I t is with horror and astonishment that I hear and see so many shortsighted jingoistic proponents of war and all its gore. Jingoes, who have obviously never cast a critical eye on past and current US foreign policies and who have never scraped past the surface of history prepared for the unthinking who merely believe what they are told, whether from modern church pulpits replete with their newly minted gold fringed military flags, or from government training facilities euphemistically termed “public schools,” are helping to propel this nation into the never-ending war whose fallout will soon impact every area of our lives and freedoms, none for the better.
Truth is always the first casualty of war. The never ending war we are called to wage is no exception. Of course those free-thinking individuals who dare to question government “policy” are deemed heretics and terrorists. The Bush dichotomy states, “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists.” As Ashcroft said, “if you speak about the phantom of lost liberty… if you fit this description of a terrorist, fear the United States, for you will lose your liberty.” (Emphasis his) According to these “servants” of the people, any form of thought that does not line up with government policy is terrorism. The only truth is their truth, all else is thought crime. This is a mark of a dictatorship, not a democracy. Indeed, truth is the first casualty of war.
So now we are told that we must invade Iraq in a war that has not ended since it began in 1991. This war that has resulted in over one million Iraqi casualties, over half of them children under five, and tens of thousands of gulf war veterans dead, and countless numbers more suffering, from Gulf War Illness. And GWI isn't restricted to only the veterans but has spread to members of their families and has resulted in a huge number of birth deformities. All truth, but it too is a casualty of America's latest holy war.
Countless times I have heard WWII referred to as if Saddam Hussein were a modern day Hitler, despite the fact that unlike Hitler, Hussein has no navy nor even the means to move beyond his own border. But here again, to question the actions of the government even in WWII is paramount to heresy. However, this is not about those intrepid souls who believed and still believe they fight to contain evil, but about those who give the orders from the safety of their Ivory Towers.
The truth is, and there is plenty of documentation, that F.D.R. not only knew of the imminent attack on Pearl Harbor, but that he provoked that attack to sway a population that was dead set against entering another foreign war. So, rather than let two despicable despots go head to head and take each other out, we had to choose sides. And who did we choose as our ally, a despicable despot responsible for the murder of millions of people, or a despicable despot responsible for the murder of tens of millions of people? Then to top off the war, we drop two atom bombs on civilian populations with the pretext of saving millions of lives. A simple answer for those that are unfamiliar with the facts of history, the truth be damned.
And what of the facts of our present involvement with Iraq during the never ending war. Just as the administration knew of the pending attack on Pearl Harbor, did they know of Iraq's plan to invade Kuwait? Not only did they know, when confronted with the option by Saddam Hussein himself, Alice Glaspie, ambassador to Iraq responded, “We have no opinion on your Arab – Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary (of State James) Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960's, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” On August 2, 1990 four days later, Saddam's massed troops, which we knew about and addressed, invaded and occupied Kuwait. Another pretext for war flushed down the memory hole.
So we are told that we must defend ourselves from the Iraqi madman half a world away by attacking him before he attacks us while we keep our borders wide open. Even though Iraq is tightly boxed in, we must protect ourselves and the rest of the world from WMDs by invasion and with the use of nuclear weapons if need be. The administration need not worry about compromising national security by exposing the source of Saddam's WMDs. It is well documented, he acquired them from the world's largest supplier (greater than all others combined) of weapons to tyrants and dictators alike — none other than from the United States.
Irrefutable evidence shows that the Unites States government provided and encouraged Iraq's use of chemical weapons. The United States Department of Commerce and The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) provided at least 80 shipments of biological agents that were not attenuated (or weakened) and were capable of reproduction. These shipments included such virulent agents as Anthrax, West Nile Virus and Clostridium botulinum (S.R.103-900, May 25, 1994, pg. 264). It is also public record that the US not only armed Iraq from 1983 thru August 1, 1990, but that they also provided the money to Iraq to purchase the weapons via the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), George Bush, Sr., and the Export-Import Bank. Iraq received $5 billion dollars funneled through the Commercial Credit Corporation ostensibly for food credits. It is also public information that at least $2 billion dollars from the defaulted loan was repaid by the US citizen taxpayers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Like the iceberg itself, most of the truth remains concealed to those without the wherewithal to pursue it.
