22-Year Bush War of Aggression on Iraq
Reason and Jest
by Scott Lazarowitz: The
Rule of Law Applies to Everyone
have been observing the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, but really
the U.S. government’s war on Iraq began over 22 years ago.
1991, then-President George H.W. Bush started the war on Iraq, and
imposed sanctions and no-fly zones, which were continued by President
Bill Clinton throughout the 1990s. By 2001, hundreds of thousands
of civilian Iraqi deaths were wrought by the U.S. government and
the UN, and there was widespread anti-American anger felt by many
in the Middle East.
Here is a brief
review of what led up to the elder President Bush’s 1991 war on
In 1990, Iraq
and its leader, Saddam Hussein, were engaged in disputes
with Kuwait. Iraq believed that Kuwait was siphoning Iraq’s
oil via horizontal drilling, and Iraq also believed that Kuwait’s
own oil production was above OPEC quotas which allegedly effected
in lower oil profits for Iraq.
had been the U.S. government’s favorite during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq
war, which Saddam had started with his invasion of Iran. The U.S.
and providing tactical battle planning to Iraq, despite U.S.
officials knowing that Iraq was using chemical weapons during
that conflict, were well documented.
considered invading Kuwait, he met with then-U.S. ambassador to
Iraq, April Glaspie, and asked her what kind of response the U.S.
would have to such an invasion.
In their discussion,
according to the New York Times, Glaspie stated,
"…we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your
border disagreement with Kuwait. I was in the American Embassy in
Kuwait during the late 60's. The instruction we had during this
period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that
the issue is not associated with America. (Sec. of State) James
Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction."
Saddam Hussein took those words as a green light to invade Kuwait.
Bush the elder then did a bait-and-switch, and began preparing
for his war on Iraq. But the biggest task for Bush was to convince
the American people that the war on behalf of Kuwait, an extremely
anti-democratic, authoritarian monarchy, was not for oil but for
"liberating" Kuwait from Saddam.
To sell this
war to the American people, the government of Kuwait hired as many
as 20 PR and lobbying firms. One PR firm in particular, Hill and
Knowlton, was apparently the "mastermind" of the PR campaign,
according to PR industry experts John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton,
whose book Toxic
Sludge Is Good for You provides the details of the Bush-Kuwait
PR campaign, as excerpted
by PR Watch.
Both Bush presidents
were skilled salesmen in their demonizing those who would be on
the receiving end of their own wars of aggression. Philip Knightley,
author of the book, The
First Casualty: The War Correspondent as Hero and Myth-Maker from
the Crimea to Iraq, in an October 2001 article
described the repeated stratagem of warmongers’ use of propaganda
to demonize the enemy to rationalize a new war for the warmongers’
own people to support it.
The most effective
PR ploy was the congressional testimony of a teenage Kuwaiti girl
who stated, emotionally, that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers taking
babies out of hospital incubators and leaving them "on the
cold floor to die." The girl later turned out to be the daughter
of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. And not only was that fact
suppressed until after Bush’s war began, but the information she
gave was false,
and the girl had been coached by an executive of Hill and Knowlton.
gives quite a few further details regarding the whole 1990-91 Bush-Iraq-Kuwait
elder President Bush’s 1991 Gulf War, one of the most egregious
acts that the U.S. military committed against the Iraqis was to
intentionally destroy civilian water and sewage treatment centers
and electrical facilities.
to researcher James Bovard, U.S. Air Force Col. John Warden
published an article in Airpower Journal, titled, "The
Enemy as a System," in which Warden told of the U.S. military’s
intentional targeting of the civilian infrastructure as a means
to undermine Iraqi "civilian morale." Bovard also cites
a June 23, 1991 Washington Post analysis, which quoted a
Pentagon official as stating, "People say, ‘You didn’t recognize
that it was going to have an effect on water or sewage.’ Well, what
were we trying to do with sanctions — help out the Iraqi people?
No. What we were doing with the attacks on infrastructure was to
accelerate the effect of the sanctions."
By the mid-1990s,
diseases such as cholera, measles, and typhoid had led to hundreds
of thousands of civilian deaths, and a skyrocketing infant mortality
rate, with many more deaths by the year 2000. This campaign of cruelty
was advanced further by the U.S. government and the UN through sanctions
and no-fly zones, which prevented medical treatments and the means
of repairing damaged infrastructure from being imported into Iraq.
