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Analysis Last Updated: Aug 22nd, 2006 - 00:39:35

�Fear! Fear!,� Part Two -- New war unleashed from old plans: the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism
By Brian Bogart
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Aug 22, 2006, 00:34

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On ABC�s Nightline, Monday, August 14, former hostage Jill Carroll recounted how the Iraqi insurgency was �like a family affair . . . what are you gonna do, arrest them all, kill them all?�

At that moment over on C-SPAN, President Bush, in the State Department�s Treaty Room, was giving the answer:


In the very next segment on C-SPAN, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu each delivered their own declarations of war in the Knesset. All three leaders, in the US and in Israel, pointed to Syria and Iran as the new front in the �war on terror.�

This during a �cease-fire.�

�America has never been guided by territorial ambitions,� Bush declared. �The lesson of the past week is that there�s still a war on terror going on and there�s still individuals that would like to kill innocent Americans to achieve political objectives.�

Let�s examine this assertion. The reasons for the use of the long-standing instruments of fear and militarism in the cause of navigating the contours and undulations of the Cold War are revealed in the context of the post-Cold War �war on terror,� which employs the same rhetoric and means of manipulation.

Such revelations are not limited to identical methods, but also spring forth from statements voiced by the manipulators themselves. A recent example came from the wife of Norman Podhoretz, Midge Decter, cofounder of a plethora of single-minded think tanks ranging from the second incarnation of the Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), Hudson Institute, Heritage Foundation, Coalition for a Democratic Majority, to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

In a 2004 Los Angeles interview, Decter stated, �We�re not in the Middle East to bring sweetness and light to the world. We�re there to get something we and our friends in Europe depend on. Namely, oil.� [1]

Statements like these surface after years, even decades, of manipulations that use very different and far more publicly palatable rhetoric to arrive at the tipping point when pretexts �to get� what manipulators want are achieved and exploited.

Though the precise reasons have somewhat varied between the end of World War II and today, they have in common the convergent interests of influential groups with likeminded groups outside the US, who together stood to gain from imperial ambitions pursued under the cloak of American projection of force as a response to the well-fashioned threats of �communist enslavement� and �international terrorism� respectively.

All of this is and has been about control of Central Asia and counteracting or inhibiting Russian and Chinese moves to control its resources. As Zbigniew Brzezinski observes, �For America, the chief geopolitical prize is Eurasia. . . . Eurasia is the globe�s largest continent and is geopolitically axial. That puts a premium on maneuver and manipulation in order to prevent the emergence of a hostile coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America�s primacy.� Importantly, he adds, �Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat,� [2] a statement that should be understood in the context of one made earlier in his book: �The public supported America�s engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.� [3]

Between July 2 and July 5, 1979, in Nafeez Ahmed�s words from The War on Truth, citing Philip Paull�s brilliant 1982 thesis on the organized reinvention of international terrorism,

�a group of powerful elites from various countries gathered at an international conference in Jerusalem to promote and exploit the idea of �international terrorism.� The (Jerusalem) conference (on International Terrorism, or JCIT) established the ideological foundations for the �war on terror.� JCIT�s defining theme was that international terrorism constituted an organized political movement whose ultimate origin was in the Soviet Union. All terrorist groups were ultimately products of, and could be traced back to, this single source, which -- according to the JCIT -- provided financial, military, and logistical assistance to disparate terrorist movements around the globe. The mortal danger to Western security and democracy posed by the worldwide scope of this international terrorist movement required an appropriate worldwide anti-terrorism offensive, consisting of the mutual coordination of Western military intelligence services.� [4]

The nonexistent target of this antiterrorist program leads us to ask what the real target was.

According to former State Department official Richard Barnet, the inflation of Soviet-sponsored �international terrorism� was useful precisely for demonizing threats to the prevailing US-dominated capitalist economic system. [5]

It is crucial to identify the architects of the JCIT�s terrorism project. Thanks to Philip Paull, we know they were, �present and former members of the Israeli and United States governments, new right politicians, high-ranking former United States and Israeli intelligence officers, the anti-d�tente, pro-Cold War group associated with the policies of Senator Henry M. Jackson -- a group of neoconservative journalists and intellectuals -- and reactionary British and French politicians and publicists.� (The aforementioned anti-d�tente, pro-Cold War group associated with the policies of Senator Henry Jackson are well known to be Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Elliot Abrams, Douglas Feith, Robert Kagan, Charles Horner, and James Woolsey, to name a few.)[6]

