Well sorry it took so long but here it is.
This is not 100% about Iraq, but For the most part it’s about Iraq, War with Iraq, US injustices around the world. It’s not the FULL document i compiled i chopped it down for this thread, but for the most part its all there. If you want a copy of the FULL document get ahold of me and i’ll be happy to send it to you.
#2 Time Europe Poll: Who really poses the greatest danger to world peace? Iraq, North Korea or The United States
#3 Article about Bush’s rush to war
#4 Article About CIA directors Comments to Congress
#5 Senate Report 103-900 (Proof U.S supplied Chemical and Bio Weapons to Iraq)
#6 Article on Gulf War Veterans Association website (backs up claims made in the book referred to in section #7)
#7 Excerpts from a book about how the white house armed Iraq (Fairly long, very interesting)
#8 CIA director’s Letter to Congress
#9 FBI agent’s letter to FBI director Robert Mueller (Fairly long, parts that are very interesting)
#10 General Smedley Butler, former US Marine Corps Commandant 1933 speech on war “War is a Racket”
#11 Marine from 1994-1998 comparison to General Butlers speech
#12 Is Saddam a Serial Aggressor, a look at his history
#13 BBC article about US planned attack on Taliban BEFORE 9/11/01
#14 Excerpts from Times Europe article titled “Mad at America”
#15 Is this war REALLY liberating Iraq?
#16 Quotes on America, War, and Propaganda
#17 My Final Thoughts (Opinion)
United States military budget exceeds that of the next 25 countries (next 25 countries refers to the next countries with the largest military budgets)
Bush proposed, a staggering $48 billion increase in the pentagons budget, an increase larger than the total military budget of any other country.
Bush now wants another $75 billion for the war in Iraq
Bush threatened to attack Iran, Iraq and North Korea-mentioning the three countries by name. Despite his apocalyptic warnings about “thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes”, these countries had nothing to do with the September 11 terrorist attacks, a fact acknowledged by the US government, the CIA, and the FBI.
In a recent TIME Europe poll they asked:
“Who really poses the greatest danger to world peace? Iraq, North Korea or The United States.”
The voting was closed with the outbreak of military action. But before then we recorded nearly 700,000 responses. Another 200,000 were discounted by robot-protection software.
North Korea - 5.9%
Iraq ---------- 6.4%
United States - 87.7%
Here is an excerpt from Article about Bush’s rush to war called “Bush has little use for diplomatic niceties”
Full article can be read:
Instead of hashing out disputes with allies France, Germany and Russia behind closed doors, he seemed to relish challenging them publicly.
He tried to bully reluctant leaders, such as Mexican President Vicente Fox (news - web sites), an old pal from Bush’s days as Texas governor, into joining him. Bush’s aides were scornful of those who declined. Last week, they openly mocked France, noting with sarcasm that it rejected a British compromise even before Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) did.
Bush embarrassed some countries, including Turkey, by failing to keep confidential his offers of aid and other considerations in exchange for support.
Instead of establishing and sticking to a rationale for war with Iraq, Bush offered a shifting series of reasons and left the impression that he was searching for one that would close the deal. He started with the idea that Saddam must be removed because of the threat of chemical and biological weapons, then moved on to Iraq’s violations of its citizens’ human rights and Saddam’s supposed links to the al-Qaeda terrorist network, then argued that ousting Saddam would foster peace in the Middle East. Finally, he said the United States must defend itself from the threat of Iraq-sponsored terrorism.
He challenged the United Nations to prove its relevance by endorsing war with Iraq, then said he would go to war whether he got the endorsement or not.
Through it all, Bush showed a lack of diplomatic finesse, says Donald McHenry, a U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the Carter administration. As a result, the United States’ role at the United Nations and its relationships with some longtime allies have been severely wounded, he says. It could increase the likelihood that countries such as North Korea and China will claim the same right to pre-emptive action against perceived threats.
NOTE: North Korea and China both HAVE nuclear weapons
This is information from another news site…mainly talks about the CIA directors comments to congress (CIA letter can be found further down the page). But the article, after all the comments, says:
The bottom-line: Saddam is not likely in the near future to hit the United States or share his weapons with al Qaeda or other anti-American terrorists, unless the United States assaults Iraq. This is hardly the picture the President is sharing with the American public.
Article also says this:
Recently, Representative Jim McDermott, a Seattle Democrat, was lambasted when he commented, while in Baghdad, that it was conceivable Bush would “mislead” the public in his pursuit of Saddam. Pundits and Republicans howled, and some Democrats complained McDermott had tainted their party. Any campaign consultant could have told McDermott it was politically unwise to utter such an inflammatory statement while in Iraq, the land of the enemy. But McDermott’s point–that Bush is willing to stretch the truth to obtain authority to launch a war–has been confirmed. By the CIA.
This is an excerpt from Senate Report 103-900 (S.R. 103-900, February 09, 1994) U.S. EXPORTS OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS TO IRAQ
In the Full Report, you will learn that about 10 to 18 different biologicals were shipped to Saddam Hussein. These biologicals were MADE IN THE USA in Texas and Florida.
You can read the FULL senate report here, but its REALLY long.
click “Text Search” under “Congressional Records”
Where it says select congress click “103”
Search For: “U.S. EXPORTS OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS TO IRAQ”
Click: “ARMING IRAQ: THE EXPORT OF BIOLOGICAL MATERIALS AND THE HEALTH OF OUR GULF WAR VETERANS (Senate - February 09, 1994)”
Then Click: “[Page S1196]”
We found that pathogenic, which means disease-producing items, and toxigenic, meaning poisonous items, and other hazardous materials were exported from the United States to Iraq following a licensing and application procedure actually set forth by our own United States Department of Commerce.
That meant our own Government had to approve the shipment of these materials and obviously did so–approving the shipment of these items to Iraq before the war started.
