Original story published in the Du Quoin Evening Call
David Sadler For Congress (2002) 12th CD/Illinois
Just before Gulf War II… February 17, 2003- - - Inside the box - - -
The official Gulf War II didn’t take long. The Iraqis didn’t launch a single aircraft to defend themselves. Our high-tech military denied their degraded military the ability to communicate and deprived them of their implements of war.
When our troops moved in, the Iraqis had little choice but to either surrender or remove their uniforms and disappear into the civilian ranks.
Within days of our first attack, the media treated the American TV audience to smiling Iraqis beating Hussein’s image with their shoes. They waved and shouted, " Welcome," as our troops motored past.
Those pictures were misleading. The Iraqi military chose to fight another day. Once the waving was over they would reorganize with a new plan. Since May 1, over 61 U.S. troops have died. More die each day. (3)
And that is where we are now -- faced with a guerrilla war lasting years. Like Vietnam, we aren’t sure who or what we are fighting as we try to hold on to the prize called Iraq.
The war was officially declared over when a milestone, staged media event took place. The toppling of the Hussein statue in central Baghdad, just outside the Palestine Hotel, signaled the symbolic end to the war. By coincidence, the press was headquartered in that hotel, and the U.S. flag Lt. McLaughlin draped over Hussein's face was the same flag that flew over the Pentagon on 9-11. (4)
Image is everything, but things aren’t always as they seem. Image supplies the people with acceptance. Substance supplies rulers with power.
At this point, those opposed to this war seemed like cowards.
The media then quickly diverted the nations’ attention away from the war by switching news coverage to the Laci Peterson murder and the media-hyped SARS crisis. Tens of thousands die of the flu each year while hundreds of thousands die of malaria, but SARS was sold as the new crisis. (5)
Here was the mainstream media’s message. " Move along. Nothing to see here. Forget the war. It’s over. Pay attention to this now. Don't look at the developing Iraqi civilian disaster. Feel sorrow for Laci and scorn for her husband. Worry that SARS might come to your town. "
This media redirection caused the war to slip into the mist of history within days of the initial invasion. The American public has little knowledge of what is happening in Iraq today, much as it has forgotten about our occupation of Afghanistan. But the wars and occupation are just beginning. There are now 230,000 US troops in and around Iraq. More may be on the way. (6)
Out of sight to most Americans was an orgy of elite, special interests scrambling for no-bid contracts worth billions being let to companies connected to the people who initiated the war.
We were led into the war being told Iraq had nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. We were told that Iraq posed a direct and immediate threat to America.
Now high officials in both the US and UK have announced the WMD either doesn't exist or won't be found. A spokesman for the US National Security Council just announced that evidence was forged that supported the nuclear threat mentioned in the President's State of the Union message. (7, 8)
It's fair to ask, " If the reasons we went to war didn't exist in reality, why did we go to war, and why are we still there?" It's also fair to ask, " If we went to war based on lies and forgeries, who is to blame for the unjustified deaths of coalition forces and Iraqi citizens?"
And what about our needs at home? We are running a record federal deficit after being in the black just three years ago. Unemployment is at a near 20 year high. (9) Rumsfeld just announced that we are spending $3.9 billion per month on the occupation. (10) Where are our principles and priorities?
Which ‘official’ Iraq war objectives have we accomplished? Not many.
We replaced the Hussein regime with a U.S. regime. In the process, we vandalized the ancient city of Ur and allowed Iraq’s museums, cultural and natural treasures to be looted by citizens, collectors and soldiers. Many destroyed or stolen clay cuneiform tablets in the museums had yet to be deciphered. (11)
For those who yearned to know what knowledge was lost when the Library at Alexandria burned, the modern day equivalent occurred before our very eyes, on our watch, in the cradle of civilization. Our Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, laughed it off as a joke. (12, 13)
This is the same man who established diplomatic relations with Baghdad in 1983. His diplomacy enabled U.S. sales of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) to Iraq. He is pictured shaking Hussein's hand to seal the deal. Both are smiling. (14)
In the late 1990s, Rumsfeld was a board member to the Swiss-based company ABB. ABB contracted to provide the design and key components for two nuclear reactors sold to North Korea during the Clinton administration. (15) This is the same North Korea the U.S. is now threatening to bomb if the reactors are powered-up. (16)
Like bin Laden, Hussein and the WMD are missing. We can't find anything we officially went to war over.
