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Why the Middle East is a disaster

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April 18, 2019
By Dennis Lamb , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Those who blame Iran for meddling in and destabilizing the Middle East apparently have not listened to General Wesley Clark's remarks from "A Time to Lead" speech he gave at the Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco, CA, on October 3, 2007. Following is an abridged transcript of his speech transcribed by If Americans Knew that can be witnessed on FORO.Tv-YouTube by Googling:

BEGIN PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT: What happened on 9/11 is we didn't have a strategy and we didn't have bipartisan agreement and we didn't have Americans' understanding of it and we had instead a policy coup in this country, a coup, a policy coup. Some hardnosed people took over the direction of American policy and they never bothered to inform the rest of us. --

I was leaving the Pentagon, and an officer from the joint staff called me into his office and said, "I want you to know," he said. "Sir, we're going to attack Iraq." And I said, "Why?" He said, "We don't know." -- I said, "Well, did they tie Saddam to 9/11?" He said, "No. -- But I guess it's they don't know what to do about terrorism, and so they think-but they can attack states, and they want to look strong. And so, I guess they think if they take down a state, it will intimidate the terrorists. And, you know, it's like that old saying," he said, "if the only tool you have is a hammer, then every problem has to be a nail." Well, I walked out of there pretty upset. And then we attacked Afghanistan. I was pretty happy about that. -- And then I came back to the Pentagon about six weeks later. I saw the same officer. I said, --"We still going to attack Iraq?" He said, "Oh, sir, -- it's worse than that." -- He pulled up a piece of paper off his desk. He said, "I just got this memo from the Secretary of Defense's office. It says we're going to attack and destroy the governments in seven countries in five years. We're going to start with Iraq, and then we're going to move to Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran." Seven countries in five years. -- I was so stunned by this, I couldn't begin to talk about it. And I couldn't believe it would really be true, but that's actually what happened. These people took control of the policy in the United States -- then it came back to me, a 1991 meeting I had with Paul Wolfowitz. You know, in 2001 he was Deputy Secretary of Defense, but in 1991 he was the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy -- and I said to Paul, -- "Mr. Secretary, you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm." -- "Well yeah," he said, "But not really," -- "Because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein and we didn't."-- "But one thing we did learn," he said, "We learned that we can use our military in the region in the Middle East and the Soviets won't stop us." --- "And we have got about five or ten years to clean up all those Soviet client regimes; Syria, Iran, Iraq, before the next great super power comes on to challenge us"

It was a pretty stunning thing, I mean the purpose of the military is to start wars and change governments, it's not to sort of deter a conflict, we are going to invade countries, -- my mind was spinning. -- This country was taken over by a group of people with a policy coup, Wolfowitz and Cheney and Rumsfeld and you could name a half dozen other collaborators from the Project for a New American Century. They wanted us to destabilize the Middle East, turn it upside down, make it under our control. It went back to those comments in 1991. Now, did anybody tell you that? Was there a national dialogue on this? Did senators and congressmen stand up and denounce this plan? Was there a full-fledged American debate on it? Absolutely not; and there are still isn't, -- They could hardly wait to finish Iraq so that they could move into Syria. -- Oh, our legions are going to go in there. This wasn't what the American people voted George Bush into office for. -- it wasn't what he campaigned on. He campaigned on a humble foreign policy. The most arrogant policy in American history. He campaigned on no peace keeping, no nation building and here he is with Afghanistan and Iraq. it is astonishing. -- Whether you are a democrat or Republican, if you are an American you ought to be concerned about the strategy of the United States in this region. What is our aim? What is our purpose? Why are we there? Why are Americans dying in this region? That is the issue. END PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT

Postscript: The same people who lied you into the Iraq war are now driving to complete the plan General Clark described above by lying you into war on Iran. And if you liked the Iraq war, you'll love this one.

Dennis Lamb, from Chelsea, retired from the CIA in 2002 after serving 30 years in its directorate of operations as a case officer and as an intelligence analyst. His viewpoint above is personal and not the views of his former employer.



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