/"In 1984, the state remained perpetually at war against a vague and ever-changing enemy. The war took place largely in the abstract, but it served as a convenient vehicle to fuel hatred, nurture fear and justify the regime's autocratic practices." // -"Learning To Love Big Brother: George Bush Channels George Orwell", by Daniel Kurtzman, San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2002 bP R O J E C T F O R A N E W P E R P E T U A L W A R // / the "Project For The New American Century": / I N T H E I R/ O W N W O R D S ______________________________________
JB: Do you think they came into office with that as a plan?

RC: If you look at the so-called Vulcans group [Bush's pre-election foreign policy advisors] talked about publicly in seminars in Washington. They clearly wanted to go after Iraq and they clearly wanted to do this reshaping of the middle east and they used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to test their theories.

JB: Do you think President Bush was already on board when he came to office?

RC: I think he was. He got his international education from the Vulcans group the previous year. They were people like Richard Perle, Jim Woolsey, Paul Wolfowitz. They were all espousing this stuff. So he probably had been persuaded. He certainly wasn't hearing any contrary view during this education process.

- From "Guardian Interview: Richard Clarke", by Julian Borger, Guardian U.K., Tuesday March 23, 2004
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?/
Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President ndnd By Neil Mackay Sunday Herald (UK) 15 September 2002 http://www.sundayherald.com/print27735 / "This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks-- -- men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam war. This is a blueprint for US world domination -- a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing." - Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP / (M.O.W. editorial insert)

A SECRET blueprint for US global domination reveals that President Bush and his cabinet were planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' even before he took power in January 2001.

The blueprint, uncovered by the Sunday Herald, for the creation of a 'global Pax Americana' was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: 'The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.'

The PNAC document supports a 'blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests'.

This 'American grand strategy' must be advanced for 'as far into the future as possible', the report says. It also calls for the US to 'fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars' as a 'core mission'.

The report describes American armed forces abroad as 'the cavalry on the new American frontier'. The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must 'discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role'.

The PNAC report also:

* refers to key allies such as the UK as 'the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership';

* describes peace-keeping missions as 'demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations';

* reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA; '

* says 'even should Saddam pass from the scene' bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently -- despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops -- as 'Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has';

* spotlights China for 'regime change' saying 'it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia'. This, it says, may lead to 'American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratisation in China';

* calls for the creation of 'US Space Forces', to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent 'enemies' using the internet against the US;

* hints that, despite threatening war against Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction, the US may consider developing biological weapons -- which the nation has banned -- in decades to come. It says: 'New methods of attack -- electronic, 'non-lethal', biological -- will be more widely available ... combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes ... advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool';

l and pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a 'world-wide command-and-control system'.

Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP, father of the House of Commons and one of the leading rebel voices against war with Iraq, said: "This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks -- men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam war.

'This is a blueprint for US world domination -- a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing."

Copyright © 2002 smg sunday newspapers ltd. no.176088

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I N /T H E I R/ O W N /W O R D S:

READ THE DOCUMENTS FOR YOURSELF AT THEIR WEBSITE:

"Rebuilding America's Defenses " (PDF format) : http://www.newamericancentury.org/publicationsreports.htm

On IRAQ : http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

STATEMENT OF "PRINCIPLES": http://www.newamericancentury.org/statementofprinciples.htm

/_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / / Blood Money By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Thursday 27 February 2003

"In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes."
- President Dwight Eisenhower, January 1961.

George W. Bush gave a speech Wednesday night before the Godfather of conservative Washington think tanks, the American Enterprise Institute. In his speech, Bush quantified his coming war with Iraq as part of a larger struggle to bring pro-western governments into power in the Middle East. Couched in hopeful language describing peace and freedom for all, the speech was in fact the closest articulation of the actual plan for Iraq that has yet been heard from the administration.

In a previous truthout article from February 21, the ideological connections between an extremist right-wing Washington think tank and the foreign policy aspirations of the Bush administration were detailed.

The Project for a New American Century, or PNAC, is a group founded in 1997 that has been agitating since its inception for a war with Iraq. PNAC was the driving force behind the drafting and passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act, a bill that painted a veneer of legality over the ultimate designs behind such a conflict. The names of every prominent PNAC member were on a letter delivered to President Clinton in 1998 which castigated him for not implementing the Act by driving troops into Baghdad.

PNAC has funneled millions of taxpayer dollars to a Hussein opposition group called the Iraqi National Congress, and to Iraq's heir-apparent, Ahmed Chalabi, despite the fact that Chalabi was sentenced in absentia by a Jordanian court to 22 years in prison on 31 counts of bank fraud. Chalabi and the INC have, over the years, gathered support for their cause by promising oil contracts to anyone that would help to put them in power in Iraq.

Most recently, PNAC created a new group called The Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. Staffed entirely by PNAC members, The Committee has set out to "educate" Americans via cable news connections about the need for war in Iraq. This group met recently with National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice regarding the ways and means of this education.

 


(M.O.W. editorial insert)

Who is PNAC? Its members include:

* Vice President Dick Cheney, one of the PNAC founders, who served as Secretary of Defense for Bush Sr.;

* I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top national security assistant;

* Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, also a founding member, along with four of his chief aides including;

* Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, arguably the ideological father of the group;

* Eliot Abrams, prominent member of Bush's National Security Council, who was pardoned by Bush Sr. in the Iran/Contra scandal;

* John Bolton (another Iran/Contra alumnus), who serves as Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security in the Bush administration;

* Richard Perle, former Reagan administration official and present chairman of the powerful Defense Policy Board;

* Randy Scheunemann, President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, who was Trent Lott's national security aide and who served as an advisor to Rumsfeld on Iraq in 2001;

* Bruce Jackson, Chairman of PNAC, a position he took after serving for years as vice president of weapons manufacturer Lockheed-Martin, and who also headed the Republican Party Platform subcommittee for National Security and Foreign Policy during the 2000 campaign. His section of the 2000 GOP Platform explicitly called for the removal of Saddam Hussein;

* William Kristol, noted conservative writer for the Weekly Standard, a magazine owned along with the Fox News Network by conservative media mogul Ruppert Murdoch.

 

/Paul Wolfowitz////"Scooter" Libby////Elliot Abramsvv

 

/Richard Perle////Donald Rumsfeld////Richard Cheney

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

The Project for the New American Century seeks to establish what they call 'Pax Americana' across the globe. Essentially, their goal is to transform America, the sole remaining superpower, into a planetary empire by force of arms. A report released by PNAC in September of 2000 entitled 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' codifies this plan, which requires a massive increase in defense spending and the fighting of several major theater wars in order to establish American dominance. The first has been achieved in Bush's new budget plan, which calls for the exact dollar amount to be spent on defense that was requested by PNAC in 2000. Arrangements are underway for the fighting of the wars.

The men from PNAC are in a perfect position to see their foreign policy schemes, hatched in 1997, brought into reality. They control the White House, the Pentagon and Defense Department, by way of this the armed forces and intelligence communities, and have at their feet a Republican-dominated Congress that will rubber-stamp virtually everything on their wish list.

The first step towards the establishment of this Pax Americana is, and has always been, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the establishment of an American protectorate in Iraq. The purpose of this is threefold: 1) To acquire control of the oilheads so as to fund the entire enterprise; 2) To fire a warning shot across the bows of every leader in the Middle East; 3) To establish in Iraq a military staging area for the eventual invasion and overthrow of several Middle Eastern regimes, including some that are allies of the United States.*

Another PNAC signatory, author Norman Podhoretz, quantified this aspect of the grand plan in the September 2002 issue of his journal, 'Commentary'. In it, Podhoretz notes that the regimes, "that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced, are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as 'friends' of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority, whether headed by Arafat or one of his henchmen." At bottom, for Podhoretz, this action is about "the long-overdue internal reform and modernization of Islam."

This casts Bush's speech to AEI on Wednesday in a completely different light.

Weapons of mass destruction are a smokescreen. Paeans to the idea of Iraqi liberation and democratization are cynical in their inception. At the end of the day, this is not even about oil. The drive behind this war is ideological in nature, a crusade to 'reform' the religion of Islam as it exists in both government and society within the Middle East. Once this is accomplished, the road to empire will be open, ten lanes wide and steppin' out over the line.

At the end of the day, however, ideology is only good for bull sessions in the board room and the bar. Something has to grease the skids, to make the whole thing worthwhile to those involved, and entice those outside the loop to get into the game.

Thus, the payout.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

It is well known by now that Dick Cheney, before becoming Vice President, served as chairman and chief executive of the Dallas-based petroleum corporation Halliburton. During his tenure, according to oil industry executives and United Nations records, Halliburton did a brisk $73 million in business with Saddam Hussein's Iraq. While working face-to-face with Hussein, Cheney and Halliburton were also moving into position to capitalize upon Hussein's removal from power. In October of 1995, the same month Cheney was made CEO of Halliburton, that company announced a deal that would put it first in line should war break out in Iraq. Their job: To take control of burning oil wells, put out the fires, and prepare them for service.

Another corporation that stands to do well by a war in Iraq is Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton. Ostensibly, Brown & Root is in the construction business, and thus has won a share of the $900 million government contract for the rebuilding of post-war Iraqi bridges, roads and other basic infrastructure. This is but the tip of the financial iceberg, as the oil wells will also have to be repaired after parent-company Halliburton puts out the fires.

More ominously is Brown & Root's stock in trade: the building of permanent American military bases. There are twelve permanent U.S. bases in Kosovo today, all built and maintained by Brown & Root for a multi-billion dollar profit. If anyone should wonder why the administration has not offered an exit strategy to the Iraq war plans, the presence of Brown & Root should answer them succinctly. We do not plan on exiting. In all likelihood, Brown & Root is in Iraq to build permanent bases there, from which attacks upon other Middle Eastern nations can be staged and managed.

/ s"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield." // - From George Orwell's 1946 essay "In Front of Your Nose." / / g - "In George Orwell's "1984", the state remained perpetually at war against a vague and ever-changing enemy. The war took place largely in the abstract, but it served as a convenient vehicle to fuel hatred, nurture fear and justify the regime's autocratic practices." // -"Learning To Love Big Brother, George Bush Channels George Orwell", by Daniel Kurtzman, San Francisco Chronicle, July 28, 2002 // "We have perpetual war for perpetual peace. We have the Enemy-of-the-Month Club: one month it's Noriega, one month it's Saddam Hussein, one month it's Khadafy, currently it's Osama bin Laden. We have a deranged president. We have despotism. We have no due process." / - Gore Vidal, May 6, 2002 / g "Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies. From these proceed debts and taxes. And armies, debts and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the dominion of the few. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." bsbs - James Madison, the master builder of the U.S. Constitution, 1795

 

"... war without end, Amen."

_________________________________

/

"Extending the war into Iraq would have incurred incalculable human and political costs. We would have been forced to occupy Baghdad and, in effect, rule Iraq. The coalition would instantly have collapsed, the Arabs deserting in anger and other allies pulling out as well. Exceeding the U.N.'s mandate would have destroyed the precedent of international response to aggression we hoped to establish. Had we gone the invasion route, the U.S. could still be an occupying power in a bitterly hostile land." / - From " Why We Didn't Remove Saddam" by George H.W. Bush ( Bush I ) and Brent Scowcroft, Time Magazine, 1998 // "I firmly believed that we should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a secretly entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war."

- George H.W. Bush (Bush I ) 1992

_________________________

/ "...BRENT SCOWCROFT, one of the Republican party's most respected foreign policy gurus yesterday appealed for President Bush to halt his plans to invade Iraq, warning of "an Armageddon in the Middle East". In yesterday's article, Mr Scowcroft argued that by alienating much of the Arab world, an assault on Baghdad, would halt much of the cooperation Washington is receiving in its current battle against the al-Qaida organization." // "While Armageddon aficionados might be easily dismissed, when Brent Scowcroft says an attack on Iraq will lead to Armageddon and Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa warns it will "open the gates of hell," these matters take on more weight. Likewise, when a Saudi diplomat explains that Bush's "obsession" with Iraq will lead to tragedy, one thing becomes starkly clear: Armageddon, tragedy and "gates of hell," aren't words traditionally used by generals and ambassadors." / -The Guardian UK, 8/15/2002 _______________________________

"Don't Attack Saddam" / By Brent Scowcroft Wall Street Journal August 15, 2002
August 15, 2002

Our nation is presently engaged in a debate about whether to launch a war against Iraq. Leaks of various strategies for an attack on Iraq appear with regularity. The Bush administration vows regime change, but states that no decision has been made whether, much less when, to launch an invasion.

It is beyond dispute that Saddam Hussein is a menace. He terrorizes and brutalizes his own people. He has launched war on two of his neighbors. He devotes enormous effort to rebuilding his military forces and equipping them with weapons of mass destruction. We will all be better off when he is gone.

That said, we need to think through this issue very carefully. We need to analyze the relationship between Iraq and our other pressing priorities -- notably the war on terrorism -- as well as the best strategy and tactics available were we to move to change the regime in Baghdad.

Saddam's strategic objective appears to be to dominate the Persian Gulf, to control oil from the region, or both.

That clearly poses a real threat to key U.S. interests. But there is scant evidence to tie Saddam to terrorist organizations, and even less to the Sept. 11 attacks. Indeed Saddam's goals have little in common with the terrorists who threaten us, and there is little incentive for him to make common cause with them.

He is unlikely to risk his investment in weapons of mass destruction, much less his country, by handing such weapons to terrorists who would use them for their own purposes and leave Baghdad as the return address. Threatening to use these weapons for blackmail -- much less their actual use -- would open him and his entire regime to a devastating response by the U.S. While Saddam is thoroughly evil, he is above all a power-hungry survivor.

Saddam is a familiar dictatorial aggressor, with traditional goals for his aggression. There is little evidence to indicate that the United States itself is an object of his aggression. Rather, Saddam's problem with the U.S. appears to be that we stand in the way of his ambitions. He seeks weapons of mass destruction not to arm terrorists, but to deter us from intervening to block his aggressive designs.

Given Saddam's aggressive regional ambitions, as well as his ruthlessness and unpredictability, it may at some point be wise to remove him from power. Whether and when that point should come ought to depend on overall U.S. national security priorities. Our pre-eminent security priority -- underscored repeatedly by the president -- is the war on terrorism. An attack on Iraq at this time would seriously jeopardize, if not destroy, the global counterterrorist campaign we have undertaken.

The United States could certainly defeat the Iraqi military and destroy Saddam's regime. But it would not be a cakewalk. On the contrary, it undoubtedly would be very expensive -- with serious consequences for the U.S. and global economy -- and could as well be bloody. In fact, Saddam would be likely to conclude he had nothing left to lose, leading him to unleash whatever weapons of mass destruction he possesses.

Israel would have to expect to be the first casualty, as in 1991 when Saddam sought to bring Israel into the Gulf conflict. This time, using weapons of mass destruction, he might succeed, provoking Israel to respond, perhaps with nuclear weapons, unleashing an Armageddon in the Middle East. Finally, if we are to achieve our strategic objectives in Iraq, a military campaign very likely would have to be followed by a large-scale, long-term military occupation.

But the central point is that any campaign against Iraq, whatever the strategy, cost and risks, is certain to divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism. Worse, there is a virtual consensus in the world against an attack on Iraq at this time. So long as that sentiment persists, it would require the U.S. to pursue a virtual go-it-alone strategy against Iraq, making any military operations correspondingly more difficult and expensive. The most serious cost, however, would be to the war on terrorism. Ignoring that clear sentiment would result in a serious degradation in international cooperation with us against terrorism. And make no mistake, we simply cannot win that war without enthusiastic international cooperation, especially on intelligence.

Possibly the most dire consequences would be the effect in the region. The shared view in the region is that Iraq is principally an obsession of the U.S. The obsession of the region, however, is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If we were seen to be turning our backs on that bitter conflict -- which the region, rightly or wrongly, perceives to be clearly within our power to resolve -- in order to go after Iraq, there would be an explosion of outrage against us. We would be seen as ignoring a key interest of the Muslim world in order to satisfy what is seen to be a narrow American interest.

Even without Israeli involvement, the results could well destabilize Arab regimes in the region, ironically facilitating one of Saddam's strategic objectives. At a minimum, it would stifle any cooperation on terrorism, and could even swell the ranks of the terrorists. Conversely, the more progress we make in the war on terrorism, and the more we are seen to be committed to resolving the Israel-Palestinian issue, the greater will be the international support for going after Saddam.

If we are truly serious about the war on terrorism, it must remain our top priority. However, should Saddam Hussein be found to be clearly implicated in the events of Sept. 11, that could make him a key counterterrorist target, rather than a competing priority, and significantly shift world opinion toward support for regime change.

In any event, we should be pressing the United Nations Security Council to insist on an effective no-notice inspection regime for Iraq -- any time, anywhere, no permission required. On this point, senior administration officials have opined that Saddam Hussein would never agree to such an inspection regime. But if he did, inspections would serve to keep him off balance and under close observation, even if all his weapons of mass destruction capabilities were not uncovered. And if he refused, his rejection could provide the persuasive casus belli which many claim we do not now have. Compelling evidence that Saddam had acquired nuclear-weapons capability could have a similar effect.

In sum, if we will act in full awareness of the intimate interrelationship of the key issues in the region, keeping counterterrorism as our foremost priority, there is much potential for success across the entire range of our security interests -- including Iraq. If we reject a comprehensive perspective, however, we put at risk our campaign against terrorism as well as stability and security in a vital region of the world.

- Brent Scowcroft, "elder statesman of the Republican foreign policy establishment", Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"...elder statesmen of the foreign policy establishment and the Republican Party repeatedly warned President Bush to his face of precisely the consequences of his planned actions. Former National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft and former Secretaries of State James Baker and Lawrence Eagleburger, among others, "never thought the war would come off right," one of those who spoke to Bush told me. "We all felt that strongly. It was going to end with an Islamic republic dominated by Shia and influenced by Iran. There was no question they would have Iranian connections. If you know history, you don't have to be a genius." But Bush would not listen.

"It's a sad story."

- "A Call to the Faithful", by Sidney Blumenthal, the Guardian UK, January26, 2006

/"Bin Laden had been saying for years, 'America wants to invade an Arab country and occupy it, an oil-rich Arab country.' This is part of his propaganda," Clarke said. "So what did we do after 9/11? We invade ... and occupy an oil-rich Arab country, which was doing nothing to threaten us." / - White House counterterrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke (2003) // Colin Powell, Feb. 2001: "Sanctions have worked." Condi Rice, May, 2001: "Saddam is fully contained."

"We all believed Saddam had WMD.  What I kept saying was: So what? They said he could give it to terrorists. But I said he's not that stupid. If he gave WMD to terrorists he would lose power. The question was: Is there an imminent threat or had we contained him? And I thought we had successfully contained him. I didn't see it as a first-tier issue."

- "Guardian Interview: Richard Clarke", by Julian Borger, Guardian, U.K., March 23, 2004/

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/


Ambassador claims shortly before invasion,
Bush didn't know there were two sects of Islam

by Christian Avard Raw Story August 4, 2006 ORIGINAL /

Former Ambassador to Croatia Peter Galbraith is claiming President George W. Bush was unaware that there were two major sects of Islam just two months before the President ordered troops to invade Iraq, RAW STORY has learned.

In his new book, The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created A War Without End, Galbraith, the son of the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith, claims that American leadership knew very little about the nature of Iraqi society and the problems it would face after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

A year after his "Axis of Evil" speech before the U.S. Congress, President Bush met with three Iraqi Americans, one of whom became postwar Iraq's first representative to the United States. The three described what they thought would be the political situation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. During their conversation with the President, Galbraith claims, it became apparent to them that Bush was unfamiliar with the distinction between Sunnis and Shiites.

Galbraith reports that the three of them spent some time explaining to Bush that there are two different sects in Islam--to which the President allegedly responded, "I thought the Iraqis were Muslims!"

Other reports also place Bush announcing newfound knowledge of the differences between Muslim groups shortly before entering the Iraq war.

In an interview with RAW STORY, Ambassador Galbraith recounted this anecdote from his book to exemplify "a culture of arrogance that pervaded the whole administration."

"From the president and the vice president down through the neoconservatives at the Pentagon, there was a belief that Iraq was a blank slate on which the United States could impose its vision of a pluralistic democratic society," said Galbraith.

"The arrogance came in the form of a belief that this could be accomplished with minimal effort and planning by the United States and that it was not important to know something about Iraq."

