Gore Vidal 2003 on Syria etc...
The following is an excerpt from an interview by Monica Attard, ABC (Australia) on December 24, 2003 with Gore Vidal.
MONICA ATTARD: Do you think that Tony Blair's zeal will eventually see him falling in behind Washington if Washington makes a decision to extend this war and go after Syria? He says he won't, but do you think that's possible?
GORE VIDAL: Well, I'm sure he says that, but what he will do is a different thing. I think he's got himself in pretty deep and I don't think he's worked out enough of an exit to get out of it because they are going to go into Syria.
MONICA ATTARD: You believe that?
GORE VIDAL: I know that, and also Iran has been marked too. I hope it isn't going to happen, I hope that the American people will wake up and stop the junta.
MONICA ATTARD: How do you know that they're going to go into Syria or Iran? Why do you say you know that?
GORE VIDAL: I have connections in Washington and I know that this is a decision that has been made. Things do go wrong and things don't happen.
MONICA ATTARD: So, but you don't think that Washington is just sabre-rattling? Isn't it possible that having just demonstrated having this capacity and willingness to act in terms of Iraq, that the Bush administration can actually achieve its aims through fear and threat?
GORE VIDAL: It has no aims other than more oil and gas because Cheney had a study done about a year ago, that by the year 2020 the entire world would be practically out of fossil fuels. They're going to grab all of it and the biggest supply is in the Caspian area and all those countries whose names end in 'stan'. That's what our eye is on.
MONICA ATTARD: You describe a three-stage process that you observed the US Government employing against its enemies, abroad and at home. First there's harassment, then there's demonisation, then there's attack. Is Syria now at the harassment stage?
GORE VIDAL: You should read the New York Times this morning. There were four major stories about the crimes of Syria, how it was really in with they found the terrorists there, and so it means that Iraq had been supporting terrorism and this and that, mostly stories are made up or totally distorted. But the New York Times is a voice of the regime and a voice with really a sort of desire for war and expansion in that part of the world.
MONICA ATTARD: And so on your account then, the terrorist link would just be extended add infinitum, and all of this on the back of one event, September 11, which looks, on this account, as though it might have been a gift for Bush – a truly massive, widely-perceived direct external threat needed in order to secure American global and oil interests.
GORE VIDAL: That is one way of looking at it.
MONICA ATTARD: You believe there's no plan to deliver democracy via regime change throughout the Middle East?
GORE VIDAL: I don't believe it's our business to make the regime changes in the Middle East, particularly when we're under no threat from anybody.
MONICA ATTARD: But is there a plan? Is the American administration interested at all in delivering democracy to the Middle East?
GORE VIDAL: Are you crazy? We don't have it here, for God's sake. Why would we export it? We talk a lot about it.
Our founding fathers feared two things – one was majority rule, or democracy, and the other is tyranny, which they called monarchy in those days, that's all.
Read the entire transcript here.