Deep Politics of Iraq War
The C-SPAN panel at Georgetown October 23, 2002 was an impressive event. Stephen Zunes was full of insight and specifics, including the only member of the panel to mention Scott Ritter, the US Marine on the inspection team in Iraq in 1998, when they pulled out. Going last Mark Lance was left with generalities to make, including those of empire and the claim America is no longer a democracy. That Democracy claim may have been premature but it signaled the actual trend. Bush v Gore had to raise the issue, but Citizens United was eight years later in 2010 followed by Jimmy Carter and the Princeton study confirming the notion of oligarchy replacing democracy in the United States. Then in 2011 Occupy Wall Street and the Congressional Research Office confirmed the quadrupling of the income gap between the 1% and the 99% in the thirty years from 1979 to 2007. Nevertheless, a big part of the story was left out.
The Rise of Saddam Hussein
In exile in Egypt, Saddam Hussein was given by the CIA a list of 635 names of enemies he could purge when he took power in 1965 in Iraq. Then when Iran took the 50 American hostages in the Iran embassy in 1979, Saddam was eager to help out by attacking Iran in the Iran Iraq War that lasted from September 1980 to August 1988 and cost over 600,000 Iraqi lives. Iran Contra was a lingering aspect of the 1980 deal in France called the “October Surprise” of Casey and Bush senior that helped elect Ronald Reagan over Carter. About that same time in 1987, Donald Rumsfeld was posing for pictures with Saddam Hussein and the CIA was provided intelligence for the Saddam Hussein chemical attack that killed thousands of civilian Kurds in Halabja in 1988.
The Cold War Ends
When that war ended months later, Saddam Hussein was in desperate economic straights. With the end of the Cold War, the pentagon was in similar desperate economic straights. Bob Woodward’s book “The Commanders” recounts the panic in the pentagon in April 1990, as the military industrial complex is furious looking around for replacement enemy to keep the military business alive and well and strong. Help was on the way. Just get the Kuwaiti’s to slant drill across the border into Iraq stealing Saddam Hussein’s precious oil. Then have the Iraqi ambassador April Glaspie say “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” Then when US friend and ally Saddam Hussein takes this as a green light to invade Kuwait with nothing more than hot air from the United States, the mouse has taken the bait. Then when the tanks are all sitting in Kuwait City, the US will lie to Saudi Arabia that the tanks are massing on his border now. This was proven by the St. Petersburg Gazette when they obtained satellite photos proving the US lie to the Saudis. So the US gained approval to send troops to the Holy Land of the Muslims to stage a counter attack to retake Kuwait and restore the importance of the US military in the eyes of the American public. This sacrilege to the Muslim Holy Land is later cited by Osama Bin Laden as justification to attack the US.
Moving the Goal Posts
When Saddam Hussein finally offered to pull his troops out of Kuwait, it was too late. The offensive went forward as 4000 tanks were destroyed with depleted uranium rounds that were later to drive leukemia cancer rates in Iraq to 37 times normal. Enough tanks were allowed to escape the pincer attack to give Iraq some ability to defend itself against Iran. Even though George Bush the senior had encouraged the Iraqi people to rise up and overthrow Saddam Hussein, he didn’t mean it, and he allowed the Iraqi army to use their helicopters to destroy the uprising. Nevertheless, the allies and the UN kept changing the terms of the UN resolution to justify the continued air campaign against Iraq in the name of the no fly zone. Eventually over a half million Iraqi children died under the sanctions regime put in place on Iraq and inspectors slowly eliminated 95% or better of the weapons of mass destruction, including 100% of the nuclear operation. That half million Iraqi children were from a report about half way through the 13 year sanctions period. Then, in danger of proving that all weapons of mass destruction had been eliminated, Operation Desert Fox was launched in December 1998. When Saddam retaliated by kicking the inspectors out of Iraq, the US preserved the illusion that maybe some weapons of mass destruction remained, hence Hussein was kept in his box of sanctions.
