August 1, 2009 by libertymoonbeam
In the run-up to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the Bush administration had failed miserably to win any international support or backing for the war from the UN Security Council. There was a wide spread global consensus that this upcoming war being waged by the US was going to be an illegal one. But the US was not going to give up hope just yet. President George Bush knew that he had a comrade in Tony Blair and Britain would soon join the so called “coalition of the willing”. Britain and Spain as well as a handful of others were more than willing to support and endorse Bush’s war on terrorism despite opposition from virtually every other country.The Bush-Blair announcement of the new “road map” was timed and orchestrated for maximum global visibility, it highlighted the links between Iraq and the Israel-Palestine conflict just days before the Iraq war was launched. It was Bush’s intent to raise sympathy for Israel in their ongoing struggle with the “terrorist” state of Palestine. He was hoping to instill in the minds of the people a connection between Israel’s struggle with terrorism and their infallibility with America’s victimization and the war on terror he was about to begin himself.
In May 2003, just 2 months after the US invasion of Iraq, the UN Security Council recognized the US and their allies as “occupying powers”, with all the accompanying international legal obligations. Under the fourth Geneva Convention the Palestinians and the people of Iraq were now both considered “protected populations”, living under foreign occupation.
Long before the US invasion of Iraq the Pentagon was looking to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinians as the model for their forthcoming invasion and occupation. They saw clearly how every since the 1967 Israeli occupation began Israel had been able to get away with serious violations of international law, with almost 4 decades of experience under their belt, Israel had perfected the art of violating human rights. The Bush administration was impressed by the laundry list of international crimes that Israel had somehow manged to get away with, including: Illegal imprisonment, assassinations, expulsions, house demolitions, torture, the destruction of agricultural land and civilian property, extended curfews and closures, and other forms of collective punishment as well as what most would consider, ethnic cleansing.
Increasingly, the two occupations have come to resemble each other, as the occupiers have actively collaborated to consolidate their control over angry populations. In April of 2002, over a year before the US invasion of Iraq, Israeli troops were sent to re-claim the West Bank. The Israeli attack on the Palestinian refugee camp in Jenin led to the deaths of dozens of civilians including 9 children and 7 women. Rather than viewing this as the atrocity it truly was, the United States saw the Jenin attack as a model for its planned invasion of Iraq. US military officials met with the Israeli military to learn the urban warfare techniques that Israel had used in Jenin. Two years later the US would use these tactics in their attack on Fallujah, including the wide spread killing of women and children. Ironically the use of white phosphorous on the Fallujahan civilian population then became a tactic that Israel copied in their 2006 war in Lebanon.
Not only did the US receive a lesson in urban warfare, they also gained a valuable insight into the art of torturing Arabs, a practice that Israel had long since mastered. Palestinian detainees have reported to being subjected to the same techniques the US has used in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere in the global war on terror. Some of these include: Sleep and toilet deprivation, being hooded for long periods of time, beatings, being forced to remain in painful positions, sexual humiliation, and the use of dogs to cause fear.
The truly valuable information gleaned from Israel’s years of occupation was the advice and training in tactics designed to exploit specific national , cultural, and religious Arab traditions. What the US labeled “spreading democracy” was viewed by the Arab world as nothing more than a parallel occupation to the US backed Israeli occupation of Palestine.
An even clearer connection emerged in 2006 during Israel’s war against Lebanon and Hezbollah. The Israeli goals of attempting to wipe out and destroy all resistance to its control and domination of the region matched almost word for word the United States goals being fought out in Iraq, the two strategies even had similar origins.
In the early 1990’s a group of neo-conservative American analysts and policy makers set forth a vision for US foreign policy known as The Project For The New American Century. In 1996 several of the PNAC authors traveled to Israel at the request of a US oriented Israeli politician who was in the process of running for the office of Prime Minister. They drafted a strategy paper that they entitled “Making a Clean Break: Defending the Realm”. It proposed a focus on military power rather than diplomacy, let all of Israel’s neighbors know that force rather than negotiations would be the new basis of relationships, and make a clean break with all earlier peace processes. When Israel went to war against Lebanon, many people saw the clean break strategy coming to bloody life.
In 1998 George W. Bush was introduced to this same group of people that penned the PNAC as well as the Making a Clean Break strategy. This group became know collectively as “The Vulcans” and was spearheaded by soon to be US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The name “The Vulcans” alludes to a huge statue of Vulcan, the Roman God of fire and metalworking , in Rice’s home town of Birmingham, Alabama. Vulcan was known as a cold, unfeeling and analytical God, attributes the group all shared, wanted to emulate and eventually be associated with.When Bush took office in 2000, The Vulcans were all given key cabinet positions of power and put in charge of US foreign policy. Some of the most well known Vulcans were Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Secretary of State; Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense and President of the World Bank; Richard Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State; Robert Blackwill, U.S. Ambassador to India and later U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor; Stephen Hadley, U.S. National Security Advisor; Dov Zakheim, Comptroller of the Pentagon and Robert Zoellick , U.S. Trade Representative, United States Deputy Secretary of State and nominated as World Bank president in May 2007.
Ironically George W. Bush was originally mild on military matters, his proposed budget plan had even less money going into military spending than Al Gore, he also proposed greater nuclear arms reductions than Gore and made statements such as , “I don’t want to try to put our troops in all places at all times. I don’t want to be the world’s policeman.” and “If we’re an arrogant nation, they’ll resent us. If we’re a humble nation, but strong, they’ll welcome us, that’s why we have to be humble. ” and “I want to empower the people. I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do. I just don’t think it’s the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, we do it this way, so should you.”
This humble foreign policy outlined by Bush during his campaign, however, was quickly dropped after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in favor of a more aggressive policy written and put forth by The Vulcans. This policy was later dubbed the Bush Doctrine and bore a strong resemblance to Making a Clean Break, Israel’s foreign policy , probably because they were both written by the same group of people.