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The Destruction of Iraq 1990-2007


Sid Walker
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I propose this new thread on the topic The Destruction of Iraq 1990-2007

If I could use a longer subtitle, it would be How western powers - notably the USA - were manipulated into attacking and progressively destroying Iraq in the period 1990-2007

Every step of the way, I believe, Iraq has been 'set up' by hostile forces.

But who?

While earlier history is also relevant, I think there's value in looking at the last 17 years as a discrete period. That's the period that the USA and Britain has been involved, once again, in military assaults on Iraq from the air and on the ground.

There have been three main phases:

1/ the set up over Kuwait and subsequent Gulf War (1990-1)

2/ Sanctions, air strikes and "inspections" (1992-2002)

3/ Invasion, chaos and instigation of civil strife (2003 - ?)

At every stage in this systematic demolition of what was - less than 20 years ago - one of the most prosperous and progressive nations in the region, the main losers have been the bulk of the Iraqi population.

Their plight - like that of the Palestinians - has intensified, over time, into what now seems like a permanent horror story.

As an initial 'supporting exhibit', here's an article by Richard Curtiss in the Palestine Chronicle: How Israel Manipulated Western Intelligence Agencies.

It deals with the run up to the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Here are the first few paragraphs:

It’s no secret that much of the news reported in Israel’s Hebrew-language media never reaches the mainstream American press, for the simple reason that items unfavorable to Israel generally are not translated. And, because very few Israelis break this self-imposed censorship, items from the Hebrew press that do appear may be much more newsworthy than their anemic English translations indicate.

It was a bit stunning, therefore, to read an article in Strategic Assessment, the quarterly bulletin issued by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. The report, titled “The War in Iraq: An Intelligence Failure?” was written by Shlomo Brom, a brigadier general in the Israeli Army reserves, and said what no one seems to have dared publish since President George W. Bush decided to wage war on Iraq. Shockingly, it told the full truth about the American and British intelligence “sources” making the case for war.

In fact, according to Brom, these sources were utterly compromised by Israeli intelligence, which made the case for starting the war and kept it going as long as necessary. The retired general described Israel as a “full partner” in US and British intelligence failures that exaggerated Iraq’s nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs in the lead up to the US-led invasion.

Israeli intelligence sources and political leaders provided “an exaggerated assessment of Iraqi capabilities,” raising “the possibility that the intelligence had been manipulated,” wrote Brom, former deputy chief of planning for the Israeli Army.

A strong case can be made, IMO, that the Zionist Lobby (that is, the State of Israel and its iternational support network), has been on the offensive against Iraq since the 1940s.

Whereas Britain and America in general have moved, since the 40s, towards adoption of a neo-colonial, "hands-off" approach to relations with countries such as Iraq, the Zionist fixation with weakening this old enemy demanded a 'hands'on' approach. After 1981, Israel has prefered that the main thrust of 'hands on' involvement has come from its western proxies, the USA & Britain (I guess Australia deserves a minor mention too).

But how to do it?

How to get the Governments of these English speaking 'democracies' motivated to attack - and sustain attacks against - a country that presents no threat and did plenty of good business with all three (oil, guns, wheat, butter & the rest)

Curtiss, I believe, helps expose how it was done in 2003, in part by direct quotation from an Israeli brigadier general.

Incidentally, has anyone else on the forum read The Jews of Iraq by Naeim Giladi?

Important background, IMO - which shows Zionist hatred for the pluralistic society that was Iraq extends back over many decades - and how Zionist agents have been willing to use false flag operations to fragment Iraqi society.

Giladi should know. He was one of them. But he matured into a wiser and very courageous man, determined to get out the truth as he saw it.. a story you won't see fatured in the Western mass media any time soon.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Sid,

It certainly seems like the destruction of Iraq has been a work in progress for some years now, and possibly part of some grand plan.

I suspect you may not get a lot of responses to a thread like this because years of indoctrination by the western media would cause many--even well informed readers--to view this type of scenario as quite radical. I hope I'm wrong.

The Giladi interview was fascinating. I haven't read his book but the excerpts indicate that a disturbing contempt for pluralistic society was evident from the beginning. It's also apparent that western media bias in the coverage of the Middle East situation is not a recent phenomenon.

Giladi doesn't mention who authored 'Venom of the Zionist Viper'. Do you know who it was?

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Sid,

It certainly seems like the destruction of Iraq has been a work in progress for some years now, and possibly part of some grand plan.

I suspect you may not get a lot of responses to a thread like this because years of indoctrination by the western media would cause many--even well informed readers--to view this type of scenario as quite radical. I hope I'm wrong.

The Giladi interview was fascinating. I haven't read his book but the excerpts indicate that a disturbing contempt for pluralistic society was evident from the beginning. It's also apparent that western media bias in the coverage of the Middle East situation is not a recent phenomenon.

Giladi doesn't mention who authored 'Venom of the Zionist Viper'. Do you know who it was?

I don't know about 'Venom of the Zionist Viper', Mark.

No responses can mean no interest - or no substantive criticisms.