Clearly, such a controversial campaign of bombing civilian
water and sewage treatment centers must have been approved beforehand
by then-President George H.W. Bush and his Sec. of Defense Dick
there was widespread anger amongst the inhabitants of the Middle
East by 2001. In fact, one of the main motivations
of the 9/11 terrorists was the Gulf War’s subsequent sanctions
against the Iraqi civilian population.
sanctions throughout the 1990s as continued by President Bill Clinton,
Clinton himself inflicted more bombing
have now been comparing George Bush Jr.’s 2003 revival of the long
war on Iraq with the extended war in Vietnam of the 1960s and 1970s,
especially combined with the younger Bush’s war of aggression in
Afghanistan and Obama’s continuation of those wars and starting
George Bush’s 2003 war on Iraq was really a continuation of what
his father had started in 1991. Investigative journalist Russ Baker,
author of Family
of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America's Invisible Government, and
the Hidden History of the Last Fifty Years, asserts that
Bush Jr. was planning
to invade Iraq as early as 1999 to take advantage of the "political
capital" his father had built up earlier in Iraq.
(Can you imagine
a President Jeb Bush in 2016? But I digress.)
In the elder
President George Bush’s January 16, 1991 speech from the Oval Office,
when he claimed that his 1991 war "will
not be another Vietnam" (approx. 6:45), he also spoke of
the "New World Order" (7:30).
and progressive interventionists have been implementing their plans
hegemony for decades, and using the force of the U.S. government
to do it. But there is a frightening love of government that
connects these interventionists, far outweighing any actual love
for freedom and peace they could possibly have.
And now, after
all these 22 years of Bush war quagmires and trillions of dollars
in debt, and with warnings
regarding the warmongers’ plans for Iran (which was part of the
plans all along), can the American people ever wake up to the
truth about all this?
Now, the elder
George Bush was elected President in 1988. But given how entrenched
the Establishment’s interventionist
policies were by that time, when the Soviet Union collapsed
in the early 1990s it wouldn’t have mattered whether Bush or Democrat
Michael Dukakis was elected in 1988. Given the myth
of the "progressive peacenik," a hypothetical Dukakis
administration of 1989-1993 would most probably have been similar
to the current one of Barack Obama. And with similar militarist
reactions to Iraq as Bush in the name of furthering the obsession
for hegemony that statists of both left and right have (and to keep
the military-industrial-complex happy, too).
the 1988 presidential campaign, had the media given Libertarian
Party nominee Ron Paul the same free advertising they gave both
Bush and Dukakis, the American people would have seen the clear
alternative from the Bush-Dukakis statist quo.
And how would
a President Ron Paul have handled the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Given that any threats or perceived threats from overseas had vanished
overnight, Ron Paul would have closed all the overseas U.S. military
bases that existed then, including all the European and Asian bases
and other foreign U.S. governmental apparatus. He would have brought
all U.S. troops home, and many of them would have gone into the
private sector to become productive workers, business owners and
Paul would have shrunk the federal government by eliminating many
useless departments, bureaus and programs, which Ronald Reagan promised
to do but didn’t. And Paul would have abolished the fascist income
tax. The economic boom of the 1990s would have been magnified
by many times, for sure.
And a President
Ron Paul would have educated the American people on the actual ideas
of liberty. He would have informed the people of what a real
free market is – something that the Heritage Foundation, Glenn
Beck, and, ugh, Willard Romney wouldn’t know if they fell
wouldn’t have been a U.S. government invasion of Iraq in 1991, bombing
of civilian infrastructure, sanctions and no-fly zones, and provocations
of foreigners becoming determined to retaliate. There may not (or
probably not) have been a 9/11, and the police state in America
that was already growing by the early 1990s would have been put
to a stop. (And the younger George W. Bush probably wouldn’t have
even been elected governor of Texas, let alone President of the
U.S.) And there wouldn’t have been any U.S.-initiated wars in Afghanistan
and other countries as well.
coulda, shoulda" is just not realistic, and what happened,
happened. The misery, destruction, collapse of the American economy
in addition to all these wars – it happened, thanks to neocons and
planners in charge must have very serious clinically pathological
delusions of grandeur and a hunger for power
and control in their attempts to "remake the Middle East
in America’s image" or "make
the world safe for democracy" (but not freedom
and peace), while coveting those foreign territories’ natural
resources and slaughtering innocents.
So, call me
old-fashioned, but it takes a really sick, criminal mind to intentionally
destroy the water and sewage treatments of an entire civilian population,
and forcibly withhold their medical treatments and repairs. And
it takes a very demented person to view entire populations and cultures
in other parts of the world as sub-human and whose lives are not
worthy of any "inalienable rights" to life, liberty,
As I have stated
in the past, America’s culture has declined over the past century.
The greater power we have allowed governments to usurp, the further
"third world" America has become.
The Bush wars
of the past 22 years have not been helpful to human progress, that’s
Lazarowitz [send him
mail] is a writer and cartoonist, visit his
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