Courtesy of the Alfred
Alfred Lilienthal and his books have inspired my every move in the Middle
East challenge since November 24, 1978 when he walked into my Capitol
Hill office and presented me with a copy of the first edition of his The
Zionist Connection. Since then, I have acquired and read copies of his
What Price Israel? and There Goes the Middle East.
Reading The Zionist Connection inspired me to begin research for my book,
They Dare to Speak Out, and an interview with Dr. Lilienthal helped provide
grist for my volume, now available in an expanded third edition. The question
What Price Israel? has dominated most of my days since 1978.
Dr. Lilienthal is already a towering figure in American history. His courageous,
sustained endeavors will continue to inspire others until justice is finally
achieved in the Middle East. Arabs have a saying that translates, Thanks
be to God. It is the perfect expression whenever Dr. Lilienthals
lifework is examined.
Paul Findley, Member of Congress 1961-83, author of: They Dare to Speak
Out: People and Institutions Confront Israels Lobby; Deliberate
Deceptions: Facing the Facts About the US-Israeli Relationship; and Silent
No More: Confronting Americas False Images of Islam
Now here is a very interesting article by Paul Findley about current events:
A REPUBLICAN'S CASE AGAINST GEORGE W. BUSH
by Paul Findley
January 27, 2004
During my long life, America has surmounted many severe challenges. As
a teenager, I experienced the great depression. In World War II, I saw
war close-up as a Navy Seabee. As a country newspaper editor, I watched
the Korean War from afar. As a Member of Congress, I agonized through
the Vietnam War from start to finish. During these challenges I never
for a moment worried about Americas ultimate survival with its great
principles and ideals still intact.
Today, for the first time, I worry deeply about Americas future.
We are in a deep hole. I believe President George W. Bushs decision
to initiate war in Iraq will be the greatest and most costly blunder in
American history. He has set America on the wrong course.
I must speak out. As best I can, I must bestir those who will listen to
the grave damage already done to our nation and warn of still greater
harm if Bush continues his present course during a second term in the
When terrorists assaulted America on 9/11, killing nearly 3,000 innocent
civilians, President Bush responded, not by focusing on bringing to justice
the criminals who were responsible, but by initiating a war against impoverished,
defenseless Afghanistan, a broad attack that killed at least 3,000 innocent
people. Even before the dust settled in Afghanistan, the president initiated
another war--this one in Iraq, a war planned long before 9/11.
In the name of national security, the president has brought about fundamental,
revolutionary changes that threaten our nations moorings.
At home and abroad, he has undercut time-honored principles of the rule
Abroad, he has made war a ready instrument of presidential policy instead
of reserving it as a last-resort should peril confront our nation.
In public documents, he claims the personal authority to make war any
time and any place he alone chooses and the authority to use force to
keep unfriendly nations from increasing their own military strength.
His power is unprecedented. He directs a military budget greater than
all other nations combined. At his instant, personal command is more military
power than any nation in all recorded history ever before possessed.
He proclaims America the global policeman and for that role he has already
expanded a worldwide system of U.S. military bases. Four new ones are
in place in Iraq and four others near the Caspian Sea.
He orders the development and production of a new generation of nuclear
arms for U.S. use only, meanwhile threatening other nationsIran
and North Korea, for exampleagainst acquiring any of its own.
Unleashing Americas mighty sword, he brings about regime changes
in Afghanistan and Iraq but mires our forces in quagmires from which escape
seems unlikely for many years.
He isolates America from common undertakings with time-tested allies.
He trivializes the United Nations and violates its charter.
The president offers wars without end, and the Congress shouts its approval.
But his use of Americas vast arsenal is so reckless that he is regarded
widely as the most dangerous man in the world.
Here at home, in his frantic quest for terrorists, he stoops to bigoted
measures based on race and national origin, tramples on civil liberties,
and spreads fear and disbelief throughout the land. Those of Middle Eastern
ancestry, and many others, buckle under government-inflicted humiliations
and abuses with trepidation, sorrow and resentment.
Frustrated by Iraqi dissidents who protest the occupation by killing U.S.
troops almost daily, the president reverts to war measures. He orders
heavy aerial bombing in wide areas of the countryside.
Even as body bags pile high, the president seems oblivious to wars
horror. The rockets and one-ton bombs may kill a few Iraqi guerrillas
and cause others to pull back and pause, but they kill and maim innocent
civilians, level homes, turn neighborhoods into rubble, and permanently
blight many lives. They create deep-seated outrage, not cooperation.
The Iraqi carnage is piled alongside the simultaneous destruction and
blighting of American lives. More than 500 U.S. military personnel have
been killed and, according to one estimate, nearly 10,000 have been wounded.
Ponder that fact. Ten thousand American families permanently blighted
in a war the United States initiated. Mark Twain, writing of war, once
asked, Will we wring the hearts of the unoffending widows with unavailing
The president overreacts to 9/11 by leading America into a lengthy fiery
trial that may last far into the futureyears of U.S.-initiated wars
designed to punish regimes believed to harbor terrorists.
This is not the America my generation fought to preserve in World War
Starting wars will not bring a just peace. The president should ponder
deeply why many people in many nations engage in anti-American protest.
The answer: People worldwide, especially in Iraq and Palestine, are livid
over grievances against America. Almost all Iraqis are glad Saddam Hussein
is out of power, but many of themthe total may be a substantial
majoritysee America as arrogant, biased, untrustworthy, and bent
on world domination.