How are Iraqi women and children fairing under U.S. liberation? The Iraqi government has collapsed. The U.S. departments of State and Defense are fighting over who will rule Iraq. Disease is rampant. Power and fresh water are scarce. Crime is out of control. Unemployment has skyrocketed. Organized resistance to US/UK occupation is growing. Civilian homes are being searched by combat troops. Second Amendment supporters take note. This is how a nation is disarmed that refuses to do so voluntarily.
Last but not least are our soldiers. To support our soldiers, we waved plastic American flags made in China. We were told we could not support our soldiers without supporting the war. Each night, half a million homeless vets sleep on the streets of America. The Supreme Court just refused to hear a case regarding a broken promise of health care for W.W.II and Korean War veterans. (17)
U.S. forces use DU (depleted uranium) ordnance. Now Australian soldiers are exhibiting signs of DU poisoning. Our soldiers will also get sick. Expect denial from the Pentagon, just as it denied Agent Orange sickness and Gulf War Syndrome. (18)
It seems America supports its troops only when they are featured on TV fighting the war. Once the coverage stops, we ignore their needs. Out of sight - out of mind.
- - - Outside the box - - -
" For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on ... weapons of mass destruction [as justification for invading Iraq]. " -- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense -- (19)The war was never really about liberation or WMD. It’s been about oil, security for Israel and global domination all along. If we can’t meet these goals using subversion and intimidation, we will meet them using force.
We met the strategic mission when we defeated the Iraqi military and secured the Iraqi oil fields and oil ministry office building. Iraq and Iraqi oil are now under direct U.S. control. The Iraqis are blowing up the pipelines, but that is another story. We now own Fort Iraq, Port Iraq and Iraq AFB.
Even as U.S. 'global primacy' ground maneuvers continue, our plan to ‘own’ space and deprive other nations of a strategic foothold there has been drafted. The Strategic Military Plan (SMP) will do in space what the 'imperial geostrategy' is doing on the ground. The SMP reads like a Star Wars novel, but it’s USAF Space Command strategy. The high ground is space and we are preparing to take it. (22, 23)
" [Owning space] will provide war-fighting commanders the ability to rapidly deny, delay, deceive, disrupt, destroy, exploit and neutralize targets in hours/minutes rather than weeks/days. "The monumental significance of these events is overwhelming. We are observing, in our lifetime, a move to dominate the entire planet economically and militarily. We’ve read of these attempts in history books. All who attempted world domination faded from power. Even with our superior technology, the prospects for success seem dim. Ironically, the seed of failure is the very reason we targeted the Middle East in the first place --- Energy…(25)
David Sadler can be reached for comment at:
david (at) david-sadler.org
* * * end of column * * *
(1) Larry Goldstein, president of the Petroleum Industry Research Foundation, Wall Street Journal, Ralph Nader, The Oil Companies Driving Bush's War: Planning a Post-War Oil Bonanza, February 17, 2003
(2) Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Finance Minister said he expected an oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel to be reopened in the near future after being closed when Israel became a state in 1948., " Netanyahu says Iraq-Israel oil line will open in near future " , REUTERS, 06.21.2003
(3) " Two Missing U.S. Soldiers Found Dead" , By PAUL HAVEN, AP, Saturday, June 28, 2003, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A44687-2003Jun28.html
(4) " US says flag incident was a 'coincidence'" , By Kim Sengupta in Baghdad, Independent.co.uk, 11 April 2003, http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/story.jsp?story=396043
(5) Was SARS actually biological/economic and psyops warfare waged by the US? " ...advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool. " -- " REBUILDING AMERICA’S DEFENSES: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century" , Project for the New American Century (PNAC), http://www.newamericancentury.org/ --
(6) " Currently, there are some 230,000 US troops serving in and around Iraq, including nearly 150,000 US troops inside Iraq. " -- " Troop morale in Iraq hits 'rock bottom'" , Christian Science Monitor, July 07, 2003 edition --
(7) " We now know that documents alleging a transaction between Iraq and Niger had been forged. " -- Michael Anton, a spokesman for the security council, WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush's claim in his State of the Union address in January that Iraq tried to buy uranium from the African nation of Niger was based on forged information, the White House National Security Council said on Tuesday., " White House Says Iraq Uranium Claim Forged" , Reuters, 2003.07.08, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4036.htm --
(8) " Senior UK Whitehall sources no longer believe weapons of mass destruction will be found in Iraq, the BBC has learned. BBC political editor Andrew Marr said " very senior sources" in Whitehall had virtually ruled out the possibility of finding the weapons. -- " UK- Iraq weapons 'unlikely to be found'" , BBC, 10 July, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3054549.stm --
(9) WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of jobless Americans receiving benefits hit its highest point in over 20 years last month, and new claims for jobless aid unexpectedly rose again last week, the government said on Thursday., -- " Continuing Jobless Claims at 20-Year High" , Reuters, Thursday, July 10, 2003, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37128-2003Jul10.html --
(10) " Cost estimates for the Iraq campaign had reached $3.9 billion per month, on average from this past January through September. Gen. Tommy R. Franks said today that violence and uncertainty in Iraq made it unlikely that troop levels would be reduced " for the foreseeable future," and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld nearly doubled the estimated military costs there to $3.9 billion a month. " , " Rumsfeld Doubles Estimate for Cost of Troops in Iraq" , New York Times, 2003.07.09, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4052.htm
(11) " At least one in ten of the objects in Iraq's national museum are missing, its director has said. Dr Nawalaal Mutawalli told a press conference at the British Museum in London that some 13,000 objects had gone missing from the Baghdad institution's storage room in the days following the fall of Saddam Hussein. " -- 'One in 10' Iraqi treasures looted, BBC, 8 July, 2003, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/3054974.stm --
(12) " The images you are seeing on television, you are seeing over and over and over ... It's the same picture of some person walking out of some building with a vase and you see it twenty times. And you think, my goodness, were there that many vases?" After pausing for laughter, Rumsfeld delivered the punch line: " Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?" -- Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense, upon being questioned about the orgy of looting and pillaging taking place under the gaze of U.S. forces in Iraq (Gulf War II) criticized the media for exaggerating the extent of the damage., " Liberation and Looting in Iraq" , By JOANNE MARINER, findlaw.com, Monday, Apr. 14, 2003, http://writ.news.findlaw.com/mariner/20030414.html --
(13) Rumsfeld is alienating Pentagon leadership, so much so, that he had difficulty finding a 'yes-man' to take the chief of staff job. " Donald Rumsfeld, the American defence secretary, yesterday selected a retired general as head of the US army, bypassing the military's top brass and stoking tensions within the Pentagon. Gen Peter Schoomaker, who retired after heading the US special operations command from 1997 to 2000, is to become chief of staff, according to US defence sources. The extraordinary break with convention is the latest episode in a series of confrontations between Mr Rumsfeld and the US army leadership. Gen Tommy Franks, commander of US forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Gen John Keane, the army vice-chief, both opted to retire rather than take the top job in their service. " -- " Rumsfeld choice of army chief angers top brass" , dailytelegraph.co.uk, 20030611, http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2003/06/11/wrums11.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/06/11/ixworld.html --
(14) " Yes, U.S. helped Iraq get chemical, biological weapons" , Belleville News Democrat, Sun, Apr. 20, 2003, http://www.belleville.com/mld/newsdemocrat/5674107.htm
(15) " Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ... it's surprising that there is no clear public record of his views on the controversial 1994 deal in which the U.S. agreed to provide North Korea with two light-water nuclear reactors in exchange for Pyongyang ending its nuclear weapons program. What's even more surprising about Rumsfeld's silence is that he sat on the board of the company that won a $200 million contract to provide the design and key components for the reactors. The company is Zurich-based engineering giant ABB, which signed the contract in early 2000, well before Rumsfeld gave up his board seat and joined the Bush administration. Rumsfeld, the only American director on the ABB board from 1990 to early 2001, has never acknowledged that he knew the company was competing for the nuclear contract. Nor could FORTUNE find any public reference to what he thought about the project. In response to questions about his role in the reactor deal, the Defense Secretary's spokeswoman Victoria Clarke told Newsweek in February that " there was no vote on this" and that her boss " does not recall it being brought before the board at any time. " Rumsfeld declined requests by FORTUNE to elaborate on his role. But ABB spokesman Bjoern Edlund has told FORTUNE that " board members were informed about this project. " And other ABB officials say there is no way such a large and high-stakes project, involving complex questions of liability, would not have come to the attention of the board. " A written summary would probably have gone to the board before the deal was signed," says Robert Newman, a former president of ABB's U.S. nuclear division who spearheaded the project. " I'm sure they were aware. " -- " Rummy's North Korea Connection" , By Richard Behar, May. 12, 2003 Issue, FORTUNE, http://www.fortune.com/fortune/articles/0,15114,447429,00.html --
