U.S. - IRAQ INVASION LIKELY TO BEGIN WITH STATE of the UNION, Tuesday
Michael C. Ruppert
January 24, 2003, 1930 PST (FTW) - Serious international developments are indicating that the first stages of the U.S. invasion of Iraq will begin unilaterally no later than next Wednesday and most likely as the President delivers his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night.
The Associated Press reported today, in a story little noticed by mainstream American press, that the Japanese government had today urged all Japanese citizens to leave Iraq as soon as possible. Japan has large numbers of its nationals working in Iraq in various trade and oil-related business ventures. According to a second report today on CNN Headline News the Japanese advisory was specific that all Japanese citizens should be out of the country by next Wednesday at the latest.
The Japanese alert was followed by a simultaneous advisory from the U.S. State Department issuing a worldwide alert to all Americans traveling overseas. According to another AP story, State Department officials tried to downplay the significance of the warning, "but officials were unable to say when the last such advisory had been issued." A worldwide alert for U.S. citizens is extremely rare and suggests that the administration is concerned about a global backlash against Americans traveling overseas. Cautionary advisories are normally isolated to specific countries or geographic regions.
The invasion of Iraq will most likely commence with a massive aerial campaign in which the U.N. and many military analysts have predicted widespread collateral damage with heavy civilian casualties. One recent UN estimate suggested that the total Iraqi casualty count for the entire operation could exceed 500,000.
This decision should not be taken as a surprise. In recent weeks support for the obvious U.S. intentions, both worldwide and at home, has been declining rapidly. At the time this story was written a contemporaneous CNN poll showed that 62% of those responding believed that the United States should not attack Iraq without UN approval. Politically, the Bush administration has seen that this situation is not going to improve. Every delay in an attack to which the administration has already committed not only risks greater military, political and economic opposition but also increases the risk that U.S. ground forces will be engaged in desert fighting in hot summer weather. Recent moves by both the French and Russian governments to approve new trade and development agreements with the Hussein government might also weaken U.S. economic control in a post-Saddam regime.
With crude oil prices at two-year highs and with U.S. oil reserves at 27-year lows the signs of a crumbling U.S. economy made themselves felt again today with a more than 200 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial average. The Bush administration has apparently decided to roll the dice now in a go-for-broke imperial conquest that has as its primary objective the immediate control of 11 per cent of the world's oil reserves.
In many previous stories FTW has documented how the Iraqi invasion is but the first in a series of sequential worldwide military campaigns to which the United States has committed. All of these are based upon globally dwindling oil supplies and the pending economic and human consequences of that reality. On January 21st, CNN Headline News acknowledged, for the first time, the reality of Peak Oil and accurately stated that "all the cheap oil there is has been found." The story also acknowledged that there was only enough oil left to sustain the planet for thirty to forty years and that what oil remained was going to become increasingly more expensive to produce and deliver.
It is likely that the resiliency of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in his effort to resist U.S.-inspired strikes by wealthy Venezuelan industrialists, has had an impact on this decision by the Bush administration. Venezuela, which is the third largest foreign importer of oil to the U.S., has seen its U.S. deliveries cut to a fraction of normal levels in recent weeks. Within the last week oil analysts have been predicting shortages and price spikes similar to those of 1973-4 if U.S. oil stocks were not replenished quickly. The administration's apparent decision to launch the attacks against Iraq appears to be at least a partial acknowledgement that Chavez is successfully resisting U.S. pressure to oust him.
Chavez angered multinational investors and financiers recently by moving to increase the share of oil profits retained in Venezuela for the benefit of its people.
Today's announcements signal that the world is entering a period of danger not seen for forty years. That the announcements from the Japanese government and the State Department came on the same day that the Department of Homeland Security became active and its Secretary Tom Ridge was sworn in seems an unlikely coincidence. Previous reporting from FTW had indicated that even massive protests and non-violent global resistance would prove ineffective in preventing an Iraqi invasion. And our predictions that the Bush junta had prepared for all the worst-case scenarios, including domestic unrest and worldwide opposition appear to be vindicated.
The administration has clearly issued a statement to the world. "Screw you. We're going to play this game any way you want to play it. And we're ready for anything that comes."
Only time will tell if they are correct.