Book: Iraq was invaded to help secure Israel
Ex-lawmaker also says Bush sought revenge for assassination try
By Maureen Groppe / Star Washington Bureau
Posted: July 13, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Rep. John Hostettler argues in a new, little-noticed, self-published book that the United States invaded Iraq to avenge an assassination attempt on then-President George H.W. Bush and to help Israel.
"It cannot be debated that toppling Saddam was accomplished by means of a 'private compact' with political appointees and their underlings in the Pentagon 'to support' the ideals of 'partisans . . . dedicated to another cause,' " the Wadesville Republican writes in "Nothing for the Nation: Who Got What Out of Iraq."
That other cause, he writes, was securing Israel.
Hostettler, who lost his bid for a seventh term last year, was one of only six House Republicans to vote in 2002 against authorizing the use of force in Iraq.
He is not, however, the first lawmaker to make controversial remarks about the role Jewish leaders played in the Iraq war.
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., was criticized by House Democratic leaders and Jewish groups for saying influential Jewish groups pushed for the war.
Hostettler, a conservative Republican known for going his own way while in Congress, said he wrote his book because conservatives have to acknowledge that the invasion was inconsistent with the nation's long-standing foreign policy principles.
"I was convinced of it when I learned the true motivation of those who were most interested in selling the case for a 'pre-emptive' strike against the regime of Saddam Hussein," he wrote.
Hostettler points to Jewish political appointees at high levels in the Pentagon and to what he says was increased support among Jewish voters and increased political contributions for Republicans from Jewish donors after Congress passed the 2002 resolution authorizing the invasion of Iraq.
Hostettler also believes President Bush wanted to avenge a 1993 assassination attempt against his father by the Iraqi Intelligence Service.
"Revenge is a powerful motivator," Hostettler wrote. "On inauguration day in 2001, motive married opportunity."
Asked for comment, a White House spokesman said the administration isn't "in the business of reviewing books."
But the spokesman pointed to a March speech in which the president said removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision and "rescued millions from unspeakable horrors."
"A free Iraq will fight terrorists instead of harboring them," Bush said. "By spreading the hope of liberty in the Middle East, we will help free societies take root. And when they do, freedom will yield the peace that we all desire."
An engineer before running for Congress in 1994, Hostettler created the publishing company Publius House to put out his book. It sells for $19.95 at Amazon.com.
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