on Norquist’s L Street office, and under a poster of his idol [’NIXON — NOW MORE THAN EVER”], Norquist took a look at the “recov­ery” plan for Iraq and prac­ti­cal­ly jumped over my desk to sign it, filled with pride at see­ing his baby. Yes, he pro­mot­ed the pri­va­ti­za­tions, the tax lim­it for the rich, and the change in copy­right law, all con­cerns close to the hearts and wal­lets of his clients.

“The Oil” on Page 73

The very un-Jew­ish Norquist may have framed much of the U.S. occu­pa­tion grabfest, but there was, with­out doubt, one notable item in the 101-page plan for Iraq which clear­ly had the mark of Zion on it. On page sev­en­ty-three the plan called for the “pri­va­ti­za­tion… [of] the oil and sup­port­ing indus­tries,” the sell-off of every ounce of Iraq’s oil fields and reserves. Its mas­ter­mind, I learned, was Ariel Cohen of the Her­itage Foun­da­tion.

For the neo-cons, this was The Big One. Behind it, no less a goal than to bring down the lynch­pin of Arab pow­er, Sau­di Ara­bia.

It would work like this: the Saudi’s pow­er rests on con­trol of OPEC, the oil car­tel which, as any good monop­oly, with­holds oil from the mar­ket, kick­ing up prices. Sell-off Iraq’s oil fields and pri­vate com­pa­nies will pump oil in their lit­tle Iraqi patch­es to the max. Iraq, the neo-cons hoped, would crank out six mil­lion bar­rels of oil a day, bust its OPEC quo­ta, flood the world mar­ket, demol­ish OPEC and, as the price of oil fell off a cliff, Sau­di Ara­bia would
fall to its knees.

“It’s a no-brain­er,” Cohen told me, at his office at Her­itage. It was a dim lit­tle cub­by, in which, in our hour or two togeth­er, the phone rang only once. For a guy who was sup­posed to be The God­fa­ther of a globe-span­ning Zion­ist scheme to destroy the Arab oil monop­oly, he seemed kind of, well… pathet­ic.

And he failed. While the Norquist-pro­mot­ed sell-offs, flat tax­es and copy­right laws were dic­tat­ed into Iraqi law by occu­pa­tion chief Paul Bre­mer, the Cohen neo-con oil pri­va­ti­za­tion died an unhap­py death. What hap­pened, Ari?

“Arab econ­o­mists,” he hissed, “hired by the State Depart­ment… the witch­es brew of the Sau­di Roy­al fam­i­ly and Sovi­et Ost­block.”

Well, the Sovi­et Ost­block does not exist, but the Arab econ­o­mists do. I spoke with them in Riyadh, in Lon­don, in Cal­i­for­nia, in wry accents mix­ing desert and Oxford drawls. They speak with con­fi­dence, know­ing Sau­di Arabia’s polit­i­cal author­i­ty is pro­tect­ed by the roy­al fam­i­lies — of Hous­ton petro­le­um.

“Enhance OPEC”

After two mad years of hunt­ing, I dis­cov­ered the real plan for Iraq’s oil, the one that keeps our troops in Fal­lu­jah. Some 323 pages long and deeply con­fi­den­tial, it was draft­ed at the James A. Bak­er III Insti­tute in Hous­ton, Texas, under the strict guid­ance of Big Oil’s min­ions. It was the cul­mi­na­tion of a series of plan­ning groups that began in Decem­ber 2000 with key play­ers from the Bak­er Insti­tute and Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions (includ­ing one Ken Lay of Enron). This was fol­lowed by a State Depart­ment inva­sion-plan­ning ses­sion in Wal­nut Creek, Cal­i­for­nia, in Feb­ru­ary 2001, only weeks after Bush and Cheney took office. Its con­cepts received offi­cial bless­ing after a March 2001 gath­er­ing of oil chiefs (and Lay) with Dick Cheney where the group reviewed with the Vice-Pres­i­dent the map of Iraq’s oil fields.