(16) " US Bombers on Alert to Deploy as Warning to North Koreans" , New York Times, February 4, 2003, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/04/international/asia/04KORE.html?ex=1044939600&en=3b2b7a62133dd85a&ei=5006&partner=ALTAVISTA1
(17) " Monday, June 2, 2003, the US Supreme Court decided not to hear a case regarding health care for WWII and Korean War veterans. Fifty years ago, recruiters had promised young recruits lifetime health-care if they remained in the military for 20 years. Since the promises were vocal and not in writing, a lower court ruled against the veterans. " -- K-House eNews, For The Week Of June 03, 2003 --
(18) " When American soldiers are sick and the Iraqis are sick there's nothing that says an Australian soldier is going to be isolated when he goes through those areas and he is not going to become ill. " -- Dr. Douglas Rokke reporting that Australian servicemen and women who served in the recent Iraq war (March 2003) were reporting symptoms of uranium sickness [from U.S. depleted uranium munitions]. Dr Rokke is a former US Army nuclear health physicist and was formerly the Pentagon's expert on the health effects of depleted uranium ammunition., http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/06/23/1056220529825.html --
(19) " For bureaucratic reasons, we settled on one issue, weapons of mass destruction [as justification for invading Iraq] because it was the one reason everyone could agree on. " -- Paul Wolfowitz, Deputy Secretary of Defense, Vanity Fair interview, May 28, 2003 --
(20) Rebuilding America's Defences: Strategies, Forces And Resources For A New Century, written in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century (PNAC) to advise Richard Cheney (now vice- president), Donald Rumsfeld (defence secretary), Paul Wolfowitz (Rumsfeld's deputy), Jeb Bush and Lewis Libby (Cheney's chief of staff) among others.
(21) Michael Ledeen, " Foreign policy hawks in Bush administration see setbacks" , Knight Ridder Newspapers, Jun. 20, 2003, http://www.realcities.com/mld/krwashington/news/nation/6135960.htm
(22) " [U.S. security requires that the U.S. tolerate no rivals to its global dominance] … We endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power. " -- Paul Wolfowitz, deputy defense secretary in the George W. Bush administration and top Pentagon bureaucrat during the George H.W. Bush administration. --
(23) " America's global primacy is directly dependent on … its preponderance on the Eurasian continent. … [The] Eurasian Balkans are [an] economic prize … of natural gas and oil reserves. … [America’s] primary interest … [is to] … ensure no single power … controls this geopolitical space … to prevent the emergence of a … coalition that could … challenge America's primacy. … The three grand imperatives of IMPERIAL GEOSTRATEGY are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the VASSALS, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the BARBARIANS from coming together. " (emphasis added) -- Zbigniew Brzezinski (CFR; former national security adviser to the Carter Administration), pondering " The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy. " In his book (" The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives" . Brzezinski labels the Caspian Sea region including Afghanistan as the " Eurasian Balkans. " --
(24) SMP extracts: " Effective use of space-based resources provides a continual and global presence over key areas of the world ... Space is the ultimate high ground of US military operations ... control of this high ground means superiority ... instant engagement anywhere in the world ... [We will use] our space capabilities at our discretion while at the same time denying our adversaries access to space assets ... [This capability] will provide war-fighting commanders the ability to rapidly deny, delay, deceive, disrupt, destroy, exploit and neutralize targets in hours/minutes rather than weeks/days. " --" Revealed: US plan to 'own' space" , sundayherald.com, 22 June 2003, http://www.sundayherald.com/34768 --
(25) " The ... peaking of oil will never be accurately predicted until after the fact. But the event will occur … peaking is at hand; not years away … the unforeseen consequences are devastating ... unfortunately the world has no Plan B …-- Matthew Simmons, CFR member and G.W. Bush energy advisor to the secret Energy Task Force headed by Dick Cheney before 9/11, speaking candidly about Peak Oil at the May 27th, 2003 second international conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil (ASPO) which was meeting at the French Petroleum Institute (IFP) in Paris --
(26) Added 2006.12.13: Iraq Study Group Report on Iraq released 2006.12.06
(27) Added 2007.01.08: Saddam Hussein [Hanging Execution video 2006.12.29] [Body ID video]
(28) Added 2007.09.16: "I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil." -- Alan Greenspan, Republican with 18-year tenure as head of the US Federal Reserve, 'Alan Greenspan claims Iraq war was really for oil,' September 16, 2007, London Times --
(29) Added 2007.11.22: Oil pipelines from Iraq to Syria, Jordan, Israel with airbases
(30) Added 2008.02.13: "I do intend to appoint ... a special energy co-ordinator [for] the central Asian and Caspian region ... the politics of energy is warping diplomacy in certain parts of the world."
-- Condoleezza Rice, G. W. Bush US secretary of state, Rice attacks 'reprehensible' Putin warnings --