Douglas Feith to the Box

Thursday, January 5, 2006 11:48 PM

One thing is now certain: Ariel Sharon will not be returning to his office. Therefore, this may be an appropriate time to take a second look at Sharon's agents in the U.S. who helped make the Sharon Era such a bulldozing success. Among these agents, please note that Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith have pulled a disappearing act. With "Operation Iraqi Freedom" turning into a more expensive and a more explosive mess for Uncle Sam with each passing day, who can blame them?  Feith is simply hiding out, staying off the skyline, while Wolfowitz has assumed his new, above-the-fray role as a do-gooder at the World Bank, dispensing largesse from the U.S. Treasury far and wide. I suppose Perle may be at his villa in southern France.

The item below from the August, 19th 2005 issue of The Village Voice concerns Feith, who was Deputy Defense Secretary at the Pentagon, behind Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld. Feith was the Washington attorney who represented Israeli/American fraudster Marc Rich, and who got President Clinton to pardon him in 2000. Feith has also gained notoriety for helping to cook the "intelligence" to justify Bush's 2003 invasion of Iraq. Maybe you have heard about the Feith-Perle "Lie Factory" inside the Pentagon? Less known to the general public is Feith's advocacy on behalf of Israel's Likud party.

The Voice columnist, Ward Harkavy, who is Jewish, writes a column entitled "Bush Beat" which excoriates Bush from the Left.  Below, Harkavy points out what an extreme self-centered fellow Feith is when it comes to Israel. This installment of "Bush Beat" was written at the time of the Gaza Strip disengagement orchestrated by Sharon. Apparently, even this modest strategic withdrawal by General Sharon was opposed by attorney Feith. Harkavy acknowledges that Feith was a key player in getting the U.S. into Iraq, and sees a connection between Gaza and Iraq.

It is thanks to Harkavy's column, which I stumbled upon by accident today, that Feith's article in the Fall, 1993 issue of The National Interest, entitled "A Mandate for Israel", came to my attention. I have taken the time to read "Mandate". It is a real eye-opener. It explains everything. This is the essence of the Sharon Era. This is the basis of American foreign policy. This is the key for understanding why Bush attacked Iraq. Being Jewish, a lawyer and a Sharonist to boot, Feith's "Mandate" is a well-written, legalistic rationalization for Israel's right to do anything it pleases as it relates to the Palestinians as well as the Arab world at large.

Please understand, there is no occupied territory. Thanks to Zionism, the Balfour Declaration, and the subsequent British Mandate, all territory in dispute belongs to what is now called Israel. The Palestinians are there at sufferance, nothing more, nothing less. Jordan is Palestine; the Palestinians can go to Jordan. The Arabs should be grateful. You get the picture.

The question is, how could this blinkered, Zionist apparatchik be placed in charge of the Pentagon and given top secret security clearance? It is obvious from a cursory reading of "Mandate" that the person who wrote it would have a very difficult time grasping the concept that classified information of the American government might be kept confidential from the government in Tel Aviv. That's for starters. If you think I am joking, read "Mandate". [Here.]

With Doug Feith at the number three position, with Paul Wolfowitz in the second position, with Richard Perle installed in the Pentagon, as its chief "unpaid" consultant, and with fellow Likudnik Elliot Abrams holding down the Middle East desk at the National Security Council from inside the White House, and with Sharon in Tel Aviv telling Bush in Washington what to do, it is amazing that the invasion of Iraq was not launched sooner. It would have been a miracle if the war had not taken place.

The unanswered question is, why would Richard Cheney, George Bush Jr. and Bush’s Brain, Karl Rove, put partisans for Sharon's Likud agenda in charge of America's Middle East policy? There has got to be a reason.


"The Bush Beat" | Village Voice, NYC //Ward Harkavy, August 19th, 2005

Dual Disloyalty: Feith and the Occupations of Gaza and Iraq
He pushed hard for both. Others are paying the price in blood.

During the Gaza "disengagement" saga , a lot of people are showing their true colors. But as the strange sight of fanatical young acidic Jews fighting other Jews proves, the color orange, for one, means different things in different contexts. In Ukraine, orange was the color of a democratic revolution. In Israel, orange is the color of the reactionaries, the colonists who won't let go of the land they say God told them they could have.

However, in all the stories about places like Kfar Darom, as in the recounting of the current misery in Baghdead, one reactionary gets little notice. No one is mentioning Doug Feith, who has been mostly successful in hiding his true colors as a right-wing Zionist while carrying out his fanatical wing's aims in Iraq.

The erstwhile Pentagon official is a key player in not only the disastrous occupation of Iraq but in trying to make sure Israel clung to the disastrous occupation of Gaza.

Feith is such a radical that he won't even refer to the West Bank as the West Bank—he uses the biblical names Judea and Samaria. And he doesn't even like to say "occupied territories," even though they are. In fact, our own government officially refers to them as "occupied" and freely uses the term "West Bank."

The son of a founder of Likud, Douglas Feith has pursued a radical Zionist policy at the expense of Israel's own Jews, a majority of whom don't favor the settlers. His behavior as a Pentagon official toward the Arabs in Iraq is one of the shameful legacies of our unjustified invasion. We know quite a lot—although not enough—about Feith's role in propelling the U.S. into war and beyond. As one of the most prominent neocons, he hammered away at the need for regime change. And of course, he was one of the key Pentagon officials who didn't plan for the aftermath. He was in charge, however, of figuring out how to handle our Arab prisoners.

Bad idea. He's almost as anti-Arab as the fanatical anti-Semites over in the Arab camp are anti-Jewish. Does Feith have divided loyalties? That's a common allegation leveled against those neocons and others who seem to put Israel's interests before those of the United States. It's clear, though, that Feith doesn't. His loyalty belongs to Israel and to its extremist politicians like Bibi Netanyahu, for whom he was an adviser.

Maybe the details of Feith's loyalties will emerge in the unfolding of the AIPAC spy scandal. One of Feith's direct subordinates, Larry Franklin, has already been charged with leaking U.S. secrets to Israel, and two major AIPAC officials (fired only after the scandal broke) have also been indicted.

Dick Cheney had his business reasons—you go where the oil is—for trying to take over Iraq. No one has feasted off the 9-11 tragedy like the old cold warriors Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, who wound up agreeing, for different reasons, with the aims of Feith's radical wing of Zionism, which wanted to take out Saddam Hussein, the most direct threat to Israel's security.

Before you accuse me of being a self-hating Jew, please understand that, like Larry David, I hate myself but it has nothing to do with my being Jewish. More importantly, you can't lump all Zionists with Feith's wing, which is off the scale as a radical group. A decade ago, Feith took his hammer and helped destroy hopes for peace—if there are any left—in Israel's occupied territories.

In the fall of 1993, for example, in the prime neocon journal The National Interest, Feith wrote "A Mandate for Israel." Blasting the recently concluded Oslo accords, Feith laid out a typically long-winded screed justifying Israel's permanent, perpetual, God-given, ultimate, and final claim to Gaza and the West Bank.

The funniest part of his argument is that Feith actually talked about the Geneva conventions. You'll recall that he was one of the leaders in the Pentagon's active flouting of those conventions when it came to the treatment of Iraqi prisoners. As Jim Lobe reminds us, Feith ran the office that ran Abu Ghraib, and even our military lawyers strenuously objected to the loosening of interrogation standards.

Here's Feith, in his own 1993 article, talking about the Geneva rules — as they apply (or don't apply) to Gaza:

"Contrary to the refrain of various United Nations resolutions, the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention does not render Jewish settlement in these territories unlawful."

By "these territories," Feith means "Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip." He goes back to the Balfour Declaration as his authority, saying:

"It can also be argued that Article 49 of the Convention, which provides that an occupying power "shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies," is not applicable to the case at hand. … Even if one assumes Article 49's applicability to Israel's authority as military occupant, however, the Jewish people do not thereby lose their Mandate-recognized rights in Judea, Samaria, and the Gaza Strip. If the Fourth Geneva Convention applies, Israel is constrained solely in its capacity as an occupying power. The Convention does not address or affect the rights or authority of the Jewish people in their capacity as beneficiaries of the Mandate. In other words, Jewish rights there do not derive from Israel's capture of the territories in 1967. So any limitations imposed by the laws of war on Israel with respect to the military occupation of the territories cannot negate those independent, pre-existing rights."

This is the radical who wound up running a large part of our war effort in Iraq. No wonder we're fucked.

--Copyright 2005 The Village Voice--