Either would be telling, as I aim to present a documented case that since 1990 well over a million Iraqis have been, in effect, murdered through the foreseeable consequences of western military and politicial actions. A society that was prosperous and on the brink of achieving 'first world' status has become ruined and immiserated.

I'll argue that this cruel demolition of Iraqi society has been consequence of deliberate manipulation of Anglo-American politics by the Israel Lobby, to ensure these nations serve as 'enforcers' of Zionist policy. In the process, the American and British people as a whole have been repeatedly misled. The major culprit in this deception has been the Anglo-American mass media, which has displayed an overwhelming Zionist bias.

There has been parallel manipulation and deception in other countries. Nevertheless, it's appropriate to focus on the USA and Britain, as these two nations have been the major 'players' in the demolition of Iraq. Others, such as Australia, have played relatively small supporting roles in the Zionist-orchestrated assault on Iraq.

There are, I believe, a preponderance of British and American participants on this forum.

No comments at all would suggest moral and intellectual bancruptcy within the Anglo-American intelligensia.

Supportive comments would strengthen what I believe is a clear case for massive reparations to the Iraqi people.

Critical comments are welcome too - and will help test the accuracy and weight of my case that The Destruction of Iraq 1990-2007 has ultimately been driven by Zionist policies, sold to the Anglo-American destroyers via a program of delberate manipulation and deception.

Now, I made an article by Richard Curtiss 'Exhibit 1'. Curtiss quotes an Israeli Brigadier General admitting (bragging?) that Anglo-American false 'intelligence' on Iraqi WMDs was made in Israel.

It goes to the heart, in my opinion, of the issue of ultimate responsibility for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

I’ll make 'Exhibit 2' the large corpus of material left to us on the subject of Iraq by Jude Wanniski.

Wanniski was a conservative American economist of Polish origins. As he explains in THIS INTERVIEW, he was a contemporary and colleague of some of the leading 'neocons' of today in the 1970s and 80s..

Wanniski broke with the neocons over Iraq in the 1990s. In the last years of his life, understanding Iraq's recent history became a central interest.

In the main interview featured on the webpage referenced above, Wanniski covers a lot of ground. In particular, he reviews the origins of the 1990/1 attack on Iraq under the 'leadership' of George Bush Snr.

It's true that the falsehoods and trickery Wanniski exposes were not solely the work of the Israel Lobby. For instance, US military 'intelligence' was co-opted to make a false case for the First Gulf War by facilitating false reports of Iraqi troops massing by the Saudi Arabian border. Indeed, in 1990/1, the despicable role played by the Kuwaiti Emir and his cronies was a key factor.

However, the Zionist Lobby was decisive in the campaign to demonize Saddam that began, in the western media, during the 1980s and hasn't ceased since.

For those who prefer to read rathern than listen, there's a page HERE full of links to Jude Wanniski's writings, largely but not entirely about Iraq.

Here's a sample:

Where It All Began

by Jude Wanniski, June 3, 2004

In case you have not noticed, the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal has continued to justify its ardent support for the pre-emptive war against Iraq even though no weapons of mass destruction have been found and no links between Saddam and Al Qaeda have been found. The latest rationale is that the 24 million people of Iraq are better off for the war, although the editors do not include the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and military who have died in the course of their liberation.

Yesterday's editpage goes much further, with a commentary by a senior vice president of Dow Jones & Co., L. Gordon Crovitz, who takes the rationale for pre-emptive war all the way back to June 1981, when the Israeli Air Force bombed the almost-completed billion-dollar nuclear-power plant outside Baghdad. As you will see in his review of a new book celebrating that event, Crovitz notes that the entire world condemned the clear act of aggression by Israel, with even the United States casting its vote in the United Nations against Israel. The only EXCEPTION was the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, which praised the bombing – on the grounds that Iraq was most certainly building an atom bomb.

In fact, for all these years, when it comes to all issues involving national security in general and the Middle East in particular, the Journal's editorial page has served as the personal fiefdom of Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz. Crovitz of course knows that as well as I do, having worked his way up to his present status at Dow Jones through the editpage. Trained as a lawyer, he became editor of the editorial page of the Journal's Asian edition, which took its cues from New York on all matters of national security. In reading his commentary, note what he does not tell his readers:

1. Iraq had signed the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which entitled it to receive assistance from the nuclear powers in building plants to generate electrical power. The Osiraq plant was constructed by the French, which had built an identical plant for Israel, which had not signed the NPT and provided the fissile material for its plant through its own sources. The difference is that NPT signators who received assistance had to also agree to frequent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to make sure none of the fissile material used for power production was diverted to a weapons program.

2. Just as we now know Iraq had no WMD when we attacked it last year, we now know Iraq had no nuclear weapons program at the time of the Osiraq bombing and that it was the bombing that led Baghdad to initiate a clandestine weapons program outside the purview of the IAEA – a program that ended in complete failure in any event.

3. Although the U.S. officially condemned the Israeli attack on Osiraq, for which Iraq was never compensated financially, the Pentagon gave Israel what assistance it could in planning the airstrike through a special office established soon after Ronald Reagan's inauguration in January 1981. The man assigned to the office was Richard Perle, who has since congratulated himself for the timely success of the bombing – hastily arranged so the plant could be destroyed before it had been fitted with nuclear material – or the nuclear fallout would have contaminated the area and caused much more loss of life than the few workers killed in the strike.

