|The Prophet Jeremiah: By Rembrandt|
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KC & Associates
By Craig B Hulet?
Special reports are prepared more often
than one might think. But they take sometimes
a year to prepare. When this office,
with the input of our Client base, becomes
aware of some topic in the mainstream media,
the government media some might say,
that has not, nor may ever receive
the proper attention it deserves this office takes
a closer look. Under this section presently
you will find several topics
covered irresponsibly by the press
and the vocal partisans from the progressive left
and the Radical and often silly right-wing.
Other, dated papers are available too
Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI);
was produced a few years ago
With Bush Junior back in Iraq, even more relevant today.
The Persian Gulf Syndrome is more important than ever.
Special Report: Dated November 2000.
This may prove to be the most
important Report this office has published.
I have spoken often that this President has no belief that the rule of law applies to him and his administration. Like intelligence data was used to fix the political objectives in Iraq to fit the already decided act of war, almost a full year before we went into Iraq, Bush and his Republican leadership in both Houses of Congress will fix the law of the land to fit their personal imperial power grab and despicable desires. Now comes the real war of corporate empire for America while Americans blissfully slumber, exhausted like children from a grueling electoral year and the Democratic Partys choice turned out to be no choice at all: Kerry.
George Bush Senior and Barbara Bush, on Larry King live, stated their desire to see Jeb Bush run for the Presidency and their hope to see Hillary Clinton run on the Democratic ticket in the next presidential election; which would (of course) guarantee a Republican victory.
But this beast wont rest until all power flows to the White House into the Bush Cabals hands. Earlier this year on February 17th, 2005 Mr. Hoyer, Berman, Sensbrenner, Sabo, and Mr. Pallone introduced the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, a Joint Resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution, stating....
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification: Article `The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed.'
Corporatism as ideology sees everything as possible, to corporate empire, the Constitution is merely a device whereby laws are manipulated like corporate governance to fit their chosen ends. On the things that matter, Democrats and Republicans alike! Bush, as our fourth president who represents nothing so much as this ideology of power and greed, has no intention of resting until all power resides in his hands and his corporate minions.
--Craig B Hulet Quinault Rain Forest June 2005
H. J. RES. 24
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 17, 2005
Mr. HOYER (for himself, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. SENSENBRENNER, Mr. SABO, and Mr. PALLONE) introduced the following joint resolution ; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:
`The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is repealed.'
From Downing Street to Hell
By Craig B Hulet?
The following reports, findings and press reports (mostly from the European press) have been compiled by Craig B Hulet? ... with some comments throughout these texts by Hulet, in the hopes Americans reading this will awaken from their soft slumber after the terribly hard work of having been engaged in yet another burdensome presidential election; undertsanding they are much in need of a recess, a nap that is to say, we hope it lasts not too much longer, as we must remain engaged in this political miasma because the empirical evidence suggests we may be somewhat, in some small way, as a nation-state, at some little risk. The main stream press regards these issues discussed below with some little derission stating for instance as Mischel Kinsley did recently,
Los Angeles Times editorial page editor Michael Kinsley opted for sarcasm over serious discussion, deriding activists in a June 12 column for sending him emails demanding that I cease my personal cover-up of something called the Downing Street Memo. Kinsley kidded that the fuss was a good sign for the Left: Developing a paranoid theory and promoting it to the very edge of national respectability takes ideological self-confidence.What does Kinsley mean by paranoid? Criticizing the Times for not giving the story much attention would be accurate: Prior to the Bush-Blair press conference, a Nexis search shows one story about the Downing Street minutes appeared in the paper nearly two weeks after the story broke (5/12/05), and that columnist Robert Scheer mentioned it a few days later (5/17/05). (Source: Downing St reet Memo Activists Wing Nuts, Paranoid Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting Media analysis)
In fact, Kinsleys mocking seemed to serve no purpose, since his fallback position is a familiar media defense: We all knew the Bush administration wanted war, so this simply isnt news. (Ibid.) As Kinsley put it, Of course, you dont need a secret memo to know this. As for intelligence and facts being fixed around the policy, Kinsley eventually acknowledged that we know now that this was true.
--Craig B Hulet? Quinault Rain Forest, June 15, 2005
Policy Without a Home
January 26, 1998
The Project for a New American Century urges
President Clinton to oust Saddam Hussein. Among the eighteen signers are Donald
Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and John Bolton.
(New American Century: http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm )
In 1999, Mickey Herskowitz is hired to ghostwrite a campaign autobiography for George W. Bush, an assignment that was later withdrawn. Herskowitz later spoke about Bush for an article by journalist Russ Baker: He was thinking about invading Iraq in 1999... It was on his mind. He said to me: One of the keys to being seen as a great leader is to be seen as a commander-in-chief.
"According to Herskowitz, Bushs beliefs on Iraq were based in part on a notion dating back to the Reagan White House ascribed in part to now-vice president Dick Cheney, Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee under Reagan. Start a small war. Pick a country where there is justification you can jump on, go ahead and invade.
"Bushs circle of pre-election
advisers had a fixation on the political capital that British Prime Minister Margaret
Thatcher collected from the Falklands War. Said Herskowitz: They were just
absolutely blown away, just enthralled by the scenes of the troops coming back,
of the boats, people throwing flowers at [Thatcher] and her getting these standing
ovations in Parliament and making these magnificent speeches.
(Guerrilla News Network: http://www.gnn.tv/articles/article.php?id=761 )
In December 1999, "Bush surprises veteran
political chroniclers with his blunt pronouncements about Saddam at a six-way
New Hampshire primary event: It was a gaffe-free evening for the rookie
front-runner, till he was asked about Saddams weapons stash, a Boston
Globe reporter penned. Id take em out, [Bush] grinned
cavalierly, take out the weapons of mass destruction
hes still there, said Bush of the despot who remains in power after
losing the Gulf War to Bush Jr.s father
It remains to be seen if that
offhand declaration of war was just Texas talk, a sort of locker room braggadocio,
or whether it was Bushs first big clinker.
(Boston Globe: http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=BG&p_
Also Russ Baker: http://www.gnn.tv/articles/article.php?id=761 )
The Project for a New American Century's "Rebuilding
America's Defenses" states: Though the immediate mission of those forces
is to enforce the no-fly zones over northern and southern Iraq, they represent
the long-term commitment of the United States and its major allies to a region
of vital importance. Indeed, 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.
(New American Century: http://www.newamericancentury.org/RebuildingAmericasDefenses.pdf)
moment he took office, Bush made noises about "finishing the job his father
(Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,235395,00.html)
George Bushs former treasury secretary Paul ONeill asserts that Bush took office in January 2001 fully intending to invade Iraq and desperate to find an excuse for pre-emptive war against Saddam Hussein. From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go, ONeill said. For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the US has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap. (Sunday Herald: http://www.sundayherald.com/39221 )
Testifying at his Senate confirmation hearing former General Colin Powell, who was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Gulf War, said Bush wanted to re-energize the sanctions regime and increase support to Iraqi groups trying to overthrow Hussein. Powell also said Hussein, is not going to be around in a few years time. (Air Force Magazine Online. http://www.afa.org/magazine/feb2001/0201powell.asp . )
President Dick Cheney, who was defense secretary during the war against Iraq,
has also suggested a Bush administration might have to take military action
to forcibly remove Saddam from power, as has current Defense Secretary Donald
(Cato Institute: http://www.cato.org/dispatch/10-06-00d.html )
16, 2001 Twenty-four US and UK warplanes bomb sites near Baghdad. bombings
within the no-fly zones have previously been common, but these are more widely
noted and criticized.
(CNN: http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/meast/02/16/iraq.airstrike/ )
April 2001 Cheney's energy task force takes interest in Iraq's oil. Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century describes America's "biggest energy crisis in its history." It targets Saddam as a threat to American interests because of his control of Iraqi oilfields and recommends the use of 'military intervention.'
is linked to a veritable who's who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs.
Commissioned by James Baker, the former US Secretary of State under Bush Sr.,
it was submitted to Vice-President Dick Cheney in April 2001 -- a full five months
before September 11. It advocated a policy of using military force against an
enemy such as Iraq to secure US access and control of Middle Eastern oil fields.
(Sunday Herald: http://www.sundayherald.com/28224)
September 2001 - February 2002
September 11, 2001
In his address to the nation on the evening
of Sept. 11, Bush decides to include a tough new passage about punishing those
who harbor terrorists. He announces that the U.S. will "make no distinction
between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them."
To many observers, the president's words set the tone and direction for the Bush
administration's policy on Afghanistan and Iraq.
(PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq/etc/cron.html )
September 12, 2001
According to Richard A. Clarke: "I expected to go back to a round of meetings [after September 11] examining what the next attacks could be, what our vulnerabilities were, what we could do about them in the short term. Instead, I walked into a series of discussions about Iraq... I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq...By the afternoon on Wednesday [after Sept. 11], Secretary Rumsfeld was talking about broadening the objectives of our response and "getting Iraq."
"On September 12th, I left the video conferencing center and there, wandering alone around the situation room, was the president. He looked like he wanted something to do. He grabbed a few of us and closed the door to the conference room. "Look," he told us, "I know you have a lot to do and all, but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way."
"I was once again taken aback, incredulous, and it showed. "But, Mr. President, Al Qaeda did this."
"I know, I know, but - see if Saddam
was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred--" On the Issues
("Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror," by Richard A. Clarke: http://www.ontheissues.org/Archive/Against_All_Enemies_War_%
September 13, 2001
Two days later, Wolfowitz expands on the president's words at a Pentagon briefing. He seems to signal that the U.S. will enlarge its campaign against terror to include Iraq: "I think one has to say it's not just simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism. And that's why it has to be a broad and sustained campaign."
and others are alarmed by what they view as Wolfowitz's inflammatory words about
"ending states." Powell later responds during a press briefing: "We're
after ending terrorism. And if there are states and regimes, nations that support
terrorism, we hope to persuade them that it is in their interest to stop doing
that. But I think ending terrorism is where I would like to leave it, and let
Mr. Wolfowitz speak for himself."
September 15, 2001
days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush gathers his national security team at Camp
David for a war council. Wolfowitz argues that now is the perfect time to move
against state sponsors of terrorism, including Iraq. But Powell tells the president
that an international coalition would only come together for an attack on Al Qaeda
and the Taliban in Afghanistan, not an invasion of Iraq. The war council votes
with Powell. Rumsfeld abstains. The president decides that the war's first phase
will be Afghanistan. Iraq will be reconsidered later. (PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq/etc/cron.
September 16, 2001
to a 60 Minutes piece, citing Bob Woodward: "just five days after Sept. 11,
President Bush indicated to Condoleezza Rice that while he had to do Afghanistan
first, he was also determined to do something about Saddam Hussein. "There's
some pressure to go after Saddam Hussein. Don Rumsfeld has said, This is
an opportunity to take out Saddam Hussein, perhaps. We should consider it.
And the president says to Condi Rice meeting head to head, We won't do Iraq
now. But it is a question we're gonna have to return to, says
(CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/15/60minutes/main6120
The New Yorker's Seymour Hersh writes: "They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabala small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagons Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi.
According to the Pentagon adviser, Special
Plans was created in order to find evidence of what Wolfowitz and his boss, Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, believed to be truethat Saddam Hussein had close
ties to Al Qaeda, and that Iraq had an enormous arsenal of chemical, biological,
and possibly even nuclear weapons that threatened the region and, potentially,
the United States.
(New Yorke: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030512fa_fact )
Also according to Seymour Hersh, in the fall of 2001, an unsupported allegation by Italian intelligence that Iraq had been attempting to buy uranium from Niger in 1999 was snatched up by Cheney:
after he first saw it, Cheney brought it up at his regularly scheduled daily briefing
from the C.I.A., Martin said. He asked the briefer a question. The briefer
came back a day or two later and said, We do have a report, but theres
a lack of details. The Vice-President was further told that it was
known that Iraq had acquired uranium ore from Niger in the early nineteen-eighties
but that that material had been placed in secure storage by the I.A.E.A., which
was monitoring it. End of story, Martin added. Thats all
we know. According to a former high-level C.I.A. official, however, Cheney
was dissatisfied with the initial response, and asked the agency to review the
matter once again. It was the beginning of what turned out to be a year-long tug-of-war
between the C.I.A. and the Vice-Presidents office.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
November 21, 2001
60 Minutes further cites Bob Woodward: President Bush, after a National Security Council meeting, takes Don Rumsfeld aside, collars him physically, and takes him into a little cubbyhole room and closes the door and says, What have you got in terms of plans for Iraq? What is the status of the war plan? I want you to get on it. I want you to keep it secret."
says immediately after that, Rumsfeld told Gen. Tommy Franks to develop a war
plan to invade Iraq and remove Saddam - and that Rumsfeld gave Franks a blank
check," Woodward says.
(CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/15/60minutes/main6120
By the end of
2001, diplomats were discussing how to enlist the support of Arab allies, the
military was sharpening its troop estimates, and the communications team was plotting
how to sell an attack to the American public. The whole purpose of putting Iraq
into Bush's State of the Union address, as part of the "axis of evil,"
was to begin the debate about a possible invasion.
(Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,235395,00.html
January 29, 2002
In his State of the Union Adress, Bush calls
Iraq part of an "axis of evil," and vows that the U.S. "will not
permit the world's most dangerous regimes to threaten us with the world's most
(White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/01/20020129-11.
February 13, 2002
Ken Adelman, a onetime assistant to Donald Rumsfeld, writes that the conquest of Iraq would be a cakewalk: "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps...
In 1991 we engaged
a grand international coalition because we lacked a domestic coalition. Virtually
the entire Democratic leadership stood against that President Bush. The public,
too, was divided. This President Bush does not need to amass rinky-dink nations
as "coalition partners" to convince the Washington establishment that
we're right. Americans of all parties now know we must wage a total war on terrorism.
(Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&no
de=&contentId=A1996-2002Feb12¬Found=true ... )
Niger uranium story becomes a matter of contention within the CIA; By early 2002,
the intelligencestill unverifiedhad begun to play a role in the Administrations
warnings about the Iraqi nuclear threat. On January 30th, the C.I.A. published
an unclassified report to Congress that stated, Baghdad may be attempting
to acquire materials that could aid in reconstituting its nuclear-weapons program.
A week later, Colin Powell told the House International Relations Committee, With
respect to the nuclear program, there is no doubt that the Iraqis are pursuing
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
By early 2002 U.S. Ambassador to Niger Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick was asked about Iraq-Niger uranium trade; she informed Washington that there was no basis to suspect any link. Then Cheney's office decided to investigate the letters' substance. Former U.S. ambassador to Gabon, Joseph C. Wilson (a man of exceptionally distinguished diplomatic career), was (in his words) "invited out to meet with a group of people at the CIA who were interested in this subject" and agreed to investigate the content of the documents, which he had not seen. He left for Niger in February, and made an oral report in March.
during the same month, a four-star U.S. general, Marine Gen. Carlton W. Fulford
Jr., deputy commander of the U-S European Command (the headquarters responsible
for military relations with most of sub-Saharan Africa) also visited Niger at
the request of the U.S. ambassador. He met with Niger's president February 24
and emphasized the importance of tight controls over its uranium ore deposits.
According to MSNBC, he also visited the country two months later. This year, Fulford
told the Washington Post that he had come away convinced that Niger's uranium
stocks were secure.
(CounterPunch: http://www.counterpunch.org/leupp07262003.html )
Fixing the Intelligence
March - August 2002
Hersh writes: "By early March, 2002, a former White House official told me,
it was understood by many in the White House that the President had decided, in
his own mind, to go to war... The Bush Administration took many intelligence operations
that had been aimed at Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world and
redirected them to the Persian Gulf... Chalabis defector reports were now
flowing from the Pentagon directly to the Vice-Presidents office, and then
on to the President, with little prior evaluation by intelligence professionals.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
F___ Saddam. we're taking him out." Those were the words of President George
W. Bush, who had poked his head into the office of 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.
(Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,235395,00.html)
Cheney carried the same message to Capitol Hill in late March. The Vice President
dropped by a Senate Republican policy lunch soon after his 10-day tour of the
Middle East the one meant to drum up support for a U.S. military strike
against Iraq... Before he spoke, he said no one should repeat what he said, and
Senators and staff members promptly put down their pens and pencils. Then he gave
them some surprising news. The question was no longer if the U.S. would attack
Iraq, he said. The only question was when.
(Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,235395,00.html)
early as March 2002, Blair's foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, assured
Condoleezza Rice of Blair's deadset support for "regime change." Days
later, Sir Christopher Meyer, then British ambassador to the US, sent a dispatch
to Downing Street detailing how he repeated the commitment to Paul Wolfowitz,
the US Deputy Defence Secretary. The ambassador added that Mr Blair would need
a "cover" for any military action. "I then went through the need
to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN Security Council resolutions."
(Raw Story: Manning ; Raw Story: Meyer: http://rawstory.com/aexternal/pdfstemp/meyer020318.)
returned from talks in Washington warning that Bush "still has to find answers
to the big questions," which included "what happens on the morning after?...
They may agree that failure isn't an option, but this does not mean they will
necessarily avoid it." The Cabinet Office said that the US believed that
the legal basis for war already existed and had lost patience with the policy
March 12-13, 2002
meets with Condoleeza Rice. On March 14, he reports to Blair: "I said that
you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a
press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything
in the States. . . . Condi's enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there
were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties
and political risks."
(Raw Story PDF: http://rawstory.com/aexternal/pdfstemp/manning020314.pdf )
March 17, 2002
Meyer, British ambassador to the US, meets with Paul Wolfowitz. The next day,
he reports to Manning: "On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the
script that you used with Condi rice last week. We backed regime change, but the
plan had to be clever and failure was not an option. It would be a tough sell
for us domestically, and probably tougher elsewhere in Europe. The US could go
it alone if it wanted to. But if it wanted to act with partners, here had to be
a strategy for building support for military action against Saddam. I then went
through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors." (PDF of memo: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/meyer020318.pdf
More at Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/09
March 8-25, 2002
leaked documents show the British government considering the implications of shifting
from an Iraq policy based on containment to one of regime change, along with considerations
to be addressed in supporting Bush's objectives. A memo from the British Foreign
Secretary states: "The rewards from your visit to Crawford will be few. The
risks are high, both for you and for the Government. I just that there is at present
no majority inside the PLP for any military action against Iraq ...A legal justification
is a necessary but far from sufficient precondition for military action. We have
also to answer the big question - what will this action achieve?"
(Iraq Options Paper: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/ods020308.pdf
P F Ricketts Memo: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/ricketts020322.pdf
- Jack Straw Memo: http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/downloads/straw020325.pdf )
"Rumsfeld has been so determined to find a rationale for an attack that on 10 separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to the terror attacks of Sept. 11. The intelligence agency repeatedly came back empty-handed. The best hope for Iraqi ties to the attack a report that lead hijacker Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi intelligence official in the Czech Republic was discredited last week.
"The White House's biggest fear is that U.N.
weapons inspectors will be allowed to go in," says a top Senate foreign policy
(Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,235395,00.html )
Throughout this period, and into 2003, Mr Blair was insisting in public that war was not inevitable. In May 2002 he said Iraq would be "in a far better position" without Saddam, but added: "Does that mean that military action is imminent or about to happen? No. We've never said that."
(The Independent: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=615231
US/UK bombing of Iraq intensifies: Despite strict
No-Fly Zone guildeines, Rumsfeld had ordered a more aggressive approach What was
going on? There were very strict rules of engagement in the no-fly zones. Rumsfeld
later said this was simply to prevent the Iraqis attacking allied aircraft, but
a British Foreign Officers' remark told more: In reality, the "spikes of
activity" were designed "to put pressure on the regime."
(Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1632566,00.html )
Karen Kwiatkowski says: "From May 2002 until
February 2003, I observed firsthand the formation of the Pentagon's Office of
Special Plans and watched the latter stages of the neoconservative capture of
the policy-intelligence nexus in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq... I saw a
narrow and deeply flawed policy favored by some executive appointees in the Pentagon
used to manipulate and pressurize the traditional relationship between policymakers
in the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies. I witnessed neoconservative agenda
bearers within OSP usurp measured and carefully considered assessments, and through
suppression and distortion of intelligence analysis promulgate what were in fact
falsehoods to both Congress and the executive office of the president.
(Salon: http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2004/03/10/osp_moveon/ )
In a speech at West Point, Bush commits the United States to a doctrine of preemption: "Our security will require all Americans [to] be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives."
(White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss5.html )
July 21, 2002
1. Cabinet Office paper: Conditions for military action: "1. The US Government's military planning for action against Iraq is proceeding apace. But, as yet, it lacks a political framework. In particular, little thought has been given to creating the political conditions for military action, or the aftermath and how to shape it.
2. When the Prime Minister discussed Iraq with President Bush at Crawford in April he said that the UK would support military action to bring about regime change, provided that certain conditions were met: efforts had been made to construct a coalition/shape public opinion, the Israel-Palestine Crisis was quiescent, and the options for action to eliminate Iraq's WMD through the UN weapons inspectors had been exhausted.
We need now to reinforce this message and to encourage the US Government to place
its military planning within a political framework, partly to forestall the risk
that military action is precipitated in an unplanned way by, for example, an incident
in the No Fly Zones. This is particularly important for the UK because it is necessary
to create the conditions in which we could legally support military action. Otherwise
we face the real danger that the US will commit themselves to a course of action
which we would find very difficult to support.
(Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2089-1648758,00.html)
July 23, 2002
From The Downing Street Memo, minutes of an official high-level meeting between British and American officials: British intel MI6 director Sir Richard Dearlove "reported on his recent talks in Washington... Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.
"The Defense Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.
seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the
timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening
his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea
or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in
the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for
the use of force.
(Raw Story; via Sunday Times: http://rawstory.com/news/2005/The_Secret_Downing_Street_Memo
MINISTERS were warned in July 2002 that Britain was committed to taking part in an American-led invasion of Iraq and they had no choice but to find a way of making it legal. The warning, in a leaked Cabinet Office briefing paper, said Tony Blair had already agreed to back military action to get rid of Saddam Hussein at a summit at the Texas ranch of President George W Bush three months earlier. The briefing paper, for participants at a meeting of Blairs inner circle on July 23, 2002, said that since regime change was illegal it was necessary to create the conditions which would make it legal. . . .
It is just possible that an ultimatum
could be cast in terms which Saddam would reject, the document says. But
if he accepted it and did not attack the allies, they would be most unlikely
to obtain the legal justification they needed. Suggestions that the allies use
the UN to justify war contradicts claims by Blair and Bush, repeated during their
Washington summit in June, 2005, that they turned to the UN in order to avoid
having to go to war.
(Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1650822,00.html )
Late July 2002
the end of July 2002, they need $700 million, a large amount of money for all
these tasks. And the president approves it. But Congress doesn't know and it is
done. They get the money from a supplemental appropriation for the Afghan War,
which Congress has approved.
Some people are gonna look at a document called
the Constitution which says that no money will be drawn from the Treasury unless
appropriated by Congress. Congress was totally in the dark on this."
(CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/04/15/60minutes/main612067.shtml )
August 2, 2002
Scott Ritter states: Are the weapons that were loaded up with VX destroyed? Yes. Is the equipment used to produce VX on a large scale destroyed? Yes.
The fact Tony Blair
cannot put on the table any substantive facts about a re-constituted Iraqi chemical
weapons programme is proof positive that no such evidence exists.
(Tribune: http://www.tribweb.co.uk/ritter02082002.htm )
August 7, 2002
Cheney says of Saddam Hussein, What we
know now, from various sources, is that he... continues to pursue a nuclear weapon.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
U.S., UK conduct secret bombing campaign. "The
[air] attacks were intensified from May, six months before the United Nations
resolution that Tony Blair and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney-general, argued gave
the coalition the legal basis for war. By the end of August the raids had become
a full air offensive.
(Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2087-1632566,00.html )
Powell reports trouble getting U.S. allies on
board for a war with Iraq... As Bush leaves for an August vacation in Crawford,
Texas, he agrees to take his case to the U.N. and asks his advisers to start preparing
(PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/iraq/etc/cron.html )
August 26, 2002
Cheney suggests Saddam had a nuclear capability that could directly threaten anyone he chooses, in his own region or beyond. ( New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
September 5, 2002
became clear that Saddam Hussein would not provide justification to launch the
air war, the U.S. and UK launched it anyway, beneath the cloak of the no-fly zone.
More than a hundred allied aircraft attacked the H-3 airfield, Iraq's main air
defence site. At the furthest extreme of the southern no-fly zone, far away from
the areas that needed to be patrolled to prevent attacks on the Shias, it was
destroyed not because it was a threat to the patrols, but to allow allied special
forces operating from Jordan to enter Iraq undetected.
(New Statesman: http://www.newstatesman.com/nssubsfilter.php3?newTemplate=NS
September 8, 2002
tells a TV interviewer, We do know, with absolute certainty, that [Saddam]
is using his procurement system to acquire the equipment he needs in order to
enrich uranium to build a nuclear weapon.
Condoleezza Rice says, We dont want the smoking gun to be a mushroom clouda formulation that was taken up by hawks in the Administration.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
September 9, 2002
Institute for Strategic Studies releases a report that says Iraq was, "only
months away if it were able to get hold of weapons grade uranium . . . from a
foreign source." The IISS had bad information. Their argument was compounded
by a UK Dossier that relied on the IISS report.
(US News: http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/whispers/documents/truth.pdf )
Saddam Hussein has the scientists and infrastructure for a nuclear-weapons
program, and has illicitly sought to purchase the equipment needed to enrich uranium
for a nuclear weapon. There was no confirmed intelligence for the Presidents
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
September 16, 2002
unconditionally accepts the return of UN inspectors.
(BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2167933.stm )
September 17, 2002
National Security Strategy asserts that the US will never again allow its military
supremacy to be challenged and embracesunilateral preemptive military strikes.
(White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nssall.html )
September 19, 2002
Washington Post cites the IISS report to show that the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq were unlikely to have been intended for a nuclear program. (Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A36348-2002Sep18?language=printer )
September 24, 2002
Tenet and other senior intelligence officials brief the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee on Iraqs weapons capability as Congress prepares to vote on authorizing
war in Iraq. According to Seymou Hersh, this briefing includes claims about both
the aluminum tubes and the Niger uranium. Two days later, Colin Powell will also
cite the Niger uranium before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030331fa_fact1 )
(the "sexed up" dossier)
Blair is convinced new sources of intelligence from inside Iraq provide "persuasive
and overwhelming" evidence that Saddam Hussein is reassembling and expanding
his weapons programme... Blair is confident that the 55-page dossier on weapons
of mass destruction will convince many doubters. He told colleagues: "Saddam
is developing his weapons programme and doing it as fast as he can."
(Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,797786,00.html )
September 26, 2002
Rice says Qaeda operatives have found refuge in Baghdad, and accuses Hussein of helping Osama bin Laden's followers develop chemical weapons.
(CBS News: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/09/26/national/main52332.shtml )
Runup to War
October 2002 - March 2003
Hersh writes: "A set of documents suddenly appeared that promised to provide
solid evidence that Iraq was attempting to reconstitute its nuclear program. The
first notice of the documents existence came when Elisabetta Burba, a reporter
for Panorama, a glossy Italian weekly owned by the publishing empire of Prime
Minister Silvio Berlusconi, received a telephone call from an Italian businessman
and security consultant whom she believed to have once been connected to Italian
intelligence. He told her that he had information connecting Saddam Hussein to
the purchase of uranium in Africa.
She wanted to arrange a visit to Niger to verify what seemed to be an astonishing story. At that point, however, Panoramas editor-in-chief, Carlo Rossella, who is known for his ties to the Berlusconi government, told Burba to turn the documents over to the American Embassy for authentication. Burba dutifully took a copy of the papers to the Embassy on October 9th.
George Tenet clearly
was ambivalent about the information: in early October, he intervened to prevent
the President from referring to Niger in a speech in Cincinnati. But Tenet then
seemed to give up the fight, and Saddams desire for uranium from Niger soon
became part of the Administrations public case for going to war.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
October 10, 2002
Congress passes the Joint Resolution to Authorize
the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq.
(White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html )
October 22, 2002
October 2002, in a notable front-page article titled "For Bush, Facts Are
Malleable" (10/22/02), Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank noted two dubious
Bush claims about Iraq: his citing of a United Nations International Atomic Energy
report alleging that Iraq was "six months away" from developing a nuclear
weapon; and that Iraq maintained a growing fleet of unmanned aircraft that could
be used, inBush's words, "for missions targeting the United States."
While these assertions "were powerful arguments for the actions Bush sought,"
Milbank concluded they "were dubious, if not wrong. Further information revealed
that the aircraft lack the range to reach the United States" and "there
was no such report by the IAEA."
(FAIR: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1841 )
November 8, 2002
Security Council unanimously approves resolution 1441 imposing tough new arms
inspections on Iraq and requiring Iraq to declare all weapons of mass destruction
and account for known chemical weapons material stockpiles on pain of "serious
consequences." Iraq accepts the terms of the resolution and UN inspectors
(Iraqwatch: http://www.iraqwatch.org/un/IAEA/iaea-updatereport-012703.html )
November 15, 2002
Committee for the Liberation of Iraq is formed "to promote regional peace,
political freedom and international security through replacement of the Saddam
Hussein regime with a democratic government." An offshoot of the Project
for a New American Century, it has close ties to Ahmed Chalabi and is dedicated
to promoting the Bush administration's Iraq policies.
(CounterPunch: http://www.counterpunch.org/nimmo1119.html )
December 2, 2002
The British government is accused of double standards yesterday after launching a dossier on Iraqi human rights abuses designed to soften up public opinion ahead of a possible war. British foreign secretary Straw defends the moves, and cites WMDs.
"He's got these weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological and, probably, nuclear weapons which he has used in the past against his own people as well as his neighbours and could almost certainly use again in the future," he said.
But the Foreign Office later retreats. It has repeatedly accepted that Iraq does not have nuclear arms and a spokesman, clarifying the position, said Mr Straw had been "referring to Saddam Hussein's intention to acquire such weapons"
(Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,852522,00.html )
December 7-22, 2002
December 7: Iraq submits a 12,000-page declaration on its chemical, biological and nuclear activities, claiming it has no banned weapons.
December 17: Colin Powell indicates there are problems with the declaration.
December 18: Jack Straw indicates the UK believes Iraq is in material breach of the UN resolution. The Ministry of Defense reveals ships are being chartered to bring troops and equipment to the Gulf.
