Robert Dreyfuss

Robert Dreyfuss is a senior correspondent for The American Prospect. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam. He can be reached through his website.

Recent Articles

How To Get Out Of Iraq

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It isn't the crisis-ridden process of creating an Iraqi constitution, holding a referendum, and then elections (again) in Iraq; down that bumpy path lies a future of continued insurrection and the likely breakup of Iraq, with beleaguered U.S. forces vainly trying to suppress the insurgency and prevent catastrophe. Still, there is indeed a way out of Iraq. An international conference on the war in Iraq, convened in Amman, Jordan, under the auspices of the United Nations, with the support of Russia and China, could bring together the United States, the current interim government of Iraq, and representatives of nearly a dozen Iraqi resistance groups to hammer out an agreement on a cease-fire and a timetable for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq within a year. Such a scenario might sound optimistic, but based on many discussions with current and former U.S. diplomats, military officers, and intelligence officials, plus leading Iraqis and officials of...

Phoenix Rising

With the 2004 electoral clock ticking amid growing public concern about U.S. casualties and chaos in Iraq, the Bush administration's hawks are upping the ante militarily. To those familiar with the CIA's Phoenix assassination program in Vietnam, Latin America's death squads or Israel's official policy of targeted murders of Palestinian activists, the results are likely to look chillingly familiar. The Prospect has learned that part of a secret $3 billion in new funds—tucked away in the $87 billion Iraq appropriation that Congress approved in early November—will go toward the creation of a paramilitary unit manned by militiamen associated with former Iraqi exile groups. Experts say it could lead to a wave of extrajudicial killings, not only of armed rebels but of nationalists, other opponents of the U.S. occupation and thousands of civilian Baathists—up to 120,000 of the estimated 2.5 million former Baath Party members in Iraq. "They're clearly cooking up joint teams to do Phoenix-like...

Humpty Dumpty in Baghdad

The Pentagon is rumbling into Baghdad completely unprepared to fashion a viable new Iraqi government, seemingly obsessed with installing the discredited and corrupt Ahmed Chalabi, leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), as the country's leader. The task force assigned the job of putting Humpty Dumpty together again after the shooting stops is woefully ill-equipped for its mission, is keeping the Department of State at arm's length, and has few regional experts and Iraq specialists aboard. At the U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., where the military staff is supporting the task force, there is something akin to panic. "[The Pentagon brass] haven't a clue as to what's going on,'' said Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst and Iraq expert at the National Defense University. "They don't have plans for a transition in place, they don't know where the money is going to come from, they don't have any organization. And they just don't know anything about Iraq." The Pentagon plans to...

Just the Beginning

For months Americans have been told that the United States is going to war against Iraq in order to disarm Saddam Hussein, remove him from power, eliminate Iraq's alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction, and prevent Baghdad from blackmailing its neighbors or aiding terrorist groups. But the Bush administration's hawks, especially the neoconservatives who provide the driving force for war, see the conflict with Iraq as much more than that. It is a signal event, designed to create cataclysmic shock waves throughout the region and around the world, ushering in a new era of American imperial power. It is also likely to bring the United States into conflict with several states in the Middle East. Those who think that U.S. armed forces can complete a tidy war in Iraq, without the battle spreading beyond Iraq's borders, are likely to be mistaken. "I think we're going to be obliged to fight a regional war, whether we want to or not," says Michael Ledeen, a former U.S. national-...

Persian Gulf—or Tonkin Gulf?

I n a pair of editorials after the 1991 Gulf War, one of them titled "Don't Shoot Down Iraqi Aircraft," The New York Times called the plan to create vast "no-fly zones" (NFZs) in Iraq "legally untenable and politically unwise." The editorials, based on a careful reading of United Nations resolutions, were explicit: "The [cease-fire] accord permits Iraq to fly all types of aircraft and sets no restriction on their use. Shooting them down would put the United States in the position of breaking an accord it is pledged to uphold." Saying that Washington was entering "new and dangerous territory," the Times warned, "The purpose [of the NFZs] is unclear, probably unwise and maybe even illegal." In fact, no UN resolution or other international authority exists to legitimize the NFZs, which are currently the scene of an intensifying air-to-ground firefight between an armada of U.S. and British warplanes and an ineffectual Iraqi defense system. The British-American presence over Iraq is a case...

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