Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Robert Gates at the Pentagon Gate

Former CIA director Robert Gates is nominated for the post of Secretary of Defense. So far it seems that all corporate media report this as a positive move.

However, there are several others who try to show the real face of Gates and believe that there is no significant difference between Gates and Rumsfeld.

In general, they mostly talk about the same dark sides of Gates – his involvements in the secret arming of Saddam Hussein, in the Iran-Contra scandal, in exaggerating Soviet threat, in the politicization of intelligence analysis, in the military-industrial complex etc.

Ray McGovern (who knows Gates well) adds species to those in his article of 11 November 2006 (Robert Gates-Gate) by discussing some aspects of his personality.

“Gates has been getting unduly positive press treatment since the announcement of his nomination. It is one thing to give him the benefit of the doubt; it is quite another to ignore the considerable baggage he brings with him from past service,” he argues.

It was due to those baggages that in 1991 thirty-one Senators voted against Gates, when then President Bush father nominated him to head the CIA. McGovern observes that “never before or since has a CIA director nominee received nearly as many nays.”

Nevertheless he got the job, because according to McGovern “loyalty to the next person up, whatever the content of their character” was an important point to Bush Father. And now, his son follows his father’s judgement.

In his article on 9 November 2006 Robert Parry (The Secret World of Robert Gates) argues that “Now, as the Bush Family grapples with the disaster in Iraq, it is turning to an even more trusted hand to run the Defense Department.” McGovern concurs: “The neo-conservatives are attempting to push the blame onto Rumsfeld for the debacle of which they were the intellectual authors.”

Up to hear there is nothing new.

We know that there is a lot of talks in the US about importance of oil to the US economy and national security. So, the new Pentagon head must be fully convinced about the importance of military-industry-oil complex and national security.

Gates is on the board of Parker Drilling Company, Inc. Well, why not.

He was proclaimed to be on the board of SAIC as well, but I could not verify it from the company files.

Being on the board of oil and defense industry companies may not mean much. He must be more convinced and concerned about the role of oil on US national interests and security.


Do you remember the following headlines?

The United States would be all but powerless to protect the American economy in the face of a catastrophic disruption of oil markets concluded a war game called "Oil Shockwave". (If you don’t have time you can have a look at a short description).

The report released in mid 2005 by Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) and the National Commission on Energy Policy (NCEP) demonstrated that the US is vulnerable to much more severe oil shocks should even relatively small amounts of oil be withdrawn from the global market due to terrorism, political unrest or additional natural disasters.

Remember, Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) served as co-chairs of the Oil Shockwave event.

And Robert Gates was a participant.

On 25 June 2005 Washington Post reported the event like this “The exercise, called "Oil Shockwave" and played out in a Washington hotel ballroom, had real-life former top U.S. officials taking on the role of members of the president's Cabinet convening to respond to escalating energy crises, culminating in $5.32-a-gallon gasoline and a world wobbling into recession.”

"The American people are going to pay a terrible price for not having had an energy strategy," said former CIA director Robert M. Gates, who took on the role of national security adviser. Stepping out of character, he added that "the scenarios portrayed were absolutely not alarmist; they're realistic."

And so what you will say. Right, so what.

Then read the scenarios in the “oil shockwave”, think of Bush’s attitude towards Iran, combine it with Cheney and other neo-cons and multiply by Gates. This is for Iran.

Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was in the US recently. "Every compromise that will stop Iran from acquiring nuclear capabilities that will be acceptable to President Bush would be acceptable to me," Olmert said. More importantly he said that “I don't want to measure it in days or weeks, but it's quite close [that Iran developed a nuclear weapon], and we have to join forces in order to stop it because this is a serious danger to many countries, amongst them Israel, and this is a moral obligation that we all have. And I think that we all understand it will not happen, it can't happen, we will not tolerate the possession of nuclear weapons by Iran.”

Don’t worry, Gates will help in proving the required necessary intelligence by cooking.

For Iraq? Well, get the US soldiers out and leave Iraq to its destiny will be a likely scenario in mind. I believe that this is what Bush and neo-cons wanted anyway. I mean, let Iraq to have a civil war and end up with three Iraqs. To deal with parts is easier, no?

Weren’t they talking about a “New Middle East”?

Wasn’t Ralph Peters providing some drawings, however partly unrealistic? (I will talk about that in a later post).


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