Importantly, Paull�s thesis includes the entire list of the JCIT participants, many of them intimately connected to the 1976 �Team B� assault on National Intelligence Estimates and to CPD. Participants from the United States at this conference, arranged by Benjamin Netanyahu and George H.W. Bush, were neoconservative organizers Norman Podhoretz (CPD) and his wife Midge Decter (CPD), Senator John Danforth, Professor Joseph Bishop (CPD), General George Keegan (Team B), Ray Cline (CPD, former CIA deputy director who had assisted with Operation Northwoods, and director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies); Jack Kemp (CPD), Lane Kirkland (CPD�s connection to the AFL-CIO), journalist George Will, nuclear physicist and staunch Cold War hawk Edward Teller (CPD), Richard Pipes (Team B, CPD), Bayard Rustin (CPD�s connection to the A. Philip Randolph Institute), Professor Thomas Schelling (RAND), Ben Wattenberg (CPD), Claire Sterling, and Senator Henry �Scoop� Jackson. Participants also came from Britain, France, Italy, the Netherlands, West Germany, Canada, Ireland, and the largest contingency was comprised of Israeli military, government, and intelligence service personnel. The bulk of the international representatives not from Israel and the US were media propagandists long connected to covert operations. [7]

In 1981, some of the conference attendees published books, including Claire Sterling�s The Terror Network, and Benjamin Netanyahu�s International Terrorism Challenge and Response: Proceedings of the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, asserting the existence of this Soviet-backed threat.

For a decade or more, the United States government, like the governments of most Western powers, was largely silent on the question of Soviet complicity in international terrorism. Beginning in about 1979, and culminating in 1981 with the publication of Claire Sterling�s book, The Terror Network, the evidence that the Soviet Union had provided substantial supplies and training to a broad spectrum of terrorist organizations became so compelling that it was difficult to deny it. [8]

In 1982, within just a few years of this conference, Philip Paull, the masters degree student at San Francisco State University, used his thesis to demonstrate that the JCIT�s literature and source documentation was profoundly flawed, with authors citing each other and altering official documents. Its assertion that there was a ten-fold increase in international terrorism between 1968 and 1978 had been deliberately fabricated, and contradicted CIA data showing a decline.

According to Ahmed: �It also routinely relied on techniques of blatant disinformation, misquoting and misrepresenting Western intelligence reports, as well as recycling government sponsored disinformation published in the mainstream media. Paull thus concludes that the 1979 JCIT was:

 . . . a successful propaganda operation . . . the entire notion of �international terrorism� as promoted by the Jerusalem Conference rests on a faulty, dishonest, and ultimately corrupt information base. . . . The issue of international terrorism has little to do with fact, or with any objective legal definition. The issue, as promoted by the JCIT and used by the Reagan administration, is an ideological and instrumental issue. It is the ideology, rather than the reality, that dominates US foreign policy today.�

Nevertheless, Ahmed continues,

The new ideology of �international terrorism� justified the Reagan administration�s shift to �a renewed interventionist foreign policy,� and legitimized a �new alliance between right-wing dictatorships everywhere� and the government. Thus, the administration had moved to �legitimate their politics of state terrorism and repression,� while also alleviating pressure for the reform of the intelligence community and opening the door for �aggressive and sometimes illegal intelligence action,� in the course of fighting the international terrorist threat. [9]

In other words, this plan was an effort to fan Cold War flames and produce stronger intelligence community cover for continued and further imperial projections, which was the primary purpose of the US-USSR Cold War in the first place, as University of Chicago professor of history Bruce Cumings and East Asia expert and former CIA analyst Chalmers Johnson assert.

Upon taking office in January 1981, Reagan outlined his new foreign policy in a speech by Alexander Haig, which boiled down to an adoption of the JCIT theme: �International terrorism will take the place of human rights in our concern.� [10] The 1979 US destabilization program using terrorist groups to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan was used by the US to call the Soviet invasion �terrorism� and to point to that invasion as a model for the JCIT�s newly formulated phenomenon of �Soviet-backed terrorism� around the world.

Following the departure of Soviet forces in 1989, Afghanistan experienced heavy conflict between various factions; among the most brutal of these was the Northern Alliance (whose portrayal in US media after 9-11 was anything but brutal). By the mid 1990s, several factions joined to form the Taliban movement, which captured Kabul and took power in 1996, reportedly orchestrated by Pakistani intelligence and the oil company Unocal, [11] and approved by the CIA, to provide �easier� oil pipeline negotiations and the greater chance of its successful construction through Afghanistan.