4. The headline on his story, "Everyone now agrees it was right to attack Iraq pre-emptively," is the Journal's way of saying that it would have been much more difficult to subdue Iraq in the 1991 Gulf War if its power plant had not been destroyed and Saddam had found a way to sneak fissile material past the IAEA inspectors to build an Islamic bomb. Another way of looking at it is that Time magazine was right in stating: "Israel has vastly compounded the difficulties of procuring a peaceful settlement of the confrontation in the Middle East."

5. Crovitz does not tell us that Israel has been seriously considering a pre-emptive bombing of the Iranian nuclear power plant outside Tehran, which the neo-cons in the Bush administration and the Journal's editors would of course celebrate as well.

Those who believe that – whatever else – Saddam was a villain because he “gassed his own people” might like to start with this memo to John Ashcroft .

It’s classic Jude Wanniski:

Memo To: Attorney General John Ashcroft

From: Jude Wanniski

Re: Why is He Being Held at All?

I see in the papers, John, that our government has decided that we will maintain physical custody of Saddam Hussein even after the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to an Iraqi interim government. An anonymous official told Associated Press the reason is the Iraqis do not have a prison safe enough to hold Saddam, and I suppose there may be some concern that if the Iraqi interim government got their hands on him there may be no need for a “trial.” They might sooner have him “die of natural causes” in his cell rather than have him answer the charges of war crimes, which have yet to be brought against him. But I now wonder why he is being held at all?

If you think about it, 18 months ago Saddam Hussein was sitting in his office, the duly constituted president and prime minister of Iraq, minding his own business. The United States did not have diplomatic relations with Iraq and so did not formally recognize him as head of state. But most of the rest of the world did, and Iraq had a seat at the United Nations and in its proper rotation could even take a seat on the Security Council. It was at this point that President Bush decided Saddam had weapons of destruction and was conspiring with Al Qaeda to menace peace-loving nations like the United States. He took his assertions to the UN Security Council and the Council agreed by a 15-to-0 vote to demand Saddam permit UN inspectors back into Iraq to search for the WMD. If you followed the U.N. proceedings over the following months, you will find that Baghdad fully complied with every demand made upon it by the Security Council.

Even if you missed the TV coverage, if you read the papers carefully you would find no instance where Saddam thumbed his nose at the Council. When he read of accounts from President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of State Powell that he was still hiding stuff from the inspectors that our CIA knew about, he said he would invite the CIA to come and look in every nook and cranny. Remember? And when the UN inspectors were given tips by the CIA on places to search for WMD, they did so and found no traces of WMD. Not a teensy weensy bit of evidence. So when President Bush asked the Security Council for a resolution backing a war with Iraq, the Council turned him down. The other members pointed out that U.N. diplomacy had indeed worked and that the inspectors could clean up the last bits and pieces in a few months and certify that Iraq was absolutely clean.

President Bush did have authorization from the U.S. Congress to go to war with Iraq to get his WMD, but the resolution required that before he committed troops he had to certify in letters to the House and Senate that diplomacy had failed. Mr. Bush sent such letters to the House and Senate two days before our generals led coalition troops into Iraq from Kuwait. Some members of Congress objected, but what could they do but sit back and wait for our troops to defeat the Iraqi army and then locate the hidden WMD?

As we now know, Saddam Hussein was telling the truth. He had no WMD, had in fact gotten rid of them in 1991 when the U.N. passed a resolution demanding that he do so. Well, the administration of which you are the chief legal officer then insisted the war was justified because of Al Qaeda connections to Saddam’s regime. We don’t need a permission slip from the UNSC if we see there is a potential threat from a government somewhere, anywhere, that might develop WMD and give them to Al Qaeda, who would then sneak them into the United States and cause catastrophic loss of life. But now we find Saddam was absolutely telling the truth that he had no contact with Al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden and that the one overture that came from Al Qaeda to an Iraqi official several years ago, asking assistance from Baghdad, was rebuffed. Apparently our intelligence agencies knew all this, as the 9-11 Commission has since discovered, but the administration you serve chose to believe otherwise. The war went forward and the mission was accomplished, at least in its formal military phase. Estimates of the number of Iraqi military and militiamen killed in combat range as high as 60,000 and estimates of the collateral damage to civilians range from 16,000 to 35,000 deaths.

Saddam Hussein was eventually located in his spider hole and whisked away, put under lock and key in a secure prison, with the idea that he would eventually be turned over to a duly constituted court of law and tried as a war criminal. President Bush on many occasions has pointed out that Iraq is better off without Saddam because his regime was known to have used “torture and rape rooms” at Al Ghraib prison. Now you know President Bush did not order our military people to use those same rooms to rape and torture Iraqi “detainees.” He says so and I believe him. But I wonder if you have evidence that Saddam ordered the Iraqi state or local police to “torture and rape,” or might he also insist as Mr. Bush has that he was at the tippy top of the national government and if he had known what excesses were committed by local cops, he would have put a stop to it.

