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Hurry Up and War Already!
September 10, 2002
By Prodigal Son

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there. - Will Rogers

Bush, Inc. - the current administration full of ex-Enron executives and Ford/Bush the Elder/Reagan retreads - is feverishly beating the blood-chilling drum of war. Or not. Ok, maybe a little. Nope - haven't made up their minds.

Some points here...

Point 1: On Sunday's (9-8-02) Meet the Press, Dick Cheney stated, "We are in a place now that, I think . . .some of our European friends, for example, have difficult adjusting to, because, in the case of the Europeans, they haven't the experience we have of 3,000 dead Americans last September 11th. They are not as vulnerable as we are, because they're not targeted."

This is a damnable lie.

In Europe, in the '70s and '80s, Palestinian groups terrorized in the name of international attention. We have all heard of the Irish Republican Army's bloody bombing war. Italy was terrorized by gangs of murdering fascists, which ended up in the 1978 kidnapping and murder of Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

West Germany battled for 10 years against the fanatical Baader Meinhof gang, and the Red Army Faction. Spain is still hit by bombings and assassinations by the Basque ETA separatists. In Paris there was a massacre on the Rue de Rennes, where shoppers were shredded by flying plate glass, after Lebanese terrorists detonated a bomb there. Europe's press set the standard for fair reporting under these conditions.

Sorry Mr. Cheney, the Europeans know quite well. (By the way, under Cheney, Halliburton did $23.8 million in business with Saddam Hussein, allowing Saddam the equipment to get his oil fields up and running so he could rearm).

Point 2: Whenever Don Rumsfield says he knows that Iraq has terrorist capability, we should believe he believes that. He is apparently convinced himself of any justification for attack. CBS News just reported this week that barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq - even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein. If these notes are accurate, that didn't matter. "Go massive," the notes quote Rumsfield as saying. "Sweep it all up. Things related and not."

Point 3: Americans should believe that Iraq has chemical weapons because the Reagan administration gave them to Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war, and you and I, the average Joe and Jane taxpayer, paid for it with our taxes. Washington approved the export to Iraq of virus cultures and a $1 billion contract to design and build a petrochemical plant the Iraqis planned to use to produce mustard gas. Under the Reagan administration US officers were secretly supplying Iraqi generals with bomb assessments and details on Iranian troop deployments as well.

Point 4: The Christian Science Monitor reported this week that Bush the elder's administration lied about justifications for the first Gulf War. Part of the administration case for war was that Iraqi forces were threatening to roll into Saudi Arabia. Using satellite images as proof, Pentagon officials estimated that 250,000 Iraqi troops and 1,500 tanks were on the border. But when the St. Petersburg Times in Florida acquired two commercial Soviet satellite images of the same area, taken at the same time, no Iraqi troops were visible near the Saudi border - just empty desert.

Point 5: Bush lied to Tony Blair to get his support for war in Iraq on the basis of a phony reading of intelligence photographs and of an old report from U.N. atomic energy agency. "I don't know what more evidence we need," Bush said, flourishing the photos in front of the Blair, as they both claimed that the 1998 U.N. report said that Saddam Hussein was six months away from building nuclear weapons. As NBC reports, and the Washington Post confirms, the U.N. report in question emphatically did not say what Bush claims.

In a summary of its 1998 report, the IAEA said that "based on all credible information available to date ... the IAEA has found no indication of Iraq having achieved its program goal of producing nuclear weapons or of Iraq having retained a physical capability for the production of weapon-useable nuclear material or having clandestinely obtained such material." A senior White House official acknowledged Saturday night that the 1998 report did not say what Bush claimed. "What happened was, we formed our own conclusions based on the report," the official told NBC News' Norah O'Donnell.

Not a very auspicious start, is it?

Before we jump into war, I would wish for the miraculous. That, in a bit of quiet introspection, Bush wonders which of his daughters he would like to see fighting in the Iraqi desert so the company his dad works for can get make even more money. This, however requires a conscience. When it comes to enemies, real or imagined, Bush and the Republicans have none.

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