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Wilkerson on how Cheney turned down talks with Iran, and wants regime change across the Middle East.


From what Wilkerson says, Cheney actually believes that Neo-con enemies are evil - he's acting to some degree on principle.

"WILKERSON: It's more visceral than that. The vice president is committed to not talking to Evil, period. All you do if you talk to Evil is corroborate that Evil; you give that Evil legitimacy."

Although he also says that Setting unfavourable conditions is a route to no talks at all, which is why Cheney advocates such these policies. To me this is more of a rationale approach, more about acting in Neo-con/big business geo-strategic interests.

This scares me:

"WILKERSON: I think their purpose was regime change even more broadly than that. It was regime change throughout the Middle East, starting with Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, and rolling on through the Middle East, ultimately even probably rolling on to Riyadh, one of our erstwhile allies for the last half-century, Saudi Arabia."

Just think of how much carnage such regional regime change would cause.

And Wilkerson goes on to say that to achieve this they would like to use "hard power, military power, principally, to initiate this and even continue it if they found it was necessary to do so. That keeps the military-industrial complex alive, it keeps Halliburton alive, it keeps Lockheed alive, it keeps the entire complex the United States had developed that I call the national security state alive and well."

I'm not surprised to hear this, but it is unsettling to say the least, to hear an insider confirm it.

More here:

Originally posted to SteveAnderson on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:29 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But the regime change they get (11+ / 0-)

    will likely make the area more hostile to our values, not less.

    This is our last best chance in a generation to turn America around

    by Judgment at Nuremberg on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:32:13 PM PDT

  •  This is what scares me (11+ / 0-)

    he also says that Setting unfavourable conditions is a route to no talks at all

    I read this as "If Obama looks like he's going to win, we'll have to really fuck up the middle east so he can't talk to Iran even if he wants to."

  •  I think... (12+ / 0-)

    we need to start with regime change at home.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:34:50 PM PDT

  •  Let's show 'em how regime change is done (6+ / 0-)

    by impeaching Bush and Cheney.

    You call it Bush Derangement Syndrome; I call it sanity.

    by RickMassimo on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:35:18 PM PDT

  •  Regime Change (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    esquimaux, Cliss, Ken in MN, dotsright

    Begins at home.  GOBAMA!08

  •  I Would Refer You to the PNAC Website (9+ / 0-)

    but the account has been suspended due to non-payment

    how very typical....

  •  Wilkerson is very credible (3+ / 0-)

    Take action, Vote in the Impeach Bush Poll today, Do it right now - thanks

    impeach now is the best way to stop this

  •  Can we stop talking to Cheney? (6+ / 0-)

    The vice president is committed to not talking to Evil, period. All you do if you talk to Evil is corroborate that Evil; you give that Evil legitimacy."

    •  Yes, we have a policy of... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cliss, trivium, llamaRCA

      ...NOT negotiating with terrorists...

      I want my Two Dollars!

      by Ken in MN on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:41:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Menachem Begin (0+ / 0-)

        Begin issued a call to arms and from 1944–48 the Irgun launched an all-out armed rebellion, perpetrating hundreds of attacks against British installations and posts. Begin financed these operations by ....

        For several months in 1945–46, the Irgun’s activities were coordinated within the framework of the Hebrew Resistance Movement under the direction of the Haganah, however this fragile partnership collapsed following the Irgun’s bombing of the British administrative headquarters at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing 91 people, including British officers and troops as well as Arab and Jewish civilians....

        The British Security Service MI5 placed a 'dead-or-alive' bounty of £10,000 on his head after Irgun threatened 'a campaign of terror against British officials', saying they would kill Sir John Shaw, Britain's Chief Secretary in Palestine. An MI5 agent codenamed Snuffbox also warned that Irgun had sleeper cells in London trying to kill members of British Prime Minister Clement Attlee's Cabinet.

        In 1978 Begin, aided by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, negotiated the Camp David Accords, and in 1979 signed the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty with Egyptian President, Anwar Sadat. Under the terms of the treaty, brokered by US President, Jimmy Carter....

  •  I felt better when I thought it was just (7+ / 0-)

    pure greed.  The idea that the Dick believes this is a Good v. Evil script is just scary.

