/FANNING the FLAMES of FEAR, LOATHING and TERRORg Part 2 : // A TERRORIST RECRUITMENT POSTER FOR THE AGES // // "If you want recruitment tools, these are the best anyone could imagine. They are a big blow and a stimulant to spur people to act against the United States." // "Every single thing the administration calculated would happen in Iraq has turned out the opposite." / "Finally, did some top officials really want to respond to 9/11 not by going after Al Qaeda, but by attacking Iraq? Of course they did. " / //"...the bumbling neo-cons have unleashed a rash of racism, revenge and hate." / Bush /Rumsfeld // /Cheney / Abrams / / / / /Negroponte// / /Feith / Perle / / / / Wolfowitz / / Bolton // // /Libby /// "Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance." vasva - JOHN EISENHOWER, lifelong REPUBLICAN and son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower / ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / "The citizen who sees his society's democratic clothes being worn out and does not cry it out, is not a patriot, but a traitor." / - Mark Twain / __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /
/The Price Of Giving Bad Advice / By William A. Whitlow The Washington Post Sunday 30 May 2004
William A. Whitlow is a retired major general in the Marine Corps. He served as director of the expeditionary warfare division in the office of the deputy chief of naval operations.
As the war in Iraq drags on, conservative citizens, mostly Republican, face a growing dilemma in the November election.
In the face of growing evidence that the president was deceived and misguided about the cause and urgency for waging war on Saddam Hussein, it is time for those responsible to stand forth and accept accountability. True, the president is ultimately responsible for the actions of his vice president, his Cabinet and the executive departments. But it has become clear that the counsel the president received from the vice president, secretary of defense, deputy secretary of defense and senior uniformed leadership was severely flawed and uncorroborated. Whether the president was intentionally misled by neoconservatives or whether their advice was a result of pure incompetence remains to be seen. The fact is that he was misled sufficiently to require him to take bold action to restore his diminished credibility.
The supposedly urgent need to attack Iraq was based partly on inflated, creative intelligence information, some of which originated with Ahmed Chalabi, an associate of the vice president and deputy secretary of defense. The information from Chalabi led the vice president and defense secretary to believe that war with Iraq would be a "cakewalk" and U.S. forces would be received with open arms. This belief resulted in a fatal flaw in developing a complete war strategy. A principal tenet of forming a strategy -- have a "war termination" phase -- was neglected. Although the tactical and operational phases of the war were conducted flawlessly by superior field commanders, the absence of a complete strategy has needlessly cost lives.
Our service members are the ultimate victims of this incomplete strategy, misguided policy and false intelligence. It is inconceivable and derelict not to have a viable war termination strategy for an operation as complex as a major theater war. America's citizens and our service members deserve far better for their sacrifices. This combination of things -- misleading the president with false intelligence and omitting a principal element from our war strategy -- is reason enough to seek change in the vice presidency and senior defense leadership, civilian and military.
It is our patriotic duty to speak out when egregiously flawed policies and strategies needlessly cost American lives. It is time for the president to ask those responsible for the flawed Iraqi policy -- civilian and military -- to resign from public service. Absent such a change in the current administration, many of us will be forced to choose a presidential candidate whose domestic policies we may not like but who understands firsthand the effects of flawed policies and incompetent military strategies and who fully comprehends the price.
William A. Whitlow is a retired major general in the Marine Corps. He served as director of the expeditionary warfare division in the office of the deputy chief of naval operations.
/ Shocking and Awful / By MAUREEN DOWD New York Times May 6, 2004 / "...the bumbling neo-cons have unleashed a rash of racism, revenge and hate."
Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were swanning around in black tie at the White House Correspondents' dinner on Saturday night, mingling with le hack Washington and a speckling of shiny imports, like John Kerry's former Tinseltown gal-pal Morgan Fairchild, Ben Affleck, a Victoria's Secret model who was not Gisele and several "Apprentice" alumni who were not Omarosa.
The Pentagon potentates seemed unburdened by the spreading storm kicked up by the torture pictures shown on "60 Minutes II" and about to appear in The New Yorker - the latest example of a dysfunctional and twisted occupation warped by arrogance over experience, ideology over common sense.
When a beaming Mr. Wolfowitz stopped at my table to greet an admiring Republican, I wanted to snap, "Get back to your desk, Mr. Myopia from Utopia!" Shouldn't these woolly headed warriors burn the midnight Iraqi oil - long enough for Wolfie to learn the body count for dead American troops and for Rummy to read Gen. Antonio Taguba's whole report on "horrific abuses" at Abu Ghraib?
Sure, the secretary of defense has had two months to read the report, but as he complained to Matt Lauer, it's awfully thick: "When I'm asked a question as to whether I've read the entire report, I answer honestly that I have not. It is a mountain of paper and investigative material." Goodness gracious, where is Evelyn Wood now that we need her?
Can't the hawks who dragged us into this hideous unholy war at least pay attention to a crisis of American credibility that's exposing Iraq and the world to more dangers every day? For the defense chief and the president to party two nights in a row, Friday at Rummy's house and Saturday at the Washington Hilton, is, to borrow a Rummy line, "unhelpful in a fundamental way."
President Bush also seemed in a buoyant mood on Saturday. But he might think about getting just a tad more involved so he doesn't have to first see on TV, as he clicks around between innings, the pictures sparking a huge worldwide, American-reputation-shattering military scandal. And so he doesn't keep nattering about how we had to go to war to close Iraq's torture chambers, when they are "really not shut down so much as under new management," as Jon Stewart drily put it.
Most Republicans seemed in a "party on, Garth" mood, less concerned with Humpty Dumpty Iraq or Unjolly Green Giant John Kerry than with the unfairness of a world where Jeb Bush would probably not be able to succeed his brother. "By 2008," a wistful Republican fund-raiser said, "there'll probably be Bush fatigue."
It seems nothing can make hard-core hawks criticize the war (even the request for $25 billion more). Rush Limbaugh compared the prison torture to "a college fraternity prank," like a Skull and Bones initiation.
Michael Eisner evidently also feels the Bush dynasty will survive because he is balking at distributing a new documentary by Michael Moore that criticizes President Bush's 9/11 actions and ties with the Saudis, probably out of fear that Jeb will come after his Disney World tax breaks.
Senator Kerry jumped on the president yesterday for saying nothing about Crown Prince Abdullah's "outrageous anti-Semitic comments" that terrorists in Saudi Arabia get funds from "Zionists." The prince's remarks - and arrests of reformers - show that, far from transforming the Mideast into democracies that flower with love of America and Israel, the bumbling neo-cons have unleashed a rash of racism, revenge and hate.
Colin Powell's chief of staff, Larry Wilkerson, tells GQ magazine that Wolfie is "a utopian" like Lenin: "You're never going to bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process of trying to do it."
Just when you thought things couldn't get worse, The Associated Press reports from London that "U.S. soldiers who detained an elderly Iraqi woman last year placed a harness on her, made her crawl on all fours and rode her like a donkey."
And Douglas Feith, the defense under secretary who was in charge of Iraqi postwar planning and the secret unit that furnished prêt-à-porter intelligence to back up Dick Cheney's doomsday scenarios, told conservatives that the administration might set up an office to plan postwar operations for future wars.
Well, on the one hand, it would be refreshing to have a postwar plan. On the other: future wars???
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
sfbsfdbsbsbgav Lifting the Shroud . By PAUL KRUGMAN New York Times March 23, 2004
From the day it took office, U.S. News & World Report wrote a few months ago, (Keeping Secrets , By Christopher H. Schmitt and Edward T. Pound) , the Bush administration "dropped a shroud of secrecy" over the federal government. After 9/11, the administration's secretiveness knew no limits - Americans, Ari Fleischer ominously warned, "need to watch what they say, watch what they do." Patriotic citizens were supposed to accept the administration's version of events, not ask awkward questions.
But something remarkable has been happening lately: more and more insiders are finding the courage to reveal the truth on issues ranging from mercury pollution - yes, Virginia, polluters do write the regulations these days, and never mind the science - to the war on terror.
It's important, when you read the inevitable attempts to impugn the character of the latest whistle-blower, to realize just how risky it is to reveal awkward truths about the Bush administration. When Gen. Eric Shinseki told Congress that postwar Iraq would require a large occupation force, that was the end of his military career. When Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV revealed that the 2003 State of the Union speech contained information known to be false, someone in the White House destroyed his wife's career by revealing that she was a C.I.A. operative. And we now know that Richard Foster, the Medicare system's chief actuary, was threatened with dismissal if he revealed to Congress the likely cost of the administration's prescription drug plan.
The latest insider to come forth, of course, is Richard Clarke, George Bush's former counterterrorism czar and the author of the just-published "Against All Enemies."
On "60 Minutes" on Sunday, Mr. Clarke said the previously unsayable: that Mr. Bush, the self-proclaimed "war president," had "done a terrible job on the war against terrorism." After a few hours of shocked silence, the character assassination began. He "may have had a grudge to bear since he probably wanted a more prominent position," declared Dick Cheney*, who also says that Mr. Clarke was "out of the loop." (What loop? Before 9/11, Mr. Clarke was the administration's top official on counterterrorism.) It's "more about politics and a book promotion than about policy," Scott McClellan said.
* - (On the Rush LImbaugh show, no less!)
Of course, Bush officials have to attack Mr. Clarke's character because there is plenty of independent evidence confirming the thrust of his charges.
Did the Bush administration ignore terrorism warnings before 9/11? Justice Department documents obtained by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, show that it did. Not only did John Ashcroft completely drop terrorism as a priority - it wasn't even mentioned in his list of seven "strategic goals" - just one day before 9/11 he proposed a reduction in counterterrorism funds.
Did the administration neglect counterterrorism even after 9/11? After 9/11 the F.B.I. requested $1.5 billion for counterterrorism operations, but the White House slashed this by two-thirds. (Meanwhile, the Bush campaign has been attacking John Kerry because he once voted for a small cut in intelligence funds.)
Oh, and the next time terrorists launch an attack on American soil, they will find their task made much easier by the administration's strange reluctance, even after 9/11, to protect potential targets. In November 2001 a bipartisan delegation urged the president to spend about $10 billion on top-security priorities like ports and nuclear sites. But Mr. Bush flatly refused.
Finally, did some top officials really want to respond to 9/11 not by going after Al Qaeda, but by attacking Iraq? Of course they did. "From the very first moments after Sept. 11," Kenneth Pollack told "Frontline," "there was a group of people, both inside and outside the administration, who believed that the war on terrorism . . . should target Iraq first." Mr. Clarke simply adds more detail.
Still, the administration would like you to think that Mr. Clarke had base motives in writing his book. But given the hawks' dominance of the best-seller lists until last fall, it's unlikely that he wrote it for the money. Given the assumption by most political pundits, until very recently, that Mr. Bush was guaranteed re-election, it's unlikely that he wrote it in the hopes of getting a political job. And given the Bush administration's penchant for punishing its critics, he must have known that he was taking a huge personal risk.
