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VIDEO: WINEP’s Director of Research: U.S. Needs A False Flag to Start A War With Iran

by on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 1:24 am EDT in Iran, Middle East, Politics, War On Terror, World

Many of the notables who served in the Bush Administration and played key roles in misleading the United States into war with Iraq have passed through the corridors of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). In fact, the think-tank serves as an incubator for the hawkish Neoconservative ideology. 

Here is how Harvard professor of Int’l Affairs Steven M. Walt describes the think-tank: 

[WINEP] is a key organization in the Israel lobby. It was founded in 1985 by three individuals: Larry and Barbi Weinberg, who had formerly been the president and vice-president of AIPAC; and Martin Indyk, who was previously deputy director for research there. These founders understood that AIPAC’s efforts would be enhanced if there was a separate, seemingly “objective” research organization to provide consistently “pro-Israel” analysis and commentary, while AIPAC concentrated on more direct lobbying activities. Although WINEP claims that it provides a “balanced and realistic perspective” on Middle East issue, anyone who spends a few hours examining its website and reading its publications will realize this is not the case.

In fact, WINEP is funded and led by individuals who are deeply committed to defending the special relationship, and promoting policies in Washington that they believe will benefit Israel. Its board of advisors is populated with prominent advocates for Israel such as Martin Peretz, Richard Perle, James Woolsey, and Mortimer Zuckerman, and there’s no one on this board who is remotely critical of Israel or inclined to favor any other country in the “Near East.”

Former AIPAC staffer MJ Rosenberg was literally “in the room” when WINEP was founded. Here he describes its birth:

I was in the room when AIPAC decided to establish WINEP.

It was Steve Rosen (later indicted under the Espionage Act, although charges were subsequently dropped) who cleverly came up with the idea for an AIPAC controlled think-tank that would disseminate the AIPAC line but in a way that would disguise its connections.

There was no question that WINEP was to be AIPAC’s cutout. It was funded by AIPAC donors, staffed by AIPAC employees, and located one door away, down the hall, from AIPAC Headquarters (No more. It has its own digs).

It would also hire all kinds of people not identified with Israel as cover and would encourage them to write whatever they liked on matters not related to Israel. “Say what you want on Morocco, kid.” But on Israel, never deviate more than a degree or two.

So, it probably shouldn’t have come as TOO big a shock when this video became circulated on Twitter tonight, showing the depths the Neoconservatives are prepared to plunge to get their war against Iran.

Here is a video of WINEP’s Director of Research Patrick Clawson, telling a gathering in the group’s conference room that the United States should find a ‘false flag’ to get into war with Iran. 


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I frankly find that crisis initiation is really tough. And it’s very hard for me to see how the United States President can get us into war with Iran. Which leads me to conclude that if in fact compromise is not coming that the traditional way that America gets into war is what would be best for U.S. interests.

Some people might think that Mr. Roosevelt wanted to get us into World War II, as David mentioned, you may recall we had to wait for Pearl Harbor. Some people think Mr. Wilson wanted to get us into World War I, you may recall we had to wait for the Lusitania episode. Some people might think that Mr. Johnson wanted to send troops to Vietnam, you may recall we had to wait for the Gulf of Tonkin episode. We didn’t go to war with Spain until the USS Maine exploded. And may I point out that Mr. Lincoln did not feel he could call out the Federal Army until Fort Sumter was attacked which is why he ordered the commander of Fort Sumter to do exactly that thing which the South Carolineans had said would cause an attack.

So if in fact the Iranians aren’t going to compromise, it would be best if somebody else started the war. One can combine other means of pressure with sanctions. I mentioned that explosion on August 17th. We could step up the pressure. 

I mean look people, Iranian submarines periodically go down, some day one of them might not come up, who would know why? We could do a variety of things if we wish to to increase the pressure. I’m not advocating that, but I’m just suggesting that this is not an either or proposition, you know it’s just sanctions have to succeed or it’s other things.

We are in the games of using covert means against the Iranians. We could get nastier. 

Is AIPAC’s Iron Grip Over The US Congress Waning?

by on Friday, December 17, 2010 at 2:43 pm EDT in Middle East, World

A new column by Josh Ruebner, who heads US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, gives a behind the scenes look at what actually transpired in the latest AIPAC-sponsored Congressional Resolution which condemns any unilateral measures to declare or recognize a Palestinian state.