  •  Let's change our nightmare of a regime (3+ / 0-)

    as quickly as possible.

    "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor liberty to purchase power." B. Franklin

    by istari5th on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:38:56 PM PDT

  •  What Cheney wants won't mean shit soon. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shane Hensinger

    I will vote for whoever or whatever the Democrats nominate -- animal, vegetable or mineral.

    by Finck II on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:39:33 PM PDT

  •  Nonsense (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There will be no regime change in Riyadh.  Those folks are partners in crime with Bush and Cheney, probably the senior partners.  The neo-cons are building an empire; principles have nothing to do with it.

  •  Thanks, Steve. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fairy Tale

    Keep 'em coming!

  •  Cheney and the Saudis (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, Prince Nekhlyudov

    Cheney is not pursuing regime change in Saudi Arabia or the emirates. He's been on the Saudi royal family's payroll for several years now and has US soldiers fighting and dying as proxies in the Saudis' Great Game with Iran.

  •  regime change everywhere . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    except Israel.  And the US.

    Funny, that . . .

  •  Wilkerson advances the thesis that (7+ / 0-)

    Iraq was never about weapons of mass destruction as the Bush White House claimed, or oil as the administration's many critics have often argued. It wasn't about stoking the fires of crisis so that Bush and Cheney's many corporate friends could shove their snouts ever deeper into the federal treaury. It wasn't about the unfinished business of Desert Storm. It wasn't about "My Dad." It was, Wilkerson fears, about nothing less than remaking the region through "coercive democracy," market driven economics, and western manners and mores. It was nothing less than a utopian vision.

    In short, it was about scouring the bloody and contested ground of greater Middle-Eastern history with the juggernaut of liberal democratic capitalim. It was about the grand neoconservative plan to use the remaining superpower to hasten history's end, to remake the world in the American image. Ahmed Chalabi was Iraq's Jefferson, Curveball its Paul Revere. Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld, Feith, Addington, Libby and Cheney--true believers all--just knew it would work. How could it not, it was so simple. And, after all, they gamed it out in rarefied seminar rooms. Certainly, convincing an incurious president would be no great problem, and after a short and realtively bloodless invasion a thousand flowers would bloom and spread across the region. It was so simple.

    So, the seminar room gave way to the battlespace. Theory became reality. But, Cheney and Bush didn't bring down the curtain on history, they foundered on it, and wrecked us all in the process.

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:50:50 PM PDT

    •  a haven of capitalism with bare taxes - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and slave wages.

    •  Some, including Wolfowitz, may have believed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the democracy part. But if you read the Project for a New American Century material where this idea of quickly "regime-changing" a whole series of Middle Eastern countries originated, there's very little about democracy in it. It's about solidifying the US stance as the sole super-power capable of dominating the world for another century. They wanted bases in the Middle East, and they wanted to establish US control of vital resources in order to undergird their envisioned enlargement of US forces.

      It's true that they also assumed that US dominance would be good for the world. It would make the world more stable and orderly, and in the long run would be in the interests of the weaker countries as well as of the US.

      Of course, they assumed the dominance of US style capitalism as well as the US military.

      THese people in their well-funded rightwing think takes were so insulated from reality. Did they really believe we would be greeted as liberators in Iraq?  DId they really believe that their vision would lead to at least tolerably decent lives for ordinary people in their brave new world?

      Who can tell? But it was not their most pressing concern.  

      Vote John McCain for a Hundred Year War!

      by Fiona West on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:45:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, (0+ / 0-)

        they were not detached from reality. Certainly the nuts and bolts of empire would be attended to and, if needs be, precede American institutions. (Although now it's clear they were incompetent to achieve any kind of stable infrastructure.) But, the projection of American power was, I think, undergirded by a belief that--as you say--American institutions are good institutions, American ways are good ways. And, I think people like Cheney and Feith believed that those ways would be embraced. I think this flavor of neoconservative ahistoricity was a powerful driver of policy. In other words, I think we're both right.

        Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

        by JoesGarage on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 02:38:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The main problem with this is not the spreading (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      democracy part.  It's the it doesn't work part.

  •  Well, a broken clock is right twice a day. [n/t] (0+ / 0-)
  •  thanks. what evidence is there that Obama will (0+ / 0-)

    really turn away from military interventionism. despite what may be "in his heart." these forces are america. or that's how it seems to me. -another uninformed arab american  

    •  Not quite sure what you're saying here . . . (0+ / 0-)

      could you elaborate?

      •  well, that even though obama personally might (0+ / 0-)

        be against the kind of predatory violence america  inflicts on the middle east, and other peoples, the forces at work are so powerful. the pentagon, profiteers, corporations,  lobbies. how can a person stand up to all that?   lots of people have to be with you to change that. but the change  he talks about doesn't reach these forces, even tho he's for many good things. he's turning away from bush and facing the damage. but i think hope is not always so good. better to always know where you stand, to know what a leader is not prepared to do. better not to invest hope than be betrayed by your own wishes.            

        •  Bush was warned before 9/11 (0+ / 0-)

          We are warning you now....

        •  tony 26, I think you should consider 3 things. (0+ / 0-)

          1--Obama speaks in soaring rhetoric, but he strategizes in very concrete, realistic ways.  TO defeat Clinton, he ran an extremely smart, disciplined campaign. He and his team laid out what they would have to do, and then put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.  Both Democratic and Republican strategists say his campaign will be studied for a generation, because it was so innovative and tightly organized. You can trust that when Obama as president begins taking on entrenched powers, he will speak about that in very idealistic terms. But he will also map it out in smart ways that take into account what political allies he will need, what is the best timing and approach, and so on.  
          2--The US military has been overextended and weakened by the war in Iraq and by incredibly incompetent leadership (Rumsfeld). When they tried to give realistic advice about Iraq, it was not only ignored; it was treated with contempt by Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their allies. Many of the most experienced senior officers have retired or been pushed out. Many young officers are not re-enlisting. The armed forces in general, and especially the Army and Marines, are exhausted in the lower ranks, demoralized from top to bottom, and in many instances feel betrayed.

          They are not looking for more wars.  For at least a few years, unless US safety really is directly threatened, the armed forces will not be seeking to go to war. They will be seeking to rebuild.

          3--New funding methods undermine corporate influence. The wealthy corporations are over-reaching themselves, leaving the population more and more alienated and looking for something new.  People keep voting for change. But the politicians they elect never deliver change, because it takes so much money to function as a national politician that they are completely beholden to the corporate lobbyists that fund them.  This has been the unbreakable link. Some politicians have wanted to be more independent, but in the end they can’t go too far.

          Except now we have new ways of funding them. There are increasingly politicians funded by small donors and NOT beholden to the corporations. Most spectacularly, that includes Obama.

          So we now have a distracted military, a riled-up population that wants change, and some genuinely independent politicians.  This is a recipe for a change in national direction.

          As for hope – my hope is tempered.  I doubt that Obama will take us as far as we need to go.  But he is the best choice we have for moving in the right direction. If we are lucky, other leaders will emerge and the process will go on.  What I know for now is that Obama is keenly intelligent, honest, and determined, and that if he can just get us started in turning this nation around, that will be a great gift.  Of course, he can’t do it, as you say, without a lot of people with him.

          So I’m with him.

          Vote John McCain for a Hundred Year War!

          by Fiona West on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 04:52:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks Fiona, that's helpful, and i (0+ / 0-)

            appreciate you taking the time to explain like this. it's very kind of you, really. and makes a lot of sense. but how do understand comments like ones he made at aipac?. if he has the financial and popular support to back off from that kind of threatening, polarizing language, why doesnt he? why would he hand over his words to a group that's so far to the right?   it sounded like more of the same "we reserve the right to be a bully if people dont play our way." it was so interventionist in spirit. and its been really badly received in the region, which seems fine with the campaign. as if, what could be worse than having the good will of arabs and muslims--if they hate obama he must be ok. why not just say less? i do think he is the best hope for this country. i've volunteered for him. but very small acts of restraint taken by leaders here could make a big difference for many people who are surviving at a totally different level of vulnerability, with zero options. who will hold his campaign accountable to its own stated ideals, and how? i dont expect more from america. i'm just praying for less.          

  •  God save us from those who look at a garden and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fairy Tale

    see only the weeds, who look at a mountain and see only rocks, who look at a river and see only a damn, who look at woman and see only a sin. who look in a mirror and see nothing.