To tell you the truth, John, as far as I can recall, there have been no assertions of the “brutality” of Saddam’s regime from anyone but the Iraqi exiles associated with Ahmet Chalabi or those Kurds who fought on the Iranian side in the Iran/Iraq war. There are all kinds of anecdotes about Saddam doing dreadful things, entire books written about them, but the source of all of them is the same pool of people who have been feeding faked “evidence” of WMD and Al Qaeda connections to our government.

Can it be that there is nothing that Saddam has done all these years that cannot be justified as the permissible acts of a head of state acting in defense of his people. Yes, he invaded Kuwait in 1990, but in retrospect that was a really easy war to justify, given the economic warfare being conducted against Iraq by the Emir of Kuwait. I mean easy in relation to now having to justify this American invasion and destruction of good chunks of Iraq, on false premises.

President Bush still has it in his head that Saddam tried to assassinate his father in 1993, but if you did the smallest bit of digging you would find this was a hoax perpetrated by the neo-cons. The President also has it in his head that Saddam committed genocide against the Kurds in 1988, killing tens of thousands of them with poison gas and/or machine guns. If you lifted a little pinky to get to the bottom of this story, you will find it is also made of neo-con whole cloth. I’m not making wild assertions, John, because I have spent countless hours on this subject and find no loopholes left. Just call Human Rights Watch and ask if they have yet found the mass graves of those tens of thousands of Kurds and they will sheepishly admit they are still looking.

I’ll have to admit there is no easy way out for the Bush administration in explaining how it could have been snookered from first to last about Saddam Hussein. I’m not suggesting you ask to meet with the President and tell him he should go on TV and tell the American people he made a Bigtime Boo-Boo. I’m only suggesting you go back to your law books and, for your own good, get a good grip on why Saddam Hussein is behind bars when it now turns out he doesn’t seem to have done anything wrong. You might then be in a better position to advise the President on how to proceed in the best way to avoid further Bigtime Boo-Boos.

June 24, 2004

Wanniski reportedly died at his deak of a heart attack in 2005.

Edited by Sid Walker
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Additional Jude Wanniski references:

1) Fallujah and Those Mass Graves

by Jude Wanniski in antiwar.com, November 6, 2004

It's written, once again, in the form of a memo - this time to David Broder of the Washington Post...

Memo To: David Broder, Washington Post

Re: Those Mass Graves

Remember, David, back on Sept. 27, I posted a memo on the margin that I wrote to you, complimenting you on your column about how the news media had been "losing their way"? It had to do with your observation that the major news media were chasing sham stories while not asking serious questions about the most important topics of the day, including the war in Iraq – which both your newspaper and The New York Times acknowledged in price, apologizing for not being more aggressive in the months leading up to the president's decision to go to war. In my note to you, I suggested you look into the long-held conventional wisdom that Saddam Hussein committed genocide, a view largely propagated by Human Rights Watch. The organization estimated that as many as 290,000 Iraqis were killed by Saddam during his reign, with 100,000 Kurds slaughtered in 1988, in the last months of the Iran/Iraq war. Prime Minister Tony Blair at one point said as many as 400,000 Iraqis had been killed by Saddam's regime.

Partly as a result of the HRW assertions, the Bush administration justified its use of force to replace the duly constituted government in Baghdad. The most recent estimates of the dead total 100,000 Iraqi civilians and 60,000 to 80,000 Iraqi military, plus the almost 1,200 Americans who have died during the course of the war. We are currently bombing the 300,000 people of Fallujah in hopes of pacifying the city and may wind up leveling it altogether. Is the sky the limit on what it will take to bring freedom and democracy to the people of Iraq? Don't you wonder?

Meanwhile, this week Human Rights Watch issued its long-awaited conclusive report on Saddam's genocidal record. As far as I know, the major news media have not picked up the report, which is available on the Internet at HRW's Web site. I read about the report in the British press. It turns out that in 19 months HRW's experts have not been able to find the missing 100,000 bodies it said were of Kurds who had been rounded up and trucked south of Kurdistan, machine-gunned to death, and buried in mass graves. In fact, it now blames the U.S. coalition for not securing those mass graves containing smaller numbers of Iraqis or keeping looters from carrying off official Iraqi records of the genocide and the mass graves. You should read the report in its entirety, David, and maybe you will get your editors to take a look too. Here are two pertinent graphs from the summary:

"In the case of both documents and mass graves, U.S.-led coalition forces failed to secure the relevant sites at the time of the overthrow of the former government. They subsequently failed to put in place the professional expertise and assistance necessary to ensure proper classification and exhumation procedures, with the result that key evidentiary materials have been lost or tainted. In the case of mass graves, these failures also have frustrated the goal of enabling families to know the fate of missing relatives. The findings of the report are all the more disturbing against the backdrop of a tribunal established to bring justice for serious past crimes, the Iraqi Special Tribunal. Human Rights Watch has serious concerns that the tribunal is fundamentally flawed and may be incapable of delivering justice.

