I have often discussed with many of you the importance of words. Of ideas. That if you are committed enough to keep on speaking truth to power, no matter how critical, truth will have an impact. In this vein I wanted to bring your attention to our recent article entitled “From the Klan to Tehran” which you received earlier this week. In it, there was an implied criticism of the Iranian Foreign Minister’s appearance at the International Institute for Strategic Studies’, arguably the world’s leading authority on political-military conflict, conference held in Bahrain. That Conference was called the Manama Dialogue.
The Conference’s official name was The Third Regional Security Summit (The Manama Dialogue), hosted by the IISS, and held from 8–10 December 2006 in Bahrain. The IISS Regional Security Summit is the primary security forum for the Persian Gulf. Convened annually, it brings together all elements of the national security establishments from the countries in the region – Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen – with the key external powers – Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The IISS Regional Security Summit provides a forum where the most senior authorities responsible for defence, foreign policy and security issues from the participating states can exchange views on the security challenges of the region. Since its inception, the IISS Regional Security Summit has evolved rapidly into an essential component of the regional security apparatus, uniquely involving all the states and key personalities responsible for Persian Gulf security. The IISS has no agenda of its own in convening this summit, apart from facilitating meetings of government leaders in circumstances that they could not so easily organize for themselves. Now fully established as the primary vehicle for security diplomacy, it continues to involve government leaders at the highest levels so that regional security strategy can be developed.
Despite our criticism of Iran, the IISS reprinted our recent paper which also took issue with former President Jimmy Carter and the James Baker Iraq Study Group as well as the rampant culture of appeasement in the west. ~BPW
"Anti-Semitism is the swollen envy of pygmy minds."
~ Mark Twain
"Nancy Astor has no political philosophy. She dashes at any piece of work that presents itself,
whether it is an instalment of socialism or a relic of feudalism."
~ George Bernard Shaw
”It’s like playing squash with a dish of scrambled eggs”
~Harold Nicolson on the Cliveden Set
Well, I guess we can all rest easier now. Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, told the International Institute of Strategic Studies conference taking place in Bahrain that Iran is ready to co-operate with the United States……in withdrawing from Iraq. He coupled that statement by repeating the threat of Iran's top national security official, Ali Larijani, that if America refuses this most "generous" offer of co-operation, Iran will stir the Persian Gulf states to eject U.S. bases from their countries. What sublimely perfect timing coming on the heels of James Baker's Iraq Study Group recommendation that America should talk to Iran. Now we know what Iran's agenda will be. American submission and capitulation. And coming the same week as the Tehran Holocaust denial conference, we have a clear signal that while Iran's President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, denies the first Holocaust ever happened while preparing a second one against Israel, he is certainly ready to copy the playbook of Herr Hitler in expansionist territorial aggression by assaulting his neighbours just like the screeching corporal did to Austria and Czechoslovakia.
No one should be surprised. Every attempt at appeasement of tyrants and tyranny over the past century, especially when accompanied by a sacrificial lamb, has been read by those tyrants as a sign of weakness of will and a green light to do anything they wish. For Iran, there have been a lot of green lights coming from the west lately. And just as in 1938 when Britain's Chamberlain and France's Daladier offered up the Czech Republic to Hitler, today's fellow travellers offer up Israel to Ahmadinejad and his Islamo-Fascist cohorts. Today's appeasers forget at their peril President John F. Kennedy's admonitions to "…never negotiate out of fear…" and that "…sincerity is always subject to proof…" They also forget that Israel is not Czechoslovakia and will not go gently into that good night.