Now, we further learned by talking to the suppliers that these exported biological materials were not weakened when they were shipped over there. In other words, many were full pathogens capable of being reproduced by Iraq once they got there.
Between the years of 1985 and 1989, the United States Government approved the sales of quantities of potentially lethal biological agents that could have been cultured and grown in very large quantities in an Iraqi biological warfare program.
I find it especially troubling that according to these supply records, hazardous biological materials were requested by and they were sent to Iraqi Government agencies, including the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission, the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education, the State Company for Drug Industries, and the Ministry of Trade.
While there may be some legitimate need for what are called pathogens in medical research, obviously much closer scrutiny should be exercised in approval of exports of materials of this kind to countries known or suspected of having active and aggressive biological warfare programs. Iraq has long been suspected of conducting biological warfare research in addition to its known chemical and biological warfare research programs.
American Gulf War Veterans Association
U.S. SUPPLIES, CALIBRATES AND ENDORSES
USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN IRAQ
U.S. SUPPLIES, CALIBRATES AND ENDORSES
USE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN IRAQ
As the Bush administration works to gain world support to conduct a pre-emptive strike against Iraq, new disturbing information has surfaced with regard to U.S. involvement in the development of Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons program.
The pre-emptive strike is based upon President Bush and Vice-President Cheney’s beliefs that there must be an invasion of Iraq because Saddam Hussein:
possesses weapons of mass destruction and the potential for nuclear weapons,
used these weapons on his own people (Kurds) and the Iranians,
has a history of lying to the world.
According to information obtained by the AGWVA, there is irrefutable evidence to show that the Unites States government provided and encouraged Iraq’s use of chemical weapons. The United States Department of Commerce and The American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) provided at least 80 shipments of biological agents that were not attenuated (or weakened) and were capable of reproduction. These shipments included such virulent agents as Anthrax, West Nile Virus and Clostridium botulinum (S.R.103-900, May 25, 1994, pg. 264).
The AGWVA also found it very disturbing to learn that on December 19, 1983, the Middle Eastern envoy who carried a handwritten note from President Reagan to Saddam Hussein, to resume our diplomatic relations with Iraq was none other than our present Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.
According to: U.S. Diplomatic and Commercial Relationships with Iraq, 1980-August 2, 2000, (LINK), Nathaniel Hurd states:
“Iraq reportedly began using chemical weapons (CW) against Iranian troops in 1982, and significantly increased CW use in 1983. Shortly after removing Iraq from the terrorism sponsorship list, the Reagan administration approved the sale of 60 Hughes helicopters. Analysts recognized that civilian helicopters can be weaponized in a matter of hours and selling a civilian kit can be a way of giving military aid under the guise of civilian assistance”
Mark Phythian, in his book Arming Iraq: How the U.S. and Britain Secretly Built Saddam’s War Machine (Northeastern University Press, 1997) stated:
“the Secretaries of Commerce and State (George Baldridge and George Shultz) lobbied the NSC (National Security Council) advisor into agreeing to the sale to Iraq of 10 Bell helicopters, officially for crop spraying. It is believed that US-supplied choppers were used in the 1988 chemical attack on the Kurdish village Halabja, which killed 5000 people.”
In his own book Turmoil and Triumph: My Years as Secretary of State, George Shultz refers to a declassified CIA report which notes Iraq’s use of mustard gas in August 1983, giving further credence to the suggestion that the State Department and/or the National Security Council (NSC) was well aware of Iraq’s use of chemical weapons at this time. If the use of chemical weapons was known in August of 1983, and Donald Rumsfeld went to Iraq in December of 1983, he was on notice that this country was using and was going to continue to use weapons of mass destruction. Why, then, did the United States move to de-list Iraq from those considered to be terrorist nations?
On March 23, 1984, Iran accused Iraq of poisoning 600 of its soldiers with mustard gas and Tabun nerve gas. Donald Rumsfeld returned to Baghdad on March 24, 1984. On that same day, the UPI wire service reported that a team of UN experts had concluded that:
Mustard gas laced with a nerve agent has been used on Iranian soldiers. Meanwhile, Donald Rumsfeld held talks with foreign minister Tariq Aziz.
Probably the most critical piece of information is that according to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, in a December 15, 1986 article, the CIA began to secretly supply Iraq with intelligence in 1984 that was used to calibrate mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops.
It is public record that the U.S. not only armed Iraq from 1983 thru August 1, 1990, but that they also provided the money to Iraq to purchase the weapons via the Atlanta branch of the Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL), George Bush, Sr., and the Export-Import Bank. Iraq received $5 Billion dollars funneled through the Commercial Credit Corporation ostensibly for food credits. It is also public information that at least $2 Billion dollars from the defaulted loan was repaid by the U.S. citizen taxpayers.
Here are some Excerpts from a book about how the white house armed Iraq
This excerpt involves everyone from William Casey (director of the CIA under the Reagan/bush administration. George Bush Sr. , Ronald Reagan, Donald Rumsfeld, Haig (secretary of state) and a guy named Teicher who was a former CIA operative…not all are mentioned below due to the fact I had to shorten it, but they were all involved. (information about the book is at the bottom of the excerpt)
Haig, Teicher, and others in the administration who tended to be concerned about the underlying threat that Saddam posed to Israel, a strategic American ally, were shocked when they found out that Iraq had been taken off the terrorism list. Secretary of State Haig was especially upset at the fact that the decision had been made at the White House, even though the state department was responsible for the list.
Casey had gone around everyone’s backs in pressing for the change in Iraq’s status, ignoring the information about Saddam that was available to the CIA and the White House. “We knew very well that Abu Nidal was based in Baghdad,” Teicher recalled. “we knew of Iraq’s support for his and other terrorist organizations. The decision to take Iraq off the terrorist list was Casey’s and Clark’s.” Clark when asked about the way the decision had been made, said it “could very well be” that Casey approached him, but he could not recollect this.