So why did he write it? How about this: Maybe he just wanted the public to know the truth.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
The Iraqi Inversion / By MAUREEN DOWD The New York Times
WASHINGTON April 8, 2004
Maybe after high-definition TV, they'll invent high-dudgeon TV, a product so realistic you can just lunge through the screen and shake the Bush officials when they say something maddening about 9/11 or Iraq, or when they engage in some egregious bit of character assassination.
It would come in handy for Karen Hughes's Bush-nannying book tour and Condoleezza Rice's Clarke-riposting 9/11 commission testimony.
And I was desperately wishing for it yesterday, when Donald Rumsfeld held forth at a Pentagon briefing.
Even though the assumptions the Bush administration used to go to war have now proved to be astonishingly arrogant, naïve and ideological, Mr. Rumsfeld is as testy and Delphic as ever about the fragility of Iraq.
"We're trying to explain how things are going, and they are going as they are going," he said, adding: "Some things are going well and some things obviously are not going well. You're going to have good days and bad days." On the road to democracy, this "is one moment, and there will be other moments. And there will be good moments and there will be less good moments."
Calling the families of more than 30 young Americans killed this week in the confusing hell of Iraq must be a less good moment.
Our troops in Iraq don't know who they're fighting and who they're saving. They don't know when they're coming home or when they're being forcibly re-upped by Rummy. Our diplomats in Baghdad don't know who they're handing the country over to next month. And Bush officials don't know where to go for help, since the military's tapped out, the allies have cold feet, the Arab world's angry and the rest of the globe is thinking, "You got what you deserved."
Before heading out to Iraq last spring, Marine commanders explained that they would try to take a gentler approach than the Army. They would avoid using military tactics that would risk civilian casualties, learn Arabic and take off their sunglasses when talking with Iraqis. "If to kill a terrorist we have got to kill eight innocent people, you don't kill them," Maj. Gen. James Mattis told The Times's Michael Gordon.
But in the wake of the Falluja horror and Shiite uprising, civility must take a back seat to stomping.
The marines had to fire rockets at a mosque in Falluja used by the Shiite followers of the radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr, and the hospitals are filled with civilians. Instead of playing soccer with kids, now the marines have to worry that the kids are the enemy, spotting targets or wielding guns. The farmers and taxicab drivers, wearing their own clothes and driving their own cars, try to murder the marines before melting back into the populace.
Paul Wolfowitz assumed that the Shiites, tormented by Saddam over their religion, would be grateful, not hateful. Wrong. It isn't a cakewalk; it's chaos.
Every single thing the administration calculated would happen in Iraq has turned out the opposite. The W.M.D. that supposedly threatened us did not exist. The dangerous dictator was deluded and writing romance novels. The terrorism that would be thwarted has mushroomed in Iraq and is feeding Arab radicalism.
Mr. Rumsfeld thought invading Iraq would exorcise America's Vietnam syndrome, its squeamishness about using force. Instead, it has raised the specter of another Vietnam, where our courageous troops don't understand the culture, can't recognize the enemy and don't have an exit strategy. And the administration spins the war every day.
Rummy also thought he could show off his transformation of the military, using a leaner force. Now even some Republicans say he is putting our troops at risk by stubbornly refusing to admit he was wrong.
Dick Cheney thought fear was better than weak-kneed diplomacy, that if America whacked one Arab foe, all the others would cower. Wrong. The Iraq invasion has multiplied and emboldened our enemies.
Mr. Cheney and Mr. Rumsfeld thought America should flex its hyperpower muscles, castrating the U.N. and blowing off multilateral arrangements. Now the administration may have to crawl back for help.
The hawks thought they could establish a democracy that would produce a domino effect in the Arab world. Wrong. The dominoes are falling in a scarier direction.
The president thought he could improve on the ending to his father's gulf war. Wrong again.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
The Disaster of Failed Policy Los Angeles Times | Editorial Sunday 27 June 2004
In its scale and intent, President Bush's war against Iraq was something new and radical: a premeditated decision to invade, occupy and topple the government of a country that was no imminent threat to the United States. This was not a handful of GIs sent to overthrow Panamanian thug Manuel Noriega or to oust a new Marxist government in tiny Grenada. It was the dispatch of more than 100,000 U.S. troops to implement Bush's post-Sept. 11 doctrine of preemption, one whose dangers President John Quincy Adams understood when he said the United States "goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy."
In the case of Vietnam, the U.S. began by assisting a friendly government resisting communist takeover in a civil war, though the conflict disintegrated into a failure that still haunts this country. The 1991 Persian Gulf War, under Bush's father, was a successful response to Iraq's invasion and occupation of Kuwait - and Bush's father deliberately stopped short of toppling Saddam Hussein and occupying Iraq.
The current president outlined a far more aggressive policy in a speech to the West Point graduating class in 2002, declaring that in the war on terror "we must take the battle to the enemy" and confront threats before they emerge. The Iraq war was intended as a monument to his new Bush Doctrine, which also posited that the U.S. would take what help was available from allies but would not be held back by them. It now stands as a monument to folly.
The planned transfer Wednesday of limited sovereignty from the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority to an interim Iraqi government occurs with U.S. influence around the world at a low point and insurgent violence in Iraq reaching new heights of deadliness and coordination. Important Arab leaders this month rejected a U.S. invitation to attend a summit with leaders of industrialized nations. The enmity between Israelis and Palestinians is fiercer than ever, their hope for peace dimmer. Residents of the Middle East see the U.S. not as a friend but as an imperial power bent on securing a guaranteed oil supply and a base for U.S. forces. Much of the rest of the world sees a bully.
The War's False Premises
All the main justifications for the invasion offered beforehand by the Bush administration and its supporters - weapons of mass destruction, close ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq, a chance to make Baghdad a fountain of democracy that would spread through the region - turned out to be baseless.
Weeks of suicide car bombings, assassinations of political leaders and attacks on oil pipelines vital to the country's economy have preceded the handover.
On Thursday alone, car bombs and street fighting in five cities claimed more than 100 lives. Iraqis no longer fear torture or death at the hands of Hussein's brutal thugs, but many fear leaving their homes because of the violence.
The U.S. is also poorer after the war, in lives lost, billions spent and terrorists given new fuel for their rage. The initial fighting was easy; the occupation has been a disaster, with Pentagon civilians arrogantly ignoring expert advice on the difficulty of the task and necessary steps for success.
Two iconic pictures from Iraq balance the good and the dreadful - the toppling of Hussein's statue and a prisoner crawling on the floor at Abu Ghraib prison with a leash around his neck. Bush landed on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln in May 2003 to a hero's welcome and a banner declaring "Mission Accomplished."
A year later, more than 90% of Iraqis want the U.S. to leave their country. The president boasted in July that if Iraqi resistance fighters thought they could attack U.S. forces, "bring them on." Since then, more than 400 personnel have been killed by hostile fire.
Iraqis hope, with little evidence, that the transfer of limited sovereignty to an interim government will slow attacks on police, soldiers and civilians. Another goal, democracy, is fading. The first concern remains what it should have been after the rout of Hussein's army: security. The new Iraqi leaders are considering martial law, an understandable response with suicide bombings recently averaging about one a day but a move they could hardly enforce with an army far from rebuilt.
The new government also faces the difficulty of keeping the country together. In the north, the Kurds, an ethnically separate minority community that had been persecuted by Hussein, want at least to maintain the autonomy they've had for a decade. The Sunnis and Shiites distrust each other. Within the Shiite community, to which the majority of Iraqis belong, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and the violent Muqtada Sadr are opponents. Sadr was a relatively minor figure until occupation officials shut his party's newspaper in March and arrested one of his aides, setting off large protests and attacks on U.S. troops.
The U.S. carries its own unwelcome legacies from the occupation:
· Troops are spending more time in Iraq than planned because about one-quarter of the Army is there at any one time. National Guard and Army Reserve forces are being kept on active duty longer than expected, creating problems at home, where the soldiers' jobs go unfilled and families go without parents in the home.
· The Abu Ghraib prison scandal has raised questions about the administration's willingness to ignore Geneva Convention requirements on treatment of prisoners. Investigations of prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay must aim at finding out which high-ranking officers approved of the abuse or should have known of it. The U.S. also must decide what to do with prisoners of war. The Geneva Convention requires they be released when the occupation ends unless they have been formally cha rged with a crime. The International Committee of the Red Cross says fewer than 50 prisoners have been granted POW status. Thousands more detained as possible security threats also should be released or charged.
· The use of private contractors for military jobs once done by soldiers also demands closer examination. Civilians have long been employed to feed troops and wash uniforms, but the prevalence of ex-GIs interrogating prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison raises harsh new questions. For instance, what, if any, charges could be brought against them if they were found complicit in mistreatment?
Investigate the Contracts
sThe administration also put private U.S. contractors in charge of rebuilding Iraq. Congress needs to take a much closer look at what they do and how they bill the government.
Halliburton is the best-known case, having won secret no-bid contracts to rebuild the country. A Pentagon audit found "significant" overcharges by the company, formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney; Halliburton denies the allegations.
Iraqis say they want the Americans out, but most understand they will need the foreign forces for many more months. A U.S. troop presence in Iraq should not be indefinite, even if the Iraqis request it. By the end of 2005, Iraq should have enough trained police, soldiers, border guards and other forces to be able to defend the country and put down insurgencies but not threaten neighboring countries.
The Bush administration should push NATO nations to help with the training. Once the Iraqis have a new constitution, an elected government and sufficient security forces, the U.S. should withdraw its troops. That does not mean setting a definite date, because the U.S. cannot walk away from what it created. But it should set realistic goals for Iraq to reach on its own, at which time the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad becomes just another diplomatic outpost. It also means living up to promises to let Iraq choose its own government, even well short of democracy.
France, Germany and others that opposed the war seem to understand that letting Iraq become a failed state, an Afghanistan writ large, threatens them as well as the U.S. and the Middle East. But other nations will do little to help with reconstruction if Iraq remains a thinly disguised fiefdom where U.S. companies get billion-dollar contracts and other countries are shut out.
A Litany of Costly Errors
The missteps have been many: listening to Iraqi exiles like Ahmad Chalabi who insisted that their countrymen would welcome invaders; using too few troops, which led to a continuing crime wave and later to kidnappings and full-blown terror attacks. Disbanding the Iraqi army worsened the nation's unemployment problem and left millions of former soldiers unhappy - men with weapons. Keeping the United Nations at arm's length made it harder to regain assistance when the need was dire.
It will take years for widely felt hostility to ebb, in Iraq and other countries. The consequences of arrogance, accompanied by certitude that the world's most powerful military can cure all ills, should be burned into Americans' memory banks.
Preemption is a failed doctrine. Forcibly changing the regime of an enemy that posed no imminent threat has led to disaster. The U.S. needs better intelligence before it acts in the future. It needs to listen to friendly nations.
It needs humility.
"Ours will be a humble nation," Bush said during the Presidential debates in 2000. . / . "Recent developments indicate that the current Republican Party leadership has confused confident leadership with hubris and arrogance." vasva - JOHN EISENHOWER, lifelong Republican and son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower
./ hu'bris (n.)