Fraud in the Iraq War of 2003
Doug Feith set up a separate intelligence operation under Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney to manufacture evidence against Iraq. They were engaged in extensive cherry picking and grasping at straws, when a captured Iraqi code named “Curveball” was water-boarded by Egypt to get him to confess about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Since people will say anything to stop the drowning sensation, most of the lies used in Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN were mainly from this one bogus source. The actual CIA intelligence report released in the Fall of 2002 was nuanced and skeptical about the issue. When ambassador Wilson, Scott Ritter, and others pointed out some of the fraud, they were hooted down. The propaganda effort was so strong that in 2004, one year after the invasion, 90% of US troops in Iraq believed that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9-11 attack.
The War Resolution of October 2002
The war resolution requires the president to certify two things before launching a war. One was their was a threat of weapons of mass destruction, and two that their was a connection to the attacks on September 11, 2001. Those violations of their own war resolution were the main reasons I wrote and had adopted by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin the second in the nation state party to call for the impeachment of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld on June 10, 2005. I later organized an impeachment parade on the third anniversary of the Downing Street Memos, July 23, 2005. Many Democratic Senators were fooled, citing that they were giving the authority to George Bush under the belief that he would act responsibly, as he repeatedly assured them he wanted peace, and only invade if those conditions in the war resolution were met. When we in Madison Wisconsin occupied the offices of our Senator Kohl, his statement to us after he voted against our wishes, was just that. He sincerely believed this was necessary to get the inspectors back in Iraq and get UN approval, this threat of force. George Bush kept saying he wanted peace, over and over again. The Downing Street Memos prove all this was one big deception. The memos show than Tony Blair and George Bush agreed to invade Iraq in April 2002. Bombing doubled the rate in May 2002. In August, Cheney started talking about nuclear weapons, the one thing inspectors agreed had been 100% eliminated in 1998. When the inspectors went back in December 2002 and for three months came up with nothing, it was pretty clear to the British that there were no weapons of mass destruction.
Going to War
Since the British had signed the agreement creating the International Criminal Court, they knew a war of aggression could put them in jail in the Hague, Netherlands. So Tony Blair and his deputies were sweating bullets. One even resigned over the issue. But Blair followed the lead of Bush. Bush was afraid postponing the invasion would force action in the terribly hot summer, a bad time for the troops. He was also determined to depose Saddam Hussein regardless, as the weapons of mass destruction ruse was only the most saleable way to go about it. Hillary Clinton believed in a strong executive and unfortunately trusted Bush to act responsibly, not in violation of international law. She, Kerry, and others were duped by the shenanigans of the Bush regime. Later tell all books told how the very first cabinet meeting in January 2001 was all about how to take over Iraq. Rachel Maddow has documented how oil men in Houston met early on in 2001 about how to take over Iraq. George Bush campaigned for president claiming he did not want the US to be the world’s police-people. Yet the Project for a New American Century, which consisted largely of future administration people, stated how they needed a Pearl Harbor like situation to “Rebuild America’s Defenses.” That September 2000 report told of the plan to install democracies in the Middle East by military force if necessary. Leo Strauss, who died in 1973, spawned the neoconservative movement with the belief that elites must decide what is best for America and then lie to the public to attain their goals. Bush was a follower of Leo Strauss.
Democracy in Iraq
Bremer and the neocons were determined to try out right wing ideas in Iraq, not just let the people decide what’s best for them. Fallujah elected a new sheriff and mayor after the Saddam Hussein regime disappeared from the scene. But the Bremer’s of the world would not allow them their choice. Because everyone in Iraq was rationed food under the sanctions, there was a ready made voter roll based on that, which could have been used to begin democracy in Iraq quickly, they didn’t have to wait years. But that wasn’t the neo-con plan. Not reconstituting the army provided a trained military opposition that lasted all the way into ISIS today. Many of the top military people of ISIS came from the ranks of Saddam Hussein’s army. And pappy Bush was right not to create an ally of Iran out of Iraqi democracy with a 60% Shia population. And Joe Biden was right to anticipate Iraq dividing into three parts, Shia South, Kurd North, and Sunni West. But what a way to torture a people and ultimately dividing and torturing the whole Middle East Muslim world. So Colin Powell was right, you break it, you own it.
For my power point about how empire has emerged in America:
Dr. Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace,