by Stephen J. Sniegoski
“The oil companies certainly wanted to have access to Iraqi oil but they wanted to do this in peaceful ways. Thus the oil companies were pushing for an end to sanctions against Iraq. A May 2001 Business Week article, for example, reported that the issue of easing sanctions on so-called rogue states ‘pits powerful interests such as the pro-Israeli lobby and the U.S. oil industry against each other.’”
The belief that America went to war with Iraq for oil and that the war was promoted by the oil companies never seems to die even though it lacks much in the way of empirical evidence. It is questionable whether that will change even after President Obama’s observation that the same people who led the United States into war with Iraq were going all out to stop the nuclear weapons deal with Iran. He did not mention the word “neoconservative,” but it was obvious whom he was referring to.
The adherents of the oil explanation seem to assume that since Iraq has huge reserves of oil, gaining control of that oil must have been, ipso facto, the reason that the United States invaded the country. As Noam Chomsky, the most prominent intellectual exponent of this view, has put it: “Of course it was Iraq’s energy resources. It’s not even a question. Iraq’s one of the major oil producers in the world. It has the second largest reserves and it’s right in the heart of the Gulf’s oil producing region, which US intelligence predicts is going to be two thirds of world resources in coming years.” But that a country has oil, or any significant resource, does not mean that corporate interests would seek to gain access to it through war, rather than by peaceful means. The American political fracas over the recent Iran deal has seemingly caused Chomsky to admit this fact. “One consequence of this [the U.S. opposition to the Iran deal],” Chomsky contends, “is that U.S. corporations, much to their chagrin, are prevented from flocking to Tehran along with their European counterparts. “
Earlier, however, Chomsky apparently recognized that merely assuming the leading role of the oil companies in bringing about the U.S. attack on Iraq was not enough and that there would need to be empirical evidence. Thus, in 2008, he made reference to oil deals in Iraq that were being planned that year by American companies. But when Iraq actually began to sell oil leases to foreign companies in 2009, only a very few went to American companies while a disproportionate number went to America’s major adversaries, China and Russia, which would hardly be a goal of American foreign policy. An explanation cited for those countries’ success was that their companies were state-owned or state-controlled and thus were better able to afford the risk of heavy losses than their fully-private American counterparts.  However, if the U.S. government had really fought a multi-trillion-dollar war for the purpose of gaining control of Iraqi oil for its companies, it would be expected to subsidize any oil leases in Iraq by American companies, the expense of which would pale beside the overall war costs.
Another article in the oil-war genre, which was entitled “Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq,” was published in 2011 in the British publication, The Independent. The article states: “Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP [oil company] that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair’s military commitment to U.S. plans for regime change.
“The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP’s behalf because the oil giant feared it was being ‘locked out’ of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.”
As one can see, the title of this article is rather deceptive since the article’s information makes it clear that the oil companies were not involved in bringing about the invasion of Iraq, but only became involved in the issue of Iraqi oil after the implication of the already decided-upon attack was made known to them.
In fact, this evidence does not help to prove, but actually militates against, the oil thesis. The idea that the U.S. government intended to have American oil companies control Iraqi oil is refuted by its willingness to share the Iraqi oil market with foreign countries, which was probably motivated by a desire to gain some degree of support from their governments for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. That the U.S. was not initially offering such a deal to Britain would conceivably stem from the fact that Prime Minister Tony Blair seemed a willing supporter of the invasion without the need for such a bribe. It should be pointed out that the U.S. provided financial and other types of incentives to numerous countries to gain their support for the invasion. Thus the oil concession offers would fit this bribery category, and would have nothing to do with why the United States itself opted to invade Iraq.
In essence, timing is all important in determining whether the oil companies drove the U.S. to war. For example, the neocons had pushed for a war with Iraq for a number of years before George W. Bush entered office and were especially heavily involved in this undertaking during the run-up to the war. Moreover, they did this quite openly from both inside and outside of the George W. Bush administration. Once it became apparent that the U.S. was going to invade Iraq, it could be assumed that some oil companies would want concessions in Iraq after it was occupied. However, this is not the same thing as their being a driving force for the invasion, for which there is no evidence. The oil companies were no more the cause of the invasion of Iraq than stores that have quickly increased their stocks of batteries, flash lights, and power generators upon learning that a hurricane will hit their area are responsible for causing the hurricane. The oil companies simply sought to benefit from a changed situation not of their making.