1. Exaggerated pride or self confidence, often resulting in retribution.cssacxacacxcacxac 2. Overbearing presumption; arrogance.xacacbnbfdndnnddn 3. The George W. Bush administration.xa
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ulhl ./ Imperial Hubris Why the West Is Losing the War on Terror
Though U.S. leaders try to convince the world of their success in fighting al Qaeda, one anonymous member of the U.S. intelligence community would like to inform the public that we are, in fact, losing the war on terror. Further, until U.S. leaders recognize the errant path they have irresponsibly chosen, he says, our enemies will only grow stronger.
According to the author, the greatest danger for Americans confronting the Islamist threat is to believe-at the urging of U.S. leaders-that Muslims attack us for what we are and what we think rather than for what we do. Blustering political rhetoric "informs" the public that the Islamists are offended by the Western world's democratic freedoms, civil liberties, inter-mingling of genders, and separation of church and state. However, although aspects of the modern world may offend conservative Muslims, no Islamist leader has fomented jihad to destroy participatory democracy, for example, the national association of credit unions, or coed universities.
Instead, a growing segment of the Islamic world strenuously disapproves of specific U.S. policies and their attendant military, political, and economic implications. Capitalizing on growing anti-U.S. animosity, Osama bin Laden's genius lies not simply in calling for jihad, but in articulating a consistent and convincing case that Islam is under attack by America. Al Qaeda's public statements condemn America's protection of corrupt Muslim regimes, unqualified support for Israel, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a further litany of real-world grievances. Bin Laden's supporters thus identify their problem and believe their solution lies in war. Anonymous contends they will go to any length, not to destroy our secular, democratic way of life, but to deter what they view as specific attacks on their lands, their communities, and their religion. Unless U.S. leaders recognize this fact and adjust their policies abroad accordingly, even moderate Muslims will join the bin Laden camp.
CNN June 27, 2004 http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/06/27/cia.book/index.html
(CNN) -- A book written by a top CIA counterterrorism official alleges that the Bush administration has bungled the war on terror, and because of poor decisions the United States faces a choice in Iraq and Afghanistan "between war and endless war."
Written by a high-level counterterrorism expert and published under the name "Anonymous," the book "Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror" is unique in that it was written by an official still working for the CIA.
And with the book slated to be released next week, the author has already appeared -- in shadow -- on a Sunday political talk show to defend his work.
On ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopolous," the author accused some senior officials in the U.S. intelligence community of "a great deal of moral or bureaucratic cowardice" in dealing with the war on terror.
Although he was relatively muted on the topic of George Tenet, the outgoing director of the CIA, the author was unsparing in his criticism of the Bush administration's decision to wait a month after the September 11, 2001, attacks before going to war in Afghanistan.
"We were facing a government, the Taliban, which was basically a rural insurgency trying to govern cities, and al Qaeda, which is a 20-year-old insurgency. If you were going to hit them, sir, you had to hit them on the 11th or the 12th or the 13th."
"By the time the 7th of October rolled along, most of those forces had been dispersed into the countryside, into Pakistan, into Iran, overseas to other countries. There was no 'there' left when we went there," he said.
In his book, the author labeled the invasion of Iraq a "Christmas gift" to Osama bin Laden and said the country has become a "Mujahadeen magnet" attracting Muslims from around the world to fight the occupying U.S. forces.
In an interview on CNN's "Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer," Secretary of State Colin Powell refused to comment on the author, but said that while there is an insurgency in Iraq, "I think what we are also seeing is that the world is coming together" and developing an "understanding that we have to deal with these kinds of terrorist organizations and not just write it all off to Muslim extremism."
Also appearing on "This Week," national security advisor Condoleezza Rice refused to comment specifically on "Anonymous" because, "I don't know who Anonymous is."
However Rice offered a defense of Bush administration policies in the war on terror and in Iraq.
"What I can say is that a free Iraq, an Iraq in which these killers realize that we're moving toward a democratic future for Iraq which can be the linchpin for a different kind of Middle East, is going to frustrate, not improve, their plans."
The book charges that Saddam Hussein posed no immediate threat to the United States; that the war in Iraq undermined the overall war against terror and actually played into bin Laden's hands; and that the United States is losing that war on terror.
The author also predicts al Qaeda will again attack the continental United States and that it will be even more damaging than the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.
The author says the biggest mistake made after 9/11 was that top intelligence community leaders were not fired.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, who serves on the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, agreed.
"As we try to prepare ourselves in this new era of terrorism, we have to just assume that we're going to have an attack," Nelson said. "And the only way that we prevent it is to have accurate and timely intelligence.
Why I Resigned from the CIA vb x/nbx By Michael Scheuer The Los Angeles Times December 5, 2004 / The agency did its job, but higher-ups endangered the nation.
The Central Intelligence Agency is the best place to work in the United States. No federal agency has a smarter, more dedicated or harder-working set of individuals than the CIA's women and men. I had intended to work at the CIA for the duration of my career, and I left it with deep regret and a great sense of personal loss. I was neither forced out nor pressed to resign. Resigning was my decision alone.
I cannot state these facts more clearly, and I fiercely deny the accusations that I am a disgruntled former employee. I am, however, a disgruntled American - one who decided that being a good citizen was no longer compatible with being a good member of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service.
I do not profess a broad expertise in international affairs, but between January 1996 and June 1999 I was in charge of running operations against Al Qaeda from Washington. When it comes to this small slice of the large U.S. national security pie, I speak with firsthand experience (and for several score of CIA officers) when I state categorically that during this time senior White House officials repeatedly refused to act on sound intelligence that provided multiple chances to eliminate Osama bin Laden - either by capture or by U.S. military attack. I witnessed and documented, along with dozens of other CIA officers, instances where life-risking intelligence-gathering work of the agency's men and women in the field was wasted.
Because of classification issues, I argued this point only obliquely in my book "Imperial Hubris," but it is a fact - and fortunately, no American has to depend on my word alone. The 9/11 commission report documents most of the occasions on which senior U.S. bureaucrats and policymakers had the chance to attack Bin Laden in 1998-1999. It is mystifying that the American public has not been outraged over these missed opportunities.
In the most memorable and cloying moment of the 9/11 commission's public hearings, former White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke apologized to the American people for the failure of the U.S. intelligence community to protect them. This statement has become, like the 9/11 report, American scripture - carved in stone, literally true and unquestionable.
Clearly, Clarke had the duty to apologize for the government's ineffectiveness as regards terrorism, but I reject his intimation that the clandestine service failed the nation.
Now, I must add that I was never charged with deciding whether to act against Bin Laden. That decision properly belongs solely to senior White House officials. However, as a now-private American citizen, it is my right to question their judgment; I am entitled to know why the protection of Americans - most selfishly, my own children and grandchildren - was not the top priority of the senior officials who refused to act on the opportunities to attack Bin Laden provided by the clandestine service.
Each of these officials have publicly argued that the intelligence was not "good enough" to act, but they almost always neglect to say that they were repeatedly advised that the intelligence was not going to get better and that Bin Laden was going to kill thousands of Americans if he was not stopped.
At each opportunity provided by the clandestine service, senior bureaucrats and policymakers decided not to act. The 9/11 report documents the fact that the chances to capture or attack Bin Laden were passed by because there were worries that shrapnel might hit a mosque and offend Muslim opinion; that a United Arab Emirates prince meeting Bin Laden clandestinely in the Afghan desert might be killed; and that the CIA might be accused of assassination if Bin Laden was killed in an effort to capture him.
Of course, it is not my opinion but that of the American people that counts. Perhaps a starting point is for Americans to ask why no member of Congress' Graham-Goss investigation or the Kean-Hamilton commissioners ever directly asked Clarke, former national security advisor Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, CIA Director George J. Tenet, former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, former Secretary of State William S. Cohen or any of the rest of the witnesses why they never erred on the side of protecting Americans; why international opinion was ultimately more important than the Americans who leaped from the World Trade Center; and why the intelligence was "good enough" to save the life of an Arab prince dining with bin Laden, but not "good enough" to cause the government to act on behalf of Americans.
At day's end, it may be worth pausing the intelligence reform process long enough to determine what role personal failure, bureaucratic warfare - which the Department of Defense continues waging today - and a lack of moral courage played in getting the United States to 9/11. Lacking this accounting, the debate over intelligence reform will, I believe, simply lock into place a bureaucratic mind-set that believes intelligence is never "good enough" to take a risk to protect the lives of Americans.
"Inexcusable Failure" "The United States has been guilty of a gross military, administrative, and moral failure. It seems to be finally taking steps to correct these mistakes, but its past history shows that detailed progress reporting is essential. The U.S. military has been reluctant at best to come to grips with the need for an effective effort." / - "Inexcusable Failure," by Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies July 20, 2004 In PDF format : http://www.csis.org/press/wf_2004_0720.pdf
"An immoral war was thus waged and the world is a great deal less safe place than before. There are many more who resent the powerful who can throw their weight about so callously and with so much impunity." / - Archbishop Desmond Tutu / "In 1968, a few Democratic senators - - J. William Fulbright, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Robert F. Kennedy - - challenged their party's torpor and insisted that President Lyndon Johnson be held accountable for his disastrous and disingenuous conduct of the Vietnam War, adding weight to public pressure, which, eventually, forced Johnson not to seek re-election. / Today, the United States is confronted by another ill-considered war, conceived in ideological zeal and pursued with contempt for truth, disregard of history and an arrogant assertion of American power that has stunned and alienated much of the world, including traditional allies. / At a juncture in history when the United States needed a president to intelligently and forcefully lead a real international campaign against terrorism and its causes, Bush decided instead /to unilaterally declare war on a totalitarian state that never represented a terrorist threat; to claim exemption from international law regarding the treatment of prisoners; to suspend constitutional guarantees even to non-combatants at home and abroad; and to ignore sound military advice from the only member of his Cabinet - Powell - with the most requisite experience. // Instead of using America's moral authority to lead a great global cause,
m The United States Has Lost its Moral Authority By U.S. Senator Ernest F. Hollings t r u t h o u t | Perspective Wednesday 23 June 2004
Peoples the world around have a history of culture and religion. In the Mideast, the religion is predominantly Muslim and the culture tribal. The Muslim religion is strong, i.e., those that don't conform are considered infidels; those of a tribal culture look for tribal leadership, not democracy. We liberated Kuwait, but it immediately rejected democracy.
In 1996, a task force was formed in Jerusalem including Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser. They submitted a plan for Israel to incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Clean Break. It proposed that negotiations with the Palestinians be cut off and, instead, the Mideast be made friendly to Israel by democratizing it. First Lebanon would be bombed, then Syria invaded on the pretext of weapons of mass destruction. Afterward, Saddam Hussein was to be removed in Iraq and replaced with a Hashemite ruler favorable to Israel.
The plan was rejected by Netanyahu, so Perle started working for a similar approach to the Mideast for the United States. Taking on the support of Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Stephen Cambone, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld et al., he enlisted the support of the Project for the New American Century.
The plan hit paydirt with the election of George W. Bush. Perle took on the Defense Policy Board. Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Feith became one, two and three at the Defense Department, and Cheney as vice president took Scooter Libby and David Wurmser as his deputies. Clean Break was streamlined to go directly into Iraq.
