Yellow Cake Walk – Finger-Pointing in the Quick-Sand of War

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It
is axiomatic to any serious discussion of the war in Iraq, which
has now officially lapsed over into being a formalized military
occupation, that the killing has never really stopped since the
“first” Gulf War ended on the “Highway of Death” in 1991. Twelve
years of sanctions did to Iraq what twelve prior years of war with
Iran and the United States could not: break its back as a factor
in the Arab world. It was always understood as the recent war approached
that the key question was not could the opposition be defeated,
but how badly would they need to be stomped before they quit. Now,
over a month after our Leader declared from the deck of an instrument
of liberation that combat was officially over, some people still
don't believe him. People like Saddam Hussein.

Had
the reigning mullahs of Iran not refrained from delivering the bloodbath
that seemed so likely as the 23rd anniversary of their
revolution loomed last July 9, the American media consumer might
have been spared the spectacle of international buck-passing associated
with the great “yellowcake” affair of 2003. Some would say that
the American people were duped into this war based on information
that was not only false, but widely hyped as false in advance of
its use; but I would propose that the American people simply do
not care what their government does anymore, within reason.

It
made perfect sense that Iraq, after eating so much depleted uranium
in 1991, would be hungry for the enriched kind, especially as events
beyond their control “conspired” to make “regime change” an increasingly
savory option for a President who would probably shoot Saddam himself
if given the chance. After all, a European TV producer bought the
working detonator of a nuclear bomb for $10, 000 last year, and
Osama bin Laden allegedly told people in late 2001 that he could
buy so-called “suitcase nukes” in Western China for $20 million
each; so why wouldn't Hussein be hunting for yellowcake?
It has been made Cristal-clear that even pacifists like Putin of
Russia must come with sufficient strength to secure their interests,
so a master killer like Saddam, too, would know the score. And Niger
has no use for enriched uranium because they have neither gas centrifuges
nor electricity to power them!

Readers
of this publication who recall my recent characterization of the
Iraq war as “a trap” may soon be seeing my point. It is, however,
not yet clear exactly who the mark is on this subject. As William
Burroughs once said, “If you can't spot the mark in the room, then
you're the mark.” This dynamic has already played itself out at
more than one meeting in and around Washington and London, as neo-conservatives
and neo-liberals eye each other nervously, all the while wondering
which side the President will take once the full truth is known.
Which it isn't, yet.

George
Tenet has taken responsibility for the dissemination of information
that the CIA had distanced itself from as early as last September.
It strikes me that Tenet is acting from a position of relative strength,
as “regime change” was typically a function of the CIA, prior to
9/11. By making an unnecessary mea culpa, Tenet has removed “yellowcake”
from Bush's feet (as a fraud he was cognizant of perpetrating) while
enhancing his authority to uncover the real source of the fake documents,
among other things.

Perhaps
this notable intelligence lapse was deliberate, a booby-trap set
into the buildup to a war that Mr. Bush needed little convincing
of. Which isn't to say his motives are impure; rather, that he knows
the truth about Saddam, WMD, Al Qaeda, counterfeit dollars, the
botched move on Kassim in 1961 and related subjects that us common
folk can only speculate on. The “Coalition of the Willing” was founded
on a deal of some sort, and maybe “yellowcake” exists to keep certain
parties in line; now, as the specter of Treason looms and people
rethink their summer travel plans, the Coalition's breakup could
be messier and more expensive than a California divorce. Good!

As
our fellow citizens die daily in the desert sun, it's nothing short
of disgraceful that the Democratic Party has chosen to engage the
question of “Why?” only when it's too late to do anything about
it. Their timing, in my view, is far more suspicious than any 16
words in Bush's 2003 State of the Union Address, and the implications
of such profound and obvious cowardice will be felt well beyond
the Persian Gulf region. A trap, indeed.

July
17, 2003

Shelton
Hull [send him mail] is
a columnist and writer based in Jacksonville, Florida. His work
has appeared in FolioWeekly, Counterpunch, Ink19 and Section
8 Magazine.


     

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