Yes, the administration knows that Iraq has WMDs, just as countless other countries do, and has had them for many years because they were supplied by America and Great Britain. The administration also knows that Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, as well as the Taliban, have been a CIA creation and asset and squelched investigations into al-Qaeda prior to 9/11. That is why the deputy director of the FBI, John O'Neill, quit his post. As he said, “The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it."John O'Neill died on the second day of his new job, as security director of the WTC. More tidbits from the ever-widening memory hole.
When the administration tells us that this never ending war is currently about removing Saddam Hussein and his WMDs, they are lying. They are lying just as they lied to us that the war in Afghanistan was about hunting down Osama Bin Laden. The purpose of this war is not about waging war on a noun called “terrorism.” The first truth, slaughtered as it has been in this never ending war, is that this war is about Empire. It is this truth that all the religiously jingoistic warmongering zealots need to realize before they condone the potential slaughter of additional millions and possible billions of men women and children.
This Empire is discussed in The Grand Chessboard, by Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor to President Carter (Basic Books, 1997). In it, he claims that for the USA to fulfill its destiny of controlling the world, it must control Central Asia. That region has huge reserves of oil and gas, and in 1998 the oil company Unocal was lobbying the US government for legislation to facilitate building a pipeline from Central Asia through Afghanistan to the Arabian Sea. Indeed, Brzezinski's book contains a map of projected pipelines, including the one through Afghanistan. And so it was. The Taliban was offered “a carpet of gold or you'll get a carpet of bombs.” The deal fell through a month before 9/11. The Afghan invasion plan was on Bush's desk, ready to sign, on September 9th, 2001, two days before 9/11.
In addition, Brzezinski writes, “”Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat. … In the absence of a comparable external challenge, American society may find it much more difficult to reach agreement regarding foreign policies … that still require an enduring and sometimes costly imperial engagement” (p.211). The attacks of 11 September, 2001 were enough to gain public support for the Empire’s incursion into Afghanistan. In light of the protestation over the looming Iraqi invasion, what it will take to rally public support is left to your imagination.
For those that doubt Brzezinski is speaking of explicitly of empire consider that the aim, according to Brzezinski, is to “decipher the central external goals of the political elites and the likely consequences of their seeking to attain them; second, to formulate specific US policies to offset, co-opt, and/or control the above….To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” (p.40)
If that is still not enough to convince you that the never ending war is about empire then consider the creation of a “global Pax Americana” as drawn up for Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, George W Bush's younger brother Jeb and Lewis Libby. The document, entitled “Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century," was written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) as reported by Neil Mackay in The Sunday Herald.
The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says: “The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.”
The PNAC document supports a “blueprint for maintaining global US pre-eminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.”
This “American grand strategy” must be advanced for “as far into the future as possible,” the report says. It also calls for the US to “fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theatre wars” as a “core mission.”
The report describes American armed forces abroad as “the cavalry on the new American frontier.” The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document written by Wolfowitz and Libby that said the US must “discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”
The PNAC report also:
refers to key allies such as the UK as “the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership”;
describes peace-keeping missions as “demanding American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations”;
reveals worries in the administration that Europe could rival the USA;
says “even should Saddam pass from the scene” bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will remain permanently — despite domestic opposition in the Gulf regimes to the stationing of US troops — as “Iran may well prove as large a threat to US interests as Iraq has”;
spotlights China for “regime change” saying “it is time to increase the presence of American forces in southeast Asia.” This, it says, may lead to “American and allied power providing the spur to the process of democratization in China”;
calls for the creation of “US Space Forces," to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent “enemies” using the Internet against the US;
hints that, despite threatening war against Iraq for developing weapons of mass destruction, the US may consider developing biological weapons — which the nation has banned — in decades to come. It says: “New methods of attack — electronic, u2018non-lethal', biological — will be more widely available … combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes … advanced forms of biological warfare that can u2018target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool”;
and pinpoints North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a “world-wide command-and-control system.”
There you have it. If you want your never ending war with the latest stop being Iraq, I will not argue with you. Just please, spare all the bull about Weapons of Mass Destruction, terrorism, and all the other extraneous preemptive holy war crusading pretences. The administration knows what the war is about. It's about American hegemony and empire. If you are going to support it, cut all the sanctimonious pontificating and call it what it is — Imperialism.
Ed Patterson [send him mail] is a businessman and analyst living in Torrington, CT.