AIPAC, of course, would have you believe (this message came via twitter) that everything was ‘business as usual’:

By voice vote, the House passed a resolution opposing a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. No member claimed time in opposition.

Ruebner, however, reveals that “H.Res.1765 was pushed through quickly with the co-sponsorship of only 53 Representatives,” using a procedure called Suspension of the Rules.  This procedure, “supposed to be reserved for non-controversial resolutions such as the naming of a post office, prohibits the resolution from being amended and limits debate on it. In exchange for these restrictions, the resolution must get at least a 2/3 vote to pass rather than a simple majority”.

Ruebner gives us a picture of what actually occurred on the House floor:

… the resolution was done in such a helter-skelter fashion that it was put on the calendar for a vote late Tuesday night while Rep. Howard Berman, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was still drafting it. Most Congressional offices did not even see the text of the resolution until a few hours prior to the vote. Many Congressional offices were reportedly infuriated that such an important foreign policy declaration was being treated in such an inconsiderate manner. […]

Berman, who managed the debate on the House floor for the Democrats, appeared flustered and befuddled as he looked repeatedly and anxiously around the chamber for Representatives to appear magically to speak on behalf of the resolution. In the end, Berman mustered only himself and three other Jewish Representatives—Gary Ackerman, Eliot Engel, and Shelley Berkley—to offer full-throated support for the resolution. […]

These staunchly pro-Israel Representatives’ proceeded to take the podium and spew pure propaganda — the kinds of misrepresentations that are all but certain to please AIPAC and Israeli PM, Benjamin Netanyahu.

One bright note was Representative Lois Capps’s upbraiding of Berman for his shameless hawking of this AIPAC resolution:

After rising “in very reluctant support” of what she termed “yet another one-sided resolution,” Capps decried the resolution for failing to mention “Israel’s expansion of settlements.” She noted that “Resolutions, like the one we are considering today, are clearly done for domestic political consumption much more than for having any positive impact on the conflict. We should not be ignorant of the fact that this Chamber’s pattern of passing resolutions that are one-sided can, indeed, undermine our credibility to be serious brokers for peace.

Having been put in his place by Capps, Berman called for a voice vote rather than a recorded vote. Fewer than ten Representatives then on the floor voted by “unanimous consent” to adopt the resolution, giving the illusion that the entire House gave its imprimatur to it.

Reubner’s entire post is worth reading, and can be found over at Mondoweiss.

MJ Rosenberg Sums Up Key Reasons For Mideast Peace Failure: AIPAC & Israeli Firsters

by on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 12:50 pm EDT in Middle East, Politics, World

MJ Rosenberg, a Senior Fellow of Media Matters Action Network (and incidentally a former AIPAC official), writes in the Huffington Post why he believes subsequent U.S. Administrations continue to fail at bringing peace to the Middle East:  namely, The Israel Lobby and well-positioned Israel Firsters.

He points out the key reason the Bush Administration failed miserably:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell was the most popular political figure in the United States when he went to the region to kick-start negotiations during the George W. Bush administration.

He accomplished nothing largely because Israel-firsters back in Washington (Elliot Abrams played the leading role) let the Israelis know that they did not have to pay attention to Powell. He didn’t speak for the administration. Later Abrams said that he viewed his role in the administration as blocking any moves that the Israelis didn’t like.

Rosenberg goes on to say that the primary cause for lack of progress does not lie in the Middle East, but here in Washington:

The reason the United States continues to fail on the Israeli-Palestinian track is because of the power of the lobby in Washington. And by lobby I don’t only mean the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). I mean AIPAC plus its friends throughout Washington who, even without speaking directly to AIPAC or the Israelis, know instinctively what the Israelis want — preserving the status quo, i.e. the occupation.

I would add to Rosenberg’s list of AIPAC’s friends throughout Washington, many prominent voices in the main stream media — household names, like CNN’s Wolf Blitzer (before writing for The Jerusalem Post, Blizter worked for AIPAC where he wrote for their propaganda sheet, The Near East Report), William Kristol, Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, Charles Krauthammer, just to name a few…  The Lobby is a force that can inflict serious political damage not only by withholding political contributions, or by funding political opponents of those who won’t subjugate themselves to Israel’s interests, but also by determining the kinds of press coverage our politicians get in the main stream media.  If you don’t believe me, ask Jimmy Carter, Charles Freeman, or any other public figure who has outwardly criticized Israeli policies.

Ironically, their actions have done nothing, but harm both Israeli and U.S. national security interests.