Discussion:
The Neo"pigs" deceived the world on Iraq.
(too old to reply)
lo yeeOn
2005-01-03 04:07:51 UTC
Permalink
Sodamn Insane had been responsible for the murder
of up to 1,000,000 innocent non-combatants and for
the death of millions more in his wars with Iran and
Kuwait having proved his willingness to use WMD
on both his national enemies and on his own people
living peacefully within his borders.
He needed removing.
That is clearly what was and is behind the thinking of those who
support this humongous atrocities against Iraq and its innocent
people. It is not some stupid technicality like

``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''

as the diehards continue to claim.

War is destruction on a massive scale! War is killing people! How
can war be pursued so easily?

(And that's why out of some 200 nations in the world, only some 30 or
40 countries participate in this slaughter endeavour, and only in some
insignificant ways, except for the two main protagonists, plus a very
corrupt Italian politician by the name of Berlusconi, who is string an
entirely unwilling people along. The ostensible reasons, whether it
is the possesion of WMD or in some tehnical violation like ``in breach
of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors'', can't survive
close scrutiny, except for the most close-minded people.)

So, what is the _real_ reason why some people want to go this length
and consequently hurt so many people and do so much damage to the
environment just to get rid of Saddam? A lot of people who say it is
because Saddam is

``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''

aren't stupid. I just have the feeling that they don't want to say
the real reason!

I know there is the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which
the warmongers have followed and are following. That is the big
picture for the American power elite: to dominate the world. But why
can't we do it slowly, smoothly, and without having to be drenched in
so much innocent blood?

I think the post from G. Lange recently might tell us something, and
it is connected with the Palestine.

. . . All that is embodied for him in one word: Palestine.

This particular position was one of the two main reasons for the
invasion and destruction of Iraq. The other reason was oil. . . .

I don't agree with the author's other main reason being oil. I rank
the reasons this way, based on what I have read so far in the past few
years on the internet:

1) World domination, involving a succession of regime changes and
decades-long war, called the war against terror or terrorism.

2) Palestine (because Saddam's been too uppity in giving money to
surviving families of intifada martyrs).

3) Privatization of Iraqi valuable national assets, including making
farmers pay license fees to Novartis and other big chemical firms
in order to farm and live and the free access to its oil reserve.

I believe G. Lange's article brings to focuse the urgency of such a
destructive act as we've witnessed in the past few years, if some
of the events recounted in the article are true.

lo yeeOn
========

1) Excerpt from G. Lange's post:

NNTP-Posting-Date: 02 Jan 2005 12:39:15 MET
NNTP-Posting-Host: 379bf2b2.newsread2.arcor-online.net
X-Trace: DXC=Jik\Uh5D?of?m49DcKk?RnQ5U85hF6f;djW\KbG]kaMhSE6H=g?m\***@YAF9imT?^fm
ddW5`QecDd1GeQV5DdIak>6PS2n4UG1b
X-Complaints-To: ***@arcor.de
Xref: panix soc.culture.iraq:337798 soc.culture.arabic:250232 soc.culture.usa:17
09961 soc.culture.lebanon:229563 soc.culture.asean:69690 soc.culture.europe:5043
25 soc.culture.turkish:516288


* AMERICA'S DECLINE
* Bargains and offers rejected by Saddam Hussein
* Neo-cons can't escape responsibility
for their Iraq miscalculations
* Mosul election staff quit en masse
* Chemical Weapons in Fallujah
http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/
* If you want to know what is going on check these two
websites about the American politic of the world
http://www.freewebs.com/bythewayofdeception/



AMERICA'S DECLINE

AIJAZ AHMAD

Frontline Volume 21 - Issue 26, Dec. 18 - 31, 2004

The war in Iraq is costing the Americans dearly in every respect.
A demonstration of the invincibility of American power has come
together with the overwhelming evidence of the limits of American
power on the ground.

THE first four years of the presidency of George W. Bush, which
forced upon the world not only the invasions of Afghanistan and
Iraq but also a structure of globalised militarism to supplement
corporate globalisation, coincided almost exactly with the four
years of the second Palestinian Intifada and Israel's all-out war
against the Palestinian population. Prospects for the world during
the next four years of this presidency are, if anything, more grim.
And, West Asia shall remain, as it has been, at the very epicentre
of this imperial storm.

Any extended discussion of the current crises in West Asia should
in any case be prefaced with a brief summation of the situation in
which the United States, the instigator and chief actor in these
crises, finds itself. The re-election of Bush to a second term on
November 4 was immediately followed, starting on November 7, with
a massive assault on Falluja, as was expected, and was supplemented
with equally murderous attacks on a number of cities and towns
across the so-called "Sunni triangle" in Iraq. On that same day,
November 7, the puppet government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi
declared that all Iraq except the Kurdish-run areas in the country's
north was under martial law, banning all protest rallies and street
demonstrations. He also announced that a 24-hour curfew applied in
Falluja, to be observed by everyone in the city except the invading
U.S. and puppet Iraqi troops, thus making any Fallujan who is not in
a residential building a free-fire target.

Anticipating this assault, some 200,000 residents of Falluja had fled
the city even before the bombings began, along with all the seasoned
fighters of the resistance who left behind only a relatively small
number of relatively inexperienced guerillas to put up a symbolic
fight. The Americans flattened the city nevertheless, raining down
munitions of all kinds and sizes, including 2,000-pound and 5,000-
pound bombs, on the remaining residents of the city. The Iraqi Red
Crescent Society, the national equivalent of the Red Cross, estimated
that 6,000 people died during that assault; by December 5 the
Americans had ordered the Red Crescent to leave the city altogether.
The city hospital was the first building to be destroyed in the
bombing, and there are highly credible accounts reporting that napalm
was used on the civilian population even though the use of napalm was
banned by the United Nations in 1980 and every country in the world,
with the single exception of the U.S., has complied with that ban.
Other cities were soon to be subjected to similar atrocities.

Everyone knew that all this was going to happen, and no one was able
to stop it. In a letter sent on October 14 to U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, the Falluja Shura Council, which administers the city,
had pleaded: "In Falluja, [the Americans] have created a new vague
target: al-Zarqawi. Almost a year has elapsed since they created this
new pretext and whenever they destroy houses, mosques, restaurants,
and kill children and women, they say, `we have launched a successful
operation against al-Zarqawi'. The people of Falluja assure you that
this person, if he exists, is not in Falluja... and we have no links
to any groups supporting such inhuman behaviour. We appeal to you to
urge the U.N. [to prevent] the new massacre which the Americans and
the puppet government are planning to start soon in Falluja, as well
as many parts of the country." Annan himself took the extraordinary
step of writing to Bush and United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair
not to undertake these attacks, as did the Association of Muslim
Scholars, an organisation of the Iraqi ulema representing 3,000 of
the country's mosques. Even Ghazi al-Yawar, the interim President
of the puppet regime in Iraq, had opposed the impending action: "I
completely disagree with people who see a need to settle the Falluja
question through military action .. . . It is like someone firing
bullets at his horse's head because a fly lands on it; the horse dies
and the fly flies away."

None of it helped, and the planned abomination went ahead
anyway, barely 10 days after a scholarly study from Johns Hopkins
University's Bloomberg School of Public Health had sent waves of
shock and anger throughout the Arab world when it publicly stated
that some 100,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children, had
died since the American invasion began in March 2003. The mentality
that the Americans brought into their attack on the people of Falluja
was well indicated by the marine commanders who said on record that
Falluja was a "house of Satan" and those other commanders who told
their soldiers to "shoot everything that moves and everything that
does not move"; to fire "two bullets in every body"; and to spray
every home with machine-gun and tank fire before entering them.

Meanwhile, the insurgency itself shows no signs of abating. Even
as Falluja was being terrorised and sand flattened, insurgents were
mounting attack in other cities such as Mosul, withdrawing their
forces from wherever the Americas attacked, and attacking wherever
the presence of the Americans and their local mercenaries was weak.
Large parts of Baghdad remained ungovernable, as did most of the so-
called "Sunni triangle", and attacks on pipelines and supply lines
were so persistent that the U.S. command sometimes found it difficult
to keep up the gasoline supplies required for the military operations.
It was at the height of the offensive that the U.S. announced that
its military force in Iraq was to be augmented by another 15,000
troops. Most analysts now believe that there shall be more incremental
increases throughout the coming year, until the number of U.S. troops
reaches 200,000 or more. This seems all the more likely for two
reasons. One is that, according to knowledgeable sources, the number
of active combatants on the side of the insurgency has increased
constantly and has perhaps quadrupled in a year, which partly
explains the quantum increase in the number and variety of attacks
that the U.S. forces face each day. Secondly, the U.S. is failing to
build an even remotely reliable fighting force comprised of Iraqis
that could take over the burden of the fighting; thousands of them
deserted during the recent offensives, and hundreds are said to have
directly joined the insurgents.

U.S. forces in Iraq are using overwhelming firepower so as to minimise
their own casualties. Even so, close to 1,500 U.S. military personnel
have died in combat, and according to statistics released by the
U.S. authorities, as of November 16, a total of 10,726 service
members had suffered war injuries. Most observers believe that the
U.S. authorities are greatly understating the number of the wounded
and the real figure may be twice as high. Nor is there an infinite
supply of soldiers available for massive escalation. Some 80 per
cent of the U.S. Army is already involved in operations in and around
Iraq, if we count not only the troops that are directly deployed
at any given time but also the cycle of rotations. This problem is
leading to increasing use of mercenaries through private contractors;
the number of such mercenaries is said to be already topping the
40,000 mark, and as recruitments decline within continental U.S.,
these private contractors are recruiting from among the destitute
populations of a variety of countries, all the way from South Africa
to El Salvador.

In the process, the Iraqi population is being subjected to unspeakable
levels of suffering. When 200,000 residents fled Falluja, neither the
Americans, nor their Iraqi puppets, nor the U.N. agencies, nor any
group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were there to provide
them with relief and shelter; that story is also being repeated
in town after town, village after village. Acute malnutrition among
young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the U.S. led an
invasion of the country 20 months ago. After the rate of acute
malnutrition among children younger than five steadily declined
to 4 per cent two years ago, it shot up to 7.7 per cent this
year, according to a study conducted by Iraq's Health Ministry
in cooperation with Norway's Institute for Applied International
Studies and the U.N. Development Programme. The great majority of
the estimated 100,000 civilians who have died as a result of the
U.S. invasion have died as a result of U.S. bombings and other
kinds of indiscriminate killings of the U.S. ground forces, but
many others have died owing to the erosion of health facilities,
scarcity of clean drinking water, diseases spreading owing to the
collapse of hygienic conditions of life, collapse of incomes and
employment opportunities, and other such consequences of the
invasion.

The U.S. government and media ignore all such facts and concentrate
instead on the bogus "elections" that are to be held as an exercise
in "democracy". It is very doubtful that an occupied country, with
war raging across vast swaths of its territory, can actually have
what we normally mean by elections. At present, Iraqis are living
in a situation where their sovereign rights are held in something of
a limbo, which began on June 28, when administrative responsibilities
were transferred from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority
and its appointed Iraqi Governing Council to the un-elected Iraqi
Interim Government backed by the U.S., which currently serves as
a puppet regime. This is the regime that is to organise the much-
publicised "elections" in which Iraqis shall be voting to elect
the core of a transitional legislature - the 237-member National
Assembly. It is the National Assembly that will determine who serves
in the executive branch, electing a President and two Deputies of
State. Collectively, these three officials would form the state's
Presidential Council, and must unanimously select a Prime Minister
to replace the present appointee. The task of writing a durable
Constitution may then begin.

All this charade has been possible because Iraq's senior Shia cleric,
Ayatollah al-Sistani, decided to cooperate with the Americans and
calculated that in the new communalised calculus of electoral politics
which the U.S. has devised for the previously secular Iraq, the Shia
groupings can collectively command a legislative majority and hence
capture power without fighting for it. The main Kurdish parties have
of course had an understanding with the U.S. since the early 1990s,
and many of the conservative elements among the Sunni clergy had
also given their grudging assent to these arrangements. However, once
the destruction of Falluja got going, the Islamic party, the largest
Sunni grouping, resigned from Allawi's interim government and the
Association of Muslim Scholars called for a boycott of the elections
scheduled for January 2005. So, the charade of the January elections
is likely to witness very minimal participation from at least the
Sunni segment of the Iraqi population and, at the time of writing,
it is very far from clear how some of the radical Shia groupings,
such as Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers, will eventually act in
relation to these "elections".

Four things about this conjuncture can be said with some degree of
certainty. First, it is currently impossible to conduct normal, free
and fair elections in considerable parts of Iraq, and the legitimacy
of the results shall therefore be highly questionable. Secondly,
regardless of the results, these "elections" shall make little
difference to the conduct of the insurgency in the foreseeable
future. Thirdly, the processes through which the U.S., substantially
aided by the U.N., has erected the new structures of power among its
clients will serve to communalise further what was until very recently
a very vibrant secular culture of Iraq, and shall in the long run
pave the way for the balkanisation of the country which the U.S.-
Israeli axis desires for not only Iraq but also the whole of the
region. Fourthly, the U.S. can certainly assemble a configuration of
clients comprised of the new political elite and the newly rich who
are making money out of this occupation, but the resistance shall
continue to fight not only for the eviction of the Americans but
also for decimating the personnel of the new state apparatus - the
new Army, police and bureaucracy - which the U.S. is assembling
for itself and its clients. Americans may continue to occupy but
the resistance shall continue to deny them the ability to administer
or to exploit the country's resources; hence the attacks not only
on the Americans but also on their hirelings and the oil-related
installations.

