Topic: Gulf War II|
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Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 07:44 PM
This "Getting it Write" is excerpted from a radio interview Gulf War vet Andrew McGuffin.
RadioFree Berkley 2002
My name is Andrew McGuffin and I was in the Marine Corps during the Gulf War. I joined in 1990 and deployed with 2nd Battalion 7th Marines in August of '90 to the Persian Gulf. I guess at that time being a young man of 21 years I had a different set of beliefs that I was operating under. I bought the hype of what my recruiter was telling me and what the government was telling me about why we were there and all these good ideas about how we had to get rid of this tyrant who used chemical-biological weapons against Iran and against the Kurds. I thought we really were there to restore democracy to Kuwait and that was the farthest thing from the truth. There is no democracy in Kuwait. There was no democracy in Kuwait and what we did essentially was go in there to further the interests of multinational corporations. What I saw there was not what my friends and neighbors saw on CNN but rather a genocide. It's hard to describe precisely what that is in any way that would make one understand. Certainly the talk, the euphemisms that we use, the collateral damage, the surgical attack, were anything but. There was wholesale burning, we used weapons like Foo-gas to light the so-called enemy on fire. We used conventional weapons, B-52's which are certainly a weapon of mass destruction, we used napalm and DPICM an explosive round which cracks like popcorn on the ground. People who wanted to surrender were killed sometimes so we wouldn't be slowed up in our attack into Kuwait City. It was just wholesale slaughter and I participated in that, much to my regret.
There comes a time when one realizes what war is and certainly the rhetoric coming out of DC is just a further insult to gunboat diplomacy and the dollar diplomacy we've had in this country since the inception of our country a couple hundred years ago. It's a sad thing, but the thing that sticks in my mind today about the protest [He participated in that day. -- Ed.] was that there was a united front of many different people and organizations there and that we marched together and that across the nation in 42 other cities there were people out and about saying that they did not believe the bombing was an appropriate action. That we have no right to drop bombs on people to try and convince them not to be violent, it's hypocritical, the foreign policy is short-sited and it's wrong and there is no way to morally justify it. Madeleine Albright has tried to justify it, but once you see the bombs coming down and once you know the harm that that's inflicting upon people, whether they are men, women or children, it's morally reprehensible. I guess I was really excited to be out there today on the other side of the issue. The last time, I was telling my friend, I was on CNN, a couple of years ago, I was on there attacking an airfield called al-Jumuhuriya outside of Kuwait City, and we were on CNN. And I am proud that recently I was on CNN again taking part in the protest today on the other side of the issue. It really does my heart good and helps me to heal a lot to know that I am on the right side this time instead of the side of violence and cynicism and fighting for interests which aren't our own. I don't think any of the interests that we're fighting for over there are the interests of the people in this country or the people of Iraq. It's just there is no way to justify it.
It is hard to talk about my combat experience because it is really heart breaking stuff. It not only broke my heart but it broke my spirit to see what we were doing and to participate in that. The survival skills I turned on... I was saying at the protest that it is a scarlet letter that I carry on my chest, probably for the rest of my days, but the methods that I used to cope with the things I was doing were racism and dehumanization. Calling Arabs sand-niggers or ragheads or all these reprehensible terms that we use to dehumanize people, that we use to make them look like they are not human. Like we are not actually killing human beings. But when you are face-to-face with people who have been bombed incessantly day after day, morning noon and night for a month. And then these people are so desperate to surrender that they walk across mine fields to come to you and some of them are blown to bits by their own mines, by their own people so that they can not fight anymore. It is absolutely heart wrenching. Some of our commanders, even when people wanted to surrender, so that we wouldn't be slowed up, they would go ahead and drop artillery rounds on them. There were a lot, a lot of burnt people there, that is what sticks out most in my mind is the burnt bodies, and the smell of burning people, and the fires from the oil wells hundreds of feet in the air. When my unit Task Force Grizzly, 2nd Bat, 7th Marines went into Kuwait February 21st of 1991 I was mortified, I didn't think that I would come back alive. In fact we were expecting 70 or 80% casualties. So we were in Kuwait prior to the ground war actually starting to breech mine fields a number of obstacle belts of mine fields and fire trenches and concertinine barbed wire and so-on and so-forth with enemy on the other side. People just like me who were sent there by their government and didn't really know what they were there for and we killed those people with FA-18's and F-15 fighters, we killed them with artillery rounds, we killed them with Foo-gas, with napalm with AD-10's, with just about every weapon that we have at our disposal. And the United States has a multitude, a plethora of weapons to use against people. As I was saying before these are not surgical weapons. When you see people burning like on the Highway of Death [The Road to Basra. -- Ed.] just miles and miles of a traffic jam of smoldering cars and people in and out of those cars on the ground burning, cooking, and that smell and those visions just completely assault you and change the way that you live for the rest of your life.
It's tragic, it's really tragic. It is something that sticks with me to this day and horrifies me, it horrifies me. And I hope that for the rest of my life I will be devoted to furthering the cause of peace so that these things will not continue to happen. To try and also make up for the wrong that I have done, to make up for the damage that I have done against human beings, POW's, or what they called EPW's, that was the new euphemism at the time, enemy prisoners of war. And we take these people and we were brutal with them. We captured them, we beat them, they were Muslim and nonetheless we fed them pork meals, we had no respect for them and it was just really, really heart breaking. It was heart breaking to see them killed by automatic weapons fire, by our automatic weapons fire, people in my unit. Seeing men I had known for six months intimately mutilating bodies or doing other things. And these are things that go on in every war. It is not isolated to the Balkans or to the Vietnam War or any other war. Every war these things go on and we need to stand up and say enough is enough.
Jeff Paterson [1st Gulf War GI Resister -- Ed.] and I got a real laugh out of how I used to feel about the GI resisters. At the time I felt a lot of hatred towards people like Jeff. And I thought well you know you are a big wuss, and you signed on the line, and you knew what you were getting into, this is the Marine Corps for god-sakes, didn't you expect that if you signed up that there might be a war and you might have to go to it? And I was very angry at people like him, and I thought they were cowardly and it's funny how I look back on that now and I think Jeff had a lot more courage than I did actually, to sit down and say 'I am not going to take part in this.' Because the ridicule and peer pressure against people in the military who decide not to fight is immense and many people decide they are going to fight out of fear rather than out of bravery. During the Vietnam War, I was reading a book called The Things They Carried and the guy who wrote that book [Tim O'Brien -- Ed.] talked about how he didn't go to Canada out of fear because he was a coward. And he had a moment when he had an epiphany and thought he would go to Canada. But in the end he turned back because he was afraid of what his people would think. He was afraid that his community and his family would reject him. And I had a friend, we were in Saudi Arabia, on August 25 it was my birthday, he shot himself that day so that he wouldn't have to go on fighting. And it saddens me that there is not enough support in this country to say to those military men and women who don't want to continue on, who don't want to fight wars that are unjust, wars that hurt innocent people, there's no support to encourage them to not do that. Like I said, Jeff and I were having a couple of laughs today about the old ideas that I had and how I thought that he was a big wuss. And I saw a picture of Jeff sitting on that airstrip with his gunnery sergeant pulling on his web gear, his field gear, and these other marines yelling at him and trying to get him to go on the plane. And he was sitting there resolutely and I was really proud. I was proud that he did that. It really touched me. And I hope that there's Marines and airmen and airwomen and sailors and soldiers out there today who will not participate in imperialistic war. More war which leads to nowhere except to dollars in the big white male leaders' pockets. These aren't wars which are in any way related to the interests of the American people.
67 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 08:25 PM
G.W. Bush compared to Hitler
Bush wants to divert attention from his domestic problems. It's a classic tactic. It's one that Hitler used.
First of all, to say that Bush has domestic problems is to again deny reality. The current recession began when Clinton was still in office due directly to Clinton policies, such as going after major corporations like Microsoft, and the highest tax increases in US history. Bush has decreased taxes. Are you now going to make the argument that a decrease in taxation, has a negative effect on the economy? What about congressional spending? Your arguments are surface, juvenile and completely baseless at best. And they completely ignore the fact that this war is against a mad man who will soon have an atomic weapon and the ability to deliver it in your back yard. This is NOT Monica’s war. Again, delusion and complete ignorance typical of liberals. And to compare Bush to Hitler puts you in the anti-American idiot class. I refuse to talk to idiots...(That's why I've been refraining from responding to A/T) You do not deserve the right to call yourself an American.
It is incredibly refreshing that we now have a president who wants to insure that the United States is the world's dominant power,
Substitute laughing stock or the world's newest third world country for dominant power and ya might have something there.
Duh…..is there any factual basis for this comment, except pure petty demagoguery and absolute ignorance? NO.
who is not selling ICBM technology to China and renting out the Lincoln bedroom and who is strengthening the military rather than weakening it.
RE :I suppose it's better that President Bush invites Putin and that Saudi Prince to his Texas barbeques.
You’re damn right. It’s the presidents’ job to establish a dialogue and defuse hot situations should they occur. I can’t think of a better way to do this than to sit down with the leaders of other countries in your own home and show them that you are a human being just like they are. This may go further towards US goals than any cold diplomatic process could.....Then when we get done with Iraq, with Saudi and Russian help...we can then claim our oil in Saudi Arabi and run those oppressive bastards out of power as well.
To say this compares with Clinton who knowingly sold China ICBM technology that puts millions of US lives at risk and begins a new cold war…is utterly idiotic.
Oh yes China does have long range ICBM technology now... And hypothetically, they could launch one in the opposite direction and catch us completely off guard. Don't forget that they also have control of the Panama canal now thanks to someone.
They have the Panama canal now thanks to a moronic agreement made by Carter in 1977...and the Chinese have taken it over with the help of Clinton negligence and incompetence, and pure lack of concern for American security and America lives. Clinton's bigger concern at the time was getting a BJ from ML.
[Edited 3 times, lastly by Yodabreath on 09-21-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 08:56 PM
"...Then when we get done with Iraq, with Saudi and Russian help...we can then claim our oil in Saudi Arabi and run those oppressive bastards out of power as well."
Now you are dreaming.Then when will it stop? Who will be the next bogey man? Kim Johg Ill,
Haffez assad? Lybia, Peru...., US?
Theres no way this can last. Evil empires have all one thing in common..they all FAILED...they all collapsed...they destroyed themselves.You can label me as you will but I served time in the militry and have a nice DD214 to show for, how about you?Questioning our government is our patriotic duty..NOT giving blind loyalty and a blank check to go to war for George W. Bush.
In case you haven't noticed...the U.S. is slowly becoming a third world type country. Real wages for most people(the majority) has been steadilly declining over the last thirty years while CEO salaries have increased 230 to 1 over their workers, whose wages have not kept up with inflation.Spiderwebs of corruption are all around big buisness and we owe that to BOTH Clinton and Bush,who allow huge $ubsidies to them and bailouts while gutting education, housing..ad nauseum,who also don't give two rats spit about you by the way.Bush has no desire to fix the mess we are in...he's making it worse.
See,....Again you resort to namecalling and childish rhetoric to try and get your point across.That isn't rational.
If you don't want to talk, don't let the door hit you on the fanny on the way out.
[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 09-21-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 09:12 PM
BUSH FUNDING OSAMA BIN LADIN?
THE GW BUSH--OSAMA BIN LADIN CONNECTION
James R. Bath, friend and neighbor of George W. Bush, was used as a cash funnel from Osama bin Laden's rich father, Sheikh bin Laden, to set George W. Bush up in business, according to reputable sources from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. The connection between GW Bush, the bin Laden family, and the Bank Commerce Credit International (BCCI) is well documented. The excerpts from the books and news articles are supplemented by the links at the bottom of the page to the cash flow charts of the bin Laden-backed BCCI money which was funneled into the Bush family in return for favors. Just click on the links at the bottom of the page to see the flow charts and use the back and forward keys on the screen to return to this page where you can then access the next flow chart link. *******************************************************************
"Bath-- who made his fortune by investing money for Mahfouz and another BCCI-connected Saudi, Sheikh bin-Laden-- ...was an original investor in George Bush Jr.'s oil exploration company..." from The Outlaw Bank, page 229. ********************************************************************
"Bath provided financing to George W. Bush, the future president's eldest son, when he went into the oil business..." from False Profits, page 365. ********************************************************************
"Bath told me he was in the CIA...he had been recruited by George Bush himself 1n 1976 when Bush was director of the agency...Bath and George, Jr. were pals and flew together in the same Air National Guard unit, and Bath lived down the street from the Bush family when George, Sr. was living in Houston...he became representative for Sheikh Khalid bin-Mafouz... one of the richest men in the world, and he was a controlling shareholder in... BCCI ..." from The Outlaw Bank, page 228. *******************************************************************
"BCCI was charged with laundering drug money..." from False Profits, page 433. *******************************************************************
"During George Bush's tenure as CIA director, the agency was allegedly involved in a very curious business deal with James R. Bath, a Texas businessman who is a friend and sometime financial backer of one of Bush's sons (George Bush, Jr.). Bath was also a business associate of Khalid bin Mafouze and an important BCCI insider." from http://www.freerepublic.com/forum.a1000396.htm *********************************************************************
DIAGRAM OF BIN LADEN MONEY SENT TO GW BUSH THROUGH JAMES R. BATH
"...BCCI would make payments to key officials, sometimes in suitcases filled with cash. As BCCI officer Abdur Askhia stated in interviews tithe Subcommittee staff: Abedi's philosophy was to appeal to every sector. President Carter's main thing was charity, so he gave Carter charity. Pakistani President Zia's brother in law needed a job, he got a job. Bangladeshi president Ashraf's mistress needed a job, she got a job. Admission of your son to a top college, he would arrange it somehow. There was a world wide list of people who were in the payoff of BCCI...". from United States Senate Subcommittee Report on Bank Credit Commerce International, 1992--the Kerry Committee. *********************************************************************
Osama bin Laden, whose funds were inherited from his father, Sheikh bin Laden's BCCI investments, has been operating out of Afghanistan since he was established as a conduit for CIA funds in the 1980's. "Afghanistan was by far the biggest; it was, in fact, the biggest CIA operationof all time, both in terms of dollars spent ($5-$6 billion) and personnel involved..."from the book The CIA's Greatest Hits. ********************************************************************
The story of the Bush involvement in the BCCI scandal involved "trails that branched, crossed one another, or came to unexpected dead ends...". It was like a "three dimensional chess game." from The Outlaw Bank, page 227. *********************************************************************
The BCCI bribery connection went straight to the George Bush oval office. The White House political director, a man whom the Senate noted sat in on presidential meetings, named Ed Rogers, was hired away from the Chief of Staff's Office to represent the BCCI's American representative, Sheik Adham. *********************************************************************
"Q-Mr. President, considering your concern about propriety in government, what was your reaction when a senior member of your White House staff, Ed Rogers, left the White House employ and signed a contract with a Saudi sheikh accused of being a key figure in the BCCI scandal?
The President-Well, he is a free citizen to do anything he wants once he leaves the White House. My concern is about the White House itself, that it be beyond any perception of impropriety.
Q-Well, what do you think he was selling to the Saudis except for accessing---
The President--Ask him. I don't know anything what he's selling. I don't know anything about this man, excpet I've read bad stuff about him. And I don't like what I read about him. But I would suggest that the matter is best dealt with by asking this man what kind of representation he is doing for this sheikh. But it has nothing to do, in my view, with the White House." from the Official Papers of the Presidents, Press Conference, October 25, 1991. George Herbert Walker Bush. **********************************************************************
The Senate Commitee on BCCI, the Kerrey Committee, noted that Ed Rogers, the White House political director, was hired directly away by the BCCI sheikh and paid, along with a hitherto unknown assistant named Haley Barbour (later to become National Republican Committee Chairman), the sum of $600,000 to not do much of nothing. The Senate Committee concluded that it, along with the "gifts" of cash to GW Bush, was intended to influence President Bush. *********************************************************************
After GW Bush's company, Arbrusto, went bust, the bin Laden connection with BCCI went to work once again to prop up the president's son and to buy influence. GW swapped out shares until he had an interest in a new company, Harken Energy, which quickly received a lucrative oil concession in Bahrain. An "extraordinary number of people connected to Harken or the oil deal have ties to BCCI...Sheikh Khalifa bin-Salman al-Khalifa helped to ensure that Harken was awarded the offshore drilling contract...Sheikh Abdullah Taha Baksh..Ghairth Pharaon...Bin Mahfouz...Talat Othman who has visited the White House..." from False Profits, page 370. "Knowledgeable oil company sources believe that the Bahrain oil concession was indeed an oblique favor to the president of the United States but say that Saudi Arabia (home of bin Laden) was behind the Decision". from Outlaw Bank, page 230. *********************************************************************
The payback was access: "After the Harken-Bahrain deal was signed, Talat Othman was added to a group of Arabs who met with George Bush and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft three times in 1990 -- once just two days after Iraq invaded Kuwait. Othman was the representative of Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, who purchased 10% of Harken stock and had several ties to the infamous BCCI bank. Bakhsh was a co-investor in Saudi Arabia with alleged BCCI front man Ghaith Pharaon. Bakhsh's banker, Khalid bin Mahfouz, was another BCCI figure and head of the largest bank in Saudi Arabia. Sheikh Kalifah, the prime minister of Bahrain, was a BCCI shareholder and played the key role in selecting Harken for the oil contract." from http://www.realchange.org/bushjr.htm ******************************************************************
"Brent Scowcroft, the national security advisor to President Bush, said that the younger Bush clearly lacks international credentials as reported to the Boston Globe April 5th. "Is he comfortable with foreign policy? I would say not." Scowcroft said. The governor's main experience "was being around when his father was in his many positions." from http://www.georgebush2000.com/
Three dimensional Chess Game--Click on Writing
James R. Bath cash flow
George W. Bush
Bank Credit Commerce International
BCCI Official Reports and the Bush White House--click
Official US Senate Report--BCCI Crimes
Official US Senate Report--Ed Rogers and BCCI
Ed Rogers--Cash Flowchart
BUSH AFGHANISTAN FLOWCHART
Bush Afghanistan Policy Flow Chart
*LINK TO MONEY FUNNEL FROM BUSH TO BIN LADEN
THE GW-OSAMA CONNECTION--THE MONEY FUNNEL FROM BUSH TO OSAMA
MONEY FLOW GOES BOTH WAYS
* Sheikh bin Laden/BCCI to George W. Bush
* President Bush to Pakistani General
* Pakistani General to Osama bin Laden
20 August 1998 TEXT: U.S. GOVERNMENT FACTSHEET ON USAMA BIN LADIN (Saudi advocates destruction of United States) (860) (The following U.S. government factsheet was distributed by the Defense Department August 20, 1998.) Usama Bin Ladin was born around 1955 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is the youngest son of Muhammad Bin Ladin, a wealthy Saudi of Yemeni origin and founder of the Bin Ladin Group, a construction firm heavily involved with Saudi Government contracts. Usama Bin Ladin left Saudi Arabia to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan in 1979. In the mid-1980s he co-founded the Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK) or Services Office, to help funnel fighters and money to the Afghan resistance in Peshawar with a Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood member named 'Abdallah 'Azzam. The MAK ultimately established recruitment centers around the world -- including in the U.S., Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan -- that enlisted, sheltered, and transported thousands of individuals from over 50 countries to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. It also organized and funded paramilitary training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bin Ladin imported heavy equipment to cut roads and tunnels and to build hospitals and storage depots in Afghanistan.
Bin Ladin split from 'Azzam in the late 1980s to extend his campaign to all corners of the globe: 'Azzam remained focused only on support to Muslims waging military campaigns. Bin Ladin formed a new organization in 1988 called al-Qa'ida -- the military "base." After 'Azzam was killed by a car bomb in late 1989, the MAK split, with the extremist faction joining Bin Ladin's organization.
Bin Ladin returned to work in his family's Jeddah-based construction business after the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, but he continued his organization to support opposition movements in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
Bin Ladin's anti-government activities prompted the Saudi government to expel him in 1991, after which he relocated to Sudan. Although the Afghan war had ended, al-Qa'ida has remained a formidable organization consisting of mujahedin of many nationalities who had previously fought with Bin Ladin. Many of these have remained loyal to and continue working with him today.
In May 1996, Sudan expelled Bin Ladin, largely in response to U.S. insistence and to the threat of UN sanctions following Sudan's alleged complicity in the attempted assassination of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia in 1995. Within a month, Bin Ladin took refuge in Afghanistan, where his support for and participation in Islamic extremist activities continued.
Bin Ladin's Organization
Al-Qa'ida's goal, in Bin Ladin's words, is to "unite all Muslims and to establish a government which follows the rule of the Caliphs." Bin Ladin has stated that the only way to establish the Caliphate is by force. Al-Qa'ida's goal, therefore, is to overthrow nearly all Muslim governments, which Bin Ladin views as "corrupt," to drive Western influence from those countries, and eventually to abolish state boundaries.
Al-Qa'ida is multi-national, with members from numerous countries and with a worldwide presence. Senior leaders in the organization are also senior leaders in other terrorist organizations, including those designated by the Department of State as foreign terrorist organizations, such as the Egyptian al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya and the Egyptian al-Jihad. Al-Qa'ida seeks a global radicalization of existing Islamic groups and the creation of radical Islamic groups where none exist.
Al-Qa'ida supports Muslim fighters in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, Tajikistan, Somalia, Yemen, and now Kosovo. It also trains members of terrorist organizations from such diverse countries as the Philippines, Algeria, and Eritrea.
Bin Ladin advocates the destruction of the United States, which he sees as the chief obstacle to reform in Muslim societies. Since 1996, his anti-U.S. rhetoric has escalated to the point of calling for worldwide attacks on Americans and our allies, including civilians.
-- Bin Ladin publicly issued his "Declaration of War" against the United States in August 1996.
-- When anti-U.S. attacks did not materialize immediately, he explained the delay: "If we wanted to carry out small operations, it would have been easy to do so immediately after the statements. Even the nature of the battle requires good preparation."
-- In November 1996 he pronounced as "praiseworthy terrorism" the bombings in Riyadh and at Khobar in Saudi Arabia, promising that other attacks would follow. He admitted carrying out attacks on U.S. military personnel in Somalia and Yemen, declaring that "we used to hunt them down in Mogadishu."
-- He stated in an interview broadcast in February 1997 that "if someone can kill an American soldier, it is better than wasting time on other matters."
-- In February 1998, Bin Ladin announced the creation of a new alliance of terrorist organizations, the "International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Jews and Crusaders." The Front included the Egyptian al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Harakat ul-Ansar, and two other groups. The Front declared its intention to attack Americans and our allies, including civilians, anywhere in the world.
-- In May 1998, he stated at a press conference in Afghanistan that we would see the results of his threats "in a few weeks."
February 12, 1989 Bush OKs Military Aid For Rebels ByAP
KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine (AP) - President Bush has approved continuing U.S. military aid to the Mujahadeen rebels resisting the Soviet-imposed government in Afghanistan, an administration spokesman said Saturday. Deputy press secretary Steve Hart confirmed that Bush had decided Friday to continue helping the rebels. "The president met with his National Security Council," Hart said, "and reaffirmed U.S. policy" of continuing the flow of money, arms and supplies to the rebels..."
March 16, 1989 Column: LEONARD LARSEN Financing Afghan guerillas may return harsh dividends ByLEONARD LARSEN
WASHINGTON - The situation in Afghanistan is fluid, as the diplomats say, but it's clear the "freedom fighters" American taxpayers financed with more than $2 billion have now become "holy warriors" with no debt of friendship to the United States.
In celebrating the rebel victory, Americans might also contemplate the possibility that other Islamic "holy warriors" may soon be perched near airports around the world, targeting civilian planes with the deadly U.S. missiles we sent to the "freedom fighters."
[Edited by Dan Rockwell on 09-28-2002 to repair blown margins]
[Edited 5 times, lastly by Dan Rockwell on 09-28-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 09:19 PM
Family values and Character in the White House...Bush Style
Meet Enron, Bush's Biggest Contributor
By Pratap Chatterjee
Early last October, members of the ninth grade girls' track team and the boys' football team at suburban Houston's Deer Park High School's north campus returned from practice reporting severe breathing problems. That day, Deer Park registered 251 parts of ozone per billion, more than twice the federal standard, and Houston surpassed Los Angeles as the smoggiest city in the United States.
One of the biggest contributors to Deer Park's pollution is a plant owned by Enron, Houston's wealthiest company. Enron and its executives are also the single largest contributors ($550,000 and counting) to the political ambitions of Texas Governor George W. Bush, Republican candidate for President of the United States. Kenneth Lay, the chief executive of Enron, has personally given at least $250,000 in soft money to Bush's political campaigns. He is also one of the "Pioneers"--a Bush supporter who has collected $100,000 in direct contributions of $1,000 or less.
What is Enron? And what does it get in return for this largesse?
Enron is the largest buyer and seller of natural gas in the country. Its 1999 revenues of $40 billion make it the eighteenth largest company in the United States. Enron invests in energy projects in countries around the world, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mozambique, and the Philippines.
The company has recently expanded onto the Internet, buying and selling a dizzying array of products ranging from pulp and paper to petrochemicals and plastics, as well as esoteric products like clean air credits that utilities purchase to meet emission limits.
Texas activists say that the tight connection between Bush and Lay bodes ill if Bush is elected. Andrew Wheat, from Texans for Public Justice, a campaign finance advocacy group in Austin, compares the symbiotic relationship between Enron and the governor to "cogeneration"--a process used by utilities to harness waste heat vented by their generators to produce more power. "In a more sinister form of cogeneration, corporations are converting economic into political power," he says. "A Bush election fueled by Enron dollars could ignite in the public policy arena, and consumers would get burned."
