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Reply #19: George H.W. Bush and the invention of the War on Terror in 1979 [View All]

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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-13-06 08:23 PM
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19. George H.W. Bush and the invention of the War on Terror in 1979
I've been Googling some more and found interesting stuff in Tarpley's "Unauthorized Biography." It seems that over the Fourth of July weekend in 1979, just as he was gearing up his campaign for the presidential nomination, George H.W. Bush went off to Israel for the Jerusalem Conference on International Terrorism, held at the Jonathan Institute, founded earlier that year by Benjamin Netanyahu.

Along for the trip were a bunch of Neocons who had been associated with Team B, founded by Bush when he was CIA director in 1977 in order to provide more hysterical evaluations of Soviet military capacities than the official CIA would endorse. Also present were two figures whose names come up at that period in connection with Michael Ledeen. One was Ray Cline, formerly of the OSS and CIA and the founder of CSIS, of which Ledeen was then a fellow. The other was Claire Sterling, Ledeen's frequent collaborator in promoting the theory that the Soviet Union was the source of all terrorist movements.

According to Tarpley:
Ray Cline made a major presentation, developing his theory that terrorism should not be seen as a spontaneous response to oppression by frustrated minorities, but rather only as the preferred tool of Soviet bloc subversion. . . . Richard Pipes then drew on Russian history to illustrate the singular thesis that terrorism was a product of Russian history, and of no other history. . . . Ian Black wrote in the Jersualem Post that "the conference organizers expect the event to initiate a major anti-terrorist offensive."

There were skeptics, even in the U.S. intelligence community, where Ray Cline's monomania was recognized. At the 1980 meeting of AFIO, Cline was criticized by Howard Bane, the former CIA station chief in Moscow, who suggested "We've got to get Cline off this Moscow control of terrorists. It's divisive. It's not true. There's not one single bit of truth to it." A retired CIA officer named Harry Rostizke put in: "It's that far-right stuff, that's all. It's horseshit."

Nevertheless, the absurd thesis of the Jerusalem Conference was soon regurgitated by several new top officials of the Reagan Administration. In Alexander Haig's first news conference as Secretary of State on January 28, 1981, Haig thundered that the Kremlin was trying to "foster, support, and expand" terrorist activity worldwide through the "training, funding, and equipping" of terrorist armies. Haig made it official that "international terrorism will take the place of human rights" as the central international concern of the Reagan Administration.

So there you have it -- the War on Terror at the very moment of its invention.
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