The war in Iraq is costing the Americans dearly: in terms of the
cumulative financial costs of occupation; in having so much of its
military personnel pinned down in one little corner of the globe
while the ambition was to make multiple wars across West Asia and
across the globe; in terms of the loss of any kind of moral authority
in consequence of the sheer savagery and criminality of its mode
of invasion and occupation; and even in terms of the slow but
unmistakable attrition of its personnel in Iraq, where death and
injury for its citizens has become a daily occurrence and is bound
to invoke a widespread rejection of this war at home, sooner or
later. By contrast, none of the gains the U.S. had sought in Iraq
and in the region as a whole has been realised, almost two years
after Baghdad fell, seemingly so easily: not the capturing of the
Iraqi oil, not the ability to use Iraq as the main military base
in the region so as to begin an orderly withdrawal from Saudi Arabia,
not the dream of using Iraq as a base for launching attacks against
Syria, Iran, Lebanon or whatever. A demonstration of the invincibility
of American power has come together with the overwhelming evidence
of the limits of American power of the ground. We can now witness an
imperial overreach even before they have reached very far.

AFGHANISTAN is in this context almost not worth mentioning. That
was the first and indeed a very swift occupation, but one that was
grandiosely envisioned as the first of very many. The quagmire in
Iraq put an equally swift end to the dream of the `very many'. In the
meanwhile, a client regime of Hamid Karzai was put in place and then
handed over to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to keep
him in place. Neither Osama bin Laden nor Mulla Omar nor any other
of the luminaries of the Taliban regime has been captured. Any number
of Americans are running around in northern Pakistan, pretending
to be catching bin Laden. My sense is that the Americans are much
more interested in securing bases close to the Iranian border in
Baluchistan, just in case the U.S. and/or Israel ever feels free to
strike at the Islamic Republic. The pseudo-elections in Afghanistan
are represented in the U.S.-inspired media as major gains for
democracy - non-theocratic democracy at that - but what we mainly
have is a narco-democracy, considering that opium production there,
stopped by the Taliban, has reached such proportions that the crop
in 2004 was the most abundant and most lucrative in the country's
history. The U.S. Office on Drugs and Crime released its Afghanistan
Opium Survey in late November, finding that opium cultivation had
risen by 64 per cent this year alone, with a total value of $2.8
billion, and thus accounting for more than half of the country's
domestic product and spreading to all the provinces in Afghanistan.
No wonder that drug lords are the very backbone of the Karzai
regime, notwithstanding all the pious anti-narcotics pronouncements
of the client and his overlords.

The evidence from Iraq and Afghanistan seems to suggest that the
military conquest of the globe is not going too well. What about
the imperium itself? Well, the long and short of it is that since
the invasion of Iraq began, the dollar has lost some 35 per cent
of its value in relation to the European Union's recently floated
currency, the euro, not to speak of the yen and the yuan and sundry
lesser currencies of the world. In the short run, the depreciated
dollar boosts American exports, which become cheaper, and discourages
foreign producers to sell their goods in the U.S., for which they
would not get less, in terms of their own currency. This can help
the U.S. produce more, export more, and import less, which then
redresses a part of the problem with the current balance of payments.
The problem, however, is that since the dollar serves not only as
the national currency of the U.S. but also as the reserve currency of
the world, and as the principal currency for world trade, notably oil
trade, everyone wants to hold U.S. dollars and, consequently, roughly
50 per cent of the U.S. dollars are held abroad. The spectre haunting
the dollar today is that those foreigners who hold it - as reserve
currency, as medium of trade, as a share in the U.S. economy and state
debt - would get fed up with its decline and start exchanging it for
some other, better valued currency, such as the euro at present.

Had Saudi Arabia or Iran or Venezuela - or other oil-producing
countries - traded oil in euros over the past year, their earnings
would have been roughly 30 per cent higher. The East Asian banks,
which prop up the dollar by buying such things as the U.S. Treasury
bonds, have been losing the value of their assets, as are governments
such as the Chinese government, which holds hundreds of billions of
its reserves in dollars. Why should they not shift to the euro, or
at least substantially diversify. At the very least, they could stop
adding dollar-denominated assets to their portfolios. The nightmare
in the American Federal Reserve is that any one of these major players
may decide that the dollar is just not worth it, and shift, prompting
other players to shift, so that the entire financial architecture
that was built when the U.S. unilaterally abandoned the gold/sterling
standard and effectively replaced it with the dollar would collapse.
For, the unique privilege of America, derived from the fact that its
national currency serves as the world currency, is that it can keep
on printing dollars to finance its own huge budgetary deficits and
the national debt, because the rest of the world has gone on taking
over the surplus dollars for their own accumulation. What happens if
the demand for the dollar collapses?

Now, obviously, no government or bank would want the American economy
to go into a major, irreversible crisis because that would spell deep
crisis for the global capitalist system as a whole; everyone would
prefer a soft, negotiated landing for the dollar. There are two
problems, however. First, the Bush administration seems unwilling to
see that the depreciation of the dollar, which helps American exports,
is costing others a very great deal, and the problem has to be settled
through multilateral negotiations; in economic policy, as in the
policy of imperialist expansion. The Bush administration prefers to
act in a myopic, unilateralist fashion. Secondly, the unpredictability
of markets and governments. A major Japanese bank, a major trading
partner such as China, can act to simply safeguard its own interests,
and thus set a trend, inadvertently, for others to follow - until it
becomes a stampede. One cannot safely predict anything in so volatile
a situation. It is possible to say, however, that the era of a
straightforward dollar domination may be drawing to a close and
the era of currency wars may be at hand. It may be in some respects
a unipolar world but the lone superpower, which is facing the
complexities of a war of national liberation in Iraq, may also be
facing currency competitions in the financial arena.

These pressures on the imperial centre should also be seen in the
context of certain specific features of the current power dispensation
in the U.S. I wrote about two years ago that the Bush administration
may be the most right-wing administration that the U.S. has had since
at least the Second World War - as something of a culmination of
trends set in the days of Ronald Reagan. Well, the second Bush
administration, as it is taking shape after last month's elections,
has moved even further to the Right. Secretary of State Colin Powell,
a professional soldier, has been fired because he questioned the
degree of U.S. support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
extremists policies and replaced with Condoleezza Rice, with her
membership in the petroleum industry and loyalty to the master's
policies, and the dispute between the right-wing Powell and the
ultra-Right Donald Rumsfeld has been settled in favour of Rumsfeld.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is being restructured so
purposefully to make it an instrument of Bush and his neo-conservative
inner circle, at the expense of the professionalism of its senior
officials, that a number of those professionals have resigned in
protest. Bush has chosen as his Attorney-General a man who had served
as a senior White House lawyer over the last four years and had
justified the use of torture in the interrogation of prisoners, thus
implicitly upholding the systematic torture practised by the U.S. at
Guantanamo Bay and in Abu Ghraib prison. He thinks of himself as a
born-again Christian and, as such, has always had an affinity with
Evangelical Christianity; his re-election is owed so much to that
organised tendency in his political party that he is likely to draw
even closer to it. He has inherited from previous U.S. administrations
the settled policy of unconditional support for all that Israel is and
does; he has already endorsed the most belligerent aspects of Sharon's
policy; the Zionist neo-conservatives and the Evangelical-Zionist
alliance have such a hold on his administration; and Sharon has become
so much a mentor and guide to him over the past three years that he
is likely to go along with whatever Israel now proposes, whether in
relation to the Palestinians or other elements in the region, notably
Iran.

In his victory speech after re-election, Bush said that he would now
go ahead and proceed to finish the task he had undertaken during his
first term. What was that task? As regards West Asia, that envisioned
task was not limited to the eradication of the Taliban regime or
Saddam Hussein's rule but the re-making of the region as a whole.
Remarkably enough, the only country in the region that needed no
re-making was Israel. In his very first State of the Union address,
in January 2002, Bush came forward with the resonant phrase, 'Axis
of Evil', in which any number of unnamed forces could be included
but three names - Iraq, Iran and North Korea - did stand out. They
were 'Evil' because they were promoting `terrorism' and nuclear
proliferation. Of these, North Korea was of course not in the region
but, unlike the other two, it did possess some nuclear weapons,
and could, therefore, be approached only very cautiously, all the
bluster notwithstanding. By the time Bush spoke of the Axis of Evil,
Afghanistan had been occupied and the international ideological
campaign to prepare the ground for the invasion of Iraq was
just getting under way. As the campaign unfolded, the issues of
'terrorism' and nuclear proliferation were supplemented with the
objectives of eradicating Islamic fundamentalism and totalitarianism,
while promoting 'democracy' and human rights. On these grounds,
then, any or all countries of West Asia could be objects of U.S.
intervention - humanitarian intervention in the sense that it was
designed to eradicate evil and promote virtue.

It was during this process, while an interventionist new policy
was being fashioned for West Asia as a whole that a qualitatively
new relationship between the U.S. and Israel was forged. Since at
least 1967, if not before, Israel had come to be seen by various
administrations in Washington as the one indispensable ally in
West Asia upon which the U.S. could rely as a bulwark against the
turbulence that was sweeping other countries in the region, where
some regimes were already hostile towards the U.S. (Gamal Abdul
Nasser's Egypt, for example) and others could arise in countries
which were allies at the time but were prone to unpredictable shifts
(as happened in Iran with the sudden fall of the Shah and rise of
the Islamic Republic). Implicit in that alignment was the idea that
Israel, as a surrogate and regional sub-imperialist power, could
always intervene against regimes that the U.S. disliked but could
not punish directly, as Israel did unilaterally invade Egypt and
Syria in 1967. It was in view of this very special kind of alignment
that Israel was given immense amount of U.S. funds and weaponry but
was never held accountable for its cruelties against the Palestinians,
its development of nuclear weapons or its routine defiance of Security
Council resolutions. But the years of the Bush presidency witnessed
something more.

The key element here was that a group of neo-conservative and Zionist
ideologues - Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Robert Feith, and so on - who
had occupied middle-rung positions in the Reagan administration and
had subsequently grown very close to some of the key leaders of the
Likud party in Israel, notably Benjamin Netanyahu, came to occupy key
positions in the Bush administration, especially in the Pentagon, and
began fashioning policies for the U.S. that were remarkably similar
to the ones that Sharon had been advocating for some two decades.
Vice-President Dick Cheney was a senior member of this group and in
some ways the protector and promoter of their ideas. Sharon himself
had by then risen to become Prime Minister in Israel, and in a flurry
of visits to Washington he now became Bush's mentor in delineating an
over-all policy for the region. Something of a sea change now occurred
in the relationship between the interlocutors. Israel had until then
been a supplicant for U.S. weapons and finances, and had wielded
influence on U.S. policy mainly through the pro-Zionist lobby in
Washington and the Zionist organisations, which kept a tab on U.S.
Congressmen. Now, with the ascendancy of Zionist neo-conservatives
right up to the office of the Vice-President, it was the U.S. policy
that came to be shaped increasingly in the shadow of Israeli policy.
The events of September 11 proved crucial in this turn of events.

The vilification of all things Arab and/or Islamic had gone through
three phases in the U.S. The first was the period of Nasserist anti-
imperialist, Arab nationalism, when secular nationalism itself was
seen as a threat to Western interests and to the very regimes, such
as the Saudi regime, which were protecting those interests. The second
was the phase when the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) suddenly raised the price of petroleum in the wake of 1973, and
the Western media were studded with daily images of the Arab, bearded
and dressed in Bedouin clothes, turning off the tap at the American
petrol pump. The third was the phase that began with the Islamic
Revolution in Iran that overthrew the monarchy which had been, next
to Israel itself, America's main ally in the region. After September
11, all these images got rolled into one, that of a transnational
Muslim terrorist out to destroy the American way of life in a gigantic
class of civilisation, with no regard to the fact that the particular
kind of terrorist who had rammed those hijacked planes into the World
Trade Centre had been bred by the Americans themselves for purposes of
their own jehad against the communist infidel in Afghanistan.

Two things now happened. One is that since this new 'terrorist' was a
transnational Muslim, war against him was also to be waged in country
after country, across West Asia and even in pockets as far away as
Bali or the Philippines. Hence the neo-conservative dream of capturing
Baghdad, then Damascus, Riyadh, and finally Teheran. Second, and
crucially, Sharon was able to convince his Anglo-Saxon interlocutors,
and Bush in particular, that the Palestinian was the paradigmatic
terrorist, and no amount of repression of the Palestinian could ever
be considered excessive.

The four years of the Intifada, which began on September 28, 2000,
coincided almost exactly with the first four years of the Bush
presidency. The most reliable figures that I have seen conclude that
1,008 Israelis and 3,334 Palestinians have been killed during these
four years. Eighty-two per cent of the Palestinians killed have been
civilians, of whom 621 were children below the age of 17, and 10,000
Palestinian children have been injured. The majority of the civilians
killed were shot in the head or the upper body. During the same
period, Israel has followed the policy of targeted killing, that is,
pre-meditated assassination unrelated to any kind of combat, which
has taken 424 lives. Economic blockades and dislocations caused
by the Israelis have resulted in the fact that 30 per cent of all
Palestinian children now suffer from malnutrition, more than one
billion worth of Palestinian infrastructure has been destroyed,
Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP) has been cut in half, the
price of water has tripled, and an average Palestinian consumes
one-fifth of the water consumed by an average Israeli. Occupied
Palestinian roads are criss-crossed with roads on which only Jews
are allowed to travel, and the wall that the Israelis have built
in the name of their own security zigzags through Palestinian
territory, is three times as long and twice as high as the Berlin
Wall, separates people from their own communities, their work place,
hospitals and schools. The settled policy of demolishing Palestinian
houses in the service of Israeli interests has meant that in Rafah
alone, for example, an average of six homes are demolished each day.

One could go on reciting details of such atrocities. But the single
slogan of "terrorism" is used in Israeli as well as American and
British media to excuse the Israelis and blame the Palestinians
en masse. Successive U.S. administrations have condoned all kinds
of Israeli atrocities and shielded Israel from any accounting in
international fora. The Bush administration has gone much further,
however. Unlike any previous U.S. administration, and in direct
violation of numerous Security Council resolutions, Bush has declared
that the Palestinian refugees have no right to return to their
homes in Israel but will have to be accommodated in the Palestinian
territories, and that in any final settlement Palestinians cannot
expect to gain the territories that were given to them by the U.N.
Partition Plan of 1949 or even all the territories they lost in 1967.
He has gone further and endorsed Sharon's plan to annex large parts
of the West Bank, and has barely stopped short of endorsing Sharon's
overall plan which gives to the Palestinians merely 11 per cent of
the land of historic Palestine, exactly half of what they had as late
as 1967. In short, Israel has an absolute right to do as it wishes,
in violation of every clause of the Fourth Geneva Convention and
numerous U.N. resolutions.