And so may people in the Third World.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both criticized Enron for colluding with police who brutally suppressed protests at the company's giant power plant in western India. The plant's operating firm is called the Dabhol Power Company. From 1992 to 1998, Enron owned 80 percent of it, with General Electric and Bechtel each holding a 10 percent share. (In 1998, the Indian state electricity board bought a 30 percent share of the company, which reduced Enron's stake to 50 percent.)
For years, the plant has been the site of many nonviolent protests.
"The project has met with opposition from local people and activists from elsewhere in India on the grounds of its social, economic, and environmental impact," Amnesty wrote in a July 1997 report. "Protesters and activists have been subjected to harassment, arbitrary arrest, preventive detention under the ordinary criminal law, and ill treatment. Amnesty International considers those who have been subjected to arrest and temporary periods of imprisonment as a result of undertaking peaceful protest to be prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression."
Amnesty's report found that "women, who have been at the forefront of local agitation, appear to have been a particular target."
Just before dawn on June 3, 1997, police stormed the homes of several women. "The policemen forcibly opened the door and dragged me out of the house into the police van parked on the road. (While dragging me) the police kept beating me on my back with batons. The humiliation meted out to the other members of my family was similar to the way I was humiliated. . . . My one-and-a-half-year-old daughter held on to me but the police kicked her away," says Sugandha Vasudev Bhalekar--a twenty-four-year-old housewife who was three months pregnant at the time of her arrest, according to Amnesty's report. Amnesty found that another pregnant woman was beaten and several other women sustained injuries, including bruising, abrasions, and lacerations on arms and legs.
Amnesty said the police involved in suppressing protests included "the Special Reserve Police [SRP] on the site of the company." It added: "The involvement of the SRP in the harassment of protesters indicates the need for the three U.S. multinationals participating in the joint venture to take steps to ensure that all the management and staff of the DPC [Dabhol Power Company]--in particular, any security staff subcontracted to, seconded to, or employed by the company--are trained in human rights and are fully accountable for their actions."
A January 1999 investigation by Human Rights Watch came to a stronger conclusion. "Human Rights Watch believes that the Dabhol Power Corporation and its parent company Enron are complicit in these human rights violations," it said. "The company, under provisions of law, paid the abusive state forces for the security they provided to the company. These forces, located adjacent to the project site, were only stationed there to deal with protests. In addition, contractors (for DPC) engaged in a pattern of harassment, intimidation, and attacks on individuals opposed to the Dabhol Power project. . . . The Dabhol Power Corporation refused to acknowledge that its contractors were responsible for criminal acts and did not adequately investigate, condemn, or cease relationships with these individuals."
Enron denies any wrongdoing. "While we respect the mission of Human Rights Watch, we do not feel that its report on the Dabhol Power project is accurate," says an Enron spokesperson. "The report refers to peaceful protests, when, in fact, the reason the police were positioned near our site is that there have been many acts of violence against our employees and contractors. Dabhol Power Company has worked hard to promote positive relations with the community. Unfortunately, the good relationship we have built with a large percentage of the community was not reflected in the report. Enron is committed to providing energy and communications services while preserving the human rights of citizens and our workers."
Enron has also raised a stink in Bolivia with its involvement in the Cuiabá Integrated Energy Project. The project is run by Transredes, Bolivia's hydrocarbon transport company, which came into being in 1997 after Bolivia privatized its oil sector under the influence of the World Bank. A joint venture of Enron and Shell owns 50 percent of Transredes. On January 31, 2000, a Transredes oil pipeline erupted and dumped an estimated 10,000 barrels of refined crude oil and gasoline into the Desaguadero River, which supports indigenous communities such as the Uru Muratos.
"This problem is Transredes's number one priority, and we are committed to continue to work hard to mitigate the short- and long-term social and environmental impact," wrote Steve Hopper, president of Transredes, in a letter addressed "To the People of Bolivia" on February 7.
Facing starvation from the loss of their life-sustaining waterfowl and fish, the Uru Muratos left their ancestral lands at the southern shores of Lake Poopó in April and marched eighty-five miles to the city of Oruro to ask for government help.
"We subsequently reached an agreement with them to provide certain levels of relief and assistance," says Keith Miceli, general manager for public relations for Enron, South America.
In its actions overseas, Enron has made a practice of taking advantage of corporate welfare. And it has enlisted George W. Bush in this effort.
For example, in March 1997, Lay wrote a letter to Bush that was subsequently released to the press under Texas open records laws, asking him to contact every member of the Texas delegation in Congress to explain how "export credit agencies of the United States are critical to U.S. developers like Enron, who are pursuing international projects in developing countries." These agencies include the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), which provides political risk coverage and financial support to U.S. companies investing abroad.
"OPIC provided financing or insurance coverage worth almost $300 million for Enron's foreign projects just last year, according to government records," The New York Times reported. "Enron officials have in the past asked Mr. Bush to help lobby lawmakers to appropriate funds of OPIC, as well as for the Export-Import Bank, another federal agency that aids American companies abroad."
Enron received $200 million in political risk insurance for the Dabhol project in 1996. And it received $200 million in insurance from OPIC in 1999 for its Bolivian project.
The Enron Methanol plant in Pasadena, Texas, lies in the Houston Ship Channel area, the nation's largest concentration of petrochemical plants just east of the city. The plant has won special concessions from Governor Bush, allowing the company to pollute without a permit, as well as giving it immunity from prosecution for violating some environmental standards.
Plants like this in Texas cumulatively emit twice as much nitrogen oxide, a key ingredient of smog, as do all the nine million cars in Texas put together.
Only 7 percent of the more than 3,500 tons of nitrogen oxide emitted by the Enron Methanol plant in 1997 would have been permitted had Enron not gotten away with this under the "grandfather clause" of the 1971 Texas Clean Air Act, which allows plants built before 1971 to continue their polluting practices. Bush extended this clause under the 1999 Clean Air Responsibility Enterprise (CARE) program that his office drew up in a series of secret meetings with representatives of the top polluters in the state, as Molly Ivins reported. CARE waives permit requirements for plants that volunteer to cut emissions.
The CARE program is backed up by an act that Bush signed in May 1995 giving sweeping protections to polluters that perform internal environmental or safety audits. The law makes these audit documents confidential and allows polluters to escape responsibility for environmental violations. To date, Enron has conducted five such audits and filed for immunity from prosecution for violations of the law, according to the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the state equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Tamara Maschini, who lives about five miles from the Enron plant, is one of the founders of a local environmental group called Clean Air Clear Lake.
"Whole families in this neighborhood have asthma because of the pollution from plants like Enron," she says.
Mark Palmer, head of public relations for Enron, says that the company's contribution to local pollution is minimal.
"If the grandfather clause was canceled right now, we would benefit the most of any of the companies in Texas because our nitrogen oxide emissions add up to less than half a percent of the total," he says.
Last year, the Bush campaign borrowed Enron's corporate jets eight times to fly aides around the country, more times than any of the thirty-four other companies that made their company aircraft available to the Presidential hopeful.
And Lay often acts as George W. Bush's chaperone.
On April 7, 2000, he played host to Bush and his father, the former President, at the Houston Astros' first home game of the season. The game was held in the baseball team's brand new stadium--Enron Field--which was built with the help of a $100 million donation from Enron. (The company got free advertising, a tax break, and a $200 million contract to supply power to the stadium in return.)
Less than three weeks later, Lay joined candidate Bush in Washington, D.C., for a Republican fundraiser that topped all previous records by bringing in a staggering $21.3 million, easily the biggest one-night haul for any political party in history.
"Ken Lay is a noted business leader in Texas who has long been active in Republican politics," says Ray Sullivan, a spokesman for the Bush campaign. "He is chair of the Governor's Business Council. But the governor has his own agenda based on what he believes is best for Texas and for the country."
For his part, Lay tries to put his contributions in a favorable light. "When I make contributions to a candidate, it is not for some special favor, it's not even for access--although I'll be the first to admit it probably helps access," he told The New York Times. "It is because I'm supporting candidates I strongly believe in personally."
In January 1999, Enron pitched in $50,000 to help pay for Bush's inaugural bash in Austin, Texas, after he won reelection for governor.
[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 09-21-2002]
694 posts, May 2002
posted 09-21-2002 09:50 PM
Clinton was a slimy SOB(biscuit), but he doesn't have the 'HISTORY' that the 'Bush's' do. Older generations of George Bush's family are the same ones who supported Hitler in his vigilant and merciless endeavor to eradicate all of whom he did not approve.
Speaking of that, It seems that's what's going on now, Ironically, in the form of these unwarranted and unjustifiable attacks on IRAQ.
I just feel like pointing out how I believe that knowledge isn't necessarily power. Truth is power, and the truth will catch up to the true 'evil doers
[Edited 2 times, lastly by Alpha-Theta on 09-21-2002]
Greenwich, CT, USA
472 posts, Feb 2002
posted 09-21-2002 10:10 PM
Duh…..is there any factual basis for this comment, except pure petty demagoguery and absolute ignorance? NO.
Is there any factual basis for the comment that I made? - I think there is. - If you haven't noticed, we've got a lot of people ticked off at us right now thanks to the prior administration and a lot of faulty Intel. It seemed like we were lobbing a lot of expensive missiles in a lot of different places. We bombed what may have just been an aspirin factory for all we know. - And then we accidentally bombed a Chinese Embassy and came a little too close to a real situation than you could ever imagine. - It was along that same time frame that they surprised the hell out of us by signing a pact with Russia.
Now Russia just happens to lose some nukes. - Is it ignorance to think that we might be walking into a trap this time around?
Hell, if you've been reading any of the reports concerning the break down with the Intel that the CIA has been bogged down with and their lack of resources in translating it, you'd understand what kind of problems that we might run into over there and what might happen here as a result of our actions.
[Edited 1 times, lastly by KrissaTMC2 on 09-21-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 10:16 PM
Ah yes..HISTORY has come full circle. And it aint the fault of "liberals" "environmentalists" or other things used to label concerned people.
The 3 BIG LIES About Iraq
by John Pilger
1 – Lie Number One is the justification for an attack on Iraq — the threat of its “weapons of mass destruction”.
Few countries have had 93 per cent of their major weapons capability destroyed. This was reported by Rolf Ekeus, the chairman of the United Nations body authorised to inspect and destroy Iraq’s arsenal following the Gulf War in 1991. UN inspectors certified that 817 out of the 819 Iraqi long-range missiles were destroyed. In 1999, a special panel of the Security Council recorded that Iraq’s main biological weapons facilities (supplied originally by the US and Britain) “have been destroyed and rendered harmless.”
As for Saddam Hussein’s “nuclear threat,” the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme had been eliminated “efficiently and effectively”. The IAEA inspectors still travel to Iraq and in January  reported full Iraqi compliance.
Blair and Bush never mention this when they demand that “the weapons inspectors are allowed back”. Nor do they remind us that the UN inspectors were never expelled by the Iraqis, but withdrawn only after it was revealed they had been infiltrated by US intelligence.
2 – Lie Number Two is the connection between Iraq and the perpetrators of September 11.
There was the rumour that Mohammed Atta, one of the September 11 hijackers, had met an Iraqi intelligence official in the Czech Republic last year. The Czech police say he was not even in the country last year. On February 5,  a New York Times investigation concluded:
“The Central Intelligence Agency has no evidence that Iraq has engaged in terrorist operations against the United States in nearly a decade, and the agency is convinced that Saddam Hussein has not provided chemical or biological weapons to al-Qaeda or related terrorist groups.”
3 – Lie Number Three is that Saddam Hussein, not the US and Britain, “is blocking humanitarian supplies from reaching the people of Iraq.” (British Foreign Office minister Peter Hain).
The opposite is true. The United States, with British compliance, is currently blocking a record $5billion worth of humanitarian supplies from the people of Iraq. These are shipments already approved by the UN Office of Iraq, which is authorised by the Security Council. They include life-saving drugs, painkillers, vaccines, cancer diagnostic equipment.
[Edited 2 times, lastly by Mech on 09-24-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-21-2002 11:17 PM
WHAT IS GULF WAR SYNDROME?
Gulf War Syndrome --
NOT All in Your Head!
Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) is a raging social question as indicated by the rash of recent stories in the main-stream press. It has always been a raging question for the veterans and their families suffering from GWS. The causes, both medical and political, are the makings of many debates. In this article, we would like to spend some time on the medical aspects-we'll get into what GWS is, its symptoms and some of the contributing risk factors-and finally we'll focus on exposing an underlying relationship between the military and U.S. Imperialism and the use and role of troops.
What is GWS?