It should also be acknowledged that the first locations that the forces of the United States and the United Kingdom secured during the war were the oilfields of southern Iraq, with the aim to prevent Saddam from destroying them. Clearly, any occupier would prefer to exploit rather than destroy a country’s assets. Keeping the Iraqi oil industry functioning would certainly alleviate the financial burden of the American occupation and help fund Iraq’s postwar reconstruction. The United States also sought to prevent Saddam from setting fire to the oil wells and causing an environmental catastrophe, as he had done in Kuwait during the first Gulf War. Environmental considerations aside, such fires could have slowed American troop movements northward to Baghdad. But while the United States would have naturally preferred oil over no oil, the American military’s concern for the security of the Iraqi oil wells did not in any way demonstrate that seizing oil resources was the motivation for America to launch its invasion.
But what about the Cheney Energy Task Force? This took place at the beginning of the Bush administration before the run-up to war. It has been argued that it was here that the planning of the war on Iraq began. This was given great attention by TV commentator Rachel Maddow in her 2014 documentary, in which she claimed to be presenting new evidence on the cause of the war, though it was more like repackaging old evidence. She omitted the role of the neoconservatives, which is a subject she generally avoids.
The Cheney Energy Task Force, as Cheney’s biographer Baron Gellman points out, became, in many respects, a “creature of Cheney’s worldview.” De-emphasizing conservation and environmental protection, Cheney believed that the United States needed to increase its energy production, which entailed a reliance on fossil fuels and decreased regulation. Consequently, he would consult mostly with the leading figures in the fossil fuels industry.
In line with his belief in the prerogatives of the executive branch of government and the obvious unpopularity his approach would have with a significant part of elite opinion, Cheney kept the Task Force meetings secret, and only as a result of legal efforts was any information about them revealed to the public. It was this secrecy that adherents of the war-for-oil thesis would latch onto in order to substantiate the claim that the oil interest played the leading role in bringing about the United States’ attack on Iraq.
But it is not clear how that secrecy would have any effect such as this. If the oil companies sought to persuade the U.S. leadership to invade Iraq, Cheney was one person that they did not need to persuade. His close connection with the neocons, with whom he staffed the new George W. Bush administration, already illustrated his support for war.
The oil-war adherents, however, assume that secret talks at this meeting involved an invasion of Iraq—but if it involved a war and takeover of Iraq, it would have to have been the major topic. Some have cited the existence of maps of Iraqi oil fields used by the task force as evidence of plans as to how those fields would be divvied up among U.S. companies. As the result of a court order, Judicial Watch, a conservative legal group, obtained a batch of task force-related U.S. Commerce Department papers that included a detailed map of Iraq’s oil fields, terminals and pipelines. However, among the papers obtained there was also a map of the oil fields and pipelines in Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates and a list of oil and gas development projects in those two countries. Moreover, a spokesman for the Commerce Department pointed out that the Task Force’s final report also had maps from other important oil regions, including Russia, North America, and the Caspian Sea region. In short, there does not seem to be any special focus on Iraqi oil and it would seem quite reasonable for a task force on energy to seek detailed knowledge about the key global locations of oil production.
But let us put the lack of factual evidence aside for the moment and deal with the implication that the oil companies were advocating war only in secret meetings with many governmental leaders—and presumably influencing them—with their war machinations, and even views, apparently undetected by the media. Any contention that the oil companies primarily work behind the scenes, however, would be belied by the fact that they have been quite visible in their public advocacy on many political issues: fracking regulations; the termination of restrictions on the export of American produced crude oil; the XL Keystone pipeline; regulations on refineries; the safety of off shore drilling; and opposition to limitations on the use of fossil fuels because of “climate change.” And the oil companies were visible in their public opposition to the existing oil sanctions in 2001. Not only were the oil companies publicly involved in these issues, but they were not always successful in getting their way. To imply that the oil interests could be far more successful by taking a secret, invisible approach thus stretches credibility beyond all reasonable limits and moves in the direction of Alice-in-Wonderland logic in which the lack of evidence constitutes proof.