COMPLETE ARTICLE

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// "I thought the Iraqis were Muslims." // "The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective." / - In Wayne, Mich., as quoted by Katharine Q. Seelye in the New York Times , June 28, 2000 fr98yf0yufpf fr98yf0yufpf "I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy." - Redwood, Calif., Sept. 27, 2000  fr98yf0yufpfyufp0ff "This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." - George W. Bush, as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002 r98yf0yfpf dbsdfbsbbsb "I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war." / - Dubya doing a sterling job of belittling war and parenting at the same time, while also backhandedly manufacturing a war record for himself out of thin air, Jan. 27, 2002 dbsdf dbsddbsdffbsbbsb "I'm a war president.  I make decisions here in the Oval Office in foreign-policy matters with war on my mind." - Meet the Press, Feb.8 2004 dbsdfbs "You say we're headed for war in Iraq. I don't know why you say that ... I'm the person who gets to decide, not you." - President Bush, speaking to reporters outside a cafe in Crawford, Texas, Jan. 2003  bsdfbsbbs "The person who is in charge is me" - CNN, Tuesday, October 14, 2003 db/sd ...Then it's WAR! Bring 'em on! (How's this, Karl?)

Your courage, dedication and sacrifice are an inspiration to us all, sir.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

/ "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that." / . Presidential debate, Oct 3, 2000 Q: How would you decide when it was in the national interest to use US force? GEORGE. W. BUSH: "Well, if it's in our vital national interests. And that means: // // 1. Whether our territory is threatened, our people could be harmed, whether or not our defense alliances are threatened, whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. // 2. Whether or not the mission was clear, whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be. // 3. Whether or not we were prepared and trained to win, whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing (?) and well-equipped. / //// 4. And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy. / //// I would take the use of force very seriously. ("Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out.") ("Bring em on.") ("No weapons of mass destruction under here!...") /// /I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. /// I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president (Al Gore) believes in nation-building. /// I would be very careful about using our troops as nation builders. ///// I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place /// So I would take my responsibility seriously. And it starts with making sure we rebuild our military power. /// Morale in today's military is too low. We're having trouble meeting recruiting goals. We met the goals this year, but in the previous years we have not met recruiting goals. /// Some of our troops are not well-equipped. I believe we're overextended in too many places. And therefore I want to rebuild the military power. ///// It starts with a billion dollar pay raise for the men and women who wear the uniform. A billion dollars more than the president recently signed into law. It's to make sure our troops are well-housed and well-equipped. (Halliburton, Walter Reed) /// - George W. Bush, Presidential debarte, Oct 3, 2000 /// ________________________________ / / SUPPORT-OUR-TROOPS UPDATE: May 17th, 2007 "The Bush administration today threatened to veto a House defense spending bill over a 3.5 percent pay raise for U.S. soldiers and a $40/month increase in benefits for military widows, among other provisions. Troops don't need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill. The legislation passed the House today 397-27." /

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Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq? Iraq War Planned Pre-9/11? By CBS News / "During the 2000 campaign, candidate George W. Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that." rhppen509nty "The thing that's most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said 'X' during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing 'Y,'" says Suskind. "Not just saying 'Y,' but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election." http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml

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Bush: Iraq war plans memo wrong CNN, Tuesday, June 7, 2005

/Bush, June 2005 (CNN): / "There's nothing farther from the truth" / "Somebody said, well, you know, we had made up our mind to use military force to deal with Saddam. "There's nothing farther from the truth," Bush said. "We worked hard to see if we could figure out how to do this peacefully," Bush said."Nobody wants to commit military into combat. It's the last option." /`// Bush, March 2002 (CNN): / "Fuck Saddam. We're taking him out." / Those were the words of President George W. Bush, who had poked his head into the office of National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. It was March 2002, and Rice was meeting with three U.S. Senators, discussing how to deal with Iraq through the United Nations, or perhaps in a coalition with America's Middle East allies. Bush wasn't interested. He waved his hand dismissively, recalls a participant, and neatly summed up his Iraq policy in that short phrase. The Senators laughed uncomfortably; Rice flashed a knowing smile. The President left the room. A year later, Bush's outburst has been translated into action, as cruise missiles and smart bombs slam into Baghdad. / - "First Stop, Iraq", by Michael Elliott and James Carney, CNN, March 24, 2003/ / In early 2003, when the question was raised by a reporter if the United States was going to war against Iraq, President Bush indignantly responded, "You said we're headed to war. I don't know why you suggested that. I'm the person who gets to decide, and not you." / / - G.W. Bush, Crawford, Texas, Dec. 31, 2002 /

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/ Practice to Deceive / Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan. / By Joshua Micah Marshall Washington Monthly / http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2003/0304.marshall.html gtwh/rhww "The Weekly Standard's Jeffrey Bell reported that the administration has in mind a "world war between the United States and a political wing of Islamic fundamentalism ... a war of such reach and magnitude [that] the invasion of Iraq, or the capture of top al Qaeda commanders, should be seen as tactical events in a series of moves and countermoves stretching well into the future ... what the White House really has in mind is an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public."

Originally published April 2003

Imagine it's six months from now. The Iraq war is over. After an initial burst of joy and gratitude at being liberated from Saddam's rule, the people of Iraq are watching, and waiting, and beginning to chafe under American occupation. Across the border, in Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, our conquering presence has brought street protests and escalating violence. The United Nations and NATO are in disarray, so America is pretty much on its own. Hemmed in by budget deficits at home and limited financial assistance from allies, the Bush administration is talking again about tapping Iraq's oil reserves to offset some of the costs of the American presence--talk that is further inflaming the region. Meanwhile, U.S. intelligence has discovered fresh evidence that, prior to the war, Saddam moved quantities of biological and chemical weapons to Syria. When Syria denies having such weapons, the administration starts massing troops on the Syrian border. But as they begin to move, there is an explosion: Hezbollah terrorists from southern Lebanon blow themselves up in a Baghdad restaurant, killing dozens of Western aid workers and journalists. Knowing that Hezbollah has cells in America, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge puts the nation back on Orange Alert. FBI agents start sweeping through mosques, with a new round of arrests of Saudis, Pakistanis, Palestinians, and Yemenis.

To most Americans, this would sound like a frightening state of affairs, the kind that would lead them to wonder how and why we had got ourselves into this mess in the first place. But to the Bush administration hawks who are guiding American foreign policy, this isn't the nightmare scenario. It's everything going as anticipated.

In their view, invasion of Iraq was not merely, or even primarily, about getting rid of Saddam Hussein. Nor was it really about weapons of mass destruction, though their elimination was an important benefit. Rather, the administration sees the invasion as only the first move in a wider effort to reorder the power structure of the entire Middle East. Prior to the war, the president himself never quite said this openly. But hawkish neoconservatives within his administration gave strong hints. In February, Undersecretary of State John Bolton told Israeli officials that after defeating Iraq, the United States would "deal with" Iran, Syria, and North Korea. Meanwhile, neoconservative journalists have been channeling the administration's thinking. Late last month, The Weekly Standard's Jeffrey Bell reported that the administration has in mind a "world war between the United States and a political wing of Islamic fundamentalism ... a war of such reach and magnitude [that] the invasion of Iraq, or the capture of top al Qaeda commanders, should be seen as tactical events in a series of moves and countermoves stretching well into the future."

In short, the administration is trying to roll the table--to use U.S. military force, or the threat of it, to reform or topple virtually every regime in the region, from foes like Syria to friends like Egypt, on the theory that it is the undemocratic nature of these regimes that ultimately breeds terrorism. So events that may seem negative--Hezbollah for the first time targeting American civilians; U.S. soldiers preparing for war with Syria--while unfortunate in themselves, are actually part of the hawks' broader agenda. Each crisis will draw U.S. forces further into the region and each countermove in turn will create problems that can only be fixed by still further American involvement, until democratic governments--or, failing that, U.S. troops--rule the entire Middle East.

There is a startling amount of deception in all this--of hawks deceiving the American people, and perhaps in some cases even themselves. While it's conceivable that bold American action could democratize the Middle East, so broad and radical an initiative could also bring chaos and bloodshed on a massive scale. That all too real possibility leads most establishment foreign policy hands, including many in the State Department, to view the Bush plan with alarm. Indeed, the hawks' record so far does not inspire confidence. Prior to the invasion, for instance, they predicted that if the United States simply announced its intention to act against Saddam regardless of how the United Nations voted, most of our allies, eager to be on our good side, would support us. Almost none did. Yet despite such grave miscalculations, the hawks push on with their sweeping new agenda.

Like any group of permanent Washington revolutionaries fueled by visions of a righteous cause, the neocons long ago decided that criticism from the establishment isn't a reason for self-doubt but the surest sign that they're on the right track. But their confidence also comes from the curious fact that much of what could go awry with their plan will also serve to advance it. A full-scale confrontation between the United States and political Islam, they believe, is inevitable, so why not have it now, on our terms, rather than later, on theirs? Actually, there are plenty of good reasons not to purposely provoke a series of crises in the Middle East. But that's what the hawks are setting in motion, partly on the theory that the worse things get, the more their approach becomes the only plausible solution.

Moral Cloudines

"The nadir of this deceit was the Iran-Contra scandal, for which Podhoretz's son-in-law, Elliot Abrams, pled guilty to perjury. Abrams was later pardoned by Bush's father, and today, he runs Middle East policy in the Bush White House."

Ever since the neocons burst upon the public policy scene 30 years ago, their movement has been a marriage of moral idealism, military assertiveness, and deception. Back in the early 1970s, this group of then-young and still mostly Democratic political intellectuals grew alarmed by the post-Vietnam Democrats' seeming indifference to the Soviet threat. They were equally appalled, however, by the amoral worldview espoused by establishment Republicans like Henry Kissinger, who sought co-existence with the Soviet Union. As is often the case with ex-socialists, the neocons were too familiar with communist tactics to ignore or romanticize communism's evils. The fact that many neocons were Jewish, and outraged by Moscow's increasingly visible persecution of Jews, also caused them to reject both the McGovernite and Kissingerian tendencies to ignore such abuses.

In Ronald Reagan, the neocons found a politician they could embrace. Like them, Reagan spoke openly about the evils of communism and, at least on the peripheries of the Cold War, preferred rollback to coexistence. Neocons filled the Reagan administration, and men like Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, and others provided the intellectual ballast and moral fervor for the sharp turn toward confrontation that the United States adopted in 1981.

But achieving moral clarity often requires hiding certain realities. From the beginning, the neocons took a much more alarmist view of Soviet capacities and intentions than most experts. As late as 1980, the ur-neocon Norman Podhoretz warned of the imminent "Finlandization of America, the political and economic subordination of the United States to superior Soviet power," even raising the possibility that America's only options might be "surrender or war." We now know, of course, that U.S. intelligence estimates, which many neocons thought underestimated the magnitude and durability of Soviet power, in fact wildly overestimated them.

This willingness to deceive--both themselves and others--expanded as neocons grew more comfortable with power. Many spent the Reagan years orchestrating bloody wars against Soviet proxies in the Third World, portraying thugs like the Nicaraguan Contras and plain murderers like Jonas Savimbi of Angola as "freedom fighters." The nadir of this deceit was the Iran-Contra scandal, for which Podhoretz's son-in-law, Elliot Abrams, pled guilty to perjury.

But in the end, the Soviet Union did fall. And the hawks' policy of confrontation did contribute to its collapse. So too, of course, did the economic and military rot most of the hawks didn't believe in, and the reforms of Mikhail Gorbachev, whom neocons such as Richard Perle counseled Reagan not to trust. But the neocons did not dwell on what they got wrong. Rather, the experience of having played a hand in the downfall of so great an evil led them to the opposite belief: that it's okay to be spectacularly wrong, even brazenly deceptive about the details, so long as you have moral vision and a willingness to use force.

What happened in the 1990s further reinforced that mindset. Hawks like Perle and William Kristol pulled their hair out when Kissingerians like Brent Scowcroft and Colin Powell left Saddam's regime in place after the first Gulf War. They watched with mounting fury as terrorist attacks by Muslim fundamentalists claimed more and more American and Israeli lives. They considered the Oslo accords an obvious mistake (how can you negotiate with a man like Yasir Arafat?), and as the decade progressed they became increasingly convinced that there was a nexus linking burgeoning terrorism and mounting anti-Semitism with repressive but nominally "pro-American" regimes like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. In 1996, several of the hawks--including Perle--even tried to sell Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the idea that Israel should attack Saddam on its own--advice Netanyahu wisely declined. When the Oslo process crumbled and Saudi Arabian terrorists killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11, the hawks felt, not without some justification, that they had seen this danger coming all along, while others had ignored it. The timing was propitious, because in September 2001 many already held jobs with a new conservative president willing to hear their pitch.

 

Prime Minister bin Laden

"..But, to date, every time a Western or non-Muslim country has put troops into Arab lands to stamp out violence and terror, it has awakened entire new terrorist organizations and a generation of recruits. Why do we imagine that our invasion and occupation of Iraq, or whatever countries come next, will turn out any differently?"

The pitch was this: The Middle East today is like the Soviet Union 30 years ago. Politically warped fundamentalism is the contemporary equivalent of communism or fascism. Terrorists with potential access to weapons of mass destruction are like an arsenal pointed at the United States. The primary cause of all this danger is the Arab world's endemic despotism, corruption, poverty, and economic stagnation. Repressive regimes channel dissent into the mosques, where the hopeless and disenfranchised are taught a brand of Islam that combines anti-modernism, anti-Americanism, and a worship of violence that borders on nihilism. Unable to overthrow their own authoritarian rulers, the citizenry turns its fury against the foreign power that funds and supports these corrupt regimes to maintain stability and access to oil: the United States. As Johns Hopkins University professor Fouad Ajami recently wrote in Foreign Affairs, "The great indulgence granted to the ways and phobias of Arabs has reaped a terrible harvest"--terrorism. Trying to "manage" this dysfunctional Islamic world, as Clinton attempted and Colin Powell counsels us to do, is as foolish, unproductive, and dangerous as dÈtente was with the Soviets, the hawks believe. Nor is it necessary, given the unparalleled power of the American military. Using that power to confront Soviet communism led to the demise of that totalitarianism and the establishment of democratic (or at least non-threatening) regimes from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea to the Bering Strait. Why not use that same power to upend the entire corrupt Middle East edifice and bring liberty, democracy, and the rule of law to the Arab world?

The hawks' grand plan differs depending on whom you speak to, but the basic outline runs like this: The United States establishes a reasonably democratic, pro-Western government in Iraq--assume it falls somewhere between Turkey and Jordan on the spectrum of democracy and the rule of law. Not perfect, representative democracy, certainly, but a system infinitely preferable to Saddam's. The example of a democratic Iraq will radically change the political dynamics of the Middle East. When Palestinians see average Iraqis beginning to enjoy real freedom and economic opportunity, they'll want the same themselves. With that happy prospect on one hand and implacable United States will on the other, they'll demand that the Palestinian Authority reform politically and negotiate with Israel. That in turn will lead to a real peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians. A democratic Iraq will also hasten the fall of the fundamentalist Shi'a mullahs in Iran, whose citizens are gradually adopting anti-fanatic, pro-Western sympathies. A democratized Iran would create a string of democratic, pro-Western governments (Turkey, Iraq, and Iran) stretching across the historical heartland of Islam. Without a hostile Iraq towering over it, Jordan's pro-Western Hashemite monarchy would likely come into full bloom. Syria would be no more than a pale reminder of the bad old days. (If they made trouble, a U.S. invasion would take care of them, too.) And to the tiny Gulf emirates making hesitant steps toward democratization, the corrupt regimes of Saudi Arabia and Egypt would no longer look like examples of stability and strength in a benighted region, but holdouts against the democratic tide. Once the dust settles, we could decide whether to ignore them as harmless throwbacks to the bad old days or deal with them, too. We'd be in a much stronger position to do so since we'd no longer require their friendship to help us manage ugly regimes in Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

The audacious nature of the neocons' plan makes it easy to criticize but strangely difficult to dismiss outright. Like a character in a bad made-for-TV thriller from the 1970s, you can hear yourself saying, "That plan's just crazy enough to work."

But like a TV plot, the hawks' vision rests on a willing suspension of disbelief, in particular, on the premise that every close call will break in our favor: The guard will fall asleep next to the cell so our heroes can pluck the keys from his belt. The hail of enemy bullets will plink-plink-plink over our heroes' heads. And the getaway car in the driveway will have the keys waiting in the ignition. Sure, the hawks' vision could come to pass. But there are at least half a dozen equally plausible alternative scenarios that would be disastrous for us.

To begin with, this whole endeavor is supposed to be about reducing the long-term threat of terrorism, particularly terrorism that employs weapons of mass destruction. But, to date, every time a Western or non-Muslim country has put troops into Arab lands to stamp out violence and terror, it has awakened entire new terrorist organizations and a generation of recruits. Placing U.S. troops in Riyadh after the Gulf War (ostensibly to protect Saudi Arabia and its oilfields from Saddam) gave Osama bin Laden a cause around which he built al Qaeda. Israel took the West Bank in a war of self-defense, but once there its occupation helped give rise to Hamas. Israel's incursion into southern Lebanon (justified at the time, but transformed into a permanent occupation) led to the rise of Hezbollah. Why do we imagine that our invasion and occupation of Iraq, or whatever countries come next, will turn out any differently?

The Bush administration also insists that our right to act preemptively and unilaterally, with or without the international community's formal approval, rests on the need to protect American lives. But with the exception of al Qaeda, most terrorist organizations in the world, and certainly in the Middle East, do not target Americans. Hamas certainly doesn't. Hezbollah, the most fearsome of terrorist organizations beside al Qaeda, has killed American troops in the Middle East, but not for some years, and it has never targeted American civilians on American soil. Yet like Hamas, Hezbollah has an extensive fundraising cell operation in the States (as do many terrorist organizations, including the Irish Republican Army). If we target them in the Middle East, can't we reasonably assume they will respond by activating these cells and taking the war worldwide?

Next, consider the hawks' plans for those Middle East states that are authoritarian yet "friendly" to the United States--specifically Egypt and Saudi Arabia. No question these are problem countries. Their governments buy our weapons and accept our foreign aid yet allow vicious anti-Semitism to spew from the state run airwaves and tolerate clerics who preach jihad against the West. But is it really in our interests to work for their overthrow? Many hawks clearly think so. I asked Richard Perle last year about the dangers that might flow from the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "Mubarak is no great shakes," he quipped. "Surely we can do better than Mubarak." When I asked Perle's friend and fellow Reagan-era neocon Ken Adelman to calculate the costs of having the toppling of Saddam lead to the overthrow of the House of Saud, he shot back: "All the better, if you ask me."

This cavalier call for regime change, however, runs into a rather obvious problem. When the communist regimes of Eastern and Central Europe fell after 1989, the people of those nations felt grateful to the United States because we helped liberate them from their Russian colonial masters. They went on to create pro-Western democracies. The same is unlikely to happen, however, if we help "liberate" Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The tyrannies in these countries are home grown, and the U.S. government has supported them, rightly or wrongly, for decades, even as we've ignored (in the eyes of Arabs) the plight of the Palestinians. Consequently, the citizens of these countries generally hate the United States, and show strong sympathy for Islamic radicals. If free elections were held in Saudi Arabia today, Osama bin Laden would probably win more votes than Crown Prince Abdullah. Topple the pro-Western autocracies in these countries, in other words, and you won't get pro-Western democracies but anti-Western tyrannies.

To this dilemma, the hawks offer two responses. One is that eventually the citizens of Egypt and Saudi Arabia will grow disenchanted with their anti-Western Islamic governments, just as the people of Iran have, and become our friends. To which the correct response is, well, sure, that's a nice theory, but do we really want to make the situation for ourselves hugely worse now on the strength of a theoretical future benefit?

The hawks' other response is that if the effort to push these countries toward democracy goes south, we can always use our military might to secure our interests. "We need to be more assertive," argues Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, "and stop letting all these two-bit dictators and rogue regimes push us around and stop being a patsy for our so-called allies, especially in Saudi Arabia." Hopefully, in Boot's view, laying down the law will be enough. But he envisions a worst-case scenario that would involve the United States "occupying the Saudi's oil fields and administering them as a trust for the people of the region."

What Boot is calling for, in other words, is the creation of a de facto American empire in the Middle East. In fact, there's a subset of neocons who believe that given our unparalleled power, empire is our destiny and we might as well embrace it. The problem with this line of thinking is, of course, that it ignores the lengthy and troubling history of imperial ambitions, particularly in the Middle East. The French and the English didn't leave voluntarily; they were driven out. And they left behind a legacy of ignorance, exploitation, and corruption that's largely responsible for the region's current dysfunctional politics.

Another potential snafu for the hawks is Iran, arguably the most dangerous state in the Middle East. The good news is that the fundamentalist Shi'a mullahs who have been running the government, exporting terrorism, and trying to enrich their uranium, are increasingly unpopular. Most experts believe that the mullahs' days are numbered, and that true democracy will come to Iran. That day will arrive sooner, the hawks argue, with a democratic Iraq on Iran's border. But the opposite could happen. If the mullahs are smart, they'll cooperate just enough with the Americans not to provoke an attack, but put themselves forth to their own people as defenders of Iranian independence and Iran's brother Shi'a in southern Iraq who are living under the American jackboot. Such a strategy might keep the fundamentalists in power for years longer than they otherwise might have been.