GWS is the name given to a variety of debilitating and sometime life threatening illnesses affecting those who were in the Persian Gulf arena. The symptoms include one or more of the following:
* fatigue, in some cases, extreme to the point of being unable to move;
* head and body aches;
* pain-from mild to severe;
* memory loss;
* difficulty concentrating;
* sleep disturbance;
* semen that burns anything it touches and creates open sores;
* birth defects (like extra fingers, no ears or ear drums, children dying of heart failure or liver cancer);
* responses to carcinogens in the body-tumors, cancer, abnormal hair growth.
GWS is chronic disease-meaning it is of a long duration as opposed to an acute disease which is shorter, like measles. It is believed to be transmitted much like HIV, through bodily fluids, but unlike HIV it appears to also be transmitted via physical contact, sweat and possibly in some cases air-borne.
As of March 1996, over 80,000 vets have officially registered with the Veterans Affairs (VA) as suffering from GWS. There are also thousands more veterans in some of the other "victorious" countries (Great Britain & Canada to name two) who are suffering from GWS.Even some Iraqi civilians have been diagnosed with GWS.
So what is the cause of GWS?
There are many risk and exposure factors involved with GWS. I would like to get into some of the factors involved and develop one possible theory on what has happened. So let's first look at the risk factors that existed in the Gulf arena:
* the desert environment itself-the sand and the dust it creates as well as the insect population contained germs, bacteria and endemic infectious diseases unfamiliar to the invaders;
* in response to these insects, the military used pesticides and insect repellents in typical imperialist fashion-frequent and massive aerial "bombings" (sprayings) on the troop areas and the saturation of clothing and tents;
* Chemical Warfare (CW) agents-possible exposure to such agents as mustard gas, hydrogen cyanide and the nerve gases Phosgene, Sarin and Tabun.
* Biological Warfare (BW) agents-possible exposure to deadly germs like anthrax, and botulism. Much of the exposure to these agents, both CW & BW, came as the result of the U.S. bombing weapons storage facilities. To date, the Department of Defense (DOD) has confirmed one case of exposure to the CW agent mustard gas. Recently they were forced to announce that, first 5,000, and now some 20+ thousand soldiers were exposed to the fallout from the destruction of a weapons storage facility at Kamisiyah. The Czech monitoring teams reported detecting agents (& these have been verified by lab test) but the U.S. military command, including Powell and Schwarzkopf ignored these reports and did not authorize the use of protective gear. Their stated reason was to prevent panic from spreading through the ranks;
* Depleted Uranium (DU) shells-ammunitions that upon impact burn and vaporize, creating a deadly cloud of cancer causing material when inhaled or allowed to enter the body through open wounds. Natural uranium is comprised of three isotopes: 99.27% U238, 00.72% U235 & 00.0057% U234. DU is natural uranium with approx. .5% of U235 removed (99.75% U238). U238 has a half-life of 4.5 billion years. Officially, 36 soldiers are known to have been exposed to DU through "friendly fire" and several dozen more were exposed during vehicle retrieval and maintenance,Thousands of Irquis have bee diagnosed with cancer from depleted uranium as a result as well;
* Oil well fires-they created smoke and fine particles of oil that were next to impossible to avoid breathing. Research has shown that when the CW agent mustard gas is combined with oil, the resulting compound created is more deadly than the individual elements.
These risk factors created what some are calling a toxic cocktail but I prefer to think of it as more like a toxic stew-an environment where many dangerous components were being blended together. But, here is the insidious imperialist hand adding a new twist; The troops sent to the Gulf were given various vaccines and preventatives, sometimes in combination, to "protect" them from the chemical agents in the arena. However, one of the drugs, called pyridostigmine bromide (PB), upped the stakes. PB is a drug that has been used since 1955 to treat some rare auto-immune diseases involving nerve disorders, like the faulty transmission of nerve impulses to muscles. It was decided by the DOD to see what kind of protection this drug would grant to nerve agents known to be present in the area. This was decided even though research with mice indicated that the drug does not protect but rather works with the nerve agent Sarin to cause greater damage. Normally, the drug PB must be administered under careful monitoring, regulated by the FDA and with the informed consent of the patient. But the FDA waived this regulation and up to 400,000 soldiers were given the drug, most without their knowledge of the risks and many forcibly. In other words, the DOD used the troops as guinea pigs.
Whenever the human body is given a vaccine it triggers an immune system response that will, if everything works properly, give the body the ability to recognize and fight the real disease in the future. However, while the body is responding to the vaccine, it is in a depressed state and susceptible to opportunistic diseases (this is how AIDS basically kills - depressing the immune response and allow other diseases to gain a foothold).
So let's paint a clear picture. You have a large number of soldiers, whose immune systems are struggling to deal with the drugs they were given, confronted with the stressful situation of war-and stress's known physiological effects include affecting the immune system, cardiovascular system and various hormonal responses-and then dumped into the middle of the toxic stew described above. It was a disaster, created by U.S. imperialism, waiting to happen and its name is GWS. A note of interest is that the French commanders refused to order their troops take PB or the other vaccines and they are the only country involved in the Gulf War whose veterans are not suffering from GWS.
Now the question that weighs heavily on the minds of these Gulf vets:
What has been the government's and military's response to GWS?
Recently the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Gulf War Illnesses was published and I had a chance to look through it. I suppose that if you were able to sit and read through the entire document, you may come away with a different opinion than I did, but I doubt it. It is the typical bureaucratic-ese and double-talk that comes out of Washington D.C. What the report boils down to is this: with the exception of one key area, the committee holds that the government's response has been proper and appropriate.
"Overall, the Committee is encouraged by the government's response to the range of health-related problems experienced by Gulf War veterans. We found the Vet Centers and Persian Gulf Family Support Program established by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be effective outreach programs and recommend that these field-based initiatives serve as models for health education and risk communications campaigns.
The Committee agrees with the Institute of Medicine's conclusion that the clinical evaluation programs of the Department of Defense (DOD) and VA are excellent for the diagnosis of Gulf War veteran's illnesses. We found some shortcomings in the availability of treatment, particularly with regard to mental health and reproductive health, and recommend better follow-up care in these areas."
The report underscores this conclusion repeatedly. A quick scan of the report's summaries for the risk factors says it all-with the exception of two of the factors, the committee's cut-n-paste response is "unlikely to be responsible for the symptoms reported by the GW vet." With PB, they conclude that PB alone did not cause any problems but do hint at something bigger, "Ongoing federally funded studies should help the scientific community draw conclusions about the synergistic effects of PB and other risk factors." It is the conclusion on the final factor that is not a surprise and has been the source of contention for many veterans seeking medical help: "The Committee concludes that stress does not cause a unique illness or set of symptoms. Stress can contribute to a broad range of physiological and psychological illnesses. Stress is likely to be an important contributing factor to the broad range of illnesses currently being reported by Gulf War veterans." 1
And what is the key area of concern to the committee? The DOD's "investigation of possible exposures of U.S. troops to chemical and biological warfare agents in the Gulf. We found substantial evidence of site-specific, low-level exposures to chemical warfare agents. Moreover, we found DOD's investigations to date superficial and unlikely to provide credible answers to veterans' and the public's questions." 2
So there you have it in a nutshell. Cover-up, cover-up and more cover-up. And by the way GW vets, it's all in your head.
So now, to the important question:
Why the need for a cover-up?
Simply put, the government is lying and because of this is trying to save face. The Gulf War Syndrome exposes many contradictions about this system and its military. These contradictions lead people, especially GIs, veterans and their families, to question the whole war and even the role of the U.S. military around the world. If they will lie about GWS, what else have they been lying about? Let's take a quick look:
* Lie: Iraq was the unprovoked aggressor responsible for starting the Gulf War.
Truth: Video tapes show U.S. Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie assuring Saddam Hussein that the dispute between Iraq and Kuwait was an Arab matter and that the U.S. would not interfere if Iraq chose to invade. In other words, the U.S. gave Saddam the green light and then used it as the excuse to fight a war for power and profit in the strategic area of the Middle East.
* Lie: The war was fought to save the world from a new "Hilter."
Truth: Saddam may be the dictator of Iraq and responsible for many atrocities, but he was created by the dictator of the world-the U.S. Iraq was armed and funded by the U.S. during the eight year war with Iran. In fact, many of the weapons, including chemical and biological, were of U.S. origins. The U.S. began to demonize Saddam only when he, like Noregia in Panama, betrayed his imperialist master and made moves against U.S. interests.
* Lie: "Within three days [by August 5, 1990] 125,000 Iraqis with 850 tanks had poured into Kawait and moved south to threaten Saudi Arabia. It was then I decided to check that aggression." Quote from Bush.
Truth: Satellite photos obtained for September 11, 1990 and analyzed by experts indicated that the Iraqi force was not even 25% the size the administration claimed. They showed no troop build-up anywhere near the Kuwaiti-Saudi border, in fact they showed considerable piles of drifting sand over the roads-something inconsistent with the kind of troop movements claimed. This information appeared in the St. Petersburg Times, Florida on January 6, 1991 and was not picked up by any of the wire services.
* Lie: The war was being fought to defend a democratic Kuwait.
Truth: Kuwait is an oppressive monarchy where women are treated as property and not even allowed to drive. It is a country where Palestinians, Jordanians, Filipinos, South Asians are used as slave labor and where death squads target anyone who is opposed to the royal family.
* Lie: "We are not trying to systematically destroy the infrastructure or destroy Iraq...We are not trying to systematically destroy the activities of daily living nor are we doing it." Quote by Bush.
Truth: The Gulf War was a slaughter-a war aimed at civilians. "The U.S. with chilling and deadly precision bombed the entire infrastructure necessary to sustain life and society." Quote from a delegation who visited Iraq in 1991 and conducted an International War Crimes Tribunal in NYC. The bombings included hospitals, churches, food storage facilities, homes, sewage treatment plants, factories, schools, electrical plants and even bomb shelters. The bombing was deliberate and designed to terrorize the population. 250,000 people were killed as U.S. aircraft dropped 88,500 tons of explosives on Iraq, equivalent to 7 1/2 Hiroshimas. 500 people, mostly women and children, were killed in the bombing of the Ameriyah shelter. Iraqi soldiers and civilians were bombed as they attempted to retreat along the road to Basra at the end of the war. The miles of incinerated bodies and vehicles is known as the Highway of Death.
* Lie: Sanctions are an alternative to war. The U.S. used them to try to get Saddam to back off. When he didn't listen, war was the last resort.
Truth: Sanctions are war by other means. Sanctions is a method of waging war against a population, not against a military adversary. Since the end of the war, sanctions have resulted in the death of over 700,000 children and another 300,000 men and women due to the lack of food, clean water medical supplies and proper medical care. To support sanctions, embargoes or blockades is in reality to legitimize U.S. intervention and to support war.
The government lies because it has to cover-up its contradictions and maintain its illusions. It is the illusion of "fighting for freedom and democracy" and the role of the military and its troops that we would like to address next.
What is the purpose of the military?
What was once believed by many Vietnam vets, and what even Bush wishes now, is that the military exists to defend this country and what it stands for-freedom and democracy. But serving in that military, especially during times of war, gives one new insights and understandings. The reality is that the military exists to serve the interests of U.S. capital, interests which are rarely the same as those of freedom and democracy. From this country's beginning and all during its growth, the military was heavily involved protecting capital in the form of ships, factories, mines, railroads, telegraph lines, and settler expansion. 3 U.S. capital didn't confine its interests within its own borders, however. It soon turned outward and began to span the globe, then it was U.S. Imperialism. The military played a critical role to not only build but also maintain the empire with its war machine. And the troops are the cogs in that machine.
Over 60 years ago, Smedley Butler helped to shatter the illusion of this countries military forays being about freedom and democracy. A retired Marine officer, he spoke out against increasing U.S. war moves by describing his military career as being a "racketeer for capitalism." In 1935, he wrote:
"I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-12. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras 'right' for American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested... Looking back on it, I feel I might have given Al Copone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three city districts. We Marines operated on three continents." 4
Smedley came out and publicly said what many veterans before him had known and what many more veterans since him have learned-that when you are in the military, your job is to do the dirty work for the capitalists who run this country. That is the objective role of the U.S. military and its troops, and is something that the government does not want challenged.
[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 09-24-2002]
694 posts, May 2002
posted 09-22-2002 09:42 AM
It's sad to say, but I am truly ashamed to be an 'American'. The truth is out. The true colors of the USA are not red white and blue anymore, and this country stands for and means nothing that it used to or should. We have become the antagonist. It would appear to me that Bush's agenda is a deceptive neo-socialist method not much different from Hitlers when it comes right down to it, except he seems to want to eradicate the arabs or 'muslims' first, specifically. And of course it's probably just coinicidendtal that these are countries of substantial wealth and resource. Where's Bill O'Reilly when you need him?? Oh I forgot, probably cashing his federal issued payroll check.
[Edited 3 times, lastly by Alpha-Theta on 09-22-2002]
67 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-22-2002 11:32 AM
You people must really love deluding yourselves. You think that just repeating these tired, worn out liberal Democrat lies, that it will make it any more true?
Whatever floats your boat. I prefer actual truth.
