The U.S. war on Iraq was simple madness on the part of those who organized and launched it. Two interest groups set this attack in motion — the Israeli lobby and the oil interests represented by Richard Cheney.

It is understandable why Israel wanted the U.S. to take out Saddam Hussein. During the first Gulf war he had launched rockets at Israel. Interceptors failed to block these rockets. Hussein was manifesting his on-going hostility to Israel by offering monetary rewards to the families of suicide bombers (not often delivered). Hussein’s terrorism was directed primarily at the Israelis. And they have reason to fear their hostile neighbors — the most recent bombing of a supposed Syrian nuclear site, support now of a preemptive attack on Iran. The active figures in promoting the Iraq war have now moved out of stage center — Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and others who were key advisers to Rumsfeld who ran this private little war. Perle still urges the U.S. to attack Iran. Personally I can understand the Israeli fears of WMD attacks that could devastate Israel. But one wishes that we had resisted their call to attack. It was not the way to bring them or us peace.

Unforgivable, however, were the oil interests — Halliburton particularly — which have benefited immensely from our move to dominate Middle Eastern oil at the cost of billions of taxpayer dollars, the loss of many thousands of lives, the stimulus to terrorism, and the manifest destruction of global trust in the integrity of the United States. Some day Americans will read of the vast profits that Cheney has presumably made as former CEO and major stock holder in Halliburton — what a horror for future generations to assimilate!

Why are our politicians and media not telling this grim tale as it is? The Israeli lobby still has both our parties’ politicians as well as our media thoroughly intimidated. Criticisms of Israel produce charges that one is either an anti-Semite of a self-hating Jew.

The oil lobby presumably has bought our media entire. Look at the vast profits announced this past year by Exxon (and others) — the largest ever of ANY corporation. In America today such monies can blot out any opposition or criticism. Check out the oil money contributions to ALL of our presidential candidates now in the running — Obama, Clinton, McCain.

And so the U.S. was sold down the river while its bridges continued to tumble.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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