"The extent of the negligence with which key documentary and forensic evidence has been treated to date is surprising, given that the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi authorities alike knew that trials of Hussein and key Ba'ath government officials would be important landmarks in Iraq's political recovery, that successful trials require solid evidence, and that, as international experience has shown, preserving such trial-ready evidence is a difficult task. Some of the evidence has been destroyed, but it is not too late to assume custody of millions of additional pieces of evidence. Some of this material, if it is given the urgent attention it needs and deserves, may prove critical in the proceedings of the upcoming trials. It will also play an important role as Iraqis attempt to construct an accurate historical record of their traumatic experiences under Ba'ath Party rule."

Do you see what I mean? Saddam Hussein will soon be put on trial for crimes against humanity, and the Iraqi prosecutors will not have the goods on him.

Now that the election is over, maybe you will have more time to devote to this exercise. You should at least give a call to Dr. Stephen Pelletiere, the retired CIA analyst who has never believed in the genocide stories, but has awaited the report of Human Rights Watch to see what it has found. After reading the report in its entirety, he told me they had, as he expected, come up empty:

"This claim of HRW that they haven't got evidence that will stand up, because the graves have been compromised, overlooks one key fact: they were claiming that the Ba'ath killed hundreds of thousands. If these graves really contained all the bodies they're supposed to contain, the numbers of dead alone would convict the Ba'ath. If you read the report, they say over and over again they 'believe' such-and-such a grave actually contains thousands of bodies; but all they've been able to find is a few score (at best). I think that's what gives the scam away. They can't produce the hundreds of thousands, or even the tens of thousands they promised they would."

I've tried to get lots and lots of reporters interested in the story, David, but in every case they have a reason why they just can't do it at this time. They've lost their way, as you noted. As the dean of the Washington press corps, you should please help them find it.

This material helps explain, I think, why it was so important to hang Saddam before the "gassing" charges against him could be heard - and those claims of "gassings" subjected to a modicum of scrutiny.

2) Jude Wanniski discusses his chapter in the book Neo-conned!: The (Bogus) Case Against Saddam.

The (Bogus) Case Against Saddam

Excerpt from “Neo-conned!” of an interview with Jude Wanniski*

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States and Britain was based primarily on the claim that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, theoretically being manufactured to threaten other countries. How much truth was there in that assertion?

Jude Wanniski: None at all. The U. S. Armed Forces only considers nuclear weapons to be weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had neither nuclear weapons nor chemical or biological weapons. The only thing it may have possessed were some of the ingredients necessary to develop chemical or biological weapons. In fact, there were several attempts by France, Russia, and China to declare Iraq in compliance with the resolutions some years before Gulf War II, but each time they were vetoed by the United States and the U.K. For example on November 20, 1997, a Russian-Iraqi Press communique was released in which Moscow pledged „to promote energetically the speedy lifting of sanctions against Iraq on the basis of its compliance with the corresponding UN resolutions.“ On July 30, 1998, the New York Times reported that „Russia tried and failed to get Security Council action today on a resolution declaring that Iraq had complied with demands to destroy its nuclear weapons program and was ready to move away from intrusive inspections to long-term monitoring.“ These are just a couple of the many examples that could be cited.

The presentation of the Duelfer Report on October 6, 2004 - and the confirmation of its conclusions by both the report of the „Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding of Weapons of Mass Destruction“ (delivered on March 31, 2005) and the Duelfer adden-dum, released on April 25 of this year and officially declaring „exhausted“ the search for WMD in Iraq - is the final proof of this fact. No WMDs were found; no facilities to produce such weapons were found. The con-clusion was that the Hussein government had, indeed, complied with the relevant UN resolutions in the wake of the first Gulf War - exactiy as countless experts had said prior to Gulf War II.

What do you mean by „countless experts“? Surely it is well known that up to their departure in 1998, the UN inspectors were uncovering hid-den WMDs almost on a daily basis?

What I mean is that the people in the best position to know the true extent of Iraq‘s WMDs - both real and alleged - were the inspectors sent in by the UN after the end of the first Gulf War. Those experts concluded years ago that in practical terms the weapons and the production facilities for such weapons had been destroyed. As for being „well-known,“ I think that it is truer to say that the „impression“ was given that WMDs were being found on a daily basis, though the truth of the matter was not being reported.

Could you be more specific since this will be news to a lot of people?

Many of us pointed out that Iraq was always being put in the position of having to „prove a negative.“ From the end of 1992 onward, Iraq insisted it did not possess WMDs any longer. We now know that they were telling the truth, but the U.S. government - both the Clinton and Bush administrations - insisted they were not telling the truth and had to prove to us that they had nothing hidden. By 1995, we now know Iraq did not possess the facilities to recreate the arsenal that it originally had, but how could it prove this fact at the time? How could it take us to a hidden cache somewhere in the hills or mountains if no such cache existed? Yes, the Iraqis seemed to be acting suspiciously at times, at least in U.S. press accounts that described a „cat and mouse“ game with UN inspectors. But the bottom line is what counts at the time the decisions were being made to go to war, and by 2001, with George W. Bush a newly minted President, the former UN weapons inspector, Scott Ritter, was asserting: „There is absolutely no reason to believe that Iraq could have meaningfully reconstituted any element of its WMD capabilities in the past 18 months.“

The period to which Ritter referred was when the UNSCOM inspectors were pulled out of Iraq at the insistence of the Clinton administration, which decided on its own that Iraq had to be punished for its „cat-and-mouse“ behavior. It proceeded to bomb Iraq and did not want any inspectors killed in the process. As you point out in your question, very few Americans to this day are aware of the specific cause of action that led to the bombing, although the press corps only needed to ask Scott Ritter, who had resigned in dismay that the U.S. State Department had provoked Iraq by demanding massive entry into the political headquarters of the Ba‘ath Party in Baghdad to look for WMD evidence. It was because of the „irregularities“ of US. behavior that the UN later folded the UNSCOM inspection process, which permitted the U.S. to name and finance inspection teams on its own, replacing it with an UNMOVIC inspection process, entirely under the control of the UN Security CounciI in its appointment and payment of inspectors. […]

I decided, in 1998, to arrange a meeting with Nizar Hamdoon, then Iraq‘s Ambassador to the UN I knew that would draw the ire of some in the American establishment, especially when it became known that successive governments had forbidden our Ambassadors to the UN even to speak to their Iraqi counterparts. I consider this a childish and counterproductive approach to diplomacy.

In the event, I told Hamdoon that I had come to believe our government was lying through its teeth, Democrats and Republicans, because there was nobody around with the guts to tell it to stop. I told him flat out I would act as „devil‘s advocate“ for Iraq, but only on the condition that whatever he told me in regard to the weapons issue had to be verifiable as truthful, otherwise I would look like a dope and a traitor!

You mean, like Reagan, you would trust, but verify? How could you verify?

Let me explain. When Hamdoon agreed, I first asked him when had been the last time that UNSCOM - the UN Inspectorate set up after the conclusion of the first Gulf War - had destroyed any weapons of mass destruction. He said: „November 199l.“ I found that hard to believe, in-deed incredible. I repeated my question and again he insisted that in the previous six and half years UNSCOM had not destroyed any WMDs. Not one lousy, crummy nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon. Shocked, yet still skeptical, I then asked him how many WMDs had been found and destroyed by UNSCOM inspectors without the help of the Iraqi government in the seven months between the end of the first Gulf War in early 1991 and November 1991. He looked me in the eye and said „none.“ Every WMD that had been destroyed in that period was the result of UNSCOM being taken to a WMD site and shown the stuft, either stuff that had already been destroyed, or stuff awaiting destruction. I suspected Hamdoon was playing verbal tricks with me, but he was so fervent I decided I would risk going forward.

A few days later, in Washington, I met Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, who I had known for decades, and I told him what I had heard from Hamdoon and I saw the disbelief in his eyes. He said - I‘m paraphrasing here now - „No way, Jude boy, you have got to be wrong. The UNSCOM inspectors are finding WMDs every day of the week, except Sundays which they observe as a Day of Rest.“

I then went and told the story to my good friend, Jack Kemp, at Empower America - someone who normally believes everything I tell him. His response was that everyone knew the inspectors were digging up WMDs all the time, in all the secret places Saddam had located in Iraq which would be many and varied since it is 10,000 square miles larger than California. Still, he sent one of his people, a young lawyer, over to the UN offices in Washington to look into the matter. After poring over the UNSCOM documents for two days, Kemp was informed: the record shows that no WMDs had been found without the help of Baghdad, and none had been destroyed since November 199l! […] •

Source: Neo-Conned!

Edited by Sid Walker
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  • 2 months later...

The leadership of the Zionist movement, in Israel, the USA and elsewhere, has played a multi-decade, sadistic game of cat and mouse with Iraq.

Few historical documents better illustrate this than the transcript of a December 1975 meeting between US Secretary of State Kissinger and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hammadi.

The source is The Middle East Quarterly

In the light of the actual history of the last three decades, Kissinger's portrayal of American politics, the likely future of Israel and the region seems surreal. Note the way he speaks of the declining influence of the Zionist lobby in the USA, plays down the threat posed by Israel to Iraq and explains US support for Kurdish insurrectionists as a Cold War strategy.

Sa'dun Hammadi was clearly sceptical at the time. He was right to be sceptical.

The power of the the US Zionist lobby has grown by leaps and bounds since 1975. In 1981, Israel bombed an Iraqi civilian nuclear facility - an illegal, unprovoked attack on Iraqi sovereigty. US support for Kurdish separatism extended long beyond the lifespan of the USSR.

Some of the highlights are below.

Today we read Israelis to supply vehicles for Iraq. in "the latest in a long line of Israeli defense sales for use in the (Iraq) war."

I wonder if Kissinger read the headline and chuckled?

___________________________________________

MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION

PARTICIPANTS:

Sadun Hammadi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq

Falih Mahdi ‘Ammash, Iraq Ambassador to France

____ ____, Aide

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State

Isa Sabbagh, Public Affairs Officer, American Embassy Jidda

Peter W. Rodman, National Security Council staff

DATE AND TIME: Wednesday, December 17, 1975, 12:20 p.m. – 1:18 p.m.

