Tag Archives: Bush

U.S. planned to provoke Iraq invasion, new memo says

27 Jun

Yesterday, The Guardian uncovered a confidential memo that recorded a meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair almost two months before the invasion of Iraq. The Baghdad Bomber Brothers discussed how Iraq could be provoked into firing the first shot:

Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan ‘to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colors over Iraq with fighter cover.’ Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.

The president expressed hopes that an Iraqi defector would be ‘brought out’ to give a public presentation on Saddam’s WMD or that someone might assassinate the Iraqi leader. However, Bush confirmed even without a second resolution, the US was prepared for military action. The memo said Blair told Bush he was ‘solidly with the president.’

The five-page document, written by Blair’s foreign policy adviser, Sir David Manning, and copied to Sir Jeremy Greenstock, the UK ambassador to the UN, Jonathan Powell, Blair’s chief of staff, the chief of the defense staff, Admiral Lord Boyce, and the UK’s ambassador to Washington, Sir Christopher Meyer, outlines how Bush told Blair he had decided on a start date for the war.

This is more proof of the deliberate attempt by the U.S. to instigate a war on Iraq, a war that has killed hundreds of thousands and displaced millions more, drained our Treasury, took out Iran’s worst enemy, and has killed over 5,000 U.S. soldiers (and counting).

This is nothing new, however. The U.S. has had a history of provoking other countries into firing the first shot, from the U.S.S. Maine to the Gulf of Tonkin. This same process is continuing in Iran under Obama’s watchful eye, ensuring another mountain of skulls.

This memo ironically surfaces at the same time that Prime Minister Gordon Brown is rejecting a call for an investigation into the beginnings of the Iraq War from his House of Commons opposition (which is pretty much the whole House of Commons).

Can we finally try the Bush gang for war crimes? Seeing Bush hang from the gallows might not make our widowed wives and limbless veterans lose any less sleep, but it might make future Presidents weary of another imperial adventure.

Obama sanctions Bush’s war crimes

27 Jun

The United States is in the business of torture as this eye-opening memo that was recently leaked reveals. This memo admits that the CIA used insects to frighten and interrogate its captives. Just as disturbing is the fact the use of torture by the Bush Administration was known to Congress all the way back in 2002, but they didn’t mention anything to the American public until Abu Ghraib embarrassed them.

It is disappointing to hear that the Obama Administration was refusing to prosecute those involved, and we are told to just “move on” and ignore the crimes of our government. Obama is supposedly now “hinting” at prosecuting, but i’m not optimistic because it will expose not only the horrors of the Bush Administration but also  my (embarassing) representative Nancy Pelosi’s  compliance. The prosecution of these criminals would hurt the CIA’s ability to execute Obama’s private war in Pakistan, and might make people question his imperial authority to further  occupy Iraq and Afghanistan.

These “enchanced interrogation” methods are illegal under treaties signed by the United States (somewhere in Geneva, I think), and Japanese military leaders were prosecuted post-WW2 for waterboarding Americans. As much research shows, torture is ineffective at acquiring useful information, and even suspects detained after 9/11 by the CIA gave them false information, most likely to stop the pain.

Torture is a bipartisan sport in the U.S. Congress, except for a few, outspoken dissenters. These dissenters also share the view that when you defend war, torture must also inevitably be defended. The arguments concerning the morality or non-effectiveness of torture miss the larger point; a free and decent Republic would of course obey its international treaties, constitutional law, and defense of that beautiful, and bloodily fought for, right of habeas corpus. America is no longer the Republic of its infancy, however, and it has embraced empire, an empire that Napoleon, Stalin, or Bismarck would have salivated over.

America’s transition to world-policeman was not sudden and didn’t start when George W. Bush came into office, despite what some of his liberal critics think. Signs of this transition could be heard in the screams of 200,000 dead Philippines when we went to war with Spain in the early 20th cenutry, it grew louder in two world wars that left Europe and the Atlantic in ashes, and it was officially born in Hiroshima.

This leak, and the Obama Administration’s refusal to prosecute anybody, comes as no surprise. Torture? Of course the U.S. tortures, and it has for years. Torture is but a drop in the bucket of what the U.S. Empire has unleashed on the world: firebombing cities, coups, concentration internment camps, cruise-missile strikes, starvation sanctions, and mind control experimentation.

Besides these crimes that occurred away from our shores, there are domestic consequences to America’s slow transition into empire: deliberate lies and misinformation from our intelligence agencies, a vast expansion of presidential power, violations of habeas corpus, hawks screeching for war in both parties, the smearing of war critics,  invasions of privacy, sick and neglected veterans, and trillions of dollars.

Is empire worth this price?