December 19: Hans Blix says the declaration contains nothing new out its WMD capacities and does not inspire confidence. The US immediately accuses Iraq of being in material breach.
December 22: Iraq invites the CIA to come in an look for WMD's.
(Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/page/0,12438,793802,00.html )
January 27, 2003
The UN arms inspectors' report indicate that
no banned weapons have been found but criticizes Iraq for not giving the inspe
ctors full access to facilities and scientists and not providing clear accounts
of certain materials.
(Iraqwatch: http://www.iraqwatch.org/un/IAEA/iaea-updatereport-012703.html )
January 28, 2003
Bush delivers the State of the Union address, stating: "The British government
has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium
from Africa.... Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He
clearly has much to hide." Bush adds that the US is prepared to attack Iraq
even without a UN mandate.
(White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html )
Since October, the CIA had warned the administration
not to use the Niger claim in public. CIA Director Tenet personally persuaded
deputy national security adviser Stephen Hadley to omit it from President Bush's
Oct. 7 speech in Cincinnati. But on the eve of Bush's State of the Union address,
Robert Joseph, an assistant to the president in charge of nonproliferation at
the National Security Council (NSC), initially asked the CIA if the allegation
that Iraq sought to purchase 500 pounds of uranium from Niger could be included
in the presidential speech. A CIA official said he told Joseph that the agency
objected to the British including that in their published September dossier because
of the weakness of the U.S. information.
(Washington Post: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/PIN307A.html )
January 31, 2003
The United States is conducting a secret 'dirty tricks' campaign against UN Security Council delegations in New York as part of its battle to win votes in favour of war against Iraq.
Details of the aggressive surveillance operation,
which involves interception of the home and office telephones and the emails of
UN delegates in New York, are revealed in a document leaked to The Observer.
(Observer: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12239,905936,00.html )
Gun, a British intelligence officer is arrested in March on charges of passing
secrets. She admits she leaked a secret memo to a British newspaper about US-UK
government surveillance of the United Nations before the war in Iraq, and is later
(Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1152323,00.html )
February 5, 2003
makes a presentation to the UN, attempting to prove that Iraq is evading the inspectors,
continues to produce WMD's, and is linked to al-Qaeda. (White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html
Powell cites the British dossier of February 3 as a "fine paper that the United Kingdom distributed... which describes in exquisite detail Iraqi deception activities." (Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,890916,00.html)
"Powell embellishes an intercepted conversation about weapons inspections between Iraqi officials to make it sound more incriminating, changing an order to "inspect the scrap areas and the abandoned areas" to a command to "clean out" those areas. He also added the phrase "make sure there is nothing there," a phrase that appears nowhere in the State Department's official translation. (FAIR: http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=1841 ;
CommonDreams: http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0629-08.htm )
February 7, 2003
Street is plunged into acute international embarrassment after it emerged that
large parts of the British government's latest dossier on Iraq - allegedly based
on "intelligence material" - were taken from published academic articles,
some of them several years old.
(Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,890916,00.html )
February 9, 2003
a French-German initiative to triple the number of inspectors in Iraq.
(Depar tment of State: http://usembassy-australia.state.gov/hyper/2003/0210/epf107.html )
February 13, 2003
The Washington Post reveals
that, according to anonymous sources, two Special Forces units have been operating
in Iraq for over a month.
(Washington Post: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?031027fa_fact )
March 3, 2003
the United States have all but fire the first shots of the Iraq war by extending
the range of targets in the "no-fly zones" over Iraq to "soften
up" the country for an allied ground invasion. Pilots have attacked surface-to-surface
missile systems and are understood to have hit multiple-launch rockets.
(Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,906417,00.html )
March 7, 2003
On March 7th, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general
of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, told the U.N. Security Council
that the documents involving the Niger-Iraq uranium sale were fakes.
(New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?030331fa_fact1 )
March 16, 2003
Dick Cheney states on Meet the Press: "We know hes out trying once again to produce nuclear weapons and we know that he has a long-standing relationship with various terrorist groups, including the al-Qaeda organization. . . . We know that based on intelligence that he has been very, very good at hiding these kinds of efforts. Hes had years to get good at it and we know he has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons. I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong."
(Mount Holyoke transcript: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/bush/cheneymeetthepress.htm )
March 19, 2003
(White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-17.html )
Ministry of Defense's most senior biological weapons expert and adviser to intelligence
agencies on Iraq, Dr Kelly was the anonymous source for BBC reports in May 2003
that a dossier used by the Blair Government to justify invading Iraq had been
"sexed up." After being revealed as the BBC's source and grilled before
a parliamentary inquiry, Dr Kelly was found dead in July 2003.(The Age: http://reg.theage.com.au/login.do?status=FAIL&errMsg=&errCod
e=10001&site=AGE&server=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theage.com.au&data= ... )
The Iraq Factor: Secret Memo to Tony Blair.
Condi committed to regime change in early 2002
The following Memo addressed to Prime Minister Tony Blair is purported to have been written by Blair's foreign policy advisor David Manning. It was written in anticipation of PM Blair's Visit to the Texas Ranch.
It indicates that now-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was committed to "regime change" in early 2002. It also outlines some problems a postwar Iraq might face. The document is presented as transcribed by the "
SECRET STRICTLY PERSONAL
FROM: DAVID MANNING DATE: 14 MARCH 2002
CC: JONATHAN POWELL
YOUR TRIP TO THE US
I had dinner with Condi on Tuesday; and talks and lunch with her and an NSC team on Wednesday (to which Christopher Meyer also came). These were good exchanges, and particularly frank when we were one-on-one at dinner. I attach the records in case you want to glance.
We spent a long time at dinner on IRAQ. It is clear that Bush is grateful for your support and has registered that you are getting flak. I said that you would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States. And you would not budge either in your insistence that, if we need pursued regime change, it must be very carefully done and produce the right result. Failure was not an option.
Condis enthusiasm for regime change is undimmed. But there were some signs, since we last spoke, of greater awareness of the practical difficulties and political risks. (See the attached piece by Seymour Hersh which Christopher Meyer says gives a pretty accurate picture of the uncertain state of the debate in Washington.)
From what she said, Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions:
* how to persuade international opinion that military action against Iraq is necessary and justified;
* what value to put on the exiled Iraqi opposition;
* how to coordinate a US/allied military campaign with internal opposition (assuming there is any);
* what happens on the morning after?
Bush will want to pick your brains. He will also want to hear whether he can expect coalition support. I told Condi that we realized that the Administration could go it alone if it chose. But if it wanted company, it would have to take account of the concerns of its potential coalition partners. In particular:
* the Un dimension. The issue of the weapons inspectors must be handled in a way that would persuade European and wider opinion that the US was conscious of the international framework, and the insistence of many countries on the need for a legal base. Renwed refused by Saddam to accept unfettered inspections would be a powerful argument;
* the paramount importance of tackling Israel/Palestine. Unless we did, we could find ourselves bombing Iraq and losing the Gulf.
YOUR VISIT TO THE RANCH
No doubt we need to keep a sense of perspective. But my talks with Condi convinced me that Bush wants to hear you views on Iraq before taking decisions. [sic] He also wants your support. He is still smarting from the comments by other European leaders on his Iraq policy.
This gives you real influence: on the public relations strategy; on the UN and weapons inspections; and on US planning for any military campaign. This could be critically important. I think there is a real risk that the Administration underestimates the difficulties. They may agree that failure isnt an option, but this really does not mean that they will avoid it.
Will the Sunni majority really respond to an uprising led by Kurds and Shias? Will Americans really put in enough ground troops to do the job if the Kurdish/Shiite stratagem fails? Even if they do will they be willing to take the sort of casualties that the Republican Guard may inflict on them if it turns out to be an urban war, and Iraqi troops dont conveniently collapse in a heap as Richard Perle and others confidently predict? They need to answer these and other tough questions, in a more convincing way than they have so far before concluding that they can do the business.
The talks at the ranch will also give you the chance to push Bush on the Middle East. The Iraq factor means that there may never be a better opportunity to [sic] get this Administration to give sustained attention to reviving the MEPP. [Middle East Peace Process]
The Butler Report of July 2004 highlighted substantial omissions of evidence regarding Iraq, but did not argue that positively false information had been given by the Prime Minister to press or Parliament. On 18 September 2004, the Daily Telegraph published extracts from a series of newly leaked documents from the Cabinet Office. With one exception, none of these were quoted in the Butler Report. The full texts of these documents:
A) Provide clear evidence that the Prime Minister substantively misled Parliament and press in claiming that:
a. his governments objective was disarmament, and not regime change by force; and that
b. as late as February 2003, no decision had been taken to invade Iraq.
Instead, they show that Blair was fully committed to regime change as early as 8 March 2002, and communicated this position to Bush and his officials. This is substantive evidence of positive falsehood on the part of the Prime Minister, not simply an omission of evidence.
B) Demonstrate that a new Security Council Resolution in 2002 and renewed inspections were designed to provide a trigger for war, as part of an explicitly set-out sequence of actions by the US/UK to provide political and legal support for invasion. Claims by the Prime Minister and others that it was only Saddams unwillingness to cooperate with renewed inspections that led to war were therefore misleading. These policy documents clearly show an intention to use (and arguably abuse) the UN route to provide a legal pretext for pre-decided regime change, not as a route to peaceful disarmament.
C) Show that as early as March 2002 the Prime Minister was advised that
a. intelligence on Iraqi weapons was poor;
b. containment had been partially successful, preventing Iraqs resumption of a nuclear programme and restricting chemical and biological weapons development;
c. Iraqs security threat was not increasing;
d. as such current intelligence is insufficiently robust to meet the criteria of proof required for legal justification of invasion.
The Prime Ministers decision, taken at least as early as March 2002, to commit to regime change by force, was thus taken against the background of advice that the threat from Iraq was NOT increasing; containment was judged to be partially successful; and that without Iraqs renewed rejection of weapons inspections, such a course of action would, on available evidence, not gain legal sanction under the UN Charter.
In addition, the documents demonstrate the scale of the misgivings expressed by the Prime Ministers advisors to him and his ministers around the time that he committed to assisting regime change. The Cabinet Office, the Foreign Office, and the Foreign Secretary advised that:
a. the invasion of Iraq could not guarantee a WMD-free Iraq;
b. the invasion of Iraq could not guarantee a democratic Iraq;
c. neither the US nor the UK had credible plans for the aftermath of regime change;
d. the opposition groups relied upon so heavily before and after invasion were regarded by most Iraqis as Western stooges.
Contrary to recent assertions by the Prime Minister that at that time the idea that we did not have a plan for afterwards is simply not correct, the documents show that when the Prime Minister took the decision to support military regime change in March 2002, his officials warned him precisely that none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and that Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions [of] what happens on the morning after.
Facsimiles of these documents can be seen at http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9125.htm
If you have any comments, please contact:
St Andrews Street
Cambridge CB2 3BU
A) The Prime Ministers concealment of his agreement to pursue regime change
1. Two Downing Street memos from mid-March 2002, marked Secret, describe meetings between David Manning (then the Prime Minister's foreign policy adviser and current UK ambassador to Washington) and Christopher Meyer (then UK ambassador to Washington), and senior members of the US administration. Both describe promises made to the US about the UKs support for regime change.
I said [to Condoleezza Rice] you [Blair] would not budge in your support for regime change but you had to manage a press, a Parliament and a public opinion that was very different than anything in the States.
On Iraq I opened by sticking very closely to the script that you used with Condi Rice last week. We backed regime change, but the plan had to be clever and failure was not an option.
2. Contrary to his frequent public denials, therefore (see below), twelve months before war with Iraq, and eight months before UNSCR1441, the Prime Minister committed the UK to pursuing regime change.
3. That the UK envisaged that regime change might involve invasion, rather than an internal coup or the assassination of Saddam Hussein, is made clear by a further document, marked Secret and entitled Iraq: Options Paper, produced on 8 March 2002 by the Overseas and Defence Secretariat of the Cabinet Office. It states that [s]ince 1991, our objective has been to re-integrate a law-abiding Iraq which does not possess WMD or threaten its neighbours, into the international community. Implicitly, this cannot occur with Saddam Hussein in power. The document considers three options for regime change: covert support for opposition groups to mount an uprising or coup; air support for opposition groups; and a full-scale ground campaign.
4. Although it suggests that the first two might be tried as preludes to the third, it concludes that:
[i]n sum, despite the considerable difficulties, the use of overriding force in a ground campaign is the only option that we can be confident will remove Saddam and bring Iraq back into the international community.
5. Although this document is a policy options paper rather than a formal commitment, it insists that a decision had to be taken relatively soon: All options have lead times. If an invasion is contemplated this autumn, then a decision will need to be taken in principle six months in advance. In fact, Blairs commitment to regime change in March 2002 demonstrates that such a decision preceded even this military timetable.
6. Contrary to this evidence, the Prime Minister and other ministers repeatedly denied throughout 2002 and early 2003 that a decision had been taken to commit to regime change, and insisted that if Saddam complied with the inspectors, he would be allowed to remain in power.
7. In an interview on 14 November 2002, Blair insisted that:
So far as our objective, it is disarmament, not regime change - that is our objective. Now I happen to believe the regime of Saddam is a very brutal and repressive regime, I think it does enormous damage to the Iraqi people....but on the other hand I have got no doubt either that the purpose of our challenge from the United Nations is disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, it is not regime change.
8. In his monthly press conference on 13 January 2003, Blair said:
Of course no-one wants conflict, everyone would prefer this to be resolved peacefully.
9. In his monthly press conference on 18 February 2003, Blair again insisted:
There is no inexorable decision to go to war but there is an inexorable decision to disarm Saddam Hussein. How that happens is up to Saddam .when we went to the UN last November, that was America taking the decision that if Saddam co-operated that disarmament would happen peacefully, without war and without regime change.
10. In the House of Commons on 25 February 2003, Blair continued to insist, contrary to his commitment to regime change, that Saddam could remain in power if he cooperated with weapons inspections:
even now, today, we are offering Saddam the prospect of voluntary disarmament through the UN. I detest his regime - I hope most people do - but even now, he could save it by complying with the UN's demand. Even now, we are prepared to go the extra step to achieve disarmament peacefully.
11. Given the evidence of a policy decision taken to pursue regime change as early as March 2002, these statements could only be true if government policy changed from supporting regime change up to March 2002, to supporting disarmament between mid-2002 and February 2003; and returned to support for regime change in March 2003. Blair needs to demonstrate that this ostensibly unlikely scenario was indeed the case: if not, then these statements clearly show that he misled media and Parliament.
B) UNSCR 1441 and the inspection regime designed to provide a trigger for war, as part of an explicitly set out sequence of actions by the US/UK to provide political and legal support for invasion
12. In his memo on lunch with Paul Wolfowitz, Christopher Meyer reported to Downing Street that:
I then went through the need to wrongfoot Saddam on the inspectors and the UN SCRs
12. This suggests that renewed inspections, provided by a new UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) in November 2002, were intended to make Saddam default, providing a justification for a pre-planned war.
13. This is supported by the Iraq: Options Paper of 8 March, which establishes that renewed inspections and UNSCRs are part of a process explicitly designed to provide a pretext for war:
A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers advice, none currently exists. This makes moving quickly to invade legally very difficult. We should therefore consider a staged approach, establishing international support, building up pressure on Saddam, and developing military plans. There is a lead time of about 6 months to a ground offensive.
13. To launch such a [ground] campaign would require a staged approach:
* winding up the pressure: increasing the pressure on Saddam through tougher containment .A refusal to readmit UN inspectors, or their admission and subsequent likely frustration, which resulted in an appropriate finding by the Security Council could provide the justification for military action.
* careful [military] planning .
* coalition building: diplomacy .
* incentives: as an incentive guarantees will need to be made with regard to Iraqs territorial integrity.
* tackling other regional issues [including the Middle East Peace Plan]
* sensitising the public: a media campaign to warn of the dangers that Saddam poses and to prepare public opinion both in the UK and abroad.
14. The paper thus explicitly establishes that the UN/weapons inspector route was designed, contrary to the assertions of the Prime Minister (cf. paras. 7-10), to lead to invasion, not to peaceful disarmament.
15. A timescale is also suggested:
Sufficient air assets would need three months and ground forces at least four-five months to assemble so on logistical grounds a ground campaign is not feasible until autumn 2002. The optimal times to start action are early spring
16. Yet in his 18 February press conference, Blair denied that a timetable had been considered:
QUESTION: I just want to come back to this point about timing. Once Hans Blix reports on the 28th [February], how long does the Security Council have realistically to secure a second resolution after that? Is the request from the French of 14 March a realistic request to come back and discuss things then?
PRIME MINISTER: The reason I hesitate about setting timelines or making dates of some sort of defining significance is because if I do so I am doing something where decisions really have not been taken, and it depends frankly what happens over the next period of time.
C) Advice on Iraqs weapons, the uncertainty of intelligence, and the lack of legal justification for offensive military action
Iraqs weapons and
17. The September leaks strengthen many of the findings of the Butler Inquiry that the Prime Minister was advised that (a) Intelligence on Iraqi weapons was poor; (b) there was no new or imminent threat from Iraqs weapons capability or intentions which might justify a change in policy.
18. The Iraq: Options Paper, quoted in the Butler inquirys report states that:
As at [sic] least worst option, we have supported a policy of containment [since 1991] which has been partially successful. However: Despite sanctions, Iraq continues to develop WMD, although our intelligence is poor. Saddam has used WMD in the past and could do so again if his regime were threatened, though there is no greater threat now than in recent years that Saddam will use WMD.
Although it thus argues that Iraq continues to have a WMD capability, it suggests that its threat is not increasing:
Since 1991, the policy of containment has been partially successful:
* Sanctions have effectively frozen Iraqs nuclear programme;
* Iraq has been prevented from rebuilding its conventional arsenal to pre-Gulf War levels;
* ballistic missile programmes have been severely restricted;
* Biological Weapons (BW) and Chemical Weapons (CW) programmes have been hindered;
* No Fly Zones established over northern and southern Iraq have given some protection to the Kurds and the Shia. Although subject to continuing political pressure, the Kurds remain autonomous; and
* Saddam has not succeeded in seriously threatening his neighbours.
19. In a letter marked Confidential and Personal to Jack Straw on 22 September 2002, written to provide thoughts for your [Jack Straws] personal note to the Prime Minister, Peter Ricketts, the Political Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, reiterated the view that nothing had changed which might justify new efforts at disarmament:
THE THREAT: The truth is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Husseins WMD programmes, but our tolerance of them post-11 September .even the best survey of Iraqs WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years on the nuclear, missile or CW/BW fronts: the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up.
20. The Prime Minister was definitely made aware of this view, passed on in a letter by Jack Straw on 25 March 2002:
WHAT IS WORSE NOW?
4. If 11 September had not happened, it is doubtful that the US would now be considering military action against Iraq. In addition, there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL [Usama Bin Laden] and Al Qaida. Objectively the threat from Iraq has not worsened as a result of 11 September.
justification for offensive military action
21. Given the current lack of evidence for an imminent threat, the Iraq: Options Paper of March 2002 clearly argues that there is currently unlikely to be legal justification for an invasion:
30. Currently, offensive military action against Iraq can only be [legally] justified if Iraq is held to be in breach of the Gulf War ceasefire resolution, 687 .
31. As the ceasefire was proclaimed by the Security Council in 687, it is for the [UN Security] Council to decide whether a breach of obligations has occurred .
32. For the P5 and the majority of the Council to take the view that Iraq was in breach of 687:
they would need to be convinced that Iraq was in breach of its obligations regarding WMD, and ballistic missiles. Such proof would need to be incontrovertible and of large-scale activity. Current intelligence is insufficiently robust to meet this criterion.
22. Although the Butler Report has shown that Joint Intelligence Committee reports seen by the Prime Minister did harden their language about Iraqs weapons between March and September 2002 (partly from intelligence which was subsequently withdrawn as unreliable), the Prime Minister, as we have seen, took the decision to remove Saddam in March 2002: when, according to advice given to him, the threat from Iraq was NOT increasing; containment was judged to be partially successful; and there was insufficient evidence as yet to legally justify military action.
23. Unless British policy changed from regime change to disarmament between 2002 and 2003, and back again in March 2003 (for which there is no evidence), then these papers indicate that British participation in the UN process between 2002 and 2003 was intended to provide a legal justification for regime change, not to pursue disarmament peacefully.
D <Advice that the invasion of Iraq might not produce a WMD-free Iraq, nor a democratic one; and that post-war planning, and even broad objectives, were inadequate
Post-war planning and outcomes
25. While Iraqi democracy is the clearly preferred outcome in the Iraq: Options Paper of March 2002, the paper is astonishingly unconfident that regime change will result either in Iraqi democracy or in long-term disarmament. The document even considers the UK accommodating the emergence of a Sunni strongman instead; and it stresses that neither democracy nor strongman can guarantee a WMD-free Iraq:
The US administration has lost faith in containment and is now considering regime change. The end states could either be a Sunni strongman or a representative government. .
11. In considering the options for regime change below, we need to first consider what sort of Iraq we want? There are two possibilities:
* A Sunni military strongman. He would be likely to maintain Iraqi territorial integrity. Assistance with reconstruction and political rehabilitation could be traded for assurances on abandoning WMD programmes and respecting human rights, particularly of ethnic minorities. The US and other militaries could withdraw quickly. However, there would be a strong risk of the Iraqi system reverting to type. Military coup could succeed coup until an autocratic Sunni dictator emerged who protected Sunni interests. With time he could acquire WMD; or
* A representative, broadly democratic government .Such a regime would be less likely to develop WMD and threaten its neighbours. However, to survive it would require the US and others to commit to nation-building for many years. .
27. But it should be noted that even a representative government could seek to acquire WMD and build-up its conventional forces, so long as Iran and Israel retain their WMD and conventional armouries.
26. In addition to these misgivings, Blairs advisors also made it clear in March 2002 that they did not believe that the US had produced a convincing plan for Iraqs replacement government and reconstruction. David Manning, describing his meeting with Condoleezza Rice, wrote:
From what she [Condoleezza Rice] said, Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions: what happens on the morning after?
27. In a letter to the Prime Minister of 25 March 2002 marked Secret and Personal, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw was even less sanguine about the lack of both US and UK planning, and likely outcomes:
We also have to answer the big question what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole on this than on anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraqs WMD threat. But none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better.
11. Iraq has NO history of democracy so no-one has this habit or experience.
28. Blair denied the absence of planning when these documents were made public, on 18 September 2004:
And so the idea that we did not have a plan for afterwards is simply not correct. We did, and indeed we have unfolded that plan
Yet given the timing of decision-making revealed by these documents, they show that when the Prime Minister took the decision to support military regime change in March 2002, his officials warned him precisely that none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and that Bush has yet to find the answers to the big questions [of] what happens on the morning after. They show that the decision to remove Saddam Hussein was taken well before any plans for his replacement had been produced arguably an extremely reckless sequence of decision-making.
External Iraqi opposition groups
29. A major part of the UK/US pursuit of post-Saddam democracy was to give substantial public support throughout 2002 and 2003 to external Iraqi opposition groups. Yet the Iraq: Options Paper of 8 March 2002 had warned ministers that external Iraqi opposition groups were unlikely to provide credible members of successor regimes:
The external [Iraqi] opposition is weak, divided and lacks domestic credibility. The predominant group is the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella organisation led by Ahmed Chalabi, a Shia and convicted fraudster, popular on Capitol Hill. The other major group, the Iraqi National Accord (INA), espouses moderate Arab socialism and is led by another Shia, Ayad Allawi .Most Iraqis see the INC/INA as Western stooges.
30. Despite being told by UK advisors that they did not have any popular legitimacy, considerable weight was given by both the UK and the US governments to these groups in forming the post-Saddam regime. On 14 April 2003, Blair assured the House of Commons that:
In relation to the coalition and Iraqi opposition groups, I hope that some of the conspiracy theories about people simply being parachuted in to take over the country can be laid to rest. What is important is that, in the end, the legitimacy of anyonefrom inside or outside Iraqwill rest on their support from the Iraqi people themselves.
31. Yet on May 22 2003, in response to a question asking what governments policy is on the involvement of Mr. Ahmed Chalabi in the post-war government in Iraq,
Foreign Office Minister Mike OBrien wrote that:
Chalabi is a prominent opposition figure. It is therefore only appropriate that the group he represents should be able to play a role in Iraq's future. But that role is for the people of Iraq to determine.
[Ahmed Chalabi was subsequently appointed by the US/UK-led Coalition Provisional Authority to the Iraqi Governing Council on 13 July 2003.]
32. On 20 July 2004, Blair told the House of Commons that:
If people read the letter from Dr. Allawi, published only the other day, they will see that he set out the authentic voice of Iraq and its futurewhat Iraq can now become.
[Ayad Allawi, leader of the INA, was appointed Interim Prime Minister of Iraq on 28 May 2003.]
 Prime Minister, Press Conference at Leeds Castle, 18 September 2004, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page6360.asp; David Manning (Prime Ministers Foreign Policy advisor), letter to the Prime Minister on dinner with Condoleezza Rice, 14 March 2002; Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary), letter to the Prime Minister, 25 March 2002
 David Manning (Prime Ministers Foreign Policy advisor), letter to the Prime Minister on dinner with Condoleezza Rice, 14 March 2002
 Christopher Meyer (UK ambassador to the United States), note on Sunday lunch with Paul Wolfowitz, to David Manning, 18 March 2002
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, Summary. My emphasis
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, paras. 17, 5-34
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, para. 33
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, para. 26
Interview with Prime Minister, 14 November 2002, transcript at http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/UK/PMO/uk-pmo-blair-1114
 Press conference with Prime Minister, 13 January 2003, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page3005.asp
 Press conference with Prime Minister, 18 February 2003, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page3007.asp
 Prime Minister, Commons Hansard, 25 February 2003 Col. 124
 Christopher Meyer, note on Sunday lunch with Paul Wolfowitz, to David Manning, 18 March 2002. My emphasis
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, Summary. My emphasis.
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, para. 34
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, para. 23
 Press conference with Prime Minister, 18 February 2003, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page3007.asp
 cf. Lord Butler, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction [The Butler Report], 14 July 2004, paras. 259-270
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, Summary. My emphasis.
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, para. 3
 Peter Ricketts (Political Director, Foreign and Commonwealth Office), letter to Jack Straw, 22 March 2002, para. 4
Jack Straw (Foreign Secretary), letter to the Prime Minister, 25 March 2002, para.
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, paras. 30-32. My emphasis.
 Lord Butler, Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction [The Butler Report], 14 July 2004, paras. 298-307; Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, Summary
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, paras. 11, 27
 David Manning (Prime Ministers Foreign Policy advisor), letter to the Prime Minister on dinner with Condoleezza Rice, 14 March 2002
 Jack Straw
(Foreign Secretary), letter to the Prime Minister, 25 March 2002
 Prime Minister, Press Conference at Leeds Castle, 18 September 2004, http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page6360.asp
 Overseas and Defence Secretariat, Cabinet Office, "Iraq: Options Paper", 8 March 2002, para. 13
 The Prime Minister, Comons Hansard 14 April 2003, Col 622
 Mike OBrien, Commons written answers, 6 May 2003, Col. 560W
 The Prime Minister, Commons Hansard, 20 July 2004, Col 207
Since 1991, our objective has been to re-integrate a law-abiding Iraq which does not possess WMD or threaten its neighbours, into the international community. Implicitly, this cannot occur with Saddam Hussein in power. As at least worst option, we have supported a policy of containment which has been partially successful. However:
Despite sanctions, Iraq continues to develop WMD, although our intelligence is poor. Saddam has used WMD in the past and could do so again if his regime were threatened, though there is no greater threat now than in recent years that Saddam will use WMD; and Saddams brutal regime remains in power and destablizes [sic] the Arab and wider Islamic world.
We have two options. We could toughen the existing containment policy. This would increase the pressure on Saddam. It would not reintegrate Iraq into the international community.
The US administration has lost faith in containment and is now considering regime change. The end states could either be a Sunni strongman or a representative government.
Thre [sic] three options for achieving regime change are:
covert support to opposition groups to mount an uprising/coup;
* air support for opposition groups to mount an uprising/coup; and
* a full-scale ground campaign.
These are not mutually exclusive. Options 1 and/or 2 would be natural precursors to Option 3. The greater investment of Western forces, the greater our control over Iraqs future, but the greater the cost and the longer we would have to stay. The only certain means to remove Saddam and his elite is to invade and impose a new government but this could involve nation building over many years. Even a representative government could seek to acquire WMD and build-up its conventional forces, so long as Iran and Israel retain their WMD and conventional armouries and there was no acceptable solution to Palestinian grievances.
A legal justification for invasion would be needed. Subject to Law Officers advice, none currently exists. This makes moving quickly to invade legally very difficult. We should therefore consider a staged approach, establishing international support, building up pressure on Saddam, and developing military plans. There is a lead time of about 6 months to a ground offensive.
CURENT OBJECTIVES OF UK POLICY
Within our objectives of preserving peace and stability in the Gulf and ensuring energy security, our current objectives towards Iraq are: the reintegration of a law-abiding Iraq which does not possess WMD or threaten its neighbours, into the international community. Implicitly, this cannot occur with Saddam in power; and hence, as the least worst option, we have supported containment of Iraq, by constraining Saddams ability to re-arm or build up WMD and to threaten his neighbours.
Subsidiary objectives are: Preserving the territorial integrity of Iraq; Improving the humanitarian situation of the Iraqi people; Protecting the Kurds in Northern Iraq; Sustaining UK/US co-operation, including, if necessary, by moderating US policy; and Maintaining the credibility and authority of the Security Council.
HAS CONTAINMENT WORKED?
Since 1991, the policy of containment has been partially successful: Sanctions have effectively frozen Iraqs nuclear programme; Iraq has been prevented from rebuilding its conventional arsenal to pre-Gulf War levels; Ballistic missile programmes have been severely restricted; Biological weapons (BW) and Chemical Weapons (CW) programmes have been hindered; No Fly Zones established over northern and southern Iraq have given some protection to the Kurds and the Shia. Although subject to continuing political pressures, the Kurds remain autonomous; and Saddam has not succeeded in seriously threatening his neighbours.
