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Reader asks: 'Why does it matter that back in 1954 the US sponsored anti-Jewish hate propaganda in Iraq?'

by Jared Israel

[Posted 30 April 2003]


Recently we posted the transcript of a 1954 dispatch from then US Ambassador to Iraq, Burton Y. Berry. [1]

In this dispatch, Ambassador Berry reported to the State Department about the progress of an anti-Communist propaganda campaign sponsored covertly by his Embassy.

Working through well-known Iraqis, this propaganda campaign attacked "Communist Jewish thinking." That is, it presented Communism as a Zionist or Jewish plot.

This is reminiscent of the infamous "Protocols of Zion". That book was the core of the Nazi propaganda campaign claiming that a secret Jewish cabal controlled the Soviet Union, Western Europe and the US. "The Protocols" was used to justify the murder of six million Jews, not to mention a war that killed a total of about 50 million people, 27 million in the Soviet Union alone. [2]

And in 1954, just nine years after the end of World War II, the US Embassy was sponsoring the same racist propaganda.


It *has* happened here...


Concerning the Berry dispatch, a reader wrote:

"You may very well be posting more stuff on anti-Jewish racism in the future, but the fact that the US used a racist strategy in Iraq in 1954 is no proof that it is happening now..."

That, of course, is true. The fact that the US did something in 1954 does not constitute proof it is doing the same thing or something similar today. But that was not the point I was trying to make by posting the Berry dispatch. In the introduction to Ambassador Berry's report, I wrote:

"[The editors of Emperor's Clothes argue that] while professing support for Israel, and supplying military aid, the Empire also uses Israel as a convenient scapegoat and, most important, foments anti-Jewish racism by creating the false impression that aggressive US policies are dictated by Israel.... We understand that many people find such alleged duplicity hard to believe. Could it be that the US, widely pictured as the *friend* of Israel, would employ such dirty tricks?" [3]

In other words, many people reject *out of hand* the very possibility that US leaders could be capable of the duplicity involved in a) arming Israel but b) also pushing anti-Jewish racism. It is an unthinkable thought.

The Berry dispatch and the U.S. sponsorship of the Baath anti-Semites proves that the US foreign policy establishment *can indeed* engage in this level of racist duplicity.

Concerning what is happening today, we have plenty of current examples that lead us to believe that right now, the US establishment is again "playing the Jewish card," though differently from 1954. More on that in future articles.

Returning to Ambassador Berry, after matter-of-factly recounting his Embassy's sponsorship of racist propaganda, the Ambassador concluded his dispatch as follows:

"This approach has not, however, had the popular reaction expected and future Government anti-Communist newspaper articles and pamphlets can be expected to place more emphasis on the anti-nationalist, rather than pro-Zionist, aspect of Communism.'

Note that Berry's only criticism of the anti-Jewish hate propaganda was that it was not as effective as expected. Even so he does not propose abandoning racist hate propaganda. He only expects to place more emphasis on other kinds of propaganda in the future.

Note also that Berry speaks of "the anti-nationalist, rather than pro-Zionist, aspect of Communism." His phrasing suggests he actually believed that communism was a Zionist plot. (Or maybe he believed Zionism was a communist plot. Anyway, one of them was plotted by the other...)

Actually, the Soviet Union had a complex attitude toward Zionism. In 1947, Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko was perhaps the strongest backer of the creation of the state of Israel. At a UN discussion of the issue, he said:

"The fact that no Western European State has been able to ensure the defense of the elementary rights of the Jewish people and to safeguard it against the violence of the fascist executioners explains the aspirations of the Jews to establish their own State. It would be unjust not to take this into consideration and to deny the right of the Jewish people to realize this aspiration." [4]

In the 1950s, Soviet foreign policy became anti-Israel. Starting in 1967, the Soviet Union launched an all out attack on Israel, complete with cartoons featuring Jewish vultures with saliva dripping from their mouths and poisonous Jewish snakes and poisonous Jewish mushrooms and Jewish skeletons poisoning Arab wells and on and on; all classic anti-Semitic images. The emphasis on poison is straight out of Nazi Germany. Alas.


U.S. foreign policy establishment makes itself perfectly clear...


The US Embassy's attitudes and actions were of course known to Iraqi nationalists. The message was clear: anti-Jewish hate propaganda is not an obstacle to sponsorship by the US foreign policy establishment. Quite the contrary. Just make sure the racist propaganda is effective at mobilizing Iraqis against the communists.

And, as I pointed out in my introduction to Berry's dispatch, the US did indeed support two coups d'état carried out by the violently anti-Communist Baath party, one in 1963 and one in 1968, knowing, of course, that anti-Jewish bigotry was the core of Baath party ideology.

We posted the Berry document on Emperor's Clothes for the same sort of reason that, two years ago, we posted an internal Pentagon discussion paper called 'Northwoods'. (The Northwoods document was acquired through the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive at Georgetown University.)

At that time, we had published articles presenting evidence that top US leaders shared complicity for the 9-11 attacks. [6]

We charged that *based on the evidence* these leaders knew the attacks were going to take place and intervened to help them succeed. Their motive, we alleged, was to use 9-11 to justify invading Central Asia and other actions. [7]

At that time, we received letters protesting our argument. People asked: "How can you say that US leaders would conspire to kill their own people to justify war?" So we published Northwoods.