    John McCain "Beware the terrible simplifiers" Jacob Burckhardt, Historian

    by notquitedelilah on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 12:58:57 PM PDT

  •  You've Got To Follow The Bouncing Ball (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Middle East is really a sideshow in the neocon world.  The big battle is between the US, aided by its trusty sidekicks in the "League of Democracies" (cheers) vs. "evil autocracies" China and Russia (boo, hiss).  They focus on the Middle East, and especially Iran, because it is a major supplier of oil and gas to China.  Thus, being able to control the region gives the US huge leverage over its great power rivals, especially China.
    I watched Robert Kagan (pay attention to him, because he lays out the neocon vision very clearly and unapologetically) on CSpan last weekend being interviewed by some dickhead named Clifford May, from the Committee in Defense of Democracy.  May kept trying to get Kagan to talk about how evil Iran and the "Islamofascists" are.  Kagan didn't disagree, but it was clear that what he is really spoiling for is the big fight for global supremacy, as the US takes on China and Russia.

  •  The other parts of the interview are also very (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    interesting, especially when Wilkerson says he won't vote for McCain. I was going to do a diary on it, but I couldn't put myself to it. Thanks, Steve and thanks to the Real News Network, they are truly great.

    If I was a dehydrated baby, I wouldn't want bottled hot water from John McCain!

    by Fairy Tale on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:08:19 PM PDT

  •  Are others as worried as I am about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what Cheney-Bush might yet do in the coming four months?  November can't come fast enough.

    Hoping for peace and understanding; wishing you the same.

    by WisCheez on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:16:49 PM PDT

  •  oil is high so long as instability exists (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, yoduuuh do or do not

    in the Middle East.

    these venal clods see prosperity for themselves only.

  •  Dick Cheney: a colossal liar. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not

    (there's so much in this article that needs to be taken apart, but I'll settle on just 2 items).

    Cheney believes that Neo-Con enemies are evil.  

    Cheney IS a Neo Con.  He's the epitome of a Neo Conservative.  He's a signer on the PNAC documents.  These are the same people who believed their own bull-crap delusions about a New American Century the US would rule the world.  They had MANY plans for us; Iraq was just the beginning.  This statement is a lie.

    The vice president is committed to not talking to Evil, period. All you do if you talk to Evil is corroborate that Evil; you give that Evil legitimacy."

    This is not true.  The U.S. is talking to all kinds of nefarious individiuals, groups, political parties you name it.  They just don't do it out in the open.  We've been bribing the Sunni's, the Taleban, the Shi'a ruling party in Iraq, we've given TV sets & Nintendo games to tribal leaders so they will watch the oil pipeline in Iraq.  We've bribed the Turks, Turkmenistan, how about "the Boiler" and let's not forget Karzai & Musharraf.


    *watch out for the word "EVIL".  

  •  Hey, I want regime change too (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cliss, drksdeofthemoonx

    but there are ways to achieve that that are smart and ways that are stupid. Do I want to get rid of the House of Saud that executes people for adultery, that disallows women from driving, that allows extremists to flourish under the banner of Islam? Sure. Do I want to invade Saudi Arabia? No thanks. But do I want to make us totally independent of their oil and deprive them of their financial power and leverage over us? You bet. Unfortunately, Cheney has done everything he can to prevent the most powerful regime changing policies from taking effect. Guess it's only some regimes he wants changed.

  •  Cheney IS the evil. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pompatus, Silverbird, Cliss

    Sitting there on his little fourth branch axis.
    We need to cut the funds to bare bones until these toxic asshats are out to pasture.
    Actually I would prefer they stand trial for war crimes, but I doubt it will happen.

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 01:26:33 PM PDT

  •  I am for regime change too..but... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silverbird, Cliss

    not in the middle east..lets try Washington DC.

  •  IOW, this means (0+ / 0-)

    that when the oil runs out, America will still own the Middle East when it turns into a net liability instead of an asset. We need permanent bases there like we need a bubonic plague epidemic.

    Nobody discusses a rational policy for the Middle East in the post-oil era which will start in the next 10-20 years and will last as long as mankind does and for which we need to start preparing now.

    Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

    by alizard on Tue Jun 10, 2008 at 02:58:22 PM PDT

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