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David Petraeus Finally Answers His Own Question

by Tom Engelhardt It took 14 years, but now we have an answer. It was March...

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Published on June 26th, 2008 | by Jim Lobe


When A Map Is Worth a Thousand Words

Or maybe even 674 pages, the length of Douglas Feith’s recent opus, War and Decision.

As you can imagine, Israel does not figure prominently in Feith’s book, and you would never guess from reading it that, as early as 1996, Feith — along with David Wurmser and their common mentor, Richard Perle — was already thinking that the ouster of Saddam Hussein was the key to transforming the regional balance of power decisively in favor of Israel, thus permitting a Likud-led Israel to make a “clean break” from the Oslo peace process and “secure the realm” of the West Bank, Gaza, the Golan Heights, as well as its pre-1967 borders.

I don’t intend to review of the book, at least now. But the map that appears next to Feith’s “Introduction” depicting Iraq and its neighbors as of 2003 offers some insight into his worldview and Israel’s rightful place — or, more precisely, its size — within it:

Feith Mideast Map

Not much space for a Palestinian state, is there? Good strategic depth around Jerusalem. Looks like the Golan isn’t supposed to revert to Syria, either. No suggestion of occupation. It’s all Israeli.

Incidentally, In his book, Feith claims that it was Fred Ikle that got him the undersecretary for policy job, but I have it on excellent authority that it was Perle, the only man who Rumsfeld (who himself referred to the West Bank and Gaza as “so-called occupied territories”) believes is his intellectual equal, whose recommendation was decisive. And it’s good to know that the Washington Post still considers Perle credible enough to give him space on its op-ed page to warn against the perils of multilateralism in dealing with Iran, as it did today.

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One Response to When A Map Is Worth a Thousand Words

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  1. avatar anon says:

    This map reveals all about Feith’s world view, I’m afraid.

    A pity more hasn’t been made of it given the out-sized influence he and his fellow travellers have had on US foreign policy in the ME.

About the Author


Jim Lobe served for some 30 years as the Washington DC bureau chief for Inter Press Service and is best known for his coverage of U.S. foreign policy and the influence of the neoconservative movement.

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  • Named after veteran journalist Jim Lobe, LobeLog provides daily expert perspectives on US foreign policy toward the Middle East through investigative reports and analyses from Washington to Tehran and beyond. It became the first weblog to receive the Arthur Ross Award for Distinguished Reporting and Analysis of Foreign Affairs from the American Academy of Diplomacy in 2015.

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