These negotiations occurred during the mid to late 1990s between the Taliban and current US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad (then a Unocal advisor). The negotiations involved Condoleeza Rice (then an advisor for Chevron), current President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai (then an advisor for Unocal), and Enron, which paid $750,000 for the pipeline survey using a grant funded by US taxpayers. [12] However, the negotiations deteriorated in the year prior to 9-11, leading to a major US invasion plan, [13] for which wargames were conducted in January 2001.[14] From February to May 2001, Vice President Dick Cheney gathered executives from the world�s major energy corporations for his Energy Task Force meetings. Maps acquired by Judicial Watch show the carving up among these corporations of Iraq�s oilfields and much of its other infrastructural assets.[15]

The US had at last put its reinvented (post-Cold War) international terrorist threat to work, as envisioned by the JCIT back in 1979, again, invented and then reinvented not to counter Soviet actions, but �useful for demonizing threats to the prevailing US-dominated capitalist economic system,� knowingly paving the path to the �war on terror� well before it began.

The military agenda was perfect for those who longed for a new Pearl Harbor for economic gain at the hands of �international terrorists.� The groundwork was complete; the evil mastermind created, and all that was needed to pursue the Unocal pipeline and myriad corporate ambitions was a legitimate excuse for taking control of the region. The CIA was still negotiating the pipeline deal in August 2001 with troops already positioned in surrounding states. Thus, the next step was a trigger, a pretext to galvanize public opinion.

The crux of Philip Paull�s thesis is that the JCIT represented a precisely coordinated and globally oriented propaganda network for the purposes of selling pretexts for war. This is what the so-called �war on terror� really is, and Americans would not have accepted it without a massive media propaganda effort accompanying an �attack� against the United States, or with the kind of enlightenment about such tyrannical behavior that a truly competent education system should provide.

Therefore, Bush�s two statements, that �America has never been guided by territorial ambitions,� and �The lesson of the past week is that there�s still a war on terror going on and there�s still individuals that would like to kill innocent Americans to achieve political objectives,� are utterly false and tragically true respectively. One, America has always been guided by imperialist expansion and requires constant covers for so doing; and two, individuals do wish to kill innocent Americans to achieve political objectives -- individuals in his own administration and individuals who will continue to bribe officials in any administration to achieve the same objectives of lucrative power over the common people.

That said, people of the world everywhere, prepare yourselves for Bush�s �freedom agenda,� his �forward strategy of freedom,� and the �unstoppable power of freedom.�

Prepare yourselves, because freedom in Bushwellian and the language of American foreign policy means war: hot war, with Predators and bullets for all.


[1] Midge Decter interview, The Warren Olney Show, Los Angeles, 21 May 2004.

[2] Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 338-339.

[3] Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard (New York: HarperCollins, 1997), pp. 24-25. Some nations have regrettably studied and adopted methods or perspectives of defeated powers (e.g., Paul Nitze�s fascination with Albert Speer�s 1946 statement -- in a personal interview with Nitze -- asserting that Germany would have won World War II had it suffered a Pearl Harbor at the outset to galvanize the public; and France�s use of torture in Vietnam and Algeria). Indeed, former Nazis and Japanese counterparts were employed by the US following the war for the purposes of espionage in the affairs of the Soviet Union and Korea and to extract a greater understanding of barbaric methods used in warfare.

[4] Ibid., p. 3.

[5] Ibid., p. 4.

[6] All are members of the Project for the New American Century and are current or former Bush administration officials or advisors. Charles Horner, along with other PNAC members Daniel Pipes, Stephen Hadley, Kenneth Adelman, and Peter Rodman, and CPD members Kenneth Jensen, John Moore, and Robert Turner -- as well as Caspar Weinberger and many other pro-interventionists -- created and/or serve or have served on the board of the United States Institute of Peace. (Hadley, Pipes, and Adelman are also CPD members.) This compelled me to design an independent peace studies program, as USIP funds the majority of peace and conflict studies graduate programs in the US, and sends out annual surveys to its recipients.