Jimmy Carter's Israel
As bad as Baker's Iraq Study Group recommendations are - and I'll examine the worst of them shortly - the current lemming-like rush to western self-abnegation started a few months before the ISG report was released. One could pinpoint it from the publication of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid". Kenneth Stein, the former director of the Carter Center's Middle East Study Section, called the title itself "…too inflammatory to even print…" No comment on Carter's hatchet job could be any bit as eloquent or legitimate as Stein's critique. In an open letter he stated that the book is "…replete with factual errors, copied materials not cited, superficialities, glaring omissions, and simply invented segments. Aside from the one-sided nature of the book, meant to provoke, there are recollections cited from meetings where I was the third person in the room, and my notes of those meetings show little similarity to points claimed in the book. Being a former President does not give one a unique privilege to invent information or to unpack it with cuts, deftly slanted to provide a particular outlook. Falsehoods, if repeated often enough become meta-truths, and they then can become the erroneous baseline for shaping and reinforcing attitudes and policy-making. The history and interpretation of the Arab-Israeli conflict is already drowning in half-truths, suppositions, and self-serving myths; more are not necessary. "
One cannot even imagine what drove Carter to publish such a work particularly at a time when America, and the free world, is under attack. Carter re-opened the centuries-old blood libel that all our problems lay at the feet of the Jews. But he used today's symbolism. That the core of all our issues with radical Islam can be resolved with an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. And he puts the fault for it squarely on Israel. It is the old blood-libel cloaked in modern-day message and metaphor. It is nothing less than borderline anti-Semitism seditiously giving aid and comfort not only to the enemies of America but to the entire free world as well. If none dare call it treason this writer will.
What Israel has to do with Ahmadinejad's openly stated plans for Islamic hegemony over the west; or terror bombings from New York to London, Bali to Beslan, Madrid to Mumbai; or the brutalization and mass murder of Muslims by other Muslims is anyone's guess. But it didn't stop Carter from going even further. Asked recently whether he believed that Israel's "persecution" of Palestinians was "even worse ... than a place like Rwanda," Carter answered, "Yes. I think - yes."
Tony Blair on Al-Jazeera
With Carter having made the intellectual ground so fertile for truth's perversion, we were only a bit surprised when Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair - who is not standing for re-election - gave an interview to Al-Jazeera, the Arab world's largest news network. The fact that he consented to appear on Al-Jazeera, often called "Al-Qaeda's billboard", was sad surprise enough. But what he said was even worse. Mr. Blair, America's staunchest ally in the war against the Islamo-Fascists, suddenly did a 180 degree about face and parroted Mr. Carter's lies about the "root causes" of Islamic unrest laying in the Arab-Israeli conflict. This from the Prime Minister of a country that suffered some of the worst terror bombings from home-grown Islamists. One could only suppose that Blair is looking for a post-government career mirroring Carter's as a globe-trotting know-it-all interfering anywhere and everywhere for the price of his passage.
James Baker and the ISG
After Carter and Blair, Baker's Iraq Study Group's recommendations came almost as an aftershock. But if the recommendations are followed, they will be the greatest shock and a near death-knell for the west. The ISG called for a timetable for American withdrawal; forced Iraqi responsibility for security within that timetable whether Iraq is ready or not; and, the most odious of all, an "immediate launch of a new diplomatic offensive by the United States with all nations in the region including Syria and Iran but excluding Israel." Shades and shadows of Munich 1938. America going hat in hand to the madmen and mullahs of Tehran.
Despite how wrong Baker's assumptions and conclusions were, one could almost expect it of him. His ties to big oil and oil states have shaped his career. When making Mid-East policy as Secretary of State, he was once quoted as responding to an aide's caution about a particular initiative that was slanted against Israel and the political ramifications it could spark among America's Jews with the following, "F… ‘em. They don't vote for us anyway." This little vignette nicely dovetails with his worldview. Israel has no oil. "So F… it!" But it's not that simple. And though he didn't state it, Baker knows it.
