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Thank God for Scott Ritter
: Kent Southard

Thank God for Scott Ritter, eh? Gen. Zinni too. And I thought I'd never say it, but Brent Stone Cold Scowcroft, Lawrence Eagleberger, Henry the Original Gangster Kissinger, Dick the True Dick Armey, and James Baker the goddamned third, too. God bless them all. Because without their opposition to George W. Bush's Blitzkrieg for oily Lebensraum in the Middle East, any other intelligent and principled opposition would now find itself labeled 'unpatriotic' and dragged from its cars and homes and beaten in the streets, which is I'm sure what Karl Rove had in mind. But, rock-ribbed conservatives all, they have spoken out and rather emphatically too, so in this moment of righteous rage-interruptus maybe there's still time to state a few facts.
Just for fun, let's think back to the China spy plane incident - remember how the Bush administration initially came out all butch and swinging, nothing but hot talk about China? Remember who was doing that? Perle, Wolfowitz, von Rumsfeld, etc. - everyone who's so horny now for war with Iraq. (To be followed by Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and then, full circle, back to China again...) And remember who it was that pulled Bush junior's fat out of that fire? It was Scowcroft, Kissinger, Powell and Poppy himself who worked the diplomatic back-channels to put the accident/incident into proper perspective.
Remember Dubya's role in that entire tricky diplomatic maneuver? He wondered if the aircrew had free-weights and Bibles. It was reported that what military decisions being made at the time, whether to run a carrier task force by the Chinese coast, were not being made in the White House; Bush was apparently not allowed in that loop.
We all thought at the time that this was all proof that either the training wheels were still on this administration, or this was in fact, the second presidency of Poppy. I guess we have to give the decision to the training wheels scenario; but now that Junior has his driver's license, it seems he's still driving drunk at 110 into oncoming traffic.
As for Iraq - this week we learned that U.S. Intelligence hasn't prepared a new assessment of Iraq's 'weapons of mass destruction' since 1991. Why the urgent need for a 'pre-emptive' attack this month, but not last? According to former car executive, White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, 'Because August is not a month that you roll out a new product.' 'Besides,' Karl Rove chimed in, 'The president was on vacation.' Pretty compelling, huh?
We also recently learned of a Pentagon briefing early in 2001, where one of Wolfowitz's underlings punched his finger in the Saudi delegate's chest and told him 'As soon as we get settled we're going after Iraq, and then we're going to start calling the shots in the Middle East. And you better go along because you don't have any choice.'
So it would seem 'calling the shots' has rather more to do with the issue than 'weapons of mass destruction.'
It might also be remembered that, as reported by the Washington Post and others, the Bush administration deliberately downplayed the importance of any threat posed by Al Qaeda previous to 9/11, in favor of its chosen concentration on Iraq. So it would seem their Iraq plans have gotten us in trouble before. Big and tragic trouble.
It's worth mentioning that this little coterie of Pearle, Wolfowitz, etc., are the foremost proponents of our country controlling the entire planet as our empire. Only they call it, in an off-hand way as 'calling the shots.' Maybe the whole point of going to the U.N. this week with a long list of demands to be met on an accelerated schedule was in fact a good way to render it 'irrelevant' because the U.N. couldn't keep up with the moving goalposts.
But the most galling and strange part of this whole march to Baghdad is the fairly inexplicable way that the mainstream U.S. media continues to ignore the story that Dick Cheney made some measure of his Halliburton millions by doing illegal business with Iraq. In fact the way the oil issue continues to play such a small part of the overall story...
Iraq has lots of oil apparently, but you wouldn't know it from most US newscasts.
And then the kicker: Once upon a time, the administrations of Reagan and Bush the elder gave chemical weapon supplies to Saddam Hussein as our preferred thug in Iraq's war with Iran. When Iraq gassed the Kurds, the U.N. resolution condemning the act was vetoed by....the U.S.
It has been reported that Iraq was prompted to invade Kuwait because Kuwait was using U.S. supplied oil technology that allowed it to drill at an angle and so was drilling across the border and stealing Iraq's oil. It has further been reported that before launching the invasion, Hussein made an appointment with the U.S. ambassador, April Glaspie, and told her of his plans and asked what our response might be. Glaspie dutifully cabled back, and received a reply that she gave Hussein - 'The U.S. has no position on this issue.'
The H.W. Bush administration lied about Hussein threatening Saudi Arabia: independent satellite photos showed no Iraqi troops or armor on the Saudi border.
Curiouser and curiouser...later, Bush I promised the Kurds American assistance if they would rise up against Hussein; when they did, he reneged and made sure Hussein was allowed to keep his helicopter gunships which were used to slaughter the Kurds by the thousands. Interviewed on the golf course with club in hand (what is it about Bushes, human tragedy and golfing?), Bush said 'That's not our problem, those people have been killing each other for years.' (For anyone interested, I think that was the moment I quit being a Republican.)
This past week it was reported that our present George Bush made the decision last October to prosecute this war with Iraq. No fresh facts, no evidence linking Iraq to 9/11 - the decision was reportedly arrived at by 'a kind of osmosis.' This was also about the time that Bush decided he 'had been chosen by God.'
When you just lay out the simple facts in order, it presents a pretty curious spectacle, doesn't it?
And, just for the record, all of this has NOTHING to do with the mid-term elections...