Then there is the mother of all problems, Iraq. The hawks' whole plan rests on the assumption that we can turn it into a self-governing democracy--that the very presence of that example will transform politics in the Middle East. But what if we can't really create a democratic, self-governing Iraq, at least not very quickly? What if the experience we had after World War II in Germany and Japan, two ethnically homogeneous nations, doesn't quite work in an ethnically divided Iraq where one group, the Sunni Arabs, has spent decades repressing and slaughtering the others? As one former Army officer with long experience with the Iraq file explains it, the "physical analogy to Saddam Hussein's regime is a steel beam in compression." Give it one good hit, and you'll get a violent explosion. One hundred thousand U.S. troops may be able to keep a lid on all the pent-up hatred. But we may soon find that it's unwise to hand off power to the fractious Iraqis. To invoke the ugly but apt metaphor which Jefferson used to describe the American dilemma of slavery, we will have the wolf by the ears. You want to let go. But you dare not.

And what if we do muster the courage to allow elections, but the Iraqis choose a government we can't live with--as the Japanese did in their first post-war election, when the United States purged the man slated to become prime minister? But if we do that in Iraq, how will it look on Al Jazeera? Ultimately, the longer we stay as occupiers, the more Iraq becomes not an example for other Arabs to emulate, but one that helps Islamic fundamentalists make their case that America is just an old-fashioned imperium bent on conquering Arab lands. And that will make worse all the problems set forth above.

None of these problems are inevitable, of course. Luck, fortitude, deft management, (How are they doing so far, folks?) and help from allies could bring about very different results. But we can probably only rely on the first three because we are starting this enterprise over the expressed objections of almost every other country in the world. And that's yet another reason why overthrowing the Middle East won't be the same as overthrowing communism. We did the latter, after all, within a tight formal alliance, NATO. Reagan's most effective military move against Moscow, for instance, placing Pershing II missiles in Western Europe, could never have happened, given widespread public protests, except that NATO itself voted to let the weapons in. In the Middle East, however, we're largely alone. If things go badly, what allies we might have left are liable to say to us: You broke it, you fix it.

 

Whacking the Hornet's Nest

"Today, however, the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into."

If the Bush administration has thought through these various negative scenarios--and we must presume, or at least pray, that it has--it certainly has not shared them with the American people. More to the point, the president has not even leveled with the public that such a clean-sweep approach to the Middle East is, in fact, their plan. This breaks new ground in the history of pre-war presidential deception. Franklin Roosevelt said he was trying to keep the United States out of World War II even as he--in some key ways--courted a confrontation with the Axis powers that he saw as both inevitable and necessary. History has judged him well for this. Far more brazenly, Lyndon Johnson's administration greatly exaggerated the Gulf of Tonkin incident to gin up support for full-throttle engagement in Vietnam. The war proved to be Johnson's undoing. When President Clinton used American troops to quell the fighting in Bosnia he said publicly that our troops would be there no longer than a year, even though it was widely understood that they would be there far longer. But in the case of these deceptions, the public was at least told what the goals of the wars were and whom and where we would be fighting.

Today, however, the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction--a goal that the majority of Americans support. But what the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn't even tried. Instead, it's focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind.

"Strip away the presidential seal and the fancy titles, and it's just a straight-up con."

The brazenness of this approach would be hard to believe if it weren't entirely in line with how the administration has pursued so many of its other policy goals. Its preferred method has been to use deceit to create faits accomplis, facts on the ground that then make the administration's broader agenda almost impossible not to pursue. During and after the 2000 campaign, the president called for major education and prescription drug programs plus a huge tax cut, saying America could easily afford them all because of large budget surpluses. Critics said it wasn't true, and the growing budget deficits have proven them right. But the administration now uses the existence of big budget deficits as a way to put the squeeze on social programs--part of its plan all along. Strip away the presidential seal and the fancy titles, and it's just a straight-up con.

The same strategy seemed to guide the administration's passive-aggressive attitude towards our allies. It spent the months after September 11 signaling its distaste for international agreements and entangling alliances. The president then demanded last September that the same countries he had snubbed support his agenda in Iraq. And last month, when most of those countries refused, hawks spun that refusal as evidence that they were right all along. Recently, a key neoconservative commentator with close ties to the administration told me that the question since the end of the Cold War has been which global force would create the conditions for global peace and security: the United States, NATO, or the United Nations. With NATO now wrecked, he told me, the choice is between the United States and the United Nations. Whether NATO is actually wrecked remains to be seen. But the strategy is clear: push the alliance to the breaking point, and when it snaps, cite it as proof that the alliance was good for nothing anyway. It's the definition of chutzpah, like the kid who kills his parents and begs the judge for sympathy because he's an orphan.

Another president may be able to rebuild NATO or get the budget back in balance. But once America begins the process of remaking the Middle East in the way the hawks have in mind, it will be extremely difficult for any president to pull back. Vietnam analogies have long been overused, and used inappropriately, but this may be one case where the comparison is apt.

Ending Saddam Hussein's regime and replacing it with something stable and democratic was always going to be a difficult task, even with the most able leadership and the broadest coalition. But doing it as the Bush administration now intends is something like going outside and giving a few good whacks to a hornets' nest because you want to get them out in the open and have it out with them once and for all. Ridding the world of Islamic terrorism by rooting out its ultimate sources--Muslim fundamentalism and the Arab world's endemic despotism, corruption, and poverty--might work. But the costs will be immense. Whether the danger is sufficient and the costs worth incurring would make for an interesting public debate. The problem is that once it's just us and the hornets, we really won't have any choice.

Joshua Micah Marshall, a Washington Monthly contributing writer, is author of the Talking Points Memo.
Copyright © 2003 The Washington Monthly 733 15th St. NW Suite 520 Washington DC. 20005.

_________________________________________________________________________________________ / SEE ALSO: IN THEIR OWN WORDS: The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) : / "Bush planned Iraq 'regime change' before becoming President", by Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald September 15 , 2002 and "Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq?" / "Iraq War Planned Pre-9/11?"(VIDEO), CBS News, Jan. 11, 2004 _________________________________________________________________________________________ //

Q. Mr. President, in your speeches now you rarely talk or mention Osama bin Laden.  Why is that?   You know, I just don't spend that much time on him, Kelly, to be honest with you.  - White House Press Conference, March 13, 2002 // "Some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden, and the requests of our commanders on the ground, and less time responding to the demands of MoveOn.org bloggers and Code Pink protesters." /- G.W. Bush, Heritage Foundation, Nov.1,2007// // / / /

/WE WILL REMEMBER 9/11...

WE WILL REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NOT THE TYPE OF BARBARIANS WHO WILL KILL AND TERRORIZE THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS TO GET AT THEIR GOVERNMENT. WE ARE BETTER THAN THEY ARE.

WE WILL REMEMBER THAT THE TERRORISTS WANT US TO KILL AND TERRORIZE THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT CIVILIANS, FANNING THE FLAMES THAT WILL GIVE THEM MANY THOUSANDS OF NEW RECRUITS AND SUPPORT AND FAR GREATER STRENGTH. WE WILL NOT BE SO EASILY MANIPULATED. WE WILL NOT GIVE THEM THAT SATISFACTION.

WE WILL REMEMBER THAT IT WAS SAUDI ARABIANS WHO ATTACKED US, AND SAUDI ARABIA THAT WAS THE CHIEF STATE SPONSORING THE TERRORISTS WHO ATTACKED US; AND WE WILL DEAL WITH THEM ACCORDINGLY. WE WILL NOT LET MONEY OR OIL OR CRONYISM MUDDY OUR MORAL RESOLVE IN THIS.

WE WILL REMEMBER THAT THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION USED THAT TERRIBLE EVENT SHAMELESSLY TO PUSH THEIR TAX CUTS AND PRE-EXISTING AGENDAS FOR BOTH INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC DOMNATION BY A SMALL ELITE.

g - "This is an impressive crowd - the haves, and the have-mores," quipped the GOP standard-bearer. "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." g - / - George W. Bush g - /g - / "America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own, and they are privatizing democracy." /g - / Bill Moyers g - / "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." g - / - Thomas Jefferson g - / __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________________ "War is a racket. It is the only one international in scope.x It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives."x

~ General Smedley Butler, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________/

g -g - / / "In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes." / - President Dwight Eisenhower's Farewell Address, January 1961

Bill Moyers
on Money, Politics and War

(From PBS' BILL MOYERS' NOW)

Earlier in this hour Jeff Madrick talked about how inequality is changing the country. Politics determines economic outcomes - campaign contributions give the edge to those who can afford the entrée. It goes even deeper. What's emerged full-blown is the military-industrial complex famously predicted and feared by President Eisenhower fifty years ago.

It's no longer possible to tell where the corporate world ends and government begins. The poster boy for this new elite is Richard Cheney. As the head of Halliburton, he made a fortune from the influence and access gained through his earlier service in government.

Then Halliburton Corporation gets favored and confidential treatment soon after Mr. Cheney becomes George Bush's vice president. This week the big construction company Bechtel receives a contract that could pay three quarters of a billion dollars for work in post-war Iraq. Bechtel gives lots of money to politicians, mostly to Republicans. On its board is George Schultz, who ran Bechtel before he became President Reagan's Secretary of State. One of Bechtel's Senior Vice Presidents is a former general who serves on the Defense Policy Board along with other hawks like Richard Perle and James Woolsey who wanted war with Iraq and got it. They advise the Pentagon and then turn around and make money out of their defense contacts.

These fellows are all honorable men, I am sure, but they call for war with all the ferocity of non-combatants and then turn around and feed on the corpse of war. Illegal? Not in our system. Unsavory? No matter how you slice it.

But the main point is this. America's corporate and political elites now form a regime of their own, and they are privatizing democracy. All the benefits - the tax cuts, policies, and rewards - flow in one direction: up. And the people Jeff Madrick talked about, whose faith in the fairness of the American way of life is the bulwark of our country, are left outside looking in.

- Bill Moyers, From PBS' BILL MOYERS' NOW)

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / _____________________________________________________________________________ / "It's no longer possible to tell where the corporate world ends and government begins." - Bill Moyers _____________________________________________________________________________ /

"This junta that is governing us, this Enron/Pentagon junta, dedicated only to enrichment through the oil business, as all the Bushes and Cheneys and so on are oil people, they are going to destroy, for personal profit, the United States. We are going to be destroyed by the hatred of the rest of the world." - GORE VIDAL

'...Vidal sees the country in the grip of a corporate-oil patch-military oligarchy. Asked if the Iraq war was an oil patch-White House deal so huge Americans can't stand back far enough to see it, Vidal replied, "Kindly Dr. Goebbels used to say that the greater the lie a government tells (and repeats loudly), the more it will be believed. Yes, it is -- was -- about oil and, of course, giving the Cheney-Bush junta's friends like Halliburton vast contracts to rebuild what we have carefully knocked down."


______________________________________________________

(Click on the links below for complete articles)

Spending On Iraq Sets Off Gold Rush
Lawmakers Fear U.S. Is Losing Control of Funds

By Jonathan Weisman and Anitha Reddy , Washington Post Staff Writers , Thursday, October 9, 2003

"All I can say is it's mind-boggling," James Lyons, a former military subcontractor in Bosnia, said of the opportunities for private contractors. "People must be drooling."

______________________________________________________

Iraq Could Produce Another Enron
By Nomi Prins,  Newsday , 02 December 2003

"As one UN senior insider said, "No country has ever had so much control over information and resources for reconstruction efforts in history. But the murkiness of Iraq finances goes beyond a mere jiggering of the books. In the case of Iraq, there are no obvious books."

______________________________________________________

Billions in Iraq funds 'missing'
San Jose Mercury News
http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,7654183%255E1702,00.html

"The British-based charity Christian Aid yesterday alleged that $US4 ($5.69) billion out of an estimated $US5 ($7.11) billion had "disappeared into opaque bank accounts"
administered by the CPA. The group urged any potential contributor at the conference to demand explanations before pledging any additional assistance,
claiming that "
no independent body knows where this cash has gone".
It said the "financial black hole" would only fuel suspicions that large amounts of the money in the fund were being siphoned off
for large US firms and not being channelled to deal with Iraq's serious needs."

______________________________________________________

"Enron was the first storm warning but no one realized how easily accepted that cluster of capers would be by a polity marinated in corruption -- as Ben Franklin predicted, in 1789, as our eventual fate." - from "Gore Vidal Delivers Chilling Predictions of Despotism", by Arthur Jones, 8/2/03

______________________________________________________

Iraq Delays Hand Cheney's Halliburton a Billion Dollars
Oliver Morgan
The Observer | Guardian UK ,
Sunday 07 December 2003

______________________________________________________

Patriots and Profits
By Paul Krugman , NY TIMES , December 16, 2003

"Some Americans still seem to feel that even suggesting the possibility of profiteering is somehow unpatriotic. They should learn the story of Harry Truman, a congressman who rose to prominence during World War II by leading a campaign against profiteering. Truman believed, correctly, that he was serving his country. On the strength of that record, Franklin Roosevelt chose Truman as his vice president. George Bush, of course, chose Dick Cheney. "

______________________________________________________

Halliburton's Iraq Deals Greater Than Cheney Has Said
Affiliates Had $73 Million in Contracts
By Colum Lynch

Special to The Washington Post
Saturday, June 23, 2001; Page A01

UNITED NATIONS -- During last year's presidential campaign, Richard B. Cheney acknowledged that the oil-field supply corporation he headed, Halliburton Co., did business with Libya and Iran through foreign subsidiaries. But he insisted that he had imposed a "firm policy" against trading with Iraq.

"Iraq's different," he said.

According to oil industry executives and confidential United Nations records, however, Halliburton held stakes in two firms that signed contracts to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment and spare parts to Iraq while Cheney was chairman and chief executive officer of the Dallas-based company.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children." / - President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address / /"[Saddam] built up a massive war machine while neglecting the basic needs of his own people." / - President's Radio Address October 11, 2003 / / / "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are," Cheney said. "At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve. The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of hatred are over."

/

- Dick Cheney,  World Economic Forum January 24, 2004

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

/ "...This is the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years". He said: "Some US journalist came up to me and said: 'How can you say this about President Bush?' Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. The policiest he is initiating will doom us to extinction."

- KEN LIVINGSTONE, the MAYOR of LONDON, 2003

v /

// /    

/ "The neocons believe in what they think is a noble truth, power of the few, the select few. These are godless people who want power, nothing more. They do not have a country or an allegiance, they have an agenda. These people might hold American passports, but they are not Americans because they do not believe in the Constitution. They believe in the power of the few, not a government for or by the people. They are a few and their agenda is global."  / - Scott Ritter, "Neocons as Parasites" / / /

"The option of quickly turning Iraq into a successful, free-market democracy was never practical, and was as absurd a neoconservative fantasy as the idea that success in this objective would magically make Iraq an example that would transform the Middle East."

- Bob Hebert, "Did Somebody Say War", New York Time (below)

///"This is garbage from right-wing think-tanks stuffed with chicken-hawks -- -- men who have never seen the horror of war but are in love with the idea of war. Men like Cheney, who were draft-dodgers in the Vietnam war. This is a blueprint for US world domination -- a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world. I am appalled that a British Labour Prime Minister should have got into bed with a crew which has this moral standing."

-Tam Dalyell, the Labour MP, 2003

//

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

"....The "question of Iraq," for instance, was raised at a White House meeting of principals the very next day after the terrorist attacks. It was raised by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld but was actually reflecting the long-time obsession of Paul Wolfowitz (below), his aggressive deputy. In fact, Wolfowitz did not hesitate even to step in ahead of his demanding boss that day in regaling the president on Iraq. "Wolfowitz seized the opportunity," Woodward writes. "Attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain. He worried about 100,000 American troops bogged down in mountain fighting in Afghanistan six months from then. In contrast, Iraq was a brittle, oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable. He estimated that there was a 10 to 50 percent chance Saddam was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks."

- "You're Invited to the War Party", By Georgie Anne Geyer, The American Conservative http://www.amconmag.com/01_13_03/geyer7.html

Wolfowitz's economic arguments pertaining to the Iraq War

"February 27, 2003: Wolfowitz tells the U.S. House Budget Committee that oil exports would pay for the reconstruction of post-invasion Iraq.  "It's got already, I believe, on the order of $15 billion to $20 billion a year in oil exports, which can finally -- might finally be turned to a good use instead of building Saddam's palaces," he testifies."

"FromThe Wolfowitz Chronology : An examination of the presumptive World Bank President's works on oil, national security, development, corruption, human rights, and debt" by The institute for Policy Studieshttp://www.ips-dc.org/wolfowitz/tl_01-05.htm

"On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz told a Congressional panel that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq's reconstruction after the Iraq war; he testified: "The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon." By March 2005, two years later, oil revenues were not paying for the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq, Wolfowitz's estimation of 50 to 100 billion US dollars had not materialized, and, in light of his miscalculation, detractors criticized his appointment to head of the World Bank."

- Wikipedia's Wolfowitz page

    Scott Ritter: "Paul Wolfowitz was a salesman; his job was to sell a war. He acknowledged this in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, in which he acknowledged that WMDs and the threat they posed, was nothing more than a vehicle to sell this war to America. Now you [get] to the war itself and selling it to Congress and [the] questions: How long will this take? Or how much will this cost?

    Paul Wolfowitz lied to Congress about the costs of war. There is not a responsible member of government who thought this would be quick and cheap. There was nobody who believed that Iraq oil would pay for itself, no one in the oil business thought so."

- "Scott Ritter: Neocons as Parasites", by Larisa Alexandrovna, Raw Story, April 1, 2005

____________________________________________________________________

"...this comes to $166 billion spent on Iraq by the Bush administration. The actual numbers, while difficult to ascertain, are certain to be significantly higher.... the cost of this Iraq invasion exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined."

 - "Donkeys of Mass Destruction" by William Rivers Pitt , 2003 (below)

"Linda Bilmes, at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel laureate and former Clinton administration adviser, put a total price tag of more than $2 trillion on the war. They include a number of indirect costs, like the economic stimulus that the war funds would have provided if they had been spent in this country."

- "What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy", by DAVID LEONHARDT, New York Times January 17, 2007

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ednnen
Wolfie's Fuzzy Math By MAUREEN DOWD New York Times May 2, 2004

WASHINGTON

This administration is the opposite of "The Sixth Sense."

They don't see any dead people.

Beyond the president's glaring absence at military funerals; beyond the Pentagon's self-serving ban on photographing the returning flag-draped coffins at Dover; beyond playing down the thousands of wounded and maimed American troops and the thousands of hurt and dead Iraqi civilians, now comes the cruel arithmetic of Paul Wolfowitz.

What can you say about a deputy defense secretary so eager to invade Iraq he was nicknamed Wolfowitz of Arabia, so bullish to remold the Middle East he froze the State Department out of the occupation and then mangled it, who doesn't bother to keep track of the young Americans who died for his delusion?

Those troops were killed while they were still trying to fathom the treacherous tribal and religious beehive they were never prepared for, since they thought they'd be helping build schools and hospitals for grateful Iraqis.

Asked during a Congressional budget hearing on Thursday how many American troops had been killed in Iraq, Mr. Wolfowitz missed by more than 30 percent. "It's approximately 500, of which - I can get the exact numbers - approximately 350 are combat deaths," he said.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

As of Thursday, there were 722 deaths, 521 in combat. The No. 2 man at the Pentagon was oblivious in the bloodiest month of the war, with the number of Americans killed in April overtaking those killed in the six-week siege of Baghdad last year.

This is, of course, an administration that refuses to quantify or acknowledge the cost of its chuckleheaded empire policies, in bodies, money, credibility in the Arab world, reputation among our allies or the reinvigoration of militant Muslims around the globe. Duped themselves, they duped Americans into thinking it would be easy, paid for with Iraqi oil. But Donald Rumsfeld's vision of showing off a slim, agile military was always at odds with the neocons' vision of infusing enough security into Iraq to turn it into an instant democratic paradise.

Crushed in the collision of these two grandiose dreams are all the smaller dreams of fallen soldiers, to raise kids and watch baseball and grill hot dogs on the Fourth of July.

Now things have deteriorated to the point that the administration is pathetically begging for help from the very people it was trying to roll over - the U.N., Saddam's Baathist generals and the Iranians.

When Ted Koppel decided to devote his Friday "Nightline" to showing the faces and reading the names of the men and women killed in action, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard denounced it as "a stupid statement" and the conservative Sinclair media company, one of the country's largest owners of local stations, said it would pre-empt the program on its ABC affiliates. Sinclair, a big Republican donor, felt Mr. Koppel was undermining the war effort.