Here are some of the reasons:
In the l980s--the height of Saddams cruel treatment of Kurds and
other Iraqi citizensthe U.S. government served as the dictators
silent, uncomplaining partner, helping him battle Iran by providing intelligence,
and critical military supplies, even some components of weapons of mass
At the end of the 1991 Gulf War, Iraqis had a bitter experience with the
presidents father. President George Bush, Sr. publicly urged the
Iraqis to overthrow Saddam. His call prompted a strong uprising, but Bush
refused U.S. support in any form. This bleak rejection prompted Saddam
to use helicopter gun-ships to slaughter dissidents by the hundreds. He
had retained use of these lethal aircraft in a provision of the U.S.-approved
Iraqis also remember bitterly that U.S. fighter planes enforced sanctions
on the people of Iraq for a decade after the Gulf War. This embargo was
so harsh it led to immense civilian suffering, including the death of
at least a half-million Iraqi infants.
Today, Iraqis are wary of the Presidents motives and dependability.
Many doubt that his true objectives are, as he now states, establishing
freedom and democracy in their country, or, as he earlier stated, destroying
Iraqs weapons of mass destruction.
Aware that he ignored offers of conciliation from Saddams emissaries
before the invasion, they believe he harbors dreams of an American empire
and wanted the war in Iraq, come what may.
Their greatest and most deep-seated complaint is Bushs failure to
make even the slightest move to halt Americas anti-Arab bias. For
example, the president has made no effort to distance America from Israels
He pays lip-service to statehood as a goal for the Palestinians, but he
has done nothing to stop Israeli Prime Minister Sharons brutality
of Palestinians--assassinations, military forays that leave vast death
and destruction, high fences that confine Palestinians like cattle, and
the steady usurpation of more Palestinian land.
Bush seems unconcerned by the worldwide outrage at Americas massive,
unconditional, uncritical support of Israel, without which the Jewish
state could never have carried out its humiliation and devastation of
Bush is overwhelmed by the influence of religious zealots--both Zionist
and fundamentalist Christian. He ignores Americas own heavy guilt
for the plight of Palestinians. He fails to recognize that more than a
billion Muslims worldwide, along with many millions of non-Muslims, are
deeply aggrieved at this complicity.
Bush offers an exquisite example of close-in hypocrisy. On one side of
a Middle East border, he tries to convince Iraqi Arabs that he offers
them democracy and freedom while, at the same time on the other side of
the border, he supports Israels violent denial of these identical
rights for Palestinian Arabs.
Iraqis worry that U.S. occupation will become a new colonialism--indefinite
U.S. control of Iraqi oil reserves, Israeli-style brutality, and a U.S.-forced
treaty that will keep Iraq from helping the Palestinians.
President Bush is so befuddled by the awful carnage of 9/11 and rumors
of more assaults to come that he does not see what is vivid to most of
the world--the real ground zero of terrorism is in Palestine, not Manhattan.
He ignores the real ground zero at great peril to America.
This issue surmounts all others in the presidential political campaign.
It impels me to speak out against what George W. Bush is doing. I am a
Republican, and I will remain in the Party of Lincoln. I feel no joy in
making this case against the president. He may be sincere in his stewardship,
but he is wrongdead wrong--in the direction he is taking our country.
What should be done? Must the president proceed with wars without end?
The presidents best war decision is purely political one, and it
is plain, peaceful, generous and just. He must make a clean break from
Israels scofflaw behavior.
If Bush has the will, he can easily free himself and America. If he acts,
he will transform the grim scene in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East
into bright promise. Any day he chooses, the president can instantlywithout
firing a shot--quiet guerrilla warfare in Iraq and anti-American protests
throughout the world.
All he needs to do is inform Sharon that all aid will be suspended until
Israel vacates the Arab territory Israeli forces seized in June 1967.
U.S. aid is literally Israels lifeline, so the ultimatum would be
electrifying evidence that the United States, at long last, will do what
is right for Arabs and Muslims. If Bush acts, the Iraqi people will have
reason to believe, for the first time, that the U.S. government truly
The ultimatum would prompt rejoicing worldwide, not just among Iraqis
and Palestinians. Opinion polls show that a large majority of Israelis,
weary of the long, bloody struggle to subjugate the Palestinians, would
welcome co-existence with an independent, peaceful Palestine.
An impressive foundation for this presidential ultimatum already exists.
All member-states of the Arab league unanimously offered peace-for-withdrawal
four years ago. A similar plan called the Geneva Accords was recently
announced jointly by former officials of Israel and Palestine. Almost
simultaneously, four retired heads of Israeli intelligence even urged
full, unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza.
By standing resolutely for justice for Palestinians, who are mostly Muslim,
Bush would virtually end anti-American protests and strengthen moderate
Will Bush liberate America from endless wars and chart a constructive,
peaceful new future for our nation? If he does so promptly, he will be
a shoo-in for reelection. If he does not, I will join other Republicansthere
will be many of us--in urging his defeat.
Paul Findley, a Member of Congress for 22 years, is the author of They
Dare to Speak Out: People and Institutions Confront Israels Lobby
and chairman emeritus of the Council for the National Interest. He writes
books and articles from his home in Jacksonville, Illinois, and lectures
widely on international affairs. 1-27-04.