However: Iraq continues to develop weapons of mass destruction, although our intelligence is poor. Iraq has up to 20 650km-range missiles left over from Gulf War. These are capable of hitting Israel and the Gulf states. Design work for other ballistic missiles over the UN limit of 150km continues. Iraq continues with its BW and CW programmes and, if it has not already done so could produce significant quantities of BW agents within days and CW agent within weeks of a decision to do so. We believe it could deliver CBW by a variety of means, including in ballistic missile warheads. There are also some indications of a continuing nuclear programme. Saddam has used WMD in the past and could do so again if his regime were threatened.
leads a brutal regime, which impoverishes his people. While in power Saddam is
a rallying point of anti-Western sentiment in the Arab and wider Islamic world,
and as such a cause of instability; and despite UN controls over Iraqs
oil revenue under Oil for Food, there is considerable oil and other smuggling.
In this context, and against the background of our desire to re-integrate a law-abiding Iraq into the international community, we examine the two following policy options: a toughening of the existing containment policy, facilitated by 11 September; and regime change by military means: a new departure which would require the construction of a coalition and a legal justification.
TOUGHENING CONTAINMENT 6. This would consist of the following elements: full implementation of all relevant UNSCRs, particularly 687 (1991) and 1284 (1999). We should ensure that the Goods Review List (GRL) is introduced in May and that Russia holds to its promise not to block. The signs are positive but continuing pressure is needed. (The GRL focuses sanctions exclusively on preventing shipments of WMD-related and other arms, while allowing other business without scrutiny. As such, it will greatly facilitate legitimate Iraqi commerce under Oil for Food.); encourage the US not to block discussions to clarify the modalities of Resolution 1284 once Russian agreement to the GRL has been secured. We should take a hard-line on each area for clarificationthe purpose of clarification is not to lower the bar on Iraqi compliance; but PS and Security Council unity would facilitate a specific demand that Iraq re-admit the UN inspectors. Our aim would be to tell Saddam to admit inspectors or face the risk of military action. push for tougher action (especially by the US) against states breaking sanctions. This should not discriminate between allies (Turkey), friends (UAE) and others (especially Syria). It would put real pressure on Saddam either to submit to meaningful inspections or to lash out; maintain our present military posture, including in the NFZs, and be prepared to respond robustly to any Iraqi adventurism; and continue to make clear (without overtly espousing regime change) our view that Iraq would be better off without Saddam. We could trail the rosy future for Iraq without him in a Contract with the Iraqi People, although to be at all credible this would need some detailed work.
What could it achieve:
There will be greater pressure on Saddam. The GRL will make sanctions more attractive to at least some of their detractors. Improving implementation of sanctions would reduce the regimes illicit revenues; and The return of UN weapons inspectors would allow greater scrutiny of Iraqi WMD programmes and of Iraqi forces in general. If they found significant evidence of WMD, were expelled or, in face of an ultimatum, not re-admitted in the first place, then this could provide legal justification for large-scale military action (see below).
But some of the difficulties with the existing policy still apply; those states in breach of sanctions will want compensation if they are to change tack; Saddam is only likely to permit the return of inspectors if he believes the threat of large scale US military action is imminent and that such concessions would prevent the US from acting decisively. Playing for time, he would then embark on a renewed policy of non co-operation; and Although containment has held for the past decade, Iraq has progressively increased its international engagement. Even if the GRL makes sanctions more sustainable the sanctions regime could collapse in the long-term.
Tougher containment would not re-integrate Iraq into the international community as it offers little prospect of removing Saddam. He will continue with his WMD programmes, destabilizing the Arab and Islamic world, and impoverishing his people. But there is no greater threat now that he will use WMD than there has been in recent years, so continuing containment is an option.
The US has lost confidence in containment. Some in government want Saddam removed. The success of Operation Enduring Freedom, distrust of UN sanctions and inspection regimes, and unfinished business from 1991 are all factors. Washington believes the legal basis for an attack on Iraq already exists. Nor will it necessarily be governed by wider political factors. The US may be willing to work with a much smaller coalition than we think desirable.
In considering the options for regime change below, we need to first consider what sort of Iraq we want? There are two possibilities: a Sunni military strongman. We would be likely to maintain Iraqi territorial integrity. Assistance with reconstruction and political rehabilitation could be traded for assurances on abandoning WMD programmes and respecting human rights, particularly of ethnic minorities. The US and other militaries could withdraw quickly. However, there would then be a strong risk of the Iraqi system reverting to type. Military coup could succeed coup until an autocratic, Sunni dictator emerged who protected Sunni interest. With time he could acquire WMD; or a representative broadly democratic government. This would be Sunni-led but, within a federal structure, the Kurds would be guaranteed autonomy and the Shia fair access to government. Such a regime would be less likely to develop WMD and threaten its neighbours. However, to survive it would require the US and others to commit to nation building for many years. This would entail a substantial international security force and help with reconstruction.
OTHER FACTORS TO CONSIDER: INTERNAL
Saddam has a strong grip on power maintained through fear and patronage. The security and intelligence apparatus, including the Republican and Special Republican Guard, who protect the regime so effectively are predominantly drawn from the Arab Sunni minority (20-25 per cent of the population); many from Tikrit like Saddam. They fear non-Sunni rule, which would bring retribution and the end of their privileges. The regimes success in defeating the 1991 uprising stemmed from senior Sunni officers looking into the abyss of Shia rule and preserving their interests by backing Saddam. In the current circumstances, a military revolt or coup is a remote possibility.
Unaided, the Iraqi opposition is incapable of overthrowing the regime. The external opposition is weak, divided and lacks domestic credibility. The predominant group in the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella organization led by Ahmad Ghalabi, a Shia and convicted fraudster, popular on Capitol Hill. The other major group, the Iraqi National Accord (INA), espouses moderate Arab Socialism and is led by another Shia, Ayad Allawi. Neither group has a military capability and both are badly penetrated by Iraqi Intelligence. In 1996, a CIA attempt to still opposition groups ended in wholesale executions. Most Iraqis see the INC/INA as Western Stooges.
The internal opposition is small and fractured on ethnic and sectarian grounds. There is no effective Sunni Arab opposition. There are 3-4m Kurds in northern Iraq. Most live in the Kurdish Autonomous Zone, established in 1991. The Kurds deploy at least 40,000 lightly armed militia but are divided between two main parties, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). These groups have an interest in preserving the status quo and are more interested in seeking advantage over the other than allying against Saddam. Divide and rule is easy; in 1996 the KDP assisted the Iraqi Armys expulsion of the PUK and Iraqi opposition groups from Irbil.
The Kurds do not co-operate with the Shia Arabs who form 60 per cent of the population. The main Shia opposition group is the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) with 3-5,000 fighters, but it is tainted by Iranian support. Most Shia would like to have a greater say in Iraqi government, but not necessarily control: they do not want secession, Islamic autonomy or Iranian Influence.
Iraqs neighbours have a direct interest in the countrys affairs. Iran and Turkey, in particular, are wary of US influence and oppose some opposition groups. Turkey, conscious of its own restive Kurdish minority, will do anything to prevent the establishment of an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq, including intervention. Iran, also with a Kurdish minority, would also oppose a Kurdish state and is keen to protect the rights of its co-religionists in the south (see FCO paper on P5, European and regional views of possible military action against Iraq, attached.)
We have looked at three options for achieving regime change (we dismissed assassination of Saddam Hussein as an option because it would be illegal):
OPTION 1: COVERT SUPPORT TO OPPOSITION GROUPS
The aim would be to bring down the regime byinternal [sic] revolt, aided by the defection or at least acquiescence of large sections of the Army. A group of Sunni generals probably from within the Republican Guard, might depose Saddam if they decided the alternative was defeat. This option could be pursued by providing covert intelligence, large scale financial and Special Forces support to opposition groups. The Kurds would be persuaded to unite and attack into Northern Iraq, trying down some Iraqi forces. Simultaneously, in a greater threat to the regime, the Shia would rise up in the southern cities, and in Baghdad.
This option also has a very low prospect of success on its own. The external opposition is not strong enough to overthrow Saddam and would be rejected by most Iraqis as a replacement government. The Kurds could only mount a very limited offensive in the north. Mass uprisings in the south would be unlikely. The US failure to support the 1991 uprising remains vivid. The Republican Guard would move against any opposition and any wavering regular Army units. There would also be a high risk of US/coalition forces being captured. The remaining elements of opposition could be eliminated, buttressing
Saddam and his reputation as Arab folk hero. On the other hand, this option has never been pursued in a concerted, single-minded way before and should not be dismissed, at least as a possible precursor to Options 2 and 3.
OPTION 2: AN AIR CAMPAING PROVIDING OVERT SUPPORT TO OPPOSITION GROUPS LEADING TO A COUP OR UPRISING
The aim would be to assist an internal revolt by providing strategic and tactical air support for opposition groups to move against the regime. Such support would disable Saddams military and security apparatus. Suspected WMD facilities would also be targeted. Substantial numbers of aircraft and munitions would need to be built up in theatre over a period of months. Any campaign would take several weeks at least probably several months. Pressure on the regime could be increased by massing ground and naval forces and threatening a land invasion.
This option has no guarantee of success. The build up of pressure might persuade other Sunnis to overthrow Saddam and his family, but there is no guarantee that another Sunni autocrat would be better. Comparisons with Afghanistan are misleading. Saddams military and security apparatus is considerably more potent and cohesive. We are not aware of any Karzai figure able to command respect inside and outside Iraq. Arab states would only back the plan if they were sure Saddam would be deposed. At least the co-operation of Kuwait would be needed fore the necessary military build-up. The Arab street would oppose an air attack against Iraq, but visibility of a popular uprising could calm Arab public opinion.
OPTION 3: A GROUND CAMPAIGN
The aim would be to launch a full-scale ground offensive to destroy Saddam]s [sic] military machine and remove him from power. A pro-Western regime would be installed which would destroy Iraqs WMD capability, make peace with Iraqs neighbours and give rights to all Iraqis, including ethnic minorities. As in the Gulf War this would need to be preceded by a major air-offensive to soften up defences [sic].
US contingency planning prior to 11 September indicated that such a ground campaign would require 200-400,000 troops. The number would be roughly half those of 1991 because Iraqi forces are now considerably weaker. Any invasion force would need to pose a credible threat to Baghdad in order to persuade members of the Sunni military elite that their survival was better served by deserting to the coalition than staying loyal to Saddam. Sufficient air assets would need three months and ground forces at least four-five months to assemble so on logistical ground a ground campaign is not feasible until autumn 2002. The optimal times to start action are early spring
From a purely military perspective it would be very difficult to launch an invasion from Kuwait alone. Carrier-based aircraft would not be enough because of the need for land-based air-to-air refueling. To be confident of success, bases either in Jordan or in Saudi Arabia would be required. However, a wider and durable international coalition would be advantageous for both military and political reasons. Securing moderate Arab support would be greatly assisted by the promise of a quick and decisive campaign, and credible action by the US to address the MEPP.
The risks include US and others military casualties. Any coalition would need much tending over the difficult months of preparation for an actual invasion. Iran, fearing further US encirclement and that it will be invaded next will be prickly but is likely to remain neutral. With his regime in danger, Saddam could use WMD, either before or during the invasion. Saddam could also target Israel as he did during the Gulf War. Restraining Israel will be difficult. It could try to pre-empt a WMD attack and his certainly made clear that it would retaliate. Direct Israeli military involvement in Iraq would greatly complicate coalition arrangement and risk spreading conflict more widely.
None of the above options is mutually exclusive. Options 1 and/or 2 would be natural precursors to Option 3. All options have lead lines. If an invasion is contemplated this autumn, then a decision will need to be taken in principle six months in advance. The greater investment of Western forces, the greater our control over Iraqs future, but the closest to guaranteeing regime change. At this stage we need to wait to see which option or combination of options may be favoured by the US government.
But it should be noted that even a representative government could seek to acquire WMD and build-up its conventional forces, so long as Iran and Israel retain their WMD and conventional armouries.
A full opinion should be sought from the Law Officers if the above options are developed further. But in summary CONTAINMENT generally involves the implementation of existing UNSCRs and has a firm legal foundation. Of itself, REGIME CHANGE has no basis in international law. A separate note by FCO Legal Advisors setting out the general legal background and the obligations in the relevant UN Resolutions is attached.
In the judgement [sic] of the JIC there is no recent evidence of Iraq complicity with international terrorism. There is therefore no justification for action against Iraq based on action in self-defence (Article 51) to combat imminent threats of terrorism as in Afghanistan. However, Article 51 would come into play if Iraq were about to attack a neighbour.
Currently, offensive military action against Iraq can only be justified if Iraq is held to be n breach of the Gulf War ceasefire resolution, 687. 687 imposed obligations on Iraq with regard to the elimination of WMD and monitoring these obligations. But 687 never terminated the authority to use force mandated in UNSCR 678 (1990). Thus a violation of 687 can revive teh [sic] authorization to use force in 678.
As the ceasefire was proclaimed by the Security Council in 687, it is for the Council to decide whether a breach of obligations has occurred. There is a precedent. UNSCR 1205 (1998), passed after the expulsion of the UN inspectors, stated that in doing so Iraq had acted in flagrant violation of its obligations under 687. In our view, this revived the authority for the use of force under 678 and underpinned Operation Desert Fox. In contrast to general legal opinion, the US asserts the right of individual Member States to determine whether Iraq has breached 687, regardless of whether the Council has reached this assessment.
For the P5 and the majority of the Council to take the view that Iraq was in breach of 687: they would need to be convinced that Iraq was in breach of its obligations regarding WMD, and ballistic missiles. Such proof would need to be incontrovertible and of large-scale activity. Current intelligence is insufficiently robus to meet this criterion. Even with overriding proof China, France and Russia, in particular, would need considerable lobbying to approve or acquiesce in a new resolution authorizing military action against Iraq. Concessions in other policy areas might be needed. However, many Western states, at least, would not wish to oppose the US on such a major issue; or if P5 unity could be obtained, Iraq refused to readmit UN inspectors after a clear ultimatum by the UN Security Council; or the UN inspectors were re-admitted to Iraq and found sufficient evidence of WMD activity or were again expelled trying to do so.
In sum, despite the considerable difficulties, the use of overriding force in a ground campaign is the only opton that we can be confident will remove Saddam and bring Iraq back into the international community.
To launch such a campaign would require a staged approach: winding up the pressure: increasing the pressure on Saddam through tougher containment. Stricture implementation of sanctions and a military build-up will frighten his regime. A refusal to admit UN inspectors, or their admission and subsequent likely frustration, which resulted in an appropriate finding by the Security Council could provide the justification for military action. Saddam would try to prevent this, although he has miscalculated beofre [sic] careful planning: detailed military planning on the various invasion and basing options, and when appropriate force deployment; coalition to provide the broadest political and military support to a ground campaign. This will need to focus on China, France and particularly Russia who have the ability to block action in the UN Security Council and on the other Europeans. Special attention will need to be paid to moderate Arab states and to Iran; incentives: as an incentive guarantee will need to be made with regard to Iraq territorial integrity. Plans should be worked up in advance of the great benefits the international community could provide for a post-Saddam Iraq and its people. These should be published. tackling other regional issues: an effort to engage the US in a serious effort to re-energise the MEPP would greatly assist coalition building; and sensitising the public: a media campaign to warn off the dangers that Saddam poses and to prepare public opinion both in the UK and abroad.
The US should be encouraged to consult widely on its plans.
AND DEFENSE SECRETARIAT CABINET OFFICE 8 MARCH
CONFIDENTIAL AND PERSONAL
FROM: P F RICKETTS POLITICAL DIRECTOR
DATE: 22 MARCH 2002
SECRETARY OF STATE
IRAQ: ADVICE FOR THE PRIME MINISTER
1. You invited thoughts for your personal note to the Prime Minister covering the official advice (we have put up a draft minute separately). Here are mine.
2. By sharing Bushs broad objective the Prime Minister can help show it is defined, and the approach to achieving it. In the process, he can bring home to Bush some of the realities which will be less evident from Washington. He can help Bush make good decisions by telling him things his own machine probably isnt.
3. By broad support for the objective brings two real problems which need discussing.
4. First, the THREAT. The truth is that what has changed is not the pace of Saddam Husseins WMD programmes, but our tolerance of them post-11 September. This is not something we need to be defensive about, but attempts to claim otherwise publicly will increase scepticism [sic] about our case. I am relieved that you decided to postpone publication of the unclassified document. My meeting yesterday showed that there is more work to do to ensuer [sic] that the figures are accurate and consistent with those of the US. But event he best survey of Iraqs WMD programmes will not show much advance in recent years ont he [sic] nuclear, missile or CW/BW fronts: the programmes are extremely worrying but have not, as far as we know, been stepped up.
5. US scrambling to establish a link between Iraq and Al Aaida [sic] is so far frankly unconvincing. To get public and Parliamentary support for military operations, we have to be convincing that:
6. the threat is so serious/imminent that it is worth sending our troops to die for;
7. it is qualitatively
different from the threat posed by other proliferators who are closer to achieving
nuclear capability (including Iran).
CONFIDENTIAL AND PERSONAL
We can make the case on qualitative difference (only Iraq has attacked a neighbour used CW and fired missiles against Israel). The overall strategy needs to include re-doubled efforts to tackle other proliferators, including Iran, in other ways (the UK/French ideas on greater IAEA activity are helpful here). But we are still left with a problem of bringing public opinion to accept the imminence of a threat from Iraq. This is something the Prime Minister and President need to have a frank discussion about.
1. The second problem is the END STATE. Military operations need clear and compelling military objectives. For Kosovo it was: Serbs out, Kosovars back peace-keepers in. For Afghanistan, destroying the Taleban and Al Qaida military capability. For Iraq, regime change does not stack up. IT sounds like a grudge between Bush and Saddam. Much better, as you have suggested, to make the objective ending the threat to the international community from Iraq WMD before Saddam uses it or gives it to terrorists. This is at once easier to justify in terms of international law but also more demanding. Regime change which produced another Sunni General still in charge of an active Iraqi WMD programme would be a bad outcome (not least because it would be almost impossible to maintain UN sanctions on a new leader who came in promising a fresh start). As with the fight against UBL, Bush would do well to de-personalise the objective- focus on elimination of WMD, and show that he is serious about UN Inspectors as the first choice means of achieving that (it is win/win for him: either Saddam against all odds allows Inspectors to operate freelyk[sic]- in which case we can further hobble his WMD programmes, or he blocks/hinders, and we are stronger ground for switching to other methods).
2. Defining the end state in this way, and working through the UN, will of course help maintain a degree of support among the Europeans, and therefore fits with another major message which the Prime Minister will watn [sic] to get across: the importance of positioning Iraq as a problem for the international community as a whole- not just for the US.
Foreign Secretary Straw Says Case For Iraq Is Weak
June 13, 2005 The following is purported to have been penned by the British Foreign Secretary Jack StrawU.S. equivalent of Secretary of Stateconcerning a possible war in Iraq. Straw indicates the case for war is weak; that the Iraq situation has remained unchanged; and that the United States would not have gone to war without September 11. The document is presented as transcribed by Raw Story < http://rawstory.com/ >
Alleged Source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office 25 March 2002
1. The rewards from
your visit to Crawford will be few. The risks are high, both for you and for the
Government. I judge that there is at present no majority inside the PLP for any
military action against Iraq, (alongside a greater readiness in the PLP to surface
their concerns). Colleagues know that Saddam and the Iraqi regime are bad. Making
that case is easy. But we have a long way to go to convince them as to:
(a) the scale of the threat from Iraq and why this has got worse recently;
(b) what distinguishes the Iraqi threat from that eg Iran and North Korea so a to justify military action;
(c) the justification for any military action in terms of international law; and
(d) whether the consequence of military action really would be a compliant, law abiding replacement government.
1. The whole exercise is made much more difficult to handle as long as conflict
between Israel and the Palestinians is so acute.
THE SCALE OF THE THREAT
1. The Iraqi regime plainly poses a most serious threat to its neighbours, and
therefore to international security. However, in the documents so far presented
it has been hard to glean whether the threat from Iraq is so significantly
different from that of Iran and North Korea as to justify military action (see below).
WHAT IS WORSE NOW?
1. If 11 September had not happened, it is doubtful that the US would now be considering military action against Iraq. In addition, there has been no credible evidence to link Iraq with UBL and Al Quaida. Objectively, the threat from Iraq has not worsened as a result of 11 September. What has however changed is the tolerance of the international community (especially that of the US), the world having witnesses on September 11 just what determined evil people can these days perpetuate.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IRAQ, IRAN AND NORTH KOREA
1. By linking these countries together in this axis of evil speech, President Bush implied an identity between them not only in terms of their threat, but also in terms of the action necessary to deal with the threat. A lot of work will now need to be done to delink the three, and to show why military action against Iraq is so much more justified than against Iran and North Korea. The heart of this case that Iraq poses a unique and present danger rests on the fact that it:
2. invaded a neighbour;
3. has used WMD, and would use them again;
4. is in breach of nine UNSCRS.
THE POSITION IN INTERNATIONAL LAW
That Iraq is in flagrant breach of international legal obligations imposed on
it by the UNSC provides us with the core of a strategy, and one which is based
on international law. Indeed if the argument is to be won, the whol [sic] case
against Iraq and in favor (if necessary) of military action, needs to be narrated with reference to the international rule of law.
1. We also
have better to sequence the explanation of what we are doing and why. Specifically,
we need to concentrate in the early stages on:
making operational the sanctions regime foreshadowed by UNSCR 1382;
demanding the readmission of weapons inspectors, but this time to operate in a free and unfettered way (a similar formula to that which Cheney used at your joint press conference, as I recall).
1. I know there are those who say that an attack on Iraq would be justified whether or not weapons inspectors were readmitted. But I believe that a demand for the unfettered readmission of weapons inspectors is essential, in terms of public explanation, and in terms of legal sanction for any subsequent military action.
2. Legally there are two potential elephant traps:
(i) regime change per
se is no justification for military action; it could form part of the method of
any strategy, but not a goal. Of course, we may want credibly to assert that regime
change is an essential part of the strategy by which we have to achieve our ends
that of the elimination of Iraqs WMD capacity: but the latter has
to be the goal;
(ii) on whether any military action would require a fresh UNSC mandate (Desert Fox did not). The US are likely to oppose any idea of a fresh mandate. On the other side, the weight of legal advice here is that a fresh mandate
may well be required. There is no doubt that a new UNSCR would transform the climate in the PLP. Whilst that (a new mandate) is very unlikely, given the USs position, a draft resolution against military action with 13 in favour (or handsitting) and two vetoes against could play very badly here.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF MILITARY ACTION
1. A legal justification is a necessary but far from sufficient precondition for military action. We have also to answer the big question what will this action achieve? There seems to be a larger hole in this than in anything. Most of the assessments from the US have assumed regime change as a means of eliminating Iraqs WMD threat. But none has satisfactorily answered how that regime change is to be secured, and how there can be any certainty that the replacement regime will be better.
Iraq has NO history of democracy so no-one has this habit or experience.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 25 March 2002
included Dr. Roberts who is John M. Olin Fellow at the Institute for Political
Economy and Research Fellow at the Independent Institute. He is a former associate
editor of the Wall Street Journal, former contributing editor for National Review,
and a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He is the co-author of
The Tyranny of Good Intentions; and The Growing Case for a Resolution of Inquiry
Kevin Zeese and Ralph Nader )
In 1996 Daniel Jonah Goldhagen published Hitlers Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust:
His thesis is that the mass murder of Jews was not done on the quiet by a few he writes, by their complicity ordinary Germans were willing participants in the slaughter.
In other words, the German people as a people were guilty as well, because they accepted and permitted the slaughter of an ethnic group.
Goldhagens thesis has had rough sledding. German newspapers in the Third Reich did not report on the progress of the Holocaust. Few Germans had the means or were willing to take the risks of listening to British broadcasts, which had no reporters on the German scene to investigate extermination rumors. By the time the Holocaust was underway, Hitler and the Gestapo had an iron grip on Germans and the German military. The potent German war machine had fallen victim to Nazi hubris and bitten off more of Russia than it could chew. Opposition to Hitler rose within the military. Generals hatched plots to assassinate Hitler, but every attempt failed.
If generals commanding armies could not overthrow Hitler, it is unclear what ordinary Germans could have done. They could not vote Hitler out, as the Enabling Act had made him a dictator. The Gestapo had put a stop to civil liberties, and there was no free press. And, of course, there was no Internet reporting hard facts that the toady German media covered up.
The situation in America today is quite different from wartime Germany. There is still a free press even though it is a toady corporate press without heart or courage. There is an opposition party even thought it is a toady opposition. Bush is not a dictator even though a toady Congress has permitted Bush to accumulate power in the executive branch at the expense of both civil liberties and the separation of powers established by the Constitution. Americans have an abundance of hard facts available to them from a world press via the Internet. Americans have the weapons inspectors reports, expert testimony, and now top-secret British government documents leaked to the Sunday Times (London). The documents reveal that the British government regarded Bushs premeditated invasion of Iraq as illegal and had concerns that Prime Minister Blair and cabinet ministers could be brought up on war crime charges for participating in naked aggression. The documents reveal that Bushs decision to invade Iraq had nothing whatsoever to do with the reasons he gave the US Congress and the American people and that the "intelligence" he cited to justify his invasion was concocted and fabricated.
If Germans were complicit, as Goldhagen claims, how can Americans avoid the charge of complicity in Bushs crimes against Iraq when Americans are in possession of such damning facts and have the power of impeachment? Why do Americans tolerate a liar and a war criminal as their president?
Why has Congress voted still more money for an illegal war launched in deception?
Why does the US military permit its human and physical resources to be squandered in a pointless war that has no strategy for victory and no timetable for withdrawal?
How can America be so dominated by a lame-duck president that it loses all sense of itself, its honor, and its purpose?
Americans are complicit in the deaths and maiming of thousands of American soldiers for no valid purpose. Americans are complicit in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi women and children as "collateral damage." No one knows how high the number is because the Bush administration does not regard Iraqi lives as worth counting.
Bushs war of deception has devastated Iraq. Cities and towns are in ruins. Infrastructure is destroyed. Half the population is unemployed. Pollution and disease are rampant.
By continuing to defend Bushs lies, right-wing talk radio, Fox "News," the Weekly Standard, National Review, the Wall Street Journal editorial page, the NY Post, the NY Sun and the rest of the neocon establishment are Bushs willing executioners. The neocon media differs not at all from the Nazi propaganda machine. The neocon media fosters the same hatred and blood lust: kill the Iraqis, invade Syria, bomb the Iranians, devise "useable nukes" to subdue the Muslims, kill the American traitors who criticize our Führer, bend the world to our exceptional will.
How much more shame and complicity will Americans allow Bush and his neocon brownshirts to shovel onto their shoulders before Americans say "enough!" and remove from office the war criminal who has sullied Americas good name?
Article II, Section 4 of the United States Constitution: "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
is becoming more evident that an impeachment inquiry is needed to determine whether
the United States was plunged into war with Iraq based on manipulated intelligence
and false information. Thus far the President and Vice President have artfully
dodged the central question: "Did the administration mislead us into war
by manipulating and misstating intelligence concerning weapons of mass destruction,
Iraq's involvement with Al Qaeda terrorism and the danger Iraq posed to the United
States and its neighbors?"
With the release of the Downing Street Memo, the findings of the Iraq Commission and a review of intelligence findings prior to the invasion of Iraq a strong case can be made for taking the first step toward impeachment - a Resolution of Inquiry - beginning a formal inquiry by the U.S. House of Representatives as to whether the President and Vice President should be impeached.
"Fixing" the Intelligence to
Support a Preemptive War
The Downing Street Memo, made public on May 1 by The London Times, comprise the minutes of a meeting between Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top-level advisors that was held on July 23, 2002 - eight months before the invasion of Iraq. The document, marked "Secret and strictly personal - UK eyes only," consists of the official minutes of a briefing given by Richard Dearlove, then-director of Britain's MI-6 (the equivalent of the CIA), to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials. Mr. Dearlove reported that the Bush administration planned to start a preemptive war against Iraq having just returned from meetings with high U.S. officials in Washington, DC.
According to the minutes, by the summer of 2002 President Bush had decided to overthrow Iraq President Saddam Hussein by launching a war. Dearlove stated the war would be "justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD [weapons of mass destruction]." Dearlove continued: "But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy." British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw agreed saying: "It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided." "But," he continued, "the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea, and Iran."
British officials do not dispute the document's authenticity, and, on May 6, 2005, Knight Ridder Newspapers reported that "[a] former senior U.S. official called [the document] an absolutely accurate description of what transpired' during the senior British intelligence officer's visit to Washington." "Memo: Bush made intel fit Iraq policy," The State, Knight Ridder Newspapers, May 6, 2005.
The Cover-up: Artful Dodging by President Bush and Vice President Cheney
the 9/11 Commission interviewed the President and Vice President they insisted
that they be interviewed together, not under oath, that no transcript be made
and that even the notes taken by the commissioners be handed over to the White
House before they left the office. The Iraq Commission, examining intelligence
failures related to Iraq, was even less effective - they did not even interview
the President or Vice President.
In fact the administration used the Iraq Commission to avoid examination of the role of the President and Vice President in manipulating intelligence. The Commission was created by President Bush in response to Chief Weapon's Inspector David Kay's search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Mr. Kay reported to Congress the failure of his 1,500 person inspection team to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and flatly asserted "we got it wrong," as there were no stockpiles of WMD in Iraq. At the time of his testimony Kay recommended to Congress that an independent investigation be undertaken of this intelligence failure. President Bush circumvented an independent inquiry by announcing the creation of the Iraq Commission. When he did so President Bush stated:
"Last week, our former chief weapons inspector, David Kay . . . stated that some pre-war intelligence assessments by America and other nations about Iraq's weapons stockpiles have not been confirmed. We are determined to figure out why."
The Executive Order creating the Iraq Commission issued on February 6, 2004 directed: "The Commission shall specifically examine the Intelligence Community's intelligence prior to the initiation of Operation Iraqi Freedom and compare it with the findings of the Iraq Survey Group and other relevant agencies. . ." The Commission was not given the responsibility to look at whether intelligence was misused or manipulated by the President and his Administration. The Commission found serious problems with Iraq intelligence prior to the invasion but it did not place blame on the failure on the shoulders of anyone.
And the Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee has aided in the artful dodging' of the administration. As Dick Pohlman reports: "And while a 2004 Senate panel did criticize the prewar intelligence as a series of failures,' it didn't look at whether the Bush team had misused the material. That task was postponed until after the election; today, in the words of Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, it's still on the back burner.'" See: Dick Polman, "Memo offers Bush's critics hard evidence on prewar intelligence," Knight-Ridder, June 12, 2006.
