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[casi] Answering Bush's War Propaganda on Iraq

Hello all,
here's a very interesting article from the International Action Centre and
Dirk Adriaensens.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Action Center" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2002 9:29 PM
Subject: [IAC] Answering Bush's War Propaganda on Iraq


 PART 1:

 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

 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.


 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

 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

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


 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

 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)


 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

 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.


 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 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

 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

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