portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article

imperialism & war

BUSH'S "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" HOAX

Read here about the Bush administration's lies about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction" and what the anti-war movement can do to stop U.S. plans to invade Iraq.
BUSH'S "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" HOAX:
BIG LIE MASKS REAL MOTIVE FOR IRAQ WAR

PART 1:
ANSWERING BUSH'S WAR PROPAGANDA

The tasks facing the new international anti-war movement
include developing a popular and effective answer to the
White House propaganda machine. Bush and the Pentagon are
working non-stop to demonize the victims of their planned
attack, while creating a credible pretext for war.

Working people in the United States, and especially the
youth, must be able to learn the real causes for the
coming conflict and learn how to respond to the Pentagon's
lies. Otherwise people will be susceptible to the pro-war
hype and frenzy that are being cynically generated to
prepare public opinion for war.

The main argument used by the White House to scare up
support for an invasion is that "Saddam Hussein must be
prevented from acquiring or developing chemical,
biological or nuclear weapons--a.k.a. weapons of mass
destruction."

The White House has focused on this bogus argument because
it has no other. Every effort was made to connect Iraq to
the Sept. 11 attack and later to the anthrax attacks in
the autumn of 2001.

But there was no evidence of a connection, so Bush simply
broadened the scope of the "war on terrorism" by
proclaiming that Iraq, Iran, north Korea and other "evil"
countries would be considered terrorist and subject to
preemptive military attacks.

What made them terrorists? Bush said they were "trying to
acquire weapons of mass destruction."

Iraq certainly did possess and use chemical weapons in the
1980s. Both Iraq and Iran used such weapons against each
other in that brutal and reactionary war. But these
weapons were not "frightening" to the U.S. at the time of
their use.

Donald Rumsfeld, the current secretary of defense, was
meeting in Baghdad with Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi
leaders in December 1983 and March 1984, and improving
U.S.-Iraqi relations on behalf of the Reagan
administration when the allegations concerning chemical
weapons surfaced. But this was when the U.S. was
encouraging Iraq's war effort as part of a strategy to
weaken and exhaust the Iranian Revolution.

During the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq did not use chemical or
non-conventional weapons, but the U.S. did. It dropped
tons of depleted uranium weapons all over Iraq.

It is important to deconstruct the piece of propaganda
regarding "weapons of mass destruction." It is the only
pretext available to the war-makers and it needs to be
answered effectively.

The facts are very crucial to understanding the duplicity
of U.S. strategy. The U.S. is employing a classic Catch-22
public relations technique aimed at demonizing Iraq before
an uninformed and unsuspecting public.

BACKGROUND TO OPERATION DESERT FOX

Iraq agreed in 1991 to let in UN weapons inspectors--a
condition imposed by the United States at the end of the
Gulf War. The U.S. insisted that economic sanctions would
be lifted only after inspectors verified that Iraq was
free from non-conventional weapons.

But for the last four years it has been the U.S.
government that has worked hard at manipulating the UN so
that there would be no inspectors in Iraq, thus
eliminating any chance of ending sanctions.

After the U.S.-dominated team carried out 9,000
inspections over nearly eight years, Iraq demanded in 1998
that the UN/U.S. economic sanctions be ended. Most
governments in the UN favored lifting sanctions.

The demand to end the sanctions was gaining irresistible
momentum.

This prompted the Clinton administration to withdraw the
weapons inspectors on Dec. 12, 1998, on the pretext that
Iraq was not "fully cooperating," creating the impression
that Iraq was leading inspectors on some wild goose chase
or blocking their path.

Clinton argued that the U.S. had no choice but to bomb
Iraq because it was blocking meaningful inspections.

In fact, the United Nations Special
Commission--UNSCOM--cited only five "obstructions" to the
423 inspections conducted between Nov. 18-Dec.12, 1998.
One was a 45-minute delay before allowing access. Another
was Iraq's rebuff to a demand by a U.S. inspector that she
be able to interview all the undergraduate students in
Baghdad University's Science Department.

Two other cases of Iraq's alleged non-compliance had to do
with UNSCOM's request to inspect two establishments on
Friday--the Muslim holy day. Since the establishments were
closed, Iraq asserted that the inspections must be held
another day or that an Iraqi official would accompany the
inspectors--in accordance with an agreement between UNSCOM
and Iraq regarding Friday inspections.

Less than 48 hours after the inspectors were withdrawn
from Iraq, the Pentagon began the massive bombing campaign
known as Operation Desert Fox on Dec. 16-19, 1998. U.S.
and British warplanes dropped more than 1,000 missiles and
bombs on the country during those four days.

