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Behind the Scenes Role of Henry Kissinger in Administration's War Agenda
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To read Kissinger's Article entitled THE ATLANTIC ALLIANCE IN ITS GRAVEST CRISIS (several article on page. scroll down)
It is no longer a secret that a large number of Washington hawks especially such Pentagon hard-liners as Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle belong to the so-called “diplomacy of power” school of international relations. These hawks all see former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as being their spiritual father.
According to Washington circles, Kissinger is the most influential adviser to the hawkish faction in the Bush administration. It was the hawks who proposed seeking the help of the former secretary of state in their efforts to utilize the events of Sept. 11, 2001 to further their ambitions for world domination. That was the reason behind nominating him to head the official enquiry into the attacks.
Kissinger initially accepted this nomination before subsequently declining, perhaps because he realized that the intention was to involve him in a shady “intelligence conspiracy” similar to that detailed by French writer Thierry Meyssan in his book, 9/11: The Big Lie.
Had Kissinger decided to become involved in what is now known as the “Sept. 11 plot,” it would have been the worst possible ending for a controversial political career characterized by cynicism, suspicions and dirty tricks including his role in the overthrow of Salvador Allende, the president of Chile. Kissinger is still being pursued for his role in the Chilean coup of 1973.
Fearing more adverse publicity, Kissinger declined to head the inquiry. But he continued his behind-the-scenes role in supporting the imperial ambitions of Bush administration hawks.
In this context, Kissinger actively intervened a few months ago to settle the arguments that were raging at the time within administration circles about America’s Middle East priorities.
A debate was in full swing between senior administration officials about which issue the intifada or Iraq should be given most attention. It was feared that concentrating on Iraq at the expense of Palestine would lead to adverse reactions in the Arab world against US interests, as well as to negative implications on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
But Kissinger intervened in favor of the hawks, saying that success in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and the occupation of Iraq would allow America to impose a settlement favorable to Israel.
Kissinger wrote: “The road to Jerusalem leads through Baghdad and not vice versa.” This was the opinion that prevailed in the end. President George W. Bush decided to ignore the Palestine question, despite its urgency, and exerted pressure to postpone all peace plans, including his own “road map,” initially until after the Israeli general election, then after Ariel Sharon forms his new government, and finally indefinitely most probably until after the war on Iraq.
Kissinger recently resumed his role in calling for war on Iraq, after France, Germany and Belgium vetoed a US-sponsored NATO resolution to provide protection for Turkey. In a syndicated article released Feb. 9, he wrote: “Were the United States to yield to the threat of a French veto, or were Iraq encouraged by the action of our allies to evade the shrinking nonmilitary options still available, the result would be a catastrophe for the Atlantic Alliance and for the international order in general. If the crisis ends without ‘regime change’ in Baghdad, if the United States marches 200,000 troops into the region and then marches them back out without having achieved more than a nebulous containment of a regime that has violated UN directives for more than a decade, the credibility of American power in the ‘war on terrorism’ and in international affairs will be gravely, perhaps irreparably, impaired.”
Continuing his incitement, Kissinger wrote: “In such circumstances, the governments that have supported or tolerated the American buildup in the region will be jeopardized or driven to look for an exit. If the Saddam Hussein regime continues in power, based on the claim that he has complied with UN Resolution 1441 or that no adequate proof of violations exists, the UN process will have produced a debacle. Sanctions will be lifted or substantially eased as they nearly were two years ago. Iraq will then emerge as the richest country in the region, with either caches of undeclared weapons of mass destruction or new ones built with the additional resources freed by the lifting of sanctions.”
Kissinger stated that “the fact that this crisis has broken out at such a late stage in the political process demonstrates an amazing lack of understanding in Europe of American realities. No government exposed to President Bush or his principal advisers after the passage of UN Resolution 1441 in November 2002 should have doubted that, within months, it would face an American claim of material breach and measures to overcome it. Why vote for the first resolution and threaten to veto its inevitable follow-on?”
It thus appears that 1441 was only a tactical ploy to gain UN cover for a war. America had expected its European allies France especially to vote in its favor in order to carry this ploy through.
Washington clearly believes that if the Security Council fails to vote in favor of using force, it would be in danger of losing the very reason for its existence. In fact, as Richard Perle told a NATO meeting a few months ago, the UN itself is in danger of becoming irrelevant.
What Kissinger was calling for in his Feb. 9 article was that the US should wage war on Iraq to uphold American prestige, European protests notwithstanding. He also expressed a total disregard for the job UN arms inspectors are doing in Iraq, since their mission allows a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
What interests him is that the United States should overthrow the Iraqi regime by force, because at the end of the day a rejuvenated Iraq would pose a threat to Israel.
What Kissinger is interested in is destroying Iraq’s power and seizing control of its natural wealth, since even the latter poses a “threat” as it would allow the Iraqi regime to rebuild its economic, military and technological strength.
By inciting the Bush administration to wage war on Iraq, Kissinger is merely continuing the role he played in the past to divide, weaken, and destroy the Arabs while seeking to strengthen Israel.
It was Kissinger who worked hard to rescue Israel from suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of the Arab armies in 1973. It was he who persuaded then-President Richard Nixon to airlift military equipment to Israel to compensate for all the hardware it lost in the early days of the war. And it was he who exerted pressure to prevent the Egyptian Army from crushing the Israeli bridgehead on the west bank of the Suez Canal. Kissinger declared this to be an American “red line” in an attempt to achieve strategic parity in the war and allow Israel to save face, thus enabling it to enter into negotiations with the Egyptians with minimum losses.
It was Kissinger who formulated the American plan to destroy OPEC such that it would be unable to control oil prices and thus diminish Arab oil wealth. He pushed to create the International Energy Agency with the idea that it would become a cartel of oil-consuming nations that could stand up to OPEC.
Perhaps Kissinger sees the imminent war on Iraq as a further step to dismantle OPEC. With America controlling Iraq’s oil, OPEC’s ability to control the market would be diminished still further. And it was Kissinger of course who came up with the undertaking that prevents any US administration from proposing terms for a settlement to Arab parties without first winning Israel’s acceptance.
This commitment is still in force today. It has compelled successive US administrations to work toward achieving a political settlement that suits Israel. The result was that any genuine opportunity for a just settlement was lost, and any chance for peace destroyed.
Nearly 80, Kissinger is still playing the same foul role he played in the past. He is trying to destroy the Arabs by inciting the administration to wage war on Iraq in order to prove once again his eternal loyalty to Israel and its interests.
Abdelmalik Salman is an Egyptian analyst who heads the Studies and Research Department at the Bahrain daily Akhbar al-Khaleej. He wrote this commentary for The Daily Star
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