67 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-22-2002 11:33 AM
BTW...I refuse to talk on threads with screwed up margins
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-22-2002 01:28 PM
."..worn out liberal Democrat Lies?"
The Democrats re JUST as commited to continuing this game as the Republicans are...you can't be serious.
The moment you put faith in a politician to do what is in your best interest you are truly bought and sold. Obviously you don't care how deep the "rabbit hole" goes.
You can always stay in "wonderland", that's your choice.
[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 09-22-2002]
694 posts, May 2002
posted 09-22-2002 02:21 PM
Yoda your elusive demeanor and unnecessary rhetoric only further show how you have nothing valid to contribute here. Perhaps you would prefer to reduce this entire discussion into a flame war or a topic in which you are the judicator. Unfortunately, that's not going to happen, so either at least 'attempt' to refute our statements with something other than repetitive ad hominems and personal attacks. Arevaderche'.
Hoka hey! - heyokas!
Stamford, CT, USA
1750 posts, Dec 2001
posted 09-22-2002 03:47 PM
ABC News Nightline opened last June 9 with words to make the heart stop. "It is becoming increasingly clear," said a grave Ted Koppel, "that George Bush, operating largely behind the scenes throughout the 1980s, initiated and supported much of the financing, intelligence, and military help that built Saddam's Iraq into the aggressive power that the United States ultimately had to destroy."
Democracy in Deep Decay http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=14125
Posted on Sat, Sep. 21, 2002
Iraq campaign includes behind-the-scenes bartering
By TOM RAUM
WASHINGTON - The Bush administration's drive to persuade Congress and the United Nations to authorize military action against Iraq is just the public face of its campaign. Behind the scenes, it's more like "let's make a deal."
Russia wants assurances it will not forfeit the $7 billion Iraq owes it, and less criticism about its Chechyna policy.
China would appreciate support in its crackdown on Islamic militants in its Central Asia border areas.
France would like future access to Iraqi oil fields. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait hope for U.S. protection for their own vast petroleum reserves. Egypt and Jordan might get more economic assistance.
Turkey would like reimbursement for its past and continued support in confronting Iraq. Turkey also would prefer that an invasion of Iraq not take place in the summer; the timing would be bad for tourism, a major prop of the Turkish economy.
"There will be other countries assisting the United States" if war comes, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told the House Armed Services Committee last week. "We will have all the support we need to get the job done."
Belying widespread international skepticism, arrangements are being negotiated in private for bases, airspace rights, troops and financial support, administration officials say.
Those officials are touchy about details.
"I don't see that there are really any quid pro quos to be had, whether with Russia or others," Undersecretary of State John Bolton said when asked if Washington might subdue its criticism if Russian President Vladimir Putin carries out a threat to pursue Chechen rebels into the republic of Georgia.
But clearly, dealmaking is in the air as major world players gauge how their own interests might fit into a post-Saddam Iraq.
Looming over such discussions are Iraq's oil reserves, the second biggest in the world after Saudi Arabia's.
If those oil fields are reopened and sanctions lifted, countries and their corporations do not want to be left outside.
"As we all know, nations will ultimately act in their national interests," said Robert Ebel, a global energy expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
U.S.-based oil companies would be dominant players in such a future.
To wage its war, the United States is counting on — and negotiating for — access to bases in Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and elsewhere in the region. Use of bases in Saudi Arabia appears to hinge on the degree of U.N. participation.
U.S. bargaining was vastly complicated by Iraq's offer to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to return, markedly slowing momentum for military action.
Russia, China and France have economic interests in Iraq.
China opposes unilateral U.S. action, but has not threatened to use its Security Council veto.
U.S.-Chinese relations have warmed
since the spy plane crisis last year, further helped by the State Department's decision last month to add an anti-Chinese group — the East Turkestan Islamic Movement — to its list of terrorist organizations.
Some human rights activists claimed the move gave China a freer hand to suppress Muslim ethnic groups.
Russia is seeking a variety of U.S. assurances to protect its economic interests.
Andrew Kuchins, a Russia expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the oil issue is crucial. "A lot of the Russian recovery for the past 3 1/2 years is due to high oil prices. They're certainly concerned about Iraq coming fully on line and the impact that will have on oil prices and on the Russian economy," Kuchins said.
Moscow is trying to position itself as an alternative source of world oil to the volatile Middle East.
Bush lobbied Putin by phone late last week, and Russia's visiting defense and foreign ministers in person. But for now, Russia held to its view that war plans be held while U.N. weapons inspectors do their job.
Spain and Italy are being courted as likely supporters. But Italy is a delicate case, since it has a large pacifist movement among its mainly Roman Catholic population and the Vatican recently voiced concerns over an Iraq war without U.N. authorization.
Germany remains a problem. Opposition there to a war runs strong, and questions about U.S. use of bases in Germany were an issue in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
The Bush administration has a lot of diplomatic outreach ahead to ease such tensions.
The first President Bush sent emissaries around the world to pass the cup and raise cash for the Gulf War. The current president is partially reversing the process, sending out representatives to dispense U.S. largesse in exchange for help — or at least acquiescence.
Tom Raum has covered Washington for The Associated Press since 1973, including five presidencies.
[Edited 5 times, lastly by Dan Rockwell on 09-24-2002]
694 posts, May 2002
posted 09-22-2002 04:51 PM
btw, yodabreath, in regard to politics; you present an argument against democraic stance. In terms of politics as you far as you can comprehend, I'm nothing more than a 'radical'. That's because I know it's entirely horse-shit. Don't insinuate that my comments are of a democratic nature. Politics are analogous with psychological warfare, plain and simple. Think about it. The point is that it's all a mock up. For example like Krissa pointed out.. the military has always 'claimed' to pay nearly 300% of what a common person would pay for conventional tools, hardware, furnishings, facilities, accessories.. you name it. But that's the most obvious level of deception. And I doubt that you, cydonwhatever, can even comprehend that. So I won't elaborate unless you feel like playing, which judging by your blatant neglegence to other remarks i've directed at you, you don't.
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-22-2002 08:13 PM
The Myth of Surgical Bombing in the Gulf War
by Paul Walker
I first want to thank Ramsey Clark and the National Coalition for having the courage to undertake an event of this nature. I hope as we continue to dig for the truth in this war, the inquiry will be repeated and repeated and repeated hundreds of times over, not only in the United States but around the globe.
Let me try to give you a brief account of the weapons and the war as a military analyst like myself is trying to discover. I must say first that our research at the Institute for Peace and International Security in Cambridge has been going on for several months at this point, ever since the war began and to a certain extent before it began. And there still is a large amount of stonewalling in Washington. Much of the information is unavailable. Much of the information takes an inordinate amount of time to come out. Much of it given out by the various services is in fact contradictory.
The first images of the 42-day Mideast war mesmerized most viewers - nighttime television pictures of targeted Iraqi bunkers and buildings, many in downtown Baghdad, being surgically destroyed by precision-guided bombs dropped by stealthy aircraft. The crosshairs of an aircraft high-tech laser targeting system lined up on the rooftop of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, moments later a laser-seeking 2,000 pound bomb blew the building apart. Then the cameras would turn to U.S. General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, commander of the anti-Iraq coalition, who described the attack "on his counterparts headquarters" with a wry, amused smile - you'll all remember this from the first night as I do. Hundreds of military news reporters in the Saudi briefing room laughed with nervous interest as if viewing Nintendo games, although thousands of individuals were killed, possibly, by that weapon. High-tech warfare had, indeed, come of age.
Back in Washington, General Colin Powell, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced that he was "rather pleased that we appear to have achieved tactical surprise" against Iraqi forces in a sudden early morning first strike on January 17, 1991. Coalition forces undertook, in short, thousands of aircraft sorties and missile strikes in the first days of war. A select number of the successful ones with laser-guided bombs were portrayed daily back home on Cable News Network, Nightline, and other regular news programs.
Some 50 of the new F- 117A batwing stealth fighter bombers were flown in early attacks, apparently achieving better success in Baghdad than they had one year earlier when they missed their targets in Panama City. Over 200 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from ships and submarines for the first time in combat, also reportedly achieving successful "surgical strikes" on high-value Baghdad targets, including the Ministry of Defense and Saddam Hussein's presidential palace. American technological prowess was again displayed graphically several days later when Patriot air-defense missiles successfully intercepted attacking Iraqi missiles launched against Saudi Arabia and Israel.
These and other images of war, perhaps more than anything else, I believe, created an illusion of remote, bloodless, pushbutton battle in which only military targets were assumed destroyed. Pentagon officials stressed throughout their daily briefings that Coalition war planners were taking great pains to marry the right weapon with the right target in order to minimize "collateral damage," that is, injury to innocent civilians in Iraq and Kuwait, particularly in populated areas such as Baghdad and Kuwait City.
Halfway through the war, one journalist described the conflict as a "robo war" in which "the raids are intense, unremitting, and conducted with the world's most advanced non-nuclear weaponry but are unlikely to cause the sort of general destruction being anticipated by commentators." A Wall Street Journal article proclaimed, "Despite public perceptions, the recent history of high-tech conventional warfare has been to steadily reduce general destruction."
Despite all these public proclamations about limited casualties from so-called surgical and precision strikes there would appear to be much greater destruction and much higher numbers of dead and injured in Iraq and Kuwait. Early first-hand accounts provided glimpses of the possibilities of more than surgical damage to Iraqi targets. From my discussions with Ramsey Clark, this is certainly the case. For example, Captain Steven Tait, pilot of an F-16 jet fighter which escorted the first wave of bomber aircraft and who was the first American to shoot down an Iraqi plane, described his bird's eye view of Baghdad after the first hour of allied bombardment: "Flames rising up from the city, some neighborhoods lit up like a huge Christmas tree. The entire city was just sparkling at us."
The sheer amount of explosive tonnage dropped over Iraq and Kuwai also, I think, tends to undermine any assumption of surgical strikes. Air Force General McPeak, Air Force commanding general, proudly proclaiming, "Probably the first time in history that a field army has been defeated by air power," estimated that some 88,500 tons of bombs have been dropped in over 109,000 sorties flown by a total of 2,800 fixed-wing aircraft. Of these flights somewhat over half were actual bombing raids while the remainder involved refueling, bomber escort, surveillance, and so forth. Of the actual bombing missions, about 20,000 sorties were flown against a select list of 300 strategic targets in Iraq and Kuwait; about 5,000 were flown against SCUD missile launchers, and some 30,000 to 50,000 against Iraqi forces in southern Iraq and Kuwait. In all, more than 3,000 bombs (including sea-launched cruise missiles) were dropped on metropolitan Baghdad. The total number of bombs dropped by allied forces in the war comes to about 250,000. Of these only 22,000 were the so-called "smart bombs" or guided bombs. About 10,000 of these guided bombs were laser-guided and about 10,000 were guided anti-tank bombs. The remaining 2,000 were radiation guided bombs directed at communication and radar installations.
The most complete survey of all the different bombs, missiles, shells, and weapons so far appears in Appendix A of On Impact: Modern Warfare and the Environment, a report prepared by William Arkin, Damian Durrant, and Marianne Cherni for Greenpeace. This report was prepared for the "Fifth Geneva Convention on the Protection of the Environment in the Time of Armed Conflict" (London, June 3, 1991). The authors infer the total weapons used from the 1991 fiscal year supplemental budget request to Congress which lists weapons required to replenish U.S. stockpiles. The numbers are revealing and staggering. In part, they include:
* 2,095 HARM missiles
* 217 Walleye missiles
* 5,276 guided anti-tank missiles
* 44,922 cluster bombs and rockets
* 136,755 conventional bombs
* 4,077 guided bombs
The conventional unguided bomb (so-called "dumb bomb") was the most commonly used weapon in the massacre. These come in four types: the Mk 82 (500 lbs), Mk 83 (1,000 lbs), Mk 84 (2,000 lbs), and the M117 (750 lbs). In all some 150,000 to 170,000 of these bombs were dropped during the war.
The U.S. arsenal contains eight kinds of guided bombs:
* AGM-130, an electro-optically or infrared-guided 2,000 pound powered bomb,
* GBU-10 Paveway II, a 2,000 pound laser-guided bomb based on a Mk 84,
* GBU-101 Paveway II, a 2,000 pound laser-guided bomb with I-2000 hard target munition, employed exclusively on the F117A and used in small numbers,
* GBU-12 Paveway II, a 500 pound laser-guided bomb, used against tanks,
* GBU-24 Paveway III, a 2,000 pound laser-guided, low-level weapon (with BLU-109 bomb and mid-course auto pilot) used against chemical and industrial facilities, bridges, nuclear storage areas, and aircraft shelters,
* GBU-27 Paveway III, a 2,000 pound laser-guided bomb with I-2000 hard target munition on the BLU-109/B, a "black program" adapted version of the GBU-24, used exclusively by F- 117A fighters to attack aircraft shelters, bunkers, and other targets in Baghdad, and
* GBU-28, a 5,000 pound "bunker busting" laser-guided bomb, fabricated especially for the war against Iraq "in an effort to destroy extremely hardened, deeply buried Iraqi command and control bunkers, kill senior military officials and possible kill Saddam Hussein."
