'Iraq Was Invaded to Secure Israel,' Says Senator
July 16, 2004
prominent American political figure speaks boldly about Jewish-Zionist
power, that's news. So the remarks by South Carolina's senior Senator in
May 2004 that Iraq was invaded "to secure Israel," and that
"everybody" in Washington knows it, are indeed remarkable.
"Fritz" Hollings, a Democrat who has represented his state in the
US Senate since 1966, is now serving his final term in Washington. That
fact may also help explain why he's now willing to defy the pro-Israel
lobby and speak candidly about its power.
began with an essay, headlined "Bush's Failed Mideast Policy is
Creating More Terrorism," which appeared in the Charleston daily Post
and Courier, May 6, 2004.
Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country?," he wrote. "The
answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel. Led by [Paul] Wolfowitz,
Richard Perle and Charles Krauthammer, for years there had been a domino
school of thought that the way to guarantee Israel's security is to spread
democracy in the area."
Zionist organizations, as well as some prominent Jewish political figures,
quickly chastised Hollings, and his remarks were denounced as anti-Semitic.
he didn't back down. Instead, he rose in the Senate on May 20 to defend and
explain his essay.
don't apologize for this column," he said. "I want them to
apologize to me for talking about anti-Semitism." President Bush went
to war in Iraq "to secure our friend, Israel" and "everybody
knows it," Hollings declared.
to the cowardly reluctance of his Congressional colleagues openly to
acknowledge this reality, he said that "nobody is willing to stand up
and say what is going on." With few exceptions, members of Congress
uncritically support Israel and its policies due to "the pressures that
we get politically," he said. The pro-Israel lobby knows "how to
make you tuck tail and run." But "not the Senator from South
Carolina," he added, referring to himself. To emphasize the
seriousness of his remarks, Hollings said: "I have thought this out as
thoroughly as I know how, and it worries me that here we are..."
motive in going to war for Israeli interests, Hollings charged, was to get
Jewish support in election campaigns. "President Bush came to office
imbued with one thought: reelection. I say that advisedly. I have been up
here with eight Presidents. We have had support of all eight Presidents.
Yes, I supported the President on this Iraq resolution, but I was misled.
There weren't any weapons, or any terrorism, or al-Qaida. This is the
reason we went to war. He had one thought in mind, and that was
is not a conspiracy. That is the policy. I didn't like to keep it a secret,
maybe; but I can tell you now, I will challenge any one of the other 99
Senators to tell us why we are in Iraq, other than what this policy is
here. It is an adopted policy, a domino theory of The [Zionist] Project For
The New American Century. Everybody knows it [is] because we want to secure
our friend, Israel...
realize we are in real trouble. Saudi Arabia is in trouble. Israel is in
trouble. The United States is in trouble. I am going to state what I
believe to be the fact. In fact, I believe it very strongly. They just are
whistling by on account of the pressures that we get politically. Nobody is
willing to stand up and say what is going on."
cited the role of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the
most important pro-Israel lobby group in Washington, in determining US
policy in the Middle East. "You can't have an Israel policy other than
what AIPAC gives you around here. I have followed them mostly in the main,
but I have also resisted signing certain letters from time to time, to give
the poor President a chance.
can tell you no President takes office -- I don't care whether it is a
Republican or a Democrat — that all of a sudden AIPAC will tell him exactly
what the policy is, and Senators and members of Congress ought to sign
letters. I read those carefully and I have joined in most of them. On some
I have held back. I have my own idea and my own policy..."
Iraq war has been "a bad mistake," said Hollings. "Getting
rid of Saddam was not worth almost 800 dead GIs and over 3,500 maimed for
life..." This war is "a mistake like Vietnam," he added.
"We got misled with the  Gulf of Tonkin [incident]. We got
misled here, and we are in that quagmire...
entire thing is a mess. Don't give me 'support the troops, support the troops.'
I have been with troops, about three years in combat, so don't tell me
about troops. I have always supported the troops."
Remarks by Ernest F. Hollings, May 20, 2004. Congressional Record -
Senate, May 20, 2004, pages S5921-S5925.
also: Iraq: A War For Israel.