Path to Credibility
February 13, 2003
By Kurt Kurowski
Secretary of State Colin Powell gave us a convincing argument
against Iraq, or so goes the thinking in some quarters. And
just for the record, many of us once gave ample heed to the
words of Mr. Powell. Unfortunately, within days of his lengthy
presentation to the United Nations a dossier he referred to
from Britain on the Iraqi threat was found to be cobbled together
from a variety of outdated sources and contained nothing new.
Yet this report was given enormous praise.
On Feb. 11, we heard a tape alleged to be the voice of Osama
bin Laden saying that he stands with the Iraqi people while
also excoriating Hussein and his party as "infidels." Again,
Powell calls this tape important evidence of a link between
Al Qaeda and Iraq, despite the fact that bin Laden condemning
Hussein would indicate a very poor relationship indeed. It
seems unlikely that the secular Iraqis will care for the support
of yet another murderous lunatic with even more repressive
and ostensibly religious ideas than those of Hussein. Of course,
if the Iraqi people do accept bin Laden's offer, this would
most definitely deflate the already ironic conceit that the
Bush administration will be bringing democracy to Iraq along
with the death, destruction, disability and disease.
Mr. Powell , along with Vice President Dick Cheney and others
in the current administration worked with President George
H. W. Bush for the first, and hopefully last Iraq war. At
that time emotionally charged evidence was presented to Congress
that Iraq was taking babies from incubators and leaving them
to die on the floor. The story was later proved false.
It is clear that we have a crisis in this nation wherein
we are supporting an Iraq war based on misinformation. We
are told the secular, egomaniacal Saddam Hussein is connected
to the war on terrorism when he clearly is not. The Pew Research
Center recently found that 66 percent of respondents believed
Saddam Hussein was connected to the attacks of Sept. 11. The
reality is that American and worldwide intelligence agencies
admit there is no such connection.
A recent newspaper poll revealed that 50 percent thought
that the hijackers were Iraqi nationals. The truth is that
80 percent of the Sept. 11 perpetrators were from Saudi Arabia,
and none were from Iraq. Will these respondents now insist
we attack Saudi Arabia?
We were told a shipment of aluminum tubes was proof that
Hussein is building an atomic bomb, again, disproved. The
Bush administration keeps grasping at straws, and with the
enormous power of the United States and around-the-clock public
relations behind it, turns those straws into bludgeons. There
may be a case for war with Iraq, but this administration -
crippled from the start by its secretive and untrustworthy
nature - is not the one to make it. It is difficult to fully
trust those who obstructed and then hobbled the Sept. 11 investigations,
out-maneuvered the democratic process in Election 2000, slandered
their opponents even when those opponents are war veterans
and genuine heroes, denied their deep, longtime working relationship
with the corrupt and immoral Enron Corp., and arrogantly dismissed
treaties with the rest of the world.
It's time for Bush to display the humble attitude he so duplicitously
promised us in his dealings with the rest of the world. Our
government's only way to now gain credibility is to move forward
under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council,
and with the support of our major allies. George W. Bush's
father was skilled enough to do this, and Bush Jr. must do
the same. The terrorists will never forget that George W.
Bush early on called the war on terrorism a "crusade." To
enter into an unjust war will do nothing to convince the extremist
Muslim world that it is not a continuation of the Crusades,
and will be antithetic to the stated goal of protecting Americans
from further attack.