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[casi] A Matter Of Credibility/ Charley Reese

Charley Reese
For Wednesday, October 23, 2002

A Matter Of Credibility

It is a sad business when you can no longer trust your own government to tell
you the truth. That's the great harm to America that President Bush's propaganda
campaign against Iraq has caused.

Trust is a fragile but precious thing. One lie can destroy it, for once a
person lies, you can never be certain in the future if he or she is telling the
truth or lying some more.

If only President Bush had been honest with us in regard to Iraq, then I would
be supporting him. All he had to do was tell the truth: There is no evidence that
links Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11 attack; there is no hard evidence that he has
any weapons of mass destruction, but we suspect that he does; given his past
history, we believe it is imperative to get United Nations arms inspectors back
into Iraq to determine the truth, for I fear, if he does have weapons of mass
destruction, he might one day decide to supply them to terrorists.

Instead, the Bush administration has asserted as fact that Iraq does have
weapons of mass destruction, does have links to al-Qaida and is an imminent threat
to the security of the United States. When Iraq offers to allow the world to come
see for itself, Mr. Bush says that's just a trick. When Iraq offers to allow the
U.N. inspectors back in, Mr. Bush argues against them going. He is determined to
get the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that no leader of any sovereign
nation could accept.

That's the same trick the Clinton administration pulled on Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia was willing to admit U.N. or even NATO observers into Kosovo, but the
United States insisted that as part of the deal, NATO troops would have
unrestricted access to all of Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia turned it down, as the United
States knew it would, and the bombing campaign started immediately.

That's what Bush wants. He wants a resolution Saddam Hussein cannot accept so
Bush will have the excuse to go to war. His objective is not disarmament, but
regime change and American occupation of Iraq. American and British financial
interests have never forgiven Iraq for kicking them out in the late 1970s when it
nationalized the Iraqi oil reserves. Two of the clauses he knows Saddam will never
accept are for any permanent member of the Security Council to add its own
representatives to the inspection team and another clause that states armed forces
should accompany the inspectors. Mr. Bush has never mentioned to the American
people that the United States corrupted the last U.N. arms-inspection process by
using it as a cover for spies. That is a fact.

Hopefully, the French will hang tough, and Mr. Bush won't get his
war-triggering resolution. Then he will be forced to choose between naked
aggression without a U.N. fig leaf or allowing inspectors to go back and do their
job. I expect he will choose naked aggression. He will call whatever gaggle of
small and weak countries that give their passive assent his "global coalition."

I thought of George Orwell when George Bush, in a belligerent speech before he
signed the congressional war resolution, said it was being done "for the cause of
peace." That's newspeak  war is peace.

Trust in George Bush is gone. What he is doing is anti-America in the sense
that it violates all the traditions that made this country great. We are like Rome
now, with thousands of soldiers stationed in more than 60 countries and our
emperor proclaiming the right to remove any sovereign government he doesn't like
(provided, of course, it is small and defenseless).

Far from serving the cause of peace, Mr. Bush is involving our country in a
perpetual war against the rest of the world, a war we will eventually lose. He is
not protecting the American people; he is endangering all of us.

 2002 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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