Putting in place a firm deadline for US withdrawal would just signal to Iran, Al-Qaeda, the Wahabbis, the Mahdi Militia, Hezbollah and all the other Islamo-Fascist groups what would be the right time to strike an all-out offensive in the region and terror strikes around the world. At the leadership levels of these outlaw states and groups, it no longer matters whether you are Shiite or Sunni. The leaders are running parallel tracks. At the top they co-operate against the west. But they have also agreed that at the level of the "Arab street", they will let the various gangs and thugs kill each other in so-called "insurgencies" that are nothing less than masks for the unleashed bloodlust on which these people thrive.
Tying Iraq to assume all security responsibility based on a fatuous time schedule instead of state readiness would be nothing less than an abdication of America's stated goal of nation-building. That was at the heart of the Bush Doctrine. And like the Truman doctrine it is a legitimate one. But not if undermined by capitulation for political, or financial, convenience. America's word would mean nothing from that point on. Of course the Bakers of this world aren't troubled by considerations of national purpose. They just want to do business.
Finally, the idea of the United States going hat in hand to "talk" to Iran and the other rogue states and groups in the area is too chilling to contemplate. Particularly if the "talks" exclude Israel. But even putting Israel aside, the only thing that Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs want to talk about is western capitulation. Are we going to pound you into submission with the terror we have already unleashed, or are we going to "kick it up a notch" with a nuclear threat? It is still difficult to conclude whether Baker is just dangerously naïve or is he really willing to live in a world where Israel - the "little Satan" - is destroyed, and America - the "big Satan"- is reduced to slave-state status at best, as long as "business as usual" continues. My feeling leans to the latter. Baker and his cronies are today's embodiment of the Fords and IBMs of the 1930s who did business with Hitler right up to the day the United States declared war.
From the outset of the Iraq war much of the difficulty has stemmed not from failures to find the right strategy, as from an astounding and depressing refusal to implement the strategic and operational advice of the military leaders who knew best how to execute and win a war. The greatest failing was trying to win "on the cheap". Let the toys do it and use 150,000 soldiers instead of the 300,000 the Joint Chiefs had recommended. Israel's Olmert made the same near-fatal decision in the recent war with Lebanon. Playing both sides against the middle while straddling a fence seems to be a spreading sickness among western leaders.
Baker's assertion that the US cannot win in Iraq is totally unsupported by any facts. Indeed it flies in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. And to state that Iran and Syria share America's "interest in avoiding chaos in Iraq" puts Baker in the same Fifth-Column class as Jimmy Carter.
Perhaps the Jerusalem Post's Caroline Glick put it most succinctly and eloquently when she wrote, "…With the publication of the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group chaired by former US Secretary of State James Baker III, the debate about the war in Iraq changed. From a war for victory against Islamo-Fascism and for democracy and freedom, the war became reduced to a conflict to be managed by appeasing the US's sworn enemies in the interests of stability, and at the expense of America's allies."
The Tehran Conference
And so on the heels of Carter, Blair and Baker comes Tehran. This is a world truly turned upside down. The words and actions of western leaders, but particularly of Baker and Carter, have set an atmosphere most conducive to the sickly orchid-like poison emanating from Tehran's Holocaust denial conference. Ahmadinejad couldn't have had better timing, or help, had he scripted it. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, 19th century founder of the Ku Klux Klan, would be proud of the two good ole boys from Texas and Georgia setting the tune. And wouldn't his heart be warmed by the brotherly greeting offered by Ahmadinejad to Louisiana's David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Klan, upon his arrival in Tehran to give of his "academic" largesse on the Holocaust.
Too much of a stretch you say. I don't think so. Racism is racism. Whether against blacks or Jews. A racist, or a fascist, needs a demon. Demonization of some group is leveraged for power and control over the masses at home. Divide and conquer. A strategy as old as scripture and as sad as history. Messrs. Carter and Baker can choose their own appellations. Are they simply racists, or corporate fascists? But they should take care. In sowing the seeds for Tehran, whatever title they choose, they are one thing more. Traitors. They have committed treason against the United States in a time of war. They have given aid and comfort to an enemy as evil as any the free world has faced. They have betrayed the very foundations of what America is meant to stand for.