Yasser Arafat died just as George W. Bush was getting re-elected for
a second term in office. As the Palestinian people lost the one man
who had symbolised their nationhood for 35 years, the Western media
were filled with virtual glee that there now was a chance for a
new leadership that would be acceptable to Israel as a negotiating
partner. And, indeed, Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), who
has been in close touch with the Israelis for over a decade and is
known to be a notoriously corrupt man, soon emerged as the Fatah's
candidate for the presidency. The only man who could fight an
election against Abbas, Marwan Barghouti, is in an Israeli prison
serving a sentence amounting to five life-times. When Barghouti's
wife filed papers of his candidacy on his behalf, Israeli authorities
immediately said that he would not be acceptable as a Palestinian
President. As of now, it is unclear whether the contest shall be
allowed to take place. Israel may yet get a successor of Arafat with
whom it can make peace - on its own terms. Will such a peace endure?
Most unlikely. There shall then be yet another Intifada, just as the
resistance in Iraq shall continue regardless of any puppet regime
that might arise there.

Coordination between the U.S. and Israel is so close that it now
becomes impossible to distinguish between the two. Israelis have
trained the Kurdish peshmargas under U.S. tutelage, and their forces
are said to be active on Turkish territory adjoining Iran. Israelis
have even trained U.S. forces deployed in Iraq, teaching them the
techniques of urban warfare they have deployed in such operations
as in Jenin and Ramallah, and which the U.S. has followed in Falluja.
If the U.S. itself deployed modified Israeli tanks and bulldozers
in Iraqi towns, it has also given to Israel state-of-the-art deep-
penetration bombs, known as "bunker busters" for a possible Israeli
attack on Iran's nuclear installations. Indeed, both the U.S. and
Israel have threatened strikes against Iran, and a large number of
newspapers, from The Jerusalem Post to The Los Angeles Times, have
reported that both countries have carried out simulation exercises
in preparation for precisely such strikes.

Will there be such a strike, by one or both of them? It would be
foolish to predict one way or the other. Everyone knows that the U.S.
did not invade North Korea because it had nuclear weapons but invaded
Iraq because it did not. In context, one can believe that Iran
actually is trying to develop such a weapon. The U.S. is determined
to overthrow the current dispensation in Teheran, and the possibility
that Iran may succeed in breaking Israeli monopoly of nuclear power
in West Asia gives those designs a special urgency. But is it doable?
A full-scale invasion or prolonged war against Iran is impossible
because the U.S. is already over-committed next door, in Iraq,
while Iran has real armed forces and fairly advanced missiles with
a formidable range. Moreover, it seems to have made something of a
devil's pact with the U.S.: so long as Iran is left alone in peace
it will restrain its friends among the Shia clergy in Iraq. By the
same token, any strike against Iran shall bring forth an immediate
mass Shia uprising in Iraq, in addition to the Sunni one.

A prudent leader in Washington would keep the peace with Iran and
would also restrain Israel. Bush, however, did invade Iraq against
the advice of his own Chief of the Army Staff and without taking
into account the consequences. The same imprudence, combined with
the Israeli fear of a nuclear-armed Iran, may yet lead to targeted
strikes. News reports seem to suggest also that the U.S. is willing
to take another leaf out of the Israeli book, namely that of targeted
assassinations. In this scenario, strikes against selected targets
would be combined with operations to kill the key leaders and thus
create deliberate chaos in Teheran. That would amount to real madness,
since the war shall then spread not only to Iran but also, inevitably,
to Syria and Lebanon. But that too is part of the neo-conservatives'
prescription: a prolonged period of chaos, warfare and dismembering
of the present state structures in West Asia's Muslim countries,
followed by the break-up of every state into small, ethnically defined
enclaves, with Greater Israel dominating the whole.

Article nr. 8529 sent on 31-dec-2004 01:11 ECT

The address of this page is : www.uruknet.info?p=8529

The original address of this article is :
www.flonnet.com/fl2126/stories/20041231003402500.htm

* * *

Bargains and offers rejected by Saddam Hussein

Salah Almukhtar

December 30, 2004 - Has the moment to tell all now arrived? Perhaps
it has. We refused to talk about the characteristics of the leader
and legal President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, may God set him free,
when Satanic Safavid- Zionist waves were crashing against this
region; we feared lest we put ourselves in an unenviable position
on the defensive. But now that the Iraqi armed Revolution is
knocking on the doors of decisive victory, in the near future,
God willing, and now that America and the neo-Safavids are being
defeated and the pillars of satanization are under the blazing
light of the truth - a recent example being the exposure of the
lies about Halabjah and the "massacres" in the south of Iraq - the
time has come to tell all about past years. The time has come to
tell all about the offers made by the United States and the Zionists
to President Saddam Hussein in the hopes that they could resolve
some of their conflicts with the Iraqi people with big bribes. We
are moved to tell all this now, because most of the witnesses are
still alive and we wish to hear their testimony before the Arab
masses before they die, having hopefully lived long lives.

We have been encouraged to publish this account by what President
Saddam Hussein said during his meeting with the lawyer Khalil ad-
Dulaymi. Saddam Hussein said, "The Palestine issue is an issue
of all the Arabs. Whoever fritters it away is like somebody who
fritters away his honor and dignity. They made lots of attempts
with me. The sent me letters care of Arab and international leaders
and public personalities. They said, `All we want from you is one
word; we don't need an agreement now.' They wanted me to indicate
a willingness to recognize their so-called state `Israel'. But I
refused with all my power, in spite of the fact that they told me
that recognition of the Zionist entity would mean the end of the
embargo, and a return to normal relations with the United States.
But I understand that whoever fritters away the soil and territory
will fritter away everything: his honor and dignity. After that
there won't be any red lines for him. It is a deadly chain reaction.
It only needs some place to start and then the path of concessions
will just carry on with no end."

In light of that, it has become necessary to present some information
on the offers that were made on golden platters to the leader of the
armed Revolution, Saddam Hussein, offers that he rejected with dignity
and pride.

A letter sent by a priest.

A priest from the Vatican in 1994, as far as I remember, asked to
visit Iraq because he had a letter for President Saddam Hussein.
So he was invited, as the Iraqi leaders thought that he was
bringing a message from the Pope. But it was revealed after he
arrived in Baghdad that he was bringing a letter from the American
Administration, not from the Pope! When President Saddam Hussein
received him, he said: "I am bringing to your excellency a letter
from the American President that says that we are ready to end
the sanctions on Iraq and help Iraq solve its problems if it stops
opposing peace with 'Israel'. This does not mean that you have to
recognize 'Israel', only that you stop opposing and putting pressure
on those who want that."

Saddam Hussein looked with his piercing honey-colored eyes at him
for a moment and then said to him:

"If Saddam Hussein doe that, he wouldn't be Saddam Hussein any more.
His people wouldn't know him, nor would the Arabs." And he added in
a deep and powerful voice: "Tell whoever gave you this message that
the Iraqi people will overthrow me tomorrow if I accepted that."
And he closed the meeting with a famous _expression, "Tell them that
if we had to get our air from `Israel', we would want it cut off."

The priest left dejected and confused, saying "I think his excellency
the President for receiving me and listening to what I had to say."
And the President responded saying, "Yes, you should thank me for
listening to your offer." After the end of the meeting, the President
ordered that it be broadcast on television. The Iraqi people heard
their leader reject an offer to abandon Palestine in return for a
lifting of the sanctions from which they were suffering - sanctions
that were killing 250 to 300 Iraqis every day, according to UN
statistics, because of malnutrition, a shortage of medicine and the
use of depleted uranium.

A letter conveyed by King Hussein.

A personal envoy of the late King Hussein of Jordan arrived in
Baghdad in 1994 bringing a message for the President. The militant
leader Tariq Aziz, may God set him free, met him and asked him,
"why do you want to meet the President?" The Jordanian guest, who
was a personal friend of the President and of Abu Ziyad (Tariq
Aziz) responded, "the letter is very personal, and his highness
the King asked that it be given to the President in person! The
Jordanian envoy added, "besides, I'm a friend of the President and
I want to say, `hello.'" Aziz asked him, does the letter have to
do with trading the end of the sanctions for facilitating a peace
settlement with 'Israel' and recognition of it?" The Jordanian
emissary said, "yes, how did you know?" The Jordanian guest was
amazed that Tariq Aziz would know about this top secret mission.
Aziz replied, "I'm not the one who knew; it was the President
personally who expected it. He asked me to ask you about it and
told me to decline to allow you to meet him if this is what you
came for." And in fact, the Jordanian envoy did not meet President
Saddam Hussein.

Amin Jumayyil's intercession.

The third - but not the last - attempt to intercede came during the
visit of Mr. Amin Jumayyil, the former Lebanese President to Iraq
about a year before the invasion. He brought with him a letter from
George Bush the son, containing the same thing that the earlier two
letters conveyed by the priest and the Jordanian envoy had contained.
But the most important thing the Bush letter offered was this: "you
can remain in power, we will rescind the law calling for the overthrow
of your regime and we will lift the sanctions, on condition that you
come to terms with 'Israel' and recognize it and allow US companies to
invest in Iraq." President Saddam Hussein agreed to give US companies
contracts and allow them to invest in the area of rebuilding the
infrastructure of the country's oil industry that had been destroyed
by the Thirty-Nation Aggression in 1990-1991. But President Saddam
Hussein refused emphatically to recognize "Israel".

Jumayyil paid a second visit to Iraq two weeks before the US invasion
and brought with him the following threat from Bush to President
Saddam Hussein: "If you do not recognize `Israel', and apologize for
the assassination attempt on my father, I will annihilate you." To
which President Saddam Hussein responded: "Tell Bush we don't accept
threats from anyone."

An American Senator's intercession.

Before this last message, but after the end of the war with Iran
and the emergence of Iraq as the one great power in the region,
an American senator visited Iraq. He suddenly opened his talk with
the President by saying, "the Prime Minister of 'Israel' has asked
me to convey a message saying, 'reduce your armament, recognize us,
and we guarantee that you will be able to take all the Gulf states.'"
Just as that senator's words came as a surprise for the President,
so President Saddam Hussein surprised the senator when he said,
"What would I do with the Gulf states and why should I take them?"
And he ended the meeting early, his face showing that he was greatly
irritated.

Things with great symbolic significance.

After reading these accounts, one finds oneself faced with on key
question: "what does President Saddam Hussein's rejection of all
these American and `Israeli' offers mean?" It means precisely
that the Iraq of Saddam Hussein rejected all bargaining over the
Palestine issue, even in return for the lifting of the sanctions
and obtaining financial, technological, and political support for
Iraq. Saddam Hussein demonstrated that he was a man of principle,
not someone after power or personal advantage, even though he
understood fully and completely the danger that his rejection of
those offers carried with it. He behaved like an Iraqi, Arab, and
Islamic leader - one responsible before God and the Arab Nation
for his actions - should behave.

If he had believed that submission is what politics is all about, and
that currying favor is the job of rulers, Saddam Hussein could have
become the "king of the Arabs and Persians", if only he had said
"yes" to "Israel", if only he had agreed to be treated like the tail
and not the head, as he said to the lawyer Khalil ad-Dulaymi. Whoever
looks at the biography of Saddam - and allow me to drop his last
name, because he doesn't need it, now that he has become the imam
of the mujahideen, which is a greater glory than any political post
however exalted - whoever looks at the biography of Saddam knows
right away that he is reading the account of a contemporary version
of the Companions of the Prophet. A splendid person who has left
the world and all that's in it, determined to sacrifice whatever
it takes - even his sons and his little family - for the sake
of his greater family, the great Arab Homeland, and the glorious
Islamic World Community. He has been, and he remains a symbol of
honor, patriotism, faithfulness to Arab Nationalism, and commitment
to Islam. All that is embodied for him in one word: Palestine.

. . .

2) The PNAC agenda:

This War on Terrorism is Bogus

The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure
its global domination

Michael Meacher
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday September 6, 2003
The Guardian

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9115,1036688,00.html

Michael Meacher MP was environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003

Massive attention has now been given - and rightly so - to the reasons
why Britain went to war against Iraq. But far too little attention has
focused on why the US went to war, and that throws light on British
motives too.

The conventional explanation is that after the Twin Towers were hit,
retaliation against al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan was a natural first
step in launching a global war against terrorism. Then, because Saddam
Hussein was alleged by the US and UK governments to retain weapons of
mass destruction, the war could be extended to Iraq as well. However
this theory does not fit all the facts. The truth may be a great deal
murkier.

We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax
Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald
Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb
Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief
of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences, was
written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project
for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the
Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "while
the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate
justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in
the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document attributed to
Wolfowitz and Libby which said the US must "discourage advanced
industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to
a larger regional or global role". It refers to key allies such as the
UK as "the most effective and efficient means of exercising American
global leadership". It describes peacekeeping missions as "demanding
American political leadership rather than that of the UN". It says
"even should Saddam pass from the scene", US bases in Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait will remain permanently... as "Iran may well prove as large a
threat to US interests as Iraq has". It spotlights China for "regime
change", saying "it is time to increase the presence of American
forces in SE Asia".

The document also calls for the creation of "US space forces" to
dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent
"enemies" using the internet against the US. It also hints that the US
may consider developing biological weapons "that can target specific
genotypes [and] may transform biological warfare from the realm of
terror to a politically useful tool".

Finally - written a year before 9/11 - it pinpoints North Korea, Syria
and Iran as dangerous regimes, and says their existence justifies the
creation of a "worldwide command and control system". This is a
blueprint for US world domination. But before it is dismissed as an
agenda for rightwing fantasists, it is clear it provides a much better
explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11
than the global war on terrorism thesis. This can be seen in several
ways.

First, it is clear the US authorities did little or nothing to
pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries
provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks. Two senior
Mossad experts were sent to Washington in August 2001 to alert the CIA
and FBI to a cell of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big
operation (Daily Telegraph, September 16 2001). The list they provided
included the names of four of the 9/11 hijackers, none of whom was
arrested.