(M.O.W. editorial insert) / Wolfowitz pal and fellow Project for the New American Century member Kristol
		
Bill O'Reilly suggested that CBS, by breaking the news of the grotesque pictures of American soldiers gaily tormenting Iraqi prisoners, had put American lives at risk.

But it's unhealthy to censor the ugly realities of war. The real danger is when the architects of war refuse to rethink bad assumptions, wrapping themselves in the blindly ideological nobility of their mission.

Senator John McCain let Sinclair have it with both barrels, noting that the public needed "to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail" and calling the pre-emption "unpatriotic." (Shouldn't John Kerry be running as John McCain's vice president?)

Mr. Koppel told me that he neither wanted to beat the drums for war nor "encourage flower children to come back." He said war is "a bitter, bitter business and we need to keep talking to each other about where the war goes from here." The tolerance for casualties, he said, shortly before the start of his wrenching roll call of all those baby-faced and smiling soldiers and marines, will be in direct relation to faith in the motivation for war.

The W.M.D. reason vanished. And, with the re-Baathification of the de-Baathification, the American idealism rational is not panning out.

Hiding the faces of the war dead makes the motivation seem like saving face in an election year.

Americans won't take casualties for the credibility of the Bush administration. That's not a good enough reason for people to die.   

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

For more on Wolfowitz, and Bill Kristol and the other neocon's deceptive, decade-old plans, see PROJECT FOR A NEW AMERICAN PERPETUAL WAR.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
/// /""On March 27, 2003, Wolfowitz told a Congressional panel that oil revenue earned by Iraq alone would pay for Iraq's reconstruction after the Iraq war."
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
/ "...this comes to $166 billion spent on Iraq by the Bush administration. The actual numbers, while difficult to ascertain, are certain to be significantly higher... ...the cost of this Iraq invasion exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined." /  Donkeys of Mass Destruction By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Perspective Monday 24 November 2003

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."

- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address

     About a month into the Iraq invasion, Congress set aside $79 billion in funds for the military. Recently, Bush requested another $87 billion because the occupation was dragging on far longer, and was costing more in men and materiel, than the rosy pre-war forecasts had indicated. In total, this comes to $166 billion spent on Iraq by the Bush administration.

     The actual numbers, while difficult to ascertain, are certain to be significantly higher. Yale University economist William D. Nordhaus has crunched the numbers, and states that the cost of this Iraq invasion exceeds the inflation-adjusted costs of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the Persian Gulf War combined.

     Why did we do this? We did this because George W. Bush and the members of his administration argued, day after day, week after week, month after month, that Iraq was in possession of massive stores of mass destruction weapons that would be delivered to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for use against the United States.

     The total amount of weapons held by Iraq, according to the administration, is described on a WhiteHouse.gov webpage entitled 'Disarm Saddam Hussein. According to this page, Iraq possessed 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 1,000,000 pounds of sarin, mustard and VX gas, 30,000 munitions to deliver these agents, plus mobile biological weapons labs, uranium from Niger to produce nuclear bombs, along with deep and abiding al Qaeda connections.

     "Simply stated," said Dick Cheney on August 26 2002, "there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."

     "We know for a fact that there are weapons there," said Ari Fleischer on January 9 2003.

     "There is no doubt," said General Tommy Franks on March 22 2003, "that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction."

     "We know where they are," said Don Rumsfeld on March 30 2003, later denying to the press that he ever said such a thing. "They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad."

"We have sources that tell us," said George W. Bush on February 8 2003, "that Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons."

     "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt," continued Bush on March 17 2003, "that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

     In his February 5 2003 speech to the United Nations, Secretary of State Colin Powell warned of the "sinister nexus between Iraq and the Al Qaeda terrorist network."

     George W. Bush, on March 18, had delivered a letter to Congress explicitly indicating that an attack on Iraq was an attack upon those who perpetrated September 11. Paragraph two reads, "The use of armed force against Iraq is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001."

     On May 1 2003, when he announced the end of "major combat operations," Bush proclaimed, "We've removed an ally of Al Qaeda."

     It is now the 24th of November. Some 9,000 American soldiers have been wounded in Iraq, according to an official Pentagon count. Well over 400 American soldiers have died. The occupation itself has almost completely bogged down. Even the 'safe' areas in northern Iraq have seen a startling upsurge in violence. The two Blackhawks recently downed, to the tune of 17 Americans killed, were attacked in northern Iraq. Two soldiers had their throats cut in northern Iraq today, with a third killed by a bomb outside Baghdad.

     The uranium claims were based on crudely forged documents, the mobile labs were weather balloon launching platforms sold to Iraq by the British in the 1980s, the al Qaeda claims are utterly impossible to establish as true, any connection between Iraq and September 11 was publicly denied by George W. Bush himself recently, and the mass destruction weapons are utterly and completely absent. Despite the fact that Iraq lacks any aspect of the formidable arsenal described by the Bush administration, fighters against the American occupation have managed to slay and maim our troops with sharp and deadly accuracy.

     How? How are people without the vast amounts of money, weapons and training enjoyed by American forces succeeding in killing and wounding so many of our soldiers? The answer lies in the same two ingredients that brought defeat to America on bicycles and oxen and human backs down the length of the Ho Chi Mihn Trail: Ingenuity and will.

     The Palestine Hotel and the Iraq Oil Ministry building came under rocket attack last week. The missiles were not fired by Iraqi men, but from the backs of donkey carts. The fuses to remotely launch these missiles were fashioned out of car batteries. The missiles struck home, gravely wounding a civilian employee of the American petroleum company Halliburton.

     Halliburton had fashioned huge siege walls to protect the Palestine Hotel, an interesting fact in and of itself. One is forced to wonder exactly how a company whose purpose is to pull oil out of the ground came to be so adept at preparing military-style defenses. More interesting, though, is the fact that those defenses were defeated by donkeys. Not anthrax, not botulinum toxin, not VX gas, not with any of the 30,000 munitions Bush claims Iraq possessed, not with a nuclear bomb fashioned with material from Niger, and not with the help of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Halliburton was attacked by pack mules.

     Americans continue to die, the cost of this invasion continues to skyrocket, and all of the dire threats we were told of do not, in any way, exist.

 

William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition Is Silence.' He is also editor and publisher of t r u t h o u t .com. © 2004 t r u t h o u t

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   //


"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

- George Orwell

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   /

Wars of Reason, Wars of Principle Setting the record straight / By Barack Obama Chicago, October 26, 2002 (colors and bolds added) ORIGINAL

I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.

I don't oppose all wars. My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil.

I don't oppose all wars. After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.

I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by [former Pentagon policy adviser] Richard Perle and [Deputy Defense Secretary] Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like [chief Bush political adviser] Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.

That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.

Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.

I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences. I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.

I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure that we vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.

You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.

Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.

Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama (D-Chicago) is a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He delivered the above remarks at an antiwar rally on October 26, 2002, in Chicago.
 
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

a ________________________________ / / SUPPORT-OUR-TROOPS UPDATE: May 17th, 2007 "The Bush administration today threatened to veto a House defense spending bill over a 3.5 percent pay raise for U.S. soldiers and a $40/month increase in benefits for military widows, among other provisions. Troops don't need bigger pay raises, White House budget officials said Wednesday in a statement of administration policy laying out objections to the House version of the 2008 defense authorization bill. The legislation passed the House today 397-27." / / /__________________________________________ / "...They clearly wanted to go after Iraq and they clearly wanted to do this reshaping of the middle east and they used the tragedy of 9/11 as an excuse to test their theories."= / - Former National Security Chief Richard A. Clarke
 
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Bush Sought 'Way' To Invade Iraq?
Iraq War Planned Pre-9/11?

By CBS News Jan. 11, 2004 "During the 2000 campaign, candidate George W. Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that." rhppen509nty "The thing that's most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said 'X' during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing 'Y,'" says Suskind. "Not just saying 'Y,' but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/09/60minutes/main592330.shtml

Jan. 11, 2004

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill is the main source for an upcoming book about the Bush White House, "The Price of Loyalty."


A year ago, Paul O'Neill was fired from his job as George Bush's Treasury Secretary for disagreeing too many times with the president's policy on tax cuts.

Now, O'Neill - who is known for speaking his mind - talks for the first time about his two years inside the Bush administration. His story is the centerpiece of a new book being published this week about the way the Bush White House is run.

Entitled "The Price of Loyalty," the book by a former Wall Street Journal reporter draws on interviews with high-level officials who gave the author their personal accounts of meetings with the president, their notes and documents.

But the main source of the book was Paul O'Neill. Correspondent Lesley Stahl reports.

_____________________________________

Paul O'Neill says he is going public because he thinks the Bush Administration has been too secretive about how decisions have been made.

Will this be seen as a "kiss-and-tell" book?

"I've come to believe that people will say damn near anything, so I'm sure somebody will say all of that and more," says O'Neill, who was George Bush's top economic policy official.

In the book, O'Neill says that the president did not make decisions in a methodical way: there was no free-flow of ideas or open debate.

At cabinet meetings, he says the president was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people. There is no discernible connection," forcing top officials to act "on little more than hunches about what the president might think."

This is what O'Neill says happened at his first hour-long, one-on-one meeting with Mr. Bush: "I went in with a long list of things to talk about, and I thought to engage on and as the book says, I was surprised that it turned out me talking, and the president just listening As I recall, it was mostly a monologue."

He also says that President Bush was disengaged, at least on domestic issues, and that disturbed him. And he says that wasn't his experience when he worked as a top official under Presidents Nixon and Ford, or the way he ran things when he was chairman of Alcoa.

O'Neill readily agreed to tell his story to the book's author Ron Suskind ­ and he adds that he's taking no money for his part in the book.

Suskind says he interviewed hundreds of people for the book ­ including several cabinet members.

O'Neill is the only one who spoke on the record, but Suskind says that someone high up in the administration ­ Donald Rumsfeld - warned O'Neill not to do this book.

Was it a warning, or a threat?

"I don't think so. I think it was the White House concerned," says Suskind. "Understandably, because O'Neill has spent extraordinary amounts of time with the president. They said, 'This could really be the one moment where things are revealed.'"

Not only did O'Neill give Suskind his time, he gave him 19,000 internal documents.

"Everything's there: Memoranda to the President, handwritten "thank you" notes, 100-page documents. Stuff that's sensitive," says Suskind, adding that in some cases, it included transcripts of private, high-level National Security Council meetings. "You don't get higher than that."

And what happened at President Bush's very first National Security Council meeting is one of O'Neill's most startling revelations.

"From the very beginning, there was a conviction, that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go," says O'Neill, who adds that going after Saddam was topic "A" 10 days after the inauguration - eight months before Sept. 11.

"From the very first instance, it was about Iraq. It was about what we can do to change this regime," says Suskind. "Day one, these things were laid and sealed."

As treasury secretary, O'Neill was a permanent member of the National Security Council. He says in the book he was surprised at the meeting that questions such as "Why Saddam?" and "Why now?" were never asked.

"It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this,'" says O'Neill. "For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap."

And that came up at this first meeting, says O'Neill, who adds that the discussion of Iraq continued at the next National Security Council meeting two days later.

He got briefing materials under this cover sheet. "There are memos. One of them marked, secret, says, 'Plan for post-Saddam Iraq,'" adds Suskind, who says that they discussed an occupation of Iraq in January and February of 2001.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

Based on his interviews with O'Neill and several other officials at the meetings, Suskind writes that the planning envisioned peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq's oil wealth.

He obtained one Pentagon document, dated March 5, 2001, and entitled "Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts," which includes a map of potential areas for exploration.

"It talks about contractors around the world from, you know, 30-40 countries. And which ones have what intentions," says Suskind. "On oil in Iraq."

During the campaign, candidate Bush had criticized the Clinton-Gore Administration for being too interventionist: "If we don't stop extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions, then we're going to have a serious problem coming down the road. And I'm going to prevent that."

"The thing that's most surprising, I think, is how emphatically, from the very first, the administration had said 'X' during the campaign, but from the first day was often doing 'Y,'" says Suskind. "Not just saying 'Y,' but actively moving toward the opposite of what they had said during the election."

The president had promised to cut taxes, and he did. Within six months of taking office, he pushed a trillion dollars worth of tax cuts through Congress.
But O'Neill thought it should have been the end. After 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan, the budget deficit was growing. So at a meeting with the vice president after the mid-term elections in 2002, Suskind writes that O'Neill argued against a second round of tax cuts.

"Cheney, at this moment, shows his hand," says Suskind. "He says, 'You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter. We won the mid-term elections, this is our due.' O'Neill is speechless.

(M.O.W, editorial insert)

"It was not just about not wanting the tax cut. It was about how to use the nation's resources to improve the condition of our society," says O'Neill. "And I thought the weight of working on Social Security and fundamental tax reform was a lot more important than a tax reduction."

Did he think it was irresponsible? "Well, it's for sure not what I would have done," says O'Neill.

The former treasury secretary accuses Vice President Dick Cheney of not being an honest broker, but, with a handful of others, part of "a praetorian guard that encircled the president" to block out contrary views. "This is the way Dick likes it," says O'Neill.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile, the White House was losing patience with O'Neill. He was becoming known for a series of off-the-cuff remarks his critics called gaffes. One of them sent the dollar into a nosedive and required major damage control.

Twice during stock market meltdowns, O'Neill was not available to the president: He was out of the country - one time on a trip to Africa with the Irish rock star Bono.

"Africa made an enormous splash. It was like a road show," says Suskind. "He comes back and the president says to him at a meeting, 'You know, you're getting quite a cult following.' And it clearly was not a joke. And it was not said in jest."

Suskind writes that the relationship grew tenser and that the president even took a jab at O'Neill in public, at an economic forum in Texas.

The two men were never close. And O'Neill was not amused when Mr. Bush began calling him "The Big O." He thought the president's habit of giving people nicknames was a form of bullying. Everything came to a head for O'Neill at a November 2002 meeting at the White House of the economic team.

"It's a huge meeting. You got Dick Cheney from the, you know, secure location on the video. The President is there," says Suskind, who was given a nearly verbatim transcript by someone who attended the meeting.

He says everyone expected Mr. Bush to rubber stamp the plan under discussion: a big new tax cut. But, according to Suskind, the president was perhaps having second thoughts about cutting taxes again, and was uncharacteristically engaged.

"He asks, 'Haven't we already given money to rich people? This second tax cut's gonna do it again,'" says Suskind.

"He says, 'Didn't we already, why are we doing it again?'" Now, his advisers, they say, 'Well Mr. President, the upper class, they're the entrepreneurs. That's the standard response.' And the president kind of goes, 'OK.' That's their response. And then, he comes back to it again. 'Well, shouldn't we be giving money to the middle, won't people be able to say, 'You did it once, and then you did it twice, and what was it good for?'"

But according to the transcript, White House political advisor Karl Rove jumped in.

"Karl Rove is saying to the president, a kind of mantra. 'Stick to principle. Stick to principle.' He says it over and over again," says Suskind. "Don't waver."

In the end, the president didn't. And nine days after that meeting in which O'Neill made it clear he could not publicly support another tax cut, the vice president called and asked him to resign.

With the deficit now climbing towards $400 billion, O'Neill maintains he was in the right.

But look at the economy today.

"Yes, well, in the last quarter the growth rate was 8.2 percent. It was terrific," says O'Neill. "I think the tax cut made a difference. But without the tax cut, we would have had 6 percent real growth, and the prospect of dealing with transformation of Social Security and fundamentally fixing the tax system. And to me, those were compelling competitors for, against more tax cuts."
------------------------------------------------------------------------


While in the book O'Neill comes off as constantly appalled at Mr. Bush, he was surprised when Stahl told him she found his portrait of the president unflattering.

"Hmmm, you really think so," asks O'Neill, who says he isn't joking. "Well, I'll be darned."

"You're giving me the impression that you're just going to be stunned if they attack you for this book," says Stahl to O'Neill. "And they're going to say, I predict, you know, it's sour grapes. He's getting back because he was fired."
"I will be really disappointed if they react that way because I think they'll be hard put to," says O'Neill.

Is he prepared for it?

"Well, I don't think I need to be because I can't imagine that I'm going to be attacked for telling the truth," says O'Neill. "Why would I be attacked for telling the truth?"

White House spokesman Scott McClellan was asked about the book on Friday and said "The president is someone that leads and acts decisively on our biggest priorities and that is exactly what he'll continue to do."

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
/
/ (M.O.W editorial insert) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / / //  The United States Has Lost its Moral Authority     By U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Wednesday 23 June 2004
 

    Peoples the world around have a history of culture and religion. In the Mideast, the religion is predominantly Muslim and the culture tribal. The Muslim religion is strong, i.e., those that don't conform are considered infidels; those of a tribal culture look for tribal leadership, not democracy. We liberated Kuwait, but it immediately rejected democracy.

    In 1996, a task force was formed in Jerusalem including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser. They submitted a plan for Israel to incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Clean Break. It proposed that negotiations with the Palestinians be cut off and, instead, the Mideast be made friendly to Israel by democratizing it. First Lebanon would be bombed, then Syria invaded on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction. Afterward, Saddam Hussein was to be removed in Iraq and replaced with a Hashemite ruler favorable to Israel.

    The plan was rejected by Netanyahu, so Perle started working for a similar approach to the Mideast for the United States. Taking on the support of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Cambone, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld et al., he enlisted the support of the Project for the New American Century.

/Pearle////Rumsfeld////Wolfowitz////Feith

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

  The plan hit paydirt with the election of George W. Bush. Perle took on the Defense Policy Board. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith became one, two and three at the Defense Department, and Cheney as vice president took Scooter Libby and David Wurmser as his deputies. Clean Break was streamlined to go directly into Iraq.

/Cheney////Libby////Wurmser

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

    Iraq, as a threat to the United States, was all contrived. Richard Clarke stated in his book, Against All Enemies, with John McLaughlin of the CIA confirming, that there was no evidence or intelligence of "Iraqi support for terrorism against the United States" from 1993 until 2003 when we invaded. The State Department on 9/11 had a list of 45 countries wherein al Qaeda was operating. While the United States was listed, it didn't list the country of Iraq.

    President Bush must have known that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We have no al Qaeda, no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorism from Iraq; we were intentionally misled by the Bush administration.

    Which explains why President-elect Bush sought a briefing on Iraq from Defense Secretary William Cohen in January before taking the oath of office and why Iraq was the principal concern at his first National Security Council meeting - all before 9/11. When 9/11 occurred, we knew immediately that it was caused by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Within days we were not only going into Afghanistan, but President Bush was asking for a plan to invade Iraq - even though Iraq had no involvement.

    After 15 months, Iraq has yet to be secured. Its borders were left open after "mission accomplished," allowing terrorists throughout the Mideast to come join with the insurgents to reek havoc. As a result, our troops are hunkered down, going out to trouble spots and escorting convoys.

    In the war against terrorism, we've given the terrorists a cause and created more terrorism. Even though Saddam is gone, the majority of the Iraqi people want us gone. We have proven ourselves "infidels." With more than 800 GIs killed, 5,000 maimed for life and a cost of $200 billion, come now the generals in command, both Richard Myers and John Abizaid, saying we can't win. Back home the cover of The New Republic magazine asks, "Were We Wrong?"

    Walking guard duty tonight in Baghdad, a G.I. wonders why he should lose his life when his commander says he can't win and the people back home can't make up their mind. Unfortunately, the peoples of the world haven't changed their minds. They are still against us. Heretofore, the world looked to the United States to do the right thing. No more. The United States has lost its moral authority.

    Originally published in The State on June 23, 2004

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

//// P r o j e c t f o r a N e w A m e r i c a n E m p i r e /

 

Dick and Lynne's Christmas card

 

Dick Cheney overlooked more relevant quotes from Benjamin Franklin when he chose one for his Christmas card. Here are a few he should have used.