PLACE : Iraqi Ambassador's Residence

Rue d'Andigne, Paris XVI

.............................

Kissinger: Our basic attitude is that we do not think there is a basic clash of national interests between Iraq and the United States. For a variety of reasons, Iraq and the United States have been on opposing sides. But we have managed to normalize relations with most of the other Arabs. On purely national grounds, we see no overwhelming obstacles on our side. Maybe you have a different view.

Hammadi: We, of course, have different views, and I will tell you why. Iraq is part of the Arab world. We believe the United States has been the major factor in building up Israel to what it is today.

Kissinger: True.

Hammadi: It was created in 1948 and could not have lived up to this day without the United States.

Kissinger: The Soviet Union was active then, too.

Hammadi: True. That is why there were some strained relations with the Soviet Union. Our good relations with the Soviet Union are only more recent. The Communists were not popular with the masses then. But the difference is you believe Israel is there to stay. We believe Israel was established by force and is a clear-cut case of colonialism. Israel was established on part of our homeland. You don't believe that. But that is not the whole story. Israel is now a direct threat to Iraq's national security.

Kissinger: How to Iraq?

Hammadi: Israel has built up to a military power that can threaten Iraq, especially with the recent news that we read of the U.S. supplying sophisticated weapons. So it is not only the Arab world that is threatened, and Iraq being part of the Arab world, but Iraq itself. We think the U.S. is building up Israel to have the upper hand in the area. Even Lebanon—they say it affects Israel's security. A strong, powerful, nuclear Israel with the upper hand in the area. Whatever happens in the Arab world is interpreted as a threat to Israel. Even a change in government in Iraq would be interpreted that way.

Kissinger: My impression is if you change your government in Iraq, they won't object. [Laughter]. I understand your problem.

Hammadi: This is my painting of the picture now—up to 1980. You say the United States is bringing all its weight to bring about a settlement. But this is a settlement, not peace. A new wave of troubles and clashes will start because Israel is not a state to stay within what they are. Because if there is an opportunity, they will expand. The record shows it. And they are supported by the biggest power in the area. What the United States is doing is not to create peace but to create a situation dominated by Israel, which will create a new wave of clashes.

Kissinger: I understand what you are saying. When I say we are willing to improve relations with Iraq, we can live without it. But it is our policy to move toward better relations. I think, when we look at history, that when Israel was created in 1948, I don't think anyone understood it. It originated in American domestic politics. It was far away and little understood. So it was not an American design to get a bastion of imperialism in the area. It was much less complicated. And I would say that until 1973, the Jewish community had enormous influence. It is only in the last two years, as a result of the policy we are pursuing, that it has changed.

We don't need Israel for influence in the Arab world. On the contrary, Israel does us more harm than good in the Arab world. You yourself said your objection to us is Israel. Except maybe that we are capitalists. We can't negotiate about the existence of Israel, but we can reduce its size to historical proportions. I don't agree that Israel is a permanent threat. How can a nation of three million be a permanent threat? They have a technical advantage now. But it is inconceivable that peoples with wealth and skill and the tradition of the Arabs won't develop the capacity that is needed. So I think in ten to fifteen years, Israel will be like Lebanon—struggling for existence, with no influence in the Arab world.

You mentioned new weapons. But they will not be delivered in the foreseeable future. All we agreed to is to study it, and we agreed to no deliveries out of current stocks. So many of these things won't be produced until 1980, and we have not agreed to deliver them then.

........................................

Hammadi: Given the record, what can make us believe the United States won't continue the policy of the last twenty years of giving unlimited support.

Kissinger: It depends on what you mean by unlimited support. One important change in America … Sabbagh was with me when I saw Faisal for the first time. I told him it would take a few years; we would have to move slowly. I have told all the Arabs this. It has now reached the point in America where attitudes have changed. When I testify to congressional committees, I face increasingly hostile questions about Israel. No one is in favor of Israel's destruction—I won't mislead you—nor am I.

But the support in the 1960s was $200-300 million. Now it is $2-3 billion. That is impossible to sustain. We can't even get it for New York. It is just a matter of time before there is a change—two to three years. After a settlement, Israel will be a small friendly country with no unlimited drawing right. It will be affected by our new electoral law, strangely enough. So the influence of some who financed the elections before isn't so great. This has not been so noticed. It will take a few years before it is fully understood.

.............

Kissinger: We want the survival of Israel but not dominating the area. No one can conquer the Arab world. Even if they take Damascus, Cairo, and Amman, you will be there, and Libya will be there. So if Israel wants to survive as a state like Lebanon—as a small state—we can support them.

Hammadi: What is the Israeli thinking?

Kissinger: First, they want to get rid of me. Because I made them go back. Second, in 1976, they want to provoke the Arabs—in Lebanon, in Syria—because they think if there is war they can win and create great turmoil. Third, they want to pass legislation in America to antagonize as many Arabs as possible. So we get the anti-boycott, anti-discrimination, anti-arms sales legislation. They hope the Arabs will go back to a situation like 1967-1973 when the Syrians and Egyptians adopt an anti-American line. So they can say they are the only American friend in the Middle East. What they want is what you predict—that they be the only friend. We want other friends, to reduce that argument.