Two weeks after Operation Desert Fox, U.S. officials
publicly admitted the weapons inspectors were intelligence
agents who provided Pentagon bombing planners with bombing
coordinates. (New York Times, Jan. 7, 1999)

Predictably--and justifiably--the Iraqi government
announced that it would no longer cooperate with the UN
weapons inspections.

Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice
President Richard Cheney now routinely bellow that Iraq
has denied weapons inspectors access to the country for
four years; Iraq is intransigent and defiant of UN
resolutions.

And thus, the U.S. has cynically crafted the chief
rationale for the coming invasion.

IRAQI DIPLOMACY REBUFFED AGAIN

Bush, Rumsfeld and Co. reveal the depth of their cynicism
and duplicity as they work overtime now to make it nearly
impossible for weapons inspectors to return to Iraq. That
would slow down the invasion plan--their biggest fear of
all.

On Aug. 1, the day the Senate hearings concluded, Iraq's
foreign minister released a letter sent to UN General
Secretary Kofi Annan announcing that Iraq was ready to
resume discussions about the possible re-admission of UN
weapons inspectors. Given the experience of the past,
however, when so-called inspectors were actually gathering
coordinates for cruise missile attacks, Iraq wanted
discussions first to set terms.

Iraq also offered to allow a delegation of U.S.
congressional representatives, accompanied by arms experts
of their choice, to tour sites in Iraq where they suspect
weapons of mass destruction are hidden.

Far from defusing the U.S. war drive, however, the Bush
administration immediately dismissed the Iraqi invitation
to discuss the return of the weapons inspectors or the
invitation to an arms control delegation from Congress.
Colin Powell, secretary of state, and frequently portrayed
as less hawkish than the other Bushies, made it clear that
the U.S. wouldn't take "yes" for an answer from Iraq.

"Inspection is not the issue, disarmament is ... we have
seen the Iraqis fiddle with the inspection system before,"
Powell said dismissively while stopping over in the
Philippines. (The Observer, Aug. 4)

Another official, John Bolton, U.S. under-secretary for
arms control, was even more blunt: "Our policy ... insists
on regime change in Baghdad and that policy will not be
altered, whether inspectors go in or not." (British Radio
4 Today show, Aug. 4)

WHO ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS?

If the production of weapons of mass destruction is the
criteria to affix the terrorist label, then clearly George
W. Bush presides over the biggest terrorist enterprise now
or at any time in world history.

The U.S. has the largest nuclear arsenal--more than 6,000
nuclear missiles and bombs. It has spent $4 trillion on
nuclear weapons since 1945. When it had a monopoly on
these weapons it did not hesitate to use them against
civilian centers--up to 200,000 civilians were instantly
incinerated in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

Bush is spending hundreds of billions on militarizing
outer space. The recently-released Pentagon military
doctrine includes a declaration of its right to first use
of nuclear weapons against Iraq, north Korea, Iran, China
and Russia. The U.S. has Trident submarines and U.S.
aircraft carriers carrying nuclear weapons 24 hours a day
as the imperial fleet roams the seven seas.

The U.S. government used chemical weapons in Vietnam,
spraying Agent Orange over vast parts of that country.
Thousands of U.S. GIs and an unknown number of Vietnamese
people died, or live difficult and painful lives from the
after-effects.

Today, the U.S. government manufactures chemical and
biological weapons, a fact that was routinely denied and
only admitted after the anthrax attacks of 2001.

And the U.S. government--led by both Democrats and
Republicans--has knowingly and deliberately killed more
than 1 million Iraqi civilians through the quieter, less
dramatic weapon known as economic sanctions. This weapon
that has killed 5,000 children every month for 12 years
must be regarded as a weapon of mass destruction.

It's time for anti-war activists to begin going to U.S.
military bases and demanding to see if they have weapons
of mass destruction on their premises, including chemical,
biological and nuclear weapons, and depleted uranium.

GET INVOLVED IN THE CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE WAR IN IRAQ
BEFORE IT STARTS!

1) October 26, 2002: Internationally Coordinated Day of
Mass Actions. On this day, protests will take place around
the U.S. and internationally. Organize an action in your
city or town! Email  dc@internationalanswer.org to add your
group's endorsement and/or to let us know about an action
taking place in your city.

2) January 18, 2003: Save the date for a National March on
the White House in Washington DC

3) Make a donation to help stop the war. Tax-deductible
donations can be made online at
 http://www.internationalanswer.org/donate.html

FOR MORE INFORMATION
 dc@internationalanswer.org
New York: 212-633-6646
Washington DC: 202-332-5757
Chicago: 773-878-0166
Los Angeles: 213-487-2368
San Francisco: 415-821-6545

International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Act Now to Stop War & End Racism
 http://www.internationalanswer.org

-end-

homepage: homepage: http://www.internationalanswer.org