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It goes without saying that none of Bush 43's warlords have asked the Arabs if they'd like that.
Somehow we find it hard to sell our values, namely that the rich should plunder the poor.
-- John Foster Dulles, former Secretary of State
There's no dispute that most of the Arab world is under the thumbs of dictators. That generally doesn't bother us. Actually, what's pretty clear is that whenever a popular nationalist movement has emerged in the Arab world (or in Latin America or just about anywhere else), our military and CIA have sought to undermine it in favor of compliant if bloodthirsty vassals.
Saddam Hussein, for example, was much loved by America -- we gave him his weapons of mass destruction to use against Iran and his own citizens. It's just that now, even if Hussein suddenly became a jolly good fellow, he wouldn't do oil business with us, but would probably partner with the Russians or French.
It's not too hard to understand why one of our favorite brutes has left our fold. Even a dictator has to play to his people. Our sanctions have killed a half-million Iraqi children (UNESCO estimates) and we have generally devastated Iraq's infrastructure and economy for more than decade, causing unimaginable misery and death.
Thus, the Iraqis undoubtedly hate us more -- we kill their kids -- than they do Hussein, who -- mostly -- murders his political enemies.
Our intent is not and never has been to bring democracy to Iraq. The five Iraqi generals the Bushies have in mind to replace Hussein are all as thuggish as the current despot; indeed, they all have used chemical warfare weapons on the Iranians or Kurds. The only difference is that unlike Hussein, they'll be more amenable to selling us their oil.
Of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? ... But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along. ... All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.
-- Hermann Goering, at the Nuremburg trials
John Ashcroft couldn't have said it better. If there appears to be a similarity in mindset between Goering and Ashcroft, that's probably not an accident. In all respects, the Bush administration has been an exercise in deceit and propaganda, and its goal is to create a population that, without dissent, willingly subscribes to the most outrageous lies. Compared to the Bush fraternity, George Orwell's Big Brother was a lightweight with his modest doublethink slogans -- "War is peace," "Ignorance is strength," "Freedom is slavery."
What we have learned since 9-11 is that it wasn't Osama bin Laden who prompted the war in Afghanistan. Rather, as first disclosed by French journalists and is only now being gingerly picked up by the American press, both the Clinton and Bush administration had been involved in negotiations with the Taliban for an oil pipeline. When the bartering broke down in July 2001, we told Kabul they could have either a "carpet of gold" or a "carpet of bombs." The plans for the invasion were in place long before the terrorists struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; the attack merely gave cover to our existing scheme.
Similarly, CBS News reported Sept. 4 that "barely five hours after American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was telling his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq -- even though there was no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks."
And, none of the bellicosity has anything to do with fighting evil. These guys would hunker down with the devil himself if he contributed to the GOP war chest. Dick Cheney, while running Halliburton Co., was happy to do tens of millions of dollars in business with the Hussein regime in recent years, skirting U.S. laws by utilizing the firm's offshore subsidiaries. Even more juicy is a road the press is squeamish to travel -- Bush's family's fortune derives largely from dealing with Nazis.
So, why the war?
Bush is presenting us as the victims. Hussein may have weapons of mass destruction, and he may use them (that he has few systems to deploy them effectively them is just an irrelevant detail), or he may give them to terrorists. Hence, we launch a pre-emptive strike based on all of these mays.
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