Sir Walter Scott could easily have had you in mind when he first conceived this statement.
Assigning the blame for Bush’s failures to President
Clinton is the favorite sport of right wing pundits and also the most absurd.
Who is to blame for Iraq’s theoretical possession of weapons of mass destruction? A look at history will give us some clues.
We owe a vote of thanks to Henry Kissinger for
setting in motion the events that resulted in millions of Iraqis dead or
hundreds of American soldiers dead and tens of thousands suffering from a mysterious illness after serving in the Persian Gulf.
It was the Nixon/Kissinger duo who provided military
aid to the Kurds in their perennial struggle for autonomy.
This was done at the request of the brutal Shah of Iran.
None of those involved cared at all about the
Kurds, but rather wanted to involve Iraq in a two-front war to protect
When circumstances changed, Kissinger abandoned the Kurds despite repeated pleas for help.
Having abandoned the Kurds after encouraging them
to fight the Iraqi government, Kissinger left them open for a perfectly
understandable counterstrike. Certainly the United States has butchered countless people in repressing rebellion against
their own personally chosen dictator.
Was it not America that first provided Iraq with
the vast majority of the equipment necessary to produce WMDs . This included
weapons-grade anthrax, botulism, E.coli, human and bacterial DNA, and the ingredients, recipes and equipment needed for the
production of chemical weapons. In fact, current Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited with Hussein in Baghdad though
the country was known to be using chemical weapons against its own people. Did Rumsfeld rebuke Hussein? Of course not.
President Reagan needed Hussein to agree to an oil pipeline. The only rebuke Iraq received was a half-hearted official statement
Oddly enough, it was not until Hussein employed
capitalism by demanding a bigger slice of the petroleum pie that he became
a threat to international community in general and to democracy in particular. And it was not until Hussein invaded Iraq,
with the explicit approval of President George Bush that he became the menace he is known as today. Certainly, Saddam
had and used chemical weapons in the past. So have many other countries, including the United States.
Additionally, Vice-President Dick Cheney and Halliburton
made a fortune rebuilding Iraq’s crippled petroleum industry
after the first Gulf War, enabling Hussein to purchase even more of the materials he needed. United Nations weapons
inspectors were in the process of legitimizing Iraq’s stated removal of WMD when Bush decided such a statement would
be detrimental to the profits of Exxon, Halliburton and their subsidiaries. It was only then that the shower of bombs
destroyed one of the most historic and progressive regions in the Middle East.
Clinton’s only failure in this war for profits
was to listen to the polls and the hawkish Republicans in Congress who
demanded he attack as retribution for Hussein’s supposed assassination plot against Bush Sr.
As days stretched to weeks and weeks stretched
to months and still there has been no evidence of weapons of
mass destruction, the real purpose of Bush’s invasion becomes more and more clear.
This was a Republican war from its beginnings
decades ago when Bush was working his way up to director of
the CIA to today where the legacy of lies and dirty tricks continues.
Those who would trade essential liberties for temporary security deserve
neither liberty nor security.
-- Benjamin Franklin
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