Northwoods is a 1962 discussion paper produced by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in response to a specific "problem":

"The Problem: As requested by the Chief of Operations, Cuba Project, the Joint Chiefs of Staff are to indicate brief but precise description of pretexts which they consider would provide justification for US military intervention in Cuba."

In Northwoods, the top Pentagon brass discussed various violent attacks that could be covertly carried out against US targets. These attacks would be blamed on Cuba and elaborate steps would be taken to create the appearance of a military crisis stemming from Cuban aggression - all staged:

"The suggested courses of action appended to Enclosure A are based on the premise that US military intervention will result from a period of heightened US-Cuban tensions which place the United States in the position of seemingly suffering justifiable grievances."

The proposed provocations included the possible murder of US sailors and Cuban refugees. Regarding US sailors:

[Excerpt from Northwoods starts here]

"3. A "Remember the Maine" incident could be arranged in several forms:

a. We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba."

b. We could blow up a drone (unmanned) vessel anywhere in Cuban waters."

[Excerpt from Northwoods ends here] [8]

Since the Joint Chiefs differentiated between (a) blowing up a US ship and (b) blowing up an unmanned vessel, this certainly suggests that choice (a) involved actually killing sailors. (This did happen with the sinking of the Maine during the Spanish American War).

If that were not enough to convince our readers that Pentagon military planners were considering killing people to provide a seeming excuse for war, the same document also contains this:

"We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated)." [8]

Note that the drowning of these people could be simulated. Or it could be real.

A couple of things to keep in mind about Northwoods. First, the authors write quite casually about staging phony incidents to justify a war of aggression. The obvious implication is that staging provocations was a routine practice at that time.

And second, the document states that:

There is as yet no bilateral mutual support agreement binding the USSR to the defense of Cuba, Cuba has not yet become a member of the Warsaw Pact, nor have the Soviets established Soviet Bases in Cuba in the pattern of US bases in Western Europe." Expecting those conditions to change quickly, the Joint chiefs recommended that the program of provocation followed by invasion be undertaken "within the time frame of the next few months."

That was in March of 1962. The Soviets did indeed send military forces to Cuba; missiles too. The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred a half year later. Had the Soviets not increased the military stakes in Cuba, perhaps Northwoods would have been put into effect. Of course there is no Soviet Union today. All the more reason that recent threats made by the Bush administration against Cuba are cause for great concern.


What do the Northwoods and Berry documents prove?


At the beginning of the Northwoods document the Secretaries of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote:

[Excerpt from Northwoods document starts here]

8. It is recommended that:
b. This paper NOT be forwarded to commanders of unified or specified commands.
c. This paper NOT be forwarded to US officers assigned to NATO activities.
d. This paper NOT be forwarded to the Chairman, US Delegation, United Nations Military Staff Committee.

[Excerpt from Northwoods document ends here]

As this excerpt makes clear, the authors were worried that their document might somehow end up published - which indeed has happened. Needing to communicate, but knowing that even a secret document can end up in the 'wrong' hands, authors of documents like Northwoods and the Berry dispatch might well downplay offensive material - such as the killing of innocent people in Northwoods or the hate propaganda in the Berry dispatch. Thus we can reasonably assume that the reality was, if anything, worse than what they wrote.

What is the significance of the Northwoods and Berry documents?

The Northwoods paper does *not* prove that the 9-11 tragedy was staged to justify war, nor does it prove that the U.S. will use the same tactics against Cuba in the future. The Berry dispatch does *not* prove the US foreign policy establishment is now playing the 'anti-Jewish card.'

But these documents do prove that the US establishment has planned - or, in the case of the Berry dispatch, carried out - such actions in the past.

Therefore one cannot reasonably reject the possibility that such actions are being carried out today.

This is not a minor point. The powers-that-be want ordinary people to consider the very possibility of organized deceit *unthinkable.* But it is *not* unthinkable.

Whether or not the U.S. foreign policy establishment is in fact engaging in systematic deceit - for example, by playing the anti-Jewish card - can only be determined by examining the evidence.

About which more to follow.

- Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

[Footnotes and Further Reading Follows Appeal]


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Footnotes and Further Reading


[1] "To Be Used *Only* if it Works...." In 1954, the U.S. Ambassador foments anti-Jewish racism in Iraq Comments by Jared Israel

[2] We have posted a guide to our articles on "The Protocols of Zion" and related questions at

[3] "To Be Used *Only* if it Works...."

[4] United Nations General Assembly, First Special Session, May 14, 1947, UN Document A/PV 77

[5] We have assembled a rather horrifying collection of cartoons from nazi Germany and the Soviet Union after 1967. They can be seen at

[6] See guide to articles on 9-11 at

[7] For a guide to articles about the strategy of the US-led Empire in general, and especially regarding Central Asia, see

[8] For the Northwoods discussion of blowing up a US ship, see

* For the discussion of sinking a boat full of Cuban refugees, see

* For our analysis of the Northward document, with links to the document, go to

* For the document itself, go to

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