July 17, 2008 Ex-CIA Ray McGovern on Obama's 'new world' Will Obama pull troops out of Iraq and will he face up to BIG OIL?

McGovern: "The game is over with Iraq and so the question is how does this strategic change affect the real players in the area. The Israeli right wants a confrontation with Iran to keep US forces in the region. The US military leadership is against a "third front" but has to contend with Cheney.


Raymond McGovern is a retired CIA officer. McGovern was a Federal employee under seven US presidents for over 27 years, presenting the morning intelligence briefings at the White House for many of them. McGovern was born and raised in Bronx, graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University, received an M.A. in Russian Studies from Fordham, a certificate in Theological Studies from Georgetown University, and graduated from Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program.

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Ray McGovern was for many years a senior CIA analyst who briefed President Reagan. He's retired now and is a commentator and analyst of strategic geopolitical events, and he joins us now from Washington. On Tuesday, three American political leaders gave speeches on what they think should be American foreign policy, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the major speech of the day was by Barack Obama.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (D): I will give our military a new mission on my first day in office: ending this war. We can safely redeploy our combat brigades at a pace that would remove them in 16 months. After this redeployment, we will keep a residual force to perform specific missions in Iraq, targeting any remnants of al-Qaeda, protecting our service members and diplomats, and training and supporting Iraq's security forces, so long as the Iraqis make political progress. And, yes, we will make tactical adjustments as we implement this strategy.


The question that comes to me is: who's going to own Iraqi oil? There's a lot of blood—and I hate using the phrase "blood and treasure," but that seems to be the phrase—been expended to try to get an advantageous position for American oil companies in Iraq.

RAY MCGOVERN, FORMER CIA OFFICER: Well, the difference, Paul, was the one that Cheney brought in with him, the thought that you have to control the oil in Iraq and places like that in order to have a fair share of it. They're not going to be able to control it now. They know that. They're not going to have permanent military bases. Indeed, the bulk of American troops are going to be out of Iraq within a year. And we know that—at least I know that--exchange from what al-Maliki and al-Rubaie, the national security advisor for Iraq, were saying. So if this is about oil, they're going to have to go back to the old sharing and buying oil, and a fair share for the various companies involved. The game is over with Iraq. And so the question is: how does this strategic change affect the real players in the area? And I find it very notable that one of the main strategic players in the area, if not the main, is the State of Israel, is not mentioned once by Barack Obama. They are pulling out their hair right now at the prospect of US troops leaving Iraq. And the implications of that, in my view, are that they will do everything they can, that is, the Likudniks, the whatever-you-call-them, Kadima or whatever, the rightist extremists that run the Israeli government, not the Israeli citizens, but the people in control there will do all they can—all they can—to get us more deeply involved in that area. And they have—.

JAY: Well, what can they do?

RAY: They have the initiative. They can get us involved in a war with Iran, and I see the prospects as better than even that they will succeed in doing that, because they can cause that to happen. They can cause the kind of provocation that Iran will be forced to respond to, and the president of the United States has made it clear that if that happens, the United States of America is in there with both feet.

JAY: I want to get back to Obama's residual force. He doesn't mention, discuss at all, the issue of the private armies and private contractors, which number something equivalent to the numbers of US forces. He doesn't talk about, really, what the mission of a residual US force will be, except to chase al-Qaeda, which seems a little preposterous to me. It's not the US forces that are going to chase al-Qaeda. The Iraqis have been chasing quite successfully al-Qaeda themselves. And when it comes to the issue of oil, a rational policy would be just buy the oil off the open market, but is Obama ready to defy or take on American oil companies?

RAY: Well, that remains to be seen, but I don't think that American oil companies are in the driver's seat anymore. I don't think the American administration is in a driver's seat. There has been supreme resistance among the Iraqis themselves—surprise, surprise—to the notion that we'll do what we did in 1953 and take over their oil again. It's not going to happen, and neither are the permanent military bases. And what I was really refreshed to see in Obama's speech was his pledge not to seek permanent military bases. And so the situation really is very different. And, yeah, I think getting oil on the open market is what's going to have to happen. And what I worry about is the repercussions of how this will look in terms of Israeli interests, as well as other interests in the Gulf, and whether people will be able to resign themselves to the fact that Iran is the preeminent force in that part of the world, and it has to be regarded as such and dealt with as such. There's no reason why we can't talk to Iranians.

JAY: The American military leadership has made it quite clear, it seems, publicly and, we assume, privately, that they don't want Israel to take any kind of action against Iran, they don't want a third front. You think there's a possibility Israel will do the same?