As if explosive bombs were not enough, the U.S. used massive amounts of fire bombs and napalm, although U.S. officials denied using napalm against Iraqi troops, only on oil filled trenches (this raises the question of who set all the oil wells on fire in Kuwait and southern Iraq). These trenches, of course, in many cases surrounded bunkers where Iraqi soldiers were hiding. Perhaps the most horrifying of all bombs was the Fuel Air Explosives (FAE) which were used to destroy minefields and bunkers in Iraq and Kuwait. These firebombs were directly used against Iraqi soldiers, although military spokesmen and press reports have consistently tried to downplay their role. Perhaps this is only because press reports were too descriptive before the war when the Pentagon was leaking stories about possible Iraqi use of FAEs, along with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons - none of which ever appeared on the Iraqi side. The FAE is composed of an ethelene oxide fuel which forms an aerosol cloud or mist on impact. The cloud is then detonated, forming very high overpressures and a blast or shock wave that destroys anything within an area of about 50,000 square feet (for a 2,000 pound bomb). The U.S. also used "daisy cutters" or the BLU-82, a 15,000 pound bomb containing GSX Gelled slurry explosives. This, too, is a concussion type bomb which military spokesmen and the U.S. press said was used to detonate pressure sensitive mines. The mines, of course, surrounded Iraqi troop deployments and the concussive force of the bomb would surely also rupture internal organs or ear-drums of Iraqi soldiers pinned down in their bunkers. This is not even to mention incineration and asphyxiation, as the fire storm of the bomb sucks all of the oxygen out of the area. President Bush continually warned about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, but it is clear that U.S. forces alone used weapons of mass destruction against Iraqi troops in both Iraq and Kuwait.
Among other controversial weapons are cluster bombs and anti-personnel bombs which contain a large number of small bomblets inside a large casing. Upon impact the little bombs are dispersed over a wide area and then explode. Using cluster bombs, a single B-52 can deliver more than 8,000 bomblets in a single mission. A total of about 60,000 to 80,000 cluster bombs were dropped.
What all of this means to anyone who thinks about the numbers is simply that the bombing was not a series of surgical strikes but rather an old fashioned mass destruction. On March 15, 1991, the Air Force released information stating that 93.6% of the tonnage dropped were traditional unguided bombs. So we have something like 82,000 tons of bombs that were non-precision guided and only 7,000 tons of guided bombs. This is not surgical warfare in any accurate sense of the term and more importantly in the sense that was commonly understood by the American public. Bombs were, moreover, not the only source of explosives rained down upon Iraq. Artillery shells from battleships and rocket launchers amounted to an additional 20,000 to 30,000 tons of explosives.
While the F-117 Stealth fighter captured the fascination of the news media, massive B-52s carried out the bulk of the work. Flying out of bases in Diego Garcia, Spain, United Kingdom, the United States, Saudi Arabia, and other places, B-52s dropped about thirty percent of the total tonnage of bombs. B-52s were used from the first night of the war to the last. Flying at 40,000 feet and releasing 40 - 60 bombs of 500 or 750 pounds each, their only function is to carpet bomb entire areas. General McPeak told Defense Week, "The targets we are going after are widespread. They are brigades, and divisions and battalions on the battlefield. It's a rather low density target. So to spread the bombs - carpet bombing is not my favorite expression - is proportionate to the target. Now is it a terrible thing? Yes. Does it kill people? Yes." B-52s were used against chemical and industrial storage areas, air fields, troop encampments, storage sites, and they were apparently used against large populated areas in Basra.
Language used by military spokesman General Richard Neal during the war made it sound as if Basra had been declared a "free fire zone" - to use a term from the Vietnam war for areas which were declared to be entirely military in nature and thus susceptible to complete bombing. On February 11, 1991, Neal told members of the press that "Basra is a military town in the true sense.... The infrastructure, military infrastructure, is closely interwoven within the city of Basra itself" He went on to say that there were no civilians left in Basra, only military targets. Before the war, Basra was a city of 800,000 people, Iraq's second largest. Eyewitness accounts Suggest that there was no pretense at a surgical war in this city. On February 5, 1991, the Los Angeles Times reported that the air war had brought "a hellish nightime of fires and smoke so dense that witnesses say the sun hasn't been clearly visible for several days at a time . . . [that the bombing is] leveling some entire city blocks . . . [and that there are] bomb craters the size of football fields and an untold number of casualties." Press reports immediately following the cease-fire tried to suggest that the massive destruction of Basra was caused by Iraqi forces suppressing the Shiite rebellion or was simply left over from the Iran-Iraq war. This would not be the first time the press and the U.S. government covered up the extent of its war destruction - the case of Panama comes immediately to mind
The use of B-52s and carpet bombing violates Article 51 of Geneva Protocol I which prohibits area bombing. Any bombardment that treats a number of clearly separated and distinct military objectives located within a city as a single military objective is prohibited. Basra and most of southern Iraq and Kuwait where Iraqi forces were deployed were treated by U.S. military planners as a single area or to use McPeak's phrase "a low density target." The same is true for General Norman Schwarzkopf's order at the start of the ground war "not to let anybody or anything out of Kuwait City." The result of this order was the massive destruction that came to be known as the "Highway of Death." In addition to retreating soldiers, many of whom had affixed white flags to their tanks which were clearly visible to U.S. pilots, thousands of civilians, especially Palestinians, were killed as they tried to escape from Kuwait City. An Army officer on the scene told reporters that the "U.S. Air Force had been given the word to work over that entire area [roads leading north from Kuwait City] to find anything that was moving and take it out.''
By now it should be clear to anyone that claims of a surgical or a precise war are no more than the kind of excuses which the guilty always give to deflect blame elsewhere. The destruction of Iraq was near total and it was criminal. The fact that Baghdad was not carpet bombed by B-52s does not mean that the civilian population was not attacked and killed. On top of the massive bombing, we have now a new kind of war: bomb now, die later. The precision bombs which did manage to hit their targets destroyed precisely the life-sustaining economic infrastructure without which Iraqis would soon die from disease and malnutrition. George Bush's remark on February 6, 1991, that the air strikes have "been fantastically accurate" can only mean that the destruction of the civilian economic infrastructure was, indeed, the desired target and that the U.S. either made no distinction between military and civilian targets or defined the military area in such a broad manner as to include much civilian property. In both cases, it is a war crime.
Finally, comments about the surgical nature of the war tend to neglect the outright massacre which occurred in southern Iraq and Kuwait. The only way to describe what happened there would be a killing frenzy. No accurate numbers of people killed in these areas exist but with the massive bombing of bunkers, especially by FAEs, it is likely that most of the Iraqi soldiers were killed by the saturation bombing. This number could go as high as several hundred thousand. These soldiers were defenseless from air attacks and cut off from communication with leaders in Baghdad. They were simply isolated by the U.S.-led coalition, brutally killed, and then bulldozed into some forty-nine mass graves. That is what General Colin Powell said in November with regard to the Iraqi army: "First you cut it off, then you kill it." There is nothing surgical about that.
1. Williarn M. Arkin, Darnian Durrant, and Marianne Cherni , On Impact: Modern Warfare and the Environment - A Case Study of the Gulf War (Washington, DC: Greenpeace, May 1991), p. 160, fn 377.
2. John D. Morrocco and David Fulghum , "USAF Developed a 4,700-lb. Bomb in Crash Program to Attack Iraqi Military Leaders in Hardened Bunkers," Aviation Week eS Space Technology, May 6, 1991: 85.
3. John Morrocco , "Looming Budget Cuts Threaten Future of Key HighTech Weapons," Aviation Week & Space Technology, April 22, 1991: 66-67. Eric Schmitt, "Why Iraqi Battle Threat Fizzled: Allied Strengths and Enemy Weaknesses," New York Times, March 4,1991: A9. Barbara Starr, "FAEs Used to Clear Mines," Jane's Defense Weekly, February 23, 1991: 247.
4. Arkin, Durrant, and Cherni , On Impact, Appendix A.
5. Tony Capaccio , "McPeak: Unclear If Air War has Sapped Iraqi Will," Defense Week, February 4, 1991.
6. Washington Post , February 2, 1991: A14.
7. Mark Fineman , "Smoke Blots Out Sun in Bomb-Blasted Basra," Los Angeles Times, February 5, 1991.
8. Bill Gannon "Pool Report with the Tiger Brigade Outside Kuwait City," Newark Star-Ledger, February 27, 1991.
9. Rowan Scarborough , "Pool Report Aboard the USS Blue Ridge," Washington Times, February 27, 1991.
10. Michael Kelly, "Highway to Hell," New Republic, April 1991: 12.
Paul Walker is the director of the Institute for Peace and International Security at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His report was given at the New York Commission hearing, May 11, 1991 and at the Boston ommission hearing on June 8, 1991.
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-22-2002 08:17 PM
The Massacre of Withdrawing Soldiers on "The Highway of Death" Basra,Iraq
by Joyce Chediac
I want to give testimony on what are called the "highways of death." These are the two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and the charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions.
U.S. planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours. "It was like shooting fish in a barrel," said one U.S. pilot. The horror is still there to see.
On the inland highway to Basra is mile after mile of burned, smashed, shattered vehicles of every description - tanks, armored cars, trucks, autos, fire trucks, according to the March 18, 1991, Time magazine. On the sixty miles of coastal highway, Iraqi military units sit in gruesome repose, scorched skeletons of vehicles and men alike, black and awful under the sun, says the Los Angeles Times of March 11, 1991. While 450 people survived the inland road bombing to surrender, this was not the case with the 60 miles of the coastal road. There for 60 miles every vehicle was strafed or bombed, every windshield is shattered, every tank is burned, every truck is riddled with shell fragments. No survivors are known or likely. The cabs of trucks were bombed so much that they were pushed into the ground, and it's impossible to see if they contain drivers or not. Windshields were melted away, and huge tanks were reduced to shrapnel.
"Even in Vietnam I didn't see anything like this. It's pathetic," said Major Bob Nugent, an Army intelligence officer. This one-sided carnage, this racist mass murder of Arab people, occurred while White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater promised that the U.S. and its coalition partners would not attack Iraqi forces leaving Kuwait. This is surely one of the most heinous war crimes in contemporary history.
The Iraqi troops were not being driven out of Kuwait by U.S. troops as the Bush administration maintains. They were not retreating in order to regroup and fight again. In fact, they were withdrawing, they were going home, responding to orders issued by Baghdad, announcing that it was complying with Resolution 660 and leaving Kuwait. At 5:35 p.m. (Eastern standard Time) Baghdad radio announced that Iraq's Foreign Minister had accepted the Soviet cease-fire proposal and had issued the order for all Iraqi troops to withdraw to postions held before August 2, 1990 in compliance with UN Resolution 660. President Bush responded immediately from the White House saying (through spokesman Marlin Fitzwater) that "there was no evidence to suggest the Iraqi army is withdrawing. In fact, Iraqi units are continuing to fight. . . We continue to prosecute the war." On the next day, February 26, 1991, Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad radio that Iraqi troops had, indeed, begun to withdraw from Kuwait and that the withdrawal would be complete that day. Again, Bush reacted, calling Hussein's announcement "an outrage" and "a cruel hoax."
Eyewitness Kuwaitis attest that the withdrawal began the afternoon of February 26, 1991 and Baghdad radio announced at 2:00 AM (local time) that morning that the government had ordered all troops to withdraw.
The massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Common Article III, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who are out of combat. The point of contention involves the Bush administration's claim that the Iraqi troops were retreating to regroup and fight again. Such a claim is the only way that the massacre which occurred could be considered legal under international law. But in fact the claim is false and obviously so. The troops were withdrawing and removing themselves from combat under direct orders from Baghdad that the war was over and that Iraq had quit and would fully comply with UN resolutions. To attack the soldiers returning home under these circumstances is a war crime.
