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[casi] provocation needed

Apparently, according to recent reports, including the one below, the US is so honourable as to 
need a "spark", a "provocation" or some other "pretext" to "justify" launching an all out military 
onslaught on Iraq. Oh please! The US doesn't need any excuses to do any such thing. Since when does 
a beast need excuses to be beastly?

Leiden, the Netherlands.

This story was printed from, News channel.

New bombing raids on Iraq as US seeks pretext for war

These continuing military provocations take on ever greater significance as the Bush administration 
prepares for a full-scale invasion of Iraq

July 16, 2002, 12:55 PM  None
- US warplanes over the weekend carried out an intensive bombardment of both military and civilian 
targets in Iraq’s Dhi Qar province, about 200 miles south of Baghdad, as Washington continued 
casting about for a pretext for another war against the Arab country.
An Iraqi spokesman said that at least seven civilians were injured in the July 13 bombings, which 
occurred as US and British warplanes carried out scores of sorties from bases in Kuwait and Saudi 

The air patrols are conducted ostensibly to enforce “no-fly” zones decreed by Washington over 
southern and northern Iraq in the wake of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but US warplanes routinely 
violate other areas of Iraqi air space in an attempt to provoke a response from anti-aircraft 
defense units which are then targeted.

The “no-fly” zones were created by American fiat, without any supporting resolution by the United 
Nations, and have been utilized as an instrument for continuous military operations against Iraq, 
more than a decade after the supposed end of the Persian Gulf War. Hundreds of Iraqis have been 
killed and many more wounded in the estimated 40,000 sorties flown by US and British warplanes 
since 1998.

These continuing military provocations take on ever greater significance as the Bush administration 
prepares for a full-scale invasion of Iraq aimed at toppling the regime of Saddam Hussein, turning 
the territory into a semi-colonial protectorate, and establishing US control over its huge oil 

Last Friday, the US and Britain organized a meeting of Iraqi military and political defectors in 
London, which was also attended by American intelligence and Pentagon officials. The aim of the 
conference was to begin consolidating a quisling regime to install after a US invasion.

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, one of the most vociferous advocates of war on Iraq, is 
traveling to Turkey with senior military officers for talks on an Iraqi invasion. Turkey’s 
collaboration is seen as key, and the administration is reportedly assuring Ankara that it will 
have a free hand in repressing any move toward Kurdish independence that might arise if the Hussein 
regime falls. Both Turkey and Iraq have substantial Kurdish minorities spanning their mutual 
border. Turkey waged a bloody counterinsurgency campaign against Kurdish nationalists in the 1980s 
and 1990s.^

It was also reported in London that Prime Minister Tony Blair has been asked to move up a visit to 
Camp David originally scheduled for early autumn. The British media is describing the meeting as a 
“war summit.”

While Bush and other administration officials have publicly insisted that Iraq’s alleged 
development of “weapons of mass destruction” poses a sufficient threat to justify a preemptive war 
by the American military, there are substantial divisions within US ruling circles about the 
advisability and timing of such an action.

Within the Pentagon’s uniformed command there are concerns that the Bush administration has failed 
to spell out an “exit strategy” for a war in Iraq, potentially bogging the US military down in an 
open-ended occupation of the country.

After Pentagon officials leaked classified documents outlining plans for a full-scale invasion 
involving a quarter of a million US troops and thousands of warplanes, Senior Congressional 
Democrats as well as Republicans have expressed reservations about any imminent war. Some have 
warned that toppling Hussein could destabilize the entire region, while others express concern over 
spreading US military forces too thin under conditions in which military operations are continuing 
in Afghanistan.

Senator Joseph Biden, Democratic chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has called for 
hearings on the administration’s war plans. Biden recounted a recent discussion with Bush, in which 
he warned him: “Mr. President, there’s a reason why your father stopped and didn’t go to Baghdad. 
He didn’t want to stay five years.”

No leading politician in either party has expressed any reservations about waging a war of 
unprovoked aggression against a largely defenseless country. Dissent rises merely to the level of 
tactical reservations.

No Democratic or Republican elected official, nor the media for that matter, bothers to recall 
estimates provided by Pentagon planners to the Clinton administration that a US war to oust Hussein 
would claim at the very least 10,000 civilian dead. Similarly, none of them question the punishing 
economic sanctions that have created unprecedented poverty, disease and hunger, leading to an 
estimated 1.5 million additional deaths, mostly among infants and young children, the elderly, the 
sick and the poor.

Attempts to justify military action by linking Saddam Hussein to the September 11 attacks, or by 
claiming his regime is on the verge of deploying either nuclear or biological weapons, have thus 
far fallen flat in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The only thing that the Bush administration can point to is the breakdown of talks between the 
United Nations and Baghdad over the readmission of weapons inspectors to Iraq. This failure was 
stage-managed from Washington, which gave UN General Secretary Kofi Annan orders to stand pat on 
the demand for Iraq’s unconditional submission to the inspection regime. Baghdad’s attempts to 
raise issues ranging from the illegal US bombing of its territory to the punishing sanctions and 
the very real threat that the Pentagon and the CIA would use the inspection teams to infiltrate 
agents working to prepare an invasion or assassinate Saddam Hussein were all rebuffed.

Citing senior Pentagon and State Department officials, USA Today reported last week that “President 
Bush’s national security team has agreed that the most dramatic option for toppling Saddam—a 
large-scale invasion—would be politically difficult at home and abroad without justification beyond 
Iraq’s current friction with Washington over the suspected development of weapons of mass 

“The key problem right now is the lack of a spark, an offense’’ by Iraq, the paper quoted a senior 
intelligence official as saying. The administration has decided, the official said, that ‘‘there 
has to be a defining moment of some form, a defining event.’’

There is a growing danger that the Bush administration, enveloped in crisis, will provoke or stage 
such a “defining event.” The Bush White House increasingly sees war as a political necessity for 
its own survival—the best means of diverting public attention from the meltdown of the financial 
markets and the mounting corruption scandals that are engulfing Bush, Cheney and much of the 
cabinet in charges of criminal corporate activity.

This article is brought to you in association with World Socialist Web Site

Bill Vann,4973,247477,00.html


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