On May 5, 2005, 89 Members of Congress submitted a letter to President Bush, asking the President to answer several questions arising from the Downing Street Memo. On May 17, 2005, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters that the White House saw "no need" to respond to the letter. "British Memo on U.S. Plans for Iraq War Fuels Critics," The New York Times, May 20, 2005, A8. The artful dodging continues.
Intelligence Before the Iraq Invasion Showed there Were no Weapons of Mass Destruction
If the Downing Street Memo is accurate, and intelligence was "fixed" to justify the war, then it is surprising how much information from the intelligence community was available that showed there were no weapons of mass destruction, no nuclear weapons, no ability to deploy weapons, no connection between Iraq and 9/11 or Al Qaeda. Yet, the President and Vice President created a sense of imminent harm if we did not invade. The Tampa Tribune, a newspaper that has endorsed every Republican for President except one since Dwight Eisenhower described the environment:
"His administration terrified us into believing that we had to quickly wage war with Baghdad to ensure our safety. Vice President Dick Cheney said he had irrefutable evidence' that Saddam had reconstituted his nuclear program. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice wrongly asserted that aluminum tubes found in Iraq could be used only for nuclear weapons. And the president himself said he couldn't wait for a smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.'"
In fact there was evidence from many official sources that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the U.S. was not facing an imminent threat, to wit:
- The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Iraq inspection team, Gary B. Dillon reported that as of 1998, "there were no indications of Iraq having achieved its program goals of producing a nuclear weapon; nor were there any indications that there remained in Iraq any physical capability for production of amounts of weapon-usable material of any practical significance." An update by the IAEA in 2003 reached the same conclusions.
- A February 2001, CIA report delivered to the White House that stated: "We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its weapons of mass destruction programs."
- Secretary of State Colin Powell in February 2001 that Saddam Hussein "has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction."
- In his 2003 State of the Union address President Bush carefully phrased claims about nuclear weapons programs in Iraq saying: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Why couldn't the President rely on U.S. intelligence? Because in the fall of 2002, the CIA told administration officials not to include claims of uranium purchases sending two memos to the White House and the Director of the CIA, George Tenet, personally called top national security officials imploring them not to use the claim.
- Bush claimed just before the UN vote on Iraq that "manned and unmanned aerial vehicles could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons." However, the White House been told by the Pentagon that it was highly disputed that these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles were designed as attack weapons. Indeed, the Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center showed the drones were too heavy to be used to carry weapons spray devices. The president had been told that these were unproven assertions also by the Defense Intelligence Agency who told the White House there was no reliable information showing Iraq was producing or stockpiling chemical weapons or whether it had established chemical agent production facilities.
- The CIA never categorically declared that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. All claims made in that regard used words like "might" and "could" - the case was always circumstantial with equivocations. But the claims from the President and vice president were definitive: Vice President Cheney said on August 26: "Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction," and President Bush said in September: "The Iraq regime possesses biological and chemical weapons."
- The State Department in a dissent to the National Intelligence Estimate said: "The activities we have detected do not ... add up to a compelling case that Iraq is currently pursuing what INR (State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research) would consider to be an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons."
- The National Intelligence Estimate said in a Top Secret 92-page document in October 2003 that "We have no specific intelligence information that Saddam's regime has directed attacks against U.S. territory."
- Senator Jay Rockefeller, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, recently highlighted that the Iraq Commission said there was pressure put on CIA analysts noting the report "says that 7 percent of all of those people in WINPAC, which is kind of the weapons of mass destruction and the nuclear proliferation [analysts] in the CIA, felt that they had to change their intelligence to suit the customer, i.e., the executive branch. . . . the point is John Bolton and others clearly tried to exercise pressure . . . on George Tenet."
Thus the United Nations, IAEA, State Department, Energy Department, the Air Force's National Air and Space Intelligence Center, the U.S. inspectors and even the CIA minimized the Iraq threat. Yet, President Bush told the American public in a radio address to the nation in September 2002 that Iraq "could launch a biological or chemical attack in as little as 45 minutes after the order is given." Shortly before the invasion President Bush said: "Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud."
Certainly, President Bush and Vice President Cheney knew or should have known before invading Iraq that the intelligence community had reservations about the claims of a nuclear program, weapons of mass destruction and whether Iraq was a threat to the United States. Yet, the Administration was determined to go to war and therefore ignored the facts, pressured the analysts to change the facts and, it seems, manipulated intelligence - in order to invade and occupy Iraq, without giving UN inspectors a few weeks more to finish their job in Iraq.
Post Invasion Revision: The Media Reports Intelligence was Week and Manipulated
As the occupation of Iraq has turned into a quagmire, more and more the truth is coming out - intelligence before the invasion was weak, manipulated and misstated.
James Bamford, a leading investigative writer on intelligence matters, author of The Puzzle Palace and Pretext for War, when asked whether the Bush Administration manipulated intelligence said:
manipulated, mangled, ignored, and analysts were harassed and bullied to present
the false picture that Iraq was an imminent threat to the U.S. In talking with
intelligence analysts and case officers, in the months leading up to the war none
believed that Iraq posed a threat to the U.S. The most basic evidence was the
fact that Iraq had never begun work on a long-range missile system (unlike Iran
and North Korea), something that can be easily seen by imaging satellites space
with a resolution down to the centimeter. And no country has ever built a warhead
without simultaneously building a delivery system.
"One CIA analyst from the Iraq Non-Proliferation section told me that his boss once called his office together (about fifty people) and said, You know what - if Bush wants to go to war, it's your job to give him a reason to do so.' The former analyst added, And I said, All right, it's time, it's time to go . . . And I just remember saying, This is something that the American public, if they ever knew, they would be outraged.'
"Congress was also lied to. Because Iraq had no long-range missiles, they were told in secret session that Iraq was planning to launch a series of unmanned drones loaded with chemical and biological agents against the East Coast of the U.S. Many members of Congress voted for the resolution exclusively because of that warning. It later turned out that not only did Iraq not have such warheads, the few drones they had were rudimentary, short range, and there was no way to launch them from sea off the East Coast in the first place. There were many such falsehoods."
The ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI) summarized some of the press reports highlighting how weak the intelligence was to support the war. On June 6, 2005 he wrote:
"On page A26 of the Sunday, May 22, 2005 edition of the Washington Post, under the headline Prewar Findings Worried Analysts,' we learned that four days before the President made the now retracted claim that Iraq was trying to buy significant quantities' of uranium from Africa, the National Security Council thought this case was so weak that it put out a frantic call for new intelligence.
"In the same article, we learned that before an Oct. 7, 2002 Presidential speech in which the President claimed there was a potential threat to the U.S. by Iraq through unmanned aircraft that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons,' and a contemporaneous claim to Congress by Vice President Cheney and then-CIA Director George Tenet that this was the smoking gun' justifying the war, the CIA was still uncertain whether he was lying.'
"On page A1 of the Saturday, May 28 edition of the Washington Post, under the headline Analysts Behind Iraq Intelligence Were Rewarded,' we learned that the analysts who pushed the now discredited claim that Iraq's purchase of aluminum tubes was for the purpose of furthering a nuclear weapons program, have been richly rewarded for this conspicuous failure, receiving job performance rewards in each of the three years since this grave error.
"The same article quotes some current and former officials' as generally stating the episode shows how the administration has failed to hold people accountable for mistakes on prewar intelligence.'
"Early this morning on the Associated Press wire, under the headline Bolton Said to Orchestrate Unlawful Firing,' we learn that the President's nominee to be Ambassador to the United Nations once again exercised his unique diplomatic talents, flying to Europe in 2002 to confront the head of a global arms-control agency and demand he resign, then orchestrated the firing of the unwilling diplomat in a move a U.N. tribunal has since judged unlawful, according to officials involved.' The diplomat's sin? He was trying to send chemical weapons inspectors to Baghdad. That might have helped defuse the crisis over alleged Iraqi weapons and undermined a U.S. rationale for war.'"
The Five Falsehoods Used to Justify Invading Iraq
There were five falsehoods that President Bush and Vice President Cheney used to mislead the United States to war. These included:
1. Weapons of Mass Destruction. The weapons have still not been found. Until the 1991 Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was our government's anti-communist ally in the Middle East. We also used him to keep Iran at bay. In so doing, in the 1980s under Reagan and the first Bush, corporations were licensed by the Department of Commerce to export the materials for chemical and biological weapons that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney later accused him of having. Those weapons were destroyed after the Gulf War. President Bush's favorite chief weapons inspector, David Kay, after returning from Iraq and leading a large team of inspectors and spending nearly half a billion dollars told the president "We were wrong." See: David Kay testimony before Senate Armed Services Committee, January 28, 2004.
2. Iraq Ties to Al Qaeda-9/11. The White House made this claim even though the CIA and FBI repeatedly told the Administration that there was no tie between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. They were mortal enemies - one secular, the other fundamentalist.
3. Saddam Hussein was a Threat to the United States. In fact, Saddam was a tottering dictator, with an antiquated, fractured army of low morale and with Kurdish enemies in Northern Iraq and Shiite adversaries in the South of Iraq. He did not even control the air space over most of Iraq.
4. Saddam Hussein was a Threat to his Neighbors. In fact, Iraq was surrounded by countries with far superior military forces. Turkey, Iran and Israel were all capable of obliterating any aggressive move by the Iraqi dictator, if not his entire regime. Saddam Hussein was a survivalist first-foremost.
5. The Liberation of the Iraqi People. There are brutal dictators throughout the world, many supported over the years by Washington, whose people need "liberation" from their leaders. This is not a persuasive argument since for Iraq, it's been about oil and distortions from other failures in pursuing Al Qaeda leaders and many ignored necessities and problems in our country. In fact, as noted by Porter Goss, the director of the CIA in testimony before the Senate this February, the occupation of Iraq by the United States has created a magnet and training ground for terrorists. This leads to more violence, anarchy and insurrection in Iraq now, but could lead to more violence in the United States in the future.
the Constitutional Standard
On December 12, 1998 the U.S. House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton for his dishonesty about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Certainly, the House should take the initial step - a Resolution of Inquiry - for the much more serious allegations against President Bush and Vice President Cheney - that they plunged the nation into an illegal war based on lies, falsehoods and deceptions. President Nixon was threatened with impeachment, before his resignation, for his role in covering up information about his campaign's break-in of the Democratic Party's headquarters. Certainly, plunging our nation into war on the basis of manipulated intelligence and repeated false statements to the American people is more serious than either of these two recent impeachment initiatives.
The relevant standard for impeachment under Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution is whether the President and Vice President have committed "high crimes and misdemeanors." The purpose of the impeachment clause is to ensure that the people of the United States, through their representatives in the United States Congress, are able to hold a President accountable for abuse of power and an abuse of the public trust.
When Virginian George Mason suggested the phrase he argued the two other grounds for impeachment, bribery and treason, were insufficient saying they "will not reach many great and dangerous offenses." In explaining the meaning of the phrase in the Federalist pages Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist 65 that impeachable offenses are those that arise from "the abuse or violation of some public trust" and "relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself."
James Madison, speaking at Virginia's ratification convention stated: "A President is impeachable if he attempts to subvert the Constitution." Surely, seeking approval to go to war on false information is a subversion of the Constitution. Perhaps the most relevant analysis to the issue the U.S. faces today comes from James Iredell who stated at North Carolina's ratification convention:
"The President must certainly be punishable for giving false information to the Senate. He is to regulate all intercourse with foreign powers, and it is his duty to impart to the Senate every material intelligence he receives. If it should appear that he has not given them full information, but has concealed important intelligence which he ought to have communicated, and by that means induced them to enter into measures injurious to their country, and which they would not have consented to had the true state of things been disclosed to them, - in this case, I ask whether, upon an impeachment for a misdemeanor upon such an account, the Senate would probably favor him."
If the evidence revealed by the Downing Street Memo is true - that there was a conspiracy to fix the intelligence to justify the Iraq War - then the President's submission to Congress of his March 18, 2003 letter and report justifying the Iraq invasion to the United States Congress would violate federal criminal law. John Bonifaz of AfterDowningStreet.org ( http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/ ) writes in a memorandum to Rep. John Conyers, Jr. describes two potential criminal violations: "the federal anti-conspiracy statute, 18 U.S.C. § 371, which makes it a felony to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose...'; and The False Statements Accountability Act of 1996, 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which makes it a felony to issue knowingly and willfully false statements to the United States Congress.
The United States House of Representatives has a constitutional duty to investigate fully and comprehensively the evidence revealed by the Downing Street Memo and other related evidence and to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to impeach George W. Bush, the President of the United States and send the impeachment to the Senate for trial. A Resolution of Inquiry is the appropriate first step in launching this investigation.
 "Why We Cannot Endorse President Bush for Re-Election," Editorial, The Tampa Tribune, October 17, 2004.
 Id. At 203 citing
IAEA report at www.iaea.or.at/worldatom/Periodicals/Bulletin/Bull442/articl
 "Unclassified Report to Congress on the Acquisition of Technology Relating to Weapons of Mass Destruction and Advanced Conventional Munitions, 1 January Through 30 June 2000," Central Intelligence Agency, February 2001
 Press Remarks with Foreign Minister of Egypt Amre Moussa, Secretary Colin L. Powell, Cairo, Egypt (Ittihadiya Palace), February 24, 2001.
 Defense Agency Issues Excerpt on Iraqi Chemical Warfare Program, Defense Intelligence Agency, June 9, 2003
 Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, Simon and Shuster 2004, pgs. 194-198.
 Bob Woodward, Plan of Attack, Simon and Shuster 2004, pgs. 199.
 Meet the Press, April 10, 2005.
 Radio Address by
the President to the Nation, September 28, 2002.
 President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat , Remarks by the President on Iraq Cincinnati Museum Center - Cincinnati Union Terminal, Cincinnati, Ohio, October 7, 2003.
 James Bamford interviewed by Kevin Zeese, "Inventing a Pretext for War," DemocracyRising.US, May 23, 2005, http://democracyrising.us/content/view/226/164/
 John Conyers, Jr., Mens Rea and WMD, June 6, 2005, www.JohnConyers.com, reprinted at: http://democracyrising.us/content/view/241/106/
J. Elliot, Debates in the Several State Conventions on Adoption of the Constitution, As Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787 (Washington: 1836), vol. 4 at 127.
 The Resolution passed by the U.S. Congress in October 2002 authorizing the President to take military action against Iraq required the President to make a formal determination that military action against Iraq was necessary to "protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq..."
--Craig B Hulet? Quinault Rain Forest, June 15, 2005
The Future of America under the American-led Empire: A Realistic Sense of it.
By Craig B Hulet?
I was asked recently to make a short, or not so short, statement of what I thought realistically may come about over the next, say, five plus years here on my native soil, America. Actually I am asked this all the time by a specific group of people, call them my circle of interested parties. I have always restricted such comments to very private segments of society as the mass of people, the masses if you will, simply are not ever ready for reality, in any form.
My take, for over thirty years, on where my country is headed consists of a two-fold approach: the first approach is to put forward sufficient data, factual information, empirical evidence all in a specific format whereby an individual will understand what may happen, has already happened though they may be unaware, and what ultimately they might do in the face of it; call this my optimistic approach. Or call it my public approach because the public, whenever they hear something never before heard, it sends the herd stampeding if one tells them too much like it is. Call it, if you must, not telling all-the-truth-the-whole-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth-so-help-me-God! (Or feeding them pap, for those not ready for meat) It is something always practiced by most when speaking (or writing) to the petrified herd.
The other approach is more metaphysical I suppose, conjectural or suppositional. When asked to write about where my personal sense of it truly resides and tell it like it is, it is another question altogether. Nobody wants to hear this, believe its true and most cannot stomach it. Publicly it just isnt done. Written? it is literary suicide; spoken? It is verbalcidal. The Question? What is this Empire we speak off? What will America and American's face under its rule? What will it be, this imperial project? This is what I hope to address here.
"There is Tranquility in Ignorance, but Servitude is its Partner."
The reasons why few will say what they know, are obvious to those who have been involved in the major corporate atmosphere, the U.S. military, intelligence and security fields and even some specialized academia. To speak of what you really know about this regime over the past fifty-five years is to risk your career, your job, your reputation, marriage, family and friends; in its severest reaction to something you might reveal about this newest form of Empire is to be smeared, slandered, banned, your client base asked to cease supporting your work, advertisers are harangued to drop their ads, and yes, even worse: you might actually end up dead. The public will not care that some or all of these things happen to you or anyone else. The progressive-Left will not care unless it is one of their own (and there are only some one million Leftists [total] in America); the radical-Right will not care unless it is, as well, one of their own (there are some three to five million of these on American soil, and they are largely harmless). The general public will never care what happens to anyone because theyre way too busy having fun, from dawns light to setting sun. Indeed, the public will not even know you existed. Why?
In America we are dealing with a level of illiteracy downright frightening. Political literacy, on foreign affairs, war and peace issues, we are absolutely a stupefied muddle of illiterate dopes. The entire world holds Americans in, well, shock & awe, if you will: shocked by our stupidity -- awed by our own disbelief in that fact. Americans arrogantly believe they are the smartest, best and most moral people on earth. They are arrogant because they are ignorant; the greater the ignorance the more stupid the more stupid the more arrogant. That is why they are arrogant dont you see. The first implies the other. Dont believe me, listen to shock-radio, hot-talk, hate-talk, Pacifica Radio Network and Fox-blarney for but a week, and you too ought to be in awe (if youre not we know why dont we?)!
Sad to admit, we are a hateful bigoted nation, still. A nation of money-grubbing, manna worshipping, personality cult voyeuristic overweight slobs. Bill Clinton represented the general masses more than any president to date. To put it all in context. The eighty to 100 million which claim to attend church every Sunday, are the same that stare numbly at pornography daily (whether hard-core Internet [still the Internets No.#1 viewed $ item] or the highly professionally produced, written, edited Hollywood fanfare called R-rated movies and television programming). They are, as well, the very same ones getting others, or having their own, abortions in the largest (Christian) numbers (do the math for heavens sake, it aint Lesbian Thespians having abortions!).
That is not the worst part. It is these Volk that will believe everything, anything, no matter how absurdly untrue, George Bush the Smaller says. Many if not most on the Christian right think what we are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan have biblical overtones. Some, let us guess about half that figure, even believe this is the END TIMES and they will come out of all this secular war-making sitting to the right, that would be the very far-right, hand of God. The most hypocritical of these choose to believe they will remain here on the present planet justified in righteousness, with all their stuff, homes, cars and toys, in what they call Stewardship of the earth (meaning their stuff).
Given I am no prude, no fundamentalist church-going dispensationalist Christian, and in fact a bit of an anarchist about most things cultural and social, Ill not be tolerated long by that crowd. (Put another way: I dont give a damn what you do on your own time, in your own home, it is none of my business, period.) Politically I am quite neutral about everything except what is. Not what ought to be, as I do have my personal philosophical notions; ideas which I keep to myself. About what may just have happened politically, I understand the why of it, and the whom it happened to, and all that too was always predictable given sufficient data. Thus regarding what will happen, I do have a sense of it all, but you likely wont like it one bit. It isnt pessimistic though it seems so. It is realistic, if you are without dogma: set-in-stone Left-leaning or Right-reeling; both really reeling from listening to their own intoxicated blather. And the two extremes do so love to hear themselves go on. And then, of course, I may simply be dead wrong, making a fool of myself, something I do quite naturally.
My sense of it, this Empire: The Strategy of Interdependence
Right then, that out of the way, I will spell out what I get from my 55-some years of adult participation in the great American political delusion. While it is all a shame, and I am ashamed often to admit being an American these days, I know Americas light must not go out: so goes America, as the foundation of liberty, so shall go the world. If democracy (not the lunatic-Lefts version) disappears here, it is lost to the world in a matter of time; if the idea of freedom which founded America (not the rabid-Rights version) disappears here, it shall be lost for at least a full generation, if not two; if the hope for world peace in some section of the world, like the Middle East (not the radical-Rabbinical version in Israel) is lost on the world, it shall not return until the newest high-tech dark-ages have run its course.
And this I fear is my sense of it. I only speak to my fellow country-men, Americans and those which have chosen to emigrate to this soil and try to live free for maybe the first time. That is how almost every single one of us, or our forefathers, came to abide on this section of global landscape. In the hope of finding freedom; the hope of ensnaring that intangible, justifiable joke called justice; the hope for a future. As Hans Kelsen might have warned "to seek real justice" in the political realm is about as sane "as seeking it in the courts of law!"
Instead we are, nearly every man, woman and child, throwing it all away. Affluence, money, both in-and-of-itself and the incessant dream of more of it, has obliterated the soul of nearly each and every one of us. Including the children. Since 9/11, our leader has lied to everyone regularly; not to mistaken him for a truly elected president, (not the nonsense that the Republicans stole the last Presidential election, that is just stupid) instead meaning that, by and large, absolutely nobody even voted, with the exception of those dogmatic Republicans and Democrats voting for their long-held jobs in federal, state and local government (do the math). This funny little fantastic Fuhrer has pursued policies, violated the laws, awestruck all with his abuse of awesome powers, passed executive orders and Kowtowed both Houses of Congress into obscene obedience; he has, in short, set course for a level of tyranny not seen since our last four leaders, Clinton, Carter, Reagan and Bush the Larger (not one so pernicious as this present presence in our midst) when each obediently served the very same masters!
Empire isnt built in a day, they, each in their own way, their own rhetoric, their own methods built upon each others site. From foundation, mortar, frame and roof, they all built this global regime. Using blueprints laid forth in the immediate aftermath of World War II, refined and redrawn as technology evolved, they used a strategic foil, the strategy of interdependence. That is what it was called for many decades: a global regime of economic interdependence: a strategy of interdependence. The blueprints drawn-up in the smoke-filled rooms of the secretive citadels of non-governmental organizations (NGO) where future leaders are trained-up, tuned-up and their thoughts molded and shaped to serve the interests of this emerging regime: Empire.
But not a Roman Empire, as the Roman people shared in its booty; its triumphs were their triumphs. This newest regime, is global, this newest regime is authoritarian, but this newest regime is not American. Thus, it will only serve its masters as all Empires do, but Americans will see no benefits and neither share in its triumphs nor its vision, its wealth nor its prosperity. You will share, many of you worse than others, minorities, the poor, the weak, only in this regimes cruelty and wrath. This newest metamorphosis and evolution to Empire and imperial vision is a corporate regime, American-led, but really Western-led; elite ruled and Western/Northern in its corporate reach. The global regime is Corporazioni. Corporatism is its ideology. Materialism its power and wealth; money its God: The U.S. Dollar, but in its coming conversion to raw electronic funds transfer at the point of sale (EFT/POS) in real time. As former CEO of CitiBank, Winston Lord once wrote a decade ago, under this new financial regime, there is no place to hide.
When I say it is a corporate regime I mean just that: i.e., corporations, multinational and conglomerate, monopoly and cartelized in an ever-shrinking merger of one after another multinational firm into a centralized monolithic structure which will dominate every aspect of everyones lives. And there is nothing more totalitarian than a monopoly corporation. It is these masters of industries, who have grown from mere Captains to Rulers of Kingdoms, the size of which old Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan did not even dream of. Of the 100 largest economies in the world 51 are corporations. Did I call these corporate cretins masters? I must be an obscure right-wing conspiracy theorist to have suggested this. Well, only to the disingenuous faux progressive-Leftists whose operations are regularly financed by these very same masters trusts and foundations.
Yes, there are masters. There is an elite. Since the dawn of time there has always been an elite for Christs sake, where have you been? Stuck over there with your itching ears plugged into Pacifica Radios rabid racists on the Left? The phony academics that tell you to ignore the persons that personify their office of power and instead, supposedly wisely, understand the problematic of the institutional dynamics which evolve within the vast methodological substratum of empirical research. (And why have a method when you can have a methodology?) All this supposedly understandable only within this great noesphere of professorial wisdom. And of course only this wise and chaste vanguard can supply you with The Truth, -- i.e., Chomskyisms select. (Sounds like a Safeway brand of big fat sausages.) And do let us all remember what The Iron Chancellor said of sausage-making: "The people should never see how laws or sausages are made." -- Prince Bismarck
Or have you rushed to judgment of those such as myself, following along with Rush Limbaughs mimicked Hannityism, in your joyful judgmental bias against everyone not a cigar-smoking Republican gerbil? Or are you so desperately foolish to factor OReilly in?
The Empire: State within a State: Imperium in Imperio
Although I shall never give-up the good fight, I was born to it, and shall continue to spew forth my richly textured empirical analysis in some forum far or near; yet, I must give up the truth if asked. America must go the way of all regimes, all governments, specifically all democracies, all empires and all imperial projects. We too shall pass into darkness and hell. Our shabby democracy has not been put through a shredder by enemies of liberty, so much as we did it to ourselves. Whether you are the one-issue orientated voter that never sees the bigger picture, or the apathetic, non-issue, could-give-a-damn-about-anything but yourself, non-voter, or the I always vote Republican, Green or Democrat, no matter who is running and how foul their stench (often literally), ... we all have lost the race. The elite, who may pose as this or that, R) or D) after the state from which they hail, masked and veiled as liberals or conservatives, it is they who have won. And now known to all what I have argued for over twenty years, they are the very same men that rotate in and out of government and return to the real power, the multinational monopoly corporate system. Bush Senior, the Larger, has been our best example, who returned to the real power for these past ten years. But so too were the Clintons masked and veiled, vile to the core; and now comes a White House Cabinet of elitists so vicious and dangerous as to defy the very foundation of liberty. The key to understanding these new and ruthless demigods is one word: monopoly.
Monopoly, for the dogmatic howlers on the Left, repudiates free enterprise right along with you Leftists!... Corporatists, and its ideology Corporatism, for the self-righteous on the Right, repudiates both full socialism and true free enterprise, while you still, amazingly, think GE is for free enterprise and Bush the Smaller is an American patriot! With this much blind stupidity of activists, insufferable insanity of the masses, democracy had no chance. Never mind that nobody votes at all any more.
Look out at what we have: A corporate state that will send every job worth having, blue-collar and white, (both kinds: white-collar and white-boys) overseas as the corporate leaders successfully formulate their personal financial objectives through their government policy making appointed positions. They are, in nearly every administration now, the same guys by name. Left-fascists used to call you a right-wing conspiracy theorist for stating this baldly some 15 years ago; they are quite silent on the point now because of the clear truth of the matter, that is to say, its obviousness. This goes on whether R)s or D)s are holding office. This will go on whether it be Lady Hillary of WalMart or Little King George, Lord Kerry or Sir Gore. How desperate have the Democrats become? They would place an American Four Star General on this throne just to remove any Republican! Think about that! Democrats finding hope in a military man (and former baby-killer?) who simply had to mouth "I'm for abortion rights and gun control," and they buy it? Amazingly, the Democrats are even blinder now than before Clinton! Never mind that nobody votes at all any more.
at where we presently are: Patriot Act I & II, Homeland Security under the
newly positioned cabinet level office, stamped almost 100% approved by both Houses
of Congress. DARPA, and the global surveillance system already operational with
both the CIA and NSA operating domestically: Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 historiography.
The U.S. Department of Defense merely Empires foreign legions for foreign
occupation of select foreigners lands for commercial acquisitions. And every
Empire is commercial. Never mind that nobody votes at all any more.
Look at who we are: In every corner of America nearly everyone is on some drug, something to make them happy,...no happier, just to get by. They think they are heroes because they suffer a little stress. The film industry shoves their peculiar dishonest and defiled culture down everyones throat then wonders in stupefaction that they are both held in worshipful esteem (by those who share their malignant narcissism) as little Princesses and simultaneously hated (by those who disagree with it, but they too still stare numbly at the damn tube). Never mind that nobody gets to vote on this programming of the masses.
You cannot have Empire without nihilism
As it happens, unfortunate wanderers often put to the test the halls of safety, bringing to light by their mere presence the values that have been cultivated in these, and revealing whether those who are prosperous have learned that the outcasts' misfortune commands their care. For he who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth should be the first to know its value... --Homer
You ask what we can do about it? Part and parcel of Empire is that the masses must be ignorant, naive and or stupid. It is a given by the elite that we the people are a combination of all three. Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people. -- John Adams (August 1765)
Try to understand this newest form of Empire. Take a map of the world, lay it out flat on the table. Circle each major city, each major port, each major airport, all in red. Now circle each region where strategic raw materials rest: oil, natural gas, chromium, phosphate, coal, iron ore, magnesium and the major bodies of water, each in blue. Now overlay this map with a clear acetate film. Mark in black every major monopoly corporations significant operations except retail: manufacturing, mining, oil and gas exploration, and major overseas expansions like in China. Now in purple (naturally, the color of Royalty) mark the flow of foreign direct investment globally from the richest western nations headquarters of the monopoly merchant bankers to where? -- now, for the first time, Chinas entrance into the new world at the top of foreign direct investment, thus reveals itself. But understand this, America as America has no part in any of this. America as America is merely one political tool of this regime, a commercial banking and industrial regime which needs America only as government to build the new order in its legal apparatuses. The new global regimes of power and governance are the World Trade Organization, NAFTA and GATT; The World Bank; The Bank for International Settlements; the UN, NATO, Group of Eight, International Monetary Fund, and on and on, the soupy alphabetically ad nauseam. It is these regimes of power and governance that, so it is intended, will govern all that matters in the world of finance, manufacturing and production. These organs are made-up of the same corporate elite that negotiate and orchestrate the rules that shall govern all that matters.
Remember the map you set out on your table. If you look closely, squint your eyes a bit, you will see that the names of nations disappear. Only the names of cities, areas of resources, waterways and the regimes of governance named above remain. It is these that are set to become but city-states in a borderless world. There is no America, China, Great Britain or France; there is no Iraq or Afghanistan, but regions where the people must be brought to heal. Just as the Los Angeles Police Department has its headquarters and decentralized precincts, whereby they send in their troops to quell a riot in a disgruntled part of its fiefdom, so too shall Empire settle matters in its regions where Empire needs peace. Peace, so as to exploit the resources of the region in its behalf. Not in Americas Americans behalf (as Rome did for Romans). But to quell a region and control its people and things (resources, rivers and waterways, airports, roads and financial institutions). I have called this process worldwide Global Triage (Triage: from the French term for choosing who in emergency room treatment gets treated and who is allowed to die); it applies quite well: this regime will decide who lives and dies globally in every region that matters. And for precisely the reasons outlined:
There will be no peace. At any given moment for the rest of our lifetimes, there will be multiple conflicts in mutating forms around the globe. Violent conflict will dominate the headlines, but cultural and economic struggles will be steadier and ultimately more decisive. The de facto role of the US armed forces will be to keep the world safe for our economy and open to our cultural assault. To those ends, we will do a fair amount of killing. (Source: Major Ralph Peters, from Parameters "http://carlisle-www.army.mil" , Summer 1997, pp. 4-14: US Army War College)
Each and every area of life, of commerce, modified and synthesized, organized according to western GAAP (General Accepted Accounting Procedures) methods by the WTO, IMF, the World Bank, ExIm Bank and the host of hosts, Empires foreign legions, the Pentagon. Just as the LAPD, supported by the U.S. Marines, silenced dissent during the L.A. Riots, so too does Empire police these small cities of unruly ruffians in Baghdad and Kabul. Soon enough, Damascus and Jerusalem. But you get the point, wherever Empire needs to exert itself for control of resources, waterways, whether there be diamonds or iron ore, rice and beans, trees or bamboo...if it matters to Empire, all will succumb: triage.