Iraq accepted UN Resolution 660 and offered to withdraw from Kuwait through Soviet mediation on February 21, 1991. A statement made by George Bush on February 27, 1991, that no quarter would be given to remaining Iraqi soldiers violates even the U.S. Field Manual of 1956. The 1907 Hague Convention governing land warfare also makes it illegal to declare that no quarter will be given to withdrawing soldiers. On February 26,199 I, the following dispatch was filed from the deck of the U.S.S. Ranger, under the byline of Randall Richard of the Providence Journal:
Air strikes against Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait were being launched so feverishly from this carrier today that pilots said they took whatever bombs happened to be closest to the flight deck. The crews, working to the strains of the Lone Ranger theme, often passed up the projectile of choice . . . because it took too long to load. New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd wrote, "With the Iraqi leader facing military defeat, Mr. Bush decided that he would rather gamble on a violent and potentially unpopular ground war than risk the alternative: an imperfect settlement hammered out by the Soviets and Iraqis that world opinion might accept as tolerable." In short, rather than accept the offer of Iraq to surrender and leave the field of battle, Bush and the U.S. military strategists decided simply to kill as many Iraqis as they possibly could while the chance lasted. A Newsweek article on Norman Schwarzkopt, titled "A Soldier of Conscience" (March 11,1991), remarked that before the ground war the general was only worried about "How long the world would stand by and watch the United States pound the living hell out of Iraq without saying, 'Wait a minute - enough is enough.' He [Schwarzkopf] itched to send ground troops to finish the job." The pretext for massive extermination of Iraqi soldiers was the desire of the U.S. to destroy Iraqi equipment. But in reality the plan was to prevent Iraqi soldiers from retreating at all. Powell remarked even before the start of the war that Iraqi soldiers knew that they had been sent to Kuwait to die. Rick Atkinson of the Washington Post reasoned that "the noose has been tightened" around Iraqi forces so effectively that "escape is impossible" (February 27, 1991). What all of this amounts to is not a war but a massacre.
There are also indications that some of those bombed during the withdrawl were Palestinians and Iraqi civilians. According to Time magazine of March 18, 1991, not just military vehicles, but cars, buses and trucks were also hit. In many cases, cars were loaded with Palestinian families and all their possessions. U.S. press accounts tried to make the discovery of burned and bombed household goods appear as if Iraqi troops were even at this late moment looting Kuwait. Attacks on civilians are specifically prohibited by the Geneva Accords and the 1977 Conventions.
How did it really happen? On February 26, 1991 Iraq had announced it was complying with the Soviet proposal, and its troops would withdraw from Kuwait. According to Kuwaiti eyewitnesses, quoted in the March 11, 1991 Washington Post, the withdrawal began on the two highways, and was in full swing by evening. Near midnight, the first U.S. bombing started. Hundreds of Iraqis jumped from their cars and their trucks, looking for shelter. U.S. pilots took whatever bombs happened to be close to the flight deck, from cluster bombs to 500 pound bombs. Can you imagine that on a car or truck? U.S. forces continued to drop bombs on the convoys until all humans were killed. So many jets swarmed over the inland road that it created an aerial traffic jam, and combat air controllers feared midair collisions.
The victims were not offering resistance. They weren't being driven back in fierce battle, or trying to regroup to join another battle. They were just sitting ducks, according to Commander Frank Swiggert, the Ranger Bomb Squadron leader. According to an article in the March 11, 1991 Washington Post, headlined "U.S. Scrambles to Shape View of Highway of Death," the U.S. government then conspired and in fact did all it could to hide this war crime from the people of this country and the world. What the U.S. government did became the focus of the public relations campaign managed by the U.S. Central Command in Riyad, according to that same issue of the Washington Post. The typical line has been that the convoys were engaged in "classic tank battles," as if to suggest that Iraqi troops tried to fight back or even had a chance of fighting back. The truth is that it was simply a one-sided massacre of tens of thousands of people who had no ability to fight back or defend themselves.
The Washington Post says that senior officers with the U.S. Central Command in Riyad became worried that what they saw was a growing public perception that Iraqi forces were leaving Kuwait voluntarily, and that the U.S. pilots were bombing them mercilessly, which was the truth. So the U.S. government, says the Post, played down the evidence that Iraqi troops were actually leaving Kuwait.
U.S. field commanders gave the media a carefully drawn and inaccurate picture of the fast-changing events. The idea was to portray Iraq's claimed withdrawal as a fighting retreat made necessary by heavy allied military pressure. Remember when Bush came to the Rose Garden and said that he would not accept Saddam Hussein's withdrawal? That was part of it, too, and Bush was involved in this cover up. Bush's statement was followed quickly by a televised military briefing from Saudi Arabia to explain that Iraqi forces were not withdrawing but were being pushed from the battlefield. In fact, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers around Kuwait had begun to pull away more than thirty-six hours before allied forces reached the capital, Kuwait City. They did not move under any immediate pressure from allied tanks and infantry, which were still miles from Kuwait City.
This deliberate campaign of disinformation regarding this military action and the war crime that it really was, this manipulation of press briefings to deceive the public and keep the massacre from the world is also a violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the right of the people to know.
[Edited 1 times, lastly by Mech on 09-24-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-22-2002 08:22 PM
What War Looks Like...
By Howard Zinn
In all the solemn statements by self-important politicians and newspaper columnists about a coming war against Iraq, and even in the troubled comments by some who are opposed to the war, there is something missing. The talk is about strategy and tactics, geopolitics and personalities. It is about air war and ground war, weapons of mass destruction, arms inspections, alliances, oil, and "regime change."
What is missing is what an American war on Iraq will do to tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of ordinary human beings who are not concerned with geopolitics and military strategy, and who just want their children to live, to grow up. They are not concerned with "national security" but with personal security, with food and shelter and medical care and peace.
I am speaking of those Iraqis and those Americans who will, with absolute certainty, die in such a war, or lose arms or legs, or be blinded. Or they will be stricken with some strange and agonizing sickness that could lead to their bringing deformed children into the world (as happened to families in Vietnam, Iraq, and also the United States).
True, there has been some discussion of American casualties resulting from a land invasion of Iraq. But, as always when the strategists discuss this, the question is not about the wounded and dead as human beings, but about what number of American casualties would result in public withdrawal of support for the war, and what effect this would have on the upcoming elections for Congress and the Presidency.
That was uppermost in the mind of Lyndon Johnson, as we have learned from the tapes of his White House conversations. He worried about Americans dying if he escalated the war in Vietnam, but what most concerned him was his political future. If we pull out of Vietnam, he told his friend Senator Richard Russell, "they'll impeach me, won't they?"
In any case, American soldiers killed in war are always a matter of statistics. Individual human beings are missing in the numbers. It is left to the poets and novelists to take us by the shoulders and shake us and ask us to look and listen. In World War I, ten million men died on the battlefield, but we needed John Dos Passos to confront us with what that meant: In his novel 1919, he writes of the death of John Doe: "In the tarpaper morgue at Chalons-sur-Marne in the reek of chloride of lime and the dead, they picked out the pine box that held all that was left of John Doe, the scraps of dried viscera and skin bundled in khaki."
Vietnam was a war that filled our heads with statistics, of which one stood out, embedded in the stark monument in Washington: 58,000 dead. But one would have to read the letters from soldiers just before they died to turn those statistics into human beings. And for all those not dead but mutilated in some way, the amputees and paraplegics, one would have to read Ron Kovic's account, in his memoir, Born on the Fourth of July, of how his spine was shattered and his life transformed.
As for the dead among "the enemy"--that is, those young men, conscripted or cajoled or persuaded to pit their bodies against those of our young men--that has not been a concern of our political leaders, our generals, our newspapers and magazines, our television networks. To this day, most Americans have no idea, or only the vaguest, of how many Vietnamese--soldiers and civilians (actually, a million of each)--died under American bombs and shells.
And for those who know the figures, the men, women, children behind the statistics remained unknown until a picture appeared of a Vietnamese girl running down a road, her skin shredding from napalm, until Americans saw photos of women and children huddled in a trench as GIs poured automatic rifle fire into their bodies.
Ten years ago, in that first war against Iraq, our leaders were proud of the fact that there were only a few hundred American casualties (one wonders if the families of those soldiers would endorse the word "only"). When a reporter asked General Colin Powell if he knew how many Iraqis died in that war, he replied: "That is really not a matter I am terribly interested in." A high Pentagon official told The Boston Globe, "To tell you the truth, we're not really focusing on this question."
Americans knew that this nation's casualties were few in the Gulf War, and a combination of government control of the press and the media's meek acceptance of that control ensured that the American people would not be confronted, as they had been in Vietnam, with Iraqi dead and dying.
There were occasional glimpses of the horrors inflicted on the people of Iraq, flashes of truth in the newspapers that quickly disappeared. In mid-February 1991, U.S. planes dropped bombs on an air raid shelter in Baghdad at four in the morning, killing 400 to 500 people--mostly women and children--who were huddled there to escape the incessant bombing. An Associated Press reporter, one of the few allowed to go to the site, said: "Most of the recovered bodies were charred and mutilated beyond recognition."
In the final stage of the Gulf War, American troops engaged in a ground assault on Iraqi positions in Kuwait. As in the air war, they encountered virtually no resistance. With victory certain and the Iraqi army in full flight, U.S. planes kept bombing the retreating soldiers who clogged the highway out of Kuwait City. A reporter called the scene "a blazing hell, a gruesome testament. To the east and west across the sand lay the bodies of those fleeing." That grisly scene appeared for a moment in the press and then vanished in the exultation of a victorious war, in which politicians of both parties and the press joined. President Bush crowed: "The specter of Vietnam has been buried forever in the desert sands of the Arabian peninsula." The two major news magazines, Time and Newsweek, printed special editions hailing the victory. Each devoted about a hundred pages to the celebration, mentioning proudly the small number of American casualties. They said not a word about the tens of thousands of Iraqis--soldiers and civilians--themselves victims first of Saddam Hussein's tyranny, and then of George Bush's war.
There was no photograph of a single dead Iraqi child, no names of particular Iraqis, no images of suffering and grief to convey to the American people what our overwhelming military machine was doing to other human beings.
The bombing of Afghanistan has been treated as if human beings are of little consequence. It was been portrayed as a "war on terrorism," not a war on men, women, children. The few press reports of "accidents" were quickly followed with denials, excuses, justifications. There has been some bandying about of numbers of Afghan civilian deaths--but always numbers.
Only rarely has the human story, with names and images, come through as more than a flash of truth, as one day when I read of a ten-year old boy, named Noor Mohammed, lying on a hospital bed on the Pakistani border, his eyes gone, his hands blown off, a victim of American bombs.
Surely, we must discuss the political issues. We note that an attack on Iraq would be a flagrant violation of international law. We note that the mere possession of dangerous weapons is not grounds for war--else we would have to make war on dozens of countries. We point out that the country that possesses by far the most "weapons of mass destruction" is our country, which has used them more often and with more deadly results than any nation on Earth. We can point to our national history of expansion and aggression. We have powerful evidence of deception and hypocrisy at the highest levels of our government.
[Edited 3 times, lastly by Dan Rockwell on 09-22-2002]
Bird Man of Hudson County
Jersey City, NJ
779 posts, May 2002
posted 09-23-2002 10:26 AM
Alpha-Theta and Mech,
Obviously you 2 have a greater knowledge base than the Friendly-Fascist apologists such as Pacer, Bonehead, and Yodabreath. They do not respond to direct questions, but quote other stale sayings and quips. They are there just to divert the discussions away from the immediate problems. Why not just use the same tactics as CNN, C-Span, Fox, ad nauseum? Just ignore their posts as if there not there. You are not going to convert brain-washed dolts to independent thinkers. Use your veto power. Maybe even delete them. They are a waste of time. You guys are too bright to continually have to defend yourselves. The fence walkers and undecided will remain quiet and either leave or join in to help solve the immense problems we are all facing.
Bird Man of Hudson County
Jersey City, NJ
779 posts, May 2002
posted 09-23-2002 10:28 AM
To all the other intelligent people reading this,
I mean all of you, not just Alpha-Theta and Mech. They were just carrying on with puddin' head Yodabreath.
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-23-2002 03:49 PM
694 posts, May 2002
posted 09-23-2002 04:12 PM
Bush has no idea what he has done. No idea.
and eastward they shall go
and so it has been said
and so it shall be done
and the epitome of disgrace
will once again embrace humanity
as it did long long ago
upon the admittance of insanity
into our serene sentience
for shall we have no fault
but again the tribulation will rise
until understanding shall become
or so eternity awaits
[Edited 1 times, lastly by Alpha-Theta on 09-23-2002]
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-23-2002 06:34 PM
Bush's plans for a NEW dictator in Iraq.
If Saddam Hussein is America's frying-pan, these men are the fire into which President Bush may be jumping. Foreign Editor David Pratt runs the rule over some of the highly assorted and far from loveable would-be beneficiaries of Iraqi 'regime change'
CORRUPT, feckless and downright dangerous. Some say they make the Butcher of Baghdad himself look good. Who are they? The contenders for Saddam Hussein's throne.
Ever since the September 11 attacks 'regime change' has been the catchphrase coming out of Washington. But if George Bush is as intent on invading Iraq as he seems to be, overthrowing the Iraqi regime and deposing Saddam may well turn out to be the easy bit.
If Afghanistan's nightmarish internal politics proved problematic after the toppling of the Taliban, Bush should be under no illusion that Iraq's would be any less so. The Northern Alliance might not have seemed a very palatable alternative to the Taliban, but it has a certain rough credibility. There is no equivalent in Iraq.
Following any ousting of Saddam, the task will be to prevent anarchy from returning to the streets of Baghdad and the oil facilities throughout the country. To that end the US needs its own strongman to put in Saddam's place.