[7] Philip Paull, �International Terrorism�: The Propaganda War, San Francisco State University, California, June 1982. Other JCIT participants cited by Paull (info circa 1982): Canada -- David Barrett (former premier of British Columbia); France -- Professor Annie Kriegel (University of Paris, Nanterre), Jacques Soustelle (correspondent for 1�Aurore, former governor of Algeria 1955-6, charged with subversion for attempted OAS coup 1962, 1962-8 in exile, author of La longue marche d�Israel 1968); Ireland -- Frank Cluskey (Irish Labour Party); Israel -- Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Professor Mordechai Abir, Major-General Meir Amit (Knesset member and business executive, former chief Mossad 1963-8, director Al Aman military intelligence 1961-3), Mordechai Ben-Ari (president El-Al Airlines 1967-77, former commanding officer Haganah 1948, active in Alliyah �B� Austria and Eastern Europe 1948-50), Asher Ben-Natan (special advisor to Ministry of Defense 1976-8, ambassador to France 1970-5 and West Germany 1965-9, director general of Ministry of Defense 1965), Vladmir Bukovsky (author and Soviet �migr�), Ambassador Walter Eytan, Ambassador Michael Comay, Major-General Shlomo Gazit (director Al Aman military intelligence 1973-9, director Department of Military Intelligence and Coordinator of Activities in Occupied Territories 1967-74, Intelligence Branch IDF 1964-7), General Chaim Herzog (business executive and lawyer, permanent representative to the United Nations 1975-8, first governor of the West Bank 1967, director Al Aman military intelligence 1948-50 1959-62, chief Security Department of Jewish Agency 1947-8, media expert), Yitzak Navon (president of Israel 1978-[83], former chair Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, chairman World Zionist Council 1973-8), Gideon Rafael (ambassador to United Kingdom 1973-8, senior political advisor to Foreign Ministry 1972-3, former United Nations ambassador, intelligence service Foreign Ministry), Brigadier-General Meir Shamgar (justice of the Supreme Court 1975-[95], military advocate general and legal advisor to Ministry of Defense 1968-75), Major-General Aharon Yariv (director Center for Strategic Studies Tel-Aviv University 1977-?, minister of information 1974-5, special advisior to prime minister 1972-3, director Al Aman military intelligence); Italy -- Manlio Brosio (former secretary general NATO), Piero Luigi Vigna (attorney general Florence); Netherlands -- Harry Van Den Bergh (member of parliament), Edward Van Theyjn (deputy leader Socialist Party), Joop Den Uyl (prime minister 1973-77); United Kingdom -- Lord Chalfont (Arthur Gwynne Jones, director IBM-UK 1973, foreign editor New Statesman 1970-1, minister of state Foreign Commonwealth Office 1964-70, British Army staff and intelligence appointments 1940-61, Russian expert), Brian R. Crozier (cofounder and director Institute for the Study of Conflict 1970-?, chairman Forum World Features 1965-74, editor Conflict Studies 1970-5, former publisher Economist Foreign Report, correspondent for National Review), Michael Elkins (BBC correspondent, Israel), Rt. Hon. Hugh Fraser (conservative MP, minister of defense for RAF 1964, Special Air Service World War II), Paul B. Johnson (journalist and broadcaster, New Statesman 1955-70, author of Enemies of Society 1977), Robert Moss (coauthor of The Spike 1980, former editor of confidential Economist Foreign Report, author of new book Death Beam [ . . ."this spy-vs-spy thriller reveals how an unknowing world reaches the brink of total war �when the Soviets perfect an incomparably powerful death beam . . . and point it at the United States��--PP], now with Heritage Foundation), Rt. Hon. Merlyn Rees (home secretary 1976-9, secretary of state for Northern Ireland 1974-6, undersecretary Ministry of Defense 1965-8); West Germany -- Eric Blumenfeld (member of Bundestag), Hans Joseph Horchem (Hamburg Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution), Gerard Loewenthal (journalist). Use for comprehensive up-to-date information on all names in these notes and this paper. Grateful acknowledgment to James Zogby and the Arab American Institute for promptly sending Paull�s thesis.

[8] James Q. Wilson, �Thinking About Terrorism,� July 1981.

[9] Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 4.

[10] �Excerpts from Haig�s Remarks at First News Conference as Secretary of State,� New York Times, 19 January 1981, p. 1. Haig�s subsequent ouster from the administration as it took a far sharper turn to the right is equated (by Jerry Sanders in Peddlers of Crisis, p. 341) with George Kennan�s ouster from the Truman administration, both of which have in common the rise in stature of Paul Nitze.

[11] Unocal headquarters are located in Sugarland, Texas; Tom DeLay�s congressional base.

[12] Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), p. 20.

[13] Paul Thompson, The Terror Timeline (New York: HarperCollins, 2004), pp. 119, 121-123.

[14] Nafeez Ahmed, The War on Truth (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2005), pp. 28-29.

[15] Oilfields and assets maps from Dick Cheney�s 2001 Energy Task Force meetings, released by Judicial Watch, 17 July 2003. See also The Struggle for Iraq: The New Looting,� 28 May 2004 (and previous New York Times articles on the looting of Iraq).

Part One: Fear! Fear! Shouted hawks and profiteers

A human rights activist for 45 years, Brian Bogart is the first graduate student in Peace Studies from the University of Oregon. He can be reached at

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