The other person Casey confided in, recalled Teicher, was George Bush. “Bush knew about the covert operations, and Casey felt he could trust him, with his intelligence orientation and all that.” Teicher also remembered Bush making his position explicit in meetings at the White House: “I attended meetings where Bush made clear he wanted to help Iraq. His door was always open to the Iraqis. If they wanted a meeting with Bush, they would get it.”
U.S military equipment was being sent to Iraq on the order of the White House, including ammunition, spare parts, defense electronics, and computers. When Teicher asked what was going on, the answers he was given struck him as very odd indeed. He was told that certain officials at the White House simply picked up the telephone and “cleared” the deployment of a plane with a classified cargo. Teicher inquired how this could happen. He was informed that there were “channels” that the White House used to carry out such policies. “I asked my colleagues how we were getting the stuff to Iraq,” he remembered, “and I was told that there are people out there who do it for us.” Although it seemed incredible to him that officials at the White House could be assisting in the clandestine transfer of U.S maerial to Iraq, Teicher was told not to bother himself about it.
“you have to understand something though. These off-the-shelf operations in the Middle East occurred with great regularity. Yes, they were illegal. But people think the Irangate affair was something strange. It wasn’t. It was just the one that went public. It was not at all abnormal.” -Teicher
ok, this next part is after we knew that Iraq had and were helping them with their chemical and biological weapons program
In June, 1982, a White House meeting was called to discuss the Iran-Iraq war. The prevailing view was that if Washington wanted to prevent an Iranian victory, it would have to share some of its more sensitive intelligence photography with Saddam. Some officials resisted the idea of providing a Soviet clien state with this information, but William Casey ultimately persuaded the president to make it happen.
A few weeks later, the first U.S satellite photographs were passed to Baghdad. … At times, thanks to the White House’s secret backing for the intelligence-sharing, U.S. intelligence officers were actually sent to Baghdad to help interpret the satellite information. …the United States even built an expensive high-tech annex in Baghdad to provide a direct down-link receiver for the satellite intelligence and better processing of the information.
At the same time that was happening this next part was going on. (The US was playing both sides)
Casey and his White House allies plotted secret arms sales to Tehran (IRAN), partly in order to seek the release of American hostages held in Beirut by Iranian-supported terrorists and partly to counteract the perceived threat of Soviet influence in Iran. By 1986, the White House was steeped in a covert ethic. The off-the-books operations involving the diversion of profits from arms transfers to Iran, in contravention of the law prohibiting aid to Nicaragua, were eventually exposed and became known to the public as the Iran-Contra affair. The equally egregious and simultaneous covert aid in Iraq, however, remained secret.
Spider’s Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq.
Author Alan Friedman
Bantam Books 1993
Alan Friedman is a correspondent for the Financial Times of London, and a four-time winner of British Press Awards, the British equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. An American citizen, he began covering the scandal known as Iraqgate while serving as the paper’s Milan correspondent and later broke new ground while working on a joint investigation with Ted Koppel and ABC Nightline.
If you’ve got the time or the money I suggest either buying it (I found it for $6.00 at half price books) or going to any book store for a little reading session…at least read the first chapter and look through the pictures and government documents contained in the middle of the book. Gives you the sources (government documents ect…) and the pictures are “proof” to some of the things that took place
New York Times
C.I.A. Letter to Senate on Baghdad’s Intentions
Following is the text of a letter dated Oct. 7 to Senator Bob Graham, Florida Democrat and chairman of the Intelligence Committee, by George J. Tenet, director of central intelligence, about decisions to declassify material related to the debate about Iraq:
In response to your letter of 4 October 2002, we have made unclassified material available to further the Senate’s forthcoming open debate on a Joint Resolution concerning Iraq.
As always, our declassification efforts seek a balance between your need for unfettered debate and our need to protect sources and methods. We have also been mindful of a shared interest in not providing to Saddam a blueprint of our intelligence capabilities and shortcomings, or with insight into our expectation of how he will and will not act. The salience of such concerns is only heightened by the possibility of hostilities between the U.S. and Iraq.
These are some of the reasons why we did not include our classified judgments on Saddam’s decision-making regarding the use of weapons of mass destruction (W.M.D.) in our recent unclassified paper on Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction. Viewing your request with those concerns in mind, however, we can declassify the following from the paragraphs you requested:
Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or C.B.W. against the United States.
Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions. Such terrorism might involve conventional means, as with Iraq’s unsuccessful attempt at a terrorist offensive in 1991, or C.B.W…
Saddam might decide that the extreme step of assisting Islamist terrorists in conducting a W.M.D. attack against the United States would be his last chance to exact vengeance by taking a large number of victims with him.
Regarding the 2 October closed hearing, we can declassify the following dialogue:
Senator Levin: . . . If (Saddam) didn’t feel threatened, did not feel threatened, is it likely that he would initiate an attack using a weapon of mass destruction?
Senior Intelligence Witness: . . . My judgment would be that the probability of him initiating an attack, let me put a time frame on it, in the foreseeable future, given the conditions we understand now, the likelihood I think would be low.
Senator Levin: Now if he did initiate an attack you’ve . . . indicated he would probably attempt clandestine attacks against us . . . But what about his use of weapons of mass destruction? If we initiate an attack and he thought he was in extremis or otherwise, what’s the likelihood in response to our attack that he would use chemical or biological weapons?
Senior Intelligence Witness: Pretty high, in my view.
In the above dialogue, the witness’s qualifications “in the foreseeable future, given the conditions we understand now” were intended to underscore that the likelihood of Saddam using W.M.D. for blackmail, deterrence, or otherwise grows as his arsenal builds. Moreover, if Saddam used W.M.D., it would disprove his repeated denials that he has such weapons.
This is an excerpt from an article on NYTimes.com
FBI agent Colleen Rowleys letter to FBI director Robert Mueller (She was the FBI agent who warned of suspected terrorists in US Flight schools before 9/11)
You have to get a user name for the NY Times website to view the FULL letter on their site, but it is there…here are some excerpts if you don’t want to sign up.
At this critical point in our country’s history I have decided to try once again, on an issue of even more consequence for the internal security posture of our country. That posture has been weakened by the diversion of attention from al-Qaeda to our government’s plan to invade Iraq, a step that will, in all likelihood, bring an exponential increase in the terrorist threat to the U.S., both at home and abroad.
What is the FBI’s evidence with respect to a connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq? Polls show that Americans are completely confused about who was responsible for the suicidal attacks on 9-11 with many blaming Iraq. And it is clear that this impression has been fostered by many in the Administration. As far as the FBI is concerned, is the evidence of such a link “bulletproof,” as Defense Secretary Rumsfeld claims, or “scant,” as General Brent Scowcroft, Chairman of the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board has said? The answer to this is of key importance in determining whether war against Iraq makes any sense from the FBI’s internal security point of view. If the FBI does have independent data verifying such a connection, it would seem such information should be shared, at least internally within the FBI.
You are only too well aware that fighting the war on terrorism and crime is an unbelievably difficult mission that will only become more difficult in the years to come, adversely affecting future generations of Americans. The extraneous pressures currently being brought to bear by politicians of both parties upon the FBI and other U.S. intelligence agencies, however, only worsen the present situation.
And it seems clear to me now that the decision to attack Iraq was taken some time ago and you, even as FBI Director, may be little more than a helpless bystander.
Such an attack, though, may have grave consequences for your ability to discharge your responsibility to protect Americans, and it is altogether likely that you will find yourself a helpless bystander to a rash of 9-11s. The bottom line is this: We should be deluding neither ourselves nor the American people that there is any way the FBI, despite the various improvements you are implementing, will be able to stem the flood of terrorism that will likely head our way in the wake of an attack on Iraq.
The following is an excerpt from a speech By General Smedey Darlington Butler. He is considered to be one of the most highly decorated members of the United Sates Marine Corps. He was also 1 of only 2 people in Marine Corps history to receive 2 Congressional Medals of Honor. His status can be checked at the Marines web site:
There are MANY sites available to find a copy of his speech by going to any search engine and searching for “War is Just a Racket” I have provided one below though.
‘War is Just a Racket’
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933 by General Smedley Darlington Butler, USMC. General Butler was the recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor.
War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. . . .
There isn’t a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its “finger men” to point out enemies, its “muscle men” to destroy enemies, its “brain men” to plan war preparations, and a “Big Boss” Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, 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 benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.
Excerpt From “Is War Still a Racket?” Written by Ex Marine Chris White in 2003 in response to General Smedley Butlers 1933 Speech
After his retirement in 1931, Marine Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, one of only two Marines in history to have received two Medals of Honor, spoke out against the U.S. government’s use of force in world affairs. He wrote and spoke of the way in which corporations profited from war, while countless millions suffered as a result. This essay compares General Butler’s analysis of this process in 1933 with the use of war for power and profit in 2003, with the goal of establishing that not only has the racket expanded tremendously, but our national security has correlatively reduced. I am not anti-American. I am an ex-Marine sergeant and current doctoral student in history who is concerned about the consistent destruction of this planet and its people carried out by my government in the false name of the promotion and defense of freedom.
Paradoxically, the tremendous proliferation in military spending and ventures that the U.S. has carried out since WWII has made us less safe than ever by creating anti-U.S. hatred that manifests itself from time to time in the form of random acts of violence. If one were to look closely at the past 58 years, one would be hard pressed to find a single U.S. military or C.I.A. intervention that has brought us one iota of safety, or, for that matter, that has actually been done for national defense purposes. As Butler illustrated in 1933, and it is even truer now than then, the U.S. engages in interventions meant to protect the interests of the powerful and wealthy of our nation and our allies, and rarely, if ever, in order to actually protect its citizens.
For some reason, many who have little understanding of our foreign policy history prefer to point to the three instances in our nation’s history when the military was used for defending the people: the War of 1812, WWI, and WWII. Moreover, while one can certainly find fault with aspects of our involvement in those three wars, nonetheless, every other one had nothing to do with national security, and everything to do with profits and power. While we draped our foreign policy in the cloak of beneficence in order to fight the Cold War, we instead killed over six million union leaders, peasants, teachers, priests, and resistance fighters in the developing world. We were not fighting the Soviets and the Chinese on their soil; we were busy setting the developing world back a century in their development.
Corporations have profited from all of these wars, and they in turn support politicians and own the media, both of which present these wars as necessary measures for protecting freedom. The mutual support between the rich and the politicians (the power elite) has always dictated this nation’s political process, and as long as there is profit to be made from destruction and suffering, especially of those who are not reaping the profits thereof, war will be facilitated and promoted.
According to Butler, World War I cost the U.S. 52 billion dollars, giving 16 billion in profits to private corporations. He illustrated the significance of this by comparing the profits of several large companies before and during the war. According to Butler, Du Pont (who produced powder) went from 6 million to 58 million in annual profits, Bethlehem Steel went from 6 million to 49 million, U.S. Steel went from 105 million to 240 million, Anaconda’s copper production (ammunition casings) helped the company to go from 10 million to 34 million, and Utah Copper went from 5 million to 21 million in annual profits during the war. The Great War cost each American 400 dollars and these companies benefited from the deaths of over 130,000 U.S. soldiers and countless Europeans.
Other sectors profited enormously from the War. From leather companies to chemicals, to nickel, to sugar refining, to banks, to coal, to shoes, to field gear, to tools, to ship builders, to airplane and auto engine manufacturers, companies had profits ranging from 30 to 300 percent. The leftover waste was also a point of contention with Butler (and this is certainly worse today), as he explained that millions of pieces of equipment never made it to the soldiers, and were in fact never used due to regulation adjustments and extreme overproduction. Moreover, while this racket was immense back in Butler’s day, it was quite paltry when compared with that of today.
According to sources cited by Joel Andreas, in his excellent book, Addicted to War, between 1948 and 2002, the U.S. spent more than 15 trillion dollars on its military. The military budget for 2002 was 346.5 billion dollars, and when the budgets for the pentagon, the Energy Department’s nuclear costs, NASA’s military portion, foreign military aid, veterans’ benefits, and the interest paid for our military debt, the total reaches 670 billion dollars. In comparison to the amount spent per American during WWI (400), we each give 4,000 dollars annually to cover a military budget that could not even protect us from nineteen box-cutter wielding airline passengers. For that amount, we could each afford to save up for an electric car, so that we could reduce our dependence on oil, which largely dictates our military presence in the Gulf in the first place.
Meanwhile, high school students are made to peddle corporate products in order to fill in the gaps left behind by the drain that is the military budget and other counterproductive federal expenditures. While the military receives 50.5 percent of federal tax money, education receives 8 percent. During his campaign, George W. Bush claimed that his number one priority would be education, just like the proclaimed priority of most other politicians.
The amount of companies that benefit from this militaristic system makes Butler’s analysis pale by comparison. Over 100,000 companies depend on the pentagon for their profits each year, which means that many people depend on “national defense” for their livelihoods. These people, especially the leaders of the corporations, are what the peace movement is largely up against in its fight to end our nation’s permanent war footing. Companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, General Electric, Raytheon, and thousands of others, rake in billions each year, which means that they will not give up the business of war without a fight. Therefore, ending war does not only mean struggling for peace in general, it means challenging the ways in which the currently-powerful corporations make money. Moreover, because corporations who benefit from war also support political candidates, the candidates have every reason to defend those corporate interests who depend on war making, and the politicians have very little reason to defend the nation’s interests as a whole.
Therefore, it is pointless to argue how we can make education a higher priority for our country without understanding this system. It is in the best interest of the power elite on Wall Street and in Washington that we remain undereducated with respect to our nation’s use of force in world affairs, and that the education we receive directs us toward supporting the power elite while deterring us away from learning the truth about the functioning of the militaristic system. I believe that we do live a semi-democratic society, but because we as a whole are so fundamentally blinded to the criminality of our elected leaders and their wealthy supporters, we live in a “plutocracy,” to borrow Ramsey Clark’s description.
So, how does the government get away with the hypocrisy? As long as people are in the dark about the atrocities our nation commits, one will find the media’s complicity to be almost total. I find a couple of simple examples helpful for illustrating this. First, in all of my public and private talks with people, ranging from high school age to history graduate students, only one person (a high school senior) could identify the significance of one of these dates: 09/11/1973 and 12/07/1975. Most Americans surely recognize 09/11/2001 and 12/07/1941, as these were the days “that will live in infamy”, because they led the U.S. into expanding the global War on Terror and World War II. Yet, for some reason, all but one of the hundreds of people I have asked to identify the former dates has heard of them.
These dates (09/11/1973 and 12/07/1975), are quite important to the people who still suffer their consequences. Take the Chileans, who lost at least 3,000 people because of a military coup that the U.S. supported on September 11, 1973, or the East Timorese, who lost 200,000 people (1/3 of the population) after we assisted Indonesia in their destruction of that nation beginning with the invasion of the small island on December 7, 1975. Of course, Chile’s population was only 10-12 million at the time, and in comparison to our loss of 3,000 people on 09/11/2001, it would be like losing 80-90,000 U.S. citizens. The Chileans had no such recourse against us for aiding General Augusto Pinochet in his torture and murder of thousands of his people, which we supported. Nor have the East Timorese, or the dozens of other poor nations we have assisted in the repression and/or destruction of, been given the right to retaliate against us. Government documents detailing the U.S. involvement in the Chilean coup and the genocide of East Timor are provided in full text on the National Security Archive’s website, supported by George Washington University: LINK
Even though there is overwhelming proof of what we did to Chile and East Timor (not to mention the dozens of other nations we have intervened in) why do we not know about their dates of infamy, each of which our government had an enormous role in? Does our lack of knowledge about these dates mean anything? The fact that the public knows little of them demonstrates that we are doomed to repeat history. I am disappointed that we are collectively blind to these dates precisely because the dates in which atrocities were perpetrated against us are days “that will live in infamy”, which the media and government have and will forever use as rallying cries to promote the nationalism that will ultimately lead to more deaths in the developing world, as well as on our own soil. Moreover, the atrocities in East Timor and Chile are but a drop in the bucket in comparison to the perhaps 8 million others we have helped kill over the past fifty seven years in the name of national security. The question is, if we are oblivious to the horrible atrocities our government has committed on such America-significant days of “infamy”, how will we prevent our government from committing such atrocities in the future? How will we prevent the continuation of the “racket” so notorious in Smedley Butler’s and our time, which will inevitably come back to bite us again?
Is Saddam a Serial Aggressor?
…Saddam has dominated Iraqi politics for more than 30 years. During that period, he started two wars against his neighbors Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. Saddam’s record in this regard is no worse than that of neighboring states such as Egypt or Israel, each of which played a role in starting several wars since 1948. Furthermore, a careful look at Saddam’s two wars shows his behavior was far from reckless. Both times, he attacked because Iraq was vulnerable and because he believed his targets were weak and isolated. In each case, his goal was to rectify Iraq’s strategic dilemma with a limited military victory. Such reasoning does not excuse Saddam’s aggression, but his willingness to use force on these occasions hardly demonstrates that he cannot be deterred.