Saddam, of course, has never had a problem with making enemies. Indeed, the breadth of the Iraqi opposition -- from Islamic fundamentalists and communists to monarchists and free-marketeers -- demonstrates his ability in this respect. Seemingly every week a new group springs up and issues an identikit statement to the international media. Recently one organisation, which nobody seems to have heard of except its own members, even took over the Iraqi embassy in Germany to prove that it existed.
There are, however, some basic patterns to the cacophony of proclamations from new movements, councils and parties that purport to represent the voice of the authentic Iraqi individual.
First, there are the national bodies that were created inside Iraq before 1990, when the bond that had formed between Iraq and the US was shattered by the invasion of Kuwait. These are groups like the Iraqi Communist Party, the largest group in Iraq from the 1950s through to the 1970s, and al-Daawa al-Islamiyya (the Islamic Call), which engineered the biggest demonstrations against the Iraqi regime in the 1970s and had close ties with Ayatollah Khomeini's Islamic revolutionaries in neighbouring Iran.
With extensive experience of organisation and the political process inside Iraq, many of these groups retain some level of support -- or at least respect -- among many of the Iraqi people. They have three things in common: they are intensely persecuted by the Iraqi regime, they are wholly unpalatable to the West, and they strongly oppose a US invasion on the grounds of the suffering this will cause the Iraqi people.
Second, there are groups representing sectarian or ethnic interests such as the four million Iraqi Kurds, and the country's Shi'as, which make up 60% of the population.
Although some of these groups are large, and the US has sought their backing for its invasion plans, they remain split within their own ranks, and have no chance of being installed in Saddam's place as they cannot claim to represent all Iraqis.
Third, there are the new groups, often formed under US auspices after 1990. The US has tried to encourage senior members of Iraq's military and civilian establishments to defect to the West, and their prize has often been a budget, some training, lavish offices, frequent meetings with US officials and the prospect of taking a leading political role in a post-Saddam Iraq. It is from these groups that the US will select the new rulers if they succeed in ousting Saddam.
'He may be a son-of-a-bitch,' President Franklin D Roosevelt is said to have commented of the brutal Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza, 'but he's our son-of-a-bitch'. Saddam was Washington's SOB throughout most of the Reagan administration, a valuable foil against the US's nemesis, Iran. Somewhere along the line, possibly in 1990, he lost the 'our'.
Judging from the current rogues' gallery of heirs to Saddam, it's anyone's guess which of them will be tagged with Washington's favourite SOB epithet this time around.
General Nizar Al-Khazraji
ACCORDING to many human rights groups, he is the field commander who led the 48-hour chemical weapons attack which poisoned and burned 5000 Kurdish civilians in the northern town of Halabja in March 1988. He also, alleges one credible eyewitness who testified in video-taped evidence earlier this year, kicked a little Kurdish child to death after his forces entered a village during the height of the Iraqi repression in 1988.
But, says Ambassador David Mack, a senior official in the US State Department who co-ordinates meetings of Iraqi opposition groups in Washington DC, General Nizar al-Khazraji has 'a good military reputation' and 'the right ingredients' as a future leader in Iraq.
The most senior military officer to defect since 1990, al-Khazraji was Saddam's chief of staff from 1980 until 1991, leading the army through the eight-year Iran-Iraq war and the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. He left Iraq in 1996 and was granted political asylum first in Spain and then in Denmark, where he now lives in a quiet suburb of Copenhagen. There are claims he was reluctant to leave Iraq, but that the CIA tempted him with promises of a major political role after the overthrow of Saddam. As a result, he has not been quiet about his plans to lead Iraq: he once described his future leadership as a 'sacred duty'.
Apart from his apparent boastfulness, which has alienated many of his fellow travellers in the exiled opposition, al-Khazraji's role in some of the worst abuses of Saddam's regime poses serious problems in presenting himself as a future leader of Iraq.
A Danish newspaper investigating al-Khazraji's role found he was the field commander during the Halabja operation, choosing the chemicals to be used and the intensity with which to drop them. Although al-Khazraji denies having had this role, the allegations were serious and detailed enough for the Danish ministry of justice to launch an official investigation, with the potential to bring war crimes charges against him. Eighty-nine Kurdish and human rights groups have issued a joint statement to demand his trial. He has been under effective house arrest for almost a year now, guarded by four police officers. Despite this al-Khazraji, 64, says he has no doubt the Iraqi military is ready to rise up against Saddam. All it will take is a lot of American firepower, carefully targeted, and some organising by military exiles like himself. How can he be so sure? 'I was the chief of my army and I know my men very well,' he says.
Brigadier-General Najib Al-Salihi
IN meetings at the British Foreign Office in March this year, Brigadier-General Najib al-Salihi acquired the sobriquet of 'the rapidly rising star' of the Iraqi opposition. When a popular website of Iraqi exiles held an online poll to find who would be their preferred future leader, al-Salihi raced ahead -- until the poll had to be suspended amid suspicions it was being rigged. In any case, it wouldn't have been the first Iraqi election to produce a victor with 99.9% of the vote.
Commander of an armoured division of Iraq's elite Republican Guard in the Gulf war, Salihi played a significant military role in Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. He was also engaged in putting down the uprising against Saddam 's rule that followed the defeat at the hands of the US-led forces. The repressive way in which this particular episode was handled caused 1.5 million people to flee their homes, while Salihi went on to write a book about his crushing of the popular uprising, entitled Al-Zilzal, 'The Earthquake'.
After commanding Iraqi forces in putting down another rebellion by an opposition group in 1995, Salihi defected to the side of his former enemies and came to co-operate with the US, where he now lives. He has the advantage of youth over many of his rivals, having just turned 50, and strikes a contradictory pose with regard to his future role. On the one hand he states that the military should not be engaged in the politics of Iraq. On the other, he heads the CIA- sponsored Iraqi Free Officers Movement, another collection of dubious military exiles in the Washington suburbs, which he claims can raise 30,000 fighters. He also says he favours a three- pronged infantry assault in Baghdad from Kurdish Iraq, Kuwait and possibly Jordan. He forecasts a scenario in which Saddam would be on the run, suggesting that US aircraft policing the no-fly zones could be used to back an advance on Baghdad by rebel forces from the north.
'Saddam will try to escape, but he will find that he has nowhere to go,' Salihi has said. 'We will not be able to put him on trial. The people will get to him first.' Cleverly, Salihi avoids giving the impression of power-hungriness and speaks of the 'tough work ahead' and the 'bond of trust with the Iraqi people'. The same Iraqi people he so mercilessly crushed when they opposed Saddam.
Ahmad al-Chalabi came to international attention not for his politics, but for fleeing to London from Jordan in 1989 amid allegations he had embezzled millions from the bank he used to own. Although he denies any wrongdoing, the collapse of the Petra Bank left thousands of its customers in penury and earned him comparisons with Robert Maxwell. He didn't return to Jordan to defend himself at his trial in 1992, which took place in his absence, and will begin his 32 years in prison only if he returns to Jordan, which he shows no sign of doing at present.
The long-time face of the Iraqi opposition in Washington, Chalabi took the reins of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), an umbrella organisation created in 1992 with the assistance of the CIA. Although he was officially demoted in 1999 to be a member of the INC's executive council rather than its leader, he is widely accepted as the first among equals and is spoken of by INC officials as the future president of Iraq. This despite the fact that the US State Department recently found that about half of the $4m it had given to the INC was not properly accounted for. They clearly expected better from a former maths professor and banker, and cut off funding. Chalabi, however, galvanised his US supporters, and the Pentagon and the White House again started picking up the tab.
Chalabi is, if nothing else, an operator. One delegate at a New York meeting of the INC said of him: 'He takes more than his share, much more than his share, and I get nothing. Just look at the way he dresses. They say Saddam has 300 suits; well, this guy has 400.'
Many Chalabi mannerisms that appeal in the West may have been picked up at his Sussex private school, where he was a member of the cadet corps -- his sole training for planning an invasion of Iraq.
Just as the US was forgetting him in the wake of more accusations of financial irregularities, he came up with a plan to unseat Saddam in a choreographed 11-week manoeuvre. The plot, launched at Chalabi's Mayfair home and involving turning untrained volunteers into successful revolutionaries, provided him with the soundbite necessary to capture US policymakers' minds in the wake of September 11. Few stopped to question if it verged on the unrealistic.
Convicted embezzlers, accused war criminals and CIA stooges to a man, few if any of those who would dethrone Saddam match up to the proverbial man on a white horse, a respected military officer who can ride in, take control and unite Iraq's fractious tribes and religious groups. Serious questions remain as to the readiness, willingness and fitness to lead of those in main contention.
As Said K Aburish, the respected Middle Eastern writer and biographer of Saddam Hussein, concluded: 'I examined my notes of the interviews I conducted with 82 Iraqi opposition leaders, and began identifying those on my list whose thinking resembles Saddam's. To my horror, I decided 75 of the people I interviewed were men who would kill to achieve their goal.' One can only wonder whether Washington has come to the same conclusion, or indeed really cares.
2002 Sunday Times Scotland 2002
Resisting the NWO
3907 posts, Sep 2002
posted 09-23-2002 08:43 PM
Oiling the Wheels of War
by MICHAEL T. KLARE
A s the United States gears up for an invasion of Iraq, the great unanswered question continues to be: Why is the Bush Administration so determined to topple a government that has been effectively contained by American power for eleven years?
The White House has offered several reasons to justify an attack on Iraq--Saddam Hussein is on the verge of obtaining nuclear weapons; an invasion is needed to prevent the transfer of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons to international terrorists, and so on. Another factor, however, may be of equal importance--oil. Two key concerns underlie the Administration's thinking: First, the United States is becoming dangerously dependent on imported petroleum to meet its daily energy requirements, and, second, Iraq possesses the world's largest reserves of untapped petroleum after Saudi Arabia.
The problem of growing US dependence on imported petroleum was first raised in the National Energy Policy Report, released by the White House in May 2001. Known as "the Cheney report," after its principal author, the Vice President, the document revealed that imported supplies accounted for half of US oil consumption in 2000 and will jump to two-thirds in 2020. And despite all the talk of drilling in Alaska, the report makes one thing clear: Most of America's future oil supplies will have to come from the Persian Gulf countries, which alone possess sufficient production potential to meet ever-growing US energy requirements. Thus, the report calls on the White House to place a high priority on increasing US access to Persian Gulf supplies.
Growing worries about the stability of Saudi Arabia, principal US supplier there, heightened by revelations of Saudi extremists' involvement in the September 11 terror attacks, have prompted US strategists to seek a backup should future instability lead to a drop in Saudi oil production, which could trigger a global recession. Some strategists have proposed Russia as a backup, others the Caspian Sea states of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. But only one country has the capacity to substantially increase oil production in the event of a Saudi collapse: Iraq. With proven reserves of 112 billion barrels of oil (compared with 49 billion for Russia and 15 billion for the Caspian states), Iraq alone can serve as a backup for Saudi Arabia. At the same time, control over Iraqi oil would allow US leaders to more easily ignore Saudi demands for US action on behalf of the Palestinians and would weaken OPEC's control over oil prices.
Iraq has yet another key attraction for US oil strategists: Whereas most of Saudi Arabia's major fields have already been explored and claimed, Iraq possesses vast areas of promising but unexplored hydrocarbon potential. These fields may harbor the world's largest remaining reservoir of unmapped and unclaimed petroleum--far exceeding the untapped fields in Alaska, Africa and the Caspian. Whoever gains possession of these fields will exercise enormous influence over the global energy markets of the twenty-first century.
Knowing this, and seeking allies for his confrontation with Washington, Saddam Hussein has begun to parcel out concessions to the most promising fields to oil firms in Europe, Russia and China. According to the International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook for 2001, he has already awarded such contracts for fields with an estimated potential of 44 billion barrels of oil--an amount equal to the total reserves of the United States, Canada and Norway (the number-one European producer) combined. At current rates of about $25 per barrel, that makes these contracts worth an estimated $1.1 trillion.
And here's the rub: The Iraqi dissidents chosen by Washington to lead the new regime in Baghdad have threatened to cancel all contracts awarded to firms in countries that fail to assist in the overthrow of Saddam. "We will review all of these agreements," said the head of the London office of the Iraqi National Congress (a dissident umbrella group backed by the United States), and those signed by Saddam Hussein will be considered invalid unless endorsed by the new government. Not surprisingly, US oil firms are expected to be awarded most of the Hussein-era contracts voided by the successor regime.
This could prove to be the biggest oil grab in modern history, providing hundreds of billions of dollars to US oil firms--many linked to senior officials in the Bush Administration--and helping to avert a future energy crunch in the United States. But is oil worth spilling the blood of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians who get caught in the way? This is the question Congress must ask if we are to have an honest debate on the merits of invading Iraq.
The Nation 2002
[Edited 2 times, lastly by Mech on 09-24-2002]