Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Michael Ledeen - 1

Jihad Khazen Al-Hayat - 10/07/06

Following the publication of the Prophet Mohammed cartoons in Denmark, I embarked on an effort, parallel to my daily work, to collect additional information about Israel’s cabal in the US. Soon I was inundated with material and decided that I can only offer the reader examples of the Israeli apologist. Last month, I wrote a series about Daniel Pipes and today I continue with Michael Ledeen… two extremist faces of the same, fabled, coin.
Michael Ledeen holds the “Freedom Chair” at the American Enterprise Institute, regarded as the leading and most influential neoconservative think tank in America. He is one of the most controversial neoconservatives, and wields much influence. In the three years since the invasion of Iraq, he has relentlessly urged the US administration to widen the “democratic revolution” (one of his hallmark phrases) from Iraq to elsewhere in the region, starting with Iran and Syria. He has constantly argued that the “democratic revolution” should have started with Iran and not Iraq.

Ledeen constantly urges the administration to speed up its actions in this direction. At the end of an article of April 7 2003 headlined “Syria and Iran must get their turn”, he wrote “Faster, please”, and he repeats this catch phrase or variations of it in his articles, of which he churns out a steady stream.

In February 17 2006, at the end of an article on Iran, and the need for America to stand with the Iranian people to fight for freedom and liberate their country; he wrote “Now finally, they know we will. And the cry of ‘faster please’ must quickly go out to them.”

Ledeen is a contributing editor to National Review Online. The National Review is widely considered to have much clout, and Ledeen’s articles receive wide attention. However, he constantly repeats himself and there seems to be limited new intellectual content.

Ledeen’s writing is peppered with slogans and abstracts, such as “Freedom is on the march “Freedom will Triumph” urging action based on slogans and Utopian visions, with little in the way of practical analysis. He has long seen the world as being manipulated by “terror masters” – with the Soviets at the centre of a terror web in the Cold War, and now the Islamists and especially Iran. .

He has a very black and white view of the world in his writing, tyrannies versus freedom, good versus evil and so on, not realizing that he promotes a worst kind of tyranny.

Michael Ledeen has an exalted view of his place in history. His biography, as posted on for example the websites of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA, of which he is a founder and advisory board member), and the bureau for neoconservative speakers, Benador Associates, describes him as “a man who has helped shape American foreign policy at its highest levels.”

The biography says he is “one of the world’s leading authorities on intelligence, contemporary history and international affairs. In a few years in government, he carried out some of the most sensitive and dangerous missions in recent American history.” (They include the Iran Contra affair, and more recent involvement in certain scandals, in Italy and other places).

Ledeen’s biography on the website of the American Enterprise Institute plays down his “adventurous” side and highlights his work career and expertise. He is described on the American Enterprise Institute website as an expert on US foreign policy whose research areas include state sponsors of terrorism, Iran, the Middle East, Europe (Italy), US-China relations, intelligence and Africa.

As the reader can see he is multi-talented, but his talents do not include uncovering Israeli terrorism and the killing of Palestinian women and children. I point the reader’s attention to Ledeen’s expertise in intelligence, Italy and Africa because they will come up together in the forged Niger documents about Iraq.

He was a special adviser to the Secretary of State in 1981-1982 and consultant at the National Security Council, State and Defense Departments in 1982-86. He was a Commissioner on the US-China Commission in 2001-2003, senior fellow, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), 1982-1986 senior staff member, Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1977-1981

He was Rome correspondent of The New Republic, 1975-1977, and visiting professor of history, University of Rome, Italy, 1975-1977

He has written 15 books, the latest of which, published in 1992, is: “The War Against the Terror Masters: How it Happened. Where We Are Now. How We Will Win.”

Jim Lobe, the follower of the neoconservatives for IPS, focused on Ledeen in an article of June 26 2003 entitled “Veteran neo-con adviser moves on Iran”.

Lobe wrote: “When the Washington Post published its list of the people whom Karl Rove, President George W Bush's closest advisor, regularly consults for advice outside the administration, foreign policy veterans were shocked when Michael Ledeen popped up as the only full-time international affairs analyst”.

Lobe observed that the Washington Post had “cheerfully reported” that "the two met after Bush's election,” and it quoted Ledeen on “Rove's request that ‘any time you have a good idea, tell me’. More than once, Ledeen has seen his ideas, faxed to Rove, become official policy or rhetoric," the Washington Post noted the newspaper.

Lobe added: "When I saw that, I couldn't believe it," said one retired senior diplomat. "But then again, with this administration, it seemed frighteningly plausible."

Ledeen was a cofounder in late 2002 of the Coalition for Democracy in Iran, which stopped functioning in mid –2005. The Coalition for Democracy in Iran operated out of the offices of its other co-founder Morris Amitay, the former director of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Other members included Frank Gaffney, Joshua Muravchik, Danielle Pletka and James Woolsey.

“CDI worked closely with AIPAC to pass resolutions condemning Iran”, the website Right Web states. “The CDI principals continue their efforts to promote regime change in Iran through other organizations, including the Foundation for Democracy in Iran, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, Committee on the Present Danger, and the American Enterprise Institute.”

Ledeen was a founder of, and in 1977 became the first executive director of, the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), where he is now an advisory board member.

The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs noted back in 1991 that despite his role in JINSA Ledeen has claimed never “to have been particularly active in Jewish affairs” nor to have had “particularly close links with Israel.

In an interview with Raw Story on March 20 2006, Ledeen was asked whether the Iraq war has not turned out badly for Israel. Ledeen replied: “Israel is stuck. The Arab-Israeli conflict cannot even be sensibly addressed until the war is over. The Palestinians cannot deliver what Israel needs, which is security, because the terrorists are in the hands of the terror masters in Tehran and Damascus and Riyadh. So what exactly are the Israelis supposed to do?”

When Raw Story asked him about Zionism, he said “I don’t view Israel in ‘Zionist’ terms. I don’t have relatives there, I don’t travel there very much, and on balance I have a dim view of most Israeli political figures and Israeli intellectuals. I think it was right to provide a sanctuary for the European Jews after the Holocaust.”

Ledeen added: “I think it’s right and automatic for Americans to support Israel vis a vis the tyrannical regimes that want to destroy it.”

He said: “I feel much the same about Iraq and Afghanistan, both of whom have started down the road to freedom, and who are now hated and under attack by the tyrants in the region.”

The Raw Story interviewer asked how this translated to US foreign policy and responsibility. Ledeen said “Most Americans support free countries and so it’s only logical for the US to support democratic Israel. It’s the right thing to do. We should always support democratic countries that are threatened by antidemocratic tyrannies. Freedom is on the march.”

I will continue tomorrow but conclude today with the US Committee for a Free Lebanon, of which Ledeen is a “Golden Circle supporter”. It was founded in 1997 by investment banker Ziad K Abdelnour. It describes itself as “America’s pro-Lebanon lobby”.


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