America's war record is littered with lies

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 14 Sep 2002 19:11:11 +0100

Remember Vietnam? Remember the Gulf War? Beware what you're told on Iraq

Before Australians get sucked into the Bush administration's war with
Iraq on what appears the flimsiest excuses, they should remember the
excuses Americans offered the world to justify their involvement in the
Vietnam and Gulf Wars. 

President Lyndon Baines Johnson got Congress to approve US military
intervention in Vietnam based on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, based on
the claim that North Vietnamese torpedo boats made unprovoked attacks on
two US destroyers. Does anybody believe this story now? If it is true,
why hasn't the US released the archives relating to the incident? 

After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, a group backed by the Kuwait
government-in-exile hired a US public relations firm to devise a
campaign to win American support for the war. The high point was the use
of the daughter of Kuwait's ambassador to the US as a star witness to a
congressional hearing into the Iraq invasion. Under an assumed name, she
said: "I saw Iraq soldiers come into the hospitals with guns, and go
into a room where 15 babies were in incubators. They took the babies out
of the incubators, took the incubators and left the babies on the cold
floor to die." She later admitted she had lied. 

But this lie, and others, worked. 

So why did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait? Before the invasion, the US
ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, said the US would not interfere. It
was a reasonable expectation. Saddam was a US ally against Iran, so much
so that between 1985 and 1989, dozens of biological agents were shipped
to Iraq from the US under licence from the Commerce Department, despite
the fact that Iraq had been reported to be engaging in chemical and
possibly biological warfare against Iranians, Kurds and Shiites since
the early 1980s. 

And Iraq had real grievance against Kuwait. According to Saddam, Kuwait
had been exceeding its OPEC oil production quota and this was depressing
the price of oil and Iraq's revenue, which was needed to pay for its war
with Iran. Saddam believed Saudi Arabia and Kuwait owed part of Iraq's
debt for its war against Iran because Iraq was protecting both these
countries against Iran. And to add insult to injury, Kuwait was drilling
into Iraq's share of the Rumaila oil field which straddles both

Saddam is a monster. Arguably the murderous concoction of ethnic and
religious rivalries which constitute the population of Iraq can only be
held together by a monster. The oil interests which direct US policy in
the Middle East believe this. They want Saddamism without Saddam. He is
no longer their man. That is why they call for "regime change". 

But Saddam is no religious fanatic. According to Alex Standish, editor
of Jane's Intelligence Digest: "Saddam's Ba'ath Party regime, despite
its Islamic trappings, is a deeply secular and fundamentally socialist

"You can think whatever you like about Saddam but he is not so foolish
that he would threaten his own region's stability by financing the
extreme and violent likes of al Qaeda." 

It is possible to imagine that a religious fanatic would be prepared to
use weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in a first strike against the US,
which would invite massive retaliation that would vaporise most of the
population of Iraq. 

But in this respect Saddam and his generals are as sane as the Russian
communist leadership during the Cold War who understood the concept of
Mutually Assured Destruction. They are not likely to adopt a policy of
mass suicide, either directly by launching WMD or indirectly by arming
al Qaeda, which could conceivably use WMD irrespective of the

This week's report by the London-based Institute for Strategic Studies
has been used by the hawks in Whitehall and Washington as "proof" that
Saddam is close to having a WMD capability, yet it contains no factual
information that undermines informed opinion that Iraq is far weaker in
WMD than it was before the Gulf War. 

So why did Saddam expel UN weapons inspectors in 1998? He didn't. The
head of the inspection team, Richard Butler, ordered the inspectors to
leave Baghdad in anticipation of an attack. The Russian ambassador,
Sergei Lavrov, criticised Butler for withdrawing the inspectors without
seeking the permission of the UN Security Council. 

It has since been shown that the Iraqi charge at the time - that the
weapons inspectors had been used as spies for the US - was the truth,
not propaganda. 

According to former weapons inspector Scott Ritter: "There is no way the
Iraqis are going to let in the inspectors now . . . why would they let
in the inspectors to spy on them, target them more effectively and then
be used to manipulate justification for war?" 

So far, neither George Bush nor Tony Blair have come up with any reason
that could justify a first strike against Iraq - except the unstated
(because it is unacceptable) reason that "regime change" would give
America control of Iraq's 100 billion barrels of oil reserves. 

Source:  The Age

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