It had been known as early as 1996 that there were plans to hit
Washington targets with aeroplanes. Then in 1999 a US national
intelligence council report noted that "al-Qaida suicide bombers could
crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives into the Pentagon,
the headquarters of the CIA, or the White House".

Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas in Saudi Arabia.
Michael Springman, the former head of the American visa bureau in
Jeddah, has stated that since 1987 the CIA had been illicitly issuing
visas to unqualified applicants from the Middle East and bringing them
to the US for training in terrorism for the Afghan war in
collaboration with Bin Laden (BBC, November 6 2001). It seems this
operation continued after the Afghan war for other purposes. It is
also reported that five of the hijackers received training at secure
US military installations in the 1990s (Newsweek, September 15 2001).

Instructive leads prior to 9/11 were not followed up. French Moroccan
flight student Zacarias Moussaoui (now thought to be the 20th
hijacker) was arrested in August 2001 after an instructor reported he
showed a suspicious interest in learning how to steer large
airliners. When US agents learned from French intelligence he had
radical Islamist ties, they sought a warrant to search his computer,
which contained clues to the September 11 mission (Times, November 3
2001). But they were turned down by the FBI. One agent wrote, a month
before 9/11, that Moussaoui might be planning to crash into the Twin
Towers (Newsweek, May 20 2002).

All of this makes it all the more astonishing - on the war on
terrorism perspective - that there was such slow reaction on September
11 itself. The first hijacking was suspected at not later than
8.20am, and the last hijacked aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania at
10.06am. Not a single fighter plane was scrambled to investigate from
the US Andrews airforce base, just 10 miles from Washington DC, until
after the third plane had hit the Pentagon at 9.38 am. Why not? There
were standard FAA intercept procedures for hijacked aircraft before
9/11. Between September 2000 and June 2001 the US military launched
fighter aircraft on 67 occasions to chase suspicious aircraft (AP,
August 13 2002). It is a US legal requirement that once an aircraft
has moved significantly off its flight plan, fighter planes are sent
up to investigate.

Was this inaction simply the result of key people disregarding, or
being ignorant of, the evidence? Or could US air security operations
have been deliberately stood down on September 11? If so, why, and on
whose authority? The former US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus,
has said: "The information provided by European intelligence services
prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for
either the CIA or FBI to assert a defence of incompetence."

Nor is the US response after 9/11 any better. No serious attempt has
ever been made to catch Bin Laden. In late September and early October
2001, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamist parties negotiated Bin
Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11. However, a US
official said, significantly, that "casting our objectives too
narrowly" risked "a premature collapse of the international effort if
by some lucky chance Mr Bin Laden was captured". The US chairman of
the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that
"the goal has never been to get Bin Laden" (AP, April 5 2002). The
whistleblowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News (December 19
2002) that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests. And in November 2001
the US airforce complained it had had al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in
its sights as many as 10 times over the previous six weeks, but had
been unable to attack because they did not receive permission quickly
enough (Time Magazine, May 13 2002). None of this assembled evidence,
all of which comes from sources already in the public domain, is
compatible with the idea of a real, determined war on terrorism.

The catalogue of evidence does, however, fall into place when set
against the PNAC blueprint. From this it seems that the so-called "war
on terrorism" is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider
US strategic geopolitical objectives. Indeed Tony Blair himself hinted
at this when he said to the Commons liaison committee: "To be truthful
about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to
have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened
on September 11" (Times, July 17 2002). Similarly Rumsfeld was so
determined to obtain a rationale for an attack on Iraq that on 10
separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to
9/11; the CIA repeatedly came back empty-handed (Time Magazine, May 13
2002).

In fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC
plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for
military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before
9/11. A report prepared for the US government from the Baker Institute
of Public Policy stated in April 2001 that "the US remains a prisoner
of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a destabilising influence
to... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle
East". Submitted to Vice-President Cheney's energy task group, the
report recommended that because this was an unacceptable risk to the
US, "military intervention" was necessary (Sunday Herald, October 6
2002).

Similar evidence exists in regard to Afghanistan. The BBC reported
(September 18 2001) that Niaz Niak, a former Pakistan foreign
secretary, was told by senior American officials at a meeting in
Berlin in mid-July 2001 that "military action against Afghanistan
would go ahead by the middle of October". Until July 2001 the US
government saw the Taliban regime as a source of stability in Central
Asia that would enable the construction of hydrocarbon pipelines from
the oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,
through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. But, confronted
with the Taliban's refusal to accept US conditions, the US
representatives told them "either you accept our offer of a carpet of
gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs" (Inter Press Service,
November 15 2001).

Given this background, it is not surprising that some have seen the US
failure to avert the 9/11 attacks as creating an invaluable pretext
for attacking Afghanistan in a war that had clearly already been well
planned in advance. There is a possible precedent for this. The US
national archives reveal that President Roosevelt used exactly this
approach in relation to Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941. Some advance
warning of the attacks was received, but the information never reached
the US fleet. The ensuing national outrage persuaded a reluctant US
public to join the second world war. Similarly the PNAC blueprint of
September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into
"tomorrow's dominant force" is likely to be a long one in the absence
of "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl
Harbor". The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for
a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise
have been politically impossible to implement.

The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the
US and the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy
supplies. By 2010 the Muslim world will control as much as 60% of the
world's oil production and, even more importantly, 95% of remaining
global oil export capacity. As demand is increasing, so supply is
decreasing, continually since the 1960s.

This is leading to increasing dependence on foreign oil supplies for
both the US and the UK. The US, which in 1990 produced domestically
57% of its total energy demand, is predicted to produce only 39% of
its needs by 2010. A DTI minister has admitted that the UK could be
facing "severe" gas shortages by 2005. The UK government has confirmed
that 70% of our electricity will come from gas by 2020, and 90% of
that will be imported. In that context it should be noted that Iraq
has 110 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in addition to its oil.

A report from the commission on America's national interests in July
2000 noted that the most promising new source of world supplies was
the Caspian region, and this would relieve US dependence on Saudi
Arabia. To diversify supply routes from the Caspian, one pipeline
would run westward via Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Turkish port of
Ceyhan. Another would extend eastwards through Afghanistan and
Pakistan and terminate near the Indian border. This would rescue
Enron's beleaguered power plant at Dabhol on India's west coast, in
which Enron had sunk $3bn investment and whose economic survival was
dependent on access to cheap gas.

Nor has the UK been disinterested in this scramble for the remaining
world supplies of hydrocarbons, and this may partly explain British
participation in US military actions. Lord Browne, chief executive of
BP, warned Washington not to carve up Iraq for its own oil companies
in the aftermath of war (Guardian, October 30 2002). And when a
British foreign minister met Gadaffi in his desert tent in August
2002, it was said that "the UK does not want to lose out to other
European nations already jostling for advantage when it comes to
potentially lucrative oil contracts" with Libya (BBC Online, August 10
2002).

The conclusion of all this analysis must surely be that the "global
war on terrorism" has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to
hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies
required to drive the whole project. Is collusion in this myth and
junior participation in this project really a proper aspiration for
British foreign policy? If there was ever need to justify a more
objective British stance, driven by our own independent goals, this
whole depressing saga surely provides all the evidence needed for a
radical change of course.

Michael Meacher MP was environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003

3) For plundering of Iraqi national resources, please see Naomi Klein's
various articles, for example:

http://harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html
At the rate we are going, we may do in a few years what Saddam did in
20. We just need the Iraqis to hold still. Most of his crimes were
committed with tacit consent from the US--After the first Gulf War we
stood back and watched him slaughter Shiites in the North and South.
His war with Iran was with our encouragement. He may have needed
removing but so do a lot of petty dictators. Saddam's real problem was
that it was no longer convenient for the US to back him
Herb Martin
2005-01-03 05:58:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''
as the diehards continue to claim.
No, another of your denials of reality since UN Security
Council Resolution 1441, the controlling and binding
resolution, found him unanimously in breach.
lo yeeOn
2005-01-03 07:45:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herb Martin
Post by lo yeeOn
``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''
as the diehards continue to claim.
No, another of your denials of reality since UN Security
Council Resolution 1441, the controlling and binding
resolution, found him unanimously in breach.
War is destruction on a massive scale! War is killing people! So you
believe that technicality is good enough to kill and destroy mass of
people?

And of course while you resort to reciting these UNSC resolutions that
the US government in cahoot with the UK government came up with,
threatening or bribing enough members of the UN to go along, using
electronical eavesdropping on their UN representatives so as to bully
or bribe them accordingly, and obfuscating the real purpose of the
impending resolutions by using ambiguous languages all the time, you
always conveniently ignore the fact that few nations in the world have
agreed with Bush that the technical breach at issue justifies the path
of war and the slaughter of human beings. In the latest. your attempt
to avoid this mention went so far as to erase my next sentence which
recited exactly this fact. It is a shameless, unworthy tactic! That
next sentence was:

(And that's why out of some 200 nations in the world, only some 30
or 40 countries participate in this slaughter endeavour, and only
in some insignificant ways, except for the two main protagonists,
plus a very corrupt Italian politician by the name of Berlusconi,
who is stringing an entirely unwilling people along. The
ostensible reasons, whether it is the possesion of WMD or in some
tehnical violation like ``in breach of his requirements to
COOPERATE with the inspectors'', can't survive close scrutiny,
except for the most close-minded people.)

So let me ask you a question: Do you beat your child senseless just
because he violated more than once the curfew you've imposed on him?

Furthermore why should the millions of innocent Iraqi people have to
suffer just because you want that one man?

In a world of people with a sense of justice, there must be a sense of
proportion with regard to punishment for a wrong and there must also
be the need and care to avoid punishing the innocent. So far, nothing
you've said made any sense.

So let's go over it one more time!

You said Saddam needed removing.

I said:

That is clearly what was and is behind the thinking of those who
support these humongous atrocities against Iraq and its innocent
people. It is not some stupid technicality like

``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''

as the diehards continue to claim.

War is destruction on a massive scale! War is killing people! How
can war be pursued so easily?

(And that's why out of some 200 nations in the world, only some 30 or
40 countries participate in this slaughter endeavour, and only in some
insignificant ways, except for the two main protagonists, plus a very
corrupt Italian politician by the name of Berlusconi, who is stringing
an entirely unwilling people along. The ostensible reasons, whether
it is the possesion of WMD or in some tehnical violation like ``in
breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors'', can't
survive close scrutiny, except for the most close-minded people.)

So, what is the _real_ reason why some people want to go this length
and consequently hurt so many people and do so much damage to the
environment just to get rid of Saddam? A lot of people who say it is
because Saddam is

``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''

aren't stupid. I just have the feeling that they don't want to say
the real reason!

I know there is the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which
the warmongers have followed and are following. That is the big
picture for the American power elite: to dominate the world. But why
can't we do it slowly, smoothly, and without having to be drenched in
so much innocent blood?

I think the post from G. Lange recently might tell us something, and
it is connected with the Palestine.

. . . All that is embodied for him in one word: Palestine.

This particular position was one of the two main reasons for the
invasion and destruction of Iraq. The other reason was oil. . . .

I don't agree with the author's other main reason being oil. I rank
the reasons this way, based on what I have read so far in the past few
years on the internet:

1) World domination, involving a succession of regime changes and
decades-long war, called the war against terror or terrorism.

2) Palestine (because Saddam's been too uppity in giving money to
surviving families of intifada martyrs).

3) Privatization of Iraqi valuable national assets, including making
farmers pay license fees to Novartis and other big chemical firms
in order to farm and live and the free access to its oil reserve.

I believe G. Lange's article brings to focuse the urgency of such a
destructive act as we've witnessed in the past few years, if some
of the events recounted in the article are true.

lo yeeOn
========

1) Excerpt from G. Lange's post:

NNTP-Posting-Date: 02 Jan 2005 12:39:15 MET
NNTP-Posting-Host: 379bf2b2.newsread2.arcor-online.net
X-Trace: DXC=Jik\Uh5D?of?m49DcKk?RnQ5U85hF6f;djW\KbG]kaMhSE6H=g?m\***@YAF9imT?^fm
ddW5`QecDd1GeQV5DdIak>6PS2n4UG1b
X-Complaints-To: ***@arcor.de
Xref: panix soc.culture.iraq:337798 soc.culture.arabic:250232 soc.culture.usa:17
09961 soc.culture.lebanon:229563 soc.culture.asean:69690 soc.culture.europe:5043
25 soc.culture.turkish:516288


* AMERICA'S DECLINE
* Bargains and offers rejected by Saddam Hussein
* Neo-cons can't escape responsibility
for their Iraq miscalculations
* Mosul election staff quit en masse
* Chemical Weapons in Fallujah
http://raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com/
* If you want to know what is going on check these two
websites about the American politic of the world
http://www.freewebs.com/bythewayofdeception/



AMERICA'S DECLINE

AIJAZ AHMAD

Frontline Volume 21 - Issue 26, Dec. 18 - 31, 2004

The war in Iraq is costing the Americans dearly in every respect.
A demonstration of the invincibility of American power has come
together with the overwhelming evidence of the limits of American
power on the ground.

THE first four years of the presidency of George W. Bush, which
forced upon the world not only the invasions of Afghanistan and
Iraq but also a structure of globalised militarism to supplement
corporate globalisation, coincided almost exactly with the four
years of the second Palestinian Intifada and Israel's all-out war
against the Palestinian population. Prospects for the world during
the next four years of this presidency are, if anything, more grim.
And, West Asia shall remain, as it has been, at the very epicentre
of this imperial storm.

Any extended discussion of the current crises in West Asia should
in any case be prefaced with a brief summation of the situation in
which the United States, the instigator and chief actor in these
crises, finds itself. The re-election of Bush to a second term on
November 4 was immediately followed, starting on November 7, with
a massive assault on Falluja, as was expected, and was supplemented
with equally murderous attacks on a number of cities and towns
across the so-called "Sunni triangle" in Iraq. On that same day,
November 7, the puppet government of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi
declared that all Iraq except the Kurdish-run areas in the country's
north was under martial law, banning all protest rallies and street
demonstrations. He also announced that a 24-hour curfew applied in
Falluja, to be observed by everyone in the city except the invading
U.S. and puppet Iraqi troops, thus making any Fallujan who is not in
a residential building a free-fire target.