Bloodied Iraqi Child
Americans, do dare to understand this, America doesnt matter anymore to Empire. America is a mere cog in the wheel whose subjects living standards must come down. Jobs Americans thought were theirs will be theirs only if they speak Farsi, Hindi, etc.; accept living in India, Pakistan or Malaysia. Soon, very soon indeed, companies like Boeing will not just move their headquarters to Chicago from Seattle and Everett, Washington State, previously known as one of the fifty states of America, but to Beijing, in what was famously known in the past as the Peoples Republic of China. These feudalistic monopoly corporations will, one and all, go where the wages are very low and the local Junta will enforce a non-union labor force receiving little or no benefits.
I recently heard an argument that India was sending its surplus population to America and they were filling American high-tech jobs at three times less pay. The wrong thinking here is this: There are no more Americans nor Indians, so there is no surplus Indian population doing anything. In a borderless world we are, every single one of us, global workers; therefore the Indians that follow ITT from America today on to Malaysia next, going where the jobs are going, are fulfilling their destiny under Empire. If Americans will not learn the language of foreign lands and take the jobs offered therein, they will remain here in what was once called America and live in a steadily declining job market, a steadily declining standard of living. I guarantee Bush the Smaller (or Lady Hillary of WalMart) will not stop steadily spending your earnings! I did not state above citizens either; citizens of Empire are either serfs or subjects, subject to Empires dictate, that is why they are called subjects. Serfs are the ones that cannot or will not adjust to Empires new demands. Their kingdom destined to be serfdom. A hi-tech feudalism is implied in global Empire; it is especially applicable when Empires masters, our rulers, are of Corporazionis ilk.
This is the future. Borders already do not matter, you just have not felt the weight of what this means. When borders no longer matter, then being American doesnt either, as what was known as America simply no longer exists. Put plainly -- when borders no longer matter neither do you.
It is certainly not just myself, deluding myself, that what we have here is Empire in its rawest form, its religious form, as all Empire's tend towards a sense of the divine. Joshua Micah Marshall, a Washington Monthly contributing writer, recently wrote an intriguing piece titled Practice to Deceive: Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks nightmare scenario--its their plan. He argues that the neo-conservatives have a vision for what they want to do in the Middle East and deception has always been part of their ideological make-up. In one telling paragraph he captures the argument when he wrote that the current crop of neo-conservative hawks have a vision for the world, a vision not unlike, but exactly like a religious epiphany. Regarding the present plan for the entire Middle East, not just Iraq, he stated it this way:
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 Boots view, laying down the law will be enough. But he envisions a worst-case scenario that would involve the United States 'occupying the Saudis 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. (emphasis added, The Washington Monthly, 2003.)
Understand this as well. It doesn't matter
that all Empires fall, every imperial vision comes to an end. This will be cold
comfort when it is pressed forward at your expense, your children's expense, if
not their lives, your future. It never matters that the Empire will fail, it is
always that "it will try."Bush the Smaller, God-forbid a Four Star General,
or Lady Hillary of WalMart, will, each of them in their own way, their own speed
of endeavor, their own stratagems will continue to try. Try as you might, face
nothing else, but face this fundamental fact. It is in their trying that your
future holds such bleakness.
Therefore, what can we do about America evolving, and now evolving very rapidly indeed, into Empire? Well, exactly nothing. Nobody can do anything about this; nothing, nada, nyet. One can join the elite (though the doors are mostly closed now), work for them (though they need fewer and fewer every year), or try as you might to "become"one of their minions, monopoly corporate dupes, lobbyists, or elected D)s or R)s. Or you will either learn to live with it, or die; live within it, and survive (and only those which truly understand all this will have any chance at all for that). And survive meaning just that and no more, scratching out a living as your standard of living slides ever closer to the most putrid form of poverty. Or live on Empires fringe, outside of affluence, in an Emersonian moderate poverty, outside of the system, outside of its laws... "outlaws," that is to say. That is what Homeland Security is really for. To protect the homeland, the Empire's roots, its body politic from the likes of you.
What must happen
Look at what will have to happen, eventually, for the Empire to succeed. This future is clear to some. Empire and the imperial ambitions that go along with it mean specific things: Greater governmental spending, higher taxes, lowered standard of living for the masses, greater burdens on the working man and woman. Universal service and sacrifice of all the subjects of Empire. Everyone must pull their weight, tote that barge...the youth will see imperial service selectively; drafted...if not a year or so after the next election is won by Sir George the Smaller then certainly soon enough thereafter. It would go down easier with a Democrat in the White House of course, and should that miraculously take place (which the odds are something like winning the lotto) the designated white Democrat in the White House will act even more swiftly to enact this selective service for the country. It would go down so much easier with Lady Hillary of WalMart signing-off on it. Why? Because liberals and D)s cannot find the courage it takes to take on one of their, supposedly, own. What if this decision were taken by a Four Star General? You know the Democrats could not then bring themselves to even a furrowed brow, a frown.
One thing that always amazes me is how pragmatic Democrats can be; they will endorse anything, anyone, that might defeat a Republican in the White House. For decades the Democrats have led the anti-war movements (often late in the game); they have been the leaders in denouncing the military. Now, because their line-up to take on Mr. Bush is so weak and the nations masses have war-fever, they are considering a man whose sole credentials are his four stars and his vast array of contacts with defense contractors, monopolists to a man. Defense contractors, the bugbear of every liberal for decades. Now that the regime has Homeland Security, Patriot Acts I & II, the CIA and NSA can operate domestically and all this vast centralization of police power is under direct control of the White House with its new Homeland Cabinet Post...give it over to a Four Star General...there's some bright thinking.
It's inescapable. One way or another you are going to support this Empire. Whether through capitulation and submission, or through raw cowardice; the latter revealing itself more each day in more and more subjects as Lord Bush the Smaller passes imperial decree after executive decree and our leaders fall silent in a cowardly spectacle. Watch Bush the Smaller as he ratchets-up the fear-mongering so effectively with the silly colored terrorist alerts: yellow, red, etc.; what blarney, bullocks, what hubris this child of an elitist carries in his breast!
Muslims persecuted by the thousands, mild-mannered peace activists barred from flying on the airlines, individuals arrested at airports for joking they have "a bomb in their wallet,"as others, even the elderly, are strip-searched while in a wheelchair, still others declared "illegal combatants." (A term not even found in American jurisprudence, another indication America is no more.) Because they once upon a time traveled to a far off land? America has become a nation of cowards. But we have seen all this before:
"Finally, the German nationalists, the right-wing conservatives, who venerated 'honor'and 'heroism' as the central characteristics of their program. Oh God, what infinitely dishonorable and cowardly spectacle their leaders made in 1933 and continued to make afterward! One might at least have expected that, once their claim in January proved illusory--that they had 'tamed'the Nazis and 'rendered them harmless'-- they would act as a 'brake'and 'prevent the worst.' Not a bit of it. They went along with everything: the terror, the persecution of Jews, the persecution of Christians. They were not even bothered when their own party was prohibited, and their own members were arrested." (Sebastian Haffner, Defying Hitler, FSG, p.131)
We cannot see what Mr. Bush and his most vile crop of neo-conservatives plan and execute before our befuddled eyes. Lord Bush the Smaller is already thinking what Bill Clinton had already proposed during early 2003: running for a third (and fourth?) term in office after his second term begins to wind-down. He can simply claim national emergency (it has precedent). Only after the election is won will Bush contemplate the already proposed universal draft of the youth for reasons never spoken. We will be told we have to "go it alone," the great nation that we are, to bring justice and democracy to Iraq, to set the course for liberty in the Middle East, to end the death of American soldiers beleaguered in war zones afar. This is why Lord Bush is brow-beating an unwieldy United Nations to throw their troops in the fray. He knows full well Germany, France, China and Russia (and a hundred others) opposed the war resolution at the same UN, oppose it still. Why would they (then) bail out an arrogant U.S. president who has lied all along, along with Tony Blair, to get "US" in the war in the first place? They will not, and Bush knows this. But with their refusal he can later berate them one and all to the American people as "the reason" we must go it alone. And we love it so to hate the French and Germans. And along with his cohort of media whores at NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox "factors this in" he can convince American mothers to send their children to die. And this can be so easily accomplished, all so easily, legally. We have seen all this before:
"Constitutional lawyers define it as a change of constitution by means not foreseen therein. By this definition the Nazi revolution of March 1933 was not a revolution. Everything went strictly 'by the book,' using means that were permitted by the constitution. At first there were 'emergency decrees' by the president of the Reich, and later a bill was passed by a two-thirds majority of the Reichstag giving the government unlimited legislative powers, perfectly in accordance with the rules for changing the constitution." (Haffner, Ibid., p. 124)
Americans have made their politics their religion
The truly ignorant or naive American may be forgiven if they think, along with their historical counterparts of Germany, circa, 1933, that, "All this was still something one only read about in the press. You did not see or hear anything that was any different from what had gone before. There were brown SA uniforms on the streets...but otherwise it was 'business as usual.' " (Ibid., p. 109) They could not see the brown shirts who were the "media representatives" of the 1933 Reich, then pamphleteering, stumping, soap-box rants; at once browbeating, then slandering opponents, shouting them down, then beating them for real if need be. We have our own regime enforcers as "media representatives," of Amerika, "Media Brown Shirts," ... pamphleteering, stumping, soap-box rants; at once browbeating, then slandering opponents, shouting them down, then beating them for real if need be. The beatings some critics have taken have utterly silenced them, and we have seen many a critic banned, fired, ruined financially. Is it less an act of violence to ban, silence and slander than to whack 'em over the head with a black-jack or night-stick? Isn't it interesting that in Amerika the night-stick is called a baton, as though wielded by a short-skirted adolescent in a parade? Just as Mr. Bush Junior did at Yale as head cheerleader.
It did not begin with Empire acting in its divine capacity that Empire took on religious overtones. Americans have long made their politics religion rather than a secular act primed to escort our means of governance. All sides have made politics their religion which is why it has the flavor of carnival, a spectacle, just as it was in the Germany Haffner witnessed. The feminist dominated Greens, the corporate Democrats and certainly the symbiotic relationship of the present crop of Republicans with fundamentalisms dispensationalists bears witness once again that yet another democracy has lost its way. And this one lost its way to evolve into an American-led corporate empire. Not a spoken of, thousand-year Reich; not spoken of that is, and that's all.
And if the term Empire still doesnt sit well with the present reader, the reader needs to grow-up. And Americans hate to grow-up these days. If the term Empire bothers some change the definition, fine, words and their terms of usage change all the time as knowledge and reality sinks in and the truth can only be understood by the new terms and phrases of the day. But Empire, an American-led empire, a corporate empire, "is" what the current administration is all about. Not only in the Middle East do we make war, but the world over if necessary. As the tenacious John Pilger recently wrote while sitting in on a meeting of journalists and aid workers in Iraq,... "It was as though we were disconnected from the world outside: a world of rampant, rapacious power and great crimes committed in our name by our government and its foreign master. Iraq is the 'test case', says the Bush regime, which every day sails closer to Mussolini's definition of fascism: the merger of a militarist state with corporate power. Iraq is a test case for western liberals, too. As the suffering mounts in that stricken country, with Red Cross doctors describing 'incredible' levels of civilian casualties, the choice of the next conquest, Syria or Iran, is 'debated' on the BBC, as if it were a World Cup venue." (Independent.com, 2003)
fact that a man with so little political sense, a total lack of every intellectual
attribute needed for secular political governance was endorsed by the "gray
men" for Governor of California on the sole basis of "name recognition,"
and the bizarre truth is that Californians, (being a bit odd themselves according
to some) might just vote for him to win, is a shame on us the U.S. We know "who"
by "name" will rule California even if Noam cannot bring himself to
"personalize the problematic." What, then is our future?
High-Tech Corporate Feudalism
Of course, one can always argue differently. I shall make my own point, as I said, "my sense of it." The major U.S. monopoly multinationals with their ongoing mergers and acquisitions globally will continue apace. Not even Arnold can stop the economic attrition in California wearing out the workers, blue collar and white; jobs sent overseas following entire operations already operating, moved to markets more amenable to profit and fewer benefits. Not even Arnold can address the sheer enormity of tax dollars slipped into the hands of GE, Bechtel and Halliburton, Brown & Root. Not even the Terminator can rid the planet of the high-tech feudalism this monopolistic oligarchy brings to the land. Indeed, they own Arnold. Why else would a Captain of industries (Bechtel, Boeing, etc.), Herr Schultz, endorse this bad-actor for the position, the input, unless he can control the output?
What democrat could alter the landscape, even if he or she would, when each and every one is bought and paid for by precisely the same Corporatism which presently owns both Houses of Congress, the White House and white presidents? Lady Hillary of WalMart? Please!
Empire may mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Again, it may even be difficult to define today (so Ive been told) for some. But I may have less of a problem with it than most and not because I am so darn smart. Simply because I have little allegiance to anything except liberty and I concern myself only about what "is."
Where we will be in a few years is just not that difficult to imagine, not that hard to figure. The debt and deficits alone are staggering; never has the trade deficit and the federal monetary deficit been as high as a percentage of GDP, and nearly equal. Total obligations of the enormous federal crime families is a robust 44 trillion dollars. My calculator doesn't have that many zeros! Never has personal individual debt been quite so enormous, nearly every working man, woman and child is presently bankrupt by any rational mathematical standard applied, which of course logically explains record personal bankruptcies. Corporate debt is at record levels, which of course logically explains record business bankruptcies. Unemployment figures have never been so manipulated by a system of mathematical make-believe to make us believe we have a recovery in progress without the productive participation of some 30 to 40 million workers. Workers not looking for work is why they are not counted. As though the fact that they have given-up looking for that job, where there are 700 applicants for every meager-paying service job, makes them less jobless! Workers working only part time and often only a few hours a week are not unemployed by the reckoning of our masters, they are simply "marginal."
GDP means Gross Domestic Product and it is indeed gross to claim we have any worthwhile products produced domestically any longer. The only thing America can be said to actually produce is more debt. That is the future story one day writ large. Made in America my a posteriori.
What of the stock market one naively asks, thinking "it" has some relationship to the domestic economy being prosperous or in a recovery for the many? The reality? An ever growing process of overseas investment in unproductive acquisitions. The very same process that little dark magician and his crew performed on the world stage for the Clinton myth is in for a repeat performance, a slick kind of ... "come on Alan, take a bow!" One more time we print the cash to pay the diabolical debts and raise taxes to re-collect what was spent on defense and foreign infrastructures where empire wants to expand. We are to rebuild Iraq but we cannot fix the roads in America? We can bring democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan as it slips away here in America and America's children cannot find a decent education? And the little dark magician keeps conjuring-up his mystical magical manna.
This is done to the glee of the raw speculator in stocks; stocks again so overpriced as to defy even the little magician tortured mind. Yet another day of reckoning is in the future. Another round of false millionaires, each as logically mathematically bankrupt as the former, each shall find their dreams dashed in the coming market "correction." Dont you love the language we are taught to use... a "correction." Sort of like a typo -- just a little white-out in the old days, replaced now by Microsoft Works program spell checker -- and what a hoot, it wasn't that bad.
Except for those that cannot find a job after they have lost everything, and at fifty-five years old find themselves working non-union in the Garden Center at Lady Hillary's WalMart. But this may not happen for a few more years, certainly interest rates will not rise significantly "before" Bush the Smaller gets re-elected! Bush the Senior.the Larger, will not have it. And again, Bush the Larger has been back in power for ten years, not, like so many silly progressives and Democrats wrongly hoped and believed, sidelined like some aging running back for the Dallas Cowboys. No, the "must happen" correction, must be held off until after that little stage play the mad magician performs is in curtain call. Nobody the wiser still.
And what will we hear in the very near term? "Nothing any different from what has gone before." But what will in fact happen must happen. More smaller business failures as the trickle-down from Corporatism's domestic economic attrition in affect effects one and all; more unemployment not less. The IRS has targeted small businesses as the audit of choice. Of course they have, the smaller large companies and the smaller small businessmen cannot afford the Big Eight to do battle with this manna collecting monstrosity. An evil so great some few Libertarians have called it the "eternal revenue system." That sucking sound wasn't just jobs going overseas Ross, it is the whooshing sound of the collective toilet flushing individual taxpayers into the general system's septic-tank where the biggest curds float to the top, the rest sink quietly out of site. "All this [was] still something one only read about in the press. You did not see or hear anything that was any different from what had gone before."
What are we to do with the aging demographic in America? Soon enough those retired, or the older unemployed or, unemployable is the new term, those on the many doles will simply out number the youth working and being taxed to pay for the retired Volk. Given everything else noted above, add even greater unemployment among minorities and young people, add further domestic economic attrition through corporate expansion overseas, what is a tyrant to do? Draft the little buggers is but the only real world solution; none too few other analysts have suggested this as one such future solution. When we see adults, between twenty-three to thirty-five scooting about on mountain bikes, decked-out in childish garb, out having fun like the nine year-olds the bikes were originally meant for, how can an honest broker of thought not endorse another military draft? We have a nation of grown men acting as children, with no thought of the future with the sole exception of "having more time off," having "more fun," and escaping further into a neurotic festival of mutual exhibitionism. The worst? the ones strutting about like John Wayne, sunglasses perched on their proboscis, acting bad-to-the-bone...for attention, over the fact that he has a new shiny truck with a still newer ATV in the back! Draft the buggers does come to mind if there is to be any hope for this state of affairs whose affairs are in a terrible state. While I cannot say I approve of this solution, because I do not approve of just about anything the American-led Empire is doing, it is a solution I can state categorically "they" are looking at.
Alas, what I sense is not going to affect me too much with the exception of my beleaguered compassionate-side; this darkness coming over the land shall be the ruin of so many an innocent. Those enlightened self-interested greedy little malevolent monkeys, the nihilistic narcissists and dead-beat creatures that personally gain by all this, the politicians, the monopoly corporate cretins, the mob lined-up at the various troughs, bleeding one and all, every "other," well, I dont much care for them. But you could have guessed that right off. The fact that this coming corporate feudalism will bear little resemblance to tyrannies of the past is little comfort. That it is high-tech, well lighted, air-conditioned and instantly gratifying in such a gratuitous fashion, will make it seem, to many, a benign kind of tyranny. A kind of benevolent beast. These four horsemen will seemingly come bearing new gifts for all, SUVs and home mortgages with little or no interest rates "for sixteen months with no payments until September." Weve all heard the call. It is the stuff which imprisons the soul.
The Things That Matter
The only way Empire, even American-led as it is, can and will mend its profligate ways domestically? Taxes must be raised; therefore the masses must be razed, put to work and taxed too. Oil and gas must be raised, from mother earth; therefore the Middle East must be razed to protect American interests. Whose interests? Not mine. Not most of you. But we know whose interests are being looked after, explored and protected. Dont we? Interest rates must be raised, to protect that flimsy piece of medium we exchange for things; things whose cost continues to rise effortlessly, ah, the almighty dollar, and inflation is the most secretive of all the razing to come.
No, the charade must come to an end, the correction must happen, the wars will not end, the expansion overseas and the global military "footprint" will enlarge to encompass everything "that matters." And everything that matters will come under an absolutist feudal corporate control. Things that "dont matter," like what you watch on TV; your desperate need for yet another new pair of shoes; the need to strut before your crowd with your stuff exposed; the need to "get ahead" of your neighbor, your sibling, yourself. That invisible treadmill so many cannot bring themselves to get off because "it is all they are," all they have. Things that "don't matter," like who you have sex with and for heavens sake "why" ... all will be allowed you, as these things don't matter to Empire. Indeed, it is the "stuff of Empire" which is meant to enslave! If you learn no other expression learn these two: The "things that matter" (Empire will control absolutely) "things that don't matter," (you know) are yours to keep. Even your life is yours to fritter away as so many have in America before you.
What matters to Empire? You will work. You will pay. And pay until it hurts, you will pay and you will obey. The future is clear to some. Ignore it at your own risk. What can you do? You? You actually mean "you?" I havent got a clue. That is, well, up to you isn't it?
Mr. Craig B Hulet: Security, Military Affairs & International Relations Expert (Author: "The Hydra of Carnage: Bushs Imperial War-making and the Rule of Law: An Analysis of the Objectives and Delusions of Empire." Available @ www.kcandassociates.org); Hulet was Special Assistant for Special Projects to Congressman Jack Metcalf (Ret.) www.craigbhulet.com --Hulet can be reached at: email@example.com
Copyright 2003 The Artful Nuance and Craig B Hulet
"The most important thing is for us
to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until
we find him." - - George W. Bush, 9/13/01
"I don't know where he is. I have no idea and I really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."----------- George W. Bush, 3/13/02
On Tactics and Strategy: How Bush has Misunderstood Military Strategic Doctrine and Constraints on Political Objectives -- Had Bush and his academicians posing as military advisors read Clausewitzs On War America would have been better served.
"I recognized that it was not the job of the military to
defend American commitment and policy.
Yet it was difficult to differentiate between pursuit of a military task
and such related matters as public and congressional support
and the morale of the fighting man,
who must be convinced that he is risking
death for a worthy cause.
The military thus was caught in between."
--General William Westmoreland,
By Craig B Hulet?
The wars fought during the second half of the 20th century were lost or at best some half-way measures taken to be stalemates or wins by lowering the threshold of what constitutes victory. According to certain respected military experts, we lost in Vietnam, achieved nothing but the status quo ante in Korea, 1 a divided nation-state today, August 2003, and on the brink of an even worse catastrophe than the 1950s. We have not won in Afghanistan nor Iraq as the world now knows; Mr. Bush declared we won, an end to hostilities during November 2001 and May of 2003 respectively. Some analysts argued we wouldnt win easily early on in the immediate aftermath of invading Afghanistan.
Northern Alliance troops moved into Kabul on Nov. 13, less than a week after launching an offensive that has swept the Taliban from most of northern Afghanistan....On the surface it appears a lightning offensive by the Northern Alliance -- supported by U.S. aerial bombardment. -- has shattered the Taliban army in a matter of days. But have the Talban been defeated? An examination of the Taliban withdrawal suggests the group intentionally surrendered territory in the interests of adopting tactics more amenable to its strength."2
Added were these comments as well: "The towns abandoned have no strategic importance to the Taliban, nor anybody else; they cannot even be called pre-industrial towns. Abandoning these primitive bombed-out facilities had only propaganda value to the western forces; virtually only Americans in the world will believe this matters one whit. The war was always destined to be fought as a guerrilla war within the territories and mountains, arid wastelands and urban centers of far more developed nations as the wars zones of attack." (Ibid.) It is now evident that the above argument, while by some was seen as premature given Mr. Bushs declarations of an early victory during November of 2001, was correct. The Taliban wisely withdrew their forces in a strategic retreat, we did not defeat them, we did not rout them at all, only to return today stronger than ever. In the past few months of mid-2003 the Taliban and al Qaida have all returned to Afghanistan to re-engage their enemies who are weaker now than during the initial phases of assault; weaker as well from the growing guerrilla resistance in Iraq taking American lives daily, post-May 1, 2003, when Mr. Bush again declared victory only this time in Iraq; the attacks numbering 30 to 50 every day throughout the region (only when there are American deaths do these attacks [harassing tactics all guerrilla armies use] get well-reported). Indeed the growing level of assaults increased daily as the warmer Spring weather set in.
Interviewed by the English-language daily The News, Mohammad Amin and Mohammad Mukhtar Mujahid, two Taliban spokesmen, said their fighters had already begun striking targets in the north, and would intensify the northern campaign in the coming weeks.
Taliban fighters have been waging a campaign of grenade and rocket attacks against foreign troops, and the U.S.-installed government of Hamid Karzai for months.
Amin named three former Taliban commanders have been positioned in northern Faryab province to undermine the power of northern strongman and deputy defense minister Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam. (Sources: Islam Online.News and Information Clearing House August 10, 2003)
The story is finally beginning to receive some serious attention even if only and primarily in the foreign press: "The leader of the ousted Taliban regime, Mullah Mohammad Omar, has urged his followers to step up jihad against the U.S. and other foreign occupation forces in Afghanistan," (Source: ISLAMABAD, June 24 IslamOnline.net & News Agencies)
And so it begins, the real wars America has gotten itself into in the Middle East proper, and in Afghanistan of all places! That the Pentagon knew well this would be the outcome in both locales is known and should be understood, it isnt that Mr. Bush and the self-proclaimed Cabal (Paul Wolfowitzs term not mine) of civilians did not receive proper intelligence, they simply rejected it if it didnt fit their agenda according to intelligence officials who quit rather than "go along with this abuse of proper intel. channels. 3
Once again, as in the not-so-recent past with Vietnam, the military professionals, their intelligence analysts and counterparts at CIA and NSA, Defense Intelligence and too many military affairs experts to count, were ignored by the seemingly arrogant civilian academicians appointed (sometimes self-appointed to even higher importance in decision making as has been so eloquently reported by Seymour M. Hersh 4 ) to run these wars. Men with no active duty combat experience at all, few with military experience of any nature, most never even a National Guardsman, these men have taken unprecedented control of the American war-making capability; in short, men which do not know what it takes to meet the enemy and find victory conduct the wars. Mr. Bush, the most embarrassing of all the noncombatant civilians, could not discipline himself enough to simply not declare that hostilities were over, that we won, only to find America enmeshed in full blown guerrilla wars! And in both Areas of Operation (AO): Iraq and Afghanistan.
Seemingly bereft of the needed intelligence, both kinds, some of these academics have prosecuted these wars in a way they think, especially Mr. Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense, is all-so-new, with new names attached to every phrase, as if by "saying" these words they are akin to some magical talisman: here are the terms of endearment to some of these non-warrior elite -- Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) and Shock & Awe. With its mantra-like quality, its subtext repeated on CNN by aging retired generals obedient to Mr. Bushs propaganda machinery (most retired for good reason): Achieving Rapid Dominance. That we did not achieve any such thing cannot today be admitted; but it will, upon reflection, be admitted one day when the history and analysis of these wars is written. Which has already begun as we shall see below.
What is Rapid Dominance?
Shock & Awe is the title of the book which outlined the doctrine itself. 5 According to the text "Rapid Dominance is the full use of capabilities within a system of systems that can decisively impact events requiring the application of military/defense resources through affecting the adversarys will. Rapid Dominance envisions execution in real or near real time to counter actions or intentions deemed detrimental to U.S. interests. On one end of the spectrum, Rapid Dominance would introduce a regime of Shock and Awe in areas of high value to the threatening individual, group, or state. In many cases the prior knowledge of credible U.S. Rapid Dominance capabilities would act as a deterrent."
More on this factor below, but most important is the concept that rapid dominance would achieve a quick end to hostilities, something Mr. Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld never entertained, admitting that the War on Terrorism might last anywhere from six to ten years. But the original conceptual integration of this doctrine was to assure the opposite. "Rapid Dominance would ensure favorable early resolution of issues at minimal loss of lives and collateral damage. The concept ideally should be able to impact adversarial situations that apply across the board, addressing high-, mid-, low-, and no-technology threats. Some of these aims may not be achievable given the political and technology constraints, but need to be explored. (Appendices, Reflections of Three Former Commanders: "Thoughts on Rapid Dominance" Admiral Bud Edney, Shock & Awe, 1996, p.149)
The authors, primarily active duty or recently retired high-ranking officers from all the major branches, seemed to grasp the problems facing any future wars in their specificity: "The reality of current politics is that the trauma of Vietnam, the results of the Gulf War, and our status as the only remaining superpower after the Cold War equate to some new constraints (real or perceived) on the application of military force to support our foreign policy." Constraint was the watchword of these newest concepts for the future use of military force in dispute resolution. They argued that "These political sensitivities need to be understood up front and include the following": (Ibid. p. 147)
· The U.S. is not the worlds policeman
· Involvement of U.S. Forces must be justified as essential to vital U.S. security interests
· Support of Congress and People is a necessary prerequisite
· Avoid commitment of ground forces
· Offer instead U.S. intelligence, air lift, sea lift, logistics support, etc.
· Avoid risk of loss of U.S. lives at almost all costs
· Ensure decisive force applied for mission assigned
· Rules of Engagement allow U.S. forces to defend themselves aggressively
· Minimize civilian casualties, loss of life, and collateral damage
· Specify achievable mission objectives up front with an end in the not-too-distant future sight before committing
· U.S. led coalition force preferred-U.S. Forces remain under U.S. Command. These political restraints may limit the application of Rapid Dominance to Major and Minor Regional Conflicts. This is an issue that needs further exploration and analysis." (Ibid. pp. 147-148)
Given the above constraints envisioned by the team and noted in their specificity by L.A. "Bud" Edney, coupled with the specific constraint in the previous section above, whereby the, "Rapid Dominance capabilities would act as a deterrent. Rapid Dominance would ensure favorable early resolution of issues at minimal loss of lives and collateral damage," it would seem the Bush Administration, while pronouncing upon the language of Shock and Awe, with its rapid dominance of the given situations in both Afghanistan and Iraq, failed to take cognizance of the advice. Mr. Bush prosecuted both actions, ignoring sound advice from these and other military professionals. Instead, much like our previous wars noted by Admiral Edney, specifically Vietnam, relying upon non-military "experts" within the civilian command (Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice, Perle and Feith, to name a few) and upon the language, without the constraints, both wars were "sold" to the public (which bought it initially due to the incredibly pro-war bias reporting of major news outlets). But history, as in wars in the past, creeps up upon the reality.