Dick Cheney, Vice President of the US, used the following quote by Benjamin Franklin on his Christmas card this year: "And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid ?"
The implication is that
God must approve of the wars he is vice-presiding over, and be actively assisting the rise of the US empire. Folowing the same logic, God must also be approving of and assisting the Iraqi resistance to the occupation. Is God therefore following classic US foreign policy by supporting both sides in a conflict to destabilise a region ? Let's leave Cheney to this theological mess, he's used to messes, and move on to more relevant quotations from Benjamin Franklin he could have used.
As regards the total mess the US has made in post-war Iraq (that means pre- Bush strutting about on an aircraft carrier) he could have used,
"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
As regards the onslaught on the people of Afghanistan following 9/11, we have,
"Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame."
And as regards both wars started by the Bush regime to feed the bottomless greed of their corporate buddies, we have,
"There never was a good war or a bad peace."
Finally, Franklin prophetically had the measure of Bush and Cheney as pathetic reincarnations of past greed and shame when he said, "
.... the revenues of princes constantly increasing, and we see they are never satisfied, but always want more .... There is scarce a king in a hundred who would not, if he could, follow the example of Pharaoh, get first all the people's money, then their lands, then make them and their children servants for ever ..." That kind of encapsulates the essence of the Bush regime, and if Cheney won't use it next Christmas, Bush really should.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

"I don't think flag conservatives give a real damn about conservative values. They use the words. They certainly use the flag. They love words like "evil." One of Bush's worst faults in rhetoric (to dip into that cornucopia) is to use the word "evil" as if it were a button he can touch to increase his power. When people are sick and have an IV tube put in them to feed a narcotic painkiller on demand, a few keep pressing that button. Bush uses "evil" as his hot button for the American public. Any man who can employ that word 15 times in five minutes is not a conservative. Not a value conservative. A flag conservative is another matter. They rely on manipulation. What they want is power. They believe in America. That they do. They believe this country is the only hope of the world and they feel that this country is becoming more and more powerful on the one hand, but on the other, is rapidly growing more dissolute. And so the only solution for it is empire, World Empire. Behind the whole thing in Iraq is the desire to have a huge military presence in the near-East as a stepping stone for eventually taking over the world."

- "I Am Not For World Empire": A conversation with Norman Mailer about Iraq, Israel, the perils of technology and why he is a Left-Conservative, The American Conservative, December 2, 2002 Issue

(M.O.W. editorial insert, Art by Ian Micah Wright) //     Neo-Con Agenda: Iran, China, Russia, Latin America ...   ////   By Jim Lobe     Inter-Press Service      November 5, 2004

    "These items do not represent some sort of neo-con 'imperialist' game plan", Gaffney stressed. "Rather, they constitute a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term."

    Washington - An influential foreign-policy neo-conservative with longstanding ties to top hawks in the administration of President George W Bush has laid out what he calls "a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term."

    The list, which begins with the destruction of Fallujah in Iraq and ends with the development of "appropriate strategies" for dealing with threats posed by China, Russia and "the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America," also calls for "regime change" in Iran and North Korea.

    The list's author, Frank Gaffney, the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy (CSP), also warns that Bush should resist any pressure arising from the anticipated demise of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to resume peace talks that could result in Israel's giving up "defensible boundaries."

    While all seven steps listed by Gaffney in an article published Friday morning in the 'National Review Online' have long been favored by prominent neo-cons, the article itself, 'Worldwide Value', is the first comprehensive compilation to emerge since Bush's re-election Tuesday.

    It is also sure to be contested, not just by Democrats who, with the election behind them, are poised to take a more anti-war position on Iraq, but by many conservative Republicans in Congress. They blame the neo-cons for failing to anticipate the quagmire in Iraq and worry their grander ambitions, like those expounded by Gaffney, will bankrupt the Treasury and break an already-overextended military.

    Yet its importance as a road map of where neo-conservatives - who, with the critical help of Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, dominated Bush's foreign policy after the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon - want U.S. policy to go, was underlined by Gaffney's listing of the names of his friends in the administration who he said, "helped the president imprint moral values on American security policy in a way and to an extent not seen since Ronald Reagan's first term."

/// (M.O.W. editorial insert)

    In addition to Cheney and Rumsfeld, he cited the most clearly identified -- and controversial --neo-conservatives serving in the administration: Cheney's chief of staff, I Lewis "Scooter" Libby; his top Middle East advisors, John Hannah and David Wurmser; weapons proliferation specialist Robert Joseph and top Mideast aide Elliott Abrams, on the National Security Council (NSC).

/Libby;////Abrams////Feith////Bolton////Luti

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

    Also on the roster are: Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Undersecretary for Policy Douglas Feith; Feith's top Mideast aide William Luti, in the Pentagon; Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, and for global issues, Paula Dobriansky at the State Department.

    Virtually all of the same individuals have been cited by critics of the Iraq War, including Democratic lawmakers and retired senior foreign service and military officials, as responsible for hijacking the policy and intelligence process that led to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

    Indeed, in a lengthy interview about the war on the most-watched public-affairs TV program, '60 Minutes', last May, the former head of the U.S. Central Command and Secretary of State Colin Powell's chief Middle East envoy until 2003, retired Gen Anthony Zinni, called for the resignation of Libby, Abrams, Wolfowitz and Feith, as well as Rumsfeld, for their roles in the attack.

    Zinni also cited former Defence Policy Board (DPB) chairman, Richard Perle, who has been close to Gaffney since both of them served, along with Abrams, in the office of Washington State Senator Henry M Jackson in the early 1970s.

    When Perle became an assistant secretary of defense under Reagan he brought Gaffney along as his deputy. When Perle left in 1987, Gaffney succeeded him before setting up CSP in 1989.

    As Perle's long-time protégé and associate, Gaffney sits at the center of a network of interlocking think tanks, foundations, lobby groups, arms manufacturers and individuals that constitute the coalition of neo-conservatives, aggressive nationalists like Cheney and Rumsfeld and Christian Right activists responsible for the unilateralist trajectory of U.S. foreign policy since 9/11.

    Included among CSP's board of advisers over the years have been Rumsfeld, Perle, Feith, Christian moralist William Bennett, Abrams, Feith, Joseph, former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, former Navy Undersecretary John Lehman and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director James Woolsey.

    Woolsey also co-chairs the new Committee on the Present Danger (CPD), another prominent neo-con-led lobby group that argues Washington is now engaged in "World War IV" against "Islamo-fascism."

    Also serving on its advisory council are executives from some of the country's largest military contractors, which - along with wealthy individuals sympathetic to Israel's governing Likud Party, such as prominent New York investor Lawrence Kadish and California casino king Irving Moskowitz, and right-wing bodies, such as the Bradley, Sarah Scaife and Olin Foundations - finance CSP's work.

    Gaffney, a ubiquitous "talking head" on TV in the run-up to the war in Iraq, sits on the boards of CPD's parent organizations, the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies (FDD) and Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT). He was a charter associate, with Cheney, Rumsfeld, Perle, Wolfowitz and Abrams, of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), another prominent neo-conservative-led group that offered up a similar checklist of what Bush should do in the "war on terrorism" just nine days after the 9/11 attacks.

    His article opens by trying to pre-empt an argument that is already being heard on the right against expanding Bush's "war on terrorism": that since a plurality of Bush voters identified "moral values" as their chief concern, the president should stick to his social conservative agenda rather than expand the war.

    "The reality is that the same moral principles that underpinned the Bush appeal on 'values' issues like gay marriage, stem-cell research and the right to life were central to his vision of U.S. war aims and foreign policy," according to Gaffney.

    "Indeed, the president laid claim squarely to the ultimate moral value - freedom - as the cornerstone of his strategy for defeating our Islamofascist enemies and their state sponsors, for whom that concept is utterly (sic) anathema."

    To be true to that commitment, policy in the second administration must be directed toward seven priorities, according to Gaffney, beginning with the "reduction in detail of Fallujah and other safe havens utilized by freedom's enemies in Iraq"; followed by "regime change - one way or another - in Iran and North Korea, the only hope for preventing these remaining 'Axis of Evil' states from fully realizing their terrorist and nuclear ambitions."

    Third, the administration must provide "the substantially increased resources needed to re-equip a transforming military and rebuild human-intelligence capabilities (minus, if at all possible, the sorts of intelligence 'reforms' contemplated pre-election that would make matters worse on this and other scores) while we fight World War IV, followed by enhancing "protection of our homeland, including deploying effective missile defenses at sea and in space, as well as ashore."

    Fifth, Washington must keep "faith with Israel, whose destruction remains a priority for the same people who want to destroy us (and ... for our shared 'moral values) especially in the face of Yasser Arafat's demise and the inevitable, post-election pressure to 'solve' the Middle East problem by forcing the Israelis to abandon defensible boundaries."

    Sixth, the administration must deal with France and Germany and the dynamic that made them "so problematic in the first term: namely, their willingness to make common cause with our enemies for profit and their desire to employ a united Europe and its new constitution - as well as other international institutions and mechanisms - to thwart the expansion and application of American power where deemed necessary by Washington."

    Finally, writes Gaffney, Bush must adapt "appropriate strategies for contending with China's increasingly fascistic trade and military policies, (Russian President) Vladimir Putin's accelerating authoritarianism at home and aggressiveness toward the former Soviet republics, the worldwide spread of Islamofascism, and the emergence of a number of aggressively anti-American regimes in Latin America", which he does not identify.

    "These items do not represent some sort of neo-con 'imperialist' game plan", Gaffney stressed. "Rather, they constitute a checklist of the work the world will demand of this president and his subordinates in a second term."

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________/ // //// "Empire may well go to war, but it's out in the open now, too ugly to behold its own reflection, too ugly even to rally its own people. It won't be long before the majority of American people become our allies."

 - ARUNDHATI ROY

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ // / "The documents show "the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for "...what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government." // (M.O.W. editorial insert) / Friendly Fire [ By David Ruppe ABC NEWS http://abcnews.go.com/US/Story?id=92662&page=1 /// Book: U.S. Military Drafted Plans to Terrorize U.S. Cities to Provoke War With Cuba

Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.

/
N E W  Y O R K, May 1, 2001 - In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.

The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."

Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.

"These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing," Bamford told ABCNEWS.com.

"The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants."

Gunning for War

The documents show "the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government," writes Bamford.

The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.

Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, "the objective is to provide irrevocable proof that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic]."

The plans were motivated by an intense desire among senior military leaders to depose Castro, who seized power in 1959 to become the first communist leader in the Western Hemisphere - only 90 miles from U.S. shores.

The earlier CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles had been a disastrous failure, in which the military was not allowed to provide firepower.The military leaders now wanted a shot at it.

"The whole thing was so bizarre," says Bamford, noting public and international support would be needed for an invasion, but apparently neither the American public, nor the Cuban public, wanted to see U.S. troops deployed to drive out Castro.

Reflecting this, the U.S. plan called for establishing prolonged military - not democratic - control over the island nation after the invasion.

"That's what we're supposed to be freeing them from," Bamford says. "The only way we would have succeeded is by doing exactly what the Russians were doing all over the world, by imposing a government by tyranny, basically what we were accusing Castro himself of doing."

'Over the Edge'

The Joint Chiefs at the time were headed by Eisenhower appointee Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who, with the signed plans in hand made a pitch to McNamara on March 13, 1962, recommending Operation Northwoods be run by the military.

Whether the Joint Chiefs' plans were rejected by McNamara in the meeting is not clear. But three days later, President Kennedy told Lemnitzer directly there was virtually no possibility of ever using overt force to take Cuba, Bamford reports. Within months, Lemnitzer would be denied another term as chairman and transferred to another job.

The secret plans came at a time when there was distrust in the military leadership about their civilian leadership, with leaders in the Kennedy administration viewed as too liberal, insufficiently experienced and soft on communism. At the same time, however, there real were concerns in American society about their military overstepping its bounds.

There were reports U.S. military leaders had encouraged their subordinates to vote conservative during the election.

And at least two popular books were published focusing on a right-wing military leadership pushing the limits against government policy of the day. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee published its own report on right-wing extremism in the military, warning a "considerable danger" in the "education and propaganda activities of military personnel" had been uncovered. The committee even called for an examination of any ties between Lemnitzer and right-wing groups. But Congress didn't get wind of Northwoods, says Bamford.

"Although no one in Congress could have known at the time," he writes, "Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs had quietly slipped over the edge."

Even after Lemnitzer was gone, he writes, the Joint Chiefs continued to plan "pretext" operations at least through 1963.

One idea was to create a war between Cuba and another Latin American country so that the United States could intervene. Another was to pay someone in the Castro government to attack U.S. forces at the Guantanamo naval base - an act, which Bamford notes, would have amounted to treason. And another was to fly low level U-2 flights over Cuba, with the intention of having one shot down as a pretext for a war.

"There really was a worry at the time about the military going off crazy and they did, but they never succeeded, but it wasn't for lack of trying," he says.

After 40 Years

Ironically, the documents came to light, says Bamford, in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK, which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy.

As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK's release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public's access to government records related to the assassination.

The author says a friend on the board tipped him off to the documents.

Afraid of a congressional investigation, Lemnitzer had ordered all Joint Chiefs documents related to the Bay of Pigs destroyed, says Bamford. But somehow, these remained.

"The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after," says Bamford.

READ MORE on OPERATION NORTHWOODS

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /// / _______________________________________________________________________________________ / "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." / - Thomas Jefferson _______________________________________________________________________________________ / "We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national autodetermination practiced in past centuries." fbfbdj - David Rockefeller, ( founder of the Trilateral Commission), in an address to a meeting of The Trilateral Commission, in June, 1991 fbfbdj "Today Americans would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order; tomorrow they will be grateful. This is especially true if they were told there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead with world leaders to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well being granted to them by their world government." fbfbdj - Henry Kissinger. speaking at Evian, France, May 21, 1992 Bilderburgers meeting. Unbeknownst to Kissinger, his speech was taped by a Swiss delegate to the meeting fbfbdjjhe "We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." fbfbdj - David Rockefeller - Statement to the United Nations Business Council, 1994 / ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ?celeri "Two years ago a project set up by the men who now surround George W. Bush said what America needed was "a new Pearl Harbor". Its published aims have, alarmingly, come true."

Richard Perlev vv Donald Rumsfeld g vRichard Cheney

(M.O.W. editorial insert) / "You have to keep reminding yourself this is not fantasy: that truly dangerous men, such as Perle and Rumsfeld and Cheney, have power."

HIDDEN AGENDAS

The Films and Writings of John Pilger

The threat posed by US terrorism to the security of nations and individuals was outlined in prophetic detail in a document written more than two years ago and disclosed only recently. What was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world's resources, it said, was "some catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor". The attacks of 11 September 2001 provided the "new Pearl Harbor", described as "the opportunity of ages". The extremists who have since exploited 11 September come from the era of Ronald Reagan, when far-right groups and "think-tanks" were established to avenge the American "defeat" in Vietnam. In the 1990s, there was an added agenda: to justify the denial of a "peace dividend" following the cold war. The Project for the New American Century was formed, along with the American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute and others that have since merged the ambitions of the Reagan administration with those of the current Bush regime.

One of George W Bush's "thinkers" is Richard Perle. I interviewed Perle when he was advising Reagan; and when he spoke about "total war", I mistakenly dismissed him as mad. He recently used the term again in describing America's "war on terror". "No stages," he said. "This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq... this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war... our children will sing great songs about us years from now."

Perle is one of the founders of the Project for the New American Century, the PNAC. Other founders include Dick Cheney, now vice-president, Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defence secretary, I Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, William J Bennett, Reagan's education secretary, and Zalmay Khalilzad, Bush's ambassador to Afghanistan. These are the modern chartists of American terrorism. The PNAC's seminal report, Rebuilding America's Defences: strategy, forces and resources for a new century, was a blueprint of American aims in all but name. Two years ago it recommended an increase in arms-spending by $48bn so that Washington could "fight and win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars". This has happened. It said the United States should develop "bunker-buster" nuclear weapons and make "star wars" a national priority. This is happening. It said that, in the event of Bush taking power, Iraq should be a target. And so it is.

As for Iraq's alleged "weapons of mass destruction", these were dismissed, in so many words, as a convenient excuse, which it is. "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification," it says, "the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." How has this grand strategy been implemented? A series of articles in the Washington Post, co-authored by Bob Woodward of Watergate fame and based on long interviews with senior members of the Bush administration, reveals how 11 September was manipulated.

On the morning of 12 September 2001, without any evidence of who the hijackers were, Rumsfeld demanded that the US attack Iraq. According to Woodward, Rumsfeld told a cabinet meeting that Iraq should be "a principal target of the first round in the war against terrorism". Iraq was temporarily spared only because Colin Powell, the secretary of state, persuaded Bush that "public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible". Afghanistan was chosen as the softer option. If Jonathan Steele's estimate in the Guardian is correct, some 20,000 people in Afghanistan paid the price of this debate with their lives.

Time and again, 11 September is described as an "opportunity". In last April's New Yorker, the investigative reporter Nicholas Lemann wrote that Bush's most senior adviser, Condoleezza Rice, told him she had called together senior members of the National Security Council and asked them "to think about 'how do you capitalise on these opportunities'", which she compared with those of "1945 to 1947": the start of the cold war. Since 11 September, America has established bases at the gateways to all the major sources of fossil fuels, especially central Asia. The Unocal oil company is to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. Bush has scrapped the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas emissions, the war crimes provisions of the International Criminal Court and the anti-ballistic missile treaty. He has said he will use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states "if necessary". Under cover of propaganda about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction, the Bush regime is developing new weapons of mass destruction that undermine international treaties on biological and chemical warfare.

In the Los Angeles Times, the military analyst William Arkin describes a secret army set up by Donald Rumsfeld, similar to those run by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger and which Congress outlawed. This "super-intelligence support activity" will bring together the "CIA and military covert action, information warfare, and deception". According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld, the new organisation, known by its Orwellian moniker as the Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group, or P2OG, will provoke terrorist attacks which would then require "counter-attack" by the United States on countries "harbouring the terrorists".

In other words, innocent people will be killed by the United States. This is reminiscent of Operation Northwoods (see above article), the plan put to President Kennedy by his military chiefs for a phoney terrorist campaign - complete with bombings, hijackings, plane crashes and dead Americans - as justification for an invasion of Cuba. Kennedy rejected it. He was assassinated a few months later. Now Rumsfeld has resurrected Northwoods, but with resources undreamt of in 1963 and with no global rival to invite caution. You have to keep reminding yourself this is not fantasy: that truly dangerous men, such as Perle and Rumsfeld and Cheney, have power. The thread running through their ruminations is the importance of the media: "the prioritised task of bringing on board journalists of repute to accept our position".

"Our position" is code for lying. Certainly, as a journalist, I have never known official lying to be more pervasive than today. We may laugh at the vacuities in Tony Blair's "Iraq dossier" and Jack Straw's inept lie that Iraq has developed a nuclear bomb (which his minions rushed to "explain"). But the more insidious lies, justifying an unprovoked attack on Iraq and linking it to would-be terrorists who are said to lurk in every Tube station, are routinely channelled as news. They are not news; they are black propaganda.

This corruption makes journalists and broadcasters mere ventriloquists' dummies. An attack on a nation of 22 million suffering people is discussed by liberal commentators as if it were a subject at an academic seminar, at which pieces can be pushed around a map, as the old imperialists used to do.

The issue for these humanitarians is not primarily the brutality of modern imperial domination, but how "bad" Saddam Hussein is. There is no admission that their decision to join the war party further seals the fate of perhaps thousands of innocent Iraqis condemned to wait on America's international death row. Their doublethink will not work. You cannot support murderous piracy in the name of humanitarianism. Moreover, the extremes of American fundamentalism that we now face have been staring at us for too long for those of good heart and sense not to recognise them.

With thanks to Norm Dixon and Chris Floyd

__________________

John Pilger was born and educated in Sydney. he has been a war correspondent, film-maker and playwright. Based in London, he has written from many countries and has twice won British journalism's highest award, that of 'Journalist of the Year', for his work in Vietnam and Cambodia. Among a number of other awards he has been 'International Reporter of the Year' and winner of the 'United Nations Association Media Prize'. For his broadcasting, he has won an 'American Television Academy Award', an 'Emmy' and the 'Richard Dimbleby Award', given by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. His latest TV documentary, his 50th, Apartheid Did Not Die! - will be shown in Australia by the ABC in June.

'Pilger's strength is his gift for finding the image, the instant that reveals all: he is a photographer using words instead of a camera ' - Salman Rushdie

'John Pilger is fearless. He unearths, with steely attention to facts, the filthy truth, and tells it as it is ... I salute him.' - Harold Pinter

/ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ //. Who put the con in neocon? "There's a reason why Ahmad Chalabi and the Bush crowd were so simpatico for so long. They all considered themselves masters of the con. They all thought that they could fool all of the people all of the time." / - "Did Somebody Say War?", by BOB HERBERT, New York Times, May 24, 2004 //

/

The divinely appointed Chalabi. "He's our kind of people"' say the Neocons.

/ ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / // "Chalabi has been in exile for four decades and, in 1992, he was convicted on multiple counts of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Jordan after the failure of his bank there. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He escaped from Jordan, reportedly in the trunk of a car, and wound up in London. Dick Cheney is also a Chalabi fan."  // Bush Offers Crooks And Warmongers To Lead Iraq / by Molly Ivins Creators Syndicate Wednesday 9 April 2003 / "So, we've got a crook, a Zionist and an old spy who thinks this is the beginning of WWIV set to run Iraq. How lucky can the Iraqis get? Is this what we thought we were fighting for?"
		

AUSTIN, Texas - Oh good. It looks as though we're going to have as big a fight over postwar plans for Iraq as we did over the war itself. Just what we need, more of everybody being at everybody else's throat.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who seems prepared to run the world, favors one Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress, an exile-emigre group, as postwar leader (read figurehead-puppet). Chalabi is bitterly opposed by both the State Department and the CIA.