The Iran-Iraq War, 1980-88
Iran was the most powerful state in the Persian Gulf during the 1970s. Its strength was partly due to its large population (roughly three times that of Iraq) and its oil reserves, but it also stemmed from the strong support the shah of Iran received from the United States. Relations between Iraq and Iran were quite hostile throughout this period, but Iraq was in no position to defy Iran’s regional dominance. Iran put constant pressure on Saddam’s regime during the early 1970s, mostly by fomenting unrest among Iraq’s sizable Kurdish minority. Iraq finally persuaded the shah to stop meddling with the Kurds in 1975, but only by agreeing to cede half of the Shatt al-Arab waterway to Iran, a concession that underscored Iraq’s weakness.
It is thus not surprising that Saddam welcomed the shah’s ouster in 1979. Iraq went to considerable lengths to foster good relations with Iran’s revolutionary leadership. Saddam did not exploit the turmoil in Iran to gain strategic advantage over his neighbor and made no attempt to reverse his earlier concessions, even though Iran did not fully comply with the terms of the 1975 agreement. Ruhollah Khomeini, on the other hand, was determined to extend his revolution across the Islamic world, starting with Iraq. By late 1979, Tehran was pushing the Kurdish and Shiite populations in Iraq to revolt and topple Saddam, and Iranian operatives were trying to assassinate senior Iraqi officials. Border clashes became increasingly frequent by April 1980, largely at Iran’s instigation.
Facing a grave threat to his regime, but aware that Iran’s military readiness had been temporarily disrupted by the revolution, Saddam launched a limited war against his bitter foe on September 22, 1980. His principal aim was to capture a large slice of territory along the Iraq-Iran border, not to conquer Iran or topple Khomeini. The war began, as military analyst Efraim Karsh writes, because the weaker state, Iraq, attempted to resist the hegemonic aspirations of its stronger neighbor, Iran, to reshape the regional status quo according to its own image.
Iran and Iraq fought for eight years, and the war cost the two antagonists more than 1 million casualties and at least $150 billion. Iraq received considerable outside support from other countries, including the United States, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and France, largely because these states were determined to prevent the spread of Khomeini’s Islamic revolution. Although the war cost Iraq far more than Saddam expected, it also thwarted Khomeini’s attempt to topple him and dominate the region. War with Iran was not a reckless adventure; it was an opportunistic response to a significant threat.
The Gulf War, 1990-91
But what about Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990? Perhaps the earlier war with Iran was essentially defensive, but surely this was not true in the case of Kuwait. Doesn’t Saddam’s decision to invade his tiny neighbor prove he is too rash and aggressive to be trusted with the most destructive weaponry? And doesn’t his refusal to withdraw, even when confronted by a superior coalition, demonstrate he is unintentionally suicidal
The answer is no. Once again, a careful look shows Saddam was neither mindlessly aggressive nor particularly reckless. If anything, the evidence supports the opposite conclusion.
Saddam’s decision to invade Kuwait was primarily an attempt to deal with Iraq’s continued vulnerability. Iraq’s economy, badly damaged by its war with Iran, continued to decline after that war ended. An important cause of Iraq’s difficulties was Kuwait’s refusal both to loan Iraq $10 billion and to write off debts Iraq had incurred during the Iran-Iraq War. Saddam believed Iraq was entitled to additional aid because the country helped protect Kuwait and other Gulf states from Iranian expansionism. To make matters worse, Kuwait was overproducing the quotas set by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which drove down world oil prices and reduced Iraqi oil profits. Saddam tried using diplomacy to solve the problem, but Kuwait hardly budged. As Karsh and fellow Hussein biographer Inari Rautsi note, the Kuwaitis suspected that some concessions might be necessary, but were determined to reduce them to the barest minimum. Saddam reportedly decided on war sometime in July 1990, but before sending his army into Kuwait, he approached the United States to find out how it would react. In a now famous interview with the Iraqi leader, U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie told Saddam, “[W]e have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.” The U.S. State Department had earlier told Saddam that Washington had “no special defense or security commitments to Kuwait.” The United States may not have intended to give Iraq a green light, but that is effectively what it did.
Saddam invaded Kuwait in early August 1990. This act was an obvious violation of international law, and the United States was justified in opposing the invasion and organizing a coalition against it. But Saddam’s decision to invade was hardly irrational or reckless. Deterrence did not fail in this case; it was never tried.
But what about Saddam’s failure to leave Kuwait once the United States demanded a return to the status quo ante? Wouldn’t a prudent leader have abandoned Kuwait before getting clobbered? With hindsight, the answer seems obvious, but Saddam had good reasons to believe hanging tough might work. It was not initially apparent that the United States would actually fight, and most Western military experts predicted the Iraqi army would mount a formidable defense. These forecasts seem foolish today, but many people believed them before the war began.
Once the U.S. air campaign had seriously damaged Iraq’s armed forces, however, Saddam began searching for a diplomatic solution that would allow him to retreat from Kuwait before a ground war began. Indeed, Saddam made clear he was willing to pull out completely. Instead of allowing Iraq to withdraw and fight another day, then U.S. President George H.W. Bush and his administration wisely insisted the Iraqi army leave its equipment behind as it withdrew. As the administration had hoped, Saddam could not accept this kind of deal.
Saddam undoubtedly miscalculated when he attacked Kuwait, but the history of warfare is full of cases where leaders have misjudged the prospects for war. No evidence suggests Hussein did not weigh his options carefully, however. He chose to use force because he was facing a serious challenge and because he had good reasons to think his invasion would not provoke serious opposition.
Saddam’s Use of Chemical Weapons
Preventive-war advocates also use a second line of argument. They point out that Saddam has used WMD against his own people (the Kurds) and against Iran and that therefore he is likely to use them against the United States. Thus, U.S. President George W. Bush recently warned in Cincinnati that the Iraqi WMD threat against the United States is already significant, and it only grows worse with time. The United States, in other words, is in imminent danger.
Saddam’s record of chemical weapons use is deplorable, but none of his victims had a similar arsenal and thus could not threaten to respond in kind. Iraq’s calculations would be entirely different when facing the United States because Washington could retaliate with WMD if Iraq ever decided to use these weapons first. Saddam thus has no incentive to use chemical or nuclear weapons against the United States and its allies, unless his survival is threatened. This simple logic explains why he has not fired chemical or biological warheads at Israel.
Furthermore, if Saddam cannot be deterred, what is stopping him from using WMD against U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf, which have bombed Iraq repeatedly over the past decade? The bottom line: Deterrence has worked well against Saddam in the past, and there is no reason to think it cannot work equally well in the future.
President Bush’s repeated claim that the threat from Iraq is growing makes little sense in light of Saddam’s past record, and these statements should be viewed as transparent attempts to scare Americans into supporting a war. CIA Director George Tenet flatly contradicted the president in an October 2002 letter to Congress, explaining that Saddam was unlikely to initiate a WMD attack against any U.S. target unless Washington provoked him. Even if Iraq did acquire a larger WMD arsenal, the United States would still retain a massive nuclear retaliatory capability. And if Saddam would only use WMD if the United States threatened his regime, then one wonders why advocates of war are trying to do just that.
Hawks do have a fallback position on this issue. Yes, the United States can try to deter Saddam by threatening to retaliate with massive force. But this strategy may not work because Iraq’s past use of chemical weapons against the Kurds and Iran shows that Saddam is a warped human being who might use WMD without regard for the consequences.
Unfortunately for those who now favor war, this argument is difficult to reconcile with the United States past support for Iraq, support that coincided with some of the behavior now being invoked to portray him as an irrational madman. The United States backed Iraq during the 1980s, when Saddam was gassing Kurds and Iranians, and helped Iraq use chemical weapons more effectively by providing it with satellite imagery of Iranian troop positions. The Reagan administration also facilitated Iraq’s efforts to develop biological weapons by allowing Baghdad to import disease-producing biological materials such as anthrax, West Nile virus, and botulinal toxin. A central figure in the effort to court Iraq was none other than current U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was then President Ronald Reagan’s special envoy to the Middle East. He visited Baghdad and met with Saddam in 1983, with the explicit aim of fostering better relations between the United States and Iraq. In October 1989, about a year after Saddam gassed the Kurds, President George H.W. Bush signed a formal national security directive declaring, “Normal relations between the United States and Iraq would serve our longer-term interests and promote stability in both the Gulf and the Middle East.”
If Saddam’s use of chemical weapons so clearly indicates he is a madman and cannot be contained, why did the United States fail to see that in the 1980s? Why were Rumsfeld and former President Bush then so unconcerned about his chemical and biological weapons? The most likely answer is that U.S. policymakers correctly understood Saddam was unlikely to use those weapons against the United States and its allies unless Washington threatened him directly. The real puzzle is why they think it would be impossible to deter him today.
Keep in mind his use of chemical weapons on Iranian troops was calculated by the satellite intelligence supplied to them by the United States. His use of chemical weapons on the Kurds (Iraqi citizens) was to defend himself from the Kurds (who were talked into overthrowing Saddam by Iran), put in perspective, what would our government do if they found out that one of the states was planning an overthrow?
Saddam With Nukes
The third strike against a policy of containment, according to those who have called for war, is that such a policy is unlikely to stop Saddam from getting nuclear weapons. Once he gets them, so the argument runs, a host of really bad things will happen. For example, President Bush has warned that Saddam intends to “blackmail the world”; likewise, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice believes he would use nuclear weapons to “blackmail the entire international community.” Others fear a nuclear arsenal would enable Iraq to invade its neighbors and then deter the United States from ousting the Iraqi army as it did in 1991. Even worse, Saddam might surreptitiously slip a nuclear weapon to al Qaeda or some like-minded terrorist organization, thereby making it possible for these groups to attack the United States directly.
The administration and its supporters may be right in one sense: Containment may not be enough to prevent Iraq from acquiring nuclear weapons someday. Only the conquest and permanent occupation of Iraq could guarantee that. Yet the United States can contain a nuclear Iraq, just as it contained the Soviet Union. None of the nightmare scenarios invoked by preventive-war advocates are likely to happen.
Consider the claim that Saddam would employ nuclear blackmail against his adversaries. To force another state to make concessions, a blackmailer must make clear that he would use nuclear weapons against the target state if he does not get his way. But this strategy is feasible only if the blackmailer has nuclear weapons but neither the target state nor its allies do.
If the blackmailer and the target state both have nuclear weapons, however, the blackmailer’s threat is an empty one because the blackmailer cannot carry out the threat without triggering his own destruction. This logic explains why the Soviet Union, which had a vast nuclear arsenal for much of the Cold War, was never able to blackmail the United States or its allies and did not even try.
But what if Saddam invaded Kuwait again and then said he would use nuclear weapons if the United States attempted another Desert Storm? Again, this threat is not credible. If Saddam initiated nuclear war against the United States over Kuwait, he would bring U.S. nuclear warheads down on his own head. Given the choice between withdrawing or dying, he would almost certainly choose the first. Thus, the United States could wage Desert Storm II against a nuclear-armed Saddam without precipitating nuclear war.