Once I dis­cov­ered the Big Oil plan, sev­er­al of the play­ers agreed to speak with me (not, to the cha­grin of some, real­iz­ing that I rarely hold such con­ver­sions with­out secret­ly record­ing them). Most forth­right was Philip Car­roll, for­mer CEO of Shell Oil USA, who was flown into Bagh­dad on a C‑17 to make sure there would be no neo-con mon­key busi­ness in America’s newest oil fields.

It had been a very good war for Big Oil, with tripled oil prices mean­ing tripled prof­its. In Hous­ton, I asked Car­roll, a com­mand­ing, steel-straight chief exec­u­tive, about Ari Cohen’s oil pri­va­ti­za­tion plan, the anti-Sau­di “no-brain­er.”

“I would agree with that state­ment” Car­oll told me, “pri­va­ti­za­tion is a no-brain­er. It would only be thought about by some­one with no brain.”

Bush world is divid­ed in two: neo-cons on one side, and the Estab­lish­ment (which includes the oil com­pa­nies and the Saud­is) on the oth­er. The plan the Estab­lish­ment cre­at­ed, craft­ed by Hous­ton oil men, called for lock­ing up Iraq’s oil with agree­ments between a new state oil com­pa­ny under “prof­it-shar­ing agree­ments” with “IOCs” (Inter­na­tion­al Oil Com­pa­nies). The com­bine could “enhance the [Iraq’s] government’s rela­tion­ship with OPEC,” it read, by hold­ing the line on quo­tas and there­by uphold­ing high prices.

Wol­fowitz Dammerung: Twi­light Of The Neo-Con Gods

So there you have it. Wol­fowitz and his neo-con clique — book­ish, fool­ish, vain­glo­ri­ous — had their ass­es kicked utter­ly, final­ly, and con­vinc­ing­ly by the pow­ers of petro­le­um, the Hous­ton-Riyadh Big Oil axis.

Between the neo-cons and Big Oil, it wasn’t much of a con­test. The end-game was crush­ing, final. The Israelites had lost again in the land of Baby­lon. And to make cer­tain the arriv­iste neo-cons got the point, pub­lic pun­ish­ment was exact­ed, from exile to demo­tion to ban­ish­ment. In Jan­u­ary 2005, neo-con point­man Dou­glas Fei­th resigned from the Defense Depart­ment; his assis­tant
Lar­ry Franklin lat­er was bust­ed for pass­ing doc­u­ments to pro-Israel lob­by­ists.
The State Department’s knuck­le-drag­ging enforcer of neo-con ortho­dox­ies, John Bolton, was boot­ed from Wash­ing­ton to New York to the pow­er­less post of U.N. Ambas­sador.

Final­ly, on March 16, 2005, sec­ond anniver­sary of the inva­sion, neo-con leader of the pack Wol­fowitz was cast out of the Pen­ta­gon war room and tossed into the World Bank, mov­ing from the testos­terone-pow­ered, war-mak­ing deci­sion cen­ter to the lend­ing office for Bangladeshi chick­en farm­ers.
“The real­ists,” crowed the tri­umphant edi­tor of the jour­nal of the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions, “have defeat­ed the fan­ta­sists!”

So much for the Big Zion­ist Con­spir­a­cy that sup­pos­ed­ly direct­ed this war. A half- dozen con­fused Jews, wan­der­ing in the pol­i­cy desert a long dis­tance from main­stream Jew­ish views, armed only with Leo Strauss’ sil­ly apho­risms, were no match for Texas oil majors and OPEC poten­tates with a com­bined throw weight of half a tril­lion bar­rels of oil.

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Inves­tiga­tive reporter Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times best­seller, Armed Mad­house: Who’s Afraid of Osama Wolf? [1], Chi­na Floats,
Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal ‘08, No Child’s Behind Left and oth­er
[1]Dis­patch­es from the Front Lines of the Class War [1] to be released next week in Unit­ed King­dom and Ire­land by Pen­guin UK, from which this essay is adapt­ed.