According to Knight-Ridder's Jonathan Landay, American military planes flew Chalabi and 700 troops, the newly named "First Battalion of Free Iraqi Forces," into Nasiriyah Sunday to be integrated into Gen. Tommy Franks' command. Landay reports, "Senior administration officials said that Chalabi had had difficulty recruiting enough forces to go into southern Iraq and may have tapped the discredited Badr Brigade, an Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim group, to get his 700 soldiers." Think how happy the Iraqis will be to see some detachment from their old enemy Iran.

Landay also reports, "It was information provided by Chalabi that led Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz to a prewar belief that Iraqis would rise up and welcome the invading coalition with open arms, that the Republican Guard would surrender in droves and the government of Saddam Hussein would crumble in a matter of days."

One hesitates to make sweeping generalizations, but anyone who has studied the history of emigre groups knows the endless infighting and delusional quality of the emigre culture. (See if you can think of an example.)

This gets better. Chalabi has been in exile for four decades and, in 1992, he was convicted on multiple counts of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars in Jordan after the failure of his bank there. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. He escaped from Jordan, reportedly in the trunk of a car, and wound up in London. Dick Cheney is also a Chalabi fan.

The Iraqi National Congress has received millions in American aid money, but the accounting has been very poor (a familiar story) and quite a bit of the money is unaccounted for. Chalabi favors Savile Row suits.

The Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz choice for "viceroy designate" of Iraq is Gen. Jay Garner, head of the Pentagon's Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Garner is a retired military man with links to both the international arms industry and a Jewish lobby group. After retiring from the Army, Garner became president of SY Coleman, a defense contractor specializing in military defense technology. He is currently on leave of absence from the company.

The problem of Garner's alleged Zionist sympathies is also causing talk: He visited Israel as the guest of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and signed a statement in October 2000 blaming the Palestinian Authority for the violence after the collapse of peace talks and praising the "remarkable restraint" of the Israeli army.

The third member of the triumvirate that Rumsfeld & Co. want to run Iraq is former CIA chief James Woolsey, who said last week that Iraq is the opening of the "Fourth World War" (counting the Cold War as III) and that America's enemies include the religious rulers in Iran, states like Syria and Islamic terrorist groups.

So, we've got a crook, a Zionist and an old spy who thinks this is the beginning of WWIV set to run Iraq. How lucky can the Iraqis get? Is this what we thought we were fighting for?

According to David Sanger's analysis in The New York Times, "Some hawks in the administration are convinced that Iraq will serve as a cautionary example of what can happen to other sates that refuse to abandon their programs to build weapons of mass destruction, an argument that John Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control, has made several times in recent speeches."

The administration's more pragmatic wing fears that the war's lesson will be just the opposite: that the best way to avoid American military action is to build a fearsome arsenal quickly and make the cost of conflict too high for Washington.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ... Sen. Ted Stevens suggested last week that New York City's cops and firefighters should work overtime without pay as a wartime sacrifice. "I really feel strongly that we ought to find some way to convince the people that there ought to be some volunteerism at home. Those people overseas in the desert - they're not getting overtime. ... I don't know why the people working for the cities and counties ought to be paid overtime when they're responding to matters of national security."

Stevens, R-Alaska, had just voted for tax cuts that will give those who make a million dollars a year $92,000 more to spend on polo ponies. Some must sacrifice more than others.

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)

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///    The Thief of Baghdad   By Maureen Dowd   The New York Times  Sunday 15 February 2004

Retracing the rush to war, the names Cheney and Chalabi are entwined in bold relief.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)


In the Ford White House, Dick Cheney's Secret Service name was Backseat, because he was the model of an unobtrusive staffer, the perfect unflashy deputy chief of staff for that lord of the bureaucratic dance, Donald Rumsfeld.
 
As James Mann writes in his new book, "The Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet," Cheney started out supervising such lowly matters as fixing a stopped-up drain in a White House bathroom sink; getting a headrest for Betty Ford's helicopter seat; and sorting out which salt shakers - the regular ones or, as he put it, the "little dishes of salt with funny little spoons" - would be best for stag dinners in the president's private quarters.
 
Rummy's alter ego rose quickly, though, because he seemed to have no ego. Good old Dick could be counted on to be the man behind the man, a butler to power. The new President Bush, a tabula rasa in foreign affairs, put himself in Cheney's hands.
 
But W. had barely settled into the Oval when Backseat clambered into the front seat. Retracing the rush to war, the names Cheney and Chalabi are entwined in bold relief.
 
Back when Cheney was fiddling with salt shakers, Ahmad Chalabi, a smooth-talking and wealthy young Iraqi MIT graduate, was founding the Petra Bank in Jordan.
 
As Cheney moved up in the capital, Chalabi was tripped up in Jordan by a small matter of embezzlement from his own bank. Jordanian officials have said the crime rocked their economy and they paid $300 million to depositors to cover the bank's losses. By the time
Chalabi was convicted and received a sentence of 22 years of hard labor, he was a fugitive in London.
After 9/11, Chalabi's passionate desire to take out Saddam coincided with that of conservatives. All they needed for their belli was a casus, so Chalabi obligingly conned the neocons.
 
After 9
A wily expert in the politics of the bazaar, he knew he had to sell his scheme on what was good for Americans and their security. He was happy to funnel information to Cheney that painted a picture of Saddam hunkered on a hair-raising stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
 
His group, the Iraqi National Congress, tried to spin our government and media through its "information collection program." Intelligence officials now say that the prewar information provided to Washington by this group was suspect and useless, even disinformation.
 
But here's the wild thing: The propaganda program was underwritten by U.S. government funds. So Americans
paid Chalabi to gull them into a war that is costing them a billion a week - and a precious human cost. Cops dealing with their snitches check out the information better than the Bush administration did.
 

Chalabi's seances swayed the political set, the intelligence set and the journalistic set. In an effect Sen. Bob Graham dubs "incestuous amplification," the bogus stories spewed by Iraqi exiles and defectors ricocheted through an echo chamber of government and media, making it sound as if multiple, reliable sources were corroborating the same story.
 
Rather,
one self-interested source was replicating like computer spam.
 
The CIA was stung to find out its analysts had mistakenly thought Iraq weapons information had been confirmed by multiple sources, when it came from only a single source;
that analysts had relied on a fabricating Iraqi defector and spin material from Iraqi exiles; and that this blather made its way into documents and speeches used by the Bush administration to justify war.
 
George Tenet ordered a major change in procedure last week, removing barricades so analysts can know more about the identities of clandestine agents' sources and their motives.
 
But even incestuous amplification could not have drowned out reality if Bush officials had not glommed onto the Chalabi flummery for their own reasons -
to feed their fantasies about refashioning America's power, psyche and military, and making over the Middle East in our image.
 
Swept up in big dreams, the foreign policy dream team became dupes in Ahmad Chalabi's big con.

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
		
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
/ // / (M.O.W. editorial insert)

 The Iranian Spy in the House of Bush 
   
 By William Rivers Pitt
    t r u t h o u t | Perspective

    Wednesday 26 May 2004

"Bush and his people have lost the 'war,' they have lost the 'peace,' they have disgraced us throughout the world, and they have dim-witted their way through all of this for the benefit of Iran. This is the most damaging breach of national security in generations."

    George W. Bush is running for a second term on the basis of his performance in the defense of our national security. Vice President Cheney has flatly stated that if Bush loses in 2004, the terrorists win. In truth, however, the national security of the United States of America has been raped by these people. 'Rape' is a strong word, but in truth, is not strong enough to describe what has taken place. This disaster can be summed up in one name: Ahmad Chalabi.

    Chalabi was the head of the Iraqi National Congress, a dissident group organized for the purpose of overthrowing the regime of Saddam Hussein. Chalabi was a beloved ally of Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney before they came to power with this administration; Chalabi and his group were the impetus behind the passage of the Iraqi Liberation Act in 1998, legislation advocated loudly by Rumsfeld, Cheney and the neo-conservatives who now occupy this government.

    Rumsfeld personally groomed Chalabi to take control of Iraq once Hussein was removed. This, despite the fact that Chalabi was convicted of 32 counts of bank fraud in Jordan and sentenced in absentia to 22 years in prison, despite the fact that Chalabi had not set foot in Iraq since he was a teenager, despite the fact that he had no power base and no credibility in the Middle East. Because the neo-cons loved him, however, Chalabi saw his opening. More than anything, he lusted after the oil revenues available from an Iraq he controlled.

    Flash forward to January 2001. George W. Bush and his crew took office, and within a week of the inauguration, began planning for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. These plans were kicked into high gear after the attacks of September 11. Bush, grudgingly, agreed to attack Afghanistan and dismantle that Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold. Iraq, however, was large in the minds of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz and the other architects of our current condition. By September of 2002, Afghanistan was left aside - another failed 'Mission Accomplished' - and Iraq was the new focus.

    The attacks of September 11 made Ahmad Chalabi. The Bush administration had already decided to attack Iraq, and then began casting about for evidence to support the decision which had already been made. Don Rumsfeld organized a secretive group within the Defense Department called the Office of Special Plans, the purpose of which was to cherry-pick intelligence reports that made Iraq appear to be an imminent threat. Representatives of the OSP - including Vice President Cheney, Cheney deputy Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich - visited CIA headquarters on several occasions to browbeat the analysts into "toughening up" their analyses of the Iraqi threat.

    More than any single person, Ahmad Chalabi was the source for the 'intelligence' on the Iraqi threat that was offered to the American people. Chalabi was the man who claimed Iraq was in possession of vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. He was able to broadband this lie by becoming the trusted source for New York Times journalist Judith Miller. Miller wrote article after article about the WMD threat posed by Iraq, based on the false data provided by Chalabi. The rest of the news media piggy-backed on the reputation of the Times and re-reported Miller's WMD information across the news spectrum, turning Chalabi's false data into axiomatic truth in the eyes of the American public. It was a masterful stroke.

    Chalabi was the man who claimed Hussein enjoyed deep operational connections with Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda terror network. This allegation, along with the claims of weapons of mass destruction, created the 'imminent threat' aura which greased the skids towards invasion. Like the WMD claims, no proof of the al Qaeda allegations could be established.

    Finally, Chalabi was the man who told Rumsfeld and the rest of the crew that an invasion and occupation of Iraq would be a cakewalk, that the people of Iraq would welcome us with flowers and joy. 802 dead American soldiers later, thousands of wounded American soldiers later, at least ten thousand dead Iraqis later, uncounted billions of dollars later, we have come to see exactly how wrong this claim was. Bush, Rumsfeld and the rest believed him implicitly in every aspect, because he was telling them what they wanted to hear.

    Rumsfeld, the OSP and the neo-cons in general did not have much use throughout all this for the American intelligence community. The CIA, for one, refused to deliver the clear-cut evidence of an Iraqi threat needed to justify the already-made decision to invade. Because Rumsfeld and the rest had Chalabi in hand, they happily cut the CIA and the rest of the American intelligence community completely out of the loop. This actually became funny last summer, when the Bush administration went out of its way to blame the CIA for the fact that no weapons of mass destruction or al Qaeda connections could be found in Iraq.

    Now, we come to discover that Chalabi, beloved by the Bush administration, was in fact serving the national security interests of Iran. For the record, Iran does have operational relationships with international terrorism, and does have a robust program for the development of weapons of mass destruction.

    The CIA is in possession today of "rock-solid" evidence that Ahmad Chalabi is an agent of the Iranian government, that he used his position with the Bush administration to push false data upon the gullible hawks in Washington. According to a report by Julian Borger in the UK Guardian, "The CIA has hard evidence that Mr. Chalabi and his intelligence chief, Aras Karim Habib, passed US secrets to Tehran, and that Mr Habib has been a paid Iranian agent for several years, involved in passing intelligence in both directions."

    "The implications," writes Borger, "are far-reaching. Mr. Chalabi and Mr. Habib were the channels for much of the intelligence on Iraqi weapons on which Washington built its case for war. 'It's pretty clear that Iranians had us for breakfast, lunch and dinner,' said an intelligence source in Washington yesterday. 'Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the US for several years through Chalabi.' Larry Johnson, a former senior counter-terrorist official at the state department, said: 'When the story ultimately comes out we'll see that Iran has run one of the most masterful intelligence operations in history. They persuaded the US and Britain to dispose of its greatest enemy.'"

    Iran's motives are crystal clear. Iraq has been a mortal enemy of Iran for decades. The process engineered by Chalabi has destroyed that enemy, and opened the way to a Shia-controlled Iraq that would be a natural ally of Shia-controlled Iran. In the process, Iran has come into possession of national security secrets so important that only a select few American officials were cleared for them. As a side benefit, Iran has watched the United States flail like a beached whale in Iraq, squandering billions of dollars and thousands of lives while shattering its reputation around the world.

    George W. Bush and his people delivered this boon to Iran on a silver platter. Let us recap:

· The Bush administration, enamored of Chalabi, threw the American intelligence services under the bus, leaving us blind, deaf and dumb;
· The Bush administration barnstormed us into a catastrophic war in Iraq on the word of Chalabi, giving Osama bin Laden the kind of rallying point he had previously only fantasized about;
· Because the Bush administration trusted Chalabi so completely, he was able to give our national security secrets to Iran, while simultaneously feeding Bush's people disinformation about Iraq, which they were all too ready to hear and act upon;
· Because Chalabi was working for Iran, and because he has coughed up the deep national security secrets he gained via access provided by the Bush administration, there are more than 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq whose lives are in far greater danger than anyone previously imagined;
· The Bush administration paid Chalabi $340,000 a month to do this,
over and above whatever he earned from Iranian intelligence for selling us down the river.

    The damage all this has done is incalculable.

    The hawks will try to put all the blame for this on Ahmad Chalabi alone, and will claim they were "duped." The truth, however, is that Bush's people have been courting Chalabi for years, long before they became a part of this administration. He is their creature. The truth is that Bush's people wanted this Iraq war, and were willing to do whatever was necessary to get it. Chalabi was their vehicle, and in using him, they have betrayed us all.

    The truth is that George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the neo-conservatives are personally responsible for the delivery of our most precious national security secrets into the hands of Iran, a nation that has believed itself to be at war with us since the Carter administration. The method of that delivery, this Iraq invasion and occupation, has made the entire world a more dangerous place by orders of magnitude. Thousands are dead, and more will certainly die, because of this.

    There is no repackaged 'Five-Point Plan' this administration can offer, no series of campaign speeches, which can salvage this situation. Bush and his people have lost the 'war,' they have lost the 'peace,' they have disgraced us throughout the world, and they have dim-witted their way through all of this for the benefit of Iran. This is the most damaging breach of national security in generations.

    'Rape' is a strong word, but is all too appropriate for what has taken place here.

    William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for t r u t h o u t. He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________     "I am sorry to say that the corruption here is worse now than in the Saddam Hussein era." / - Mowaffak al-Rubaie, the Iraqi national security adviser "Mystery in Iraq as $300 Million Is Taken Abroad", by Dexter Filkins, The New York Times, 22 January 2005

"...This is the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years."

- Mayor of London KEN LIVINGSTONE, February 16, 2003 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ netjeheyhehn vbm MEET THE PRESS January 23,2005

TIM RUSSERT:  The Iraqi national security adviser said, "corruption is worse now than under Saddam Hussein."

AMB. NEGROPONTE:  Well, I just--I simply can't accept that or can't agree to that allegation.  I would also point out that while he may still carry the official title of national security adviser, he is, in fact, a candidate for political office and not carrying out the national security adviser function at this time.  But when you think of the corruption in the Saddam regime, the oil-for-food scandals, the billions of dollars that were smuggled out of the country, I think those levels of corruption simply pale in comparison to anything that might possibly have been happening in recent months.

U.N.Oil-for-food scandal: less than $2 billion Audit: $9 Billion Unaccounted For in Iraq \ "MISSING" from Department of Defense , FY 2000: $1.1 trillion SOURCE: Acting Assistant Inspector General for Auditing for the DoD February 26, 2002 \ "MISSING" from Housing & Urban Development (HUD) FY 1999: $59.6 billion SOURCE: Susan Gaffney, HUD Inspector General, March 22, 2000 \ (For the full story on these "missing" tax dollars ,visit WHERE IS THE MONEY.ORG) \

John Negroponte was ambassador to Honduras from 1981-1985, As such he supported and carried out a US-sponsored policy of violations to human rights and international law. The infamous Battalion 316, trained by the CIA and Argentine military, kidnaped, tortured and killed hundreds of people. Negroponte knew about these human rights violations and yet continued to collaborate with them, while lying to Congress. George W. Bush made him United States Representative to the United Nations.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ///ukgjhghjk  Bush Picks Longtime Diplomat for New Top Intelligence Job / By DOUGLAS JEHL and ELISABETH BUMILLER NY TIMES http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/18/politics/18director.html

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2005 - President Bush nominated John D. Negroponte on Thursday as the first director of national intelligence, to take charge of American intelligence agencies at a crucial juncture as they try to recover from serious missteps on Iraq and the Sept. 11 attacks.

"....Republicans said that Mr. Negroponte was well liked by Mr. Bush. "Negroponte is not a guy who polishes up his reports so that they make people feel good, and he has the ability to speak very honestly to his superiors, without hedging things, and the president likes that," a Republican close to the White House said.
MORE

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    / Negroponte: Director of Intelligence Manipulation     / By Marjorie Cohn     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Monday 21 February 2005

    With much fanfare, Bush announced on Thursday his nomination of John D. Negroponte as the director of national intelligence. "John's nomination comes in an historic moment for our intelligence services," Bush proclaimed ceremoniously. Intelligence, he said, is now "the first line of defense" in the war on terrorism.

     Bush failed to mention that when Negroponte was United States ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s, he provided false intelligence to Congress about the Honduran "death squads."

    " In fact, the Honduran government was "disappearing," torturing, and killing hundreds of political opponents."

MORE
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    / Intelligence Nominee Comes Under Renewed Scrutiny on Human Rights     / By SCOTT SHANE NY TIMES February 19, 2005

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 - Human rights advocates repeated longstanding criticisms on Friday of John D. Negroponte, President Bush's nominee as director of national intelligence. They said accusations that he covered up abuses as ambassador to Honduras in the 1980's had a new importance after recent cases of American abuse of detainees.

In Honduras, Mr. Negroponte "looked the other way" when evidence of rights violations came to light, said Reed Brody, counsel to Human Rights Watch.

"Unfortunately," Mr. Brody said, "today the United States is involved in serious human rights crimes committed in the process of collecting intelligence. Is he just going to look the other way again? MORE 

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z     /
Hail, Hail, the Gang's All Here: Negroponte Will Fit Right In     /     By Ray McGovern     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Saturday 19 February 2005

Ray McGovern's 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush.  Ray is now co-director of the Servant Leadership School, which provides training and other support for those seeking ways to be in relationship with the marginalized poor. Ray's duties at CIA included chairing National Intelligence Estimates and preparing the President' Daily Brief (PDB). At his retirement ceremony, Ray received the Intelligence Commendation Medal and a letter from then-president George H. W. Bush wishing him well in his transition to non-profit work in inner-city Washington.  Ray served on the board of Bread for the City from 1989-94, the latter two years as president, before becoming co-director of the Servant Leadership School. FULL BIO

    The nomination of John Negroponte to the new post of Director of National Intelligence (DNI) caps a remarkable parade of Bush administration senior nominees. Among the most recent:

· Alberto Gonzales, confirmed as attorney general: the lawyer who advised the president he could ignore the U SWar Crimes Act and the Geneva Conventions on torture and create a "reasonable basis in law...which would provide a solid defense to any future prosecution."
    
·
Michael Chertoff, confirmed as Secretary of Homeland Security: the lawyer who looked the other way when 762 innocent immigrants (mostly of Arab and South Asian descent) were swept up in a post-9/11 dragnet and held as "terrorism suspects" for several months. The dictates of PR trumped habeas corpus; the detentions fostered an image of quick progress in the "war on terrorism."
    
· John Negroponte: the congenial, consummate diplomat now welcomed back into the brotherhood. Presently our ambassador in Baghdad, Negroonpte is best known to many of us as the ambassador to Honduras with the uncanny ability to ignore human rights abuses so as not to endanger congressional support for the attempt to overthrow the duly elected government of Nicaragua in the eighties. Negroponte's job was to hold up the Central American end of the Reagan administration's support for the Contra counterrevolutionaries, keeping Congress in the dark, as necessary.