Iraq, as a threat to the United States, was all contrived. Richard Clarke stated in his book, Against All Enemies, with John McLaughlin, of the CIA confirming that there was no evidence or intelligence of "Iraqi support for terrorism against the United States" from 1993 until 2003 when we invaded. The State Department on 9/11 had a list of 45 countries wherein al Qaeda was operating. While the United States was listed, it didn't list the country of Iraq.
President Bush must have known that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We have no al Qaeda, no weapons of mass destruction and no terrorism from Iraq; we were intentionally misled by the Bush administration.
Which explains why President-elect Bush sought a briefing on Iraq from Defense Secretary William Cohen in January before taking the oath of office and why Iraq was the principal concern at his first National Security Council meeting - all before 9/11. When 9/11 occurred, we knew immediately that it was caused by Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Within days we were not only going into Afghanistan, but President Bush was asking for a plan to invade Iraq - even though Iraq had no involvement.
After 15 months, Iraq has yet to be secured. Its borders were left open after "mission accomplished," allowing terrorists throughout the Mideast to come join with the insurgents to reek havoc. As a result, our troops are hunkered down, going out to trouble spots and escorting convoys.
In the war against terrorism, we've given the terrorists a cause and created more terrorism. Even though Saddam is gone, the majority of the Iraqi people want us gone. We have proven ourselves "infidels." With more than 800 GIs killed, 5,000 maimed for life and a cost of $200 billion, come now the generals in command, both Richard Myers and John Abizaid, saying we can't win. Back home the cover of The New Republic magazine asks, "Were We Wrong?"
Walking guard duty tonight in Baghdad, a G.I. wonders why he should lose his life when his commander says he can't win and the people back home can't make up their mind. Unfortunately, the peoples of the world haven't changed their minds. They are still against us. Heretofore, the world looked to the United States to do the right thing. No more.
The United States has lost its moral authority.
Originally published in The State on June 23, 2004
/ / The War on Iraq Has Made Moral Cowards of Us All
By Scott Ritter The Guardian U.K. Monday 01 November 2004 http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1340562,00.html
The full scale of the human cost already paid for the war on Iraq is only now becoming clear. Last week's estimate by investigators, using credible methodology, that more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians - most of them women and children - have died since the US-led invasion is a profound moral indictment of our countries. The US and British governments quickly moved to cast doubt on the Lancet medical journal findings, citing other studies. These mainly media-based reports put the number of Iraqi civilian deaths at about 15,000 - although the basis for such an endorsement is unclear, since neither the US nor the UK admits to collecting data on Iraqi civilian casualties.
Civilian deaths have always been a tragic reality of modern war. But the conflict in Iraq was supposed to be different - US and British forces were dispatched to liberate the Iraqi people, not impose their own tyranny of violence.
Reading accounts of the US-led invasion, one is struck by the constant, almost casual, reference to civilian deaths. Soldiers and marines speak of destroying hundreds, if not thousands, of vehicles that turned out to be crammed with civilians. US marines acknowledged in the aftermath of the early, bloody battle for Nassiriya that their artillery and air power had pounded civilian areas in a blind effort to suppress insurgents thought to be holed up in the city. The infamous "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad produced hundreds of deaths, as did the 3rd Infantry Division's "Thunder Run", an armored thrust in Baghdad that slaughtered everyone in its path.
It is true that, with only a few exceptions, civilians who died as a result of ground combat were not deliberately targeted, but were caught up in the machinery of modern warfare. But when the same claim is made about civilians killed in aerial attacks (the Lancet study estimates that most of civilian deaths were the result of air attacks), the comparison quickly falls apart. Helicopter engagements apart, most aerial bombardment is deliberate and pre-planned. US and British military officials like to brag about the accuracy of the "precision" munitions used in these strikes, claiming this makes the kind of modern warfare practiced by the coalition in Iraq the most humanitarian in history.
But there is nothing humanitarian about explosives once they detonate near civilians, or about a bomb guided to the wrong target. Dozens of civilians were killed during the vain effort to eliminate Saddam Hussein with "pinpoint" air strikes, and hundreds have perished in the campaign to eliminate alleged terrorist targets in Falluja. A "smart bomb" is only as good as the data used to direct it. And the abysmal quality of the intelligence used has made the smartest of bombs just as dumb and indiscriminate as those, for example, dropped during the second world war.
The fact that most bombing missions in Iraq today are pre-planned, with targets allegedly carefully vetted, further indicts those who wage this war in the name of freedom. If these targets are so precise, then those selecting them cannot escape the fact that they are deliberately targeting innocent civilians at the same time as they seek to destroy their intended foe. Some would dismiss these civilians as "collateral damage". But we must keep in mind that the British and US governments made a deliberate decision to enter into a conflict of their choosing, not one that was thrust upon them. We invaded Iraq to free Iraqis from a dictator who, by some accounts, oversaw the killing of about 300,000 of his subjects - although no one has been able to verify more than a small fraction of the figure. If it is correct, it took Saddam decades to reach such a horrific statistic. The US and UK have, it seems, reached a third of that total in just 18 months.
Meanwhile, the latest scandal over missing nuclear-related high explosives in Iraq (traced and controlled under the UN inspections regime) only underscores the utter deceitfulness of the Bush-Blair argument for the war. Having claimed the uncertainty surrounding Iraq's WMD capability constituted a threat that could not go unchallenged in a post-9/11 world, one would have expected the two leaders to insist on a military course of action that brought under immediate coalition control any aspect of potential WMD capability, especially relating to any possible nuclear threat. That the US military did not have a dedicated force to locate and neutralize these explosives underscores the fact that both Bush and Blair knew that there was no threat from Iraq, nuclear or otherwise.
Of course, the US and Britain have a history of turning a blind eye to Iraqi suffering when it suits their political purposes. During the 1990s, hundreds of thousands are estimated by the UN to have died as a result of sanctions. Throughout that time, the US and the UK maintained the fiction that this was the fault of Saddam Hussein, who refused to give up his WMD. We now know that Saddam had disarmed and those deaths were the responsibility of the US and Britain, which refused to lift sanctions.
There are many culpable individuals and organizations history will hold to account for the war - from deceitful politicians and journalists to acquiescent military professionals and silent citizens of the world's democracies. As the evidence has piled up confirming what I and others had reported - that Iraq was already disarmed by the late 1990s - my personal vote for one of the most culpable individuals would go to Hans Blix, who headed the UN weapons inspection team in the run-up to war. He had the power if not to prevent, at least to forestall a war with Iraq. Blix knew that Iraq was disarmed, but in his mealy-mouthed testimony to the UN security council helped provide fodder for war. His failure to stand up to the lies used by Bush and Blair to sell the Iraq war must brand him a moral and intellectual coward.
But we all are moral cowards when it comes to Iraq. Our collective inability to summon the requisite shame and rage when confronted by an estimate of 100,000 dead Iraqi civilians in the prosecution of an illegal and unjust war not only condemns us, but adds credibility to those who oppose us. The fact that a criminal such as Osama bin Laden can broadcast a videotape on the eve of the US presidential election in which his message is viewed by many around the world as a sober argument in support of his cause is the harshest indictment of the failure of the US and Britain to implement sound policy in the aftermath of 9/11. The death of 3,000 civilians on that horrible day represented a tragedy of huge proportions. Our continued indifference to a war that has slaughtered so many Iraqi civilians, and will continue to kill more, is in many ways an even greater tragedy: not only in terms of scale, but also because these deaths were inflicted by our own hand in the course of an action that has no defense.
Scott Ritter was a senior UN weapons inspector in Iraq between 1991 and 1998 and is the author of "Frontier Justice: Weapons of Mass Destruction and the Bushwhacking of America"
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / Study puts civilian toll in Iraq at over 600,000 By Elisabeth Rosenthal International Herald Tribune Saturday, October 30, 2004
A team of American and Iraqi public
health researchers has estimated that 600,000 civilians have
died in violence across Iraq since the 2003 American invasion,
the highest estimate ever for the toll of the war here. The figure
breaks down to about 15,000 violent deaths a month, a number
"The President, his father, the Vice President, a whole host of powerful government officials, along with stockholders and executives from Halliburton and Carlyle, stand to make a mint off this war. Long-time corporate sponsors from the defense, construction and petroleum industries will likewise profit enormously." / - "Blood Money" By William Rivers Pitt
/ Report: 'US war on terror bankrupt' / By Elizabeth Blunt BBC World Service /
Guantanamo: The report describes a pattern of arbitrary
and incommunicado detention
The last year has seen "the most sustained attack on human rights and international humanitarian law in 50 years", AI says.
Its annual report notes a lively debate in the Arab world on issues of political, legal and judicial reform.
It goes on to say that despite this, grave human rights violations continued across the region.
In the Arab world, 2003 was a year of dramatic events, and one which raised serious human rights issues.
"The global security agenda promulgated by the US administration is bankrupt of vision and bereft of principle; using pre-emptive military force where and when [the US] chooses has neither increased security nor ensured liberty." - Irene Khan, Amnesty International secretary general
AI calls on the US and the other occupying powers in Iraq to abide by their obligations in the face of what it calls a pattern of arbitrary and incommunicado detention, ill-treatment and the excessive use of force by the occupying forces.
Speaking at the launch of the report, Amnesty's Secretary General Irene Khan said the abuses in Abu Ghraib jail should have surprised no-one, since it was the logical consequence of the relentless pursuit of global security and the so-called war on terror.
Israel and the Palestinians
As well as the new conflict in Iraq, 2003 brought more violence and human rights abuses in Israel and the occupied territories.
The reports says that the grim toll of killings, including killings of children, continued to rise - around 600 Palestinians killed by the Israeli army; around 200 Israeli victims, many the victims of suicide bombings.
Although the list of accusations against the Israeli authorities is a long one - including detentions without charge, torture and ill treatment of detainees, military trials which fell short of international standards - the report also criticises the Palestinian Authority for detentions without charge and the extrajudicial killings of supposed collaborators.
Away from these dramatic events, Amnesty International continues to follow the widespread debate about political and legal reform in the Middle East and North Africa.
But it says that despite government promises of reform, human rights violations continued.
There were arbitrary political arrests and detentions in many countries, prisoners were held incommunicado for long periods, tortured and ill-treated, and the minimum standards for fair trials were often disregarded.
U.S. Faces Lasting Damage Abroad /. By Robin Wright The Washington Post Friday 07 May 2004 kmerker
Moral High Ground Lost, Experts Say.
The United States faces the prospect of a severe and enduring backlash not just in the Middle East but also among strategic allies, putting in question the Bush administration's ability to make serious headway on a range of foreign policy goals for the rest of this presidential term, according to U.S. officials and foreign policy experts.
The White House damage-control campaign, including the long-awaited apology from President Bush yesterday, is likely to have only limited, if any, success in the near term, administration officials said yesterday.
The White House is so gloomy about the repercussions that senior adviser Karl Rove suggested this week that the consequences of the graphic photographs documenting the U.S. abuse of Iraqi detainees are so enormous that it will take decades for the United States to recover, according to a Bush adviser.
"It's a blinding glimpse of the obvious to say we're in a hole," conceded Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage. He said the backlash in Europe is even greater than in the 22-nation Arab world.