Since the neocons had developed, and publicized, their Middle East war agenda prior to 2001 and were openly promoting an attack on Iraq, both from within their key positions in the Bush administration and in the media, it would be reasonable to believe that their efforts were sufficient to account for the U.S. attack on Iraq without the need of positing any undocumented, invisible support from the oil lobby. By the standards of proof in science, the neocon explanation fits the simplicity principle of Occam’s razor.
Moreover, there is considerable counter-evidence, which I have provided in The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel and elsewhere to show that oil companies were not only not involved in driving the United States into war but actually opposed this undertaking.
The oil companies certainly wanted to have access to Iraqi oil but they wanted to do this in peaceful ways. Thus the oil companies were pushing for an end to sanctions against Iraq. A May 2001 Business Week article, for example, reported that the issue of easing sanctions on so-called rogue states “pits powerful interests such as the pro-Israeli lobby and the U.S. oil industry against each other.”
Moreover, the oil companies were quite fearful of the impact of war on oil production. According to oil analyst Anthony Sampson in December 2002, “oil companies have had little influence on U.S. policy-making. Most big American companies, including oil companies, do not see a war as good for business, as falling share prices indicate.”Sampson contrasted the oil companies’ view to that of the neocons: “Many neo-conservatives in Washington are indicating they want the US intervention to go beyond Iraq; and to redraw the diplomatic map of the Middle East.” On the other hand, he noted that “Oil companies dread having supplies interrupted by burning oilfields, saboteurs and chaotic conditions. And any attempt to redraw the frontiers could increase the dangers in both Iran and Iraq, as rivals seek to regain territory.”
Fareed Mohamedi of PFC Energy, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., that advised petroleum firms, stated that “[t]he big oil companies were not enthusiastic about the Iraqi war,” maintaining that “[c]orporations like Exxon-Mobil and Chevron-Texaco want stability, and this is not what Bush is providing in Iraq and the Gulf region.”
Former President George H. W. Bush and his cronies, such as former Secretary of State, James Baker, who have been associated with the oil industry, were at least cool to the war, with Brent Scowcroft, who is often considered the elder Bush’s closest confidante, being actively opposed. Scowcroft had been the elder Bush’s National Security Advisor and at the start of the George W. Bush administration was Director of the Board of Pennzoil-Quaker State.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor, who had been a consultant for Amoco involved in Caspian Sea oil deals, was also a strong opponent of the war on Iraq.
During the build-up for war, he expressed concern that a unilateral attack on Iraq would serve to undermine America’s global interests.
But what about Dick Cheney and his connection to Halliburton? Halliburton was involved in the oil field services area rather than oil extraction. While Halliburton profited from the war, that resulted from multiple activities, including oil-field repairs but also construction and maintenance of military bases, and rebuilding infrastructure. In short, it would seem accurate to classify Halliburton as a war profiteering firm rather than an oil company. It also profited from Clinton’s war on Serbia (especially its subsidiary Brown & Root Services), and the first Gulf War, which took place under the aegis of the elder Bush.
However, there is seems to be no evidence that Halliburton lobbied for the war on Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion, but even if it had, it would not prove that oil companies pushed for war
And, moreover, there is no clear evidence that Cheney personally profited from the war, as some have claimed. But even if this had been the case, and it were assumed that he was motivated to support the war in order to enhance his own wealth, he still would not have been representative of the oil companies, but rather an outlier, if he were to be considered an oil man, which, as pointed out in the preceding paragraph, was not the case, at least insofar as his connection with Halliburton is concerned.
While Cheney’s pro-war position was not in line with the stance of the oil companies, it was with that of the neocons. That is no mere coincidence. It stems from the fact that he had close connections with the neocons for years before the onset of the George W. Bush administration, having been a member of the board of advisors of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), a member of the board of trustees of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and a founding member of the neoconservative Project for a New American Century (PNAC). In fact, Cheney played the crucial role of staffing key national security positions in the Bush administration with neocons. And as Vice President, Cheney specifically relied on advice from the eminent (and controversial) historian of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, a right-wing Zionist and one of the neocons’ foremost foreign policy gurus, who strongly advocated war against Iraq.
