Most reviews try to extract facts or anecdotes from the book in question
to give a summation of its central thesis, or bring in contradictory evidence
to prove the book's unreliability. The epic sweep and scale of the
story told by these authors, the fact that they are working with "soft"
evidence from which they draw hard and disturbing conclusions, indeed the
unprovability of many of their assertions, argue against this approach in the present case. The sheer size and multi-generational nature of this Twentieth Century epic almost demand that the entire book be read and carefully digested. I worked my way through it slowly, consulting every footnote and in some cases, outside sources, to make sure what I was reading made sense and was not explainable by more innocent historical reasoning. It appears to me that the authors got enough of it right for their central thesis to stand. Even though it was published eight years ago, it is as relevant today in a post 9/11 world as it ever was during the mid-1990s.
The book's subtitle presents its central thesis: "How Western Intelligence Betrayed the Jewish People." One of its authors, John Loftus, was a former prosecutor with the U.S. Justice Department's Nazi-hunting unit, and was granted access to classified CIA and NATO archives. He probably developed the big picture, his central thesis, from his prodecutorial days, and went about filling it in and updating it by interviewing a bevy of old spooks, retired spies from the CIA, MI6, KGB, Mossad, and the French and German intelligence agencies, among others. Small, independently-verifiable, portions of this larger story have already appeared on CBS News's 60 Minutes and ABC's Prime Time, but this is the first place of which I am aware where a consistent narrative carries through from the discovery of Middle Eastern oil deposits and the rise of Nazism in the 1920s and 1930s to the Intifada and the Persian Gulf War in the 1980s and 1990s. If a mere ten per cent of what this book alleges is true, Twentieth Century history as written by the victors is a shameful distortion, and my hunch is that a lot more than ten per cent of this book is accurate.
Of course, the question of why retired spooks would talk, and the verifiability
of their information when they are granted anonymity, is a valid one.
No doubt many retired intelligence officers are still in the disinformation
game, honestly believing that their roles as hidden puppet masters served
a higher end, and even those who are cleansing a guilty conscience must
be assayed for self-serving statements and exculpatory diversions.
Many of the confidential sources cited herein ae backed up,
however, by newly declassified documents, and build upon assertions already published elsewhere. What follows is a brief precis.
The modern world begins, the authors suggest, at the end of World War
I, when British diplomat/adventurers Jack Philby (father of Soviet spy
Kim Philby and legendary Arabist) and Lawrence of Arabia endeavour to unify
a bunch of warring Bedouin tribes into nationhood, best represented by
Saudi Arabia. Aware that black gold (oil) lies underneath the desert
sands, Philby gingerly befriends Ibn Saud, and makes him the first Saudi
king. But Philby is not solely interested in empire, even his own
British one; he is interested in making money, and forges an alliance with
an American intelligence agent in charge of Middle Eastern affairs, Allen
Dulles. By the 1930s, Ibn Saud and Philby are secret supporters of
the Nazi rise to
political power in Germany, and bring Dulles, a NYC-based corporate lawyer for Sullivan and Cromwell, in on their scheme. It is a triple game driven by their hatred of Zionism and the Jews, motivated by their obsessive seeking of profits, and designed to completely transform the landscape of the Middle East. Philby and Dulles convince Ibn Saud to allow limited Jewish immigration to Palestine, assuring him that the numbers will never challenge or upset his control. When Jews leave Germany, their assets are confiscated by Hitler, who shares a percentage of these with dummy corporations established by Philby, Dulles, and their allies. Some of this money is used to arm Ibn Saud, and intelligence disclosures to him by Philby enable Ibn Saud to become king of Saudi Arabia over other Arab leaders supported by the British government. This double-dealing by British and American corporations continues throughout World War II, and incredibly is never halted by the Western allies, who would rather that Dulles stay in place andround up German intelligence agents after World War II's end for the upcoming Cold War against a previous ally, the USSR. One of the reasons that Jews are so hated by this clique, which includes Rockefeller's Standard Oil, is that many Jews were supporters of the left, anathema to corporate internationalists.
After World War II ended, and the dimensions of the Nazi Holocaust became
clear, it was politically impossible for men like these to constrict immigration
of the survivors to Palestine, and ultimately impossible for them to stop
the formation of the state of Israel. They tried, as did their successors,
but in a delicious irony, some of the very left-wing Jews they detested
discovered these perfidious schemes with the help of the USSR's own intelligence
agencies (Remember, the Soviets were the first to get to
Berlin and they seized many Nazi intelligence documents, as well as many Nazi spies themselves). Also, Soviet intelligence had long used "fascist Jews" to penetrate the inner circles of the Third Reich and assist the USSR in its struggles on the Eastern Front. Many of these Jews were communist double agents, but others defected to Zionism after the war, and told Israeli founding fathers like David Ben-Gurion of secret deals between the British and the Americans, and the Nazis. The Zionists blackmailed Dulles's successor in Europe, James Jesus Angleton, to allow Jews to be smuggled into Palestine, and blackmailed the USSR (by threatening to disclose Soviet penetration of the CIA and MI6) so that anti-Semite Joseph Stalin actually
supported the partition of Israel. That the nation-building Zionists played just as dirty as the communists and capitalists, the authors assert, is the reason that Israeli historians did not welcome the book's disclosures any more than the other duplicitous parties.