"For many of our European friends, what they saw on those horrible pictures is tantamount to torture, and there are very strong views about that," he said yesterday on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now" show. "In the Arab world, there is general dismay and disgust, but in some places we were not real popular to start with. So I think I'm actually seeing a European reaction quite strong -- quite a bit stronger."
In public and private communications, European officials have become critical or disdainful of the United States. France's foreign ministry said in a statement that the abuse is "totally unacceptable" and, if confirmed, "constitute clear and unacceptable violations of international conventions."
The issue for Arabs and other allies extends beyond the treatment of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison, which is seen as a metaphor for a stubborn and often defiant U.S. foreign policy under the Bush administration.
Washington first justified military intervention to oust Saddam Hussein, without U.N. support, by asserting that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction were a real and imminent threat -- but then found none.
The administration has since shifted gears, arguing that its primary goal has instead been to create a democracy that would inspire Arabs and the wider Islamic world -- only to delay for several months acknowledgement or action on the chronic abuse of Iraqi detainees, analysts note.
As a result, the United States has lost the moral high ground in Iraq, putting its credibility on the line. Now, its broader goals for the region -- including an ambitious project to promote democracy, set to be unveiled by Bush at three international summits next month -- are in jeopardy, foreign policy and Middle East analysts say.
"The mask of civility has fallen. It used to be that Americans just don't do that. Now you hear Arabs say, 'Don't lecture us about democracy and respect for human rights,' " said Raghida Dergham, senior diplomatic correspondent for the London-based al Hayat newspaper. "No quick fix is going to reverse the current antagonism toward American policies."
The pictures -- and the global reaction -- will also complicate efforts by U.S. institutions, including private humanitarian and human rights groups, to promote greater respect for democratic reforms, added Mark Schneider, vice president of International Crisis Group.
Bush's attempt to invoke historic U.S. values to counter the international fallout is unlikely to ameliorate the foreign backlash. "Bush's moral confidence in the ultimate goodness of American culture and justice will not convince people who are hopping mad today, and who are chronically cynical about the words of politicians and leaders," said Ellen Laipson, former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council and now president of the Stimson Center, a foreign policy think tank.
The tragic irony, Arab and foreign policy analysts note, is that the third justification for the intervention in Iraq was the war on terrorism -- which they say the pictures of the abuse of Iraqi detainees will instead fuel.
"If you want recruitment tools, these are the best anyone could imagine. They are a big blow and a stimulant to spur people to act against the United States. The real kicker for terrorism is indignity and humiliation, and that's what these pictures are about," said Moises Naim, editor of Foreign Policy magazine.
The haunting pictures will serve as "manna from heaven" for al Qaeda and other extremist groups, increasing the dangers to U.S. national security, said Hisham Melham, Washington correspondent for al-Arabiya, an Arab television network.
The United States, for now, may also find allies reluctant to engage on other priorities.
"There are a slew of issues -- from drug trafficking and the environment -- that the United States won't make much progress on by acting alone. It needs the help of international countries, and it's going to be very hard for many politicians, not only Muslims, to be a friend of the United States," Naim said.
State Department officials are sanguine about the need for additional and dramatic overtures. "We know there is outrage and it's going to be around for a long time -- until it's clear we've cleaned it up and it will never happen again. We have to make sure we meet our promises to do that," said a senior State Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Yet Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol, who once worked for Vice President Dan Quayle, suggested that Washington will be able to turn around global public opinion by showing that abuse is not tolerated.
"It's terrible and it's made life difficult for awhile," Kristol said. "But if it becomes clear that this is the exception and [the troops involved] are held accountable, it could end up being an impressive demonstration to countries where torture is routine."
© 2004The Washington Post (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.)
"Watch how a democracy deals with wrongdoing and with scandal" - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, testifying before Congress on the Abu Ghraib scandal, May 7, 2004 bfsfbdsbss
The Arabian Candidate / By Paul Krugman The New York Times Tuesday 20 July 2004 fgnnsnnsfr "Mr. Bush's "war on terror" has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden's hands - while Mr. Bush's supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America's champion against the evildoers."
In the original version of "The Manchurian Candidate," Senator John Iselin, whom Chinese agents are plotting to put in the White House, is a right-wing demagogue modeled on Senator Joseph McCarthy. As Roger Ebert wrote, the plan is to "use anticommunist hysteria as a cover for a communist takeover."
The movie doesn't say what Iselin would have done if the plot had succeeded. Presumably, however, he wouldn't have openly turned traitor. Instead, he would have used his position to undermine national security, while posing as America's staunchest defender against communist evil.
So let's imagine an update - not the remake with Denzel Washington, which I haven't seen, but my own version. This time the enemies would be Islamic fanatics, who install as their puppet president a demagogue who poses as the nation's defender against terrorist evildoers.
The Arabian candidate wouldn't openly help terrorists. Instead, he would serve their cause while pretending to be their enemy.
After an attack, he would strike back at the terrorist base, a necessary action to preserve his image of toughness, but botch the follow-up, allowing the terrorist leaders to escape. Once the public's attention shifted, he would systematically squander the military victory: committing too few soldiers, reneging on promises of economic aid. Soon, warlords would once again rule most of the country, the heroin trade would be booming, and terrorist allies would make a comeback.
Meanwhile, he would lead America into a war against a country that posed no imminent threat. He would insinuate, without saying anything literally false, that it was somehow responsible for the terrorist attack. This unnecessary war would alienate our allies and tie down a large part of our military. At the same time, the Arabian candidate would neglect the pursuit of those who attacked us, and do nothing about regimes that really shelter anti-American terrorists and really are building nuclear weapons.
Again, he would take care to squander a military victory. The Arabian candidate and his co-conspirators would block all planning for the war's aftermath; they would arrange for our army to allow looters to destroy much of the country's infrastructure. Then they would disband the defeated regime's army, turning hundreds of thousands of trained soldiers into disgruntled potential insurgents.
After this it would be easy to sabotage the occupied country's reconstruction, simply by failing to spend aid funds or rein in cronyism and corruption. Power outages, overflowing sewage and unemployment would swell the ranks of our enemies.
Who knows? The Arabian candidate might even be able to deprive America of the moral high ground, no mean trick when our enemies are mass murderers, by creating a climate in which U.S. guards torture, humiliate and starve prisoners, most of them innocent or guilty of only petty crimes.
At home, the Arabian candidate would leave the nation vulnerable, doing almost nothing to secure ports, chemical plants and other potential targets. He would stonewall investigations into why the initial terrorist attack succeeded. And by repeatedly issuing vague terror warnings obviously timed to drown out unfavorable political news, his officials would ensure public indifference if and when a real threat is announced.
Last but not least, by blatantly exploiting the terrorist threat for personal political gain, he would undermine the nation's unity in the face of its enemies, sowing suspicion about the government's motives.
O.K., end of conceit. President Bush isn't actually an Al Qaeda mole, with Dick Cheney his controller. Mr. Bush's "war on terror" has, however, played with eerie perfection into Osama bin Laden's hands - while Mr. Bush's supporters, impressed by his tough talk, see him as America's champion against the evildoers.
Last week, Republican officials in Kentucky applauded bumper stickers distributed at G.O.P. offices that read, "Kerry is bin Laden's man/Bush is mine." Administration officials haven't gone that far, but when Tom Ridge offered a specifics-free warning about a terrorist attack timed to "disrupt our democratic process," many people thought he was implying that Al Qaeda wants George Bush to lose. In reality, all infidels probably look alike to the terrorists, but if they do have a preference, nothing in Mr. Bush's record would make them unhappy at the prospect of four more years.
/ "Six days after the World Trade Center towers were pulverized, when we should have been striking Osama with everything we had, the Bush team was absorbed with old grudges and stale assumptions." / Spinning Our Safety / /By MAUREEN DOWD The New York Times July 25, 2004
Maybe it's because I've been instructed to pack a respirator escape hood along with party dresses for the Boston convention. Maybe it's because our newspaper has assigned a terrorism reporter to cover a political convention. Maybe it's because George Bush is relaxing at his ranch down there (again) while Osama is planning a big attack up here (again). Maybe it's because there are just as many American soldiers dying in Iraq post-transfer, more Muslims more mad at us over fake W.M.D. intelligence and depravity at Abu Ghraib, and more terrorists in more diffuse networks hating us more.
Maybe it's because the F.B.I. is still learning how to Google and the C.I.A. has an acting head who spends most of his time acting defensive over his agency's failure to get anything right. Maybe it's because so many of those federal twits who missed the 10 chances to stop the 9/11 hijackers, who blew off our Paul Reveres - Richard Clarke, Coleen Rowley and the Phoenix memo author - still run things. Call me crazy, Mr. President, but I don't feel any safer.
The nation's mesmerizing new best seller, the 9/11 commission report, lays bare how naked we still are against an attack, and how vulnerable we are because of the time and money the fuzzy-headed Bush belligerents wasted going after the wrong target.
Even scarier, the commissioners expect Congress, which they denounced as "dysfunctional" on intelligence oversight, to get busy fixing things just as lawmakers are flying home for vacation.
The report offers vivid details on our worst fears. Instead of focusing on immediately hitting back at Osama, Bush officials indulged their idiotic idée fixe on Saddam and ignored the memo from their counter-terrorism experts dismissing any connection between the religious fanatic bin Laden and the secular Hussein.
"On the afternoon of 9/11, according to contemporaneous notes, Secretary Rumsfeld instructed General Myers to obtain quickly as much information as possible," the report says. " The notes indicate that he also told Myers that he was not simply interested in striking empty training sites. The secretary said his instinct was to hit Saddam Hussein at the same time - not only bin Laden."
At the first Camp David meeting after 9/11, the report states, "Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz made the case for striking Iraq during 'this round' of the war on terrorism."
Six days after the World Trade Center towers were pulverized, when we should have been striking Osama with everything we had, the Bush team was absorbed with old grudges and stale assumptions.
"At the September 17 N.S.C. meeting, there was some further discussion of 'phase two' of the war on terrorism," the report says. "President Bush ordered the Defense Department to be ready to deal with Iraq if Baghdad acted against U.S. interests, with plans to include possibly occupying Iraqi oil fields."
President Bush was unsure of himself, relying too much on a vice president whose deep, calm voice belied a deeply cracked world view.
He explained to the commissioners that he had stayed in his seat making little fish faces at second graders for seven minutes after learning about the second plane hitting the towers because, as the report says, "The president felt he should project strength and calm until he could better understand what was happening."
What better way to track the terror in the Northeast skies than by reading "My Pet Goat" in Sarasota?
The commissioners warn that the price for the Bush bullies' attention deficit disorder could be high: "If, for example, Iraq becomes a failed state, it will go to the top of the list of places that are breeding grounds for attacks against Americans at home. Similarly, if we are paying insufficient attention to Afghanistan, the rule of the Taliban or warlords and narcotraffickers may re-emerge and its countryside could once again offer refuge to Al Qaeda, or its successor."
And, if that's not ominous enough, consider this: "The problem is that Al Qaeda represents an ideological movement, not a finite group of people. It initiates and inspires, even if it no longer directs."