Moreover, developments since the 2003 Iraq war would definitely seem to confirm the neocon/Israel argument. As alluded to by President Obama, there is a definite connection between those who pushed for the 2003 war on Iraq and those who today take a hardline position against Iran. And this is the same group of people who have advocated replacing the Assad regime in Syria, and combating Hezbollah and Hamas, and identify closely with the right-wing position of the Israeli Likudniks on Middle East policy.
Although this connection is even clearer today than it was in the run-up to the war on Iraq, it was clear then if one engaged in some investigation, which I did in the development of my book, The Transparent Cabal. The neoconservatives’ agenda of regime change in the Middle East was intended to encompass all of Israel’s major enemies in the region, with regime change in Iraq simply being the first step in this process. Although neocons would not have been averse to having those countries turned into the satellites of the United States with Israel-friendly puppet governments installed, the likelihood of attaining such an outcome was highly improbable, especially since the neocons intentionally advocated a small U.S. force to remove Saddam in the belief that an effort to mount a large-scale invasion would run into political difficulties that could undermine the entire invasion. The small invasion force, however, was inherently incapable of being effective in occupying the country.
In short, the neocons thus were quite willing to have an American invasion that would likely bring about the destabilization and fragmentation of Iraq. There is no reason to think that this outcome was unexpected, or undesired by the neocons. Such a development was the Likudnik goal, best articulated in an article by Oded Yinon in a 1982 article, which Israel Shahak, the perspicacious Israeli dissident, translated in a booklet titled The Zionist Plan for the Middle East. Similar ideas were publicly expressed by the aforementioned neocons’ mentor Bernard Lewis, and by neocons themselves, such as David Wurmser, who was one of the authors of the notorious study “A Clean Break” (1996), written for an Israeli think tank, and who produced a much longer follow-up document for the same organization, titled Coping with Crumbling States: A Western and Israeli Balance of Power Strategy for the Levant. And undoubtedly the United States invasion of Iraq did ignite the fragmentation and internecine warfare in the region that currently exists. It should be stressed once again that this creation of instability in the region was anathema to the oil interests who sought regional stability in order to facilitate the flow of oil.
The connection between the leading proponents of war on Iraq and the Middle East hardliners today is recognized even by such establishment media mainstays as Chris Matthews. This is brought out by Philip Weiss in his reference to Matthews’ recent discussion with David Corn.
“Matthews: ‘Why were the people in the administration like [Paul] Wolfowitz and the others talking about going into Iraq from the very beginning, when they got into the white house [sic] long before there was a 911 long before there was WMD. It seemed like there was a deeper reason. I don’t get it. It seemed like WMD was a cover story.’
“Corn: ‘I can explain that. For years Paul Wolfowitz and other members of the neocon movement had talked about getting rid of Iraq and there would be democracy throughout the region that would help Israel and they came to believe actually a very bizarre conspiracy theory that al Qaeda didn’t matter, that Saddam Hussein was behind all the acts of violence…’
“Matthews: ‘The reason I go back to that is there’s a consistent pattern: the people who wanted that war in the worst ways, neocons so called, Wolfowitz, certainly Cheney . . . it’s the same crowd of people that want us to overthrow Bashar Assad, . . . it’s the same group of people that don’t want to negotiate at all with the Iranians, don’t want any kind of rapprochement with the Iranians, they want to fight that war. They’re willing to go in there and bomb. They have a consistent impulsive desire to make war on Arab and Islamic states in a neverending campaign, almost like an Orwellian campaign they will never outlive, that’s why I have a problem with that thinking. . . . we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. Why did they take us to Iraq, because that’s the same reason they want to take us into Damascus and why they want to have permanent war with Iran.”