Aide: Your Excellency, do you think a settlement would come through the Palestinians in the area? How do you read it? Is it in your power to create such a thing?

Kissinger: Not in 1976. I have to be perfectly frank with you. I think the Palestinian identity has to be recognized in some form. But we need the thoughtful cooperation of the Arabs. It will take a year or a year and a half to do it and will be a tremendous fight. An evolution is already taking place.

Aide: You think it will be part of a solution?

Kissinger: It has to be. No solution is possible without it. But the domestic situation is becoming favorable. More and more questions are being asked in Congress favorable to the Palestinians

............

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Some commentators have opined that the 'real' motivation for attacking Iraq in 2003 was 'oil'.

The slogan 'No War for Oil!' was widely displayed at the largest anti-war demos on history in early 2003.

A few commentators said at the time that this analysis was proundly mistaken - and that the war could better be explained as as 'War for Israel and the western Military Industrial Complex'. They were branded as 'anti-Semites' - rather odd, given the propensity of Iraqis to speak Semitic languages.

Anyhow, it seems the few have been vindicated as the 4-year quagmire deepens, and the Penta-budget enjoys a skyward ride.

Yesterday came the news that (US) Defense spending soars to highest level since World War II

The author opens by saying:

As the Iraq war enters a fifth year, the conflict that President Bush's aides once said would all but pay for itself with oil revenues is fueling the highest level of defense spending since World War II.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Someone in America has a memory longer than two years - and here's the evidence!

Interesting to see this article in Jared Kushner's New York Observer.

'The Forward' Allows Jewish Liberals to Rewrite Their Support for Iraq Debacle

The deepening political crisis surrounding Iraq has generated fears in the Jewish community that Americans are going to blame Jews for the failure—because so many Jewish leaders supported the invasion of a country that had many times attacked Israel, but never attacked the United States. Detailing that support was of course a theme of Walt & Mearsheimer's paper, to which The Forward responded with an editorial, "In Dark Times, Blame the Jews." This week The Forward publishes another attack on Walt/Mearsheimer, by Israeli liberal Yossi Alpher, who claims that then-P.M. Ariel Sharon vigorously opposed the invasion ahead of time, and warned the U.S. not to do it.

Had Sharon made his criticism public, citing the dangers posed to vital Israeli interests, might he have made a difference in the prewar debate in the United States and the world? Certainly he would have poured cold water on the postwar assertions of critics, like professors Stephen Walt and John Mearsheimer, who have fingered Israel, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and pro-Israelis in the administration for instigating the war...

There were, of course, neoconservative types in Israel who did encourage the United States to occupy Iraq and advocated democratic elections wherever possible in the Middle East. But there were also many Israelis, this writer included, who spoke out openly and publicly against the American scheme.

This is rank misrepresentation. Whether or not Sharon warned the U.S. in a back channel, Israeli leadership opinion and U.S. Jewish leadership opinion was 4-square for the invasion. Leftwing Jews like Tony Kushner and myself demonstrated against the war and spoke out forcefully, and were marginalized for doing so. Alpher is either lying or deluding himself when he says he opposed the war. Why did he write this in bitterlemons before the war, in October 2002:

Israel is and will be cheering on the American effort, while the sentiments of the Palestinian population, as well as its key institutions, will be with Saddam Hussein

Or this just before the war:

Removing Saddam is good enough

An American-led attempt to conquer Iraq, remove the Saddam Hussein regime and destroy its weapons of mass destruction will almost certainly succeed. An American occupying force in Iraq will almost certainly pressure neighboring Syria and Iran to reconsider some of their more hostile and repressive actions. For Israel and other moderate countries in the region, this is good news. And it is good enough.... we shall have to suffice with the destruction of a regime of psychopaths who finance Palestinian terrorism and pontificate about the destruction of Israel.

Or this as the war began:

The American war on Iraq, however problematic for much of the world, is for most of us in Israel a welcome attempt by a friend and ally to deal with a strategic danger that we have been struggling to cope with on our own for decades.

Or this, about the power of the neocons (whom he treats as a sideshow in his latest article):

But [the] willful alienation by Washington of the global community and the multilateral approach also bespeaks an extraordinary sense of power in the US, cultivated particularly by the neoconservative lobby.

The sad fact is that many Jewish liberals joined the neocons in pushing the Iraq invasion: Pollack, Friedman, Berman, Alpher, the hits go on and on. I've said before that the war represents a crisis for Jewish identity: it reveals the degree to which Jewish identity is now built upon the demonization of Arabs, hundreds of thousands of whom are now dying and fleeing and suffering in incomprehensible ways in part because of crazy ideas hatched in thinktanks. The Forward is responding with cowardice to an intellectual chore: What was the Jewish role in this mess? Progressive Jews have a part to play in this soul-searching. As LRB editor Mary Kay Wilmers, a progressive Jew herself, who published Walt and Mearsheimer, said to me months ago: "It seems that the American left is also claimed by the Israel lobby."

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