"Yet killing or capturing" Osama, the report says, "while extremely important, would not end terror. His message of inspiration to a new generation of terrorists would continue."
If the Bush crowd hadn't been besotted with the idea of smoking Saddam, they could have stomped Osama in Tora Bora. Now it's too late. Al Qaeda has become a state of mind.
"The Americans had to deploy a unique combination of narrow-minded activism and unlimited incompetence in Iraq to arouse the Arab world and beyond to a massive rejection." / Overwhelming 6th of June 2004 / By Francois Heisbourg Le Monde Thursday 04 June 2004 / During the decade we're in, an attack with weapons of mass destruction will be attempted on European territory.
/ At no moment since the big crises of the Cold War has the world been as close to a planetary confrontation. Paraphrasing Marc Bloch, what emerges is a "strange catastrophe".
The strangeness relates first of all to the perfectly avoidable aspect of the course of events that have led to the present danger.
Certainly, the world was living with al-Qaeda's terrible challenge after the September 11, 2001 attacks. However, this terrorist act by an operational minority did not necessarily have to transform itself into a clash of civilizations along the model Samuel Huntington suggested eleven years ago.
The Americans had to deploy a unique combination of narrow-minded activism and unlimited incompetence in Iraq to arouse the Arab world and beyond to a massive rejection.
It also required a sort of genius for the United States to double that negative impact by appearing to throw the Israeli-Palestinian "road-map" - patiently elaborated by the Quartet partnership (including the United States) - to the winds.
Now it is to be feared that this hatred of America may lead to regime crises in the Middle East. The American "Neo-Conservatives" bet on a positive domino theory; a democratized Iraq was supposed to open the path to reform of the Greater Middle East. Now the dominos, including those of the oil-rich Arabian Peninsula, are definitely at risk of falling, but in the direction of a militant anti-Western fundamentalism.
The strangeness is also a function of the failure of the international community- and especially Europe- to organize itself in the face of the threat that hyper-terrorism, represented by al-Qaeda, embodies.
As the March 11 attack in Madrid attests, the web of organizations claiming allegiance to bin Laden has not been undermined in its essential workings, in spite of the relentless exertions of our countries' security forces. Still worse, al-Qaeda has found the increasing rejection of America to be a powerful recruitment tool.
Sooner or later, al-Qaeda will cross the technological barrier blocking access to weapons of mass destruction. In the face of this risk, our countries' intelligence services are redoubling their efforts.
Nonetheless, in budgetary terms, as on the organizational level, most European states have stuck to their pre-September 11 2001 dispositions with regard to security and civil defense, although the consequences of the al-Qaeda threat have already achieved war operation dimensions: the 3000 or so deaths on September 11 exceeded the number of GIs (1,465) killed on D-Day in 1944.
The resources our countries have currently mobilized are not up to the scale of such a challenge. We are at most prepared for the consequences of an attack no bigger than the one in Madrid (192 killed), or, in the case of unconventional risks, the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 when 12 died.
It is this double strangeness that presents the risk of catastrophe with so much scope: the present convergence of anti-American hatred, "massing" of al-Qaeda support (reflected in Arab world public opinion polls), unpreparedness of the countries targeted by hyper-terrorism, with the persistent fracture between the United States and most of its allies as the backdrop.
The question therefore is what may be done and what must be done to prevent these developments from coming to a head, if that is still possible?
In the first place, Europe should avoid the perception that it is associated with the present conduct of the Bush administration's failure in the Arab world. It is in everyone's general interest - including, in the final analysis, that of the United States itself - to avert the whole of the West being rejected by that entire region.
In the present circumstances, that plays out through the European Union's refusal to be recruited under the NATO flag in Iraq, but also through rejection of the imposition of the American so-called "Greater Middle East Initiative". The G-8 meeting at Sea Island from June 8-10 will provide the necessary opportunity.
In the same way, Europe must stick to the search for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement on the basis of the "road-map" and everything that includes. In this regard, the joint press conference of Mssrs. Bush and Sharon was a political disaster. Precisely because Europeans must be uncompromising in their defense of the legitimacy of the State of Israel, they may not support an American policy that can only make acknowledgement of that legitimacy more difficult in the Arab world.
I write this with great sadness, just as our country is about to preside over the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the June 6, 1944 landing. Ever since then, history has shown that a European-American partnership was one of the keys to international peace and security.
One of the present tragedies is to be obliged to plead for Europe's dissociation from American policy, so rash has the latter become under the Bush administration.
Beyond this observation - which I hope represents a transitory situation - we must prepare the ground for a civilized and constructive restoration of European-United States relations. The Bush administration is not permanent. In January 2005, or at the latest, 2009, new representatives will arise, allowing us to imagine a redefinition of the partnership so that we may together forestall the threatening catastrophe.
Beyond the struggle against terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, it would be especially appropriate to tackle the infinitely important and difficult question of the modernization of the Middle East together. Without this transformation, al-Qaeda will continue, along with oil, to be one of the region's export products.
In other words, France, as a G-8 and Security Council member, must express its reservations with regard to present American policies in the coming months in a way that does not compromise its future relationship with the American people.
Finally, the European Union and its member states must organize themselves for security and civil defense around the following principle: during the decade we're in, an attack with weapons of mass destruction will be attempted on European territory.
That organization occurs through adapted security policies: warning and identification networks for chemical, biological, and radioactive attacks, coordination of crisis management resources around the consequences of an attack.
This goes well beyond reinforcing our first line of defense, which is intelligence: our history teaches that we should never count on a single line of defense, however well-constructed it may be.
Naturally, security policy cannot take the place of policy itself, especially with regard to the matter integrating our populations of Arab extraction. However, without adequate security measures upstream, that policy risks being over-determined by extreme reactions to acts of hyper-terrorism that we will not have known how to prevent or mitigate.
It's just such a loss of control that occurred in the United States after September 11, and for which the whole world is paying the price today.
Francois Heisbourg is the Director of the Foundation for Strategic Research.
"Here is Rumsfeld excusing himself for his dismal failures in Iraq: "Partly it's [the insurgency] a function of what the Syrians and the Iranians are doing." //// //// "By its behavior the Bush administration is confirming Osama bin Laden's propaganda and breeding more terrorists." /// The American people should be scared to death that they have put in power such deluded people." /// Nothing to Fear But Bush Himself By Paul Craig Roberts Counterpunch.org 12 -13 February 2005 Edition
Paul Craig Roberts, "Father of Reaganomics", wrote the Kemp-Roth bill and was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review.
Suppose you are the party responsible for invading a country under totally false pretenses. Suppose you had totally unrealistic expectations about the consequences of your gratuitous aggression.
What do you do when, instead of being greeted with flowers, you find your army is tied down by insurgents and you have no face-saving way to get out of the morass? If you are the moronic Bush administration, you blame someone else.
Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Cheney and Bush blame Syria and Iran for the troubles that they brought upon themselves. The Iraqi insurgency, say the Five Morons, is the fault of Syria and Iran.
Here is Rumsfeld excusing himself for his dismal failures in Iraq: "Partly it's [the insurgency] a function of what the Syrians and the Iranians are doing."
You see, the facts that the US invaded Iraq on false pretenses, killed and maimed tens of thousands of Iraqis, shot down women and children in the streets, blew up Iraqis' homes, hospitals and mosques, cut Iraqis off from vital services such as water and electricity, destroyed the institutions of civil society, left half the population without means of livelihood, filled up prisons with people picked up off the streets and then tortured and humiliated them for fun and games are not facts that explain why there is an insurgency. These facts are just descriptions of collateral damage associated with America "bringing democracy to Iraq."
The insurgency, according to the Five Morons, is because Iraq and Iran won't close their borders, thus letting in "terrorists" who are responsible for the insurgency. Some might think that this accusation is an example of the pot calling the kettle black coming as it does from the US, a country that has not only proven itself incapable of closing its own borders but also has demonstrated no respect whatsoever for the borders of other countries.
The Bush administration, which already held the world record as the most deluded government in history, has now taken denial to unprecedented highs by blaming Syria and Iran for its "Iraqi problem." Why didn't Americans realize that it is dangerous to put a buffoon in charge of the US government who hasn't a clue about the world around him, what he is doing or the consequences of his actions?
Why is Secretary of State Rice trying to set Iran up for UN sanctions--which the US can manipulate to justify invading another Muslim country--when the US has proven to the world that it cannot occupy Baghdad, much less Iraq?
Are Iran and Syria going to quake in their boots after witnessing the success of a few thousand insurgents in tying down 8 US divisions? The bulk of the US force in Iraq is engaged in protecting its own bases and supply lines. It was all the generals could do to scrape up 10,000 Marines for their pointless assault on Fallujah.
What is the point of the Bush administration's bellicosity when it has been conclusively demonstrated that the US has insufficient troops to successfully occupy Iraq, much less Syria and Iran? The American people should be scared to death that they have put in power such deluded people.
Are Americans going to fall for the same set of WMD lies a second time? Are Americans going to deliver up their sons, and perhaps daughters as well, to be drafted and sent to the Middle East to be killed and maimed for no American cause?
The US Treasury is empty. The once "almighty" dollar is tottering. The US military is stretched to the breaking point. Former allies look askance at America. Hatred of America has reached an all time high.
The Bush administration must bring its policies in line with its means before it leads our country into greater disaster. The Bush administration and its deluded sycophants must stop poking fun at "reality-based" experts and listen to a reality-based message.
There is no possibility of the US imposing its will on the Muslim world. By its behavior the Bush administration is confirming Osama bin Laden's propaganda and breeding more terrorists. Much better to address the causes of Muslim discontent--America's enabling of the Israeli government's mistreatment and dispossession of the Palestinians, and America's export of "culture" that glorifies the sexual promiscuity of women.
It does not serve America for Bush to impose Ariel Sharon's agenda on the Middle East. Bush's insane policy is producing rising anger that endangers Israel and America's puppet governments in Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan along with the Saudi regime. Ironically, this is recognized by Egypt's Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah, who was unable to refrain from pointing out that Bush has managed to create a Shi'ite crescent from Iran to Lebanon.
What, King Abdullah wonders, will be the next unintended consequence of the moronic administration that the American people in their superior wisdom and virtue have seen fit to empower in Washington. "If our aim is to win against terrorism, we can't afford more instability in the area," warned the king prior to the ill-fated US invasion of Iraq. "It's the potential Armageddon of Iraq that worries all of us."
It should worry Americans, too.
Paul Craig Roberts, also known as "The Father of Reaganomics", is part of a crescendo of credible voics estepping forward to blow the whistle on the megalomaniacs in the White House as the insanity of the US government reaches unprecedented levels.
// Former U.S. diplomat:\ Bush a 'very weak' man // "led by the hand into battle by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld." /
Athens - A former US diplomat who resigned over the Iraq war on Sunday described US President George W Bush as a "very weak" man led by the hand into battle by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
John Brady Kiesling, who was political counsellor at the US embassy in Athens at the time of his resignation in February, said in an open letter published by Greek daily To Vima that Rumsfeld exploited the war to increase his own power.
