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[casi] War could start as soon as this Wednesday 28th Jan

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In view of the potential urgency of this item, please circulate.  Does anyone have any independent 
confirmation of this item from other sources?  John Sloboda.


by Michael C. Ruppert

January 24, 2003, 1930 PST (FTW) - Serious international developments are
indicating that the first stages of the U.S. invasion of Iraq will begin
unilaterally no later than next Wednesday and most likely as the President
delivers his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night.

The Associated Press reported today, in a story little noticed by mainstream
American press, that the Japanese government had today urged all Japanese
citizens to leave Iraq as soon as possible. Japan has large numbers of its
nationals working in Iraq in various trade and oil-related business
ventures. According to a second report today on CNN Headline News the
Japanese advisory was specific that all Japanese citizens should be out of
the country by next Wednesday at the latest.

The Japanese alert was followed by a simultaneous advisory from the U.S.
State Department issuing a worldwide alert to all Americans traveling
overseas. According to another AP story, State Department officials tried to
downplay the significance of the warning, "but officials were unable to say
when the last such advisory had been issued." A worldwide alert for U.S.
citizens is extremely rare and suggests that the administration is concerned
about a global backlash against Americans traveling overseas. Cautionary
advisories are normally isolated to specific countries or geographic

The invasion of Iraq will most likely commence with a massive aerial
campaign in which the U.N. and many military analysts have predicted
widespread collateral damage with heavy civilian casualties. One recent UN
estimate suggested that the total Iraqi casualty count for the entire
operation could exceed 500,000.

This decision should not be taken as a surprise. In recent weeks support for
the obvious U.S. intentions, both worldwide and at home, has been declining
rapidly. At the time this story was written a contemporaneous CNN poll
showed that 62% of those responding believed that the United States should
not attack Iraq without UN approval. Politically, the Bush administration
has seen that this situation is not going to improve. Every delay in an
attack to which the administration has already committed not only risks
greater military, political and economic opposition but also increases the
risk that U.S. ground forces will be engaged in desert fighting in hot
summer weather. Recent moves by both the French and Russian governments to
approve new trade and development agreements with the Hussein government
might also weaken U.S. economic control in a post-Saddam regime.

With crude oil prices at two-year highs and with U.S. oil reserves at
27-year lows, the signs of a crumbling U.S. economy made themselves felt
again today with a more than 200 point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial
average. The Bush administration has apparently decided to roll the dice now
in a go-for-broke imperial conquest that has as its primary objective the
immediate control of 11 per cent of the world's oil reserves.

In many previous stories FTW has documented how the Iraqi invasion is but
the first in a series of sequential worldwide military campaigns to which
the United States has committed. All of these are based upon globally
dwindling oil supplies and the pending economic and human consequences of
that reality. On January 21st, CNN Headline News acknowledged, for the first
time, the reality of Peak Oil and accurately stated that "all the cheap oil
there is has been found." The story also acknowledged that there was only
enough oil left to sustain the planet for thirty to forty years and that
what oil remained was going to become increasingly more expensive to produce
and deliver.

It is likely that the resiliency of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in his
effort to resist U.S.-inspired strikes by wealthy Venezuelan industrialists,
has had an impact on this decision by the Bush administration. Venezuela,
which is the third largest foreign importer of oil to the U.S., has seen its
U.S. deliveries cut to a fraction of normal levels in recent weeks. Within
the last week oil analysts have been predicting shortages and price spikes
similar to those of 1973-4 if U.S. oil stocks were not replenished quickly.
The administration's apparent decision to launch the attacks against Iraq
appears to be at least a partial acknowledgement that Chavez is successfully
resisting U.S. pressure to oust him.

Chavez angered multinational investors and financiers recently by moving to
increase the share of oil profits retained in Venezuela for the benefit of
its people.

Today's announcements signal that the world is entering a period of danger
not seen for forty years. That the announcements from the Japanese
government and the State Department came on the same day that the Department
of Homeland Security became active and its Secretary Tom Ridge was sworn in
seems an unlikely coincidence. Previous reporting from FTW had indicated
that even massive protests and non-violent global resistance would prove
ineffective in preventing an Iraqi invasion. And our predictions that the
Bush junta had prepared for all the worst-case scenarios, including domestic
unrest and worldwide opposition appear to be vindicated.

The administration has clearly issued a statement to the world. "Screw you.
We're going to play this game any way you want to play it. And we're ready
for anything that comes."

Only time will tell if they are correct.

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