Considering the lack of evidence for the oil argument and the evidence that militates against it, along with the fact that the neocon explanation fully accounts for the war on Iraq, why does the oil-war thesis continue to remain so compelling for many critics of the U.S. attack on Iraq? There would seem to be a number of reasons for this phenomenon. First, oil companies are considered villainous by a number of groups. For war critics of the left, the war-for-oil idea fits their notion of rapacious capitalism. For environmentalists, oil is a dirty pollutant, the spills of which can ruin the local environment; even worse, they perceive the carbon dioxide it emits when burned as the cause of global warming that threatens the entire planet. For some libertarians, large oil companies represent crony capitalism, who gain their wealth through politics, not the free market. And it should be added that even average Americans who believe in private enterprise have traditionally been suspicious of big business—which the oil companies exemplify to a T—as made evident by the existence of anti-trust laws. In particular, they have blamed oil companies, rather than economic supply and demand, for high oil prices, whenever this is perceived to be the case. Since oil companies are widely perceived as villainous, it is quite easy to identify them as the instigators of war. Opposing oil companies puts one on the side of the angels. Denying the role of oil companies can seem to make one a defender of evil.
Also, blaming the oil companies as the driving force for the war on Iraq is much safer than the neoconservative explanation. Since the neoconservatives are heavily Jewish and strong supporters of Israel, blaming them could bring on accusations of anti-Semitism deleterious to one’s career. In contrast, no one ever suffers from blaming the oil companies, except maybe for those employed by them.
Moreover, the fact that the perception of anti-Semitism as one of the greatest evils has been internalized by a great majority in the educated and semi-educated classes in the West causes a predisposition to immediately reject any view that might put Jews in a bad light if this involved Jewish group interests. Jews are widely perceived as having suffered far more throughout history than any other ethnic group, especially as a result of the Holocaust—generally considered to be the greatest evil in human history. As a result of this moral framework, concern about the truth as to whether the neoconservatives led the U.S. to war to advance the interests of Israel pales beside the possibility that such an idea might be anti-Semitic.
When it can be seen that blaming oil companies for the war equates with goodness, while blaming neocons and Israel constitutes evil, and that one can actually suffer career-wise for the latter, it is quite understandable why the oil thesis continues to thrive despite the fact that the actual evidence would indicate otherwise. It should be emphasized that this refusal to see reality not only distorts the truth about a historical event from more than a decade ago, but applies also to American foreign policy in the here and now. For only by understanding the motives and goals of one’s pro-war adversaries, and by spreading this view among the general public, will it be possible to bring about the termination of American military involvement in the conflagrations in the Middle East.
 There are a number of variations of the oil argument, some of which conflict with each other, so I am dealing with what seems to be the most popular one.
 Noam Chomsky, Interview with Dubai’s Business Channel, “‘Of course, it was all about Iraq’s resources,’” December 2, 2003, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5334.htm
 Noam Chomsky, “Noam Chomsky on the Iran Deal,” LobeLog, August 23, 2015,http://www.lobelog.com/noam-chomsky-on-the-iran-deal/
 Mohammed Abbas, “No boon for U.S. firms in Iraq oil deal auction,” Reuters, August 12, 2009
 Paul Bignell, “Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq,” The Independent, April 19, 2011, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-2269610.html
 Paul Bignell, “Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq,” The Independent, April 19, 2011, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/secret-memos-expose-link-between-oil-firms-and-invasion-of-iraq-5876945.html
 “Coalition of the Willing,” Sourcewatch,http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Coalition_of_the_willing;
John Cavanagh, Phyllis Bennis and Sarah Anderson, Coalition of the Willing or Coalition of the Coerced?, February 26, 2003, Institute for Policy Studies, http://www.ips-dc.org/coalition_of_the_willing/
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (Norfolk, Virginia: Enigma Editions, 2008).
 Sam Howe Verhovek and John Hendren, “U.S. Seeking to Protect Iraqi Oil Fields,” Los Angeles Times, March 20, 2003, http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2003/030320-war03.htm; Bill Glauber, “Oil field sabotage called halfhearted,” Chicago Tribune, April 6, 2003,http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-04-06/news/0304060032_1_fires-crude-sabotage
 Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), p. 90.
 Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), p. 91.
