Why am I starting this blog? On such a delicate subject? Well, because I feel the need to contribute to an open debate on U.S. foreign policy, mainly in the Middle East, but also as policy toward the Middle East impinges on U.S. relations with countries outside the region. Obviously, since September 11, 2001, U.S. foreign policy has focused more on the region, and since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Americans have been fighting and dying in a war which was pretty clearly unnecessary. (For the record, I supported U.S. military action in Afghanistan, which was a direct response to the Taliban government's support for al-Qaeda.)
Now, as of early 2005, we find ourselves where we were in 2002, witnessing the beginning of the "sales pitch" for military action against Iran and possibly Syria. I thought about starting a blog back then, since I wanted a forum to anonymously share my views, but I wasn't convinced it would make a difference. I didn't think the mainstream media read blogs or was influenced by them. I've been regretting not speaking out since then, and the blogosphere has really come into its own -- witness the Gannon/Guckert coverage on NBC Evening News tonight.
U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East has always been a touchy subject -- and one reason stands out -- the taboo against discussing Israel's (and Israel's American supporters', Jewish and Evangelical Christian) influence. Everyone in Washington with any degree of sopistication understands that sometimes the tail wags the dog -- but they also understand that if you talk about that with anyone other than your most trusted friends, your career will be over. With what happened in the early Bush administration in 2001-2003, however, with neoconservatives with close ties to the Israeli hard right (Wolfowitz, Perle, Feith, Abrams, Bolton) taking top positions in the administration, then staffing their offices with their like-minded proteges (Michael Rubin, David Wurmser, Michael Makovsky, David Schenker, etc), giving them the ability to "sell" the idea of invading Iraq as a means of "transforming" the Middle East in the wake of 9/11, the influence of the Israeli right had reached a new level in Washington -- but still most people are unwilling to talk about it. Well, we need to talk about it, because we're getting set up for a broadening of U.S. military action in the region -- and we need to debate whether or not doing this serves U.S. interests -- and to do that, we need to have a frank discussion of some of the ulterior motives, and yes, dual loyalties which are driving the policy process in the Bush administration.
What I want to do with this blog is both share my knowledge, since I've been following these issues for many years in Washington, and start a discussion, hopefully attracting the attention of the mainstream media. We need to piece together the rest of the story behind how we got involved in Iraq, and have an open debate on the merits of action against Iran, Syria, etc.
I intend to stay anonymous. All I'm willing to say about myself is that I've been around Washington for a long time, and am quite knowledgeable about how "sausage is made" inside the beltway. I've worked on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch in low-to-mid level positions. While I am no radical politically, and support Israel's existence and security, I don't believe they should have the influence they do over U.S. foreign policy. I think the taboo against talking about it is largely why that power exists, and I think that the anonymity of the blogosphere can help us break that taboo and get the story out. That's all I'm going to say about myself.
To begin, I'm going to write several posts about the prelude to where we are now -- how the Israel lobby wields its influence, the specific individuals in the Pentagon (below the levels mentioned in major newspapers) who put together the deception to "sell" the invasion of Iraq, their ideology and motives, etc. I'll then move to posting on current news, in light of the debate on broadening U.S. military action in the region.