Washington - US Official: Israel Warned Us Against Iraq Invasion.
Washington - Israeli officials warned the George W. Bush administration that an invasion of Iraq would be destabilising to the region and urged the United States to instead target Iran as the primary enemy, according to former administration official Lawrence Wilkerson.
Wilkerson, then a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff and later chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, recalled that the Israelis reacted immediately to indications that the Bush administration was thinking of war against Iraq. After the Israeli government picked up the first signs of that intention, Wilkerson says, “The Israelis were telling us Iraq is not the enemy—Iran is the enemy.”
Wilkerson describes the Israeli message to the Bush administration in early 2002 as being, “If you are going to destabilise the balance of power, do it against the main enemy.”
The warning against an invasion of Iraq was “pervasive” in Israeli communications with the administration, Wilkerson recalls. It was conveyed to the administration by a wide range of Israeli sources, including political figures, intelligence and private citizens.
Wilkerson notes that the main point of their communications was not that the United States should immediately attack Iran, but that “it should not be distracted by Iraq and Saddam Hussein” from a focus on the threat from Iran. [ips]
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