While the concept might have been used as deterrent, which the team highly valued, it would seem, and cannot really be argued any other way, the Bush Administrations elite civilian experts, never seriously considered this in either case. That is to say, it is now obvious, deterrence was never tabled, never seriously entertained. Admiral Ednay felt this area was of signal importance stating he felt that "Rapid Dominance cannot solve all or even most of the worlds problems. It initially appears that Rapid Dominance should be applied sparingly for egregious threats or violations of international law, such as:
· Blatant aggression involving a large state crushing a small state
· Rogue leader/state sponsored terrorism/use of WMD
· Egregious violations of human rights on a large scale
· Threat to essential world markets." (Ibid, pp. 151-152)
None of the above violations were present in Afghanistan though Mr. Bush certainly tried to make it seem so. Not even 9/11 was known with any certainty the sole, nor even primary responsibility of al-Qaida and Usamah bin Laden as late as March 11, 2002. 6 The case to remove the Taliban from power was held with even less credibility. In Iraq there was no "threatened use" let alone "use" at all of WMD on the part of Saddam Hussein; even less of a threat now that the so-called intelligence culled and selected that was utilized to sell the war has fallen entirely out of favor. I am not going to rehash the partisan politics of these issues as we have more important issues at stake, in my humble opinion. We are in these two wars now, wars which have predictably escalated to a higher level of urban guerrilla warfare in both Areas of Operation (AO).
All the authors and analysts which outlined the new doctrine of Shock and Awe agreed on something which I shall address in much greater detail below, that is the following:
We note for the record that should a Rapid Dominance force actually be fielded with the requisite operational capabilities, this force would be neither a silver bullet nor a panacea and certainly not an antidote or preventative for a major policy blunder, miscalculation, or mistake. It should also be fully appreciated that situations will exist in which Rapid Dominance (or any other doctrine) may not work or apply because of political, strategic, or other limiting factors. (Ibid. Prologue, p. xix, emphasis in original)
It is here that we must begin to assess what we are "in" and if there is any way "out." Americas policy blunders has us in two guerrilla wars in AOs that have always been considered not amenable to control, let alone "winning." Shock and Awe and its attendant Rapid Dominance has in fact failed to achieve its main objective. An objective that has always been the primary objective of military victory, if it is victory we are after that is. That signal concept of war is to end the adversaries "will to fight." In this we have failed. Their will in both countries (arguably the entire region) has instead been aroused to a fever pitch and promises to grow for as long as we occupy their territories, place puppet regimes in power, and maintain control over their natural resources. It matters little, no, not at all, whether you or I, Mr. Bush and his coterie of civilians, the media and our public polls, believe we have broken their will, or the regimes in place are not puppet regimes, that we are administering "their natural resources," primarily oil and gas, and the attendant pipelines in both nations to the benefit of their people, rather than "controlling them." All that matters is that this "is their perception" that it is so.
Tactics and Strategy: The Objective
We must not hide behind fates petticoats.
When we look at the two wars being fought in our name we ought to look it all in the face; there is never a better time to do so than while the wars are escalating. We might wait until it is all over, as we did with the Vietnam war, to look at what we had been doing all along. We might look at it the way George Santayana suggested when he stated "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Or we might choose to ignore this advice with the axiom, "One of the most somber aspects of the study of history is that it suggests no obvious ways by which mankind could have avoided folly."7
Things change. We all know this. Even military doctrine changes with the times. But do we ignore the basic truths of war that endure for the fancy of the moment? There really are not any books that can address, as yet, the tactics we are presently utilizing in either Afghanistan nor Iraq. For some time there were no books about Vietnam either. Not until around 1982 when On Strategy was first published. I have drawn upon the works of this author and upon my own reading of Clausewitzs On War (as he did) because I fear, we may have set course on a war-footing we shall ultimately lose. I am no progressive Leftist as those who know me would readily attest. My meager contribution to the Vietnam war was during 1969/1970 with the 101st Airborne Division, C Troop/ 2/17 Air Cavalry. That we did lose the war, though we could have won the war, had our [then] crop of civilian masters wanted to win the war, is not a moot point. But they did not want outright victory; they fought what was then called a "limited war." That the two terms joined into a doctrinal phrase are themselves then contradictory in the history of warfare will become understood later in this piece.
We must, in my opinion look to the errors of the Vietnam war to discover, in part, why we lost that war; why, or better, how we could have won that war. Now that we are "in" the Middle East, Afghanistan, maybe North/South Korea (again) and threatening Iran and Syria, should give one pause. Vietnam is the only past war we can realistically look to as all else that has followed were not only limited wars in character even further, some are now seen as downright foolishness (Somalia readily comes to mind). With the new strategic doctrines bandied about, like the above Shock and Awe, we need to look closely at what works in war-making capability. What works means victory -- what brings peace.
Some will say I write this because I think we (our military forces, the troops in particular) "ought to win" if we are already there fighting. I do not have to make that distinction. As in the Vietnam war, since we did lose the war (what I mean by "lose" the war follows below), and that it was to some analysts apparent at the time we would lose, we, therefore, could have pulled out much earlier, or not escalated as we did, when we did; in short, we could have saved lives on both sides by not doing what we did for the reasons we did it. True hindsight about Vietnam is 20/20. But there is no reason we cant achieve 20/15 by using what we learned then and since. Maybe this is futile on my part. The troops on the ground will certainly not think so.
When looking into the history of the Vietnam war Colonel Harry G. Summers Jr. noted this important doctrinal change during the period in question:
It is revealing that during the course of the Vietnam war there were changes in both the strategic and tactical definitions of The Objective. What had been a clear relationship between military strategy and political objectives was lost in an abstruse discussion of national objectives, rejection of aggression, deterrence and the whole concept of a spectrum of war. 8
The new definition is similar in respect to where we are at today. We may ask what are the objectives in Iraq, in Afghanistan, elsewhere Mr. Bush and his civilian commanders (if I may use the term very loosely) intend to go next? Karl von Clausewitz had argued that "the political object--the original motive for the war--will determine both the military objective to be reached and the amount of effort it requires." While the 1962 edition of FM 100-5 still discussed The Objective as requiring "the destruction of the enemys armed forces and his will to fight," the 1968 edition reduced this to, "defeat the enemys armed forces." 9 As Summers pointed out then (1982) and one might point out today (08/2003) "we had eliminated the very factor that was to cause us the greatest difficulty--the psychological objective of destruction of the enemys will to fight." As Summers further notes and it seems more convoluted today: "This was especially paradoxical since this was ostensibly what we were trying to do in Vietnam, having been denied the objective of destruction of the enemys armed forces." Which was why we did not entertain the invasion of North Vietnam, thinking instead, we could win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese that we believed was more important and made up the better part of the Viet Cong. The idea was built upon the doctrine of "counterinsurgency" as our main tactic. That we seemingly misjudged the war in this way, seeing as we were fighting actually two distinct enemies, the one, the Viet Cong, which was a guerrilla war orchestrated by the North, and a conventional war with the Army of North Vietnam was the whole point. It wasnt the Viet Cong that took the South, they just kept us occupied in all corners while we fought our limited objective of fighting them specifically, while the real war was mounted from the North in conventional fashion, eventually overrunning Saigon with 17 Northern Regular (NVA) Army Divisions and armored columns. It was the doctrine of counterinsurgency, according to Summers and his sources which contributed greatly to the doctrinal flaws.
Afghanistan and Iraq:
It was claimed that our objective in Afghanistan was to remove the Taliban from power and "get Usamah bin Laden" as "all roads lead to bin Laden," so we were told. Then after the Taliban moved out of their strongholds "to fight another day," with the only tactics available to them, tactics well-earned one must add, without their forces being "decisively defeated," one wonders what we have won? What are the real political objectives in Afghanistan? Now that we are embroiled in yet another guerrilla war, no differently than the Soviets, who it was never necessary for the guerrillas to decisively defeat either, we are fighting the very same guerrillas by name in many cases; what are we going to do?
"The political objective is a goal, war is a means of reaching it, and means can never be considered in isolation from their purpose....It is clear that war should never be thought of as something autonomous but always as an instrument of policy."10 It is not at all clear that Mr. Bush and specifically Mr. Rumsfeld understand what this means. The objective of simply removing the Taliban from power, removing the regime from power in Iraq but not decisively defeating either of them, not using enough force, enough ground forces in both cases to cause the overwhelming defeat of their armies, crush their "will to fight," I fear will be the cause of our defeat in both regions. No one in their right mind should start a war without the planning for peace in place. And nation-building is not a plan and not something an army can do, let alone ought to be doing. "There was a brief period in the late 1960s when military intellectuals were advancing the notion that the U.S. Army was the arm of the government best equipped to carry out in the field the entire range of activities associated with nation-building." (Summers, p.71) We failed in Vietnam, but the doctrine holds today, whereby "the fundamental purpose of the U.S. military forces is to preserve, restore, or create an environment of order or stability within which the instrumentalities of government can function effectively under a code of laws." (1968 successor to Field Service Regulations quoted, Ibid., On Strategy). Clausewitz argued:
War plans cover every aspect of a war, and weave them all into a single operation that must have a single, ultimate objective in which all particular aims are reconciled. No one starts a war--or rather, no one in his senses ought to do so--without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by that war and how he intends to conduct it. The former is its political purpose; the latter is operational objective. This is the governing principle which will set its course, prescribe the scale of means and effort required, and make its influence felt throughout down to the smallest operational detail. 11
It is clear Mr. Bush did not plan for the peace, the immediate aftermath of the invasion (the looting and arson), the resistance which we can now see clearly was planned all along as a guerrilla war. (Saddam knew he could not defeat American forces in a conventional war--did anyone believe he would try?) I do not think one professional soldier advised that Saddam Hussein would fight in any manner than what we are seeing now, post-May 1, 2003, i.e., an urban guerrilla war. "The original means of strategy is victory--that is, tactical success; its ends, in the final analysis, are those objects which will lead directly to peace." (Clausewitz, On War, II:2, p.143)
That there have been claims within the military and civilian policy-makers ranks of surprise by the level of resistance in both countries only strengthens my argument that the civilians, as S. Hershs sources argued over pre-war intelligence assessments, received proper advice, but the professional soldiers were arrogantly ignored. Mr. Rumsfeld in particular, as a true believer in the Revolution in Military Affairs and its doctrine of Shock and Awe, believed it would, in and of itself, bring unqualified victory. But like Clintons, "it depends...what is the definition of is"... what is Rumsfelds definition of victory? I must point out that, as meager as my personal contribution is here, I stated on September 20th, 2001, live in Washington D.C. on the Jim Bohannon Show immediately five minutes after Mr. Bushs Terrorism Speech, that we would have to occupy the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, and this would entail ground troops in the tens of thousands and we would be there for years. If I knew, Bush knew.
One nation may support anothers cause,
but will never take it so seriously as it takes its own.
A moderately-sized force will be sent to its help;
but if things go wrong the operation is pretty well written off,
and one tries to withdraw at the smallest possible cost.
Clausewitz, On War, VIII:6, p. 603
And seriously, things are going wrong! The confusion over objectives detailed in Summers volume about Vietnam reflects our present situation more than anyone wants to admit. In Vietnam this "had a devastating effect on our ability to conduct the war," according to Summers. "As Brigadier General Douglas Kinnard found in a 1974 survey of Army generals who had commanded in Vietnam, "almost 70 percent of the Army generals who managed the war were uncertain of its objectives." Kinnard goes on to say that this "mirrors a deep-seated strategic failure: the inability of policy-makers to frame tangible, obtainable goals."12
I think this is the most important aspect of Summers detailed study of Vietnam and to some extent his historical take on the Korean War. It is not the duty of the military to judge the policy-makers goals and objectives but it is his duty to give his full and unqualified brief. I believe, given what we already know about the current crop of neo-conservatives, who dominate this administration and their inability to entertain advice that doesnt fit their already conceived notions, we have been misled by these policy-makers. In an interesting quote by Summers, this very thing was addressed early on in the Spring of 1954 regarding whether American ground forces should be brought into the Vietnam war the French were then fighting. On the relationship between the Army leadership and its civilian decision makers:
The statesman, the civilian authority, says to the soldier (and by "soldier" I mean the professional military man - the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force as represented in the persons of the Chiefs of Staff): "This is our national policy. This is what we wish to accomplish, or would like to do. What military means are required to support it?"The soldier studies this problem in detail. "very well," he says to the statesman. "Here is what your policy will require in men and guns, in ships and planes."...If the civilian authority finds the cost to be greater than the country can bear, then either the objectives themselves should be modified, or the responsibility for the risks involved should be forthrightly accepted. Under no circumstances, regardless of pressures from whatever source or motive, should the professional military man yield, or compromise his judgment for other than convincing military reasons. To do otherwise would be to destroy his usefulness."13
The Offensive War:
In our Shock and Awe bombing of, first Afghanistan, then Iraq, we have been treated to articles in the prestigious journals like Foreign Affairs by too many authors with a certain bias in presenting the wars, the actual combat itself, as unmitigated successes. Mr. Rumsfeld was the most obvious and all the more unseemly because of his obviousness. The swagger in Rumsfelds ruminations cannot be stated any other way. 14 Yet the bombing, the overwhelming devastation brought upon both these countries did not achieve its central war objectives. We neither decisively defeated the armies, nor broke their "will to fight." We have not brought victory, period.
At about the time Mr. Bush declared an end to hostilities in Iraq on May 1, 2003, and that we had won the war, a close associate of Donald Rumsfelds at the American Enterprise Institute, and the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Max Boot, wrote these words:
Coalition forces in the second Gulf War were less than half the size of those deployed in the first one. Yet they achieved a much more ambitious goal--occupying all of Iraq, rather than just kicking the Iraqi army out of Kuwait--in almost half the time, with one third the casualties, and at one fourth the cost of the first war....Although the Iraqi army was much degraded from its pre-1991 heyday, it still deployed more than 450,000 troops, including paramilitary units, the Republican Guard, and the Special Republican Guard, whose loyalties had been repeatedly demonstrated. Traditionally, war colleges have taught that to be sure of success, an attacking force must have a 3 to 1 advantage--a ratio that goes up to 6 to 1 in difficult terrain such as urban areas. Far from having a 3 to 1 advantage in Iraq, coalition ground forces (which never numbered more than 100,000) faced a 3 to 1 or 4 to 1 disadvantage....That the United States and its allies won anyway--and won so quickly--must rank as one of the signal achievements in military history. (Foreign Affairs Vol. 82 No. 4, July /August. p.44)
It is not like a neo-conservative to ever admit of error, so one does not expect Mr. Boot to write another article clearing it all up and admitting that not only was he naive, immature in the greatest degree or maybe just an overzealous apologist for this war. Nevertheless by the time the article hit the newsstands every point he made was either entirely erroneous or must be read with a completely different understanding. Point of fact, Saddam Husseins army never intended to defend Baghdad 15 but acting in the same fashion as the Taliban, their strategic retreat was "to fight another day" towards using tactics more suitable to success against a superior conventional force: i.e., urban guerrilla warfare. Having done so, Mr. Bush and Max Boot (as but one of many examples of the wars apologists) now find every point Mr. Boot made to have the reverse applicable. The war will cost America many times that of Gulf War 1 (running approximately 1.2 billion dollars a week); the casualties have already surpassed the first Gulf War and are mounting weekly; and, as far as accomplishing anything in half the time, we now find ourselves mired in an urban guerrilla war that could last a decade, if not twice that. Not only have we not occupied "all of Iraq," we dont control all of Baghdad, nor the Shiite South which is rising-up in anger as each day passes. Thus we have (or he ought to be) a fully embarrassed Mr. Boot. But the admittance that not only are our troops outnumbered by a guerrilla force possibly numbering 400,000, or a 4 to 1 ratio, we must leave the existing troops in place with one year rotations, 16 activate the Army Reserves to full status along with much of our National Guard, and we will still need to fix the proper ratio for the attacking American forces as specified in military doctrine at 6 to 1 (properly 10 to 1 in an urban guerrilla war) to attempt to reverse the situation. This will, if we intend to stay any longer than two years, require the reinstitution of the draft (Selective Service) in the very near future, likely after the next election. Or we could withdraw.
Another rarely discussed problematic in the entire region is demographics. The United States has, just as most fully developed nations, an aging population. In Iraq and throughout the Gulf region their population has doubled in twelve years, with 60 percent under 21 years of age.17 Thus we mirror again our Vietnam experience. A rather young population fighting a guerrilla war against our conventional forces. Hanoi more than once proclaimed their willingness to expend enormous human losses and draw upon an endless supply of their youth to see America leave their country. One author, Mr. Leonardo Maugeri, also pointed out this important factor: "This demographic explosion has created expectations and frustrations to which stagnant, single-industry economics cannot give a credible answer. Only sustained oil revenues allow these countries to temper social unrest by preserving huge assistance programs. Gulf countries oil revenues are already much lower than they were 20 years ago, and cheap oil prices mean a dramatic dip in per capita oil income. Therefore, frustration and violent revolt may erupt whenever the minimum living standards are endangered by decreasing oil prices. Todays Islamic fundamentalism, like yesterdays pan-Arab socialism, finds fertile ground among hopeless people."18
Recall that our Rolling Thunder bombing of North Vietnam was supposed to bring about just such a success as our current doctrine of Shock and Awe: "Bring them to the negotiating table." But even then we neither shocked the Vietnamese into submission, nor were they in awe of our unsurpassed air supremacy; they, like both Iraq and Afghanistan, had no airpower to speak of, what was to awe them exactly? The failure to achieve the objectives through the carpet bombing of Hanoi and it was the on again/off again nature of the bombings that one Admiral Sharp argued caused us "temporary military disadvantages" and that Summers argued were "fatal flaws."
If the enemy is to be coerced you must put him in a situation that is even more unpleasant than the sacrifice you call on him to make. The hardships of the situation must not of course be transient--at least not in appearance. Otherwise the enemy would not give in but would wait for things to change."19
The Iraqi and Afghan guerrillas have all the time in the world. Al Qaida even more time.
They can always wait for things to change, change in America, change in Iraq, change!
A brief look at the war in Afghanistan:
In a ground-breaking article in Foreign Affairs Stephen Biddle 20 took a close look at this war that Mr. Bush has already declared over and the U.S. media underreports. We shall not belabor the point that the guerrilla warfare with a combination of original Taliban commanders (who fought the Soviets) and a newly reconstituted al Qaida are back with a vengeance and intend to "fight forever" the American and foreign occupation and Harmid Karzais U.S. backed regime. (The idea there were anything like elections in Afghanistan is as fraudulent as one can get)
What needs to be explored and what Biddle discovered about our initial defeating of whatever Taliban and al Qaida fighters did stay and fight a tactical defensive withdrawal (this defeat was a given) was that the doctrine of Shock and Awe, the transformation of our U.S. military in some revolutionary fashion, (RMA) just simply did not happen. Biddle suggests this will remain true for some time to come. It was this belief put forward mainly in the media by Donald Rumsfeld that in the so-called defeat of the Taliban there was created what he termed "The Afghan Model." A model purportedly so successful it would set the stage, transform, all wars of the future. It was the use of Special Forces Operations teams directing overwhelming airpower with the ground fighting primarily done by the indigenous people themselves. (In Afghanistan it was the ruthless Northern Alliance whose true allegiance is with Russia not the West) The new Model was supposedly that U.S. ground forces didnt have to engage the enemy at all and the Northern Alliance only sporadically and not in close combat. As though the entire war was fought from a distance and what came to be called a "standoff affair." Ill let Biddle speak for himself.
[Yet] the war was not purely a standoff affair. Contrary to popular belief, there was plenty of close combat in Afghanistan. Although they were initially taken by surprise, Taliban fighters quickly adapted to American methods and adopted countermeasures that allowed many of them to elude American surveillance and survive U.S. air strikes. 21
The Taliban and al Qaida fighters withstood the devastating bombing and the "actively resisting Taliban had to be overcome by surprisingly close-quarters fighting." (Ibid.) Nobody, and certainly not this analyst, is suggesting that the Taliban could have defeated U.S. ground forces in a straight-up contest. That they didnt attempt to is clear in Biddles report. The problem as I see it, from what I still hear, is that they didnt put up any fight at all except a tactical (fighting) withdrawal; according to Rumsfeld and his Cabal of Wolfowitz, Fieth and Perle, and others, they were slaughtered like lambs and were awed and in shock over our superior firepower. They couldnt even put up a fight, so it was reported. America rushed out to buy yellow ribbons and flags. All this we heard. But, what actually happened was somewhat different and does not bode well for the future wars we intend to fight in the Middle East. Biddle reports that,
...within days of the first SOF-directed air strikes, American commandos were already reporting that Taliban vehicles in their sectors had been smeared with mud to camouflage them. By November 5, the Taliban were making aggressive use of overhead cover and concealment. In the fighting north of Kandahar and along Highway 4 south of the city in December, al Qaida defenses were well camouflaged, dispersed, and making use of natural terrain for expedient cover. This pattern continued through Operation Anaconda in March, by which time al Qaida forces were practicing systematic communications security, dispersal, camouflage discipline, use of cover and concealment, and exploitation of dummy fighting positions to draw fire and attention from their real positions. 22
"The Taliban," Biddle notes, "did not just passively suffer under American attack; they adapted their methods to try to reduce their vulnerability. And as they did, the war changed character." (Ibid.) Among the more important changes Biddle reports, was the increasing difficulty U.S. forces experienced in finding targets for precision attack. They hid in old Soviet entrenchments and used the natural terrain for concealment.
By the time of the December fighting along Highway 4, even less information was available. In fact, concealed al Qaida defenses among a series of culverts and in burned-out vehicles along the roadside remained wholly undetected until their forces drove back an allied advance. An al Qaida counterattack in the same sector using a system of wadis, or dry valleys, for cover approached undetected to within 100-200 meters of allied and American SOF positions along the highway before opening fire. 23
When we did encounter the Taliban fighters through our enormous high technology capabilities, drones and satellites, something else of note occurred. "Just as enemy targets became harder to find once the Taliban adapted to the new model, the ones that were found also became tougher to kill." (Ibid., p. 39) At one location, Bai Beche, all the defenders could not be located easily so American commandos called in two days of heavy bombing across the entire position. "Yet even after this extensive effort, enough defenders survived to thwart the initial attack..." (by allied forces). (Ibid.)
We heard nothing of these things, and more and worse scenarios during the actual time period of the combat mission. All we were treated to was how Shock and Awe was wiping out all resistance. That the Taliban were routed, al Qaida but a memory. We were lied to, as simple as that. And there is no point to this. The nations people, who must be fervently behind the deployment of U.S. military force, so as to not lose public support as happened during the Vietnam war, have been, instead treated as stupid little children who must be told "we are winning,"-- "now go shopping," as Mr. Bush actually proclaimed on more than one occasion. This was supposed to be reassuring? The American people could not be told how very ineffective our high technology revolution in military affairs was at the time which included massive amounts of munitions used in often just one skirmish; how ineffective against a dug-in enemy. Here was another battle reported by Biddle:
During Operation Anaconda, well-prepared al Qaida positions survived repeated aerial attack by U.S. precision munitions On Objective Ginger on march 4, for example American troops inadvertently disembarked from their assault helicopters almost on top of an unseen al Qaida position; after being pinned down for much of the day, they were extracted that night. They then spent much of the next ten days fighting their way back toward the Ginger hilltop from more secure landing zones well to the north. In the meantime, American aircraft pounded the hill. Yet in spite of more than a week of sustained heavy bombing, al Qaida positions on Ginger survived to fire on U.S. infantry when the latter finally reached and overran the objective. One dug-in al Qaida command post was found surrounded by no fewer than five 2,000 -pound bomb craters. Still, its garrison survived and resisted until overrun. 24
Throughout every war in the past, with the exception of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not even the fire-bombing of Dresden during the latter half of World War Two brought an abrupt end to resistance, even if it proved effective ultimately. As Biddle pointed out in his article, "In the past, firepower has been critical, but against resolute, well-prepared defenders, it has rarely been sufficient; taken together, Bai Beche, Qala-e-Gangi. and Operation Anaconda, (each proclaimed at the time easy victories in the press) suggest that it is not now, either." 25 In fact the Taliban and alQaida have predictably returned in force.
By August 13, 2003, the Taliban had wrested control of most of Zabul province in southeastern Afghanistan - for the first time recapturing a province since being ousted from power by the US military in November 2001 - geopolitical analytical firm Stratfor reported. The advance also underscores the stalemate between the United States and its Afghan allies against the Taliban. It indicates that the alliance formed in early 2002 between the Taliban, al Qaeda and Hizb-i-Islami - the party led by Afghan war lord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar - is paying off for the militants. It said Zabul is of strategic and military importance for a number of reasons. Taking Zabul cuts off US troops stationed to the south in Kandahar from the bulk of US troops located to the north toward Kabul, and given that Helmand and Oruzgan provinces to the north of Zabul already are Taliban strongholds, the group can better try to isolate U.S. and local provincial troops in Kandahar and eventually attempt to retake Kandahar as well. 26
Reported in the New York Times but rarely re-reported anywhere else are stories like this one: "In the most violent day in Afghanistan in nearly a year, 15 people, including six children, were killed when a bomb exploded on their bus in southern Afghanistan, and another 20 people were killed in fighting in the countrys east....The bomb exploded in Helmand province aboard a bus en route to the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, according to news agency reports. It was the deadliest such attack since a bomb exploded in Kabul last September, killing 35 people. In the east, suspected Taliban fighters attacked government soldiers in the province of Khost, about four miles from the border with Pakistan. Fifteen attackers were killed, as were five government soldiers, according to a spokesman for the provincial governor quoted by The Associated Press. 27
The attacks come two days after the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in a historic departure from its European theater of operation, assumed control of the International Security and Assistance Force, the multinational peacekeeping force that patrols Kabul and its surrounds. Clearly the war in Afghanistan is escalating, not over.
The attacks also come as the United States was preparing to invest another $1 billion in Afghanistan in an attempt to accelerate the pace of reconstruction. A significant amount of the aid, according to Afghan officials, will be devoted to expanding and strengthening national institutions - namely the national army and the police - that could help provide security outside Kabul. Stepped-up attacks in the southeast, including some on aid workers, have prompted aid groups to restrict their movements and work in a region already deeply underdeveloped.
Apparently the Taliban and al Qaeda are now strong enough to retake an entire province, and its a province thats strategically located on the main road between Kandahar and Kabul. 28
What might this have told us about the excursion into Iraq?
There are some who feel like, that conditions are such
that they can attack us there,..
My answer is bring them on.
--President George Bush Jr. 7/2/03
Biddle early on had this to say about our upcoming invasion of Iraq; he didnt believe the "Afghan Model" much talked about by Cheney and Rumsfeld in press conferences, would work well at all, arguing instead "In Iraq, for example, the lack of a credible, trained opposition bodes ill for an Afghan style campaign without major American ground forces."29 This didnt stop Mr. Rumsfeld from advancing the theory that Iraq would be a cake-walk and American troops would be, "met with flowers pushed down the barrels of their guns," and "treated as liberators." Biddle understood what we would be up against, but the civilian managers are today those neo-conservatives who do not seek advice from those whose advice contradicts their preconceived point of view.
In most countries the central geo-strategic objectives are urban areas. Even where the bulk of the national land area is open desert (as in Iraq), the cities are both the key terrain and an ample source of cover (Baghdad alone covers more than 300 square kilometers). The natural complexity of such surfaces offers any opponent with the necessary skills, training, and adaptability a multitude of opportunities to thwart even modern remote surveillance systems. 30
Even with such a powerful caveat already written before March 2003, and at the newsstands by late February, the Administration refused to acknowledge just how wrong they were about the RMA and the effect shock and awe would (not) have, as opposed to what they still remained committed to. Biddle made it clear even if the administration wasnt listening: "Even more broadly, we should be wary of suggestions that precision weapons have so revolutionized warfare that either the American military or American foreign policy can now be radically restructured . Some now argue that the revolutionary potential of precision weapons teamed with SOF and indigenous allies, can underwrite a neo-imperial American foreign policy in which the Afghan model enables cheap but effective military intervention on a potentially global scale. 31
The Afghan Model was no model at all, as Biddle made this as clear as could be when he stated, "So what does this analysis tell us about the future of warfare? The answer is that Afghanistan, at least, suggests a future more like the past than most now believe. Precision firepower did not simply annihilate well-prepared opponents at stand-off range in Afghanistan. To overcome skilled, resolute opposition required both precision firepower and skilled ground maneuver; neither alone was sufficient." 32
We instead went into Iraq with our troops believing there would be little resistance; in the south they were met with a Shiite population that hated Saddam Hussein, which the administration thought meant they would automatically support our invasion of their land. But instead they hate us even more than Saddam Hussien. The resistance shocked some of the ground commanders and certainly the troops which met fierce resistance. Hussein and his transformed army, including the Republican Guard, never intended to hold the ground, cities, territory at any point. Putting up a mock and deceptive defense was planned all along, retreating into the urban centers "to fight another day." Hussein transformed his military into an urban guerrilla army and sucked-us into its vortex. In other words, "What the Afghan war ultimately shows is that even today, continuity in the nature of war is at least as important as change. To ignore the continuity and focus exclusively on the change risks serious error and fundamental misunderstanding of this wars true meaning for the future--which is neither as transformational (Rumsfelds favorite term) nor as idiosyncratic as many have asserted." 33
Commitment and Interests:
"We have a soldier wounded or killed every other day" in the Baghdad area.
"Is it slowing us down? Yes, because some soldiers who would otherwise be doing reconstruction, we have to use for security.
Every attack means we're going to have to be here a little longer."
