Update 2: Annie Robbins, editor at large for Mondoweiss covers the story [see below]
Update 3: 'Pushing the envelope' beyond Bush and final thoughts [see below]
When people think of insane warmongering neoconservatives names like Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz and Bill Kristol usually take the top slots while members of the neoconservative Kagan family have more or less dodged the same level of tarnishing to their reputations. The most well known member of the family is Robert Kagan, PNAC co-founder, author and husband of US Assistant Secretary of State for Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.
Well respected and admired among policy makers, military generals and politicians but mostly unknown to the general public is Robert's brother, Fred Kagan. He heavily advised Pentagon generals during the Bush and Obama administration and is widely credited along with his wife Kim Kagan for creating the concept and strategic implementation of the troop 'surge' in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fred currently works for the American Enterprise Institute's 'Critical Threats Project' appearing occasionally at talks and authoring policy papers but today rarely appearing as a pundit on radio or TV. His lack of public appearances might be in part because one obscure radio appearance he made with his father Don Kagan on 9/12/01 contained some of the most horrifying and dangerous neoconservative rhetoric ever spoken aloud publicly.
While archive digging for my upcoming Media Roots documentary film: A Very Heavy Agenda, I discovered a shocking clip [above] from a radio program called 'Extension 720' hosted by Milt Rosenberg on WGN AM. Only one day after the 9/11 attacks, Fred and Don Kagan called in to give their recommendations of how America should respond. Throughout the conversation they seem completely disinterested in Afghanistan or Bin Laden. Don says "as long as we go after the actual perpetrators our job is going to be next to impossible" and that "Afghanistan is a distraction". Afghanistan is hurriedly brushed aside by both so they can shoehorn in their preferable target for a US military response : Palestine.
start selected transcript [dashes denote edit points]:
Don Kagan: One key place is certainly the Palestinian authority, these guys are at the center of all sorts of terrorist organizations that we've seen operate before
Fred Kagan: We know that they have extensive bases in Palestine and Palestinian areas
Fred Kagan: We have to take the war to these people, i think we should hit them immediately
Milt Rosenberg: How? Air power?
Fred Kagan: No, I would prefer to see ground forces go into Palestine and hunt down Hezbollah, i would like to see delta force raids, i would like to see the full panoply of covert operations
Fred Kagan: I would also like to see American ground forces deployed into Palestine, to restore peace in that area.
Milt Rosenberg: Now wait I must ask you Don, do you mean the Palestine authority the PLO, or do you mean Hamas and Hezbollah?
Don Kagan: No I mean Arafat
Don Kagan: Then Our responsibility is to clean it our for him, including him [Arafat], and placing a regime which can suppress terrorism.
Milt Rosenberg: Then what does that mean again in terms of.. military?
Don Kagan: Military force, absolutely.
Milt Rosenberg: Donald Kagan I'm beginning to get the sense that you're suggesting if we do this we need to take strong military action including land forces not only against the Taliban in Afghanistan but i would suppose at the same time against the Arafat regime and Palestinian authority
Don Kagan: absolutely
Update: 2:25 PM:
I e-mailed Donald Kagan for clarification about his statements, his response below [click on the image to enlarge]
Update: 3:25 PM:
#Palestine @AEI and note the reference to anthrax - 6 days before the 9/11 anthrax attacks. https://t.co/1aQ3G2otY6— annie fofani (@anniefofani) August 5, 2015
Annie Robins writes about the discovery on Mondoweiss and also remarks on the anthrax statements by Don Kagan in the same radio spot on her Twitter feed.
Here is a transcript of his anthrax fear mongering at the very end of the video:
start transcript [dashes denote edit points]:
Don Kagan: I'm sure in 3-4 days in spite of what happened in New York and Washington, everybody will go back to where we were before, and think 'ok, that was a one-shot, that's over'.
What would have happened if instead of just having a lot of jet fuel on those planes, they had had anthrax [inaudible].
Don Kagan: Do you have any clue what that would have been?
Now those are the options that are before us, people are capable of doing that.
Our question is how can we to stop them from being able to do that, and there is no way.
-- end transcript
Update: 8/11 7PM:
A commenter on Mondoweiss had this amusing observation:
I wouldn't be surprised if IDF soldiers overthrowing the Arafat regime was a situation gamed out multiple times by the Israeli military but what about US ground troops helping this effort?
Was there any point where Israeli officials actually wanted US ground troops to conduct warfare in Palestinian territories? It might seem strange considering the general alignment neoconservatism has always had with Israeli interests, but were Don and Fred suggesting usurping the Israeli government and conducting this action independently?
Regardless of these remaining questions when you consider that most of the Palestinian territories are essentially open air prisons, the idea of invading these areas with any military force is deeply disturbing. I can't find a record of anyone in the actual Bush administration who focused on Palestine as retaliation to 9/11, most of their eyes were focused on Iraq. Unfortunately the two civilians who suggested putting US troops on Palestinian land to 'restore peace to that area' aren't usually characterized as mentally ill sociopaths. Instead they continue to be well respected by academic intellectuals and seasoned members of the Washington DC establishment.
Get updates via my twitter account or here at this blog for information on my upcoming documentary: A Very Heavy Agenda.
-Robbie Martin / @fluorescentgrey