Anticipating this assault, some 200,000 residents of Falluja had fled
the city even before the bombings began, along with all the seasoned
fighters of the resistance who left behind only a relatively small
number of relatively inexperienced guerillas to put up a symbolic
fight. The Americans flattened the city nevertheless, raining down
munitions of all kinds and sizes, including 2,000-pound and 5,000-
pound bombs, on the remaining residents of the city. The Iraqi Red
Crescent Society, the national equivalent of the Red Cross, estimated
that 6,000 people died during that assault; by December 5 the
Americans had ordered the Red Crescent to leave the city altogether.
The city hospital was the first building to be destroyed in the
bombing, and there are highly credible accounts reporting that napalm
was used on the civilian population even though the use of napalm was
banned by the United Nations in 1980 and every country in the world,
with the single exception of the U.S., has complied with that ban.
Other cities were soon to be subjected to similar atrocities.

Everyone knew that all this was going to happen, and no one was able
to stop it. In a letter sent on October 14 to U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, the Falluja Shura Council, which administers the city,
had pleaded: "In Falluja, [the Americans] have created a new vague
target: al-Zarqawi. Almost a year has elapsed since they created this
new pretext and whenever they destroy houses, mosques, restaurants,
and kill children and women, they say, `we have launched a successful
operation against al-Zarqawi'. The people of Falluja assure you that
this person, if he exists, is not in Falluja... and we have no links
to any groups supporting such inhuman behaviour. We appeal to you to
urge the U.N. [to prevent] the new massacre which the Americans and
the puppet government are planning to start soon in Falluja, as well
as many parts of the country." Annan himself took the extraordinary
step of writing to Bush and United Kingdom Prime Minister Tony Blair
not to undertake these attacks, as did the Association of Muslim
Scholars, an organisation of the Iraqi ulema representing 3,000 of
the country's mosques. Even Ghazi al-Yawar, the interim President
of the puppet regime in Iraq, had opposed the impending action: "I
completely disagree with people who see a need to settle the Falluja
question through military action .. . . It is like someone firing
bullets at his horse's head because a fly lands on it; the horse dies
and the fly flies away."

None of it helped, and the planned abomination went ahead
anyway, barely 10 days after a scholarly study from Johns Hopkins
University's Bloomberg School of Public Health had sent waves of
shock and anger throughout the Arab world when it publicly stated
that some 100,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly women and children, had
died since the American invasion began in March 2003. The mentality
that the Americans brought into their attack on the people of Falluja
was well indicated by the marine commanders who said on record that
Falluja was a "house of Satan" and those other commanders who told
their soldiers to "shoot everything that moves and everything that
does not move"; to fire "two bullets in every body"; and to spray
every home with machine-gun and tank fire before entering them.

Meanwhile, the insurgency itself shows no signs of abating. Even
as Falluja was being terrorised and sand flattened, insurgents were
mounting attack in other cities such as Mosul, withdrawing their
forces from wherever the Americas attacked, and attacking wherever
the presence of the Americans and their local mercenaries was weak.
Large parts of Baghdad remained ungovernable, as did most of the so-
called "Sunni triangle", and attacks on pipelines and supply lines
were so persistent that the U.S. command sometimes found it difficult
to keep up the gasoline supplies required for the military operations.
It was at the height of the offensive that the U.S. announced that
its military force in Iraq was to be augmented by another 15,000
troops. Most analysts now believe that there shall be more incremental
increases throughout the coming year, until the number of U.S. troops
reaches 200,000 or more. This seems all the more likely for two
reasons. One is that, according to knowledgeable sources, the number
of active combatants on the side of the insurgency has increased
constantly and has perhaps quadrupled in a year, which partly
explains the quantum increase in the number and variety of attacks
that the U.S. forces face each day. Secondly, the U.S. is failing to
build an even remotely reliable fighting force comprised of Iraqis
that could take over the burden of the fighting; thousands of them
deserted during the recent offensives, and hundreds are said to have
directly joined the insurgents.

U.S. forces in Iraq are using overwhelming firepower so as to minimise
their own casualties. Even so, close to 1,500 U.S. military personnel
have died in combat, and according to statistics released by the
U.S. authorities, as of November 16, a total of 10,726 service
members had suffered war injuries. Most observers believe that the
U.S. authorities are greatly understating the number of the wounded
and the real figure may be twice as high. Nor is there an infinite
supply of soldiers available for massive escalation. Some 80 per
cent of the U.S. Army is already involved in operations in and around
Iraq, if we count not only the troops that are directly deployed
at any given time but also the cycle of rotations. This problem is
leading to increasing use of mercenaries through private contractors;
the number of such mercenaries is said to be already topping the
40,000 mark, and as recruitments decline within continental U.S.,
these private contractors are recruiting from among the destitute
populations of a variety of countries, all the way from South Africa
to El Salvador.

In the process, the Iraqi population is being subjected to unspeakable
levels of suffering. When 200,000 residents fled Falluja, neither the
Americans, nor their Iraqi puppets, nor the U.N. agencies, nor any
group of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were there to provide
them with relief and shelter; that story is also being repeated
in town after town, village after village. Acute malnutrition among
young children in Iraq has nearly doubled since the U.S. led an
invasion of the country 20 months ago. After the rate of acute
malnutrition among children younger than five steadily declined
to 4 per cent two years ago, it shot up to 7.7 per cent this
year, according to a study conducted by Iraq's Health Ministry
in cooperation with Norway's Institute for Applied International
Studies and the U.N. Development Programme. The great majority of
the estimated 100,000 civilians who have died as a result of the
U.S. invasion have died as a result of U.S. bombings and other
kinds of indiscriminate killings of the U.S. ground forces, but
many others have died owing to the erosion of health facilities,
scarcity of clean drinking water, diseases spreading owing to the
collapse of hygienic conditions of life, collapse of incomes and
employment opportunities, and other such consequences of the
invasion.

The U.S. government and media ignore all such facts and concentrate
instead on the bogus "elections" that are to be held as an exercise
in "democracy". It is very doubtful that an occupied country, with
war raging across vast swaths of its territory, can actually have
what we normally mean by elections. At present, Iraqis are living
in a situation where their sovereign rights are held in something of
a limbo, which began on June 28, when administrative responsibilities
were transferred from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority
and its appointed Iraqi Governing Council to the un-elected Iraqi
Interim Government backed by the U.S., which currently serves as
a puppet regime. This is the regime that is to organise the much-
publicised "elections" in which Iraqis shall be voting to elect
the core of a transitional legislature - the 237-member National
Assembly. It is the National Assembly that will determine who serves
in the executive branch, electing a President and two Deputies of
State. Collectively, these three officials would form the state's
Presidential Council, and must unanimously select a Prime Minister
to replace the present appointee. The task of writing a durable
Constitution may then begin.

All this charade has been possible because Iraq's senior Shia cleric,
Ayatollah al-Sistani, decided to cooperate with the Americans and
calculated that in the new communalised calculus of electoral politics
which the U.S. has devised for the previously secular Iraq, the Shia
groupings can collectively command a legislative majority and hence
capture power without fighting for it. The main Kurdish parties have
of course had an understanding with the U.S. since the early 1990s,
and many of the conservative elements among the Sunni clergy had
also given their grudging assent to these arrangements. However, once
the destruction of Falluja got going, the Islamic party, the largest
Sunni grouping, resigned from Allawi's interim government and the
Association of Muslim Scholars called for a boycott of the elections
scheduled for January 2005. So, the charade of the January elections
is likely to witness very minimal participation from at least the
Sunni segment of the Iraqi population and, at the time of writing,
it is very far from clear how some of the radical Shia groupings,
such as Muqtada al-Sadr and his followers, will eventually act in
relation to these "elections".

Four things about this conjuncture can be said with some degree of
certainty. First, it is currently impossible to conduct normal, free
and fair elections in considerable parts of Iraq, and the legitimacy
of the results shall therefore be highly questionable. Secondly,
regardless of the results, these "elections" shall make little
difference to the conduct of the insurgency in the foreseeable
future. Thirdly, the processes through which the U.S., substantially
aided by the U.N., has erected the new structures of power among its
clients will serve to communalise further what was until very recently
a very vibrant secular culture of Iraq, and shall in the long run
pave the way for the balkanisation of the country which the U.S.-
Israeli axis desires for not only Iraq but also the whole of the
region. Fourthly, the U.S. can certainly assemble a configuration of
clients comprised of the new political elite and the newly rich who
are making money out of this occupation, but the resistance shall
continue to fight not only for the eviction of the Americans but
also for decimating the personnel of the new state apparatus - the
new Army, police and bureaucracy - which the U.S. is assembling
for itself and its clients. Americans may continue to occupy but
the resistance shall continue to deny them the ability to administer
or to exploit the country's resources; hence the attacks not only
on the Americans but also on their hirelings and the oil-related
installations.

The war in Iraq is costing the Americans dearly: in terms of the
cumulative financial costs of occupation; in having so much of its
military personnel pinned down in one little corner of the globe
while the ambition was to make multiple wars across West Asia and
across the globe; in terms of the loss of any kind of moral authority
in consequence of the sheer savagery and criminality of its mode
of invasion and occupation; and even in terms of the slow but
unmistakable attrition of its personnel in Iraq, where death and
injury for its citizens has become a daily occurrence and is bound
to invoke a widespread rejection of this war at home, sooner or
later. By contrast, none of the gains the U.S. had sought in Iraq
and in the region as a whole has been realised, almost two years
after Baghdad fell, seemingly so easily: not the capturing of the
Iraqi oil, not the ability to use Iraq as the main military base
in the region so as to begin an orderly withdrawal from Saudi Arabia,
not the dream of using Iraq as a base for launching attacks against
Syria, Iran, Lebanon or whatever. A demonstration of the invincibility
of American power has come together with the overwhelming evidence
of the limits of American power of the ground. We can now witness an
imperial overreach even before they have reached very far.

AFGHANISTAN is in this context almost not worth mentioning. That
was the first and indeed a very swift occupation, but one that was
grandiosely envisioned as the first of very many. The quagmire in
Iraq put an equally swift end to the dream of the `very many'. In the
meanwhile, a client regime of Hamid Karzai was put in place and then
handed over to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) to keep
him in place. Neither Osama bin Laden nor Mulla Omar nor any other
of the luminaries of the Taliban regime has been captured. Any number
of Americans are running around in northern Pakistan, pretending
to be catching bin Laden. My sense is that the Americans are much
more interested in securing bases close to the Iranian border in
Baluchistan, just in case the U.S. and/or Israel ever feels free to
strike at the Islamic Republic. The pseudo-elections in Afghanistan
are represented in the U.S.-inspired media as major gains for
democracy - non-theocratic democracy at that - but what we mainly
have is a narco-democracy, considering that opium production there,
stopped by the Taliban, has reached such proportions that the crop
in 2004 was the most abundant and most lucrative in the country's
history. The U.S. Office on Drugs and Crime released its Afghanistan
Opium Survey in late November, finding that opium cultivation had
risen by 64 per cent this year alone, with a total value of $2.8
billion, and thus accounting for more than half of the country's
domestic product and spreading to all the provinces in Afghanistan.
No wonder that drug lords are the very backbone of the Karzai
regime, notwithstanding all the pious anti-narcotics pronouncements
of the client and his overlords.

The evidence from Iraq and Afghanistan seems to suggest that the
military conquest of the globe is not going too well. What about
the imperium itself? Well, the long and short of it is that since
the invasion of Iraq began, the dollar has lost some 35 per cent
of its value in relation to the European Union's recently floated
currency, the euro, not to speak of the yen and the yuan and sundry
lesser currencies of the world. In the short run, the depreciated
dollar boosts American exports, which become cheaper, and discourages
foreign producers to sell their goods in the U.S., for which they
would not get less, in terms of their own currency. This can help
the U.S. produce more, export more, and import less, which then
redresses a part of the problem with the current balance of payments.
The problem, however, is that since the dollar serves not only as
the national currency of the U.S. but also as the reserve currency of
the world, and as the principal currency for world trade, notably oil
trade, everyone wants to hold U.S. dollars and, consequently, roughly
50 per cent of the U.S. dollars are held abroad. The spectre haunting
the dollar today is that those foreigners who hold it - as reserve
currency, as medium of trade, as a share in the U.S. economy and state
debt - would get fed up with its decline and start exchanging it for
some other, better valued currency, such as the euro at present.

Had Saudi Arabia or Iran or Venezuela - or other oil-producing
countries - traded oil in euros over the past year, their earnings
would have been roughly 30 per cent higher. The East Asian banks,
which prop up the dollar by buying such things as the U.S. Treasury
bonds, have been losing the value of their assets, as are governments
such as the Chinese government, which holds hundreds of billions of
its reserves in dollars. Why should they not shift to the euro, or
at least substantially diversify. At the very least, they could stop
adding dollar-denominated assets to their portfolios. The nightmare
in the American Federal Reserve is that any one of these major players
may decide that the dollar is just not worth it, and shift, prompting
other players to shift, so that the entire financial architecture
that was built when the U.S. unilaterally abandoned the gold/sterling
standard and effectively replaced it with the dollar would collapse.
For, the unique privilege of America, derived from the fact that its
national currency serves as the world currency, is that it can keep
on printing dollars to finance its own huge budgetary deficits and
the national debt, because the rest of the world has gone on taking
over the surplus dollars for their own accumulation. What happens if
the demand for the dollar collapses?

