...this blog kills fascists...

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Cole on Franklin, et al

Juan Cole does an excellent job of bringing together the various elements of reportage and history regarding the Lawrence Franklin espionage scandal. To hear Dr. Cole tell it, it's much bigger than any of the individual pieces alone might suggest. There seems to be ample evidence of collusion between the Bush administration and its resident (and satellite) neoconservative intellectuals, the right-wing Italian government of Silvio Berlusconi, the "proto-fascist" Italian military intelligence agency SISMI, Ariel Sharon's Likud party, and various and sundry other players with varying allegiances and agendas. The story is so involved and convoluted as to resemble a spy thriller, which I guess it is. In a nutshell:

Franklin's movements reveal the contours of a right-wing conspiracy of warmongering and aggression, an orgy of destruction, for the benefit of the Likud Party, of Silvio Berlusconi's business in the Middle East, and of the Neoconservative Right in the United States. It isn't about spying. It is about conspiring to conscript the US government on behalf of a foreign power or powers.

As that last sentence suggests, a serious as all these revelations are, they are most probably not the root of the FBI's investigation, or at the very least, they are not the root of the scandal here. Rather, the specific incident mentioned (the passing of a draft presidential directive on US Iran policy to AIPAC) is relatively innocuous.

As Cole puts it, it's a lot "like getting Al Capone on tax evasion." In other words, the real crimes are many and large (and largely absent, so far, from major media coverage of this whole debacle), but this is simply the manner in which they were able to actually catch Franklin. Whether this passing of the document is indeed what alerted the FBI to Franklin's doings, and therefore initiated the investigation (as opposed to being the fruit of an investigation already under way), is still a matter of conjecture. In any case:

[...] he (Franklin) might also have been prepping AIPAC for the lobbying campaign scheduled for early in 2005, when Congress will have to be convinced to authorize military action, or at least covert special operations, against Iran. AIPAC probably passed the directive over to Israel for the same reason--not to inform, but to seek input. That is, AIPAC and Israel were helping write US policy toward Iran, just as they had played a key role in fomenting the Iraq war.

If Cole's assessment is correct, in addition to overt Israeli influence on American foreign policy, this shows that there has been (as many of us have been speculating for some time now) a concerted effort on the part of the Bush administration (in concert with many others, it now seems) to expand the war in Iraq over the Iranian border, bringing full-scale warfare and chaos to both countries. Why?

With both Iraq and Iran in flames, the Likud Party could do as it pleased in the Middle East without fear of reprisal. This means it could expel the Palestinians from the West Bank to Jordan, and perhaps just give Gaza back to Egypt to keep Cairo quiet. Annexing southern Lebanon up to the Litani River, the waters of which Israel has long coveted, could also be undertaken with no consequences, they probably think, once Hizbullah in Lebanon could no longer count on Iranian support. The closed character of the economies of Iraq and Iran, moreover, would end, allowing American, Italian and British companies to make a killing after the wars (so they thought).

So many threads, so many pieces. So little time.

Seriously. Time is short.

0 comments: to “ Cole on Franklin, et al

Post a Comment

Blogspot Template by Isnaini Dot Com