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This 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 the world.

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 isn’t there.

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 Council.

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 dreams.

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.

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