Ironically, some of the officials now advocating war used to recognize that Saddam could not employ nuclear weapons for offensive purposes. In the January/February 2000 issue of Foreign Affairs, for example, National Security Advisor Rice described how the United States should react if Iraq acquired WMD. “The first line of defense,” she wrote, “should be a clear and classical statement of deterrence, if they do acquire WMD, their weapons will be unusable because any attempt to use them will bring national obliteration.” If she believed Iraq’s weapons would be unusable in 2000, why does she now think Saddam must be toppled before he gets them? For that matter, why does she now think a nuclear arsenal would enable Saddam to blackmail the entire international community, when she did not even mention this possibility in 2000?
What About WMD Handoff?
Of course, now the real nightmare scenario is that Saddam would give WMD secretly to al Qaeda or some other terrorist group. Groups like al Qaeda would almost certainly try to use those weapons against Israel or the United States, and so these countries have a powerful incentive to take all reasonable measures to keep these weapons out of their hands.
However, the likelihood of clandestine transfer by Iraq is extremely small. First of all, there is no credible evidence that Iraq had anything to do with the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or more generally that Iraq is collaborating with al Qaeda against the United States. Hawks inside and outside the Bush administration have gone to extraordinary lengths over the past months to find a link, but they have come up empty-handed.
The lack of evidence of any genuine connection between Saddam and al Qaeda is not surprising because relations between Saddam and al Qaeda have been quite poor in the past. Osama bin Laden is a radical fundamentalist (like Khomeini), and he detests secular leaders like Saddam. Similarly, Saddam has consistently repressed fundamentalist movements within Iraq. Given this history of enmity, the Iraqi dictator is unlikely to give al Qaeda WMD, which it might use in ways he could not control.
Intense U.S. pressure, of course, might eventually force these unlikely allies together, just as the United States and Communist Russia became allies during World War II. Saddam would still be unlikely to share his most valuable weaponry with al Qaeda, however, because he could not be confident it would not be used in ways that place his own survival in jeopardy. During the Cold War, the United States did not share all its WMD expertise with its own allies, and the Soviet Union balked at giving nuclear weapons to China despite their ideological sympathies and repeated Chinese requests. No evidence suggests Saddam would act differently.
Second, Saddam could hardly be confident that the transfer would go undetected. Since September 11, U.S. intelligence agencies and those of its allies have been riveted on al Qaeda and Iraq, paying special attention to finding links between them. If Iraq possessed nuclear weapons, U.S. monitoring of those two adversaries would be further intensified. To give WMD to al Qaeda, Saddam would have to bet he could elude the eyes and ears of numerous intelligence services determined to catch him if he tries a WMD handoff. This bet would not be a safe one.
But even if Saddam thought he could covertly smuggle WMD to bin Laden, he would still be unlikely to do so. Saddam has been trying to acquire these weapons for over 20 years, at great cost and risk. Is it likely he would then turn around and give them away? Furthermore, giving WMD to al Qaeda would be extremely risky for Saddam, even if he could do so without being detected, because he would lose all control over when and where they would be used. And Saddam could never be sure the United States would not incinerate him anyway if it merely suspected he had made it possible for anyone to strike the United States with WMD. The U.S. government and a clear majority of Americans are already deeply suspicious of Iraq, and a WMD attack against the United States or its allies would raise that hostility to fever pitch. Saddam does not have to be certain the United States would retaliate to be wary of giving his WMD to al Qaeda; he merely has to suspect it might.
In sum, Saddam cannot afford to guess wrong on whether he would be detected providing al Qaeda with WMD, nor can he afford to guess wrong that Iraq would be spared if al Qaeda launched a WMD strike against the United States or its allies. And the threat of U.S. retaliation is not as far-fetched as one might think. The United States has enhanced its flexible nuclear options in recent years, and no one knows just how vengeful Americans might feel if WMD were ever used against the U.S. homeland. Indeed, WMD terrorism is as dangerous for Saddam as it is for Americans, and he has no more incentive to give al Qaeda WMD than the United States does, unless, of course, the country makes clear it is trying to overthrow him. Instead of attacking Iraq and giving Saddam nothing to lose, the Bush administration should have signaled it would hold him responsible if some terrorist group used WMD against the United States, even if it cannot prove he is to blame.
This is an article from the BBC on I believe Sept 18th, 2001 LINK
US ‘planned attack on Taleban’
A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama Bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week’s attacks.
Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October.
Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin.
Mr Naik told the BBC that at the meeting the US representatives told him that unless Bin Laden was handed over swiftly America would take military action to kill or capture both Bin Laden and the Taleban leader, Mullah Omar.
The wider objective, according to Mr Naik, would be to topple the Taleban regime and install a transitional government of moderate Afghans in its place - possibly under the leadership of the former Afghan King Zahir Shah.
Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operation from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place.
He was told that Uzbekistan would also participate in the operation and that 17,000 Russian troops were on standby.
Mr Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest.
He said that he was in no doubt that after the World Trade Center bombings this pre-existing US plan had been built upon and would be implemented within two or three weeks.
And he said it was doubtful that Washington would drop its plan even if Bin Laden were to be surrendered immediately by the Taleban.
Excerpt from article called “Mad at America” From TimeEurope
It was a cozy, intimate dinner party for some of Brussels’ leading lights, held at the home of one of the city’s premier architects. Leonard Schrank, the American chief executive of the financial services firm Swift and president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Belgium, took a seat next to an elegant woman he recognized as one of Belgium’s richest people. During the pre-dinner chitchat in a room full of museum-quality contemporary art, she ventured offhandedly that it was “good that the Americans got hit on Sept. 11. Maybe it taught them a lesson.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Schrank responded. “More than 3,000 people died!” The woman wilted under his assault, but for Schrank the moral of the story was clear. “She was just repeating what she had heard,” he says. “The real point is that 90% of the people she talks to every day would agree with her.”