States-side, Negroponte's opposite number was Elliot Abrams, then assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs, whose influence has recently grown by leaps and bounds in the George W. Bush administration. Convicted in October 1991 for lying to Congress about illegal support for the Contras, Abrams escaped prison when he was pardoned, along with former Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger (also charged with lying to Congress), former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, and three CIA operatives. Indeed, their pardons came cum laude, with President George H. W. Bush stressing that "the common denominator of their motivation...was patriotism." Such "patriotism" has reached a new art form in his son's administration, as a supine Congress no longer seems to care very much about being misled. MORE

__________________________________________________

Here are some more to add to Ray McGovern's list ( M.O.W. Ed.) :
a Richard Armitage
, who was deneid a 1989 appointment as Assistant Secretary of State because of links to Iran -Contra and other scandals, served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs in the Reagan years. U.S. Government stipulations in the Oliver North trial specifically named Armitage as one of the DoD officials responsible for illegal transfers of weapons to terrorist Iran and the Contras. George W. Bush made him Deputy Secretary of State.

John Poindexter, Oliver North's boss during Iran-Contra, convicted of conspiracy, lying to Congress, defrauding the government, and destroying evidence, was made head of the controversial Office of Information Awareness.

Otto Reich's nomination as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, the top post for Latin America, was predicted to draw the most congressional fire. "Between 1983-1986, Reich was elescted by the veteran CIA agent and propaganda specialist, Walter Raymond, to run the notorious Office of Public Diplomacy (OPD), a covert psychological and media spinning unit which reported to Colonel Oliver North at the National Security Council. Raymond described the OPD's role as selling to the US 'a new product -- Central America'. In 2000, Reich became the vice-chairman of Worldwide Responsible Apparel Production (WRAP), a group financed by the clothing industry to support sweatshops.

John Bolton, who supported the Nicaraguan 'contras' during the Reagan era, "Undermined efforts by Sen. John Kerry to investigate drug smuggling and gunrunning by the contras," and was "put in charge of stonewalling Congressional efforts to obtain Justice Department documents and interview White House Chief Edwin Meese's deputies about their role in the Iran-Contra scandal, was made Under Secretary for Arms Control (!) and International Security.

UPDATE 2005: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: From gunrunner put in charge of arms control, Bolton, who would like to see the U.N abolished, has just been nominated US ambassador to the UN. White is black..

Watch this 1995 video of n Bolton ( John Bolton: IHis Own Words ), and ask yourself who his mannerisms rermind yoof.u BOLTON: "There IS NO United Nations!!" "If I were redoing the security council today, I'd have one permanent member (the U.S.) because that's the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world."

(See also: "How John Kerry Exposed the Contra-Cocaine Scandal", by Robert Parry, Salon, Monday 25 October 2004 ) 
and "NARCOTICS TRAFFICKERS AND THE CONTRAS" http://www.webcom.com/pinknoiz/covert/contracoke.html

Bush Nominates Hard-Liner as U.N. Ambassador
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: March 7, 2005

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announcing John R. Bolton's nomination.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton, whose strong statements on North Korea's nuclear program irked the leaders in Pyongyang, is President Bush's choice to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, three government officials said Monday.

Bush, already viewed suspiciously in some sectors of the United Nations for his pre-emptive attack in 2003 on Iraq, reached out to a tough lawyer and arms control expert who rarely muffles his views in diplomatic nuance.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / /  The Writing on the Latrine Walls     By William Rivers Pitt     t r u t h o u t | Perspective     Monday 09 August 2004  

    I sat with a photographer from Reuters who had just returned from a six-month tour of Iraq. He had been tagging along with the Kellogg Brown & Root operation, subsidiary of Halliburton, and saw everything there was to see. He went from new military base to new military base, from the oil work in the north and back to the south, observing how busy were the contactors for Halliburton.

    "I feel like I compromised every one of my principles by even being over there," he told me after the story had been spun out a bit. His eyes, which had seen too many things through the lens of his camera, were haunted.

    It was two years ago that talk about invading Iraq began to circulate. Reasons for the invasion were bandied about - they had weapons of mass destruction, they had a hand in September 11, they will welcome us as liberators - but it wasn't until the Project for the New American Century got dragged into the discussion that an understanding of the true motives behind all this became apparent.

    The Project for the New American Century, or PNAC for short, is just another right-wing think tank, really. One cannot swing one's dead cat by the tail in Washington D.C. without smacking some prehensile gnome, pained by the sunlight, scuttling back to its right-wing think tank cubicle. These organizations are all over the place. What makes PNAC different from all the others?

    The membership roll call, for one thing:

· Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States, former CEO of Halliburton;
· Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense;
· Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense;
· Elliot Abrams, National Security Council;
· John Bolton, Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security;
· I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's top National Security assistant;

    Quite a roster.

    These people didn't enjoy those fancy titles in 2000, when the PNAC manifesto 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' (Adobe document) was first published. Before 2000, they were just a bunch of power players who had been shoved out of the government in 1993. In the time that passed between Clinton and those hanging chads, these people got together in PNAC and laid out a blueprint. 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' was the ultimate result, and it is a doozy of a document. 2000 became 2001, and the PNAC boys - Cheney and Rumsfeld specifically - suddenly had the fancy titles and a chance to swing some weight.

    'Rebuilding America's Defenses' became the roadmap for foreign policy decisions made in the White House and the Pentagon; PNAC had the Vice President's office in one building, and the Defense Secretary's office in the other. Attacking Iraq was central to that roadmap from the beginning. When former Counterterrorism Czar Richard Clarke accused the Bush administration of focusing on Iraq to the detriment of addressing legitimate threats, he was essentially denouncing them for using the attacks of September 11 as an excuse to execute the PNAC blueprint.

    Iraq, you see, has been on the PNAC menu for almost ten years.

    The goals codified in 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' the manifesto, can be boiled down to a few sentences: The invasion and occupation of Iraq, for reasons that had nothing to do with Saddam Hussein. The building of several permanent military bases in Iraq, the purpose of which are to telegraph force throughout the region. The takeover by Western petroleum corporations of Iraq's nationalized oil industry. The ultimate destabilization and overthrow of a variety of regimes in the Middle East, friend and foe alike, by military or economic means, or both.

    "Indeed," it is written on page 14 of 'Rebuilding America's Defenses,' "the United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

    Two years after the talk began, the invasion is completed. There are no weapons of mass destruction, there is no connection to September 11, and the Iraqi people have in no way welcomed us as liberators. The cosmetic rationales for the attack have fallen by the wayside, and all that remains are the PNAC goals, some of which have been achieved in spectacularly profitable fashion.

    The stock in trade of Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root is the construction of permanent military bases. The Reuters reporter I spoke to had been to several KBR-built permanent American military bases in his six month tour of Iraq. "That's where the oil industry money is going," he told me. "Billions of dollars. Not to infrastructure, not to rebuilding the country, and not to helping the Iraqi people. It's going to KBR, to build those bases for the military."

    According to the Center for Public Integrity, Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root has made $11,475,541,371 in Iraq as of July 1. So that's one PNAC goal checked off the list.

    As for the corporate takeover of the Iraqi oil industry, that has become the prime mission of the American soldiers engaged there. Kellogg Brown & Root also does a tidy business in the oil-infrastructure repair market. "The troops aren't hunting terrorists or building a country," said the Reuters photographer. "All they do is guard the convoys running north and south. The convoys north are carrying supplies and empty tankers for the oil fields around Mosul and Tikrit. The convoys south bring back what they pull out of the ground up there. That's where all these kids are getting killed. They get hit with IEDs while guarding these convoys, and all hell breaks loose."

    That last goal, about overthrowing other regimes in the region, hasn't been as easy to follow through on as the PNAC boys might have hoped. The Iraqi people are fighting back, and the small-by-comparison force Rumsfeld said would be enough to do the job can't seem to pacify the country. Perhaps that is because too many troops are dedicated to guarding the oil supply lines. More likely, however, it is because of the sincere belief among the Iraqi people that they have been conquered - not 'liberated' but conquered - and their conquerors don't give a tinker's damn whether they live or die.

    "The Americans over there have all these terms for people who aren't Americans," the Reuters photographer said. "The Iraqi people are called LPs, or 'Local Personnel.' They get killed all the time, but it's like, 'Some LPs got killed,' so it isn't like real people died. Iraqi kids run along the convoys, hoping a soldier will throw them some food or water, and sometimes they get crushed by the trucks. Nothing stops, those are the orders, so some LPs get killed and the convoy keeps rolling. The labels make it easier for them to die. The people are depersonalized. No one cares."

    "Everyone is an 'insurgent' over there," the photographer told me. "That's another label with no meaning. Everyone is against the Americans. There is a $250,000 bounty on the head of every Westerner over there, mine too, while I was there. The Americans working the oil industry over there are the dumbest, most racist jackasses I've ever seen in my life. That's the American face on this thing, and the Iraqi people see it."

    930 American soldiers have died to achieve goals the PNAC boys gamed out before they ever came in with this Bush administration. Well over 10,000 Iraqi civilians have likewise died. Over $200 billion has been spent to do this. Fighting today rages across several sections of Iraq, and the puppet 'leaders' installed by U.S. forces are about to drive a final stake into the heart of the liberation rhetoric by declaring nationwide martial law.

    Two enemies of the United States - the nation of Iran and Osama bin Laden - are thrilled with the outcome to date. Saddam Hussein was an enemy to both Iran and bin Laden, and he has been removed. The destabilization and innocent bloodshed bolsters Iran's standing against the U.S., and sends freshly motivated martyrs into the arms of Osama.

    Yes, the Halliburton contracting in Iraq for military bases and petroleum production is a cash cow for that company. The bases are being built. The oil industry has been privatized. The resulting chaos of the PNAC blueprint, however, has left the entire theater of the war in complete chaos. The Bush administration has insisted all along that this invasion was central to their 'War on Terror.' It has, in truth, become a failed experiment in global corporate hegemony writ large, foisted upon us by some men named Cheney and Rumsfeld who thought it would all work out as they had planned it in 2000.

    It hasn't, except for the profiteering. For all their white papers, for all their carefully-laid plans, for all the power and fancy titles these erstwhile think-tankers managed to gather unto themselves, their works are now blood-crusted dust. They are clearly not as smart as they thought they were. The overall 'War on Terror' itself has plenty of examples of these boys not being too swift on the uptake. Iraq is only the largest, and costliest, example.

    The case of Mohammad Naeem Noor Khan is another perfect example. Khan was a mole, deep undercover within the ranks of al Qaeda, who was sending vital data on the terror organization from Pakistan to British and American intelligence. But officials with the Bush administration, desperate to show the American people they were making headway in the terror war, barfed up Khan's name to the press while bragging about recent arrests. Khan's position as a mole within al Qaeda was summarily annihilated. The guy we had inside was blown.

    Pretty smart, yes? "The whole thing smacks of either incompetence or worse," said Tim Ripley, a security expert who writes for Jane's Defense publications, in a Reuters article on the blown agent. "You have to ask: what are they doing compromising a deep mole within al Qaeda, when it's so difficult to get these guys in there in the first place? It goes against all the rules of counter-espionage, counter-terrorism, running agents and so forth. It's not exactly cloak and dagger undercover work if it's on the front pages every time there's a development, is it?"

    This would be the second agent we know of who has been blown by the arrogant stupidity of the Bush administration. The other, of course, was Valerie Plame. Plame was a 'Non-Official Cover' agent, or NOC, for the CIA. NOC designates the deepest cover an agent can have. Plame's deep-cover assignment was to run a network dedicated to tracking any person, nation or group that might give weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Because her husband, Ambassador Joseph Wilson, had the temerity to accuse the Bush administration of lying in the public prints, the administration blew Plame's cover as a warning to Wilson and any other whistleblowers who might have thought of coming forward.

    The Bush administration blew Khan's cover because they wanted to get a soundbite out for the election campaign. They blew Plame out of sheer spite, and out of desperation. The mole we had inside al Qaeda, and an agent we had tracking the movement of weapons of mass destruction, are both finished now because the PNAC boys are watching all their plans go awry, and they don't quite know what to do about it. That makes them stupid and exceedingly dangerous.

    The soldiers over there are hip to the jive at this point. Michael Hoffman, a Marine corporal in artillery, was part of the original March invasion. Before Hoffman's unit shipped out, his battery first sergeant addressed all the enlisted men. "Don't think you're going to be heroes," said Hoffman's sergeant. "You're not going over there because of weapons of mass destruction. You're not going there to get rid of Saddam Hussein, or to make Iraq safe for democracy. You're going there for one reason and one reason alone: Oil."

    The Reuters photographer I spoke to couldn't get any soldiers to talk about how they felt when surrounded by their fellow soldiers. "They don't talk in the ranks, or just about anywhere on base," he said. "You have to go out to the latrine area, to the Port-O-Potties. For some reason, they talk there. You can read how they really feel - all the anti-Bush stuff, all the wanting to go home - in the writing on the shithouse walls."

    William Rivers Pitt is a New York Times and international bestseller of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You To Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / //

"... He had a war in Iraq in mind practically from the moment he was put in charge of the Pentagon, and the Army we have is what he knew we had when he directed the invasion. But it turned out he didn't expect to fight a real war. The flowery welcome he expected from Iraqis turned into a prolonged nightmare." / (M.O.W. editorial insert) / Questions About War Can't Be Brushed Aside by G. Jefferson Price III - the Baltimore Sun, Sunday, December 12, 2004

The arrogance of the Bush administration in so much of what it says and does is supposed to be a factor in the feelings of distrust and outright hatred that many foreigners have for America these days.

But Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld demonstrated last week that arrogance isn't just for foreigners like those Old Europeans. Mr. Rumsfeld can dish it out to his own troops serving in the fraudulently ordered, misguided and mismanaged war and occupation in Iraq.

The secretary got a little taste of American freedom of expression Wednesday when he visited some of those U.S. troops in Kuwait, where they were waiting to serve in Iraq. And he didn't seem to like it.

According to press reports, soldiers complained about the need for better armor for their vehicles and about the unexpected lengthening of tours in the military in Iraq, which is now nearly half Reservists.

"You go to war with the Army you have," Mr. Rumsfeld replied.

You go to war with the Army you have?

Who on earth does Donald Rumsfeld think is responsible for the condition of the Army we have if it isn't the secretary of defense? He had a war in Iraq in mind practically from the moment he was put in charge of the Pentagon, and the Army we have is what he knew we had when he directed the invasion. But it turned out he didn't expect to fight a real war. The flowery welcome he expected from Iraqis turned into a prolonged nightmare.

Lack of armor for the vehicles being used by American forces in Iraq has been blamed for many of the nearly 1,300 U.S. combat deaths and nine times as many injuries in Iraq since the invasion. Army Spc. Thomas Wilson, a Tennessee National Guardsman, wanted to know why the problem hasn't been fixed.

"Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?" he asked, according to press reports.

The question aroused cheers from the 2,300 soldiers who had come to meet Mr. Rumsfeld. Those cheers were not coming from Old Europeans; they were from Mr. Rumsfeld's own soldiers.

Later, according to a New York Times account of the encounter, an Idaho National Guardsman asked what Mr. Rumsfeld and the Army were doing "to address shortages and antiquated equipment." The soldiers grew restless as Mr. Rumsfeld hesitated over the question.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

"Now settle down, settle down," the secretary pleaded. "Hell, I'm an old man. It's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here."

It's not early in the morning; it's late in the day for America in Iraq. Old Man Rumsfeld should have better gathered his thoughts about the Iraq war long ago.

The soldiers he met in Kuwait have gathered theirs, and they're unhappy. Too many of them are Reservists called up to duty and extended in an arrangement that has many feeling tricked.

But Mr. Rumsfeld is not new to trickery. He was a leader in the cabal that tricked us into Iraq in the first place - that tricked America into thinking that Iraq and Saddam Hussein posed an imminent threat to the security of the United States and that he was Osama bin Laden's accomplice in 9/11. And while Mr. Rumsfeld and President Bush continue to assert that the Iraq war was worth it, and that the mission - whatever it really was - will be a success, evidence that it won't is overwhelming.

That America has spent billions upon billions of dollars on the war and the occupation and hasn't even managed to provide sufficient armor to protect its own soldiers is a metaphor for the failure of the whole operation.

While Mr. Bush preens over the capture of Fallujah and promises there definitely will be an election in Iraq on schedule next month, intelligence from Iraq predicts continuing instability and a range of possibilities that includes civil war and violence beyond the control of the American-installed Iraqi government or the coalition forces.

Army Specialist Wilson wants to know why he is being sent to Iraq without sufficient armor to save his life. I want to know why Specialist Wilson is going to Iraq at all. And notwithstanding the results of the last election, Americans eventually will demand an accounting for this sordid adventure.

If the discontent that Mr. Rumsfeld heard in that hangar in Kuwait last week is any sign, the most forceful demand may come from the very soldiers he sent there.

They can't be fooled. They know too much.

G. Jefferson Price III is a former editor and foreign correspondent for The Sun. His column appears Sundays.

© 2004 Baltimore Sun

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/ / To Whom it May Concern By Brooke M. Campbell t r u t h o u t | Letter Friday 03 September 2004 / Sgt. Campbell requested that, if something happened to him, his family place this photo on his coffin.rhhh /   

 To Whom it May Concern,

    I found out that my brother, Sergeant Ryan M. Campbell, was dead during a graduate seminar at Emory University on April 29, 2004. Immediately after a uniformed officer knocked at my mother's door to deliver the message that broke her heart, she called me on my cell phone. She could say nothing but "He's gone." I could say nothing but "No." Over and over again we chanted this refrain to each other over the phone as I made my way across the country to hold her as she wept.

    I had made the very same trip in February, cutting classes to spend my brother's two weeks' leave from Baghdad with him. Little did I know then that the next time I saw him would be at Arlington National Cemetery. During those days in February, my brother shared with me his fear, his disillusionment, and his anger. "We had all been led to believe that Iraq posed a serious threat to America as well as its surrounding nations," he said. "We invaded expecting to find weapons of mass destruction and a much more prepared and well-trained Republican Guard waiting for us. It is now a year later, and alas, no weapons of mass destruction or any other real threat, for that matter."

    Ryan was scheduled to complete his one-year assignment to Iraq on April 25. But on April 11, he emailed me to let me know not to expect him in Atlanta for a May visit, because his tour of duty had been involuntarily extended. "Just do me one big favor, ok?" he wrote. "Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you."

    Last night, I listened to George W. Bush's live, televised speech at the Republican National Convention. He spoke to me and my family when he announced, "I have met with parents and wives and husbands who have received a folded flag, and said a final goodbye to a soldier they loved. I am awed that so many have used those meetings to say that I am in their prayers and to offer encouragement to me. Where does strength like that come from? How can people so burdened with sorrow also feel such pride? It is because they know their loved one was last seen doing good. Because they know that liberty was precious to the one they lost. And in those military families, I have seen the character of a great nation: decent, and idealistic, and strong."

    This is my reply: Mr. President, I know that you probably still "don't do body counts," so you may not know that almost one thousand U.S. troops have died doing what you told them they had to do to protect America. Ryan was Number 832. Liberty was, indeed, precious to the one I lost-- so precious that he would rather have gone to prison than back to Iraq in February. Like you, I don't know where the strength for "such pride" on the part of people "so burdened with sorrow" comes from; maybe I spent it all holding my mother as she wept. I last saw my loved one at the Kansas City airport, staring after me as I walked away. I could see April 29 written on his sad, sand-chapped and sunburned face. I could see that he desperately wanted to believe that if he died, it would be while "doing good," as you put it. He wanted us to be able to be proud of him. Mr. President, you gave me and my mother a folded flag instead of the beautiful boy who called us "Moms" and "Brookster." But worse than that, you sold my little brother a bill of goods. Not only did you cheat him of a long meaningful life, but you cheated him of a meaningful death. You are in my prayers, Mr. President, because I think that you need them more than anyone on the face of the planet. But you will never get my vote.

    So to whom it may concern: Don't vote for Bush. No. Just don't do it. I would not be happy with you.

    Sincerely,
    Brooke M. Campbell
    Atlanta, GA

 

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/
"What can you say about a deputy defense secretary so eager to invade Iraq he was nicknamed Wolfowitz of Arabia, so bullish to remold the Middle East he froze the State Department out of the occupation and then mangled it, who doesn't bother to keep track of the young Americans who died for his delusion?" .

Wolfie's Fuzzy Math
By MAUREEN DOWD
New York Times
May 2, 2004

WASHINGTON

This administration is the opposite of "The Sixth Sense."

They don't see any dead people.

Beyond the president's glaring absence at military funerals; beyond the Pentagon's self-serving ban on photographing the returning flag-draped coffins at Dover; beyond playing down the thousands of wounded and maimed American troops and the thousands of hurt and dead Iraqi civilians, now comes the cruel arithmetic of Paul Wolfowitz.

What can you say about a deputy defense secretary so eager to invade Iraq he was nicknamed Wolfowitz of Arabia, so bullish to remold the Middle East he froze the State Department out of the occupation and then mangled it, who doesn't bother to keep track of the young Americans who died for his delusion?

Those troops were killed while they were still trying to fathom the treacherous tribal and religious beehive they were never prepared for, since they thought they'd be helping build schools and hospitals for grateful Iraqis.

