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Signs of the Times for Fri, 31 Mar 2006

Signs Editorial:

by Rodrigue Tremblay
March 28, 2006
"To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole."

Nuremberg Tribunal

George W. Bush was planning a premeditated attack on Iraq to secure 'regime change' in that country, even before he took power in January 2001. It was Bush's plan for the U.S. to take military control of the Middle East Gulf region, whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq. In fact, presidential candidate Bush Jr. saw the political benefits of attacking Iraq as early as 1999, as has been confirmed by Bush's biographer, Mickey Herskowitz.

Just before the Nov. 2000 presidential elections, and much before the terrorist attacks of September 2001, a Bush inner cabinet composed of Dick Cheney (now Vice- President), Donald Rumsfeld (Secretary of Defense), Paul Wolfowitz (later Rumsfeld's deputy and now President of the World Bank), GWB's younger brother Jeb Bush (Governor of Florida) and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff) drafted a policy document, dated September 2000, and entitled "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century." -The neo-conservative blueprint called for establishing a "permanent (American) role in Gulf regional security". It said: "While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein." During that time, Gov. Bush was campaigning in October 2000, declaring himself to be unambiguously against "extending our troops all around the world in nation-building missions". (October 3, 2000). -It is thus amply clear that the Bush administration had a plan to invade Iraq, that this plan was hidden from the American people, and then that they seized the opportunity provided by the 9/11 events to implement it.

Since internal government polls showed that the American public would only support a war against Iraq if there was a danger that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons, the Bush-Cheney administration invented the Iraqi nuclear threat from scratch. -The American corporate media (ACM) did the rest. They acted as an echo chamber for the White House lies, repeating ad nauseam the big lie that a war was necessary to destroy Iraq's stockpile of "weapons of mass destruction."

The invasion and occupation of Iraq by U.S. forces on March 20, 2003, was in flagrant breach of international law and America's own binding treaty commitments in the UN Charter to abandon the unilateral use of force as an instrument of international policy. -Article 2(4) of the UN Charter is crystal clear: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations." To pretend to ignore the law is the summum of hypocrisy. The fact remains that the war against Iraq is the first illegal war of the 21st Century. Moreover, it is an immoral war according to any coherent moral code. No democracy can win an immoral war. And the Iraq war is both illegal and immoral.

Bush based his unilateral military aggression on the false and discredited theory of "preemptive war", the so-called imperial "Bush Doctrine" that allows the U.S. to attack a foreign country on the basis of suspicion alone. He forgot to say that any such 'preemptive' military attack on another country, which is unsanctioned by the United Nations, is in direct contravention of international law and the UN Charter. The U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan made that very clear in September 2004, in regard to Iraq, when he said: "The US-led invasion of Iraq was an illegal act that contravened the UN charter." The fact that Bush has reaffirmed his illegal strategy of preventive war only makes him more dangerous and less accountable, and makes the world a less secure place.

Now that Iraq is a mess, that thousands and thousands of people have been killed, that the Iraqi infrastructures have been destroyed and that the fire of civil war has been lit between the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds, it will take very competent people to avoid a larger catastrophe. Bush even acknowledges now that he may not clean up the mess he made in Iraq, but will leave that to the next president, scheduled to take over on January 20, 2009. -Bush is also shedding crocodile tears over the mess in Iraq and he even goes so far as to say that he never wanted to go to war against Iraq, even though there are tons of evidence to the contrary: "I didn't want war [in Iraq] ...No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true." ..."When he

[Saddam Hussein] chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. (George W. Bush, March 21, 2005.)

Somebody should remind Bush Jr. that the 145 U.N. inspectors were in Iraq in December 2002 and in January 2003, but had to leave the country precipitiously when the American president announced he was going to bomb Baghdad. Also, he should be reminded that the government of Saddam Hussein was in compliance with U.N. demands when it supplied, on December 7, 2002, a 12,200-page declaration about its weapons programs. In this report, Iraq demonstrated convincingly that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, when inspectors left at the end of 1998, and that none had been designed, procured, produced or stored in the period since then.

We now know this was the truth.

Iraq had dismantled its nuclear program and destroyed its chemical and biological weapons stockpiles by 1992. Unfortunately, the Bush administration removed more than 8,000 pages from the December 2002 Iraqi report before publishing it. These erased pages listed in detail how the United States supplied Iraq with biological and chemical weapons, during the 1980's, and the direct involvement of twenty-four U.S-based corporations and key American political figures in the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. And, even more damning for the Bush administration, in his final report of October 2004, Charles Duelfer, head of the post-invasion U.S. team of weapons hunters, concluded also that Iraq and the U.N. inspectors had, indeed, dismantled Iraq's weapons of mass destruction . So far, the Bush administration has offered no apology for twisting reality to fit its warmongering plans.

Nowadays, President Bush Jr. is shamelessly lying about his lies. As the saying goes, 'Lie once -Lie a thousand times'. We now know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that he knew he was lying about the motives to launch a war and that he was looking for ways to provoke a war with Iraq. A recently divulged British confidential memorandum, which has been thoroughly analyzed by the New York Times, explains, in detail, how the Bush administration engineered this war and lied its ways into it.

This historical truth is unassailable. -The stark fact is that, for his Middle Eastern policy, Bush Jr. has enthusiastically and irresponsibly adopted the chaos theory of the neoconservatives advising him. For example, he told Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, who wrote the book "Bush at War": "Look, our strategy is to create chaos, to create a vacuum."

In the summer and fall of 2002, Bush Jr. was watching the polls, and when he saw that the official propaganda against Iraq was working, linking Iraq with 9/11, with the active complicity of the American corporate media (ACM), and that it would be politically advantageous to him and the Republicans to have a war against the diabolized Saddam Hussein, he went to war on his own volition, even though he had failed to obtain the necessary legal cover from the United Nations and his own intelligence reports made it amptly clear there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The Bush administration was bent on going to war against Iraq no matter what, and it "fixed the intelligence and facts" around the already decided policy. See the Downing Street Memo. The extent to which the Bush administration resorted to lies and trickeries to launch a war of choice against Iraq will fascinate future historians. It will be the sad joke of the 21st Century.

For those, like the highly respected journalist Helen Thomas, who still try to get at the truth of why Bush illegally, and with no provocation, invaded Iraq, Bush Jr. has a ready answer, and it is the one he gave Bob Woodward: "I'm the commander-see, I don't need to explain-I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody an explanation."

He 'don't' need to explain!

If he were in a democracy following the rules of the British parliamentary system, he would have to answer such fundamental questions in the daily 'Question Period' of the House of Commons. In the U.S., he can stonewall and only a few professional journalists dare to make him accountable, ...and this happens only once in a few years.

In all my years spent at observing politicians all around the world, I have never seen such delusion and such lack of candor in a single person, as is witnessed in George W. Bush.

Maybe Congress should dust off its copies of the Nuremberg Charter and of the U. N. Charter, and begin applying the U.S. Constitution each member was sworn to uphold. A simple majority of the US House of Representatives can vote to impeach George W. Bush.

In launching a war of aggression against Iraq and in inventing lies to justify his actions, George W. Bush has committed an international war crime of the highest order.

As military historian Martin van Creveld has aply put it: "For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.

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