Kiesling - whose warning that US aims in Iraq were "incompatible with American values" struck a chord with the predominantly anti-war Greeks - described Bush as "a politician who badly wants to appear strong but in reality is very weak."
He said Rumsfeld led Bush by the hand into war, marginalised the secret services who had doubts about the war, and emerged as the top politician in Washingto.n
"Easy to convince, (Bush) blindly believed in Rumsfeld's assurances that the occupation of Iraq would pay for itself," Kiesling said.
"The longer we remain in Iraq, the more the resistance to the American presence is going to be a source of legitimacy for the extremists," he said.
He called for an expanded role for the United Nations and the European Union in the reconstruction of Iraq.
Kiesling said he regretted
that US intelligence services had not spoken out about untruths concerning Iraqi
weapons of mass destruction,
which he added had humiliated the United States and damaged its
closest ally, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain.
Wars of Reason, Wars of Principle Setting the record straight / By Barack Obama Chicago, October 26, 2002 (colors and bolds added)
I stand before you as someone who is not opposed to war in all circumstances. The Civil War was one of the bloodiest in history, and yet it was only through the crucible of the sword, the sacrifice of multitudes, that we could begin to perfect this union and drive the scourge of slavery from our soil.
I don't oppose all wars. My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton's army. He fought in the name of a larger freedom, part of that arsenal of democracy that triumphed over evil.
I don't oppose all wars. After September 11, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again.
I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by [former Pentagon policy adviser] Richard Perle and [Deputy Defense Secretary] Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne.
What I am opposed to is the attempt by political hacks like [chief Bush political adviser] Karl Rove to distract us from a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression.
That's what I'm opposed to. A dumb war. A rash war. A war based not on reason but on passion, not on principle but on politics.
Now let me be clear: I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him. But I also know that Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors and that in concert with the international community he can be contained until, in the way of all petty dictators, he falls away into the dustbin of history.
I know that even a successful
war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost,
consequences. I know that
an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without
strong international support will only fan
the flames of the Middle East, and encourage the worst,
rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen
the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda.
I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars. So for those of us who seek a more just and secure world for our children, let us send a clear message to the president.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence, and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism, and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure that we vigorously enforce a nonproliferation treaty, and that former enemies and current allies like Russia safeguard and ultimately eliminate their stores of nuclear material, and that nations like Pakistan and India never use the terrible weapons already in their possession, and that the arms merchants in our own country stop feeding the countless wars that rage across the globe.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to make sure our so-called allies in the Middle East, the Saudis and the Egyptians, stop oppressing their own people, and suppressing dissent, and tolerating corruption and inequality, and mismanaging their economies so that their youth grow up without education, without prospects, without hope, the ready recruits of terrorist cells.
You want a fight, President Bush? Let's fight to wean ourselves off Middle East oil through an energy policy that doesn't simply serve the interests of Exxon and Mobil.
Those are the battles that we need to fight. Those are the battles that we willingly join. The battles against ignorance and intolerance. Corruption and greed. Poverty and despair.
State Sen. Barack Obama (D-Chicago) is a candidate for the U.S.
Senate. He delivered the above remarks at an antiwar rally on
October 26, 2002, in Chicago.
/ COWBOY SHOOTS SELF IN FOOT //// "The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective." - George W. Bush, in Wayne, Mich., as quoted by Katharine Q. Seelye in the New York Times, June 28, 2000 bd////gbcx \ bdgbc////x "This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating." - George W. Bush, as quoted by the New York Daily News, April 23, 2002 _____________________________________________________ bdg////bcx //// b"There's a terrible sense of dread filtering across America at the moment and it's not simply because of the continuing fear of terrorism and the fact that the nation is at war. It's more frightening than that. It grows out of the suspicion that we all may be passengers in a vehicle that has made a radically wrong turn and is barreling along a dark road, with its headlights off and with someone behind the wheel who may not know how to drive." //// - "Did Somebody Say War?", By Bob Hebert, New York TimesMay 24, 2004 bdgbcx "It is entirely possible that President Bush really does not know that his approach to the war on terror has been a failure. Whether he scans the headlines, as Laura suggests, or really does avoid contact with news that has not been filtered by his staff, all indications are that this president is not a curious man. And his lack of curiosity is not just frightening. In times like these, it is dangerous." //// - "Not-so-Curious George (Bush)", Capitol Times | Editorial , Monday 19 July 2004
- From "Don't Attack Saddam", by Brent Scowcroft (National Security Advisor, Bush I) Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2002 (first article on this page, above) ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /
- "Dancing Alone", by conservative columnist Thomas Friedman, New York Times, May 13, 2004 ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ bgdbdg//// "September 11 demanded that we be better, greater, more righteous than those who brought death to us. September 11 demanded that we be better, and in doing so, we would show the world that those who attacked us are far, far less than us. That would have been victory, with nary a shot being fired. Our leaders, however, took us in exactly the opposite direction." "Every bit of propaganda Osama bin Laden served up to the Muslim world for why America should be attacked and destroyed has been given credibility by what has taken place in Iraq."
We have traveled a long, dark, strange road since the attacks of September 11. We have all suffered, we have all known fear and anger, and sometimes hatred. Many of us have felt - probably more than we are willing to admit it - at one time or another a desire for revenge, so deep was the wound inflicted upon us during that wretched, unforgettable Tuesday morning in September of 2001.
But we have come now to the end of a week so awful, so terrible, so wrenching that the most basic moral fabric of that which we believe is good and great - the basic moral fabric of the United States of America - has been torn bitterly asunder.
We are awash in photographs of Iraqi men - not terrorists, just people - lying in heaps on cold floors with leashes around their necks. We are awash in photographs of men chained so remorselessly that their backs are arched in agony, men forced to masturbate for cameras, men forced to pretend to have sex with one another for cameras, men forced to endure attacks from dogs, men with electrodes attached to them as they stand, hooded, in fear of their lives.
The worst, amazingly, is yet to come. A new battery of photographs and videotapes, as yet unreleased, awaits over the horizon of our abused understanding. These photos and videos, also from the Abu Ghraib prison, are reported to show U.S. soldiers gang raping an Iraqi woman, U.S. soldiers beating an Iraqi man nearly to death, U.S. troops posing, smirks affixed, with decomposing Iraqi bodies, and Iraqi troops under U.S. command raping young boys.
George W. Bush would have us believe these horrors were restricted to a sadistic few, and would have us believe these horrors happened only in Abu Ghraib. Yet reports are surfacing now of similar treatment at another U.S. detention center in Iraq called Camp Bucca. According to these reports, Iraqi prisoners in Camp Bucca were beaten, humiliated, hogtied, and had scorpions placed on their naked bodies.
In the eyes of the world, this is America today. It cannot be dismissed as an anomaly because it went on and on and on in the Abu Ghraib prison, and because now we hear of Camp Bucca. According to the British press, there are some 30 other cases of torture and humiliation under investigation. The Bush administration went out of its way to cover up this disgrace, declaring secret the Army report on these atrocities. That, pointedly, is against the rules and against the law. You can't call something classified just because it is embarrassing and disgusting. It was secret, but now it is out, and the whole world has been shown the dark, scabrous underbelly of our definition of freedom.
The beginnings of actual political fallout began to find its way into the White House last week. Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania, the House Democrats' most vocal defense hawk, joined Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to declare that the conflict is "unwinnable." Murtha, a Vietnam veteran, rocked the Democratic caucus when he said at a leader's luncheon Tuesday that the United States cannot win the war in Iraq.
"Unwinnable." Well, it only took about 14 months.
-- George H.W. Bush ( Bush I ), 1992
Also last week, calls for the resignation of Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld became strident. Pelosi accused Rumsfeld of being "in denial about Iraq," and said U.S. soldiers "are suffering great casualties and injuries, and American taxpayers are paying an enormous price" because Rumsfeld "has done a poor job as secretary of defense." Representative Charlie Rangel, a leading critic of the Iraq invasion, has filed articles of impeachment against Rumsfeld.
So there's the heat. But let us consider the broader picture here in the context of that one huge word: "Unwinnable." Why did we do this in the first place? There have been several reasons offered over the last 16 months for why we needed to do this thing.
It started, for real, in January 2003 when George W. Bush said in his State of the Union speech that Iraq was in possession of 26,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX, 30,000 munitions to deliver this stuff, and that Iraq was seeking uranium from Niger to build nuclear bombs.
That reason has been scratched off the list because, as has been made painfully clear now, there are no such weapons in Iraq. The Niger claim, in particular, has caused massive embarrassment for America because it was so farcical, and has led to a federal investigation of this White House because two administration officials took revenge upon Joseph Wilson's wife for Wilson''s exposure of the lie.
Next on the list was September 11, and the oft-repeated accusation that Saddam Hussein must have been at least partially responsible. That one collapsed as well - Bush himself had to come out and say Saddam had nothing to do with it.
Two reasons down, so the third must be freedom and liberty for the Iraqi people. Once again, however, facts interfere. America does not want a democratic Iraq, because a democratic Iraq would quickly become a Shi'ite fundamentalist Iraq allied with the Shi'ite fundamentalist nation of Iran, a strategic situation nobody with a brain wants to see come to pass. It has been made clear by Paul Bremer, the American administrator of Iraq, that whatever the new Iraqi government comes to look like, it will have no power to make any laws of any kind, it will have no control over the security of Iraq, and it will have no power over the foreign troops which occupy its soil. This is, perhaps, some bizarre new definition of democracy not yet in the dictionary, but it is not democracy by any currently accepted definition I have ever heard of.
So...the reason to go to war because of weapons of mass destruction is destroyed. The reason to go to war because of connections to September 11 is destroyed. The reason to go to war in order to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq is destroyed.
What is left? The one reason left has been unfailingly flapped around by defenders of this administration and supporters of this war: Saddam Hussein was a terrible, terrible man. He killed his own people. He tortured his own people. The Iraqis are better off without him, and so the war is justified.
And here, now, is the final excuse destroyed. We have killed more than 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians in this invasion, and maimed countless others. The photos from Abu Ghraib prison show that we, like Saddam Hussein, torture and humiliate the Iraqi people. Worst of all, we do this in the same prison Hussein used to do his torturing. The "rape rooms," often touted by Bush as justification for the invasion, are back. We are the killers now. We are the torturers now. We have achieved a moral equivalence with the Butcher of Baghdad.
This war is lost. I mean not just the Iraq war, but George W. Bush's ridiculous "War on Terror" as a whole.
I say ridiculous because this "War on Terror" was never, ever something we were going to win. What began on September 11 with the world wrapping us in its loving embrace has collapsed today in a literal orgy of shame and disgrace. This happened, simply, because of the complete failure of moral leadership at the highest levels.
We saw a prime example of this during Friday's farce of a Senate hearing into the Abu Ghraib disaster which starred Don Rumsfeld. From his bully pulpit spoke Senator Joe Lieberman, who parrots the worst of Bush's war propaganda with unfailingly dreary regularity. Responding to the issue of whether or not Bush and Rumsfeld should apologize for Abu Ghraib, Lieberman stated that none of the terrorists had apologized for September 11.