Now, obviously, no government or bank would want the American economy
to go into a major, irreversible crisis because that would spell deep
crisis for the global capitalist system as a whole; everyone would
prefer a soft, negotiated landing for the dollar. There are two
problems, however. First, the Bush administration seems unwilling to
see that the depreciation of the dollar, which helps American exports,
is costing others a very great deal, and the problem has to be settled
through multilateral negotiations; in economic policy, as in the
policy of imperialist expansion. The Bush administration prefers to
act in a myopic, unilateralist fashion. Secondly, the unpredictability
of markets and governments. A major Japanese bank, a major trading
partner such as China, can act to simply safeguard its own interests,
and thus set a trend, inadvertently, for others to follow - until it
becomes a stampede. One cannot safely predict anything in so volatile
a situation. It is possible to say, however, that the era of a
straightforward dollar domination may be drawing to a close and
the era of currency wars may be at hand. It may be in some respects
a unipolar world but the lone superpower, which is facing the
complexities of a war of national liberation in Iraq, may also be
facing currency competitions in the financial arena.

These pressures on the imperial centre should also be seen in the
context of certain specific features of the current power dispensation
in the U.S. I wrote about two years ago that the Bush administration
may be the most right-wing administration that the U.S. has had since
at least the Second World War - as something of a culmination of
trends set in the days of Ronald Reagan. Well, the second Bush
administration, as it is taking shape after last month's elections,
has moved even further to the Right. Secretary of State Colin Powell,
a professional soldier, has been fired because he questioned the
degree of U.S. support for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's
extremists policies and replaced with Condoleezza Rice, with her
membership in the petroleum industry and loyalty to the master's
policies, and the dispute between the right-wing Powell and the
ultra-Right Donald Rumsfeld has been settled in favour of Rumsfeld.
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is being restructured so
purposefully to make it an instrument of Bush and his neo-conservative
inner circle, at the expense of the professionalism of its senior
officials, that a number of those professionals have resigned in
protest. Bush has chosen as his Attorney-General a man who had served
as a senior White House lawyer over the last four years and had
justified the use of torture in the interrogation of prisoners, thus
implicitly upholding the systematic torture practised by the U.S. at
Guantanamo Bay and in Abu Ghraib prison. He thinks of himself as a
born-again Christian and, as such, has always had an affinity with
Evangelical Christianity; his re-election is owed so much to that
organised tendency in his political party that he is likely to draw
even closer to it. He has inherited from previous U.S. administrations
the settled policy of unconditional support for all that Israel is and
does; he has already endorsed the most belligerent aspects of Sharon's
policy; the Zionist neo-conservatives and the Evangelical-Zionist
alliance have such a hold on his administration; and Sharon has become
so much a mentor and guide to him over the past three years that he
is likely to go along with whatever Israel now proposes, whether in
relation to the Palestinians or other elements in the region, notably
Iran.

In his victory speech after re-election, Bush said that he would now
go ahead and proceed to finish the task he had undertaken during his
first term. What was that task? As regards West Asia, that envisioned
task was not limited to the eradication of the Taliban regime or
Saddam Hussein's rule but the re-making of the region as a whole.
Remarkably enough, the only country in the region that needed no
re-making was Israel. In his very first State of the Union address,
in January 2002, Bush came forward with the resonant phrase, 'Axis
of Evil', in which any number of unnamed forces could be included
but three names - Iraq, Iran and North Korea - did stand out. They
were 'Evil' because they were promoting `terrorism' and nuclear
proliferation. Of these, North Korea was of course not in the region
but, unlike the other two, it did possess some nuclear weapons,
and could, therefore, be approached only very cautiously, all the
bluster notwithstanding. By the time Bush spoke of the Axis of Evil,
Afghanistan had been occupied and the international ideological
campaign to prepare the ground for the invasion of Iraq was
just getting under way. As the campaign unfolded, the issues of
'terrorism' and nuclear proliferation were supplemented with the
objectives of eradicating Islamic fundamentalism and totalitarianism,
while promoting 'democracy' and human rights. On these grounds,
then, any or all countries of West Asia could be objects of U.S.
intervention - humanitarian intervention in the sense that it was
designed to eradicate evil and promote virtue.

It was during this process, while an interventionist new policy
was being fashioned for West Asia as a whole that a qualitatively
new relationship between the U.S. and Israel was forged. Since at
least 1967, if not before, Israel had come to be seen by various
administrations in Washington as the one indispensable ally in
West Asia upon which the U.S. could rely as a bulwark against the
turbulence that was sweeping other countries in the region, where
some regimes were already hostile towards the U.S. (Gamal Abdul
Nasser's Egypt, for example) and others could arise in countries
which were allies at the time but were prone to unpredictable shifts
(as happened in Iran with the sudden fall of the Shah and rise of
the Islamic Republic). Implicit in that alignment was the idea that
Israel, as a surrogate and regional sub-imperialist power, could
always intervene against regimes that the U.S. disliked but could
not punish directly, as Israel did unilaterally invade Egypt and
Syria in 1967. It was in view of this very special kind of alignment
that Israel was given immense amount of U.S. funds and weaponry but
was never held accountable for its cruelties against the Palestinians,
its development of nuclear weapons or its routine defiance of Security
Council resolutions. But the years of the Bush presidency witnessed
something more.

The key element here was that a group of neo-conservative and Zionist
ideologues - Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Robert Feith, and so on - who
had occupied middle-rung positions in the Reagan administration and
had subsequently grown very close to some of the key leaders of the
Likud party in Israel, notably Benjamin Netanyahu, came to occupy key
positions in the Bush administration, especially in the Pentagon, and
began fashioning policies for the U.S. that were remarkably similar
to the ones that Sharon had been advocating for some two decades.
Vice-President Dick Cheney was a senior member of this group and in
some ways the protector and promoter of their ideas. Sharon himself
had by then risen to become Prime Minister in Israel, and in a flurry
of visits to Washington he now became Bush's mentor in delineating an
over-all policy for the region. Something of a sea change now occurred
in the relationship between the interlocutors. Israel had until then
been a supplicant for U.S. weapons and finances, and had wielded
influence on U.S. policy mainly through the pro-Zionist lobby in
Washington and the Zionist organisations, which kept a tab on U.S.
Congressmen. Now, with the ascendancy of Zionist neo-conservatives
right up to the office of the Vice-President, it was the U.S. policy
that came to be shaped increasingly in the shadow of Israeli policy.
The events of September 11 proved crucial in this turn of events.

The vilification of all things Arab and/or Islamic had gone through
three phases in the U.S. The first was the period of Nasserist anti-
imperialist, Arab nationalism, when secular nationalism itself was
seen as a threat to Western interests and to the very regimes, such
as the Saudi regime, which were protecting those interests. The second
was the phase when the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries
(OPEC) suddenly raised the price of petroleum in the wake of 1973, and
the Western media were studded with daily images of the Arab, bearded
and dressed in Bedouin clothes, turning off the tap at the American
petrol pump. The third was the phase that began with the Islamic
Revolution in Iran that overthrew the monarchy which had been, next
to Israel itself, America's main ally in the region. After September
11, all these images got rolled into one, that of a transnational
Muslim terrorist out to destroy the American way of life in a gigantic
class of civilisation, with no regard to the fact that the particular
kind of terrorist who had rammed those hijacked planes into the World
Trade Centre had been bred by the Americans themselves for purposes of
their own jehad against the communist infidel in Afghanistan.

Two things now happened. One is that since this new 'terrorist' was a
transnational Muslim, war against him was also to be waged in country
after country, across West Asia and even in pockets as far away as
Bali or the Philippines. Hence the neo-conservative dream of capturing
Baghdad, then Damascus, Riyadh, and finally Teheran. Second, and
crucially, Sharon was able to convince his Anglo-Saxon interlocutors,
and Bush in particular, that the Palestinian was the paradigmatic
terrorist, and no amount of repression of the Palestinian could ever
be considered excessive.

The four years of the Intifada, which began on September 28, 2000,
coincided almost exactly with the first four years of the Bush
presidency. The most reliable figures that I have seen conclude that
1,008 Israelis and 3,334 Palestinians have been killed during these
four years. Eighty-two per cent of the Palestinians killed have been
civilians, of whom 621 were children below the age of 17, and 10,000
Palestinian children have been injured. The majority of the civilians
killed were shot in the head or the upper body. During the same
period, Israel has followed the policy of targeted killing, that is,
pre-meditated assassination unrelated to any kind of combat, which
has taken 424 lives. Economic blockades and dislocations caused
by the Israelis have resulted in the fact that 30 per cent of all
Palestinian children now suffer from malnutrition, more than one
billion worth of Palestinian infrastructure has been destroyed,
Palestinian gross domestic product (GDP) has been cut in half, the
price of water has tripled, and an average Palestinian consumes
one-fifth of the water consumed by an average Israeli. Occupied
Palestinian roads are criss-crossed with roads on which only Jews
are allowed to travel, and the wall that the Israelis have built
in the name of their own security zigzags through Palestinian
territory, is three times as long and twice as high as the Berlin
Wall, separates people from their own communities, their work place,
hospitals and schools. The settled policy of demolishing Palestinian
houses in the service of Israeli interests has meant that in Rafah
alone, for example, an average of six homes are demolished each day.

One could go on reciting details of such atrocities. But the single
slogan of "terrorism" is used in Israeli as well as American and
British media to excuse the Israelis and blame the Palestinians
en masse. Successive U.S. administrations have condoned all kinds
of Israeli atrocities and shielded Israel from any accounting in
international fora. The Bush administration has gone much further,
however. Unlike any previous U.S. administration, and in direct
violation of numerous Security Council resolutions, Bush has declared
that the Palestinian refugees have no right to return to their
homes in Israel but will have to be accommodated in the Palestinian
territories, and that in any final settlement Palestinians cannot
expect to gain the territories that were given to them by the U.N.
Partition Plan of 1949 or even all the territories they lost in 1967.
He has gone further and endorsed Sharon's plan to annex large parts
of the West Bank, and has barely stopped short of endorsing Sharon's
overall plan which gives to the Palestinians merely 11 per cent of
the land of historic Palestine, exactly half of what they had as late
as 1967. In short, Israel has an absolute right to do as it wishes,
in violation of every clause of the Fourth Geneva Convention and
numerous U.N. resolutions.

Yasser Arafat died just as George W. Bush was getting re-elected for
a second term in office. As the Palestinian people lost the one man
who had symbolised their nationhood for 35 years, the Western media
were filled with virtual glee that there now was a chance for a
new leadership that would be acceptable to Israel as a negotiating
partner. And, indeed, Mahmoud Abbas (also known as Abu Mazen), who
has been in close touch with the Israelis for over a decade and is
known to be a notoriously corrupt man, soon emerged as the Fatah's
candidate for the presidency. The only man who could fight an
election against Abbas, Marwan Barghouti, is in an Israeli prison
serving a sentence amounting to five life-times. When Barghouti's
wife filed papers of his candidacy on his behalf, Israeli authorities
immediately said that he would not be acceptable as a Palestinian
President. As of now, it is unclear whether the contest shall be
allowed to take place. Israel may yet get a successor of Arafat with
whom it can make peace - on its own terms. Will such a peace endure?
Most unlikely. There shall then be yet another Intifada, just as the
resistance in Iraq shall continue regardless of any puppet regime
that might arise there.

Coordination between the U.S. and Israel is so close that it now
becomes impossible to distinguish between the two. Israelis have
trained the Kurdish peshmargas under U.S. tutelage, and their forces
are said to be active on Turkish territory adjoining Iran. Israelis
have even trained U.S. forces deployed in Iraq, teaching them the
techniques of urban warfare they have deployed in such operations
as in Jenin and Ramallah, and which the U.S. has followed in Falluja.
If the U.S. itself deployed modified Israeli tanks and bulldozers
in Iraqi towns, it has also given to Israel state-of-the-art deep-
penetration bombs, known as "bunker busters" for a possible Israeli
attack on Iran's nuclear installations. Indeed, both the U.S. and
Israel have threatened strikes against Iran, and a large number of
newspapers, from The Jerusalem Post to The Los Angeles Times, have
reported that both countries have carried out simulation exercises
in preparation for precisely such strikes.

Will there be such a strike, by one or both of them? It would be
foolish to predict one way or the other. Everyone knows that the U.S.
did not invade North Korea because it had nuclear weapons but invaded
Iraq because it did not. In context, one can believe that Iran
actually is trying to develop such a weapon. The U.S. is determined
to overthrow the current dispensation in Teheran, and the possibility
that Iran may succeed in breaking Israeli monopoly of nuclear power
in West Asia gives those designs a special urgency. But is it doable?
A full-scale invasion or prolonged war against Iran is impossible
because the U.S. is already over-committed next door, in Iraq,
while Iran has real armed forces and fairly advanced missiles with
a formidable range. Moreover, it seems to have made something of a
devil's pact with the U.S.: so long as Iran is left alone in peace
it will restrain its friends among the Shia clergy in Iraq. By the
same token, any strike against Iran shall bring forth an immediate
mass Shia uprising in Iraq, in addition to the Sunni one.

A prudent leader in Washington would keep the peace with Iran and
would also restrain Israel. Bush, however, did invade Iraq against
the advice of his own Chief of the Army Staff and without taking
into account the consequences. The same imprudence, combined with
the Israeli fear of a nuclear-armed Iran, may yet lead to targeted
strikes. News reports seem to suggest also that the U.S. is willing
to take another leaf out of the Israeli book, namely that of targeted
assassinations. In this scenario, strikes against selected targets
would be combined with operations to kill the key leaders and thus
create deliberate chaos in Teheran. That would amount to real madness,
since the war shall then spread not only to Iran but also, inevitably,
to Syria and Lebanon. But that too is part of the neo-conservatives'
prescription: a prolonged period of chaos, warfare and dismembering
of the present state structures in West Asia's Muslim countries,
followed by the break-up of every state into small, ethnically defined
enclaves, with Greater Israel dominating the whole.

