Peter Voskamp, the editor of the Block Island (R.I.) Times, has reaffirmed my report that there was political pressure to keep Walt & Mearsheimer, the authors of the bombshell paper criticizing the Israel lobby, from speaking at the Naval War College in Newport 2 weeks back:
Voskamp is an enterprising journalist. As a grad student at University of Texas/Austin 3-1/2 years ago, he interviewed Admiral Bobby Ray Inman, the former deputy director of the CIA, now a professor of national policy at UT, and asked him whether oil interests were pushing for war in Iraq.
BRI: It’s just not valid. Iraq is not about oil. Iraq is about, on the one side, weapons of mass destruction, the U.N. and disarmament. And on the other one, goes back to ’96, Richard Perle’s study — Institute for Advanced Political Studies –and the absolute dedication that Wolfowitz, Feith, Perle, Rumsfeld, Wurmser, Bolton, others have had ever since ’96 on regime change. And that was the way you guarantee Israel’s security. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the original Perle study, it’s available on the internet. I think he concluded that land for peace isn’t going to guarantee Israel’s security. Oslo Accords won’t. Therefore you should get rid of them. Instead, go for regime change. That will automatically cause the Syria and Saudi Arabia regimes to fall and change. First, I’m not sure the domino theory really works in those, but none of it was about oil. Now, even if Iraq changes, I don’t think Syria will….When issues come up about Saudi Arabia they are 90-95% driven by oil. The only [area] where oil plays a part in the Iraq situation is that comfort that Iraq can be rapidly be rebuilt by its own oil revenues as opposed to a large amount of foreign aid. I hope that’s true. I don’t see where the exit is or even how you’re going to build a new government. But maybe if you get all that oil flowing into the marketplace….
Voskamp conducted the interview as a researcher for journalist Robert Bryce for his book, “Cronies: Oil, the Bushes, and the rise of Texas, America’s Superstate.” The comments weren’t printed in that book. I called Inman to see if he minded my making them public. He said No, and elaborated on them:
“Oil has everything to do with our relationship with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. Where Iraq is concerned, our policy has everything to do with Israel’s long-term security.”
But is this a conspiracy theory? How did people who care about Israel affect our policy visavis war in Iraq?
“Because they were persuasive and they were dedicated in making their case. They ended up in very strategic positions in the Vice President’s office, the NSA, and the Defense Department. They fervently believed, and in the absence of opposing views [after 9/11] they carried the day…. [Today] they are no longer a unified bloc with power. .. The terrible failure to plan for Iraq after the removal of Saddam Hussein has discredited their view about how to bring peace to the Mideast.”
Are you talking about dual loyalty?
“No. It’s about fervor. Zealots often carry the day. They are U.S.A. loyalists. But their vision of the Mideast, and how to secure peace in the Mideast, is shaped by concern for Israel’s longterm security… Myself, I don’t think you will ever get security in the Mideast until you have what on the surface appears to be fair to both sides. You have to have leaders committed to peace, on both sides. One side can’t impose a solution.”