-- Maj. Scott Slaten
In a most audacious attack on American troops, an Iraqi fired a rocket-propelled grenade from the sunroof of a Chevrolet car at a passing patrol yesterday, incinerating one of the army vehicles and seriously wounding four of those traveling in the convoy. 34
Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defense Secretary, insisted "that Iraq was not a new Vietnam," there are no jungles there! 35
07/01/03: BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. troops in Iraq are getting ambushed everywhere and every day - while guarding gas stations, investigating car thefts or on their way to make phone calls home. Each new attack is raising questions about whether the violence is a last gasp from Saddam Hussein loyalists or signs of a spreading revolt. The Pentagon is puzzling over how many resisters there are, how well they are organized and how they can be stopped. Private risk analysts are warning of an even chance of Iraq descending into open revolt. And although the term is rarely used at the Pentagon, from every description by military officials, what U.S. troops face on the ground in Iraq has all the markings of a guerrilla war - albeit one in which there are multiple opposition groups rather than a single movement. 36
It was finally admitted by at least one on-the-ground general that America is in a full-on professionally organized guerrilla war; we are not fighting disgruntled homeowners who are angry with the lack of electricity; we are not facing foreigners paid by wealthy Hussein "loyalists," nor are we facing (only or primarily) classical terrorists of the Al Qaida "ilk." As this analyst had stated in interviews and articles for almost two years since 9/11 and at the time, we will be facing an international urban guerrilla war which began on 9/11 on our own soil. Our involvement in the Caspian region, Afghanistan and now Iraq, now possibly Iran, less likely but certainly on the Bush banquet platter, North Korea and Syria, will bring more American deaths abroad, a growing guerrilla resistance wherever we have troops on the ground, and further attacks here at home. Here is what one General stated during late July 2003:
"I think describing it as guerrilla tactics being employed against us is, you know, a proper thing to describe in strictly military terms..." 37 Central Command chief Gen. John Abizaid, who commands U.S. forces in Iraq, said a "guerrilla war is exactly what U.S. troops are confronting," not what Mr. Rumsfeld claimed himself on June 30th, that it was not "anything like a guerrilla war or an organized resistance." 38 Ground commanders are contradicting the civilian managers and given Summers analysis above, we need to take note of this. Abizaid said U.S. forces are fighting remnants of Saddams Baath Party throughout Iraq. He said mid-level officials of Saddams government, including from the old intelligence and security agencies and the Special Republican Guard, "have organized at the regional level in cellular structure." Abizaid said they "are conducting what I would describe as a classical guerrilla-type campaign against us. Its low-intensity conflict in our doctrinal terms, but its war however you describe it."39
Will this escalate into a furtherance of conflict here at home? Given the protracted nature of every guerrilla war, they can only hope to win if it is in fact protracted, will more Americans die here at home and abroad in classical terrorist attacks? U.S. Military intervention has been identified as the major cause for terrorist acts against Americans and American facilities, corporate, military and governmental by none other than the United States Pentagons Defense Science Board:
As part of its global power position, the United States is called upon frequently to respond to international causes and deploy forces around the world. Americas position in the world invited attack simply because of its presence. Historical data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement in international situations and increase in terrorist attacks against the United States.40
"The level of resistance, Im not so sure I would characterize it as escalating in terms of number of incidents. But it is getting more organized and it is learning. It is adapting -- it is adapting to our tactics, techniques and procedures. And weve got to adapt to their tactics, techniques and procedures," Abizaid said. Does this sound at all familiar or must we wait until Harry Summers or Stephen Biddle writes another volume as they did on Afghanistan and Vietnam? To face this growing threat without alarming the American people the Pentagon will have to send more troops and keep those already there maybe indefinitely.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Pentagon could start a call-up of as many as 10,000 U.S. National Guard soldiers by this winter to bolster forces in Iraq and offset a lack of troops from allies, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. Missions in Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched the U.S. military thin, the report said, and soldiers there still face danger every day. One senior U.S. defense official, asked by the Journal if he had ever seen the Army stretched so thin, said: "Not in my 31 years" of military service. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is expected to sign off later this week on a plan that would set up rotations to relieve Marine and U.S. Army soldiers stationed in Iraq, the newspaper said, citing a Pentagon official. 41
The American people have gone to war often in the interests of Americas interests; Vietnam was one; Somalia was different, Afghanistan different still, Iraq differs even more. The war on terrorism holds that we must make "pre-emptive war" world-wide against those who may "harbor or support terrorism anywhere they are found." Interests are not a very good argument most of the time. Colonel Harry G. Summers hits the mark in his chapter To Provide for the Common Defense. We are almost always told that if we do not deal with our enemies here or there we will be fighting them in the streets of America.
Although our military policies are often justified in terms of the first mission--protection of the Homeland--it is the third mission--protection of American worldwide interests--that has most often led to the commitment of American armed forces. It was easier to say "fight them in Vietnam or fight them in the streets of San Francisco" than it was to attempt to explain the complex network of interests behind our Vietnam policy, and "protection" is much less open to argument than "interests" over which one may or may not agree. 42
As Vietnam illustrated, and I can recall quite vividly from personal recollection, and as Summers pointed out "the divergence between what we were doing and what we said we were doing led to such serious problems as the credibility gap and the loss of public support." (Ibid.) These wars over interests always escalate, more troops are sent, reserves called-up. The tactics the enemy employs are as old as wars themselves. Our shock and awe revolution in warfare is not new to the guerrilla and the past practitioners of this ancient art of war.
The enemy will pass slowly from the offensive to the defensive. The blitzkrieg will transform itself into a war of duration. Thus, the enemy will be caught in a dilemma: he has to drag out the war in order to win it, and does not posses, on the other hand, the psychological and political means to fight a long-drawn-out war....43
Mr. Bush is about to discover that the inevitable escalation of the war in Central Asias Caspian region centered in Afghanistan cannot be so easily won. (Arguably the war is, in part, over the pipelines today presently funded by the Asian Development Bank and under construction and viable control of the regions vast oil and gas reserves, although not as the sole or maybe even one of more important political/economic objectives, it cannot any longer be denied.) 44 And in the overall Middle East (whereby Iraq is seen as but the beginning) oil reserves cannot be ruled out as at least one of the primary objectives for our pre-emptive attack on that country. This is going to return with a vengeance on this Administration. These objectives cannot be dismissed, should have been spoken to from the beginning, rather than the worn out song of Homeland Security and WMD neither of which will hold weight in the years to come. Summers reasoning bears repeating here, "the divergence between what we were doing and what we said we were doing led to such serious problems as the credibility gap and the loss of public support." It is here that the troops suffer the most. They are the least informed as to what the real objectives are in every war; they are the last to understand the constraints or limits placed upon their commanders; they are the last to find out, many much too late, that they were sent to war over reasons, resources and for a reality never explained.
The first the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish...the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive. 45
There is no longer any lingering doubt that Mr. Bush and his Cabal have, to the point, misled the world, the UN, the United States Congress and the American people as to what our true objectives were in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This alone is being argued whether this is an impeachable offense. Misleading Congress is a felony. This first failing might be overlooked by the cynical and unwise, by the people so easily occupied with the latest T.V programs. But the strategic necessity of getting it right regarding "the kind of war" we are to fight, not trying to "turn it into something alien to its nature," is, to my way of thinking the more impeachable offense than the former. It is this not reckoning that we would be facing a protracted urban guerrilla war in Iraq, a classical guerrilla war in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, one we at one time funded and aided the same Mujahadeen against the old Soviet Union, that bears the brunt of history. It is the failure to fight the proper "kind of war" to achieve achievable objectives necessary to the first mission, "protecting the American homeland," that cost American (and the rest) lives, and is unforgivable. The language Mr. Bush himself has used to garner public support has been downright un-statesman-like in every sense. Good versus evil, them or us, is the language of demagogues not republicans.
"We have failed to perceive that people will probably respond to arguments made on the basis of enlightened self-interest....The apocalyptic language of the past has tended to deceive those who used it as well as those who got the message." --Senator Jacob Javits, 1973
As Summers pointed out regarding the American war managers deceptions of the past wars, "In the future we must take care to avoid jeopardizing American public support for their military with misstatements -- either intentional or unintentional -- of what we are about."46 The American people are still grappling with what we are about. I have argued that what we are is an empire of sorts, not a Roman style empire as in Romes day, as the Roman people benefited by Romes imperial policies, her wars, her objectives. Even Roman legions stood to gain. Everyone understood just what they were about. But this new empire, the new imperial project here in America if masked and veiled (if not to the rest of the world which tends to see us in our historical light). It is a corporate empire whose interests we are at war over. it is the giant monopoly multinational corporations whose interests we fight to defend, acquire, dominate and rule in behalf of. But misleading the American people over this aspect is nothing compared to misleading our youth into what kind of war they are to fight and in whose interests.
Mr. Bush, Mr. Rumseld and Richard Perle, Dick Cheney and Ms Rice, Mr. Wolfowitz and Mr. Armitage, and even Mr. Powell, have to one degree or another misled the American people; worse, they have misled the troops themselves if not the commanders in the field. Have these followed the past thinking regarding making war? Thinking, like that of Robert S. McNamara:
"The greatest contribution Vietnam is making--right or wrong is beside the point--is that it is developing an ability in the United states to fight a limited war, to go to war without the necessity of arousing public ire." 47
"Right or Wrong" was not beside the point, as Summers pointed out, and neither was the intangible of "public ire." The failure to invoke the national will of the American people was one of the major strategic failures of the Vietnam war. It produced a strategic vulnerability that our enemy was able to exploit. The troops rebelled, morale was horrendous, the youth protested and parents were outraged. (Ibid.,pp.7-18) It is the belief our leaders today hold that the, primarily Muslim populations, in the regions we are fighting, have got to lose; we are simply too powerful; they will be shocked and in awe. As doctrine Shock and Awe has only deluded our leaders, not convinced our enemies; we have not broken their will to fight, their will to resist. We have guaranteed the opposite. As Clausewitz wrote almost 200 years ago:
Not every war need be fought until one side collapses. When the motives and tensions of war are slight we can imagine that the faintest prospect of defeat might be enough to cause one side to yield. If from the very start the other side feels that this is probable, it will obviously concentrate on bringing about this probability rather than take the long way round and totally defeat the enemy. 48
Nobody believes Saddam Hussein and his (now transformed 49) guerrilla army of maybe 400,000 fighters believes they can totally defeat the American conventional war machine in all-out-war; nobody believes Mullah Omar believes his Taliban and friends like Usamah bin Laden 50 and al Qaida can totally defeat the American conventional war machine in all-out-war; they do not.
Rather, we wrongly believe they cannot wear us down with years of protracted guerrilla warfare, the only kind of warfare, protracted, guerrillas can and will fight, as it is the only chance they have of "winning without defeating" American forces. Without defeating American forces they can win. Americans today view war as a sporting event, one side is better and therefore wins the game. This thing called war is no game, those of us who have seen it close up understand this. Those, like almost every single member of the Presidents team, inclusive of himself, George W. Bush Junior, have never seen war except on T.V.: trust me not, though I have seen war close-up; but do trust those men like Col. David Hackworth (ret.) Col. Robert K. Brown (ret.), and so many others like them, we can lose both these wars and defeat the enemy tactically at every turn, if they stand and fight. That was always the question: would the Taliban, al Qaida, the Special Republican Guard and Saddam Husseins 450,000 soldiers stand and fight us? No intelligent military professional thought so, none do today. Mr. Bush has set course not knowing what kind of war we were to fight, not knowing how many troops we needed, therefore what kind of public support would be needed in the long-haul wars inevitably turn out to be. Worse, as always, the main objective of any war must be and the most fundamental error every statesman or war-manager fears making the most, is "what kind of peace" we hoped to attain.
"You know you never defeated us on the battlefield," said the American colonel.
The North Vietnamese colonel pondered this remark a moment. "
That may be so," he replied, "but it is also irrelevant." 51
Footnotes to text:
1 See Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., On Strategy: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War, 1982 Presidio Press; See also A Country Made By War, Geoffrey Perret, 1989, Random House; The March of Folly, Barbara W. Tuchman, 1984 Alfred Knopf; and for an historical perspective see Why Vietnam? Archimedes L.A. Patti, 1980, U of Calif. Press
2 See some 35 press releases dating from September 2001 through August 2003 where it was argued that we would be facing an urban guerrilla war with fighters from some 60 different nation-states (some would join the fights in the two countries we have occupied and that this would continue for a generation. See also specific interviews conducted on KABC/KLOS Los Angeles during this same period. (See also The Hydra of Carnage: Bushs Imperial War-making and the Rule of Law, 2002, p. 198 "Taliban Withdrawal Was Strategy, Not Rout, Analysis.)
3 See testimony on Capital Hill as both Houses of Congress and the British Parliament have conducted hearing and enquiries into Bushs and Blairs assertions over Saddam Husseins weapons of mass destruction and connections to al Qaida during June/July and August 2003
4 SELECTIVE INTELLIGENCE by SEYMOUR M. HERSH Donald Rumsfeld has his own special sources. Are they reliable? New Yorker magazine; Issue of 2003-05-12 Posted 2003-05-05: The text in part read: "W. Patrick Lang, the former chief of Middle East intelligence at the D.I.A., said, The Pentagon has banded together to dominate the governments foreign policy, and theyve pulled it off. Theyre running Chalabi. The D.I.A. has been intimidated and beaten to a pulp. And theres no guts at all in the C.I.A....The former intelligence official went on, One of the reasons I left was my sense that they were using the intelligence from the C.I.A. and other agencies only when it fit their agenda. They didnt like the intelligence they were getting, and so they brought in people to write the stuff. They were so crazed and so far out and so difficult to reason with-to the point of being bizarre. Dogmatic, as if they were on a mission from God. He added, If it doesnt fit their theory, they dont want to accept it. "
5 Shock & Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance, The Center for Advanced Concepts and Technology, 1996 National Defense University
6 See TIME magazine article dated March 11, 2002: To quote it in part, "If you go back and look at the hijackers , they had zero contact with any known al-Qaeda people we were looking at. They didnt break any laws. They didnt do anything to come to anybodys attention. Are there other people in the U.S. like that? We dont know." FBI Official. The point being Mr. Bush has demonstrated little proof positive that Al Qaida planned 9/11, carried it out and that "all roads lead to Usamah bin Laden. Even if it were true Mr. Bush could not have made the assertion as proof as early as September 20th, 2001 when he made the case in his first post-9/11 Terrorism speech. Later Senator Bob Graham, as head of the 9/11 Joint House/Senate Intelligence Committee investigation was quoted as saying, "there is compelling evidence of nation-state involvement (in 9/11) and not just in financial dealings." He then has complained often that the "FBI had sealed for thirty years their requests for data on some 35 documents" which would have shed light on these (more than three) nation-states (likely) involvement."
7 In Joe P. Dunn, "In search of Lessons: The Development of a Vietnam Historiography, " Parameters: Journal of the US Army War College, Vol. ix, No. 4, 1979, p.37: Quoted in On Strategy Ibid. p. 78.
8 Quoted in On Strategy p. 87
9 Karl von Clausewitz, On War, I:1, p.81; On Strategy, Ibid. See also FM 100-5, 19 February 1962, p.4, and FM 100-5, 6 September 1968, pp.1-2; )
10 Clausewitz, On War, Ibid., p.88
11 Clausewitz, On War, VIII:2, p.579
12 On Strategy, p. 96; see also Kinnard, The War Managers, (Hanover, New Hampshire, University Press of New England, 1977 ), p.25
13 Then Army Chief of Staff, General Mathew B. Ridgeway 1954, comments on the French under siege at Dien Bien Phu, Vietnam. In Soldier: The Memoirs of Matthew B. Ridgeway, New York, Harper & Bros., 1956, pp. 271-72
14 Foreign Affairs Journal, Rumsfeld May/June 2002 Tomorrows Armed Forces; In the same issue Michael OHanlon declared victory in Afghanistan The Afghan Campaign, only to see the Taliban return after it was in print; see also Max Boot (a long time neo-conservative and friend of Rumsfelds and colleague at the American Enterprise Institute in Foreign Affairs, July/August, 2003, was even more syrupy towards the Secretarys war.
15 An article appeared in the Washington Post during July 2003, but only once, whereby a document was found in Baghdad , marked Top Secret which outlined the planned urban guerrilla war before America invaded the country; it included attacks on pipelines, arson/looting and hit & run tactics being employed.
16 NIKO PRICE, Associated Press Writer, Tuesday August 12, 2003, Sanchez: Troops in Iraq to Serve 1 Year : BAGHDAD, Iraq - All troops in Iraq, with brief rest breaks in the region and possibly a few days at home, the commander of U.S. forces said Tuesday.
17 See Leonardo Maugeri Foreign Affairs "Not in Oils Name," Vol. 82 No. 4, p.171
18 Ibid., Maugeri, p. 171-72
19 Clausewitz, On War, I:1, p.77; On Strategy, p.106
20 Stephen Biddle is Associate Research Professor of National Security Studies at the U.S. Army War Colleges Strategic Studies Institute.
21 Foreign Affairs, "Afghanistan and the Future of Warfare," Vol. 82 No. 2, p.32
22 Ibid., p.35
23 Ibid., p.36
24 Biddle, Ibid., p.39
25 Ibid., p.41
26 Stratfor: Strategic Forecast and International Herald Tribune; August 13, 2003
27 NYT: Violence Spreads Through Afghanistan, Killing Dozens Amy Waldman: KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2003
28 Ibid., Stratfor and Ibid. NYT, Waldman
29 Foreign Affairs, Biddle, p.38
30 Ibid., p. 38
31 Ibid., p. 46
32 Ibid., p.45
33 Ibid., p.46
34 TimesOnline, 7/2/03
35 CNN: 7/2/03
36 "Iraqi attacks could signal wide revolt" The Associated Press and Los Angeles Times, 7/2/03
37 Source: Reuters News Service July 16, 2003
38 Reuters News Service July 16, 2003
39 Reuters News Service July 16, 2003
40 Source: 1997 Summer Study Task Force on DoD Responses to Transnational Threats, DSB
41 Source: Report: U.S. May Call National Guard for Iraq Duty, Reuters, July 17, 2003
42 Summers, On Strategy, p.164
43 The War of the Flea, Robert Taber, pp 69-70 quoting North Vietnamese general Giap on the French occupation of Vietnam
44 See The Hydra of Carnage: Bushs Imperial War-making and the Rule of Law, Artful Nuance Publishing 2002, see especially Chapters Five and Eight
45 Clausewitz, On War, I: 1, pp.88-89
46 On Strategy, p. 164
47 Ibid., p. 17
48 Clausewitz, On War, I:2, 97
49 Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfelds favorite word has been transformational, especially regarding those areas within the Revolution in Military Affairs paradigm. One wonders if he holds the transformation of the Republican Guard, et al, of Husseins conventional army into an urban guerrilla force in the same favorable light?
50 Some have begun calling this notorious terrorist Osama been Forgotten, since Mr. Bush changed him from "Americas Most Wanted" and "Our number one priority" to stating later "he was not a priority."
51 Source: On Strategy: "Tactical Victory, Strategic Defeat," Introduction. Footnote 1: Conversation on 25 April 1975 in Hanoi between Colonel Harry G. Summers, Jr., then Chief, Negotiations Division, U.S. Delegation, Four Party Joint Military Team and Colonel Tu, Chief, North Vietnamese (DRV) Delegation.
Planned Global Military Domination:
Pentagon reshuffle eminent.
to include Azerbaijan, all of Central and South Asia, the Middle East and Korea.
By Craig Hulet? July 1, 2003
The last defense vestiges of the Cold, Korean and Iraq wars, the U.S. military footprint now is heaviest in Germany, South Korea and the Persian Gulf region. But with the Soviet Union finished, South Korea more able to defend itself and Saddam Husseins antagonistic regime supposedly crushed in Iraq, the U.S. military presence in all three regions has largely become an anachronism,...wholesale changes in the American-led empire's military global presence are now under consideration. We are re-analyzing our footprint, Gen. James Jones, commander of U.S. troops in Europe. The entire globe is the strategic agenda now. As the world grows more reluctant to follow Mr. Bush anywhere no matter what, fewer and fewer people believe we have been told the truth about Iraqs WMD, and with Tony Blair now under full siege for misinforming the British Parliament Mr. George W. Bush Junior seems unaffected while pursuing the Oligarchys elite agenda for global hegemony. To his critics he simply writes them off with his usual curt and trivial style saying Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion.
This author and analyst while being interviewed on such mainstream national talk shows as the Jim Bohannon Show and Dave Ross was criticized rather vociferously when it was proposed America had evolved into an Empire-of-sorts. The argument placed against my thesis was that America didnt impose itself through placing troops on everyones soil.
But the announcement, Tuesday, April 29, 2003, that U.S. forces will bail out of Saudi Arabia this summer marks the start of what likely will be great changes in where America bases its troops worldwide. As was recently reported:
Reflecting the last defense vestiges of the Cold, Korean and Iraq wars, the U.S. military footprint now is heaviest in Germany, South Korea and the Persian Gulf region. But with the Soviet Union kaput, South Korea more able to defend itself and Saddam Husseins antagonistic regime crushed in Iraq, the muscular U.S. military presence in all three regions has largely become an anachronism, according to defense experts in the Pentagon and at think tanks. Throw in a host of touchy political realities - such as the anti-U.S. backlash in South Korea following high-profile crimes committed by GIs, and Islamic opposition to U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia - and wholesale changes in the American military''s global presence are now under consideration. We are re-analyzing our footprint, Gen. James Jones, commander of U.S. troops in Europe, said this week. (Hoffman)
Of the possible moves likely considered several surfaced in recent months. Heres a look at some of the most major ones being contemplated as reported by Lisa Hoffman:
Persian Gulf. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfelds announcement Tuesday that
the bulk of Americas 5,000 troops in Saudi Arabia will leave the desert
kingdom this summer sets in motion a major realignment in the region. Though still
in flux, the plan is for no more than 400 U.S. troops to remain in Saudi Arabia,
while most of the rest will move to the new state-of-the-art command complex built
in the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar, which, unlike Saudi Arabia, is thrilled to have
a U.S. presence within its borders.
- Another exodus already is under way in Turkey, where the 4,000 U.S. troops based at the Incirlik air base are moving out now that the 12-year-long Operation Northern Watch air operation over Iraq is over.
- Europe: Now that the Cold War is over, the need for more than 70,000 U.S. troops in Germany has largely evaporated, according to Rumsfeld and Jones. In fact, they say, more than 20 percent of the 499 U.S. military installations in Europe are not needed at all anymore. While Pentagon officials maintain retribution for Germanys opposition to the war in Iraq is not playing a role, they say that the time is coming to substantially cut the U.S. presence there. Under consideration is a plan that would leave the sprawling Ramstein Air Base in place, but slash the number of Army soldiers in the 1st Armored and 1st Infantry divisions there from the current 30,000 to as few as 6,000. At the same time, Rumsfeld is looking kindly on a plan to shift some Germany-based forces to a number of smaller outposts in countries he has dubbed the new Europe - former Soviet bloc nations such as Poland, Bulgaria and Romania, that joined the Bush administration''s coalition of the willing in the war in Iraq.
- South Korea: For the past several years, popular opposition to the presence of some 37,000 U.S. forces in South Korea has been escalating, reaching a crescendo last year after the rape and killing of several South Korean girls by U.S. troops. At the same time, the Pentagon has calculated that South Korea is increasingly capable of defending itself in any clash with North Korea. Couple those factors with the enormous leaps in technology that now allow U.S. forces to wage a pounding fight far from the front lines, and the need for all the soldiers and Marines now in South Korea is diminished. Already, Maj. Gen. James Soligan, deputy chief of staff of U.S. Forces Korea (cq), has told South Korea that a large portion of those American troops will be moved from current positions close to the North Korean border to other bases far south of the capital, Seoul.
-Worldwide: Aware of the inevitability of complaints from host countries about the conduct or presence of U.S. forces, and the increasing expense of foreign basing, Pentagon planners are toying with the idea of creating offshore platforms that could serve as forward bases. Dubbed lily pads, these floating bases would function as a sort of cross between a land base and an aircraft carrier. (Sources: Cato Institute; kcandassociates.org; U.S. military eyes major reshuffling of global presence By Lisa Hoffman, Scripps Howard News Service April 29, 2003)
In a more recent article which appeared in the English language Pravda, the headline read as follows: US Troops To Be Deployed in Azerbaijan (06/18/2003 12:46) If it happens, Americans will have to deal with all the problems of the region which this author has repeatedly pointed out in press releases and my recent book The Hydra of Carnage. Azerbaijan is key to understanding everything Mr. Bush has set out to do since 9/11. Afghanistan was the beginning and Iraq is but the middle of what this analyst would describe as a fundamental shift from Cold War military occupation to an Empire-based corporate occupation of regions considered vital to, first, Americas National Security Energy Strategy, and secondly, the force projection in specific regions where this strategic doctrine might be challenged.
As was reported in the recent issue of Pravda: The presidential election is to take place in the republic of Azerbaijan on October 15th. The closer the date, the stronger the intrigue. At first it was rumored that incumbent Azeri President Geydar Aliyev was going to refuse to participate in the election and nominate his son, Ilkham Aliyev. However, the president has recently announced that he is strongly determined to run for the presidency.
In fact, the 80-year-old president of Azerbaijan does not have any serious opponents at the election. But the intrigue has not vanished yet, the report argued going on to add this important note reported in the Azeri press:
Azeri mass media have recently reported that 15,000 American servicemen might soon be deployed from Germany to Azerbaijan. The corps, newspapers wrote, would be stationed in the country on a permanent basis. The Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote with reference to Wall Street Journal that American military men would guard the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and take part in the struggle with the international terrorism. These goals are not really clear. Pipeline perspectives are rather vague at present, although it has been said and written a lot about this project lately. The struggle with the international terrorism is not clear either, because Azerbaijan has not been listed as a country, where terrorists exercised their activities.
The neighboring republic of Georgia has been mentioned in this connection instead, but it has not been reported yet that American troops were going to be deployed there. It was said, though, that American instructors would train Georgian servicemen. What stops the Pentagon from doing the same in Azerbaijan, the reported questioned?
There is an opinion that the deployment of the American military contingent will pursue another objective - to guarantee the stability of the current political regime in Azerbaijan. It is very important for the American administration both from the political and economic point of view - the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the access to the Caspian oil.
As I have reported often and on a number of radio and TV talk shows Azerbaijan is the key, always has been to the entire region. It is an open secret that Azerbaijan takes an extremely important strategic position in the region - it borders on Iran. Nevertheless, as the Pravda article pointed out correctly all Caucasian republics can boast of their strategic positions, but it does not mean that American army bases will be situated on their territories. There are a lot of problems and conflict zones in the region, both internal and foreign ones: Karabakh, Abkhazia, South Osetia. If the American administration is seriously interested in the U.S. military presence in the Caucasus, it means that American military men will have to deal with those issues sooner or later.
asks the right question: Is the game worth the candle? The US ambassador
to Baku Ross Wilson stated that the American administration did not have any plans
to deploy troops in the republic. To all appearance, Washington does not have
all the answers yet. I would argue more forcefully that this deployment is most
necessary and must come-about. (Source: Read the original in Russian: Vasily Bubnov
"http://world.pravda.ru/world/2003/5/73/400/11368_Baku.html" (Translated by: Dimitri Sudokov for the English Edition)
In the most recent CNA all-inclusive newsline of /13:44 20.06.2003/ it was announced that a 2-day conference on the proposed project of laying a gas pipe line between Turkmenistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan is scheduled on June 25-26, 2003 at Ashgabat. The press account is quoted in full here:
Islamabad, June 20, 2003. (CNA). A 2-day conference on proposed project of laying gas pipe line between Turkmenistan and Pakistan via Afghanistan is scheduled on June 25-26 at Ashgabat. Pakistan`s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Nauraiz Shakoor Khan will leave for Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on June 23 to attend the conference. The conference will review the progress of the project, PPI reports.
The gas pipeline project would give boost to trade, industrial and human resource development, regional cooperation. The minister said construction of the 1600- km pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan could start as early as next year. If India does not participate, even then this pipeline is going to come to Pakistan, he added. Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the three important participants in the project.
''We formally invited India during TAP conference held in Manila in April to join the project, but India is still silent and did not respond to the proposal,'''' he said. The project is expected to cost $ 2-2.5 billion and take three years time to complete. The companies interested in investing in the pipeline had completed their pre-qualification and the groundwork could start in the first quarter next year, he added. The pipeline will carry up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Turkmenistan, Daulatabad fields. It is intended to supply northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan as well as Pakistan''s Sea ports for shipment to other Asian markets. (Source: credit Caspian News Agency CNA/www.caspian.ru)
This is the second pipeline deal being struck with the Harmid Karzai regime. (Karzai was a Unocal consultant through 1996 negotiating these very pipeline deals prior to his appointment as commissar of Afghanistans American occupying forces.)
What pipelines? Memorandum of Understanding signed above on May 30th, 2002. The Asian Development Bank decided to fund the Afghan pipeline Sept.5th, 2002.
This is now clearly one of the unstated political objectives of Mr. Bush & Co. for removing the recalcitrant Taliban regime, who had rejected the Unocal/U.S. proposals because they would not allow the multilateral American-led institutions like the World Bank, IMF and WTO to dictate their economic structure; it was never because they wouldnt get rid of Usamah bin Laden. That myth doesnt fly any longer for many reasons I have belabored too long, not the least of which bin Laden is in Eastern Afghanistan at this moment. The same scenario will play out as was pointed out above where other pipelines must be protected by U.S. military personnel. Indeed, this has been the case for decades, from Columbia to Saudi Arabia, it is just very rare Americans hear this news. (See my Record of Terror white paper and supplement, May/June 2003)
Currently in South Korea, most U.S. troops are deployed in the northern part of the country, between the capital, Seoul, and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates South Korea from communist North Korea. Now there is change afoot. During a recent visit to South Korea, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz announced Washingtons intention to reposition some of its military forces stationed in South Korea. The redeployment would entail moving those forces farther south.
The Asia Times noted that Wolfowitz offered only a vague justification for such a move, contending that repositioning forces would make them more effective in meeting the threat posed by North Korea. Given the heightened rhetoric emanating from the North Korean regime and Bushs Axis of Evil misstep of the SitRep, that is a very odd argument to be making. Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, the principal rationale for stationing the troops near the DMZ has been that they would serve as a tripwire in case of a North Korean attack, guaranteeing U.S. involvement in any conflict. North Korea, knowing that it would then face war not only with South Korea but also with the United States, would be deterred from taking such a reckless gamble. according to the Asia Times article. That this is obviously true needs little elaboration.
Why is the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush Junior proposing to abandon the long-standing tripwire function of U.S. forces in South Korea? There is one unsettling possibility according to analyst Ted Galen Carpenter:
The administration is considering a preemptive military attack on North Koreas nuclear installations and wants to move U.S. troops out of harms way. Even the most hawkish U.S. experts on Korea concede that if the United States did launch such an attack, the North would likely respond with an intense artillery and missile barrage of the Seoul metropolitan area and, possibly, with a ground attack through the DMZ. U.S. troops stationed between Seoul and the DMZ could easily end up being dead tripwire forces.