In the first days of Israeli statehood, survival was not assured.
Arms from communist Czechoslovakia helped them win their first war with
the surrounding Arabs. But the early Israeli leaders knew that they
could not depend upon the USSR for continued support, so Ben-Gurion politically
isolated the communists from his government and warned Angleton, now USA's
intelligence officer for Israel, that Kim Philby (disgusted by his father's anti-British, pro-Nazi leanings, so much so that he himself became a traitor to the UK and a secret convert to communism, even as he rose in the ranks of British intelligence) was a Soviet mole inside MI-6. Angleton buried these warnings, because subsequent investigation of such charges would have
revealed Angleton's and Dulles's financial collaborations with the Nazis.
During the Eisenhower era, John Foster Dulles became Secretary of State and brother Allen was appointed director of the CIA. Vice-President Richard Nixon encouraged the immigration to America of European ethnics, Eastern European ex-fascists, who were intended to counterbalance the consistently Democratic-voting American Jews. Allen Dulles betrayed both Britain and Israel in his push to secure American access to Saudi oil deposits through companies like Aramco. In fact, a revolving door between the intelligence community and the oil companies that allowed ex-spooks to become oil executives, dictated American Middle East policy, and contributed to Nixon's razor-thin loss to JFK in 1960. In 1967, while outwardly supporting Israel in its Six Day War against the united Arab armies, both the USA and the UK shared Israeli defense plans with Arab oil producers. This is why the Israelis knocked out the American surveillance ship the USS Liberty, though at the time all sides agreed it was an accident.
Similarly, the official history of the Yom Kippur War of 1973 credits the intervention of an American Jew, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, with saving Israel by warning off the USSR and airlifting arms to Israel. Loftus and Aarons provide a different take on this. In their view (or that of many intelligence officers whom they interviewed), Kissinger was a military incompetent and created a climate for war by sabotaging the Sadat/Rogers peace negotiations because he could not claim credit for these. Kissinger dithered with intelligence, mobilization, and re-supply, and Israel would have been in serious danger without the intervention of White House chief-of-staff (and ex-military man) Alexander Haig. Kissinger scapegoated CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton for these blunders, forcing Angleton's retirement.
When Reagan was elected, a parallel to the Eisenhower years re-emerges.
Vice-President Bush organized shadow intelligence operations out of his
offices, the best established of these being the Iran/Contra arms deal.
Bush dispatched CIA man Bill Buckely to Lebanon in a scheme to kidnap Arab
terrorists. Instead, Buckley himself was seized and held hostage.
authorized a secret arms shipment to Iran, hoping Iranian pressure on terrorist groups it supported would get Buckley back. This shipment was unwittingly intercepted by Israel (with the help of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard), who thought the shipment was destined for the PLO. Bush was in a tight position, and subsequently hoodwinked Israeli intelligence to assist in this scheme a year later in 1985, and then deflected blame on them so he could preserve his political chances to become president. Just one more modern example where ill-advised and venal secret schemes make a mockery of the official history. Bush's intermeddling continued with secret arms sales to Iraq, then a punishing Gulf War against Iraq when Iraq became a bigger
threat than its rival Iran.
While the focus of this book is the secret war against the Jews, it
raises larger questions about how clandestine intelligence operations have
distorted our appreciation of history and made it nearly impossible for
the average citizen to follow rationally his country's foreign policy initiatives.
For this reviewer, it has placed the events of 9/11, the war on Afghanistan
and the impending war on Iraq, in a larger, more disturbing perspective
and suggests rather sad answers to seemingly logical questions
like: "Why didn't America retaliate against Saudi Arabia (15 of the 19 suicide hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were Saudis) after 9/11?" and "What kind of secret game is George W. Bush and his advisors playing with their post-9/11 saber-rattling?"
I should add one final caveat. My summary of eighty years' history
is cursory at best, and omits much connective tissue and many fascinating
ancillary stories. It also leaves out the massive documentation provided
by the authors. The serious reader is cordially invited to dive in
and digest the entire detailed story, and judge its accuracy for himself.
Dialogue on favorite books with Deane Rink before and during his latest trek to Antarctica, with a note from Bill Ransom and a digression about Frank Herbert (a.k.a Bookbabble 101) -- a very long and rapidly growing document:
A library for the price of a book.
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