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"A leader's lie that kills and maims his own citizens and destroys the lives of innocent people in the land he orders attacked is in many ways the ultimate historical tragedy.


Bush's War Lie is a Historical Tragedy for America and Iraq
Posted January 30, 2004 thepeoplesvoice.org

By Dave Chandler, Editor/Publisher of www.earthside.com

Let us 'remember' .... 

Less than one year ago, George W. Bush knew the truth: Iraq posed no weapons of mass destruction threat. He knew because that is what the United Nations weapons inspectors were telling him and the whole world. Yet Bush clung to what he knew was a lie. He was not mislead by American intelligence -- he decided to use the lie and start a war.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been momentous developments in the tale about why George Bush ordered the unprovoked attack, invasion, and occupation of Iraq. These days may be remembered as the point when the American people started to come to the realization that when Bush was confronted with the decision to choose war or peace -- he, and he alone, by virtue of his office -- betrayed the republic on what is the gravest action a nation can take, to make war.

In this month, January 2004, has come the insightful report of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace that meticulously compared the "pre-war intelligence, the official presentation of that intelligence, and what is now known about Iraq's programs." There has been the release of Ron Susskind's book "The Price of Loyalty" about former Bush administration Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and his contention that: "From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go." And, we have heard the astonishing revelation by resigned chief US weapons searcher in Iraq, David Kay, that: "I don't think they existed ... What everyone was talking about is stockpiles produced after the end of the last (1991) Gulf War, and I don't think there was a large-scale production program in the nineties."

Yet in light of these reports and disclosures, when now asked about whether he believes the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be found, the very casus belli for the war, Bush does not answer the question. His reply references only his mental state at the time he launched his "shock and awe" attack: "There is no doubt in my mind that Saddam Hussein was a gathering threat to America and others."

But what was in Bush's mind and the facts on the ground in Iraq were not the same thing. The question around the world and in the United Nations in March 2003, was did Bush really have concrete, substantial, and significant information on which to start a war?

The answer to that life and death question, and what ultimately exposes the lie that Bush used to begin the killing, can be found in the simple act of .. 'remembering'.

'Remembering' is something that Bush is going to increasingly not want Americans to do. Two weeks before Bush ordered the unprovoked attack on Iraq, he held a press conference to set out his justifications for the use of force. Here are a couple of particularly salient Bush remarks to 'remember':

"If the Iraqi regime were disarming, we would know it because we would see it. Iraq's weapons would be presented to inspectors and the world would witness their destruction."

"There's a lot of talk about inspectors. It would have taken a handful of inspectors to determine whether he was disarming. They could've showed up at a parking lot and he could've brought his weapons and destroyed them."

In that discourse, his reason for war was not "liberation". His urgency was based on what he claimed was his certain knowledge that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction that would soon be used against Americans. Yet as we read the quotations from that press conference, we can identify the one point of abject immorality and criminality that now hangs around George Bush's neck like a millstone -- even he had to acknowledge the UN weapons inspectors in Iraq at the time and the fact that they were not finding the alleged illegal weapons.

We must 'remember' Hans Blix's January 27, 2003 report to the Security Council explaining in detail the efforts of his inspection team in Iraq. Reading this report again, one cannot but be struck by the rigorousness and competence of the still ongoing process. Despite Bush's and the pro-war faction's political ridicule of the weapons inspectors, they were, in fact, diligent in their search. Then, in Blix's March 7, 2003 report, he told of increasing Iraqi cooperation. Blix noted that: "This is not to say that the operation of inspections is free from frictions, but at this juncture,we are able to perform professional no-notice inspections all over Iraq and to increase aerial surveillance. American U-2 and French Mirage surveillance aircraft already give us valuable imagery, supplementing satellite pictures, and we would expect soon to be able to add night-vision capability through an aircraft offered to us by the Russian Federation. We also expect low-level, close-area surveillance through drones provided by Germany." The United Nation's inspections effort was able to do things that we now know, all of our own intelligence agencies in the United States could not do or interpret adequately. And Blix was able to state just days before Bush launched his war that: "No underground facilities for chemical or biological production or storage were found so far."