RAY: I think the chances are better than even that that will happen precisely, Paul, and let me tell you why. If you look at Admiral Mullen, when he got back from his trip to Israel, two weeks ago now, people are saying that he was wagging his finger at the Israelis and said, "You'd better not do this." I interpret that as a defensive maneuver. He and Gates and others are trying to make the case that this would be crazy, this would be a terrible, to open a third front. Think of those words, "a third front." Those words were deliberately chosen. Now, why would they do that? I don't think that they're from a position of power. I think that they're worried sick that Cheney and Abrams, the people who gave us Hamas, the people who gave us the trouble in Gaza, that they will go off half-cocked and order our military forces to commit virtual suicide—and I use that term advisedly, because the reason Admiral Fallon quit was he didn't want to be on the receiving end of orders from the likes of Elliott Abrams and Dick Cheney to risk half of his forces in the southern part of Iraq. And that's what would happen.

JAY: Were you not concerned at all that Obama did not give any kind of reference in his speech that would take off the table an option of—there was no reference to the potential of an Israeli attack on Iran. There was no cautionary note against it. And, in fact, there was one sentence I thought was particularly peculiar to have chosen, where he talked about, from the terrorist caves on the Pakistan-Afghan border to centrifuges rotating beneath the soil of Iran, to link bin Laden and Iran is sounding pretty close to the way McCain sounded when he was last in the Middle East, and it's the kind of rhetoric one would use to create the conditions for some kind of attack.

RAY: Well, Paul, I grant you "rhetoric" is precisely the right word. You've got to stick in, you've got to take that rhetoric for what it's worth in these speeches. You know, caves in Afghanistan, centrifuges in Iran, those are little [inaudible] to the people who will say, "Why didn't you mention these things?" What I see Obama as doing, really, is trying to face this realistically, to look at what the prospects are with respect to that part of the world and what kind of a role Iran really is playing. Is Iran really a strategic threat to the United States? Balderdash. It is not. To whom might it construed to be a strategic threat? Surprise, surprise—the State of Israel. Now, is it? Well, that's a matter of opinion. If you're an Israeli—and I'd put myself in the position of the Israelis after the experience I've been through the last several decades, I would worry about Iran getting a nuclear weapon if indeed they're working on one, which US intelligence says they are not. But I would worry about that. So the question is how you handle that. Do you handle that by overwhelming force, by attacking Iran? I don't think so. You handle that in the traditional way, the Marshall Plan way, the old, traditional methods of diplomacy—you talk to these people, find out what their grievances are, find out what their fears are, and, indeed, the head of the national intelligence council just last weekend said, you know, the Iranians have reason to fear us; whether they're right or not, a reason to fear us. And certainly they do.

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Great post. Appreciate it.

Obama's plan for Iraq...

Leave to kill more Afghans.


Analysis. I see the recent effort by the administration to hold "talks" with Iran as something that can be used later to say, "we TRIED diplomacy, but it didn't work. Now let's bomb the sh_t out of them."

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? Do we deserve to know how and why 9/11 happened?

We are not holding talks

we are just there as observers, we will not be talking only monitoring the situation. But the sound bite your right is that we are trying to have talks, more bushshit.


The reason "talks" is in quotes.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? Do we deserve to know how and why 9/11 happened?

I don't trust Obama or Bush or MCain!

I don't think "the game is over in Iraq" nor do I believe that any of these guys will truly end our involvement.
If bush doesn't attack Iran I will be surprised. If McCain wins he plans on staying and has said so. Obama is talking about a withdrawal over time, but I have heard it all before. How many times for years did we hear that the Vietnam war was ending. I think any number of things will come up if Obama is president to delay the withdrawal no matter what the Iraqi leadership wants. Who are they kidding. They let the big bad wolf in the door and he's not planning on leaving, and there's not much they can do about it! The US has been calling the shots for some time now from sanctions to shock and awe to disbanding the Iraqi army to propping up the current leaders. Obama started out talking a good game but he's been backtracking eversince! Meet the new Boss it's the same as the Old Boss.; Remember when Bush said if he was elected there would be no "nation building" It's politics as usual and they just say what the people want to hear!

Controlled Obama Is Part Of Staged Theater Script

Obama's CFR and military/industrial complex ties are vast.

I'm amazed that anyone would trust him.

Obama is no different in my view than Bill Clinton in 1992 ... a charismatic icon selected by the "man behind the curtain" to prevent a restless public from providing support to genuine political mavericks who would defy the shadow government. The public is fed up with the status quo and are ready for a real change. The elites surely realize this.

The obviously manufactured emergence of the "outsider-like" Obama should be no surprise at all.