Asked during a Congressional budget hearing on Thursday how many American troops had been killed in Iraq, Mr. Wolfowitz missed by more than 30 percent. "It's approximately 500, of which - I can get the exact numbers - approximately 350 are combat deaths," he said.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

As of Thursday, there were 722 deaths, 521 in combat. The No. 2 man at the Pentagon was oblivious in the bloodiest month of the war, with the number of Americans killed in April overtaking those killed in the six-week siege of Baghdad last year.

This is, of course, an administration that refuses to quantify or acknowledge the cost of its chuckleheaded empire policies, in bodies, money, credibility in the Arab world, reputation among our allies or the reinvigoration of militant Muslims around the globe. Duped themselves, they duped Americans into thinking it would be easy, paid for with Iraqi oil. But Donald Rumsfeld's vision of showing off a slim, agile military was always at odds with the neocons' vision of infusing enough security into Iraq to turn it into an instant democratic paradise.

Crushed in the collision of these two grandiose dreams are all the smaller dreams of fallen soldiers, to raise kids and watch baseball and grill hot dogs on the Fourth of July.

Now things have deteriorated to the point that the administration is pathetically begging for help from the very people it was trying to roll over - the U.N., Saddam's Baathist generals and the Iranians.

When Ted Koppel decided to devote his Friday "Nightline" to showing the faces and reading the names of the men and women killed in action, Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard denounced it as "a stupid statement" and the conservative Sinclair media company, one of the country's largest owners of local stations, said it would pre-empt the program on its ABC affiliates. Sinclair, a big Republican donor, felt Mr. Koppel was undermining the war effort.

Bill O'Reilly suggested that CBS, by breaking the news of the grotesque pictures of American soldiers gaily tormenting Iraqi prisoners, had put American lives at risk.

But it's unhealthy to censor the ugly realities of war. The real danger is when the architects of war refuse to rethink bad assumptions, wrapping themselves in the blindly ideological nobility of their mission.

Senator John McCain let Sinclair have it with both barrels, noting that the public needed "to be reminded of war's terrible costs, in all their heartbreaking detail" and calling the pre-emption "unpatriotic." (Shouldn't John Kerry be running as John McCain's vice president?)

Mr. Koppel told me that he neither wanted to beat the drums for war nor "encourage flower children to come back." He said war is "a bitter, bitter business and we need to keep talking to each other about where the war goes from here." The tolerance for casualties, he said, shortly before the start of his wrenching roll call of all those baby-faced and smiling soldiers and marines, will be in direct relation to faith in the motivation for war.

The W.M.D. reason vanished. And, with the re-Baathification of the de-Baathification, the American idealism rational is not panning out.

Hiding the faces of the war dead makes the motivation seem like saving face in an election year.

Americans won't take casualties for the credibility of the Bush administration. That's not a good enough reason for people to die.   

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

/
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/
//
/ "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." / - Henry Kissinger, quoted in "Kiss the Boys Goodbye: How the United States Betrayed Its Own POW's in Vietnam" / / // "Boohoo, boohoo," Kissinger said, pretending to cry and rub his eyes. "He's still beating his breast, right? Still feeling guilty." He spoke in a mocking, singsong voice and patted his heart for emphasis." / - Henry Kissinger, on Robert McNamara's public repentance for his part in the millions of lives lost in the Vietnam war

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / // /

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________g8ug8i

"...In this election, they will speak endlessly of risk. We will speak of progress. They will make accusations. We will make proposals. They will feed fear. We will appeal to hope. // // They will offer more lectures, and legalisms, and carefully worded denials. We offer another way, a better way, and a stiff dose of truth."w / - Dick Cheney, speech to the GOP convention, 2000

"One of the biggest changes in politics in my lifetime is that the delusional is no longer marginal. It has come in from the fringe, to sit in the seat of power in the Oval Office and in Congress. For the first time in our history, ideology and theology hold a monopoly of power in Washington. Theology asserts propositions that cannot be proven true; ideologues hold stoutly to a worldview despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. When ideology and theology couple, their offspring are not always bad but they are always blind. And there is the danger: voters and politicians alike,

oblivious to the facts." /

 - from "There Is No Tomorrow", by Bill Moyers,The Minneapolis Star Tribune, 30 January, 2005 /

" Bush Sr. called the neocons the 'crazies in the basement.' .... Brent Scowcroft for example is not a neocon, yet people call him one. Scowcroft worked hard to reign in the 'crazies in the basement,' as did Reagan. "

- Scott Ritter (below)

v /

// /

     "The neocons believe in what they think is a noble truth, power of the few, the select few. These are godless people who want power, nothing more. They do not have a country or an allegiance, they have an agenda. These people might hold American passports, but they are not Americans because they do not believe in the Constitution. They believe in the power of the few, not a government for or by the people. They are a few and their agenda is global."  / - Scott Ritter (below)

Editor's Note: This is the third of Raw Story's series of conversations with former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter. In the first installment, Ritter spoke about the situations as regards weapons in Iraq, Iran and Russia. In the second, Ritter enumerated what he saw as the failings of the US intelligence operation, calling the CIA 'terminally ill.' In this final part of the three-part series, the former weapons inspector details his beliefs about the neoconservative movement, the American legislative process and his hopes for the future.

Scott Ritter: Neocons as Parasites

/by Larisa Alexandrovna Raw Story April 1, 2005
Go to Original

William Scott Ritter, Jr. is a retired U.S. Marine and the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq. Ritter was born into a military family on July 15, 1961. After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with departmental honors, he joined the Marine Corps in 1984, where he served for 12 years as an intelligence officer. He initially served as the lead analyst for the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Force concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War. During Desert Storm he served as a ballistic missile expert under General Norman Schwarzkopf. Ritter served as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and his resignation from UNSCOM on August 26, 1998.

Congressional Catch-22.

    Larisa Alexandrovna: Paul Wolfowitz stated prior to the Iraq invasion that Iraqi reconstruction would pay for itself. It seems that Mr. Wolfowitz, now charged with handling the World Bank, miscalculated. What is going on with the oil in Iraq?

    Scott Ritter: Paul Wolfowitz was a salesman; his job was to sell a war. He acknowledged this in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, in which he acknowledged that WMDs and the threat they posed, was nothing more than a vehicle to sell this war to America. Now you [get] to the war itself and selling it to Congress and [the] questions: How long will this take? Or how much will this cost?

    Paul Wolfowitz lied to Congress about the costs of war. There is not a responsible member of government who thought this would be quick and cheap. There was nobody who believed that Iraq oil would pay for itself, no one in the oil business thought so.

(M.O.W. editorial insert)

    What about oil companies, were they for the war or against it?

    No oil professional in their right mind would support what is happening in Iraq. This isn't part of a grand 'oil' strategy; it is simply pure unadulterated incompetence.

    So they are concerned about their bottom lines, and chaos doesn't forward that goal.

    Right. Oil company executives are businessmen and they are in a business that requires long-term stability. They love dictators because they bring with them long-term stability. They don't like new democracies because they are messy and unstable. I have not run into a major oil company that is willing to refurbish the Iraq oil fields and invest in oil field exploration and development. These are multi-billion dollar investments that, in order to be profitable, must be played out over decades. And in Iraq today you cannot speak out to projecting any stability in the near to mid-future.

    OK, so now to Congress. They approved the war. I know we have discussed the post-9/11 reality and the pressure of not seeming unpatriotic.

    Yes, but they also approved the war because Congress had been locked into a corner by the neocons in 1998. Our policy in Iraq since 1991 has been regime change.

    How many times did G. H. W. Bush have to say 'we will not remove sanctions until Saddam is removed from power?' Bill Clinton inherited this policy of regime change, but the Bush policy was not an active policy, it was a passive policy to strangle, as it were, Saddam. It was not our policy to take him out through military strength. Saddam, however, was able to out-maneuver this policy, he did not get weaker he got stronger. The neocons played on the political implications of this, to box the Clinton administration and Congress into a corner.

    When you declare Saddam to be a threat with WMDs and then do nothing, you have a political problem. The neocons played on this. In 1998, the Heritage Foundation, Paul Wolfowitz and the American Enterprise Institute basically drafted legislation [that] became the Iraq Liberation Act. This is public law. So when people ask why did Congress vote for the current war in Iraq, it is simply that they had already voted for it in 1998, they were trapped by their own vote.

    So your implication is that in our current foreign policy the neocons have set the tone via thinktanks or supposed thinktanks?

    Yes. Look at who funds the American Enterprise Institute, and the Heritage Foundation, and I think you'll have your answer.

 

    The American Heritage Leninist

    What do you think these institutions are trying to achieve? I know the public claim is conservative values, but there is a some speculation regarding what appears more like Leninist, even Trotskyite values, especially given the current domestic government involvement and control or attempt at control of almost every facet of society, economy, family, etc. Even the term 'Leninist' was used by the Heritage Foundation to describe their approach to Social Security during the 1980s.

    A high-level source, a neocon at that, within the system has said to me directly that 'John Bolton's job is to destroy the UN, Rice's job is to destroy the State Department and replace it with a vehicle of facilitation for making the Pentagon's national security policy.'

    And what of Karen Hughes' appointment?

    Hughes - she is a salesperson; she will sell the policy. She is irrelevant. She is nothing. Her appointment means nothing. Rice has already capitulated to the Pentagon and the White House, and Hughes' appointment is but a manifestation of that larger reality.

    The neocons are parasites. They build nothing. They bring nothing. They don't have a foundation. They don't stand for business. They don't stand for ideology. They use a host to facilitate and grow their own power. They are parasites that latch onto oil until it is no longer convenient. They latch on to democracy until it is no longer convenient.

    Rice's appointment to the State Department is simply to reshape it into a neocon vehicle.

    Why the State Department? Why Rice?

    The State Department still has free thinkers in it. Rice is a dilettante. Anyone who was there during the Reagan era and her advising on Soviet policy knows how inept she is. She is not there because she is a brilliant secretary of state.

    The media has bought into this, because the neocons cleverly put a woman, an African-American woman at that, into this position. So when Rice goes abroad, people do not look at the stupid things she says, they look at what she was wearing and such.

  

  'Godless people who want power, nothing more'

    So you believe the neocons are elitist parasites?

    Yes, elitism is the perfect term.

    Do you consider it localized or global elitism?

    The neocons believe in what they think is a noble truth, power of the few, the select few. These are godless people who want power, nothing more. They do not have a country or an allegiance, they have an agenda. These people might hold American passports, but they are not Americans because they do not believe in the Constitution. They believe in the power of the few, not a government for or by the people. They are a few and their agenda is global.

"...They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution." / "They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead." / - Vice President Henry Wallace, "The Danger of American Fascism", New York Times, 1944 (M.O.W. editorial insert)

    You suggest the Republican Party is simply an organizational host. Is there any vestige left of the host or has the entire party been devoured?

    The Republicans have been neutered by the neocons.

    Your concept of neocons seems confusing because, using your host/parasite paradigm, they cannot tell between the host and the parasite which invades it.

    I know people who have worked for George H. W. Bush, both when he was vice president and president. Bush Sr. called the neocons the 'crazies in the basement.' I think it is dangerous to confuse the two, because there are Americans who love their country and are conservatives who do not support what is going on. Until the host rejects the parasite, it is difficult to separate the two. Brent Scowcroft for example is not a neocon, yet people call him one. Scowcroft worked hard to reign in the 'crazies in the basement,' as did Reagan.

    Many have defined the neocon movement based on the highly intellectual, albeit warped, musings of Strauss and Bloom. Yet one could hardly call the current leadership intellectual or even capable of digesting this philosophy. Even neocon thinkers are jumping off the ship. Do you believe this is simply trickle-down Machiavellianism in much the same way that Communism trickled down as an aberration of its original intent?

    No plan survives initial contact with the enemy. The neocon ideology was always hypothetical in its pure application until now. What we are seeing today is what happens when theory (bad theory at that) makes contact with reality. You get chaos, through which the neocons are now trying to navigate.

    Is Karl Rove a neocon?

    Karl Rove is not part of the neo-conservative master group; he is a host.

    Then who is steering the ship?

    An oligarchy of 'public servant' classes who are drawn from business, and serve naked economic interests. This is true whether you are Democrat or Republican.

 

    Patriot Enactment

    Several insiders have expressed concern over possible oil shortage riots. Would the Patriot Act be put to use, in your opinion, to address such riots?

    [The Patriot Act] is simply the neocons putting their judicial agenda in place by other means. It was a compilation of all of the conservative initiatives, not neocon initiatives, which the conservative Republicans have been pushing for, including a more conservative law enforcement element.

    This is not unhealthy as long is it is done properly, through legislation, proper channels of debate and discourse. A lot of this had been submitted in the past, but was rejected. After 9/11 all of these initiatives were lumped together.

    There are some things in the Patriot Act I agree with, but the Patriot Act requires a responsible society. The neocons have no interest in a responsible society; they simply used the conservatives as a vehicle to push an agenda to assault individual civil liberties.

    As the Patriot Act is now, how it came about, is entirely un-American. It is extreme legislation that does nothing to address the issues it professes to, but moreover, it is, as an existing law, un-American. What makes it un-American is that no one read it before they voted for it. So the process was un-American, and the motivation behind it was un-American. We cannot have a nation that is governed by fear. The Patriot Act is un-American simply because it exists.

    So how do citizens address this situation since the very means of addressing it via Congress seem to have been closed off?

    Congress has ceased to function as a viable tool of government. What is needed is for leaders of honor to resign in protest.

    I have had this conversation with some in Congress and have asked about their thoughts on shutting down Congress and cleaning house. Their counter is that they are afraid to 'leave the crazies in control.'

    They are already in control. If the people want to heal this country, the people have to purge the failing of this country. Vote them out. It might take two or three cycles, but it will happen and it will take time.

    Everyone who voted for the war in Iraq should be voted out of office because it violated article six of the Constitution. Everyone who voted for the Patriot Act needs to go because they did not represent the people by voting on legislation they did not read. They have to go, regardless of party. They have through their actions decided who stays and who goes.

 

    Hope, and worries, for the future

    You suggest Americans vote out all who voted for these measures. If New Yorkers voted out Hillary, who voted for both the Patriot Act and the war in Iraq, and who is also leading the pack of the Democratic Party for the 2008 nomination, what then?

    Hillary is the manifestation of all that ails the Democratic Party. She stands for nothing. She has been compromised by her voting record ... how can she stand for anything worth supporting? And yet she will be the Democratic nominee in 2008, thus guaranteeing another neocon/Republican victory. 'Dump Hillary Now' would be the smartest move Dean could make as the new Democratic National Committee Chair. ... Like I said, it might take two or three cycles, but it will happen.

    What about Dean?

    Dean has to be part of the process of rebuilding and that will take time. Dean cannot run for president, because Dean cannot run as a Democrat - the party is not set up to sustain someone like him. He is one of the exceptions in a corrupt party. He is also not corrupted by his voting record. He is someone who represents something, he did not vote for the war in Iraq, for example.

    We talked about this current social crisis as a closed loop during the second installment. Have you ever seen a loop like this throughout the history of the US? What does this mean?

    The American experiment is much too complex to be destroyed by the neocons. In the end, the neocons will lose. It may take ten to twelve more years, and the costs will be horrific, but America will survive. There will be one hell of a mess to clean up, though, after the fall of the neocons.

    Where do you see America, should things continue as is, five years from now?

    At war, bankrupt morally and fiscally, and in great pain ... and only half-way through the nightmare. Ten to twelve years is what we will have to get through, but we will get through it.


William Scott Ritter, Jr.
is a retired U.S. Marine and the former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.
Ritter was born into a military family on July 15, 1961. After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with departmental honors, he joined the Marine Corps in 1984, where he served for 12 years as an intelligence officer. He initially served as the lead analyst for the Marine Corps Rapid Deployment Force concerning the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq War. During Desert Storm he served as a ballistic missile expert under General Norman Schwarzkopf.
Ritter served as a UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and his resignation from UNSCOM on August 26, 1998.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________/ // / Who was right about Iraq-- Marine Gulf War I veteran Scott Ritter or five-time draft doger Dick Cheney?

"Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." - Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003 dfbbnzd "The clock is ticking, and it's ticking towards war. And it's going to be a real war. It's going to be a war that will result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. It's a war that is going to devastate Iraq. It's a war that's going to destroy the credibility of the United States of America." - U.N weapons inspector, and Gulf War I veteran Scott Ritter speaking at Suffolk University in Boston on July 23, 2002 / ___________________________________________     / "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy, Feb. 7, 2003 ___________________________________________ / "A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict." - President Bush, in an Oval Office speech to the nation, March 20, 2002 /___________________________________________ / Q (April 2005): Where do you see America, should things continue as is, five years from now?      SCOTT RITTER: At war, bankrupt morally and fiscally, and in great pain ... ...and only half-way through the nightmare. Ten to twelve years is what we will have to get through, but we will get through it. / ___________________________________________ / GEORGE H.W. BUSH ( BUSH I ): "I firmly believed that we should not march into Baghdad.///////// To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter day Arab hero. Assigning young soldiers to a fruitless hunt for a secretly entrenched dictator and condemning them to fight what would be an unwinnable urban guerilla war." / ___________________________________________ / BRENT SCOWCROFT (National Security Advisor, Bush I): "But the central point is that any campaign against Iraq, whatever the strategy, cost and risks, is certain to divert us for some indefinite period from our war on terrorism. Worse, there is a virtual consensus in the world against an attack on Iraq at this time. So long as that sentiment persists, it would require the U.S. to pursue a virtual go-it-alone strategy against Iraq, making any military operations correspondingly more difficult and expensive. The most serious cost, however, would be to the war on terrorism. Ignoring that clear sentiment would result in a serious degradation in international cooperation with us against terrorism. And make no mistake, we simply cannot win that war without enthusiastic international cooperation, especially on intelligence. / ___________________________________________ / Q: How do you think the current war in Iraq is going to play out? / GORE VIDAL: I think we will go down the tubes right with it. With each action Bush ever more enrages the Muslims. And there are a billion of them. And sooner or later they will have a Saladin who will pull them together, and they will come after us. And it won't be pretty." / __________________________________________ /  "The neocons believe in what they think is a noble truth, power of the few, the select few. These are godless people who want power, nothing more. They do not have a country or an allegiance, they have an agenda. These people might hold American passports, but they are not Americans because they do not believe in the Constitution. They believe in the power of the few, not a government for or by the people. They are a few and their agenda is global."     / - Scott Ritter, "Neocons as Parasites" (above)     /
		

You call yourself a Christian
I think that you're a hypocrite
You say you are
a patriot
I think that you're a crock of shit

And listen now, the gasoline
I drink it every day
But it's getting very pricey
And who is going to pay

How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con.... Yeah

It's liberty for all
'Cause democracy's our style
Unless you are against us
Then it's prison without trial

But one thing that is certain
Life is good at Haliburton
If you're really so astute
You should invest at Brown & Root.... Yeah

How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con
If you turn out right
I'll eat my hat tonight

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah....

It's getting very scary
Yes, I'm frightened out of my wits
There's bombers in my bedroom
Yeah and it's giving me the shits

We must have lots more bases
To protect us from our foes
Who needs these foolish friendships
We're going it alone

How come you're so wrong
My sweet neo con
Where's the money gone

In the Pentagon

 

- The Rolling Stones, "Sweet Neocon"

./ / "This is the most corrupt and racist American administration in over 80 years." Q: How can you say this about President Bush?' KEN LIVINGSTONE: Well, I think what I said then was quite mild. I actually think that Bush is the greatest threat to life on this planet that we've most probably ever seen. /; The policies he is initiating will doom us to extinction." /; ihygi;l "It's as if they learned none of the lessons from Vietnam. The international world is wondering what happened to America's great heart and soul. - HELEN THOMAS lk;ju;iu "..an administration of liars and murderers, who curse us because we stand in the way of their tyranny, who curse us because we stand in the way of their unholy and brutal agenda, an administration whose villainy and greed is insatiable." - DANNY GLOVER

"One power, with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." - NELSON MANDELA /___________________________________________ / //// //// /_____________ / Smart People nrfnnfnf/ Bushwars / Bushlies / Cheneylies / Incurious George / St. George / King George (the madness of) / George the Lionheart and the New Crusades / George of Orwell / Georgie Warbucks / George W. Hoover / Vanishing Votes // Death Culture / Hall of Shame // 911 Accountability / (Not-so) Friendly Fascism / Project For A New American Perpetual War / Fanning the Flames of Fear, Loathing and Terror / T h e C o l l a t e r a l C h i l d r e n / About This Site: A Gathering Danger _____________// / More writings by, and interviews with SMART PEOPLE on our Dire Situation: / Kurt Vonnegut Speaks  / Bill Moyers Rallies / Gore Vidal Rants / Mark Twain Sings _____________// / avatar723@yahoo.com/ / /

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