News Is 12 Years Old
March 27, 2003
By Olivier Jarvis
So we’re liberating Iraq, huh?
I have an idea.
In order to celebrate the droves of ordinary people who are
about to get blown up by smart bombs as they go about their
daily lives, I think we ought to review a few of the reasons
for why it’s all happening. Again.
At the moment, mainstream American media hacks have done
a prodigious job of getting people to poop their pants in
the appropriate shades of Orange (‘High alert,’ I believe),
and getting everyone to agree that this war is about disarming
a Freedom-hating Saddam Hussein, who conceals countless weapons
of mass destruction and plans to send them hurling towards
anyone who wears blue jeans.
One could sum up the entire CNN line in a sentence: Let this
administration bomb Iraq into the ground or Saddam Hussein
will come into your house and stuff you full of chemicals
himself. And beware! If he doesn’t unleash flame and fury
on America’s urban centers, he’ll more than likely sell his
mojo to someone who will.
So, then, to all Americans: code Red! Tighten up security!
Duct tape every window and march your sons off to war! Allow
your government to do anything it wants, jail whoever it wants,
bomb whoever it wants, murder whoever it wants, suspend habeas
corpus whenever it wants, ignore international law... so long
as all the abuses are enveloped in a comforting aura of national
security. Even civilian casualties are fine! Who knows? Maybe
since the last time the people of Baghdad were graced by laser-guided
‘liberty,’ they learned to enjoy having Patriot missiles rain
down on them at five in the morning.
But seriously folks.
If this war was truly aimed at disarming Saddam, someone
at the White House might have noticed that weapons inspectors
- French and effeminate as they may be - managed to destroy
far more of Saddam’s weapons than all the laser-guided bombs
of the first Gulf War. Scott Ritter, an American ex-Marine
intelligence officer and chief U.N. weapons inspector, says
Iraq has been effectively disarmed since 1997. No kidding.
"What was Iraq hiding? Documentation primarily. Documents
that would enable them to reconstitute, at a future date,
weapons of mass destruction capability. But all of this is
useless...unless Iraq has access to the tens, if not hundreds,
of millions of dollars required to rebuild the industrial
infrastructure (necessary) to build these weapons. They didn't
in 1998. They don't today. This paranoia about what Iraq is
doing now that there aren't weapons inspectors reflects a
lack of understanding of the reality in Iraq.”
You mean - gasp! - those witty cartoons were wrong?
If this war were about terrorism, Bush would at least be
able to prove the love affair he claims existed between Osama
bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. Yet, the evidence that the secular
dictator hopped into bed with such a fiery religious fundamentalist
is so weak that it has actually inspired ridicule from around
Is Colin Powell’s case for war that weak? Judge for yourselves.
Mullah Krekar, the man alleged to be the matchmaker between
Osama and Saddam, is currently living openly in Norway and
challenging the U.S. to back any one of its claims in court.
“I’ll go to any U.S. court,” he declared for ABC NEWS, “I
have documents that prove what they say is not true.” The
United States, of course, has not called him on this bluff,
mainly because they know it isn’t a bluff. The U.S. has repeatedly
been caught falsifying charges against ‘foreign terrorists’
in order to justify war, and its own Intelligence agencies
are the first to say so.
The truth is, Saddam and Osama have nothing in common, aside
from hating each other.
Zilch. Nada. Nothing.
Ask the CIA. Their publicly released reports have denounced
the Bush administration's insistence on alleging a link that
Ask British intelligence, which leaked a report to the BBC
wherein it was found that “no evidence exists to support a
link between Iraq and Osama bin Laden's network.”
Ask the FBI, or any number of U.S. agencies, whose staff
have been “baffled by the Bush administration's insistence
on a solid link between [Iraq and al-Qaeda]." Some officials
have expressed grave concern at the fact that "the intelligence
is obviously being politicized.”
Ask head U.N. inspector Hans Blix himself, who has asserts
that no evidence exists to show that Iraq has ever dealt with
al-Qaeda. In a recent New York Times article, sources inside
U.S. intelligence agencies said: “We've been looking at this
hard for more than a year, and you know what? We just don't
think it's there." Which then just begs the question: What
the hell is this really about?
Well, it isn’t about terrorism. If it were, Syria would be
at the center of the Axis of Evil, instead of enjoying the
United Nations' most prestigious job on the U.N. Security
It isn’t about disarmament, either. If it was, concerns for
countries like Israel - whose 200-plus nuclear arsenal is
capable of virtually ending all life on this planet - would
dwarf concerns for two-bit dictators like Mr. Hussein, who
could not hope to wield power of that kind in his wildest
Finally, this isn’t about liberty and democracy, nor is it
about justice. If it was, Bush and his CIA buddies would never
have teamed up with a giddy Saddam and his vicious Republican
Guard all through the 1980’s to help him purge opposition,
consolidate power, and prevail in the war he waged on Iran.
Americans would not have sold him weapons, lent him money,
and ignored his genocidal actions until Kuweiti oil fields
came under fire.
Most importantly, they would not be dropping missiles and
bombs on a city of five million people. Period. Alternatives
always exist, and any one of them is better than war.
Countless interests may drive a nation to battle its neighbors,
but some consistently outweigh others. In the current administration,
peppered as it is with oil tycoons and business moguls, I
wonder what these interests could possibly be...
Maybe I’ll go gas up my SUV and mull it over.