It is no longer a secret that the
Bush administration has been methodically paving the way toward a bombing strike
There is strong evidence that the
administration's recent public statements that it is now willing to negotiate
The Political Economy of U.S.
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The Political Economy of U.S.
administration's case against
The administration's case against
So, if the administration's
"national interests" argument as grounds for a military strike against Iran is
suspect, why then is it so adamantly pushing for such a potentially calamitous
confrontation? What are the driving forces behind a military confrontation with
Critics would almost unanimously
point to neoconservative militarists in and around the Bush administration.
While this is obviously not false, as it is the neoconservative forces that are
beating the drums of war with
The neoconservative ideologues often claim that their aggressive foreign policy is inspired primarily by democratic ideals and a desire to spread democracy and freedom worldwide-a claim that is far too readily accepted as genuine by corporate media and many foreign-policy circles. This is obviously little more than a masquerade designed to hide some real powerful special interests that lie behind the fašade of neoconservative figures and their ideological rhetoric.
The driving force behind the
neoconservatives' war juggernaut must be sought not in the alleged defense of
democracy or of national interests but in the nefarious special interests that
are carefully camouflaged behind the front of national interests. These special
interests derive lucrative business gains and high dividends from war and
militarism. They include both economic interests (famously known as the
military-industrial complex) and geopolitical interests (associated largely with
Zionist proponents of "greater
There is an unspoken, de facto
alliance between these two extremely powerful interests--an alliance that might
be called the military-industrial-Zionist alliance. More than anything else, the
alliance is based on a conjunctural convergence of interests on war and
international convulsion in the
The fact that the military-industrial complex, or merchants of arms and wars, flourishes on war and militarism is largely self-evident. Arms industries and powerful beneficiaries of war dividends need an atmosphere of war and international convulsion in order to maintain continued increases in the Pentagon budget and justify their lion's share of the public money. Viewed in this light, unilateral or "preemptive" wars abroad can easily been seen as reflections of domestic fights over national resources and tax dollars.
In the debate over allocation of
public resources between the proverbial guns and butter, or between military and
nonmilitary public spending, powerful beneficiaries of war dividends have proven
very resourceful in outmaneuvering proponents of limits on military spending.
During the bipolar world of the Cold War era that was not a difficult act to
perform as the rationale-the "communist threat"-readily lay at hand.
Justification of increased military spending in the post-Cold War period has
prompted these beneficiaries to be even more creative in manufacturing "new
sources of danger to U.S. interests" in order to justify unilateral wars of
aggression. It is not surprising, then, that a wide range of "new sources of
Just as the powerful beneficiaries
of war dividends view international peace and stability inimical to their
business interests, so too the hard-line Zionist proponents of "greater
But because proponents of "greater
The military-industrial-Zionist alliance is represented largely by the cabal of neoconservative forces in and around the Bush administration. The institutional framework of the alliance consists of a web of closely knit think tanks that are founded and financed primarily by the armaments lobby and the Israeli lobby. These corporate-backed militaristic think tanks include the American Enterprise Institute, Project for the New American Century, Center for Security Policy, Middle East Media Research Institute, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Middle East Forum, National Institute for Public Policy, and Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.
These think tanks, which might appropriately be called institutes of war and militarism, are staffed and directed mainly by the neoconservative champions of the military-industrial-Zionist alliance, that is, by the proponents of unilateral wars of aggression. There is strong evidence that the major plans of the Bush administration's foreign policy have been drawn up largely by these think thanks, often in collaboration, directly or indirectly, with the Pentagon, the arms lobby, and the Israeli lobby. These war mongering think tanks and their neoconservative champions serve as direct links, or conveyer belts, between the armaments lobby and the Israeli lobbies on the one hand, and the Bush administration and its Congressional allies on the other.