As Bret Stephans has written, the Tehran conference will not mention the 56,065 Jews "dealt with" – the words of Nazi commandant Jurgen Stroop - in the genocidal liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto. It will instead magnify the 60 Palestinians killed in Jenin in defensive Israeli operations. It will not mention that Jews were exterminated at the rate of 2,000 a day at Auschwitz but will instead focus on the 1500 Palestinians killed during their self-instigated Intifada aggression against Israel.
The scholar Gregory Stanton has observed that genocides happen in eight stages, beginning with classification, symbolization and dehumanization, and ending in extermination and denial. What has happened in Tehran -- denial -- may seem to have turned that order on its head. It hasn't. The road to Tehran was well-prepared. And even though some who helped prepare it may denounce it now, they cannot renounce that they helped pave it and have walked on it. They knew very well that their words would sow the intellectual ground for an attempt at the state genocide of Israel.
The Cliveden Mindset
In the late 1930's a group of English aristocrats, politicians, journalists and socialites regularly gathered at the estate of Waldorf and Nancy Astor to plot strategies in support of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain's policies of appeasing Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Reich. Indeed there are many who believe that foreign policy was no longer decided in Cabinet nor by Chamberlain but rather by this dangerously dilettantish, but extremely influential, circle of friends. The Astor home was called Cliveden. And this group came to be known as the "Cliveden Set". Sadly, the Cliveden "mindset" is in full swing today and, thanks to our world of instant communication, no longer relegated to fair Albion.
The danger of the Cliveden mindset lay not in any particular pro-Nazi loyalty as in the delusional group-think that Hitler's demands could be separated into "reasonable" and "unreasonable" ones and that if only the "reasonable" ones could be satisfied he would be placated. They learned too late that "reason" is absent from the tyranny of bloodlust.
The pivotal year was 1938. In March, Hitler unleashed his Anshcluss on Austria. In September, he demanded the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia on the pretext that it was populated by many Germans. The problem was that the Czech Republic had defense treaties with Britain and France. But the latter two had no will to fight.
In an extraordinary display of self-abnegation, Chamberlain, and France's Daladier, submitted to Mussolini's suggestion of a German-British-French-Italian conference on the Sudetenland that excluded Czechoslovakia. That Conference agreed that Hitler could annex the Sudetenland if he stopped there. Chamberlain bluntly informed Czechoslovakia's Eduard Benes that there would be no war over the Sudetenland, treaties or no treaties. England and France ignored their obligations to the Czech Republic and Hitler got his way.
Returning to Britain from that infamous meeting in Munich, Chamberlain waved his worthless piece of paper proclaiming "Peace in our Time". Lady Astor and her cronies from Cliveden believed their policy of appeasement had been vindicated. Of course they were wrong. By March 1939 Hitler had swallowed up all of Czechoslovakia. On September 1, he invaded Poland finally bringing the western powers into the war. In June of 1940 France fell and in July the Battle of Britain had begun.
The banality of the Cliveden mindset had no clearer manifestation than Neville Chamberlain's words in a letter to his sister after Munich, describing Hitler as, "... a man, a true statesman, a man I feel I can really trust." That spine-chilling idiocy resonates down to us today. The past month has seen particularly egregious examples of appeasement of a new fascism. A resurgent Cliveden mindset.
As Prof. Elliot Cohen has written, "Haziness about ends and means, about what to do and how to do it, is a mark of strategic ineptitude; it gets people killed." Soon after Chamberlain's letter to his sister, the lights began to go out in Europe. It is to be hoped we can avoid the same fate today. But in order to avoid it, the free world's answer to the "co-operation" offered by the Mottakis of this world must be to grow more ruthless and show these new barbarians that they are not, in Harold Nicholson's words, "…playing squash with a dish of scrambled eggs…"
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