WHAT TO EXPECT FROM BUSH
Frustrated that Iraq appears to be cooperating with the United Nations'
intrusive weapons inspections, the Bush Administration is rushing this week
to proclaim that the so-called disarmament effort has failed: that
inspections are an empty effort and the 12,000 page Iraqi declaration is
It is urgent that the anti-war movement not be lulled into a false sense of
optimism because Iraq and the UN are cooperating. Various governments are
reporting that they are hopeful that the inspections process can help avoid
war. UN General Secretary Kofi Annan went out of his way to say that war is
However, the extent to which the world is voicing cautious optimism about a
peaceful solution, is also the extent to which the Bush foreign policy team
is racing to dash all hope for such an outcome. There is now an almost
perfect inverted ratio between the worldwide clamor for restraint and peace
and the Bush Administration's eagerness to publicly announce that war is
By the end of this week, we can expect that Bush will try to announce that
Iraq has failed to come clean about its purported weapons program. Then the
war mobilization can go onto automatic pilot and the gauntlet will be
thrown down to the vacillators: "Are you with Us or Them?" In so doing, the
White House will inadvertently reveal a truth known to all objective
observers of this conflict -- that the disarmament of Iraq was never really
the issue. The nuclear scare was to keep Americans frightened of the
"enemy" as the Bush Hawks frantically prepared to wage aggression against a
country that possesses 10% of the world's known oil reserves.
The administration has a real objective and a stated objective. The real
objective is to wage war against Iraq and conquer and occupy that country.
To do so requires 1) overwhelming force and 2) the elimination of
dissenting opposition that can derail Bush's dreams of empire. The U.S. has
massive force. But it has encountered formidable opposition from people
around the world and in the United States. So, the Bush administration
shifted its claimed objective from regime change to disarmament, a much
more palatable purported objective for public distribution and one that can
be embraced by even those who support peace.
The White House wants to get the people of the U.S. behind this claimed
objective of "disarmament." Once having done so, the administration can
insist that the mechanisms in place for the purported disarmament have
failed, or cannot accomplish the task, and that military might is necessary.
There is only one reason that makes the war drive rapidly escalate in the
face of the apparent success of the new inspections process: The Bush
Administration has never intended the "inspections" process to serve as
anything but a trigger for war. This is why the Iraqi cooperation with the
inspection process and disclosure has failed to produce even the slightest
slowing in the preparations for war and, in fact, has seemed to produce an
escalation in the rhetoric from Washington, including recent policy
statements confirming Bush's plans for first-use deployment of nuclear
weapons. The Washington Post reported that a classified version of the new
Bush Doctrine "breaks with the fifty years of counter-proliferation
efforts" by planning for the use of nuclear weapons against countries that
not only have not attacked the US but that do not themselves possess
nuclear capability ("Preemptive Strikes are Part of U.S. Strategic
Doctrine," front page, December 11, 2002).
These signals from the White House and Pentagon provide no basis for
optimism to believe that the war has been averted. The inspections process,
whose true purpose is solely to serve as a trigger for war, at the moment
is not providing the political cover that Washington needs to attack Iraq
and seize its oil and land.
The warmongers in the Bush Administration will need now to manufacture
other circumstances to justify an attack and occupation of Iraq.
The Bush Administration rammed Resolution 1441 through the Security Council
for one reason: to provide the diplomatic fig leaf for a US war. To the
extent that the process serves as a political restraint, Bush and Co. will
scuttle the process.
The Administration now needs a new trigger. It will use the resolution 1441
to create an obvious source of provocation. The U.S. forced language into
the resolution that would allow for the forcible removal of Iraqi
scientists, government officials, and their families and children to be
held incommunicado in other countries and interrogated by U.N. inspectors.
The U.S. wants to abduct Iraqi officials and interrogate them planning that
by threat or bribe one will help create the trigger that the U.S.
desperately needs and the "evidence" that the U.S. has long claimed to have
but has never put up. One need only remember the Gulf of Tonkin resolution,
the Pentagon Papers, or even the lie manufactured about the Iraqi army
throwing babies out of incubators (put in cite) to judge the quality of
results likely produced by this effort.
In the New York Times for December 16, 2002, William Safire urges that
Iraqi scientists should be visited at home, removed to other countries by
helicopter on the spot, and be threatened that they must provide the right
answers in order to "ameliorate sentences at war-crimes trials." And of
course, any failure of Iraq to facilitate these abductions will itself be
considered "material breach" of the Security Council resolution.
There is really only one restraint that can block the war. It lies within
the people themselves. Neither Congress nor the Security Council will stop
Bush's dangerous war drive. The optimism of the antiwar forces must be
premised on reality. If we can mobilize the millions - in the US and around
the world - and ignite a firestorm of activism then the political climate
can be changed, and changed dynamically.
Public opinion is Bush's enemy. Time is also an enemy for the warmakers.
With each passing the day antiwar momentum grows. The global desire for a
peaceful outcome is considered subversive because from that sentiment can
emerge a potent mass movement - as happened during the Vietnam era.
With the cooperation of the Corporate-owned media, the White House has
attempted to create a false myth of consensus about the war. False polls,
false reports and non-stop propaganda have filled the airwaves so that the
American people will be paralyzed and confused. Yet people all over the
country are talking to their neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, and
congregations and learning that they too oppose Bush's war, that there is,
in fact, widespread, deep, and passionate opposition to the war.
When hundreds of thousands marched on October 26th, the same corporate
media tried to whiteout the sudden emergence of this movement. But they
were confronted by overwhelming demand for truth from people across the
country and some were forced to correct their coverage.
The peoples movement continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
On January 18, massive protest will again fill the streets of Washington DC
and San Francisco. Thousands of cities, towns, college campuses, high
schools, religious and civil rights organizations are mobilizing together.
The scenario for January 18th includes a brief rally on the West side of
the Capitol Building in Washington DC starting at 11 am, followed by a
massive march to the Washington DC Navy Yard -- a massive military
installation located in a working class neighborhood in Southeast
Washington DC that parks warships on the Anacostia River. We will demand
the immediate elimination of US weapons of mass destruction and a people's
inspection team will call for unfettered access and a full declaration of
U.S. non-conventional weapons systems.
*How YOU can GET INVOLVED*
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Thu Jan 09 2003 - 21:06:45 EST