There it was, in a nutshell. There was the idea, oft promulgated by the administration, that September 11 made any barbarism, any extreme, any horror brought forth by the United States acceptable, and even desirable. There was the institutionalization of revenge as a basis for policy. Sure, Abu Ghraib was bad, Mr. Lieberman put forth. But September 11 happened, so all bets are off.
Thus fails the "War on Terror." September 11 did not demand of us the lowest common denominator, did not demand of us that we become that which we despise and denounce. September 11 demanded that we be better, greater, more righteous than those who brought death to us. September 11 demanded that we be better, and in doing so, we would show the world that those who attacked us are far, far less than us. That would have been victory, with nary a shot being fired.
Our leaders, however, took us in exactly the opposite direction.
Every reason to go to Iraq has failed to retain even a semblance of credibility. Every bit of propaganda Osama bin Laden served up to the Muslim world for why America should be attacked and destroyed has been given credibility by what has taken place in Iraq. Victory in this "War on Terror," a propaganda war from the beginning, has been given to the September 11 attackers by the hand of George W. Bush, and by the hand of those who enabled his incomprehensible blundering.
The war is lost.
William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for t r u t h o u t . He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.' © : t r u t h o u t 2004___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
//// "Now, I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators." // - Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003 nfgjdfhggfchjhgcjf "The clock is ticking, and it's ticking towards war. And it's going to be a real war. It's going to be a war that will result in the deaths of hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians. It's a war that is going to devastate Iraq. It's a war that's going to destroy the credibility of the United States of America." // - U.N weapons inspector, and Gulf War I veteran Scott Ritter, speaking at Suffolk University in Boston on July 23, 2002 ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / // "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve. The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of hatred are over." - Dick Cheney, World Economic Forum January 24, 2004 http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,109392,00.html ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ //// bngfnbs/ / "George W. Bush has given Osama bin Laden everything he could ever have wished for. Bush invaded a Muslim country without just cause and in defiance of practically the entire world, and delivered to bin Laden a terrorist recruitment poster for the ages. " / ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Monday 12 April 2004
"FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York. The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the U.A.E. in May saying that a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives."
- President's Daily Brief, August 6 2001
Michael Speer, 24, of Iowa. Elias Torrez III, 21, of Texas. Matthew Matula, 20, of Texas. Felix Delgreco, 22, of Connecticut. Levi Angell, 20, of Minnesota. Joshua Palmer, 25, of California. Michael Wafford, 20, of Texas. Nicholas Dieruf, 21, of Kentucky. Christopher Wasser, 21, of Kansas. William Harrell, 30, of California. Christopher Mabry, 19, of Mississippi. Jonathan Kephart, 21, of Pennsylvania. Isaac Michael Nieves, 20, of New York. Lee Todacheene, 29, of New Mexico. Fernando Mendezaceves, 27, of Puerto Rico. William Labadie Jr., 45, of Arkansas. Marvin Miller, 38, of North Carolina. Brent Morel, 27, of Tennessee. John Wroblewski, 25, of New Jersey. Scott Larson Jr., 22, of Texas. George Rentschler, 31, of Kentucky. Shane Goldman, 20, Texas. Tyanna Felder, 22, of Connecticut. Marcus Cherry, 18, of California. Benjamin Carman, 20, of Iowa. Kyle Crowley, 18, of California. Allan Walker, 28, of California. Christopher Cobb, 19, of Florida. Ryan Jerabek, 18, of Wisconsin. Moises Langhorst, 19, of Minnesota. Travis Layfield, 19, of California. Anthony Roberts, 18, of Delaware. Deryk Hallal, 24, of Indiana. Christopher Ramos, 26, of New Mexico. Jesse Thiry, 23, of Wisconsin. Michael Mitchell, 25, of California. Yihjyh Chen, 31, of Marianas Protectorate. Robert Arsiaga, 25, of Texas. Stephen Hiller, 25, of Alabama. Ahmed Cason, 24, of Alabama. Israel Garza, 25, of Texas. Forest Jostes, 22, of Illinois. Casey Sheehan, 24, of California. Gerardo Moreno, 23, of Texas. David McKeever, 25, of New York. Matthew Serio, 21, of Rhode Island. Tyler Fey, 22, of Minnesota. Emad Mikha, 44, of Michigan. Aric Barr, 22, of Pennsylvania. Geoffery Morris, 19, of Illinois. Philip Rogers, 23, of Oregon. John Amos, II, 22, of Indiana. William Strange, 19, of Georgia. Doyle Hufstedler, 25, of Texas. Sean Mitchell, 24, of Pennsylvania. Michael Karr Jr., 23, of Texas. Cleston Raney, 20, of Idaho. Brandon Davis, 20, of Maryland. Dustin Sekula, 18, of Texas.
These are the American soldiers who have been identified as having been killed in Iraq in the first twelve days of April, 2004, one year after our tanks rolled into Baghdad and knocked down the statue of a man who had no weapons of mass destruction, no connections to al Qaeda, no connection to the attacks of September 11, and no ability to threaten the United States.
The man who had that statue of himself erected was a bastard, a wretch, a blight on the skin of this world. Was he worth the loss of these American soldiers, and the others who have died in April but whose names have not yet been released by Central Command? Was he worth the 667 American soldiers who have died in Iraq? Was he worth the 18,000 American soldiers who have been medically evacuated from Iraq, many for wounds so grievous that their lives will never be the same? Was he worth the lives of more than ten thousand Iraqi civilians? Was he worth the hundreds of billions of dollars we spent to remove him?
Was he worth even one grieving mother, father, wife, husband, brother, sister, son, or daughter?
The family of Marvin Miller, slain in Balad, Iraq on Wednesday, doesn't think so. "It stinks," said Miller's aunt, Annie. "The president got us into something he doesn't know how to get out of. It seems like the more killing that goes on over there, the more troops he's sending." Miller's eldest son, Marvin Lee Miller Jr., was planning to join the Army after he finished high school. "I was going into the military, but not no more," he said. "Not after this."
According to a variety of unimpeachable White House insiders, among them former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and former Counter-Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke, the focus of the Bush administration was on invading Iraq from the first day George settled into the Oval Office. Of course, they were also fully occupied with a national missile shield, a few massive tax cuts, and the breaking of the wall separating church and state.
Yet with Clarke and his cadre of terror-fighters sounding alarms from one side of the White House to the other, even with FBI agents in Minnesota and Arizona sounding alarms about suspicious men trying to learn to fly, but not land, commercial aircraft, even with foreign intelligence agencies all across the planet sounding alarms about plots to hijack airplanes and crash them into American buildings, and even with George W. Bush getting told on August 6, 2001 that "patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings" were happening while "surveillance of federal buildings in New York" was being done by suspicious individuals, even with Bush being told in the same briefing that "Al Qaeda members - including some who are U.S. citizens - have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks," the White House crew couldn't seem to summon enough interest to consider al Qaeda terrorism a priority until the towers came down.
Now, the Shi'ites and Sunnis have become allies in Iraq against American forces, a coming-together that has left many long-time observers of Iraqi cultural dynamics in awe. Now, American forces are required to sue for cease-fire agreements with Iraqi forces that have taken several cities and appear able to kill America troops at will. Now, the American people themselves are coming to see the 'leadership' of the Bush administration for what it really is, a bleak realization that could send American politics careening into complete chaos.
George W. Bush has given Osama bin Laden everything he could ever have wished for. Bush invaded a Muslim country without just cause and in defiance of practically the entire world, and delivered to bin Laden a terrorist recruitment poster for the ages. The Middle East is coming together in unprecedented ways to fight the United States, a crucial step along the path towards bin Laden's desire to create a pure Islamic Caliphate. The bloodshed spurred by the Shi'ite uprising, aided by the unlikely alliance with the Sunnis, have left Iraq in utterly unsolvable turmoil. American soldiers, and Iraqi civilians, continue to die. There is absolutely, positively no good side to this situation.
Osama bin Laden need only sit back and watch everything go his way. He is almost certainly aware of the old military rule which states, "Never interfere with an enemy who is in the process of destroying himself." It is unclear how that statement translates into Arabic, but the old-school Chicago politics version is equally succinct: "Never get in the way of a perfectly good train wreck." However you phrase it, George W. Bush is proving these old sayings to be axiomatic, and Osama bin Laden is smiling.
William Rivers Pitt is the senior editor and lead writer for t r u t h o u t . He is a New York Times and international bestselling author of two books - 'War on Iraq: What Team Bush Doesn't Want You to Know' and 'The Greatest Sedition is Silence.'
"...Declare an end to combat operations. Strut across the deck of an aircraft carrier and proclaim yourself to be the savior of the Iraqi people.
When your soldiers continue to die, scoff at any concerns about this. Dare the killers of your troops to keep it up by sticking your chin out and saying,
3500-plus Americans killed, more than 25,000 seriously wounded / Caused the deaths of more than 600,000 Iraqi civilians, mostly children; many thousands more wounded / Increased cancers and birth defects tenfold from depleted uranium exposure (both for Iraqis and coalition forces) / Destroyed Iraqi's infrastructure; museums and hospitals looted, water supplies polluted, electricity and medical care diminished / Destroyed Iraq's economy, causing job loss, hunger, crime, anarchy and more death / htnDestroyed Iraq's security apparatus, opening the floodgates to anarchy and civil war / Created millions of Iraqi refiugees / Allowed systematic looting of munitions stockpiles after the war, which were later employed against our troops / Increased opium production in Afghanistan from near non-existence to the biggest crop yields in history / Drastically diminished Emergency Preparedness at home by depleting National Guard forces and funding // /Enriched Halliburton, Exxon Mobil, Bechtel, GE, Boeing, Dyncorp, the Carlisle Group, etc. // Attempted to turn our port security over to a Saudi company in Dubai / Increased recruitment tenfold for alQaeda and other terrorist groups / Diverted energy and funds from the battle with alQaeda / Engendered the hatred of most of the world / Destroyed US credibility / "Lost" $9 billion / Squandered more than $2 trillion / Turned a record surplus into a record deficit / Fired desperately needed Arab translators because they were gayn // Established a precedent for 'pre-emptive' wars for other countries to follow / Made US exempt from the International Criminal Court and broke the Geneva convention / Removed fundamental American liberties, including Habeus Corpus and the Bill of Rights / Destroyed an entire covert CIA network protecting us from weapons of mass destruction / htshsnndfgndgh Made America and the entire world far, far less safe. / _____________________ /
_________________ nrfnn Bushwars / Bushlies / Cheneylies / Incurious George / St. George / King George (the madness of) / George the Lionheart and the New Crusades / George of Orwell / Georgie Warbucks / George W. Hoover / Vanishing Votes / Death Culture / Hall of Shame / 911 Accountability / (Not-so) Friendly Fascism / Project For A New American Perpetual War / Fanning the Flames of Fear, Loathing and Terror / T h e C o l l a t e r a l C h i l d r e n / About This Site: A Gathering Danger _________________ QUOTES from SMART people on our dire situation / More writings by, and interviews with SMART PEOPLE on our Dire Situation: / Kurt Vonnegut Speaks / Bill Moyers Rallies / Gore Vidal Rants / Mark Twain Sings ____________ /
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