I had argued before the March 2003 offensive against Iraq that there was a difference between what Bush was saying and what he was doing over the threat from North Korea and what he was prepared to do with Iraq. That Bush was prepared to attack Iraq with enormous military force and yet utilize diplomacy (at that time) regarding what seemed a greater threat from North Korea argued, at least to my humble way of thinking about such things, that it was proof Iraq did not have WMD capability of threatening any level of serious American interests. In other words: If Iraq had WMD we wouldnt attack, only if we knew Iraq did not have the capability would we be willing to do so. I went so far on KING 5 Television to state it thusly: Nobody wants to say this president is lying or exaggerating. (Robert Mak, KING 5 Up-Front, see transcript on their site)
Even so, Carpenter is right in pointing out that True, Bush administration officials have stated that they want to solve through diplomacy the crisis created by North Koreas resumption of its nuclear-weapons program. But those same officials have stressed that all options, including the use of military force, remain on the table. When South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun went to the United States in May, he sought an assurance that the controversial doctrine of preemptive war embedded in the administrations national-security strategy would not apply to North Korea. U.S. officials rebuffed his request. What this means, well it seems to me at least, is that with the (wrong) perception of easy victories in both Afghanistan and Iraq (both boiling-over with renewed guerrilla activity taking American lives every week now since May1st through June/July 2003), the administrations more hawkish members, fresh with a blood-lust flush on their cheeks, may think it time to push yet another third-world nationalistic leader down.
Indeed, the national-security strategy document approved in September 2002, noted in the above piece by carpenter, clearly would seem to apply to the North Korean situation. We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends, the document affirmed. The administrations policy on combating weapons of mass destruction, adopted in December 2002, stated the point even more succinctly, emphasizing that the United States would not permit the worlds more dangerous regimes to pose a threat with the worlds most destructive weapons. Nuclear weapons in the hands of secretive, Stalinist North Korea would fill that category according to Carpenter. This would seem less likely should both Great Britains Parliament and the U.S. Congress each pursue intelligence enquiries into what they knew and when did they know it? regarding both Bush and Blair. But I think Carpenter is still correct to point out this strange redeployment of U.S. troops. Why? Because Mr. Bush seems immune to criticism of any nature, often remarking trivially in response to fully serious questions from his own recently retired seasoned counter-terrorism analysts that Bush exaggerated the claims for WMD against all sound intelligence data from both CIA and the Pentagons DIA; and then with often a rather flippant They are entitled to their opinion.
As Carpenter is not remiss in addressing Even if one takes the Bush administration at its word that it wants to settle the crisis through diplomacy, it begs a crucial question: What does the United States do if diplomacy (or diplomacy combined with economic pressure) fails to induce North Korea to abandon its nuclear program? Is the administration prepared to live with a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons? The statement issued by Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi after their recent summit suggests otherwise. The two leaders stated bluntly that they would not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea. (Ibid.)
If diplomacy fails, it is not clear how that result can be prevented except through military force. The Bush administration may not be committed to such a course yet, but in deciding to move U.S. forces away from the DMZ and South, it is creating a precondition for pursuing that option. South Koreans, who know how horribly their country would suffer if the United States launched preemptive strikes on the North, now have reason to be very, very nervous... as Carpenter is again correct to point out.
(Sources: 06/12/03: Asia Times; KING 5 Up-Front with Robert Mak; Record of Terror www.kcandassociates.org ; and Ted Galen Carpenter (vice president for defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute) Author of Peace & Freedom: Foreign Policy for a Constitutional Republic. This article is republished with the permission of the http://www.cato.org/.)
But these particular regions are not alone and not the only ones of importance. As it did in its seemingly quick but still clearly unfinished military campaign in Iraq, as in Afghanistan, the Pentagon is hastily planning to re-deploy U.S. forces and equipment around the world in ways that will permit Washington to play GloboCop, according to another well-thought-out piece in the American analytical field. It is now being more openly argued by analysts who know these issues well that while preparing sharp reductions in forces in Germany, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, military planners are talking about establishing semi-permanent or permanent bases along a giant swathe of global territory - increasingly referred to as the arc of instability - from the Caribbean Basin through Africa to South and Central Asia and across to North Korea. The latest details were disclosed by the Wall Street Journal on June 10, 2003 and include plans to increase U.S. forces in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa across the Red Sea from Yemen, set up semi-permanent forward bases in Algeria, Morocco and possibly Tunisia, and establish smaller facilities in Senegal, Ghana and Mali that could be used to intervene in oil-rich West African countries, particularly Nigeria. (Source Wall Street Journal, 6/10/03)
Similar bases - or what some call lily pads - are now being sought or expanded in northern Australia, Thailand (whose prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra was here for talks the week of 6/10/03), Singapore, the Philippines, Kenya, Georgia; also throughout Central Asia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Qatar, Vietnam and Iraq. Azerbaijan was mentioned in the same article again.
We are in the process of taking a fundamental look at our military posture worldwide, including in the United States, said Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz on a recent visit to Singapore, where he met with military chiefs and defense ministers from throughout East Asia about U.S. plans there. Were facing a very different threat than any one weve faced historically. (Ibid.)
Those plans represent a major triumph for Wolfowitz, who 12 years ago argued in a controversial draft Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) for realigning U.S. forces globally so as to retain pre-eminent responsibility for addressing selectively those wrongs which threaten not only our own interests, but those of our allies or friends, or which could seriously unsettle international relations. (Source: Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service June 13, 2003)
The same draft, also argued for a unilateral U.S. defense guarantee to Eastern Europe preferably in co-operation with other NATO states, and the use of pre-emptive force against nations suspected of having weapons of mass destruction - both of which views are now codified as U.S. strategic doctrine.
The draft DPG also argued that U.S. military intervention should become a constant fixture" of the new world order. It is precisely that capability towards which the Pentagons force realignments appear to be directed. Interestingly the very same draft was largely repudiated by the first Bush administration after it was leaked to the New York Times. But that isnt so strange upon some reflection as Bush the Senior had the diplomatic skill and power (two very different things) to bring a coalition together with the simple use of the telephone, something the Bush the Younger lacks in both skill and power to achieve today.
Empire argues for such a global footprint and Bush Junior is setting the course for, no matter what Republican talk-show hosts would rather choose to believe. This is empire-building of the rawest kind. But not empire the way most on the Left see it and not how the far Right envision it. It is not America as America but American-led and corporate. But it shall look rather reminiscent of Rome [W]ith forward bases located all along the so-called arc of instability, (where) Washington can pre-position equipment and military personnel that would permit it to intervene with force within hours of the outbreak of any crisis.... In that respect, the new global strategy would be similar to the U.S. position beginning in the 19th century vis-à-vis Latin America, where the U.S. has frequently intervened to protect its interests from real or perceived threats.... according to the well-informed Mr. Lobe (Ibid.) As he wrote and I must quote it here for the younger generations with little concern for current history which has nothing to do with the acronymic-age of MTV, ESPN, etc.:
Nearby countries so involved included Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Haiti and several others. The interventions were usually followed by long occupations and the establishment of friendly but authoritarian regimes, like those of Batista, Somoza and Papa Doc Duvalier. The U.S. Contra war against the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua in the 1980s might be considered a sequel to the earlier action. Americas increasing role in Colombias current civil war also fits the pattern....On a grander scale, the U.S. has assisted military takeovers in larger countries like Chile, Brazil, and Argentina, with the usual bloody results. (Ibid., Lobe)
According to Max Boot, a neo-conservative writer at the Council on Foreign Relations, Wolfowitzs 1992 draft - now mostly codified in the September 2002 National Security Strategy of the USA - is not all that different from the 1903 Theodore Roosevelt Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine. The Monroe Doctrine asserted Washingtons international police power to intervene against chronic wrongdoing, or an impotence which results in a general loosening of the ties of civilized society. The new and proposed deployments are being justified by similar rhetoric. Just substitute globalization for civilization.
The emerging Pentagon doctrine, founded mainly on the work of retired Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, chief of the Pentagons Office of Force Transformation, and Thomas Barnett of the U.S. Naval War College, argues that it is precisely countries and regions that are disconnected from the prevailing trends of economic globalization that posed the greatest dangers. Disconnectedness is one of the great danger signs around the world, Cebrowski told an audience at the Heritage Foundation last month in an update of the general loosening of the ties of civilized society formula of a century ago. (Ibid.)
This seems to make the ideas not just acceptable but a simple evolution of what we have always done in the past. But I would argue that while the progressive Left needs to believe this (which makes their standard [Howard} Zinnian approach seem the more valid: i.e., America has always been a Rich-White-Mans-State), but they are wrong; the radical Right does so too, as these folks actually think (now anyways) that this empire, if it exists, is likened unto Rome and in some cases they believe that as Romans, therefore, it shall benefit them personally as Rome did Romans. The two extreme sides are both wrong. This empire is, while seemingly familiar in many past regards, a corporate empire to benefit the monopoly corporations elite, stock holders, outright majority owners and the banking fraternity inextricably intertwined within Corporatisms circle of friends. That they see threats that concern their interests does not mean their interests are yours or mine; their interests do not in fact interest me at all, nor should they you if you understand what this all means. But the corporate-states interests are the same as the elites, as Lobe points out well:
Barnetts term for areas of greatest threat is the Gap, places where globalization is thinning or just plain absent. Such regions are typically plagued by politically repressive regimes, widespread poverty and disease, routine mass murder, and - most important - the chronic conflicts that incubate the next generation of terrorists....If we map out U.S. military responses since the end of the Cold War, we find an overwhelming concentration of activity in the regions of the world that are excluded from globalization''s growing Core - namely the Caribbean Rim, virtually all of Africa, the Balkans, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and Southwest Asia, and much of Southeast Asia, Barnett wrote in Esquire magazine earlier this year. (Ibid., Lobe)
The challenge in fighting terrorist networks is both to get them where they live in the arc of instability and prevent them from spreading their influence into what Barnett calls seam states located between the Gap and the Core. According to Lobe again, Such seam states, he says, include Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Morocco, Algeria, Greece, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia. Those nations, the logic goes, should play critical roles, presumably including providing forward bases, for interventions into the Gap.
At the same time, if states loosen their ties to the global economy, bloodshed will follow. If you are lucky, according to Barnett, so will American troops. Lucky? Lucky for whom? I had argued years ago during Persian Gulf I that what Bush the Senior was about was something very different than what most perceived. I stated categorically that the states that remained outside of the emerging global interdependence, outside of the process of globalization, would be seen as exercising their nationalism and would no longer be tolerated. If one was outside the process of GATT, the WTO, NAFTA and the host of international governing organizations (IGOs) one would be outside of The Law, that is to say: An Outlaw. I gave the name to it of Global Triage, and they would decide who lives and dies as a regime. (See my Global Triage: Imperium in Imperio, Artful Nuance Publishing, 1999; and see also www.kcandassociates.org for audio/video tapes of lectures and interviews. 1988-1999)
On the eve of the war in Iraq, which has been followed by an occupation increasingly under siege, Barnett predicted that taking Baghdad would not be about settling old scores or enforcing the disarmament of those famous weapons of mass destruction, yet to be found. Rather, he wrote, and this is very important: [it] will mark a historic tipping point - the moment when Washington takes real ownership of strategic security in the age of globalization. And some would still dare argue this is not empire building? This is not a familiar empire but it certainly is Empire. Barnetts arc corresponds perfectly to regions of oil, gas and mineral wealth, which Lobe is quick to concede is also a reminder again of Wolfowitzs 1992 draft study. It asserted then that the key objective of U.S. strategy should be to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. Any other nation-state from challenging American hegemony in other words; any region forming any alliance of states which could offer resistance to American preponderance.
But understand what is missing in these above very good analysts works: This empire is not, I must repeat, a simple Roman model, but a corporate model which leaves America as a nation-state a simple cog in the wheel, and Americans simple subjects to the corporate dictate; which may well leave Americans scrambling for jobs in far off lands; scrambling for work and food here at home; scrambling for understanding why they were so duped. And so easily it would seem.
(Further sources: Wall Street Journal 6/10/03; KC& Associates thirty press releases from March through May 29, 2003; Pentagon Dreams of Playing GloboCop By Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service June 13, 2003: Jim Lobe writes on U.S. foreign policy for IPS, Foreign Policy in Focus, TomPaine.com and Alternet. [Republished with the permission of the "http://www.cato.org/] )
Democracy in Iraq? Afghanistan? The Record of Terror in Reality.
Craig B Hulet?
topic is multi-faceted regarding several main topics. On the one hand, Mr. Colin
Powell has been instructed to declare to the outside world we are winning the
war on terrorism; we won in Iraq; there were elections in Afghanistan and there
will soon be the same in Iraq. The obedient U.S. media parrots the propaganda
unflinchingly amidst charges of fabricating everything from news stories to photographs
of events that never happened. Not in America though. We, on the other hand here
in America, are treated as the idiot children of a despot, not capable of entertaining
the truth; the chosen term entertain[ing]ment objectively picked for
obvious reasons. Mr. Bush is being hailed worldwide as the greatest liar to ever
sit on the throne of empire while the empire itself is being debated vigorously
throughout the rest of the world. I shall begin my analysis heretofore:
Beginning with the much ballyhooed report recently in the mainstream media, Patterns of Global Terrorism (-"http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/pgtrpt/2002/") released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counter-terrorism on April 30, 2003, we shall take a closer look at what we hear and what we ought to be told in proper fashion. Beginning with the section titled, The Year in Review:
International terrorists conducted 199 attacks in 2002, a significant drop (44%) from the 355 attacks recorded during 2001. A total of 725 persons were killed in last years attacks, far fewer than the 3,295 persons killed the previous year, which included the thousands of fatalities resulting from the September 11 attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Deduct the number of fatalities due to 9/11 and we actually have had an increase in typical terrorist attacks whereby persons were killed: some 300 during 2001 compared to 725 during 2002! Which is better than double the number of deaths! What this says is that while the number of incidents have decreased their deadliness has increased better than twofold.
total of 2,013 persons were wounded by terrorists in 2002, down from the 2,283
persons wounded the year before. Again, we are not told how many of those
wounded during 2001 were from the atypical 9/11 event, and therefore there was
once again an increase in wounded due to typical terrorist attacks. In other words
terrorisms deadliness increased due (in this analysts previous report A
Record of Terror) to our war in Afghanistan and preparation for war with
Iraq. The Report goes on to add, The number of anti-US attacks was 77, down
65% from the previous years total of 219. The main reason for the decrease
was the sharp drop in oil pipeline bombings in Colombia (41 last year, compared
to 178 in 2001). Oil pipeline bombings yet to come will most certainly take
place on a regular basis when the Afghanistan to Pakistan pipeline is completed
and, as well, the Iraq to Israel pipeline. The American taxpayer insures these
pipelines so we will hear little about these attacks in the American press. Just
as most have not heard of the many attacks on oil pipelines in Columbia. Which
makes sense as the American people, dutifully mesmerized by the Middle East, have
little clue as to the brutality of the American-led Drug War going on in Columbia.
Another reason is that the tactic of terror is different than that of an ongoing
guerrilla war; we will see an increase in attacks on Americans over these next
years. Their deadliness will increase as well. But as with this 2002 Report, the
numbers will obfuscate rather than delineate the reality.
In any case, separately I feel I should report the following from the State Department Report:
Thirty US citizens were killed in terrorist attacks last year:
On 15 January, terrorists in Bayt Sahur, West Bank, attacked a vehicle carrying
two persons, killing one and wounding the other. The individual killed, Avi Boaz,
held dual US-Israeli citizenship. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade claimed responsibility.
· On 23 January, Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journals South Asia bureau chief was kidnapped in Karachi, Pakistan. On 21 February, it was learned that he had been murdered.
· On 31 January, two hikers on the slopes of the Pinatubo volcano in the Philippines were attacked by militants. One of the hikers, US citizen Brian Thomas Smith, was killed.
· On 16 February, a suicide bomber detonated a device at a pizzeria in Karnei Shomron in the West Bank, killing four persons and wounding 27 others. Two US citizens-Keren Shatsky, and Rachel Donna Thaler-were among the dead. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility.
On 14 March, two US citizens-Jaime Raul and Jorge Alberto Orjuela-were murdered in Cali, Colombia, by motorcycle-riding gunmen.
· On 17 March, grenades were thrown into a Protestant church in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing five persons including two US citizens, Barbara Green and Kristen Wormsley.
· On 27 March, a HAMAS homicide bomber entered the crowded restaurant of a hotel in Netanya, Israel, and detonated a bomb, killing 22 persons, including one US citizen, Hannah Rogen.
· On 7 June, US citizen Martin Burnham, who along with his wife, Gracia, had been held hostage for more than a year in the Philippines by the Abu Sayyaf Group, was killed as Philippine military units on a rescue mission engaged the terrorists in a firefight. Gracia Burnham was wounded.
· On 31 July, a bomb planted by HAMAS terrorists exploded at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, killing nine persons and wounding 87 others. Among the dead were five US citizens-Benjamin Blutstein, Marla Bennett, Diane Leslie Carter, Janis Ruth Coulter, and David Gritz.
· On 8 October, in Failaka Island, Kuwait, gunmen attacked US soldiers conducting a live-fire exercise killing one Marine, Lance Cpl. Antonio J. Sledd.
· The worst terrorist attack since September 11 occurred on 12 October at a resort in Bali, Indonesia, when a car bomb exploded in a busy tourist area filled with nightclubs, cafes, and bars. The attack killed over 200 persons from two-dozen nations. Seven US citizens died-Deborah Lea Snodgrass, Karri Casner, Jacob Young, Steven Webster, George Joe Milligan, Megan Heffernan, and Robert McCormick.
· One US citizen-Sandy Alan Booker-died in the Moscow theater attack on 23 October as Russian commandos attempted to rescue 800 hostages held for three days by Chechen terrorists.
· On 28 October, a gunman in Amman, Jordan, shot and killed Laurence Foley, a senior administrator of the US Agency for International Development, as he was leaving his home for work.
· On 21 November in Sidon, Lebanon, an office manager/nurse at a church-run health facility, US citizen Bonnie Denise Witherall, was killed by a gunman.
· Three US citizens-Kathleen Gariety, William Koehn, and Martha Myers-were murdered on 30 December by a gunman who stormed a Baptist missionary hospital in Yemen and opened fire.
Given that Mr. Bushs wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan have actually increased the tempo of terror and its deadliness one would do well to take a closer look at Afghanistan and further deceptions. From the same report we find the following: On Afghanistan
In 2002, the Afghan people, supported by a US-led international Coalition, decisively defeated the brutal Taliban regime, which had provided sanctuary to terrorists and extremists from around the world-including North America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. The extremists had used Afghanistan as a training ground and base of operations for worldwide terrorism. Senior al-Qaida leaders, including Usama Bin Ladin-wanted by the United States for his role in the September 11 attacks as well as the US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998-had been based in Afghanistan, protected by the Illegitimate Taliban regime....In July 2002, representatives from all Afghan regions, factions, and ethnic groups met in an emergency Loya Jirga, to elect Hamid Karzai as the President of the Traditional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA), which replaced the Afghan Interim Administration established by the December 2001 Bonn Agreement. The new Afghan Government has pledged its support for the war on terrorism. Al-Qaida, which despite its setbacks still regards Afghanistan as a key battlefield in its war against the United States, will continue its armed opposition to the US presence, however. Al-Qaida has pockets of fighters throughout Afghanistan and probably several more in the neighboring tribal areas of Pakistan. To ensure that former Taliban and al-Qaida holdouts do not reemerge as a significant threat, the TISA must consolidate its support among the countrys rival ethnic and regional factions.
First of all let us be clear. the so-called election of Harmid Karzai was a sham: the two leaders who challenged Karzai in this election of 2002, by warlords, were told to stand down by our State Department and not place their names on the ballot. Only Karzais name was on it! He was the interim government. The Traditional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA) which he now heads is the very same as that, which replaced the Afghan Interim Administration established by the December 2001 Bonn Agreement. Only the ill-informed, ignorant and Eric Hoffers true-believers believe what Mr. Bush and Powell are passing off on the rest of the world.
Ill take each of the next statements one by one, (mine in italics) directly from the report: Afghans have already passed several milestones on the road toward building a government in accordance with the Bonn Agreement, and the most critical steps-such as demobilizing rival militias, (This has not occurred at all as reported continuously in the foreign press and particularly the Asian Times)... building a stable Afghan army, (There is no Afghan army and Karzis mere existence is due to the US mercenaries from DynCorp supplying 3,000 mercs to protect him around the clock: he cannot even travel outside of Kabul and there have three attempts on his life already)... drafting a constitution, holding democratic elections, and creating a legal system-were underway at the end of the year. (There have been no elections and the drafting of the constitution and creating a legal system is the efforts of primarily US officials). Afghanistan is a party to three of the 12 international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism. (That is true.)
The real story of Afghanistan is told elsewhere and depicts something less rosy. In the second of three recent pieces by the Asia Times titled Afghanistan: Launchpad for terror, By Syed Saleem Shahzad, the report begins with Powells declarations from the report cited above and the attendant press conferences:
KARACHI - Even as US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared this week in Kabul that an end to military operations in Afghanistan is in sight, indications on the ground paint a somewhat different picture....On a brief visit to the capital, Rumsfeld said that the bulk of the country is now secure ... we have concluded that were at a point where we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction activities.
However, as reported in the Asia Times Online the country can expect escalated guerrilla activity over the coming months. And further, the International Islamic Front, a grouping of Usamah bin Ladens al-Qaeda and several other terrorist networks dedicated to jihad against America, is increasingly using Afghanistan as a base.
Times Online has learned that new cells are in place in Afghanistan, Pakistan
and the United Arab Emirates and they will be responsible for carrying out attacks
- including suicide attacks - against United States interests in a number of regions.
This will be the new face of al-Qaeda, which will emerge soon with a new name
and under new command.... The US State Department confirmed on Thursday that new
attacks by al-Qaeda are likely, and that there is a danger that the network and
its Taliban backers will re-emerge in Afghanistan.
("http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/EE01Ag03.html") - May 1)
In its annual report on global terrorism, the US agency also admitted that militants were proving resilient in the face of efforts by East Asian nations to crush them, and every al-Qaeda operations officer captured to date had been involved in some stage of preparation for a terrorist attack at the time of arrest, the department said, without giving details of where or when the attacks might occur. These threats must be regarded with utmost seriousness. Additional attacks are likely, said the report.
In the past few months, a number of people like Khalid bin al-Atash have entered Afghanistan, including from Palestine, Lebanon and Kashmir, united in their desire to strike against American targets. The driver of this new international brigade is the Egyptian Jamaat al-Jehad, led by Dr Aiman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden's right hand man. (This group merged with al-Qaeda, but it has an independent following in Egypt). In the context of the war in Iraq, Jamaat's leaders have redirected the energies of militants to concentrate purely on US targets, saying that it is the real enemy. Aiman's whereabouts are unknown, but recent reports have placed him in Yemen and Afghanistan. Wherever he is, though, he is the mastermind behind restructuring the International Islamic Front, given that al-Qaeda has been badly fractured. The emphasis will be on small operations with a nexus of local groups, and its main tool will be suicide attacks. This new face will be unveiled sooner rather later, but it will be identified more by its actions than by its name. (Source: Asia Times Online Co, Ltd., May 01, 2003)
Pakistani Interior Ministry spokesman announced the arrest of Khalid bin al-Atash in Karachi, along with some Afghanis and one Pakistani. Asia Times Online has reported on Khalid's movements ("http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/EE01Ag03.html" ) showing that the one-legged al-Qaeda operations chief was very much back in business.
Despite the claims of the Interior Ministry, intelligence sources have confirmed to Asia Times Online that Khalid was in fact arrested on Tuesday near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Balochistan. Khalid was said to be in the process of hiring local men to carry out an attack on Jacobads Shehbaz airbase, which is used by the US Air Force. Khalid was arrested by members of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Pakistani law enforcers along with a few of his Afghani guards and a Pakistani Baloch, who was to be involved in the attack on the airport. According to Asia Times:
On Wednesday, a Khalid was then taken to Karachi, where he was revealed to the press. The reason for this was that the Kabul government had recently made renewed charges of the infiltration of terrorists into Afghanistan from the Balochistan border areas, and the Pakistanis didn't want the arrest to lend credibility to the accusations....Khalid has been connected to the Sheraton hotel bomb blast in Karachi last year in which several French engineers were killed. He had narrowly escaped arrest on several occasions, notably in Karachi and Quetta. He recently entered Afghanistan and made some border towns near Pakistan his base. (Ibid.)
Does this sound at all like the US Coalition forces have set the stage for democracy in Afghanistan? Elections and that Karzai is in control? Elsewhere the Asia Times reported Usamah bin Laden was back in Eastern Afghanistan and buying weapons from the Chinese.
BAGHDAD - The Bush administration, U.S. soldiers, and the mostly-male media have little or no knowledge of what Iraqi women think about the invasion of their country. The views of some of these modern, educated, outspoken Iraqi women may come as a big surprise. To begin with, it's hard to know what women really think since many of them are staying home amid the political chaos. They are not likely to be found anywhere near the Palestine Hotel's island of security, available to talk to journalists and soldiers. But it is unlikely that they will be overjoyed at the prospect of being liberated from their burkhas a la Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein, despite all his ills, gave these women many of their rights three decades ago, making Iraq the relatively progressive oasis of women's rights in a highly conservative and repressive region. While the views of the vast majority of Iraqi women remain a mystery, the dictator's rare generosity toward them may explain why at least some of these women are plotting to oust what they call American invaders in the name of their liberator, Saddam Hussein. ...We love Saddam Hussein very much, says Arwa, 23, who was a senior in chemical engineering at Baghdad University before it was trashed by looters. He was kind. We were safe, even when there were wars. He gave opportunities to Iraqi women. Now every dream is broken. (May 2, 2003)
The story goes on to report that At their northern Baghdad home, which features a Kalashnikov rifle under a mural of Chariots of Babylon, Arwa and her female relatives, including internet-junkie Lubna, 16, proudly show off photos of them training in the desert with revolvers and machine guns to kill invading Americans. They say they are female fedayeen or Saddam loyalists and members of all-girl units of the Jaishil Kodus, a local branch of the Jerusalem Brigade of Islamic Jihad, a Palestine-based terrorist group wanted by the Bush administration.......The concept of female terrorists is hardly a matter of idle rhetoric. As Arwa's mother proudly notes, two female suicide bombers have already blown themselves up to kill American soldiers in Iraq, while another woman with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher destroyed an American tank in Nasiriyah. Female suicide bombers have increasingly becoming more common in Palestine and Chechnya. When about 50 Chechen terrorists stormed a Moscow theater and threatened to blow up 800 hostages last year, 18 of them were women, the report added.
The FBI is worried about Al Qaeda recruiting women, and recently issued a be-on-the-lookout bulletin for a female Pakistani neurological expert wanted for questioning in its terrorism investigation. Its analysts are examining claims made in an Arab newspaper by an Arab woman who says Usamah bin Laden asked her to establish training camps for holy warrior sisters. While recruiting women may be a new strategy for Al-Qaeda, Arwa and her family say such training camps were the norm during Saddams regime. They claim thousands of female students regularly trained with army units during their summer school holidays, according to Johnson. There are female student militias outside Iraq, as well. Kloot Saddam, an economics major living in Amman, Jordan, vows to return to join the Iraqi resistance like the estimated 7,000 Iraqis who crossed the border during the U.S.-led bombing campaign. Johnson reported that,
Originally from Basra, she first went to military training camps at age 12. Many girls train like this, she says. Its normal in Iraq.... We dont want the American army walking in our streets. We prefer death, says Arwa, We must take them out of here, over our dead bodies.... Saddam wanted us to liberate Palestinians from the Zionists, but now we must liberate ourselves from Americans, and we'll do it, god willing. Women must do a plan.
American soldiers, who recently showed journalists a stash of alleged suicide bomber vests containing so-called grape charges of mixed nails and explosives, say suicide bombings and drive by shootings are their biggest threats. How great will the resistance to America is summed up by Robert Fist on May 5, 2003, When Iraqi civilians look into the faces of American troops, President Bush famously told the world on Thursday, they see strength and kindness and goodwill. Untrue, Mr. Bush. They see occupation.
The Hitler Saddam, at least in Mr. Bushs rhetoric is not seen in quite the same light as many Iraqis including women, Johnson reported this significant dichotomy, Centuries of vicious discrimination against girls and women was ended by one stroke of the modernizing dictator's pen, says Indian Parliament member, writer, and former diplomat to Iraq Mani Shankar Aiyar, in a column for United Press International. The liberation of women has been the most dramatic achievement of Saddams regime. Given opportunities in schools, offices and the military unheard of in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Arwa and Lubna say their generation suspects that a post-war government of old guard Iraqi exiles backed by the United States will push women back behind the veil, like the mullahs who led Iran's Islamic Revolution. We of course heard nothing of this prior to the invasion of the country by American forces.
America has come to control us, and control any fortune we have. I cant go out in the street because I see American soldiers walking there. My uncles go out but we stay here all day, making food and eating, she says. The signs for womens future in the post-Saddam Iraq are hardly encouraging thus far. Iraqi women are among the most educated in the Middle East and are capable of assuming strong leadership roles, says Noeleen Heyzer, executive director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, or UNIFEM. Yet we have not seen clear evidence of a concerted effort to involve women in discussions to establish a pathway to a democratic society. (Source: Christopher Johnson. He is currently reporting from Baghdad.
It is this set of growing anomalies, deceptions and what many journalists the world over are calling outright lies, that is so disturbing about Bushs empire building. While I am hardly shocked by these counter-stories being reported, I am very disappointed that our media has become so subservient as to become a mockery. As Robert Fisk reported recently:
Donald Rumsfeld knows (and he has been told by US intelligence) that a growing resistance movement to Americas occupation is gestating in Iraq. The Shia Muslim community, now supported by thousands of Badr Brigade Iraqis trained in Iran, believes the US is in Iraq for its oil. It is furious at Americas treatment of Iraqs citizens; in three days last week at least 17 Sunni demonstrators were killed, two of them less than 11 years old. And it is not impressed by Washingtons attempts to cobble together an interim pro-American government.(Source: dailytimes.com, and The Independent, May 05, 2003)
We will not see the wars end in the Middle East any time soon; the guerrilla activity against American occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan will go on for as long as it takes for us to leave. Invade Syria, Iran, support Israel further and allow the pipeline deal from Iraq into Israel, and there will be no end in sight. Empire has its costs, ask the British, Spain and Portugal: interesting it was these three former empires who felt common cause with Americas newest empire. Each a failed empire.
Date: May 05, 2003
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