Take the Center for Security Policy (CSP), for example. It "boasts that no fewer than 22 former advisory board members are close associates in the Bush administration. . . . A sixth of the Center's revenue comes directly from defense corporations." The Center's alumni in key posts in the Bush administration include its former chair of the board, Douglas Feith, who served for more than four years as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Pentagon Comptroller Dov Zakheim, former Defense Policy Board Chair Richard Perle, and long-time friend and financial supporter Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In its 1998 annual report, the center "listed virtually every weapons-maker that had supported it from its founding, from Lockheed, Martin Marietta, Northrop, Grumman, and Boeing, to the later 'merged' incarnations of same-Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and so forth." 
the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a major lobbying think tank for the
military-industrial-Zionist alliance, can boast of being the metaphorical alma
mater of a number of powerful members of the Bush administration. For example,
Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne Cheney, State Department arms
control official John Bolton (now U.S. ambassador to the UN), and former chair
of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle all have had long-standing ties with
the Institute. The Institute played a key role in promoting Ahmed Chalabi's
group of Iraqi exiles as a major Iraqi opposition force "that would be welcomed
by the Iraqi people as an alternative to the regime of Saddam Hussein." The
group, working closely with the AEI, played an important role in the
justification of the invasion of
example of the interlocking network of neoconservative forces in the Bush
administration and the militaristic think tanks that are dedicated to the
advancement of the military-industrial-Zionist agenda is reflected in the
affiliation of a number of influential members of the administration with the
Jewish Institute for the National Security Affairs (JINSA). These include, for
example, Douglas Feith, assistant secretary of defense during the first term of
the Bush administration, General Jay Garner, the initial head of the
The fact that neoconservative militarists of the Bush administration are organically rooted in the military-industrial-Zionist alliance is even more clearly reflected in their incestuous relationship with the warmongering think tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Like most of its lobbying counterparts within the extensive network of neoconservative think tanks, PNAC was founded by a circle of powerful political figures a number of whom later ascended to key positions in the Bush administration. The list of signatories of PNAC's Founding Statement of Principles include Elliot Abrams, Jeb Bush, Elliot Cohen, Frank Gaffney, Zalmay Khalilzad, I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Donald Rumsfeld, and Paul Wolfowitz. Add the signature of Vice President Dick Cheney to the list of PNAC founders, "and you have the bulwarks of the neo-con network that is currently in the driver's seat of the Bush administration's war without end policies all represented in PNAC's founding document." 
A closer look at the professional records of the neoconservative players in the Bush administration indicates that "32 major administration appointees . . . are former executives with, consultants for, or significant shareholders of top defense contractors." For example, Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is an ex-director of a General Dynamics subsidiary, and his deputy during the first term of the Bush administration, Paul Wolfowitz, acted as a paid consultant to Northrop Grumman. Today the armaments lobby "is exerting more influence over policymaking than at any time since President Dwight D. Eisenhower first warned of the dangers of the military-industrial complex over 40 years ago." 
sample evidence indicates that the view that the neoconservative militarists'
tendency to war and aggression is inspired by an ideological passion to spread
American ideals of democracy is clearly false. Their successful militarization
It is necessary to note at this
point that, despite its immense political influence, the Zionist lobby is ultimately a junior, not equal, partner
in this unspoken, de defacto alliance. Without discounting the extremely
important role of the Zionist lobby in the configuration of the
It does not follow, however, that,
as some critics argue, the U.S.-Israeli relationship represents a case of "tail
wagging the dog," that is,
Aggressive existential tendencies of
Author Bio: Ismael Hossein-zadeh is an
economics professor at
for example, Seymour M.
Hersh, "The military's problem with the President's
2. Hersh, "The military's problem
with the President's
3. Ibid.; see also Ismael Hossein-zadeh, "U.S. Iran Policy Irks Senior Commanders: The Military vs. Militaristic Civilian Leadership," OpEdNews.com (July 24, 2006): http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ismael_h_060724_u_s__iran_policy_irk.htm
4. A detailed discussion of this issue, and of the de facto alliance between militant Zionism and the powerful beneficiaries of war dividends, can be found, among other places, in Chapter 6 of my recently released book, The Political Economy of U.S. Militarism (Palgrave-Macmillan 2006).
5. William D. Hartung, How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy? (New York: Nation Books, 2003), P. 101; William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, "The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex," Multinational Monitor 24, nos. 1 &2 (Jan/Feb 2003): <http://multinationalmonitor.org/mm2003/03jan-feb/jan-feb03corp2.html#name> .
6. Hartung, How Much Are You Making on the War, Daddy? PP. 103-106.
7. Ibid., PP. 109-11.
8. Ibid., P. 113.
9. William Hartung and Michelle Ciarrocca, "The Military-Industrial-Think Tank Complex."
10. I have provided a longer
discussion of the role of the Zionist lobby in the configuration of the
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