Our government does NOT operate in the way presented by the 6 o'clock news.

Obama's views have been likely entirely formed by veteran policy advisors.

Obama (like Bush and Clinton before him) is simply the public face of government that the elites want the public to see.

John McCain reminds me of a 1996 Bob Dole and a 2004 John Kerry - an uninspiring "opponent" designed to lose.

The plain talking, cowboy hat wearing George W. Bush of 2001 was the ideal icon for a government prepared to wage premeditated war.

WARNING TO OBAMA SUPPORTERS: Bush promised a humble foreign policy before entering office while evidence has emerged that the goal of his administration all along had been to wage war.



Your words are succinct and spot on.

You accurately identify "the machine" that we are taking on here, and its FAR more monstrous than the 9/11 attacks themselves.

These truths are why I always encourage that we take our democracy back by first completeing election reforms.

The "elites" were going to have some big trouble with this "election thing" that they conjured up centuries ago, so, they first appointed senators and created the Electoral College so as to be able to override the "people's will". Its no different today...only its masked in differing ways...STEALING ELECTIONS...and MISINFORMING THE ELECTORATE.

These "elites", most of them coming from, or being CREATED by, the British based Ivy Leagues and the political-financial-educational-military POWERS located in the northeast part of this country, knew that soon, they would be running out of votes...so, they executed a vote "hacking" program that still exists today.

There are backroom reasons that Kerry and Gore DID NOT push for hard recounts and investigations into the elctions "issues" of their days. Simply put, they were not part of the plans at that time.

The "elites" are mostly white males, they fear and loath women almost as much as they fear people of color...especially blacks, and that's why the dems ended up with the two finalists that they did. McCain is now, and always has been, a military-political tool who keeps taking orders from above because he owes the military and the "elites" everything that he has...and the quid-pro-quo?...they are helping keep the truth about his deep weaknesses from the public. A classic pimp-whore relationship indeed...

So, the presidents that we will allegedly "vote for" have already been selected as to their allegiances to "the elites", but maybe, if we vote more "better and better people" into local, state and congressional positions, we will create the ground force neccessary to eventually get good presidents to choose from, and maybe someday when we vote, the votes will count.

Truthers keep making the mistake of thinking that most existing politicians will "solve the problem" and that they will want to get to the truth, even though that truth exposes their very own complicity in unethical, if not criminal conduct.

Its pretty stunning to me that the Truthers have so much difficulty in understanding the depth of the corruption within our governances and that this simply will not happen.

Its similar to the old gray haired "people of peace" from the 60s in that they simply cannot seem to understand that 9/11 was just another "false-flag-attack" used to ramp up the emotions of the people of this country to support yet another previously unpopular war. Another war that the "elites" deemed neccessary to be fought at that particular time.

Simply stunning!...because Truthers are so bright...but there is something blocking out such political realities...

Its like how many people do not question the "military" or the "intel agencies" when they issue reports about how well, or poorly they are doing...DUHHH???...there is INbedding for a reason...DUHHH???...and spy agencies are professional liars...DUHHH???

We need to be our own researchers...to be our own media...to be our own educators...and to work at election reforms because this is the best way to get citizens involved in their own country.

We need to be in the streets of our own towns...and to keep on truckin the way we have been truckin...

[less The Ron Paul Expreience and any "in-yo-face" behaviors in public...]

VIVA the 98% Solution...viva CI...Civil Informationing...

The "elites" have everything else fully in their controls...but they still represent only 2-4% of our populace...

Love, Peace and Progress with:


...just for starters...

Robin Hordon

depth of the corruption

This is one truther that no trouble understanding the depth of corruption in our so-called government. If you think Obama or anyone else they put up for election will make any difference, think again. They are all puppets of the NWO boys. Their agenda is always the same, a one world government and a microchip population.

Truthers more alert than most

Agreed. You'll still find people in the movement who want to cling to some home in this or that establishment politician, but by and large, I think the 9/11 truth movement (certainly the case with most participants on this blog) is much more aware of the depth of corruption in this system, and the big interests the politicians serve, than are, say, OTC-believing antiwar activists. Understanding that the 9/11 OTC is a big lie practically requires that people understand the nature of the corporate duopoly and the corporate media; if they don't already know about this, waking up to the truth of 9/11 helps put them on the fast-track toward doing so.

Great Analysis, Aidan...

....although the characters this time around, OBama and McCain are almost caricatures of Clinton and Dole. I'm holding my breath, I tend to believe more eruptions into public view of these battling factions of oligarchs may occur in 2008! Things could get wild?

...don't believe them!