Article nr. 8529 sent on 31-dec-2004 01:11 ECT

The address of this page is : www.uruknet.info?p=8529

The original address of this article is :
www.flonnet.com/fl2126/stories/20041231003402500.htm

* * *

Bargains and offers rejected by Saddam Hussein

Salah Almukhtar

December 30, 2004 - Has the moment to tell all now arrived? Perhaps
it has. We refused to talk about the characteristics of the leader
and legal President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, may God set him free,
when Satanic Safavid- Zionist waves were crashing against this
region; we feared lest we put ourselves in an unenviable position
on the defensive. But now that the Iraqi armed Revolution is
knocking on the doors of decisive victory, in the near future,
God willing, and now that America and the neo-Safavids are being
defeated and the pillars of satanization are under the blazing
light of the truth - a recent example being the exposure of the
lies about Halabjah and the "massacres" in the south of Iraq - the
time has come to tell all about past years. The time has come to
tell all about the offers made by the United States and the Zionists
to President Saddam Hussein in the hopes that they could resolve
some of their conflicts with the Iraqi people with big bribes. We
are moved to tell all this now, because most of the witnesses are
still alive and we wish to hear their testimony before the Arab
masses before they die, having hopefully lived long lives.

We have been encouraged to publish this account by what President
Saddam Hussein said during his meeting with the lawyer Khalil ad-
Dulaymi. Saddam Hussein said, "The Palestine issue is an issue
of all the Arabs. Whoever fritters it away is like somebody who
fritters away his honor and dignity. They made lots of attempts
with me. The sent me letters care of Arab and international leaders
and public personalities. They said, `All we want from you is one
word; we don't need an agreement now.' They wanted me to indicate
a willingness to recognize their so-called state `Israel'. But I
refused with all my power, in spite of the fact that they told me
that recognition of the Zionist entity would mean the end of the
embargo, and a return to normal relations with the United States.
But I understand that whoever fritters away the soil and territory
will fritter away everything: his honor and dignity. After that
there won't be any red lines for him. It is a deadly chain reaction.
It only needs some place to start and then the path of concessions
will just carry on with no end."

In light of that, it has become necessary to present some information
on the offers that were made on golden platters to the leader of the
armed Revolution, Saddam Hussein, offers that he rejected with dignity
and pride.

A letter sent by a priest.

A priest from the Vatican in 1994, as far as I remember, asked to
visit Iraq because he had a letter for President Saddam Hussein.
So he was invited, as the Iraqi leaders thought that he was
bringing a message from the Pope. But it was revealed after he
arrived in Baghdad that he was bringing a letter from the American
Administration, not from the Pope! When President Saddam Hussein
received him, he said: "I am bringing to your excellency a letter
from the American President that says that we are ready to end
the sanctions on Iraq and help Iraq solve its problems if it stops
opposing peace with 'Israel'. This does not mean that you have to
recognize 'Israel', only that you stop opposing and putting pressure
on those who want that."

Saddam Hussein looked with his piercing honey-colored eyes at him
for a moment and then said to him:

"If Saddam Hussein doe that, he wouldn't be Saddam Hussein any more.
His people wouldn't know him, nor would the Arabs." And he added in
a deep and powerful voice: "Tell whoever gave you this message that
the Iraqi people will overthrow me tomorrow if I accepted that."
And he closed the meeting with a famous _expression, "Tell them that
if we had to get our air from `Israel', we would want it cut off."

The priest left dejected and confused, saying "I think his excellency
the President for receiving me and listening to what I had to say."
And the President responded saying, "Yes, you should thank me for
listening to your offer." After the end of the meeting, the President
ordered that it be broadcast on television. The Iraqi people heard
their leader reject an offer to abandon Palestine in return for a
lifting of the sanctions from which they were suffering - sanctions
that were killing 250 to 300 Iraqis every day, according to UN
statistics, because of malnutrition, a shortage of medicine and the
use of depleted uranium.

A letter conveyed by King Hussein.

A personal envoy of the late King Hussein of Jordan arrived in
Baghdad in 1994 bringing a message for the President. The militant
leader Tariq Aziz, may God set him free, met him and asked him,
"why do you want to meet the President?" The Jordanian guest, who
was a personal friend of the President and of Abu Ziyad (Tariq
Aziz) responded, "the letter is very personal, and his highness
the King asked that it be given to the President in person! The
Jordanian envoy added, "besides, I'm a friend of the President and
I want to say, `hello.'" Aziz asked him, does the letter have to
do with trading the end of the sanctions for facilitating a peace
settlement with 'Israel' and recognition of it?" The Jordanian
emissary said, "yes, how did you know?" The Jordanian guest was
amazed that Tariq Aziz would know about this top secret mission.
Aziz replied, "I'm not the one who knew; it was the President
personally who expected it. He asked me to ask you about it and
told me to decline to allow you to meet him if this is what you
came for." And in fact, the Jordanian envoy did not meet President
Saddam Hussein.

Amin Jumayyil's intercession.

The third - but not the last - attempt to intercede came during the
visit of Mr. Amin Jumayyil, the former Lebanese President to Iraq
about a year before the invasion. He brought with him a letter from
George Bush the son, containing the same thing that the earlier two
letters conveyed by the priest and the Jordanian envoy had contained.
But the most important thing the Bush letter offered was this: "you
can remain in power, we will rescind the law calling for the overthrow
of your regime and we will lift the sanctions, on condition that you
come to terms with 'Israel' and recognize it and allow US companies to
invest in Iraq." President Saddam Hussein agreed to give US companies
contracts and allow them to invest in the area of rebuilding the
infrastructure of the country's oil industry that had been destroyed
by the Thirty-Nation Aggression in 1990-1991. But President Saddam
Hussein refused emphatically to recognize "Israel".

Jumayyil paid a second visit to Iraq two weeks before the US invasion
and brought with him the following threat from Bush to President
Saddam Hussein: "If you do not recognize `Israel', and apologize for
the assassination attempt on my father, I will annihilate you." To
which President Saddam Hussein responded: "Tell Bush we don't accept
threats from anyone."

An American Senator's intercession.

Before this last message, but after the end of the war with Iran
and the emergence of Iraq as the one great power in the region,
an American senator visited Iraq. He suddenly opened his talk with
the President by saying, "the Prime Minister of 'Israel' has asked
me to convey a message saying, 'reduce your armament, recognize us,
and we guarantee that you will be able to take all the Gulf states.'"
Just as that senator's words came as a surprise for the President,
so President Saddam Hussein surprised the senator when he said,
"What would I do with the Gulf states and why should I take them?"
And he ended the meeting early, his face showing that he was greatly
irritated.

Things with great symbolic significance.

After reading these accounts, one finds oneself faced with on key
question: "what does President Saddam Hussein's rejection of all
these American and `Israeli' offers mean?" It means precisely
that the Iraq of Saddam Hussein rejected all bargaining over the
Palestine issue, even in return for the lifting of the sanctions
and obtaining financial, technological, and political support for
Iraq. Saddam Hussein demonstrated that he was a man of principle,
not someone after power or personal advantage, even though he
understood fully and completely the danger that his rejection of
those offers carried with it. He behaved like an Iraqi, Arab, and
Islamic leader - one responsible before God and the Arab Nation
for his actions - should behave.

If he had believed that submission is what politics is all about, and
that currying favor is the job of rulers, Saddam Hussein could have
become the "king of the Arabs and Persians", if only he had said
"yes" to "Israel", if only he had agreed to be treated like the tail
and not the head, as he said to the lawyer Khalil ad-Dulaymi. Whoever
looks at the biography of Saddam - and allow me to drop his last
name, because he doesn't need it, now that he has become the imam
of the mujahideen, which is a greater glory than any political post
however exalted - whoever looks at the biography of Saddam knows
right away that he is reading the account of a contemporary version
of the Companions of the Prophet. A splendid person who has left
the world and all that's in it, determined to sacrifice whatever
it takes - even his sons and his little family - for the sake
of his greater family, the great Arab Homeland, and the glorious
Islamic World Community. He has been, and he remains a symbol of
honor, patriotism, faithfulness to Arab Nationalism, and commitment
to Islam. All that is embodied for him in one word: Palestine.

. . .

2) The PNAC agenda:

This War on Terrorism is Bogus

The 9/11 attacks gave the US an ideal pretext to use force to secure
its global domination

Michael Meacher
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Saturday September 6, 2003
The Guardian

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,9115,1036688,00.html

Michael Meacher MP was environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003

Massive attention has now been given - and rightly so - to the reasons
why Britain went to war against Iraq. But far too little attention has
focused on why the US went to war, and that throws light on British
motives too.

The conventional explanation is that after the Twin Towers were hit,
retaliation against al-Qaida bases in Afghanistan was a natural first
step in launching a global war against terrorism. Then, because Saddam
Hussein was alleged by the US and UK governments to retain weapons of
mass destruction, the war could be extended to Iraq as well. However
this theory does not fit all the facts. The truth may be a great deal
murkier.

We now know that a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax
Americana was drawn up for Dick Cheney (now vice-president), Donald
Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb
Bush (George Bush's younger brother) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief
of staff). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defences, was
written in September 2000 by the neoconservative think tank, Project
for the New American Century (PNAC).

The plan shows Bush's cabinet intended to take military control of the
Gulf region whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power. It says "while
the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate
justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in
the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein."

The PNAC blueprint supports an earlier document attributed to
Wolfowitz and Libby which said the US must "discourage advanced
industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to
a larger regional or global role". It refers to key allies such as the
UK as "the most effective and efficient means of exercising American
global leadership". It describes peacekeeping missions as "demanding
American political leadership rather than that of the UN". It says
"even should Saddam pass from the scene", US bases in Saudi Arabia and
Kuwait will remain permanently... as "Iran may well prove as large a
threat to US interests as Iraq has". It spotlights China for "regime
change", saying "it is time to increase the presence of American
forces in SE Asia".

The document also calls for the creation of "US space forces" to
dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent
"enemies" using the internet against the US. It also hints that the US
may consider developing biological weapons "that can target specific
genotypes [and] may transform biological warfare from the realm of
terror to a politically useful tool".

Finally - written a year before 9/11 - it pinpoints North Korea, Syria
and Iran as dangerous regimes, and says their existence justifies the
creation of a "worldwide command and control system". This is a
blueprint for US world domination. But before it is dismissed as an
agenda for rightwing fantasists, it is clear it provides a much better
explanation of what actually happened before, during and after 9/11
than the global war on terrorism thesis. This can be seen in several
ways.

First, it is clear the US authorities did little or nothing to
pre-empt the events of 9/11. It is known that at least 11 countries
provided advance warning to the US of the 9/11 attacks. Two senior
Mossad experts were sent to Washington in August 2001 to alert the CIA
and FBI to a cell of 200 terrorists said to be preparing a big
operation (Daily Telegraph, September 16 2001). The list they provided
included the names of four of the 9/11 hijackers, none of whom was
arrested.

It had been known as early as 1996 that there were plans to hit
Washington targets with aeroplanes. Then in 1999 a US national
intelligence council report noted that "al-Qaida suicide bombers could
crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives into the Pentagon,
the headquarters of the CIA, or the White House".

Fifteen of the 9/11 hijackers obtained their visas in Saudi Arabia.
Michael Springman, the former head of the American visa bureau in
Jeddah, has stated that since 1987 the CIA had been illicitly issuing
visas to unqualified applicants from the Middle East and bringing them
to the US for training in terrorism for the Afghan war in
collaboration with Bin Laden (BBC, November 6 2001). It seems this
operation continued after the Afghan war for other purposes. It is
also reported that five of the hijackers received training at secure
US military installations in the 1990s (Newsweek, September 15 2001).

Instructive leads prior to 9/11 were not followed up. French Moroccan
flight student Zacarias Moussaoui (now thought to be the 20th
hijacker) was arrested in August 2001 after an instructor reported he
showed a suspicious interest in learning how to steer large
airliners. When US agents learned from French intelligence he had
radical Islamist ties, they sought a warrant to search his computer,
which contained clues to the September 11 mission (Times, November 3
2001). But they were turned down by the FBI. One agent wrote, a month
before 9/11, that Moussaoui might be planning to crash into the Twin
Towers (Newsweek, May 20 2002).

All of this makes it all the more astonishing - on the war on
terrorism perspective - that there was such slow reaction on September
11 itself. The first hijacking was suspected at not later than
8.20am, and the last hijacked aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania at
10.06am. Not a single fighter plane was scrambled to investigate from
the US Andrews airforce base, just 10 miles from Washington DC, until
after the third plane had hit the Pentagon at 9.38 am. Why not? There
were standard FAA intercept procedures for hijacked aircraft before
9/11. Between September 2000 and June 2001 the US military launched
fighter aircraft on 67 occasions to chase suspicious aircraft (AP,
August 13 2002). It is a US legal requirement that once an aircraft
has moved significantly off its flight plan, fighter planes are sent
up to investigate.

Was this inaction simply the result of key people disregarding, or
being ignorant of, the evidence? Or could US air security operations
have been deliberately stood down on September 11? If so, why, and on
whose authority? The former US federal crimes prosecutor, John Loftus,
has said: "The information provided by European intelligence services
prior to 9/11 was so extensive that it is no longer possible for
either the CIA or FBI to assert a defence of incompetence."

Nor is the US response after 9/11 any better. No serious attempt has
ever been made to catch Bin Laden. In late September and early October
2001, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamist parties negotiated Bin
Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for 9/11. However, a US
official said, significantly, that "casting our objectives too
narrowly" risked "a premature collapse of the international effort if
by some lucky chance Mr Bin Laden was captured". The US chairman of
the joint chiefs of staff, General Myers, went so far as to say that
"the goal has never been to get Bin Laden" (AP, April 5 2002). The
whistleblowing FBI agent Robert Wright told ABC News (December 19
2002) that FBI headquarters wanted no arrests. And in November 2001
the US airforce complained it had had al-Qaida and Taliban leaders in
its sights as many as 10 times over the previous six weeks, but had
been unable to attack because they did not receive permission quickly
enough (Time Magazine, May 13 2002). None of this assembled evidence,
all of which comes from sources already in the public domain, is
compatible with the idea of a real, determined war on terrorism.

The catalogue of evidence does, however, fall into place when set
against the PNAC blueprint. From this it seems that the so-called "war
on terrorism" is being used largely as bogus cover for achieving wider
US strategic geopolitical objectives. Indeed Tony Blair himself hinted
at this when he said to the Commons liaison committee: "To be truthful
about it, there was no way we could have got the public consent to
have suddenly launched a campaign on Afghanistan but for what happened
on September 11" (Times, July 17 2002). Similarly Rumsfeld was so
determined to obtain a rationale for an attack on Iraq that on 10
separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to
9/11; the CIA repeatedly came back empty-handed (Time Magazine, May 13
2002).

In fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC
plan into action. The evidence again is quite clear that plans for
military action against Afghanistan and Iraq were in hand well before
9/11. A report prepared for the US government from the Baker Institute
of Public Policy stated in April 2001 that "the US remains a prisoner
of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a destabilising influence
to... the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle
East". Submitted to Vice-President Cheney's energy task group, the
report recommended that because this was an unacceptable risk to the
US, "military intervention" was necessary (Sunday Herald, October 6
2002).

Similar evidence exists in regard to Afghanistan. The BBC reported
(September 18 2001) that Niaz Niak, a former Pakistan foreign
secretary, was told by senior American officials at a meeting in
Berlin in mid-July 2001 that "military action against Afghanistan
would go ahead by the middle of October". Until July 2001 the US
government saw the Taliban regime as a source of stability in Central
Asia that would enable the construction of hydrocarbon pipelines from
the oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan,
through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. But, confronted
with the Taliban's refusal to accept US conditions, the US
representatives told them "either you accept our offer of a carpet of
gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs" (Inter Press Service,
November 15 2001).

Given this background, it is not surprising that some have seen the US
failure to avert the 9/11 attacks as creating an invaluable pretext
for attacking Afghanistan in a war that had clearly already been well
planned in advance. There is a possible precedent for this. The US
national archives reveal that President Roosevelt used exactly this
approach in relation to Pearl Harbor on December 7 1941. Some advance
warning of the attacks was received, but the information never reached
the US fleet. The ensuing national outrage persuaded a reluctant US
public to join the second world war. Similarly the PNAC blueprint of
September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into
"tomorrow's dominant force" is likely to be a long one in the absence
of "some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl
Harbor". The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the "go" button for
a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda which it would otherwise
have been politically impossible to implement.

The overriding motivation for this political smokescreen is that the
US and the UK are beginning to run out of secure hydrocarbon energy
supplies. By 2010 the Muslim world will control as much as 60% of the
world's oil production and, even more importantly, 95% of remaining
global oil export capacity. As demand is increasing, so supply is
decreasing, continually since the 1960s.

This is leading to increasing dependence on foreign oil supplies for
both the US and the UK. The US, which in 1990 produced domestically
57% of its total energy demand, is predicted to produce only 39% of
its needs by 2010. A DTI minister has admitted that the UK could be
facing "severe" gas shortages by 2005. The UK government has confirmed
that 70% of our electricity will come from gas by 2020, and 90% of
that will be imported. In that context it should be noted that Iraq
has 110 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves in addition to its oil.

A report from the commission on America's national interests in July
2000 noted that the most promising new source of world supplies was
the Caspian region, and this would relieve US dependence on Saudi
Arabia. To diversify supply routes from the Caspian, one pipeline
would run westward via Azerbaijan and Georgia to the Turkish port of
Ceyhan. Another would extend eastwards through Afghanistan and
Pakistan and terminate near the Indian border. This would rescue
Enron's beleaguered power plant at Dabhol on India's west coast, in
which Enron had sunk $3bn investment and whose economic survival was
dependent on access to cheap gas.

Nor has the UK been disinterested in this scramble for the remaining
world supplies of hydrocarbons, and this may partly explain British
participation in US military actions. Lord Browne, chief executive of
BP, warned Washington not to carve up Iraq for its own oil companies
in the aftermath of war (Guardian, October 30 2002). And when a
British foreign minister met Gadaffi in his desert tent in August
2002, it was said that "the UK does not want to lose out to other
European nations already jostling for advantage when it comes to
potentially lucrative oil contracts" with Libya (BBC Online, August 10
2002).

The conclusion of all this analysis must surely be that the "global
war on terrorism" has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to
hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies
required to drive the whole project. Is collusion in this myth and
junior participation in this project really a proper aspiration for
British foreign policy? If there was ever need to justify a more
objective British stance, driven by our own independent goals, this
whole depressing saga surely provides all the evidence needed for a
radical change of course.

Michael Meacher MP was environment minister from May 1997 to June 2003

3) For plundering of Iraqi national resources, please see Naomi Klein's
various articles, for example:

http://harpers.org/BaghdadYearZero.html
Post by Herb Martin
At the rate we are going, we may do in a few years what Saddam did in
20. We just need the Iraqis to hold still. Most of his crimes were
committed with tacit consent from the US--After the first Gulf War we
stood back and watched him slaughter Shiites in the North and South.
His war with Iran was with our encouragement. He may have needed
removing but so do a lot of petty dictators. Saddam's real problem was
that it was no longer convenient for the US to back him
Herb Martin
2005-01-03 10:39:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by lo yeeOn
Post by Herb Martin
Post by lo yeeOn
``in breach of his requirements to COOPERATE with the inspectors''
as the diehards continue to claim.
No, another of your denials of reality since UN Security
Council Resolution 1441, the controlling and binding
resolution, found him unanimously in breach.
War is destruction on a massive scale! War is killing people! So you
believe that technicality is good enough to kill and destroy mass of
people?
You supporters of Sodamn Insane are so disgusting.

So when you lose an argument you claim a technicality.

How intellectually dishonest of you.

(And there is no point in falsely claiming you don't support
Sodamn when you try to get him off on a technicality
argument.)

And of course, Sodamn was far worse, killed far more
and he FOCUSED on the innocents as we discussed above.

Thanks for playing.
Rifty
2005-01-04 12:50:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herb Martin
You supporters of Sodamn Insane are so disgusting.
I have never seen *anyone* support SH in this newsgroup. Not one, ever.
What I have seen is people trying to argue for consistency in
international standards, which people like you ignore totally and
wrongly claim is support for SH. This is a non sequitur on your part.
Post by Herb Martin
So when you lose an argument you claim a technicality.
You lose an argument when you argue against consistency in international
standards. Answer the latest question posed by Dean T concerning Israel!
Post by Herb Martin
How intellectually dishonest of you.
I think the intellectual dishonesty is clearly with you right now. You
are supporting violation of international norms by one side and
insisting on them for others.
Post by Herb Martin
Thanks for playing.
Sounds suspiciously like the local spoilt brat taking his bat and ball
and going home when he can't get his own way...

Rifty
--
Academic and Computing Help
http://rifty.net
Herb Martin
2005-01-04 13:46:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rifty
Post by Herb Martin
You supporters of Sodamn Insane are so disgusting.
I have never seen *anyone* support SH in this newsgroup. Not one, ever.
What I have seen is people trying to argue for consistency in
international standards, which people like you ignore totally and
wrongly claim is support for SH. This is a non sequitur on your part.
Sure you have since you are reading this
thread and it started out defending Sodamn
by claiming that there was a deception but
as you decontruct such "deceptions" you
the real deceivers are force to admit that
Sodamn was in breech -- even if they then
try to claim it was 'merely a technicality.'

There were as many a a dozen separate and
sufficient reasons for removing Sodamn
and now he is gone -- those arguing against
his removal are obviously arguing for his
return.

You should probably realize that arguing
for the return of Sodamn (or against his
removal) is support of Sodamn and is quite
disgusting.
Rifty
2005-01-05 12:03:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herb Martin
Post by Rifty
Post by Herb Martin
You supporters of Sodamn Insane are so disgusting.
I have never seen *anyone* support SH in this newsgroup. Not one, ever.
What I have seen is people trying to argue for consistency in
international standards, which people like you ignore totally and
wrongly claim is support for SH. This is a non sequitur on your part.
Sure you have since you are reading this
thread and it started out defending Sodamn
by claiming that there was a deception but
as you decontruct such "deceptions" you
the real deceivers are force to admit that
Sodamn was in breech -- even if they then
try to claim it was 'merely a technicality.'
To my knowledge no-one ever defended Saddam in this group. If I said
that Germany was more productive under Hitler in the 30s than in the
decade before, am I supporting him? No, I am simply stating a fact. The
same goes for comments about Saddam - they are simply statements of
fact, not of endorsement.

Of course Saddam was in breach. So were the Iraelis and several others.
Why no similar action against them? That is what is being asked and you
don't have the guts or the wit to reply. When one country is singled out
on one pretext when there are similar serious breaches by others, the
question must be asked about the hidden agenda. You cannot surely be so
naive as to believe there wasn't one. So you choose to ignore it. That's
the true and worst deception - you deceive yourself.
Post by Herb Martin
There were as many a a dozen separate and
sufficient reasons for removing Sodamn
and now he is gone -- those arguing against
his removal are obviously arguing for his
return.
That is sheer stupidity. They were arguing against the violation of
international law which has now caused the deaths of hundreds of
thousands of innocent people and has enmeshed the US in the worst and
bloodiest conflict it is likely to encounter - not because of Saddam,
who the US *supported* before, remember? KNOWING what a butcher he was!
- over control of natural resources in that country. The whole Saddam
thing is just a front. Sure, Bush wanted to get the guy who threatened
his daddy, but the Neocons had their own agenda, and this agenda is now
being played out in Iraq. Your naivity is staggering.
Post by Herb Martin
You should probably realize that arguing
for the return of Sodamn (or against his
removal) is support of Sodamn and is quite
disgusting.
I imagine that those arguing for the return of Saddam - whoever they are
- are comparing their lives before the US invasion with their lives
afterwards - and counting their dead who they believe absolutely are
dead *because of* the US invasion - and they will never forgive you for
that. Worse still, they will seek revenge on a scale you have not even
begin to grasp.

You lot let the demons out of Pandora's Box. You stopped one of them,
but you released a million in doing so. Dolts. You won't learn what
history tells you.

Rifty
--
Academic and Computing Help
http://rifty.net
Herb Martin
2005-01-05 14:04:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rifty
To my knowledge no-one ever defended Saddam in this group. If I said
that Germany was more productive under Hitler in the 30s than in the
decade before, am I supporting him? No, I am simply stating a fact. The
same goes for comments about Saddam - they are simply statements of
fact, not of endorsement.
Of course Saddam was in breach. So were the Iraelis and several others.
And that justified the war right there.

The rest of your prattle is just more
attempts to defend Sodamn.
Enzo Michelangeli
2005-01-05 15:03:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herb Martin
Post by Rifty
To my knowledge no-one ever defended Saddam in this group. If I said
that Germany was more productive under Hitler in the 30s than in the
decade before, am I supporting him? No, I am simply stating a fact.
The same goes for comments about Saddam - they are simply statements
of fact, not of endorsement.
Of course Saddam was in breach. So were the Iraelis and several others.
And that justified the war right there.
You mean the wars against Iraq, Israel and several other countries? I must
have missed all of them but the first...

Enzo
The Ghost of Howards Past
2005-01-06 02:47:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Enzo Michelangeli
You mean the wars against Iraq, Israel and several other countries? I must
have missed all of them but the first...
Enzo
Well "enzo" when and if Israel invades one of their neighbors and begins
murdering the people and shipping their goods back home you might have a
point. :)
--
"Muslims can't all be bad people, it's just a few billion bad
apples spoiling the bunch."
Enzo Michelangeli
2005-01-06 03:05:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Ghost of Howards Past
Post by Enzo Michelangeli
You mean the wars against Iraq, Israel and several other countries?
I must have missed all of them but the first...
Enzo
Well "enzo" when and if Israel invades one of their neighbors and begins
murdering the people and shipping their goods back home you might have a
point. :)
Aren't Gaza and the West Bank territory of neighbouring countries?

Besides, the invasion of Kuwait was the rationale for Gulf War I, not II.
And the failed attempt by Iraq of invading another neighbour, Iran, was
actually encouraged and funded by the US:
http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

Enzo
Rifty
2005-01-09 11:00:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Enzo Michelangeli
Besides, the invasion of Kuwait was the rationale for Gulf War I, not II.
And the failed attempt by Iraq of invading another neighbour, Iran, was
http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/
You're wasting time, Enzo. He only takes in what he wants to see.

Rifty
--
Academic and Computing Help
http://rifty.net
The Ghost of Howards Past
2005-01-06 02:39:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Herb Martin
And that justified the war right there.
The rest of your prattle is just more
attempts to defend Sodamn.
Exactly, the best part is his pseudo intellectual attempts to manipulate a
language he hardly speaks. :)

All the applause he gets from the idiots in the coffee houses he frequents
made him think he really had a point. ;)
--
"Muslims can't all be bad people, it's just a few billion bad
apples spoiling the bunch."
Rifty
2005-01-09 11:00:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Ghost of Howards Past
Post by Herb Martin
And that justified the war right there.
The rest of your prattle is just more
attempts to defend Sodamn.
Exactly, the best part is his pseudo intellectual attempts to manipulate a
language he hardly speaks. :)
Which is another way of saying that you and he refuse to answer the
question because it turns your position into arrant nonsense.
Post by The Ghost of Howards Past
All the applause he gets from the idiots in the coffee houses he frequents
made him think he really had a point. ;)
You must be confusing me with someone you'd like to be - if you had the
guts to know and admit when you are wrong.

Rifty
--
Academic and Computing Help
http://rifty.net
The Ghost of Howards Past
2005-01-06 02:37:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rifty
To my knowledge no-one ever defended Saddam in this group. If I said
that Germany was more productive under Hitler in the 30s than in the
decade before, am I supporting him? No, I am simply stating a fact.
From your chosen statement of "fact" one could reasonably infer that you
identify with Hitler's methods to increase production and therefore in some
way identify with Hitler. :)
--
"Muslims can't all be bad people, it's just a few billion bad
apples spoiling the bunch."
Rifty
2005-01-09 11:00:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by The Ghost of Howards Past
From your chosen statement of "fact" one could reasonably infer that you
identify with Hitler's methods to increase production and therefore in some
way identify with Hitler. :)
You have to be joking. The economic statistics from both the German and
non-German sources are clear on this point. Does that mean the British,
French and the Americans also 'identified' with Hitler?

Oh yes. I see your :)

You were joking! :) Whew! The only alternative to your comment's being
a joke was that you were a loony!

Rifty
--
Academic and Computing Help
http://rifty.net
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