 “Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Detail Iraqi Oil Industry,” Fox News, July 18, 2003http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/07/18/cheney-energy-task-force-documents-detail-iraqi-oil-industry/; “Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature Map of Iraqi Oil Fields,” Judicial Watch, July 17, 2003, http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/cheney-energy-task-force-documents-feature-map-of-iraqi-oilfields/#respond
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (Norfolk, Virginia: Enigma Editions, 2008), pp. 333-50; Sniegoski, “War on Iraq:
Not Oil but Israel,” The Last Ditch, October 22, 2004,http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch1/snieg_oilwar.htm
 “Rogue States: Why Washington May Ease Sanctions,” Business Week, May 6, 2001,http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2001-05-06/rogue-states-why-washington-may-ease-sanctions; Quoted in Sniegoski, Transparent Cabal, p. 336.
 Anthony Sampson, “Oilmen don’t want another Suez,” The Observer, December 21, 2002. Sampson is author of The Seven Sisters (New York: Bantam Books, 1976), which deals with oil companies and the Middle East. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/dec/22/iraq.oil ; Quoted in Sniegoski, Transparent Cabal, p. 336;
 Anthony Sampson, “Oilmen don’t want another Suez,” The Observer, December 22, 2002,http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,864336,00.html ; John W. Schoen writes: “So far, U.S. oil companies have been mum on the subject of the potential spoils of war.” “Iraqi oil, American bonanza?,” NBC, November 11, 2002, http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3071526/ns/us_news-only/t/iraqi-oil-american-bonanza/#.VgE70stViko
 Quoted in Roger Burbach, “The Bush Ideologues vs. Big Oil in Iraq,” CounterPunch, October 3-5, 2003, http://www.counterpunch.org/2003/10/03/the-bush-ideologues-vs-big-oil-in-iraq/
 “War on Iraq: Not Oil but Israel,” The Last Ditch, October 22, 2004,http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch1/snieg_oilwar.htm; “Brent Scowcroft,” Sourcewatch,http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Brent_Scowcroft; Brent Scowcroft, “Don’t Attack Iraq,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002, http://xueqiu.com/6708304764/27402862; Todd S. Purdum and Patrick E. Tyler, “Top Republicans Break With Bush on Iraq Strategy,”
New York Times, August 16, 2002,http://www.nytimes.com/2002/08/16/international/middleeast/16IRAQ.html;
 Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, “Freedom Spells B-A-K-U,” CounterPunch, July 15, 1998, http://www.counterpunch.org/1998/06/15/freedom-spells-b-a-k-u/
 Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Why Unity is Essential,” Washington Post , February 19, 2003, http://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/2003/02/19/why-unity-is-essential/7efb75f2-b369-4c09-a8eb-a9c1a3b9bbbb/; Patrick Martin, “Growing anxiety in US ruling circles over Iraq debacle,” World Socialist Web Site, January 14, 2005, http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2005/01/iraq-j14.html
 Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (New York: Penguin Press, 2008).
 Barton Gellman, Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency (New York: Penguin Press, 2008), p. 231.
 Sniegoski, The Transparent Cabal, pp. 173-76.
 Stephen J. Sniegoski, “The unfolding of Yinon’s “Zionist Plan for the Middle East”: The crisis in Iraq and the centrality of Israel’s national interest,” The Last Ditch, July 12, 2014,http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/snieg_yinon_unfolding.htm
 Philip Weiss, “The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity,” Mondoweiss, May 1, 2015,
 It seems safe to criticize Bill Kristol and even neoconservatives in general if there is no implication that their positions are motivated by an attachment to a Jewish interest such as Israel. What is dangerous is to point out that American Jews support Israel for ethnic reasons and that this could, or does, affect American foreign policy.
 Philip Weiss described my book, The Transparent Cabal, as “superb, calm, analytical,” but opined that it would likely not be given any attention because of my last name, since “[t]here is prejudice against people who Jews believe are Polish.” Philip Weiss, “Will Stephen J. Sniegoski’s Dissection of the Neocons Get ‘Boycotted’,”Mondoweiss, June 19, 2008, http://mondoweiss.net/2008/06/douglas-feith-refused-to-appear-before-a-congressional-committee-yesterday-apparently-because-col-lawrence-wilkerson-was-al
Stephen J. Sniegoski, Ph.D. earned his doctorate in American history, with a focus on American foreign policy, at the University of Maryland. He is the author of The Transparent Cabal: The Neoconservative Agenda, War in the Middle East, and the National Interest of Israel (2008).