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Hello all, here's a very interesting article from the International Action Centre and A.N.S.W.E.R. Greetings Dirk Adriaensens. ----- Original Message ----- From: "Action Center" <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: <ActionCenter.email@example.com> Sent: Monday, August 12, 2002 9:29 PM Subject: [IAC] Answering Bush's War Propaganda on Iraq BUSH'S "WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION" HOAX: BIG LIE MASKS REAL MOTIVE FOR IRAQ WAR PART 1: ANSWERING BUSH'S WAR PROPAGANDA 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 destruction." 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. BACKGROUND TO OPERATION DESERT FOX 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 momentum. 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 resolutions. And thus, the U.S. has cynically crafted the chief rationale for the coming invasion. IRAQI DIPLOMACY REBUFFED AGAIN 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 all. 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) WHO ARE THE REAL TERRORISTS? 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 after-effects. 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. GET INVOLVED IN THE CAMPAIGN TO STOP THE WAR IN IRAQ BEFORE IT STARTS! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://www.internationalanswer.org/donate.html FOR MORE INFORMATION email@example.com 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 http://www.internationalanswer.org ------------------ Send replies to firstname.lastname@example.org This is the IAC activists announcement list. Anyone can subscribe by sending any message to <ActionCenter.email@example.com> To unsubscribe <ActionCenter.firstname.lastname@example.org> _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk