Gareth Porter

Seismic Shift or Non-Decision on Iran?


Gareth Porter, reporter for IPS News, discusses the fight between the “realists” and hawks in the Bush administration, the routine where Rice gets what she wants, but then Cheney makes her efforts meaningless – as in the case of William Burns’ trip to Geneva, George Bush Jr.’s complete inability to lead – thank goodness, crying wolf, the public’s distracted impotence to stop a war they oppose, the relative influence of the Israeli Lobby on Middle East policy in Congress and the White House, Ariel Sharon’s preference for the order of future regime changes, speculation that Cheney may have “learned” a bunch of nonsense about a necessary clash of civilizations from Prinston historian Bernard Lewis after 9/11, the War Party’s former(?) belief in regime change from the air.

MP3 here. (30:38)

Dr. Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on U.S. national security policy who has been independent since a brief period of university teaching in the 1980s. Dr. Porter is the author of four books, the latest of which is Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam (University of California Press, 2005). He has written regularly for Inter Press Service on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran since 2005.

14 thoughts on “Gareth Porter”

  1. or misdirection
    could it be that the general consensus is obama will win and we will be shifting focus to the caspien and escalating in afganistan
    just read up on zbignew brezinsky (spelling?) obamas’s nsa. and from what i can tell he thinks that no matter how chaotic the middle east gets it will remain with in the us sphere of influence but the caspein is not only not under our control but if russia or china were to take control of it we would see a major competor and there for we have to take it first
    but we can’t really do that as long as we are in iraq and if we attack iran they can cause us problems in the caspein as well as the staits of harmuz
    and i don’t know if it true but i have read that black water and other private security companies are already setting up bases along the coast of kazakhstan and turkmenstan

  2. and just a question for scott.
    what do you mean exactly by the war party?
    i asume its the democrats/rebublicans
    but you always use it as singular so im just wondering

  3. I think Gareth Porter is a superb analyst, but here he shows a remarkable lack of sophistication in reducting the Israel lobby to AIPAC alone, and presenting the neocons as somehow distinct from the lobby. He even conflates them with the ‘Bush Administration’ in places.

    Yes, no one said that neocon and Israeli interests are the same, but that is because neocons have a different conception of Israeli interests, and for them these interests always appear to supersede US interests.

  4. Paul, in this context, War Party means the neocons and rightwing hawks.

    Sad to say, a year from now, we’ll be able to include the liberal internationalists and “realists.”

  5. Sad to say, a year from now, we’ll be able to include the liberal internationalists and “realists.”
    you seem to be giving much of the congress much to much credit

    i mean the republicans will filibuster the government to a complete halt for almost any reason they care to but the democrats won’t even delay slightly paying for and escalating a war they claim to be against.
    no i see the ” war party” to be our government minus ,ron paul ,denis kucincich Maxine waters, and Bernie frank cincia mickeny.
    every one esle should be impeached for the simple fact about lying about ending the war or at the very least making it slight harder to get every thing immediately rubber stamped.

  6. correction i beleive cincia mickiny is no longer in the congress.

    well atleast we can now put all the good people in our government in to one car

  7. According to Gareth Porter – the decisive element in the policy decision to attack Iran is now found in the dark thoughts of Vice President Cheney formed after his brief visits to Pop historian/ War of Civilization ideologue Bernard Lewis…rather than in the offices of the Israeli government, its Embassy in Washington and its US-based attack unit – AIPAC. This is despite the AIPAC operatives having written – almost word for word – the recent Congressional resolution calling for a military blockade of Iran. In other words it is Darth Vader Cheney psychobabble over the regional power ambitions of Israel and its powerful agents in the US. We didn’t buy pop psychology about Adolf Hitler and the Second World War, why should we buy it now in this new World War? Both Porter and his buddy McGovern keep trotting out this elusive realistic side of Israel – blaming the unbalanced Goys (Cheney, Rumsfeld and the Idiot Prince) in the present Administration or the loony free agent Zioncons buzzing around them for the disasters in Iraq. The rabid militarists and loony toons were elements, but not the decisive elements in the war planning. It has to have been Israel and its strategically placed representatives in all branches of government – otherwise we cannot explain the almost total absence of opposition from the congress and senate for policies which were predicted to bankrupt the country and drag the military into years of counterinsurgency.

  8. Robin,
    Interesting point about Lewis and Cheney, but I don’t think the “strategically placed representatives ” -as you call them- would have been so successful without the support of prominent intellectuals like Princeton scholar Bernard Lewis.

    I believe Lewis was the one that helped formulate the neo-con doctrine that muslim terrorists “hate us bcs we are free”. He is regularly referred to as their “sage”. I have never read any criticism of Lewis anywhere. He seems to be untouchable. I think Porter is right about Lewis being very influential.

  9. Scott,

    In one of your interviews you had quoted Andrew Cockburn describing the neocons as the nexus between the Israel lobby and the military industrial complex. Was that in an interview with you, or was it in one of his articles? Can you kindly provide me the reference.


  10. Cheers Scott. That was very helpful. I must have missed this interview. It was superb (the neocon reference was towards 16:40 in the first interview). I had read the book when it first came out, but the interview was very useful in refreshing my memory.

    Let me also take this opportunity to compliment you on running an excellent radio show with easily the best roster of guests anywhere. (Bob McChesney’s Media Matters is also great, but politically I find it rather tame. No mention ever of the Israel lobby, for instance).

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