Furthermore, it must be 'remembered' that the chief inspector of the International Nuclear Energy Agency, Mohammed ElBaradei reported to the Security Council on February 14, 2003, that: " We have to date found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear related activities in Iraq." And 'remember' in ElBaradei's March 7, 2003 report, again before Bush ordered the attack, it was revealed that: "With regard to uranium acquisition, the IAEA has made progress in its investigation into reports that Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger in recent years. The investigation was centered on documents provided by a number of states that pointed to an agreement between Niger and Iraq for the sale of uranium between 1999 and 2001. ... Based on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents, which formed the basis for the report of a recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger, are in fact not authentic. We have, therefore, concluded that these specific allegations are unfounded." In other words, half a year before Ambassador Joseph Wilson blew the whistle publicly on Bush's infamous false sixteen words in the 2003 State of the Union speech, the truth was disclosed by the UN nuclear weapons inspection team. What would have been a deafening siren of warning to anyone genuinely interested in war only as a last resort, was either ignored or covered-up by a White House determined to invade and occupy an independent sovereign nation.

Now, recently the former head of the Iraq Survey Group, David Kay, has personally concluded that: "I don't think they [WMD] existed." It is a stunning declaration coming from one of the loudest proponents of war on the cable news televisions channels before the attack. Perhaps conscience compelled Kay to tell the naked truth about the non-existent weapons, yet loyalty apparently also drives him to make excuses for Bush. So Kay scapegoats the American intelligence establishment saying, "It's an issue of the capabilities of one's intelligence service to collect valid, truthful information ... I actually think the intelligence community owes the president [an explanation], rather than the president owing the American people." It is essentially the same argument one is hearing from Bush political operatives that since everyone believed Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the "commander-in-chief" was justified in acting on the best information he had at the time. But, of course, as has been demonstrated above, this is where the inexcusable and damning lie is made. 'Remember' that the best information at the time was available to the entire world ... Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei laid it all out for you and me and George Bush and Dick Cheney and Tony Blair and Jack Straw. What morally and criminally condemns George W. Bush is that in spite of the truth staring him in the face, or because he purposefully ignored the facts, he ordered an aggressive war that has meant a death sentence for many American, British, Italian, and Spanish soldiers, and thousands of innocent Iraqis.

An illuminating dimension to this scandalous affair is that there are indeed indications that Bush, himself, at some level comprehends that he has lied As the book about the tenure of former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill demonstrates, Bush and his minions began the planning for "regime change" in Iraq from their first day in office. By March 2003, Bush had wanted war with Iraq for over two years and the reason that worked best was, as he said, "we will disarm Saddam Hussein." It simply must not have added up for him, therefore, that the UN inspections program, that the United States itself had voted in favor of at the UN in November 2003, was not finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A display of cognitive dissonance has betrayed him publicly at least twice. Somewhere in Bush's mind he 'remembers' and gives voice to the inconsistencies. At a press conference with Kofi Anan on July 14, 2003, Bush said: " ... the fundamental question is, did Saddam Hussein have a weapons program? And the answer is, absolutely. And we gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in. And, therefore, after a reasonable request, we decided to remove him from power ..." Again, on January 27, 2004, taking questions with Polish president Kwasniewski, Bush said " And then we went to the United Nations, of course, and got an overwhelming resolution -- 1441 -- unanimous resolution, that said to Saddam, you must disclose and destroy your weapons programs, which obviously meant the world felt he had such programs. He chose defiance. It was his choice to make, and he did not let us in."

'Remembering' ... reveals the lie.

There is very little else in the history of humankind that can be as scandalous and tragic as a leader who lies to take his nation to war. Think of the social turbulence that enveloped the United States and the cataclysm caused in Vietnam by the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution; or consider the invasion "invitation" made by Afghanistan to the Soviet Union in 1979 that began a chain reaction of calamity that haunts us to this day. A leader's lie that kills and maims his own citizens and destroys the lives of innocent people in the land he orders attacked is in many ways the ultimate historical tragedy. It is a betrayal of the people's trust that breeds cynicism, indifference, and decline.

When George W. Bush started the war with Iraq, in defiance of the truth at hand, he betrayed America and what had been our unique special place in history ... and he betrayed the cause of decent humanity on the planet Earth.

On election day, this, you must 'remember'.



Dave Chandler lives in Arvada, Colorado.  He is publisher of the environmental and political web site: earthside.com Comments to: editor_earthside@msn.com 



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